MacBreak Weekly 914 Transcript

Please be advised this transcript is AI-generated and may not be word for word. Time codes refer to the approximate times in the ad-supported version of the show.

0:00:01 - Leo Laporte
It's time for Mac Break Weekly. Andy, I'm back. Hello everybody, andy Anako is also here. Jason Snell thank you for filling in this week or last week, jason, and the week before and, of course, alex Lindsey. The big story gotta be the Department of Justice. They're going after Apple. How much merit is there in the case? And, oh, by the way, that headline kind of overshadowed the fact that Europe's going after Apple too. They announced it yesterday. And why a signed Steve Jobs business card is worth so much money. All that and more coming up next on MacBreak Weekly.

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This is MacBreak Weekly episode 914, recorded Tuesday, march 26th 2024. The old Shanghai breakfast, this episode of MacBreak Weekly brought to you by DC Labs and their Apple Watch app, stress Face. I'm happy to report my stress is much improved today. It's only eight on a scale of one to 10. Stress Face shows your stress level throughout the day. You can see there's a graph there and everything. It's getting the information from heart rate variability readings from your health kit data Gives you a simple one to 10 stress score. You can see how you're doing. Take a new reading. I'm going to calibrate it saying I don't feel a lot of stress, and now it'll say 3, which is great. It was 8,. Okay, the app's free, 99 cents a month. You get a little bit more like that beautiful stress chart to see the changes and I love this a link to your calendar. So if you see a high stress level, you can say oh, it was doing MacBreak Weekly. That did it StressFace. They capture data every two hours. You can take a manual reading too by just doing a one-minute breathing exercise. That might be a great way to calibrate it. Also, the upgraded breathing meditations, which have been shown to increase your heart rate variability and then slower your stress, as well as a very important high stress notifications once daily to help you take time out when you need it the most. Stress Face it is the least stressful app on my watch and I love it. Get it in the app store for free today.

Stress Face it's time for Mac Break Weekly weekly, the show where we cover the latest apple news. Hello everybody, leo laporte back. Thank you, jason snell, for filling in for me. You did a great job, uh, but uh, but this is a mac break weekly with a full panel here. Jason snell from sixcolorscom hello, hello, good see you. I will be quoting your very, I thought, astute piece in Six Colors. Thank you, mr Andy Anotko. If he only had a website. Oh look, he has colored tapestries behind him.

0:03:41 - Andy Ihnatko
Yes, I stole these from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. Turns out they haven't upgraded their uh, their securities in 30 years, so very attractive, I like. Yes, I actually. I actually I actually wrote a long piece about it for my website, which is for, which will be going so so that when people come to see it, which will hopefully be soon, they will be able to read it. I I actually almost sent it to jason because saying, yeah, could you, I be able to read it. I actually almost sent it to Jason because saying, yeah, could you, I want people to read this today. Could you put this up on six?

0:04:08 - Leo Laporte

0:04:09 - Andy Ihnatko
But then I read his piece, like okay, he doesn't need like two.

0:04:13 - Leo Laporte
Were you going to do that for me at some point, or was I supposed to beta test it?

0:04:19 - Andy Ihnatko
No, no, I haven't set up the invites yet. It's up as a production thing that I can write and post to. The only thing I haven't hooked up yet is the thing where, like, people sign up.

0:04:30 - Leo Laporte
Oh, a web server.

0:04:31 - Andy Ihnatko
You mean no, no, no, no no, no, I mean, I mean that that important conduit that goes from like people's individual wallets to mine.

0:04:42 - Leo Laporte
Oh, that, yes, yes, and, and also with us, ladies and gentlemen, mr alex lindsey from office hours. Hello, doc, global. Hello, alex, it's good to be here. Thank you for filling in on the twit. Uh, last week was great to have you for that good, did you guys? Uh, you didn't get a chance to discuss the doj. No, because that all happened just a few days ago.

0:05:04 - Alex Lindsay
It feels like an eternity. I know right, so many opinions.

0:05:10 - Leo Laporte
So, of course, as most of you know by now, thursday morning, the Department of Justice and was it? 18 state attorneys general from blue and red plus DC, yeah, yeah, fifteen in DC, new York, new Jersey, california you know, it was a nice mix, I thought. Attorneys general sued Apple for violations of the Sherman Sherman Antitrust Act. The venue will be New Jersey unless Apple convinces a judge not to make it New Jersey, the thinking being that's a positive place for the DOJ to go after any trust. It's a court, a circuit that's very antitrust focused. The DOJ wrote a very nice 88 page, well written, I thought. Yeah, a complaint that read more like a novel than it did. Uh, illegal pleading. But uh, and I will, I will say, before we get to your opinions on the whole thing, that there is and I think steven sanofsky kind of nailed it now he's an interesting person to write about this, since he was this genius behind windows 8 uh, monopolist comments on monopolies was what I was thinking.

Yeah, but he did point out he's against.

0:06:28 - Jason Snell
He's against the action of the doj you'll be shocked to discover the guy from microsoft back in the day is against some history with uh.

0:06:36 - Leo Laporte
With uh he's a very smart guy and so he had some interesting things to say, but his the point that I wanted to extract from his blog piece was there is a. There really are kind of he said two parties. I'd say there's a spectrum going all the way from people who say big tech is evil and big tech needs to be regulated and broke and or broken up and anything the government does in that regard is a good thing. And then there are, of course, on the absolute other end of the spectrum, there are the cult of. He called them the cult of oh no, cory Doctorow called them the cult of Mac-ists. Cory likened them to a religious cult, he said. Of course he did. Yeah, he said the foundational tenet of the cult of Mac is that buying products from a $3 trillion company makes you members of an oppressed ethnic minority and therefore every criticism of that corporation is an ethnic slur. So that's the other side of the scale.

0:07:31 - Andy Ihnatko
Well, to be fair, apple, like most major religions, doesn't pay taxes, so I mean it takes a one-half dozen to the other.

0:07:38 - Leo Laporte
So there are the cult of Maccas, there are the government regulationists, and I suspect all of us are probably somewhere in between the opposites of that spectrum. I've already expressed my opinion on Twit on Sunday, so I'll hold back while I let you. I thought, jason, you wrote a very good piece at Six Colors about this, thank you.

0:07:59 - Jason Snell
My Thursday morning I woke up to a push notification, read the 80 pages of legalese and then sat at my mother's kitchen table and wrote words about it.

0:08:11 - Leo Laporte
As you know, I was in Mexico and Lisa pointed a camera at me and she said do a tick tock on what you think? No, I have. No, I am holding back my opinion till I hear from Andy, alex and Jason was my reaction. So, Jason, you said, while I am not a lawyer, by the way, I-N-A-L applies to this entire panel.

0:08:37 - Jason Snell
We did have an attorney.

0:08:37 - Leo Laporte
On Sunday, kathy Gellis was here. You said I've read all 88 pages, good for you. And you said some of this is absurd. Apple is, for instance, not a monopoly.

0:08:50 - Jason Snell
Yeah, I think this is the challenge for a lot of us and this is why I'm so disappointed in somebody. I mean, I kind of expect it from Cory Doctorow, but it's disappointing because it's such a lazy take to say oh, they're occultists. There are those people out there who say Apple can do no wrong, but it's a straw man argument. There are a lot of people. I think one of the fundamental problems with this entire suit at least the document as written is that it seems to be coming from a place of people who have this sort of fantasy that really is very familiar to anybody who's been using Apple products for a long time, which is this fantasy that people who use Apple products are dupes of marketing and that they are the that and that they are the eye sheep and that they only do this because they're uh, they're conned into it and then they're trapped by lock-in and they can never escape, when the truth is the iPhone. People love the iPhone. The customer satisfaction is off the charts. The fact, the fact is, people I think politically that's the hardest sell for this is that they're trying to attack a product for trapping people and it's actually a very popular product that people like and therefore, what exactly is this? Is this a win for them? But you know, it is, I think.

Leaving that aside for the moment, I have some frustration about this because I feel like there are many behaviors that we all, as keen observers of Apple, might call out as being anti-competitive in some way, and so many of them are just not in here at all, and part of that is because they're deeply constrained by the laws in the US. We talk about Europe and the DMA, but that's specific legislation targeting big tech gatekeepers like Apple In the US. We have failed to pass any such legislation, even though we have, theoretically, a function in Congress. They don't function and so we're left with the Sherman Antitrust Act, which is about you know, it's railroad barons and oil barons. It's from more than 100 years ago. It's almost 150 years ago, and that's the challenge is that they have to come in and say Apple's a monopoly, and that is again. I'm not a lawyer, and the reason they chose New Jersey is that there is at least one case in New Jersey where they found a company with 60 percent market share and said that they were still exerting monopoly power.

But the fact is they need to prove that Apple fits under Sherman and the challenge is to do this. You can see them contorting themselves to one redefine Monopoly as being based on revenue share and not market share. And then, two, they have to specify that it's because it's US market share, it's not worldwide, it's just revenue share. And then they say, well, it's the smartphone market, but if that's not good enough, we're going to make a new category called the performance smartphone market in order to get it to be an even larger number. And then, honestly, I think their weakest moment in this monopoly argument is they want to have the big number. Right, they want to have the big scary number.

In court they're probably going to say that Apple is functionally a monopoly, but for the general public, they want a big, scary number in their document. So they finally get to 90 and 95%, which is whoa, that's a monopoly if it's in the 90s. And their example is, for example, apple, samsung and Google. Sorry, let me say that again, apple, samsung and Google have 95% of the performance smartphone market and it's like well, but that's irrelevant, because that's a made up market. Sherman is not about duopolies or triopolies, it's about monopolies. So they're going to have, they're struggling with that one.

0:12:07 - Leo Laporte
I think I had that same impression. But smelly thief in our discord name checks out uh says it isn't exactly about monopoly. Let me let me tell you what the Sherman act says. Every contract combination, in the form of trust or otherwise, trust, is a monopoly or conspiracy and restraint of trade or commerce. The act prohibits monopolization or attempts at monopolizing any aspect of interstate sure trade or commerce and makes the act felony.

0:12:36 - Jason Snell
So you don't there's also 150 years of law.

0:12:39 - Leo Laporte
Yeah right, and microsoft was 90 percent of the desktop market when the doj went after them.

0:12:44 - Jason Snell
But it is still a factor right, because you have to show that something is either a monopoly or is attempting, like I said, attempting to exert monopoly power. And it's not, I will say it's also not illegal to try to be successful in your market. That's not enough either. You have to show that you're exerting it. I'm not saying that they can't it, I'm not saying that they can't. That's why they chose new jersey is that in new jersey they made that ruling that said that the denture accessory manufacturer, or whatever was 65 of the market was controlling the market because it was such a big fish in a small pond that it was able to do that there's monopsony as well as monopoly, and I'm just saying that apple might have a monopsonistic position in the uh and the app store right and not a lawyer, but I just want to say that the challenge here is that they have to use Sherman Like they have to.

0:13:31 - Leo Laporte
They have to use Sherman and all the law around it because.

0:13:33 - Jason Snell
And so when all of us reacted, they're like well, what about this and what about this bad thing that Apple does and what about this thing? And the answer is they didn't think that they could use that in the framing of Sherman, because they have no 21st century legislation to use. They only have 19th century legislation and the case law that's built up around it, and it's going to be a challenge for them. I'm not saying they can't do it. I'm just saying that there's going to be a real argument that this is actually a brutally competitive market worldwide and that carving it into the US and then rev share and then performance smartphones in order to try and prove that Apple has this kind of power, there's a strong counter argument that they may the court may buy it or they may not buy it, but like it's, it's a case that they even in this document, I would say are you can see them sweating to make it.

0:14:21 - Leo Laporte
Yeah, I would also. So it's good we should clarify what Sherman says, and we know we have a Congress that passed 27 laws so in the last year, so they're not exactly an activist Congress in this regard, despite the fact that I think both the Lena Conniff, the FTC and others have said please give us some tools. Yeah, like the DMA in Europe, kathy Gellis on Sunday, who is again an attorney, made the point. Maybe this is a good point. I don't know what you think, andy, that it really is an attempt to attack the notion of a walled garden, that it's not necessarily about a monopoly but about the fact that Apple wants to create a lock-in with its ecosystem.

0:15:04 - Andy Ihnatko
Yeah, that was definitely one of the consistent themes that they were making throughout that whole, the whole complaint. I mean, they, they're also. They're also smart enough to put, like one of the money quotes right at the right in the preamble where they they quote an internal Apple communication where they're talking about why they have to keep people locked into Apple and how they have to. I'll read this if you want.

0:15:25 - Leo Laporte
This is. This is actually the first paragraph. It's very good In 2010,. It reads like you know a magazine article you know, like this is from the New Yorker. In 2010, a top Apple executive emailed Apple's then CEO, steve Jobs, about an ad for the new Kindle e-reader ad for the new kindle e-reader. The ad began with a woman who was using her iphone to buy and read books on the kindle app and then switches to an android smartphone and continues to read her books using the same kindle app. The executive wrote to jobs. One quote message that can't be missed is that it is easy to switch from an iPhone to Android. Not fun to watch, jeez, you really shouldn't put that in writing. Jobs was clear in his response. By the way, this is 2010. This is 14 years ago.

0:16:13 - Jason Snell
When they had 15% market share.

0:16:14 - Leo Laporte
Right Jobs was clear in his response Apple would force developers to use its payment system to lock in both developers and users on its platform, which, by the way, is completely okay when you have 15% of the market.

0:16:28 - Jason Snell
Yeah, very different.

0:16:28 - Alex Lindsay
So the thing is that you know like you can't if they said that after they had assuming that they get to a point where we say they're a monopoly, they have to start doing those things after they became a monopoly, not before.

0:16:39 - Leo Laporte
Well, we do have to point out that the DOJ has the benefit of the Apple Epic lawsuit and many other lawsuits before Google and Samsung, so that there is a lot of documentary evidence, a lot of emails, some much more recent. Go ahead, Andy. You brought up the paragraph.

0:16:55 - Andy Ihnatko
No, that was one of the two of them. The other one was imagine buying a expletive Android for $25 at a garage sale and it works fine and you have a solid cloud computing device. Imagine how many cases like that there are. That's an Apple manager in an email. That's an Apple manager, right, and that's so when there are a bunch of larger themes that they're making here. One of them is that Apple felt feels as though, as part of their strategy, they have to make sure that not only is that there's a reason for people to buy super, super powerful smartphones, which is one of the reasons why, as we've been saying, they created this category of premium smartphones to say this is the market that they're trying to defend, but it's more than that.

It down. I basically had to take the case down and really label certain things as like get real plausible. They got them dead to rights and they had stuff like oh well, we're Department of Justice, basically saying we're very, very curious as to why. How come HTC has withdrawn from the smartphone market? How come LG has withdrawn from the smartphone market? And I'm there in the back of the room saying because Samsung spends a whole lot more money marketing and the most the most obvious boner there was saying even amazon's fire phone couldn't make it.

Oh my god, that was a boner. Yeah, there are a lot of reasons that, but yeah, there's another boner, by the way, I have to throw this in they, they, they gave themselves credit for apple's success.

0:18:25 - Leo Laporte
This is Apple's fortunes changed around the iPod in 2001. A path clearing antitrust enforcement case brought by the United States against Microsoft opened the market, and it's thanks to us that Apple was able to offer iTunes on Windows PCs.

0:18:42 - Alex Lindsay
Otherwise known as the last time we won. The last time we won. This was great and, by the way, microsoft extending the doj extended universe. Uh, from past cases, but come on it's other than the last time we won. It was great. And oh, by the way, microsoft is still, like some days, the biggest company in. I think you can make a strong case.

0:19:04 - Leo Laporte
Mike and I covered this back in the 90s that Microsoft's I mean the lawsuit with the DOJ was beneficial. It didn't break up Microsoft. I think that was their initial goal. They ended up saying you know, you're going to have a consent decree, we're going to have an ombudsman inside Microsoft and we're going to stop some of this anti-competitive behavior. I think it's fair to say Google, for instance, would not exist if Microsoft had continued along its path. One will never know. It's a completely hypothetical. But I want to say I am not on the side that says no government regulation ever. The antitrust regulation is a very necessary component of a free market. Without competition, free markets fail.

0:19:46 - Andy Ihnatko
They have to again. This is an opportunity for Apple to actually defend in court a lot of their decisions, and some of the things in this complaint actually have some teeth in it when they talk about we've been talking about iMessage for the past year. Now they really have to explain why were you not including feeds? The DOJ complaint keeps making references to. You are intentionally nerfing your own products to make sure that they still maintain a competitive edge. So Apple has to explain. Here is why we decided that no, we don't want iPhone users to have secure messaging. No, we don't want those beautiful iPhone photos they've been taking when they send them to their grandmother. We don't want them to look as good as they would on an iPhone. They also have to talk. They also had a big section on Apple Pay about saying we've the EU, has made a big point of well, how come you're not allowing outsiders to have access to the NFC chip? And a lot of the reason could be we just don't like the security of security opening that that creates. But they're also applying that correctly by saying well, that means that if I want to do tap to pay through an iPhone, why do I have to do it through Apple Pay. Why can't I just allow my bank to directly do that transaction itself? Why are you taking 0.15 of a cent, I think, off of every transaction? They have to really defend a lot of these things. So there's a lot of things that are really, really silly. We won't go into every one of them, but there are some of them that will probably contribute to some sort of a settlement.

Remember that it wasn't necessarily when the DOJ talks about the victory of the Microsoft Internet Explorer case. It wasn't that they found a conclusion and Apple excuse me and Microsoft was, was was sent to the dock. It was. It ended the way that most of these things end with some sort of a negotiation.

As the trial goes on, the government figures out the arguments that they're making that aren't really landing the plane. The defendant figures out some arguments that, oh, we are really having trouble figuring this out. I think we can negotiate a better out of this than we're going to get if we let this go all the way to the very, very end. So I do think that this is going to end in probably a better environment for users, but in any event, one of my maxims is that I think that antitrust actions like this are very, very valuable because they at least force a company like Apple to stop saying, well, because we told you so, or well, because we know what's best. No one else knows what's best for our users. That's fine. You should be able to prove it, and you should not have 80 gigabytes worth of internal emails contradicting what you're saying in public.

0:22:21 - Jason Snell
Yeah, Antitrust is a blunt instrument, though, and I think that what bugs me about this is that there are things that we all could point to that I think are not illegal and that probably should be, but but and in Europe, they actually tried to pass some legislation to talk about some of those issues that are more appropriate, and so they. I agree with you, andy, in the sense that antitrust is all they got, and barring an act of Congress, and so you know, you could say they're being activist and that they're doing this for political reasons. You could say that this is the only line of defense in the entire US to a company as big and powerful as Apple. I can see the merits in both of those arguments, but I think the challenge, I mean the risks for Apple are high, because some of what I think people inside the DOJ I mentioned the the I sheeple kind of attitude. I think there are some people inside the DOJ who really don't get it about why Apple has. I mean they say I mean it's amazing. They're like Apple has always made overpriced products that are for the high end, and it started with and the iPod was like, and it's was like that's like. That's not true. That's a historical. There's a lot of stuff that's wrong, but what apple always has done is tried to integrate hardware and software, and there was a thread running through this, this document, that suggests that what they want is competition with smartphones, but the danger is that they define it ultimately being there should be no cost to switch, which, it read a certain way, is the iPhone hardware should be functionally. You know, the software that runs on iPhone hardware should be functionally identical to Android. And at some point you're basically saying, apple, you can't do your business the way you want, which is to build in your special sauce. That's the extreme argument, but I'm saying like so what we have to do is kind of find some sort of middle ground, and Apple has done itself no favors.

I think the Apple Pay argument is a great one, because I would argue that Apple built Apple Pay the way it did because it needed, in order for it to get it to be successful. It wanted complete control so it could launch that product in a market that had resisted contactless payment for ages, and they didn't want to go out with a bunch of bank partners that they have to beg to write into an NFC API in different ways from different apps and have it be all scattered. So I think their strategy was we're just going to put it in the wallet app and we're going to let you put in your credit card number and connect it, and that's Apple Pay. I think that that's why apple pay succeeded. The problem is that they they never, ever, ever ever opened it up to third parties to compete with apple in other ways and and like if you're at the doj, you might argue, it's an original sin. They never intended it. By the time, like with iMessage, by the time there were other secure communications mechanisms, everybody was already using messages, because it's where the SMSs were always and that's where they put iMessage.

But there's a counter argument to be made that Apple you know Apple might not have even succeeded with Apple Pay if they weren't able to do it the way they did it. And it's not an original sin to do it the way they did it and it's not an original sin, it's an. It's a later cardinal sin of a very typical of Apple basically keeping its ball and saying no, no, no, why? Because I feel like a lot of their attitude is not we can't compete, which I think comes through in the, in the documents Like they're afraid of competition. I'm not sure how afraid they are of competition. It's more like this imperious um, why compete if we don't have to?

0:25:48 - Leo Laporte
well, we own the real estate so we're not going to bother, and I think that's where they get in trouble. Let me hold on just a second, alex, because I want to set you up. I'm going to get you a nice, uh, setup of pins that you can bowl at, okay, um yeah, and I think, by the way, what?

you're hearing here is probably I think we all agree. Probably everybody who listens agree that it's a. It's not an open and shut case, but there's some merit in some places. And I think you're right, andy. The long-term goal here is not to completely open up the market and make it all Android, but to get some concessions from Apple and make it a little bit more of an interoperable, even playing field. Now paragraph 16, this is for you, alex. This is from the DOJ complaint.

Apple wraps itself in a cloak of privacy, security and consumer preferences to justify its anti-competitive conduct. Indeed, it spends billions on marketing and branding to promote the self-serving premise that only Apple can safeguard consumers' privacy and security interests. And this is really. This is where this is drawing blood. This is the DOJ sticking the knife in. Apple selectively compromises privacy and security interests when doing so is in Apple's own financial interest, such as degrading the security of text messages, offering governments and certain companies the chance to access more private and secure versions of app stores, or accepting billions of dollars each year for choosing Google as its default search engine and, as we've learned since this complaint came out, maybe even Google as its default AI engine, when more private options are available. In the end and this is the pull quote Apple deploys privacy and security justifications as an elastic shield that can stretch or contract to serve Apple's financial and business interests. Go ahead, I give you the bowling ball.

0:27:45 - Alex Lindsay
Well, I think the first thing to remember is this is going to take five or 10 years I mean, this will be in another decade before we actually know what happens here. Took a decade for the DOJ and Microsoft, yeah yeah. So this is going to take a while. We may not even be using phones by the time we decide whether Apple can do this. I mean, you know, is that they have to prove it Now. They've already Epic lost this case. You know they already lost.

0:28:09 - Leo Laporte
Well, you could say the DOJ might have learned from what Epic did wrong.

0:28:12 - Alex Lindsay
Sure, but so does Apple Someone's?

0:28:14 - Jason Snell
steering away from it for sure.

0:28:16 - Alex Lindsay
So the they, but the chances of them winning are, I'm not saying zero, but definitely not 50%, you know, and and then, in addition to that, they have to prove that Apple wants becoming a monopoly. If they can prove that, then started to become monopolistic. As Jason said, making statements when you're 15% of the market is not a problem, like you know, like making that statement which you've never heard Apple make once they hit 50%. And there's a lot of, there's a lot of proof and I don't know whether Apple will outline this that Apple actually takes care not to get themselves into antitrust situations. In a lot of places, like, for instance, the pro apps, apple could wipe that market out in about a year, like they could just wipe Avid and and and and. When Final Cut was changed to a uh, you know what happened.

0:29:04 - Leo Laporte
I mean yeah, but I don't think Apple wants to go to court and say but your honor, we could have been much worse, yeah.

0:29:12 - Alex Lindsay
That affects Apple a lot. I think that, in general, though, I think that Apple's issue at number one is, when you fragment a platform, you make it less secure. It is you can talk about, oh, we have these interchanges and we have the other stuff, but anytime you're not controlling the whole thing, it's going to be less secure. So that is, that is, and so we should. At the same time that we say Apple should not be assumed. We should not assume that Apple is doing things altruistically. We should never assume that our government's doing things altruistically either, and so we have to understand that there are the five eyes which are desperately trying to wedge them their way into the system they, apple is building, and what? Because what you're seeing Apple do is slowly constrict privacy over a long period of time. So they didn't do it all at once, because you can't. You know everyone's like, oh, they're really tightening everything, but you just watch them slowly pulling this together, and I am certain that I'm not certain of all% certain, but the intelligence agencies are definitely talking to people in DC going hey, this is a real problem, this is a real problem. This is a real problem. We're getting cut out, and now that Apple is over 55% and they're slowly tightening all these things up. It is becoming more and more of a problem for the intelligence agencies and they're absolutely pressuring people to do something about this because and they've been trying to do this in every one of the countries that is part of the five eyes for a decade, you know, trying to ratchet this open. So it is definitely less secure to break up, to break up how it interacts when you have APIs for people that are, you know, external APIs. That means it's something you now have to manage. So so I don't think that Apple I don't think it's as much.

I personally don't think that Apple is doing this as much as an anti-competitive thing is. They just don't care, like they just don't care about you, you know, like they, they, they, they. They have plenty to, they have plenty of real estate here to to deal with. You know, um, they and and you know, I think that there's they, they just they're not. They're not against you, they just don't care about you Like they haven't. They have a big enough market that they're taking care of and they don't. But I don't think I think it's not anti-competitive behavior, other than they want to control what they're doing because it's way easier to innovate when you don't deal with other people, and I can tell you from the backend. The reason that they're very competitive is because and I'm going to give you an example that I think I've said before, but this is, I think, important when I want to stream this is just an example, and it happens in many different places when I want to stream Dolby Vision and Atmos to Apple devices, I have to build one, maybe two, manifests for HLS to do that.

When I want to stream to Android and Windows, I have to create 440, like 440 manifests, because their markets are so fragmented that you have to deal with all these other things. You know, it's a nightmare, you know, and so the thing is is that and it's because they what the government says they want us to do actually makes it a lot harder to interact with those with those operating systems, and that's why they keep on not getting all the cool things. You know, and because it's hard, like we I just we, just we failed. Like I worked on a project where we worked for 18 months to get it to work on Android and Windows and just said it's not worth it, I'm going to give this up, and so the All that is.

0:32:17 - Leo Laporte
Alex is an argument that one company should dominate and rule because it's easier for you to develop for them.

0:32:23 - Alex Lindsay
No, no, but what I'm saying is is that when you fragment that, that makes it infinitely harder to develop for, and I think that the example when we talk about breaking open a market, I think Apple TV is actually something that Apple should use when they start talking about this. Apple TV is much more open. You can have external people, payment systems.

0:32:42 - Leo Laporte
Didn't the government say Apple TV was Apple's attempt to control free speech. Speech. Speech because they yeah, wow, that was another boner. There are quite a few in here.

0:32:53 - Alex Lindsay
The best part of this is I get to make fun of the DOJ for three years, a five year.

0:32:56 - Leo Laporte
You're going to have so much fun.

0:32:59 - Alex Lindsay
I'm already. I got AI like building the I'm taking they knew how character reference, and AI like building the I'm taking they they knew how character reference. And so I've got like the lawyers all in character reference and I'm going to have so much fun with this anyway. So the um uh but the uh but what I um the. The issue is is that Apple TV is a complete failure as a platform for apps, and the reason is is that I don't know what the reason is, but I can tell you why I don't do it.

I was really excited when Apple TV came out with apps and I was like, oh, let's do it. Every one of them is like go to our webpage and sign in and sign in and sign in and do all these other things and pay out here. And I was just like, okay, I don't want to play anymore apps, you know, on Apple TV. And so because it was just a pain in the neck to log in, and so, as a user, you know none of this is helping. I mean, this is again same as Europe. This is a aristocratic argument. These are other rich companies that desperately want to get into the biggest, the best game in town. I agree that the users are going to benefit at all. The Apple users are not going to benefit from this. I agree.

0:34:01 - Leo Laporte
I agree that it's a mistake for the DOJ to think Apple users are trapped. I think Apple users love Apple's products and are happily in the ecosystem. They're not. They may be locked in, but they don't mind I guess it's maybe the best way to put it.

0:34:16 - Jason Snell
There's benefits to the lock-in. There's absolutely.

0:34:19 - Leo Laporte
there's benefits and we choose we don't have choice. But I would Alex say that maybe the DOJ is considering consumers as well, because anything that harms competition ultimately harms consumer choice. So I think it's, yeah, it's. It's kind of easy to say, oh, this is Epic and Spotify and Sony and others who don't like Apple, or the government or the Five Eyes who don't like Apple, but you can make a strong case that interoperability and competition is good for consumers too. I don't think this is ignoring consumers.

0:34:57 - Alex Lindsay
It's not good for the Apple consumer. Well, that's the problem.

0:35:01 - Leo Laporte
I don't know how much of a problem it is for a government agency like the DOJ. They're, in theory, not political, but it is a problem because people who love Apple are very happy with Apple and don't want anybody to mess with it.

0:35:13 - Andy Ihnatko
Yeah, I mean, one of the categories of takes that I disagree with has been and this was actually a headline in one post, and this was actually a headline in one post which is that the DOJ is trying to force Apple to turn the iPhone into an Android phone, which is absolutely not anything. That's reality inside this document. I think that they are trying to. They're trying to say not that Apple should make everything completely interoperable with everything else, completely interoperable with everything else. They're trying to get explanations for, well, how come you're not allowing Wear OS or competing like fitness watches to work well with the iPhone on the same level as the Apple Watch? They're not talking about making sure it has the same access to APIs. They're talking about why is it a second class citizen on Bluetooth? Why can't they do actionable alerts as you can do on the Apple Watch? They're talking about APIs for music apps. That again, same thing we've been talking about with the EU. How come, when you have an app or service that competes with other commercial apps or services, you retain certain APIs for your own use that makes your apps and services better than that other thing.

So a lot of this is not going to be. We want you. We insist you have an open app store. We insist that people be able to install Android apps on the iPhone, but they could. What they are. What they're basically saying is that why is it that you have certain rules for yourself that don't apply to others In some cases? The simple answer is because we trust our own employees more than we trust any third-party developer. That's why we give them these incredibly powerful APIs For other things. They're left saying because reasons and these are the things that the DOJ might have them correct in a settlement.

0:37:08 - Jason Snell
I, my favorite line in the entire piece is that thing about the flexible, elastic garment for as a shield for security Only, because I mean, this is where trouble again, because I think that apple I don't ascribe, I don't believe that, uh, apple doesn't believe in privacy. Right, there are people out there who say, oh, it's all a sham, right, again, those are the straw man arguments. They're on the far end of this. But I will say that apple does itself no favors by using its legitimate, uh, privacy reasons in contexts where the reasons seem less legitimate. And I'm going to give. I'm going to give one example, that's, I think, not in this document at all, but just as an example.

Apple is convinced that you need to scare users about the internet and that going to a web browser and putting in your credit card on a website is something that leaves you away from the warm embrace and safety of Apple to buy things on the internet. And I'm sorry, we live in a world where we buy everything on the internet, right, and the truth is, apple is using that to keep people in their payment ecosystem. And they've said it and they only have changed the rules in very limited ways, and they've done it when forced by governments or regulators to do it. And they've said it's all about protecting the users, and I would argue that that has some basis in truth and that they could be sent to some place that was run by a fraudulent user of the Internet who was taking their credit cards. But the fact is, we've been doing e-commerce on this planet for how long now? And Apple seems to live in a world where e-commerce is a threat to the user because only Apple can protect them. And I'm sorry, I can't read that argument as anything but a pretense, where they've got a little tiny scrap of protection that they're using as a reason to say we can't let apps link out to other payment systems, but what they really want is their cut. That's why they are motivated to do it, and every time Apple makes a behavior decision like that, they degrade their legitimate arguments about privacy and security for their users.

And that is, I think, one of the things that is being picked apart by the DMA and will be picked apart by the Department of Justice in this lawsuit, and I mean we've already seen it. They have five points in this, five bullet points, three of which are already being addressed. Not a coincidence, right, like not a coincidence. They're like, oh, we are going to adopt RCS and like, oh, yeah, yeah, that's a good idea, we're going to make this more open in these other ways, that game streaming is fine, it's fine, right, and that sometimes, what I think is this is the threat that makes Apple change its behavior, and it's not that they're going to be ordered to change their entire business model.

It's that Europe and the US are leaning on them to make specific changes in areas where, again, I think Apple is most the offender, which is Apple's got a competing business to a business that third parties are trying to do, and Apple gives itself an enormous advantage for various excuses and reasons. That makes it impossible or very difficult for others to compete with them, and the Kindle is the best example, but there are plenty of others, and that's where the elastic shield comes into. It is.

0:40:19 - Leo Laporte
Sometimes they hide behind privacy when it's really it's really not about it. Yeah we're gonna take a break, but I will add the words of the great chess grandmaster aaron nimzovich, who famously said in the 1930s the threat is stronger than the execution. And in this case I think oh, the threat from the DOJ and you're exactly right and the EU.

0:40:43 - Jason Snell
That was good, isn't it good? That's why you're in the hunt.

0:40:46 - Leo Laporte
It's true in chess, I don't know if it's true in life. Let's take a little break. We'll come back with more. Keep your powder dry, boys. We're going to go up over that hill again in just a moment.

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0:42:30 - Alex Lindsay
I think that you know. I think, again, I think that there's very little to know about what, what's actually going to happen, and again it's. There's the two problems with the, the 10year problem, and I think that some of the timing, I do think, is related to the report that came out about how many kids are using iPhones, and I will say that I think that that turned up the volume a little bit, because once you're using the iPhone, the chances of you changing over to Android is very low. And I can tell you to Andy and Jason and your thing, talking to my kids, they're like green bubbles are no joke, like my kids are 14 and 16, and they're like you know, no one wants a green bubble.

0:43:13 - Leo Laporte
But adolescent angst is not a reason to go to court. No, no or not to go to court.

0:43:17 - Alex Lindsay
I don't think that's the justification. What I'm saying is the DOJ can't say that. They can't say it. But here's the issue when 87% of the students are using iPhones now, what percentage are actually going to peel off five years from now? Not many, and so the thing is is that that gets up to 90, 95%. You know which could happen in the next five years. While they're doing this, you know that becomes much more challenging. It also, I think, may slow. Actually, I think the lawsuit may slow RCS down a little bit. Um, only because Apple, I think, was racing to do that to keep a lawsuit from happening. And now that it's happened, they will probably.

0:43:54 - Leo Laporte
they will probably slow down, yeah, cause the TMA does not uh impacted uh Apple's iMessages.

0:43:58 - Alex Lindsay
Yeah, so. So the thing is, I think that they, I think that they'll most likely. It's not that they won't do it this year, but they probably won't do it any earlier than December, and if they do it, it'll probably be. Oh, this is the first, this is our first, you know, execution of this.

0:44:10 - Leo Laporte
Yeah, you know, they might also be hoping that a judge will see that they are goodwill and I think there's also. They don't need that for that a judge may say right up front, I'm sure Apple will file a motion to dismiss and one of their you know chief causes will be hey, we're not a monopoly, your honor. And now I should point out it isn't just the Sherman Antitrust Act, as you know. At the end, jason, they list a number of state anti-monopoly laws as well, they could get them in Wisconsin.

0:44:38 - Jason Snell
They really could get them in Wisconsin, and New Jersey has a strong one.

0:44:40 - Leo Laporte
So well, that's the point is they're going to have to. You know, it's not just Sherman that they have to get around. Yeah, I mean handicapping. Let's just quit and then we'll go to the Vision Pro segment. You've all been waiting for Handicapping, alex. What are the odds? What are the odds makers saying about Apple versus DOJ? What are the odds makers saying about Apple versus DOJ?

0:45:02 - Alex Lindsay
I think that there's about an 80% or 90% chance of some kind of settlement that makes some movement For the government to win outright, I'd say less than 20.

0:45:15 - Leo Laporte
Apple, though, is not historically big on settlements.

0:45:18 - Alex Lindsay
Right, they'll fight this one.

0:45:18 - Leo Laporte
Most likely they're going to fight as hard as they can.

0:45:27 - Jason Snell
But they've already changed so many policies based on this coming and based on the dma that that I'll go with alex, I think it's. I think there's like 80, 90, maybe, maybe 90 plus. 90 plus is a great percentage. It would be great for monopoly too.

Um, the that that what happens is apple agrees to change a bunch of its policies because, again, if they're underlying uh, they're, they're control freaks by default, right, the whole company culture is based on that, because steve jobs was a control freak and he, he like control and power. It's not always about the money, it is often about the money, but it's always about control. And I think you, you, you default to something of like well, we could do this, but why should we bother? And this is why you should bother. So I think that they will go as they've been doing with Europe and they've started to do some things worldwide, like game streaming and support for RCS. They will probably go to the DOJ and say okay, we'll give you a win that makes it look like you're changing our behavior by changing these particular policies, and that's what we'll agree to.

And I think that there's a high likelihood, given my skepticism about how this case would go for the DOJ that they're going to. You know they're going to be able to give it, give them something that they can call a win, but that Apple can also call a win, and everybody ends up spending lots of money on lawyers. And then there are small changes here and there, because I don't think I think it would be very difficult for them to get huge changes out of Apple. I think it's beyond the scope of what they're doing. So they'll try to get some smaller changes that are about interoperability and access to APIs and things that allow a little more competition, kind of broadly, but aren't kind of like going to the core of Apple's business model aren't kind of like going to the core of Apple's business model, Handy the Greek your prognostication, please.

0:47:07 - Andy Ihnatko
Well, my line on this yeah, I agree, I think this ends with a settlement. I think it ends with Apple doing a bunch of things they don't want to do or wouldn't have done otherwise. I don't think it's just like, hey, let's have both parties say face. I mean, the definition of a compromise is we each will come away from the table with something that we consider to be a win, but I do think this is going to be unlike the EU's application of the Digital Markets Act. I do think that almost all the changes that Apple is forced to make are going to be good for Apple, are going to be good for the users, like getting back to RCS messaging. Of course, the complaint does mention that. Ok, yes, we know that Apple did say they're going to be supporting RCS, but they haven't committed to how they're going to do it. They can commit to a really lame version of it and then never update it, so we would expect them to give basically support as good version of RCS as you can get on Android elsewhere. And now I do believe that whatever arguments or whatever debates have been happening inside of Apple as to well, how do we support this? The people who have been, and definitely have been arguing heavily all along that, look, we should give this as great an experience as possible. Now have an extra, extra, extra weapon on weapon on their bandolier. Here they can say, look, let's not give them any reason whatsoever to continue saying that we're nerfing the experience of iMessage on the iPhone. That's one area in which, again, the DOJ anybody has Apple absolutely dead to rights, and so I think they're going to be valuable concessions from Apple.

I do think this is going to take a long time to settle out. I think that we're going to have, whenever it's a slow news day, we'll be able to pick up some release from three weeks ago and have a good 10 minutes about it, because, again, these are great things. The bottom line is that I do like the fact that we're in an era in which trillion dollar tech companies now have to at least answer for the decisions that they're making, because they are as powerful as nation states, really, in terms of how they can affect not necessarily a market, but at least society on a worldwide level. So it's absolutely appropriate for the eu or the doj or anybody else to, after lots of discovery and lots of research and lots of consultation to decide. Ok, we are going to force you to bring a whole bunch of boxes of stuff and defend your choice of A, b and C and convince us that you don't. You shouldn't be legally required to make a change here.

0:49:37 - Leo Laporte
Apple, knowing that we would be spending many hours discussing this today on the show, decided to drop a press release early this morning saying that the Worldwide Developers Conference is coming on June 10th, hoping we'd talk about that instead. And now we're going to WWDC. It's always in June, it's not.

0:49:55 - Alex Lindsay
But it's almost always the very first week of June, so this is a shift to a little later.

0:50:00 - Andy Ihnatko
Okay, Could be everything, could be nothing, but we're certainly tempted to think that they have to put together one hell of not no longer a slide deck, but one hell of a video on what their AI strategy is going to be. Yep, because this is everything for this they are facing this is one of the oddest years for Apple, where they are on the back foot on so many different levels. They have to explain to investors why sales in China are continuing to tank in an alarming level. They're dealing with a two-front battle between the EU and the DOJ, and also they have to at least defend their choice to spend billions of dollars a year over the past 10 years on the car, the project that they canceled, and on the VR project. That's not going to be really a consumer product for the next three years.

And saying that, okay, we did not miss the boat on AI. We were very, very smart to wait until the technology was mature enough that we could actually see how we could turn this technology into features that our customers will appreciate and enjoy. So that's the argument they have to make. Almost everything they're going to be talking about, I think, is going to be AI.

0:51:09 - Leo Laporte
Or the fact that you're going to have little gaps in your homepage on iOS 18. I think they're going to spend half an hour on that.

0:51:15 - Andy Ihnatko
Oh right, right, That'll be a lot of rumors that iOS 18 is a really, really big rewrite.

0:51:20 - Leo Laporte
That's okay, yeah okay, but you know, come on, really, this really shows how little innovation Apple has done on the iOS front. Springboard has been effectively the same, since they had folders.

0:51:32 - Alex Lindsay
I think the reality is, though, is that when we watch an Apple keynote about the phone, we're just waiting for the camera. You?

0:51:38 - Jason Snell
know like we're just waiting for the. You know like we're just waiting for the.

0:51:41 - Alex Lindsay
You know like and I gotta tell you I was at a point, um, I was at a concert on saturday night, uh, down at the bottom of the hill, yeah, um and uh, and I I shot some videos. There was this my daughter likes this band called wilt um, which is an incredibly good band actually if you, especially, if you like, like late 90s, early 2000s, it's they're they're new, they're brand new, but they found they have a great kind of rock and roll kind of sound. And so we went to see, I took my daughter and my first daughter's first concert and, and, um, she got to meet the, you know cause they were opening for another band in a, in a venue of a hundred people, you know. So, so the um, yeah, so we got to meet the lead singer and I showed, I got front, right, right in front of the stage and I started taking photos.

And I just have to, I have to say I could not believe what I was taking. Like, I kept on looking at it, going this can't be as good as it looks on my phone. And, and then the second van came and I we had traded spaces so that someone else could sit, for I didn't care about the second van, anyway, so we went to the back and I started, I took these photos and we'll see if I can find them. But but I I took the photo and I was just like I cannot believe this is being uh, this is coming off of a phone, you know. I mean, I couldn't do it with a dslr, I agree, you know, yeah, you know, a couple years ago, you know, to like take it and concert.

0:52:53 - Leo Laporte
Photography is notoriously difficult. Well, I'll show you while you're finding that I did the same thing. I was trying to decide whether I should take my uh good camera to see madonna and I thought, well, I'll bring the iphone and unbelievable stuff I probably couldn't get with a good camera uh, not only the zoom, but the way it handles light and amazing yeah truly amazing.

Here's my favorite image before you show yours yours, because you're going to, of course, look better than mine, but I just that is something. Yeah, I mean, that's a camera phone for crying out loud.

0:53:31 - Alex Lindsay
Unbelievable. Yeah, and you know this is the photo that I this is one of the photos that I took, and if you look at this, you know it's the for me. Look at that, it's the. You know the detail up here, but then you've got all these little lights and you've got that's a light behind them it's doing.

0:53:45 - Leo Laporte
that's AI. Baby, you've got all the hair light. That's computational.

0:53:49 - Alex Lindsay
And it's you know, and so what Apple is spending, you know, and I you know. This is a really good photo from a, you know, from an iPhone.

0:53:57 - Leo Laporte
I have an exact look at this. This is the same problem where you have a huge variety. This is what DSLRs don't do very well, because the lighting's all over the place, but computational photo can say well, I know that those are spotlights in the roof and that's just highlighting the hair below, but we can make it balanced. That's like HDR. This is unbelievable what it can do, so I agree with you. That's all we really care about.

0:54:21 - Alex Lindsay
And so everyone's just waiting for this. So they and they have.

I don't know how they don't traditionally wwdc talk about cameras no, I'm just saying that, that that when we talk about the innovation, there's a lot of innovation in the under underlying principles of those things. Like, for instance, it'll be really interesting to see. It'll be really interesting to see, like, what format do they give the keynote in? You know they're going to give us a video, are they going to shoot it with an iphone, but also are they going to do a 3d version, you know, of the vision pro version should be really cool.

Vision pro seems like it's table stakes at this point, but we'll see um but that, but I think that that would you shoot that, alex, would you use one of those cannons with the dual lenses and then?

Yeah, I think that there's bigger versions of that. So the cannon is great, red Raptors are, you know, are another way to do that, with probably a little bit higher frame rate. And and then, you know, apple, of course, bought next VR. So there's a lot of tech that's inside of Apple that that might be interesting to see as well. So I think that, between all of those different things, I think we could see something there, um, but I think that there's a lot of um. You know, I, we, we can talk about like lots of lack of innovation, but I mean, I can't believe some of the places and again, it's not interesting things, um, it is relatively boring things that are done very, very well. You know, and I think that that's the and it's way harder to make features easy to use than it is to make the feature.

0:55:48 - Andy Ihnatko
Also, to be fair, even on the Android side, smartphones have been really largely stagnant for a few years. Now it's very, very possible. It's kind of like the interior of a car, like a car dashboard. We figured out a long time ago what really works. Also, consumers have not said they want anything materially different from this, so we're kind of stuck with it. This is why AI is such an important feature. This is the difference between no, we can't really do much with how apps work. No, we can't do very much with the interface. But the ability to screen calls before they come in, that's big. The ability to basically say look, give me an answer to a question across all the data on my device and do it in a very natural sort of English, that's another big feature.

0:56:31 - Alex Lindsay
So, yeah, I think that exactly what you just said, which is the real power for Apple, is to be able to federate all these different solutions.

So you go, I, apple manages all the AI inside the, inside the device and says I'm going to look at all those things and I'm just I'm not trying to give you every answer, but I'm letting you interrogate, like I. I emailed Andy, you know, five years ago, about um, a squirrel, and uh, show me, show me, show me that. And it just pops that up. That would be super powerful, beyond like trying to search for Andy, trying to search for squirrel, trying to like the way we do it now is crazy. And then the other side of that, though, is this, this talking with Google, of being able to say well, when you go to search for something more open, you know, we're going to tell you that you're like, you're going to Google, like you're going to search a Google term, you're going to search, you know, gemini or whatever, and we're going to let Google answer those questions, and I think that could be really interesting.

0:57:25 - Leo Laporte
I'm sure you talked last week about the announcement or the rumor. I'm sorry that Apple was talking to Google and others about their AI instead of putting Apple's own AI in their phone.

0:57:38 - Alex Lindsay
I think again, I think Apple traditionally is not in a rush to do anything. I mean, I know people talk about them needing to be in a rush to do those things. I mean, apple users are not going anywhere anytime soon, so Apple has the luxury of just kind of like, well, let's take a look at it, let's figure out the best way to use it and how to make it. I think, typically, how to make it more easy to use more, you know, easy to use and I think that the real challenge Apple has had is their, that that their quest for security has made it incredibly difficult for them to make something useful. I mean, siri is really good at timers and playing music, but not very good at much of anything else, you know, and I think that an Apple, arguably, has spent a lot of money on Siri as well and just it just been hard to you know, and they can make that, that bridge that gap.

I mean, I know that I went back to Google maps for something on my phone and I just I couldn't react on me. You know, like, like you know, after years of of, uh, using Apple, cause I wouldn't when it first came out, I would not use Apple maps. I was just like for years because I just felt like it was not very good. There was some update that I didn't put Google Maps on and it started auto-linking, you know, and before I knew it I was used to Apple Maps. But I went back to Google Maps and I was like, oh, this is horrible, you know. And so I think Apple can, when they put enough money behind something, get something that I don't know if it's better than Google Maps, but it's definitely equal at this point as far as definitely as far as feature sets. So I think that they could, but it might take them some time. They were way behind on that as well.

0:59:09 - Leo Laporte
But isn't it the case that we like the fact that Apple has chosen to be more secure and private when it comes to AI, moving necessarily more slowly and keep the stuff on device? And did it? Does it not concern and I apologize because I'm repeating a conversation I'm sure you had last week but does it not concern you that they are then talking to other companies about using their idea instead?

0:59:27 - Alex Lindsay
It's easier. So the thing is, is that for Apple to have horrible errors in their AI hallucinations and everything else is really problematic? Yeah, they can't afford to. For them to have Google do it is not problematic, you know. So I think that allowing someone else to take, you know, take the risk of the answers it's not is definitely something that apple could do, because inside of their own branding, it's very difficult, um, to do that and and so, as long as there's a clear delineation and they're not saying we're doing this for you, and so, I think that that's actually that makes it easier for apple to incorporate some of these things.

And and again, as a, I use AI every single day and I use it on my iPhone every single day and it's not integrated with my iPhone, I don't really care. Like, like, like I, if I want an image, I go to mid journey. If I want, if I want to ask for things or try to figure things out, I'm going to mostly chat GPT and I don't feel it at all. You know, like and so. So I don't think that they're, I don't think that they're in a burning house, I think that they are like hey, we got to incorporate something into the, into this over the next couple years and we'll find a good way to do it. But the I think sometimes when people are saying apple absolutely has to do something by june, no, I don't think apple feels that way.

1:00:35 - Jason Snell
Well, there has to be a top layer right and I think that's what we said last week is is that Apple's really done some investment on device models and, of course, it's got the hardware that's capable of executing on device models. And I think that's the idea here is that Apple's secret sauce in many ways is the user experience at the point where the user interface is with it. So if they can do that right and build their own model and have it be something that can call other models or use other data sources, some of which are very much like how Siri today will be like I have to look on the web for this, but with a much better quality answer it means that they could use Google by default. It means they could use different sources by default. It means they could switch between different sources based on the type of query.

Right, like there's a lot of things they could do, and I don't think and Andy made this point last week that Apple needs to say well, we never need to build an LLM that lives in the cloud. I don't think that is the case. I think it's more that they don't need to have it today in order to launch these other features. They can use a partner and sometimes Apple stays with partners for very long periods of time but they do need to get the user experience right and I think they they can. I think that's where you start on device keep it all private and then go out to sources, uh, on the on the internet, in the cloud, when they need to, and I think one of the technically hard, hard things and expensive things to do is to create the model.

1:01:57 - Leo Laporte
There's nothing. I don't know what the how accurate the rumor was, but there it may well be that the rumor was merely that they were going to use models from other companies running on device, on the iPhone, which would be not a problem at all. It would just be that somebody else did the model.

1:02:12 - Andy Ihnatko
It's not just the LLM, it's also the tuning that the company performs on it and Apple might do all the tuning right.

1:02:17 - Leo Laporte
Yeah, exactly, we don't know.

1:02:18 - Jason Snell
The rumor's unclear and there's lots of pieces we mentioned, like Shortcuts, uses this thing called App Intense, which is essentially you can train a model to know how to run all the other apps on your phone. Like they're building shortcuts, except it might even be just ephemeral and like that goes back to the secret sauce, right, which is if you've got a model that can go talk to your apps and get data out of them and then process it and give it back to you. That's the kind of stuff that improves the user experience, and Apple has the ability to hook that stuff in there too.

1:02:46 - Leo Laporte
Lately I've been running a lot of my models locally on my Mac because of course, the Mac has good machine language coprocessing and it's great because you get much of the benefit. The Mistral model is a very big model. It's very strong. You download it and you can do this stuff and it's almost instantaneous. It's really quick. It's funny. It's like wow, I got that answer already and it's almost as good as ChatGPT. In many respects it is as good, so it doesn't mean it has to be running on the cloud.

1:03:15 - Andy Ihnatko
But that is something that occurred to me just a few days ago that most of the time when I look at this really really cool like AI tool, like there's a, there's a, there are a bunch of new tools for upscaling photos and basically taking a screenshot and turning it into a photo not not through generative AI, but really just through heavy math and understanding what noise looks like and what blur looks like and then I want to download it and check it out, but it's like oh well, you need like a, you need an NVIDIA like 4080 with 32 gigs of video RAM on it, or you need a pair of these cards. I'm wondering how much the top end of AI tools are going to be limited to just like Windows boxes, simply because there really aren't any Macs where you can just stick the required graphics cards in there, because it's these graphics cards that are powering so many of these AI models.

1:04:10 - Alex Lindsay
Yeah, I think Andy's really right. I mean, I think that the real challenge is NVIDIA is if you didn't see the NVIDIA last year, Holy smokes, $30,000 processors yeah, last yeah, that was steve jobs introducing the iphone level of giddiness from that ceo.

1:04:28 - Andy Ihnatko
That's a company that knows we've got something that's really good, a great job and I covered that.

1:04:32 - Leo Laporte
By the way, you can watch our stream of it with jeff jarvis and michael sergeant last week. I will.

1:04:38 - Alex Lindsay
I will say, for all the things I say about, uh, how much I watching people talk on stage he did such a great job Like they just did. I mean, nvidia really knocked it out of the park and but it also really shows you how this I mean beyond many of the things that could catch Apple not working with NVIDIA and how and the speed at which NVIDIA is moving could become problematic over time.

1:05:02 - Leo Laporte
What about? Ok, so I thought there'd be new iPads by the time I got back from Mexico. I'm sad to say that Mark Gurman has been wrong all month long. What do we think? Do you think they're holding off to WWDC for new iPads?

1:05:15 - Jason Snell
No, no, no he said he actually hasn't been wrong all month long, because he said for a while now, for about three weeks I think, that there's an iPad OS update required to launch new iPads and it's not ready. So he obviously has a source in the. Os group.

1:05:31 - Leo Laporte

1:05:32 - Jason Snell
And yeah, there's obviously some feature that is enabled on these new iPads that requires that OS version to ship and his sources have said it's not ready and it's not going to be ready until, I think he said, early April, which is why I think the soonest. We would see an announcement is next week and it might be later. He hasn't said that, but he has said that the OS is the gating factor there, so it might be as soon as next Monday or Tuesday.

1:05:57 - Leo Laporte
They thought it would be March 20, march today actually.

1:06:00 - Jason Snell
He thought it would be now.

1:06:01 - Leo Laporte
Yeah, today and the hardware probably is ready, but the software is not. Oled um mac. Uh, I'm sorry uh ipad airs but pros uh enhanced ipad airs and minis maybe yes uh, pros, for sure.

1:06:16 - Jason Snell
Airs probably, and then mini and the adjectiveless ipad, more like up in the air. But if I were them and if they were ready, after a year of not having new iPads, having an iPad blowout where you update all the iPads at once seems like the ideal. But again, if the mini is not ready and the low-end one isn't ready, then maybe not.

1:06:35 - Leo Laporte
What are they waiting for on the OS? What do they need on the OS for this?

1:06:38 - Jason Snell
It's a mystery, right. I think there's going to be new accessories Apple Pencil or that new keyboard that is rumored that's going to have some more functionality than we have seen up to now and either one of those a new pencil or a new keyboard, or both that probably have to have a special version of iPadOS.

1:06:56 - Leo Laporte
Let's take a little break. Then we will come back and talk about one thing that Apple will have to patch kind of a big bug in Apple Silicon that apparently is not patchable, and I know Steve Gibson will be covering this in great technical depth later today on Security Now. But we'll mention why you should not worry about it, I think is what we'll probably say, but I'll have to defer that to our panel of experts, our peerless panel of prognosticators Andy Notko, alex Lindsay, jason Snell You're watching MacBreak Weekly. Our peerless panel of prognosticators Andy Notko, alex Lindsay, jason Snell. You're watching Mac Break Weekly, our show today brought to you by ZocDoc.

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I would be remiss if I didn't talk about this. Dan Gooden has an excellent piece in Ars Technica Unpatchable vulnerability in Apple chip leaks secret encryption keys, and I'm sure Steve will talk about this in greater detail. But I think from my layperson's point of view this is very similar to the Intel AMD problems with Spectre and Meltdown. The problem is, when you have a chip that's optimized using speculative execution branch prediction, that you can sometimes get in a situation where it leaks information.

Apparently, the Apple M series all the M series of chips can be used to extract secret keys from Macs when they perform widely used cryptographic operations. This comes from a research paper that was released last week. It's a side channel attack allowing end-to-end key extractions when Apple chips run implementations of you know all the best known cryptographic protocols. And it can't be patched directly because it's built into the way the silicon itself is designed. It's part of the micro architecture, just like Spectre and Meltdown were. There are mitigations that you could apply, but Gooden says it drastically degrades MC series performance when doing these cryptographic operations, especially on earlier M1 and M2 generations. The vulnerability can only be exploited when the application and the malicious application and the cryptographic operation are running on the same CPU. With normal system they don't have to have special privileges but on the same CPU, which essentially means this is a bigger risk in the server farm, where the CPUs are often shared than it would be at home.

1:11:49 - Jason Snell
Have I said that all correctly? Anybody want to? Or if you're a high value target? Yeah, I mean, there's a bunch of footnotes here. The M3 processor actually has a bit that can be set that turns this feature that has this bug off at the cost of some speed. It's unclear to the paper writers what that is. Also, interestingly, Apple's efficiency cores on these processors don't have this feature and therefore do not have this flaw. Oh, interesting.

And although Dan Gooden's article says that would have severe performance or significant performance penalties. I don't know. Apple's low speed, low power cores are actually pretty fast, so I think the answer is there'll probably be some fixes that will make certain cryptographic functions slower and that regular users will never notice, right, and it's probably not something that would impact them. But it is a real thing and I think what I saw one person suggest was if you're like a big crypto person and you've got millions of dollars in a wallet, you should be aware of this.

1:12:45 - Leo Laporte
That's probably that one's where it's worth it for you, yeah um, yeah, it's not a zero day, it's.

1:12:52 - Andy Ihnatko
It's an academic paper with the proof of concept, that's, it's functional, but it has not been spotted in the world.

1:12:56 - Leo Laporte
We should point out that specter and meltdown, as far as I know, were never exploited in the wild. We never heard about it anyway, and I think the patches for those also. People were very worried we were going to slow down the Intel and AMD chips significantly and it turns out they weren't as big an impact as we thought. It's not exactly the same problem but it's, as far as I can tell with my limited capabilities, a similar problem with something called pointer chasing, dmp. You never want to do that and it's weird that it only does that on the non-efficiency cores, the performance cores. I guess that makes sense, right? The issue is sometimes memory content is confused and you never want that to happen.

1:13:47 - Andy Ihnatko
No one is controlling access to $12 million in crypto. Like Jason said, you have to be targeted, but with crypto it's like, yeah, that was.

1:13:56 - Leo Laporte
So you thought you were a millionaire, not anymore. Yeah, it's the memory-dependent pre-fetcher. Yeah, not anymore. Yeah, it's the memory dependent pre-fetcher. Uh, as I said, steve will no doubt cover this in uh in greater detail. Um, as, by the way, he will also cover pwn to own. There was some great action at pwn to own in vancouver the last couple of days, so we'll talk about that. Um, we also lost in the news about the doj suing apple. The eu has announced yesterday that it is probing and that can be very painful apple meta and alphabet under the digital markets act. These are the first three to face full investigations under the dma. It's all about the app store, so the the hits just keep on coming for.

1:14:42 - Alex Lindsay
Apple, and I think the EU has a much greater chance of creating some changes from Apple than the United States does. They just have more tools. Well, remember, they fined Apple half a billion dollars and, again, it's also still in the EU. So I think that Apple will keep on making the changes that they want, as they force them through, but only in the EU, and so I think that it'll be. It'll have limited impact, but it'll give us a sense of it.

1:15:12 - Andy Ihnatko
Yeah, and remember that the Digital Markets Act it's not like an anti, it's an. It's designed to address antitrust, but it's not an antitrust law designed to address antitrust, but it's not an antitrust law. It specifically says here is a list of things you are forbidden to do and if you do them, we will punish you. Not to return, not to say that you have harmed consumers on the marketplace to the tune of X dollars, you will pay an X dollar. Fine it is. We don't want you doing these specific things. If you do these specific things, we will fine you to a level and extent that will make you feel pain and encourage you to not do that again. So that's why these kind of the DMA is a lot more third rail-ish than anything the DOJ can come up with.

1:15:51 - Leo Laporte
And some of this is stuff we'd already talked about or knew about concern that Apple and Alphabet imposed quote restrictions and limitations that constrain developers' ability to promote other services. But here's one that's kind of interesting. It's new to me. Commission said it was looking at whether Apple was meeting its obligations to allow users to quote easily, uninstall any software applications, change default settings, browsers and search engines. So I guess maybe uninstall Apple's built-in apps, apps or you know you can't uninstall Safari.

1:16:26 - Alex Lindsay
I think there was a time when you couldn't do it and I think now you can. I know there's a bunch of them that I uninstall.

1:16:33 - Leo Laporte
Oh, yeah, I always do. Yeah, yeah, but some things you can't right and you probably wouldn't want to, to be honest with you.

1:16:39 - Alex Lindsay
Yeah, think some of them are like we're protecting you from yourself. If you take that one out, the place gets a lot less functional. Real quick.

1:16:46 - Leo Laporte
Anyway, that got lost in probably all the noise from the DOJ, but Apple's going to fight this battle on many fronts. All right, a couple of big acquisitions we should mention. You talked about red. We hadn't talked about this when that happened. Buton bought red. Is that a big deal, alex, or no? Oh?

1:17:07 - Alex Lindsay
we'll see. So both, both, you know it's, it's a company that has, you know, to both companies have struggled in their own verticals and so it's combining two verticals to see if it makes more. Um, so so I think that you know, I think nikon has had trouble, trouble finding its feeding, its footing, um, uh, in the in the recent past. Uh, you know, canon has a lot of its own stuff. That you know, that that you know they have a lot of video tools that have been successful. Nikon is not Um, nikon, about eight years ago, bought Mark Roberts, which is a they do really really high end motion control.

So you know they've thought about these things. Um, I think that red also, you know, while they revolutionized the film market when they came in, um, there's, they've kind of, you know, they've been squeezed really hard by the fact that, um, at the top you have Aerie and Sony, you know, and so you know you have the Venice's and the Aerie. You know a variety of Arri tools and the thing you have to remember is is that, sure, they're more expensive than a Red or they're really expensive? But the problem is, is you're paying rental, you know, like, when you're shooting a film with those cameras you're paying. It's a day rate. You're not paying, you're not buying the cameras for that. So it's a little less sensitive and the numbers don't look as far apart as it would would when you're purchasing them on the bottom end or onto the bottom end. But the less expensive end you, of course.

Uh, black magic really became very effective in that area. But also, importantly, canon and Sony uh pivoted extremely effectively. You know so they, you know so much faster than we thought they would, and especially Sony. Sony um has really done a great job at getting cameras into an affordable level, like the one I'm on right now is an FX30. It's $1,700, and it looks pretty good. My wife is on an $800 EV or E10, zv-e10, and it also has a great….

1:18:58 - Leo Laporte
Sony makes the sensors for a lot of these other companies too, so they have certain.

1:19:02 - Alex Lindsay
They do, and. But the key is that you can make a sensor, but how do you make the make something that's inexpensive and, and you know so the like, for instance, the creator of the movie was all shot on an FX three, which is kind of crazy, um, but then you have the FX sixes and the whole FX line, and so Sony really got into that sub $10,000 level. But not only did they get into it, their engagement with creators has been extremely effective. I actually was invited and went to one of their creator events where they you know they there's a bunch of Sony reps and there's a bunch of they here let us lend you a camera. I came with a Sony camera so I didn't, but let us lend you a camera and we're going to go out for a photo walk, and you know. And so B&H and Sony, kind of you know, and so bnh and sony, kind of you know, work together on those and uh, um, and so the, the sony, has really focused on creators very specifically, not filmmakers as much as creators, seeing that as their, their real option, and they have weekends and and photo shoots and all kinds of other things, and so that puts a lot of pressure on red um, who you know hasn't been as effective at that.

Outreach was at the very beginning, but hasn and a lot of Red's problems also were announcing a lot of products way out in the future that they never made. You know quirky. You know quirky ways of working with the raw loud fan noise. There's a whole bunch of things that Red had trouble with as they went through it. It's still a great.

There's a lot of great technology at Red. There's a lot of great technology at Nikon. There's a lot of great technology at RED. There's a lot of great technology at Nikon. The merger of that or the purchase of RED by Nikon is, I think, really good for both companies and probably good for the industry to see what they put together. So I think it'll be interesting. But they really need to get that. Red's already kind of done this this global shutter sub-10, camera that really solves film, small filmmakers problems and they've done a little bit of that and with Sony, with Nikon's patents and technology and know-how, along with the Mark Roberts technology that Nikon has, I think there's some really interesting things that may come out of that merger.

1:20:57 - Leo Laporte
It gives, it catches them up to Canon and Sony.

1:20:59 - Alex Lindsay
I don't know if it catches them up, it's hard to to Canon and Sony. I don't know if it catches them up, it's hard to catch up to Sony. So, and there's things that Sony does that are really, you know, like the autofocus is the thing that a lot. When I was talking to a creator and I said why? Because at the time I was using a lot of Blackmagic stuff and I still have a lot of Blackmagic cameras and when I need to shoot like a real show and I need to do live multi-camera, I'm still going back to Blackmagic, and the reason for that is that I have control through the switcher.

I have a lot of other things that are useful for me, but when I talked to a creator who's using one camera at a time, I said why are you using the Sony instead of Blackmagic? And they immediately were like autofocus. And so an autofocus turns out to be really hard. It's one thing for a camera to do it for a still photography, but doing it with video and doing it smoothly is super hard and Sony spent a lot of energy and time making that happen and, as a result, it's really hard to get caught up to what they're doing.

1:21:52 - Leo Laporte
Red is the same age, twit is. It was founded in 2005 by the guy who founded Oakley, jim Jannard, which I always thought was kind of interesting.

1:22:04 - Alex Lindsay
Go ahead. Emery Wells, who was on our show. He bought like I think he had number 41. Right, like he bought. You know he bought one of the first.

1:22:11 - Leo Laporte
It was an early 4K. It was the first affordable, relatively affordable 4K. Yeah Right, yep, yeah, pretty amazing and it was so hard to use.

1:22:21 - Alex Lindsay
I had one.

1:22:36 - Leo Laporte
I shot with one for two years. We had one in the office and we shot one. We shot for two years with it. We got a lot of work because we had a red and it was really. We did that until we got the F950, the Sony and then we. Then it was a lot more straightforward to use that.

1:22:44 - Alex Lindsay
And of course they got eaten alive. Because, you know, six years in Aerie and every and Panavision, everybody said, well, we'll do digital too. And and I got to say when, when Aerie came out with their digital line, we were like, okay, that's cute, like you know, like we did not take them seriously. We're like a big old company trying to come into the digital world. But what they nailed, um, I talked to my brother about this. My brother's a. He just finished a cam on a film, nice, yeah. But so he we talk about cameras a lot and he just said the thing with an area is it's really hard to screw up. You open it up, there's very few things for you to click on and you're going to shoot film. That's going to work. And he said in a, on a, in a film environment, you know it acting like a digital film camera, like you turn it on and it goes, is really important. And ari really nailed that.

1:23:23 - Leo Laporte
Yeah uh, janet retired in 2013. The red brand, I guess, is gone. Uh, nikon just wants the.

1:23:33 - Alex Lindsay
Uh, the patents, the tech yeah, um, it'll be interesting to see what happens with the red raw. Red raw has been a point of contention for a long time. They have a patent on that and, um, it's been a problem for apple, it's been a problem for black magic, it's been a problem for everybody. This is the the raw patent, so it'll be interesting to see you know what nikon does with that as they, as they move forward.

1:23:53 - Leo Laporte
That's been probably one of the key ips that they're probably interested in the other acquisition came this morning and kind of a surprise, affinity Affinity, the folks at Serif who make Affinity, photo Affinity, designer Affinity, what else.

1:24:10 - Alex Lindsay
Designer Photo and Publisher.

1:24:13 - Leo Laporte
Publisher, that's it, acquired by Canva for a significant amount of money we're not sure exactly how much A mix of cash and stock valued at quote, several hundred million pounds. Of course, Canva's in Australia, Canva co-founder, said big, big acquisition. Is this bad news for Serif?

1:24:38 - Alex Lindsay
Oh, it's not bad. It's great news for Serif.

1:24:40 - Leo Laporte
Well, they're going to take home some money. It's bad news for customersah.

1:24:42 - Alex Lindsay
Well, they're gonna take home some money it's bad news for customers, let's put it that way, and I'm a heavy affinity photo user, so I, you know, and designer users, um, and and the hard part is is that you know, canva is a subscription-based um company and we all right we all moved.

Well, so canva really is a present presentation tool and, um, so it's a presentation tool, but generating that, that core content, they what can't. What makes canva great is tons and tons and tons of templates. Um, you know, and you know, and really easy to throw together something that looks very professional without having any skill. You know like you can, just you can. It has a stuff, a bunch of stuff, that all you have to do is know what your content is and they're going to help you put it together and make it look pretty, and it's somewhat cookie cutter, let's, let's be honest, right, but you know, there's a lot of communication. When you're throwing something together for your school or for your corporation or whatever, there's a lot of like. When you're doing a big event, you need a designer. When you're doing announcements, you just want Canva, you know, and so, um, so being able to just throw those together without having to have a lot of design knowledge has been really useful.

The problem that they have is generating the raw content, for those is not something they have a tool for, and so, by buying Serif, what they get is they can. I think that they can take Canva documents and push them out to things like Publisher, but they can also have inputs from Photo and from Designer, where those things are easily integrated into Canva. So I think that that, in addition to just growing their business because you have a, you have a large number of Canva users that as soon as they want to step up to the next thing having being able to have these tools, if they want to start designing, if they want to start doing something else having these tools available to them could be really useful for Canva. My guess is is that it'll be an added you know it'll be like an incremental add to the Canva subscription to have all these apps come with it. You know, like that'll be kind of the most likely what will happen eventually.

1:26:30 - Andy Ihnatko
I think and I think that one of the things that people are most afraid of is it's one of the reasons why people have been using these tools on the on the Mac and the windows is because they don't want a subscription-based version of Photoshop or Illustrator. So they like the idea of hey, I gave you some money, that's it, I now can use this forever. So that, plus the idea that now they have to make up like a few hundred million pounds of purchase, I think that there should be some assurance that, yes, we will still have a paid version of it, as opposed to a subscription version.

1:27:05 - Alex Lindsay
They definitely are not promising that. They said we're not planning that at this time, at this time, and they said we can guarantee you that you will continue to be able to use version two. You know version one and two and there's still more updates for version two coming out. But my guess is is that it's going to get rolled in coming out? But my guess is, is that it's going to get rolled in? It could be as easy as rolling it into the Canva subscription and not charging anything more. And these are just added tools that you get with the Canva subscription and that would be, you know, just sweetening the pot. That might be what they you know what Canva tries to do with it. But yeah, there's definitely.

When you look at the announcement, it was definitely not promising that they were going to not do subscriptions.

I mean, that is with Canva's bread and butter, and the reality is it's a pretty good business, you know, and it's hard because a lot of us did move to Affinity and Pixelmator because we didn't want to keep on paying subscriptions.

My problem is is that I'm still paying for Photoshop and Illustrator because Canva or because designer and photos for me. I think they are for most people, but for me they're just not quite enough. You know, like it's like they're so close and I keep on trying to do more work with them, but I always get into this thing like, oh, I need alpha channels, or oh, I need this certain kind of this tool and illustrator that Canva you know that the designer doesn't quite do as well, and so those are the things that I think for the high end, I think Adobe still has where it's at. But I think that, and I think that again, adding these, this is the perfect line of tools to add to Canva and make it something as part of one of their subscriptions. Maybe their medium or high subscription just comes with the software.

1:28:36 - Andy Ihnatko
Yeah, they got like 170 million monthly users of Canva. So yeah, it's a very easy step up from those users.

1:28:43 - Alex Lindsay
If you look at the purchase people, 170 million users, and you get and you get them all to pay five dollars or more, uh, a month so that they have access to all of these apps.

1:28:53 - Andy Ihnatko
Worth the purchase, yeah I'm I'm a happy subscriber to the adobe photo package. I mean for me, 10 bucks a month to get the full Photoshop plus betas, the full Lightroom plus betas, plus all the cloud apps and the mobile apps that's a damn bargain. But I keep wanting. I keep getting very, very close to buying Affinity Designer, because that's the one app where I just don't. I want to have it handy whenever I need it, but I rarely need it, and this morning's announcements really got me thinking. Maybe I should buy 2.0 sooner rather than later.

1:29:26 - Jason Snell
Yeah, it's 70 lists for designer and I'm one of those people too. I pay for Photoshop in the annual plan but I'm not ever going to pay for Illustrator, even though I need it a handful of times a year. So I got designer and it's great and it's a single purchase and I'm happy to support them when they do updates. So I hope we don't end up in a situation where, essentially, it's going to become.

I'm not opposed to subscriptions in general, but the problem is sometimes your needs do not match what the subscription product is and Affinity products have filled that niche pretty well for me and it would be a shame if that goes away at some point. But I'm a very happy Affinity Designer user. I'm using it more now than I have it. I was using an ancient version of Illustrator for ages and realized I was going to have to keep running it in a virtual machine at some point. You know a standalone version of Illustrator and I finally kind of broke down and it's a pleasure to use affinity designer, um, and I'm very happy that, to have paid the whatever uh, seventy dollars for it and just get to use it as long as I want without a subscription, because that fits my needs perfectly uh, in other news, um tim cook little tour of china to announce, uh, the launch of their new shanghai store and, more maybe importantly, to visit all the developers and companies that are making hardware.

1:30:49 - Leo Laporte
And, of course, china is a problem site now for iPhone because of a 33% drop last quarter in iPhone sales. He also did something I don't think anybody expected. He said, oh yeah, oh yeah, we're gonna have the vision pro for you in china by the end of the year yeah, and ten cent announced.

1:31:08 - Andy Ihnatko
Ten cent also announced that they're going to be supporting it with all their apps. So that is a that is a very, very big get for uh, for the vision pro.

1:31:14 - Leo Laporte
Yeah what is what? So that's it. What does ten cent make that we would want to put on our vision pro?

1:31:21 - Andy Ihnatko
they're kind of the Google of China, as far as I understand. A lot of games, right Games, social media. They have micro-blogging apps. They have e-transaction apps. Essentially, that means that a lot of the stuff that if someone were to buy the device and wanted to think of it as a useful thing that has parity with a, with a smartphone in China, they would want this suite of apps Interesting, but it's definitely the cross. The Chinese goodwill tour. He spoke at the China Development Forum. He was talking about AI and saving the environment. He's having a private meeting with a with a premier excuse me, private dinner with the premier. So, yeah, this is definitely this. The latest, latest data was 33 percent down. That's up from 24 percent earlier in the country. Like Huawei, this is not going to affect the relationship of the incredibly valuable economic relationship both ways between Apple and China, but right now, Apple is really taking it in the neck between Apple and China, but right now Apple is really taking it in the neck.

1:32:46 - Jason Snell
Tim is clearly a China lover or at least he loves the money that comes out of China. Still bullish on China, always bullish, always bullish on China.

1:32:51 - Leo Laporte
He has 1.6 million fans on Weibo, one of the Chinese social apps, and was posting clips. A clip he posted last Wednesday he said he'd been for a stroll along the Bund waterfront with Chinese actor Zheng Kai, before quote, enjoying a classic Shanghai breakfast. Now I'm sure he has a team a YBO team Not a euphemism Doing this yes, the old Shanghai breakfast.

1:33:18 - Jason Snell
Yeah, the old Shanghai. I hate it. I hate it. It's tasty.

1:33:22 - Leo Laporte
Cook shared that he stopped by a studio of a local director who was finishing on a short production, on a short film about girls following their dreams to be lion dancers. This is all you know. It's carefully tuned to Chinese culture, yeah.

1:33:37 - Jason Snell
His strategy with China is engagement right. His strategy with China is engagement right. I mean, there was that time when the Sabres were really rattling during the Trump administration that there was that story about how Tim Cook was, in some ways, america's leading diplomat in China, because he's always been engaged. Tim Cook really believes, not only as a place for Apple to manufacture, but as a place that Apple can be in as a market, and there are a lot of companies that would walk away and have walked away from China, and Cook believes I really do think he believes it too. I mean he is.

They are stuck in in some senses right, they are stuck in some senses in terms of the manufacturing. We've talked about that. But I think he also believes in in a global economy and in and in connecting to China and engaging with China and being visible in China and that Apple is a global company and that China is a part of that. And also, yes, I think he's also showing respect for China and that helps him with the Chinese authorities because he takes them seriously. He wants his products to be there and he is willing to play ball in that way too, and I just think that's a fundamental Tim Cook concept. I think he just I think he legitimately believes that your choice with countries around the world is if you can engage with them and and be there and treat them seriously, and that's what he's doing in China, yeah.

1:35:03 - Andy Ihnatko
And he's and he's doing it very, very well, particularly for that country. I mean, I've been trying to understand China more over the past five or 10 years and I read an interesting book about the Western companies that try to do business in China that one of the biggest mistakes that they tend to make they often make is essentially making China remember they have a cultural memory of colonialism and all the ways that they've been made to suffer and been diminished and been dismissed by foreigners who came in and said, well, we're going to control this market. Or hey, we're going to exploit you and we're going to basically turn you as a resource area. And when you have a company that comes in and basically comes and thinks of China as hey, wow, I love that you've got this new exploding middle class, we can sell so many of our junk to your middle class people, then take the money out of the country. That tends to fall in very, very deaf ears, Whereas when you come in saying that, wow, we would like to add to your community, we would like to learn from you, we would like to adapt to you, we would like to run a business that feels very much like a Chinese business.

There is also, of course, the component where they are very much going to be expected to. Whatever they do has to be in line with the priorities and the profile of the Communist Party. Again, they don't necessarily own and run everything, but if you are not in alignment with the party, you are going to have a very, very hard time very, very quickly, and Tim seems to have managed this extremely well, and maybe he is also doubling his bets, not only because of the problems that Apple is having selling iPhones in China, but also there is I hate to remind people, but there's a chance that Trump will be, will be president again next year, and that's in the trade. Trade situation with China is not going to get better if that happens. Well, it's already becoming problematic because of.

1:36:52 - Leo Laporte
TikTok Right and talk Right. There is definitely a component of the government, both in the military and in Congress, and the right and the left, that is basically a China hawks, that they, that they don't believe that anything we have to do with China is a mistake and that we should view them as an enemy. I'm kind of more on the Tim Cook side, uh, being a well, I was always a Sinophobe, a Sinophile. I Chinese, studied Chinese history in college and love the country. But I've always thought, even if you have a hostile government, as we do in the Chinese Communist Party, it's better to have commercial bonds. That's a better way to preserve peace than through strength. And so I think banning TikTok, which is clearly going to be seen by the Chinese government as a very hostile move, is kind of the opposite of what Tim Cook's goodwill tour is.

1:37:49 - Andy Ihnatko
He's kind of running counter to what the federal government, even today, is proposing pleased to see that there is some movement in Congress by saying well, let's declassify some of the briefings that Congress has been receiving about the threat that TikTok represents. I do think that it is potentially a big threat. Again, tiktok is not. It's overblown to people who are thinking, oh well, tiktok is an open conduit to the Chinese government. It's going to be an espionage nightmare but nonetheless, again, tiktok is expected to align themselves with the desires, the goals and the interests of the party and the government. So that's not ridiculous to think that that is a problem that should be nipped in the bud.

But Congress is not making their case. Well, by simply saying, oh well, they're Chinese, we can't really trust them. I really wish that they have the ability to say here is specifically the threat that we're looking at. Here are things specifically that have been done in the past that we think is only going to be made worse. Otherwise, it's really hard in the United States to say everybody who loves and uses TikTok as their communications way, as their entertainment way, as their news way, we are telling you you can no longer use that app In the United States. That is not going to fly.

1:39:09 - Alex Lindsay
Well, the interesting thing. First of all, I just want to say Tim Cook, I can't imagine Steve Jobs managing all of the things that are happening with the governments and the issues with China very well and and the issues with china very well like he wouldn't like.

1:39:24 - Leo Laporte
This is like this is a tim cook's briar patch, you know, as far as like figuring this out, no, no, steve jobs was never, was never a he would have just been telling everybody, in any form or

1:39:29 - Andy Ihnatko
fashion, you know, and tim cook is the essence of diplomat. How do you, how do you say?

1:39:33 - Alex Lindsay
how do you say you're all bozos exactly, exactly, but but I think that you know, and I think china is trying to step, you know, you know, step away. I mean Apple's trying to step away from China, a little bit like trying to find other places to manufacture just in case they get blocked. And I think all and China makes it hard, makes it harder and harder to stay there as well. And also I think that the risk for Apple is that China has some pretty significant economic challenges coming up. They've, you know, they've created the opposite, the exact polar opposite, of a population bomb. It's still a bomb going the other direction really fast, and they're not, they're not able to get traction on that and they, and so their, their real estate and everything else is pretty complicated. The, the TikTok thing is interesting is that I think that the primary, when you look at the, when you watch the interviews with most of the Congress, they're not talking about espionage. They're really talking about the ability to move the American public significantly and quickly.

And the problem is, tiktok did exactly what they were afraid of, which is they told everybody to call Congress and it was just like they put out an alert that told everybody to call Congress, and that was exactly what they were saying the Chinese can do to us. And so that's the. That's the real challenge, I think. But I think that the but I think Apple, I think it always makes sense to for them to make you know, to be pragmatic. You know in in how they're interacting with a lot of different countries, but I, but you know, so I think that this all makes sense, but it is a pretty.

China right now is a pretty complicated. It's a pretty. It's probably one of the most complicated parts of the world right now with our relationship with it. It's probably one of the most complicated parts of the world right now with our relationship with it as well. As I mean, there's other countries that are problematic, like Russia, but it's not complicated for Apple. They're just not there anymore. But to be so embedded with a country that has a variety of both diplomatic and financial problems right now, you know it's going to be interesting to see how Apple manages that and keeps it as part of their bottom line, because there's a significant chance China could see some pretty hard times in the next decade. You know, related to their all their savings was wrapped up in real estate. It's a bunch of empty buildings, so that becomes problematic.

1:41:36 - Leo Laporte
I signed Steve Jobs business card from 1983. What do you think that would be worse? Probably wouldn't say 181 000, but that's what it, uh, what it drew at an auction good heavens.

1:41:53 - Andy Ihnatko
Uh, I'm sorry, go ahead. No, go ahead. That's fine. Obviously I've been following this auction because it has our auctions. Uh, is has like a regular sales of like Steve. Actually I think they call it the Steve Jobs, steve Jobs, the Apple Computer Revolution auctions. So it's a lot of like vintage, like one off prototypes. They have like a Newton message pad that had a webcam and for video calls in it. This year they had a Lisa, they had a bunch of Apple a Lisa.

1:42:23 - Leo Laporte
They had a bunch of Apple this is my favorite thing A handwritten check from March 19th 1976 for $13.86 to Elmar Electronics. So you know, this is for parts, for the Apple one. In fact the company name and address is handwritten in by Steve it's a starter check. It's a starter check.

1:42:38 - Andy Ihnatko
I love it. Check number three written before the formal incorporation of apple computer unbelievable. And that's not the they also. They also auctioned off check number two, like last year, or something like that this.

1:42:50 - Leo Laporte
This went for 176 000. Yeah, they had another.

1:42:54 - Andy Ihnatko
They had another autograph because they steve jobs, didn't? He didn't like good luck getting close to him, good luck had striking up a conversation with him. That made would not make you regret as a stranger. Coming up to him in conversation but also getting an autograph from him was like really, really difficult. But there's, but there's one nice artifact where, uh, someone went to the movie, someone went to the movie, saw one of the pirates of the caribbean movies and a guy next to him asked him if he could like move over because he wanted, like he and his kids wanted, to sit together. And oh my god, it's steve jobs and he asked. He asked steve to like sign the only piece of paper he had on him which was his movie ticket, and that went for some tens of thousands, 14 653 dollars, but don't try to use it to get into the movie.

1:43:38 - Leo Laporte
By the way, I don't think century cinema would honor that now. Uh, not to mention the fact that it's worth 14 000 but to put the, to put into perspective heritage auction.

1:43:48 - Andy Ihnatko
Heritage auctions also had an immense auction of like movie memorabilia and the axe that jack, that jack nicholson used to bash through that door, here's john went for less than that. Check, you could have bought three. No, you could have bought the uh the grail, the uh from the Indiana Jones series, the holy grail, the holy grail the holy grail costs less. And the Shankara stones and I think maybe even the original, one of the sets of original uh 10 commandments, tablets from the original 10 commandments. All three of those would have cost you like less than $183,000. Wow.

1:44:27 - Leo Laporte
So save your memorabilia, kids, when you get that Andy and I go autographed movie ticket you, you hold onto that, it might be worth something.

1:44:33 - Andy Ihnatko
Well, actually I should. I should mention, just in case there's like conflict of interest I did have an item in this auction and it is sell for like many times more than I thought it would. I honestly, I honestly put it in the auction because it was a somewhat fragile item and, knowing how you know, knowing how things are at this office, like I could get, I could lose it or it could get like damage or something like that, and I was thinking, oh okay, well, I bet it'll be worth, worth the trouble. And oh my God, is that?

1:45:01 - Leo Laporte
that why you have the, the beautiful hangings now behind you. You got, you came in some money. Is that it andy? Uh, yeah, yeah do you want to tell us what it was, or is it secret?

1:45:12 - Andy Ihnatko
uh, it's not. Uh, I guess it's not secret, it's. Uh, it's like I have one. Also, another reason why I I auctioned because I have two copies of Through the Looking Glass Are these first editions. Oh, the game, the game Through the Looking Glass, which was written by Steve.

1:45:32 - Leo Laporte
Kaplan, is that America McGee? I?

1:45:33 - Andy Ihnatko
don't know, I think it is America, mcgee yeah.

1:45:40 - Leo Laporte
That was one of the first Apple Mac games.

1:45:42 - Andy Ihnatko
yeah, yeah, exactly One of the first pieces of Mac software, because it was written for the Lisa just as like a piece of fun, wow. And then, like when Steve, when word got out to the Mac team about this really cool Lisa game, they asked Steve to come in and show it.

1:45:57 - Leo Laporte
Oh, steve Capps, and everyone was playing all over the time.

1:46:00 - Andy Ihnatko
Yeah, yeah, yeah, right. And then they said, yeah, could you port this to the Mac? And then, sure, he did that in about a day. And then Steve Jobs got into it and said okay, guess what, steve, we are going to move you to the Mac team. Also, we want to sell this as a piece of Mac software, and this book presentation was like Steve Jobs' for Steve Caps, and we will give you this. It'll be this beautiful, wonderful presentation. Uh, it's, it's. It has a really great story for it. So I I had a sealed copy and an actually I bought three copies of it, brand new at a, when I had a computer store like when I was in high school, I think went out of business and so I gave one copy to a friend, kept one copy in shrink wrap and had one copy just basically as a little display.

1:46:49 - Leo Laporte
Is that the Mac? That's the Mac version you have there, not the Lisa version.

1:46:52 - Andy Ihnatko
Yeah, exactly, the Lisa version wasn't sold Right right. And also only in researching this did I find out the reason why I didn't actually start playing it until the Apple, the, the Mac Plus, and I thought, my God, who, how could they get addicted to this game? It's impossible, Moves too fast. Then I found out that, oh yeah, well, it's much faster. The Mac Plus is much faster than the Mac 28. And that's why it was like I still remember running when the campus computer labs, like in my college, and just after everybody had left and locked the doors and I'm about to leave, I'm just playing this game and just cursing up a storm trying to make this. It's a, it's a chess game in which, like, it's not a turn by turn chef sort of thing.

1:47:32 - Leo Laporte
Yeah, it's really fun.

1:47:34 - Andy Ihnatko
All the other pieces can move against you like whatever they want and go so fast. It's just a way to see Alice die over and over and over again. It was a horror show.

1:47:43 - Leo Laporte
Worth a pretty penny at auction, I'm sure. Actually, that's really. The truth of it is you've got to save the Apple memorabilia because there's cultists who will spend more money. Yeah.

1:47:54 - Andy Ihnatko
I'm really encouraging people If you really do have something that is actually rare I'm not talking about hey look, I've got a Mac 512. It's got the mouse and the keyboard and everything. Those were also in the auction. They got basically what they tend to go for, which is $500, $600, $700. I mean, people forget that these computers were just for me run off, two or three of these in clear acrylic those were going for like $12,000, $18,000. Those things are really really quite unique. But if you, if you found yourself, like 15 years ago, 20 years ago, at a flea market in San Jose buying something because, hey, it's an Apple logo on it but I don't recognize this as a product where the people who were impoverished teens at the height of Apple's cultural first phase in the 80s and 90s are now often people with lots and lots of money and they are putting that money into collections, they will find $180,000 for a Steve Jobs signed business card.

1:49:15 - Leo Laporte
We had Mitchell Waite, the book publisher on Triangulation, some years ago, and he brought in his Apple I, which he was trying to recondition. He did also sell that eventually at the RR Auction House. I don't know how much he got for it.

1:49:28 - Andy Ihnatko
Those are easily six-figure things.

1:49:30 - Leo Laporte
Yeah, yeah, he knew it was worth quite a bit. He wanted to get it working first and it had a lot of old bad cats. Each one is numbered.

1:49:37 - Andy Ihnatko
They really are like art relics, like 500 years ago there were five copies of a sculpture. They are numbered Like oh, this is the number four that was discovered in 1893. In this collection Any Apple I is numbered now, whereas as new ones are discovered they are now officially in the lexicon as this is Apple I number 97. They even had, if you look through the archives I love auction listings because I can't afford much, but I will right-click and save these beautiful photos. What is usually determined to be the very first working Apple, one hand soldered by, was used as the presentation piece to show at the first computer store. Uh, that Steve and uh that the two Steve's tried to sell the thing at me the proposal for, and there's a corner broken off of it, but they made this beautiful aluminum presentation frame for it and it went for ungodly money. Yeah, yeah, so I. So I have that as a wallpaper.

1:50:39 - Leo Laporte
Actually, I think Mitchell Waite visited when you were on the screen. The new screensavers with me. Jason, it's back in the day, you may not remember.

Yeah, no, no that's true, yeah, and there's a triangulation with him from June 2016 where I think we showed the Apple one and the work he was doing on it. It's kind of cool. All right, let's take a little break when we come back. Your picks of the week, my friends, if you will prepare them as I talk about our esteemed sponsor well, really, more than a sponsor, the company that brings you this show and all of our shows our content delivery network, Cachefly.
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Let's get some pics of the week. Andy Inako, I'm going to start with you and your Alice through the looking. They couldn't call it Alice, they had to call it through the looking glass.

1:54:21 - Andy Ihnatko
Yeah, just the first in a long line of confusions regarding that game.

1:54:26 - Leo Laporte
Your pick of the week.

1:54:28 - Andy Ihnatko
My pick of the week is a documentary. It sounds really cool. It premieres on Apple TV Plus on Friday, I think the 29th. It's about Steve Martin. It's called Steve, with an exclamation point In parentheses.

1:54:40 - Leo Laporte
Martin, a documentary In really small characters.

1:54:43 - Andy Ihnatko
Yeah, yeah, it's a two-parter. The first part is his career up to and through his stand-up.

1:54:50 - Jason Snell
I'm one wild and crazy guy, yep, yep.

1:54:54 - Andy Ihnatko
And what really sells us is that it was produced and directed by Morgan Neville, who is like the go to director of documentaries about entertainment. He did Won't you Be my Neighbor? The Mr Rogers documentary, 20 Feet from Stardom? Yeah, he did that. Anthony Bourdain, a documentary Roadrunner. Remember that Letterman?

Apple TV Plus had, like I don't know if you call it a documentary, but a meandering of Letterman and U2 in Dublin. He directed that too, and it was, of course, done with involvement of Steve Martin. It wasn't just a E Online like hack and slash job. Steve Martin has shown in the past that with his Born Standing Up book he was really good at talking about and evaluating and figuring out what this, what this path was from not from from selling magic tricks at Disney World to being the biggest stand up act in the world, to throwing that all away at the height of his, at the height of his success, and starting off a career in movies that had a whole bunch of ups and downs, and now being a banjo player and touring comic once again, and I have no doubt this is going to be really super interesting. So that's my pick of the week.

1:56:05 - Leo Laporte
I think, a good pick. I can't wait to watch it on Apple TV when Next week, this Friday, coming up.

1:56:11 - Andy Ihnatko
Friday, this Friday, yeah, still doing tech support for Steve.

1:56:14 - Leo Laporte
Yeah no-transcript.

1:56:40 - Andy Ihnatko
It would break my heart if I found out that in real life he's a real big jerk oh god, the complete opposite, in fact, exactly he's.

1:56:47 - Leo Laporte
He's actually sweeter, kinder gentler than most people. I mean he's yeah, he's not a superstar ego at all, really great guy. But maybe he's just that way to me he might be a jerk to you. I don't know, jason, no.

1:57:05 - Andy Ihnatko
I hope he gets the opportunity for him to be a jerk to me. He is the loveliest guy ever. At least I can say hey, I met Steve Martin. I'll give you an example.

1:57:13 - Leo Laporte
He was performing at Concord and he said come see Marty and me in the show and I'll put some tickets aside. And we got there. Lisa and I got there and the box office had sold those tickets. I mean, it was clear. The guy was really squirrely when I got there and I, you know, I bought tickets and went and Steve felt so bad. Every time I see him he apologizes for that. It's like, dude, I would have bought tickets anyway. I don't care. Very, dude, I would have bought tickets anyway. I don't care.

1:57:38 - Jason Snell
Very, very, very sweet, nice, mr Jason Snell, your pick of the week sir, yes, sir, yes, sir, I don't think he's a jerk, although I know he's the jerk. He's the jerk, but not a jerk. Home Control Menu is an app. It's free with a subscription thing in the App Store. It's a Mac menu bar app. It gives you you're going to wait for it control over your home, of your home. So it lets you quickly I looked it up, I don't think I mentioned this before. It's hard to believe, but anyway, it's a menu bar app that lets you control home devices.

So you can control on the Mac without going to the home app, which you know choose you can. You can turn off and hide stuff, so it's only showing you the things that are relevant to you, and you can get right from the mac menu bar, drop down, boop, turn something on and off. You know adjust to do whatever you want and as a bonus it has a url scheme, which means this is how I do home control inside my stream deck.

Yeah, is I just use the open url uh feature and paste in one of its automation urls so that when I press any button on my uh on my stream deck, like magic all the lights go out. Isn't that uh or whatever else? And it's all with home control. So I recommend home control. Uh menu is its name now I think when I bought it originally it was home control and now it's a. It's a subscription product, but if you're a Mac user who just loves the menu bar and doesn't want to open that Home app, or you want to do some automation using URLs, I highly recommend it. I've been using it for years now and it's great.

1:59:11 - Leo Laporte
We didn't talk about, and I suppose at some point we should. Apple seems to have abandoned their HomeKit router platform, and maybe you don't use a HomeKit router, probably. Anyway, that's maybe why they abandoned it.

1:59:23 - Jason Snell
They're all. I mean everything's a. I mean I'm not quite sure what you mean. I mean the Apple TV is a HomeKit hub. The iPads are HomeKit hub. Homepods are HomeKit hubs.

1:59:32 - Leo Laporte
No, they had a secure router. Remember this, they had a secure I't anyway okay yeah I don't know what's going on.

1:59:42 - Jason Snell
I mean, the one of the great mysteries of apple right now is home strategy. Do they have one? What is it? Where is it and what's the next one? Because I don't know about this one and it's. We had a nice piece on six colors last week by joe rosensteel, who basically made the case once again for why apple should not have abandoned and should come back into the wi-fi router market and ironically, I edited that story the same day that I installed an ero at my mom's house because she's got a you know cable company gives you a router and it's got wi-fi in it and it was unreliable and slow and I put in you know a third-party device and suddenly her Wi-Fi was four times as fast. And it's like there is a market for that Apple's security and privacy. There's so much Apple could do in home yeah, but really is the Apple of routers.

So well, yeah, but I think there's real, I mean other other than their monopoly power to come in there and, like I, I think that there's an argument to be made that, uh, a router not owned by amazon controlling all of your traffic might have some benefits good point I forgot the amazon private relay and other other privacy issues.

That apple is their brand is all about that, but anyway, uh, they I don't know what's going on like the whole home, not just home kit, but homePod and Apple TV and all of that. It's really all over the place and I would love to know exactly what dysfunction inside Apple has caused that to happen. Good news.

2:01:08 - Leo Laporte
Zach Hall and 9to5Mac wrote in January routers secured by HomeKit are not dead. So there, the news is no news. No news, actually, last week they announced uh, no news that they're.

2:01:21 - Jason Snell
They are dead. Now they're dead. Oh boy, this has been a roller coaster what's the? Strategy. Where is it, who's doing it and what's the next one, because this one's not working. Let's find out. I'd love to know. Maybe wwc, maybe we'll find out, then I don't know Sometime, anything, literally, do something resembling anything, anything.

2:01:45 - Leo Laporte
You know it's such a crappy market. It's always been a crappy market. It's a crazy market. People like you. We have a lot of people in our sphere of influence who do home automation, but I always feel like it's such a masochistic thing to do. Yeah, but I always feel like it's such a masochistic thing too.

2:01:59 - Jason Snell
Yeah. But here's the thing, though and I know there's competition in that market and boy, get the DOJ on the phone. But I think and Joe makes this case like the time machine remember that the idea that you've got a wifi base station that's also got storage in it, it's like imagine the margins Apple could charge for the storage on those. Yeah, that's true. Imagine the margins, right. I Imagine the margins, right. I mean, this would all be the most expensive in its class home equipment in the entire industry. Right, all of it would be because it's Apple, and yet they would sell a lot of them to people who were happy to pay that price in order to get that Apple stamp. Now, I guess I get why they said that they weren't. You know that they didn't want to go there, but in hindsight, I think there was an opportunity, because it's here we are in 2024 and it's still kind of a mess.

2:02:36 - Leo Laporte
I can point out that when Apple was making AirPorts and charging a couple of hundred bucks for them and you could buy a $54 Linksys WRT router, that was one thing. But nowadays you go to the store to buy a router, they're all the same. They're all 200 bucks plus. So I don't know. I mean that is an expensive market. I think Apple could probably participate. I think there's room in there there's room in there.

2:02:59 - Jason Snell
I mean, yeah, I just bought the euro max 7 and it's like a 500 router, that's the size of my head, yeah, but um, but again, but, but boy, this wi-fi 6e though whoo, uh, yeah, I, I just it's weird that there's not like again it's a mess, and apple strategy is a mess and the whole thing is a mess, and I I just kind of wish somebody would come in and say okay, we're just gonna, we're gonna fix this and and nobody has done that.

2:03:19 - Alex Lindsay
Well, I think the thing is that the problem is that they would have antitrust issues to fix it correctly.

2:03:23 - Jason Snell
That's right.

2:03:24 - Alex Lindsay
Because they keep on trying to not do it.

2:03:25 - Jason Snell
They try to not go do what they need to do, which is what they.

2:03:28 - Alex Lindsay
What they should do is give us a thermostat, a door, a door lock, a, a camera, an outlet and a light. Just make those five. Make those five things. Let everybody else fight for everything else, but apple makes these five things. They, they're going to sell them for a lot of money and we're all going to buy them. And then, of course, that would just be one more little notch for the government to say look at what they just did, and they'll wipe it out, because the apple users will just go oh well, that's gonna. And then, if it actually worked, because it had a w2 chip in it or whatever, it is suddenly all it also it's.

2:03:56 - Jason Snell
it scares competition out of markets, potentially Like. The studio display is a good example where there are not a lot of alternatives to the studio display. They're like two, and part of the reason is because Apple's in that space.

2:04:08 - Leo Laporte
Actually, you just made a very good case, alex, for being against the DOJ prosecution for it not being good for consumers, because it sends a chilling effect on. Apple's ability to innovate.

2:04:20 - Andy Ihnatko
Yeah, it's a very good point yes, all I can say is that if apple were to create a box that it's only, its only portfolio was everything that is useful for your home and your network. To have a box that is always on and always connected to the internet will it will do this thing.

I think there's a huge well, that's what I use my mac studio for yeah, yeah not not just for, not just for time machine type backups for managing the network, managing security, managing remote access from a device to you, basically the ability to simply to home home back to, uh, your, your mac from any device, the ability to have, uh just have, your mac desktop on your iPad when you're halfway across the country. All these sort of things that are possible but really complicated with third-party stuff. If Apple just said, plug in this box, we will take care of everything else. Thank you very much. Yeah, it would be huge.

2:05:12 - Leo Laporte
It ain't going to happen, though, because of the antitrust implications. Alex Lindsey, what do you got for us?

2:05:21 - Alex Lindsay
I got a keyboard oh, I have never really loved a keyboard. I think I got a dos keyboard, the last one.

2:05:28 - Leo Laporte
But it was too click and he recommended that I liked my dos yeah and I like it.

2:05:32 - Alex Lindsay
You know, my son took it immediately like he's like you're getting rid of the keyboard and I'm like I'm lending it to you. You can't have it because I might want it back. But my issue was is that there was too much cabling on my. I have a lot of cables on my desk and there was too many, and so I wanted to clean it up, and so I was working on getting a mouse. But the problem is is I have an 8-port KVM that I have to tie into so that I can cover all the computers that are on my desk. There's a whole bunch of computers and a bunch of things, and so I was like it has to support, it has to have one of those little USB dongles that goes into the KVM, and then it has to be wireless. But I want to be able to do Bluetooth if I want to, and I want to be able to wire it if I need to.

So these are all the things that I had to figure out, and we were working with this operator. She is a EVS operator. She do playback you know EVS is what they use like do all the playbacks you see in the NFL and she had this little keyboard and I was like oh, that looks like really nice, she goes. Oh, I love my keyboard. And I was like what is it? And it's a Newfie. It's a Newfie and I got a smaller one. I got a bigger one called the Air 96. Now this is wireless here, but I can wire it if I want to. So I have a.

2:06:46 - Leo Laporte
USB-C, not just a keyboard that is apparently very light. I like a keyboard that weighs 20 or 30 pounds, like this. It's a murder weapon.

2:06:54 - Alex Lindsay
Now this is when you get into the real gaming. I'm learning. I'm still a little behind, but I'm learning that this is like people. As soon as someone saw I had a NuFi, they're like what color keys do you have? I'm like gray. They're like no, no, no. What color is the mechanism?

2:07:08 - Leo Laporte
What colors Do you have? The NuFi cherries, the NuFi browns? No, no, is it green, or is it? There's these? That? Because this one comes with a kit to take apart all the switches and put whatever you want in.

2:07:27 - Alex Lindsay
This is moss alex. You've just begun to enter the twilight zone, welcome. Welcome, my friend, but I have to say it's the first keyboard that I, just I, I, I put down and it's just like it makes me want to type more.

2:07:32 - Leo Laporte
So which switches did you get?

2:07:34 - Alex Lindsay
moss moss, which is a pretty rare one. I evidently I bought it, not not knowing that I searched for quietest mechanism and I got the Moss one. I got mostly the dark keys and it's just a really great keyboard. I mean, it's expensive, but not crazy expensive it's $120. So it wasn't like I went. You know, there's a lot of keyboards that I was looking at that were more and it's just, it's just really nice. I'm still having trouble with the fact that the keys are a little closer together, so I keep on hitting things that I don't want to hit. Um, but uh, it works really well and it works again with the kvm, which was the big thing.

2:08:11 - Leo Laporte
so it's pretty cool, very nice new fee and you phycom, they have a variety, and once you go down that rabbit hole, baby.

2:08:22 - Alex Lindsay
I know it feels like I've entered this vortex of keyboards.

2:08:26 - Leo Laporte
This is a Keychron that weighs like five pounds. It's really really heavy, but this has. I can't remember the switches either, but I think they're browns. But yeah, it's funny. You really start to go crazy when you get into this stuff. Yeah, you really start to go crazy when you get into this stuff.

2:08:39 - Andy Ihnatko
Yeah, I use too many choices. Yeah, yeah, when I, when I, when I bought my DOS keyboard, it was preceded by like a month and a half of like where you can send for like 10 bucks, they'll send you like a flight of key switches. It's just like the key switches mounted on a tiny little board, so you can test. Okay, I'd like the cherry red, but okay about the blue that's the way to do it now.

Now let's swap. Which, which, which. Which of the o-rings do I want to put in underneath it? And it's like I can't believe that for all my life I would just simply like go into, go into best buy, buy a keyboard that felt kind of good and was fine. And here I am, like I'm buying a house. Well, I've been using that keyboard, for that dos for forever, and I'm kind of replaced with another one.

2:09:17 - Alex Lindsay
I used used the DOS for seven years and I loved it. The main thing is that it was plugged into it. What got me to buy a new one was because the cable is plugged in and it was too long, and so I was like I need to be able to control the length of the cable to plug it in if I need to, and cause it's taking up a bunch of desk space, and that was the only reason that I left it. By the way, it's really clickety-click too. I mean, I got the loud one, which I liked. It makes you feel like you're working harder. But anyway, what did you have, jason? What were you showing?

2:09:48 - Jason Snell
That's the Keychron Q1 with brown switches.

2:09:51 - Leo Laporte
Yeah, I think I have browns. Yeah, I really love them.

2:09:55 - Jason Snell
Yeah, me too. These are like weird switches that Mike Hurley got for me, but they're brown-esque.

2:09:59 - Leo Laporte
They're in that ballpark.

That's what I like my son I don't know why, while we were in Mexico came in and switched my Keychron from a Mac to Windows. And I turn on the computer and I keep hitting the control, the fan key, and nothing's happening. Nothing's happening. These Keychrons can be either windows or mac. And then I finally found out that he'd switched it. It's like it has to be him. There was no one else in the house. Why would you switch? Was it a prank? That's very good. You have a pc, huh, trying to do something. He might have borrowed it for his pc. Maybe that was what was going on. I don't know. I don't know. Uh, I'm glad I had the thought, the, the smarts to say, well, there's something wrong here. And I looked at the switch uh, new fee I should mention. Alex, did you buy it directly from new fee?

I think I did okay I don't remember and you had no difficulty getting it because uh, john apparently runs something called fake spot and he went to look at new fee and he got a big fake spot report. Poor rating for customers poor customer service.

2:11:02 - Alex Lindsay
I have to look. I might have ordered it for me. I mean, I generally talk about monopolies. I generally order everything that I can find on Amazon, but if I pay more because I just don't want to deal with those, logins, exactly.

2:11:12 - Leo Laporte
Yeah, nufe ships it to Amazon and if there's a problem, amazon gets behind it.

2:11:16 - Alex Lindsay
Yeah, so I don't know what. I don't remember what I ordered it from.

2:11:22 - Leo Laporte
And you never know, with customer complaints it could be Well. I think it was supposed to be a red key.

2:11:26 - Alex Lindsay
I mean if it's on Amazon, if it's available on Amazon, but I think I ordered it from their website specifically because I was able to then customize it. Oh yeah, it's completely customizable. Yeah, so I think I bought it because I needed to like, I wanted certain colors and I wanted that. That's the advantage of doing it from your website is that you are able to define all those things. With Amazon, you're going to pay a little bit more and then you're going to not get what you really wanted.

2:11:48 - Leo Laporte
Yeah, so sometimes you don't even get what you ordered, but that's another story for another day. Ladies and gentlemen, thank you so much for joining us for Mac Break Weekly. Alex Lindsay, officehours Global.

2:12:00 - Alex Lindsay
What you up to these days on the old office, you know we well we're doing, you know we just every day we get in there and start answering questions for two hours a day, just in case you're wondering, and so if you've got questions about media, go ahead and throw those in Also. Fourth anniversary I can't believe you've been doing this for four years, fourth anniversary.

2:12:17 - Leo Laporte
I can't believe you've been doing this for four years.

2:12:18 - Alex Lindsay
Four years. So our fourth year anniversary was Monday and so we've done it I don't know 1,342 times, without taking a break, or 1,400, I don't know somewhere in that way 1,430. And but yeah, so we've done it a couple of times. 1,462, that was it 1,463 today. But yeah, so we it's been quite a ride. We had a really great panel yesterday. It was full, 16 people in a panel. It was kind of fun and so, but that went well. Also, with Gray Matter, great conversation about AI and medicine, like how AI will affect medicine.

2:12:49 - Leo Laporte
The last possible hope for American medicine.

2:12:53 - Alex Lindsay
Really, and Robert Perl obviously. He used to run Kaiser Permanente so he's pretty bullish about it and talked about it a fair bit.

2:13:03 - Leo Laporte
I am not getting surgery from Chad GPT.

2:13:05 - Alex Lindsay
I'm sorry, no no, but he just talked about being able to custom ultimate customization and being able to look for things that we wouldn't see otherwise. Nice Quick, by the way, as a little, I know that you know this is important, or anybody that's going to NAB, by the way, I know that you know this is important, or anybody that's going to NAB. This is about the time when people start going, hey, is there a coupon code to get to NAB, to get to the expo for free? And it is MP07. I think I'm allowed to say that, mp07. So that's the. I actually asked NAB if I was allowed to say that. But that's my.

We have a booth there, wow, congratulations. We have a booth there, wow, congratulations. Yeah, in the Central Hall. So, anyway, so you can go and check and you can go visit us. I'll be there. It's going to be a very crazy booth because we're crazy and yeah so, and we'll probably be playing Wilt songs in it. No, I'm just kidding, but you should check out Wilt as well. But MP07 will get you a free expo pass and it is. There's a lot of reasons not to do a conference, and NAB is one of the reasons to do a conference is that you'll never see, never in the world anywhere else in the world do you see so much great hardware and great you know the innovation that's happening in video and audio and creation and everything else, and they're pivoting slowly towards more and more creators as opposed to just big broadcasters, and so it's a pretty interesting show to go to if you can get to Vegas relatively easily, april 13th through the 17th.

2:14:25 - Leo Laporte
I hope you will report back. Of course you can watch Alex's coverage.

2:14:30 - Alex Lindsay
We've got 30 people on the team.

2:14:31 - Leo Laporte
Yikes and keep your eye peeled for stuff that I can use to build my studio at home.

2:14:38 - Alex Lindsay
You and I should talk.

2:14:41 - Leo Laporte
We're a year and a half off from the lease running out here. We don't want to pay the extra money for the rent and the PG&E and all that stuff. So we want to kind of why not move everything we should have done it from day one into our own homes. You guys are all in your homes, no reason why I shouldn't be as well. But I want to set up something. It looks kind of nice. Benito's pushing for sideways 100-inch screens, three of them. Behind me. He says you can then do anything you want Logos, people, whatever. It could be, just body.

2:15:14 - Andy Ihnatko
You can have your own volume.

2:15:16 - Leo Laporte
I want a volume. That's what I really want.

2:15:23 - Alex Lindsay
The LED walls are getting better and better. Uh, they're getting less expensive. I mean you, the pride right now, the ones that will work in front of a in a small environment are pretty expensive, but, um, but keep an eye.

2:15:28 - Leo Laporte
There will be something at nab this week, uh, next week, next week. Please keep an eye out for a volume.

2:15:33 - Alex Lindsay
You know I can have in my house all the time like all. That's all. We talked home studios, yeah.

2:15:38 - Leo Laporte
I know that's what the office hour is all about. You see, Andy doesn't have to worry about this. He goes to the Boston Public Library for his appearances on WGBH. Got one coming up.

2:15:50 - Andy Ihnatko
Yes, it will be on Thursday at 1230 Eastern Time. Go to WGBHNewsorg to stream it live or later.

2:15:56 - Leo Laporte
Nice. We look forward to that, andrew, and now that you're newly wealthy, I hope the Ferrari and the hot tub go very well in the house.

2:16:06 - Andy Ihnatko
Yes, it's just nice to know that I'll have housing for at least the next five or six months, that's all that really matters.

2:16:16 - Leo Laporte
And, of course, mr Jason Snell. You'll find him at sixcolorscom slash jason, a great place to go to keep up on what's going on with apple.

2:16:24 - Jason Snell
he's got his own many of them, podcasts, many, many, many, many anything you want to so many mention uh, I, I people who like this podcast should check out upgrade, which we do on mondays on relay fm me and mike hurley and we like to have segments. So we started a segment a few weeks ago called dma today uh, in the style of usa today. And then we realized this week that we needed to do like doj today but really what we?

need to do is we are now searching for a new name for our segment to be more all-encompassing of legal matters, because I guess this is what we're doing now.

2:17:00 - Leo Laporte
Here comes the judge. Here comes the judge.

2:17:02 - Jason Snell
Yeah, exactly.

2:17:03 - Leo Laporte
Judge sucker to me. Gavel reports.

2:17:07 - Jason Snell
Gavel report. I don't know.

2:17:09 - Leo Laporte
Oh great Yep, so excited about my career choice I've often thought that I should do that kind of thing on this, on our shows, and then I'm too lazy. I'm just too damn lazy. Uh, thank you jason, thank you andy, thank you alex, thanks to all of you who watch, especially to our club twit members who make this show, absolutely make this show possible. If you're not yet a member of club twit. It's only seven dollars a month and there are some genuine benefits, not not least of which is our open studio. We've got a couple of open studios coming up April 7th and 21st. I think the 21st is full, but the 7th still has a seat or two. But if you remember, you can just go to the Discord and find out more. The Discord is one of the benefits.

Ad-free versions of all of our shows is another. Video of all of our shows is another. If it's ad-free, versions of all of our shows is another. Video of all of our shows is another. Many of our shows now are audio only in public, like Hands On, macintosh and iOS. Today we decided let's make the audio available to all, ad-supported and keep the video in the club, and that's working out very nicely Seven bucks a month.

Mostly, though, the real benefit is, it's making a huge difference to our bottom line. We want to keep doing the things we're doing. We want to keep doing the shows we're doing. It's getting more and more difficult. Ad support is dwindling. You may hear ads on our shows, but we're getting less than half the amount of money we used to get on those ads and so it's really getting harder and harder to make ends meet. If you can help, that would make a big difference. And it's really getting harder and harder to make ends meet. If you can help, that would make a big difference. And just to reassure you, none of that money goes into my pocket or Lisa's pockets. It really goes into the pockets of the staff, the team, people like Jammer B, john Slaney, our studio manager, and Anthony Nielsen, who ran the board today. Thank you, anthony, our creative director, and all the people in the continuity department and all throughout Burke McQuquinn, who keeps things working.

Uh, twittv slash club twit. If you're not a member, we would appreciate that very much. We do. Mac break weekly tuesdays 11 am. Pacific that's 2 pm. Eastern time, that's 1800 utc. You can watch us stream it live on youtube. That's free and open to all youtubecomcom slash twit. Of course, club Twit members can also watch and interact with us in the Discord. After the fact, on-demand versions of the show are available at twittv, slash mbw. That's our website. There's also, of course, a YouTube channel dedicated to the video of MacBreak Weekly. You can watch there.

Best thing to do is subscribe, because you can subscribe to the audio or the video. It's absolutely free. Best thing to do is subscribe because you can subscribe to the audio or the video. It's absolutely free. In your favorite podcast player, just look for it, subscribe and you'll get it automatically the minute we're done cleaning up all the flaws, polishing it up, putting a little makeup on things like that. Thanks for being here. Now. It is my sad duty to report. It's time for you to go back to work because break time is over. We'll see you next week. Bye-bye. 


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