480: Three Wise Admins28 Apr 2022
The Studio Display camera, Thunderbolt PCIe enclosures, security cameras, migrating from Gmail to Fastmail… and yes, Twitter.
The ATP Store is live until 30 April at 8PM New York time. Order now, or Casey will haunt your dreams! 👻
- Frame Game
- Apple Studio Display camera update
- Sonos Roam power button (via Brilliant Things)
- What is up with iPhone lock buttons these days, anyway? (via Patrick Niemeyer)
- Apple’s Self-Service Repair site is now up
- John Gruber ATP had wondered about “civilians” inside the Apple Park ring
- Thom Yorke hates Creep (via Spencer Wohlers)
- Update on Marco’s game-streaming setup
- Casey has finally moved his email to Fastmail
- John added a security camera
- Twitter accepts Elon Musk’s buyout offer
- Post-show: We can’t help but have more Twitter/Elon thoughts
- Remote: Global HR solutions for distributed teams. Use code ATP for 50% off for your first employee for 3 months.
- Trade Coffee: Incredible coffee delivered fresh from the best roasters in the nation. Get $30 off your first order.
- Sanity: Explore fresh perspectives on content and digital experience. Learn more about Sanity and the Structured Content 2022 Conference.
Become a member for ad-free episodes and our early-release, unedited “bootleg” feed!
- ATP Store 🖼️
- Frame Game
- Studio Display camera update 🖼️
- Sponsor: Sanity
- Sonos Roam power button
- iPhone sleep-button delay
- Apple self-service repair
- Events in Apple Park
- Fence around Apple Park 🖼️
- Sponsor: Trade Coffee
- Thom Yorke hates “Creep”, too
- Game-streaming setup 🖼️
- Sponsor: Remote (code ATP)
- Gmail ➡️ Fastmail
- John’s security camera
- Musk and Twitter
- Ending theme
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I guess we have to talk about him this week, huh?
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Okay, so here’s the thing. Every year, I say over and over again, you gotta
⏹️ ▶️ Casey order, you gotta order, you gotta order. And every time all of you justifiably roll your eyes, oh sure, Casey, whatever,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey hohoho, we’ve heard this before. Really, this is your last warning. If you’re driving,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey signal, because you’re an adult and you know what a damn turn signal is. Signal,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey and then pull off the road. the road, park, open up atp.fm
⏹️ ▶️ Casey slash store and take a look at our wares, our merchandise. That’s W-A-R-E-S. Oh, yeah.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Mind you. Not our Juarez. Not our Juarez. So, yeah. So, here’s the spread one last time
⏹️ ▶️ Casey real quick. We’ve got the M1 Ultra shirt, which is exactly as you would expect. The M1 Interposer
⏹️ ▶️ Casey shirt, which follow up is far and away in the lead of our new offerings. I’m
⏹️ ▶️ Casey very pleased by this. If you You don’t know what we’re talking about. This is the M1 logo that we’ve kind
⏹️ ▶️ Casey of created. And then underneath it, it says Max and then adjacent to that
⏹️ ▶️ Casey with a kind of interposer in between them is an upside down Max. So I am
⏹️ ▶️ Casey in love with this shirt. I am so excited to get one. I have ordered mine. We additionally have M1 Ultra in monochrome,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey which is a little bit cheaper because we’re not doing 34 passes to print them. And then
⏹️ ▶️ Casey that comes in many, many different colors. We also of course have the traditional ATP shirt and we have
⏹️ ▶️ Casey brought back the embroidered zip hoodie as well, which I quite like. I actually, to be honest with
⏹️ ▶️ Casey you, I prefer not to have the hood on my hoodie. I know this is very controversial, but it’s still an excellent, excellent
⏹️ ▶️ Casey sweatshirt slash hoodie. And then finally we have brought back the ATP pint glass and you might ask, well, what
⏹️ ▶️ Casey do you mean finally? You said they’re mugs. No, no, you should have ordered. You should have listened to Casey
⏹️ ▶️ Casey and you should have ordered because guess what? Mugs are sold out. I’m so sorry. There is a slim chance. We will
⏹️ ▶️ Casey have some extras after returns and things of that nature, maybe, and we might
⏹️ ▶️ Casey be able to put it up later, but no promises. You should have listened to me. You should have pulled the car over, stepped to the side of the sidewalk,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey done whatever you needed to do to go to atp.fm. Your time is running
⏹️ ▶️ Casey out. As we record this, which is presumably hours before you hear it, there’s
⏹️ ▶️ Casey only a couple days left. will end, the store sales will end on the 30th
⏹️ ▶️ Casey of April at 8 in the evening ATP time. So that is Saturday
⏹️ ▶️ Casey at 8 p.m. ATP or New York time. That is your last chance. So now is
⏹️ ▶️ Casey your moment. Signal or say, excuse me, and pull the car or
⏹️ ▶️ Casey pull your butt over, do whatever you got to do. Go to ATP.FM. Please and thank you.
⏹️ ▶️ John Consider buying our pint glasses. We’ve got plenty of them left.
⏹️ ▶️ John them on the On Demand store
⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey for sure, because it looks like we’re not going to sell out of
⏹️ ▶️ Casey those. And the funny thing is, hand to the deity of your choice. I love these
⏹️ ▶️ Casey pine glasses. Deity? Deity? Is that what I meant to say? Sorry. Whatever. Hand to God. Affluent.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Affluent. What is that? Bezel. But that was John’s. Anyway, so yeah, hand to
⏹️ ▶️ Casey thing that you consider holy. These pine glasses are excellent. They really, really are. They’re dishwasher safe. They’re
⏹️ ▶️ Casey engraved. They’re excellent. I have four of them. I haven’t broken any yet, and I actually have ordered two more because I love
⏹️ ▶️ Casey them so darn much. So all of my pronunciation mistakes aside, I apologize.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey The offending people have been sacked. Please, atp.fm.
⏹️ ▶️ John That one store-related thing. I did another blog post. I’m out of control.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey, John like, close and
⏹️ ▶️ Casey, Marco whole new world. It’s a whole
⏹️ ▶️ Marco new world. I would say, not only did you write a blog post, you launched a new app, sort of.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco, John Kind of. Anyway,
⏹️ ▶️ John the post is about the thing I do on Twitter when the store is, when we have the ATP store up. I do this thing
⏹️ ▶️ John I call frame game, where I post little snippets of frames from movies or TV shows. And I ask you
⏹️ ▶️ John to guess what it’s from. And the first person who guesses it gets a free t-shirt in the ATP
⏹️ ▶️ John store. And I’ve been doing that for several years now. It’s a fun little game. I finally did a post about it to
⏹️ ▶️ John explain the game for people who don’t know. And I also, this
⏹️ ▶️ John was really unrelated as I started doing this before the whole Liana Musk Twitter thing, but I was like, you know,
⏹️ ▶️ John I’ve been playing this game for years on Twitter and it’s kind of hard to follow like on Twitter if you go back in time
⏹️ ▶️ John and try to look at it because of the way I’ve chose to thread the tweets together. It’s just not easy to like,
⏹️ ▶️ John you know, go back in time and look at, for even my own purposes, did I ever do this movie before? Did
⏹️ ▶️ John somebody guess it? How many, you know, like it’s not easy to look at. And I was afraid having all this stuff locked
⏹️ ▶️ John up in Twitter isn’t great. I do the thing where you download your Twitter archive periodically too, but that just gives
⏹️ ▶️ John you a local copy that’s hard to follow. So I wanted to have my own copy of
⏹️ ▶️ John the history of Framegram, which is stupid, whatever. But you know, I saved all the images in a folder on my Mac. So I’m
⏹️ ▶️ John like, I should put a web version of this up. So I did. So there’s the post explaining it. And then
⏹️ ▶️ John there’s a big shiny candy button on the post, just because I always need something to distract myself with
⏹️ ▶️ John when I’m doing a blog post. And this time it was, can I make a shiny button? Anyway, you follow that
⏹️ ▶️ John button and it will take you to the Frame Game History Reviewer. Is that a place where you can go and play frame game?
⏹️ ▶️ John Kind of, in your head, if you want, but really it’s a history reviewer. If you want to see all the frames that we’ve ever
⏹️ ▶️ John done, and there’s a surprising number of them, I think there’s like more than 50 of them, all the frames we’ve ever done,
⏹️ ▶️ John the person who won them, how long it took them to win. Cause I put that in there just because it’s so
⏹️ ▶️ John surprising. Like I think the best one is the, I’m not going to ruin the movie in case you haven’t seen it, but there’s one where
⏹️ ▶️ John I think the smallest little piece of a frame I’ve ever posted was 64 by 64 pixels out of like a 1920 by 1200 frame.
⏹️ ▶️ John That’s how much I posted with the frame and someone got it in like a minute. So. It looks like 48 seconds for
⏹️ ▶️ John and sometimes they’re kind of easy, but, and as I noted in the post, There’s a good chance that people will figure out
⏹️ ▶️ John how to brute force this with computers, but I like to think that most people are trying to play it legit. So anyway, read the post,
⏹️ ▶️ John play the game, it’s lots of fun. One other aside I wanna throw in here for a little dev corner thing.
⏹️ ▶️ John I ran, when making this thing, which is, oh, it’s a history viewer that shows a bunch of pictures, how hard could that be, right?
⏹️ ▶️ John I ran into a classic of layout that I’ve certainly run into before on the web, and I imagine
⏹️ ▶️ John people with more experience doing iOS and Mac apps have also run into it. Tell me if this
⏹️ ▶️ John sounds familiar. So if you go to the frame game, game, hypercritical.co slash frame hyphen
⏹️ ▶️ John game, you’ll see that it’s trying to show the frame and it shows
⏹️ ▶️ John like a small snippet of the frame and then it shows the full frame. And when it’s showing the small snippet, it’s in like
⏹️ ▶️ John a container that’s the size of the full frame. And of course, every full frame is different aspect ratio,
⏹️ ▶️ John partly because movies and TV shows are different aspect ratios and partially because I’m taking like screenshots
⏹️ ▶️ John of video players and I’m not pixel accurate. So they’re all over the place. So I have to change the aspect ratio. And
⏹️ ▶️ John it’s like a single page web app or whatever. But something that you may not
⏹️ ▶️ John know, if you’re not a long-suffering web developer, is that when you get what we call
⏹️ ▶️ John the viewport width, which is the width of the browser window from the left to the right edge,
⏹️ ▶️ John that returns the same value whether the scroll bar is visible or not. Now, most people who run their
⏹️ ▶️ John Macs in a default configuration don’t even have scroll bars. They just have that thing where, like, oh, when you’re scrolling, a little lozenge
⏹️ ▶️ John appears or whatever. but old people like me have it set in the general preferences and system preferences set
⏹️ ▶️ John to always show scroll bars, which is a confusing setting. It’s kind of like the
⏹️ ▶️ John cache control no cache header, which tells it it’s okay to cache. But anyway, always show scroll bars means,
⏹️ ▶️ John it doesn’t mean that always shows the scroll bar, it means if there’s stuff that you need to scroll to, then it will always
⏹️ ▶️ John show the scroll bar, right? So if you’re looking at a very long webpage and it’s way taller than your monitor,
⏹️ ▶️ John you will see on the right side of your browser, scroll bar you know a mac os 10
⏹️ ▶️ John or whatever mac os scroll bar and it will always be there when that scroll bar is there the
⏹️ ▶️ John viewport width does not change but part of the viewport is blocked by the scroll bar so what
⏹️ ▶️ John if you want to have a like i did want to have a frame for a movie that spans from edge
⏹️ ▶️ John to edge okay well you could get the viewport width and you could say okay
⏹️ ▶️ John i’m going to make this image the same width as the viewport but of course a
⏹️ ▶️ John you know frames have a width and a height and an aspect ratio. So if you make it the same width as the viewport, then
⏹️ ▶️ John you can calculate what the height would be based on the aspect ratio, right? And then you make it that height. But oops,
⏹️ ▶️ John what if making it that height, push the crap on the bottom of the page down below the bottom of the browser window.
⏹️ ▶️ John Now you need a scroll bar and suddenly the scroll bar appears and now the scroll bar is covering some of the
⏹️ ▶️ John content, which also means that a horizontal scroll bar now appears because there’s some part of the content that you can’t see
⏹️ ▶️ John that you need need to horizontally scroll for. And so you’re like, okay, well, if that
⏹️ ▶️ John happens, I’ll figure out that the scroll bar is visible through an annoying hacky technique.
⏹️ ▶️ John And then I’ll shrink the picture so that it moves out from under the scroll bar. And I’ll say, make the
⏹️ ▶️ John picture the viewport width minus the width of the scroll bar, which I can also calculate using some hacky ass way to
⏹️ ▶️ John do it. Right. And now you think you’re all clever. So you shrink the thing. But when you shrink
⏹️ ▶️ John it, of course, the height shrinks too, right? is you have to maintain the aspect ratio. What if the
⏹️ ▶️ John height shrinks so that now the content doesn’t
⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey roll off the end of the screen
⏹️ ▶️ John and you don’t need the vertical scroll bar anymore? Do you see what the problem is here? All right,
⏹️ ▶️ John so you made it too big and a vertical scroll bar appeared because it pushed the content down. Then you move it out from under the scroll
⏹️ ▶️ John bar and now in certain scenarios, the vertical content is no longer big enough to require a vertical scroll bar and
⏹️ ▶️ John now you have a blank space on the right side of your picture. This is a classic layout problem of
⏹️ ▶️ John like changing my metrics to avoid things that pop in and out on the sides,
⏹️ ▶️ John also changes the metrics because you have to maintain an aspect ratio. And so I had fun chasing my tail
⏹️ ▶️ John about this and sort of cursing and saying, like, I don’t know why I didn’t think of this because I’ve run into this exact same problem so
⏹️ ▶️ John many times, but you just forget about it. It’s like childbirth amnesia, right? You just forget about the pain,
⏹️ ▶️ John right? And so I had to do, you know, any programmer who’s dealt with this probably knows what
⏹️ ▶️ John I did because this is not a really important application. and that’s just throw ugly hacks at it. Isn’t that all
⏹️ ▶️ Marco web development ever?
⏹️ ▶️ John No, it’s all of all
⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco development ever. Yeah, exactly.
⏹️ ▶️ John Because if you think about this, there’s no actual solution. In this edge case,
⏹️ ▶️ John which if you get a window that’s the size just right and a content that’s the size just right, both of those settings
⏹️ ▶️ John don’t work, right? One of them, it’s hidden underneath the scroll bar, the other one is an empty space. There’s nothing
⏹️ ▶️ John in between that you can get. They’re both wrong, right? So the only way to do it is to figure out
⏹️ ▶️ John how much did the content have to grow to cause the scroll bar to become visible and
⏹️ ▶️ John add a blank space that’s that size. So you make sure that when I resize this image and
⏹️ ▶️ John it gets a little bit shorter, I shove enough white space in there such that the vertical scroll
⏹️ ▶️ John bar, I’m sure the vertical scroll bar is not gonna go away. Then you can shrink the image and shove in
⏹️ ▶️ John the white space. And so don’t look at the code for this, it’s horrendous. But
⏹️ ▶️ John you know, I just got sick of it and just wanted to get it done. So while you’re playing the game, you can appreciate the
⏹️ ▶️ John edge case layout nuances that I had to suffer. Also, I could get the image to go exactly from one edge to
⏹️ ▶️ John the other. And please don’t look on a reddit display look for half pixels because they’re there.
Studio Display camera update
⏹️ ▶️ Casey All right, let’s do some follow-up the Apple Studio display
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Has a beta firmware that is available that fixes all of the camera problems.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey It is now Perfect in every measurable way. There’s nothing else to talk about. Oh, I wish
⏹️ ▶️ John is interesting that this this changed like we’re saying like oh the screen runs iOS, right? So I
⏹️ ▶️ John guess the next time the screen is gonna get new quote-unquote firmware is the next iOS update but of course
⏹️ ▶️ John this update is part of the next Mac OS beta. Now, you know, I’m sure there’s an iOS
⏹️ ▶️ John beta to go along with this and this, maybe this beta is the same build number as the iOS beta, we don’t know yet,
⏹️ ▶️ John but anyway, if you want to try out, if you have a studio display and you want to try this out, which I don’t recommend by the way, but if you’re really
⏹️ ▶️ John desperate to try it out, it’s in the Mac OS 12.4 beta.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey So a friend of the show, Jason Snell, has possibly the best
⏹️ ▶️ Casey reasonable setup to show before and afters for this. A lot of people like other friend of the show, James Thompson
⏹️ ▶️ Casey had, you know, taken some photos before and after or compared them to like an iMac Pro or what have you. But
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Jason still has a review unit, which he didn’t update and then updated his, his actual
⏹️ ▶️ Casey unit or perhaps vice versa. So he has two studio displays sitting right next to each other,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey one at one updated one not. And so he put a video on YouTube where he filmed and linked
⏹️ ▶️ Casey up, you know, the both of them and have has them side by side. So I am
⏹️ ▶️ Casey biased because I’m looking at a studio display, and it’s in my best interest not to think it’s a piece of garbage because I’ve been waiting for it for
⏹️ ▶️ Casey like six years. So consider your source here. I have not installed the firmware update, but of course I’ve
⏹️ ▶️ Casey looked at all these different examples and whatnot, and it’s not great. I mean,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey it’s not fixed by any stretch of the imagination. I do think it’s better from what I can tell,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey but it’s not fixed. But I was talking with Jason briefly on Twitter, And
⏹️ ▶️ Casey having had only one experience with, what’s the front, not the front
⏹️ ▶️ Casey and center, that’s your thing. What’s the
⏹️ ▶️ Casey, Marco little- Center Stage.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Thank you. Center Stage. I couldn’t think of the darn name. So I’ve had one experience with Center Stage and I
⏹️ ▶️ Casey loved it. I thought it was amazing. I thought it made being on a call when people are flipping in and out of the call
⏹️ ▶️ Casey just that much better. And perhaps if I was just sitting on Zoom by myself all day, I would have a very different opinion about it.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey my needs, I think I would take an imperfect camera
⏹️ ▶️ Casey with center stage over a flawless camera without it. I am not saying that anyone
⏹️ ▶️ Casey has to agree with me. In fact, I bet most people don’t, but for me, I’m willing to make that trade and
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I am happy to see that this is getting better, but I mean, I never expected this webcam to be particularly
⏹️ ▶️ Casey stupendous. I wish it was better. I think it should be better, especially
⏹️ ▶️ Casey for a company that seems to pride themselves on being so great at imaging and so on, but
⏹️ ▶️ Casey it doesn’t look like this is fixed yet. And now people are starting to wonder, well, is this really hardware? Is this as good
⏹️ ▶️ Casey as it’s gonna get? And I don’t know, it’s hard to say.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I mean, I think it’s pretty clear that the hardware here is very limited. I mean, like when this
⏹️ ▶️ Marco first hit the news, whenever that was, a few weeks back or a couple of months back,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco my guess then was like, I think the software might be able to be tweaked a little, but
⏹️ ▶️ Marco you have this relatively low resolution camera that’s being cropped significantly to achieve
⏹️ ▶️ Marco center stage. And it’s at quite a distance from people compared to the iPad that has
⏹️ ▶️ Marco similar hardware. And so it just seems like this was doomed to always be pretty mediocre
⏹️ ▶️ Marco to poor. And so far this bears that out, that the tweaks that we’re seeing
⏹️ ▶️ Marco now are seemingly fairly minor. And I think one of my favorite comparisons
⏹️ ▶️ Marco was, and I went to mention a second ago, James Thompson comparison. This is our friend who makes P Calc,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco you know, great, great programmer and a great member of our community. And James, he posted
⏹️ ▶️ Marco the before and after from the old software and the new software here. He also then posted the similar
⏹️ ▶️ Marco shot from his iMac pro built in webcam, which may remind you is
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I believe a something like a two megapixel. It’s a very low low resolution camera. It’s from 2017 and
⏹️ ▶️ Marco has no super fancy, you know, image processing, you know, it probably has whatever kind of basic
⏹️ ▶️ Marco stuff would come in in any webcam, any commodity thing, up to at least a couple years ago. So
⏹️ ▶️ Marco no ML stuff. So in my opinion, and many others who saw
⏹️ ▶️ Marco this, the iMac Pro built-in webcam looks way better than the studio
⏹️ ▶️ Marco before or after. And it’s not that it looks super great, but
⏹️ ▶️ Marco it seems like it was working with more on the hardware side and didn’t need to do so
⏹️ ▶️ Marco much software processing to get it to look right. And there’s only so much you can do
⏹️ ▶️ Marco in software when you have a little tiny sensor and a little tiny lens, and
⏹️ ▶️ Marco especially with these new center stage cameras, then you’re further cropping it down to do the center
⏹️ ▶️ Marco stage effect. I think center stage in this context was a mistake. It
⏹️ ▶️ Marco makes a little more sense on the iPad in the sense that, again, you’re holding it closer to you, it
⏹️ ▶️ Marco is more consumer targeted, you might have those situations where the family’s coming in and out like they demoed in the background.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco But for a professional display like this that’s mostly being bought for workplaces and power users and nerds like
⏹️ ▶️ Marco us, I don’t think center stage is necessary. And it’s definitely not necessary
⏹️ ▶️ Marco if it comes at the expense of whatever hardware resolution is necessary to have a
⏹️ ▶️ Marco decent picture. And in this case, it seems very clear, putting this camera
⏹️ ▶️ Marco in here was a mistake. And if you look at the built-in webcams of all of Apple’s recent
⏹️ ▶️ Marco hardware, I mean, look, they’re never good. they’re clearly relying very heavily
⏹️ ▶️ Marco on image processing in all of them, including the brand new MacBook Pros. People also say, why don’t you put the
⏹️ ▶️ Marco iPhone camera, you know, the iPhone front camera even in the MacBook Pro cameras? And you know,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco the answer there usually is depth of those screen lids being very, very limited. And you know, we
⏹️ ▶️ Marco had to get the notch now and you don’t want the notch to be bigger and stuff like that. But again, in a desktop display,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco you have significantly more depth. Now, they did have to keep the margins thin to make
⏹️ ▶️ Marco it look nice and look modern. So agreed, you know, there’s not a lot of like depth
⏹️ ▶️ Marco or not a lot of like width and height in the screen bezel that I put it, but I have to imagine there was
⏹️ ▶️ Marco better hardware available that could have fit and they just picked wrong here. They just made the wrong
⏹️ ▶️ Marco choice. This webcam and this display was the wrong choice. And if they have to give up center stage
⏹️ ▶️ Marco to have a better one, I think that’s the path they should have taken.
⏹️ ▶️ John It’s kind of weird that, you know, as you noted, Apple has always had crappy cameras, crappy front-facing cameras
⏹️ ▶️ John in all its products. We used to complain about the two megapixel one on the iMac Pro, we were just saying it was good. It just seemed like they didn’t
⏹️ ▶️ John care about them that much. We didn’t think they would make it worse. Yeah, same thing for the MacBook
⏹️ ▶️ John Air, as MacBook Pro, they had like a 640 by something camera like the original MacBook Air.
⏹️ ▶️ John They were always just kind of not good behind the times. And we complained about them and nothing would happen. And I think
⏹️ ▶️ John the silver lining to this Apple Studio Display thing is I think this is the first time that sort of the Apple tech
⏹️ ▶️ John review community has latched on to the idea that the camera sucks in such a way that Apple
⏹️ ▶️ John might notice. Cause we all said it about the other ones, like, oh, the new laptops are out. Oh, does it still have a
⏹️ ▶️ John non HD camera? We meant like, is it not up to 1080P yet or whatever? Like we’d make these snarky
⏹️ ▶️ John comments, but it was never like a story, a big story. And the studio display, the front facing camera
⏹️ ▶️ John has suddenly become a story. So I have to imagine, especially with the Mac hardware
⏹️ ▶️ John team that has produced the last few years of products, that they have taken notice that
⏹️ ▶️ John we all think their cameras suck. And the next version of anything that they put out that
⏹️ ▶️ John starting from now, right? So that’s probably three years from now, like whatever the pipeline is where they are
⏹️ ▶️ John making decisions about future products now, I hope that they will say, oh, we don’t want a repeat of the Apple
⏹️ ▶️ John Studio Display thing so let’s actually put a decent camera in this. That’s my hope anyway. We’ll circle back
⏹️ ▶️ John in three years and see how it is. And the second thing is about the software update. I still continue to think that the processing
⏹️ ▶️ John they’re doing in software is not as good as it could be.
⏹️ ▶️ John Because it’s not as if we’re looking at it and saying, oh, there’s not enough light or it’s too
⏹️ ▶️ John noisy or whatever. If you look at James Thompson’s thing, some people were looking at the histograms of them
⏹️ ▶️ John and someone said, did they not have the iPhone camera image processing team look at this? Because
⏹️ ▶️ John the histogram is crap. You haven’t processed it to, you could do a better job
⏹️ ▶️ John of processing this, it wouldn’t look as gross. It still wouldn’t look great, It’s not a good camera or whatever. And by the way, one of their
⏹️ ▶️ John solutions to like, oh, we have a big fisheye camera that you’re taking a small crop of, they just took a bigger crop,
⏹️ ▶️ John right? So it makes it look less bad because you’re not sort of throwing out more pixels.
⏹️ ▶️ John Of course, you are smaller in the frame than you were before and you can decide if that’s a feature or benefit, but
⏹️ ▶️ John that’s one solution. Like, okay, well, we’ll just zoom back out. So now you can’t see how ugly it is. But the processing,
⏹️ ▶️ John especially on James Thompson’s one, looks off. If you look at Jason Snell, I agree he has the best example because he’s literally
⏹️ ▶️ John like in front of both cameras at once. So he gets to move and you can see how the camera moves around or whatever. And
⏹️ ▶️ John the one with the firmware update and the one without at various times look very similar to each other.
⏹️ ▶️ John So I don’t think it’s a particularly big change. I still think they could do better with
⏹️ ▶️ John better firmware of making, I mean, and I do wonder if it’s like, again, like the, like I was saying at the camera thing, a policy
⏹️ ▶️ John choice where they’ve decided that the most important thing is to have every
⏹️ ▶️ John pixel on a human being’s face as bright as possible, even if it makes them look like a wax death mask, I think that’s
⏹️ ▶️ John the wrong choice. But that sure seems like what they’re trying to do, like eliminate shadows on people’s faces.
⏹️ ▶️ John And they don’t need to because like in James Thompson, he had a ring light on him. He had plenty of light on his face and
⏹️ ▶️ John the image processing was like, I’ve detected a human face, brighten that sucker up. Because I guess most people are
⏹️ ▶️ John in front of their webcams and they all otherwise look like they’re in a dark dungeon so that the processing is really trying to brighten the face
⏹️ ▶️ John up. They need to detect that they don’t need to make certain faces brighter is already there already bright enough.
⏹️ ▶️ John So anyway, we’ll see in future firmware updates. But yeah, if you’re buying this display for the camera,
⏹️ ▶️ John you’re going to get what you’re going to get and you’re probably going to be upset.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Meanwhile, you know, when I when I first got the XDR works, you know, as you know, does not have a built in webcam.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco You know, I bought the little Logitech magnetically attaching thing that goes on top of it. As I’ve said before, that’s
⏹️ ▶️ Marco a pretty good webcam. And when I first set that up, I was
⏹️ ▶️ Marco kind of disappointed that I had to look at this giant black blob on top of my monitor all the time.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco But I’ve gotten used to it now and I’m really happy that I have a really good webcam for whenever I have to
⏹️ ▶️ Marco appear on a zoom call. I kind of wish like maybe you know the webcam now is
⏹️ ▶️ Marco pretty important of a feature and that seems to be only growing over time. You know
⏹️ ▶️ Marco there’s obviously a big a big bump during COVID of everyone all of a sudden working from home who wasn’t before
⏹️ ▶️ Marco but But I think obviously a lot of that’s going to stick around even as COVID kind of goes into an endemic
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and waning state where a lot of people go back to work. So to have designed this product,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco which chances are this studio display was probably designed almost entirely
⏹️ ▶️ Marco or entirely during the COVID era. And so to have designed this product with a really
⏹️ ▶️ Marco crappy webcam situation in this day and age, it was a misstep.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco And the more I look at the studio display, the more I think, you know, they put in like you know the
⏹️ ▶️ Marco A13, it runs iOS, it’s kind of buggy. I’m kind of thinking like, hmm,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco did they have to make this product? Did they have to design this with all this complexity? Did they have
⏹️ ▶️ Marco to give it a whole like phone OS in there to control stuff? Did they have to do this fancy
⏹️ ▶️ Marco center stage thing with this crap hardware when the iMac Pro with its
⏹️ ▶️ Marco five-year-old basic webcam looks better than it? The XDR works as a perfectly great
⏹️ ▶️ Marco display without having to boot an OS that occasionally crashes. Like, I just, I have to wonder, like, was all of
⏹️ ▶️ Marco this weird engineering they did in this the right choice when what they really
⏹️ ▶️ Marco just needed to do was make a smaller XDR?
⏹️ ▶️ John I think it was the right choice to have all the features that it has. Good speakers, camera, whatever. I mean, obviously we just
⏹️ ▶️ John wish they were better, but that’s what you want out of… It’s more of a middle-of-the-road $1,600 monitor thing.
⏹️ ▶️ John The really expensive one doesn’t have any extraneous crap because you just, you know, you just buy that stuff.
⏹️ ▶️ John You’re gonna have external speakers, you’re gonna have a fancy external camera. Like it makes more sense on the pro end than this thing.
⏹️ ▶️ John And also for them doing the iOS thing, like that was probably the fastest, cheapest way to do it. Because I think about if they didn’t
⏹️ ▶️ John do that, okay, so we’re gonna have a camera, we’re gonna have speakers and we need, and we wanna do center stage. I can
⏹️ ▶️ John imagine them wanting to do that, you know, pretend the camera was good. We would all be saying, great, center stage is cool, right?
⏹️ ▶️ John How do you control center stage? You have to have some way to thread through, you know, your
⏹️ ▶️ John M whatever chip in your Mac and all of its image processing and all of those smarts and all that code that you wrote for
⏹️ ▶️ John iOS now has to control a camera that is not in the same piece of hardware as the
⏹️ ▶️ John system on the chip but is actually connected externally. And so you have to write drivers to do all that. And it’s just like
⏹️ ▶️ John the shortest distance to getting something working is that we already have an incomplete system that does this. Just put an A13 in there.
⏹️ ▶️ John And then the A13 acts like it would in an iPad. The camera’s in the same case and the speakers are there. but like it’s
⏹️ ▶️ John it seems like it might even be less work. I don’t know. Probably people who worked on this project are laughing at me now, but it seems to me that could conceivably
⏹️ ▶️ John be less work to do what they did. Like because you don’t have to do as much brand new
⏹️ ▶️ John stuff. You already have the pieces that know how to do the things you wanted to do. And then it’s a smaller
⏹️ ▶️ John amount of communication between the host Mac and the things that if it wasn’t less work, if it was, in fact,
⏹️ ▶️ John more work and it’s buggier, then it’s definitely the wrong choice. But I look at this and I think,
⏹️ ▶️ John you know, it’s parts been engineering And partsman engineering is a dirty word in the car industry,
⏹️ ▶️ John but it shouldn’t always be. Because if you have something that works, if you have door handles that work on your cars,
⏹️ ▶️ John you don’t need to reinvent the door handle with every car. Just put the good door handle on every car. It’s fine. We’re talking about him already.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco We are sponsored this week by Sanity. What is Sanity you ask? It’s
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⏹️ ▶️ Marco There will be a mix of talks, panels and conversations covering topics like foundations for building a content system,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco real life applications for structured content from well-known brands like AT&T or the New York Times, proven collaboration
⏹️ ▶️ Marco methods to better connect everyone who works on content. And here’s a few of the sessions, for example, Reflections
⏹️ ▶️ Marco on the Future of the Web with digital leaders Guillermo Roche from Vercel and Michael Sipi from Outside,
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⏹️ ▶️ Marco will improvise solutions to real life problems. And I just that’s pretty cool. So there’s more than one way to attend as well. You can
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⏹️ ▶️ Marco slash ATP. Thank you so much to sanity and the structured content 2022 conference for sponsoring
Sonos Roam power button
⏹️ ▶️ John John about your Sonos Roam power button. I was complaining about my Sonos Roam that I didn’t like the power button because to
⏹️ ▶️ John turn the stupid thing off you needed to hold it down for a ridiculous amount of time and listen through a series of beeps and it was
⏹️ ▶️ John hard to hold the button because the button was very skinny and was on the edge of a triangle and you had to just keep holding it and holding it
⏹️ ▶️ John and it was terrible. Anyway brilliant thingy noted on Twitter that the Sonos
⏹️ ▶️ John Roam software was updated a few months ago and now a quick press of the button on the back turns it off so I updated my firmware
⏹️ ▶️ John And lo and behold, I can turn it off by pressing the button, and it immediately turns off. So that’s much nicer.
⏹️ ▶️ John The plus, minus, and play buttons on the end still suck though.
iPhone sleep-button delay
⏹️ ▶️ Casey And then tangentially related, Patrick Niemeyer writes, Hearing John talk about the power button on his shower speaker reminded me
⏹️ ▶️ Casey of a topic that I can’t believe I’ve never heard him discuss. The fact that a few generations ago, the lock button on the iPhone
⏹️ ▶️ Casey went from being instantaneous to more of a suggestion. It currently takes almost a second for the phone
⏹️ ▶️ Casey to lock after hitting the button, during which time the screen and touch input are fully active.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I find myself constantly falling into the following trap. I prepare to pocket by making a quick volume adjustment, then
⏹️ ▶️ Casey lock the phone, and attempt to put it in my pocket. However, in the movement to put the phone down, I accidentally swiped down
⏹️ ▶️ Casey the on-screen volume gadget and mute the phone. Is this because the lock button became
⏹️ ▶️ Casey all things to all people? Because it used to be that the lock button was the lock button, but now,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey even with guided access turned off—or, I’m sorry, accessibility turned off, you still have like
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Apple Pay and Siri if you hold it down. And so I think that’s what this is, is because when you
⏹️ ▶️ Casey hit the button once, there needs to be some amount of time for Apple to wait and say,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey are they hitting it a second time? know, is this really a double tap? And we’ve only seen the first of the two taps.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey And so there’s no way for them to divine what it is you’re going to do. They just have to
⏹️ ▶️ Casey wait it out and wait whatever the amount of time is to time out, if you will, and know, oh, that was definitely
⏹️ ▶️ Casey a single tap, we should lock now.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco That’s exactly right. And so if you think about the different, you know, holding it down, they don’t have to wait really for that.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco They as soon as you release the button, they know you’re not holding it down. But they do have a delay
⏹️ ▶️ Marco to see, are you double clicking it or triple clicking it or just single clicking it. So the interesting
⏹️ ▶️ Marco thing is if you disable the things that it might be waiting for double or triple clicks for,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco so that’s Apple Pay and if you have the accessibility shortcut as the triple click,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco if you turn those things off, which you can do in settings, and you hit the button, it sleeps instantly.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco So if you care that much about that being a thing and if you can live without
⏹️ ▶️ Marco double tap to Apple Pay. Now I actually I tried this and I couldn’t figure out
⏹️ ▶️ Marco how to go to that Apple Pay screen otherwise. Like I open up the wallet app. That’s what I was
⏹️ ▶️ John gonna ask. If I turn this off, then how do I Apple Pay?
⏹️ ▶️ Casey You go in, yeah, you go into wallet and then you tap on a card, right?
⏹️ ▶️ Marco No, it didn’t. It didn’t bring up the well, I don’t know, maybe I did it wrong, but I tried that and it didn’t bring up like
⏹️ ▶️ Marco the payment confirmation. Oh, no, you’re
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yes. Anyway, if you turn off those things, you can get instantaneous sleep again. But
⏹️ ▶️ Marco yeah, unfortunately, you’d have to like never use Apple Pay. There’s gotta be a way. Oh, apparently the chat’s
⏹️ ▶️ Marco saying that if you, if you like hover the phone over the ActiveNFC terminal at the store, like, then
⏹️ ▶️ Marco it will prompt it to open up that screen. So you can’t like pre-approve it with your face, but you can at least
⏹️ ▶️ Marco like open it up, like move over the terminal first, then face ID approve it.
⏹️ ▶️ John Huh. I do wonder if, for the double tap thing, if they could
⏹️ ▶️ John immediately sleep, but then if you hit the button again within the double tap interval, unsleep it
⏹️ ▶️ John and do Apple Pay, you know what I mean?
⏹️ ▶️ Marco That’s interesting, yeah.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey That is wild. I had no idea that that was the only obvious way to get into payments. That’s very
Apple self-service repair
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Anyway, Apple’s self-service repair site is live. So if you recall, they announced, I don’t know, it was a few months
⏹️ ▶️ Casey ago or something like that, that you can, you will be able to buy parts
⏹️ ▶️ Casey and repair things yourself if you so desire. And apparently that has gone live,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey particularly for the iPhone. I don’t believe there’s anything for the Mac yet. And the website is
⏹️ ▶️ Casey weird. It is super weird. It’s self-service-repair.com,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey and it looks super janky. I don’t know what’s going on here, but
⏹️ ▶️ Casey it’s weird. And apparently it’s version, what is this? It says on the bottom, there’s a bottom,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey on the bottom left, it’s Spot version 8145.5. I feel like I’m looking at
⏹️ ▶️ Casey the little pie symbol in the corner now. And there’s a little doggie in the icon, which is very cute. But anyway,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I guess they just outsourced this whole thing, this whole website, which is super weird. But you can go
⏹️ ▶️ Casey ahead and order parts. You can look at the repair manuals, you can get general info and so on and so forth.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey So that is something you can now do. Is it something that I would do? Heck no, because that scares the
⏹️ ▶️ Casey poop out of me. Trying to repair my phone, just the thought of it sounds terrible in my personal opinion but I am genuinely
⏹️ ▶️ Casey glad that this exists for people who are not scaredy cats like me.
⏹️ ▶️ John Steven Hackett did investigation of this whole external website and looked at the company that did it. Apparently have
⏹️ ▶️ John done some other work for Apple as well. We’ll link to his blog post where he explains it. The service manuals
⏹️ ▶️ John themselves are on Apple’s website and we’ll put a link to that. It’s just support.apple.com slash
⏹️ ▶️ John manuals slash repair hyphen manual. And the website’s fine. Like, I think the complaint is it doesn’t look like
⏹️ ▶️ John it was Apple designed, which is for sure. It just looks like someone used, you know, it’s a simple,
⏹️ ▶️ John it’s perfectly fine. It’s a perfectly reasonable website. It’s got three boxes with icons and buttons.
⏹️ ▶️ John And you know, it’s like a template from a bootstrap website. I don’t know. It’s not terrible,
⏹️ ▶️ John but it certainly doesn’t look like an Apple site. And it’s not, to Stephen’s point, it’s not an apple.com
⏹️ ▶️ John anywhere. It’s not self-service-repaired at apple.com, it’s self-service-repaired.com, right? So it’s not even
⏹️ ▶️ John an Apple’s domain. And you could be forgiven for thinking it’s some kind of weird scam site or like not affiliated
⏹️ ▶️ John with Apple anyway, but it totally is. Like it is, this is Apple’s official, like we’ll link to the press
⏹️ ▶️ John release. Apple’s press release links to this site. This is not a scam, right? And that I feel like is
⏹️ ▶️ John a slight problem for Apple, but on the other hand, I bet there’s probably all sorts of
⏹️ ▶️ John not particularly nice looking websites that you have to go to if you’re an Apple authorized dealer to deal with stuff. I mean, Steven
⏹️ ▶️ John obviously knows about these things, having worked in an Apple store at least, but those ones still
⏹️ ▶️ John probably are under the apple.com umbrella.
⏹️ ▶️ John if you want to dive in and start repairing your stuff, if your thing is one of the supported devices,
Events in Apple Park
⏹️ ▶️ Casey All right, moving right along. There’s been a lot of discussion, mostly led by John Gruber, about
⏹️ ▶️ Casey would Apple do this WWDC thing inside the ring of Apple Park?
⏹️ ▶️ Casey And I think it’s a very reasonable.
⏹️ ▶️ John How is that discussion led by John Gruber? We recorded an episode where we said the exact same thing before he released his.
⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey Yeah, but he
⏹️ ▶️ Casey like really deep dove, did a deep dive,
⏹️ ▶️ John We just said the same thing. We did it just longer and later. I reject this notion. We have privacy about whether
⏹️ ▶️ John or not people are allowed in the ring.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey So having nothing to do with John Gruber at all, copyright 2022, John Syracuse.
⏹️ ▶️ John Copyright ATP, you were all there. We were talking about it, remember? Hey, we’re the people into the ring. Doesn’t it seem weird to
⏹️ ▶️ John have ever had people in the ring? That was us. It was the show.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Moving right along. One thing, I just want to be remembered for one thing. Just want to be remembered
⏹️ ▶️ John for one thing. I just want to remember two episodes ago when we talked about people being led in Dabble Park Ring and
⏹️ ▶️ John then talk show episode came out a week later and everyone’s like, led by John Gruber? No, no, Casey.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Two episodes ago was like three months. haven’t recorded in forever. Anyway, all right. So
⏹️ ▶️ Casey regardless of who it was, gosh darn it, people familiar with the matter have been wondering about
⏹️ ▶️ Casey whether or not Apple would bring civilians, regular schmoes,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey inside the ring of Apple Park. Anonymous wrote us the following, you guys wondered if there
⏹️ ▶️ Casey had been any large events where visitors were able to go into the Apple Park ring courtyard. There was a series
⏹️ ▶️ Casey of friends and family Saturdays in summer of 2019. Employees could bring up to four people, the theater, some lobbies, and some
⏹️ ▶️ Casey of the inner and outer hallway of the ground floor, nearly all of the green space inside and outside the ring, and all
⏹️ ▶️ Casey of Giant Cafe Max were accessible. The majority of staff keeping people going where they were allowed seemed to be contract
⏹️ ▶️ Casey event staff that had experience working with other Apple events like WWDC and Keynotes. Some people brought
⏹️ ▶️ Casey picnics. They served gelato pops—Apple doesn’t do things as plebeian as the frozen novelties you get in an ice
⏹️ ▶️ Casey cream truck—and a beverage I don’t recall. Officially no photos were allowed, but Twitter had plenty of photos from the
⏹️ ▶️ Casey days before I went. Unofficially, the staff seemed to direct people toward photos of outside spaces rather than
⏹️ ▶️ Casey inside spaces. So apparently it has happened.
⏹️ ▶️ John Yeah. And I think the Cafe Max thing answers another question of like, how are they going to feed people and where
⏹️ ▶️ John will people go to the bathroom and stuff? Like, apparently they do have a subset of the
⏹️ ▶️ John ring and the space in the building, you know, the inside of the ring and also the space in the actual building where
⏹️ ▶️ John they allow the public, at least allow the public to go once or or twice that they can sort of cordon off
⏹️ ▶️ John with people and feel safe enough that, you know, there’s places for people to be taken care
⏹️ ▶️ John of but that they’re not going to just wander into the ring and, you know. Never mind, all the doors are locked in there anyway with key cards
⏹️ ▶️ John and stuff so it’s not, I don’t think it’s a real problem but I also don’t think they want strange people just wandering around.
Fence around Apple Park
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Indeed. And then Benedict Evans tweeted, an idle observation. I have no idea what
⏹️ ▶️ Casey this kind of fencing costs, but it’s very not cheap and it extends around the entire Apple Park site.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey And so I’ve not seen this in person, but judging on this picture, I’ll paint you a word picture here. It seems
⏹️ ▶️ Casey like there are many, many, many vertical metal rods, each of which I would guesstimate
⏹️ ▶️ Casey is like four to six feet tall, but they’re completely freestanding. Like if you think of an average fence, you would
⏹️ ▶️ Casey put some posts down and then have some stuff linking from one post to the other, but you wouldn’t put a post
⏹️ ▶️ Casey every six inches, which is apparently what they’ve done here. Like there must be
⏹️ ▶️ Casey either like a river of concrete that went through the
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah. I’m guessing they’re bound together underground somehow.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco something supporting them.
⏹️ ▶️ John This is like the most expensive kind of fence you can ever imagine making. Very Apple-like, right? So
⏹️ ▶️ John in case you’re having trouble picturing, I’ll put a link to his tweet in the show notes with the photo, but it’s like, you know, like the
⏹️ ▶️ John bars of a jail cell, just vertical bars like that, but they just come out of the ground. There are no horizontal members
⏹️ ▶️ John whatsoever. It’s just vertical bars.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah, nothing, nothing bridges across the top or the bottom.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Well, as far as we
⏹️ ▶️ John can see, it’s just a vertical bar. Now here’s the thing about just vertical bars like this. Now, first of all, yes, obviously there needs
⏹️ ▶️ John to be something underground to make it so these aren’t just stuck into the earth. They’re probably in cement or something. But the second thing is the
⏹️ ▶️ John precision required to make this fence not look terrible. It’s
⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey Extremely high,
⏹️ ▶️ John because these sticks are like, they look like they’re at least six or seven feet tall. The tops of these things
⏹️ ▶️ John need to be even with each other so the fence makes a line and not like a wavy thing, right? Every one
⏹️ ▶️ John of these sticks needs to be in concrete and lined up just so, the correct distance from each other. And
⏹️ ▶️ John it needs to be sturdy enough that you couldn’t just go and like pull the tops of the bars apart. But think of the leverage
⏹️ ▶️ John that you have at the top of those bars. If these are stiff, you know, metal bars, just do the math
⏹️ ▶️ John and the physics of how much leverage do you have down there? You have to not be able to bend them apart and they have to not
⏹️ ▶️ John be able to be bent forward or backwards. And if this goes around all of Apple Park, how much
⏹️ ▶️ John does this cost per like linear foot? I don’t even understand.
⏹️ ▶️ John And I don’t think it’s any more particularly secure than any other kind of fence. Cause you know, you throw a carpet over this thing and
⏹️ ▶️ John hop over like they do in every action movie. It’s just a susceptible, it’s not like there’s barbed wire on it, right? It’s just as susceptible to hopping
⏹️ ▶️ John over by a bunch of kids or like climb a tree and hop over. Let’s see the tree that’s over there. If there’s, you know, a tree near the fence, you come
⏹️ ▶️ John up to the tree, hop over it. Kids know how to get over fences, but it just boggles my mind. This is a Johnny
⏹️ ▶️ John Ives special. Like, I would like a fence that looks like this. And they say, Johnny, this is going to cost $250,000 per linear foot.
⏹️ ▶️ John It’s like, I don’t care. Just do it. Well, I mean, in all
⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco fairness, I’ve
⏹️ ▶️ Marco been fortunate, maybe, as a question mark at the end of that, enough in life
⏹️ ▶️ Marco to have once purchased custom windows. And oh my god.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco And so if you look at the amount of glass that is custom made in Apple Park.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco This fence is a drop in the bucket compared to what they must have spent on glass.
⏹️ ▶️ John Well, I mean, so the big doors on the cafeteria, like the height of the whole building and they go out or whatever,
⏹️ ▶️ John I think those are only a few million each and maybe this fence is more expensive than those two doors. Maybe,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I mean, there’s certainly, you know, if it’s going through around the whole site, like how many miles of fence, it’s probably like
⏹️ ▶️ Marco a couple of miles with a fence, right? Yeah, as I’m
⏹️ ▶️ John saying, it goes all around. So if you were in the fencing industry, maybe this is just a standard kind of fence that we don’t know and there’s been an advance
⏹️ ▶️ John in fencing technology that makes this cheap to manufacture and it’s actually not that hard to line these things up. Like maybe
⏹️ ▶️ John they’re all made in a factory and they just come and you just bury them in units or whatever, but it looks expensive.
⏹️ ▶️ John It looks fancy and expensive and maybe not particularly functional. So very apple-like.
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Thom Yorke hates “Creep”, too
⏹️ ▶️ Casey right, a very quick follow-up. I had made offhanded comment, I think early on in the last episode,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey that I was not a fan of the Radiohead song, Creep, and I think, John, you were giving me a little bit of flack about that.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Dozens of people, dozens, I tell you, wrote in to say, I too love Radiohead and I dislike the song,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Creep, but most interestingly of all, my friend Spencer, a friend of the show really, Spencer Wohlers,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey wrote in and said, hey, Tom Yorke, the lead singer and songwriter of Radiohead also hates Creep.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey And so I’ll put a short link or put a link into a short article that Spencer had sent
⏹️ ▶️ Casey that basically talks about how he always thought it was kind of garbage too.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey, John So there, John.
⏹️ ▶️ John Bands always hate their big breakout hit because they’re just get sick of it. I can feel them. Like I think
⏹️ ▶️ John if you asked any band how much they like the song that made them famous, they’re probably over it now too.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah. Imagine like being Thaumjörg and having to go to any party and like, hey man, play creepy music
⏹️ ▶️ Marco guitar like it’s just yeah and yes I know about the whole piano man comic or whatever the was
⏹️ ▶️ Marco it on the onion or something I don’t
⏹️ ▶️ Casey know I have No idea what you’re talking about, but that’s fine.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey All right, why don’t you tell me about your game streaming setup, please.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yes, so I mentioned, I believe it was last show, or the one before that, I was looking at some new
⏹️ ▶️ Marco video capture hardware and trying to get some video capture recommendations for the Team Armand
⏹️ ▶️ Marco video game streaming setup that we have here, where there are three gaming PCs being captured over
⏹️ ▶️ Marco HDMI, three webcams, and they’re all shown on screen at once in three video
⏹️ ▶️ Marco screens with three webcams. So there’s six little viewports being shown on screen at once for our game streaming for our family.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey To jump in real quick, I gotta say, we got a lot of feedback about this, and more than possibly
⏹️ ▶️ Casey any other time in ATP’s history, the feedback was universal about Blackmagic
⏹️ ▶️ Casey stuff. And you can tell me whether or not it’s good or not, but it seems like anyone who had touched Blackmagic stuff was like,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey oh, this stuff is great.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Most. We did get a couple who said it had some issues, but for the most part. So
⏹️ ▶️ Marco quickly, before I go to the hardware route, I did mention briefly that I briefly looked into NDI.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco This is basically sending video and audio over the network, running software
⏹️ ▶️ Marco on the PCs to do capture and stuff in software. And I tried that. We had a couple of people
⏹️ ▶️ Marco write in, actually more than a couple, who wrote in with experience with NDI.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Basically for me to use NDI to do all this over the network, it probably
⏹️ ▶️ Marco would require me to hardwire the gaming PCs with Ethernet and
⏹️ ▶️ Marco have possibly even like 2.5G or 10G Ethernet, Because the data
⏹️ ▶️ Marco rates for the amount of data I’d be capturing would be pretty high. I might still do that at some point,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco or maybe I’ll do it for part of it, like the webcams maybe, because they’re much lower bandwidth and stuff. But
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I don’t know, that seems more finicky than I want to get into right now. Because the thing is, what I want here
⏹️ ▶️ Marco out of the setup is, when we want to stream, to be able to basically turn it
⏹️ ▶️ Marco on and have it just work. However, because the setup is massive and lives on
⏹️ ▶️ Marco our kitchen counter basically, I to be able to like take it apart sometimes and put stuff away
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and then take it back out and have it work somehow without having to like reset up a bunch of stuff.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco So the more complex it is, the more finicky it is, the more things can change between invocations,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco the less appealing that is to me. And also the more stuff is required to be out
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and to be used and to be bought and everything. Again, that also makes it less appealing to me. So anyway,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco so NDI I’m I’m keeping on the back burner as an option, but right now I’m not using it. By far
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and away, the top recommendation was the Blackmagic, I don’t know if it’s ATEM
⏹️ ▶️ Marco or A-T-E-M, however you say that, ATEM Mini Pro. This was by far and away the most common recommendation.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco What this is, is basically a little hardware video switcher and compositor
⏹️ ▶️ Marco thing. And it has a bunch of great features. You can basically have it do,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and the feature I need is called multi-view, where you show like different viewports all at once on the screen. So the Atom
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Mini Pro could show the three, it has four input multi-view,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco so it could theoretically show like the three big game screens, and then it can be
⏹️ ▶️ Marco a USB input to the computer running OBS. And so I could theoretically have that
⏹️ ▶️ Marco be the main input on the main background of the OBS composition and then put in the webcams myself
⏹️ ▶️ Marco manually. There’s also a higher end Atom Mini Extreme
⏹️ ▶️ Marco that has eight ports. I could theoretically use that and have it all in one box being done in hardware
⏹️ ▶️ Marco if I just replaced the webcams with something that output HDMI instead of USB. So that’s an option
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I might go with in the future. I don’t really want to. Because this thing is this giant
⏹️ ▶️ Marco control panel covered in buttons with a thousand features I wouldn’t use and don’t need.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco And it’s also super high-end in its capabilities and so it’s also
⏹️ ▶️ Marco like $1,000 for the big multi-input one or $500 for the only four input ones. So
⏹️ ▶️ Marco these are big chunks of money for a lot of features I wouldn’t use. And I think it would actually make
⏹️ ▶️ Marco my setup physically more complicated, which is a little unappealing to me. So I’m also
⏹️ ▶️ Marco back-burnering that idea. I might go to that in the future, we’ll see. But what I decided to try first
⏹️ ▶️ Marco was a PCI Express Thunderbolt enclosure and using the Blackmagic
⏹️ ▶️ Marco DeckLink Quad HDMI Recorder, which is a 4 HDMI input PCI Express
⏹️ ▶️ Marco card. And I put it in the Sonic Echo Express Thunderbolt enclosure that has 3 slots. Because
⏹️ ▶️ Marco once I started going into looking for this, I was thinking, well, hey, wait a minute. If I
⏹️ ▶️ Marco have the… if I could get a PCI Express enclosure, if I could just get one that has more than one slot,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I can also get one or two USB cards and get rid of the whole hub
⏹️ ▶️ Marco entirely. Stop using a Thunderbolt hub and just use this one box with all these ports that I
⏹️ ▶️ Marco need all built into it. So that’s what I did. I bought the one box, I got the three slot enclosure,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I got the HDMI quad input from Blackmagic, and I got two SONNET USB cards.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco One that has four USB-C’s and one that has four USB-A’s. This is…
⏹️ ▶️ Marco so far, it looks like it has a lot of promise. I was very, very impressed that
⏹️ ▶️ Marco the enclosure and the USB cards don’t need drivers. This is a huge
⏹️ ▶️ Marco appeal to me because every single time I’m looking at these things, I have to first figure out, you know, try
⏹️ ▶️ Marco to go to their site or they go to their support page and see, all right, does it support max? Number one, that’s when you’re
⏹️ ▶️ Marco buying hard PC, PC style hardware, you got to really make sure number one, does it support max? Number two,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco does it support Apple Silicon max? That’s a huge question mark on a lot of these things.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco And the answer is not always yes. Or the answer is sometimes like, well, it supports some features
⏹️ ▶️ Marco or it supports some configuration or it supports some of the hardware, but not all of it.
⏹️ ▶️ John You forgot number three. Number three, does it look gross in the back of my Mac Pro?
⏹️ ▶️ John Nobody makes color match cards. I looked, I was looking at USB cards once, and like, oh,
⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco I have all these
⏹️ ▶️ Marco ports I could put. Are the brackets the wrong, what color are your PCI brackets?
⏹️ ▶️ John Yeah, everything on the back of the Mac Pro is like a matte black, like the part that, the part
⏹️ ▶️ John that has the ports in it, right? That kind of needs to be matte black to match, and all these are shiny silver,
⏹️ ▶️ John and you just can’t have that. What is this, a PC? Come on.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Wow. Anyway, so the
⏹️ ▶️ Marco enclosure and the USB cards require no drivers. They just worked instantly. I was very, very happy. So the Sonnet
⏹️ ▶️ Marco enclosure and the two Sonnet Allegro USB cards, fantastic. And I love the fact that I could just add this.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I was also very pleased that the fan is not super loud relative to
⏹️ ▶️ Marco being in my kitchen. Now, I wouldn’t really want this thing in my office. Oh, and also I
⏹️ ▶️ Marco was impressed when I took it apart, the fan they use is a Noctua 80mm fan. That’s a really good fan.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Noctua is like an enthusiast fan brand that specializes in very
⏹️ ▶️ Marco quiet fans. So I was very impressed to see that in there. That’s not something you usually see in someone else’s
⏹️ ▶️ Marco hardware. So that was pretty cool. Anyway, so very impressed with the enclosure
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and the USB cards. The Blackmagic DeckLink Quad HDMI card, I did have
⏹️ ▶️ Marco to install their software. It is comically difficult to figure out where exactly you
⏹️ ▶️ Marco go on their website to download the software. It ends up being called like desktop video or something. It’s not like it isn’t
⏹️ ▶️ Marco called what you think it’ll be called. You can’t just go to the page from this card and click download.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco The manual doesn’t it’s like it’s hilarious how opaque this process is. Eventually got
⏹️ ▶️ Marco it got it in there got it working. The problem is you know this
⏹️ ▶️ Marco card said it works with Macs. It said it works with Apple Silicon
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Macs. It said you can capture things and you know what? You open up any
⏹️ ▶️ Marco kind of capture app, including the one that comes with it, or OBS or anything like that, and all four ports
⏹️ ▶️ Marco show up as four different capture devices? Great! Unfortunately, the card,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco while it says it will capture audio from the HDMI signals,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco And while it will attempt to capture said audio, it will also
⏹️ ▶️ Marco crappily do that by overlaying a whole bunch of noise and repeated blocks of audio.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco So like, if you click a button in Minecraft, it’ll play the click, and then a half second later it’ll play it again, and
⏹️ ▶️ Marco the whole time they’re static playing. And no matter what I did, I tried searching their support
⏹️ ▶️ Marco forums and all that crap, I could not get past this issue. I cannot figure out why it’s doing that.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco It’s difficult with Blackmagic stuff if something doesn’t work right because they have so many
⏹️ ▶️ Marco different products that it’s really hard to search for things that are relevant to what you are doing with them. But anyway,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco for whatever reason, the audio capture does not work on this card. So
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I’m going back to the drawing board on some of this stuff. I ordered a Magewell card,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco which is like, I guess, one of their rivals in this area. I ordered one of those to try. Elgato
⏹️ ▶️ Marco does make a PCI Express card called the Cam Link Pro with four inputs, but it’s Windows only, so
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I can’t use that one without, again, doing a whole PC-based setup, which I really don’t want to do.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco So, we’ll see if the Magzwell card is any better, and then I guess I’ll go from there. The Magzwell card also claims
⏹️ ▶️ Marco to support Macs, claims to support M1 Macs, so we’ll see if it actually does. It claims to support audio capture,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco we’ll see if that works. But, I’m very, very happy with most of the setup, except for the
⏹️ ▶️ Marco video capture card.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco unfortunately kind of important. So
⏹️ ▶️ John we’ll see. I know far be it for me to recommend that you not bend over backwards to use a Mac for something
⏹️ ▶️ John that it’s not well suited for, but I’m telling you, if you just use the PC as your capture machine,
⏹️ ▶️ John I think you’d have a lot easier time, but keep plowing bravely forward, I guess.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey You’re spending some serious money on this. Like, I mean- I’m aware.
⏹️ ▶️ John Well, he’s gonna return a lot of this stuff, I’m assuming.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Well, I mean, I’m hoping to keep the enclosure. The only thing I might be returning is the Blackmagic card because
⏹️ ▶️ Marco the audio capture literally does not work the way they say it will.
⏹️ ▶️ John Oh, but eventually when you give up on this and get a PC to do it, like all this stuff.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Well, not necessarily, presumably the PC could use a lot of it, right? No. A
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Thunderbolt? Come on. But I will say this, this is the first time I’ve ever used a Thunderbolt enclosure. And I’m very pleased with
⏹️ ▶️ Marco like how nice and easy it was. Now, granted, I’m not using it for GPUs, which is I
⏹️ ▶️ Marco think what a lot of people use them for. But for this kind of thing, it was very nice to see. And this
⏹️ ▶️ Marco really solidified, if anything, this solidified my opinion that if we don’t need
⏹️ ▶️ Marco external GPU support, or rather, if we don’t need additional GPU support,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco then future Mac Pros are totally able to use Thunderbolt enclosures
⏹️ ▶️ Marco for other types of PCI card needs if they don’t wanna have internal slots.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Because this is great, and this is all running off a 13-inch MacBook Pro. Like, I don’t even need a desktop to have full
⏹️ ▶️ Marco bandwidth PCI cards in there. That’s fantastic. And that works great. So certainly
⏹️ ▶️ Marco it at least has been educational in the sense that I now know what these enclosures are
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and how they work and the kinds of things they can do.
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Gmail ➡️ Fastmail
⏹️ ▶️ Casey All right, I have some news. At long last, I am finally
⏹️ ▶️ Casey off of Gmail for my email. I switched my MX records like a week ago, maybe
⏹️ ▶️ Casey a week and a half ago, and I am receiving my email at Fastmail, as the prophecy foretold.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey So if you too are looking to move off of Gmail and would like a referral link where I believe
⏹️ ▶️ Casey both of us get some money off and I get some and free time. It is going to be in the show notes. It’s ref.fm
⏹️ ▶️ Casey slash the oh so memorable U28183245. So. It’s
⏹️ ▶️ Casey 1202572. I still don’t think
⏹️ ▶️ Casey, Marco I can get a lot.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey, Marco There you go.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Why does that get drilled into every nerd’s head?
⏹️ ▶️ Casey, John I don’t know. I mean, I
⏹️ ▶️ John had an ICQ account, but I did not memorize the number. I don’t know, I wasn’t young enough to want to memorize
⏹️ ▶️ John it. Like, I never had a reason to memorize it because if anyone wanted it, I would just copy and paste it to them.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I don’t know what my deal is, or Marcos for that matter, but I don’t know, I memorized mine.
⏹️ ▶️ John I’m kind of sad that I don’t remember what my ICQ number was. I think I’ll go dig out one of my classic Macs that probably still has
⏹️ ▶️ John the account information
⏹️ ▶️ John Just launch ICQ and see what it tries to log in with.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey A couple of years ago, I think I tried logging into ICQ with 120-2572 and it was not happening. And God knows what email
⏹️ ▶️ Casey address is associated with that account. You
⏹️ ▶️ Marco got so many new friends for Blista now.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey, Marco Blista, that was AIM. That was AIM, that was AIM.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey so many new friends. Anyway, we’re getting sidetracked as per usual. So yeah, so I did the migration
⏹️ ▶️ Casey to Fastmail. So to fill you in in case you’re not keeping up, I was on the Google Apps for your domain
⏹️ ▶️ Casey free plan, which had come out somewhere around like 2004, 2006, something like that. And
⏹️ ▶️ Casey if you wanted to, you could sign up for Gmail and then eventually Google Docs and all these
⏹️ ▶️ Casey other things were kind of stapled on the side and you can get it for free, you thought, for life. And a couple of
⏹️ ▶️ Casey months ago, they’ve said, Oh, no, not for life. We’re going to end of life this free thing and you’re going to have to start paying us, which I
⏹️ ▶️ Casey mean, okay, fair. I mean, I’ve freeloaded for like 10, 15 years at this point, so I can’t entirely fault them, but
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I had already been trying to wean myself off of most things Google
⏹️ ▶️ Casey as it was. And so this seemed like a pretty good opportunity to wean myself off of Gmail.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey So I went to FastMail, I signed up for an account and I paid for a
⏹️ ▶️ Casey year and I told it, okay, take all my things from Google
⏹️ ▶️ Casey and put them into Fastmail, expecting that this would be a 42-month endeavor
⏹️ ▶️ Casey that never ends and presumably will not work. So what they have you
⏹️ ▶️ Casey do is sign in via OAuth and it looks at—Gmail says I have about
⏹️ ▶️ Casey 20 gigabytes of email. And so I started it at
⏹️ ▶️ Casey something like 9.30 in the morning like a week ago and it
⏹️ ▶️ Casey took all of my calendar entries, which was almost 5,000 calendar events, it took
⏹️ ▶️ Casey that in, I think it was literally two minutes or something like that. It was absurdly fast, which, like, if you
⏹️ ▶️ Casey think about it, that’s the way it should be, right? Like you would hope that it would be able to download, you know, from internet
⏹️ ▶️ Casey backbone to internet backbone, if you will, extremely quickly. But I didn’t expect it to actually
⏹️ ▶️ Casey happen and even more so to work. And it seemed like it
⏹️ ▶️ Casey did. It did happen and it did work. But that was calendars. What about my email?
⏹️ ▶️ Casey So sure enough, I’m buckled up for like two weeks of transferring and
⏹️ ▶️ Casey so on and so forth. And it took two hours. In two hours,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I got an email that said, hey, all your past emails here now, we have downloaded 149,409 of 149,396
⏹️ ▶️ Casey messages. You might ask, well, why does that number not match?
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Well, I think because at the time it started, which was 149,396, I had gotten like 20 emails.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey So it ended up with 149,409. Well, that brings up a point. Is there a catch-up mode? Like how do you deal with
⏹️ ▶️ Casey So I think it does. I think I could have it refresh.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey But once it was clear that it was actively working, I pretty much immediately flipped my MX records and
⏹️ ▶️ Casey was like, screw it, this is going to work. I’m just going for it, which is a bit cavalier, I’ll be the first to admit.
⏹️ ▶️ John I mean, you could have flipped the MX records first, right?
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I could have, theoretically, yeah. But I was a little- But you just wanted to make sure there was
⏹️ ▶️ John still a race condition.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey exactly right. No, I really just wanted to make sure that something was being transferred
⏹️ ▶️ Casey and that it was working in some way, shape, or form. And once I saw the transfer was starting to work, I was
⏹️ ▶️ Casey like, okay, this is gonna be a mess. And so there was, maybe I lost five minutes of email because I was too slow
⏹️ ▶️ Casey on the MX record change. But one way or another. Yeah, so the chat is asking, Did I give
⏹️ ▶️ Casey FastMail my username and password? No, no, no. Like I said, this is OAuth. So it has me log in via Google.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Google gives them some sort of token back. It’s been so long since I’ve done an OAuth implementation. So
⏹️ ▶️ Casey there’s magic tokens that are exchanged, and then that’s that. So I never actually gave FastMail my
⏹️ ▶️ Casey username and password. So yeah, so in the span of two hours, I got literally 15 years of
⏹️ ▶️ Casey email or something like that that went through lickety split, no problem. All of my folders,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey which are really labels in Gmail world, that came through. I had the
⏹️ ▶️ Casey option of importing the rules that I set up in Gmail, of which I had a not insignificant amount of
⏹️ ▶️ Casey them, but I wanted to take this as an opportunity to clean slate and start anew.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey One thing that I did try was FastMail by default is IMAP. And so
⏹️ ▶️ Casey it uses folders as folders rather than labels, which is what
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Gmail does. And I tried for like a few days, maybe a week to see if
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I could go back to the world of folders. And for me, I
⏹️ ▶️ Casey couldn’t do it. And so what I did was, very nicely, Fastmail has an option that says, hey,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey instead of organizing your messages with folders, you can organize them with labels. And then it’s basically
⏹️ ▶️ Casey what I would call Gmail mode. And so now it behaves much like Gmail does,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey which is super great. And not for everyone, of course, but for someone who’s been used to Gmail, that worked out excellently.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey And like I said, all the folders came through. Everything was great.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco So is the idea here that you can basically have a message in multiple folders, like it’s kind of like a tag instead
⏹️ ▶️ Casey exactly. It’s like a tag, yeah. And when you add a tag,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey it doesn’t necessarily mean that it is no longer in the inbox. So part of the reason I went back
⏹️ ▶️ Casey to labels was I like to label, say, ATP feedback with an ATP
⏹️ ▶️ Casey label. And that was all well and good. But what was happening was, and maybe this was user
⏹️ ▶️ Casey error on my part, but I don’t think so. But what was happening was when I set up my rule
⏹️ ▶️ Casey that said, okay, put this in the ATP folder, that’s literally what it did is it moved it
⏹️ ▶️ Casey out of my inbox and into the ATP folder. And I personally prefer any new email,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey regardless of where it came from or why it’s there, I want to see it in my inbox. That’s the only place I want to check. Then I will
⏹️ ▶️ Casey file it away as necessary, but I only want to have to look at my email. And with the way folders were set up, or perhaps
⏹️ ▶️ Casey the way I set up the rules, I would have to go into the ATP folder to look at the new ATP email. And
⏹️ ▶️ Casey so I said, now the hell with this. I’m just going back to labels. And now it works exactly as I want. I have a rule that says, hey, when an ATP
⏹️ ▶️ Casey email comes in, mark it with the ATP label, but leave it in the inbox, which is exactly
⏹️ ▶️ Casey what I want to do. Again, not for everyone, but that’s how I like it. So all good news
⏹️ ▶️ Casey on things that fast mail can control. The web app is surprisingly good. Now
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I’m not like John. I never use a Gmail web app and I know the Gmail web app. If you like it,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey you really like it. I really enjoyed it when it was new. Over time, I decided it was not for
⏹️ ▶️ Casey me. I’m not saying John’s wrong, it’s just not for me. And the FastMail web app is really
⏹️ ▶️ Casey good. I don’t have it open in front of me, but I believe there’s even a way to make it use Gmail
⏹️ ▶️ Casey key shortcuts or keystrokes, if you will. I’m not 100% sure about that. You’ll have to check me on that, but I believe
⏹️ ▶️ Casey that to be true. So everything FastMail related, the web app is great. The email
⏹️ ▶️ Casey comes in super fast. I’ve had a couple of pieces of spam breakthrough, but not a lot. There’s
⏹️ ▶️ Casey also a neat feature where you can set up a folder or label and say, hey,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey when I put something in here, tell your spam thing that this is
⏹️ ▶️ Casey something it should have caught a spam and so you can help train it. Or what’s even more interesting is,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey you can set up a second label that you say, hey, if I put something in here,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey this is not spam. This is something that you thought was spam but isn’t. And that’s
⏹️ ▶️ Casey not the only way to do that. Like if you’re in the web interface, you can say, oh, not spam. But I just thought that was a very clever
⏹️ ▶️ Casey approach, especially if you’re using a third-party client. The other interesting thing about FastMail, which I feel like we said
⏹️ ▶️ Casey this on the show at some point, but FastMail seems to have some sort of like a
⏹️ ▶️ Casey certification or entitlement or something such that it is one of the very, very few
⏹️ ▶️ Casey third-party email providers that actually can do push email
⏹️ ▶️ Casey on iOS. I don’t necessarily need that, but I turned it on because it’s cool. And
⏹️ ▶️ Casey so, and in fact, I can make an argument why it’s not cool, but because it’s new and shiny, I turned it on.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey And you can get push email via iOS, which is cool. And oh,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey and to log into your email on iOS, you, one of the ways you can
⏹️ ▶️ Casey do it, they do have their own bespoke iOS app, but the way I did it is I
⏹️ ▶️ Casey logged into FastMail on the computer, and then they give you convenient little QR code and
⏹️ ▶️ Casey you scan the QR code with your phone, and that installs a profile, which sounds sketchy,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey but all the profile does is put in the account for you, which is super neat. And so
⏹️ ▶️ Casey again, like, Fastmail is a prior sponsor, it wouldn’t surprise me if there’s, there’s, they’re going to be a future
⏹️ ▶️ Casey sponsor, I haven’t looked. So I’m at least slightly biased, but they didn’t pay me to say
⏹️ ▶️ Casey any of this stuff. Like this was all me on my own. And it’s been really great. So if If you’re interested
⏹️ ▶️ Casey in moving away from Gmail for any reason or from whatever your current email provider is, I really
⏹️ ▶️ Casey do recommend Fastmail. It’s really been really good so far. I mean, Marco, you’ve been there for forever, right?
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah. For, I mean, geez, probably over 10 years now. It’s been fantastic. I have
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Yeah. I cannot say enough good things about how this process has gone. So then, by
⏹️ ▶️ Casey comparison, I went back to Gmail and was like, okay, what do I need to do to to tell them I want to get on
⏹️ ▶️ Casey the list of people that would like to maybe not do email anymore, but I don’t want to lose
⏹️ ▶️ Casey what little YouTube stuff I have saved. I don’t want to lose Google Docs. I
⏹️ ▶️ Casey don’t want to lose the shared ATP calendar, even though we should probably move it to Apple Calendar. I’m just going to leave
⏹️ ▶️ Casey, John I don’t want
⏹️ ▶️ Casey to lose any of that. Move it to Apple Calendar? That’s madness. What
⏹️ ▶️ Casey talking about? No, it’s not. Right now, what I have to do is do it via freaking
⏹️ ▶️ Casey CalDAV, which is absurd, just because you’re on Google, John.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey, John Not that I’m there.
⏹️ ▶️ John I’m the one who moves the calendar rants anyway, don’t worry
⏹️ ▶️ Casey about it. Anyway, the point is, so I think the way this works is,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey if Google blesses me, which they’re not guaranteeing, with, I forget what they call it, but
⏹️ ▶️ Casey like, if I’m allowed to have one of their freebie accounts, then I think I can keep
⏹️ ▶️ Casey all of the Google Docs, calendars, et cetera, and YouTube and whatnot, and I just lose my email, which
⏹️ ▶️ Casey is fine by me. But when I went to go do that, you know, They sent all these scare
⏹️ ▶️ Casey grams about, oh, everything’s going to be expensive, and you got to pay, you got to pay, you got to pay. Oh my gosh, oh my gosh, oh my gosh. Or
⏹️ ▶️ Casey you can sign up for this thing, but that’s probably not what you want. And so I went to sign up for the thing,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey and for the life of me, I couldn’t find it. And of course, the Google website has gone,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey especially Google Apps website, is so full-on enterprise, which means everything is confusing.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey It’s all using verbiage that even I’m far enough removed from real jobs that I don’t know what they’re talking
⏹️ ▶️ Casey about. It was a mess. And eventually I finally found my way into an online chat where someone was genuinely
⏹️ ▶️ Casey very helpful and was like, yeah, I’ll take care of it. I’ll put it on the list for you. But oh my word, it was
⏹️ ▶️ Casey just like the biggest F you on the way out the door. Like, oh, you want to leave? Oh,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey no, no. If this is like canceling cable, baby, you got to work for it. And it was a mess.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey But Fastmail, great. Google, I’m over you. And if you’re interested in Fastmail, please
⏹️ ▶️ Casey check out my referral code. It would make me very happy. Thank you.
John’s security camera
⏹️ ▶️ Casey John, tell me about your security camera.
⏹️ ▶️ John If you wouldn’t have said on the show about this, did I just say I was getting one?
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I think you were talking about how you had intended it as a home project.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey And I don’t think we went too much further than that. But I thought we talked about how you didn’t want to
⏹️ ▶️ Casey put any holes in your house. And I’m pretty sure a little birdie told me that involved
⏹️ ▶️ Casey in this process was putting a hole on the outside, through the outside of your house.
⏹️ ▶️ John I mean, I knew it would, I just wish the hole had worked out a little better.
⏹️ ▶️ John it wasn’t that bad. So I talked about this a bit more on a yet to be released episode
⏹️ ▶️ John of our inconsolable differences, which we would link in the show notes if we could, but we can’t, but maybe we will later. The camera
⏹️ ▶️ John that I got is this, the latest Nest camera, it’s called Nest Cam, outdoor
⏹️ ▶️ John or indoor, comma battery. Great product name. And I have
⏹️ ▶️ John a bunch of Nest Cams already. And the reason I got this one is because I realized that
⏹️ ▶️ John I’m already paying for whatever the fancy plan is it lets you add cameras without having
⏹️ ▶️ John to pay any more. So if I bought another camera, I didn’t have to like, it doesn’t increase my monthly fee. I used to have
⏹️ ▶️ John a ring camera and I got rid of that one so I could stop paying for that. And then I could, you know, just buy this camera.
⏹️ ▶️ John And, you know, it’s
⏹️ ▶️ John outdoor security camera. And I had a place where I wanted to put it, it’s basically where the old
⏹️ ▶️ John ring camera was. But I didn’t want to have to deal with batteries. Now this camera,
⏹️ ▶️ John as the description indicates, has a battery, so you can run
⏹️ ▶️ John it on battery, but from experience, I don’t like using cameras with batteries, no matter how long the battery lasts.
⏹️ ▶️ John First of all, the batteries degrade, especially if they’re outdoors all year long in New England and the freezing in the winter and hot
⏹️ ▶️ John in the summer, that really kills the battery. And second, I don’t wanna have to recharge it, right? So
⏹️ ▶️ John why not get one of the ones that you can plug in? Well, this camera, you can also plug in.
⏹️ ▶️ John And if you plug it in, it just sort of kind of has like a little, it’s like a USB-C
⏹️ ▶️ John type cable or whatever, but you can also get one that has an AC plug wall wart thing and then a little cable
⏹️ ▶️ John runs to the camera. And so even though the camera is battery powered, it’s still plugged in. And if you lose power,
⏹️ ▶️ John then the battery takes over, right? And the battery lasts for like a month or whatever. So this is great. It’s essentially
⏹️ ▶️ John powered by wire all the time, except when, if the power goes out, you don’t lose your camera.
⏹️ ▶️ John So I had to find a place to run the wire. This is near a light that I have that kind of shines where like
⏹️ ▶️ John my garbage cans are, so I can scare away the raccoons when I go out there to deal with that at night in the winter
⏹️ ▶️ John or whatever. And so there was already like, you know, electrical wire running
⏹️ ▶️ John to the outdoor lights, just plain old regular lights, right? So I knew there was a way to
⏹️ ▶️ John get a cable from where I wanted to go, you know, from inside my house to outside my house.
⏹️ ▶️ John And I figured what I could do was make another small hole and then fish a wire
⏹️ ▶️ John in the same place where the wire that goes to the lights go. But instead of going out
⏹️ ▶️ John the hole where the lights are, I would go out a different hole. And I spent a long time trying to get that work
⏹️ ▶️ John without tearing everything apart. In the end I had to tear apart
⏹️ ▶️ John little bit more than I wanted to to get at the guts because this is like the eaves by my garage and you
⏹️ ▶️ John know the inside wall of the garage and the outside eaves and I drilled them. Here’s my big mistake.
⏹️ ▶️ John I was trying to drill a hole that I was gonna be able to fit this little wire through and so I was looking at my drill
⏹️ ▶️ John bits and I’m looking at the little adapter going is this drill bit big enough? Is this drill bit big enough? Whatever and you know comparing
⏹️ ▶️ John it and And the little plug that I had to get through is not,
⏹️ ▶️ John it’s not symmetrical. It’s like the plug goes and then the sort of socket that’s on the end of the plug
⏹️ ▶️ John is on an angle. And I think I miscalculated, you know, it’s kind of like if you have a square,
⏹️ ▶️ John you measure the dimensions of the square, that’s fine. But if you tilt the square and the angle suddenly gets bigger because the diagonal
⏹️ ▶️ John is much bigger than the legs of the square, right? That’s kind of the situation I was in. So I drilled a nice neat hole
⏹️ ▶️ John that was about half of a millimeter too small. Like you could fit the plug into
⏹️ ▶️ John there, but it was like a, the hole went in a ways. And so it would get like, it would get bound
⏹️ ▶️ John up and jammed. And so I had to make the hole bigger and making an existing hole bigger is difficult
⏹️ ▶️ John to do. Didn’t do a great job of it.
⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey It got bigger,
⏹️ ▶️ John but anyway, you can’t see it. I’ll, you know, I’ll paper over it. It’s luckily it’s hidden behind a downspout. So you can’t
⏹️ ▶️ John actually see my horrible job I did, but I did get it plugged in and it works
⏹️ ▶️ John and it’s doing its thing. Two bits that I want to talk about with this camera. The first
⏹️ ▶️ John one is, if you look at the webpage of Link on Google’s website, you’ll see that
⏹️ ▶️ John one of the things that they advertise about this camera, in fact, it’s in the little animation, is that it
⏹️ ▶️ John is magnetically attached to the base. So the camera is just like a unit, like a little, you know, a little
⏹️ ▶️ John semicircular thing or whatever, that’s the camera. And it’s got a really powerful magnet in it. And then the base
⏹️ ▶️ John also has a really powerful magnet in it. and you screw the base to whatever surface you want, and you stick the camera over the battery.
⏹️ ▶️ John And if you look at their installation instructions, they say, if you’re putting this camera outdoors, we recommend that you
⏹️ ▶️ John put it six to six and a half feet off the ground for best operation, blah, blah, blah. Well,
⏹️ ▶️ John if you’ve got a supposed security camera, six to six and a half feet off the ground, that’s connected
⏹️ ▶️ John only with a magnet, someone could just walk right up to it, yank your security
⏹️ ▶️ John camera off the wall, and A, now you don’t have a security camera, And B, now they have
⏹️ ▶️ John your camera. Right, now obviously you probably got a recording of them doing that because it’s, you know, sending the data to the internet
⏹️ ▶️ John constantly. But what good is that gonna do you when they’ve got your camera? It’s like taking $200 bills and thumbtacking them to
⏹️ ▶️ John the side of your house, right? It’s like, I don’t want somebody to be able to take that.
⏹️ ▶️ John So there’s this like sub-market of products to try to take Google’s stupid design
⏹️ ▶️ John and make it slightly more secure. So you can buy like a little kit that connects like
⏹️ ▶️ John one of those, you know, metal security wire things, you know? I mean,
⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey security wire,
⏹️ ▶️ John right? Little metal wire, right? And so one end of it is kind of screwed behind the base so you can’t get
⏹️ ▶️ John to it. And the other end is screwed to the camera with like one of those security screwdriver tips that’s like
⏹️ ▶️ John a weird shape. It’s not a Torx wrench. It’s not a, you know, it’s not a normal shape, right? So
⏹️ ▶️ John you buy one of these little kits and it comes with a little two cent weird security screwdriver tip and the screwdriver.
⏹️ ▶️ John And anyway, at least now it’s harder for someone to casually take the camera
⏹️ ▶️ John off my house. If they tried to do it, they would say, oh, it’s stuck with something. And then they’d have to have also brought
⏹️ ▶️ John with them a pair of nail clippers or something to
⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco cut through the metal security wire. Or
⏹️ ▶️ John just pull harder. This is not a thick wire. Yeah, or just exactly, or just pull. But if they pulled harder, they might break the
⏹️ ▶️ John camera too. So they should really just,
⏹️ ▶️ John And now it’s not pentalobe. It’s like, it’s got a little nub. It’s a
⏹️ ▶️ Marco star with a dot in the middle.
⏹️ ▶️ John Yeah, the dot in the middle is the security feature, right? So a Torx wrench doesn’t have a hole in the middle. I guess probably some of them do.
⏹️ ▶️ John But anyway, it’s stupid. But that’s what I did. I mean, I don’t think, I’m not in a neighborhood
⏹️ ▶️ John where people are routinely steering security cameras off of the walls. So, so far so good at that. But the real thing I
⏹️ ▶️ John wanna complain about, and I went into more depth on this in directives, but it’s worth at least mentioning here.
⏹️ ▶️ John This camera, like the other Nest camera, has a feature where it can identify faces. And so you
⏹️ ▶️ John can teach it, like it’ll, you know, you can have a prompt, you look at this face, who is this, who is this? And you could just tell it who all the people
⏹️ ▶️ John are. So it attaches a name to a face. It calls that feature familiar faces, right?
⏹️ ▶️ John And so, you know, I already have this for like my cameras that are in my house that I know is all
⏹️ ▶️ John family and stuff like that. And it’s pretty good with the facial recognition, even at weird
⏹️ ▶️ John angles and with, you know, bad resolution and in the dark and all sorts of other things it can identify who it is and,
⏹️ ▶️ John you know, identify the face. And one of the features of that is if you have notifications
⏹️ ▶️ John turned on, it will instead of saying person was spotted in the kitchen, it will say, you know, so-and-so
⏹️ ▶️ John was spotted in the kitchen by name, right? it’ll tell you the name of the person. But
⏹️ ▶️ John what I wanted from this, and I just assumed I would be able to get Silly Me,
⏹️ ▶️ John is that, OK, if I have a camera that’s facing outside my house and it knows all about
⏹️ ▶️ John all the familiar faces, then it also knows if it sees a face that’s not
⏹️ ▶️ John a familiar face. Like, I saw a face, but it’s not one of the five that’s in my familiar face
⏹️ ▶️ John list. What I would like is for the outdoor camera to say, Oh, hey, I
⏹️ ▶️ John saw somebody and it’s not on your familiar face list, so here’s a push notification. And
⏹️ ▶️ John as far as I’ve been able to determine, even though they built this facial recognition system into their
⏹️ ▶️ John cameras, they have no way to tell it to notify you when it sees a face that is not familiar.
⏹️ ▶️ John Your choices are no notifications for people whatsoever or notifications of every
⏹️ ▶️ John single person. Those are the only two
⏹️ ▶️ John Nice. And if you have a camera notify you of every single person and it’s at your house,
⏹️ ▶️ John it’s gonna constantly notice value. Your son is by the camera, your daughter’s by the camera, your wife is by the camera, you’re by
⏹️ ▶️ John the camera. Like that’s too many notifications. But I don’t want zero notifications.
⏹️ ▶️ John The camera knows whether it’s familiar face because it tells me who’s in front of the camera by name
⏹️ ▶️ John or it says a person. It knows, but there is no mode that I could find that says
⏹️ ▶️ John just send a push notification to my phone if it’s an unfamiliar face. That seems like the
⏹️ ▶️ John security camera would have and this thing doesn’t seem to do it. And I Googled for it and I found one of those sad
⏹️ ▶️ John Google help pages, you ever see these ones? Like Google doesn’t actually have any humans helping you, they just have like this community forum
⏹️ ▶️ John where you just wail into the void. Are you familiar with these pages? Like if you’re looking for the answer to anything Google
⏹️ ▶️ John related, you’ll find like, I don’t know what it is, it’s like a sick twisted version of a web bulletin board where
⏹️ ▶️ John people are like, help me, I can’t figure out this thing with Google and other users commiserate, yeah, I can’t figure out either, I can’t figure
⏹️ ▶️ John out either, and at the bottom of the thread is always some Google employee saying, Yeah, we don’t support that. You should like file a ticket,
⏹️ ▶️ John maybe we’ll look at it. And then you look at the date, it’s like 2015. No, right.
⏹️ ▶️ John So I found a page where somebody said, can I only get push notifications for unfamiliar
⏹️ ▶️ John faces? And they’re like, yeah, you can’t do that yet. You should file a feature request. Oh my God. I don’t understand how they ship this product without
⏹️ ▶️ John that feature. Like what is the point of familiar faces if this feature doesn’t exist for an outdoor security camera
⏹️ ▶️ John just so you can have it, so you can know exactly which person it’s all, but you still want notifications for everybody?
⏹️ ▶️ John boggles my mind. So anyway, I don’t have person notifications on because otherwise I’d be notified every single
⏹️ ▶️ John day, every single time anyone in my family came and went from my house or walked in front of my house.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Good job, Google. That’s amazing. This is the kind of
⏹️ ▶️ Marco thing I would assume Google would be very good at.
⏹️ ▶️ John They’re good at identifying faces. They’re not good at understanding what to do with that information, which is tell
⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey when it’s not familiar.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Honestly, I don’t find this surprising at all, but whatever.
⏹️ ▶️ John And if this is a brand new product, like, oh, it’s just version 1.0, fine, whatever, it’ll come in the next version. This is years and
⏹️ ▶️ John years, they’ve had Nest security cameras. I’ve owned them for years and years, right? And inside my house,
⏹️ ▶️ John it never occurred to me that this would be an issue because, like my inside the house cameras aren’t even on when we’re home, like they’re only
⏹️ ▶️ John on when nobody’s home. And so I’m being notified when it sees any human is appropriate, if nobody’s
⏹️ ▶️ John in the house and there’s a human in the house, notify me, right? So I never went looking for the feature that I just assumed
⏹️ ▶️ John exists, which is just tell me if you see an unfamiliar face.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I’m too lazy to look right now, but I wonder if the Synology surveillance station, which is there
⏹️ ▶️ Casey for… I had no idea what that noise was. It startled me.
⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey Anyway, I wanted to… You need to get
⏹️ ▶️ John closer to the mic. You need to figure out how to mic a VibroSlap.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco, Casey Better? Way better.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco That was better. I can keep the bell really far away. It’s nice and sharp. I guess I got to bring the VibroSlap closer.
⏹️ ▶️ John You need to mic it. Like you need to like have it in like an instrument setup where there’s a separate little mic, a
⏹️ ▶️ Casey What Blackmagic box will fix it?
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah, right. I got a PCI express capture card to capture the sound of the vibration.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Anyway, I wonder if Surveillance Station does any of this. And I honestly don’t know. It may be the dumbest thing in the world.
⏹️ ▶️ John It has to, because the facial recognition is like table stakes. And once any product other than this, I assume has
⏹️ ▶️ John facial recognition, the first feature you implement is send me notifications if it’s on a familiar face. Unless you’re Google,
⏹️ ▶️ John in which case you just let it sit there for years about this feature.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah, so I can say for whatever it’s worth, I continue to have only very good experiences
⏹️ ▶️ Marco with HomeKit Secure Video and with Logitech Circle View. I know it’s a really weird, specialized
⏹️ ▶️ Marco niche thing that no one besides me appears to be using. However, this is a pretty good
⏹️ ▶️ Marco product. I actually, we recently took a trip and so we had found
⏹️ ▶️ Marco on our previous trips that there were a couple of areas of our of our of our house that we wanted
⏹️ ▶️ Marco like eyes on. I bought a couple of a couple of additional Logitech Circle views right before
⏹️ ▶️ Marco this trip. It’s fantastic. Like I set them up in two seconds. They John, if you if they
⏹️ ▶️ Marco are outdoor rated, John, and also if you wanted to
⏹️ ▶️ Marco drew one through your house, you only need to fit a USB plug, a regular little rectangular USB plug through the wall.
⏹️ ▶️ John My hole is bigger, smaller than a USB plug already. Like I was hoping it would be really tiny and I had to make it
⏹️ ▶️ John a little bigger, but it still wouldn’t fit USB. A
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Anyway, they have been fantastic. I have had perfectly fine luck with them.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Uh, I, I think I now own something like four or five home kit. Like if you,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco if you have, um, much of an iCloud plan, if you have, if you have like the medium plan, you have,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I think five cameras worth of stuff. If you have the really big plan, you have unlimited cameras.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Although I question like, what does unlimited mean exactly? The only, the major downside,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and I mentioned this back, you know, months ago when I first talked about this, the only downside is that Nest actually gives you continuous
⏹️ ▶️ Marco recording, and none of the HomeKit stuff does that. HomeKit stuff is like, if it detects motion
⏹️ ▶️ Marco or whatever conditions you set, it will start recording a clip, and it will record a clip until that motion or whatever
⏹️ ▶️ Marco is gone for a few seconds. So you don’t have continuous recording, but you do have a
⏹️ ▶️ John that was kind of one of the features that I like about the Nest, is that, you know, It’s internet, so everything’s going up
⏹️ ▶️ John to the internet. So again, if someone steals the camera, I’ll have a video of that. And it is continuous because for things that are facing
⏹️ ▶️ John outside, even if there’s no interesting events, like you can cordon off areas that you’re not interested in. Sometimes you just wanna
⏹️ ▶️ John see, did the UPS truck come? Did, you know, went into this Amazon thing? Does the neighbor walk in their
⏹️ ▶️ John dog? If the tree falls across the street, like just having it, just recording all the time and saving or
⏹️ ▶️ John whatever it saves, like 60 hours or 60 days, it saves a lot of video.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I think it’s like 60 days. I mean, it depends on the plan you have, I think. Yeah,
⏹️ ▶️ John but anyway, it’s just one less thing, because I had, the Ring camera was the same type of like, oh, I only turn it on when
⏹️ ▶️ John I detect something interesting happening or whatever, and that’s cheaper and it’s nicer on battery, but that’s why I wanted this
⏹️ ▶️ John to be plugged in. So it’s just recording all the time, because it’s facing out of the house. And it’s plugged
⏹️ ▶️ John in, so I don’t have to worry about it running out.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco But I will say also, for whatever it’s worth, I haven’t, because it’s only recording via Eclipse, I haven’t missed
⏹️ ▶️ Marco anything, because it does have, it seems to be recording a rolling buffer, because it doesn’t, I’ve
⏹️ ▶️ Marco had certain ones, I think the UFI ones, where like if somebody walks into the frame,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco it wouldn’t record the first couple of seconds of them being there, because it would take a couple seconds for it to notice,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco wake up and start the recording. Whereas the secure the logic circle view,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and I don’t know if home could always work this way or what, but the circle view, it seems to be rolling, recording a rolling buffer
⏹️ ▶️ Marco all the time. And if you text motion, the clip you get includes a couple of seconds before the
⏹️ ▶️ Marco person enters the frame. So you have the complete entrance activity and exit,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and then a few seconds after the exit all recorded, which is nice. So in practice, I haven’t actually it only recording
⏹️ ▶️ Marco clips has not been a problem for me. It also does have all the same all similar features of like you can, you know, draw
⏹️ ▶️ Marco out an activity zone to pay attention to in the frame. All this within the home app mean it’s by far the
⏹️ ▶️ Marco nicest part of the home app. And it’s like, for as much crap as homekit gets for a lot of other stuff.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco This has worked extremely reliably for me and this hardware has worked great. I only wish there was more hardware
⏹️ ▶️ Marco available, like, you know, with maybe a few different things, like maybe a less expensive indoor cam that was good. There’s not
⏹️ ▶️ Marco very many options, but overall, the CircleView and HomeKit Secure Video has been great for me.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco It detects people, it detects animals, packages, it’s just fantastic.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I can strongly recommend HomeKit Secure Video. I only have experiences with Nest with their
⏹️ ▶️ Marco older hardware, but my experiences with Nest have been very mediocre. Whereas
⏹️ ▶️ Marco HomeKit Secure Video with CircleView has been pretty good so far.
⏹️ ▶️ John Yeah, this hardware seems good and the recognition, like animal, person, vehicle, it all
⏹️ ▶️ John notifications, but I can still go and look at the events for the last whatever many days and see
⏹️ ▶️ John that, yeah, that is a person, that is an animal, you did hear a dog bark. And it has all the other stuff like
⏹️ ▶️ John fire alarm, if it hears glass breaking, I’m assuming all that stuff works well, I just don’t want to find out.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I’m looking at the Circle View camera website, and there’s a
⏹️ ▶️ Casey bunch of general marketing material. And then halfway down, unparalleled privacy,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey and there’s three images side by side. Tilt to hide. Need instant privacy
⏹️ ▶️ Casey at a moment’s notice? Simply tilt the camera down to instantly shield yourself from view. Simple turn off. A rear-mounted
⏹️ ▶️ Casey button immediately cuts off both audio and video, so you’re not left fumbling during private moments.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Oh, that’s what that button does? Do people put these in their bedrooms? Is
⏹️ ▶️ Casey, John that what’s going on here? Oh, but if they
⏹️ ▶️ John want to go have intimate moments underneath Marco’s house, they need to be able
⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey to turn the camera off. That’s true. That’s a good point.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey That was a much better joke I did not even see. Well done, John. done.
Musk and Twitter
⏹️ ▶️ Casey All right, so since we last recorded a week and a half ago, or whatever it was, Elon Musk
⏹️ ▶️ Casey has said, no, really, I would like to buy Twitter. And Twitter was like, pfft, no. And then they were like, ah,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey OK, sure, yeah, let’s do it. So. Good summary.
⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey actually, last
⏹️ ▶️ John week, we had, remember, he had just bought like 9.2% of Twitter. And then we
⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey said, you know,
⏹️ ▶️ John we don’t even know what could happen by next week. So he hadn’t even offered to buy the company. He had just bought a percentage.
⏹️ ▶️ John And they offered him a seat on the board. And eventually, he turned that down It seemed, you know, my guess
⏹️ ▶️ John was that it seemed too restrictive. And then after we recorded, he said, you know what? Forget about being on the board. I want the whole company.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Yeah. So he has put together the financing and this is all
⏹️ ▶️ Casey the financing stuff. I just plumb don’t understand it. I will tell you the summary, but this particular
⏹️ ▶️ Casey is about who’s paying what and
⏹️ ▶️ Casey, Marco actually what is giving.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I can strongly recommend if you’re a Stratec Area subscriber, Ben Thompson did a really great
⏹️ ▶️ Marco with the last two daily updates. I guess we’ll link to them in the show notes. do require a subscription to read. But the last
⏹️ ▶️ Marco two daily updates for Anjur Techari were fantastic at explaining all of this stuff.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey So, first of all, yes, I completely agree. But coming back to what we
⏹️ ▶️ Casey know, as of right now, it is 930-ish on the evening
⏹️ ▶️ Casey of Wednesday, the 27th of April. And so who knows what will happen tomorrow.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I got to edit this show really fast before it gets out of date.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey So as we know, Elon has said he was going to buy Twitter. So from Twitter’s
⏹️ ▶️ Casey PR announcement, Twitter announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to be acquired by an entity wholly owned by Elon
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Musk for $54.20 per share in cash in a transaction valued at approximately $44 billion. Upon completion
⏹️ ▶️ Casey of the transaction, Twitter will become a privately held company. Under the terms of the agreement, Twitter stockholders will receive $54.20 in cash
⏹️ ▶️ Casey for each share of Twitter common stock that they own upon closing of the proposed transaction.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey The purchase price represents a 38% premium to Twitter’s closing stock price on April
⏹️ ▶️ Casey 1, 2022, which was the last trading day before Mr. Musk disclosed his approximately 9% stake in Twitter. Note that’s
⏹️ ▶️ Casey not when he got it. It’s just when he talked about it. But moving on. Free speech is the
⏹️ ▶️ Casey bedrock of a functioning democracy, and Twitter is the digital town square where matters vital to the future
⏹️ ▶️ Casey of humanity are debated, said Mr. Musk. I also want to make Twitter better than ever
⏹️ ▶️ Casey by enhancing the product with new features, making the algorithms open source to increase trust, defeating the
⏹️ ▶️ Casey spam bots, and authenticating all humans. Twitter has tremendous potential. I look forward to working with the company
⏹️ ▶️ Casey and the community of users to unlock it.” Okay, sure.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Let’s go with that.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I actually, I am kind of okay with this.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Twitter as a company has always been a disaster. Twitter’s
⏹️ ▶️ Marco leadership has always been weird libertarian tech bro billionaires.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco They’ve always been that. And Elon Musk is another one of those. Twitter’s leadership
⏹️ ▶️ Marco has always been really crappy and inconsistent with how they handle political problems,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco how they handle abuse problems. They’ve done a pretty crappy job of
⏹️ ▶️ Marco spam control, bot control. They do a really inconsistent
⏹️ ▶️ Marco job of dealing with abuse. They have really opaque
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and confusing and inconsistently applied policies regarding
⏹️ ▶️ Marco certain types of speech that are controversial or that are just outright illegal or hateful.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco They’ve always been really crappy at all that stuff. They’ve always been run by these tech
⏹️ ▶️ Marco dude bros. If you look at anything wrong with Elon Musk running this company,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco look at Jack Dorsey. I mean, why is he better? Like, so. I can
⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco question. Well, okay. Is he better than Elon
⏹️ ▶️ John Musk? Like, I get what you’re getting at, that Twitter has been poorly run, and I agree with that. But
⏹️ ▶️ John I think there’s a difference in, there’s a difference in degree, for sure. Like, who is
⏹️ ▶️ John the bigger jerky tech bro, Jack Dorsey or Elon Musk? No contest, right? Is
⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco it no contest?
⏹️ ▶️ John Oh, no contest, right? I mean, I don’t think that high of Jack Dorsey, I guess.
⏹️ ▶️ John Yeah, Jack Dorsey still wants to think of himself as a good person. I think he’s trying to do the right thing. Jack Dorsey
⏹️ ▶️ John spearheaded the Blue Sky project of trying to do the right thing years later, of trying to make
⏹️ ▶️ John a protocol as a replacement for Twitter.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco so far, that’s very much still in the Blue Sky.
⏹️ ▶️ John Yeah, no, but I’m just saying Elon Musk would never even think about doing anything like that, right? Elon Musk is definitely
⏹️ ▶️ John a difference in degree. I think he’s also a difference in type, just because
⏹️ ▶️ John Jack Dorsey like didn’t buy Twitter because like
⏹️ ▶️ John on a whim sort of like, like, you know, Musk is doing like he was, it’s, it’s, he’s a thing, the company that he,
⏹️ ▶️ John you know, was he, was he a founder? He was, he was there at the beginning at the very least and has, you know, has
⏹️ ▶️ John a tie to the company and wants, has high minded ideals about what he wants the company for. So I think,
⏹️ ▶️ John and you know, Musk does not as far as we can tell despite the incoherent statements that he throws out
⏹️ ▶️ John and then just goes and does whatever the hell he wants that isn’t totally in conflict with the statements, right? But I want to say that,
⏹️ ▶️ John like, I mean, so first, let me just get this out there. I think it’s obvious all the terrible things that can happen. Like, we’ll see.
⏹️ ▶️ John But everyone knows the terrible things. Like, how, why, why do people not like it? Well, Elon Musk could make Twitter worse for
⏹️ ▶️ John everybody, right? We use Twitter. And if he makes it worse for us, that’s sad. He can
⏹️ ▶️ John make it worse for the world by making Twitter do more evil and less good in the world. That’s definitely a thing
⏹️ ▶️ John that he could do. And he would do that by allowing more bad behavior
⏹️ ▶️ John that is currently Now not allowed. And despite what Mark said, like, you know, like that Twitter has done
⏹️ ▶️ John a bad job of controlling bad behavior, they’ve at least been trying. Elon Musk’s stated goal
⏹️ ▶️ John is to do less of that, to essentially allow more bad behavior than they’re currently allowing. So if you think it’s crappy
⏹️ ▶️ John now, he’s already said, I want to make it crappier. But setting all that aside, because I think we could spend
⏹️ ▶️ John too long talking about how Elon Musk could make Twitter worse. There are parts of this
⏹️ ▶️ John deal that have the potential to make things better, right? First
⏹️ ▶️ John one is Twitter becoming privately held, which is, you know, in case you read before, that means
⏹️ ▶️ John there’ll be no stock, no one is looking at the stock price, no one involved in the thing has to be
⏹️ ▶️ John worrying about what this move is going to mean for the stock price tomorrow morning, because there
⏹️ ▶️ John is no stock price, it’s privately held. Now, it doesn’t mean you just get to lose money forever then, but privately held gives you more
⏹️ ▶️ John leeway to do things that the quote unquote stock market would frown upon. Second
⏹️ ▶️ John thing that’s good about private ownership and Elon Musk in particular is, when a single person
⏹️ ▶️ John controls your company, they can do things, like get things done. It’s not the sort
⏹️ ▶️ John of middle of the road, you know, now, now, let’s not be too hasty,
⏹️ ▶️ John big committee full of people, none of whom can make a decision. That’s why Twitter stagnated for so long. That’s
⏹️ ▶️ John why Twitter has just sort of spent years and years just not really getting any better and
⏹️ ▶️ John fumbling towards maybe making some things a little bit better. When you have a singular person in control,
⏹️ ▶️ John they can get things done. And Elon Musk in particular, one of the things he has going for him along with Steve Jobs is
⏹️ ▶️ John when they get it into their head or any strong leader, when they get it into their head that they want to do a thing, they make
⏹️ ▶️ John that thing happen. If you’re lucky, that thing is good. Like
⏹️ ▶️ John I think it would be cool to have an electric car powered by lithium ion batteries designed
⏹️ ▶️ John from the ground up to be electric. Luckily, that was a good idea
⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco he made sure that it happened,
⏹️ ▶️ John right? You can also have terrible ideas and then make them happen. And that’s not as
⏹️ ▶️ John good, right? But at the very least, just the years that Twitter went,
⏹️ ▶️ John like not really changing their products at all. I was reading some articles today talking about like, how, people
⏹️ ▶️ John don’t remember this if you haven’t been on Twitter for ages like we all have, but like so many things that are
⏹️ ▶️ John part of Twitter now, Twitter didn’t even think of themselves. They were things the community was doing and they
⏹️ ▶️ John adopted them. like, you know, going all the way back to like, the fact that an individual thing
⏹️ ▶️ John on Twitter is called a tweet, Twitter didn’t even come up with that. It was like,
⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey what was it, Craig Hockenberry
⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey Twitteriffic
⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco or whatever? Yeah, I
⏹️ ▶️ John believe so. Yeah, retweets, that was a thing the community did. We would type capital R, capital T,
⏹️ ▶️ John and then paste the content of another tweet. And we did that for a while until I was like, huh, I guess that’s
⏹️ ▶️ John a good idea, we should probably do that. At mentions, replying, so many features that people
⏹️ ▶️ John think are part of Twitter, Twitter didn’t even think of and do themselves. they had to wait for people to sort of
⏹️ ▶️ John use in-band signaling to do them. You know, all the innovations that the clients came up with, Tweety,
⏹️ ▶️ John one of the original Twitter clients, invented pull to refresh. Have you ever pulled to refresh an iOS app?
⏹️ ▶️ John That came from a third party app that was used on Twitter, not from Twitter itself. And on and on for
⏹️ ▶️ John all the years of like, people who use Twitter, wanting them to add features in Twitter being like, I don’t know,
⏹️ ▶️ John maybe we’ll do ads, I guess. I
⏹️ ▶️ John You know, we should do a little bit more to fight spam. but I don’t want to annoy people,
⏹️ ▶️ John I don’t know. I just always see the Twitter board as like, and their CEO is just like,
⏹️ ▶️ John hemming and hawing and not doing anything. And having a singular leader who
⏹️ ▶️ John is known for getting things done and who will be running a private company where he’s
⏹️ ▶️ John unanswerable to shareholders or whatever, means that at the very least things will happen.
⏹️ ▶️ John It all depends on what things will happen. If he has terrible ideas, then terrible ideas
⏹️ ▶️ John will come to fruition really quick. Or if he decides he doesn’t want to do anything and just the
⏹️ ▶️ John fun of it is owning it so he can just sort of make the, satisfy his whims,
⏹️ ▶️ John that could happen too. I’m not making any prediction about what will happen, but I will say that it is not a relief.
⏹️ ▶️ John It is like, it could potentially be terrifying for
⏹️ ▶️ John him to be able to do all sorts of things, but at the very least, watching Twitter flail for
⏹️ ▶️ John the past decade and a half has always kind of been frustrating. And so now I kind of feel
⏹️ ▶️ John like, I feel this way about government a lot too. One of the worst things that can happen
⏹️ ▶️ John is that the thing you’re trying to make better is too hard to change.
⏹️ ▶️ John So it can never get much worse, but it also can’t get much better.
⏹️ ▶️ John And it’s just this war of like these tiny incremental ratcheting things. And it feels, in some ways
⏹️ ▶️ John it’s better to say, to give a democracy example, right? If you vote
⏹️ ▶️ John for somebody and they wanna do X, and they just can’t get X done because it’s
⏹️ ▶️ John too hard to change the government, then they get voted out because you’re gonna say, hey, you said you’re gonna do X and
⏹️ ▶️ John you didn’t, so they get voted out. And then people come in and they wanna do Y, and then they can’t make Y happen because it’s too hard to change anything,
⏹️ ▶️ John and they get voted out. And just nothing ever gets done, right? That’s kind of been the
⏹️ ▶️ John case with Twitter, where there’s been a lot of complaints about it and say, you should do this, you should do, you know, whatever things
⏹️ ▶️ John we think you should do, and they would just never really do them that well. I mean, you could say over
⏹️ ▶️ John the past several years, like the sort of the trust and safety team trying to make it better for harassment or whatever, has
⏹️ ▶️ John been making progress and making slow incremental changes, but it’s taken so long. Like,
⏹️ ▶️ John GamerGate was a long time ago. It’s not like this is like fresh and oh, this is a new problem we have to face. They’ve had years and years
⏹️ ▶️ John to tackle it and they’ve gotten better than they were, but not fast enough, right?
⏹️ ▶️ John So I’m hoping that whatever happens here, if ELMS
⏹️ ▶️ John decides to do literally anything with Twitter, that something will happen and maybe that something
⏹️ ▶️ John will be disastrous and we’ll all hate it, the disaster, we’ll get it, we’ll just get it over with, like get the disaster over with,
⏹️ ▶️ John burn it to the ground, destroy it, whatever’s going to happen, make it happen. Or do something that makes it better
⏹️ ▶️ John or do something that turns out really bad and then make a hard right turn and then fix it, right? As opposed
⏹️ ▶️ John to a sort of slow motion sort of, you know, floating dumpster on fire just
⏹️ ▶️ John floating down the river, which is like what Twitter has been for the past decade. So I’m
⏹️ ▶️ John not trying to give you the optimistic taste because I really think Elon Musk is a total jerk and has
⏹️ ▶️ John terrible ideas about almost everything. But at the very least, his terrible ideas should come to fruition very
⏹️ ▶️ John quickly if he’s doing anything at all. The other possible take I just read recently, I’ll try to find a link
⏹️ ▶️ John for notes, is that there’s a potential that he doesn’t do anything. And the whole point is that he just wants to control it so
⏹️ ▶️ John he can, you know, make decisions like a king. But if there’s nothing for him to decide
⏹️ ▶️ John about, he’ll just let it run the way it is, and, you know, not do anything at all. In which case, that’s probably
⏹️ ▶️ John the worst case scenario, where that means It means things won’t get better, and they’ll maybe slowly, slowly get
⏹️ ▶️ John worse. And that I think would be a total waste of private ownership and single person control. I really hope
⏹️ ▶️ John something happens to Twitter. I can’t bring myself to hope that the something that will happen will be good, but
⏹️ ▶️ John I kind of hope that the something bad, let’s just get it over with. Like, just make it terrible
⏹️ ▶️ John now as fast as possible so we can all, you know, so we can all collectively push back against it,
⏹️ ▶️ John probably futilely, who knows? I mean, maybe what will happen is we’ll get round steering wheels back on Tesla cars
⏹️ ▶️ John something terrible will happen to Twitter and we’ll complain so much about it that he’ll change it because he’ll just be too annoyed.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I agree with a lot of that, but I think, I don’t know,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco when you look at what Twitter has, how Twitter has run over the last 10
⏹️ ▶️ Marco years, all those improvements that you mentioned to the product, like they have
⏹️ ▶️ Marco really not improved the core product in a very long time.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco All the things they’ve worked on over time, like feature-wise or product-wise, have been
⏹️ ▶️ Marco basically trying to rip off the hot thing of the day. So, oh, look, Clubhouse exists, we’re gonna make our own Clubhouse.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Oh, look, you know, Substack exists, we’re gonna make our own Substack. Like, that’s- That’s every
⏹️ ▶️ Marco, John social media company. Right.
⏹️ ▶️ John I mean, and Twitter has been even doing that more slowly and worse than their competitors. I mean,
⏹️ ▶️ John not that I’m saying that’s a thing that they should be doing, but that’s kind of par for the course. But I think about like, so they made tweets
⏹️ ▶️ John longer. that used to be 140, another 280. How long did that take to do? Like, it’s
⏹️ ▶️ John just, it’s too long.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco There’s so much they could do to make the product better. And this is why, all right, if you’ll permit me a bit of a thought
⏹️ ▶️ Marco experiment here. One of the reasons why, as I’ve thought about this, I am less
⏹️ ▶️ Marco down on it. I mean, look, I think the idea of Twitter going private,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco getting out of the, you know, the issues that come with being in the public market, especially since their
⏹️ ▶️ Marco business is just not a very good business.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco, John They’re not good at being a public company.
⏹️ ▶️ John The people who run the company never figured out how to make money. And so if you’re gonna be
⏹️ ▶️ John a public company and you can’t figure out how to make money, like, what’s the point?
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah, and I do, by the way, I do think this deal is going to go through. Now, it isn’t definite
⏹️ ▶️ Marco yet, and everyone’s like, oh, maybe he’s gonna get tired of it and just like move on and just back out.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I don’t think he is. If you look at, first of all, how much of his personal wealth he has
⏹️ ▶️ Marco on the line here, it’s pretty clear he’s thought a lot about this. you know, say what you want about the guy, but when
⏹️ ▶️ Marco he does have a big idea, he tends to try to do it. His track
⏹️ ▶️ Marco record is that he does achieve many of those big ideas. Not all of them. I think his
⏹️ ▶️ Marco self-driving promises have been grossly overblown, and, you know, there’s a lot of problems
⏹️ ▶️ Marco there, but generally, you know, electric cars, big solar company, rockets,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco all that stuff, he’s done very, very well on most of his big promises. And so I think
⏹️ ▶️ Marco he is going to go through with this?
⏹️ ▶️ John There’s a whole category of thing that he talks about. And Twitter, buying Twitter used to be in that category of just things that he
⏹️ ▶️ John says. He just says things sometimes, right? And so you can find tweets from years ago where someone was
⏹️ ▶️ John like, hey, Elon, you should buy Twitter. And he said, how much is it? Right? That was like years ago,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey 52 minutes ago, he tweeted the following. Next, I’m buying Coca-Cola to put the cocaine back in.
⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey That’s just a joke.
⏹️ ▶️ John But he’ll say things like this. Like he’ll say, Oh, Flint, Michigan has a problem with water.
⏹️ ▶️ John I’ll just, just tell me I’m going to pay to replace all the pipes. Oh, kids are trapped in a cave. Don’t worry.
⏹️ ▶️ John I’m going to send this up in there. Oh, there’s a, there’s a power problem in Australia. I’m just going to send you a bunch of batteries. Uh,
⏹️ ▶️ John you know, Oh, you can solve, solve world hunger for $6 million. Just tell me your plan. I’ll give you the 6 billion.
⏹️ ▶️ John Like, but he constantly says things that, that sound like, you know,
⏹️ ▶️ John what the, the thing that we get from it is like, he’ll say that he’s going to replace silver pipes in Flint, Michigan,
⏹️ ▶️ John and his fans will latch onto that and say, see Elon saves a day and never look at it again and just assume that that happened when
⏹️ ▶️ John it actually didn’t happen, right? You know, and he, so fine, whatever. He’s
⏹️ ▶️ John a bazillionaire who just says random crap on Twitter. Buying Twitter could
⏹️ ▶️ John have been one of those things. And in fact, he did make jokes about buying, quote unquote, jokes about buying Twitter before.
⏹️ ▶️ John This time though, it’s not a joke. And so I feel like of all those things that he says,
⏹️ ▶️ John Some of them, you know, very often they sound like good things, like, hey, I’ve got a lot of money. You’ve got a problem.
⏹️ ▶️ John Here’s the solution. Let me just do it. But they usually don’t happen. Usually don’t happen for this category
⏹️ ▶️ John of things. The only things that he’s made happen, SpaceX, Tesla, maybe solar
⏹️ ▶️ John roof. But if you look at stories and that it’s not doing too hot, right. He said so many other things. Some
⏹️ ▶️ John of which were jokes. Some of which were half jokes. Some of which would have been like, yeah, do fix
⏹️ ▶️ John all the pipes in Flint. But nah, lost interest. Right. And so I feel like buying
⏹️ ▶️ John Twitter falls into that category of like, thing that could have been a joke but turns
⏹️ ▶️ John out to be real, but I don’t know whether once he owns Twitter, he’s actually going to do
⏹️ ▶️ John anything with it other than, you know, enjoy the control that he has. Because Twitter is important
⏹️ ▶️ John for, you know, has outsized importance compared to the people who are on it, right? So one of the things
⏹️ ▶️ John he could do with it is, you know, continue the destruction of American democracy by allowing right-wing
⏹️ ▶️ John nutjobs to have free reign over the thing and make sure that Trump gets elected in 2024. Like if that’s what he wants
⏹️ ▶️ John to do, he can make that happen or at least make it much more likely. But maybe he doesn’t care. Maybe he just wants
⏹️ ▶️ John to be able to find the one or two people who he likes and give them a thumbs up and ban
⏹️ ▶️ John the one or two people he doesn’t like. And that’s the extent of him owning Twitter. But I can’t tell now. Like it seems
⏹️ ▶️ John clear to me, despite his high minded talking, that Twitter is not Tesla and Twitter is not SpaceX.
⏹️ ▶️ John Twitter seems more like one, a cool toy, and two,
⏹️ ▶️ John an undervalued asset. Because as a businessman, he can see that Twitter has
⏹️ ▶️ John made him a lot of money and is a powerful tool to have control over, and why shouldn’t he have control
⏹️ ▶️ John over that? He can probably use it to make a lot of money.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco We do have to think, too, he has so many things going on, he has so many projects, he runs so many companies,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco he’s not gonna be running Twitter day to day. He’s gonna have to hire somebody. It looks like Jack Dorsey’s kinda sucking up
⏹️ ▶️ Marco to him. Maybe he’s hoping to have the CEO job, who
⏹️ ▶️ Marco, John knows? But he did so well the other two times. I know, right? But like,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco you know, we’re assuming that, you know, if this goes through, which I think it probably will again,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco we’re assuming that like changes will happen. You know, he’s talking about changes. Honestly, some
⏹️ ▶️ Marco of the changes he’s talking about sound pretty good. If he can pull them off.
⏹️ ▶️ John Which ones though? And I can tell you the contradictory ones. Which ones sound good? Defeating spam
⏹️ ▶️ John bots sounds good. Open sourcing the algorithm is not compatible with defeating spam bots because if you
⏹️ ▶️ John tell tell them what the algorithm is, the spam bots will game it. He knows that, or at least I hope he knows that, but he just
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yes, and the thing is, when you look at the things he’s been good at, things like
⏹️ ▶️ Marco building pretty great electric cars overall, and the SpaceX stuff, a lot
⏹️ ▶️ Marco of these things are problems that I think involve different types of engineering,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and different types of challenges than the kind of really messy crap you get into
⏹️ ▶️ Marco with running a social network. It’s running a social network, you don’t understand the level
⏹️ ▶️ Marco that you have to deal with this stuff. Like everyone out there who thinks they have a silver bullet to
⏹️ ▶️ Marco solve the problems of moderating content and controlling people and spam
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and abuse on a social network, you don’t know. It’s way more complicated than you think it is. And
⏹️ ▶️ Marco there’s so many instances where you’re between a rock and a hard place, where there is no good solution
⏹️ ▶️ Marco to a certain type of problem or a certain situation.
⏹️ ▶️ John The type of problem that it’s most comparable with, that Elon does have experience with, it’s not
⏹️ ▶️ John comparable to, like I said, the idea of like, you know, his big innovation for Tesla is like,
⏹️ ▶️ John it’s a good idea to use modern battery technology to make a purposeful electric car,
⏹️ ▶️ John right? That’s a good idea, make that happen. But the thing that’s close to content moderation is,
⏹️ ▶️ John okay, so how do you build a whole bunch of cars reliably in a cost-effective manner?
⏹️ ▶️ John That is way more complicated than you think it is. It seems like, ah, just people build things all the time. How hard could it be, right?
⏹️ ▶️ John Turns out it’s pretty hard. Like, there’s a reason Apple and all its manufacturing partners, part of their power and their strength
⏹️ ▶️ John is their expertise in building millions and millions of things, you know, precisely, and,
⏹️ ▶️ John you know, without spending too much money, you know, making a good product, making it reliable,
⏹️ ▶️ John consistently. There’s a whole auto industry that has spent decades and decades figuring out how can we build cars
⏹️ ▶️ John so they all come off the assembly line and they’re all identical or whatever. And if you just think, ah, it’s
⏹️ ▶️ John a detail, whatever, just the big idea is we should make electric cars and everyone’s cheering you on and I think it’s great.
⏹️ ▶️ John And Elon is like, what if we use robots? That would be cool. And it’s like, Elon, people have spent a long time
⏹️ ▶️ John figuring out how to build cars. It doesn’t mean they’re all right. Like you don’t have to do everything that they do, but they
⏹️ ▶️ John do have some knowledge that you don’t have. So maybe consider that you coming into this field
⏹️ ▶️ John fresh and reading a few books or articles, and you’re just gonna say,
⏹️ ▶️ John everything my way and I think it would be cool to have robots. You know, that’s what I feel like the content
⏹️ ▶️ John moderation is like, where it maybe has a good big idea about Twitter, but the detail of
⏹️ ▶️ John like, I think we shouldn’t allow bots. Well, great, you’re the first one to think of that, Elon. If you think
⏹️ ▶️ John that’s your big idea, like that is a good idea, we all agree, get rid of bots. Like no one wants bots,
⏹️ ▶️ John right? That’s not, you’re not bringing any value here. Okay, but how do you get rid of bots? Lots
⏹️ ▶️ John of people have looked at this before, and you can say, I think we should use robots to get rid of bots, I don’t know, I’m just making an example.
⏹️ ▶️ John He gets into his head of like, I don’t care about the details just do this thing that’s cool, and I know everyone else does it differently. I know everyone else
⏹️ ▶️ John is using lighter on their cars. We don’t need to just use cameras. But Elon, what makes you think we can do it all with cameras? I don’t know, it seems like
⏹️ ▶️ John we can, just go, right? That’s where his mindset falls down, right? That
⏹️ ▶️ John there’s nothing he can learn from anyone else and the details aren’t that important, just make it happen and I’ll just
⏹️ ▶️ John drive you until you make it happen. And that’s why a lot of people don’t like working for Elon Musk and it’s difficult to deal
⏹️ ▶️ John with him. Again, much like Steve Jobs, it all depends on how good your idea is and how right you are. Is
⏹️ ▶️ John it true that you don’t need lighter and just need cameras? If so, you’re a genius. Which turns out not to be true. You wasted
⏹️ ▶️ John many, many years and had many, many promises of a thing that’s just literally never gonna work because you can’t do it with
⏹️ ▶️ John cameras with current technology, you need LiDAR. We
⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey don’t know how that
⏹️ ▶️ John one’s gonna turn out yet, but so far it’s not looking great. But content moderation is much more
⏹️ ▶️ John like, how do you build cars reliably? And Tesla has not figured that out.
⏹️ ▶️ John They just haven’t. And other car companies are better than they were despite Tesla saying, we’re
⏹️ ▶️ John doing everything our way and we don’t look at you stodgy companies. you are stuck in the old mindset,
⏹️ ▶️ John the new mindset is better, and it is better in lots of ways, but he’s not able to synthesize
⏹️ ▶️ John the best of the past with new ideas. He’s more like, ah, just do it. And so I feel like content moderation,
⏹️ ▶️ John he’s gonna be like, I know lots of people looked at this problem for years, including Twitter, but I have an idea,
⏹️ ▶️ John we should just do this. And he’s gonna like start from like, he’s gonna start relearning mistakes that people learned in like 1994,
⏹️ ▶️ John if he falls down that route. So I am not
⏹️ ▶️ John optimistic that he has anything to bring to the table when it comes to
⏹️ ▶️ John implementing his vision of, for example, a Twitter free from spam bots?
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I know this is very, very difficult for everybody. If we can step back for a second from
⏹️ ▶️ Marco the person himself and just think like, do we think
⏹️ ▶️ Marco it is possible to have a different balance between…
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I hate to use the term free speech, but let’s use the term like jerks,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco because that’s the people who are yelling the loudest about demanding free speech, even though that doesn’t even apply
⏹️ ▶️ Marco here. But the people who are demanding that the most are largely jerks, and what they’re saying is, I
⏹️ ▶️ Marco want my jerkitude to have a publishing platform and an audience. But I wonder like how much
⏹️ ▶️ Marco of this problem, because this is, again, this is a really hard problem, really hard,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco because everyone thinks that certain types of speak should be allowed and certain types of speak shouldn’t
⏹️ ▶️ Marco be allowed on this platform, but they don’t agree on what the types are, any decision they make,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco even if they decide we’re gonna allow everything, is going to anger a large group of people or break
⏹️ ▶️ Marco laws or cause really horrible things in real life. And so maybe they’re
⏹️ ▶️ Marco trying to tackle at a policy level, which can only ever be reactive
⏹️ ▶️ Marco to problems. They can only, like anything that they’re gonna solve with
⏹️ ▶️ Marco like a health and safety kind of team, or whatever those are called. If you’re relying on the community moderation
⏹️ ▶️ Marco team or structure to respond to people who are jerks, what has to happen is first,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco someone has to be a jerk and post something horrible. And then you respond by
⏹️ ▶️ Marco trying to get them kicked off and maybe a day or two and maybe you get them kicked off.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco That’s only ever gonna be so good and that’s really inconsistent and hard to get
⏹️ ▶️ Marco right. So I wonder if it would be a better idea to tackle the problem
⏹️ ▶️ Marco more on the client side of basically, so I think a combination
⏹️ ▶️ Marco of two things here. Number one, we have to distinguish between what content is allowed
⏹️ ▶️ Marco to exist on the platform versus what content the platform
⏹️ ▶️ Marco will promote. Those are very different things. Like I face this issue in Overcast.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco You know, Overcast is a podcast platform And there’s a lot, you know, I don’t have any control over what people
⏹️ ▶️ Marco add to it, because it’s all the Apple directory. But I will occasionally have people write in who are very
⏹️ ▶️ Marco upset that something has reached a point in a top list where it shows up in my directory
⏹️ ▶️ Marco categories. And it’s something usually, you know, some weird like ultra, you know, alt-right
⏹️ ▶️ Marco kind of thing. And I have to decide, like, you know, is this thing bad enough
⏹️ ▶️ Marco that it should not be available in Overcast? Or is it bad enough
⏹️ ▶️ Marco that I should not promote it in top lists and recommendations? Or is it
⏹️ ▶️ Marco neither and I should just leave it alone because people who are seeking this kind of stuff out, you know, they’re seeking it out, you know?
⏹️ ▶️ Marco And so those are very hard decisions to make, even on my level as one person looking at the world of podcasts,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco which is way, way, way smaller than the kind of thing they’re dealing with. So like, I see these issues. And so I think,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco you know, the way I usually fall on this is stuff has to be pretty bad
⏹️ ▶️ Marco for it to not be allowed to exist at all on a publishing platform like this.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco But you can exert much more editorial control and have much more of an opinion as
⏹️ ▶️ Marco the platform. First of all, if you’re small like me, then it doesn’t matter. But even somebody like Twitter,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco they have much more control over what they promote in things like ranking algorithms,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco recommendation algorithms, and stuff like that. And so I actually think most people should be allowed
⏹️ ▶️ Marco to post most stuff that is not outwardly illegal or like threatening harm to people.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Most of that I think having that be allowed to be posted is usually okay,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco again, with those exceptions. And even, I mean, I know a lot of people don’t even agree with those exceptions. Those people are ridiculous
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and naive. But if somebody’s posting something that is not like a threat
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and is not harassment and is not illegal in some other way, I don’t see anything wrong with that,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco but I don’t believe they deserve an audience. And I do think that
⏹️ ▶️ Marco the people who they’re trying to be in communication with if they’re trying to like, you know, some guy’s writing
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and calling somebody an a**hole or whatever, you know. I don’t think
⏹️ ▶️ Marco it’s necessarily the platform’s job to actively prevent everyone
⏹️ ▶️ Marco from being a jerk. It is the platform’s job to give people the tools
⏹️ ▶️ Marco to not see most of that most of the time and to let people have way more control
⏹️ ▶️ Marco than we do now over how many jerks we allow access to
⏹️ ▶️ Marco us. How many jerks posts that we allow even to show up in our timelines.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco We have right now only extremely rudimentary controls over those things.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco You know, we have like blocking and muting and you can, in certain contexts, you can disable replies, I think. But
⏹️ ▶️ Marco for the most part, we have very little control over that relative to the platform’s, you know, age and alleged
⏹️ ▶️ Marco maturity. If Twitter really focuses on that end of things, I
⏹️ ▶️ Marco think it would be less controversial, first of all. It would still
⏹️ ▶️ Marco be controversial because the jerks still believe that everything oppresses
⏹️ ▶️ Marco them because their politics are factually wrong and factually
⏹️ ▶️ Marco dangerous and factually full of hate and abuse and horrible things and they call
⏹️ ▶️ Marco it politics and they think it’s okay. And a quick aside back to him, it disturbs
⏹️ ▶️ Marco me greatly all of his tweets about basically both sides ism that’s that’s a clear
⏹️ ▶️ Marco warning sign that he doesn’t really you know think right about the stuff but anyway going back to the product itself
⏹️ ▶️ Marco if we can get to a point where the jerks are
⏹️ ▶️ Marco able to have their post on the platform within reason but most
⏹️ ▶️ Marco people don’t see them and if you don’t want to see jerks you have very
⏹️ ▶️ Marco easy and obvious controls probably hopefully they’re on by default that filter a lot of that stuff
⏹️ ▶️ Marco out from even being shown to you or your followers, that can go a long way.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco And this is the kind of area that I think Twitter so desperately should have been
⏹️ ▶️ Marco investing in all these years instead of building, you know, freaking Clubhouse and Instagram
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Stories and whatever else they were ripping off from other companies. Like their core product is full
⏹️ ▶️ Marco of garbage because they haven’t tackled problems like this. change
⏹️ ▶️ Marco in leadership has to happen to make them start looking at their product differently and maybe
⏹️ ▶️ Marco prioritizing different parts of it, I really hope they tackle that. Because that, I think,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco is so much more powerful than relying on letting a jerk post and become
⏹️ ▶️ Marco a jerk and then having to report them and then having to wait for the report to be seen and hoping the report
⏹️ ▶️ Marco is dealt with correctly. That whole thing leaves a bunch of jerks on the platform and lets a lot more people
⏹️ ▶️ Marco see their jerkitude. Whereas if you have filters up front and smarter filters and more controls for
⏹️ ▶️ Marco people to not see abuse in the first place, you’re doing way more good for way more people
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and the jerks can still have their jerk Twitter if they want it.
⏹️ ▶️ John So one of the dumbest things Twitter ever did was when they cracked down on third party clients. So we already
⏹️ ▶️ John said earlier that like a lot of the new features that we all take for granted on Twitter,
⏹️ ▶️ John like retweets and replies and all that good stuff came
⏹️ ▶️ John from users and client applications. And there was a story recently explaining like one
⏹️ ▶️ John of the things that motivated Twitter cracking down on third-party clients, which is some person was
⏹️ ▶️ John buying up all the third-party clients to try to hijack Twitter’s network by making those clients work with Twitter and also
⏹️ ▶️ John his own new network or whatever. And then Twitter caught wind of this and they bought TweetDeck and then they shut down the
⏹️ ▶️ John third-party clients. And anyway, turning off third-party clients killed all innovation
⏹️ ▶️ John on the client side. And I think a lot of what you’re talking about, Marco, is like, and this was in Ben Thompson’s, one of Ben Thompson’s recent
⏹️ ▶️ John posts for Decory, the idea that, I’m not gonna say it’s an abdication of responsibility,
⏹️ ▶️ John but it is an outsourcing of certain responsibilities. It’s saying, look, we Twitter are never gonna get it perfectly right, so
⏹️ ▶️ John why not let third party developers have a crack at this? We’ll run the service, we’ll have all the tweets
⏹️ ▶️ John and features and everything like that, but third party clients will reopen our API and we’ll say, if you wanna
⏹️ ▶️ John make a client, build on top of our API. And we’ll add more sophisticated features,
⏹️ ▶️ John will actually improve our API, will give you access to all the good stuff that only the first party client has access to,
⏹️ ▶️ John and will add new features. And then you, third party clients, can work on making clients that are better at,
⏹️ ▶️ John you know, hiding tweets that you don’t wanna see, or quality filtering and stuff like that.
⏹️ ▶️ John I think that is a good idea, and that is potentially one of the good things that could come out of Elon Musk,
⏹️ ▶️ John because if somewhere in his weirdo head, he has decided that having an API is cool
⏹️ ▶️ John and good, he’ll make it happen. And he’ll just say, And by the way, give the API all the features that the first
⏹️ ▶️ John party client has. And that will be an improvement over the status quo. If he doesn’t care about it, it won’t happen. But
⏹️ ▶️ John it’s possible that somewhere in his little brain, he’ll be like, oh yeah, a libertarian
⏹️ ▶️ John API, good, whatever, just do it. And that will be like an accidental good side effect of this, right?
⏹️ ▶️ John But setting that aside, I feel like that is not the solution to the quality problem,
⏹️ ▶️ John because a lot of the things that you were describing are sort of just redefining
⏹️ ▶️ John problem and say, oh, we’ll just, we’ll see less bad stuff and more good stuff. The problem is always what’s the bad stuff, what’s the
⏹️ ▶️ John good stuff and who decides. And having third party clients decide that
⏹️ ▶️ John is just asking each one of them to do something that Twitter, the company with 7,500 employees hasn’t been able to do over 15
⏹️ ▶️ John years, where you think some two people making a Twitter client are going to be able to figure it out. I mean, maybe there’s larger
⏹️ ▶️ John third party companies, but there’s no business model there. I don’t understand how anyone would ever be able to staff up to the point where
⏹️ ▶️ John they can do any good here. Kind of like car manufacturing. It’s not
⏹️ ▶️ John like no one has ever run a community on the internet before. There is tons of prior art on
⏹️ ▶️ John what works and what doesn’t. There’s academic papers on it. There’s real examples of real communities. There’s real communities that we’ve
⏹️ ▶️ John been in, personally, each individual person has been on the internet for a couple of decades, or whatever. We’ve been in communities
⏹️ ▶️ John that have gone well, that have burned themselves down. It’s not like this is totally new territory. It’s a hard
⏹️ ▶️ John problem to be sure, but it’s not like this is the first time anyone’s ever looking at this. Even Twitter
⏹️ ▶️ John before Elon did a bad job of looking at other internet communities and learning
⏹️ ▶️ John from them what works and what doesn’t work. The reactive thing where you were talking about it is like, well, we have blocking and muting
⏹️ ▶️ John and you can report, right? That is such a rudimentary system and it doesn’t scale
⏹️ ▶️ John well. And any community that’s reached this scale that has done a better job has differed
⏹️ ▶️ John in ways that are not mysterious. Like there’s been tons of people writing articles about this for years, right?
⏹️ ▶️ John What distinguishes these big communities they work better from this one. Usually what distinguishes them is, first
⏹️ ▶️ John of all, they have much more restrictive rules, which I know people who are like, oh,
⏹️ ▶️ John I wanna be able to say whatever I want, wherever I want. The fact is communities with more restrictive rules and norms
⏹️ ▶️ John do better. Maybe those rules are rules you don’t like or do like or whatever, but at least it defines
⏹️ ▶️ John the community. If you don’t like that community, you’ll know you don’t like it because you’ll say, I don’t like these rules,
⏹️ ▶️ John I’m gonna go elsewhere, right? You’ll know, is this the place for me or is this not the place for me?
⏹️ ▶️ John fairly, strictly, harshly defined rules, right? If you’re the type of person who wants
⏹️ ▶️ John to be somewhere where there aren’t harshly defined rules, you will go elsewhere, but that leaves only the people who are willing
⏹️ ▶️ John to work within those rules. Second thing that works is context.
⏹️ ▶️ John Twitter always seems to me that if you report someone’s tweet, it’s like, oh, they look at that tweet,
⏹️ ▶️ John they look at their set of rules, their whatever their set of rules is this week, and they try to make a decision. Even then it’s hard
⏹️ ▶️ John because the rules are, you know, whatever, fuzzy, right? Communities that work well
⏹️ ▶️ John at scale, don’t just say, okay, I’ve got an incident, I’ve got a set of rules, I’m gonna smush
⏹️ ▶️ John them together and say thumbs up or thumbs down. You have to look at the context and the context is,
⏹️ ▶️ John who is this person? Has this person been reported 100 times in this past week? Is this person
⏹️ ▶️ John a known bad actor? Is this a bot account? And you know, what is the larger
⏹️ ▶️ John context of this conversation, right? That’s really hard to do at scale, but the way
⏹️ ▶️ John communities that have been more successful have done it is by having some kind of reputation type system that lets you build up
⏹️ ▶️ John and build down, look at Stack Overflow for example, or Looker Red or any other kind of community where they have a sort
⏹️ ▶️ John of persistent, ongoing gamified reputation system where the behavior that the system wants you
⏹️ ▶️ John to do gets rewarded and the behavior that the system doesn’t want you to do gets punished. And any
⏹️ ▶️ John time any action is taken, they look at the context of your history and activity in the community
⏹️ ▶️ John to decide what should be done, not just here’s a tweet, I don’t know who posted it, I don’t know anything about them,
⏹️ ▶️ John and then here’s a set of rules, except of course if it’s the President of the United States and then all the rules go out the window because it’s all
⏹️ ▶️ John noteworthy, you know, anyway. I’m not saying this is an easy problem, but whenever
⏹️ ▶️ John I see Elon Musk talk about it, it’s like he’s never been in an online community before, and for years and years, when I’ve
⏹️ ▶️ John read articles about things that Twitter is doing poorly and here’s these communities that do better,
⏹️ ▶️ John Like there are a bunch of obvious things that they could be doing that would make things better, but almost all of them
⏹️ ▶️ John would anger people who think the real problem is that there are too many restrictions. And that’s just not the way
⏹️ ▶️ John online communities work. Community, online communities that are free for all burned down real quick because
⏹️ ▶️ John when anyone can do anything, the only people who are happy to stay there are the people who
⏹️ ▶️ John just, you know, just want to tear everything down and everyone else leaves. It’s like, if you’re, if you’re at a party and someone comes in and they
⏹️ ▶️ John start screaming and shooting flames in the air. Everyone who does not enter screaming and flames leaves pretty quickly and you’re
⏹️ ▶️ John just left with a room full of people screaming and shooting flames in the air, right? That’s why all these right wing networks can’t get off the ground
⏹️ ▶️ John because you get a bunch of, you know, people together who just want to scream at things. It’s, you know,
⏹️ ▶️ John no one else wants to be there except for them and then they just look around and they all see each other and they get bored and leave. Um,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco so also they have no ability to attract good talent to build them. None.
⏹️ ▶️ John Well, I don’t know. That’s probably some people who will, you know, do something for the right price or whatever.
⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco anyway, like- Not good people.
⏹️ ▶️ John I know people don’t wanna hear that. What they wanna hear is, you know, someone told
⏹️ ▶️ John me I couldn’t post something once and now I’m angry, so I think everything should be allowed, right? And you
⏹️ ▶️ John know, if you feel that way, like start a blog, right? You can write whatever you want and then no one can read it, right? But if you
⏹️ ▶️ John wanna be, if Twitter wants to run a community, especially, we haven’t even talked about this, like
⏹️ ▶️ John Elon, in theory, eventually has to do something to make Twitter make some
⏹️ ▶️ John kind of money? I mean, first thing I’d probably do is lay a bunch of people off, or maybe look at it off before the buyout goes through, like watch Twitter’s
⏹️ ▶️ John earnings, you know, probably by next week’s show, maybe we’ll see what happens here. But like, one way you can make Twitter more profitable
⏹️ ▶️ John is to get rid of a lot of costs, and most of those costs are people. So you can lay off a bunch of people, and suddenly the balance sheet looks
⏹️ ▶️ John a lot better, right? But you probably do have to figure out some way to make money. Like, Elon could
⏹️ ▶️ John probably run Twitter for the rest of his life just burning cash, but I don’t think he wants to do that. I think he wants it
⏹️ ▶️ John to make money. So how do you figure out how to make money? One way you can make money is to
⏹️ ▶️ John do something, to make it grow. That’s the whole problem that Twitter is unable to do. We’re gonna need more people to be on Twitter.
⏹️ ▶️ John The way you grow a service, a social network service, you have to make it be a place where
⏹️ ▶️ John people want to be. And Twitter has not been as successful at that as, for example, Facebook,
⏹️ ▶️ John that has billions of users, and Twitter has a small number of hundreds of millions or whatever. What
⏹️ ▶️ John is it Twitter has like, is like 20% of the US population or something? Anyway,
⏹️ ▶️ John they’re not as big as Facebook, right? How do you make a place where people wanna be? You have to make
⏹️ ▶️ John something that is pleasant for the majority of people.
⏹️ ▶️ John And the way you make a community that is a place where people wanna be and it is generally pleasant is
⏹️ ▶️ John not by removing rules. You have to add more rules. You have to make the rules well understood
⏹️ ▶️ John and you have to make it restrictive and you have to make it so that they’re, that behavior you don’t want that
⏹️ ▶️ John makes it an unpleasant place for people, that behavior is disincentivized and good behavior,
⏹️ ▶️ John whatever, however you define that, that makes the place a nice place for people to be, is incentivized. There are lots of
⏹️ ▶️ John ways to go about doing it, but that’s what you have to do. You have to add rules to make it a more pleasant place
⏹️ ▶️ John for people to be. If that’s not your goal, if you don’t want it to be a pleasant place for people to be, but instead you want it to adhere to some high minded
⏹️ ▶️ John ideal about anything goes, you’re not going to get new users that way. People are going to flee and you’re
⏹️ ▶️ John going to be left with a room full of loud jerks and that is not a money making proposition. Getting back to like,
⏹️ ▶️ John do you want this to succeed? Are you just gonna narrow it down to the 500,000 loudest
⏹️ ▶️ John jerks and charge each of them $10 a month? I don’t think that’s a good business plan. So far
⏹️ ▶️ John I haven’t seen anything as Elon said that made me think that he has a, that any of these changes were he to implement
⏹️ ▶️ John them would suddenly make Twitter make more money. Every single one he said is going to make it a less
⏹️ ▶️ John pleasant place to be, which will translate for it making less money than it does now.
⏹️ ▶️ John but that’s all assuming he’s actually gonna do any of these things. So if I had to give some advice either to the current
⏹️ ▶️ John owners of Twitter or the future owner of Twitter is, you need to look at online communities that have been more successful
⏹️ ▶️ John and copy some of the things that they do.
⏹️ ▶️ John maybe imagine this, maybe add some innovations of your own with your millions of dollars and thousands of really super smart
⏹️ ▶️ John employees. Maybe you can do something better than a web forum did in 1997. I know that’s
⏹️ ▶️ John hard to imagine, but you haven’t even caught up to web forums with three wise admins from 1997.
⏹️ ▶️ John Like Twitter is below that level. Obviously scale is different, I understand that, but like the model,
⏹️ ▶️ John the model of how to make a community that is a pleasant place for the people that you want to be there
⏹️ ▶️ John to be in the community, Twitter has utterly failed that. And so far I don’t see Elon
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Thanks to our sponsors this week, Remote, Sanity, and Trade Coffee. And thanks to our
⏹️ ▶️ Marco members who support us directly. You can join atp.fm slash join. and we’ll talk to you next
⏹️ ▶️ John show is over, they didn’t even
⏹️ ▶️ John Cause it was accidental, oh it was accidental.
⏹️ ▶️ John John didn’t do any research, Margo and Casey wouldn’t let him, Cause
⏹️ ▶️ John it was accidental, oh
⏹️ ▶️ Casey it was accidental. And you can find the
⏹️ ▶️ John show notes at ATP.FM And if you’re into
⏹️ ▶️ Marco you can follow them at C-A-S-E-Y-L-I-S-S
⏹️ ▶️ Marco So that’s Casey Liss, M-A-R-C-O-A-R-M, and
⏹️ ▶️ Marco T. Marco Armin, S-I-R-A-C-U-S-A-C-R-A-Q-U-S-A
⏹️ ▶️ John It’s accidental, they didn’t mean to
⏹️ ▶️ John ♪ Are you accidental ♪ ♪ Accidental ♪
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I think if there’s any bit of consolation I can give people when dealing with this
⏹️ ▶️ Marco jerk is… So I was explaining to my kid
⏹️ ▶️ Marco the other day, there’s this one kid that always will say
⏹️ ▶️ Marco or do something to provoke a response. Like that’s just the kind of kid he is. He has that,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco he’s like the provocateur kind of personality. I was explaining to my
⏹️ ▶️ Marco son like, look, he’s going to keep pushing buttons until he gets
⏹️ ▶️ Marco a negative reaction. That’s what he’s doing. You can see it. Once you see
⏹️ ▶️ Marco it that way, you see that’s what he’s doing every single time. He wants that negative reaction
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and he’s going to keep pushing buttons until he gets it. That’s Elon Musk.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco If you see all the crap he posts on Twitter all the time, that’s what he does.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco For all of the good ideas and implementation he has with some of his companies and stuff,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco he also is just that same kind of provocateur, kind of just, you know,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco as people say, a s*** poster. What he’s doing is provoking a reaction. All of the
⏹️ ▶️ Marco good things, he’s also extremely juvenile and a jerk in a lot of ways.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco That’s what he’s doing here. And so for all of us to
⏹️ ▶️ Marco pick apart any particular tweet that he posts and
⏹️ ▶️ Marco basically let it set us all on fire, you’re just giving him exactly what he wants. You’re feeding
⏹️ ▶️ Marco the trolls, I said last week, like this I don’t find that productive
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and I think if I can advise all of you, you know, well-meaning people out there,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco you’re letting, you’re giving the bully what they want, you’re giving the provocateur the negative reaction
⏹️ ▶️ Marco that they were literally seeking. He doesn’t post these tweets because he thinks they’re good
⏹️ ▶️ Marco ideas, he posts them to get that reaction. That is the entire point.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco So, don’t engage. Don’t let yourself get set on fire. Don’t give him the reaction. Don’t let
⏹️ ▶️ Marco him make you that mad because that’s literally what he’s going for. Ignore him like the troll that he is
⏹️ ▶️ Marco trying to be. Like, my chapter title for the whole thing when we talked about it last time was the roll eyes
⏹️ ▶️ Marco emoji. Give him that. Not even respond. Just roll your eyes in real life and move on.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco That’s it. Don’t give him anything. Do not feed this negative energy that he wants because
⏹️ ▶️ Marco It’s not going to help anybody and you are literally making him win by doing that. And I know it’s
⏹️ ▶️ Marco the hardest thing in the world not to get mad when someone’s being a jerk like that. It’s super hard.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I know all this. I just gave this speech three days ago. It’s super hard.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco But trust me, don’t engage. Don’t feed the troll. Let him get the reaction from
⏹️ ▶️ Marco other people. Don’t make it you.
⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco He is getting
⏹️ ▶️ John the reaction from other people.
⏹️ ▶️ John mostly ignore him too. But the weird thing about him buying Twitter, and I mentioned this, I think, when we were talking about him
⏹️ ▶️ John investing, it’s not like he’s on Twitter getting banned and stuff. Yeah, he says stupid juvenile
⏹️ ▶️ John things, but they’re all fine. He posted that picture of making fun of Bill Gates’
⏹️ ▶️ John gut. That’s a jerk move, but there’s nothing wrong with it. He’s not gonna get banned from Twitter for making
⏹️ ▶️ John fun of Bill Gates. He’s just making a dumb joke. You know what I mean? He’s not, except for when he occasionally
⏹️ ▶️ John is leading harassment campaigns against people, right? But for the most part, you know,
⏹️ ▶️ John Musk’s problem is he tweets things and the SEC maybe gets mad at them or whatever. Like he’s done stuff on
⏹️ ▶️ John Twitter that has run afoul of various laws, but I don’t think he has this long history of like
⏹️ ▶️ John wanting to tweet things and then getting his account banned and having to delete tweets and stuff like that.
⏹️ ▶️ John So it’s kind of like, you know, it’s not like he’s
⏹️ ▶️ John like buying Twitter so that he can finally say what he wants to say. He says what he wants to say all the time anyway,
⏹️ ▶️ John and most of it is just silly juvenile stuff. Some of it is harmful.
⏹️ ▶️ John Some of it is just, you know, stock market manipulation, you know, hyping up Dogecoin. Like
⏹️ ▶️ John he uses the power of Twitter to whatever amuses him or whatever, but it’s not like he’s taking it over it. So he’s like, finally,
⏹️ ▶️ John I can say what I want to say. The thing that I think a lot of people are afraid of is like,
⏹️ ▶️ John he would like to make it easier for people who are getting banned to come back and say what they
⏹️ ▶️ John want to say. like reinstate Trump’s account or this person was banned for saying something that I think,
⏹️ ▶️ John oh, you know, well, it doesn’t bother me. So I think he should probably come back, right? You know, because I’m, I’m not a trans
⏹️ ▶️ John person. And so this anti trans harassment doesn’t bother me. So I feel like they should be allowed to come back. It’s kind of funny, isn’t it?
⏹️ ▶️ John Right? No, it’s not funny. And that those kind of regressive attitudes that he has.
⏹️ ▶️ John It’s not like he’s doing that he’s spending most of his time doing, you know, random jerky things and
⏹️ ▶️ John occasionally either accidentally on a purpose initiating harassment campaigns just because he’s got millions
⏹️ ▶️ John and millions of followers. But even that half the time is probably just by accident, right? But
⏹️ ▶️ John to the degree that he has regressive attitudes that he
⏹️ ▶️ John mostly has kept under wraps that slip out, that’s the degree to which
⏹️ ▶️ John his policy changes are just going to make it worse when people who are not afraid to say the things out
⏹️ ▶️ John loud that he is wise enough not to say, come on board and bring their army of
⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey But of course, he’s
⏹️ ▶️ John going to ban bots, so we don’t have to worry about that. It’s just easy, just ban bots. What’s the problem?
⏹️ ▶️ John I know no one thought of that before.
⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco I wonder. So
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I know this is a big throwback, but I mentioned before that when I was a teenager,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I was on the Something Awful forums. One of the things that worked really well was that this was like 2000, this was a long time
⏹️ ▶️ Marco ago, 2002, like that kind of range, to have an account,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco you had to pay, I think it was five or 10 bucks. But if you violated any of the rules, your
⏹️ ▶️ Marco account would get banned, and you’d have to pay another 10 bucks if you wanna come back. Yeah, Metafilter did the same thing. Right,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and I wonder, like I’ve always thought,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco for a modern social network to do that, it’s just too much of a hindrance to news signups.
⏹️ ▶️ John Twitter is so small already, I was totally thinking of this too. Like, hey, you know what? Another way you make money, just charge everyone who
⏹️ ▶️ John uses Twitter. But, you know, of course, that would destroy the market.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Well, but he already said that he wants to, quote, authenticate humans. Well,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco a pretty good way to do that is like a $1 credit card charge for a new account or something, you know? And
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I know there’s a lot of challenges for doing that, that kind of thing. There’s a lot of people you’d be artificially keeping
⏹️ ▶️ Marco out, and that’s not good. But one of the reasons why,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco like, you know, those old forums that charged money back then, those were pretty well under control
⏹️ ▶️ Marco for the basic rules. Like, occasionally you’d have somebody come in and violate them, and then the moderator would handle it.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Now, granted, this is a very different problem today. Very, very different problem today. Hugely different scales,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco massively different situation, I recognize all of that. However, it worked
⏹️ ▶️ Marco really well. Now, Twitter is already not and never will
⏹️ ▶️ Marco be the biggest social network. It is not appealing for most people. Most people look at Twitter and they
⏹️ ▶️ Marco don’t see why they should be there, and part of that’s because of their crappy product direction over the last decade.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Part of that’s just inherent to the product that I don’t think will be solved. It’s kind of the social network for,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I wouldn’t necessarily say smart people, but it’s the social network for more engaged people, possibly,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco in certain ways, especially in things like media compared to other networks.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco So it is already kind of a specialized audience and I wonder like, might that model
⏹️ ▶️ Marco work on some kind of level here where many problems about spam
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and about abuse and about mass account creation and fraud, many of those problems get easier to
⏹️ ▶️ Marco deal with if the creation of accounts has a cost and if the loss of an account has a
⏹️ ▶️ Marco cost. One of the reasons why people are a little more civil in
⏹️ ▶️ Marco real life compared to the internet is because in real life you have something to lose.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco You have your face in your community, you have a reputation, you have the safety
⏹️ ▶️ Marco of your physical body. You know, if you say something, you might have somebody like punch you in the face. So you have
⏹️ ▶️ Marco something to lose in real life and so people tend to be a little more civil.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco One of the reasons why people tend to be jerks in cars is because they have a little bit but less to lose
⏹️ ▶️ Marco because you can’t really see who it is behind the wheel and you’re out of there in two seconds anyway. So, and
⏹️ ▶️ Marco you know, you look online and people are infinitely jerkier everywhere online, in part because
⏹️ ▶️ Marco everything they created online is free. They have an account with no followers, they created it,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco you know, in two seconds, you know, like they don’t have, they have nothing to lose. Whereas you have
⏹️ ▶️ Marco a lot fewer people on Twitter who have like built up followings, like strong,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco you know, a valuable account basically. You have a lot fewer of those people being extreme jerks to others.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco And so I wonder if there is some way in this future product direction slash revenue direction,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco maybe you involve something like paid account creation on some level. I don’t know. I think this is the kind
⏹️ ▶️ Marco of thing that not being a public company anymore does give them the freedom to experiment
⏹️ ▶️ Marco with something that’s that dramatic. Because that kind of thing would absolutely crush quote
⏹️ ▶️ Marco growth. Like that would crush new member growth. but that actually might be
⏹️ ▶️ Marco good in a lot of other ways for the people who are already on the platform. And even
⏹️ ▶️ Marco if you crush much of the new member growth, you would probably still get like quote,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco good people on a lot of levels, like people who are more valuable, who actually add to the conversation or who are actually
⏹️ ▶️ Marco intending to use it well instead of using it to crap all over people. So I don’t know, I think that’s the kind of
⏹️ ▶️ Marco thing that is worth considering. When you give people a cost
⏹️ ▶️ Marco to being jerks, when they are trying to protect something they have
⏹️ ▶️ Marco either paid for or built up over time, you tend to have better outcomes.
⏹️ ▶️ John Well, I mean, the problem with that, probably a lot of it is like authenticating human things is that past
⏹️ ▶️ John experience with many online communities has shown that making people authenticate
⏹️ ▶️ John as themselves does not make them behave better, right? So the removing anonymity does not increase the,
⏹️ ▶️ John does not make people act more nicely. They’re just as big a jerks as they always were. And of
⏹️ ▶️ John course, anonymity and pseudonymity or whatever you want to call it, is super important online for a lot of people who don’t
⏹️ ▶️ John want their identity to be shown because they’re in an unsafe situation or they don’t, you know, they don’t want to be outed for something or
⏹️ ▶️ John whatever. So it’s very difficult to do that and has a lot of downsides. But the other side of that, of like making
⏹️ ▶️ John there be a cost for account creation, has proven its utility, but only in communities that have never
⏹️ ▶️ John needed to be all that big. Because the only way you get that done is not for like, hey, new account creation costs
⏹️ ▶️ John money. I suppose you could do it that way, but you kind of have to say every account needs money. And
⏹️ ▶️ John it’s very difficult to go to Twitter and say, okay, all, you know, whatever, 100 million active users,
⏹️ ▶️ John starting tomorrow, all your accounts are locked until you each pay a dollar.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco What if it only applied to new accounts?
⏹️ ▶️ John I know, but like, if you only do it for new accounts, you kind of have your existing problem and you got to weed out these giant bot networks. Cause
⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco like- Yeah, but that’s way, I mean,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco that’s so much easier for problem to deal with than if they’re still coming in the door, you know?
⏹️ ▶️ John There’s giant armies of bot accounts that get traded around. The whole economy of having accounts that have existed
⏹️ ▶️ John for X number of years, Y accounts that have existed for X number of years and have Z followers,
⏹️ ▶️ John that’s a thing that you can buy and sell on Twitter. That is a commodity. And the
⏹️ ▶️ John fact that Twitter hasn’t been able to weed them out over a decade and a half shows that it’s probably not a super easy
⏹️ ▶️ John problem or maybe they just haven’t been really into it because they don’t want their daily active account numbers to go down. But
⏹️ ▶️ John either way, I feel like being authenticated as a specific human
⏹️ ▶️ John is a loser idea. It’s not gonna make people behave any better and it cuts off a lot of people who would need to have access
⏹️ ▶️ John to it. Anonymity is an important part of being online. Agreed. But making there a barrier to entry,
⏹️ ▶️ John like charging for accounts, is a great idea as long as you don’t really care about
⏹️ ▶️ John growing or being or staying big. And as long as you also don’t care about people who can’t afford
⏹️ ▶️ John that money being locked out of your network. And it’s just, like it works great for MetaFilter, works
⏹️ ▶️ John great for something awful. Twitter, I feel like is probably on the other side of that. Probably
⏹️ ▶️ John a little bit too big, but hey, but like this gets into the idea of like, just again, setting aside Elon, pretend you’re gonna have a conversation
⏹️ ▶️ John about Twitter or whatever, what kind of community do you want? If part of your definition
⏹️ ▶️ John of community is I would like a community where everybody in the community had at least $1 that they could spend on
⏹️ ▶️ John Twitter once. That suddenly becomes a definition of your community. So like, okay, so
⏹️ ▶️ John if someone doesn’t meet that criteria, I don’t want them in my community. That’s what you’re saying. And you may be fine with that, right? that’s
⏹️ ▶️ John maybe a perfectly good idea for like, you know, I, I don’t want anybody in my model train club who
⏹️ ▶️ John couldn’t play, pay the annual union dues of five bucks. Fine. Then if there’s someone who’s super
⏹️ ▶️ John into model trains, who you’d love to have in your thing, but they don’t have five bucks a year to pay for it, they’re not going to be in your community and you have
⏹️ ▶️ John to be okay with that. Right. Coming up with that set of rules for something like Twitter is tricky.
⏹️ ▶️ John Right. And this is assuming the answers that you come up with are going to be like, you know,
⏹️ ▶️ John satisfactory. Like what kind of, again, Elon says nothing particularly coherent,
⏹️ ▶️ John but ask any of the current people on Twitter, what kind of community do you want Twitter to be?
⏹️ ▶️ John If you could snap your fingers and make it happen, what would it be like? And thus far,
⏹️ ▶️ John anything that has created a barrier to creating an account, like charging an amount of money or making
⏹️ ▶️ John it, sort of slowing down the bot creation type stuff, or making it so that people have something to lose,
⏹️ ▶️ John just hasn’t been in their definition. Or if it wasn’t in their definition, they were doing nothing about it. It’s so hard to tell with
⏹️ ▶️ John current Twitter management. Is this something that you want, or is this just something that you haven’t bothered to not
⏹️ ▶️ John do? Yeah, is this a choice
⏹️ ▶️ John Yeah, it’s really hard to tell. Like, what is your vision for Twitter? You know, and some of it, you say, well, it’s because we’re a public company.
⏹️ ▶️ John We can’t do anything like that because our daily active users would go down like a cliff and our stock price would fall. But they
⏹️ ▶️ John don’t have to worry about that
⏹️ ▶️ Marco anymore, right? Yeah, well, beyond being a public company, I think a lot of this is like, Twitter’s leadership
⏹️ ▶️ Marco has seemed to almost never understand their own product.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco They like create all these weird little side features that nobody
⏹️ ▶️ Marco wants basically while not creating any of the features that people who have used Twitter
⏹️ ▶️ Marco for a while have been needing for years.
⏹️ ▶️ John Musk said he’s going to bring an edit button so we can just add that to the Flint water pipes or maybe it’ll be a
⏹️ ▶️ John thing that really happens.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Maybe, but like the point is like I think we’ve
⏹️ ▶️ Marco seen the current direction because they they haven’t changed in a very long time, and they haven’t done anything.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco They don’t understand the product. And so we’ve seen what they have now, and if they change
⏹️ ▶️ Marco it in some significant way, like I think we’ve seen how the current direction,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco how it grows or doesn’t. We’ve seen what retains
⏹️ ▶️ Marco users and what doesn’t. And we’ve seen what works and what doesn’t. And we’ve seen like if
⏹️ ▶️ Marco you have the way things are now, where everything’s free and open to create accounts much as you want,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco we see the problems with that. You know, like they have this huge number of employees,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco many of whom are having to deal with all this crap that results from all these, you
⏹️ ▶️ Marco know, bots and abusers and stuff being able to create 5,000 accounts and then, you know, spam the crap out of people. Like
⏹️ ▶️ Marco that, I feel like that is, that is not free to them. You know, it’s free to the
⏹️ ▶️ Marco world. It’s not free to them by a long shot, and it creates all these problems that drive a lot of people
⏹️ ▶️ Marco off the platform or keep them off in the first place. And so if they do things that, you know,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco they might in the short term inhibit growth by doing things, and by the way,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I fully agree. I’m not saying they should require real names. I’m not saying that at all.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco That causes way too many problems. I mean, look, look at what I did at Tumblr. That was very intentionally
⏹️ ▶️ Marco set up so that people could create anonymous blogs, any number of them on their own account,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and you could never tell, like if you had an account with like five tumble logs on it, you could never tell,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco like the audience of those tumble logs could never tell which user had created that
⏹️ ▶️ Marco blog. That was always kept secret. And that was a very intentional decision.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco So if you wanted to have five blogs and one of them was your like meme blog and one of them was
⏹️ ▶️ Marco your main blog where you post political quotes or whatever, and you wanted to have something totally different, something totally private that
⏹️ ▶️ Marco was like, you know, like a sex blog or something, you could have that. That was all separate and nobody could see
⏹️ ▶️ Marco that that was the same person running all those things. Anonymity by default,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and you can choose whether to use your name or not, which is how Twitter is now, that is the right
⏹️ ▶️ Marco choice. However, that’s separate from requiring possibly a small payment to create an account
⏹️ ▶️ Marco or things like that. Now granted, yes, in whatever payment method you choose,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco there are certain people who won’t have that payment method or who literally can’t afford the dollar it would cost or whatever.
⏹️ ▶️ John certain people for whom the payment method is immaterial and then just billionaires will build keep by unlimited
⏹️ ▶️ John number of accounts. Anyway, it’s actually a pretty tricky problem. Again, works for Metafilter doesn’t doesn’t work when some Koch brother
⏹️ ▶️ John decides that they’re going to put $17 million to burn into 17 million accounts right around
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Maybe, but the point is that that does overall dramatically cut
⏹️ ▶️ Marco down on the crap you have to deal with. And if Twitter is no longer going to
⏹️ ▶️ Marco be chasing user growth at any cost, which is what they have to do as long as they’re a public social
⏹️ ▶️ Marco network company. If they can pull back a little bit on that and try some things, and this is
⏹️ ▶️ Marco one of the things they end up trying, I actually think that could work really well.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco That’s the type of thing that, again, if they’re public, they could never do that. But now that they
⏹️ ▶️ Marco have a random jerk possibly owning them soon who does
⏹️ ▶️ Marco crazy things on a whim all the time, even if they are, in the short term, not very profitable,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I mean, look, we’re gonna have the jerk running it regardless, we might as well have some good ideas come out of it. And I think
⏹️ ▶️ Marco that that kind of thing is a possibility of the kind of thing they might try.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I think that could be really good. Twitter has so many problems the way it is now, and
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I don’t see a lot of solutions that are gonna massively make a change to things like abuse
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and spam and everything like that. Unless you do something drastic like that. Hey, it’s
⏹️ ▶️ Marco worth trying, it’s certainly worth a try.
⏹️ ▶️ John Speaking of the edit button, just to foreclose on any people who are going to say this, Twitter’s already working on the edit button.
⏹️ ▶️ John They already announced it on their official Twitter account. If it happens after Elon Musk buys it, it wasn’t because
⏹️ ▶️ John of him, just FYI. They were already doing it. If it doesn’t happen, I’m going to blame him, because they’re
⏹️ ▶️ John already doing it. Naturally.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I don’t know. I feel like, leaving Elon aside, I really have come around to
⏹️ ▶️ Casey the Ben Thompson idea that Twitter being private is a good thing. And I think,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey while I wholly agree with what both of you were saying, that the company has just been chasing its own tail for
⏹️ ▶️ Casey as long as I’ve been a member, I do think that at least some of that was self-imposed
⏹️ ▶️ Casey because, like you said just a moment ago, Marco, growth, growth, growth. All we care about is growth. That’s all that matters.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Growth. We need growth. We need it now. We need it yesterday. We need it tomorrow. We need growth. Yes, all the growth.
⏹️ ▶️ John And they were bad at getting it.
⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey Oh, they absolutely were. They didn’t
⏹️ ▶️ John pursue growth to the exclusion of everything else. And they grew really, really fast and got huge. No,
⏹️ ▶️ John they kind of topped out and they stagnated.
⏹️ ▶️ John their growth has sucked. They’re a terrible business. And they kept pursuing the strategy of growth
⏹️ ▶️ John at any cost, even when they had stopped growing really fast. Right, so it’s like,
⏹️ ▶️ John we’re just gonna keep doing this because we really need to grow. What else can we try to grow? It’s like, maybe,
⏹️ ▶️ John you know, you could say, maybe this is the natural size for the community that you’ve created, or
⏹️ ▶️ John maybe you should try, like, you know, it’s a little Apple thing. Oh, we’ll just make really good products and that will help us grow. And
⏹️ ▶️ John the other strategy is let’s figure out what needs to grow. And who cares if it makes the product worse?
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Yeah, but either way, the idea of Twitter being able to focus on something other than
⏹️ ▶️ Casey growing, that sounds super appealing to me. And the optimistic
⏹️ ▶️ Casey take on this is we’ll see that Twitter apps becoming a design
⏹️ ▶️ Casey playground all over again. We’ll see a tweet bot in Twitterific no longer being neutered
⏹️ ▶️ Casey by crummy APIs or limited APIs, whatever the case may be. Like in so many ways, there’s
⏹️ ▶️ Casey so many things that could be better if Twitter doesn’t have to focus on growth.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey And I mean, I could argue that maybe being better at whatever sort
⏹️ ▶️ Casey of moderation or, I mean, I guess the extreme version of this is censorship, but one
⏹️ ▶️ Casey way or another, cleaning up Twitter. I mean, why does everyone refer to Twitter as the hell site?
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Like doesn’t that indicate that there’s a problem somewhere? if they don’t have to focus on growth,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey if kicking thousands of bots off the network is
⏹️ ▶️ Casey suddenly okay, maybe we’ll see some of that now. Maybe it’ll be better for everyone. And
⏹️ ▶️ Casey again, the optimist in me, I’m really hopeful that we’re going to see a lot of positive
⏹️ ▶️ Casey changes for the social network that I love so much, even though I don’t really know why anymore.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey So I’m hopeful. I’m really hopeful that if they go private,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey you know, through Elon or through someone else, I’m really hopeful they get to concentrate on the things that make
⏹️ ▶️ Casey it, that make the experience better for those of us who are here and not necessarily here for 10
⏹️ ▶️ Casey years, just here in general, rather than always chasing the next new person.
⏹️ ▶️ John Yeah. The downside of private ownership, of course, is like, say, let’s say Twitter does something now during Gamergate,
⏹️ ▶️ John people are harassing everybody and this giant brigades of things. And people complained about it. And
⏹️ ▶️ John the complainers had some leverage because if Twitter becomes a hostile environment
⏹️ ▶️ John for certain classes of people and those classes of people leave, their numbers go down.
⏹️ ▶️ John And we know the numbers go down because they have to report, and they’re earning reports of here’s how we’re looking in terms of
⏹️ ▶️ John user growth or user stagnation or whatever. And that means that the mass movement
⏹️ ▶️ John of users on Twitter and how they’re feeling about using Twitter can change what Twitter does.
⏹️ ▶️ John private ownership, that becomes a much less powerful lever. Because,
⏹️ ▶️ John you know, the whole point of private is I don’t have to tell you how our daily active users are doing, what do you care? It’s not your problem,
⏹️ ▶️ John I’ll figure out how to make money. And if things get really bad on Twitter, because Elon
⏹️ ▶️ John does what, some of the things he says he’s gonna do, which everyone agrees is gonna make things worse for a lot of people,
⏹️ ▶️ John and people leave, he’s like, good, that’s what I wanted. The kind of community I want is where people like you leave, because
⏹️ ▶️ John you can’t take being harassed because of who you are get off my network.
⏹️ ▶️ John And there’s nothing you can do about that because it’s a private company. If you don’t like it, go somewhere else. Uh, and you leaving
⏹️ ▶️ John causes my numbers to go down, but I don’t have to show those numbers to anybody. And that’s my problem to deal with. So don’t worry about it. Uh,
⏹️ ▶️ John so, and now we’re trying to be optimistic, like, Oh, single ownership means they’re free to do things they couldn’t do before. Because Twitter was sort
⏹️ ▶️ John of, you know, not going anywhere and they were treading water. Now they can make bold moves and they can, but it also means that
⏹️ ▶️ John our ability as the collective users of Twitter who, you know, enjoy it enough to keep using it today,
⏹️ ▶️ John uh, have much less power to influence the direction it goes. Because, you know,
⏹️ ▶️ John if changes happen that make us like it less, that could be by design and they
⏹️ ▶️ John could be showing us the door and saying, we don’t want people like you here, so leave. And I don’t care if you leave because I don’t need to
⏹️ ▶️ John meet any daily active user numbers.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Yeah, I’m also interested to see what what Elon really actually wants out of this, because
⏹️ ▶️ Casey obviously the the the terrible shit poster that we see
⏹️ ▶️ Casey says, oh I just want an edit button, I just want an edit button, and I want all the bots off the network, blah blah
⏹️ ▶️ Casey blah. But what does he really want? Like is
⏹️ ▶️ John And why does he care about the bots? Are bots
⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey bothering him? Yeah, who
⏹️ ▶️ John knows. I haven’t ever really seen him care much about anything that doesn’t affect him personally.
⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco I mean, for whatever it’s
⏹️ ▶️ Marco worth, a huge amount of the harassment on Twitter
⏹️ ▶️ Marco is and has been like Russian bots. Like that’s been a huge thing. And
⏹️ ▶️ Marco you know, like the whole thing with the Trump and all the original meaning of the word fake news and all this stuff,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco that’s a big thing. A ton of what you see on Twitter that’s
⏹️ ▶️ Marco crappy or negative is actually Russian bots. Now, there’s also a lot of bad people that are
⏹️ ▶️ Marco legitimately posting those things, but I think it’s more than you think that are actually bots.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Well, either way, what is his goal? Is his goal pump and dump? Is his goal to remove all
⏹️ ▶️ Casey the bots? What is his actual goal? Because if his goal is to just make
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Twitter profitable and otherwise keep it mostly as is, then
⏹️ ▶️ Casey the difference to Twitter employees, I reckon, is that rather than having to
⏹️ ▶️ Casey convince thousands upon thousands upon thousands of shareholders that what they’re doing is smart, they have to convince
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Elon and maybe a handful of other people and I guess the board or whatever. But it
⏹️ ▶️ Casey can change the math dramatically, or maybe it doesn’t change it that much. What if Elon says, I want a
⏹️ ▶️ Casey 2x monthly active users because that’s what the king wants and And that’s what the king will get.
⏹️ ▶️ John why would he want that?
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I don’t know. I don’t think because he feels like it’ll make Twitter more profitable, maybe it, because he could re you know, he could bring
⏹️ ▶️ Casey it public again, like this is pretty well outside my comfort zone. This is probably obvious, but
⏹️ ▶️ Casey it just, I can’t help, but wonder what is his goal with Twitter? Is it simply to make more than $0?
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Is it to make gazillions of dollars? Is it just to, you know, pay off all
⏹️ ▶️ Casey the loans and the debts and whatnot? And then, and then walk away. Is it to IPO again and make
⏹️ ▶️ Casey a whole shed load more money? Like I just, I wonder what he’s really actually after.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey And I don’t think anyone will ever know, but I wonder what he’s after because, you know, our, our
⏹️ ▶️ Casey thinking, including very much my own thinking just a moment ago about, Oh, you know, the API will get better because who cares?
⏹️ ▶️ Casey And they don’t have to worry about growth because who cares? Like,
⏹️ ▶️ John have you ever heard of Yellen mentioned the API? I mean, we’re just saying that, cause it’s the thing that we want and it’s the thing that could happen now.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey No, exactly. That’s my point. Like, but you know, my, my, our theory is, Oh, well, if they don’t
⏹️ ▶️ Casey have the shareholders breathing down their necks, you know, more, more, more, growth, growth, growth, then everything will be perfect now. And
⏹️ ▶️ Casey that may not actually be the case. It may be that Elon says, no, I still want growth because that’s what I want. And
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I don’t know why, but he could say that.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I mean, I think that he probably wants a lot of those things or all of those things. Like, I’ve read this great article on New
⏹️ ▶️ Marco York Mag today, basically interviewing Kara Swisher, who knows Elon
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Musk pretty well, interviewing Kara Swisher about him and basically asking like, you know, like, what is
⏹️ ▶️ Marco he like? What does he, you know, how does he think? Stuff like that. It’s pretty short, it’s worth
⏹️ ▶️ Marco reading, because the thing is like, he’s not like a one-sided caricature.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco He is, for all of his faults, a very smart person, and he does
⏹️ ▶️ Marco seem to, you know, have complex and multiple thoughts on this kind of stuff. What does he want from Twitter?
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Lots of things. I’m sure he wants to make money eventually on it, But if you look
⏹️ ▶️ Marco at the kinds of things that he creates, the ways he invests his money, the companies he starts,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco he’s not trying solely to make money. If he wanted to just make money, he could probably find out
⏹️ ▶️ Marco much better ways to do it instead of doing really risky businesses or buying a very unprofitable social
⏹️ ▶️ John network. I don’t think he needs to make money on Twitter. I think he just needs to make money
⏹️ ▶️ John by using Twitter. Which is, like if you say, what does he want out of Twitter? Look at what he’s ever used Twitter for. Twitter is
⏹️ ▶️ John a powerful way for him to influence the world. It is a powerful megaphone. Like, you
⏹️ ▶️ John know, just think of something simple like hyping up Dogecoin, barely hyping up, right?
⏹️ ▶️ John When you have that many followers and people hang on everything that you say and you say something about Dogecoin
⏹️ ▶️ John and the price of Dogecoin goes up by X percent and you had a bunch of Dogecoin, Twitter is suddenly
⏹️ ▶️ John a powerful tool for you to make money. Even if Twitter itself loses money, even if you are the owner of Twitter and it
⏹️ ▶️ John loses money for you, You can make that up just by hyping up other things. And if you wanted to say like,
⏹️ ▶️ John Elon is very good at having things that he owns and controls be valued
⏹️ ▶️ John well beyond the supposed rational worth. Look at Tesla, look at how much Tesla is, I think isn’t Tesla worth
⏹️ ▶️ John more than like the entire rest of the audio industry combined or something? Like it’s not,
⏹️ ▶️ John Tesla is not value based on its fundamental in terms of how much profit did it make selling cars each year. It’s
⏹️ ▶️ John valued based on its potential value, you know, Like what could it be, right? That’s how all
⏹️ ▶️ John stocks are valued, right? Elon is good at making assets that he owns and controls,
⏹️ ▶️ John making you believe that they will be and are even more valuable than the hard numbers
⏹️ ▶️ John show. So he could do that to Twitter to say, now Twitter, this asset
⏹️ ▶️ John that we all basically believe is more valuable than the numbers show, right? But
⏹️ ▶️ John he could just use Twitter as he has in the past to continue to influence the world.
⏹️ ▶️ John And it’s like a loss leader for him. It’s like, I control it so I don’t have to worry about anyone ever taking away this megaphone. I don’t
⏹️ ▶️ John have to worry about this megaphone doing anything that screws me up. And I’m just gonna use it as it slowly drains money as a private
⏹️ ▶️ John company, as long as I stay above where I need to, you know, so I don’t have to repay that giant loan that I took or whatever the hell the financing crap
⏹️ ▶️ John is. It’s fine. And I can use it to, it’s like, it’s one of the most
⏹️ ▶️ John powerful tools he’s found to help him accomplish his other goals. And he has a
⏹️ ▶️ John lot of them, right? So, like, I mean, who knows? It’s so hard to tell like what he’s
⏹️ ▶️ John going to do and he’s got so many different things going on. We’re supposed to be going to Mars now too, by the way. I know we
⏹️ ▶️ John don’t think about that. And he’s got satellite internet and he’s got a lot of things that he thinks are
⏹️ ▶️ John cool that he would like to see happen. But how many of them will actually get his attention?
⏹️ ▶️ John I don’t know. And so far, what he’s used Twitter for is whatever he’s currently concentrating on. Twitter has
⏹️ ▶️ John been a component of that push. And it seems like controlling Twitter
⏹️ ▶️ John is a way to ensure that that continues to be the case. Setting completely aside, yeah, but what about Twitter
⏹️ ▶️ John itself? Is that a business where you’re going to somehow make money or make it grow or whatever?
⏹️ ▶️ John Maybe. Maybe merely by owning Twitter, everyone will suddenly believe it is way more valuable and he will be able to
⏹️ ▶️ John sell it for a profit. But he’s not the type of person who, like, buys something and then quickly sells it when it’s more valuable. He
⏹️ ▶️ John didn’t sell Tesla when it was worth more than he bought it for. He didn’t sell SpaceX when it was worth more than
⏹️ ▶️ John he bought it for. He held them for way longer than anyone thought he should and refused to sell
⏹️ ▶️ John and kept finding ways to keep them above water by financing them or whatever. And you don’t do that when you’re trying
⏹️ ▶️ John to just, you know, buy a company, make it more profitable and dump it like the other private equity investors. So I can’t
⏹️ ▶️ John imagine him doing that with Twitter. I think he’s in it for the long haul until unless it becomes
⏹️ ▶️ John super unfun for him.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I think his motivations are much more complex than anything. You know, in the same way, like
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I always say, when you have anything complex like a social network,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco everyone has their hot take on what they have to do to fix their problem.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco And it always begins with if they would just. If you would just
⏹️ ▶️ Marco X, if you would just do this, you’d fix, all you have to do is just this. And everyone has
⏹️ ▶️ Marco some simple thing and the reality is much more complex than that, right? And I think that’s, you know,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco he’s a person, he’s clearly a very smart person, again, for all of his faults, He’s clearly a very smart person.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco He has achieved a lot of very lofty things. And so I don’t think, if you say what
⏹️ ▶️ Marco does he want Twitter for, it’s not just anything. He wants Twitter for lots of reasons. And I don’t
⏹️ ▶️ Marco think it’s as small as he wants a platform to pump up Dogecoin or whatever. Like,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I don’t think that’s it at all. I think he’s been doing that for free. I mean,
⏹️ ▶️ John he uses it for everything, not just for pumping up Doge, but talking about Tesla, for talking about SpaceX, for
⏹️ ▶️ John saying he wants a platform where people can hear him say that he’s gonna fix the pipes in Flint. Like that is valuable
⏹️ ▶️ John to him as a person.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah, but he doesn’t have to own it to do that. He’s been doing it for free for years.
⏹️ ▶️ John But he has to own it to make sure no one stops him from ever using it that
⏹️ ▶️ Marco way. Yeah, but I mean, was that ever a risk? I mean, I think the worst case outcome here
⏹️ ▶️ Marco that’s likely to happen, I mean, there’s lots of worst cases that are unlikely to happen, I think. But I think
⏹️ ▶️ Marco the most likely bad outcome here is that his
⏹️ ▶️ Marco acquisition goes through and he appoints fricking Jack Dorsey as the CEO and then he doesn’t really actively manage anything
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and that’s it. And then nothing else ever changes. And
⏹️ ▶️ Marco, John so then we have- You think
⏹️ ▶️ John that’s the worst one? The worst one is he immediately reinstates Trump. Trump wins in 2024, our country is destroyed. I think that’s
⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco easy- No, no, no. Frankly,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco no. First of all, I think this is the worst outcome that is likely. That is like the
⏹️ ▶️ Marco worst and most likely outcome is he puts Jack back and then nothing else really ever
⏹️ ▶️ John would he put Jack back? Why would he? Does he think, I know they’re buds and everything, but like,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco man, I just don’t. Well, that’s why, they’re buds and everything. But ultimately, I think, and again, because
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Elon can’t run it himself 100% of the time, he’s not gonna be a super active, involved CEO,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco but worst case I think that is likely to happen is that, that it becomes a
⏹️ ▶️ Marco jacked vehicle again and everything continues to just be finance tech bro BS and that’s
⏹️ ▶️ Marco it. But hopefully more changes
⏹️ ▶️ Marco in a positive way. And again, I think the reason why I’m not super down
⏹️ ▶️ Marco on this is just because I have so little faith in Twitter’s leadership up till now. Like they have just shown
⏹️ ▶️ Marco themselves to be totally inept and weirdly guided and misguided
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and to not understand their own product at all, to not understand what it needs,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco what it doesn’t need, like to not be able to properly moderate anything on their platform.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Like they I have zero faith in their and also to have it be a bad business. So I have
⏹️ ▶️ Marco zero faith in their current and past leadership. So to have somebody else come in, it’s
⏹️ ▶️ Marco like, I guess, let’s see what happens.
⏹️ ▶️ John I’m still thinking it definitely has to be worse, because the attitudes of the people who have run Twitter are better, like
⏹️ ▶️ John what they are trying to do is better than what I’ve everything I’ve heard he on say he’s trying to do. There’s still like I said,
⏹️ ▶️ John I’d I’d much rather fail fast. If you’re going to try to do some bad things, I want them to be bad immediately. I don’t
⏹️ ▶️ John want them to be slowly bad over the course of a decade through neglect. Neglect is worse, right? And so
⏹️ ▶️ John that’s my optimistic scenario, is that all the bad things happen super fast, and hopefully