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

445: Best Blender Is a Wasteland

NeuralHash collisions, Safari design updates, Apple’s recent PR war against itself, and Marco’s experience at a Phish concert.

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


  1. Donate to St. Jude 🖼️
  2. 2011 Hypercritical follow-up (really)
  3. “Mac-assed Mac app” etymology 🖼️
  4. Electron JS package security
  5. Good Catalyst app: Craft
  6. Sponsor: Memberful
  7. CSAM-hash collisions
  8. Safari 15 design updates
  9. Battery health
  10. Sponsor: Made In (code ATP)
  11. Apple’s PR war against itself
  12. Sponsor: Linode
  13. #askatp: Organize big photo libraries
  14. #askatp: Web searches for tech info
  15. #askatp: Still need to update Java?
  16. Ending theme
  17. Marco went to a Phish concert 🖼️

Chapter Donate to St. Jude image.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Is that is I don’t feel like that is should be capitalized.

⏹️ ▶️ John It pretty sure it should be a good thing. I have a website to find out.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Jesus Christ, I hate you, John. I was so I was so happy that you saved my topic that

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I was so excited to talk about by doing a good summary of it. And I was so proud of you. And so it’s so in love with

⏹️ ▶️ Casey you in a fraternal

⏹️ ▶️ Casey, John way.

⏹️ ▶️ John But it was fine. Didn’t need saving.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Well, you know what I mean? And and I was so in love with you in a fraternal way. Now I hate you again. Just like that.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey It’s supposed to be capitalized. Damn it, John. Are you ever wrong? If you’d believe the internet, you are never wrong.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey It’s a burden, I’m sure.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah, it must be a hard life.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, and our friends at Relay, which is also

⏹️ ▶️ Casey us, we try to raise money as best we can for St. Jude

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Children’s Research Hospital. They do incredible work,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey predominantly in the United States, but their work also has been shared, or the results of

⏹️ ▶️ Casey their research have been shared the world over, and have done a phenomenal job of decreasing

⏹️ ▶️ Casey the mortality rate from childhood cancer. I don’t have the numbers in front of me, but a lot. They’ve done really, really

⏹️ ▶️ Casey incredible work. And every September, Relay, even though this

⏹️ ▶️ Casey particular show is not officially part of I think we are kind of unofficially part of Relay, especially

⏹️ ▶️ Casey in September. And so we join Relay, and since we all have Relay shows, we join Relay in

⏹️ ▶️ Casey trying to raise money for childhood cancer awareness, for curing childhood cancer, and doing everything

⏹️ ▶️ Casey we can. So this is the time of year that I will be belligerent and accost

⏹️ ▶️ Casey you even more than I do for t-shirts, which I know is a lot, and tell you, hey, if you have

⏹️ ▶️ Casey even a dollar scrape together that you could send to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital

⏹️ ▶️ Casey to help cure childhood cancer. What else would you do with that dollar? Well, you know, buy Diet Coke. It’s delicious,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey but it doesn’t help cure cancer, and some would argue it probably makes cancer. So…

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I would even argue whether it’s delicious. I mean, let’s be honest here. That alone is also arguable.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Well, we’ll leave that aside for now. But nevertheless, slash

⏹️ ▶️ Casey relay, S-T-J-U-D-E ATP will probably be

⏹️ ▶️ Casey making some sort of joint donation at some point. We actually haven’t had a chance to talk about it yet. That’s on the to-do list for after this

⏹️ ▶️ Casey very show. So if you have even a dollar to your name, please,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey slash relay, please send a little bit of money. I’ve been

⏹️ ▶️ Casey taught, I don’t want to, I don’t really want, I don’t want to guarantee anything, but I’ve been talking with Steven Hackett

⏹️ ▶️ Casey who has a child who was a patient at St. Jude and St. I think by

⏹️ ▶️ Casey any reasonable measure, literally saved his child’s life. Anyway, Stephen and I have been talking and I might

⏹️ ▶️ Casey be getting involved with a little special treat reward. Maybe. Maybe. Don’t want to guarantee anything,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey but you know, maybe get a little excited if we raise a lot of money. So, please, if you have anything

⏹️ ▶️ Casey that you can donate, no amount is too little. I mean that. Now, of course, no amount is too

⏹️ ▶️ Casey much either, but hey, no amount is too little. Relay, if you please.

⏹️ ▶️ John And I’ve looked up the stats that you couldn’t get before treatments invented at st Jude have helped push the overall childhood cancer

⏹️ ▶️ John survival rate from 20% to more than 80% since opening And with one in five children

⏹️ ▶️ John not surviving st. Jude won’t stop until no child dies from cancer. There you go Thank you, John.

⏹️ ▶️ John Although I tried to put the URL in there for you as well. I had to do the same pitch on

⏹️ ▶️ John My show recently and I was trying like what’s the URL? It’s probably st. Jude org slash relay FM and so I

⏹️ ▶️ John tried it and it worked but apparently slash relay also works. So

⏹️ ▶️ John slash relay with or without the FM, that it’s just a redirect that goes to the place where you can donate. Please donate.

⏹️ ▶️ John The more the better. And I honestly like the podcast is the fondest coming, you know, they do

⏹️ ▶️ John like what is it? 24 hour thing or whatever, where they raise money and it’s a big deal. They do all sorts of cool activities,

⏹️ ▶️ John which may or may not involve Casey, which may or may not involve me, because honestly I wasn’t supposed to be involved last year. I think I somehow

⏹️ ▶️ John I got sucked into it. But I always feel like when we do the pitch on here, like,

⏹️ ▶️ John you know, they’re already raising money, right? So we’re late to the game here, ATP listeners. We really need to represent

⏹️ ▶️ John for ATP to show, we wanna see the ATP bump, you know what I mean? Last year we did it with making fun of Casey

⏹️ ▶️ John with a little asterisk in the

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco name or whatever. That was amazing.

⏹️ ▶️ John And that helped us kind of like, indirectly helped us see how amazing ATP listeners

⏹️ ▶️ John are and how generous they are. And I really wanna see like the ATP bump, right? So, you know,

⏹️ ▶️ John it’s not gonna be the size of the podcast-a-thon bump, Although I think we could achieve that if everyone gave tons and tons of money,

⏹️ ▶️ John but please give as much as you can, represent for ATP, it’s a great cause. Yep,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey yes please. And right now as we record $37,124.33, we can do a lot better than that. It is early in the month, I will concede,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey it’s early in the month, but we, all of us can do a lot better than that. And I agree with John,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey let’s be jerks about it. Let’s just claim as much money as possible for ATP. Let’s do it.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Oh yeah, like, cause you know, as Casey mentioned, like we are near relay,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco we are relay adjacent, but we are not part of Relay. And so I kind of feel like this little wonderful little rivalry

⏹️ ▶️ Marco that could happen here, in only this way of like, I don’t care about any other kind of rivalry, but like if

⏹️ ▶️ Marco it’s a rivalry where like, we’re just raising more and more money for a really good cause, like there’s kind of no downside

⏹️ ▶️ Marco to that, right? Like there’s nothing negative about that. So it would be kind of amazing for us to

⏹️ ▶️ Marco continue to like, you know, throw a massive amount of ATP inspired fuel on this fire,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco because this is a really good cause. And we will keep talking about it every week during September, as

⏹️ ▶️ Marco the rest of the relay world does, because this is a great time to do this.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco And as Apple releases all of their good stuff, probably over the next month, and we all dump a massive quantity of money

⏹️ ▶️ Marco on new little, shiny gadgets that we don’t probably necessarily need,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco maybe most of its want and a little bit of need, we can also think about how we can allocate some

⏹️ ▶️ Marco of our money in better ways.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Yep. So you’ll hear about it some more. And I will repeat my

⏹️ ▶️ Casey offer from last year, which I believe was whoever has the highest donation will get a not-for-sale

⏹️ ▶️ Casey batch of ATP stickers, which really are not that impressive. But I mean, they’re incredibly

⏹️ ▶️ Casey cool, the best stickers I’ve ever seen.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey, Marco What

⏹️ ▶️ Marco you mean is they’re exclusive, sold out, limited edition, not available anywhere except this

⏹️ ▶️ Marco way.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Exactly. So if you wanna buy a multi-thousand dollar set of ATP stickers, I strongly encourage

⏹️ ▶️ Casey it, please do. you will be deeply disappointed and yet also very proud. But nevertheless.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I mean, when you compare it to like NFTs, I mean, you talk about, you know, spending a lot of money for

⏹️ ▶️ Marco not

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, Casey a significant object, right? Like,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I feel like we’re at least giving you an object. Like there is at least something

⏹️ ▶️ John here. Yeah, and we know the sort of the provenance of it. Like this is legit sticker from actual Casey, not

⏹️ ▶️ John just like, oh, someone printed something that looks like an ATP sticker and gave it to you. This will be the real thing. So it actually

⏹️ ▶️ John has collector’s value, right?

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Yes, please. Moving along to follow-up.

2011 Hypercritical follow-up (really)

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Philip Spedding has some follow-up also from 2011. Apparently,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey John, you said, and I am quoting from the show notes, and apparently this is from Hypercritical episode 31,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey and this was released on August 24th of 2011. Put it on your calendar from 10 years

⏹️ ▶️ Casey from now. Is Microsoft making PC hardware or tablets or anything like that? So, what’s your

⏹️ ▶️ Casey ruling, John?

⏹️ ▶️ John I mean, so this episode, I had to go back and listen to it to remind myself what this was about. First of all, this is an episode where Dan couldn’t

⏹️ ▶️ John make it, so Ryan Ireland was the guest host. So it was weird for me to hear not Dan’s voice in there. And then I remembered that we had

⏹️ ▶️ John a guest spot. We were talking about HP leaving the PC business. Maybe kids don’t

⏹️ ▶️ John remember that, but Hewlett Packard was a company. They used to make personal computers that ran Windows.

⏹️ ▶️ John And they were leaving the PC business. And the topic of the show was like, or not

⏹️ ▶️ John of this part of the show anyway, was where does that leave Microsoft? Because if the only PC

⏹️ ▶️ John makers that can survive are the ones that essentially cater to business by selling the cheapest possible PCs,

⏹️ ▶️ John it’s gonna be really hard for Microsoft to ever compete with Apple in terms

⏹️ ▶️ John of quality or cache or innovation or anything like that because their entire business would be around

⏹️ ▶️ John being the lowest bidder to sell millions and millions of PCs to the business world, which is a great business to be

⏹️ ▶️ John in, but you’re never going to be Apple, have those sort of the

⏹️ ▶️ John shiny things that Apple has in that scenario. So the

⏹️ ▶️ John possibility came up, but like, well, what if Microsoft starts making its own personal computers? because it seems like,

⏹️ ▶️ John you know, in the free market of the Windows world, it seemed like no one was willing to make nice computers. I

⏹️ ▶️ John think it was also Lenovo. I don’t know if they were leaving or if they’d just been sold or something like that, or the

⏹️ ▶️ John ThinkPads had been sold to Lenovo. Anyway, Microsoft can just do it itself. And then at least

⏹️ ▶️ John one company will be making nice PCs. But of course, Microsoft making PCs

⏹️ ▶️ John doesn’t make other PC makers feel really good because now Microsoft is competing with the companies that it’s supposed to be supporting

⏹️ ▶️ John as the platform vendor. So that was the topic. You can, I put, we’ll put a timestamp link in the show. It

⏹️ ▶️ John sits back a little bit farther so you can hear a little bit more of the conversation or you can just rewind a few minutes and hear it. And yeah,

⏹️ ▶️ John that was the prediction. Let’s look at this 10 years from now and to see if Microsoft’s making PC hardware. They

⏹️ ▶️ John absolutely are. They make the Surface line. They make the, that weird, what

⏹️ ▶️ John the iMac should be, drafting table, Surface Studio Pro. They don’t make phones anymore. They

⏹️ ▶️ John did for a while, but yeah, Microsoft makes PCs. And it’s kind of exactly

⏹️ ▶️ John like we discussed 10 years ago in that they don’t make PCs that

⏹️ ▶️ John compete with the Dells of the world to be the cheapest possible PC you can put on the desk

⏹️ ▶️ John of all your employees or laptop or whatever and give them. They try to make computers that are nice. And I think they actually

⏹️ ▶️ John are pretty nice. A lot of them are. Like they have a design aesthetic that yes, looks a lot like Apple,

⏹️ ▶️ John but it’s also very elegant and nice. And I’m using their mouse right here on my Mac. And I think it fits

⏹️ ▶️ John in well. And it seems to me that the main reason they’re doing it is because they

⏹️ ▶️ John wanna make really nice PCs and show off what Windows can do. And the rest of the PC

⏹️ ▶️ John world just wasn’t doing it, right? It’s like, you can motivate them. You can say, we really want our PC vendors

⏹️ ▶️ John to make great hardware, but what really happens, they just ate each other and ate each other and ate each other and ate each other. There’s just one or two big

⏹️ ▶️ John companies left that sell to businesses. And no one was really, except for in the gaming world, perhaps, where you have those really ugly

⏹️ ▶️ John gaming PCs. Nobody was making an Apple-like computer. So now Microsoft does.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Yeah,

⏹️ ▶️ John turns out. Yeah, and this email came in on the exact day of the next 10 year anniversary. That’s just why I tried to

⏹️ ▶️ John shove it into the show. It doesn’t have anything to do with what we’re gonna discuss, but August 24th was yesterday.

“Mac-assed Mac app” etymology

Chapter "Mac-assed Mac app" etymology image.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey All right, moving right along. I owe a formal apology to Colin Donnell.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I had attributed and credited Gruber for the, quote, Mac-asked

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Mac app, which was how Gruber, I thought, described Mac apps

⏹️ ▶️ Casey that really are good platform citizens and really care about being something that feels at home

⏹️ ▶️ Casey on the Mac. And Colin Donnell pointed out to me, oh, no, no, no, no. That was me.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey It’s as though nobody remembered where follow-up came from. Like how fricking frustrating would that

⏹️ ▶️ Casey be if nobody knew the genesis of follow-up?

⏹️ ▶️ Marco That was from Dubai Friday, right? Yeah,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey right.

⏹️ ▶️ John I think so. I think that’s right. You were two people off though, because it was a Brent Simmons blog post.

⏹️ ▶️ John And Brent Simmons says, I stole this phrase from my friend, Colin Donnell. And then Gruber

⏹️ ▶️ John then took it from seeing on Brent’s posts and probably talked about it in the various slacks that were in, yeah. So

⏹️ ▶️ John we were two degrees off there. Sorry, Colin. This is your phrase, duly credited.

Electron JS package security

⏹️ ▶️ Casey All right, moving right along, a very funny name on Twitter, KingOleg1

⏹️ ▶️ Casey made an actually what appears to me to be a reasonable observation. I’m curious to hear what you guys have to say

⏹️ ▶️ Casey about this. KingOleg1 says, one important thing to add. Oh, I’m sorry. This is with regard to

⏹️ ▶️ Casey 1Password and it going to Electron, which again is based on web technology. One important thing to add

⏹️ ▶️ Casey is the risk of dependency injection via the JavaScript package ecosystem, which is a total mess.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I, for one, would never trust an Electron app with sensitive information. no matter the company behind it.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey For example, crypto wallets that did the same and whose users were hacked this way. So

⏹️ ▶️ Casey how can we effectively describe this? So a lot of times, particularly in JavaScript and a lot of code, but particularly in

⏹️ ▶️ Casey JavaScript, you will pull in code from other places because it will do things that you don’t wanna have to write yourself.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey And oftentimes it will do them more efficiently and it will be better tested and battle proven, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey So you might pull in a library that lets you store data in a certain way just for the

⏹️ ▶️ Casey sake of discussion. Well, if you’re not inspecting that code that you’re pulling in, it could do

⏹️ ▶️ Casey nefarious things. Like you have no way of knowing unless you actually go through the code and look. And so

⏹️ ▶️ Casey it is certainly possible that if one password is written using Electron and

⏹️ ▶️ Casey if some of the code that they pull in, which I’m assuming they pull in at least some, if some

⏹️ ▶️ Casey of that code wants to do a nefarious thing, unless they are extremely diligent about their third-party dependencies,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey that could happen, right? So that would be very, very bad.

⏹️ ▶️ John And yeah, we’ve talked about this before. People who don’t know Node, and they’re just like, oh, you’re just saying it uses libraries. Every

⏹️ ▶️ John language uses libraries. What’s the big deal with Node? Well, the way the JavaScript slash Node.js ecosystem

⏹️ ▶️ John has evolved, it’s a very widespread use of packages.

⏹️ ▶️ John And the packages are often not trivial, but very small. And there are a lot

⏹️ ▶️ John of them. So whereas you might make, I don’t know, an iPhone app and you’ll include

⏹️ ▶️ John like one third party library to do a thing for you. A typical Node app includes

⏹️ ▶️ John literally hundreds or thousands of third-party libraries. And that’s not an exaggeration.

⏹️ ▶️ John That’s not like, oh, this is an extreme case. It’s very easy. If you just do create React app and make a

⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey React application

⏹️ ▶️ John in Node and count the dependencies, you’re already underwater. There’s a huge number of them. And the way

⏹️ ▶️ John it’s usually done with sort of continuous integration and cloud deployment for server side stuff anyway is that

⏹️ ▶️ John a lot of them get pulled from the third-party repositories that are on the web. And so you’re pulling

⏹️ ▶️ John library A, which uses library B, which uses library C, which uses library D, and so on. It’s like all the way down the chain. It’s like

⏹️ ▶️ John hundreds or thousands of dependencies. And if any one of those dependencies gets updated,

⏹️ ▶️ John they often require new versions of other dependencies. In many ways, it’s a lively ecosystem,

⏹️ ▶️ John rich with new and updated apps and bug fixes. And yes, it’s very active, right? But it also

⏹️ ▶️ John means that sort of nailing down your dependencies and saying, look, this is it. We’re just going to use these libraries,

⏹️ ▶️ John and we’re never going to change them again, is difficult to do because people find security

⏹️ ▶️ John problems and there are bug fixes and you want those. And so you say, well, I’m not just gonna be stay frozen at these thousand

⏹️ ▶️ John versions of my dependencies. Every single day, one of those dependencies gets a bug fix

⏹️ ▶️ John or security fix. And sometimes those are important. You don’t wanna ship with a security problem. And in fact, the main package

⏹️ ▶️ John manager for Node has built into it an audit feature that lets you know all the security problems that your current dependency

⏹️ ▶️ John stack has and how to fix them and all that other stuff. So the common practice is if a module

⏹️ ▶️ John is updated, If a library is updated, pull the new version, because it probably has important fixes. And that’s how the

⏹️ ▶️ John sneaky security stuff gets in. Someone will use a library that returns

⏹️ ▶️ John a Boolean value indicating whether or not a number is odd. It’s a real thing. Look it up.

⏹️ ▶️ John And someone will sneak a bit of code into there that

⏹️ ▶️ John does Bitcoin mining in your application, or tries to steal keystrokes and send them to a website, or something like that. And no one

⏹️ ▶️ John will notice, because no human is going to manually audit hundreds or thousands of dependencies

⏹️ ▶️ John every time one changes. It’s just human nature. It’s too much stuff. So that

⏹️ ▶️ John explains why people aren’t as concerned about security flaws of including

⏹️ ▶️ John a library, too, in your Mac or iOS app. Although there is concern, like this third party, even if you’re just using one library and it’s

⏹️ ▶️ John a third party, like Analytics Tracker, those are kind of creepy, too. But anyway, that’s why people are concerned

⏹️ ▶️ John about nodes specifically.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Indeed. And then Rustam Karimov, who is one of the co-founders One Password, also a developer,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey had a tweet in which he had some commentary on that. He writes, the One Password code repository

⏹️ ▶️ Casey has more Swift than TypeScript. TypeScript being not a front end, but a different way of writing JavaScript.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey It is not your off-the-shelf Electron, Node.js, or web app. It is more integration with macOS than any catalyst

⏹️ ▶️ Casey app you can show me. And I’m actually curious if that’s true. We should actually talk about that in a second.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Launch services, Touch ID, keyboard shortcuts, systems, sleep, wake, et cetera. I think the numbers show how we built

⏹️ ▶️ Casey One Password 8. do as much as possible in the common core, which they’re very excited to tell you is built on Rust,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey and then use Swift for Mac OS specifics and TypeScript for the front end.

⏹️ ▶️ John Yeah, so I mean, it does show that if the majority of their code isn’t JavaScript, it’s not as bad as it could

⏹️ ▶️ John be. But of course, the front end is JavaScript. And they didn’t really answer the question of how they handle dependencies, because

⏹️ ▶️ John it’s a difficult problem. Like, there’s no easy solution. Like, oh, everyone just knows you should just pin all your dependencies

⏹️ ▶️ John and just never change them. It’s like, well, that’s not good either, because wait a week, and you’ll find out one of your dependencies

⏹️ ▶️ John has an incredible security flaw that you need to fix. And now you have to update it. And then it’s just so easy to just

⏹️ ▶️ John do what NPM tells you to do and update all your things. And then you can do a git diff to see what’s changed

⏹️ ▶️ John and just your eyes will glaze over and eventually you’ll get sick of looking at it and you won’t find a Bitcoin miner.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco You know, people make fun of me for never wanting to use third-party libraries in my apps. Like

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I almost never bring in third-party code, almost never. Like unless it’s something that

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I really can’t do myself and it’s very complicated and that I can easily look at and audit like,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco you know, two files, like, you know, something really simple. And yes, I know it’s possible to sneak weird stuff in, but like,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco you know, nobody’s doing that to like my audio buffer library or things like that. But,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco you know, for the most part, I do everything myself. And this is a blessing and a curse. You know,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco the curse is that I do everything myself. And so I have to do everything myself. And I

⏹️ ▶️ Marco basically reinvent the wheel all the time. And that has pluses and minuses. know, the pluses are that

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I know everything about my code. I know everything it’s doing and everything it’s not doing. I know

⏹️ ▶️ Marco how it works. If I have to get in there and change or add to it to add functionality or change the way

⏹️ ▶️ Marco something behaves or figure out why something isn’t behaving, I know it all because it’s all code I wrote and I have right there.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Whereas that’s not true when you bring in other people’s libraries. That being said, I definitely therefore move more slowly.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Like I think once I get to where I was going, it’s a better place to be

⏹️ ▶️ Marco that it’s all my code, but it’s a much slower road to get there. And I certainly avoid

⏹️ ▶️ Marco a whole host of these problems that you guys have been talking about. But you know, obviously, I bring on my own problems with

⏹️ ▶️ Marco things like having to, you know, fix bugs that other people have already fixed, you know, handle edge cases that

⏹️ ▶️ Marco other people have already handled and stuff like that. So, you know, it’s a mixed bag, but I still like the way I do it better.

⏹️ ▶️ John I mean, you’re, you’re still especially on the Apple platforms, you’re building on top of the OS, which is not

⏹️ ▶️ John third party, but it’s first party, but the majority of the code in your application is Apple’s code, right? That’s true of everybody

⏹️ ▶️ John who builds on a platform. That’s, you know, you’re not setting even aside the operating system, just whatever UI framework

⏹️ ▶️ John and everything. That’s where all the code is. That’s where all the lines of code are in all of our applications. The whole point of Coco

⏹️ ▶️ John and all the other things is like, oh, you get to write at this level where we’ve already written all the libraries for you to do stuff and you just tell us button

⏹️ ▶️ John goes here, window goes there when they click, this happens. And then the whole machinery of the UI runs under there. And then underneath

⏹️ ▶️ John there is the foundation services and then the core OS services and the kernel and all the way down. So we’re all standing on

⏹️ ▶️ John the shoulders of giants. It’s just that you don’t want to be standing on the shoulders of random

⏹️ ▶️ John internet script kitties who wrote the is odd and library, which by the way, has a dependency. Of course

⏹️ ▶️ John it does. It really, it depends on the number library, but it only

⏹️ ▶️ John has one dependency. It’s very slim. Oh my

⏹️ ▶️ Marco god. All

⏹️ ▶️ Casey right.

Good Catalyst app: Craft

⏹️ ▶️ Casey So very quickly, with regard to catalyst apps, I had asked or put out a call for

⏹️ ▶️ Casey submissions, if you will, of what people thought of and held up as really good catalyst

⏹️ ▶️ Casey apps. Most of them I’ve not heard of, and most of them were not really popular as far as I knew. The

⏹️ ▶️ Casey one I should have kept better notes on the things that I was told, but the one that I do remember hearing a lot is Craft,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey which is, I guess, one of those new cool kid note-taking apps, if I’m

⏹️ ▶️ Casey not mistaken, or like personal knowledge management, whatever things. This is so

⏹️ ▶️ Casey not in my wheelhouse. But I think it’s called craft. I hope I have that right. But

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I will find a link and put in the show notes. But yeah, apparently that’s electron is excuse me, not electron is catalyst

⏹️ ▶️ Casey and is very, very good from what I’ve been told.

⏹️ ▶️ John I think I used craft when they was they were first advertising it, maybe they were advertising that was under development or whatever. Anyway,

⏹️ ▶️ John and I could swear I thought it was a web app when I first used it, but that was a while ago. things have probably changed.

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CSAM-hash collisions

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Moving right along, we have some CSAM news information that we need to talk about. I

⏹️ ▶️ Casey actually have not been following this very closely, but my very limited understanding and perhaps John, you can fill in a little bit

⏹️ ▶️ Casey here, is that somehow somebody or a team of somebody’s

⏹️ ▶️ Casey have like extracted the neural hash algorithm from a, I guess, a pre-release

⏹️ ▶️ Casey build of iOS and have been throwing things against it to try to

⏹️ ▶️ Casey see if they can create a collision that is wrong. So just to back up a half step,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey remember that the way this works is every one of your pictures will be analyzed and a hash

⏹️ ▶️ Casey will be generated. And if that hash matches something that is known as child sexual

⏹️ ▶️ Casey assault material, something like that. Abuse. Abuse. Thank you. Child sexual abuse material.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey matches one of these images, or one of these hashes, I should say, then that’ll cause problems, right?

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Well, people have extracted the algorithm, allegedly, and have been looking

⏹️ ▶️ Casey to see if they could make collisions that are not actually collisions, which is to say, take two unlike

⏹️ ▶️ Casey pictures and have the algorithm say, oh, these are the same thing. And I guess that’s happening,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey and people are figuring out a way to do it. And that’s slightly alarming, to say the

⏹️ ▶️ Casey least.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Well, I don’t think it’s as bad as people say because the idea of, you know, any hash,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco any hashing algorithm is taking a lot of information and reducing it down to a little bit of information. There’s

⏹️ ▶️ Marco always going to be the possibility of collisions where two different inputs produce the same output. So collisions are inevitable.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco If you are specifically looking to craft collisions with a certain algorithm, you know, it usually

⏹️ ▶️ Marco can be done, you know, without too much trouble. So you know, I have no doubt that people will be able

⏹️ ▶️ Marco to create images that, you know, look kind of like random noise as though so

⏹️ ▶️ Marco far I think all the collisions that they’ve you know published so far I think they all kind of like random noise so it’s not

⏹️ ▶️ Marco you know it’s not like it’s a picture of a puppy and somebody looks at and the algorithm says oh you know we better report this to Apple.

⏹️ ▶️ John That’s not entirely true but you continue I’ll clarify in a bit.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Okay so anyway the idea of being being able to create or

⏹️ ▶️ Marco find collisions is you know not great you try to when you’re designing a hash algorithm you try to minimize

⏹️ ▶️ Marco the chances of that but you know it’s inevitable so the question is what happens when a collision

⏹️ ▶️ Marco is found. Like what happens to an image that matches the hash? And we know that already. You know, what happens is

⏹️ ▶️ Marco it gets that security voucher thing that’s sent to Apple, and if they collect enough

⏹️ ▶️ Marco security vouchers from the same account, they’re able to decrypt the images and look at them. Well, that

⏹️ ▶️ Marco would instantly then be obvious to the human who’s reviewing this, deciding

⏹️ ▶️ Marco whether to forge law enforcement or not, they would see, oh, this is not CSAM, therefore

⏹️ ▶️ Marco we don’t need to file this report. So it’s an interesting academic exercise.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco It’s interesting to prove the limits of this hashing algorithm, but I don’t think this

⏹️ ▶️ Marco is a big deal that it’s possible to create collisions here. I just don’t think it’s a big deal. Now there is

⏹️ ▶️ Marco certainly the angle of like, could you somehow

⏹️ ▶️ Marco attack someone else by inserting these images into their library

⏹️ ▶️ Marco and then therefore getting them in trouble or getting them possibly in trouble or getting law enforcement possibly to go

⏹️ ▶️ Marco give them a visit. That’s certainly an avenue worth considering, but

⏹️ ▶️ Marco there aren’t even a lot of ways to get images into other people’s photo libraries without their interaction.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco So that, and again, like if it’s actually not CSAM that you’re

⏹️ ▶️ Marco ingesting into their libraries, well, that’s not really going to do anything in the long run. Now, it is certainly

⏹️ ▶️ Marco worth questioning whether there are ways to get CSAM, actual CSAM, into other people’s

⏹️ ▶️ Marco photo libraries and get them in trouble. That’s certainly worth, you know, making sure there’s not a good way to do that.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco But the existence of hash collisions and the ability to generate

⏹️ ▶️ Marco them, I don’t think does much in this context because there is that level of human review.

⏹️ ▶️ John So, to start with, like, the reason this item has a question mark after it and a little little follow up notes here is

⏹️ ▶️ John they extracted an algorithm from a function that looked like it was probably the CSAM

⏹️ ▶️ John hashing function from like a released version of iOS, not even like a beta one, because apparently Apple has been testing this for

⏹️ ▶️ John a while. You just run, presumably running it against people’s libraries and, you know, limited fashion or whatever,

⏹️ ▶️ John who knows, maybe it was just wasn’t using it was dead code. We actually don’t know why, what it’s doing there, but we don’t actually know

⏹️ ▶️ John for a fact that this is the exact algorithm, right? So there’s that. And so people were using this algorithm.

⏹️ ▶️ John Remember, the job of this algorithm is to try to tell if

⏹️ ▶️ John an image matches one of a fixed set of images that’s in this database, the

⏹️ ▶️ John NCMEC database. And instead of the reason we need an algorithm, why don’t we just compare it byte for byte,

⏹️ ▶️ John is because it wants to find the image, even if it’s been modified in some minor way. Like, oh, it’s

⏹️ ▶️ John tinted a different color, or there’s some words over it, or it’s been rotated a little

⏹️ ▶️ John bit, or it’s black and white instead of color. That’s why the algorithm exists, to try to say, you

⏹️ ▶️ John know, here’s the fixed set of images we’re looking for. We’re looking for this exact image. Not an image of a dog, but

⏹️ ▶️ John this exact image of this exact dog, right? That’s what they’re looking for. But we want to allow

⏹️ ▶️ John for minor variations because we don’t want to miss an image just because, you know, someone recompressed it as JPEG

⏹️ ▶️ John again, right? That’s why these algorithms exist. And as we said a couple of shows ago, the threshold exists

⏹️ ▶️ John because this algorithm is not exact. It uses like whatever, you know,

⏹️ ▶️ John What is it, a neural hash or whatever? It’s guessing, it’s trying to make a best guess because

⏹️ ▶️ John although humans find it easy to say, yeah, these are the same picture, even though that one’s been recompressed as a JPEG at a lower quality,

⏹️ ▶️ John it’s really easy for humans to figure that out, not so easy for computers to do. So it’s making a best guess and that’s

⏹️ ▶️ John why the threshold exists because if the algorithm was 100% accurate, you’d flag on the first one, right? You’re not letting people have 28

⏹️ ▶️ John pictures. It’s because it’s not exact. So

⏹️ ▶️ John let’s say, for example, that this neural hash had a 50% success rate at identifying

⏹️ ▶️ John images matching a database. You give it an image, and it’s like a coin flip. It’s like, well, this

⏹️ ▶️ John image of my dog, 50-50. This algorithm could think it matches

⏹️ ▶️ John an image in the NMEC CSAM database, or it could not.

⏹️ ▶️ John If you did that, and remember, Apple’s document said there’s a one in a trillion

⏹️ ▶️ John chance of an account being flagged. So they’re basically saying there’s a one in a trillion chance

⏹️ ▶️ John that an account will be falsely flagged, that you will reach

⏹️ ▶️ John the 30 photo limit. And by the way, I think since the last show,

⏹️ ▶️ John I think Craig Federighi has basically said it was like 30 photos, but that’s the number everyone is using, right? So

⏹️ ▶️ John it’s one in a trillion that you’re going to reach the 30 image limit, right?

⏹️ ▶️ John if the algorithm had a 50-50 chance, is that one in a trillion? And I tried, I did a little math to figure

⏹️ ▶️ John out, like, let’s say you have the worst algorithm in the world, and it is a 50-50 chance of identifying an image incorrectly.

⏹️ ▶️ John How many, what would the threshold have to be to get one in a trillion? And the answer is 40, right?

⏹️ ▶️ John So if you had, if this algorithm was awful, like 50-50,

⏹️ ▶️ John people would say that’s awful. Like, why are you even using this hashing algorithm? Half the time it gets the answer wrong.

⏹️ ▶️ John If you have a threshold of 40, the odds of it getting the answer wrong 40 times

⏹️ ▶️ John in a row, exactly 40 times in a row in sequence, right? And just

⏹️ ▶️ John one after the other is one in a trillion. Now, obviously Apple

⏹️ ▶️ John algorithm is better than that. And people have more than 40 images in their collections and they’re not sequential. So that probability

⏹️ ▶️ John calculation is not particularly relevant. The only reason I bring it up is to show that no matter how

⏹️ ▶️ John bad the neural hash algorithm is, Apple can adjust the threshold to

⏹️ ▶️ John make sure that even though it might get one or two pictures wrong, the odds of it getting 30

⏹️ ▶️ John pictures wrong, no, not in a row, but 30 pictures wrong out of an entire collection, are what they

⏹️ ▶️ John say it’s supposed to be, you know, one in a trillion. And obviously they did that based on like test data or whatever, and they

⏹️ ▶️ John mentioned that they will adjust it. As long as the threshold isn’t like a thousand or a million pictures, you know,

⏹️ ▶️ John probabilities go, you know, go up pretty quickly as you start requiring more

⏹️ ▶️ John and more coincidences, no matter how bad your algorithm is. So that’s the first thing to understand

⏹️ ▶️ John about this, is that anyone who knows anything about hashing or any of these algorithms should know that this is going to have

⏹️ ▶️ John false positives. That’s the reason there’s a threshold. And that’s also the reason, as Marco mentioned, that there’s human review.

⏹️ ▶️ John Second thing to know is in terms of trying to make collisions. People have made collisions

⏹️ ▶️ John with, like, Marco said, like noise images. Like, oh, this is a picture of a dog. And here’s just a gray bunch of noise.

⏹️ ▶️ John And the algorithm thinks they’re the same. Ha ha, aren’t computers dumb? But it’s so easy for a human to see the gray

⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey field

⏹️ ▶️ John of noise is not the picture of a dog. But people have made other collisions where here’s a picture of a pen and here’s

⏹️ ▶️ John a picture of a nail. And it thinks those are the same picture. And you can go, OK, I can kind of see that, because they’re both kind

⏹️ ▶️ John of long, skinny things on a white background. Lots of collisions between

⏹️ ▶️ John similar looking pictures, which is kind of this algorithm’s job. It’s supposed to find the exact picture.

⏹️ ▶️ John But if you get them close enough, it can be confused. So that makes sense, too. collisions happen, right?

⏹️ ▶️ John But to sort of weaponize this, what you need to do is not just get two images that collide,

⏹️ ▶️ John that have the same neural hash. What you need to do is get a harmless

⏹️ ▶️ John image that neural hash thinks matches one of the CSAM pictures in the NCMEC database.

⏹️ ▶️ John And to do that, you have to know all of the hashes of the NCMEC images

⏹️ ▶️ John in that database. And as far as I’m aware, there is no way for you to get

⏹️ ▶️ John those specific hashes. The things that ship on your phone are derived from those hashes,

⏹️ ▶️ John but are not, in fact, those hashes. And here’s what Apple had to say in this article from The Verge where they responded to this whole controversy.

⏹️ ▶️ John This is The Verge writing here. Apple said that CSAM’s scanning system is built with collisions in mind, given the known limitations of perceptual

⏹️ ▶️ John hashing algorithms. In particular, the company emphasized the secondary server-side hashing algorithms separate from

⏹️ ▶️ John neural hash, the specifics of which are not public. If an image that produces a neural hash collision was

⏹️ ▶️ John flagged by the system, it would be checked against the secondary system and identified as an error before reaching the human moderator. So

⏹️ ▶️ John what I interpret this is to say is that, all right, so neural hash algorithm is going to ship with your phone

⏹️ ▶️ John and we can run it and we can do all these experimentations with it. But Apple also has its own

⏹️ ▶️ John different hashing algorithm that they run on the server side. And so not only would you have to

⏹️ ▶️ John get the hash from the NCMEC database, which I don’t think you have access to, and find

⏹️ ▶️ John an image that matches it, because if you had the hash, you could find an image that matches it. And and then get it on someone’s phone.

⏹️ ▶️ John And then that image also needs to fool the other hashing algorithm that

⏹️ ▶️ John they’re running, which you don’t have access to. So you have no way to sort of reverse engineer that algorithm or figure out how to fool it or whatever. So you

⏹️ ▶️ John need to fool two different hashing algorithms and then finally go through

⏹️ ▶️ John human review. So I think if you wanted to get someone in trouble

⏹️ ▶️ John for having CSAM on their phone, as Marco points out, you could send them CSAM and that would do it,

⏹️ ▶️ John right? Like there’s no trying to fool the system with like a noise image or a picture of a dog

⏹️ ▶️ John or something is way more work than just finding actual CSAM on the internet,

⏹️ ▶️ John which is probably the NCMEC database and shoving it on their phone. In all cases, you’re performing a criminal activity, essentially

⏹️ ▶️ John trying to frame someone for a crime they didn’t commit, you know, whatever you’re gonna try to blackmail them. You know what I mean?

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Well, I think that in the latter case, it’s like you have two felonies instead of one.

⏹️ ▶️ John Right, there’s all these schemes that come up. Like you could have someone in a lawless state find

⏹️ ▶️ John an image on the internet It’s probably in the NICMEC database and give you the neural hash of it because otherwise you

⏹️ ▶️ John can’t get that one. And then now you have the hash to target and all they send to you is the hash. Now you’re not in the possession of CSAM so

⏹️ ▶️ John you can find an image that matches that hash and put it on the phone. But then when it gets to Apple’s system, they’re going to run a

⏹️ ▶️ John different algorithm on it that you don’t have access to and it’s not going to match in that case. So this is a fun and interesting

⏹️ ▶️ John thing and it can freak people out who don’t understand, as Marco explained, that the job of a hashing algorithm

⏹️ ▶️ John is to take a large number of inputs and produce a much smaller number of outputs, which

⏹️ ▶️ John necessarily means there have to be collisions. Otherwise it’s not a hashing algorithm. And that’s why the threshold

⏹️ ▶️ John exists because there’s gonna be false positives and we just have to tune it so

⏹️ ▶️ John that we need, when we have enough or preponderance of evidence, the odds of that many false

⏹️ ▶️ John positives happening is very, very low. And then finally you have human review. So I think this story mostly

⏹️ ▶️ John faded because it’s too, again, technical and weird and involves security stuff that most people

⏹️ ▶️ John don’t care about. But it is an opportunity to learn about hashing algorithms, I suppose. And I

⏹️ ▶️ John feel like this part where Apple told us about the second server side hashing algorithm is kind of an example of, as

⏹️ ▶️ John far as I’m aware, maybe security through obscurity. Because did they not tell us about that before and only

⏹️ ▶️ John revealed it now? In other words, did they have backstops against abuses?

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah, the second level. I don’t think we knew about the second level of the hash.

⏹️ ▶️ John Right. Which is, I mean, it’s fine. But I don’t know. In one respect, you think,

⏹️ ▶️ John why wouldn’t you brag about that Apple, but in other respects,

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco maybe it

⏹️ ▶️ John makes them more vulnerable to attacks to try to find the second algorithm and all sorts of stuff like that.

⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey I

⏹️ ▶️ John mean, they did tell us about the threshold and they could have not told us about that, but anyway, I feel like transparency with

⏹️ ▶️ John security related things is probably better than keeping the secret secondary server-side hashing

⏹️ ▶️ John algorithm from the public.

Safari 15 design updates

⏹️ ▶️ Casey There have been some Safari 15 updates and actually there is a new developer beta that I believe

⏹️ ▶️ Casey was released the day we are recording, which I don’t think any of us have really looked at yet. But

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I haven’t installed. I installed it 10 minutes ago.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey, Marco I actually during the show.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Oh, well done. I put the public beta, not the developer beta, but the public beta

⏹️ ▶️ Casey on my phone about a week ago, maybe a little less. And it seems mostly okay. And there’s a couple

⏹️ ▶️ Casey of minor quirks here and there. But for the most part, it seems fine. I like the Safari

⏹️ ▶️ Casey now. I think I would have hated Safari a couple of builds ago, but I like it just fine now.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey But yeah, so there have been some changes as of beta six, which is presumably roughly the same public beta that I’m

⏹️ ▶️ Casey on. Things basically look a bit more normal. The tab

⏹️ ▶️ Casey bar at the bottom, or it’s not a tab bar, I suppose, but the bar at the bottom isn’t quite so, the

⏹️ ▶️ Casey toolbar, thank you, the toolbar at the bottom isn’t quite It’s a floaty for the most part. I

⏹️ ▶️ Casey don’t know, it just behaves more logically. Perhaps, Marco, you have more to say about this than I. But these

⏹️ ▶️ Casey are definitely strong improvements that have gotten, so when I installed the public

⏹️ ▶️ Casey beta, I didn’t rage quit my phone, which is a good thing.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah, so this is actually, this shipped last week as part of developer beta six, like

⏹️ ▶️ Marco this new interface. The one that came out today, which, or I think today’s beta seven or eight?

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, Casey Anyway. I

⏹️ ▶️ Casey think it’s seven, I think.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah, so the one that came out today, it looks like it’s pretty similar in most ways. I don’t see any major changes

⏹️ ▶️ Marco yet. But yeah, but certainly I’ve used the one that came out last week, Beta 6, that

⏹️ ▶️ Marco finally gave it the big double height toolbar on the bottom, the option to move the address bar back to the top

⏹️ ▶️ Marco so you can actually configure it to just be like old Safari was. So finally, I think on the iPhone,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco they have come up with a decent, good design. Not all parts of it

⏹️ ▶️ Marco are good, not all configurations of it I think are good, but you can finally choose

⏹️ ▶️ Marco which one you want. You know, what they did here, in some ways,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco is a design failure in the sense that they tried something radically new, it didn’t work,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco and instead of rolling it back completely, they’re now just offering a bunch of checkboxes that you can configure it. It’s like, fine, you don’t like it, make

⏹️ ▶️ Marco it whoever you want. Like, you know, it’s kind of that, which is not, I mean, ideally, there would just be one design and it would

⏹️ ▶️ Marco be good enough that everyone would use it and everyone would understand it. But in the absence of

⏹️ ▶️ Marco that option, which for some reason they don’t appear to be doing, you can actually

⏹️ ▶️ Marco now configure it in a number of good ways depending on what your preferences are. So now

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I’m happy with it. Like I know that’s, yeah, it sounds very entitled, but yeah, now I’m happy with it.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Like they can ship this. And I think what happened is, you know, they tried something

⏹️ ▶️ Marco radical, it didn’t work, and they’re running out of time. You know, the way they are,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco they’re rushing to like, you know, nail things down in these last two betas. You know, the news came out earlier today that

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I cloud private relay is going to actually launch as a beta feature that I believe is going to be off by default

⏹️ ▶️ Marco at first. Um, and then it’ll, I guess, become out of beta sometime later. Um, you know,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco they’re, they’re clearly like nailing stuff down, getting ready for imminent release. You know,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I think, you know, this beta that came out today might end up being the last beta

⏹️ ▶️ Marco before the GM, probably not. I bet there’s going to be one more, but we are getting very, very close

⏹️ ▶️ Marco to release. And so I think they looked at the Safari design and were like, look, this is still on fire. We need

⏹️ ▶️ Marco to make people, we need to make something that we can ship to the whole world and not have a massive

⏹️ ▶️ Marco problem on our hands. So now they fixed it and it’s good. I have

⏹️ ▶️ Marco not yet used the terrible Mac and iPad tab redesign, so I don’t have anything to say about

⏹️ ▶️ Marco those, but on the iPhone, the iPhone Safari is now able

⏹️ ▶️ Marco to be set up sexual way that it’s pretty good.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I will say with regard to the iPad that I do for the most part have,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I enjoy Safari. I don’t have any major problems with it except the tabs.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Oh my gosh, like

⏹️ ▶️ Casey, John I

⏹️ ▶️ Casey, Marco don’t mind the colors bleeding up. That’s

⏹️ ▶️ Casey a big deal. Well, yeah, you’re right. I don’t mind the colors bleeding up like I don’t see it as necessary, but I don’t

⏹️ ▶️ Casey mind it. But the thing I mind is I can never friggin tell which is the active tab. Never, ever,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey ever, ever can I tell what the active tab is. and that is absolutely infuriating.

⏹️ ▶️ John Yeah, Stephen Hackett had a good post on The Safari 15 fight

⏹️ ▶️ John isn’t over yet, is the title, and it’s talking about Mac Safari. And so rather than us talking

⏹️ ▶️ John again about all of our complaints about Mac Safari, just read this blog post. It reiterates all exactly the same things,

⏹️ ▶️ John mostly having to do with the tabs, which no longer make any sense now that they have allowed you to revert

⏹️ ▶️ John the design to be more like the old Safari while still keeping the tabs. Yeah,

⏹️ ▶️ John I’m kind of looking forward trying the the safari in the phone one because it’s it’s kind of surprising to me

⏹️ ▶️ John that they didn’t just stick with the bottom toolbar one because really like as we’ve said in many

⏹️ ▶️ John past shows it was the floating part that was a problem and it just doesn’t float anymore now it’s just a big big

⏹️ ▶️ John bar at the bottom right and so that’s their design stuff at the bottom and they they found a straightforward

⏹️ ▶️ John way to do it without the weird floating thing that had all sorts of problems i don’t think it’s particularly attractive

⏹️ ▶️ John but you can swipe from side to side to go through tabs it’s closer to the bottom of the phone which is easier to reach for people with big phones

⏹️ ▶️ John you know like we said it has all the benefits of their old design it just gets rid of the terrible parts of it

⏹️ ▶️ John and the giant drop shadow and all the other stuff but then they gave you the option to basically make it like safari 14

⏹️ ▶️ John which i have no complaints about because i like safari 14 and i don’t find it hard to reach the top of my phone but it’s it’s just so

⏹️ ▶️ John weird that they this is the new apple of like not only do we iterate on the design

⏹️ ▶️ John and make changes in response to you know internal testing feedback whatever they’re making changes in response to but

⏹️ ▶️ John also we hedge our bets by letting you also change it back to the old way

⏹️ ▶️ John which is so weird like safari on the mac does a worse job of that because safari on the mac

⏹️ ▶️ John lets you change it back to the old way but not really not really the old way you get the the

⏹️ ▶️ John tabs that the tabs that don’t make any sense because they look like the new style tabs but they’re not they don’t change into the address

⏹️ ▶️ John bar so why do they look at the address bar and that’s why case you can’t I can’t tell what the heck they are. So

⏹️ ▶️ John yeah, the Mac, there’s still work to be done, but the Mac is on a kind of on a different beta cycle than the phone and it’s gonna be released, the Mac OS is gonna be

⏹️ ▶️ John released later anyway. So the Mac still has time, but just FYI, if you thought this

⏹️ ▶️ John was the end of Safari 15, the Safari 15 watch, it probably

⏹️ ▶️ John isn’t at least on the Mac.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I’d say that’s fair, possibly the iPad too.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Do you think like the reason they keep doing these, you know, radical design and then

⏹️ ▶️ Marco either step it back or make an option to undo it, basically. Is that

⏹️ ▶️ Marco a sign of problems in the flow? Or do you think that’s just

⏹️ ▶️ Marco the maturity of a large company doing large things? In some ways, is this

⏹️ ▶️ Marco a sign of something being wrong? Or is it a sign of how big these things now are and that they’re trying really

⏹️ ▶️ Marco ambitious things?

⏹️ ▶️ John I mean, I think it’s a sign that, what would stop this from happening? Is another way of looking

⏹️ ▶️ John at this. If you think this is, if let’s surmise that this is a bad thing, what does it take to stop

⏹️ ▶️ John this sequence of events from happening? What you need to stop it from happening is somebody

⏹️ ▶️ John with, you know, better instincts to

⏹️ ▶️ John say no to it. And as mentioned, we talked about this in the past, you really

⏹️ ▶️ John don’t want the whole rest of the company to have veto power of what your group is doing. Like some group is responsible for the UI

⏹️ ▶️ John and Safari, and that’s their job. And other people can have opinions, but in the end, you hire these people

⏹️ ▶️ John to make Safari for iOS and they should be able to do what you hired

⏹️ ▶️ John them to do rather than like, oh, well, we did it, but someone who’s on like the,

⏹️ ▶️ John you know, the mail team thinks it’s bad, so we can’t ship it. Like a big wig manager on the mail

⏹️ ▶️ John team says, this is a bad interface, and now we can’t. It’s like, no, they’re in charge of mail. They’re not in charge of mobile Safari. Like you

⏹️ ▶️ John have to allow the people you hire to do their jobs. So the only way to stop something like this from happening

⏹️ ▶️ John is not to have some sort of weird organization where everyone has veto power over everyone else. Like that’s incredibly

⏹️ ▶️ John dysfunctional. But as you go up the org chart, not laterally, but upwards from the

⏹️ ▶️ John org chart, and it’s very difficult to do that in Apple’s very flat organization, probably the biggest bigwig who’s

⏹️ ▶️ John in charge of like iOS software, like they probably report right up to the CEO. They did it

⏹️ ▶️ John back in the Steve Jobs days anyway, or like one step away from that. So there’s a very small number of people who

⏹️ ▶️ John properly should have veto power. And in Apple, there

⏹️ ▶️ John is nobody in those one or two positions above this, whoever

⏹️ ▶️ John has final say in this type of thing, who had good enough instincts or taste to stop this from shipping

⏹️ ▶️ John and having WODC sessions about it, I guess, right? And in the old days, that was Steve Jobs and his taste wasn’t always good. He

⏹️ ▶️ John had terrible ideas sometimes. He shipped things with leather stitching on them. Like it’s not, let’s not deify Steve

⏹️ ▶️ John Jobs’ taste. But the fact is a lot of stuff that didn’t make it out the door because the

⏹️ ▶️ John one big wig guy, the CEO, didn’t like it. Would Steve Jobs have stopped this?

⏹️ ▶️ John Ah, probably. I think he would have stopped the floating blob because it’s too fidgety, but lots of

⏹️ ▶️ John other things that we don’t like, he wouldn’t have stopped because his taste was super weird. But that’s it. That’s the only way you can really

⏹️ ▶️ John stop this from happening. So I feel like it’s not a strategy to say, you know, step one, hire Steve

⏹️ ▶️ John Jobs. Like, that’s not a viable strategy. And again, it’s not even foolproof. So I would say that this

⏹️ ▶️ John is not the sign of an organization that has any sort of

⏹️ ▶️ John organizational problems. Like I think it’s structured the right way. I think what happened had to happen in this way to

⏹️ ▶️ John be a healthy organization. But it is a sign that perhaps some of the people who actually

⏹️ ▶️ John do define and decide what the UI should be for mobile Safari

⏹️ ▶️ John have some not great ideas.

⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey All right, not ideas,

⏹️ ▶️ John have some not great, it’s not the ideas, because everyone’s like, all ideas are great. Let’s hear it, let’s try it, whatever.

⏹️ ▶️ John But like their value system, the values

⏹️ ▶️ John that they use to judge whether a thing that they’ve tried is successful or not, their values

⏹️ ▶️ John don’t match well with the values of Apple’s, Apple as a company, I feel

⏹️ ▶️ John like. Because in the end, that’s what it comes down to. It’s not like Apple’s customers made them change this, right? Apple as a company

⏹️ ▶️ John decided to, the way they decide what feedback they will listen to and what feedback they will ignore,

⏹️ ▶️ John it’s Apple’s values that determines that. Because everybody somewhere hates something that Apple does. Like no matter what Apple does, you can

⏹️ ▶️ John find a bunch of people who don’t like it, right? But Apple only takes that to heart and acts on it.

⏹️ ▶️ John If Apple says, you know what? This subset of people who don’t like this thing, we agree

⏹️ ▶️ John with them. They’re right. This could be better. It is worse in that way. It weighs x, y, and z, right? So I feel

⏹️ ▶️ John like the reason this got out is somewhere there

⏹️ ▶️ John is a mismatch between the value system used to judge the success of the work

⏹️ ▶️ John within, you know, the mobile Safari group and the values of Apple as a whole.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I don’t begrudge Apple trying something. It’s so tough because

⏹️ ▶️ Casey on the one side, we’ll tell you like, oh, Apple should try things more and get feedback more

⏹️ ▶️ Casey and let the outsiders be involved more. And then in the next breath, we’ll tell you,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey well, what the hell were they thinking? Why did they release this ever? And I think it’s possible for both those things to

⏹️ ▶️ Casey be true, But it’s tough, especially with Apple.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey They proclaim that their stuff is so well designed, it’s so well thought out.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Remember when they used to say it just works too? That was fun. But nevertheless,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey it’s a tough thing to figure out internally, much less externally. Like what do we allow

⏹️ ▶️ Casey to leak out and when do we allow it to happen? Do we present this perfectly wrapped package

⏹️ ▶️ Casey and only when it’s perfectly wrapped that we will let it out of Apple Park? Or do

⏹️ ▶️ Casey we show kind of the build process and let people get involved and see what happens? And

⏹️ ▶️ Casey in this case, I admire them for letting the kind of the world get

⏹️ ▶️ Casey involved with kind of voting on what they think, but

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I don’t know, it seems to me like anyone with any amount of taste would have seen that this was a flawed

⏹️ ▶️ Casey design from the get-go. That being said, where it’s landed now, pretty happy with. Like the left, particularly

⏹️ ▶️ Casey on the phone, the left to right swipey on the bottom is super convenient. I think Marco, you brought that up a minute ago.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey And having the address bar at the bottom is great for those of us who don’t have miniature phones like

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Marco. So no matter how you slice it, it’s a good thing.

Battery health

⏹️ ▶️ Casey It is good.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Hey, my miniature phone has a heart too. It has feelings. It doesn’t

⏹️ ▶️ Marco have battery life, but it has feelings.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey You know what else doesn’t have battery life? My watch, my 40 millimeter series six, whatever it is. I

⏹️ ▶️ Casey typically charge it a little bit in the middle of the day, but if I don’t, I know it, because holy cow. Yeah,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I have, by the way, I have, for the record, I have, I’m down to 89% battery health after about a

⏹️ ▶️ Marco year on the mini, which I think is the biggest loss I’ve ever gotten in a year.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I wonder what mine is. Now we’re on a tangent of a tangent. Let’s all look. Battery,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey battery health, 90% on my 12 Pro. Oh,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco okay, so yeah, you’re doing not too much better, 1% better. Not

⏹️ ▶️ Casey too stellar, although I will say for better or worse, potentially worse, I do charge using Qi almost

⏹️ ▶️ Casey exclusively. It’s very rare that I charge with anything but Qi. And my gut

⏹️ ▶️ Casey tells me, although it may be completely wrong, my gut tells me that that is not helping my battery health at all.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Well, I think it’s, I mean, so keep in mind also, Like the new phones with modern OSs

⏹️ ▶️ Marco do that weird thing where they don’t even charge all the way until you’re gonna wake up soon, right?

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, Casey So there’s

⏹️ ▶️ Marco stuff like that that actually is helping. But overall, yeah, I mean, Qi charging is not great because

⏹️ ▶️ Marco for preserving the lifespan of lithium ion batteries charging them in a hot environment

⏹️ ▶️ Marco is not great. And Qi adds heat that wouldn’t otherwise be there from the inefficiency.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco So it’s not great from that point of view, but I don’t know how much, like I don’t know if we have good

⏹️ ▶️ Marco information on like how much does Qi versus lightning charging matter in terms

⏹️ ▶️ Marco of battery lifespan? Like, yes, charging a battery in constant heat is not great, but

⏹️ ▶️ Marco is that enough to make a difference with that amount of heat over the typical lifespan of a phone,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco versus just its natural degradation or the degradation introduced

⏹️ ▶️ Marco by things like constantly cycling it down a lot every day or fast charging

⏹️ ▶️ Marco it, which is also probably worse for it because that’s charging it faster, introducing more heat is probably not good either.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco So there’s all sorts of other factors with the way we use our phones these days that I don’t know how much

⏹️ ▶️ Marco she actually matters.

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Apple’s PR war against itself

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Something I’ve been needling on for about a month now is I feel

⏹️ ▶️ Casey like Apple is fighting a PR war with themselves.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Like I’m going to blow through a handful of selections over the last month, month and a half

⏹️ ▶️ Casey of Apple, just doing things that most of the public thinks are gross

⏹️ ▶️ Casey or wrong, or certainly not desirable or what’s the Merlinism. not wholesome.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Um, and it’s been going on kind of a lot recently and it’s really

⏹️ ▶️ Casey kind of weirding me out that this is consistently happening. I feel like

⏹️ ▶️ Casey every week there’s some new brouhaha about Apple. And yes, of course, most of you will say, well, it’s

⏹️ ▶️ Casey been happening forever. Yeah, I get that. But I feel like a lot of times it’ll be somebody saying,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey oh, you know, Apple’s Apple’s doing this thing. That’s wrong. Somebody from the outside. Whereas I

⏹️ ▶️ Casey would argue a lot of this stuff and I’m going to go through it in a minute is happening internally and just

⏹️ ▶️ Casey leaking out into the real world. Or it’s, it’s Apple making pro proclamations about how great they are only

⏹️ ▶️ Casey to have them backfire. And so I’m not terribly interested unless the two of you are in,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey in going through the particulars about any one of these things, but I’d like you to take you through a

⏹️ ▶️ Casey timeline and start with Thursday, July 15th, when. Uh,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey this is shortly after Apple had announced that they were going to start bringing people back, which they’ve since backpedaled

⏹️ ▶️ Casey on. But they said, oh, we’re going to bring people back. We’re going to do a hybrid model. And off the top of my head, I think it was like Tuesday,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Wednesday, Thursday in the office, Monday and Friday, you can work from home. And apparently they’ve been

⏹️ ▶️ Casey real jerks about it, which is of no great surprise. I’ve talked to many birdies who are saying

⏹️ ▶️ Casey that a lot of people are leaving because of it. Maybe that’s hearsay, maybe that is hearsay. Maybe that’s

⏹️ ▶️ Casey not true, but that’s what I’m hearing. But you know, there’s a Verge article. Apple employees say the company’s cracking down on

⏹️ ▶️ Casey remote work. One employee said in Slack that Apple even denied their ADA, American Disability Act Association,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey something like that, work from home accommodation. So even though this person, according to the government, deserved

⏹️ ▶️ Casey to work from home, apparently Apple said tough noogies, if you were to believe them. That’s Thursday, July 15.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Moving right along, Wednesday, the 4th of August, Apple places a program manager on administrative leave

⏹️ ▶️ Casey for her request after accusations of a toxic workplace. Again, I’m not really looking to litigate

⏹️ ▶️ Casey these particular points, but apparently a woman at Apple, and I don’t have her name in front of me, I’m sorry,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I had some seemingly legitimate complaints about a really toxic workforce.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey And Apple basically said, eh, no, you’re fine. And she said, well, that’s kind of bogus. Can we work this

⏹️ ▶️ Casey out? And apparently, they’re working it out. That was Wednesday, the 4th of August. Thursday, the 5th of August, CSAM

⏹️ ▶️ Casey stuff. So literally the next day, the completely bungled rollout

⏹️ ▶️ Casey of all the CSAM protections and so on and so forth. So that’s Thursday the 5th.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Monday the 9th, Apple shuts down employee-run surveys on pay. So Cher Scarlett is

⏹️ ▶️ Casey an Apple employee and has been trying very, very diligently to get an understanding

⏹️ ▶️ Casey of whether or not pay is equitable amongst gender, amongst roles, amongst

⏹️ ▶️ Casey locations, and several other facets. And so Cher was trying to get Apple

⏹️ ▶️ Casey employees to voluntarily fill out information about what they’re making, what their

⏹️ ▶️ Casey role is, et cetera. And apparently, Apple’s been shutting this down more and more and more violently. That was Monday, the 9th of August.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey The next Monday, the 16th of August, Apple forces FlickType watch out of the App Store.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey So this was an app that I guess would let you do kind of like a swipey keyboard thing

⏹️ ▶️ Casey on your watch, which unbeknownst to me, as so many things are, I’m really,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I need to get better about this, but unbeknownst to me, apparently this was really important for people that had accessibility

⏹️ ▶️ Casey needs. And so a lot of people would use this keyboard in order to respond to text messages and things like that.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey And Miguel de Caza, who is a friend of the show, had pointed out that

⏹️ ▶️ Casey this is one of the things that Apple had previously touted as being one of their favorite

⏹️ ▶️ Casey apps in the app store for accessibility. Well done guys. And then, uh, just a couple

⏹️ ▶️ Casey of days ago, Monday, the 23rd of August, Apple employees are now organizing under the banner

⏹️ ▶️ Casey hashtag Apple too, which is in the spirit of me too. So this is what, like six or seven

⏹️ ▶️ Casey items over the course of a month where something Apple has done is doing or didn’t do or whatever

⏹️ ▶️ Casey is causing like quite the blow up and I feel like they are just fighting a PR war

⏹️ ▶️ Casey on themselves. And this is very, very unlike Apple.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey And typically they’re so quiet, they’re so reserved. They only speak when they are

⏹️ ▶️ Casey sure they have everything right. It’s just very, very, very surprising to me. And if you guys don’t

⏹️ ▶️ Casey have thoughts about it, we can just let that one, we can let that marinate and move on. But if either of you

⏹️ ▶️ Casey guys have anything to add, I’d be very curious to hear what your take is.

⏹️ ▶️ John I was going to like dive into the title that you gave this for the topic, Apple’s fighting a PO war against itself and say like, what

⏹️ ▶️ John does that actually mean? What are you trying to say with that title? Like more precisely, uh, you didn’t

⏹️ ▶️ John dig into it in the subscription, but I think like the spirit of it, like the way I, at first

⏹️ ▶️ John I read it and made perfect sense, but then I read it again. I’m like, no, it doesn’t make any sense, but I feel like I feel like the

⏹️ ▶️ John spirit of it, let me try to expand on what I think the spirit of it is. Right. So lots of people, as you, as you

⏹️ ▶️ John noted, but people probably didn’t hear. So I’m going to say it again. They’re going to say people always are criticizing Apple. It’s like they’re the

⏹️ ▶️ John biggest company in the world, super popular. It’s like, of course, there’s going to be negative stories about Apple. Like that’s not new. It’s been happening

⏹️ ▶️ John the whole life of the company. And just as they’ve gotten more powerful and more popular, it just happens even more and more. So

⏹️ ▶️ John this is not a trend. You’re not noticing anything new. Why are you even talking about this? There’s always negative stories

⏹️ ▶️ John about Apple. How half the things we do on the show, some people will say,

⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey oh, you’re saying negative things about Apple.

⏹️ ▶️ John Isn’t that what you’re talking about on the show? Or like, you’re part of the whole same problem, right? But I think what is different

⏹️ ▶️ John about this set of items, or most of the set of items that you’ve gathered

⏹️ ▶️ John up here, and it connects to the fighting of PR Warren itself, is

⏹️ ▶️ John these are stories that conflict

⏹️ ▶️ John with Apple’s image of itself and the image they project

⏹️ ▶️ John to the world. Very often the negative stories about Apple are something that is negative,

⏹️ ▶️ John perceived to be negative by the world and certainly by whoever is writing the story, but that Apple would

⏹️ ▶️ John consider an asset. Like, I don’t know, like, uh, I mean, this is, this is kind

⏹️ ▶️ John of fraught because of the antitrust stuff, but like, Oh, the app store, why can’t I put third, you know, why, why can’t we have third party app

⏹️ ▶️ John stores? Why does everything have to go through the app store? Apple would say, I know you don’t like that decision, but we think it’s perfectly

⏹️ ▶️ John in keeping with Apple’s philosophy of having things be proprietary and having us control them and stuff

⏹️ ▶️ John like, or going back even farther. Like, why can’t I build a PC clone and run Mac OS on it, right?

⏹️ ▶️ John People hate that. It’s a negative story for literally decades. They’re like, why doesn’t Apple license the operating

⏹️ ▶️ John system that Microsoft is eating their lunch because they’ve been insist on making the hardware and the software and they crack down on clone makers.

⏹️ ▶️ John Negative story after negative story about that. But Apple would say, yeah, we see that’s a negative

⏹️ ▶️ John story, but our conception of ourself

⏹️ ▶️ John is not threatened by that. We know that we’re not letting you make Mac clones except for that one time we did, which was a mistake.

⏹️ ▶️ John But we know we’re not letting you run Mac OS on cheap generic PC hardware.

⏹️ ▶️ John Like that’s a strategy. We’re doing that on purpose. That fits with our image of ourself. That fits

⏹️ ▶️ John with how we present ourselves to the world. We build the whole widget. It’s an integrated experience. It all works together.

⏹️ ▶️ John We control everything about it, which is why it’s nicer than your PC, right? But these stories,

⏹️ ▶️ John all this stuff, are negative stories that fly pretty

⏹️ ▶️ John much exactly counter counter to how Apple thinks of itself and to how Apple presents

⏹️ ▶️ John itself to the world. Apple wants to think of itself and wants to present itself to the world as a company

⏹️ ▶️ John that is fair and equitable to its employees, that it’s a good place for anyone to work, that it is a place

⏹️ ▶️ John where they are fighting against workplace harassment, discrimination, so on and so forth. Apple doesn’t say that it’s perfect,

⏹️ ▶️ John like, but they, they, Apple tries to hold itself accountable and says, here are the values we believe in and if we find out something

⏹️ ▶️ John is wrong, we will try to remedy it and this is what we’re shooting for. But these are stories about Apple doing the

⏹️ ▶️ John opposite and saying, no, we don’t want you to do a survey of employees to find out how everybody

⏹️ ▶️ John makes. Despite the fact that it’s against the law for Apple to literally stop that,

⏹️ ▶️ John Apple finds technicality and say, well, we can’t stop you from doing it. But if you do it and involve

⏹️ ▶️ John Apple systems in any way, like if you posted an internal Apple bulletin board, if you use your company, you know,

⏹️ ▶️ John supplied computer to do it, like there’s all sorts of these technicalities where Apple can strongly

⏹️ ▶️ John discourage slash squash this, especially if it happens inside the company where it said, Apple can say, we’re not

⏹️ ▶️ John breaking the law. But the spirit is you don’t want employees to know

⏹️ ▶️ John what all their coworkers are making. Because what you’re hiding something

⏹️ ▶️ John like it doesn’t like that is not in keeping with, hey, we want to have an equitable workplace where everyone

⏹️ ▶️ John feels welcome and where the pay is fair and so on and so forth, right? They do all these readouts about how well they’re doing

⏹️ ▶️ John and and hiring and diversity and all that other stuff, but their direct actions

⏹️ ▶️ John counter that, right? The App Store one is, you know, they’re always doing bad App Store rejections. That is probably in keeping

⏹️ ▶️ John with

⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey Apple’s image of itself

⏹️ ▶️ John and that, yes, and not to reject things and it’s stupid, but yeah, and Apple too, the

⏹️ ▶️ John harassment stuff, the CSAM stuff, Apple’s in, we talked about this in many past shows, Apple’s

⏹️ ▶️ John whole thing is we’re the privacy company. We wanna do things for maximum privacy. And in this case, it’s a little bit more nuanced because

⏹️ ▶️ John Apple thinks it is doing something that’s in keeping with privacy, but the world disagrees. So that’s maybe in a slightly different category.

⏹️ ▶️ John But still, the PR rollout is against Apple’s normal practice of having a very controlled, careful

⏹️ ▶️ John PR message. And in this case, setting aside the actual features, the rollout of

⏹️ ▶️ John them, the sort of, you know, how were they presented to the world, backfired in a big way. Like,

⏹️ ▶️ John you know, even if you think the features themselves are fine, the way Apple presented it was not in keeping with Apple’s

⏹️ ▶️ John usual image of itself as we know how to communicate, Like what we

⏹️ ▶️ John like apples, one of Apple’s biggest strengths is they choose very carefully what they

⏹️ ▶️ John want to communicate and they make sure that that is the message that gets out. That, that, you know, that someone

⏹️ ▶️ John doesn’t take what they say and run with it and have a different kind of story. Like the story that Apple wants to see written

⏹️ ▶️ John is the story that fits with the message they’re putting out. And Apple is so good at that, except for in the case of

⏹️ ▶️ John this stuff, which totally messed it up. Um, yeah. So I feel like this is,

⏹️ ▶️ John I don’t know about, uh, oh, and the same thing with the the work from home thing. Like, again, it could be argued that that’s in keeping

⏹️ ▶️ John with Apple’s tradition of having everybody work there. But it is against the tradition of trying to be

⏹️ ▶️ John accommodating and welcoming and so on and so forth. Especially like, oh, all the stories about

⏹️ ▶️ John how Apple is very accommodating during the COVID crisis and everything, that’s in keeping with Apple’s corporate philosophy. Extenuating circumstances,

⏹️ ▶️ John we will accommodate for that. And you could even say, hey, well, we have a new policy. Even

⏹️ ▶️ John post-COVID, we’re going to have a new policy. But it’s just it didn’t go far enough. But yeah, Apple being at war with its employees

⏹️ ▶️ John is not in keeping with the image it presents to the world. So that is just

⏹️ ▶️ John a bad PR situation. You don’t want the story to be

⏹️ ▶️ John that all that stuff you say is BS because look at how you act. You don’t want to look hypocritical,

⏹️ ▶️ John right? You want the image that you present to the world to be supported

⏹️ ▶️ John by everything you do. And in this case, Apple might feel

⏹️ ▶️ John that it’s losing control of what is coming out of the company. Like their culture of secrecy

⏹️ ▶️ John and everything has in the past probably helped with this. But people feel

⏹️ ▶️ John emboldened to say, look, this is going on in the workplace, and we don’t think it’s right.

⏹️ ▶️ John And Apple, I dare you to punish slash fire me for telling the world that this

⏹️ ▶️ John is going on. And Apple’s like, OK, we’ll take that bet. We will punish you.

⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey And it just makes them look worse.

⏹️ ▶️ John So obviously the solution here is Apple either

⏹️ ▶️ John stop doing things that are in conflict with the image you present to the world, or change the image you present to the world. And I would

⏹️ ▶️ John suggest doing the first one. Because most of the things Apple is doing, again, smell. I think we’ve

⏹️ ▶️ John come up when we’ve talked about App Store or other things. Like it smells like there’s someone somewhere in the organization

⏹️ ▶️ John who has as their goal to like, you know, like someone thinks it’s really bad,

⏹️ ▶️ John for example, for employees to know how much all their coworkers make. And so they’re

⏹️ ▶️ John just doing anything they possibly can to stop that from happening. Without thinking about,

⏹️ ▶️ John is my goal in keeping with Apple’s values? They just say like, no,

⏹️ ▶️ John this is what I want. Maybe I work in the HR department and it will hurt my ability to hire and I’ll have to rebalance

⏹️ ▶️ John everyone’s salary or I don’t want the world to know how unfairly the women are being paid. There’s reasons

⏹️ ▶️ John why they’re doing it, but something else in the organization should be overriding their

⏹️ ▶️ John localized self-interest in the HR department to say, that’s not how we do things at Apple.

⏹️ ▶️ John If they want to organize a survey, A, it’s illegal for us to actually stop them. So

⏹️ ▶️ John why are you even bothering to find all these technicalities? Because they’re just going to eventually do it anyway. They’ll put up a

⏹️ ▶️ John Google Sheet, and they’ll talk about it after work off of Apple’s scale.

⏹️ ▶️ John And B, if someone knows that you’ve been spending all this time trying to squash this, it just

⏹️ ▶️ John makes us look worse. The bottom line is, do we care about equitable pay or do we not? And if we do care

⏹️ ▶️ John about it, we should have the guts to say, here’s what it’s like at Apple right now. And if it’s bad, say,

⏹️ ▶️ John we know it’s bad and we’re working to improve it in ways X, Y, and Z, which they mostly do with a lot of other stuff, but then this is

⏹️ ▶️ John counter to that entire narrative. So what you don’t want is a month like this where the accumulation

⏹️ ▶️ John of stories slowly convince people that Apple is not the company that it thinks it is, and Apple is not

⏹️ ▶️ John the company that maybe you thought it was.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Are we the baddies now?

⏹️ ▶️ John Yeah, and it is, I will go back to like, yeah, if you’re the biggest company in the world, people are always gonna be trying to tear

⏹️ ▶️ John you down. Like, I still think in the grand scheme of things, Apple is way better than

⏹️ ▶️ John average on all of these things, right? And a part of the reason these stories get traction is because we expect so much of Apple

⏹️ ▶️ John and because they’re such a pinnacle, you know, they’re up on a pedestal, people wanna tear them down and any

⏹️ ▶️ John little thing they do, you’re gonna yell them out. But anyone who has worked literally any job ever,

⏹️ ▶️ John you can think of much worse things that have happened to them at their job or they’ve seen happen in their job, or

⏹️ ▶️ John that are systemic across their other giant company that they’ve worked for, that

⏹️ ▶️ John make these things look like nothing. But, that’s the, it’s like Marco and his dependencies,

⏹️ ▶️ John the beauty and the curse of Apple, that we hold them to a higher standard, because in general they are

⏹️ ▶️ John better, and we’re big fans of them, and they want them to do well, and Apple itself holds itself to a high

⏹️ ▶️ John standard. That’s part of the reason it’s presentation to the world, is to talk about their values and how

⏹️ ▶️ John they’re working to improve, And you know, like, again, there’s room for criticism in all of them, whether it’s labor

⏹️ ▶️ John in China or how they deal with China at all, or cozying up to Trump at the Mac Pro factory.

⏹️ ▶️ John Like there’s always things to criticize. But through it all, I feel like what Apple has tried very

⏹️ ▶️ John hard to hold on to is their values like this is what Apple stands for.

⏹️ ▶️ John And though we may fall short, we will acknowledge when we fell short and we will try to do better and make changes.

⏹️ ▶️ John And seeing Apple actively work against forces within its own company that are trying to to improve

⏹️ ▶️ John it, right? Like say I’m reporting harassment, take care of the harassment, don’t yell at me. I’m trying to help make the pay

⏹️ ▶️ John more equitable. Don’t stop the survey. You should be asking for, no, they don’t need the results, or they know what everyone’s

⏹️ ▶️ John being paid. But anyway, you should be taking this feedback and acting on it and not trying to, you know, stop me

⏹️ ▶️ John or whatever. And again, I’m gonna set aside the App Store rejections. We’ve spoken enough

⏹️ ▶️ John about that. From our perspective, it’s a terrible thing to do to have these arbitrary and bad

⏹️ ▶️ John rejections. But there’s so many of those, and it’s so difficult to tell which are the good which are the bad. And

⏹️ ▶️ John that’s a long running thing

⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey that maybe Congress

⏹️ ▶️ John will sort out eventually. But yeah, I just hope

⏹️ ▶️ John Apple takes all the, kind of like the Safari 15 stuff. Like sometimes things go badly

⏹️ ▶️ John and you have a bad result, but you can snatch victory from the jaws of defeat by

⏹️ ▶️ John saying, we’re going to learn from this. We’ll correct our mistakes, we’ll take remedial action,

⏹️ ▶️ John and the next time we’ll do better. And that’s what Apple should do in all of these circumstances, but the

⏹️ ▶️ John first step is acknowledging that you’re making a mistake, like, you know, stop doing

⏹️ ▶️ John the things that are bad, and then, you know, go through the rest of the process.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Yeah, John, I thank you, because I think my thesis was too brief. And

⏹️ ▶️ Casey you did an excellent job of capturing what I was trying to say, which is exactly that, that this is incongruent with

⏹️ ▶️ Casey my perception of Apple, and certainly the perception of Apple, I think Apple wants me to have. And, and that is,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey in short, what I’m seeing over the last month, which is really too bad. And I agree with everything you just said. So thank you

⏹️ ▶️ Casey for for being the chief summarizer and chief for me.

⏹️ ▶️ John I am one actually one more thing on this like the we keep talking about Apple, like as if it’s

⏹️ ▶️ John this disembodied entity, but Apple is made up of all of these people. And

⏹️ ▶️ John the nature of companies is the people are is not made up all those people evenly, right? You know, so there’s

⏹️ ▶️ John thousands of employees, and you don’t average them all together and get Apple.

⏹️ ▶️ John The CEO counts as a much higher weighting factor. And then as you go down the org chart,

⏹️ ▶️ John the weighting factors get smaller and smaller and the rank and file people have a much lower weighting factor in the average that is

⏹️ ▶️ John Apple. But when we talk about Apple’s values and living up to its own values or whatever, these employees

⏹️ ▶️ John who are internally agitating to make things better are Apple in the same

⏹️ ▶️ John sense that the CEO is Apple. There’s way more of them, but their weighting factor

⏹️ ▶️ John is way, way, way, way, way lower. And in the end, they have a boss who has a boss who has a boss who tells them

⏹️ ▶️ John what to do and has the power to fire them, right? So that’s the nature of companies. And so I think

⏹️ ▶️ John when we talk about Apple, like these employees pushing back are in fact embodying

⏹️ ▶️ John the values of Apple because they make up the values of Apple, like the actual

⏹️ ▶️ John boots on the ground values of Apple is embodied by its employees. And in that way,

⏹️ ▶️ John all of these stories do reflect the mass of Apple living up to its ideals,

⏹️ ▶️ John but these people don’t run Apple. And that’s the disappointing thing. So when we’re talking about Apple,

⏹️ ▶️ John we’re talking about the people who are in charge of Apple, not the majority of the employees at Apple,

⏹️ ▶️ John who mostly are like, Apple employees that I’ve met are always just great, enthusiastic

⏹️ ▶️ John people with great values who want all the best for everybody else who works at Apple. And it’s just, it doesn’t,

⏹️ ▶️ John you put a few people with bad ideas in the wrong place with the wrong motivations, and it can really make the whole company take

⏹️ ▶️ John a wrong turn.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I think there also might be deep-rooted structural or cultural

⏹️ ▶️ Marco issues that are much, much harder to try to fix from anywhere,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco from the top, or from the bottom, or from anywhere. Because I

⏹️ ▶️ Marco think it was on Dubai Friday, famously said that success hides problems. That was also

⏹️ ▶️ Marco them, right? Follow up on that?

⏹️ ▶️ John What? Are you trying to attribute that to me? It’s Ed Catmull.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco So, you know, Apple’s been so successful that it’s easy for

⏹️ ▶️ Marco everyone at the company, you know, at all levels to get into the mindset

⏹️ ▶️ Marco of, we know what’s best, obviously, because look at how well we’re doing. Look at this great stuff

⏹️ ▶️ Marco we’re making. We’re really changing the world. We’re doing great work. We’re making great things. So therefore, we are great

⏹️ ▶️ Marco and the way we do things is great. And we’ve heard over the years many common

⏹️ ▶️ Marco themes that go something like, the reason why this thing is the way

⏹️ ▶️ Marco it is, is because a middle manager somewhere along the chain of command

⏹️ ▶️ Marco is either, you know, not very good or being a jerk in some way,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco or is responding to dysfunctional incentives that the company culture has set up. Like

⏹️ ▶️ Marco you know, it’s because they’re in their project, even though it shouldn’t go in a a certain direction,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco they push it that direction because of their own career political motives and incentives.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco We’ve heard this over and over again over many years. This is not new. It does seem like Apple

⏹️ ▶️ Marco is like any other big company. You have people problems, you have incentive problems, you have cultural problems.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco And as the company has gotten bigger, that hasn’t obviously gotten better.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco If anything, it’s gotten worse. I do hear more about

⏹️ ▶️ Marco like the the depth of that chain of command under Tim Cook as opposed to what

⏹️ ▶️ Marco it was under Steve Jobs, but that also could be attributed to the company’s growth during that time. So it’s hard to know if it’s like, you know,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco is this the Tim Cook way or is this just as the company got bigger this happened. But we know

⏹️ ▶️ Marco that they have problems. We know that there are problematic bosses,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco there are problematic managers, and we also know that Apple’s not

⏹️ ▶️ Marco super great all the time at recognizing when it isn’t the best, recognizing

⏹️ ▶️ Marco when they’ve done something that isn’t good, that isn’t changing the world for the better, that isn’t the best it could

⏹️ ▶️ Marco be. Sometimes it takes them a long time to recognize that. Sometimes their own internal culture seems to

⏹️ ▶️ Marco prevent them from considering that as even an option. See also America. So

⏹️ ▶️ Marco it’s very hard for them to seemingly to to recognize when they have

⏹️ ▶️ Marco an internal problem, or hell, an external problem, like when they have a product problem. It’s very hard for them to recognize

⏹️ ▶️ Marco that sometimes. I hope some of these massive PR blunders they’ve created for themselves

⏹️ ▶️ Marco over the last year or so, but especially recently as Casey has outlined here,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I hope maybe this is shining a light on their own cultural problems to the people who

⏹️ ▶️ Marco matter, who can, the people up top, who can maybe start to change some of these incentives or

⏹️ ▶️ Marco implement better processes for dealing with problems when they arise, or change policies in certain ways, change

⏹️ ▶️ Marco attitudes in certain ways. Because they are a big company like any other, they have problems

⏹️ ▶️ Marco like any other, they’re gonna have jerky bosses here and there like any other, and they have to

⏹️ ▶️ Marco recognize that’s gonna be a thing that they have to deal with and put systems in place to deal with it better than the way they’re

⏹️ ▶️ Marco dealing with it right now. Because it does seem like that’s not as good as it could be. So I hope this has been kind

⏹️ ▶️ Marco of a wake up call because one of the thing regarding the PR tone from

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Apple recently. It does, you know, we’ve commented a lot in recent years about how it

⏹️ ▶️ Marco seems like they misread the room. They put something out there that goes over like a

⏹️ ▶️ Marco lead balloon and they seem shocked at this. Like they seem totally caught

⏹️ ▶️ Marco off guard that the world didn’t love something they put out there or something they said

⏹️ ▶️ Marco as much as they did. And I think this all is related. That, you know, it’s all like

⏹️ ▶️ Marco this company has been so successful for so long and they think everything they do is

⏹️ ▶️ Marco gold. And they can’t tell when their stuff stinks.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco And that, I hope we see movement in that area. I think we might be

⏹️ ▶️ Marco slowly seeing them get better at that. But I do think,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I hope they keep going on that. I hope they keep pushing on that, because this has been a problematic area for some time

⏹️ ▶️ Marco now. And if Apple keeps telling themselves, And if

⏹️ ▶️ Marco all the managers and chain of command inside of Apple, if they keep telling themselves that they’re great,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco they’re gonna keep missing problems and they’re gonna keep putting their foot in their mouths and losing their best

⏹️ ▶️ Marco people and other problems that are avoidable if they go in with a little bit more humble

⏹️ ▶️ Marco attitude and say, you know what, we’re not great in all ways here. Let’s put better processes in

⏹️ ▶️ Marco place. Let’s start changing some of our attitudes, some of our culture, some of our workplace environment rules and things like that

⏹️ ▶️ Marco to actually better address this stuff.

⏹️ ▶️ John And speaking of things changing in recent months and years, one

⏹️ ▶️ John change that I have definitely noticed is that employees who are current

⏹️ ▶️ John employees of Apple have felt, I don’t know if they felt more free, more of them are speaking

⏹️ ▶️ John publicly while employed at Apple, which is a thing that almost never happens, even about the most trivial things,

⏹️ ▶️ John let alone like, let me air my internal HR-related grievances about Apple while I’m still employed at

⏹️ ▶️ John Apple. It was unheard of. And part of that was, you just mentioned Steve Jobs as someone at the top with slightly

⏹️ ▶️ John better taste vetoing things. He was also a massive authoritarian, and he would probably fire these people on the spot if he was still alive.

⏹️ ▶️ John Because the environment of fear that caused everyone to be silent was not

⏹️ ▶️ John a good thing. The external effect of that was Apple had very controlled messaging, and no one ever

⏹️ ▶️ John said anything. But internally, success hides problems. So does silence. Silence hides problems,

⏹️ ▶️ John too. So who knows what terrible things could have been going on back in the era where if you said anything on Twitter, If you acknowledge

⏹️ ▶️ John that you were an employee of Apple and said something that got picked up by some news org, it was like, you

⏹️ ▶️ John know, if Steve catches, if that escalates to the point where it comes up to Steve’s desk, he would say, can we just fire that

⏹️ ▶️ John person? And maybe your boss will argue for another really important that the only person who knows how this thing in the kernel works and

⏹️ ▶️ John he, maybe he would grumble. But obviously, you know, if you’re a low level or a new employee, like the idea of being

⏹️ ▶️ John fired for doing something like that is a thing that happens in small startups with tyrants who run them. And also

⏹️ ▶️ John at various times at one of the biggest tech companies in the world, when Steve Jobs was there because

⏹️ ▶️ John one of his less desirable attributes, let’s say, was his authoritarian bent about

⏹️ ▶️ John command and control of the company that was his that he was running. So the change that has taken

⏹️ ▶️ John place recently is employees are poking their little heads out of their holes and being

⏹️ ▶️ John like, I’m going to make a tweet about work. I’m not going to tell you

⏹️ ▶️ John Apple’s secret product. I’m not even going to tell you what team I’m on, because they still are too afraid to do that. and like I work

⏹️ ▶️ John at Apple on software, right? But a few of them are coming up and saying,

⏹️ ▶️ John here’s something about the workplace at Apple. Even just saying a good thing, like, oh,

⏹️ ▶️ John I really like at Apple because we have this group and we talk and my manager says this or whatever. It’s like, oh, I can’t

⏹️ ▶️ John believe I’m hearing about things that are going on inside Apple from someone who still works there. Even hearing people, I’ve been outside Apple

⏹️ ▶️ John for five years and I’m finally ready to tweet about it, right? Even hearing that used to be a big thing. But now people, and then setting

⏹️ ▶️ John aside the people who are like, look, I’m pissed at Apple. I brought this to HR. I brought them all this evidence about all this

⏹️ ▶️ John terrible things happening to me. Here’s a screenshot of a message conversation I had with my boss that I sent them and Apple

⏹️ ▶️ John said it was fine. What do you think? Like, we’re all just holding our breath and going, is that person gonna be fired tomorrow?

⏹️ ▶️ John The answer is no, they weren’t fired, right? So how does the culture change at a company? Obviously leadership can change

⏹️ ▶️ John it. But in the absence of that, when leadership is sort of not doing the right thing, culture can start

⏹️ ▶️ John to change when people in the rank and file start to air their grievances in public

⏹️ ▶️ John and let these stories get picked up by the press and put pressure on the company. And yeah, a lot of them are probably gonna get fired

⏹️ ▶️ John or sidelined or put on an administrative leave or like the company will find excuses to fire them, do all those terrible things that companies

⏹️ ▶️ John do. And that will also be a story. And that’s not how Apple should be reacting to this. But

⏹️ ▶️ John I feel like that, you know, essentially brave Apple employees

⏹️ ▶️ John are attempting to change the culture. And I think they are having some tiny bit

⏹️ ▶️ John of success, you know, even if it’s just in the form of the pressure applied

⏹️ ▶️ John by the press and podcasts to talk about Apple or whatever, because when this stuff was going on and we didn’t know about it,

⏹️ ▶️ John we could just say, oh, Apple, they’re so disciplined. They have great messaging and look at their products. It’s all wonderful. Steve Jobs is great.

⏹️ ▶️ John I’m sure all these same things were going on, you know, years and years ago. We just didn’t hear about them. And so I would rather hear about

⏹️ ▶️ John them. And if hearing, if this is the only way, like, you know, like the app store, running to the press never helps,

⏹️ ▶️ John except it totally helps. So now that I’m telling all employees, like risk your job and your livelihood

⏹️ ▶️ John in your future career by publicly airing all of your grievances about the Apple workplace.

⏹️ ▶️ John Like, no, you can never ask that of people. They shouldn’t have to do this. This is what leadership should do. And to be fair, I think there’s lots of great leadership

⏹️ ▶️ John in Apple that is also working in this direction, but there’s enough bad spots in that org chart

⏹️ ▶️ John that Apple is doing some things that are very counter to the values that the vast, vast, vast majority

⏹️ ▶️ John of people at Apple hold. And that’s not a tenable situation. So

⏹️ ▶️ John kudos to all the Apple employees being brave. I hope it works out for you. And again, I

⏹️ ▶️ John want to acknowledge that like 99% of Apple is amazing and

⏹️ ▶️ John great, and it only takes just the, 1% or less doing the wrong thing in the right positions

⏹️ ▶️ John in the company to really mess things up for everybody else.

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#askatp: Organize big photo libraries

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Colin writes, are there any tips for organizing an Apple Photos library of about 30,000 photos? The conditions

⏹️ ▶️ Casey you can put on smart albums don’t seem robust enough. Mostly, I’m just going through them by hand, deleting and sorting the

⏹️ ▶️ Casey last 20 years. How can I better zero in on significance? I feel

⏹️ ▶️ Casey like my completely esoteric bananas approach to this is probably not helpful. So

⏹️ ▶️ Casey John, you seem to be the most invested in Apple Photos of the three of us. me what’s the right answer.

⏹️ ▶️ John My main tip is use the favoriting feature, the little heart

⏹️ ▶️ John thing right. And this is sounds it’s trickier than that because if you just use that

⏹️ ▶️ John feature and you favor every photo you haven’t organized anything right. So there’s a ratio and other

⏹️ ▶️ John right. Yeah. All right. If you if you fav one out of every ten thousand photos then you have three faves

⏹️ ▶️ John and that doesn’t help you either right. So you have to sort of find Calibrate

⏹️ ▶️ John your sense of faveness. And what you want to do is basically, I should look at

⏹️ ▶️ John the math to see what ratio, what is my fav ratio? Is it one out of every 10,

⏹️ ▶️ John one of every 100, every 50? But you wanna be honest and say,

⏹️ ▶️ John is this a picture that I would consider printing, putting in a frame that I’d wanna see in a screensaver? Like,

⏹️ ▶️ John is it a good photo, right? And if you’re honest with yourself, you don’t have that many of those.

⏹️ ▶️ John You got a thousand pictures of your kids, but what are your favorite ones, right? And so I would say,

⏹️ ▶️ John go, I mean, if you really wanna do this, and this is a question from Colin, I wanna organize my 30,000 photos, you’re gonna have to go

⏹️ ▶️ John through all 30,000 and fave the good ones. And when you’re done with that incredible laborious process because you’re starting

⏹️ ▶️ John behind 30,000, right? Then you click on the little favorites thing in the sidebar, suddenly

⏹️ ▶️ John your 30,000 photo collection becomes a thousand photos, let’s say, right?

⏹️ ▶️ John And a thousand photos, all of which are really good, now you’re getting somewhere.

⏹️ ▶️ John You can put those in random play in your screensaver, right? You can, when you

⏹️ ▶️ John want to find a good picture of your kid when they were five, click on favorites first, scroll

⏹️ ▶️ John backwards to the year they were five, you’re looking at 30 pictures, right? You’re looking at a screen full of

⏹️ ▶️ John pictures. That’s the way to do it. And you know, the number one tool, like that’s not the only

⏹️ ▶️ John tool, but that is the easiest and the most important one. And it also means every time you

⏹️ ▶️ John import pictures from now on, you fav the good ones. It’s just an ongoing process. And I’m going through 30,000 is gonna

⏹️ ▶️ John seem like a lot. It’s not that bad. You consider it like picking, right? Obviously you can delete the ones that are blurry

⏹️ ▶️ John or terrible or out of focus, you know, or like badly framed or whatever. Fave the really good

⏹️ ▶️ John ones. I’m not saying you have to edit the really good ones or you have to do any of them, just fave them. That

⏹️ ▶️ John is the most important. And then beyond that, you can organize them into albums, put tags on them, use the face recognition. There’s

⏹️ ▶️ John lots and lots of stuff you can do before that, but that’s my number one tip.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Marco, any thoughts?

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Nope, I don’t organize my photo library at all.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Yeah, for me, it’s just by date. And I am trying to be somewhat diligent about the people feature

⏹️ ▶️ Casey in Apple Photos and like, you know, making sure that I’m, that the photos

⏹️ ▶️ Casey that are claimed to be Declan, for example, are actually Declan. But yeah, I

⏹️ ▶️ Casey view everything, almost everything I view on the file system by date and in

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Apple Photos by either date or by location. So yeah, I’m pretty useless in this capacity. Sorry,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Colin. you

#askatp: Web searches for tech info

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Sam writes, how does one Google for specific tech problems without receiving incredibly vague and unrelated answers?

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I’m sure you’ve all faced this at some point. Search engines will always push the most generic catch-all articles because

⏹️ ▶️ Casey that’s what gets the most clicks. I don’t have any good recipes for this either,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey to be honest with you. I’m assuming that John does. Oftentimes I’ll just blast through the first

⏹️ ▶️ Casey few results knowing full well that they’re gonna be shovelware. And then after

⏹️ ▶️ Casey page two or three, I’ll finally find the thing that’s useful. but John, you probably have some science that you can perform

⏹️ ▶️ Casey here.

⏹️ ▶️ John Yeah, the sort of failure modes are familiar for anyone who’s ever tried to Google for

⏹️ ▶️ John like best refrigerator. Like, you know, it’s just spam links where people would just

⏹️ ▶️ John make web pages by copying, pasting data from other things. So they come up as the number one through 100 results

⏹️ ▶️ John on best insert name of product, right? That’s the one noise problem. The other one is

⏹️ ▶️ John I’m having a technical problem. No one’s doing SEO to get this, But I don’t know what to type to describe

⏹️ ▶️ John it. Like, computer won’t work, screen frozen. Those are not going to get

⏹️ ▶️ John you anywhere because it’s too generic and people have been having those problems forever. And it’s a

⏹️ ▶️ John sign that you don’t know enough about what’s going on to formulate a good question. So there’s two

⏹️ ▶️ John strategies that I want to recommend. The first is the

⏹️ ▶️ John sort of if you’re a tech nerd, you probably, this probably won’t occur to you because it seems like

⏹️ ▶️ John it shouldn’t work. and it’s like the wrong way to do things, but I’m here to tell you that you need to go against your instincts and try

⏹️ ▶️ John this, which is type out like, you know, it’s kind of like rubber ducking.

⏹️ ▶️ John Pretend someone came into the room and said, hey, what’s the problem? And you had to explain it to them. Whatever you would say to them,

⏹️ ▶️ John type that into the Google search box. You’re like, but I’m gonna say seven sentences to them. You want me to type that whole big thing

⏹️ ▶️ John into the search box? Yeah, type, you know, I was running Adobe Photoshop and every time I click on the bucket

⏹️ ▶️ John tool, you know, it makes a beeping noise and then the screen turns blue and I

⏹️ ▶️ John can’t get it to stop. Every single word I just said, put that into the Google search box. And

⏹️ ▶️ John you’re like, there’s no way that’s gonna work. It’s ridiculous. It’s all that, like, that’s just the way I phrased it in a sentence

⏹️ ▶️ John and it’s not, you know, I’m not looking for those words. And what if someone described the problem

⏹️ ▶️ John but they use different words? Just try it. The way this works best obviously

⏹️ ▶️ John is for non-computer stuff where you say, that person with the brown hair who’s been in the movie with Tom Cruise,

⏹️ ▶️ John but wasn’t his co-star, but it was a different romantic interest,

⏹️ ▶️ John type all that into the Google search box. Google does amazing things for that. Like you can,

⏹️ ▶️ John again, when you’re at like, someone’s at a table like, who was in that movie? And people are trying to do these

⏹️ ▶️ John three word Google queries, just record what they said and put it into the Google search. It works great for celebrities, but

⏹️ ▶️ John for computer stuff, it can sometimes work. That’s strategy number one. Strategy number two, try to fix it

⏹️ ▶️ John yourself until you get an error message, paste, copy and paste the error message into Google. Because that’s the secret

⏹️ ▶️ John of tech support and tech nerds, the secret of all programming really in the modern era is,

⏹️ ▶️ John try it, just try something, eventually something won’t work and hopefully you’ll get an error message

⏹️ ▶️ John and you hope against hope that that error message has enough uniqueness in it. Not too much uniqueness because you don’t want like process

⏹️ ▶️ John IDs or dates or other stuff, right? But just enough uniqueness and put the, yes, put

⏹️ ▶️ John the error message in double quotes. Maybe you’ll get zero results, then sort of narrow the double quotes down

⏹️ ▶️ John to just sort of the meat of the thing until you start getting results. Those are the main strategies

⏹️ ▶️ John I would employ is the, this is never gonna work rubber ducking technique and try it yourself,

⏹️ ▶️ John find an error message, put it in double quotes and narrow the double quotes.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah, it’s useful to know that like for most, at least on the Mac, most error messages have selectable

⏹️ ▶️ Marco text these days. So you can actually select the text and paste it right into Google if you want.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco But yeah, this is a problem, you know, trying to find any information on the web can

⏹️ ▶️ Marco be pretty difficult these days because there’s just so much just spam

⏹️ ▶️ Marco and algorithmically generated garbage and affiliate marketing sites and stuff. It’s

⏹️ ▶️ Marco really hard. But I think this is, you know, this is like the skill we’ve been training our

⏹️ ▶️ Marco entire lives building up. You know, as the web has gotten more and more filled with crap,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I think the answer is You just, you know that you’re gonna wade

⏹️ ▶️ Marco through a bunch of crap, you mentally prepare yourself, like all right, fine, I’m gonna type in this terrible

⏹️ ▶️ Marco query into Google, I know I’m gonna go through many pages of garbage, trying to refine

⏹️ ▶️ Marco what I’m looking for, you know. You will eventually find it, like, and it can

⏹️ ▶️ Marco feel like a long time when you have to do like three or four searches to like finally kind of like narrow in on what you’re looking

⏹️ ▶️ Marco for, but in the reality, you’re probably gonna have your answer in 45 seconds, you

⏹️ ▶️ Marco know, or something like that. Certainly certain areas are worse than others. I agree with

⏹️ ▶️ Marco what John said about like, if you’re looking for product recommendations, that’s just

⏹️ ▶️ Marco garbage. The reason why Wirecutter is so popular is

⏹️ ▶️ Marco not because they necessarily always have great picks. I disagree with many of their picks.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco It’s because there’s pretty much nowhere else trustworthy to go. It’s really

⏹️ ▶️ Marco hard to look anywhere

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, John else for anything.

⏹️ ▶️ John That’s why when I Google for things now, I type Wirecutter Best Blender. I don’t type Best Blender. Best

⏹️ ▶️ John Blender is a wasteland. Wirecutter Best Blender is just a convenient way for me to get to Wirecutter’s latest Blender ratings. Which I could just

⏹️ ▶️ John go to and click around, but Google makes it faster to type Wirecutter Best Blender. It’s the same reason I type,

⏹️ ▶️ John you know, Tom Cruise movies Wikipedia. Cause I don’t want results from anywhere else. So I just put the word Wikipedia

⏹️ ▶️ John in the title. And yes, I know I could just do W space with my little shortcut that goes right to the Wikipedia search or whatever.

⏹️ ▶️ John But like, that’s I guess a third strategy. If you know,

⏹️ ▶️ John more or less, somebody has, probably has the answer to this, you can just put the word in

⏹️ ▶️ John the query, like Wikipedia or Wirecutter. If you really wanna get techy, you can do a site colon in the URL,

⏹️ ▶️ John but I don’t even think you need to go that far. Sometimes you kind of know

⏹️ ▶️ John where you’d like to find this answer, and you can look there first. You don’t have to go as far as the right, like stack overflow,

⏹️ ▶️ John can’t use undefined value as hash reference, right? You don’t have to type stack overflow, because they’re usually number one in the search results without the

⏹️ ▶️ John word in there, but Wirecutter isn’t. You type Best Blender, forget it.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco And with tech stuff like Stack Overflow, it’s useful, I’m sure many of you out there

⏹️ ▶️ Marco have noticed that whenever you search for anything that is vaguely coding

⏹️ ▶️ Marco related or anything that would be represented on a Stack Exchange site, like

⏹️ ▶️ Marco some of them aren’t coding related, some of them are like sysadmin stuff or just to help with your Mac or

⏹️ ▶️ Marco whatever, and you probably noticed that when you search for anything that has those results, you

⏹️ ▶️ Marco might find the Stack Exchange site in the top few results, but you will also find seven

⏹️ ▶️ Marco or eight sites that might even rank above it that are all just ripping off Stack

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Overflow content and

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, Casey republishing it. Or you find

⏹️ ▶️ Marco some, you search for like, hey, how do I do this thing on my Linux server? Or

⏹️ ▶️ Marco what does this weird error message from MySQL mean? And you’ll find 17

⏹️ ▶️ Marco different reproductions of the same forum thread with different ads

⏹️ ▶️ Marco injected into each one for all these different sites that all are claiming to be

⏹️ ▶️ Marco independent and original, but of course you can tell they’re all just scraping whatever the heck the same original source was, whether

⏹️ ▶️ Marco it was Stack Overflow or something else. And you just kind of, as modern internet searchers, you just kind of

⏹️ ▶️ Marco learn to spot this kind of stuff and you start realizing things like, which I’m saying, if

⏹️ ▶️ Marco this is the kind of answer that I already know a pretty trustworthy source will probably have,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I will just search for their answer. Which again, this is not a great place for the world to be,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco But it’s the place we have. So you start realizing, OK, well, for these kind of things,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I’ll add Stack Overflow to the query. So I just go right there. For these kind of things, I’ll add Wirecutter or whatever. That’s

⏹️ ▶️ Marco the role we’re in.

⏹️ ▶️ John This, incidentally, is a good way to judge the health of your website. Someone mentioned IMDb in the

⏹️ ▶️ John chat. IMDb is ostensibly the internet movie database. But every time I

⏹️ ▶️ John want to know something about a movie, I type, you know, list of Steven Spielberg movies

⏹️ ▶️ John Wikipedia. or I type the title of the movie, Wikipedia. You know why? Because IMDb

⏹️ ▶️ John is impossible for me to find. I want to find out what year was this released and who was the director. Wikipedia has that info, boom, one second.

⏹️ ▶️ John It’s right there in my face. IMDb can’t find it for the life of me. And then it wants me to log

⏹️ ▶️ John in and get pro and it’s like, forget it. So IMDb is failing. You can tell it’s failing. Even if it was number

⏹️ ▶️ John one search results of like typing the title of the movie, like I just, you know, that’s,

⏹️ ▶️ John and not that I keep promoting Wikipedia because I have my own problems with it or whatever, but like, you know the information architecture

⏹️ ▶️ John of your website is bad if people are actively avoiding it, even though it should be, quote unquote, should

⏹️ ▶️ John be the number one Google hit.

#askatp: Still need to update Java?

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Finally, Mark Slutsky writes, do I ever need to update Java? Every time this window comes up, I dismiss

⏹️ ▶️ Casey it. Been doing so for years now. Nothing bad ever seems to happen. But am I wrong to do so?

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Man, I forgot Java was a thing. To be honest with you, I cannot remember

⏹️ ▶️ Casey the last time I’ve had like a full board Java installation on any of my computers. It’s been, I think, longer

⏹️ ▶️ Casey since I’ve had a full board, you know, Windows VM on one of my computers.

⏹️ ▶️ John So this is a screenshot of, I think, the Apple software update dialogue. Apple used to ship

⏹️ ▶️ John Java with its computers and eventually it was available as a separate download. But once you installed

⏹️ ▶️ John it from Apple, like you’d get updates to it. And eventually just, you know, Apple stopped supplying it. I don’t think they

⏹️ ▶️ John support it at all anymore. I don’t even know what state it at. But this looks like the Apple update dialogue. And one of the reasons I put this

⏹️ ▶️ John question in here is in recent years, cause I have the non-Apple

⏹️ ▶️ John version of Java at work cause I actually needed it for work many, many years ago. Right? In recent years,

⏹️ ▶️ John the current owners of Java, I think it’s Oracle, right? Have changed

⏹️ ▶️ John their like always running updater thing in a way that

⏹️ ▶️ John I, an unprecedented way. I’ve never seen this before. So

⏹️ ▶️ John on my work computer, when the dialogue comes up, like the Oracle Java updater thing, it doesn’t

⏹️ ▶️ John say to me, you know, you’re running this version and this is a visualization version, do you want to update

⏹️ ▶️ John or whatever? Like the Apple one has like skip this version, and remind me later, install update. So this is, you

⏹️ ▶️ John know, the regular Apple dialogue. The Oracle, whatever dialogue comes up, and it’s some weird

⏹️ ▶️ John janky non-native UI, of course, right? And what it says to me is,

⏹️ ▶️ John your computer is running, something like this, not exact wording, but your computer is running Java, but you haven’t used Java

⏹️ ▶️ John in over two years. Do you want to uninstall Java? We don’t recommend you keep it installed if you’re not using it.

⏹️ ▶️ John That’s what the dialogue box says. That’s the first party one? Yes, the first thing

⏹️ ▶️ John it does, it says, hey, it looks like you haven’t used Java in a while. We recommend that you uninstall it.

⏹️ ▶️ John That’s amazing. Which is unprecedented. Like even Adobe Flash didn’t offer to uninstall itself until it was literally

⏹️ ▶️ John no longer supported at all, right? Like Java’s still supported. It’s still a thing. It’s not like

⏹️ ▶️ John Java is dead, right? It’s a very popular language used all the time. Now, I haven’t used Java on my

⏹️ ▶️ John Mac for many years, and the updater knows that, and it’s not just like the default

⏹️ ▶️ John action. It’s the first thing it wants me to do. It says you should, like it recommends it. It says you should

⏹️ ▶️ John uninstall it if you’re not using it. It’s fascinating. So anyway, my answer from Mark is,

⏹️ ▶️ John if you’re not using Java, even though this thing doesn’t say that, like uninstall

⏹️ ▶️ John it, right? Like, you know, go to skip this version or whatever its problem is. If you are using

⏹️ ▶️ John Java, update it. Those are your two choices. Because if it said, say you’re not, it was like, well, what if I need Java later? You

⏹️ ▶️ John can always get Java again. It’s not going anywhere, right? But if you’re not using it, This dialog box doesn’t

⏹️ ▶️ John say whether or not you’re using it, right? But if you’re not using Java, get rid of it. Find the Java uninstaller.

⏹️ ▶️ John I know this is difficult with Apple stuff because they don’t provide uninstallers and there’s no option to uninstall on this thing, but you can, again,

⏹️ ▶️ John using your new Google skills that you learned, how to uninstall Java for Mac OS. Right?

⏹️ ▶️ John And you will find, and again, look at the dates and the results of it, you will eventually find a way to do it or a link to an installer,

⏹️ ▶️ John Mac OS Java uninstaller, Mac Java uninstaller. You’ll narrow it down pretty quickly.

⏹️ ▶️ John Get rid of it. Don’t worry if you ever need it again, like you can always reinstall it. So that’s

⏹️ ▶️ John my advice.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah, I would say don’t even decide whether you actually use it or not, just uninstall it and see if anything breaks.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco And if anything does break, reinstall it.

⏹️ ▶️ John Yeah, it’s not dangerous or anything, like official, as long as it’s not actual malware, it’s real Java, Java’s fine. Like, you know,

⏹️ ▶️ John it’s a thing. Sometimes you might need to run a Java application. It’s perfectly fine. It’s not, you know, like I said, the

⏹️ ▶️ John Oracle, which is generally considered to be an evil company, their installer is the one that’s offering to

⏹️ ▶️ John uninstall it. So I think they’re trying to do the right thing. Like they don’t want you to have an

⏹️ ▶️ John old version of Java that you never use on your computer because if it suddenly becomes an avenue for an exploit, that reflects badly

⏹️ ▶️ John on Oracle, I suppose. So they’re saying the default choice should be a recommendation

⏹️ ▶️ John that you uninstall this offer because it’s clearly you’re not using it.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco All right, thanks to our sponsors this week, Memberful, Linode, and Madein. And thank you to our members

⏹️ ▶️ Marco who support us directly. You can join at slash join. We will talk to you next

⏹️ ▶️ Marco week.

Ending theme

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Now the show is over, they didn’t even mean to begin Cause

⏹️ ▶️ Marco it was accidental,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey oh it was accidental John didn’t do

⏹️ ▶️ Casey any research, Marco and Casey

⏹️ ▶️ John wouldn’t let him Cause it was accidental,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco oh

⏹️ ▶️ Casey it was accidental And you can find the

⏹️ ▶️ John show 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-E-N-T

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Marco Armin, S-I-R-A-C-U-S-A

⏹️ ▶️ John Syracuse It’s accidental,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey they

⏹️ ▶️ John didn’t mean to Accidental, accidental, tech

⏹️ ▶️ John podcast so long.

Marco went to a Phish concert

Chapter Marco went to a Phish concert image.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco So I went to a Phish concert.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey This is extremely exciting to me. So… And only you.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Well, I

⏹️ ▶️ Casey, Marco tell you what, I am excited about this.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I remember talking to you, I thought on, um… I thought on the show…

⏹️ ▶️ Casey, Marco Yeah, it was.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey …about how that… This, I’m talking years ago. How you hate… You went to one, like, years and years

⏹️ ▶️ Casey and years ago, and you hated it. And we were talking about it years ago. You hated it, you thought it was bad, you didn’t

⏹️ ▶️ Casey enjoy it, blah, blah, blah. And then you told us, I think… I don’t even think it was in

⏹️ ▶️ Casey the bootleg. I think it was privately you had said, hey I’m going to this Fish

⏹️ ▶️ Casey, Marco concert.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Did you

⏹️ ▶️ Marco say it publicly? I said it on the, I think it was the bootleg. I don’t think it was in

⏹️ ▶️ Marco the final show.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Anyway, it doesn’t really matter. But one way or another you said, hey I’m going to this Fish concert and I was stupefied because

⏹️ ▶️ Casey the last time we had spoken about it, it sounded like it was a never again sort of scenario. And

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I really miss live music. Whether or not anyone listening agrees with my taste of music, and I would

⏹️ ▶️ Casey assume most of you do not. I really, really love live music. And I haven’t

⏹️ ▶️ Casey even in the before times, it had been a while since I’d been to a concert. But I am I

⏹️ ▶️ Casey am very excited, even though I’m not a particularly large fish fan. In fact, I don’t particularly like fish very

⏹️ ▶️ Casey much. I am super excited to hear your report on how it was going to a concert at

⏹️ ▶️ Casey all. And especially in these oh, so unprecedented times. So where did

⏹️ ▶️ Casey you go? What’d you see? Well, you obviously saw fish, but like, what happened, man?

⏹️ ▶️ Marco So, so I mentioned a few months back that I

⏹️ ▶️ Marco like when we were talking about COVID, you know, a few months back and I mentioned how like, I thought it would be really cool

⏹️ ▶️ Marco to go to one of the first fish concerts, if even possibly the first one after COVID

⏹️ ▶️ Marco to just kind of feel that energy to kind of celebrate like the end of COVID and to feel I

⏹️ ▶️ Marco figured it would be like a very culturally significant moment, at least for my culture as a fish fan, but

⏹️ ▶️ Marco just like to kind of feel that after COVID. Now, in practice, COVID isn’t over,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco and it kind of will probably never be over. I think, you know, most of the evidence suggests an

⏹️ ▶️ Marco endemic future, not a not, you know, the end of a pandemic, but you know, just now it’s going to be one of these

⏹️ ▶️ Marco viruses that just is like the flu and cold that it just kind of goes around. And, you know, we try to

⏹️ ▶️ Marco get shots for here and there and whatever. But anyway, that’s for another night. But, you know, COVID isn’t over. It didn’t

⏹️ ▶️ Marco didn’t end. But live music is starting back up, you know, in responsible ways. And when I first

⏹️ ▶️ Marco said that, I was kind of like on the fence about whether I should go because the first scheduled

⏹️ ▶️ Marco concerts were just going to be like, whatever was supposed to happen in 2020, they just changed the year to 2021.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco And so it was going to start like in June or July. And a lot of the venues they had booked were

⏹️ ▶️ Marco on the other side of the country. And a lot of them were like indoor, like, you know, basketball stadiums

⏹️ ▶️ Marco and stuff. And so the last time I went to a concert was at Madison Square Garden in New York, which is an

⏹️ ▶️ Marco indoor basketball stadium. And I just, I really, I didn’t like a lot of the

⏹️ ▶️ Marco environment of it. I didn’t like the massive amount of

⏹️ ▶️ Marco smoke that collects at the top of stadiums when you have concerts there.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I didn’t have a very good view of the stage or any of the screens, because I kind

⏹️ ▶️ Marco of got a last minute ticket from a friend. I don’t know, I didn’t know what to do. that was 2009, so

⏹️ ▶️ Marco that was a long time ago. But I had decided after that,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco like, you know, I don’t know if this is actually for me. And so I didn’t go to any more shows after that. But because

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I wanted to have this kind of like, you know, quote, end of COVID celebration,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco or to feel that cultural moment, I started looking, all right, what about

⏹️ ▶️ Marco doing one of these shows this summer? And they actually changed the tour,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco like before it started, they revamped the dates and the venues to be all

⏹️ ▶️ Marco outside venues. And much more of it was happening on the East Coast. So this changed,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco this went from a, oh, I don’t know if I wanna fly across the country to go to a basketball stadium, into,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco oh, they’re playing in Atlantic City, New Jersey, which is only a couple hours drive from here,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco on a beach. So I’m like, okay, now you have my attention, all right.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco And so, sure enough, I found a friend who would tolerate

⏹️ ▶️ Marco the band and we went.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Clearly, it was not me.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco No, it was not you.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Although, actually, all kidding aside, I would have, like, in very different circumstances,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I absolutely would have gone just to experience it. As much as I joke and as much as I give you a hard time, I would, in

⏹️ ▶️ Casey a different set of circumstances, I would have gone. I bet you I would have liked it, but that’s neither here nor there.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Maybe. I mean, you might have had to inhale a lot of the smoke that was there in order to like it.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I

⏹️ ▶️ John wouldn’t have gone and it wouldn’t have and it wouldn’t have been because of the music.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco So on that note, keep in mind, this is on a beach with a

⏹️ ▶️ Marco breeze. So you would expect you

⏹️ ▶️ Marco wouldn’t really notice much smoke happening on a beach with a breeze.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Oh my God, it was was so smoky. Like the whole audience was just,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco it was like a smoke emitter in a game, like you just, just the constant upward draft of smoke.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco And I never saw or smelled a single cigarette.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco None of it was cigarette smoke.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, John As far

⏹️ ▶️ Marco as I can tell, literally none of it was cigarettes. So

⏹️ ▶️ Marco that was kind of a funny detail. Like it was so, there was so much smoke that like I was

⏹️ ▶️ Marco so I took a friend’s advice and and bought like a

⏹️ ▶️ Marco nice ticket they had like this VIP area you could spend a little bit more on the ticket and you had like a little

⏹️ ▶️ Marco tent that you could watch it from I kind of off to the side but still pretty close had like you know much easier access

⏹️ ▶️ Marco to the bathrooms had little snacks and drinks available and stuff like that so other good thing about

⏹️ ▶️ Marco this was that it was less densely packed you know like in the general admission you know giant beach area

⏹️ ▶️ Marco everyone’s standing pretty close together and you know in part to minimize COVID risk and in part just because I’m a boring

⏹️ ▶️ Marco old adult I wanted that

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, Casey I wanted the more like you

⏹️ ▶️ Marco know spread out you know boring adult version so I did get the VIP ticket and that

⏹️ ▶️ Marco was totally worth it because the VIP area was much

⏹️ ▶️ Marco more like you know my scene as as the boring old person and I was not the oldest person in

⏹️ ▶️ Marco the VIP section by a mile I kind of felt like oh these these are my people okay good

⏹️ ▶️ Marco but it was really an incredible experience. You know,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco on a number of fronts, you know, obviously, you know, all the massive clouds of smoke were funny and

⏹️ ▶️ Marco it was interesting noting how, like, you know, the fish crowd being

⏹️ ▶️ Marco very much, you know, this is very much a weed band, this is, like, this is different bands have different crowd

⏹️ ▶️ Marco energies and attitudes and, you know, problems or benefits.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Certain bands, they’re known for having, like, really rowdy crowds that, you know, might have a lot of violence problems, you need like more security

⏹️ ▶️ Marco to you know to keep everything safe. Fish is not one of those bands. Everyone

⏹️ ▶️ Marco is so high and so chill. I noticed like when people would like walk

⏹️ ▶️ Marco by you and like bump into you, they’d be like oh I’m so sorry, like hey man I’m so sorry. Like they were

⏹️ ▶️ Marco so chill, like nobody was like getting all aggro or upset at anybody else. Like it was

⏹️ ▶️ Marco just really nice. And so it was It was great, the music was,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco it was a pretty good show. I got a couple of really of my favorite songs in there. But

⏹️ ▶️ Marco ultimately, what was really the biggest value to me in this show,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco and if you’ll permit me, you guys each have feelings podcasts. I don’t, so I’m gonna,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco this is gonna have to go here. That’s top four. That’s not a feelings podcast. You’re

⏹️ ▶️ Marco feelings about Pop-Tarts. Anyway, so,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco you know, when all kidding aside, I know we make fun of my liking of fish on the show because

⏹️ ▶️ Marco it’s funny and I and I get that, but it is, you know, certainly not

⏹️ ▶️ Marco good for someone’s psyche overall. If nowhere in

⏹️ ▶️ Marco your life do does anybody think that the thing you like is normal, you know, like, and

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I’m sure, you know, many of many of us out there being computer nerds, especially growing up

⏹️ ▶️ Marco in earlier decades as computer nerds, I’m sure you understand. When the thing that

⏹️ ▶️ Marco you’re into, or that you identify with, or that resonates with you, when everyone

⏹️ ▶️ Marco else thinks that’s weird, when you’re the only person in the room who ever likes the band

⏹️ ▶️ Marco you like, that weighs on someone. It’s a significant thing. When your own

⏹️ ▶️ Marco wife can’t tolerate the music. Yeah, right, she can’t. She tries, bless her,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco she tries, but she can’t, and it’s fine. So it was especially

⏹️ ▶️ Marco like soul mending to be in this place where

⏹️ ▶️ Marco my music that normally I have to confine to headphones because it’s too embarrassing and everyone else thinks

⏹️ ▶️ Marco it’s too weird. My music was being blasted in the greatest possible

⏹️ ▶️ Marco way in this giant public area in this pretty big city full of tons

⏹️ ▶️ Marco of people, many of which were at the concert. So that’s A, my music is being blasted aloud.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco B, I am looking at thousands of people in front of me,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco real people, who by nature of being there, most of whom don’t think

⏹️ ▶️ Marco my music is weird. And that really meant something. I really

⏹️ ▶️ Marco felt that. And so that was very helpful. And then finally, I had this moment

⏹️ ▶️ Marco where, again, I think many of our audience can probably relate to

⏹️ ▶️ Marco maybe not being super comfortable with dancing. I’m guessing there’s a lot of overlap

⏹️ ▶️ Marco between programmers.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey That’s a Texas-sized 10-4.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey, Marco Yeah,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco between programmers and computer nerds and people who don’t feel comfortable dancing very

⏹️ ▶️ Marco much. So that’s certainly me. And

⏹️ ▶️ Marco one of the reasons why I hesitate to go to concerts is that I don’t really know

⏹️ ▶️ Marco what to do when I’m at a concert, because I can’t dance, I don’t want to dance. I just can’t,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I don’t want to have that awkwardness, you know, of being pressured to do something and being

⏹️ ▶️ Marco the weird guy just standing there or weirdly moving my foot or something,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco you know? So I was concerned a little bit about that going into this. So

⏹️ ▶️ Marco about halfway through the concert, I looked around and I realized two things. Number one,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I had been moving slightly in my incredibly awkward, nerdy way

⏹️ ▶️ Marco to this music that is very hard to dance to, but I looked around the crowd and

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I saw every single other person was as bad at whatever the

⏹️ ▶️ Marco heck we were doing called dancing as I was. There were thousands, thousands of

⏹️ ▶️ Marco people who were exactly as weird and awkward and bad at this as I was.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco And it just is an incredible feeling to feel normal.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco In this way that you always thought you were weird, to have a place where you can feel normal

⏹️ ▶️ Marco and to feel fit in, in a way that you never fit in, that was worth everything.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco So that, I’m incredibly happy I went to this for many reasons, but

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I got a surprising amount of soul repair out of it. And

⏹️ ▶️ Marco that was worth everything. And you didn’t get COVID. And I didn’t

⏹️ ▶️ Marco get COVID.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, John Yay.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I got tested before and after. Yes, did not get COVID. So that helped a lot.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco But yeah, it was worth driving through New Jersey.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Did you take any good pictures? Yeah, I have a couple of video clips. It was mostly just kind of like me like

⏹️ ▶️ Marco panning across the crowd from my vantage point. I just

⏹️ ▶️ John wanted to see what the stage setup was, now that you’ve kind of described it. Throw a couple on the slack so I can see.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah, let me see, I will. But yeah, the VIP tent was kind of like, it was near the front but off to the

⏹️ ▶️ Marco side. And it was good because I was actually standing up on the top of

⏹️ ▶️ Marco a platform. I was basically standing at the top of a staircase that brings you from the VIP

⏹️ ▶️ Marco platform, which was a few feet up, down. And so I was looking over the crowd

⏹️ ▶️ Marco by a few feet instead of being down. So I had a fantastic view. I

⏹️ ▶️ John was gonna use the analogy that like, what you’re describing is kind of like going to Macworld Expo back before,

⏹️ ▶️ John back when Apple was doomed, right? Because you’d finally

⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey find people who like

⏹️ ▶️ John the weird computer you did, but someone in the

⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey chat,

⏹️ ▶️ John an even better example. Even better example, because it’s even more narrow interest. They

⏹️ ▶️ John described it as being kind of like going to an ATP live show. You listen to this weird podcast where

⏹️ ▶️ John they talk about technology and complain about Apple for two hours every week. And you’re like the only person

⏹️ ▶️ John in your entire group of friends who even knows that this podcast exists, let alone listens to it. And then finally,

⏹️ ▶️ John you go to WWDC and suddenly you’re a bunch of nerds who are into the same thing as you. And then you go to the A2B live show at

⏹️ ▶️ John WWDC and now you’re with the tiny subset of a subset of a subset of a people who actually like

⏹️ ▶️ John this weird podcast.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey That is extremely kind of a Who PhD to say. And you know, Marco, as much as I genuinely

⏹️ ▶️ Casey love just beating you up mercilessly about Phish, I am extremely,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey extremely pleased and really happy that you had this experience because

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I, I don’t have. Exactly one-to-one feelings

⏹️ ▶️ Casey when I go to see a live show, but I get the same net joy,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey like my joy comes from different places is a better way of phrasing it. My joy comes from different places, but

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I have that unbelievable joy when I go to a concert of almost anything,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey even shows where I’m only mildly interested in the artist that’s performing.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I get such immense joy out of seeing music performed live. I think partly because

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I am so incredibly inept at performing anything that even vaguely resembles music.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Um, and so I just find it to be fascinating and incredibly impressive that any human being

⏹️ ▶️ Casey can make sounds that actually sound decent, but just to experience that and to

⏹️ ▶️ Casey have that, that, that, that feeling of we’re all in this together

⏹️ ▶️ Casey in the best possible way and we’re all having fun together and yeah, you know, like the only time you’ll find

⏹️ ▶️ Casey me dancing is at a concert or if I’ve had way too much to drink, which hasn’t happened in a long time. So,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey uh, yeah, I, I agree with you there in, in so many ways, this, your feeling

⏹️ ▶️ Casey and then the joy that’s exuding from you is so much the way I feel. And I’m so very genuinely glad that

⏹️ ▶️ Casey you had the opportunity to do that. So do you think you’re going to try to make this again, like COVID

⏹️ ▶️ Casey issues notwithstanding, are you going to try to make this something that you do more often?

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I think I’m going to keep a much closer look on like where they are performing, like what

⏹️ ▶️ Marco kind of venue are they performing at? I definitely, you know, with this, I realized quite how

⏹️ ▶️ Marco awesome a beach venue is. I’ve never seen a concert on a beach before this. So like, that’s it really is

⏹️ ▶️ Marco quite something to see. I would like to go maybe once a year, once every couple of years,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco if they are playing at a really nice venue and especially if they do this one of those like VIP

⏹️ ▶️ Marco areas again because that that greatly added to the the practicality and ease of me going to this concert like

⏹️ ▶️ Marco it’s it’s pretty good like when you’re like you know a nearly 40 year old boring guy to to buy

⏹️ ▶️ Marco the seat where like when you have to go to the bathroom you can just walk like 30 feet over and you get

⏹️ ▶️ Marco the air-conditioned porta potty it’s really it’s a very different

⏹️ ▶️ Marco experience than than what concerts usually are for most people so yeah certainly

⏹️ ▶️ Marco if they offer this kind of thing again, this is actually one of the first times they’ve had one of those VIP areas, but

⏹️ ▶️ Marco if they offer this kind of thing again, I would jump on it. And especially in a venue like this, where it’s

⏹️ ▶️ Marco easy for me to get in and out of it, and travel time isn’t too bad, and it’s a beautiful place

⏹️ ▶️ Marco with a nice outdoor scenario, I would definitely jump on that in the future.

⏹️ ▶️ John Last big concert I went to, I held my pee the whole time. It’s a young person’s game.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, John was looking

⏹️ ▶️ Marco at some, there was some forum post back when, like when the tickets first went for sale, I was trying

⏹️ ▶️ Marco to research like what the different ticket types meant, and of course, it’s all these like fish fan forums

⏹️ ▶️ Marco and stuff that you get all these results from, speaking of Googling for answers. And

⏹️ ▶️ Marco one guy was complaining, he was asking like, you know, hey, how do you guys go to the bathroom at the shows,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco like what do you do for that? And this one response was,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Just smoke a blunt and eat a block of cheese.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Okay,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco so nothing has to come out. I don’t think

⏹️ ▶️ John that

⏹️ ▶️ Marco works

⏹️ ▶️ John for p.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Well, as opposed to drinking, though, like, you know, if you’re drinking a lot, then

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, Casey yeah,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey goodness. Yeah, yeah. Well, like I said, I’m very glad that you got the you

⏹️ ▶️ Casey had the opportunity that you did it that that it seems to have gone well. Well, if

⏹️ ▶️ Casey COVID ever gets to the point that we’re okay with it, and if there’s ever a time that fish

⏹️ ▶️ Casey is somewhere in between us, I would genuinely entertain making a trip and meeting up with you and

⏹️ ▶️ Casey going just to experience it. Because I know when I see a Dave Matthews concert, which I haven’t done in a couple years,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey the smoke smell is strong, but I’ve got to imagine

⏹️ ▶️ Casey it is not even an iota compared to what it’s like at a fish concert.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I cannot fathom what that was

⏹️ ▶️ Casey, Marco like.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Well, and especially because the email that you get with what’s allowed in, what kind of bag you can bring

⏹️ ▶️ Marco in and stuff like that, there’s a whole section of it that’s like, no outside alcohol being able to brought in,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco no illicit substances. And it’s like, okay,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco fish has a lot of drug culture among the audience, especially. Obviously, there’s gonna be a lot

⏹️ ▶️ Marco of stuff going on in there and I think that’s kind of like a wink, wink, nudge, nudge thing, but then I realized afterwards, like, wait a minute,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco weed’s legal in New Jersey. So that’s not an illicit substance in this venue,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey actually. Marco, everything is legal in New Jersey.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Well, yeah, except good road design. But I realized afterwards, oh, that’s

⏹️ ▶️ Marco why, normally at a Phish concert, nobody would really care, but here they especially didn’t care,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco and I think that’s why it was so incredibly, everyone, just massive cloud of

⏹️ ▶️ Marco smoke above the whole audience the whole time.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Oh, man, so for what it’s worth, I thought we were gonna talk about this last week, we didn’t end up having the chance, But I

⏹️ ▶️ Casey took a look at the set list from your concert and the set list

⏹️ ▶️ Casey from the most recent Dave Matthews concert for which I could find the time that each

⏹️ ▶️ Casey song took. And I made a list and solver of here’s how long each of the

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Phish songs was, and then here’s how long each of the Dave Matthews songs were

⏹️ ▶️ Casey and I computed the average length of a song at your Phish concert versus

⏹️ ▶️ Casey a mostly arbitrary but also recent Dave Matthews concert. Would you like to wager a guess,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey either of those numbers, or perhaps the difference between them?

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I mean, to be fair, I don’t know how much the length of songs matters, because it’s like, well,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco you know, it’s a jam band, it’s kind of like one continuous thing in certain ways. Like there are breaks,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco but sometimes songs bleed into each other, or they kind of like call back to earlier songs. So I think what matters most is like,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco how long is the concert in total? In this case, it’s three hours, and there was a break in the middle. So that’s,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I think that’s, it’s less about song boundaries. However, to actually play along with your game, I’m

⏹️ ▶️ Marco going to, I’m going to guess that the average between the two bands actually

⏹️ ▶️ Marco is not that different. Uh, even though there were some pretty long ones in this, in this show. Um,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco but I’m, I’m going to guess the average for this show for fish was probably something along the lines of like

⏹️ ▶️ Marco seven or eight minutes. And I’m guessing the average for Dave Matthews is probably about five minutes.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey The longest, again, I’m picking these two concerts mostly arbitrarily, I’m looking at

⏹️ ▶️ Casey the 7th of August for Dave Matthews. The longest performance or the longest song was 17

⏹️ ▶️ Casey minutes 55 seconds total time for the entire Dave Matthews show. 2 hours 49 minutes 46 seconds. To

⏹️ ▶️ Casey come back to my actual question, in your guesses, you said what, 7 or 8 for Fish was your guess?

⏹️ ▶️ Casey, Marco Yeah,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco for average song length, yeah.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey 8.97 minutes, so I will give you full credit for that, even though you were a minute off, I still count it.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey count it. However, your guess of five minutes for Dave Matthews is pretty wrong. Eight minutes

⏹️ ▶️ Casey for Dave Matthews. So a difference of only about a minute, it was 8.97 versus 8.09.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey So only a minute difference between the two. I would have figured, especially given all the fun

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I’ve made of fish over the years, I would have figured it would have been like 15, 20 minutes for fish and like 10-ish for less than 10 for Dave.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey And turns out, no, it was, uh, it was about the same. And

⏹️ ▶️ Casey CMF in the chat is asking what was the long song with Dave Matthews? it was Seacup, which is one of my favorites.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco So I think what we’re learning here is that you don’t have any right to make long song jokes anymore.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Possibly. I mean, I’m looking at this Dave Matthews set list is 18 minutes, 10 minutes, I’m

⏹️ ▶️ Casey skipping a lot, but you have the long ones. There’s 18 minutes, 10 minutes, 15 minutes, 12 minutes,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey and those were all the double digit songs. Looking at the Fish set, 14 minutes,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey 20 minutes, 15 minutes, 10 minutes, 11 minutes, 15 minutes.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey So there were more that were double digit minutes, but still, it wasn’t night and day like

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I would have expected.

⏹️ ▶️ John Yeah. Fish should have, they might be giants open for them and just do like their super short songs to pull down the average.

⏹️ ▶️ John Speaking of, was there an opening band?

⏹️ ▶️ Marco There’s never an opening band for Fish anymore. There hasn’t been for a

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, John very long

⏹️ ▶️ Marco time. Really? I didn’t know that. So one of the reasons why it’s good to be a fan of this band

⏹️ ▶️ Marco is like, they just wanna give you as much music as possible. And so they start their

⏹️ ▶️ Marco shows pretty much on time. Like, you know, a lot of, growing up in the 90s, you see a lot of these, like,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco you know, 90s, like, everything sucks, you know, caring about things sucks, you suck, like a lot of that culture

⏹️ ▶️ Marco in the 90s. And so, you know, there was this, you know, arrogant rockstar culture of like,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco you’d have the opening band, they would start late, and then you’d be this long wait, and like the, and then the, you know, like the quote, you

⏹️ ▶️ Marco know, reel or whatever, like, you know, like the headlining band would start even later, and you’re just waiting, and they’re just making you

⏹️ ▶️ Marco wait, and you’re just like, you feel like they’re being jerks to you, are making you wait all this time, and they’re trying to be cool, and it’s like, no, you’re just being

⏹️ ▶️ Marco a jerk.

⏹️ ▶️ John This does not have its origins in the 90s, by the way, just FYI.

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco Well, yeah, I know.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I’m

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, John just

⏹️ ▶️ Marco saying, like, we saw it a lot in the 90s, you know, because that’s when we, that’s when Casey and I grew up.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Right. And so, you know, Phish has none of that attitude. There’s none of that, like, you know, we’re cool, like, you know,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco F-U, like, there’s none of that attitude. It’s a very much like a positive, just, you know, they’re happy to

⏹️ ▶️ Marco be there and play, and that’s what they wanna do. And so they don’t have opening bands

⏹️ ▶️ Marco because they wanna cram in as much music as possible and they’re limited by how late the venue

⏹️ ▶️ Marco and city will let them perform. They just wanna cram stuff in, so they show up on time and they give you three

⏹️ ▶️ Marco hours of music. Like there’s like a 15 minute set break in the middle. Everyone takes a break, goes to the bathroom, whatever.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco But otherwise, it’s a ton of music. And I love that they

⏹️ ▶️ Marco just show up on time every time. It’s good being a Phish fan, even though you get

⏹️ ▶️ Marco no support from any room you’re in. But somehow they’re selling out stadiums and

⏹️ ▶️ Marco beaches for three days in a row in the same city all the time. All those thousands of people have to go, like

⏹️ ▶️ Marco where do they go? Where are all these people in the rest of life? Like when I’m, you know,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco in all these rooms I apparently find myself in, where are all these people? There’s not one of them in the

⏹️ ▶️ Marco room? Like really, there’s thousands of them right here. There’s not one in all these other rooms I’m in?