MacBreak Weekly 433 (Transcript)

Leo Laporte: It's time for MacBreak Weekly. Andy, Rene and Alex are here, and I guess it's our second to last show of the year. Lots to talk about including the success of Apple Pay, the Apple Christmas ad, we'll do a little Grinching and why United is giving 23,000 flight attendants their very own iPhone 6s. It's all coming up on MacBreak Weekly.

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Leo: This is MacBreak Weekly episode 433, recorded December 16th, 2014.

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MacBreak Weekly is brought to you by Personal Capital, with Personal Capital you'll have many more happy holidays as you grow and protect your wealth with this award winning financial app, best of all. It's free! Just sign up, go to And by Gazelle, the fast and simple way to sell your used gadgets. Find out what your used iPhone, iPad or other Apple product is worth at And by FreshBooks. The simple cloud accounting solution that helps millions of entrepreneurs save time billing and get paid faster. Join over 5 million users running their business with ease, try it free at It's time for MacBreak Weekly, the show where we cover your latest Apple news, and we've got the full compliment. The panoply, the array of fabulous Mac journalists here to do the thing that we call MacBreak Weekly. Start with Andy Inhatko who was doing earlier a dramatic reading from something. What was that?

Andy Inhatko: Wikipedia, actually.

Leo: Oh. (laughs) Okay.

Andy: It was Saint Crispin's Day speech from Henry V.

Leo: That's a great speech.

Andy: Which I totally memorized. Again.

Leo: That is a great speech.

Andy: It's a great speech and like as Alex started saying it was a microphone check and then someone on Twitter said I'm surprised you didn't do that, I said well I have Wikipedia, I can pretend to know this one.

Leo: That's the one where he's exhorting the British troops on to battle against the French is it? And he says you will when your grandchildren, you will tell them. That you were here on Saint Crispin's Day. It's a wonderful speech. Thank you for classing the joint up Andy while I was..

Andy: You know it's a lot easier to read something that's been written than to answer questions on the fly from subjects you barely have a grasp of.

Leo: Yeah.

Andy: So it's a solution, not the best solution but it did fill time.

Leo: I'm thinking that's what I should do with the radio show from now on. Just read Shakespeare.

Andy: Lorem Ipsum Dolores said.. I'm a consecutive...

Leo: (laughing) Have you memorized Lorem Ipsum? Tell me you have.

Andy: I used to know it like to about you know, 50 decimal places.

Leo: What a geeky thing.

Andy: I still know.. (speaking Russian.)

Leo: But that's the language of your people.

Andy: Well that's the Soviet national anthem. Which I learned in like all three verses simply as a way to mock someone at the Boston Computer Society that I didn't like.

Leo: (laughing)

Andy: I was a teenager at a time, at the time I'm willing to spend a lot of time learning something just to mock somebody else I don't like. Hopefully I've progressed.

Leo: That's what's great about being a kid. You've got time to do that crap. Alex Lindsay is here, he's from.. it looks like from his barn in Pittsburgh. Unless that's an amazing green screen.

Alex Lindsay: I am in Rwanda.

Leo: You're in Rwanda?

Alex: Yeah.

Leo: Holy cow.

Alex: I'm back at the school.

Leo: That is awesome. Well what time of day is it now here?

Alex: Oh it's 9:30 at night.

Leo: We'll get you to bed before midnight.

Alex: I've had a nice full day of meetings and chatting, stuff like that.

Leo: Awesome.

Alex: Yeah yeah, absolutely.

Leo: Wow. From Rwanda, Alex Lindsay of the Pixel Corps. And from Montreal I think, Mr. Rene Ritchie of Right?

Rene Ritchie: Yes I am actually in Montreal, this is not a Pixel Corps reconstruction.

Leo: That would be funny. If we get a still of that, and then you're sitting here and then you walk in the frame, that would be funny.

Alex: Send me a still, send me a still.

Leo: Alex can do it! Alex can do it.

Andy: We could do that one show and just see how long it takes for people to notice. Like I will shoot like an empty like background plate of my background, then we do one show where we're all in front of green screens and we've got each other’s backgrounds behind us. I've got the Rwanda background, Rene has the TWiT Studio background.

Alex: Yeah, I like it.

Leo: I should warn you all, somebody has put eggnog in my coffee and it's not just any old eggnog. It's spiked. For Anthony Neilson's birthday. Happy birthday Anthony, one of our great editors. Apple.. wins the iPod anti-trust trial.

Andy: Yay.

Rene: Woohoo!

Leo: Really are you cheering for that? We talked about that last week..

Andy: Another lawsuit is over!

Leo: It's been going on for ten years. No, it's done. The jury has ruled in favor of Apple. Today, just moments ago. About an hour ago. The class action lawsuit for a class of 8 million people, the plaintiffs which are basically lawyers and some guy they found on the street, the plaintiffs as you may remember they had trouble getting plaintiffs for a while.. claimed $350 million plus damages because Apple wouldn't let music from other music stores like Rhapsody or Napster on its iPod. The jury deliberated just a few hours, it's an 8 person jury up the road in Oakland, they found that Apple's iTunes 7.0 was a genuine product.. what we're at 12 now, just to be clear, this has been going on for ten years. Was a genuine product improvement and therefore not a violation of anti-trust laws. And I don't even know why that was the issue. But that was the issue. The decision was unanimous.

Alex: Well and didn't it turn out that the plaintiffs hadn't actually owned an iPod at the time. That they said that they were claiming it.

Leo: Yeah the first one bought it after the deadline and the other one bought it with a husband's credit card so the law firm that her husband worked at was the actual owner so she didn't have standing but I think they found somebody over the weekend. You had to have an iPod I think between 2006 and 2008.

Andy: Well I think as Apple's critics would confirm, this only shows how intimidated and threatened Apple consumers feel by this industrial behemoth that needs corrective action. They suffer but they don't want to stick their heads above the trench, that's just sad.

Rene: Where is Judge Denise Cote when we need her?

Leo: Oh man. This is.. yes. 

Andy: Or Batman! Batman!

Leo: Lawyers for the plaintiff had argued that Apple issued software.. whatever the plaintiff of the week.. that Apple had issued software updates to cut off competitors attempts to market products compatible with Apple's iPod. In fact, it's kind of sad because Steve Jobs literally a few months before his death was required to testify in this case and give a video deposition. Which you know, that's.. this guy.. look. Anyway.. it was a waste of time!

Rene: You know how much that must have cost? It must have been millions of dollars.

Leo: Well most of that money goes in the pockets of the plaintiffs lawyers, Patrick Coglan an attorney for the plaintiff said “Oh surprise. They plan to appeal the decision.” We're not giving up this cash cow!

Rene: To the supreme court baby!

Leo: We're going all the way!

Andy: Potentially it would have been interesting if Apple had lost this suit, because one of the claims that this suit was making was in at least one sense, if you sell DRM content you are required to make sure it's supported by every single device that's out there unless you want to be slapped with an anti-trust suit. Which obviously would have been just absolutely impossible and it's just not the way that any DRM content store has ever operated. I mean Amazon makes part of its business to say that we're going to make sure that there are book players and video players for as many platforms as we can support, but can you imagine them having to respond to a suit saying hey I've got a Palm 5 and my Amazon video doesn't play on it and you know, give me either $100 gift card or let me have Grown Ups 2 playing on this or we'll file a lawsuit.

Leo: I'm a little sympathetic to the lawsuit because you remember that Apple forced you to erase your iPod if you wanted to hook it up to another iTunes, that was one of the issues. I think it's kind of silly to say it has to support other copy protection schemes, I agree with Apple. That's not.. that's a non-starter. But copy protection itself..

Rene: Sue the right people.

Leo: Well sue the right people is exactly right Rene. Sue the record industry, because that's who imposed this on Apple.

Andy: And also Apple's never blocked, when the iPhone came out and the ability to run apps on an iPod touch and iPad came out, they didn't block any competing stores from creating their own players for their own DRM content so that's just bogus.

Leo: Right. The suit was originally filed in 2005.

Andy: (laughing)

Leo: Unbelievable.

Andy: What color was the sky back then?

Rene: They could have taken that money and invested it sensibly.

Leo: Just think, yeah. If they'd bought Apple stock in 2005 they would have had their billions. You know. Alright. Okay. So that's done, that is the lead story of the day. There's a lot of other little stories including a leak that we might see new color Apple laptops this year. But first I want to play for you, get ready, get your hankies ready, the Apple TV...

Rene: (sniffling) I'm crying already!

Leo: (laughing) I actually love this ad.

Andy: Hang on let me put on my extra cynical glasses for this one.

Leo: I think that's what Hannah Jane Parkinson writing for The Guardian did. She just ripped into this ad. Let me play it for you first and then I'm going to tell you what she said is wrong with this ad. Young lady going through grandma's stuff. You not hearing it? It is not. You know what, it's very quiet at the beginning I think. Yeah she's just going through her stuff. There's some albums, and here's a picture. Wait a minute, no it's a vinyl record grandma recorded for grandpa in 1952. She has a turntable!

Andy: How does she know how to operate it?

Leo: It's so cute, grandma.. (ad continues in background) Very multicultural this family, by the way. Aw there's grandma sleeping with..  She's using a guitar and of course an Apple Macintosh laptop. Christmas day, grandma comes down to breakfast. What is this on my cereal? A duet, press play. Now first of all. Here's problem number 1. Grandma knows exactly how to play back the iPod.

Andy: No, seniors know how to use technology Leo. You'll get there someday too. Don't worry.

Leo: She puts in the earbuds and she presses play and here's what she hears. (ad continues) And there's some pictures of her dead husband. Grandma starts to tear up, and there's.. aw the duet.. she named it duet. This is when I start crying. Additional hardware needed. Happy holidays from Apple.

Andy: She's thinking if she found this record, did she find my Babylon 5 Star Trek slash fic? I hope not.

Leo: (laughing) I think it's..

Andy: It's cute. It's a cute commercial.

Leo: This is in the tradition of Apple Christmas ads. Remember last year they had the emo kid that ended up making this really nice video.

Rene: They got crap for that, and they get crap for this.

Leo: I don't think they're going to get crap for this. This is just The Guardian really being Grinchy.

Andy: I think this is a better one than last year's. Also because it doesn't really look like an Apple ad at all. I really think they really fine-tuned this about the sentiment and if there's Apple logos they're great but I don't think is designed as an ad so much as a video Christmas card that has enough money that you know what? We can spend money on an ad that doesn't necessarily push the button hard on our products.

Leo: Very light touch. You see her using a Macbook Air, you see grandma using I think it was an iPhone 6 to play it back, but it's not.. you're right.

Rene: It looked like one of the music memory project videos from earlier this year where they took iPods around to medical institutions and they had people with memory difficulties listening to them and coming alive because they remembered the music so well.

Leo: So here's what Hannah Jane Parkinson, the Grinch that stole Apple's Christmas advert didn't like about it. She said “There's no doubt this is a touching effort from Apple's marketing team, it's bound to cause a lot of tears wept into mince pies and sherry glasses.” So you can tell this is from England.

Rene: But..

Leo: But.. and I'll admit to feeling mildly effective. “But what kind of..”  get ready.. “What kind of empathy void sociopath ruins her grandma's Christmas by reminding her of her dead husband, the love of her life who is dead. Look how sad Valerie is. Tears glistening on her cheeks like little orbs of memories. Fragments of a life lived with Raymond. Second, let's be honest Valerie doesn't give a crap about her granddaughter's duet. Valerie's just straight up into the fact that Santa brought her a new iPad Mini 3 because now she'll be able to watch RuPaul's Drag Race and don't tell the bride from her bed I'm so touched!” There's also the fact..

Rene: Fact.

Leo: Fact.

Rene: It's indisputable.

Leo: Indisputable. That the granddaughter who sits smugly on the stairs in the dark at the end of the video, and I'm going to use the word lurking says Hannah. In fact, has the audacity to just rifle through Valerie's stuff to even stumble upon the record in the first place.

Alex: What grandchild has not done that though? That's the one thing..

Leo: I know, I know. In fact can I tell you something as an older person? I pray that my children have any interest at all in any of my pictures, recordings, I'm making movies of crap no one's ever going to see.

Rene: This article reads like personal damage, not like insightful commentary at all.

Leo: Yeah. Poor..

Andy: You will be..

Leo: Parkinson had a terrible childhood.

Rene: I don't know if she did or didn't but this is..

Andy: Expect the first at the stroke of midnight.

Rene: There's no point to this article. I don't see one.

Leo: Excuse me but Valerie isn't dead yet, Valerie isn't Raymond have some respect! One can't just rifle through a grandmother's things. I really should be reading this with a posh British accent. (in accent) In the hope of finding something special, in the hope of inheriting it, no. To Raymond with love.

Andy: I think she was trying to be funny, it's fine.

Leo: It's.. you know. It's trolling.

Andy: Oh no, it's not trolling. It's like sometimes you see well here's a funny take on it and I don't want to like leave, like keep..

Leo: No.. it's a great, look we agree. It's a great ad, it's heartwarming, it's done with extremely light touch. It's really a Christmas card from Apple with the slightest little bit of Apple in it.

Andy: Yeah. And also, it's so hard to turn off the snark meter when you see these like holiday themed ads.

Leo: Right.

Andy: I still come back to this, one of those mall.. one of those mall jewelry store commercials from.. I might admit you've been two seasons ago where they get this schmaltzy thing where they have I think the setup is supposed to be here is someone who's stationed in the middle east and he had his son like oh go to Zale's and buy a ring and give it to him, I'm going to have to.. Merry Christmas, now I'm going to have some help from my wingman over there.

Leo: (laughing)

Andy: And it's like.. you bastards! You're trying to.. take our good feelings about people who are serving our country and away from home for Christmas and trying to rip it off of these good men and women and stick it onto your stupid tacky mall jewelry, screw you. Now I don't think I want to get married if that means putting money into the jewelry industry.

Leo: Every kiss begins with kay.

Rene: If I wanted Rustin Cohle to give me his analysis of Apple ads I'd watch True Detective.

Leo: You know, it's funny. Anyway, good ad. Nice Christmas card from Apple. And Hannah made a funny article about it. That's.. and she got some traction. We read her article, so there you go.

Rene: The culture of pessimism wins.

Leo: I think it's more just.. British people are brutally unhappy.


Andy: As John Oliver said in an episode of The Bugle after talking about Britain's response to like United States being excited about some sports event said that's how far down we've gone as British people, we are now disgusted by the simple concept of enthusiasm for anything.

Leo: (laughing) It's hard to suspend your year-round cynicism this time of year.

Alex: It's all about being calm.

Leo: Yeah.

Rene: And carrying on.

Alex: It's all the being calm.. and carrying on. You've got to let it out, you've got to let it out. You've got to be upset, you've got to be happy. You can't just be calm and carry on.

Rene: Gotta send a Doctor Who intervention.

Leo: Hey, hey hey. By the way. All you press people who noted that Apple had pulled Bose products from the store, they're back. So there. Uh huh. Now what do you say?

Rene: Negotiation successful.

Leo: Negotiation successful that's right. Apple has added some Bose sound products back to the online store including the Soundlink 3 which I love, I have. Actually have a Soundlink 2. It's a Bluetooth speaker, sounds great. Soundlink Mini. The Quiet Comfort acoustic noise canceling headphones which I think Alex Lindsay recommended as his pick of the week. We gave him a.. Jason you gave them a great positive view.

Alex: I use those little headphones on every flight. It is like my little savior to get me away from.. it's like the old cow gone take me away. You get in the plane, put those on you flip a little switch and it goes boom. Everything's gone.

Jason: They're awesome. Low footprint, too.

Leo: But it doesn't, they still don't have the over the ears because Beats brand is so big there. I don't know why. Speaking of negotiations, thank you finally. And this doesn't affect very many people but Roku has finally made a deal with Comcast. We should do a show, just like this is why Comcast sucks. TWCS.

Jason: We'd have material every single week, Leo.

Rene: This week in Comcast suckage?

Leo: Yeah.

Andy: The serial podcast is about to end, we need to pick up those viewers and listeners that are going away.

Leo: So if you had an Apple TV, if you had a variety of internet connected devices, you could Chromecast, fire up HBO Go on those devices, log in to your cable account and watch, including Xfinity but not a Roku, if you log in, even though Roku has HBO Go and Showtime and if you had, for instance, I don't know, Time Warner you could log in and use them. If you had Comcast and logged in, it would say sorry we don't support HBO Go or Showtime on Roku devices. Why? Because Comcast cares.

Rene: (laughs)

Leo: Anyway they've..

Andy: ..about what? Let's speculate about that.

Rene: We need to get Ryan back on the phone to discuss the issue.

Leo: Anyway, they've.. apparently negotiated, after several months of negotiations has finally said, and it starts today, you can.. actually Roku has finally said that you can now log in to your HBO Go with your Comcast account and watch. Which is good because Comcast's X1 box still thinks I don't subscribe to Showtime and HBO and won't let me watch on demand, so I've been using HBO go to watch on demand.

Rene: You're a long way from it.

Alex: And I think we're going to really, I think we're going to see this unfold pretty quickly next year, so over the next 18-24 months you're going to see almost every network I think unlatch themselves from cable and allow people to basically a la carte, and of course Comcast and Time Warner and everyone's really worried but we're hearing it from all kinds of different directions, if everyone's looking at how do they.. you know, when do they and how do they launch their own brand.

Leo: In this case I think it was HBO more worried about the federal government not letting it merge with Time Warner than anything else. I think they're just doing they can to look..

Alex: Or Comcast, yeah.

Leo: Yeah, Comcast not HBO. They're just trying to look like a nice company. But we know it's a lie, Comcast. I've got my eye on you. HBO will be offering internet programming over the internet this spring as you probably saw, this is very exciting. Not clear if you'll have to log in to an existing cable account and prove you subscribe on the cable, but that's what I'm thinking they're headed to.

Rene: Yeah it was sounding like maybe you wouldn't.

Leo: Yeah. It's unclear. Starting next year HBO will be available a la carte to the 70 million households with basic cable or satellite service. And to the 10 million households with high speed internet but no paid TV service at all. So that, this is from the LA Times. That tells you you don't have to have a cable subscription. Now here's the deal. You're going to pay $20 a month for HBO, is it worth it?

Rene: Sure.

Leo: Given how much I pay for cable..

Andy: Just for HBO Go because you don't just get current programming, you have access to everything that.. pretty much, as far as I know, everything that they have still the rights to. So they have series that have stopped airing 2 years ago, they have movies that aren't on like the standard cable rotation any more, that's a pretty good get I think.

Leo: And..

Alex: One of the things that I think that's going to be really interesting is to see, now they're going to push CES most likely, 4k. And one of the things that this starts to open up, we know that Netflix is going 4k next year, YouTube's already 4k, not streaming yet but they're already playing back. The question is if Apple and Amazon are starting to go to 4k, but more importantly whether these HBO, CBS and other networks start to have an internet only 4k solution because it's something that the broadcast cable and broadcast won't be able to touch for five years, and it's something that all the manufacturers want to get into right now. And so I think that it'll be really interesting to see by the middle of the year whether HBO is putting like.. for instance if Game of Thrones comes out in 4k, the amount of damage it'll do to the TV industry is pretty profound.

Leo: By the way that's the timing, I think. Is this spring when HBO releases the next season of..

Rene: I think Amazon said something about 4k this week.

Leo: Mhm.

Alex: They're all talking about it because I mean..

Leo: And you've got to figure, this confirms the notion that Apple's going to do a 4k Apple TV this year, with an app store and this.. Apple should jump on this.

Rene: Confirmed!

Leo: I'm confirming it.

Andy: (laughing)

Leo: Apple should jump on this because here's a chance now, with the cable deals starting to fall apart for Apple in effect to set themselves up as a de facto television provider by having an app store and allowing you to say for a la carte, alright I'm going to buy.. I'll get Major League Baseball, HBO, and Showtime for $16 a month, a third of that goes to Apple, I use the Apple TV got no cable connection just an internet connection, isn't that an opportunity?

Rene: It would be fantastic. It's my dream world Leo. That's a world I very much want to live in, I've cut the cable cord out of the Apple TV, I don't have very much programming on it. And the stuff I do I buy piecemeal and it would be fantastic if they had a box with a little bit more power in it, you know an Apple A8, even A7 chip of some sort. They started experimenting with H.265 already and their video streaming technology, it would be nice to move it over to iTunes, word is they can get maybe twice the size for 4k that they're getting right now for 1080p content which is still maybe hard given the broadband distribution in the US and Canada, but it's getting there. And it would just be.. it would be my ideal little box, and it would work great with all the other stuff that they're putting out. You know, you have car play, air play you have all these technologies where it takes the content on your device, or anything that you have with you and just puts it on any screen that you have and it seems like all the technologies are in place for that now, and I'm very hopeful.

Leo: So this new HEVC, high efficiency video codec, or..

Rene: HEVC.

Leo: HEVC. Or H.265. What is the bandwidth for a good quality 4k video, how much do I need?

Alex: 10 megs a second.

Leo: 10? See most people with cable.. DSL maybe not, but most people with cable connections or fiber connections can do 10 megabits easy.

Rene: Alex would know this better than me but on iTunes at least, Apple streams 1080p lower than they stream 720p because they believe it's more forgiving. It's double the size or anything of 720p..

Leo: Interesting.

Rene: And the current belief is that H.265 or HEVC is going to like.. with the increased compression it does take more time to render it out, but with the increased compression that it won't be 4 times the size of 1080p, it'll be about twice the size.

Leo: Netflix was..

Alex: Yeah, and that's about right. And the big thing is the big costs go to people like me who are trying to encode it. So.. the encoders are very very expensive and very powerful to do it.

Leo: And slow, right.

Alex: Well they're not slow.. I mean..

Leo: They're not real time I guess.

Alex: I'm looking at live streaming.

Leo: Really? They are real time?

Alex: Yeah but they're $60,000 a box.

Leo: So for house of cards 4k in UHD it's about 15.6 megabits per second on Netflix. But I think..

Alex: But I still probably H264.

Leo: Right. So maybe HVEC will get less..

Alex: Yeah, so that will push it back, that will push it down to what we're seeing, I'm seeing some really great 10 meg streams that are in the new codec on 4k.

Leo: And it looks good? There's not a lot of blocking and artifacting?

Alex: It looks better than what you see in cable. I mean cable is pretty horrible.

Leo: Well that's easy, yeah.

Alex: So it's very very clean, it looks very good and I think that..

Leo: So the blacks, you don't see macro blocking and solid colors, things like that?

Alex: I didn't see, it might have been what I was looking at, it had a lot of detail in it so there wasn't a lot of those things there, but it did look very good. I think that, and I think that it is very important for whoever is doing the compression to 4k that they do make sure that it looks good coming out of the gate and that it's not horrible and macro blocked because otherwise you won't be able to tell the difference between 4k and 1080p.

Leo: I see that on cable all the time and on demand and everything. You know, if you watch..

Alex: When Scott bought, and this was years ago, when Scott Borne bought his new, it was like.. back then it was like a 70 inch or 60 inch and he asked me what he brought me over to his apartment in San Francisco and he showed it to me and I said so does that macro blocking bother you at all?

Leo: Oh don't tell him about it, he'll never.. he will see it forever now! He was so pissed.

Alex: He was so mad at me for so long. And he was like what are you talking about? And I said right there! And then that's all he could see.

Leo: Scott Wilkinson uses Master and Commander, the Blu-ray of Master and Commander which starts.. it's such a great movie, but it starts in a very dark and you can see, you're in a sailing ship in the 19th century..

Alex: And those clouds are just killer.

Leo: And if there's going to be macro blocking you will see it immediately in that. Because it's just a lot of blackness and dark, and you want to see how much detail you see in there and how much contrast.

Rene: They have crazy people at all these companies who are just in charge of making sure that the transfers are good of the material that they have. Here's the thing that I saw in that press release too, that HBO is basically shutting down their own in-house streaming in Seattle and they're going to have MLB stream it all for them. So it looks like there will be a market for companies who know how to do the streaming well.

Leo: Oh well that's good news Alex.

Alex: It's good for me.

Leo: Yeah that's exactly what, they spent $100 million on this Seattle operation, brought in a bunch of people from Microsoft, what is his name? Brecketts is gone. He quit when he heard about this MLB thing. They blame that for all the problems they had when they released True Detective and Game of Thrones, everybody was trying to watch it and it crashed on HBO Go. And apparently for 9 months he knew about a major flaw, a bug. And they didn't fix it. And that was the bug that caused the problem.

Alex: Yeah. And it's hard, I mean we just have to.. the scale of which a lot of these things work is just really hard to imagine having to deal with millions of people all at one time, I mean if when we take down a site here..

Leo: But MLB does it, they know how to do it.

Alex: Yup. It's just a matter of spreading it out enough on the edge.

Leo: More than that, not only do they serve a lot of streams but they serve a variety of streams because they do every game at the same time. So they obviously have a pretty good back end.

Alex: Yeah.

Rene: I've heard really good things about them.

Leo: Yeah. Well I'm hoping, here's.. your holy grail! May be here Rene Ritchie. Next year we may look back and say that was 2015, that was the year!

Rene: Again, if you look at the team Apple's assembled around the Apple TV there's every reason to be hopeful.

Leo: Yeah. I can't wait to get a resume for Brian Roberts, CEO of Comcast looking for work. I cannot wait.

Rene: Send that to Leo at..

Leo: (laughing) Brian, you looking for work? No he already made his pile, he doesn't need a job.

Rene: Yeah.

Leo: Let's take a break, come back. We're going to talk more about the Mac. And the scramble for the iPod classic. But first a word from Personal Capital. You know, we talk about money a lot. On this show, a lot of our shows. And one of the things that I think is so important is planning for your retirement. You may say, I think most of the people watching this show are going I'm not going to retire any time soon. You know, it comes faster than you think. And if you're doing it right, it's going to be a nice and easy transition. And that's why I use Personal Capital, and I recommend you do too. I've been using it for two years now since I met its founder. Bill Harris, he was in our Triangulation show. He said I've got this little thing I'm starting up. It's so great. You put all your accounts in there, so you know exactly what.. for the first time ever, you know what your net worth is, where your money is. What it's doing, how it's performing, they'll help you with budgeting, they'll help you with investments, with 401k's, they'll tell you where you're overspending in fees. One of the most important things to do, I didn't even know about it until I started using Personal Capital is re-balancing your investments so that you are planning intelligently for your retirement date. All of this can be done simply and easily and free, that's amazing. At You worked hard to get that money. Don't fritter it away with high fee brokerages, high fee mutual funds, No reason not to do it, it'll take just a couple of minutes. It's absolutely safe and secure, I've been using it for years and it really really does a great job. It's nice just to know this stuff., give it a try today. It's free, and we thank them so much for their support. They're going to be back, they just signed up for 2015.

Rene: Awesome.

Leo: We love them. Apple stops online sales in Russia. Saying we can't figure out what the Ruble's worth. Is the Ruble going through extreme fluctuations right now?

Alex: Yeah, it's all connected to oil.

Leo: It's oil. It's oil prices.

Alex: Oil is dropping quickly and Venezuela is probably going to hit the ground, Iran is in trouble and Russia is in pretty big trouble. I think it's 30 or 40 percent of their economy.

Leo: Russia's currency went down 19%. Today.

Rene: The Canadian dollar is under some pressure too.

Leo: So when that happens, Apple doesn't know what to charge for an iPod or an iPad, so they basically shut down sales on the web store.

Andy: Russia even had some sort of an amnesty in place for if you, if you're Russian and you have been making money outside of Russia, one of the reasons they've been doing that is because if you bring it back into Russia they will basically just hammer you for it, and they've been saying that we will give you an amnesty. So if you just take the money you've been making outside of our country and just bring it back into our country we swear we will not nationalize it.

Leo: Oh you can trust Putin. You can trust Putin! So the Ruble according to a spokesman for Apple, our online store in Russia currently unavailable while we review pricing, we apologize to customers for any inconvenience. Wow I don't remember, is this.. Rwanda went through hyper inflation didn't it Alex?

Alex: No, Zimbabwe.

Leo: Oh, Zimbabwe.

Alex: Yeah Rwanda's actually pretty stable. But Zimbabwe went into hyper inflation where literally lunch would be twice as much the next day. I think I bought one lunch for over 50 million.

Leo: You brought me a what, a billion dollar note or something? It was crazy.

Alex: 100 million I think 100 million or a billion, yeah. The funny thing is they weren't real dollars. They had expiration dates. You know you're in trouble when the money has expiration dates.

Andy: Like gift cards.

Alex: But then Zimbabwe just got rid of the.. it was all their own cash so once they got rid of their own currency, went to dollars and brand and everything else..

Leo: I'm tempted to buy this actually, it's on Amazon in their holiday toy list. A 100 trillion dollar bank note from Zimbabwe. It's only $21.95 on Amazon Prime.

Alex: That is awesome! 

Andy: No, that's so sad like.. your country's going through enough problems as it is, your currency is being sold as play things for wealthier nations, for children. Oh my god.

Leo: It's got a yak on it, come on!

Andy: Leave behind whatever you've got, it's time to leave.

Alex: I got into a lot of trouble because I brought a whole bunch of Zimbabwe dollars home one time and I gave them to my kids to play poker with because it was great. I raise you a hundred million! And it was like a real bill you know, and one of my friends in Zimbabwe when he found out was mortified.

Leo: Well some of the reviews on this are pretty negative, we've got a one star review saying it's just not what it used to be, it's just not worth what it used to be.


Leo: Um, they do not come with an authenticity certificate, so just a word of warning. It might be fake. I don't know.

Alex: It's worth as much or more than the original.

Leo: $21.95 it's worth a lot. What do you think a 100 trillion dollars was worth at the worst of it.

Alex: Back then?

Leo: Yeah.

Alex: About $10. Could be less. Maybe a dollar.

Leo: Wow.

Alex: It got pretty out of control.

Leo: Wow.

Alex: It just got to a point where it was going up so fast and it was, you could do a PHD on just the.. what's crazy is that it went crazy but the people didn't go crazy. So business was like people would just figure out how to do it every day, and it just became this admittedly, I think Zimbabweans are a fair bit cooler headed than Americans. I don't know if Americans would handle it the same way.

Leo: But they may also have had a robust barter system in place and things like that that allowed them to continue.

Alex: It was a little bit of.. it was some barter, what happened was there was so much money coming in, as this all happened, millions left the country and there was so much remittance coming back into the country that the reason this was happening was because people were bringing Rands and Pounds and Dollars in over Western Union and needing to cash them, and so it was kind of.. that was what was kind of driving a lot of this and so anyway it was a fascinating time to be there. I'm sure for the folks in the rural area it was not a fascinating time, if you had an access to US Dollars through remittance or business or whatever, it was.. it didn't really, there was a lot of good things about it of those people because if you had a loan in Zimbabwean dollars it became worthless. I had a friend who spent, bought a $60,000 house and it was worth, and the loan was worthless by the time he had paid $10,000 into it.

Leo: Yeah there's no question this kind of hyper inflation is horrible for people. I remember, we all saw the pre-World War II the Weimar Republic, people paying for stuff with wheelbarrows of cash and stuff and it just, and that lead to the Nazi takeover of Germany. So it can go very badly wrong.

Alex: Yep.

Leo: So we wish for our compatriots.. they're not compatriots, they're our friends.

Alex: I was going to say..

Rene: Our fellow human beings.

Leo: Our fellow humans in Russia, we wish the best and hope things settle down a little bit. And I'm sorry you can't buy an iPod today.

Alex: It's funny how you know that it's a big business when you're being directly affected by world whatever. The United States started fracking and then Saudi Arabia decided they wanted to cut them off and make it worthless to frack and then..

Leo: Oh is that what this is all about?

Alex: It's a big chunk of it.

Leo: Wow. Yeah because I know OPEC decided not to raise oil prices.

Alex: Well fracking is profitable at a certain rate, and I believe the rate.. I'm not positive, but I believe the rate is about $63, you know barrel or whatever. So by pushing it far below that it just.. it will most likely.. a bunch of companies that are leverage, they can't do it right now and so it will put them under. But it won't really slow things down. It puts the United States in a perfect position because they benefit when the..

Leo: Either way.

Alex: ..fuel goes down and they benefit when the fuel goes up. It's, they win one way or the other.

Rene: Judge Denise Cote oil. Anti-trust joke to be made here.

Leo: You just don't like Judge Denise Cote do you?

Rene: I liked the appeals court today, I thought that was great.

Leo: What happened in appeals court? This is the Apple eBook thing is going on, it's in appeals.

Rene: Yeah and 2 of the 3 judges were fairly critical saying that 1 she applied the wrong standard, and the other that.. there's an argument to be made that Apple was trying to stop a monopoly company who was basically dumping.

Leo: Amazon.

Rene: Yeah. So it's going to be interesting to see, and the third judge didn't really go one way or the other so.

Leo: Yeah. Interesting, so this is the second US circuit court of appeals in New York, and of course no matter what happens here I'm sure Apple or if Apple wins the publishers will appeal or the US, actually it's the DOJ now, will appeal and it will continue on but..

Rene: And they have 6 months to come to a decision now. So it's not a swift justice.

Leo: I love it. Judge Dennis Jacobs asked Department of Justice lawyer, why is it wrong for the publishers to get together to defeat a monopolist that's using predatory pricing? Why?

Rene: It's like mice getting together to fight a cat they said.

Leo: It's like mice getting together to put a bell on the cat. Wow. Wow.

Andy: That's translated, that's..

Alex: This one can turn around pretty quickly.

Andy: It's only anti-trust when it doesn't improve our position.

Leo: Right. The settlement was $450 million. That's money that Apple would save, although I imagine the court case costs a lot too.

Rene: And they're double or nothing in their..

Leo: Double or nothing. That's a good way to put it.

Rene: If they lose they pay, if they win it..

Leo: Double or nothing. How about 3 out of 5?

Rene: It's weighing 2 different kinds of monopolies. It's weighing a monopoly against the lower consumer prizes but that's not always the best result of a monopoly, sometimes you want to increase competition. So it's an interesting, it's an interesting phase of electronic law.

Leo: Wow. Dozens more companies sign up for Apple Pay, Apple Pay obviously a great success for Apple. On Tuesday, that's today! According to the Bits Blog, Mike Isaac writing in the New York Times, the company announced it had signed up dozens more banks, retail stores and startups for Apple Pay, including SunTrust, Barclaycard and USAA. My bank. They say now Apple supports cards that represent about 90% of the credit card purchase volume in the US. TD Bank North America and Commerce bank also. Joining 10 others.

Alex: And you know I think the interesting thing about this, the way it works I think is that for a lot of the banks, they can't be left out because what happens is as soon as you put your bank into your phone your chances of using all the other cards that you have drops dramatically so all these banks have to get in it.

Leo: Right. I know that, because my USAA card I tried to enter it into my wallet and it said no and so I don't use it, I use my B of A card.

Alex: Right, and that terrifies the banks.

Leo: No reason not to sign up, let's face it.

Rene: And I love it that suddenly all these NFC terminals so I can use my NFC Canadian credit card at all those locations in the US now.

Leo: Well see that's what's great about this, and I really want to underscore this. This Apple Pay only works for Apple iPhone users. However, what it does is it fosters..

Andy: The hardware.

Leo: Yeah, the tap to pay ecosystem.

Andy: The hardware works with anything that uses NFC payments, it works with Google Wallet, everywhere.

Leo: Almost all phones now have NFC built into them.

Andy: Most Android phones, not all. That's still.. it's not a feature for budget phones..

Leo: Yeah, cheap  ones.

Andy: Every $200 with two year contract phone pretty much has it.

Leo: Yeah, I only use you know, the..

Rene: And all my credit cards, all my bank cards all have the wave chip, the NFC chip in them so I can use that any place that has a regular NFC terminal. You tap the cards and you tap your phone.

Leo: You do have to have a 6 or 6+ to use Apple Pay on a phone. From Apple, do you think in some ways that might actually backfire a little bit on Apple, that people might say well I don't want to get.. I'll just use my old Android phone.

Rene: Control my wallet.

Andy: You're proposing that someone has an old iPhone and will buy an Android phone instead of a new iPhone, if they were going to do that they were going to do that anyway.

Leo: Yeah, maybe. Yeah.

Rene: And then the watch is going to support the NFC as well, so you'll be out with your watch on and just tap your watch to pay.

Andy: Actually someone asked me a question that I didn't know for sure what the answer was. If you have an Apple Watch with NFC but you do not have an iPhone 6 in your pocket, does Apple Pay still work? Does the secure area inside the watch trump the lack of a secure zone inside of a phone.

Leo: Oh that's interesting. So you have a 5s, or some other Apple phone.

Rene: My understanding and it could be wrong because I'm just basing it off recollection is that you authorize it once in the morning and as long as the watch doesn't leave contact with your skin it stays authorized for the rest of the day.

Leo: But. Authorized by a 6 only? Or could you authorize with a 5s?

Rene: Well it's essentially transferring it to.. I believe it has to come from the phone. I'll try to find out, but I believe it has to be a phone.

Leo: Curtis P in our chatroom says Apple Watch is supposed to work with a 5s because a 5s can pre-authorize the watch even though it doesn't have NFC. But the watch does, so it can pre-authorize the watch and then you can use the watch even though you don't have an iPhone 6. That's what Curtis says in our chatroom.

Rene: If so, it would probably work with a 5 as well because it's compatible. I'll try to find out.

Andy: Yeah exactly.

Leo: The chatroom seems united in their opinion that the 5 and 5s will work.

Andy: That's, see that's the difference between being.. for me it's like there's a big difference between my being like 90% sure and completely sure. Because that's a big 10% if you're telling people. It really was one of those, I believe well.. but all requires.. but the chip has..

Leo: It's not clear is it?

Andy: I'm going to pretend I didn't hear that question.

Rene: It's also not worth really making an opinion until it ships because things can and will change up until the week before it ships. We saw that with some other support ware it worked with a 5 in beta and didn't work with a 5 any more in shipping software. So it's.. I hate giving people expectations that may or may not..

Leo: Yeah, well we can say with certainty because it's here on the Apple Pay site at that you will be able to use an Apple Watch with an iPhone 5s and Apple Pay. Touch to pay.

Andy: So does the transitive property of mathematics apply to Apple Pay.

Leo: Yeah. Let me see if kind find that text in here because.. by the way lots of new retailers, including Staples added as well. To me, that's more important. Okay here we go. Here we go, see this? Apple Watch paired only with the iPhone 5, 5c, 5s, 6 or 6+, you will be able to use the watch in stores. But not in apps. So there is the..

Rene: Well the in-apps are in the phone, so the in-apps has to authorize on the phone.

Leo: Right has to be in the phone. So there you go Andy, that answers your question right there on that grid, that's from Apple. The company, Apple.

Andy: Ah but the check mark is grayed out as though they haven't colored it in yet.

Leo: (laughing) That's..

Alex: And I think that one of the things that was brought up in that article was they were talking about when you're shopping at a.. I think the.. I can't remember which gold state warriors, or one of the basketball teams. There's a lot of demand destruction by the line. So the line is.. you see a long line to get a hot dog or whatever and you just don't bother. I'll go get it later.

Leo: The Orlando Magic, yeah.

Alex: The Orlando Magic. The issue, you know, the real thing with this is removing that friction and I think that this is just the beginning of removing that friction, I mean really making that easy where we're definitely going to see you're ordering at the seat. Being able to.. you know, and if you see what's.. I guess I think we're going to talk about it but if you look at like you know, what's happening with United is just removing all the friction of interacting with the airline. With the iPhone and so I think that this is just part of that and reducing those lines and making it a lot faster.

Leo: Alex Martin's chief executive of the Orlando Magic says “One of the biggest pieces of feedback we get from our fans is that the food and beverage lines are too long. It actually keeps them from going to the concession stands, they don't want to miss the action.” I know that, I've missed a whole quarter of football waiting for a hamburger. Which pissed me off to no end. And the burger.. I never even got the.. eventually I just said screw it! Keep your damn burger.

Rene: Soccer fans are fine, but basketball fans..

Leo: Actually this was an Oakland A's game, it was at the coliseum and there was, the burger stand. Everybody was irate. Furious. But actually that wasn't Apple Pay, that's because they were cooking the burgers one at a time. He says this and technologies like Apple Pay will speed up our service. Now this is an interesting quote because I don't understand what the this is. It must mean tap and pay in general. This and technologies like Apple Pay will speed up our service. I don't know. This is the New York Times article. So other companies that accept Apple Pay now, Winn Dixie and Albertson's. Amway Center, that's the home to the Orlando Magic. Staples, Whole Foods of course has been doing it for a while, McDonald's has been doing it for a while. But in every case, am I wrong? But I think in every case if they take Apple Pay that means they'll take other tap and go solutions.

Andy: Yeah, that's been my experience.
Leo: Disney, Lyft, Uber, Airbnb.

Rene: And by converse, if a retailers deliberately destroys NFC to stop taking Apple Pay you also can't use other NFC technologies.

Leo: And that's of course, what is that, CVS?

Rene: Yeah, Rite Aid.

Leo: Rite Aid.

Andy: That's going to bite that group in the butt really hard. Because if Apple Pay did not come out until let's say February of next year. Maybe this other payment system would have a chance but they've got 6 months of momentum and 6 months of acceptance, and now I personally am in the sort of position where I'm actually disappointed if I go to Panera and like the manager says oh well there's no line over there at that far register. It's like, but the far register doesn't take Apple pay. I don't want to pay the old fashioned way. It's more fun to pay with my phone.

Leo: (laughing) That's why there's no line.

Rene: When the machines are down people here just walk around aimlessly. We don't know what to do any more. Someone reached for cash the other day and the guy just looked at it.

Andy: Part of the reason why I wanted to buy a soda was so that I could tap and pay, that's the whole reason behind it. And that's the sort of cultural thing that's happening over the next 6 months.

Alex: And I also think that for some of these organizations it will not be a big deal, but.. or the coupons are more important, but one of the things I have to say is as a consumer I never want to be behind someone with a coupon. And I don't care how much, if I see coupons like sticking out of their purse I don't care how much the next person is, because you know it's not going to match up. There's going to be like 5 minutes of like duh duh duh. Half the time it costs me money because I just go here, how much is that? Can I just pay that?

Rene: Well imagine the QR code with currency Alex.

Leo: And by the way the converse is not true, Patrick Delahanty over here in our programmer is saying that he went to the Lego store and they do have tap and pay but they don't have Apple pay. So the opposite is not always true, you may have not done the deal yet with Apple Pay even though you have tap and go. That won't be for long though.

Alex: But I can just imagine, I can imagine that all these stores; Walmart and everything else of people with like very inexpensive Androids they don't really know how to use trying to find the currency, trying to find the coupon that they saw.

Rene: It's the QR code Alex, they have to scan the QR code and..

Andy: It's slow enough sometimes on Amtrack where people have their tickets on their phones and I turn up the brightness to maximum, I rest it on top of the seat back so the person can use the scanner, but sometimes it causes delays. For me though the absolute disconnect of that alternative is that there is no way in hell that I want to let Walmart and CVS and 7-11 and all these other stores to have an app on my phone that has access to my location and my contacts even when I'm not buying something. That's just stupid. That's ridiculous. There's no way I'm going to install, I'm not even going to install it on my phone. Let alone install it and not use it.

Alex: Right.

Leo: So apparently ScooterX in our chatroom has just sold another iPhone 6. Who is it that just said. Oh, you've convinced me. Jim Tez says I'm running out to buy a 6+ now, bye. Thanks.


Rene: We write back, get an iPhone 6+.

Leo: Before you run out the door, Jim, you might want to check out for your old smartphone. G-A-Z-E-L-L-E is the place to trade in your existing electronics, get a little cash in your pocket so you can buy the new thing, and the nice thing about Gazelle of course is 30 days to decide. Get the quote now, it's good for 30 days. You don't have to actually send them a product at all. Or you could decide in the next 30 days. It gives you time to go out and get the new 6+ for instance. Set it all up, get it all working. And then pull the trigger. They'll send you a box, shipping label on it. You don't have to pay shipping on anything. They'll turn it around, if you forget to wipe the data or maybe it's broken, because they do buy broken iPhones and iPads and you can't wipe the data, they'll do that. And then they'll send you a check, a PayPal credit or an Amazon gift card which they bump 5% as their way of saying thank you. By the way, Gazelle now is selling. You see if you go to you'll see buy certified. You can buy pre-owned iPhones, Samsung Galaxy phones and iPads directly from Gazelle. This is a great thing if you've lost your phone or you broke it. You can go back and get a new one. That is gently used. Actually they have two different ways to do it. You can get certified like new. Of course that's going to cost a little more, but that is essentially a brand new device. Or certified good which might show some gentle signs of wear, but will save you a little bit of extra money. All devices of course are put through Gazelle's rigorous 30 point inspection so they are fully functional. And you have 30 days to return it risk-free. So this is a great way to, if you lose a phone, or you know like me. Your kids keep breaking phones. Next time I'm going to Gazelle, people often say what happens to the stuff that we sell to Gazelle, they resell it sometimes on eBay but the best stuff they save for their store now. Which is great. You can even buy a 6 or 6+ in the Gazelle certified gadget store.  G-A-Z-E-L-L-E, The best place to sell and buy your gadgets. Gazelle. Let's see. Oh, by the way I didn't.. I should re-open that tab but analysts expect that Apple Pay, Apple Pay alone is going to be a $34 billion business in four years. So this is a hefty new business for Apple. Did you see the infographic on what Apple makes money on? Did we put that in the rundown here?

Rene: Yeah.

Leo: At the top? This is where.. Business Insider did this. This is where Apple's money comes from. And I thought this was.. we knew this, but when you see it in an infographic, so the bigger the bar the more money they get. The iPod, the little thin bar and then it gets thicker with accessories, they make more on accessories than the iPod. That's interesting. Then iTunes.

Rene: They make more on everything than iPods.

Leo: Yeah, iPods is their tiniest division. Then the Mac.

Andy: Only makes $2.5 billion.

Leo: Well see that's the thing, these are in billions!

Andy: Exactly. We're talking about the loser product line that generates $2.8 billion per year.

Leo: And pretty soon you're going to add Apple Pay I think to this.

Rene: Well that was like when the iPhone 5c was a disappointment because it was only the third most popular phone in the world.

Leo: Number one of course, iPhone. And this really tells you a lot about what Apple, what Apple's business is these days. The iPhone is so much bigger, like 4 times bigger than the iPad, or the Mac. That makes it..

Rene: Look at the Mac go, Leo.

Leo: Huh?

Rene: Look the Mac go. I mean..

Leo: Well the Mac is $29 billion, it's still a big business.

Rene: And growing.

Leo: And growing. This is for fiscal 2014. So this is a year. Yeah, I don't think Apple's going to turn their back on the Mac, but you see what's important.

Alex: And the revenue for the iPhone I believe is almost twice Google's entire revenue.

Leo: You're kidding.

Alex: I think Google's revenue per year is $67 billion, something like that?

Leo: Holy cow.

Andy: According to the chart if you scroll down, yeah.

Leo: Holy cow. So Apple revenue total, stocked up against other companies.

Alex: There's only 3 ahead. 2 ahead.

Leo: Walmart makes $483 billion. This is revenue, not profit. $483 billion revenue. Exxon $392, Apple $220. But as you say the $121.5 billion revenue on the iPhone is actually bigger than Google's total revenue. By almost twice. Facebook's only $11 billion. God you've got to feel sorry for Facebook.

Rene: Amazon brought its profits down to zero so.

Leo: (laughing) You know what, you shouldn't.. if you only make $11.2 billion a year, you shouldn't be spending $22 billion on an app.

Andy: You should listen to your mom and get that real estate license because it's not working out.

Leo: It's not working out.

Andy: It's a good try, but admit it's not working out. Your band is not going to make it.

Leo: Time to have plan B.

Andy: It just goes to show you that this business model of let's sell things that are really expensive.

Leo: That's a good business model.

Andy: I know there's a lot of room in for like sub $1500 sub $1000 laptops, let's let other people get that. Let's sell the $1500 and $2000 ones.

Leo: But you know what's fascinating..

Andy: Let's sell the tablet, let's not sell the tablet that costs $99 and is good enough for almost everybody. Let's sell the $500 one. And the $800 one.

Leo: You know what's fascinating though is that didn't, wasn't always that way. In fact remember we used to say whose wallet would you rather have, Bill Gates or Steve Jobs? Because Microsoft was just cashing it in because they made software. There was no cost to make it. It was just bits, so it was almost all profit once you cover your R&D. But even Microsoft wants to be in the hardware business. I don't know, but somehow something shifted in hardwareville.

Rene: Steve Jobs probably had a better designed wallet, if we're talking specifically about the wallets.

Leo: Jobs' wallet looked good, it just wasn't as fat.

Andy: And you can only put Apple bucks in it.

Rene: Aluminum wallet.

Leo: I love that infographic though.

Andy: And this wallet has razor sharp edges. Yum.

Rene: It's a screamer.

Alex: You just have to hold it correctly. It won't cut you as long as you hold it correctly.

Andy: You will need special pants to fit it inside here, but these are the best pants we think that's ever been made.

Rene: That's an old joke, right? Wallet 2014 is not compatible with pants 2013. You're going to have to upgrade to pants 2014.

Leo: So if Apple's making so much on Apple Pay what would Samsung do? Oh yeah, copy it. Samsung is in the process of launching its own tap to pay solution. But why not right? Because Samsung can't use Apple pay. So they're going to launch an Apple Pay competitor next year. The technology will..

Alex: This is just going to be an embarrassment, can I call it?

Leo: It is because.. it's.. yeah. You have to have a Samsung phone.

Alex: Oh man.

Rene: It's a good feature for Samsung users, I just hope that the user experience is good. If there's one thing I wish they would steal more of, it's not the trapping, it's not the designs but the actual user experience. Please steal as much of that as possible.

Leo: Well as far as I can tell, you know what? I'm going to have an embarrassing admission here. I have not used any of the tap to pay solutions ever.

Rene: Leo.

Leo: I use credit cards and cash.

Rene: Cash. Pure cash.

Andy: I use the giant stone coins of the Yap Islanders.

Leo: I'm a little nervous about using it. I'm a little scared. No, I just haven't had occasion to.

Alex: The frustrating one is ATM's actually. The first card I put on my phone was my ATM card and you tap to pay and then it asks you to put your code in and it's like well that's not what I wanted at all. So the credit card ones are the only ones that are really seamless.

Leo: They do have credit card tap to pay. I have to say, Google Wallet as far as I can tell is just as easy as Apple Pay. You tap it..

Andy: Not really.

Leo: No?

Andy: Not really because one of the really good assets of Apple Pay is Touch ID because Google Wallet periodically.. you have to set a pass code for Google Wallet, and so to authenticate that you really do have authorization to control this account, occasionally you have to tap in that PIN. So if you haven't used it in about a day or two. When I enter the Panera I am opening the Google Wallet app and tapping in the code to make sure that I'm ready to go as soon as it goes. And so that's..

Leo: Wait a minute if you tap.. so if you have your Google Wallet out and you tap it, occasionally, not every time it will ask for the 4 digit PIN. You might have to open it ahead of time.

Andy: You don't have to open it ahead of time but that will save you that step. Like Alex says, I don't want to be the person who's holding up the line because I have to take my phone off of the tap to pay thing and then key something in and then put something back on or whatever.

Leo: Oh so it doesn't just pop up a PIN number and say type this in.

Andy: Well it will, but I'm saying I'd rather spend that 15 seconds on my own time while I'm waiting in line rather than do that when people are waiting to get to my cashier.

Rene: When Alex is behind you it's fine.

Leo: It's marginally easier.

Andy: That is mean

Leo: It's marginally easier to press your finger to it, than to go wham, wham, wham but that is pretty marginal.

Andy: It's not marginal. Would you rather just simply do something that is completely analog or do something that requires the digital parts of your brain? If something thing like touch ID were available, I think that would be the way.

Leo: We are coming up a little lazy now Andy. I think you

Andy: No we are not lazy, we want something that is more covenant. It is like why are you wearing a shirt that is comfortable rather than something that is maybe a little bit too tight and has tags that stick in you; because you have the option of having the thing that is not pleasant.

Alex: The other thing is that, I now, when I'm in a public place and I'm going to put my code in. I feel like it is insecure to put my number in. I don't want to do that.

Leo: Because they might see your pin.

Andy: That is definitely an advantage. You can change your pin at will. It's not your ATM card pin, and this is basically the passcode for Google Wallet. Just like good password hygiene, is always good password hygiene. I am aware of the idea that now if someone notices that I have tap to pay installed on this phone and active, and sees me tapping in a code. They will see that now this phone is a lot more valuable for me to steel, but that would only be true if they could get through my lock screen. That is another reason why touch ID is such a great thing for, not just for unlocking the phone, but for so many things across the IOS experience.

Leo: Maybe this is why Samsung wants to do this; because they do have a fingerprint reader in the Note 5 and S 4.

Andy: They just want to do it because they don't have it and they know that it is popular. Samsung is a very, very fine company; I do think that they do more than just copy Apple. The thing is, often times their only motivation to do something is because they have seen it as a popular product or service elsewhere and they want it inside their portfolio too. As opposed to Apple, Motorola, other companies, and even Microsoft where they think this is a great idea. We are going to make this such a great product; we are going to be really proud of this. I rarely get that sort of feeling from anything that Samsung does.

Leo: Samsung is actually working with LoopPay to do this. LoopPay has been around for a while and is pretty popular with people who use it, because it is not just tied to the phone. You can have a LoopPay fab if you wish or, and this works in more stores, a LoopPay digital payment card with a mag strip.

Rene: One more card. I agree with Andy, I would like to see many more Samsung shape dent in the universe that would be grand.

Leo: What does that mean?

Andy: You want to see more things drop from a great height, is that true?

Rene: No those are Nokia, Nokia does those. Nokia dents Microsoft. Did you see the hallway announcement today Leo?

Leo: No what did Huawei announce?

Rene: They had an Honor 6 and now they have an Honor 6+.

Leo: Oh please. Is Huawei the company where the CEO dresses just like Steve Jobs in a turtle neck, black turtle neck?

Rene: They Hugo Barra

Leo: Hugo Barra works for them from Google. He was a big Android guy, in fact one of the great demo guys at Google when he went to work for them. Huawei does have the biggest battery of any phone, and now they have announced a phone that is thinner; even than the iPhone 6.

Rene: Because 6 Mega was taken, 6 Dream was taken, all the good ones were taken

Leo: So Honor 6 plus.

Andy: Shamee was the company you were thinking of Leo.

Leo: I was thinking Shamee that was apologetically copping, Huawei is not.

Rene: No they are apologetic

Leo: Interestingly, their 6 plus like the American 6 plus is five an a half. They call it the Huawei Glory; the Huawei Glory 6 plus. 1080p, 5.5 inches, it is running its own proprietary kirin chipset which is a name of a Japanese beer so I don't know, and it's octi-core for Cortex-A15 and Cortex-A7, Mali GPU, 3 gigs of ram. I don't know I feel funny about buying a phone from China, oh wait a minute they are all from China never mind. Two eight megabits of camera sensors at the back

Rene: It looks like an interesting phone, I just find it interesting that plus is suddenly such a sexy name, it really wasn't before.

Leo: 6 plus

Andy: Well, Apple 2 plus

Leo: It's a plus sized phone. So, you started this conversation Alex Lindsay, an iPhone is going to every United flight attendant. Twenty-three thousands of them will all be caring iPhone 6. What are they doing with them? To make it easier for you to what, to pay them?

Alex: Well, they are talking about, I believe in that article, they are talking about the ability, for instance for you to be able to; some of the stuff you do flying Virgin America, some of the stuff is you can order like I want a gin and tonic and the chicken wrap or whatever it is. I can literally do that from my seat and when she gets there, she doesn't have to figure that out. It has already been charged, she just hands me the stuff and it would incredibly speed up the process.

Leo: Don't they need like a square or something to do that? Can you do tap and pay in reverse with an iPhone? Can somebody pay me by tapping my iPhone?

Alex: I don't know, it could be something that you do through your United App.

Leo: I'm just wondering why they need an iPhone.

Alex: I think that they just want to tie that whole echo system together. My guess is that the airline decided that they are already doing, I think a couple of years ago rolled out iPads for all of the pilots. They are trying to move to being paperless, and they don't want; I bet their developers were like we already developed everything on IOS, we just want to keep going.

Leo: Delta airlines gave Surface tables to their pilots.

Rene: It was a joke on Twitter that wherever their hub is, like if your hub is in Seattle they went with Microsoft; if your hub is in California go with Apple; if it was somewhere else they went with Samsung.

Leo: In unrelated news, all the Delta pilots have now started to work for United. Virgin Atlantic has tested giving Google glasses and Sony Smart Watches to staff greeting business class passengers. We are one of you. So spring of next year the United attendants will have a new way to ignore you, that's good.

Rene: They will be playing Crossy Road.

Leo: I'm sorry I'm playing Words with Friends, I can't talk right now.

Rene: Mr. Baldwin, sit down.

Alex: When you think about how this is going to be used, not only for an airline, but at a ballpark or at a restaurant. It is really going to get to a point that when you sit down at a restaurant for instance, unless you want to talk to the waiter you sit there on your iPhone and order what you want and then it all goes into the computer system. Just like when they were typing it in.

Leo: I don't think any business in their right mind would say that you have to have an iPhone.

Alex: Oh no, I think that they will develop; I'm sure that they will develop solutions for Android for the consumer. But I bet you

Leo: That is the risk to going all in on this stuff. Yeah, it is nice for iPhone users, but what about people who don't. By the way more than half of your customers are not iPhone users.

Rene: That is just the front end is Apple; the back end will probably be through Web Technologies or some sort of transit that will work with everybody.

Leo: I admit this is great for Apple but.

Rene: Apple only wants the hardware; I think so long as they buy the iPhones, Apple is happy.

Leo: Apple is going to be making money on the transactions too though. Come on now, thirty- four billion dollars; they are going to make a little bit of money on that.

Alex: One of the things that I think the consumer apps can be Android; United has definitely decided that all of their internal apps are going to be IOS. The only way that they can bite down and say this is the way it is going to be, is to give everybody. All of the pilots got iPads; all of the flight attendants get iPhones. That way they are IOS for the front end which makes a lot of sense if you are already happy with the platform you are on, is to just make it all one platform. It doesn't matter if it is Android or IOS, if you are developing for both of them all of time it takes up extra resources. And I also don't know if half or over half of the United users are; it would be interesting to see, they probably have data that we don't about exactly what percentage uses iPhone versus Android. Which could be affecting some of the decisions.

Rene: Did you guys see the wave of IBM apps that came out of the partnership? They don't look like enterprise apps that I used to use.

Leo: Really? Interesting, I read that the first couple of them came out yesterday.

Rene: One of them is an Air Canada app, and it looks tremendous. Apple has a whole page up. I forget what the address is, but it is something that is easy to look for. You go to the PR page and there is a link to it, it shows screen shots from every one. I think there is a dozen apps and all of them look like you would expect an IOS app to look like.

Leo: Neat

Rene: Almost like they are treating the enterprise like humans

Leo: IBM MobileFirst for IOS: Enterprise insights in the Palm of Your Hand. This all started with the bringing your own device thing right. People are bringing the IOS devices in; we better make sure they work for Apple.

Rene: Nice color schemes, great design

Leo: Even the website looks Apple e, this is an IBM website.

Rene: Yeah, the Apple version is actually better because they show you all of the apps.

Leo: Let me see if I can find it

Rene: On, I'll look for it too.


Rene: Usually you've got, at best, a really bad website that you could access things with.

Leo: Right

Rene: I don't know if it like, but it is something like that.

Leo: Business, its business time.

Rene: And then if you click on check out the apps

Leo: Great things are happening to enterprise, check out their apps.

Rene: Right there

Leo: The most enterprising apps ever. This is an Air Canada app.

Andy: Why are we not hiring George Takei for this campaign.

Leo: Oh my

Alex: Oh my

Leo: Oh my

Andy: You will find that our apps are quite enterprising.

Leo: It would be funny if they looked like Lotus Notes that would fun

Rene: Yeah.

Rene: Maximizer all those horrible enterprise tools that you guys use.

Leo: With the Passenger app, flight attendants have a powerful tool; see here you go. To deliver a whole new level of customer service for passengers who experienced delays. With iPad in hand, flight attendants can subdue and calm. That's good. I think you would feel more comfortable, wouldn't you, if you went to a desk and instead of them standing behind the desk they could stand next to you and they are holding their iPad and going like this.

Rene: Remember before there were computers in stores, and then slowly more and more stores got computers; then more and more stores when online and more and more stores got online transactions and now they are getting mobile. They are just a few years behind the rest of the world but they are making the same sort of migration that everyone else is.

Leo: Retail stores now have a quick easy way to stream order fulfillment with a pick and pack app. I like the name pick and pack. Now can I go to the app store and down load these and play with them? No

Rene: No, these are all enterprise distributed apps.

Leo: Too bad, it would be fun. Ooh, Insurance: retaining customers was never this easy. Telco: delivering great service all day long. I guess Verizon is not going to use that one. Government: law enforcement and social work get mobilized by innovation. Look at that, back up is on the way.

Rene: Tasty, tasty innovation

Leo: That is like uber for cops

Rene: Bank role that Leo, that's a good one.

Leo: I need a cop now. Incident aware app, police officers can know each other's whereabouts with greater insights in emergency situations. Wow. Hey if anybody is watching and uses these. Let us know give us an e-mail or make a YouTube video, I would love to see what your experience has been with this stuff. This is the first of many; I'm sure, of IBM apps designed for IOS. Neat.

Rene: Yeah

Leo: At least there is some issue from this particular IBM/Apple union. Remember the Telligent in the still born pink.

Rene: You can tell there are some guys from the HI department sort of helping them out; making them look like this. I don't think this is what IBM would brew up on their own.

Leo: No, no this is really interesting. I would be particularly interested in this, if any law enforcement jurisdictions are using these. I would love to see that in action. Next on Cops; bad boys, bad boys got an iPod.

Andy: He's going for your iPhone; he’s going for your iPhone

Leo: Apple now requires cases. Protect devices from one meter drops. So if you want a made for iPhone case; if you buy a made for iPhone case, you can drop your phone from a meter; which for those of us in the US is 3.2 feet.

Rene: Exactly

Leo: And they are restricting some materials for environmental reasons. You may not use formaldehyde, endangered species, pfos, pfoa, pbde, pbb, or phthalates in your cases. So knock it off. Phthalates are banned in children’s toys.

Rene: in telephone cases just so you know

Andy: How about flubber? Can you still make them with flubber?

Leo: If you can make them with flubber, if you want to make a light case.

Alex: That also helps with the whole one meter requirement.

Andy: It never touches the ground.

Leo: I want a case where it just floats; I drop the phone it just floats.

Rene: How about obtainium, do you want an obtainium case?

Leo: Obtainium. Apple reverses course on transmit. We talked about Panic software and transmit; it had a send to button in the notification center. Apple said mm, mmm, mmm; but they almost instantly, after we talked about it changed their mind. Which just underscores what you were saying Rene. Which is they have got to come up with some consistency here it is too confusing.

Rene: I mean it is, on IOS, the original thing they had was you couldn't upload files unless your app created them or edited them because they wanted to make sure that the app had ownership; because they take the security and sandboxing model seriously and they didn't want, for example it to get abused. For some developer to come up with a fake app that just takes all your files and just up loads it to some arbitrary location; but it turns out Panic had a really good use for it. You know sort of like an FTP client and then they have to reconsider. It is really similar to when they said you are not allowed to be making fun of political figures and then some guy goes um I'm an editorial cartoonist. They are like oh, okay wait a minute. So they come up with these laws that sort of have some good intentions, but then something that they call "unforeseen" happens and they have to reevaluate them.

Leo: Yeah

Rene: But it is a process and we are getting good results with it so far. I mean it is a horrible, ugly process but we are getting Pcalc and we are getting Transmit.

Leo: Right, well yeah. I think you are right; they need a vice president of App Store.

Rene: It would be nice.

Leo: Rene Ritchie wrote a great article in iMore about Apple's Hour of Code workshops delight kids of all ages. What is the Hour of Code Rene?

Rene: So this is a great thing. I just want to credit Serentiy Caldwell for all the photos; she did a fantastic job with those.

Leo: these are great.

Rene: Hour of code is from and a lot of companies participated. Apple's method of participating was to host about three sessions at each retail store last Thursday. You could go in; it was for kids K through 12. You just made a reservation and you went in and the sat you around a big table, and they used examples from Angry Birds, Plants vs Zombies, and other popular games to teach kids the basics of code. So you would be given a little problem and you would be able to drag and drop things that were like loops; and things that were like basic instructions and when you got them right it would solve that problem. Then you would be shown a video of Bill Gates or of Mark Zuckerberg or of some other really famous programmer telling what you would use to solve it. Like Bill Gates explained the loops. It was fantastic; they had about four Apple specialists for eight kids so they got a lot of attention. They were all given Apple headsets to keep so they could listen to the videos without having to listen to the noise in the stores and everything and they came around. The parents could get involved if they wanted to and they did three sessions in a row. The bigger flag ship stores had developers come in and give talks as well so the kids could have actual people to communicate with as well. I took my six year old and nine year old godchildren there and they loved it. At the very end I asked if they wanted to make video games and the nine year old said only for my entire life.

Leo: I like the reaction that you quote in the article where the one kid said: why couldn't it be two hours of code?

Rene: They loved it.

Leo: Here is Bill by the way; Bill created Microsoft, explaining loops here. Oh you don't hear it. Is that me, yes? Here let’s start over.

Bill Gates: People make decisions every day. For example before you go outside, you have an IF statement that says if it is raining then I need to get to get my jacket. Computers are amazing once you decide

Leo: I think Bill is making this up as he goes along.

Bill: on the IF statements, that they can reliably execute those things at unbelievable speed.

Andy: He can probably speak computer code in his sleep.

Bill: So computer code is really a little bit of math and some IF statements where the decision gets made.

Leo: Daddy who is that old man?

Bill: In this puzzle, the if block

Leo: Anyway that is kind of cool. In the Plants vs Zombies, do people work with these?

Rene: If you go to, you can actually do all of these at home. You can do it on the website, you save your progress, they have all the videos online. So if you couldn't get to an Apple store, iTunes also has a bunch of content up that they are linking to podcast, books, and things like that. It is really great.

Leo: if you want to know more.

Andy: Mark Zuckerberg does not look any bit different than

Leo: He looks exactly like his high school picture.

Rene: He could actually attend these sessions.

Andy: That is kind of unfair for the other CEOs really.

Leo: I know who Mark is, but who is this Bill guy? I love it. Hour of Code I think that is great.

Andy: Now remember children; sandboxing is very, very important. Let’s play with APIs that is what all good software programmers do. They ask the manufactures what APIs can I use and how can I use them.

Rene: It is also worth putting out that they also have field trips for schools, you can sign up on the Apple retail page. And they have a summer camp; and they show kids how to make videos, or how to make eBooks, and there is a lot of resources for children there.

Leo: Let's take a break. When we come back our picks of the week Andy Ihnatko, Rene Ritchie, and Alex Lindsey are here; the core group of MacBreak Weekly. Your picks, gentlemen start your engines. First though, a word from fresh books, a nice Canadian company they are nice. I discovered them actually in Canada because I was going to Toronto actually one week a month and had the bill Rodgers for the Call for Help sequence that we did there. I was doing it in Microsoft Word, and I remember just complaining to no end to Amber McArthur. She said hey you should try this new thing, they just started in 2004, called FreshBooks. I did, I started doing all of my invoicing from FreshBooks and man it changed my life. First of all, it is a lot easier to create an invoice; also a lot faster to get paid. They say on average, FreshBooks customers get paid an average of five days faster and that is because there is a button on the invoice that says: pay me now. Turns out clients are not adverse to paying you; they are just like you, they put it off. So make it easy and they pay more quickly. Now FreshBooks has award winning mobile apps that will let you do everything from your IOS device, also track hours get that right into the bill the invoice. Also keep track of expenses, you can snap photos of receipts right from your phone. Automated late payment reminders mean that you don't have to ever worry about those kinds of tense awkward calls and emails to your late paying clients. You get great financial reports that help you do better in your business and helps your accountant come tax time. Get it all done; in fact make 2015 the year you start using FreshBooks. Connect FreshBooks to third party apps like ChronoMate to make it much easier. They have an open API too, so there are many developers integrating with the FreshBooks platform. Amber McArthur of BNMs app central says FreshBooks, she is still using it; FreshBooks mobile allows me to quickly send invoices and check in on my business no matter where I am. You will love FreshBooks. We have got a 30 day trial for you right now It is accounting for the non-accountant. But, you know what you have got to do it. So make it easy on yourself, All we ask, if you don't mind, where they have that little field where they ask how did you hear about us. Just mention MacBreak Weekly, it would be nice. Alex Lindsey is in Rwanda, apparently five minutes from Hotel Rwanda.

Alex: Yeah it is right down the street. It is not a good time to walk though. It is a very safe street actually through here. Rwanda is actually very safe itself, but the bats.

Leo: Bats? It is safe except for the bats, giant bats.

Alex: They have bat droppings. The bats are fruit bats, they are this big; this big and the poop is unbelievable.

Leo: They eat a lot of fruit

Alex: Exactly, and the crazy thing is that I thought that it was random and then I realized that they are really pooping at me.

Leo: Oh no, they aim it?

Alex: I don't know it feels like it.

Leo: Sonar, is there nothing it can't do?

Alex: I know, I know so anyways it is right down the street. It is a much different place, as I have said in the past it is a very safe country. I am here working at the school, we are doing some planning sessions lots of meetings. I will be going into the rural areas to look at some of the work force training schools out in the country. I'm pretty excited.

Leo: Really great, what do you got for us?

Alex: Two things one is very little, I started getting these and now I have a lot of them; it is made by Kero, K E R O and all it is, is a little, very tiny USB to lightning bolt. When you travel a lot some people, a lot of people who watch the show are going to be like ridiculous.

Leo: I like little shorties.

Alex: It is really nice; it has a cap that you can attach to things. Some of these I have attached to my bag and I just pull it off my bag and do it. So being able to attach the cap to the bag on the outside is geeky but useful.

Leo: You are like Batman with your utility bag.

Alex: Hey you never know when you will need to charge. Anyway, I travel a lot so every time you see a little outlet you are huddling over there and hoping that they are using a Mac so that they will let you share the outlet. So the Kero, they are not the cheapest, but they are really, really useful, durable, and I like them a lot. So that is one and the other one, every time I do this show from somewhere I have my ear piece in; someone asks which one I use, the IFBs because I have these little twitter things. So I thought I would just say it. This is Audio Implements, these are the IFBs. There is a lot of them that are cheaper than these. These ones are the best ones

Leo: Are they like headphones?

Alex: So this is an IFB so it is, if I don't pull my mic out

Leo: An in the ear thing

Alex: It is like what they use in broadcasting, you just have a little ear piece.

Leo: It is invisible

Alex: I don't do the molded one, I don't have the molded one but this goes over your ear. It is a little more subtle, it is not very good for radio but it is good for when you are doing this and you don't want big head phones or something like that. These are, you buy them in different pieces. The actual speaker is right here, this little bit right here; then you have a little tube and then there are a variety of these little ear pieces, these little hard ones are horrible. What they call the accordion, which is this one here. It is really dirty right now, I apologize, I promise I won't get it too close to the camera. It just sticks right in there and you can get molded ones. They work with a lot of broadcasters since this part pops off here, you can pop it on and a lot of broadcasters, politicians, and stuff will have their own. If they have their own molded one to their ear, you can pop it on. So anyway, they are, it took a little while to figure out who the best people were. We went through a lot of IFBs and these are definitely one of the best. It is about a hundred and thirty bucks I think for which is. I will show you the one that I moved to at the office the next time that we do this which doesn't have any cables at all, it is more expensive. But, this one is really good, if you are really serious about it and you want to get one that really works. Like I said I have questions about it every single time so I figured I would make it a recommendation and get it over with.

Leo: Love it, thank you Alex. Rene Ritchie your pick of the week.

Rene: I have a stack list of picks this week, because a bunch of really good stuff that came out. The first are two apps by Contrast, they are the people who make Launch Center Pro. They have sort of broken out and enhanced specific area functionality. One is called Group text plus and the other is called Email plus; they do the same thing but one is for messages and one is for email. So basically you can create groups of people and then you can create sort of actions. What makes is so great is with IOS 8 you can save those actions to the share sheet so that you can send a picture to my family. Or take my location and tell them when I'm going to be home. It makes the whole process of texting or emailing just that much faster because it launches your actions not just the apps. So if texting certain groups or certain people; or if doing certain actions is a frequent thing for you these apps are a great way of doing it. Because there are separate apps for email and for text, you can set up different actions for both of those things. You don't have to choose between one or the other. The second app, I don't think anyone has picked this yet if they have I apologize, but it is called Workflow. It is one of those apps that make you go: oh my goodness an iPhone can do this. It is by a group of really, really young developers which makes it even more impressive. Basically, it is like automator for the iPhone and that is a huge statement to make but it really is true. When you launch the app for the first time, it shows you how to set up a work flow where it takes several pictures and makes them into an animated gift and allows you to share that gift. I have had friend make work flows where it takes a picture, puts some text on it, and sends it to twitter as an automatic meme generator. The list of things that you can do just goes on and on; you can make and share the different work flows as well. It makes you start to redefine your expectations for the iPhone as a productivity tool. Again it is one of those things where you can save the actions to the share sheet; so it is one of those things that IOS 8 makes not only possible but just so much better. It is an incredibly, incredibly impressive app. Fredrico Viticci at the App Store, he is the king of IOS automation and he has been doing some amazing, amazing stuff with it. And the last thing, I just wanted to give a cheap plug to our iMore awards, they went live today. So we went through and picked what we think are the best apps for Mac and IOS and all the best accessories and the best devices of 2014. Workflow is one of them; our app of the year was Pics-o-mater, Mac app of the year. We have all sorts of stuff; the stuff that we think was just the very, very best this year if you are looking for even more picks.

Leo: This is a good list.

Rene: Yeah, this was put together by Derik Kessler he does a great job designing these things.

Leo: Nice, very good and that is at; actually just go to

Rene: Right on the front.

Leo: It is right on the front page. Very nice thank you Rene.

Rene: Thank you

Leo: And now ladies and gentlemen, Andy Ihnatko's pick of the week.

Andy: I got a couple of holiday ones this time because it is no good to give your holiday pick when you can only enjoy it for about a day and a half. So I'm going to give a plug for and audible book by Patrick Stewart performing his one man show version of A Christmas Carol. This has been a tradition for me ever since I bought it on cassette a few years after it first came out, and then I had to buy it on CD, and then I had to get it on audible. His performance of this predates his time on Star Trek the Next Generation. He just has been cultivating this one man performance of a sort of reduced version of A Christmas Carol; he does all the characters, he does all the voices, he makes a few edits that speed things a long, and this is a performance of a guy that absolutely knows this show and loves doing it year after year, after year. I'm not joking; this really is part of my holiday. There used to be a day that I would take these cassettes out of the glove box and put them into the center council and start playing them; and now it is the day when I make sure that they are synced to all of my devices so that I can keep listening to them time after time, after time. The second thing is that and this is something that a lot of people are going to be interested in knowing, that is the very last David Letterman Super Holiday Show is going to air on Friday. This is the one where Darlene Love does a version of Christmas Baby Please Come Home which they have been doing for about thirty years. This is where Jay Thomas comes on and he and Dave throw footballs at a Christmas tree to nock a meatball off the top of it. Jay Thomas also tells his story about the Lone Ranger. They have been doing this in the same format year after year, after year. Another thing that I am not embraced to say, is another beloved holiday tradition. If I were ever to miss this it would just not be as good a Christmas celebration as possible and this year is the very last one and I have tickets to the actual show itself on Thursday.

Leo: You get to go, lucky dog

Andy: I'm going to be there and if you listen to somebody and say gosh that sounds like I really high girly voice but as though it was from the diaphragm of a middle aged man. That is me cheering for Darlene Love.

Leo: Oh my gosh, I'm so glad that you get to go.

Andy: I'm pretty excited about it; a friend was nice enough to arrange for me to get a couple of tickets for that.

Leo: And it is the last one because he is retiring.

Andy: Exactly, and just take a look at the montage that the show posted on YouTube yesterday of just year after year, after year of these things. It really is, watch Paul Schaffer in the background because he grew up on this kind of full spectra music and he is just like a little kid playing this music it is just fantastic.

Leo: You are going to have a blast, I'm so jealous you get to go to this.

Andy: I might have to bring extra under ware because I am just so excited; even in concept of seeing this live.

Leo: Now if they know who you are they will put you in the balcony that is okay though you get a good view.

Andy:  The balcony is actually for, this is for anybody who is going to go see Letterman before the show ends in May; the balcony is actually the place you want to be because it is the only place you can see the entire show without being blocked by cameras moving in and out. There is an email that arrived with it saying that we have an unusual number of guests for this show so you might be seated in the orchestra. I don't care, even just standing outside.

Leo: I want to be seated in the orchestra.

Andy: Anywhere where audio is bouncing off; coming out of Darlene Love, bouncing around, and landing in here that is fine I'm good.

Leo: One of my favorite memories is seeing Letterman live, it really is a treat. This is a special, special one to see live you might get snow on you.

Andy: If you've never had the chance, part of the joy of seeing the Letterman show live is that the band plays through all of the commercial breaks. And if you, goodness gracious, as impressed as you are with the work this band does during the show itself. When you hear them just play three to sometimes seven minutes of uninterrupted rock wow what a sad loss it is going to be when this band breaks up and is no longer performing together. I hope they record something to leave the fans with because they are just phenomenal.

Leo: It will be something like the experience we San Francisco Giants fans are going through in the off season as they slowly tear our team apart limb by limb. Thank you Andy Ihnatko Chicago Sun Times ladies and gentlemen, the Celestial Waist of Bandwidth, and you can probably catch him at the Chicago Public library taking pictures; going around shooting round pillars at people. Nice to have you Andy.

Andy: Only with permission.

Leo: Next week by the way, we will not be here you have the week off. I don't know if we told you that.

Andy: I did not know this, I'm definitely glad that I did the holiday picks.

Rene: Me too.

Leo: Shoot, right am I wrong?

Rene: Too late we are not showing up Leo.

Leo: Am I wrong but I believe the next week we air is Christmas week and we are doing the best of MacBreak Weekly.

Jason: That is right.

Leo: So you may take the week off. We will see you though the week after that right before New Year on December 30th. We are not doing shows New Year's Eve, but New Year's Eve, Eve we will be doing shows. Rene Ritchie is at, he is such a great guy to have on the show because you just know what is going on. You are in the insiders insides.

Rene: Thank you.

Leo: At reneritchie on the Twitter and all the way from Rwanda. The country that doesn't care because it's got money; I don't know I'm making up a slogan for a country. I shouldn't do that.

Alex: Where did that come from?

Leo: I don't know. Alex Lindsay

Alex: It is the land of a thousand hills.

Leo: The land of a thousand hills.

Andy: In fairness everybody, it is not all about the giant bats that keep people covering in terror at night.

Leo: The land of a thousand bat guano.

Alex: You know they are doing all this great work in tech and internet and all I did was bring up the bats.

Leo: I really appreciate you spending your evening with us, thank you very much.

Alex: My pleasure.

Leo: We do MacBreak Weekly 11 am pacific on Tuesday, that is 2 pm eastern, 1900 utc. We love having you hear live, even in studio. We have got some nice people in studio here; you can email if you would like to. We will put a chair out for you but you can also watch on If you can’t watch live, if you can’t be here live don't forget we have on demand audio and video of all of our shows; everything we do here on the web in this case but you can also get it where ever you get your favorite net cast or use those great apps that our third party app developers have very kindly created for us on every platform including Roku. Next week our holiday special, the best of MacBreak Weekly that is exciting and then the following week we will be back here talking about the year end and what to look forward to in 2015. It is going to be a big year for Apple. Do we still need a few time zones?

Jason: Alaska

Leo: We got Alaska?

Jason: No

Leo: Why? We have Sara Palin, somebody please go to for New Year’s Eve.

Rene: She can see Russia from her back door.

Leo: If you can see Russia from your backyard please, we would like to have you for New Year's Eve. We are going in every time zone.

Alex: Is that all we are missing?

Leo: Oh no there is a few others, mostly islands. Jarvis Island, we are missing Jarvis island of all things; that is the three am New Year's Day the very last but I've heard we are going to be doing count downs. Oh and it is for Unicef by the way, we are going to raise money for charity we have auctions, we have giveaways, and we will be taking pledges it is Jerry Lewis style Andy and if you want to be here and sing You'll Never Walk Alone. I wouldn't stop you.

Andy: Maybe I can art up a tote board.

Leo: We have a tote board.

Andy: There you go

Leo: We have a tote board.

Andy: This is slick.

Leo: We need Norfolk Island say that three times fast, Northern Marianas Islands, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Bangladesh, Burma, Uzbekistan, Tuzbekistan, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran, the Azores surely there is somebody in Cape Verde, Trinidad, Alaska, and Midway; Samoa anywhere.

Rene: If you orbit over one of those places.

Leo: It doesn't matter, lie, set your clock to a different time but we have got all the others. There is twenty-seven of them; we have got somebody in Fiji, we have got somebody in Alice Springs, in Japan, we have got India

Andy: Could we contact the government of the respected islands and ask for a hundred dollars cash will you deputies somebody here in San Francisco as an official ambassador from your island.

Leo: I think so, right.

Andy: We could like tape off a square foot of the studio that this is consulate area for this area just for that time. It would be a shame not to color in the whole map.

Leo: We may have a guy who will be flying over the International Date Line and he is just going to keep having a New Year count down every five seconds.

Rene: Just go two thousand miles an hour with the orbit of the earth and call Leo every half hour.

Leo: I am so thrilled here, the people we have participating is just fantastic; Port Lincoln, South Korea, India, we've got Dubai; we've got Saudi Arabia, Cairo, and Switzerland so it is going to be fun.

Rene: Belgium has freedom, Canada has freedom.

Leo: That is three am New Year's Eve till three am New Year's Day and it is going to be a lot of fun I cannot wait.

Andy: That is amazing; in the Christian Science monitor building in Boston there is a huge stained glass globe you can walk into. It is a map of the entire world and they created this publication in the late 1930s I think, to demonstrate; here is the reach of our publication here is all of the countries where our publication reach. It is like you are building your own stained glass, eighty foot wide globe.

Leo: That is pretty cool and it is all because I was mad that Rockin New Year's Eve ended at nine pm pacific. That is it that is the seed of all of this. I think we are going to raise some good money too for a very, very good cause.

Thank you gentlemen, thank you everybody for watching; now you all get back to work because you know what, break time is over!

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