John Siracusa

Siracusa Says

A fun collection of things John Siracusa has said on podcasts

Do you agree to maintain

Domains are easy, unless you're everyone other than you.

Podcast: Accidental Tech Podcast
Episode: 549: Unathorized Trash Can

John: And what if they don’t want to deal with domains? You’d be like, oh, it’s easy. Dealing with domains is easy. It’s really easy to control. And fast mail setup is really like, you say that because you’re listening to ATP. But your kid may not want to have anything to do with computers.

So you can’t actually, you know, oh, I’m just going to have a family domain because there’s like, there’s no continuity plan. Unless you have like a chain of younger relations who agree to continue to maintain in perpetuity, don’t give your kids email addresses on that, don’t make them use it.

Millions of Person-Hours Wasted

USB-C has a long life ahead of it, just like USB-A, which has wasted millions of person-hours and devastated billions of lives.

Podcast: Accidental Tech Podcast
Episode: 553: Cut the Bridges to the Mainland

John: There are actually rumors that like, I think Apple has some patents on this, but Apple patents everything they ever think of, like every company, like magnetic connectors. That’s what Marco was kind of looking at. It’s not like MagSafe, but for data, right? So you wouldn’t actually have to have a hole in the device to stick a plug into, just magnetically connect to it. There’s all sorts of problems with that or whatever.

But anyway, I think there will be a successor design, but this USB-C design I think has just as much legs as USB-A. USB-A is like one of the worst connectors of our entire lives because of the external symmetry and internal asymmetry just frustrating just millions of person hours wasted putting the plug in twice or whatever.

Herds of Roombas

Do Roombas come in herds or litters? Or nothing at all?

Podcast: Robot or Not?
Episode: 242: A Group of Robots

John: animals any animal that’s solitary we don’t have i don’t think we have a collective noun for. I mean i suppose maybe if you have like snakes where they have like a a litter of snakes if a whole bunch are born at once or something like that but yeah it doesn’t apply to roombas because they don’t they don’t form groups so there is no collective noun they’re just robots. Or roomba. Or vacuums.

Don't Call Me Merch

Please. It's not the merch store. It's the ATP store.

Podcast: Accidental Tech Podcast
Episode: 532: The Meat Part of Multitasking

(modem screech)

Casey: The merch store is open, hooray!

John: It’s not called the merch store, please, please. Let’s not sell it yet with this terrible name. It’s the ATP store. The ATP store has returned. Time was that Casey would herald the return to the ATP store, but now he keeps saying merch and I don’t know why.

Casey: Do you wanna take this, John?

John: No, ATP store, please.

Casey: The ATP, don’t call it merch, don’t call it merchandise, it’s just the ATP store. It’s back, baby.

John: Thank you, that’s right.

You Wasted a Lot of Time With That Preamble

Casey and John haggle over the rules of podcasting.

Podcast: Accidental Tech Podcast
Episode: 538: We Studied Thousands of Heads

Casey: All right, we have been recording for something to the order of an hour and a half, hour and forty-five minutes. I have a feeling, John, you’re going to have a couple of words to say about gaming, but please remember that we have an entire other product line to talk about. So, use your time wisely, sir. Go.

John: Seems like you wasted a lot of time with that preamble. I could have just done it quickly.

A Mere 5K

The struggle is real as John attemps to fit everything he needs onto his 6K monitor.

Podcast: Accidental Tech Podcast
Episode: 531: Rock It in the Right Direction

Casey: Oh, the struggle! The struggle with your mere 5Ks, but now you’re back with all six of them.

John: But still not tiny enough. I know they did an update to Audio Hijack, probably partially in response to me complaining that you couldn’t make the window small enough, and so they made it so you can make the window smaller. And I can make it narrow enough now, but I can’t make it short enough. I gotta fit it into the little corner of my screen where it goes.

Casey: So, you know, I was gonna unload on YouTube about how ridiculous you are that you two, with your 6K monitors are somehow pressed for real estate, apparently?

John: I have a few windows open, I’m not sure if you heard.

They're Delusional

Car makers are delusional, software platforms are hard, and the Cingular of car companies will win.

Podcast: Accidental Tech Podcast
Episode: 530: You Are Not Nintendo

JOHN: So if these car makers kick software platforms out of the car, which is what they’re doing if they don’t allow CarPlay, you don’t android those are ways for those existing software platforms to allow applications developed for those platforms to get into the car.

If car makers kick them out, if they think hey, we’ll just write all the applications ourselves, no, you won’t you suck at this and even if you didn’t nobody can write all their own applications. Even Nintendo can’t get by only with first-party games and Nintendo is Nintendo. You are not Nintendo, right?

If you have none of those applications, you will just have a lesser platform. You say, okay, well, everybody does that, then just everyone will have crap applications. Ah, but if everyone has crap applications, someone, the Cingular of the car company, Cingular with a c, the Cingular of the car world will say, you know what, everybody else kicked all the other software platforms out, but you know what, Apple, Android, we’re gonna invite you back in.

And suddenly, it’s their unique selling proposition for whatever brand of car this is that decides to do this, like the last place competitor, Cingular, right? Says, iPhone, you can come on our platform and suddenly people are looking at Cingular again. No one was looking at Cingular before, but hey, you know what, if you want the iPhone, the literal only place to get it is on Cingular, which will eventually be called AT&T, and i was never a fan of Cingular/at&t before, but they have the iPhone, so I’m going over there.

That’s what’ll happen, and it’ll just reverse and ripple back through, because there is absolutely no way that any of these car makers are going to make a successful software platform, and they’re delusional If they think that you can either make one of their own, which will never, never, never work, or we don’t need a software platform, we’ll just write all the applications in-house.

Go ahead, do that, you’ll get Cingular. That’s what’ll happen. And it may take two decades of pain and suffering, to Marco’s point, it’ll suck for us the whole time if this reverses and goes through the whole industry and we gotta wait for a whole other decade long cycle for these idiots to get their heads out of their butts.

But inevitably it will happen because there is no fighting against software platforms. That’s where the innovation happens. Wherever the platforms are popular, where developers are making software, that’s where it happens.

And look at Waze, it’s like, well, that’s software innovation for like cell phones. We want software innovation for cars. That also happened on the phone. Phones aren’t cars, but that’s where all the good applications for cars came from. On the, because people can bring their phones into their cars.

So there’s just, there’s literally, it’s like the worst decision ever to decide, I don’t want any of the world’s most popular software application platforms to be able to use their software integrated into my car.

Classified as a Munition

If you have a Mac Pro with some GPUs lying around, you may as well crack some passwords with it.

Podcast: Accidental Tech Podcast
Episode: 528: My Favorite Slap in the Face

JOHN: I locked myself out of a locked note. You know, the Apple Notes back before you could use your Apple ID to lock a note, you could put individual passwords on notes. And I had a note that I had put an individual password on that I had forgotten and hadn’t put it in keychain or anything like that.

JOHN: And so I used my dual GPUs to crack it, like brute force. To brute force crack my own password. And guess what? The fans really spun up on my Mac Pro. But I did crack it because it was a short throwaway password or whatever.

MARCO: How long did it take?

JOHN: I don’t know, like five minutes. I did not use a 15 character password. This is an argument for you to do the thing where, I don’t remember when they did that, it was ages ago, where they let you do the thing like, “Do you want to update your thing so your Apple ID and your face can unlock all your notes?” I eventually did that.

JOHN: And that’s just a silly example, but I could have also cracked it on an iPhone. I’m not pretending that I need a big GPU to do this but the same reason people don’t need a sports car because they’re not race car drivers they just like to have one even though you you know you can’t really use it without breaking the law.

JOHN: At least I’m not you know breaking the law with my Mac Pro here or whatever remember those ads when you could couldn’t you couldn’t export the g4 to to communist countries because it was like a restricted export


JOHN: I think Apple had an ad campaign about that

MARCO: Classified as a munition because it’s too good of a computer

It's Not Like We Don't Have Horses

Technology didn't kill horses, but there sure aren't many people making their living off them.

Podcast: Accidental Tech Podcast
Episode: 503: Draw Your Own Slice of Pizza

Anytime there’s any kind of technology that previously does something that could only be done by humans there is this battle saying that the new way to do it is soulless and bad and evil and is going to corrupt the youth and so on and so forth and then the other people who are excited about the tech and just want it to go forward.

And many times throughout history there has been a technology that has caused entire professions and entire industries to basically disappear or shrink to the point or transform in a way that’s you know, not even recognizable.

Witness the entire industry surrounding having horses pull things with people in them and the advent of the automobile. It’s not like we don’t have horses. Not like people don’t have jobs making saddles for horses and shoeing horses and taking care of horses all those jobs still exist. But boy, that industry looks a lot different than it did before the advent of the automobile. A lot different.

Step One, Be Handsome

It's easy to say the things to do to be Apple, it's another to do them.

Podcast: Hypercritical
Episode: 11: I Am the Steve Jobs of This Sandwich

JOHN: There are some lessons to be learned from what Apple does that maybe that will help you succeed in your business. But the things that help you more are the intangibles. You can’t copy those.

“Oh, I’ll just do what Apple does. Make really good products. Make the right decisions about what features to include and what features not to include. And figure out what people want before they even know that they’re going to want it themselves.”

That stuff, you can say it, but you can’t copy it. It’s in the same way that you can say, “Write your own infrastructure software just like Google does and make it awesome.”

“Yeah, how do I do that again?”

It’s tough to copy greatness. So whenever I see these things of like, “Do what Apple does and you will succeed,” half of that is true and then half of it is like the great instruction on how to avoid sexual harassment in the workplace.

Step one, be handsome.

Succeed like Apple.