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MacBreak Weekly 404
Leo Laporte: It’s time for Macbreak Weekly. We’re getting ready for WWDC, all the rumors and all the details are Bingo card, we are ready to scratch off. It’s coming up next MacBreak Weekly.
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Leo: This is MacBreak Weekly, recorded May 27th 2014 Episode 404
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MacBreak Weekly, is brought to you by Off Set(dot)com. A new brand, from Shutterstock. OffSet provides a collection of high-end royalty free photography and illustrations from award winning talent. To receive a buy one get one free image on new accounts visit offset(dot)com (slash) welcome (slash) macbreak. And by Hover(dot)com Hover is the best way to buy and manage domain names. It’s simple, honest and easy to use. For ten percent off for your first purchase go to Hover(dot)com, and enter the promo code MBW5. And by SquareSpace(dot)com, the all in one platform that makes it easy to create your own professional website, or online portfolio. For a free two week trial and 10% off go to SquareSpace(dot)com and use the offer code MACBREAK. It’s time for MacBreak Weekly the show that covers Macintosh, Apple and all that stuff, (I almost said Zoon), in one show, all compacted into one show and there he is Andy Ihantko from the Chicago Sun Times, good to see you Andy, something is missing.
Andy Ihantko : Grazia L.A.
Leo: Grazia L.A. pur le blala ding, ding, dinga Andy is here and so Alex Lindsay in the studio today.
Alex Lindsay: I am back.
Leo: Get the question engine up and running.
Alex: It’s running.
Leo: Now that Alex is here we will get you the URL in a sec. And from imore(dot)com Rene Ritchie.
Rene Ritchie: Hi, Leo, Andy.
Leo: Good to see you. The question engine is a chance for you to ask questions of this fine panel. Alex developed it at the Pixelcorp and he kindly lets us use it when he is here, but we have to use a special URL because it is a very long…. (incomplete sentence)
Alex: We are working on that.
Leo: We can fix that.
Alex We got a new version coming out in a couple of weeks and we will fix all of that. So, if you go to bit.ly(dot)com(slash)404(slash)mbw. You can ask questions, vote on questions.
Leo: It might be confusing because 404 is normally the error message for a web page not found but it is also the episode.
Alex: For today, it will only be 404 today.
Leo: 404 MBW. It will MBW do not go to any other variation of that. Apparently people are knowing this ahead of time.
Alex: We ruin everything for everyone.
Leo: We are going to run our own…. We have our own shortner we just couldn’t figure out how to use it.
Alex: Well, it is complicated.
Andy: We could just switch to a different numbering system, like we could go to a Base 8 or even a Base 11.
Alex: Oh! Yes. That would be awesome.
Andy: And sort of get ahead of the people.
Alex: Yes I think that is great. Let us go to Base numbers that would be great.
Leo: Or just random numbers just random. This is episode 47321 with hashes. (Cross talk)
Alex: Yes, yes. We will keep track of that.
Leo: (Laughing) Insult it so you’ll know what to expect.
Rene: Or put in hashes but it would be secure.
Leo: But it is secure because no one would guess our number.
Andy: Or people would just agree not to be jerks and I know that it would harder than having hash numbers.
Alex: Stop it.
Leo: Walk a mile in my shoes Andrew.
Rene: You are dealing with humans here Andy.
Leo: Wa wa daca WWDC is coming up Monday.
Alex: It is.
Leo: Keynote we now know is at 10.00am, Mark Gurman 9-5 Mac, he is only twenty but he has really good contacts. I am sorry Mark but I still kind of amazed that you are such a young person and, yet so successful. He says new hard-ware will be announced, but the interesting thing. I am seeing is the rumor, this is one of these rumors that is either wildly true, or wildly untrue.
Alex: I think that is our number one question here.
Leo: Apple has said and this is from Tech Crunch which has gotten a few things wrong lately. It has not got a perfect track record. Apple is said to be prepping
Smart Home software platform for WWDC. Then they show three devices that Apple does not own, The Nest, The Hue and The Belkin. But that…(incomplete)
Andy: The castle with such thick stone walls that the Bluetooth blow in key is not going to work at all.
Leo: What a home. Is that Hampton Court? That looks like Hampton Court. What is that?
Alex: I think all that I can say that would be a lot harder to automate. That home specifically.
Leo: Actually because there is no metal in the walls that it might be perfect.
Alex: There you go that is perfect. (Cross-talk)
Andy:…. (unclear)This is a shoot off i95 and Braintree looks a lot like that.
Leo: It could actually be Braintree.
Rene: I think that the Financial Times Tim Bradshaw was reporting that too.
Leo: It was the FT is the one that broke the……no we cannot read it because the FT is behind a pay wall and I refuse to give the Financial Times my money.
Rene: It is not money they just want your registeration.
Alex: Are you in Safari. (Whispers this to Leo)
Leo: Look at what you get when you go to the Financial Times.
Alex: Are you in Safari, cut and paste that in Safari. (Whispers this)
Leo: Cut and paste that in Safari, does Safari go around this?
Alex: If you have it do the reader? (Laughing) Reader will go I will just ignore all of this stuff.
Leo: Stupid pay walls. Enter you email address, select an access level or don’t read the article.
Alex: (Whispers very slowly) Try it.
Leo: Or the Financial Times is the same group and the same organization, the fine journalistic entity that claimed that Apple was buying Beats. So, I do not know what to say.
Rene: They are doubling down Leo.
Leo: It does happen sometimes Rene, both Rene and Andy have sources at Apple that you get a phoney sources at Apple that are giving you crap! And it takes a few bad leaks to realize that this guy is not working at Apple anymore.
Rene: I do not think that any of us would report that on a single source though.
Rene: Yes I’d like think that. I would not report on that from a single source.
Leo: So Beats felt like and everybody and their brother were saying that this was going to happen?
Andy: I think it was a lot of people were dog piling on early reporting that seem to come from people that were sticking their necks way, way, way, way out. That kind of encouraged a lot of people to suddenly to start thinking okay well does it make sense to me that Beats would be bought by Apple. I bet I can figure out why it makes sense and that is how you get your column out.
Leo: People like Harry McCracken said I do not know if it is true, I do not think that it is true in Time Magazine, but here what I hope that it is not true that is kind of what I was saying. By the way week three Apple held hostage and no Beats deal still. (Cross Talk)
Rene: Week three and Apple is still locked into Beats.
Andy: That is why it is so much fun to look at the way at how the coverages are evolving, because week one people will say of course because headphones are a really, really profitable market space and Apple has been absolutely yearning to get into the accessories game and, then week two with no announcement and that is obvious that it must not be about the headphones, so it must be about the streaming service. Then end of week two it must be a grab for the executives and, now that we are in week three this is where you get the Stockholm syndrome where the people say well I know that I told you that this is definitely happening within a few days a couple of week ago but now I have an exclusive story about why it is not happening. Here is how Dr Dres got Tim Cook really, really, angry. I cannot tell you the source but…..(unfinished sentence)
Leo: That is the new one isn’t it? Maybe it could not happen, gosh we could just go through the chronology? Okay, hold that thought we will pop the stack later. But we will push another thing on the stack, we will pop it on the WWDC stack.
Andy: I love fourth jokes.
Leo: Push, push Beats since we got on this so five days ago when Tech Crunch said it is happening but it is an “Acquihire” for Dr Dres.
Alex: This makes less sense, this makes less sense than Iovine.
Leo: It does not make sense at all.
Alex: Iovine makes more sense as far as Acquihire is concerned.
Leo: Not even for Dr Dres, I mean they guy is very, very wealthy. You do not, it is one thing to buy a company, you know for ten million dollars and you get the engineers and you get the….Dr Dres does not really need Beats, I think that Beats is probably not more than ten percent of his business time. I mean he is producing records he is making videos I do not know if you get Dr Dres really to buy Beats.
Alex: It is a big chunk of his revenue I mean of his income. I mean…(unfinished sentence)
Leo: I mean Jimmy Iovine, I mean they have put Jimmy in the picture and the headline, but Jimmy Iovine is the source. They want Jimmy and they want Dres…. He has got fashion and culture completely locked up. On Twit on Sunday we talked about this and Bryan Brushwood said to me you are just an old man to me I am just an old man Leo. You do not get it. To you Apple is still cool but to the kids today the white headphones are meaningless, you have to get fashion, you have to get hip, you got to get Dres to appeal to the kids today.
Alex: One thing that I will say that I am happy to see Tim Cook doing is rather than having be all one person and, that is the taste maker for Apple which is where it was when Steve jobs was there. I do think that what we see there is with Ahrendts being hired with this possibly this being acquired is what we are seeing an expansion of a bunch of different people, bunch of smart people in the room making the decisions about what this looks like. I think there are a lot of cultural problems. I think…
Leo: It seems to me more that you are chasing style. And this exactly and I am and I think that TWIT represents is what we are not going for what is cool, what is hip and what is happening we’re saying here is what the best stuff is regardless of the veneer over it. And to me if Apple is saying is hey, the only way we are going to succeed is having a veneer of hip fashion.
Rene: Is Beats where the hockey puck is going to be?
Leo: Beats is not where the hockey puck has been in a long time in my opinion.
Alex: I do think and you guys might have a different information is that I believe that one of the problems that Apple had is that it is not that they do not want to do a subscription service it is just that they have not been able to lock up those deals.
Leo: So this just might be the music…. and we have talked about this idea before that the music industry might be supporting this, right?
Alex: Yes, and I have got questions.
Leo: You have changed this too, here we go now I got it.
Alex: Getting that allows them to experiment with that is the….I think that the subscription service Apple has to come out with that. I mean they have to move to subscription service, I mean that is the future. I have not bought anything since I got Spotified. So I mean…(Laughing and unfinished sentence)
Andy: I do not know what is going on with Beats and I do not know why Apple and I would never say that I would know why Apple is going after it. I do believe something very, very clearly that they do not buy a three billion dollar company, especially something with such an established brand to get a product or even a product line. It is really about here it is that we want to be five years from now and ten years from now and what pieces are we missing to get there. So if and when this happens and, if and when they explain the reasoning they really will when we look back on Apple’s history it will come out to okay, clearly they wanted to do more than make hard-ware or even sell individual intellectual property. They, actually wanted to be in the business of profiting and managing off the content itself.
Alex: I still think that there is an opportunity too, I maybe way off but I still think that there is still a real opportunity to go off to 24 bit audio and to take those headphones and actually take a line of them that is actually high quality you know not just a lot of base but really, really high fidelity and look at a subscription service that is higher priced, you know that would be Apple’s way of doing it is being higher priced.
Leo: This is such a bogus rumor.
Alex: Yes, we will see.
Leo: It is such a bogus rumor.
Rene: I think that if you do not know the dumb things that people do then that things is going to haunt you one day Leo.
Andy: It is just difficult when people are saying things to an absolute certainty that they know exactly why Apple is doing something. They know exactly why this is happening. I still have not written about it yet, chiefly because every time I try to look into things that we can actually prove, and like Rene I mean there are people that will talk to you under the proviso that you are not going to use the information that they give you directly. That they’re….if you just know that all I am looking for is a reality check to check on things that I am thinking and not even the people that I have been talking to has anything that makes me certain about any of this. So, I think that we need some distance from this at this point just to wait and see what happens.
Leo: Let us wait and see. Okay, I for one will take up the pledge not to bring it up again.
Rene: (Laughing) At least, not until next week.
Leo: Thanks to the folks to IT Pro TV for my giant mug, my swimming pool coffee cup. Tim and Don thank-you. Push for one more item on the stack and then we will pop it. Where is Andy’s hat that is question number one? From the questions on air team you could show this Chad, ‘”Where is Andy’s hat?” Tech4Hire posted this and it go 14 up votes. The up votes are okay and the question popped up to the top.
Andy: (Laughing) I will tell you that I usually, I usually shower three to five times a week and, almost never on a Tuesday because we have a lot of things coming on Tuesday and today I happen to shower, shampoo and condition and whatever and so I wear a hat on camera when I feel as though that my hair is absolute fright or when it is not a total fright but at least beyond my standards of absolute fright then I leave it. You do not want to be the guy who well that refuses to be seen without like something on their head.
Leo: Chad says forget the hat, where is the squirrel?
Andy: He is in Tokyo working on a Pixel Corp project.
Leo: I am going to say done.
Andy: He signed the NDA, I didn’t so I am not allowed to book.
Leo: There is your answer. I am pressing the done button and I am going to pop the stack one more time and move to let us see we pop that pop beats now we are back to WWDC thing thank-god! So what about these, this home automation rumor, is that credible, that seems to be credible to me anyway.
Alex: I think so.
Andy: I think so especially the way that it is being presented that Apple is not coming out with a line of home automation accessories they are simply going to create a specification and an API and a licensing thing. So, that if you want your home automation or whatever it is to support iPhone at that intimate level here are the tools to make that happen. I think this would be kind of ahead of its time, at this point for Apple to do that as a real line of products. But they are certainly willing to make sure that if this takes off and becomes a thing that the iPhone isn’t left outside.
Leo: Google has been rumored in fact Google has made products along these lines. Google has bought Nest, so they are very much planning to be in this space I am sure.
Alex: I think that home automation is for me I have been waiting.
Leo: We have been waiting because it has been a flop because there have been so many conflicting standards and no clear winner.
Alex: Exactly and that is where Apple usually does a pretty good job at capitalizing on that. Because, there is a lot of iPhone users like me that would love to have my iPhone control ummm… when I walk in the door I want to unlock the doors, I want to have keyless experience I want to maybe be able to change my lights I mean. I want to be able to do all of things you know with my iPhone. I do not want a bunch of different little bits and pieces. And I think that it is a huge opportunity for Apple.
Leo: I have been rooting for these Smart Things. But if Apple got into it that would kind of changed the game for them, unless Apple acquires Smart Things. See, this to me, this was the smartest acquisition. (Cross Talk)
Leo: Say it is a startup that is focused on, and they already have products but the idea is focused on and here is another thing they will operate within existing standards like Zigbee.
Leo: So, this works with Yarimo, this works with you Hue and this works with your Sonus. I think the idea that the one thing that works with everything is a great idea but I agree that Apple could do this better than anybody but my only fear is that you would have to have an iPhone to use it. Or, an iPad.
Andy: That is exactly it. I mean….
Alex: May be in your view. (Cross Talk)
Andy: People love Nest, but if you can’t make the Nest do something cool unless you have an iPhone that is a deal breaker. That would almost, there is almost no point in doing it if it is an exclusive sort of thing.
Alex: Well for you! I mean there are a lot of iPhone users that wouldn’t care. (Heated Discussion)
Leo: Smart Things is cross platform. Smart Things is cross platform.
Alex: They would not care whether it was cross-platform or not. (Cross talk)
Andy: That is fine if Apple wants to make its own line of thermostats that is fine, it is also fine if they want to make their own line of light bulbs.
Andy: But I think that Apple is cognizant of the fact that it is not an Apple dominant world out there anymore. And if you want to create something that real consumers are going to be able to get their hands on you can’t trust that they only have iPhones and they only have iPads.
Leo: iBeacon is cross-platform.
Andy: Yes, I have iBeacon in the office right now as a matter of fact right now that I am playing with.
Leo: So, it could be based on iBeacon for instance?
Rene: iBeacon is an Apple thing that other companies have figured out how to use. So it is not really because that is how they set it up. But the thing I like about this rumor so much is that the way it is set out is smart. Originally, it was being reported as home play like a version of car play that would work in your houses. Air Play and Car Play is an interface projection and it is letting iOS take over your screen. But for home automation products most of the time there is not a screen and it is not a very compelling idea. But, what there is and it sounds like it is going to be based on made for iPhone, iPad, iPod program MFI which is a long standing program, which is how the original iPod interfaced with cars and with home stereo equipment. And basically you have to sign an NDA but then you are part of the program and it allows for best experience with an iOS device. I think that answers a lot of these questions. I remember talking to Sonus years ago and they said that they weren’t working on their own controllers anymore, because making a controller for the iPhone was such a better experience.
Rene: And if Apple could ensure that, I never thought that this would be good idea for Apple to buy Nest. Nest is a horrible idea for Apple they do not have to be in the thermostat business but they can be in the business of making sure that every smart connected device in your house has the potential to work incredibly well with iOS, the same way that Car Play is great for iOS. If you do not have the iOS device the Q and X system in the car will just work with whatever smart phone you have. But if you have an iPhone you get all these extra features. And with an MFI program if you have, if the company signs up for it your device will work so much better with an iPhone that to me makes this a believe able rumor.
Alex: I think that for a lot of these when you look at home automation is just the tip of the iceberg. I think that really what you are looking at, I know for me again is that I am always looking into the is the dryer, the washer, the refrigerator, the microwave, you know all of those other things. And, you know I find it remarkable that the only thing that I really have a connection to my iPhone in my house is my barbeque! You know like your iGrill. (Lots of laughter and then Leo, Alex and Leo said that in unison – the iGrill) I am like this is crazy.
Leo : By the way I own a house…
Alex: And the only thing I own is the…..(Cross talk )
Leo:…..(beginning inaudible) works on Android, Smart Thing works on Android, Sonus works on Android so I do not think that you have you can do MFI made for iOS….
Alex: Hmmm, mmm
Leo: As these guys do and still be cross-platform. I think that could be important.
Rene: And be cross platform. My friends have a Nexus system at home and they can unlock their door using their smart phone from across the world.
Leo: It is fine if the best experience is on iOS, you know that is not necessarily…..
Rene: Android could compete to have a better experience and they are both competing against each other which is good for us.
Alex; I think that the standard feature for Apple in the past would be that we will play with eighty per cent of the market and then you know we will roll out something that is much more specific to us.
Leo: Acknowledging this as complete rumor, I like this rumor better than the Beats rumor it makes more sense, strategically, it is more global and the kind of global thing that Apple likes to do where is says let us find a market and because we are Apple we can move into this market and be a market maker.
Leo: And that is one of the reasons that I like this.
Rene: And where does Beats fit into this?
Leo: Beats, is following and saying,’ Oh yes. These other guys did it so we are going to do it.’ That is not Apple. Apple says no, no we are going to figure it out and we may acquire the pieces to put it together, but we are going to make the eco-system and I think that makes a lot more sense. So, this rumor I would believe and it does also the kind of thing and you could see Tim Cook just loving to get up on stage and say, ’Remember those new categories that I was talking about, you guys got it all wrong. It ain’t a TV, it ain’t a watch, it is this’. (Cross Talk )
Alex; I think that one of the things that….(incomplete sentence)
Leo: That is the kind of story they like to say. (cross talk)
Andy: The day we had controllers from 1987, you are welcome.
Leo: Remember X10. (Leo Laughing at the jokes)
Alex: But I think, I think that we may also look back at Siri the hobby, or beta or whatever they have and now it is something more serious so something very useful in these types of things being able to talk to your house and say, ‘Turn on the living room lights’. Do you know that all of these other things are things that Siri becomes much more useful for. And it has been able to develop itself with people using it. You know that might be kind of interesting.
Leo: What about Drop Cam, there was rumor that Google, see Google, I feel like Google and Apple this is the next battleground. This is buying the smart home right? Google acquired Nest and the rumor is that they are looking at Drop Cam which we love. These are those Wi-Fi enabled cameras we use them all over the place and we have eight of them, or something as part of the Nest division.
Alex: Oh Drop Cam, for some reason Google and only Nest does not bother me. I have a Nest, Google, only Drop Cam (Leo Laughing at the joke)
Leo: I did not think of that. Oh wait a minute by the Apple bought Connect right?
Rene: The old Connect company. (Cross Talk)
Leo: The old camera company.
Alex: Where I have my drop cam from a security perspective and you know I am just like mmmmmm, I do not know I am not that excited.
Andy: It is sort of a toss-up, sort of a toss-up between not wanting the single most aggressive we want all the data that we get company to own this camera company versus do you want our tiny underfunded, comparatively underfunded company to be responsible for making sure that thing is so secure that no-body in Russia, no Russian hacker group can find an exploit to basically canvass your entire house without your knowledge. That is the thing that always worries me whenever I get one of these things to sample like it’s okay how many employees do you have, ‘nine’ and you are going to tell me the security credentials of every one of these people and why I should make sure that there is not a weakness in this soft-ware that at random a PQ guy can exploit?
Leo: All right! What else did we say will WWDC say? The question engine says ‘Leo, Why don’t you just buy a Mac Mini, this is top question by the way so we can be guaranteed to see a new one at WWDC’?
Rene: Great Leo.
Leo: Because I am waiting for the new Mac Mini.
Alex: I love …. I would love a Mac Mini.
Leo: And I am the only guy that buys them in quantity. (Cross Talk)
Leo: You’re the only guy that buys them in quantity.
Alex: There are a lot of people who buy Mac Minis. You see them every-where. I mean there are…
Leo: Well it is the cheapest Mac by far.
Alex: It not only is the cheapest Mac but it does the most amount of processing in a small amount of space and it is used in Glue. I am in production in locations all over the place and you’ll see these little Mac Minis, they’re much popular than the Mac Pros. They are small, they can put them in there, have them do a lot of small processors, they’re very, very popular. I think. Maybe Apple knows – obviously Apple has the sales numbers and maybe Apple disagrees.
Leo: When was the last update? May be about two years ago?
Alex: (Whispers) A long time ago.
Rene: Five hundred and something days.
Andy: Yes five hundred something days. Was it that blog, who was that has that blog ‘Happy Birthday To….. Congratulations to the Mac Mini for being the Mac that has gone the longest without an update’?
Leo: Longer than the Mac Pro?
Andy: Five hundred and, twenty something days was it?
Rene: Well, the Mac Pro has been updated now.
Leo: Wasn’t like three years ago the updates for the Mac Pro? So it has been long, has it been this long? Anyway I do not know. I just felt the pain there. I am very happy with the Mac Pro by the way. It has been running like a top.
Alex: Once you got that ram.
Leo: It wasn’t just the ram, the whole thing was messed up
Leo: And then another thing died so the whole thing was messed up so Apple swopped it.
Alex: Okay, very good.
Leo: And now it is running great and now I am running two cinema displays with one 4K monitor, got, got, I don’t know how many square inches there but there is a lot….
Alex: (Whispers) What are you doing with all those monitors?
Leo: Oh, It is great now. This is living. Now I finally realize why I wanted a Mac Pro? I have got Windows in one of them.
Leo: Humming along with four gigs of ram, no problem.
Leo: I have, I gave it two processors, no problem running along. I got my chat-room, I got Twitter, I got email, I got my calendar, I got all this stuff open and I sit there and go hhhhhh. (Laughter)
Rene: And now it is an A.D.D. paradise.
Leo: And now I know, remember when I was saying that when the Mac Mini comes out I’ll do an A.D.D comparison, a blind comparison to see if I can tell the difference. Now no way I……would the drive over is that real.
Alex: That is real. None of the CPU.
Leo: I can play civilization on the one screen and on the other two screens.
Alex: Yes, of course.
Leo: So I think there is an opportunity and I mean that they did well with the Mac Pro there is an opportunity maybe doing a complete redesign a cylindrical Mac Mini?
Alex: Oh, I hope not. I mean I think that one of the things that makes the Mac Mini work is the fact that it is rack mountable. You know that is part of the….. (incomplete sentence)
Leo: Let us put years on it, let us go all in on it make it one U.
Alex: I love that. Yes, but I do not think that they are going to do that because they not interested in that.
Leo: They might kill that business.
Alex; The other thing that the Mac Mini is great for is just kind of having an Apple TV on steroids at home. You know where you have something that you are using kind of like an Apple TV and then you just switch over and surf the web in your living room. Not that I would ever do that.
Leo: But you could completely change your form factor? You could make it look like Rubik’s Cube for one.
Alex; Yes. There is one that looks like……there is a company that makes a Rubik Cube, not a Rubik’s Cube but it is a PC, I cannot think of the name right now.
Leo: Yes, the NUC.
Alex: The NUC.
Leo: The new unit of computing that Intel thing did, but they look like they made it the Apple TV size.
Alex: No, no there is another one that is bit bigger and they are pretty powerful.
Leo: I kind of like the idea of a square, it would be kind of cool….a cube, a cube.
Andy: Well, you have to realize that if you’re going to have the same sort of expandability that you have on the current models, it has got five USB ports, it has got HDMI, it has got, it has got Ethernet and it has got lightning, it has got multiple ports I think then you are actually dealing with how much space would there have to be to accommodate on their ports, also how much square footage does it have to have contact with the table to make sure that all those cables don’t tip it up or pull it over. So I think that they would go for flatter rather than an unnecessarily smaller footprint. But you start of with thinking how small, what can you do once you decide that this doesn’t have to have a mechanical hard drive. This is going to be solid state only then move on from there how you decide how this thing is going to be designed.
Leo: I’m totally sold on something that was something that I was totally unsold on, and that was the cylindrical shape for the Mac Pro because it is completely functional. It is just basically a blower.
Alex: Right, right. (Cross Talk)
Leo: …..gigabytes Brix,
Alex: That’s not it.
Leo: That’s not it.
Rene: Go for a Tesseractor.
Leo: A Tesseractor huh?
Rene: It is pretty high (too much cross talk)
Andy:….it has got too much storage on the inside than the outside. (Pause in the studio)
Leo: The NUC is low power, no wait a minute the Brix is a little taller than a NUC.
I am dyslexic. I am very tempted to get a NUC. But you see I’d be very tempted to get a Mac Mini but I would have no use for it if it looked like that. Would you if it looked like that?
Alex: Yes exactly.
Leo: But the Mini is not cheap, it’s about eight hundred bucks now, or is it seven hundred, it probably getting close to the Mac Pro. (Cross talk)
Alex: Once we soup them up they’re a lot more expensive.
Leo: (Laughing) Once we soup them up.
Alex: The ones that we get are about two thousand dollars but we like put tons of ram in and SSDs and …
Leo: So all right hfyke of Maryland USA my answer is no I’ll not buy a Mac Mini. (Laughter in the studio) I am waiting just like you.
Alex: He is holding out.
Leo: As truthfully, to be honest as cute as that is I do not think that Apple is looking at me to see if I have bought one.
Rene: An un Leo bought computer never refreshes.
Leo: Yes, yes, yes that’s right. Don’t watch the un Leo buck. One for Rene: Why would inter app communication be useful in iOS 8? Did you say something about that along those lines?
Rene: I was tweeting about that earlier because everyone says that they want inter app communications on iOS but everyone has a very different definition of what that is. Some people think it means content sharing or default apps or a plug in architecture for things like one password or text expander and, for some people it’s a dizzying array of different features. I was just curious to what when people said they wanted inter app communication what were the actual problem they wanted solved. Because I know that Andy has just talked about Workflow and just being able to move files around. But is that inter app communications or is that central file repository? So I just wanted a little bit, so I wanted to know what people were thinking about that.
Alex: I would love the one thing that I would say is that I would love to see is Last Pass have an inter app.
Leo: That is Android I hate to tell you.
Alex: I know. It’s so painful though you sit like there and go to Last Pass. Everything of mine is on Last Pass feel all of my passwords, almost all of my hashes.
Leo: Just switch you go over you get the Last Pass password you copy it and you bend over it.
Alex: Of course.
Leo: On Android you can use the Last Pass keyboard. That is how they solved that for a long time and we will just type it in for you.
Leo: And then the newest, and of course they have the Last Pass Browser, they do that on Apple but you have the Last Pass already, yes?
Alex: Yes, yes.
Leo: And then the newest thing when you go to the password, and it isn’t perfect,(laughing) when you go to a password field, Last Pass pops up and says Oh, you want me to fill this up for you? That’s what you want.
Alex: Right. That’s what you want. Like we have it over on the Web.
Leo: Android because it is a more open system as result less secure does allow this. When you add a new program for instance you know the Share Buttons on iOS are FaceBook and Twitter because that is the deal that Apple made, right?
Leo: When you add anything on Android, the share button has this and my share button goes on and on. Because, anything that you can share it to has an entry in the share field.
Rene: They have an opening but they have a send to which is the opposite to open end so it is one directional process on iOS.
Leo: There is some sort of signaling then as I am saying. I handle PDF so you can open in me. What is that called?
Rene: I don’t think that’s the official name but it’s opening by a lock.
Leo: Thank you Matt in Iowa for that question. This is what you were talking about Alex Lindsay the Piston.
Alex: If you look at that thing….(Cross talk)
Leo: The Si3 does some really great suites of computers by the way.
Alex: I think that they are amazing.
Leo: These are I guess, these are like the Noosh the modern shuttle system right?
Alex: If you look at to note…..
Leo: (Laughing) four USB ports, (counting) 1,2,3,4 USB no 4 USB 2 ports (cross talk and Leo trying to read) Oh that is the optical port, Ethernet, HDMI…….
Alex: I think that is a display port.
Leo: Two display ports, holy comole that is just showing off! That is just showing off.
Alex: That’s a lot of love there….(unfinished sentence)
Leo: You can’t drive all that stuff. (Laughing) That is just showing off. That is modular so you can add stuff to it. Actually, it says you can HMDI, multiple displays (scrolling through the display) quad core, oh it is an AMD processor. It’s got a Radeon 7660G, eight gigs of ram, 64 gigs SSD. Yes, this could be the Mac Mini.
Leo: Yes this could be the Mac Mini. I don’t see Apple making something with of that. Oh, look you are glued to the monitor. Is this what you do with your Mac Minis?
Alex: Yes, well that is the thing. We’ve been looking at using at these micro things where you can actually attach them to the back of the monitor with a lot of beef.
Leo: (Laughing) This looks like one of those aliens in Half-Flex,- face hugger.
Rene: Face hugger.
Leo: (Laughing) I have got your monitor.
Alex: But for a lot of streaming solutions we have been looking at possibly using some of these, because they are so tiny.
Leo: They are called the Piston X7A from Xi3. That’s pretty cool.
Andy: Do you have to think about luggage a lot when you’re looking for equipment for your company, don’t you Alex?
Leo: (Laughing) If it doesn’t fit in the Pelican case, he don’t want it.
Alex: Oh Man, well no there is definitely things that we have trouble with because they’ll be just a little too wide or a little too high or whatever, but definitely size is a, size does matter for us and small is really, yes small and light you know is what we are always trying to figure out.
Leo: Well, I think you should take a look at a Piston. So, that actually answers the next big question on the Question Engine: How would the Mac Mini redesign look, from Simon in Sweden.
Alex: Like the piston but without the little humps. A little cube the size of the Piston.
Leo: A Rubik’s Cube. That would be awesome.
Alex: I would go crazy. That is all I have to say.
Leo: We’re going to take a break, when we come back more with our big, big group of panelists. We’ve got Alex Lindsay in the studio, Rene Ritchie from immure(dot)com and Andy Intake from the Chicago Sun Times.
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Continuing on with MacBreak Weekly we could take some more questions from the engine in a bit. If you haven’t this is only useful if you’re watching live it is bit.lyslash404mbw.
Leo: And you could pose your questions there. An important function you can have there even if you’re not posing questions you vote them up and we take the most hot, up voted questions, we don’t even look at questions that are down voted so that’s how we moderate that in effect, in fact you moderate it for us. A programming note we will cover the Keynote live Mike Elkin and I and Alex Lindsay we will be here covering the Keynote live 10.00am Pacific on Monday. That is 1.00 pm Eastern time 1700 UTC. I don’t think that they’re streaming it.
Rene: They are.
Leo: They are.
Leo: Thank-you Apple. I love you Apple.
Alex: So nice.
Rene: They are streaming and for developers they are streaming the state of the union and the ADA Awards.
Leo: But you have to be signed up with them and then have a developer’s account.
Rene: Yes, The main Keynote is free for everybody.
Leo: So we’ll not be able rebroadcast the others, but we’ll do the Keynote, we’ll do our usual Mystery Science Theater 3000 thing where we’ll sit in front of the screen. You will have to sit in front of the screen if you want to watch the Keynote without our blather you can absolutely, I encourage you to do that. But if you want, to get commentary on top of it sometimes, snarky, but, mostly not.
Rene: We’ve plenty.
Alex: (Laughs at the joke). I think that it has got harder now. The presentations have got more pithy they are a little bit more efficient so there is less time for us in between to sit there and chat. I think that in the old ones there was a lot of stuff that I wasn’t interested in.
Andy: A lot of sitting through demonstrations of now how you play things on iTunes….
Alex:(Interrupted) Or how successful we’ve been and this is how many we’ve sold.
Leo: You know that they are always going to do that because Steve Jobs set the template. His first ten minutes are,’Our stores are doing wonderfully.’
Alex: Now that we have all of your attentions we going to like say all these things and bore you to death.
Leo: I want to find Keynote Bingo for 2014?
Rene: For some years they had app demo after app demo like forty five minutes on one app.
Leo: And they would bring partners in to do it like Chronicard. Yes, that was boring I agree.
Alex: Yes, start with the partners.
Leo: I don’t see any, nobody has yet do Bingo for this year’s……well here is an app I think that it is an Apple Bingo app. I don’t think…..(incomplete sentence)
Andy: I don’t know how long this Keynote is going to go on that is definitely…
Leo: (interrupts) Two hours.
Andy: It is definitely WWDC style Keynotes so they are not going to be showing I think like twenty different things and I think that they’ve got two or three really big things to show off. So if there’s a new for instance if they do show off iOS 8 OR iOS 10 then that’s a long forty-five minutes of your,’Let me walk you through this brand new interface that we’ve put together and here is why we’ve made these design choices here’s how great this looks how fast this operates’ and this is this is going to be along time of having to make the case of why they’re rather than walking us through, and,’We’ve also got a new version of iPhoto, we’ve made the buttons a little bit more square take a look at these buttons that are a little more square.’ I think that they’ve got a lot to disseminate.
Alex: A, lot of this whilst they are streaming this and talk to us, and remember the purpose of this is to show developers what they should be developing towards. So you know that is the thought process like you know. Here is the new hardware that you are going to get to develop for. Or this is new software new infrastructure issues so on and so forth and I think that is the context for this as opposed to a highlife march or something else.
Rene: I mean, sorry OS ten(point)ten is getting a lot of buzz especially for developers.
Leo: What’s going to be different with ten, ten?
Rene: Superficially the redesign, but I’m a lot people are hearing that Apple is making changes that will be very, very interesting for developers as well.
Leo: mmmmm this is this is normally would be the minor update?
Rene: It’s so hard to tell now that…..
Leo:(interrupts) Its Mavericks?
Andy: Yes, I don’t think that’s operative anymore. I think that Apple is really in a position of getting themselves ready as I said over the next five years over the next ten years ….all I can say is that I think that if you’re a developer for a really important product enjoy that be with your family be with your children before Monday because……(continues after the next line)
Leo: (comments) It’s over.
Andy: after Monday your life gets a lot, gets a lot different after that.
Leo: Is this iOS ….more like iOS eleven than OS ten ten?
Rene: To put into context there is a lot of stuff that when Joni Ives and when Craig Fredericki were sort of unified into Tim Cook’s new management structure that they wanted to do. But it is physically impossible for that team to work any harder than what they already do I mean. They work to the point of exhaustion and they had to get iOS seven done (continues after next line)
Rene: last year so they couldn’t do OS ten at the same time. And now they’ve had a year to refine iOS eight but they’ve also had a year to get OS ten to where their vision is wanted to be and that has had a lot of significance.
Leo: There’s been significant amount of negativity over Mavericks. I don’t mInd Mavericks, I like it I haven’t big problems with it. But a lot of people have.
Alex: I don’t mind Mavericks.
Leo: You like it?
Alex:(laughing) I don’t have it (still laughing)
Leo: Well, that’s my question, because are you slow to put all this on your production stuff?
Alex: Yes, well we’ve been having issues with one or two of the computers that we have.
Leo: What! My ten nine three has problems apparently with Final Cut? (Cross talk)
Alex: (beginning lost in crosstalk) the problem is that we cannot upgrade to some of the stuff that so we’ll slowly we’ve decided to kind of wait until to see what Apple talks about here and skipping the initial Mavericks launch fest.
Andy: I still have one important computer that is still not running Mavericks yet and it’s not because I’m holding off because of any specific reason it’s just because there in nothing specifically in Mavericks that says, Oh My God I’ve really go to upgrade that last machine to make sure that is can do all those wonderful thing that all my other computers could do. This is for an older computer that is about two or three years old but it just kind of shows you that the we are all kind of hot for a new version of the Mac that says I’d be a fool to wait any longer than I have to, to get access to this sort of speed and this sort of ease to use.
Rene: It’s exciting.
Leo: So Syrah S-Y-R-A-H is the code name. When will ten ten be out do you think, later this year?
Rene: That’s usual Leo.
Andy: Yes if they follow the same template seed to developers until next week and then general release at the end of August early September. Or, they could promise sometime this year and then take until December.
Leo: There is no ten ten out now. No beta, no seed program, no beta?
Andy: Now that Apple’s really hammering code names or product names rather than numbers I honestly have to do a Get Info for what numbers I’m on right now.
Andy: I think Mavericks first not ten point ten, sorry if I said ten point eleven. I don’ t think that Apple is going to be showing of ten point eleven next week. (Laughter)
Rene: If the API changes significantly the developers will need time to get used to them to implement them.
Leo: I love them. Like Nailash in our chatroom has said,’Yosemite is celebrating is 150th anniversary this year. OS Yosemite would be quite a good name. I think that it would be an excellent name.
Leo: But we don’t have a name yet.
Alex: Wasn’t that, wasn’t that the code name for one of the Macs?
Leo: Yes, Yosemite.
Alex: I think that it was one of the Mac Pros or something or may be a chip or something like that.
Leo: Ten ten a free upgrade?
Rene: That’s the pattern now so they’ve said coming forward.
Leo: It will continue to be free? Later on this year perhaps if they’re on schedule and no one has seen any bits so no one’s leaked about what ten ten might be. You said a new design Rene, what is that?
Rene: So, again Joni Ives has taken over as head of design. Previously Scott Forstall’s their human interface team, Steve Jobs you know they all had opinions on what the design should look like. Joni Ives now is the head of design for the entire company. He has very strong opinions of what the designs should look like
iOS seven reflects what that is in mobile and we’ll get a chance to see what that look like in terms of umm desk top computing soon. And one of the things to remember is that Apple spent really a long time making the Mac not work like iOS but look like iOS. All those iOS users could be more comfortable, mmm if the they then wanted to have the halo of that if they wanted to as a Mac. iOS seven changed that fundamentally, it’s totally different now so we’re getting a little bit of that familiarity back and probably be beneficial for them.
Andy: I think that overall not so much making the Mac look so much like iOS but look like Mac OS and iOS are products of the same shop. Which is not something that they have right now. If you look at the dock right now and I looking at it right now there is practically, it really is a laundry list of everything they wanted to get rid of at pre-iOS seven where you’ve got… it’s three dimensional you’ve got shadows every icon is like a little photograph like a little piece of art-work as opposed to a little piece of graphic design. So obviously the things that we wanted to immediately guessing about are a flattened interface, more icons that are circles maybe a change to the system font to make it a little bit more retina friendly even though it’s interesting to take these guesses though when you look at in retrospect every single design choice that Apple made for iOS seven was there to reflect the fact that every single iOS device practically is now a retina grade display. You no longer need drop shadows, you no longer need thick fonts with intense italics text because you don’t have to fake a good display you now have a really good display. So, I think that it’s going to be interesting to see the choices that Apple makes, given that they can’t make the redesign that it just for the retina Mac Book Pro or even a future retina Mac Book Air.
They have to be okay with the idea of some-one having a Mac Mini that is connected to a Samsung monitor or someone who has a Mac Book Air thirteen inch or a Mac Book Air eleven inch that does not have a retina display yet. So there is going to be a lot of interesting choices to be made there. But what one last though is that I think that may be we’re jumping the gun by always talking about Joni Ives and his influence and his thoughts and his imperatives. The more I talk to people the more I have to remind myself that Apple is really a team effort, even where design is concerned. That they don’t necessarily it’s one person when one small group of people were calling shots for everybody. I think that everybody at every level is on the same page that’s why I referred to it as house design sort of as opposed to having separate products have separate interfaces and looks like they may have been made by two different companies.
Leo: Ahhh….What else, well we’ll see iOS eight. We know a little bit about that because that has kind of been leaking out including elf book. I’m thinking maybe, maybe what’s the world going to say when we get to the end of the day on the Monday. By the way we will do our MacBreak Weekly on Monday this week instead of next week Tuesday. So, right after the Keynote Andy’s going to be in town, Rene’s going to be in town and they are going to whip up here, you’ll be here Alex Lindsay and we’ll do a special MacBreak Weekly right after our coverage. What if he says nothing about an iWatch, nothing about Apple TV, nothing about the Mac Mini. Are people going to be……(incomplete sentence)
Alex: If they’re enough frustrated I think that if there are enough improvements with iOS eight and you know OS, you know a lot of other services but I think they are going to talk about hard ware, I mean there is going to be some new hardware coming out.
Leo: We’ve heard about the new Mac Books may be new Mac Book Airs, is that what you think?
Rene: It’s hard first of all with the iWatch Apple has never announced a new product category at the WWDC. It’s a developers conference like the iPhones were introduced at the Mac World the iPad was introduced that at a special event At WWDC….
Leo: Yes but this is the only scheduled event that Apple does all year. (cross talk)
Andy: (reply inaudible in the cross talk)
Alex: I think that the only reason that the argument for the home automation and the iWatch if they did and possibly opening up Apple TV would obviously telling the developers that this is something that you should be building apps for.
Leo: Or I am giving you the chance to say and you just did I guess.’No don’t expect much about these products because this is not where you would announce them.’ Yes you said maybe. (cross talk)
Andy: I think that there are always famously I think they’ll release their schedule of classroom things at WWDC, they’re always though things like the sort of to be announced later slots. I think that’s, if they don’t announce I don’t think that they are going to announce a larger screen iPhone and I think that this is going to the one in which they absolutely want to make sure that everybody who came to this conference was there as an iOS developer left this conference understanding how to create a screen size and an independent iOS app. And who understands that if you do not, that if do not, after a certain point there is going to be a point at which you can submit an app to the app store that is not screen size independent that will be easy summarily rejected or will be forced to look like crap on future devices.
Andy: And I think that is the big deal that’s going to be coming up.
Leo: And then they might play see you in September at the end of the conference.
Rene: And the other things remember like the retina Mac Book Air if that’s built on the Broadwell platform, you know and Intel has delayed the Broadwell platform you know that probably makes it difficult to slot in products that you might have wished came out.
Rene: Round about now or now you know subject to that Apple would be with Intel be a bounteous road map.
Andy: It’s a good slot to do a simple refresh to the Mac Mini, again as a performance upgrade as opposed to just a redesign. They’ve got two hours to fill you’re going to need to have some breaks in between like the forty five minutes of slides with that are packed with new phrases of which they only point out three of which we’re frantically screen shooting to make sure that we can look up these things later on. So, it’s if you want to make a wager it’s a good idea to look at second tier products that haven’t had a refresh in a while and say,’Okay this is good time to spend ten minutes on two slides that explain how they’ve updates these things.’ I’m not sure that we’re are going to see anything hardware in terms of watch wise or wearable wise……
Leo:(interrupts) You know what we might see is Angela Ahrendts. That would be great. If Tim Cook says….
Leo: If Tim Cook says, ’To tell you about how well we’re doing in our Apple stores and Apple Retail here’s Angela Ahrendts or newest ……’
Alex: She has great presence she has done a lot on Sales Force events, which we’ve done a lot on.
Leo: Really. Nice English accent.
Rene: She is American.
Alex: Is she, she’s American but she has a great presence on stage and so she should definitely…..(cross talk)
Leo: Yes. I haven’t seen a woman presenting on stage for Apple in a long time if ever.
Leo: If ever.
Alex: I’m not sure.
Rene: There have been engineers presenting but…
Leo: Not women.
Andy: There have been engineer demos. But I can’t think of any.
Leo: I think Helen Hancock, I think this would be a good time to get a well spoken….(continues on next line)
Leo: woman up there and say,’Hey, look this is our newest, here is our newest I’d love to get Joni get on stage, he never will.
Rene: He did when they announced the inter body Mac Book Air. He got up on stage and passed around the body panel but he does it very rarely.
Leo: Yes. Apple’s new ads have even got more in feat. I must say Apple really seems to be aiming at the high end they feature Esa Pekka Salomon who is according to Apple a renowned composer and conductor. I’m just an ignorant I guess of the high end modern music end but he uses an iPad Air to enagage a contemporary audience. He created the orchestra app to share his love of classical music. This is really interesting, you know what is it , what is the What is your verse?
Alex: What is your verse. Yes.
Leo: That is already kind of a high end thing. This isn’t the ad actually this is the video on the side, may be they have one on their super sites all around it. He’s a conductor as well as a composer and uses apparently the iPad Air. It’s really interesting how……
Alex: The ad was really showing him composing music on an iPad or on on or arranging it and then suddenly it shows up preparing it all and putting it out on the…
Leo: Let me find the ad.
Alex: Which, I thought was a pretty, very very interesting.
Rene: These ads are usually very very heavy, I mean they are very different from the gigantic ads for iPhone for example.
Leo: They don’t seem to be aimed at a normal person.
Rene: I think that a man could lead a better life Leo.
Leo: I mean, is this appealing to people like look you could be a world class composer travel writer and choreographer biographer or I mean what.?
Andy: It’s really clear, everybody wants to think of them selves as an artist as creative person that as an inventor, as a maker and if you can sell somebody a tool that will help them to unlock that desire within themselves that’ll turn into an actual thing that’s a good way to get them to pony up an extra eighty, ninety hundred, two hundred dollars on a device. It helps that the iPad is a device that can help you do those things but I really think that they are reaching towards people who want to learn things and not to do things. And they figure that Gosh if not for this Dell laptop I would be composing fluent concertos too.
Leo: (Laughing his head off) That’s you problem. You’re using a Dell, here is the, here is the ad. Esa Pekka’s Verse. (Leo Plays the ad only music)
I thought it was compel… interesting.
Alex: I thought it was interesting.
Leo: It’s interesting this is not a Mac Pro ad is it?
Leo: It’s an iPad Air ad and by the way he is not wearing those Beat’s headphone he is wearing white headphones.
Rene: ‘Your Verse’ is all on iPad Airs.
Leo: That’s the whole idea of ‘Your Verse’.
Rene: But I don’t know if you remember the iPad Air two commercial of we believe that technology alone is not enough. (music playing in the background )
Leo: I think that it’s a great ad. I mean do they only show it on PBS? By the way no words in that entire ad so those of you listening at home didn’t miss anything.
Alex: Yes it is just international.
Leo: International. Yes.
Alex: Well, one of the things that distinguishes the iPad and more from the application then from the capability there are more applications that allow you to do some of the really deep ummmm creation tools. You know some of those are better than the stuff I’ve seen on Android ummmm as far as the interface as far as the processor what distinguishes it as a creation tool not just a , not just a assumption tool. I think that a lot of the people look at the iPad like an assumption tool but I think they really want to be keeping it towards this is a creation tool.
Leo: Even on the iPhone ads could argue that this is not a creation tool.
We really are about creation and the music….(incomplete sentence)
Alex: Well I use my iPhone the iPhone the pod touches and tablets as tools far more than I use them for anything else. There’s phone, communication, surfing whatever there are specific tools within our pipeline.
Leo: Boy, when Steve Jobs said some people are going to need a truck, apparently the truck is now the iPad air. I mean has Apple done a Macintosh ad in a long time?
Rene: This is where the money is made.
Leo: Right and in a way they are saying look you can compose music on an Air. You don’t need, you don’t need a Mac Book. This actually more than music, now they’re showing a father making a video, I really like this ad. At first I thought ahhhh but I’ve come to like this ad but again international there’s no words. (plays another music ad) There is the one they don’t own anymore that is Word Lense I think they sold that got sold to Google.
Andy: Specially when you compare that to the tone deaf Intel tablet ad that has been running. Whereas, here you have an ad where you see two dozen people using a hundred a dozen different apps all over to do a variety of…..(incomplete sentence).
Leo: It’s beautiful.
Andy: To do a variety of impressive things. The Intel tablet ad has one guy, essentially it’s hard to tell whether this tablet was doing anything but simply playing a pre-recorded Beats track he’s some sort of a street musician. And if you look him up he’s on Twitter he has forty followers.
Leo: (Bursts out Laughing)
Andy: No I mean being absolutely true, absolutely honest here I’m I looked up the name and he’s a street musician and you can see a couple of interviews with him of him talking about being, I think he actually said he was impressed by Richard Stallman….(a lot of cross talk>
Alex: I actually know that guy. He’s in San Francisco all the time. He is amazing by the way. Like whether he’s he’s got the actual…..(cross talk)
Andy: That’s the problem all you’re seeing is he is dancing around with the tablet in his hand and…..
Leo: This guy has a problem because Intel doesn’t make a tablets. He is a generic, said to be very generic kind of things.
Rene: These chips are not used in Intel tablets.
Andy: He could have been, could have been holding a clip board from Staples, it’s it doesn’t leave you thinking my goodness I like the cut of that Intel chip, chip and I want to look into this.
Alex: I think that you don’t get his sense of what he’s actually doing with the tablet. That’s the problem, he’s dancing around with it and he’s whether he’s affecting the music or not.
Leo: Yes of course he’s playing it.
Andy: One access rhythm one access scale according to the article that I read. That’s actually, I was actually thinking Oh My God he is totally going to break us apart the section of the motherboard that the headphone jack is plugged into with that heavy cable plugged into it.
Rene: It reminds me , it reminds me of that early Motorola Verizon commercials for the iPads, and when the iPads first came out the iPad two came out and they had that technology alone is not enough commercial and right after that they had the Motorola one where it said,’How do I get my wife to let me buy this?’ And the guy said, ‘You tell her it’s got a quad core processor.’ It doesn’t tell the story of the device.
Leo: (Laughing) Let’s go back to the question engine in just a second get your questions in at bit(dot)ly(slash)404mbw that’s it 404 mbw and we’ll take the top, the top questions.
Alex: So vote them up. If you don’t have question to go there…
Leo: You don’t have to have a question.
Alex: Go to bit(dot)ly(slash)404mbw and just vote on stuff and we know what you want to hear.
Leo: Our show today brought to you today by Hover(dot)com. I registered a whole bunch of domain names at Hover(dot)com. It’s the domain registrar of choice that I use I’m a fan it’s not only a great way to get your domain names registered quickly and easily but once you’ve added the domains to completely manage them. It’s very simple they don’t upsell you because they don’t sell hosting.
Leo: They make it easy and in fact what they do, what they do is build in all of this stuff that you would normally want. You don’t have click fifty times to get who is privacy for instance that’s built in. They’ve got great telephone support. You can register a domain for you or for your business add email to any of your domains, they make it very easy to transfer your domains. I did that I moved all my domains over to Hover(dot)com and their concierge service did it. I mean it’s just great I did it myself which was stupid. Use the concierge service. You’ll save yourself a lot of time. Advanced DNS management, bulk management tools. If you have a lot of domain names that’s really nice. If you’re looking for the best to register a domain name, just ask the geeks, they’ll tell you. Programmers, designers, developers—all love Hover. But you don’t have to be an expert to get a domain. It’s so simple to use. And right now, there’s a new top-level domain that I really like. You’ll see it at the very top of the Hover page: .club! The new .club. If you’re in the Muncie Rotary Club, get the muncierotary.club and that could be your new domain. Great for any social club, country club, your book club, swordandlaser.club.
Alex: Or like, wooden.club.
Leo: Wooden.club. Hit me with your big club. They’re searchable, they’re treated the same way in Google search results, and because they’re brand new, you have a much better chance of getting your name. You don’t have to have those dashes, or therealtwit.club. Nice TLD. This is a new one from Hover, but they’ve got them all. Visit hover.com, use our promo code MBW5—M, B, W, and the number 5—and you’ll get 10% off your first purchase. When it comes time, when you’re thinking, I need a new domain name, get one at Hover. I just bought like fifty. Hover.com. Because I like to, just in case, when there’s a new TLD, I like to get all the variations of stuff. Just in case I want them. I might need them. And they’re so affordable, it’s very easy to do. Hover.com. Use the offer code MBW 5. Back to the question engine. This is an interesting one, and in fact exactly something we were going to talk about next, which is this big issue in Australia. Now, I don’t think this is something that’s going to hit most of you, because you’re smart, but apparently people are getting hijacked and ransomed using, I gather, Find My iPhone on iCloud. Let me go to this story from the age.au, because I think they have an image. It says Oleg Pliss has hacked your device. But—
Alex: Damn him.
Leo: —it doesn’t really seem like they want any money, because the email address that’s given isn’t real, you can’t actually—
Rene: Apparently he’s a well-known researcher who’s probably not involved in this—
Leo: Yeah, he’s at Oracle.
Leo: The whole thing is kind of stupid.
Rene: It’s Australia only. They’re only hacking Find My iPhone when your Apple ID would give them access to a lot more things. They’re asking variable but very low sums of money. The whole thing is incredibly, it’s like kids stealing a car to go on a joy ride.
Leo: It’s kind of, yeah, it’s kind of silly vandalism. It’s not an issue if you have a passcode on your iPhone, won’t affect it. If you have a good password on your iCloud account, you probably won’t get affected.
Alex: It’s like I say, if you don’t have a passcode on your iPhone, what are you thinking?
Alex: That’s all I’ve got to say.
Leo: The PayPal account they’re using, email@example.com, is not real, so they’re not actually asking for money. It’s a kid, some kid.
Rene: There’s a theory that they hacked something else and people who are using the same password for Find My iPhone that they use on whatever was hacked are the people—
Leo: Ah! And this is a really big no-no that everybody does. I used do it. Which is, you don’t want to remember a bunch of passwords, so you use one password everywhere.
Alex: You should use 1Password, or—
Alex: —or LastPass.
Leo: Not a single password on all your account, because what if you used your eBay password everywhere? And now of course eBay’s been hacked, and you’ve got to change your password everywhere. And the real problem is that they can try it. Oh, let’s see if it works on Twitter. Let’s see if it works on Facebook. Let’s see if it works on iCloud. Now, they said two-factor authentication can be enabled.
Alex: Yes, in many countries Apple has two-factor authentication.
Leo: OK. Not my country?
Alex: Yes. The US, Canada, Australia.
Alex: About twelve countries, I think, now.
Leo: Yeah. So you go to your Apple ID, you select Manage your Apple ID, sign in, you select the password security tab, and then you can… You know, I can’t remember my secret questions, that’s probably part of the—
Alex: That’s the thing, if you have a password manager, like 1Pasword or LastPass, don’t put in real secret questions, because it’s easy to socially engineer those.
Leo: Yeah, it’s terrible.
Alex: Put in characters or words or something, and then store those in your password manager as well.
Leo: I wish they would just stop using secret questions. It’s such a terrible security flaw. Fortunately I can reset my security info by sending myself an email. So I’ll do that. And how does, I haven’t use Second Factor, I’m a big Second Factor fan, that sounds like a good idea. How does that work? Can you use Google Authenticator? What are you gonna use on that?
Alex: I don’t know if they support Google Authenticator, but I believe—
Leo: They’ll send a text message?
Leo: That’s not so bad, is it?
Rene: It’s one of those things that, again, it’s a security story so it’s being widely misreported, and often only the sensational parts of it are being reported, but for me it’s a cautionary tale that you want strong, unique passwords in as many places as you can, and all the stuff Steve Gibson talks about routinely.
Alex: And I really moved, once I got really comfortable with things like LastPass and so on and so forth, I’ve really gotten into the— using hashes for almost everything. You know, even just a 20-character hash—
Leo: I used the longest, randomest password the site will allow me to. The sad thing is, many sites won’t allow you good long—
Leo: A lot of them say, you can’t use special characters. Or, it can only be 12 letters.
Leo: Really annoying. It really highlights that problem. Nevertheless, yeah—
Alex: But even then, it—
Leo: LastPass, 1Password, please. Just get a password bowl??
Alex: And the key is— and by the way, when you use those, the one thing, I have a lot of different computers that I work on, is you just know that you can set a, there’s a setting that when I log into a new computer log me out from everything else. So that you’re constantly making sure that you only have one— Because using something like 1Password or LastPass where with great power comes great responsibility, leaving that open or not having a really good password for that, really puts you in a position of a serious problem. Definitely keep your security really high on those, but make sure that all your passwords—, I mean, all my passwords, I wasn’t always this way, but all my passwords are hashes, except for ones that I know I’ll have to log into on a web page, you know without LastPass, and even those are complicated. And then, the main thing is that they’re all different. This problem that you’re seeing is people using the same password, most likely—
Leo: We think, we don’t know.
Alex: But a very common hacking solution is I get one password and I test it on all the other things to see if I can get ahold of it. So having an individual password for everything that you do is very important. Someone asked what a hash is. A hash is just a crazy number of characters, or whatever. Just random characters. It’s not, you know, Memphis, or whatever you might use for that.
Leo: So thank you Mrmagpi for your question. I’m going to click it Done.
Leo: Done. We’re moving on to our next question. This comes from Mark Burnet, Costa Mesa, California. Will Apple ever improve Siri’s voice recognition and speech synthesis so it’s as good as Google’s? I think many people think it’s as good as Google’s. I don’t accept your premise, my friend.
Alex: I think it’s close.
Rene: Google has device parsing, like Google has, especially on the Moto-X, they have the co-processors that just do natural language and just do context awareness, and lets them do a lot of stuff locally. And also Google hired the cofounder of Nuance who has tons of patents in the area, and Nuance is very good about enforcing their patents, so Apple has trouble when there’s network problems, because they can’t get to Siri to parse it. It’d be nice if they moved that on-device. Also, Apple’s not willing to take your data and do big data analysis and things with it in the cloud, so can’t offer the features, or they choose not to offer the features, that Google now does. So given those limitations they do a pretty good job, but there’s still areas they could go into.
Leo: I think Siri’s dictation is actually pretty good, but you’re right, that is the big frustration. You talk for 15 minutes and then it says Sorry, I can’t get on the network. Come on! Just record it and try later.
Andy: Google is actually getting more conversational. My biggest frustration with it used to be that you’d have remember to say [speaking slowly] “Set an appointment for next Tuesday at two-thirty P M at this place with this note here” and if you screw up any of it you then have to pick up the phone and start typing things in. Now it’ll actually ask do Siri like, well where do I do this, and is this okay, and do you want me to send this now, and what phone number do you want me to text this to?
Andy: I will say though I think Siri’s voice is more pleasant than the Android voice.
Leo: I do love Google now, I have to say. I’m totally hooked on it.
Rene: What I’d really like to see is Spotlight access to Siri engine, because there’s some situation where it’s just not polite or you’re just not capable of talking to your phone, and if I could just type some stuff into Spotlight and that would go off to Siri’s engine and do the same kind of, almost like Quicksilver or Alpha or whatever, do the same sort of actions and commands, I think would be great.
Leo: I like that.
Andy: Underscore Siri as a different type of application and interface, not just a set of voice commands or a personal assistant.
Leo: I didn’t watch the Today Show this morning, was it this morning, that Hoda’s password was hacked in 20 seconds by a security expert, and then Hoda says “I use the same password on all my accounts.” He says, “Good, now you’re gonna change it.”
Andy: I think he just turned the phone over and read the Post-It note that she had left on the back with all her passwords.
Leo: You can’t hack her password in 20 seconds, give me a break. What a set-up. Well, you can, if it’s a really terrible password. You say, “Hoda, what’s your birthday? What’s your child’s name? OK, let me try that.”
Leo: That’s all the time you have.
Rene: Types in the word “password.”
Andy: But it works for so many accounts, it’s amazing.
Leo: Yeah, maybe.
Andy: I have actually done a cold case like that, on a couple of different people, in the past five years, just because they think I’ve some kind of magic security bypass code, because I know that about iOS, and all I did was just on my phone just looked up 100 most-common passwords and often you’ll get it my number 27.
Leo: Wow. That’s depressing. Commander Cody, in Oakland, California, smoke, smoke, smoke that cigarette. “Will Apple ever release a new Thunderbolt display? The current line is long in the tooth and many of us have been waiting for years for one with a new form factor that looks a little more like the iMac. Why such a long time between hardware refreshes?” I think this might be time for Apple to release a 4K display, that’s 4K support in ten-nine-three is very good, that might indicate that there’s something in the works. I have an LED cinema display, a Thunderbolt cinema display, and then a Thunderbolt 4K display, so I have all the generations, and they look. You know the big problem is the bezel. I would love to get that bezel size down.
Alex: I could definitely see Apple going with a very thin bezel for something like that, 4K, possibly very large. I think—
Leo: 31½ inches, 2500 bucks, that’s the one Apple’s selling in the store too, the Sharp.
Leo: It’s an IGZO display. The color accuracy seems every bit as good as Apple’s displays.
Alex: I think this is a great safe place. Again, I’ve said this on the show in the past, but I think it’s a great safe place for Apple to put Apple TV circuitry into it and have this as the first—, like see if people not only buy it as a monitor, but buy it as their TV.
Rene: Yeah, the only question for me is still whether traditionally they put the new panels in the iMac first and then when they had supply, when that was supply-balanced, they’d put it in a display, but they’ve got this MacPro sitting out there, so could tilt things in the favor of putting out a 4k display?
Leo: 4K still are really expensive. Well, wait a minute, Samsung has a sub-$1000 60-hertz 4K display. I don’t know how good it is.
Andy: Does 4K make sense for an iMac? Like are they assuming everybody who’s buying iMacs now would want a 4K display in there?
Leo: No. I don’t think so.
Andy: This might be the exception.
Leo: It requires pretty heavy-duty GPU capabilities. It’s not something you just want to—
Alex: I think that there’s a lot of pent-up demand for a 4K monitor, because of all the people buying MacPros and—
Leo: Well they’re losing money to ASUS and Sharp. That’s what’s happening. And by the way, I can highly, I recommended it last week, I can highly recommend that ASUS PQ 321. What a great monitor.
Rene: All that 4K money on the table.
Leo: $2500. But you know, maybe there’s no margin in it, I don’t know.
Rene: The Apple logo, the margin goes up, Leo.
Leo: That’s right. That’s worth 500 bucks.
Andy: Very, very expensive, the adhesive that puts that logo is made—
Andy: There are tall forests they have to tear apart to find the one insect whose chitinous body glue can be used to affix an Apple logo to something.
Leo: I couldn’t be happier with that monitor, and with that setup. Especially because high DPI is here. So it’s retina, I have a retina 31 inch—, I know look at that. Thank you, Commander Cody. Should we do a couple more?
Leo: It’s fun. I love the question engine. Sarah Lane, that’s a joke. That’s somebody posting as Sarah Lane, I’m not going to read that one.
Rene: Check the IP address.
Leo: Yeah, right, Sarah Lane. Got voted up, because I think people thought it was Sarah Lane. She says I want to cover ID WWDC, it’s true, and as the only qualified woman on staff at TWiT, I deserve it. That’s not Sarah Lane talking, I can tell that right now. And by the way, come on in Sarah, you can be in the show. Martin harrow-on-the-hill—, In fact I think she’s planning to be. Martin harrow-on-the-hill Harrow, greater London, HA1 UK, hello Martin. “Will we see a range of iBeacon Apple (and approved MFiB)”—oh I like that, made for iBeacon—“ accessories for multiple user cases launched to complement the iHome, ‘iFamily’ services?” I think if they announce a home service it will use iBeacon. Will there be an approved-for-iBeacon, made-for-iBeacon approval process?
Alex: One of the things that Apple does need to make the case of, and I think WWDC is a good place to that, is making a case for how to use iBeacon, and not just as an ad server. And so I think that figuring out ways to, whether it’s at a museum or at a shopping mall, but not a shopping mall like I wanna send you ads, but I wanna know where my kids are, I wanna know where to find a specific store, I wanna— There are a lot of use cases for iBeacon, and right now most of the ones we’ve seen have been horrible, just blatant ad serving solutions, and I don’t think that’s really what you want first to get people using it.
Leo: Here is our beat of the week, from Indian EDM producer Metro Gnome, the iPhone ring tone, mixed with Siri to make a dance tune every Apple fan’ll love.
Andy: Do you work on the bridge of the Enterprise D? That’s a really cool interface he’s got in front of him.
Leo: That’s a MPC, it looks like the Akai I actually bought that for my son, he couldn’t figure out how to use it. I still have it. In fact, who did I give that to? I gave it to Jason Howell. DJs love these, they’re called MPCs. You can assign to the tap pads different sounds. It’s kind of a dead mousy kind of thing, I like this.
Leo: I want this as my ring tone. Look at this, Jason. Are you using that MPC I gave you? You better be.
Jason Howell: No, but I’m not using most of my studio set-up right now.
Leo: It looks good though.
Jason: But I have it, oh yeah. It also takes up a lot of space, so I have to figure things out.
Leo: It’s huge. It’s got a hard drive.
Jason: Yeah, that on the left, that’s the Cunio.
Rene: This should be the theme.
Leo: That’s the one we talked about, which is really cool.
Jason: We reviewed it. Very affordable.
Rene: He’s using both of them.
Leo: Like 200 bucks. What’s the one on the right? Is that an Akai?
Jason: That looks like an MPC to me.
Leo: Yeah, it definitely is an MPC.
Jason: Yeah, I’m not sure which one.
Leo: This sounds good. Oh, here comes Siri.
Andy: [as Siri] I’m sorry, I couldn’t make that out.
Leo: I guess the network was down when he recorded this. This is good.
Alex: Problem is, everyone keeps on checking their phone while they’re listening to it.
Andy: This should be the theme for MacBreak.
Leo: Yeah! Let’s contact him and see if we can buy it. I’d love to make this the theme for MacBreak.
Alex: Yeah, that’d be awesome.
Leo: Oh, I want to buy this.
Leo: Welcome to the club. Late night, MacBreak Weekly.
Alex: And all of them are ringtones, right?
[song lyrics: Metrognome.]
Leo: That’s cute. Uses his name. The DJs do that these days, they get your name in there.
Andy: Would Apple allow you to use it? It’s probably patented, copyrighted, that piece of music.
[song lyrics: Drop it.]
Leo: “Drop it.” This is quite good.
Alex: This guy’s got some skill. Wish that were a key card though.
Leo: Jason, pretty good, huh? This guy’s good. Can you steal this and we can use it as the theme?
Jason: He’s not doing it on an Intel tablet.
Leo: No. That’s the best DVM I’ve ever heard. I love that. That’s Metrognome. He’s on Twitter as @metrognome. I like that. Yeah, that would be a better theme than what we got. I think we’re done here. Anything you guys—, did I miss any stories?
Leo: Alex really likes it.
Alex: I was trying to figure out where the guy is.
Leo: He’s in India.
Alex: I know. I know.
Leo: All right, we’re gonna take a break. When we come back, your picks of the week, my friends. Get them fired up! Because we’ve got a few more minutes on this show. Our show brought to you today by Squarespace. I’m sitting with the Squarespace king. Alex Lindsey single-handedly has created more Squarespace sites than any human alive.
Alex: I just saw another one. There was somebody I was looking at, and you want to— Who was I—? I was at somebody’s website and I was just going to call them and say Hey, here’s the deal, I’ll do your site for you, just to—
Leo: It’s easy.
Alex: If I get there, it won’t be hard to use.
Leo: You’ve done that before. Like, because you get two weeks free. You go, Let me just do a site and here it is, and if you want it, go buy it, use the offer code MacBreak and you get 10% off.
Alex: And it’s not for them, it’s for me, right? Because you go to their site, and I’m just like, I don’t want—
Leo: Squarespace is really brilliant. It’s hosting and software. Sometimes we talk about it as if it’s all about the software, but it’s also about the group. Best hosting ever, really committed to giving you as user a great hosting service. Beautiful designs, mobile-ready, e-commerce is enabled in every single case, the best support in the world. They just won four Webby awards for their designs. They also have incredible apps, for iPhone and iPad. The Squarespace metric app lets you check page views, unique visitors, social media follows. The blog app makes it easy to post, but you can also monitor comments. Just gorgeous, and it all includes the best hosting in the world. I don’t know how you can get any better than this. You know we love Squarespace. We’ve been with them since almost the beginning, and as they’ve grown, we’ve been really happy to be part of that. Visit Squarespace.com, just click the Get Stared button and you can play with for two weeks, you don’t have to give them a credit card, you don’t need to give them anything. But if you decide you want to buy, do give them the offer code MacBreak. That’ll get you started for 10% off. As little as $8 a month, plus you get the domain name free when you purchase it for a year, which you’re going to want to do. Grady Commerce Solutions, too. It just gets better and better all the time. Squarespace.com. Time for picks of the week. Let’s start with Rene Ritchie, this time.
Rene: So my pick of the week is the new version of djay, djay 2.5. It’s made by Algoriddim, and what they did is so smart, because they’ve already done a great job in bringing all your iTunes music into a little sort of skeuomorphic mixing environment on the iPad, and now they have a deal with Spotify so you can have access to I think it’s 20 million songs, as long as you have a Spotify premium membership.
Rene: And it’s incredibly fast. I thought there’d be problems with latency and downloads. It is so fast it almost seems native. And they also do a couple incredible things, so for example, if a song is new, because it’s hard to know 20 million songs, they will automatically match the track so that you can mix two songs together even if you haven’t heard the songs. It uses algorithms to do that, and if you want to share your library, in the old days you’d share your list and people have to go buy the songs. If the other person is a Spotify user, they just get your mix and because they also have Spotify, all the songs come along with it.
Leo: Oh man.
Rene: It is the closest I’ve come to seeing pure magic in an audio form on a mobile device.
Leo: Remember when DJs used to come with the box of discs?
Rene: This a bottom list—
Alex: I just want to say—
Rene: —that always has a good song on top of it.
Leo: If somebody comes up to you at the wedding and says, Hey can you play the Venches? Got it!
Alex: You know I DJ’d 400 weddings, in my younger years, and I used to carry, the kit to do the actual DJing was tiny, and that was back in the day when I had two MK400s, and then a den and 2200 CDs that I had to cross-fade and everything else, and I kept on telling everyone, eventually this all gonna be on a hard drive and you’ll be able to play it all back, and they thought I was crazy. When I look at this, I’m just like, You kids don’t know what I used to—. We used to tape everything, because we didn’t have—, just boxes and boxes and boxes of songs, then you’d forget the—
Leo: Wonder if Metrognome uses djay?
Rene: There’s an iPad version, there’s also an iPhone version. I think there’s still one— I had a chance several times to talk to the—
Leo: This makes we want to rejoin Spotify.
Alex: You left Spotify?
Leo: Yeah. Because I have Google Music and I have Amazon. I don’t need Spotify.
Alex: So with djay, does it keep track of the cross-fades between, so if you’re sharing your playlist with someone else, would djay—, because one of my big complaints as a DJ, or former DJ, is I don’t want the songs to stop, I want to be able to share a playlist that has all the cross-fades built in. Do you know if you can do that, Rene?
Rene: I believe it does, I couldn’t get a Spotify account. I believe they’re in Canada, but they wouldn’t let me sign up for one, so I couldn’t test that part of it, but I got a demo from Karim and Michael Simmons who was working with them and it just sounded fantastic.
Leo: How much is djay 2.5?
Rene: It’s on sale right now. I think the iPhone version is temporarily free, unless it’s reverted already, and the iPad version will be on sale for five bucks.
Rene: The sale’s over?
Leo: No, it’s free for iPhones—
Alex: So the iPhone version is free, right?
Leo: 4.99 for iPad, OMG.
Leo: Well I imagine they get a cut from Spotify, so who needs to charge, right? That is so, that’s like, that’s a no-brainer. Sign up for Spotify.
Rene: Well their apps are usually, like again, this is a sale price, their apps are usually a couple bucks. So worth it.
Leo: You get that MPC interface on all—
Rene: And they color-code the music waves so that you can see what’s vocals and what’s different instruments, so if you want to use the wave form you can still tell where you want to transition based on the color of the line.
Leo: Wow. By the way, I’m now in love with Metrognome. Adi Metrognome lives in Los Angeles. I’ve just gone to this SoundCloud. He has lots of free downloads. Here’s his Breaking Bad remix.
Leo: I like this guy. I can download the iPhone thing. We should talk to him and see how much to plug you every single time.
Alex: I love this.
Rene: One other thing I was going to mention is, an example of skeuomorphism done right, because they will render the grooves on the album according to the actual music, so that you can see where the song is on the album marked.
Alex: Mind blown!
Leo: Just amazing.
Rene: Yeah. They’ve got serious skills.
Leo: Alex Lindsey, your pick of the week.
Alex: So, I have this issue in Africa that I don’t speak French, and about half of Africa speaks French. I worked with a French crew all last week and I feel bad that they speak English and I can’t say anything, and so I decided that I want to go back, and one of the things stopping me is that Rosetta Stone didn’t have the ability to do—, they have this little thing where they show you the word and then you have to find the right one on the picture, and it’s just the way to learn languages—
Leo: Oh, but you’ve seen Duolingo, right?
Alex: I have, but—
Leo: You like Rosetta Stone better?
Alex: Yeah. I find that Rosetta Stone has a better structure—
Alex: —than Duolingo. I think Duolingo’s great for the price—
Alex: —it’s free.
Leo: Rosetta Stone is like 800 bucks. Well it depends what you get.
Alex: 200 for like six months of unlimited, but they have a lot of—, software is better, in my opinion.
Leo: They’re the kings of this business.
Alex: Right. And so they didn’t have, but—, so I went back and look at the iPad app. My recommendation is the Rosetta Stone if you get the thing where you have the iPad app.
Leo: But you have to pay for Rosetta Stone to use this.
Alex: Yeah, you have to pay for Rosetta Stone to use it. But the point is, it’s just the best, in my opinion it’s still the best way to learn a language.
Leo: [French] Il nage, il nage. [tone sounds in app] Oh, I got it right.
Alex: Yeah, see?
Leo: I’m good. I’m better than you are. Ils lis—,ils lis—, ils lis—. [tone sounds]
Rene: Excellente, Leo. Tres bien.
Alex: And this is, they have more to it, this is how they get you started.
Leo: Yeah. This is easy. Fille. I should have Rene do this. He’s the Francophone here. So this is very, this is the beginning, right?
Alex: This is the very beginning.
Andy: This is a really great product if they could train you to do an actually good Scottish accent.
Leo: [bad French accent] Gar. Son. Son. Oh! Son. So it— Son.
Rene: Got a son.
Leo: I know how to say it. I’m trying to say it badly. Garsen. Yeah, see there’s the problem right there.
Alex: So this part is not—, this pronunciation part is actually the part that I don’t like, because then I have to do it in the airport.
Alex: So the part that I like is that they have one where you’re identifying, you can your headphone on and it’s just showing the words and you’re identifying.
Leo: Yeah, I mean, you wanna learn the language, probably pronunciation you learn by speaking to native speakers anyway.
Alex: And I don’t care about the pronunciation, but what I like is the multiple choice with the letters, and I find that what happens is that you start learning a bunch of nouns, and when you start learning all the nouns, you start understanding what everyone’s saying around you, and then else—
Leo: Vocabulary’s the hard thing, I agree.
Alex: The problem is, I thought, I used to complain about Rosetta Stone because it’s just the nouns, I want to say Hi, I want to learn how to say Where’s the bathroom? But the reality is, is what really gets you going is understanding actually what the substance of what people are doing it’s a lot easier to learn.
Leo: Is the app free if you have Rosetta Stone account, is that how it works?
Alex: Yeah. You get a Rosetta Stone account, you get the app as a free download, and then can it on your iPhone and iPad and everything else. And it means you can sit there in the airport and, you know I have a lot of downtime in airports, where you’re standing there in line, and so on and so forth, and trying to fill it with something that other than field runners.
Leo: It’s about time you got off that game. Ah, let’s say Andy Ihnatko, what’s your pick of the week?
Andy: Mine is an easy one, this is the SanDisk Cruzer Fit USB flash drive, because when I bought the new MacBook Pro, having a reasonable amount of storage for someone like me was not an option. So you look for ways to actually get better storage. The great thing about this thing is that it’s a tiny, tiny little flash drive that barely adds anything to the width or the size of your—
Leo: It’s so small.
Andy: Exactly. So I can put this in any bag that I have without really worrying about it. It doesn’t hang, it doesn’t pull, it doesn’t damage anything, and they have capacities all the way down to 4, all the way up to 64 gigs. And it’s only USB 2.0, I wish it were USB 3.0, but that’s not a deal-breaker for me. But it’s the perfect thing for like keeping music and movie and photos that I don’t want to clutter up my 256-gig internal. As always, it only took me about three or four months. I wish I’d maxed out the SSD, but I didn’t, and so now—
Leo: Have you seen the Nifty MiniDrive? This was a Kickstarter project I contributed to. The idea is, it fits, instead of in the USB port, it fits in your SD card slot, and so it’s kind of more permanent, and it doesn’t have anything sticking out at all.
Andy: I don’t like that at all. A, because you do have to have a paperclip or something handy to take it out—
Leo: Yeah, it has a special removal tool.
Andy: Frankly, it’s like, my SD card slot is something that I use a lot.
Leo: Yeah, so it wouldn’t be good for you.
Andy: A pain in the butt. Or else I’ve got two USB ports here. I’m rarely using more than one of them, so this thing can basically live in here without any difficulties, and I’ll be very happy about it. As you can see, I bought one, I liked it so much that I bought a second one, partly because I left the original in its Windows format, and now I need to format this as a Mac volume because I’m having, now that I’ve got like Blu-ray rips that are larger than a couple of gigabytes, I need to be able to write really big files. But I wanted to get one anyway because these are just so useful.
Leo: Well it’s more expensive too, because the MiniDrive doesn’t come with any memory, so you have to buy a micro SD card to stick in the MiniDrive.
Alex: But that means you can keep on upgrading them.
Alex: And that’s the big thing, because those micro SDs keep on getting—
Alex: More powerful.
Andy: Now the maximum size on that is 128.
Andy: As soon as SanDisc makes a 128-gig one of these, I’m definitely buying one. It’s nice to have. It’s nice to be able to simply offload stuff that doesn’t need that super high-speed access to it, and you have the ability to unplug this and put it someplace else. I’m sort of in the habit now, I always have a bunch of movies and TV shows I like to carry with me, so now it’s one of the things that live on this little drive. Which also means that I can just plug this right into the USB port of any other device I own. Right before the show I was watching Blazing Saddles in HD that I just ripped over the weekend, and the fact that I moved it from this to something else means that I’ll always have it with me. It looks great. For only 64-gigabyte thing, it’s only about 30. List price 70, but of course on-the-street price is about 30, 35, so it’s definitely reachable, affordable.
Leo: My pick is something that—, I have so much pain with my email. Everybody uses Gmail, and that is one area where Mavericks has let us down. And it’s not really Apple’s fault, because Gmail is not a standard IMAP client, it’s something special. And there are very few email clients that handle Gmail properly. You pretty much have to use the web interface. So I’ve been looking for a way to do email better. It’s involved leaving Gmail, going to a true IMAP provider, in my case I’m using FastMail, which I really like and I’ve used for years. And then I was looking for a power tool. Now Apple’s mail works fine with FastMail, but I got something MailMate. This is a single guy, a developer in Copenhagen, he’s an academic, he’s been writing it for some time, in fact he did an Indiegogo project to kind of support a year’s worth of development. He’s working on version 2.0 right now. I was really pleased, I installed it because I was downloading seven years of Gmail and it crashed a few times and I immediately got an email from him saying I see it’s crashed, can I help you? He’s really responsive, and I’ll show you MailMate. There’s some things that I really like about it. It reminds me a lot of the old school email programs. First of all, great settings in many, many ways. You can make it your default viewer, of course. You can have Gmail key bindings, if you’re really tied to Gmail you can turn on Gmail key bindings, so you’ll be able to use all the key strokes that you normally use. It has little in-doc and in-menu bar displays, in fact I like the menu bar display because you can see what email is sitting there and how long it’s been there and what’s new. You don’t have to show that. Mostly it’s spam right now. It supports SpamSieve. It has support for a PGP, which is really important for me. I need to have S/MIME or PGP encryption and it’s built-in, automatic, if you have open PGP installed it’ll immediately—. I use PGP tools, it’ll automatically do that. It does support IMAP-style tagging, which is not unfortunately the same as Gmail-style tagging, but the thing I really like about it is you can create very powerful searches very easily. For instance, if I wanted to search for all the emails I’ve received from the Humble Bundle, I can literally just double-click in the header the Humble Bundle and it’ll show me all the emails I’ve received from them. It creates an instant search which I can then save. It does conversation threading, which is very handy, and it picks up the, if you look at the column on the left, I realize this is small, it picks up the, of course the IMAP set-up, and I’m using, I do my filtering on the IMAP site. FastMail has a very powerful script language for filtering, but you could do filtering and here it supports it. And it does some really interesting things. Let me show you my VIP mail box. So I have FastMail filtering certain people into VIP, but if I edit this mailbox I can create sub-mail boxes for each sender or each two, or whatever. These are all the different things. It actually created, as you can see over here on the left, sub-mail boxes for all the VIPs and the different email addresses that they’re of. That’s really handy. As I use it it’s become more and more of a power tool. I’ve been looking for a really good email client to replace Apple mail. Lived on Apple mail for years, but I think, you know this is in active development, that’s another thing to be said for it, unlike a lot of the email programs, PMMail and stuff that I’ve been using for long. MailMate is the name of it. It is from freron.com. It supports Markdown, which is really nice, you don’t have to use HTML. You can use Markdown to create table and so forth. It does some really smart things. It knows which signature to use based on previous conversations. It does work offline, as any good email tool does, and as you see, he raised money, he raised $42,000 at Indiegogo in a crowd-funding campaign, 171% of what he was asking for, so that he could do version 2 of this. So he’s dedicating his all year to update this. So I wanted to give him a little plug. He’s been very helpful, really nice guy, and I like the tool. I’ve been using it. You can use it with Gmail, but just like Apple’s mail, Gmail has such weird issues. The chief issue is you can assign multiple tags to a single email, and IMAP doesn’t support that. So it will very much confuse your mail client. But I like MailMate a lot and I highly recommend it. Not free, but you can try it for free. $50 to buy. I think, $50 to me is worth it for a good email client.
Rene: Something you use every day, all day.
Leo: Yeah. And by the way, little tip for you, I created a filter rule that says if the word unsubscribe is in the body of the email, put that in a folder called, I call it Mailing Lists, I should call it Bacn. That eliminates like 90% of the crap in my mail box that I don’t want to see.
Leo: It’s really useful. And then you can unsubscribe at your leisure.
Alex: Rules are the key to the operation. I think I have like 50 or 60 rules.
Leo: Power rules. And this is where FastMail is fabulous. I guess that’s a secondary recommendation. Was bought by Opera, the Australian developers bought it back just about a year ago, and it is the IMAP in my opinion. It’s just incredible. And I do all my rules on their side, just because it’s easier, and I can usually BBEdit and do my script by hand. Once you learn the language it’s not too complicated. And then it’s easy to modify it and so forth. Very powerful. So there you go, there’s my pick of the week. Hey, ladies and gentlemen, that concludes this edition of MacBreak Weekly. Remember, next week we’re on Monday, right after the keynote at WWDC. My guess is we’ll have a lot to say.
Alex: I think so. I think it’s going to be exciting.
Leo: I think we might have, I hope. I’m crossing my fingers. MailMate is not in the app store, you have to get it from the developer. Andy Ihnatko, Chicago Sun Times. He’s gonna be out here, so we’ll have him in-studio, always fun, next week, after the conference. And you’ll go to the keynote, and the rest of the conference too.
Andy: I’ll be at the keynote.
Leo: Happy to have you here for that. Rene Ritchie, imore.com, he’ll also be down from Montreal.
Leo: So that’ll be fun. And Alex Lindsey, you’ll be in-studio again next week too.
Alex: I will be.
Leo: Pixelcorps.com. We do MacBreak Weekly Tuesdays, 11 a.m. Pacific, 2 p.m. Eastern, 18:00 UTC. And if you watch live, it’s really great, because we do the question engine, we’ve got the chatroom, really nice to have the feedback, so please watch live if you can. On-demand audio and video available, as with all our shows, at our web site after the fact. Twit.tv/mbw for MacBreak Weekly, or wherever you get your shows, including Stitcher, and don’t forget our great TWiT apps, developed by independent third-party developers who are just fabulous. There are apps for iOS and Android Windows phone, Roku, and on and on. Thanks for joining us, we’ll see you next time, now get back to work, because you know what? Break time is over!