457: The World's Greatest Conference Call16 Nov 2021
Weather apps, luxury podcasts, and Facebook’s fantasy metaverse.
- Watching shows on Apple
- Some ATP membership bookkeeping
- Xcode build times (via Abel Demoz)
defaults write com.apple.dt.Xcode ShowBuildOperationDuration YES
- Monterey’s Mouse Pointer Memory Leak Bug
- Marco has [Original] HomePod Problems
- Marco replaces Weather Line with Carrot Weather
- Seller risks on eBay
- Xcode build times (via Abel Demoz)
- Facebook and Meta
- Post-show: Casey broke two car keys in the span of 10 minutes
- Linode: Instantly deploy and manage an SSD server in the Linode Cloud. New accounts get a $100 credit.
- Mack Weldon: Radically-efficient wardrobing. Use code atppodcast for 20% off your first order.
- Squarespace: Make your next move. Use code ATP for 10% off your first order.
Become a member for ad-free episodes and our early-release, unedited “bootleg” feed!
- It’s on Apple
- The luxury-podcast lifestyle
- Sponsor: Squarespace (code ATP)
- Timing Xcode builds
- Monterey memory leaks
- Big HomePods working poorly
- Sponsor: Mack Weldon (code atppodcast)
- Weather Line to Carrot Weather 🖼️
- eBay risks to sellers
- Sponsor: Linode
- Facebook, Meta, metaverses
- Ending theme
- Neutral: A quick story
It’s on Apple
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Why don’t I save pants for next next show? Because I have
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I have I need to spend a little bit more time with my my pants, too.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Okay, man, all the good stuff is in the we’re not even in the bootleg. All the good stuff is happening before the bootleg, for God’s
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Does anybody in your life like have you ever heard other people in your life
⏹️ ▶️ Marco who seem to know how to watch Apple TV Plus shows?
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I don’t know how to watch Apple TV Plus shows. So if there is anyone in my life that does know, I would like to know
⏹️ ▶️ Casey the secret, please.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Even celebrities who are on some of the shows, like cast members who are out promoting them and stuff like that, first
⏹️ ▶️ Marco of all, no one calls it Apple TV Plus. So people who are even in the shows
⏹️ ▶️ Marco will say like, oh, it’s a new show on Apple. Yep.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco, Casey That’s what they say, it’s
⏹️ ▶️ Marco on Apple. And I’ve heard like occasionally, I’ve heard someone else like around me, and they’ll
⏹️ ▶️ Marco be like, oh yeah, this new show, it’s on Apple. I guess we’re stuck with
⏹️ ▶️ Marco that phrasing for the rest of this product’s lifetime now. But
⏹️ ▶️ Marco also like no one knows how to watch it. Like if I have to explain to someone, or
⏹️ ▶️ Marco you know, it’s even worse when I overhear other people trying to explain to each other how to watch an Apple
⏹️ ▶️ Marco TV Plus show. No one knows. No one even knows not only where to watch
⏹️ ▶️ Marco it, but no one even knows if they have that service or not.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco And I overheard one conversation about a month ago where the
⏹️ ▶️ Marco guy who was trying to ask how to watch the show to his friend, he thought that the only
⏹️ ▶️ Marco way to watch Apple TV Plus was to buy a new iPhone. And
⏹️ ▶️ Marco, John he’s like, oh, I’m not really
⏹️ ▶️ Marco ready for an upgrade yet, so I don’t have that. Oh my goodness.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Like they’ve done such a poor job of naming it, marketing it,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco messaging it. Like it’s so bad. No one knows where to watch this,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco how to get the service, why to get the service. Like it’s so hard. Like you know, as we nerds
⏹️ ▶️ Marco try to like recommend to, oh hey, you should go watch Ted Lasso or whatever. It’s so hard because no
⏹️ ▶️ Marco one knows. Oh yeah, it’s on Apple.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Admittedly I’ve been programmed by Plex and I know that there are people in this world who think that Plex is a UX
⏹️ ▶️ Casey nightmare. And maybe you’re right, I don’t know. It is. But for me, Plex makes sense because
⏹️ ▶️ Casey what do I wanna watch? Do I wanna watch a movie or a television show? If I wanna watch a movie, I go to the movie section. If
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I wanna watch a television show, I go to the television section. And then everything’s sorted by title, like
⏹️ ▶️ Casey adults would want. Whereas Netflix and Apple TV Plus are actively
⏹️ ▶️ Casey competing to see which one is more hostile and infuriating to just find the thing you were
⏹️ ▶️ Casey just watching before. Like I feel like the only way I’ve ever successfully watched Ted Lasso on Apple TV Plus
⏹️ ▶️ Casey is by doing a, a, I can’t say the word, a Hey Dingus search
⏹️ ▶️ Casey for Ted Lasso. And maybe I’m an idiot and that variable could be, but I feel like there is no
⏹️ ▶️ Casey rhyme or reason to the UX, to the Apple TV app on the Apple TV device.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Hell, the fact that I have to specify the Apple TV app
⏹️ ▶️ Casey, John on the Apple
⏹️ ▶️ Casey TV device is a UX nightmare to begin with. It’s just so bad. No wonder
⏹️ ▶️ Marco everyone’s confused, right? Even nerds have a hard time keeping this stuff straight.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco What chance do regular people have?
⏹️ ▶️ John I thought that’s what you were gonna say is what exactly what Casey said was like, assuming you know everything about
⏹️ ▶️ John the service and you subscribe to it and you’ve done all the things, I thought the problem was
⏹️ ▶️ John how do I watch a show given that I know all that stuff? Because I know all that stuff. And like
⏹️ ▶️ John the way you would have to do it, say I’m watching on my iPad. Well, there’s like a black icon that’s like the little black
⏹️ ▶️ John Apple TV icon, right? I can get that far, I can say, okay, that’s probably
⏹️ ▶️ John the thing I have to tap to watch shows on Apple TV Plus, the service, right? But the problem is,
⏹️ ▶️ John that app is not like the Netflix app. When you launch the Netflix app, it shows you shows that are on Netflix.
⏹️ ▶️ John When you tap that icon, which as far as I’m aware, is the only way to watch Apple TV Plus shows, am I
⏹️ ▶️ Casey so. I think. Well, on Apple platforms, that is.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey, John Yeah, on an iPad. I’m watching on my iPad. Like, that’s the only
⏹️ ▶️ John way to do it. But when you launch that, it’s not like Netflix. you don’t just see like the 17 shows that
⏹️ ▶️ John are on Apple TV Plus. You see tons of crap. You see it because originally that app was like, oh, we’re gonna show you stuff
⏹️ ▶️ John from Hulu. And it’s trying to like be the one place you go for all your television, except for Netflix, which is a pretty big
⏹️ ▶️ John except. Or Plex. Yeah,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco exactly. Well, that’s a much smaller except, let’s be
⏹️ ▶️ Marco, Casey honest. It is,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey but it means something to me, darn it. But if
⏹️ ▶️ John I just wanna go there because that’s the place where I go to watch Ted Lasso. If Ted Lasso is not the banner at the top of the
⏹️ ▶️ Casey there’s no way to find it.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey, John There’s no way to find it. We
⏹️ ▶️ John added an app item called Apple TV plus originals or something, we added that nav item later in the life of the app
⏹️ ▶️ John to say, okay, if you do wanna narrow the field down to just the shows that Apple puts out, you can tap this thing.
⏹️ ▶️ John But of course that just narrows it down to a subset of, you know, like here’s the Apple TV
⏹️ ▶️ John plus shows. But there’s a lot of those shows. What about the one that I was just watching? Yeah, and I talked
⏹️ ▶️ John about this in rectifs, like they don’t have an equivalent of Netflix as my list. They have a thing called Up Next, which tries
⏹️ ▶️ John to be similar, but isn’t really similar in lots of bad ways. But that I think is the final hurdle
⏹️ ▶️ John is like, say you know everything about it, you’ve successfully subscribed to it, there is no icon you can press that just
⏹️ ▶️ John shows you the Apple TV Plus shows, which I think hurts the service. Like they have to, I mean, I don’t
⏹️ ▶️ John know if they have to decide whether they wanna be the one app where you go for everything with these exceptions, or
⏹️ ▶️ John if they wanna be, you know, maybe they should have like a standalone app that’s just called the Apple TV Plus app
⏹️ ▶️ John that only shows those shows and leave the quote unquote TV app to be
⏹️ ▶️ John there if people want. because honestly, I never go to the TV app to watch a Hulu show,
⏹️ ▶️ John right? I go to the Hulu app. And Netflix, I have to go to the Netflix app. And Plex, I have to go to the Plex app. So
⏹️ ▶️ John I feel like they have lost that war to try to make like one starting point for all
⏹️ ▶️ John your TV, especially on devices like iPads and iPhones.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Yeah, I couldn’t agree more. And I think perhaps like the charitable read on this is that the Apple TV
⏹️ ▶️ Casey app is designed for people who are kind of omnivorous and just want something to watch
⏹️ ▶️ Casey and they don’t really give a crap what, because I feel like it would probably do pretty well in that scenario because
⏹️ ▶️ Casey it’s very pretty and it highlights various sundry things that you can watch. But for me,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I’m only opening that app if I specifically want to watch like Ted Lasso or For All Mankind or Morning Show
⏹️ ▶️ Casey or what have you. And for that experience, it’s just completely inscrutable. In the same way that
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Netflix seems to go back and forth between, I haven’t used the Netflix app in a little while now, but it seems to go back and forth between,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey we will show you exactly what you want as though we’re reading your mind, which is amazing. or more often than not,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey here’s a bunch of random crap and it’s anyone’s guess if I need to swipe up or down to get to the thing I was just watching
⏹️ ▶️ Casey an hour ago. Like it’s so frustrating. I don’t feel like this is a hard problem
⏹️ ▶️ Casey to solve And yet here we are.
The luxury-podcast lifestyle
⏹️ ▶️ Casey we should probably move on. We should talk about things that are happy. And you know what’s happy? What’s happy
⏹️ ▶️ Casey is that we are introducing yet another tier of ATP membership. We’re doing the pre-bootleg bootleg
⏹️ ▶️ Casey now. And that’s because we were just talking before the show. And there was a bunch of funny
⏹️ ▶️ Casey stuff that we didn’t even get in the bootleg, and I’m sorry about that. So we’re not actually introducing the pre-bootleg bootleg, but that
⏹️ ▶️ Casey was my crummy segue to say that, hey, you know, if you are an ATP member, perhaps because you just bought a shirt
⏹️ ▶️ Casey or something like that, which by the way, thank you very much, everyone. That was very kind of you. You should be aware that not
⏹️ ▶️ Casey only do you get a bootleg, which is of not the best audio quality,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey but you also get an ad-free feed if you so desire. And it seems like a lot of people weren’t aware of that. So if you become
⏹️ ▶️ Casey an ATP member at atp.fm slash join, I am kidding, of course, about the pre-bootleg
⏹️ ▶️ Casey bootleg, but I am serious that there is a bootleg that is put up usually before we’re even
⏹️ ▶️ Casey off the call. Like we’ll sign off for the live people. The three of us will chit-chat for five or 10 minutes. usually by the time
⏹️ ▶️ Casey that call is done, the bootleg is already up. And if that’s not your speed, because audio
⏹️ ▶️ Casey quality isn’t the best, and we meander a lot, and we, you know, Marco is a good editor for a reason, because
⏹️ ▶️ Casey he cuts out the garbage. And so there’s a lot of garbage in the bootleg.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah. Well, also, like the bootleg doesn’t have usually full show notes yet. It definitely doesn’t have chapters
⏹️ ▶️ Marco or anything like that. So like there are, you know, there’s a lot of like production niceties that go into the final version that are
⏹️ ▶️ Marco not in the bootleg, just because they take time to do.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey So not only do you optionally get to, you know, listen to the bootleg, if you so desire, and you can do that somewhere between 12
⏹️ ▶️ Casey and 24 hours before the show is released, but at the same time the show is released, you can also
⏹️ ▶️ Casey listen to an ad-free feed of the show, if you so desire. Now, we like our sponsors,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey we like them quite a lot, we, we, I don’t know how to say this without sounding like a turd, but here we are,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey we allow them to sponsor us because we like them. I apologize for how obnoxious that sounds, but
⏹️ ▶️ Casey you know, here I am. But if you don’t want to listen to that, you can get the ad-free feed, which
⏹️ ▶️ Casey is all of the same stuff that the regular show gets. All the great edits, all the chapters, all the show notes, and everything
⏹️ ▶️ Casey else. It’s just less ads, as in none. And you can check that out as well, if you’re interested in that. So,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco So, I will do a small bit of promotion here for the ad-free feed. When
⏹️ ▶️ Marco we launched membership, if you look around the podcast landscape, many people might have noticed
⏹️ ▶️ Marco lots of podcasts were launching paid membership programs around the same time. And
⏹️ ▶️ Marco the reason why we launched it, if you recall, right kind of like at the
⏹️ ▶️ Marco beginning of COVID. It was like, what is it, June of like
⏹️ ▶️ Marco, John COVID start, so
⏹️ ▶️ Marco like a few months into the COVID shutdowns. And what happened is when COVID started really
⏹️ ▶️ Marco hitting, there was a lot of economic strife and downturns and stuff.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco And one of the things that happened was that a lot of advertisers decided to pause all their campaigns
⏹️ ▶️ Marco because because they didn’t know what was going on. Podcast ads in that period took a huge hit.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco It was very hard to sell ads. Many people who had booked ads wanted to cancel them
⏹️ ▶️ Marco across the whole industry. It was a really tough problem. And that’s why you saw all these podcasters
⏹️ ▶️ Marco like us and like many of our friends, and podcasters big and small launch membership programs
⏹️ ▶️ Marco because it just became much harder to sell ads in that time and we wanted kind of a backup plan
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and an alternative. Well, I took this opportunity. for any podcast that I actually listen to
⏹️ ▶️ Marco that has an ad-free feed, I subscribed to get it. And let me tell you,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco it’s glorious. Now, it’s not a required thing. If you add up
⏹️ ▶️ Marco all the podcasts that you might listen to and all their four to $10 a month
⏹️ ▶️ Marco membership programs, obviously that’s gonna be a decent amount of money to a lot of people. And so this is not
⏹️ ▶️ Marco a required thing, but it is a really nice luxury. If you can
⏹️ ▶️ Marco swing the money, I highly suggest buying the ad-free feeds to any podcast
⏹️ ▶️ Marco that you regularly listen to. Because it’s so nice. Because you know,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco we all know that most of you listen to most of the ads most of the time. We also
⏹️ ▶️ Marco know that many of you, myself included, might skip an ad if you’ve already heard
⏹️ ▶️ Marco it before or if you just don’t feel like hearing an ad. We know that. We’re human. It’s okay.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Because it works because most people listen to it most of the time. all know also it is kind of nice
⏹️ ▶️ Marco it’s a nice luxury not to have to listen to an ad if you don’t need to and
⏹️ ▶️ Marco so I strongly suggest if you can swing this luxury
⏹️ ▶️ Marco do it it’s so nice to hear all your favorite shows
⏹️ ▶️ Marco or at least most not all of them even have this option Merlin I’m looking at you for Roderick on the line but
⏹️ ▶️ Marco but most of your favorite shows offer for this option now probably, it’s such a nice luxury
⏹️ ▶️ Marco to have your favorite shows and not have to skip an ad if you feel like it
⏹️ ▶️ Marco every 20 minutes or something. It’s a really nice thing. So while we love
⏹️ ▶️ Marco our sponsors and we’re very thankful to them for providing what is honestly the bulk of our income here, it is also
⏹️ ▶️ Marco really nice if you want a luxury product to take the ad-free version. Even if you
⏹️ ▶️ Marco don’t wanna do it for us or if you’re already doing it for us, I strongly suggest do it for your other podcasts that you love,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco that you listen to all the time, it’s fantastic.
⏹️ ▶️ John I always get annoyed at iOS apps when I see like regular people using iOS apps. Obviously, most iOS
⏹️ ▶️ John apps you see people running are free because most apps are free, but you know, they’re playing
⏹️ ▶️ John like a Scrabble game or a Solitaire game or just some, you know, generic game, Checkers, Othello, whatever.
⏹️ ▶️ John And there are ads all over the place. And you see, you know, as I say, you see some relative playing this game
⏹️ ▶️ John over the course of weeks and you’re like, why don’t you just pay the $1.99 to get rid of those ads? Because they’re just, they’re
⏹️ ▶️ John obnoxious, they’re blinking your face, they take up room on the screen. If it’s something, if it’s an app that
⏹️ ▶️ John you play every single day, just pay to get rid of the ads. And then you find out you can’t pay to get rid of the ads. There is no
⏹️ ▶️ John option to pay to get rid of the ads. And like, seriously, you won’t take my money?
⏹️ ▶️ John Like, that annoys me because it’s the same type of situation. If you download
⏹️ ▶️ John a checkers app once and play it a few times, you don’t wanna pay for that. So it’s just a free app, it’s fine. But if
⏹️ ▶️ John you pay it every single day, you know, for years, you will gladly pay $5,
⏹️ ▶️ John even $10, just to never look at an ad. So I feel like the same thing with ATP. If you know, you know,
⏹️ ▶️ John whatever, it’s a free show, you listen to it, whatever, the ads are fine. You’re getting it for free, it’s good.
⏹️ ▶️ John But if you listen to it all the time and have listened for years and don’t wanna hear ads,
⏹️ ▶️ John there is an option for you to pay a small amount of money to not hear ads. And that option, I’m very
⏹️ ▶️ John glad it exists for our show. Obviously, any option like this takes effort to create, and it’s not straightforward.
⏹️ ▶️ John You have to have a membership program, so we already paid that cost. But I kind of wish every
⏹️ ▶️ John free thing on iOS in particular had the option to get rid of ads for the people
⏹️ ▶️ John who want it, because the only other alternative you have is just live with the ads forever or
⏹️ ▶️ John try to find some other app, and that’s never fun.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Indeed. So, sorry for a little bit of housekeeping, but it was brought to our attention that a lot of people didn’t
⏹️ ▶️ Casey know that was a thing. And so since we certainly have a handful of new members, which we
⏹️ ▶️ Casey deeply, deeply appreciate, and despite what John says, you can remain a member as long as you want. You do not have to cancel immediately.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Then please feel free to check out any of these other feeds, but also check out our sponsors because they’re genuinely also
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Timing Xcode builds
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Let’s do some follow-up. We were talking, I think it was Marco was talking about comparing Xcode build
⏹️ ▶️ Casey times using a stopwatch last week. Yes, I should read my own show notes. It says as follows, this is from Abel
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Desmos, Marco, you do not need a stopwatch to time Xcode builds. Apple
⏹️ ▶️ Casey provides a command that you can run in the terminal, which shows the build time in the Xcode app. After a build, the duration is shown
⏹️ ▶️ Casey in the activity viewer alongside the succeeded message. And we’ll put this in the show notes, but it’s defaults, right?
⏹️ ▶️ Casey dot apple dot DT dot Xcode. Show build operation duration. Yes. And I tried this, and
⏹️ ▶️ Casey sure enough, it shows up exactly where you’d expect. And it’s pretty nice. And my builds of my new thing, which
⏹️ ▶️ Casey is officially in test flight right now, I’m making progress. I need an icon, but
⏹️ ▶️ Casey nevertheless, we’re making progress. That builds are like one to three seconds
⏹️ ▶️ Casey oftentimes, because it’s a new app, and it’s really small. And that’s pretty awesome. So yeah, I don’t know, Marco,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey have you played with this at all? Or did you see this in the show notes before four seconds ago?
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I did see it. I actually, I never knew this was there because normally when I’m normally testing Xcode build
⏹️ ▶️ Marco times, usually I will use from the terminal the Xcode build command.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco And I would just use the time command. So I’ll say time space Xcode build and then, you know, my
⏹️ ▶️ Marco giant project path and everything else. So that’s usually how I time it, which is obviously way more
⏹️ ▶️ Marco precise than using my iPhone stopwatch to time
⏹️ ▶️ Marco visually. But the reason I didn’t do it for these tests with the new MacBook Pros
⏹️ ▶️ Marco is that I had, there were some kind of weird code signing thing that I couldn’t get to work
⏹️ ▶️ Marco in Xcode build. So I ended up timing simulator builds from Xcode. So knowing about this
⏹️ ▶️ Marco actually would have helped that. So thank you for writing this in and I will do this next time.
Monterey memory leaks
⏹️ ▶️ Casey So we had news over the last few days as we record that there was some
⏹️ ▶️ Casey sort of weird memory leak happening in Monterey. And I only heard bits and
⏹️ ▶️ Casey little bits and pieces about this over the last few days. And then there was a blog post about this at Electric Light,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey excuse me, Eclectic Light, that talks about this. John, you want to walk us through this?
⏹️ ▶️ John Yeah, there may be more than one memory leak bug, but there was enough people going, posing
⏹️ ▶️ John screenshots of like their activity monitor showing Some part of the operating system or some app using
⏹️ ▶️ John like, you know Tens of gigabytes of RAM and getting that dialogue that the OS
⏹️ ▶️ John throws up in your face It says your system is pretty much out of memory. You should probably kill one of these apps so
⏹️ ▶️ John somebody the developers of Firefox did find a Bug in Apple’s
⏹️ ▶️ John framework that is a memory leak and it apparently has to do with setting the cursor Specifically, I think
⏹️ ▶️ John if you use the accessibility features to change your cursor to something non-standard, like a little bit bigger version of it or whatever,
⏹️ ▶️ John and you wouldn’t think this would cause too much of a memory leak because cursors are small and so what, maybe
⏹️ ▶️ John you’re leaking a cursor image here and there, but they’re tiny little images. How are you gonna use gigabytes of that?
⏹️ ▶️ John Two things, one, when you’re using a web browser, you probably don’t notice this that much, but
⏹️ ▶️ John the cursor changes a lot. Like when you go over a link, you get the little, you know,
⏹️ ▶️ John Mickey Mouse finger icon. And then you have the arrow the rest of the time, but
⏹️ ▶️ John then if you go over a text area, you have the IBM cursor. Or if you go over some random text, you get the IBM
⏹️ ▶️ John cursor. So the cursor does actually change a lot when you’re just browsing the web. You’re not doing anything, you’re just moving the
⏹️ ▶️ John mouse, but the cursor is changing, right? And the second thing is, applications, and anyone
⏹️ ▶️ John who’s developed a GUI application probably knows, applications very often do operations that are not visible.
⏹️ ▶️ John So it could be that a Firefox application is calling the API to set the cursor to something
⏹️ ▶️ John when it already is that cursor, because it’s usually not a good practice to do lots of bookkeeping
⏹️ ▶️ John to say, no, I only wanna set the cursor to the arrow cursor if it’s not already the arrow cursor. You
⏹️ ▶️ John don’t wanna put that conditional in there and you don’t wanna do the bookkeeping to try to keep track of whether it’s the arrow cursor or not, it’s much easier
⏹️ ▶️ John to just say, when the mouse enters this region, set the cursor to the arrow cursor, even if it was already the arrow cursor,
⏹️ ▶️ John even if it’s about to enter another region where you’re also gonna set it to the arrow cursor. So it could be that
⏹️ ▶️ John the app is calling set cursor many, many, many more times than you notice. It’s just that most of the time
⏹️ ▶️ John it’s setting the cursor to the image that it already is. So if this API is leaking, which it appears that it
⏹️ ▶️ John is, it could be leaking lots and lots and lots of cursor images to the tune of multiple megabytes of RAM over
⏹️ ▶️ John the course of a day of using. So this bug has been found, it’s been registered with Apple.
⏹️ ▶️ John Apparently it’s reproducible, so that means it will probably be fixed shortly. If there are any other memory leaks, hopefully we’ll find
⏹️ ▶️ John those as well, but I was excited to see this because it’s great when a bug is actually found and reproduced because
⏹️ ▶️ John that means it can be fixed.
Big HomePods working poorly
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Alright, Marco, continuing our multi-week journey of your grab bag of many topics, what do you have for us this week?
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Alright, so first, I have a bad news and a good news thing.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco, Casey Oh, more sandwiches, excellent.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yes, so the bad news thing, I kind of breezed by this and I’ve been
⏹️ ▶️ Marco doing a little bit of research and hearing a few other stories recently. My original
⏹️ ▶️ Marco full-sized HomePods are not working very well anymore.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco And this is not a recent thing. It seems to have been like a slow descent
⏹️ ▶️ Marco into not working very well. But we are an entirely HomePod
⏹️ ▶️ Marco family now. We don’t have any more Amazon devices that are in active use
⏹️ ▶️ Marco or even plugged in most of the time. And I love being a HomePod family
⏹️ ▶️ Marco on lots of different levels for lots of different reasons. And number one for me, obviously,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco is the other systems just seem like it’s cheap garbage products
⏹️ ▶️ Marco run by oftentimes cheap garbage companies and with questionable privacy
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and law enforcement cooperation kind of stuff. So I’m happy being
⏹️ ▶️ Marco in the HomePod ecosystem and in the HomeKit ecosystem. You get all these
⏹️ ▶️ Marco wonderful integrations there. And I especially love AirPlay 2 and
⏹️ ▶️ Marco the process of living with AirPlay as your multi-speaker
⏹️ ▶️ Marco slash casting kind of ecosystem. It’s fantastic. And this is why
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I like the HomePod. And the sound quality that you get out of the HomePod products
⏹️ ▶️ Marco is way better than what you get from other products at comparable sizes. I should
⏹️ ▶️ Marco clarify for purposes of music playback, I strongly suggest a stereo pair, whether you’re using the big
⏹️ ▶️ Marco ones or the small ones. But a stereo pair of the big HomePods, while it cost
⏹️ ▶️ Marco an arm and a leg back when they were new, that’s a really great sounding system
⏹️ ▶️ Marco for a very reasonably small size and a reasonably
⏹️ ▶️ Marco small visual footprint in the room. So one area that we use HomePods
⏹️ ▶️ Marco the most is on the kitchen counter. Our kitchen is a pretty large
⏹️ ▶️ Marco room and two full-size HomePods on the counter is
⏹️ ▶️ Marco a nice match for it, like size and sound wise. Two HomePod minis in this context would
⏹️ ▶️ Marco not be very good. So anyway, AirPlay 2 is how we do multi-room audio
⏹️ ▶️ Marco in our house. It’s also how we do things like, hey, I want to play a podcast from my
⏹️ ▶️ Marco phone onto something loud while I’m in the shower so I can
⏹️ ▶️ Marco hear it or whatever. This is a very important thing to us. Now, the original full-sized
⏹️ ▶️ Marco HomePods, these were never fast products, but they have gotten
⏹️ ▶️ Marco significantly slower, I think. Certain commands that you tell them, again, they’ve never
⏹️ ▶️ Marco been fast. The HomePod Mini is, again, not a fast product,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco but substantially, noticeably faster than the full-size HomePod. And the full-size
⏹️ ▶️ Marco one, I think, has just gotten slower to respond with Siri, and has gotten less reliable, especially.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco It’ll have issues like, you know, obviously you say, hey Dingus, stop, or hey Dingus, play, or you know,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco you give a volume command, and it’ll wait, and then it’ll duck the music down,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and then it’ll think about it, and then it’ll say, okay, you know, whatever, and then it’ll duck the music back up after a while. Like,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco it’s a slow process. If you ask it to play something, it’ll say, okay, playing, you know, whatever, and
⏹️ ▶️ Marco then you’ll have like eight seconds of silence before the whatever track starts. Like,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco there’s just, there’s a lot of slowness the full-size HomePods, some of which was always there,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco some of which is, I think, recently gotten worse. The bigger problem
⏹️ ▶️ Marco is that the iOS 15 series, I think, and whatever corresponding versions of
⏹️ ▶️ Marco HomePod OS or Audio OS, whatever it’s called, came out with it, seems
⏹️ ▶️ Marco to have made AirPlay support way worse on the full-size HomePod than it ever has been.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco It almost doesn’t work anymore, and this This is very disruptive. It used to be that I could
⏹️ ▶️ Marco easily AirPlay from my iPad or iPhone to the HomePod
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and it would be fine. I could retain control the whole time. It would be great because I could do things like
⏹️ ▶️ Marco as I’m working on the counter, if I have my iPad there, I could just hit the volume down button to change the HomePod
⏹️ ▶️ Marco volume and not have to go over and tap the HomePod or use a voice command that would be slow and take forever.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco So that kind of thing was great and that’s all done through AirPlay. Also, if you want to know what song is playing,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco you could just check Control Center or open the Music app and you would see what song is playing on your device so you wouldn’t
⏹️ ▶️ Marco have to ask again for a voice command or anything like that. That’s also good if you want to do things like, say,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco add that song to a playlist. Very, very useful integration. This is, again, a huge part of the value
⏹️ ▶️ Marco of using HomePods. A lot of those things have gotten buggier in the last few months,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco to the point where they barely work at all anymore. I also have a very hard time including
⏹️ ▶️ Marco the old HomePods in any AirPlay groupings with any other speakers. The Sonos Amp
⏹️ ▶️ Marco that’s on the other side of the floor, or HomePod Minis, like whatever it is,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco they don’t play well with others anymore with AirPlay. It’s gotten very frustrating. And
⏹️ ▶️ Marco finally, this is the more concerning part, this main
⏹️ ▶️ Marco pair of HomePods that we use most of the time in the kitchen, one of them will occasionally just drop
⏹️ ▶️ Marco out. it’ll just stop playing audio for, I don’t know, 45 seconds maybe,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and then it might rejoin the group. Cool. I assume it’s rebooting itself maybe.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Occasionally, when it drops out, that is met with a loud popping sound
⏹️ ▶️ Marco as if the woofer maybe gets a bad signal, like a big loud bass pop.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco So that’s a lot of fun. I’ve heard a lot of reports recently
⏹️ ▶️ Marco of HomePods dying. like the full-size ones. Another thing I’ve heard,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I haven’t verified this myself yet, I’ve also heard that Apple cannot replace them under warranty anymore.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco That because they’ve been discontinued for long enough that they literally don’t have any to replace them with,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco or at least they’re not replacing them. I haven’t verified that, but it sure seems like this
⏹️ ▶️ Marco product has been discontinued for some time now. All of them are probably out of warranty now,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco or at least most of them are. But I really like the way they sound.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco They are really, really good for what they are. For a voice controlled,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco all-in-one kind of speaker that can also work in a stereo pair and looks nice enough in the kitchen
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and doesn’t have a big box. And it is driving me nuts that A,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco that I think mine might be dying. B, even if they’re not actually physically
⏹️ ▶️ Marco dying, they’re not working as well as they were before due to what seems like software issues.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and see if they do die, I can’t replace them with anything comparable
⏹️ ▶️ Marco because nothing comparable exists on the market today. They’re both making them worse through neglect
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and there’s no replacement. It kind of sucks that this product that was not inexpensive
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and is only maybe three years old the ones I have, maybe something like that, maybe four at the
⏹️ ▶️ Marco most, I would expect a longer lifespan out of something like this. It doesn’t have a lot of computing
⏹️ ▶️ Marco needs. It doesn’t have a lot of moving software needs. There’s no reason, oh, it doesn’t
⏹️ ▶️ Marco even have a battery. So there’s no reason for this product to degrade over only a handful of years to a
⏹️ ▶️ Marco point where it breaks or is not very good at its primary functions. That’s, it needs
⏹️ ▶️ Marco a longer lifespan than that. And number two, if Apple’s gonna keep having this product
⏹️ ▶️ Marco line exist, well, keep up with it. The HomePod Mini is a great
⏹️ ▶️ Marco product for small spaces. It is not a great product for medium
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and large spaces. It just is too small to have good sound for
⏹️ ▶️ Marco larger spaces. It just can’t do it. And it’s also, you know, it’s a simplified cut down
⏹️ ▶️ Marco version in the way its speakers are designed, like how it
⏹️ ▶️ Marco doesn’t even have dedicated woofer and stuff like that. weird compromises to it that make sense
⏹️ ▶️ Marco as part of a product line, but are not sufficient for it to be the entire product line.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco So fix the software on the original HomePod for God’s sakes. I know there aren’t many
⏹️ ▶️ Marco of them out there, but they’re really good for those of us who have them, okay? So please fix the software so they can be
⏹️ ▶️ Marco at least as good as they were when we bought them. So that’s number one. Number two, please
⏹️ ▶️ Marco for the love of God, continue the HomePod line and expand it.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Give us a replacement for this product. If it’s not going to work very well or if the software
⏹️ ▶️ Marco that you want to make is too slow to run and it’s I think has like a little A8 processor in there, okay
⏹️ ▶️ Marco you know it’s it’s X years old, fine, you know, it will eventually need to be upgraded, give us an upgrade.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Because I want this product line to continue. It is for my purposes,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco which I know is not everyone’s, but for my purposes it is the best product line out there for this.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco But the old ones don’t work anymore. And part of that seems to be software on them.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco A bigger part of that seems to be iOS and its handling of AirPlay. Whatever it is, please make them
⏹️ ▶️ Marco work. And please let this product line continue because when my home pods die,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I bet the new ones won’t be available yet. If they’re if like if they’re planning on having some kind of new
⏹️ ▶️ Marco big size home pod doesn’t seem like it’s anytime soon that’s going to come out. And
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I bet at least one of mine dies within maybe six months. And I’m going to be very sad when that
⏹️ ▶️ Marco happens because there literally is nothing else in the market to replace them.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Mike Curiello May I tag on a very small AirPlay related complaint slash question? Aaron
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Powell Sure. Mike Curiello So we put screens and ports in the back of the house a few months ago now. And I got
⏹️ ▶️ Casey a, oh shoot, it’s a Belkin Soundforce, SoundSource, I’ll put
⏹️ ▶️ Casey in the show notes. Basically, it’s a $100 box that’s kind of what the Airport Express used to be, you know what I mean?
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Where it’s an AirPlay receiver and almost nothing else. And it works really well
⏹️ ▶️ Casey for the most part. It’s not perfect, of course, but it works pretty well for the most part. But the problem that I’m having
⏹️ ▶️ Casey is, it is not infrequent that I will put like a concert on, typically on Plex,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey but I’ll put some video on the Apple TV, which is on the other side of the screen and porch.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey It’s right inside the house from screen and porch. And I put a video on the Apple TV, but I want it to be broadcast
⏹️ ▶️ Casey not only in the living room, but also in the screened-in porch, you know, via this Belkin sound,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey whatever, whatever. And I haven’t done enough testing to see if this is a Plex problem or
⏹️ ▶️ Casey a tvOS problem, although it strikes me as though it would be a tvOS problem. But if
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I’m doing something with video and I try to broadcast to both the speakers
⏹️ ▶️ Casey that the Apple TV typically plays through and an AirPlay receiver, it doesn’t work for
⏹️ ▶️ Casey squat. It will only play outside and it will not play inside.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Maybe this is user error, but I don’t feel like this is a complex operation to accomplish, for me, I mean, and it never
⏹️ ▶️ Casey seems to work. Now, if I do it with audio, like if I’m playing using the SiriusXM app on the Apple TV
⏹️ ▶️ Casey or if I’m playing Apple Music or whatever, it works great. No problem. Every time it works great. And I can adjust
⏹️ ▶️ Casey volumes independently and everything works as it’s supposed to. But when the source is video rather than audio, it
⏹️ ▶️ Casey never works. And I actually have been meaning to ask a friend of the show, Ryan Jones, about this because he was the
⏹️ ▶️ Casey one who pushed me to do this sort of setup. And I think he was mostly right, but for the life of me, I cannot figure out what
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I’m doing wrong here. If you have a secret, people, please reach out and let me know because I’d
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Weather Line to Carrot Weather
⏹️ ▶️ Casey We have some other Ryan Jones related follow-up though, don’t we?
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yes, actually. Good segue. There
⏹️ ▶️ Marco, Casey you go. So,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco the positive side, well, I mean, it’s not so positive for Ryan Jones that I finally replaced
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Well, it’s good because it got sunset in a happy way, didn’t it?
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yes, exactly. So, Weatherline has been the iOS weather app
⏹️ ▶️ Marco that I choose to use for years now. I forget how many years, but it’s been a
⏹️ ▶️ Marco long time because I just loved that presentation, like the line of the hourly
⏹️ ▶️ Marco forecast throughout the day. I love that so much. Even at times where the app was not
⏹️ ▶️ Marco as competitive with other apps in terms of certain features, whatever, I always stuck with it because I
⏹️ ▶️ Marco just loved its design and it really clicked with my brain in the way I wanted to see weather data. About,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco maybe six months ago, something like that, Ryan Jones, the main maker of Weatherline, announced
⏹️ ▶️ Marco that it had been acquired and that they were shutting it down because the company that acquired it,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco it wasn’t the kind of thing where they were just gonna keep it running, like they bought it for other reasons. So it was gonna be shut down
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and we had to find new apps soon. And Weatherline, I
⏹️ ▶️ Marco think it’s gonna run for a while longer, I think maybe six months to a year longer, but
⏹️ ▶️ Marco because I knew that there was an end date that was not too far off,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I decided I should probably start planning for this And I probably shouldn’t write
⏹️ ▶️ Marco my own because A, no, I don’t need the headache. I have enough to do.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco And B, I would probably just make a clone of Weatherline and that’s not a great way
⏹️ ▶️ Marco to spend my time either. So I figured that’s not a good idea.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco And I decided, you know, I’ve always heard that Carrot Weather was
⏹️ ▶️ Marco the best weather app in the universe. And I always wanted to like Carrot Weather,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco But it was never my primary app. Like I had it installed for a while and I even paid the
⏹️ ▶️ Marco premium stuff so I could use certain features because I was playing with it like as a watch complication
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and stuff like that. But I never used the full app very much because I would
⏹️ ▶️ Marco open it up, look around, I’d be like, eh, this design is not, it doesn’t fit
⏹️ ▶️ Marco me as well as Weatherline’s design and I would close it and that’d be it. Now that Weatherline has a definite
⏹️ ▶️ Marco end and I’m kind of forced to go elsewhere, I figured, you know what, let me give Carrot a real try. Let me
⏹️ ▶️ Marco try fully switching over to it. Move Weatherline off my front screen, take
⏹️ ▶️ Marco off its widget, like totally move it away, and bring in Carrot
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and try using only Carrot. And what I
⏹️ ▶️ Marco didn’t realize in the previous times I had tried Carrot Weather is that not only
⏹️ ▶️ Marco is it highly customizable in terms of the attitude it gives you, which I always knew that was an option, like you can have it be
⏹️ ▶️ Marco really snarky with the text and everything, or you can turn that down and have it just be neutral and tell you the data.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco It’s also though, this was news to me, also the UI is highly customizable.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey That’s new-ish. That was just in the last three to six months, I’d say, that the UI
⏹️ ▶️ Casey became crazy customizable. It used to be, I think, a little bit, but now it’s like
⏹️ ▶️ Casey a calculator construction kit sort of thing. It’s bananas how much you can do with it. It
⏹️ ▶️ Marco really is extremely customizable And I was able to customize
⏹️ ▶️ Marco not only certain views that are kind of Weatherline-like, it doesn’t
⏹️ ▶️ Marco have an exact match, probably for many reasons. That would probably be in poor taste for a competitor to
⏹️ ▶️ Marco clone your UI completely. So I understand why there’s not an exact Weatherline view. But you
⏹️ ▶️ Marco can kind of get close, if that’s what you’re looking for, which for me it is. That’s how I want to see my hourly graph. So
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I kind of got close to Weatherline. Plus, it has just
⏹️ ▶️ Marco the most features in the universe. Like, there’s so many features. And
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Carrot Weather’s also made by one person. It’s an incredibly good app. It’s
⏹️ ▶️ Marco exactly what you want out of an indie app. Like, it has, like, you know, good business
⏹️ ▶️ Marco morals behind it, great development, great design. I think he won an ADA last year.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Like, it’s just a very well done app. And my God, the features. There is
⏹️ ▶️ Marco so much there. So now that I’ve been able to customize the design into something that I like,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I’m getting to enjoy the utility of all these features. And it is so good.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco For instance, one of the things, forever, I had this concept idea of an app I could make, or someday,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco or that I wanted to make. A smart watch complication slash
⏹️ ▶️ Marco iOS widget, whatever, this was before widgets existed, but I was kind of picturing an app that would just show a card or something
⏹️ ▶️ Marco like that. mainly for the watch. And the idea was I wanted to be able to set
⏹️ ▶️ Marco priorities between different conditions that might occur and have it only display one of these things.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco So for instance, if I have a timer running, I always wanna see the timer. Okay, if I don’t have
⏹️ ▶️ Marco a timer running, I don’t want an icon that says set, like I just want something else, like either nothing
⏹️ ▶️ Marco or give me some other data that might be useful. I care a lot about what time sunset
⏹️ ▶️ Marco is for about an hour before sunset and not at any other time of the day.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I don’t care when sunset is at 11 in the morning. Right? I care a lot if it’s raining,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco but only when it’s raining. If the chance of precipitation is zero, I don’t care about it.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I care a lot if the UV index is above like five, but I don’t
⏹️ ▶️ Marco care all winter when it’s zero to one. So there’s all sorts of conditions
⏹️ ▶️ Marco like this in weather. So here at the beach, wind is a very big
⏹️ ▶️ Marco issue. Wind is something that in my regular previous suburban life, I never cared
⏹️ ▶️ Marco about wind, it was never a big deal. Here, I care a lot if it’s gonna be windy tonight because that means
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I might have to move stuff inside or take other preparations. Because windy here does not mean
⏹️ ▶️ Marco windy in the suburbs. Windy here is a whole new thing. So, Carrot
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Weather allows you in a few places in the app, including recently in a watch complication,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco to set certain thresholds in a prioritized list to say, okay, tell me,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and put this card up here or display this in the complication, if this
⏹️ ▶️ Marco value is going to be above this range or if this is gonna happen in the next 12 hours or whatever, it’s
⏹️ ▶️ Marco so nice. You can also have that notify you. And you can tell it when to tell you
⏹️ ▶️ Marco what range to look at. It’s so ridiculously customizable. So for instance, now I have one that every
⏹️ ▶️ Marco evening it will tell me if the wind is gonna be above a certain speed
⏹️ ▶️ Marco overnight. That way I know, oh maybe I should bring the trash cans in so they don’t blow it on the street or something like that.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco That kind of thing, you can customize so much about this. So I am just so happy
⏹️ ▶️ Marco with this app. I wish I had tried it earlier in some ways. So I’m
⏹️ ▶️ Marco kind of burying Weatherline with this massive party for carrot weather. But
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I think also, as Casey, as you just said, a lot of these features are pretty new to the app. So I think
⏹️ ▶️ Marco maybe I came at exactly the right time for me.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey, Marco I think so, yeah.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco But it is just so, so good. I strongly, this is not a sponsorship, I strongly recommend that
⏹️ ▶️ Marco you get Carat Weather and you pay for the annual whatever cost to get all the cool features because
⏹️ ▶️ Marco it’s so, so good. Highly recommend
⏹️ ▶️ Casey it. Strong agree on everything you just said. Carat Weather, it’s one of a very
⏹️ ▶️ Casey small subset of apps that I have been using literally every day
⏹️ ▶️ Casey since like five plus years ago, because Carrot Weather’s been out a fair bit of time at this point. And I
⏹️ ▶️ Casey feel like, you know, it’s Carrot Weather, it’s Overcast, it’s TweetBot, GifRapt, like
⏹️ ▶️ Casey off top of my head amongst indie apps, you know, not like the Instagrams of the world or whatever, but amongst indie apps, it’s
⏹️ ▶️ Casey probably those and only a couple of others that I’ve used every single day
⏹️ ▶️ Casey for forever and change. And so, yeah, Carrot Weather, I
⏹️ ▶️ Casey cannot recommend enough. It is a phenomenally powerful app. You know, and it’s one of those situations
⏹️ ▶️ Casey where it’s an app that also makes me incredibly angry because it’s Brian Mueller,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey right, that wrote it? Do I have that right? I think so. If I recall correctly, his education is nowhere
⏹️ ▶️ Casey near computer science or anything like it. And he is so much better at his job than I
⏹️ ▶️ Casey am in mine. It’s so annoying because he is incredibly talented at
⏹️ ▶️ Casey not only the code, but also the design. And especially now that I’m really getting close
⏹️ ▶️ Casey to shipping something. It’s infuriating in the best possible way to see
⏹️ ▶️ Casey how good one individual can be at doing everything. Like server-side stuff,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey on-device stuff, it’s so good. It’s so well done. I cannot recommend
⏹️ ▶️ Casey it enough. It’s a great app.
⏹️ ▶️ John Two other weather app recommendations. I also used Weatherline for a long time and I was looking for replacements. One
⏹️ ▶️ John of the ones I came upon is called Weatherstrip. It’s very similar to Weatherline. It’s more complicated. there are more
⏹️ ▶️ John lines instead of just the one line. But it’s nice, it’s got a different aesthetic. I enjoy it as a good
⏹️ ▶️ John line replacement for Weatherline. And then finally, the official Apple weather
⏹️ ▶️ John app. Got a lot better on iOS 15. I think it’s kind of my default weather app
⏹️ ▶️ John now. It doesn’t have all the details of the fancier weather apps. It doesn’t have lines
⏹️ ▶️ John like Weatherstrip does. It’s not as customizable as CareWeather, obviously.
⏹️ ▶️ John But check those both out if you’re looking for a weather app or if you’ve given up on the Apple and you thought it was too simple,
⏹️ ▶️ John new version is pretty nice.
eBay risks to sellers
⏹️ ▶️ Casey And then we should also talk about one other quick follow-up piece. We’ve gotten feedback,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey this was with regard to selling my computers and my MacBook Pro, my 2020 MacBook Pro is gone.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey It is at its new home and as far as I know, everything’s going well. I was saying before the show that the
⏹️ ▶️ Casey iMac Pro has been unplugged for a few days now and I’m genuinely sad about it because, I mean, obviously I would say
⏹️ ▶️ Casey this because I’m trying to sell it, but nevertheless, like hand to God, I love that iMac Pro so much. I
⏹️ ▶️ Casey really, really do. It’s such an incredibly nice computer. I love it so much and I already kind of miss it.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Um, and I’m sad that, that it’s not on my desk anymore, but, uh, I will be unloading that very soon. So if you’re
⏹️ ▶️ Casey interested, please reach out. But, um, people have talked to, talk to us about, Hey, you know,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey we brought up eBay. I think Marco in particular brought up eBay a little while ago saying, Oh, it, it works pretty well
⏹️ ▶️ Casey for Marco. And people have written in, I can’t speak for whether or not this is true, but a lot of people have said, Hey, you know,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey eBay is good as long as you get a good buyer. But you can very easily get a buyer that’s
⏹️ ▶️ Casey a con artist and the buyer will claim that the device doesn’t work
⏹️ ▶️ Casey or tries to return it, but will just accidentally take the RAM out or the SSD out
⏹️ ▶️ Casey or something like that. And apparently eBay is extremely buyer friendly. So
⏹️ ▶️ Casey if you’re the seller, you’re kind of up a creek. And again, I have no personal experience with this one way or the other,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey but it is something to consider. And we’ve heard several recommendations for Swappa, which might
⏹️ ▶️ Casey be an American thing, S-W-A-P-P-A. If I can’t sell my iMac Pro, which I haven’t
⏹️ ▶️ Casey formally priced yet, but I’ll probably put it on Twitter like I did the MacBook Pro and see if anyone bites. And if not,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I think I’ll probably go to Swappa if nobody grabs it beforehand. And
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I’ve heard many, many people say that the fees on Swappa are great and the people are typically great, and it’s usually
⏹️ ▶️ Casey a much better option than eBay. Again, I have no personal experience either way. I’m just telling you what we’re being told.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Typically, with almost any kind of online sale and definitely with
⏹️ ▶️ Marco anything based on credit cards, the buyer has way more power than the seller
⏹️ ▶️ Marco because of how credit cards handle disputes. If the buyer says, you know, hey, I paid
⏹️ ▶️ Marco for this thing with my credit card and it came broken and the seller wouldn’t take it back or it didn’t
⏹️ ▶️ Marco come at all, you know, the seller is a scammer. In almost every case, the credit card company will
⏹️ ▶️ Marco side with the buyer and will issue a you charge back to the vendor or seller. And that’s why
⏹️ ▶️ Marco places like eBay or PayPal, like if there’s a dispute, the buyer will win the dispute
⏹️ ▶️ Marco if they make a big enough stink like that. So typically your risk
⏹️ ▶️ Marco is greater as a seller than as a buyer. Now there are a few exceptions. So
⏹️ ▶️ Marco there are certain ways that you can accept payment where the buyer is basically
⏹️ ▶️ Marco handing you cash in the digital form. So obviously yes, crypto, blah, blah, I don’t care. Also,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco there’s the PayPal goods and services method of sending. Venmo has a way to send where it’s kind of like
⏹️ ▶️ Marco cash, you know, it’s Apple Pay Cash. You can pay for things where the buyer has no
⏹️ ▶️ Marco recourse whatsoever if the transaction doesn’t go very well. Obviously, most buyers don’t
⏹️ ▶️ Marco wanna do that, especially if they don’t know you. So this is one area where, we mentioned
⏹️ ▶️ Marco before about how you’re selling on Twitter, if you can get somebody to do the goods and services
⏹️ ▶️ Marco method on PayPal or one of these cash-based methods, that’s better for you in terms that you don’t pay the
⏹️ ▶️ Marco fees, but it’s also better for you in that they can’t scam you out of the item in some
⏹️ ▶️ Marco way. The downside is that they have to trust you to do that,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and that’s not gonna be possible for a lot of transactions. Again, this is one of those things where if you want to be guaranteed
⏹️ ▶️ Marco not to get scammed, trade it into Apple, because actually even then, like
⏹️ ▶️ Marco sometimes even then, like they will receive your item and they’ll say, hey
⏹️ ▶️ Marco actually the screen has a chip in it, so this is worth zero. You want us to recycle it or send it back?
⏹️ ▶️ Marco And by the way, when they say that, send it back. Don’t take their thing. If you know it wasn’t chipped,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco get it back and try some other option or give it away or something. But anyway, if you want to minimize
⏹️ ▶️ Marco the risks of like humans trying to scam you intentionally, then go with one
⏹️ ▶️ Marco of the easier options where you’re not going to get the best rate. If you want to get the best rates, it is going
⏹️ ▶️ Marco to be on some level a bit of a gamble. That’s one of the reasons you get higher rates. And sometimes
⏹️ ▶️ Marco you might get screwed, but most of the time it will work. So, that’s, you know, in my experience,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I haven’t run into any scam buyers. I haven’t sold a ton of things on eBay, but I have sold,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco you know, maybe 20 or 30 items over the years, and I never had a problem at that scale. But,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco you know, it’s a gamble.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey And, John, your attic is just about to crumble from the weight of all of your old computers, so this is not something
⏹️ ▶️ Casey you have any opinions on, I assume, right?
⏹️ ▶️ John By the time I’m ready to get rid of any of them, they’re going to be worth nothing, so I’ll have to pay someone to take them away.
⏹️ ▶️ John It’ll be a reverse sale.
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Facebook, Meta, metaverses
⏹️ ▶️ Casey We have been intending to talk about Facebook and meta for a long time,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey and the time has come. So, uh, when are we moving the podcast to the metaverse guys?
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I actually really don’t have that much to say about this. I don’t feel like I’m clairvoyant enough. I don’t have enough
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Nostradamus in me to be able to, to, to have any clear thoughts on this.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey say is that it’s been interesting reading Ben Thompson’s coverage and we’ll link to the interview that he had with
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Mark Zuckerberg recently. One thing that has been fascinating to watch, speaking of subscription
⏹️ ▶️ Casey things that are absolutely worth the money, Ben’s coverage on Stratechery has
⏹️ ▶️ Casey been interesting where he went from, in my opinion, kind of pooh-poohing VR to,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey well, actually this has a place. And I think it was largely because of him conducting
⏹️ ▶️ Casey meetings in VR, like business meetings, and he said that the perception of presence
⏹️ ▶️ Casey is so strong, even though it’s all virtual, and especially in these unprecedented times,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey there’s something to be said for that. And I don’t have any interest in putting together
⏹️ ▶️ Casey either a VR rig or whatever the one is where it’s all standalone, but it’s like 600
⏹️ ▶️ Casey bucks or something like that. I don’t have the desire to spend 600 bucks. I don’t have the desire to spend 6,000 bucks.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Is it only three? That’s actually not
⏹️ ▶️ Marco a sum. Yeah, the Quest you’re talking about? The Quest 2, rather? Yeah, that’s the one we have. It’s all standalone, wireless. Yeah, it’s great.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey It’s not as bad as I thought. I take it slightly back then. But let me remind you that my iMac
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Pro is on sale soon. But anyways, I would like to try that sort of thing,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey even though I don’t have much of an occasion to meet with people anymore. But I don’t know,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I get real big, you know, Ready Player One vibes from this. And that’s not necessarily
⏹️ ▶️ Casey bad, but I don’t know. I just, I don’t know what to make of it one way or the other. I don’t know which one of you was a John that put this
⏹️ ▶️ Casey in here. So presumably John, you have some thoughts about it.
⏹️ ▶️ John Yeah. The, the combination of this and Facebook is interesting to me.
⏹️ ▶️ John Um, so first of all, people don’t know what we’re talking about. The whole metaverse thing. It’s basically as
⏹️ ▶️ John Casey was alluding to, it’s like, um, it’s tied to VR, VR, AR, where
⏹️ ▶️ John I think a lot of things that we could do now, you can go to a Slack room or Discord and chat with other
⏹️ ▶️ John people and have different channels. And you can play an online game where a bunch of people are in an instance
⏹️ ▶️ John together wandering around and, you know, they have avatars with equipment and stuff. And like, but
⏹️ ▶️ John why is that not the metaverse? All these things that we have in the world of computing, what’s the difference between that and the metaverse? The main
⏹️ ▶️ John difference is the metaverse is focused on AR, VR type stuff, where you put a thing over your face.
⏹️ ▶️ John So the screens are right in front of your eyeballs. And when you turn your head, you look around. And
⏹️ ▶️ John that combined with one of those things I just described equals the metaverse. You know, all the things that you can do
⏹️ ▶️ John online, you can shop, you can talk to people, you can play a game, you can be,
⏹️ ▶️ John pretend you’re in a different place than you’re in. You know, all the things that you can do and all the different
⏹️ ▶️ John work and play things, but with this new additional input output experience,
⏹️ ▶️ John which is the screens on your face and the idea of presence, where it feels like you’re there, because when you’re in an actual
⏹️ ▶️ John place, you can look left, look right. And when someone talks at you, the sound comes from where they are and it hits your
⏹️ ▶️ John ears. And if you’re far away from people, they’re quiet. And if you’re close, they’re louder and you can go places
⏹️ ▶️ John and do things. And anyway, that’s, that’s the basic concept of the metaverse. You probably heard or
⏹️ ▶️ John seen a bit before in the past in science fiction. And of course, if you’ve been keeping up with VR, AR
⏹️ ▶️ John at all, you know this technology is out there. And the metaverse is just someone saying, this is
⏹️ ▶️ John what we want. We want this. We want to do all these things in this place. So
⏹️ ▶️ John why is it interesting that Facebook is, you know, has renamed their parent, whatever,
⏹️ ▶️ John you know, kind of like Google did with Alphabet. They want to call their company Meta or whatever. There is a whole
⏹️ ▶️ John business sideshow of that that I don’t want to get particularly into, but I think it’s enough to say that Facebook
⏹️ ▶️ John being the, you know, fairly savvy company that it is, is trying to make
⏹️ ▶️ John sure, trying to ensure its long-term success. Facebook is,
⏹️ ▶️ John was a website and then it was an app, but it’s basically, we know what Facebook is. They’ve, they call it the blue
⏹️ ▶️ John app and their internal parlance apparently. Facebook is Facebook. And you know,
⏹️ ▶️ John there was time before Facebook and there were other things that were similar like MySpace, but Facebook kind of wiped
⏹️ ▶️ John them out. The folks who run Facebook are smart enough to know
⏹️ ▶️ John that Facebook isn’t necessarily forever. It may
⏹️ ▶️ John be skewing older, People who just decide one day that Facebook is done and there is something that is similar
⏹️ ▶️ John that’s a better replacement. And Facebook is trying to say, well, if someone’s gonna replace the
⏹️ ▶️ John blue app with something else, it should be us. And we think this whole metaverse idea
⏹️ ▶️ John might be it. So let’s rename the parent company meta and let’s start working on this. We still love Facebook.
⏹️ ▶️ John We still love, you know, selling access to you to advertisers. That’s how we make all our money.
⏹️ ▶️ John Facebook still has ho-jillions of users. I shouldn’t say ho-jillions, I should say billions. Like it actually has billions of
⏹️ ▶️ John users. That’s not an offensive exaggeration. And that’s a powerful thing.
⏹️ ▶️ John But in the meantime, if there’s going to be something that replaces Facebook, Facebook should start working on it. And
⏹️ ▶️ John Mark Zuckerberg apparently is totally into the whole idea of the metaverse because maybe he’s
⏹️ ▶️ John read too many science fiction novels. So
⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco that’s that. That’s like, why
⏹️ ▶️ John is Facebook doing this now? Why do they feel like they have to do this? I think in general,
⏹️ ▶️ John having a hedge is smart because it would be wrong for Facebook to think
⏹️ ▶️ John that the blue app is forever. And because they have billions of users, they will always have billions of users and there’s no
⏹️ ▶️ John way to unseat them. It’s hard to unseat them. It’s a hell of a moat, as they say in the business,
⏹️ ▶️ John you can do a lot with billions of users that people can’t compete with. But
⏹️ ▶️ John I do look at, you know, what young people are doing, whether it’s Tick Tock or Instagram
⏹️ ▶️ John or whatever, you know, or or even, well, not really Twitter, because that’s also for old people these days, but
⏹️ ▶️ John it is possible for a new thing to come out and grab the hearts and minds of the younger people,
⏹️ ▶️ John and that’s bad for Facebook because old people will actually die. So I think it is
⏹️ ▶️ John wise for them to be hedging. But all that said,
⏹️ ▶️ John Facebook and the Vetaverse thing, you know, this is not a new idea. And when I look at all the press
⏹️ ▶️ John that Facebook is getting with meta, it, you know, again, I
⏹️ ▶️ John understand why Facebook’s doing it. I don’t quite understand why so many of the stories about it
⏹️ ▶️ John don’t sort of say, you don’t talk about the elephant in the room, which is
⏹️ ▶️ John that if there was going to be one company or any company, pick a company you think is going to have a good
⏹️ ▶️ John chance at bringing the metaverse into existence. I would never pick the company
⏹️ ▶️ John that just has never been good at making consumer hardware, software
⏹️ ▶️ John products. Facebook has tried to make a lot of stuff in its time. And they bought Oculus, which is good. They didn’t
⏹️ ▶️ John try to make that themselves, right? But this is not their strength. To you know, to
⏹️ ▶️ John realize the metaverse, there is a very important hardware component. In fact, some would argue it’s
⏹️ ▶️ John the most important component because it’s the one we haven’t figured out how to do yet. Yeah, the quest is great and
⏹️ ▶️ John cheap and small or whatever. But the idea that billions of people
⏹️ ▶️ John are going to wear something like that all day long, It would have happened already if we were at the
⏹️ ▶️ John point where the hardware wasn’t the issue. Right, once we got, you know, forget about
⏹️ ▶️ John smartphones. Once we got cell phones to the point where the hardware is good enough for regular people, boom,
⏹️ ▶️ John seemingly overnight, the whole world had cell phones. Then of course, smartphones and ever. I’m just talking about like plain old dumb, you know, feature
⏹️ ▶️ John phones, right? When they were huge and expensive and the size of bricks or only worked in your car,
⏹️ ▶️ John billions of people didn’t have them. Eventually, they hit the, we got the right hardware threshold
⏹️ ▶️ John and whatever, Nokia was the big company back then. And then it’s like, oh, now everyone has a cell phone
⏹️ ▶️ John because we crossed that barrier. We’re not there with VR. What VR does now, even the expensive, cool ones, like the highest
⏹️ ▶️ John end stuff, is not compelling enough for the world to buy it, either because it’s too
⏹️ ▶️ John big and uncomfortable or because it’s too expensive or it’s too constraining or all those things combined.
⏹️ ▶️ John It’s just not there yet. So to get to the metaverse, you need to
⏹️ ▶️ John overcome that hurdle of, We need to figure out how to get pixels into your eyeballs
⏹️ ▶️ John and sensors all around you so we can tell where you’re looking in a reasonable way with good resolution
⏹️ ▶️ John and good latency with a reasonable price. Like, oh, you have to cross all those thresholds. And I would never
⏹️ ▶️ John pick Facebook as my horse to bet on that’s gonna crack this problem because they’re
⏹️ ▶️ John so bad at this. They have never made a really great hardware product.
⏹️ ▶️ John They bought Oculus, which was smart because they were the leader in the space at the time, But Oculus hasn’t
⏹️ ▶️ John crossed that threshold either. They were mostly catering to high-end gamers and now, you know, these more low-end
⏹️ ▶️ John things. But that’s not something, I don’t even think it’s something that people wanna wear while they sit at their
⏹️ ▶️ John desk eight hours a day, let alone something as transformative as a smartphone that people carry with them all
⏹️ ▶️ John the time, everywhere, wherever they go. And to truly realize the magic of the metaverse,
⏹️ ▶️ John it has to at least be as sort of comfortable and normal to use as sitting in front
⏹️ ▶️ John of a laptop. And I would say if you want, it should probably be as comfortable and
⏹️ ▶️ John personal as a smartphone in that people are okay using it whenever or wherever.
⏹️ ▶️ John And it feels like, you know, an extension of themselves and, you know, the most personal device you own, which is
⏹️ ▶️ John what Apple said about the Apple Watch or whatever. But nobody’s really venturing out
⏹️ ▶️ John into the real world with, you know, with a VR headset on their face because the hardware is
⏹️ ▶️ John not there and the battery life isn’t there and the network connection isn’t there. There’s so many things that are missing. And although Ben
⏹️ ▶️ John Thompson may enjoy sharing a spreadsheet and sitting down at a virtual table with
⏹️ ▶️ John a bunch of cartoon avatars because it’s a cool, fun experience, that is not the type
⏹️ ▶️ John of thing that is yet compelling enough that there’s gonna be billions of people wanting
⏹️ ▶️ John to do that because if there was, they’d be doing it right now. So there’s a long way to go. The hardware, the software, the services,
⏹️ ▶️ John we have not crossed the barrier into mass market yet.
⏹️ ▶️ John And I read article after article about Facebook. Facebook wants to do meta, Facebook wants to
⏹️ ▶️ John make the metaverse. Facebook wants, it’s like, why are we even, it’s like if Apple said they
⏹️ ▶️ John wanted to do an amazing social network. Like we would laugh at them, we would bring up Ping, we would
⏹️ ▶️ John say, Apple, you’re not good at this. You’ve tried it, you’re very bad at it, you continue to be very bad
⏹️ ▶️ John at it. If you said you’re going to be the next great social network that’s gonna surpass all the existing
⏹️ ▶️ John ones, we wouldn’t have story after story, you know, with stars in their eyes saying, Apple soon to
⏹️ ▶️ John usher in a new era of social networking. No, they’re not because Apple’s terrible at this. We would not take them seriously.
⏹️ ▶️ John I don’t understand why people are taking Facebook seriously. Facebook can want this all they want, but they just don’t
⏹️ ▶️ John have the skillset. They need to buy more companies or get better at this stuff real fast. Now,
⏹️ ▶️ John it could be argued, it doesn’t matter that they don’t have the skillset. The real thing they have is the billions and billions of people, and that’s
⏹️ ▶️ John harder to get arguably than figuring out how to make good hardware, software, products, like maybe
⏹️ ▶️ John eventually the technology It’s good enough that even if Facebook is crappy at making hardware and software,
⏹️ ▶️ John it’s easy enough for them to just slap something together. The real barriers, the billions of users, because
⏹️ ▶️ John that’s just harder to get and takes longer and is more of a barrier than, you know, any particular hardware scale,
⏹️ ▶️ John right? That’s possible maybe, but at the very least, I feel like almost any
⏹️ ▶️ John story about Facebook and the metaverse should at least touch on the idea that historically Facebook has
⏹️ ▶️ John been terrible at everything you need to do for the metaverse. I think they’re terrible at all the software parts of
⏹️ ▶️ John it too, because there’s nothing about Facebook, the application that makes me think
⏹️ ▶️ John it will translate well to a persistent online 3D world that they lovingly
⏹️ ▶️ John curate and care for so that it’s a place people want to spend time. People barely want to spend time on a series of
⏹️ ▶️ John web pages shown through a little iOS app because it’s just a cesspool of angry walls of text
⏹️ ▶️ John from, you know, your weird uncle, right? That’s what Facebook is.
⏹️ ▶️ John And the 3D translation of that, and think about how many times Facebook has changed and totally altered
⏹️ ▶️ John the way their product works and it worked and switched around all their technologies. Like that does not lend
⏹️ ▶️ John itself to fostering a long-term metaverse-y type thing.
⏹️ ▶️ John And on the flip side of that, who has been good about doing any kind of metaverse-y
⏹️ ▶️ John type stuff? On the software side, you have the people who have been doing it best are essentially people
⏹️ ▶️ John who run online gaming services. World of Warcraft, even things like Second Life, any
⏹️ ▶️ John kind of game where there’s a social space, even in very narrowly defined things, arguably
⏹️ ▶️ John even something like Destiny, where it’s incredibly narrowly defined, there’s very little you can do, you can only do Destiny things. It’s certainly not
⏹️ ▶️ John a whole world, it’s just a very narrowly defined slice of the world. Even that, like to
⏹️ ▶️ John have a company that understands how to get a bunch of customers, and in many cases, these
⏹️ ▶️ John are paying customers, which Facebook can’t do because they have billions of people and billions of people aren’t gonna pay you,
⏹️ ▶️ John you know, $60 a year or $5 a month or whatever,
⏹️ ▶️ John to build a space, a 3D space with presence or whatever, and to nurture that
⏹️ ▶️ John over the years, you know, finding places where it’s being exploited or
⏹️ ▶️ John crumbling or falling down, preserving people’s investment in that 3D space, making it feel like
⏹️ ▶️ John a place where people want to be and want to invest their time. That’s what online games do.
⏹️ ▶️ John And it’s really, really hard. And one of the main activities of that successful
⏹️ ▶️ John kind of software incarnation of the metaverse is, you know, reacting strongly
⏹️ ▶️ John to cases where people do bad things, bad actors, people griefing in games, people hacking in
⏹️ ▶️ John games, you know, making the game worse for other people. Does this start to
⏹️ ▶️ John sound familiar? Facebook does not stop this. And Facebook lets
⏹️ ▶️ John all the worst behavior happen because it means more engagement, because it means more time online, because it means they can sell your information
⏹️ ▶️ John advertisers, and that’s how they make their money, right? That is all the opposite of the things that are required to make
⏹️ ▶️ John any kind of sort of metaverse II type place with presence setting aside the VR just saying 3d persistent
⏹️ ▶️ John world where people go and spend hours and want to spend time there. If you look at all those things, it’s mostly
⏹️ ▶️ John gaming companies, and they act very differently than Facebook. And then on the hardware side, you know,
⏹️ ▶️ John again, Facebook is not known for its hardware innovation, whether it’s very fast, low power
⏹️ ▶️ John CPUs, great APIs with, you know, for 3d and native apps, they bought Oculus.
⏹️ ▶️ John I feel like they’ve not that they’ve ruined Oculus, but they’ve mishandled
⏹️ ▶️ John Oculus, let’s say, in that they didn’t, they didn’t stick with catering to the hardcore gamers, they wanted to go sort
⏹️ ▶️ John of broader than that. But then they made people sign in with their Facebook account. And that was a mistake. And it’s just
⏹️ ▶️ John kind of like, made people who were previously big Oculus fans less so
⏹️ ▶️ John while not replacing them with people who are equally enthusiastic from the, you know, the broader market,
⏹️ ▶️ John they did a little bit of that. Like there, there is, has some been some give and take there, but I think they’ve
⏹️ ▶️ John kind of seeded the high end space to like the, what the valve index or whatever that thing is called. Um,
⏹️ ▶️ John and had, you know, haven’t created an equivalently large enthusiastic
⏹️ ▶️ John group of people who spend eight hours a day with their quest on their face, taking meetings or whatever.
⏹️ ▶️ John again, setting aside the idea that that meetings are the ultimate incarnation of this. And you know, looking at the evidence of
⏹️ ▶️ John where do people, where historically, where have people chosen to spend lots of the time online, in IRC
⏹️ ▶️ John channels, in muds and mushes, uh, and you know, in second life, in world
⏹️ ▶️ John of Warcraft, those things all have like nothing in common with Facebook. And they also
⏹️ ▶️ John have nothing in common with a virtual like meeting room where someone can show a spreadsheet
⏹️ ▶️ John on the wall. So, uh, I guess what is the, I’m, I’m bearish
⏹️ ▶️ John on Facebook and the metaverse. I can never get it right. I always
⏹️ ▶️ John bull is the one where you’re enthusiastic about it, and the bear is where you think it’s going to be. I don’t
⏹️ ▶️ John have any confidence in Facebook’s ability to realize this vision, which is good, because I hate Facebook and don’t want them to realize
⏹️ ▶️ John this vision and really want someone else to figure out how to do this before they do, because Facebook is terrible at maintaining
⏹️ ▶️ John spaces where people want to be. I also think the technology to get
⏹️ ▶️ John this over the hump is a lot farther off than people think it is. But in the meantime, if you want
⏹️ ▶️ John to have any of the experiences that are promised for the metaverse, you can get all of it except
⏹️ ▶️ John for, for the most part, the 3D VR presence thing in other places.
⏹️ ▶️ John And it’s great. You can even argue a Discord or a Slack can be
⏹️ ▶️ John versions of the metaverse. Any kind of online community, a web bulletin board. I feel like
⏹️ ▶️ John I’ve been on web bulletin boards that have more of a sense of community and quote unquote presence without
⏹️ ▶️ John any VR, without any even graphics even, just like Usenet groups that have had more quote unquote
⏹️ ▶️ John presence and community than the metaverse. So I feel to some degree, I feel like it’s like
⏹️ ▶️ John chasing something that already exists because now there’s a way to sort of make it strategically important
⏹️ ▶️ John and fancy and invoke all of these science fiction tropes. When in reality,
⏹️ ▶️ John making online communities has always been a valuable thing to do, will continue to be a valuable
⏹️ ▶️ John thing to do, is very difficult to do and requires making essentially the opposite
⏹️ ▶️ John decision that Facebook has ever made any time they’ve been faced with any kind of decision. Paul
⏹️ ▶️ Marco even think about that when I was thinking about the possibility of this actually coming to fruition the way they
⏹️ ▶️ Marco envision it. But I think let’s take this bits at a time.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Do you think that the name change to Meta,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco obviously there’s lots of potential reasons why Facebook might have wanted to
⏹️ ▶️ Marco make that was different than the name Facebook.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Obviously, there’s lots of cynical reasons. Facebook has not a great reputation among lots of people.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco It is very popular, but it is very controversially popular and
⏹️ ▶️ Marco unevenly popular, I would say, and definitely seems to be very uncool among
⏹️ ▶️ Marco young people and more left-leaning people. And that’s, you know, when your
⏹️ ▶️ Marco audience is mostly older, That’s not great for your future prospects of brand equity.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco So that’s obviously one big problem they have. They have more recent problems
⏹️ ▶️ Marco of various scandals flaring up here and there, but that’s honestly, I think those pale in comparison
⏹️ ▶️ Marco to the fact that young people think they’re not cool. But do you think overall, like when
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Google created this Alphabet umbrella, that lasted in the press
⏹️ ▶️ Marco for maybe a day, and then we all just forgot about it, and we’re like, oh, just call them Google. Yeah,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco like Alphabet doesn’t own YouTube, Google owns YouTube or whatever. No one, like maybe, you
⏹️ ▶️ Marco know, Bloomberg might have to say Alphabet Inc. You know, parenthesis Google, you know,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco but no one ever talks about them that way. No one talks about Google being an Alphabet product. Everyone just says Google.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I think the way Facebook has branded meta
⏹️ ▶️ Marco suggests that they want it to actually be a consumer-facing brand name.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Whereas Google seems to have created an alphabet mostly for accounting reasons or stock
⏹️ ▶️ Marco market reasons. But Meta seems like Facebook actually wants that name
⏹️ ▶️ Marco to be its own thing and to be known. And part of it, again, cynical reasons.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco When Facebook had that giant outage a few weeks back, I think that’s when a lot of people
⏹️ ▶️ Marco learned that Facebook owns WhatsApp. I think a lot of people who use
⏹️ ▶️ Marco WhatsApp every single day did not know that Facebook owned it until that day.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I think that was a wake-up call. Facebook has, as John mentioned, they very aggressively have tried
⏹️ ▶️ Marco to push their own, push the Facebook brand name into other successful properties they
⏹️ ▶️ Marco own. They first started doing it with Instagram, and then they started doing it with Oculus, where
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Instagram used to be called Instagram. For years after Facebook owned it, it was still called Instagram, and you could
⏹️ ▶️ Marco use it for years and never actually know that Facebook really owned it.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco And then a couple of years ago, they started rebranding Facebook into Instagram to promote
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Facebook, the quote blue app, the Facebook app, because it was losing ground among young people.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco So they started, they renamed Instagram to Instagram by Facebook, and added that to the launch screen, and
⏹️ ▶️ Marco added that all over the app, and started integrating Facebook into Instagram much more, having
⏹️ ▶️ Marco cross-chat, having account integration. and there’s lots of reasons why they did that. I think almost all
⏹️ ▶️ Marco of them are cynical. Because I should clarify, I have no respect for this company or its morals.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco It’s a horrible company run by horrible people. Among all of the big tech companies that
⏹️ ▶️ Marco you can think of and name, I think the people running Facebook might be the worst people
⏹️ ▶️ Marco in terms of like, moral standards and ethics.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco They might be the worst, and that’s really saying something. But anyway, so,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco you know, there were lots of reasons to do that, but I think it kind of backfired in the sense that their goal of
⏹️ ▶️ Marco trying to make Instagram make young people like Facebook
⏹️ ▶️ Marco more didn’t seem to have happened. And certainly trying
⏹️ ▶️ Marco to make, you know, trying to use Oculus to promote Facebook really didn’t happen. Like that
⏹️ ▶️ Marco backfired tremendously and made everyone hate Oculus and made them lose a whole bunch of gamers
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and gamer cred. And that’s not great for anybody involved.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco So I think meta though, might’ve been in response to how badly those things went. Now,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco what if in six months or a year, you don’t have to log into your Oculus
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Quest with your Facebook account, you log in with your meta account. We like to think
⏹️ ▶️ Marco that people will see right through that and that such a ploy wouldn’t work.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco But in practice, such ploys tend to work. They totally work. We hate
⏹️ ▶️ Marco it. We’re like, how can you, what do you mean? It’s just Facebook. Yeah, and that kind of thing totally
⏹️ ▶️ Marco works. People will be fooled, just, you know, slashed by into it. The question is, I think,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco not like whether this like distraction-based naming will work,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco but what will the actual prospects be like afterwards? And this is where, you know, like what John was saying
⏹️ ▶️ Marco a minute ago, I have been rambling for a while, probably much longer than a minute ago, which I was saying many minutes
⏹️ ▶️ Marco ago, last time I let anybody else talk, was that Facebook is not
⏹️ ▶️ Marco great at creating this kind of thing, and that’s pretty true. The
⏹️ ▶️ Marco idea of creating a social network for broadcast purposes,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco where Instagram is kind of broadcast, you are putting stuff out there for everyone to see,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and hope that everyone sees you, and gives you lots of likes, You know, that’s a different
⏹️ ▶️ Marco thing than A, creating social private rooms, which is
⏹️ ▶️ Marco kind of what the metaverse, I think, is probably more likely to become if it becomes a thing,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and B, workplace uses, which are totally different. In the workplace,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Facebook is likely to get stomped all over by Microsoft.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco We’ve seen time and time again what happens to useful workplace tools.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Microsoft makes their version and it usually wins because it’s built into everything else and they have all these
⏹️ ▶️ Marco integrations and they have great distribution and sales channels.
⏹️ ▶️ John It’s because the companies are already paying Microsoft. That’s why they win.
⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco Right. Because the
⏹️ ▶️ John companies like Microsoft gets companies into deals where they pay whatever it is, whatever, whatever the sort of like the tractor
⏹️ ▶️ John is for the day. Probably is still exchange, but it could be word and Excel and office. Like
⏹️ ▶️ John the number of big companies that aren’t already paying some package deal to Microsoft is probably small.
⏹️ ▶️ John And once you’re paying some kind of package deal to Microsoft, the way Microsoft wins is they just say, oh,
⏹️ ▶️ John our competitor to X is now part of that thing you’re already paying for. And then so if someone sees
⏹️ ▶️ John that and they say, oh, well, why would we ever pay Slack X number of million dollars a year
⏹️ ▶️ John when for zero additional dollars a year we can get Teams? And all their employees say, well, it’s because Teams is terrible
⏹️ ▶️ John and Slack is better. And then they say, yeah, but $0. And you can guess how that argument
⏹️ ▶️ Casey So very quickly, I’m in a Slack with a bunch of people that I used to work with a couple of jobs ago, like a free
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Slack. And I am watching this unfold from the sidelines as we speak, because
⏹️ ▶️ Casey all the employees really like Slack. The company’s been on Slack. This was after I left.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey But they went to Slack after I left. And all the employees, all the rank and file love it. But the bean
⏹️ ▶️ Casey counters are looking at teams and saying, well, we get teams for free. So guess what they’re doing? They’re switching to Teams. It’s exactly
⏹️ ▶️ Casey what you just said, John. And it’s just hilarious, because I’m on the sidelines with my bucket of popcorn, watching this all
⏹️ ▶️ Casey go down. And it’s literally word for word, exactly what you said.
⏹️ ▶️ John Yeah, and it’s not like Microsoft doesn’t have anything in VR. They got HoloLens, they got their AR stuff. So they’re, you
⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco Microsoft is better.
⏹️ ▶️ John The things you brought up is like consumer enterprise. Facebook is not good in the enterprise. That’s arguably one of the
⏹️ ▶️ John reasons why they needed the name change, is because you try to bring Facebook into an enterprise, Facebook is what your employer
⏹️ ▶️ John wants to make sure you’re not doing it work because Facebook equals goofing off, right? Facebook does not equal
⏹️ ▶️ John working. So there’s, you know, if a Facebook enterprise sales team lands at your company,
⏹️ ▶️ John they’re like, we don’t want our employees having anything to do with Facebook. And they said, no, no, no, it’s for work. It’s like Facebook, it’s like, we don’t want Facebook
⏹️ ▶️ John for work. It’s like, no, it’s like, it’s like you’re in a meeting room.
⏹️ ▶️ John have to come under a different name and medic could be that name. But the whole, the whole
⏹️ ▶️ John idea of the rebranding, you have to have something behind that brand. I don’t
⏹️ ▶️ John think you can just rename the Facebook account to the meta account, it won’t do anything. You need to have a
⏹️ ▶️ John product that people want, or at least your version of a product that
⏹️ ▶️ John people want. Teams is a version of Slack, right?
⏹️ ▶️ John People already wanted Slack. Oh my God, my voice is dying. I was
⏹️ ▶️ Casey gonna say, holy smokes, my dude. Are you sick or are you just gravely today?
⏹️ ▶️ Marco You gotta invest in a humidifier up there, it’s getting cold.
⏹️ ▶️ John I’m extremely gravely tonight. I apologize for being gravely. Marco will have a filter that will fix this.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco You know, that’s optimistic.
⏹️ ▶️ John People already wanted Slack, but teams, you could just say, we’re like that thing you already
⏹️ ▶️ John want, but it’s our version of it, right? With the metaverse, someone has to make
⏹️ ▶️ John a version of the metaverse that people want. Then you can compete and say, oh, here’s our version of
⏹️ ▶️ John the metaverse. And then Facebook is not on great footing either, because they could say, well, there’s multiple versions of
⏹️ ▶️ John the metaverse that people want. Why would I buy the one from Facebook, company with no track record of serving
⏹️ ▶️ John the enterprise, right? And consumers would say, why would I want the version of the metaverse that’s from that
⏹️ ▶️ John privacy-invading company with all these congressional hearings?
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah, and also, even the concept of one metaverse
⏹️ ▶️ Marco for everyone to use between work and play and everything, I think that’s never going to happen. We already
⏹️ ▶️ Marco see what happens with technology and the enterprise. your business gives you
⏹️ ▶️ Marco their email address with your name prefixed on it. You have their chat app, you
⏹️ ▶️ Marco have their collaboration app, you have their tools, you could issue one of their computers and one of their phones
⏹️ ▶️ Marco locked down to their policies. They don’t want you to have like your Facebook or meta
⏹️ ▶️ Marco personality thing in a metaverse to come in to be your business metaverse
⏹️ ▶️ Marco icon, whatever these things are called. They don’t want that, even if something like this gets off the ground, and
⏹️ ▶️ Marco that’s a big if, even if something like this gets off the ground in the consumer or social spaces,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco you’re not gonna get to use that at work. You’re gonna have to use the crappy Microsoft version at work.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco It’s never gonna be like one giant metaverse where everyone’s getting along and all these systems
⏹️ ▶️ Marco somehow interoperate, which that’s a whole other thing. So getting into that for
⏹️ ▶️ Marco a moment, if we can, did either of you, did you watch the Facebook content video about this?
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I got through about five minutes of it before I bailed out.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey that’s why I didn’t, is because I had a strong assumption that I wouldn’t make it long.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco But it was, if you remember back to the 90s, and
⏹️ ▶️ Marco you remember seeing all these concept animation, like 3D animation
⏹️ ▶️ Marco videos about the information superhighway and how amazing the internet would be. Oh, sure.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco It’s all this utopia vision of what we’ll be able to do with technology.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Isn’t this amazing? look at how great this is and this will all work fantastically
⏹️ ▶️ Marco somehow and it will all be funded somehow
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and what you actually see in technology is we do have some
⏹️ ▶️ Marco standards that interoperate we have some decentralization that happens and
⏹️ ▶️ Marco that would that we built in the system but that’s not the common case
⏹️ ▶️ Marco the much more common case in technology is not stuff like the web or email.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Open, distributed, standard protocols are far from the common case.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco The much more common case is companies make their own walled gardens. They centralize
⏹️ ▶️ Marco power to themselves and then they control power, distribution,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco publishing, as much as possible themselves to make themselves the most money
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and lock in the most power for themselves. I don’t see how we’re possibly going
⏹️ ▶️ Marco to enter a world now, especially now that we have a very mature technology industry
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and world here. No one is going
⏹️ ▶️ Marco to launch a brand new open protocol and let everyone else interact with it. It’s gonna be one company.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco So let’s get, you know, Facebook’s thing where they’re, oh this is gonna, can’t just be us, there’s gonna be protocols. BS.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Facebook is gonna do their own thing that works with their own stuff, and just like what everyone
⏹️ ▶️ Marco else does, if they have an API of any sort, it will only
⏹️ ▶️ Marco be accessing things that aren’t their core lock-in. They’re
⏹️ ▶️ Marco not going to give you access to the core stuff that really matters so that you could actually build what you want
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and have actual interoperability that matters. They’re going to let you add value to their platform but
⏹️ ▶️ Marco not take any back out, because that’s what every big tech company does with anything new they launch these days. So
⏹️ ▶️ Marco let’s get right out of the way, there is no chance of some kind of awesome,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco cooperative standard forming where different companies, metaverses will all get to form together and you’ll
⏹️ ▶️ Marco have portability of it. No, that’s right out the window. That’s like what happens when human
⏹️ ▶️ Marco selfishness and greed come into the picture, right? Secondly, Facebook’s glorious concept
⏹️ ▶️ Marco video, which frankly I found insufferable. But I’m like, I hate all these people.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco But that’s maybe that’s just me being, you know, a East coaster here. But
⏹️ ▶️ Marco it was all idealized content as well. It’s like when you watch one of Apple’s
⏹️ ▶️ Marco like group FaceTime demos. Hey Joe, you wanna get lunch? Oh,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco sure Lisa. It’s like, it’s so like, sat like saccharine, like just canned.
⏹️ ▶️ John Everyone’s a model in perfect lighting, living in their fabulous house in a scenic place. Yeah,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco but you know what you would actually have in one of these metaverse conversations? Chat roulette. Yeah,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco first of all, yeah. Yeah, first of all, there’s genitals flying everywhere. Right,
⏹️ ▶️ John See, also second life.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yes, right. You also have things like technical problems. There’s Marsha, oh, she’s
⏹️ ▶️ Marco flickering out again because her internet connection sucks. You’re muted, you’re
⏹️ ▶️ John muted, no one can hear you, you’re muted.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah, it’s like the world’s largest Zoom call. Like that’s, you know, you’re going to have technical issues, people
⏹️ ▶️ Marco having problems operating the equipment and interfaces that they are given differences in people’s
⏹️ ▶️ Marco internet connections, differences in how good their equipment is. And so therefore, you know, some people
⏹️ ▶️ Marco are going to be, you know, smoother moving than others. You’ll be able to hear them better. I mean, look,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco look at all the technology we have today. We still can’t make like a conference call that
⏹️ ▶️ Marco works. We have infinite technology in the form of things that can make conference calls
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and we still can’t even do that because of mostly human nature problems or just technical realities
⏹️ ▶️ Marco of networks and equipment and physics and stuff like that. So we have all sorts of technical
⏹️ ▶️ John problems. This is a good example though because things like what we call Zoom calls, but Zoom
⏹️ ▶️ John really just sort of fell butt backwards into
⏹️ ▶️ John us calling it being the proprietary acronym for conference calls. But over the course
⏹️ ▶️ John of the past decade or so, the idea of doing a real-time audio multi-person chat where
⏹️ ▶️ John you’re presenting a document has gotten way, way better. Still crappy, which is your point, but it’s
⏹️ ▶️ John gotten way better. And I think that gives you an example of the kind of timeline we
⏹️ ▶️ John should expect starting from zero right now, more or less, with metaverse type
⏹️ ▶️ John stuff. And if we’re still not done making boring audio-only, maybe
⏹️ ▶️ John with some video share document stuff work well, we’re really far away from
⏹️ ▶️ John 3D persistent world presence stuff, really far. Yeah, I know we have technology to do now, you can do a cool tech
⏹️ ▶️ John demo or whatever, but we’re like where audio conferencing was a decade ago.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah. And then finally, we get to the content problem.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Even if we accept the fact that not everybody is going to be a model in perfect lighting, and
⏹️ ▶️ Marco even if we accept the fact that everyone’s gonna have good equipment that’s working correctly, that they’re operating correctly on
⏹️ ▶️ Marco a good internet connection, which again, none of those are actually realistic expectations, but
⏹️ ▶️ Marco setting all that aside, the big problem with all these concept videos and these lofty
⏹️ ▶️ Marco ideas is that they don’t have any ads and
⏹️ ▶️ Marco everyone is speaking nicely to everyone else about trivial things that don’t matter.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco And that does not happen in real life. What’s going to happen if somebody develops such a thing
⏹️ ▶️ Marco in any kind of public way, you outside of like, you know, corporate environments. Like if there
⏹️ ▶️ Marco is some kind of like public social metaverse, what’s actually going to be there
⏹️ ▶️ Marco is a whole bunch of people yelling at each other. There’s gonna be, you know, the racists,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco the haters, you know, all the political arguments, religious arguments, name calling,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco swearing, harassment, all the sexual problems. And it’s all gonna be surrounded
⏹️ ▶️ Marco by ads constantly being injected everywhere in really weird, creepy places. and
⏹️ ▶️ Marco not just good ads, but really terrible ads. You know, it’s not gonna be like, oh look, what a wonderful Nissan you just
⏹️ ▶️ Marco virtually drove up in. No, it’s gonna be, you know, Viagra boner pills and all sorts of other crap
⏹️ ▶️ Marco that it’s gonna be, you know, political ads and all, it’s all the garbage that you actually get in
⏹️ ▶️ Marco online ads, all over Facebook. You see that, just take
⏹️ ▶️ Marco what Facebook is, when you visit Facebook, take all of those problems
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and all that mediocrity and the moral bankrupt people who run
⏹️ ▶️ Marco it and put all that in 3D. That’s what we would actually have. It
⏹️ ▶️ Marco wouldn’t be one of these magical concept videos where all these attractive people are talking about getting
⏹️ ▶️ Marco lunch. Which, I guess they can’t even really do that. But anyway, it wouldn’t even be like that.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco It would be like your crappy relatives on Facebook now in 3D surrounded by 3D d*** ads.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Like that’s what you’d actually get and it… These content videos never consider
⏹️ ▶️ Marco real world content, real world problems, real world people
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and their technical problems and their arguments and their greed. That’s
⏹️ ▶️ Marco what we’re actually going to have to deal with. And those problems are way harder
⏹️ ▶️ Marco than how to make your avatar have a new suit or whatever or dress up like a bear if
⏹️ ▶️ Marco you want to. That’s the easy part. The hard part is dealing with people
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and their crappy technology and their crappy morals and all the ads are going to be
⏹️ ▶️ Marco funding it all. And I don’t see how we get from here to that wonderful
⏹️ ▶️ Marco paradise without first having to figure out how the heck to deal with all that crap in the middle. That’s
⏹️ ▶️ Marco mostly unsolvable.
⏹️ ▶️ John I mean, it’s not unsolvable, but like, that’s why I brought up games before, like lots of online games
⏹️ ▶️ John have the same problem. They want to make a place where people want to be. So World of Warcraft,
⏹️ ▶️ John you can’t, you know, put up a, there’s no, there’s not a bunch of ads all over the place. If they put
⏹️ ▶️ John tons of aggregates into World of Warcraft, their customer base would revolt. That’s not where they want to be.
⏹️ ▶️ John They want it to be like World of Warcraft. They want it to be nice. Uh, they, they want, you know, there, there
⏹️ ▶️ John are features that you add or don’t add that, you know, can players push other players off a bridge?
⏹️ ▶️ John Can players destroy geometry or, you know, wreck someone else’s castle?
⏹️ ▶️ John Can they steal items from other people? Like games do this all the time is you want to make a place where
⏹️ ▶️ John people feel safe and can build communities and hang out with their friends while not being bothered
⏹️ ▶️ John by their enemies and strangers. And like, you know, from, from something like World of Warcraft, which is
⏹️ ▶️ John very close to a metaverse type thing, just without the VR, all the way down to a web bulletin board, you know,
⏹️ ▶️ John about like a, you know, knitting where it has a good set of moderators and a good policy on who can get into
⏹️ ▶️ John it or not. And it’s essentially a well-maintained community, Facebook has some version of that in its
⏹️ ▶️ John groups and Reddit, when it’s subreddits and stuff like that. But that is the actual work of creating online community.
⏹️ ▶️ John And technology doesn’t change that work. And what you’re getting at is Facebook doesn’t do any of that work for the most part. It’s just
⏹️ ▶️ John a free for all and it’s terrible and there’s ads everywhere because that’s how they make their money. The idea of a Facebook
⏹️ ▶️ John that wouldn’t put ads in your face because Facebook users would revolt if they saw ads, that’s not
⏹️ ▶️ John the culture that Facebook has built. And arguably Facebook has billions of users
⏹️ ▶️ John and World of Warcraft has mere probably single digit millions or whatever. So maybe Facebook has the right
⏹️ ▶️ John approach, but the problem is with the whole VR presence thing right now,
⏹️ ▶️ John that’s a hurdle to get people over. They don’t want to strap something to their face. It seems weird. The
⏹️ ▶️ John the more immersive it is, the less attractive it is, because if you’re immersed in a place that is unpleasant,
⏹️ ▶️ John it’s worse than scrolling some text that’s unpleasant, maybe to try to get to a baby picture or something. If you
⏹️ ▶️ John have to walk through, like literally walk through the muck to try to get to the cute pictures of some baby,
⏹️ ▶️ John that’s worse, it feels worse than scrolling past or clicking on a link or whatever. The more immersive
⏹️ ▶️ John something gets, like World of Warcraft or Minecraft or anything like that, the more
⏹️ ▶️ John it feels like you’re really there, the more it has to be pleasant, otherwise you will not want to be there.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Well, also, yeah, I think that’s a good thread to pull on. We don’t necessarily want to be
⏹️ ▶️ Marco more immersed in our work meetings. I know a lot of people who,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco their jobs are basically being in meetings all day, or at least that’s a big part of the job. I don’t know any of those people,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco first of all. Setting aside the ergonomics issue, which I’ll get to in a second, I don’t know a lot of those people
⏹️ ▶️ Marco who want those meetings to see more of them
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and who want to be more engaged in those meetings. Let’s be honest, how many people out there
⏹️ ▶️ Marco have paid 100% attention to the meetings that you’re in ever? Everyone is always looking at their phones
⏹️ ▶️ Marco or checking their email or they have a background window open or something like you’re always multitasking
⏹️ ▶️ Marco with, you know, different apps at the same time. If you are in a fully immersive VR
⏹️ ▶️ Marco environment, that’s going to get, you know, impossible to difficult and certainly want to be different. Uh,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and, and that’s going to be just less pleasant. It, again, it’s one of these areas where
⏹️ ▶️ Marco the idealized version of being in a meeting is very different from the actual experience of being
⏹️ ▶️ Marco in a meeting. And so the issues with that of like, do I really want to be more fully
⏹️ ▶️ Marco immersed in my company’s ideal version of whatever meetings actually, actually,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco what they think meetings are. But then there’s the issue, separately from all that, suppose this
⏹️ ▶️ Marco does take off, think of the massive number of problems that we have on the
⏹️ ▶️ Marco physical and ergonomic side. Right now, if you put on an Oculus Quest,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco so first of all, you’re gonna have problems with battery life, and that’s gonna be solvable over time
⏹️ ▶️ Marco with technology, you know, we’ll get all sorts of claims of all day battery life, have another wave of that
⏹️ ▶️ Marco until we actually get it, you know, if we ever do. So that’s problem number one, it’s just like the technical side
⏹️ ▶️ Marco of like, you need the gear that you are using for these very important
⏹️ ▶️ Marco roles in this theoretical world that this thing exists. That gear then has to last what, much longer
⏹️ ▶️ Marco than it does today. Because many people whose jobs involve meetings,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco their meetings for many hours a day. And also then if you use this exact same equipment or similar equipment
⏹️ ▶️ Marco for social things after your home from work or on the weekends or something, again
⏹️ ▶️ Marco we’re talking about multi-hour use time here. So the technology first has to
⏹️ ▶️ Marco get to a point where it even will run for multiple hours without being like tethered
⏹️ ▶️ Marco to a wall or something like that. And that’s its own significant problem. Then you have to worry about things like
⏹️ ▶️ Marco comfort. Are you actually going to want to wear an Oculus Quest or something like it if,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco you know, as it gets smaller over time, hopefully? Are you actually going to want something like that on your face
⏹️ ▶️ Marco for six hours in a day? I mean, maybe the most hardcore gamers might be okay with that, but most
⏹️ ▶️ Marco people won’t be. That’s a pretty big physical ask for
⏹️ ▶️ John people. Even gamers wouldn’t do that. And that’s why I was bringing up the things that Facebook is bad at. And I didn’t want to bring
⏹️ ▶️ John up Apple specifically, but if you’re going to improve the technology that does this, you have to
⏹️ ▶️ John overcome these hurdles. You’d have to make something that is comfortable to wear all day, that’d have to be much smaller and much lighter and much
⏹️ ▶️ John more comfortable. And why would you look to Facebook to do that? Facebook has never made an amazing
⏹️ ▶️ John consumer hardware product that surpasses others in these type of areas of being like smaller,
⏹️ ▶️ John lighter, better, more attractive, more fun to use. Facebook has never, ever, ever done that. Never.
⏹️ ▶️ John Like, so why would you think they’re going to solve like the hardest problem currently facing technology, which is like, how
⏹️ ▶️ John do I, you know, how do we make an ARV or headset that doesn’t become a sweaty, uncomfortable, ergonomic
⏹️ ▶️ John nightmare? Uh, no one’s figured it out yet. No one has released one. Like, like you’re saying the best ones out there
⏹️ ▶️ John are good for short periods, but none of them are sort of all day comfortable. People can and do use desktop
⏹️ ▶️ John computers all day people can and do use laptops, iPads, iPhones all day long. And
⏹️ ▶️ John they have ergonomic problems, too. It’s not like they’re, you know, it’s a soft problem. People have ergonomic problems with RSI from typing
⏹️ ▶️ John from using the mouse from probably using their phones. I don’t you know, I don’t know. They’re gonna have problems of iPad only people,
⏹️ ▶️ John but there are problems with established devices. But there are there’s lots of really
⏹️ ▶️ John difficult problems to solve, and they are solvable, and they’re solvable with technological improvements, but I would
⏹️ ▶️ John never look to Facebook to be the company to solve them. Never, ever, ever. So I would name like five other companies
⏹️ ▶️ John that are more likely to figure this out before Facebook does.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah. And I think those those technical hurdles are not to be minimized. This isn’t gonna be the kind of thing where
⏹️ ▶️ Marco everything’s going to be really awesome in five years. I think we’re looking at a much longer timescale than that for things to be really
⏹️ ▶️ Marco great in this area, because we’re just so far from it in so many ways, the the
⏹️ ▶️ Marco VR space will likely get there before the AR space wheel simply because of so
⏹️ ▶️ Marco many challenges with AR in terms of of like projecting bright enough amounts of light
⏹️ ▶️ Marco to overcome things like sunlight. You know that’s that’s a hard thing to do whereas if you’re if you have a totally
⏹️ ▶️ Marco enclosed space like in a VR helmet not only can the thing itself be much much bigger than glasses
⏹️ ▶️ Marco but also you don’t have to deal with the external worlds interference with your images. So the VR
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I think I think is way closer than AR and will be for some time probably.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco But even in the VR space, you have so many challenges like this. Not to mention, you
⏹️ ▶️ Marco know, long-term ergonomics problems. Like, we don’t know. There could be serious
⏹️ ▶️ Marco concerns with things like your eyes and how they focus. If you’re in
⏹️ ▶️ Marco a VR helmet for many hours a day and you’re physically not focusing to
⏹️ ▶️ Marco a great distance, I mean, I don’t know how that works with how your eyes reflect. I don’t I don’t know. I’m sure it’s not as bad as I think it’ll
⏹️ ▶️ Marco be, but there’s probably some issues there. Also, VR
⏹️ ▶️ Marco equipment is kind of specialized, and there’s many people to whom it is basically
⏹️ ▶️ Marco inaccessible for various reasons. Now, this is true of any kind of technology. You know, there are some people who can’t
⏹️ ▶️ Marco afford any of these things we’re talking about, so there’s a huge money barrier. Even among those who could theoretically
⏹️ ▶️ Marco afford such things, there are barriers in the physical world, so there are people who can’t physically operate laptops
⏹️ ▶️ Marco or phones or things like that. There are also many people who cannot physically
⏹️ ▶️ Marco operate VR helmets for various reasons. Lots of, I mean, first of all, if you have any kind of head or neck problem,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco that’s gonna be, that’s gonna probably be an issue for you with just like the weight of this thing sitting on you, you know, all
⏹️ ▶️ Marco day and, you know, it’s gonna cause probably some neck strain, at least if not other problems. Also
⏹️ ▶️ Marco things like skin reactivity, because the skin on people’s faces are often very sensitive.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco So you have to deal with that. You have to deal with motion sickness, which is a massive problem.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco John probably couldn’t use one of these things for a very long time. I can’t even use the Quest.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I don’t usually have motion sickness, but the Quest is not great for me in that way. I have to stop using it after a
⏹️ ▶️ Marco pretty short time. We are so far from these
⏹️ ▶️ Marco kind of things even being universally applicable or universally usable for
⏹️ ▶️ Marco what they are, let alone considering what about the whole new classes
⏹️ ▶️ Marco of people and conditions that make these things hard or impossible to use at all. And how do
⏹️ ▶️ Marco we include those people in this brand new big world if this is gonna be really important
⏹️ ▶️ Marco to the way business and socializing are done? So there’s so many massive hurdles
⏹️ ▶️ Marco to overcome here, some of which I think will be overcome in time,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco but many of them probably won’t be. And so I just, I don’t see how
⏹️ ▶️ Marco the real world with actually the people that we have, the people that we’re stuck
⏹️ ▶️ Marco with. I don’t know how we get to anything like what Facebook
⏹️ ▶️ Marco has proposed here with this metaverse concept. Now, we might get to other things, but I think
⏹️ ▶️ Marco it’s going to be kind of similar to what we have now, as we were saying earlier. I think it’s gonna be fragmented. There’s
⏹️ ▶️ Marco gonna be a lot of private entities that try to make their own little metaverses, I guess. Is
⏹️ ▶️ Marco that even a thing? Is that an oxymoron? But I don’t know. Like there’s, it’s going
⏹️ ▶️ Marco to be way less, less cool, less fun
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and much more of a grind than we think it is. Because what we’re actually doing is making the world’s
⏹️ ▶️ Marco greatest conference call. And I don’t know a lot of people who really are dying to get there.
⏹️ ▶️ John I’m pretty confident that all the technical barriers can be overcome with time, a long time, but like, they’re all, I feel
⏹️ ▶️ John like they’re all tractable, but you know, I don’t, I don’t have faith that Facebook’s
⏹️ ▶️ John going to be the one to do it. all the things you brought up about how far we are from it. It brings
⏹️ ▶️ John up the, I don’t know if this is a thing that I made up or it’s just a phrase that I remember, the cynics
⏹️ ▶️ John dilemma of like, when someone like Facebook gives a presentation like
⏹️ ▶️ John the metaverse thing, the cynics dilemma is, and it comes up in politics a lot too, is does the person saying
⏹️ ▶️ John this really believe what they’re saying? Or do they, like everyone else who’s listening, understand
⏹️ ▶️ John how big, how much of a BS it is and they’re saying it for strategic reasons,
⏹️ ▶️ John right? And the reason it’s the cynics dilemma is neither one of those answers is comforting because
⏹️ ▶️ John if they really believe it, it’s scary because they’re like clueless or like
⏹️ ▶️ John high on their own supply and believing their own BS. But if they
⏹️ ▶️ John don’t believe it and they’re just saying it cynically to get the end effect they want, they’re just villains,
⏹️ ▶️ John right? So everything we’ve just said about how, you know, all the
⏹️ ▶️ John difficulties of VR and how Facebook has not historically
⏹️ ▶️ John been the type of company to tackle these problems and defeat them. And it’s not particularly well positioned to
⏹️ ▶️ John succeed in any of the areas that it talks about. Like, we can all
⏹️ ▶️ John see that. And if they’re, you know, setting aside what I said before about Facebook being smart enough to realize that Facebook
⏹️ ▶️ John is not forever and they should start working on the next thing, I really hope that they don’t believe that,
⏹️ ▶️ John in any kind of reasonable timeline, all that crap they put in that video is going to
⏹️ ▶️ John both come to fruition and also be as successful as they dream it is. Because they
⏹️ ▶️ John could next year have all the stuff that is in that video, but no one will use it. Like it’s not going to attract
⏹️ ▶️ John users because it’s not attractive yet. The hardware is bad, the software is bad, people don’t want to do all the things we just said, right?
⏹️ ▶️ John Surely they know that. Like they’re not like, oh, the stars in their eyes and I think, I really hope,
⏹️ ▶️ John Like, if I had to put money, I would say, they understand
⏹️ ▶️ John how far they are from that reality. But they’re saying this now because they
⏹️ ▶️ John want to start down the long path of a sort of like long-term rebranding and escaping from the toxic
⏹️ ▶️ John Facebook brand and letting the old people be in. I don’t know, honestly, I don’t understand
⏹️ ▶️ John what their strategy is, but it’s like, this is step one of eight billion. And Mark Zuckerberg will only
⏹️ ▶️ John be there to see it if he like finds some life extension thing let him live to be 500 years old or whatever,
⏹️ ▶️ John but they’re starting down that path, right? But like, I can’t, I can’t, I
⏹️ ▶️ John don’t believe that anyone in the company really thinks that in five years,
⏹️ ▶️ John we’ll have, you know, multiple billions of users in the metaverse, right? And,
⏹️ ▶️ John cause it just, it’s just not realistic. Like we’re so far from that. There are so many problems to be solved. Facebook has
⏹️ ▶️ John not solved them. Even when Apple had basically solved the problems
⏹️ ▶️ John of like, How do we get a smartphone, a touchscreen smartphone into the hands of everyone in the world?
⏹️ ▶️ John Technically speaking, they’d cracked that with the introduction of the iPhone. It wasn’t just a concept video, they
⏹️ ▶️ John had the product. And even then, if you would ask them, how confident are you
⏹️ ▶️ John that in five years, like that this will be a world changing phenomenon,
⏹️ ▶️ John like, well, we think it might be, but you know, they’re not entirely sure. And they had the product, they literally had
⏹️ ▶️ John it. It wasn’t like they had an idea for a product or a concept, they’d figured it out. The whole phone is a screen,
⏹️ ▶️ John you move stuff around with your fingers, that was it. Right? And even then, I think
⏹️ ▶️ John it would be hard to find someone who was confident. Facebook has nothing except for like a gaming VR headset
⏹️ ▶️ John and a cheaper version of it that nobody wants to be in for eight hours a day in meetings and they’re like,
⏹️ ▶️ John here’s this vision of the future. It’s like, just, I have to believe that they don’t actually
⏹️ ▶️ John think that that’s a thing. And so this entire dog and pony show is, hey,
⏹️ ▶️ John look over here. Like, wouldn’t it be cool if this was the future? I
⏹️ ▶️ John mean, yeah, I guess. And we’re gonna do it. Uh-huh, all right. Yeah, okay, sure.
⏹️ ▶️ John it just seems like a distraction. Like, the worst kind of distraction. I keep bouncing back and forth with like, okay,
⏹️ ▶️ John so it’s a distraction and they’re villains, but maybe they really believe it and they’re dumb. But no, it’s a distraction and they’re villains, but they really
⏹️ ▶️ John believe it, they’re delusional. And, you know, neither choice is good.
⏹️ ▶️ John And, you know, you got Apple over here who’s saying nothing, but internally working on
⏹️ ▶️ John all these same technologies, which that’s what you’ve mentioned several times. It’s a smart thing for companies like Apple to be doing
⏹️ ▶️ John because if you get this right, it could be transformative. But kind of like Apple’s
⏹️ ▶️ John car stuff, apparently they haven’t gotten it right yet. Because, you know, all we have in the
⏹️ ▶️ John outside world from Apple is, you know, AR kit and the VR stuff, which they’re slowly working on and they build into our iPads and
⏹️ ▶️ John phones and it’s cool for placing furniture in your room and, you know, all that stuff. Like, they’re making headway,
⏹️ ▶️ John but Apple is not putting out concept videos about their amazing AR VR headset.
⏹️ ▶️ John They’re just all internal. And if they ever think it’s ready to be a product, they’ll release it. And so far it hasn’t been.
⏹️ ▶️ John And so just this Facebook thing, it’s like, it doesn’t make me feel good on many,
⏹️ ▶️ John many different levels. The only thing that makes me feel good about it is my fairly high confidence that Facebook
⏹️ ▶️ John is not going to be the company to pull this off. But as I said before, if any other company pulls it off,
⏹️ ▶️ John Facebook is well positioned to say, Okay, let’s do that and
⏹️ ▶️ John leverage our billions of users into the dominant metaverse, like, like Margaret was
⏹️ ▶️ John saying, like, they’ll all they’ll all want to have their own. And we just have to hope that it doesn’t turn
⏹️ ▶️ John out like, you know, YouTube, where there’s one dominant company that, you know, controls the entire thing,
⏹️ ▶️ John or Facebook, one dominant company that controls all social networking or whatever. We
⏹️ ▶️ John complain about the app stores, but at least we have Android and Apple, we have to, that’s so much better than
⏹️ ▶️ John the YouTube scenario or the Facebook scenario. And the only things that we have in this
⏹️ ▶️ John world that are good or things that are, you know, like the web, the platform that nobody owns, right. Email,
⏹️ ▶️ John the web, all the things that were created before the big tech companies came along, continue to exist and continue
⏹️ ▶️ John to weave everything together. But we’ve been through this enough times now that we know
⏹️ ▶️ John all the bad ways this can turn out. And it, you know, it remains to be seen if we can ever have
⏹️ ▶️ John another good thing by itself, like dark,
⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey You know, like Twitter’s
⏹️ ▶️ John doing like the Twitter blue thing, or not the Twitter blue thing, what is it, the blue sky thing? What is it called? Where
⏹️ ▶️ John they’re like, wanna make open protocols for something like Twitter, and like, I don’t understand what their end
⏹️ ▶️ John game there is, but like, occasionally there are high-minded ideas of like, well, you know, imagine
⏹️ ▶️ John if YouTube said, well, here at YouTube, we control online video. But we envision
⏹️ ▶️ John a world where one company doesn’t control online video, and we want to sort of make an open network
⏹️ ▶️ John of, you know, video sharing and like, no, you would never do that. Why
⏹️ ▶️ John would, why would they do that? And Twitter, Twitter’s effort for what is it called project blue sky
⏹️ ▶️ John or something seems like they’re saying, we want to make kind of like an open interoperable protocol
⏹️ ▶️ John for doing stuff like Twitter does so that, you know, if someday Twitter dies as a
⏹️ ▶️ John company or gets acquired or crumbles or who knows what happens to it still
⏹️ ▶️ John somewhere out there in the universe will be a bunch of interconnected things that work kind of like Twitter, that’s
⏹️ ▶️ John not owned and controlled by one company, which is great. Um, but I, you know, that hasn’t
⏹️ ▶️ John actually happened and who knows if it ever will. And I don’t know how cynical that, uh, that effort is,
⏹️ ▶️ John but the metaverse stuff, you know, talking about how it’s going to be interoperable protocols and
⏹️ ▶️ John everything, what’s going to make that happen? The only thing that ever makes stuff
⏹️ ▶️ John like that happen is like individuals, uh, with, uh,
⏹️ ▶️ John I don’t know, what, what does the individuals have? I’m not gonna say integrity, uh, high minded ideals,
⏹️ ▶️ John uh, individuals with both control and high minded ideals who were able to make
⏹️ ▶️ John it happen just because they think it’s the right thing to do. Arguably that’s the worst. That’s the worst thing about Facebook.
⏹️ ▶️ John Arguably Facebook is one of the few companies where that could actually happen because there is literally
⏹️ ▶️ John one person who, if he had high minded ideals, could bring
⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey them to fruition.
⏹️ ▶️ John Unfortunately, that person is Mark Zuckerberg and he does not have any high minded ideals. So what
⏹️ ▶️ John he is making happen is not any of those things. Now he talks about it in the metaverse, like, oh, that’s maybe that’s
⏹️ ▶️ John what I want or whatever, but his actions say, no, that’s not what’s going to happen. Right. Most
⏹️ ▶️ John of the other companies have boards of directors and other people who, you know, who don’t have dominant, uh,
⏹️ ▶️ John unwavering control. Facebook does, which I think is the source of most of the sort of
⏹️ ▶️ John harm in the world from Facebook comes from the fact that it is controlled by a single person and no
⏹️ ▶️ John single person should have that much power for, you know, for that long over that many people.
⏹️ ▶️ John Like, even if Mark Zuckerberg was a saint and he’s not, you would never want a single person to
⏹️ ▶️ John have that much power. The reason kings are bad, right? Right. Imagine a
⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco king who was
⏹️ ▶️ John the king of a kingdom with multiple billions of people. It’s
⏹️ ▶️ John really don’t know if we’re, I don’t want to get it for good things again. I really don’t know how
⏹️ ▶️ John in the current climate we produce a good on
⏹️ ▶️ John the same level as email, the web, Unix,
⏹️ ▶️ John most of which happened either because of high-minded ideals or by accidents of history or both. Because everything that sort
⏹️ ▶️ John of been deliberately done since then has benefited individual companies or sometimes
⏹️ ▶️ John individual people to the detriment of most others.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey You know, I don’t disagree with mostly anything that you guys just said, but I don’t
⏹️ ▶️ Casey know. I’m stupefied that I’m the first person to make this reference of the three of us, but
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I keep coming back to the Knowledge Navigator, which in retrospect is preposterous in almost
⏹️ ▶️ Casey every way. But I don’t begrudge Apple, and if you’re not familiar, it’s this super campy
⏹️ ▶️ Casey video from like 87 or thereabouts, where Apple was pitching what,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey depending on how critically you view this, could have been an iPad or could have been something that
⏹️ ▶️ Casey was nothing like the iPad except kind of like the iPad. But anyways, it was a preposterous
⏹️ ▶️ Casey thing for Apple to release. It was a moonshot of a moonshot of a moonshot.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Like I said, if you think critically about it, not a lot of it came true. But I do
⏹️ ▶️ Casey think there’s something to be said for sticking your flag in the ground and saying,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey this is where we’re aiming. And again, I don’t really love the idea of Facebook being
⏹️ ▶️ Casey in control of my life in that way, any more than one could argue it already is.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I don’t necessarily begrudge them for planting the flag and saying, this is
⏹️ ▶️ Casey what we think the future looks like, and this is where we’re headed and this is what we want to do. And especially
⏹️ ▶️ Casey in the last 18 months where I can only speak for myself, but like Declan did
⏹️ ▶️ Casey get his first shot this past Friday, and I’m super excited about that. But the pandemic
⏹️ ▶️ Casey is far from over for the List family. You know, Michaela is not vaccinated and we’re still not
⏹️ ▶️ Casey out in the world like many, many, many other people are. So for this last year and a half,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey it would have been pretty cool to have some sort of VR presence and experience, uh,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey to, to offset, particularly in 2020, you know, before I got my vaccination
⏹️ ▶️ Casey to offset, uh, not being able to see anyone. And, you know, back before we understood
⏹️ ▶️ Casey that, well, as long as you’re not a complete buffoon, you know, as long as you’re outside, it’s mostly safe, generally speaking.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey So, you know, for, for most of 2020, we didn’t see anyone and
⏹️ ▶️ Casey that was kind of our own choice, but you know, it would have been nice to have something like
⏹️ ▶️ Casey this, this phantom metaverse to be able to interact with, and yeah, we did some zoom calls with
⏹️ ▶️ Casey people and FaceTime calls with people, but it’s not the same. And I haven’t experienced VR
⏹️ ▶️ Casey in any reasonable capacity. I haven’t experienced it since I was like 10 and you had to stand
⏹️ ▶️ Casey on this on this like platform that had like a ring around it and put on a headset that was almost so heavy I couldn’t lift my head
⏹️ ▶️ Casey up. And it was so, you know, it wasn’t even pixelated. It was just, you know, wireframes
⏹️ ▶️ Casey if I remember right. It was terrible, but amazing at the same time. I don’t begrudge
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Meta, Facebook, whatever the moonshot. And I think in the same way that I look
⏹️ ▶️ Casey fondly on the Knowledge Navigator, while also saying it was stupid and campy,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I wouldn’t be surprised, having not even seen this video, if we look fondly at, oh, look how adorable we were,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey look where we thought we were going. And yeah, we ended up taking two right turns, three left turns, and
⏹️ ▶️ Casey turning around three times. But you can see how that path started way back in 2021
⏹️ ▶️ Casey with that ridiculously campy video. And I don’t think that’s so terrible.
⏹️ ▶️ John I don’t think it started there. I hope no one credits the Facebook metaverse with starting any of this stuff.
⏹️ ▶️ John But I think the big difference in the knowledge in I, O, Gator video is, for all its silliness,
⏹️ ▶️ John the knowledge navigator video was made by a company that you could say, yeah, if I
⏹️ ▶️ John could like magically fast forward Apple, this company, 50 years, 100 years,
⏹️ ▶️ John I could see them making a product like this because this looks like the kind of product that we know Apple
⏹️ ▶️ John makes. Apple makes these amazing products that are like the knowledge navigator, but with like older tech,
⏹️ ▶️ John right? That’s exactly what Apple makes, hardware, software products that wow us.
⏹️ ▶️ John And so when they make a video, even if it’s something like Knowledge Navigator that has no bearing on any
⏹️ ▶️ John active product efforts whatsoever it’s worse than Metaverse. Cause Metaverse like Facebook is working on stuff related
⏹️ ▶️ John to this. It’s not that far away. It is technically plausible. Knowledge Navigator was not technically
⏹️ ▶️ John plausible by any stretch of the imagination. There was no product inside Apple that looked
⏹️ ▶️ John anything like that. Even the Newton did not spring from Knowledge Navigator. It was just
⏹️ ▶️ John pure fantasy. But when you looked at it, you would say, Yeah, like if this was
⏹️ ▶️ John a sci-fi novel and it was the far future and Apple still existed, this is what Apple would be making.
⏹️ ▶️ John If we look at Facebook today and we said, okay, if I could fast forward Facebook 100
⏹️ ▶️ John years, 200 years, what kind of thing would Facebook be making? We would envision something
⏹️ ▶️ John like from, what do you call it? The Mike Judge movie, Idiocracy.
⏹️ ▶️ John yeah. Ow my balls with all the ads all around the thing. That’s what we would envision Facebook
⏹️ ▶️ John making in 100 years, we would never envision the making the metaverse. Because that’s not the
⏹️ ▶️ John type of thing that Facebook makes. We think about Facebook, we think about the blue app. And we say, Okay, what is
⏹️ ▶️ John the blue app look like in 100 years in 50 years or whatever. And nobody says, Oh, it looks like the metaverse.
⏹️ ▶️ John And that’s what Facebook is trying to do trying to say, stop extrapolating from where everything you
⏹️ ▶️ John know, Facebook and saying what that would be like, we’re going to change, we’re going to be a different company, we’re going to make this other thing.
⏹️ ▶️ John And I look and I say, No, you’re not. Maybe someone else will, or or maybe you’ll copy them when they do, or maybe you’ll buy
⏹️ ▶️ John them when they do. But I look at that and I don’t see how you get from where you
⏹️ ▶️ John are to that. Whereas with Knowledge Navigator, I say, yeah, I remember watching that and saying, that totally looks like some
⏹️ ▶️ John cool product Apple would have in the future. It’s kind of hilarious to look at though, because if you think of the things that did
⏹️ ▶️ John and didn’t come to fruition, like the massive size of the camera parts, like if they had
⏹️ ▶️ John made the Knowledge Navigator video where the cameras were invisible pinholes, we’d be like, that’s so stupid, they didn’t even try.
⏹️ ▶️ John Like that’s impossible, right? Look, here we are today with these tiny little devices but amazing screens with
⏹️ ▶️ John better resolutions and smaller borders than that stupid knowledge navigator, including like flexible bendable
⏹️ ▶️ John things without a crease where the hinges and everything. That stuff, we’ve got all
⏹️ ▶️ John that already. I don’t know how long ago knowledge navigator was cause I can’t do decade math because I always end up dropping a decade
⏹️ ▶️ John or two. But like the gigantic camera and microphone setup
⏹️ ▶️ John and the pinstripes and all this other stuff, our actual technology is so much better than they envisioned,
⏹️ ▶️ John right? On the other hand, the one part is like, oh, an intelligent photorealistic assistant
⏹️ ▶️ John that works well. We can’t do that worth a damn. Marco can’t even get his cylinders to play music. So, you know, it’s just
⏹️ ▶️ John the typical sort of future thing where like in some ways people
⏹️ ▶️ John can’t, they can’t allow for the things that are really gonna progress.
⏹️ ▶️ John Like the idea that cameras and microphones would get so much smaller and so
⏹️ ▶️ John much higher quality to basically disappear. If you tried to do that in sci-fi, you
⏹️ ▶️ John know, 50 years ago, people would reject it and say, well, that’s impossible. You’re just making up a fantasy,
⏹️ ▶️ John right? Whereas if you take something and just make it incrementally better, like, oh, a personal assistant
⏹️ ▶️ John that can do what you ask. It’s like, well, today we have computers that we can talk to and they can understand our speech. And so probably
⏹️ ▶️ John in 20 years, they’ll be able to be like little people. It’s like self-driving cars all over again.
⏹️ ▶️ John People are notoriously bad, like picking the things that will advance rapidly and the things
⏹️ ▶️ John that won’t, they don’t understand how hard the power, relatively hard the problems are. They can’t look at like,
⏹️ ▶️ John what do sensors and camera technologies and integrated circuits look like? And if we extrapolate those technologies
⏹️ ▶️ John in a boring linear way over time, will we get tiny cameras that are so
⏹️ ▶️ John small that you can’t even see them? Versus if we extrapolate how well this little
⏹️ ▶️ John remote control car can make it through a maze in a lab to a real full size car on our current roads,
⏹️ ▶️ John there is no straight line path between those two things. Uh, and so if you look at the knowledge navigator,
⏹️ ▶️ John think about the parts of it that they got hilariously wrong, like that this is an amazing future
⏹️ ▶️ John technology with some stuff in it that like, honestly was only like
⏹️ ▶️ John one or two years, uh, worse than what they had then. And in particular
⏹️ ▶️ John screens, cameras, microphones, batteries, and the size of the devices, all of that. they got hilariously
⏹️ ▶️ John wrong because the iPad stomps all over the knowledge navigator in every way,
⏹️ ▶️ John except there’s no little guy with the bow diodola or stuff for you.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Thanks to our sponsors this week, Linode, Mack Weldon, and Squarespace. And thanks
⏹️ ▶️ Marco to our members who support us directly. You can join and preserve the podcasting, which is one
⏹️ ▶️ Marco of these awesome things that we still have at ATP.FM slash join.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Thanks everybody. Maybe we’ll talk to you next week.
⏹️ ▶️ John show is over, they didn’t even mean to begin Cause it was
⏹️ ▶️ Casey it was accidental John
⏹️ ▶️ John didn’t do any research, Marco and Casey wouldn’t let him Cause it was
⏹️ ▶️ Casey it was accidental And you can find the
⏹️ ▶️ John show notes at atp.fm And if you’re into
⏹️ ▶️ 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
⏹️ ▶️ John S-I-R-A-C-U-S-A-C-R-A-Q-U-S-E-R It’s
⏹️ ▶️ Casey they didn’t mean to Accidental,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco tech podcast, so long.
Neutral: A quick story
⏹️ ▶️ Casey May I tell you a quick story about how I’m an idiot?
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I would love to hear this.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey It’s my favorite kind of story. The other day, Erin was out with Declan at an outdoor
⏹️ ▶️ Casey birthday party and she was returning home and she got home and said
⏹️ ▶️ Casey to me, oh you know my key wouldn’t unlock my car. And she,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey you know, she has a Volvo XC90. It’s a few years old now and it’s a proximity key where you just have to walk
⏹️ ▶️ Casey up to it, grab the door handle, and then it should open right up. So the The first challenge for her, and I didn’t know any of this until
⏹️ ▶️ Casey she got home, so she obviously made it home successfully without my intervention, but she said, well, I had
⏹️ ▶️ Casey to figure out how to get my car. Now most cars, and the Volvo is one of them,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey there is some sort of physical key like you would have had 10 years ago, or given
⏹️ ▶️ Casey John’s choice of cars, John probably still has one. It was a physical key that
⏹️ ▶️ Casey you could put in some sort of keyhole to actually unlock
⏹️ ▶️ Casey, John the automobile.
⏹️ ▶️ John You know the valet key doesn’t do that? I was trying to give the valet key to the dealership, but I realized I can’t
⏹️ ▶️ John lock my car then because the valet key will not unlock the car from the outside. I guess that’s kind of the point, but I thought it would just
⏹️ ▶️ John not open the trunk, but it won’t even open the car doors. That seems backwards to me.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco So if the valet accidentally locks your car, they can’t get back in?
⏹️ ▶️ John Right. Well, but you can’t lock the car with, the valet key doesn’t have, there’s no remote on it, so
⏹️ ▶️ John you can’t lock the car with it.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco You can’t lock it and then close the door?
⏹️ ▶️ John No, it’s not like the safety thing that keep you from locking things out. If you physically try to do that and you close
⏹️ ▶️ John the door, it’s got weird locks. It won’t let you, I guess, could you lock the key?
⏹️ ▶️ John I don’t think you could even lock the valet key in the car. I don’t think it’s possible for you to do, because I think if you get out of the car
⏹️ ▶️ John and try to lock the door handle thingy, it’s weird. But anyway, if you’re outside the
⏹️ ▶️ John car with the valet key, there’s nothing you can do to make the doors on the car lock.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey So, all kidding aside, as much as I’m snarking on you, is it a proximity key or is it a traditional
⏹️ ▶️ Casey, John key fob? No, it’s a
⏹️ ▶️ Casey piece of metal. Okay. So, but there’s like, is there not a key hole you could stick the valet key into?
⏹️ ▶️ John Yeah, you can, you can turn it and it does not lock the car. Huh, that’s weird. It
⏹️ ▶️ John weird. But I was saying it’s like that, yeah, having what you’re describing, having a physical
⏹️ ▶️ John keyhole that you can put a key into and turn and make things lock. Like in older,
⏹️ ▶️ John in modern cars, there is an electronic component to that because you got the thing where if you lock the driver’s door all
⏹️ ▶️ John the doors lock, that’s electronics making that happen. But in older cars without those electronics,
⏹️ ▶️ John what you would have to do is manually lock all the other three doors or whatever doors and then manually lock
⏹️ ▶️ John the driver’s door. You could do that with a dead battery and it would still work.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Yeah, yeah, yeah. And so Erin had to figure out how to get into her own car. And
⏹️ ▶️ Casey the Volvo has a app that’s very well designed, although a little quirky to use.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I think it’s called like Volvo On Call or something like that, where she could unlock the car remotely. That’s what she did.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey And I guess, which seems odd to me, but I guess once she got in the car, there was enough juice to transmit
⏹️ ▶️ Casey to get the proximity ignition portion to work, so she could start the car and drive home.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey But curiously, there wasn’t enough to get her car to unlock itself. So
⏹️ ▶️ Casey as I told her when she got home, well, of the three cup holders in the center of the car, because hashtag America, even though
⏹️ ▶️ Casey it’s a somewhat Swedish, somewhat Chinese car, if you put the key in the middle cup holder, even if the
⏹️ ▶️ Casey battery is just dead, dead, dead, dead, dead, then it will still, using like NFC or something, will
⏹️ ▶️ Casey be able to turn the car on. So she gets home, and she explains to
⏹️ ▶️ Casey me, oh, it’s not working. I say, OK, it’s probably about time we change the battery. And it’s one of those typical coin cell, little pancake-y
⏹️ ▶️ Casey batteries. And I open up her key fob, and I pull out the battery in her
⏹️ ▶️ Casey key fob, and I replace it with one that’s brand new. And I did
⏹️ ▶️ Casey this in the kitchen. The garage is right off the kitchen. I left the people door to the garage open, and
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I tried to boop-boop on the key fob, just the traditional boop-boop function to unlock or lock the car or whatever,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey you know, not the proximity portion of it, just a traditional RF, you know, lock or unlock, and doesn’t work.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Okay. Okay. So I think I forget exactly the order of order
⏹️ ▶️ Casey of operations here, but I might have tried a second battery, if I’m not mistaken, second brand new battery, and that didn’t work.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Huh. So I go and get my key fob, and I verify that it is still working.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey So it doesn’t seem to be the car, we don’t think it’s something power or key fob
⏹️ ▶️ Casey related. And I think, okay, well, this battery definitely works. I’m going to take this battery and I’m going
⏹️ ▶️ Casey to put it in Erin’s key. And I do that. And at some point I
⏹️ ▶️ Casey saw a piece of plastic kind of appear out of nowhere, which I didn’t expect, but we’re gonna put that aside for a second. And
⏹️ ▶️ Casey one way or another,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey, Marco I put my battery,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey that’s what we in the business call foreshadowing kids. I put my battery into her
⏹️ ▶️ Casey key fob and I try to boop boop and it doesn’t work. So then I put the
⏹️ ▶️ Casey battery back in my key fob, the one that was working three minutes ago, and that doesn’t work.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey So I have now murdered two key fobs in the span of about five minutes.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey of them work. I have verified that there’s no plastic on the batteries. The batteries are dated for like 2027
⏹️ ▶️ Casey or something like that. I have murdered both of her keys in the span of five minutes. So
⏹️ ▶️ Casey we conclude this was, uh, not this past Sunday night, but Sunday prior. So we conclude, all right, what we’re going to
⏹️ ▶️ Casey do is, uh, we’re still transporting Declan to school because we don’t, we’re not really comfortable with him being on the bus. So I’m going to
⏹️ ▶️ Casey take Declan to school in the morning and I’m going to drive to Volvo with my tail between my legs and explain what happened.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey So that’s what I did. Uh, I went to Volvo. I didn’t lock her car cause I didn’t want to have
⏹️ ▶️ Casey to unlock it using the app or anything. I just parked it right in front of the service bay and said,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Hey, uh, I went to change these batteries and I done, I done messed up. So
⏹️ ▶️ Casey would either of you guys like to make a guess or would you rather me just continue and just tell the rest of story? But what
⏹️ ▶️ Casey what do you think happened?
⏹️ ▶️ John Infusing positive and negative on the batteries
⏹️ ▶️ Casey a fair fair question, but no I was not
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Huh the fact that a bit of plastic broke off. Is it the wrong kind of battery? Is it too big?
⏹️ ▶️ Casey No that I like to think I’m smarter than that, but I’m probably not and so it’s a fair
⏹️ ▶️ Casey, Marco Well, there’s
⏹️ ▶️ Marco like of all those like, you know like the CR22032s and all, like there’s a whole bunch of very similar
⏹️ ▶️ Marco looking batteries that are different physical sizes.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Mm-hmm. No, that was not it. So I tell my tale of woe to the
⏹️ ▶️ Casey very, very kind person at Volvo of Richmond and and he says, ah, yes,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey this is this has happened before, don’t worry. I said, well, okay, well before you do anything,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey how much are two new keys? He said about $400 each. each.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Each. So we’re, I said to Aaron the night before, I said, we’re probably in for a thousand bucks.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey, Marco You got to know what I did,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey, John but I bet we’re
⏹️ ▶️ Casey in for a thousand bucks. And so it would have been somewhere between 500 and a thousand bucks, closer to a thousand than not.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey But he says, don’t worry. This has happened before. In fact, it is not unusual for somebody from Batteries
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Plus or, you know, one of those like, you know, battery only retail stores to come in here and say,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I need a new key because I’ve broken my customer’s key. And so then Battery Plus has to pay $400 for a new
⏹️ ▶️ Casey key. So what had happened was when I was ejecting the coin
⏹️ ▶️ Casey cell battery, now mind you, I have changed the battery in both of these key fobs before, I am almost sure of it, because we
⏹️ ▶️ Casey got the car in mid-2017 and it’s now four years later. God, is it really four years old?
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Wow, it is. So I’ve changed these batteries at least once each. But as it turns
⏹️ ▶️ Casey out, even though in my personal opinion, the Volvo XC90 is a very well designed car
⏹️ ▶️ Casey and I really, really love it. I really recommend it if you’re interested in one.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey But nevertheless, the clips that hold the coin cell battery
⏹️ ▶️ Casey in and onto the contacts within the key are literally one to two millimeters
⏹️ ▶️ Casey wide. Like I cannot, I cannot, I guess, understate how small they are. I mean,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I can’t overstate how small they are. And apparently in the process of changing the battery, I
⏹️ ▶️ Casey broke both of the clips. I broke clips on both of the keys, I should say. Oh,
⏹️ ▶️ John God. Were you in a hurry? What are you just wrenching these batteries
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I didn’t. I just, they wouldn’t come out. So, I
⏹️ ▶️ Casey, John levered them out. So, you
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Yep. And then he called me Clarkson. So, he says, we used to fold up pieces of
⏹️ ▶️ Casey paper to do this. But then, you know, Joe over there came up with a better solution. So, he takes a few, he walks a few paces
⏹️ ▶️ Casey down the big long desk, goes in a drawer, comes back with those little circle stickers you would use to like put a price
⏹️ ▶️ Casey at like a tag sale, you know what I’m thinking of, and he takes like three or four of them, puts them
⏹️ ▶️ Casey on the underside of the battery door, and then sticks the door back on the key,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey works no problem. Does the same thing the other one, I was out the door in maybe five, ten minutes and spent zero
⏹️ ▶️ Casey dollars, and I am forever indebted to the service department at Volvo of Richmond. So, five-star
⏹️ ▶️ Casey service, I very much appreciated them, but for the span of about, I don’t know, 12
⏹️ ▶️ Casey hours, I really thought I was out of $1,000 because I apparently am too strong for my own good and manhandled
⏹️ ▶️ Casey those batteries a little too effectively.
⏹️ ▶️ John It does not instill confidence in the design of the rest of this car that the inside of the key thing is designed
⏹️ ▶️ John to be so incredibly breakable. But I also don’t know. I would love to see what
⏹️ ▶️ John this thing looks like because I can’t decide whether it’s made like
⏹️ ▶️ John delicate glass on the inside or you’re just a brute who just like goes in there like a bull in a china
⏹️ ▶️ John shop and just rips out the battery.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I think it’s a little of column A, a little of column B. I’ll put, I haven’t, I haven’t verified this video, but I’ll put a YouTube
⏹️ ▶️ Casey video of changing it, uh, into the show notes. And I’m not gonna, I’m not gonna be able to find a timestamp right now to
⏹️ ▶️ Casey show you the clips I’m talking about, but I think it is both. The clips truly are extremely,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey extremely small, like hilariously small, but I also think on top of that, I manhandled them
⏹️ ▶️ Casey and, and ended up snapping them. Uh, so it, it looks like it’s somewhere in the range
⏹️ ▶️ Casey of two minutes, 30 seconds or thereabouts that, um, that these clips are
⏹️ ▶️ Casey making appearance in the YouTube video I put in the show notes and in the chat room. But yeah, for a fleeting
⏹️ ▶️ Casey moment, I thought it was nitty. And the funny thing is I agree with you that this seems like a really crummy design. I think it is a crummy design.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey However, on my, on my Golf R, if I were to need to quote unquote
⏹️ ▶️ Casey break into it and because, you know, the battery’s dead on my key fob, I need to actually like
⏹️ ▶️ Casey physically remove a portion of the trim on the door handle in order to expose
⏹️ ▶️ Casey the keyhole that I would need to use. Whereas on Aaron’s car, when you pull, it’s
⏹️ ▶️ Casey one of those grabby door handles, you know what I mean? So when you pull the door handle out, the, the keyhole
⏹️ ▶️ Casey is right there in the space that you’re in, in the, in the space that’s been exposed by pulling the
⏹️ ▶️ Casey door handle out, it’s very hard to verbally explain, but my point is you You don’t have to like remove
⏹️ ▶️ Casey part of the frigging car in order to get to the keyhole. You do have to disassemble
⏹️ ▶️ Casey the entire key to get the key out, but that’s neither here nor there. So yeah, the car’s design,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey very, very good. The key fob design, terrible, absolutely
⏹️ ▶️ Casey terrible. But I thought you two would enjoy this tale of woe. Yeah,
⏹️ ▶️ John I just looked at it. The thing that’s bad about the design isn’t the fact that the little grabby things are delicate,
⏹️ ▶️ John it’s the fact that the grabby things are necessary. Yeah,
⏹️ ▶️ John Like the lid, you know, the lid that goes on it, why, you know,
⏹️ ▶️ John why do you, that should be sufficient to keep the battery in place. Like
⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey it’s even most of
⏹️ ▶️ John the things that take a battery. You put the battery in and you put the little, yeah, it’s very silly. But anyway,
⏹️ ▶️ John the person in this video did not take it out particularly carefully and also did it without breaking it. So
⏹️ ▶️ John I don’t know quite what you were doing.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Yeah, I don’t know. Apparently I was not being patient is what I was doing, but
⏹️ ▶️ Casey, John it happens. Did you
⏹️ ▶️ John use any tools to take the battery out just your fingernail.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Yeah, I took the screwdriver I had in my hand to open up the battery door and just