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MacBreak Weekly 386
Leo Laporte: Time for MacBreak Weekly. Here we come on the 30th anniversary of the Macintosh. Dave Hamilton will talk about that. He’s here from Mac-Geek Gab. We’ll also give you the latest Apple news including a settlement with the FDC. Tim Cook says it’s double dipping. It’s all next on MacBreak Weekly.
(Net casts you love from people you trust.) This is TWIT. Bandwidth from MacBreak Weekly is provided by CacheFly at cachefly.com. This MacBreak Weekly, Episode 386 recorded January 21st 2014.
The Path to Madness
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Leo: It’s time for MacBreak Weekly, the show where we talk about Macs, weekly. That pretty much says it all. I don’t know what we’re going to do for the next 6 months, when there’s no news but we’ll get it figured out. We’ve got a good panel. That’s one way to solve this. Alex Lindsay is in studio with us today. Alex is back from Rwanda.
Alex Lindsay: I am, as of Sunday.
Leo: How do you sleep? Do you ever get used to any particular time zone?
Alex: No I don’t really exist on a time zone anymore. I don’t really get jet lag. I just kind of regulate it all with caffeine and whiskey. A lot of caffeine in the mornings, a lot of whiskey at night.
Leo: Rene Ritchie also here from iMore.com, dressed appropriately…look he’s got a Mac Classic behind him there.
Rene Ritchie: Yes I’m from Montreal – I’m cold and shivering. That’s Peter Cohen’s photograph, he’s doing a whole week of festivities leading up to the Birthday Celebrations.
Leo: We should do that.
Rene: That’s why I think this was his fond memories of Mac retrospective.
Leo: Burt why don’t you load up back of me with all the old Mac’s. We’ve got an old Mac – the original Mac, I think a 128k Mac back there. Also here Mr. Andy Ihnatko with his friends Ralph and Ed.
Andy Ihnatko: Ready to go there Leo old boy?
Leo: For the Chicago Sun Times is this a honeymooners day or something?
Andy: No, it is a – I found a really awesome – it’s really weird when you see the characters and the actors from a classic 1950’s television in high definition color. So when you see one of these studio promo photos that someone decided to scan it with a really good resolution it’s like; So that’s what color the pin striping on Ed Norton’s vest really is.
Leo: That’s the funny thing about history because you get so used to seeing Abe Lincoln in kind of grainy types that when they do the colorization it’s suddenly becomes very… Oh look, we really have quite a display now behind us! We’ve got the 25th anniversary Mac, we’ve got the original Mac, Power Book 5200 or is that a Duo? Patrick Delahanty what is that you’re bringing? That’s a Titanium G4. Wow!
Andy: Not only is it an impressive display Leo but what an awesome demonstration of the power you wield in this organization.
Leo: That’s a like a pit crew isn’t it?
Andy: ----- and all of sudden you’re surrounded by classic Macintoshes.
Leo: It’s amazing, thank you guys! You guys rock. Hey look who is here also, for the first time I guess on the show. I can’t believe it Dave Hamilton an old friend from the Mac Observer and the Mac Geek Gab Premium Podcast.
Dave Hamilton: How are you doing? Thanks for having me.
Leo: You’re welcome. Everybody wants to know if that Mac Pro behind you is in service?
Dave: It is, I have to replace the power supply recently but other than that it still runs.
Leo: That’s a G5?
Dave: Mirrored drive door G4.
Leo: Ohhh, Mirrored Drive Door!
Dave: If it was on you could hear it.
Leo: If you say Mirrored Drive Door real fast it sounds like Mordor. That is beautiful. I don’t think we have one of those Dave, so you’ve got us beat.
Dave: Well that’s why I’m here.
Alex: We used to have some.
Leo: Yes you used to have some. What is some in pixel cord terms?
Alex: Oh 9? Not a lot of them. I have to admit that your company grows and we’ve got this thing called Meraki, are you familiar with it? So all of our computers have Meraki.
Leo: You can buy Meraki built in?
Alex: No you use an installer and it installs into the background and then you can see where all your computers are.
Leo: You’re not talking about the WIFI router are you?
Alex: I am. So basically our entire – Cisco Meraki is…
Leo: They bought it. Actually in my opinion Meraki is a sad story because originally Meraki was just designed to give internet and WIFI everywhere. It was going to be a mesh network, it was very altruistic. You’d buy a Meraki and then you’d share your net with everybody else and the mesh would be passed along. Only one person in an area had to have actual internet access. Then something went wrong with that.
Alex: They didn’t make a lot of money.
Leo: But you could with a Meraki, you could have a lending page to ask people for money if you wanted. It was kind of cool but now that Cisco bought them now what is it?
Alex: So what we do is we have the switches and if you have a switch remotely I don’t have to do any BPN:ing. I don’t have to use the BPN. If I’m connected to that it thinks my DC office and the Rwandan office and the Petaluma office are all 1 office. So it’s completely seamless.
Leo: So it’s basically a WAN? A secure WAN, with everyone no matter where they are geographically who has one of these routers?
Alex: Exactly and it’ll mask the IP’s and all the other stuff.
Leo: So it’s kind of like…what was that sushi? Hamachi, It’s kind of like a Hamachi network.
Alex: I don’t know enough about Hamachi networks and I have to admit I’m not a network head. Aaron Mailor is the one that figured this all out. He uses it to manage an entire college. But what’s cool is that with all of our computers, when we have this set up I can see – I can go to my dashboard. I don’t know if you’ll be able to see this and I don’t know if I want to show it.
Leo: No don’t show it.
Alex: What you can do is basically have a dashboard that will let you see all the computers that have it installed. We have a tendency to lose our retinas, they’re in different kits and everything else and so knowing exactly where they are at the last time they logged in is very helpful.
Leo: This also does 802 to 11AC. It does some of the higher end stuff that AC does. It doesn’t do the beam forming but it looks like –
Alex: It’s really cool.
Leo: It’s pretty sophisticated. High performance - WOW I didn’t realize that they’d gone corporate, that they’d become an enterprise.
Alex: They got really big, they got really popular and then they got bought by Cisco. They’re laughing all the way to the bank.
Leo: Why don’t we have this? I know because we don’t have people all over the world logging in.
Alex: For instance with our elementals that go on the road, we’ve got a couple sets of elementals that travel around. What we’re about to do is add these to the elementals so that when they come up they’re static IP’s don’t change from our perspective so those remain all the same. We can log into them from anywhere, they just kind of show up as if they were in the office but if we need to administer them on the road we can.
Leo: Somebody in the chat room segment says it’s not cheap because you have to pay a yearly license.
Alex: It’s 1500 dollars for 3 years I think, per device.
Leo: Per device? 500 dollars a year, per device?
Alex: Well we spent 12 thousand dollars on hardware so –
Leo: I don’t want one, never mind, cancel.
Alex: Well the little ones are 4-5 hundred dollars but the ones that we put in have to manage a lot of hardware.
Leo: Yes it’s enterprise, I understand.
Andy: That’s the key thing about understanding enterprise ---- hardware. If it’s something that normally any human being would say that’s way too much to spend on one of those. If they’re selling them you know there is a percentage of the population for whom this is cheap money; the problems that they solve. Any time I see an 8,000 dollar router I think that I’m trying to figure out who it is that would pay double for that because I know there are people that would.
Leo: We have a Chimiola in the chat room who apparently is an enterprise guy who says he uses Ubiquity instead; he tried Meraki and didn’t like it. Ubiquity is the same thing I guess.
Alex: I’m afraid I’m not a network guy so Aaron said this is great, I put it in and turns out it is great.
Leo: When you do something like this you have to trust someone. If you’re not that guy – you can’t be that guy for everything.
Alex: Aaron’s much smarter at that than I am so I just listen to him and go down that path.
Dave: You listen to him because he recommends stuff that works right?
Alex: That’s true and he’s using it at a whole college with hundreds of nodes and it’s not like this is his hobby, this is what he does.
Leo: One of the reasons Dave is with us, every year Mac Allstars, what do you call them, your band?
Dave: Yes exactly. It was Paul Kent who now run all of Mac World Expo but about 13 years ago he came up with the idea that we all go to these parties at the Mac World Expo and there’s a band that plays in the corner that everybody does their best to ignore while they’re talking to each other. Because it’s some nameless band that nobody knows about. Paul had the idea that we’ve got a lot of musicians in the community, we should form a band. In 2001 we did that. Paul pulled us all together and we had the first gig in New York City at the Cooler. It was horrible! There is unfortunately a video of this to back up my claims here.
Leo: Thank you YouTube! Nobody fails in private anymore; everybody has to fail in public. So Dave I take it from the drums over your right shoulder that you are a drummer in the band? You explode at every performance.
Dave: I try not to turn into a green globular.
Leo: The band is getting together for the 30th anniversary of the Macintosh announcement which is January 24th – 3 days from now. There’s a big event at Flint Center where the original announcement was. This show you how long ago this was, Flint Center is…
Alex: Wouldn’t it be awesome if we could stream this live?
Dave: What a great idea! Have you guys thought about that before?
Leo: We would but it would cut into DVD sales and we don’t want to do that.
Alex: For those of you who are listening who don’t know what a DVD is, in the last century there was a piece of glass that people could put media on and they would call it a DVD.
Leo: We did volunteer to go down and stream it and bring our equipment and everything because I think everybody who is watching this show – certainly everybody is a Mac fan – would be interested. This is going to be quite an event. You really should just go. More information at mac30th.com. The event is January 25th, the next day.
Dave: Yes Saturday night and there’s going to be panels, people like Dan Cockee- I think Dan’s actually one of the organizers. They’re going to have a lot of the original Mac design team speaking. They were going to have Ridley Scott but now they’ve got some other –
Leo: The assistant that like 84 commercial. From the website there is a series of panels; the first one “Conception” John Markov will moderate, Dan Cockee who was one of the first employees of Apple, Larry Tessler who was an Apple scientist. I can’t remember what Larry did on the original Mac Team. Mark LeBrun , Bill Fernandez; now these are original Apple (pre Mac guys). Then the Birth of the Mac, Steven Leavy will moderate that – The great writer who did Hackers and so many wonderful books. This is the Mac Team now – Bill Atkinson, Randy Wigetton, Andy Hurtzfeld, Bruce Warren, George Crowe…
Andy: They collected them all.
Leo: I’d love to see Susan Caire there that did the icons. There a few people you’d like to see there but…
Dave: She might be there.
Leo: I see some TBA’s. So that’s good news. When you’ve got Hurtzfeld and Atkinson you’ve got 2 great ones – Randy Wiggetton, Bruce Warren, who did the finder. Then the coming of age, Dan Farber, I don’t know what Dan’s doing these days – and 3rd party developers and I don’t know these names as well. Charley Jackson, Jim Reid, Heidi Rizen I know of course. Ty Roberts, David Manell.
Dave: Are there still tickets left?
Alex: How many people go?
Dave: About 1800 people I think total.
Leo: It’s a nice place to go.
Alex: How much is it?
Leo: Let’s just check, I’m going to find some tickets.
Dave: It’s just a little over 100 bucks.
Leo: Tickets are not sold out. You don’t have to worry about selecting a session; your ticket is for all of them. We should really go.
Dave: You guys should go.
Alex: I’m going to try.
Dave: After the 3 sessions the band plays and we’re better than we were in 2001.
Leo: General admission – it is a little pricey, 140 dollars and 80 cents. That’s with the ticket master premium. 109 bucks - so there’s a variety of choices.
Andy: A lot of us have heard a lot of these people speak before and you do have the impression of someone that you’re really glad you heard these stories first hand because if you wanted to hear Alan Torring your window of opportunity has long passed. A lot of these innovators are the people you really appreciate only when you read about them in history books where you think; “I’d love to get 15 minutes with this person or I’d love to see him explain from his point of view what it was like to develop this idea. This is one of those opportunities because if you want to look at critical consumer products for computers of the 20th century, Mac has got to be at the top.
Leo: Yes and this team is an amazing team. They are inviting anyone who was on the Mac Team to be there. Dress is quote old Apple casual. If you’ve got one of those grey illustration, kind of abstract illustration, the Mac with the mouse coming off of it definitely wear that. Really I would love to be at this event. I’m sorry we can’t stream it but they did approach them and really quite reasonably they said this is expensive to put on and so we need to ---- size it. They’re going to try to figure out a way to make videos available somehow, via say by DVD. Really cool so I did want to give them a nice big plug in, if you go to Mac30th.com and you happen to be in the Bay area this Saturday night you can hear Dave and his band playing. Who are the Mac Allstars now? It’s still Paul Kent?
Dave: Yes Paul Kent, Chris Breen plays keys and sings, Bob LeVitus plays guitar. Chris is a killer keyboard player; he’s a pleasure to play with.
Leo: He’s a pro.
Dave: He’s a total pro.
Alex: Is the music going to be on DVD?
Dave: I hope so.
Alex: I’m sold, if I get a good concert track out of this.
Dave: Who else, Bob LeVitus plays guitar…
Leo: Dr Mac is great.
Alex: I’ve seen you guys play in Mac World before. You’re great.
Dave: Right, it’s just a party band, it’s fun and we try to be better each time. This year we have 2 gigs because we’ll do this and then Cirque de Mac turns 11 this year at Mac World expo so we’ll be doing Cirque de Mac there.
Leo: Wow that’s hard to believe that’s 11.
Dave: That one goes to 11. More spinal tap jokes than you can shake a stick at.
Leo: Here are, if you want to know what Apple Casual looks like, here is the original Mac development team in Apple Casual and of course there is Steve on his knees with the Mac. Directly behind Steve is Andy Hurtzfeld .
Andy: I like the black sweater vest with the white t-shirt. I think everyone should just go as Steve. You can see the transition from the bowtie to the mock turtle neck. That’s probably my favorite step.
Leo: There’s a little baby there too who would now be 30 years old. Is that amazing? We’ve got to find out who that baby is! No kidding, somebody knows. Way over on the right…Is that Bill Atkinson? Maybe not, I don’t know. Bill had a big afro back then didn’t he? He’s bald now. Wow it’s really fun to see that. That will be a great event. Is there any Mac News? I think we’ll find some, we’ll search, we’ll look through the Mac News bag. There’s Mac News??
Rene: We’ll dig for it Leo, it’s somewhere.
Leo: Somewhere we’ll find it and when we do…we’ll tell you but first of all a word from 99 Designs. One of the things that Apple and Steve did with the Mac, and he talks about it at the intersection of technology and the arts… He really brought design sense to something that had none. Ever since I think we could really credit them with bringing the idea of design to the technical world. 99 designs is the world’s largest graphic design marketplace. Now days if you’re doing an app, especially if you’re doing it for an Apple product you’d better have some good design. It’s good coding but great design behind it. 99 designs gets you your next graphic design whether it’s a new logo, a new mobile app, a business card, it can be a t-shirt. One of our best t-shirts was designed by 99 Designs. You’ll find the right designer for your project at 99 designs, more than 72,000 designers are sitting there. I have this image of them just waiting…like okay, okay, and then you go and you say, “I need this” and then they give you ideas and you work with the designers to refine the ideas, pick your designer and pay them the pre-negotiated price and you’re going to get great designs. It’s fun to see the ideas roll in. Any fresh marketing collateral, all kinds of marketing design. There is no reason for anything you do to look ugly I guess is the point, whether it’s a menu, a brochure, an email template, a banner add, an info graphic. They even do vehicle wrap designs and they all start as low as 199 dollars. Visit 99designs.com/mbw and get a 99 dollar power pack of services free. It’s 99designs.com/mbw. The power pack gives you more designer time and attention. They will bold and highlight and feature your design project in the 99 designs marketplace. You’ll get twice as many designs. 99designs.com/mbw and that power pack free! We thank 99 designs for making the world a prettier place and for giving us the chance to talk about them. Chad you really did Yeomen work today pulling together all the big news stories.
Chad: Yeah…about that Leo.
Leo: It’s gotten to the point now where we’re going to start talking about Apple’s patent filings. That’s how bad it’s gotten.
Alex: It turns out that Apple’s 5C screen repairs are now available at the Apple Store.
Leo: This was the week that Apple entered the Chinese market and it seems according to some of the stories (now I wasn’t there) but it seems that it was to kind of a collective yawn.
Alex: A collective yawn in China is like 2 million.
Leo: Tim Cook actually went to be there for it.
Rene: He went to the Verizon launch too and that was a bit of a yawn until people had to start upgrading.
Alex: I think he just wanted to fly first class on Singapore Airlines.
Leo: So he went there, the lines weren’t super long, I think they said there were 12 people…this looks like a little bit bigger crowd. Part of it is that while this is the first time China Mobile (which is China’s biggest carrier) has been selling iPhones; they have been on sale in China for a while. They had some kind of minor riots early on when they first came out.
Rene: There is a ton of grey market iPhones on China Mobile already.
Leo: China Unicom trying to --- 5S and 5C --- September. China Mobile is the world’s largest carrier. 740 million subscribers. That’s a lot of people. They’re offering a 16 gig version of the 5S free but you have to commit to 2 (just like the U.S) years and the monthly plan is 97 dollars a month. That’s actually a pretty good deal, that’s a better deal than you can get – there is nobody in the states offering it for free. Is anybody in Canada offering it for free with a 2 year contract?
Rene: We’re going to 2 year contracts from the old 3 year contracts.
Leo: Oh you have 3 years that’s right.
Rene: They’re bringing them towards 2 years. Once in a while it’ll go down to free for special promotions and things but usually it’s not when it comes out there for a while.
Leo: If you sign up for the less expensive data plan – 31 dollars a month, it will cost 625 dollars with a 2 year commitment. Out of contract the Iphone 5 has 16 gig. 873 dollars or the equivalent there of 5,288 Yuan. So you in China, Unicom’s a little more expensive at 898 dollars with no contract. China Telecom has probably the best deal – 5S free if you have a 2 year deal with a monthly cost of 64 bucks. So it seems like maybe the China Mobile deal isn’t the best deal. Bloomberg reported that China Mobile already hit 1 million pre-orders and maybe China Mobile – I don’t know if the others are 4G.
Andy: It’s such a different market. It’s also I think going to be interesting window into buying habits – like how normal humans react to the iPhone. This is probably the only major country that was completely shut out of the iPhone for the entire multi-touch screen revolution. So they essentially in terms of phones they could get out any hullabaloo these are all like Android devices and other non-Apple devices. It’ll be interesting whether these are going to be accepted as a “yawn” or if this population will say, “well we’ve seen this before, It’s nice but it’s not necessarily anything new or anything special, we’ll stick with what we have right now”; Or whether this will be accepted as the fresh look at multi-touch mobile operating systems than it was before. Not that they’ve been completely shut out before but this is the first time it’s really widely available that way.
Leo: According to Wall Street Journal’s, China’s Real Time report “they’re completely un-scientific comparison of mobile internet services using a 5S in China, did show China Mobile to be the fastest – faster even than ATT and Verizon and T-mobile in the U.S with upload speeds of a little more than – well about 3 megabits and download speeds of 15 megabits. It’s pretty good. I’d take it.
Alex: Did I tell you what the LTE speeds are in Rwanda? 106 down, 98 up, of course I think there’s only a couple of us on this network. We opened up the phone – Korea Telecom is installing it right now so they opened up the phone for the users and we turned it on and I was like “that’s the WIFI speed”. He said no that’s the- here’s the WIFI speed and it was much slower.
Leo: The obvious reason why China is important to Apple and every other U.S and every other tech company in the world is because there is a billion consumers there. There is a 2nd reason that I thought was quite interesting. We had a guy on yesterday, Larry Downs who wrote a book called “Big Bang Disruption on the Triangulation” and he said the other reason is because if you’re a big company right now one of the most important things you’re doing is looking for where the disruptions are going to come from. What new industries with new applications, where the hot stuff is happening. It used to be you could look to Sillica Valley and maybe Sillica Valley in New York and maybe Austin. He said now, China, Russia – there are countries where stuff is happening that is potentially completely disruptive to your business and if you’re not there and not paying attention to those markets you’re going to miss it. There’s a strategic reason that goes beyond pure money, to be in China you’ve got to pay attention to innovation.
Alex: When you have that many people who could go one direction or another, I think suddenly you were big and now you’re a very small part of the market very quickly and that’s whether it’s China or India or Africa as a whole and a lot of these groups – I spent a lot of time in the emerging world all over the world. You see a lot of them, they are not going to take the same path as the United States. They are taking slower paths or faster paths but they are all… and you really do have to pay attention to it because it can move very quickly.
Rene: One of the things that’s interesting too is for example number portability is not very high in China and people who got on the network early have a specific number they don’t want to lose because it’s a sign of affluence that you got an early number. Or if you have a lot of eights in your number it’s very auspicious and they want to make sure they keep those kinds of numbers. They you have the App Store Market – Google, Amazon is not going to get a retail presence in China, probably not for a long time, if ever. Android devices don’t often have Google services or are typically completely different kinds of Android devices. Even when they did the jail break for iOs7 part of the initially was the installation of a different App Store that paid reportedly a lot of money to get into the jail break because App Store is such an important thing in China. So It’s a secondary economy that we don’t really see in North America that is working there. If Apple can boost their retail and they can get their platforms - specifically the App store in there, it becomes a huge advantage to them that it’s not as easy for their competitors to compete there.
Leo: Forrester Research asked 7500 U.S consumers (this is the 3rd year they’ve done this) about big tech companies, 3 questions: How enjoyable were they to do business with, how easy were they to do business with and how effective were they at meeting your needs. You’d think that Apple would be number 1 here but not even close. Amazon scored highest among the 17 consumer electronics manufacturers operating in North America. The only manufacturer to get an excellent rating of 91 for Kindle customers - Sony. I don’t believe this! This actually means this study is wrong. Sony came in with a reading of 83. Who likes Sony, who would say Sony number 1 when it comes to doing business with “easy to do business, effective”.
Dave: Where did they find these people?
Leo: This immediately makes me want to throw this out. Maybe they paid for it, I don’t know. Microsoft and Samsung came in tied for 3rd with scores of 82 then Apple at 81. According to this Forrester study Amazon, Microsoft, Samsung and Sony all have better customer experiences than Apple. Now I know this is a Mac Break – the Apple show and we’re all Apple partisans but that doesn’t sound right.
Alex: Well I think the Amazon one makes sense because they have that little video support that’s built in. So Amazon makes sense, I think that having Apple near the bottom of those – I don’t quite understand. When you walk into an Apple…
Leo: Well okay, let me be clear, Forrester says any score between 76 and 85 (which Apple is well in that) is considered good but it is showing a dropping over the 3 years they’ve done the survey. Actually everybody’s dropping a little, Amazon actually dropped and then they came back. Apple has always been kind of in the middle of the pack. It was number 2 the 1st year and the 2nd year and now number 5 for the first time.
Alex: What’s the margin of error?
Leo: A lot
Alex: Because my guess is that all of those are in the margin of error.
Leo: 7500 is a large number though right?
Alex: It is a large number but usually they post that.
Rene: Was it an enterprise survey maybe?
Leo: No consumers, U.S consumers.
Dave: Was it generic consumers or people that had repairs done? How did they qualify these people?
Leo: It says they were consumers, that all it says.
Alex: 7500 is probably – I mean the margin of error is probably pretty low, 1-2%
Leo: I would agree that Amazon probably does…
Alex: That video support built into a pretty cool feature.
Dave: That’s something I’ve heard Apple friends and listeners say Oh Apple will get that next. It’s like, NO WAY. Amazon is set up to get that, for years you could go online – you can still do this right now, click I have a problem with my order, click chat, your phone rings and you’re talking to somebody so they already have that infrastructure.
Leo: I had a crack in my toilet and I’ve been on the line with Jerry for like constantly. This is actually an interesting story. We bought one of those TOTO wash your butt, wash everything and air dry it.
Alex: How’s that working for you?
Leo: Love it actually – Alex is the one who said get it.
Andy: And it takes a turn that quickly – listen to this.
Leo: No, no, I’m talking about customer service.
Alex: Let me tell you the customer experience is excellent.
Leo: It works fine, we installed it, we had a very good installer install it and it is complicated because you have to install power and…
Alex: I installed one of those myself.
Leo: You did, really? You had a plug in…
Alex: I have someone add a plug.
Leo: That’s the critical one of course and then it’s just like installing a toilet.
Dave: You don’t worry about having power that close to everything else you’re doing in that department?
Dave: I had to ask.
Leo: It’s a GFI you know, ground fault…
Alex: A hundred million Japanese are using these so…
Leo: The electrocution rate has dropped considerably.
Dave: Being a drummer I worry about sitting on something and it exploding!
Leo: So there’s really a kind of a small crack but it’s a crack in the plastic part of the top and the vent that’s there falls out because it’s cracked so you go to Amazon and you say there’s a crack. Jerry’s on the line like this – just like you said, “hi this is Jerry” not from Amazon, it was like Amazon Marketplace, a 3rd party but it’s through Amazon.
Alex: No one wants a bad rating.
Leo: Well that’s right! You say you got it on Amazon? That’s right. Oh I’ve got to help you here. He says the only crack in that toilet should be yours. Ok, so he says I’ve been on the line with Japan all morning. He said TOTO says this has never happened before. Can you send me a picture? Yesterday he says ok we’ve got a big conference call with all the TOTO executives in the morning, (it’s going on right now) and can you send me a picture?
Andy: Of the toilet seat!!
Leo: My point being that that’s how Amazon gets so high on there. He wasn’t even Amazon, he was Amazon Marketplace.
Alex: But you get all those requests for ratings of how did we do and it puts a lot of pressure on people. I look at them and go oh it’s got bad rating. The product’s got bad ratings or the service got bad rating and you just go I’m not going to…
Leo: It really is effective. I don’t think you can say Apple’s done anything wrong to lower their scores.
Alex: They still earned a very high score.
Leo: That’s the point. I would say they’re enjoyable to do business with. Unless you want to do anything that they don’t agree to.
Alex: Oh there is that.
Dave: When you call Apple customer relations often times they’ll take care of you.
Leo: Yes they’re very good. And then how easy were they to do business with? I think Apple’s pretty easy unless you’re in the music industry or the cellular business. You wouldn’t ask the ATT Ceo how effective they were in meeting your needs. I think – anyway it’s still a good score. I have no idea how SONY got in that at all. Maybe the anti-trust monitors filled out the survey.
Dave: Is this U.S consumers?
Leo: Yes U.S consumers. The SONY experience sucks! There is no one to call. I don’t know how you could say the SONY experience is good.
Andy: I’m wondering if part of it isn’t that Apple is unique in that the list price is the price you’re going to pay. That’s it and there isn’t that much flexibility on a range of things that you watch. Maybe that’s digging in a little bit. I agree that anything that puts that big of a swing on company that you’d expect to be higher is way low, the company that you expect to be way low is way high. I wouldn’t say that it’s a fraudulent survey but I think that tells you something about the sort of questions that they’re asking and the sort of people that are responding.
Leo: We’re talking about Apple, actually as I looked through the lineup, Chad has done a good job of finding stuff. We’re going to talk about Apple’s FTC discontent to agree which happened this week. More about the Apple lawsuit with Samsung, Apple’s playing hardball on this one. I guess when you win you can. And iOs7 fixes perhaps imminence. You’re watching the MacBreak Weekly. We have Andy Ihnatko from the Chicago Sun Times, David Hamilton, our first time…I can’t believe it, you’ve never been on this show?
Dave: Not that I know of.
Leo: Haha, you were sleeping last time! That’s a horrible oversight Dave which we will make sure is fixed. From Mac Observer and the Mac Observer Podcast which is called Mac Geek Gab. What’s the difference between Mac Geek Gab…Do you have trouble saying it?
Dave: I do, I’ve learned to say it over the years but my wife came up with the name hours before we recorded our first episode and I stumbled with it for a little.
Leo: I keep having to, Mac Geek Gab.
Andy: It’s a test that’s how you know if people are real fans of the show – if they can say it correctly.
Leo: That’s right. They are at episode 484 just to give you an idea.
?? That’s a lot of gabbing.
Dave: Almost 9 years ago.
Leo: You actually predate podcasting.
Dave: No, we don’t predate the term podcasting; we put out our first episode 3 weeks before they released the iTunes podcaster.
Leo: Ok so you’re right in there. You’re a pioneer.
Dave: I had to ask --- Steve to make sure we were in the directory.
Leo: Did you really?
Dave: Well you know how it is dealing with Apple right? We have friends at Apple as we all do and I asked my friends, because Steve had announced it 3-4 weeks prior.
Leo: Mocking it by the way saying podcasts are ---
Dave: Yes I was. I called my friends and I said look we just started this show and I want to make sure that it’s in the directory from day 1. Can you put me in touch with whoever is managing the directory so I can pitch them effectively? Everybody was like Oh I don’t know, it’s not me and I can’t introduce you. So I emailed Steve and within 20 minutes I was in touch with the folks and it was all good.
Leo: Wow. Well congratulations on that. Are you going to do anything for the 500th?
Dave: I’m sure we will. We’ve got a little while though, we only do 1 a week.
Leo: You’ve got some time. You can find it at MacGeekGab.com. What’s the difference between premium and regular?
Dave: Years ago we started what we call our premium offering and really it’s a way for our listeners to support us directly and we followed a bit of what I call the NPR model where when people hit a certain threshold we return the favor with a gift back to them. We did these cool water bottles that I don’t have in front of me here because I’m not smart enough but it’s good. We have awesome listeners.
Leo: Also here Mr. Alex Lindsay visiting from afar.
Alex: From Petaluma I guess.
Leo: Visiting from the east. He makes his home here but he doesn’t live here.
Andy: We should stop saying he’s back from Rwanda. He’s never “back” from anywhere.
Alex: I’m visiting. I’m visiting kind of everywhere. It’s one of those things.
Leo: And Rene Ritchie – iMore.com. I saw your state of the iMore post this week. What’s coming up with iMore.com? You’ve been on a tare – 2013 was a big year for you.
Rene: It was huge. We were -- with all our….
Leo: Double your readership is that what you said?
Rene: We’ve been doing that almost every year since we launched. We’ve been doubling our readership which is kind of crazy if you think about it but it’s a huge responsibility. I want to really make sure that – this year we’re trying more than ever to do what the readers – give stuff that’s real and real quality to our readers. We want a lot of feedback from them so we can see what they want to see.
Leo: That’s a novel idea. Instead of trying to generate cliques let’s give something of value.
Andy: I don’t want to tell you how to run your business Rene but you’ve been neglecting that for 3 years and you’ve doubled readership every single year ---
Rene: I’m going to try that – I’m lucky though because my boss has never once asked me about cliques, it’s not even on his radar. He just wants to make sure that the readers are really happy and that we’re providing a service to them but as you guys know there’s such a diverse readership now because there’s the traditional geeks, there’s all the mainstream people, there’s people who want Mac stuff, who want iOs stuff, who use iOs on Windows. It’s really that diverse and it’s hard to meet the needs of all of them, so we’re trying to figure out better and more delightful ways to do that.
Leo: Yeah that is the challenge – the growing fragmentation of the audience.
Alex: -- the candy.
Rene: I can’t it’s trademarked.
Alex: You can’t share the candy?
Rene: King has trademarked the term Candy Crush and they’re sending out letters to everybody.
Leo: But now you can use the word candy can’t you?
Rene: I just put –
Leo: We’ll check it out when we come back, we’re going to take a break. Our show brought to you today by Fresh Books, there is no candy but there is a cake.
Alex: I had that cake! We had someone in our office that -
Leo: It’s a good cake. Isn’t it great?
Alex: Yes it was very good.
Leo: There’s no – what are we talking about? Fresh Book, Cloud accounting solution for small businesses and entrepreneurs, you are going to love – I used it for years in fact until I really had a staff. It is like having a staff. I was using as many were, as many still do, Word and Excel to create my invoices. I had a shoe box of receipts to track expenses. Amber McArthur back in 2005 told me about this little start up company called Fresh Books. I started using it to send invoices, now you can manage expenses, you can track your time. It does everything you need to do and you get paid faster with Fresh Books. You can easily create invoices online. That’s a good start, I mean the fact that you can boom, just create those invoices means you’ll do it, it’s not such a chore which means you will get paid faster. I just never created them; I waited for months to invoice people. If you capture and track expenses on the go you can get real time business reports with a few simple clicks. Fresh books is free for the first 30 days. Go to getfreshbooks.com and every day they give away a birthday cake. This is the cake for somebody who listens to MacBreak Weekly and signs up.
Alex: And we’ve had the cake.
Leo: And it’s not just any old cake, it’s a great cake. For your chance to win you need to say MacBreak Weekly in the how did you hear about us section. I’m sure you would do that anyway. Getfreshbooks.com, every day could be your birthday with Fresh Books. Try it free for 30 days. Everybody wins. Getfreshbooks.com was such a lifesaver for me. I love them and I still have this kind of soft spot in my heart. It’s one of those companies where I would rank them 100 on the scale for customer service. Getfreshbooks.com if you do invoicing or keep track of hours you’ve got to do this. So tell us Mr. Rene Ritchie…well actually there’s a number of stories that I want to talk about but you just mentioned Candy Crush.
Rene: It is one of the most popular games on iOs. Some people love it, some people believe it’s the closest thing to casino gambling.
Leo: I think it should be illegal.
Rene: It’s a wheel model so they count on people spending up to 1000 dollars a weekend on this game to generate the massive amounts of revenue that they get. Some people find that highly distasteful, some people just want to play more and more of it. But they’ve now trademarked the word Candy as it pertains to games and clothing.
Leo: You mean I can’t make a game with the word Candy in the title?
Rene: They sent out some desist letter – they had the app store send out some infringement letters. There was a guy that did Candy Casino game that got one of them. It’s interesting because for example Apple owns the trademark to Apple and Apple’s a very common word too so should other computer companies use Apple? The trademark law is very nebulous to me but they’re arguing that there’s some apps that are find and they won’t bother but there are other apps that they think try to make themselves look like part of the Candy Crush…
Leo: I don’t blame them and I think you would win in court if you said, “Look see your Honor”. Here’s one example, Benny Hsu makes a game called All Candy Casino Slots. Actually the name is: All Candy Casino Slots Jewel Craze Connect Big Blast Mania Land. That is spamming.
Andy: Wait for the 2 day seminar at the Holiday Inn express not the 1 day.
Leo: And there is Candy if you look that the game. There is Candy in the game, it’s a slots game where you have Candy in it.
Rene: It’s icon says Candy Slots which is what they took issue with was the Candy and the icon and the prominence of the word Candy.
Leo: So Apple was…
Rene: Apple has this mechanism where you can contact them as a rights holder and say that this App infringes and they’ll contact the person who makes that app. But then it’s up to you to – Apple doesn’t want to get involved in the process. So once that happens it’s up to you to sort it out with the other party. And sometimes it’s good because there are tons of Temple run clones and sometimes it’s bad because games like Stone Loops that got pulled off the store because looks keep saying they infringed even though most people thing they wouldn’t. It’s going to be a big problem because I believe Memory now has also been trademarked. So people with the word memory in their games are also having problems.
Leo: So we’ll see what else Benjamin Hsu has done. Maybe he’s – does he make a habit of this?
Alex: That’s what was -
Leo: It is and in fact you know I’ve played Clash of Clans which is a great make but if you look there’s like 800 games of exactly the same model and that’s because Super Sell – I don’t know if they were even the first but Super Sell makes 2.4 million dollars a day in app purchases. So these are his others; So what he had was he had a slots game which he has branded a variety of different ways and Candy Slots was one of them.
Rene: Probably in hopes the people who were supposed to like the Candy genre would land upon it.
Leo: Part of this is Apple’s fault because their search is so bad. I’m sure people just type Candy and look at all the iPhone apps that look like Candy Crush. Candy Crush Saga, Candy Blast Mania, Candy Maker, Cotton Candy. Ok well it goes away quickly and I’m not going to download Pimple Popper Lite because that doesn’t look like fun. Candy Shoot, here’s a example and I’m not going after you guys but does this pre-date – if this came out before Candy Crush Sage then you’d say well – I don’t know.
Rene: Some games aren’t even real games, they’ll just have the wrappers. There’ll be a Mine Craft looking game and you’ll open it up and there will be nothing inside them. So there is a legitimate sort of knock off problem on the apps.
Leo: Dim90 asks yeah (in our chat room) why is iTunes search so crappy? What’s the story man?
Alex: I have no idea. I think it’s just low on the priority list.
Leo: Didn’t they buy Chomp? That’s an app recommendation that in theory would make it a bit –
Rene: It’s so bad that if you’re Twitterific and you update to Twitterific 5 you’ll no longer be a high level search rank. It is broken and so this is why I want Apple to buy whatever the services equivalent to whatever Nest is.
Leo: Did Apple miss a bad bite in not buying Nest? Did we talk about this last week?
Alex: I think we did.
Leo: Ok I never mind.
Alex: The answer is yes.
Leo: I have no memory. Also on iMore, big story, Apple has gotten at least temporarily gotten Michael Bromwich off the case. He is the court appointed anti-trust monitor that Apple says is horrible and doesn’t know what he’s doing and he’s charging too much and I think probably he’s worse and he’s subpoenaed everybody from Tim Cook to Jony Ive even though they don’t have anything to do with the e-books case that he’s there. Apple’s been fighting to remove him. Apple complained that Bromwich has been too intrusive including seeking interviews with top executives and board members and has been charging and inflated 1100 dollars an hour for his services.
Rene: The worst part is that he has no specific knowledge of the industry which he is supposed to monitor so he had to hire an outside counsel at his own rate to do the actual work.
Alex: There’s a word for this, it’s called “nepotism”.
Leo: Well because apparently Judge Cote who’s the Judge of record on this case is friends. So what is the reprieve?
Rene: He’s off their backs while they file the appeal I believe.
Alex: Which will last a long time.
Leo: Yes, So Michael give us your car key and we’ll let you know when you can come back in. Apple also in court agreeing to an FTC consent to ----- in app purchases. I have mixed feelings about this, having spent a considerable amount of money on kids in app purchases on my account. The issue of course is that Apple didn’t soon enough (they do it now) prevent children from buying currency or points inside apps or games. It’s too easy in an app or a game and I agree with this.
Alex: One of the guys in our office had his 3 year old daughter who spent 450 dollars in an hour and a half.
Leo: What was that fishing game? You buy fish.
Andy: It was an aquarium game – that’s what you do when you want your fish to live. You cough it up.
Rene: There were different objections to this from the interesting to the crazy and Apple said that it was double dipping because they’d already settled the case in court. Some people also felt that, well it was suggested that the person who now heads the FTC used to works for the law firm that represented Samsung and Google was actually charged with spilling the secrets to Nokia about Apple to Samsung over Apple’s settlement – that maybe that wasn’t the best of images to portray. Another one was that Googles policies are actually more lax than Apple’s but the FCC went after Apple and not the industry at large. Which is probably just because Apple did an app purchase so many years before anybody else and probably got complaints for year before anyone else.
Leo: I remember last year getting from Apple a 5 dollar gift card.
Alex: Right, what is this for??
Leo: To make up for… This was their original settlement. So the FTC – this is like a fine?
Rene: They’re saying that if Apple doesn’t pay up to 35 million, they’re saying that 34 million is the least amount of money that Apple has to pay so if people don’t claim –
Leo: Instead of the 5 dollar card they have to do full refunds?
Rene: Also if people don’t claim that money that it’ll go to the FTC.
Leo: So get your money now kids. Tim Cook sent out an all hands memo to employees on the 15th. Of course Recode got it, Swisher and company are very good at getting these internal memos. Quote: It doesn’t feel right for the FTC to sue over a case that had already been settled. To us it smacked of double jeopardy. The FTC responded by saying it feels it’s to create better services to consumers who (and this is the key) unwittingly racked up massive in app charges because it requires full refunds. I have to say the 5 dollar gift card did feel like a slap in the face. I’d spent a little more, not me but the kids involved had spent a little more than that. And I have to tell you even a 10 year old doesn’t really understand that it’s real money there. What are you doing with your kids Alex?
Alex: I don’t let them log in.
Leo: Well that’s the thing, turn off App Purchases and you don’t give them the password. Apple solves that.
Dave: Our kids have access to it and they know they always ask before they buy anything. They’re pretty good about it.
Leo: Were there spankings involved getting them to that point?
Dave: No but I do have a way of punishing the kids. They have iPhones and they know they have me over a barrel and they have to keep their iPhone – I want them to have a phone but at CES where we all saw the Brick and I can take their sim card and put it into this.
Leo: They’ll still have a phone but it’ll be a brick phone. You will look like Michael Wallace on Wall Street and you should make them slick their hair straight back and wear suspenders.
Dave: That’s right. Now my needs are served when they have the brick.
Leo: That’s brilliant!
Dave: I think so.
Leo: I thought Oh I’ll give them a smart phone and then I’ll have something to take away. You always want to give them something so you can punish them and then I realized it punished me far worse than it punished them because I didn’t know where they were. You can’t catch them. Brilliant.
Leo: Does the Brick Phone have a fine by Brick Phone feature?
Dave: I doubt it. It doesn’t have much, it does have a game and it can also be used as a Blu-Tooth headset.
Leo: Did you buy that at CES Dave? Where did you get that?
Dave: No I’ve actually had this since the summer.
Leo: So this isn’t the Benetone that they were showing at CES.
Dave: It is. Their marketing company is actually right here in Portsmouth New Hampshire so I worked with them a little while. They totally missed the boat in that they didn’t get it out before Black Friday.
Leo: I would love that. I did buy and they don’t make them any more – Spark Fun made an old western electric dial phone that is a cell phone. I do carry that around, it’s got a battery and everything. But it only has a few hours battery life and there’s no Snake game.
Andy: Are you concerned that the kids could still spell out boobies on that?
Dave: There are worse things Andy.
Alex: I just don’t think that I could do that with my 6 year old son. I told him that if he didn’t get stuff off - I told him I’m coming into your room and if there is anything on the floor that isn’t clean I’m just going to throw it away. Like you have to clean it up and he wasn’t cleaning it up. I said ok you have to start picking what I’m going to throw away because you haven’t – I gave him 6 hours as a deadline to do this and my son looked at me and he picked up what I gave him for Christmas and said let’s start with this. He was like “Check”. And then I took it and I threw it away and that’s called “Check Mate”.
Leo: You won.
Alex: But it was painful - I didn’t throw it away, I put it away and I’ll bring it back out some other time but the point is that I don’t think I could play that game with taking his phone. He would just do something else. It’s very sad.
Leo: That is so inspiring. How are your kids Dave?
Dave: My kids are 12 and 14.
Leo: Nothing more humiliating for a 12 or 14 year old than to have to carry that.
Dave: My daughter wears those jeans that don’t really have pockets so she can barely slip her iPhone in the back.
Andy: It’s all about attitude.
Alex: You could pull that off.
Leo: Here’s a picture.
Alex: That’s awesome.
Leo: I do want one. I want that mustache and the running suit. This looks like American Hustle if you’ve seen that movie.
Andy: I was going to say it looks like American apparel. It does make me feel slightly nauseous to look at it.
Leo: I like the wallpaper too. The whole thing… If you’re not watching on video just go to Amazon.com and search for the Brick blu-tooth 1 hand set 2 line…
Dave: You can find it at Meetthebrick.com
Leo: Meet the brick – see it’s out of stock at Amazon.
Dave: It’s a popular item.
Leo: You’ve discovered a whole new way to torture children.
Dave: Yeah I know, my kids are just like me so it’s like Alex said. It’s a game of constant Check Mate but you’ve got to be able to deliver.
Leo: I lost every time. My kids are spoiled rotten because I could never do any of that stuff. I just go ok you win.
Dave: I have yet to Brick them but the threat is there.
Leo: The threat is there.
Andy: It’s not a fair fight because you know that at some point they’re going to make the decision that will put you in the good nursing home or the bad nursing home.
Leo: That’s what my son says! Exactly what Henry said, he said Dad just remember I’m going to be in charge of your nursing home. Kids are so smart about this kind of stuff. Even a 6 year old, that was quite a move.
Alex: I didn’t start doing those moves until I was like 8.
Leo: I guess he’s a genius.
Alex: Yes it was rough. Comeuppance for me. If I did that my dad would usually back down and look at how I turned out. I’m a mess.
Leo: No I think that your dad did the right thing because you’re creative. The most important thing you can do is to cultivate creativity. They can be complete jerks but if they’re creative…
Alex: All my mom cared about is that we were obsessed not bored. That was the only rule.
Leo: Even Picasso was a complete dick but he was a great painter.
Alex: Are you calling me a?
Leo: No you’re not a Picasso level anyway. So the CEO’s of Apple and Samsung met to try to at the behest of the court to try to settle and actually they’re going to meet, on or before February 19th. Apparently Apple is going to insist on Anti-Cloning provision. HTC has already agreed to this with Samsung, that will allow Apple even though there’s a settlement and there’s license agreement Apple can still sue if Samsung’s products are too close to Apple’s products in ways that could be avoided by designer routes. Remember Apple said you don’t have to make a tablet with a square, you could make it round. Angles! Triangle.
Alex: That would be awesome in another dimension.
Leo: According to Pattens this could be a deal breaker. Meaning they’re going to have to go back to litigation if they can’t – the Judge said look you guys sit down and hammer something out. I wonder if Samsung would accept this cloning provision.
Rene: Already rumored to come in both plastic and metal and to have a finger print sensor. This is big business.
Leo: Yes it is.
Andy: Also considering their range of stuff that Samsung makes could any company with that kind of portfolio ever make a modern line without infringing. I would love to see how that language is applied. If HTC accepted it then that means it’s possible to build a touch screen phone that is relevant for 2014 without violating that agreement. But again I would like to see how that is spelled out that give Samsung the ability to use the technology like finger print sensors that did not premier on the iPhone by any means and still not get sent back to the outhouse.
Leo: It could even be something simpler than the finger print reader. It could be things like pinch to zoom. I remember that that was those 3 touch patents that Apple won.
Leo: Samsung says, “We want to be able to license those.” And Apple says, “No, not only can you not license them, you can’t have multi-touch.”
Rene: I think it’s fair to say that at the beginning, Samsung did everything they could to ride Apple’s marketing wave by using similar design, but the current stuff is really quite different already. It’s almost like they’re fighting a battle that has progressed past where it was.
Leo: From the point of view of the consumer, that’s all I care about. You can argue that Samsung ripped off Apple, and probably argue correctly. The point of view of consumers, it’s not good for apple to be the only multi touch manufacturer.
Dave Hamilton: But shouldn’t Samsung pay?
Leo: Well, that’s the question. It sounds like Apple is saying, “You can’t even license this. You just can’t do it.”
Dave: Is that just a negotiation?
Rene: There’s a difference. Microsoft wants to make Android more expensive, and Apple wants to make it harder to be used. So that’s both their advantage. So, Microsoft, if you have to pay licensing money for Android, then they’re competitive again because they charge licensing for Windows Mobile. Apple has no interest in licensing fees; they just want to make a crappier user experience on Android so that I Phone stays what they consider to be a premier user experience.
Alex: Doesn’t Microsoft make more money with their Android licensing than with their mobile?
Leo: They do, but again, that’s a different philosophy.
Andy: Also, I don’t know how far Apple is going to get with that, considering that Google is now being more and more aggressive in the handset market, and if there is an Ali versus Fraiser, lawyers fighting against lawyers, that’s going to be Apple versus Google. They never want to go toe to toe against each other. So I don’t know how far they’re going to get if they claim that they have basic patents on fundamental multi-touch operating UI. Although, if you roll back to round one of these patents with Samsung, they were being very clear that this isn’t about rounded corners, this is about trying to recapture the entire spirit of a device. Especially as a guy who doesn’t have a law degree, in eleventh grade, I was being sent pre-emptive letters from the best law school saying, “We just don’t want to even open the letter from you asking to be a law student at our school.” So that’s why the language is always so precise, and expresses intent. There are two signature feeters that I have about Apple and Google. With Google, the signature feeter is that, anything that seems like a really great idea, or a great piece of news on the surface, will result in Google having more of my personal information. Which, I’m sort of okay with it, but I’m getting more and more worried, the more information I give them. With Apple, it’s the idea that they’re going to have exclusivity on more and more cool technologies. The problem is, if Google has it, they’re going to articulate it very well, but it’s going to be a very closed, ecosystem situation, and there’s not going to be a whole worldwide market of devices that can benefit from this. They’re going to try to defend this patent very tightly. So, those are the signature fears that I have about each one of them. That’s why I’m hoping that Samsung will get punished for what clearly with the Galaxy S, one and two, was to make something that looks as much like the I Phone as possible, while we try to figure out how to make something that is as good, or better than the I phone. They need to be punished for that. When the market for phones and tablet operating systems stops becoming, “Let’s create the best experience for the user possible.” And starts becoming, “Let’s create the best experience that will not cause us to get sued by Apple.” That’s when we start to question whether Apples intentions are for the user or not.
Leo: Part of the problem is that patents are too long for technology. If I can’t make a pinch to zoom device for seventeen years, you might as well say that you can never make it.
Andy: That’s because there won’t be pinching by then, it will just be thinking it.
Rene: Apple, in many ways is a very personal company. The personalities of the people involved are more important to Apple than they are to a lot of other companies, and Apple rightly, or wrongly feels like they got sort of cheated out of the PC revolution from a partner of theirs, Microsoft, and now they feel like they partnered with Google, for the I phone, and they partnered with Samsung for manufacturing, and they in essence taught these companies how to do modern smart phones. These companies turned around and became their competitors. Now, there are lots of ways to disagree with that, but if that’s how Apple feels, especially under Steve Jobs, not as much under Tim Cook, but is carrying on. It’s not hard to understand why they engage in these behaviors.
Alex: Yeah, and I think that one of the issues is that, in the early days, as we talked about earlier, you really, from a distance, couldn’t tell a difference between the tablets. They we’re definitely drafting on that, but as you said before, I think that that is less of an issue. Obviously Apple spends a lot of time on R&D, and I think I have become much more sensitive, our company now does hardware and software R&D, we also write a lot of our own software and we’re building a lot of our own hardware. Now, I do have a different view of what it takes to do that. There is just an enormous amount of work. So to come up with something, and have someone else… We just have to be very careful to just not talk about it. We don’t patent stuff, we just don’t tell people how it works. That’s the other side of it.
Dave: With Apple, the issue is, you have people out there, and we know the difference. We pick up an Android phone, and we know darn well that it’s not IOS, and vise versa. There are also things that you could argue are good, one versus the other. You have the general populous out there who think that their Comcast DVR is Tivo!
Leo: Don’t you think that people know the difference between an I phone and an Android?
Dave: They know that there is a difference, but they don’t know the difference. They pick up an Android phone and say, “It’s the same as an iPhone.”
Andy: Here’s the main point. There are so many, just volumes and volumes of examples of, again, here is this phone that Samsung and HTC and these phone makers made before the iPhone came out, and here is what they made the year afterwards. So it’s hard to deny both that, and the actual paperwork evidence that demonstrates that these companies realize they’re going to have to throw away what they were doing, and do things that are more iPhone like. At the same time though, you can go from, lets say 2009 onward, and look at everything that was going on with Android before IOS 7, and now look at features that are very, very Android like ending up in IOS. It’s the reason you need to be very delicate, and try to get that very thin scallop that figures out the difference between theft of intellectual property, and simply the recognition that, okay, the way that we’re doing this on the iPhone, or the way that we’re doing this on our Android phone, or the way that we’re doing this on our Blackberry phone is not nearly as good as this example [raises hand as to be holding a phone to the camera] that we just bought last month. If it means a better notification system for IOS users, if it means a better sense of your path through an application for users, and if it means, that god forbid you accuse Apple of stealing something from TouchWiz, but the idea of just simply swiping a direction from the top or bottom, and now getting a panel of here is how you can turn off and on your wifi, bluetooth, and things very quickly. If that benefits users, I think that we want to have a very strict definition of what got stolen, and the proof that this was theft of an intellectual property. We also want proof that this is not just simply a case of someone who came up with a great idea, that was discoverable by other companies getting there and patenting it first, because again, that’s what leads to, eight years from now, an industry in which there are two makers who have really good phones that are different from each other, and that everyone else has to make the brick phone, because that is the only one that is legally, until somebody patents the numbers one through four, then the other company will have patents for the numbers five through zero on the keypad, and now you can’t even have the brick phone anymore.
Leo: Let’s talk about sales. Apple says, they sold fifty five million iPhones last quarter. That’s up sixteen percent. Fifty five point three million iPhones. Maybe it’s analysts, it’s not Apple who is saying that.
Rene: Apple is not reporting until next week.
Leo: Right. Will they say a number next week?
Rene: Yes. Well historically, they have always said a number.
Leo: Okay. NPD, another analyst group, I always take those with a grain of salt, says Apple got forty two percent of the U.S. Smartphone share in the fourth quarter. Samsung only twenty six percent, then HTC, Motorola, and Blackberry went down in the fourth quarter. But this is an NPD report.
Rene: The problem is that it is not segmented. The smartphone market is going become the phone market, and the phone market is so large, it’s irrelevant what the share is, more, what is the share over two hundred dollar phones, what is the share over six hundred dollar phones? Those kinds of things are going to be much more important. It happens in the car industry, the wash industry, but for some reason, because consumer technology always lags behind in quality analysis of this kind of stuff.
Leo: Fortune did a really nice chart. So Monday Apple is going to announce it’s numbers. We’ll know by next Mac Break weekly, and we can compare this to the guesses. Fortune did a chart of all the estimates. Look at all of these! So the average is fifty five point three million, but it goes as high as fifty nine point seven million from the Braeburn Group, and as low as fifty million from the Braeburn Group. Two different analysts, same group. So we’ll say over fifty million. The point being, at least in the U.S., and I think we might have to say only in the U.S., the iPhone is still totally dominant, right?
Rene: If you look internationally, phones that cost over six hundred dollars, Apple has a huge market share of them. Phones that cost fewer than four hundred dollars, Apple has zero market share in them.
John: Right, because Apple doesn’t have any.
Rene: This kind of stuff is typically not factored into these kinds of things, and it’s really important information for an industry to have.
Leo: Right. Except Apple doesn’t care! We’ve talked about that. Apple doesn’t even want that market.
Rene: No. They didn’t even want it for Macs for a long time either. They didn’t want to make a Netbook.
Leo: They did one for iPods though, didn’t they? They really ate up all of the oxygen on iPods.
Alex: They did. Kind of systematically and slowly, it wasn’t going to happen immediately.
Leo: Why aren’t they doing that with the iPhone?
Alex: I bet it’s because it’s really hard to make a cheap iPhone at the spec that they make it at. That’s the issue.
Leo: You can’t make an iPhone Shuffle?
Alex: I think that’s hard. I think that with a lot of the stuff that gets into these, specific things, we talked about it earlier, but like these track pads. I heard that the failure rate was at around forty percent when they started shipping. So, a lot of times with things going out slow, it’s not just because things take a long time, it’s because they’re getting a lot of rejections. I think that’s the issue.
Leo: Version 7.1 beta four came out yesterday. I know every time I talk about this, they say, “I have had no problems with IOS 7 on my iPad, or my iPhone.” I believe them. But you saw it here, right here. This is virtually a stock iPhone 5S, I wasn’t even touching it, and it restarted. It wasn’t a spring board restart, it was a re-boot. I have to think that it was IOS 7. Maybe it was the iPhone.
Rene: Are you on 7.1, Leo, or on 7.0?
Leo: I’m on 7.0.4; whatever they officially shipped. So, are you on 7.1? Can you admit it if you are?
Rene: I tend to try the beta so I can write about them with some degree of knowledge when it actually ships.
Leo: Okay. So, will 7.1 be a relief?
Rene: I think people will be really happy with 7.1. I hope Apple puts it out soon. If not, I hope they put out a 7.0.5 soon, because re-springs are not good. I don’t have a single device that is perfect. All of my devices have their quirks, their flaws, their problems, their glitches. They all require updates periodically. But IOS 7 is popular. Hundreds of millions of people use it, and re-springs are not something you want people to see with any frequency. Much less crashes.
Alex: Do you have the issue where you’re trying to answer your phone, and it’s not responding to your finger?
Leo: I love that one. [Laughs]
Rene: I’ve had that ever since IOS 2.
Dave: That’s your phone saying, “Yeah, you don’t want to talk to your mom right now.”
Andy: It’s particularly problematic because, people aren’t used to having these problems. I don’t think IOS 7 has been a disaster by any definition, but it’s the first one where I’ve noticed that I’m having a problem with this a lot. I’m having the same sort of issue with Mavericks, and that is the first one in which I’m having recurrent bugs that are so annoying. It is really harshing my mellow, so to speak. Also, it has been a long time since IOS, or Mac OS has done this sort of stuff to me. So hopefully, this can be addressed really quickly.
Rene: One of the things is, a sixty-four bit is apparently running out of memory a lot faster than people anticipated. One of the updates they’re going to do is for the sixty-four bit memory. One Gigabyte of memory for iPads was probably not the best of choices. Hopefully the new ones will have more than that.
Leo: A bad choice for a sixty-four bit OS?
Rene: Well, a sixty-four bit, just the memory manager doesn’t seem to be as good. You run out of memory faster on the sixty-four bit versions, because the things they’re doing are bigger. But in general, I think the iPads would have benefited from more RAM.
Leo: Okay, good. Do we see a Mavericks update in the offing?
Rene: They’re in beta. I think whatever the next one is, 10.9.2 is already up for developers, so those will just chug along.
Leo: Alright, crossing my fingers.
Dave: Yeah, maybe mail will be fixed next. But don’t hold your breath.
Leo: Mail with Gmail is the big problem, right? Is it just Gmail?
Dave: For the most part, yes. Managing a large amount of mail with any iMap account is very different in Mavericks than it used to be in Mountain Lion. Gmail sees it the worst, because Gmail’s iMap implementation is a bolt-on at best for Gmail. Just any amount of mail, Mavericks just doesn’t deal with large quantities of mail, and any one mail box as well. That’s the big issue. It doesn’t make any sense to me, because this was a solved problem in Mountain Lion.
Leo: They unsolved it. [Laughs]
Dave: I get what they we’re trying to do with Gmail in terms of dealing with all main differently, and all of that, and that was great, but I don’t understand why that, by changing that, would break managing lots of mail simultaneously. But they succeeded in that for no good reason, so hopefully they’ll undo that.
Alex: What I think is awesome in IOS, is when you get your new Gmail, and you open a message, and it disappears while you’re reading it. It just gets moved to another folder, and you’re like in the middle of it, then it’s just gone. Then you’re like, “Well now I have to figure out which folder it decided to put it in.”
Rene: I had that problem, Alex, and it turned out that it was paying too much attention to Google’s new mapping when Google added the social folder, and the priority inbox, and it would move it around, and mail would no longer see it then pull it out.
Alex: Yeah. It’s been awesome.
Andy: There’s so much blame to go around on both sides there. Gmail really is designed to be operated through a web browser, and a mail reader that Google Apps only controls. But, that said, there are other mail readers that do it with a lot more elegance than IOS though. But there is definitely a lot of blame to split between multiple parties here.
Leo: Alright, any other stories before we take a break and get to your pics of the week? Let me see here. Google Play movies, and TV, and IOS, that’s nice. I use Google Play Music on IOS. I’m very happy and glad they did that.
Andy: I’m glad that there is another multi-platform movie store available, because I think that if you’re buying movies and TV shows directly from the iTunes Store, that’s not a long view play. That’s going to be a problem. The more worried I get, the more I buy from the iTunes store with the iTunes DRM. It’s a great retail experience, it’s great video, the cardwear is great, but what happens three years from now when you bought this wonderful, two hundred and fifty dollar Nas Box that does a million things for you and it will do things for you if you have Amazon Video, it will do things for you if you have Google Play Video. Unfortunately you bought four hundred dollars on movies on the iTunes Store and Apple doesn’t want to play with you.
Leo: Interesting leak from Nine to Five Mac. Apparently Adobe briefly showed a page of its Lightroom for iPad. You may remember last year we saw a video of developers showing it on iPad 2 for some reason. The idea that Lightroom for the iPad would be integrated with Lightroom on the desktop, you could make changes on the iPad, and it would automatically sync with Lightroom. I would love this. It would re-raw for one thing, which nothing on the iPad does. Unfortunately, if this page is accurate, it has since been taken down on Adobe’s site, they plan to charge ninety nine dollars a year for Lightroom, for the iPad.
Alex: I think that’s why they took it down.
Leo: Do you think it was a trial balloon? “Let’s see if anybody notices, and what would they say?”
Alex: They’d say, “You’re crazy.” I think the question is whether it is ninety-nine dollars a year for only that application.
Leo: I pay ten bucks a month for, they had a photographer package, Lightroom, plus Photoshop. I thought that was a good deal.
Alex: Because you had Photoshop.
Leo: If they would throw in Lightroom for the iPad with that, that would be great. But that’s not what I think they’re saying.
Rene: I have the full Creative Cloud. It’s fantastic because I use a lot of their apps. For me, that’s a much better deal than buying it.
Leo: Thirty a month?
Rene: Yeah, I got the discount because it had a license for the last version. I forget exactly what the retail was, but it might have been fifty if you didn’t have any previous version. But it’s still a great deal when you think about how much money you would spend on all those apps individually over the years.
Leo: Well yeah, and I don’t mind because I get Photoshop. I don’t mind ten bucks a month. Photoshop plus Lightroom. I already paid for Lightroom, so that felt a little bad. But that’s why I got the deal I guess, because I was a Lightroom and Photoshop licensee at one time.
Andy: It might be an interesting move, because the more photographers I speak to, I’ve met more and more photographers who are moving from Aperture to Lightroom.
Leo: Because Aperture is not updated ever!
Andy: Exactly. It doesn’t work as well with the large libraries that they like to work with, but also, It’s a vote of, I can either start the pain process of transitioning over now, or I can forced to when I realize the writing is on the wall, or when they Final Cut 10 me.
Alex: I’m in the process of leaving Aperture, and it’s painful, but what happened was, I literally opened up Aperture and I had been importing old iphoto libraries, and when I went into it there was a whole bunch of stuff that was just the previews. So it had not grabbed the full ones. Fortunately I have them all backed up, but now I have to go back through and figure everything out. I have got two hundred thousand photos. Some of them are there, some of them are not, some of them are somewhere else. I used to that it would be nice to have Aperture just manage the library, because it’s all in one big chunk, it’s all there, and I’m just realizing it wasn’t managing it very well. I was trusting it too much.
Leo: One of the big selling points of Aperture was a fairly recent merging of its database with iPhoto. That’s nice, but I still use Lightroom.
Alex: I have to admit, this one issue of bringing these iPhoto ones in, because this is like pictures of my kids and all kinds of other stuff, which are now six hundred by three hundred. Now, again, I have it all, I tend to be a little bit of a pack rat, but it’s going to be weeks or months of slowing going through all of that to figure out where they all are.
Leo: Are there features that you’re missing from Aperture when you moved to Lightroom 5?
Alex: I don’t think I’m missing features, I think there are more features in Lightroom. I think it was mostly that I liked it being organized and that it was pretty fast, and I liked it being in one big pile that I could move around without having to manage that.
Rene: Photostream is nice.
Alex: Yeah, Photostream is good.
Leo: You can still do that. In fact, you probably want to do it in a more orderly way where you pick stuff, then you export it out to iPhoto, rather than having all two hundred thousand photos on Photostream.
Alex: Well I don’t have it on all two hundred thousand photos, but my wife always knows whatever I’m doing because my Apple TV at the house is synced to my iPhone photostream. She’ll be like, “Why are there a bunch of pictures of field runners? I don’t understand.” Because I was on level four hundred!
Rene: I wonder if the Lightroom for the iPad will come with storage, because if they’re moving raw files back and forth, they’re probably going to have to that online, if they package a large amount of storage, maybe the price will make more sense.
Leo: You do get Behance though.
Dave: This is interesting though. We’re talking about moving our large photo media libraries out of Apples ecosystem, Andy was just talking about, don’t keep your movies in Apples ecosystem, and of course iTunes works for music, but it’s really slow when you have lots of music in there. So, does Apple have a problem long term with this? This is not good for them.
Andy: I’m a happy Apple user. I rely on Apple for some of the best products, there’s nothing that comes close to an iPad, and there’s nothing that comes close to a Macbook for me. It makes me a little bit sad when I realize that, to me they kind of ruined iTunes, and that’s when I realized that I can move my music. I don’t use Google Music as my cloud storage for music. I actually like the way that Aperture works. I don’t like the workflow methodology of Lightroom. I like the idea that I can sit in, have a real multi-window, multi-toolbar app that lets me discover how to fix these photos in Aperture. But the more time I spend in Lightroom, the more I realize that there are two major hassles with Aperture that would be solved if I switched. It breaks my heart that there are such big important things about the computing experience that I no longer think that Apple does really well, certainly not well enough that I want to use them as my resource.
Leo: And ecosystem lock-in is a huge selling point.
Dave: But it doesn’t work. For me, and all of us. When I travel, I like to bring my iPad on the airplane and watch a movie. How difficult is it to get a movie from my library to my iPad when I’m sitting in a hotel room? The answer is, not at all if I have a Plex Server in my house. I’m a Plex Plus member at thirty dollars a year. I press, “I want that movie” then I go to sleep, and in the morning it’s on my iPad and I go to the airport and I’m good to go. That’s impossible if I had everything in iTunes on my computer at home.
Andy: I felt like such a dope. I was using my Apple TV as my main cool little hockey puck thing plugged into the TV for streaming video for months and years. I had the Roku 3 as just sort of a testing device. Then Slingbox came out with their new app, which caused me to update the Roku for the first time in like three or four months, and now I’m almost never using the Apple TV. I spent a few days saying I’m going to do another deep dive into Roku, and that’s when I realized that they have a streaming. You can download an official app for playing media files that are simply attached to USB. I’m thinking that it will just play this cool file that I dropped onto the USB, but it found every single DLNA compliant media server on my network and it’s saying, “Whatever movie, whatever music, whatever you want, anywhere. It doesn’t matter what library created it, we’re happy to serve it for you.” Now there are all of these other third party apps are available on the Roku that aren’t available on the Apple TV. The only thing I miss from the Apple TV is the screensaver that feeds from my Flickr feed.
Dave: It’s also nice when you have your iPad and you get something from Youtube up, and you want to show it to the kids. I can just have it right on the TV. It’s great for that.
Andy: It’s almost as if the world is trying to collude against me and my love for the Apple TV, because that’s exactly what I was thinking. But then Roku came out with its official Youtube App. Youtube has that feature, where if you have the chrome cast plug in installed you can just simply tap a button within the Youtube player, and now you’re streaming directly to the TV, and it takes over from the streaming to your iPad.
Rene: There is two different things that I try to remember with this though. First is, if you’re outside the U.S. almost no one but Apple still provides. Like, I just can’t get Amazon Movies. Google Play has movies , I’ve bought some and whenever I try to watch them it asks me to rent them from Youtube even though I’ve already bought them. So, I don’t think this is going to be solved until the DRM Goes away. Horizontal or vertical lock-ins are essentially the same thing, and if you live through Microsoft’s music experience when they started shutting down services just because they played on a wide range of devices didn’t help you from not being able to watch them on any of them. I like the idea that everything is just stored on the cloud. I think it works great for music now, because you can just take from your machine and put it in the cloud. Nothing is stopping you from music unless Hollywood agrees to get rid of the DRM.
Andy: I think that you shouldn’t buy movies and TV through iTunes. I think that the optimum is to not buy them digitally at all. If there is something worth keeping, I will buy it on Blu-Ray or DVD and then rip it. I just don’t want to buy in a digital, locked up format.
Alex: I think as a man with a family where everyone is sharing everything, I have bought a lot of movies on my Apple TV, and everybody can use them. It just works. I know that’s the marketing thing for Apple, but it just works, and I don’t have to explain to my wife how to make that work or my kids, and I can put anything on their iPad and they’ll figure it out. So I think it just depends on how much effort you want to put into that. So, for me, that’s not a priority. For us it’s not geeky, but for everyone else, Apple TV is just you click and it works. I’ve put versions of other ones in at some point of time in the house, and my wife just goes back to the Apple TV. So, that is the issue. None of them are as slick. If I were on my own, I would probably do a lot more geeking out, and more complex solutions that were more elegant in that way. But with my family or with my parents, I just want them to be able to turn it on and not have to call me.
Rene: I would really like iTunes in the iCloud. The way I work is in iCloud now. I think it would be great if Apple took the rest of what was still sitting on the crappy Windows version of iTunes and the Mac version and just put them on the Cloud. IOS can stream now, you used to have to download, and so I don’t even bother downloading movies anymore, I just press the play button in IOS and it streams them. But to have all of that web browser based, where theoretically you could access from any device would remove some of Apples lock-in, but it would save so many problems for so many people.
Leo: What a good discussion. I don’t even know how we got into it, but thank you.
Alex: I’m a little blown away that you’re looking at Google Plus.
Leo: I was just trying to see if there was a little bit more to talk about that we have missed. What’re you talking about? I love Google Plus. It’s a great place to hang out with people who work at Google. Google Plus is becoming more and more dominant. The actual thing that I was looking for was is Chris Marquardt’s video workshop that he just put up. It’s called DiscoverLightroom.com for people who are making the change to Lightroom from Aperture. His pricing is interesting. So there’s about six and a half hours of video, but you can choose your price. So it’s just depending on how much you use Lightroom. It’s anywhere from fifteen, to one hundred dollars. Most people are going to choose fifteen. Chris does great stuff, and I know that moving to Lightroom is probably fairly painful, but I’ve been using it for a long time.
Alex: I just have too many photos, and I wish I had done it earlier. That’s my problem. It’s going to be the 2014 project.
Leo: Aperture is going to get an update, right?
Alex: I don’t know.
Leo: We don’t know.
Rene: They have Pro Tools teams working on it, so it should get an update.
Andy: I do believe it will get an update. The question is, what kind of update will it get? Will it still do the task that it was designed to do four years ago? There is a great number of business’s that decided to build their business around the job that Aperture does.
Leo: Well, for anyone who wants to make the move, this will probably be a good deal if you ever owned Photoshop. They call it the Photoshop Photography Program. You only get two programs though, Lightroom 5 and Photoshop, creative cloud version. You also get twenty Gigs of storage at Behance Pro Site, ten dollars a month when you sign up for the year plan. This is not an ad, just a mention. The last Photoshop that I bought was version six, and I thought that I really should have Photoshop.
Alex: It’s good. I think that Pixelmator is doing a lot better. I think that if I was just getting into photo editing, I could use Pixelmator and be happy with most of the stuff. I think the problem is I’ve been using Photoshop ever since version two. It’s very hard for me to switch. I go into Pixelmator and I just want to do certain things that I can’t quite figure out how to do. There are a lot of things in Pixelmator that I think are faster than Photoshop. It is built on a modern architecture and it’s using the GPU properly. The thing about Photoshop is, when I open it, I know everything else on my computer is going to run a lot worse. So when Photoshop is open, you really have to use it, then you have to shut it.
Leo: You know, it looks great on that Mac Pro.
Alex: It does, doesn’t it?
Leo: [Laughs] Sorry.
Alex: Can I play with a Mac Pro?
Leo: It’s at my house.
Alex: Oh, nevermind.
Leo: I’ll bring it in.
Alex: I want to do some 3D stuff. I was teaching a class this morning in Rwanda from my house, and we were talking about how to do 3D flags. It was going very slow, and all I could think of in the back of my head was, “I wonder how much faster this would be on the Mac Pro.”
Leo: I have a new way to make money. I could lease out my Mac Pro to Alex. No, please just borrow it. How long?
Alex: Well, a couple of days.
Leo: Okay, that’s okay. I’ll be shaking a little bit, but I’ll survive. One of the things that I noticed, the one I got was the base model; except for we did upgrade the RAM slightly to sixteen gigs. Thank you Ed. But, the two hundred and fifty SSD did fill up pretty quickly.
Alex: Yeah, you have to really use external.
Leo: Yeah, I had an external SSD from Other World Computing that I plugged in, but it’s USB. We need more Thunderbolt 2. Thunderbolt isn’t enough even. I got a buffalo thunderbolt device, and it’s the same speed as a USB 3.
Alex: Let’s try mine.
Leo: What do you have?
Alex: I have kind of a Frankenstein one. When I’m on the road, I need external drives, and I need to be able to swap the drives out, but I need a Thunderbolt interface. So what I do is, I get a Seagate thunderbolt sled for their drives, then I buy raw Sandisk drives and plug them in, then I tape them. You can get around four to five hundred mgs a second.
Andy: And you can move un-searched through airport security ninety-three times.
Leo: You should just strap it to your body, or maybe get a vest.
Alex: It works, you have to put a couple of business cards underneath.
Leo: I think there is a lot of deceptive stuff that says it’s Thunderbolt, but just isn’t that fast. The internal PCIE, dual channel, internal SSD is reading at almost a gigabyte a second. I want that on my external too.
Alex: But what do you need it for?
Leo: For my data drive.
Alex: When I bought my TCI they said, “Why will you ever need one hundred and twenty two megabytes of disk space?” I’m working on audio.
Leo: If you spent out the butt for your Mac Pro, you’re not going to want to put a USB 3 drive on it. Are there people making true Thunderbolt 2 storage? I guess we saw some at CES, but nothing that was available. There is a promise rate 5 enclosure, which I think is true Thunderbolt 2. It’s seven hundred bucks for the enclosure, minus the drives. You need SSD. The LaCie is the one I want, the little big disk, Thunderbolt 2. But I think that’s going to be really expensive. See, this is the problem with the Mac Pro. Three thousand dollars, but you have to have a three thousand dollar monitor, and you have to have a three thousand dollar raid array.
Andy: And you need the shoes, and you need the purse. [Laughs] It’s like a Tesla owner. You rarely meet a Tesla owner who doesn’t have the Tesla jacket and the Tesla hat. I think that anybody who really thought out that purchase before clicking that button, you either decided that an iMac or even a Mac Mini will serve your needs very well with a couple of extra accessories, or you decided either today or in the near future that you’re going to need that. If you did blow three thousand dollars on a desktop, then part of you says that you don’t want to leave performance on the table. I definitely see your point. If you’re going to put a USB 3 drive on there, why not put a USB 2.
Leo: A lot of people are saying Drobo, but I’ve got to emphasize. You might have a Thunderbolt interface, but that does not mean that you’re going to have the speed that you want.
Alex: I’m willing to take another chance with Drobo, and I have a bunch of Drobos. I use them everyday. But, I’ve never seen a fast Drobo. That’s not what they’re known for.
Leo: This is what you want. I don’t know what it is going to cost. It is the LaCie Little Big Disk. It is Thunderbolt 2. They promise 1.3 Gigs per second for 4k video editing. It’s SSD in there.
Alex: That’s really where you need that kind of speed is 4k editing.
Leo: You know, it’s so expensive, they actually don’t put a price on it. The SSDs are thermally coupled with external aluminum enclosure. It’s dual PCIESSDs.
Dave: They were showing us that thing at CES. Did you see one Leo? They took it apart. There’s no fan, I mean there is a fan, but it rarely kicks on.
Leo: That’s another issue. The Mac Pro is so quiet that I actually hear the buffalo spinning drive. It’s annoying. I want all solid state, or nothing.
Dave: Could you just get yourself some earplugs and save yourself a bunch of money.
Leo: No, you just don’t understand. [Laughs] You understand Andy.
Andy: I may not approve, but I understand. Your logic is sound, even though it may be an ideology. Even though I do not pray to your god, I do understand why you love your god.
Leo: If any of you at home are interested in a Mac Pro, you have to understand that it’s not just three thousand dollars, even the base unit. You have to get a 30K, 4K display for thirty five hundred dollars.
Alex: If you want to get your full value. I don’t need a 4K monitor right now. I have enough trouble with this monitor. It’s not even 4K and it wouldn’t edit.
Andy: If I bought a Mac Pro, every single fraction of a second that I’m looking at a spinning beach ball would fill me with a white hot rage that would seek immediate outlet.
Leo: Precisely. It is literally the path to madness, Rene. You have nailed it.
Rene: 3 and 4K monitors later, and Leo is still not happy.
Leo: Exactly. I cannot win. I bought a twenty five hundred dollar Mac, 28K with one, four hundred kilobyte swoppy floppy. I’m still paying the Macy’s bill.
Andy: All I had to do when I was a teenager was to wait two or three years and I was able to buy a Mac 5 12 for ninety-four dollars. That has laid out my path in hardware ownership for life. If I wait longer so long as I never have to render out a Pixar short on my desktop, I can save about ninety percent.
Leo: This is a guy who only shops at the MIT flea market.
Andy: Well actually, the ninety dollar Mac 5 12, that was actually broken because it was in the computer store that I worked at, and I was the one who broke it. As soon as the automatic markdowns brought it down to a place where I could afford it, I bought it then went back in and re attached the internal cable that I had disconnected.
Leo: Here is a breaking story, thank you to the chat room for this. Steven Troughten Smith has posted images on Twitter minutes ago of the upcoming IOS in the car interface. It is unclear according to Mac Rumors how he got the images. You can see the images on Steven Troughten Smith’s Twitter feed.
Rene: He’s a crazy smart developer, and he is cross platform too. He is in every one of the Apple and Google and Windows events. He’s fairly terrific.
Leo: I guess Mac Rumors was so nervous that they didn’t even want to put the images there.
Alex: They don’t have a link there?
Dave: When is the last time they got nervous?
Leo: I know, really. Wow.
Andy: Well, maybe it was a press photo that they didn’t have rights to.
Leo: What is Steven Troughten Smith’s Twitter handle? Do you know that off the top of your head? Strugtonsmith. I didn’t know you could have handles that long. Is there anything to say about the IOS for the car? That’s exciting.
Rene: I’m looking forward to it. I want IOS for the home. Doing bi-directional airplay to different displays could be great for Apple if they push it through.
Leo: Here’s map’s safety warning. So basically is the idea of this thing that when you plug in your iPhone, it takes over the display of the car? Or is this in the car already? No, this is your iPhone going into it.
Rene: It’s like Airplay to the Apple TV, but your car can send stuff back as well.
Leo: So you could use the car GPS maybe. Maybe you wouldn’t want to.
Andy: Just to be able to have that level of interactivity between the center screen and access to the touch screen, and also access to the mechanical clicky buttons that are on the dashboard are on the steering wheel, and not just have it be a dumb Bluetooth connect okay, but actually have it be part of the user interface. That is potentially huge. Just their ability to demonstrate how effectively they can broadcast IOS is also a big deal if you think about all of the other devices that could broadcast to that IOS interface too. So they don’t have to make a TV, they don’t have to make an interactive curling iron. They could simply have a small chip set that could just work with whichever IOS device you already have.
Leo: Our show brought to you today by squarespace.com, the secret behind some of the best websites on the net, including our own inside twit blog. The beauty of square space, it never goes down, it’s the best hosting ever, plus a fabulous content management system on top of it. Squarespace is always improving the platform with new features, new designs, better support, not that they don’t have the best support in the business. That’s why they won a Golden Stevie Award for their excellent twenty-four seven support right out of New York City, their home office. The designs, well you start with twenty beautiful templates, really gorgeous. All of them mobile responsive, all of them Ecommerce ready, but then you customize it. You don’t have to be a developer to do that, you can do it with a point and click, you add all sorts of widgets for social media and so forth, have your portfolio on there if you’re a photographer. If you are a coder, they’ve got a beautiful developer platform as well. So easy to use, so well supported. Everything is mobile ready, and they have a new app, the Squarespace Metric App for iPhone and iPad. It lets you check your stats, page views, unique visitors, social media followers. That is really nice. You got the blog app, which allows you to put content up there, approve comments, tap and drag images to change layouts, and now the metric app which helps you take care of all of your analytics. All of this for just eight dollars a month when you buy an annual plan, and that includes a free domain name. If you want to sign up for commerce, it’s twenty four dollars a month. They don’t take a slice of the action. They will help you with tax calculations, shipping, they’ll help you with coupon codes, even inventory tracking. There is unlimited digital or physical service. It is such a great thing.
Alex: We have a project we’re working on right now using Squarespace. We were developing all of the stuff, and it’s a training thing, so we want it to work with all of the tablets, and we want it to work on websites, so there was kind of an off handed response of, why don’t we just see if we can build this on Squarespace? It turns out that you can. So we’re building this training thing, and it’s just built around Squarespace, and we’re using it to develop the whole thing.
Leo: That’s one thing that Squarespace is so good for, it’s kind of a quick and dirty site. You get two weeks free even without a credit card. If that’s sufficient, you can do something really quickly. They don’t even mind if you do that. They’re very nice about it. Squarespace.com. When you buy, use the offer code MACBREAK1 for January, and you will get ten percent off of your new account. So that’s a nice deal too. Time now for our picks of the week! I can see Alex reaching his hand into our magic bag. He’s kind of like Santa. But let’s start first with our guest, Dave Hamilton from macgeekgab.com, soon to be playing his drums at the Flint Center this Saturday. When do you fly down?
Dave: I fly on Friday. We have a rehearsal Friday night, then that’s that.
Leo: You know it’s going to be good if they’re rehearsing.
Dave: Yeah, we rehearse once whether we need it or not.
Leo: I don’t know if they warned you. Do you have anything to pick?
Dave: They warned me mid-show! I thankfully had this thing here. It’s from Ianker.com. For twenty-six dollars, you get a charger, you plug it into your AC outlet, and it has five ports on it. But the cool part is, it pushes eight amps across those five ports, and it can do it in any combination you like. There aren’t some ports that are only two and some that are one, which is important if you’ve got an iPad or something that needs more than that. It will charge your Android stuff just as easily as it will charge your iPhone or your iPad, and that’s actually kind of a big deal because the two amp requirements for iPads and for Android tablets are different. The devices do a handshake with the USB port, and if they don’t get the handshake they want, they just go down to one amp like normal USB. I was using it while I was out at CES and I was able to charge everything simultaneously, with no problem at all. That’s my pick. It’s only twenty-six bucks too!
Leo: I’m a huge Ianker fan. I buy everything Ianker. They’re kind of the Apple of battery stuff. I have a number of Ianker external chargers, but I also get Ainker external batteries for my phone or something, I just love Ianker. It’s Ianker.com. Andy Ihnatko, what do you have for us?
Andy: This is one of my favorite alternate presentation apps, it’s by BOINX Software, and it’s called Photo Presenter. It’s just ninety-nine cents in the IOS App Store. I think that Keynote is one of the greatest mobile apps ever made. The ability to do such beautiful, formal presentations on the mobile device is just unsurpassed; but not every presentation you give is a linear presentation. Often times, you know that you’re going to be talking for upwards of thirty minutes in a meeting, a lot of different topics are going to come up, and you’re going to want to be able to dynamically display whatever piece of information is going to be relevant at that time. It’s essentially a photo viewer, or tray of everything that you think is relevant. You can also look at albums that are on the device. When it’s not showing something, it will just show whatever stock image that you want. You could put your company logo, or meeting notes, or something like that. As soon as you decide that you’re talking about China you can tap this and everyone there will see this picture of an Apple store, then someone says, “But if we have a presence in China, won’t there be knock-offs?” Then you would say, “Yeah, I have to admit when I was in China I was able to see a whole bunch of Apple knock off phones, as a matter a fact I actually bought a knock-off iPhone 3G.” Then when they tell you that you have a lot of travel photos, you can say show them even more relevant photos. If you have attention deficit disorder and you know you’re going to be leaping from topic to topic, and you don’t know when it’s going to be ending, then this is just absolutely the perfect app for you. There really is a need for this kind of app. I sometimes am invited to interview comic creators on stage at comic conventions, and what I’ll do if its an artist is just load up this app and put up images that they’ve drawn from all of their comic, because if they start getting into a story about working with Bernie Wrightson, it’s nice to be able to have a cover of that comic handy. It’s ninety-nine cents, extra features are in app purchases, like the ability to replace the photo presenter icon with whatever you want, the ability to have a highlighter and a spotlight thing, that’s another one; but the core feature is ninety-nine cents. It’s a nice app to have. I bring this up when it comes to iPhone apps and iPhone apps, there are apps that cost ninety-nine cents that are good to have them on the device already at the time when you realize that, “Ah man, I wish Keynote could do this.” Well, you know, it doesn’t do this, but fortunately I have PhotoPresenter which does exactly what I want it to do.
Leo: That’s neat. I’m going to have to buy it right now. PhotoPresenter from Boinx, we love Boinx. Boinx is very loveable. We also always have Oliver from Boinx on the show whenever he’s in town. By the way, congratulations Dave, you have killed Ianker.com, so well done.
Dave: Hey, that’s my job. It’s what I do.
Leo: The TWiT army will not be defeated.
Andy: Yeah, TWiT recommendations, we really are the monkey’s paw, because there are companies saying, “Oh I wish that TWiT or another big show that would recommend and really speak highly of our product.” Then the devil says, “We will grant you your wish, but you should have also wished that your servers would be able to actually capitalize on all of these referrals and make them into sales.”
Alex: It’s not by accident that we recommend Squarespace before we do the big shows.
Leo: All of Ianker’s stuff is also sold on Amazon. So you can always go onto Amazon and search for Ianker. I don’t think that we have brought Amazon yet, but we might.
Alex: It’s a goal though.
Leo: It’s a goal. I could retire. Alex, you’ve got a Google Maps engine?
Alex: I’ve got two things. Often times we’re trying to analyze audio that is coming in our pipeline, and you want something that you can just kind of grab, and there is this little app called Analyzer for your iPad. What you’re seeing there is, it’s taking audio from the little built in microphone, and it is analyzing it. A lot of times what I’m looking for is if we get some weird sound. So when Leo generates a tone, it’s at about 500 Hertz. You can change the octaves, that’s a pretty coarse one actually. But there are also other graphs. If you click on the little on the little menu button on the lower right, and you go up, and you choose FFT Plot.
Leo: Oh, that’s pretty, how much does this thing cost?
Alex: I actually don’t know. I haven’t looked at the price for it. Now if you would go to the same menu and choose spectrograph, this is one that I actually use more. What this is doing, is it’s actually giving you a heat map of your sound. You can visually see if there is a buzz being added to your line, because you’ll see it up in the ten hertz, you’ll see this little line going across. Now using your microphone that’s built in isn’t going to be very accurate, but there is a pink noise generator. If you want to get your XLR signal into your iPad, you use this thing [holds up XLR to quarter inch adapter cord] and this is around thirty bucks on Amazon. There is a couple of different interfaces, I’ve been playing around with a lot of them. I bought probably five or six of these sound analyzation tools, and this is the one that I like the best. A lot of them are very similar, but as far as the interface and ease of use, there are ones with more features, there’s a lot of different things that you can do.
Leo: Is this a DSP mobile?
Leo: Fifteen bucks? If you bought this in hardware, it would be thousands. But they do have some in app purchases.
Alex: I really like this one a lot for the price. I think there are some which are a little more expensive which I like too, but this one is nice.
Leo: So It’s fifteen bucks, then you’re going to want to spend another three bucks at least to use the built in microphone, although it supports Appogee’s microphone, which is great. You can also use the Apple earphones or earpods.
Alex: For me, when I’m analyzing this stuff, I want a line in. You can say that you’re hearing something, but when you’re talking to the Audio Engineer and they say, “You have sound on the line?” He will never believe you. But with this you can show him that there is actually something there. So that’s my first pick. My second pick is a developer interface for Google Maps, but it’s much easier. Allan Goldberg in South Africa, in Rwanda met me and showed me this.
Leo: Should I create a new map, or open a map?
Alex: You should create a new map.
Leo: Okay. You would be able to create a map and share it with me. There are also some Classic My Maps. I can import these KML files into this, and here is my route.
Alex: You can bring in XL files and have a lot of information. What’s cool about it is you can create a new map, but you don’t have to find the GPS coordinates anymore; now you just have cities. All you need is the raw city.
Leo: You can also import nine different backgrounds you can import on top. There is a terrain background, you can see elevations, there is the satellite map, you can have a political map and all sorts of other cool maps.
Alex: We have these forms for a lot of the events that we do, everyone just filled out a form and put down their city. I just imported this from our database.
Leo: So, you can import in a CSV or an XLSV file, in fact, you can even use Google Drive itself to have somebody fill out a form, and then it will automatically fill in those values into the system?
Alex: I haven’t tried to automatically yet, but we’ve exported and imported it. So here is distribution, at least all of the people who have signed up for this specific event, and I click on one of these dots and it’s all the information that was in the database. I didn’t have to do anything!
Leo: Is there a limit to the number of pins? You have quite a few pins.
Alex: Yeah, I think there is a limit of a couple hundred. I got the pro one for five bucks a month. With the pro one, you can have up to two thousand pins. There is a developer one, which they don’t have a price for, which is one hundred thousand pins or something like that. You can also have multiple layers that you can set-up. It’s definitely a rabbit hole. I don’t think that it’s fairly new, but until Allan Goldberg in South Africa had showed me, I didn’t know it existed. It’s crazy awesome. It’s definitely worth playing with.
Leo: Finally, lets wrap up with Rene Ritchie and his pick of the week.
Rene: I have both a complaint of the week, and a pick of the week.
Leo: I think we should call it a bitch of the week. [Laughs]
Rene: So, a couple of years ago, Apple introduced AirPrint. It is a fantastic way to print from your iPad or iPhone through a network attachment or a wifi connection within your vicinity. But what they didn’t roll out was print to PDF. I understand that this feature actually exists, but I don’t know whether it was ever finished or not, but if you want to share a complete web page in a packaged form in the same way that you have the wonderful PDF features on the mac, you can just save something as a PDF like a receipt or a page, or basically anything you want. The same capability could make it to the IOS, but either it hasn’t made it into the feature pipeline, or people don’t think it’s an important enough feature. But there has been several occasions where I have just wanted to make a PDF out of the content on my iPhone, and if Apple could just squeeze that into the feature pipeline, I would be super, really grateful to them. That is my complaint of the week. My pick of the week is Store House at storehouse.co. It’s a website, and a iPad app. It’s created by Mark Quano and his team. Mark Quano was a Frog Design, then he worked on the interface of Photoshop, then he worked on building Aperture at Apple, and finally he was user experience evangelist at Apple until about last year when he left and went into his own company. He’s been working on this since then. I’ve been part of the beta, so I’ve had the pleasure of watching it develop, and he is a photographer, he loves photography, and he always wanted a way for photography to at least have an equal chance at being a story telling mechanism on mobile. There are so many really good text base platforms and writing apps. He wanted a way for people to easily and quickly take their photographs and make really beautiful looking stories that they could share. So at Storehouse you can pull photos from Instagram, from your camera roll, from your Flickr, from all of these different sources. You start off with a template, you can pull images in, you can very quickly move them around. It has the kind of interface you would expect from a guy who’s job used to be to criticize interface at Apple, so it’s very physics based, things float around, you can move them around easily, you can stretch them, they’ll bounce and snap to the right sizes so it’s hard to put things in the wrong places. It’s really easy to share them once you build them. You just create an account, you can see other people’s stories that they’ve shared and then you can easily construct and share your own. Right now it only works on the web and on the iPad, but we’re used to using Flipboard, we’re used to using those things that exist only in those places, so it hasn’t been a detriment to me. If you don’t want to go to Pages and actually make a document, if don’t want to do the work it would require to do it in Wordpress, Tumblr, Four Square, or something like that, this is just a really easy way. It does video and images so you can have those beautiful, slightly moving pictures as well. It’s not bristling with features yet, but with the features it does have, they really knocked it out of the park.
Leo: Excellent choice. We got some really good picks this week. We’ll put them in the show notes at Twit.tv/nbd. That’s where you can find the show of course, download it, listen to it in audio or video. You can watch live. We do Tuesdays 11am Pacific, 2pm Eastern times. 1,900 UTC. Don’t forget the Mac thirtieth is coming up Saturday. Dave Hamilton and the Mac all-stars will be performing. Dave, it’s great that you’re coming out, and I’m looking forward to it, and of course we’ll have you back here real soon. Macobserver.com and of course macgeekgab.com. It’s always a pleasure.
Dave: Yeah man, thanks for having me.
Leo: Your octopus, what do they call it? The squid?
Dave: Yeah, I’m going to use a different microphone every time that I come in. Everybody is giving me a hard time.
Leo: I’m not a fan of USB microphones in general, but it sounds fine.
Dave: Yeah, it’s not bad.
Leo: We’re snobs here.
Dave: I get it. I’m a snob too.
Leo: Mac Geek Guy podcast has the best sounding podcast of any other one in the nation. We know that you know.
Dave: It’s how we roll.
Leo: Thanks Dave, it’s great to have you. Thanks Andy Ihnatko from Chicago Sun Times, it’s always a pleasure. Andy, if you ever want to move out to sunny California, you know I have a seat here for you.
Andy: I don’t have a guy who delivers wood. I have to drive some place and take all of the stuff out of the trunk of my car. Mornings like this, where I’m seeing the swirling flakes, and I know that I’ve got an hour to get all of this stuff and barricade myself in. Moose, Leo, we have wandering moose. Are they polite? No they’re not. When they want something, they let you know, and they’re not going to leave until they get it.
Leo: I would give you a full time job in a heartbeat, but you have to move out here. We’re actually actively looking for reporters, anchors, hosts, so Andy, if you want to be out here, I’d love to get you out here. You don’t need a guy who delivers wood out here. Just think about it. Life on the west coast, it’s waiting for you.
Andy: I’m used to that three hour head start on my west coast editors. That’s literally the only thing that is preventing me from going.
Leo: That’s a good point. You would lose that, wouldn’t you? Alex Lindsay, he’s visiting from out of town, but is always welcome. It was great to have you once again.
Alex: It’s good to be here.
Leo: See you soon. And of course Rene Ritchie from iMore.com; always good, always better, always best. Never let it rest until your good is better and your better is best. Just a little something I remember from the fifth grade. Thank you for joining us at Mac Break Weekly! Now get back to work, your break is over!