372: Things Are Degraded02 Apr 2020
Casey’s storage tale of woe, Apple buying Dark Sky, and Amazon’s in-app-purchase policy exception.
- Pre-show: Retro-gaming next week
- Homework for listeners: play with RetroPie and a retro gamepad
- Casey's Synology Catastrophe
- Apple Acquires Dark Sky
- You can buy/rent video from the Amazon iOS app without using in-app purchase
- Post-show follow-up:
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- Eero: The Wi-Fi your home deserves. Use code ATP for free overnight shipping with this link.
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- Retro-gaming next week
- Chip yields & binning
- 2020 iPad Pro vs. 2018
- Sponsor: Squarespace (code ATP)
- Casey’s Tale of Woe 🖼️
- Sponsor: Eero (code ATP)
- Apple bought Dark Sky
- Sponsor: Postmates (code ATP)
- Amazon Prime Video IAP
- Ending theme
- PS5 follow-up
Retro-gaming next week
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Do people still buy Xboxes? Is this fight even still on?
⏹️ ▶️ John Yeah, all three competitors are viable. You know, Sony destroyed everybody in the
⏹️ ▶️ John last generation, but Xbox is viable. They have enough money to make a second one, you know,
⏹️ ▶️ John and Nintendo, as we know, definitely viable. So the market can sustain three.
⏹️ ▶️ John Each generation, maybe the winner will swap. And Nintendo won the Wii generation.
⏹️ ▶️ John Xbox won the PS3 generation. See what happens this time. Hmm. Sega did not win.
⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco It hasn’t won anything lately. No. Sorry.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Sega won the Genesis generation and that was it.
⏹️ ▶️ John No, it did not win the Genesis generation. Only in your mind. No, I think
⏹️ ▶️ Marco it depends on how you measure, but it did very well. Go look up the numbers. It did fine. It was viable.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Viable. They were, I think they were very, very successful during
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Sega didn’t win, but they were very, very, very strong. I still think Nintendo
⏹️ ▶️ Marco They won Marco’s heart. They did win my heart. Damn it Sega was awesome for that one generation.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I’ve said this many times on the show I peddled so many Dreamcast when I worked at Babbage’s and that just
⏹️ ▶️ Casey did not work out Well,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey, Marco Dreamcast was not
⏹️ ▶️ Marco viable Well, and it’s it’s sad like cuz the Dreamcast was a good system with good games But
⏹️ ▶️ Marco they just sure Sega just blew it so hard after the Genesis that nobody trusted them anymore I’m
⏹️ ▶️ John not gonna say it was a good system had Dreamcast had good games the system
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Oh come on, it had the little like Game Boy memory card. What did they call that?
⏹️ ▶️ John The controller was awful. The visual memory thing was dumb.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey There it is. Yeah, visual memory unit, the VMU, something like that.
⏹️ ▶️ John It did have a fishing controller, but still.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey That fishing game was amazing.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah, I actually, this is not for this week, but I have a whole retro gaming setup now
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and I’m super into this world and one of these days I will talk about it on the show.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco It’s been quite a ride.
⏹️ ▶️ John Aren’t there say games on on switch right you can buy them a virtual console.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah Yeah, Sega became just like you know software for everybody now
⏹️ ▶️ John Yeah, I feel like that’s you’re probably your best bet to get all your Sega hopes and dreams on Nintendo consoles
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Oh, no, I don’t need to well. I know you can do me. Yeah. Yeah, I had no
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I have my Genesis running You’ll see I
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I don’t have time talking with this week So let’s what you can do next week if you want
⏹️ ▶️ John is that less work than just running them an emulator I don’t know.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Oh, it’s way more work, but it’s way cooler. All
⏹️ ▶️ John right. It has a warmer feel. I’ll get there. It’s all
⏹️ ▶️ John about the ritual. I love
⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey time this week.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Save it for the show. Save it for the show. Thanks a lot.
Chip yields & binning
⏹️ ▶️ Casey John, you guessed right about the A12Z. I’m very impressed.
⏹️ ▶️ John Yeah, we were talking about that when the new iPad had just come out. We weren’t sure what the deal with
⏹️ ▶️ John the system on a chip was, except that it was one letter different from the previous one. And it turns out
⏹️ ▶️ John that one letter stood for something that I speculated about in the show, which is that all the parts in
⏹️ ▶️ John it are working. The A12X had seven GPU cores as an insurance policy to increase
⏹️ ▶️ John yields. Because if one core is a dud, then you can still use it. Apparently now they’ve gotten good enough
⏹️ ▶️ John at manufacturing this particular chip or they just saved all the high bend ones for this particular thing, something like that. But anyway,
⏹️ ▶️ John this is a common practice in the industry. That’s what the A12Z is. It’s an A12X without any boo-boos.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah, and I wanted to very quickly explain what this is because
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I bet there are some listeners out there who don’t know about this process and it kind of affects a lot of things about chip making. If you ever
⏹️ ▶️ Marco hear people talk about like a chip having low yields or things like this are binning
⏹️ ▶️ Marco roughly what this is, and please correct me if I’m getting any parts of this grossly wrong, and to any experts in the field, I’m sorry because I only
⏹️ ▶️ Marco have a passing knowledge of it, but I just want to explain this. So basically, when you make, you know, silicon
⏹️ ▶️ Marco chips like CPUs, GPUs, and everything, they’re made on these giant silicon wafers. You’ve probably seen them, you know, the big circular,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco like, cool-looking, shimmery silicon wafer, and they’re cut out. If there’s, you know, there’s like some
⏹️ ▶️ Marco rate of flaws of either a flaw in the wafer itself or a flaw in the process that is
⏹️ ▶️ Marco printing whatever, you know, the chip on the wafer, there is some rate of flaws and it’s like, okay, well, you might
⏹️ ▶️ Marco have like a couple of flaws per square inch or whatever the, whatever the rate is. And so
⏹️ ▶️ Marco as you’re cutting out those chip dies from that giant wafer, some of them are going to have bad
⏹️ ▶️ Marco flaws and you won’t be able to use them. And yield is literally like the percentage of how many that
⏹️ ▶️ Marco you make can be used. That’s one of the reasons why, like the larger a chip is,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco the more expensive it tends to be because you can fit fewer of them per wafer.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco And if there’s an imperfection, like there’s a higher chance of each chip having an
⏹️ ▶️ Marco imperfection because it has more surface area, basically. And so if you think about like, if there’s going to be a certain number
⏹️ ▶️ Marco of flaws on each wafer, there’s a higher chance that like, you know, fewer chips on that
⏹️ ▶️ Marco wafer will contain no flaws. One of the ways you can deal with some flaws is, all
⏹️ ▶️ Marco right, we’re going to manufacture a chip that has eight GPU cores on it, but we’re only going to actually spec
⏹️ ▶️ Marco it to have seven. And so we can crank these out more so, and for lower
⏹️ ▶️ Marco prices, because if there’s a flaw and it happens to land on one of these GPU cores,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco we just mark that one as the disabled one. And we enable the other seven, and it’s
⏹️ ▶️ Marco fine. And we can still use that chip, we don’t have to toss it in the garbage. And so what they’ve done here basically is,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco you know, it used to be that. It used to be a chip that had eight physical cores on it for the GPU, which
⏹️ ▶️ Marco takes up a lot of chip real estate. One of them was just disabled. and which one didn’t really
⏹️ ▶️ Marco matter. So they would, you know, if there happened to be a flaw in that area of the chip, they could disable that
⏹️ ▶️ Marco one and still use the chip and still ship it and make their money. And so all that has changed
⏹️ ▶️ Marco with the A12X versus Z appears to be that they’re now shipping all eight cores enabled. So they’ve gotten
⏹️ ▶️ Marco better enough at this manufacturing process, or it’s gotten cheaper, whatever it is, the economics are
⏹️ ▶️ Marco working out better so that now they don’t have to leave that reserve where like they
⏹️ ▶️ Marco don’t have to increase the yield artificially by having this one disabled area that they can move around as needed.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco They can just ship only the ones that have all eight that are flawless.
⏹️ ▶️ John I could have also saved all the ones that had all eight working. Like I don’t know what the economics of that is, but these are
⏹️ ▶️ John small items, so that could have, if this was a premeditated strategy and they really had awful yields, they
⏹️ ▶️ John could have just said everyone with eight cores working, just put that over there, we’re gonna use them later. That seems less
⏹️ ▶️ John likely than what you described, but it is a possibility. Yeah,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco definitely. And then the other thing I wanted to touch on while we’re talking about this, because it’s a very similar thing, is the idea of binning.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco A lot of people don’t know that when you get a CPU that has the same CPU available
⏹️ ▶️ Marco in three different clock speeds, that’s the same CPU. They’re not making,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco okay, now we’re gonna make the 2.5 gigahertz ones, and then next week we’re gonna make the 2.2 gigahertz ones.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco They’re making one chip, and certain ones will have whatever
⏹️ ▶️ Marco flaws or whatever better or worse outcomes of their manufacturing. certain ones will be
⏹️ ▶️ Marco able to run at higher clock speeds without having flaws. And so they basically test them,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and they bin them. They sort them into like, this one passed the highest test, so we’re gonna sell this one
⏹️ ▶️ Marco as the highest clock speed. The ones that couldn’t quite run at that speed without errors or
⏹️ ▶️ Marco flaws, but could run at a lower clock speed, we’ll bin those down here, we’ll set them by whatever
⏹️ ▶️ Marco method, like burning in certain things into them, whatever, we’ll fix them to this one clock speed that they tested
⏹️ ▶️ Marco okay at, and so on. And as you can imagine, there are fewer that can run at the highest
⏹️ ▶️ Marco clock speeds. So the highest clock speeds are more expensive because they don’t have as many of them. And of all the ones they
⏹️ ▶️ Marco make, they can make a whole bunch more that run at the lower clock speeds than the few that run at the highest clock speeds.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco So that’s, if you ever hear the term binning, that’s what that’s about. And it’s all between binning and this weird, like,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco you know, partially disabled chip thing. It’s all about improving yields when you’re making these chips,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and it’s directly related to cost and feasibility and everything else.
⏹️ ▶️ John Game consoles is one area where I would say it’s very price sensitive You’re trying to you know Sell what
⏹️ ▶️ John is essentially an entire gaming system for less than the cost of a really good PC video card So
⏹️ ▶️ John in the past several generations, it’s been a common practice to plan ahead and just assume
⏹️ ▶️ John that you’re never gonna get perfect chips for your game console and just assume that one or more cores are Gonna be bad
⏹️ ▶️ John and GPU cores. There’s usually more of them and they’re more sort of like like regular and equivalent to each
⏹️ ▶️ John other, like GPUs in general are more, if you look at them like in the wafer view, they have a more regular
⏹️ ▶️ John pattern. It’s just repeats of the same block over and over and over again. So it’s the perfect, it’s
⏹️ ▶️ John the A, it’s the area that usually takes up most of the square millimeters on the chip, and B, it’s the perfect place
⏹️ ▶️ John to say, okay, well, we’re gonna allow one or two of these things to be duds and we’re still gonna ship it because that’s the only way we’re gonna
⏹️ ▶️ John be able to sell people this thing for $400 taking a minimal loss on it or whatever. Heh
2020 iPad Pro vs. 2018
⏹️ ▶️ Casey All right, and we also have learned in the last week that all 2020
⏹️ ▶️ Casey iPad Pros have six gigs of RAM. So on the 2018s, which is what I have, and I think one or both
⏹️ ▶️ Casey of you guys have, those only the one terabyte models had six gigs of RAM
⏹️ ▶️ Casey for reasons that I don’t think were ever clearly explained. But one way or another, apparently in the 2020 iPad Pros, all
⏹️ ▶️ Casey of them have six gigs RAM, which is a small but potentially significant difference. And if you’re
⏹️ ▶️ Casey really scratching at the bottom of the barrel to find a recent upgrade, Marco, then maybe that could be
⏹️ ▶️ Casey your get out of jail free card.
⏹️ ▶️ John Honestly. I forget the supposed U1 chip that’s in there as well.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I’ve heard since that people are saying no, that’s not there after all.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah. I am so happy that these iPads are really good and they’re the
⏹️ ▶️ Marco best iPads we’ve ever made and all that stuff. I have no interest in this update and that’s fine. Like
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I use my 11 inch, you know, 2018 model every day around the house
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and it’s wonderful and there’s nothing wrong with it. And the one thing that we all want to play with,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco which is the new iPad Magic Keyboard, isn’t out yet and the reviewers don’t have it yet. And
⏹️ ▶️ Marco so, and it’s compatible with mine, with the 2018 models, which
⏹️ ▶️ Marco is awesome. I don’t know yet, I know, Gruber was talking about this in the talk show, I don’t know
⏹️ ▶️ Marco yet if the magnet arrangement might have been improved on the new one. Like maybe the Magic
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Keyboard attaches to the old one, but it’s not as secure or it’s not as good or it’s more cumbersome in some way,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I don’t know. But it appears that the 2020 iPad is
⏹️ ▶️ Marco almost identical to the 2018 iPad and iPad Pro specifically.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco And that’s wonderful because on one level, it’s a little concerning in the sense that,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco wow, they had like almost two years and this is all they really changed. And
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I’m minimizing this, in the world of AR, I think the LIDAR sensor is actually a really big deal because
⏹️ ▶️ Marco it makes it so much faster to pair or to establish the AR
⏹️ ▶️ Marco room arrangement and it makes it more stable and everything else. That’s wonderful. That’s a feature I’ve never
⏹️ ▶️ Marco once used my iPad to do. So it’s not gonna be a thing that affects my life
⏹️ ▶️ Marco at all. And so the fact that there’s literally nothing else that’s different except a RAM upgrade, which
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I also won’t use because I don’t multitask almost ever on my iPad. If you had an earlier iPad model
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and you want what was great about the 2018, Great, this is a good time to upgrade. There’s a slight improvement.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Otherwise though, I see no reason and that’s totally fine. Man, what’s wrong with me? I don’t have the
⏹️ ▶️ Marco new iPad and don’t want it. I don’t have a Mac Pro and don’t want it. Am I okay?
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I’m not so sure. I’m getting
⏹️ ▶️ John worried. I mean, you’re gonna get that keyboard when it comes out, so don’t worry. You’ll be able to buy something soon.
⏹️ ▶️ John I think about this update though, like last show, I think we characterized it as a speed bump
⏹️ ▶️ John and it is as we’ve described, but it makes you think
⏹️ ▶️ John like why, Apple has been content to not update the iPads for a long time,
⏹️ ▶️ John like with big gaps between them and it never seemed like they were in a rush to get out of speed bump.
⏹️ ▶️ John And so I’m thinking like why this time, why be in a hurry to put any change?
⏹️ ▶️ John Why not just make us wait until the A14X sporting the next big jump?
⏹️ ▶️ John could be that the next big jump is not coming for a while. Uh, you know, it could be
⏹️ ▶️ John that they always wanted to have a big jump now and they couldn’t hit that date so they wanted to get something out and they had a bunch
⏹️ ▶️ John of these fast A12s hanging around, but this is actually the new camera system from the one that will have the A14 in it.
⏹️ ▶️ John I don’t know, but it is, it is actually a little bit concerning to me, despite the fact that,
⏹️ ▶️ John you know, this is a good iPad and if you want an iPad, you should totally get this one, it’s really good. But if you’ve got the previous one, it’s not that compelling
⏹️ ▶️ John and it does make me wonder what’s happening. There was, I forget who was sending around the rumors, like
⏹️ ▶️ John the internal part numbers of the supposed next generation chip. I think it was the A14. They have
⏹️ ▶️ John all these internal part numbers and they’ve gone through the sequence where they’ve been increasing the number
⏹️ ▶️ John by one with each thing. And supposedly, again, these are all just rumors, supposedly the
⏹️ ▶️ John next major chip does not increase the number by one of the previous
⏹️ ▶️ John internal code name model part number thing. It’s just an entirely different part number. Like it starts over. it’s
⏹️ ▶️ John like 101 again, where they’re up to like 108 or nine or something like that.
⏹️ ▶️ John And that’s making people think, wow, this is like, it’s a big change. This next chip is not just a, you know,
⏹️ ▶️ John an iteration of the previous one, or maybe it’s the big chip that’s gonna power all the ARM powered Macs and,
⏹️ ▶️ John you know, all sorts of stuff like that. And if that ends up being even remotely true, it makes me think that this
⏹️ ▶️ John model is a stopgap because the next iPad is not going to be out anytime soon because the
⏹️ ▶️ John next iPad is a big leap because it uses, again, speculating on these rumors, maybe
⏹️ ▶️ John it uses a totally new chip that’s suitable for use in Mac laptops and as well as
⏹️ ▶️ John iPads, and it’s a new generation, yada, yada, yada. And that could be coming out according
⏹️ ▶️ John to the ARM rumors now what are they saying, like 2021 or something? And who knows if that’ll be delayed by all the
⏹️ ▶️ John virus stuff. All right, so if they waited until 2021 to update the iPad,
⏹️ ▶️ John people would be getting a little bit cranky, right? So that makes this A12Z make
⏹️ ▶️ John more sense. Like they need something, they couldn’t wait that long because it would be too long.
⏹️ ▶️ John So give them a better iPad now because we know the next one’s not coming along anytime soon.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Yeah, I think that’s an important point that in years past, you know, when there
⏹️ ▶️ Casey were multiple years between iPad updates, and this was also exacerbated by the fact that I don’t think they
⏹️ ▶️ Casey were really touching software either, but nevertheless, you know, they would go, Apple would go a couple of years between iPad updates of
⏹️ ▶️ Casey memory serves and everyone would be like, dudes, what’s going on? Like, can we get
⏹️ ▶️ Casey a little love for the iPad somewhere, some way, somehow? And yeah, this is not a very interesting
⏹️ ▶️ Casey update in terms of the iPad itself, although I am so amped for that keyboard, I can’t even tell you. But
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I think the alternative is all of us talking heads start raking Apple over the coals for not even doing
⏹️ ▶️ Casey a speed bump. So yeah, the speed bump may not be the most exciting thing in the world, but I do think it’s important to recognize that
⏹️ ▶️ Casey they’re giving us what we want. They’re showing us that, yeah, even if they don’t have something magical that changes
⏹️ ▶️ Casey our lives to offer, they’re still doing something. Admittedly, this is very little something,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey but I will take something, some sign that something is happening, you know, rather than having the iPad
⏹️ ▶️ Casey somehow befall the Mac mini, like timeline, where it doesn’t get updated, like you said, John, for two or three years. So
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I’m glad that Apple is doing something, even if the something they’re doing is a little
⏹️ ▶️ Casey bit of a snooze to me.
⏹️ ▶️ John Yeah, I mean, you want the speed bumps to be like, you know, sooner, like speed bumps are good, it’s
⏹️ ▶️ John better than nothing, You’d like to see a big release, and then the next one would be a speed bump, and then a big release,
⏹️ ▶️ John some kind of iteration like that. Whereas this was the normal gap that we would get for a big release, and then instead we got
⏹️ ▶️ John a speed bump. That said, the last time they did a big update, it was the change to these flat-sided iPads, which
⏹️ ▶️ John everybody loves, and they’re great, right? So they deliver when the big ones come
⏹️ ▶️ John down the line. By the way, someone in the chat found that thread that I was thinking of, Steve Trout and Smith. These
⏹️ ▶️ John are the, are they code, part names or code numbers? Anyway, A10 was the T8010,
⏹️ ▶️ John A11 was the T8015, so I guess they didn’t go by ones. Anyway, the A12 was
⏹️ ▶️ John the T82X, and the A13 was the T83X,
⏹️ ▶️ John and the next one is T8101.
⏹️ ▶️ John So it’s, forget about the T80s, this is the first in the T81 line.
⏹️ ▶️ John Does that mean anything? Who knows, like, just, you know, It’s all just tea leaf reading from
⏹️ ▶️ John rumors and so on and so forth, but it is, excitement is building in
⏹️ ▶️ John the world of ARM on the Mac and apparently on the iPad too, because you would imagine that whatever
⏹️ ▶️ John the work they’re doing to make CPUs for laptops, it’s basically 100% overlap
⏹️ ▶️ John with the iPads, which are already faster than their laptops in most regards. So, fingers crossed
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⏹️ ▶️ Casey May I tell you gentlemen a
⏹️ ▶️ John story is It is it a happy story. Is it a story where? Awesome
⏹️ ▶️ John things happen and you’re smiling throughout and it’s just joy No,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey best kind This kind of story still hasn’t ended and it’s been
⏹️ ▶️ Marco So, Casey, what computer are you using?
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Well done. I wish I could tell you that was a real deep cut, but it’s not.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey still on the iMac Pro.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey, Marco Oh, thank God.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey The iMac Pro seems to be fine. My phone seems to be
⏹️ ▶️ Casey fine, although I will say that there is a very frustrating, not, I’m going to say gouge,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey but that’s way overselling it, like nick in the screen right where I scroll that’s
⏹️ ▶️ Casey driving me batty. This is by the way the one that’s that I paid $100 to get you know the refurb
⏹️ ▶️ Casey that I got after I shattered the back like a moron but anyways that’s also not the problem here.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey So how did you gouge the screen by the way sidebar? I genuinely don’t have the famous idea. I
⏹️ ▶️ Casey, John obviously I did something. How
⏹️ ▶️ John do you not know when you put a… I’d sound like I put the
⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey phone in the same… You put it
⏹️ ▶️ John in a pocket with your keys? I mean
⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey what’s going on? I was
⏹️ ▶️ Casey just about to say it’s not like I put my phone in the same pocket as my keys. It It doesn’t, we’re missing the point. We’re missing the point. It doesn’t matter.
⏹️ ▶️ John It doesn’t matter. Remind me never to let Casey use my phone. It doesn’t remember how he put
⏹️ ▶️ John a gouge in the screen. It’s so big that it’s annoying his thumb.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Yeah, that’s very true. All right, so I got to tell you a tale of woe
⏹️ ▶️ Casey about my sonology. Oh no! Things,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey things are not good at the Liz household right now.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Did it hear me telling you that you should basically kill it and got upset?
⏹️ ▶️ Casey All right, let me set some ground rules
⏹️ ▶️ Casey, Marco for you guys
⏹️ ▶️ Casey and the listeners. The ground rules are, I am not interested in ways of getting
⏹️ ▶️ Casey rid of the synology. We’ve covered that ad nauseum. I’m not interested. Things I should
⏹️ ▶️ Casey have or could have done differently, don’t want to know. It’s too late. Doesn’t matter. Oh no.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey, Marco even bother.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Don’t care. This gets real bad real quick.
⏹️ ▶️ John You’re going to hear about things you could have done differently. Like I
⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey know you’re trying to
⏹️ ▶️ John set down rules, but you’re going to,
⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey I mean, from us.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey you guys all allow it. What do you think this show is? Exactly. All right. So let me set the stage.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey In 2013, some very nice individuals at Synology sent all three of us DS1813 pluses.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey That is the particular model name of our Synologies.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey And it basically means that they were eight bay Synologies
⏹️ ▶️ Casey in the, I believe, small business line from 2013. And at
⏹️ ▶️ Casey the time, they sent us, they were filled with eight
⏹️ ▶️ Casey three terabyte, what are they? Seagate Reds, I think, hard drives?
⏹️ ▶️ Casey, John I believe that’s right. Western Digital Red. Sorry,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey sorry, yes, what you said, I apologize. In the last seven-ish years, I
⏹️ ▶️ Casey don’t recall exactly when, in 2013 we got them, I think I’ve had to replace
⏹️ ▶️ Casey one, maybe two drives. The way I have set up my Synology, which I think was Marco’s idea,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey maybe it was, it must have been John’s, because I always think it’s Marco and it’s always John. Somebody told me, hey, take two drives,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey make them Time Machine, take the other six and make them one humongous volume for everything
⏹️ ▶️ Marco else. This time this is actually me.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey OK, see, there you go. I actually remembered something. Look at me go. So anyway, so drives,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey not drive, I’m going to go one based. So one and two are Time Machine. Three, four, five,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey six, seven, eight are all lumped into one big volume using Synology
⏹️ ▶️ Casey hybrid rate, or I think it’s hybrid rate, SHR, which basically means I can lose one of them
⏹️ ▶️ Casey and everything’s fine. And I noticed that all
⏹️ ▶️ Casey of these drives, four, five, six, and eight were all OGs from 2013. So these
⏹️ ▶️ Casey are seven-year-old hard drives that have been running nonstop for seven years.
⏹️ ▶️ John I just want to interject here that I am using all of those same drives,
⏹️ ▶️ John those eight three terabyte drives that I got seven years ago, all working perfectly.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Well, I hope so. And I hope you have some wood to knock
⏹️ ▶️ John on. I’m just saying, like, you know, I’m not going to blame it on the fact that you put it in the same room with you, but it’s probably
⏹️ ▶️ John that’s probably why.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Well, yeah, yours is in like the basement or something, isn’t it? Right? Yeah.
⏹️ ▶️ John Climate controlled, dark, nobody disturbs it.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Mine is in my un-temperature controlled garage and it’s fine. I’ve never lost a drawing.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I cannot believe that. I cannot believe the ears is still working. But anyways, So be that as it may, I
⏹️ ▶️ Casey have four, five, six, and eight that are all the originals from 2013.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Three and seven have been replaced with 10 terabyte Western Digital Reds. I’m
⏹️ ▶️ Casey slowly going to replace all these, put these 10 terabyte drives in. And again, four, five,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey six, eight. I would like to replace one of these in order to try
⏹️ ▶️ Casey to get ahead of all of these eventually failing.
⏹️ ▶️ John This is the first part where we’ll talk about what Casey could have done differently. what you’re doing now is taking
⏹️ ▶️ John a thing that ain’t broken, you’re trying to fix it.
⏹️ ▶️ John Right? That is correct. Like you did not have any bad drives, but you decided preemptively, I’m going to take my working Synology
⏹️ ▶️ John and I’m going to endeavor to upgrade it to stave off what I
⏹️ ▶️ John think is the imminent failure of my seven-year-old drives.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Right. So why do you think I would have made that choice?
⏹️ ▶️ John Do you get the little emails from Synology that tells you how many bad sectors it’s finding on on your disks? Do you get those?
⏹️ ▶️ John Have those numbers been going up lately?
⏹️ ▶️ Marco No. Are any of those numbers non-zero?
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I don’t believe they were non-zero, no. So in theory, just to be clear,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey in theory, drives 4, 5, 6, and 8 were all fine.
⏹️ ▶️ John In theory. And by the way, I know we all talk about our Synology love, but the thing I just described is a real thing. The Synology
⏹️ ▶️ John has a feature where it will email you weekly or monthly or whatever updates on your drive health, and it will tell
⏹️ ▶️ John you if it has found any bad sectors. And if you get those emails and it starts saying that the bad sector count
⏹️ ▶️ John is increasing Your drives probably going bad and you should do something about it that happened to me on my other Synology,
⏹️ ▶️ John which yeah, it says bad sectors found or whatever and it does a consistency check my other synology Which does not have Western
⏹️ ▶️ John digital reds? One of my drives that I found one bad sector than the next week found two in the next week It
⏹️ ▶️ John found like 37 and I was like, okay time to replace that sucker. So another
⏹️ ▶️ John cool feature of this NAS.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah, it also tells you how many smart, like the acronym SMART, how many smart errors
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and disconnects there have been. Generally speaking, when it comes to this kind of thing from a hard drive,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco it’s kind of like, I was going down a hill with my car and I pressed the brakes and once they didn’t work,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco anything besides zero on these numbers means replace it immediately.
⏹️ ▶️ John Right. That’s the Marco approach, but let me give you
⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey story. No. I’m with you.
⏹️ ▶️ John in my Synology has had one bad sector since the first week I got it. That number is
⏹️ ▶️ John always one. It’s been one for seven years.
⏹️ ▶️ John right that there is usually a cascade, but drives have bad sectors. And usually they’re found and
⏹️ ▶️ John mapped out before you get the drive, but it is conceivable that you get one out of the box and it finds a bad sector and it maps
⏹️ ▶️ John it out. And if that number never goes up for seven years, I mean, it may go up someday,
⏹️ ▶️ John but if you see one and it doesn’t change for months and months, fine. But you do have to watch
⏹️ ▶️ John them. Like if it shows from 1 to 2 to 5 to 37 to 145, like replace the drive. I
⏹️ ▶️ Marco don’t think I’ve ever had a bad sector on a hard drive that didn’t then
⏹️ ▶️ John No, I’m so I’ve got seven years with one bad sector. One of my drives that I just got an email the other day. It’s still there.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey go away. It’s not going to go back to zero. So why would I try to do this preemptively? Why would I do that?
⏹️ ▶️ John Because you’re home all day and you got nothing to do.
⏹️ ▶️ John going to break your working computer. Go
⏹️ ▶️ Casey ahead. That’s that’s part of it.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Maybe it’s because you were worried that, you know, it’s kind of like, so when you have to replace a drive
⏹️ ▶️ Marco in a RAID array, and yes, SHR is not exactly RAID, it’s kind of like what Drobos do, it’s like kind of software
⏹️ ▶️ Marco expandable kind of thing, but you know, it’s close enough to RAID. So when you have to do a RAID rebuild,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco one of the common problems is like, a RAID rebuild requires a lot of disk
⏹️ ▶️ Marco activity, because you have to read the entire rest of every other disk to write what
⏹️ ▶️ Marco is necessary onto the replacement disk. So actually one thing that can happen is kind of like the
⏹️ ▶️ Marco like you know dead cat box thing of like you might think everything’s fine. Schreiner’s
⏹️ ▶️ John is that what you’re trying to say? Yeah yeah that. Dead cat box is not what it’s called.
⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco Yeah yeah but
⏹️ ▶️ Marco but like this so you might think everything’s fine but then the second you replace a disc it has to
⏹️ ▶️ Marco way more than usual stress the other discs that were in the system
⏹️ ▶️ Marco to rebuild the array onto the new disc. you actually kind of risk a bad cascade of which I hope this doesn’t
⏹️ ▶️ Marco happen to you where like you might think everything’s fine replace one disc and then
⏹️ ▶️ Marco another disc or two die during the rebuild because it’s stressing them out so much.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey So on Thursday I say to myself I’ve got four five six and eight that I’d
⏹️ ▶️ Casey like to replace. I’m going to take five because it is in the middle of physically in the
⏹️ ▶️ Casey middle of four and six. Sure let’s go with that one. Completely arbitrary seems like a reasonable approach,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey right? Why not? I replace drive 5, I tell the Synology, okay, rebuild yourself, I go to sleep.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I wake up on Friday, the 27th of March, and the volume has crashed,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey which is Synology speak for you have lost everything. Drive 8,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey during the restore, had one or more I.O. errors and died.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey So, I replaced drive 5 in the process of fixing everything and putting everything back
⏹️ ▶️ Casey to where it was or where it should be, Drive 8 shits the bed. Well
⏹️ ▶️ Casey now I’ve got problems.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco So… Now wait, quick question. Can you just put the old Drive 5
⏹️ ▶️ Casey That’s a good question, but John I’d like to hear your thoughts before I answer it.
⏹️ ▶️ John I mean, this is not shocking and what Marco suggested is definitely
⏹️ ▶️ John what I would have tried first, but I mean in the list of things you could do differently in general
⏹️ ▶️ John because Because if you’re worried about your drives because, you know,
⏹️ ▶️ John whatever, I forget what the word is, the old raid word used to be called re-silvering, I forget what the hell they called it, but anyway, because
⏹️ ▶️ John doing what you’re doing, replacing a drive, is so taxing on the other drives, if the reason you’re doing it is you’re worried about all
⏹️ ▶️ John the drives in your thing, in general it’s safer to try to do a one-time
⏹️ ▶️ John copy of everything off to another volume, like, you know, if you insisted on doing this, if you’re
⏹️ ▶️ John in a situation where you’re like, I feel bad, I feel like these drives are going to go at any minute what can I do
⏹️ ▶️ John if you don’t already have a complete backup which obviously you should but if you don’t already have a complete backup
⏹️ ▶️ John what you’d want to do is get something that can receive all the data and then copy all the data off all
⏹️ ▶️ John the drives and put it onto this new place then after you’ve successfully done that and you take that safe copy
⏹️ ▶️ John of all your data and you put it somewhere and you unplug it and you just sit in the corner of the room then you go try to do this whole
⏹️ ▶️ John you know swap out drives thing so when it blows up like this you’re like oh well I tried and now you’ve got your data in
⏹️ ▶️ John the other place But anyway, continue. What did you actually do? Did you try Marco’s thing of putting back in the five
⏹️ ▶️ John and swapping out the eight?
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Not exactly. And I have reasons. Let me explain my thought process. You may not agree, but I have a thought process
⏹️ ▶️ Casey here. So drive eight dies, I walk in and I am on the verge of tears
⏹️ ▶️ Casey and that is no exaggeration because everything in theory is gone. Now I do have
⏹️ ▶️ Casey backup, I know I have a couple of backups of my photos, that is not up for grabs. And that is the one
⏹️ ▶️ Casey thing that I cannot lose. I would be, and in this
⏹️ ▶️ Casey moment in the story, I am devastated that I’ve lost other things, but
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I would be beyond repair as a human being if I lost all my pictures.
⏹️ ▶️ John Paul Matzko, Jr. Did you really lose other things? I thought you had, didn’t you have online backup? Did you have
⏹️ ▶️ John like your parents backup? Like what was your backup situation? Steven
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Connelly Gentlemen, this is my story. I will tell it in my own time. Paul Matzko, Jr.
⏹️ ▶️ John Oh no. But you were devastated. We’re up to the point where you’re devastated because you think you’ve lost stuff. That means at this point in the story,
⏹️ ▶️ John you think you don’t have some of that data in another location, right?
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I don’t. I am not confident that everything is the way I want it to be in terms of backups.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey So let me take you through my situation. I know I have my photos on an external hard drive
⏹️ ▶️ Casey that normally is at mom and dad’s, but because of the quarantine is actually sitting in the garage.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey But I know they’re there. I have confidence that I’m okay.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco That doesn’t happen to be the drive you put into Bay 5, is it? No,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey, Marco no, no, no, no. No, no, no, no, this is an external, this is external sitting off
⏹️ ▶️ Casey to the side. And I don’t think I’ve updated it in a month because
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I usually do that at the top of the month. But I mean, I don’t, maybe I lost a week or two of photos. And even
⏹️ ▶️ Casey if that’s the case, like, okay, like it’s not desirable, but fine. I would be okay with that. I still have
⏹️ ▶️ Casey the last 20 years of photos, whatever it’s been. But everything else,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I’m not sure. So I’ve been awake for 30 minutes at this point. It’s Friday morning.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey into my office and I go, oh, God, oh, God, oh, God, oh, God, oh, God, oh, God. So I look at Backblaze, which I’ve been running
⏹️ ▶️ Casey on my iMac, and I know hadn’t quite finished uploading everything, but I thought it was really close.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey And it turns out Backblaze is not as close to done as I thought for my own, because of dumb things
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I’ve done that I’m not going to get into right now. So okay, next thing.
⏹️ ▶️ John I need to interject again. You’re in the middle of running a gigantic Backblaze backup, right? Yeah. This is
⏹️ ▶️ John a good time to rebuild my array. You have the itch. You have the itch to do this disk thing. Why
⏹️ ▶️ John didn’t you wait for the backblaze thing
⏹️ ▶️ Casey to finish? I agree. No, you’re, no argument. That absolutely was a mistake on my part. Absolutely a mistake
⏹️ ▶️ Casey on my part. No argument. There’s nothing I can say to defend myself.
⏹️ ▶️ John This is like one of those situations where, you know, when they have like an analysis of catastrophes, it’s never like one thing went
⏹️ ▶️ John wrong. It has to, if you do one thing wrong, like usually
⏹️ ▶️ John system or whatever recovers, but it has to be a series of small errors that build
⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey on each other. You know what I mean?
⏹️ ▶️ Casey right, go on. All right. I haven’t run in at least a month, maybe two months.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey And I have had a reminder for myself to cancel it for at least a week, maybe two weeks,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey but I didn’t. So finally procrastination pays off. Exactly.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey So in an absolute desperation scenario, I would lose a couple of months worth of
⏹️ ▶️ Casey other things. Again, photos, I’m confident I’m okay, but everything else, I’d lose a couple of months of that, but I’d be
⏹️ ▶️ Casey okay. Now restoring from crash plan would be a frigging nightmare because they don’t do that awesome thing that Backblaze does where they’ll
⏹️ ▶️ Casey just send you a physical hard drive and then you can send it back and you know, no harm, no foul. I would have to
⏹️ ▶️ Casey actually download everything from CrashPlan, which would stink even on a gigabit connection, but
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I could get it. That’s all that matters. I could get it. So I know my pictures are safe,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey but at this point I think all of these TV shows that I’ve acquired by gray
⏹️ ▶️ Casey means, like, you know, using YouTube DL to like download stuff off of NBC’s website, for example, like,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I’m not signing into anything to get it. It’s available for anyone. You can do it on, any one of you could do it,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey but it’s work I’ve put in to download all these shows. And sometimes they take them off the internet and I might want to watch them again sometime.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Uh, and another great example is concerts. I really enjoy watching, um, concerts with Aaron
⏹️ ▶️ Casey and I’ll take the time to use an app called Subler to like go through and add chapters for all
⏹️ ▶️ Casey the different songs so I can skip around if I want to, you can think that’s crazy. That’s fine. This is what, this is me.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey This is the way I like to do things, all that stuff, gone. So I think, oh God, oh God,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey oh God, what do I do? The thought did occur to me to turn the Synology back
⏹️ ▶️ Casey off, put Drive 5 back in, and just go from there. Turn it
⏹️ ▶️ Casey whistling. Yeah, right, exactly. Nothing to see here.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey So anyway, I didn’t do that, and before you jump all over me, let me tell you why. tell you why. What I thought
⏹️ ▶️ Casey was, okay, the first step is let’s restart this thing as is and just see what
⏹️ ▶️ Casey the state of the world is. So I left Drive 5 with this new 10 terabyte drive
⏹️ ▶️ Casey and I reboot it. And it comes up and it says, things
⏹️ ▶️ Casey are in, I forget the term on it, on it, Ford on the Snology, it’s degraded. That’s it. Things are degraded,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey but they’re there. Drive 8’s hiccup is just a hiccup.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Everything is still there. Now there is no drive 5, according to Synology, because it’s empty, like that makes perfect
⏹️ ▶️ Casey sense, but it’s there. And at this point I have to make a choice. I’m not saying
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I made the right choice, but what I decided was, okay, at this moment in time,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey drive 8 still works. And it has already failed once.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I don’t know if breathing on this thing is going to cause it to fail again.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey So the very first order of operations, as far as I’m concerned, is get all this data
⏹️ ▶️ Casey off this thing as quickly as I possibly can. And that’s what I did.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey, Marco and I will give you a chance to respond. Hold
⏹️ ▶️ Casey on, hold on, just give me a chance. I would have done. Just give
⏹️ ▶️ Marco me a chance. You have to make it through the gauntlet of telling us the
⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey I have to tell you. It’s not your turn, John. I have the talking stick. I would have done.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey No, not yet. Just give me 30 seconds. I have the talking stick. So I decide to now remind
⏹️ ▶️ Casey you we are in big time lockdown quarantine mode.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco We are the worst friends.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I look at Amazon to see what can I do? Is there a drive big enough that I can like prime
⏹️ ▶️ Casey now on Amazon to get to get all this stuff off of Synology? The answer is no. But Best
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Buy is delivering to the parking lot of Best Buy and
⏹️ ▶️ Casey they happen to have literally one 12 terabyte external available
⏹️ ▶️ Casey for purchase. And so that’s what I did. And then I connected it to my Mac mini and started
⏹️ ▶️ Casey R syncing the entirety of my Synology to this external drive. And that is where
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I will pause and allow you to beat the hell out of me.
⏹️ ▶️ John Yeah, so I understand your thing. You want to get the data off, right? It comes back up, drive five is empty,
⏹️ ▶️ John drive eight you’re scared is going to break. Again, why didn’t you take it? Why didn’t you take out the empty drive five
⏹️ ▶️ John and put back the full drive five? so that way if 8 breaks you still have all your data.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Which is, I 100% agree with you and in retrospect maybe I should have but at this point
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I was so nervous that touching anything would screw it up that I
⏹️ ▶️ Casey knew at this one moment, at this one moment everything was working so
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I have to capitalize on it while I still can.
⏹️ ▶️ John But you didn’t know that, half your data on drive 8 could be corrupt, you have no idea what’s going on with drive 8, you know
⏹️ ▶️ John it had some kind of I.O. error, you’re assuming you can get all the data off of it. Anyway, that’s what I would have done differently at that point. As soon as
⏹️ ▶️ John it came back up, and if you wanted to get your data off of it, which I suggested earlier, would have been the first step, but fine,
⏹️ ▶️ John you’re going to do it now. I would have put the five back in. So that way the eight could die, and I’d still have all my data.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Well, one minor complicating factor here, if the array was online at the time, it could have been written to
⏹️ ▶️ Casey And so we will come to a point where I will answer this question, and I think that is exactly
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Right. And if that is the case, then your old drive five is now out of date and is basically corrupt.
⏹️ ▶️ John Yep. You were, there was no way to, I mean, what’s
⏹️ ▶️ John being written to it? Do you have like jobs running in the background, pulling down things from feeds? I honestly don’t
⏹️ ▶️ Marco don’t know, but. Well, and regardless of like, no matter what it is, even if it’s one byte somewhere, if
⏹️ ▶️ Marco the RAID controller like keeps track of this, which
⏹️ ▶️ Marco then it will say, sorry, this disk, this old disk five is now out of date, we can’t use it.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey And so I will cut to the almost end of the story very quickly and say once I got
⏹️ ▶️ Casey all 12 terabytes off of that, or well, it was like 10 and a half terabytes off the Synology,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey onto the external, which seems as far as I can tell to have gone just fine. I did at that point,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey mind you, this is admittedly literally four or five days later, I did plug in Drive 5 because
⏹️ ▶️ Casey at this point I thought, I don’t wanna lose everything, but if I did, I now have a complete
⏹️ ▶️ Casey backup so it’s okay. And I did try plugging in Drive 5, and it absolutely said this
⏹️ ▶️ Casey drive is useless to me. Do you want to bring it back up as though it’s new?
⏹️ ▶️ John Well, that was five days later. I can imagine stuff would have happened in five
⏹️ ▶️ Casey days. Agreed. Agreed. But again, my thought process was,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey the only thing I care about is getting this data off this box. That’s all I care about. And as
⏹️ ▶️ Casey long as I can do that, anything else is secondary. So I
⏹️ ▶️ Casey am in this degraded state. I ordered this 12 terabyte from Best Buy. and within a couple hours I have
⏹️ ▶️ Casey it. Within an hour of that, it’s hooked up to the Mac Mini. The Mac Minis are syncing literally 2.2 million files
⏹️ ▶️ Casey and something like 10.5 terabytes to this 12-terabyte drive.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey At the same time, because I’m a moron, but I’m really freaking out now, I’m also manually are syncing a handful
⏹️ ▶️ Casey of things that I just really don’t want to lose. I’m getting a third copy of my photos, a
⏹️ ▶️ Casey second copy or third copy, I’m losing count now, of some of the kid shows that the kids adore
⏹️ ▶️ Casey that I’ve spent a long time amassing, I got another copy of Top Gear,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey literally 25 seasons of Top Gear that I have and I do occasionally go back and watch some of all of these like
⏹️ ▶️ Casey concerts and things like that, and just some other essentials that I really don’t want to lose. So that was started
⏹️ ▶️ Casey on Friday. This past Tuesday, yesterday, the 11-ish terabytes and 2.2
⏹️ ▶️ Casey million files are complete. So what do I do? When I already told you, I thought, all right, let me just
⏹️ ▶️ Casey try throwing in that old drive five. Obviously, it didn’t work. I already told you it didn’t work, But let me
⏹️ ▶️ Casey try it. So now what do I do? Well,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey the only real option I have, other than just nuking it all from orbit and starting anew, like
⏹️ ▶️ Casey you were saying, John, is, well, I take that 10 terabyte that’s been sitting in drive 5
⏹️ ▶️ Casey all this time and just try again and hope that 8 holds on long enough.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey So I thought to myself, what can I do to make this work? Or what can I do to improve
⏹️ ▶️ Casey my odds? And although this room outside of when I’m recording and the door is closed,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey this room doesn’t get very hot. I thought to myself, well, heat is the enemy of everything.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey So I got a box fan and sat it on the filing cabinet that’s like two or three feet away from the Synology, and I’ve
⏹️ ▶️ Casey been blasting this box fan up until this recording on the Synology for a day or so,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey while it’s rebuilding itself, hoping, hoping against all odds that Drive 8 will hold on long enough
⏹️ ▶️ Casey for it to repair itself. Then thankfully, I actually have another 10 terabyte that’s brand
⏹️ ▶️ Casey new waiting just in case one of these dies, and I would put that in Drive 8,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey and then hopefully, what did I say the other ones were? Four and six don’t die in the same way
⏹️ ▶️ Casey as I’m replacing Drive 8. So it takes about a day for my particular Synology to put
⏹️ ▶️ Casey everything back together. I’m watching this like I’m watching the school clock
⏹️ ▶️ Casey at the end of the day on Friday. I’m watching it like a hawk. And just a couple hours ago as we record
⏹️ ▶️ Casey this, I see it tick. Well, a few hours ago, I see it tick past 50%, which is I know
⏹️ ▶️ Casey roughly where it was when Drive 8 died. I see it get past 60, 70, 80, 90. I even took a screenshot
⏹️ ▶️ Casey at 99.5% thinking, this is when it’s going to die. And that will make for a hell of a great story,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey but I’m going to be miserable. So I want to get a screenshot so we can
⏹️ ▶️ Casey put it in the show notes. So when it dies at 99.5%, at least we’ll all get a good laugh out of it.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey During this process, however, I realized, oh, today is April 1st.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Guess what happens on April 1st, John? It’s time for a smart test
⏹️ ▶️ Casey on all of my drives. Oh, the monthly, yeah. Indeed.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey So while I’m doing this restore, using a drive that is
⏹️ ▶️ Casey on the edge of death, as far as I’m concerned, the Synology says to itself, you know what would be a great idea right now,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey let’s do a smart test. And as we’re recording, which is in the evening on Wednesday,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey let’s see, the smart test has only been completed on five of the eight drives. The other three are sitting
⏹️ ▶️ Casey at 90%. So naturally, that’s slowing everything down. It’s further hammering these drives
⏹️ ▶️ Casey that are probably on the verge of catching on fire. And so as I’m watching this tick up, finally,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey right around bedtime for the kids, I reach 100%. I get my email saying drive, the volume
⏹️ ▶️ Casey two, which is the volume I’m talking about, It has been consistent, or the consistency check of Storage
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Pool 2 on disk station has ended. No abnormality has been found. And at this point,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I expect to see the degraded or repairing become normal,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey and everything should be good, right? Well, no. Apparently, for reasons that
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I don’t understand, it has decided to start its consistency check over at 0%.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey So as I sit here right now, it has gone from zero to 100, back to repairing,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey checking parity consistency 2.01% as I record right now. So maybe
⏹️ ▶️ Casey in another day, it’ll work this time. I don’t even know, but I am so
⏹️ ▶️ Casey fricking miserable and annoyed and upset. And this is like the most ridiculous, just inconsequential
⏹️ ▶️ Casey problem in the world, but I’m about to rip all of my hair out and go crazy.
⏹️ ▶️ John Is the box fan off now?
⏹️ ▶️ Casey, John off now. I don’t hear it. I can turn it
⏹️ ▶️ John That’s all right. Let’s
⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey see if you hear
⏹️ ▶️ John it. How loud would it be? Because you’re basically, you could be sacrificing your data to podcast.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey There it is. Do you hear it? It’s on now.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Your data’s fine now, right?
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Well, the data is fine in the sense, I gotta turn this podcast back off before Marco kills me. Thank you.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey The data is hypothetically fine in so far as the volume
⏹️ ▶️ Casey on the Synology is functional at this moment. Like, it’s not happy, but I can pull
⏹️ ▶️ Casey data off of it. I guess hypothetically I could put data on it, although I’m trying my darndest not to. It is theoretically
⏹️ ▶️ Casey functional. Additionally, that 12 terabyte I got from Best Buy does, as far as I
⏹️ ▶️ Casey can tell, have a complete duplicate of everything on the Synology. So. What file system
⏹️ ▶️ Casey did you use? APFS.
⏹️ ▶️ John No, not on that, on the Synology.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Oh, on the Synology? I don’t know, whatever.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco it offer like ZFS that would actually make this useful?
⏹️ ▶️ John It has BTRFS and EXT4, which
⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey you can’t fault when we
⏹️ ▶️ John got it. Here’s the thing about you wondering about the state of all your data, like, oh, I got that copy off on the 12
⏹️ ▶️ John gigabyte driver. You know you have drives that are having some kind of problem. If you’re using a file system like most file
⏹️ ▶️ John systems that doesn’t do any kind of consistency check of the data, it’s like, I asked the
⏹️ ▶️ John drive to read it, these are the bits that came off the disk, here you go. And you successfully copied those bits to another
⏹️ ▶️ John place, and the other place dutifully stored them. Are those the right bits? That’s why, you know,
⏹️ ▶️ John file systems with data integrity checks like ZFS are handy because it can tell when the data you
⏹️ ▶️ John read off the disk is not the data that was originally written there. And there are other applications that can store checksums off to the side,
⏹️ ▶️ John so on and so forth. Ext4, which I think was the default when we all got our Synologies, does not have any features
⏹️ ▶️ John like that. So if your data went bad, I mean, the good thing is with media files,
⏹️ ▶️ John so you got a few bad blocks here and there. You’ll see a weird glitch, or maybe you won’t even see a weird glitch in the video
⏹️ ▶️ John because it’s a lossy compressed thing and it can tolerate errors and it’s not like it’s an executable program
⏹️ ▶️ John where it might not even launch if the wrong part of it is corrupt. So for media files, it’s probably not
⏹️ ▶️ John actually that bad, but not knowing, you know, and propagating bit rot is
⏹️ ▶️ John always a problem, which is why it’s better to do these things before things go wrong,
⏹️ ▶️ John or to go whole hog and have some kind of checksumming system. Which checksumming is more reasonable when you have
⏹️ ▶️ John a small number of very large files, but it sounds like you have a large number of large files,
⏹️ ▶️ John It’s like 2.2 million files
⏹️ ▶️ John Like it’s nothing compared, like I have way more than that on my, like on my boot drive on my Mac, but they’re all tiny. Media
⏹️ ▶️ John files tend to be big, which is usually pretty good for dealing with files because big files means long sequential
⏹️ ▶️ John reads, means less metadata to shuffle around. And if you’re gonna store a bunch of checksums offline
⏹️ ▶️ John using some of the third-party program, the fewer checksums you have to store, the better. But it sounds like you
⏹️ ▶️ John didn’t have any of that stuff there. So you’re just kind of crossing your fingers,
⏹️ ▶️ John hoping that nothing was corrupt because otherwise you just successfully copied the corrupt data
⏹️ ▶️ John to your Best Buy drive.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Indeed. But I mean, I don’t feel like I have a whole lot of other choices. So the funny thing about all
⏹️ ▶️ Casey this is in the end, after going around and around for like two or three episodes with you two about
⏹️ ▶️ Casey what I should do to back up the Synology, the future, once I get the Synology itself squared away,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey the future backup approach is going to be hook up that Best Buy hard drive to the Mac
⏹️ ▶️ Casey mini and have Backblaze back that up.
⏹️ ▶️ John You just did that. You just did the backup, right? Well, in theory.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Well, yeah, but not to Backblaze. The Backblaze one is still
⏹️ ▶️ Casey sort of limbo for uninteresting reasons that I’m not gonna go into right now. But as soon as I get
⏹️ ▶️ Casey the Synology to a good place, even if that means nuking it all from orbit, I will then be
⏹️ ▶️ Casey permanently hooking this external up to the Mac mini and having that go to Backblaze and just calling
⏹️ ▶️ Casey it a day. But gentlemen, it has been an adventure.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey some things? If it involves getting rid of the Synology, no.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Well, okay. First of all, we’ll get there. But step
⏹️ ▶️ Marco one, go get yourself a second 12 terabyte drive. I don’t
⏹️ ▶️ Marco care if you want to return it in a few weeks, just get yourself one. First thing you need to do is copy everything
⏹️ ▶️ Marco from this 12 terabyte drive to a second 12 terabyte drive. After
⏹️ ▶️ Marco you do that, connect it to a computer that will finish the online backup and back it up.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco during that process. So, okay, so copy it onto the second drive. So you have two new hard
⏹️ ▶️ Marco drives that have this. The second one, remove from the computer and
⏹️ ▶️ Marco power it down. The Synology, turn it off and keep it off until
⏹️ ▶️ Marco you have a online backup of that entire dataset. Just because
⏹️ ▶️ Marco if things are, I know certain times, sometimes powering things down can actually make them die next to me, turn them on. But you know,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco for the most part, that’s rare. usually things wear with usage. And so, for the love of God,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco freeze this data in place. Like, until it is securely backed up somewhere useful.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco After that, I want you to consider, you mentioned recently that you don’t use
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Dropbox or iCloud Photo Library anymore. The lack of iCloud Photo
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Library in your setup has just been made apparent by some of your descriptions of your photo status here.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Why? I know Apple’s not wonderful at certain services. I know
⏹️ ▶️ Marco that the plans are not free to get enough storage. I know that
⏹️ ▶️ Marco iCloud Photo Library doesn’t have all the features of things like Google or whatever, who cares? But
⏹️ ▶️ Marco in this case, this data is so important to you that I think whatever cost
⏹️ ▶️ Marco it would be, which, I mean, you could probably get away with what, the $10 a month one probably, right? Whatever cost
⏹️ ▶️ Marco it would be for you to have enough storage to have your entire photo library in iCloud Photo Library
⏹️ ▶️ Marco is probably worth it, just for considering it as an automatic off-site backup alone.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Not to mention all the other convenience features of it and the integrations and everything else. But just to have
⏹️ ▶️ Marco that be somewhere else that you know that your photos have one additional
⏹️ ▶️ Marco layer of backup safety, whether it’s iCloud or Google, I don’t care which one you use,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco but one of those you should be using. I personally would recommend the iCloud one because I think Google Photos has a bunch
⏹️ ▶️ Marco of weird issues with their local uploader apps, but that’s up to you. You know all
⏹️ ▶️ Marco this too. None of this is news to you, but I think this should inform that decision
⏹️ ▶️ Marco that you should probably have an online photo backup service in
⏹️ ▶️ Marco place because they exist, they’re pretty good. Even among Apple’s reputation
⏹️ ▶️ Marco for weird service problems, most of those problems haven’t hit iCloud Photo Library. It’s
⏹️ ▶️ Marco been pretty good. And for me it’s been perfect, honestly, as far as I know. But
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I haven’t even heard of major issues from other people with iCloud Photo Library. Like it seems to work very well.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco So that is, I think, whatever you choose to do,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco your strategy I think should include one of these online photo services, because they’re well integrated, they’re
⏹️ ▶️ Marco automatic, and for something as important as your family photos, having that
⏹️ ▶️ Marco additional backup, you know, plus one layer, I think is worth it.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco So, moving on from that, you are running a whole bunch of seven-year-old drives
⏹️ ▶️ Marco inside of a seven-year-old rate enclosure. This entire setup is dead to you.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Now, whether you want to replace it with a better, with like,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco you know, a new Synology, that’s up to you. I wouldn’t, as we’ve talked about, and I don’t think you
⏹️ ▶️ Marco necessarily, you know, need it, but I buy stuff I don’t need all the time because I like it. You
⏹️ ▶️ Marco know, you only live once, so sometimes you just buy stuff because you like it. So I won’t fault
⏹️ ▶️ Marco you if you want to replace this synology with another synology. But
⏹️ ▶️ Marco one thing people don’t always consider when they’re thinking about RAID or RAID-like things
⏹️ ▶️ Marco is the RAID controller itself as a potential point of failure. But this happens. RAID controllers
⏹️ ▶️ Marco die or flake out or have problems. I’m not sure I would trust any
⏹️ ▶️ Marco part of my storage infrastructure that was like critical primary storage
⏹️ ▶️ Marco that was seven years old. I think at that point you’re rolling the dice more than necessary
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and if you’re going to really count on something that is that old as something that is not well
⏹️ ▶️ Marco backed up, you know, I think that is taking too much risk. So
⏹️ ▶️ Marco A, for God’s sake, get iCloud Photo Library. I know it’s not perfect. Suck it up. have
⏹️ ▶️ Marco with it suck up those problems. If I can live in the same world as Dave Matthews, you can get I thought a photo library,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco you know, it’ll be fine. Right? And so a do that be
⏹️ ▶️ Marco get yourself a second hard drive and copy all these files onto it and turn off this analogy
⏹️ ▶️ Marco because see you need to preserve that until the backup until the online backup is done
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and D after that you should really retire the Synology and what you do to replace
⏹️ ▶️ Marco it. up to you, but you’re playing with fire here.
⏹️ ▶️ John There’s no evidence that the Synology hardware other than the hard drives is bad, right? Agreed.
⏹️ ▶️ John I mean, I know you’re suspicious of it because it’s old, but as someone who just got through using
⏹️ ▶️ John a 10 plus year old computer that worked fine the whole time, hard drives,
⏹️ ▶️ John they’re moving parts, they go bad for sure. He’s got some bad hard drives in there, sounds like, right? Not
⏹️ ▶️ John for a low-powered CPU that’s doing the same task all the time with
⏹️ ▶️ John no GPU to speak of. Like it’s, you know, in the absence of any evidence there’s anything wrong
⏹️ ▶️ John with this Synology hardware other than that it’s got a bunch of old crappy drives in it. I don’t think you need to buy a new Synology. Now that
⏹️ ▶️ John said, new Synologies are cool and I’ve thought about getting one just because they’re cool, exactly for the reasons you said. There’s nothing
⏹️ ▶️ John wrong with my Synology. In fact, all my drives are still working. Like there’s no reason I should get a new one, but I look at the new ones
⏹️ ▶️ John every once in a while because they’re cool and they have better CPUs and fancier file systems and
⏹️ ▶️ John other neat features. But at this point I’m still just waiting for mine to die. But it sounds like
⏹️ ▶️ John Casey may be in may have had enough pain and anguish
⏹️ ▶️ John that as a as a reward for himself as a treat he could get himself a new Synology. Sounds like he’s already
⏹️ ▶️ John getting a bunch of new drives right so once you’re doing that you can get a new Synology too and then you can use the old Synology
⏹️ ▶️ John which I believe will be resurrected and used to back up the new synology.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco is not a bad idea. Aaron
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Powell In the money no object, you know, perfect world, that is what I would do is I would get a new
⏹️ ▶️ Casey one. And I keep saying, oh, I need a new 8-bay, I need a new 8-bay. But now that I’m thinking about
⏹️ ▶️ Casey it more, and listeners had said this to me, I could just put bigger drives in like
⏹️ ▶️ Casey a 2 or 4-bay, probably like a 4-bay.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Matthew Feeney Don’t get a 2. No, 4. I think 4 is the minimum that you should get and probably the right number.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Yeah, we’re saying the same thing, though, that I could get like a four bay Synology and that would probably
⏹️ ▶️ Casey be enough. And then I’ll put more smaller drives in the existing ones, stick that
⏹️ ▶️ Casey at mom and dad’s house. And then I have a live or nearly live duplicate
⏹️ ▶️ Casey of the one in the house. And I might do that. I don’t know. It depends on how grumpy I am with all this.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Whenever I come out the other end of it, be that if I have to nuke it for more of it, be that if it does finally repair itself.
⏹️ ▶️ John But speaking of nuking it, by the way, that will be faster than letting it validate itself again.
⏹️ ▶️ John If you just wipe it clean and recopy the data onto it from one of your two 12 verified backup drives,
⏹️ ▶️ John I think that will take less time than allowing it to re-verify based on my experience.
⏹️ ▶️ John almost certainly. Trying to do very re-verification.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah, because if you figure like verification is going to be a very like, you know, a small block read, write, read, write,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco rewrite kind of cycle, whereas like, you know, recopying onto it is going to be these like giant
⏹️ ▶️ Marco block transfers and and and it only has to do like one pass for the writing Where I was like if you’re rebuilding
⏹️ ▶️ Marco it has to like, you know to read to write the parody back on one new drive It has to read everything off
⏹️ ▶️ Marco of all drives, right? Then you’re gonna have to put in another new drive It’s gonna do the exact same process again
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and reread everything again for that next drive and like you’re gonna go through the whole process What four times?
⏹️ ▶️ Casey something like that, yeah, but and I I hear you, but at the same
⏹️ ▶️ Casey time, it took four days to rsync all of these files from
⏹️ ▶️ Casey the Mac mini sitting literally underneath the thing.
⏹️ ▶️ John That’s because you had multiple rsync jobs running at once. Lesson number one for copying large volumes of data off
⏹️ ▶️ John a spinning disk, just do one copy at a time. You think you’re going faster by having five copies in parallel. You’re not.
⏹️ ▶️ John You’re just angering the disk. You’re just making the disk controller angry.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I agree. I agree. No, no, no. I didn’t think I was making it go faster by any stretch of the imagination. I was doing was getting redundant
⏹️ ▶️ Casey copies of the things that I really and truly couldn’t
⏹️ ▶️ John mention. Paul Matz Right, but if you wanted to do that, do the small copies first. Like, do things and, you know, do the small
⏹️ ▶️ John emergency copies first, one at a time, serially. Because there’s only one, I’m not going to say there’s
⏹️ ▶️ John only one disc head, because there’s multiple disc heads, but there’s only one set of disc heads on a single arm, and that arm
⏹️ ▶️ John can only follow one instruction at once. Go left, go right, go up, you
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Aaron Powell No, I hear you. I hear you. You’re absolutely right. Sitting here now, we have moved
⏹️ ▶️ Casey to 2.14, no, 2.15% in the time we’ve been talking. And so I figure
⏹️ ▶️ Casey in about a day it will either finish or one of the drives will die or it’ll finish
⏹️ ▶️ Casey and start over again. And if it starts over for a third time, then I think that’s probably a sign. Um,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey but yeah, I don’t know what, what the final answer is. I, I don’t see my
⏹️ ▶️ Casey life not having a Synology in it, but in contrast to the last we spoke about this.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I do see a world where maybe what I end up doing is I get a smaller Synology, like I’d said a moment
⏹️ ▶️ Casey ago, and putting larger drives in that, having that local, and then
⏹️ ▶️ Casey sticking this one in like mom and dad’s garage, and syncing to that and calling
⏹️ ▶️ Casey it a day. Then additionally, for now anyway, I’m going to plan
⏹️ ▶️ Casey on doing some replication onto that 12 terabyte. Once everything is squared away,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey once everything’s squared away and I know I’m good again, then I’ll do some sort of replication on the 12 terabyte that
⏹️ ▶️ Casey will be backed up to Backblaze the way it’s supposed to be backed up because it’ll be physically connected to the Mac Mini, Backblaze
⏹️ ▶️ Casey has no issue with that. Everything will be right as rain once it spends all the time uploading to
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Backblaze, which is taking quite a long time in and of itself, but be that as it may, then in theory,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I will be in a much better place. If Backblaze had already had everything, which is not Backblaze’s
⏹️ ▶️ Casey fault, it’s my fault. If Backblaze already had everything, I could have asked them for, I don’t remember
⏹️ ▶️ Casey how big the drives are they offer, but I could have asked them for one or two physical hard drives to be next day aired to me,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey and then I could nuke everything, put these hard drives, attach them to something, maybe the Synology
⏹️ ▶️ Casey itself, copied all that data back like John was saying a moment ago, and then sent these hard drives back
⏹️ ▶️ Casey to Backblaze, and I’ve literally spent no money other than the normal Backblaze fees. So
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I’m feeling better about it now because of that 12 terabyte drive, which by the way, I don’t think I said I did disconnect
⏹️ ▶️ Casey and put it in the garage. So it is literally across the house on a different floor. So God forbid
⏹️ ▶️ Casey the house goes up in flames in the next 48 hours. It is as far away from the Synology. So hopefully one of them
⏹️ ▶️ Casey will survive if the house literally goes up in flames. And it is not connected
⏹️ ▶️ Casey to any sort of power source or anything like that. But it has been a roller coaster. It has been a
⏹️ ▶️ Casey roller coaster, mostly of my own doing. And I appreciate you letting me get this off my chest. And I
⏹️ ▶️ Casey hope that this time tomorrow, everything will be restored and everything will be in
⏹️ ▶️ Casey a good place again. And then I’ll have to weigh whether or not I really want to replace drive 8 preemptively
⏹️ ▶️ Casey or just let it sit until it explodes
⏹️ ▶️ John You keep forgetting about or not mentioning the thing that you should do that seems like you’re not gonna do because you’ve already forgotten about
⏹️ ▶️ John It which is what Margo said make a second copy of the 12 terabyte
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Yeah well I should
⏹️ ▶️ John you can do it by buying a dry like you can do it in such a way that later you can reuse That drive into one of your sinologies
⏹️ ▶️ John or whatever and speaking of new sinologies You should look at I was looking at in my many in my
⏹️ ▶️ John fantasy sinology shopping There’s more variance in the CPUs these days and it’s not linear
⏹️ ▶️ John with the sort of price of the device Like you can get a big one with a wimpy
⏹️ ▶️ John CPU and you can get a small one with a powerful CPU so shop around and see if you can get one that might actually Be able
⏹️ ▶️ John to do all your transcoding for you, especially most of your stuff is h264 and not h265 It’s possible.
⏹️ ▶️ John You could get a four or five base analogy. They can do all your transcoding without breaking a sweat So check that out if
⏹️ ▶️ Marco shopping Yeah, just looking like the price differences for the bay count actually aren’t that big. Like
⏹️ ▶️ Marco if you’d like the five bay is 650 and an eight bay is 931
⏹️ ▶️ Marco right now on Amazon, like when this of the same line with like the premium process or the plus line and
⏹️ ▶️ Marco everything. So like you actually given if you’re going to, you know, spend another seven
⏹️ ▶️ Marco years with this, whatever you might get next, it might be worth getting something a little bit bigger. But uh,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco but you probably don’t need to.
⏹️ ▶️ John Oh, the new Synology lets you connect expansion bays to them. So you can buy one good Synology
⏹️ ▶️ John with a good CPU and four bays or something. And if you fill those four bays, you can buy
⏹️ ▶️ John another dumb Synology bay thing and use it to expand your
⏹️ ▶️ John existing Synology, which I don’t think that feature existed in 2013. It did. R supported. Really?
⏹️ ▶️ John I didn’t know that.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I’m almost sure they do. Yeah. I’m pretty darn sure that Marco’s right.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I love how on their site, they have, If you go to products, and they
⏹️ ▶️ Marco have all these sections because they’re all enterprise-y, and you have to choose whether you are a personal and home user, or
⏹️ ▶️ Marco an IT enthusiast, or a small to mid-sized business enterprise.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco But is Casey an IT enthusiast? I think so.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco The funny thing is, the models it shows you seem to be identical between whether you pick
⏹️ ▶️ Marco, John IT enthusiasts. Well, that’s
⏹️ ▶️ John the thing. If you pick the business one, they’re not going to give you the ones with the good CPUs.
⏹️ ▶️ John It could be that the enterprise-y ones are the wimpier CPUs, so they just expect to be doling out files to a large number
⏹️ ▶️ John of people. So look at the actual CPU options. They vary a lot.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey That’s fair. I don’t know. So that’s my tale of woe. And what
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I really want to do is throw a whole pile of money at this problem. But I don’t want to throw a whole pile of money at
⏹️ ▶️ Casey this problem. So I’m trying to do this on the cheap, and that’s half the issue right there. But I will update you next
⏹️ ▶️ Casey week as to where all this lands. But
⏹️ ▶️ John after you copy the 12 terabyte to another 12 terabyte, right?
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yes, please do that. He keeps not mentioning it. I know, I don’t know why.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah, because even if you can get back to Best Buy and just get yourself another 12 terabyte external from
⏹️ ▶️ Marco the parking lot, you can use that. Even if you don’t want an external, just take the drive out of it. Like I’ve done that before,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco where you buy a drive first as external. Later on, you want it to be internal. In fact, I think two of the drives in my
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Synology I think are this exactly, where I just took a screwdriver, took
⏹️ ▶️ Marco apart the enclosure that they came with from Seagate or whoever, and inside of those enclosures is a regular drive with a little USB
⏹️ ▶️ Marco controller board. You just unplug it from that. It’s a regular SATA drive, and you plug it into whatever you need.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Yeah, yeah, I probably should.
⏹️ ▶️ John That’s why I always buy my mechanisms specifically, and I buy all these crappy external cases,
⏹️ ▶️ John just so I get to pick the mechanism. Because if you buy some, I mean, obviously what you bought from Best Buy is like, you gotta do what you gotta do.
⏹️ ▶️ John You need to get drive ASAP, you know, situation. I get it, right? But with more time to spare,
⏹️ ▶️ John it’s always better to pick the mechanism yourself. even if you pick wrong, at least you can, you know,
⏹️ ▶️ John skew towards drives that you think are, have a better reliability
⏹️ ▶️ John reputation. You can look at the Backblaze stats. I do that all the time. They have the hard drive stats of like their failure
⏹️ ▶️ John rates. The problem is, there are two problems with the Backblaze stats. One, most people’s use case is not like Backblaze’s
⏹️ ▶️ John use case. Yours might be similar, kind of, but not really. Like, I don’t,
⏹️ ▶️ John Backblaze’s drives are running in a different environment than, you know, they’re running in a data center, They’re running in these big
⏹️ ▶️ John racks and these machines right next to each other. They don’t have a giant box fan pointing at them.
⏹️ ▶️ John Yeah, they might have better cooling than you. They might have worse. They might have more activity or less, but
⏹️ ▶️ John it’s not a typical use case of like, oh, occasionally I watch Plex off of my thing. Like, that’s
⏹️ ▶️ John calmer than Backblaze. And the second thing is, Backblaze gives you the exact model numbers. By the
⏹️ ▶️ John time they do their readout to the exact model, sometimes it’s hard to find those exact models. So it’s like, wow,
⏹️ ▶️ John or you can find them, but they only have like, you know, three months worth of data.
⏹️ ▶️ John And if you look at the past reports, you can say three months is not a long enough time to know that this thing is going to die in the first year. When
⏹️ ▶️ John you see one, it’s like, we’ve had these drives for two years and their reliability has been excellent. You can no longer buy those
⏹️ ▶️ John drives. So it’s not a slam dunk, but at least it can give you a feel for
⏹️ ▶️ John manufacturers model lines. It’s so hard because like it could be, you know, wow, it looks like what, you
⏹️ ▶️ John know, Western digital reds are doing really well, But it turns out the 14 terabyte Western Digital Red is a reliability
⏹️ ▶️ John disaster. And you get it based on the reputation of the smaller ones and you make a terrible mistake. So it’s
⏹️ ▶️ John not an exact science. But I always feel better being able to pick a magnet, especially since if you buy one off the
⏹️ ▶️ John shelf, it could have something in there that isn’t even a drive, a quote unquote consumer
⏹️ ▶️ John drive. Like it’s a drive that’s not even meant for NAS type situations where
⏹️ ▶️ John it’s expected to be on all the time. and maybe it has a little bit more redundancy.
⏹️ ▶️ John Like that’s, in theory, when you buy a spinning disc that’s intended for use in
⏹️ ▶️ John a data center or intended for use in a NAS, A, you’re paying some stupid premium
⏹️ ▶️ John for their profit margins, just live with that. But B, in theory, there is something physically different about the drive that
⏹️ ▶️ John makes it slightly more suitable to this purpose.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Yeah, yeah, I gotta rethink my whole world, unfortunately. but one step at a time,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey we’ll see how this restores. Ta-dah!
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Apple bought Dark Sky
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⏹️ ▶️ Casey So there was some news today as we record, and it surprised me a lot.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Apple has bought Dark Sky. And if you’re not familiar, Dark Sky, I don’t
⏹️ ▶️ Casey know, it started something like five to 10 years ago, and at the time, it was
⏹️ ▶️ Casey its own weather app, and then shortly thereafter, provided an API.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Especially early on, it was eerie how accurate it was. It’s still very accurate,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey but I don’t personally feel like it’s quite as accurate as it used to be. But it would eerily predict when it was
⏹️ ▶️ Casey going to start to rain where you were sitting. It would say something like rain in seven
⏹️ ▶️ Casey minutes. Five, six years ago, whenever it came out, I would look at my watch and it was, I don’t know, 10
⏹️ ▶️ Casey past 10. And sure enough, seven minutes later, it started raining. It was bananas.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey It was magic, as far as I’m concerned. And over time, I stopped using the Dark Sky app. I
⏹️ ▶️ Casey personally am a devout Caret Weather user. But Caret Weather, for Americans anyway, still uses Dark
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Sky for most, if not all, of its weather information. And
⏹️ ▶️ Casey pretty much all my favorite weather apps over the years, including Check the Weather by Underscore, and I forget what else I’ve
⏹️ ▶️ Casey used in the past, but almost all of them use dark sky in part, if not in whole, in for Americans
⏹️ ▶️ Casey anyway, and Apple has bought them. And they, I believe they either killed
⏹️ ▶️ Casey the Android app or have said it’s not gonna get updates. Do you guys
⏹️ ▶️ Casey, Marco remember? I think it’s removed
⏹️ ▶️ Marco from the store or something like that. But I think it still works.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Okay. And then on top of that, they have announced that the the iOS app
⏹️ ▶️ Casey is still available. It’s still available and it’s still for purchase, which is a little bit weird. Yeah, but the API
⏹️ ▶️ Casey is going away next year. And I think that’s basically summary of what’s happened. Marco,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey any thoughts on this as the person who I think is most close to
⏹️ ▶️ Casey developing an app that would use Dark—obviously, you don’t use Dark Sky, but you’re the kind of person that would develop
⏹️ ▶️ Casey this kind of app. So, how do you feel about
⏹️ ▶️ Marco this? Well, I do use Dark Sky. That’s the thing. I have their app installed. I also use—my
⏹️ ▶️ Marco usual weather app is Weatherline, and Weatherline uses Dark Sky data. It used to use
⏹️ ▶️ Marco it, I think, for everything. When they redid the app, they now use a hybrid that includes
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Dark Sky for certain things, but uses other data providers for other things. This, I really
⏹️ ▶️ Marco don’t like this news, honestly. And we’ll see what happens. Maybe over time, I will end up liking
⏹️ ▶️ Marco whatever Apple has in mind to do with this here. But I don’t love this the way it is now, because
⏹️ ▶️ Marco the Dark Sky API has been so important. You know, it really is, it has powered
⏹️ ▶️ Marco so many indie weather apps that I have really liked it. You know, as you mentioned, Carrot, Weatherline,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and including Dark Sky’s own app. And it’s been really great. You know, there have
⏹️ ▶️ Marco been times in the last, whatever it’s been, 10 years, there have been times where it is less accurate,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco but you know, it’s like a, it’s an algorithmic-based thing. It’s reliant on certain data, and I’m sure
⏹️ ▶️ Marco they’ve tweaked the algorithms over time. So, you know, some people try it and it doesn’t work out for them, or it works for
⏹️ ▶️ Marco a while, then it’s bad for a while, then it’s good again. it’s always been good for me. And I use it all the time
⏹️ ▶️ Marco because I wanna know, like every day, like I’m gonna go outside, I’m gonna walk my dog for the next half hour, is it gonna rain?
⏹️ ▶️ Marco The whole concept of the app is a great, it’s a great app, and it has really been
⏹️ ▶️ Marco important to me, both as a user of Dark Sky directly, and as a user and fan
⏹️ ▶️ Marco of third party, especially indie weather apps. It’s been great. I even, I think, I
⏹️ ▶️ Marco forget why, but I even had a couple of email exchanges with the founders forever ago,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and I remember them being very nice. Like, it’s just, it’s a wonderful app run by wonderful people.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco It’s also been very successful. It has been the top paid app, or within
⏹️ ▶️ Marco the top few paid apps on the App Store for years. So, you know,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco they’ve, whatever they’re selling to Apple for, it’s probably not that their sales sucked. Like, it’s not,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco it’s probably not that they needed the money. And they also charge for the API, and they make good money from that,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I assume. So, the reason for them going to Apple, I’m sure they’re gonna do great things.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I’m sure Apple wants them to work on the weather team or whatever, that’s great.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco The Apple weather app could use some love. But I would feel a lot better about it if they were still
⏹️ ▶️ Marco gonna run the API for other apps to use as well. And maybe there’s a way that they’re gonna do this. Maybe Apple
⏹️ ▶️ Marco will offer a weather kit API for iOS apps, screw Android, but for iOS
⏹️ ▶️ Marco apps to use this maybe. That would be nice, but I don’t
⏹️ ▶️ Marco know that they will. So if the idea is just for Apple to have
⏹️ ▶️ Marco their own weather source and I guess maybe not have to pay whoever it is, like the Weather Channel
⏹️ ▶️ Marco or Yahoo or whoever they’re getting the source now, if whatever Apple’s value is getting out of this, if it’s
⏹️ ▶️ Marco just to save on a license fee to some other data provider and to have
⏹️ ▶️ Marco local rain forecasts in the iOS weather app and screw everybody else and
⏹️ ▶️ Marco no one else can have this data anymore, that’s no good. But if there’s a way that third party apps can continue
⏹️ ▶️ Marco to be good and have access to this kind of data, I hope they
⏹️ ▶️ Marco can manage to do that. But for now, I don’t feel good about this because that’s an uncertain future,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and I really do like all of the benefits
⏹️ ▶️ Marco that the DarkSky API has provided. It also—like, they also have a website. For a while, it was forecast.io,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco but now I think it’s just darksky.something. I don’t know. It’s always auto-completing for me. And what’s great about the website, not
⏹️ ▶️ Marco only can you see weather anywhere, of course, which is actually surprisingly nice on something like a Mac where there really aren’t
⏹️ ▶️ Marco a lot of good weather apps on the Mac, but also you can look up historical weather data,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco which is really cool. All that for free on their website? Like, it’s just been a wonderful service and a wonderful
⏹️ ▶️ Marco app and a wonderful API that’s been such a key part of so many people’s daily usage.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco So to have Apple take it over and give it a shutdown date is concerning.
⏹️ ▶️ John I always wonder how Apple feels about these situations where
⏹️ ▶️ John there’s like an API or some other thing that
⏹️ ▶️ John third party apps build on, right? From our perspective as users and even as developers,
⏹️ ▶️ John these all seem like clear wins, right? You just mentioned like, oh, this could go into some kind of weather kit thing or whatever, but
⏹️ ▶️ John think about cases where Apple has done this either by accident or on purpose, right? There’s tons
⏹️ ▶️ John of calendar apps for the Mac because Apple provides a bunch of APIs that allow those apps to access
⏹️ ▶️ John the Apple calendar. Also, those calendar apps access other calendars like Google Calendar
⏹️ ▶️ John and so on and so forth. Apple, you know, was this a super plan for Apple to say, we wanna have tons
⏹️ ▶️ John of awesome calendar apps on iOS and the Mac for that matter. So let’s do this open calendar
⏹️ ▶️ John API. Sure, you know, clearly, you know, they made whatever the calendar APIs are called with that intention. Same thing with
⏹️ ▶️ John the address book, contacts, all that stuff. Like they made those APIs with that intention, but at various
⏹️ ▶️ John points, they could have made different decisions. They could have said, oh, great, Well, you can make an iOS app that accesses
⏹️ ▶️ John the shared calendar, but your app can’t access Google Calendar or something like that. That totally sounds like a thing
⏹️ ▶️ John that Apple would entertain. They do all sorts of stuff like that related to in-app purchase and other scenarios where they’re trying
⏹️ ▶️ John to sort of steer the market through restrictions because they control the whole store.
⏹️ ▶️ John API stuff, Cloud Kit and all that stuff. They make a lot of essentially faceless services.
⏹️ ▶️ John The only reason they exist, aside from Apple using them themselves is, hey, if you want to make an app
⏹️ ▶️ John for iOS that has an online component, but you’re not a server side developer, we have a bunch of
⏹️ ▶️ John libraries that talk to our servers with a fairly attractive business model
⏹️ ▶️ John of like, you don’t have to worry about the service being up or anything like that. We will store your data. I’ve, you
⏹️ ▶️ John know, they have this tiered thing where if you have a small number of users, not a big deal. And then the fees go up as you get more, you know,
⏹️ ▶️ John the, those services exist so that people can write better, cooler apps
⏹️ ▶️ John with less, not with less ever, but with like with less people power, with less expertise. Like
⏹️ ▶️ John it makes their platform better for users because they get better apps. It makes it more attractive for developers
⏹️ ▶️ John because smaller developer teams can do better things. So you look at this scenario,
⏹️ ▶️ John there’s tons of cool weather apps for iOS and less so for the Mac as usual. But anyway,
⏹️ ▶️ John why are there all these weather apps? Is every one of these weather apps backed by some company
⏹️ ▶️ John that owns weather stations and weather data? No. Sometimes they use commercial APIs that exist out in the world.
⏹️ ▶️ John And the Dark Sky API, I’m assuming, is just a wrapper around a bunch of commercial APIs, because I assume the Dark Sky people don’t run a bunch
⏹️ ▶️ John of weather stations. So it’s just wrappers on top of wrappers are just fine. But if you want to make a weather app, and
⏹️ ▶️ John your idea is it’s going to be named after a vegetable, it’s going to have snarky messages about the weather,
⏹️ ▶️ John you can implement that without worrying so much about, yeah, but how would
⏹️ ▶️ John I get the weather? do I have to contract with AccuWeather? Or like, how do I do all this stuff? And if the Dark
⏹️ ▶️ John Sky API is a low, you know, a path of least resistance to do that, then, you know,
⏹️ ▶️ John that makes more weather apps available. So here Apple’s faced with a choice. We want Dark Sky, because
⏹️ ▶️ John basically I’m assuming because they want to make their weather app better, because their weather app has been falling behind. Great, fine, buy them. It’s great
⏹️ ▶️ John for the developers, because they presumably get a big payday. As has been discussed, anytime anyone gets acquired,
⏹️ ▶️ John a lot of the motivation for people going to Apple is often that their work can be put in
⏹️ ▶️ John front of more people because Apple has a huge audience and as successful as Dark Sky is,
⏹️ ▶️ John if you were the default weather app on the iPhone, that is a bigger impact. So if you’re looking for what that
⏹️ ▶️ John next step is, boy, I’d like to be in front of hundreds of millions of people instead of just single digit millions, right?
⏹️ ▶️ John But anyway, it’s all good for them and it’s good for Apple to get a better weather app, but I really hope
⏹️ ▶️ John that Apple looks at what they’ve acquired and the fact that it is an API, right?
⏹️ ▶️ John and says, regardless of whether we shut down this API or not, we should do the same thing that we have done,
⏹️ ▶️ John again, either accidentally or on purpose, with things like Cloud Kit and
⏹️ ▶️ John like the Calendar and Contact APIs. Like, it doesn’t always have to be server-side, but
⏹️ ▶️ John enabling there to be more competitors for their own apps.
⏹️ ▶️ John And that’s why I started saying, I wonder what Apple thinks about this, because if I was inside Apple,
⏹️ ▶️ John I’d be like, don’t you see in all of the places where we have the most richness in the app store,
⏹️ ▶️ John it’s because we did things like this. On the other hand, I can imagine someone saying, how did our weather
⏹️ ▶️ John app fall behind? Oh, it fell behind because we allow all these other apps that you just have this ecosystem of sharing
⏹️ ▶️ John this API and we need to nip that in the bud and now we’ll have the best weather app again, which is short-sighted and stupid. And I don’t think they
⏹️ ▶️ John think that, but I also don’t see, I never seen them come out and
⏹️ ▶️ John sort of other than in obscure technical WWC sessions, tout the idea that
⏹️ ▶️ John by making services and APIs available, we are
⏹️ ▶️ John making a better software ecosystem on our platform, right? Like that’s, I
⏹️ ▶️ John know they have a big services pitch. When we say services with the, you know, the capital S as in these earnings that we’ve been talking about
⏹️ ▶️ John for the past, you know, several years, it’s like, oh, I’ll pay Apple so I can watch TV shows. I’ll pay Apple so I
⏹️ ▶️ John can store my photos for, I’ll pay Apple for more disk space. I’ll pay Apple for a music service. It’s all about
⏹️ ▶️ John just like paying Apple, consumers paying Apple, right? But this scenario where there are
⏹️ ▶️ John services, but the people who pay for them and use them are developers, like one degree separated
⏹️ ▶️ John from users, doesn’t seem like something that Apple, it’s not that they don’t like it, they do
⏹️ ▶️ John it enough times, but it always strikes me as like a little bit too accidental, huh?
⏹️ ▶️ John That they just found themselves in a situation, like why is it true for Calendar but not true for something
⏹️ ▶️ John else? Like, and the podcasts are a good example. They have this podcast directory which accidentally or on purpose powered
⏹️ ▶️ John this entire ecosystem of podcast apps. But was that the plan from the beginning or did it just kind of happen and they were smart
⏹️ ▶️ John enough not to screw it up? Like, I think they should embrace this model because I think this model has been proven to work. It gives
⏹️ ▶️ John Apple control, like they have control over the CloudKit APIs, they have control over all these, all
⏹️ ▶️ John the other things they offer, they have control over their libraries, right? They could make a weather kit and they could have
⏹️ ▶️ John essentially Dark Sky API v2 powered by Apple, access through weather kit.
⏹️ ▶️ John And that would enable someone else’s great idea of how to make a weather app to be done.
⏹️ ▶️ John Or someone’s bad idea for a weather app. Either way, it will attract developers to the platform, it’ll make it a more, you know,
⏹️ ▶️ John more attractive place for our customers to shop because they have lots of cool weather apps made by small teams with a good
⏹️ ▶️ John idea who didn’t wanna deal with the weather stuff. So my fingers are crossed for that eventuality, but
⏹️ ▶️ John if they just take the crew, make their weather app better, and stop the API
⏹️ ▶️ John after a year, it’s not the end of the world, but it’s not great. That’s where we get
⏹️ ▶️ John into Marco being pessimistic about this. I’m choosing to think that they’re going to do the right thing.
⏹️ ▶️ John And if not continue that API, then have a similar API fronted by a library or something so that
⏹️ ▶️ John we can continue to have tons of weird and ridiculous weather apps on iOS.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Yeah, I totally think and hope that that’s the case. And it vaguely reminds me of when
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Google Maps was the only mapping software on the iPhone. And if you wanted to put a map in your
⏹️ ▶️ Casey app, you had to jump through some hoops. I don’t remember exactly what they were, but you had to jump through some hoops to
⏹️ ▶️ Casey establish a relationship with Google. I think you might have even had to get a Google SDK
⏹️ ▶️ Casey in order to do it, which kind of makes sense. And then, you know, Apple starts providing its own maps, and granted
⏹️ ▶️ Casey they were garbage for a long time, but now I don’t think they are for most people. And adding
⏹️ ▶️ Casey a map into your app is super simple because the API is right there, it’s part of the system. And
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I feel like this feels as though it’s an analogous sort of event, and this is exactly what
⏹️ ▶️ Casey you’re saying, John, that maybe there will be some sort of weather API. Perhaps it could be even part of the MapKit API,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey who knows. But some sort of weather API that’ll allow you to get weather information for
⏹️ ▶️ Casey all sorts of different things. I mean, if you think about it, weather information, I’m trying to think off the top of my head, on my phone
⏹️ ▶️ Casey shows up in Fantastical, it shows up in the Maps app, it shows up in my weather
⏹️ ▶️ Casey apps. There are more places than you would expect. Oh, and day one, it shows up. There’s more places than
⏹️ ▶️ Casey you would expect that have or show weather data and to be able
⏹️ ▶️ John to. Is there already a weather API? I don’t even know. Maybe there’s already a simple weather API. There
⏹️ ▶️ Casey isn’t. Yeah, I don’t think there isn’t. So I don’t know. I don’t know where this goes. It’s certainly,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey it could be another form of lock-in. You know, if the only way you get a really good weather report is if you
⏹️ ▶️ Casey have an iPhone, like I hope that’s not the case, but it would be an interesting and very
⏹️ ▶️ Casey unusual form of lock-in. Well, yeah, I really like that Android phone, but I can’t get my weather app that I rely
⏹️ ▶️ Casey on because, I don’t know, I’m a dog walker or something like that, like a professional dog walker or I don’t know, I’m a landscaper,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey and it’s incredibly important, I know exactly.
⏹️ ▶️ John I don’t think that’s that bad of a situation. That’s basically my optimistic scenario, is that it
⏹️ ▶️ John is, that Apple uses it as a platform differentiator. Again, Apple, as far as I’m aware,
⏹️ ▶️ John you never know, doesn’t own a million weather stations around the world. The weather data comes from elsewhere.
⏹️ ▶️ John This is all just about mediating access to that and providing a nice interface to it.
⏹️ ▶️ John And if it’s a differentiating factor, Everyone, anyone can get like the weather from just some source or whatever,
⏹️ ▶️ John but dark sky is a big thing as Marco said, is like it was super, you know, whatever they call hyperlocal, like
⏹️ ▶️ John you can get the weather right where you’re standing right now, which was a differentiating feature and the
⏹️ ▶️ John reason it’s a popular application. So having a weather API is something anybody can do.
⏹️ ▶️ John Having a really good weather API is harder. And that’s, if Apple wants to use that as a differentiating feature for the iPhone,
⏹️ ▶️ John oh, the iPhone has, you know, they bought dark sky, so they have the current best weather API, whether it’s
⏹️ ▶️ John because of the way Dark Sky processes the data that it’s get or the data sources it has or whatever, but it’s
⏹️ ▶️ John not like they’re locking anybody out because the weather is, information
⏹️ ▶️ John is publicly available as in we can all see what the weather is and anybody can build weather stations or anyone can pay someone
⏹️ ▶️ John who has weather stations. So like, I don’t feel that there’s any evil in them,
⏹️ ▶️ John confining the best weather API and the easiest to use weather API to their platform,
⏹️ ▶️ John that’s exactly what they should be doing. But Android and Google can do exactly
⏹️ ▶️ John the same thing. That’s how they should be competing with each other.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah. And so the other angle to this is that weather apps
⏹️ ▶️ Marco are famously frequently bad for privacy. Not the ones we’ve mentioned.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Not like the nice indie ones. But there’s a lot of weather apps out there. Weather apps by their nature
⏹️ ▶️ Marco need your location for most convenient features. You can always not give
⏹️ ▶️ Marco some of your location and maybe just type in your location and have it just always display that location or have it to change
⏹️ ▶️ Marco it manually. But for the most part, most people give most weather apps their location access so they can show the weather wherever
⏹️ ▶️ Marco they happen to be. Because weather apps have location access, they can sell that information.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Location data is very valuable in the ad tracking creepiness business. Not only do
⏹️ ▶️ Marco many weather apps just sell this data outright, if you have a weather app that gets location
⏹️ ▶️ Marco access, you will be approached, people will email you from these scam companies offering you
⏹️ ▶️ Marco money to integrate their SDK. And this might be more money than you might be making from
⏹️ ▶️ Marco your app sales if you’re not doing that well in the app store, which is very often the case for a lot of apps,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco right? They will offer you money to build in their tracking SDK because your app has
⏹️ ▶️ Marco location access, right, by the user. So they’ll give you money to put their SDK in
⏹️ ▶️ Marco that will measure your location that the app already has access to and tie it to ad profiles, and then they
⏹️ ▶️ Marco can sell that and make more money from you. So that’s a whole thing that’s going on behind the scenes now, and that
⏹️ ▶️ Marco might be informing this decision by Apple as well. There’s this whole seedy underbelly of weather
⏹️ ▶️ Marco apps that because they, by their nature, usually get your location permission,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco they have this valuable data, and many of them are being really creepy with it. Again, not the ones we’ve
⏹️ ▶️ Marco mentioned, because we wouldn’t use an app that did that, right? Like the ones we mentioned, you know, Carrot, Weatherline, like these are all good apps made
⏹️ ▶️ Marco by good people, they don’t do this kind of crap. But many apps do. So it’s a very big deal
⏹️ ▶️ Marco that weather apps are a notorious privacy hole for your location data. And Apple’s
⏹️ ▶️ Marco very sensitive to that. So maybe this is part of some kind of play to
⏹️ ▶️ Marco crack down on that. I haven’t quite thought about how they could do that effectively.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco You know, one option would be they no longer allow weather apps to have your location and
⏹️ ▶️ Marco they just provide weather data for them. But that’s a really aggressive move.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I don’t, and that would have a lot of other problems too. Like for instance, like no
⏹️ ▶️ Marco one weather data source is good for the entire world. There’s different data sources
⏹️ ▶️ Marco in different parts of the world and certain ones are better than others for different regions and everything. So like,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I don’t think they would or should do something as drastic as prohibit any other weather API
⏹️ ▶️ Marco from having location access. Like that would be weird. So I’m just trying to think through like, is there some kind
⏹️ ▶️ Marco of privacy angle on this that would lead to an actual possible and likely
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and enforceable outcome that they could maybe crack down on this incredibly
⏹️ ▶️ Marco seedy underbelly of privacy-selling weather apps by somehow buying Dark Sky.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Again, I haven’t quite figured out how that can work yet, but maybe there’s something there.
⏹️ ▶️ John I was thinking about all the other platforms that Apple has where weather data is useful. Apple has weather data like this, whether
⏹️ ▶️ John it’s a weather widget on your watch, there’s weather thing in the notifications, whatever the hell
⏹️ ▶️ John that thing’s called on the Mac on the right side of the screen, the Today View that has a weather thing in it, I believe,
⏹️ ▶️ John and obviously on our phones, and buying Dark Sky will give them better weather, presumably, gives them people who
⏹️ ▶️ John are experienced making more advanced weather apps than Apple’s own, and plus all the hyper-local stuff
⏹️ ▶️ John with the local radar to say it’s gonna rain in five minutes, but
⏹️ ▶️ John having your watch nudge you that it’s gonna be raining on your head in five minutes is pretty cool.
⏹️ ▶️ John Dark Sky app, I already have a watch app that does that, but AR glasses, you can look up in the sky
⏹️ ▶️ John and see which direction the rain clouds are coming from. There’s all sorts of scenarios where even better weather than
⏹️ ▶️ John they currently have is an attractive thing to Apple. So this purchase doesn’t surprise me in the
⏹️ ▶️ John slightest. I’m just really hoping that the path they take with this purchase is not simply
⏹️ ▶️ John to give Apple’s platforms better weather stuff, but to
⏹️ ▶️ John make an API and a service that everybody can use, even if they discontinue the current one, make a new API
⏹️ ▶️ John with like Marco was saying, perhaps with different privacy tradeoffs, hopefully not with too many
⏹️ ▶️ John different restrictions like what we don’t want to see is like, oh, Apple has a cool new weather kit that’s very
⏹️ ▶️ John advanced and has all the features of dark sky plus an API and you can use it in the right through the reasonable and every other weather
⏹️ ▶️ John services forbidden on the platform. Like I don’t think they would do that, but
⏹️ ▶️ John yeah, worst case scenario. That’s like the in-app purchase scenario where you know if you want
⏹️ ▶️ John to if you want to sell things through your applications, you know for this is this huge swath of stuff where you
⏹️ ▶️ John have to go through Apple’s thing and give them 30% and stuff. So that’s at one extreme. And the other extreme is it’s a free-for-all.
⏹️ ▶️ John Apple is gonna compete in that free-for-all by having a really good weather service, which they can do now that they bought Dark Sky.
⏹️ ▶️ John And I feel like they should just be happy to compete at that level, like they do with CloudKit. You can use CloudKit
⏹️ ▶️ John or whatever, you know, Core Data. I don’t like Cloud Core Data. Maybe you don’t wanna
⏹️ ▶️ John that. But anyway, Apple has a bunch of services that you can use in your iOS app or
⏹️ ▶️ Marco not. By the way, isn’t it a shame that they already use the name CloudKit? Like, wouldn’t that have been perfect
⏹️ ▶️ John then I don’t know if they wanted to use dark or dark sky. But the only scenario
⏹️ ▶️ John where Apple has most recently forced its hand is in a situation like Marco was alluding to, which is
⏹️ ▶️ John where there’s a privacy thing. So Apple has a thing that you can use for your sign-in, sign-in with Apple. And there
⏹️ ▶️ John they do mandate that if you have an app that allows you to sign in with Facebook, with Google, with whatever,
⏹️ ▶️ John you have to offer sign-in with Apple. And the reason they’re doing that is privacy related.
⏹️ ▶️ John Part of it is, yes, OK, we want everyone to use Apple’s things. But honestly, Apple has you already. The whole point is you’re on
⏹️ ▶️ John your iPhone. You have an iCloud. You know, Apple’s got your Apple ID. Like, they’re all set on that front. Signing
⏹️ ▶️ John with Apple is, I guess, you know, partially so they can get their hooks into you
⏹️ ▶️ John one more way. But the reason I think they’re mandating it is not just for adoption,
⏹️ ▶️ John but also because they have a privacy angle, as evidenced by the way the API looks, where you can use it without
⏹️ ▶️ John even giving people your email, which is unheard of on the other services. they want everything from you,
⏹️ ▶️ John right? So if there’s a privacy angle on this, I can see Apple being a
⏹️ ▶️ John little bit more forceful, perhaps not mandating the use of their API, but further
⏹️ ▶️ John restricting the other APIs to compete on a level privacy playing field with Apple’s.
⏹️ ▶️ John They haven’t done that with the sign-in stuff. You sign in with Facebook, Facebook gets all your everything. You sign in with Google, Google gets all your everything.
⏹️ ▶️ John You sign in with Apple, Apple is the one voluntarily saying, hey, when you use our API,
⏹️ ▶️ John you have to actually ask people for the email. address. You don’t get it by default. It will make up a random email
⏹️ ▶️ John for you. And you know, like all that stuff that Apple’s is doing is tying their own hands behind
⏹️ ▶️ John their back in terms of the amount of data they get. The Apple doesn’t want the data. They want to be, you know, a more private,
⏹️ ▶️ John have a more private API, but they didn’t require everybody else to do the same thing, at least yet. Anyway, the weather
⏹️ ▶️ John API, we’ll see. This is an interesting thing to watch. Not so much because we’re interested in the weather APIs and the ecosystem
⏹️ ▶️ John weather apps and the iPhone, but because it shows where Apple’s head is at currently in terms of the range
⏹️ ▶️ John of things that they can do both policy-wise and tech-wise for their platforms.
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⏹️ ▶️ Casey Just today, apparently it’s now possible, and I’m very unclear on
⏹️ ▶️ Casey where the dividing lines are, but it is possible to rent or buy
⏹️ ▶️ Casey or do something with video through Amazon Prime Video’s app, but
⏹️ ▶️ Casey not using in-app purchase. Did one of you pay close attention to this, because I am deeply confused as to what the situation
⏹️ ▶️ John is. Well, why don’t you read the very, very clear Apple quote that’s in the show
⏹️ ▶️ Casey notes. Well, I would be happy to, John. Apple has established, oh, let me
⏹️ ▶️ Casey try that again. I would be happy to, John. Apple has an established program for premium subscription video entertainment
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⏹️ ▶️ Casey universal search series support, and where applicable, single or zero sign-in. On qualifying premium
⏹️ ▶️ Casey video entertainment apps such as Prime Video, Altus One, and Canal Plus, customers have the option
⏹️ ▶️ Casey to buy or rent movies and TV shows using the payment method tied to their existing video subscription.
⏹️ ▶️ John Wow, look what they snuck in there. That’s a lot of words. What does that actually
⏹️ ▶️ Marco mean? So this is incredible. So forever, Amazon and
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Apple have been battling over in-app purchase rules. Basically, Apple has
⏹️ ▶️ Marco always, since the introduction of in-app purchase on iOS, they’ve always required that
⏹️ ▶️ Marco apps are not allowed to collect payment information and have their own payment processing to
⏹️ ▶️ Marco buy digital goods in their apps without going
⏹️ ▶️ Marco through in-app purchase. Like Amazon has not been allowed to have something like
⏹️ ▶️ Marco the Kindle app, where I believe we first saw this, and later on when they launched Prime Video,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco that Amazon will sell you videos to rent or buy or whatever, and
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Apple has not allowed them to do Amazon’s own purchase system inside the app
⏹️ ▶️ Marco in their iOS app. They would require them to use Apple’s in-app purchase system, but Apple’s in-app purchase system
⏹️ ▶️ Marco charges 30% for most things, and had other various limitations
⏹️ ▶️ Marco that Amazon didn’t want to comply with. There’s always been this battle of heads budding and
⏹️ ▶️ Marco they’ve been going back and forth kind of quietly in the background for years and Amazon and Apple had this
⏹️ ▶️ Marco pretty tense relationship for a while. And last year I think,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco or whenever it was, they basically announced that they had come to some kind of agreement. For the first time in
⏹️ ▶️ Marco a while, Things had
⏹️ ▶️ Marco gotten so bad that it was actually tricky to buy Apple products on Amazon. Like
⏹️ ▶️ Marco that’s how bad their relationship had gotten. And there was this whole thing. But
⏹️ ▶️ Marco the critical, like the main thing that Amazon didn’t like about Apple was this in-app purchase
⏹️ ▶️ Marco rule. That Amazon just wanted to offer their own purchases in their app. And Apple doesn’t care
⏹️ ▶️ Marco if you do that for physical goods, like or for services. Like that’s why you can
⏹️ ▶️ Marco use your own payment methods for things like Lyft rides or for Amazon’s
⏹️ ▶️ Marco shopping website because that’s physical goods. Apple doesn’t have a payment
⏹️ ▶️ Marco processing system for that, but they do have for any kind of digital goods like buying or renting videos
⏹️ ▶️ Marco or songs or eBooks, Apple always has required that that goes through their system.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco And Amazon has always said basically no. And that’s why, and they have all these other crazy rules like
⏹️ ▶️ Marco you aren’t even allowed to link out to a browser to do it, and that’s why you have all these crazy things where you have situations
⏹️ ▶️ Marco like the Amazon, like the Kindle app won’t tell you that you can go to
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Amazon’s site to sign up or buy these things. It has to kind of assume you’ll figure that on your own somehow. And there’s
⏹️ ▶️ Marco all these crazy rejections. Spotify’s been involved and all, and HBO and Netflix have done their own
⏹️ ▶️ Marco things also. So it’s been this whole thing. So what has changed today is that
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Amazon’s app for Prime Video, not for anything else, but so far only for Prime Video,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and I think there’s a reason for that that we’ll get to in a moment, now allows you to
⏹️ ▶️ Marco buy and rent, or otherwise pay for video
⏹️ ▶️ Marco using your Amazon billing method that’s already entered. So you can’t type in a credit
⏹️ ▶️ Marco card newly into this system. Otherwise, there’s some weird exceptions that you might be able to do it some way,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco but for the most part, you can’t do that. But if you, most people
⏹️ ▶️ Marco with Amazon accounts have some kind of payment method already tied to them. And so if you have
⏹️ ▶️ Marco that, Now, you can use the Prime Video app on iOS with Apple’s blessing,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco maybe through gritted teeth, but with Apple’s blessing, to buy videos
⏹️ ▶️ Marco that don’t go through Apple’s payment processing at all, and don’t pay Apple’s 30%. And
⏹️ ▶️ Marco there’s a whole bunch of complicating factors here. For instance, 30% has not been 30% for people
⏹️ ▶️ Marco like Amazon for a while. Large companies like Netflix, HBO, way before
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Apple announced the whole 15% for years to an up thing for the rest of us, whenever
⏹️ ▶️ Marco that was, about two years ago, one year ago. Long before that, the big companies were already paying something like 15%. Like Apple
⏹️ ▶️ Marco had already cut deals with some of the big ones because they wouldn’t do it otherwise. And they eventually made that public.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco So there is already a history of Apple having to negotiate with big companies,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco exceptions to these rules here and there. But this is a really big one. And
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I think the reason why they were willing to do this, for Amazon specifically, and apparently
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Altus One Canal Plus, which I don’t follow this business. I’ve never heard of those. I hear Canal Plus is big,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I think in Europe or France, something, but it’s fine. Whatever, I’m sure they’re big somewhere. But the key part of this,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco of why Apple capitulated on such a massive thing they’ve stood so firm on for so long,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I think is in the previous sentence. Apple has established a program for blah, blah, blah,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco video providers, specifically, not all apps, video providers, including
⏹️ ▶️ Marco integration with the Apple TV app and then AirPlay support, tvOS,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco universal search, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. Okay, that’s it right there.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Apple was willing to do this because they have something else they’re trying to get
⏹️ ▶️ Marco off the ground, the TV app, which is really important to Apple’s new subscription
⏹️ ▶️ Marco push, services push, TV plus. It’s very important to Apple that the TV
⏹️ ▶️ Marco app become the home of where everyone goes to start their TV watching. And like, that’s
⏹️ ▶️ Marco like, they want that to be where people’s TV lives. And they don’t
⏹️ ▶️ Marco have all the buy-in. The TV app is not new. All the APIs it uses, things like the universal search
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and the Siri support, all this other stuff they mentioned. And not to mention just the integration period with
⏹️ ▶️ Marco the TV app. Netflix still doesn’t do that. I guess Amazon probably didn’t
⏹️ ▶️ Marco before this, or I’m sure there were holes in the functionality. And so what Apple needs, like,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco you know, it was easy when Apple had all the power in the relationship, like Apple has
⏹️ ▶️ Marco iOS, this amazing platform that tons of people use and where lots of money flows
⏹️ ▶️ Marco through, and if Amazon doesn’t want to play nice with iOS, that’s mostly Amazon’s problem,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco not Apple’s problem. And so Apple was able to basically dictate the terms of this in-app purchase relationship
⏹️ ▶️ Marco for a long time, because they had most of the power in that relationship from certain angles.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco But in the last couple years, Apple needs something from them. Apple needs these companies
⏹️ ▶️ Marco in specifically certain areas like video to adopt Apple’s API’s and to participate in Apple’s
⏹️ ▶️ Marco TV app and that ecosystem and and like that that whole integration and everything Apple needs them to do
⏹️ ▶️ Marco this and understandably people at Netflix looking this and we’re like why should we do this exactly
⏹️ ▶️ Marco why should we not have our own app be the place to be why should we integrate with Apple’s TV app
⏹️ ▶️ Marco which is inferior in a lot of ways to our own app and then we lose all
⏹️ ▶️ Marco those all these metrics and all this data like why why like there’s no reason from Netflix’s point of view
⏹️ ▶️ Marco there’s no reason to integrate with the Apple TV app people’s home for Netflix content is the Netflix app period
⏹️ ▶️ Marco right Amazon probably I haven’t followed the Amazon situation closely in the video area but they probably had similar
⏹️ ▶️ Marco feelings like why what’s in it for them right why should they adopt Apple’s thing and go into Apple’s playground
⏹️ ▶️ Marco if they don’t need to if they’re powerful enough that they can have their own app and have all the advantages of that but the Amazon and apps always
⏹️ ▶️ Marco suck, but anyway, that’s a different story. So finally, Apple needed something
⏹️ ▶️ Marco from them. And Amazon had all the power on that relationship, and Amazon’s like, well, no,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco probably, why should we integrate your TV app, right? So because Apple finally
⏹️ ▶️ Marco needed something from someone else for something that’s very important to Apple, their TV services push
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and TV app integration and everything else, that’s why I think they finally made this deal,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco specifically for this area. I don’t think we’re gonna see the same thing like in the Kindle app or Comixology.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Because I don’t think Apple’s really trying really hard to make a home of all eBooks on iOS. I
⏹️ ▶️ Marco don’t think that’s gonna happen.
⏹️ ▶️ John I mean, Amazon couldn’t negotiate for that because it’s always like give and take. What does Apple have to offer?
⏹️ ▶️ John Hey, we’ll let you do sales and rentals through the Prime Video app. Amazon could say, and also please let us do
⏹️ ▶️ John it through the Kindle app. It’s another thing that you can offer Amazon. But that brings up, the Kindle
⏹️ ▶️ John app and the iBook that brings up another point. There are strategy taxes all over this because despite what you said all being true,
⏹️ ▶️ John Apple also has a service that competes with Prime Video called Apple TV Plus, and that competes
⏹️ ▶️ John with Netflix, right? So Apple is trying to be a platform and have that TV
⏹️ ▶️ John app, just like you said, and they need the services that people want to be
⏹️ ▶️ John in that. Netflix is big enough to still tell Apple to
⏹️ ▶️ John go walk off a pier. Amazon is apparently weak enough that they’re willing to integrate,
⏹️ ▶️ John But in the end, Apple may have to decide, do you
⏹️ ▶️ John want to be the app that is the gateway for all of these video services, except for Netflix, because they’re too big?
⏹️ ▶️ John Or do you want to be the biggest video service?
⏹️ ▶️ John Apple TV Plus is a sibling to Prime Video, Canal Plus, or
⏹️ ▶️ John whatever, all these other sort of things, like people that have video services, Apple TV
⏹️ ▶️ John Plus is competing with them, in the same way that the Apple Bookstore, or whatever the hell it’s called now, now that it’s not the iBook store,
⏹️ ▶️ John competes with the Amazon store, with the Kindle store, right? And it’s
⏹️ ▶️ John like, I understand this move from a strategic perspective, especially if you’re
⏹️ ▶️ John trying to make Netflix feel bad about being left out. If you can get everybody but Netflix into
⏹️ ▶️ John the TV app and maybe give advantages to apps that integrate with the TV app
⏹️ ▶️ John that aren’t available to the Netflix app, like maybe you can use this as a wedge, But at a certain point,
⏹️ ▶️ John whether that strategy works or not, you’ve invited all the foxes into the hen house.
⏹️ ▶️ John And how well is your Apple TV Plus service doing that you’re paying billions of dollars to make these
⏹️ ▶️ John TV shows for, when you’ve got all these other competitors that you are helping
⏹️ ▶️ John by, whatever way you’re trying to make Netflix jealous with, you’re also helping competitors
⏹️ ▶️ John to Apple TV Plus in the process of doing that. So it’s this balance where
⏹️ ▶️ John I do think that, both efforts could just fizzle and go nowhere and we just get the status quo, right?
⏹️ ▶️ John But if one of the things starts going really well, there may come a point where Apple has to decide what’s more important,
⏹️ ▶️ John Apple TV Plus becoming the next Netflix or the TV or Apple becoming the platform
⏹️ ▶️ John gateway for television viewing? Like what’s the, we have to sacrifice
⏹️ ▶️ John one or the other, we can’t have both of them. Because I don’t see any scenario where Apple TV Plus dethrones
⏹️ ▶️ John Netflix as the most important streaming service and all video services go through the Apple TV
⏹️ ▶️ John app and they become the gateway and platform for all TV watching on Apple platforms. Like, I don’t see both of those happening.
⏹️ ▶️ John I barely see one of them happening, but certainly not both. So, best case scenario, Apple has to choose.
⏹️ ▶️ John More likely scenario, they never have to choose because neither one of them goes that well.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah, maybe, but I think the power dynamic is so different though. Like, you brought
⏹️ ▶️ Marco up the whole fox and hen house argument, but I think it’s more like Apple walked into a fox
⏹️ ▶️ Marco house. Like it was already an established fox house and Apple’s walking in as a hen and be like, hey, can I hang out
⏹️ ▶️ Marco here too? You guys, maybe you could do me a favor also? Like, you know, like Apple
⏹️ ▶️ Marco had so little power, you know, trying to get this TV app off the ground and
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Apple TV Plus is such a small player, really. I mean, I’m sure Apple’s gonna talk about numbers and
⏹️ ▶️ Marco you know, how many people they have using it and everything the next time they get the opportunity to, but the reality is it’s a very minor
⏹️ ▶️ Marco player in this game right now and will probably remain one for some time, if not forever.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco So, like, Apple had to come to these companies on their terms. And so, I’m guessing that
⏹️ ▶️ Marco this has been in the works for a while, possibly even before, since before the
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Apple TV Plus launch.
⏹️ ▶️ John Well, that’s part of strategy tax things. Right. Because you never know, like, like, your organization
⏹️ ▶️ John is so big that someone’s trying to work this deal, of like, you know, as you said, the TV world is different. You do need
⏹️ ▶️ John to work with not just streaming services, but also cable providers. There’s a whole bunch of parties that Apple has
⏹️ ▶️ John to deal with to do anything in this space, right? So there’s one team working on that. And then elsewhere in this giant
⏹️ ▶️ John organization, there’s another team saying, we should have our own service because we can charge people for it. And like, you have to reconcile
⏹️ ▶️ John that somehow. It wouldn’t surprise me at all if there was some tension between these two efforts, because they are at odds
⏹️ ▶️ John with each other in many respects.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Anyway, I’m guessing this was in place for a while. This was negotiated
⏹️ ▶️ Marco a while ago, probably back when Apple and Amazon announced they they reached some kind of settlement with everything like two years ago.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I’m guessing this has been in the works since then because this also, so Guy Rambeau
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and Steve Troutensmith have been doing some spelunking on the Amazon binary and it has a
⏹️ ▶️ Marco private entitlement to get extra data from StorKit. And so there’s clearly
⏹️ ▶️ Marco some kind of like software side of this that they had to do in addition.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco And given that that software side of things involves the StorKit API, which is
⏹️ ▶️ Marco one of Apple’s largest, most important, and most creaky and old and infamously
⏹️ ▶️ Marco horrible things to work on, web services, I’m guessing that the software
⏹️ ▶️ Marco implementation side of this took some time and required certain rollouts
⏹️ ▶️ Marco of certain API changes and blah, blah, blah, right? So I’m guessing that this has been in
⏹️ ▶️ Marco the works for a long time as part of that big agreement that they made a couple years ago
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and that’s why it’s just coming out now. But anyway, a lot of people, this is rubbing
⏹️ ▶️ Marco the wrong way because it’s like Apple’s treating these big companies separately and giving them separate rules
⏹️ ▶️ Marco than the rules that the rest of us have to follow within our purchase. And
⏹️ ▶️ Marco you know what? That’s true. It’s wonderful that Apple
⏹️ ▶️ Marco doesn’t do that most of the time. It’s wonderful that for the vast majority
⏹️ ▶️ Marco of aspects of the App Store, big companies and small companies play by the same rules.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco But that’s not true for all the rules. That’s just business, you know? Facebook and Uber
⏹️ ▶️ Marco get away with murder with what their apps do, and the privacy things that they
⏹️ ▶️ Marco take. Facebook and Uber, like, you know, big company like that, like, they’re so
⏹️ ▶️ Marco important that Apple can’t ban them from the App Store. That’s business. That’s
⏹️ ▶️ Marco the reality. Amazon is so important that no matter what Amazon
⏹️ ▶️ Marco does, Apple can’t kick them out of the App Store. Spotify probably also has
⏹️ ▶️ Marco the status, right? These big companies are super important to Apple’s
⏹️ ▶️ Marco platform, way more important than overcast or any other independent app
⏹️ ▶️ Marco that any of us work on and run and anything like that. Apple does make business deals
⏹️ ▶️ Marco sometimes with big companies behind the scenes that do change the rules for them. Or they do give them,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco like in the case of Facebook and Uber, they do give them like maybe a private heads up from an executive,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Hey, you need to stop doing this, rather than just ban them from the App Store immediately upon their first offense.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Big companies get special treatment because they’re really important to Apple, and because Apple doesn’t
⏹️ ▶️ Marco have all the power in those relationships. Yes, Apple made a special deal with a small
⏹️ ▶️ Marco number of big companies. It’s not the first time, it won’t be the last time, and that’s just business.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I don’t love that, as an indie developer, who, you know, I have to follow, like I can’t implement
⏹️ ▶️ Marco my own credit card thing for my stuff in Overcast, I have to pay
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Apple’s 30%. But that’s the reality, that’s business.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Apple can live without Overcast. Apple can’t live without Amazon and Netflix and HBO and stuff like that.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco So they have to make deals with big companies sometimes. That’s just the reality.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco And so from that angle, again, I don’t love this, but I see why they have to do it.
⏹️ ▶️ John Yeah, I think this is just, I keep fast-forwarding like a year and seeing like, how could this possibly
⏹️ ▶️ John shake out? And especially if this was a thing made before
⏹️ ▶️ John Apple TV Plus was announced, before the rumors of it were solid, like, you know, there’s been,
⏹️ ▶️ John there’s always a possibility that Apple could do what they did with LG E+, but it took for the, you know,
⏹️ ▶️ John recent couple of years for it to really come to a head. So say this deal was negotiated three years ago, Amazon had to judge.
⏹️ ▶️ John We do this, what if Apple just comes out with their own video service that competes with us? And the judgment could be, well, it’s gonna take them a while
⏹️ ▶️ John to do that, so we should just do this deal anyway and we’ll get while the getting’s good. We’ll sell
⏹️ ▶️ John stuff through our app, we won’t have to pay them 30%, and if they come out with a service, it’ll probably take them a while to get up to speed.
⏹️ ▶️ John You can always stop, whatever, I don’t know what their contracts look like, but I can imagine them
⏹️ ▶️ John doing this while they can, making money while they can, and reevaluate in a year or two, because
⏹️ ▶️ John even for Amazon, Amazon is also trying to compete to Netflix. They don’t wanna be just a little surf in the
⏹️ ▶️ John Apple TV app kingdom. Everyone wants to be big enough that you can
⏹️ ▶️ John just rebuff Apple and say, no, we’re doing our own thing. And right now Netflix is big enough to do that and continues
⏹️ ▶️ John to do that. Netflix took all their purchases out of the Apple ecosystem and Netflix doesn’t
⏹️ ▶️ John want to be in the TV app thing that tries to, to control everything, right?
⏹️ ▶️ John Amazon would love to be in that power position, but apparently they’re not. Uh, and also I think Amazon has more things they
⏹️ ▶️ John want from Apple, which kind of surprises me that they didn’t get more concessions like, you know, Kindle store or whatever because Amazon
⏹️ ▶️ John isn’t just a video company. They have all sorts of things. They would love to not pay Apple for book purchases,
⏹️ ▶️ John to sell books on phones and not pay Apple 30 percent and give Apple zero percent, right?
⏹️ ▶️ John But apparently they couldn’t negotiate for that. So as the balance of power shifts, and interestingly
⏹️ ▶️ John in this particular scenario, The balance of power among these video services is
⏹️ ▶️ John influenced by creative output, right?
⏹️ ▶️ John If you get good TV shows that puts you in a more powerful position. It’s unlike
⏹️ ▶️ John many other scenarios where like it’s a technical concern or there’s some other, you know, regulatory
⏹️ ▶️ John scenario. This, if you know, the reason Apple TV plus has been successful as it has been
⏹️ ▶️ John is a, the free trial and B, uh, the fact that they made TV shows that weren’t terrible
⏹️ ▶️ John that people were interested in watching and talked about. That’s what made Netflix what it is today. Netflix started
⏹️ ▶️ John by just giving a bunch of content that they didn’t make and they started making their own content in the beginning. They had one or two good
⏹️ ▶️ John ones and now they make so much stuff that the percentage of stuff that’s good, uh, you know, may
⏹️ ▶️ John only be 1% but that 1% is a lot. That is a weird scenario for
⏹️ ▶️ John Apple to be in. I mean, we talked about this when we, when they were doing the service to begin with, like
⏹️ ▶️ John Apple does not, you know, Apple has a music store, but they don’t have a bunch of bands that they started. Well, I guess the break points, but
⏹️ ▶️ John you know, they don’t have a bunch of bands that that Apple is fielding, but they’re making TV shows.
⏹️ ▶️ John And so it’s weird to see Apple suddenly in a scenario where
⏹️ ▶️ John you can really influence your odds of success by doing things that have nothing to do with technology
⏹️ ▶️ John and everything to do with creative output. It’s like, how do you become a powerful movies to do? You make good movies
⏹️ ▶️ John that people want to buy or people want to watch, right? Pixar is Pixar because they made a bunch of
⏹️ ▶️ John good movies, right? So now Apple can, in theory, try to get a leg
⏹️ ▶️ John up on its competitors in the video market. Yes, there’s a technology stuff going on over here. Yes, there’s a TV
⏹️ ▶️ John app, and there’s also the angles of control. We control the store. And there’s all those things that they normally do. But
⏹️ ▶️ John also, A, they have to make good shows. And B, if they make really, really good shows,
⏹️ ▶️ John and a lot of them, it can give them an advantage, which is, you know, a strange, just
⏹️ ▶️ John a strange situation for a technology company to be in. But it’s a fact of life, right?
⏹️ ▶️ John Netflix became Netflix, not because their app is awesome. Hell, they were able to force stupid auto playing,
⏹️ ▶️ John you know, trailers or whatever on us before they finally gave us a preference for that. The reason they were able to annoy us
⏹️ ▶️ John to that degree, uh, and you know, Netflix is not Netflix because of their app. They’re, they’re Netflix these
⏹️ ▶️ John days because of their original content. And That’s what Apple is competing with ultimately in the end. Because
⏹️ ▶️ John for Apple TV Plus to even be a contender, it has to have good enough content. And if it
⏹️ ▶️ John ever wants to get bigger and start taking market share, it has to have better content.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Thanks to our sponsors this week, Squarespace, Eero, and Postmates. and we will talk to you next
⏹️ ▶️ John Now the show is over, they didn’t even mean to begin, Cause
⏹️ ▶️ John it was accidental, oh it was accidental.
⏹️ ▶️ John John didn’t do any research, Marco and Casey wouldn’t let him, Cause
⏹️ ▶️ Casey oh it was accidental. And you
⏹️ ▶️ John can find the show notes at atp.fm And
⏹️ ▶️ John if you’re into Twitter, 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, the anti-Marco Armin
⏹️ ▶️ John S-I-R-A-C-U-S-A Syracuse It’s
⏹️ ▶️ John mean to too accidental accidental Tech Podcasts
⏹️ ▶️ Casey John, do you want to tell me about consoles? Because I’m really excited to hear
⏹️ ▶️ Marco about it. Yeah, this is console follow-up in the after show. Do we have after show follow-up?
⏹️ ▶️ John That’s right. Well, it’s not really follow-up. I guess it is. It’s stuff that I forgot to mention or didn’t know. So
⏹️ ▶️ John last time I talked about the new Xbox and the PlayStation 5, and I hadn’t watched the full Sony presentation,
⏹️ ▶️ John and so now I have. But I did talk about last time that Microsoft had decided
⏹️ ▶️ John against the trends in the industry to lock the clock speed on their
⏹️ ▶️ John system on a chip, essentially, instead of, you know, having a turbo boost or, you know, going, you know, faster and
⏹️ ▶️ John slower clock speed depending on load and all this stuff that modern CPUs do. They had to just stay at a constant
⏹️ ▶️ John clock speed. It’s actually two clock speeds because if you enable symmetric multithreading, it goes slower or faster.
⏹️ ▶️ John I forget which, but anyway, like the point is you’re in a particular mode and it just runs that speed the whole time. No,
⏹️ ▶️ John no varying while it’s running in in whatever mode it’s running in, which is super weird and requires,
⏹️ ▶️ John you know, aggressive cooling, but it makes a very consistent experience. Like that was their pitch. Like we don’t want you to have
⏹️ ▶️ John a console and like if it’s in a place where it can’t get a lot of cooling, your game starts hitching.
⏹️ ▶️ John Sony took a different approach. In some ways, a more traditional approach, their thing does change clock
⏹️ ▶️ John speed, but they spent a while in their presentation talking about how it doesn’t change clock speed based on temperature.
⏹️ ▶️ John I don’t think that, they didn’t do a good job explaining, or at least I didn’t do a good job absorbing why they don’t wanna
⏹️ ▶️ John do it based on temperature. I think the idea was like, well, temperature is one thing, but
⏹️ ▶️ John it can be a false signal maybe, like really, you know, we don’t want it
⏹️ ▶️ John to, like, here’s the thing, this is the reason I’m confused. You don’t want your chip to
⏹️ ▶️ John melt. Like temperature is important. Like in the end, that’s what you’re controlling for. You know, if the thing
⏹️ ▶️ John is in the console under your TV and it’s in a cabinet where it doesn’t have good airflow and
⏹️ ▶️ John you’re playing a game and the clock speed is whatever, 2. something
⏹️ ▶️ John gigahertz, and stuff starts to get so hot, at a certain point, chips stop working. Like there’s
⏹️ ▶️ John a safe temperature for chips operating in, and if they get too hot, they just don’t work anymore. And worst case scenario,
⏹️ ▶️ John you could even damage them, right? So in the end, that’s what you’re controlling for. Heat is the enemy here.
⏹️ ▶️ John But I guess apparently, you can’t get accurate enough or
⏹️ ▶️ John reasonable enough temperature sensing to just have temperature be the
⏹️ ▶️ John only thing that you’re measuring, or if you did, you would end up clocking yourself slower than you technically needed to. So
⏹️ ▶️ John it seems like what they’re looking for is a situation where they run as hot as they possibly
⏹️ ▶️ John can, but not hotter. And they think of the way that they
⏹️ ▶️ John can do that is instead of controlling for temperature, they have sort of assigned
⏹️ ▶️ John cost, sort of heat cost to certain operations, and they have special circuitry to
⏹️ ▶️ John say, if you’re doing this type of operation, it takes this much of the heat budget and this type of operation takes this much
⏹️ ▶️ John of the heat budget and they sort of real time measure what the actual CPU and GPU
⏹️ ▶️ John are doing. And from that come up with a, you know, they try
⏹️ ▶️ John to assemble that all together to come up with a profile of like, how much energy are we
⏹️ ▶️ John using? And then just, they have, you know, sort of a balanced equation that says, we can do this amount of
⏹️ ▶️ John work with, This is the amount of cooling we have. And this is how our cooling relates
⏹️ ▶️ John to our clock speed. And we can do this amount of work with this amount of heat. So they’re trying to, I guess, get closer to that
⏹️ ▶️ John ragged edge. Don’t back off just because this one part’s going to get really
⏹️ ▶️ John hot for a second, because we know based on the workload across the entire system on a chip that you’ll be fine.
⏹️ ▶️ John Because overall, we’re not doing that much work. So a very different strategy from Microsoft,
⏹️ ▶️ John which committed fully to just constant clock speed. Again, two different clock speeds for whether symmetric multithreading
⏹️ ▶️ John is enabled or not. And the PlayStation 5 is saying, we’re gonna be variable, but we’re gonna do variable clock speed better than
⏹️ ▶️ John anyone else has done it. So good luck to Sony. It was a little bit scary. I hope it works
⏹️ ▶️ John out better than my description of it made it sound. And the second weird thing Sony is doing,
⏹️ ▶️ John Sony being Sony, they have this big part of the presentation is still about 3D audio or, you know,
⏹️ ▶️ John I don’t know, audio that sounds more interesting in games, having more different audio sources. This can, you know,
⏹️ ▶️ John I’m fully sold on the idea that this can be more immersive because sound,
⏹️ ▶️ John you don’t appreciate it until you’ve played a really good game with sound, but point sources and
⏹️ ▶️ John sound in games, in first-person shooters and stuff, you wanna hear footsteps of enemies coming, are
⏹️ ▶️ John they behind me, are they to my left, are they to my right, sound can be super important. But there’s a small
⏹️ ▶️ John number of those sound sources and localizing them is difficult. Most, interestingly, most
⏹️ ▶️ John movie-based surround sound things things have only support a
⏹️ ▶️ John small number of sources because movie soundtracks when they’re mastered like you, you know, I say a small
⏹️ ▶️ John number of source, like, you know, they have like seven speakers or whatever around you or whatever it is, eight or nine, you know, there’s a lot of speakers
⏹️ ▶️ John around you, but it’s not the number of speakers that determines the number of sources. The sources are like how many different
⏹️ ▶️ John individual point sources of sound can there be in the scene? And I think the movie ones are like 32 or something.
⏹️ ▶️ John It’s, it’s a big number, but it’s not a huge number. And Sony wants to have a situation
⏹️ ▶️ John where you can have like 5,000 point sources of sound. The example they gave was like if you’re in the middle of a rainstorm
⏹️ ▶️ John and each raindrop was its own sound source with the drop hitting the ground. That’s what it’s like in real life. Each raindrop that hits the ground
⏹️ ▶️ John is its own sound source. Whereas in games today, they just record the sound of the rain and put
⏹️ ▶️ John it in a channel or make it come from all around you or whatever. But that rain sound is like flattened out.
⏹️ ▶️ John So anyway, Sony’s super into the 3D audio. They want to have this new audio engine. audio engine, they have
⏹️ ▶️ John dedicated hardware for it, it’s very powerful, they’ve spent time bragging about it. Marco, you would like this part of the presentation, you should watch
⏹️ ▶️ John it. They talked about ring buffers and all sorts of- I’m a stereo guy. Well,
⏹️ ▶️ John that’s why I think you’ll like this
⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey part of the presentation.
⏹️ ▶️ John First, they talk about hardware that’s tailored for processing sound, which you must be familiar with, like
⏹️ ▶️ John in terms of how is sound processing different than general computing? So
⏹️ ▶️ John they made a compute unit that technically has as much power as like the entire PlayStation 4
⏹️ ▶️ John CPU, but it’s just for sound. And because it’s just for sound, you could remove
⏹️ ▶️ John all the caching and everything because you just want the data to flow through it, right? So it’s very small and purpose-built.
⏹️ ▶️ John Anyway, yeah, so they have a dedicated hardware for the sound and allows them to have these thousands of sound sources
⏹️ ▶️ John and stuff like that. And they’re also focusing on output devices, as you would imagine. And their
⏹️ ▶️ John first output device that they’re focusing on is not a surround sound system or a soundbar or whatever. It is
⏹️ ▶️ John headphones because this system is not about, hey, how can we play sound on a bunch of different speakers?
⏹️ ▶️ John In fact, that makes it more difficult for them. You have two ears and they just want the sound to go into your
⏹️ ▶️ John two ears. They can simulate all these sound sources and figure out the
⏹️ ▶️ John culmination of these sound sources, what sound hits your ears at what time. And
⏹️ ▶️ John that’s their first use case, to make you feel like you’re really there just with headphones, just with stereo
⏹️ ▶️ John sound going directly into your ears. The tricky part about that is how do your
⏹️ ▶️ John ears tell sound is like exactly to my left or a little bit behind me or up or down.
⏹️ ▶️ John All the sort of fine details of where the sound comes from. If you just try to do that with timing
⏹️ ▶️ John or when the sound hits your left ear and your right ear, you can get pretty far with that, but it’s
⏹️ ▶️ John difficult. There is a thing in the world of sound design that Sony
⏹️ ▶️ John talked about a lot in their presentation which is called HRTF, which stands for Head-Related
⏹️ ▶️ John Transfer Function. And it’s basically, what does
⏹️ ▶️ John your head do to the sound that affects how you hear it? And your head being like all
⏹️ ▶️ John of the stuff that’s attached to your body surrounding your eardrum, which senses the sound.
⏹️ ▶️ John In other words, it’s the shape of your head and your ear. And to figure out,
⏹️ ▶️ John every individual person has their own head-related transfer function, which is like when sound comes and it hits your head,
⏹️ ▶️ John how does it bounce off all the little wrinkly weird parts of your ear and stuff and get inside your head to your
⏹️ ▶️ John ear hole, to your eardrum and you hear it. And so what they’re trying to do
⏹️ ▶️ John is come up with a set of head-related transfer functions, kind of like the AirPod exercise. You gotta come up with
⏹️ ▶️ John a thing that fits in everybody’s ear, but it can’t fit in everybody’s ear. So they gotta come up with a set of head-related
⏹️ ▶️ John transfer functions that is representative of most of the population. And you could, they’re thinking of like, Like maybe you could have like a
⏹️ ▶️ John game where you try each one and you try to pinpoint where the sound sounds like it’s coming from and the one
⏹️ ▶️ John that is closest to the real, you know, virtual sound sources, the one that you pick. They even talked about
⏹️ ▶️ John maybe you could take a picture of your ear or a video of your ear and send it out
⏹️ ▶️ John over the network and it would make a custom head-related transfer function for your ear.
⏹️ ▶️ John The way they make the real ones, by the way, they showed this in the video, is they put little sensors way deep in your ears
⏹️ ▶️ John and then they make you sit in a fixed position this giant sound chamber and they play point source
⏹️ ▶️ John sounds from all over the place. And then they record from inside your ear what it sounds like
⏹️ ▶️ John to the inside of your ear. Right. And you know, every different person has their own head related transfer function
⏹️ ▶️ John that’s custom to them. So if they can do a custom one for individual people, like they’re not going to put you in a sound
⏹️ ▶️ John chamber, but if they know the shape of your year, they can sort of use machine learning to simulate the,
⏹️ ▶️ John the heavyweight transfer function. Who knows if they’ll ever do that. I think what they’ll just do is ship with,
⏹️ ▶️ John say, 20 different head-related transfer functions that are representative of a range of human ears, and then have some kind of
⏹️ ▶️ John game-like experience where you pick the one that is closest to your ear. But it’s
⏹️ ▶️ John fascinating. They spent so much time in the presentation on this. It could all come to nothing, but it
⏹️ ▶️ John sounds super cool. I’m all ready to be in a rainstorm where every raindrop has its own sound
⏹️ ▶️ John source, and I’m all ready to be able to hear footsteps of approaching people in a first-person shooter with
⏹️ ▶️ John much more accuracy than I can hear it right now. So I once again recommend all you people look into
⏹️ ▶️ John this. These videos, we’ll link them again. If you’re not interested in consoles, they may sound boring, but check it out. Cool
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah, so first of all, I think there’s two angles of this. I actually, both of these things, I think are actually kind of fascinating.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco So the heat management of the processor thing, I think
⏹️ ▶️ Marco actually based on your explanation, I think I do understand what they’re doing. And it’s actually kind of ingenious. So
⏹️ ▶️ Marco if you just fix the clock speed, like what Microsoft is doing, you lose out on potential performance
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and potential power savings. Because you could, like most
⏹️ ▶️ Marco chips have a little bit of headroom. They can run faster for a short time. So they can do
⏹️ ▶️ Marco certain things faster for short times. And so if Microsoft is not
⏹️ ▶️ Marco allowing that because they can’t sustain that in a predictable way, because
⏹️ ▶️ Marco that’s, you know, the whole goal here is when with the game console, you want extremely predictable performance
⏹️ ▶️ Marco for the developers. That way you can make games that work the exact same way on every Xbox 17
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and every PS5 or whatever, and it’s fine, right? And it’s
⏹️ ▶️ Marco one of the great advantages of working on gaming consoles, that you have predictable hardware, which you don’t have
⏹️ ▶️ Marco in the PC world necessarily. So the way Microsoft is making theirs predictable sounds like they’re just
⏹️ ▶️ Marco fixing the clock speed, so it always runs at this speed period, and the dev kit machines
⏹️ ▶️ Marco that you’re gonna write the games on are going to be running in the exact same speed as all the consumer machines out there.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Well Sony sounds like they’re doing the exact same thing just in a different way, but they’re achieving the same result.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco What you want is predictability, not necessarily constant clock speed.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco So as long as, so if they know that they can boost the CPU up to this rate for this
⏹️ ▶️ Marco operation, up to this many times per millisecond or whatever, they can
⏹️ ▶️ Marco build that into the CPU’s power management unit or whatever. However,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco this is working at the low level. They can have it be like run these heuristics and clock itself
⏹️ ▶️ Marco up and down instead of being based on temperature based on what it’s doing. So it achieves many
⏹️ ▶️ Marco of the benefits of dynamic clock speed, but
⏹️ ▶️ Marco in a predictable, deterministic way so that every single PS five
⏹️ ▶️ Marco will run this at the exact in the exact same way with the same performance characteristics.
⏹️ ▶️ John That’s exactly what they said in the presentation. Yeah, that sounds awesome. Right, so it does, but as I said,
⏹️ ▶️ John you can pretend that that’s true. It’s like, well, this will always be exactly the same because it’s a deterministic state machine. I
⏹️ ▶️ John guess they’ll probably change the profiler, but anyway, it’s deterministic. But the thing that’s your
⏹️ ▶️ John enemy is heat, and heat doesn’t care about the repeatability of your game thing.
⏹️ ▶️ John If your PlayStation 5 is in a really hot spot, and the power thing says, I’m
⏹️ ▶️ John going to do the same thing I did, Same thing I always do based on my estimation of the cost of these operations. I
⏹️ ▶️ John believe we can run at this speed and it may be wrong and you might get too hot and
⏹️ ▶️ John getting your GPU too hot or your CPU too hot can make bad things happen. That’s why
⏹️ ▶️ John people go off temperature because ultimately that’s what you’re trying to control. So I totally get the pitch, right?
⏹️ ▶️ John But it scares me to think that no matter what temperature, I mean, I’m sure there’s some temperature cut off
⏹️ ▶️ John on the top of it, but no matter what environment this chip is in, it is going to do exactly the
⏹️ ▶️ John same thing it did during development, because whatever the fixed profile is for the cost
⏹️ ▶️ John of each operation. And that may not be the appropriate thing to do. Now, you could say it’s the same situation for fixed clock
⏹️ ▶️ John speed, because if it’s fixed clock speed and you put that in a really hot situation, how do you know it’s safe to go at that clock speed?
⏹️ ▶️ John Well, we think our cooling solution can handle it, yada, yada, yada, but you might be wrong. So I suppose in the
⏹️ ▶️ John end, it’s the same trade-off. It just seems to me that what Sony wants is, like you said, to be able to
⏹️ ▶️ John use more of the flight envelope to use aviation terminology. There’s a certain range of
⏹️ ▶️ John operations that are safe at any given time. Can I go a little faster now? Do I have to go a little slower? They
⏹️ ▶️ John wanna fill that envelope from top to bottom. And Microsoft is the more conservative approach of saying we’re gonna draw a straight
⏹️ ▶️ John line, that’s the envelope. We hope our cooling will always keep you under that line, but you’re
⏹️ ▶️ John just gonna be at that speed all the time. But you know, it’s in the end, they’re both trying
⏹️ ▶️ John to do the same thing, but totally different approaches. And honestly, they’re both a little bit scary to me now
⏹️ ▶️ Marco about it. Well, but you know, like I’m sure like neither one of them would reach the point where it would kill itself, right? Like I’m sure,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I’m sure like every chip talk to Xbox owners. Well, well,
⏹️ ▶️ John yeah, yeah. The Red Ring of Death was exactly a heat management
⏹️ ▶️ Marco issue. That’s true. But like, but you know, in general, like, you know, any modern chip from the last
⏹️ ▶️ Marco like 15, 20 years has a thermal shutdown protection built in so that like if it’s running
⏹️ ▶️ Marco above some maximum temperature, usually it’s like, you know, a hundred degrees Celsius, something like that, whatever it is, it has a thermal
⏹️ ▶️ Marco shutdown limit where it will just shut itself down. It will, you know, the machine will crash and it’ll just, that’s it. It’s
⏹️ ▶️ Marco just, it will, it will refuse to fry itself basically. So, but that’s
⏹️ ▶️ Marco different from like usually from the temperatures that it’s going to throttle itself back clock speed wise at. But anyway, I
⏹️ ▶️ Marco think this, this works the same way. It’s just using different metrics. Like in either way, when they’re designing
⏹️ ▶️ Marco a, you know, an enclosure and a system and everything, they are probably have it. They probably have a certain heat budget of,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco you know, how many Watts are we going to dissipate from the cooling solution? So how many watts can the CPU
⏹️ ▶️ Marco put out and remain within the design here? And either
⏹️ ▶️ Marco way, it’s like if we run this at a constant clock speed, we know it’s going to be X watts maximum no matter
⏹️ ▶️ Marco what you do to it. And I think what Sony is talking about sounds like a very similar kind
⏹️ ▶️ Marco of system. Just they know the power cost of everything, so they can know like
⏹️ ▶️ Marco roughly what wattage of heat they are generating. So it doesn’t—I think
⏹️ ▶️ Marco it’s kind of the same. Like you get the same output or rather you have the same you have the same
⏹️ ▶️ Marco design constraint of like you need a cooling solution That that will be able to dissipate
⏹️ ▶️ Marco X watts of heat in most conditions to keep the temperature under y all right, like that’s
⏹️ ▶️ Marco that’s the design no matter in either case and if the Sony chips power
⏹️ ▶️ Marco management stuff is intelligent enough to not rely on Measuring the temperature and they just be like look
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I know that if I do this sequence of operations, I will generate
⏹️ ▶️ Marco this many watts of heat output. And that’s kind of cool. It’s a very clever way to do it.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco And in a situation like this where predictability of performance is more important than
⏹️ ▶️ Marco either eking out every last 5% of performance at the top end,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco or having a certain ideal temperature that you always stay at, that actually makes a lot of sense.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco It’s kind of clever.
⏹️ ▶️ John One other factor to throw in here, this is not the part of the presentation that Sony wanted to emphasize, but Sony
⏹️ ▶️ John has way fewer GPU cores than the Xbox. They’re both using AMD parts, they’re both using very
⏹️ ▶️ John similar, if not exactly the same, CPU and GPU cores with minor tweaks,
⏹️ ▶️ John but Sony has, I forget what the numbers are, but it’s like they have 30 something and the Xbox has like 50
⏹️ ▶️ John something. So it’s interesting that the machine with just more to cool and
⏹️ ▶️ John nearly double the number of GPU cores is the one using the fixed clock speed. We haven’t seen what the PlayStation 5
⏹️ ▶️ John looks like. The Xbox cooling solution is no joke. It is a really big heatsink with
⏹️ ▶️ John a humongous fan in it. So, you know, the PlayStation 5
⏹️ ▶️ John seems like with this variable thing that they could get away with a console that has a
⏹️ ▶️ John less gargantuan cooling solution. But we’ll see. I don’t think anyone knows what that machine looks like yet.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco So moving on to the audio thing. I haven’t watched this presentation yet, but
⏹️ ▶️ Marco there’s a lot of overlap here with binaural audio. This is something that’s existed for
⏹️ ▶️ Marco a very long time, decades. I think people discovered binaural audio like in the 70s or 60s, like it’s been
⏹️ ▶️ Marco around for a long time. But the idea is, as you mentioned, we have two ears,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco but we hear in 3D. How can this be when stereo sound is allegedly only two-dimensional?
⏹️ ▶️ Marco And the answer is very complicated. And the idea is like
⏹️ ▶️ Marco our ears are shaped in a certain way. The sound travels through them in a certain
⏹️ ▶️ Marco way. Our head has this volume in space that affects sound that we hear in certain ways.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco It’s all very complicated. And, but if you place
⏹️ ▶️ Marco two microphones in a space, like suppose you want to record a concert hall.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco You put two microphones next to each other about a head’s width apart. and
⏹️ ▶️ Marco you play that back on headphones or even on regular speakers, it’ll sound roughly like there’s an orchestra playing
⏹️ ▶️ Marco in front of you. It’s not gonna be incredibly precise, but it’ll sound great. It’ll sound, you know, approximately
⏹️ ▶️ Marco realistic, but it’s not gonna be super precise 3D sound. But
⏹️ ▶️ Marco if you have microphones that basically are in simulated
⏹️ ▶️ Marco or real ears on the sides of a simulated or real head
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and that have like the shape of the ear around it. Like, cause you know, like obviously part
⏹️ ▶️ Marco of your ear is outside of your head. That, the whole shape of your ear affects the shape of the sound
⏹️ ▶️ Marco waves coming in and it alters the sound. So if you can have
⏹️ ▶️ Marco a very like human ear and human head like recording device,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco you can record binaural audio, which is a, it’s a style of recording that like
⏹️ ▶️ Marco the two microphones are in these ears. And the idea is then if
⏹️ ▶️ Marco you play it back with headphones that are in basically the same spot in your ears,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco relaying basically the same sound that hit them, which was partially altered by the head
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and ears around the recording microphones, then it will sound much more precisely 3D.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco And this is a wonderful thing. If you just go to YouTube or wherever, search for binaural
⏹️ ▶️ Marco audio, and you’ll find tons of recordings of binaural things. If you’ve never
⏹️ ▶️ Marco experienced this effect, it’s quite something. Like it’s kind of mind blowing
⏹️ ▶️ Marco how incredibly 3D and realistic audio can be when it’s recorded
⏹️ ▶️ Marco in this way. Now the way this is usually recorded is either that you can actually
⏹️ ▶️ Marco buy a fake head with fake ears that have microphones in it. They’re extremely expensive.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I think they start at like $800. Like they’re very expensive.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco And this is actually, the market for these is actually increasing now with VR. There’s like 3D microphones for VR stuff. But anyway,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco you can buy like a whole fake head or you can do what I did to play around with this for
⏹️ ▶️ Marco like less than a hundred bucks. You can get what look basically like
⏹️ ▶️ Marco earbuds, but, and they are earbuds, but on the outside
⏹️ ▶️ Marco of each one is a microphone facing out. And on the inside is headphones, earbuds facing in.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco And these are inexpensive, because they’re basically just earbuds plus microphones, so they’re inexpensive. And they
⏹️ ▶️ Marco use your own head to make your own head transfer function, because you’re just having earbuds in
⏹️ ▶️ Marco your ears. And so you can, for not that much money, experiment with this, where you can basically
⏹️ ▶️ Marco record yourself in a room or walking
⏹️ ▶️ Marco through the world or whatever, record exactly the way your ears inside your head
⏹️ ▶️ Marco are receiving the sound with those microphones that are on the outside of the earbuds. And then you play it back,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco wearing those same earbuds or pretty much any other headphones, but especially when you wear the same earbuds, and it sounds
⏹️ ▶️ Marco remarkable. Like you can’t believe how much it feels like you are actually there
⏹️ ▶️ Marco again. It’s spooky how accurate it is.
⏹️ ▶️ John It’s really cool. So Sony’s things were way inside your ears because the earbuds necessarily
⏹️ ▶️ John have to be like out of your ears. So they’re catching the sound in your ear, right? Yeah, so the
⏹️ ▶️ John Sony ones, if you look at the video, like these little little wires going into the poor person’s ear canal. Right.
⏹️ ▶️ John So that’s what they’re using to build their standard set of 20 head related transfer functions.
⏹️ ▶️ John But yeah, you won’t have one custom for yourself once you go into that Sony chamber. But like, I think
⏹️ ▶️ John it’s games are an interesting scenario. And you mentioned VR. It’s similar where like the positioning is the most
⏹️ ▶️ John important part. Like people aren’t really cared about the, you know, the fidelity
⏹️ ▶️ John of the footstep sounds you hear. You want to know exactly where the footsteps are coming from, or even just like environmental,
⏹️ ▶️ John you know, stuff where like rain is falling on cobblestones, car tire going across pavement versus
⏹️ ▶️ John going across wood, someone crunching on gravel, like are the walls
⏹️ ▶️ John made of wood, are they made of metal, how high is the ceiling in this room? Those type of
⏹️ ▶️ John things. This is all about like the, you know, both how the sound gets into your ears, where it’s coming from, but also how
⏹️ ▶️ John does the sound bounce around? That’s why they have this dedicated audio engine to have 5,000 sound sources. So
⏹️ ▶️ John if you get, if you’re in an environment and something happens, not only does it happen in a particular
⏹️ ▶️ John place, but the room affects how it sounds. Games have had this forever, like even go back to like Mario 64
⏹️ ▶️ John or probably earlier, like, or think of any driving game where when you go through a tunnel and they change the audio, like they just
⏹️ ▶️ John put some filter on the audio so it sounds different when you’re in a
⏹️ ▶️ Marco tunnel. Yeah, some reverb filter.
⏹️ ▶️ John Yeah, we’re at the stage now where instead of just having a filter when you go through a tunnel, like
⏹️ ▶️ John every sound source will be affected by the surrounding geometry in the game at all times,
⏹️ ▶️ John right? And so the tunnel, you don’t have to write any special code for the tunnel. You just make a tunnel and you drive through it and you get the sound.
⏹️ ▶️ John And so like this part of the presentation, it’s hard to do a presentation about sound
⏹️ ▶️ John because people just want to see graphics or want to hear you talk about graphics. But I honestly think that if this stuff works
⏹️ ▶️ John and developers actually use it, it could be, and this is certainly what Sony hopes,
⏹️ ▶️ John as big a differentiator for the Sony platform as graphics have been in the past and Sony better
⏹️ ▶️ John help. That’s the case because their graphic power is significantly less than the Xbox.
⏹️ ▶️ John Marco’s going to buy a PS5 just so we can hear this audio and so we can he can play the head related transfer function game.
⏹️ ▶️ John Pick the one that matches his
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I just think I had such an amazing sound experience with what’s the
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Mario game for the switch Odyssey. That’s it. Yeah. I kept thinking galaxy. That was wrong. Yeah.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Mario Odyssey has amazing sound. And that’s without doing any of this fancy stuff. Right, like that’s
⏹️ ▶️ Marco just doing the old way of like just programming it so that, oh, when you go into the 8-bit mode, it plays the 8-bit sound. When
⏹️ ▶️ Marco you go underwater, it muffles the other sound. It’s like, it’s just doing the old way, but man, that is such
⏹️ ▶️ John for sound. Yeah, having this technology is good because Nintendo can afford to do that, the old,
⏹️ ▶️ John the manual way essentially, because they have a lot of money and this game’s gonna sell a million copies. But if you got like basically
⏹️ ▶️ John for free by just placing sound sources and defining the materials, you’ve got that,
⏹️ ▶️ John you know, without having to hire armies of people to manually set up all your sound, that’s hopefully
⏹️ ▶️ John will make every game have better sound, not just the ones that can afford to manually
⏹️ ▶️ John mess with sound in every possible environment and record 500 different footsteps, depending on whether you’re
⏹️ ▶️ John walking on these different materials,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco you know? Right, like it’s almost like back in the days, like when 3D was just getting started, like
⏹️ ▶️ Marco if you wanted to make a 3D game, you generally had to write your own 3D renderer, right? And then eventually,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco as technology got better, and the APIs got better, and the hardware got better, you could then eventually just say,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco all right, just put a triangle at this geometry and put the camera at this geometry and you figure out how to make that happen.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco And then of course, eventually now, nobody writes their own engine anymore. But the point stands, there hasn’t been
⏹️ ▶️ Marco things like that for audio that were very advanced. And so this sounds like a way to do that, which sounds very exciting.
⏹️ ▶️ John And the differentiator, I think, what Sony hopes is like, Xbox can’t do this because if you try to do this sound processing
⏹️ ▶️ John on a general purpose CPU, you will use all your CPU power. Like I said, their brag was their audio engine
⏹️ ▶️ John on the PS5. You’d have to absorb every compute resource on the PS4 to
⏹️ ▶️ John match it because it is a purpose-built sound processing engine. That’s all it does. And I don’t
⏹️ ▶️ John think the hardware exists at all on Xbox. So Xbox can’t really compete with this because they can’t spare
⏹️ ▶️ John the cycles to dedicate to audio if they don’t have dedicated hardware for it.