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

509: Tiny Tyrants

Mastodon, Twitter’s latest BS, iPhone Emergency SOS via satellite, and dim hopes for concert tickets.

Episode Description:

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


  1. Pre-show: Taylor Swift tickets
  2. Follow-up: 2FA phone-swap
  3. Watch-face automation
  4. YouTube HDR on Apple TV
  5. Follow-up: Nested Smart Albums
  6. U2 follow-up (really)
  7. Sponsor: Linode
  8. Hardcore workaholism
  9. Sponsor: Trade Coffee
  10. Follow-up: HomeKit usefulness
  11. Waiting for a Mac Pro (again)
  12. Satellite Emergency SOS
  13. Mastodon
  14. Sponsor: Squarespace (code ATP)
  15. #askatp: Downloading Xcode
  16. #askatp: Best-designed Apple Mac app
  17. #askatp: Being a good boss
  18. Ending theme
  19. Two databases

Pre-show: Taylor Swift tickets

⏹️ ▶️ John Does anyone have Taylor Swift tickets they want to sell me? Massachusetts shows? Not

⏹️ ▶️ John for $12,000, which is the current going rate?

⏹️ ▶️ Casey So back up. So I was watching this happen through Christina Warren, former and

⏹️ ▶️ Casey one of the only guests ever on the show, former guest Christina Warren and dear friend of the show. Anyways, I was watching her

⏹️ ▶️ Casey try to do her whole rigmarole in order to get herself Taylor Swift tickets. So my limited

⏹️ ▶️ Casey understanding is you got in some sort of queue and it said there’s 2,000

⏹️ ▶️ Casey or more people in front of you. And then she had retweeted out, I doubt I’ll be able to find it, but she had retweeted

⏹️ ▶️ Casey somebody saying, in the time I’ve spent in the queue, I wrote a Chrome extension to figure out exactly

⏹️ ▶️ Casey where you are in the

⏹️ ▶️ Casey, John queue, which is amazing.

⏹️ ▶️ John The queue that she was in, I didn’t even get a chance to enter that queue because I lost that lottery. But today

⏹️ ▶️ John there was another queue that I could get in. And rather than download that Chrome extension, I just opened the Chrome

⏹️ ▶️ John DevTools and looked at the JSON flying by. I was telling Marco this before. And yeah, you can see where you actually are

⏹️ ▶️ John on the queue. Now that that helps you, it’s like, oh great, now I know I started at 15,000 and I’m around 10,000, even though the UI says 2000 plus.

⏹️ ▶️ John But that doesn’t tell you anything. Like the rate at which that number went down

⏹️ ▶️ John varied wildly. Like it went down like thousands in like 15 minutes and then didn’t

⏹️ ▶️ John budge for like an hour and then went down three and in the next 15, it’s just,

⏹️ ▶️ John I don’t know what it’s based on. We had multiple windows going here

⏹️ ▶️ John with the same thing, different accounts. Anyway, the queue closed and they said,

⏹️ ▶️ John sorry, all the things that we had reserved for the people who are who are, you know, supposed

⏹️ ▶️ John to buy tickets today was like Capital One credit card holders. Sorry, we sold all those out. So even though you’re still

⏹️ ▶️ John online, tough luck. See you later. So Friday is my next chance and my next and final chance,

⏹️ ▶️ John which and Friday is the day that everybody gets a chance to be in the queue. So if I couldn’t get in the queue and just competing

⏹️ ▶️ John against Capital One credit card holders, I don’t know what I’m gonna do on Friday.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey So you would say that John is a Swifty. I think that’s what we’re learning today.

⏹️ ▶️ John The tickets are not for me, although I do like Taylor Swift’s music.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, John Fair enough.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I mean, I think the answer here is like the price of stealing Taylor Swift is just whatever it

⏹️ ▶️ Marco takes to buy these on StubHub or whatever.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, John That’s

⏹️ ▶️ Marco the reality here. It’s like it’s not whatever the list price is, I mean, it doesn’t really matter. It’s like a

⏹️ ▶️ Marco handful of lucky people will get the list price. For the most part, you’re competing with a whole bunch of bots and scammers probably and

⏹️ ▶️ Marco resellers and scalpers. scalpers. And so you know you’re gonna have to be either very lucky or play that game.

⏹️ ▶️ John Oh yeah, but like the actual going rate for tickets for these shows is I’m not kidding like eleven or twelve thousand dollars

⏹️ ▶️ John right now.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Oh my word. I’m not paying that well, but that’s like that’s right now. Wait wait until the shows

⏹️ ▶️ Marco are like, you know, two weeks away and it’ll be different.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, John Yeah, we’ll see

⏹️ ▶️ Marco like, you know, because right now no one has the tickets yet. So so everyone’s like, oh my God, I need to buy one item, but like give

⏹️ ▶️ Marco it give time for all of the actual tickets to be acquired by people and then you know

⏹️ ▶️ Marco a week or two before the show, you can probably pick them up for, you know, maybe a few hundred bucks, I don’t know.

⏹️ ▶️ John This is what I get for not being, well, a few hundred bucks is lower than the actual price, by the way, Marc.

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco Oh, my God,

⏹️ ▶️ John what’s the actual price? So I believe it’s, if you want floor seats,

⏹️ ▶️ John I had this info before, let me look it up for you so you can be suitably shocked. This

⏹️ ▶️ John is not the scalper price, this is the price if you, if you had the, for the price, if you buy it

⏹️ ▶️ John from Ticketmaster. Is floor more desirable or less? Yes, the floor

⏹️ ▶️ John seats start at $350 and go up to $900. That’s not the scalper price. That’s the just straight up price.

⏹️ ▶️ John And then the other sections are in the other ranges, as you would imagine. They have a $200 to $300 range. And

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco if

⏹️ ▶️ John you’re in the bleachers at the top of the football stadium, it’s $50 to $100. So it varies from basically $1,000 for your

⏹️ ▶️ John best seat to $50 for your worst, and they cover every price range in between. And that is, again, not

⏹️ ▶️ John the scalper price. That is the price that you pay if you’re lucky

⏹️ ▶️ John enough to get a ticket at the actual retail price.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I am so happy to be a Fish fan right now.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey That is utterly bananas.

⏹️ ▶️ John Yeah, Fish has a few more shows and is slightly less popular than TeleSwap.

⏹️ ▶️ John A little,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco maybe.

Follow-up: 2FA phone-swap

⏹️ ▶️ Casey All right, let’s do some follow up. Tell me about what you, you made many mistakes

⏹️ ▶️ Casey with your, with your phone transition. We got some feedback about it.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I am a little annoyed at myself that I didn’t yell one password repeatedly while you were telling the story

⏹️ ▶️ Casey because we had your

⏹️ ▶️ Casey, John don’t

⏹️ ▶️ Casey worry, plenty of other people did.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey, John Okay, good.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey But there are other approaches you could have taken with regard to moving your two fa stuff from one phone to the

⏹️ ▶️ Casey other. Can you tell me about this?

⏹️ ▶️ John Well, speaking of one password, though, I did mention on the show, I thought every time I get a list, we have elected Marco edit this out. This This is the

⏹️ ▶️ John thought I

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco always have when the

⏹️ ▶️ John feedback starts coming in. I’m like, did Marco edit this out? And the answer is almost always, no, he didn’t edit it out. People just haven’t gotten

⏹️ ▶️ John to that part in the show yet.

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco But that

⏹️ ▶️ John almost is how I keep you on your toes. Or they just didn’t hear me when I said it. But

⏹️ ▶️ John I do have the two-factor stuff on more than one device. The reason I didn’t want

⏹️ ▶️ John to just like, why didn’t you just take the phone, bring it home and blah, blah, blah. Well, there’s two things to that. One is

⏹️ ▶️ John I did want to do the device-to-device transfer because based on my last experience, I have learned that that is the best way to do

⏹️ ▶️ John it and I don’t wanna have to sign into everything. So restoring from an iCloud backup is not as good, it seems

⏹️ ▶️ John like, as device-to-device transfer. So I still have to do the device-to-device transfer. But secondly, yeah, I’ve got it on another device,

⏹️ ▶️ John but the whole point of redundancy is not to, two is one, one is none. If I only have it on

⏹️ ▶️ John one other device, I don’t want to also have that device be screwed up.

⏹️ ▶️ John Like I don’t wanna risk it. Like say I hit the wrong button when I’m trying to do the export or whatever and I delete it instead of exporting

⏹️ ▶️ John it, now I’ve just destroyed my one and only backup that stuff. So that’s why, you know, and yes, lots of

⏹️ ▶️ John things sink. I cloud key chain sinks, one password sinks, all these things, you know, there’s tons and tons of two factor apps.

⏹️ ▶️ John I probably will eventually get everything into iCloud key chain. Cause that’s kind of where I’m going

⏹️ ▶️ John with this now that it sinks and now that it supports two factor stuff, I just haven’t gotten around to it. So anyway,

⏹️ ▶️ John setting that aside, uh, you know, what if you just don’t want to do this whole thing of like sitting in the Apple store for hours,

⏹️ ▶️ John there are other options. And I could have pursued these, uh, which involved not going to an Apple store and just doing

⏹️ ▶️ John it on the telephone. I mostly went to the Apple store because I wanted to talk to a human and And

⏹️ ▶️ John I needed to see another iPhone 14 Pro to say to convince myself Is there something wrong with my camera

⏹️ ▶️ John or is it just me being weird and picky and that’s why I needed to get hands-on a ostensibly working 14

⏹️ ▶️ John Pro to compare and also to talk to the person in the Apple store who sees these phones all day and say Does this look

⏹️ ▶️ John like it’s broken to you or does it just look like that’s what they’re all like And that’s not the type of thing I can go over to do

⏹️ ▶️ John over the phone with somebody I could have convinced the person over the phone to say look I just think the camera’s bad You need to send

⏹️ ▶️ John me a replacement But anyway, the reason the phone comes up is if you do it over the phone You can get

⏹️ ▶️ John them to overnight you a device and then you can do the data transfer at your leisure in your house and then

⏹️ ▶️ John send It back and I believe they just charge your credit card or authorize your credit card for the purchase So if you don’t send it back you’re

⏹️ ▶️ John out the money Particles on Twitter said that if you get Apple care plus with theft and loss protection

⏹️ ▶️ John you get the Express replacement I think they probably still Authorize your credit card. I’m not

⏹️ ▶️ John sure if Express replacement is only for if you have theft and loss I’m pretty sure you can get them to

⏹️ ▶️ John cross ship you something if you are convincing enough over the telephone What I am kind of disappointed in is when I was complaining

⏹️ ▶️ John about that I had to spend three hours in the Apple Store the Apple Store employee never said Oh well if you don’t want

⏹️ ▶️ John to do that now that we’ve gone through all the whole rigmarole and I’ve tested your phone and brought it into The back and we tried now that we did

⏹️ ▶️ John all that You don’t have to get it replaced here You can just go home and call them on the phone and that’s probably what

⏹️ ▶️ John I should have done They didn’t say that to me. I don’t have theft and loss protection. So maybe that’s why they

⏹️ ▶️ John didn’t say that to me. But either way, next time I do it, I have many other options. I can,

⏹️ ▶️ John by that point, have moved all my two-factor stuff to something that syncs, you know, or,

⏹️ ▶️ John you know, it depends on what the problem is. If I don’t have a camera issue that I need to see in person, I can just do it all over the phone and have them cross-ship

⏹️ ▶️ John me something. Anyway, so just FYI, if you don’t want to spend three hours in the Apple Store

⏹️ ▶️ John listening to people tell Apple Store employees about their computer problems, consider

⏹️ ▶️ John doing it over the phone.

Watch-face automation

⏹️ ▶️ Casey And then we could even set up a special Apple Watch face when

⏹️ ▶️ Casey you’re in the Apple store. Do you want to tell me about that?

⏹️ ▶️ John I don’t have an Apple. I do have an Apple Watch. I wonder if it’s so dead that it won’t boot anymore. I should take it out and

⏹️ ▶️ John try it. My Siri Zero, my awesome looking Siri Zero still lurking in my drawer. Anyway, Alex Siri

⏹️ ▶️ John wrote in to tell us, I enjoyed the episode with the PSA about customizing complications on Apple Watch faces and I wanted

⏹️ ▶️ John to share one more cool thing with watch faces. You can change them with personal automations in the shortcuts app. Every

⏹️ ▶️ John Friday at 5 p.m. my watch automatically switches to the weekend face, and every Sunday at 9 p.m. it switches to the weekday

⏹️ ▶️ John face. These both run without intervention and without any extraneous notifications. And what’s especially cool is

⏹️ ▶️ John that any automation that you can trigger in Shortcuts can be used. So an event like arriving at a location

⏹️ ▶️ John or connecting to a specific Bluetooth device can cause a change to your watch face. It might be something

⏹️ ▶️ John Marco could use to switch over to sand driving watch face when he gets in the car or just when he arrives at the beach. That

⏹️ ▶️ John is cool. shortcuts one of the great powerful features of it is that shortcuts can do things

⏹️ ▶️ John you don’t have to trigger them like they can do things based on environmental factors that they are aware of and

⏹️ ▶️ John having your watch face kind of automatically change based on your location or time of day or day of the week

⏹️ ▶️ John is kind of a cool thing if you do have multiple watch faces and you don’t want to bother swiping between them manually.

YouTube HDR on Apple TV

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Excellent. Matt Friedman writes with regard to why bother with the new Apple

⏹️ ▶️ Casey TV. If anybody still has a first-gen Apple TV 4K, a second or third-gen model will allow

⏹️ ▶️ Casey them to watch HDR on YouTube without having to swap back to the TV’s native YouTube app, which may or may

⏹️ ▶️ Casey not support it depending on the age of your TV, which is pretty cool.

⏹️ ▶️ John I didn’t even realize that. I had totally forgotten that there was a second or third-gen Apple TV 4K. We were talking

⏹️ ▶️ John on Twitter about this and I was like, I’m pretty sure I get HDR in YouTube app, like that’s what I was

⏹️ ▶️ John using to demo like when I got my new TV or whatever, you know, like I didn’t need the brand new Apple TV

⏹️ ▶️ John 4K, like the smaller one that we were just talking about last show, I didn’t need that to watch HDR. So I was like,

⏹️ ▶️ John but you didn’t have the second gen model, you had the second gen, not the first gen. I’m like, I don’t know.

⏹️ ▶️ John Yeah, there was apparently a first gen Apple TV 4K and for whatever reason, it didn’t get HDR

⏹️ ▶️ John in YouTube. That’s what the problem with these product lines, I mean, not that I endorse the idea of having

⏹️ ▶️ John something parentheses to differentiate them but the generation names are kind of worse than the year number because

⏹️ ▶️ John I had totally forgotten about that one so if you’re wondering hey I already have an Apple TV 4k why the heck would I want

⏹️ ▶️ John this new one that’s slightly smaller if you have a first-gen Apple TV 4k and you care at all about HDR on the YouTube

⏹️ ▶️ John app, get one of the new ones. Good

⏹️ ▶️ Casey talk.

Follow-up: Nested Smart Albums

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Jacob writes, with regard to using multiple smart albums to work around the lack of

⏹️ ▶️ Casey nested Boolean logic in Mac OS’s photos smart albums, unfortunately photos doesn’t allow

⏹️ ▶️ Casey you to reference another smart album in a smart album’s conditions. Whoopsie-dopsies.

⏹️ ▶️ John I couldn’t believe that. I would have to go double check it and see if it was true. It’s like, how, why? Like, things are

⏹️ ▶️ John so weird and limited. Like, that has to be possible. Like, that’s the awkward workaround we talked about, but no, he’s right.

⏹️ ▶️ John It’s not possible. It’ll let you reference, I think it’ll let you reference an album, but not a smart album. Smart albums are

⏹️ ▶️ John so weird. like iOS has no idea that they exist and they’re just so powerful and cool. I wish they would like

⏹️ ▶️ John get first class treatment across all of Apple’s platforms.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey If only.

U2 follow-up (really)

⏹️ ▶️ Casey This is a U2 topic. Would you like to cover this actually?

⏹️ ▶️ John Sure. Aram wrote in to say, maybe the U2 album removal page fell away because Apple added the

⏹️ ▶️ John ability to hide purchases. We’ll put a link in the show notes to a support article that lets you like just basically pick

⏹️ ▶️ John anything in your library, your iTunes library and just hide it. Removing

⏹️ ▶️ John from an account requires contact to support, but this is a non-destructive solution that is enough for almost everybody. So if you listen to

⏹️ ▶️ John the last show and you’re like, oh no, I’ve got the U2 album and the delete page is gone. What do I do? I don’t want to call support. you can just hide

⏹️ ▶️ John it and then forget that it exists.

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Hardcore workaholism

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Uh, Elon Musk has decided to fire basically any Twitter employee that criticizes

⏹️ ▶️ Casey him because he is the thinnest skinned human that has ever lived.

⏹️ ▶️ John It was kind of another, you know, another day, I forget which day it was, another day on Twitter watching, uh, you know, the, the

⏹️ ▶️ John Elon Musk drama and he was saying stupid things, uh, you know, spouting

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco off the way… Like

⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey every day. Yeah. Spouting

⏹️ ▶️ John off the way you would expect, like, a teenager who has just learned to program would spout off about

⏹️ ▶️ John some big

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco company, right? Only

⏹️ ▶️ John he owns the company, but he’s like, these dummies, they’re doing this. The reason this is slow is because

⏹️ ▶️ John of X, Y, Z. And then one of the engineers who works on the thing that he was talking about said, actually, that’s not true. Here’s the actual

⏹️ ▶️ John situation and laid out in a series of I thought very polite and concise, technically accurate tweets from a developer,

⏹️ ▶️ John who knows. Here’s the actual situation. And then Elon Musk said later that he fired that

⏹️ ▶️ John guy and he did, because he didn’t like being, and then all of the Elon fanboys were like, That’s what

⏹️ ▶️ John happens if you publicly contradict the boss. You should say that stuff in private.

⏹️ ▶️ John Like, don’t contradict the CEO of your company on Twitter and just publicly embarrass him. Well,

⏹️ ▶️ John A, if he’s doing an embarrassing thing, he’s really just embarrassing himself. And B, I would hope that

⏹️ ▶️ John publicly correcting the CEO of your company is not an immediately fireable offense, but apparently on Twitter it is, right?

⏹️ ▶️ John And so then the obvious follow-up to that is people who are saying mean things about

⏹️ ▶️ John Elon Musk on Twitter’s internal slack also fired because

⏹️ ▶️ John he asked a bunch of people to go through all the messages on the internal slack

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco and

⏹️ ▶️ John find all the people who said mean things about them and fire them. And so they got an email at 130 a.m. telling

⏹️ ▶️ John them that they were they were no longer employed by Twitter.

⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey So, yeah, he’s

⏹️ ▶️ John a big jerk and a dummy head. And he does hilariously like sort of comic

⏹️ ▶️ John book comic book villain, comic book petulant villain like Dr. Evil.

⏹️ ▶️ John I don’t even know. It just, it really boggles my

⏹️ ▶️ John mind that people can still find something to not admire in just like

⏹️ ▶️ John a petulant, thin-skinned billionaire bully. But here he is doing what he does. I’m starting

⏹️ ▶️ John to try

⏹️ ▶️ Marco to figure out what has made his other companies successful?

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Delegation,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey baby, that’s what.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Does he, though? It seems like he has made a lot

⏹️ ▶️ Marco of good bets in what to invest in and what direction

⏹️ ▶️ Marco to go in. He wasn’t the original founder of Tesla, but he got in super early,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco kind of took it over, probably

⏹️ ▶️ John kicked out the actual founders.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah, I don’t know the details, but basically, so he got in there early, and I

⏹️ ▶️ Marco think Tesla, I think he really benefited that company.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco his direction and his boldness in a lot of ways, I think really helped Tesla

⏹️ ▶️ Marco product wise.

⏹️ ▶️ John And his ability to get them enough money so they didn’t go out of business. I think that is the key thing that he brought

⏹️ ▶️ John to the table because without him scrambling for money or, you know, again, another person who was equally

⏹️ ▶️ John good at scrambling for money, because that is a skill that a lot of people have finding a way to keep the company afloat

⏹️ ▶️ John by any means necessary, including lying, which he’s in trouble for with the

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco SEC.

⏹️ ▶️ John But whatever, he did what it took to make sure Tesla did not go out of business. Yeah, but

⏹️ ▶️ Marco it seems, it just seems like the things that succeed are

⏹️ ▶️ Marco in spite of him, not because of him. And that for people in these companies to produce

⏹️ ▶️ Marco good work, they’re almost just kind of using him as like the bank and

⏹️ ▶️ Marco like, you know, the guy who gets the money from investors slash lying to the stock market.

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco And they also

⏹️ ▶️ John have to learn how to navigate him. They also have to like the people, the that are able to succeed

⏹️ ▶️ John with him running them have are filled with people who have learned how to get

⏹️ ▶️ John the job done within the parameters laid out by him. What those parameters might be,

⏹️ ▶️ John and I’m sure they change from you know, company to company right now the parameters are if you say anything mean about me, I fire you. So if

⏹️ ▶️ John you were if you were inside Twitter, and you’re like, I really want Twitter to succeed, how do I make that happen? You’d have

⏹️ ▶️ John to learn to navigate the environment in which if you ever say anything mean or contradictory to your boss, even when when your boss

⏹️ ▶️ John is totally wrong, you’re gonna get fired. So figure out how to navigate that. And then figure out,

⏹️ ▶️ John you know, how to succeed despite that. I don’t think he’s necessarily always been like that.

⏹️ ▶️ John But right now at Twitter, that’s what he’s like. So that’s those are the parameters and those parameters suck.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco What gave me hope initially is when you look at the list of his other companies, as I said a

⏹️ ▶️ Marco few episodes ago, like, he tries to solve hard problems, and running running

⏹️ ▶️ Marco a giant social network, especially one that doesn’t print money and needs a lot of help in that department,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco but just running a giant social network is a hugely hard problem. And I

⏹️ ▶️ Marco think the difference here is that the really hard problems in his other

⏹️ ▶️ Marco companies were mostly engineering problems or-

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, John Or

⏹️ ▶️ Marco financial problems. Yeah, like problems getting difficult things to market, things

⏹️ ▶️ Marco that are difficult to make, getting them to market and keeping the lights on and keeping the money coming

⏹️ ▶️ Marco in. Those are hard problems. Running a social network that’s already established

⏹️ ▶️ Marco is not mostly an engineering problem, it’s mostly a people problem.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco And he is just the worst with people. He is horrendously bad, and every week, every

⏹️ ▶️ Marco day, every hour, he finds new ways to be horrendously bad with dealing with people, both his own

⏹️ ▶️ Marco people and the public. And I just, I don’t, I’m having a really hard time

⏹️ ▶️ Marco seeing how this ends well. because there is no engineering product to

⏹️ ▶️ Marco make here that is the final product. There is no like, all right, we succeeded in building

⏹️ ▶️ Marco the rocket hover car or whatever, like there is no end here like that the way there is with this other companies.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco This is just something very difficult. This, this is like running a messy political

⏹️ ▶️ Marco human set of human problems of humans. And he is, he’s even worse than Google

⏹️ ▶️ Marco at dealing with like human problems. It’s like he is so like disgustingly

⏹️ ▶️ Marco bad at dealing with people. And you know, this latest thing, you know, with the the email of like,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco you know, better be prepared to work 24 seven or get fired. Like God, I’m

⏹️ ▶️ Marco so mad about that.

⏹️ ▶️ John Yep. So we’ll put links in the show. So both these verses in New York Times article about the firing people who criticized them. The next is

⏹️ ▶️ John a Washington Post article. The headline is Musk issues ultimatum to staff commit to quote unquote

⏹️ ▶️ John hardcore Twitter or take severance. Here’s the summary. Employees were told that they had to sign a pledge to stay

⏹️ ▶️ John on with the company. Quote, this is from the email, if you’re sure that you want to be part of the new Twitter,

⏹️ ▶️ John please click yes on the link below. Anyone who did not sign the pledge by 5 p.m. Eastern time Thursday

⏹️ ▶️ John will receive three months severance pay, the message said. In the midnight email, which was obtained by Washington Post, Musk said, we will

⏹️ ▶️ John need to be extremely hardcore. Going forward, this will mean working, this is a quote, this will mean working long hours

⏹️ ▶️ John at high intensity, he said, only exceptional performance will constitute a passing grade. The pledge

⏹️ ▶️ John email paired with a new policy mandating a return to the office is expected to lead to even more attrition at the company whose staff Musk

⏹️ ▶️ John had already reduced by half, right? So he’s basically saying, he’s sort of getting the company

⏹️ ▶️ John ready to say, look, it’s gonna be hard, you’re gonna have to work long hours and sign this pledge

⏹️ ▶️ John saying if you’re up for that and if you’re not up for that, that’s great, you get three months severance, see you later. Because

⏹️ ▶️ John to your point earlier, Margo, like this not being a technical problem, he wants it to be a technical

⏹️ ▶️ John problem and he has created, not created, but like he has identified a technical challenge

⏹️ ▶️ John in his mind, I think technical challenges like this company it’s, you know, is inefficient. Like their infrastructure, though

⏹️ ▶️ John it may work fine and there’s no more fail whales, it’s, you know, it could be done better. Smarter people could make this better.

⏹️ ▶️ John We can cut our infrastructure costs, save a lot of money. Like it’s bloated and overrun. There’s a lot of stuff we probably

⏹️ ▶️ John don’t need and the stuff we do need could be more efficient, right? He’s decided, because I think that’s what appeals to

⏹️ ▶️ John him, that that is the technical challenge in front of them. And what he wants is a crack

⏹️ ▶️ John team of people who are willing to sacrifice their own lives, family,

⏹️ ▶️ John mental and physical health, who will never contradict him or say anything mean

⏹️ ▶️ John to him or about him, even when he’s entirely wrong, to destroy themselves to help him achieve

⏹️ ▶️ John that goal. And as you pointed out, so all right, so you snap your fingers and you achieve that goal. Have you

⏹️ ▶️ John solved any problem for Twitter? Like, yeah, you probably saved a little bit of money in infrastructure. Hey,

⏹️ ▶️ John let’s say you can cut their infrastructure costs in half. Do you have you found a way to make enough money to service your debt

⏹️ ▶️ John now that all the advertisers are gone because of the other stupid things that you did? Probably not, right. So I don’t know why

⏹️ ▶️ John he’s identified that as a problem that is super important to tackle. And I think if you are going to tackle that,

⏹️ ▶️ John trying to tell the entire company that you have, you know, you have until tomorrow

⏹️ ▶️ John at 5pm to sign this pledge saying you will destroy yourself for me, otherwise you’re fired.

⏹️ ▶️ John I mean, it seems like that’s not the the best way to staff up for, you know, tackling

⏹️ ▶️ John this problem. And the only thing I can say is like, maybe if you had a startup and you’re like, look, I’m gonna be the worst startup

⏹️ ▶️ John CEO ever. I’m gonna destroy everybody who works for me. They’re all gonna burn out. But the few that don’t

⏹️ ▶️ John will get a big payday from an IPO. And by the way, we don’t have a product yet, but this crack team is gonna build it. But that’s not the

⏹️ ▶️ John situation on Trigger. They already got the product. They’ve already got a big company with a product. They don’t have to build it. And

⏹️ ▶️ John it’s almost like he wants to destroy it so it becomes nothing, and then build it back up from zero his crack

⏹️ ▶️ John team of burned out sycophants. And I mean, that’s one way to go about it,

⏹️ ▶️ John but it’s just totally like, you know, destructive to value destructive to people’s

⏹️ ▶️ John lives. And this is the point that Twitter already exists. Like you don’t have to build it, it’s

⏹️ ▶️ John already there. You just need to learn how to run it in such a way that it makes money and is better

⏹️ ▶️ John in whatever way you decide is better.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco You’re right. Like he’s so over focused on the technical side and the overhead

⏹️ ▶️ Marco side and even if he’s correct, you know, we they yeah, they were overstaffed

⏹️ ▶️ Marco before maybe not as much as he thinks they were, but they were overstaffed before and we

⏹️ ▶️ Marco have heard stories that their technical stack was kind of a mess. However, that’s

⏹️ ▶️ Marco not the hard part about running Twitter. The hard part about running Twitter is all the people issues,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco all the politics issues, all these like the abuse issues

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, John and

⏹️ ▶️ John policies, incentives and business models. Those are the actual hard parts, but he’s not interested in those. He’s interested in,

⏹️ ▶️ John I want to write code, because that, I don’t know, it seems more fun.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Or at least it’s, he’s going in there, look, every 20 year old, every

⏹️ ▶️ Marco like smart 20 year old programmer has left college where they were

⏹️ ▶️ Marco the smart 20 year old hotshot, and they go get a job, and they look at everything around them, and they’re

⏹️ ▶️ Marco like, that’s stupid, why is it done that way? We should just X, right?

⏹️ ▶️ Marco And it’s the dumb 20 year old thing to do. all been there. Most of us, myself included, have been that

⏹️ ▶️ Marco guy. I like you, what you look at something from from an ignorant,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco inexperienced point of view, and you think this is a much simpler problem than the these other

⏹️ ▶️ Marco idiots seem to make it out to be. I’m going to waltz in there and make a simple fix. And then you waltz in

⏹️ ▶️ Marco there and you realize, oh God, this is way more complicated than I thought it was, or it was done this way

⏹️ ▶️ Marco for a reason and you get your butt kicked.

⏹️ ▶️ John What if you didn’t have to ever realize that? Because is what you could do is simply fire everyone who contradicted you.

⏹️ ▶️ John Like, imagine if the 20-year-old comes into the company, says that, and instead of learning a hard lesson by

⏹️ ▶️ John trying to rewrite something and messing up production and getting a stern talking to and blah, blah, blah, if

⏹️ ▶️ John instead they came in and said that, the people who knew better corrected him, and then the 20-year-old

⏹️ ▶️ John fired them. Right, that’s the situation we’re in. It’s like, that’s not

⏹️ ▶️ John a path to success.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Again, I want Twitter to succeed. I decreasingly

⏹️ ▶️ Marco want him to succeed. I think he’s such a horrible person

⏹️ ▶️ Marco right now. Like the

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, John way he- He did say he’s

⏹️ ▶️ John gonna get someone else to be CEO, which is, I think maybe he’s getting tired of people yelling at him. So like someone else can run the company

⏹️ ▶️ John and he can go back to whatever he normally does.

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco You know,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco all I can say is like, keep the heat up everyone. Like keep telling him how much of a piece

⏹️ ▶️ Marco of crap he is. Unless you’re a Twitter employee, in which case you’re gonna get fired. And the downside,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I mean, God, oh God, my opinion of him is dropping so quickly.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Like I’ve decided I’m selling my Tesla, I don’t want it anymore, I don’t want him anymore. I’m still going to be on Twitter

⏹️ ▶️ Marco because I want Twitter to succeed, but God, I wish it wasn’t his. And I outlined

⏹️ ▶️ Marco last week why I want Twitter to succeed, and we’ll get to a little bit more of that later, but

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I want everything bad to happen to him. I want him to be constantly trolled.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I want him to not have any peace in his life, because people

⏹️ ▶️ Marco are constantly telling him how much of an a** and an idiot he is. That’s what I want for him, because what he does to

⏹️ ▶️ Marco people. Here’s the thing, this email he sent, I mean this angers me on so many levels, this ultimatum

⏹️ ▶️ Marco that you have to become, you know, work your butt off extra hours forever or leave.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco That is such like Silicon Valley toxic

⏹️ ▶️ Marco workaholism culture and I take such deep offense to that in our industry.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco It’s a huge problem in our industry and I’ve talked about it before. I am so strongly against

⏹️ ▶️ Marco that workaholism culture because it has so many negative effects. Because the thing is like not

⏹️ ▶️ Marco everyone is some 20 year old hodgehog who wants to sleep at the office and eat pizza like you know in Silicon

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Valley like the TV show. Not everyone is like that, and not everyone can do that. And

⏹️ ▶️ Marco when you create a workplace where that’s the only acceptable culture,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco not only does it burn out those people who are willing to do that, but it excludes

⏹️ ▶️ Marco tons of people who can’t or won’t work that way. And then it creates other

⏹️ ▶️ Marco things, like for instance, one of the problems we now have is that as the tech industry is laying off tons

⏹️ ▶️ Marco of people, we have to deal with H-1B holders where this is the type of visa for anyone who

⏹️ ▶️ Marco doesn’t know in the US we offer visas for people who are not you know

⏹️ ▶️ Marco US citizens to come here and work using this work visa and you know I don’t

⏹️ ▶️ Marco know the details forgive me but like you know the company who you’re working for kind of sponsors it in some way so

⏹️ ▶️ Marco a lot of people who are gonna stay who are gonna keep working for this jerk are

⏹️ ▶️ Marco h1b visa holders who if they decide not to accept his terms they have to leave the

⏹️ ▶️ Marco country. And that’s a serious thing. And so there’s all

⏹️ ▶️ Marco these little knock-on effects that, you know, when you first think about what he’s doing, you might think,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco oh well, he just wants really good workers and only the most dedicated people will

⏹️ ▶️ Marco stay. Well, it’s not that simple. You know, you’re gonna have all these people who really

⏹️ ▶️ Marco can’t and don’t want to work that way, but are kind of forced to for the reasons like this, and it

⏹️ ▶️ Marco excludes tons of people who can’t work that way. What if you have a kid? You shouldn’t be at

⏹️ ▶️ Marco the office working long nights every night if you have a kid. What if you have to take care of somebody at home?

⏹️ ▶️ Marco There’s so many groups of people or situations

⏹️ ▶️ Marco that you either exclude or abuse with these simplistic views of the world that, oh,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco you better work here because you want to be hardcore. Things are not that simple. Things have never been that simple.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco And if he would just take his head out of his ass for two seconds and look around, he might have a small chance of

⏹️ ▶️ Marco seeing that. But unfortunately, that’s never going to happen. COREY

⏹️ ▶️ Casey And that’s the thing that bothers me. I’m glad you brought that up. All the Elon

⏹️ ▶️ Casey fans that I have heard shouting into the ether seem to say things like,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey oh, it’s a meritocracy, you know, the best people will be there and they won’t mind, blah, blah, blah. What if the best

⏹️ ▶️ Casey person is the person who can only give eight hours a day to their job? Why does that, why

⏹️ ▶️ Casey is that bad? Or what if the best

⏹️ ▶️ Casey person doesn’t live in San Francisco? Like, why is that bad?

⏹️ ▶️ Casey It’s so backwards and I don’t know. It’s, it’s, it’s, it’s when he,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey when he’s makes these proclamations, like, okay, boomer, sure. He’s only like five or two, he’s like 10 years older than me, but like five

⏹️ ▶️ Casey years older than John, I think. But it’s, it’s such a like boomer mentality of.

⏹️ ▶️ John No, the boomers only work nine to five. Like,

⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey that’s true. Actually, no, that’s fair. That’s fair.

⏹️ ▶️ John The premise that people accept, you can even see it in the chat room, somebody said that this workaholism culture

⏹️ ▶️ John is the reason why Silicon Valley became successful, right? No, it’s not. And why the employees make so much money.

⏹️ ▶️ John Also not. Yeah. So the premise is that if you do

⏹️ ▶️ John live in the office and spend all your life there or whatever, that you will somehow do better work than

⏹️ ▶️ John if you didn’t do that. And that’s absolutely not true. Every time they’ve ever studied this, I mean, you should know this just

⏹️ ▶️ John as a programmer, Should I pull an all-nighter or should I go to sleep and work on this problem again in the morning? Oh, if I sleep, I’m

⏹️ ▶️ John losing eight hours of working time. Therefore I should pull an all-nighter. Your efficiency and quality

⏹️ ▶️ John of programming at 3 a.m. are detrimental to your productivity.

⏹️ ▶️ John You should go to sleep. Making people burn themselves out does not produce

⏹️ ▶️ John better work than letting them be rested. That’s what the smart companies know. And the companies that

⏹️ ▶️ John have been successful, like the 8088 was not made by people who were we’re pulling all-nighters for years at a time,

⏹️ ▶️ John right? Crunch in the game industry. Like, does that make better games? No, it makes everything

⏹️ ▶️ John worse and it destroys lives. And even gaming companies are learning, if we wanna do better, we should try to avoid

⏹️ ▶️ John that, right? It feels like

⏹️ ▶️ John you’re doing, like I’m doing the hard work and you have to do this, especially if you’re gonna be in a startup. Nevermind, Twitter

⏹️ ▶️ John is not a startup. Anyway, this is what you just have to do for that big payday. You just gotta give your all.

⏹️ ▶️ John It’s like your fundamental assumption that working harder and longer hours produces

⏹️ ▶️ John better work is what you need to reexamine. And once you’ve reexamined that, it’s much easier. Setting aside the humanity

⏹️ ▶️ John of don’t be cruel to people, especially dumb 20 year olds who have no life experience, oh,

⏹️ ▶️ John they can do it because they don’t have a family. They have health and they should have lives. It’s cruel to

⏹️ ▶️ John essentially, not trick them, but coerce them into working harder than they

⏹️ ▶️ John should in a way that they’ll regret. say I spent my I spent my 20s burning myself out at this company

⏹️ ▶️ John and I saw no benefit from it, right? And I just wasted my life, right? And they don’t know that now, but because they don’t have

⏹️ ▶️ John kids and can do it, and they think they will convince themselves that they’re doing better work by lurking longer hours.

⏹️ ▶️ John No. And the really the bad thing about it, I don’t know a lot about Twitter culture, but it seems like from all the people bailing

⏹️ ▶️ John on Twitter, that their culture was, let’s say, I mean, certainly better than this

⏹️ ▶️ John and possibly better than average in terms of work life balance and the culture of being able

⏹️ ▶️ John to say things on internal slacks that are critical of leadership. I mean, people are bragging about that, like, like,

⏹️ ▶️ John it’s a big deal. But can you I can’t even imagine working at a company where you’re where if you say something

⏹️ ▶️ John against leadership and an internal channel or an even internal meeting or to the face of

⏹️ ▶️ John like a VP in a meeting, like, that’s gonna be a fireable offense, like you can offend people and be rude and you

⏹️ ▶️ John know, get you know, politically get in trouble inside a company, but a company that will

⏹️ ▶️ John not allowed to send from within the company and the privacy of that company is not a healthy company.

⏹️ ▶️ John And so these Twitter employees were accustomed to the environment where they weren’t told that you need

⏹️ ▶️ John to work 20 hours a day, where there was an acknowledgement that you have a life where there was an acknowledgement that you

⏹️ ▶️ John will do better work for the company if you are well rested and have stability in

⏹️ ▶️ John the rest of your life. And there was an acknowledgement within the company that it’s okay to criticize the company

⏹️ ▶️ John because that’s a healthy thing. And that’s how we get better. And And then overnight, overnight, all that changes

⏹️ ▶️ John and people quit on their own. People get fired, people get laid off. I’m wondering how many people

⏹️ ▶️ John will be left and it’s the people who are left are going to be the people who are foolishly willing enough to destroy their

⏹️ ▶️ John lives for the amusement, essentially not benefit because they need anything for the amusement of this billionaire

⏹️ ▶️ John and the people who are trapped to have h1 b visas, or can’t get another job quickly or really need

⏹️ ▶️ John this job right now because they’re in financial straits where they need the health care. There are so many reasons in our, you

⏹️ ▶️ John know, stupid system, healthcare being tied to your job, one of the big ones, something that people who are staying in another country might not think about.

⏹️ ▶️ John When you leave your job, you lose your healthcare, unless you’re willing to pay a lot of money to continue

⏹️ ▶️ John getting it for some amount of time. It’s messed up. Anyway, so I feel like the only people left will be the

⏹️ ▶️ John true believers who are going to destroy themselves for him and the people who are trapped. And those are not the best people.

⏹️ ▶️ John And then if you drive all those people to work ridiculous hours, you’re going to get poor work out of those

⏹️ ▶️ John remaining people. It’s just not a good situation. Like I said last week, if you got

⏹️ ▶️ John enough money, you can just play that game out, burn the thing to the ground and start building up from the bottom purely

⏹️ ▶️ John with, you know, Elon fans who are willing to destroy themselves for him. I don’t think that’s a healthy company

⏹️ ▶️ John culture either, but it is a path that he can take as long as he’s willing to continue to put billions and billions of dollars

⏹️ ▶️ John into this to pay off the debt and continue to hopefully keep the service running. He’s got enough runway

⏹️ ▶️ John to, you know, continue this farce for as long as he wants.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco And it isn’t just about like, you know, he’s going to ruin these people or anything.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco In these kind of working conditions, the best people won’t even work for you.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco The best people usually are not the 20-year-olds. It’s good to have those

⏹️ ▶️ Marco 20-year-olds in the company because they do provide a lot of energy, a lot of grunt work,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco they do have good ideas that the older people might not think of, and a little bit of gumption in certain ways that older

⏹️ ▶️ Marco people tend to fade off on. But the older people in the company, and I mean, this is

⏹️ ▶️ Marco still Silicon Valley, the term older means people much younger than me.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I’m talking people who are like 30. It’s really terrible. We have an

⏹️ ▶️ Marco awful ageism problem in our industry. People who are older who might have a family

⏹️ ▶️ Marco and they are refusing to work 16-hour days for this jerk,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco they are better usually. The experience they have usually

⏹️ ▶️ Marco makes them more efficient workers, and they know their value and they know

⏹️ ▶️ Marco that they can do great work, benefiting the company massively, even if they’re only there

⏹️ ▶️ Marco eight hours a day. And if your company culture or explicit rules

⏹️ ▶️ Marco makes it so that those kind of people either can’t or won’t work for you, then you’re

⏹️ ▶️ Marco only ever going to get those, either the 20-year-old the hot shots

⏹️ ▶️ Marco or the people who are too stuck and aren’t able to leave. And you’re going to be missing out on

⏹️ ▶️ Marco so much of the best talent. So it isn’t just like, you know, it isn’t, it isn’t just

⏹️ ▶️ Marco that, that you’re going to be, you know, being mean to the people you have. It’s that you literally won’t

⏹️ ▶️ Marco even be able to get the best people because, and even if he’s on everything right up to this point, which of course he,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco he, so, so much hasn’t, but the best people won’t even, won’t even work for you. And so you

⏹️ ▶️ Marco have to then hire more of those hot shot 20 year olds, and you still won’t get

⏹️ ▶️ Marco the quality and efficiency of work that you get from from, you know, more experienced people being present in the

⏹️ ▶️ Marco ranks. And so it ends up being even less efficient, and you have to work people even harder

⏹️ ▶️ Marco because you’re working less efficiently or doing things that are less wise. And it’s just, it’s such a huge mess,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco and it just all, it all comes down to wow, for a guy who’s run so

⏹️ ▶️ Marco many companies, he really seems terrible at running companies.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Right, that’s the thing. We got to move on. Some of my real-time follow-up from HeyUDVD in the chat,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey with regard to the Apple TV 4K. First gen, A10X old Siri remote that everyone hated.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Second gen, A12 new remote. Third gen, A15 USB-C

⏹️ ▶️ Casey remote. That’s your three generations.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco However, if you bought a new remote for an older Apple TV…

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, John Which

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, John did.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Which every… Yeah, I did too. Then it’s autumn though.

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Follow-up: HomeKit usefulness

⏹️ ▶️ Marco All

⏹️ ▶️ Casey right, with regard to

⏹️ ▶️ Casey the utility of HomeKit, this is from Todd. Todd writes, I’m a high-level quadriplegic,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey which means I have no use of my arms or legs. I have been doing home automation for 30 years. HomeKit has been a

⏹️ ▶️ Casey blessing. It’s fairly simple to set up and it is very reliable. I’m not so sure if that’s true, but

⏹️ ▶️ Casey hey, if Todd thinks it’s reliable, I’m good with that. Not so much for consumer-level home automation that came before

⏹️ ▶️ Casey it. I have iDevice switches all over the place. It’s so enabling to be able to tell Siri to turn lights on and off. I

⏹️ ▶️ Casey have outside lights automated to come on and turn off. It’s great. For me, there’s a lot of return on investment with HomeKit automation.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I think that’s a really good call. And it’s not just people without use of their arms and legs. I can think of many,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey many, many, many different kinds of people that being able to shout into the ether and

⏹️ ▶️ Casey have a response could be really powerful. So I thought that was a good point from Todd.

⏹️ ▶️ John Another advantage of when big consumer electronic companies enter an area that was previously specialized, Like we

⏹️ ▶️ John described as consumer level home automation that came before it, like when it was a smaller industry and the only people

⏹️ ▶️ John it’s like, well, most people just have light switches. But if you really need something, there’s these three companies that try to make things for people

⏹️ ▶️ John who can’t reach light switches or whatever. Right. But having a big company like Apple come in,

⏹️ ▶️ John it’s got to be just, you know, so much more money and effort put into making it better. So we may all complain

⏹️ ▶️ John about a home kit, but it’s probably because that’s only the only home automation thing we’ve ever dealt with. If we had to deal with like a

⏹️ ▶️ John cruddy home automation, you know, from the 80s or 90s or something that came before this, I’m sure that was much worse.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Indeed. I remember when I was growing up, my dad had, what was it, X10, something

⏹️ ▶️ Casey like that? I forget what it was

⏹️ ▶️ Casey, John now.

⏹️ ▶️ John Yeah, the banner ads in the web, yeah.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Yep, he had X10 all over the place, and then I put in a very, very small X10 installation in my dorm room because I was that kind of

⏹️ ▶️ Casey a dork. I think I told this story at one point in the show, but anyways, his

⏹️ ▶️ Casey X10 setup was really robust and worked reasonably

⏹️ ▶️ Casey well, much to my surprise. I think it was X10, I might have that wrong.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey, Marco But anyway. Didn’t

⏹️ ▶️ Marco they invent the pop under or the pop up? Was it them? I have no idea. Yeah,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, Casey great

⏹️ ▶️ Marco legacy guys.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey, Marco Yeah,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey well, there’s that. I don’t know, it was cool stuff. And that, he had to like have a dedicated Windows

⏹️ ▶️ Casey machine to be like the server for it. It was a mess, but it was cool that he was doing this in the mid-‘90s.

Waiting for a Mac Pro (again)

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Hey, the Mac is entering its third year of the quote, two year transition

⏹️ ▶️ Casey quote to Apple Silicon. This was pointed out by Colt of Mac, where

⏹️ ▶️ Casey we are in the beginning of the third year and we were supposed to have it all done in two years.

⏹️ ▶️ John And that’s counting generously because like they announced in June, like the first ARM Macs and they basically said,

⏹️ ▶️ John you know, like we’ll begin our two year transition when like the first one comes out at the end of the year. So

⏹️ ▶️ John here we are at the end of 2022, which is generously two years after, not

⏹️ ▶️ John the announcement of ARM Macs, but when the first one came out. So yeah, entering year three of the two year transition, still

⏹️ ▶️ John waiting for that Mac Pro.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Yeah, so with regard to that, I got, wait, well we got, but I got one of the best

⏹️ ▶️ Casey feedback emails that I’ve received in a while. And this is from Jonathan Clayton, who writes,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey because the quote unquote new Mac Pro was a topic of discussion yet again, and to validate Casey’s

⏹️ ▶️ Casey anger about discussing the topic, I did some back of the envelope math. ATP went live, as Jonathan

⏹️ ▶️ Casey wrote this, 3,564 days ago as of November 11th, 2022. For 2,641 days, or 74% of its existence,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey there’s been anticipation about whatever has come to define the new Mac Pro. For 257 days was the ATP launch

⏹️ ▶️ Casey until the 2013 Mac Pro shipped. For 1,512 days, which is two years after the 2013 Mac Pro was

⏹️ ▶️ Casey released, about the time when people

⏹️ ▶️ Casey started asking questions, until the Mac Pro 2019 shipped, and then 872 days and counting since Apple announced Apple Silicon

⏹️ ▶️ Casey transition at WWDC 2020 and the 2019 Mac Pro was doomed.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Sorry, John. So there have only been, according to Jonathan,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey 923 days in ATP’s existence of 3,564 days where

⏹️ ▶️ Casey everyone was okay with the current state of the Mac Pro. So 25% of ATP’s nearly 10 years

⏹️ ▶️ Casey that the two of you have been, well, really me too, but all three of us have been satisfied.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey And I just thought that was wonderful, delightful back the envelope math to share with everyone.

⏹️ ▶️ John So it’s interesting math, but I don’t agree with the part where it says, where these numbers

⏹️ ▶️ John indicate times when we were or weren’t satisfied with the existence of the Mac Pro. Right now, I’m

⏹️ ▶️ John perfectly satisfied with my Mac Pro. I don’t think like, oh, Apple needs to do

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco something with the Mac Pro. It shouldn’t

⏹️ ▶️ John be. The current Mac Pro is great. It’s just what I wanted. So you can’t like basically start counting as

⏹️ ▶️ John soon as they release one and say, well, now you’re immediately dissatisfied and waiting for the next one. Sometimes we were waiting

⏹️ ▶️ John for the next one, like almost the entire reign of the trash can. I was kind of like, yeah, yeah, we’re kind of dissatisfied, right?

⏹️ ▶️ John But for the entire reign of the 2019 Mac Pro, I certainly haven’t been dissatisfied. I’m not here saying,

⏹️ ▶️ John oh, I’m interested in the new Mac Pro, but I’m not dissatisfied with the state of it. I’m not saying, when is Apple gonna make a real

⏹️ ▶️ John Mac Pro? They made one, I bought it, I’ve got it, I’m happy.

⏹️ ▶️ John Thanks for all the math, but I think if you’re going to do sentiment analysis of when

⏹️ ▶️ John we’re upset about the Mac Pro, I think you would find much longer spans when we were upset, for instance, about the laptops.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey That is fair. That is fair.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey, John Yeah, that’s

⏹️ ▶️ Casey true. But the difference is that was completely justified, whereas, I don’t know if all that Mac Pro whining was,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey, John but that’s okay. Oh, it was. Just

⏹️ ▶️ John wait, when they come out with the new Mac Pro, and if it’s like another trashcan type thing where it’s not satisfactory, then we’ll enter another

⏹️ ▶️ John dark period.

⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey But we’ll see. I’m sorry. I’m

⏹️ ▶️ Casey so very excited.

Satellite Emergency SOS

⏹️ ▶️ Casey All right, so something that I’m actually genuinely excited about is the iPhone’s 14

⏹️ ▶️ Casey satellite emergency SOS is live if you live in the US, and I think only the US.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey This debuted, I think, Monday or maybe yesterday. It was sometime in the last 48 hours.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey And we’ll put a link to the Apple Newsroom article where they mentioned that France, Germany, Ireland, and the

⏹️ ▶️ Casey UK are coming next month in December. And I also thought it was interesting. They kind

⏹️ ▶️ Casey of made passing mention of this, but I don’t think they ever really discussed how or the mechanism for it.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey But in the newsroom article, they said, additionally, if users want to reassure friends or family of their whereabouts while

⏹️ ▶️ Casey traveling off the grid, they can now open the Find My app and share their location via satellite. And we’re going to talk a little bit more about

⏹️ ▶️ Casey that in a moment. Another thing that I thought was super cool, no sarcasm, is

⏹️ ▶️ Casey that you can actually do a demo on your iPhone 14. So if you have an iPhone 14, you can go into Settings,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey and then Emergency SOS is one of the top level settings, and then go down to Try Demo. And you can actually

⏹️ ▶️ Casey try out a faked, you know, oh my gosh, I’m having an emergency situation and

⏹️ ▶️ Casey it’s completely faked.

⏹️ ▶️ John Is it completely fake? So here’s two things. One, uh, the, I found out about this thing and the,

⏹️ ▶️ John my very first thought was, oh, it’s kind of a shame I don’t have an emergency because it would be cool to try that.

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco And two seconds

⏹️ ▶️ John later, I found out, Hey, Apple thought of that and they made a way because they know people want to try it. So

⏹️ ▶️ John they made a way for you to try it without actually having emergency, which I think is great. Second, how much of it is

⏹️ ▶️ John faked?

⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey because I tried it

⏹️ ▶️ John and it makes you do like, oh, you know, point towards the satellite and line up the thing or whatever and then obviously it doesn’t

⏹️ ▶️ John send the message. Right, that part is surely fake, but is the part where you’re trying to find the satellite also fake?

⏹️ ▶️ John Cause you could fool me, like just pick an arbitrary point direction and then make me move

⏹️ ▶️ John my phone because it’s not sending anything. There’s no way for me to tell. Is it actually,

⏹️ ▶️ John is the part where you’re turning around to find the satellite real? Cause it does tell you to go outside and I went outside. I should have tried

⏹️ ▶️ John it from like inside underneath a piece tinfoil to see if it still says, oh, you found the satellite.

⏹️ ▶️ John But either way, it’s fun to do the demo. You should try it. It brings you through a bunch of things. So almost

⏹️ ▶️ John all of it is fake. But what I really hope is the part where you point it at the satellite

⏹️ ▶️ John and it at the very least receives whatever the satellite is spraying down. I hope that part’s real. I want to believe it’s real.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Oh, same. And I assumed that part was real. Then as I was talking about it during the show, I

⏹️ ▶️ Casey was thinking, well, maybe that wasn’t real at all. But I assumed the satellite connectivity part was real.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey It’s just the emergency part, just like you said a moment ago, the emergency part was not. But you make a good

⏹️ ▶️ Casey point, and it occurred to me, like I said, while I was talking about it, that maybe everything was fake. I don’t know. We’ll have to maybe

⏹️ ▶️ Casey follow

⏹️ ▶️ John up. Yeah, and also when you’re doing this demo, like they put, this is, all right, so the fact this feature

⏹️ ▶️ John exists, I think is great. This is like Apple at its best, anticipating what people wanna do. And then they just,

⏹️ ▶️ John like, they did a good job of making this fake UI, because it’s not an easy task to

⏹️ ▶️ John make it clear that you’re doing something that’s fake, to make sure you can’t accidentally do

⏹️ ▶️ John the non-fake thing, and on every single screen, making it so that like, there’s

⏹️ ▶️ John no confusion about the fact, don’t worry, you’re not actually telling ambulances to come to your

⏹️ ▶️ John house. Difficult problem they did not have to tackle, just for this purely like, hey, people

⏹️ ▶️ John wanna try this because it’s fun. And it’s not just fun, it’s also rehearsal for if you ever have an emergency,

⏹️ ▶️ John because the last thing you wanna be doing in an emergency is like, I know my phone’s supposed to do this thing, but I’ve literally

⏹️ ▶️ John never done it and I have no idea where it is, which is why one of the cool features of this is like, you don’t have to remember where it is, just

⏹️ ▶️ John in America, dial 911. And if it can’t dial 911, that’s all you have to remember. That’s what people know

⏹️ ▶️ John anyway. Oh, you know, something terrible has happened, dial 911. If you’re in the mountains and have no

⏹️ ▶️ John signal, right on the screen where you dial 911, it will throw up a button that says, you know,

⏹️ ▶️ John satellite, do this, SOS, whatever, because it will, you know, it will try 911, but if there’s no phone available, so you don’t have to learn

⏹️ ▶️ John like, I have to go into settings or what app is this under or whatever. If you just do the first thing that comes to your mind, which is dial

⏹️ ▶️ John the emergency number, you will be presented with an option to do this if necessary. Yeah,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco that’s really cool, because like that’s when I when I first saw there was a demo, I was like, what?

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Like that’s so unlike Apple to have to offer that kind of thing. Which so it’s noteworthy,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco first of all, that that it’s there. And then I started thinking, why is it there? And at first I thought, well, it’s probably there just

⏹️ ▶️ Marco for, you know, the PR of this new software release. So now everyone can try it out and see. But then I thought really, oh,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco that kind of rehearsal angle. Like, oh, they want people to know where this is for when you

⏹️ ▶️ Marco need it. That’s really cool. And and, you know, again, all this is very unApple-like,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco but I think in a very good way,

⏹️ ▶️ John I think it is Apple-like. Like I may be because I’m old, but this is exactly what I think of when I think of Apple is someone

⏹️ ▶️ John being really thoughtful about a feature and then spending way too much time and effort to make a really

⏹️ ▶️ John good UI for the fake satellite interface. So because again, the challenge is there

⏹️ ▶️ John is to teach people how it’s gonna work. If you were in emergency, here’s what we would be asking you to do. We’d be asking you to

⏹️ ▶️ John find satellites, we’d be like, this is what you’re gonna do, so it’s a rehearsal, but also the whole time make sure that

⏹️ ▶️ John you know you’re not doing anything destructive and it’s clear to you that it’s a demo. And that’s a lot of work. And

⏹️ ▶️ John that’s the best of the Apple that I think of. Maybe it’s the 80s or 90s Apple, but the Apple that was all about

⏹️ ▶️ John user experience and user interface and surprise and delight and you know, not ads. Yeah,

⏹️ ▶️ John if only you have to first you have to click through click through this ad before you can send the satellite message.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Hey, it looks like you’re trying to do on 911. Can I interest you in a casino app? Right?

⏹️ ▶️ John You might want to sign up for Apple Arcade before you send that message. Are you sure

⏹️ ▶️ Marco it’s gonna take you a really long time before the helicopter gets there. You might want to kill some time with this new gambling slots

⏹️ ▶️ Marco app.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey All right, focus, gentlemen. So I did this, you know, demo just like the two of you did. And I did

⏹️ ▶️ Casey a screen recording while I was doing it. And I tweeted it, you know, because as we sit here now, Twitter’s still here

⏹️ ▶️ Casey miraculously. And so we’ll put a link to that video in the show notes. I’m sure the quality is garbage, but nevertheless,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey it’ll give you the gist of it if you don’t have an iPhone 14. But yeah, I thought it was really, really cool. I

⏹️ ▶️ Casey love that this is something you can try. And just like the two of you said, it is a

⏹️ ▶️ Casey great rehearsal for when the time comes. So all good things. Then the same day, iJustine

⏹️ ▶️ Casey on YouTube was given a special privilege to discuss all this with Kyanne Drance

⏹️ ▶️ Casey and Arun and Tim something or other. I’m sorry I forgot to write the rest of names down. But anyways,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey they talked about a bunch of things. They mentioned on this and perhaps in the newsroom as well that

⏹️ ▶️ Casey it is free for two years quote starting with the activation of your iPhone 14 quote.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey And they made some other interesting kind of one-off comments. They said that the satellites are traveling at 15,000

⏹️ ▶️ Casey miles an hour, 800 miles above the earth. Leaving aside the 15,000

⏹️ ▶️ Casey miles an hour thing, I still think to this day that it is pretty

⏹️ ▶️ Casey freaking cool that this little brick in my hand can talk to a cell tower

⏹️ ▶️ Casey that’s, you know, maybe a mile, two mile, five miles away. We’re talking about a satellite 800

⏹️ ▶️ Casey miles above the earth. That is extremely cool. What I mean, I hope to never

⏹️ ▶️ Casey need this feature, but I just think that’s super duper cool that this is something that we have

⏹️ ▶️ Casey in like a run-of-the-mill everyday phone. I think that’s awesome. It was also interesting

⏹️ ▶️ Casey that Arun said that if you’re in a car accident, the phone will try to dial 911,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey but if it can’t, it will—and these are direct quotes now—if it’s unable to call 911,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey it will then use this capability to try to get the message out via satellite. In that situation, the phone probably

⏹️ ▶️ Casey does not have a clear view of the sky and might be between the seats or in the trunk. So we keep the data

⏹️ ▶️ Casey extremely small in that situation, and we have a really good confidence that we’ll still be able to get that message

⏹️ ▶️ Casey out and get you home. How freaking cool is that? That it knows if you’re in

⏹️ ▶️ Casey a car accident, like God forbid, that, oh, we’ve got to keep this, whatever the transmission

⏹️ ▶️ Casey is, crazy small, because we may not have a long time to transmit it. So I thought that was super

⏹️ ▶️ Casey neat.

⏹️ ▶️ John If you’re in a car accident or you’re on a roller coaster. Remember, we didn’t cover that story of people getting activations

⏹️ ▶️ John on amusement park rides. And I feel for Apple there because I don’t think that’s malfunctioning. I think

⏹️ ▶️ John a lot of the motions that happen to you when you’re in an amusement park ride are exactly the same

⏹️ ▶️ John as happen when you’re in a car accident, especially when you’re considering it’s a motion happening to the phone, not necessarily to

⏹️ ▶️ John you. So I’m not saying amusement park rides injure you, but it could be that in an actual car

⏹️ ▶️ John accident that injures you, your phone may experience exactly the same accelerations of exactly the

⏹️ ▶️ John same kind as it would in an amusement park ride if it was in your pocket. So I don’t know how you solve that problem,

⏹️ ▶️ John really. And then the worst case scenario, you’re in an accident in an amusement park ride.

⏹️ ▶️ John So it’s not like they’re, maybe they could help with their ML model or whatever, but I feel like

⏹️ ▶️ John it’s not doing anything wrong. In many cases, there is no difference. And so I’m not quite sure how they solve

⏹️ ▶️ John that problem, but it seems like it might be an actual problem. Maybe they’ll have signs at amusement parks

⏹️ ▶️ John that say, put your phone into airplane mode, or don’t bring your phone on this ride with you, or something

⏹️ ▶️ John like that. In general, I would say don’t bring your phone on a roller coaster. You don’t need to text anybody while you’re on it.

⏹️ ▶️ John Uh, and uh, you know, I remember last time I was at was it great american? I think it was

⏹️ ▶️ John universal maybe in florida, uh waiting for my family to get off a ride Uh,

⏹️ ▶️ John and it was like some looping roller coaster that went over the water and i’m standing by the railing looking at the water And down at the bottom of the water

⏹️ ▶️ John you could just see the lit up screens of a bunch of phones Because

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco there’s

⏹️ ▶️ John a lot of people who are going over the loops and they’re like falling out of their purse falling out of their pocket it.

⏹️ ▶️ John Uh, yeah, don’t bring your, your phone on the ride. Okay. Well, what else are you supposed to do with it?

⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey It’s,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey, John it’s in your pocket. They have lockers.

⏹️ ▶️ John They have lockers that you can put your stuff.

⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey It costs

⏹️ ▶️ John like a thousand dollars a minute. It’s an amusement park. I know. But like, would you rather your phone be, the right that

⏹️ ▶️ John your phone be lit up at the bottom? It must’ve been, since they were unlocked, it must’ve been people like trying to take a

⏹️ ▶️ John video while they’re on the rollercoaster or something like that. And there they are in the water. Good job.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Anyway, a real time follow up. I have no idea if this is a hundred percent true or not, but according to a hundred ghosts in

⏹️ ▶️ Casey the chat, uh, I had a message that said the satellite had passed, and I would need to wait two minutes for the next

⏹️ ▶️ Casey one to be available. This is in the context of doing the demo. So that makes me think it’s what you and

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I expected, John, that the satellite portion was real. You

⏹️ ▶️ Casey, John can fake that part, too. I’ve

⏹️ ▶️ John never played a video game.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Oh, well. But why would they do that? It makes the service look worse.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey, John They want

⏹️ ▶️ John to give you an authentic experience of what it’s really going to be like. I just don’t actually know if

⏹️ ▶️ John any actual communication with the satellite is involved. Not that it really matters. Like, the whole point of the rehearsal is this is what you’re going to be asked to

⏹️ ▶️ John do. Maybe it’ll say it passed. You’re going to have to point in a direction. You’re going to have to hold it there. Like they can make

⏹️ ▶️ John the rehearsal be authentic.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Mm-hmm. Uh, well, anyway, uh, moving along, uh, it is worth noting

⏹️ ▶️ Casey that in order to do this via, or in order to send your location,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey you can do that, uh, manually. It doesn’t happen automatically, but you can manually go into the find

⏹️ ▶️ Casey my app. And you can do this right now, but it won’t let you send it. Find my me and then my location

⏹️ ▶️ Casey via satellite. And presumably, I didn’t try this, but presumably this is where you would say, okay, who do you want to send it to?

⏹️ ▶️ Casey But it says, generally speaking, not available. And then there’s a learn more and a Chevron. And in the learn more,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey it says something along the lines of, hey, you’re connected to cell and or wifi. So we’re not going to bother with the

⏹️ ▶️ Casey satellite right now. But which I thought was reasonable. A couple other things from the iJustine interview. The

⏹️ ▶️ Casey medical ID is sent along with the SOS message. So, you know, what you’re allergic to, how big, how tall you are,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey how much you weigh, et cetera, et cetera, which I thought was interesting. Again, going back to Arun,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey this is a quote. It was really important to use the satellite constellation that was fully mature and built out. The challenge became,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey how do we make the iPhone be able to interact with this thing that’s already launched and been up there for a long time and has been mature?

⏹️ ▶️ Casey So we had to make the necessary hardware modifications to allow us to optimize that communication back and forth and then build an

⏹️ ▶️ Casey entirely new communication stack that included a whole new waveform and all the layers above,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey a custom link layer, a custom networking layer, et cetera. And they eventually came out and stated

⏹️ ▶️ Casey that Global Star is the partner company. And they said that that was in no small part because

⏹️ ▶️ Casey apparently it is unusual for satellite radio operators to have a single

⏹️ ▶️ Casey global frequency, but Global Star does. So whatever it is, you know, one, two, 3.5 megahertz or whatever,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey that is the case across the planet. And Mike had said that they have Apple

⏹️ ▶️ Casey proprietary radio systems in each of Global Star’s ground stations to support

⏹️ ▶️ Casey this. He also said in summary, We have a general idea of the dead zones

⏹️ ▶️ Casey from cellular networks. And he said, I’m sorry, I’m paraphrasing what he said. That he

⏹️ ▶️ Casey had a, they have a general idea of where the dead zones are from cellular networks. And when they were building this

⏹️ ▶️ Casey all out and figuring out how to make it work, they were prioritizing, you know, how do we make these areas work? So like,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I don’t know, the Shenandoah National Park here in the East Coast or one of the eight gazillion parks in California. They know these are the

⏹️ ▶️ Casey places that people are gonna use this sort of thing. How do we make it work the best there? So

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I found all of this extremely fascinating. I think the Justine video, which is about 20 minutes long, is worth your time.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I just think it’s super cool. All right.


⏹️ ▶️ Casey Moving right along, Mastodon, is that a thing?

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Are we doing

⏹️ ▶️ Marco this? It seems to maybe possibly be becoming a thing.

⏹️ ▶️ John I had to look this up because, all right, so we’ll talk about what Mastodon is in a second, but it’ll

⏹️ ▶️ John explain why I have lots of accounts in them. But my accounts, I signed up for them five years

⏹️ ▶️ John ago, probably during the last Twitter is doomed cycle, right? I mean, we all went

⏹️ ▶️ John to at one point and, you know, not went to, but got signed up for And at some point,

⏹️ ▶️ John apparently in 2017, I signed up for tons of Mastodon stuff. So when the Mastodon stuff

⏹️ ▶️ John came around, I’m like, oh, I’m pretty sure I have a Mastodon account. Turns out I have like six Mastodon accounts, which is part of the problem. Anyway, continue.

⏹️ ▶️ John What is Mastodon?

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Right, so I don’t know if I’m the best person to give a great summary of Mastodon, but the idea of Mastodon is,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey you know, what if you had Twitter, but it wasn’t as centralized? It was kind of

⏹️ ▶️ Casey quasi-centralized. And so you could join an instance, what

⏹️ ▶️ Casey is there, is instance the term they use for it? What do they call it?

⏹️ ▶️ Casey, John Yeah, instance.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Okay, you can join an instance, which is basically a server, where there are like-minded individuals.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey And

⏹️ ▶️ Casey, John that, in theory. You can join an instance. Well, okay.

⏹️ ▶️ John It’s federated. You can join an instance.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey No, hear me out for a second. I think the theory, in my understanding anyway, of the theory, is that

⏹️ ▶️ Casey you join a server, an instance that has like-minded individuals, and then the administrators

⏹️ ▶️ Casey of that instance can block other instances from talking to you. They can

⏹️ ▶️ Casey do all sorts of content moderation and so on and so forth. So if you want to be in

⏹️ ▶️ Casey a instance where free speech is a thing, you can do that. If you want to be in an instance where you

⏹️ ▶️ Casey mostly chat about programming stuff, you can do that. But what’s fascinating and interesting about Mastodon is

⏹️ ▶️ Casey that, like you said, it’s federated. So what that basically means is you can link up and follow

⏹️ ▶️ Casey other accounts from other instances. So even though I might be on massed

⏹️ ▶️ Casey on dot social, which I have an account there, but I haven’t posted anything. I might be a mess on that social,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey but John might be in a Italian Americans dot family or something like that.

⏹️ ▶️ John John might be in seven

⏹️ ▶️ Casey other. Seven other ones too. So in theory, I think that’s a kind

⏹️ ▶️ Casey of neat idea, but in practice, I think it’s

⏹️ ▶️ Casey kind of aesthetically icky and I just don’t know how well it really works out, especially

⏹️ ▶️ Casey since you can, as the instance owner slash runner slash whatever,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey you can just up and decide, I don’t want to deal with this anymore. And that has happened. And I think the

⏹️ ▶️ Casey code of conduct or whatever, amongst Mastodon P administrators is

⏹️ ▶️ Casey you have to give like six months notice or something like that. But really, you don’t, I

⏹️ ▶️ Casey don’t think like, what are they going to do?

⏹️ ▶️ John Well, let me describe some more of the cool features about this because last and get to the kicker, which is like last week, or maybe

⏹️ ▶️ John the week before Marco was like, look, we’re not going to go to mass zombie. And even if we did, it doesn’t matter because all they’re gonna have all the same problems

⏹️ ▶️ John as Twitter. A lot of people said, Wait, but have you heard about mass dance features like they’re not gonna have all the same problems as Twitter because it

⏹️ ▶️ John has all these features you already talked about one case, oh, if you’re on a server, that server can decide which ones it wants to federate with,

⏹️ ▶️ John it can just block an entire server filled with trolls, right? And so you don’t have to deal with them and blah, blah,

⏹️ ▶️ John blah. And there’s even more to it than that. If an instance shuts down, you can transfer

⏹️ ▶️ John basically your followers or your identity, like redirect to a different thing.

⏹️ ▶️ John So it’s not like, oh, I’m beholden to the owner of this thing. So if they shut it down, then I’m screwed and I lose everything.

⏹️ ▶️ John No, there’s actually a feature where you can transfer your followers and your account and your identity to another

⏹️ ▶️ John instance. And so it’s made to be resilient, decentralized, giving each instance

⏹️ ▶️ John owner the ability to form a community that works the way they want it to work.

⏹️ ▶️ John But I think having said all of that, and I’m sure there’s other features that I’m even missing about this, having said all of

⏹️ ▶️ John that, what is it, ActivityPub, the public API for this type of thing and everything.

⏹️ ▶️ John You do still have all the same problems as Twitter. You just have them

⏹️ ▶️ John in miniature form, repeated many different times. What are the problems of Twitter? The problems

⏹️ ▶️ John of Twitter are, how do we set the rules for this community? How do we decide what behavior is and isn’t allowed?

⏹️ ▶️ John How do we decide which other federated instances to block and to not block? How do we decide when

⏹️ ▶️ John to kick somebody off? How do we make money to keep this service running? Does making that money make it an

⏹️ ▶️ John unpleasant place for people to be, right? It’s all exactly the same problems as Twitter. The good

⏹️ ▶️ John thing about it is that you get many, many chances to solve those. So instead

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco of just having one chance

⏹️ ▶️ John with one stupid Elon Musk running the thing or whatever, you get 50 chances. But that’s also the bad thing and it’s why

⏹️ ▶️ John I have so many accounts. I wanna sign up for Mastodon. Hmm, which instance should I choose?

⏹️ ▶️ John The instance where other people I know are?

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco Maybe. Oh,

⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey but

⏹️ ▶️ John that doesn’t matter. But yeah, well, it kind of matters because you can have a local feed. But like, if an instance

⏹️ ▶️ John is like, oh, it’s the place, there’s a community with a set of rules, I wanna go with my friends are because

⏹️ ▶️ John I bet that set of rules is good. Well, but it also could just be that all your friends went to the most popular

⏹️ ▶️ John instance and it turns out the most popular instance is run by a megalomaniac who reads all your DMs because

⏹️ ▶️ John by the way, the owner of the instance can read all your stuff, right? Now it’s like, you don’t know that,

⏹️ ▶️ John right? So maybe that’s the wrong instance. Maybe I should go to this instance. oh, that instance was run by somebody as a hobby and

⏹️ ▶️ John they shut it down two years ago, right? When I went in to resign into my

⏹️ ▶️ John Mastodon things, one of them was totally gone because the thing was shut down. One of them had a big

⏹️ ▶️ John red banner at the top said, warning, this thing is shutting down imminently. One of them I forgot my password

⏹️ ▶️ John to forever, so that one’s gone, right? You know, I don’t know why it wasn’t in any of my keychains or something, or maybe I

⏹️ ▶️ John just never knew the password and didn’t save it. And the quote unquote popular one,,

⏹️ ▶️ John I couldn’t get my username on, which frustrates me to no end, right? And then I have like three

⏹️ ▶️ John other ones, right? And so I’m shuffling the people, but anyway, it is better

⏹️ ▶️ John than Twitter because it is less centralized, but all that means is that all

⏹️ ▶️ John these instances now have this trial by fire of, hey, you think it’s so easy to run Twitter? You

⏹️ ▶️ John figure out how to do it, and figure out how to keep the lights on, figure out how to make enough money to run the

⏹️ ▶️ John instance. If your thing becomes popular and you’re not making any money, how much you think it’s gonna cost you to run Mastodon for all

⏹️ ▶️ John these people and do all the federated activity. And then by the way, if a bunch of Nazis come into your server,

⏹️ ▶️ John you’re gonna spend your whole day fighting them off and then spam bots come and then blah, blah, blah. It’s like, if you become like the most successful

⏹️ ▶️ John big instance, oh,, it’s super popular, it’s got millions of people. Well, that’s like, you know,

⏹️ ▶️ John days or weeks away from like facing the same problems that Twitter faced when it got, you know, a million or so

⏹️ ▶️ John people, all right. So I’m not poo-pooing these things. I think it is better than having one

⏹️ ▶️ John publicly a privately held company that is the centralized version of all of this. Uh,

⏹️ ▶️ John but I think I’m not going to say, oh, it’s not going to, it’s not going to help and it’s not going to save

⏹️ ▶️ John us because if Twitter goes away, mass data is better than nothing. I feel like, and it is very much Twitter like,

⏹️ ▶️ John but boy, they have an uphill climb. They’re going to have to go through all the same thing. Their instances are going to come and go.

⏹️ ▶️ John Uh, they’re going to have to work through all sorts of different rules. Hopefully there’ll be enough of them trying these experiments, but there’ll be a lot

⏹️ ▶️ John of wreckage from that of like, oh, this server screwed up and this was invaded by Nazis and

⏹️ ▶️ John they set these rules here and this one doesn’t allow cursing. And you know, like there’s just gonna be a lot

⏹️ ▶️ John of that churn going on and it’s just exhausting to keep up with that. So that’s probably going to keep it from ever being popular

⏹️ ▶️ John with anybody except for real nerdy people. And then all the years of stuff that’s happened on Twitter,

⏹️ ▶️ John the API, all the clients that are built around, I know everyone just uses the official client, but like

⏹️ ▶️ John you can make third party mess on clients probably, but right now there’s the official client in the web UI

⏹️ ▶️ John And they’re better than Twitter was in the beginning, but they’re not as good as the best of the best Twitter interfaces that

⏹️ ▶️ John exist today. How could they be? They just haven’t had time and money to mature. So

⏹️ ▶️ John it’s not that I’m pessimistic about Asseton, but the only problem Asseton solves is

⏹️ ▶️ John Elon Musk. And granted, that’s a big problem. Or previously, the only problem it solves is

⏹️ ▶️ John Twitter’s fairly inept management, right? But all the other problems are

⏹️ ▶️ John there. They’re just now spread into little miniature instances of those problems. And

⏹️ ▶️ John then people are sprinkled over those instances, like, fend for yourselves. Figure it out. Hope you land on

⏹️ ▶️ John something with a good moderator. Don’t say anything in DMs that you don’t want anybody to see. And it’s,

⏹️ ▶️ John I don’t know. I don’t relish it. Anyway, I’m on all sorts of Macedon things. I still do want to get my

⏹️ ▶️ John last name in, but I’m working on it.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey So on, they have an About page, which I don’t know if you can see it if you’re not logged in, but it’s

⏹️ ▶️ Casey slash About. There’s a section, Moderated Servers, and there’s a list of just eyeballing it, maybe a couple

⏹️ ▶️ Casey hundred, maybe 10 or 20 of which are limited. And then there’s a bunch

⏹️ ▶️ Casey that are considered suspended. As I’m scrolling this list, one of the

⏹️ ▶️ Casey servers that are instances that is limited is, I kid you not,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey And FYI, it’s limited because of harassment, you don’t say. Also,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey is Elon the president of the shitposter club? because he certainly thinks he is.

⏹️ ▶️ John Having instances, that is the one good thing I’m gonna ask someone is these tiny tyrants who run the instances,

⏹️ ▶️ John they are able to do what big companies thus far have not been doing, which is like, hey, if someone’s being a

⏹️ ▶️ John jerk in your instance, just boot them out. You don’t have to have this complicated policy. There’s not gonna be any New York Times story about how

⏹️ ▶️ John you booted out the jerks. It’s like having an IRC server back in the day, like, you know, or whatever, whatever, like BBS.

⏹️ ▶️ John If you run the BBS and someone’s a jerk, you boot them off and there’s no big story about it, Because it’s

⏹️ ▶️ John your thing and you get to run it and you get to set the rules. But what that means is that every instance is at the whim

⏹️ ▶️ John of the people who own that instance. And how well do you know the people who own instances? Right

⏹️ ▶️ John now, there isn’t enough knowledge for the general public of,

⏹️ ▶️ John is this a good instance to be on or a bad one? It’s like, well, you’ll find out. Again, just like BBSes or IRC servers,

⏹️ ▶️ John you’ll find out if the admin is a jerk or not eventually. If

⏹️ ▶️ John this ball keeps rolling, there should eventually be public knowledge about which ones are

⏹️ ▶️ John reasonably safe, nice places to be. But like I said,

⏹️ ▶️ John all that does is fast forward you to Twitter circa 2007 or 8 or 9, I guess, where it’s like,

⏹️ ▶️ John OK, now we found a nice, pleasant place to be. And now here come all the problems that Twitter encountered. How

⏹️ ▶️ John are you going to deal with them, person who runs this thing in your spare time? Good luck. Yeah, I

⏹️ ▶️ Casey don’t know. I really feel like I’m turning into old man

⏹️ ▶️ Casey who shouts at clouds, because I don’t want to be pessimistic about everything. But

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I just don’t love what I’ve seen so far on Mastodon. Like, I think it

⏹️ ▶️ Casey just, it seems like the, it seems like Linux, right? I’m sorry,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I’m sorry.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey, John But it’s like the,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey, Marco you

⏹️ ▶️ Casey, John know, crummy- Linux is

⏹️ ▶️ Casey way better. Well, fair. It’s like the crummy open source version of something that everyone likes, right?

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Which is impressive.

⏹️ ▶️ John It’s not that crummy. It’s actually, I mean, again, considering I signed up about five years ago, it’s pretty feature rich. And

⏹️ ▶️ John the web UI does not look like, does not look like it was just thrown together in a weekend, right? It’s not

⏹️ ▶️ John great and it’s overly confusing and overly complicated and, you know, could be improved or whatever. But like,

⏹️ ▶️ John I’m impressed with how many features it’s gotten in the five years that I’ve been ignoring it, right? And I get what

⏹️ ▶️ John you’re getting at, and that it’s like, you know, again, it’s a piece of open source software. I

⏹️ ▶️ John mean, the worst thing you say about it is that they’re all kind of running the same software. So whoever modifies

⏹️ ▶️ John that software and updates it has the ability to make our lives better or worse. And how does that work? But

⏹️ ▶️ John for people thinking it’s going to be like an IRC type thing, it is more pleasant than that.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey It is. It is for sure.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yes. I mean, to me, the problem with Mastodon is not

⏹️ ▶️ Marco anything about its features. Suppose you get over all the hurdles. Suppose

⏹️ ▶️ Marco you choose a server instance or whatever to host yourself, which will host

⏹️ ▶️ Marco you for some reason indefinitely into the future without problems lol.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Okay, so suppose you get past that and suppose that you know some of your friends

⏹️ ▶️ Marco get past it too and they somehow find you or create accounts or whatever. It’s just really

⏹️ ▶️ Marco hard to juggle two very similar social networks where you don’t

⏹️ ▶️ Marco have the same friends on both, you don’t have any good way to get all of the friends on

⏹️ ▶️ Marco one onto the other and it’s kind of hard to know like well what do I post where

⏹️ ▶️ Marco now if you have say topic-specific Mastodon instances like I was

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I was on one for overcast there was like a podcast kind of standardized discussion

⏹️ ▶️ Marco kind of thing but that was that was like you know topic specific it for just like general use

⏹️ ▶️ Marco what do I do with to Twitter like services I like Like my entire

⏹️ ▶️ Marco usage pattern of Twitter is through these apps. I have Tweetbot on the Mac,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I have Tweetbot on the phone, there’s other apps like Twitterific that are great. Mastodon has

⏹️ ▶️ Marco an app and I used it briefly on my phone last night. I’m not aware of a Mac app besides the web app and the web

⏹️ ▶️ Marco app and you know web apps for this kind of stuff just suck compared to native apps. The native apps are way better. And

⏹️ ▶️ Marco so like on my phone I tried the Mastodon app and because it kind of looks like Twitter and

⏹️ ▶️ Marco kind of works like Twitter, you expect it to work like Twitter and it’s a bit Uncanny Valley-ish and

⏹️ ▶️ Marco then you go to do something that works in your Twitter app of choice and it doesn’t work at all

⏹️ ▶️ Marco or the same way at Macedon, it just kind of feels broken. And I can post stuff there,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco but do I post the same thing? Do I cross post? Do I have to look at responses from both?

⏹️ ▶️ Marco In the ideal case, what would get this off the ground is

⏹️ ▶️ Marco one app, say Tweetbot or Twitter terrific, where you could attach your Twitter

⏹️ ▶️ Marco account and a Mastodon account or two and view all the replies

⏹️ ▶️ Marco in one app and have it have everything work the same way.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Can you imagine if it had like this? I don’t know what if your timeline was like altogether if it was like I don’t know you you you. Whoa,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey oh, what if it was unified?

⏹️ ▶️ Casey, John I bet you’re making

⏹️ ▶️ John a joke but like that like

⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey the inability

⏹️ ▶️ John to browse Mastodon with a unified timeline is actually a barrier for adoption for me personally

⏹️ ▶️ John because that’s how I, this is what Mark was saying, like if you’re used to doing it a certain way in Twitter, since this is so similar,

⏹️ ▶️ John there are habits that you’re formed and you’re like, well, I don’t want to use Mastodon, it doesn’t let me do, doesn’t let me view

⏹️ ▶️ John it the way I’m used to viewing it. And obviously the solution is that well, if Twitter implodes, Mastodon started looking a lot better and

⏹️ ▶️ John you don’t have to have this question anymore because it is so Twitter-like and it is the most Twitter-like of the competing

⏹️ ▶️ John things that if Twitter literally does implode or actually goes down and they can’t bring it back up or

⏹️ ▶️ John whatever, turns into something terrible that everybody leaves, Mastodon is there waiting for

⏹️ ▶️ John it. But I feel like the centralization of Twitter, the people can sign up for it,

⏹️ ▶️ John they know where to go, they go to, right? The single unified namespace, and you can say, well,

⏹️ ▶️ John Mastodon has a unified namespace too, it just has an extra ad and an address in it, just like an email address, not a

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco big deal.

⏹️ ▶️ John I think it is a big deal, especially since when instances go down, you might not necessarily be able to get the same username

⏹️ ▶️ John elsewhere. Stable URLs tweets for all these years have had stable URLs Not

⏹️ ▶️ John so with massive on things because of that instant goes down and disappears from the web that URL that points that instance is not

⏹️ ▶️ John Gonna work anymore, right? It’s kind of why I like this This Jack Dorsey,

⏹️ ▶️ John you know Wankery project whatever the project blue sky thing, which is like let’s build

⏹️ ▶️ John Twitter But let’s do it with open standards and decentralized and blah blah blah If you look

⏹️ ▶️ John at the technology and ideas behind project blue sky will put a link in the show know, it’s it’s blue blue sky web that

⏹️ ▶️ John XYZ that the technology and the ideas I think are really good. I don’t think it

⏹️ ▶️ John will ever actually come to anything, which is the problem. But like, what you want is the best of both worlds, you want

⏹️ ▶️ John the clarity and single unified namespace and stable URLs of Twitter,

⏹️ ▶️ John but without it being owned and controlled by a single private company. And that is a tall order. We kind of already

⏹️ ▶️ John have that with with blogs and RSS, it was straightforward URLs were stable as they

⏹️ ▶️ John want it to be. You presumably owned and controlled your own blog. And if your hosting company

⏹️ ▶️ John went down, you can move your blog elsewhere, whatever. But that’s a that was like a, a ideal world

⏹️ ▶️ John for computer nerds who know how to make and run and want to make and run their own blog, right.

⏹️ ▶️ John And what that rapidly turned into is, oh, my blog is on blogger. And then eventually blogger falls

⏹️ ▶️ John out of favor, I’m on LiveJournal, I’m on Tumblr. And it’s just like these big companies that are helping

⏹️ ▶️ John other people do this thing that only nerds could do before. And Twitter’s just solved that problem.

⏹️ ▶️ John Everybody were one company go to one place. We’re all talk together and one big giant thing. And you know,

⏹️ ▶️ John and that’s why Marco said two shows ago, it would be ideal if I could just continue in terms of the simplicity of the user experience,

⏹️ ▶️ John but not ideal in terms of the consequences. Because as we’ve seen, person who

⏹️ ▶️ John controls Twitter can really screw things up for a lot of people in both pre peel on and post Elon. We saw

⏹️ ▶️ John that amply demonstrated, right? So I’m not sure what the solution is but the blue sky stuff

⏹️ ▶️ John looks really appealing to me if something like that could ever actually be created and gotten off the ground

⏹️ ▶️ John and if they worked out all the problems of like how do I make it simple for regular people to sign up while still not

⏹️ ▶️ John having it eventually be owned and controlled by a single company because kind of like blogging you’re like a blog and it’s free it’s

⏹️ ▶️ John not owned and controlled by a single company but once you get the regular people in there who don’t want to write their own servers or

⏹️ ▶️ John run their own servers their own CMSs you get necessarily these companies that you know I

⏹️ ▶️ John don’t know if I bet Thompson and we’ll call them aggregators, but like, hey, we’re a big company. You don’t

⏹️ ▶️ John wanna have to worry about running a blog, we’ll run it for you. That’s why I feel like, you know, I mean, arguably

⏹️ ▶️ John frequent sponsor Squarespace, encouraging you to get your own domain name kind of

⏹️ ▶️ John helps as a hedge against that, because in theory, if Squarespace goes away or becomes evil

⏹️ ▶️ John or starts charging you too much money, you can just pick up your website because it’s at your own domain name and put it someplace else, but now we’re

⏹️ ▶️ John back to techie stuff again, right? And what you’d be looking for is another company like Squarespace that solves

⏹️ ▶️ John this problem for you. And that’s why you get these big consolidations of a giant company where most people

⏹️ ▶️ John have their Twitter replacement blue sky thing. And then the nerds have their own individual Twitter replacement.

⏹️ ▶️ John Same thing with Mastodon. You can run your Mastodon instance. You can get a Mastodon address that is a domain that you

⏹️ ▶️ John control. But that is definitely a tech nerdy thing and most people won’t do that. So hard problems

⏹️ ▶️ John to solve. Arguably running Twitter not like an idiot is an easier problem

⏹️ ▶️ John to solve than everything we’ve discussed here because Twitter had improved over

⏹️ ▶️ John the years, learned some hard lessons, and was on a path that was ever

⏹️ ▶️ John so slowly getting slightly better over time. If someone could have just

⏹️ ▶️ John taken over Twitter and bent that line up to get better faster, boy, that would have been

⏹️ ▶️ John much better than where we are now, which is bending that line way, way downward real fast.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah, I don’t see Mastodon itself, and maybe it’s possible for

⏹️ ▶️ Marco something else have a better story here. I don’t see Mastodon having the user

⏹️ ▶️ Marco experience to really ever get mass traction. And part of it is because, you know,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco of the weird Federation stuff and then the weird double at usernames and everything.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco There’s a whole bunch there that’s just very, you know, normal person hostile.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, John The

⏹️ ▶️ John instability of addresses and URLs, it’s a real problem.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco But I think ultimately it’s not gonna… what’s gonna take off,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco if if anything, to replace Twitter, is gonna be another centralized company that’s gonna have a really nice

⏹️ ▶️ Marco app and be accessible everywhere and be really easy for everyone to get into. And

⏹️ ▶️ Marco that’s what’s gonna work. And Mastodon, while I respect what they’re trying to do and I like a lot of the ideals

⏹️ ▶️ Marco behind it, the implementation and the user experience so far is just

⏹️ ▶️ Marco so regular person hostile. And I don’t see that

⏹️ ▶️ Marco meaningfully changing. What might happen is one Mastodon

⏹️ ▶️ Marco host might get really popular, and then you just have a different centralized company. That

⏹️ ▶️ Marco might happen. But the whole thing with like, oh, well, you can follow me over here.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco It’s like, yeah, you can make your moonshine on your bathtub, but no one’s gonna really do that.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco It’s this whole nerd dream where everyone’s gonna have their own domains and their own URLs.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco And over and over again, The industry just proves that’s not what

⏹️ ▶️ Marco people ever want to do. And, and at least a lot of people, like, you know, we can get nerds like us and

⏹️ ▶️ Marco business owners and stuff to do it, but like to get most of the public in to something like this,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco it has to be way simpler and way easier. There can’t be 16 different answers. There can’t be a question that poses 16

⏹️ ▶️ Marco different options of like, all right, well, first, before you even use this thing, where do you want to make your account? Like

⏹️ ▶️ Marco that, that you, you can’t even ask people that it shouldn’t be a question. You should instantly

⏹️ ▶️ Marco start up with like, we have an amazing app that works really well and that does everything you want it to do.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco That’s like table stakes for a social network. You have to have apps on every major platform that have

⏹️ ▶️ Marco to be great and they have to be usable and they have to have features people want.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco And here’s the thing, if you’re gonna mimic Twitter in what your product is,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco you have to support a lot of things that Twitter supports and they have to work the same way.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco If you’re gonna make something that looks like Twitter and kinda acts like Twitter, but then doesn’t work

⏹️ ▶️ Marco like Twitter, you’re gonna anger everybody. Like I was trying to read a thread, like somebody,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I was poking around Mastodon in the app, and somebody posted a thread with a little thread emoji to indicate this

⏹️ ▶️ Marco is a thread. And for the life of me, I could not figure out how to see the replies

⏹️ ▶️ Marco to that thread. I tried like, you know, tapping into that one message or swiping right or whatever, and I got it to show

⏹️ ▶️ Marco me other replies, But nowhere in the list was like the next post in that

⏹️ ▶️ Marco thread. And so, and again, it was just some like some little difference that like

⏹️ ▶️ Marco this is a small behavioral paper cut that if I’m going to move from Twitter,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I can’t be hitting paper cuts like that because I am going to expect this thing to work like Twitter.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Now if it’s not going to work like Twitter, it should be even more different.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, Casey Like

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I don’t get that feeling on Tumblr because Tumblr is way more different from Twitter

⏹️ ▶️ Marco than Mastodon is. And so Tumblr is its own thing. And so I can go to Tumblr and while

⏹️ ▶️ Marco it is very different from Twitter, it doesn’t frustrate me in the same way because

⏹️ ▶️ Marco it’s its own thing. It’s not trying to be Twitter. Whereas Mastodon is basically trying to be Twitter

⏹️ ▶️ Marco and so it has to really, it has to copy it really well and have all those features nailed down, all those little details

⏹️ ▶️ Marco nailed down. And Twitter looks like a simple product but it’s not.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco And that’s a hard thing to totally match. And I think at this point, anything that’s

⏹️ ▶️ Marco different from Twitter, Mastodon’s been around long enough that it’s probably a choice, not a just

⏹️ ▶️ Marco we haven’t gotten to it yet kind of thing. And so that’s gonna hurt them. And that’s gonna hurt them with

⏹️ ▶️ Marco adoption for new people who are in there now kicking the tires because we’re all super mad at Elon. Like

⏹️ ▶️ Marco they have a big rush of people checking it out right now, but I don’t see how that sticks for so many

⏹️ ▶️ Marco reasons. So I don’t know, I hope I’m wrong.

⏹️ ▶️ John They had a big rush of people five years ago when I signed up, too. I mean, I think there’s been multiple rushes on Mastodon over

⏹️ ▶️ John the course of time. Like one way around that is you could be better, right? You

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco know,

⏹️ ▶️ John you could be different. But if you’re different, you have to be better enough so that people are willing to learn your new thing and accept the betterness

⏹️ ▶️ John of it because there is advantage to learning the new thing. And also, like if Twitter goes away, people will eventually learn however Mastodon

⏹️ ▶️ John works and then you get into, OK, but how does Mastodon work? Does it work in a good way? One example that I saw, I don’t even know if this is true because

⏹️ ▶️ John it seems so ridiculous that I have a hard time believing it. and I haven’t tested it myself, but I saw somebody say,

⏹️ ▶️ John and people can correct me and follow up, that if you are doing the equivalent of DMing, direct messaging between you

⏹️ ▶️ John and another person on Mastodon, and you at mention another person, they are added to

⏹️ ▶️ John the DM conversation. Like they get sucked into the DM conversation. So you say something nasty about

⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey somebody. The

⏹️ ▶️ John whole conversation. Yeah, and they get to see everything you said before you at mentioned them as well.

⏹️ ▶️ John That is a terrible, that’s a terrible misfeature. Like that’s just bad product design, right? And there’s

⏹️ ▶️ John always gonna be misfeatures in products, but that’s why the maturity of Twitter platform is valuable because

⏹️ ▶️ John they’ve, I’m not gonna say that they learned hard lessons, they did, but also a lot of the features that are in Twitter

⏹️ ▶️ John were sort of pioneered by its users. The use of at mentions, retweets,

⏹️ ▶️ John parent pioneered by its users and the third party developers, right? And that process hasn’t run long enough

⏹️ ▶️ John on Mastodon for it to work these things out. And it also helps that Twitter was a single company with that they could hire product

⏹️ ▶️ John designers and work on it, Whereas mass data is more distributed, and you know, open source project or whatever.

⏹️ ▶️ John Like, and I feel like mass data is close, like to solve the, if you wanted to solve the problems that I was citing

⏹️ ▶️ John before, like unstable URLs, and you know, not a single namespace or whatever.

⏹️ ▶️ John I know people are gonna say web3 and crypto, but please try to keep those words out of your mind when you listen to me say this.

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco What you basically need is a

⏹️ ▶️ John distributed database that keeps track of, so like, imagine

⏹️ ▶️ John setting up, you know, imagine downloading a client, and you downloaded your whatever, Mastodon 2

⏹️ ▶️ John client or whatever. And in the client is, it comes with this set of configurable servers that are like,

⏹️ ▶️ John you know, I don’t know what the equivalent is. Basically index servers that

⏹️ ▶️ John run on the internet and keep track of where all the Mastodon instances and runs essentially the central namespace,

⏹️ ▶️ John right? And those will change over time, kind of like the root DNS things change. People don’t

⏹️ ▶️ John know that their web browsers and their operating systems come with an idea of what the root DNS servers are or come with the idea of the things

⏹️ ▶️ John that are trustable, the SSL root stuff, that’s built into all of our

⏹️ ▶️ John software. No users ever need to configure it, but it is also resilient and decentralized. Like how does DNS

⏹️ ▶️ John work? How does the SSL signing certificates work? That stuff changes over time and is maintained

⏹️ ▶️ John not by just Apple or just Microsoft or just Amazon, but users also

⏹️ ▶️ John don’t have to deal with it. Now it’s like, how do I configure the DNS roots? How do

⏹️ ▶️ John I configure the trusted root certificates? Like pretty much users don’t have to deal with that. their phone just connects

⏹️ ▶️ John through SSL or TLS or whatever. But that is a decentralized system.

⏹️ ▶️ John And I would point out, none of that uses crypto. You can have a shared database among people

⏹️ ▶️ John and like, but what if someone poisons it? Yeah, you get a bunch of people who trust each other through like human

⏹️ ▶️ John relationships and legal contracts, and you can get people to work on a distributed database without

⏹️ ▶️ John burning the planet down. Anyway, I’m gonna have a crypto rant. The whole point is a distributed database

⏹️ ▶️ John is not a foreign thing to the internet. The whole internet works based on that, just based on DNS

⏹️ ▶️ John and TLS certificates alone, right? If that didn’t work, nothing would work on the internet and none of that uses

⏹️ ▶️ John crypto. And that’s what something like a Blue Sky type thing or a Macedon

⏹️ ▶️ John type thing should work. That when you download the client, you don’t have to know any of that’s going on behind the scenes, but

⏹️ ▶️ John it is resilient against any one company failing. And it can implement a global namespace.

⏹️ ▶️ John Hey, DNS, a global namespace. you can implement a global namespace to give you unstable URLs.

⏹️ ▶️ John Because like, oh, a stable URL, how does this URL work? Well, when you look at that, when you click on that URL,

⏹️ ▶️ John you know, we distribute the IP address that responds to that URL such that

⏹️ ▶️ John some server will answer on it in your locality and get you the answer to, you know, like,

⏹️ ▶️ John it’s complicated, I’m not saying it’s easy, there’s a reason no one has done it. And like, how

⏹️ ▶️ John do you incentivize people to do that? Like, because they’re not gonna do it unless there’s money to be made, right? And that’s why the blue sky thing is

⏹️ ▶️ John kind of like, I think it was Jack Dorsey, like just feeling bad about making Twitter a private company and starting this

⏹️ ▶️ John project to fix it or whatever. And it’s probably gonna go nowhere, but that’s sort of my hope for like the

⏹️ ▶️ John distant future, again, assuming we’re not all dead from the water wars, where

⏹️ ▶️ John we come up with a real better solution to this that gives us the value that we got out of Twitter without

⏹️ ▶️ John any of the baggage long after, you know, Twitter 2.0 or 3.0 or 4.0 have burned to the ground.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco See, I feel like even that distributed ID thing, That is a pipe dream

⏹️ ▶️ Marco of ever becoming a significant thing because here’s what would happen. We’ve seen this pattern over and over again. Here’s what

⏹️ ▶️ Marco always happens. I could go in there and get as my ID and it’s like, all right, this is me. This

⏹️ ▶️ Marco is verified me and I have some crypto signature that says that-

⏹️ ▶️ John No, no crypto, no crypto. And you just get at Marco or at Marco Armin. It doesn’t have to be any more complicated

⏹️ ▶️ John than Twitter.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Okay, but then what’s gonna happen? That’s gonna be too hard for most people to do.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco And so someone’s gonna come up with, you know, slash Marco. And then they’re gonna say, hey,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco you can come sign up at and get whatever you want.

⏹️ ▶️ John What’s the too hard part?

⏹️ ▶️ Marco The like, you know, setting up your own, your own like DNS entry or whatever.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, John You

⏹️ ▶️ John would just download the app and sign, like the user experience would be exactly like Twitter. You download an app and you sign up and you

⏹️ ▶️ John enter a username and see if it’s taken and you make a password. Like that’s it, that’s the user experience.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I don’t know, see like, but without something central, there are so many potential pitfalls

⏹️ ▶️ Marco of like abuse, spam, fraud.

⏹️ ▶️ John Just like there is in DNS and TLS root certificates. I’m not saying this is easy to do, but it has

⏹️ ▶️ John been done without crypto, a shared database among parties that ostensibly don’t trust

⏹️ ▶️ John each other, building trust in ways that do not involve solving Sudokus.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I don’t know, to me, that’s a very different problem space. How

⏹️ ▶️ Marco many root certificates are there? I don’t know, I don’t know, maybe like 100?

⏹️ ▶️ John No, I’m not saying it’s easy, but I’m saying we have proof, like DNS is the best example. DNS is

⏹️ ▶️ John a single unified namespace with a lot of entries, not just like the number of root certificates. There are a lot of

⏹️ ▶️ John DNS names and DNS poisoning is a problem and so on and so forth. And parties don’t trust

⏹️ ▶️ John each other and authoritarian countries have their own weird DNS things where they’re screwing

⏹️ ▶️ John stuff up. But if DNS didn’t work, nothing would work on the internet. And people, what you’re doing, mass

⏹️ ▶️ John anonymous, you’re trying to piggyback on DNS to some degree, but that’s like, what I’m saying is a system that is like DNS,

⏹️ ▶️ John but is not DNS for identity for a service like Twitter. And all the crypto

⏹️ ▶️ John people are screaming their bloody heads off right now. It was like,

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco this is

⏹️ ▶️ John exactly what crypto should be used for. Again.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco No, they’re all still crying because all their money got stolen slash

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, John burned to the ground or whatever. No, it’s like,

⏹️ ▶️ John I

⏹️ ▶️ Marco feel like

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, John DNS is. Couldn’t have

⏹️ ▶️ Marco happened to better people.

⏹️ ▶️ John Yeah, exactly. There’s just so many ridiculous downsides to that. And we

⏹️ ▶️ John did this in whatever, whenever DNS was made in the 60s, 70s. we have a proof of concept

⏹️ ▶️ John that is super important to the underpinnings of the internet. Anything you can say that you’re gonna say, that’s why we need crypto,

⏹️ ▶️ John I would just keep pointing at DNS and say they didn’t need crypto, but how do they, well, why don’t you ask them? Why don’t

⏹️ ▶️ John you ask them how it works? But what about bad actors? But what about DNS poisoning? But what about China? It’s like, yeah, those are all problems,

⏹️ ▶️ John solvable without destroying the world. Oh God, I’m sorry, crypto

⏹️ ▶️ John people. I’m not.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey, John Yeah, I’m not. Before

⏹️ ▶️ Casey, Marco we

⏹️ ▶️ Casey move on, I think it’s worth, And I don’t mean to start a whole nother tangent,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey but I think it’s worth calling out our friend, Matt and Reece and, which has

⏹️ ▶️ Casey different trade-offs than Mastodon and is different in a lot of ways. But one of the things that I think is very interesting about micro

⏹️ ▶️ Casey blog is that. It is really intended to be clear

⏹️ ▶️ Casey that it’s your content and it’s your stuff. Now, granted it’s stored

⏹️ ▶️ Casey on the micro blog, you know, servers and so on, but Like my microblog, I have

⏹️ ▶️ Casey a microblog account and it’s at Lists, but if you go to,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey you know, you can find me there. And you can also, if I remember right,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I think yes, that, so that, that is all my stuff. And when you go to, it doesn’t

⏹️ ▶️ Casey redirect, like it, it, it presents as And

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I think it’s really important, Amand, that, you know, it’s clear that this is your stuff and it lives in kind

⏹️ ▶️ Casey of your world and you can tweak it very Tumblr-esque, you know, you can tweak it to your heart’s content. And actually in a lot of ways

⏹️ ▶️ Casey it’s very similar to Tumblr but, you know, oriented specifically around microblogging. And

⏹️ ▶️ Casey again, a different set of trade-offs. We need to go into the ins and outs of it right now and I’m still trying to figure out exactly

⏹️ ▶️ Casey how I would verbalize the trade-offs between the two. But it is worth pointing out and

⏹️ ▶️ Casey in, you know, microblog is, from what I can tell, a really, really chill place right now. I I think in part because

⏹️ ▶️ Casey it costs money to join it and there’s something to be said for that So it might be worth taking a look

⏹️ ▶️ Casey there as well. And they also And my understanding of this is very fuzzy But you

⏹️ ▶️ Casey can I guess present as a mastodon friendly account using activity

⏹️ ▶️ Casey pub You can like set up a mastodon username or something like that And then that would allow mastodon

⏹️ ▶️ Casey users to follow you and I think you can follow mastodon users and microblog again I’m very fuzzy on all this,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey but there’s some amount of interoperability between the two. And

⏹️ ▶️ Casey it’s worth checking out. Again, Manton’s a friend of ours. Gina McDonald, who I think is their community manager, I

⏹️ ▶️ Casey think is her title, a dear friend of ours. So I’m biased, but it’s

⏹️ ▶️ Casey worth looking at.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah. And this is like, the idea of the activity pub being like the glue that

⏹️ ▶️ Marco can actually glue together all these services, that’s very promising.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I just, I hope that kind of thing really takes off. I hope that I’m totally

⏹️ ▶️ Marco wrong, that this kind of stuff will be too hard for people, and I hope that in a few years, we’re all

⏹️ ▶️ Marco talking on different services in a federated world, using ActivityPub to communicate between them, and most

⏹️ ▶️ Marco of them are Mastodon, some of them are MicroBlogging, I hope that world comes to be. That would be

⏹️ ▶️ Marco way better than being all centralized under Twitter in most ways, but I just

⏹️ ▶️ Marco don’t think it’s going to turn out that way. The world has shown time and time again that people

⏹️ ▶️ Marco really value the conveniences and features of centralized, you know, massive services.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco And I hope I’m wrong. You know, world proved me wrong here, but I wouldn’t bet on it.

⏹️ ▶️ John Yeah, that’s what I was saying. Like if you have to provide the same user experiences to it, I’m just saying there’s a technical way to do that

⏹️ ▶️ John so that the experience is the same, but the underpinnings are not controlled by a single company. That’s the trick. Because if you do

⏹️ ▶️ John anything that is actually federated, like just even email, you inevitably end

⏹️ ▶️ John up with big companies controlling most people on the service. Most people’s email addresses

⏹️ ▶️ John are like Hotmail, Gmail, Yahoo, Reddit, right? And that’s despite the fact that email is totally federated. You could

⏹️ ▶️ John run your own email server, whatever, but like the world changed in such a way that it’s basically A, it’s basically impossible to successfully run your

⏹️ ▶️ John own email server, which we talked about in the past, right? And B, most people who aren’t

⏹️ ▶️ John tech nerds end up at one of these big companies, right? That’s inevitable with any kind of thing

⏹️ ▶️ John that is technically complicated. So the only way to solve that problem to actually be decentralized, but

⏹️ ▶️ John also have the user experience of centralized is with something like I was describing, which is very difficult to pull

⏹️ ▶️ John off. Because we know it can be done, but can it be done in today’s environment? Can it be

⏹️ ▶️ John done in the face of where actual money gets spent? VC companies are not going to fund that, because how

⏹️ ▶️ John do you make money from it? They want the control. They want the information. And

⏹️ ▶️ John even if you do that, there are more problems past that. Twitter search, centralized search,

⏹️ ▶️ John is much more difficult to do in the federated world. You end up having to fall all the way back to Google. But you say, that’s fine, I’ll just use Google.

⏹️ ▶️ John But centralization of Google as a power on the web is itself a problem, right? But

⏹️ ▶️ John trying to do real-time, the type of real-time live searches

⏹️ ▶️ John and looking at even just hashtags or anything else, like stuff that Twitter is able

⏹️ ▶️ John to pull off because they are a centralized private company is so much harder to do in a federated

⏹️ ▶️ John world and is equally hard to do in a world that’s trying to look centralized but isn’t because looking

⏹️ ▶️ John centralized is half the battle. Then you have to, you know, the fact that you aren’t means you have to now

⏹️ ▶️ John implement these features. Try implementing real-time search such that when somebody tweets that anyone in the world can

⏹️ ▶️ John see that tweet in their search moments later in a world where things under the covers are distributed as DNS. If you’ve

⏹️ ▶️ John played anything with DNS, you know its strength is not making changes visible to everybody very quickly,

⏹️ ▶️ John right? That TTL is very often a lie and TTL exists for a reason. like, you know, DNS

⏹️ ▶️ John is not the solution to this. It is just an example of that type of thing. And that’s, you know, and the

⏹️ ▶️ John fact that DNS is there, it’s why people piggyback on DNS so much. I mean, obviously email does,

⏹️ ▶️ John but even things like Java with the, you know, and that everyone else copied with a reverse DNS naming scheme

⏹️ ▶️ John or whatever. It’s like, I have a big problem. I need namespaces for classes in my programming languages.

⏹️ ▶️ John I need namespaces for bundle identifiers for my apps. That problem is too big for me to solve. Can I piggyback

⏹️ ▶️ John on DNS? Done, right? and we just make it the convention, again, not enforced

⏹️ ▶️ John by crypto, that it has to be com.mycompany.myappname, com.mycompany.mycooljava

⏹️ ▶️ John class, right? And then we’ve just pushed off that problem onto DNS. You cannot push off the

⏹️ ▶️ John Twitter problem onto DNS, but it shows how much value there is that we’re able to take this janky,

⏹️ ▶️ John mostly unencrypted, completely insecure, scary, designed in the 70s

⏹️ ▶️ John thing that underpins the entire internet because it is so essential to have something like that. I just hope

⏹️ ▶️ John someday in my life there is another thing that is like DNS but

⏹️ ▶️ John better modernized but equally decentralized that can underpin the pipe

⏹️ ▶️ John dream of every company in our lifetimes, especially Microsoft, of

⏹️ ▶️ John centralized identity on the internet that is not tied to a single company. I forget what it was called, but Microsoft first took a run

⏹️ ▶️ John at that and everybody freaked out but now everybody takes a little run at it and then runs away screaming. Someday it might

⏹️ ▶️ John happen.

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#askatp: Downloading Xcode

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Let’s do some Ask ATP. Eshoo Marniti writes, what’s the best way of downloading Xcode?

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I’ve heard a lot of mixed opinions slash statements about how the Mac App Store one sucks, and

⏹️ ▶️ Casey some download it via an app called Xcodes. I think it’d be interesting to hear about what you all do and what the differences are.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I’ve done Mac App Store. I’ve done downloading it directly from the web, and

⏹️ ▶️ Casey currently my preferred method is the Xcodes app. It just basically does

⏹️ ▶️ Casey magic to look at what the available versions of Xcode are and makes it basically one click

⏹️ ▶️ Casey install or uninstall. And I really dig that. And that’s what I’ve been using for the last few months.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I actually just use the developer website, like, like where you download the betas.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I just download it from there. Usually the latest version is available, at least for a little while after it comes

⏹️ ▶️ Marco out. And so I just download it there. I have previously had the Mac App Store

⏹️ ▶️ Marco version. I have found that to be much slower to update.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco And so if you really want to get, oh, I need the latest one right now, like it ends up that usually takes a longer time

⏹️ ▶️ Marco both to see the update and then also then to actually install the update. It’s just,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Xcode is a giant app with tons and tons of files and whatever

⏹️ ▶️ Marco the process is through the App Store to update apps, it seems to be significantly slower than just downloading

⏹️ ▶️ Marco the dot zip thing from Apple and installing it directly. So I

⏹️ ▶️ Marco just download the zip files now from the developer site.

⏹️ ▶️ John Yeah, I will second that. Do not do the Mac App Store. I think the Mac App Store is mostly doing the

⏹️ ▶️ John same thing that has to be done by any of the techniques, but the Mac App Store is so

⏹️ ▶️ John bad at giving you any progress indication and so bad about letting you pause and resume

⏹️ ▶️ John the thing. I haven’t actually used Xcodes. I just go to, go to the

⏹️ ▶️ John download section, you will get a file that ends in.xip. That’s the zip file. we’re saying is an

⏹️ ▶️ John X instead of a Z, it’s a.xip. And downloading that file takes a long time depending

⏹️ ▶️ John on your internet connection because it’s very large, right? Decompressing slash verifying the

⏹️ ▶️ John signatures of that file, un-xiping it, unzipping it, takes so long. And

⏹️ ▶️ John I love that to be a step that I can take, because downloading it just downloads into your download folder and it sits

⏹️ ▶️ John there. You can let it sit there for an hour a day and come back tomorrow. Unzipping it, un-xiping it, also

⏹️ ▶️ John takes a long time. while you’re doing that, I can be in Xcode doing stuff while that is just running.

⏹️ ▶️ John And then it unzips and then maybe the next day I come and finally quit Xcode.

⏹️ ▶️ John I was gonna say drag the old one out of my applications folder and put in the garbage, but don’t do that. Listen to me for a second.

⏹️ ▶️ John Recursively remove the existing Xcode with the RM command from the command line because it is so

⏹️ ▶️ John much faster to do that than to empty the trash in your finder. See,

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco press it with those, what we talked

⏹️ ▶️ John about this, right? And then drag the new one from downloads, right? And so that process I may do

⏹️ ▶️ John in a leisurely pace and I’m not in a big hurry over the course of one or two days. And at no point

⏹️ ▶️ John during that process am I stuck that I can’t do development work. So that’s why

⏹️ ▶️ John I always go and download the thing myself, uncompress the thing myself, and swap it in for

⏹️ ▶️ John the other one myself. Because the tools to do those individual tasks are easy. It’s easy to download

⏹️ ▶️ John something. Use the browser of your choice. Use whatever download thing. Use Wget, like whatever, you know, well,

⏹️ ▶️ John Wget might be hard with the authentication. download it, unzip it, there’s one application on your Mac

⏹️ ▶️ John that’s gonna do that, it’s gonna have a progress bar, you can watch it, let it sit there, and then swap it for the old one. Tons

⏹️ ▶️ John of ways to do that, you can do it in the Finder if you wanted, you can do it like me and recursively remove very carefully the previous one,

⏹️ ▶️ John and then put the new one in its place. That’s my preferred technique, but whatever you do, don’t do the Mac App Store, because it takes a really

⏹️ ▶️ John long time and you have no control over it, and it’s not fun.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I would encourage you and the listeners to try Xcodes, because it

⏹️ ▶️ Casey, John doesn’t-

⏹️ ▶️ John Yeah, I should, I hadn’t actually heard of it, I gotta get that now.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey It’s very, very good. And, um, is that, is that like

⏹️ ▶️ Marco safe? Like I, I just, I don’t like the idea of having anybody get between me

⏹️ ▶️ Marco and Apple with Xcode. Like that’s, that’s a pretty high risk thing.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, John Yeah.

⏹️ ▶️ John I understand that. What about the, that’s the, uh, what is it? The Richie paper, uh, thoughts on trusting

⏹️ ▶️ John trusts. Someone in the chat room, get me that one. We’ll put it in the show notes.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Yeah, no, I know what you’re thinking of. Um, but no, I think it’s safe. I mean, it’s all open source.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey, Marco I

⏹️ ▶️ Marco mean, like it probably is safe, but like that’s, it’s just like, how much am I willing to outsource

⏹️ ▶️ Marco the acquisition of Xcode to some third party? To

⏹️ ▶️ Marco me, that trade-off is not worth it. That’s

⏹️ ▶️ Casey fair. I personally don’t see it as a particular problem because

⏹️ ▶️ Casey this is such a popular tool. I presume somebody has gone through it. Maybe not, but I presume somebody

⏹️ ▶️ Casey hasn’t, certainly.

⏹️ ▶️ John The popular tool means that if someone has exploited it, you’re hoping that someone else is going to be the sucker that finds out

⏹️ ▶️ John and you’ll read about it before that. Wherever you read about it, probably on Twitter, because you see the updates in real time and

⏹️ ▶️ John it’s not federated.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Oh man, one of these days we’re not gonna talk about Twitter, right? One, maybe, one day. Anyway,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I would seriously recommend checking it out and like I said, going spelunking through the source code if you really fancy it.

#askatp: Best-designed Apple Mac app

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Claude Zines writes, what do you think is the best design Mac app that Apple currently makes? And for probably

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Syracuse, what do you think is the best design Mac app that Apple has ever made? For me, I

⏹️ ▶️ Casey honestly don’t know. I really don’t. I was thinking about this on

⏹️ ▶️ Casey and off and I’m not actively bothered by many of Apple’s

⏹️ ▶️ Casey apps, except music, and home to some degree. But I don’t think

⏹️ ▶️ Casey that I can think of any shining example of something really, really good. I think notes is close.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I mean, it’s not crazy powerful and it has some things I wish I could change, but it’s pretty

⏹️ ▶️ Casey darn good. So maybe I would say notes, but I’m hoping one of you is going to come up with something and I’m going to say, oh

⏹️ ▶️ Casey no, no, no, that’s my answer. So I think we started with Marco first last time. So John, what’s

⏹️ ▶️ Casey, Marco it going

⏹️ ▶️ Marco to be? No, start with me because I’m going to, John’s going to have the right answer. I’m only going to have wrong answers.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, Casey Ah,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey that’s fair. Okay. No, that’s fair.

⏹️ ▶️ John I think we’re both going to have, well, go ahead. I think we want to have at least, there’s at least one mediocre answer that Casey

⏹️ ▶️ John will like.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah, so my, I mean, really, I think Home is the best designed app.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I hope you’re kidding. I hope you’re kidding so

⏹️ ▶️ Casey, Marco badly.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, Casey Yeah,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco of course.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, Casey No,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I don’t know. I also, I thought of Notes. I feel like if you’re looking at,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco you know, Apple has many styles they’ve used over time. Notes, I think, is the best

⏹️ ▶️ Marco example of Apple’s current style where they’re very iOS-y. Notes

⏹️ ▶️ Marco is very iOS-styled, but it’s still very functional as a Mac app.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I would say, I think I like better than Notes, I think I like Mail.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco For being a kind of more Mac-like experience, I think Mail

⏹️ ▶️ Marco is that. That being said, I’m not on Ventura yet, so I don’t know if Ventura Mail is maybe worse in some way.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco It’s better and worse, I’d say. Oh, great. Okay. Well, anyway, I almost

⏹️ ▶️ Marco thought of maybe saying Safari, but I don’t know. really hard because what what Apple

⏹️ ▶️ Marco design means changes over time and and I think

⏹️ ▶️ Marco on the Mac especially they’re not currently in a very good place so so I don’t know John what’s the

⏹️ ▶️ Marco right answer

⏹️ ▶️ John I’m surprised that there was so much waffling about this like I think there’s probably a better answer than the one I’m going to give but the one

⏹️ ▶️ John that immediately sprung to my mind is Safari like Safari is

⏹️ ▶️ John a Mac e Mac app I don’t think it makes any unforced errors like Like there’s no like

⏹️ ▶️ John super obvious annoyance that’s been there for years that we all hate. And most of the things it

⏹️ ▶️ John does it does really well and in a Mac like way just think about things like oh can I can I drag

⏹️ ▶️ John an image off of the thing what can I do with the address bar how do the preferences work how do the tabs work

⏹️ ▶️ John like it’s just it’s a really good Mac it always has kind of always has been a really good Mac app even as the

⏹️ ▶️ John times have changed. And yeah it’s just a web browser and we kind of take it for granted

⏹️ ▶️ John but I think that’s part of its strength. Like you don’t spend a lot of your time just grinding it. Maybe the people who wanted

⏹️ ▶️ John the color fave icons and tabs were grinding their teeth, but that’s solved now too. Like it’s, that’s the

⏹️ ▶️ John easy answer. I think there’s probably a better one. I’m scrolling through my applications folder to try to like jog my memory. There’s

⏹️ ▶️ John probably something that is better, but I wouldn’t pick notes because I feel like notes for all its great features

⏹️ ▶️ John and everything, it’s like, you know, what I would consider like an okay third

⏹️ ▶️ John party application. Like, but Safari, there is like, when I think of, well, if there was a third party

⏹️ ▶️ John browser that use WebKit or whatever, you know, setting aside the engine, they could make a much better thing than

⏹️ ▶️ John that. It’s much more full featured, more interesting, more whimsical, more surprise and delight, more, you know, well,

⏹️ ▶️ John more better done. And I don’t think that’s possible. I think Safari really just does not make

⏹️ ▶️ John any, doesn’t put a foot wrong for the most part. It does what it does and it does what it does really well. So that’s

⏹️ ▶️ John my easy answer. And

⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey I think, I

⏹️ ▶️ Casey, John mean- That’s

⏹️ ▶️ Casey mostly a good answer. I’d mostly agree.

⏹️ ▶️ John And mail, like the reason I think that’s not true is mail is kind of like notes and that it’s a good bundled

⏹️ ▶️ John application to have a basic mail client, but geez, any good third party mail client from the past

⏹️ ▶️ John you would say is better than it. Even hell, MimeStream today is probably better than it. And certainly something like

⏹️ ▶️ John the Entourage or like in those days, like, I don’t know, it’s not comparable because it’s an ancient era or

⏹️ ▶️ John whatever, but like, Entourage or, you know, Clarice email stomps

⏹️ ▶️ John all over current Apple mail in a million different ways in terms of kind of like comparing like, you know,

⏹️ ▶️ John athletes from their eras, right? Eclairs email and entourage in their era were

⏹️ ▶️ John so stood so much taller above their contemporary apps than does

⏹️ ▶️ John Apple Mail today. Not that Apple Mail is a bad application, but geez, it is not the best one Apple makes.

⏹️ ▶️ John And then in terms of what’s the best design backup that Apple has ever made?

⏹️ ▶️ John That’s tough. I mean, my easy answer for that is the the classic

⏹️ ▶️ John Mac OS finder probably peeking around about the time that pop up tab folders came into being

⏹️ ▶️ John and most of the the annoying problems are out because I think that was again an example of an

⏹️ ▶️ John app that had just been polished within an inch of its life and had just recently got it gotten some really new features

⏹️ ▶️ John and most of the the bad things about it like not being able to copy more than one thing to a floppy disk at a time had

⏹️ ▶️ John been solved right obviously different error no memory protection blah blah blah, but that’s

⏹️ ▶️ John my sentimental favorite. There’s probably again, some other things that I’m not thinking of in

⏹️ ▶️ John the past, but you know, classic Mac Finder, circa Mac OS 8 or 9-ish

⏹️ ▶️ John is probably my answer for best design Mac I’ve ever made. And kind of like Safari, you take it for granted.

⏹️ ▶️ John People don’t even think of it an app. It’s like, the reason you take it for granted is it just did what it needed to do in

⏹️ ▶️ John a way that everybody understood. And as long as it didn’t crash, you’re like, oh, fine, that’s not even an app. That’s just the

⏹️ ▶️ John way my computer works. And that I feel like is an achievement in itself.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Fun!

#askatp: Being a good boss

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Finally, Andrew Larson writes, I was listening to the episode of Rectifs where John was explaining to Merlin the reasons for leaving

⏹️ ▶️ Casey his job, and I picked up on a line about how a good boss will work with you on family issues you might be having.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Ahem, Elon. It was my understanding that you have all once had the privilege of leading people, or at a minimum,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey you’ve been on teams of people led by someone. Personally I’m new to leading people. What advice would you give to

⏹️ ▶️ Casey someone who is new to leadership from the perspective of some pretty talented people who have led or been led by someone tech

⏹️ ▶️ Casey or non-tech related? I’ve never led anyone.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I never had any sort of like subordinate when I was working.

⏹️ ▶️ John And you could be, I think Marco leads himself and his employees a jerk.

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco The worst

⏹️ ▶️ John employee you have to deal with. I know that’s not the question, but like being your own boss is

⏹️ ▶️ John actually kind of a form of leadership and you have to lead yourself, which is actually a fairly difficult

⏹️ ▶️ John thing to do not to sidetrack this, but you know, if you even if you think you Casey or you Marco have never

⏹️ ▶️ John like led a team of other developers to do a thing, the leadership experience

⏹️ ▶️ John is relevant for being self-employed as well.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah, I think it’s a very different skill though. Like, they’re both hard problems, but these are both very different

⏹️ ▶️ Marco problems.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Also, I think there’s two different versions of lead, right, I read this as like being a

⏹️ ▶️ Casey HR leader, like a boss, basically. A people manager. Right, thank you.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Having reports. Exactly, I’ve never been in that position, but I was what

⏹️ ▶️ Casey the companies I was in typically called a tech lead for many, many, many different times. And

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I certainly have thoughts on that. If that’s where Andrew was going with this, but again, I read that more as people

⏹️ ▶️ Casey manager, not technical leader.

⏹️ ▶️ John Yeah. So I’ve, I’ve been both of those things. I’ve done tech leads. I’ve been a people manager

⏹️ ▶️ John and I’ve been both at the same time for the same people. Sometimes I’ve been those same things at the same time for

⏹️ ▶️ John different people, which I think is the most difficult where you have a team of people reporting to you and also you’re a

⏹️ ▶️ John tech lead for a larger only slightly overlapping thing.

⏹️ ▶️ John But yeah I think this is mostly a people management thing. There’s a reason I have not been a people manager most of

⏹️ ▶️ John the time is because I don’t think that’s where my skills lie. At various times based on the

⏹️ ▶️ John promotional ladder at various companies sometimes you can’t avoid being a people manager if you want to get promoted or you get you

⏹️ ▶️ John know not forced into the situation but you know offered a quote-unquote promotion that makes you a people manager

⏹️ ▶️ John as part of your responsibilities and you feel like you have to take it to advance your career and that

⏹️ ▶️ John will show you whether you think you have any kind of aptitude for it but you know the it’s a very difficult

⏹️ ▶️ John job and the skills required for it are different than the skills required for being

⏹️ ▶️ John a developer but there is a lot of overlap because as a developer as we’ve talked about in past shows

⏹️ ▶️ John you have to learn how to communicate and work with people no they’re not your reports but you have to

⏹️ ▶️ John communicate and work with your peers, you have to communicate upward in the org chart downwards and sideways. That’s part

⏹️ ▶️ John of your job as a developer. And it’s an increasing part of your job as a developer, as you, you know, become

⏹️ ▶️ John more experienced and sort of climb the corporate ladder and gain more responsibility. And at no point are you a people manager

⏹️ ▶️ John in there, but you still have to have those people skills. Being a people manager requires those

⏹️ ▶️ John same people skills, and then much more on top of that, because now you’re responsible for people, you’re responsible for

⏹️ ▶️ John their, their well being, you’re responsible for their performance, you’re responsible for getting them promoted

⏹️ ▶️ John when they do a good job and dealing with it when they don’t do a bad job. And it is a huge amount of responsibility and a very

⏹️ ▶️ John difficult job. And some people thrive in that environment and love it and become better

⏹️ ▶️ John at it. And other people run screaming from it. So the first thing I would say is figure out whether

⏹️ ▶️ John this is a thing you want to do. Because I know it might seem like you have no choice because to get promoted you have to become a people manager. But

⏹️ ▶️ John I can tell you that you can find companies where there is an individual contributor

⏹️ ▶️ John track that you can still get promoted on and not have to have people report to you. But if you do find that you

⏹️ ▶️ John like it, even if you’re very bad at it in the beginning and you absolutely will be, just like everyone is a crappy programmer in the beginning, everybody

⏹️ ▶️ John is a crappy manager in the beginning. What you wanna do is learn how to not be a crappy manager.

⏹️ ▶️ John And that is a long road and it is very much learning, you know, it’s kind of like being a parent. You’re not a good parent

⏹️ ▶️ John in the beginning, nobody is. You have no idea what you’re doing, but hopefully you learn over time and hopefully

⏹️ ▶️ John you don’t screw up your kids too much along the way. It’s

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco exactly the same

⏹️ ▶️ John way with reports. Your first reports, you’re probably going to make tons and tons of mistakes.

⏹️ ▶️ John Learn from them. Be empathetic. Be a human being. Don’t be, you know, don’t, don’t be as

⏹️ ▶️ John cold and callous as Elon Musk. Don’t buy into the toxic things you may think about productivity

⏹️ ▶️ John and, you know, workaholism and avoid any authoritarian impulse. You have, these

⏹️ ▶️ John are also, this is also advice for parenting.

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco Avoid,

⏹️ ▶️ John avoid any authoritarian impulse you may have. Avoid trying to take lessons from your own upbringing and your

⏹️ ▶️ John own bad bosses in the past and replaying those things out, replaying those traumas

⏹️ ▶️ John out to your current reports. And that’s a lot of work. That is a lot of, as they say, emotional

⏹️ ▶️ John labor where you have to moderate yourself and your feelings to

⏹️ ▶️ John achieve a goal within the company because you can’t, your job is not to throw a tantrum

⏹️ ▶️ John or start screaming at people even though you might feel very frustrated because that’s why you’re the manager. If your employee

⏹️ ▶️ John starts screaming and everything, you as a manager have to learn how to deal with that. So, I know if

⏹️ ▶️ John I was better at being a people manager, I would have more actionable advice, but all I can tell you is, here’s the shape of the territory.

⏹️ ▶️ John And it is a very difficult skill and you’re going to be bad at it. But if you think it’s something that you might enjoy, it

⏹️ ▶️ John is possible to get good at it, probably by asking somebody other than me how to do so.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Thanks to our sponsors this week, Squarespace, Trade Coffee, and Linode. Thanks to our

⏹️ ▶️ Marco members who support us directly. You can join slash join. will talk to you

⏹️ ▶️ Marco next week.

Ending theme

⏹️ ▶️ John Now the show is over,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey they didn’t even mean to begin Cause it was accidental, oh

⏹️ ▶️ Casey it was accidental John didn’t do any research, Margo

⏹️ ▶️ Casey and Casey wouldn’t

⏹️ ▶️ John let him Cause it was accidental,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey oh it was accidental And you can find the show notes

⏹️ ▶️ John at And if you’re into Twitter,

⏹️ ▶️ John you can follow them at

⏹️ ▶️ Marco C-A-S-E-Y-L-I-S-S So that’s Casey Liss, M-A-R-C-O-A-R-M,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Auntie Marco Armin,

⏹️ ▶️ John S-I-R-A-C-U-S-A-C-R-A-Q-U-S-A It’s

⏹️ ▶️ John accidental,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey they didn’t mean to

⏹️ ▶️ John Accidental, accidental, tech podcast

⏹️ ▶️ John so long.

Two databases

⏹️ ▶️ Casey What do we got for an after show?

⏹️ ▶️ John Who did something exciting this week?

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I don’t know. I got nothing.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I don’t know either. I’m working on a database.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Like, it’s just not.

⏹️ ▶️ John Working on a database? What are you doing?

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Well, I’m working on two databases, actually. So I’m working on the server side. I’ve

⏹️ ▶️ Marco actually reached a fairly stable point in the Overcast server story. So since

⏹️ ▶️ Marco we last talked about this, I’ve been doing a lot of optimization on the server side. Like you

⏹️ ▶️ Marco know, I mentioned I had that one giant table that matched users to episodes.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco And it was like, by far my biggest table. And it was like hundreds of gigs, including hundreds of indexes.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Over the last month or so, I’ve gotten database loads way down,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco mostly from index consolidation on that table. So it used to have, I think, like three or

⏹️ ▶️ Marco four different indexes that different things would query. Now it has one index

⏹️ ▶️ Marco that I rewrote all the server side code to just use one index, like you know, to always query for these

⏹️ ▶️ Marco three columns like user ID, podcast ID, episode ID, like every query can can

⏹️ ▶️ Marco use that index now. So I don’t have to have a separate one for like, alright, if I only have

⏹️ ▶️ Marco a podcast ID, use this index, you know, like, there’s nothing like that anymore. I took recommendation indexing

⏹️ ▶️ Marco out of that. So I don’t have to have a recommended index on that. Anyway, all that has dramatically

⏹️ ▶️ Marco reduced the load on that server. And so, I’ve bought myself some time.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I’ve also gotten away from the situation where I had,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I discussed months ago, I was using S3 and S3 compatible things like Linux object storage

⏹️ ▶️ Marco and Cloudflare in front of all that. Trying to shift like the list of episodes in

⏹️ ▶️ Marco a podcast, trying to shift that onto a a CDN in some way or S3 fronted by a CDN.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco And that’s largely what I was doing all summer as like my various efforts

⏹️ ▶️ Marco to try to lighten the server load and that plan just hasn’t

⏹️ ▶️ Marco gone very well. I ran into a number of problems so using actual S3,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco having Cloudflare in front of it helps a lot but even just

⏹️ ▶️ Marco like the the right traffic to it, it was so excessive I was

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I ended up paying a lot just for rights to s3 so I switched over to linear object storage

⏹️ ▶️ Marco about half the summer and I it was much better there because it was way cheaper

⏹️ ▶️ Marco still having cloud still having cloudflare in front of it and everything but then I was I was hitting bugs

⏹️ ▶️ Marco of like you know the when you have a level of caching in front of your database in some way

⏹️ ▶️ Marco it’s right so I have in my code I would like all right every time a every time some episode data about a podcast

⏹️ ▶️ Marco changed, I would rewrite that record to the

⏹️ ▶️ Marco CDN. At first, I’d rewrite it to linear object storage and I would increment a version number so

⏹️ ▶️ Marco that way the next time the app fetched it, it would get a different URL because it had the version number at the end,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco which would invalidate the CDN, so it would bypass it. Anyway, but then what happens if the write

⏹️ ▶️ Marco fails to the object storage? Now I have out-of-date data and I can either blow up the crawl process

⏹️ ▶️ Marco and throw an exception so it doesn’t write anything, you know, or, you know, what if, what if the, what

⏹️ ▶️ Marco if there’s like a small race where like right after the object storage

⏹️ ▶️ Marco is updated, what if the CDN goes to read it and gets stale data? Then it has cached stale

⏹️ ▶️ Marco data. And so I had all these like weird edge case bugs that were causing occasional problems

⏹️ ▶️ Marco and dealing with this system ended up being so much more complex and so much more

⏹️ ▶️ Marco involved than not having it in the first place. So So

⏹️ ▶️ Marco what I did now is I eliminated the object storage layer of this stack.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Now I just have a server process, like a server method that reads data

⏹️ ▶️ Marco out of the database and serves it. And I have Cloudflare in front of that providing a short-lived cache.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Again, server load is not meaningfully higher with that, but I’ve gotten rid of a whole bunch

⏹️ ▶️ Marco of bugs. So I’m at a point now where I think I’m stable, much

⏹️ ▶️ Marco more stable than before. And I bought myself some time so I can

⏹️ ▶️ Marco finally stop working on my servers every single day and focus

⏹️ ▶️ Marco on something else.

⏹️ ▶️ John I have some bad news for you about that. I mean, you already know the news because you’ve done this before, but like, this reminds me of one

⏹️ ▶️ John of my past jobs where basically the entire history of the company was doing what you just described

⏹️ ▶️ John every year or two. Just forever. Like literally forever. Because like you would think you’re like, now

⏹️ ▶️ John I’ve, you know, I’ve done this thing where I’ve rearranged stuff in the database and did it like all the type

⏹️ ▶️ John of things you described like move this from over there and we Thought this would help but it didn’t put this back here And now I feel like I’m in a stable place and it’s just

⏹️ ▶️ John start a timer Because it’s like I mean it only if your growth continues Obviously this company was growing constantly like 30%

⏹️ ▶️ John year over year It’s like you’re gonna be doing all that again And every time you think now there’s no

⏹️ ▶️ John more I can’t get any more blood from this stone I’ve wrung out all the efficiency. It’s like guess what? And you know

⏹️ ▶️ John a year and a half You’re gonna be back at the same place and you’re gonna surprise yourself by finding even more stuff you can wring

⏹️ ▶️ John out and then keep going and keep going. It’s like it literally never ends. It’s like just the growth continues

⏹️ ▶️ John and you find new ways to make your relational database survive the load that you thought it could never survive

⏹️ ▶️ John by doing increasingly clever things. And just, yeah, that’s the

⏹️ ▶️ John treadmill. Oh, I suppose you want to get off that treadmill by going to CloudKit eventually, but we’ll see.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah. Well, and one thing that I think is worth context here is that Overcast

⏹️ ▶️ Marco is not growing very much. I’m not losing people, but I’m also not growing very aggressively.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco It’s a very, very slow growth.

⏹️ ▶️ John Well, you’re not growing in customers, but as you noted when you were messing with this in maybe one of the private things,

⏹️ ▶️ John the activity pattern of the existing users can change in response to things you don’t control, like Patreon

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco podcasts.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yes. One thing I learned is that as I was instrumenting various things and collecting

⏹️ ▶️ Marco stats in various ways, I noticed… I kind of knew this already, but I didn’t know quite

⏹️ ▶️ Marco to what degree, that Patreon feed updates are,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco like, I think like three quarters of my feed updates, or half, like it’s some

⏹️ ▶️ Marco absurd amount of my feed updates are just Patreon feeds, and so, I, that’s something that has changed over the last

⏹️ ▶️ Marco few years, that between Patreon and Substack and Ben Thompson stuff.

⏹️ ▶️ John And why we’re Patreon, is it because you have tons of people subscribing to Patreon things? It’s because

⏹️ ▶️ John the URLs are all unique per

⏹️ ▶️ Marco person, right? Not only are they all unique per person, but Patreon has time-bombed URLs in there

⏹️ ▶️ Marco as their enclosure URLs, so that every time you fetch the feed, every

⏹️ ▶️ Marco item has changes in it. That’s miserable.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, Casey Yes,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco it sure is. So, you know, one of the applications, a while ago I did a thing where

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I have, like, I used to, for a brief period, to try to solve that problem,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I sent all download URLs for the enclosure through a redirect that was fixed

⏹️ ▶️ Marco on Overcast. We’d be like, you know, slash download slash big hash. And that would never change.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco And so I, so like all the sync updates that would happen that, hey, something about this feed has

⏹️ ▶️ Marco changed. And so you’re at your copy of the app has to download and a whole new copy of the feed. All those updates were saved

⏹️ ▶️ Marco if all the change was the enclosure URL on all these Patreon feeds. Well, I, that ended up causing

⏹️ ▶️ Marco some problems occasionally with certain things. And so I turned it off a few months ago,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco but I turned it back on now only for feeds where I think it’s necessary.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco So like there’s heuristics that run where it’s like, you know, under certain conditions, it will now

⏹️ ▶️ Marco redirect downloads through that kind of URL and Patreon is one of those things where it’s like, you know, if you have like a private feed

⏹️ ▶️ Marco where it or it has under a certain number of subscribers, I will redirect it through these URLs.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco That way again, they stay fixed and we stop having to send all these duplicate updates. And so I basically spent,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco you know, a few weeks doing stuff like that, of like simplifying, getting rid of some of the tricks that didn’t

⏹️ ▶️ Marco work with the object storage, reintroducing an old trick that worked with this download URL

⏹️ ▶️ Marco thing, tweaking some of the Patreon refresh times and things like that, and optimizing

⏹️ ▶️ Marco various parts of my crawling process. Like it used to hit the database

⏹️ ▶️ Marco for getting all the list of items, it used to hit it twice, now it hits it once. That made crawling faster

⏹️ ▶️ Marco and lightened the load on a major database. Like there’s stuff like that, I was doing stuff like that, optimizing the different things,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco index consolidation on that one big database table. So now that’s

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I think stable. And so I’ve been actually spending the last

⏹️ ▶️ Marco few days working on a replacement for FC model.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco This is FC model is my old Objective C SQLite

⏹️ ▶️ Marco kind of model layer that Overcast uses and a couple other things,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I think including Castor, I think they ended up using it too. But anyway, it’s just this little open Swift library. Nobody

⏹️ ▶️ Marco should use it now. It’s outdated now. And it’s very Objective-C-E.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco And so I’ve wanted for a while to remake it using modern Swift stuff,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco modern Swift concurrency. And the reason I hadn’t remade it yet is, frankly, I just didn’t think I

⏹️ ▶️ Marco knew Swift well enough to really do a good job of it. Now I think I finally do. And so

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I’ve been remaking a new model layer using Swift and Swift concurrency. That will

⏹️ ▶️ Marco be the foundation for, hopefully, the next version of Overcast.

⏹️ ▶️ John Is it too much to hope that you’re writing unit tests for this thing? Because it’s a library.

⏹️ ▶️ John Come on, it’s a super important library. Now is the time to whip out those tests.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco In all fairness, FC model is the only other time I’ve written tests.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, John That’s what I’m saying.

⏹️ ▶️ John This is the time. It’s time for testing to shine.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, John Yeah.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco This I will

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, John I

⏹️ ▶️ Marco want I plan to maybe someday write tests for this. That’s a no.

⏹️ ▶️ John I want tests to exist. I just don’t want to be the one to write them.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Exactly. There you go. But yeah, so and this one so I’m going I’m writing directly against

⏹️ ▶️ Marco SQLite this time like before I used Gus Mueller’s excellent FMDB library, which was a great

⏹️ ▶️ Marco it’s a great SQLite bridge to Objective-C and FC model is based on that.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Now I’m eliminating the middle layer and just writing Swift directly to

⏹️ ▶️ Marco SQLite API.

⏹️ ▶️ John Isn’t there one of those? I was just thinking of something you were talking about. Isn’t there like a existing popular shim layer

⏹️ ▶️ John that basically puts a Swift front end on the SQLite C API?

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah, there’s a couple of them and I’m using none of them because that’s me.

⏹️ ▶️ John But I thought there was like one popular one that’s actually really thin so you wouldn’t have to rewrite that but oh well.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Have you met Marco?

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I know. The API is not, the SQLite API is not that

⏹️ ▶️ Marco and especially because like I’m not using all of the features of SQLite. I’m using a very

⏹️ ▶️ Marco small subset of them. So it really is not that bad. I

⏹️ ▶️ Marco don’t really need a whole big library that shims the entire API of SQLite

⏹️ ▶️ Marco for what I’m doing. I really need something very, very basic and limited. And so anyway, so

⏹️ ▶️ Marco just writing directly into the API, I thought was better for my needs and my preferences and my style. And

⏹️ ▶️ Marco it allows me to only have what I actually need and to know how every bit of it works. And I can make

⏹️ ▶️ Marco decisions like, you know, my concurrency story here is using the new Swift actor concept,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco which is a bit of a pain in the butt in certain ways, but I’m really happy with some of the ways it performs and

⏹️ ▶️ Marco some of the guarantees that it makes and everything. And I’m using all modern conventions everywhere

⏹️ ▶️ Marco of like, you know, using async stuff to fetch everything, using exception throwing instead

⏹️ ▶️ Marco of, you know, random assertions that could fail in weird ways, like, you know, doing everything

⏹️ ▶️ Marco kind of the newest, most modern way.

⏹️ ▶️ John How are you finding calling into the SQLite C APIs from Swift? Do you

⏹️ ▶️ John have a lot of unsafe this and unsafe that everywhere in your code?

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Shockingly, no, I have almost none. It’s really weird,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco like how little of that I needed. Swift is really good now at kind

⏹️ ▶️ Marco of marshalling stuff in and out of C libraries. And I don’t know if this is, you know, if the

⏹️ ▶️ Marco SQLite API just has a bunch of good annotations or whatever. I think it’s just the I think it’s just

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Swift has matured to the point where it does a lot of this stuff automatically for you or at least with with

⏹️ ▶️ Marco very little drama and there’s very little of that like ugly you know unsafe pointer stuff necessary.

⏹️ ▶️ John I’ll be interested. Is this going to be open source like FC model was?

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I don’t know yet. Open sourcing FC model. I’m not

⏹️ ▶️ Marco sure that was really worth it in the sense that like I did

⏹️ ▶️ Marco occasionally I got like one or two bug fixes from people over time from that and that was worth it to like to it

⏹️ ▶️ Marco better. But I’m not sure I want the liability of like, my stuff being

⏹️ ▶️ Marco used to as such a foundational layer and other people’s apps. And if I don’t open source it,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco not only does that reduce you know, my, my feel bad burden about what if I break your app, but

⏹️ ▶️ Marco it also gives me more flexibility to change it more dramatically over time. Like if I decide, hey, you know what, this API

⏹️ ▶️ Marco is actually kind of clunky, I want to read I want to rework the way this thing is called or deprecate this other thing. Like

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I can just make sure my one app is okay with that or modify my one app

⏹️ ▶️ Marco to use the new calling convention. And then that’s it. I don’t have to worry about that. So

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I might open source it eventually. But I want to I’m not gonna open source

⏹️ ▶️ Marco it yet, and possibly never, but I don’t know yet.

⏹️ ▶️ John Yeah, I mean, for something of this obscure within the smallish community of like developers who might

⏹️ ▶️ John be interested in this, you just throw it out there and just like never like basically have a readme that says I

⏹️ ▶️ John don’t support this, I don’t maintain it. If you want to do something with it, feel free but don’t don’t send me

⏹️ ▶️ John bugs. Don’t you know, I’m gonna I’m gonna break it and it’s gonna break your crap tough like you know, just like

⏹️ ▶️ John a big disclaimer, and we’ve talked in past shows about how you can’t actually do that because people expect you to maintain it no matter what. But I think the audience

⏹️ ▶️ John for this is small enough that you might be able to get away with basically the the chuck

⏹️ ▶️ John it over the wall and and then just continue to do exactly what you said, Oh, guess what I’ve decided this API needs to change.

⏹️ ▶️ John And I don’t care how many other people’s apps it breaks, because they should know that I’m not supporting this. And if that leads people to take

⏹️ ▶️ John your code and fork it, then it’s also not your problem. Like, you can make it not your problem while still having

⏹️ ▶️ John it out there for the internet as sort of a public good.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I mean, the other thing, though, is like if someone’s out there looking for a Swift SQLite

⏹️ ▶️ Marco or database library, they should probably use one of the bigger ones.

⏹️ ▶️ John That’s what I was going to say, is what you should do while you’re writing your library is look at the other ones, at least. Look at the one

⏹️ ▶️ John function that you’re going to write your version of and see is any edge case that they know about that you don’t know about.

⏹️ ▶️ John That’s the, that’s the benefit to the world of the having it open source. It’s just like, Hey, if someone cares, they can

⏹️ ▶️ John go look at it and learn something about, you know, the, the, the ins and outs of interfacing

⏹️ ▶️ John SQLite from Swift, right? And that’s, that’s the benefit you’d be providing anybody. You’re basically saying

⏹️ ▶️ John is I take no responsibility. If you use this in your app and I break it, don’t come crying to me. I don’t even need your

⏹️ ▶️ John bug reports, but I do want it to just be out there. as yet another Google hit for someone looking for how

⏹️ ▶️ John might one do a Swift front end to SQLite.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco That’s interesting. Yeah, maybe. I don’t know.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Plus, do you or do you not want unit tests? Because if you open source it, there’s at least

⏹️ ▶️ Casey, John a prayer. Make

⏹️ ▶️ Casey other people write your tests for you. Yeah, there’s at least a chance that you’ll get a unit test.

⏹️ ▶️ John Casey will write them for you.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Will he? If that’s a deal, then maybe I’ll open

⏹️ ▶️ John source it. Writing unit tests for a database interface layer is like how I spent half my career. I do not want

⏹️ ▶️ John to do that again voluntarily. It sounds fun, doesn’t it? Oh, so fun.

⏹️ ▶️ John So much fun.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Well, that’s the thing is that then you start getting into the fine line of like, is it a unit test or an integration test?

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Like, what is this?

⏹️ ▶️ John Exactly. Well, at least with SQLite, you don’t have to start a database server. Yeah, that’s true. The difference between mocking

⏹️ ▶️ John a database and having an actual SQLite, especially if it’s an in-memory database with no file on disk, it’s real blurry.

⏹️ ▶️ John Yeah,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey no, I agree. I mean, it’s interesting nonetheless. Honestly, as I was

⏹️ ▶️ Casey sitting here listening to you, I’ve never had the occasion, not once in my career of using SQLite.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I don’t know a whole lot about it, but I am

⏹️ ▶️ Casey very, very interested in Swift concurrency and async weight and stuff like that.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I understand it and I’m okay at it, but I wouldn’t say I’m particularly strong at it. So I would

⏹️ ▶️ Casey be interested in looking at this, not necessarily for the database stuff, not necessarily to use it,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey but more to kind of crib and understand, well, how does Marco approach async weight and concurrency and actors

⏹️ ▶️ Casey and things like that? And to help my understanding of these things, which I think is passable, but not, you know,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey super strong. And, and if you are in, are in the position that you feel

⏹️ ▶️ Casey like you are at least reasonably strong at those things, then that’s something that people like me or anyone else could

⏹️ ▶️ Casey learn from.

⏹️ ▶️ John Oh, you really kind of also have to see the, the use of it because with async and with,

⏹️ ▶️ John you know, actors and things like Sendible and all that, there is the possibility

⏹️ ▶️ John that it starts to, I’m not gonna say infect, but you know, well, okay, fine. That it starts to

⏹️ ▶️ John affect, affect, with the letter A,

⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey the code that uses it. And you know. No, you’re right, you’re absolutely right.

⏹️ ▶️ John Right, and like making an API such that that

⏹️ ▶️ John the tendrils of that are confined to where you want them to be. Like it is appropriate

⏹️ ▶️ John for this to make the calling code be shaped like this, but it is not appropriate

⏹️ ▶️ John for it to just thread through your entire application because something has to be sendable all the way up to the top, you know what I mean?

⏹️ ▶️ John Adjusting the library doesn’t let you know that. Marco will find that out when he tries to go use his library in his

⏹️ ▶️ John app and finds out that he has to go up 17 levels in the call stack to thread something through and make everything

⏹️ ▶️ John all async, but that’s the thing you only learn from using the library in

⏹️ ▶️ Marco an

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, Casey application.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah, and that’s one thing, by the way, it’s a pretty strong choice

⏹️ ▶️ Marco to make all of your database database calls go on an actor because on it’s on a custom actor,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco because that means that anything that calls into it to make a database query has to be from an async

⏹️ ▶️ Marco context. So that it there’s no good way

⏹️ ▶️ Marco to, you know, block and just wait till you get this like the others a few crappy ways. But

⏹️ ▶️ Marco basically, all of the calling code to use this is going to have to be async. And that

⏹️ ▶️ Marco is going to be a big pain in the butt at certain times. But where I arrive

⏹️ ▶️ Marco at the end of all that is going to be really great. And so that’s why this is like,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I’m kind of starting this out small, I’m going to try to start writing like a couple of subsystems of the app using this

⏹️ ▶️ Marco before I really replace all of my old model code with it. And that’s going to be a months

⏹️ ▶️ Marco long project that’s going to involve probably lots of rewriting of the app.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco And that’s that’s no small job. So that’s why this is kind of like a side project right now.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco It’s kind of in the Skunk Works area of Overcast right now. And I’ll

⏹️ ▶️ Marco probably ship some little thing behind the scenes using it soon. But it’s going to

⏹️ ▶️ Marco be a while before it’s the main database of the app. But it’s got to start sometime.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey, John Yeah.

⏹️ ▶️ John That’s where you need those unit tests that stress test the concurrency

⏹️ ▶️ John in ridiculous ways because you don’t want to find that out when you’re in your application. Like, finally, I’ve got everything all async, but

⏹️ ▶️ John now there’s a weird bug and I don’t understand it. It’s like, put the torture test into your unit test that have people

⏹️ ▶️ John adding and removing things simultaneously as fast as they can while something else tries to do a regular operation and make

⏹️ ▶️ John sure that it ends up in a sensible state afterwards and find those bugs in your unit test because trying to find them in your

⏹️ ▶️ John actual application is gonna be bad. And obviously, actors and all that is much better

⏹️ ▶️ John than threads and is probably even better than Grand Central Dispatch. There’s a reason,

⏹️ ▶️ John the technology for async on Apple platforms has gotten better and better over time. So hopefully, you’ll

⏹️ ▶️ John be mostly protected by that by doing best practices, but actors are still relatively new to Apple’s platform,

⏹️ ▶️ John so. It’s a good idea to actually have some kind of stress test that is not, I’ll just run

⏹️ ▶️ John my application and see if it works.