MacBreak Weekly 400 (Transcript)

Leo Laporte: It is time for Mac Break Weekly! It is kind of a special 400th episode, the creator of Mac Break Weekly Alex Lindsay will join us in the studio and of course Andy Ihantko and Rene Ritchie are here and one of our long-time favorite panelists Merlin Mann makes his return. And you know if Merlin is here that we are going to talk a lot more about comics then the Mac Book Airs. We will get both in next on Mac Break Weekly.

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Leo: It is time for Mac Break Weekly Episode 400 recorded April 29th 2014

The Return of the Rat Hole

MacBreak Weekly is brought to you by legalzoom. Visit Legal to save on your legal needs and gain access to a network of legal plan attorneys for guidance. Legal Zoom is not a law firm it provides self-help services at your specific direction. Visit and use the offer code MBW to get 10 dollars off at the checkout. It is time for Mac Break Weekly the show that covers the Mackintosh, the iPad and the iPod and the iPhone news and iPod news lately and this is a very special Mac Break Weekly because I want to welcome you to our 400th episode. We started Mac Break Weekly in the fall of 2006 before Leopard was just coming out and the iPhone was not out yet. We were still talking about iPod stuff this is the guy who started it Alex Lindsay of the pixelcorps. You started Mac Break video.

Alex Lindsay: That is right.

Leo: For some reason we decided to spin out the audio and I think it was your idea, credit to you chose the fabulous Jane’s Addiction theme the Jane Addictions like theme.

Alex: Like theme, not exactly. Both are not connected but very, very similar. It was Mac Break minute that was the very first in 2005 the fall of 2005 and we went to go back and find a couple of others and then Mac Break Video where you and I did and Andy Ember Embury. We did the videos all through the Spring and then we talked about doing an audio version which I think made a lot of sense because it was much more of a discussion, more of a long form that you want to watch. I think now you want to watch, but back then the bandwidth was very expensive. The only reason that we even survived is because of the CacheFly.

Leo: Yes thank-you CacheFly. You can go back and watch or listen to every, I do not know when we started video, but listen to this, this is MacBreak Weekly, this and then episode so the first one is mbw one and then mbw2. I was not even on the show for the first six episodes. I think I was on vacation or something. But you can hear Scott Bourne get all excited about the first iPhone and you can hear this guy make us all in stitches, the creator of the Rat Hole Merlin Mann. Do I still say 43 folders?

Merlin Mann: Sure. Yes, this is a honor to be here you guys, you all look so handsome.

Leo: Oh, Merlin, it is so great to see you and we miss you so much.

Merlin: Thank-you.

Leo: So you do it a lot and you have actually become a professional podcaster.

Merlin: Yes I mean it is like being a professional juggler or ventriloquist I mean you find work from time to time.

Leo: You do Back To Work on the 5by5 network with Dan?

Merlin: And Roderick on the line with Roderick and a lot of guest appearances.

Leo: Well, it is so great to see you again. It was very last minute thing, I just Tweeted you (Presenters talking over each other) but thank you we miss you so much.

Merlin: What is my professional wig I would wear right now.

Alex: I miss chatting to him. Merlin used to have an office in our office. But it was outlined with tape it was like a tape office.

Leo: I do not think that I have the Rat Hole music that you created for it, as way back when.

Merlin: I can get my guitar out. (Lots of laughter in the studio)

Leo: Andy Ihnatko is also here from the Chicago Sun Times, when did you join MacBreak Weekly, it was very early on right.

Andy Ihnatko: I think that it was in 2007. My first appearance might have been 2006 or 2007 I do not think that I joined regularly until….I think that Bush was still president because I remember being a lot less happy about the president back when we first started. I think that came through in the podcast and I regret that.

Leo: Chris Spreen was on a fairly regular basis, Scott Bourne of course. I messaged Scott but I have not heard from him, you know that he has got his own thing. But the newest Mac Break Weekly member who just joined us about a year ago is Rene Ritchie of How long has it been Rene from

Rene Ritchie: Yes. It has been about a year about 16 months maybe. I feel like a baby Leo, someone my age feeling like a baby. That is just awesome.

Leo: You have been doing this show since 2006. That is eight years. It is hard to believe.

Rene: It is amazing.

Merlin: Four Hundred shows.

Leo: And the Mac is pretty much the same. My Mac Pro looks exactly the same. No there have been a few updates and changes the iPod is gone.

Alex; The phone is here. (Presenters talking over each other)

Leo: We were talking in trios. I was listening to Mac Break Weekly 24 which was the last one that we did before the iPhone was announced in 2007, and all the speculation and I said the same with authority I have heard it with authority that there will be no I in the name. It is funny how Apple rumors in retrospect and now you really realize how wrong they so often are.

Andy: Do you think that someday may be the Apple key on the key board will become an official control key? Rumor has it that Apple is considering stopping the Apple Desk Top buzz.

Leo: Was that a rumor, because that happened and probably no-body guessed that happened.

Andy: My favorite time displacement rumor was when I think that we did have a discussion about how long is it going to take Apple to drop USB 3. When you do not have IOS you have less interesting things to talk about.

Leo: In fact, did they? Oh, yes I think that they did. But I have it on the Mac Pro.

Andy: We had to wait for the on chip support for that.

Leo: That is right.

Andy: I think that this very much like a signature sort of thing if you say well Apple what if put the USB three support on the CPUs that you have already agreed to put on there, will you agree not to put the extra hardware to turn the USB two, or do you agree to having something that is as kind and as good as fire wire and lightning or thunderbolt?

Leo: What else have you been up to since we last gabbed?

Merlin: You know I was sitting here thinking about it?

Leo: Do you still do “You Look Nice Today?”

Merlin: I do not think so.

Leo: You could always re-emerge?

Merlin: There is one more episode hanging out there somewhere I think. I have got kind of busy.

Leo: You never thought of putting that out?

Merlin: It is long now as the Briony now says.

Leo: You should keep and then have it released on your death.

Merlin: Ohhh that would be great. If I ever get a will (Presenters talking over one another)

Leo: You could write Mark Twain’s biography.

Andy: Here is even better you should record it and then bury it in a land fill somewhere, and then fifteen years later get someone to do a documentary from where they dig it up. And also make twenty thousand copies of it.

Merlin: It is funny that I kind of still love doing the show and I remember always trying to introduce talking about apps. And I guess that my two things I think of and really think back to the early days was Scott Bourne going on and on and on about the Apple phone. He felt that inevitably was going to come out and he started the podcast if my memory serves me correct the Apple Phone Show. It is strange now and the one thing that has changed tremendously since then is how much I use IOS devices for some many different things like quick comics. Am I right guys comics?

Leo: So what happened? Comixology sold to Amazon right?

Merlin: He just did that all that get back to work there?

Leo: It seems that there was some upset on that? Now I am not a comic book fan so I do not understand what the upset is about?

Merlin: It is the social set up.

Leo: What is the upset are they killing comics is that no more comics?

Andy: Yes they are, but I do not think so. They can be so upset so go ahead. (Presenters talking over one another)

Leo: This is their contention?

Merlin: People get emotional about stuff. Basically Amazon acquired Comixology, and within a couple of weeks of acquiring them they released a new version of the app that will not allow in app purchases. And for most of us that is how we get comics.

Leo: Right.

Merlin: It is going in. Wednesday morning my daughter climbs into bed and we go and see Any New Adventure Time available and you click on it and you buy it on the app, and so to me the interesting thing about Comixology and we talked about this at length today on the other show about how many different things Comixology really does? Yesterday they were a retailer, the primary retailer of digital comics for a lot of big publishers but they also make the Comixology app one version of which now does not allow in app purchases. Also correct me if I am wrong guys they do a white label version of the Comixology app for Marvel for DC I think. I think that Dark Horse has their own but most of them use for their app purchases and they have a relationship with MarveI think that Marvel too where you can hook your Marvel account to So you can enter your digital code of the hard copy and get the free digital copy on a premium by itself. I guess what I will say is that it is huge problem because it is so much easier to buy it inside the app. It is going to be interesting to see what people like Marvel will have to say.about it.

Leo: I think that people are outraged that they cannot make impulse purchases. Damn you!

Rene: It is all about the experience Leo. (Presenters talking over each other)

Andy: They also moved all the comics right to the back of the store. Also when you consider about all the long and impassioned essays about how they are breaking the comics reading experience. And which point there is longer piece in the Sun Times that is going to run tomorrow about this whole thing. But I have to raise my hand and say yes, but remember like historically before Comicxology if you went into the comic book shop and took something off the shelve, read it from cover to cover and then moved out of there they would tell you that this is not a library to move on. This is the add to cart mentality and Comicxology just broke out of that habit. I mean Merlin is right there is such an impassioned community of people out there, and I think that Comicxology represented something simply more than an online store. It was really, you have this life-long relationship with a specific bricks and mortar retailer where this is the place you go every Wednesday and you will see the same clerks every single week, you might see a lot of the same customers every single week and I think that one of Comicxology’s success is that they managed to transfer a lot of that affection and a lot of that romantic connection to their site. So as soon as you feel as though that covenant has been broken in some way coupled with fear that Amazon was going to completely ruin Comicxology by acquiring it that is when the same people who are upset that somebody who is wearing the Nova Armour who is clearly not Nova, you cannot have the new kid. You can have the Richard Wrighter or whoever it was that was in the armour and that is the sort of engine that this sort of outrig is connected up to.

Leo: Can you blame Apple for their….I mean this is what Amazon did  with their Kindle App and the Audible app as well. They do not want to give Apple their thirty percent.

Merlin: They deal with the Marvel Unlimited as well. The Marvel Unlimited app if you sign up on the Marvel Unlimited Website or you can get access for comics for your device, there is no indication inside as with the Kindle app by the terms of the iTunes store there is no indication of how you would even sign up for that. But just germain to the Apple point here though, Andy you probably know this better than I do, I think that I read something that said that Comicxology is the biggest grossing non-game app in the app store.

Leo: Wow.

Andy: That has been part of their talk last year. Yes they have had real exceptional success especially over the past year. And it is not just about that 30 cents per dollar also remember that I think and I am not criticizing the Apple iTunes store because it is so good for some many people. However, but Comicxology it is not necessarily the best solution anymore because it means that they cannot do certain kinds of promotions and they cannot do things that would require a shopping cart, like what Amazon does that if you bought this, this and this and it does not matter what specific ones you bought, we are going to give you credit for more stuff. They could not do subscriptions within that that was something you already had to go to the Comicxology website in order to buy. Censorship is too strong a word but every single thing that Comicxology put on sale through the Comicxology app on IOS had to be approved by Apple …….

Leo: I do not think that is too strong a word Apple it prevents political and editorial……. (Presenters talking over each other)

Andy: Censorship is too strong a word because all Apple wants to do it to keep this all ages sort of experience.

Leo: Sure.

Andy: But that does mean that number one, it is possible for books to be delayed whilst page after page of this stuff has to be screened, because you cannot do a keyword search for a picture of a Veroncalogical area, and also it means that there is some stuff that you could only get by going to the Comicxology website

directly. I just think that it comes down to Apple was just not, that Comicxology was not getting enough of that 30cents on the dollar that they would like and they would see a lot of upside, including getting 30 cents more on the dollar. I do not think that it is as simple as….

Leo: The content has been bumped up too. That is a very good point. Rene you were saying something I am sorry.

Rene: There is a lot to decompress from this too, because it is not entirely clear that they would not have done this too if they had not gone to Amazon. Then the knee jerk reaction is to blame Amazon but this could very well have been their plan.

Leo: Because they had it ready in a month, it sounds to me that they must have been working on it.

Rene: The app store is not set up to have multiple middle-men you have to give 30 percent to Apple when you are a middle-man to begin with. That is why Netflix and that is why Marvel Unlimited and that is why Kindle they do not do that because they already themselves the middle-men and it is not enough margin to divide up. And to raise Andy’s point there is editorial control but it is not even handed. For example iBooks often got books that Comicxology had a lot more trouble pushing through because Apple historically has been far more lenient with the iTunes side of their business then they have with their App Store side of the business. And all of this adds up to the frustration for Comicxology, and while I do think that, it is a very good decision for Comicxology you were getting for that 30 percent tremendous in app browsing, impulse buying and commerce experience from Apple and that is the sad thing that we lose here. Yes,  you can still go into iBooks and still buy in app purchases but the interface is nowhere nearly as good as that of Comicxology’s interface. So it is kind of both win and lose for everybody involved.

Leo: Is Comicxology IOS only?

Andy: No. It is Android as well you can do app purchasing through Android. They are using their own transactions, although….

Leo: They did not take that out of the Android version?

Andy: No they did not have too because they could still do in app purchasing and Google has a lot fewer restrictions on what you can do if you are going to do payments through Google payments then there are restrictions that are very similar to iTunes, if you are going to use your own transactor they really almost do not care.

Leo: I understand Merlin, I am so in line with….I want to have a comic and I understand that the user is upset because they have taken a feature out but it kind of makes sense especially the content limitations. This must be a big issue.

Merlin: A lot of the content issues is that once the emotional heat dies down, it turned out to be self-censorship. I think in the case or one prominent case I think that it might have been Sex Criminals, no it was probably Saga the image comic.

Leo: You are surrounded by comic book fans Alex (Presenters talking over each other)

Andy: Sex Criminals was actually according to the author Matt was banned by Apple. Saga it turned out that some middle-men were concerned that Apple was going to shut it down and that is why it was not available immediately. I was not necessary that they had banned it immediately. It was like that Apple is so vague sometimes about what they will allow and what they will not allow that it causes a lot of confusion. A lot of people seem to be very intimidated about what they do.

Merlin: The thing is that I do not want to try and diminish peoples frustrations or discount it, because it is frustrating for me too, the truth is that it is not in practical terms, it is not that hard to go to the Comicxology site and buy it. But I mean the part that interests me and again downstream with the other companies like I say with Marvel’s apps you can still go in and buy your Marvel Comics on there but how many people and I said that on Back To Work Today I really love the adventure time comics, but I am very unlikely to go down, if you are new to comics I think that people are very unlikely to go and get a white label version from a specific publisher, and download that. All that is kind of on the horizon and raises doubts.

Alex: Do you think that we are just going to end up going to and buying the comics there?

Leo: Like you would buy a book?

Andy: I doubt it. It is a totally different reading experience, also if we have the history of which is another Amazon acquisition to fall back on, what happens is that if you look for a book that is also available on audible then you can also make that purchase through the site. still exists not as a little fledgling  HTML 2.0 site it is still completely there. So I will as it is Comicxology is the name that we are talking about and its acquisition a few weeks ago, they were saying that it still early they have not really discussed a lot of the opportunities that they have for integration. I am looking for and I do believe that it is inevitable that they will start taking Amazon payments from Comicxology. I do think that it is inevitable that if you do a search on Amazon for comic books they will be just like audible here is the way to get you to the Comicxology site to make you purchase there. It is going to take a few months for Comicxology to really get used to itself as a subsidiary of a larger company that a lot of people think has too much power. They were the heads of this big community of nerds that had given them their faith and some of those nerds, nerds and I am one known I am using that term affectionately and some of those people feel as though that faith has been trampled on and that is why you see a lot of people saying well I am not using the Comicxology site again and why some who have done some great work in comics now know here is Amazon to destroy comics in general. So let us come back in a month and see if people still feel that way, and are still not using Comicxology and then we will figure out what is going on from there.

Leo: You know how Amazon could make a lot of friends, free comic book days. On Saturday have ton of free comics in Comicxology and say you are right we are sorry here have some free comics.

Andy: They gave everybody a five dollar credit and everybody got found buying more comics.

Leo: I want more free comics.

Rene: There are two other things to consider and one is that with the new model some creators are saying that they are seeing more money. I do not know if your average Marvel artist or writer but independent creators are saying that they are seeing more money because the Apple cut according to the Moysers Tree line the Apple cut was being taken off the top off the gross. My understanding is that when they started doing IAPs and subscriptions was that their concern was that everybody would switch to free apps and do subscriptions and IAPS as a way to monetize it and Apple was not involved in that.

Leo: What is an IAP?

Rene: It is an In App Purchase. Sorry, if they suddenly just allowed you to do your own in app purchase and your own subscriptions but could connect them from the inside the apps, it would be very tempting for a lot of developers not give Apple their 30 percent cut at all, put the app up and have a big subscribe button that goes to the web or a big purchase saying that enable all features or whatever and go to the web and Apple would be handling all their hosting and the delivery and the transactions, all of those things and not have any of the revenue. So I think that they have been incredibly protective with that and also Google Play and Microsoft have shown that there are more ways to handle that problem.

Leo: We welcome you to the 400th Episode of Mac Break Weekly and we have not even talked about Apple. Well I guess that we have and this is a plain Apple issue.

Andy: And it is a little bit about the future of the iTunes store. I mean……

Leo: I mean I would say if there is a little crack in the façade a little bit.

Andy: I think that any provider who does not on a quarterly basis does not look at that 30 cents on the dollar, and continually ask themselves is this a good investment for us and then maybe consider pulling out of that, then you are dumb, and  you are not dumb to use the Apple Store but if you consider looking at the pie chart of where your net goes and one wedge of it is 30 percent, and you always have to be looking at that to see and do we need this wedge of it or can we split this up into other features and suddenly get 18 cents more back or even 20 cents more back. So I think that there are too many people who have been looking for villains in this, either Amazon, or Comicxology or Apple when this is really is just 30 cents our of the dollar, getting 30 cents worth of value, yes great and I will keep doing or no Okay, can I afford to drop it yes great let us do that then.

Leo: Every time we talk about this it reminds me that I should read more comic books, not comic books I really like graphic novels. I go to the book store and get them. I loved Mouse The Dark Knight. I have read some great graphic novels some 300 and I like Frank Miller a lot. So was this a good kind of platform for that kind of stuff as well?

Rene: Yes.

Andy: There is so many things that Comicxology has done, almost flawlessly. One of them is the way that they have created this really, really great reader app…

Leo: We have talked about that before?

Andy: It came out before the iPad but man this was a poised to absolutely not only benefit from the iPad but benefit the iPad so you can also watch it as a full screen thing, you can watch it from panel to panel and they have actual artists in Comicxology who are manipulating those camera moves who have to make sure that they actually make sense. But then they went to well let us go to ultra HD content so if you have got the right kind of artist, not some-one who is doing like Scooby Doo comic and I am talking about these artists like Amanda Connor who in the back ground covered by shadow and there is make-up table that is not even part of the story, and she not even part of the story she has considered every object that she has wanted to put on that make-up table. And it is almost impossible to see in a printed comic on Comicxology and you zoom, zoom, zoom, zoom and say she has got a necklace made out of apple seeds just like somebody in 1968 might have had and that is interesting. But it is a highly intelligent experience and that is why I think that most people were really concerned about Amazon because of the first purchase. Comics purchased from Amazon that are mastered as Kindle Documents absolutely stink and they are terrible. I bought one of my favorite graphic novels last year, a graphic novel by Lucy Ginsey called Relish, and of course I bought is as a digital comic but it was not available on Comicxology and it was so bad that I went back to Amazon and ordered the paperback because I just almost found it unreadable as a Kindle.

Rene: Should Apple have bought Comicxology instead, would we have been happier?

Andy: They would have said good-bye to Android sales, they would have never have allowed that.

Leo: And, good-bye, to anything remotely controversial. Adult.

Andy: No, no If they had made Comicxology into the provider of iBook contents then may be. But the thing is I do not think that Comicxology would have agreed to deal from Apple because they really do feel as though they have a mission not just to be profitable business but also part of their business plan is to want to put comic into the hands of more people. That is why there is practically no major platform that does not have a Comicxology reader, and that is why if you buy a comic from three years ago it will still run, you will be able to review it on any device that you have right now. I was surprised to find out that I have actually bought 800 comics through Comicxology over the three or four years.

Leo: Oh My God!

Andy: Well because it soon supplanted like all of my paper comic reading because this is just a superior experience and also, and I moved away from my old neighborhood that had some of the greatest comic book shops in New England and the outer limits of Waltham and ask for Steve, greatest shop in the world, and there is a new comic almost within walking distance of my house but it is terrible. It is like is dark and they do not carry Your Soggy Jimbo and when I asked well why do you not carry that well no-one orders it. Well if I ordered it, well not it is worth my time to just order one copy and he just does not want to be distracted from his world of Warcraft Campaign at the back of his shop. And it is like oh come on! If these are the shops that are going to be driven out of business by digital comics then bye bye.

Leo: So I am going to go onto Amazon and reward them by buying the ten volume slip case of the real game Sandman and be happy with it.

Rene: It is fantastic.

Leo: I know that it is great right. Merlin Mann what do you read to Lily at night not the Sandman?

Merlin: Ellen and I reading……

Leo: I am sorry Ellie, why did I call her Lily?

Merlin: Well we had Lily for a while but she did not work out.

Leo: Lilly 2.0

Merlin: She was a little meek and so out of the door.

Andy: That is why you do not cut the tags of your baby when you bring them home from the hospital. It turns out they are still in good condition.

Merlin: Keep the receipt and keep the tag and then if you are going to drop old people off in an emergency room then definitely cut the tags out of them and that is beginner stuff. For kids’ stuff, and I was reading with my daughter is six and I have exposed her to a lot of really inappropriate stuff but for kids’ stuff we really like the Adventure Time Comics based on the TV show but very much based on the expanding on that universe. Those are really fun and there are things like the recently discontinued Super Man Family Adventures that I always recommend for people and Zeta the Space Girl is really good I would say and a great Marvel series by Scottie Young the OZ Books is fantastic and how they recommended and there is really a lot of good stuff out there.

Leo: I think that Sandman is appropriate for an 11 year old? Right?

Merlin: I am also thinking of Watchman.

Rene: Anything by Warner Ellis.

Merlin: She loves Transmetropolitan.

Leo: Oh very sophisticated.

Andy: It was Alan Moore just after he went slightly insane. I understand that he is re-visiting classic characters like Alice In Wonderland and oh it is perfect for children. No it is not and I am joking and do not do this.

Leo: One of my few regrets over the end of the screen savers. As we do, we have here a wall in the back, and we would have people sign, actually they signed the set come to think of it. I think that it was the back of the set, and we had Neil Gamon on it and he not only signed it but he drew a Sandman, he drew it and it was beautiful and it is gone it was at the back of the set and when they took it down and I do not know they probably burned it. If anybody owns that then talk to me please, a hundred bucks. Right here waiting for you. (Patting his trouser pocket)

Merlin Mann is back ladies and gentlemen celebrating our 400th anniversary of Mac Break Weekly and Andy Ihnatko and Rene Ritchie and Alex Lindsay and Alex has set up our question system second week in a row. Yes tell us how we get involved in that.

Alex: So you go to (spells out and if you go there you will see people asking questions do not worry about the registration because you can put anything.

Leo: Make it up maybe set it up later. You can actually watch there as well which is good. (Presenters talking over each other)

Alex: You can watch the video there, but what you can also do is of course ask questions and I have not answered any yet, but ask questions and vote on them. So we will be going through some of the most popular ones and we can answer some online and I will answer some of them offline, so you can kind of a little bit of both. And it kind of gives you a way to interact with the show and definitely also post suggestions also and so on and so forth because this is something that we have been using internally for a bunch of stuff and now we are starting to make it more public and we have got a lot of new stuff.

Leo: We have very graciously offered it to TNT and Mike Free the new string show that we will do and we will have to do it more often and we will pay whatever we have to.

Alex: We are happy to have it on we are just trying to bang on it. (Presenters talking over each other)

Leo: You know what I would like you to add…

Alex: What would you like to add?

Leo: Video.

Alex: Video questions?

Leo: Yes. That is just turning on the Flash Camera and adding it on as content. If you could do that that would for a show like this to have an audio and video of the questions would I think that would be great. You would have to keep the audio and video short.

Alex:  Let me talk to…The hard part is some-one watching a video and then watching another video and then vote on and then so on and so forth, although it is a good idea. I will take a look at that. We have used that in the past but mostly we have had people do it on You Tube. You Tube has a great platform for that. So we might be able to do something so that you could do it there and then put a bit of a blurb on there.

Leo: I would love to use Triangular Screen in the chat-room because that would be great and then API so then we could put it in our apps. I am starting to think that mobile is where we need to go. And you know I am genius you see DIGG 4 was my idea so…

Andy: Way of the future, way of the future.

Leo: I am the product guy. Someday everything will be mobile.

Alex: This is very, very modular and all of that stuff is possible. Do you want to ask a couple of the questions?

Leo: Do you know what I am going to take break, but after than we will come back with some questions and by the way those new Mac Books, you want to talk about that. (Presenters talking over each other)

Merlin: And the Star Wars cast.

Leo: And a cast for Star Wars oh boy! Does that have anything to do with that picture over your left shoulder over there?

Andy: I think that there is RD 2 and I think that is Harrison Ford and that is Carrie Fisher and that I think is some dude that played Luke Skywalker and I do not know if they voiced that in the cartoon but oh but that might be the guy I cannot recognize from whom drew that car accident, but yes that is a really cool photo isn’t it?

Leo: I love that. Somebody Tweeted that to me today. Damn I did not recognize any of those people. That is from 1976.

Andy: No, no that is old indie.

Leo: This is now. Standby.

Andy: I thought the exact same thing.

Leo: That looks like it is from the original Star Wars and I was trying to figure out where was Chris de Leya, I do not see anybody with buns.

Andy: It is Sector Nine enhanced.

Leo: Okay. Stand by. Stop hold the ….(incomplete sentence)

Andy: You see that that is old indie.

Leo: Our show brought to you today by….. wait a minute what are you  holding you hand for now, Chad is telling me to stop,

Chad: We are going to have to do an air point because the whole tri castor broke.

Leo:  I blame you Merlin Mann. This was working fine till you showed up. (Presenters talking over each other)

Andy: I should not have made that remark about Obama earlier. I am Sorry. I brought that up.

Leo: Another fine mess you have got us into. So I literally order the ten volume slip case of the set of the Sandman because  I have read them in onsie and twosies.

Merlin: You know that people are hard on the Watchman movie, which is shame. But what is nice is that you get it in BluRay and it comes with copy of the comic book. For what it is worth. It is a good movie.

Leo: Yes that is nice. You know I did not mind that movie but I had not read that comic.

Merlin: I think that movie is going to have an easier time over the years because they are so close for people who are super fans.

Leo: Yes, so close.

Merlin: Okay, is this a party break.

Leo: Party break everybody except me.

Rene: Go to the Dark Knight Returns as well Leo.

Leo: I have that in hard cover and Frank Miller in hard cover.

Merlin: Also you should get DareDevil Frank Miller and Kraus Jansen.

Leo: Really.

Merlin: They are the classics Leo.

Leo: I saw the movie and I thought ……mmmm

Merlin: Oh no, no I thought What different DareDevil Runs do we have Frank Miller….

Leo: You will love Frank Miller.

Merlin: It is fantastic.

Leo: I never got into comic books as a kid. I mean you guys are all reliving your childhood. Oh look that is just what I ordered. Wait a minute you have an art cover.

(Andy opening up a book to show on screen)

Wait a minute I ordered the wrong one, I do not have an hard cover on it, Amazon I am going to quickly cancel this. (Presenters talking over each other)

Rene: I will show you mine but Guy English has them right now.

Leo: I do not want paperback. Cancelling.

Andy: This is the best one, this is the volume that has the Emperor Norton story.

Leo: Cancel, ordered by mistake. What do you say when you cancel on Amazon do they say Select Cancellation Reason. And mostly it is because I do not want it anymore.

Andy: That darn kid of mine.

Leo: There you go you should have that.

Chad: They should have a drop down that says it is too easy to order in the first place.

Leo: That is right. Your stupid one click gets me into trouble everytime. So it is called what is it Sandman….

Andy: This is Absolute Sandman I think.

Leo: Is that the complete set?

Andy: They have done these things where they have recolored entire things and there are bonuses.

Leo: There are volumes.

Rene: There are four volumes.

Leo: Now I am talking 500 dollars! I just wanted one thing.

Andy: You see you are already thinking about it too much. You just buy and say that this is so good. Comicxology is screwing themselves.

Leo: 80 Bucks each.

Andy: If you give yourself five seconds to think about this whether I want to start getting into the Original Sin on Maxi Series on Marvel you are not going to buy it. It is five second thought process.

Leo: It is five volumes at almost 80 dollars each and that is 400 dollars.

Andy: But it is kind of a ribbon, do you see a ribbon it is like a ribbon book mark it is classy as hell.

Leo: Shall I orderVolume one and see if I like it?

Andy: Here is the bar code just like, grab the bar code of this. That is all you need to do and any-one who is down loading you get this bar code and you cannot go half wrong with this.

Leo: I watched that silly newspaper comics movie that you mentioned and I went out and got the complete Kelvin and Hobbs because of you and now this.

Andy: And now your life is so much better.

Leo: There is a happy face on your Absolute Watchman. You guys are such nerds.

Andy: So have this weird console where we could bring out our slip case editions on 30 seconds notice. Of course you do not have the happy  tip in book case that happy Dave Mckinn signatures.  (Presenters talking over each other)

(Merlin showing off some hard-drives.)

Leo: What is that Merlin are they hard drives? (Distortion of sound and lost for a few seconds)

We cannot hear your. Audio gone.

Merlin: I was going to say that you have to really understand what I did and get the raw files. It is a 165,000 dollars.

Andy: I am a burglar and I would change your Dropbox password.

Rene: It is okay if it hard drives.

Andy: Keep it for another few days because I am still downloading the finale.

Leo: oh My God I love you guys. Let us just forget this and let us do this show for now on.

Rene: This is now Comics Break Weekly.

Leo: This is now Comics Break Weekly.

Andy: And guess what everybody our comic purchases this week are tax deductible, whoo.

Leo: Let me just see I am still pressing add to cart and I think that I have all five now.

Merlin: This is not the show, is it?

Leo: Yes all five. Merlin, don’t you remember?

Andy: Let me clarify to the listeners that this is not like the two minute CNN news capsule that you get at the airport okay this is a full hour and sometimes eight hours of conversation of people who have many of the same life choices that you have. Starting with, or maybe ending with,purchasing Apple products. If you are on board with this we will have a great time and if you are not on board with this then we are sorry about that.

Leo: The Tricaster is working everything is working. Our show today brought to you by You know that Merlin shows up and it all goes to hell. (Merlin playing the guitar). Oh My God I have not had so much in a long time. Legal Zoom is not a law firm my friends, they are better they provide you with self-help services at your specific directions to do the things that you need to do to start your own business and protect your family, protect your trade-mark. I mean if you had a website like I would say called 43 folders you would want to trade-mark that and make sure that no-one else would make the face 43 folders. Nope and you would not want to allow that and it costs only a 169 dollars at Plus you do not have to get on the horn with some attorney and know that the clock is ticking and you are spending hundreds of dollars an hour. You do it all online, at your leisure, it is really fairly quick the same with the LLC corporate that is what I did for 99 dollars and then you pay the state filing fees and I do not know what that was it was a couple of hundred bucks and you are a corporation. They help you, you know they get it all done for you and if you have got a family and you do not have a will then you have to get one 69 dollars and by the way look up under the Wills an Trust there is also things like the Health Care Power of Attorney which is really important, a pet protection agreement, living trusts it is all here. Now if you want help from an attorney do not think that you cannot get that you can get that as well as they have pre-negotiated flat rate fees with experienced attorneys in your state. You can read the attorney’s profile but you can also read the unedited reviews from the clients and see in a sense was to who is good and who will fit your needs, do you want some-body who explains every detail to you, or do you want some-body who just gives you the highlights or you want some-body who tells you what to do. It’s is all here I want you to try it today. It is not a law firm they provide legal help through independent attorneys and self-help services. Visit and if you do then do me a favor and use our offer code MBW it will take ten bucks off your bill and you will let them know that you heard about it from here. And that will be good for all involved except Merlin who is an affiliate.

Alex: My dad has a new ad.

Leo: Your dad is an attorney.

Alex; Yes he is an attorney and he has a new ad on You Tube. I will email it to you.

Leo: What.

Leo: Alex Lindsay’s dad.

Alex: I think that I just emailed it you.

Leo: Email, that is not exactly real time is it?  Did you shoot this?

Alex: No because someone else shot it.

Leo: Oh he is such a dapper old fellow. He did not even have you shoot it. It is called the Lindsay Law Firm called Outlaws?

Alex: Yes.

Leo: Let us go full screen on the Lindsay Law Firm.

Excerpt from the ad (More and more we hear from people who have suffered abuse from local, state and federal agents: Over Zealous Law Enforcements, Over Zealous Social Agencies (presenter talking over the ad) more from the ad: we file lawsuits against those outlaws masquerading as public servants.

Andy: That is 4. Pocket square my friends. (Presenters talking over each other)

Leo: Is dad like a survivalist?

Alex: My dad has a long history of putting….he was a federal prosecutor and mostly dealt with corruption, and so in the seventies he put about half of Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania pen dot department of transportation in jail. And you since then if you got roughed up by the police ….or you (Presenters talking over each other)…

Leo: Now he is going for the rotten road. Works both ways does it?

Alex: He is no-one to be messed with. We used to watch my dad cross-examine like a federal position and when I was a kid it was better than football. Watch him it is funny.

Leo: So Apple has updated the Mac Book Air processor bump a hundred dollar price drop. Good news and that is really good news. Now these are just the latest Intel Processors.

Rene: Still Haswell.

Leo: They were always Haswell ones.

Andy: It is only 100 megahertz and it is not something that you are going to notice it.

Leo: But the price is down a hundred bucks and we will notice that.

Andy: And that is a huge deal. It has gone from a slightly ridiculous 999 dollars “Mac Book” to something that is at least closer to within reach for people can get for Windows 7 or Windows 8 note book. And what got me a little bit curious about it was I wonder where this actually leaves the 9.7 inch iPad Air, because now you have got and if you have people like me who were very, very, intrigued by the idea of the iPad as a replacement for the laptop as real ultra-mobile device by dropping the price of the iPad Air by 100 bucks now it is the kind of the, the elevenish model is kind of within the reach of the sort of iPad you would get if you were intending to use a productivity device. So now it complicates things a little bit and it is maybe a hundred dollar price difference if you factor in the cost of getting a key- board. So I wonder how this will affect people who were really considering getting the full sized iPad for that reason, and it also colors the rumor that Apple is considering a 13 inch iPad Pro that if there is now a 900 dollar Mac Book that is almost as small as an existing iPad and gets pretty much the same battery life but runs desk top soft-ware including photo-editing and movie editing I wonder what room there might be for a larger sized iPad. What the purpose of that would even be.

Leo: This does not seem like it but is this prior to the rumored 12 inch Air or they not claiming out dated stock because these are updated machines.

Alex; I guess I am fairly modal about these. I look at mine and the way I use my iPad and the way I see my 11 inch very, very differently. I have both with me almost all the time, but for me I do not really think about the keyboard and adding a key board to my iPad and using it.

Leo: No, and 11 inch at 899 and includes a keyboard and faster processors, more memory, more storage and that is a great price and by the way the school that I advise stopped buying Mac books because they could not afford them anymore. And they started buying the Lenovo Windows 8 machines that they could afford.

Alex: That is working out fine.

Leo: Yes that is working fine and nowadays everybody is using Chrome Books, and the Cloud and now this puts it back in the 899  the base model of 11 inch it is exactly right for education and I think that it is probably right.

Andy: And the timing is interesting too because I remember a couple of years ago, if you were putting in orders for an educational buying you need to get those in by April or May and so it is a very opportune time to introduce a price drop to try and encourage more people to buy Airs instead of something else.

Rene: And it does not so much clear out stock as much it clears out at a price point. And Apple is pretty good about filling in the price ranges at the hundred dollar or a couple of hundred increments and bringing the traditional Mac Book Air down in price and if there is a retina Mac Book Air coming out then they can sort of piggy back those two releases the way they did, the original Mac Brook Pro and the Retina Mac Book Pro because the retina version is always more expensive to start and it does take a while to get that down to reasonable amounts. So having the lower price version is good benefit for everybody.

Leo: Is the 999 only one that they have dropped or have dropped the price across the board?

Andy: It is all the way across board every single model and every single configuration is down to hundred bucks less. But to Rene’s point the immediate impact is that it puts a little bit more breathing room between the prices of the Mac Book Airs and Mac Book Retina which until yesterday were so close that a lot of people who would naturally be looking at a 13 inch Air, are thinking that gees if I spend a hundred bucks lower or a little bit more than that I will get a much better display than a HTMI port. I will get a machine if you are savvy enough to think about this sort of stuff might be easier to upgrade to on third party approved rates in the future. I have always thought that it was a little bit confusing that you are making people choose a very, very, fine grain distinction between do I want something that is small, smaller but not that much smaller than a Mac Book Pro Retina, do I want to have something that has a little bit longer battery life but that not that much longer battery life in terms of being out for a day and not having to take my charger out with me. So I am glad that they put a little bit more Air Books in that price range because it makes a clearer choice for people who are naturally inclined to getting a Retina Mac Book Pro and people who are naturally inclined to get a 13 inch Air to get that 13 inch Air.

Alex: And it continues really to put the squeeze on the PC industry. I mean no-one has really produced a computer that really provides with these two on the other platforms, you know as far as connectivity and power in all of the entire package and so it has put a lot of pressure the iPad obviously, the tablets have put both the Android in and IOS tablets have basically wiped out the net books.

Leo: We have not talked since Apple released its quarterly results last week. But everything was up except the iPad, iPad sales were tumbling and year to year not just quarter, to quarter, where they were expected to drop.

Rene: They were adjusted for the flat.

Leo: Adjusted for what.

Rene: If you listen to Tim Cook’s explanation of it because of sell in versus sell through because they had trouble meeting demand for the iPad mini the actual adjusted rate is like minus three percent and not the ten plus percent that it looks like on the books which is very it is a complicated procedure but basically they could not make it enough to make demand last quarter so the demand was shifted to the next quarter which raised those numbers.

Leo: Okay.

Rene: Yes he does explain it well but it is tough thing.

Leo: Okay.

Rene: He ends up being minus three, he ends being flat. It is interesting because he again stresses that the iPad was their fastest ramp up ever. It sold 210 million units, twice as fast as they iPhone did and seven times as fast as the iPod did, and the only analogy that I can make is that when you have Lamborghini it is phenomenal unless you have the same one hundred speed limit the same as everybody else otherwise you are getting to that point much faster.

Leo: Andy supposes that they are making room in the pricing for a retina Air, credible?

Rene: Yes.

Andy: Sure.

Leo: June.

Andy: I do not know. (Presenters talking over each other)

Alex; I just hope that they put enough power behind the GPU because you know that I still feel like….(Unfinished sentence)

Leo: That is what I was going to say that you need to be able to put Iris graphics in yes.

Andy: I just keep trying to evaluate the question that what problem would they solve by having a retina Air? What is it about people who are buying the Mac Book Air right now that are demanding that same battery life but also a retina display. It is nice to have but actually do they want to pay extra for it. I am not sure that they would want to trade up the battery for it.

Alex: I know for us what we would love to see is a high resolution 11 inch, and it really is some of the apps is that we want to run on it that would work really better with more real estate even with if it had smaller buttons.

Leo: But it would not only be battery life but also portability and so that does not mean that they do not care about a high risk screen, I mean there are applications as yours are photographers and a lot of applications.

Alex: I mean we use a lot of 11 inches to run our switches, our little black magic switchers, and we cannot really open it on 11 inches and, need a 13 inch to do it and you can do some other stuff with the retinas that make it worthwhile. But it is a very specialized thing and I do not know. The R use case is not really a good use case.

Andy: That is super boutique and plus remember that the 11 inch gets worse battery life than 13 because it is simply not as much space to put batteries in.

Leo: They did improve battery life supposedly on these as well. (Presenters talking over each other)

Andy: They did that right across the board. They mentioned in the press release that there is improved battery life in the iTunes but did not mention it as an across the board increase.

Leo: It is just for iTunes use.

Andy: They do such a great job integrating their own soft-ware with whatever capabilities of the CPU are. That is not terribly surprising and give us a little bit of bump there.

Leo: So once again Andy has done a very good job talking about the CPU choices and what you give up and what you get and whether it is worth spending the money and so forth. Actually there is a lot older article.

Alex: I would suggest an i7.

Leo: Does that make a difference.

Alex: Yes it does make a difference. We do a lot of tests, and here is the deal if anybody is conferencing or if you are going to be using Skype or hangouts and other things like that they do use that CPU and you will look better I promise you.

Leo: The difference in the iFive unless I am mistaken and I am sure that Rene will correct me is that in i5 and i7 is not the numbers of cores but the hyper threading. So you have four cores and you have in effect 8 threads versus four threads. Is that right Rene, am I correct.

Alex: we have definitely seen performance from that

Rene: I always call in the ones in the Mac Book Air that might still be dual core.

Leo: Whatever you get micro-threading double as the number of possible threads, without doubling the CPU. Or there may be more cache, you are right there might be more L2 cache. That makes a big difference in performance on anything.

Alex: Yes.

Leo: Right the only reason I bring that up is because unless your app is hyper threaded or supporting hyper threading you are not going to see a huge benefit.

Alex: Who has not because we have seen it with video conferencing because that is what we do a lot of and so we are sensitive to that, and  I mean if you are not going to do anything like that then do not really care and he is not worth it.

Leo: But what about emailing, and surfing?

Alex: Usually given that it was dropped in price by 100 dollars, a little bit more gets you a lot and what is nice that the SS D Drives make all these things way faster I mean that makes a difference to performance for most people than anything they do on the computer, and not having the spinning drive you know almost gone now.

Leo: And it is only a 150 bucks more for the i7.

Alex; if you went down it is 50 dollars to have an i7.

Leo: It is 150.

Alex: No I am saying that it is 50 dollars more and now you can get an i7 with it.

Rene: And again it shows how bad Apple is into Intel’s road map and they will make these machines better when they get the chips to make them better and they will put them right and new ones when they get the chips to make the new ones.

Andy: And also Intel’s improvement in their CPUs are floating all boats, in Intel Ultra Books have been lagging behind the Airs because they could not match the battery performance. But that is now last year’s generations CPUs that does a lot of that are management that just gives them for free. It sounds that there are huge advantages to having a Mac Book Air instead of any other Windows UltraBook but the key trade off that people have been suffering with Windows is that I want this ultra light but I do not want a four hour battery life well that has erased now and you get six or seven and sometimes eight.

Leo: New rumor reported at Mac Rumor from China Times by G4 games that the iWatch is already in production a small quantity in preparation for this is not a picture of the iWatch for those of you who are watching a video this is concept a nice concept but not an iWatch. According to the rumor is that they will launch in the second half of 2014 in the fall. Don’t you Rene at iMore the last time you talked you thought that it might not be till 2015.

Rene: Last year they put them into productions, they took them out of the labs and put them into production, all of these things and the nice thing about Apple not announcing stuff and not setting dates for things is that they can just launch things when they are ready, and if they can provide the kind of experience is that they want to provide the screen quality and battery quality including the soft-ware quality if they can get all of those things lined up then they will have an event and then they will announce it. If they cannot it will just very quietly and we will see a bunch of reports that will say that Apple’s delayed a product that they never announced, but they will just move into a slot when they can and look at all those things done. So I would not be surprised to see it this year and I would not be surprised even next year.

Leo: It is unknown.

Andy: For me it comes down to I do not think that Apple is feeling any pressure to ship this sooner rather than later so. I am not going to stick to any time line even any probability that it is going to shipped.

Alex: I do think that WWDC may turn out to be a very interesting, for talking about stuff. I do not know about the iWatch and definitely think that for Apple TV and some of the other things I think that we might see things or announcements to give developers enough time to…

Rene: The yellow iPod.

Leo: By the way we are still waiting for his Yellow Submarine iPod.

Merlin: Take my money out.

Leo: I think that we can safely put that rumor to bed now.

Merlin: You know if you wait long enough anything will happen.

Alex: That is what the surprise is that they do not talk about it for years, sometimes decades and they just pop it out.

Leo: Actually there is a lot to parse from the quarterly results so I guess we can go through this and why don’t we go through the questions that we have got. It is and that is our queue name our beta name (Presenters talking over each other)

Alex: You can ask questions and you can vote them up and down and so go ahead and go there. First question number one question is from Stacey Aurora in Illinois and she asks will Merlin come back and be a regular.

Leo: That is number one they love him, they love you Merlin.

Alex: That was question number one.

Merlin: Thank-you Stacey I am not much of a regular in anything but I would love to come back. Thank-you very much.

Leo: We will put you on our list, we will ask you every month.

Merlin: I am not talking because I do not know what you are talking about. I do not know what any of this means it is the hyper credit.

Leo: It is irrelevant.

Merlin: You guys have evolved way beyond me.

Leo: You always said that I do not have anything to contribute blah, blah, blah.

Alex: Number one question everyone wants you back.

Leo: Everybody loves Merlin Mann.

Merlin: I will learn about Haswell.

Leo: No, no you don’t have to.

Merlin: It is an honor to be here and I…

Leo; You are the guy that we all love.

Rene: Talk to us about the Omni focus on a watch that is all we want for now.

Merlin: The watch thing for me is still I think I do not get it. I do not see it.

Leo: Do you have a watch?

Merlin: I do have fit band and I have a phone. So having said it is a rattle and I do not want to put it up. It is funny how Apple was able to Apple and their partners and the app store and everything were able to up and entire industry are presenting us with this thing called an iPad and an iPhone. And it is almost like these crazy people on ham radio in the night and you talk about the graze and how slowly they are introducing these things that we will not be freaked out when the aliens come. It is kind of what Apple did here is the thing and it is a phone, and it is like I will do everything in my power to avoid using my iPhone as a phone because it so good for so many other things, and I do not think that this makes any sense but a third part of Steve’s presentation the Internet Communicator Part and fitting the part that I really love the most, and you know that I used a podcast user for a lot of years for music but really I use it so much for Safari and use it for texting but I guess what I am trying to say is that in 2007 they were able to sneak this thing under the radar screen by what seemed possible by saying that you know what I hate about your phone this is a better phone. And then we all like it. And now in my case I have call forwarding all the time, I hate using it a phone it drives me crazy. And I was wondering what is going to happen with the watch, it is like we are going to call this a watch but it is the last thing to worry about the time part because that is just easy. I am intrigued to see what this seems like a game changer even half an order or more magnitude or smaller than the iPhone or the iPad. It just seems like an odd thing for Apple to make based on what I can imagine. And that is just a failure of my own imagination. Like when you threw up that image of every one of those prototypes that I wanted to have a look at that would not pass the first sniff test in Apple hitting, you know. So I am intrigued to see what happens I will certainly every sucker runs up and buy and I love it to bits and tracking stuff.

Leo: What is the price point at which you would not go?

Merlin: What, personally, or what?

Leo: You could say personally or you know as a group.

Merlin: Well I think that the analysts hat says it is hands on and what it is that the thing does but boy I am so uncomfortable talking about this because I do not know what I am talking about, but a lot of people seem to think that it is going to be this premium thing for the kind of people who go out and buy those big douche bag watches they will gladly drop a thousand dollars on this thing but I think this thing is more like the iPod Nano.

Leo: I was raising my hand for the …… I love douche bag watches. He has got a douche bag watch and that is a nice one.

Merlin: But what about Apple TV?

Andy: Is taken?

Alex: It is not a thousand dollars.

Leo: Oh but I like it. It is Citizen Eco Drive.

Merlin: When the Apple TV came out it was really truly very little more than a way to buy stuff from iTunes.

Leo: Sorry I have to go and buy his watch now

Alex: Leo, see I just showed him my watch.

Leo: It is the Citizen Eco drive and I am thinking and I am going to say that 499 is the absolute highest price that we can make on that. (Presenters talking over each other)

Merlin: Does it have webinars on that Alex?

Leo: Yes it does. There is a camera on that. And these are a couple of hundred bucks right and that is not hugely expensive.

Alex: No they are not hugely expensive.

Leo: Which one would you have the Eco Drive.

Alex: This is the closet one that we have.

Leo: The Eco Hawk Sky Titanium 671 bucks.

Alex: I got mine for less.

Leo: But Eco Drive means that it is solar powered right? That does not mean anything.

Alex: I just wanted to say that I have very specific rules about my watch and that was it had to be able to have two time zones digital and analogue separately, and I had to change the time zones very quickly. There are three watches in existence that I know of that Casio Mix One, Citizen Mix One and Dark Hour Mix One

Leo: I am actually wearing the Basis one which actually gets it time from the phone and it does do time zones because of that.

Alex: if you leave that one out by your window it will automatically turn into an atomic watch, but a lot people (Presenters talking over each other)

Leo: That looks kind of like something I would like. And then those who’ve tried it now say, no! It’s horrible! It’s not getting good reviews at all. And this was very close to the concept designs we’d seen from people who got an iWatch.

Alex: I think that Samsung is doing a lot of favors for Apple, I mean Apple did a lot of favors for them.

Leo: They’re doing a lot of tests.

Alex: But I mean, Apple gets to look at that going, okay, well scratch that off. But anyway, it’s…

Leo: So you have a Skyhawk?

Alex: I don’t know if I have a Skyhawk, or….

Leo: It looks very similar.

Alex: It does look similar.

Leo: What’s this thing? Radio controlled…

Alex: That’s it. Yeah, because it’s radio controlled.

Leo: What is that dial here?

Alex: Well it does a lot of different things, you can dial around

Merlin: That’s the button that opens the commono.

Alex: Yeah

Leo: Does it pass the sniff test? What is the style?

Merlin: Actually Leo, at the end of the day, net, net, what it allows you to do is drill down deep into the time. And really get in there from a bottom up approach. We’re not going to boil the ocean, but…

Leo: Have you watched Silicon Valley yet?

Andy: Alex can appreciate 12:22 PM on a far deeper level than any of us ever can.

Leo: That’s right! Boy does he know what that means!

Merlin: Andy, it’s a highly impactful experience.

Leo: What’s the style? Seriously! TMRCHAWTS…

Alex: No, no this is your chronograph, timer, alarm, alarm.

Merlin: Which one do you hit to have your dad sue somebody?

Alex: Calendar.

Rene: It looks like my old Windows mobile phone

Alex: But what’s funny, you do get into the wrong mode, and you feel like you need a manual to get back.

Leo: I have no idea where I am now.

Alex: Because I rarely spend more than a week in the same time zone.

Leo: This is nice because it has UTC, I’m always trying to figure out what time it is in Grinch England.

Alex: And then this tells you, this one what the hands are in, and then you have another one with the digital. So a lot of time when I’m somewhere else, I’ll say I know what home is, and I know what Rwanda is, and I know what… You know.

Leo: I can just tell you, looking at this watch in person, everything is so tiny!

Alex: You get used to it.

Rene: There has to be an app for that.

Merlin: Well the thing is there would be an app.

Leo: Give me the watch, people want to see it here! See if you can read this watch!

Andy: it’s like, have you ever seen one of those notebooks written by somebody who has OCD, where it’s just page after page of microscopic writing, filling every surface. Imagine that guy as the watch designer.

Rene: The closer you get the more watches are in there!

Leo: Exactly! It’s just a mental brat watch! It’s a factual watch if I ever saw one.

Alex: I think I use everything except the slide rule on the outside. There’s a slide rule.

Leo: There’s a slide rule!

Alex: There is. On the outside, but I don’t use that part.

Leo: Now that’s a pilot’s fuel calculator!

Andy: Screw you, Log rhythmic app!

Leo: No, no, this is …he doesn’t even know!

Alex: I don’t know what it is.

Leo: He thinks that’s a slide rule, it’s the fuel calculator that pilots… You see loyal pounds, miles per interior.

Alex: It’s still essentially a slide rule.

Leo: You have to go to flight school to use the watch.

Alex: But the old one was a slide rule.

Andy: I apologize. I feel like we’re making fun of Alex for something that he likes. He doesn’t have to justify it in any way.

Leo: No you’re right!

Alex: I’m fine!

Leo: I’m sorry Alex.

Alex: I don’t really care about the rule, the reason I don’t know what it is, is I don’t care what the thing is on the outside, because I just need the other parts.

Leo: I think it looks cool.

Andy: I’ll say, I’ve been wearing pebble, and a couple other simple watches like that. All I’ll say is the only thing I get that I didn’t get before is that so many times when I take my phone out of my pocket for a reason that does not require me to take the phone out of my pocket. All I want to know is who is trying to get in touch with me, or do I turn left, or right here, and to take the phone out of my pocket, unlock the screen, wake the thing, it’s so much easier to get that on my wrist. And there is a certain amount of money that I would spend to get notifications on my wrist. So that’s why I think that Samsung is totally barking up the wrong tree by having an android computer on your wrist.

Alex: It’s not android is it?

Andy: Oh no, you’re right. It’s their own home brewed operating system that ties in. But as opposed to Casio having a 99 dollar Gshock watch, that just happens to have an LCD component to a little micro window in there, that can again, get notifications from a watch, communicate to the fitness apps you’ve got on your iPhone, and work that way. I think smaller, cheaper, simpler is going to win the day, over we’re going to make the deep thought on your wrist. I don’t think that’s going to be the successful thing. And I think that if Apple, I think that apple, if they try to charge more than 300 bucks for it, they’re going to find so much resistance to that. It would have to be rose Gold, it would have to be the most Johnny Ivy cool design ever, to make it into a real piece of jewelry, when most people are going to want it to do something functional, other than date, time seconds.

Rene: Well Merlin’s point about the Apple TV was very apt, because you cannot sell an iWatch for a high enough price, or sell enough of them to make them anywhere profitable at Apple levels. But what you can do is sell it similar to an Apple TV. Where by buying it enhances the value of the iPhone and the iPad. And gives Apple a better ecosystem over all.

Andy: I don’t know. I think even we have limits to that. Where we appreciate that if we have an iPad that makes iCloud so much better, and makes our mac so much better. An Apple TV is a second screen to almost any device we have that has an Apple logo on it. But when you’re talking about something you’re going to wear on your wrist, you start off with the fact that it has to be something that men and women can wear, and are going to want to be seen in public with. And then, I’m not willing to wear something 18 hours a day, because maybe for 30 minutes out of the day I might want to listen to some music, and might not want to have to reach up to my phone. So it’s a complicated calculus.

Alex: Well I think that’s why you add some of the health things as well. If you would place your Fitbit, with your watch, with your… and then add the ability to see who’s calling or to whatever without having to pull my phone out, I could definitely see that… I think that’s why Apple is looking at all the health things. I don’t think by itself it makes sense. I think you have to add all those bits and pieces to make it work.

Andy: And it’s also a market of people who are willing to spend more money on a watch that does lots and lots of stuff. The fitness market, it’s not just the people who will run those apps, it’s people who are used to the idea of I’m going to wear this watch day after day after day. Even when I’m not wearing the hard sensor band, even when I’m not using the stuff that makes it look cool. I’m use to wearing this style of watch, and I’m okay with people seeing me wearing this watch.

Rene: That’s the thing. That’s one of the use cases for me. Notifications are great, but right now, I’m using my iPhone for step tracking with David Smiths pedometer app. But if I don’t want to carry my iPhone with me, if I’m running or I’m grappling. But then I have to use my fitbit Nike band but those don’t sync back. Like the M7 chip keeps track of it all, but it doesn’t bring it all together. But I don’t think it’ll be a watch, but in an Apple Band world, I could have my iPhone with me and it’ll keep track of when my iPhone is with me. When I don’t have it the watch band will keep track of it, and health book will pull all of those things together. And if I do go with Nike or fitbit, and I just use the Nike app instead, because there is an M7 chip in health book, all of that should just come together. I should not have to care what device I have on me. It should just track all that kind of stuff for me, and if I do have other medical needs, or if I do have notification needs, all that stuff could just come together. And I think that could be where the value of Apple making their own band makes sense.

Leo: Well it’s a tricky market, there’s no doubt about it. And when you’re competing against the Casio GPS Hybrid Wave Ceptor…

Alex: A Wave Ceptor! No one told me there was a wave Ceptor involved!

Leo: It’s not going to be easy!

Andy: Dude! If I could walk around with a Ceptor. Like a Wizard Ceptor that does all that. Oh man! I’d be so into that!

Leo: This features two mutually complementary time correction systems integrated into a hybrid system that provides an easier more reliable time calibration signal reception by using GPS data to adjust the time, even in environments outside the range of extraterrestrial digital waves.

Alex: Oh, but it doesn’t have a digital readout. It doesn’t pass my requirements.

Andy: It also doesn’t tell you the date?

Leo: The date! What do you want the date for?

Merlin: I wouldn’t worry about getting dates!

Leo: You’re not going to get dates! (Laughs)

Andy: A lot of people forwarded me a really cool video of this thousand dollar watch being assembled. All the mechanisms, and all the things that need to be done by hand. And that’s really cool, but it’s a cool video, but it just did not make me interested in this watch at all, or any watch that costs a thousand dollars. Because to me it’s a practical and function item. It tells me the hours, it gives me the minutes. Date is a good bonus, but not a deal breaker and I want to be able to read it in the dark when I’m in a movie theater. And this is like the first watch I ever bought that cost more than 100 bucks, and even so it was maybe 200 bucks.

Leo: Yeah, but that’s the challenge that Apples got to face here. There are many intersecting sets here, or maybe not interacting, but there are many sets that are watching. I mean, I’ve talked to Rich Siegel at BB, out at Bare Bones software. He loves the watch, he calls a watch porn! And I feel that way too, but that is a small minority of the overall market. And maybe, not somebody Apple wants to go after. On the other hand, if they’ve got Angelia Ahrens now running retail, and she’s certainly a fashion forward executive. Former CEO of Burberry.

Rene: Look at the earnings though Leo. I mean the iPod market just tanked. I just keeps tanking and most of the sales they still make are the iPod touch, it’s not the traditional iPod. Some of the traditional iPod like the Nano and incarnations have been wearable, but they were wearable’s that didn’t run IOS. You still had to tether to ITunes, they were basically unmanageable by modern standards. And there’s an argument to be made that Apple is very good at obsoleting their own products. And while the iPhone and the iPhone 5c, the iPod touch have done that to some extent, the wearables haven’t migrated yet. And just a wearable that is very well connected to IOS, and Apples ecosystem, could maybe not regain the heights of the iPod, but could regain that kind of functionality.

Leo: I should point, out by the way, that last week, I said I don’t buy text stocks, I recuse myself from that, but if I were an investor, this would be the time, I said, to short Apple. And I think it was almost immediately after I said that that Apple stock, see that slope right there… The giant growth!

Andy: Is that a loss, upbeat part of the curve, or is that a good upbeat part of the curve?

Leo: It’s good if you buy the stock. If you’re shorting it, which is I predict the stock will go down, that’s about the worst thing that could happen. So this is why, among many reasons, I don’t buy text stocks. I was really of the perhaps foolish opinion that Apple, maybe had seen better days, but then the quarterly results that came out with a record profit. And Apple now has the highest stock prices it’s had in 52 weeks! So yeah.

Marlin: Wow.

Leo: So maybe that was a mistake.

Rene: Thank goodness for the IPhone.

Andy: Yeah, see this is why Apple has so much freedom. You have to ask yourself, are they in any position where they absolutely need to ship a product out on anybody’s timeline except for their own? And you look at a graph like that and it’s like, no they can wait until next year if they want.

Leo: No pressure.

Andy: And panelists complain about the lack of other people catching up. But they have enough, they’ve got so much fuel in the tank that they have the freedom to create their own destiny. And that is the definition of a company that has actual power. The freedom to create your own destiny.

Leo: So the seven for one stock split Apple has said on its FAQ, the reason they’re doing seven for one, is to make the stock more affordable to smaller investors, so somebody like me could buy 10 shares and not break the bank.

Alex: Can’t you just buy one? I don’t understand why you can’t just buy one share.

Leo: You can buy one share. You want to buy a share?

Alex: No, no, no I’m not going to buy any share, I’m on a show about Mac.

Rene: Apple will give you six more.

Andy: They’d probably rather have you buy a MacBook air. There’s probably more profit in that than in buying a stock.

Rene: yeah, Alex had a share for every MacBook he bought…

Alex: That’d be great!

Leo: What is that link that Jeff Nenos sent us of the profit versus revenue? Info graph.

Chad: Yeah it was a visualization I can pull it up for you.

Leo: Yeah, it was really cool. It showed how profitable Apple is compared to everybody else. Real time.

Merlin: That’s so freaky.

Leo: Have you seen it?

Merlin: Yeah, I’ve seen a few over time, and I think just the one that I think John Gruber’s linked to in the past. The one that snows, the real simple one, I think it was just the breakdown of profit in the mobile space.

Leo: this is it. This is not what I call simple, but the gray sphere in the upper right hand corner is Apple. The core is profit, what they take home. The total sphere is revenue. And this is real time, you see it growing right now. That’s in real time! There’s Twitter, see on the left there! Profit, negative. In fact, we made more money on this show than twitter did during this time. I don’t have revenue like half a billion dollars of revenue. Facebook. But you really see both the circle, and the profit circle. There’s Amazon with a tiny little profit. Samsung, is the only thing that even comes close to Apple.

Rene: I don’t even think their logo can fit on their profit.

Leo: The profit is hid under the Amazon logo! I love, where is that from Chad? That’s a great info graph, I just really like it.

Chad: That’s a good question, we got it from… let me grab the article. The business insider article. But I believe this actual visualization was made by someone else. Yeah, world plays inc. Is the website that made the visual?

Leo: And it’s real. You see the clock ticking and you see the money coming in.

Alex: Yeah, it’s from the time you clicked on it, right? That’s pretty cool.

Chad: And it’s kind of amazing, that some of the things that you think makes a lot of money. Like maybe Yahoo, or Linked in. They’ve only made 70 bucks, while Apple has made a hundred thousand.

Rene: That’s the size of doom, Chad. The size of doom.

Alex: Well what’s interesting also is that the ones that you wouldn’t necessarily expect like Apple and Microsoft are the two that are making the most profit.

Leo: yeah, profit wise, which is Microsoft? That green one on the left. But you really do see how strong Samsung is, in this. Now is that Samsung mobile, or is that all of Samsung? Because they also sell refrigerators, bull dozers, and houses.

Rene: And Make oil drills.

Chad: There’s a sources thing, so if I click on Samsung it’ll probably take me to an article.

Leo: Nicely done. I’m not a big fan of info graphics in general. There you go! Very big! Quarterly profit of 10 billion dollars for Apple. That’s nice when you can see in three months we made 10 billion!

Alex: They actually did, you know, buy backs, and stock, and dividends of more than that.

Leo: Now the cumulative payments. 66 billion dollars of buy backs.

Alex: Buy backs and dividends. I think the dividends is a small percentage. I think it’s mostly buy backs, because literally the rate that they’re buying back, if they continued this….

Leo: They returned 21 billion in cash through dividends and share repurchases through March. During the March quarter. 21 billion in one quarter! Seven billion a month in buy backs!

Alex: And they won’t continue at that pace, but if they did I think in 2024 they’d be, there’d be no stock left.

Leo: But that number by itself is why you see Apple stock going through the roof. It is a good buy if you’re getting that kind of dividends and buy backs.

Rene: And they can accelerate the dividends too.

Leo: Yeah. The only, at all cloud, and you gave Tim Cook’s explanation anyway, Rene. Dark Cloud, is the iPad sales, IPhone went from 38 million this time last year to 43.7 million. Macs went from 4 to 4.1 million. IPods dropped, of course, but nobody expects iPods to do very well. The big change though was iPads, and they dropped but you’re saying Rene that’s because of supply issues.

Rene: They dropped, but they didn’t drop as much… I think if you look at the pure numbers it was just over 10, 13, or 8 percent. But when you adjust just for the supply chains which Tim Cook was telling us about, it ends up being -1. Which is kind of flat. Which is a cost of panic for some people, because some peoples entire dedication is on future growth, and not on current profitability. But the tablet market in general is interesting. And Andy mentioned early, would you buy an iPad versus a Mac? And there’s absolutely people for whom personal computers are inaccessible and a bit intimidating. Who will go to IOS solution or the iPad solution. But if you look across the board, if you look at Android Sales, yes the incredibly dumb tablets that are only to be used as video players are skyrocketing to 50 to `100 dollar tablets. But the premium tablet market is sort of flat right now. And I don’t know if Apple is going to have to evolve the platform more to increase that, or if they just accelerate it, and again, he said they sold 210 million since 2010, faster than the iPhone. 7 times faster than the IPod. If they just reached sort of the current limits of that market faster than they anticipated.

Alex: Well what I find interesting in the airport, is the fact that most the people that I see using iPads heavily are people that are actually older than I am. I think I’m in the age, the people that are significantly younger than I am, and the ones that are older than I am, are the ones that I see with iPads all the time. The people that are my age, most of the time I feel like we’re the ones still opening laptops and typing away. I think it’s just the, there’s a certain cultural process.

Leo: The other thing, and this is from Benedict Evans blog, he makes a point, and I think I agree with this. It’s not… I think that it’s not so much that people are transitioning, whether they’re saturated, it’s that the phone is really becoming the computer. It’s not even, we’re not only in a post PC era, we might be in a post tablet era soon.

Alex: I use my phone…

Leo: The phone is the computer!

Alex: 50 times more than the iPad.

Leo: And that’s why we look at bigger sales. Look, if you want big, I thought I’d bring this buy for show and tell. This is the windows phone. The Nokia 1520. 6 inch phone. Now it looks a little funny when you’re by your… it’s such a good screen that the little icons and so forth are really quite usable. But it looks a little big by your head. But on the other hand, this is an all-purpose device. It’s no longer just a phone device. I mean, this is a… it’s a little busy, but this is the front screen, all these tiles, and things are happening, and data and so forth.

Alex: That makes me nervous.

Leo: Well that’s because I’ve set it up this way, it doesn’t have to look this way.

Rene: Yeah, I turned those all off.

Leo: It’s just the way I like it, but that doesn’t really matter. The point is this thing is very small, thin wise I mean. It’s very compact, but yet a six inch screen, by the way does Siri now, style speech. This is the 8.1 update, which will be available…

Rene: Quartana.

Leo: Yeah, quartana. Excellent 20 megapixel camera. This is everything… this device, if it only had better apps. That’s the failing on windows phone is really the app ecosystem is terrible. Especially if you live in Google. There’s no Gplus on this, there’s no google voice. And then the apps that you do use, when you compare them to the IOS versions, are just pathetic. So that’s really wear it suffers, but in every other respect.

Rene: Gorgeous hardware.

Leo: It makes you think, boy apple could really do well with a somewhat bigger phone.

Andy: Yeah, I mean I’ve been walking around with the nexus 7 for a while to re-familiarize myself with the difference between the seven and the MAC mini. And just the… I left the house this morning for breakfast, and the fact that this I could actually slip inside my pocket means that I didn’t have to take any sort of bag, or anything to carry my minimal need to get in touch, need to be able to write things sort of things, was such a big deal. I think the trend has certainly been to go from the 9.7 down to a mini size, and now I think there’s going to be a little bit more interest in creating devices like the 1520 that aren’t be sold as phones, but they’re sold as the device that you deposit your checks on, you do your banking on, you do all your communications with, and you get so much of your entertainment from. It’s hard for us to contemplate the idea of not needing, or wanting a least a notebook computer, but I can’t tell you the number of times over the last year, I’ve talked to people who I’ve been able to recommend a chomebook to, because they wanted a recommendation of a notebook, and I say well what do you do with it? They say, practically nothing. I do almost everything on my phone now. And when that happens I think well why are you spending more than, why are you buying anything more than just a keyboard and a screen, if that’s really all you’re doing with it?

Leo: I love this graph from Bens blog where he compares quarterly unit shipments for, the black line is PCs, the yellow line is IPhone and Android smartphones. So really, I mean talk about the lines crossing. I have to, I think I agree with this conclusion, not that there’s anything wrong with the iPad, it’s still a totally dominate tablet, but I think people are finding the phone is enough. The phone is what you want, you use… I use my phone probably two to three times more than I use a tablet.

Rene: It’s become your primary computing device.

Leo: it’s the primary computing device, and I do think that’s what’s happening.

Rene: That’s why you’ll probably get a bigger one next year, and then a bigger one still the year after.

Leo: No! I don’t know…

Andy: And then a 13 inch one in. Then a 13 inch with a keyboard attached.

Rene: If things go like Benedict Even, Ben Thompson, a lot of really smart people have written really smart things about this, and in a world where the primary computing device becomes a phone, as long as there’s somewhere on it… Merlin said he doesn’t use his phone as a phone. I certainly, I get upset when my phone rings and interrupts me from using my internet communicator. I would be fine with a larger screen that had buried on it, because it would help me in so many other ways. And when that becomes your primary computing platform, it also liberates the tablet, it doesn’t have to be sort of an in-between device anymore, and that’s where you might get rumors about 12 inch MacBook airs. Or 12 inch iPad pros. Where they can sort of take on a little bit, not a truck job, but like an SUV sort of a job, and let the phone really become the car of computing.

Alex: And I would love to be able to have my phone come home and have a keyboard and a screen, and have my phone sync to that. You know, like have that all pop up on a screen.

Leo: Well that’s kind of what Rene is talking about, right Rene.

Merlin: An iPhone duo dock, you’d come in and…

Leo: They make those for Android, there are a lot of Android devices you can do that with.

Alex: When you think about Bluetooth and airplay you can almost have an iPhone, and you just come into the room and sit down, and start typing, and it shows up on your screen.

Leo: But that’s kind of your vision, right Rene? One device and multiple screens.

Rene: No, absolutely. Torsion Heights from BlackBerry said this a long time ago, and he got laughed at, but I think it was because he was misunderstood. But it makes a lot of sense in the future when you have such powerful cloud side computing that you basically choose the size of screen that you need for a certain task, and your environment is just there. You shouldn’t have to worry about moving things back and forth. You should just get home and what you want is on your TV. You should leave the house and what you want is on your phone. You should get to, you know, your meeting and what you need should be on your tablet. That shouldn’t have to be a human manageable problem anymore.

Leo: We’re there!

Rene: Yeah, apple is uniquely positioned to provide that for their own products, I think within the next 5 years.

Leo: Clearly that’s what Apple is doing with the iWork updates. Microsoft is doing with Office 365. And I think it’s really Google that did it first with And I think it makes perfect since that I don’t need to store anything locally, or much locally because everything is kind of always available for me.

Rene: There is a difference though. The difference in Apples mentality where they don’t like the Google approach where everything is processed on the server. They don’t want to take that responsibility for your data. So I think in their vision, your device is still private. You can just choose what you want to share, and what you want to move back and forth. And they’ll have as little control or contact with that as possible.

Leo: I think that may bite them in the butt.

Rene: It might.

Alex: I think the setup that they have with Iwork a little cumbersome, I mean we use a lot of google docs, and trying to play with going over has been not as comfortable.

Leo: I think some people care a lot about where their data lives, but most people do not. And the vast majority of people, the convenience of having it all there way out weighs…

Alex: Well it’s not just convenience, it’s productivity, I mean we have, ten people working on a project and them being able to get into all that data and move around and deal with it is not just a… It is a big deal.

Leo: And Apple may have painted themselves into a corner, because they are the one, the only company that protects your privacy. I guess Microsoft is trying to position themselves that way, it’s not very credible.

Andy: The limitations about all of this is that… one of the great things about Google services is it makes the device in your hand largely irrelevant, and the features of it largely irrelevant. It doesn’t matter that this doesn’t have quite so much storage. It doesn’t even matter so much that the camera in your android phone is not the best in the world, because it automatically syncs to your photo library on Google plus. Your google plus library automatically uses all the software they’ve licensed to cook up that photo to make it look like you shot it with a much, much better camera. Even if you’re not sharing it with anybody. By the time you go to Google plus to look at these photos that have automatically been synced you might find that the photos you synced from your really, really cheap 150 dollar android phone, with a camera that doesn’t work very well, those photos look just about as good as you get on an IPhone 5S, because these were cooked as well as the onboard 5S. There are a lot of different solutions to this problem, and I’m just glad there are so many different companies that are approaching from so many different solutions.

Leo: There’s a lag, too, in our perception, we still think about well this phone doesn’t have enough memory, or this computer doesn’t have enough memory. And that’s no longer relevant. We still think about, oh what happens if the cloud goes down? When it’s not really an issue anymore, but we have these kind of memories that we don’t forget how it used to be. And I think…

Alex: It still goes out every once in a while.

Leo: It does go down! But it’s only going to get more reliable, not less reliable.

Alex: Oh I agree, but I know that Google went down a couple months ago and it was like mass pandemonium in our office. There was like fifteen people panicking.

Leo: People in the chat room says what happens when the cloud goes down? Or what happens when you lose your data? It’s not going to happen!

Rene: Less and less.

Leo: Yeah, less and less. Not more and more.

Andy: That’s alien attack sort of situation, in which case you’ll have better problems on your hands than I can’t get in my google docs today.

Leo: Merlin you’re quite. Now you’re the guy that’s the productivity king. Which is ironic because you really don’t do anything anymore.

Merlin: Which one am I?

Leo: The king of ultimate productivity. That’s right, you figured it out!

Merlin: No I’m listening and thinking about all of it! The costume is still a little bit cone gerent for me. Because all I use is Apple stuff, I don’t feel at all qualified to talk about anything other than Apple stuff. But I still find it kind of frustrating sometimes getting my hands around exactly where my data is, what I can do with it. And in the case of some recent problems I’ve been having with my iPhone, I feel more and more frustrated sometimes about not having the kind of access I use to have in being able to trouble shoot a problem and knowing what’s going on with it. So I agree with most people, they’re getting more comfortable with the idea of cloud stuff. But then people like me, that means more and more little bits of friction. We talk about the cloud never going away, well I don’t know if you travel. When I’m someplace else, and all I have is… for example, trying to find wireless in New Zealand was rough. I spent so much money on extra data, and stuff like that. So there’s those kind of issues, but there’s also stuff like, I don’t think most people. This is the topic that comes up on stuff like the prompt and XNL tech podcast. Like I don’t think most garden variety people, I’m guessing, really have their hands around photo management. In the apple ecosystem. And I think they either don’t know, they’re either screwed or they don’t know they’re screwed. And they haven’t figured out what to do about it, because it’s a complicated problem to take care of.

Leo: But that’s where Google is stepping right in and saying okay, we’ll do it automatically. Google plus, do you use that for your photos?

Merlin: No I don’t use Google plus.

Leo: You’ve got to try it because, maybe it’s going away, I don’t know, but it really, that’s exactly what Google said, people have lost control, and so we’ll do it.

Merlin: As good as cloud stuff gets, there’s still going to be some part of me that’s going to wonder like, who watches the watchman ride. Who’s backing up the cloud? Where I still feel the need to do these backups and off sight rotations with drives and stuff like that.  It’s a funny thing like… this is not fud, I don’t mean this is fud, but you look at something like the .mac days, you look at things like the drop box, password, all these kinds of things that can happen, it doesn’t take that happening, the more we use these services, the less it needs to happen in order to give use the fear. The more comfortable we get using them, and putting stuff into it, that makes me more, and more anxious in some ways, about knowing I’ve got it all backed up. Knowing I’ve got it encrypted, knowing that I’ve got it in multiple places. It use to feel annoying knowing it was all on this drive. The same way it was annoying having to use a Hayes modem to get on the internet, and check my email but that, having that all in one place gave a kind of comfort that I wasn’t really even aware of at the time. But now I feel like where’s my stuff?

Leo: Well that’s so funny! I feel completely the opposite. I have drop box, one drive, Google plus, and iPhoto all backing up my images. I have it on four different clouds, I feel safer than I ever have.

Alex: And I have to admit with my own personal data, I’m really sensitive to the fact, I travel a lot, and I have my bag around a lot. And what I’ve actually started doing is getting rid of mail on a lot of my laptops. Because I don’t want anything, any data, especially on my little Air, I don’t keep any data on it at all, I mean local data, other than little bits and pieces of things that I’m working on. I like the fact that I can do things offline but I don’t keep my mail on it, I don’t keep anything that has passwords on it, it’s kind of like this thing that I can take out and if someone steals it, what I’m more worried about is my data now being planted on a machine, that’s the thing that keeps me up more than someone stealing my data in the cloud. Maybe that’s inverted from what it should be but I know that that’s what goes into my head all the time.

Leo: I trust the cloud and I know that in the back of my mind I have this feeling, maybe I’m walking merrily down the primrose lane to utter disaster, but I think that’s highly unlikely and my rational mind says this is absolutely the future and…

Alex: I worry a lot about passwords. I mean I think that were losing control of that.

Leo: Eeeeeeehhh I don’t post pictures of my butt up there. What am I putting up there, nothing it’s...

Alex: no, no, no, I’m not talking about that, I’m talking about, I’m talking when we talk about mail and we talk about the stuff that we put on the cloud, if someone were to be able to hack into that and being able to get enough information to get into a lot of other things.

Leo: Yeah, well, take steps. Be intelligent.

Alex: Oh I do, I do, that’s why I have Last Pass, that’s why I have, why I pay ….

Leo: Questions from our audience. Let’s do our question thing.

Alex: Question from the audience, this is from Sam Harrison from Columbia SC, he says “how will Siri evolve at WWDC to compete with Cortana and Google Now, or will it?”

Leo: Seems Apples let Siri lag a little. There’s a lot of competition.

Alex: I think it’s subtle, I don’t think there’s anything they’re doing that’s saying “Siri, version 2”, I think they’re just constantly working on it. Okay, here we go, we’re going to do the lightning round here. This is from Andre in San Francisco, what has been the defining moment after 400 episodes of Mac Break Weekly?

Leo: So many. 

Merlin: I’ll say Andre’s question.

Leo: Andre’s question, thank you Ray.

Alex: I think its Leo and his laptop…

Leo: Me pouring water on my laptop?

Alex: No, no, it’s you with your laptop with Steve Jobs giving you the stink eye.

Leo: Yeah that’s one no one will ever forget. The IPad announcement, 2010.

Alex: We haven’t seen an invite since.

Leo: I think of Merlin Mann, the king of the rat hole, playing the guitar, I think of Andy playing the ukulele, had some fine musical moments on this show. I think of Becky Whorly stepping up to Steve Jobs and asking a question on Face Time, saying “when are Face Time protocols going to go open? Like you promised?” and him brushing her off, enough, enough. There have been many great moments, you know Scott Bourne with his IPhone vest.  I think that was a Merlin Mann trope.

Rene: His yacht wax.

Leo: Yacht wax, who could forget his yacht wax? Scott Bourne’s yacht wax.

Rene: Did your Swiss ball break on Mac Break Weekly Leo or was that a different show?

Leo: I don’t remember that one, I think it was a different show. That would have been a moment though. This show has always been so much fun to do. And thanks so much for people like Merlin, I’m so glad to see you again, and Andy Ihnatko, to our founding member, the guy who created Mac Break, Alex Lyndsy, and to the new kids. Rene Ritchie, and … that’s it, just you. Any other questions?

Alex: There are lots of questions.

Andy: Can I just say that I think we’ve picked a really good show to end on. I’m glad that we’re ending it before we start going to that downhill thing, and before there’s all these rumors about guests’ hosts and things like that.

Merlin: I don’t want to cut you off Andy, but this is a nation and an industry that fears a genius, this is an industry that is scared of brilliance and I want to say, Andy Ihnatko, as I sit with you today, it is nice to be with a genius that is all I’m going to say about that. This is an industry that is full of fear, it does not want to try new things.

Leo: This is the show that made Jerry Lewis the star he is today. I’m proud to say.

Rene: Wait ‘till J.J. Abrams reboots this thing.

Andy: Let me tell you Merlin, when I got my invitation to be a panel on this show man, all I wanted to know is, tuxedo or dashiki and what time. Because to be on a stage with Merlin Mann is to know you have arriv-ed in this industry, because you do not suffer fools Merlin Mann.

Merlin: This is a time when I’m going to speak from what I call my heart. When you have Andy Ihnatko, there is no can that can hold that genius, okay. That’s number one, the opener for that can is love. Its love.

Leo: It is, it’s beautiful. Any other questions?

Andy: We don’t get to do our medley Leo?

Leo: Yes.

Rene: You’ll never walk… alone…

Andy: You know, I think what the world needs now, is love. What kind of love? That’s so adorable Alex, you keep trying to keep us on focus.

Alex: I’m doing the best I can.

Merlin: Next issue.

Leo: Issue three.

Alex: Issue three.

Leo: Next question.

Alex: Will the Apple TV get an SDK at WWDC?

Leo: Ha-ha, never!

Merlin: I say applesauce! It’s not going to happen.

Leo: Applesauce, that’s right young man. Anybody, anybody think otherwise? SDK?

Rene: I hope so, I think it’s time.

Leo: Its time but it’s not going to happen. I don’t see it happening.

Rene: No, I mean they’ve had it for a while, they’ve just go to release that beast, put it out there, do it.

Leo: Its internal use only. 

Alex: I think they’re going to open it up.

Leo: The panel is split on that. Will they open it up in June?

Alex: Yes.

Merlin: Without changing the interface?

Alex: Maybe.

Rene: No, they’ll change the interface too.

Alex: All I can say is games on Apple TV? Game over.

Leo: Never going to happen.

Rene: It’s the same thing, if you look at the talent that’s been assembled for the Apple TV over the last year, there’s a ridicules amount of amazing engineers and they’re not working on keeping it the same.

Alex: Yeah.

Leo: Wrong! That’s good, I like that debate, and we’ll find out the end of June. For WWDC.

Alex: Next question. Gmem from San Diego says do you guys think these will be enabled for WWDC? Air drop between IPhone and Macs? Access to Siri’s API within apps?

Leo: Yes and no.

Rene: Yes and no.

Alex: Yes and no, alright.

Leo: One more because we are almost out of time.

Alex: Alright, last one.

Leo: What is Merlin- Has got something pointy, sharp coming out of … oh, it’s the size of a pencil... final question.

Alex: Leo, how much of the things you order online do you ever use?

Leo: That’s an unfair question. I buy them for you. I use them all.

Rene: That’s a very personal question.

Alex: At least once.

Leo: Yeah, I mean, well, like this is a good example. This Nokia 1520. I feel like I have to understand a Windows phone and use it, and I was hopeful that I would have some revelation that says “Oh my God, they finally did it right”. And they’re very close, but you know, Google screwed them, because Google has not played along and the lack of Google services on this, for me anyways, because I’m so invested in Google, is a problem.

Merlin: So not evil.

Leo: They’re evil in this respect, they’ve really... but you know, Microsoft started it with scroogled. This is, I believe, a direct response to scroogled.

Alex: Yes. You want more?

Leo: One more.

Alex: One more, alright. This is from Allen in DMV, I don’t know where that is. Can we get a status update on how Apples doing on their attempts to improve their cloud services. We kind of talked about that already didn’t we? Whoa. Someone started voting, so now it’s like chaotic. They’re working on it.

Andy: The cloud services has not actively killed anybody yet, so let’s call it a win. In Apple terms that’s a win.

Rene: Maybe we just can’t find the body.

Leo: Alright, we have a few minutes left before security announcements. Steve Gibsons waiting in the wing, so I would love to do pics. Wait a minute, show me that picture one more time, because we didn’t go through this. So this is a modern picture, despite the black and white. Of, is a table read, what is going on here Andy Ahnatko?

Andy: I don’t know, I just, everybody seems to have a bound script or something in their lap, it seems to be the same document in their lap.

Leo: Is that J.J. Abrams talking to Indiana Jones?

Andy: It does look like it.

Leo: Okay, so we know he’s the director.

Andy: It does look like a script reading.

Rene: And Andy Serkis, Gollum from Lord of the Rings is there.

Leo: Now Andy never plays a real person, he always plays a…

Rene: No, he’s played a real person…

Leo: Homunculus.

Rene: He’s played a real person.

Andy: Yeah he’s done stuff.

Leo: Has he?

Rene: Yup. He was in the Gilbert and Sullivan movie.

Leo: The Gilbert and Sullivan movie? I must have missed that.

Rene: Topsy Turvy.

Leo: Oh, Topsy Turvy. But he was the gorilla in the second Planet of the Apes movie, he was of course Gollum, it makes me think there might be a homunculus type thing.

Alex: Jar Jar Sméagol. That would be awesome.

Leo: Sméagol.

Andy: Hmm, my precious, you steal my precious.

Leo: So who else is in there? Who else do we see?

Rene: Mark Hamill.

Leo: That’s Mark Hamill, there leaning in in the plaid shirt? To talk to a gentlemen…

Rene: Carry Fisher.

Leo: Carry Fisher? Where’s Carry Fisher?

Alex: It’s amazing how absolutely 1970s this photo looks.

Andy: Doesn’t it feel like it, the furniture, the clothes people are wearing, there’s not a computer that I can see.

Leo: That’s an interesting point, but there is an R2D2 in a crate. That just cracks me up.

Rene: Oh, and Max Sydo.

Leo: Where’s Max Von Sydo? I love him. He would be the new Obi Wan Kenobi...

Rene: That’s who Mark Hamills talking to.

Leo: Oh that’s who the back is turned to us in the plaid shirt.

Alex: He was in the Bob and Doug McKenzie movie, as the big bag guy. That is quite a good get.

Rene: And George Lucas has no script writing credit that we can find.

Leo: But this is what puzzled me, because I looked at this, I think, for a long time, looking for George Lucas.

Alex: I’m wondering if that’s the Lucas film archives. That’s where you’d have a box of R2D2.


Merlin: Peter Safenowitz posted a picture, claiming to be from London yesterday, you know Peter Safenowitz was the voice of Darth Maul, and he posted a picture of him with Mark Hamill yesterday, so I’m going to guess this is London.

Leo: London? Where they shoot, the set for most of the Star Wars movies is in England. I think it’s interesting that not only is there no laptops, there’s no cell phones. Do you think that they said “leave your cell phone at the door?”

Alex: Yeah, they don’t want any selfie scripts showing up.

Leo: It’s rare you get that many people together and not one of them is not staring at his phone.

Merlin: Can I also point out Leo, its 2014 and I still can’t buy Star Wars on ITunes?

Leo: There’s Starbucks on the table, ahh that does give the date away. Very interesting. That’s exciting. Look, Starbucks, on the table.

Andy: My heart has been broken so many times. Some say the heart is much like a wheel, once you bend it you can’t mend it.

Alex: J.J. Abrams, it’s going to be great. There’s going to be a box inside of a box. Inside of Star Wars.

Andy: Is that a Fantastic Four T-Shirt?

Merlin: Yeah.

Andy: Awesome. I didn’t notice it before. Burn arrow, Fantastic Four 2, I approve. My pick of the week is Merlin’s t-shirt.

Merlin: I’m Sue Storm, I’m just not very good at it.

Rene: I’ve always wondered what happened to Franklin Richards.

Merlin: Aw, I love that guy.

Leo: Okay you’re going to have one sentence each to do your pic. Mr. Rene Ritchie.

Rene: Foldify Zoo, it’s the same great foldify app for the IPad but now you can make and produce animals in the real world as well, it’s delightful.

Leo: We talked about it on IPad Today, it was Sara Lane’s pick, in agree, really cool. Just search for it on the app store for the IPad. Foldify, f-o-l-d-in-f-y. Zoo. Mr. Alex Lindsay, do you have a pick? Something less than an Alex?

Alex: Oh, yeah.

Leo: By the way, I think the unit of the Alex was also created by Merlin Mann I believe.

Merlin: Seven hundred dollars.

Leo: Yep.

Alex: It is Tempo. Have you seen Tempo?

Leo: No.

Alex: Ooh, that’s all I’ve got to say.

Leo: Is it an app?

Alex: So Tempo is an app for your IPhone, and what it does is it’s a calendar app. But here’s what it does, it does one thing that’s really important. I’m on 5 or 6 different conference calls a day, and what drives me absolutely nuts is having to type in the code, you know, like you hit the thing and you call and then you have to remember what the code is? And you can’t see the code on your IPhone, and then you have to go the other one, and then you’re like, buh, buh, buh, buh, and there’re like nine digits long. No one should make one longer than five. Anyways so what Tempo does, is you’ll see your next meeting, and it just looks like Ical there, but you click on your next meeting and one of the cool things that it provides for is when you click on the call, it actually, you can hit dial. So what you do is you hit the call, and when you’re in the call, you push that dial again, and it dials in.

Leo: That alone makes it worth the price.

Alex: So awesome. I mean it literally transformed my, like, calling in thing. Overnight. So anyway, it’s also gorgeous, it’s really pretty, but that’s the only thing I really use to do. So it’s pretty slick.

Leo: I believe there’s an IPad version. Am I wrong? I seem to remember there’s an IPad version.

Merlin: Why?

Leo: Why?

Merlin: Sorry, it’s an IPad, it wouldn’t be able to call.

Leo: Oh maybe you’re right. When you said why…

Merlin: I didn’t know my mike was on.

Leo: I’m just waiting for you to say “Laporte, again, Leo, with his stupid comment. Oh, my mikes on?” Um, alright, I stand corrected.

Alex: I think it’s free, I don’t  know why it’s free, I’m waiting for something to go wrong, but it’s great, it’s great, its Tempo, and you have to get it.

Leo: Andy Ihnatko, pick of the week sir.

Andy: To save time I’m not going to run to the other room to get the thing that I was planning to do, but since this is a comic themed episode I’m going to recommend Bandette, a comic by Paul Tobin and Colleen Coover. Which is one of my favorite new comics over the past year or two. The short pitch is imagine a movie starring Audrey Hepburn in 1959, starring her as a Pereasian bandit. And that’s it. The entire thing is rated G, there’s like maybe 2 panels in the entire series so far that are rated PG, its charming, the art is fantastic, the characterization is spot on, there’s 7 issues so far and each issue is only 99 cents, very high recommendation.

Leo: Merlin, do you want to pick something.

Merlin: Yes, I love my Apple TV. Apple TV, if you have things from your personal collection that you have locally, you could go put them into ITunes on your Mac and then stream them from there, but that’s kind of a pain and it won’t work if it’s not in the right encoding. An app called Beamer, which is available on, you buy this thing, you download it, you drop any file onto it, could be an AVI, an MKV, any of those, you drop them on there and it just sends it straight to your Apple TV and you can use your remote like you normally would with the TV, it’s an evening changer, I’ll put it that way. It’s a great app. Beamer, at I don’t know what it costs.

Leo: But who cares, it’s worth it. Wow.

Merlin: There are others like it, but I’ve had good luck with this, it was real simple to use.

Leo: Merlin Mann is at, two Ns in the Mann. His fabulous back to work show is at You have other shows there as well, yes?

Merlin: Also tune into Roderick on the Line. At John Roderick helps a lot of people.

Leo: And Merlin is glad to help him help people.

Merlin: And honestly, thanks a lot. Thanks for, you know, every interview I’m on Leo, well, let me tell you something about a friend. No, every interview, I try to be sure to be gracious about mentioning how grateful I am for all the help and breaks you’ve given me in the past.

Leo: Oh, no need.

Merlin: I just want to say, no, I don’t get anything for saying that, I don’t think. But I really do appreciate that, and being on Mac Break Weekly was huge for me, it was a wonderful experience and it exposed me to a lot of people for better or for worse, and thanks a lot for doing the show, I really appreciate it.

Leo: Well we love you and I’d love to get you back. But I know you’re busy with this Roderick fellow so…

Merlin: Well give me more than half an hours’ notice next time.

Leo: I will.  You can shave. It’s great, no seriously. No, I know, you look great actually. You look fabulous. And of course @hotdogsladies on the Twitter. And you tweet. Not as prolifically as you used to. But I see your tweets, you’re kind of tweeting more.

Merlin: I do things. I do things. I’m just glad anybody notices me at all, thank you.

Leo: Yeah. Andy Ihnatko, Chicago Sun Times, great to have you, as always.

Andy: Congratulations on 400 episodes, good luck on at least 80 more.

Leo: We’re going to do many, many more.

Andy: Hopefully more than that but, 80…

Leo: I figure we’ll get to 1000.

Andy: I’ll be pissed if it’s not 80.

Leo: Okay, 480. Mister Alex Lindsay, thank you for the question thing, we’ll do more of that, I love that.

Alex: And I am doing more of that. Flash question, ask Alex’s, almost every day when I’m not traveling. So you know, if you follow me on twitter or Google+, just @alexlindsay, I just pop up saying hey we’re going to do a bunch of question/answers, it’s really fun. We get 20 or 30 people and people just ask questions and I just go through them as fast as I can. And I will be doing one on green screen either Fri or Mon so I’ll put it on my twitter.

Merlin: Literally?

Alex: Yeah, exactly.

Merlin: Literally, will you actually be doing them while you have a green screen, will it change with your answers behind you?

Alex: Yes.

Merlin: That’s awesome.

Alex: I will key myself, I will key myself in front of the questioning.

Leo: Custom backgrounds.

Alex: in front of the question engine, and then you’ll see random questions behind me and I’ll turn around and…

Andy: And Alex, will you, as is tradition when you answer questions live on streaming, be wearing that big, big, frizzy wig with the little tiny hairs that are flying over?

Alex: That’s a really good idea, I’ll see if I can get one by then. That would be awesome. I’ll do the whole thing with a giant... wig.

Andy: Have like an argyle cat too that you’re just hold next to you.

Alex: Oh, I like that, the argyle cat and the big wig. Hmm.

Leo: Rene Ritchie,, what do you have going on, anything to plug?

Rene: Yeah, Guy English and I, on our show Dbug, we hosted a panel about sexism in technology with Serenity Caldwell from Mac World, Jessie Char from Pacific Elm, George Adel from Zen in Tech and Brianna Woo from Giant Spacecat. And it turned out, I think, terrifically well, we’re really honored that they would do that with us.

Leo: Can you just tell Serenity we want to hire her away from you.

Rene: She’s not ours, she’s Mac World’s, you’ll have to fight Jason Sinell for her.

Leo: I will.

Merlin: I think technically, she’s Serenities.

Leo: Yeah, she’s her own person technically.

Rene: Yeah, they’re all fantastic, and we’ve got a transcript up now too so if you can’t listen to it you can read it or have it read to you.

Leo: Yeah. By the way. Collin Johnson said of this episode “it’s my Beatles reunion with Ihnatko, hotdogsladies, Laporte, Lyndsay, and Rene Ritchie as Stu Sutcliff.”  I like it. Thank you Collin.

Andy: Could have been Pete Best, could have been far, far less complimentary.

Leo: Could have been worse. This show does its thing every Tuesday 11am Pacific, 2pm Eastern time, 1800 UTC on You can watch live but you can always get it on demand audio and video after the fact., or wherever finer net casts are aggregated for your downloading pleasure. Don’t forget our twit apps too on iPad, iPhone, and every other device known to man. Including the Roku app by Craig Mullaney of ShiftKey software. Which is a great way to watch on the big screen. Chat room is reminding me to plug next week’s triangulation on Monday, Pomplamoose joins us to perform and talk about their really amazing YouTube videos.

Alex: Pomplamoose is going to be here?

Leo: Yeah. You know they’re from Petaluma.

Alex: I did not know they’re from Petaluma. Do they live in Petal- they live in the city right.

Leo: I think he used to live in Petaluma yeah.

Alex: I’m definitely going to accidentally be here during triangulation.

Leo: The amazing Pomplamoose.

Alex: they’re going to play too?

Leo: Well, I’m hoping, yeah. Let’s see, I think that’s about it. Thank you everybody for joining us, we’ll see you next time. Now get back to work because break time is over!

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