MacBreak Weekly 436 (Transcript)
Leo Laporte: It's time for MacBreak Weekly! We've got Rene Ritchie at CES but Andy Inhatko, Don McAllistar and Alex Lindsay are here. We'll talk about the latest Mac news, including the rumor of a Retina Macbook. The latest Intel chips and news from CES, it's all coming up next on MacBreak Weekly.
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Leo: This is MacBreak Weekly, episode 436. Recorded January 6th, 2015
A Tuppence for Your Thoughts
MacBreak Weekly is brought to you 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 Gazelle.com. And by Nature Box. Nature Box ships great tasting snacks right to your door. Start snacking smarter with wholesome, delicious treats like blueberry Greek yogurt pretzels, wow! To get your complimentary Nature Box sampler, visit NatureBox.com/twit. That's NatureBox.com/twit. And by FreshBooks, the simple cloud accounting solution that helps millions of entrepreneurs and small business owners save time billing and get paid faster. Join over 5 million users running their businesses with ease. Try it free at FreshBooks.com/macbreak. It's time for MacBreak Weekly, the show where we cover the latest Macintosh news and since everyone is in Vegas we had to go to Liverpool. Don McAllistar is here, screencasts online. Hey Don!
Don McAllistar: Hi, it's like looking at a mirror image now, I've got the black shirt as well.
Leo: It's amazing.
Don: And the head, it's fantastic.
Leo: I left my moustache somewhere, but I'll get it.
Leo: I actually like it with the shades.
Don: It's good to be here.
Leo: Yeah. I did this, as you know. And I just have to... probably have to explain it all week but I did this honoring New Year's Eve show marathon, telethon to raise money for UNICEF and so it was a very good cause, we ended up raising $75,000 between the cash donations and the auction. So very good, very exciting. Very fun New Year's Eve. And every one of those hours, all 24 of them is available on our website at twit.tv/specials. Also here, and he did a fun mixology segment involving liquid nitrogen, Alex Lindsay.
Alex Lindsay: You know, you're not really mixing until you're mixing with liquid nitrogen.
Leo: I think that's taking it to the next level.
Alex: While Leo was shaving his head, I was drinking.
Leo: (laughing) It should have
been the other way around, I wish it had been. You shave your head every year don't you?
Alex: I used to.
Leo: Or clip it anyway.
Alex: I used to clip it all the time and I used to shave. When I married my wife it was, I bicked it every day.
Leo: That's the term, the technical term. Bicking it. Although if you use a bick to shave your head you are asking for trouble.
Alex: A lot of nicks.
Leo: Harry's at least, I had a trained professional with a straight razor.
Alex: Well Harry's didn't exist back then.
Leo: Yeah, that's why.
Alex: But she persuaded me to actually grow it out so there you go.
Leo: And you would just do that every year and that would be your haircut.
Alex: I would do it every couple days.
Leo: Oh you kept it shaved, oh okay.
Alex: Then when I started clipping it I would clip it and then every 3 months I would clip it again. Now I just get it cut short.
Leo: I like short.
Alex: I do too.
Leo: I think short's easiest.
Alex: Hole in the front of my head now, you just see it.
Andy Inhatko: (laughing)
Leo: That's Andy Inhatko, from the Chicago Sun Times. Not at CES Andy huh? You're not a CES fan?
Andy: No because I mean if you're like Rene and you head a site like iMore where your readers expect you to absolutely have news about everything then that's important to be there. Otherwise, as I said on Twitter it's all like Bluetooth, vaporware and Bluetooth shoelaces that's like for everything and... I mean all week long it's been like emails, hey I got some time available with such and such a person if you want to talk to him, I said oh well actually I'm not in CES but is he going to be in the Cambridge office in a few weeks? Sure, great let's talk to him then.
Andy: Alright then, that's good because he'll be rested and he'll be fed and more alert, great. Absolutely.
Leo: You know the benefit of course of a show like international CES is everybody's there, everything is there. It's all in one spot but it's so hard to get around because everybody's and everything's there...
Andy: I think it really is like San Diego Comic Con where it's so big that you can't see the whole show so what you have to treat it as, you have to decide that the show that you want to attend is inside there somewhere, so if you decide that you want to go to the HDTV consumer electronics show, you can definitely see the HDTV consumer electronics show where now everybody's doing curved screens, not just Samsung. Or it can go to the wearables CES and you can definitely do that. But you really certainly can't cover the entire thing, not as a one person man.
Leo: So we should say Rene is not here because he is at CES, next week we'll talk about what he saw at CES but they took the same south stage. Remember this? This is the stage where we used to have our booth and it is, he's doing it with Mobile Nations, his company. GeekBeat.TV, Cali Lewis's company, Tom's Hardware and so they're going to do pretty much, you know, I think the kind of thing that we did. They've got the reporters, there's Serenity Caldwell, Cali Lewis. I feel like Georgia Dow, he's a very lucky fella to be doing this so. There he is in Vegas. We miss you, Rene. Have a great time and come back bearing tchotchkes.
Andy: And whatever disgusting, flu-like symptoms you have. Try to keep that within your lower third.
Leo: I'll confess a little fomo. Fear of missing out. I feel like it's all going on down there, we have coverage. Rene is down there but also Father Robert Ballecer is covering it, we've got Dick DeBartolo, the Giz Wiz doing the kind of... he likes to do the weird gadgets in the basement... and Scott Wilkinson our home theater geek will be there.
Andy: I think that CES has long needed a liturgical perspective on things. So...
Leo: Yeah, I don't know. I was trying to think of what's Robert's beat. It's whatever he wants to...
Don: I did it last year for the first time, it was on my bucket list to do. I had never done it before, so yeah.
Leo: I remember that.
Don: Well it was in new media expo and it followed on last year so I stayed over for an extra couple of days and it was good, but it was so overwhelming. There's so much stuff there. And I did find that the things I wanted to see, a couple of the booths were like invitation only and of course I didn't arrange anything in advance so some of the things I wanted to see I couldn't actually see, but I think it's worth doing at least once but it is very overwhelming. There's so much stuff down there. And it's so much floor space to cover as well, it's unbelievable.
Leo: And so much stuff is never released.
Leo: It's hard because it's hard to see an overarching story, although certainly TV is the big story. The other thing is Apple's not there. In years past, I can think of several years, 2010 when they released the iPad, 2007 when they released the iPhone, where everybody at CES is talking about Apple. And it's like Apple was the big story even though they weren't there. They're not there again this year. Microsoft's not there either by the way.
Leo: The Chinese TV company Hisense has taken over their booth for the last few years.
Andy: That's another reason why it's no longer really important for even many tech journalists to go because all these companies now, they would much rather have their own event where they have all the attention and they can release something on their own schedule so, it probably costs less money for me to travel to New York a couple of times and San Francisco a couple of times than to spend a week in Las Vegas.
Alex: And I think for the larger companies that are already well established it doesn't make as much sense, for the little companies it's great, especially for some of the press events that happen on Sunday, Monday, Tuesday nights it gives you a chance where you have a little 10x10 booth and you're walking around kind of getting to see a bunch of the stuff quickly. But even then I felt like even last year, other than a handful of things I wasn't sure if I needed to be there.
Leo: Wearables will be big. And again this is a case of wearables will be big until Apple's Apple Watch comes out and everything and throw it all up in the air because it's all now going to change.
Alex: We are actually seeing some home...
Leo: Home automation is going to... I think is interesting, yeah. I was hoping you know, Samsung had some announcements they updated the Smart Things hub. Belkin did Nest.
Alex: Nest had some integration.
Andy: A lot of HomeKit announcements of companies who are willing to announce that hey we're finally ready to announce HomeKit and we're ready to show off how integration is going to work.
Don: Lots of CarPlay announcements too, so that's good.
Leo: Yeah that's good too. So there is some Apple stuff there.
Don: Yeah, mhm.
Leo: And then I guess in TVs it's quantum dots and curved screens and 4k. And that's all you really need to know.
Leo: The rest of it's just noise. We will have a very complete report on TV and home theater from Scott Wilkinson on Home Theater Geeks this week. He does this every year, and I've done it a couple years with him. It's really fun, he goes to all the major television booths and talks to Sony and Sharp and Samsung and LG. I hope he'll talk to TCL and Hisense, the hot in up and coming in Chinese companies as well.
Alex: Very thin.
Leo: Thin. You always say thin. It's like an iPad, have there ever been a thicker iPad ever?
Alex: These started looking like impossibly thin. Did you see the Sony? They said it's thinner than the iPhone.
Leo: Golly. Well here's a big story from Mark Gurman, an exclusive on 9-5 Mac. Apple's next major Mac revealed the radically new 12” Macbook Air, take this with a grain of salt, although Gurman is extraordinarily well connected, he says sources within Apple who have used internal prototype versions of the upcoming computer provided in depth details. These are artists renditions on the web page, and if you're watching video on our video of the revamped Macbook Air. But here's some of the facts. No longer will they have full sized USB ports, MagSafe connectors and SD card slots, markedly thinner and lighter, with a higher resolution display. Sounds almost like a Retina iPad with a keyboard. The 12” will be considerably smaller than the current 13” version, slightly narrower than the 11” model, the new 12” is approximately a quarter of an inch narrower than the 11” version which is nice, I mean it's nice to get it smaller. But that doesn't change the aspect ratio of the screen by the way. It's a quarter of an inch taller to accommodate the slightly larger display. Bezels on display have been reduced, that's what changes the outside. Besides the new look for the computer, this is Mark Gurman again 9-5 Mac, an exclusive story. The entire unibody has been revamped. From the keyboard to the trackpad to the speakers, taking cues from the 12” PowerBook introduced more than a decade ago by Steve Jobs, the new keyboard goes edge to edge. Look at... this is again an artist’s rendering from 9-5 Mac but look at that. Edge to edge, the entire keyset subtly redesigned so each key is noticeably closer together. Apple squeezed the keys closer to get the computer as narrow as possible. Do you buy this Andy? You sound skeptical.
Andy: This is just a rumor and all Apple rumors that are made more than a week before we know that there's an announcement I tend to think okay this is more fodder for an interesting discussion about how sort of thing would work. So with that said, this sounds like a turkey of a product.
Leo: (laughing) I want the USB port at least.
Andy: It sounds like this is something where there are going to be so many inconveniences. If it's not as easy to type with as a real Mac there's going to be a lot of people... there would be a lot of people asking, okay so if you're charging... I bet they're going to be charging the same sort of price point for it, I can't imagine they're going to charge iPad like prices for something like this. I think that the first question to ask is why would I buy this instead of, say a Chromebook for $500 less. Or why would I buy this instead of... you're probably in the same price range as a very good Windows notebook that will have more... that would have more ports than the device that 9-5 Mac is describing. If a... I'm already kind of disappointed of the things of my 13” Macbook Pro. I'm disappointed with the keyboard because it's just... it's okay to type with but it's no better than any keyboard I would find on a computer that costs $1000 less. I would be quite surprised if they decided to take a gamble on spacing of keys like that because that's... especially for something as trivial as we just don't want to have anything to the left and to the right of this keyboard. And also we know that people are clamoring for... if we made this so that it was ½ inch wider or ¼ inch wider on either side, people would be looking at us and telling us that we're nuts to make a computer that's ¼ wider on either side. So I'm not saying I don't believe it, I'm saying I see a lot of things that if this were a proposed design that someone was showing me saying we're thinking about going in this direction I would say, okay if it's a $500 computer. Very interesting. It gets less interesting by 20% with every $100 over $500 though.
Leo: Gurman points out that this is a prototype, may not be the released product. Apple does change things sometimes. But look at the ports on this, according to the specs he has, on the left side there's a headset port and 2 built in little holes for microphones. On the right side, 1 port. No MagSafe adapter no USB, it's the new USB type C which is everything. It is a USB port, it is a display port, a Thunderbolt port and a power port. Obviously you can't use those all at the same time, maybe you get a hub or something, a dock.
Andy: So basically I think Apple is shifting its business plan to we're basically a company that sells dongles.
Leo: It is Apple-y. You have the feeling if such a thing had existed in Steve's time, Mr. One-button-mouse he would have liked the one port computer.
Alex: I'd be more understanding if you could do touchscreen and take the keyboard off.
Leo: I'd love to see a touchscreen on this.
Andy: If this was for instance a keyboarded iPad design, that becomes fascinating. And the idea of having let's say just one lightning connector for everything, that also becomes really really interesting. It seems less interesting as a Macbook though.
Don: Everyone's waiting though for the Macbook. The rest of the Macbook Air it seems as though everyone's salivating for. It seems a bit weird that they would forego the standard Thunderbolt cable and just have the single port. It sounds a little bit fishy to me.
Leo: This is a mid 2015 product, again this is exclusive to Mark Gurman on 9-5 Mac who is well connected, but this is... (whistles)
Andy: Well. But rumors are rumors. And...
Leo: Something that's not a rumor.
Andy: Even if this were like... the specs were this looks exactly like the 11” Macbook Air with the same connectors and just a different aspect ratio and a different screen. I have to say that even then I'd be saying I'm not going to buy any rumor until... this far out. So it's possible that this is just something they built just to figure out well what would this be like. You need to dog food your own products on a wide scale before you even consider rolling it out so... especially if they were doing something as radical as changing the spacing of a keyboard. I don't doubt that a device just like this exists inside Apple, I just don't know if it's being seriously fast-tracked as one of the next Macbooks, that's all.
Leo: M5 in the chatroom makes a good point. That the touchscreen on a Mac, you'd have to have some modifications to the UI. For instance, the window buttons are so small you probably couldn't tap those with your finger.
Andy: Yeah, they're useful... we all have tried out things like the Chromebook Pixel and Windows devices that have touchscreens on them and even if it's not... even if it's not optimized for touch it's still quite useful. I was surprised after my first couple of days with the Chromebook Pixel how quickly I kind of transitioned to every time I scroll casually I would just sort of put my hand up and rest my hand next to the screen and start doing this to scroll. I just don't think Apple is the sort of company that would say well what the hell, let's do a touchscreen and it will be useful for some things but not all things. I think Apple would say no, we're not going to do a touchscreen desktop OS until we rejigger the entire operating system to be multi-touch.
Alex: One way to preview that, if you're curious is also, you can use the duet display. The new little thing.
Leo: Yeah, you showed that last week.
Alex: I showed that and you can hook it up and it actually makes your iPad, you know basically is a touchscreen.
Leo: It's almost 12”.
Alex: So you can get a sense of what a touchscreen would be like. And I guess for me, I want to mark stuff up and I just don't want to use my mouse and so I'm looking at something, I want to be able to circle it, I don't need to have full control. I definitely understand that Apple... I agree with Andy that Apple probably is going to wait until they have a full solution for that but... I find it... I mean every time I see a Windows Surface I have to admit I get closer and closer to like oh well... maybe I'll get one of those. You know because it's getting to the point where Apple is sometimes a little behind the curve because they're trying to make it perfect and I think that I'm starting to get to the outside edge of my patience because it's something that I would use all day every day.
Leo: Some of the chatroom suggested that maybe this is making them... they are more of a kind of not a full... more like an iPad, not quite a full service computer but an extremely portable computer, and then maybe you would still want a Macbook Pro for the heavy duty mobile computing. But I don't think people have that kind of money. I think if somebody's going to buy a laptop, they're going to buy one and only one laptop.
Alex: I think you have to be really committed to the cloud. I have an 11” that I carry around as well as my Macbook Pro and I just find that my...
Leo: It's not usable, it's too small. Jason Snell Love says 11” so...
Andy: I just find it hard to answer the question of what complaints do people who buy the 11” and the 13” Macbook Air have that will be solved by this design? I certainly see an explanation for why 11” and 13” customers would want a Retina screen because... especially with Yosemite it looks so much better and so much more usable on a Retina display and that's certainly where Apple wants to take all of their Macs. But I don't see... I just don't hear people saying if only this were even narrower, if only this were even thinner. So it's...
Leo: Yeah but we didn't say it about the iPad, they did that too.
Andy: Yeah but they can do...
Leo: Apple seems to fetishize thinness.
Andy: They absolutely do that and sometimes I think at the wrong cost, but the difference is that they could make the iPad thinner without changing one iota of the experience of using this device. The actual tactile experience of using like the actual software because the screen is still there, the screen is still made out of hard glass, they didn't make it like the texture of chicken feathers or anything like that. Whereas if they were to make sacrifices like... it's so important I make this the narrowest Macbook ever and the thinnest Macbook ever that we're going to make every single keystroke feel like you're just sort of suggesting what letter you would like the Mac to sort of maybe put into that window. If they were to sacrifice that at all, then you're suddenly having a lot of people saying why am I spending money on something that... if I'm buying this instead of an iPad because I need to be able to type and do actual work on this, why am I spending this money to buy a new device that makes it actually less comfortable to work with.
Leo: What if it's Apple's Chromebook? What if it's cheap?
Alex: If it's relatively inexpensive I think it's probably interesting.
Leo: Now he's working. Holy cow!
Andy: $500 is really interesting...
Leo: We have a problem with your audio.
(knocks on microphone)
Leo: We got it? Okay.
Andy: Alright, see. I can't help but say Leo if I were like a store manager and I saw you walk into the store, I would assume you were with Dateline NBC and there was a camera hidden inside those glasses.
Leo: I'll have a big clipboard like this and say so tell me, how often do you sell this product, and to whom?
Leo: What would be a Chromebook price for Apple? It's not going to be $250 which is the actual Chromebook price.
Leo: $400? That would be an amazing deal, right?
Alex: Yeah. 4 or 5 hundred dollars.
Leo: Would this then be worthwhile? Okay, I get it. This is the inexpensive student computer.
Andy: I'm sorry, what was Don about to say? Oh, sorry. If they were pricing this like an iPad then yeah this would be an incredible device. If they were trying to tell customers that we know there are a lot of people who are buying iPads and using it in ways that iPads are not intended to be used, for this is why we are giving you this $599 entry level Macbook. And also a way to make the Mac more affordable for the general population, that would be fantastic. That would be worth whatever... a bunch of sacrifices in design, but... again I just have a hard time imagining this right now.
Leo: Now one thing that's not imaginary or rumor or fiction is the new Intel chips. And traditionally when Intel comes out with new chips, Apple is really quite quickly ready to jump on it. In this case Intel showed these new Broadwell processors with Dell computers, not Apple computers. So Dell has jumped on it. A lot of people have been waiting for Broadwell, it's actually delayed. It was supposed to be out I think September. 14 nanometers. That's... kind of unbelievably tiny. That's down from 22 nanometers.
Alex: Impossibly thin.
Leo: 14... I don't know. You're getting close to zero now. I don't know how low you can go.
Andy: Unfortunately electronics just keep getting jammed up and it becomes too thick for the electrons to move through now.
Leo: They are... CES Intel talked about 14 new Broadwell series chips for both laptop and desktop including thirteen 15 watt processors with basic Intel HD Graphics, four 28 watt models with Iris graphics as the higher end Intel graphics. i5 and i7, although this is 5th generation now, this is the new generation. And there are some mid-range i3 less expensive i3 variants, although Intel also announced new Adams lower end Pentium and Celeron chips too so. There's a very wide range of pricing, all of these so far are dual core, not quad core. And Iris Pro the highest end motherboard graphic... on chip graphics set is not yet available until the middle of the year. Oh middle of the year, hmm. This is a... is this a tick or a tock? I think this is a tick. So small performance boost but amazing processors reduction. The reason that's important, 14 nanometers is it means it uses less power, less heat. And it's so more efficient. So not much faster Intel's saying 4% boost in productivity oriented applications. According to CISMark. So it's a tiny boost in power. In performance. But an incredible boost I'm sure in energy savings.
Andy: Yeah. It's interesting when you have new chips that don't just make things faster but a lot... but enable a whole new category of devices to come out. Microsoft is really trying to push the idea of having 7” and 8” tablets that run actual Windows. Not just run mobile apps, but if you actually just want to run real Microsoft Office, real Photoshop on these things and that's certainly going to help both those things out.
Leo: And here's an interesting piece from the Intel press release. These machines will have fewer wires. Broadwell chips will support a variety of technologies that eliminate the need for cables and ports, including Intel wireless gigabit docking in the next generation of Intel's wireless display technology, which can support 4k through these 5th generation processors.
Alex: And that might be more what we're talking about, seeing with that with our 12”.
Alex: And I do think, someone mentioned in the chatroom the sensitivity to USB, I think that USB has been compromised security wise. Thunderbolt might be compromised as well, and so connecting hardware to your computer may be something that we do less and less.
Leo: Yep. This is, you're talking about the security researcher who claims he rewrote the firmware on a Macintosh through Thunderbolt. Wow.
Alex: It's concerning.
Leo: And says most Intel Thunderbolt Macs are vulnerable. He was speaking at the Chaos Computer Congress in Hamburg. It's a hack that rewrites the Mac's firmware using a Thunderbolt device with a tack code in an option ROM. He calls this, because it's very important these days to have a good name for your exploit if you want coverage, Thunderstrike.
Alex: We need like an echo there. Thunderstrike!
Leo: That's extremely bad news.
Alex: Especially because it looked like Thunderbolt was going to be a little bit safer than USB which I think is... on its way to being horribly compromised.
Leo: It has I think direct memory access which is the real problem. It says you can access memory through a cable you probably are in trouble. Once installed Thunderstrike firmware cannot be removed because it replaces the Apple key which means further firmware updates will be denied unless signed by the attacker's private key. The hacked firmware can also replicate by copying itself to option ROMs in other Thunderbolt devices connected to the compromised Mac during a restart. These devices continue to work just normally, so you don't know they've been modified but of course does require physical access to your Mac, you actually have to plug... but you know... this bad USB required physical access to a USB port.
Leo: So there you go. Something to look forward to. Thunderstrike, coming soon to a CPU near you. Andy Inhatko is here, Rene Ritchie... from Liverpool... Rene Ritchie's not here... in his place... I don't know why, that's automatic. In his place, Don McAllistar. From Liverpool, England creator of screencasts online. Any cruises of late? You know they're not going to do Mac Mania any more.
Don: Yeah, I know they did have one lined up for the end of the year but yeah unfortunately that got pulled so that's a shame, we'll have to do our own.
Leo: With the folding of Macworld Magazine. Neil Bauman, Captain Neil we call him, of formerly Geek Cruises, now Insight Cruises says he used to do these in conjunction with Macworld Magazine and they'd give him a full page layout and everything and he says, I can't pay for that ad any more. So he's just says... he's doing Scientific American and Astronomy stuff. We should do our own, shouldn't we? Let's talk.
Don: Yeah. Okay.
Leo: It's funny because it seems like it's the same people, or at least like 50% of the same people each time.
Don: Yeah. We are going off to, we're going on a trip in March with some of the people that we know from the cruise.
Don: So we're... yeah.
Alex: I want to go, I haven't gone yet.
Leo: Is this Wally's trip to India?
Don: That's right.
Leo: You're doing that?
Don: I am indeed.
Leo: I want to do that.
Don: It's going to be a busy two months because I've got to prepare all the stuff before we go, because I think we're going to be away for about 3 and a half weeks. So it's going to be tough.
Andy: Leo, I don't mind. If you do this cruise, if you keep your head shaved, you can do the whole Captain Stubing thing.
Leo: Where's Gopher? Gopher, come here! Our show today brought to you by Gazelle, the fast and simple way to sell your used gadgets. You can go and get a new gadget or did you get a new gadget for the holidays, or maybe you didn't and now you're going to go get one. A new iPhone 6 perhaps? Gazelle will buy that old iPhone, or maybe you're getting a new Galaxy Note and you want to get rid of your old Galaxy. Or your old iPad or Macbook. Trading in your old devices after the holidays is like getting a second gift. They'll pay you cash. And by the way, if you've wondered what happens to those devices you sell, well the very best of them, the crème de la crème will be available from Gazelle, they can... they are now selling certified pre-owend iPhones, Samsung Galaxy phones, iPads. Directly from Gazelle. Great solution if you've lost your phone, maybe you broke it. Get a certified pre-owned device, you'll be able to save a lot of money and get a replacement that is as good as, probably better than your original. Visit Gazelle.com to see what devices they have there. They're in two conditions, certified like new, and certified good. Certified good devices you know, they'll show some gentle signs of wear, but you'll save even more money and it'll be a great device and a great price and both certified like new and certified good have been put through a rigorous 30 point inspection to make sure they're fully functional and of course they're backed by a 30 day risk free return policy. Sell your stuff, buy new stuff. Gazelle.com, it's a one stop shop now. In fact, if you forget to wipe your data, they're so good, they will wipe it for you. They will send you a check, a PayPal credit, or if you get the Amazon gift card, you'll get 5% additional. It's like there's cash sitting in your drawers and you're just ignoring it. It's just gathering dust. What's your iPhone worth? Ready to trade it in? Go to Gazelle.com. By the way those prices that they quote you are locked in for 30 days when you sell a device and that's nice. Gives you time to think. Gazelle.com we thank them so much for making a great service and for supporting MacBreak Weekly. Did you all read Marco Arment's piece in...
Alex: Oh yes.
Leo: On Marco.org? Marco is of course the creator of Instapaper, he was the first programmer at Tumblr. Made some money when Tumblr got sold to Yahoo and has been just kind of, becoming kind of... he's been thinking. He's become kind of the grand philosopher of the Mac world. He's also still a developer, in fact is overcast podcast program is quite good. As you would expect from Marco, quite beautiful. But he wrote a piece on his website, he's actually since said I kind of regret it.
Leo: Apple has lost the functional high ground. I suppose before I read this piece from January 4th, I should read the piece he wrote the next day. What it's like to be way too popular for a day. He says people misquoted him, his words were everywhere chopped up and twisted by sensational opportunists, to fuel the tired Apple is doomed narrative with my name on it.
Andy: Marco, welcome to the club. I wrote a little piece about Android last year that...
Leo: We've all been there. But Marco, I'll tell you why it's important, and same thing with you Andy. Marco is so firmly associated with the Apple name, in summary what he wrote was I think not completely wrong which is that Apple has become more of a marketing driven company and because of that, software quality has suffered. He says hardware is just as good as ever, but the software quality suffered particularly because he believes marketing has demanded every year new OSX. Every year new iOS. And they just having a major a new release every year is clearly impossible for the engineering to keep up with while maintaining quality. They're doing too much with unrealistic deadlines and he blames marketing. I fear that Apple's leadership doesn't realize quite how badly and deeply their software flaws have damaged their reputation. Because if they realized it, they'd make serious changes that don't appear to be happening. Instead the opposite appears to be happening. The pace of rapid updates on multiple product lines seems to be expanding and accelerating. Comments.
Alex: I don't necessarily completely disagree. I feel like the last truly stable version of OSX was 10.8.6. I think that it's been maverick was almost unusable in my opinion from a production perspective and somebody's better. But we just host so many problems and we continue to see problems with it, and I just feel like there's an enormous number of features added which is fine but I would love to see Apple not release a new operating system for, other than just incremental upgrades to fix everything, for a couple of years. I think a couple of years would be great to kind of solve a lot of these issues rather than... I don't need any new features in OSX. I think that's the problem. I don't really... all the stuff they're adding is great, I'm really glad that they're doing that but I don't... what I really need is for my computer to work every time I open it.
Leo: Interesting, there's been a number of comments on this article here. Here's one from a former Apple engineer. Apple changed its software design technology. So with Bertrand they would move in giant monolithic releases, sometimes... what is the name for this? It's like building a house. You put all these pieces in and you hope at the end you get a stable house. He said every group would just dump in whatever they had ready and the whole thing would get released with nightly builds. He said with Snow Leopard in particular I remember 3 dozen releases in a row where Xcode was unusable due to objective C garbage collection issues. Random stuff he didn't expect like core graphics would have showstopper issues, and then we'd report it and it would get fixed by next week but this resulted in extremely late releases that had a ton of bugs that we piled patches onto as time went on. Under Craig Federighi, and this was part of the reorganization Tim Cook did last year, Federighi moved the organization into a sprint system. And this is very... in most modern software development is now, instead of they call this old style the waterfall system. Where everything cascades until you have a final product. The sprint system you'd work on new features for two weeks, spend a week fixing bugs and then you'd do this... repeat... repeat, repeat. He said after 10 or 12 or 16 of these cycles we'd deem it ready and ship it out. But he does say that time frame is a lot shorter than it used to be. Tiger and Leopard had a good 2 years to mature and get patches while their delayed successors missed target dates. They felt stable because they were just old. Sort of like Debbie in stable. I'm going to channel Rene Ritchie here who would say right now at this point well yeah but let's not forget system 7. System 9, I mean... it's... Apple's always had... software's buggy. Microsoft's having the same problems right now with Windows 8.
Andy: Yeah and there have been a lot of showstoppers. Remember the bug, I forget what it was... 8 or 9... no 9.1 or something where under the right circumstances you could lose your entire hard drive and that was on like a shipping consumer release version of the OS. I mean Apple has always had certain... has always had certain wax and wane periods. I think that the most significant change that I can see is that people are starting to appreciate that Apple is just a tech company. That they are not... Zeus did not storm the ground and then fully formed out of his forehead plopped the Apple Cupertino campus and everything they do is holy and correct, that they are a company with a lot of moving parts, that they can sometimes those parts mesh very very nicely and the machine works perfectly, sometimes they don't mesh well and sometimes things get out of the campus that aren't really fully formed. Just like pretty much every other tech company. If there's a difference over the past 5 years, it's that there are now so many pieces to the company now that maybe 5 years ago and maybe this was incorrect for me to say, but I used to recommend, my default recommendation when people would ask me what should I, what kind of computer should I buy, what kind of phone should I buy? My default recommendation would be a Mac because I thought that universally this is... unless you have a good reason to get a Windows machine, then you're probably going to have a better time with a Mac because it's easier to use, it's more reliable. In that time however, competitors have created hardware and software that isn't quite as good but it's good enough that it can be... the decision can be influenced by other factors, and now there are enough problems that tend to pop up with iOS and Mac OS releases that it's not unreliable but it's not going to be the same I bet this person is going to have a really good experience if they upgrade right now. Certainly I've stopped recommending... my goalpost for how long should you wait after a major OS release until you actually install it, it's gone from a couple of weeks to now a couple of months. And to write, even today I only recently updated my most important Mac to Yosemite and I still have a couple of Macs in the house that I haven't upgraded yet because I don't think the Yosemite features are so important that I need to have it on every single Mac, and I like the stability of my old computers on 10.8 and 10.9.
Leo: Red Sweater Software Daniel Jalkut who I really respect, used to work at Apple, really good developer for Apple, has a great blog posting, Bitsplitting.org where he talks about this and he says “I've indulged these doubts about Apple since shortly after I was hired in 1996.” And he does a long litany of problems, he said “I didn't start blogging in earnest until 2005. But here's some highlights to remind you that things have never been fine with Apple.” And he has year by year, key chain and accessibility, we need a hero, which is Apple's script implementation all work and no play, there were a bunch of blog posts going back year after year. So it isn't anything new and yet I have to say looking at these commentators, even people like John Gruber who have very consistently been Apple cheerleaders are agreeing that Apple might be losing momentum. Gruber says “Apple squandered a lot of trust with their users. It's not that Apple has lost the it just works crown to a competitor, but rather they've seeded a perception that Apple's stuff doesn't work either.” And I have to say, it just works is not a good motto for Apple at this point.
Alex: And I don't, I look at it just like Andy was talking about, I stay away from upgrades. When you have users that are going oh I don't know if I really want to upgrade that, that's a problem. When we're excited oh those are great features but whatever features you're putting in are not worth me upgrading and we barely upgraded any machines to Mavericks ever. You know like we...
Don: I think this should...
Leo: Go ahead Don.
Don: Sorry Alex. I think this year it's been a double whammy for them because not only have they introduced new versions of Yosemite and iOS, but they've got the integration piece as well which they never had before so they must really be so stretched. And I know when I was looking at the beater, when the first beaters came out with the extensibility it didn't really work and I thought well they've got a few months to get it together and I'm sure by the time they release it will work, and come release day it still didn't work 100% you know, and even now... and I was at the time, I remember thinking to myself if they don't get this right there will be a hell of a hew and cry because people will be very upset about it. But it's been released, it doesn't quite work as we thought would or at least the functionally it works as it should but the reliability isn't there all the time. And I'm quite surprised at the lack of uproar there has been to be honest since the release. Air Play works between iOS and Mac, you know 60% of the time perhaps. And it's... you know and I sort of keep waiting for them to bring out an update that will fix everything, I'm still sort of waiting for that. I mean I was badly bitten by iOS 8. I got the 6+, went on holiday and was it the 802 or the 801 release that knocked down cellular? I was without the phone for like a week because that release actually killed my phone for the week and while I was on holiday I couldn't download and restore it. So that was quite a painful process and it sort of makes you think... that should never really have happened.
Leo: Is it time to call for a moratorium on new features? That's what Adam Engst at TidBITS says. For the time being OSX, iOS are effectively feature complete, the one thing we've repeatedly heard from users is a cry for stability. We'd like to see OS 10, 10.11 and iOS 9 be Snow Leopard updates that remove cruffed cleanup problems and polish existing features so we have a stable base going forward. Does that seem reasonable at this point?
Leo: Go ahead Don.
Don: Well they did that with Snow Leopard didn't they? I mean that's exactly what they did. They had Leopard and then it was quite a surprise at the time because they brought Snow Leopard out and said look there's a couple of new features, but we're taking the time to actually stabilize things and fix a few things under the hood.
Leo: Take a breath. Yeah.
Don: Yeah. And sure no one...
Andy: I remember my briefing on it and it was 45 minutes and the entire thing was just here's what we changed in this infrastructure and here's how we changed this system, and you're not going to see much that's user facing but here's everything... here's a little tweak we did that fixes something and here's everything we had to do to make that work, and I think that... I don't know if Apple should feature lock Mac OS for the time being, I do think that maybe it's time to get rid of their Mac OS we have to have an update out the door every single year and we have to have things to show off at WWDC. They might... I think it might behoove them, especially at the scale at which Apple is operating, to move to more of a more like a Google sort of developer keynote thing where... or an Adobe thing where they will say, here's something we're working on in our labs, and we're considering the best way to put this into the operating system or where it makes sense do it, or if this is just an interesting idea for us to play with on our own, and it might take a year or two or three for it to actually show up in a release of Photoshop or Android but at least they're showing that they're moving things forward and also they're training people not to think that we're going to show you something in July and we're going to ship it come hell or high water in September. Because among other things, I don't know if they're losing any sort of battles with users at this point but I can't recall a time when Mac and iOS developer have been this dispirited about their relationship with Apple. They really are feeling quite beaten up about it.
Andy: And over the past 4, 5, 6 months the number of times I've had conversations with developers who said they don't believe that they're going to be developing for Apple products sometime in the next 2-5 years, where they feel as though they're going to be pushed out of business by limitations Apple is putting on them or whether they simply say I've got skills that can be applied to a lot of different places and it's just not as much fun and interesting to write for iOS and Mac OS as it was just 3 or 4 or 5 years ago. That's incredibly... even when Apple was doomed there was a certain you know what, we're going to go down with this ship but we're going to play our violins as best we can until the icy waters claim our lives and now it's like... yeah you know it's a good ship and the next port is going to be really interesting but I think we're good here, let's just get the helicopter and let's just go.
Leo: (laughing) Kind of completely tangential. Did you see that when CNN was formed, when Ted Turner created CNN, that he created a doomsday video?
Alex: I don't think I saw that.
Andy: Yeah. The news story, and this came from someone who worked at CNN and had access to the entire library and you know that often times they will pre-write stories and put them in like the CMS and put them...
Leo: Yeah, obituaries and stuff yeah.
Andy: When Bob Hope dies, here's the package to run. There is actually like a package that is labeled non ironically that this is to be played at the end of the world and we have to get authorization that yes the world is actually ending to play it and it's a video of like a marine band in a very pastoral place just playing Nearer My God to Thee.
Leo: This is the last thing you would see.
Andy: At standard definition because that's when this package was put together.
Leo: And then the slug is HFR, hold for release until the end of the world. And I guess it would be... it's like if you see those science fiction movies, you know the alien race is about... you've got 3 minutes left. You plunk this tape in and you go kiss your wife. (laughing)
Andy: ...while the angels of death with their flaming swords are reaving the souls of the unworthy, let's gather around the TV and... this is some public domain music.
Leo: There is something both funny and kind of chilling that this exists. They will play this for Apple. No, it's not time to give up on Apple, although if there were credible competition Apple might be in more trouble. I have to admit that I switched from iOS to Android partly because of the kind of slow... it's ironic because on the one hand you want the latest and neatest features but on the other hand you want them to work. And I kind of gave up on iOS 8 and went to Android because there was solid competition. But I don't think there's any competition in desktop computing. I'm not going to Windows 8 or 10.
Alex: Well and I think that Apple can make these corrections right now. I think that they have the time, there's no reason for them... I know they have an internal clock but they're going to lose market share if they took a year off and just worked on stability.
Leo: This is the time.
Alex: This is the time to do that.
Don: I think the thing as well with the problems that we've having with iOS extensions and the interoperability between devices, it's frustrating but it's not sort of... it's not so bad that it makes you want to throw the machine out the window. I mean, I'm fairly happy with Yosemite, it's fairly stable for me... there's nothing to have any problems with everything around it, it's fine. It's just the interoperability that doesn't seem to quite work properly. I just sort of think... oh well they'll fix it in a release sooner or later, and it's a frustration more than you know, a really serious problem that I think I have between my devices. It should work as advertised. It doesn't completely, but hopefully they will fix it. But I think it's just a frustration, and to be honest probably a lot of people don't really understand still that that interoperability exists so they've sort of got a bit of a pass on it until more people know about it, sort of normal people, non techie people.
Leo: It does seem to be if I scan the complaints, it's usually people like Alex who are power users who are pushing the hardware to its limits and developers who have had to struggle with iCloud.
Alex: I think it's also people who kind of... princess in a pea. It's little things like my rotate doesn't work very well...
Leo: It's a little pea.
Alex: I'm just saying that there are some people that you're... I think my parents don't notice a lot of things not working when they're using their iPad but I think they just think that's the way the computer works rather than really when I turn this I really expect it to rotate exactly when I turn it, or I expect you know... there's lots of little weird bugs that seem to be going on in iOS 8 that I think just a lot of people may not be noticing either.
Andy: But see that's a tipoff of a potential problem because if ordinary people are saying oh well who cares if rotate doesn't work immediately, and if there's this big feature in which I'm supposed to be able to share a photo between my desktop and my phone and it just works, and it doesn't work 40% of the time well that's how computers work. We didn't... that used to be a selling point of Apple saying well yes, that's how computers work but this is better than a computer, this is a Macintosh.
Andy: And so if... this is why I come back to the idea of... the perception of Apple as a more ordinary company than they might have been perceived as 5 years ago. On another subject...
Leo: Either way, maybe that's true that we just thought... we expect too much of Apple. They are just a company.
Andy: Again yeah, I mean the only thing about all this, there's been a lot of... a bunch of different articles, Michael Sye has a really good post on his blog that shows nothing but shows excerpts of articles like this that people with Marco's credibility have been writing over the past year, year and a half pointing out that this is not a brand new thing, this is a recurrent thing. But if we are... the only part of these commentaries that I've been really disagreeing with is saying oh well it's Craig Federighi, you know when Craig Federighi came on... or when... or some other person.
Leo: Or Scott Forstall. But wait a minute, he's gone.
Andy: When this other person came on board, when control of the user experience went to Johnny Ives' group, well that's when things went south. It's not the result of one person making a change that suddenly upset this perfectly balanced machine, again this is always a very big complicated machine with a lot of intermeshing parts that sometimes are going to work correctly, sometimes are not going to work correctly. And I'm not talking about the parts of the operating system, I'm talking about the parts of the institution that create the operating system and that's real stuff.
Leo: Also I said this yesterday on iPad Today, part of the reason we notice these little things now is because the big things have worked so well. You remember the days when computers crashed all the time? Right?
Andy: The big feature of OSX was that if it crashed it didn't take all of... it would only take down one app and not the entire platform, and we were happy. We were so thrilled! It didn't matter to us that it doesn't have printing features yet.
Alex: I just remember when you wanted to play Marathon and you had to restart your machine with shift down to have all these sanctions off except for like one so that you can....
Leo: I think we're... part of this comes from the fact that computing has become so good and so stable that now the little things are more irritating because we expect... look at the iPad. I don't think my iPad has ever crashed. Programs for it close sometimes, but I think that iPad, I probably have never... you never reboot your iPad. It's rock solid and so these little things like slow rotation yeah they're annoying, but they probably have always had things like that, we just didn't notice them because we were blue screening all the time. Beach balling all the time.
Alex: We didn't have rotation, rotation was a CRT and it was... and it was really heavy you know?
Andy: There's a reason why I started like when I wanted to teach myself the ukulele and that's because I've made the conscious decision that gee I'm spending a lot of time waiting for my machine to reboot after it crashed, if I had something like knitting needles or like a model kit of an airplane or a musical instrument I don't know how to play to simply pick up and work on during those 3 and a half minute breaks I'm having every hour, I could actually have a skill at the end of the year. And that's no longer really the truth.
Leo: Yeah it's true... both of iOS OSX and frankly Windows... software is better now than it was. And so the little things are more annoying than they were, and Apple puts itself square in the bullseye by saying it just works. I mean this has been their credo, this is what their promise has been and that is a hard thing to do.
Alex: And I think they would do better, I mean I just keep on coming back to it, I think they would do better to take some time off and get back to that rather than continuing to build on top of this you know? And just really take a step back and as users are ready...
Leo: I think that's what Marco is saying too. He says I was needlessly sensationalistic. I'm not saying Apple's doomed by any means. I'm just saying now's the time to take a step back and really focus.
Andy: I think reading his follow up piece, it's very familiar because when I wrote those pieces about my switching ... the 3 parter about my switching to Android and there's another piece that is maybe going to get some attention in the next two or three weeks where you really have to choose your words extremely carefully, you cannot be the slightest bit casual and sometimes you have to even be as blunt to say I am specifically not saying this, I am only saying this because there are people who are out there who just want to see ammunition for... we just want more ammunition for whatever argument that they want to make. Either pro Apple or anti Apple. And if they suddenly see oh well look at this person who's always loved Apple stuff and now even he says that Apple sucks, no he's not saying Apple sucks. And he's even saying... I'm not saying it's completely unreliable. You see, I've been right all along! Shut up, you're not saying the things that I said, you're saying the things you want me to have said. So yeah I mean, I like that follow up piece from Marco because it was just so familiar in my head. I did not take that caution when I wrote those Android pieces which is why I was able to say y'all are crazy, I can point to every time... even the people who are like Apple fans saying oh well here are the fallacies in Andy's argument saying, no I didn't say that at all, no that's exactly... here I can site you the page and the paragraph and the line in which I said explicitly not that. But it's really really hard when you know that I am... I need to light a match in a room is filled with dynamite and if I light that carelessly bad things that I don't intend to happen are going to happen.
Leo: Yeah. Apple is a company that is never above criticism or suggestions, we want them to be better.
Alex: It's all constructive criticism.
Leo: Yeah, I don't use iOS any more, but I do use OSX.
Andy: Your developers and your users and the rest of your friends have created this place of love and safety, we're just going to go around the room and talk about how your recent decisions have gotten us all concerned.
Leo: I've written this letter and I'm just going to read it now...
Andy: We're going to take you to campus... there's a van outside that can take you to campus number 3 with a new management team, you're free to board that van or not but for the mean time I wish that you'd just simply sit and let those of us who love you talk about this.
Leo: Well and I think it's also probably the days of loving a computer company or worse a consumer electronic company are gone. Come on, as you said. It's just a company.
Andy: Yeah. I mean it's... people have love for a logo, you should not love the logo you should love the things that a piece of technology can do for your life. Including freeing up more time to spend on things that are unrelated to technology. As I keep modifying the quote that Dave Simm had in an issue of Cerebus the Aardvark saying Apple doesn't love you, Apple only wants your money.
Andy: And they also want to create... I think they're genuinely... they're the one company where I'm sure that they actually also want to create great products and they also feel as though they have a mandate to improve peoples lives by creating great products but in the end it's like they really just... they're really grateful you're buying your products, they're really grateful that you're really likely, you had such a good time with their current product that you might buy their next product no matter what it is, but the act of love is when they see the money come from you to them and so please keep that in mind. That's the proper relationship. It's like, you can pet your dog, you can go play with your dog but there are things you should not do with your dog because that's not the nature of the relationship you have with your dog.
Leo: Yeah. Yeah. And I should correct myself, I do use iOS because I use... I love my iPad and I still think there's no tablet as good as the iPad that's pretty obvious. It's the iPhone I think has been superceded in my heart.
Andy: Can I say that this is maybe this is a topic for general discussion, I find myself... I gave iOS 7 a chance, I've given iOS 8 a chance, iOS 7.1 a chance. I still just don't like this graphical redesign. I just can't get any love for it at all. And...
Leo: Really? I guess I've just gotten used to it. I hated it at first, I really did hate it at first.
Andy: See that was true with Yosemite where I started to dislike it a lot less once I put it on my main machine and I started using it every single day and I came to realize that a lot of my objections were just it's different as opposed to it's poorly designed or you don't like the design, with iOS though.... boy. I'm now sort of at the point where one way or another I have to choose what my next phone will be, be it an iPhone 6 or a Nexus 6 or another Android phone and I have to say that my dislike of the flattened out redesign is a strong point in favor making my next phone an Android phone. I just don't like it at all.
Leo: Yeah, yeah.
Don: I've grown to like it. I think I didn't like it initially but I quite... find it quite more sort of more modern now and I'm quite used to it, in fact done on the iPad, the last remaining app that I've been using which hasn't had the makeover was Tweetbot and it just got to the point where I couldn't stand looking at Tweetbot any more because it just looked so old.
Leo: It does look old doesn't it?
Don: Yeah, you know. And they seem to have abandoned it.
Andy: Go back to the jazz age grandpa.
Don: I've gone to the official Twitter climb now, I'm giving that a try and it fits with the overall aesthetic and I quite like it.
Leo: That's pretty funny. But yeah, let's face it, design is a matter of fashion and style, it's not... there's no good design. I mean there's... white ties aren't inherently ugly, burnt orange isn't inherently ugly. Or is it?
Alex: Oh, it is.
Alex: The white ties, that's subjective but... yeah, burnt orange... that's objective.
Andy: Rhoda Morgenstern's apartment was a fine fine piece of interior design.
Leo: I love Rhoda's. (laughing) Let's take a... I think we all deserve a snack right about now.
Alex: Oh these are so good.
Leo: This is hard work.
Alex: Oh my gosh.
Leo: So that's why we've got our Nature Box, it's here.
Andy: Dried pineapple rings, dried pineapple rings, dried pineapple rings...
Leo: You love them too. The big island pineapple.
Alex: I haven't had the big island pineapple.
Leo: You haven't had these?
Alex: No, I've had a lot of them.
Leo: Every time we do a Nature Box ad you get to choose a snack.
Alex: Oh, okay. Well I'm going to try these ones.
Leo: Nature Box brings you great tasting snacks right to your door, they are more than just great tasting snacks. They are much healthier than the average vending machine snack you see on every...
Alex: Handful of ingredients.
Leo: Nutrition is improved. Yeah they're not manufactured stuff. They're made from... like that. What's in there? Pineapple. That's it.
Andy: I was shocked, I thought that okay clearly they've like marinated it in something, no it's just pineapple that's been dried.
Leo: Pure flavor.
Andy: They've candied it? No. Added sugar? No. It's just pineapple.
Alex: They perfected the idea that they would serve food as... food.
Leo: Yeah, it's a novel idea but it's a great idea. Nature Box, it's not just pineapple. They have hundreds of delicious snacks. What have I got here? Whole wheat raspberry... I'm sorry, blueberry figgie bars. Love those. The coffee kettle popcorn, the Italian bistro pretzels. So they have sweet, they have savory, they have spicy. Toasted sesame sticks, that's what I'm having.
Alex: The record was the coffee kettle popcorn lasted... Lisa said come down and grab some of these and try them out and I took that up there, it lasted less than 3 minutes.
Leo: So good.
Alex: A bunch of people like oh this is really good.
Leo: Adding coffee to anything makes it better but kettle corn particularly tasty. Grab some orange Apple fruit chews instead of going to that candy machine in the kitchen or the parmesan garlic pop pops. Or jalapeno cashews. They've got zero artificial flavors, colors, sweeteners, zero grams trans fats. No high fructose corn syrup, you'll even find snacks with no added sugar, gluten free snacks, vegan snacks. You tell them what you want. Right now for $2 we have a great little Nature Box sampler, that's actually what we're eating now. This is the 5 snack sampler. For a couple of bucks shipping, that's all. And you get a sense of what... how delicious Nature Box can be. So start your trial today, get a complimentary sample box at NatureBox.com/twit. And then sign up for the monthly delivery at home or at work, kids love them by the way. And I just want to point out, resealable so I just opened that, that's a resealable bag. So you don't have to feel like you have to eat all of the pineapple rings.
Alex: Oh, really?
Leo: Actually these sesame seeds.
Alex: But eating them all remains an option.
Leo: It is always an option. Oh that is so good; what is it about sesame that is so good?
Alex: It is magical.
Leo: It’s a magical seed; gosh I love sesame.
Alex: In case you are wondering Andy these are really good
Leo: So mean.
Andy: I’m not joking, that package came and I got to admit I ate the thing that looked like fig newtons first because they looked like fig newtons.
Leo: That is really good.
Andy: Because I have never particularly had; like oh boy pineapple. So I swear to God, I read that label twice. Well they used natural sugar; they used natural no. It is just.
Alex: It is just delicious.
Andy: They just didn’t screw it up; that is all they did.
Alex: I just love the ingredients; dried pineapple.
Andy: Apple should take that same lesson; it is just pineapple in the Pineapple Rings. Just keep it simple and don’t screw it up, you will make people very happy.
Leo: Naturebox.com/twit make yourself happy; make your mouth happy. Alright, are you ready for another Quad copter tour of the Apple campus in 4k video? This is the January update. Should I go to, let me see, should we go to 4k? I don’t know what it is going to look like. I mean this isn’t a 4k screen.
Alex: Give it a shot.
Leo: People at home are watching it in 720P anyway; alright I’ll try.
Andy: Look at the clarity in that.
Leo: Oh my God, actually it does look pretty good. Here we go. What are you look at? Get rid of that. Here we go, this is the Circle campus, the Infinity campus, it is well underway.
Alex: What you can do when you have ten billion dollars to spend.
Leo: Nice, nice no bugs here; there is going to be a parking garage underneath. You know the landscaping will make this look beautiful of course. I love the music it is kind of James Bondi.
Alex: When I worked at Sky Walker Ranch almost all of the, you’ve been there right?
Alex: Yeah, almost all of the parking was under the building.
Leo: Smart, that is a sylvan environment. You are kind of in the woods. So are we look back to one infinite loop, is that what we are seeing? Or is he just showing off now with his Quad copter? It is a little smoggy in San Jose I got to tell ya; look at the 4k it is super crisp.
Andy: There is another article somewhere about how they agreed to preserve a historic barn that is on the HP campus.
Leo: Yeah can you believe that, crazy.
Andy: According to the article they took it apart board by board, numbered every board, numbered every fastener, and are rebuilding it near the athletic fields on the new campus so that it will now be a working tool shed. With pride, saying for the first time in years it will be a working barn once again. Holding the fertilizer, the manganese, Howell Spec will occasionally sleep there.
Leo: Okay, get ready Don. How old is that historic barn? It is like 80 years old.
Alex: This is America, we are late bloomers.
Leo: We don’t have anything old. What would historic be in Liverpool?
Don: Entire housing estates are older than that.
Leo: And they definitely are not historic.
Don: I went past, my brother just moved and I went past a house it had 1719 up on the door.
Leo: That one is getting on a little.
Andy: You guys park your cars on top of the final resting places of 600 year old kings. Do we dig up King Richard the Third or just go.
Leo: This is a car park you know.
Andy: We have plenty of kings and plenty of churches, we can deal with this.
Leo: So there it is; I think we are still a couple of years off.
Andy: Are you going to take a tour?
Leo: I want to.
Don: It is going to be the new theater isn’t it.
Leo: Yeah, that is where they are going to have the events from now on. If I have any sadness about being somehow, off of the list; I’m not going to use the b-word, banned word, but if somehow off of the list I won’t get to visit this. Thank you MyithZ or whoever that is for doing this.
Andy: You can visit the campus, just visit thrift stores until you acquire an entire Domino’s uniform, get a pizza box with a ray of Go Pro cameras, a fake mustache.
Leo: Candy Gram.
Andy: Especially now with your shaved head, your signature locks are gone.
Alex: They won’t recognize you.
Leo: You know I feel really bad; I realized that I had to update my passport.
Alex: I saw that.
Leo: Because it is going to expire and I’m going on a trip in June. So I have to get it now because I’m going on a trip in a few months.
Andy: Oh boy.
Leo: It takes a few months to do this.
Alex: You don’t have to do it in a few months, you can do it in a couple of days.
Leo: You can for a lot of money and I thought well, I had the application all ready and I went in to get my picture taken and I realized oh my God; I have no hair. So my passport picture is going to look like this. Do you think I’ll be able to get. Don you have experience getting into the US.
Don: I’m sure you will be fine, I’m sure you will be fine yeah.
Leo: I don’t know they are going to look at me and say.
Alex: It is going to be a conversation point.
Leo: I’m just going to go like this. See the part below my hair; that looks normal that looks like me. You would think that they know enough to say well.
Alex: All you have to do is, if they.
Leo: By they, I mean the United States custom officials.
Alex: If they give you a hard time all you have to do is look at them and say hey, I survived.
Leo: Yeah, that is.
Alex: And then give them one of those wicked eye.
Leo: It is shameful, it is shameful but I was going to say chemo. I shouldn’t do that.
Alex: I wouldn’t say that; I would just say hey I survived.
Leo: Don’t do that.
Andy: I don’t know if I would even.
Leo: That is a keno hora.
Andy: That might be the sort of thing where, I don’t know who portions karma.
Leo: Right, right.
Andy: It is like the lint in the return hose in your dryer. You don’t have to clean it out every single time but if you don’t then suddenly it builds up and you have a fire.
Leo: I do have permission, Drew Olanoff and by the way we love you Drew great guy; his cancer has recurred. But, he was the guy who did the blame Drew’s cancer campaign on Twitter and I asked him can I tell the security officials: blame Drew’s cancer? He said you can; so I have permission.
Alex: Blame somebody else’s cancer.
Leo: I’ll just say I lost a bet that is probably a better one.
Alex: You could say that it is for the kids.
Leo: I don’t want to go on a long thing saying we raised money for Unicef.
Andy: What if you just go with head lice? My kids got head lice and it was the only way to be sure. That will get you sympathy and as a lie that is not the sort of thing that will make anybody upset.
Leo: I’ll tell the truth
Alex: Or you could say I was sleeping, my kids shaved and edge and I had to even it out.
Leo: Oh how about this chewing gum, chewing gum.
Don: People do decide to have their hair like that as a fashion statement.
Leo: I know.
Don: It Is no big deal, you are going to be fine.
Leo: The problem is in June I will have hair, God willing, have hair again.
Alex: June is not going to be the problem, it is going to be next June. This June you are only going to have a little longer than this.
Leo: A passport is good for 10 years that is how long they last. I think you can go get another picture taken.
Alex: And get another passport.
Leo: Have it updated.
Alex: And get another passport.
Leo: I don’t know why I digress; I have a digression problem but also we have a news problem because is there anything in CES that you guys want to talk about? There really is not a lot to talk about; we have done most of the Apple news. I mean, I could mention this ridiculous class action law suit.
Alex: Okay yeah, my only thing about the class action law suit; we are talking of course about the IOS and iPhone 6.
Leo: They are suing over the fact that IOS 8 takes about a quarter of the storage on an iPhone and so Apple is getting sued. Like if you buy any technology product there isn’t stuff on the thing; I mean look at Surface.
Andy: Didn’t Apple also go through something like this a number of years ago with somebody saying your 15 inch laptop is only 14.8 inches in diagonal.
Alex: I bout a house and there is all of these walls taking up this space, that is all I’m saying.
Leo: The plaintiff says Apple is using sharp business tactics.
Alex: I hope.
Andy: That is one tech company word you want to emulate: sharp.
Leo: Using these.
Andy: Basically the technique of.
Leo: I need to do this is the Martin Short, sweaty lawyer voice. Using these sharp business tactics the defendant, Apple, gives less storage capacity than advertised. Only to sell that capacity at a desperate moment e.g. when a consumer is trying to record, take photos of a child or grandchild’s recital, basketball game, or wedding. a
Leo: I guess the implication is that they don’t give you enough storage but you can buy some iCloud storage but only when you really need it. It is Cuneo, Gilbert, & LaDuca they are a Washington based law firm. That is who makes money on these things by the way. I have been the recipient of many a class action award, I got one for Pop Chips.
Alex: For how much, 10 cents?
Leo: Yeah, it is like you get a free bag of Pop Chips.
Alex: And they make millions.
Leo: Because Pop Chips got sued, class action sued because they said it was a healthy natural snack; it is potato chips come on, everybody knows what potato chips are. They lost and so we each got a free bag of chips big deal and what did the lawyers get.
Leo: Probably 50 million dollars. So this is another one of those I’m sure. We feel this is what Cuneo, Gilbert, & LaDuca says: we feel there is a substantial number of applications that have been searching for claims and will be perusing claims vigorously. No I do have to admit the 16 gig iPhone, they shouldn’t even sell that.
Alex: That is the one side of that, they really should start at a 32.
Leo: I think really the answer to this is simply putting on the box, and they probably should do this; 16 gigs and what is it free.
Andy: If they just said some 16 gigs the operating system is taken up by some but not all.
Leo: 16 gigs, 12 free.
Andy: Then they are promising 12 gigs free which they can’t do. If they want to simply remind people that this is the amount of storage and that not all storage is available to the user at any given time that is good enough.
Alex: That is all they need is an Asterisk.
Leo: It’s an Asterisk.
Andy: This is going to be the same reason why now you can’t have a funny commercial without saying please do not try to hop a pogo stick on to the surface of the sun or any hot surface because you will burn and die.
Don: But it is not just Apple though is it, which is strange. Every phone that you get comes with an operating system, every device.
Leo: More than half of the 8 gig Samsung Galaxy S4 was taken up by OS.
Andy: Apple is so much better than other makers, as a matter of fact Motorola even makes a point of saying that; here is how much fewer blown apps we have on our platform than any other maker outside of Apple. It’s sad.
Leo: Here is some good news Apple is now selling SIM free unlock iPhone 6 and 6 plus in the Apple store online and retail. So you have to get a carrier say you go with T-Mobile but that is unlocked.
Leo: And there is a T-Mobile SIM in there would you take it out.
Leo: So I’m not sure what we have gained.
Alex: Yeah I don’t understand what is different about it. Other than you just say none of the above.
Leo: There is no SIM.
Alex: They can just say I don’t wanna.
Leo: They do this every year. When we went and got it we got in line in September for the iPhone 6.
Alex: It wasn’t an option.
Leo: You had to go with one of the 4 major US carriers was the only option. I got T-Mobile; you got with T-Mobile. You just took the SIM out and put whatever you wanted in.
Don: They have always had those in the UK.
Leo: I think they have to.
Don: Ever since the iPhone launched. Well I think that I have always bought a SIM free version and just keep popping the same SIM in staying with the same carrier.
Alex: You have T-Mobile, do you not?
Leo: Me, for my iPhone I actually have Verizon.
Alex: Sorry the only time I get excited about T-Mobile is when I have the international plan and it is like you have free data in Turkey.
Leo: That is awesome.
Alex: I’m like this is amazing and then I come home and I’m like I can’t get any reception.
Leo: Oh no, T-Mobile in Petaluma; I was getting 20 megs down and 15 megs up with T-Mobile because no one else is using it.
Alex: But you get into the city or D.C. or.
Leo: But there are a lot of places that you go.
Alex: Almost everywhere that I travel. I don’t know anywhere else where it is really good aside from Petaluma? I don’t like T-Mobile, I’m getting ready to get rid of it.
Leo: They are all bad; Verizon got bad, it was really good here for a while and now it has gotten really slow.
Leo: They are all bad. So there you go, if you want a subsidized.
Alex: Don’t give into demand.
Leo: Unlocked iPhone, without any SIM in it you can now get it at Apple.
Don: So to make you jealous, my particular deal is great, it is called Three and they have a thing called feel at home and basically they have, I think, 12 or 13 different countries that they have arrangements with whereby it works as if you were at home. So I can now come across to the US and there are no extra charges and it is basically the same deal.
Leo: See with T-Mobile you get the 2G that is the problem and he is getting the full 4G.
Alex: I think that I have at least 3G.
Leo: No, I know the plan it is 2G; you may feel like you are getting 3G.
Alex: It was really good.
Leo: You do get; T-Mobile does give you unlimited data but at 2G speeds in Europe unless you arrange for better.
Alex: I was in.
Leo: But I like Three. You know even though they have stopped selling the unlimited data plan card; you used be able to go to the UK and get a SIM for Three and it was unlimited data for like 30 lbs.
Don: Right, right I’m not sure if you can do that anymore.
Leo: Yeah I think they stopped that one. Someone told me they did because that is the one that I was telling everyone to get.
Alex: They suddenly realized that once Leo started talking about it they stopped making money.
Leo: It’s probably my fault.
Alex: Like all of these geeks came over here and actually started using this.
Leo: You got the Leo deal? Nope. So Volkswagen is going to get Car Play and Android Auto; I think this is good. I would hate to buy a car that I can only use an iPhone with. Even if I were using an iPhone, I would like to know 5 years from now I can use something else. Car Play and Android Auto in Volkswagens this year.
Alex: When was the last time that you kept a car for more than 5 years?
Leo: Oh no, no my Lexis is.
Alex: You still have the Lexis.
Leo: It is a 2001 Lexis.
Leo: And it has 250,000 miles on it; Abby drives it now.
Leo: Abby drives it now, I did replace it. The Mustang we still have, that is 5 years old. I’m not that kind of guy actually I am; now that I lease cars. Every month I have a new car. I’m like Steve Jobs; I don’t want a license plate. I don’t want a license plate. I am joking. Although I should mention I think we are going to sell the Mustang and it has the twit.tv license plate on it. I don’t want it, Lisa says I’m not doing it. Should we sell the Mustang to a TWiT fan including the twit.tv license plate?
Alex: I think that would be good.
Leo: I’m not donating it to charity though; I want the money.
Alex: I spent a lot of good money on that.
Leo: Here is a picture from the Verge at CES of, is this Apple Car Play running? I can’t even tell.
Andy: It looks like Android.
Leo: I see a glimpse.
Andy: Yeah see that is an HTC One.
Leo: I get it so there is the phone and here is the car version of the phone. Let’s see if they have another picture, nope. So Apple’s Car Play and Google’s Android’s Auto both available on the Volkswagen MIB 2-electronics. They will come to the US in 2015; it also supports Mirror Link which is Sony technology. Why not? Basically all you are doing is configuring the screen to show the display of the mobile device. Parrot is going to offer aftermarket in dash systems that can take any car and give it.
Alex: I need that for my car; my car is too old.
Leo: You need a big hole in the front.
Alex: I’m ready to take a saw out there and get rid of the German engineering and.
Leo: The RNB6; oh and it has a dash cam in it too. I’m not sure what you are going to do with that.
Alex: A dash cam.
Leo: Built-in to the parrot.
Alex: So you can look down and wreck and people can see you scream while you are rolling. Oh forward.
Leo: There it is; there is the dash cam. So you would mount this underneath your mirror. NAV, hands free telephone operation, voice controls, diagnostics, and the dash cam should fit into any relatively recent car. And Car Play and Android Auto is included. There is Car Play, no price or availability yet. This is another CES thing where you get your hopes up, you get all excited.
Alex: When people start announcing stuff, I’m like okay you had to have thought about the price. I know you want people to think about the features but let’s move on I really don’t care.
Andy: They probably don’t have a distribution deal yet so it is going to depend on who they partner with.
Leo: Yeah I feel that is one of the problems with CES if you go to these events; first of all you can tell that this at one of the show stoppers, one of those mini events. Which means that Parrot spent a minimum of 15,000 dollars to be in a hotel ballroom.
Alex: Is it that much spots run at conferences?
Leo: Oh no it is at least 10 to 15, I think that it more to get into this ballroom with only 150 people or however many.
Alex: The press.
Leo: And the press; the press go there because they get free food and now every company knows that these companies will be over covered because it comes before CES opens, nobody has anything to do, they have roast beef, there is a chocolate fountain, they are in a good mood, and so they are going to take a picture of anything they can talk about.
Alex: In case you are wondering, the roast beef is actually quite good.
Leo: The roast beef is very good.
Alex: Very good.
Andy: A good source of free protein.
Leo: I feel like this stuff gets way over covered only because it is easy; this is like the laziest kind of journalism.
Andy: You have to justify your presence there so.
Andy: You’re not there to not cover things; iMore, the Verge, and all the other sites they are like want you to know every time somebody refreshes the page they are reading about something brand new.
Leo: They have that obligation.
Andy: It is a really hungry machine.
Leo: ScotterX in our chat room says Pepcom which was last night was 9 to 12 thousand; I over stated the cost a little.
Alex: Put that in perspective a booth.
Leo: But look here is this gizmo.
Alex: A 10 x 10 , a booth in actual CES where you are going to get a lot less foot traffic for people to write about you is you know 3 or 4 times that. So it is actually a really good deal on the business aspect.
Leo: Oh no, I’m not blaming the companies at all of course they are going to want to do that, this is strategically brilliant, for 9 or 10 thousand dollars.
Alex: I would do a conference, if I did a conference I would want them all to be the 10x10 booths, you know just keep everyone on kind of the same even keel and let people actually go through it and not have it be this circus that.
Leo: No word if Apple will allow this, we knew it would happen; a company named TapSense has announced a platform to bring contextual advertising to your Apple watch. Oh Share Joy, woo-hoo.
Alex: Is that Share Joy?
Leo: Apple may not have a choice on this right.
Alex: The only thing I have to say is that all of this stuff is inherently, I mean it is not all inherently bad it is just that what happens a lot of times the people who are giving out those coupons really aren’t thinking about making it a great experience for the user. They are like how much do they have to give up. I used to do a mailing list in the early 90s with actual post cards for sales. That I built this huge mailing list for Sony, when I was working for Sony, and I was the only one who had this list. I had it in a data base and everything else that I built in hyper card but I could put it all together. People would be looking forward to getting those postcards because they were great deal. But I pushed really hard you know it has to be 30% off, it has to be this, or it has to be a whole bunch of things and people loved getting them. I think a lot of times when we get these stupid ads.
Leo: There is another thing going on, I have a lot more space in my mailbox and on my desktop for postcards and junk mail, then I do on a postage size wrist watch and if you take over the entire face of the watch with an add, you are not going to win a fan. I’m not going to be a fan of that; don’t you think that is a little rude?
Alex: But what if I’m walking to Starbucks and I get in front of Starbucks and it is like hey you get a free coffee. I would be like oh that is very nice.
Leo: I just want to see the time; I don’t want an ad on my wrist watch.
Alex: You can have a free Eggnog latte.
Leo: So far I don’t think I have ever seen an ad on Android Ware. I think I would be perturbed if I did.
Don: I think it would be nice to turn it on to try it but then to have the option to opt out. If it just got too intrusive just switch it off or be able to put certain filters on. As Alex said there are certain ads that can be quite useful especially if they are location aware as well; it might be interesting it might be useful you know only if it gives us the ability to opt out.
Leo: Doctor Mom in the chat room says generally people who spend 2,000 dollars on a wrist watch aren’t worried about saving a nickel at Starbucks.
Alex: You would be surprised.
Leo: Actually that is not true. The cheapest suns of guns I’ve met are rich people; how do you think they got rich? Every nickel adds up.
Alex: We definitely are not rich but my wife made me take the car back and put gas in it; we rented a car and I’m like I’m not going back. It is 2 gallons I’ll just pay the fine. No, no, no I had to go back.
Leo: It because they charge you like 10 dollars a gallon.
Alex: It is 7 dollars a gallon to calculate the Delta was 8 dollars, I’m just complaining. Anyway the point is that it doesn’t matter how much.
Leo: That is why I stopped bending over to pick up anything less than a quarter. I’ve done the calculations and it is not worth it.
Alex: Here is the thing, being a country boy I will pull a quarter out of horse manure before I will pick up a quarter in San Francisco that is all I’m saying.
Leo: Oh yick.
Alex: It is just gross, San Francisco if you have ever lived there you see what goes on in the streets.
Leo: I’ve seen what goes on in those streets.
Alex: I will not pick up that quarter, my son always reaches down to pick up the quarters and I’m like do not touch that.
Leo: Why do you think they call it Liverpool, I just want to say. No I’m sorry Don, We actually found out before the show that they call it Liverpool because there is a bird; the liver bird.
Don: The liver bird it is a cormorant so that is on the shield, the moto of the city.
Leo: Alright so it’s Livapool.
Don: We call it Liverpool but it is the liver bird, I don’t know how that works.
Leo: Do you think in years gone by it was Liva pool?
Don: It could have been all sorts of things, the accents and the dialects have changed considerably since then; and there was a pool, we are a port, there was a pool.
Leo: There was a pool of water once, and what did it get filled in with?
Alex: I don’t want to know.
Leo: And don’t pick up a quarter if it is in the pool of water that is all I can say; or a tuppens or whatever it is that you guys use.
Don: It has been a while.
Leo: I loved tuppens.
Don: That is what Mary Poppins used.
Leo: Tuppens, you guys don’t have tuppens anymore?
Don: 2 P’s
Leo: Do you guys have schillings?
Leo: Awe man you had the best money in the world and you probably have dollars and cents now right.
Don: No, no, no there are still pounds, schillings, and pens.
Leo: Oh there are.
Don: Oh no, that is what we say, we actually don’t have schillings.
Leo: No schillings just pounds and pens.
Don: 5P and 10P.
Leo: Well tuppens was 2P.
Leo: But you don’t have tuppens coin.
Don: We don’t call it tuppens anymore; we don’t feed many birds.
Leo: Can I ask if I came and said hey governor do you have a quid?
Don: That would be alright.
Leo: You know quid is still a word.
Don: Well quid is not actual currency it is actually slang for a pound.
Leo: It is a pound right?
Andy: While we are on the subject, are your chimney sweeps very dancy and swinging or do they just do the job?
Leo: And is it really good to touch them?
Don: There is very few around actually. I remember we did get a chimney sweep once when I was a kid, but that was the only time I have seen one; that was quite a while ago but I’m sure they have.
Andy: Your accent is rather realistic, I’ve been let down.
Alex: How did we get here, that is the question?
Leo: I’m so sorry.
Don: I don’t know.
Leo: We are done. Don McAllister ScreenCast online, it is a great place to go if you want to learn how to use. You have expanded beyond the Macintosh haven’t you?
Don: Oh yeah for quite a while now; I do two shows a week now: a Mac show and also an IOS one as well.
Leo: No Windows show.
Don: No Windows show, I’ve been asked to do them but it is not the same sort of community I don’t think. I’m not sure enough people would be interested.
Leo: I think you are right
Don: It is a different sort of vibe.
Leo: Even today, that is one of the real assets, is not IOS 10 or OS 8 or the hardware it is the people. There is something about Mac users
Don: Yeah, yeah.
Leo: We are the crazy ones.
Don: People are enthusiastic to learn about how to make the most of it, which is.
Alex: Am I the only one that feels like you can walk up to a person with a Mac in an airport and start talking to them?
Alex: You have your iPhone open or something and you start chatting with them.
Andy: Is your airport working? Because I can’t access to any base stations ever since I upgraded.
Andy: Did you read that article from two days ago?
Alex: And we all have, that is the crazy part.
Leo: We are the misfits.
Leo: We are the rebels.
Andy: There is a time when we have to acknowledge that every single TV star we see on TV is using an Apple product; that we see them everywhere.
Leo: We are a minority, a tiny little sliver of rebels.
Andy: We are like those pathetic people in politics who own like 80% of all the power and the second like say how about you make that Christmas tree 70 foot instead of 80 foot, and were like oh my God we are being attacked! Our rights, our rights we are beleaguered people
Leo: We are not fond of rules.
Andy: We just don’t want to acknowledge that a company that we give our money to is one of the most successful tech companies in the entire world.
Leo: There is no respect for the status quo.
Andy: There is no tomorrow! Apple is literally.
Leo: Keep your halfpennies, tuppens, and quids.
Andy: There is a corner stone in every single box that they ship. They could do that for 10 years and they could still last for 10 years after that.
Leo: You can quote us, disagree with us, glorify us, or vilify us, but you can’t ignore us.
Andy: Don’t call us successful, we hate that.
Alex: And we like to listen to alternative rock like Taylor Swift.
Leo: Yeah, and U2.
Alex: And U2.
Leo: God I love U2. Some day you guys are going to discover U2 and it is going to change your life; a young band right out of Ireland I think.
Alex: We are old enough that we can still remember when it was alternative.
Leo: They were hip many, many moons ago. Let’s take a break. Your picks my friends coming up Don McAllister, Alex Lindsey, Mr. Andrew Ihnatko, Rene as we mentioned is stuck, poor guy, at CES where there are no Apple products; although wait a minute there are a ton of Apple accessories. It is like iPod accessories, iPhone accessories hell there, I mean there is a whole pavilion just dedicated to that.
Alex: There is a whole section, in the north hall usually.
Leo: Huge, huge. Our show today brought to you by FreshBooks. If you are one of the crazy ones, one of the artists, one of the creators, one of the special people who have your own business and you know what I’m talking about; the worst time of the month, the end of the month when you have to do those invoices. I hated invoices so much, I had to fire up Microsoft Word or Excel or something; print them out, put them in an envelope and get stamps, mail them. I would put it off for months and not get paid as a result for months, not anymore. I found FreshBooks actually in 2004; I was working in Toronto, Amber told me about them. Great company they just started up. The easiest way to create professional looking invoices in minutes; you e-mail them, they can mail them but your clients actually like the e-mail because there is a big pay me button in there. FreshBooks will let them pay with a credit card or a variety of online payment solutions; it makes it very easy. That is one of the reasons FreshBooks users actually get paid an average of 5 days faster and if you do have one of those late pays, you don’t have that embarrassing phone call or e-mail. FreshBooks has automatic reminders that help you to get paid faster and stay worry free. Plus they have mobile apps that help you track time and hours, let you take photos of receipts so you can manage expenses all in one place, instantly access financial reports. I love FreshBooks and it connects, by the way, if you are using a Mac with third party Cronomate so that you can use Cronomate on your Mac to simultaneously track time across multiple projects, or log business expenses right from your menu bar. Cronomate you should check it out and of course also they have a great iPhone app. And with an open API others are developing more and more for the FreshBooks platform. Great help from real people. Amber McArthur, I got to quote from her she is the one who introduced me to FreshBooks; she said: FreshBooks mobile will allow me to send invoices and check on my business no matter where I am. Try FreshBooks free for 30days with no obligation, 30 days free; go to FreshBooks.com/macbreak use MacBreak Weekly, actually there is no offer code I think though they will ask you where did you hear about us. You could say Amber or Leo, I would say MacBreak Weekly and then these guys will get credit too. MacBreak Weekly, FreshBooks.com/macbreak; use MacBreak Weekly when they ask you how did you hear about us. You get 30 days free; such a revelation when I heard about FreshBooks and you can bill in other currencies like tuppens, ha’penny.
Leo: Is there a ha’penny?
Leo: That would be worthless.
Don: Yeah I don’t think we even have a halfpenny.
Leo: A halfpenny would be worthless.
Andy: How about grouts, do you still have grouts?
Don: That is Scottish.
Leo: Grout is like an oat cluster.
Andy: I only know about that because of lack auter.
Andy: I will give you this grout in exchange for.
Leo: How about crowns, do you have crowns anymore?
Don: No, they used to be actual coins but did go into slang about half a crown.
Leo: What is a crown, is it more than a pound? Is it a ginny, what the hell is a ginny?
Don: Ginny used to be one pound and a shilling I think; a ginny, I think.
Leo: What, you have a designation for a pound and a shilling; it’s a ginny?
Don: Not in my lifetime anyway.
Leo: Well I know but I’m stuck in Oliver Twist land and you read Sherlock homes and they are like here is a ginny; oh the guy gets so excited. What is a farthing?
Don: A farthing is umm, no I don’t know about a farthing. That might have even been a quarter of a penny.
Leo: A farthing.
Andy: Is there like a cartoon thought balloon above Don’s head that is like oh my God Americans are all idiots.
Leo: They are so stupid.
Alex: Why is he asking me these things?
Andy: We have politics, we have culture, we have industry, we technology.
Leo: What the hell is a ginny?
Andy: Next thing they are going to ask us if we have elevators. What do they call shoes over there? Do they call them shoes or do they call them something else?
Leo: Santa Clause, does he leave candy in the shoe by the fire place is that how that works? Alright I’m sorry Don, I hate to do this to you.
Don: It’s alright.
Leo: A farthing is a quarter of a penny.
Leo: That is what the chat room tells me.
Don: We don’t have them anymore anyway. Ah right, there you go.
Leo: A quarter of a penny, so you have a ha’penny and a farthing. That tells you how old these novels that I’m reading are because that is considered worth something. Why do you use the letter D to symbol a penny?
Alex: You are looking at me like I know, I don’t know what you are talking about.
Leo: I am just having fun with Don, I love Don. Don and Barbara are great, we went to China together. Had so much fun going down remember that river we went down.
Don: Oh, Guilin.
Don: Yeah with the rafting and.
Leo: And the guy with the cormorant would do the fishing, maybe those were livers. They do the fishing, they swallow the fish but they have the necks tied so the fish don’t go all the way down. This is the weirdest thing, we saw this. There is a raft in the river as we are going by and this is not for tourist, the people still do this; the guy has a basket, he is on a raft, he’s got these birds, and he has a big long stick the bird goes out they catch fish and they try to swallow them but they won’t go down because their necks are wired. The guy takes the stick grabs the bird, brings him back, shakes his head till the fish comes out in the basket, and then puts it back in the water; the stupid bird does it again, and again, and again this is how they fish.
Alex: That is what I call putting some birds to work.
Leo: Remember that Don?
Andy: I remember what it was like to work.
Don: Yeah, they did take the wires off and feed them though.
Leo: At the end, they get a little fish at the end. No but they had been doing it for probably millennia that way.
Don: That is right, and they had rapids that the raft went.
Leo: It was so fun.
Don: It was good.
Leo: The waterfalls, oh God it was fun. I will never forget and Henry my son who was there with us.
Don: That is right.
Leo: As you will remember.
Don: Attracting all the Asian girls.
Leo: All the young girls.
Leo: So when we were in Beijing the girls come in from the country side and they are all wide eyed, as we were in the big city, and they see Henry who is tall, good looking, blond, and very athletic. The girls were posing with him for pictures.
Andy: He was an exotic foreigner; it’s an American.
Andy: I want to be an exotic foreigner.
Leo: Then they asked him how much is a farthing in your land? Andy Ihnatko your pick of the week.
Andy: My pick is one of my favorite apps in the entire world, it is by Indio it is called iDraw and it is available for both the Mac and the iPad. Over the past couple of weeks I’ve been having to do some design stuff and what I love about iDraw is it is like having Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop, or any of these things only it doesn’t assume that you have spent the past year and a half of your life learning how to use Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator. It is a Vector illustration graphics program but if you want to do things that are just simple I want to bang out a sign to put on my door for Christmas visitors or I just want to design a mockup of a book cover or I want to, I’m doing a presentation and I need to create an illustration of a simple idea. You can knock these things out in about 5 minutes in iDraw where Photoshop excuse me where Illustrator, will be saying now what kind of paper stock will you be printing these on and are you going to be using CMK RGB. It is like I just want to draw a car with a horse in it; that is all I need right now.
Leo: This is really cool.
Andy: Yeah, one of the signature things about it is that I have never, ever gotten the hang of Bézier curves. I’ve been using this ever since 4.0. I just don’t instinctively grab the handles at the right place to make the curve go where I want to go. In iDraw you simply draw the line that you want to happen then it will simply just connect the dots in a very reliable fashion and then you just simply move whatever control points as a result in a non-Béziery way and you just simply match that to whatever you want that to be. I know illustrator also has a draw line that it will sort of trace that line too but it is never as simple as it is in iDraw. Like I said it will get you 97% of the way that you would get with illustrator but illustrator is for professional graphic artist who can bill 3 days on an illustration; iDraw is for people who just want an illustration or again a sign, or a label, or anything. They don’t want to spend $500 to get it; they don’t want to spend 3 days and they just want this thing to be done. It is $25 for the desktop version it is $9 for the, is it $9.
Leo: Yeah $9.
Andy: $9 for the IOS version, complete file compatibility, it supports layers, it supports everything, and like I said it is almost a no brainer it is not a lot of money to spend to have on your MacBook that will solve most of the graphic problems that you might have.
Leo: This is funny because this is one of the earliest programs on the Mac was MacDraw.
Andy: Yeah and I was, boy I was such a ninja with MacDraw; I mean I would draw posters with it.
Leo: It was also Vecter right.
Andy: It was Vecter and that’s the thing that I like about it; MacDraw had thing were you just draw a rigid outline of the shape that you want then tell it to smooth that out, and then you can modify it to whatever shape you want it. Whereas Bézier was like: now start your control point. Now pull, oh no you pulled too far; now you’ve looped the thing. Now delete the control.
Leo: Every time.
Andy: Exactly it is like how about if I just vaguely tell you what I want, you show me what you think I said, and then you let me change it to what I really meant; that is easy as pie. MacDraw was fun to draw in; again for the youth group meetings at the Boston Bears Society, I used to make like big, big posters, I used to do t-shirt designs in MacDraw and we are not talking about like jagged little squares and rounded rectangles. We are talking about oh wow this beautiful illustration you must be an expert. I’m an expert but not at the things that the experts use unfortunately.
Leo: Mr. Don McAllister, Screen Cast online, what do you have for us today?
Don: Well I got two quick ones. The first one is a piece of software called, I’m sure we’ve mentioned it before, SwitchResX. It is a great application; I use it pretty much every day because I am constantly changing my screen resolutions to do varied screen casts and things. It is a great utility that allows to switch your monitor to any of its supported resolutions quickly or create custom resolutions. This is especially useful now as people are getting more and more of the high DPI monitors; you can actually go into SwithResX and get a whole host of 20 or 30 different resolution that monitor will support. You can create your own custom ones as well. The reason that I mention this as well is that I recently got a 4K monitor and the MacPro it wasn’t fully supported and the developer actually went onto the floor and there was quite a few of us that were complaining that we couldn’t get the proper resolutions. The guy spent a day creating a special configuration file that enabled the monitor to work; but the thing is that he did it independently, he didn’t need SwithResX to use it which I thought was a really nice gesture for him. So just a bit of karma back to him.
Leo: That is when I found this too, when I got the 4K display and I need it. I wanted to see what dot for dot looked like and Apple won’t let you do that.
Don: That’s right, that’s right.
Leo: And when you see it, it’s like oh I guess I won’t be using that.
Don: Well I’ve been using it for years because I record in standard resolution.
Leo: Oh you need to yeah.
Don: Yeah 1280 x 720 or I’m currently doing 1080P ones now, and some of the monitors originally didn’t support that so I had to use an application like SwitchResX to flip the monitor into those resolutions.
Leo: It’s free right?
Don: No, no I think it is about 14 euros something like that.
Leo: Okay 14 euros cool.
Don: So that is that one; the other one is a little piece of hardware. I don’t really like to take my laptop traveling until they get the 12 inch, you know, retina MacBook Air when that comes out. Anyway I take my iPad and I’ve been using the standard SD card connector kit to connect my SD card to my iPad and back up my photos to the iPad which is fine the problem is though, if you use the iCloud photo library the next time that you sync all of those photos will be synchronized with you iCloud photo library. Which is not really what I want because I have 4K videos and stuff like that, that I really don’t want to sync. So what I’ve got is this little device here, which is my passport wireless hard disk which actually has an SD card slot. Basically in the field you have a 2 tera bite drive, you pop your SD card in and it backs it up to the hard drive either automatically or using the buttons on the top via a client that you’ve got on you iPhone or iPad and it is just an easy way of saving your SD information. So if you have a go pro or dslr and you want to back it up, you can just do it straight to the drive.
Don: Yeah, smashing it works really well.
Leo: I love that.
Don: And it is wireless as well so if you want to take your movies with you, you can stream your movies from the hard drive as well you can back up anything to it. It works really well, it has a USB 3 connect on the end; you can plug it into your Mac when you get back and just treat it as a normal drive then.
Leo: You know what I really want to get Alex? Is one of those Atamos, what are they called recorder.
Alex: Uh huh.
Leo: The Shogun because my Sony A7S will record, I think for 224K out of the camera but it won’t record it in the camera. So you have to attach a thing. I don’t suppose yours would do that Don.
Don: Um no, I got the Panasonic GH4 which works for that.
Alex: I guess you say we are bordering on too close to NAB.
Leo: Oh, let’s wait.
Alex: When the second half of the year.
Leo: I think we actually are thinking of going to NAB again; that was fun for us and it isn’t over covered like CES which mainly is over covered.
Don: I’m going this year, I’m going.
Leo: Are you?
Don: I’m going, yep.
Don: U meter expo is working in conjunction with NAB now, it is actually inbedded with NAB so with u meter expo I’ll be there.
Leo: It should be.
Don: Yeah, yeah it’s a big deal for them because it is the national system of broadcaster and now the podcasters community, podcast conference, is now in with NAB it is exciting.
Leo: As it should be. Is that in March?
Alex: It is in April.
Leo: It’s in April.
Leo: We will have to plan for that. Thank you very much for your picks Don and for being here.
Don: Any time.
Leo: Mr. Alex Lindsey, your pick of the week.
Alex: I brought 2 the first one is, so I just did this whole thing with my kids; my kids have 2 of my old iPads and I synced them all. So I am a little into the educational stuff because I had to make sure that both had the same thing for their flight and exactly the same pages so that they didn’t get lost. Another one that I added, last week I talked a little bit about Light Bot which is incredible watching my daughter play it is even cool, she is 5.
Leo: I’m still playing it.
Alex: Oh my Gosh.
Leo: I love it.
Alex: There is some really, my son said I can’t figure this one out; he handed it to me and it took me a little while. You had to not only do a sub routine but you had to do it very efficiently.
Leo: Yeah they teach you to program, it’s good.
Alex: It didn’t let you do lazy programing. So another one that I got into that I got for my kids that I am enjoying too, is called Playground. Have you seen Playground?
Alex: So Playground lets you build bridges and so you have these little bridges here and you build them and it runs a little truck across them. You are trying to do it with in a certain budget, over different terrain, and it is.
Leo: Is it Virtual City Playground?
Alex: Well it is Bridge Constructor Playground.
Leo: Bridge Constructor, I bet you this is the same company and they do other ones because this is build a city of your dreams. Let’s see, its Bridge Constructor huh.
Alex: Yeah this is called Playground, it is made by ClockStone I think; yeah ClockStone, ClockStone.
Leo: Aright, I shall search for it.
Alex: Let’s see if we can find.
Leo: Of course let’s see, nope. Loading results, don’t you love the search on the App Store.
Alex: You may be able to search for Bridge Constructor as well.
Leo: We don’t have an over the shoulder view, that is the only reason I wanted to; I don’t think it is set up.
Alex: Anyway it is.
Leo: There it is by Headup Games; is that it?
Alex: Yeah that’s it.
Leo: Yeah that is it.
Alex: So you see here you can build all of these little suspension bridges and everything else and it is just again if you are looking for stuff; I just enjoy playing it but my kids will just sit there and spend hours trying to figure this thing out.
Leo: iPhone or iPad too.
Alex: Again it starts easy and then gets.
Leo: I like stuff that starts easy.
Alex: And then it gets complex. You can win it but then you find out you spent too much money on it, and you keep on going back so you keep on trying to become more efficient. It is like trying to get 3 stars on Angry Birds; it takes a while to get it working. So anyway it is a cool little game; it is great for kids and adults.
Leo: Here is a fun thing that the App Store search does; I searched for Bridge Constructor Playground, it says not found. Maybe you mean Bridge Constructors Playground; I click that, it says nope don’t have that either. You mean Bridge Constructors Playground, maybe that is it oh no I was just messing with you says iTunes. They are screwing around
Alex: My other pick was crowd sourced, I went on twitter and was I was going through looking for new things to mix with and I found Mixlr and this is Mixlr.com and what they do, they let you stream live audio and I have been really trying to find the right thing. We used Nice Cast for a long time.
Leo: Yeah I’ve used that.
Alex: That was attached to your computer but this is a service that does it. I’ve really been looking for the right one for this because there are a lot of conversations that we are, a lot of times we are doing video casting using hangouts or something like that because we want to record the audio and broadcast it but what people really want to do is just listen to it on your website.
Leo: So do they do the back end?
Alex: They do the back end from what I, I literally just started pulling this stuff down; I just want to look at it, I want to think.
Leo: This looks really neat.
Alex: I want to thank DRC online is the one who posted this.
Leo: And you can record and then you will have a podcast too and put it on Sound Cloud or drop box or Mix Cloud.
Alex: Yep, Mix Cloud. So I think that it is a cool little one doer app. I think that there are a lot of things that don’t necessarily need to be video streamed. I haven’t really found a great solution for this, so this is definitely one that I am going to be testing. Again DRC online posted it on my twitter feed and I thought I would let everybody know.
Leo: There is also Spreaker.
Leo: You are not familiar with Spreaker?
Alex: I’m not familiar with Spreeker.
Leo: Not the greatest name but the idea is similar, which is you can create your own live thing and it also creates podcast out of it which it will store on Sound Cloud. I’ve used Spreaker a little bit just playing with it, but this looks good too. I’m going to try both of these because I’m figuring someday I will retire. I won’t have the beautiful studio, all of the staff; it will just be me, a boy and his computer.
Alex: Well yeah, I think that sometimes you look at this and there are a lot of time when I don’t want to video cast; that I would have done an audio cast of.
Alex: Like I’m not well lit, I don’t want to be on camera.
Leo: I just want to turn it on sometimes.
Alex: Yep, yep exactly, this will work from mobile and from your computer.
Leo: So I’m going to channel Rene Ritchie, when we had our host dinner; that was a lot of fun, although the worst food ever. Andy you did not miss a thing.
Alex: Except for the good conversation.
Leo: The conversation was fabulous.
Andy: I’m glad I opted for the cash equivalent.
Leo: Yeah, which was about $3.50; a couple of tuppens and a farthing.
Andy: That is a Marie Callender’s chicken pot pie that is tasty.
Leo: We would have been better off with Marie Callenders; we thought it would be fun, we will go to the Wash show house which is like Petaluma landmark it used to be the old stage coach stop in the 1850s and we thought oh this will be fun. Apparently the mashed peas and carrots were from the 1850s but don’t worry we are going to save them and use them again next year. It was just horrible however it was so great, I put some pictures up on flicker, to see all of these different hosts in person and Rene Ritchie was there. One of the things that he showed me was, and this would be his pick if he were here, Crossy Roads. Have you guys seen Crossy Roads yet?
Alex: Yep, is this the frogger.
Leo: It is frogger meets minecraft; it is like an 8 bit frogger. It is not so hard.
Andy: It is like frogger meets qbert.
Leo: Yeah you are hopping like; oh look how fast. Oh I got squished by the cab; the idea is that you are just crossing the road basically. It is free there are in-app purchases that are mostly just characters. I think you can just play free for a long time; the idea is to collect coins, it is like frogger, qbert all kind of the same, it also has a little bit of flappy bird in there.
Alex: Right, right, right.
Leo: Right and then you get a free gift.
Alex: Crossy road.
Leo: What is the free gift? Is it coins? Yeah we got some coins, that’s good because I like the free gifts then because then, I don’t want a notification, now I can win a prize and spend those coins, pull the leaver, and get a new character. Give me the horse, give me the horse, give me the horse. Poopy pigeon okay so now I will be hopping with that pigeon. It is very addictive in a lot of ways.
Alex: It is frogger.
Leo: It’s frogger, 8 bit frogger, it is the same game, oh he is making sounds I’m getting rid of him.
Andy: This is what the future would have been like in 1983 where they couldn’t envision a game like Assassin’s Creed but they could imagine frogger only it is in 3D.
Leo: Yeah exactly, now I have killed my poopy pigeon which I don’t really mind. So I’m going to go with the horsey, the winged horse. It is exactly, see how 3D that is. Whoa I don’t know what is going on here.
Alex: That is a lot of blood.
Leo: Stuff is coming out of his nose.
Don: It is a dragon.
Leo: It is a fire breathing dragon. Can I run across, whoa; whoa, whoa let’s get that coin now. Hey I’m doing good, don’t distract me here; I know we are trying to do a show but I’m doing good. Oh truck got me, now see I have to buy the dragon that is how they get you.
Alex: Did you see how cool that was.
Leo: You got attached to it; wouldn’t you like to breathe fire.
Alex: One dollar.
Leo: Crossy Roads its free but it is a little addictive I should warn you. Hey so great to see you again. Don McAllister thank you for being here. What would you like to plug?
Don: ScreenCast online of course, just go across to screencast.com are my tutorials or visit the news stand and have a look at ScreenCast Online Monthly, my monthly magazine.
Leo: Love that and that is in the news stand on IOS.
Don: It is, it is, it is free to members or people can just subscribe to the magazine separately in new stand if they want to; and you can always find the previous months of tutorials with articles from David Sparks and lots of other different people.
Leo: You do great stuff, you work so hard at all of this and I’m really glad that it is going well for you it is so great.
Don: Yeah it is good, it is good. It is 9 years now.
Leo: I know you and I, we are kind of like, we have been around for ages. It will be 10 years in April for TWiT and knock on wood, people still seem to like it. Is that nice?
Don: Definitely knock on wood. Yeah, yeah no it is good.
Leo: You can work at home, have a life.
Don: Still working hard, still working too hard.
Leo: It is hard work.
Don: It is but it is enjoyable you know you are working for yourself as well so it is good.
Leo: Isn’t that nice, yeah. Alex Lindsey.
Don: And I also say it supports my gadget addiction as well.
Leo: Well that’s the thing that is exactly why I got into this in 1978 or 79 because it was so expensive to buy floppy disc drives that I said I’m going to have to write to support my habit and it never stopped.
Alex: That is how I got into music.
Alex: Yeah, I worked at a radio station just so I could get CDs.
Leo: So you could get your records and cocaine.
Alex: Wait a minute where is the cocaine. Awe I missed the cocaine part all I got were the records.
Leo: Come on you were a music director; you know the album would come and you would open it up and oh look there is something in here. What did you spill something.
Alex: Mine usually came with whiskey.
Alex: That is why I left the music industry because I was pickling my liver.
Leo: Liver candy. Alex Lindsay what do you have to plug?
Alex: Just follow me on twitter Alex Lindsay it is all one word that is usually the best place to find me.
Alex: We’ve got some fun stuff, I think we’re threatening now to twim; I think what we are going to bring back.
Leo: This week in media was great. Is Daisy going to do it again?
Alex: No, I’m going to do it.
Leo: You’re going to do it.
Alex: Yep so the.
Leo: We love this week in media.
Alex: Yeah so I think we are going to bring it back again. So follow me and I will let you know, we are going to build it around interactive question and answer type of things so it should be fun.
Leo: I love it. Mr. Andy Ihnatko he is at the Chicago Sun Times, an ink stained wrench but he is still one of us.
Andy: Traditional, analog, classic hand tooled, artisanal, journalistic processes.
Leo: He believes in slow journalism, the old fashion kind.
Andy: The stuff that I write, if you are replacing the linoleum in your kitchen you can use underneath the linoleum; try to do it with an iPad and you will end up with very crunchy and expensive floor.
Leo: Great to have you, all three of you thank you so much for being here. Rene will be back next week with tails of CES. We do this show every Tuesday 11 am pacific, 2 pm eastern time, 1900 utc on live.twit.tv. If you can’t watch live on demand audio video is always available after the fact at the website in this case twit.tv/mbw, or on you know the podcast apps of all different kinds, and there are even dedicated TWiT apps thanks to our dedicated third party developers. We appreciate that guys. Thanks for joining us now back to work because you know what break time is over!