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MacBreak Weekly 403
Leo Laporte: It is time for MacBreak Weekly, OS 10.9.3 is here and we will talk about what it brings to the table. Also Microsoft is going straight at the Mac Pro with its new Service Pro 3 and we will talk about the strategy there. And the Beats deal, what is going on with that rumor? All next on MacBreak Weekly!
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This is MacBreak Weekly episode 403 recorded May 20th 2014
That’s so Apple
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It is time for MacBreak Weekly, the show that covers Apple, all the Apple topics, Macintosh, Zune, (no that’s wrong, I’ll figure it out before the end of the show,) iPhones. Andy Ihnatko is here from the Chicago Sun Times. A classic Macintosh logo, the old rainbow logo, behind him.
Andy Ihnatko: That is in Andy Warhol’s old silk screen print. I found that online from Artnet and it recently auctioned for fifty-six thousand dollars.
Leo: An original or a print?
Andy: It is a series of whatever prints were made in that issue.
Leo: That is nice.
Andy: And an unsolicited tip if you want like really good back ground art or desktop art or things to just have around because you like art, go to auction sites because they want to get people to up their bids so that they will put in huge mega resolutions scans of all of these pieces. So I have just got folders and folders of comicbook art and old masters and pre-Raphaelites and ooh that is nice, but of course I cannot do anything with it because I do not have any rights to use those images but it is pretty to have as an screen saver on your HDTV.
Leo: And I guess it is just incidental in the back ground to the show, we are not going to get into trouble with the Andy Warhol Estate.
Andy: No, it is related to Apple news and so we are doing a journalistic thing by commenting on the action sale price of this. So, if you have one of these and you are at one these Mac World Expos where they had those stacks and stacks of Andy Warhol’s original silk screen prints, take it down off your kid’s bedroom wall because you can get tens of thousands of dollars for it.
Leo: Do they really do that?
Andy: No they do not, but he did a series of prints about where he put his own spin on corporate logos as probably some sort of commentary on how easy it is to be Andy Warhol and so what the prints are used for.
Leo: The irony of it is that he did not even make himself he had a factory with a bunch of people doing them.
Andy: It is almost admirable how he had that level of cynicism about art as a commodity and that miraculously became part of the package that he was selling you.
Leo: Isn’t that amazing? Brilliant. Let us also welcome Rene Ritchie from imore.com, Rene is here from Montreal where he is enjoying the perfect summer weather.
Rene Ritchie: It is a strange place Leo, we went from minus 20 to plus 20 in about a couple of weeks and this is why we cannot have nice weather.
Leo: Well, it finally happened and I am so relieved that 10.9.3 is out and you can get it today, downloaded to your Macintosh and the reason why I am excited about is because it finally gives us true support for 4 K displays, if you have a Mac Book Pro with a 15” retina display 2013 or the late 2013 Mac Pro. And you and I can now talk about it because we are NDA’d. That was really neat that Apple did the open beta.
Rene: Yes, and they have already announced 10.9.4 open beta so if you are worried because all the rest of the unwashed masses now have your exclusive 10.9.3, you can just grab the 10.9.4 when it comes out!
Leo: I would not give one out. The one that we are getting today is that the same as the bits that were pushed in the beta program a couple of days ago or is there something new and wonderful in this too?
Rene: I did not have a chance to look at it. Typically, if they are pushing it again, there might be a couple of new bits in there.
Leo: So improves 4K display support on the Mac Pro, it adds the ability to sync contacts in a calendar between Mac and IOS device using USB. No longer do you have to go through iTunes I guess, that is nice. It improves the reliability of VPN connections using IP SEC and Safari 7.0.3. I have been using 10.9.3 for a couple of weeks on your recommendations so it would support my 4K display and I would have to say that in the last iteration I would have say they added the same kind of high DPI, you know pixel doubling that you can do on retina displays.
Rene: So what about the scaling modes?
Leo: The scaling modes make a huge difference because of course on the 4K display which was running 3820 by 2180 I think, yes 2160 that native resolution mind you is this small. You can make that bigger but it really what I did was and it seems to have done pretty well is that there is little tearing on some of the scaling of things that is the 4K display, that is the middle of the ASUS PQ is it 321? There are only two 4K displays that have 60 hertz refresh and this is one of them and the other one is Sharp the one that Apple sells in the Apple store. I also told that the same IGZIO panels just wrapped from different companies.
Rene: That is gorgeous Leo.
Leo: It really looks good, and so what I have done is set up to 1920x1080, half resolution but correct me if I am wrong but high BPI means that when I have something of higher resolution, like a movie or a photo it will show those 1-to-1 in the pixels. But the UI just like on the retina right, and now the UI is really and the text is man the text looks good. It is like a giant retina it is like 31 and half inches retina display.
Rene: It is amazing because they played around with the retina resolution independence and it sound like a good idea. But it turn out that is has a lot of overheads and scaling PDFs and SPGs, it is not that efficient. So now they do that thing where exactly that interface elements they just pixel double them so they stay the same size and they also have twice the density and that also means that you actually have the pixels that make up all those points, and they can show your final cut video or your aperture light room photo or your photo shop document. Whatever, those things are actual size and so you really get the best of both worlds without all of the overheads. It may not be the perfect solution for the millennia to come but it is really the smart solution that works right now.
Leo: I love it. I have got one the left and the right at the center desk with 27 inch display in the middle. I just love it and I have the chat-room running and Twitter running at all time and bit coin on the right, my calendar and I have always wanted to have a terminal app but I cannot because I cannot do anything with it. That is what the geeks have is a terminal app.
Rene: You can run Norad out of that display set up, Leo?
Leo: And do not judge me but you will see in the middle that when actually watching a video of Microsoft Surface announcement this morning. It is a very satisfying arrangement, and I do not mean because it is so expensive but impressive because it is the utility is very hot. I missed my 30 inch Apple this morning display which Jason has right now. This is the nicest display that I have ever used. Rene correct me if I say this wrong but it is as if it is two displays. It is coming through the Thunder Bolt display port and if I scroll really fast it will get a little bit out of sync but there is some tearing in the middle. But I notice that 19x20x10 maybe exactly half and that is minimized, there is very little of it high scale resolutions is not so much and you can only see a little bit of that.
Rene: I am not positive on the details but you are pushing the boundaries of Thunder Bolt Two while they are working on Thunder Bolt Three. So it probably like the old dueling DVI and they send half a signal through each channel.
Leo: It is exactly like that right.
Rene: But I think that Thunder Bolt Two is not twice the size it has doubled, and you have double half of each.
Leo: It really works well and the text is so readable in fact it is kind big at 1080.
Rene: So the old monitors scrape your eyeballs now Leo right and you can see pixels on them?
Leo: You really can. So, welcome to the world of retina at great cost. It is 2500 dollar monitor, it is not much deep. Do you think the fact that Apple is pushing 10.9.3 is support for 4K monitors is some indication that Apple might at WWDC announce a 4K display of its own.
Rene: I do not know and I mean I have heard for a long time that they are making one but for them it is always a question of math and how many panels, what quality panels and technology because they are not going to make one but they are going to make tens of thousands if not millions of them. And typically they go for iMacs first, the iMacs get their panel first and then when they are in supply balance they do the cinema displays, and because there is a Mac Pro now out already and because they have all these computers that can support 4K maybe they will give the panels to the Apple panels 4K display. There is also a lot questions involving supply chain stuff.
Andy: The other question is whether they can make a big enough mark up on them even if they are only selling to the Mac Pro owners at this this point. I would guess that if they are going to hold off to that until they know how many they can actually push through.
Leo: Let Sharp and Asus get all the money?
Andy: Define all the money, I mean what does that mean that they are perfectly Okay with letting Sharp, Asus and Samsung and all these other people make 12 percent margins. They are very, very happy to sell fewer but make five, six or seven times amount of money off each panel.
Leo: So the two monitors that I mentioned are capable of 60 hertz at that full resolution. There are many much less expensive 4K display apps but they are 30 hertz, is that right Rene?
Rene: I believe that you can drive them at 60 hertz now, because I know that the Dell one is running at 60 hertz with 10.9.3. I do not know if it is as good as the panels that Apple selling, but they are much cheaper, so you always have to make that calculation on your own.
Leo: It looks good though purely from a subjective point of view. It looks good and because I am using a Mac Pro base model but still that has got dual graphics cards in it. It does not seem to slow it down or make it hot or anything.
Andy: It does make you wonder how this is going to affect the interface coming along from the Mac OS, because remember that IOS 7 was really in response to the fact these IOS devices now have these retina display screens. And you do not appreciate how kind of crummy the old interface was until you compare them side by side. So I wonder what happens when Apple is planning for a world in the near future when more people will have 4K displays or anything with the retina interface on it. Whereas, right now the Mac Book Air is the first buy in type of Mac portable, but the iMac is still the first buy in type of Mac desk-top. But I wonder if they are going to be planning that far ahead to say that we have to make a user interface that will look great, once we have no need for drop-shadows and no need for much intense alien type or any bit of twiddling that we used to have to do for IOS 10.9.
Leo: Here is Ryan Shroud reporting this week in Computer Hard-Ware the other day that the PC Perspective has a story that Samsung has announced a 4K 28 inch for just 700 bucks and it is by 38x40x21x60 and 60 hertz. So I think that we are going to start seeing, know I do not how good the quality is and all that?
Andy: I think that people who are buying 4K displays at this point are video editors or photo editors or graphic designers. They have the real need to be able to see as Rene said the full bill board the full resolution pretty much, and they are not going to be satisfied with a non- calibrated display that is a little bit too green.
Leo: It is a specialty market obviously, and those people are going to pay, what seems like a to us but not a lot for a professional for that quality.
Rene: Their time is more value-able than their money and they just want a display that is color accurate and high depth and everything.
Leo: K Ford in our chat room is reporting that 10.9.3, he says broke a lot of OPEN CL apps like Premier Pro and Resolve. He says that there is no problem with Final Cut and in fact I used Final Cut Pro last night it seemed to work fine. I imagine that updates will come out for Premier and Resolve but I have not seen it so I do not know but that is something to pay attention to. These things happen.
Rene: It is a production machine donut upgrade.
Leo: Yes, as always. On the other hand I am really happy that I did the earlier upgrade, and do the final upgrade today and see what happens but…
Rene: You risked your home theater for us Leo.
Leo: That is not my home theater that is just something I use for emailing and surfing the web and a little bit of chatting.
Andy: But doing it with style.
Leo: People in the chat room, probably those of you who were up late at night or early in the morning, normally I am only here when I am in the studio and, not because I have it running at all times on my display, and you will notice that I more frequently in the chat-room. One of the great joys that I have is, you know it is about three in the morning and some-body says something snotty in the chat-room and I respond and I just love that. I just love that. I think that they back up very rapidly ooh ooh ooh. I am always in there now. So let’s briefly as I watching the Microsoft Surface Three announcement and I know this is an Apple show and this is the last thing we do but it look like really what Microsoft has decided to do is not assault the iPad directly, but go after the Mac Book both Air Book and Pro with this New Surface Three. It is absolutely Mac Book pricing if you want i5 you are talking about 1299.00. If you want an i7 you are talking almost 2,000 dollars. Have you guys had a look at the specs of the Surface Pro 3 and compared it to the Mac Books and, it seems that is where they are aiming.
Andy: Yes I have had a look. I was watching the Live Stream as I was not in New York today and, but it definitely looks like they are not scrimping one bit and they really want to sell the point that we are selling this to you as a laptop consumer, we are going to sell your machine that has the exact same exact specs and the exact same build quality as a nice ultra-book or as a nice thin Mac Book Air but with the following list of added features amongst them being a really, really good stylus now that makes it far more suitable for creative to use. One of the reasons why Surface was such a big win for so many artists was that you basically have a Wake ‘Em tablet built into it and so you could actually use it as your field drawing computer. They are also using demos of you are having a final draft of producers actually and studios actually writing comments directly onto script pages and I do not know if that is going to be a really super popular feature. (Cross Talk)
Leo: I loved the demo of that because I thought it was kind …
Andy: Exactly. And it is totally pen into it and when you wake up and put your pen to it. If you want to take notes in a meeting and, do something with it and with the office infrastructure and it is very, very easy to do that. And also the other big point that they are making is that they actually had a balanced scale to show that it is lighter than a Mac Book Air. So they are really trying not to go after anybody who would be thinking about buying a iPad mini or even a base line 500 dollar iPad Air. They are really going after people who might have either A might have considered going for a Mac Book Air because it is the only really good premium ultra-book and also going out there for people might have been considering getting an iPad in addition to what-ever laptop they are going to be getting, because they did a very good job of underscoring the main point which is that they think it makes no sense to have a really expensive tablet and a really expensive notebook. Well, you can have a really expensive notebook that also removes the need for a 500 dollar tablet.
Leo: Yes there were rumors that with there would be a Surface mini and that did not happen and so I really have to say, and this is Intel this is not ARM, this is with full blown Windows and 12 inches 3,2,4 form factor and nine hours battery life, and priced pretty much right across the board for at least if Mary Jo Foley is right as she seems to have the prices on this. The same way that Apple’s pricing its Mac Books.
Rene: The really interesting thing for me in this is that there is old joke that it takes Microsoft three years to get it right. And I think that all for a lot of us regarding the Surface, we all said that this is not a tablet? This is maybe what the next generation of laptops will look like. But Microsoft was insisting on the notebook compromises motto and on advertising it as a tablet and it did not make a lot of sense. And you know Steve Jobs until the iPad came out and said that it has got to be better than a phone and better than a laptop and certain key things and this was the event where I finally think Microsoft understood what they wanted to say this is better than a tablet and better than a laptop, but for these few things.
And one of the most hilarious things is that I watch a lot of television and, they did a ton of product placements for the Surface and, I remember watching Hawaii Five O one week and they took out their iPads and did something quickly, and then the next week they were in a car and suddenly a suspect ran away and they took out their Surface tablet and put the key board on the car and locked into place and started going through it and the guy was half way down the street.
And, it was clear that they did not know what it was meant to do. But now you see a Surface for example on Aeroe and they are using it to watch TV. It seems that they have finally got comfortable with what the Surface is supposed to be and I think that is the most exciting thing for me now when they announced it.
Leo: Here is the pricing an i3 processor, 64 gigs of storage, 4 gigs of ram minus the key board at 800 bucks and add the key board to chuck in and it is 929 bucks and that is 900 dollars for a Mac Book Air 11 inch. This is a 12 inch and you go to kind of a more normal configuration the i500 is 28 gigs of storage, 4 gigs of ram a thousand bucks plus a keyboard for 130 bucks. You are right these almost parallel to the similar Mac Book prices. I guess the difference is that the key board is not attached. In fact it is optional and you have a pen which of course Steve Jobs very famously said that is stupid.
Rene: Oh they have switched to the Wackam.
Leo: Oh they have got a Wackham.
Andy: Yes exactly.
Rene: That is interesting.
Andy: It is a similar type of system but it is not that because they switched away from what they were using for the Surface previously.
Leo: Still pressure sensitive and all of that stuff.
Andy: It will do everything that they want it to do that an artist would want to do it and the pressure sensitive version of Adobe Photoshop that will work with it. But it is interesting to see them to try and modify their aim a little bit. To bring Apple back into this and this has always been an interesting debate about philosophy. Is it more correct to have a bespoke device for multi-touch and or a bespoke device for a laptop sort of things or can you basically put both of those features into the same device and does that make sense. And that is really just a Berlin Wall of ideological difference between Apple’s thinking and Microsoft’s thinking. And as Rene said there is the common wisdom that every other Star Trek movie is really, really good or really, really bad when you look at it. And the other common wisdom may be true and may be not is that Apple takes three tries to get something right and this is the third version of it and when you see them some critical adjustments to this and number one being most obviously they have ditched the wide screen form fact and now has an iPad form factor has 4x3 exactly what you would see on a laptop screen.
And that addresses one big stumbling block that they had with the previous one because I have used them and they just, when you turn it on its side to apportion a registration as if you are reading a book, it almost like says Okay I will do that but I want you to know that I really, really hate having to because it just looks like you are reading a legal document.
And they also tried to fix the idea that it really is not some much of a laptop replacement as a desk top replacement because the one thing that is really hard to do and of course right in the middle of this live press event is a perfect place to show it, you cannot sit in a chair and have a Surface in your lap and actually expect to get anything done. You are spending most of your caloric body consumption trying to keep this thing balanced because it is fold-out kick stand. So now they have changed that type-pad cover so it still magnetically attaches and really holds on good. But it also clicks on a little bit higher than it used to and the kick-stand has also been redesigned a little so that it is easier to have that thing on your laps so this is the next stage of this ideological battle.
Leo: I feel like that we almost in a post tablet era.
Andy: I have really been thinking a lot about this over the last three or four months and you know what a big advocate of the iPad I am and I love it. I think that more people should try and use it as note-book replacement. But, I do not think that the message has really been taken up by the general populous right now. I think that they are really thinking that a note-book is note-book and a tablet is a totally different thing and if you can make a tablet that is more like a Kindle that is even better which is why everybody seems to be making so much effort to making these pocket-able 8 inches and 7 inches and even smaller tablets. And it becomes a little bit harder to explain the purpose of a 9.7 inch iPad Air because you are basically telling people that, telling people who want to have a separate device for “real computing” you are telling them that spend more money for the one that is harder to carry around even though it does not run any apps any differently than the iPad mini does.
So I have been saying all along that I do not think that Apple had a real clear picture of who must buy an iPad which is why in the first introduction of the first iPad they were not really willing to lock it down as a productivity thing or as an entertainment thing, they really wanted to put it out there and let people know. They did not want to tell people whereas people could judge it as a note-book or judge it as an expensive e-book reader even.
Leo: It is a new thing.
Andy: Exactly and I think that we are in a phase where this is going to be an interesting test case to see if people are buying the idea of the multi-touch tablet as a true next generation real computing device. Or if this is going to be the case where really everybody would have bought a full sized iPad as bought one right now. Now that there are options in the market those people who might have been buying one next year are now going to be looking at alternatives. And there is some interesting data too.
Leo: My guts tell me there are two distinct devices. There is the computer - desk-top or lap-top and there is a phone. And this idea that there might be something in-between and that is how Apple presented the iPad from day one. And I think that it is going to disappear. I really think you are either going to want a laptop or you want a phone.
Rene: It could be a range of things though with the old Steve Jobs truck and car analogy, it all depends on how much computer do you need. And for a lot of people a traditional computer is still accessible and it is still intimidating and it is still not what they want. So may be a phone or tablet is better, but then you getting into wearables which are like motorcycles and they are like sub-phones and you go from phones to tablets and you have fablets in between which are maybe like an SUV or your hybrid or something and then you get the tablet. Maybe you have something between the tablet and the truck and the computer which is like the surface and you have this range things just like we have a range of cars and I think that only is the symbol of the market maturing because mobile is so new and we are so unused to it and now you have primary and the only computing platforms that are not traditional computers and that is what I think that makes it so exciting right now.
Leo: We are going to take break and when we come back, there is lots more to talk about. Andy Ihnatko is here from the Chicago Sun Times, Rene Ritchie from imore.com and we are talking Macintoshes, we are talking iPhones, we are talking iPad and we are talking Apple.
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Rene: I do not know if you guys ever saw there was a blog post over two years ago by Guy English and that was one of my most favorite things that he has ever written, where he was talking about looking into Siri about the APIs and whether the developers could ever use it and this sort of dramatic play inside Apple, and it is eerily accurate and it is almost like the Siri manager comes and are you integrating with Grenada! He says, “I have no idea what that is?” ‘’Were you not disclosed, none of you guys were ever disclosed. Go find out about it.” He wanders over to the Grenada and, says, “What are you working on?” He says,” Sire.” And he says, “What is that?” I don’t know what that is can I tell you?” He says,” Can you tell me what you are doing?” And it ends up with the guy flying to Grenada there is no way for them to work together except through usual URL schemes and resort sharing and it also showed how complicated it was to build this stuff up.
Leo: Paranoia strikes in to your heart deep and it will creep the fortunate legacy of Steve Jobs was the incredible drive towards secrecy and that can hurt you as a company. I feel that Tim Cook is backing that a little bit. I think that the fact that they have buried the hatchet with Motorola which happened this week or last week. They announced, you know what not only are we going to drop our lawsuits against Google and Motorola we are not going to make a licensing deal, and we are going to work together to kind of improve this patent situation in this because it kind of sucks. That is not a Steve Jobs rule that is a Tim Cook rule. And I am hoping that Tim might do the same thing with secrecy.
Andy: Well, to be fair Steve Jobs could have made that move after talking with a lot of his own people who would then be telling that look it is now in Apple’s best interests to set aside battles that are no longer in this company’s best interests. Apple was certainly going to be having trouble defending all these patent wars and at the same time claiming that the patent system was broken and needs to be fixed. Every time you looked at the stack patents that were in dispute you would see a big pile where Apple absolutely invented something that did not exist and they created this before, they created something unique that seems to require patent protection. But then there would also be these things like really something that I know that I have seen before IOS and now you on the patent, Okay whatever! So.
Leo: We can never know and that is why it is stupid to say, “Well Steve would never had done that”?
Rene: Under Steve Jobs they did do the settlement with Nokia and did do a settlement with HTC. I am not sure that they sued Motorola or Motorola sued them but that was when standards in central patents were involved and all that. It is really the Samsung one that was the driving thing for Steve Jobs because Samsung and Google were both his partners and he felt personally affronted by that. I do not think that Motorola was ever part of that thermo-nuclear war strategy.
Andy: Samsung really is that one company where you look at the first two phones that they made after the iPhone and you say, “Come on guys,’’ so if Apple ever said you know what give us a token ten dollar settlement and just the hand-shake and all we wanted was the moral victory, no that is the Pop Eye versus Blood fight that happens until they kicked out of the universe.
Rene: And Motorola could not have looked more different. Even the early droids looked a like a trillion star-ships, nothing like Apple.
Leo: Let us watch with interest because the rewards are diminishing instead of a billion it is hundred million and Samsung got a little bit out of Apple and you see the price that both companies pay to secrecy because of the disclosure and the discover process that goes on in these lawsuits and the public relations loss I think cannot minimized. People get pissed off after a while when you just sue and sue and why not make a better iPhone but the real test will be the rock start patents, Microsoft, Apple, Blackberry, a bunch of companies bought the Nortel Patents and this could really be the thermo-nuclear device in the patent wars so we will see if they back down on that and of course you are right we will have to see what happens with Apple and Samsung. You know if they settle and say well give us your 110 million we will give you our hundred thousand and now we are done. This is the time when you could walk away from it without losing any face and say we won both times.
Rene: I mean Motorola and I am not such an expert to know if there was an agreement of any kind it was just a sort of Detente where they said we are not going to continue these lawsuits.
Leo: And no licensing deal, it was just we are walking away basically. I do not know I feel that it is basically bell weather for a new way of looking at this stuff, I hope so.
Andy: Yes, it is sign I mean this was an unproductive lawsuit and even if they won, what would they have won by winning this. It is not as clear as the lawsuits against Samsung, and I am not sure that ordinary consumers are as sensitive to these issues as we are. But, the nonetheless I do think that Apple could, my personal opinion is that I think that Apple could be a lot more open about what their future directions and their future plans are, because right now there is a certain level of counter food with people that come to me for advice on buying Apple stuff because they say well I want to buy a new laptop and I do not know if Apple is going to be coming up with something new within the next two months or whether they are planning to make this obsolete or not. And I can say well I am pretty sure that they are going to be doing this and I do not think that they will be doing that. I think that you will be safe if you want to buy the new Mac Book Pro in the next two or three months, but then again maybe not. Whereas almost every other area of tech, either through a direct leak directly or through a preview event or even just you know not really slapping around your employees enough, it is possible to say no, no do not buy the Sony Arts Model 200 because they have got the model three that is definitely coming out in two weeks and is going to be an event on this date and here are the specs and here are the leaked product images. I think that is the stuff that consumers care about than who has the IP for whom.
Leo: I do not know I think there is natural prejudice against companies that sue a lot. I do think that people are very aware of Apple and Samsung.
Andy: Do they really even, Apple and Samsung yes that is lot in the national news. They do not know and they do not care about the agreements that Apple has with Microsoft about mobile devices. They do not know about it and they do now care about this thing about Motorola and Apple probably possibly because this was released at 10.05 pm on a Friday. Even, if they did make it the lead item on Monday morning I do not think that anybody would understand it enough to rustle up any care about it.
Rene: I mean again Apple did absolutely fire everything at Samsung and HTC and the other vendors but Motorola was incredibly litigious before they went after Apple. They guy who ran Motorola before Google bought it he was threatening to sue other Android vendors. I mean they have a good history of being litigious all on their own. (Cross talk)
Leo: Motorola invented the modern cell phone so they could be the Apple from that era. Hey, we invented this stuff.
Andy: That is kind of the area where I agree with you because when these lawsuits then happen and now Apple has to really, really release all of these documents that talk about conversations that are meant to be private, and Apple sometimes does lose face and couple of years ago the thing in these first round of lawsuits that really disappointed me was that presentation that Samsung presented as evidence about here is how Apple decided, here is the licensing agreement that Apple offered and as part of that slide deck they were giving examples of this specific type of device, this specific device and here is how much you owe us per unit and they were including phones that had come out long before the iPhone that had a Blackberry style keyboard that had nothing close to the IOS interface but the slide itself was saying well because it is like an iPhone like functionality you will always make 12 dollars for each one of these that you sell. And when things like these come out, ordinary consumers are not going to be pouring through this and reading this, then people in the tech press will do it, and if they get upset about it then they can put it into words that they can confusingly and haltingly make people understand the mass audience and then it does not work out well of Apple.
Leo: Rene, just hold still for a second, I think you missed a spot, I am just going to put this cream on this spot. How do you like this delicious mentholated smell?
Rene: It is minty good Leo.
Leo: Oh, man it smells good. Isn’t it? And of course we have got the beautiful steel handled blades and these are made in Germany the king of great steel blades. You are not going to feel a thing here Rene watch, right there.
Rene: I trust you completely Leo.
Leo: Clean as whistle. I am going to need a rag to towel you off there. I forgot the hot towel to begin with. A great shave is awaiting you at Harry’s and everybody you know, it is not just the blade and these blades are just beautiful and affordable and so forth. We sent one of these to two Steve Gibson and he said I have been using Gillette gel to shave with but this is something completely different, it is creamy and gives you the best shave you have ever had in your life. I frankly am taking advantage of razor blade companies, four dollars for a blade for the Gillette Fusion I mean that is crazy. I mean if you can get it for four dollars you are lucky. I mean I am paying more than that. In fact these things are so expensive that the retailers are putting the theft protection devices on the blade that you cannot even take them off the shelves. You have to get a clerk to unlock it for you. That is great it is like they are diamonds. So many I know that do not want to do that and they get the disposable blade and Oh My God that is just a nightmare. That thing is made to cut your face up. This is a better choice Harry’s a great shave at a fair price and it was founded less than a year ago by two guys now Andy and Geoff, yes just clean up Rene just around there. Just look at that, now how do you smell?
Leo: Revitalized and refreshed.
Andy: Are you going move around here Rene?
Leo: Would you like some I can shave you to Andy? Although you look pretty clean shaven right now and you look good.
Andy: I shave right before every show because I use an electric shaver, if only I were using my kit from Harry’s then I would smell just as good as I look.
Leo: There are a lot of similarities between Harry’s and co-founder Wary Parker Geoff. Great design and meticulous craftsmen ship, amazing value in a market place where marketing and monopolies have inflated the costs and dedicated customer service it is very personal. Take a look at the Winston’s set, that is the one I have and it is engraved, Winston as in Churchill, there is also a Trumann set. They ship it to your door, it is a great gift for the man in your life, forty dollars for the set, see what you get a delicious cream and you get a couple of blades, and you get the razor and…..what are you laughing at?
Andy: I am not sure that it would be safe to taste it, I do not think that you should taste it, it is delicious then you should take their word for it then.
Leo: Does it say delicious on the case?
Rene: The smell is delicious.
Leo: It (eating some shaving cream from the tube) no it is good.
Andy: Some-one get Leo a baked Alaska, come on Leo.
Leo: It is delicious. Actually that is not bad it is very creamy and it tastes like there is whipping cream in it. Mmmmm, great shave and a great price, shipped to your door Harry’s, and you will get five bucks off your first purchase off if you use the offer code MacBreak. So that is 35 dollars for the Winston’s set. This is such an elegant gift for a fella. Actually I guess you could give it to a gal but I mean they may take it the wrong way. Would you give a shaving system to a guy? Yes, alright she will thank you for it because you have never felt so smooth, hmmm, hmmm. I think that for the future we are going to have people shave on the show. Right on this show!
Rene: Buy shares as well.
Leo: You should hear what Steve Gibson said on this show unsolicited, because we sent him one. Harry’s.com use the offer code MacBreak and there is even a card that says good looking and even better looking, chocolate melts steel is forever. Harry’s.com I just love that.
Andy: Just to cover all the places how about Harry’s and Chow.
Leo: Harry’s what?
Andy: It is just a great slogan just to cover all faces Harry’s and Chow’s.
Leo: Or we could do both?
Andy: And then you are cooking with atomic gasser.
Leo: Hey, how about that big Beat’s merger? What the hell is that going to happen or what, was I right and it is a bogus rumor? What do you think?
Rene: Did that video scuttle it for them? The minute the Tim Cook looked at Face Book.
Andy: Dr Dres.
Leo: Dr Dres posted that, and Dr Dres who is the founder of Beats and he still has twenty-five percent stake in it. I mean they were bought by HTC and then HTC sold back a chunk, it is owned by an investment company now and then they sold back the rest of their investment and then they have gone up and down and crazy, I do not know who owns it and Jimmy Iovine the record producer and Dr Dres are involved and apparently Will Higham is a silent partner in it apparently from the Red Hot Cherries Strawberries or what-ever the name of that group, Elephant Funk, what is their name? I cannot remember anymore? Let us get it started in here? Black-eyed Peas. I love Will Higham by the way, I think he is the coolest guy ever. He said and I did not know this but Beats did briefly Lady Gaga headphones and what they were called and then they did some headphones for Pete Eiddie.
Rene: Will Higham went into the Blackberry labs?
Leo: Yes he said I do not want a headphone, and you kind of wonder that Will Higham does not want to be associated with Beats but I do not know he wants the money. Any way Beats is a headphone company I think pretty much everybody agrees that there is no reason that Apple would want that good cash flow. Although why stakes parts of it keep getting sold off and that is a little odd.
And then of course they have the streaming music business. Dr Dres did post a video on FaceBook which almost immediately taken down but somebody had already taken it down and scraped it and put it on You Tube of him saying that he is the first hip-hop billionaire based upon it. I did not see was he on the phone?
Rene: I think that Irvine Gibson was doing the video and he had Dr Dres in the background and everybody danced.
Leo: My opinion is, and this is us both of these guys bandwidths just declined.
(trouble with the Bandwidth) I just want Apple to know that the flying Twit organization is also available for sale. Anytime and we will use FaceTime millionaire. (Sound trouble) I am the first podcast billionaire.
Andy: Yes, see that is the point to because if I woke up one morning and found out that there was rumor that Apple had agreed to hire me for …..(sound distorted) and that I knew that it was absolutely bogus the first thing I would do is put up a video or have my friends say ……is a billionaire( sound distortion)
Leo: It could be.
Andy: It would be funny as hell because maybe that would convince somebody to come with a real offer of 81 million dollars.
Leo: I personally think that Iovine and Dray are jenning this up because it makes them more value able. Now Steve Jobs for value and Walter Isaacson who is an incredible source says that he thinks that Jimmy Iovine is going to be running Apple’s content business which I think is a total non-starter.
Rene: We said that last week about Eddie Cue’s work load.
Leo: Yes, but I do not think that Iovine is the right kind of guy, I really do not. In 2002 Iovine helped Jobs persuade the music labels to sign up under the iTunes store, according to Isaacson, at the time he was running Interscope Def A and M part of the Universal music group and in 2004 he helped broker the deal with U2 to get that special red and black iPod which was really cool. So Dan Lyons faked Steve Jobs writing for BillBoard said he called Isaacson, and Isaacson went back to the notes that he had taken whilst preparing for the biography and found something that he did not include in the book. A comment from Iovine back in 2002 says that he wanted the Apple chief to acquire Universal. Certainly Apple has enough cash to acquire the entire music business if they wanted to.
Andy: I am still in the head-space where I could say that this happening and this is why Apple is doing this. It is still in a raw form of experiment. And if Apple were interested in a company like this (bad sound quality) either where they would be trying to make a move similar to what Sony made twenty years ago which is to say that why should we be in the business of making consumer electronics when (really bad sound quality )
Leo: I knew that I should have given Comecast a hundred million dollars when they wanted for full access to Skype. Damn it! (Bad sound quality) I knew that I should have given Comecast that money. Can you get Brian Roberts on the phone and say we will give you the money, because it would be very nice for you to have full access to your contributors over the Internet. Apparently Isaacson thinks that the Beats deal such as it is whether it exists at all is not the headphones or music, get this about video. Video he thinks that Cook wants to bring in Iovine to negotiate deals with the Cable companies, with the Television companies, those deals that we have been talking about and they have been in negotiations with Time Warner and Comecast have now said that they are going to buy Time Warner and now they are talking to Comecast and we have always said that it was non-starter for both companies maybe they are being polite but there is no way that they are going to let Apple have special access to their stuff. And ofcourse Apple has not made a deal. Can Iovine come in put a deal together as he did with U2 and the music industry? As far as I know he does not have any track record with the television industry. But it is an interesting idea.
Rene: American Idol.
Leo: Did he do American Idol? Oh yes he appears on it.
Rene: He appears on it.
Leo: I am Jimmy Iovine and I think you suck.
Rene: The other thing Leo is that the reason why they did not leak along with deal is that if you think is that if they had given you a solid reason then the price along with everything would have gone along with it. (Sound distortion)
Leo: Should Apple deny this deal or if it did not exist and see this is what people tell me well Leo, well maybe you are right and there is no deal if that were the case would Apple step forward and say what, what are you, nuts?
Rene: They might be in negotiations for stuff over elements of this deal. They are not going to say anything until they have got whatever they want out of it. And if they never get anything then they will never say anything.
Andy: There always has to be upside to them when talking about this. If they saw that the stock was taking dive and that the investors are starting to panic about getting into the headphone business and that they are making a major, major pivot that they do not approve then they will see Apple try to put out the fire a little bit. But the apps is no reason and they are not going to do it.
Leo: Can I play this Dr Dres video or is it really profane?
Rene: It is profane.
Leo: Okay, so what you are about to hear, Okay we will not play use your imagination. I am rich beyond did he say that?
Rene: Sort of.
Andy: A lot of day workers do play Macbreak Weekly and we should be careful about that. But it would be interesting and again it is not prediction this is just me thinking that you look at a company like Sony that has been around now for 50 years, and if you discount the time that they spent as an electronic store their story starts in the mid-fifties so now basically they are 50 to 60 year old company and you ask yourself how does a consumer electronics survive 50 to 60 years, and one of the reasons is to stop being a maker of transistor radios and walkie-talkies and even TV sets and just be in every single sector of whatever they figure that their business is going to be. And I do not think that Apple would have articulated that in the form of well, yes we absolutely need to start manufacturing Apple label headphones and cable extenders and call it Apple battery extenders or label it as accessories and I can see a future in which Apple can decide, we have all this money and we have products that right now and are still making profits hands over fists and now is the time for us to buy music companies, is to buy movie studios and is to buy the providers of the entertainment so that we cannot only control the sales of it but we can also have an idea of it in the promotions of it, the creation of it and then the final display of it.
Leo: By the way this Dr Dres video now has an ad for LA Hair in
front of it so look at least they are going to make some money there.
Rene: I was joking yesterday that it could be that Apple has just decided that they need someone to take over the negotiations of Hollywood and the music videos and it has to be Jimmy Iovine and Beats is his signing bonus.
Leo: That is a big bonus.
Andy: No I do not think that. Whatever they are planning for business the idea of having a team that is not electronics executives and having to train to negotiate with entertainment companies but is an entertainment executive that speaks the lingo of tech I think that would be a very, very interesting acquisition. I probably should not say acquisition in terms of another human being, but in terms of how you get someone to stop making Beats audio their focus or you buy Beats audio and you make sure that everybody signed on as a partner of Beats audio is now very, very happily dancing naked in the backyard or having money fights that raccoons have that might be part of the explanation.
Leo: You did not have to buy Burberry to get that Dame Angela Ahrendts in. I mean can you not just say hey Jimmy can you leave the Beats thing behind.
Rene: Well it is the overheads and Beats does not sound like that it has that many overheads.
Leo: Yes, I guess you are right because you have got a billion dollars of that year.
Andy: Burberry is different because Apple already has retail stores. All you are doing is bringing someone else to manage this business that you already have and also that was a legitimate open slot because there were some problems with the previous guy and there is certainly room there to make some changes there. This would not be as dramatic as the Beats acquisition.
Leo: Yes, but it will be the largest acquisition in Apple’s history.
Andy: Well yes absolutely but still pocket change.
Rene: They have middling quality headphones and they can make middling quality over the headphones.
Leo: Yes that is easy.
Andy: But the other thing is that I think that it is easy to over analyze this because Apple got their first VP retail from Target so it is not as if it is a really freakish thing to hire some-one who is highly successful in retail to come in and do things in retail. It would be interesting if this was a part of a five or ten year plan to have Apple have a portfolio of services and features and products that goes beyond selling consumer hardware. And really becomes as we want to make sure becomes the Apple brand on something that means that you might enjoy these TV series, this movie and this music collection in a way that you might not have if it were being produced by a different label or something like that.
Leo: I think that it means that Comecast is not swayed by a pretty face. Oh, it is Jimmy Iovine that is negotiating and besides all our concerns about Apple means taking all the oxygen out of our business and could make a deal, because we loved Jimmy. It is not going to change the facts of the matter.
Andy: He is not going to say that we were intimidated by Apple. We are going to negotiate with Apple in a different way now and we are going to change our stature. It is more like we now have someone who can have an idea that would have not occurred to us as a bunch of people who grew up as under the roof of the tech industry living and breathing for the last ten, fifteen or twenty years. It is not so much that there are specific deals that could be cut but more that this person, this team can have ideas that Apple would not have had. The same way again someone who is the successful CEO of Target could figure out how to build an Apple store that is not going to make the same mistakes as the Gateway stores or God forbid a radio shack.
Rene: And also instead of being on the nine different things on the Eddie Cue thing because Eddie Cue has got to run the iTunes store, the iBook store the iCloud, the Apple Server Center and all these different things and you have just this one guy who knows the industry is doing that for you every day.
Leo: Ahhhh, he is working too hard. Poor Eddie Cue.
Rene: It is time for his Ferrari, Leo.
Andy: I really do not want Eddie Cue’s work load. I want his money, I just want one hundredth of his money, I will maybe take his Monday’s schedule from 1.45 until 2.30 and that is about as much of his job as I could ever do.
Leo: I am going to stay on record that this deal is a non-starter and, never was deal, it is bogus rumor and I just do not agree.
Andy: It is something to talk about and still rumor, rumor, rumor. Anybody who talks about this as a done deal and then explains it as I know why Apple has made this choice is like, “Okay”, I think that you have strike one and strike two there and (a) assuming that this is really happening and (b) assuming now not only do you know that this rumor is true but know the reasons behind the rumor thing that may or may not be happening.
Rene: You know Samsung put out a line of luxury headphones so there is competition there.
Andy: And they are 70% bigger than Apple headphones so you know that they are better.
Leo: Angela Ahrendts has been three weeks now at Apple and already re-shaping the retail team, visiting stores and holding calls with store managers according to Mark Gurman who is everywhere these days. You know I have found out that Mark is 20.
Rene: It is ridiculous.
Leo: He, was on TNT this morning, he is a kid. He also seems to be the guy we quote him more than Jim Dalrymple. So Angela Ahrendts has reorganized for re-architecting the top retail brass to better fit with her vision. Bob Richards who is the head of Apple Retail Real Estate the guy who buys you know the store properties or buys the actual land and then releases it and Jim Bean he was VP finance but he is now VP of Apple Retail Operations will stay there. Steve Connor who is vice president of retail will be going off, “we are going to send him off to do international sales somewhere else.’’ And the head of Apple European Retail Wendy Beckman and Head of China Retail Danny Touzer are coming in with broader responsibilities. She does online as well as the physical store and earlier this year Apple appointed Bob Cupins who is a former Delta Airline Executive to run the online stores and I am not sure what his role will be going forward but it looks like he maintains his role. According to Apple employees this is Mark Gurman writing, according to Apple employees with whom Ahrendts has shared her vision for Apple further growth in China one of three critical pieces on which she will focus. She believes that the tastes of Chinese consumers are critical across the globe and not only in China and Apple needs to listen to this focus on making the stores and till marketing initiatives friendly to that growing sector of the world, does that mean all the stores or just the Chinese stores?
She has been touring Apple stores in the nearby area Stanford Stores and the multiple stores in San Francisco. Employees who have met her describe her as warm and genuine and honest and passionate and she is one snappy dresser. No, I added that. As one senior ranking Apple executive put it she is so Apple.
Andy: Is that like being so raven?
Leo: I am so Apple. So people did not like Browit by the way the Dixons guy. I think it is because Dixons is such a low end retailer and Angela comes from a higher end fashion background. Even over the phone one of the retail manager’s said you feel as if you are speaking to her as if she is sitting right next to you. The second area that she wants to focus on is taking Apple into mobile payments. So a wallet has just been sitting there, what is it called the PassBook, I just put sitting there. She, apparently going to work with Eddie Cue to spill the mobile payment service for the iPhone.
Andy: Yes, that is long overdue. As soon as Pass Book made its appearance I really thought that you would be able to use your Apple ID to purchase things inside the Apple stores because what better place to test out a system like that. And it will make the Apple store even more special experience for people, but also to collect the data that they can present to other retailers by saying here is how this positively affected our revenue as soon as we allowed people to make payments through their phones and here is how many transactions that we produced and this how much money that we put through and here is how many problems were created by this and it is a very, very low number and a very, very low bar on the graph. And that is then how you then sell mobile payments to pharmacies to clothing stores and to other places in the mall. (Cross Talk).
Leo: The thirty year focus will be the apps store infact the entire end to end Apple store sales experience from the point in which you find the product you want to purchase and you have to discuss the purchase with Apple store employees as to how they pay for the product. Gurman says that Ahrendts would like to redesign the complete experience that she told some retail managers, I got my MBA at Burberry but I will get my Ph.D at Apple.
Rene: To Andy’s point you can use the Apple store app in many countries to scan the barcodes and use the iTunes account to pay for the goods. It is just that it is not integrated with Pass Book or Pass Code at all. It is sort of that last loop that is not there yet.
Leo: It is clear that the Apple rank and file love her, which is important. If you are going to be a leader at Apple you better have the support of the people underneath you. It seems like she is a very, very good choice for this position.
Andy: I have not spoken to anybody about her ten year retail transactors were about that but I was talking to people about her predecessor and the speed at which he was creating a demoralized spirit inside those stores, when you get these people who are often people who are working there because they love Apple and they love their products. And then they know that they are not part of Apple Cupertino and they are not part of the legacy of Apple, but they may, they are very, very pleased to be sharing products that they really, really like with other people. And, so when they feel that they are started to being treated like anybody who is working in Sunglass Hut and anybody working at the Gap, saying we feel as if we could cut down your hours and we feel as though we can start paying you less, we feel as though we do not need to treat as well as we always have. That really has a domino effect and, makes people suddenly expect, okay fine, we will act like typical mall employees now. We will be aware of exactly what we are required to provide to you our employer and our customers and we will not be motivated to do much more than that.
Leo: Dan Raeburn writing for Streaming Media Blog and we have had him on Twit before and he is one of the most astute observers of the behind the scenes stuff that goes on with content creators and content distribution works and the big ISPs, says that Apple has decided to negotiate deals with ISPs for their own content distribution network that Apple had has for years used Arkamine, which is the king of content distribution. The idea of a content distribution network is that the company owns servers close to your ISP so that the content comes faster to you. Apple has used Arkamine at great expense I might add, Arkamine is not cheap to make it fast and easier to download stuff from iTunes, to watch Netflix on the Apple TV and the other stuff. So the idea that Apple might create its own CDN is very interesting.
Rene: They care about the experience, they care very deeply about how good the quality of your iTunes and your point that they pay for their own Netflix delivery which is why the Netflix is so good on the Apple TV, and, this looks like a logical extension of that.
Leo: Apple takes up according to Sam Vine 2% of the total Internet traffic at peak hours of course Netflix is about 34%. But I have to say that this is an interesting example of why Apple is a different kind of company because this is money you spend on it is not on a more beautiful store, or a more beautiful product or marketing or advertising. This is money that you spend on consumer experience and this is not insignificant it is a lot of money to do this right.
Rene: It is sort of painting the back of the fence in Steve Jobs lingo. It is not obvious to a lot of people. They will just do it, but you are counting on them to notice the better experience and quality and to associate that with Apple’s brand. But it does not give you an advertising advantage or a branding advantage that you can copy.
Leo: Yes. But it makes Apple TV happy and they do not know why they are happy. And this is why these interconnect deals are kind of hidden because if you get bad Netflix service, you do not blame your Internet service provider even though they might be at fault, you blame Netflix. Apple TV works better…. Hey it is not my Apple TV, you are going to say hey Netflix is working great right now. It is a pain in the back of the fence, I think that is a very apt way to put it. But again one of the reasons Apple is where it is ….got to support that, developers are going to be able to provide promo codes for in app purchases. You would think that it is something that they would have had for a longtime but no this in new. It will be easier for people to try our premium games and apps with promo codes. The way it has been so far you can use a promo code for the initial download but you could not do it for in app purchases.
Rene: This is more of an inside baseball thing and you cannot give unlimited promo codes. They mostly give it to reviewers. I have always paid for my own apps, my own…. I can understand if you are a small sized and have a lot of apps to go through and it is very beneficial but it is not something that is going to help an everyday user of Apple products.
Leo: So this is not for you, this is for the press.
Rene: You can give them out at contests or something. But I think that you get a 50 or 100 codes.
Leo: You do not get tons of them. Okay, so you can this week 50% off with the offer code MacApp No?
Rene: I mean there are certain provisions for Enterprises and schools and things, but not for everyday customers.
Leo: What is Apple going to do now that Word Lens is a Google company? In their most recent iPhone app Powerful Word Lenses feature and this was really cool iPhone app that lets you take a picture of a sign and it translates it into default and into English. Google just bought them last week. I do not know if that means that they will not be an iPhone app, Google makes plenty of money on iPhone apps and Google is very happy to do iPhone apps and so I imagine that Word Lens will continue. But I would like to see an Apple ad for it.
Andy: It is going to be rolled into the Google apps and you will still be able to get it. You will still get the advantages of that technology if you are putting photos on Google Plus I think and we were talking about that before the start of the show. I do not think that it affects Apple at all.
Rene: It is more of a value thing. I mean Instagram was great app on iPhone and it was bought and Snap C. There are lot of terrific apps that get bought out from the apps store and whether that means they are still available or not. And even once in while Apple will do that with Siri. And that makes you wonder when that platform exclusivity in party apps that Apple starts buying more and more of the apps that they show off in commercial kicks in.
Leo: The word of the day is graphine. I was watching TNT last week and there was a lot of conversation about Apple and Samsung racing for patents on graphine. According to the article in Bloomberg it is the high tech version of cling-wrap. It is a transparent material that conducts electricity so you could put it over the screen of a phone or a tablet to turn it into a touch screen. It is thinner and stronger and more flexible than what they currently use. It will allow for instance flexible screens, smart watches, tablets. Samsung, Apple and Google all three are amassing arsenals of graphine related patents. Samsung and Apple perhaps coming into battle over this one. Samsung has 405 published applications world –wide. In the US Samsung has 38 patents and 17 applications using the word graphine.
Apple has two patent applications. IBM, Fox Con this is going to be an interesting technology with a lot of people claiming patent…you know if they all get together a few patents they can just say hey we will just ignore it.
Rene: The one thing that I have heard that is still interesting in graphine and battery technology is still using lithium ion batteries and, not only are they big but they are also an insulator so it means that you also have to throw out the processor and all these devices so quickly because the heat gets intolerable. And if they can figure out a way to get past that, then do you not only have the advantages of graphine but you get thinner devices that can stay faster for longer.
Leo: Graphine is more durable than steel and has high heat conductability. And can conduct electricity a hundred times faster than silicone. Well that makes sense, because is silicone not a conductor isn’t why you do not use silicone.
Andy: It is a semi-conductor.
Leo: I do not think that means necessarily what you think it means. The European Commission announced a one billion dollar ten year funding initially for graphine development and research. I do not know what it means, but, that is the word of the week, keep it in mind.
Rene: The future, Leo.
Leo: One word, graphine. It is not plastics anymore it is graphine. (cross talk)
I do not do iPhone rumors but let us get them out of the way Rene Ritchie, you know he has got his finger on the pulse and the rum and beat. We are going to see what figures and screens……1704 by 960 like a very specific rumor.
Rene: Yes. So I think it is Mark Gurman as well. So I have heard only of one bigger iPhone and Apple prototypes everything (cross talk)
Leo: Yes, right it is Mark Gurman again.
Leo: Right so it is meaning less to say that they have got a screen of this resolution, it is meaningless.
Rene: Well they have got touch screen like we discussed earlier Macs and Mac Books and they just do not like them and they prototype everything and Mark might have heard that they have chosen the 3X iPhone as the most likely candidate, and I do not know and I have not heard that yet. In order to scale they can have a couple of options. They can just make the resolution bigger, like make the iPad mini smaller so it is the same amount of pixels but the density goes down to you know roughly the iPad air levels. They could also go to 3X which means every pixel on the original iPhone, the iPhone 1,2,3 and 3G is just made three times. Instead of doing two of them like the iPhone 4 you do 3 of them. But then some pixels fall on the grid, so it is a little bit blurry but if you try to do 4X which is pixel double or retina display then you have got to have a GPU drives and you have got to have LEDs that shine and light on it and it becomes and obscene amount of power and you know pixels beyond what the human eye can look at and then you can go may be go 1080p like Android phones or 2K like the upcoming Android phones. In that case you just throwing everything out and developers have to start from scratch, so it is a really interesting problem for Apple to solve and 3X could be, it is not a great solution because Android is already much higher than that but it is a pragmatic solution if they go that way.
Leo: 4.7 inches is that the size or is it bigger?
Rene: It sounds about right.
Andy: Sounds about right. I think that they would go for crazy and stupid if they were to go bigger, but I think they would want to go bigger.
Leo: I mean who would be right… that is the MotoX and anything bigger is a little bigger. And, anything smaller is too small, at least for my hand, and for a lot of people, this is the size. I think that Apple will want to continue to prioritize the sync one hand use right?
Rene: Yes, that will move to soft-ware as well as hard-ware. It will not be because the phone is physically thin it will be there are a lot of things like persistent back gestures and controls and maybe moved around a little bit. Blackberry did a lot of good stuff with that Blackberry Tenery just make the gestures take over the navigation of the phone.
Leo: This seems to me to be a minor thing but a big thing that if you had an iPhone and you went to Android. People cannot seem to get text messages to you after Apple uses Messages and Apple keeps in the contact information a check box that says whether your support iMessage or not or your Messages as it is called now. There is a class action suit going because people say so I got an Android phone and there was no way of trying to stopping the iPhone from using messages to sending it to me and I do not see anything. Have you experienced this? I have got calls on the radio from people with this. You know that it is particular set of circumstances that has to happen.
Rene: Well, I was going to say that it is a very hard problem to solve, because Steve Gibson did a brilliant job in explaining how iMessage works on Security now. It works on intercepting now. Apple can deliver a phenomenal experience because they bolted it to SMS and that includes in you not having to make your own certificates and all these crazy things that you would do on trust nobody solution. But Apple is doing a lot of heavy lifting there and there is no sort of mechanism telling somebody that you are leaving them an iMessage. Apple is not doing a pop up to say are you still using iMessage, are you sure? So unless you turn it off when you leave Apple has no way to know that you have stopped using it. And, also unfortunately it is a little bit buggy because the propagation of you telling it that you have left is not always perfect and even when you call them and say I have left they say yes, yes and we have deregistered you and that propagation is not perfect either.
Leo: Yes it seems like there is bug, but some say that Apple is doing it on purpose? Adam Pash at Life Hacker said “ a lot of users have this problem” I have heard complaints from a variety of people, some people say hey it almost cost me my marriage because my wife thought I was ignoring her. I guess it could be serious.
Rene: The bug should be fixed go ahead Andy.
Andy: I was going to say that anytime is supposed to be sent or is not received that is a big deal. I think that it is ridiculous the idea that Apple is doing this on purpose, partly because I do not think that Apple is that kind of company but mostly because I know how poorly iMessage works. There are times when I am logged into two or three different places and it will come into two but not the third or I will have logged out and just logged back in again and I will then go back to the old Mac Book that is on the night stand in my bedroom and find out that I can see half of the conversations that I have been happening but not all of them. I think that there should be a little bit more transparency in how Apple messages prioritizes and sends messages along now with iMessages and Now messages. These things just like old hat with iMessages and Now Messages.
Leo: One woman says that her daughter’s winter break from college was ruined after she received a free MotoX from the Jimmy Fallon show. Do not accept free MotoXs.
Andy: Because they took lots of pictures and they were all crappy.
Leo: Again really. And Apple’s advice is inconsistent at best because they do not know how to fix this and that is the problem.
Rene: A lot of people are quoting Apple support technicians, and it is like God Bless any customer service representatives right and any carrier manufacturer because they do not have any up to date knowledge and they often read things on blogs and then pass that on and stuff that they have heard and you cannot ever sort through that mess. That mess is intractable but Apple has to fix that bug and Andy point and that happens all the time. But on top of that the way that iMessage is designed it is meant to benefit hundred and millions of people who use it. But it comes at the cost of not being easy to leave for the whatever percentage of people that choose to leave.
Leo: If you are an iPhone user now, and you are thinking of getting an Android phone is there a way to ensure that you will continue to get your text messages or not.
Rene: Your best chance is to turn off iMessage on your phone and then go to the people you know that have iPhones and say look make sure that I am not set up as an iPhone contact on your device because an iPhone contact is a sort of a special contact.
Andy: You see that is another thing that gets me very, very confused because I keep getting new devices, new Apple devices to test out for thirty or forty days, and then of course as soon as I turn on my other ones say do you realize that this email address on this device is added to the iMessage. So even if you have two to three it is very hard to be, now I have three different email addresses that are associated with my iChat account and I really want to be able to tell the system that at no point should you ever use this email address or this phone number as a transport or as a way of finding me. So the advice that I give people is that if you switch to Android just go to or make sure that you physically log out of the service on your previous phone and you previous mobile devices and then log back again when you start using them again. Because I did that just out of defense and it worked fine for me and I have been giving that tip to other people and they said that they have been success with it. But there is just so many variables in solving this problem that you just do not know when you have killed that last cockroach.
Rene: Some people said that Apple should make iMessage for Android as solution to this because then you will still be getting your iMessages. Theoretically that sounds good but it is cross platform from end services. It is two things that traditionally at which Apple has not excelled. And also does not fix it for Windows phones users or people who have switched to Blackberrys or switch away from the smart phone or go to something else. A lot of people complain about it and I have been thinking for a month on this and I have not thought of any clever way of fixing it. I am by all means intelligent but it seems like a difficult problem to solve.
Leo: I have never liked Messages, never, ever.
Andy: Well, it works great with, once only….It is such a signature thing. It works great so long as all of your friends are using iPhones, but as soon as you put some-body into the mix that is not using an Apple piece of soft-ware on an Apple piece of hardware that is when you start lighting candles at your nearest Catholic Church, because it might work or it might not work. It might work just really, really well or it might just sort of just half work. And then you might well decide that it would not cost me that much to simply maintain my contract on my iPhone and keep that in my pocket as well just to make sure that I do not miss anything.
Rene: I mean this has been a problem for years and it is getting attention now because of that blog post, but it is something that a lot of people have had problems with.
Leo: I have had calls on the radio show for a long time and I have never had any solution for it for anybody yet. I just shake my head and go nnnnn. Panic have decided when they decided to update Coda which I love. Coda 2.5 and they are not going to offer it in the app store. They say that the sandboxing is onerous and we are going to have to start selling this direct instead of selling it through the apps store. That is because Coda is a special kind of app or what do think Rene?
Rene: It is sandboxing and sandboxing is something that Apple introduced when they introduced the Mac App stores as a security feature it is has something called Entitlement and it lets you do things like punch through the sandbox and access files that are outside the apps itself. And Apple did a bunch of special entitlements that they knew that were a lot of legacy apps that do a lot of fancy things. But the problem is that there is not enough of them and there is no clear way to balance everyone’s interests. So Coda is a development app and I use it all the time for web development and it has got to do a lot of interesting things. We spoke to Richard Segal about this yesterday and he was talking about something like even a BB editor…
Leo: He has never sold that in the app store has he?
Rene: No BB editor was not sold in the app store….(cross talk). It has got some versions that it cannot do like he is pulling your projects and he is scanning your discs and Coda sounded really classy about this, because they had talked to Apple for a long time, they are not mad at Apple. It is the reality of the way that things are, but it looks like it is going to be a class of applications which they are literally fifty dollars plus centric or expert level apps that are not going to fit in Apple’s vision for a secure map app.
Leo: This is a specialized app and it does not seem like that specially to the people that use it for web developers is too onerous. I think that Panic has done a really good job of transitioning download 2/5 it will see your Mac Store copy, it will unlock it and you will now be kind of transitioned into the way of doing things. They cannot use iCloud any more so they created Panic Sync for free. So it will automatically sync all your set up to your other coders. It sounds like they have come up with a solution that works. So good on Panic I think that I really like them. This is not a sign of things to come because it is just a specialized app.
Rene: Although the sand boxing is an incredible pain. It would be great if Apple could figure out a way of letting developers do more but still maintaining the security.
Leo: I mean I like the whole notion of what did you call it……intense?
Rene: It is called Entitlements.
Leo: I love that notion where you stay ahead of time that I am going to need this and this.
Rene: But an explicit user has to trigger off this functionality.
Andy: Also Apple has worked very closely with a lot of developers and when developers say that we have a problem in sandboxing then Apple will work very closely with developers to get a solution to that problem. It is not really a landslide of disapproval from developers, although it is interesting when you see a developer like Omni decide that Okay we are not going to use iCloud for syncing. We are going to create our own syncing service because we are having such a hard problem working with whatever standard that Apple is giving us. And if Apple did give us that sort of stuff that will not turn into that problem two or three years for now, because one app store that has everything has the controls our update is such a big win for the users. And most developers that I know, they do not like so much of sand-boxing they do not like so much of dealing with the apps store. But at the end of the day you put it in a place where people can find this app really, really easily and updates happen so easily that their support calls are not as frequently a problem of some-one who is trying to use a 2007 app with Mavericks so it is something to look at though.
Leo: We are going to prepare your picks gentlemen. We are going to go to our picks of the week in just a second after a word from Shutterstock- 35 million plus stock images, vectors, footage for your creative projects. You pay once and use it in any form and it is royalty free and they are adding more all the time. Currently 37 million and 274 hundred thousand royalty free stock images and more than a quarter million added this week. They have great apps and the apps store app is the weby award winner, beautiful and they just added Android as well. It is a great way to get suggestions as well as ideas. When you sign up and by the way you do not need to use a credit card to sign up, just create an account and you will get a free photo and vector image every week that you can use. If you need a Camel you can get a Camel for free. What is great about Shutterstock is that they have image packages but also subscriptions. Let me tell you how you can save on that subscription. Check out their search-engine too. It is incredible. You can search for nouns and nouns plus adjectives. So you could search for a bear and they will have lots of pictures of bears. By the way I am not logged into my account because it will ask you to create a free account, and by the way do that, and it will save these images right out to your like box to share with others or just keep it for future reference. What if we want to do an angry bear though? I just do not want any bear I want every image to be an angry bear. There are some angry bears and I love those. And then what you can do is narrow it down by color, by the kind of image whether it is vector, a drawing Oh there is a really angry bear photograph of an angry bear. You will see that it comes in all sizes including super-sized 44x52x4096 dpi. Most of these images are from professional photographers and artists. They are highly curated so that you know that the 20,000 images that they add each day are going to be great and do not forget to click the footage tab and you will see the video footage and also you will get a free clip every week with that. Really high quality with Alpha channels, great for green screens for use in your presentation.
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Time my friends for the pick of the week. I can say that my pick of the week is going to be that PQ 321 Q1 monitor from Asus. I could not be happier with it now that 10.9.3 is out and if you are looking for a 4K monitor and you have a Mac Book Pro Retina the late model you know like the 2013 edition or the new Mac Pro, boy it looks good. It looks really nice. I have been very happy. Ladies and Gentlemen Rene Ritchie has a pick too, what is your pick of the week.
Rene: It is not the caveat and it is one of those rare times where I have not had a chance to try it yet but it is a game called Thomas was Alone. I have been hearing nothing but raves for it, I down loaded it and fully intended to start playing it today but the day got away from me. But all the people whose opinions on that I trust on Twitter were just raving about this, but I really wanted to try and I figured out that I would share it before 800 other apps came out. So, it is an Indie app just became available on IOS app I think last Thursday or Friday. A lot of people that I know entire weekends went away into playing this. It is one of those things that is whimsical, and it is humorous.
Leo: It is a platform but it is abstract I mean. So if you are a Mario or a group playing Mario, this reminds me of Monumental ballet. Really a whole group of games that are growing that have kind of beautiful music, abstract art, puzzle solving games.
Rene: Yes, and I had a chance to talk to the Monumental Ballet guys and they are very much like this and they just want to make great games and not just subject to race to the bottom. They are not going to give it away for free they are not going to do a lot tricks or in app purchases. They want to make great games the same way that a great storytellers tells great stories. And the iPad, and IOS and Android and all these other things and mobile is giving them the ability to do that. It is not inexpensive but it is way more reasonable than the old style consoles will do.
Leo: It is both IOS and Mac apps. You can get it on Steam, you can get it direct Mac/PC, iPad. It seems like Playstation as well, you can get it in a lot of different ways. What is this Desoura? It sounds like a new kind of steam.
Rene: It might be possible but I am not familiar with it. But then if you are looking for something fun to do over the weekend then it is great. It is a distraction and spend a couple of hours and really enjoy and this is what I am going to be doing over the next few hours.
Leo: It sounds good and I am going to try it. I have been playing Blek. Who told me about de Blek? Was it you Andy?
Andy: It was last week, yes.
Leo: Thanks for wasting a whole week. I am now stuck here at level 29 and I just cannot solve it. It is such a fun game and highly recommended Blek iPad or iPhone. What have you got for us Andy?
Andy: Well, I have got this incredibly super sophisticated and, sexy and no name input blue ray reader drive, complete with your random input inspection sticker. This is my pick of the week because Dave Hamilton over at Mac Observer wrote a really cool piece three or four days explaining a trick. If you like to rip blue ray discs into a more useful format then something that is either locked up DRM or locked up on a disc, you have always had this thing that there is a five year Beta on a little app called MAKE MKV. That could take your blue ray and convert it into a humungous file then hand-brake the free video converter app and the ripping app and could deal with and transfer and modify into a video file. He basically found a trick on a support form and just add a couple of lines on the terminal so that the hand-brake on the OS could see the library that make MKV users take copy protection of the blue ray. So now it works exactly as stream lined as process as when you try to get hand-brake to rip a DVD. We just toss in the disc, it finds it, catalogues the information and then you simply click a button and it rips it. But he also did me a solid by recommending this little drive aside which is 41 dollar yes cheap and no name drive that you can get on Amazon but it is a combo DVD burner reader and also a blue ray disc reader only. I have sort of had my eye out on a Mac compatible blue ray external drive for a while. But I have always shied only because I wanted it so that I can rip blue rays without having to go to my Windows machines. But I did not want to spend 150 dollars on something and not know for sure if it work with MKV or it would work with my Mac. So, by simply pointing out that hey I use this and it works just fine and also it is a 41 dollar drive and you are only going to be using a few times month when you buy that blue ray that you really, really like for putting on your iPad. That is almost as cheap as for free. Let me make no bones about this, it is your basic cheap ass, you know import no name drive. But it works fine and….
Leo: Doesn’t Copy Protection get in the way of this stuff? I mean does not HTCP, that HTCP compliant that blue ray disc?
Andy: There is copy protection on it, and that means that MKV is able to get round and so make MKV is free. It is still in Beta and it has been in Beta since like 2010 or something and when it comes out of Beta it will cost money while it is in Beta it is free and it works perfectly fine and I have been using it for a year and half or two years and it works just great. And, it is rare that I come across a blue ray that is cannot handle and because I have an ethical problem with torrenting a movie. I have no ethical problem with buying a movie legitimately and then deciding that I want to turn this to file that is more useful to me by making it unlock so that I can put it on my home media server without having to have iTunes running all the time.
Leo: You are transcoding it but it still looks as good or pretty good?
Andy: Just about as good as the original. The problem is that you do have a couple problems in that if the movie that I ripped yesterday is typical and that is a 1080p full HD movie, so if you were to rip it without making any customized settings it will wind up being about a seven gigabyte file that not all of your Mac or devices will be able to play without stuttering. So, what you can into instead is go into the hand-brake and you adjust certain setting and please do not make this large file size, please make sure that the bit rate is low enough that even mobile processor can handle it and may be even knock off a couple of different copies after you have hand-braked make the conical master seven gigabyte version. Then maybe if you want to really put this on your phone as well having streamed through your really super cool tubular Mac Pro and you want to burn off another copy that is still 1080 HD, but is a lower bit rate you would notice the problem on your 60 inch TV but on a small screen you would not notice on the compression if it was higher or that there were some of the details that were lost.
Leo: Did you guys ever use something called Fink, do you remember Fink? I do not know if it is for a very small slice of you if you want to install Unix utilities on your Macintosh. Fink was a package manager, it would allow you to install and it is kind of a bit deprecated in its place but the new one everyone uses it at Homebrew and I discovered it the other day and I was surprised that it is not more talked about. If you want a Unix utility like W installed on your Mac, it is a very slick easy way to do it. Homebrew is very simple it is Ruby but installing it is literally pasting a command line into your terminal. It will run through a script and then once it is installed you can do things like brew install W get and it will automatically download it and compile it and you have to the X code command line tools installed and it will do it all for you. The other thing that you get and I do not know if you can see this but when it is complete brew will put a little beer mug on the next icon and you can turn it on and I like it. There is a lot of beer analogies in the open source and free and if you do use Unix Utilities and you do not want to build them yourselves, it is very easy to create brews that others can install and there is a very long list of already fairly new home brews out there. It is brew.sh and it is good thing to know about only for those of you who want to use command line utilities. It is all through Git Hub and there are hundreds now of brew formulas as they call them available. So I thought that I would mention that brew.sh
Hey, thank-you everybody it is great to talk to you Rene Ritchie of imore.com and for inspiring me to spend thousands of dollars on a three screen set up.
Rene: It is always a pleasure. Your eye-balls will thank me Leo.
Leo: I really want to find a game that will use all three. It is going to be flight sim I do not want to…that is boring.
Rene: All you have to do is put a different game on each screen Leo.
Leo: A driving game probably will do it. Ryan Shroud said Civ 5 would do it and it does not so I have got to find a game that will let me immerse myself.
Rene: Use those multiple graphics cards Leo and put a different game on every screen.
Leo: Well as it is I now have my terminal, my chat and my game and so I am happy.
Andy: If you do that then I am going to have to ask you to have a natural CRT tube TV set and not a monitor running a television on an Atari 2600 as part of that screen set up.
Leo: A deal. Hey thanks Andy Ihnatko of Chicago Sun Times, great to have you. Do not forget Ihnatko’s almanac, he is his old columns there to over there at fivebyfive.tv. We will do coverage of WWDC coming up June 2nd we will be and that is a Monday unfortunately so we will be doing it live I guess what 9 am when the Keynote is? And then a special MacBreak Weekly on the Monday right after the live coverage and we will flip flop on the Monday and the Tuesday programming that is June 2nd. I am starting to think that there are going to be some significant announcements at the WWDC, I am beginning to feel it.
Andy: We might have a lot more to talk about next week. It is usually one week before an announcement when they cannot keep a lid on a big secret. At that point too many people have seen it, too many people have been through a run through and too many people know about it. So at this point if we have not heard anything major about certain products by next Tuesday I would start to doubt that we will see anything major about a certain product in WWDC.
Leo: We do Macbreak Weekly every Tuesday 11 am Pacific Time except in two weeks’ time, that is 2.00pm Eastern time coming out at UTC and we love it if you watch live and the chat-room is a valued asset. But if you cannot we make it then on demand audio and video as with all our shows that are available at our website Twit.tv/mbw. MacBreak Weekly or where you could download shows like this on Stritcher, iTunes of course and we got apps on all the platforms like iPad, IOS and we have a couple of different developers doing it on IOS apps for us. So that is nice and you get your choice. We do encourage you to subscribe if you want to see every edition and if you join us in the studio and it was a nice studio audience today. Good to see you all. Tickets at Twit.tv email thanks for being here now get back to work because you know what break time is over!