470: Computers Can Do Things17 Feb 2022
The good old days of video and music apps, web hosting, and manual transmissions.
- AirTags anti-tracking update
- John has thoughts on streaming apps
- Akamai is buying Linode
- Why do cars always steal Bluetooth connections? (via Chris Gleim)
- Is using
Reduced Securityokay for the purpose of audio capture? (via Chritopher Ward)
- What’s the best “dumb” TV? (via Ava)
- Post-show Neutral: Toyota’s Faux Manual Transmission Patent
- Lutron Caseta: Smart dimmers and lighting control.
- Squarespace: Make your next move. Use code ATP for 10% off your first order.
- Linode: Instantly deploy and manage an SSD server in the Linode Cloud. New accounts get a $100 credit.
Become a member for ad-free episodes and our early-release, unedited “bootleg” feed!
- Follow-up: Tesla and 12V batteries
- AirTags anti-tracking update
- Island life 🖼️
- Sponsor: Linode
- An Unsolicited Streaming App Spec
- Sponsor: Squarespace (code ATP)
- Akamai is buying Linode
- Sponsor: Lutron Caséta
- #askatp: Bluetooth-stealing in cars
- #askatp: Allowing audio capture
- #askatp: Dumb TVs
- Ending theme
- Neutral: Electric manuals
Follow-up: Tesla and 12V batteries
⏹️ ▶️ Casey All right, we should move on before I get cranky again. All right, let’s do some follow-up. Have
⏹️ ▶️ Casey donut. Move right along. I’ll have another donut. If you don’t understand that, atp.fm.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Moving right along. We had talked last episode. I think the context was
⏹️ ▶️ Casey you jump-starting the FJ via the Model S. And we were curious
⏹️ ▶️ Casey if that was possible, what would the mechanism for that be? And Jesper Welz wrote in. I don’t even
⏹️ ▶️ Casey, John That’s why YouTube exists.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Yeah, exactly. So Jesper Waltz wrote in and pointed us to a video wherein you have to
⏹️ ▶️ Casey dismantle half the Tesla in order to get to the battery terminals, but it is
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Big Tesla energy there. And then somebody else whose name I don’t have in front of me, I’m sorry,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Jameson sent us a second video. Each of these videos is like two and a half minutes, so they’re quick to watch. And
⏹️ ▶️ Casey this reminded me of like a year ago, James May of Top Gear and the Grand
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Tour, he has a Model S among his many other cars. And, uh, and he
⏹️ ▶️ Casey apparently at the beginning of lockdown, basically stopped driving it as basically all of us did. We just stopped driving.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey And especially in the UK where they really took lockdown seriously, where they actually, where they had actual lockdown, not what Americans
⏹️ ▶️ Casey think of as lockdown anyways, so the Model S sat for a long time, Marco,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey and it was not on any sort of charger of any kind. And, uh, if I recall correctly, I watched
⏹️ ▶️ Casey this video like a week ago. So he went to get in the car, but because the door
⏹️ ▶️ Casey knobs, the door handles are inside the car until you walk up to it, he couldn’t get in the car
⏹️ ▶️ Casey because the door handle knobby things wouldn’t pop out. So then he assumed that the key fob battery
⏹️ ▶️ Casey was broken, or dead, or flat in Britishisms. And it was not. So he put in
⏹️ ▶️ Casey a different battery, and that didn’t do it. Come to find out that there’s two different battery systems in a Tesla,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey or at least in the Model S. There’s the 12-volt battery and then the big, big battery. And it would appear, if
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I understand things right, and now I’m gonna get everyone writing me, trust me, I really don’t care, everyone. But anyways,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey one way or another, the big battery doesn’t exactly always totally charge the little battery. And
⏹️ ▶️ Casey so what he had to do in order to get into his car was
⏹️ ▶️ Casey he needed to pop the frunk. And in order to do that, you needed to crack open the wheel well trim
⏹️ ▶️ Casey in the front of the car on each side and squeeze your hand in there and pull a cable on each side.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey That would let you get the frunk open. Once you get the frunk open, you have to remove four different panels,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey a smattering of ducting, and then eventually at that point, you can actually get
⏹️ ▶️ Casey to the terminals. So you can put a charger, like a trickle charger, which we talked about last week, like a trickle charger
⏹️ ▶️ Casey onto the battery to get enough juice so that you can actually open the driver’s side door. Excellent work,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey excellent job, Tesla. Very, just great work there.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah, I have heard from a number of Tesla owners problems with
⏹️ ▶️ Marco the 12-volt battery. And this
⏹️ ▶️ Marco they seem, over time, they have seemingly improved this with software updates, things
⏹️ ▶️ Marco, Casey like, even- That’s
⏹️ ▶️ Marco energy. Yeah, right. But, yeah, definitely, like, so, the problem is,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco like, you know, the way electric cars use, or don’t use, 12-volt batteries
⏹️ ▶️ Marco is totally different from the way gas cars use them. The batteries aren’t necessarily designed
⏹️ ▶️ Marco for the kind of use electric cars are using them for. Because this, again, this is not the battery that they’re using to power
⏹️ ▶️ Marco the wheels. This is just the battery they use to, like, do all the accessory stuff in the car. And so,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco many people have, like, the 12-volt battery just totally die within a few months
⏹️ ▶️ Marco of buying a brand new electric car. Because it’s just, it’s not, you know, it’s failing because the usage pattern is totally
⏹️ ▶️ Marco wrong for it or whatever. And this is actually a problem that other electric car manufacturers have.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco And this is like this is something that Tesla has finally pretty much solved, I think. But then you start
⏹️ ▶️ Marco seeing problems, problem reports of this from other car manufacturers who have launched more recent electric car models, like
⏹️ ▶️ Marco that they’re all going through this stupid learning curve of learning like, wait a minute, these batteries are totally wrong for this purpose.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco And we don’t really have a good solution for that, except that I think Tesla now does a little bit smarter management
⏹️ ▶️ Marco of its charge level in software.
⏹️ ▶️ John And these videos show, you know, jump starting a gasoline powered car from your Tesla. It’s
⏹️ ▶️ John not so bad to get to the battery in some of the cases. I think one of them shows a Model 3 where it’s really just pop off a panel and there are the terminals.
⏹️ ▶️ John And I like the idea of the person getting into the Tesla and revving the engine, you know, just make sure there’s enough juice. Yeah.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Oh, I saw, what’s the big Porsche thing that you guys were trying to get me to
⏹️ ▶️ Marco, Casey buy? The Taycan?
⏹️ ▶️ Casey pronounce it wrong. I think that might be wrong as well. The Taycan. Taycan?
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I finally saw one in real life.
⏹️ ▶️ John Really? I’m surprised it’s taking that long. They’re all over the place around here.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco So first of all, it was basically on the ground. It’s a very low
⏹️ ▶️ Marco car. Way lower than mine appears to be. And second of all, it
⏹️ ▶️ Marco is… it looked certainly very large. Now, this wasn’t
⏹️ ▶️ Marco right next to my car. This was like I was walking towards the ferry and I saw one coming into the parking lot.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco But it looked like a… I don’t know how the dimensions compare, but it looked bigger than my car.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco And it looked very low. So, again, I don’t know, maybe this is just like my perspective at the time,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco but it looked like something that was probably not going to be a good thing for
⏹️ ▶️ Marco any of my near future needs.
⏹️ ▶️ John Your car is two inches longer and it is identical in the other dimensions. Cool.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey this is totally wrong. So money, leaving the money aside. Which
⏹️ ▶️ Casey, Marco is substantial.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Which is substantial. Is this even a possibility to you or not even close?
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I don’t even know what my needs are gonna be right now with like beach vehicles and stuff like that. So
⏹️ ▶️ Marco right now I am not looking to buy any new electric vehicles unless they happen to be
⏹️ ▶️ Marco like trucks or SUVs at this point. But hopefully in a few years when I no longer
⏹️ ▶️ Marco am here full time, that will hopefully change things.
⏹️ ▶️ John I mean, I’m trusting the Google results on this, by the way. It’s eerie how close they are, because this is in inches.
⏹️ ▶️ John They’re literally down to the inch, the same, except for the Model S is two inches longer and
⏹️ ▶️ John one inch wider, depending on which trim level you got on the Porsche, I think, but it’s like, that’s, you can tell when one car is
⏹️ ▶️ John targeting another car when they’re like down to the inch, basically the same size. I wonder if the EQS is similar.
⏹️ ▶️ John The EQS is much more like the Model S and it’s got the lift back as well. So it was like, it’s just basically a Mercedes
⏹️ ▶️ Marco S. Is there a substantial difference in ground clearance?
⏹️ ▶️ John I don’t know. I agree with you that they definitely look lower. And of course the Porsche, because it’s a Porsche, you can get
⏹️ ▶️ John with 8,000 different options. So I’m sure there’s one of them that actually is lower, but maybe the plat is lower
⏹️ ▶️ John too. It goes into cheetah stance, right? Doesn’t it
⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco lower with the air
⏹️ ▶️ John suspension on the Model S when you go into the super fast mode?
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I think when you’re going above 70 miles an hour, it has an option to go extra low.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I believe you can set the speed threshold when that happens, but it only goes down like a half
⏹️ ▶️ Marco inch. It’s not a big difference.
AirTags anti-tracking update
⏹️ ▶️ Casey right, moving right along. We talked about AirTags in the past and how they can
⏹️ ▶️ Casey be used for nefarious purposes. And Apple has posted an update on AirTag and unwanted tracking.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey And Apple has detailed some steps they’re going to take in the future in order to make this better. New privacy
⏹️ ▶️ Casey warnings during AirTag setup that basically says, hey, among other things, it’s probably illegal for you to stalk somebody
⏹️ ▶️ Casey with this. Addressing alert issues for AirPods. So I haven’t personally seen this, but apparently
⏹️ ▶️ Casey it’s very common for you to get an alert for an AirPod that’s on the Find My network, that was,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey or if you’re near an AirPod that’s on the Find My network that doesn’t belong to you, you’ll get an alert on your phone,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey unknown accessory detected, which is not particularly helpful in the vein of most
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Apple errors. And so they’re gonna fix that and say, hey, there’s an AirPods Pro near you or
⏹️ ▶️ Casey whatever the case may be. There’s gonna be better support documentation, I’ll believe that when I see it.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey And then additionally, later on this year, they will allow precision finding, even if it’s not your AirTag.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey So this is the like thing where you wave your phone around and it’ll point an arrow
⏹️ ▶️ Casey in the direction that the AirTag is. They will display alert with sound.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey And so I’m gonna read a little bit from their post. When AirTag automatically emits a sound to alert anyone nearby of its presence and is
⏹️ ▶️ Casey detected moving with your phone, iPad or iPod touch, we will also display an alert on your device that you can
⏹️ ▶️ Casey then take action on, like playing a sound or using precision finding if available. This will help in cases
⏹️ ▶️ Casey where the AirTag may be in a location where it is hard to hear or if the AirTag speaker has been tampered with. Additionally,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey refining unwanted tracking alert logic. So they’re going to futz around with the logic there
⏹️ ▶️ Casey if they think that you’re being tracked. And then finally, tuning the AirTag sound. Currently iOS
⏹️ ▶️ Casey users receiving an unwanted tracking alert can play sound to help them find their own unknown AirTag. We
⏹️ ▶️ Casey will be adjusting this tone sequence to use more of the loudest tones
⏹️ ▶️ Casey and to make an unknown AirTag more easily findable. It’s a tough thing, right? Because AirTags,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I only have one of them so far. and they are super cool. And when used as intended,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey it works really well and it’s really well done. But the problem is people are terrible and people are using them not as intended
⏹️ ▶️ Casey and they’re ruining it for everyone.
⏹️ ▶️ John Yeah, it’s like the better they make it for the people who are using it as intended,
⏹️ ▶️ John the worse it gets for the bad people and vice versa, right? So as they’re trying to make it sort of safer,
⏹️ ▶️ John it is getting worse for you, the normal user, right? It’s complete, it’s like security, like security and convenience,
⏹️ ▶️ John right? The more security you make it, the less convenient it is. It’s difficult. Like the, the line I’m trying to walk here
⏹️ ▶️ John in particular with most of these changes is air tags are increasingly
⏹️ ▶️ John not for helping you when your stuff gets stolen, because all this stuff that we just described
⏹️ ▶️ John is going to alert the thief that there is an air tag, uh, you know, traveling with them, right?
⏹️ ▶️ John It’s about you losing things, which is someone didn’t take them. You just
⏹️ ▶️ John lost them and misplaced them. Right? So it’s even further narrowing the use case of like, Oh, I’ll put this air tag
⏹️ ▶️ John on. And so if someone steals my thing, I’ll find it. No, if they actually steal it, now it’s going to be more aggressive about
⏹️ ▶️ John alerting the thief on their, the thief’s iPhone to say, hey, you might not know this, but you’re now traveling with somebody else’s
⏹️ ▶️ John AirTag. And they’ll be all, thank you, phone. And they’ll take it off and then have your thing, right? That’s not the use case Apple,
⏹️ ▶️ John that Apple just has to basically say, if you’re looking for something to help you find stolen stuff, this ain’t it,
⏹️ ▶️ John right? Because of the safety concerns, because of it being used for stalking or whatever. So the
⏹️ ▶️ John use case gets narrower. It becomes a little bit less convenient, but it also becomes that much slightly more
⏹️ ▶️ John safe. Yeah, and it is, I think when we talked about this the first time,
⏹️ ▶️ John I give Apple a lot of credit for trying very hard to think of and account for
⏹️ ▶️ John the bad scenarios with this product. But it’s difficult to think of
⏹️ ▶️ John all the bad scenarios and to know exactly how to tune all these parameters that Casey just read, like
⏹️ ▶️ John how aggressive should it be about this? What should the sound be? When should it do this? And it takes some experience
⏹️ ▶️ John in the real world to figure out the right balance of those things. So still think it’s definitely
⏹️ ▶️ John a valid product to have, but it’s good for people to understand what it can do well and what it can’t do.
⏹️ ▶️ John And I think Apple is moving in the right direction by saying even if it makes this less useful for certain
⏹️ ▶️ John cases like stolen items, it’s better for it to be safer for more people.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah, I mean, I can see both sides of it. I’m glad they’re making this
⏹️ ▶️ Marco a little bit safer people, I don’t know if it’s possible
⏹️ ▶️ Marco for them to ever make it safe enough that it can’t be used in a widespread
⏹️ ▶️ Marco way for bad people doing bad things. I still question whether
⏹️ ▶️ Marco it was worth them making this product at all because of that risk and because
⏹️ ▶️ Marco it really does seem like that’s gonna have a really hard time being possible. That
⏹️ ▶️ Marco being said, as a customer of AirTags, for things that I was hoping
⏹️ ▶️ Marco would get tracked during casual theft, this update is going to make it significantly
⏹️ ▶️ Marco worse at that. And that kind of like I’m kind of annoyed about that. I see why
⏹️ ▶️ Marco they’re doing it and it’s probably for the best for you know the abuse reduction. But as a customer
⏹️ ▶️ Marco of these things they’re actually making this product worse for me now to the point where it’s going to only
⏹️ ▶️ Marco barely serve the purpose I wanted to serve. So having that happen after
⏹️ ▶️ Marco purchase is kind of crappy as well. So I don’t see a great way out
⏹️ ▶️ Marco of the situation for them. It seems to me that the AirTags are
⏹️ ▶️ Marco a tough product to not cause problems
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and maybe they shouldn’t have been released at all.
⏹️ ▶️ John Do you think the drunk people will notice when they’re stealing your bike that their phone is going off? They’ll probably just keep going. I don’t think they’re
⏹️ ▶️ John going to scour your bike for the AirTag if they even notice the notification. I think it still works for your use case.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah, well, I’ve heard the notifications, like the audible ones, like the air tag makes a little
⏹️ ▶️ Marco chiming sound when you move it away from its phone for a while because I have
⏹️ ▶️ Marco one on my wagon that I pull to town to get packages and every, the wagon
⏹️ ▶️ Marco lives like on my deck next to my house. So it is always maybe 20
⏹️ ▶️ Marco or 30 feet away from my phone, like when we’re just sitting in the house. That’s apparently far enough
⏹️ ▶️ Marco that it doesn’t think the phone is connected to it. So almost every time I go grab the wagon to walk to
⏹️ ▶️ Marco town, I hear a little sound coming from the speaker. And
⏹️ ▶️ Marco even though I am there with my phone in my pocket, like I approached the wagon with my phone in my pocket,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I grab the wagon and I start moving it with the phone in my pocket, the phone is off and even on
⏹️ ▶️ Marco with its Bluetooth active, playing a podcast into my headphones, and I’m still hearing because
⏹️ ▶️ Marco it takes so long to recognize that, oh, oh, the phone is here. Oh, never mind. So
⏹️ ▶️ Marco these, again, these are already products that just barely
⏹️ ▶️ Marco work. And so I’m a little bit disappointed that
⏹️ ▶️ Marco they’re going to be made worse for my purpose. But I think, John, you are right, that considering this is
⏹️ ▶️ Marco mostly, for my use, this is mostly to solve casual drunk theft, it
⏹️ ▶️ Marco will still probably work okay enough for that. But it is kind of annoying. Again, it’s just annoying that,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco kind of like Tesla, they’re making my product worse after purchase.
⏹️ ▶️ John real-time follow-up according to the random results that Google chucks up when you try to do a search and you’re too
⏹️ ▶️ John lazy to follow a link. Model S ground clearance, 4.6 inches. Porsche Taycan
⏹️ ▶️ John ground clearance, five inches. Again, again with the caveats that these, both of these cars
⏹️ ▶️ John I think can change their ride height.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yes, and the Model S I think can go up to like six point something on the max height.
⏹️ ▶️ John Don’t take either one on the beach.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco No, but I do, I leave, so one thing about Long Island is that
⏹️ ▶️ Marco it’s pretty low across the whole thing, or at least most of it.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco so Long Island, like the regular parts of the island where regular suburbs are, floods
⏹️ ▶️ John Well, if you’re near the water, like no place that I ever lived growing up on Long Island
⏹️ ▶️ John flooded because I was in the middle of the island.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Well, that’s fair. But yeah, so all these places on the South Shore. So one thing I have to be concerned about is
⏹️ ▶️ Marco during the biggest flood seasons, which is I think usually the fall, You have
⏹️ ▶️ Marco to be careful that if you leave your car parked at the ferry terminal, it might get flooded out.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco So I learned, you know, through habit, I learned like, alright, I, like, the parking lot is very
⏹️ ▶️ Marco slightly sloped, and so I know, like, where the
⏹️ ▶️ Marco part is. Yeah, so I park on the high ground, and I raise the air suspension all the way up when I leave the
⏹️ ▶️ Marco car. On its little tippy toes. It looks ridiculous, like, it does not look like an attractive vehicle
⏹️ ▶️ Marco in this stance. However, that extra, you know, inch might be enough to save my car
⏹️ ▶️ Marco from being flooded
⏹️ ▶️ John sometime. You got to get the functional high ground.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey There it is. deep cut.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Oh my gosh, you know, I genuinely hope that there is a time that I can come visit y’all
⏹️ ▶️ Casey on Fire Island because the way you describe it, it seems like everything about this
⏹️ ▶️ Casey is made to be inconvenient and basically intolerable. And I bet that if I were there, I would say,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey oh no, no, no, I totally get it now. But from afar, everything about this sounds terrible.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey You can’t get mail or shipments in a quick way. It’s certainly
⏹️ ▶️ Casey not exactly cheap. You can’t drive anywhere, which in some cases is a benefit, not a downside. It
⏹️ ▶️ Casey randomly floods, random hurricanes, but no, other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, the play is great. Michael So actually, it’s
⏹️ ▶️ Casey about to get worse. Jared Oh, and the sound or whatever freezes over and
⏹️ ▶️ Casey, Marco get off the
⏹️ ▶️ Casey, Marco Michael It’s not the sound! Jared Whatever it is.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Michael Whatever it is. Michael Okay, so two things. Number one, it’s about to get worse in one way, but I’m about to tell you why it’s great. But
⏹️ ▶️ Marco the way it’s about to get worse, the ferry company told us a couple days ago
⏹️ ▶️ Marco that they’re going to cut off all servers to us starting March 1st indefinitely because they can’t reach
⏹️ ▶️ Marco an agreement for a contract with the village. Oh my
⏹️ ▶️ Marco that’s fun. And then…
⏹️ ▶️ John So you gotta talk to your village people over your PA
⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco system and set up
⏹️ ▶️ John for them and say, hey, get a deal
⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco because we’ll be stranded
⏹️ ▶️ John here without our SAN license.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco it’s like when a cable or satellite provider drops a channel
⏹️ ▶️ Marco, Casey to drop a channel and then so they drop
⏹️ ▶️ Marco it for a few weeks. complains and eventually they work it out. It’s gonna be like that.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco, John So that’s anyway.
⏹️ ▶️ John You realize this is just like incrementing the doomsday clock on Marco getting a boat. Like one more,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco, John You know there
⏹️ ▶️ Marco aren’t a lot of people who have boats on the Long Island in the Great South Bay in March.
⏹️ ▶️ John not. I know, well you have to put them somewhere for the winter but then they go back in the water. Like it is.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco marshmallow wrap them for the winter and
⏹️ ▶️ Marco, John put them on land somewhere? Yeah, yeah,
⏹️ ▶️ John getting a boat is the inevitable conclusion of your complete transformation into a Long
⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey -…I was just listening.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I was just listening to Downeaster Alexa earlier today. And before you tell me the good part, like, I want you to be clear, like,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey hand to God, I really do believe it is an amazing, wonderful place. I’m not trying to, like, actually yuck your yum.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey It’s just so funny to me the way you describe it, is that it sounds terrible from a distance.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey And I don’t doubt that when you’re there, all of that
⏹️ ▶️ Casey, John goes away. Well,
⏹️ ▶️ John the ferry parking lot is not the cool place, to be
⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey clear. right. It’s also true parking
⏹️ ▶️ John a lot for a ferry. It’s
⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey not yeah yeah yeah yeah a very that is
⏹️ ▶️ Casey to get a run much.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco yeah, but anyway, but you know what so I noticed I went last week
⏹️ ▶️ Marco on on Thursday. The reason why the show came out a couple hours later than usual is because I had
⏹️ ▶️ Marco to schedule all these errands on Thursday, where in one day I went off the island, drove all the way
⏹️ ▶️ Marco back to Westchester, brought hops in for service, then drove all the way back And I was
⏹️ ▶️ Marco editing the show on the ferry on the way there, sitting at a supercharger, sitting in my passenger seat
⏹️ ▶️ Marco in front of Whole Foods, and then back on the ferry back. That’s how I edited last week’s show. So if anything,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco it sounded like if there was some slight transition between words that were
⏹️ ▶️ Marco edited that I couldn’t quite hear somebody’s wrong breath on, it’s because I was editing it on a very loud
⏹️ ▶️ Marco boat while wearing AirPods Pro, which, while they have great noise isolation
⏹️ ▶️ Marco or noise cancellation features are not as good as sitting in my quiet office doing it that way. Anyway,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco so during this day where I was going back and back to my old neighborhood and getting things done and then coming
⏹️ ▶️ Marco back, every time I spend time off the island, I realize that
⏹️ ▶️ Marco the entire rest of the world that most people live in is designed for cars
⏹️ ▶️ Marco first and people second. Yeah, which is not a good thing for the record
⏹️ ▶️ Marco, Casey and I agree with you.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco And in many ways, like there’s so many things wrong with this, but that’s the like the place I live,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco like to be clear, maybe I’ll put a picture in the art. I don’t know, but to be clear, like
⏹️ ▶️ Marco we have, there’s a bunch of houses packed tightly together here. You know, most of the, most of the house lots here
⏹️ ▶️ Marco are like 30 to 50 feet wide by about 50 to 80 feet deep.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco And so these are not large house plots. The houses are all close together. It’s very dense.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco And instead of having streets, we basically have wide sidewalks
⏹️ ▶️ Marco that are, I don’t know exactly how wide they are, maybe 8 or 10 feet wide. It’s
⏹️ ▶️ Marco wide enough that a regular US pickup truck can
⏹️ ▶️ Marco fit as a road, but just barely. And the side view mirrors
⏹️ ▶️ Marco on the truck will brush against everyone’s hedges as they go by. That’s
⏹️ ▶️ Marco how tight it is. And so here I’m in a place that is designed
⏹️ ▶️ Marco for people first and will just barely accommodate cars when
⏹️ ▶️ Marco necessary. The rest of the world is designed to accommodate cars as easily and great
⏹️ ▶️ Marco as possible and just barely accommodates people when necessary. That’s the difference. And
⏹️ ▶️ Marco it is so different. Even just walking my dog in the regular suburbs
⏹️ ▶️ Marco on regular land, I’m constantly having to look around for cars and stop here at this intersection,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco wait for the cars to go by, cross the street, look for the car. I’m squeezing onto this little tiny sidewalk and
⏹️ ▶️ Marco the cars have all this nice space. And here, I have the space because I’m the person.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco And my dog and I can walk down this super wide sidewalk and have room.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I can bike easily without having to worry that I’m going to get hit by a car on my bike and die. It’s
⏹️ ▶️ Marco really, it’s so different. The sad part is that
⏹️ ▶️ Marco there aren’t more places like this.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey You know… But before we get the entire rest of the planet riding us, there’s not more places like that in America. And surely
⏹️ ▶️ Casey there are other countries that are similar to the way we are, but there are many, many, many places on the planet
⏹️ ▶️ Casey that are people-first and are not car-first like so much of America is.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco That’s fair, but honestly, there’s not a lot of those places. Most places are car-first.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco And usually, to have anything that is not car first, you have to be
⏹️ ▶️ Marco somewhere that is so old that it was all laid out and built before cars. And there aren’t that many of
⏹️ ▶️ John places. No, I mean, you just need people who are willing to make that change. I mean, there’s the big meme of what
⏹️ ▶️ John country is it they were showing, like, is it Amsterdam or something? And they’re like, you know, it’s a constant meme of
⏹️ ▶️ John people saying, well, you know, in America, we can’t all be like Amsterdam. Or I’m sorry if it’s not Amsterdam.
⏹️ ▶️ John Who knows what it is. it. But then the follow up is, well, here’s what Amsterdam looked like in 1975. And it
⏹️ ▶️ John looked just like America, it was filled with cars filled the street, you know, cars parked along the line
⏹️ ▶️ John along every single street in all direction, cars, cars, cars, cars, and they changed it, right? You can make you can
⏹️ ▶️ John change the way your city works by changing the laws and doing construction.
⏹️ ▶️ John And as a lot of the COVID stuff, you know, came down, a lot of places in cities
⏹️ ▶️ John were closed to cars or had much less traffic, and it was an opportunity to change the the way things were,
⏹️ ▶️ John and a lot of the cities decided to keep it that way. I think Paris actually is now, you know, they
⏹️ ▶️ John shut down a whole bunch of roads and made them all no cars allowed anymore on these streets, and then people filled the streets.
⏹️ ▶️ John And instead of just going back to normal, they’re trying to make that permanent and say, actually, those roads are shut down permanently,
⏹️ ▶️ John and now they’re going to be for people and sidewalks or whatever. It is possible to do that in countries with mildly functioning
⏹️ ▶️ John governments and citizenry not 100% brainwashed by fascists,
⏹️ ▶️ John but that’s not where we live. So we take what we can get. But anyway, change is possible.
⏹️ ▶️ John But it’s, yeah, cars, and it’s mostly for a good reason that cars,
⏹️ ▶️ John we built everything around cars because they’re super convenient and they make a lot of new things possible, but we obviously
⏹️ ▶️ John went way too far in that direction in this country and we need to reel it back in and probably are going to have a difficult
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah, it’s a shame because like Nat, when all you’ve ever known is car-focused
⏹️ ▶️ Marco design, which is all I ever knew before this, I you don’t realize quite what
⏹️ ▶️ Marco you’re missing and once you have a taste of like people first
⏹️ ▶️ Marco design effectively it’s it kind of ruins you kind of like the XDR
⏹️ ▶️ Marco it kind of ruins you it’s really nice and and now I just maybe I’ll become
⏹️ ▶️ Marco an activist to you know try to try to get that get that done in more places in the US because it
⏹️ ▶️ Marco really is it’s it really is a breath of fresh air in many on many levels including literally
⏹️ ▶️ Marco because you have fewer cars of polluting the air that you’re breathing. But it’s really, it’s so nice.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco And I wish everyone in America could experience this kind of life so that you could know,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco A, what you’re missing, and B, what we can maybe aspire to.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Part of the reason that I like visiting Cape Charles so much is because, although it is not car-free,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey the downtown or the historic district is, like, I think it’s a square mile or something like that.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey And there are roads all over the place. But there are fewer cars
⏹️ ▶️ Casey than almost anywhere else that I go on a regular basis. And so it is kind
⏹️ ▶️ Casey of de facto people first. It’s not the same as Fire Island. I’m not trying to say it’s one to one, but it’s
⏹️ ▶️ Casey spiritually similar, I think. And oftentimes when we go for a week, we will park Aaron’s car
⏹️ ▶️ Casey on whatever day we arrive. And the next time we climb in is when we get to go home, and we’ll
⏹️ ▶️ Casey walk the rest of the time. Or perhaps if we were feeling lazy, we could, although we haven’t done it yet,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey could rent like a golf cart for the week and people will do that. And I do agree with you
⏹️ ▶️ Casey that it is quite lovely to walk to dinner instead of driving to dinner, you know, and stuff like that. So
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I hear you. It’s just it’s so funny to me hearing all the woes and issues that you have, particularly in the wintertime,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey which is certainly not when Fire Island’s putting its best foot forward. Again, I don’t mean that to be a turd. I’m just saying it’s
⏹️ ▶️ Casey clearly not designed by your own admission for many year-round residents.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey yeah, so it’s just funny to hear. Bye.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco We are sponsored this week by Linode, my favorite place to run servers.
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⏹️ ▶️ Marco big and small since 2003. I’ve been with them I think since like 2012 or something.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I’m so happy with Linode. I’ve been with them for long before they were a sponsor. And what’s great
⏹️ ▶️ Marco about Linode is that they are you know, if you need to run a server somewhere, that’s that’s a very specific kind of hosting and Linode
⏹️ ▶️ Marco is by far my favorite place to run something that I’ve ever used. And I’ve used a lot of web hosts.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco But Linode first of all, they have great capabilities, they have great specs, you can get and this goes
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⏹️ ▶️ Marco And you can look around the industry and try to find anybody who’s offering more for less, I don’t think you’ll be able to to. It’s
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An Unsolicited Streaming App Spec
⏹️ ▶️ Casey You know what was great to hear, though, or read, actually, was a blog post by our very
⏹️ ▶️ Casey own John Syracusa. Hey! Imagine that. It’s that time of year, and I mean that in every sense of the phrase.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey It is that time of year, because we usually only get one a year. And we got a blog post from John. And
⏹️ ▶️ Casey you know what? There are times on this show that I’m a host, and there are times that I am
⏹️ ▶️ Casey simply just listening. And as far as I’m concerned, John, if you want, if you want to just talk
⏹️ ▶️ Casey the rest of the episode, I am happy to hear it. I loved this blog post. And this
⏹️ ▶️ Casey is the one that you’ve been threatening to write for a couple of years now about how to make a decent
⏹️ ▶️ Casey streaming app. So as deep or as wide or both as you’d like to go.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Tell me, John, about your unsolicited streaming app specification.
⏹️ ▶️ John To be clear, it’s not one blog post a year. It’s an average of one a year. And those are two different statements. 20 year
⏹️ ▶️ John means that in every calendar year, there should be one
⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco post. And an average of one a
⏹️ ▶️ John year means that over the course of 10 years, there should be 10 posts, right?
⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco It’s around an average of one a year.
⏹️ ▶️ John I think I’m over one point now. Anyway, yeah, I missed 20. I
⏹️ ▶️ John didn’t do anything in 2021. Sorry, everyone. So maybe I’ll do a second one to follow up on this eventually in 2022. So what I wrote about
⏹️ ▶️ John was, I was trying to have an outlet
⏹️ ▶️ John for my frustration with streaming video apps, like on any platform, on your phone,
⏹️ ▶️ John an iPad, an Apple TV, on your television, things you use to watch Netflix, Prime Video,
⏹️ ▶️ John Hulu, HBO, like whatever. I think we know what streaming video apps are.
⏹️ ▶️ John I subscribe to a whole bunch of those services. I subscribe to them all the time. I can’t even keep track of how many I subscribe to.
⏹️ ▶️ John I’m getting better about unsubscribing when I’m done watching shows on them, but sometimes they just have enough good content
⏹️ ▶️ John that I just keep my subscription going. Anyway, and that means I get to use a lot of these different apps, and it boggles
⏹️ ▶️ John my mind how annoying they are in basic ways.
⏹️ ▶️ John Like obviously everyone’s gonna have their own peeves about some feature that one has that another one doesn’t have
⏹️ ▶️ John and I wish it did this cool thing or whatever, but I’m just talking about like the super duper basics. What I originally planned for this
⏹️ ▶️ John post probably last year or the year before that was just the playback screen, like the screen where you’ve
⏹️ ▶️ John got a play button, right? And you’re watching the thing and you can press it and you can pause and then you can press it and you can play that, like the
⏹️ ▶️ John playback screen. that screen alone, it amazes me how many apps get
⏹️ ▶️ John that just entirely wrong by omitting some major feature. Most of them, I haven’t found one that omitted play and
⏹️ ▶️ John pause, so good, thumbs up. You got the play and pause thing, but pretty much any
⏹️ ▶️ John other feature you can think of, there’s some streaming video app that doesn’t implement it. And I
⏹️ ▶️ John find that, so I was like, I was gonna say here, just here’s a list of things you have to have in your sort of
⏹️ ▶️ John now playing video player, whatever screen. And then you could go through all the streaming video apps and see that none
⏹️ ▶️ John of them fulfill that, right? That eventually expanded into, what happened was I was gonna write that and someone
⏹️ ▶️ John else wrote it. Someone else wrote, it was like a year or two ago, someone else wrote essentially that exact article. I’m like, ah, someone else already
⏹️ ▶️ John did it, it’s fine. Even though what they wrote was not exactly the same. It was the same idea. Like,
⏹️ ▶️ John here’s the controls that should be in every streaming video app or something like that. But time has passed and people forgot about that article.
⏹️ ▶️ John And I said, you know, I should write about this too, but I shouldn’t just limit it to the now playing screen. I should talk about the entire app
⏹️ ▶️ John experience. But how am I gonna do that? just going to go like, here are you know, things that annoy me about
⏹️ ▶️ John the apps that I use, or here’s some stuff people could do to make their apps better. And
⏹️ ▶️ John I was still sort of concentrating on how frustrated I am that these things can’t get the basics
⏹️ ▶️ John right. So instead of what I decided to do was write a sort of informal specification
⏹️ ▶️ John that you could hand off to a development team at a company that has a streaming app and say, here,
⏹️ ▶️ John we’re a streaming service, please make an app that people can use to use our service, here are
⏹️ ▶️ John the requirements. Here’s a specification of just the basics. It’s not a complete spec. It’s not
⏹️ ▶️ John like if you make this, you make an awesome app. It’s like, you have to do these things. After
⏹️ ▶️ John that, you can do all sorts of awesome stuff on top of it. Fun things, things that are branded,
⏹️ ▶️ John things that differentiate the app, things that make, you know, as Apple would say, your app surprise and delight
⏹️ ▶️ John the user. That’s not what I’m talking about. I’m saying, before you even get into all the cool stuff,
⏹️ ▶️ John make sure at the very least your streaming video app does these things. And it’s
⏹️ ▶️ John such a boring list. Like it is just, you read it, you’re like, great, so people should be able to
⏹️ ▶️ John find video and play it. Okay, thanks, why did you even need to write this? But then
⏹️ ▶️ John you look at any real app, pick whatever your favorite app is, and you realize how many of these things
⏹️ ▶️ John it doesn’t have. And it’s not like this is a list of optional stuff. I feel like every single thing
⏹️ ▶️ John on this list should be mandatory because it’s so simple. And if you don’t
⏹️ ▶️ John have it, if you don’t have even just one of these things, using it is frustrating because
⏹️ ▶️ John like the things that we’re using to watch during video apps, they’re computers, like even the TV,
⏹️ ▶️ John like Apple TV is a computer, right? Your phone, your app, those are computers. And we all know computers
⏹️ ▶️ John can do things with digital video. Like for example, computers can skip forward and backwards by
⏹️ ▶️ John some number of seconds. Like you don’t have to hold down the fast forward and rewind button like you’re on a VHS player, right?
⏹️ ▶️ John You can skip any number of seconds backwards and forwards. If you’re using a streaming video app that
⏹️ ▶️ John does not have that feature, you get angry because you’re like, you’re a computer. I know you can do this. Why
⏹️ ▶️ John does this feature not exist, right? And like other things, I didn’t really delve too much into this, but like,
⏹️ ▶️ John because I tried to put these features in in a way that doesn’t dictate their implementation.
⏹️ ▶️ John It’s just like, look, the app needs to let the user be able to do these things. How you let them do it is kind
⏹️ ▶️ John of up to you. Some of these can be implemented in different ways, right? So I didn’t wanna be too prescriptive.
⏹️ ▶️ John But one example of that is a lot of the features can be satisfied by using
⏹️ ▶️ John the timeline thing. Like most video players have like a timeline that goes along the bottom, there’s a little scrubber, like the little playhead
⏹️ ▶️ John that you can grab and move around, you know, to move among the video. A lot of these features, if you implement
⏹️ ▶️ John a timeline, a video timeline with a little scrubber, it satisfies a lot of these. So that’s one way to do it. I didn’t
⏹️ ▶️ John wanna say you have to have a timeline, you have to have a scrubber or whatever. But in practice, that
⏹️ ▶️ John satisfies a lot of these things. But a lot of video apps put that timeline with a scrubber in
⏹️ ▶️ John it, and they’re like, well, we’re done, this solves all of our problems. Skip forward and back is a good example. We don’t
⏹️ ▶️ John need a skip forward and back button because we’ve got the little timeline. If you wanna go back 30 seconds, just
⏹️ ▶️ John grab the little scrubber thingy and move it backwards 30 seconds.
⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey No problem, no problem.
⏹️ ▶️ John And to that I say, if I’m watching a two hour movie, do you know what kind of like magical
⏹️ ▶️ John dexterity you would need to move the playhead backwards 10, five, 10, 20, 30 seconds
⏹️ ▶️ John precisely. I was, speaking of this, getting off the streaming apps for a second,
⏹️ ▶️ John I was taking photos of a, it was like a document that I wanted to have a picture of or whatever I do that frequently, just
⏹️ ▶️ John have, you know, put it in my phone, especially now with text recognition and iOS, which is neat.
⏹️ ▶️ John And I, you know, I didn’t get my camera lined up exactly. Yes, I know you can do the document scanning thing in Notes, but I was just using
⏹️ ▶️ John the phone app, right? And so I went into edit and I’m gonna straighten, I’m gonna straighten the picture, because it wasn’t
⏹️ ▶️ John exactly at 90 degrees, like the corners was a little bit twisted. But the control to straighten
⏹️ ▶️ John things on my fancy, amazing computer phone thing, is that like
⏹️ ▶️ John the little bar in the photos app with the little notches on it, it’s like a sliding bar that you slide left and right
⏹️ ▶️ John and it rotates the photo. And that bar has a kind of
⏹️ ▶️ John snap to center field, you know what I’m talking about? Like, you know, the default, like the way you
⏹️ ▶️ John took the picture, it snaps into that, right? So if you take that little
⏹️ ▶️ John thing, if your thing is only off by a very tiny amount, you grab that little
⏹️ ▶️ John line and you move it, and all of a sudden your picture starts rotating. You’re like, whoa, that’s way too much. So you start moving it back towards the middle
⏹️ ▶️ John because it’s like, it’s just a little bit off. I just need it to be rotated a little bit. And as you get closer and closer to the middle,
⏹️ ▶️ John all of a sudden it snaps back to the middle again. So you yank it out again
⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco and it yanks,
⏹️ ▶️ John okay, now it’s twisted too much. Let me put it back back towards the middle, almost, almost right, oh, it snapped back to the middle again.
⏹️ ▶️ John It is literally impossible as far as I can tell, with even if you had a robot with a tiny little fleshy thing,
⏹️ ▶️ John the size of like the minimum size needed to activate the capacitive touch screen, is literally impossible
⏹️ ▶️ John to rotate an image less than the minimum degree they decide is reasonable because then it snaps back to the
⏹️ ▶️ John center. That’s why a scrubber thumb timeline thing, especially with touch controls,
⏹️ ▶️ John is not a replacement for a skip forward and back X number of seconds button. And that’s why it
⏹️ ▶️ John listed as a separate thing. And that’s why I say these are minimum requirements because these are things that
⏹️ ▶️ John people frequently need to do, want to do, and expect to be able to
⏹️ ▶️ John do because they’re using a computer. So if you decide no one will ever want to skip forward or backward by some fixed number
⏹️ ▶️ John of seconds in your TV thing, because they can always just swipe on a touch pad or grab the
⏹️ ▶️ John scrubber thong, you’re wrong and you’re making a mistake and your app is bad. So
⏹️ ▶️ John that’s why I listed all these things. I’ll just read off a few of them just so you can see what the features are like.
⏹️ ▶️ John For the video player, which is what I talked about earlier, a play and pause button. Skip forward and backwards. I didn’t even say button.
⏹️ ▶️ John Play and pause, skip forward and back some small number of seconds. Skip to the beginning or end of video.
⏹️ ▶️ John Again, why do you say, why do you need these buttons? Why can’t you just grab the little scrubby thing and go all the way to the left or all the way to the right? You don’t need
⏹️ ▶️ John buttons to skip to the end or the beginning. Well, two things. One, grabbing the little thing, dragging it, can sometimes
⏹️ ▶️ John be annoying and fidgety. And two, if the thing you’re using is like a remote, even if it has a swipey
⏹️ ▶️ John pad, that’s requires some dexterity and finesse that a lot of people either don’t
⏹️ ▶️ John have or don’t wanna deal with. When if you could just have a button that says skip all the way to the beginning and all the way to the end, that’s way
⏹️ ▶️ John easier than activate, putting pause, swiping on the touchpad, especially if you’re like, again, if you’re
⏹️ ▶️ John watching a two or three hour movie and if the acceleration on your touchpad isn’t right, you’re going swipe, swipe, swipe,
⏹️ ▶️ John swipe, swipe, swipe. Especially if while you’re swiping, it is scrubbing through the movie that maybe you’re spoiling
⏹️ ▶️ John yourself if you hadn’t seen it and your spouse had left it in the middle, but you wanna go back to the beginning, skip to beginning event.
⏹️ ▶️ John Why? Because it’s a thing computers can do. Select the audio track, select the subtitle back,
⏹️ ▶️ John subtitle track, things like answering the question, what am I watching?
⏹️ ▶️ John I forget, I can’t even keep track of which app this is, but it frustrates me every time. Like we’ll start watching and for a variety
⏹️ ▶️ John of terrible reasons, not listed in this spec. We won’t know whether the thing is showing us the
⏹️ ▶️ John next episode in the series we’ve been watching every single night for the past month, right? Is this the next episode
⏹️ ▶️ John or is this showing us the one we already saw last night? I don’t know, what episode are we looking at?
⏹️ ▶️ John And then you just like, you pause it and it pauses and it shows the little timeline
⏹️ ▶️ John on the bottom with a little thumbnail of where you’re paused and no other texts on the screen. So I see you swipe
⏹️ ▶️ John and you’re pressing, you’re just like, what am I watching? Put text on the screen that tells me what am I watching?
⏹️ ▶️ John And not just what I’m watching, what is the TV show? What season number is it? What episode number is
⏹️ ▶️ John it? Why are you hiding this information? You know this information is there. It’s a question people might wanna know.
⏹️ ▶️ John You must show this on the screen. It must be possible to tell what am I watching without leaving the
⏹️ ▶️ John thing. And then leaving the thing is a whole other problem because how do you leave the thing that you’re watching and where do you go when you leave it? Anyway,
⏹️ ▶️ John it’s all in the post. It’s very boring and dry of like, these are the minimum things that you should do.
⏹️ ▶️ John And then at the very end, I look at three representative apps, one on iOS, one on iPadOS,
⏹️ ▶️ John and one on Apple TV. And I see how they measure up. And you can see how even these extremely famous, extremely well-funded
⏹️ ▶️ John apps fail in a few ways to meet even this most basic spec.
⏹️ ▶️ John Beyond the basic spec, there’s tons of awesome things that you can do. And a lot of the feedback I got from people is,
⏹️ ▶️ John oh, I think you should have put more things on even your basic spec because I think this feature is essential and you didn’t list
⏹️ ▶️ John or whatever. But I was really trying to limit it to the basics. The closest I got is saying that
⏹️ ▶️ John one of the basics should be a button to enable and disable subtitles that essentially nobody does, but it
⏹️ ▶️ John annoys me so much that nobody does it, that I put it on my basic list. It’s my list, I’m allowed to have one, give me for me.
⏹️ ▶️ John Because if you have occasion to enable subtitles briefly, which
⏹️ ▶️ John I personally have occasion to do, and I am also frequently asked to do by other people to figure out what somebody
⏹️ ▶️ John said or how something is spelled or what the hell that name was in that weird accent or whatever, you don’t want subtitles on
⏹️ ▶️ John the whole time. Say you don’t want, some people do want them on the whole time, fine. But for people who don’t want them on the whole time,
⏹️ ▶️ John you want to be able to turn them on, use that 30 seconds skip back feature, turn subtitles on, watch
⏹️ ▶️ John that line that you didn’t understand, and then turn them back off again. But if every time you need to turn them on or turn them off, you
⏹️ ▶️ John need to do tap, swipe, swipe, tap, swipe, scroll, scroll, scroll, English, tap, swipe, tap,
⏹️ ▶️ John okay, play, and then go through that whole thing again to turn them off, that’s bad. There’s so much room
⏹️ ▶️ John on the screen. Put a single button that enables and disables subtitles, and then a separate thing to pick which subtitle track you want.
⏹️ ▶️ John Anyway, that was my only sort of minor pet peeve that I put in there, but instead of people complaining the subtitle peeve
⏹️ ▶️ John that I had, they had their own stuff that they demanded be in the basics. So I think the
⏹️ ▶️ John overall theme and probably what I will write about if I do a follow up on this is how do people
⏹️ ▶️ John feel? How do people who use streaming video apps feel about the apps? Do they
⏹️ ▶️ John love the apps? Do they have an affectionate feeling towards them? Or do they hate them with a fiery passion? Now obviously, when you write
⏹️ ▶️ John a post like this, you’re going to hear mostly from people who hate them. But usually when you write a post like this, you’re also
⏹️ ▶️ John going to hear from at least a few people who say, I know you were complaining about streaming apps, but I actually
⏹️ ▶️ John really, really like streaming app x. Nobody sent me that I’ve got zero feedback from
⏹️ ▶️ John telling me. Yeah, these most streaming apps are bad, but I really love this one. Nobody
⏹️ ▶️ John loves them. And I touched on this towards the end, I maybe should have emphasized it more because, you know, people won’t
⏹️ ▶️ John get through a long post or whatever. But like, some of the reason these apps are annoying are misaligned incentives, right?
⏹️ ▶️ John In particular, the thing I emphasize very early on is when you launch a streaming video app,
⏹️ ▶️ John the most important thing that it should do is quickly allow you to continue watching whatever you’re watching before.
⏹️ ▶️ John Because that’s the sort of job to be done. Every night, we’re going to sit down, we’re going to watch an episode of my favorite show, right? They
⏹️ ▶️ John drop the whole season, and we’ll just watch an episode per night, right? I, you know, for the past five days, all
⏹️ ▶️ John I’ve done is at night, I sit down, turn on the thing, I’ll watch the next episode. And then you sit down the next night,
⏹️ ▶️ John you turn on the thing, you’ve launched the app, and it’s like, what do you want to do? Like, what do you think
⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco I want to do
⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco I want to watch the next episode
⏹️ ▶️ John of that show that I’ve been watching every single night for a week and it’s like, I don’t know what you’re talking about. What do you want to do?
⏹️ ▶️ John People want to find the thing that they were previously watching and continue watching it. And the apps
⏹️ ▶️ John make that more difficult because the the the incentives
⏹️ ▶️ John of the company that makes the streaming apps are not the same as the incentives of the people who are using it.
⏹️ ▶️ John You know that and what did I think I phrased it in a very sort of neutral way in the
⏹️ ▶️ John article of saying like, emphasizing new content versus continuing content that you’re already watching the streaming
⏹️ ▶️ John app wants to show you, hey, I’ve got these new shows, you should check them out. Because you know, the more shows you get into,
⏹️ ▶️ John the better it is, if you just keep watching the show you want to watch, and you finish it, maybe you’ll unsubscribe from the app, right.
⏹️ ▶️ John So just to confirm what should be obvious to everyone, which is why I didn’t delve too much into it.
⏹️ ▶️ John I had some anonymous feedback. This person said, there There was an experiment at Hulu last
⏹️ ▶️ John year to move the continue watching section below the fold down two rows from where it is.
⏹️ ▶️ John This was done with a very small group of users. It was so successful that the increased engagement was
⏹️ ▶️ John projected to generate more than $20 million a year. The experiment was immediately ended and
⏹️ ▶️ John the new position was deployed to all users. I understand and largely agree with your frustration
⏹️ ▶️ John that your in-progress isn’t the top feature. You could argue this even
⏹️ ▶️ John provides more value to the user as they discover content they wouldn’t have otherwise, hence the increased engagement,
⏹️ ▶️ John right? So this last bit about, well, isn’t it great that you learn about new stuff? Isn’t
⏹️ ▶️ John that better than you just finding the show that you wanted to watch and watching it and then getting done? This will let you see stuff that you never would
⏹️ ▶️ John have discovered because we’re constantly throwing it in your face. That’s not what I hear
⏹️ ▶️ John from people who are sending feedback. And also what they’re doing in testing here and saying, hey, we move,
⏹️ ▶️ John continue watching down, so it’s below the fold. And we got more quote unquote, engagement.
⏹️ ▶️ John Well, some percentage of that engagement is people flailing wildly trying to find the thing that they were previously
⏹️ ▶️ John watching. Some percentage of that engagement is people giving up finding it. Some percentage of it is
⏹️ ▶️ John just, well, I can’t see the thing that I want, so I’ll try this other thing. What is not measured by this thing, if you’re
⏹️ ▶️ John just measuring engagement, What is not measured is the frustration being induced in people that have to
⏹️ ▶️ John hunt for the thing they were previously watching. There is no sort of measure of that frustration really, except maybe
⏹️ ▶️ John abandonment before watching or whatever. But maybe even that would show increased engagement. Because if you just go
⏹️ ▶️ John launch the app and click the show you’re watching, that’s a limited amount of quote unquote, engagement versus hunting for it. If
⏹️ ▶️ John you hunt for it briefly and bail on the app, that may count as more engagement in your measurement
⏹️ ▶️ John than finding it successfully and watching it. So as with any with metrics, be
⏹️ ▶️ John careful what you measure, because if you’re measuring the wrong thing, or you’re ignoring something that you should be measuring, you’re going
⏹️ ▶️ John to end up with an app that frustrates users that nobody loves. Right. So again, while I understand,
⏹️ ▶️ John there is lots of motivation to show you the new show they paid $100 million for at the top of the screen
⏹️ ▶️ John filling the entire screen, rather than showing you the next episode of the show you’re watching.
⏹️ ▶️ John It’s a bad choice long term, people will have affection for an interface that lets
⏹️ ▶️ John them do the thing they want to do. The example that I didn’t dive too much into because it’s like old man news or whatever,
⏹️ ▶️ John is the Tivo interface. Tons of people use Tivo and loved it. And if you ask them, they loved
⏹️ ▶️ John the interface. It let them do what they wanted to do. They didn’t feel lost. It was responsive.
⏹️ ▶️ John The playback experience was good. It had all the controls they wanted on it. And it made a user
⏹️ ▶️ John base that was so loyal that essentially kept the company alive for way longer than it should have been. It’s still alive technically now, but
⏹️ ▶️ John it’s a bit of a corpse. So it is possible and also valuable and important
⏹️ ▶️ John to have users who love your interface. And I think no streaming service has that today. So I really hope
⏹️ ▶️ John somebody somewhere reads this realizes that their app doesn’t measure up to even the basics. And then
⏹️ ▶️ John I hope they go beyond these basics and do all the things that you know, a good video
⏹️ ▶️ John player should do. I said good to great, like maybe a great video player should do. So to give an example, I talk
⏹️ ▶️ John all about like, oh, when an episode is over, you know, when you finish watching an episode, the next thing is to
⏹️ ▶️ John offer you to do is to watch the episode that is next in the series, right? But I didn’t say,
⏹️ ▶️ John How do you tell when an episode is over? I think we all know and understand that a really good
⏹️ ▶️ John app will have good heuristics for determining whether you’ve completed an episode because most people don’t
⏹️ ▶️ John sit through all the credits, right? They you get to a certain point, you’re like, well, we’re done with the episode. But if you
⏹️ ▶️ John look at the progress bar, you’re not really done because there’s 17 minutes of international credits on this Marvel show,
⏹️ ▶️ John right? And so then if you launch the app the next day and it says,
⏹️ ▶️ John do you want to continue watching? And you say yes. And it just keeps showing you the credits like, no, no, I finished that episode.
⏹️ ▶️ John Show me the next one. We expect an app to go above and beyond the basic spec of
⏹️ ▶️ John when the episode is over. Show the next one. We expect it to know. And by over, I
⏹️ ▶️ John mean what a person would think of as over like this is what bogus on. I like we talk
⏹️ ▶️ John about on the show. We talk about app development or what Mark was doing with Overcast or whatever,
⏹️ ▶️ John any decent software developer, this is all they spend their time thinking about.
⏹️ ▶️ John These details, how do I tell when a show is over? What is the right balance of how
⏹️ ▶️ John far into the credits did they get? Does it look like it’s over? Is there a post-credit sequence? And if I send them to the next episode,
⏹️ ▶️ John are they gonna miss the post-credit sequence? Oh, now it seems like I need to have metadata to understand on a per
⏹️ ▶️ John episode basis if there’s a post-credit sequence. This is the thought that goes into making an application.
⏹️ ▶️ John This is not the basics. I don’t mention this anywhere in this article. I’m just saying like basics, let people
⏹️ ▶️ John launch the app, find the thing they wanna watch, watch it, right? But to actually make a really
⏹️ ▶️ John great app, you have to go beyond the basics. And these apps don’t even get the basics right. So that’s why I tried
⏹️ ▶️ John to limit myself to the basics to say, look, you’re not even on, you’re not even in the ballpark yet.
⏹️ ▶️ John Make sure your app has the basic functionality. And then please, please spend
⏹️ ▶️ John a lot of time every single one of these individual things, finding out how you can do a better job of
⏹️ ▶️ John that. Most actual apps are a mix. Like some apps do a really good job of one thing, like the Amazon
⏹️ ▶️ John Prime app has that x ray thing, where at any time you’re watching something on the Amazon Prime video player and someone
⏹️ ▶️ John says, What is that person from you just hit pause, it shows the faces and names
⏹️ ▶️ John of all the actors who are in the current scene you’re watching, and you can drill down into them and see the other stuff that they were in.
⏹️ ▶️ John Why has nobody copied that? I mean, the snarky answer is because Amazon owns IMDB and because potentially
⏹️ ▶️ John there’s patents about it, but I’m just saying like, that’s an example of surprise and delight. That is way
⏹️ ▶️ John above and beyond the basics. Amazon’s been doing it for years and years. No one else seems to care. Even though
⏹️ ▶️ John you know everyone’s sitting on their couches watching a show and saying, what is that person from? And then we take out our phones
⏹️ ▶️ John and we have to look it up in the stupid IMDB app that’s terrible, or we have to Google it or whatever. It’s like,
⏹️ ▶️ John God, anyway. There’s a lot of room for improvement here. My angle is just try to go to the basics and I really
⏹️ ▶️ John hope these things get better over time. I’m a little bit pessimistic because of the misaligned
⏹️ ▶️ John incentives, but I feel like there’s so many of these
⏹️ ▶️ John apps, at least one of them needs to be in there and say, rather than chasing what we think
⏹️ ▶️ John of as engagement at all costs, maybe we should try to make an app that people actually like using. Or
⏹️ ▶️ John maybe we should just start measuring user sentiment. Do you love our app or do you hate it? No, not one star through
⏹️ ▶️ John five star, but like some kind of user sentiment analysis, some kind of net promoter
⏹️ ▶️ John score, some kind of business jargon mumbo jumbo that says, do people like using our thing?
⏹️ ▶️ John Because the answer right now is mostly no.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey It’s so true. One time sponsor channels, they did a victory lap
⏹️ ▶️ Casey saying that they think they fit your criteria pretty well. And to the best, I use channels regularly
⏹️ ▶️ Casey and to the best of my recollection, I think that’s mostly true if not accurate. I had a couple of people write in and say
⏹️ ▶️ Casey that Plex does most, if not all, of this. You use Plex enough that you would know.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I didn’t have the chance to go through and verify myself, but I think a lot of it they do write.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Certainly not all of it, but a lot of it. So there’s hope to be had, but I think that that is the problem,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey and you’ve nailed it, is that the misaligned incentives for anything like a Netflix causes
⏹️ ▶️ Casey them to make decisions that are contrary to what I want as a just
⏹️ ▶️ Casey regular schmo that wants to watch some TV.
⏹️ ▶️ John That’s one of the things about the things you mentioned, channels, Plex, very often
⏹️ ▶️ John you hear people deriding all sort of developer interfaces, right? Like, oh, it looks like a developer made this
⏹️ ▶️ John UI. Cause it’s very kind of by the numbers,
⏹️ ▶️ John boring, straightforward, no frills, no real creativity.
⏹️ ▶️ John Especially like perhaps, you know, Navigationally, if you think of like old iOS apps of like a master detail
⏹️ ▶️ John view or a simple straightforward hierarchy with the expected number of steps between A and B, and it’s
⏹️ ▶️ John like, okay, fine, but that’s very sort of computery and developery. And things like Plex or
⏹️ ▶️ John XBMC before it, or what was that other one, so it’s the K, like these sort of mostly nerd-derived
⏹️ ▶️ John media player thingies which did not start life as streaming videos. So I know Plex has some streaming thing or whatever. That’s not,
⏹️ ▶️ John Plex does not start its life as a streaming video service. I think it started before that thing even existed.
⏹️ ▶️ John Or even channels, which is kind of a nerdy thing for setting up TV or whatever. They tend to have interfaces
⏹️ ▶️ John that have a lot of features, so then they tend to also having the basics because
⏹️ ▶️ John if they’re made by tech nerdy people, like, well, of course, it’s a computer, we’ll put in all the features the computer could do. Why would we not
⏹️ ▶️ John have skip to beginning end, skip forward, back? In fact, we’re computer users, we’re not afraid of having a setting
⏹️ ▶️ John screen. Maybe we’ll have a setting screen that lets you choose how many seconds backwards and forwards you can skip.
⏹️ ▶️ John and nobody in the room says, whoa, whoa, whoa, we can’t have settings, that’s madness. Users will not be able to figure
⏹️ ▶️ John this out. Whereas they put that one little feature in there and then anyone who uses them is like, oh, thank God, I can pick the number
⏹️ ▶️ John of seconds forward and backwards. In fact, maybe I’ll only go backwards, you know, seven seconds and forward 30
⏹️ ▶️ John seconds. I can pick different amounts, it’s amazing. And that makes them happier. Anyway, the reason those apps tend to
⏹️ ▶️ John do better is because they have those sort of straightforward interfaces. No one in those meetings is saying, we
⏹️ ▶️ John should have an algorithmic timeline that figures out what we think they want to watch and shows
⏹️ ▶️ John them that. And it’s like, no, let’s just make a hierarchy. You have TVs and movies. TV shows are broken down
⏹️ ▶️ John into seasons and there are specials that are out of the seasons and there are ordered sets. Movies can be in series and
⏹️ ▶️ John we can have trilogies. And you know, like, it’s just, they just do the straightforward hierarchy.
⏹️ ▶️ John And the navigation is like down, down, down, up, up, up. And it’s not, you know, the smoothest thing in the world,
⏹️ ▶️ John but it’s the obvious way that this could work. And that’s one of the things I say is here, you have to
⏹️ ▶️ John support the obvious intrinsic hierarchy of the material, right? Above and beyond
⏹️ ▶️ John that, if you wanna do this cool, like, here’s what we recommend for you, or based on what your friends are watching, or we built
⏹️ ▶️ John in a social network, yeah, sure, by all means do that. But you also have to support the idea
⏹️ ▶️ John that there are TV shows that have seasons and seasons have episodes, and episodes are made by people and have titles
⏹️ ▶️ John and have durations. Like, there is an intrinsic hierarchy to this stuff. And you can spend
⏹️ ▶️ John hours and hours making it better saying, Okay, but what about series that, you know, have special
⏹️ ▶️ John episodes inserted? What about the Doctor Who Christmas special? And where does that fit in? And how do we you know, yes, you can go
⏹️ ▶️ John like we talked about with music, you can you can spend a lot of time making the data model just perfect. But
⏹️ ▶️ John let’s just start with the basics. And I think the smaller the app, and the more it predates
⏹️ ▶️ John streaming video services, the more likely it is to pass this basics test, because no one was there to
⏹️ ▶️ John tell them that it’s wrong to make a simple usable app with a few settings.
⏹️ ▶️ John Whereas the streaming video apps all look like they were made with like, we have a blank canvas and we’ve never heard of hierarchy.
⏹️ ▶️ John Throw a bunch of squares on it. Good, we’re done. Is
⏹️ ▶️ John that it for that topic? Unless San Marco’s gonna announce a streaming video app. Oh God.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco No, well, the problem is that there is no way,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco you know, right now we have this wonderful situation in the podcast app
⏹️ ▶️ Marco market where anybody can make a podcast app. And the world
⏹️ ▶️ Marco of podcast content that’s out there, with a growing number of exceptions,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco unfortunately, but the world of podcast content is mostly available to anybody who wants to make
⏹️ ▶️ Marco an app. So we aren’t stuck with only a small number of big companies
⏹️ ▶️ Marco as the content owners being the ones who can make the apps that play that content.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco That is the case where we’re stuck in that kind of situation for most other forms of media today.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Most other forms of media, especially video. The reality is that Apple tried
⏹️ ▶️ Marco with the Apple TV to have standardized players and everything like that. Actually, the
⏹️ ▶️ Marco old Apple TVs before tvOS actually achieved this in a much better way, in part because
⏹️ ▶️ Marco it was simpler and capable of less, and also in part because I believe Apple was
⏹️ ▶️ Marco actually writing all that software themselves and just kind of making deals with content providers to to access some of their
⏹️ ▶️ Marco stuff on the back end or whatever. But now we’re in this world where, like,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco only say, you know, only the programmers at Netflix are going to
⏹️ ▶️ Marco be able to make the apps that can play the Netflix content, only the programmers at Disney are going to make the Disney
⏹️ ▶️ Marco plus content playable, and so on. And so we have this unfortunate situation where,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco first of all, we have a million different apps to play this now, which where like,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and not in a good way, like what I mean by that is like, if you as a consumer want to watch six different
⏹️ ▶️ Marco TV shows, you probably have to use four different apps to watch them. And all those apps
⏹️ ▶️ Marco are gonna behave differently, and they’re all gonna be written by different people with different priorities and different skill levels. And
⏹️ ▶️ Marco so they’re gonna have all these different experiences that are gonna drive John nuts, in part because they’re
⏹️ ▶️ Marco bad, and also in part just because they’re different from each other. But you also have this problem of
⏹️ ▶️ Marco now that things are so siloed and locked down by these giant corporations that don’t
⏹️ ▶️ Marco wanna work together with anybody else, no one else can make another app to play it.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I can’t make a streaming video app if I wanted to because it wouldn’t be able to play any video. Music is almost that
⏹️ ▶️ Marco bad. Like back when we all were playing MP3s, that we pirated off of Napster and stuff,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco oh, excuse me, that we ripped legally from our own CD collections, that
⏹️ ▶️ Marco you could have other MP3 players, anybody could make a music player and have a chance
⏹️ ▶️ Marco of it getting traction. Yes, I know when iTunes came out it kind of crushed the market, but for the most part
⏹️ ▶️ Marco there was a time span there with music where anybody could make a music app. And
⏹️ ▶️ Marco as somebody who uses the music app on my devices every
⏹️ ▶️ Marco day, I would love to make a new music app.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco How do I put this gently? I would love to make a music app where it appears that the person who makes
⏹️ ▶️ Marco the app uses the app ever.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Well done. Well done. Because oh my gosh, in my continued attempt to force
⏹️ ▶️ Casey myself to like Apple music, the music app, the music
⏹️ ▶️ Casey app is so bad and it’s so bad
⏹️ ▶️ Casey, John everywhere. It’s not like
⏹️ ▶️ John there are third party music apps, though. I mean, like Margo said, the existence of Apple’s app kind of makes
⏹️ ▶️ John that a market tough. And so there’s not a lot of entrance, but to Apple’s credit, it is
⏹️ ▶️ John possible to make a third party music app for iOS and the Mac and they do exist.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Well, yes, and it is possible. However, the market for them is very small
⏹️ ▶️ Marco because in in in a large part because you
⏹️ ▶️ Marco what customers are accessing in their music apps is so frequently now a streaming
⏹️ ▶️ Marco service and not their own collection. Now, there are some exceptions to this, like you can make an app
⏹️ ▶️ Marco for iOS and Mac that accesses Apple Music. There are some limitations
⏹️ ▶️ Marco on what that app can do then, for various DRM reasons and everything like that. But you can, like
⏹️ ▶️ Marco you could make an app, a third-party app for Apple Music playback. And if I
⏹️ ▶️ Marco were to ever make my own music app, this is not an announcement, I haven’t written a single line of code or even decided
⏹️ ▶️ Marco to do this ever, let alone anytime soon. But if I were to make
⏹️ ▶️ Marco a music app, that is probably what I would make. I would probably make something that could either
⏹️ ▶️ Marco integrate with the API to play Apple Music for that demand, or I would say,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco F it, I’m not gonna integrate with any streaming service. If you can somehow find a folder
⏹️ ▶️ Marco of MP3s that you either brought from the 90s with you until
⏹️ ▶️ Marco now, or somehow, I don’t even know if people, like, do people even pirate music anymore?
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Like, there’s no point. But anyway, that’s how I’ve always
⏹️ ▶️ Marco thought about it in my head. If I were to make a music app, it would either be using the Apple Music API and being very limited and
⏹️ ▶️ Marco tied to this thing that I’m sure is a buggy mess. Because think about an API
⏹️ ▶️ Marco that’s A, based on an Apple web service, and B,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco almost certainly not at all the same API that Apple’s own apps use. So the chances of
⏹️ ▶️ Marco that being good and long-term stable are very low.
⏹️ ▶️ John probably is the same one that Apple’s apps use because the Apple’s apps are also laggy and weird and so it’s probably
⏹️ ▶️ John dog food. That probably limit the quality of your third party app is that in the end you have to make a bunch
⏹️ ▶️ John of HTTP calls to get the music that you have to play and if those stall out and are slow,
⏹️ ▶️ John then your app suddenly is slow when you hit the play button.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco That’s fair. But anyway, so yeah, so my plan would either be that or again, like just
⏹️ ▶️ Marco play as files. Like maybe it will sync to an S3 bucket so you can have it on multiple devices but
⏹️ ▶️ Marco like literally just plays DRM-free files that you happen to have.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco How you get those, that’s up to you. Because honestly, that’s what I use most of the time. Most of the time,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I am playing my Phish concerts that I download legally from them. And those are all
⏹️ ▶️ Marco just DRM-free MP3 files. And that’s the vast majority of my collection is not
⏹️ ▶️ Marco stuff I’ve added from Apple Music. It’s mostly like stuff I either bought legally
⏹️ ▶️ Marco or ripped legally that I had before streaming services became a thing, or it’s Phish concerts that are
⏹️ ▶️ Marco legal and totally outside of that system. But the problem is, getting back to the point, the problem is,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco the reason I’m probably never gonna make this app is because there is basically nobody else who would wanna use
⏹️ ▶️ Marco it. Like I know all dozens of you are saying, oh I would, I would, but the problem is,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco this is an app for almost nobody. Relatively speaking, like percentage-wise
⏹️ ▶️ Marco of today’s music listening population. Almost everyone now, first of all, listens to music I don’t
⏹️ ▶️ Marco even understand anymore. So why should I even make this app? This is not obviously my expertise area.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco But also, most people are listening on a streaming service. And so
⏹️ ▶️ Marco to launch a music app today, when you don’t own
⏹️ ▶️ Marco a major streaming service, is market suicide probably. Well, that’s
⏹️ ▶️ Marco the problem you have with
⏹️ ▶️ John There is a market for that though. Like the companies, two of the companies we listed. So Plex,
⏹️ ▶️ John obviously, I mean, I think they have their own streaming thing or whatever, but the Plexus deal is if
⏹️ ▶️ John you can somehow get the video to me, Plex, I will organize
⏹️ ▶️ John it for you and let you play it and let you mark it up and get the artwork
⏹️ ▶️ John and do all the things, right? And then channels, which former sponsor, my understanding of the way their
⏹️ ▶️ John things work is they will also say, look, if you pay for cable,
⏹️ ▶️ John sign in with your credentials because a lot of the cable providers have a way that they show video on the web and we will extract
⏹️ ▶️ John that. And so it’s like, you
⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey get to use our player, the channel’s
⏹️ ▶️ John player, even though they don’t own the streaming service, they don’t own
⏹️ ▶️ John Xfinity or Fios or over the air antenna or like the HD home run
⏹️ ▶️ John things. Like it is plausible and possible and these companies do it to
⏹️ ▶️ John say, I’m gonna try to make a player interface to this video that like Marco said, is locked up in these third
⏹️ ▶️ John party services. But man, do they not make it easy. Like the companies that actually own the video
⏹️ ▶️ John do not want those other companies putting their player or system on top of them. Plex is like,
⏹️ ▶️ John okay, well, you know, we have other ways to get that video, so screw you, streaming service, right? But things
⏹️ ▶️ John like channels are trying to play along as best they can with things like cable
⏹️ ▶️ John cards and over the air video and your cable subscription and the web interface. But
⏹️ ▶️ John the companies that own that stuff don’t want that to happen and will stop it any way they legally can.
⏹️ ▶️ John So it is an extremely tough market.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah, and that’s like, this is why I like, it’s really hard to have
⏹️ ▶️ Marco usability or experience innovation in an area where
⏹️ ▶️ Marco you are beholden to content provided by a small number of large
⏹️ ▶️ Marco companies because the reality is that it’s very difficult
⏹️ ▶️ Marco or impossible to build an app as somebody who is not one of these big companies
⏹️ ▶️ Marco to access other people’s content today, unless that content is an existing already wide open
⏹️ ▶️ Marco medium. And the number of those is dramatically shrinking and isn’t isn’t
⏹️ ▶️ Marco large to begin with.
⏹️ ▶️ John I have to say I’m kind of heartened to see that there was so much feedback
⏹️ ▶️ John from people having dissatisfaction with the sort of the first launch experience because I had feared
⏹️ ▶️ John when I was writing this that that an entire generation of people had been conditioned to the idea that when you launch
⏹️ ▶️ John a streaming service app, of course, it’s not going to give you an obvious way to continue watching the show
⏹️ ▶️ John you’re watching, like that you will always be presented with essentially a splash screen promoting a bunch
⏹️ ▶️ John of things that it thinks you might like, and that you will always have to dig or scroll or search
⏹️ ▶️ John or do a voice command or whatever, to find the show that you’ve been watching, right? But
⏹️ ▶️ John no, even though essentially, every big streaming service does that, again, for user engagement
⏹️ ▶️ John reasons, because that, you know, it’s important for them. You know, if you’re one of these companies, what’s more important
⏹️ ▶️ John that they that the user finish watching the TV series that they really wanted to watch
⏹️ ▶️ John when they signed up, or that they start watching a new thing. If they finish watching the series, maybe they say, oh,
⏹️ ▶️ John that’s done, now I can unsubscribe from PowerWrite Plus, I’ve finished the Star Trek, right? They don’t want that, they want
⏹️ ▶️ John you to start a new thing. So it is so in their interest to hide that, right? But
⏹️ ▶️ John despite the fact that every single streaming service makes it degrees of difficult for you to continue
⏹️ ▶️ John watching what you’re watching, that is still what everybody wants to do. And that is absolutely the number one
⏹️ ▶️ John complaint heard echoes is like, nobody can find where was the thing I was just watching?
⏹️ ▶️ John Nobody can find it, even though like the answer is often it’s right there, or it’s down two rows, or you don’t
⏹️ ▶️ John see it. It’s over like something, some hide it really well, some hide it just a little bit.
⏹️ ▶️ John But the bottom line is people go in there trying to accomplish a task, which is let me watch the next
⏹️ ▶️ John episode of Ted lasso. And the apps fight them. The apps fight them. They launch the
⏹️ ▶️ John app. And it’s like, I don’t know what you’re talking about with the Ted lasso. But what about the show. Or it shows the big banner
⏹️ ▶️ John for Ted Lasso and you click it and it starts playing episode one of Ted Lasso. It’s like, God, you have one job.
⏹️ ▶️ John But I guess that counts as engagement. Anyway, so I’m glad that people have not been conditioned to
⏹️ ▶️ John accept that this is how it has to be. With streaming music. I think people have unfortunately been conditioned
⏹️ ▶️ John to accept it because I honestly I think streaming music apps are better in the grand scheme of things than
⏹️ ▶️ John streaming video apps, but streaming video despite they despite apparently all
⏹️ ▶️ John going to the same conference where they all agree to suck in exactly the same ways, users
⏹️ ▶️ John still don’t like it. They just want to watch
⏹️ ▶️ Marco their show. Well, and you know, the problem too, you know, as you talked about earlier, is that
⏹️ ▶️ Marco when it’s only big companies making these apps or even able to make these apps,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco it’s so much easier for them to justify the decisions they make based on quote
⏹️ ▶️ Marco data. And it’s not that they’re not being evil or stupid or anything.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco That’s just how large companies
⏹️ ▶️ John work. They’re being a little bit stupid, though. Because like I said, data, it depends on what you decide to measure. You have
⏹️ ▶️ John to be careful with what you’re measuring.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco That’s fair. But for the most part, if they have some data that shows, hey, this
⏹️ ▶️ Marco kind of less user-friendly or less graceful design actually
⏹️ ▶️ Marco resulted in higher performance on whatever metrics we’re tracking. It’s really hard
⏹️ ▶️ Marco if you’re in a company to argue, hey, but why don’t we do the nicer thing instead?
⏹️ ▶️ Marco When you’re in a company, that kind of logic does not get rewarded and does not succeed because
⏹️ ▶️ Marco everyone’s like, well, I make more money this way. That’s it. And when you’re an individual
⏹️ ▶️ Marco or a small group that is less focused on extracting every penny of
⏹️ ▶️ Marco profit and more driven by like, hey, let’s make the best thing we can make. You make different
⏹️ ▶️ Marco decisions, you think differently, you have different priorities, and you can because you’re smaller.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco But it’s very different when you when you are like a very small cog in a very big machine, where
⏹️ ▶️ Marco you are rewarded only for like making money. And that’s it.
⏹️ ▶️ John I think it’s a little bit subtler than that a lot of the cases where when you’re small,
⏹️ ▶️ John you think the way to make money is to make an app that people like using. Like that’s the connection
⏹️ ▶️ John that you make, naively make. You know, like, okay, well, if I’m gonna make a word processor, and
⏹️ ▶️ John I want my word processor to be really great, I want people to love my word processor, I wanna make the best word processor I can
⏹️ ▶️ John make, because if I make the best word processor I can make, I’ll make money, right? When you’re big, that
⏹️ ▶️ John connection, quality of product equals making money, that’s not how you make money in the big leagues, right? It is different
⏹️ ▶️ John than that. It’s like, okay, but how do we actually make money? Show me the path from make a
⏹️ ▶️ John really good streaming interface to making money. And they’ll say, well, actually, the streaming app is not that big a
⏹️ ▶️ John deal. We just need a giant play button, right? But we really need is content. And how do you get content we really need is distribution? How do we
⏹️ ▶️ John get installed in everybody’s TVs? And like, there’s so much more to making money, like the connection
⏹️ ▶️ John between making money means doing these things gets farther and farther from the simple thing of like, if I just make
⏹️ ▶️ John a really good app or piece of software, that’s especially for things like streaming services. Honestly, we’re
⏹️ ▶️ John complaining about these, you know, interfaces, whatever the bottom line is, if there’s not good TV shows on it, or not good movies, you’re
⏹️ ▶️ John not going to watch it no matter how good the the app is right. So the most important thing is content. And that’s a whole
⏹️ ▶️ John other other ball of wax, right. But I don’t think even the app itself is like second or third or fourth
⏹️ ▶️ John or if it is, the purpose the app is serving is not per let the user
⏹️ ▶️ John accomplish their intended task with the least amount of frustration. That’s not
⏹️ ▶️ John the thing that is going to make the money because they say, Okay, Sarah app is 10 times better than the next person’s,
⏹️ ▶️ John they’re still going to do better because they’re making that extra $20 million from extra engagement by
⏹️ ▶️ John putting up the big promo for their new show and we need to do that, right? And so it’s, I think
⏹️ ▶️ John everyone in it wants to succeed or make money or whatever you wanna say, but it’s the way, it’s
⏹️ ▶️ John the sophistication of the connection between what I do and how that translates into money.
⏹️ ▶️ John And, you know, this small developer, it can usually hold
⏹️ ▶️ John on to the, right or wrong, can hold on to the connection between the quality of their app and how much money
⏹️ ▶️ John they make much longer than a large corporation can. Yeah. I think it was that
⏹️ ▶️ John Dilbert strip where it was like some character having an existential crisis and saying, oh no, I just lost the connection
⏹️ ▶️ John between my performance and how much I’m paid. Like having like a thought in your head is like, if you lose
⏹️ ▶️ John that, if you just like, I know I’ve lost it, I can’t see it anymore. Like, cause when you’re, especially when you’re first
⏹️ ▶️ John starting at a job, you think if I do well in my job, I will succeed. And there are
⏹️ ▶️ John various times in one’s long career where you will lose that connection and say, how well I do my job seems
⏹️ ▶️ John to have no connection to how much I’m paid or how I’m promoted, right? And you just lose it. And
⏹️ ▶️ John you’re like, what even is anything? I don’t know. And then maybe you get it back. Anyway,
⏹️ ▶️ John it definitely seems like the connection between the quality of the streaming app and how streaming companies make money
⏹️ ▶️ John essentially doesn’t exist.
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Akamai is buying Linode
⏹️ ▶️ Casey right, so there was some slightly breaking news that happened, I believe, this morning as we record.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Akamai, which is a, if not the, CDN, Content Delivery Network,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey has announced that they are going to acquire a very frequent former and probably future
⏹️ ▶️ Marco literally sponsoring this episode.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I was going to say, I was about to look, are they sponsoring tonight? So we are obviously all big fans of
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Linode here. And we certainly have a financial interest
⏹️ ▶️ Casey in what happens with Linode in the sense that they sponsor us. But that being said, I think and I would
⏹️ ▶️ Casey hope that you all know us well enough to know that we’ll call it like we see it. And so Akamai
⏹️ ▶️ Casey has announced that they’re going to acquire Linode. Reading from their announcement, just a couple of quick things.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey It says, together with Linode, Akamai will become the world’s most distributed compute platform from cloud to
⏹️ ▶️ Casey edge. And then the Akamai CEO, Tom Leighton, said, We are excited to begin a
⏹️ ▶️ Casey new chapter in our evolution by creating a unique cloud platform to build, run and secure applications from the cloud to the
⏹️ ▶️ Casey edge. This is a big win for developers who will now be able to build applications on a platform that delivers
⏹️ ▶️ Casey unprecedented scale, reach, performance, reliability, and security.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I hope nothing happens. So here’s the thing. So
⏹️ ▶️ Marco my concern here is less, you know, selfishly, it’s less about them
⏹️ ▶️ Marco sponsoring our show in the future, and more because, you know, I think we perform pretty well for them. And I think if they continue doing
⏹️ ▶️ Marco sponsorships at all, I think they’ll probably stick with us. But I think my concern for them is more
⏹️ ▶️ Marco as a customer, that I have everything hosted there. And
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I have been through web host acquisitions as a customer before.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I’ve also been through Linode’s own migrations before where they’re maybe they’re like, you know, they’re
⏹️ ▶️ Marco trying to retire some old hardware and move everybody onto newer hardware. I’ve been through those before.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Linode has always handled those very well. I’m not concerned that Linode
⏹️ ▶️ Marco will, you know, as they’re almost certainly going to like start moving stuff into
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Akamai’s infrastructure on some level, I’m not worried they’re going to do a bad job of that.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco They’ve done a great job of that in the past. And so that’s been fine.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I’m also, Also again, like having been with other hosts, when they’ve gotten acquired, normally
⏹️ ▶️ Marco what happens is for a while, everything is the same. And then eventually,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco the new owner of it makes everybody move over to their plans, whatever,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco whatever their structure is their plans, and they shut down all the old stuff eventually. So that might happen
⏹️ ▶️ Marco here. But in this case, Linode was not acquired by another web hosting company,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco they were were acquired by a large CDN that has other solutions, but they don’t really, like Akamai
⏹️ ▶️ Marco does not sell what Linode is. And if you look at the statements
⏹️ ▶️ Marco from the Akamai people and everything, it seems like their main interest in Linode
⏹️ ▶️ Marco is to have a server platform and server solutions
⏹️ ▶️ Marco that they can sell their other customers through their massive sales channel.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco This was covered very well in the Strategory article for subscribers this week or today about this.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I strongly recommend anybody out there check it out. Sign up if you want, it’s a great thing, it’s worth it. Anyway, so we’ll
⏹️ ▶️ Marco link to it in the show notes. But the Akamai position on this publicly seems to
⏹️ ▶️ Marco be like they want a server platform or solution that they can sell to their other
⏹️ ▶️ Marco customers through their big sales channel. Now, what this means to
⏹️ ▶️ Marco existing Linode customers is that it sounds like we are not super important
⏹️ ▶️ Marco to Akamai. Now that can be good and bad. You know, in one way, it can be good in
⏹️ ▶️ Marco the sense that we probably don’t matter enough for them to mess with us.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco It can be bad in the sense that as they choose what directions to go in the future, they might not
⏹️ ▶️ Marco consider our needs, or they might not prioritize us over their other larger goals. But I imagine,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco you know, they paid Linode decent amount of money to buy this decently sized company
⏹️ ▶️ Marco for a reason. Like it wasn’t just to you know sell stuff and get a commission
⏹️ ▶️ Marco or whatever like they could have done that through some kind of affiliate marketing deal. They didn’t have to buy the company to do that.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco So I think this will probably be okay for a while.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco If it ends up that what I use and need about
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Linode is somehow ruined or no longer available then I’ll be really
⏹️ ▶️ Marco sad and I’ll be be forced to move and that’ll suck because when you look around like I looked around today
⏹️ ▶️ Marco to see like well what what does the competitive landscape look like and
⏹️ ▶️ Marco there’s not that many companies like this left you know it’s basically like DigitalOcean and
⏹️ ▶️ Marco then this one that Ben Thompson linked to that with the V I don’t even hadn’t even heard of them before but apparently they’re huge
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I never had never heard of them but I looked at you know their offerings and everything and yeah like
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I would have I would have some stumbling blocks moving to either of these companies because,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco as I mentioned in every single ad, Linode’s really good and they solve my needs really well. And I
⏹️ ▶️ Marco currently, I spend something like $5,000 a month on overcast
⏹️ ▶️ Marco servers there. Oh God, that
⏹️ ▶️ Casey makes my heart hurt.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah, and if you look at, you know, Linode’s prices are like, you know, $20 a month, $40 a month,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco you know, look at the plans, it’s a lot of servers to reach those numbers.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco a good number of servers. And so to move to another
⏹️ ▶️ Marco host would not only be a very large technical ordeal that just, you know, again, I’ve
⏹️ ▶️ Marco done this before, I could do it. It’s a pain in the butt to move hosts. But you know,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I could do it. But it’s just it’s a big pain for something that I really don’t want to do.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco And also, I don’t have a track record with somebody else established now. Like I know,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I know that with Linode, I don’t really have to think about my stuff most of the time, like, as somebody who runs
⏹️ ▶️ Marco this by myself, I am my own server admin, I am the one who’s always on call if
⏹️ ▶️ Marco anything breaks. And I know that I can do things like go to sleep at night,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and not have to worry that I’m going to be woken up at 2am, or worse, not woken up at
⏹️ ▶️ Marco 2am when a database breaks and my entire site’s down. Like, I know that I don’t have to worry
⏹️ ▶️ Marco about that most of the time, because I know Linode is reliable. And I know I have I have a long history with them now.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco And I know what I can count on. Anytime if I’m going to be forced to move anywhere else,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco like if my Linode solutions go away or get ruined, I would have to relearn all of that and take
⏹️ ▶️ Marco new take risks at a new host. And frankly, what I would be very tempted to do,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco or at least to try is to just move to AWS at that point. But
⏹️ ▶️ Marco moving to AWS would probably again I said $5,000 a month for what I what I have at Linode
⏹️ ▶️ Marco if I moved to AWS that would probably multiply by at least three or four
⏹️ ▶️ Marco, John you are correct
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and I that’s why that’s why I’m not there now because AWS is a great deal
⏹️ ▶️ Marco if you if your usage fits certain certain profiles and mine doesn’t here’s
⏹️ ▶️ John the thing about AWS AWS is a role-playing game
⏹️ ▶️ John if you go into it’s like progress quest kind of like one of those things. If you go into AWS and naively reimplemented
⏹️ ▶️ John your Linode stuff there, you would pay so much money. Yes, but it’s a game. And it’s a game that
⏹️ ▶️ John can be played in the game is essentially how do I get this functionality while spending the least
⏹️ ▶️ John amount of money and it’s a hard game. The only good thing about this game
⏹️ ▶️ John is that essentially everybody who works for AWS, in my experience, wants to help you win the game,
⏹️ ▶️ John which is weird. Like they’re telling you like, here’s how you can get that functionality by paying less money
⏹️ ▶️ John to us. But I swear that’s what they do. But it’s a hard game. You need their help.
⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco so yeah, if you
⏹️ ▶️ John went in there and you’re like, how is this possible? Why does this cost so much money? And it’s like, you don’t
⏹️ ▶️ John know the secret ways of use this service with that and do this and get these discounts and this thing and that. And it’s
⏹️ ▶️ John like, when you when you win the game, when you solve it, you’re like, wow, I’m paying one eighth what I was
⏹️ ▶️ John and I get better performance and it’s more reliable. But it took me a year to figure out how to win this game.
⏹️ ▶️ John So anyway, get ready for that if you ever decide to go over
⏹️ ▶️ Marco there. But and I hope I don’t because like, the reason the reason I haven’t gone to AWS yet.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah, I mean, to be fair, I use s3. But I don’t I don’t I’ve never used EC two or you know, their
⏹️ ▶️ Marco their various compute services. I’ve only ever used s3 as from their services.
⏹️ ▶️ John There’s so much beyond EC two, you don’t even know.
⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco I know. I know.
⏹️ ▶️ John One of the secrets to winning the game is don’t use EC two.
⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco Yeah, that’s true.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco But so one of the I haven’t gone over there yet is that or ever
⏹️ ▶️ Marco really, is that I know that cost would be a big difference. But another one is that
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I always loved the idea with being with somebody like Linode. And by the way, the chat says that the one
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I was thinking of earlier and couldn’t remember the name is Vulture or Vultr. It’s V-U-L-T-R.com. And yeah,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco apparently they’re huge and I’ve never heard of them. But yeah, as far as I can tell, the big names in this space
⏹️ ▶️ Marco are Linode, Vulture and DigitalOcean. And I don’t know of any others that are substantial
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and are good deals. And so the reason I went to AWS with my server needs is that
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I never liked the idea, besides the price issues, which are substantial, I never liked the idea
⏹️ ▶️ Marco of moving my stack to something that is pretty proprietary. That if the host
⏹️ ▶️ Marco ever went bad, like if AWS ever went bad in some way, it would be hard to move something
⏹️ ▶️ Marco off of AWS. Because it’s, it’s all this kind of custom
⏹️ ▶️ Marco tooling, custom stuff that like, I’m not, it isn’t just a bunch of VPSs, if you’re not just using dummy
⏹️ ▶️ Marco c2 stuff, like you’re, you’re using some of their more high level or managed services in some way. And
⏹️ ▶️ Marco so it’s harder to move away from it. And that reduces my portability. And that, you know, locks
⏹️ ▶️ Marco me in. And that could, that could screw me later, you know, if pricing or quality goes, goes
⏹️ ▶️ Marco south in some way. Well, by staying on something like Linode, that was based on the assumption that
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Linux VPSs would be always available from a diverse set of hosts that would all
⏹️ ▶️ Marco be competing well and would be pretty good indefinitely into the future. And I
⏹️ ▶️ Marco am having some doubts on the viability of that assumption. Like that’s, it seems like
⏹️ ▶️ Marco maybe the number of server hosts out there that just will give you commodity,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco unmanaged Linux VPSs seems like it’s shrinking.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco When Linode, which is, you know, either the biggest or second biggest player in this field,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco if they are taken out of the market, that makes me feel very nervous for this
⏹️ ▶️ Marco market in general. So that’s why, so again, I hope, what I, what I hope happens here
⏹️ ▶️ Marco is largely nothing for me, because if If Akamai just wants to sell
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Linode services to their things, that doesn’t have to impact the way that
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Linode’s customers are using Linode. But the reality of acquisitions is that it usually
⏹️ ▶️ Marco does. And it might take a while, and it might not be so bad. The last time I was through
⏹️ ▶️ Marco a host acquisition was back when I was a Tumblr, and we were with a host that was called The Planet,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and they were eventually bought by SoftLayer. And actually, that was eventually bought by IBM.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco But going through those two acquisitions, it was largely
⏹️ ▶️ Marco fine for a long time. Like going from the planet to SoftLayer, that was just a bigger host
⏹️ ▶️ Marco buying a smaller host. And so they continued to offer web hosting. Like it was just the regular
⏹️ ▶️ Marco service. But then when IBM bought it, I haven’t kept up with it since shortly after that, but
⏹️ ▶️ Marco when IBM bought it, the direction they wanted to go was very different. And my needs as a smaller
⏹️ ▶️ Marco user of it that wanted unmanaged services, which read low profit
⏹️ ▶️ Marco for them services, my needs were very unimportant from that point forward. And the products
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I was using were very unimportant and they probably don’t exist anymore. So if Linode
⏹️ ▶️ Marco goes this direction, then there’s a high chance that my needs
⏹️ ▶️ Marco would no longer be important to them anymore. I hope that doesn’t happen and there
⏹️ ▶️ Marco is probably a reason why Akamai paid so much money for them that hopefully
⏹️ ▶️ Marco is not wanting to get rid of what they are. But this is a lot of hope.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco And everyone involved could have the best of intentions right now. Both parties, Akamai and Linode, right now might think,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco we intend fully to have Linode customers be well handled into the future forever and to
⏹️ ▶️ Marco have this continue operating as an independent business or whatever. They might think that today. But it’s different when
⏹️ ▶️ Marco you get acquired. Things change. People bought it for reasons. They want to get certain values
⏹️ ▶️ Marco out of it. And then once they have it, maybe the leaders of the companies who are there now,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco in five or ten years, if they aren’t there anymore, new leaders come in with different priorities. This stuff changes over
⏹️ ▶️ Marco time, no matter what anyone’s intentions are up front. So I hope, and I
⏹️ ▶️ Marco think there’s a decent chance of this, I hope that Linode continues to be what it is today,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco so that customers like me who are very happy there and don’t want to move anywhere else
⏹️ ▶️ Marco can continue having the types of products that we use today be available forever.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco And if they’re not, I guess I’ll check out DigitalOcean or Vulture, but I won’t like that.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco And then if there’s a big market for this kind of acquisition, what’s stopping them from being acquired by other CDNs?
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Who knows? That’s the problem. When things get consolidated, or when there’s
⏹️ ▶️ Marco a lot of money in a part of a market that you’re not in as the customer of these things, sometimes
⏹️ ▶️ Marco your life with no options and that’s that’s the part I want to avoid. But as long as Linode
⏹️ ▶️ Marco continues to be what they’ve been for me for the last whatever it’s been 10 years or whatever
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I have no intention of leaving it and I hope they continue to because I really don’t want to go anywhere else
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and I think anywhere else I would go would be worse. That’s that’s I think my ultimate concern
⏹️ ▶️ Marco long-term is like if Linode goes south. I don’t think anyone else
⏹️ ▶️ Marco is going to step up and be the new Linode. I think this category of things will just have fewer options
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and be worse. And that’s That’s not good for anybody, so I hope that doesn’t happen.
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#askatp: Bluetooth-stealing in cars
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Chris Gleim writes, this winter I’ve had to scrape ice off my car’s windshield quite a few times, and I usually do this while wearing
⏹️ ▶️ Casey AirPods listening to podcasts. I turn on the car so it can defrost while I’m scraping, and I have an early 2010s Honda
⏹️ ▶️ Casey CR-V with no CarPlay and use a Bluetooth audio while I’m driving. The problem is my car’s Bluetooth is
⏹️ ▶️ Casey greedy, and it takes over my Bluetooth no matter what I do. Even if I go into the Bluetooth settings and select my AirPods again,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey after about 30 seconds the car steals the Bluetooth connection again. Eventually, I get fed up and forget the device,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey so I can use my AirPods, and then I’m stuck later connecting to my car Bluetooth
⏹️ ▶️ Casey with an obnoxiously loud walkthrough where I type in 000 to connect again. Is there some
⏹️ ▶️ Casey sort of Bluetooth priority that devices have which allows my car to steal the Bluetooth connection? Have you ever run into
⏹️ ▶️ Casey this? And if so, how do you deal with it? I definitely see this from if I ever touch
⏹️ ▶️ Casey my car doors while I’ve got AirPods in, because what ends up happening is the little dongle
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I have that gives me wireless car play, it does the same sort of thing and it tries to take over the
⏹️ ▶️ Casey connection and play to the radio that isn’t even on because it doesn’t know that it’s not really on right
⏹️ ▶️ Casey then. And what I can do is I can go into Control Center and just say, go back
⏹️ ▶️ Casey to my AirPods. However, I get like this little skip every three or four seconds and it’s incredibly
⏹️ ▶️ Casey frustrating. So I don’t know if there’s a good answer to this.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey And I would suspect that the thing that’s happening is that it’s the it. I was just trying to figure out
⏹️ ▶️ Casey what it suspects to be the highest priority. But I don’t necessarily agree with the I don’t necessarily agree
⏹️ ▶️ Casey with the choices that it makes that that that the car is definitely more important than air pods.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey But I don’t know. Do you guys have more actionable advice here?
⏹️ ▶️ John So I have a 2014 Honda that I scraped the eyes off of on the car with my air pods in
⏹️ ▶️ John listening to podcasts with the car turned on.
⏹️ ▶️ John it also it also steals the audio from me, but mostly
⏹️ ▶️ John only if I forget to do this thing. So my car also doesn’t have CarPlay,
⏹️ ▶️ John it’s just Bluetooth or whatever. Again, it’s four years later than this one, but it’s a possibility.
⏹️ ▶️ John If you press the little volume knobby thing, it shows on the screen, Audio Off.
⏹️ ▶️ John That’s basically saying, regardless of what it happens to be paired with, I won’t play
⏹️ ▶️ John audio out of the speakers from your Bluetooth device. If it’s an audio off, if I remember
⏹️ ▶️ John when I start the car engine to just whack the little thing so it says audio off, it will still steal,
⏹️ ▶️ John like, you know, it’ll stop playing in my AirPods when it steals the audio, but then all I have to do to fix it
⏹️ ▶️ John is tap or squeeze the little AirPod stem, and then it starts playing in my AirPods again.
⏹️ ▶️ John Try that. If you haven’t tried it, try that. That actually works reliably for me. So you just, you let it
⏹️ ▶️ John steal it, and I think the reason it’s stealing is because it’s the newest thing, like, here I am, and you told me to pair with your thing,
⏹️ ▶️ John which is normally what you want to do when you get in the car. So I’m going to do that right now. Here I go. I’m pairing because if it didn’t do
⏹️ ▶️ John that, think about it. If you got in your car and drove away, it would never stop, you know, sending through your phone
⏹️ ▶️ John speaker or whatever. You want it to do that. It’s just that you have to immediately sort of correct it. So if you
⏹️ ▶️ John do audio off it, the reason the audio off is important is because I think it steals up and then doesn’t play it. So you don’t miss any seconds
⏹️ ▶️ John of audio. And then if you just squeeze or tap the AirPods, it might start playing again.
⏹️ ▶️ John So that’s my suggestion. If that doesn’t work, then yeah, essentially you are at the mercy of the stupid Bluetooth
⏹️ ▶️ John audio implementation of your car thing, which you have limited control over. I don’t think there’s anything in particular that iOS
⏹️ ▶️ John can do that would be useful to stop that from happening, because in the end you do
⏹️ ▶️ John want your car to be able to, without any interaction from you, realize that your phone is in the
⏹️ ▶️ John car and it’s the last device it paired with, and therefore it should pair, right? So I mean,
⏹️ ▶️ John I think maybe the best the phone could do is maybe use GPS to realize the car is not moving.
⏹️ ▶️ John It can’t even use the motion sensor because you’re busy scraping the ice, you are actually moving it. But like if it uses the GPS to realize
⏹️ ▶️ John you haven’t left your driveway, then maybe you know it could fend off the pairing thing.
⏹️ ▶️ John But even that wouldn’t work because maybe you’re outdoors with a Bluetooth speaker. It’s it’s like a limitation of the
⏹️ ▶️ John the Bluetooth protocol. It doesn’t have enough smarts to understand the various scenarios. So it does what we
⏹️ ▶️ John think is the right thing to do, which is just pair with the thing that I’m used to pairing with.
⏹️ ▶️ John If you’re lucky, you can correct it after it it has made the wrong choice, which is not as good
⏹️ ▶️ John as it making the right choice, but it’s definitely better than taking out your phone, swiping your control
⏹️ ▶️ John center, pressing a little icon, doing all that stuff.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey And then as we discussed earlier, Marco hates cars. So moving right
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Actually there is one like really annoying Bluetooth quirk in the FJ. So first of all,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Pairing my phone to this radio was amazing.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco So this, it has an old style LCD screen, so not like
⏹️ ▶️ Marco a bitmap display, but one of those multi-segment things where
⏹️ ▶️ Marco makes a small number of letters with two lines of segments or whatever, but
⏹️ ▶️ Marco mostly a text-based interface. But it does have Bluetooth support on the stock radio.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco And it has, the way you have to pair, I remember like I was sitting in front of the baseball field like the
⏹️ ▶️ Marco day after I bought it trying to pair my phone to it in the cold with my gloves on
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and going through this process. So you have to I hope
⏹️ ▶️ Marco any I hope people out there with photos or who have done this are hearing this and be like, oh,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco yeah, that crazy thing. You have to, you know, flip it over like the accessory Bluetooth mode and then using
⏹️ ▶️ Marco like, you know, the up and down and enter keys. some very rudimentary interface,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco pair a Bluetooth device, but do it by voice. Oh no. The actual
⏹️ ▶️ Marco interface to pair a phone, delete a paired phone,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco or even list the paired phones does not show up on the text
⏹️ ▶️ Marco of the radio very easily, and in some cases at all. The
⏹️ ▶️ Marco way you’re supposed to do it is by voice, and so you you have to go through this weird voice
⏹️ ▶️ Marco menu where you hit whatever button it is and it’s like, you know, list
⏹️ ▶️ Marco phones? Or list of devices, new device? And then you go to list devices, you gotta wait till it
⏹️ ▶️ Marco reads all of them. And you could tell this car had occasionally been borrowed by people
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and the owner was not super technical and I don’t think the owner ever paired
⏹️ ▶️ Marco her own phone to it. And so I had to go through it and it’s like, Joe’s iPhone,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco delete, you know, repair. Frankie’s iPhone. And it’s like, because
⏹️ ▶️ Marco what you have to do eventually is when you pair your phone, it records you saying
⏹️ ▶️ Marco it in your voice for some reason.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco then plays that back. It is the most amazing
⏹️ ▶️ John system. Is that because the display is inadequate to communicate that information? You said you have two
⏹️ ▶️ John lines of text. That’s plenty to say Marco’s iPhone.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco But there’s no way to enter text. I think that’s the thing. And so when it’s asking you to specify
⏹️ ▶️ Marco things by a voice, I think it’s doing like a voice similarity
⏹️ ▶️ John doesn’t extract it from the device? No,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco because I don’t think it ever displays the text on the screen, at least I couldn’t figure out how to make it do that. It
⏹️ ▶️ Marco was amazing. But anyway, so besides that amazingness, one quirk of this,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and this is part of the problem, like what you’re describing, you don’t realize
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Bluetooth behavior is so dependent on little tiny details
⏹️ ▶️ Marco of how these things are handled in in the devices and in the software and a lot of this stuff there
⏹️ ▶️ Marco is no clear standard or at least people don’t follow it and so you’re kind of at the mercy
⏹️ ▶️ Marco of whatever you happen to do this is why like I’m actually fairly happy with Tesla in this department
⏹️ ▶️ Marco that Tesla’s handling of Bluetooth while it is often buggy and while it is
⏹️ ▶️ Marco you know sometimes hilariously limited they they have good behavior
⏹️ ▶️ Marco in ways that you expect so for instance this situation wouldn’t happen to me because
⏹️ ▶️ Marco if you get out of the car and close the door the radio inside turns off and
⏹️ ▶️ Marco does not take the focus from Bluetooth you it only takes the oh and if you if you
⏹️ ▶️ Marco like open just the back door but the front door how to open it doesn’t take it. If you open
⏹️ ▶️ Marco just the trunk it doesn’t take it. It only takes the Bluetooth if you open like
⏹️ ▶️ Marco the I think the one of the two front doors and then like sit down and push the brake to turn the car
⏹️ ▶️ Marco on. If you are out of the car it does not take the Bluetooth. Even if the car’s heat is running
⏹️ ▶️ Marco to defrost the car if you’re out of the car the heat can still run but your Bluetooth
⏹️ ▶️ Marco is not being taken by the car at that point which is very very nice. Overall I’ve been very happy with that
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and and their behavior among a lot this stuff is great. One little quirk of the FJ is
⏹️ ▶️ Marco as far as I can tell with the built-in radio I can’t get driving
⏹️ ▶️ Marco directions to announce themselves over Bluetooth unless I am playing music or a podcast.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Because the radio tries to be smart and read the play pause status
⏹️ ▶️ Marco of the phone over Bluetooth and reflect that in the radio. Okay great. However
⏹️ ▶️ Marco the play pause status does not necessarily reflect the audio channel of the
⏹️ ▶️ Marco device. So if the device is paused in the media logic
⏹️ ▶️ Marco sense, like if you have paused your music or podcast, your map app can still
⏹️ ▶️ Marco be announcing a direction over that audio channel. Well, in the FJ’s Bluetooth thing, if
⏹️ ▶️ Marco the music or podcast is paused, you don’t get the voice prompts from your map app.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco So I have to constantly be playing something.
⏹️ ▶️ John Yeah, time to get that 2 hour silent track. Yeah, right.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco AAAA, a very good song. Was that, that was cool.
#askatp: Allowing audio capture
⏹️ ▶️ Casey All right, well, I think that’s all we have for that. So moving on, Christopher Ward writes, I have a small community on Discord and like
⏹️ ▶️ Casey to screen share from my M1 Mac. I have a workaround for desktop audio capture, but it’s a pain.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey There’s native support for audio capture, but it requires, quote, reducing security, quote, in recovery mode.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Is that as scary as it sounds? This really ticked me off when I got my M1
⏹️ ▶️ Casey MacBook Pro, because in order to record our show, two thirds,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey if not three thirds of us use audio hijack. And Audio Hijack is an app
⏹️ ▶️ Casey by our friends at Roga Amoeba, which is just incredibly good at capturing audio.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey In order to get that to work on an Apple Silicon
⏹️ ▶️ Casey computer, you need to do the following. Launch Audio
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Hijack, enter your administrator password, acknowledge the system extension, blocked alert, open system preferences, security and privacy, click
⏹️ ▶️ Casey the enable system extension button, shut down your Mac, press and hold the power button, boot into recovery environment, select administrators, enter the administrator
⏹️ ▶️ Casey password, startup security utility. Switch to reduce security, approve the change by entering your password again, restart your Mac,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey acknowledge system extension, blocked alert, open system preferences, security and privacy, unlock, click allow, restart again.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Oh, that entire, that entire thing took me like seriously 20 or 30 minutes
⏹️ ▶️ Casey when I was actually doing it. It’s
⏹️ ▶️ Marco three reboots, right? If you do everything right, it’s three reboots. And
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I think I had to enter my password like six times. It’s some ridiculous
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and this is not like, To be clear, this is not Roga me but doing a bad job of their installation. This
⏹️ ▶️ Marco is this is what Apple makes everybody do to achieve this function
⏹️ ▶️ Marco like and oh man and the good thing is so the way Roga me was
⏹️ ▶️ Marco implemented there’s I don’t know what discord does. But the way Roga me does
⏹️ ▶️ Marco it for audio hijack, which again to echo Casey’s statements, I absolutely recommend if you have any
⏹️ ▶️ Marco needs that that audio hijack solves. And it’s because it isn’t just hijacking audio. It’s
⏹️ ▶️ Marco also like recording, processing, broadcasting. There’s so much stuff. We’re using it now to broadcast the live
⏹️ ▶️ Marco stream plus record stuff, plus adjust the audio so that we’re all the same volume level. Like it, it does a lot.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco It’s a fantastic app that I very strongly recommend. Um, and yeah, and if, if
⏹️ ▶️ Marco audio hijack ever stopped working on Mac iOS, I might stop working on
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Mac OS. Like that’s how big of a deal that is to, to my work. But anyway,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco it does sound scary with audio hijack that you have to set it to reduce security.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Now to be clear, this is not disabling system integrity protection. There’s
⏹️ ▶️ Marco multiple different security options that you have to set in the boot environment with modern Mac OS on M1 Macs
⏹️ ▶️ Marco in particular. And you don’t have to disable system integrity protection entirely, you just just have to allow it
⏹️ ▶️ Marco to run signed extensions. And then you have to,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco you know, enable this whole thing and go through all that. But with audio hijack, at least with current version Mac OS,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco after you’ve enabled it once and gotten it working, you can then go back into into the secure
⏹️ ▶️ Marco boot environment and re secure it back down to the default level. Once it’s been approved
⏹️ ▶️ Marco once it will continue to work. So you even after you like re lock it down. So if you’re
⏹️ ▶️ Marco uncomfortable with running things in the reduced security mode, which frankly I am like, so all you have to do
⏹️ ▶️ Marco is set it this way once approve it, get it going. And then you can go back to your secure mode. And then this
⏹️ ▶️ Marco will be the only thing approved to run that way.
⏹️ ▶️ John Mentioning system integrity protection makes me wonder what what additional
⏹️ ▶️ John things that does these days because the original purpose of it was what it said it protected the integrity of
⏹️ ▶️ John the system, meaning the operating system, it would prevent you from modifying files that come as part of Mac OS,
⏹️ ▶️ John right? Because, you know, by accident or on purpose, you know, it would, even if you were root, you would try to
⏹️ ▶️ John like, you know, mod of a hex edit the kernel, you know, and it would say, no,
⏹️ ▶️ John you can’t add that file. Like, what do you mean I’m root? I can’t edit? It’s a ha, system integrity protection, right? But nowadays
⏹️ ▶️ John on modern Mac OS, you boot from a read-only snapshot of a
⏹️ ▶️ John cryptographically signed system image. So the whole, first of all, it’s not even a disk,
⏹️ ▶️ John it’s a snapshot. And second, it’s the whole thing is read only. Like there is no writing to it by anything
⏹️ ▶️ John ever. So, I mean, I guess that qualifies system, but if you turn off system integrity protection, you still
⏹️ ▶️ John can’t modify the OS because it’s a mounted read only snapshot. So system integrity protection probably does things above
⏹️ ▶️ John and beyond that. But I feel like in some ways it’s been surpassed by a structural
⏹️ ▶️ John change to the way Mac OS works in particular regarding protecting the operating system. But yeah,
⏹️ ▶️ John all those other features of like, am I allowed to run any kernel extensions? is this Mac
⏹️ ▶️ John allowed to boot from an external disk, which I had adventures with way back when I was trying
⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco to get my thing to boot from Windows. There are
⏹️ ▶️ John lots of security settings and your comfort with them really depends on like, as long
⏹️ ▶️ John as you know what the setting does and don’t forget that you turned it off so that you can turn it back on later.
⏹️ ▶️ John Yeah, part of it comes down to do you trust the developer? But part of it also comes down to do I remember what state
⏹️ ▶️ John I left my Mac in? Because if your Mac is in some weird state that you put it in to
⏹️ ▶️ John do something with some piece of software, but you forgot to set it back to full security, that you could be vulnerable for a long period of time.
⏹️ ▶️ John The other good thing you have going for you is most people don’t mess with these defaults. This process that Casey
⏹️ ▶️ John read out, not only is it complicated and long, but it brings you to parts of your
⏹️ ▶️ John operating system that you’ve probably never seen before. If you’ve never done this type of thing, like booting into recovery
⏹️ ▶️ John and using these startup security utility, like nobody sees that during the normal course of using
⏹️ ▶️ John a Mac it’s there, but no one usually has to see it. So, if you make any of these changes,
⏹️ ▶️ John you are one of a very, very tiny minority of people. And most
⏹️ ▶️ John sort of malware that’s going to be out there, viruses are not going to target the point 001% of
⏹️ ▶️ John Mac users that have ever screwed with the system security utility, their startup security utility, they’re going to target
⏹️ ▶️ John the mass market of Mac users. And the mass market of Mac users is generally much better protected than that.
⏹️ ▶️ John So I wouldn’t worry about it too much if it’s a reputable software developer, you
⏹️ ▶️ John that it’s been around for a while that you trust. And especially if like Margo said, if you can switch it back
⏹️ ▶️ John after the installation process has been done. That said, I don’t know too much about discord. I don’t know
⏹️ ▶️ John if they’re not that they’re going to be malicious, but like how reliable is our software? Is it likely to introduce some kind of
⏹️ ▶️ John bug that causes system instability? I can’t judge that one way or the other, but you’ll find out by trying it so
⏹️ ▶️ John like, you know, worse, worse case, you can do a market used to do and have one computer where you install the scary software,
⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco Mini for that.
⏹️ ▶️ John Yeah. Yeah. So try it on a Mac that you don’t care that much about, and if it seems like it’s stable, you
⏹️ ▶️ John know, or ask around. Like you could even ask Discord, it’s a big company, right? And say, hey, can
⏹️ ▶️ John I set all the settings back to the non-scary mode after I’m done? Or will it break your thing? And like, they’ll, they’ll walk
⏹️ ▶️ John you through what your options are. But yeah, the Rogamiba is incredibly Byzantine process.
⏹️ ▶️ John That’s what Apple requires you to do to do things the quote unquote right way. It is
⏹️ ▶️ John very user hostile, but in theory provides a more secure system for all of us.
#askatp: Dumb TVs
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Finally, Ava writes, what’s the best dumb TV on the market now? And are they any good at all?
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Am I better off just getting a monitor instead? Uh, I don’t have a well-researched
⏹️ ▶️ Casey answer for this, but I will tell you that, uh, right around, I think it was Black Friday or Cyber Monday,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey um, we replaced the TV in our bedroom, which we use exceedingly rarely. And when we do,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey it’s typically because we’re both working out, but doing different workout videos at the same time.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey But that being said, uh, the, there was an incredible deal. This might be a Walmart exclusive. I don’t
⏹️ ▶️ Casey know, but there was a really good deal on a 4k Which actually was planning on getting a 1080 TV.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey That’s how much we don’t care about that TV. But anyway, there was a 4k 43 inch TV by scepter
⏹️ ▶️ Casey and This is a dumb TV
⏹️ ▶️ Casey the James Bond It’s it’s
⏹️ ▶️ Casey, Marco perfectly Mac game you
⏹️ ▶️ Casey, John mean? Yeah. This TV is sufficient,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey except the one thing that I haven’t cracked and because I’ve used it so rarely, I don’t really care
⏹️ ▶️ Casey that much, is that it does not seem to remember, and this actually is kind of table stakes to be honest with you, but it doesn’t seem
⏹️ ▶️ Casey to remember to do native resolution for the Apple TV. You know what I mean? Where it has like
⏹️ ▶️ Casey the whole frame is like kind of sucked in a little bit. Over scan
⏹️ ▶️ Casey on. Yeah, yeah, or something like that, which is infuriating. And maybe there’s a setting somewhere that I missed
⏹️ ▶️ Casey to do it, but it is a dumb TV. It doesn’t have like Netflix or anything like that. It never asked me to get on the
⏹️ ▶️ Casey wifi or anything like that. I don’t remember if it even has an ethernet port in the back of it or not.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey So this is sufficient. And I landed on this in part because
⏹️ ▶️ Casey when we tailgate in the before times, when we tailgate at University of Virginia football games,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey we’ll bring a television because one of our tailgate people has a generator. And so we’ll bring a television and
⏹️ ▶️ Casey we have this like ancient, ancient, ancient, ancient 720 Sceptre TV that
⏹️ ▶️ Casey has traveled to and from Charlottesville, from Richmond, it’s about an hour-ish drive, has
⏹️ ▶️ Casey done that for years and years and years, and it still hasn’t broken yet. And so I considered that a good omen
⏹️ ▶️ Casey that maybe one that’s just stuck on the wall and never moves may not be so terrible. So
⏹️ ▶️ Casey that is an example. I would give it a tepid endorsement, but I don’t know
⏹️ ▶️ Casey if either of you guys, particularly John, perhaps, since I know you live and breathe TVs that you’ll never buy,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey perhaps have a better solution here.
⏹️ ▶️ John There’s not enough information about the intended use of this thing to know much more, but
⏹️ ▶️ John for the reading the letter of the statement, for dumb TVs, what are the best dumb TVs and
⏹️ ▶️ John are they any good at all? The answer is no, they’re not any good at all. I mean, if you don’t care and you
⏹️ ▶️ John just need, I just need a TV, then yeah, you can get the, this thing that Casey got, right? But like
⏹️ ▶️ John in terms of how good a TV is, like how good is the picture? No, like none of the
⏹️ ▶️ John ones that don’t have smarts in them care at all about the picture. So it’s just gonna be an LCD panel. It’s like,
⏹️ ▶️ John you get what you get. Like the black levels are terrible. The color reproduction is bad, but hey, if you just need a TV to show pictures, it’ll do
⏹️ ▶️ John that job. But that said, if you buy like a real TV and they
⏹️ ▶️ John all have smart stuff in them, you can starve it, right? Most, I’m pretty sure
⏹️ ▶️ John that there’s only a few really scary companies that ship with like free,
⏹️ ▶️ John like cell phone access, like they connect to the cell network that you don’t have to pay for, right?
⏹️ ▶️ John Just so they can suck your private information and report on what you’re watching.
⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey Wait, that happens? I think there was
⏹️ ▶️ John at least one or two electronics companies, I don’t forget if they were smart TVs, they would essentially do the Kindle thing where
⏹️ ▶️ John it would connect to the cell network at their own cost to exfiltrate your info. Wow.
⏹️ ▶️ John But for the most part, they need to either be plugged into ethernet or they need to get on your wifi.
⏹️ ▶️ John Hopefully your wifi has a password, never give it to your TV. Don’t plug it into ethernet.
⏹️ ▶️ John That will starve your quote unquote smart TV and most of them will
⏹️ ▶️ John still function as a television. You won’t be able to use any of the apps or any of the other stuff, but you don’t care. You just want the dumb stuff.
⏹️ ▶️ John But the sad fact is that televisions now, like plain old televisions, have
⏹️ ▶️ John to come with software. It’s expected in the product. So all of the even remotely
⏹️ ▶️ John good ones in terms of picture quality, they’re all quote unquote smart TVs. It’ll be like, you know,
⏹️ ▶️ John kids, young kids today don’t consider this a smartphone because what the hell is a smart? It’s just a phone,
⏹️ ▶️ John right? A phone that doesn’t do all the things that our phones do is not a phone. That’s what TVs
⏹️ ▶️ John are like now. A television that doesn’t have apps on it and connect to the network is a broken television,
⏹️ ▶️ John right? So you have to buy a smart one if you care at all about picture quality. But
⏹️ ▶️ John you can currently, this may not be true forever, but currently you can buy a quote unquote smart TV and just starve it.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Another thing that’s worth looking into, and I don’t know if this is really doing me any good or not, but if you’re a Pi-Hole
⏹️ ▶️ Casey user like I am, and if you’re not, just don’t even bother. But there are ad
⏹️ ▶️ Casey lists that are specifically for smart TV stuff. So one of the ad lists
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I use is Smart TV Block List for Pi Hole.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey And somebody put this together. And it’s apparently a bunch of domains that these TVs will try
⏹️ ▶️ Casey to use to call home and phone home. And when you have this DNS server that you’re running in your network, it will
⏹️ ▶️ Casey just deny those requests. It will give them a bogus IP in return so those requests
⏹️ ▶️ Casey won’t work. And that is kind of an okay halfway. John’s approach is unquestionably better.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey But if you wanted to, I don’t know, for example, hook up your TV to your Wi-Fi or Ethernet
⏹️ ▶️ Casey such that it can be an AirPlay receiver, you’re going to need internet or
⏹️ ▶️ Casey at least network access for that, but you may not want to give it carte blanche to everything else. And this is a sort of kind of halfway.
⏹️ ▶️ John People in the chat room pointed out that televisions will find your neighbors on a protected Wi-Fi network.
⏹️ ▶️ John God, if they like if you have a neighbor who doesn’t have a password and you don’t let it get to anything It will find that one very
⏹️ ▶️ John often and connect to it. So starving it may involve tinfoil at a certain point not on your head
⏹️ ▶️ John but Yeah, like it can be done But that’s just this is a sad fact like no one No one who cares
⏹️ ▶️ John about picture quality would ever make a television doesn’t have any smarts unless they were doing something like oh for commercial Purposes
⏹️ ▶️ John for your restaurant. Here’s this essentially monitor But those are gonna cost you like 10 grand or something
⏹️ ▶️ John because anything for commercial purposes is always ridiculous money.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Thanks to our sponsors this week, Squarespace, Linode, and Lutron Caseta.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco And thanks to our members who support us directly. You can join at atp.fm slash join.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco We will talk to you next week.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Now the show is over, they didn’t even mean to begin, Cause
⏹️ ▶️ Casey it was accidental, oh it was accidental.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey John didn’t do any research, Marco and
⏹️ ▶️ John Casey wouldn’t let him, Cause it was accidental,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey oh it was accidental. And you can find the show
⏹️ ▶️ John 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, and
⏹️ ▶️ Marco T. Marco Armin, S-I-R-A-C-U-S-A
⏹️ ▶️ John Syracuse, it’s accidental, they didn’t mean
⏹️ ▶️ John Accidental, check podcast so long.
Neutral: Electric manuals
⏹️ ▶️ John Speaking of playing games like AWS, the game that we played this episode was,
⏹️ ▶️ John if you, during the course of listening to this episode, sent me an email to tell me that I can hold down the microphone
⏹️ ▶️ John button on the Apple TV remote and say, what did he say? And it will rewind, turn on captions and play forward. You lost
⏹️ ▶️ John the game because that means you didn’t read my article, which mentioned that very feature towards the end of it. So
⏹️ ▶️ John thanks for everyone for playing. I hope you did well. Wow. Sorry, John.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey So one of you put this in the show notes. I probably should have done this, to be honest with you. This made the rounds a couple of
⏹️ ▶️ Casey days back. Toyota apparently has a patent for a quote unquote manual
⏹️ ▶️ Casey transmission for electric cars, including something that vaguely resembles
⏹️ ▶️ Casey a clutch. I actually completely forgot to look into this before the show, so
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I apologize for that. Can one of you do the job of chief summarizer and chief for me?
⏹️ ▶️ John Yeah, I read this article a few days ago, so I’ve already blocked most of that out of my mind. but it’s exactly what you think. It’s a stick
⏹️ ▶️ John shift lever with an H pattern, right? And a clutch pedal. And they all work
⏹️ ▶️ John the way that you would expect them to. But imagine that the clutch pedal is not connected to a clutch
⏹️ ▶️ John and the stick shift is not connected to a gearbox, right? Like it’s kind of like if you, if like you’re in like a really cool simulator,
⏹️ ▶️ John right? It doesn’t go anywhere. There’s no wheels, there’s no engine, but it’s a simulator. It’s trying to teach you how to drive a
⏹️ ▶️ John stick shift. So it works like kind of like a flight simulator. Like the flight controls aren’t connected to like
⏹️ ▶️ John control surfaces on wings, but it has to feel like a real plane. So, you know, if there’s,
⏹️ ▶️ John you know, when you’re diving or something, or if there’s like tension on the stick, you have to feel that and the pedals have, you have to feel,
⏹️ ▶️ John that’s what it seems like this is like. And, you know, hey, like most cars are brake by wire
⏹️ ▶️ John and, you know, throttle by wire these days, meaning that rather than the gas pedal being connected to
⏹️ ▶️ John a series of cables or whatever that cause a throttle to open, right? Instead, they’re just connected
⏹️ ▶️ John to an electronic switch that can tell you have pressed the gas pedal
⏹️ ▶️ John 1%, 2%, 3%, 4% and that measurement of that electronic thing sends a signal through wires to something that eventually
⏹️ ▶️ John opens and closes throttles on the engine. Same thing with the brakes. A lot of modern cars are brake by wire rather than
⏹️ ▶️ John the brake pressing on a thing that causes hydraulic fluid to press the little calipers to squeeze
⏹️ ▶️ John the brake pads that brake is connected to nothing except for an electronic sensor that tells how hard you’re pressing
⏹️ ▶️ John on the brake and And that electronic sensor then does the rest of stuff in the car. Well, this thing is like,
⏹️ ▶️ John imagine if the clutch was not connected to anything except for a little electronic sensor,
⏹️ ▶️ John and imagine if the stick shift was also not connected to anything except for an electronic sensor. It’s
⏹️ ▶️ John exactly the same. It makes much less sense than brake by
⏹️ ▶️ John wire and throttle by wire, because the whole point of the stick shift and the clutch
⏹️ ▶️ John is to be mechanically connected to the things that they do, because you’re changing mechanically changing
⏹️ ▶️ John gear ratios and you’re mechanically engaging and disengaging clutches,
⏹️ ▶️ John right? So it strikes me as the coolest technology ever for playing
⏹️ ▶️ John like Gran Turismo like or you know some other like iRacing or whatever like video game racing
⏹️ ▶️ John because to make this work they have to take a car that probably has one fixed gear ratio
⏹️ ▶️ John maybe two right, but that you have no control over it, and simulate
⏹️ ▶️ John a clutch and a gearbox so that you can play a fun game while you drive. And
⏹️ ▶️ John that means that like your engagement of the clutch and the slipping of it and the gear ratios is used to essentially, I guess,
⏹️ ▶️ John calculate how much torque the electric motor should put out, right? So I think
⏹️ ▶️ John you could actually do this in a really convincing way, because you have really good precise control,
⏹️ ▶️ John especially if there’s a fixed ratio, like you have really precise control over it. And because you
⏹️ ▶️ John get like 100% of the torque from zero RPM and an electric motor, you can simulate I’m assuming
⏹️ ▶️ John less than 100% of the torque by just controlling how much power you send to the electric
⏹️ ▶️ John motor. And I imagine it could feel almost like you’re like slipping a clutch. They
⏹️ ▶️ John even put installing so that if you
⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey don’t give it enough
⏹️ ▶️ John simulate that as well. Like what are you stalling? Like there’s nothing to stall, but they simulate that as well. It is essentially
⏹️ ▶️ John a video game. So I think it’s really clever and they should totally sell this technology to those people who
⏹️ ▶️ John make those cool like racing rigs that people play video games with. But I can’t imagine
⏹️ ▶️ John like wanting this on an electric car because I mean, well maybe
⏹️ ▶️ John like on one side, I think like, well, what if you wanna play this video
⏹️ ▶️ John game when you’re really driving? I mean, you could, right? but
⏹️ ▶️ John I don’t think I wanna play this game. And it’s not because it’s not real. I feel like it’s like once I go
⏹️ ▶️ John to an electric car, like the game is there from as far as I’m concerned, and your mileage may vary in case you can chime
⏹️ ▶️ John in in a second to hear how you think about this. But the reason I enjoy that game of driving is it because
⏹️ ▶️ John it makes the car perform better than it would if it didn’t have a stick shift. So if I took the stick shift
⏹️ ▶️ John out of my Accord and put literally any other transmission in there, except for now probably even
⏹️ ▶️ John the world’s best current like automated manuals and automatics, It would be worse because it has so little
⏹️ ▶️ John power. Like there’s not a lot of horsepower, right? I need the stick shift to have complete control over what
⏹️ ▶️ John gear I’m in and how much of it I’m putting down to the tires to make the car perform
⏹️ ▶️ John better and be more fun and not annoy me like, oh, you picked the wrong gear, stupid transmission or whatever.
⏹️ ▶️ John But you don’t need to do that to make an electric car perform well. It just, just let it do what it naturally does
⏹️ ▶️ John and it’s great. So I don’t think I would choose to play this game, but Casey, would you choose to play this
⏹️ ▶️ John video game in your car?
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I don’t know, like the whole point of learning to drive a stick
⏹️ ▶️ Casey and the reason I enjoy it so much is because it is
⏹️ ▶️ Casey a skill that my impression is it’s not unlike golf. I wrote one or two
⏹️ ▶️ Casey posts about this years and years and years ago that I’m too lazy to dig up. But the idea is, you know, every time you take off from
⏹️ ▶️ Casey a stop or every time you switch gears, that is another chance to have something that’s smooth and efficient.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Sometimes I do a good job of that and sometimes I don’t. Part of the reason I like a stick
⏹️ ▶️ Casey shift so much is because it is, as you were saying, such a direct connection
⏹️ ▶️ Casey to the mechanics of the car. And I think simulating that
⏹️ ▶️ Casey while novel would probably be silly. And honestly, one of the things that I love about electric cars
⏹️ ▶️ Casey is that there is instant torque always. And you can mash down on the loud pedal.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Well, except it isn’t loud. But
⏹️ ▶️ Casey, John you know what I mean? You can mash
⏹️ ▶️ Casey, John accelerator. You can mash
⏹️ ▶️ Casey down on the whining
⏹️ ▶️ Casey, John pedal. It’s still loud.
⏹️ ▶️ John It makes a noise. It’s
⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey just different.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey That’s fair. You can mash down on the whiny pedal, and you are launched forward.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey And that’s what makes electric cars so fun. And I don’t know. Again, I think this is
⏹️ ▶️ Casey novel. I would certainly love to try a car that did this, but I don’t
⏹️ ▶️ Casey suspect that this would be something that I would particularly enjoy.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey And I feel like it’s simulating, I wouldn’t say it’s simulating the
⏹️ ▶️ Casey bad parts of driving a stick, but it’s simulating the like, not that terribly fun parts. Like
⏹️ ▶️ Casey stalling is not fun. And yes, I guess that’s an increased realism.
⏹️ ▶️ John the failure condition of the game, right?
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Well, yeah, I guess. I don’t know. It’s just, I enjoy driving a stick because it gives me increased control
⏹️ ▶️ Casey and it, and it prevents me from just being a passenger while I’m driving, if
⏹️ ▶️ Casey that makes sense. Like the idea of full self-driving, like leaving aside the safety aspects and all that, like
⏹️ ▶️ Casey the idea of full self-driving, yeah, I guess that’s kind of cool and it would be neat to go on a highway and just
⏹️ ▶️ Casey tune my brain out and be able to like scroll Twitter, I guess, or whatever. But the reason
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I don’t drive an automatic today is that no matter what automatic I’ve ever driven, it
⏹️ ▶️ Casey always feels, or I should say any torque converted
⏹️ ▶️ Casey automatic, so like a dual clutch that does not fall under this. any automatic
⏹️ ▶️ Casey with a torque converter, you know, they call it a slush box for a reason. It feels disconnected. And yes, I’m aware
⏹️ ▶️ Casey of like locking torque converters and so on, but like it still feels disconnected to me
⏹️ ▶️ Casey or that there’s like this, this, this, or this, this, this,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I don’t know how to say it other than disconnection. There’s this like goo between me and the car. And
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I love driving a stick because I have a direct visceral connection to the car.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey And I don’t feel like this would give that back. It would just
⏹️ ▶️ Casey make, it would just remind me that what I’m doing is a crummy facsimile of the real thing.
⏹️ ▶️ John One, the other thing I think of that might be a use case for this that it would provide some benefit on an electric car
⏹️ ▶️ John is that controlling what, how
⏹️ ▶️ John power goes down to the ground, right, sometimes
⏹️ ▶️ John can be done in a more sophisticated way than simply a dial that goes from 0 to 100, right? Like
⏹️ ▶️ John the gas pedal, right? So in an electric car, say you’re stationary and you’re, let’s say you’re in a slow, snowy,
⏹️ ▶️ John slippery, icy condition and you want to get the car going and you don’t want to have wheel spin. Just controlling
⏹️ ▶️ John how far you press the gas pedal is only a one dimensional
⏹️ ▶️ John way of controlling this. Like you can only sort of like, you know, you can move, it’s like a dial and you can move it and you know,
⏹️ ▶️ John try to get the car going, give it enough so that it starts moving, but not so much that it but sometimes you need a little bit of slip.
⏹️ ▶️ John Setting aside traction control, whatever, pretend you could turn off all the traction control stuff, which most of the time you can’t, but pretend you could.
⏹️ ▶️ John Just having the gas pedal alone in an electric car may not give you as much control as having
⏹️ ▶️ John a fake gas and a fake clutch and a shifter, because very often what you might want to do if you’re a super
⏹️ ▶️ John duper expert, which I am not, but if you’re a super duper expert in like getting the car going in questionable traction
⏹️ ▶️ John conditions, is you might want to sort of rev up the engine, right?
⏹️ ▶️ John but with the clutch disengaged or slipping, and then quickly engage the clutch to essentially
⏹️ ▶️ John give a burst of power at the current quote unquote RPM, if you know what I’m
⏹️ ▶️ John saying, to immediately put that power down and then take it away. It’s almost as if you would put the
⏹️ ▶️ John gas pedal to a certain position and then decide at this position of the gas pedal, I don’t know why I keep going
⏹️ ▶️ John with the gas pedal, at this position of the accelerator, engage and disengage the clutch. It gives you a second dimension
⏹️ ▶️ John with which to control the power that’s being put in down. This may just be something that’s in my head and physically speaking, there’s no
⏹️ ▶️ John difference between the one dimensional pedal and the two dimensional thing of like throttle position and
⏹️ ▶️ John clutch engagement. No,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey no, no, no, no. What you’re saying is correct. And it’s bananas to me that you are a resident of a winter
⏹️ ▶️ Casey hellscape and don’t ever have to do this. But like- I do have to do it,
⏹️ ▶️ John I’m just not very good at it. But I’m saying like in an electric car, would that kind of control mechanism,
⏹️ ▶️ John as opposed to just the gas pedal, give you a better ability to control the car in slippery conditions.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Oh, hell yeah. Yeah, because here’s the thing. Why do you start in second gear in the snow?
⏹️ ▶️ John Well, you have such faith in the horsepower in my car. I
⏹️ ▶️ John start in second gear, but you have to
⏹️ ▶️ John it so carefully because I have less than 200 horsepower.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Well, then the reason we do that is because you want less torque to the wheels. Because if you just
⏹️ ▶️ Casey start it in first, it might be too much torque. You’ll start slipping. So if you apply less torque, fewer, whatever,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey less torque to the wheels, then you will potentially get going without slipping. And when you
⏹️ ▶️ John have- But I’m also applying a lot more gas because I don’t want to stall. And so it’s, I mean, obviously doing it a gas engine
⏹️ ▶️ John is very different than doing an electric, but like those two dimensions of control do allow me to do things like, hey,
⏹️ ▶️ John you’re giving it a huge amount of gas. The engine is going at really high RPM, but because you’re in second gear and you’re slipping the
⏹️ ▶️ John clutch a little, the actual amount of torque that goes, and it’s also like how bursty it is. Does the torque go down all at
⏹️ ▶️ John once, or does it gradually go? And you can modulate those two different things, how engaged is the
⏹️ ▶️ John clutch and how far down is the gas pedal, to get a result that I think would be more difficult
⏹️ ▶️ John to do with just an accelerator pedal on an electric
⏹️ ▶️ Casey car. Right. And so that’s why in this faux stick shift, I could see if you were to
⏹️ ▶️ Casey start in second gear, second quote unquote gear, and slip the quote unquote clutch,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey perhaps instead of giving you 100% of the torque immediately, maybe it only gives you 50% or something
⏹️ ▶️ John But how does it do that? Does it just provide less power to the electric motor? Like it’s all a question of how
⏹️ ▶️ John good this simulation is. Like, because under the covers, it’s a bunch of wires going to an electric motor with electricity flowing through
⏹️ ▶️ John them. And I’m not sure if it collapses down to that one dimension. You know, I don’t know enough about
⏹️ ▶️ John the electricity, but I would certainly want to try this because if only kind of like portrait mode on the camera so you
⏹️ ▶️ John could see like, is it able to do a decent job or is it just awful, right? Because this is not an easy
⏹️ ▶️ John game to get right because a real clutch and a real shifter don’t have to cheat, it’s a physical thing,
⏹️ ▶️ John right? And it’s simulating that with something where there’s no gearbox and no clutch,
⏹️ ▶️ John that’s gonna be hard.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey It’s a novel idea though, and I approve the, I approve them chasing down this rabbit hole.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I just don’t expect that I would be impressed by it.
⏹️ ▶️ John What was the other one that was, I think they were gonna do, was it the Mach-E? There was some other sort of stick
⏹️ ▶️ John shift in electric car, but I think it didn’t have a clutch. It had a shifter,
⏹️ ▶️ John two pedals, which was also like, why even bother with that? Why not just put a fidget toy in the middle
⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey of the dashboard?
⏹️ ▶️ John pens, you can click the thing. Click, click, click, click.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Ford has a new manual transmission patent that doesn’t need a clutch pedal. It still has a clutch, but it could operate it automatically. Didn’t,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey shoot, I thought Saabs did this forever and a day ago. It was like a traditional
⏹️ ▶️ Casey H pattern, but there was only two pedals or something like that. I probably have that wrong. It was like Saab or Volkswagen
⏹️ ▶️ Casey or something, I thought. But I don’t know, whatever. It’s novel and interesting. And I’d certainly like
⏹️ ▶️ Casey you said, I’d certainly like to try it, but I’d be very surprised if it impressed me.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I understand where you guys are coming from as the more car nerdy people on the show
⏹️ ▶️ Marco compared to me. But as much as I love driving stick
⏹️ ▶️ Marco when I drove gas cars, the reason I love driving stick
⏹️ ▶️ Marco was because, you know, Casey, you’re talking earlier about like, you know, the kind of the pile of hacks that it is to drive automatic
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and how it doesn’t really feel good and you’re kind of disconnected from the car. And
⏹️ ▶️ Marco the reality is the gas engines have this narrow band of RPMs
⏹️ ▶️ Marco where they can be most powerful and everything else around that band kind of sucks. And so they have these
⏹️ ▶️ Marco complicated systems of gearing and clutching to try to control the car better and
⏹️ ▶️ Marco to optimize it better for performance and various needs and everything like that. Well,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco an electric car typically only has one gear. And, you know,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I know there’s a few exceptions, but for most of them it’s, you know, fixed gear, and you have all the torque you
⏹️ ▶️ Marco need from the beginning, and so you don’t need to have all these different levels of control
⏹️ ▶️ Marco to finally customize what it’s doing. You just let the pedal do
⏹️ ▶️ Marco what you tell it to do, and it does it immediately and directly, and very
⏹️ ▶️ Marco gracefully. And so, to me, The stick was not something that was itself
⏹️ ▶️ Marco something that I that I took joy in operating It was more that it let me Have greater
⏹️ ▶️ Marco control over what was a very complicated process that my car was trying to do because my car trying
⏹️ ▶️ Marco to Guess with an automatic like what I wanted any given moment, but often guess wrong because
⏹️ ▶️ Marco of course how you know It’s not magic and you know sometimes things that try to be smart about a complex process
⏹️ ▶️ Marco see also Bluetooth will guess wrong. And so in those cases, sometimes it’s better to just turn off
⏹️ ▶️ Marco automatic pairing and just manually shift your AirPods to all the different devices that you have them paired to. Well,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco once you have something, like once all that complexity goes away, you know,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I don’t need to feel the feeling of manual shifting on an electric
⏹️ ▶️ Marco car because the electric car doesn’t have that giant pile of hacks. It’s a much simpler
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and more direct drive that you’re operating to begin with. with. And so I don’t need to feel
⏹️ ▶️ Marco the the feeling of operating a clutch and shifting gears and everything to be simulated
⏹️ ▶️ Marco for me on a car that doesn’t need any of that. I would rather just drive the car directly with my
⏹️ ▶️ Marco foot on the single pedal that you actually need to drive the car directly. And
⏹️ ▶️ Marco the feeling I get of like the control over my car, it doing exactly
⏹️ ▶️ Marco what I want to be doing, those feelings I would get by operating a stick on a gas car, I get those already with
⏹️ ▶️ Marco electric because that’s just how electric works. And so I don’t I don’t need something like this to,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco you know, simulate this old thing for me in the same way that I don’t need my electric car to play engine noises over the speakers.
⏹️ ▶️ John A lot of them do. But to be clear, electric motors do have power bands. It’s just that, like I said, they’re shifted
⏹️ ▶️ John down so that all the torque starts at zero RPM, which is not how gas engines work. So they but they
⏹️ ▶️ John do have power bands and they complain about and they’re you know, they’re good, they’re wide, and they shifted way
⏹️ ▶️ John down low, which makes them ideal for almost all use cases, but in the case of like very sporty cars, the
⏹️ ▶️ John electric motors tend to tail off when you get to really high RPMs, which is why you know the Porsche Taycan has
⏹️ ▶️ John two gears in it because when when that power tails off it up shifts right and now you’re you know it’s it’s
⏹️ ▶️ John if you drew like the the power and torque curves for the various engines you’d see the electric ones are way better
⏹️ ▶️ John suited to the case of driving around in a car, but it’s not like a flat plateau forever it
⏹️ ▶️ John does tail off so that’s why gear ratios exist. And the other thing about driving with the electric car is because
⏹️ ▶️ John this power ban exists and mentioning like thing choosing for you versus you doing it yourself.
⏹️ ▶️ John The equivalent of that I think in electric cars is the setting that most of them have for how
⏹️ ▶️ John much regenerative braking do you want and the idea of one pedal driving. The manual transmission way to drive
⏹️ ▶️ John an electric car is not to do one pedal driving because you don’t want
⏹️ ▶️ John one pedal to dictate both how much energy is going to the motor and also how much regenerative
⏹️ ▶️ John braking is being applied because those are two separate things. The manual way to do it is to say, okay,
⏹️ ▶️ John you know, both pedals are totally disconnected. It’s all electronic, obviously electric car, right? Gas pedal just controls
⏹️ ▶️ John power to the modal and brake pedal controls braking. And most of the brake pedal may be regenerative braking
⏹️ ▶️ John before it hits the friction brakes. But the point is, you decide how and when to
⏹️ ▶️ John apply any braking at all and how much braking should be applied versus just having the gas pedal
⏹️ ▶️ John and saying, okay, when I lift up on the gas pedal, apply regenerative braking. Because the thing about one pedal driving is
⏹️ ▶️ John you can’t do an emergency stop with one pedal driving. Like the
⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco regenerative braking
⏹️ ▶️ John is never gonna be such that when you lift your foot off the gas, it slams on the brake maximum. It would like you’d
⏹️ ▶️ John injure people. So you do have to use the friction brakes or the brake pedal
⏹️ ▶️ John itself sometimes, but sometimes you don’t. And so that sort of automatic mode of
⏹️ ▶️ John like, we’ll mostly choose what you think is the right thing. But of course, if a kid runs out in front of your car, take your foot
⏹️ ▶️ John off the accelerator and jam on the brake as hard as you possibly can. We still expect you to do that.
⏹️ ▶️ John But in the easier cases, the regenerative braking, which we will dial in based on your setting
⏹️ ▶️ John in a preference screen somewhere, will give you that as you lift up on the gas pedal so you can do one pedal
⏹️ ▶️ John driving around town like you’re in a golf cart. Right. So I think that when I think about my electric car
⏹️ ▶️ John future, when I think of like what it would be like to have a manual transmission, what I mostly think about is please no
⏹️ ▶️ John one pedal driving. I don’t want any braking of any kind to be applied unless I touch the brake pedal because I’m an
⏹️ ▶️ John old fogey and that’s what I want. And that I feel like would give me the most control
⏹️ ▶️ John over an electric car because I find one pedal driving disconcerting because I’m not used to it
⏹️ ▶️ John but also philosophically in the same way I don’t like automatic transitions I would like to control when braking
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Maybe that’s the answer is we repurpose the third and leftmost pedal
⏹️ ▶️ Casey as an analog application of how much regenerative braking you want.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey want to just slow down a teeny bit, you put your left leg just a teeny bit down on what was
⏹️ ▶️ Casey formerly known as the clutch, now is the regenerative braking pedal. And then when you want to get a
⏹️ ▶️ Casey lot of regenerative braking, like you want to slow down on a very steep hill, downward hill, then you just
⏹️ ▶️ Casey mash down on the thing that was formerly called a clutch, and you get a whole bunch of regenerative
⏹️ ▶️ John braking. That’s one of the measures of really good electric cars, is how well they blend the
⏹️ ▶️ John and the regenerative braking and the friction brakes, because you don’t want to feel when they’re switching from one to the
⏹️ ▶️ John other, and that’s actually tricky to do. But I think with the exception of doing,
⏹️ ▶️ John what is it called, wheel stands or whatever, with the exception of the thing where you’re taking a gas car and you
⏹️ ▶️ John stand on the brake and the gas at the same time to build up torque for a big launch or whatever, you generally don’t
⏹️ ▶️ John want to give anyone the opportunity to apply both the quote unquote gas and brakes at the same time, which is why
⏹️ ▶️ John when you learn how to drive, even though there are two pedals in an automatic car you have two feet, the way you
⏹️ ▶️ John drive it is not left foot
⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco on the brake, right