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

443: A Storm of Asterisks

Apple’s controversial new child-safety features.

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


  1. We ❤️ Apple Music 🖼️
  2. C-Fed on iPad Weather/Calculator
  3. Workstation GPU pricing
  4. Sponsor: Memberful
  5. Bug bounties vs. internal salaries
  6. Smart Albums in Photos
  7. Sponsor: ExpressVPN
  8. Apple’s child-safety features
  9. Sponsor: Burrow
  10. #askatp: Bitcoin/crypto
  11. #askatp: Messages disk usage
  12. #askatp: Camera rental for Disney 🖼️
  13. Ending theme
  14. Cameras, cont’d.

We ❤️ Apple Music

Chapter We ❤️ Apple Music image.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I don’t know. I feel like 2021 has been such a whirlwind, which I’ll take over the complete

⏹️ ▶️ Casey show that was 2020, but…

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Sure. But that’s setting a pretty low bar. I mean,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, Casey that’s not really… But

⏹️ ▶️ Marco this is better than actual hell, like in a fire…

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, Casey And

⏹️ ▶️ Casey then literally… Yes.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Like the actual world of actual hell, where you are just burning in a hellscape

⏹️ ▶️ Marco forever, like in actual fire, your body’s being torn apart, you’re being tortured. you know, you have to listen

⏹️ ▶️ Marco to Dave Matthews Band, all of that.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, Casey Matthew

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Feeney Oh, can you imagine? Tyler Litchenberger So 2020 was indeed not as bad as that, but yeah, definitely not

⏹️ ▶️ Marco a ton better. So I have to issue a

⏹️ ▶️ Marco plea. Can somebody at Apple please fix the wonderful

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Crash Test Dummies album God Shuffled His Feet in Apple Music? I know

⏹️ ▶️ Marco we’ve been down on Apple Music recently. Matthew

⏹️ ▶️ Casey, Marco Feeney Oh,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I have so many thoughts, which I’m not going to get into now. We have too much to talk about, but God, what a piece of crap Apple Music is.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey, Marco I

⏹️ ▶️ Marco know. Normally, I don’t have too many problems with it because I’m a pretty light user of it, really. But

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I just I asked my home pods this morning to play the Crash Test Dummies album, God Shuffled His Feet, the

⏹️ ▶️ Marco one with you know, that one. It’s a big album from the from the

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, Casey 90s. Very well done.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Very well done, Marco.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Thank you. If I had more time, I would do it the right speed. But anyway, you’re all listening at 2x anyway. This is one of my favorite albums.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco It’s liking Crash Test Dummies is like one of the weirdest things you can you can be if you’re not Canadian.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Like they were they were really big in Canada, they were not at all big in the US except for that one song.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco And if you like Crash Test Dummies it’s a very weird band to like because every album is radically different than the other albums.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco And what they did after this, they had like one album I liked, A Worm’s Life, and then everything

⏹️ ▶️ Marco after that I’m like I’m out. It got really weird. But anyway, this album,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco it’s again one of my favorite albums and I listened and I asked Siri, you know, hey

⏹️ ▶️ Marco play this album and that worked. You don’t have to do anything weird to have it play a whole album in order, like you can just say

⏹️ ▶️ Marco play the album named blah blah blah and it says okay. So great, plays the first two tracks, great. The third

⏹️ ▶️ Marco track, it switches to a live version of it and

⏹️ ▶️ Marco then like the next like a few tracks in a row were the live version from some

⏹️ ▶️ Marco live album I’ve never heard of and don’t own. Then after After that, it switched back to the studio version for a

⏹️ ▶️ Marco track or two, then back to a live version, and then back to the studio version for the last track.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, John Cool.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Now, the really funny part of this was when I looked on my iPad

⏹️ ▶️ Marco with the now playing in the control center for what’s going on in your HomePods, which I love this integration. I’ve talked about it before. This is

⏹️ ▶️ Marco one of the best reasons to use Apple Music and AirPlay 2 because you get this integration that’s wonderful where

⏹️ ▶️ Marco you can interact with what’s playing on your HomePods or whatever from your phone and from any

⏹️ ▶️ Marco iPhone or iPad on your network, which is great. Anyway, so I checked that and it’s showing

⏹️ ▶️ Marco the studio album as the now playing. So, Apple Music doesn’t think it’s playing a live version, but it totally

⏹️ ▶️ Marco is. And then just before the show, I’m like, let me just double check, maybe this was something weird today. So just before the show, I

⏹️ ▶️ Marco went on my phone to see like, what does my phone version of Apple Music think that it’s playing. And

⏹️ ▶️ Marco it had the same problem where it was playing a mix of live versions

⏹️ ▶️ Marco and studio versions, but it was a different set of tracks that was wrong

⏹️ ▶️ Marco on the phone versus what was wrong from the HomePod earlier today. So please

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Apple, I know there’s gotta be someone who works in Apple Music who either likes

⏹️ ▶️ Marco this really weird band like the way I do or maybe just is Canadian and therefore is more likely to

⏹️ ▶️ Marco care about this band, but please fix the Crash Test Dummies album because it’s a really good album

⏹️ ▶️ Marco and this is a really weird thing to be broken. I did also, I even checked Spotify to see like, maybe

⏹️ ▶️ Marco they did some kind of weird reissue of it for weird

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, Casey contractual reasons.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Nope, Spotify version’s perfect. Of course it is. And I own this CD, I

⏹️ ▶️ Marco ripped the CD into iTunes forever ago. I have it on my computer, but there’s no

⏹️ ▶️ Marco way, like because I have it in iTunes slash music on the Mac,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I have my version there, so it plays correctly because it’s local files, and I have iTunes match and

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I have Apple Music. but there’s no, apparently there’s no way for me to play my copy

⏹️ ▶️ Marco of it on my phone anymore. Like I can only play the Apple Music copy, which is broken. Oh

⏹️ ▶️ Marco my gosh. So please Apple, fix the crash test dummies.

⏹️ ▶️ John You know how we sometimes make fun of the fact that our App Store apps have

⏹️ ▶️ John like an artist and album field because it was the

⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey repurposed iTunes Music

⏹️ ▶️ John Store to make the App Store, right? And the underlying database schema dates back to iTunes

⏹️ ▶️ John and all that stuff and it’s kind of weird and awkward. Sometimes I think about when looking at Apple Music

⏹️ ▶️ John or hearing complaints about it, I was dealing with my own thing, that the iTunes Music Store was

⏹️ ▶️ John purpose-built to be a music store. So it can’t use the excuse of like, well,

⏹️ ▶️ John we were just retrofitting onto an existing system we had for e-commerce, essentially, right? And I don’t know

⏹️ ▶️ John about you, but I’ve been in the position many, many times across my career when

⏹️ ▶️ John I’m called upon to essentially create a data model for a thing that doesn’t exist. And if I was making

⏹️ ▶️ John Apple’s music store, granted, nobody can see the future and know whether it’s gonna be big or not or whatever, but if I was given

⏹️ ▶️ John that task, hey, we’re gonna sell music over the internet. We need a data model

⏹️ ▶️ John for this. It’s kind of like the USB connector when I complain so much about, if you’re tasked

⏹️ ▶️ John with making a connector, spend five minutes with a whiteboard and thinking about what are the attributes of a good connector and

⏹️ ▶️ John write them down and see if you can hit some of those. I don’t think it’s over-engineering or over-designing

⏹️ ▶️ John to think about when making the iTunes music store at the year that it was made. Concepts

⏹️ ▶️ John like, they lead to, they could potentially lead to the problem you have here. Like for example,

⏹️ ▶️ John albums are released and then sometimes there is a remaster

⏹️ ▶️ John or a re-release or an anniversary edition. Also sometimes artists have best of

⏹️ ▶️ John collections which includes songs from various albums, right? And like, I feel like

⏹️ ▶️ John one brainstorming session with anybody who has any interactional music will lead

⏹️ ▶️ John you to those things. And like, it’s not a huge schema.

⏹️ ▶️ John It’s not thousands of columns and dozens of tables that are interrelated. Like it’s not,

⏹️ ▶️ John you could fit it on a whiteboard, but concepts like that are super important. I run into this all the time

⏹️ ▶️ John because I have lots of versions of U2 albums. And if, maybe the iTunes store knows this, but if the iTunes

⏹️ ▶️ John store understands that my three different copies of the Joshua Tree are in fact

⏹️ ▶️ John different versions of the original Joshua Tree album from 1987. It is not

⏹️ ▶️ John apparent that iTunes understands that, but it’s a really important concept because then not only

⏹️ ▶️ John can you, you know, display that information and understand it, but then you can avoid mistakes like

⏹️ ▶️ John this by saying, okay, you’re playing this album. If you don’t give me any other information,

⏹️ ▶️ John I’ll play the 1987 Joshua Tree, right? If you ask for the other ones, I’ll play that. But if I’m playing the 1987, I

⏹️ ▶️ John hope I’m getting this year right. Sorry, YouTube fans.

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco If I’m playing the 1987 Joshua Tree,

⏹️ ▶️ John just play the tracks from the 1987 version. Don’t get confused and switch to the remaster

⏹️ ▶️ John or the 30th anniversary edition or like, just play, like that’s how you can tell. Don’t

⏹️ ▶️ John try to match them up by like track name or title, or especially if the remasters

⏹️ ▶️ John are just also called the Joshua Tree. Like I’m not asking, like again, the people who sit down to make this,

⏹️ ▶️ John that’s gotta come up in the first brainstorming session Because it’s a concept that exists. And if you build

⏹️ ▶️ John that into the data model from day one, it makes writing the app so much easier. Because say someone’s trying to debug

⏹️ ▶️ John this from Apple Music or whatever, it can be confusing because the track names are the same. And maybe the album name is the same.

⏹️ ▶️ John And maybe especially with iTunes match, where it’s trying to look at your files and match them up with the ones they have records

⏹️ ▶️ John of, and it’s hard to know which one they’re matching against. This kind of metadata really helps. And so I do actually wonder,

⏹️ ▶️ John what is the underlying data model? And how limited and dumb is it that errors like this come

⏹️ ▶️ John up all the time, and there’s apparently no recourse for us to like, you know, fix it by

⏹️ ▶️ John changing the metadata.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey It’s very true. Since we’re all filing Apple Music radars, let me file one verbally as well.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I was listening to the aforementioned Illusionist Nowadays, the new album. I believe it was on my computer

⏹️ ▶️ Casey the other day, and it would play most of the album until there

⏹️ ▶️ Casey was about 45 seconds of a song left, and then the audio stopped.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey It’s still playing, allegedly, but the audio stopped. The timer is still, or

⏹️ ▶️ Casey the counter, the play counter, whatever, the time is still ticking up and no music is coming out of my

⏹️ ▶️ Casey computer speakers. I advanced to the next track immediately. Music is coming from my speakers again, and then until

⏹️ ▶️ Casey about 45 seconds before the track ends and then it all stops. I’m wired

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Ethernet on a symmetric gigabit connection. There is There’s no reason that this should not be working,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey but here we are. So yeah, Apple Music, not going well for Casey right now. I’m just going to say that and I will try to leave

⏹️ ▶️ Casey it at that because we have a lot to talk about, starting with some follow-up.

C-Fed on iPad Weather/Calculator

⏹️ ▶️ Casey John, this first piece follow-up is for you.

⏹️ ▶️ John Are you just trying to avoid pronouncing Tatsuhiko Miyagawa’s first name and last name?

⏹️ ▶️ Casey That is exactly correct because I did not have the time to practice and I thought, you know what? This is what you put

⏹️ ▶️ Casey in. You can do it.

⏹️ ▶️ John Thanks, bud. I know this person from the internet and Pearl. So I had to practice. All right. So,

⏹️ ▶️ John uh, the last show I was trying to think of some kind of interview where some Apple executive

⏹️ ▶️ John tried to give an explanation of why there is no weather or calculator app on the iPad.

⏹️ ▶️ John And apparently it was interviewed with Craig Federighi by MKBHD. We will

⏹️ ▶️ John have a link in the show notes to the timestamp offset where you can hear his answer. And I had said

⏹️ ▶️ John last show that it wasn’t a very good answer. It’s not. I mean, it’s a, you know, public

⏹️ ▶️ John relations answer where you have to try to make a reason that makes you seem good. And CFED’s answer was like, well,

⏹️ ▶️ John we don’t wanna do those apps unless we can do like something really special. Like we have a really good idea. We really wanna do them

⏹️ ▶️ John right and well. And on the one hand, it makes you think like, you wouldn’t say that. If you’re a savvy Apple executive,

⏹️ ▶️ John you wouldn’t say that unless there was actually some kind of internal project to make a really good, fancy iPad

⏹️ ▶️ John weather app and calculator app, because otherwise it sounds like, oh, we didn’t want to do

⏹️ ▶️ John it unless we could do something really special. You’re setting yourself up for criticism if you ever release one that’s just

⏹️ ▶️ John an enlarged version, because what do you say then? So it makes me think that maybe there actually is a very low priority

⏹️ ▶️ John project or two inside Apple to make these versions of the apps. But the second problem with the answer, of course, is people don’t care

⏹️ ▶️ John if it’s something special to the iPad, Just make the app so it exists. Like just make the iPhone app bigger. It’s

⏹️ ▶️ John fine. Like people just want it to be there. Especially calculator. Like we really want to do something special. Oh really? With a calculator?

⏹️ ▶️ John How about having buttons you can press to add numbers together? Like it’s not rocket

⏹️ ▶️ Marco science. It starts there. Well and I feel like that’s kind of a BS excuse too because you look at something like the clock

⏹️ ▶️ Marco app. Originally there was no clock app on the iPad. That came later.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, John They

⏹️ ▶️ John did something really special with it.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah, they just blew up the iPhone version. It’s fine. Like there’s

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, John nothing. Which is

⏹️ ▶️ Marco fine, right?

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, John That’s what

⏹️ ▶️ Marco we needed. It’s like, you don’t need to do it. Like that’s, that to me was a BS excuse. And the

⏹️ ▶️ Marco funniest thing was, they just redid their weather app for iOS 15 and there

⏹️ ▶️ Marco isn’t an iPad version of that.

⏹️ ▶️ John And they made it really cool. And I think if you took the iOS 15 weather app and just made it bigger, it would still

⏹️ ▶️ John be a really cool weather app. It’s not like it gets worse. Like I understand the idea of like, oh, I mean,

⏹️ ▶️ John especially back in the early days, it was like, if you can’t think of some way to add a sidebar to your app on the

⏹️ ▶️ John iPad, you’re not really going iPad native. Like don’t just take your phone app and stretch it. Like it was a criticism of a lot of the

⏹️ ▶️ John Android tablet apps. It was like, I was just the phone app and bigger. And that’s true. You shouldn’t just take your phone app

⏹️ ▶️ John and make it bigger. But it’s also true that people come to expect a certain baseline

⏹️ ▶️ John set of functionality. Apple has trained them to expect this because it’s available on the phone. And at a

⏹️ ▶️ John certain point, it’s better to have a calculator app than to have a really fancy one that takes advantage of the screen

⏹️ ▶️ John space and has like scientific calculations and reverse false notation and 10 memories and a

⏹️ ▶️ John graphing function, like, that’s great if you want to make that up, but you can also just make the calculator and have it be a

⏹️ ▶️ John little bit bigger and people will be fine with that. Again, they’re getting it for free with the iPad.

⏹️ ▶️ John If you can’t think of some way to put it in like a sidebar or like a persistent tape in your calculator,

⏹️ ▶️ John it’s okay just to make, for the 1.0, a big calculator app. And the Weather app, like I said, I think the graphics

⏹️ ▶️ John and fidelity and layout lend themselves well to an iPad-sized screen.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah, look at weatherspace. it looks just like Apple’s, but bigger. Apple can make theirs rotate to landscape

⏹️ ▶️ Marco and just blow it out of the water.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey You know, I think I’ve made this joke already, but you know, if only Apple had some

⏹️ ▶️ Casey sort of cross-platform framework that they already wrote the weather app refresh

⏹️ ▶️ Casey in, in order to put it on the iPad. Like imagine if they used, you know, like some sort of

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Swift thing that was built for user interfaces.

⏹️ ▶️ John I don’t know why you’re trying to make this joke. You realize the iPad and the iPhone both use UIKit. Like that already

⏹️ ▶️ John is the

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco cross-platform

⏹️ ▶️ Marco framework. They have three different, they can use UIKit, they can use UIKit plus Catalyst

⏹️ ▶️ Marco on the Mac, and they can use SwiftUI. They have so many options. Yeah, exactly. They can even use Electron. I hear that’s getting popular.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco We’ll get to that later.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Hey-o! All right, moving right along. God, we are way behind already, and we’re only 20 minutes

⏹️ ▶️ Casey in.

Workstation GPU pricing

⏹️ ▶️ Casey All right, the AMD W6 whatever video cards, workstation cards,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey nobody cares because it’s Mac Pro stuff. Moving right along.

⏹️ ▶️ John Oh, we so care. Is that just one item of Mac Pro stuff? Okay. Come on.

⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey So there was some debate last time about whether Apple’s

⏹️ ▶️ John graphics cards, these new AMD fancy ones are the quote unquote

⏹️ ▶️ John workstation cards and that’s why they’re so expensive. So Hishnash says, the AMD Pro W whatever

⏹️ ▶️ John works, the W apparently stands for workstation, cards get the Pro drivers. This unlocks some driver features

⏹️ ▶️ John and pathways running on Windows on a Mac, running Windows on a Mac Pro with a W card, you have access

⏹️ ▶️ John to these pathways as well. So my question is like, okay, that’s great. I understand that you get access to more features in

⏹️ ▶️ John the Windows drivers. But is it actually a different card? Are there any hardware differences?

⏹️ ▶️ John And so Guillaume Lowell says it is indeed the same GPUs used in the gaming cards with the same performance.

⏹️ ▶️ John So there’s not a hard it’s not like an entirely different GPU. It’s the same GPU and his Nash says,

⏹️ ▶️ John there’s possibly some binning and he’s not sure if the memory controllers are validated

⏹️ ▶️ John for 32 gigs on the cheaper version of this on the non workstation one but I think it’s mostly segmentation

⏹️ ▶️ John by AMD. Apple will be paying AMD a lot more for these GPUs than for a gaming than a gaming OEM

⏹️ ▶️ John would due to the Pro W driver support in Windows. So it seems like okay these

⏹️ ▶️ John are the quote-unquote workstation cards but the only thing that’s workstation about them is that when you run Windows

⏹️ ▶️ John you get to use the workstation drivers which expose new functionality. When you’re running Mac OS,

⏹️ ▶️ John is there literally any difference? Because if the hardware is the same and the driver is the same,

⏹️ ▶️ John it’s very confusing. And again, you can put the non-workstation AMD 6800 or 6900 into

⏹️ ▶️ John a Mac Pro and it will use I think the same drivers as the workstation one. That’s the open question of whether Apple has special workstation drivers

⏹️ ▶️ John or whatever. So a little bit more on this. Comparing the W6800 to the W6800X,

⏹️ ▶️ John like the PC workstation and the Mac workstation one, they seem identical except for a slight clock drop.

⏹️ ▶️ John The W6800 is advertised as 17 teraflops versus Apple’s being just 16. The W6800 on the PC is $2,100.

⏹️ ▶️ John And so Apple’s price of 2,800 is not that extreme given Thunderbolt, et cetera. And

⏹️ ▶️ John again, they’re charging you more both on Mac and PC for the W card

⏹️ ▶️ John for the exact same hardware as far as we’ve been able to determine, except that on Windows, you get to use better drivers

⏹️ ▶️ John which expose more of that hardware to Windows.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco And I think, and you know, more memory and possibly a higher grade of memory, I don’t know.

⏹️ ▶️ John But you can get, I think you can get the gaming 6900 with 32 gigs of RAM, I’m not entirely sure. That’s

⏹️ ▶️ John the question of what mix of hardware you get. Maybe you can get a cheaper memory controller. But like the fact that the GPU

⏹️ ▶️ John itself, it used to be that you’d get an entirely different GPU. Like it would be a different chip that had different features

⏹️ ▶️ John in it. It was often worse in games and better in workstation type stuff. But this

⏹️ ▶️ John is the same GPU. It’s just like features are hidden behind a software thing

⏹️ ▶️ John on Windows only and who knows what it’s like on a Mac. So it doesn’t make me feel that much better. But anyway, these

⏹️ ▶️ John are expensive cards.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah, and the moral of the story is that Apple is not marking up a $600 card to $3,000. They’re marking up a $2,200 card to $3,000.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco And that first markup is happening at AMD’s level, not Apple’s level. Yeah, AMD is marking up

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, John a $600 card to a $2,000 card

⏹️ ▶️ John or whatever. Although it’s not the

⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey kind of, again,

⏹️ ▶️ John AMD has things like reference imitations. But I think you can just buy the GPU from AMD and then

⏹️ ▶️ John build your own card. Anyway, the GPU market is confusing and scary.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Oh, speaking of confusing and scary, is that Daisy I hear, I assume?

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I don’t think hops can make that sound.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, Casey Yeah.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, John I was gonna say,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco yeah, she’s

⏹️ ▶️ John a terrifying beast.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco She does not like the GPU market. No, no.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey No. Or maybe she just doesn’t like talking about the Mac Pro. Maybe that’s the problem.

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Bug bounties vs. internal salaries

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Adrian writes, with regard to bug bounties, and I think we theorized on the show, or I don’t remember

⏹️ ▶️ Casey how it came up, but why doesn’t Apple pay bigger bug bounties?

⏹️ ▶️ Casey They have more money than God. Why not just pay all the money for really good bug bounties? And Adrian writes,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Apple can’t just pay bananas bug bounties because if they did, all the internal bug hunters would quit and make more doing the

⏹️ ▶️ Casey same job from the outside. It’s a delicate balance and bug hunters have to want to do the right thing for

⏹️ ▶️ Casey it to work. I do agree with this and this does make sense, but then again, Apple,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey like developers and employees get a lot of tools and a lot of information that an external person wouldn’t

⏹️ ▶️ Casey get. And I know nothing about hunting for bugs, but it seems to me like that would still be attractive

⏹️ ▶️ Casey if money is not your only driving force in the world, which for most people probably is.

⏹️ ▶️ John I mean, they get health insurance and a salary. And even if they don’t find any bugs, they keep

⏹️ ▶️ John getting paychecks. Like, I don’t think it’s an apples to apples comparison

⏹️ ▶️ John here. People who are finding them in the outside world, it’s kind of like trying to win

⏹️ ▶️ John the lottery. Whereas getting a job on a security team at Apple is a much different

⏹️ ▶️ John financial and life arrangement that is much more attractive to some people than being outside Apple and

⏹️ ▶️ John competing with the rest of the world in the hopes that you’ll find a bug bounty then you can convince Apple to pay you for.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I also I don’t like this argument and first of all I think we heard this argument from inside Because

⏹️ ▶️ Marco we heard this from a number of different people on from a number of different You know names and stuff and through a number

⏹️ ▶️ Marco of different like avenues of contacting us And so this kind of feels like we actually like hit

⏹️ ▶️ Marco the right people with our rant last time But to me, it’s you know They’re saying

⏹️ ▶️ Marco like well if Apple paid higher bug bounties Then we’d have to like then the internal

⏹️ ▶️ Marco people would quit because they make more on the outside Well pay the internal people more. Yeah, like that’s not the

⏹️ ▶️ Marco only option here like you could like if the market value of finding these

⏹️ ▶️ Marco is so high that You know some company in some other country

⏹️ ▶️ Marco wants to sell it to Saudi Arabia or whatever for a million dollars If the value is

⏹️ ▶️ Marco so high then you kind of have to pay it whatever it takes And so if you

⏹️ ▶️ Marco if it if it takes paying the internal bug hunters enough that they aren’t tempted to quit and play

⏹️ ▶️ Marco the lottery, as John was just saying. If they can just make good money internally, well, that’s the market for that.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Apple is in a very high profile position in the world, and they have

⏹️ ▶️ Marco created, through their success, and good for them, they’ve created a very high value

⏹️ ▶️ Marco for exploits of their system. And so if the value

⏹️ ▶️ Marco of an exploit is a million dollars or two million dollars or whatever it is, Who cares

⏹️ ▶️ Marco how they have to pay for it, who they have to pay? They should still be the ones paying for it,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco not some random exploit company that’s going to sell it to a creepy government.

⏹️ ▶️ John And you can do what they do with salespeople, right? So you give them a decent salary, but you say, hey, if you find one of these bugs, we just

⏹️ ▶️ John pay the bounty to you. It happens for salespeople all the time. Or I don’t even know if there’s a base salary half the time for salespeople.

⏹️ ▶️ John It’s like, if you make lots of big sales, you get lots of money. It’s like, the question is, how valuable

⏹️ ▶️ John is this to Apple? And whatever that number is, pay it to whoever finds the bug. And I think the internal people you can adjust and say,

⏹️ ▶️ John well, the internal people get health insurance and benefits and a regular salary. But also if an internal person

⏹️ ▶️ John hits the jackpot and find some kernel bug, or even maybe the whole team does it like, give them the money

⏹️ ▶️ John that you would have given the extra like this is a solvable problem. You know, this is one of the few cases where Apple having tons of

⏹️ ▶️ John money actually does help solve this problem. It’s not so easy. In other cases, Apple should just hire all the people,

⏹️ ▶️ John especially if Apple’s being stupid about remote, which they’re still kind of being stupid about. It’s not that easy to turn

⏹️ ▶️ John money into talent. But in this case, money actually does solve this problem and

⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey Apple has a lot of

⏹️ ▶️ John it. And so, like, you know, I don’t, again, I don’t think you have to, you don’t have

⏹️ ▶️ John to make them exactly the same because I think there are real tangible benefits to be a salaried

⏹️ ▶️ John Apple employee, like say stock benefits, like things that the bug bounty people don’t get, but you just have to make

⏹️ ▶️ John them competitive and comparable. That’s all. And then for the external people, like we said last week, make it easy

⏹️ ▶️ John for them to get paid. Make it so that everybody says, hey, if you find a bug, totally go to Apple because you get paid quickly and conveniently

⏹️ ▶️ John because that’s the way you get people to send you bugs.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Exactly. The reputation Apple should have amongst the security community

⏹️ ▶️ Marco is that if you find something broken about iOS, that you can go to Apple and get paid well

⏹️ ▶️ Marco and easily and correctly. Like that should be the reputation that they develop. They don’t

⏹️ ▶️ Marco have it now, and that’s a bad thing, but that’s what they should be developing. And if they have to end up

⏹️ ▶️ Marco paying their internal bug hunters more, fine. That’s part of how you get to that end state.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco They can do it, it’s fine. no one has ever said, Apple pays way too much money to its employees.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I’ve never heard anybody ever say that. So I think they can afford to raise

⏹️ ▶️ Marco the salary of this department if they have to, and raise the bug bounties if they have to, like they can totally do that.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco And the fact is, that’s what the market values these at. And so whatever the market values them at, Apple should

⏹️ ▶️ Marco be willing to outbid anybody else in the market.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Yep, definitely agree.

Smart Albums in Photos

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Some quick iCloud Photo Library follow-up. It’s funny,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey unlike Apple Music, which I feel like is nails on a chalkboard every time I use

⏹️ ▶️ Casey it, I still am mostly enjoying iCloud Photo Library, but it’s not perfect,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey because guess what, it’s Apple Web Services. So my laptop, I tried to do an import

⏹️ ▶️ Casey of some photos into iCloud Photo Library on my laptop, and it hung. By that I mean, like the Photos

⏹️ ▶️ Casey app’s still working, it’s just they never got uploaded after days, after reboots, after ethernet, after Wi-Fi,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey didn’t matter, they never got uploaded. So I thought, okay, fine. On the laptop anyway, I have the Photos

⏹️ ▶️ Casey repository in its own, not partition, but you know what I’m saying, like volume or whatever the technical term is, sorry,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey John. And so I just tossed the volume, rebuilt it, and

⏹️ ▶️ Casey created a new iCloud photo library. This time, or excuse me, created a new local photo library. This time it actually

⏹️ ▶️ Casey synced very quickly, which I was quite happy about. But now I have not gotten any new

⏹️ ▶️ Casey pictures since the fourth, And as we record this, it’s the 11th. It’s just frozen in time on August 4th.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Wonderful. Great. Thanks. Thanks so much, guys. And then secondly, I went

⏹️ ▶️ Casey to start fiddling around with smart albums, which the concept of smart albums I really like.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey In fact, I keep meaning to. I haven’t done it yet. But I loved your idea, John, of setting a smart album

⏹️ ▶️ Casey for the person is Declan, but the time the picture was taken was before he was born.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I haven’t done this yet, but I love that idea. I think it’s a great idea. And I started, for example,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey doing or trying to have a smart album for pictures taken by my drone. And

⏹️ ▶️ Casey there were a couple other things I was trying to do. And I feel like there are just not that many smart album filtering

⏹️ ▶️ Casey options. And yes, I think I could have handled the drone, or I may have already done that or whatever. But

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I forget what it was off the top of my head. And I want to try to keep this short, so I’m just going to move on. But I really wish

⏹️ ▶️ Casey there were more options for smart albums for things you could filter by. And maybe that’s just me. But

⏹️ ▶️ Casey please and thank you.

⏹️ ▶️ John Yeah, one way you can help to work around that is use the criteria that are there to

⏹️ ▶️ John search for photos and then apply keywords to them and then use that keyword for

⏹️ ▶️ John filtering. You know what I mean? Like you can make your own criteria essentially, because you can make any number of keywords. So in the little

⏹️ ▶️ John keywords interface, Command K, add as many keywords as you want and use the existing

⏹️ ▶️ John Smart Album features to find the photos that you want to apply those keywords to and then use those keywords in your Smart

⏹️ ▶️ John Albums. It’s a little bit of a workaround, but I’m really a big fan of keywords. Since you can make them

⏹️ ▶️ John up at any time and apply them to any photos you want, they really help organize things. And of course you can apply multiple to the same photo.

⏹️ ▶️ John So it’s a little bit tedious sometimes to apply them, but like I said, finding them in big batches and applying them

⏹️ ▶️ John usually goes a long way. And

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco you can always

⏹️ ▶️ John amend them later by removing and adding. I fully endorse, Casey, if you’re doing this, assigning

⏹️ ▶️ John keyboard shortcuts to the keywords. So you can press a single letter to

⏹️ ▶️ John assign a keyword or remove it, like an unmodified keystroke. So you can just type like I type D, which

⏹️ ▶️ John is for Daisy, my dog. That is also for dog, huh? And I can go through photos

⏹️ ▶️ John and really quickly, like, select a range and hit D. These are all Daisy. Or select a photo and

⏹️ ▶️ John hit D to remove the Daisy tag because it misidentified, you know what I mean? Obviously, you run out of keys. But it’s

⏹️ ▶️ John kind of like using VI. These are not Command D, not Control D, not Option D, just plain D.

⏹️ ▶️ John And by the way, another thing. I don’t know how you’d figure this out. I just assume everyone knows because I use it all the time. But

⏹️ ▶️ John people probably don’t. Those shortcuts only work when the keywords floating palette

⏹️ ▶️ John is visible. So you won’t be accidentally hitting the keyboard to like, oh, I just labeled all my photos accidentally because

⏹️ ▶️ John my elbow hit the keyboard, right? Those key shortcuts only work after you’ve hit Command K and made

⏹️ ▶️ John the floating keywords palette visible. So you can make it visible, shove it off to the side, and then just select photos

⏹️ ▶️ John and just get and hit the thing. And it’s actually pretty quick. It’s all just using and doing a SQLite update under the covers, I’m pretty

⏹️ ▶️ John sure. So it’s actually pretty fast to move them. It has some visual feedback. You can see it turning red when

⏹️ ▶️ John it removes the daisy keyword and showing daisy and white or whatever when it adds it. Give it a try.

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Apple’s child-safety features

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Buckle up, here we go. Let me start by saying, if you are the kind of person that listens

⏹️ ▶️ Casey to this in front of your children, that’s awesome. And hi, kids, we’re so happy that you listen to us.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey But not this time. This time, I strongly encourage you to use your

⏹️ ▶️ Casey chapter skip functionality in Overcast or whatever, not as good as Overcast podcast client

⏹️ ▶️ Casey that you’re using and maybe skip this chapter until after the kids are in bed.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey You probably know where this is going, but we’d like to talk about Apple’s new child safety features.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey So there’s not going to be like swear words or anything like that, but obviously the content from here

⏹️ ▶️ Casey on out, we’re going to assume only adults are listening. So please be careful.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey That being said, so Apple announced sometime, I think around the time we recorded last

⏹️ ▶️ Casey week or maybe shortly thereafter.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco like an hour after we released the show.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Okay, there you go. Apple released or announced some new child safety features.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey And there’s a whole landing page at slash child hyphen safety.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey And there are basically three major features. And I think in part,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey because they were all announced simultaneously, there’s a lot of confusion, including from me, as to

⏹️ ▶️ Casey what happens where and when and what all these are about. So we’re gonna try as much for ourselves this for

⏹️ ▶️ Casey all of you to try to break this down and make sense of it. So let me start with the like 50,000 foot

⏹️ ▶️ Casey view. And so here again, there are three major components that Apple has announced. Number one,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey the Messages app will use on-device machine learning to warn about sensitive content

⏹️ ▶️ Casey while keeping private communications unreadable by Apple. And we’ll dive a little deeper into this in a moment.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Number two, iOS and iPadOS will use new applications of cryptography

⏹️ ▶️ Casey to help limit the spread of child… help me with this, child… Sexual

⏹️ ▶️ Marco abuse material, CSAM.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Yep, I wonder, but that was the first time we said

⏹️ ▶️ Casey, Marco it.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah, it’s what used to be called child pornography, and this is now like the new, modern, more inclusive I think

⏹️ ▶️ Marco term

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, Casey for…

⏹️ ▶️ Casey, Marco Or more accurate,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, Casey I think.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah, yeah, child abuse of material.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Right. So, let me start from the top. iOS and iPadOS will use new applications of cryptography

⏹️ ▶️ Casey to help limit the spread of CSAM online. While designing for user privacy, CSAM detection

⏹️ ▶️ Casey will help Apple provide valuable information to law enforcement on collections of CSAM and iCloud photos.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Here again, there’s a lot to dive into on that one, which is probably where we’re gonna spend most of our time here in a moment.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Then finally, the third one, updates to Siri and Search provide parents and children expanded information

⏹️ ▶️ Casey and help if they encounter unsafe situations. Siri and Search will also intervene when users try to search for CSAM

⏹️ ▶️ Casey related topics. So that’s the broad overview, three things.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Some stuff on device with messages, some stuff that’s working in concert between

⏹️ ▶️ Casey what’s on your device and what’s on Apple servers for photos, and then finally,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey presumably almost entirely server-side, updates to Siri and Search. So that is

⏹️ ▶️ Casey the broad overview. Gentlemen, I can keep going deeper, but do you want to jump in now with any tidbits?

⏹️ ▶️ John I think we should start with the messages one. I know you said you thought we’d spend more time on the photos one, but the more

⏹️ ▶️ John I read up on this, the more I think the messages one is actually a little bit of a more difficult

⏹️ ▶️ John situation. And by the way, no one seems to talk about the Siri and search thing, but I think that is also related

⏹️ ▶️ John to this. Maybe I’ll try to fold it into this discussion. So the messages one, that

⏹️ ▶️ John description is vague. Like, oh, on-device machine learning to warn about sensitive content. What is it actually doing? So what it’s doing

⏹️ ▶️ John is it’s trying to see if kids send or receive sexually

⏹️ ▶️ John explicit material by detecting that on-device.

⏹️ ▶️ John And then when it detects it, depending on what the situation is, it pops up some kind of a dialogue

⏹️ ▶️ John to the person who is sending or receiving and gives them a bunch of options, right? Now,

⏹️ ▶️ John Gruber had a good explanation of these features with more detail on his website and we’ll link to that. So the first thing to

⏹️ ▶️ John know about the messages thing is this only applies for children in an iCloud family account.

⏹️ ▶️ John So if you are not a child in an iCloud family account, I think Apple defines child as like,

⏹️ ▶️ John I don’t know when it

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco stops. This

⏹️ ▶️ Marco feature, I believe it’s only up to 13.

⏹️ ▶️ John Well, there’s caveats. But anyway, so if you’re not a child in an iCloud family, this feature doesn’t

⏹️ ▶️ John exist for you, whatever. And even if it does apply to you, you need

⏹️ ▶️ John to explicitly opt in. So your kids won’t be opted into this without you doing it. It’s an

⏹️ ▶️ John opt-in type of thing, right? So how does it work? If you

⏹️ ▶️ John send or receive an explicit image, you get a warning about the image.

⏹️ ▶️ John I don’t know what the warning says. I think there’s been some screenshots of it. This is aimed at younger kids.

⏹️ ▶️ John And you have two options at that point. You can ignore

⏹️ ▶️ John the warning. And if you are under 12 years old, according to what Apple knows of your age because you’re

⏹️ ▶️ John in the iCloud Family account, it says basically to the under 12-year-old, if you choose

⏹️ ▶️ John to either continue to send or continue to receive this image that we’re not yet showing you, and you’re under 12, we

⏹️ ▶️ John want you to know that we’re gonna notify your parents. So the kids, in theory, are told,

⏹️ ▶️ John You can continue and you can do what you’re doing, but just so you know, we’re gonna send your parents a notification about it,

⏹️ ▶️ John right? If you’re older than 12, there’s no parental notification

⏹️ ▶️ John thing at all. It just says, hey, are you sure you wanna do this? And the kid’s gonna just say yes, right?

⏹️ ▶️ Casey For what it’s worth, I actually thought the verbiage that Apple cited on their child safety page

⏹️ ▶️ Casey is very good and worth reading. Now, obviously I’m no expert in this, but I thought it was good. So if you were receiving

⏹️ ▶️ Casey an image that has sensitive content, it says, Huge thinking emoji. This could be sensitive to

⏹️ ▶️ Casey view. Are you sure? And then it has like three basically bullets after that. Sensitive photos and videos show the private

⏹️ ▶️ Casey body parts that you would cover with bathing suits. It’s not your fault, but sensitive photos and videos can be used to hurt you.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey The person in this might not want it seen. It could have been shared without them knowing. And it says, I’m sure

⏹️ ▶️ Casey or not now, with not now being the obvious default. And then there’s a second dialogue.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey It’s your choice, but your parents want to know you’re safe. And this again, three bullets. If you decide to

⏹️ ▶️ Casey view this, your parents will get a notification to make sure you’re OK. Don’t share anything you don’t want to. Talk to someone you trust

⏹️ ▶️ Casey if you feel pressured. If you’re not alone, you can always get help here. And it appears that here’s a hyperlink.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey And then the two options are don’t view photo, which is the default, and view photo.

⏹️ ▶️ John So when you read this, you can kind of see the target audience in your mind. A kid under 12 who’s

⏹️ ▶️ John involved in either sending or receiving these things, there’s lots of dangerous situations in which

⏹️ ▶️ John it would be good if there was some intervention of someone warning or you know like

⏹️ ▶️ John it when you’re picturing the ideal scenario like these are all good things

⏹️ ▶️ John but of course when you’re designing any feature like this any feature

⏹️ ▶️ John between parents and children it is always fraud because not all parents are good parents and not our children

⏹️ ▶️ John are in a safe situation like this feature I’m not gonna say this feature assumes that all kids are

⏹️ ▶️ John in a safe situation because it doesn’t Apple does a bunch of stuff to mitigate this. For example, Apple doesn’t

⏹️ ▶️ John immediately notify the parents without telling the kids. Because if you just assumed all parents are good,

⏹️ ▶️ John and all children are in a safe situation, why this whole dance with letting the kid opt out of the warning, what

⏹️ ▶️ John kid is going to read that and choose to notify their parents that warning undercuts the whole feature doesn’t it? That

⏹️ ▶️ John that choice to bail out and avoid the notification to the parents

⏹️ ▶️ John exists, at least in part, because Apple knows that not all parents are great parents and and not all kids are in safe

⏹️ ▶️ John situations, right? The difficult balance of this feature, and the reason why I think it’s actually

⏹️ ▶️ John trickier to think about, is how do you, like,

⏹️ ▶️ John does this increase the chance that a child who, a child reveals something

⏹️ ▶️ John in an unsafe parent-child relationship that makes that situation worse? There are many parents that will have a bad reaction

⏹️ ▶️ John to knowing that their kids are viewing any kind of sexually explicit images, especially if they’re sexually explicit images

⏹️ ▶️ John that are not aligned with the sexuality that the parent thinks the kid should have, let’s say.

⏹️ ▶️ John You can’t just assume that all parents are there to save and protect their children or that all parents’ idea of

⏹️ ▶️ John protection matches what Apple’s idea of protection is. And you would say, okay, well, but

⏹️ ▶️ John those kids just can do the thing where they don’t notify the parents. Everything’s fine, right?

⏹️ ▶️ John These are kids under 12. How many kids have you seen tap through dialogue boxes without reading the text?

⏹️ ▶️ John How many adults? Right, and especially, And I will add, on top of that,

⏹️ ▶️ John even an 11 and 12-year-old can be, depending on the situation, if it’s two 12-year-olds swapping

⏹️ ▶️ John naked pictures of each other who are in a relationship

⏹️ ▶️ John or whatever, those kids may be highly motivated to see that picture. And kids don’t

⏹️ ▶️ John always make the best choices, right? A 12-year-old kid may not necessarily make the

⏹️ ▶️ John quote-unquote best choices, as in, I know my parents are gonna be notified but I’m going to take

⏹️ ▶️ John the risk. You know, there’s, there’s a reason children who are 12 years old

⏹️ ▶️ John aren’t allowed to vote or drive cars and stuff like this. They’re still, they’re still growing, they’re still learning,

⏹️ ▶️ John right? So even in the best of situations, this feature can lead to harms

⏹️ ▶️ John that would otherwise not happen. Now, like, this is why it’s so difficult to think about this.

⏹️ ▶️ John You said, well, should, should we just do nothing? Should we should there be no features that help

⏹️ ▶️ John a healthy parent child relationship? of Marco putting his Apple Watch on his son so he knows where he is. Features

⏹️ ▶️ John like that can be abused by parents who are not good parents

⏹️ ▶️ John to their children, to kids who are not in a safe situation. Location tracking can be used as a form of oppression.

⏹️ ▶️ John It’s not how Marco’s using it, not how most parents are using it, but should that feature not exist because it can

⏹️ ▶️ John be abused? Every time Apple adds a feature like this, you can see

⏹️ ▶️ John some thought and some part of design going into the notion that we have to

⏹️ ▶️ John mitigate against the worst case scenario. But it’s difficult to argue

⏹️ ▶️ John that none of these features should ever exist because there is a benefit to them and you’re trying to balance

⏹️ ▶️ John the potential harm with the potential benefit. In a case like this where we’re trying

⏹️ ▶️ John to deal with child sexual abuse, the harm is is so terrible that

⏹️ ▶️ John to do nothing, to me, feels worse than to try to do something.

⏹️ ▶️ John But when you try to do something, you do have to, A, try

⏹️ ▶️ John to mitigate against harms that you can imagine might happen, which I think Apple’s doing, and B, accept feedback

⏹️ ▶️ John from the world and your customers about how you might be able to improve the situation by mitigating

⏹️ ▶️ John that harm in a better way. I’m not full of great ideas for this. That’s why I think a lot of people

⏹️ ▶️ John have difficulty talking about this topic because if anyone if anyone is talking about this topic and they’re like

⏹️ ▶️ John there is an obvious solution that Apple should have done that is so much better than what they did and they should just do it I’m suspicious

⏹️ ▶️ John of that because because unless they’re extremists and they say well Apple should never include any features

⏹️ ▶️ John that have anything to do with parents and children because because any harm is worse than nothing like

⏹️ ▶️ John you know the extremists sort of and we’ll get to that with the photos thing of just like freedom over everything kind of the EFF

⏹️ ▶️ John thing where like if you are a lobbying organization where you are staking out one end of a spectrum.

⏹️ ▶️ John There is a place for organizations like that. I mean, I like the FF, I donate to them, but I always know that

⏹️ ▶️ John the position they’re going to stake out is the most extreme in favor of freedom.

⏹️ ▶️ John Doesn’t mean I always agree with them, but I feel like that, that force needs to be there to counteract the

⏹️ ▶️ John other force, which is, you know, naked authoritarianism. We have plenty of that in the world, right? So those,

⏹️ ▶️ John Those two extremes need to fight it out and I’m way more towards the FF side of the spectrum to

⏹️ ▶️ John be there way way way closer. But they’re always going to say this feature shouldn’t exist

⏹️ ▶️ John at all. I don’t agree with that but I also agree it’s super hard to do this feature in a way that doesn’t

⏹️ ▶️ John accidentally end up harming a bunch of kids that would otherwise not be harmed either on purpose or by accident

⏹️ ▶️ John because now this feature gives parents a you know gives

⏹️ ▶️ John you know know, parents, bad parents, I don’t want to say bad parents, but like, children who are in who are in an unsafe

⏹️ ▶️ John situation are now in more danger because of the danger posed by this. Previously, there

⏹️ ▶️ John was no way to accidentally hit a button and notify your parents that you’re doing something you know is going to make your life worse, right?

⏹️ ▶️ John And now there is. But the reason this exists is because there was other harm that we’re trying to stop as well.

⏹️ ▶️ John So I have real trouble figuring out how to feel about this feature.

⏹️ ▶️ John now I kind of feel like trying to do something is better than doing nothing. But I

⏹️ ▶️ John do hope Apple iterates on this and I do believe that there can be a better way to implement

⏹️ ▶️ John this with even more safety for kids in bad situations.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I mean this first of all like this giant disclaimer from at least me here and probably you too as well.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco It’s hard for me to talk about stuff like this because this is a like

⏹️ ▶️ Marco the the horrible dark world of child sexual abuse

⏹️ ▶️ Marco and all this stuff that this is trying to prevent or find at least.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco We are not experts in this world. We are fortunate enough that we haven’t had to be. And

⏹️ ▶️ Marco this is like, it’s such a terrible set of things that

⏹️ ▶️ Marco happens here. And again, we’re lucky that we’re not experts, but because

⏹️ ▶️ Marco we have a tech podcast, And because tech is so big and it encompasses so much of the world,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco stuff like this lands on our feet of like, well, this is what our audience expects us to be talking about this week. It’s very

⏹️ ▶️ Marco relevant. And so here we are. And I feel like many of you out there are kind of put

⏹️ ▶️ Marco in the same position as consumers of tech news and Apple news, or just being Apple

⏹️ ▶️ Marco fans and being enthusiasts of this stuff. This stuff comes up and all of a sudden we all have to take a crash

⏹️ ▶️ Marco course in what all this stuff means. What is that? What is going on in the world out there? What

⏹️ ▶️ Marco problems and solutions already exist? What have people already been doing? What have companies already been doing?

⏹️ ▶️ Marco So we’re in unfamiliar territory here to fortunately a large degree. So

⏹️ ▶️ Marco please forgive us if we miss some aspect of this or stumble over parts of this because

⏹️ ▶️ Marco it’s very uncomfortable to even be thinking about this stuff because it’s so —

⏹️ ▶️ Marco actual sexual abuse is so horrific. As we’ll get to in a minute when we talk about the

⏹️ ▶️ Marco CSAM scanning feature, it has special treatment in society because it is

⏹️ ▶️ Marco so horrific, like it’s such a special case in so many ways of how we treat things.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco So anyway, all of that being said, and we’ll get back to that other part in a minute,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco all that being said, the messages, you know, nudity, censor, basically,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco it seems like they’ve done a pretty decent job of avoiding most of the problems

⏹️ ▶️ Marco with the parameters they put in place with this feature. If the feature went up to 18, I

⏹️ ▶️ Marco think that would be much more problematic because, you know, there’s, I think everyone can agree that

⏹️ ▶️ Marco you don’t really want nine-year-olds sharing nude photos with each other. But people have different

⏹️ ▶️ Marco definitions of, like, things like age of consent and everything as you get closer to 18. Like,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco you could argue, many people do argue, if a 17-year-old girl takes a picture of herself

⏹️ ▶️ Marco on her phone, should she be arrested for possession of underage nudes? that’s

⏹️ ▶️ Marco and that has happened. And there’s there’s all sorts of weird ways in which that can be overly

⏹️ ▶️ Marco oppressive to women or to queer youth. And so obviously

⏹️ ▶️ Marco any feature involving like people’s ability to take and share pictures of themselves

⏹️ ▶️ Marco runs into serious problems in practice if it’s like, you know, older teenagers

⏹️ ▶️ Marco necessarily. So by keeping it to younger children, You avoid a lot of those murky areas.

⏹️ ▶️ John Well, the flip side of that though is that young kids are also the most likely to misunderstand or

⏹️ ▶️ John not really get the consequences of what the dialogue box is trying to tell. And that’s why the dialogue

⏹️ ▶️ John is worded to try to like the bathing suit area thing. It’s worded and aimed at younger kids, but they’re exactly the ones

⏹️ ▶️ John that are the least equipped to really truly understand the consequences and also probably the most likely to tap

⏹️ ▶️ John through them really quick. And the second side of that is abuse and grooming

⏹️ ▶️ John by older predators happens to 16 to 17-year-olds all the time, too. So

⏹️ ▶️ John there’s some people who are more expert in this field who have criticized Apple’s targeting

⏹️ ▶️ John of saying most of the sex trafficking and grooming that is happening is

⏹️ ▶️ John not happening to nine-year-olds, but it’s actually more of a problem in the older teens. And so the situation,

⏹️ ▶️ John because it’s so horrific, We all tend to think of like, oh, what are the normal situations?

⏹️ ▶️ John A 17-year-old couple are like sending each other nude pictures, and we don’t want to get in the way of that, because it’s just normal

⏹️ ▶️ John growing up stuff, right? But what about the, you know, the

⏹️ ▶️ John much, much older sexual predator either posing as a teen or not

⏹️ ▶️ John even posing as a teen, but, you know, grooming a 16- or 17-year-old? It’s just as bad as the child situation.

⏹️ ▶️ John There’s so many variety of ways that these things can be abused. And

⏹️ ▶️ John the tool that we have to deal with this, this, you know, we should get into the tech aspect of this for a second.

⏹️ ▶️ John This is sort of just machine learning, hey, this picture that either is being about to be received or about

⏹️ ▶️ John to be sent, does it look sexually explicit? And that’s just kind of a

⏹️ ▶️ John best guess. And that’s the only tool we have. We don’t have any other context. There is no machine learning trying to suss

⏹️ ▶️ John out, is this conversation between a predator and prey? Is this a conversation between two

⏹️ ▶️ John kids who are a couple? There’s, as far as Apple has told us, there’s none of that. It is literally

⏹️ ▶️ John only this one thing. Photo coming in, photo coming out, ML model look at photo, tell

⏹️ ▶️ John me yes, no, is it sexually explicit? Such a blunt instrument that has no awareness

⏹️ ▶️ John of this other stuff. And it’s hard enough to solve this problem because you know all the like the pictures of like,

⏹️ ▶️ John you know, someone’s making bacon cookies and they take a picture of the bowl and it’s sexually explicit because

⏹️ ▶️ John it’s like, that looks like machine learning is not perfect. This is straight up, hey,

⏹️ ▶️ John machine learning, here’s an arbitrary picture, tell me whether it’s sexually explicit and it’s not super

⏹️ ▶️ John accurate. So we also have to account for all the cases where some poor kid or teenager

⏹️ ▶️ John is gonna be faced with this dialogue, especially on an incoming picture and go, why did

⏹️ ▶️ John this person send me? And it’s just like a picture of their dog, right? Because their dog is determined

⏹️ ▶️ John to be sexually explicit, right? So the tech involved in this thing also

⏹️ ▶️ John makes it somewhat fraught. And I think like, you know, Marco, from your perspective, like, oh,

⏹️ ▶️ John it’s easier for the older kids and harder for the younger in some aspects, but also in some aspects it’s the reverse. And like, you

⏹️ ▶️ John really just have to go through all the different scenarios. And it probably also helps to have experts in this field to like,

⏹️ ▶️ John you know, like I read a few things from of saying like, here’s where the bulk of the problem is. And even

⏹️ ▶️ John though this is scarier, this happens. It’s kind of like the whole thing of like, you’re probably not gonna be like murdered

⏹️ ▶️ John by a stranger. Most likely you’re gonna, especially if you’re a woman, you to be murdered by this person you’re in a relationship with

⏹️ ▶️ John or someone you know or your family member. It’s depressing to think about, but the fear of murder from a stranger

⏹️ ▶️ John or a shark attack or whatever is so much out of proportion to what’s actually going to kill you, which is usually much

⏹️ ▶️ John more mundane. And so I’m sure something like that also applies to all the child

⏹️ ▶️ John sexual abuse stuff. And experts in the field could probably help Apple better target this.

⏹️ ▶️ John But when your only tool is in this particular feature, this machine learning model,

⏹️ ▶️ John your options are limited.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Yeah, yeah, very much so. I mean, it’s such a tough thing, like you guys

⏹️ ▶️ Casey said. You wanna prevent this, and in Apple’s case, not only do you wanna prevent it, but you wanna do it

⏹️ ▶️ Casey with some semblance of privacy. You don’t wanna be beaming these images to

⏹️ ▶️ Casey some server like Google probably would. I honestly don’t know how they handle it.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey But you don’t wanna be beaming every image that you receive via iMessage to some server

⏹️ ▶️ Casey to verify whether or not it has CSAM in it. It’s a very difficult problem to solve

⏹️ ▶️ Casey and Apple’s made it more difficult by insisting on having it be as private

⏹️ ▶️ Casey as they possibly can, which is, in my opinion, it’s something they should be applauded for, but it’s challenging.

⏹️ ▶️ John This gets us into the next feature, it’s like, oh, this is privacy preserving. It doesn’t break end-to-end encryption on messages, right?

⏹️ ▶️ John Because it’s only like, obviously, when a message arrives on your phone, something has to decrypt it, otherwise

⏹️ ▶️ John you can’t read it, right? So, and if we do it on device, if we do the machine learning model on your device,

⏹️ ▶️ John like it was encrypted, end to end encrypted across the hallway and only right before it gets to your eyeballs when we have to

⏹️ ▶️ John encrypt it anyway, at that point we’ll do the machine learning thing. So it’s privacy preserving, right? From one point

⏹️ ▶️ John of view, yes. And if by what you mean of privacy is we didn’t compromise the privacy

⏹️ ▶️ John in transit, no one snooping over the internet is gonna be able to see that picture and grab it because it’s end to end encrypted.

⏹️ ▶️ John Another aspect of privacy is, hey, Apple, don’t tell my parents about this. That’s privacy too.

⏹️ ▶️ John If you’re a kid, not ratting you out to your parents is a form of privacy, right? And so

⏹️ ▶️ John yes, the grand of dialogue tells you it’s gonna do that and so on and so forth, but you’re putting a lot of weight on people being able to

⏹️ ▶️ John correctly read and understand dialogues and by the way, tap the right button, right? Previously before this

⏹️ ▶️ John feature, there was no feature in messages that could potentially rat you out to your parents, right? With

⏹️ ▶️ John an errand, click on a dialogue box, right? And now there is. And from a child’s perspective,

⏹️ ▶️ John that’s not privacy preserving at all, right? And from an abstract kind of like, oh,

⏹️ ▶️ John random people snooping on internet routers can’t see your picture. Great, that’s great. But what I care about is my parents finding

⏹️ ▶️ John out and now suddenly there’s possibility where that didn’t happen before. And of course, on the parent side is, oh,

⏹️ ▶️ John if a predator is trying to, you know, groom my 12 year old, I really want to know about that apple. And so

⏹️ ▶️ John there’s just so many conflicting stakeholders in this in this soup, that it’s very

⏹️ ▶️ John difficult to come up with a you know, other than again, the extreme position of like, you should just never do anything about this,

⏹️ ▶️ John right. And that seems like a clean solution until you think, all right, so we should do nothing about child sexual abuse. It’s like,

⏹️ ▶️ John well, don’t do this. Well, what should we do? Oh, now it’s a hard question. I don’t like it. So Apple’s trying

⏹️ ▶️ John to do something. And we’ll get to why probably in a little bit. But anything you do

⏹️ ▶️ John is fraud in some way.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Well, and I think, I mean, let’s get to that now. One of the things that I’ve learned listening to other people’s

⏹️ ▶️ Marco podcasts about this, by the way, I can strongly recommend this week’s episode of Decoder with

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Nilay Patel. he had a couple of experts on in this area. And I guess, so this

⏹️ ▶️ Marco podcast, you know, Decoder, every episode of it is

⏹️ ▶️ Marco like, you know, some CEO or, you know, chief officer of some company, and

⏹️ ▶️ Marco they mostly sound like they’re gonna be really boring, but then when I listen to them, it’s like I learned

⏹️ ▶️ Marco something cool or it’s much more interesting than I thought every single episode. Like literally every episode I’ve heard, which

⏹️ ▶️ Marco is most of them, it always ends up being worth it, even if it sounds like from the title and description, like it might not be very

⏹️ ▶️ Marco exciting or it might be a company you don’t care about. Anyway, so this week’s episode of Decoder with Neelay

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Patel, very, very good. Because he had two experts on in this area

⏹️ ▶️ Marco and I learned a lot from that that I didn’t hear in a lot of other places. So I can strongly recommend listening

⏹️ ▶️ Marco to that. If you wanna hear from people who actually know what they’re talking about in this area, you will learn a

⏹️ ▶️ Marco lot, I promise. But yeah, anyway, one of the big things that we’ve all learned,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco at least I sure have, I didn’t know this before this, is that

⏹️ ▶️ Marco almost all of the major tech cloud slash service companies

⏹️ ▶️ Marco are doing various forms of CSAM scanning and reporting

⏹️ ▶️ Marco and everything. Like every big company you can imagine, like Dropbox, Facebook, Microsoft, everyone’s

⏹️ ▶️ Marco doing this. And one of the reasons why they’re doing this is because they have

⏹️ ▶️ Marco to by law in many countries, including in the US. And so I think

⏹️ ▶️ Marco part of the reason why Apple is doing this is that they have been

⏹️ ▶️ Marco facing increasing pressure from the law and from law enforcement agencies.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco And there’s a big history here of Apple trying to make their devices

⏹️ ▶️ Marco very private and trying to give users lots of strong encryption tools to

⏹️ ▶️ Marco use for their data and for their content, while sometimes being at odds

⏹️ ▶️ Marco with what law enforcement wants to be available to them. You know, there was obviously the famous

⏹️ ▶️ Marco San Bernardino shooter case where the government wanted Apple

⏹️ ▶️ Marco to unlock a phone and Apple basically said no. And Tim Cook made some terrible

⏹️ ▶️ Marco analogies about cancer, but for the most part, his argument, once you got past those terrible analogies, was

⏹️ ▶️ Marco fairly sound and why they shouldn’t do that. But anyway,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco part of what makes this complicated is that we in the tech business, we operated for

⏹️ ▶️ Marco so long kind of skating by under the radar of most

⏹️ ▶️ Marco governments and legislatures. They couldn’t keep up with us. They didn’t understand what we were doing

⏹️ ▶️ Marco and they kind of left us alone to a large degree for a very long time as we developed

⏹️ ▶️ Marco the tech business. And I think those days are long over now. Like now

⏹️ ▶️ Marco governments have gotten a clue of how powerful tech is. they don’t like

⏹️ ▶️ Marco parts of it and they intervene now to a much larger degree with legislation and pressure

⏹️ ▶️ Marco and legal threats or actions than they did in the past. So we as computer people

⏹️ ▶️ Marco are accustomed to tech companies being able to do whatever they wanted and us being

⏹️ ▶️ Marco able to have these devices that we could do whatever we wanted on and largely the law was

⏹️ ▶️ Marco not enforced or didn’t expand to cover tech stuff. And so

⏹️ ▶️ Marco we got used to this freedom of like, my device is mine, the government can’t tell me what my phone can and can’t do

⏹️ ▶️ Marco or whatever. That era has been chipped away over the last several years at least.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco And now all the tech companies are under much greater pressure from the governments

⏹️ ▶️ Marco that they either operate directly in or at least have to sell their products to for

⏹️ ▶️ Marco healthy financial reasons. So there’s going to be an increasing amount of

⏹️ ▶️ Marco government intrusion into tech. Some of that, like some of the antitrust proposals, which I know there was a

⏹️ ▶️ Marco big one today, we’re probably not going to get to it today because it just happened and we have a lot of stuff to talk about today, but some of that stuff

⏹️ ▶️ Marco will be good. But a lot of this stuff will be, well, we have to comply with this law now.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco And some of those are going to be good laws that we agree with, and some of them are not. And

⏹️ ▶️ Marco it’s going to get messy. It’s already getting messy, and it’s going to get messier as the tech companies

⏹️ ▶️ Marco have to, like, bow to pressure from or just comply with the laws

⏹️ ▶️ Marco in their jurisdiction that they operated.

⏹️ ▶️ John Are you sure about one correction? Are you sure about the thing where they have to scan? I’m I’m pretty sure they don’t have to scan

⏹️ ▶️ John in the US. What they have to do is report it if they find it, but they don’t have to go looking for it. But there are

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco I believe

⏹️ ▶️ John that’s right, but there are there are UK and EU laws that are coming down the pike

⏹️ ▶️ John that potentially will say you have to scan for it. So in some ways, I mean, well,

⏹️ ▶️ John let’s just finish with the motivation for this thing. Some of Some of the motivation might be that those laws

⏹️ ▶️ John are coming, and you might have to comply with it anyway, so we should do it. Another part of the motivation is,

⏹️ ▶️ John and by the way, all these features we’re talking about are US only at this point. So even those EU

⏹️ ▶️ John and UK laws, oh, those aren’t relevant, but Apple will potentially expand this to other countries on a country by country

⏹️ ▶️ John basis, according to them. The other thing is that if

⏹️ ▶️ John the US ever has a law like this, Apple, and this is what Apple says in their interviews, and Matt

⏹️ ▶️ John Panzarino had a good interview with Apple’s head of privacy about this. The Apple answer is, the reason

⏹️ ▶️ John we’re doing this now is because we figured out a way to do it that is quote unquote privacy preserving,

⏹️ ▶️ John right? And we’ll talk about the photo scanning and what their meaning of that is. But what they’re saying is, these other companies

⏹️ ▶️ John that are doing it like Facebook and Microsoft and so on and forth, they do it the brute force way of like,

⏹️ ▶️ John hey, we have access to all your photos that are stored on our servers. It’s our servers, they’re on our cloud services. We’re just gonna

⏹️ ▶️ John scan them there. And if we find anything, we’re gonna report it because the law in the US is if you find it, you have to report it. But

⏹️ ▶️ John they’re actively looking for it. They’re scanning all your photos on the server side because they have them. Apple could do that

⏹️ ▶️ John too, but Apple apparently considers that not privacy preserving. And the Apple

⏹️ ▶️ John set of privacy really hits on this thing of saying like, oh, it’s much worse when you scan on the server side because it’s more opaque

⏹️ ▶️ John and you can’t tell what we’re doing. And we could decide to just scan one person’s thing because they’re under scrutiny

⏹️ ▶️ John and all these sorts of other things. Apple is very big in their messaging to say, That is not from

⏹️ ▶️ John Apple’s perspective, privacy preserving. What is more privacy preserving is if we do it on device and we’ll talk about that feature

⏹️ ▶️ John in a second or whatever. But Apple’s story is, hey, the reason we’re doing this now is not because we’re afraid of regulations

⏹️ ▶️ John coming down or whatever, it’s because we found a way to do it that is privacy preserving according to our definition of privacy

⏹️ ▶️ John preserving. But surely part of Apple’s motivation is, Apple knows that whenever

⏹️ ▶️ John there is sort of an attack on Apple’s privacy preserving features, like the San Bernardino thing of the FBI

⏹️ ▶️ John or whatever, saying Apple, this is a terrible terrorist. And you need to let us have a backdoor on all your iPhones because

⏹️ ▶️ John terrorism is bad, right? That’s not a good situation to be in. And Apple has to make the difficult

⏹️ ▶️ John argument that like, we’re not in favor of terrorism, but we also don’t want to put a backdoor on all devices because

⏹️ ▶️ John there’s no such thing as a backdoor that can only be used by the good guys, right? It’s an argument that tech people understand, but it’s

⏹️ ▶️ John hard to understand when emotions are high and like terrorism is involved. Same exact thing with child sexual

⏹️ ▶️ John abuse. If there’s a child sexual abuse situation, You can say, Apple, I know you said you don’t want to include

⏹️ ▶️ John a backdoor for some reason, but child sexual abuse, you have to do it for the children, right? So features

⏹️ ▶️ John like this, where you can say, we found a way to do this without backdooring every single iPhone

⏹️ ▶️ John is a great defense when the time comes when someone says, oh, you know, just like in the movies, this

⏹️ ▶️ John kid has been kidnapped by the boogeyman and like some scenario that like never happens in real life. A stranger has kidnapped

⏹️ ▶️ John a beautiful, innocent child and you need to unlock this phone to to get an Apple, you need to let this happen or whatever.

⏹️ ▶️ John Features like this that hopefully catch the boogeyman before they kidnap a kid by detecting the fact that

⏹️ ▶️ John they’re downloading CSAM and stuff, done in a way that doesn’t require

⏹️ ▶️ John putting in a backdoor that quote unquote, only the good guys can use or some other technical fantasy that doesn’t actually exist

⏹️ ▶️ John is a great way for Apple to be prepared when like Marco said, those

⏹️ ▶️ John regulations start coming for in the US of like, it’s not a free for all anymore. It’s probably

⏹️ ▶️ John part of the same reason that Facebook and Microsoft and Google and all those things do their own CSAM scanning server side.

⏹️ ▶️ John Just say, look, we’re already doing a thing that will help with this terrible situation. So please don’t ask

⏹️ ▶️ John us to backdoor our encryption, or please don’t outlaw end-to-end encryption, or all sorts of other much worse policies

⏹️ ▶️ John that will actually make everyone less safe, but that are politically appealing to people who don’t understand the

⏹️ ▶️ John tech.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Yeah. So let’s talk about iCloud Photo Library.

⏹️ ▶️ John Yep.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey So like I had said, again, the summary is that iOS and iPadOS will use new applications of

⏹️ ▶️ Casey cryptography to help limit the spread of CSAM online. While designing for user privacy, CSAM detection will help

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Apple provide valuable information to law enforcement on collections of CSAM and iCloud photos. So let’s

⏹️ ▶️ Casey start off. If you are not using iCloud photos, this does not apply to you.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey That’s as simple as that.

⏹️ ▶️ John Now, before moving on from that point, that’s another thing that a lot of people will bring up, which is,

⏹️ ▶️ John oh, well, then there’s no point in this feature because all the nefarious child sex abuse

⏹️ ▶️ John predators will just read that and say, aha, I’m safe from Apple. I just won’t use iCloud photo library,

⏹️ ▶️ John right? Why would Apple announce the way to avoid this

⏹️ ▶️ John feature? It’s totally pointless. All we’ll ever do is catch innocent people because no guilty person will ever use it.

⏹️ ▶️ John If you look at the CSAM scanning that like Facebook and all these other big

⏹️ ▶️ John companies do and you see how many instances of it they catch every year.

⏹️ ▶️ John I think the Facebook number was 20 million reported last year. Oh my

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco God.

⏹️ ▶️ John You, and it’s not like it’s a secret information that Facebook does this scanning,

⏹️ ▶️ John right? So you would think, well, if Facebook announces to the world that they do this scanning,

⏹️ ▶️ John why would anyone who’s, you know, a child sexual predator use Facebook?

⏹️ ▶️ John People do things that don’t make a lot of sense, But,

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco you

⏹️ ▶️ John know, like it’s, we’ll get to this in a little bit, saying, I just won’t use Facebook.

⏹️ ▶️ John I just won’t use Google. I just won’t use Apple. I just won’t use iCloud photo light. We’re like, yes,

⏹️ ▶️ John in theory, if you were the world’s biggest mass criminal mastermind, you could like avoid all these things,

⏹️ ▶️ John right? But practically speaking, it’s very difficult to essentially avoid

⏹️ ▶️ John using the internet and the major players on the internet. And practically speaking, 20 million cases

⏹️ ▶️ John caught by Facebook shows that they don’t avoid it. They do it and we catch them.

⏹️ ▶️ John And that’s why features like this, even though there’s a way to work around them, still have

⏹️ ▶️ John value in catching criminals. If you caught zero of

⏹️ ▶️ John them per year, we should have to rethink this, but 20 million per year at Facebook is a big number.

⏹️ ▶️ John And by the way, Apple, which prior to these features was not actively doing anything to catch this

⏹️ ▶️ John stuff, reported something like 200 last year. And who knows how they found those 200, right?

⏹️ ▶️ John Maybe they were reported or something like that. But when Facebook is doing 20 million and Apple

⏹️ ▶️ John is doing 200, I feel like that shows that Apple needs to do more.

⏹️ ▶️ John And so here is that, thus these features that we’re talking about. So there’s this next feature. So yes, it’s only if you use

⏹️ ▶️ John iCloud Photo Library. If you don’t use iCloud Photo Library, none of this stuff ever happens, but that doesn’t mean

⏹️ ▶️ John that no one will ever be caught by this. Right.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey So I tried to do some deeper reading into the mechanics of how this works.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey And I did some, but my eyes glazed over for some of it. I didn’t get through it all. So I’ve

⏹️ ▶️ Casey tried to do some research and I have failed. So call me John Syracuse. But we will try to cite what we

⏹️ ▶️ Casey can and people who have done a little more research than us. And certainly like, you know, Marcos’ disclaimer

⏹️ ▶️ Casey earlier, you know, I am not a cryptographic expert. In fact, a lot of it is way above my head. So

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I’m trying my darndest to understand this a little better, but I need a little more time to get it a hundred percent right.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey But with that said, mostly quoting Gruber’s really good summary, so for iCloud Photos,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey the CSAM detection for iCloud Photos only applies to images that are being sent to iCloud Photo

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Library. Like I said earlier, if you don’t use iCloud Photo Library, no images on your devices are fingerprinted.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Photos are compared on device to a list of known CSAM

⏹️ ▶️ Casey from NCMEC, N-C-M-E-C, which is the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. So let me unpack

⏹️ ▶️ Casey that sentence. So NCMEC, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, they

⏹️ ▶️ Casey do keep a database or repository of some sort, if I understand correctly,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey of CSAM. And they are the only organization, they’re the only people that are legally allowed

⏹️ ▶️ Casey to do that here in the United States. And that’s because they’re the people in charge of trying to prevent it and fight

⏹️ ▶️ Casey it. And so my understanding is Apple, and I’m filling in a couple of blanks

⏹️ ▶️ Casey here, but Apple will provide some sort of tool to NCMEC to scan all their

⏹️ ▶️ Casey files in their database. These are things that they know are bad. This is known

⏹️ ▶️ Casey sexually explicit material, child sex assault material, whatever. They will scan all that and that will generate

⏹️ ▶️ Casey a bunch of hashes. So basically a bunch of numbers. And they’ll be post-processed a little bit by Apple,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey the hashes that is, not the photos. And that generates a whole bunch

⏹️ ▶️ Casey of hashes, again, so these are numbers that Apple can then use

⏹️ ▶️ Casey to compare your photos to. So the idea is, and I’m dramatically

⏹️ ▶️ Casey oversimplifying, but let’s say there’s a CSAM picture of

⏹️ ▶️ Casey whatever, doesn’t matter what the specifics are, and it yields a number of 42. Now, obviously

⏹️ ▶️ Casey these numbers are way longer than that, but let’s just say it yields the number 42. Well, if I had

⏹️ ▶️ Casey a picture on my phone that also yielded 42 as the hash, as that

⏹️ ▶️ Casey unique number, and it should do this, by the way, even if I make it grayscale, even if

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I twist it upside down or whatever the case may be, because it’s doing some semantic processing and some other things.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey But one way or another, if I end up with a photo that ends up with a hash of 42, and

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Nikmech has provided a photo and scanned it using Apple’s tool and provided the hash of 42 to

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Apple, then uh-oh, we’ve got a match, and things will carry on from there. But before I go on any further.

⏹️ ▶️ John And when you say a match, by the way, you’re not saying this is a similar picture, this is a picture of a similar thing,

⏹️ ▶️ John it is literally the same picture. Plus or minus, like you said, zooming, cropping, grayscale,

⏹️ ▶️ John blurring, but basically what it’s trying to say is this is literally the same picture. It’s not like saying, oh,

⏹️ ▶️ John this is a picture of an apple. It’s like, no, this is the exact picture of an apple that’s in the CSAM

⏹️ ▶️ John database, right? It is the exact picture. So there are a finite number

⏹️ ▶️ John of pictures that this is trying to detect. It is the database provided by NikMik. I don’t know how many pictures it is,

⏹️ ▶️ John but that’s it. Those are all the pictures that it’s ever going to find. it’s not going to find a picture that’s not in that database. And

⏹️ ▶️ John if it finds one, it’s not saying this is a similar picture or a picture of the same thing, or even a picture of the same person

⏹️ ▶️ John or anything like that. It is saying this is literally that picture. So it is extremely limited

⏹️ ▶️ John in that if it’s not on the NCHPACK database, it will never be detected if this system is working

⏹️ ▶️ John correctly, right? Which if that disclaimer we’ll get to in a little bit. But that’s

⏹️ ▶️ John what this thing is attempting to do.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Right, this is in contrast, mind you, to the messages stuff, the iMessage stuff, we were talking about earlier,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey where that is trying to say, oh, that looks like a body part covered up by a bathing suit.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey That is something we should figure out. That’s something we should alert you about. This is different. This is exactly what John

⏹️ ▶️ Casey said. This is not, oh, that looks like a body part covered by a bathing suit. No, no, no. This

⏹️ ▶️ Casey picture matches whatever picture is in that CSAM database. And Apple doesn’t

⏹️ ▶️ Casey get the CSAM database, because not only do they not want it, I’m quite sure, but it is illegal for them to have it. All

⏹️ ▶️ Casey they are getting is the list of hashes generated by it, presumably

⏹️ ▶️ Casey by some tool that Apple provides. So the thing is though, you, just one match

⏹️ ▶️ Casey isn’t enough. Nothing happens if there’s one match, there is some threshold. Nobody knows

⏹️ ▶️ Casey what that threshold is. That’s probably for several different reasons. Uh, probably so, you

⏹️ ▶️ Casey know, like if we all knew that the threshold was 20, then some nefarious individual could keep 19

⏹️ ▶️ Casey photos on their phone and they’d be fine. But we don’t know if the threshold is 20 or two or 2 million

⏹️ ▶️ Casey or whatever. So, one way or another, one match isn’t enough to trigger any action.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey There is this threshold, and we don’t know what that threshold is, but eventually

⏹️ ▶️ Casey that threshold will be reached. And again, I’m totally making this up, but just to make discussion easier, let’s say

⏹️ ▶️ Casey it’s 20. And so, once 20 pictures are hit, then at that point,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey the cryptographic protections that are built around these, I forget

⏹️ ▶️ Casey what they call them off the top of my head now.

⏹️ ▶️ John Safety vouchers.

⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey Thank you.

⏹️ ▶️ John before we even get to the threshold board, that’s an important point. When one of these matches is found, there’s one of these safety vouchers

⏹️ ▶️ John is sent to Apple, but Apple itself can’t decrypt that to do anything with it until the threshold

⏹️ ▶️ John is met. Like there’s a bunch of cryptographic stuff, which like Casey said, is probably over all of our heads, that makes that possible.

⏹️ ▶️ John It’s using cryptography to say, okay, when we find a hit, we’ll send

⏹️ ▶️ John the safety voucher to Apple, but Apple cannot do anything with that safety voucher. They can’t tell what the original picture

⏹️ ▶️ John was. They can’t tell which picture it matched. They can’t do anything with it until the threshold is reached. And when the

⏹️ ▶️ John threshold is reached, then at that point, Apple has 20 safety vouchers from this person’s phone. And at

⏹️ ▶️ John that point, then, because of the cryptographic stuff, then they can actually decode them and

⏹️ ▶️ John say, now we need to actually look at these pictures. And so that brings us to the next step.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah, it’s kind of like the world’s most complicated and worst RAID array. Like,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco we need a certain number of these before we can decrypt any of them. Which honestly, like from a technical point of view,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco that’s a really cool idea. Like that is very clever.

⏹️ ▶️ John They do a bunch of other privacy-preserving stuff, again, if you can understand the cryptographic stuff, where they will intentionally

⏹️ ▶️ John seed it with false information. So there’s no way to sort of pick out

⏹️ ▶️ John people who are potentially bad actors until the threshold is reached, because just because you see some,

⏹️ ▶️ John like it’s, they do a bunch of stuff to try to be privacy-preserving. Because

⏹️ ▶️ John as we’ve learned, even just from metadata, just of knowing that safety vouchers are arriving

⏹️ ▶️ John could be some information that could be used to determine something. So they intentionally seed in some information

⏹️ ▶️ John to add noise to the thing. But the whole point is, even Apple, even under threat of law, again,

⏹️ ▶️ John if someone subpoenaed and said, we demand that you decrypt these safety vouchers and show what

⏹️ ▶️ John these pictures are, Apple literally can’t do it because of math until the threshold is reached.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Right, which is very cool. And again, that 20 number that we’re using that’s made up, We have no idea what the threshold

⏹️ ▶️ Casey is. So the, but the threshold is designed such that, and now this is a quote

⏹️ ▶️ Casey from Apple, so to provide an extremely high level of accuracy and ensures that less than one

⏹️ ▶️ Casey in 1 trillion chance per year of incorrectly flagging a given

⏹️ ▶️ Casey account. That now, mind you, that’s not incorrectly flagging a photo, incorrectly flagging an entire account.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey So if you’re to believe Apple, whatever that threshold is, be it 20 or 200 or two million or whatever,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey there is less than a one in one trillion chance that any one of the three of us or anyone else for that matter

⏹️ ▶️ Casey will have an oops and get our account flagged, even if it shouldn’t be.

⏹️ ▶️ John So this, this thing reveals some information about this, because we just got done saying like the whole point of this algorithm is

⏹️ ▶️ John to try to tell, is this the same picture as that accounting for things like zooming,

⏹️ ▶️ John cropping, rotating, color, changing stuff like that. So when I say, Oh, accounting for those

⏹️ ▶️ John changes, it’s clear that it’s not a byte for byte comparison because that would work on any of those things,

⏹️ ▶️ John right? Obviously there is some amount of, I don’t know if you call it machine learning, but some amount

⏹️ ▶️ John of processing that is done to try to determine if this picture is the quote unquote

⏹️ ▶️ John same picture as that one, even if it’s been converted to black and white, even if it’s been zoomed a little bit, even if

⏹️ ▶️ John the crop is slightly different, even if a new section of it was blurred out, even if it has some words stamped on it, you know what I mean?

⏹️ ▶️ John Like a human could tell if they’re the same picture, but for computers, it’s harder to sell like a human can

⏹️ ▶️ John tell this is the same picture is just rotated a little bit in zoom like we can do that pretty easily but computers have harder time with it

⏹️ ▶️ John right so this one trillion chance thing and the fact that there’s a threshold at

⏹️ ▶️ John all is telling us this algorithm is not 100% accurate

⏹️ ▶️ John when it comes to determining if this picture is the same as the other one because if it was you wouldn’t need a threshold right it’s not like they’re

⏹️ ▶️ John trying to say you’re allowed to have some number of CSAM on your on your computer that’s not what they’re saying with

⏹️ ▶️ John this threshold like oh it’s okay if have a little, but if you have a lot, we’re going to report you to the law. It’s because

⏹️ ▶️ John this algorithm is not 100% accurate, right? And so to make it and you

⏹️ ▶️ John know, obviously having a false positive is really bad. So to try to avoid a false positive, Apple has done

⏹️ ▶️ John the math and said, we’re going to make this threshold and we’re going to make it so it’s really, really bad, hard to

⏹️ ▶️ John have a false positive. And there’s there’s two strategies in that one, the consequences

⏹️ ▶️ John of a false positive or could be devastating to the person involved in it, you do not want to be reported for to

⏹️ ▶️ John law enforcement for having CSAM when you have absolutely none, because of some stupid algorithm, right?

⏹️ ▶️ John That is super harmful. And Apple would never want to do that, right. And

⏹️ ▶️ John the second thing is, since the algorithm is not 100% accurate, Apple

⏹️ ▶️ John wants to actually know that like, it’s in Apple’s interest

⏹️ ▶️ John to try to make sure that you and also to get the most egregious offenders, right? You really

⏹️ ▶️ John like the whole point of this is to catch the people doing the bad thing. I’m gonna

⏹️ ▶️ John I don’t know much about the field but I’m going to say it’s probably unlikely that people who are doing this have one picture

⏹️ ▶️ John right? They probably have more than one so we again we don’t know what the threshold is but by

⏹️ ▶️ John putting the threshold like this hopefully they can avoid any false positives and also pretty much

⏹️ ▶️ John catch everybody who’s doing this. Again it depends on the threshold if the threshold is a million photos maybe this is not a

⏹️ ▶️ John great feature but if the threshold is 10, you’re probably going to catch all the people, right? Like,

⏹️ ▶️ John again, why don’t they just keep nine? Or if we found out the secret threshold, people could just keep one under. See,

⏹️ ▶️ John also, Facebook catching 20 million people. That’s not the way

⏹️ ▶️ John criminality works. And there is no system that can catch the master criminals, right? Because they just won’t use the internet,

⏹️ ▶️ John and they’ll be safe. They’ll live in a shack in the woods. There’s always some out, right? We’re just trying to do something which is better

⏹️ ▶️ John than nothing in this case. So yeah, so the unreliability of this needs to be a factor. Like,

⏹️ ▶️ John the threshold, That’s the way to think about this, right? And Apple’s calculations presumably

⏹️ ▶️ John are well-founded, but the reason a lot of people are,

⏹️ ▶️ John oh, there’s lots of reasons people are nervous about this, which we’ll start enumerating now, I think, but one of them is

⏹️ ▶️ John that this is not, that it is an algorithm. And despite the fact that Apple says it’s one in a trillion,

⏹️ ▶️ John it’s not potentially reassuring. Now, the next backstop on that is when you hit the threshold and Apple can

⏹️ ▶️ John finally decrypt the safety vouchers, it doesn’t report you to the police at that point. What happens at that point is Apple has

⏹️ ▶️ John someone whose job is terrible. Actual human beings then have to

⏹️ ▶️ John look at the photos and do a final human-powered confirmation that yes, these really

⏹️ ▶️ John are the same photos, right? That these really are, I mean, not the same, but these really are, you know,

⏹️ ▶️ John they are see salmon, not a picture of someone’s dog, right? Human being has to make that determination.

⏹️ ▶️ John That’s not a fun job. But that is the backstop and saying, Okay, at that

⏹️ ▶️ John point, after a human looks at it, after it’s passed the threshold, it’s done all the things, once it passes the threshold, they

⏹️ ▶️ John get, I think they get like a lower resolution version of it, they don’t even get the full version of it, but they, enough of

⏹️ ▶️ John it so a human can look at it because Apple can finally decode it now because it passed the threshold. They look at

⏹️ ▶️ John it, they make a determination. This is by the way, after the one in a trillion, after the one in a trillion, then

⏹️ ▶️ John a human looks at it. So even if you fall into the one in a trillion thing, if it turns up not being

⏹️ ▶️ John one in a trillion, but one in a hundred million, then a human has to look at it. They make the determination if it turns out at

⏹️ ▶️ John CSAM, they report you to the authorities because it’s US law that they have to do that anyway, right? Because

⏹️ ▶️ John now they have found it, a human has confirmed it, and they report it. Unfortunately

⏹️ ▶️ John for Apple, even this is not particularly reassuring to a lot of people because anyone who’s gone through AppReview

⏹️ ▶️ John knows that ostensibly a human looks at every app in AppReview and we’ve all seen rejections from AppReview

⏹️ ▶️ John that prove that having a human look at something is not necessarily a guarantee that something sane or logical

⏹️ ▶️ John will happen. Now you would hope that the people doing this job have a higher

⏹️ ▶️ John threshold of reporting someone to the police for child sexual abuse material

⏹️ ▶️ John than rejecting your app because they think you didn’t put a button in the right place.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I would also hope they don’t have such a volume to deal with.

⏹️ ▶️ John Well, we’ll get to that in a little bit because that actually might not be true. Given

⏹️ ▶️ John how little they detected so far and what might be lurking in there, it may actually be a terrible situation. But

⏹️ ▶️ John like, this is not Apple’s fault. It’s not entirely Apple’s fault, but there is a perception

⏹️ ▶️ John that, especially within tech community that’s thinking about this from a tech and privacy perspective,

⏹️ ▶️ John that that doesn’t actually make me feel that much better because my experience with humans at Apple

⏹️ ▶️ John is not reassuring in this regard. Now, I think that’s probably just a sort of

⏹️ ▶️ John gut reaction to past experiences that I hope has almost no bearing on this situation,

⏹️ ▶️ John Um, because it seems like app review is complicated. A human being looking

⏹️ ▶️ John at a picture and determining whether it’s child sexual abuse material seems less complicated to me. It seems

⏹️ ▶️ John more an open shut type of thing. I don’t think a picture of your dog is going to

⏹️ ▶️ John be accidentally flagged as CSAM by an inattentive reviewer. I really hope

⏹️ ▶️ John not. Right. Um, but so why, you know, so why

⏹️ ▶️ John does this feature make people upset? Why was this feature getting most of the press and complaints

⏹️ ▶️ John aside from the messages feature? Above and beyond the messages one. Why is this the one that bugs everybody?

⏹️ ▶️ John I think part of it is that it applies to adults. It’s not just kids because, you know,

⏹️ ▶️ John who’s on the internet arguing about this? Probably not 12 year olds, but it’s a bunch of adults. And this one does apply to adults if you use iCloud

⏹️ ▶️ John photo library. Right? So that’s one aspect. The other ones I just talked about are like,

⏹️ ▶️ John well, Apple says it’s one in a trillion, but who knows what it really is? It’s not a deterministic algorithm,

⏹️ ▶️ John or it’s not a, it’s not a algorithm that anyone really understands. So it’s some form of machine learning and it’s kind of fuzzy and

⏹️ ▶️ John it’s not 100% accurate. Thus the thresholds that makes me nervous and the humans is the backstop don’t

⏹️ ▶️ John make me feel better. So there’s some worry about being flagged unjustly despite all of the

⏹️ ▶️ John backstops that Apple’s put into it. One of the more fundamental underlying discomforts

⏹️ ▶️ John with this entire system is that it feels, I’m

⏹️ ▶️ John going to say unjust, un-American, not in keeping with the American justice system because

⏹️ ▶️ John people have some expectation and you know, part of the constitution, the fourth amendment

⏹️ ▶️ John or whatever, that like in, in the U S anyway, there

⏹️ ▶️ John is a sense that if you are looking into something in my life,

⏹️ ▶️ John there has to be some reason. I’m suspected of a crime. So you look at my bank

⏹️ ▶️ John records to see if I’ve been laundering money. You know, like, you

⏹️ ▶️ John think I have stolen merchandise because there’s a, you know, someone who matches my description caught

⏹️ ▶️ John on a security camera stealing something from a store. So you have a warrant to search my house, right?

⏹️ ▶️ John That is generally the way our criminal justice system works. If there

⏹️ ▶️ John is some suspicion that you have done a thing, you have to convince a judge that we think this person might

⏹️ ▶️ John do this thing, therefore we need to search something. and you get a search warrant and you look into it, right?

⏹️ ▶️ John The other side of that is where you just watch everybody all the time.

⏹️ ▶️ John And that way, if anyone does anything wrong, you’ll catch them. And that’s what we call surveillance.

⏹️ ▶️ John And this feature does not have the concept of probable cause or any of these

⏹️ ▶️ John type of things. It’s surveillance. It is watching every single

⏹️ ▶️ John picture on every single person’s phone all the time. Now, Apple isn’t the

⏹️ ▶️ John US government. It’s not the same situation at all.

⏹️ ▶️ John But from a sort of emotional feel and justice perspective, it feels like

⏹️ ▶️ John I am now being surveilled, that everybody is being surveilled, that everything we’re doing is being

⏹️ ▶️ John watched just in case we ever do something criminal. Again, the messages feature is exactly the same,

⏹️ ▶️ John but it’s like, oh, that’s kids. It only applies to kids. It doesn’t apply to me. I don’t have to worry about that. But

⏹️ ▶️ John every photo that is sent and received by people who are under the age limit of that messages

⏹️ ▶️ John feature, every single photo has that ML thing running against it if you’ve opted in. And same thing with

⏹️ ▶️ John this thing. If you’re using iCloud Photo Library, every single one of your photos going into iCloud Photo

⏹️ ▶️ John Library has a supply to it. And for some people, especially people who are sort of security conscious

⏹️ ▶️ John and looking at it, or privacy conscious and looking at this through the broader lens of

⏹️ ▶️ John what seems fair and just in the technological world, this doesn’t feel good. It doesn’t feel

⏹️ ▶️ John good to know that you are constantly being surveilled just in case you do something wrong. And everyone trots all those stuff. Well, if you’re

⏹️ ▶️ John not doing child sexual abuse stuff, you have nothing to worry about. If you have nothing to hide, it’s OK

⏹️ ▶️ John for the East Germans to listen in on your phone calls, right? Again, Apple is not the

⏹️ ▶️ John government. It is not a direct comparison, but it feels similar. people don’t like the idea

⏹️ ▶️ John that you’re being surveilled. Setting aside the fact that like, you know, the CSAM scanning is going on for every photo uploaded to

⏹️ ▶️ John Facebook, every photo put into Google Drive, every photo put into the Microsoft One Drive, like,

⏹️ ▶️ John that’s also surveillance because they’re not discriminating. They’re not saying, oh, this person might be a criminal. We’re gonna scan them. They

⏹️ ▶️ John just scan everybody’s because that’s what computers do. But it feels like surveillance to people.

⏹️ ▶️ John And this gets back to the app argument of like, oh, we didn’t want to do this until we could do

⏹️ ▶️ John it in a privacy-preserving way. but by doing it in this quote unquote privacy preserving way,

⏹️ ▶️ John it still feels like surveillance. No, they’re not scanning it on the server, but they’re still scanning every picture for everybody.

⏹️ ▶️ John They’re just doing it on the client. And Apple can’t even make the argument of like, oh, we can’t even see your photos, because they

⏹️ ▶️ John can, because Apple doesn’t do an encryption on the iCloud

⏹️ ▶️ John backups and iCloud photo library. Like in the end, if you back up to iCloud,

⏹️ ▶️ John Apple can get at those backups. And so some people are making the argument that this feature is a precursor

⏹️ ▶️ John Apple finally providing end-to-end encryption for iCloud photo backups? Again, more arguments about like, well, the criminals

⏹️ ▶️ John just won’t do iCloud backups. Like, you know, they will and they do because they’re people and

⏹️ ▶️ John some of them won’t, but most of them will, right? Because it’s just law of averages. Anyway,

⏹️ ▶️ John if this is a precursor to end-to-end encrypting iCloud backups, great. But if it’s not,

⏹️ ▶️ John it doesn’t feel any more privacy preserving, and I say feel specifically here than

⏹️ ▶️ John scanning on the server side. Apple’s argument is that it is more privacy preserving because the scanning happens on your

⏹️ ▶️ John device and everyone gets the same OS with the same database of Nic Mech images and you

⏹️ ▶️ John can prove that cryptographically and you can look at the bytes and you can be clear that we’re not targeting an individual and so on and so

⏹️ ▶️ John forth. But in the end, Apple is still saying, hey, every single person who has an iPhoto who

⏹️ ▶️ John uses iCloud photo library, your device that you hold in your hand is looking at every single one of your photos.

⏹️ ▶️ John As Ben Thompson pointed out in his thing today, a lot of people feel like their

⏹️ ▶️ John own phone, quote unquote, spying on them is somehow feels worse than, you

⏹️ ▶️ John know, sending it to a server where it gets scanned by Apple, right? Because you feel like you’re being betrayed by

⏹️ ▶️ John the physical thing you hold in your hand, like, even though it’s not actually worse, it’s the same thing, right?

⏹️ ▶️ John And in many, in many ways, it is more secure for it to be happening on device and not, you know, not

⏹️ ▶️ John sending an unencrypted across the wire or letting Apple see it or all those other things, setting aside the iCloud backup issue.

⏹️ ▶️ John But it feels worse. And this is a lot of Apple’s problem with this feature, that every part of it,

⏹️ ▶️ John Apple is making the argument that this is, preserves your privacy better. But

⏹️ ▶️ John to the average person, when you explain it to them, it feels worse than the alternatives

⏹️ ▶️ John that Apple says are worse. But in the end, all of them are essentially some form of

⏹️ ▶️ John surveillance by your device, which is common practice and is the way that we use computers

⏹️ ▶️ John to try to catch criminals in this particular situation, which I don’t know,

⏹️ ▶️ John again, people who don’t like this, okay, what should we do instead? Well, there’s always the people who say, let’s do nothing.

⏹️ ▶️ John I’m not in favor of that solution. And neither is pretty much anyone else in the tech industry.

⏹️ ▶️ John And if those laws come through that says Apple has to scan, they need a solution. And if you needed a solution, this one

⏹️ ▶️ John is in keeping with Apple’s values, which is we’d rather do it on device. We don’t want to, uh, you know,

⏹️ ▶️ John we don’t want to compromise our end to end encryption where it exists. In theory, Apple, this leaves Apple

⏹️ ▶️ John free to do end to end encrypted iCloud backups at any point in the future while still being able to say to government regulators,

⏹️ ▶️ John Hey, we’re still scanning for CSAM, right? You can’t make us unencrypt our end to end

⏹️ ▶️ John encrypted backups because that’s not stopping us from doing the thing you want us to do. You know, save the children, all that stuff.

⏹️ ▶️ John But from a feel perspective, I don’t think this feels

⏹️ ▶️ John great to a lot of people.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I mean, for me, the more I sit with this and the more we learn about some of the details,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I’m put a little bit more at ease about it. You know, and the more I think about a lot of

⏹️ ▶️ Marco it, you know, it’s tricky because as you mentioned earlier, like CSAM is a special case,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco both morally for most people, but also so legally in most jurisdictions, that

⏹️ ▶️ Marco normally you can take a picture of, in most cases, whatever you

⏹️ ▶️ Marco want, and it’s generally not going to be illegal for you to even possess

⏹️ ▶️ Marco that picture. There’s things like copyright infringement that could be a problem or other issues, but

⏹️ ▶️ Marco for the most part, most types of data are not themselves totally illegal

⏹️ ▶️ Marco to even possess, whereas this is. And I think

⏹️ ▶️ Marco the more life experience or perspective you have, the more reasonable

⏹️ ▶️ Marco you think that is. Like, if you know at all how horrific this kind of stuff can be, then

⏹️ ▶️ Marco yeah, you kind of realize why it should be illegal to even possess it.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco So Apple then is in a tough position because they sell

⏹️ ▶️ Marco a billion devices that have really good encryption built in and really good privacy

⏹️ ▶️ Marco built in. And it gives their customers the ability to do

⏹️ ▶️ Marco a lot of illegal things to great effect. A lot of that you can look the other way

⏹️ ▶️ Marco and say, well, you know, it’s out of our hands, it’s not our problem, and the good outweighs the bad.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco But there is this like, there’s always this big exception that what if you enable

⏹️ ▶️ Marco child abuse? That’s a pretty horrible thing. And in this case,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco if you look at the way they designed this feature, you know, we’ll talk about potential future motives

⏹️ ▶️ Marco in a minute, but if you look at the way they designed this feature, they didn’t design it

⏹️ ▶️ Marco to prevent the iPhone camera from capturing CSAM images.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco They didn’t prevent other apps from transmitting them back and

⏹️ ▶️ Marco forth. You know, they, like, you know, we mentioned earlier about the iMessage feature,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I think A lot of kids are gonna be using other services to do that kind of thing, not just iMessage. But anyway, they did

⏹️ ▶️ Marco roughly the bare minimum they could do to keep themselves out of hot

⏹️ ▶️ Marco water with the CSAM scanning feature. Like the iMessage, that’s a little bit different. But

⏹️ ▶️ Marco what they did was keep themselves out of possession of data that’s

⏹️ ▶️ Marco illegal to possess. So in that way, they clearly did a very

⏹️ ▶️ Marco narrow thing here.

⏹️ ▶️ John Well, they’re not keeping themselves out of possession because surely they possess tons of it now and they’re not going to find that tons

⏹️ ▶️ John of it unless it is uploaded or downloaded from iCloud Photos.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Do we know if they’re going to be retroactively scanning existing libraries? I would assume they are. They

⏹️ ▶️ John won’t. They won’t be because that’s the whole point. They’re not doing server-side scanning. Now, they will scan it if it comes to

⏹️ ▶️ John or from a phone, which may allow them to scan it. But like, I mean, if it goes off the end because you’re optimizing storage

⏹️ ▶️ John and you pull it back in. But Apple has been very explicit that they are not scanning at server-side.

⏹️ ▶️ John they’ll probably get it all because if it’s in an iCloud photo library and you load up a new phone or even just

⏹️ ▶️ John scroll a whole bunch or you know, like things go back and forth through my cloud photo library all the time to the phone and every

⏹️ ▶️ John time something goes back and forth to any device a Mac a phone. I don’t know if it’s a Mac, it’s just iPad OS and iPhone OS. But anyway,

⏹️ ▶️ John anytime it transfers, it is then scanned on that device. But they’re

⏹️ ▶️ John explicitly not saying Oh, and by the way, we’re going to go through a back catalog of all these iCloud

⏹️ ▶️ John phone backups that we have access to because we have the keys and scan in all the photos, right? So Apple will undoubtedly

⏹️ ▶️ John continue to be in possession of CSAM just as they are at this moment, but going forward, they

⏹️ ▶️ John are trying to catch any collection of it that starts to exist or that is newly downloaded to a

⏹️ ▶️ John new phone or a new iPad or whatever.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah, that makes sense, all right. But anyway, I think, you know, they are clearly trying to,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco for the most part, in most ways, still let your device be your device.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco In this case, they are basically mostly protecting themselves from

⏹️ ▶️ Marco being in possession of data that’s illegal to possess. And so I’m a little

⏹️ ▶️ Marco bit heartened. Did we figure out if that’s a word or not? It is, I don’t know why you doubt this, it

⏹️ ▶️ Marco is. I’m a little bit heartened that they’ve done this in a relatively narrow way.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco There’s lots of ways that governments have applied pressure to

⏹️ ▶️ Marco tech companies that I think are a little bit more overreaching, like for instance,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco try scanning a picture of a $100 bill, or any Euro banknote, or any modern banknote.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Try scanning it and open it up in Photoshop. See how far you get.

⏹️ ▶️ John Oh, that actually brings up the other big objection to this, which is the slivery slope thing having to do with governments.

⏹️ ▶️ John So we just described the feature. It’s the NCMEC database. It’s the comparison against things. One of the things

⏹️ ▶️ John people jumped on really early was like, first of all, how does stuff get into the NCMEC database? Because if it’s

⏹️ ▶️ John totally opaque and Apple doesn’t even what’s in there, you’re just trusting NicMec. What if someone,

⏹️ ▶️ John you know, from some company says, here, put in this picture of our, you know, copyrighted image

⏹️ ▶️ John into your NicMec database. So then we’ll know if anyone shares our copyrighted image or whatever. And the second

⏹️ ▶️ John thing is, that’s just one database. Next, it’s gonna be a database of anything,

⏹️ ▶️ John you know, movie companies will be putting in databases of movies and trailers, and

⏹️ ▶️ John we’re just gonna find every, you know, it’s gonna all, it’ll be copyright infringement and patents and all sorts of other stuff. just be like

⏹️ ▶️ John Apple would just take anyone’s database and just compare against and all the stuff. There’s lots of slippery slope arguments there. Apple

⏹️ ▶️ John for what it’s worth has explicitly said no, we’re Apple itself is not adding stuff to the

⏹️ ▶️ John database. It’s not letting anyone else add stuff to the database. The next next entire purpose in life is not to

⏹️ ▶️ John allow random companies like Disney to add pictures of Iron Man to the database because they don’t want people sharing pictures of Iron Man.

⏹️ ▶️ John Like it is very, very narrowly defined, right? The second part of the Apple says that they’ll,

⏹️ ▶️ John you know, uh, like that, that’s the the intended function of this feature, right? Second part is, okay, well,

⏹️ ▶️ John but the government can make Apple do all sorts of things. And in fact, the government can make Apple not tell people about it.

⏹️ ▶️ John So what if the government makes Apple add pictures of secret like Pentagon documents so they

⏹️ ▶️ John don’t want it to be leaked or whatever. And we need, we want them to be leaked because they show like, you know, abuses in Abu Ghraib or

⏹️ ▶️ John whatever, right? The government can make Apple do that. And then the government can make Apple not say anything

⏹️ ▶️ John about it. All right, so the solution to the government being able

⏹️ ▶️ John to force companies to do things that we don’t like when you live in, ostensibly,

⏹️ ▶️ John a democracy, plus or minus voter suppression and gerrymandering and all the other terrible things that afflict this country,

⏹️ ▶️ John is that we change the government. And the government changes the laws. Then we have things in the Constitution

⏹️ ▶️ John that prevent, you know, like, there was a whole big argument about how the Fourth Amendment would prevent

⏹️ ▶️ John any sort of evidence gathered in this way from being admissible in court or whatever. But anyway,

⏹️ ▶️ John in the US, in

⏹️ ▶️ Marco theory, I’m being buried under a storm of asterisks here. They’re just falling from the sky, just

⏹️ ▶️ Marco burying me under a pile of asterisks.

⏹️ ▶️ John Yeah, I know. But anyway, in the US, in theory, we have a mechanism

⏹️ ▶️ John to stop that from happening. But what it comes down to is, yes, companies are

⏹️ ▶️ John subject to the government that runs the country in which they operate. And the US is subject to the

⏹️ ▶️ John US government. And the US government has a bunch of terrible laws. And it’s very difficult to change those terrible laws. And we know

⏹️ ▶️ John all that. But that is that situation. But then one step up from that is, OK, let’s Let’s say you’re okay with the US

⏹️ ▶️ John and you think they’re not going to do anything too terrible. What about in China? Well, I have some bad news as we’ve discussed

⏹️ ▶️ John in the past. Apple has a China problem and the world has a China problem.

⏹️ ▶️ John And part of that problem is that China already has access to everything that Apple does in China because

⏹️ ▶️ John China has made Apple put all their stuff in Chinese data centers where China holds the keys, right?

⏹️ ▶️ John That’s not a problem Apple can solve. The only way they can solve it is say we’re either going to be in China and do

⏹️ ▶️ John what Chinese law dictates, which is essentially give China access to everything, which is what the situation currently

⏹️ ▶️ John is, or we don’t do business in China, which is some other what some other companies have chosen to do.

⏹️ ▶️ John So that’s the conversation you need to have there, which is like, first of all, China doesn’t need to stick things

⏹️ ▶️ John in the NICMEC database, they have access to everything because they’re an oppressive authoritarian regime,

⏹️ ▶️ John right? They’ve already done that they probably have way better systems than this for, you know, keeping track of the dissidents and doing all

⏹️ ▶️ John terrible things that they do, right? That’s terrible. That’s also another a problem Apple can

⏹️ ▶️ John solve and it’s not made worse by this feature. So like so many things,

⏹️ ▶️ John if you don’t trust your government to not do oppressive authoritarian things,

⏹️ ▶️ John nothing the technology company that operates in your in your country can do will fix

⏹️ ▶️ John that. Like Apple can’t fix the US government except for through lobbying and all the other ways they can fix it. But

⏹️ ▶️ John again, as they’re

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco all the asterisks

⏹️ ▶️ John that are falling down from the sky or Marco, government

⏹️ ▶️ John problems need to have, unfortunately, government solutions. So

⏹️ ▶️ John the reason technology is so difficult to regulate is because the issues are complicated and nuanced. And there’s lots of,

⏹️ ▶️ John we have to do this because terrorism, or save the children, or whatever. So we need backdoors and online encryption.

⏹️ ▶️ John And we continue to fight that as tech-savvy voters and consumers. But

⏹️ ▶️ John I think the most salient point here is that regardless of your dim view of the US government, and I think we all

⏹️ ▶️ John share that, we can say that in the US, our ability to

⏹️ ▶️ John change what the government can and can’t do is way better than in China. And

⏹️ ▶️ John as we said at the top of this program, this policy is only in effect in the US. So if you see this

⏹️ ▶️ John and you think, this is terrible, the government can make Apple do all sorts of sneaky things, A, I would say,

⏹️ ▶️ John yeah, the government could already make Apple do all sorts of sneaky

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco things

⏹️ ▶️ John and force them not to tell you about it. This has already happened and will continue to happen. And if you don’t like that, vote

⏹️ ▶️ John for people who want to change that. That’s the only stupid tool we have to change that.

⏹️ ▶️ John You know, there is no complaining on Twitter about Apple policy that is gonna change that. Because Apple,

⏹️ ▶️ John believe me, Apple does not like being told to do something about the government and also being told that they can’t tell anyone

⏹️ ▶️ John about it. Apple doesn’t like that either, right? So if you don’t like that,

⏹️ ▶️ John and if you feel bad about that, let’s change the laws related to that. And again,

⏹️ ▶️ John in theory, the Constitution is some form of a backstop against the most egregious offenses, because

⏹️ ▶️ John our certain rights are very difficult to change without a constitutional amendment, and yada, yada, yada, right?

⏹️ ▶️ John And then if you’re worried that Apple is going to let China do whatever they want, they already are.

⏹️ ▶️ John Sorry. And if you’re worried that Apple’s going to let some other country do whatever they want, this eventually

⏹️ ▶️ John comes down to the foundation of trust that we’ve talked about when talking about many features in the past, which is in the end,

⏹️ ▶️ John you have to trust your OS vendor or your platform vendor with something because

⏹️ ▶️ John no matter what they do, like, oh, we have end-to-end encryption. Somebody writes the app that implements end-to-end

⏹️ ▶️ John encryption and if you don’t trust the person who’s writing the app, even if it’s open source, oh, I

⏹️ ▶️ John trust them because I can see the source code, oh, really, you audited all those lines of the source code? If that was true, a heartbleed wouldn’t have

⏹️ ▶️ John happened, right? In the end, you have to have some baseline level of trust of the person who is implementing

⏹️ ▶️ John your encrypted system, even if you agree with all of the, you know, the way it’s supposed to work.

⏹️ ▶️ John That’s what it always comes down to. Do you trust Apple to not secretly put pictures

⏹️ ▶️ John of Mickey Mouse and Iron Man into the database and find people who are illegally copying like movie trailers

⏹️ ▶️ John or something stupid, right? You either do or you don’t. And if you don’t trust them, who do you trust?

⏹️ ▶️ John Buy your phone from them instead, right? That’s what it comes down to because yes, Apple, like whatever, what their encryption thing

⏹️ ▶️ John is, in the end, the messages app eventually has access to all of your messages. the mail app eventually,

⏹️ ▶️ John because it shows you them on the screen. Like they’re in memory on the phone. Like the phone could be

⏹️ ▶️ John doing whatever it wants. Like it doesn’t matter about all this encryption and provable security or whatever. Something

⏹️ ▶️ John has to decrypt them and send the information to your eyeballs. And the people who write that software,

⏹️ ▶️ John you have to have some amount of trust in them because somebody has to have access to it. And it’s not just you, it’s

⏹️ ▶️ John the person who writes that app. And that’s Apple in this case. So if you find yourself spiraling down a trust hole

⏹️ ▶️ John here and being like, I can’t trust Apple to run this CSAM system because they could

⏹️ ▶️ John do anything. Yes, they can do anything. China can do anything, and the US government can do almost

⏹️ ▶️ John anything, right? That’s true, but at each one of those stages, it’s like,

⏹️ ▶️ John what can I do to change the government in China? What can I do to change the government in the US? And do I trust Apple to do

⏹️ ▶️ John something that’s in my interest? On the plus column for Apple, they have proven

⏹️ ▶️ John in the past that they will resist US government pressure to do a thing that

⏹️ ▶️ John would be essentially a PR win. Oh, Apple was so great. They unlocked that terrorist phone for the FBI.

⏹️ ▶️ John Apple refused to do that despite the fact that to many people it made them look bad. Oh, does Apple side with the

⏹️ ▶️ John terrorist? Do you do you enjoy, you know, these, uh, San Bernadino killer? Is that your number one customer?

⏹️ ▶️ John You want to protect that person because there is a higher principle. So if you’re worried that Apple would never do that,

⏹️ ▶️ John they have at least once and probably more times proven that they will do that. If you’re worried that Apple is being

⏹️ ▶️ John forced by the government to do things and not say anything about them. Yeah, that’s probably happening. But nothing about

⏹️ ▶️ John what Apple implements can really prevent that. You could say, Oh, if Apple didn’t implement this feature, then they wouldn’t have to bow

⏹️ ▶️ John to government pressure. No, because once the government can make you do stuff and not say anything about it, there are very few

⏹️ ▶️ John limits on that. Like, and again, uh, I cloud backups are not end to end encrypted.

⏹️ ▶️ John So already the government can probably force Apple to give them that information, not say anything about it.

⏹️ ▶️ John Right. So I kind of understand the argument that tech companies shouldn’t implement features

⏹️ ▶️ John like these because it makes it easier for the government to demand that they do things, but I don’t really

⏹️ ▶️ John buy into it too much because if your problem is that the government can make a company do a thing, the

⏹️ ▶️ John solution is not tech companies should never implement features because government can make them use the features for

⏹️ ▶️ John nefarious purposes. The solution is it shouldn’t be legal for the government to use these feet to make companies

⏹️ ▶️ John do these things for nefarious purposes. And in general, it’s not except for in these quote quote, unquote, extreme circumstances,

⏹️ ▶️ John 9-11, never forget, where these laws can be used and abused to make

⏹️ ▶️ John companies do things because of terrorism, because of child sexual abuse, and so on and so forth. And then finally,

⏹️ ▶️ John as we’ve been discussing the whole time, sometimes, as they say at the beginning of the show, certain crimes

⏹️ ▶️ John are particularly heinous. Like, I’m not getting the quote right. That’s law and order SVU for people who are not getting the

⏹️ ▶️ John reference I’m trying to make. Sometimes there is what is the worst of the worst of the worst thing that society

⏹️ ▶️ John treats differently for reasons we all agree on. And in those particular cases, I think it is

⏹️ ▶️ John worth it to try to do something rather than doing nothing because you think

⏹️ ▶️ John that nothing will somehow protect you against an oppressive government, slightly. And I don’t

⏹️ ▶️ John think it will. So as with the messages feature, if this feature works

⏹️ ▶️ John as designed, I think it is a reasonable compromise and is way, way, way better than

⏹️ ▶️ John the nothing that Apple had been doing before this.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco And I think it’s way, way, way better than what governments might eventually force them to do

⏹️ ▶️ Marco if they hadn’t done this.

⏹️ ▶️ John Yes, exactly.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Yeah, my first reaction to this was, this is garbage. And the more I read on it, the

⏹️ ▶️ Casey more my reaction and my thoughts on it are calmed down. I still—I

⏹️ ▶️ Casey think, maybe, John, you’re slightly—I don’t know, underselling is the best word I can

⏹️ ▶️ Casey come up with—but I understand. I really, really, really understand,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey certainly after 2016 through 2020, I understand better than I ever have

⏹️ ▶️ Casey that it is easy for us to lose control.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Well, this already sounds bad. But it’s easy for us to lose control of our government. And by that, I mean rational

⏹️ ▶️ Casey humans. And so when one cannot fundamentally trust your

⏹️ ▶️ Casey own government, which has probably been true my entire life, but it’s only felt true

⏹️ ▶️ Casey in the last five-ish years, particularly 2016 through 2020. Um,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey when one can’t trust their own government, then it makes it

⏹️ ▶️ Casey hard to trust that they won’t compel Apple to do this and

⏹️ ▶️ Casey ultimately as much as Apple will say, no, we will refuse. We will not capitulate. We will never

⏹️ ▶️ Casey allow this to happen. Even with that said, ultimately

⏹️ ▶️ Casey when it comes down to it, the government has guns and bombs. And not that they would literally bomb Apple,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey but like if the government really went that haywire and really wanted to win this argument,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey they will win the argument. There is no ifs, ands, or buts about it. And the reason I think everyone’s

⏹️ ▶️ Casey worried, including me, although by and large, I’m not, I’m not too upset about this anymore. But

⏹️ ▶️ Casey the reason anyone everyone is worried is that before there was no real mechanism that

⏹️ ▶️ Casey we knew of to Scan your photos for content what justified

⏹️ ▶️ Casey or not? That someone has deemed inappropriate

⏹️ ▶️ John There was though because Apple has access to all your iCloud backups if the government came to you and said hey We want you to scan

⏹️ ▶️ John all of Casey liss’s photos They could totally do it right now without this feature like that’s what I’m saying that

⏹️ ▶️ John this

⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey doesn’t

⏹️ ▶️ John You know, I mean and that’s that’s where we get to the end and and backup thing of like closing that door. But right now that door

⏹️ ▶️ John is not closed. Like, so like I understand the argument, like if you add a feature, it makes it easier for the government to make you do

⏹️ ▶️ John a thing. But the thing that the government would make you do, they can already make Apple do, and they have been able to make,

⏹️ ▶️ John and in fact, they have actually done it. I’m pretty sure the government has used law to get access to

⏹️ ▶️ John people’s iCloud backups, right? With or without letting Apple tell you that it’s happening,

⏹️ ▶️ John right? They do all the time. That’s already technically possible, right? The unlocking of the phone is like, we just

⏹️ ▶️ John want to see what’s on that phone. But if it was in the iCloud backup, we would have had access to it already. So like,

⏹️ ▶️ John I know what people are saying of like, if you implement this feature, the government can force you to do it. But like the solution

⏹️ ▶️ John to that, like I don’t think this strategy of we’ll just never implement features that could be abused by the government

⏹️ ▶️ John is a good one because almost any feature can be abused by the government and lots of useful features

⏹️ ▶️ John can be abused by the government. The solution to government abuse is government. Like is, you know, part

⏹️ ▶️ John of the reason the constitution exists and the whole argument that I saw in some article or whatever of like,

⏹️ ▶️ John would the Fourth Amendment allow you to submit as evidence in any kind of criminal trial

⏹️ ▶️ John information gained by forcing Apple to scan things like, you know, secretly or whatever.

⏹️ ▶️ John And like, you know, that’s the reason we have courts and the Constitution and our laws and the Fourth Amendment

⏹️ ▶️ John to try to protect against those kind of abuses, to try to protect against the government saying, oh, we’re just going to, the government’s

⏹️ ▶️ John going to listen to everyone’s phone calls. Oh yeah. Does that sound familiar to anybody? Yep.

⏹️ ▶️ John Like, this is a problem, but when I see this problem, I don’t

⏹️ ▶️ John think this is a problem that needs to be solved by tech companies. It’s not. It’s a problem that tech companies

⏹️ ▶️ John deliver with, and I get that argument, but it really just sort of makes me even more hardened to

⏹️ ▶️ John fight against stupid laws, stupid politicians that appoint stupid judges

⏹️ ▶️ John through stupid processes that don’t respect the will of the people. Like, there’s plenty of problems here, but the way I feel like

⏹️ ▶️ John attacking them is not through the tech stack. And living within those limits,

⏹️ ▶️ John I feel like this specific feature of the NCMEC database and scanning for

⏹️ ▶️ John CSAM on devices against a collection of data that the government already has access to

⏹️ ▶️ John is not a feature that worsens the situation. Like, I feel like it does acknowledge that, yes,

⏹️ ▶️ John our government is bad, because it doesn’t give the government access to anything they didn’t already have

⏹️ ▶️ John access to.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I don’t. I do see what you’re saying. I don’t think I entirely agree. I think the rub

⏹️ ▶️ Casey for me is that, yes, the government could say, scan Casey’s

⏹️ ▶️ Casey photos for such and such imagery. And presumably right now,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey because you two jerks made me join iCloud photo library, then it is hypothetically

⏹️ ▶️ Casey possible, sure.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Your photos were all over Google before, they’re scanning

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, John everything.

⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey Well, that’s even worse.

⏹️ ▶️ John Photos have already been completely scanned by Google.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Oh, absolutely. Well, hopefully not anymore. Well, I guess it never really dies, does it? We were getting sidetracked.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Did you empty your

⏹️ ▶️ Casey trash yet? Yes, I did. Oh, all right. So the thing is, is that

⏹️ ▶️ Casey there was, you could argue, and nobody really knows, but you could argue

⏹️ ▶️ Casey that while it is easy for the government to say, scan all of Casey List’s photos and look for such and such,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I would assume, maybe ignorantly, maybe naively, that it is less easy,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey or it was until iOS 15, less easy for the government to say, hey, I would like to know across all Apple

⏹️ ▶️ Casey users in the United States, who has a picture of Trump or whatever.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey And now there is clearly a mechanism that Apple claims

⏹️ ▶️ Casey would never be used for this. That, you know, the Nikon or whoever they are

⏹️ ▶️ Casey would never give us an image like that. But the technical solution

⏹️ ▶️ Casey to show me all of the iPhones with a picture of Trump

⏹️ ▶️ Casey on it, they could hypothetically do that now in a far easier way

⏹️ ▶️ Casey than they ever could before. And what you’d said

⏹️ ▶️ Casey, John earlier.

⏹️ ▶️ John Do you not remember when the US government was listening on every single phone call in the entire United States? Does that

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco not ring a bell?

⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey Like, do

⏹️ ▶️ John not underestimate the government’s ability to do, like, you know, well, they could target, they could

⏹️ ▶️ John tap my phone, but they’re not gonna listen to all the phone calls in the United, that would be crazy. No, they will.

⏹️ ▶️ John Like, the government can absolutely look at every photo in every iCloud backup

⏹️ ▶️ John if they want to do. They can look at every photo going across the entire, like that’s the power of our, that’s our tax dollars

⏹️ ▶️ John at work. Are we making our own little oppressive regime under the guise of fear mongering for terrorism?

⏹️ ▶️ John Those are all terrible things that have happened in our country. And

⏹️ ▶️ Marco are probably still happening.

⏹️ ▶️ John Exactly, right? And it’s, you know, that’s again, the difference between surveillance, like technology

⏹️ ▶️ John enables surveillance. Like there’s plenty of sci-fi on this, right? That without technology, you have to look

⏹️ ▶️ John at just the one person, but technology is like, you know what? We can just look at everything all the time. Why don’t we

⏹️ ▶️ John try that? Like that’s why so many sci-fi stories have to do with the techno dystopia where the panopticon

⏹️ ▶️ John where you’re being watched all the time that’s not possible with humans. It’s very possible with computers.

⏹️ ▶️ John And so, again, with the discomfort, Apple solution is essentially surveillance, private surveillance

⏹️ ▶️ John by a private company of private people’s stuff, right? But government also does surveillance and

⏹️ ▶️ John thanks to technology, they can also do it on a mass level, right? And so if

⏹️ ▶️ John the government, for all we know, the government is already doing this without Apple’s knowledge. That’s another thing that our wonderful government does sometimes,

⏹️ ▶️ John see the phone tapping or whatever. But, you know, and it’s not, again, it’s not a human

⏹️ ▶️ John listening, it’s machines processing. That’s always the way it is, the magic of computers. But like, that’s why I think you have

⏹️ ▶️ John to look at these in terms of capabilities. If you are tasked with searching all

⏹️ ▶️ John photos for every U S citizen, your go-to is not, let’s get something

⏹️ ▶️ John into the NCMEC database, right? Your go-to is not, aha, finally Apple invented this feature. We’ll finally have our opening.

⏹️ ▶️ John No, you’ve long since implemented your own solution to this that is not Apple specific,

⏹️ ▶️ John that is not Google specific, that is not Microsoft specific, that spans the entire internet and has nothing to do

⏹️ ▶️ John with any specific feature a tech company had to build for you, right? And like

⏹️ ▶️ John there’s all sorts of conspiracy theories you can think about how that might be done, but like that’s what I get to where

⏹️ ▶️ John you really need to look at the specific feature and it says, does this specific feature make it more likely this bad

⏹️ ▶️ John thing is going to happen. And this specific feature in this specific case, I think doesn’t

⏹️ ▶️ John because it doesn’t provide any new capabilities. And it doesn’t even make it any easier. In fact, it’s harder,

⏹️ ▶️ John because of the limitations of this database and exact matches, and so on and so forth. It’s easier to just scan

⏹️ ▶️ John everything for you know, anything you want to in your own scanning technique of not being as strict

⏹️ ▶️ John of saying it has to be in this fixed database or whatever and doing it client side, scan them all server side using whatever logic

⏹️ ▶️ John you want, right? Look for whatever you want. You’re not limited by this feature. This feature is too limiting

⏹️ ▶️ John to be useful as a government tool. Government has much better tools already at their disposal that I feel like they

⏹️ ▶️ John would prefer, which is why this specific feature doesn’t bother me. The broader question of like, why

⏹️ ▶️ John is Apple implementing implementing essentially surveillance features is slightly bothersome, but I think that is

⏹️ ▶️ John mostly explained by the fact that they’re doing this for essentially trying to be

⏹️ ▶️ John narrowly targeted, as Margaret was saying before, narrowly targeted to their own apps in the worst case scenario, or

⏹️ ▶️ John thing. Everyone agrees it’s awful, that a special law is already written for it. And so if you’re going to be comforted by any of

⏹️ ▶️ John the narrowness, this has all the narrowness you could possibly imagine. Yeah.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco And to be clear, and Casey, I agree with your concerns for the most part. I,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco you know, I think we all saw how big the mountain of asterisks on our government

⏹️ ▶️ Marco was over the last, not even just from 2016 to 2020, but I would even

⏹️ ▶️ Marco say a lot of that happened from 2000 to 2016 as well. It

⏹️ ▶️ John happened much longer than that, but it started affecting white men recently, so we all know. Yeah,

⏹️ ▶️ John I mean, that’s the truth of like, if you think you have distrust of government or distrust that government’s going to do

⏹️ ▶️ John things that are in your best interest, you’re very lucky if you just had that realization in the last decade or so.

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco Most Americans have

⏹️ ▶️ John had that realization for way longer.

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco Yeah, exactly.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco And so, you know, I have a slightly more, I guess, defeatist view on this, but

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I think that it enables a more clever solution, which is, I think people

⏹️ ▶️ Marco keep saying, like, well, this is okay in the US, but what happens if China gets a hold of this?

⏹️ ▶️ Marco No, it’s not okay in the US either. It’s not okay for the government to have widespread

⏹️ ▶️ Marco surveillance powers in the US either. And we have seen over and over again

⏹️ ▶️ Marco how the freedoms that we claim to have, the justice system

⏹️ ▶️ Marco that we claim works and is reasonably impartial. The oversight

⏹️ ▶️ Marco the government agencies are supposed to have over each other, the checks and balances, we’ve seen how all of

⏹️ ▶️ Marco that can just be forgotten and made exceptions for at the drop of a hat. You know, and

⏹️ ▶️ Marco it’s not, it isn’t even just like one or two bad presidents that get us there. It like,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco we have so many exceptions on all all those freedoms and protections that we think we

⏹️ ▶️ Marco allegedly have. And the reality is we have a government that

⏹️ ▶️ Marco largely does whatever it wants and that when bad actors come in,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco they are able to get a lot of bad stuff through our system. I mean, geez,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I’m always reminded like how, imagine how dark things would have gotten in the last four years if they were actually competent.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco They were incredibly cruel and mean-spirited, but they weren’t very competent.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Imagine if they were also competent. Like, how much damage could have been done?

⏹️ ▶️ John It’d be like the Reagan years.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah. Oh.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, John So

⏹️ ▶️ Marco my point is, if you desire or if you need, for

⏹️ ▶️ Marco whatever you are trying to do, if you need super privacy, if you wanna have private conversations, say,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco about the government, you are not doing yourself any favors by

⏹️ ▶️ Marco having those conversations on public cloud services that are

⏹️ ▶️ Marco not end-to-end encrypted. There’s lots of arguments whether iCloud should have end-to-end encryption

⏹️ ▶️ Marco for everything. iMessage is by default. Obviously there’s the issue of what happens when

⏹️ ▶️ Marco it backs up itself to iCloud, which is, I forget if that’s the default now, but that can be turned off,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco and it was off for a long time before it existed. Anyway, the point is, if you want

⏹️ ▶️ Marco governments that are ill-intentioned, which over an infinite

⏹️ ▶️ Marco timescale, that’s gonna be every government at some point. If you want your data

⏹️ ▶️ Marco to be above government surveillance, you have to take a purely technical approach

⏹️ ▶️ Marco to that and use things like strong encryption, and even then, hope that the NSA hasn’t broken that encryption

⏹️ ▶️ Marco very easily in ways that you don’t know about

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, John yet.

⏹️ ▶️ John Or intentionally weakened it. You didn’t even know, but they weakened it from the beginning. I love those conspiracy theories,

⏹️ ▶️ John and some of those you look at and you’re like,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco It doesn’t make me feel good. Yeah, exactly. But yeah, so the point is like if you want to get

⏹️ ▶️ Marco out of the potential for governments to abuse their power

⏹️ ▶️ Marco and for Apple to abuse its power and to work together to try to get you, the way you do

⏹️ ▶️ Marco that is using technological measures, using

⏹️ ▶️ Marco encryption and stuff that is beyond where you are protected, again, assuming that it’s

⏹️ ▶️ Marco good encryption and that that hasn’t been cracked or broken or sabotaged, you are protected by math

⏹️ ▶️ Marco and logic and provable things, not just policies.

⏹️ ▶️ John But the law outweighs math, though. Remember when there was like encryption, there was export

⏹️ ▶️ John restrictions on heavy encryption, and like the PlayStation 2 couldn’t be exported already?

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco Yeah, yeah.

⏹️ ▶️ John You can, that’s what we keep getting at, of like, if you let the government, if you don’t do anything,

⏹️ ▶️ John the government will make some terrible law like outlawing intent and encryption. So yeah, math is the protection

⏹️ ▶️ John against, that’s why Apple can refuse the FBI’s things. Look, we literally can’t do that. It’s like, it’s physically impossible

⏹️ ▶️ John because of math, right? But the government can always come back and say, oh yeah, guess what? End-to-end encryption is legal

⏹️ ▶️ John now. And that’s super bad. So in the end, the solution to all this has to be

⏹️ ▶️ John a government-powered solution. In the interim, when we are protected by whatever

⏹️ ▶️ John crumbling foundation remains of our constitution that protects the supposedly inalienable rights as

⏹️ ▶️ John upheld by a bunch of lifetime appointed judges who got there by an

⏹️ ▶️ John incredibly corrupt, terrible process. And many of them are themselves terrible people. Hopefully,

⏹️ ▶️ John we protect enough of our foundational rights so that, let’s say, if the government makes

⏹️ ▶️ John a terrible law that makes it impossible to provide any kind of secure communication, that that

⏹️ ▶️ John would be shown to be unconstitutional by someone who isn’t an originalist. If the founders

⏹️ ▶️ John never knew about encryption, This must be legal. What Marco’s point, though,

⏹️ ▶️ John is about the talking about it on public clouds or whatever, gets this really good

⏹️ ▶️ John aspect of this whole discussion that brought up by the person who runs the Pinboard service and Twitter account. I forget this

⏹️ ▶️ John person’s name. My Chase

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Zalewski.

⏹️ ▶️ John Yeah, there you go. I’m just going to read these three tweets, because basically it summarizes it better than

⏹️ ▶️ John I could. This is directly from the Pinboard tweets. The governance problem here is that we have six or seven giant companies

⏹️ ▶️ John that can make unilateral decisions with enormous social impact and no way of influencing those decisions beyond asking

⏹️ ▶️ John nicely for them to come talk to the affected parties before they act. So this is the problem

⏹️ ▶️ John of like, oh, also if you don’t trust Apple, maybe you should try Google. Or if you don’t trust Google, maybe you should try Microsoft.

⏹️ ▶️ John Or if you don’t trust Microsoft, then I’m running out of places to get my phone real quick. Didn’t

⏹️ ▶️ John Stallman try to make a phone or something?

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco Whatever.

⏹️ ▶️ John Large tech companies at this point can do things with their policy. Like let’s say Apple

⏹️ ▶️ John had implemented bunch of these policies for child safety and they were much worse. They were like super harmful

⏹️ ▶️ John and like they did a much worse job of trying to balance the concerns of like they really

⏹️ ▶️ John you know the chance of false positives are really high and it was just gonna look like it was gonna be a disaster.

⏹️ ▶️ John You don’t have a lot of recourse as a consumer because these companies get so big and so

⏹️ ▶️ John powerful and they all tend to do similar things. See all the other companies that are doing the server side scanning

⏹️ ▶️ John that if you really don’t like what they’re doing because they’re not government entities, you can’t vote

⏹️ ▶️ John them out. And you quote unquote voting with your wallet has a limited effect

⏹️ ▶️ John on them unless you can get millions and millions and millions and millions of other people to do the same thing.

⏹️ ▶️ John And in the end, people tend to need in the modern era cell phones to just

⏹️ ▶️ John live their life. And if there are only a few sources of those cell phones, and all those sources

⏹️ ▶️ John agree that they’re all going to do a thing and you don’t like it, the idea of well, I I just won’t have a cell phone is

⏹️ ▶️ John very difficult to convince millions and millions of other people to also do to the degree that it affects them. So the general,

⏹️ ▶️ John we’ve talked about this before, of like, why is it bad to have a small number of giant companies that control important

⏹️ ▶️ John aspects of our life? In general, it’s bad. So continuing the pinboard tweets, the way we find out

⏹️ ▶️ John about these technology impacts is by rolling them out worldwide and then seeing what social political changes result.

⏹️ ▶️ John See also social networking, Facebook, so on and so forth. Sorry, I’m adding some commentary. Hope you can

⏹️ ▶️ John see which parts are mine. It’s certainly a bracing way to run experiments with no institutional

⏹️ ▶️ John review board to bog everything down with pessimism and bureaucracy. So it’s important to note

⏹️ ▶️ John private companies can do things more efficiently in these regards. And sometimes it is better to not,

⏹️ ▶️ John like this shouldn’t be done through one governmental agency. Innovation is the reason we have all these great things from Apple

⏹️ ▶️ John and Microsoft and Google and all that good stuff, right? So continuing from pinboard, but the

⏹️ ▶️ John problem is there’s no way to close the loop right now to make it so that Apple or Facebook or Google inflict huge

⏹️ ▶️ John social harm, their bottom line suffers, or their execs go to jail, or they lose all their customers. Profits

⏹️ ▶️ John accrue while social impacts are externalized. So say you start a social network,

⏹️ ▶️ John originally to try to rate which girls in your school are hot or not, and eventually you end up fomenting genocide

⏹️ ▶️ John halfway across the earth. Does that affect your bottom line? Are

⏹️ ▶️ John you harmed by that? I guess it’s a press relations issue, we can probably smooth that over, but

⏹️ ▶️ John when you get to the size of Facebook, if you accidentally foment genocide,

⏹️ ▶️ John like the loop is not closed. Those are the externalized harms,

⏹️ ▶️ John but your stock doesn’t suddenly drop in half and you don’t get fired. Nobody goes to jail.

⏹️ ▶️ John Maybe you get brought in front of Congress and they yell at you a little bit while you say that you can’t remember or are

⏹️ ▶️ John just trying to do the right thing. But this is yet, like, you know, I know we just got done talking

⏹️ ▶️ John about Apple’s, we think is mostly trying to do the right thing here. And it’s important for technology companies to do something, But let’s

⏹️ ▶️ John not lose sight of the fact that having gigantic, incredibly powerful, a small

⏹️ ▶️ John number of gigantic, incredibly powerful tech companies is itself its own problem, independent of the problem of trying

⏹️ ▶️ John to have a government, because as bad as the government system is, we have

⏹️ ▶️ John even less control collectively over what these companies do. In some ways you may think we have more, cause like, oh, we get

⏹️ ▶️ John the, the, the citizens are make or break these companies, but practically speaking,

⏹️ ▶️ John especially in areas that have technical nuance, it has proven very difficult for

⏹️ ▶️ John consumer sentiment to close the loop, to say, hey company, if you do

⏹️ ▶️ John a bad thing, you will be punished in a way that makes you motivated to not do bad things

⏹️ ▶️ John in the future. That loop tends to only work in terms of like products that explode in your hands,

⏹️ ▶️ John or like, you know, supporting the worst of the worst possible politicians with your donations.

⏹️ ▶️ John But in general, if you do something and there’s like a third order effect. Again, if you make Facebook and it accidentally

⏹️ ▶️ John foments genocide, most people are like, yeah, but that wasn’t really Facebook’s fault

⏹️ ▶️ John and the genocide people were gonna do a genocide anyway. And Facebook’s trying to stop it. And like,

⏹️ ▶️ John the loop is not closed there, right? And so if there’s something that all these big

⏹️ ▶️ John phone companies are doing with their phones that you don’t like, it’s not actually that easy to

⏹️ ▶️ John change that, especially if you don’t like it, but no one else cares. Like that, the people like

⏹️ ▶️ John you may be listening to this and saying, I’m never gonna buy an Apple phone. They’re spying on me. And so is Google and so is Facebook or whatever.

⏹️ ▶️ John But just try getting one of your friends who’s not into the tech world to listen this far into this podcast. In

⏹️ ▶️ John general, what we’ve seen from technology, stuff like this is that people

⏹️ ▶️ John just don’t care. Like they just want their phone to work. They just want it to do their things as long as it doesn’t bother them. As long

⏹️ ▶️ John as they’re not falsely flagged for child sexual abuse material, they mostly don’t care. So

⏹️ ▶️ John trying to affect the policies of these companies by

⏹️ ▶️ John rallying the people to refuse to buy Apple phones, or Google phones, or Microsoft phones, or

⏹️ ▶️ John Android phones of any maker is really, really difficult because to paraphrase Singles,

⏹️ ▶️ John people love their phones.

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#askatp: Bitcoin/crypto

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Lalo Vargas writes, hello friends. What’s your current thinking on Bitcoin and crypto in general? I think I never

⏹️ ▶️ Casey heard you talking about nerd money. Do you hold any, without disclosing any

⏹️ ▶️ Casey, Marco amounts,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey any project in particular that you like? Thanks, friends. So a couple of things. First of all, let me

⏹️ ▶️ Casey try to be brief, which we never successfully do on this show. My thoughts on

⏹️ ▶️ Casey crypto are, you know, I think the heat death of the universe is coming fast enough without crypto, let’s not accelerate

⏹️ ▶️ Casey it. But with that said, one of you, probably John, added two delightful

⏹️ ▶️ Casey links to the show notes, which is slash wiki slash

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Ponzi scheme and slash pyramid scheme, which made me laugh more

⏹️ ▶️ Casey than I am comfortable admitting when I saw those in the show notes a day or two back. So, John, would you

⏹️ ▶️ Casey like to explain the relevance here?

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah, John, do you hold any Bitcoin?

⏹️ ▶️ John So, we did actually talk about this on a past

⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey show. Not

⏹️ ▶️ John that long ago, too. I put these links in there just because it’s fun to, like if you read the little summary

⏹️ ▶️ John on pyramid scheme, you would read it and say, okay, technically Bitcoin isn’t a pyramid

⏹️ ▶️ John scheme because pyramid scheme is a business model that recruits members via promise of payments or services for enrolling other

⏹️ ▶️ John members into the scheme. It’s like, that’s not how Bitcoin works. You don’t get Bitcoins for recruiting other people into Bitcoin. So that’s,

⏹️ ▶️ John it’s not really a pyramid scheme. So let’s look at Ponzi scheme. Is that what it is? Ponzi scheme is a form of fraud that lures

⏹️ ▶️ John investors and pays profits to early investors with funds from more recent investors. like, well, that’s not how Bitcoin works. When

⏹️ ▶️ John new people invest in Bitcoin, their money doesn’t go to the early investors like directly like it does

⏹️ ▶️ John in a Ponzi scheme. The reason I put these links in here though is that

⏹️ ▶️ John although Bitcoin technically isn’t exactly like the technical definition of a pyramid scheme

⏹️ ▶️ John and technically isn’t exactly like the definition of a Ponzi scheme, it operates very much like them in that

⏹️ ▶️ John thus far, the only value inherent in Bitcoin is based

⏹️ ▶️ John on the speculation that the price of everyone’s Bitcoin will go up. And so

⏹️ ▶️ John getting more people to invest in Bitcoin, and therefore making Bitcoin look more desirable, does in fact benefit

⏹️ ▶️ John the early investors. And quote unquote, recruiting people into getting Bitcoin,

⏹️ ▶️ John just like in a pyramid scheme, does in fact raise the value of the people who already have Bitcoin and were in

⏹️ ▶️ John earlier. Setting that aside, we’ve talked about in the past the mathematical

⏹️ ▶️ John foundations of like, oh, isn’t it cool that you can have two people who don’t trust each other have an exchange of money without a central

⏹️ ▶️ John party mediating it, right? That technology is interesting. Unfortunately, it uses

⏹️ ▶️ John a lot of energy and is really slow and doesn’t have good concurrency and has all sorts of other problems that have to do with it,

⏹️ ▶️ John which makes it not that interesting for many problems, except for buying heroin. It’s a

⏹️ ▶️ John great way for criminals that don’t trust each other to exchange money in a way that’s not observable by governments. So

⏹️ ▶️ John there is a use case for Bitcoin. It just happens to be a terrible Bitcoin. If you are a criminal and

⏹️ ▶️ John don’t want to use the banking system because you’re doing something criminal, Bitcoin is a great way to do that. So what

⏹️ ▶️ John Bitcoin has enabled is a huge explosion in ransomware because guess what? You can get paid for ransomware

⏹️ ▶️ John anonymously through Bitcoin. It’s way easier than trying to get money into it because think of what you have to do

⏹️ ▶️ John with ransomware without Bitcoin. You have to get someone to transfer money into like a numbered account in

⏹️ ▶️ John like Switzerland or something. It’s like way more complicated. Bitcoin is so much easier so that’s why there is a huge explosion

⏹️ ▶️ John in ransomware. So what do I think about cryptocurrency that uses proof of work, or even

⏹️ ▶️ John the ones that don’t like

⏹️ ▶️ Marco yeah, proof of stake is the new one.

⏹️ ▶️ John Yeah, proof of stake is slightly better for the environment. But the bottom line is like, lots of bad

⏹️ ▶️ John uses are enabled most of the people who are into it. And the reason you see so much evangelism is because the more people

⏹️ ▶️ John they can get to get into Bitcoin, the higher the value of Bitcoin goes up. And that helps them with their investment. And those are all

⏹️ ▶️ John the earmarks of a pyramid scheme or a Ponzi scheme, even if it’s not technically exactly the same thing. So

⏹️ ▶️ John are people getting rich off of Bitcoin? Yeah, people get rich off of pyramid schemes and Ponzi schemes all the time.

⏹️ ▶️ John That’s why they exist, because they make people rich. But they’re not a great thing to get into. And the

⏹️ ▶️ John whole thing about Bitcoin is like, well, if you had said, you know, people thought that it was about reaching the tipping

⏹️ ▶️ John point five years ago, but if you had heeded that advice and not invested, you wouldn’t be rich like I am now. That’s true.

⏹️ ▶️ John That’s true of Ponzi schemes and pyramid schemes too. But it like, it doesn’t make me

⏹️ ▶️ John excited to get into them because I am not planning on ransom wearing anything. I’m not trying to buy heroin.

⏹️ ▶️ John And I do not have confidence that were I to put my life savings into some kind of cryptocurrency

⏹️ ▶️ John that I would be that I would not be the last person left holding the bag, but I instead would be one of those early

⏹️ ▶️ John investors who gets rich off of it. So if you have gotten rich off it, congratulations,

⏹️ ▶️ John good job. But if you have not invested in Bitcoin, I would

⏹️ ▶️ John suggest that it is not a particularly safe place to put your life savings given that no one really knows

⏹️ ▶️ John how and when this story will end. But most people are pretty confident that it will end in some way.

⏹️ ▶️ John And when it does end, you don’t want to be the one, you know, left holding the bag. You don’t want to be the one

⏹️ ▶️ John playing musical chairs who has no place to sit down when all the other people cash out, the early people if they haven’t already, and you’re

⏹️ ▶️ John left with a bunch of Bitcoin that becomes not worth quite that much. And if you were wondering if Bitcoin really has

⏹️ ▶️ John great utility and worth in the world, look at what people do with it, which is they like to exchange it for what I would call real

⏹️ ▶️ John nerd money, which is actual money that you can use to buy things. Wow.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey A couple of quick thoughts here. First of all, I think it was ATP 424 from April

⏹️ ▶️ Casey where we discussed this. I put a link to that in the show notes. And additionally, I do think,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey as much as I snark on Bitcoin and crypto, I do think, and John, you alluded to this earlier,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey the mathematics behind it, or the principle of the mathematics behind it, I think are fascinating and

⏹️ ▶️ Casey very clever and very cool. And I’ve talked about this a couple of times, but there’s a

⏹️ ▶️ Casey really good video by Blue3OneBrown or something like that. I forget the name of this person.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey 3Blue1Brown, I was close. It’s like a 25 minute video or something like that, but it

⏹️ ▶️ Casey is extremely well done and builds up from like, hey, how do you and a couple

⏹️ ▶️ Casey of roommates figure out how to settle up bills if you don’t trust each other? And it basically

⏹️ ▶️ Casey ends up with Bitcoin. So as a solution to a problem, I think it’s very clever and

⏹️ ▶️ Casey very interesting. As something that is using incredible amounts of power and

⏹️ ▶️ Casey is extraordinarily inefficient by and large, and is surely going to create a lot of email for

⏹️ ▶️ Casey us that we don’t want, not a fan.

⏹️ ▶️ John Yeah, I mean, this is an example of externalities, right? So the technology is there, and it’s like, oh, and the externality

⏹️ ▶️ John that we just essentially made it profitable to burn energy, right?

⏹️ ▶️ John Because as long as you make more in Bitcoin than you spend in electricity, it is a profitable

⏹️ ▶️ John endeavor. So the unintended externality of these cool systems for having

⏹️ ▶️ John sort of zero trust, you know, no middle party relationship to be able

⏹️ ▶️ John to exchange things, the externality is, wait a second, I think you just made it profitable

⏹️ ▶️ John to burn electricity. And they did, and people do. And it makes sense from a financial perspective.

⏹️ ▶️ John But from a, like, from a earth perspective of like, so what value are you

⏹️ ▶️ John creating? Well, it’s kind of like a pyramid scheme and some people get rich. Okay. And the cost is what how

⏹️ ▶️ John much co2 emissions? Oh, we only use solar power, spare energy. Not quite sure about

⏹️ ▶️ John that. Like the real question for all that is like, okay, look, if Bitcoin didn’t exist, would that coal

⏹️ ▶️ John have been burnt? Like,

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco where would

⏹️ ▶️ John that energy go? Like, you know, obviously, the silly ones like there was a shutdown power

⏹️ ▶️ John plant and Bitcoin miners bought the power and turned it on and all it does is run Bitcoin stuff all day.

⏹️ ▶️ John And by the way, it’s making everyone’s gaming cards more expensive. Can we at least, you know, agree on that?

⏹️ ▶️ John Well, even nerds should be able to say it’s not good that we can’t get GPUs to play games. Games produce

⏹️ ▶️ John value in the form of happiness in the world, right? Actual and people get paid to make games

⏹️ ▶️ John like it’s an actual economy. Bitcoin, for the most part, does not produce any value except for

⏹️ ▶️ John speculative investors making money at the expense of later investors and maybe some cool

⏹️ ▶️ John technical papers that help someone get their PhD. Wow, that sounds like a

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Ponzi scheme. Yeah, and I think, to me, multiple parts of this are offensive to

⏹️ ▶️ Marco me. First of all, I am in agreement with Casey and

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I think John, that the technological concepts of shared

⏹️ ▶️ Marco work like this, the idea of blockchain verification of transactions, that’s a really cool

⏹️ ▶️ Marco set of technologies and approaches, and it’s very clever and it’s fascinating.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco But I think what that has enabled, if you look at the total, like the net good and

⏹️ ▶️ Marco bad that have been enabled by cryptocurrency, I think the bad dramatically outweighs

⏹️ ▶️ Marco the good.

⏹️ ▶️ John It’s not even close. The killer app of Bitcoin is literally ransomware. Right? Exactly.

⏹️ ▶️ John And possibly also drugs, but I mostly just hear about the ransomware and the circles I travel. Like the net net is not

⏹️ ▶️ John good for the world. For individuals, it might be great. Some people who got rich, it’s great for them, but for the

⏹️ ▶️ John world, it’s super negative at this point. It’s not even close.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah, and then my second major problem with Bitcoin is the people.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Now, I know we’re gonna hear from a few of them, and I’m going to tell you right now, I don’t like you.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Because here’s, and if you write to me and say that stuff, I won’t care. I don’t

⏹️ ▶️ Marco like you because what you most likely are if you’re into Bitcoin, so A, you are very

⏹️ ▶️ Marco likely to be a person who is willing to make the world a slightly

⏹️ ▶️ Marco worse place, whether it’s through carbon emissions or through participating in a system that enables a lot of

⏹️ ▶️ Marco illegal and damaging activity, whatever it is, you’re willing to make the world a little bit worse place

⏹️ ▶️ Marco to make a buck. And that tends to attract not the best people to that

⏹️ ▶️ Marco area. Now, when you combine that factor with, okay, I know

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I am a privileged white man in tech, but can I use the word tech bros?

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I think, I hope so, I think

⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey so.

⏹️ ▶️ John You’re old enough now that I think you’re allowed, now you’re an old white man in tech, so you can say tech bros.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco And I don’t think I ever was a tech bro, necessarily. I was near. You

⏹️ ▶️ John totally, you 100% were. No, I was near that area,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco but I don’t think I was never, I wasn’t like one of those people who would go on

⏹️ ▶️ Marco stage at TechCrunch Disrupt and pitch my startup that’s gonna change the world, that was never me.

⏹️ ▶️ John Yeah, but you were in a startup that changed the world, so.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Not, no, I was gonna start, yeah, I don’t know if it changed the world. Anyway, I wouldn’t say, I would never. It changed the world of porn,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco okay. I would never claim that.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, John And that actually mostly happened after I was gone for the record. Anyway,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco so. Anyway, so,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco the world of tech bros is a world that I don’t usually get along with very

⏹️ ▶️ Marco well. It’s all those people who the Silicon Valley TV show makes fun of and they

⏹️ ▶️ Marco don’t think it’s funny. Like it’s like, it’s that crowd, right? So what Bitcoin and

⏹️ ▶️ Marco cryptocurrency in general? The kind of people that attracts, it’s

⏹️ ▶️ Marco the combination of tech bros, which are largely a pretty terrible group

⏹️ ▶️ Marco of people in some relatively minor ways, but mostly still terrible people. The

⏹️ ▶️ Marco intersection of tech bros with a far worse group of people, finance

⏹️ ▶️ Marco bros. Oh, and living in the New York Metro area, I see a lot

⏹️ ▶️ Marco of these people. Oh my god, they’re the worst. So, when you combine tech bros

⏹️ ▶️ Marco with finance bros. And libertarians. Yeah, and libertarians. That’s a whole other thing.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco When you combine these groups of people, and especially the prospect of making money pulls

⏹️ ▶️ Marco in the finance bros and converts some of the finance bros into wannabe tech bros, and so

⏹️ ▶️ Marco the intersection of this produces just the worst group of people ever. Like you do not, and

⏹️ ▶️ Marco of course all the profiteering people who will burn carbon to make a little bit of money. So like,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco this is, the collection of these people is just the worst people. And so, cryptocurrency

⏹️ ▶️ Marco as a thing, while I think it’s an interesting concept, the realities of the kinds of people

⏹️ ▶️ Marco who are mostly into it, and the kinds of people it attracts, and the kind of users it attracts, are so

⏹️ ▶️ Marco terrible. And both from like an annoying point of view, and from a world

⏹️ ▶️ Marco damage point of view. So it’s just, it’s a terrible thing that it has actually

⏹️ ▶️ Marco produced. And it’s, these are all the worst people that have invaded our industry and taken over all

⏹️ ▶️ Marco the GPUs and everything. It’s like, they’re making the tech industry worse.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco And they’re a burden on us. They’re a burden on the world. Like, I just,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I don’t see any benefit to it. So to answer the question, I don’t hold any cryptocurrency.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco And I’m not a big fan.

⏹️ ▶️ John I’m not as harsh as Marco in that like, when, like, I think I talked about this before when we first talked about Bitcoin, like when

⏹️ ▶️ John a new technology comes out, It’s natural for nerds to be curious in it. So if you like got a bunch of Bitcoin,

⏹️ ▶️ John especially because you thought it was a cool technical thing or whatever and play with it. Hey, especially if you made a bunch of money

⏹️ ▶️ John off of it because you mined Bitcoin back when it was easy and they became worth a lot of money, great. More power to you.

⏹️ ▶️ John Like, especially in the beginning, it wasn’t clear how this was gonna turn out. It’s like any new technology.

⏹️ ▶️ John And as tech enthusiasts, we’re interested in new technologies, right? I mean, when Bitcoin first came out, I downloaded

⏹️ ▶️ John the software and tried like mining for it. I never actually got any Bitcoin, so I don’t have any. I have never owned any.

⏹️ ▶️ John but it’s a technical curiosity. And so if you became rich off Bitcoin, I say

⏹️ ▶️ John more power to you. You found a way, hopefully you use that money for something good. You use it to have a

⏹️ ▶️ John happy life and to support your community and your family, like kudos, right? But what Margo

⏹️ ▶️ John was talking about is like at this point, at this today, 2021. Correct. The

⏹️ ▶️ John footprint of cryptocurrency and understanding what it is, what it’s good for, what it’s not good for, and

⏹️ ▶️ John what you have to do to make money off of it is much more clear now than it was. So I would say if you have

⏹️ ▶️ John Bitcoin, I’d be looking for to make it the most advantageous exit as possible.

⏹️ ▶️ John And what I wouldn’t say, like, I would say that if you’re super enthusiastic about

⏹️ ▶️ John the sort of utopian possibilities of cryptocurrency, try to come up with one that’s

⏹️ ▶️ John better than the ones we have now, which to the credit of a lot of people involved in this, they do. That’s why proof of stake existence that

⏹️ ▶️ John of proof of work, right? People are trying to improve it. But Bitcoin gets all the press because it’s like

⏹️ ▶️ John the the one that sort of broke through is the most popular. Uh it has a lot of mystique around

⏹️ ▶️ John it and when a lot of people say cryptocurrency, what they really mean is Bitcoin and Bitcoin

⏹️ ▶️ John has a lot of bad externalities and I would not suggest anyone get into it uh and if people if you got rich

⏹️ ▶️ John off it, great but at this point, it’s not great. If you’re trying to improve it or do something better, that’s

⏹️ ▶️ John good but at this point like at this point like it is, you know, I’m gonna make a cryptocurrency

⏹️ ▶️ John and I’m going to convince a celebrity to endorse it because they don’t understand the tech but I’ll just tell them that it’ll make the money and it actually

⏹️ ▶️ John will because the a celebrity will give it publicity. And then the early people who have most of the coins will make money. And like,

⏹️ ▶️ John it’s just another way to scam people out of money, to scam investors out of money. It’s tales old as time.

⏹️ ▶️ John This is not like what you see happening with Bitcoin always happens with financial instruments, like look at the various

⏹️ ▶️ John financial crashes caused by those tech bros that Marco doesn’t like. Right. It’s just that now there’s a different angle on

⏹️ ▶️ John it. And that is just generally distasteful and bad. I will say, though, I do have some cryptocurrency.

⏹️ ▶️ John Some in the early days of crypto, some cryptocurrency company was giving out free cryptocurrency for signing up to the

⏹️ ▶️ John website. And I did that and I got free cryptocurrency, which I still have.

⏹️ ▶️ John And it just sits there as a number and it’s not a very big number. But I’d never do anything

⏹️ ▶️ John with it or look at it because it’s not worth enough money for me to cash out. Right?

⏹️ ▶️ John And if it is someday worth enough money to cash out, I’ll cash out and be like one of those people who says, Oh, great, you got rich

⏹️ ▶️ John off cryptocurrency, but it’s probably never going to be worth any money. So I just ignore it. But

⏹️ ▶️ John I do have some of it. I did actually have to like declare it on my taxes as an asset or whatever, because it’s above like

⏹️ ▶️ John whatever the $200 limit or something like we had to have our accountant go through all this or whatever.

⏹️ ▶️ John So it’s an official thing that I own and I look at it and if ever becomes worth millions of dollars, you can bet

⏹️ ▶️ John your butt I’m going to cash out of it and take that millions of dollars. But I got it for free and it’s not a thing that

⏹️ ▶️ John I use it as an investment instrument. I do not use it to do any transactions. I don’t do anything

⏹️ ▶️ John having anything to do with crypto.

#askatp: Messages disk usage

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Richie Harounian writes, I know the clever trick to limit iCloud photo library disk usage by

⏹️ ▶️ Casey creating a separate APFS volume or disk image. Recently, I noticed that Messages was using almost 100

⏹️ ▶️ Casey gigs on my 256 gig SSD. That is not desirable. I did a bit

⏹️ ▶️ Casey of research but couldn’t find a similar trick to limit Messages disk usage. I think it’s a little more complicated since message attachments

⏹️ ▶️ Casey are somewhere under the library folder. Any insight here? I don’t have any insight, although I thought the messages,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey like the actual text of messages was in like a series of SQLite databases, if I remember right. And I

⏹️ ▶️ Casey think that Richie is right that the attachments are stored somewhere semi-predictable, but no,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I have no useful insight here.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco You could probably find the folder that they are being stored in deep

⏹️ ▶️ Marco within library, whatever. You could probably use a symlink trick to symlink that into

⏹️ ▶️ Marco a disk image that is limited or you know, an APF is fine, whatever, however you want to do it. So that’s

⏹️ ▶️ Marco the first thing I would try, but also I would also ask, maybe does Ritchie not use iCloud

⏹️ ▶️ Marco for message attachments? Because message attachments can be very big. It is in some ways

⏹️ ▶️ Marco a photo library. And actually, I don’t think we even heard whether those are being scanned for the CSAM.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco But you can, which is, I’m kind of surprised we didn’t hear that actually, because anyway.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco But if you store your messages attachments in iCloud, I bet it offloads them pretty

⏹️ ▶️ Marco soon when you’re low on space. and so it probably doesn’t keep that big of a cache. Because I know, like, when I, because I use iCloud for iMessage attachments,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco and as I scroll up through messages, it has to like page them in, loading them off the network after a while,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco because it’s not keeping all the attachments locally. Whereas, before iCloud Photo Library, I remember that was always a big chunk

⏹️ ▶️ Marco of my iPhone storage space. Like, you’d see messages, and it would be like,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco you know, five gigs, 10 gigs, whatever, on your phone, because it was all those attachments, like, historically over time.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco So, I would suggest, if Richie does not use iCloud photo storage or iCloud storage

⏹️ ▶️ Marco to store message attachments, I would suggest trying that or considering that if this is gonna be a big problem.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Like if you can’t just get rid of these attachments because they actually are like the only copies of them.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco But if this is just, you know, some disk quota not being enforced

⏹️ ▶️ Marco well and they are being paged off as they get older, I would attempt some kind of symlink trick into a disk image.

⏹️ ▶️ John I think it’s pretty brave to try the symlink trick. I generally don’t wanna mess with, especially now

⏹️ ▶️ John with like the containerization and the various container folders, don’t wanna mess with the internal structures

⏹️ ▶️ John of these iCloud powered apps, just because it’s not as straightforward as it used to be.

⏹️ ▶️ John The library folder used to be much more tractable, but now with the advent of the container system and

⏹️ ▶️ John with iCloud stuff, it’s a little bit sketchier. The problem with messages is the problem with a lot of Apple

⏹️ ▶️ John apps in that it’s quote unquote, supposed to manage your disk space in an intelligent manner

⏹️ ▶️ John by purging things that are safely ensconced in the server, which to Marco’s point means that you basically should enable

⏹️ ▶️ John the iCloud messages sync thing, which means the government will be able to look at all your messages and your iCloud

⏹️ ▶️ John backups too, which is nice. Um, but yeah, that’s the consequences of that. And the Apple solution

⏹️ ▶️ John to this in recent years has been one like God messages thing, which helps solve this problem. If it operates

⏹️ ▶️ John correctly, if it doesn’t, there’s nothing you can really do except cross your fingers and hope that crap gets purged. But two

⏹️ ▶️ John they added with some surprising amount of fanfare a couple of years ago, ago, the

⏹️ ▶️ John ability to tell messages to trim off attachments older than some date, right?

⏹️ ▶️ John Because this was a big problem on a lot of people’s phones, they were filling their phones with message attachments, eventually, you

⏹️ ▶️ John just fill it, right? So your choices are either get that stuff into the cloud, so you can purge it from your phone and

⏹️ ▶️ John not lose it, or delete it from your phone. And Apple did both they came up with, you know, messages in the

⏹️ ▶️ John cloud feature. That’s the cloud version. And they also came up with features in the messages app that will let you delete

⏹️ ▶️ John that crap. They recently they’re doing that in reminders now too. It used to be the reminders would

⏹️ ▶️ John just pile up forever, which reminders are obviously tiny. They’re not like photos, but eventually after, you know, 10, 15 years

⏹️ ▶️ John of the iPhone, people have a lot of reminders too. So the features to delete them will clean it up. Ironically,

⏹️ ▶️ John the thing that deletes your data, like, Oh, delete all attachments older than a year, that will probably actually

⏹️ ▶️ John clear and clean your space up as soon as you activate it. Whereas the iMessage in the cloud thing, you activate it and then you just,

⏹️ ▶️ John you just wait, I guess, and hope that something eventually purges

⏹️ ▶️ John crap from your phone. But yeah, the solutions are not great, but I think those are the solutions

⏹️ ▶️ John for you.

#askatp: Camera rental for Disney

Chapter #askatp: Camera rental for Disney image.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey And finally, Andrew Nelson writes, what camera or lens should I rent for a Disney World trip?

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I want good at low light, great and fast autofocus, some water resistance in case of an unexpected rain,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey better sharpness and bokeh than the iPhone 11 Pro, easy to use and a good battery.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Andrew does not care about long zoom, raw or touching up pictures. I will answer this

⏹️ ▶️ Casey because I can be very quick. What you want is your iPhone 11 Pro because having just

⏹️ ▶️ Casey gone to Disney World a couple of years ago, we went in late 2019, I did

⏹️ ▶️ Casey bring my big camera and on a couple of occasions, it was very useful,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey but by and large, and maybe it’s just because my big camera, which is an Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark

⏹️ ▶️ Casey III, I think I have that right. Maybe it’s just my particular big camera and that’s the

⏹️ ▶️ Casey crux of the issue, so maybe I’m being unfair, but in my opinion, the

⏹️ ▶️ Casey iPhone, particularly with HDR, which I’m waiting for John to jump in tell

⏹️ ▶️ Casey me that his big camera does all these things. But the HDR on the iPhone is really impressive, particularly for outdoor

⏹️ ▶️ Casey shots, where you’re trying to get a decent sky that’s not blown out to smithereens as well as your subject matter.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Plus the low light on my iPhone is actually quite a bit better than it is on my Olympus here,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey especially as where John is going to say, Whoa, so not so fast. Uh, but for in so many ways, it was just a pain in the

⏹️ ▶️ Casey butt to carry anything bigger than an iPhone onto rides or anywhere else. So

⏹️ ▶️ Casey even though I did have my big camera with me pretty much always, I should have actually done and

⏹️ ▶️ Casey looked and seen how many pictures I took with each, but my gut tells me 80% of the pictures

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I took on the most recent Disney World trip I had were with my iPhone. And in fact it

⏹️ ▶️ Casey was either 10 or 11, whatever was current at the time, in late 2019.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey And almost probably 20% at most were taken with the big camera, and I think even that is optimistic. I think it was probably like 9010.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I’ll come back to John since you have more Disney experience

⏹️ ▶️ Casey than Marco. Marco, do you have any thoughts on this real quick?

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah, it was funny. So because Andrew wanted, you know, if you look at the list of

⏹️ ▶️ Marco wants, it’s everything iPhones are great at. You know, low light. Exactly,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, Casey exactly.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Fast, good autofocus, water resistance, ease of use, battery, and then

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Andrew says, don’t care, long zoom, raw, and touching up pics. So initially

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I’m like, well, okay, just iPhone, really. But unfortunately, in the middle of the

⏹️ ▶️ Marco want list, Andrew says, better sharpness and bokeh than iPhone 11 Pro. Okay,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco so, first, I mean, the smart ass answer is, go get, rent

⏹️ ▶️ Marco or buy an iPhone 12 Pro Max. Which is honestly,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco probably the best answer if you actually just don’t wanna use your iPhone. So I

⏹️ ▶️ Marco have a couple of alternatives here. So if Andrew insists, you know, Because, see,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco not caring about long zoom and raw, that to me really says, like, all right, you want

⏹️ ▶️ Marco pictures that are just great right out of the camera without a lot of effort, you want an iPhone. But

⏹️ ▶️ Marco if you actually want a significantly more resolution and better, like, actual optical

⏹️ ▶️ Marco background blur, then, you know, better than what an iPhone can do with its weird simulated background thing that blurs your ears off,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco here are some good options. So, from cheapest to most expensive. And also,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco entry says rent, which is good. So from cheapest to most expensive, the cheapest option is

⏹️ ▶️ Marco still just use your iPhone, but get a nice lens that you can

⏹️ ▶️ Marco clip onto it. A decent telephoto lens that gives you like a, you know, two to

⏹️ ▶️ Marco four X kind of zoom range. I don’t really know what’s out there in this area, but that will give you

⏹️ ▶️ Marco better background blur because that’s the principle of how those optics work.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco You get really good background blur if you use a very like, you know, the longest telephoto lens

⏹️ ▶️ Marco you can get, and you get as close to the subject as possible, then you will get really good background blur.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco And there’s other factors, of course, but that’s what’s gonna be relevant here. And that’s, you know, those lenses are like, you

⏹️ ▶️ Marco know, 30 to $50 for the various clip-on things. I know that the Moment case

⏹️ ▶️ Marco and lens assembly together is a little more expensive, but tends to be

⏹️ ▶️ Marco pretty good quality. I even have, like, we have Tiff wanted a macro lens to photograph

⏹️ ▶️ Marco our butterfly caterpillars that we are raising here. Don’t worry about it. And

⏹️ ▶️ Marco we tried different options, and I went on Amazon and just found one that was well reviewed, and it was like 30 bucks. And it’s

⏹️ ▶️ Marco like a clip-on thing. So you just clip it onto the phone, you align it on top of the main camera

⏹️ ▶️ Marco of the cluster, and it just works. And that was great, and it was inexpensive. So 30 bucks,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco you get something like that, but get like a telephoto lens, and that’ll give you what you want. Otherwise, use your iPhone.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Now, the next most expensive option is to actually do what Andrew asked for

⏹️ ▶️ Marco and actually rent a camera or lens. I would say because Zoom

⏹️ ▶️ Marco is not one of Andrew’s priorities, I would say get a fixed lens compact

⏹️ ▶️ Marco camera. And again, rentals make this easier. Now, the

⏹️ ▶️ Marco water resistance thing makes some of this a little trickier. So I will say

⏹️ ▶️ Marco rent a camera that is not water resistant, hope it doesn’t rain and get the insurance plan

⏹️ ▶️ Marco because any kind of like lens rentals is where I’ve rented from before,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco they and pretty much anywhere else you can rent a camera will have some kind of somewhat pricey

⏹️ ▶️ Marco insurance plan you could add on that will cover all risk. So you can drop it in the ocean and

⏹️ ▶️ Marco you won’t be responsible for all of it or some of it or whatever. So I would say rent

⏹️ ▶️ Marco whatever you want and get the insurance and then water resistance is kind of checked off the list. Okay, so

⏹️ ▶️ Marco as for what you want, what I would suggest, having never used either of these cameras, is at

⏹️ ▶️ Marco the low end, the Fuji X100F, because it’s a fixed lens camera.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Fuji, I found, is very, very good at getting really good pictures right

⏹️ ▶️ Marco out of the camera with no post-processing whatsoever. They have really good JPEG rendering, usually,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco really good color rendering. It’s very, very good for low-effort, good

⏹️ ▶️ Marco shots. And I, while I’ve never owned this particular camera, Fuji cameras tend to have

⏹️ ▶️ Marco very good reviews for things like basic usability, ergonomics, stuff like that. It’s also reasonably

⏹️ ▶️ Marco compact. And, but yet it is gonna give you a significantly better

⏹️ ▶️ Marco optical setup than you can get from an iPhone for things like total resolution and

⏹️ ▶️ Marco background blur ability optically. And then the high-end option, you know, that’s, LensRentals has that for

⏹️ ▶️ Marco about $83 a day or a week. So the high-end option for about

⏹️ ▶️ Marco three times that is the Leica Q2. I have never owned

⏹️ ▶️ Marco a Leica camera. I have rented Leica cameras before. I have briefly used a Q1.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I have not used a Q2, but, uh, the Q, the Q series of Leica

⏹️ ▶️ Marco cameras is delightful to use. They’re extraordinarily expensive to buy, but

⏹️ ▶️ Marco if you’re going to be renting one for a short trip, it’s, you know, 250 bucks plus whatever they want

⏹️ ▶️ Marco for the, uh, for the insurance. So you’re probably looking at, you know, three, 350.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco So again, not cheap. And you’re really getting close to, you know, just the buy an iPhone 12 Pro Max

⏹️ ▶️ Marco territory. But what you get with the Leica cameras in my

⏹️ ▶️ Marco experience is again, really good JPEGs right out of the box

⏹️ ▶️ Marco with not a lot of messing around. You do have amazing optics, amazing resolution.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco You have, you know, great ability to have good blur, even with this relatively wide angle lens.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco And they’re just fun to use. They’re very fast and responsive. And that’s something that’s really hard

⏹️ ▶️ Marco to find in full frame cameras. But here it is, the Leica Q2 has that.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco So anyway, that’s my recommendation. But again, I would go with Casey and suggest

⏹️ ▶️ Marco just getting maybe a fun little clip on lens for your iPhone and a battery pack

⏹️ ▶️ Marco might be the better approach.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey for what it’s worth at, which both Marco and I have used in the past. And although they’ve never sponsored,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I definitely recommend them. They’re excellent. The LensCap Plus coverage, which is the most

⏹️ ▶️ Casey expensive, I don’t know exactly what it covers, for the Leica Q2, it’s $60. So that brings

⏹️ ▶️ Casey the rental price from $257 for a week to $317 for a week, which is not cheap.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey And like you said, we’re talking about at this point, why not just buy yourself a new iPhone? But

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I do understand what you’re saying. and I do like the idea of what you’re saying there, Marco. But I stand by, iPhone’s

⏹️ ▶️ Casey the way to go. John, what do you think?

⏹️ ▶️ John So this list of criteria is a little bit odd because it doesn’t have any kind of weighting.

⏹️ ▶️ John So both of you said like, oh, the iPhone’s good at low light. That’s true as long as your subject is not moving.

⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey The way

⏹️ ▶️ John the iPhone gets good at low light is by taking a hundred pictures and combining them together into one picture.

⏹️ ▶️ John If you’re trying to take a picture of a kid running through some dimly lit ride, you’re gonna get nothing because the sensor on

⏹️ ▶️ John the iPhone is tiny, it does not gather a lot of light, computational photography is doing all the heavy lifting on low

⏹️ ▶️ John light. Now that said, maybe you think your subject won’t be moving and all you wanna take is pictures of people standing and smiling

⏹️ ▶️ John in front of things. Then the iPhone is good at low light again, congratulations, right? But good at low light,

⏹️ ▶️ John like if that, it’s listed first, but like if that is your number one priority, to

⏹️ ▶️ John actually get a camera that is good at low light, you need a much bigger sensor.

⏹️ ▶️ John And because this list isn’t prioritized, it’s like, okay, but how good at low light? Like,

⏹️ ▶️ John do you need a full frame camera? Do you want medium format? And when I get into stuff like this, there’s one thing that

⏹️ ▶️ John wasn’t listed, which is like reasonable size is listed nowhere.

⏹️ ▶️ John So like, it really opens the door to like, do you wanna carry a gigantic 50 pound camera?

⏹️ ▶️ John I don’t think you do, but you didn’t list it on your wants. So it’s hard for me to say what I should

⏹️ ▶️ John recommend because you’re kind of saying like, like what this list says to me is, I don’t actually

⏹️ ▶️ John mind if it’s kind of a big camera. Like, size and portability and convenience, like that

⏹️ ▶️ John wasn’t listed, right? The next item, great fast autofocus. This is where I start to get into the cameras

⏹️ ▶️ John I have the most experience with. Sony has one of the best, if not generally agreed upon to be the best,

⏹️ ▶️ John great fast autofocuses in the entire industry across almost their entire camera line. It’s really,

⏹️ ▶️ John really good about finding the thing you want to focus on and latching onto it really,

⏹️ ▶️ John really quickly and not letting go. that’s like the major selling point of the software side

⏹️ ▶️ John of the Sony cameras. It’s really, really good, right? Lots of Sony cameras are water resistant

⏹️ ▶️ John and then better sharpness and bokeh than iPhone 11 Pro. Yes, iPhone 12 is the snarky answer, but like

⏹️ ▶️ John really it’s not that much better. That makes me think you want a real camera because if you want

⏹️ ▶️ John actual optical depth of field, you need actual optics, which means you need an actual camera

⏹️ ▶️ John and so given that, given that you didn’t say like, that like, it’s not

⏹️ ▶️ John super important to have the smallest, lightest thing. I’m setting aside the cameras that Marco recommended,

⏹️ ▶️ John but just like the little compact, all-in-one non-interchangeable lens cameras, because that wasn’t listed in the criteria.

⏹️ ▶️ John So why would you pick that camera unless compactness is one of your priorities? Which leads me to

⏹️ ▶️ John considering the Sonys that I have the most experience with. And especially if you’re willing to rent,

⏹️ ▶️ John I would say that makes it even easier. Now you say long zoom is not important, but I know from experience

⏹️ ▶️ John of taking pictures at Disney World, long zoom is not important, but

⏹️ ▶️ John having a prime lens can be limiting because you won’t know what focal length to put it.

⏹️ ▶️ John Maybe you want a big picture of like the big ride of like, oh, here’s Space Mountain or the Matterhorn

⏹️ ▶️ John or whatever. And then another situation, maybe you want a picture of just your kid, right? You probably need

⏹️ ▶️ John some kind of zoom range to say, this is a wide shot versus this is a tighter

⏹️ ▶️ John shot, right? So it’s gonna be really difficult to pick a single focal length. So

⏹️ ▶️ John what I’m saying is get an interchangeable lens camera with a pretty big sensor

⏹️ ▶️ John and a decent lens that has a reasonable zoom range, not a long zoom. It’s not gonna zoom in probably any

⏹️ ▶️ John farther than you know, an average camera, but you really want that range. Maybe you’ll even find yourself in a cramped situation where

⏹️ ▶️ John you wanna take a picture of your family and they’re all in front of you and you’re like a foot away and you wanna get the whole family in.

⏹️ ▶️ John Now you need a wider angle, right? So kind of like the range that the iPhone does is

⏹️ ▶️ John a reasonable range, but I think the iPhone is it falls a little bit short about getting picture of your kid on the Dumbo

⏹️ ▶️ John ride because there might be far away from you, like the little barriers of where you have to get the picture from, right? So you need

⏹️ ▶️ John some kind of zoom range. So my main recommendation, and this is both based

⏹️ ▶️ John on my experience, but it’s also based on my very limited experience, but it’s also based on the reason I bought this camera

⏹️ ▶️ John is if you’re gonna rent, get the Sony a6600, which like there are better,

⏹️ ▶️ John cheaper options if you’re gonna buy, but if you’re gonna rent, it’s probably not that much more expensive to rent the 6600 than the 65 or 64 or 61. So

⏹️ ▶️ John get the 6600, it comes with the amazing fast autofocus system, it is weather resistant

⏹️ ▶️ John slash weather, it’s water resistant, right? So it actually is kind of weather

⏹️ ▶️ John sealed and so is the lens I’m gonna recommend you get for it and get the Tamron 17 to 70 lens, which has a great

⏹️ ▶️ John zoom range, is an amazing lens and is weather sealed. And it’s not that big,

⏹️ ▶️ John but the sensor is way bigger than an iPhone. It has way better low light performance than the iPhone

⏹️ ▶️ John with any subject that moves in any way, including your hand shaking, right? Because the sensor is so much bigger.

⏹️ ▶️ John And the step up from that, I would say, is the a7C, which is a full frame sensor, same exact size body,

⏹️ ▶️ John same great autofocus system, same weather resistance, and you can get the same exact Tamron 17-70, actually no,

⏹️ ▶️ John it’s not full frame. You can get the full frame equivalent of that lens from a different manufacturer,

⏹️ ▶️ John and use that on the full frame 7C. But the camera that is literally sitting on my

⏹️ ▶️ John desk here right now, the a6600 with the Tamron 17-70 will absolutely cover all of

⏹️ ▶️ John your actual photography needs and it will take way better pictures than any of the cameras recommended

⏹️ ▶️ John so far at a similar price.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Thanks to our sponsors this week, ExpressVPN, Memberful, and Burrow. And thanks

⏹️ ▶️ Marco to our members who support us directly. You can join at Thanks everybody. you next week!

Ending theme

⏹️ ▶️ John Now the show is over, they didn’t even mean to begin,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Cause it was accidental, oh it was accidental.

⏹️ ▶️ John John didn’t do any research, Marco and Casey wouldn’t let him, Cause

⏹️ ▶️ John it was accidental,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco oh it was

⏹️ ▶️ Casey accidental. And you can find the show

⏹️ ▶️ John notes at And if you’re into

⏹️ ▶️ John 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,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey they didn’t mean to.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Accidental, check podcast

⏹️ ▶️ John so long.

Cameras, cont’d.

⏹️ ▶️ John Yeah.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey T-A-M-R-O-N? Tamron? Is that what you

⏹️ ▶️ Casey, John said? Yeah. I’ve not

⏹️ ▶️ Casey heard of that. 1770. I’m trying to get some… Yeah,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Sigma and Tamron are like the two big, like, kind of third-party lens makers for most of the SLRs

⏹️ ▶️ Marco and stuff.

⏹️ ▶️ John Gotcha. Yeah, the 17-70 is like, I should have recommended, I mean, I’m still in the show, so it’s

⏹️ ▶️ John fine.

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco The Sony

⏹️ ▶️ John 16-55 is actually a better lens, but it costs twice as much. But if you’re again, if you’re renting, maybe that doesn’t

⏹️ ▶️ John make a difference. So consider that as well. I mentioned the Tamron just because it has a slightly

⏹️ ▶️ John bigger range and it’s cheaper. And if that factors it in and in at all, the rental, then do that. But

⏹️ ▶️ John the Sony 16 to 55 is actually slightly better, tiny bit more compact.

⏹️ ▶️ John And if you’re renting, it’s probably like only five bucks more or something.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco See, I don’t know how you would want to lug around a full frame like Sony interchangeable setup.

⏹️ ▶️ John Well, they didn’t they didn’t list compact size. Like they didn’t say it has to be small enough to fit

⏹️ ▶️ John in my thing or whatever and having lugged around a camera of this exact size on a extended Disney vacation,

⏹️ ▶️ John I can say it wasn’t that bad. Like, these are compact cameras. They’re small. Like the

⏹️ ▶️ John A7C is the same size body. They’re small for interchangeable lens cameras, but they’re not small compared to

⏹️ ▶️ John an iPhone. But I don’t think they’re that bad to lug around even in the million degree

⏹️ ▶️ John heat, even with like a backpack on everything. I did it, I was fine, I survived. And so if you’re not gonna list compact size,

⏹️ ▶️ John then you’re gonna get recommended larger cameras. It’s not like I’m recommending a gigantic, you know, Canon

⏹️ ▶️ John SLR full frame that’s like weighs seven times as much, right?

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah, that’s fair, but I don’t know. I mean, this is why, like, ultimately, like, I think Casey’s

⏹️ ▶️ Marco experience of just mostly using the iPhone is worth heeding. Like,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco it’s so, like, the iPhone is so good as a vacation camera for most people’s priorities.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Like John, you are, I think, much more willing to lug around a camera

⏹️ ▶️ Marco than most people are.

⏹️ ▶️ John But Andrew specifically is trying to say not an iPhone with those criteria. They want better

⏹️ ▶️ John sharpness, better bokeh, like they want actual optical depth of field. And they know they’re not gonna get that with an iPhone.

⏹️ ▶️ John And they’re talking about renting, right? So they’re obviously saying, they might as well have just said, don’t recommend me an

⏹️ ▶️ John iPhone. Because they know what the iPhone is. It’s known quantity, has its qualities. And even though for most people, it probably

⏹️ ▶️ John does everything you need it to do, Andrew is specifically asking, I want better pictures than I would get with an iPhone.

⏹️ ▶️ John You want real optical depth of field, you get a real camera, that’s what you’ll get.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I totally get you. And I’m glad both of you made those recommendations. But ultimately I feel like

⏹️ ▶️ Casey it is worth hearing someone say, it might be worth just saving your money and sticking with

⏹️ ▶️ Casey the thing that’s

⏹️ ▶️ Casey, John most convenient.

⏹️ ▶️ John Well, what I said last time is, look, they’re gonna have their iPhone with them anyway. So if there is a situation in which you

⏹️ ▶️ John don’t wanna have the big camera or you think the iPhone would take a better picture, just use the iPhone. Like I didn’t not take iPhone

⏹️ ▶️ John pictures on my Disney vacation. Of course I had my iPhone with me. I had both, right? You’re gonna

⏹️ ▶️ John have your phone with you anyway. Like, it’s not like you’re gonna say, I got a real camera so I don’t need to bring my phone. Of course you’re gonna bring your phone. Everybody

⏹️ ▶️ John brings their phones. It’s so the government can surveil you. No, that’s not why. People love their phones.

⏹️ ▶️ John So you’re gonna have the phone anyway, so you’re not giving up the phone, right? You’re just adding to it.

⏹️ ▶️ John And I, you know, again, this question specifically looks to me like someone who says,

⏹️ ▶️ John I want pictures of my vacation that don’t look like they were taken on a phone. So,

⏹️ ▶️ John gotta have a camera for that.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah, we recently had some friends visit and one of our friends uses

⏹️ ▶️ Marco a small, I believe it’s a Fuji, like a small, I think it’s a micro four thirds

⏹️ ▶️ Marco camera. And the photos she was able to take on it were noticeably

⏹️ ▶️ Marco better than the iPhone photos, but not necessarily in the like, you know, massive

⏹️ ▶️ Marco amounts of sharpness. Like that’s not what I noticed about them. What I noticed about them was that they just had a

⏹️ ▶️ Marco different color tone. Like just like the way that the camera rendered

⏹️ ▶️ Marco tones and colors and skin tone and.

⏹️ ▶️ John The color science is what they call it in the biz.

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco Right. Better color science,

⏹️ ▶️ John which is so weird when I read it, but that’s what they use in reviews.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco And I wouldn’t necessarily even say better, it was just different. And that was refreshing. Like after

⏹️ ▶️ Marco seeing mostly only iPhone pictures myself for a very long time,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco to have a few pictures that were in this group photo library we had from the trip that

⏹️ ▶️ Marco were taken by a quote, real camera, they looked noticeably different,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco and it was just a refreshing thing to see. And I think in some ways they were better, technically.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco In some ways, the iPhone pictures are easier to take good pictures with, but it was interesting

⏹️ ▶️ Marco like seeing what another camera could do. and it was

⏹️ ▶️ Marco nice, the way the iPhone renders colors and contrast and stuff,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco it’s very scientifically optimized. It’s like when you eat

⏹️ ▶️ Marco at a fast food place, this has been optimized by flavor scientists to maximally

⏹️ ▶️ Marco taste exactly the way it’s supposed to. Eating a Dorito,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco all flavor science has gone in here, but then you have different food sometimes that has different priorities,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco and it’s refreshing, and it’s good and it’s different. That’s how the color rendering of this camera was.

⏹️ ▶️ John I think it’s the same as those analogies in another way and that the iPhone photos are processed, just

⏹️ ▶️ John like processed food. Like the reason they look the way they do is you’re starting with garbage and you

⏹️ ▶️ John really

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco have to process

⏹️ ▶️ John it to make it appealing. Whereas the ones that kind of look different are starting with a better product

⏹️ ▶️ John because then a less noisy image from the sensors. Like the iPhone is doing a lot of work. And so the iPhone pictures

⏹️ ▶️ John look the way they do because the raw material they’re starting with is just total garbage and the computational stuff is working overtime

⏹️ ▶️ John to combine them, denoise them, contour them. You do the HDR stuff like,

⏹️ ▶️ John and it’s amazing, don’t get me wrong, that’s amazing. That’s why we like iPhone, but that’s why they come out so good because the phone does all that stuff.

⏹️ ▶️ John But the regular camera can do so much less and just say, look, our raw material off the sensor

⏹️ ▶️ John is 10 times better. We don’t have to do that much processing. And you know, even for things like the colors,

⏹️ ▶️ John a lot of the colors, I’m not saying they’re synthesized, all the colors are synthesized from various sensor readings, but like

⏹️ ▶️ John you’re getting more raw material to work with from a camera with a big sensor

⏹️ ▶️ John and big glass and all that. So you don’t have to grind over it as much. You can allow it to

⏹️ ▶️ John sort of come through as is more and that lets you have, I’m sure, different kinds of quote

⏹️ ▶️ John unquote color science, whereas the phone has to do tons of

⏹️ ▶️ John heavy lifting and multiple exposure and exposure bracketing and combining to get what

⏹️ ▶️ John it thinks is a representation of what’s in front of it. Like I’m not gonna say that the big camera looks quote unquote more natural,

⏹️ ▶️ John but like you said, it can look different to you because bottom line is it has been through a very different

⏹️ ▶️ John pipeline to get to the final form.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey It’s funny coming off a beach vacation a couple of weeks ago and actually a day trip to

⏹️ ▶️ Casey the beach literally today, I brought the big camera with me

⏹️ ▶️ Casey today, I brought my GoPro with me and I brought of course my phone with me. And the

⏹️ ▶️ Casey only thing I really took pictures on today happened to be the GoPro, which is a terrible still, still

⏹️ ▶️ Casey camera. Like it’s, it’s truly bad, but I was in the water and I certainly don’t want to bring my

⏹️ ▶️ Casey big camera in there. I do John, the same thing you do. So I’m not like, I’m not absolutely opposed

⏹️ ▶️ Casey to it, but generally speaking, I try to avoid it if I can. I have lightly cracked the back

⏹️ ▶️ Casey of my iPhone. And so I don’t want to get that wet because I am never again going caseless, casey-less.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey And so I was left with the GoPro because I was in the water a lot today. But when I was on the beach trip, I did

⏹️ ▶️ Casey use the big camera a lot. And it’s so frustrating. I’ve probably said this before. It’s so frustrating

⏹️ ▶️ Casey because I’ll look at the pictures that the big camera took. And in terms of like having a proper

⏹️ ▶️ Casey telephoto lens so I can get close to my subject without actually being close to them. And in terms

⏹️ ▶️ Casey of the bokeh, even on a, I think my zoom is an F 2.8 and my prime is like an F 1.4 or

⏹️ ▶️ Casey something like that. And I almost never put the prime on anymore because I’m trying to get close to like a a moving child

⏹️ ▶️ Casey or whatever the case may be. Or just a far away child more than anything else. And I look at

⏹️ ▶️ Casey these photos and the bokeh is great and I think the color is pretty good although I’m not a particularly

⏹️ ▶️ Casey astute critic of these things. But then I’ll look at the sky and the sky is completely blown

⏹️ ▶️ Casey out and so I miss the HDR of the iPhone. And then I think about how I have to go and post-process all of these

⏹️ ▶️ Casey to put geotags in because I’m not a monster like you, John. And I wish I had the iPhone. Are you shooting on

⏹️ ▶️ Casey auto? No, I’m shooting aperture priority.

⏹️ ▶️ John No, I’m shooting aperture priority.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey What do you have your aperture set for? I usually like

⏹️ ▶️ John between two and four. Generally speaking, I don’t know why your sky is blown out as much as it is when people are outdoors on a sunny day. I feel like it’s not

⏹️ ▶️ John a challenging HDR situation where you should be able to get reasonable balance.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Well, because I don’t have HDR. I don’t have HDR at all in this camera.

⏹️ ▶️ John I know, but I’m saying even without HDR, like it’s not, it doesn’t seem like it would be a super challenging situation

⏹️ ▶️ John to have a reasonably good exposure on the person’s face that’s in sunlight and the sky that’s behind them. I

⏹️ ▶️ Casey mean, well, and also I’m firing these, you know, from the hips, so to speak in the sense that, you know, I’m not I’m not doing

⏹️ ▶️ Casey hours and hours of, oh, that’s exaggerating. You know what I’m saying? Like a lot of calibration.

⏹️ ▶️ John Oh, no, no, no. Processing just right off the right off the camera. I mean, you just like I don’t know enough about photography to know how

⏹️ ▶️ John what what you might need to change other than it seems like you’re overexposing a little bit. But if you if the faces, I don’t

⏹️ ▶️ John know, you’d have to look at a specific picture. All I can say is like, I take a lot of pictures of people at the beach and having the sky blown

⏹️ ▶️ John out behind people is is not usually a problem for me and I am not doing anything particularly fancy with my camera.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey And I think you have a better camera than I by a fairly large margin, but like I dropped in the chat in our

⏹️ ▶️ Casey super secret private text channel or private Slack channel, I don’t wanna put these on the

⏹️ ▶️ Casey show notes and I apologize for that because it has pictures of the kids which I mostly try to keep off the internet now.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey But if you look at the first couple of pictures, they are shot on the big camera and you can tell

⏹️ ▶️ Casey because the subject’s super close. And then you look at the next couple of pictures and you know, maybe you wouldn’t,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I would say the sky’s blown out in the ones in the big camera, and maybe you wouldn’t, but certainly without

⏹️ ▶️ Casey question, the sky on the pictures taken with my phone is

⏹️ ▶️ Casey far better exposed than the ones taken with the big camera, and perhaps that’s user error on my part.

⏹️ ▶️ John Well, that’s not the same sky. It’s totally, it’s framed totally differently.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco No, I agree with Casey. It’s where the iPhone really excels

⏹️ ▶️ Marco is, first of all, an area I forgot to mention, video. Like- Also true,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, Casey yeah, yeah.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco It’s nearly impossible for lay people who are not really good video shooters

⏹️ ▶️ Marco to get better video from any other camera than you get out of an iPhone with no effort whatsoever. So that’s part

⏹️ ▶️ Marco number one. But I would even say a lot of that actually extends to photos now too. What you get

⏹️ ▶️ Marco photo-wise out of an iPhone, especially in regards to dynamic range,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco whether it’s the built-in HDR stuff or just various other ways that

⏹️ ▶️ Marco it processes dynamic range, It’s so much, so far ahead

⏹️ ▶️ Marco of what any standalone camera does. Now there’s reasons for that. You know, people who really know what they’re doing with

⏹️ ▶️ Marco standalone cameras can, you know, capture the much better data from the much better optics and much

⏹️ ▶️ Marco better sensor, and can typically do a good amount of post-processing on it to do things like,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco you know, you expose to the left or expose to the right, whichever one it is where you, you basically expose for

⏹️ ▶️ Marco the highlights not to be blown out. And the result is your shadows are super dark right out of the camera,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco but then in post, you raise up the shadow detail with all these amazing sensor dynamic ranges that we

⏹️ ▶️ Marco have nowadays with stand-alone cameras. But that all takes work

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, Casey and

⏹️ ▶️ Marco skills and talent that many of us don’t have or don’t have time for. Right, and

⏹️ ▶️ Marco so what you get out of an iPhone for dynamic range is so

⏹️ ▶️ Marco much better and more pleasing and more usable. And typically you get more dynamic

⏹️ ▶️ Marco range detail because it’s so hard to use, for most people, to use

⏹️ ▶️ Marco standalone cameras to capture things like a bright sunny sky with anything else in the frame.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Yeah, and so what I’m driving at in a roundabout way is, and the pictures I’ve shown Marco and John are not

⏹️ ▶️ Casey the greatest representations of, you know, like really excellent pictures that my phone has taken.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Actually, John, I forgot to show you, I did take a single bird picture for you since you were

⏹️ ▶️ Casey apparently spamming all of Instagram with 300 bird pictures while you were on your beach

⏹️ ▶️ Casey, John vacation.

⏹️ ▶️ John The reason I put all those pictures Because they’re not pictures of people who might not want to have their pictures shown, so birds don’t complain.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey That’s true. But anyways, you know, there are examples of pictures I took of my big camera and also

⏹️ ▶️ Casey the day I’ve stumbled on just now is a relatively overcast day. So in many ways, I’m not giving

⏹️ ▶️ Casey you a great example. But you know, I would get out the big camera, particularly in Zoom situations,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey and I would think to myself, man, I’m so glad I brought the big camera. But then about

⏹️ ▶️ Casey half the time, I would think, wow, the sky is blown out, man. I kind of wish I had the iPhone for this. Oh, I got to geotag everything

⏹️ ▶️ Casey now. I kind of wish I had the iPhone for this. So the big camera definitely has space in my life and that’s

⏹️ ▶️ Casey why I still bring it. But. As I’ve said many times over the last couple of years, as the iPhone

⏹️ ▶️ Casey gets better and better, if it wasn’t for just having such better glass on this camera,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I don’t think I would ever use it. But to get that really decent bouquet to get some, I

⏹️ ▶️ Casey would argue in some cases, some much better color, I really do need to get out the big camera. And that’s

⏹️ ▶️ Casey not really a complaint, but it’s just, it’s wild to me how in just a few years, again, we’ve said this

⏹️ ▶️ Casey many times on the show in just a few years, we’ve gone from, yeah, we’ll use the iPhone in a pinch

⏹️ ▶️ Casey too. Yeah. I’ll use the big camera when I like really want to get a really

⏹️ ▶️ Casey good picture and God, what a pain in the ass it is. You know, it’s just such a, such an unbelievable change

⏹️ ▶️ Casey from the way it used to be, and that’s a good thing in the grand scheme of things, but as someone who

⏹️ ▶️ Casey wants to be a ever better amateur photographer, I

⏹️ ▶️ Casey feel like it is limiting for me to only use my iPhone, which is also not really true because you can get incredible shots

⏹️ ▶️ Casey from an iPhone if you work at it. But I don’t know. It’s just a very odd place to be. That here it was, I

⏹️ ▶️ Casey had the big camera with me and I had people that I wanted to take pictures of with my big camera, including not only

⏹️ ▶️ Casey my family, but the family that we were visiting with. But I ended up just using a frigging GoPro because

⏹️ ▶️ Casey that was the most convenient tool for that particular work.