MacBreak Weekly 432 (Transcript)
Leo Laporte: It's time for MacBreak Weekly. Andy and Rene are here to talk about the latest, what happened to Apple's stock this week. Why'd it go down and back up? We'll talk about the class action lawsuit that's been going on for 10 years now and has no more plaintiffs! Everybody's dropped out, plus updates to iOS and OSX. It's all ahead on MacBreak Weekly.
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Leo: Hi, this is Leo Laporte, and if you'd like to help us design a new website I invite you to visit twit.tv/navtest. We've got 8 quick questions we'd like to ask you that will help us make the navigation easier to use. That's twit.tv/navtest. Thanks a lot.
This is MacBreak Weekly Episode 432, recorded December 9th, 2014.
Turn Up the Pimp Juice
MacBreak Weekly is brought to you by Oscar, a new approach to health care that focuses only on health plans for individuals and their families. To learn more about health insurance plans and get a quote, go to hioscar.com/macbreak. New York and New Jersey only. And by SquareSpace. SquareSpace just launched the latest version of their platform, SquareSpace 7. With a completely redesigned interface, integrations with Getty Images and Google Apps, new templates and an incredible feature called cover pages. Try the new SquareSpace, that's SquareSpace.com, and don't forget to use the offer code MacBreak at checkout to get 10% off. And by Audible.com. To download the free audiobook of your choice, got to Audible.com/macbreak. It's time for MacBreak Weekly the show where we talk about the latest Mac news and a tip of the hat to Mike Elgan for filling in for me at the last minute yesterday... er, last week. Sudden case of well, something. A food borne illness I believe. Took me out last week, but thank you Mike. He did a great job. Andy Inhatko is back from the Chicago Sun Times, welcome Andy.
Andy Inhatko: Chicken sushi is never a deal no matter what the price.
Leo: (laughing) Also Rene Ritchie from Montreal, hello Rene.
Rene Ritchie: Hey Leo, how are you doing?
Leo: iMore.com, we had Serenity Caldwell on TWiT on Sunday and it reminded me of how mad I am at you for stealing Serenity away. She's just awesome.
Rene: She has her own agency but she is terrific.
Leo: Yes. She still lives in Boston and doesn't... you know, she didn't have to move to Montreal or anything did she?
Leo: Are you having any... I understand there's a Nor'easter?
Rene: (laughs) There's a Nor'colder.
Leo: Nor'easter. I guess the Eastern seaboard is suffering a little bit of a storm right now?
Andy: Yeah we got like rain like hell all day today. Which is fine if you have just lots of little errands to run inside the house as opposed to little errands outside the house.
Leo: Yes. Run errands inside the house today. That's a great idea. We're going to have our own little four year storm. On Thursday so.
Rene: We're cold so it's not raining, it's snowing.
Leo: (gasps) Yikes!
Rene: Andy's solid form.
Leo: It was a little bit of a tempest this week in the stock market. Apple stock dropped, I was... I looked at the Apple stock price I think yesterday or the day before and I went what the heck is happening? It's coming back up now, it's to 113. But it very briefly just took a dive on December well I guess it started December 8th. Pshew. And everybody's wondering what the heck? What happened? Was Apple, why was Apple at 115 on Friday and down to 110 on Tuesday? Well the thinking is now it was high frequency trading, it was programmed trading.
Andy: Yeah I heard a statistic just the other day that we're asked about 15-20 years ago, I'm sorry a period of time ago, the average length at which a stock was held before being sold was something like four years and now it's like 10 seconds.
Andy: So maybe this has an effect upon the economy that we don't really... haven't really thought through.
Leo: Yeah and that's because the average is brought down by these machines that do trades over microseconds of time. Great Michael Lewis book, highly recommend it.
Andy: What pressure for a CEO, you've got 8 seconds to perform before the stockholder says I have no faith any more!
Leo: It started with volume... I mean it could be institutional. But 6% drop, its largest drop in 3 months. Unusual rise in volume, often the case that that's either programmed trading or...
Rene: You just wonder how smart they are if one computer says sell when it gets to this price and another one says sell when this guy sells and another one instead of the if the price goes down by this much sell and all the other computer algorithms just start triggering one after the other like a domino.
Leo: Well that's right, and it wasn't just Apple in fact. There were about 300 stocks that had this kind of volatile odd price volatility. Something you see a lot now. But Apple, in fact Michael Lewis in his book which is wonderful, I highly recommend it. Flash Boys. That talks about Apple particularly as an example. It's the kind of stock that is perfect for high frequency trading. Flash Boys is such a good book on this. Anyway. Nothing to worry about, nothing to fear here, it's coming back up and that's not really anything anybody who's investing in Apple or wondering how Apple's going to do should take anything from. Just thought I'd mention that.
Leo: Let's talk about the lawsuit. Last I heard, this morning they needed a new plaintiff.
Andy: (laughing) Yes.
Leo: Alright so the lawsuit which has been going on now for 10 years right? Something like that. It's referring to iPods sold in the time frame from 2006 to 2008 and there seems to be two complaints, or at least I've read two different stories about this. The Wall Street Journal said one of the complaints was we've all experienced this when you put in an iPod in a new computer it says well this iPod is associated with iTunes from another computer, you can copy music over but I'm going to erase everything that's on it right now. The other complaint is that you couldn't install music from other music stores on it because Apple only supported one form of copy protection, its own fair play. And... or is it play fair?
Rene: Yeah fair play.
Leo: Play fair is the crack.
Rene: Play is for sure the Microsoft one.
Leo: Right. Well that's exactly it. You couldn't buy something at the Microsoft store or you know, Napster or Rhapsody or anywhere else that had its own DRM because it wasn't supported on the iPod.
Rene: Real Media who?
Leo: Real who?
Andy: That was never actually true though. I mean given we were only talking about syncing directly from iTunes. It's interesting how difficult it is to explain Apple to the courts because they are a company, they will do things that are definitely in their best interest, they might even see advantages to keeping things locked up, not just to keep the thing secure but to again prevent certain inconvenient competition from happening, but it's so important, there's no legal basis for explaining to the courts look, our corporate attitude is that we need to maintain control over all the devices we sell, we need to maintain control over all of the software we control, there is an advantage to the consumers to doing this but that is simply our way, that's how we think of what our responsibility is and what our rights are as creators of stuff is that we want to maintain control of this at all times, we want the ability to make sure that nothing is happening on here that we don't approve of and that we don't think as good as healthy for the device or the user, but when you take that outside of Cupertino it really does seem like we don't want any competition whatsoever. And again while I don't doubt that Apple is going to behave as a company that wants to protect its best interests, a lot of this really is motivated by simple desire for control.
Leo: So the suit which started in 2005... (laughs)... I don't even remember 2005... continues on even though they keep losing plaintiffs. So you need... okay, so it's a class action lawsuit but you need actually one real person with this problem and they've disqualified... one of them withdrew last week, they disqualified the other saying well she did in fact not buy an iPod in that time period. She didn't have her, she didn't have her receipt. She was in court, but she said but I have the iPod right here. So Apple said can we see that? They wrote down the serial number then they did a little research and said nope, you bought that after the time period of this lawsuit. So then she went back, she said well no I didn't file an affidavit. I bought two on September 8th 2008 and then they said well you bought it with a credit card from your husband's law firm, so you didn't buy it. Anyway.
Leo: But this one person represents a class of 8 million. They're seeking $350 million although there could be additional punitive damages. The judge declined to throw it out yesterday, Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers is holding a hearing today, this is a jury case so she's shunted the jury out and is now holding a hearing hoping to find somebody else. She says it's too big... we can't just throw this out. We've got to give the council a chance to find more people and in fact plaintiffs council says oh we've got lots of people who over the weekend said yeah I'll join this.
Rene: You'd think they would have found this earlier on in the process though.
Leo: Well that's what the judge said, you didn't really do your job. On the other hand, I
can't punish those 8 million iPod buyers because you guys are doofusses. Although you have to, I think in a case like
this, it's the law firm that's bringing this because they're going to get you
know, 60% of the proceeds. This is... you know, it's a very lucrative little
business. The sad thing to me is managed in this whole thing to get, Steve Jobs
literally on his death bed just months before he passed away in 2011 to record
a video tape deposition. You know, the last thing I'm sure Steve wanted to do.
In which he says, we haven't seen it yet, although it may be released which I
think would be... I don't know. Maybe it would be too morbid. I think there
would be people interested in seeing it. But he said look, we didn't have a
choice. The record companies say that we have to do this. He said every time
the DRM is cracked, literally a clock starts ticking and we have a few days to
fix it and release the fix, the threat the record companies over our heads is
that they will pull the music from the iTunes store and literally put the
iTunes store out of business.
Leo: He said this was the deal we made with the record companies, the record companies said the iPod is a massive piracy device and if you don't somehow prohibit people from taking the iPod over to their friend's house and saying here have 160 gigs of music, then we're not going to sell stuff on the iTunes store.
Rene: They're doing that today, if you change your iTunes match login you can't change it again for 90 days because they don't want you to go to someone else's house, put in their login, download all their music then go to someone else's place, put in their login... not everything has changed.
Andy: Well, but to be fair, that doesn't... that certainly addresses the issue of locking up anything that can be termed a security problem with the device, the idea of being able to load music into the device from a competing music service however is not the same thing as getting music off of it. But if he was speaking of wording in the contract that simply said if there's a security problem and we can define security problem however we want, then yeah that definitely follows under that. This is why whenever we, really not just with Apple but with any other company when we look at why is this company doing something that's so bizarre or something that seems so stupid, you don't know if there is some sort of legal requirement for them to do that. I think, I myself might have dinged early versions of Android for gosh what a weird behavior, what a not intuitive way to scroll and then through that lawsuit, funnily enough we find out that no there was an agreement, or rather there was patent problems with doing things the most natural and the obvious way possible so they had to do something in the third or fourth best way simply to avoid legal issues so... any time that we're talking about this sort of stuff, we have to avoid phrases like “Oh man these people they just don't get it, Apple just doesn't get it. You know, they're going to be buried because they just don't want to innovate, they don't want to change.” It's like, no if you were inside of Apple you probably also would not understand the real reasons why they have to do things because it sometimes is three or four or five layers deep.
Rene: It's interesting too because Apple did support other music stores as long as it was DRM free, when Amazon started up with their DRM free music that was even cheaper, 89 cents that easily went on the iPod. You just got onto iTunes and dragged it on. But to expect Apple to support plays for sure which had historically had tremendous problems, including shutting down and basically making people in some circumstances lose their music.
Andy: It didn't work on the Zune reliably.
Andy: And that was made by Microsoft.
Rene: Yeah, they'd have to support that, and they'd have to support Real's DRM, what size company's DRM do you have to support? Isn't it fair if you support some and not others. And it's non-trivial what that does to your software stack. Supporting you own stuff is easy but when you have to support everyone else's stuff? It doesn't seem like a reasonable sort of thing.
Leo: I think it was Eddy Cue who testified in the case that supporting multiple DRMs on the same device would be like making a car with two or three steering wheels. It would not be...
Rene: Well and when you're subject to them, I mean if Microsoft's plays gets broken, cracked, is it Apple's responsibility? Now the iPod is again a piracy machine. What does that do with their relationships with music companies?
Leo: Do you think Jobs and Apple wanted DRM to go away but this was a deal that they had to do with the devil?
Leo: I think Jobs even said that didn't he? He didn't like DRM.
Andy: That's the story they've been telling pretty much from the beginning that if they could have talked the record companies into launching without DRM that's what they would have done, they felt as though that a price of getting this thing launched, and I think that even they knew that DRM wasn't going to last more than a year or two. It's kind of ironic that one of the reasons why the Amazon mp3 store got such a toehold was because the iTunes store was becoming such a monster hit and it was basically becoming for lack of a better word, the iTunes of digital music. And the only way music companies could sort of claim back some of their power and not put all of their eggs in the iTunes basket was to not only help out Amazon do deals with them, but also give them something that the iTunes store did not have at that point,which was DRM free music downloads. And then that had to spread everything else.
Leo: Does the iPod still do that thing where if you have linked it to one iTunes and then you connect it to another computer, does it still say I'm going to erase your data?
Rene: For video... so it depends on what it is. Anything that is still with fair play DRM which includes movies, TV shows and apps and games, you can have five computers linked to it, or up to ten devices.
Rene: And then it will ask you to de-register.
Leo: So you don't have that same issue though which really was kind of horrible. And I had many people call and say I accidentally said yes and now I lost all my music. I've done that. But that's not the case any more, you have up to five. And it'll warn you, it won't say... it'll just say hey you've reached your limit of five.
Rene: Yeah before you get to five it will let you un-select some of the devices or un-register some of the devices, when you get to five it will let you un-register all of them and re-register the ones that you want. And the ten devices include Apple TVs and iPhones and iPads on top of those computers.
Leo: Certainly DRM is always a bad idea, I don't think anybody at this point thinks it's a good idea except the people who are using it. It's pretty, really clear to me that DRM doesn't slow down pirates in any way.
Leo: It only inhibits honest users. It only gets in the way of normal people.
Rene: Steve Jobs' thoughts on music letter that he wrote so famously and put it up, and it's true to this day. I have a 7.1 receiver sitting here that I can't use because no matter what I hook up to it, it gives me HDCP content errors. So it just blocks it saying it's illegal content whether I buy it on iTunes, play it on a PlayStation 3. And it perfectly works except for the HDCP check.
Andy: Yeah I mean coincidentally this is like the perfect place for like this to come up, because when I'm not using this computer for podcasting, I'm using it to rip DVDs, rip Blu-rays and I bought a whole bunch like off of Amazon sales and stuff like that, it does not even occur to me to purchase movies... digital movies through the iTunes store or the Amazon video store because I would much rather buy this and break the DRM and then be able to put it on my server, being able to put it on my Android phones, put it on my iPads and have that much control over it than buy DRM'd content. So it's absolutely true. It encourages me to break... become a... I buy these things legitimately and then break the DRM but breaking the DRM is still something that legally is somewhat suspect but I'd much rather break the DRM through tools that are out there and easy and affordable than deal with everything that DRM content forces me to go through. It's just not that useful.
Rene: I hate that. When you go to Apple TV and you buy a movie or you rent a movie and you press the button it puts up that authorizing label and that just makes me feel like a criminal. I just hate that word so much.
Andy: And also when it...
Rene: Call it anything else.
Andy: And also when it breaks, you feel like you've been cheated a little bit. I had fortunately the George Takei documentary was good enough that I would want to watch it twice but I rented it on the desktop iTunes and then, because I haven't rented movies on iTunes in like years, discovered that oh... my Apple TV isn't automatically aware that I've rented this movie already but it will let me rent it a second time through the interface on the Apple TV. I'm like (sighs) okay whatever, I'll... go ahead, I'll spend the three bucks.
Leo: Isn't a little ridiculous, yeah.
Andy: Yeah and that's... there's a story like that for pretty much every user who has to deal with DRM content. I have paid for this, you should be allowing me to watch this but now you're simply, through a failure of the software that manages this system, I am not getting access to what I've payed for. And that, once again, sends you towards... or I could simply do something that the industry does not want me to do, which is to peruse a digital copy that I can then have fun with however I want.
Leo: What do you use just out of curiosity, to back up... I'm sorry, no quotes. To back up your Blu-ray discs?
Andy: There is a really useful utility called Make MKV which gets rid of the copy protection on the Blu-ray and then if all by itself you can use it to spit out backup files of all the data that's on the Blu-ray but then you hook that up to HandBrake will then, once you have used this tool to essentially act as the go between between the operating system and the disc you can then go to HandBrake and then it will just be able to rip all those files directly.
Leo: Even Blu-rays?
Andy: Even Blu-rays. It's a two or three step process if you do it the easiest way, meaning that you use Make MKV to spit out the files onto your hard disc and then HandBrake converts those files into something useful, however there is some command line mojo you can do that will let HandBrake see the libraries that Make MKV has. So it really does become so put it in the Blu-ray drive, let Make MKV chew on it for half a minute and then once it's done chewing on it, HandBrake can then rip it directly from the Blu-ray drive. You do have to make sure that you have a drive that's compatible with Make MKV, most of them are and most of those are, I have this cheap $30 no name OEM drive that I got off of Amazon for again like $35 and it's just easy as pie. It works easily, I always use HandBrake to create two different copies of it. One at full HD resolution and then another one that's at like lower resolution that's more portable for phones and for tablets and stuff like that, and so the super high definition version goes onto my media server and plays to my Roku, plays through everything else and then the other one just goes onto a file server and so I can just sync it directly onto literally everything that I own and that's the reason why I do that.
Rene: If you go to Github.com/donmelton he's made some amazing scripts to automate a lot of this stuff, and he's the kind of guy who will make sure that the blacks in Saving Private Ryan are rendered as black as possible.
Andy: Yeah that's the video file solution. It's not terribly easy, but he has scripts for like, here is how to manage, here is a script that manages the settings to create a digital copy that is similar to what Apple or Amazon or whatever would create for commercial streaming. And so I don't use it only because I really want this to be like putting a slice of toast in a toaster and getting toast four minutes later, that's why I just like you know, I will truly... most of these are... went to my usual comic book store that had just bins and bins of really good DVDs for like $5 and so I tend to just have a stack of like a dozen of these going at any one time and...
Rene: You also don't re-rip all of them every... all 300 of them every two days like he does so it's different in this case.
Andy: Right. So yeah, I encourage people to do that because it's simple, its' cheap and the limitations of DRM being locked into only playing stuff on Apple or Amazon compatible devices is just intolerable. I couldn't... I watch movies and enjoy movies so much more by virtue of the fact that it is simply a file on a server that any device on my network that can access a file on a server can either stream directly or simply copy and then I can take it out of the house. Why would you want something less than that?
Leo: That's the second complaint about DRM is that it encourages... everybody to do what we just did. Which is teach everybody how to be a pirate.
Andy: Exactly. Yeah.
Leo: Because you, quite reasonably, wish to have an unencumbered copy of a movie you purchased, I'm not advocating this for stealing, I just want to be able to watch it!
Rene: I just want to be able to watch it, Leo! Just let me watch it!
Andy: I just feel like there's a legal component and there's an ethical component. I am absolutely not ethically troubled whatsoever with buying a copy of Raiders of the Lost Ark, converting it to a file, never letting other people have that file, but allowing... you know. I have no ethical problems with that whatsoever, I don't think anybody else should either.
Leo: Nor do I.
Rene: I bought a ton of Blu-ray that don't play now just because one of the Blu-ray players I had scratched them all. It was one of the TV series, I didn't realize til' later, I just took one of them out, put the next one in. I can't play anything now! I think it was The West Wing or something, I can't play any of them any more. I went and re-bought all of them.
Leo: You should have the right, and I think you do, certainly in Canada you have the right, and I think even in the United States you have the right to make archival backups of your digital media.
Andy: I think...
Leo: I'm no lawyer and I don't even care because as you say Andy, it's just right that you should be able to do that. We're going to take a break, if you've been worried about the long-term viability of solid state drives, there's some very good news for you, and Mark Zuckerberg says Apple is ridiculous.
Andy: Ridiculously profitable, am I right shareholders?
Leo: (laughing) We'll talk about that in just a little bit. Our show today bought to you by Oscar, hi Oscar! This is if you live in New York or New Jersey although I am told that this is a pilot program that they plan to roll out in a lot larger area. If you're looking for health insurance, this is kind of the internet's answer to health insurance. They focus on everyday people as their customers, not big companies, they're using technology to make health insurance simpler, more intuitive and more human. These are engineers, people who worked at tumblr, Spotify and Google. They're really trying to make a better way to buy and use health insurance. For instance, as part of their app they have a personal time line that lets you track your medical history, including doctor appointments, visit notes, prescriptions. Telemedicine is supported by Oscar, phone calls with a doctor. It also helps you find doctors and care in your area, man I wish they had it out here. Search by location, languages spoken, hospital affiliation, iOS version is out now, Android version is coming out next month. Oscar is using technology to provide better care to individuals and their families and to make quality care more accessible. If you're lucky enough to be living in New Jersey or New York, Oscar's doctor on call gives you access to a board certified doctor 24/7, it's like having a doctor in the family. But you've got to be in New York or New Jersey right now, and if you do please let me know what your experience is. Learn more about Oscar and get a quote at hioscar.com/macbreak, or call 1-844-OSCAR-13. You can sign up by the 15th of the month, what is the date today? You've got 7 days, 6 days and be insured by the first of the following month. Hi Oscar! hioscar.com/macbreak, it's about time we got some of the geeks trying to solve this, doing it right. With an app and everything, hioscar.com/macbreak. Or 1-844-OSCAR-13. Here's some very exciting news, let me see if I can find because I just erased it. If you've ever bought an SSD, and nowadays when you buy a new Macbook you're buying an SSD, no I don't want to update the Adobe Flash Player. Go away! I said no and it still downloaded it. That's annoying. I must have gone to a pirate site. This is the tech report doing this, they more than a year ago, get this. They picked six solid state drives for a ... they say suicide mission, we're curious how many writes could survive before burning out. Really that's what... a lot of people have been worried about is if you have an SSD is it going to be less long lived than a spinning hard drive? We also wanted to track how each ones performance characteristics and health statistics change as the writes accumulate and somewhat morbidly we wanted to watch what happened when the drives finally expired. So, so far the Corsair Neutron GTX, the Intel 335, the Kingston Hyper X and the Samsung 840 all have died. However, each went far farther than their official spec. So that's the good news. All went longer than the spec, in fact much longer than you'd probably have any occasion to use them for. The last victim fell at 1.2 petabytes of writes. But now they're using... they've got two still alive. The 840 Pro and a Hyper X 3k have reached 2 petabytes of writes. It's kind of hard to put that in perspective, but the author says to figure, to give you an idea, the solid state drives in my main desktop over several years have logged less than two terabytes. So we're talking a thousand times more, he says at this rate it will take me a thousand years to reach 2 petabytes. So this is really good years. This is writes only, but reads are non-destructive right on SSDs. So very good news if you've been a little bit worried, I know we get, I still get calls. I want the speed of SSDs, I love the idea that there's no moving parts, the lower power, but how long are they going to last? Very very long time.
Leo: And because there's no spinning parts I think you could now say pretty conclusively, longer than a spinning drive.
Andy: Yeah. I mean I was doing some maintenance, I was traveling over the weekend and I needed to free up some... I had an experience that showed both the advantages and the disadvantages of SSD because stupidly when I bought my new Macbook last year, I didn't think I'd be using it as much as I am and so I didn't just totally max out the internal drive. So it only has a 256GB SSD which means that it's always running out of space, so I had to like copy like lots and lots and lots of files off of it onto what I now use as my travel pocket drive which is an external SSD and so that's the bad news. The good news is that copies are happening so fast that I'm pretty sure that the finder is buggy. Here's a 500MB video file or a 300MB, I'll just drag like 700MB of stuff and by the time I let go of the pointer it's done.
Leo: I love it. Isn't that awesome?
Andy: I actually have to open, I'm serious it's like, I don't think there's a pause and it's done. I mean I let go and I don't even see a progress bar and I have to like double click on the external drive to make sure the file is actually there. So this is and you're right, there is a lot of fear about longevity of SSDs, a lot of times when you look online for this information you find that you're talking about deep deep deep analysis that's intended for people who are buying SSDs for server use and really really intense server use as opposed to consumers for which really they all work incredibly well, any name brand SSD is going to be so long-lived that you will, the heat death of the universe will come before the end of your life, before the end of this device so just buy it and enjoy it.
Leo: Jeff Gasseur is writing us that tech report is at techreport.com and there's a lot more detail about error handling and so forth so it's a good read and I have to say our SSD expert from PC Perspective, Allyn Malventano, has been telling that the new Samsung EVO 850 Pro is the one to watch, this is the first SSD drive to use a new kind of NAND technology called V-NAND, he is very bullish on this, and the prices have really plummeted from Samsung, 128 gigs is $119, so we're now below a buck a gigabyte. 256 gigs, $189. They have a terabyte version EVO 850 Pro, for $659 and I think that is a very exciting price, so. And Allyn says this is the drive he's currently recommending is the 850. It also solves some of the trim issues that the 840 had, some of the slowdown issues. So this is the drive to get. I don't think it's, is it available now? It's imminently available. On this new technology. Pretty impressive, good news. Good news. The hard drive folks have always blown me away.
Rene: Solid state future, Leo.
Leo: We're all going to live in a solid state world.
Andy: No more tube storage or mending cores for us. You're in the push button atomic jet age.
Leo: Next time you're at the brick house, I have hanging on the wall a big thing of core memory.
Rene: Oh nice.
Leo: Yeah, and it's not very much but I mean it's huge. It might be 2k. Because they're actually little magnetic cores with wires going this way and this way and this way.
Rene: I remember the trays of punch cards my dad had at IBM when I was a kit.
Leo: You have some... well there you go! Some core memory baby.
Andy: Yep. I always like to have about 1k of backup storage in case.
Rene: Make that a medallion and you just wear that like a pimp clock on your chest.
Leo: Around your neck, yeah. I love it.
Rene: Core memory baby.
Andy: This is more like bytes than k but...
Leo: We live in amazing amazing times. And it's so easy to take it for granted. Like Louie CK.
Rene: You could probably read the binary off that thing.
Leo: Yeah, you could!
Andy: Yeah, it's probably still good. Especially since I keep it in such an impressive archival storage.
Andy: I was buying stuff online over the past week and like 64GB memory cards kept going on sale for like incredibly low amounts of money, and I realized that now SD cards storage is so cheap now that I don't even bother to delete anything off of a camera card, I buy 32 or 64 gig cards when they're full I simply label them and put them in a box, and those act like the fourth backup and like the absolutely untouched, unedited, every crappy photo even the ones that I took accidentally is always there, that's how cheap these things are. And you think about how difficult it was to get 16k back in the day.
LL: I was watching last night, I was playing with a new music key YouTube ability to play videos without ads, you know and stuff and I was Chromecasting it to my big screen TV, and I was kind of in the mood, we started watching Michael Jackson videos, I was watching the Thriller video. 1983. And I mean I remember what a big deal that was, and then I was just reading an article about Nintendo, 1983 was when Nintendo came out with its first game machine. The NES. We have come a long way since 1983. You know.
Andy: Leo, but I have an explanation for you that will you depress the hell out of you if you're ready for it. 1983 was three decades ago.
Leo: Oh wait a minute. Oh my god, that can't be! I was thinking...
Andy: That's why so much has happened. Because it's happened over 30 years, Leo. When I was in school, Casablanca was only like what, 5 years old?
Leo: Mhm. Mhm. Mhm. The world's moving. I went to see last week, last Friday, went to see Stevie Wonder perform the entire songs in the key of life.
Leo: Now almost 40 years old that album. But that album has not aged. It is... what a phenomenal concert that was. Best concert I've seen in years. Mark Zuckerberg. Okay, so this is good. So the new... okay the battle used to be Steve Jobs, Eric Schmidt. Apple Google right? Now Apple's kinda buried the hatchet, and not in Google's back but in the ground. Yeah, you know no more lawsuits bla bla bla. However, there seems to be a brewing rivalry between Apple and Facebook. Remember in September when Tim Cook was talking about the new iPhones, he said quote: “A few years ago, users of internet services began to realize that when an online service is free, you're not the customer, you're the product.” You know, that's an old saw. “And of course promoting Apple's commitment to privacy. Our product is our hardware, we make money on that, we don't need to make money on you.” Which I think is a pretty fair statement. Zuckerberg says that's ridiculous and Apple's products are overpriced. Recent interview with Time magazine, he says Apple is actually making... and this isn't wrong either, Apple is making products that are exclusionary because they're overpriced.
Rene: I mean Facebook is making its products that are exclusionary if you don't want to share your data.
Leo: It's free as long as you don't mind sharing your data.
Rene: You can pay with money with time with data or with attention, and money is really easy to see. The rest are more abstract. But if I choose not to share data then Facebook is exclusionary to me the same way if I choose not to share money Apple is exclusionary to me. That's a different payment points.
Andy: That's why I don't like claims that well you realize that we don't care about selling your data, we only want to support you as a consumer and have you buy our next wave of products. And that's true as far as it goes, but if you wanted to turn that around and say things about Apple the way that Apple is saying about the other company you could say “You see we here at Google or Facebook, we don't try to lock you into one platform to make it really hard for you to not pay us for another high markup piece of hardware, we if you want to come in with a $200 Walmart laptop that's fine. If you want to come in with $4000 gaming laptop, that's fine too. We give you the choice, we realize that people at all different price levels...” and that's not intended as a complaint against Apple but as okay, there's a factual point to be made there but let's also realize that you're only looking at 10% of the picture there and there's always a way to spin things.
Leo: To be fair to Mark, this is an interview by Lev Grossman, Time Magazine, in which they're talking to Mark in India about bringing the internet via internet.org to the developing nations and talking about poverty and how you know, these people are absolutely not going to be buying iPhones, they're not going to be buying iMacs, and I think you can praise Mark for saying well maybe we can get them something with Google, with Loon and so forth and Loon gets internet access to them and yes we're going to make money off of it because we're going to wire the world and there will be commerce opportunities and advertising opportunities, but Apple doesn't have a strategy for getting iPhones into developing nations.
Rene: Yeah, it's not their business. Their business is the higher end premium market, they've chosen not to really compete in that market. But just the other point, if I use Facebook it's not trivial to take all my stuff and take it to Google if I suddenly have an objection to Facebook. Everybody, that's why Mark Zuckerberg wants to wire the world, because he wants to do it before Google does. Everyone's invested in Facebook and it's hard to move to Google from there. So it always is about using my product, the analogy I like to use and it's a horrible analogy, is that if I'm having dinner, like if I go out to eat with Andy, you know we pay for our dinners, that's one thing. It does cost me money but I've paid for my dinner and we can both leave. If the restaurant gives us the lobster dinner and we're eating it and they don't charge us for it but then just sit there leering at us, maybe that's fine for me, but maybe it's not. It all depends on what sort of barter, because you're bartering again, money, time, data or attention.
Leo: Here's the analogy I would use that is more, that speaks to what my situation. In fact, Mike Elgan was the one who suggested this to me, he said, you know, there are two kinds of media. There's media behind a pay wall like the Wall Street Journal, you have to give them money to read their content, and there's ad supported media like TWiT. And Mike was the one who said TWiT is fundamentally more democratic, because anybody can listen to TWiT, anywhere. If you can get it, if you have a device you can play it on. Because there's no pay wall, so it's fundamentally more democratic. I like the TWiT model better, I don't want to be behind a pay wall for a lot of reasons. Not altruistic particularly but I just don't want... and I think it's completely reasonable to do as Jessica Lessen has done with the information, to have a pay wall. They're just two different business models. I don't think they're antagonistic necessarily, they might even be complimentary.
Rene: It's nice to have choice.
Leo: It's good to have choice. Andy, I'm sorry I interrupted you.
Andy: No no, I was just going to pick up on some stuff that Rene was saying. I mean there's... the point being that everybody, every company acts to the own best interest of their business model, and every business model is going to be different. It's like saying that here at McDonald's, we don't try to trick you into buying undercoating and special wire rims and air conditioning that you can only get if you buy the rally sport package, we just want to sell you a hamburger for 99 cents. Like well, big sacrifice. You're not in the business of selling cars, this isn't like this is an ethics thing that you're talking about, you're talking about you and this company are in different businesses just like Ford is going to say we really aren't interested in tricking into putting more processed sugar into your kid's mouth than is healthy for you, we just want to get your kids to school safely. I don't know why McDonald's doesn't care about getting your kids to school safely.
Leo: Now Zuckerberg said, this actually is a great couple of paragraphs I'll read from Lev Grossman's article in Time Magazine. Lev writes “There's something distasteful about the whole business. A global campaign by a bunch of silicon valley jillionaires to convert literally everybody into data consumers. To make sure no eyeballs anywhere go unexposed to their ads. Everyone must be integrated into the vast cultural homogeneity that is the internet. It's like a zombie plague: World War Z,” for Zuckerberg.
Rene: Get them before Alibaba does.
Leo: “After all, it's not as though anybody asks two thirds of humanity whether they wanted to be put online.” I bet they do. “It makes one want to say, there are still people here on god's green Earth who can conduct their social lives without being marketed to? Can't we leave them alone? I aired this point of view to a few Facebook executives. Predictably I didn't get a lot of traction. Zuckerberg's response was that internet.org is not about growing Facebook for the simple reason there's no reason in showing ads to the people that use the app because they don't have any.” That's a legitimate point.
Rene: Sure but I mean those are growing economies and we've seen with previous experience that if you get them to see Mickey Mouse and Superman and the Playboy Bunny and whatever brand that you're giving them...
Leo: Yeah, it's disingenuous.
Rene: It creates affinity for those brands and when they do have money...
Leo: Yeah it's disingenuous. Yeah. Because really, one way to make money M-pesa. Which is basically banking for much of undeveloped Africa. They use their smartphone, not smartphones, dumb phones. Feature phones to exchange money, to store money. And that's a big business. A lot of money to be made there in lots of small transactions.
Rene: And they want them to use Facebook messaging the way they use BBM because it's super cheap and voice is expensive there.
Leo: And because eventually commerce can flow over it.
Leo: Look online, they buy stickers and promote games now. It's not just a messaging service any more. Sorry Andy.
Andy: That's why my eyes glaze over when I see, when I hear that oh you remember that if you get something for free you're the product. I think A: I think it's overplayed, it really is the oh behave of tech commentary, but also it indicates... it sort of implies that consumers are stupid. And that they are being exploited as opposed to simply saying that I'm okay with this transaction, depending on the services that I'm getting and how much they value, I value them in my lives. I mean if a school system wants to standardize on Google Docs as opposed to... and that works out really really well for Google so long as it's also the best situation for school systems. That's an okay trade.
Leo: Yeah. A few months after Zuckerberg announced internet.org, Bill Gates appeared to take a contrarian line in an interview with The Financial Times quote: “Hmm. Which is more important? Connectivity or malaria vaccine?” Gates said. “If you think connectivity is the key thing, that's great. I don't.” and more succinctly “As a priority it's a joke.” But Zuckerberg said you know what? I called Bill. Wait a minute this is the quote from Zuckerberg. “I called him up and I was like, what's up dude?” That's the quote! “But he was misquoted.” Says Zuckerberg. He even corrected it afterwards, he was like no I fully believe this is critical.
Rene: Like for sure.
Leo: Like for sure man. So it's not that it's not critical if you had to choose. But it's a false choice between connectivity and malaria vaccine, he'd probably choose malaria vaccine but that's a false choice, that's not the choice.
Rene: I do think though that there's a difference in how traditionally we value, like when you pay something with money, there are people who live beyond their means but money is a very tangible thing that you can see in front of you where at least speaking for myself, data and attention is something that I can mortgage very easily in the present at the expense of my future. And I think it is worthwhile reminding people that no matter what you're buying, no matter whose model you're supporting, you are paying in some way shape or form.
Leo: Zuckerberg says “Our mission is to connect every person in the world. You don't do that by having a service people pay for.” Not money, anyway.
Andy: I'm just... well I'm just glad that there are all different kinds of people pursuing all kinds of different solutions, and like the people that might be saying that well people need, you could say not only do certain areas need malaria vaccines, they need roads. They also need clean water.
Leo: They need a lot of stuff, it's not a zero sum game. You can have them all.
Andy: But that's what I'm saying, I mean I'm glad that there are also people who, it's... imagine helping lower income families and saying that well we're not going to make it possible for you to ever... we're not going to make it possible for you to take... if you're taking time to take your kids to see a movie, or you even to see like a free program at the library, that's time you could be spending making money to help feed your children so we're not going to let you do that. There's so much that goes into creating a good healthy life, and connectivity is one of those things, I would be disappointed if there was x dollars total worth of time money and intention that people could give to helping other people, and they only put it into Facebook or into online services, but I would also... that's never the situation. There's going to be individual A who wants to put 100% of their attention into solving one problem, individual B who will be someplace else, individual C who will be someplace else. Once everybody does one thing that they're passionate about to solve one specific problem, that's how the whole picture gets clearer.
Leo: And I'm going to, this by the way, I recommend you read the article. It's online, it's free. No pay wall. But here's the quote you don't see in all the coverage of this article where the quote you see from Zuckerberg is ridiculous. A frustration, Mark says, “A frustration I have is that a lot of people increasingly seem to equate an advertising business model with somehow being out of alignment with your customers. I think that's the most ridiculous concept. What? You think because you're paying Apple that you're somehow in alignment with Apple? If you were in alignment with them, they would make their products a lot cheaper.” I think Mark is a smart guy, I think this is an interesting argument and I don't think either side is right, but I agree with you this is a great thing to have, the choice. And I think it's important to make the choice explicit and understand what's going on. This is a good article to read, it was in the December 15th Time Magazine and it is available online on their website.
Andy: I mean, I don't like Facebook myself, I mean I actively try not to use it as much as I can, but you cannot deny that for a lot of people this is a great solution to a very important problem and it keeps a lot of families together that would not be communicating in any other way shape or form.
Leo: Hugely valuable. Hugely valuable.
Rene: I'm the same way as Andy in that we still have accounts probably, just how deeply woven Facebook is into the fabric of the internet.
Leo: I could get rid of my account, nobody I really care about is on Facebook. None of my family members.
Andy: It's funny, I was at Thanksgiving dinner with my extended family and so what did you think about your nephew's latest achievement? And I'm like what latest achievement? Oh, well...
Leo: It was on Facebook!
Andy: Like, they graduated from high school three years early and got a Rhodes Fellowship? I don't... I put it on Facebook. Oh, that's why I didn't.
Leo: They can say that, but the problem with Facebook is there's no guarantee you saw that post even if you look at Facebook fastidiously because it doesn't show everything. I'm not a Facebook fan either, believe me. And I'm not, but as you said so eloquently Andy, so many people do get value out of it I wouldn't ever say... well you shouldn't...
Rene: We had that same problem and Serenity did a video for us yesterday showing how to make a list and that way it would avoid... because Facebook will only show you certain items, but if you put them in a list it turns out they'll show you everything from the people or pages that you put in there.
Leo: Right. You can also chronological if you care. But you'll... yeah. I mean there's ways to get around it. But most people I'm sure just do the algorithm right?
Rene: Yeah, which is horrible!
Leo: And let Facebook choose what you see. Tim Cook, on an unrelated story may be Time's 2014 person of the year, at least he's on the short list. I think I'd put him on, especially after he came out. I think that might have put him over the top. Other choices of course you see there Jack Ma, the CEO of Alibaba. Vladimir Putin who is in charge of Russia. Taylor Swift who has very red lipstick. Ebola could be the person of the year. The Roger Goodell, commissioner of the NFL, I think he's a long shot. I would say Tim Cook, if that's the competition Tim Cook should be in there. The first open league...
Rene: They want hope, yeah.
Leo: Gay CEO of a Fortune 500, he has done so much for Apple. Apple's success since Tim Cook has been CEO is incredible, made it the most valuable company in the world. A lot to be said for that. Putin maybe. Maybe Putin.
Rene: Putin and Tim Cook...
Leo: Remember, person of the year does not have to be a good person. Just influential.
Andy: Influential and notable. The personal computer was person of the year one year. It was interesting...
Leo: Zuck was person of the year in 2010.
Leo: He's so far the only tech CEO to receive the award since Bezos won it in 1999.
Andy: Yeah. It's interesting that I don't know where this copy came from. Well it's on the Time site, but I don't know if it's the same people who are evaluating this are the same people who wrote this piece for time, but it's interesting that it's Tim... first openly gay Fortune 500 CEO was last after he introduced the 6 and the 6+ and Apple Pay.
Leo: Yeah yeah yeah yeah.
Leo: Let me... yeah, this is the text and this is the list from Time. “Tim Cook, who introduced Apple's iPhone 6 and 6+, Apple Watch, and Apple Pay this year, and whose decision to come out made him the first openly gay Fortune 500 CEO.” You think that order is backwards?
Andy: Well definitely, because he's a seller of really good gadgets which is not a terrible thing to do, but when you talk about what makes someone notable, it's more than making a very important phone. It really is the idea that you have, I forget who... I think it was Chris, I think it was in Chris Rock's interview a few weeks ago...
Leo: Oh, isn't that good? You've got to read it.
Andy: It says that actually made the perfect comment that it is really, it's... we kind of shrug when like a teenager or someone in their 20s is a celebrity or well known comes out as being gay because you know, what's the big deal but Tim Cook is somebody in his age group, in the group of CEOs of super super wealthy super super powerful people, saying that I am not in the entertainment industry, I'm a corporate titan and I am gay. Go ahead. You know, go ahead and make any complaints, have any backlash which you want. When his peer group has to deal with an openly gay person, that's an incredibly important thing. And that's really something that even I hadn't considered when he came out, so I think that that's the significant thing. I'm sorry, I spoke backwards a minute ago. I meant that it will be interesting if he is chosen, how they intend to write about his selection. About whether they say they talk about his success as the CEO of a very important tech company or will they talk about his leadership as a person of power able to do a great amount of good with that amount of power that he wields that goes beyond selling more gadgets. Going beyond even coming out as a gay person, as a gay man, also saying if he... responsibility that he has, whatever he has personally for Apple being a little bit more open about charitable causes, being a little bit more... being a little bit more aggressive about matching donations of his employees and trying to make sure that Apple is a company that does things that its customers would definitely approve of, because yeah. Just like pretty much everybody is listening to this. I'm an Amazon customer, they have great deals, it's really really convenient, there are things that I don't even consider buying at a store because it's just so much easier to buy this cable at Amazon and get it for $4 and it arrives in 2 days instead of driving to Radio Shack on a day like this. It bothers that they don't pay their warehouse employees enough, and it bothers me that they treat their warehouse employees shabbily and it pleases me when I hear good, positive stories about how Apple treats its staff. About how safe all of its employees feel and how proud they feel about the environment that they work in. And so I would hope that if Apple does choose Tim Cook as person of the year, they're not going to say look at all the money he has made for Apple! And they put the focus more on the reasons why a hundred years from now you are still sort of pleased to read about this character, we don't say that yeah he built some libraries because he felt really guilty about all the children that he killed in his factories by not caring about anything but production and pricing. I'm sorry, referring to the steel barons of 100 years ago, not referring to Apple of course.
Leo: Howell in our chatroom says the only solution to this, Tim Cook and Vladimir Putin enter the octagon.
Leo: A little wrestling.
Rene: Go Auburn.
Andy: I bet... I bet that Tim Cook looks better with his shirt off, and I respect the fact that we have to guess as to how good he looks with his shirt off.
Rene: There is a new UFC channel on the Apple TV as of today.
Leo: Oh yeah, we'll talk about that.
Rene: I'm not saying that's because of this but...
Leo: Yeah, the octagon! Hmm. By the way we'll find out tomorrow, Wednesday is when Time will announce the person of the year so you'll hear it first on Tech News Today, 10am pacific, 1pm eastern, 1900 UTC on twit.tv. They already have made the people's choice. Interesting, Narendra Modi, the prime minister of India who is a fairly controversial figure before he was elected won as people's choice.
Leo: Find out tomorrow, and we'll announce it on TNT.
Rene: He has a lot of peoples.
Leo: He has a lot of peoples.
Andy: Like when one of those symphony orchestra votes themselves a Grammy award, if you're the head of one of the largest population countries, that's almost a gimme.
Rene: Like when the Blackberry Storm won Blackberry's best innovation award.
Leo: Yeah. Going to take a break, come back. Lots more to talk about, great cast as always. It's the regulars. The core group. I guess Alex Lindsey was traveling today but we've certainly got Rene Ritchie from iMore.com, in snowbound Quebec.
Rene: I have my gray thing Leo, I haven't mounted it yet but I can simulate Alex next time.
Leo: Let's see what that looks like, just simulate that behind you. I don't want to knock all that beautiful stuff you've put up behind you there. I don't know, we were just thinking...
Rene: It's pretty short though.
Leo: I know... (laughing) The littler Rene Ritchie. It's better on the single to have your backdrop, but then on the three shot the gray is better.
Andy: I have to, see I have to see... I bought actually like one of those backdrop rigs that's actually 10 feet wide, and I'm going to buy like a large, really large white backdrop because when you have a small thing that you get to be right behind... Rene you kind of look like a talking passport photo. That's all I'm saying. That might not be the respect you're looking for.
Leo (laughing) I love it.
Rene: I can't smile.
Leo: Our show today brought to you by the folks... oh and Andy Inhatko is here, I didn't say hi Andy. Andy Inhatko is here from the Chicago Sun Times and his squirrel and his cows staring at the amazing phallic Washington Monument.
Andy: Oh, you went there.
Leo: I had to.
Andy: I'm disappointed that you went there.
Leo: I had to, look at it.
Andy: The cows didn't go there.
Leo: They're impressed. We don't know what they're thinking.
Andy: I'm the one who's like here showing them around. I'm the bovine facilitator during their travels, they share their confidences with me.
Jason: Any time Leo.
Leo: Nice job.
Jason: You don’t take much time off during the week. It really doesn't happen that often.
Leo: That is the first time I haven’t done a show for being sick in years. In six years of Tech TV I never miss a single show.
Rene: Food poisoning is horrible because you feel like you want to die but only for a few hours.
Leo: Well don’t get Salmonella, it lasts a week. It is not a good one.
Andy: It is opens up the slooses at both ends.
Leo: Yeah, Bruce, actually I didn’t. Mostly it was just really severe cramping, which is really uncomfortable. You know I suspect the hotel that we stayed at on Thanksgiving night. Because the next morning we had breakfast there and the server told us the eggs were unusual. I said are these fresh? She said no, they come in a big plastic bag. She said that we go through my body weight in scrambled eggs every breakfast. I think looking back, in hind sight.
Rene: I’ve been hit twice on airport food. I’ve eaten fruit at an airport and landed at like at CES or WBDC and just been unusable for a couple of days.
Leo: I really feel like I eat out too much now, and I’m going to get back to cooking in the house. I know how to wash my hands, avoid cross contamination, wash the knives, wash the cutting boards, and all that kind of stuff.
Rene: Look at the egg before you cook it.
Leo: Anyway I’m sorry, that is disgusting. Nobody should hear about that. Jimmy Iovine to Apple; you have a whole in music right now let me plug it. Is that the first time Jimmy has used that line? I don’t know.
Rene: Babylon five.
Andy: That is a lyric in some song somewhere.
Leo: He is talking about the lack of presence of these streaming music. There is Jimmy on the left, Tim Cook, Dr. Dre, and Eddy Cue; the famous picture. The last time either Jimmy or Dre were seen at the Apple campus. I convinced them says Jimmy; Jimmy Iovine of course is the head of Beats but also a legend in the music industry, producer, and executive. I convinced them; and I don’t know how he talks, but I imagine it is something like this. I convinced them they had to buy this company. I said I don’t want to work for anybody else; I want to do this at Apple. I know I can achieve this at Apple. Maybe he has a little higher voice. I don’t want to shop it; I want to come here to Steve’s company. Did nobody tell Jimmy Steve is gone?
Leo: I know you guys, I know what you are capable of, I know you get popular culture, I know you have a whole in music right now let me plug it. I think it was two years before they said yeah.
Andy: So basically, what Apple is looking for in a resume is: I was once one of the dead end kids.
Leo: I’m Leo Gossy, Apparently Iovine pitched a music subscription to Apple in 2003, the earliest years of the iPod, long before Pandora and Spotify. Iovine does not have a specific; this is from an article at Mac Rumors Julie Clover writing, I think the interview comes from GQ magazine where he was named one of the men of the year, so he has revealed some of the secrets. He apparently was a long-time friend of Steve Jobs, they had a close relationship. He collaborated with Steve on a number of things including, as I think we knew, the YouTube special iPod. He does not have a specific title at Apple, a senior role at the company, alongside Dr. Dre, under Eddie Cue. Anything more to be said about beats?
Andy: Not until Apple says something about it.
Leo: Here is a picture of.
Andy: It does seem like one of those long haul sort of things. Where I would not have been surprised if Apple had, excuse me, it surprised me that Apple did not have any kind of announcement by the end of this year. But, that simply means they have a much bigger plan than just simply they have a product we want, we want to put our sticker on it and put it out there. It is like no. It is like they are at a spice market and they bought this really cool seeming spice and they don't know how they are going to use it in their next dish but they know their next dish is going to involve this spice somehow.
Leo: The seemingly clueless headline in GQ magazine, they write Jimmy Iovine, the music legend who just might save Apple. What?
Rene: He'll save them from the money; he is going to stop the money from falling on top of them.
Leo: It might be the other way around.
Rene: It is the same thing that Apple didn't announce almost anything to do with iTunes either at WWDC or during the fall events. We didn't hear continuity for iTunes yet, you got to figure that is got to be coming. There is the Apple TV stuff, there is a whole bunch of stuff going on there that give Andy's point. It is not a reliable; it is a rethinking of how to deliver a better unified service I think.
Andy: Also, it is interesting that this is another piece that doesn’t talk about Dre's contributions, which I don't know why that is.
Rene: They forgot about Dre.
Leo: I think Dre is in the studio, come on.
Andy: Well the thing is, if this were the sort of thing where if they had a headphone company and they just wanted to put a name on it. He would have been out of there. He would be in and out of the company really, really; excuse me he may still be in the company if it was really profitable. But, would he still be talked about as here is a member of the executive team as opposed to someone who is lending a name to a product.
Leo: Is Apple saying that?
Rene: Well they’ve changed the marketing. It used to say beats by Dre, and now on Apple sites it says beats by Dr. Dre. So they are paying attention enough to at least change the product names
Leo: That is a terrible improvement! Its beats by Dre; beats by Dr Dre that sounds like Dean Edell's glasses.
Andy: To be fair, he did
Rene: It is like going to school to become a doctor and being called mister.
Andy: He had not defended his thesis yet. He is only a doctoral candidate at that time.
Leo: Wait a minute; they changed the name from beats by Dre to beats by Dr. Dre?
Rene: I think so, yeah. William Presner, they reaffirmed his involvement with the Apple product.
Leo: That is of interest. Trent of course of Nine Inch Nails, has said already that he is very involved and that makes sense. Trent is digitally literate and certainly creative and talented. Dre, the first thing Dre said is yeah I'm going back in the studio. He is making records.
Andy: It just seams puzzling that they would go so far as to say, let's have him in the group picture and lets mention him as part of the executive team as opposed to somebody who is just going to have a pass, have a parking pass for the lot. So, I just worry that since there is so much information available of what Iovine has done and it is so obvious given his business work with the relationship team. I worry that I'm giving short shifted to Dre because I know nothing about him beyond his music.
Leo: here is what I think. I think Iovine was streaming, Dre was hardware because he was the headphones and Apple doesn't really care about the hardware. It is the streaming music that is really important to Apple, right?
Rene: I just think it is really hard to get office space in the iTunes complex.
Leo: Well they both have offices don’t they?
Rene: I don't know.
Leo: By the way, I think I got the name right. Jimmy Iovine grew up in Brooklyn and his nickname was Moochie. So I think he did talk like that, I think he was one of the dead end kids. Hey Moochie what do you want? Hey Moochie. Now we were by the way, and I haven't mentioned this on the air, but if you watch Sunday night, if you watched News Room on HBO, you would have seen very briefly, one of the producers in News Room wearing beats headphones.
Rene: And reading TWiT
Leo: Oh great your reading TWiT, that’s um I better delete
Andy: Bless you for pointing that out Rene. That fact would have totally been lost.
Leo: That is pretty cool. He's watching TWiT; I think he is a bad guy. He's watching TWiT
Rene: Are there are bad guys in news?
Leo: Well he is being a bad guy and wearing beats headphones. Beats is still getting out there, I see beats in movies.
Rene: Well their doughnut selfie commercial was really good.
Leo: The doughnut selfie commercial, I missed that one.
Rene: It was a new beats commercial. In doughnut selfie, this woman, I forget her name now, she would take her iPhone from one ear and bring it around to the other ear and use the darkness as a transition to take video selfies of yourself at different locations.
Leo: Oh, I did see that one.
Rene: So they did a version of that for beats with a bunch of different celebrities and the woman who originally created the doughnut selfie in it. It was really good. I think it was the most recent beats add that went out.
Leo: They had a whole tumbler dedicated to the doughnut selfie. I did see that. Now I know what you were talking about. I was thinking you said the word doughnut, my mind went to sprinkles. As well it should, but you're talking about the idea of taking the selfie around. Is it a video? Like a video selfie?
Rene: Yeah, and if you use slow mo, it is really cool. You can go to doughnutselfie.com to learn how to do it.
Leo: You can, this is doughnut selfie, I'm here. I'm on the tutorial right now. This is brilliant marketing at least in this company. They know what they are doing. Here, let's listen in. I'm getting more audio than, let me pause the doughnut selfie add. So that we can, who is this giving us the tutorial here?
Rene: They must have redone this, because the original woman has their own set of tutorials.
Leo: This is Keenan Thompson, I thought Dre gained some weight but no its Keenan Thompson here.
Keenan Thompson: Hey what's up? It is your boy pimp tastic, I'm about to teach you how to do the solo selfie. First you want to turn your camera on.
Leo: Okay good start.
Keenan: Make sure it is on video.
Leo: Wait a minute say that again, vidjo. Oh I get it vidjo. He is by the way using a massive iPhone 6+.
Keenan: Then you want to face your screen outwards, start at the b, bring it around, hit that selfie pose pimping, and then bring it around to the other b. It is just that simple. If you want crank up the pimp juice, do it in slow mo.
Leo: Crank up the pimp juice.
Rene: I think the original tutorials are better.
Leo: With your doughnut selfie. And by the way, it's about beats because he says you start at the b, you do the selfie, and you go to the other b.
Rene: I hope she got well compensated for that because, they just took over her entire meme.
Leo: So this was not somebody who did it for beats, this woman did it originally just for herself.
Rene: Yeah and then Beats just sort of did this.
Leo: She invented it.
Rene: You will see her at the very end of this commercial.
Leo: Oh so she is not the model in the bikini top.
Rene: No, she is young. I don't know if she is Chinese or not.
Leo: But these are real people, famous people.
Rene: Those are all celebrities, people that we are way too old to know who they are.
Leo: Is that Ashton Kutcher?
Leo: I don't know. Do you recognize him?
Rene: Yeah that is her that is the woman.
Leo: She invented it.
Leo: I'm going to do more doughnut selfies.
Rene: You should Leo.
Leo: What was the phrase? I want to bring out the pimp. What was it?
Leo: Dial up the pimping.
Rene: Show title.
Leo: I'm dialing up the pimping now. The pimp juice.
Rene: The pimp juice, dialing up the pimp juice.
Leo: Yeah I think that is what it was, yeah turning up the pimp juice. Oh but to do this you have to have, you know they are selling the fact that they don't have wires on them anymore, the Beats headphones.
Rene: This is a close equivalent to what the old iTunes ads were, the pulse of the community.
Leo: It is, it is and I think that is something that maybe Apple could use some help with. So that is good. Moochie is in residence, Dr Moochie.
Rene: There was a good iPad Air commercial this weekend too, during the football game.
Leo: The super bowl
Rene: All of the games are super bowls to me Leo. The great cup, the earl great tees.
Leo: Should I play it, is the iPad Air ad.
Rene: You can go to apple.com, youtube.com/apple.
Leo: Is this the one called change? You don't know what the titles of the ads are. Change is in the air watch the film. No, where is the ads apple.com.
Rene: youtube.com/apple it will be the first one.
Leo: Thank you for helping us find Apple ads. There it is, it is called Change and this is the Orwell's singing. Wait, wait a minute is it a good idea to put an iPad air in your gas tank? Oh it is on top of it okay.
Andy: That would work great so long as you only drive that motorcycle indoors. Other than that, that is not a good choice.
Leo: I do love; I have to say I love the ads.
Andy: Also don't sand your iPad.
Leo: Yeah, not recommended.
Rene: It is thin enough.
Leo: I was very pleased to say, at the Stevie Wonder concert. Not one person took an iPad video.
Andy: God bless them
Leo: So the word is getting out, about eight thousand people taking iPhone videos, and a little pro tip here. Turn off the flash on your camera phone when you are taking a picture of a stage a hundred feet away. All you are going to do is illuminate the hair of the people in front of you and annoy everybody behind you. I was sitting behind a woman who did that at least twenty times. I almost tapped her on the shoulder and said you need to turn the flash off; it is not going to do you any good.
Rene: Almost tapped her out.
Leo: I couldn't believe she didn't even notice. And then, there is another really bad trend in public. People are taking at concerts, flash selfies. So the people if front of me are taking selfies and the flash is hitting me in the eye.
Andy: You missed out on the obvious solution. To get them to, to get that lady behind you to make sure she turned off the flash so that you could be completely in darkness. You could have taken your hand like this and moved a finger and held it like that for a few minutes. Unless she wanted that to be the foreground of every picture.
Rene: Then it will go viral Andy.
Leo: I photo bombed a few of those selfies.
Andy: That is even perfect. I would have loved her to put them out. See what the jerk did when I was taking flash pictures at a concert with my phone all night. Boy that guy was a jerk wasn't he. Back to Beats though, you reminded me of this really good article. The only involvement I have in football is this AP has a column called Block and Tackle by John Teti, hope I'm pronouncing his last name right. It is just a really readable column on football. This week's column he is talking about headphones and talks about the controversy because the NFL has a contract with Bose to be the official headphones of the NFL and fining players for wearing any headphones that are not Bose. But, that had the effect of now oh because we football players, either we are proud or because we want to market ourselves as anti-authoritarian. We want to definitely now, not be wearing Bose headphones and be seen wearing not Bose headphones. And he has a great quote from one of these players. The Denver safety TJ Ward saying that Bose headphones are quote old people headphones.
Leo: That is actually true.
Andy: Everybody wants to have Beats.
Leo: That is actually true, and the contract with the NFL requires that the players not be seen on camera wearing Beats or any other brand except Bose for ninety minutes before and after the game. Of course this is well within that time frame, this is my own esteemed quarterback Collin Kaepernick for the San Francisco Forty-Niners. Who till this day still at every press conference, despite his pathetic performance on the field, continues to violate the NFL strictures and ware Beats headphones. He is now covering up the Beats logo with a piece of tape. But look, Bose doesn't make pink headphones okay.
Andy: Well after all, where is an NFL starting lineman going to get five thousand dollars to pay that fine.
Leo: It's ten thousand, but what the hell, two thousand here or there. It feels a little disrespectful to me at this point. Just don't wear any headphones. You are not required to wear Bose headphones.
Andy: Okay, disrespect to the NFL. I thought you meant the other way around. These people are grown adults, if you are telling them that they can't wear whatever headphones they want to wear. Now don't wear the headphones that have the giant rotating Beats illuminated logo on them, made just for promotional purposes. But, for God sakes.
Leo: That's a good point.
Rene: Maybe keep it to where they could retire so they don’t have to pick up so much endorsement cash while they are playing.
Andy: Now that we know there are an ungodly dangerous sport, that is going to have lifelong repercussions. The best of it is that their knees and joints are going to be shot by the time they are forty-three and they will require titanium earlobes by the time they are finished. Let them wear whatever headphones they want.
Leo: Bose has a problem though, because there is a Beats eruption. All the players like Beats and all the payers are wearing Beats. Because that is what the young people wear right. Here is Richard Sherman in pink Beats; some other big guy, gold Beats, there is the over the ear Beats. That is Eli Manning isn't it?
Rene: Tom Brady
Leo: Oh Brady I'm sorry. I could tell by the hair. Brady has the worst hair cut ever. And there is Collin.
Rene: He spent all his money on Beats, no money left for super cuts.
Leo: Speaking of which, it looks like the razor slipped when they gave Collin that haircut there. There is a little bit of a swirl on the top, what happened there.
Andy: I think that is very touching
Leo: His part went a little crazy there.
Andy: Maybe the mark has to do with Nike? They can't make him cover up a logo if it is part of his body.
Leo: Right, right.
Andy: And if it is not a tattoo, that means he can keep changing the bidding process every single year.
Leo: I just want to say that even though we have a deal with Beats. You guys, if you want to wear Bose headphones you go right ahead, any time. Actually we don't have a deal with anybody, I wish we did.
Rene: Oh Leo, I'll make a deal.
Leo: IOS 8.1.2, when did that come out?
Rene: Right before the show.
Leo: What's new is there security?
Rene: The biggest fix, there are a bunch of fixes, but the biggest one is that previously people would lose ringtones or text tones. And because the recording industry will not allow Apple to make those re-downloadable, you had to jump through hoops to try to get them back and that fixes this problem.
Leo: It fixes the ringtone issue. And it does, but they say this every time for more information on the security content, click this link and then there is nothing at that link.
Rene: It wasn't posted; it takes them a while to get that up.
Leo: So new IOS recommended no problems to date.
Rene: I downloaded it, I installed it right away and made sure I tested everything I could. It was super solid. I think since IOS 8.1.1, if you had any quibbles or qualms about IOS 8. They have all been, the big stuff has all been solved.
Leo: 10.10.2 Yosemite is in beta now. It is out and this is the newest seed and Apple says this time the Wi-Fi issue is fixed.
Rene: And Chrome 6 too, Chrome was crashing, if you had a track pad, anytime you touched the track pad it would crash Chrome. That is working again too.
Leo: That was not good.
Rene: No, it was deprecated code but still it is not what you want.
Leo: Go crash Chrome please. Alright, so do you know when we will see 10.10.2?
Rene: Anytime now.
Leo: Four hundred and seventy mega bites, if you are already in the pre-release version then you can download from the app store. In fact it has probably already been pushed upon you.
Rene: It doesn't really go to that process; you actually have to go turn it off now if you want to stop.
Leo: Typo the company that was started by, was it Ashton Kutcher?
Rene: Ryan Seacrest.
Leo: Ryan Seacrest, I confuse those two, I don't know why.
Rene: Very distinguishable.
Leo: Is now doing an iPhone 6 version. That is the little Blackberry style; I think Blackberry sued them, keyboard that slips on as a case to your iPhone.
Rene: This is a Typo 2 which they claim doesn't
Leo: Doesn't look as much like Blackberry I have to say. People love that, Steve Gibson bought a bunch of them for old iPhone.
Andy: I'm glad there are options out there for it but, wow at this point people just especially with the soft keyboards the give you slight, un-predictive typing. I think that we are losing a generation of people who even understand what it is like to type with a keyboard like that on a mobile device. And then we get to the okay, so you are going to name your company after inaccurate typing.
Rene: Have you guys tried the Blackberry Passport yet with the really long keyboard? It is interesting.
Leo: What do you think?
Rene: If you have square content, it is fantastic. But, most content isn't square.
Leo: I have square content.
Rene: If you do a lot of intagram or excel sheets it really good.
Andy: I thought it was just different for the sake of difference. It is like at this point either you have a compelling reason. I also, two weeks ago, met the first person in my life that drinks soda in New England called Moxie.
Andy: It is like
Man: It is horrible
Andy: It is horrible. I have never met anybody who drinks it and likes it, I have rarely even heard of that sort of thing. And again I have lived in New England for more than four decades now at this point. First contact with this species, but there are people who like what the like, even if it is not something that other people like. So, Blackberry is in that sort of category it is the Moxie of smart phones at this point. Where the people who like it, the people who love it are in the position where if this is the phone I like, there is nothing else like it. So there are no options except to the nirvana that Blackberry is creating for me. But anybody else who is not inside that group is never going to be converted to it at this point.
Leo: What flavor is Moxie?
Andy: Well if you left a car battery out after a long rain and then you put your mouth, I mean I'm talking, right on the positive terminal. That is pretty much what it is like. It sneaks up on you. In New England grocery stores, again there is walls and walls of all different kinds of different flavors and there is always like four six packs of Moxie, two, two litter bottles, and that is it. So once I actually bought a can of this stuff, because I'm just curious why there is a market for four six packs in every single store. I poured it out, it was nice and cold, I took a drink, and it tasted like a not terribly good cola. Okay so it is bad but it's not awful but, it had that sort of thing where after thirty seconds it was interacting with the chemicals inside my mouth. I swear to God, I actually had to brush my tongue to get the flavor out. It was just mounting and mounting. It was like you see these videos of people who take a bite into a pepper, a super hot pepper and are like I don't know why people are complaining, this isn't bad at all. Thirty seconds later they are like ahhh.
Leo: It comes here when soda pop was really considered a medicine that was one of the first soda pops if not the first soda pop. So it really has a medicinal kind of flavor.
Andy: It has like a chemo, therapeutic sort of affect.
Leo: Steven King writes about the store in Maine, which I don't know if it is still there. It sells nothing but Moxie, a Moxie store.
Andy: Again if you like Moxie, there is only one soda like it and that is what you base your business on.
Leo: So the Passport is the Moxie of smartphones.
Andy: Not necessarily in a bad way either. I'm saying that there are people that are always going to be like I want a tack tile keyboard, I want this sort of attitude towards business communications, and now that is not what anybody else is interested in at this point.
Leo: I have received several hate messages from people who say you do not cover the Blackberry sufficiently. I am no longer listening to you.
Andy: Because you can still see a little corner of it peaking out, just move the napkin a little bit more, there you go now we can't see it at all there we go.
Leo: Now we have coverage, this is it you are covering it. I don't know what to say. Rene defend it, it is from your country. Should we do more coverage of Blackberry?
Rene: It is huge in Indonesia Leo.
Leo: I think it is the same guy who keeps writing me the e-mail, but it is possible there is a grand total of four or five people who care.
Rene: I like that there is choice, I like that there is people trying different things. I mean it is the same argument I'll give you for Samsung if you throw enough stuff at the wall, good ideas will filter down. They just made so many miss calculations in the market; it would just be tremendously difficult for them to come back to relevance anytime soon. Which is sad because I like the fact that Canada has an operating system; and they have two because they bought QNX as well.
Leo: I was a huge Blackberry fan, had all the Blackberry phones right up till 2007, and then all of the sudden this thing called the iPhone came along and then it was all over. The Orion space craft, kind of a little trivial note here; the Orion space craft, which is NASA's newest space craft with a launch engine designed to bring crews to Mars and beyond. Did they actually launch last week? I know they were planning to but I heard it was scrubbed.
Andy: It was delayed for a day, it did have a completely successful mission it toured, splashed down, and completely recovered.
Leo: It contains a computer, now remember the computers that go out in space have to be hardened in special ways because there is more cosmic rays, there is lots of issues. Reliability is much more important than speed, but the PowerPC chip in the Orion man module is exactly identical to the PowerPC in the iBook G3 that came out in 2003. It is the same as the 750FX; I think it is space hardened. In fact, I think all of NASA's vehicles have been using chips based on the PowerPC platform for some time. Nine hundred mega hertz, bus speed of one hundred and sixty-six mega hertz, 512K online, on die L2 Cash, actually manufactured with a hundred thirty nanometer process which is pretty good. Probably better than, well maybe not we are down to fourteen nanometers currently with the core am, but they say according to this article from geek.com, it is about as powerful as the arm chip used in the Galaxy S3. And that is all you need for the Orion space craft.
Leo: Kind of cool
Andy: It is amazing, this is why I'm not quite so bummed out about the laps in crude space craft, human space craft to take people to the moon and Mars and stuff. Because, we have so many cool things out there as it is Orion is exciting because it is not just designed for one mission to ferry people from the ISS to the ground and back again. There is a space craft called stereo, actually two space craft that are here to image the sun at all times. Just to show you how interesting these long term multiyear missions are. One of them is out of commission only because it is sort of tilted the wrong way but it will continue to rotate and the solar panels will have enough energy that they can do another maneuver and get this mission back. There is a pick of the week that I was going to pick but I have to delay it for a week because I don't really understand it enough to talk about it yet. But there is one app that has every single piece of space weather piece collected, that NASA has generated, all in one single app. And it just gives you an impression of here is how many space craft are out there on decade's long missions that are bringing back data at every single moment of the day that is incredibly useful and even compelling to people who do not have PHDs in the correct sciences. So much great stuff is happening; the design of these things, what they can do essentially on a watch battery and Simon game CPU is just mind boggling.
Leo: I have, if you are interested in this, we did an interview on triangulation last week with the program manager for Mars Curiosity who is currently working on future Mars projects. It is really interesting, he was great; he was really fascinating. Let's see just a couple more stories then we want to take a break and get to our picks of the week, time to wrap this up.
Rene: Let's talk about the app projections if they are on there.
Leo: Yes, go ahead let's do it.
Rene: So I tried to explain what is going on with some of these. But it is really difficult because
Leo: Are you doing pirate space stuff? What are we?
Rene: There are a couple of things going on. So Apple introduced extensibility with WWDC, and it arguably is the biggest change to the App Store since the App Store launch, and a bunch of apps that were approved that are now being rejected, some of them are being put back in. So people understand what happens, when new technology is introduced developers rush to make apps to use them because Apple wants to promote those technologies and they will often be featured. Meanwhile, Apple tried to get the software finished in this case IOS 8, and developer relation review teams try to get as many apps approved as possible. As soon as an app is approved, the editorial team which is not under the same division tries to get them featured on the App Store because they want people to find all of these apps. It is a huge race and not everyone is paying as much attention as they can because there is just so many apps and then later as the apps come for re-review where reviewers see them, they are rejecting them because they are not in keeping with the original ideas that Apple had for how widgets, or extensions, or cloud providers should be used. So for example, they originally didn't want you lingering in the notifications center, they wanted you to do something quick and get out. Pcalc, you could actually spend all of your time in there.
Rene: Or with Drafts, they wanted the buttons to stay in widgets so the button in Drafts sent you to the widget and then back to the app. And now the latest one which is Panicks, with iCloud drive on OS 10 you could do anything you want with iCoud Drive. But on IOS, they want to restrict it to only files you created or edited on those apps and Panick would let you upload arbitrary files. So these are being rejected and it is tough because editorialist featured these apps because they were originally approved. Developers have, users have gotten used to using those features and there is an appeals process at Apple, all the way up to the executive committee for the App Store. And Pcalc got reapproved but it doesn't look like the Drafts widget will be or the keyboard widget, it is unsure what is going to happen with Panic. It creates this thing where Apple gets tons of negative press, developers have no idea what is going to be approved and what's not going to be approved so they have a huge chilling effect, and we have functionality that we may have come to rely on taken away from us. I'm hard pressed on finding better solutions because they all have negatives too, but it seems like once again we are back in 2008, 2009 where it is just impossible to tell from one day to another what is going to be rejected and what's not.
Leo: So Drafts, which you’ve picked as a pick of the week from Panic software does what
Rene: It lets you upload arbitrary files to iCloud Drive or other providers.
Leo: So here is Drafts, which you referred to in the article. What does Drafts do?
Rene: You could hit that plus button and it would take you to the app and start a new draft.
Leo: Okay so the idea was quick open a document.
Rene: So they previously
Leo: Which I really like, pre populated with what is on the clipboard.
Rene: Yeah, previously Apple rejected launchers from widgets because they didn't want, one app launching another app. It turns out they didn't want apps launching. And one of the problems is people say Apple is doing this, but Apple has different organizations. There is a bunch of people involved, they all have different opinions and there is different opinions on what these widgets should and shouldn't do. It looks like sometime some people are wining and other times it looks like other people are wining. But from the outside it just looks capricious and arbitrary.
Leo: Because you’re a developer.
Andy: Because it is. It is true that internally there is all kinds of debates and discussion what the appropriate use of widget actions are, God dang it sorry about this. Of course I had exactly the document I needed to talk about this open and now I have to restart my MacBook. It is exactly as Rene says, there are all kinds of different not just factions of thought inside of Apple, but different companies so to speak inside of Apple that have different, will talk about different things for different reason and their wires get crossed a lot. The thing is that Apple is not a garage start up. They are not a kitchen sink production, kitchen table production with eight people; they are one of the largest tech titians in this world. They should have their act together. It seems like a problem they should be able to solve, that they don't just simply put an app out there and then say oh wait. With the one external voice that Apple has, they say that this app obeys all of the rules we want to users to have it; and then wait no it does not obey the rules, we do not want our users to have it. The second thing that is kind of troubling, I hope that I can get this back up again. The developer of Launcher had a really good blog post; I really want to be able to quote it directly I hope someone else can pull it up because again I'm restarting right now. But he said in his conversations with Apple about why his app was rejected for similar reasons from IOS 8. It was originally accepted and then rejected later on and had to be removed. They said that they occasionally, this is from his conversation with Apple. That sometimes apple will use an app as an example because, this is according to his blog post, the best way to get the word out about what a developer should not do is to have a high profile take down. So that people can know about this, they will look at this; try to figure out what this one app did that they should now not do in the future. Again this is now based upon this one person's description of his conversation with Apple.
Leo: You are talking about Greg Gardner who is the creator at Cromulent Labs.
Andy: Yeah exactly, it is a really very good blog post.
Leo: There is a change.org petition, I don’t know if you can petition Apple for anything.
Andy: So I mean if that is true, that is kind of remarkable that they would let this person spin their wheels, eight months of development on an app. We feel as though we can use you to make a statement, do deliver a message. So I don’t know if this true or not, I think it would be remarkable if it is as simple as he is describing. But even beyond that there is the problem that I really don’t think great apps get written if developers are not allowed to stretch the rules a little bit. They say here is technically what you are allowing me to do with this; therefore I’m going to use this in a very special and different way that no one has ever considered before. That is how brilliant stuff gets created. Once you say no, we have thought ahead to the nine ways that this API can be used you are not allowed to create a tenth way that this is going to be used. I worry that five years down the road that leads to a very boring catalog of apps that can never really surprise us. I just hope that this is not a sign of bad things to come.
Leo: Greg writes, at this point I have become quite disillusioned with IOS development and Apple is a company that seemed they were opening up a platform and allowing for, ha ha you fool, allowing for more interactions with IOS 8, but this decision shows they still feel they know what is best for the users, even if users disagree.
Rene: But they have difference of opinion internally as of to what's better for the use. I think what Andy has
Leo: By the way, I just have to point out that your article in iMore has right next to it, a nice big add for the moto x. Which I highly recommend that if people are bothered by this they go out and buy. That is why I do not use and iPhone. This is the slippery slope you go down when you say we are going to tightly control what is available on this platform.
Rene: I think Andy is absolutely right but, the one thing is that they don’t put these kinds of rules; because there are a lot of people from engineering to App Store management who want to see those kind of apps. For example if they made a note calculator widget, a note calculator rule for widgets we wouldn’t get Pcalc. Because that rule didn’t exist, James Thompson made it. It got rejected, it got appealed, it got bumped up, and someone said no this is great; we want this kind of app and that will happen a few more times. Over time it will get sorted out and there won't be these kinds of rejections, but it is a horrible way to sort out that process.
Leo: This is what happens when you set yourself up as an arbiter. That is really one of the chief reasons I prefer Android period.
Andy: It is just a difference in philosophy
Leo: Yeah but it is a philosophy of complete and utterly rejection without seeing it, exactly why.
Andy: What I am saying is there are positives and negatives. Again this morning with the hellacious rain, I was looking at what we might be talking about today and it really did occur to me that this rain is symbolic about the difference between the Android approach and the IOS approach. It is raining like hell outside, the IOS answer is I’m not going to let you leave the house because you are going to get soaked if you go out there. No I am not going to let you leave the house. That is good because you are going to get soaked, you don’t want to get wet. Believe me you will thank me later that you decided to run your errands four hours from now when it is sunny outside. The Android approach is, I’m not going to tell you it's raining outside. You do get soaked sometimes but, you do have the ability to say if I don’t get my hair cut in the next three hours, I will not be able to get a haircut before my dinner plans tonight. I have to go, I know that I will get wet; I’m okay with getting wet. That is much, much better than the consequence of my not being able to do this thing you don’t want me to do.
Leo: There is no right answer.
Andy: There is no right answer. This is my mantra, if I had a t-shirt; it is going to have to say that I like it when consumers get to choose what their solution is. For some of them the better solution is going to be IOS and for others the better approach is going to be Android.
Rene: It is worth pointing out, that for a lot of people they have their tumbler extension, their buzz feed widget, they have so much things from extensibility that it doesn’t really affect them if drafts. It is mostly the kind of people that are on the show or listen to the show. The kinds of people like us who aspire to more and I am actually; talking with Christina Warren last night, you see custom keyboards on IOS now. If those were not extremely popular on Android, maybe we wouldn’t. If we see tons of applications that are just ground breaking stellar, that are moving Android devices maybe that will effect change at Apple. But right now there are certain people I think that are, who believe that if you hit that button, they don’t want someone to switch apps because it will confuse them. It could take them to somewhere they are not used to, someone could use it to try to sell them an app and they are winning some of these fights. It is an argument as of to whether or not that is a good decision. But that argument is happening so late in the cycle that it is affecting a lot of developers work.
Leo: It is just such a wrongheaded way to do this.
Andy: It does make Apple look like they don’t have their crap together. For no other reason, they need to be able to say we are going to send a clear message that one department of Apple knows what another department is doing and working together. This is the reason why like at HP and like at Microsoft in the old days they would make a printer that the operating system does not support yet; or we have a notebook that basically can’t fit inside this accessory that we just made six months earlier, and this is why we are releasing a product and then canceling it thirty days later. That is a society in chaos; Apple has always been very, very proud and justly so of the idea that we have a plan that we have a plan for everything. Not everything we make sells, is successful; but even when we made the iPod hi fi, we had other products that are perfectly suited for it in a world in which it could succeed.
Rene: I did a piece last week where I was just wondering what if Apple had a high profile, very public facing VP of app store. Because Tim Cook famously put all software under Craig Fredrick, all design under Johnny Ive, and that has had great effect. They put online and retail under Angela Ahrens and that is producing really good effects too. So what if they took the parts of the App Store that were under Eddie Cue and under Phil Schiller, and had a very public facing of App Store who’s only job was to make the App Store delightful for customers and for developers to fix review, to fix search, to fix all of these things that all of us have been complaining about for years. I think that would be a super interesting position at Apple.
Andy: That would be an interesting move but, he would have to have a cricket bat and the power to use it because that is important.
Leo: Your fanaticizing, that is not going to happen. I’m saying it is a cultural issue, I’m saying it is absolutely a mind set. It is a centrally planned economy; it is going to stay a centrally planned economy. It is fundamental to Apple and there are definitely advantages and I’m not saying that there are not.
Rene: You could have that without the mixed messages.
Leo: This is a screw up absolutely, but I think it is just what happens. You paint yourself into a corner. It is what happens when you set yourself up as an arbiter of what can and cannot happen on a platform. You're going to be the arbiter and it is going to be arbitrarious from time to time. And, developers just have to live with that, they do because they want to be on the Apple platform. I wonder though, in the long run doesn’t this hurt your developer relations?
Rene: Candy Crush Soda does it make a difference for them?
Leo: They don’t
Andy: A developer relation has never really been great. It has always been here is where the pile of money is. I’m sorry, perhaps more to the point; here is where the large audience is. You either want to be in front of that large audience in which case you will. You can either be Craig Ferguson or you can be Jimmy Fallon. If you want to be Jimmy Fallon then you are going to have to submit to a whole bunch of rules that make it very inconvenient to do exactly what you want to do. If you want to be the twelve thirty guy who has a smaller audience, you can have a robot skeleton sidekick, you can have two guys in a horse costume, and you can do whatever you want.
Rene: There are a lot of people in developer relations who care very deeply about this stuff too. I mean, it is not a high mind.
Andy: And no one is suggesting it isn't. All I’m concerned about is number one I just think that whatever they choose to, whatever face they choose to present to the outside world; Apple is more than capable of getting that act together. For other companies that would be an unsolvable problem and would require a huge restructuring or they wouldn’t have the resources or the talent. Apple has all of those things; it is because they really haven’t decided the problem is big enough yet. When I’m in beard stroking mode, I wonder if at some point developers will get so fed up that they will say the audience is no longer big enough for me to think it is worth while, the advantages of the x code environment are also not big enough for me to want to deal with the headaches of dealing with Apple developing. I’m going to move to Android; I’m going to move to other platforms. This is not a prediction, this is not even a real front of my mind worry but boy you have heard me use this phrase before. Sometimes I think about a company that is no longer as powerful as it used to be ten years ago and then you, at that point at which they are all failing. You think back to can we identify problems ten years ago that have led to a state right now. I feel as though if that were to happen to Apple ten years from now we would say yeah, they over stated, they over considered the value the people would attach to developing software just for their platform. At some point they put so much pressure on users or developers that it was basically like holding an egg and they crushed both of them.
Leo: Really quickly because we are way over time. New Apple TV download today, new firmware. What is new Rene?
Rene: YouTube app now has ads, which means
Rene: YouTube is no longer restricting what videos go to the Apple TV. Usually they wouldn’t send videos that have ads attached, now because it has ads.
Leo: Somebody said this means if Google wouldn’t have updated their YouTube app so significantly, it actually now matches the other platforms. If they thought Apple was going to change Apple TV soon.
Rene: I don’t think it means anything like that at all.
Leo: Okay, just asking.
Rene: You also have the UFC channel, you have fusion, and there was a couple of other channels so you can get all of your mixed martial arts right delivered to your TV.
Leo: Okay, it is starting to get really creaky.
Rene: There is a daily, what is that other video service? Daily motion I think
Leo: Yeah, Daily Motion is on there. It is creaky because, only Apple can add apps to the Apple TV. And now this grid is getting bigger and bigger and bigger, and longer and longer and longer. It is just
Rene: It is almost like they should have a new version under development.
Leo: There has got to be; there has got to be.
Rene: If you are familiar with the people involved in Apple TV development, you know that they are an all-star lineup right now, and that probably would be the case if they weren’t working on something.
Leo: See that is what you look at right? Who is working there? If Apple is putting resources behind it then you know. I’m looking forward to this, dashling, which actually I don’t use; I use glass pass but I am look at moving to dashling. If you are using glass pass or some other password manager because, they are going to add a feature it is in beta right now. Where you press one button and it changes all your passwords for seventy-five of the biggest sites. It even includes second factor authentication sites. I think that is a great idea. Maybe every password manager will say oh we should do that.
Rene: One password manager called Watchtower was cool because it would tell you where you had duplicate passwords and help you change it to the next level of automation.
Leo: Glass Pass does too, but they still have to go onesy, twosy in the site to change it.
Leo: Apparently Dashling acquired a company that did this. So maybe it will be the exclusive on this. I do know a lot of people use dashling; it is very Macish very pretty very nicely done. Anyway, just a thought.
Rene: Use something please.
Leo: Please, whatever you do use something. A break ahead, coming up your picks of the week including a new game from Buzz Aldrin that just came out; talking about space. Is that the one that you were going to talk about Andy?
Leo: Okay, I haven’t played with it yet I’ve just observed that it is out. Our show today brought to you by Audible, the place to go for your audio books. I used to have this really good rule for myself that I would only listen to one audio book at a time. If you look at my bedside table, there are twelve books, physical books that I am in the middle of. But, I always had the rule that I would only listen to, from beginning to end, one audio book at a time. That rule has completely gone to hell, I now listen to five different books at the same time and I love every one of them. I am really enjoying the variety and quality of audible books. If you have not yet listened to audio books, there really is no other choice than audible.com. I invite you to go to audible.com/macbreak because we are going to get you a free book of your choice today. But let's ask Andy what he is listening to first.
Andy: Easy pick this time. It is the Art of Asking by Andrea Palmer. It is a name that a lot of people are familiar with, she is a musician. She became in the news a couple of years ago because she had kick starter to fund and presale her next album. She turned the experience and the idea of becoming an artist who; she did a tech talk that had several million hits. It was very, very beautifully put together about the connection between the artist and the community that supports them, and how it is okay to be a little bit more open about how I want to do the next album, if you buy it in advance; I don’t want free money but if you buy it in advance that would give me the funds to get the studio time. Or I want to do a tour if anybody has a spare room that I can stay in that is great too. This is sort of, that tech talk, expanded into a hundred thousand word book. It reads more like a beautiful blog post actually, and I mean that in every positive way. It is a combination of a memoir, the talk about the evolution of an artist, also the evolution of the music industry, and how her personality and her life and business and her art kind of melt together. That is why they call it a blog post. It is really well edited very well put together, and the star of the show is really that I think the best way to do that on audible instead of on text. Of course she reads it herself and when you hear someone else telling their own story, it is even more compelling when you hear that story in their own voice spoken. I think you get a whole bunch of understanding and context that you don’t with words on a page. Also, she is a musician so you get to hear her play music and some tracks from her carrier. So it really is probably one of my top ten audio books ever it really is a pleasant experience from start to finish.
Leo: Andrea Palmer the Art of Asking: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Let People Help, you can get that for free. If you are also looking for other recommendations, I might point you to audible’s new list the best of 2014 which has recommendations in many different categories. I have not even heard of this one, the audio book of the year Hamlet, Price of Denmark: A Novel. But there are books in every category, including As You Wish, The Princes Bride book which you recommended and I have downloaded but haven’t yet listened to, and I think I’m going to pick this one I have a credit remaining right now. This is The Great Courses Neil Degrasse Tyson who is actually a professor; this is the course he teaches on The Inexplicable Universe: Unsolved Mysteries. And this is one of the things that is great about audible, they now have The Great Courses catalog. So you can get that too, here is how you get one free, good luck choosing. One free, merely go to audible.com/macbreak sign up for the gold account; that means a book a month every thirty days, you also get the audio digest of either the New York Times or the Wall Street Journal as part of your subscription. You pay nothing in the first thirty days, you can cancel at any time in the first thirty days, you get to keep the book, but I don’t think you are going to want to. This stuff is so amazing on audible. One hundred and fifty thousand titles, I wish I had more time in my life to listen to audible. It has brought reading back into my life, and I think it will do the same for you audible.com/macbreak. Andy Ihnatko, pick of the week.
Andy: I got two storage picks this time; we were talking about blue-ray rippers. So I reached over and I plucked out the blue-ray drive that I use to rip discs from. This is no name; it technically is called eparts blue-ray drive. You can get it on Amazon for forty dollars, there are already people on twitter saying which one is specifically are you using? Because again, not all of them will work with a blue-ray ripper; this one works perfectly fine. Again it is not spectacular, this is plastic it is not milled aluminum but it works perfectly for all of my tasks and it is damn dirt cheap. The second one is also related to, we were talking about ssd; this is my external ssd drive. It is in a case that I really, really like. Again dirt cheap, it is a USB 3.0 case that cost less than twenty dollars but, the really good selling point is that it opens up without any tools. So what you can do is just simply use your fingers like this, pop the top off, and then simply swap out whatever ssd or spinning disk drive you have it just lifts right out. This is maybe more practical for ssd than spinning drives but, it means that given how cheap the lower capacity drives are I can travel with my entire two hundred and fifty gigabyte music collection and also the five hundred gigabytes that I use for video editing and photo editing without having to pop seven hundred bucks for the largest terabyte drive that I can find; risk that that one is going to fail. You can travel easily with a couple of these and swap things in and out or you can buy even a spinning drive and swap things in and out. I would not use it as a floppy where you are swapping things five times a day because, I'm not sure the mechanisms, the ssd would really enjoy you doing that. But it does mean that it is very, very easy to have multiple sources of storage and then either just one of these drives or multiple copies of the enclosure. Again it is less than twenty bucks, it is not like it is made out of one block of premium aluminum; again it is plastic it will last perfectly fine I've been using it for the past couple of months. I am very glad for that purpose. These are both things that I just bought with my own damn money.
Leo: And one thing that you have got to give them credit for, the company name inateck. You knew where I was going; you knew where I was going. Is the same name as the company in office space?
Rene: It is the only good thing about your entire review Andy.
Andy: It is spelled a little differently, it is legal.
Leo: Yeah, I'm going to have you come back over the weekend and finish this hard drive case. I love inateck. Do you think they knew when they named that company?
Andy: I think for people that cannot afford a genuine initech drive, they want to get the off brand.
Leo: I love it. Rene Ritchie, something was going on back stage there. I don't know what he has been up to. I gave you a few extra seconds so you could prepare your pick of the week.
Rene: Oh, I was just moving the giant grey curtain of doom away. It was threatening to fall on me so I was trying to move it to the other side.
Leo: Okay, what's up?
Rene: So my pick of the week is in honor of the discussion we just had with Andy. It is one of my favorite apps, I'm pretty sure I've picked it before. But I use it all the time, it is called Air Video HD and it does one job really, really well. You run a small app on your Mac, you tell it what directories you want it to look in, and from that point you can stream any video from those directories directly to your iPad, directly to your iPhone, and even better press the Air Play button and send them directly to your Apple TV. So there are a lot of times when I am admittedly too lazy to get up and go get the blue-ray or I bought a version of the movie on iTunes but it doesn't include all of the features I want to watch because the special features are not always the same. This way if I happen to have it living on my server or if I have it on my home movies or anything else that is on my Mac, I can with just a couple of clicks; sorry just a couple of taps. Get that video loaded in to the app; watch it on my phone, watching on my iPad, or Air Play it directly to my Apple TV. It just does that job fantastically well and they keep improving it.
Leo: Awesome, awesome. This just came out and I'm not going to review it because I have not tried it. It comes from Slitherine, Slitherine Games. Buzz Aldrin's Space Program Manager: Road to The Moon the ultimate game of space exploration. I don't know anything about this but, I'm pointing it out. You have to buy it but it is also available on Steam $29.99, it is available for Mac and it looks cool; looks cool. Read about it, I don't know anything about it but the fact that it came from the second person to walk on the face of the Moon gives it a little bit of credibility.
Andy: Once again proving that if you can say hey, I walked on the Moon.
Leo: You can
Andy: You will win any argument.
Rene: When I was on the Moon, I said
Leo: Yeah, exactly
Andy: We are ordering the Poo Poo platter for eight, we are not ordering separate entrées. Alright?
Leo: I walked on the Moon, we love you Buzz. Anyway this looks interesting. It is a simulator of some kind but, it is not like flying. You have to actually plan; you have funds and you have to plan your space race. So that is kind of cool. I don't think that is the Orion unfortunately, it looks like the Lunar Module. Land the LEM and then you can drive around in the Rover.
Rene: So much better than Mario Kart.
Leo: Our show has come to a grinding halt but thank you so much for being here. Security Now, running a little late so we are going to get right to it. Mr. Andy Ihnatko thank you for contribution as always today, The Chicago Sun Times, the celestial waist of band width, and two cows looking to jump over the Moon.
Andy: There you go, I'm always happy to be here.
Leo: It looks pretty sharp up there, I'm not sure I want to jump over that. We thank Rene Ritchie form imore.com. Also always really wonderful contribution to the show, we appreciate it. Thanks for being here, you will find MacBreak Weekly every Tuesday morning 11 am pacific, 2 pm eastern time, 1900 utc on twit.tv. Do watch live appreciate when you are in the chat room. You can even join us in studio, we've had a fairly large studio audience today come and go. They had to run, that is okay. They are going to come back later? Okay. You can email tickets at twit.tv if you would like to be here in studio we appreciate that; so we can put a chair out for you. We also invite you to give us some help. Are we still looking for best ofs?
Jason: At this point, I think for MacBreak we are all good. I will take whatever input you want.
Leo: If you want to help us twit.tv/macbreak/ bestof but if we have enough to fill our
Jason: Look at this; we are doing best ofs for all of our shows. So any help is appreciated.
Leo: All of the shows. Jason is doing most of them. It is for holiday weak. Christmas is what Wednesday and we are going to take that whole week off and most of our shows will have special editions or best ofs all through the week. There will be new content for everybody to watch so please do. Don't forget New Years Eve we will be back. We are going to have our special 24 hours of 2015, a benefit for Unicef which is doing great work in Africa to help children with Ebola. It is one of the greatest charities ever and we hope to raise a lot of money with your help. And we are going to have a lot of fun; we want you to watch live; 3 am pacific on New Year's Eve till 3 am pacific on New Year's Day. We will also, the reason we started doing this last year is because we wanted to celebrate New Year's with you all over the globe and there are twenty seven different time zones. Believe it or not this is the map of time zones, we have people that are going to be calling in from the vast majority of time zones, and we will be doing the count down, and balloon drop each hour, but we are looking for some and if you are in this area or you know someone who is. I want you to go to twit.tv/nye. Fiji, Tuvalu, Marshall Islands, actually we should just say the utc plus twelve; plus eleven thirty is north of g Island; plus seven is Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Guardia; Burma plus six thirty; Bangladesh, Kazakhstan plus six; plus five Uzbekistan, Trebekistan, and Pakistan. Anybody in the plus five area though we would welcome you. I don't know why we don't have somebody from Alaska yet, minus nine. Jim T minus nine, if you are in Alaska twit.tv/nye; and the one that is going to be hard Jarvis Island. Is the last to welcome 2015. They are minus eleven, utc minus eleven. It is in the us Samoa, I think it is a bird preserve; I don't think anybody lives there. But if you are in Jarvis, actually if you are in Midway you could do it too. Just go to our website twit.tv/nye; we are really looking good. We are really looking good; we have got people from Afghanistan, from Moscow, from Finland, from Bermuda, from New York, of course Chicago, Sidney. It is going to be really fun; really, really fun. That is New Year's Eve, I hope you will come by and watch that will be a lot of fun too. Is that all we have to plug? I think it is, I think we can now say safely without any contradiction it is time to get back to work, because break time is over!