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

442: Bob’s Barbecue

Music apps, new Mac Pro GPUs, NSO and Apple’s bug-bounty program, and how Apple knows you attended a concert.

Episode Description:

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


  1. Phish is back! 🎉🎶🎸 🖼️
  2. SongShift, other music apps
  3. How Apple detects concerts
  4. Google Photos update
  5. Photo-editing update
  6. Sponsor: Linode
  7. New Mac Pro GPUs available
  8. Sponsor: Made In
  9. NSO, Apple’s bug bounties
  10. Sponsor: Squarespace (code ATP)
  11. #askatp: E-readers, Kindle updates
  12. #askatp: VNC for Macs
  13. #askatp: Apple owning fabs
  14. Ending theme
  15. After-show • 🖼️

Phish is back! 🎉🎶🎸

Chapter Phish is back! 🎉🎶🎸 image.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I’m so happy Fish is back. It’s it changed everything. Now I finally have new music again for the first time

⏹️ ▶️ Marco in two and a half or one and a half years.

⏹️ ▶️ John So happy. Well new new in quotes

⏹️ ▶️ Casey There are other artists that exist, you know, that is the thing

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah, but there hasn’t been a lot of new music this past year from anybody really I mean, there’s been some here and there but

⏹️ ▶️ John Taylor Swift did two new albums during COVID, didn’t she? That’s true.

⏹️ ▶️ John Something like

⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey that.

⏹️ ▶️ John That’s not even counting re-recording existing songs.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Oh, that counts, but my jam band

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, John doesn’t count? No, I’m

⏹️ ▶️ John saying that’s not even counting. She did two complete new albums of new songs, plus also

⏹️ ▶️ John re-recorded a bunch of old stuff, I think.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Just today I was going through my beloved Spotify playlists, which we’ll be talking about a little bit later,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey and I noticed Days of the New, which most people probably don’t recognize, but you’ve heard, especially if you’re in

⏹️ ▶️ Casey like late 90s, early 2000s, into rock of that era. You’ve heard some of their stuff.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Basically, Days of the New is Travis Meeks, I believe the guy’s name is, and he’s

⏹️ ▶️ Casey had really, truly awful, terrible substance abuse problems his entire life. And I thought Days of

⏹️ ▶️ Casey the New, which again, is basically just him, had basically folded on account of him not being physically or mentally capable

⏹️ ▶️ Casey of performing music anymore because he was in such a bad spot. Well, apparently an album just dropped today,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey and I listened to about half of it, and I really liked it. Days of New Two, I believe, was the one that

⏹️ ▶️ Casey imprinted on me in college. I don’t know if you guys had this experience, but it was an album I never expected to listen to or like,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey for that matter, and I still listen to it every great once in a while. This is like acoustic grunge, I think

⏹️ ▶️ Casey is how it’s classified. It’s very peculiar, but I really, really like it. So yeah, New Day’s a new album I was

⏹️ ▶️ Casey excited about. Now, Marco, do you run out of fish? Don’t you have about 800 hours

⏹️ ▶️ Casey of fish in your computer? Do you run out at some point? What happens?

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I have 53.7 days currently.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco But you know, there’s some I listen to more than others. And you know, some shows aren’t that

⏹️ ▶️ Marco noteworthy, and some shows are really good. And some performances of certain songs I like better than others. I

⏹️ ▶️ Marco have a whole star rating system.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, Casey Well, sure, sure.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco And so, you know, but it’s still nice to have new shows.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Yeah, no, I mean, it’s not unfair, of course. Any new music, especially from someone you enjoy, is probably going to

⏹️ ▶️ Casey be good music. I don’t begrudge you that. It’s just funny that you’re this excited about new music when

⏹️ ▶️ Casey you have 56 days. What is that, like 1 1⁄8 of a quarantine that you can not listen to anything? With

⏹️ ▶️ Casey no repeats over 1 1⁄8 of a quarantine or whatever that may be. Yeah,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco well, and there’s different, there’s new songs. Like, you know, they, despite what John thinks, they also

⏹️ ▶️ Marco write new songs and add them into the repertoire. And so- How can you tell? How can you tell? So

⏹️ ▶️ Marco a lot of the newer songs, you know, you might only have a small number of performances your

⏹️ ▶️ Marco collection so far. And they evolve over time. And so, you know, it’s you want new stuff.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Plus, I just I like that the band is back together and they’re making new music and they’re super happy and

⏹️ ▶️ Marco the music’s getting pretty good pretty fast. So yeah, I’m very happy here.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey You know, it’s funny. I see that Dave Mattheis is touring again, which I know Marco’s super excited about. And

⏹️ ▶️ Casey obviously, Phish is touring again. And a lot of other artists are touring, which in and of itself seems

⏹️ ▶️ Casey great. You know, I love live music. I love going to see live music, which I haven’t been able to do, even COVID notwithstanding,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey in a few years now because our kids were so small, it was hard to just pawn them off on someone. But

⏹️ ▶️ Casey it seems like with everything that’s going on these days, I don’t know how long all this is going to continue because

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Delta’s really running rampant here. And have we mentioned, if you’re an American, please get your shot? Please, please

⏹️ ▶️ Casey don’t throw away your shot. Anyway, I’m very curious to see if like Dave and Fish and all these other artists are

⏹️ ▶️ Casey going to keep this up for much more than another month or two?

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah, I don’t know. I mean, I think either most or all

⏹️ ▶️ Marco of Fish’s tour is outdoors. Certainly, I think all the venues

⏹️ ▶️ Marco that I have looked up have been outdoors, so I think at least most of the concert or most of the tour is.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco So that probably helps a little bit. But at this point, I wouldn’t make any assumptions

⏹️ ▶️ Marco about the future of COVID and shutdowns and quarantines and everything.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco We can barely see a few weeks out at this point. point. It seems like the one lesson we know from all

⏹️ ▶️ Marco this is don’t assume that, oh, in X days or months,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco things will be back to normal. Things will be fine. You can’t make that assumption very far ahead

⏹️ ▶️ Marco into the future.

SongShift, other music apps

⏹️ ▶️ Casey We got a lot of people writing to help me out with my request

⏹️ ▶️ Casey to get Spotify’s genuinely tremendous playlists into

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Apple Music, because I’m trying to force myself to migrate to Apple Music. It’s not going well.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey And Andrew Bement was one of the first, if not the first, to mention, and many, many, many people did.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Andrew writes, I use Apple Music daily, but Spotify still beats Apple hands down in regards to the playlists that they curate and provide

⏹️ ▶️ Casey for users. I use the app SongShift to move all of the information over from Spotify. Pretty

⏹️ ▶️ Casey solid app, frequently updated, and I’ve been using it for about a year and a half. It’s a bit fiddly to get set up, but once it is, it’s set and

⏹️ ▶️ Casey forget. So many, many, many people suggested SongShift. I have tried it. I’ve moved a couple

⏹️ ▶️ Casey of playlists over. It is slightly fiddly, but I don’t really think it’s too bad at all.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey It’s got the Casey stamp of approval. It’s pretty good. So check that out. Cool. Moving right

⏹️ ▶️ Casey along, Mark Barrowclift writes, the iOS third-party music player market has never been stronger. It

⏹️ ▶️ Casey may be that dynamic, diverse ecosystem you’ve been missing. Also, many offer Apple Music and or Spotify integration.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Shameless plug for my annual iOS Music Player Showcase. And so, Mark has

⏹️ ▶️ Casey a blog post, which we will link in the show notes, that discusses all these different third-party music players. I did look at the blog

⏹️ ▶️ Casey post. There was nothing that jumped out at me as like, ooh, that’s the one for me.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey But I’m going to probably over time, if I ever get spare time, start looking through this and trying some of these

⏹️ ▶️ Casey out.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey, John So I

⏹️ ▶️ John forgot to mention last week that I have one of the popular third party music players install I’ve

⏹️ ▶️ John tried a bunch of them. It’s weird with third party players where like you want them to be different than the Apple one because otherwise

⏹️ ▶️ John like why bother having a third party app is just going to look like the Apple one. But then in every

⏹️ ▶️ John way that they’re different than the Apple and you’re like, oh, this is kind of weird. That’s less true with Apple music kind of, you

⏹️ ▶️ John know, invading the Apple app because now I see ways that are these third party apps are different that I like

⏹️ ▶️ John better. But it’s cool to check them out. Unfortunately, some of the stuff we talked about last

⏹️ ▶️ John week, it can’t be fixed by these third-party apps because they are just apps. So if your

⏹️ ▶️ John thing is like, oh, I don’t know why this song takes a long time to play or says it’s not authorized, the apps can’t fix that. That’s

⏹️ ▶️ John the service behind the scenes, right? And if Apple’s app is experiencing those errors, surely third-party

⏹️ ▶️ John ones will be as well. But if you just want a different interface or a different way of looking at music,

⏹️ ▶️ John this is, you know, it’s worth checking a couple out. I think the one I have is called Marvis or something.

⏹️ ▶️ John Another popular one is called the albums, which is like diverging even more and saying like, what if you just want

⏹️ ▶️ John to listen to whole albums? What if we made an app centered around that UI? Yeah,

⏹️ ▶️ John that’s there’s, I think that’s probably the more fruitful avenue. If you just try to say, I’m going to make a full featured

⏹️ ▶️ John app that tries to aim for exactly the same customer base as Apple, but it’ll be

⏹️ ▶️ John different. That’s difficult. But for something like albums, or at least that seems like a more like straightforward vision

⏹️ ▶️ John of like, I’m going going to make a different kind of app and it’s only going to appeal to a certain kind of customer, but that certain customer

⏹️ ▶️ John is really gonna like it. So anyway, check out the showcase and try out a few of these apps.

⏹️ ▶️ John People, you know, I know, especially young people don’t like to pay for software or whatever, but when

⏹️ ▶️ John I see one of these showcase things, like they’re like five bucks each half the time, or at least they used

⏹️ ▶️ John to be back in the day. Who knows where they are now, but like, or even if they’re a subscription and it’s like 3.99 a month or something,

⏹️ ▶️ John just subscribe and then cancel, right? Like you can essentially get all the apps for

⏹️ ▶️ John less than the price of a decent meal and then just try them all. And yeah, maybe you don’t

⏹️ ▶️ John like any of them. It’s like, oh, well, that was a fun $25 weekend activity that I did for my, I mean, it depends

⏹️ ▶️ John on your definition of fun, but I find it fun. Just buy a bunch of apps and try them out. And you know,

⏹️ ▶️ John like now that everything is subscription, you know, now that so many apps are subscription instead of purchase,

⏹️ ▶️ John it doesn’t mean you can’t play the same game. Just buy and cancel. Like for the most part, that works really well. and you don’t

⏹️ ▶️ John have to, you can just, most of them you can just subscribe and then immediately cancel, or you can subscribe,

⏹️ ▶️ John subscribe, subscribe, try all the apps, decide you don’t like them all, and then go cancel, cancel, cancel.

⏹️ ▶️ John So

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco anyway,

⏹️ ▶️ John try that out, and I hope these apps are successful because I wouldn’t want Apple to,

⏹️ ▶️ John well, not that this will help, but I was gonna say, I wouldn’t want Apple to stop allowing third-party music players,

⏹️ ▶️ John but it really doesn’t matter how many people buy these apps. If Apple decides to do that, they’re gonna do it, which is kind of crappy, but

⏹️ ▶️ John anyway, I guess the advice then is get them while you can.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Something like that. Also, I’m thinking of it, some people did point out some of the places that Apple has

⏹️ ▶️ Casey roughly analogous playlists to Discover Weekly and Release Radar. And

⏹️ ▶️ Casey at this point, I’m not impressed by them, but it’s also unfair to Apple Music because I don’t have literally a decade worth of

⏹️ ▶️ Casey listening, you know, data that I’ve pumped into Apple Music. And then that got me thinking, like one of the

⏹️ ▶️ Casey things that I’m gonna miss about Spotify if I do successfully divorce myself of it, which I don’t think I will, is

⏹️ ▶️ Casey over the years, I’ve put in a bunch of metadata about what I enjoy. And I don’t know, I don’t even necessarily

⏹️ ▶️ Casey mean like listen counts and things of that nature, but when I follow an artist, because I want to be

⏹️ ▶️ Casey notified that they have new music, like there’s a lot of, of bands or artists or what have you that

⏹️ ▶️ Casey maybe I don’t obsess over them, like the way Marco does Fish or I used to do with Mute Math or, you

⏹️ ▶️ Casey know, still sort of do with Dave. Um, but I really enjoy their work. Like Emancipator is a great example of this.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey And I, I have all of these probably hundreds of artists that I’ve

⏹️ ▶️ Casey followed or liked or what have you in Spotify, which is a hint to Spotify of what it is that I really enjoy.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey And maybe there’s a way to move that data over, but if so, I’m not aware of it. And it would

⏹️ ▶️ Casey be really kind of a bummer to miss out on that. Like playlists are kind of the biggest

⏹️ ▶️ Casey thing and it, at least the, the non, um,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey weekly playlists, the ones that I curated myself, obviously those are easy to move over with Song Shift. I could continue

⏹️ ▶️ Casey to move, you know, the weekly and release, the Discover Weekly and Release Radar playlist using Song

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Shift. But the thing is, if I’m not using Spotify anymore, I’m not really giving them any more data to go on. So presumably those playlists

⏹️ ▶️ Casey are going to get crummier over time. So I don’t know. I don’t know what I’m going to do. I’m still trying to force

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Apple Music on myself. But I think it was Marco last week that said basically, why are you forcing this? Just do

⏹️ ▶️ Casey what you like. And that’s probably the conclusion that I’m going to end up at. But I really, I want to give it a try just to

⏹️ ▶️ Casey see. Because again, I have a lot of momentum on Spotify and maybe something will click and I’ll see the

⏹️ ▶️ Casey matrix for what it is and then I’ll never look back. But smart money says Marco’s right.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Well, and you know, like what I was saying last week about like, you know, use what you like because you’re like,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco don’t consider this, that the service that you’re getting as part of a bundle, an obligation

⏹️ ▶️ Marco that you have to then use this, you know, instead of this Spotify service you like. Because

⏹️ ▶️ Marco really all those things you just said about like, you know, the history you have with Spotify and everything, all the recommendations

⏹️ ▶️ Marco and the stats and everything. That’s all huge. One of the reasons

⏹️ ▶️ Marco why I am still so tied to Apple Music myself is that I have all those stats and history

⏹️ ▶️ Marco and stuff on that side. And Spotify has almost no idea what I like because

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I don’t use it much and I don’t have my whole collection in there and everything and so Spotify, like to

⏹️ ▶️ Marco have Spotify recommend stuff to me, it’s basically shooting in the dark. and I have

⏹️ ▶️ Marco play count history in Apple Music slash iTunes. I have last

⏹️ ▶️ Marco played dates. That all matters, and that factors into what I choose to play next.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I have star ratings. I have this huge amount of data and stuff in there.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco And I don’t know if any tools would sync that back and forth between the two services.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, Casey But

⏹️ ▶️ Casey either

⏹️ ▶️ Casey, Marco way, that all has

⏹️ ▶️ Marco value to me. And so

⏹️ ▶️ Marco to test out other services and everything that would lose that, I think would be a problem. And as for the third-party

⏹️ ▶️ Marco apps, I was aware that there are third-party apps. I’ve tried some, like for Apple Music,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I’ve tried some before here and there. I’ve done a similar thing as John was saying of like

⏹️ ▶️ Marco just buy like three or four of the top rated apps and just test them out and see what you like. But none of

⏹️ ▶️ Marco them really have fit me well. I can, and I can see on almost all of them

⏹️ ▶️ Marco that are like well-known, I can see why people like them. Like, it isn’t that they’re bad apps.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco They just don’t fit me very well. And it’s a shame because ultimately, what I’m probably

⏹️ ▶️ Marco going to do is just use Apple Music slash iTunes until I

⏹️ ▶️ Marco can’t stand it anymore or until it goes away or changes in some major way that breaks what

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I need from it. Like for instance, like if it went Apple Music only and there was no more concept of your own library,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco that would hurt me deeply. So you know, eventually

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I’ll probably just make my own. Like at some point, like once podcasting as a fad has passed

⏹️ ▶️ Marco and my podcasting business goes away and I have no idea what to make for an app, I will probably make the

⏹️ ▶️ Marco app that nobody wants to use, except me, which is a music player that

⏹️ ▶️ Marco just plays files that you just upload. Like you have some cloud storage somewhere

⏹️ ▶️ Marco and you put files into it and it plays them. I basically want

⏹️ ▶️ Marco like Winamp for 2021. Like just that’s or like iTunes, like what iTunes used

⏹️ ▶️ Marco to be. Like that’s what I want. No one else wants that now because no one else wants to buy

⏹️ ▶️ Marco or acquire DRM free MP3s in their own ways. Like

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I don’t even know in five years from now who’s even gonna be still selling MP3s.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Like right now you can still buy music downloads from a few places, but

⏹️ ▶️ Marco they’re falling out fast. Like, and I can’t imagine those are still gonna be a thing in 10 years,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco but maybe not even five years. So the idea of an app that just plays music files

⏹️ ▶️ Marco that you somehow like legally acquire, or illegally, I don’t really care, but

⏹️ ▶️ Marco you know, I would try to do things legally as much as I could. But like the idea of an app that just plays files,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco nobody wants that except me. So someday that’ll be my like retirement

⏹️ ▶️ Marco labor love but I haven’t gotten there yet.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey You know I keep forgetting just because I don’t ever use it this way but Plex will absolutely

⏹️ ▶️ Casey do this. Oh God of course. Of course it will. I’m not I am not I

⏹️ ▶️ Casey love Plex everyone knows I love Plex. I am not passing any sort of endorsement on their music stuff. I’ve

⏹️ ▶️ Casey heard it’s good but I never use it because I’m not interested in it. I’d rather just stream from you know Apple Music

⏹️ ▶️ Casey or Spotify or whatever. But if you were wanting to you know deal with Plex which for

⏹️ ▶️ Casey me is a pleasure but for many as a pain, that is one solution to your problem.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I think we need some kind of sound effect for whenever Casey mentions either Plex or Synology. Or FFmpeg.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, Casey Yeah,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco maybe we can get a Synology Viberslap or something. I don’t know. Plex Guiro.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, John It

⏹️ ▶️ John was the chatroom that prompted him to do that. Would you have remembered Plex if the chatroom hadn’t mentioned it?

⏹️ ▶️ Casey No, I didn’t think of it until Nnn said something. And then I was like, oh yeah, you’re right. Because again, I just don’t think of Plex as a

⏹️ ▶️ Casey music platform. It absolutely is. It absolutely will do it. with pictures. They even have cloud storage

⏹️ ▶️ Casey now, right? Uh, you know, they did for a while. I don’t think that’s true anymore. Um, but again, you know, like Plex will

⏹️ ▶️ Casey do pictures. They’ll do, they have their own like Google photos knockoff. Um, oh, I have some follow up about that. It just reminded

⏹️ ▶️ Casey me, but anyways, they have their own Google photos knockoff. Uh, I tried it briefly. It was okay.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Um, but yeah, I think a Plex is purely for video, which again is not the case,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey but that’s my mental model of Plex. So yeah, had not said something in the chat, I wouldn’t have thought of it.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I

⏹️ ▶️ Marco mean, this is like, like part of Part of the annoying thing about modern platform

⏹️ ▶️ Marco companies and everything is that there are so many companies and platforms that try

⏹️ ▶️ Marco to make their own everything. Like you have between Apple, Google,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Facebook, Amazon, and then these smaller players like Dropbox

⏹️ ▶️ Marco or Synology or Plex, like everybody has their own photo app and cloud storage

⏹️ ▶️ Marco syncing folder and music app and video manager. Like everyone has all of these things

⏹️ ▶️ Marco and most of them are just either, they’re either terrible or they’re at best mediocre.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco And I can’t imagine the amount of time that’s been wasted by all these companies making

⏹️ ▶️ Marco so many different things, trying to be everything to everyone all the time. But certainly

⏹️ ▶️ Marco music library playback is one of those things that like, there’s 15 different companies,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco like large to medium sized tech companies that try to make you put all

⏹️ ▶️ Marco your stuff in their system and I don’t think any of them work very well, except honestly, Apple’s.

⏹️ ▶️ John I wouldn’t lump Plex into that. Plex’s whole thing is that they’re a media player and it makes perfect sense. Like they’re not trying

⏹️ ▶️ John to do everything under the sun. They’re just saying we have a media library where we keep your media in the form

⏹️ ▶️ John of files, then we keep metadata about them and then we have various ways for you to get at it across the internet. Music

⏹️ ▶️ John and photos totally fit into that. It’s a little bit more of a stretch for Synology because they’re a storage vendor and it’s like, well, we’re storing your stuff,

⏹️ ▶️ John Maybe we can make apps, but not that big of a stretch. But they’re not trying to, I don’t

⏹️ ▶️ John know, start a, what do you call this? I can’t even remember the word for the

⏹️ ▶️ John thing I’m trying to think of, the social network. There you go. They’re not trying to become the next Facebook

⏹️ ▶️ John and they’re not trying to sell you books over the internet like Amazon and not trying to become a cloud provider.

⏹️ ▶️ John But yeah, I mean, I’m glad there’s alternatives because competition, we want to keep these people honest.

⏹️ ▶️ John But I wouldn’t specifically lump Plex and Synology to the group of people who want to do everything,

⏹️ ▶️ John which does include Amazon, Facebook, Apple, and those big companies. And on the topic of recommendations

⏹️ ▶️ John for music stuff, yeah, it’s a shame when you have your history of use someplace else and

⏹️ ▶️ John it’s probably not in these companies’ best interest to allow you to export that data to

⏹️ ▶️ John a competitor’s app because they don’t want you to switch, I guess. But

⏹️ ▶️ John I always get a sneaking suspicion that it actually doesn’t take that much data for for them to get your

⏹️ ▶️ John number, because we’re all kind of much more basic than we think we are. So probably like one afternoon

⏹️ ▶️ John of listening and your recommendations aren’t going to improve that much more over the next 10 years of

⏹️ ▶️ John listening habits, because I don’t think the algorithms they use for recommendations are really tuned

⏹️ ▶️ John to do sort of deep analysis of like, well, listen to lots of fish, but he hasn’t listened to this

⏹️ ▶️ John year’s concert recently. Other people

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco who haven’t listened to this

⏹️ ▶️ John year’s concert in the last year, it’s like, no, Fish is just like one giant word,

⏹️ ▶️ John you know, like the word cloud. That’s probably all they need to know about you to narrow you down to like 90% accuracy.

⏹️ ▶️ John And then after that, you listen to three more songs and that’s as accurate as that room’s ever gonna get. Then you just oscillate around that point

⏹️ ▶️ John forever.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Did you mean Dave Matthews Band? No!

⏹️ ▶️ John And if you give the thumbs down to Dave Matthews, now you’re like at 95%. Likes fish, doesn’t like Dave Matthews. We

⏹️ ▶️ John pretty much know who you are at this point. Listen to one more song.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey At that point, all advertising is sold as, Would you like to advertise to Marco Arment? Here’s

⏹️ ▶️ Casey the guy who loves fish more than anything else in the world and hates Dave Matthews. It’s him. He’s the one.

How Apple detects concerts

⏹️ ▶️ Casey All right, let’s talk about photos. So I’ve been continuing to play with Apple

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Photos or iCloud Photo Library and things are mostly good. I had a couple of bumps here and there, but nothing that interesting.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey But a lot of people had some feedback, some of which I should have thought about, and some of which I think was

⏹️ ▶️ Casey maybe not as smart as they thought it was with regard to how did the Dave Matthews and Mute Math concerts

⏹️ ▶️ Casey get added as an album where Apple Photos stated, this

⏹️ ▶️ Casey is the night scene Dave Matthews band or whatever it was, or the Mute Math concert. And a lot of people were like,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey hey, dummy, of course, they, you know, Apple Photos, I keep trying to say they, of course,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Apple Photos knew that that was, you know, the Dave Matthews concert because it’s in your calendar.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Well, yes, that is true, but remember that these events, these calendar events were like literally

⏹️ ▶️ Casey three or four years ago. And if I go spelunking into my calendar on iOS,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey they have long since fallen off my device.

⏹️ ▶️ John Is that a thing that happens? Do events fall off your device?

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Maybe I’m wrong, but I

⏹️ ▶️ Marco thought so. The calendar events do. Calendar events only, on the

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Mac they stay, I think, forever, but on iOS devices, by default, they only sync

⏹️ ▶️ Marco back a certain amount of time into the past. You can change that, though.

⏹️ ▶️ John Well, so even if they’re not displaying within the app, if they’re showing up on the Mac, that means they’re probably

⏹️ ▶️ John in iCloud storage, which means that if the memories thing wanted

⏹️ ▶️ John to look that info up, they could get it. But I’ll let Casey continue because all because all these theory, a lot of people

⏹️ ▶️ John had theories that are essentially this is the way Google would do it. Right, exactly. They’re either right, the Google will

⏹️ ▶️ John do it that way. And be they’re also right that it would work. But see, that’s not the way Apple’s doing it, which Casey will get to in a second,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey right. So you know, first of all, you’re assuming I’m using iCloud for calendaring. I’m actually not I’m using Google

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Apps for calendaring. And yes, they these events surely exist on Google,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey you know, on Google servers. And yes, strictly speaking, the device could go crawling

⏹️ ▶️ Casey back years and years and years in order to ask Google for that data. But that’s not Apple style is exactly what you’re

⏹️ ▶️ Casey alluding to, John. Apple style is to do all this on device. And if you can’t figure it out on device, then, oh, there’s

⏹️ ▶️ Casey nothing to know. So yeah, so people talked about my calendar. Similarly, people said, well, no,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey dummy, you’ve got your ticket receipts and your email. Surely that’s how they figured it out. Same problem.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I have literally two emails in my inbox right now. I’ve been working very hard in the last few months to stay as close as I

⏹️ ▶️ Casey can to hashtag and inbox zero. Um, so I’ve literally two emails in my inbox. Now my archive goes

⏹️ ▶️ Casey back like 15, 20 years and it does have all of these tickets for sure, but again,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey it’s not on device. And so at least in the case of like an iOS device,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I’m extremely, extremely skeptical. Although now that I’m talking out loud, it just occurred to me, it could have been the Mac

⏹️ ▶️ Casey that figured all these out. Maybe that was a secret sauce, but nevertheless, but

⏹️ ▶️ John I don’t, I don’t even think Apple would go through your email for this. Cause it’s just not an Apple style thing to do. Like forget about

⏹️ ▶️ John on device versus not on device, just sort of like rummaging through your email to try to not that Apple doesn’t

⏹️ ▶️ John do that, but it’s just it’s not. That’s not Apple’s go to. That is definitely Google’s go to Google’s going through email

⏹️ ▶️ John for all sorts of things, not a human being. Computers doing it. Don’t be scared. But anyway, it’s not Apple style.

⏹️ ▶️ John And, you know, so I think that’s not the first option Apple would go to if they had other options. And they do.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Right. And so the first person I saw point this out to me, I believe was Benjamin on Twitter,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey who said, hey, in the WWDC 2018 keynote at about 29 minutes 25 seconds,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey there will be a timestamp link in the show notes, Federici says, and this is either verbatim or

⏹️ ▶️ Casey almost verbatim, quote, photos indexes over 4 million events by time and place. So you can search for them

⏹️ ▶️ Casey and find photos you took at those events, quote. So I think if I’m understanding this

⏹️ ▶️ Casey right, basically photos, the Apple’s photo software, has

⏹️ ▶️ Casey access to some sort of like scraped or some other database of like

⏹️ ▶️ Casey event information. Here’s a football game. Here’s what concert appeared when. And that makes a lot more sense.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey And apparently, there are APIs that allow for this. I think might have some sort of API. Somebody else cited some other

⏹️ ▶️ Casey online database where there’s APIs where you can say, hey, what events happened in Richmond on

⏹️ ▶️ Casey such and such a date? And so that, I think, is the magic that I didn’t realize happened. So to recap,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey it appears that something somewhere has, you know, indexed over 4 million events in 2018

⏹️ ▶️ Casey anyway, by time and place. So they can say, well, if you were at, you know, John Paul Jones

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Arena on such and such a day at such and such a time, then you must have been seeing a Dave Matthews concert. And I think

⏹️ ▶️ Casey that was the missing sauce. There’s also a KBASE article that reads, search for an event like a concert

⏹️ ▶️ Casey you attended or a trip you took. Photos uses the time and location of your photos along with online event listings

⏹️ ▶️ Casey to find matching photos.

⏹️ ▶️ John And that’s the more Apple style thing to do it because the Google style will will cover many more bases

⏹️ ▶️ John and be more correct. But Apple doesn’t want to rummage through your stuff for

⏹️ ▶️ John the most part. So it does the more limited one. It only handles events, right? You know, it’s not going to know

⏹️ ▶️ John Bob’s barbecue. Because you know, Google goes through your email and send and finds it 50

⏹️ ▶️ John threads about organizing Bob’s organizing a barbecue over someone’s house that it figures out is Bob. It can do Bob’s

⏹️ ▶️ John barbecue. But Bob’s Barbecue is not in the 4 million event database or whatever, right? So that’s,

⏹️ ▶️ John it is, you know, it is more privacy respecting, it is simpler, it is more limited,

⏹️ ▶️ John and it also involves less guesswork. Like Casey said, like if you’re in that arena, it’s a pretty big,

⏹️ ▶️ John you know, you don’t have to be, the GPS doesn’t have to be too accurate to tell you’re in a giant arena. And if the data is set

⏹️ ▶️ John correctly, And if it’s on the calendar, Dave Matthews.

Google Photos update

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Very quick Google Photos follow-up. So I think I said last week that I’m exploding

⏹️ ▶️ Casey out of my one terabyte of Google Drive online storage. As of last recording,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I’d gone into Google Drive and I thought I’d deleted all my photos, and then I emptied the trash and nothing actually

⏹️ ▶️ Casey got deleted. Several people, although not many, alarmingly, usually when I ask for feedback, I get quite a bit.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey In this case, I didn’t get very much, which was unfortunate. But several people wrote in and had different theories, all of which were good.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey But it seems that the actual thing I’m supposed to do is delete all of my

⏹️ ▶️ Casey photos and videos by hand. That is, as near as I can tell,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey the only way to do it. So I’m going in every time I sit down at the computer, I’ll go through a batch,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey and I will go to the Google Photos website. I will select the first picture or first day,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey and I’ll swipe, swipe, swipe, scroll, scroll, scroll, natural scrolling because I’m not a monster, scroll, scroll, scroll, and then

⏹️ ▶️ Casey And I will shift click a different photo, which then gives me, you know, several hundred or maybe a thousand

⏹️ ▶️ Casey photos that I can then click the delete button and say, yes, delete them, please. And that is

⏹️ ▶️ Casey started to clear out my Google Drive. So I’m going to have to do this for

⏹️ ▶️ Casey all of my pictures, which goes back like almost 20 years, something like that. Actually, it probably does go back

⏹️ ▶️ Casey about 20 years. So I’m looking super forward to that. Thanks, Google. This is great.

⏹️ ▶️ John You didn’t contact support, did you?

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I tried, but I am a grandfathered free Google Apps user, so they said, piss off,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey you don’t get support. Nice. Yep. Isn’t that cool? Love Google.

⏹️ ▶️ John I mean, I don’t pay, well, I don’t know, I guess I pay for Google Drive storage. When I was having the problem,

⏹️ ▶️ John though, I’m just like on the regular public Google Drive, and I somehow got through to some chat

⏹️ ▶️ John thing with somebody, and that’s how they gave me all that advice, but I don’t know if they know that I’m a paying customer or something.

⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey Anyway.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Well, and it’s funny, I found some GitHub repository where somebody had written some JavaScript that you’re supposed to basically

⏹️ ▶️ Casey inject end of the page. And I read it, and it seemed logical, and it seemed safe before I tried it. But of course,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey it hasn’t been updated in the last 15 seconds. That’s

⏹️ ▶️ John not run arbitrary JavaScript to delete things, please.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Oh, no, I don’t care. I mean, I have nothing of value in Google Photos. But not anymore, anyway.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey, John It’s going

⏹️ ▶️ John to delete all your email or something. Who knows what it’ll

⏹️ ▶️ Casey do? Well, fair. But I mean, yes, I suppose that’s true. But one way or the other, because the JavaScript

⏹️ ▶️ Casey script hasn’t been updated in the last 14 seconds, of course, none of it worked. And I tried it, and it

⏹️ ▶️ Casey was like, what? You want me to do what now? and I didn’t care enough to actually go through and debug it and fix it.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey So here I am, shift clicking and deleting like a frigging monster.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey It’s very frustrating.

Photo-editing update

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Moving on Henrik had some information about photo editing. Tell me about this John

⏹️ ▶️ John It was just clarifying like what’s the deal with? in the Apple photo iCloud

⏹️ ▶️ John photo library with Originals and edits and when you can do edits and having to do with editors or whatever.

⏹️ ▶️ John So this is sort of generalizing the situation partially based on some documentation

⏹️ ▶️ John for one of the the classes and photo kit that’s involved. So he says, about

⏹️ ▶️ John photo editing versions, I believe it works like this. The library keeps the original, a final

⏹️ ▶️ John composite, and the last editor used can modify its previous edit. So there’s

⏹️ ▶️ John always, obviously there’s always the original, and there’s the baked version of the thing, but

⏹️ ▶️ John then whatever editor was used to make that baked version can

⏹️ ▶️ John modify that previous edit. So presumably the thing that’s missing here is item 2A is like

⏹️ ▶️ John essentially what adjustments in the editor can turn the original

⏹️ ▶️ John into the final version. So then if you still have that editor installed, you can

⏹️ ▶️ John then modify the edit by saying, oh, this had a brightness of plus five, I’m gonna change it to plus four. And then it will simply

⏹️ ▶️ John rebake from the original with all whatever other settings you had, like keep track of all your settings.

⏹️ ▶️ John And then instead of plus five, this time it does plus four and rebakes it in, right? And he says that this applies to the built-in

⏹️ ▶️ John editor as well. Obviously you can never be without the built-in editor when using Photos App because it’s built in, but

⏹️ ▶️ John it’s the same system, it’s just that if you use a third party editor and then you uninstall that third party editor,

⏹️ ▶️ John you lose the ability to just tweak one little setting on the modified version because you need the editor to do that, obviously.

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New Mac Pro GPUs available

⏹️ ▶️ Casey We have some Mac Pro related things to discuss and we were talking about this before

⏹️ ▶️ Casey we started recording and my conjecture is because we’re talking about the Mac Pro, this is going to last

⏹️ ▶️ Casey approximately three to seven hours. And John and Marco said, Oh, no, no, no,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey it’ll be quick. So start the clock, everyone. Let’s see who wins. John, go.

⏹️ ▶️ John I’m not going to win this one because it’s not that much to talk about. All right.

⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey So the news is… You’re just making

⏹️ ▶️ John it worse now. The news is that Apple has new video cards for the 2019 Mac Pro. It

⏹️ ▶️ John has not revised the 2019 Mac Pro, it doesn’t have new Xeons, there’s no new version of the thing, nothing like

⏹️ ▶️ John that, but just has new video cards. They’ve done this before, the video card that I, one of the two video cards that’s in my Mac Pro

⏹️ ▶️ John was released, what, a year after the actual machine was released? So this is a

⏹️ ▶️ John thing that Apple does. Occasionally they will release new video cards for their computer that takes video cards, which is a great idea,

⏹️ ▶️ John I love it. Imagine a modular computer that occasionally they release new modules for.

⏹️ ▶️ John These are the, they’re not super new cards, but these are the AMD cards, obviously, they’re not Nvidia. And

⏹️ ▶️ John these are the AMD cards that are remotely competitive with the top line Nvidia cards. These are the RDNA 2 cards.

⏹️ ▶️ John The part numbers are like 6,000, so 6,800, 6,900. In

⏹️ ▶️ John keeping with whatever naming scheme Apple has been using, you can buy

⏹️ ▶️ John a PC video card, a 6800 RX or something, whatever they’re called. Anyway,

⏹️ ▶️ John the apples are always called W, then the number, then an X. So W6800X,

⏹️ ▶️ John all squished together, no spaces between them. I’m not sure what the W and the X are supposed to indicate, but anyway,

⏹️ ▶️ John these are apples cards.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Can I guess it’s, wow, that’s expensive. Yes,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, John that’s probably what it is.

⏹️ ▶️ John Or the connectors are super wide. Anyway, so we talked about this on

⏹️ ▶️ John past shows that we knew in upcoming versions of macOS there were drivers for these GPUs.

⏹️ ▶️ John And we kept saying, why would there be drivers in a new version of Mac OS for a card that Apple doesn’t make?

⏹️ ▶️ John Maybe Apple is going to start selling these cards. And lo and behold, here they are. So from what I’ve

⏹️ ▶️ John read, if you buy the quote unquote PC versions of these cards, like you just buy a Radeon 6800

⏹️ ▶️ John for a gaming PC and stick it into your Mac, since the drivers are in the OS, it will work.

⏹️ ▶️ John But if you’re like me, or if you have just money that you need to get rid of, like

⏹️ ▶️ John in Brewster’s Millions, you may be interested in these cards because these cards

⏹️ ▶️ John are MPX modules. And to review MPX modules is the standard that Apple came up with to

⏹️ ▶️ John essentially let them not have to have a separate power connector for their, among other features,

⏹️ ▶️ John not have to have a separate power connector on their video cards. And also their video

⏹️ ▶️ John cards, all these MPX modules thus far are passively cooled. Like there are no fans

⏹️ ▶️ John on them. And if you buy PC gaming cards and you say, What do you mean you’re gonna get a Radeon 6900 with no fans on it?

⏹️ ▶️ John How is that not gonna melt in your computer? The heat sink is really big. And the Mac

⏹️ ▶️ John Pro itself has very large fans in it. So that’s how these things work. They have the regular

⏹️ ▶️ John PCI connector, and then like, I guess in front of or in back of, depending on how you look at it, the PCI connector,

⏹️ ▶️ John there’s another connector on the card, and that supplies power and a bunch of other crap. I think also Thunderbolt

⏹️ ▶️ John passthrough and some other stuff that’s not in the PCI spec. And that makes these cards

⏹️ ▶️ John special, and it makes them appealing to me because I wouldn’t want to put a card that had a bunch of fans

⏹️ ▶️ John on it inside my beautiful Mac Pro. And I wouldn’t want to have to run a little, you know, one or two power connectors

⏹️ ▶️ John from the various power supply, power connector ports with some stupid adapter probably

⏹️ ▶️ John to get my card going because there’s no wires inside my Mac Pro. It’s, you know, basically wireless. So that’s

⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey cool and everything.

⏹️ ▶️ John And like I said, these are the good, the quote unquote good video cards. It’s the best it’s gonna get because if Apple’s not gonna put out Nvidia

⏹️ ▶️ John cards, these cards are actually competitive with the top line gaming and video cards. Now let’s talk about

⏹️ ▶️ John the cards. It’s 6800 and 6900 and also there’s a 6800 Duo. The

⏹️ ▶️ John MBX modules always cost more than regular cards because they’re weird. They have Thunderbolt connectors

⏹️ ▶️ John on the back of them to connect to your Pro Display XDR and regular cards don’t have that. Regular cards

⏹️ ▶️ John generally can’t have that. I had a little snippet about why it is extremely unattractive for

⏹️ ▶️ John a PC video card maker to ever put Thunderbolt ports on their cards,

⏹️ ▶️ John but I have lost that piece of information. Maybe I will dig it out

⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey for a future

⏹️ ▶️ John show. There’s obviously lots of reasons like no one on the PC space has Thunderbolt monitors, but there’s also

⏹️ ▶️ John other technical limitations that are annoying as well. But of course, Apple wants it because that’s what their monitors use.

⏹️ ▶️ John And so my W 50 AMD W 5700 X,

⏹️ ▶️ John whatever the hell card I have was $1,000, which is more expensive than any 5700 you get for a PC,

⏹️ ▶️ John but it’s an MPX module, and I think mine might have more RAM than the average PC one.

⏹️ ▶️ John And you’re just paying a premium for something that matches your computer and all that. So that tradition continues. The

⏹️ ▶️ John W6800X with 32 gigs of RAM, and you can find 6800s for the PC with 16 gigs of RAM or 32.

⏹️ ▶️ John Apple’s price is $2,800 for that card. Oh, golly!

⏹️ ▶️ John And that is not what it would cost for you to put a 6800 in your gaming PC. Now that said,

⏹️ ▶️ John as many people have joked, it’s almost like Apple’s prices are sort of, like they’ve built in the

⏹️ ▶️ John scalping, because it’s very hard to get GPUs, to get gaming GPUs right now, because

⏹️ ▶️ John both because of, you know, cryptocurrency mining, and also because of just a general chip shortage from COVID and everything.

⏹️ ▶️ John So if you want like a top line gaming PC card, it’s like a lottery, people are still trying to hunt them down.

⏹️ ▶️ John They’re very difficult to find. and if people manage to buy them, they resell them for way above

⏹️ ▶️ John the actual price. So it’s almost like Apple is just self-scalping. It’s like, well, we’ve made these cards

⏹️ ▶️ John and now we’re gonna sell them to you at very high prices. The 6900, I

⏹️ ▶️ John forget, I didn’t put the specs of the details, but it’s like the same differences between the PC68 and 6900. 6900 is faster, better, has more execution units, blah,

⏹️ ▶️ John blah, blah. The 6900 also with 32 gigs of RAM. This one really blew me away, $6,000.

⏹️ ▶️ John for a graphics card that you can get for substantially

⏹️ ▶️ John less than $2,000 new on a gaming PC. Grief.

⏹️ ▶️ John I think you can find them for maybe 800 or $900, 6,000. Wait, but is it the same

⏹️ ▶️ Marco card or is this like the workstation version of the card with like workstation RAM

⏹️ ▶️ Marco and everything? It’s

⏹️ ▶️ John basically the same card. It’s 32 gigs and you can buy them for the PC. Like it’s not because

⏹️ ▶️ John it’s an MPX module. Like physically speaking, The card has way more stuff going on on it to support

⏹️ ▶️ John MPX with the power and all that other stuff. But.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah, but I have to imagine this is like the typical difference between workstation cards

⏹️ ▶️ Marco and gaming cards of like increased precision and stuff like that, right?

⏹️ ▶️ John No, no, I don’t think that’s the case at all.

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco I

⏹️ ▶️ John think it is computationally identical to a top line 6900 on a PC

⏹️ ▶️ John with the exception of all the MPX stuff. I hope not, but you might be right. Pretty sure.

⏹️ ▶️ John Obviously the Apple ones have like the maximum amount of RAM and stuff like that, but what people buy these,

⏹️ ▶️ John like for anything they use them for, whether it’s crypto mining or playing games,

⏹️ ▶️ John you can just compare it. Take a gaming PC with a plain old regular 6900

⏹️ ▶️ John with 32 gigs of RAM and then play the same game versus the Mac one. It’s not gonna be a big difference. And

⏹️ ▶️ John I know games aren’t what supposed to workstation cards are used for. So fine, pick anything else, pick video rendering, pick,

⏹️ ▶️ John you know, anything that uses the GPU. I don’t think that these are,

⏹️ ▶️ John they’re not like the workstation ones where they’re bad at games. So these are very good at games, but they’re not, I don’t think it’s like

⏹️ ▶️ John they have higher precision or they have ECC RAM or anything like that. I’m pretty sure they’re close to identical, but even if they’re not,

⏹️ ▶️ John $6,000 doesn’t really make any sense until you think about the fact that nobody’s gonna buy these things because they’re super rare.

⏹️ ▶️ John And then for the bargain price of $5,000, you can get two 6800s in a single card. So that’s each one of those would have 32 gigs

⏹️ ▶️ John of RAM. And then on the back of these cards, I think all of them. There’s

⏹️ ▶️ John four Thunderbolt 3 ports and there’s also an HDMI port, but the HDMI port is HDMI 2.0, which is kind of crappy.

⏹️ ▶️ John Not that, if you have it on a Mac, you’re probably gonna use HDMI anyway. But if you’re hoping for HDMI 2.1, so you

⏹️ ▶️ John could do 120 frames per second gaming, that’s not gonna happen over HDMI on these cards, unless they

⏹️ ▶️ John misspoke on the spec. So kudos to Apple for continuing to update these computers.

⏹️ ▶️ John Not so many kudos for these prices, which are ridiculous. All that said, if Apple had

⏹️ ▶️ John not made a transition to ARM, I would buy the 6800, but I’m not gonna buy

⏹️ ▶️ John it at this point because I’m not gonna spend another $2,800 on this computer

⏹️ ▶️ John when I know it’s just waiting around to be replaced by the ARM Mac Pro. And also, like the video

⏹️ ▶️ John card I have in there is actually pretty good and there’s no games that I wanna play right now that are overwhelming it.

⏹️ ▶️ John So yeah, to answer anyone’s question, no, I’m not buying any of these cards. I did

⏹️ ▶️ John look at what the sort of, if you work for Apple, how much of a discount do you get? Which is kind of a good way to gauge what the margins

⏹️ ▶️ John are, because if Apple sells something with huge margins, usually you get a big discount if you’re

⏹️ ▶️ John an employee, right? So I think the employee discount on

⏹️ ▶️ John the $6,000 card is much, much bigger than the employee discount on the $2,800 card. So as usual, that $6,000 price

⏹️ ▶️ John has a lot of margin on it, as you can imagine.

⏹️ ▶️ John But I still think it’s cool that they make these. Like I really like the idea of, like the

⏹️ ▶️ John reason I would be considering buying one of these I like the idea of it being an MPX module because if Apple doesn’t make that card

⏹️ ▶️ John nobody else is gonna make it They can’t no PC makers I wish I knew this tech stuff that I had written

⏹️ ▶️ John in those but

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco no

⏹️ ▶️ John no PC makers make video cars with thermal ports on Them so right there. It’s like a you know

⏹️ ▶️ John forget about running your plotted protospects They are off of it And they don’t care about making something with a giant passive

⏹️ ▶️ John heat sink with a special connector only Apple can make these things and so if they have to charge twenty hundred bucks for them do it

⏹️ ▶️ John and And, you know, and people will buy them who need them and who want them to be nice in their Macaroni.

⏹️ ▶️ John And if you didn’t want these, you already bought a PC 6800 and already have it in your Mac making tons of noise. So,

⏹️ ▶️ John I think this is great. I’m just not gonna buy any of it. But like I said, if the ARM transition didn’t happen

⏹️ ▶️ John and it was just Intel from here on out, I would totally spend $2,800 on that 6800.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco What’s interesting about this GPU update release is not

⏹️ ▶️ Marco the particular cards they’re using. and it’s not the particular prices they’re charging.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco What’s interesting is that this happens at all. Here we are, well into the ARM

⏹️ ▶️ Marco transition, and the Mac Pro as we know it today, doesn’t

⏹️ ▶️ Marco seem like it’s going to be part of the ARM transition. Like, so far, based on, you know, we’ve talked about this

⏹️ ▶️ Marco a lot before, it sure seems like the ARM Mac Pro replacement is probably

⏹️ ▶️ Marco going to be a smaller computer that does not have card slots for GPUs. It’s probably

⏹️ ▶️ Marco going to be an all-in-one thing, maybe it’s the new Cube, whatever people think it might be,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco but it’s probably gonna be some kind of smaller thing where the GPU is part

⏹️ ▶️ Marco of the system-on-a-chip, just like on the M1s, just like a giant version of that probably, with giant

⏹️ ▶️ Marco GPU cores and giant CPU cores, and it’s gonna cost a lot, but it’s gonna be the smaller thing that is a totally

⏹️ ▶️ Marco different beast than what we know of now as the Intel Mac Pro. That’s the current thinking, and

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I still think that is probably pretty clearly the direction we are heading.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco So the question becomes, what the heck do they do with this Intel one that they just released relatively

⏹️ ▶️ Marco recently? I mean, it isn’t that old. It hasn’t been significantly

⏹️ ▶️ Marco updated yet in the sense that they’re still the same Xeons, but there’s a question of like, will

⏹️ ▶️ Marco they ever update it again? And if they don’t, that flies directly in

⏹️ ▶️ Marco the face of what they said when they launched it, which they were very clearly, this is gonna be a modular

⏹️ ▶️ Marco system, upgradeable, you know, and they said in various

⏹️ ▶️ Marco unofficial contexts that like, they intended to keep this thing going for a while. This wasn’t meant to be

⏹️ ▶️ Marco a one-off. This was meant to be like, you know, here for the long haul, we’re gonna keep this thing updated. That

⏹️ ▶️ Marco was the clear direction I got from a few people like, you know, here and

⏹️ ▶️ Marco there off the record. So it seems like when they shipped the Mac Pro, which again,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco not that long ago, they intended for it to have a significant future.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Well, they had to know at that time that the ARM transition was coming because

⏹️ ▶️ Marco they announced it like a year later. So obviously they knew at that time that this

⏹️ ▶️ Marco was happening. So the question is, what future did they have in mind

⏹️ ▶️ Marco when they made the Mac Pro? And we don’t know how the story

⏹️ ▶️ Marco ends yet, so I guess, and they might not even know how it ends yet, So, you know, time will tell

⏹️ ▶️ Marco overall. But I think one of the big questions is like, well, if this thing is not going to be part of the

⏹️ ▶️ Marco ARM product line, do you keep updating it with Intel chips even into

⏹️ ▶️ Marco and after possibly the ARM transition? And we don’t know how that goes yet. This thing could have

⏹️ ▶️ Marco been a one-off, like the trashcan Mac Pro, could have been a one-off that never got touched again.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco But now, they’ve now done kind of two GPU updates

⏹️ ▶️ Marco to it, updates to it, which is something, like that’s significant. Now we know, like, okay, they haven’t stopped

⏹️ ▶️ Marco doing GPU updates yet, especially, you know, the first one was pretty soon afterwards. The second one now is,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco you know, what, a year and a half afterwards, two years, whatever it’s been. And so now we know

⏹️ ▶️ Marco in a much bigger way, they intend for this product to not be dead yet.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Now, not being dead yet is a little bit different than having a future, but this is

⏹️ ▶️ Marco something, this is meaningful. There are current rumors out there that there are, you

⏹️ ▶️ Marco know, there are upcoming Xeon updates that could be relevant to it, and there’s current rumors that those things are

⏹️ ▶️ Marco supported in the current, in recent builds of Mac OS, and that therefore it is possible,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco maybe even likely, that there might be a Xeon update to the Mac Pros, which might involve, you know, a bigger

⏹️ ▶️ Marco thing. And that would be great, because the way I think this is most likely to play out,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I think the Mac Pro gets at least one processor upgrade, like at least

⏹️ ▶️ Marco one significant processor difference where we’re not just getting more chips

⏹️ ▶️ Marco from the family that already gave them these chips like they did once with the quote 2012 Mac Pro, which

⏹️ ▶️ Marco is really just different chips from the 2010 era. What I think they’re gonna do here is actually give this one

⏹️ ▶️ Marco more batch of New Zeons because I don’t think Apple wants to make a computer with card slots

⏹️ ▶️ Marco five years from now. I think they made this computer because the market needed it, They

⏹️ ▶️ Marco needed something to carry us through this era. They needed something to address what pros weren’t

⏹️ ▶️ Marco getting from the trashcan Mac Pro or the iMac Pro. So they made this thing out of need

⏹️ ▶️ Marco in 2018, 2019, like as they were finalizing the design

⏹️ ▶️ Marco and targeting, getting it out and everything. They made this because there was a need then. But I still don’t think Apple

⏹️ ▶️ Marco has it in their heart to have a giant expandable slot-filled tower

⏹️ ▶️ Marco five or 10 years from now. So I think they need this current Mac Pro to carry

⏹️ ▶️ Marco all the pros forward until all the pros are ready to buy the ARM Mac Pro Cube whatever

⏹️ ▶️ Marco thing that has no slots and just the whole thing is basically replaceable.

⏹️ ▶️ John We’ve talked about this before, but I feel like Apple, I’m hoping Apple has learned their lesson that that’s just like doing

⏹️ ▶️ John the trash can all over again. And as amazing as ARM is, like when I look at these MPX modules, I think,

⏹️ ▶️ John you know what? I mean, kind of like you just said with the Xeon, like if they do do a, like it would have to be a motherboard bump because it’s

⏹️ ▶️ John a different socket. They do a new motherboard Mac Pro with new Xeons. The work they did to

⏹️ ▶️ John make these MPX modules for these cards, not wasted, because you could just stick these cards in the new Mac Pro and you know where

⏹️ ▶️ John else you could stick these cards? Into an ARM Mac Pro, in theory, possibly. I’ll tell you where you

⏹️ ▶️ John can

⏹️ ▶️ Marco stick these cards.

⏹️ ▶️ John Right, exactly. But no, I’m like, I don’t know. We have to see what the ARM Mac Pro is gonna look like, but just because it’s half

⏹️ ▶️ John the size doesn’t mean it has zero slots. It could have one or two slots big enough to fit an MPX

⏹️ ▶️ John module, right? So I see the, and it’s not just, by the way, it’s not just these video cards. Like if

⏹️ ▶️ John you go, it’s so hard to do in Apple’s terrible storing device. Yes, I know they just revised it on their website. It’s still bad.

⏹️ ▶️ John What if you just want to go to, like this used to be easier on Apple sites. I have a Mac Pro, what crap can I

⏹️ ▶️ John buy for it? That’s so hard to do in the store, but it is possible. It is actually possible. You go to like explore

⏹️ ▶️ John and then you go to accessories, then you filter by product, but it should be like when you go to the Mac Pro,

⏹️ ▶️ John there should be a giant button that says, Show me crap I can buy from a Mac Pro at horrendous prices. Like that should be a link, but it’s

⏹️ ▶️ John not. Anyway, if you go to like essentially the parts page, like

⏹️ ▶️ John what kind of parts can I buy? The only computer Apple sells that they will essentially sell you parts for as a

⏹️ ▶️ John regular citizen is the Mac Pro. Cause you can stick stuff in it. You can stick little Pegasus raid drive

⏹️ ▶️ John things in the $400 piece of bent metal and like seven or eight or nine choices of

⏹️ ▶️ John video card. Like, and they’ll, I think they’ll even sell you SSD stuff. Like you can buy parts

⏹️ ▶️ John from Apple to stick in this Mac Pro. It is actually a modular computer and Apple has steadily been releasing

⏹️ ▶️ John these parts. And there’s third party ones and there’s first party ones and yes, they’re all expensive, but that really is the promise

⏹️ ▶️ John of a modular computer. And I have a hard time believing that when they transition to ARM, they’re gonna say, you know, that whole, you know,

⏹️ ▶️ John moment we had where we realized you want a modular computer, well, nevermind, it’s trash can again, you’re gonna like it. I’m hoping

⏹️ ▶️ John that even if it is smaller and lighter and quieter and it uses an amazing integrated GPU, that

⏹️ ▶️ John maybe there’s still a way to take parts in and out of it. And maybe one of those parts could be

⏹️ ▶️ John a GPU, but we’ll see. And by the way, I finally looked up the bit of info that I had

⏹️ ▶️ John lost about Thunderbolt. So here is the information from an anonymous

⏹️ ▶️ John source. A Thunderbolt spec requires that the port can supply both DisplayPort and PCIe

⏹️ ▶️ John and 60.5 watts of bus power. On a card, that PCI bandwidth and power would have to come at the

⏹️ ▶️ John expense of the GPU itself, and nobody would want to make that trade-off just to support Thunderbolt in the PC

⏹️ ▶️ John space. I mean, this is why Apple added the extra pins to the MPX module, right? So basically to support

⏹️ ▶️ John Thunderbolt, you’d have to zap power and bandwidth from the GPU.

⏹️ ▶️ John And you know, it’ll make your gaming card slower. So Apple’s solution to that, Apple being Apple, is like, what

⏹️ ▶️ John if we just add a whole bunch of new connectors and pins, and then we can supply all the extra power and all the other stuff, and we won’t have to

⏹️ ▶️ John zap CPU power for it. And yeah, and again, only Apple can do that because no PC, no gaming PC

⏹️ ▶️ John maker is going to make a PC motherboard with a special connector that’s only on their computers, you have to

⏹️ ▶️ John buy their special video cards. That really isn’t only an Apple moment. And then charge $6,000 for it,

⏹️ ▶️ John which as many people will point out, for $6,000 of the 6900, you can build an amazing gaming PC with a 6900.

⏹️ ▶️ John Probably also including the monitor.

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NSO, Apple’s bug bounties

⏹️ ▶️ Casey A few weeks ago, a few days ago, I don’t remember exactly when this was, there was a kerfuffle that happened because

⏹️ ▶️ Casey apparently there’s some group that has some sort of like crack or spyware

⏹️ ▶️ Casey or something like that, that was used to target journalists and human rights activists.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey And this list of people who had been hacked had come out and everyone got their junk in

⏹️ ▶️ Casey a bunch. And I didn’t really follow this, hence that really crummy summary, but

⏹️ ▶️ Casey there’s perhaps something to be said about this. So Marco, can you kind of explain what’s going on here or take me

⏹️ ▶️ Casey in a different direction if you prefer?

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Sure. I’m going to take the different direction approach. So I don’t

⏹️ ▶️ Marco know much about the story specifics in the sense of like who was targeted, how they found

⏹️ ▶️ Marco it and everything. But the gist of it is this NSO group is one of these companies that basically sells iPhone hacks

⏹️ ▶️ Marco as a service to governments and things like that, which honestly

⏹️ ▶️ Marco is an extremely gross business in my opinion. You know, people have come up with justifications

⏹️ ▶️ Marco like, well, what if there were terrorists and you wanted to save children from abductors?

⏹️ ▶️ Marco And it’s like, okay, that’s not the common case of how these things are used. So the

⏹️ ▶️ Marco whole business of this I think is gross because usually it’s used for

⏹️ ▶️ Marco things like spying on dissidents and journalists and women.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco It’s a terrible business. Don’t

⏹️ ▶️ John forget union organizers.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco So, you know, the whole like, you know, hacks to serve some kind of good, that’s a bunch of BS.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco They’re usually not serving some kind of good. So anyway, so this company,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco NSO Group, they have this software called Pegasus that basically allows them to

⏹️ ▶️ Marco remote hack iPhones. And the way they do this is via security exploits.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco And so I don’t know much about this whole like underworld

⏹️ ▶️ Marco of the security area, but the idea is if you can find a way to

⏹️ ▶️ Marco exploit any modern, you know, operating system, especially phones, that’s valuable.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco That has value to somebody. So for example, if you can find a way to hack an iPhone

⏹️ ▶️ Marco in a way that just requires sending a specially crafted iMessage to the phone

⏹️ ▶️ Marco that doesn’t even require the user to like click on a suspicious link or anything like that. Like if it’s like

⏹️ ▶️ Marco a no-click exploit where the user just receives a message and it breaks something in

⏹️ ▶️ Marco their phone and you have control over their phone, that’s incredibly valuable. That’s worth millions of dollars

⏹️ ▶️ Marco apparently on the market. So you can imagine people like an SO group want

⏹️ ▶️ Marco that, presumably like the NSA or other intelligence agencies most certainly

⏹️ ▶️ Marco would be interested in something like that. You know, there’s lots of ways to, you know, lots of people who’d be interested

⏹️ ▶️ Marco in buying that exploit from you and making sure you don’t tell Apple about it if they don’t fix it.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco And the whole point of security bug bounties that a lot of the

⏹️ ▶️ Marco big companies have done in recent years is for people like Apple or Microsoft

⏹️ ▶️ Marco or Google or whoever to say, look, if you find an exploit like this out in the wild, we will

⏹️ ▶️ Marco pay you for it. we will, like, hopefully we will match or beat the price

⏹️ ▶️ Marco that, like, the bad guys will pay so that you don’t sell it to them. We’d rather pay

⏹️ ▶️ Marco you ourselves so that you, you know, quote, sell it to us, and then we can fix the bug. And that way,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco our platforms don’t get attacked in this way, and our users are not, you know, vulnerable in this way. And

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Apple was very, very late to the bug bounty thing.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco They only released, they only started their bug bounty program, I think, what, about two years ago or something? Wasn’t it

⏹️ ▶️ Marco pretty recent?

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Yeah, I think so.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah, so Apple has their security bounty thing, and

⏹️ ▶️ Marco from what we’ve heard, it’s not very good. We keep hearing

⏹️ ▶️ Marco stories over and over again. Now granted, these are anecdotal, and

⏹️ ▶️ Marco a lot of the bug bounty stuff is not super publicized for obvious reasons. You try to keep this kind of stuff hush-hush

⏹️ ▶️ Marco for plenty of reasons, like not just bad PR, but also just the practicality of things being exploited in the wild.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco So, you know, we don’t have a lot of good data on this from the outside of like, how much Apple’s actually paying

⏹️ ▶️ Marco out, how many reports are actually, you know, being addressed correctly and everything. How often

⏹️ ▶️ Marco somebody sells a pretty big exploit to Apple instead of, you know, quote a bad guy. But

⏹️ ▶️ Marco we keep seeing reports on Twitter and blog posts from people who have reported issues to

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Apple. And let me know if this sounds familiar to us as Apple developers.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco We hear reports of people reporting bugs to the Security Binding Program and just never

⏹️ ▶️ Marco hearing a response.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey No.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Or people who report security bugs and the Apple people kind of argue with them and say it’s not really

⏹️ ▶️ Marco a bug even though it clearly is and it’s clearly demonstrable. Or we hear the Apple people say, oh

⏹️ ▶️ Marco well, we fixed this and then they didn’t fix it. Or the Apple people say, well, yeah, this is a bug,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco but it’s not that big of a bug, so we’re just not going to fix it yet or yeah okay we’ll fix it soon and then it never gets fixed.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Does this sound familiar? Do you guys this sound like any other Apple feedback process?

⏹️ ▶️ John The biggest complaint that I’ve seen is that people will report a bug and like they’ll

⏹️ ▶️ John everything will seem to be going fine with long delays between but still like okay well we’ve got

⏹️ ▶️ John your bug report like there actually is some feedback of them like hey acknowledging we got your bug report and we’re investigating it and we’ll get back

⏹️ ▶️ John to you and everything seems great Or maybe they even agree, yeah, we’re totally going to give you the agreed upon amount

⏹️ ▶️ John for this thing. But then they change their mind and say, you know what? We changed our mind. We were going to give you the bounty for this one. But

⏹️ ▶️ John for reasons that don’t make any sense to you, we’ve decided we’re not going to pay you. And that whole

⏹️ ▶️ John like waiting a long time and potentially arguing about whether it’s legit or them deciding, oh, this

⏹️ ▶️ John isn’t really the bug you thought it was. It’s not as exploitable as you thought. And then they back and forth.

⏹️ ▶️ John It kind of reminds me of the pitch for the iTunes music store back in the day, Because the

⏹️ ▶️ John way bug bounty programs work is that companies are trying to compete

⏹️ ▶️ John with the bad people, right? If you have a security exploit, you could sell it to someone who’s

⏹️ ▶️ John going to sell it to someone who’s gonna use it to break into the phones of dissidents in China or something, right?

⏹️ ▶️ John And they’ll pay you a lot of money. The bad guys will pay you a lot of money for your security exploit. So the idea of a bug bounty

⏹️ ▶️ John is, well, but what if Apple decides to pay you more or maybe even they pay

⏹️ ▶️ John you less and you just feel better about it because you’re not selling it to the bad guys. But like, you know, bid against

⏹️ ▶️ John the thing. Say, I know you could make money from the bad guys, but wouldn’t you rather get an equal or

⏹️ ▶️ John maybe even a lesser amount of money from us so that you’ll feel better about, you know, you’re making

⏹️ ▶️ John our thing more secure and you still get paid. Like you become a viable, like if you were a security researcher, you can actually

⏹️ ▶️ John make a lot of money if you can find a lot of bucks because they don’t pay you 50 bucks. Like the amounts that they pay

⏹️ ▶️ John you will go up into the six figures and maybe even more, right?

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Network attack without user interaction. Zero click kernel code execution with persistence and kernel

⏹️ ▶️ Casey PAC bypass. $1 million from Apple.

⏹️ ▶️ John Yeah, and so like it is, like Apple’s trying to compete with, it’s

⏹️ ▶️ John like when the iTunes Music Store is saying, well, we’re competing with piracy, right? Because we wanna, you know,

⏹️ ▶️ John we understand that we’re not doing this in a vacuum. The problem with the Bug Bounty program is that it really

⏹️ ▶️ John falls down in the area where iTunes excelled. Piracy is free or close to free. and

⏹️ ▶️ John iTunes was trying to charge you $99 a track. So how is that competing with piracy?

⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey You’re not competing with

⏹️ ▶️ John piracy. You’re way worse than piracy. Like I want it for free, not 99 cents per track.

⏹️ ▶️ John But the thing the iTunes Music Store had going for us, one, you’re not pirating and so

⏹️ ▶️ John it might make you feel better about yourself. But two, and the most important one, it’s easy and convenient.

⏹️ ▶️ John And getting money from Apple for a bug bounty is not easy and convenient. They’re totally

⏹️ ▶️ John falling down. The most important feature, It’s not so much that Apple’s not paying enough, which they probably aren’t, let’s

⏹️ ▶️ John be honest. They have so much money, they should be paying way more. Like, I don’t understand why they’re trying to cheap out on it, but Apple’s gonna be

⏹️ ▶️ John Apple. But still, like I would say just, if you’re in the ballpark, like a million dollars is not

⏹️ ▶️ John chump change, but you have to make it easy to get paid and you can’t be like, oh, I don’t know.

⏹️ ▶️ John Maybe I’ll give you 10,000 for that because it’s not as big. It’s just, just pay the people because they’re gonna

⏹️ ▶️ John look at this, all of them say, and they’re like, boy, I spent like nine months waiting

⏹️ ▶️ John and fighting or a year or a year and a half waiting and fighting with Apple to try to get paid. And then in the end, they got $0.

⏹️ ▶️ John Some of them are like, you know what, Apple, I’m not even gonna take your $10,000 because I should be getting the 200,000 that

⏹️ ▶️ John I should for this thing. And they just become angry at the process. And that is the exact opposite of the iTunes

⏹️ ▶️ John Music Store strategy. Apple needs to make it easier and more convenient to go

⏹️ ▶️ John to the good guys and tell them about the thing than it is to sell it to the bad guys. And right now the bad guys are probably

⏹️ ▶️ John like, here you go, Bitcoin, and they’re off, right? It’s probably really easy to get paid for them. It probably, in fact, you

⏹️ ▶️ John could probably sell them fake scams and then hope they don’t find you and kill you. But, it’s,

⏹️ ▶️ John Apple is really, really falling down on like, the like, and it’s probably because it’s being run by security

⏹️ ▶️ John people or whatever. Like iTunes Music Store had like Steve Jobs eyes on it and people who understood that

⏹️ ▶️ John our main selling point is that it’s easy and convenient and then distant

⏹️ ▶️ John second that, you know, it’ll make you feel good to actually pay for music, right? So I hope Apple gets this act

⏹️ ▶️ John together. not to just say, okay, well, we’ll double our prices, but to instead say, let’s not argue

⏹️ ▶️ John over stuff like this. If someone finds a bug, heck, what if two people find the same bug? Just pay them both. Like

⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey you have so much money, Apple,

⏹️ ▶️ John just pay them both, pay them in a timely manner. Don’t wait like to the very maximum limit because

⏹️ ▶️ John they all have these sort of informal agreements of like, well, I’m gonna go public with this exploit, Apple, if you don’t fix it within like

⏹️ ▶️ John six months or something like that. Just like pay them immediately, pay them speculatively, just

⏹️ ▶️ John make it super easy because then everybody, You know what everyone will say is like, hey, if you think you found a bug in Apple thing, don’t try to sell

⏹️ ▶️ John it to the bad guys. Just tell Apple, they’ll pay you super quick. And you know, that’s how you get people

⏹️ ▶️ John to report bugs to you. So I hope this does change. That said,

⏹️ ▶️ John the one thing I always worry about with bug bounty programs is that

⏹️ ▶️ John you are redirecting the security researchers who are most likely to consider

⏹️ ▶️ John selling their exploits to the good guys, but the ones who are themselves

⏹️ ▶️ John nefarious still exist, are never going to participate in Apple

⏹️ ▶️ John bug bounty program. And it only really takes one unknown exploit

⏹️ ▶️ John for whatever the given version of iOS is. So I do wonder if like, like

⏹️ ▶️ John if your goal is to increase the security of iOS, it doesn’t matter how many bugs you fix.

⏹️ ▶️ John It’s like any kind of security thing. Like if there is one bug that you don’t know about that provides

⏹️ ▶️ John a full exploit, the hundred bugs you fix almost mean nothing.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Well, you still have to fix them.

⏹️ ▶️ John True, but it is such a cat and mouse game that’s like in the end, did we make it more secure or was this NSO

⏹️ ▶️ John company still able to exploit every single one of our phones on the day they were released because that’s what you’re trying to

⏹️ ▶️ John prevent, right? The NSO company doesn’t need 70 exploits, they just need one that works that Apple doesn’t know

⏹️ ▶️ John about. So if they’ve got that one, all the bug bounty people you’re paying might not actually

⏹️ ▶️ John be solving your problem. But anyway, you’re certainly not gonna solve it by not doing bug bounties because yeah. Because then

⏹️ ▶️ John you just won’t know about 50 bugs and it will take you much longer to close those holes. Like as it stands, they fixed this, what did they fix it

⏹️ ▶️ John in 14.6 or seven or whatever? Seven fixed

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco it, yeah.

⏹️ ▶️ John Yeah, so yeah, you gotta know about it before you can fix it. And having

⏹️ ▶️ John to do that to five X points is better than having to do it to one.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah, I think my concern here is, so you mentioned that

⏹️ ▶️ Marco the iTunes music store had Steve Jobs’s eyes on it, whereas this doesn’t seem to have that kind of person

⏹️ ▶️ Marco in the company. I think it’s bigger than that. I think iTunes Music Store was something that Apple was actively

⏹️ ▶️ Marco excited about. They really cared a lot about that. The Bug Bounty program is something that they seem to do very

⏹️ ▶️ Marco reluctantly. It seems like Apple does not like this. They don’t think they have to do this. They’re doing it

⏹️ ▶️ Marco not because they want to, not because they think it’s the right thing to do, but because they think they have to.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco And that’s why they came late to it, and that’s why they came really half-assed to the party. Unfortunately, not

⏹️ ▶️ Marco only is that attitude unlikely to ever change, but in

⏹️ ▶️ Marco a way, this is part of the entire flow of developer relations

⏹️ ▶️ Marco in the company. Because in large part, this is part of developer relations. It uses a similar feedback

⏹️ ▶️ Marco system. It’s targeting a similar group of people. And it has a similar

⏹️ ▶️ Marco feedback and response problem and responsiveness problem. If you look at the companies that do bug bandies really

⏹️ ▶️ Marco well, One name that comes up all the time is Microsoft. Microsoft apparently does a really good

⏹️ ▶️ Marco job with theirs. It’s considered like one of the best run, or if not the best run bug bounty program in the business.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco People also say Microsoft’s developer relations are awesome. And from all accounts, they have

⏹️ ▶️ Marco been for a very long time. You know, Microsoft is very, very good at dealing with developers. The attitude

⏹️ ▶️ Marco towards developers is totally different. The feedback mechanisms are totally different. Everything is totally different,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco between Apple and Microsoft, with how developer relations are handled and what happens in

⏹️ ▶️ Marco practice. Apple treats developer relations as mostly

⏹️ ▶️ Marco an afterthought, and they treat developers mostly as kind of

⏹️ ▶️ Marco pesky annoyances that occasionally ask things of them, and they’re just like, oh, do I really have to deal with you?

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Slash financial resources to be farmed. That’s how

⏹️ ▶️ Marco being an Apple developer most of the time feels like. And the feedback mechanism

⏹️ ▶️ Marco for security is the same. Again, it’s basically radar. It’s the same feedback system, I

⏹️ ▶️ Marco think, or at least it certainly works the same way.

⏹️ ▶️ John I was reading the stories of people arguing with their bugs. I was

⏹️ ▶️ John jealous of the amount of personal human interaction they were getting. Because they are

⏹️ ▶️ John getting argued with, but it didn’t seem like what they got was a

⏹️ ▶️ John computer program responding to them or someone who had no idea. It was, eventually, after six months of waiting,

⏹️ ▶️ John an actual human being who knew what the heck they were talking about who would respond to them and say things they didn’t like,

⏹️ ▶️ John but still it’s like, well, at least you’re getting a human to respond, right? Like that’s what I was, you know, going through bugs.

⏹️ ▶️ John It’s like, even if I get the result I don’t want, I just like to think a human being like read

⏹️ ▶️ John it and understood it and is closing it for a reason and not to have it like be closed by a machine as some sort of automated

⏹️ ▶️ John process because they did a release and they want me to confirm whether my bug is fixed and stuff like that. So

⏹️ ▶️ John I think they do get better treatment than regular developers, But I agree with Marco that that’s not saying

⏹️ ▶️ John much.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah, and that’s why I fear that this won’t ever really change,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco because to change this meaningfully would require Apple to dramatically

⏹️ ▶️ Marco improve and change their entire developer relations ecosystem.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco They would need to dramatically change how they view us internally, how

⏹️ ▶️ Marco they treat us, the resources allocated to dealing with feedback and bugs. And that goes down to engineering

⏹️ ▶️ Marco practices and engineering realities and incentives and resource allocation in the company.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco It’s such a massive shift to change anything that would meaningfully improve

⏹️ ▶️ Marco their bug bounty program. And that’s ultimately, I worry about that because I worry about the security of their devices.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco They just keep skating by on not having things quite blow up in their face

⏹️ ▶️ Marco too badly with some of these exploits. But it’s only a matter of time before there’s a really bad one

⏹️ ▶️ Marco that’s exploited on a really large scale, and then it’ll come out, you know, later on, you know, a few months later,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco oh, this was reported to them, you know, months ago in their bookminding program, but they ignored it, or they tried to,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco you know, cheapen the price to the guy, and he went and sold it to, you know, Iran

⏹️ ▶️ Marco or whatever. This is like a ticking time bomb, like that Apple’s just playing with fire here, and it

⏹️ ▶️ Marco just seems like such a, you know, a self-owned, to use John Parlan’s, like

⏹️ ▶️ Marco this is such an easy problem to solve, well, sorry, this is, it’s not an easy problem to solve

⏹️ ▶️ Marco from the place that Apple is currently at, because as I said, I think this requires dramatic improvement

⏹️ ▶️ Marco of developer relations, feedback, engineering practices, this gets down to software quality,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco allocation of time for bug fixes, this is all intertwined, but I hope Apple

⏹️ ▶️ Marco goes in that direction someday. I don’t see them doing it now, and I don’t see

⏹️ ▶️ Marco any of the current leadership going for this, because I think if there was

⏹️ ▶️ Marco going to be any hint of this kind of change in the the company, it would have happened

⏹️ ▶️ Marco in the last 10 years from these same people, and it hasn’t. So hopefully, maybe in 20 years,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco when all the current execs have hopefully retired and we have new people, maybe they’ll prioritize things differently. Because

⏹️ ▶️ Marco this is such a stupid problem for Apple to have. Apple should

⏹️ ▶️ Marco not be regarded as a company that does not respond promptly and well

⏹️ ▶️ Marco to security reports. Apple should be the company that everyone knows as, oh, you

⏹️ ▶️ Marco find a bug in the iPhone, you’re gonna get mad money from Apple. Like that’s how people

⏹️ ▶️ Marco should view it. And instead, it’s this pain in the ass.

⏹️ ▶️ John Yeah, and like looking at the exchanges, I get the impression that like

⏹️ ▶️ John the security org Apple absolutely wants to fix, know about all these bugs and fix them. But the

⏹️ ▶️ John fact that there’s anyone ever arguing back and forth about what should get paid or what level it should be paid at.

⏹️ ▶️ John And then, you know, all that sort of delaying and stuff makes me think that once you get up the org chart from the

⏹️ ▶️ John actual security people who are doing the actual technical work. At some point, someone is responsible

⏹️ ▶️ John for saying, how much money did we pay out and how much benefit did Apple get as a company? And that person

⏹️ ▶️ John is pushing back and saying, don’t just pay everybody. We really need to justify every, because

⏹️ ▶️ John they’re expensive, like not all a million dollars, but there’s six figure ones and five figure ones, right?

⏹️ ▶️ John You have to justify. Someone is demanding that you justify. You gave how much in bug bounties?

⏹️ ▶️ John Show me what benefit we got from that. How many bugs did we fix? well, you know, because, and that’s, that’s

⏹️ ▶️ John sort of the pressure from above. That’s the culture, right? I don’t know if that’s a real thing that’s happening. But when I see

⏹️ ▶️ John the exchanges, I’m like, the security researchers wouldn’t be arguing about this. It’s not their money.

⏹️ ▶️ John They don’t care whether you get this bug bounty at the full price, but someone somewhere who is responsible for the

⏹️ ▶️ John budget or whatever, or responsible for, you know, profit and loss. And I know they say the

⏹️ ▶️ John departments don’t have profit and loss. It’s just top line thing. But if you’ve been in a big company long enough, you realize you can

⏹️ ▶️ John smell someone somewhere caring about finching those pennies and not wanting to pay

⏹️ ▶️ John stuff out. And that’s the wrong motivation, especially at this scale. I think like part of the reason I think these security

⏹️ ▶️ John researchers do get slightly better treatment than developers is there’s a bazillion developers and there’s probably like,

⏹️ ▶️ John you know, two dozen people in the world who are equipped to find these kind of security things. It’s almost

⏹️ ▶️ John like they could all be on a first name basis with Apple, right? So they should essentially get white glove

⏹️ ▶️ John treatment and They should be paid promptly and without argument. And

⏹️ ▶️ John for all the money Apple has, they’re just too busy buying back their own stock. They got so much money, they don’t know what to do with it. They can’t even

⏹️ ▶️ John draw down their cash. And someone somewhere in Apple’s org chart is worried about paying out too much in bug

⏹️ ▶️ John bounties. That is penny wise, pound foolish. It’s not even penny wise, it’s just pound foolish.

⏹️ ▶️ John That’s it. Yeah, setting aside the larger dev relations thing,

⏹️ ▶️ John the bug bounty thing, I would just never wanna see that. And a lot of the things that I

⏹️ ▶️ John read with the exchanges, it’s almost like the person they’re arguing with doesn’t understand the exploit.

⏹️ ▶️ John Like the security researcher is trying to say, you don’t understand, look, do you understand the

⏹️ ▶️ John implications of this exploit that I have shown you? So it’s almost like the slightly less technical manager

⏹️ ▶️ John person hops onto the email thread and says, yeah, we don’t wanna pay you because we don’t think this is X, Y and X. And then

⏹️ ▶️ John the person who reported is like, are you kidding me? Do you understand what you could do with this and has to explain to them in laborious detail,

⏹️ ▶️ John Look, I could just do X and Y and Z and C, I have you exploit it. And it makes me think that it is a less

⏹️ ▶️ John technical person parachuting in to try to like, you know, like the person who comes in to try to get

⏹️ ▶️ John you to not leave Comcast, right? Whatever they’re called,

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco retention specialist or

⏹️ ▶️ John whatever the Apple’s money retention specialist parachutes in and they just don’t even understand the technical

⏹️ ▶️ John issue. They don’t even understand it well enough to make a convincing argument. They just be like, yeah, we don’t want to

⏹️ ▶️ John pay you the full amount. And it’s incredibly frustrating for these people. and I don’t blame them.

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#askatp: E-readers, Kindle updates

⏹️ ▶️ Marco All

⏹️ ▶️ Casey right, let’s do some Ask ATP. And Ariane Aneha writes, do you guys still use e-readers? What is the

⏹️ ▶️ Casey general view on the cadence of slow software releases by Amazon for the Kindle? Do you think there are any particular features you would like

⏹️ ▶️ Casey to see? I’ll start. I have a Kindle paperwhite, I

⏹️ ▶️ Casey think. I don’t even know what I have. I have an older Kindle that has some sort of quasi-touchscreen

⏹️ ▶️ Casey that I, if I recall correctly, a friend of the show, Stephen Hackett, sent me because he wasn’t using it anymore. I use it quite

⏹️ ▶️ Casey a lot and it lets me read books. Like that’s, I’m sure

⏹️ ▶️ Casey someone like a Jason Snell would have a more nuanced take on this because I know Jason reads many,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey many books and has very particular thoughts on what he wants from any reader. For me,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I just want something that has a light on it that lets me read books that I can put on there without connecting

⏹️ ▶️ Casey it to anything physically. And my not too new Kindle does that. And the

⏹️ ▶️ Casey battery lasts basically forever and it’s easy to read in sunlight. So yeah, I still use e-readers.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I don’t remember how many books I read last year, but I’ve been on a pretty good tear of reading novels recently.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey And I probably read somewhere between 20 and 50 books last year, probably closer to 20 than 50.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey And almost all of them were on the Kindle. And I really like it. Are there features I wish I had?

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I don’t know, nothing I can think of. I’m not a very sophisticated e-reader user.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Marco, if I recall correctly, you don’t believe in reading novels or any long form pros

⏹️ ▶️ Casey like that, right?

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah, for a while I used Kindles, but I rarely

⏹️ ▶️ Marco actually read full books on them. If I do ever read a full book, I want to do it on a Kindle,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco but that’s unfortunately not something I do very often. Yes, I know I should read, I don’t.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco And I used it much more in the Instapaper days, back when I was more of a reader. It’s

⏹️ ▶️ Marco funny, I wouldn’t even make Instapaper now, like in today’s world, for lots of reasons,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco But the biggest one is that I just don’t read anymore. But anyway, e-readers

⏹️ ▶️ Marco are, I think, a fantastic way to do it, except that e-readers

⏹️ ▶️ Marco as a category pretty much just means Kindles now. So that’s problem number one, is like

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Amazon’s massive dominance over the e-book business is so strong

⏹️ ▶️ Marco that.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Well, that’s true asterisk. I don’t remember exactly which one it is, but I know Snell’s

⏹️ ▶️ Casey e-reader of choice is not actually a Kindle. And forgive me, because I really don’t remember what it was. But

⏹️ ▶️ Casey if he was to buy for himself, and I think what he did buy for himself was something else. I know this because I just recently

⏹️ ▶️ Casey bought Aaron a new Kindle. And I was asking him, well, what do you recommend, blah, blah, blah. And he had recommended,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I want to say, like a Kobe or

⏹️ ▶️ Casey, John something like

⏹️ ▶️ John that. I forget. You should look it up on his website, because I think he wrote about it on Six Colors. But the

⏹️ ▶️ John sort of Amazon blight, like when Amazon owns a market, when any one company owns a market

⏹️ ▶️ John like this, it just becomes a blight because it’s like, well, what’s their motivation to make anything better? Amazon is a little bit better about

⏹️ ▶️ John that and they seem to have some internal motivation to make things better. But yeah, having one company dominate is not great. But the

⏹️ ▶️ John good thing about ebooks is that it is a it is enough of a backwater as compared

⏹️ ▶️ John to like gambling games for children or other much larger sources of money. That

⏹️ ▶️ John the reason Jason can do that is the DRM is essentially been cracked and you can buy your

⏹️ ▶️ John books from Amazon because of the only game in town or whatever and then crack them and put them on your Kobo,

⏹️ ▶️ John whatever, like, you know, I mean, like it’s, it’s kind of like the MP3s in the Napster days,

⏹️ ▶️ John or even like the iTunes days when you could like rip off the fair play DRM or whatever. There

⏹️ ▶️ John are ways if you are technically savvy to pay for your books legitimately, but then read them on the reader

⏹️ ▶️ John of your choice using publicly available tools that know how to crack the apparently not particularly strong

⏹️ ▶️ John DRM on But the fact that Amazon is so dominant in the area

⏹️ ▶️ John of e-books is not good for anybody in the e-book industry. And we’re just kind of saved

⏹️ ▶️ John by the fact that apparently Amazon doesn’t care enough to… you

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco know,

⏹️ ▶️ John to fight against the, uh, the quote-unquote piracy of you paying money for a book from

⏹️ ▶️ John Amazon and then stripping off the DRM so that you, the owner of that book, can actually read it where you want to.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey -—Yeah. —Yeah, for what it’s worth, it’s worth for me, the like prototypical garbage

⏹️ ▶️ Casey to look at and kind of to use app that functions flawlessly is Calibre, C-A-L-I-B-R-E,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey which is a Java app, Java app, if I’m not mistaken, so it looks like it does not belong on the Mac.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey But it lets you do the sort of thing like strip DRM or, and or, you know, reformat

⏹️ ▶️ Casey for, what is it, Mobi or something like that, which is Amazon semi-proprietary format.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey It’ll let you basically go from anything to anything. Kind of like SongWhip or whatever it’s called that we were talking about. Not SongWhip.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey, Marco SongShift?

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Yeah, SongShift. Thank you. That we were talking about earlier. Similar idea. It is not great

⏹️ ▶️ Casey to look at, but it’s open source, it’s free, and it works extremely well. I use it all the time.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah. So, going back to the actual question here of like Amazon’s software, slow cadence

⏹️ ▶️ Marco of software updates for the Kindle. Amazon has

⏹️ ▶️ Marco shown over the history of the Kindle that, now into the era of their

⏹️ ▶️ Marco like, you know, echo devices with screens. Amazon’s ability to

⏹️ ▶️ Marco make software UIs for people to use is comically bad.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Like it’s so bad. It’s almost mind bogglingly bad how

⏹️ ▶️ Marco like how bad Amazon is at making software like for people to use like you

⏹️ ▶️ Marco UI like actual interactive software. They seem to be pretty good on the back end and stuff and the shopping stuff

⏹️ ▶️ Marco and the, you know, abusing workers stuff. They’re all pretty good at all that stuff, but they

⏹️ ▶️ Marco really are not very good at all at making software that you interact with as a person.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco And the Kindles, in the early days of the Kindle, it kind of skated

⏹️ ▶️ Marco by because it couldn’t do much. The early Kindles were such primitive devices and the early

⏹️ ▶️ Marco E-ink screens were so primitive and limited that there was only so much they

⏹️ ▶️ Marco could even attempt to do. So Amazon wasn’t able to crap them up

⏹️ ▶️ Marco very much with their terrible UI design skills. Over time,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Kindles got better and Amazon got more ability to screw things up

⏹️ ▶️ Marco and they used it with great success. I can’t recall a time

⏹️ ▶️ Marco when the Kindle software got updated and it was overall a better thing in my opinion.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Every time they’ve like moved things forward, quote, they’ve added more crap and

⏹️ ▶️ Marco made certain things harder or cluttered certain things or made bafflingly bad decisions about things

⏹️ ▶️ Marco like text rendering, like the justification. It’s so bad.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Ultimately, I think this is one of those cases where you don’t really want Amazon to be messing

⏹️ ▶️ Marco with the software on Kindles very often because they’re really not good at it and they’re

⏹️ ▶️ Marco more likely to make things worse than to make things better when they start messing with them. So ultimately the

⏹️ ▶️ Marco super slow glacial pace of Kindle advancement I think is

⏹️ ▶️ Marco a benefit because the alternative is worse. That being said,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I do wish that there was more competition in this area or I wish Amazon

⏹️ ▶️ Marco could get their game together with in terms of like making these things more usable. but

⏹️ ▶️ Marco it seems like the Amazon’s really, really good at making hardware that is okay

⏹️ ▶️ Marco and software that is okay and selling it for cheap prices. That’s what they’re optimized

⏹️ ▶️ Marco to do. And the entire Kindle line is just that now. Like it’s just a

⏹️ ▶️ Marco bunch of crap hardware running crap software, but it’s pretty cheap. And so

⏹️ ▶️ Marco ultimately expecting any kind of quality or good features out of that is probably

⏹️ ▶️ Marco a pipe dream.

⏹️ ▶️ John I mean, I kind of like how cheap it is and that it shouldn’t be expensive. I like that there’s very inexpensive

⏹️ ▶️ John models, but one of the results of not having

⏹️ ▶️ John a lot of competition and having one big dominant player is they don’t see the need to cater to

⏹️ ▶️ John anything except for the fat part of the bell curve. So a friend of the show, Wave,

⏹️ ▶️ John do you know a person named Wave? Anyway, Michael Johnson, who, is he at Apple

⏹️ ▶️ John now? I think so,

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco formerly of Pixar,

⏹️ ▶️ John complains all the time about the fact that if you read a ton of

⏹️ ▶️ John books and you buy a ton of books from Amazon, the Kindle experience is terrible. Like

⏹️ ▶️ John they just don’t expect people to buy that many books. It’s kind of like when Apple, you know, we complain

⏹️ ▶️ John about Apple experiences. Like if you own all the Apple devices and buy lots of things from Apple, the experience is

⏹️ ▶️ John worse. Very often your best customers, oh, so you’ve bought 10,000 books?

⏹️ ▶️ John Well, our software just falls over and you can’t find anything and it’s really slow when it searches, it’s like, aren’t I your best customer?

⏹️ ▶️ John It’s like, yeah, but you’re at the edge of the bell curve. We need to make, there’s no reason

⏹️ ▶️ John for us to cater to you with like a pro level Kindle or to make sure

⏹️ ▶️ John that our backend can handle your 10,000 books or anything like that. If there was a more competitive

⏹️ ▶️ John marketplace, if Amazon didn’t have this locked up, if it was possible, if there was some kind of open

⏹️ ▶️ John standard, like say EPUB, for eBooks that had actually become widespread

⏹️ ▶️ John and dominant, then lots of different companies can make ebook readers and maybe one of those companies would say, we

⏹️ ▶️ John cater to the people who have tens of thousands of books and we’ll make sure that our system can

⏹️ ▶️ John handle your books and has a good way to filter them and organize them and doesn’t bog down and so on and so forth. And we sell

⏹️ ▶️ John them for more money and it’s the high end pro version of the e-reader. You know, and there are Kindles that

⏹️ ▶️ John are expensive and there are Kindles that are cheaper and the expensive ones are nicer than the cheaper ones. My wife has one of the fancy

⏹️ ▶️ John ones. But Amazon has no motivation to cater to

⏹️ ▶️ John the really difficult use case, right? Just like they don’t have any motivation to cater

⏹️ ▶️ John to, you know, oh, I read these certain kinds of books and they need this feature because the

⏹️ ▶️ John books have illustrations that need to be rendered in a very way, it’s like, people don’t do that. It’s just a bunch of words. We can’t even bother to get

⏹️ ▶️ John the justification right for, you know, a decade or however long they spent with that terrible

⏹️ ▶️ John default. So yeah, well, let’s not have one big company dominate an entire market because it’s

⏹️ ▶️ John crappy.

⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey And yeah,

⏹️ ▶️ John I hope things do improve. Like I said, the good thing about it is that in the end, especially for simple things like

⏹️ ▶️ John novels, it is just text. And if you could get it and crack it open, one of those open source tools, and convert it to EPUB,

⏹️ ▶️ John your reading options become a lot more numerous.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey So wait, do you have one, John, that you use or no?

⏹️ ▶️ John So I don’t actually use Kindle 3. I read on light up screen devices. But I

⏹️ ▶️ John think Kindles are great. If and when my eyes ever got to the point where I found it

⏹️ ▶️ John tiring or something to read from a light up screen, I would absolutely use a Kindle.

⏹️ ▶️ John I don’t find it tiring. Like I read my eBooks, yes, in the Kindle app, sometime in the Apple Books app, but

⏹️ ▶️ John mostly in the Kindle app. On my iPad, even on my phone, it’s just what I’m used to. Like

⏹️ ▶️ John I read off screens all day. Reading off screens does not bother me at all. But if it did, I

⏹️ ▶️ John would go to Kindle. I don’t actually like the fancy Kindle. like the Oasis is the one that’s

⏹️ ▶️ John got like a lump on one side, I kind of. Oh, it’s great.

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco That’s what Erin, that’s what Erin has. I know,

⏹️ ▶️ John that’s the one my wife has, I think she has the fanciest of the fancy ones. I like the screen and everything, but the

⏹️ ▶️ John asymmetrical lump in shape, I understand the appeal, it’s just not how I read

⏹️ ▶️ John eBooks, partly for RSI reasons, so maybe I would have to do, use one of the step-down models, but I’m glad

⏹️ ▶️ John there are, at least within Amazon, a couple of different sizes and shapes of Kindles.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco You ever seen the first Kindle? Talk about asymmetric.

⏹️ ▶️ John Uh, I don’t think, did you, I think you didn’t send me that one. Of

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco all the ones you, the giant

⏹️ ▶️ John stack of Kindles you sent me, the disgusting ugly one didn’t do it. Yes, I have seen that one. It is, it is a hell of a

⏹️ ▶️ John thing. It’s really, probably gonna be a collector’s item if you have one of those sealed in the box never touched by human hands, original Kindle.

⏹️ ▶️ John It’s probably worth the money now.

#askatp: VNC for Macs

⏹️ ▶️ Casey All right, and moving right along, Stephen Robles asks, do any of you use a VNC app

⏹️ ▶️ Casey to remote into your Maxwell traveling? I’ve tried TeamWeaver, Jump, Screens, and more, but none of them

⏹️ ▶️ Casey seem ideal and I wonder about security. So, I think what Stephen is saying here

⏹️ ▶️ Casey is that they would like to have a one-stop solution

⏹️ ▶️ Casey to kind of tunnel into their computer at home and also

⏹️ ▶️ Casey VNC. And so, if you’re not familiar, VNC is, what is it, virtual network computing or something like that? I forget what it stands

⏹️ ▶️ Casey for. But anyway, it allows you to control your computer remotely. Luke Dennyton Screen sharing. Jim

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Collison Yeah, screen sharing. Thank you. And for me, what I do is I have a VPN running on my Raspberry Pi. Do we need

⏹️ ▶️ Casey some sort of musical instrument for that too? I have a VPN server running on my Raspberry

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Pi, and that’s how I get onto my in-home network. And then subsequent to that,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey which is secure, I’m running WireGuard, is the particular VPN software I’m using. And so

⏹️ ▶️ Casey once I’m on my in-home network, I’m not too worried about security because that’s covered elsewhere in this

⏹️ ▶️ Casey stack, if you will. And for me, if I’m on my Mac, I just use the built-in client. And if I’m

⏹️ ▶️ Casey on my iPad or very rarely my iPhone, I’ll use screens. And that works

⏹️ ▶️ Casey just fine for me, but I’ve never tried any of the fancy like tunneling or forwarding or any of the stuff

⏹️ ▶️ Casey that I believe screens will do, but I’ve never had a need for it because I’ve always run a VPN server out

⏹️ ▶️ Casey of the house, be that the Synology with Viber slap or the Raspberry Pi

⏹️ ▶️ Casey or whatever the case may be. So I do use them like screens. I’ve never tried any of these

⏹️ ▶️ Casey others. I think I might’ve tried Jump Desktop a while ago and I didn’t care for it, but you know, to each their own.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey But for me, controlling the tunneling portion and the VNC screen sharing portion separately

⏹️ ▶️ Casey was how I preferred to do it. Marco, what’s your situation? Do you ever do this? Well, you don’t even have a desktop

⏹️ ▶️ Casey anymore, really. So…

⏹️ ▶️ Marco No, I do. I have a Mac Mini. I’m using it right now. The M1 Mac Mini has been

⏹️ ▶️ Marco my main computer for some time now. I thought

⏹️ ▶️ Casey it was the Air that you were using full-time.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco No, I was, like, before I got the Mac Mini. But then…

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, Casey Oh, my apologies.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah, but the Air is now my laptop. You

⏹️ ▶️ Casey know, you change computers so often. I can’t keep up. It’s been

⏹️ ▶️ Marco six months, maybe. Casey

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, John doesn’t listen to the show.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco No, I’ve been using the Mac Mini ever since I got my Mac Mini. I

⏹️ ▶️ John know you’re using Mac Mini, so do all the listeners, just in case he doesn’t listen, it’s fine. Yeah.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Anyway, yeah, I used to do, I used to have like, you know, remote screen sharing enabled.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I haven’t had it for some time. I mean, geez, it used to be a feature of MobileMe.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Oh yeah, back to my Mac. That worked pretty

⏹️ ▶️ Marco well. Did it? I thought it did. It didn’t

⏹️ ▶️ John work very well for me. Sometimes it worked. When it worked, it was miraculous, but it

⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey worked

⏹️ ▶️ John very on and off. Like there were multiple parts of back to my Mac, but the main one that didn’t work is

⏹️ ▶️ John sort of like the sort of cloud sync discovery process of like, hey, we know where your computer

⏹️ ▶️ John is. And then once you’ve made that connection and it showed up in the UI, then it would do all the cool tunneling

⏹️ ▶️ John thing through it. And then it would essentially just use like, I don’t know if it was straight VNC or if it was Apple remote desktop,

⏹️ ▶️ John which I think is its own protocol. But either way, it was the, hey, I know about your computer thing that

⏹️ ▶️ John would fall down because I used to use it from trying to get to my computer when I was at work sometimes. And it would be like,

⏹️ ▶️ John back to my Mac, it’s like so many Apple features where if it appears in your sidebar, you can use it. And if it doesn’t, who knows?

⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey Tough luck. I don’t know. Why is it not there? I don’t know.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Yeah, that’s right. Now that I’m now that you’re saying this, I remembered you’re exactly exactly right.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah, that was that’s exactly how things would go. Anyway, yeah. So ever since

⏹️ ▶️ Marco then, I haven’t really used I don’t have a need for it. So I don’t, I try to minimize the amount of holes

⏹️ ▶️ Marco in my digital life. This is a pretty large one that people could potentially exploit in terrible

⏹️ ▶️ Marco ways. So I personally choose not to open this hole.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Oh man, John.

⏹️ ▶️ John Yeah. So when I described of like trying to get to my home computer from a work computer, I would do that occasionally when I had some specific

⏹️ ▶️ John need for it. But in general, in terms of like, you know, when you’re out of your house or when traveling,

⏹️ ▶️ John uh, I don’t like to expose anything in my house to the internet. I mean, or not intentionally

⏹️ ▶️ John anyway, let’s say. Uh, so like my synology is not on the internet and in general I don’t have

⏹️ ▶️ John my computers accessible from the internet. When I travel, I physically unplug my computer from power.

⏹️ ▶️ John So that’s a pretty good way to stop

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco people from getting into it.

⏹️ ▶️ John Oh my gosh. Wow. Partly because like, hey, if I’m away and there’s lightning storm, I don’t want to, I know I have

⏹️ ▶️ John a surge suppressor and I know I have a UPS or whatever, but it’s like, why don’t I just unplug it, right? So no, I don’t

⏹️ ▶️ John VNC into my computers when I’m out. It’s not that there’s nothing exposed to the internet, but it’s a very,

⏹️ ▶️ John to Marco’s point, it’s a very limited service area. And if I’m actually gonna be out of my house, I really

⏹️ ▶️ John want my very expensive computer to be very safe.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I mean, to each their own. That’s bananas to me. I probably told this story at least a couple times on this show, but I remember

⏹️ ▶️ Casey the first time I saw somebody VNC into their computer. I was in my

⏹️ ▶️ Casey dorm room. It might have been my freshman year at Virginia Tech. And a friend from

⏹️ ▶️ Casey way at the other end of the hallway came and asked me a question or something and decided to sit down and chill.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey And I guess that he had left his music running in his room on his computer or

⏹️ ▶️ Casey something like that. And so he asked me if he can use like my computer for a second. I think there

⏹️ ▶️ Casey was a web front end that you could have installed on Windows machines at the time or on VNC

⏹️ ▶️ Casey as installed on Windows machines. And he basically used this Java applet or JavaScript

⏹️ ▶️ Casey applet or whatever it was to remote into his computer from my dorm room and my mind

⏹️ ▶️ Casey exploded. I thought it was the coolest thing I’d ever seen and I

⏹️ ▶️ Casey have always had the ability to do that ever since. Now do I use it very often? Actually that’s

⏹️ ▶️ Casey not true. I did use it earlier today to look at something because I was too lazy to walk upstairs. But in terms of using it when I was

⏹️ ▶️ Casey using it when I’m traveling, I do not use it.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey, Marco I

⏹️ ▶️ Marco don’t usually use it. I use it today.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I don’t use it in the context of like when I travel very often. But I do use it when I’m

⏹️ ▶️ Casey feeling lazy around the house pretty frequently. But man, that first time you see somebody

⏹️ ▶️ Casey VNCing, it is something else.

⏹️ ▶️ John It’s kind of sad that the X window system didn’t really catch on because it’s really the, or for that

⏹️ ▶️ John matter, display PostScript over the network that NeXT used to use. Like the thing that we’re

⏹️ ▶️ John describing VNC is essentially ship a bitmap image plus your inputs for your

⏹️ ▶️ John keyboard and mouse over the network. And it’s extremely inefficient when compared to the other approaches that have existed

⏹️ ▶️ John over the years. But eventually I guess, bandwidth and the simplicity of

⏹️ ▶️ John a screen scraping technique like that

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco went

⏹️ ▶️ John out over the fancier stuff like display PostScript or X And obviously everyone hates sex windows, so

⏹️ ▶️ John there’s that.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey There’s that.

#askatp: Apple owning fabs

⏹️ ▶️ Casey All right, finally on AskATV tonight, Philip Wilkinson writes, imagine if Apple built

⏹️ ▶️ Casey their own chip foundry and fully owned the whole supply chain. Why wouldn’t they?

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I’m curious to hear y’all’s answers to this, but I think the most obvious thing is it is

⏹️ ▶️ Casey really expensive and takes a long time. Now, are those problems Apple could fix or

⏹️ ▶️ Casey deal with? Sure, but it’s super expensive and it takes a really long time.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey So I just, I don’t think they have the appetite yet. I think there’s other things

⏹️ ▶️ Casey that they view as lower and more ripe hanging fruit, but I wouldn’t

⏹️ ▶️ Casey be surprised if at some point it does happen or there’s an acquisition that gives them a foundry or something along

⏹️ ▶️ John those lines. Like when you said like could they do it? Yes, it’s borderline because here’s the

⏹️ ▶️ John thing, making a cutting edge ship foundry doesn’t just take huge amounts of

⏹️ ▶️ John money. It also takes lots of expertise and if you like the only way you

⏹️ ▶️ John can get an adequate return on that kind of investment is you

⏹️ ▶️ John have to have enough demand, right? So

⏹️ ▶️ John Apple presumably wouldn’t want to be a TSMC where they do business for everybody

⏹️ ▶️ John because the Apple way to do it would be like we make chips just for Apple and I do wonder even with Apple

⏹️ ▶️ John being as big as it is if Apple itself, I don’t think Apple itself uses enough chips

⏹️ ▶️ John to justify the expense of a of a cutting edge fab. You know, cause DSMC doesn’t just make

⏹️ ▶️ John chips for Apple, though sometimes it seems like that, but they don’t literally just make chips for Apple. I suppose

⏹️ ▶️ John they could sort of right size it, but as Intel has shown, getting on the cutting

⏹️ ▶️ John edge and staying on the cutting edge of chip foundry is really, really expensive.

⏹️ ▶️ John And there’s no guarantee that you’re gonna stay there no matter how much money you spend. So

⏹️ ▶️ John I, you know, for all those reasons, I feel like unless Apple, you know,

⏹️ ▶️ John Apple doesn’t wanna be in the business of making things for other companies. That’s not a thing that Apple does, right? They’re happy for other people

⏹️ ▶️ John to do that, but they don’t wanna be in the business. And then, you know, there’s the obvious sort of business reason of,

⏹️ ▶️ John you know, if it’s not part of your value proposition, let someone else do it, right? So,

⏹️ ▶️ John you know, Apple is trying to innovate in all the areas Apple innovates. They design their own chips, but

⏹️ ▶️ John they don’t fab their own chips because fabbing is kind of a commodity, right? You can fab anybody’s design. DSMC,

⏹️ ▶️ John Wafab, whatever, you know, right? That’s a commodity, but the actual chip design, that’s the thing that

⏹️ ▶️ John Apple does, right? Or, you know, making memory chips. That’s a commodity.

⏹️ ▶️ John Memory chips are a commodity, and Apple competes with other companies and pits them against each other to get the contract to

⏹️ ▶️ John put the memory, to sell the memory for their laptops or whatever. But that’s not where they add their value.

⏹️ ▶️ John There’s nothing special about Apple’s memory. There’s nothing special about, you know, the

⏹️ ▶️ John aluminum that goes into Apple’s things, but the actual machines that, you know, carve

⏹️ ▶️ John them up or design or whatever. So it’s not really part of Apple’s value proposition. Like in some

⏹️ ▶️ John way, when any company is choosing whether they’re gonna do something, as Apple has said, can we make a difference in this area?

⏹️ ▶️ John It could be argued that like, oh, Apple thinks they can, you know, fab things better than anyone

⏹️ ▶️ John else in the world, but Apple has close to zero expertise in that now. So they would essentially

⏹️ ▶️ John have to buy all the smart people in the world who know

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco how

⏹️ ▶️ John to fab chips and buy all the factories and buy the entire supply chain that goes into them and spend years and years

⏹️ ▶️ John and years and billions and billions of dollars and then hope they have enough customers and

⏹️ ▶️ John just being themselves to make up the money that they spent ahead of time to

⏹️ ▶️ John make those giant factories. So unless there is some amazing breakthrough

⏹️ ▶️ John that only Apple has access to, I don’t feel like they would do that. Now, the flip

⏹️ ▶️ John side of that is things like micro LED, For example,

⏹️ ▶️ John things like screens are more or less commodities. Apple buys them from LG. LG sells them to anybody who wants a screen,

⏹️ ▶️ John more or less. You know, it seems like it’s a commodity.

⏹️ ▶️ John So why is Apple buying micro LED companies? Technologies that are not

⏹️ ▶️ John yet commodities, like, oh, there’s not 50 people you can go to and get a micro LED screen, right? It’s a

⏹️ ▶️ John nascent technology. It’s just, we’re just trying to do it now. If Apple can buy a startup

⏹️ ▶️ John that thinks that have a good way to make micro LEDs competitively, own that company

⏹️ ▶️ John and be the first to market with a micro LED screen that can

⏹️ ▶️ John fit in a phone or a laptop or whatever their target thing is, that’s a competitive advantage for the company.

⏹️ ▶️ John But eventually if micro LED screens are made by, you know, seven different companies,

⏹️ ▶️ John their competitive advantage is over. So if there was some secret chip company that says, we

⏹️ ▶️ John can fab chips that, you know, one eighth of a nanometer feature size and nobody else in the world

⏹️ ▶️ John can do it. Apple snap us up and then let us do it. Like, that would be a good idea. But I don’t

⏹️ ▶️ John think that exists right now. I think the market leaders are gigantic and they fab chips for everybody

⏹️ ▶️ John and there’s no secret startup with a way to do that better. Mostly because a tiny little startup

⏹️ ▶️ John can’t fab, can’t make a chip fab. Like, I suppose they could have

⏹️ ▶️ John some novel manufacturing technique or something. But anyway, that’s, a lot of people think that that’s the way business always works, that

⏹️ ▶️ John there’s some secret that you can get. There’s some little company with these five people and they have a secret that no one else has.

⏹️ ▶️ John And if you snap them up, then Apple will be able to make super holographic memory chips

⏹️ ▶️ John that no one else can make. Very rarely does that happen. Best case scenario, you get a thing like where Apple buys PA

⏹️ ▶️ John Semi, where it turns out they got a lot of really good chip designers, and then they gave those people like 10

⏹️ ▶️ John years or whatever to make the world’s best chips. That was a good acquisition.

⏹️ ▶️ John I think the micro LED one might be a good acquisition or it might come to nothing. Apple buys all sorts of companies,

⏹️ ▶️ John companies that know how to make sensors for AR, VR stuff, the headsets,

⏹️ ▶️ John the software, a lot of those things, you know, turns out they don’t produce anything great

⏹️ ▶️ John or, you know, like what was that big thing with the glass, like the quartz glass that they were gonna, they bought some company

⏹️ ▶️ John to do that or invested in some company.

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco Oh,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco the Arizona thing?

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco Yeah.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco The Sapphire.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, John You

⏹️ ▶️ John try, sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t, but yeah, Sapphire. But chip

⏹️ ▶️ John fab, that’s big money. And right now it’s a commodity. And so Apple

⏹️ ▶️ John is happy to, not happy, but Apple is okay paying TSMC

⏹️ ▶️ John to do it. And I think probably the reason they’re okay is because TSMC is not owned by Samsung

⏹️ ▶️ John or Google, right? Their whole business is we will fab your chip for you. We don’t really

⏹️ ▶️ John care who you are. And they respond to Apple’s money by saying, okay, Apple, if you pay lots of money, we’ll give you our

⏹️ ▶️ John best chips sooner than everyone else. And that is a relationship that Apple understands and I think is

⏹️ ▶️ John reasonably happy with.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Thank you to our sponsors this week, Squarespace, Linode, and Made In. And thank you to our members

⏹️ ▶️ Marco who support us directly. You can join at slash join. We will talk to you

⏹️ ▶️ Marco next week.

Ending theme

⏹️ ▶️ John Now the show is over, they didn’t even mean to begin

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Cause it was accidental, oh it

⏹️ ▶️ Casey was accidental John didn’t do any research, Margo

⏹️ ▶️ Casey and Casey wouldn’t

⏹️ ▶️ John let him Cause it was

⏹️ ▶️ Marco accidental, oh it was accidental

⏹️ ▶️ Casey And you can

⏹️ ▶️ John find the show notes at And if you’re

⏹️ ▶️ John into Twitter,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco you can follow them at C-A-S-E-Y-L-I-S-S

⏹️ ▶️ Marco So that’s Casey Liss, M-A-R-C-O-A-R-M, and

⏹️ ▶️ Marco T. Marco Armin, S-I-R-A-C-U-S-A-C-R-A-Q-U-S-A

⏹️ ▶️ John It’s accidental, they didn’t mean to

⏹️ ▶️ John Accidental, accidental, tech

⏹️ ▶️ Marco podcast so long.

After-show •

Chapter After-show • image.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco All right, so this weekend I was sitting on my deck next to John Gruber for reasons,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco but anyway. I was on my iPad and I was trying to look up the weather.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco And I, this is, I had restored my iPad recently and so it was,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco it didn’t have a lot of apps on it yet. So I thought, oh, I don’t have any other weather apps. Let me just launch Apple weather.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco So I pull up Spotlight, you know, command space, type in weather, and oh, there is no

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Apple weather app on iPad because of course, why would there be an Apple weather app on

⏹️ ▶️ Marco the iPad? It’s only 11 years old. There’s still

⏹️ ▶️ Marco no weather

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, John app. It’s a game of chicken with

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, Casey Instagram. Yeah, right. Seriously.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco So when I did this though, I saw, so if you go to an iPad,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco you hit Command Space, type in weather. It doesn’t have anything, but it shows

⏹️ ▶️ Marco you, you know, in the spotlight thing that comes up, there’s a little thing near

⏹️ ▶️ Marco the bottom, and it will search the App Store for whatever term you typed in. So there it was,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco it had a recommendation from the App Store, and there was an app, the title of which

⏹️ ▶️ Marco was weather, and then a space, and then a little tiny bullet in the

⏹️ ▶️ Marco middle of.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I’m seeing this as well, yeah.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah, you see this, good, all right. This, and the icon looks very

⏹️ ▶️ Marco similar to the Apple weather icon. And if you look at the screenshots,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco it looks exactly like what you would expect an iPad version of Apple’s Weather app to look

⏹️ ▶️ Marco like. It looks exactly like, this is clearly an Apple, it’s Apple Weather for

⏹️ ▶️ Marco your iPad.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Oh my God, you’re right.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Okay, so, I actually, I knew I could tell, obviously, weather

⏹️ ▶️ Marco space dot is not a legitimate copy of Apple’s Weather app. Obviously, this is gonna be

⏹️ ▶️ Marco some kind of spammy, crappy app, but I figured, you know what, let me take, I’m gonna actually install this and see

⏹️ ▶️ Marco like, what is Apple recommending every single time you type in weather into an

⏹️ ▶️ Marco iPad? Which, again, I don’t think it’s unreasonable for

⏹️ ▶️ Marco people to expect that their iPad would have a weather app built in. But anyway, just leaving that there

⏹️ ▶️ Marco for now. So, this app, it’s everything you’d hope it would be. Obviously, weatherspace.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco You got a great title so far. You launch it and the very first thing you see is

⏹️ ▶️ Marco a giant subscription required screen. Now, as far as I know,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco it is not actually allowed for an app to immediately launch into a subscription requirement

⏹️ ▶️ Marco upon launch. I’m pretty sure that the app has to do something

⏹️ ▶️ Marco in its normal state without immediately just putting a big barrier in front of you. But

⏹️ ▶️ Marco we’ll set that aside for now. I’m sure Apple’s not looking very heavily at apps that have, that come up for millions

⏹️ ▶️ Marco of people using iPads. So, eventually I found that in the

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, John very,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco very corner, There’s a little tiny X and I tried clicking that and I did actually get past

⏹️ ▶️ Marco the subscription promo screen and was able to use the app for free. There’s a little

⏹️ ▶️ Marco ad in the bottom, but you know, no big deal. Every single thing you try to do in the app

⏹️ ▶️ Marco throws that screen back up. And oh, oh, I forgot to mention, they want 10 bucks a month.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Oh. So, and by the way the reviews look,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco it sure looks like someone’s paying it. I mean, they must have

⏹️ ▶️ Marco many downloads. Like, the positioning they have, the ranking they have, they must have

⏹️ ▶️ Marco so many downloads. So, someone’s paying these things. And if you look, and you look and it’s like,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco okay, this is not the worst app I’ve ever seen, but it’s not a good

⏹️ ▶️ Marco app. And it’s clearly kind of squatting. Like, it’s like keyword spamming.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco It’s ripped off Apple’s design. Like, it’s clearly not made with 100% good intentions in

⏹️ ▶️ Marco good faith. And the fact that this app can

⏹️ ▶️ Marco charge $10 a month to someone, someone’s paying it. It’s, I

⏹️ ▶️ Marco guess it’s number 12 in the weather chart, whatever that means. So people are getting this and paying

⏹️ ▶️ Marco for it. And I think people like Underscore

⏹️ ▶️ Marco and people like our friends like James Thompson and the Weatherline people, obviously

⏹️ ▶️ Marco the Carrot Weather guy, So many people make amazing apps that are well

⏹️ ▶️ Marco handcrafted, and Apple gives them occasional crap in app review for some little nitpick thing.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Meanwhile, this exists. Meanwhile, if you type in weather on an iPad, you

⏹️ ▶️ Marco get weatherspace. And it’s this $10 a month subscription borderline scam

⏹️ ▶️ Marco app that, my favorite thing is, the hourly forecast

⏹️ ▶️ Marco on the free version is every three hours. and you can unlock the intervening hours

⏹️ ▶️ Marco by buying the

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, Casey subscription. That’s

⏹️ ▶️ Casey actually very

⏹️ ▶️ Marco clever. So is it? But it’s like, do I really, like, am I really gonna decide, okay, I know

⏹️ ▶️ Marco the weather at 7 a.m., I know the weather at 10 a.m., if I wanna know what it’s gonna be at 9 a.m.,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I gotta pay 10 bucks a month.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco So yeah, that’s fun. And just for the sake of it, I also type in calculator,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco because the iPad again still does not contain a calculator.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco It’s again, only 11 years old here. And calculator, you know, you have a similar situation. There is

⏹️ ▶️ Marco calculator space, and then there’s a dot that’s like a high dot. It’s not- Yeah, what is

⏹️ ▶️ Marco that? I mean, there’s a million Unicode characters. Yeah, I don’t know what this is, but if you

⏹️ ▶️ Marco look, it’s calculator, subtitle, the basic math calculator, the brand name,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco International Travel Weather Calculator. That’s the business name. International Travel Weather Calculator.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Obviously, this is definitely their legitimate business name that they’ve incorporated as. This

⏹️ ▶️ Casey is so

⏹️ ▶️ Marco bad. And you look, and again, it’s the same, it’s just like, you look at these categories, there’s hundreds

⏹️ ▶️ Marco of apps that are just like generic word and then some Unicode punctuation symbol

⏹️ ▶️ Marco to try to make it look as neutral as possible and

⏹️ ▶️ Marco so people think, oh, this is just a calculator, okay. This is a massive part of the app store. Like, if you

⏹️ ▶️ Marco look at, there’s thousands of apps that do this and

⏹️ ▶️ Marco it’s kind of a funny thing to see. Like, we think the app store is like, you know, the indies like us and then

⏹️ ▶️ Marco big companies. And there’s so much just garbage like

⏹️ ▶️ Marco this getting through there. And you have to wonder, like, what is this ecosystem

⏹️ ▶️ Marco like? What is this business? Like what, are all these made

⏹️ ▶️ Marco by the same like three spam companies? Are they all made by thousands of developers around

⏹️ ▶️ Marco the world? Like International Travel Weather Calculator? Like what, I don’t know. And it just kind

⏹️ ▶️ Marco of makes me sad like that all of this stuff is like sucking money out of the app store.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Meanwhile, like you know, people like us are trying to make good apps. I don’t know. Like you know, to some degree,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco you know, it’s like I guess more power to them. To another degree, it’s like, man, I wish this stuff

⏹️ ▶️ Marco was better.

⏹️ ▶️ John What’s the monetization model on the calculator app? Is it, can you not use the number five? I believe it’s a dollar

⏹️ ▶️ John a month. But can you not use the number five until you pay? For like, you can type any digits as long as it doesn’t have a one in

⏹️ ▶️ John it, or it adds subtle errors to each of your calculations

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco of

⏹️ ▶️ John plus or minus five, and you don’t know until you pay. Like, I don’t quite know what the model would be

⏹️ ▶️ John there. Yeah, that’s, I think part of the reason they get away with this, like, I

⏹️ ▶️ John remember when Apple was like bragging about it. We have, you know, a thousand apps, 10,000 apps, 100,000 apps. Eventually

⏹️ ▶️ John at a certain point it became like, you probably shouldn’t be dragging at that, bragging about that because there’s

⏹️ ▶️ John just no way for there to be 600,000 good apps in the world

⏹️ ▶️ John ever at any one time for the iPhone. And so probably it’s like, yeah,

⏹️ ▶️ John so what’s going on here? Is it just some kind of, you know, farming system where there’s an automated system

⏹️ ▶️ John of creating a new developer account with a fake credit card and an address and making a bunch of scam

⏹️ ▶️ John apps and putting it in the store until Apple finds you out and shuts you down and just repeating the process and trying to

⏹️ ▶️ John do SEO and pay for reviews. It’s like an entire ecosystem. Like it’s a

⏹️ ▶️ John different ecosystem, but it’s an entire ecosystem of scams. And I do wonder what percentage of the App

⏹️ ▶️ John Store is essentially weeds, like very thriving economy

⏹️ ▶️ John of weeds. And I bet for the people who participate in that economy,

⏹️ ▶️ John It just seems like playing a video game that makes you money, right? Because it’s like,

⏹️ ▶️ John I don’t, you know, it’s almost like it’s not connected to people at all. We just make these apps, we pay for the fake reviews,

⏹️ ▶️ John we hide our features behind a toggle that we turn on server-side once we get past reviews so that it throws up the thing

⏹️ ▶️ John in your face. We add the dark patterns to accidentally make people subscribe. We accept X percent

⏹️ ▶️ John of refunds from Apple. We accept that we’re gonna get shut down every end point three months, and we just

⏹️ ▶️ John repeat the process, and this is how we make a living. And it’s totally out of like a, you know,

⏹️ ▶️ John 90s sort of cyberpunk type of thing, but it’s a real thing. And it’s much more boring in real life. You’ve seen all those pictures

⏹️ ▶️ John of like those giant review farms where they pay to give five star reviews. And there’s this whole wall

⏹️ ▶️ John of iPhones all set up that are automated in a way to write up the reviews.

⏹️ ▶️ John Yeah, the upshot of it to the actual users is, you know, for technical users like us who get questions from other

⏹️ ▶️ John family members is, we, you know, we dread family members doing this on their own, is like

⏹️ ▶️ John if someone comes to you and says, I was trying to find a weather app and, and you’re like, oh no, right? Cause what

⏹️ ▶️ John are they gonna do? They’re gonna do what Marco did and type weather into the search. And that is not an environment

⏹️ ▶️ John where you can just drop a person into it and expect a good result. That’s why the scams make money. It’s like junk

⏹️ ▶️ John mail. Like you just need some percentage of people to do it. You need a good SEO. You need to be in the results. You need some small

⏹️ ▶️ John percentage to actually accidentally pay you $10 a month and not get the refund. And you make it up in volume.

⏹️ ▶️ John But yeah, it’s not like I compare this to the physical Apple store, like you can

⏹️ ▶️ John essentially tell somebody who’s like, I don’t know what kind of computer I could get. If you don’t have time

⏹️ ▶️ John to go into it with them, you could say, just go to an Apple store and talk to the people there because you have faith

⏹️ ▶️ John that a there’s not that many choices like there’s like seven products in the whole store, and be that the people in the Apple store

⏹️ ▶️ John will give them will ask them intelligent questions and give them good advice at what to buy. know

⏹️ ▶️ John from our experience in the Apple store is that they’re not like going to Try to get you to buy a Mac Pro because they smell

⏹️ ▶️ John that you have money or something like that It’s you know, they’re not gonna sell you the gold printer cables like Marco would

⏹️ ▶️ John right there

⏹️ ▶️ Marco No, I didn’t sell the gold printer cable. I talk people out of the gold printer

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, John like Marco

⏹️ ▶️ John was supposed to

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco Right. Yeah,

⏹️ ▶️ John there you go. Yeah Because that’s our experience with the Apple store It is a pleasant place to be and the

⏹️ ▶️ John people there are knowledgeable and helpful and aren’t trying to scam you not true of the app store. There’s nobody there.

⏹️ ▶️ John You are just just going to be devoured by wolves as a scary forest filled with literally hundreds

⏹️ ▶️ John of thousands of apps like point zero one percent of which are good.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco My favorite thing about weather space dot is that even though it’s an iPad weather app, it only works in

⏹️ ▶️ Marco portrait.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Oh, nice. And

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I never. So the entire time I’m using this like sideways because I’m trying

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, John to get that true of

⏹️ ▶️ John iPhone apps on the iPad too. They don’t go into landscape.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I believe that was true. I don’t

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco know.

⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey I think that is true.

⏹️ ▶️ John Maybe they fix that. Someone just put a link in the in the chat for about

⏹️ ▶️ John iPad OS 15 hands on with Apple’s weather app for iPad. What are they talking about? Is there an actual

⏹️ ▶️ John in iOS 15?

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Oh, did they know everybody relax? Apparently it’s it’s a completely deadpan

⏹️ ▶️ Casey review of because that is the weather app on the iPad.

⏹️ ▶️ John I couldn’t parse this page because I was like, are these banner ads, but they were screenshots of a website.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Exactly, because that is effectively, that is the weather app on the iPad is

⏹️ ▶️ Casey, John Got it.

⏹️ ▶️ John Okay. All right. Just clarifying.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Anyway. Clearly, they need to try weather space dot. The only problem is that, you know, they would have to rotate their iPad to portrait.

⏹️ ▶️ John Is it option eight? What is the dot? I can’t. There’s another problem

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco with that. It’s option eight. Because I’m

⏹️ ▶️ John not sitting in front of an iPad, I can’t actually search and see what you’re saying.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Option eight is a bullet. I don’t know if this is the same bullet.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey It looks like it to me.

⏹️ ▶️ John That’s another type of thing that like basic policies that you would imagine

⏹️ ▶️ John Apple would have come up with by now is no names

⏹️ ▶️ John that are trying to appear like another name by having the same name and then some kind

⏹️ ▶️ John of character that is less visible because there’s not really a legitimate reason for your

⏹️ ▶️ John thing to ever be called name of some existing app space dot. I can understand

⏹️ ▶️ John maybe if there’s some company that whose branding is kind of like, We are the dot company and all our apps have dot after the name. Maybe they

⏹️ ▶️ John can make an argument in a world where humans could communicate intelligently. But I feel like

⏹️ ▶️ John one of the rules they could do is say, hey, the name you’ve given your app, does it match

⏹️ ▶️ John one of these patterns that we know people use to try to duplicate

⏹️ ▶️ John the name of another app? For all I know, they allow complete duplicate names. They

⏹️ ▶️ Marco actually, they don’t and that’s why this is. So, but it’s weird. Like there used to be these

⏹️ ▶️ Marco weird hacks where, So originally, like the app store, you had to have a name that

⏹️ ▶️ Marco was unique. But you could hack it so like if you had it first only available

⏹️ ▶️ Marco in certain countries that didn’t have a name conflict, and then you could like switch it over.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco There were like some weird hacks possible. I don’t know if they’ve closed those holes yet. They probably have.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco But there is a name uniqueness requirement. And that’s why you get these, you know, calculator space

⏹️ ▶️ Marco dot, weather space dot.

⏹️ ▶️ John Right. And that’s why they should have a rule of like no non-breaking spaces, no zero width spaces,

⏹️ ▶️ John no characters look like an E but aren’t an E. Like you can make up a bunch of rules and websites

⏹️ ▶️ John have to do this all the time to detect patterns that appear to be like

⏹️ ▶️ John scam names, right? Like you’re trying to camouflage what your real name is because there’s an existing app called Weather and

⏹️ ▶️ John yours is called Weather with an E that’s not really an E, but no one can tell that in the font that the app store uses,

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco right?

⏹️ ▶️ John Weather Schwa R. Right, well, not even a Schwa, I’m just like thinking like a legit 100% looks like a regular

⏹️ ▶️ John E because as you said, Unicode has many things to choose from. And I’m sure Apple does have rules like that, but weather,

⏹️ ▶️ John to your point, weather space dot as the literal number one result for searching for the word weather on an iPad

⏹️ ▶️ John where Apple knows it doesn’t have a weather app, that’s the reason for you to make a new rule to forbid existing

⏹️ ▶️ John app name space dot. Hell, just do the Apple thing and only consider the list of protected names

⏹️ ▶️ John to be Apple’s apps. You’d still catch that one because Apple’s app is called weather.

⏹️ ▶️ John frustrating.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey The best part of all this is didn’t I don’t know if it was like publicly or just

⏹️ ▶️ Casey on Twitter, but there was a big stink made that the revamped weather app and I was 15 on

⏹️ ▶️ Casey the on the iPhone is all Swift UI. And, you know, as far

⏹️ ▶️ Casey as I knew, part of the wonderful panacea that Swift UI allegedly is that

⏹️ ▶️ Casey you can deploy everywhere, right, right, right. So where’s our iPad app? Oh,

⏹️ ▶️ John it’s not a technical barrier at all. Sure, totally. I don’t think, you don’t need SwiftUI. It’s

⏹️ ▶️ John like, think about calculator. Like, forget about, you don’t need SwiftUI to make calculator. Like, you could

⏹️ ▶️ John give like one reasonable developer like a month and they would have the iPhone

⏹️ ▶️ John app ported and debugged on the iPad. Forget about SwiftUI, because it’s just

⏹️ ▶️ John the iPhone calculator app is just not that complicated. Sorry, James Thompson.

⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey I was waiting.

⏹️ ▶️ John I mean, pcalc, to its credit, is extremely complicated, as you know if you ever went to the about screen.

⏹️ ▶️ John But even just

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco setting that aside,

⏹️ ▶️ John the calculator part of it is complicated and full-featured. ABLs is just like a grid of numbers, basic

⏹️ ▶️ John math operations. It’s very simple. It already exists in work, so you just need to scale up the UI. And

⏹️ ▶️ John the UI is, last I checked, it’s like just solid colors with lines separating the buttons.

⏹️ ▶️ John It’s not even like skeuomorphic, like it looks like a physical button anymore. So, yeah.

⏹️ ▶️ John Someone gave, didn’t someone give an explanation? maybe it was one of Grubber’s interviews with executives of why there’s no calculator

⏹️ ▶️ John on the iPad. Do either one of you remember?

⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey I don’t remember. I do not remember.

⏹️ ▶️ John It was some dumb reason, but I think they did actually give a reason. Whatever the reason is, it’s

⏹️ ▶️ Marco dumb. Like it’s obviously a clear need that many people have. Like why do these

⏹️ ▶️ Marco apps not exist on iPad from Apple? Like just the iPad versions of them,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco of the iPhone apps, just like every other app, like it’s not hard, they can do

⏹️ ▶️ Marco it.

⏹️ ▶️ John You can just ask Siri and then really, really hope that Siri didn’t misunderstand you and give you the wrong answer which

⏹️ ▶️ John probably has like a 10% chance of happening. Beep, beep, beep.