MacBreak Weekly 414 (Transcript)
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Leo Laporte: This is MacBreak Weekly episode four hundred fourteen recorded August 5th 2014
The Kardashian Free Zone
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And by Hover(dot)com. Hover’s the best way to buy and manage domain names. It’s simple honest and, easy to use. Get 10% off your first purchase go to hover(dot)com and put in the promo code MBW8. It’s time for MacBreak Weekly the show where we talk about Macs, excessively, obsessively and without let up……Macs, iOS that kind of thing. Here he is Andy Ihnatko from the Chicago Sun Times. How long have you been doing this show Andy? Years.
Andy Ihnatko: ……..early 2006,
Leo: Wow, since before Justin TV.
Andy: (laughing) Yes, when…..when….. when Justin TV was like an eight track that you plugged in, (Leo laughing), every show would like start in the middle and, like ten minutes into the next show.
Leo: Rene Ritchie on the other hand is a newbie, virtual newbie…..
Rene Ritchie: I am the baby……
Leo: You have been here a year…….
Rene: Yes, it will be two years in October.
Leo: Two years in October? Nice to have you from imore(dot)com, and the reason I’m feeling a….. little nostalgic…….….. is that we’ve got as I came in the door we got word that Justin(dot)tv has shuttered. Justin had renamed itself, I didn’t even know this till this February to Twitch(dot)tv. They founded Twitch the gaming network and, of course the rumor is I don’t know if Google’s confirmed it or not, that Google’s going to buy Twitch(dot)tv for a billion dollars.
Rene: (Whispers)…..billion dollars…..
Leo: Billion dollars and, so that includes all the people and assets of Justin(dot)tv so I guess the feeling is well……. screw it. Why should we go to work tomorrow?
Rene: It’s like the Hell show where he kicks the shelf font to his old boss.
Leo: Yes, why should we come in, we’re billionaires, we’re rich…..
Rene: I’m rich. I’m rich……
Andy: I love that attitude. I only……I only…. wish there had been like some sort of letter or press conference that said, ’as you have heard out other online journals I was just bought out by Google for 920 million dollars, leaving me personally with a figure wealth of 12 million dollars. Guess…..guess…..this is the point which I would say, ‘I look forward to working closely with the new Google team but see you!
Leo: See you! And they say if you want to continue to broadcast of course you can still create a Twitch(dot)tv account, but be warned not MacBreak Weekly. Anybody who doesn’t do video game content is not welcome here. That’s fine, I’m….we…..we used Justin, we used in the past tense Justin tv but we are also currently on UStream, Bit Gravity and, FloSoft and you know there are others. There’s choices…..that’s good.
Rene: The Internet goes on.
Leo: They really did just drop the mic and they just walked off stage. Because usually there’s a period of okay we’re going to give you a week to get your stuff or something, this is like……bam……we’re out of here…..they literally didn’t come to work this morning.
Andy: I always wonder about what we don’t know about the news, whether it’s no you can’t give……you can’t give…… people time to do X because we have to put in Y.
Leo: Maybe right.
Andy: But, you do worry about all the people that might still have content there that is…..now okay….. I……actually deleted that hard drive because I always believed I would have that archive for everything I did, but guess not.
Leo: Yes, you know we used it for live streaming, we did not use archiving so it’s just one of the live three or four things that we used to stream live. So, it’s not a huge deal for us, but I have to feel like people who used it as their archive. I guess Chad, was like kind of like WOW……
Leo: Kind of a shocker. Anyway thought that I’d just mention that since we…..first bit of news when I came in today. There is another bit of news that just broke an hour ago, Apple’s event for the iPhone according to Code Red John Patchkowski is September 9th. Credible rumor Rene, you’re our rumor vetter.
Rene: So back in January I wrote a piece called Apple Release Day Roulette where I said the most likely date for the iPhone would be September 9th (interrupted by Leo)
Leo: You named it.
Rene: So that is just because for a third year in a row Apple has used the exact same week for this event.
Rene: I think that,……everything looks like it’s lined up for that and John has an excellent reputation and it makes a lot of sense to do it that week of a variety of reasons.
Leo: Sure…….The real question is how soon after that will the putative new iPhone be available?
Rene: Just ten days if they hold to pattern…..
Leo: Yes, if they hold to pattern……. I heard some rumors that they might not. Credible?
Rene: The 4.7 sounds done but the 5.5 sounds much more iffy.
Andy: I think there are so many factors can be iOS eight when do they feel confident about shipping it. I remember that we’ve seen nice philosophy of developers betas, but we……but we still……but as we start seeing more velocity about finished stuff where a lot more infrastructure’s going to be back in place. That’s when it’s going to look about more and more day in day release than high we’re announcing it and we’ll be shipping it with iOS7, that’s kind of so good that we want to give people another six weeks to enjoy it.
Leo: (laughing) Beta five of iOS did come out a couple of days ago…..
Leo:……are there big differences, is it I am not using it and,……..
Rene: It’s got a few UI tweaks, it does something,…….it’s not a major difference……it fixed a lot of issues I had with the previous beta. One of the most interesting things is all that security stuff that we were talking about all the back door stuff that Apple has begun to close that down in iOS eight beta five.
Rene: So, it’s like peak app stuff it’s no longer as easily accessible all the wireless stuff is accessible………
Leo: Jonathan Zdziarski who of course was the base player who revealed this information in his Hope X identifying surveillance and iOS devices blogged the number of high value forensic services I’d outlined have now been disabled, including the packet sniffer. He was saying why 600 million iOS devices have a packet sniffer built in? Well, maybe Apple listened. Apple’s fixes are still in working progress Zdziarski writes, not all of my security concerns have been addressed yet, but it does show Apple cares about the security of their product and likely wants to prevent their API’s being abused by malicious hackers or government.
Rene: Which goes to show you there’s was some debate about whether Apple did this on purpose or not.
Rene: Right it shows that they’re fixing it when they learn’t about it.
Leo: Good. Wait a minute though it’s not like they didn’t learn about it. They’re fixing it but we learned about it. They knew all about it. (Cross talk)
Rene: They didn’t realize that it was as accessible as it was to the people outside of the intended purpose.
Leo: Right, they really hadn’t thought about it and, they didn’t realize it could be used in malicious ways.
Andy: And, it is a really complex system and, it’s actually possible for things to have been put in years ago and, then sort of forgotten about, not abandoned but for people to not think that right we’re not supposed to do something about that a few years ago. It really……..the fact that they really turned this around so quickly indicates that it was more of ……they didn’t have to go up and down, removing these things didn’t cause anything else to break either inside the phone in Apple’s process so that tends to indicate that this is something they probably would have gotten around to removing if they had ever got down to that low on the to-do-list before launching an operating system.
Rene: A little bit of inside baseball, but they’re a couple of teams at Apple that have the ability to take your code away from you and fix it and, the security audit team is one of those teams.
Leo: Oh, interesting.
Leo: So they could have gone over the process in one infinite loop, and said hey, give me that…..
Rene: Give me that!
Leo: (laughing) Bam! Hey that’s cool, is that a typical thing? Is that how often operate, it sounds like that?
Rene: They have two…….they have several teams that do different things and security and performance are both teams that come in and make sure that stuff is fixed.
Leo: Love that.
Rene: So battery life, security all that kind of stuff is super high priority.
Leo: They have the van hammer.
Rene: (laughing) Yes….
Leo:……they can go in there and got the rule and the right to do anything they want. I like that……I think more companies should have that.
Andy: That’s one of the reasons why the new campus is a big ring so that when people screw up like that they can say, ’all right, take a lap,’……
Leo:…..take a lap. Drop the…….give me 20 (laughing) I thought so they couldn’t run away……you go that way…….you go that way……(panelists laughing) and get them in the middle. All right so really not a big a surprise, that September 9th that’s exactly the date you thought in January so credible……that’s a credible rumor.
And, you all……you both….. feel that if iOS beta is ready, we’ll see those phones within ten days. Typically the event’s Tuesday and they release from a week from Friday. Is that how it works?
Rene: Yes, iOS comes out usually the Wednesday before and, then the phone comes out the Friday.
Leo: Will iOS 8 work on all iPhones down to what?
Leo: It will work on the 4S? (Rene nodding yes) so if you have a 4 or lower you’re out?
Rene: Yes and that’s the thing that’s so damaging to Apple right now and, you can see in recent articles about Apple deliberately sabotaging devices is that if they don’t make it backwards compatible, people ’ll think that they’re with holding features that have to upgrade and, if they do and, it’s designed for faster running devices, then you don’t have a great experience. They think that they’re sabotaging your phone so that you’re forced to buy another one.
Leo: (whispers) you can’t win…….
Andy: It’s not sabotage…..it’s just iOS 7 and, iOS 8 though do produce real stumbling blocks that previous versions didn’t have, because there are so many apps that I rely on every day on my iPad and, on my iPhone where they are now just iOS 7 only. They’re never going to run properly on iOS 6, I have to keep the old ones.
And, now that there is new infrastructure that iOS takes advantage of that if I was to upgrade my Mac to….to……Yosemite that I’m going to have this new phone with this new operating system so I can understand the pain point, I mean……I really think that Apple’s only social contract with its users is for them to make a useful phone for the life of that contractor under that phone and so if you bought a 4S new wallet was the hot phone and you got two years okay.
Leo: But there’s an article on Digital Trends to that effect: Dear Conspiracy Nuts, Apple doesn’t cripple your old iPhone, time does.
Rene: In perception I mean when you see the new iPhone and it’s so powerful and moving your sense of velocity is like when you get off a highway suddenly the street seem very slowly. The same kind of feeling.
Andy: But nonetheless let’s give some credit for people wanting to get more than a couple of years out of a phone…….
Andy:…….I mean there’s……..it would be really terrible if Apple were to do this sort of thing with desk top operating system releases where I really think that you have the right to expect the new Mac to be good for at least five to six years. And, even when you’re out of service for the most recent operating system, you should also have the ability to at least have current patch version available for download whenever you want to get it.
So, if this becomes a trend of Apple’s only supporting phones for two years out that would be a very bad trend but, there’s so much going on especially with iOS 7 and iOS 8 that they can’t really be backwards compatible, as far back as anybody would like.
Leo: It’s not surprising that people think that Apple may also have some commercial interest in getting you to buy a new phone? It’s certainly possible (cross talk)
Rene: Contrast with Android…..(cross talk)
Leo: Go ahead Rene Ritchie.
Rene: I was actually going to say that the actual contract though is that a lot of people complain that android doesn’t get updates as fast depending on the level of manufacture and, customization but, you still have exactly the phone you bought. And for two or three years and,…..perceptively……. perceptibly that phone still works for you like when you bought it. So, it’s funny……. That some people would rather they didn’t.
Andy: All I was going to say there’s something to the idea that part of Apple’s success is in making you want the next thing. This is not for the……they don’t sell candy bar phones to people who are going to say I have five things I need to do with this phone, it does eight things I’m three up on the deal……I feel as though I’ve come away from this a winner.
There are people who are going to say even though there are differences between the 4 4S and the 5, we’re not really epic shattering changes, we’re going to have to go to the 5S when you talk about the hard-ware and the apps that almost redefine what an iPhone is.
So, if you’re going from the 4 to the 4S to the 5 a lot of Apple’s ability to move those phones is to give some-one,’I know you have the 4S, I know that you’re really happy with the 4S, but Oh my god the 5 you’re going to think that that phone that is this much not as tall that you’ve got in your pocket right now, oh what a piece of crap because when you get to a screen that’s this tall……Wow……you know that you’re living in the 21st century, you……a lot of it is trying to get people to think that it is……let me tell you about the chamford edges, let me tell about the process of assembly and how we’ve created this brand new architecture to slim down, it’s part of the seduction of Oh but this one is new and it is lovely. I think…..that’s…maybe an advantage of like other…..models…….. models of phones. They’re a little bit ugly so you kind of only appreciate them for what they actually do for your life. You never get into any galling relationship with any Samsung phone that’s for sure.
Leo: I am going to excuse myself from this conversation since I change phones every few months. So, I don’t know what it’s like to have an old phone.
Andy: See, if you didn’t keep your phone in your shirt pocket when you use the bathroom you wouldn’t need to change phones every three months.
Leo: I always go through phones because (cross talk) I always want to be trying them out so we can talk about them. But, it is the case that iPhone 4 is five years old now, on the other hand a five year old computer, would……I think a lot of people would be pissed off if they felt they couldn’t use a five year old computer.
Rene: And, Apple kept selling the iPhone 4 till last year and, they still sell in China, India…..(cross talk)
Leo:…..it would have to be five years old it could be brand new.
Rene: Yes and with really veritable good amounts of memory which really compounds the problem and some people in the chat-room are saying just let people run older versions of the soft-ware and that’s again a trade off because Apple touts how uniform their platform is that think it’s a ridiculous number of people over 90% are on iOS 7 and their security …….it means they can security patch everybody all at once.
So, yes they could let people run older versions of the soft-ware or they could prioritize updates on security but there’s always a tension between those things as well.
Leo: I mean……
Andy: Not only that but……but developers will tell you exactly how expensive it is to maintain old soft-ware, it’s not just simply do it on the server……
Andy:……simply just leave it up on the server……maintaining and supporting it is such a time sub for such little benefit, basically telling Apple that we want you to devote a certain percentage of their design work force to maintaining people who should just really go to a phone store and buy a new phone at this point or as far as they’re concerned.
Leo: Is this a testament to the fact that unlike PCs phones…..cell phones are rapid development cycles? I mean even in the early days of the PCs used to be weird to have to buy a PC every two years?
Andy: Yes…..it also reflects how well made the iPhone is? I mean there’s very few day to day carry plastic phones that’ll last a couple of years. Whereas I still have I mean have my original iPhone and, I’ve carried every day for three years dropped it a few times….no problem and even today it fires up fine running that you know Fisher Price version of iOS. But, I think by the time a Samsung or an HTC or some of the other HTC phones, become two or three years old, it’s starting to look like something that you might have people in and you might actually like not wanting to use it on a day to day basis. (Leo laughing)
Leo: Can Apple solve this problem by offering low price or cheap old, you know one year old, or two year old phones, you know make a five b zero dollars and, people’ ll upgrade. Wouldn’t that solve it?
Rene: They sort of do already, I mean the 5C is their one hundred dollar phone and 4S is their zero dollar phone and, this year the 5 or whatever the 5 C version is they will have a zero dollar or a hundred dollar or a two hundred dollar phone.
Leo: Yes, so you could be using a more, you could trade a less expensive phone.
Rene: ……in marketing confidence……
Leo: If you don’t mind being a serf for another two years?
Andy: I wonder if Apple’s even kind of given up on trying to attack those other markets, the way that other manufacturers can do, because the reason people…….we make fun of cheap phones but, that’s really what really a lot of people want to buy in certain part of the world.
And, Apple is just as…….and Apple’s about just as well set up to make a 49 dollar or 39 dollar phone, as GM is to design a car that they’re going to 20,000 copies of. That’s just not the way they run their business and, so it’s just going to be……
Leo:…..isn’t that going to be somewhat elitist to that I mean?
Andy:…..well, not elitist, it’s….it’s what they do really well. I really do like the automaker comparison that there are shops that are really good at…..they can hand make a 1000 cars a year and, that’s what they’re optimized for and, that’s what they make really, really well and that’s one of the reasons why they have to sell these cars for half a million dollars or even a million dollars because that’s the only way you can hand-make a car and make a profit of it. And, part of it is selling or over selling the style or over selling the engineering and give people the whole experience. But, then there’s needs to be GM, there needs to be Toyota, these people who can punch out a 22,000 dollar cars at the rate of one every five seconds and it’s this, this…….it’s so much that Toyota is more proletarian than Bugatti, it’s just that this’s the business……..this is the machinery that they set up to produce something that they want to make. I just think that if Apple were to ever to make a 49 dollar phone I mean the legitimate sticker price is 49 dollars all over the world brand new phone that would be such a revolution that for Apple that they would have the Hover car has to be coming a week after that.
Leo: I wonder if the cost of high-end phones has dropped? I mean though I look at this is the one plus one which is every respect a high end phone – three gigs of ram, it’s the snap dragon 81, fastest quad com processor 1080 p five and half inch screen, it’s 20 hours battery life 13 pixel mega picture camera, you know it’s got all the specs and it sells for 300 dollars for 16 gigs and 350 dollars for 64 gigs unlocked….. out of the door, couldn’t Apple do something like that…….I mean it seems to me that if One Plus One can do this, we’re going to start seeing more of these right?
Rene: It’s a different viz…….Apple’s entirely based on hard-ware sales, everything that they do there’s one profit and loss across the entire company so when you buy a iPhone you’re just not paying for the add-ons the way that you are with other manufacturers who you know may be use android or don’t have their own retail store or don’t provide something like Apple Care or don’t provide their own operating system so I don’t……when you buy an iPhone you’re paying for iOS, you’re paying for Apple Care, you’re paying for Apple Retail, you’re paying for all the free apps that Apple makes that go along with that. It’s an entire…….it really sounds stupid but it really is the entire eco system that you’re paying for and, your providing Apple with enough money that they can keep maintaining and building that eco system and buying other companies that it needs doing all these things.
And, when you……and that’s why it’s really hard when you just take one element of a company and just like Shell Me, like One plus One and try to fit it to an Apple model, and vice versa. Those companies are specifically designed almost the way that net book companies were to make a commodity product that really…..(cross talk by Leo)
Leo:…….it’s not like a commodity hard-ware, so maybe they save a little bit on android,…..
Rene:…..no they don’t……
Leo:…..is that……is the 350 dollar difference iOS 8?
Rene: iOS 8 and, everything that Apple does.
Leo: So you don’t have to have this finger print reader on here.
Rene: And, Apple also doesn’t…..they also don’t they just don’t…..believe that people should have cheap phones it’s just that they just don’t believe that they can do it well and stay out of that market, it maybe BMW or Mercedes doesn’t think that they can make you know the Honda Core or the Toyota.
Leo: It’s still a good phone. (Leo holding a phone in hand) This is not a Chevy?
Andy: Yes……..yes but you have to admit that the iPhone 5 S was not the first phone that had a built in finger print reader. It was the first one that just did it really well. And, that’s what you’re paying for as part of the sticker price. Not the ability to source a component and, write soft-wares and drivers and make it work. But the 3 or 4 or 5 years it took to reject the ones that didn’t work to figure out to give the consumers version 6 of a piece of hard-ware even though this is the first time it’s appearing on a new phone.
Leo: I feel that it’s just the way there’s been a pressure on Apple by bigger and bigger screens and bigger screen choices, there’s going to be down ward pressure on prices because of the…..let’s take the Moto X and(Andy trying to interrupt) and the Moto G and the Moto……
Rene: They weren’t computers though really everyone kept saying about these…..
Leo: That’s true……..Apple didn’t have to respond to that did they? (Cross talk) If there was a perceptible difference between a Mac in …….in …….quality of hard-ware as well as in soft-ware?
Rene: One of the things with those phones too, is a lot of the phones coming out of China right now is part of the reason why Lenovo bought Motorola is are not up to speed in intellectual property right and those phones will become more expensive when they have to start paying the licensing fees required to sell to North Americans, to sell phones properly to North Americans.
Leo: I mean Nexus 5 is cheap a high end phone……that’s not……
Rene: It’s subsidized by Google to be that cheap.
Andy: And, the other thing is that Apple is not now and, never has been and never will be in the hard-ware seller……..to the world. They can do……they can pursue their style of making high quality hard-ware because they know that there’s a market of people in businesses that can’t afford their products……can’t afford their products…….don’t really appreciate that level of finish and neither do they need it, and that 80% of the market is being covered by other lap-top makers. So, they can basically skim off the top. The 20% of people……15% of the people that can afford it that believe that they’re going to be getting that money back in the long run who do appreciate the way that the Mac Book Air is put together versus that way that Windows Ultra Book is put together.
So if…….so if…..so if someone……..if…..if Apple major….major….major fans were to use the last magic genie and say that Apple has no more competition and they are the only maker of computers I really think that five years from now they would be making a 500 dollar lap-top and, they would be making 39 dollars phone, because of they are the only market out there……there ……..they would quickly realize that they can’t sell 1000 dollar lap-tops to the entire world. They really do have to address that part of the market that up to they just never ever have needed to bother with.
Leo: It’s kind of funny because Apple has this reputation of being kind of populist company for the people.
Andy: They are…..they…….they(cross talk)
Leo:….. but it’s not….it’s more like no more than the BMW that’s the company……
Rene:…..it’s popular luxury.
Rene: There’s one really important thing to remember and that’s this is not a new strategy we’ve seen this strategy of low margin products, of commodity products even with good specs, played out across the history of consumer electronics and, unfortunately it’s not always sustainable. Sometimes the profit margins get so low that the company suffers….if you……
Rene: If you look at who made VCRs or who made DVD players, a lot of those companies don’t exist anymore. And, as a consumer it’s easy to think the lowest price, is in my best interest, but really it’s the most sustainable price……yes, maybe Apple profit margins are ridiculously high, you can go and buy some of that Apple stock and get some of that money back if you really believe that. But, it also allows them to have an incredibly sustainable business over decades and I would like….like there to be more competition and, I think Samsung is doing some of it at the mid-tier to high-tier brands, because it gives me faith that company will be here to honor my warranties and to make more great products next year or five years later or ten years later.
Leo: I don’t know what to make of this, but there’s a hard-ware graduate student Laura Trucko who did some research and she found that more people search for iPhone slow on Google right round the same time that Apple launches a new model.
Rene: They explained that at the bottom of the….the article they say that a lot of it has to do with perception and, then people misquoted that article to say that Apple sabotages phones.
Leo: Right……right ……I don’t think that’s evidence of Apple sabotaging phones…..I think it’s that accurate……I believe that’s accurate. Who knows what they’re looking for? Are they looking for solutions to a slow iPhone or are they trying to see if their iPhone is slow so they can gather the excuse to buy a new one…….I’m not sure.
Rene: Well, when you first notice…..when you update soft-ware……things will change and…..it like when you buy a yellow color car suddenly everybody has a yellow color car.
Leo: Yessss……boy there’s a lot of perceptive people……
Andy: It really comes down to motivation, I don’t think that Apple sabotages anything, but…….
Andy: Where do they make their money from,……they make their money from selling new hard-ware so therefore, they’re going to steer everything towards that. I mean, if you want to service people that are more motivated towards keeping your hard-ware alive, that’s why you switch from android to cyanogen mode, which is knowing is free of android and, people have no interest in selling you phones whatsoever, that’s how you can get a four year old android phone running something very, very modern, that’s not how you can get a lap-top that’s ten years old running not Mac OX and not running Windows. It’s about an operating system that’s very, very modern, you switch to Linux to people who just want to give you a free operating system and, kind of taker joy in keeping your stuff alive.
But, it’s…..it’s…..it’s not correct to try to expect that ten years later you are still going to get,……you’re still going to get the new version of the Mac OX with the new version of iOS on anything.
Leo: But, I’m sure they have this discussion in the board-room, in……at the executive level? Right……because they have to make this dec……their consciously making this decision not to sell an expensive phone for instance. (cross talk)
Go ahead Andy……
Rene: I was going to say it’s usually their experience….it really is with a bunch of guys who put it on the device and say this is not an Apple level experience. It’s the same thing…….(interrupted by Leo)
Leo: I will not agree…….they’re focused on the end users’ experience and they have a certain standard of quality of the end user to have an it must beat that. And,…and….that’s really I believe that….that was kind of what Steve’s focus was, right?
Rene: Like it was 15 frames per second video, you can jail break and do that, but Apple’s not going to put their name on 15 frames per second video, we’re only going to provide it to 30 frames and above and that’s what they do for the features and, when there are enough features like that I believe that’s what they do with the operating system.
Leo: That just happens that it’s conveniently good for business as well?
Rene: Like a lot of the iPhone required Bluetooth stuff energy like all the continuity stuff requires Bluetooth energy and, if you don’t have that on a phone you’re not going to get all those features you know.
Rene:…..and then you start making decisions on how much you’re actually going to be able to use it.
Andy: And, I was going to ask a question and I’d like both of your opinions on: do you think that Apple has the option of not releasing a new phone in any give calendar year, if there isn’t……..(interrupted by Leo)
Leo:…..now that’s interesting……..
Andy:…..with a……we all quote this so…. many times that it seems that it’s like candid, oh Apple’s not afraid to delay something and not ship a feature until they thinks it’s perfect. Could they simply say you know we have a phone that’s a little bit better but same case, the processors are little bit faster, will run the operating system as fast as the current model, we thought that we would blow your socks off next year with the change of support if you take the 5 S for another year. Do they have the option of saying no new iPhone?
Leo: No, that would really upset people. It upset them when they moved the launch from June to September?
Leo: I think people would get upset if…….they expect a new phone……Apple has now locked itself into a new yearly release by the way that’s a slower release cycle than any other smart phone manufacturer, right?
Andy: I would say so…..if it was ever there…….
Leo: With HTC…..there is new release every month.
Rene: But that’s a different phone like the Galaxy S……
Andy: I was just saying that given that Apple really has one phone, if they release one phone a year, you could say Samsung releases an update to the Galaxy S Integer once a year and they also do like 3,4,5,6 other phones so they’re certainly way…..way ahead……
Leo: Yes…..so yearly is about right.
Rene: I think it’s actually not a hard-ware question because when the iPhone 4 S took 16 months to come out that wasn’t because of the hard-ware, they had the hard-ware ready that was because iCloud and Siri took them that long to get done. They could bump the hard-ware in some ways, even if it’s a small incremental update….they could do…..they could update that hard-ware then, but if they commit themselves to something as big as the iCloud again or something as big as Siri and it takes 16 months they no longer have the luxury of pushing it to Fall. They’ve already pushed it to Fall so that would push it to the next year. And, not selling something means missing their biggest quarter, their holiday quarter when people do want new things. That’s why they’ve had new colors on….on iPods you could have a red iPhone maybe…..it could be anything that maybe they could seem that to be a holiday product but I think it’ll be the soft-ware and not the hard-ware that’ll be the constraint there. (Leo mmmm agreeing all the time)
Andy: At the same time don’t…….anybody who bought an iPad 3 only to say that if I had waited for four months I would have a gotten a retina iPad, that was so much better, better memory better everything those people had to have felt pretty minus that Apple felt the need to push out a second iPad this year.
Leo: Yes, they did 6 or eight months later.
Andy: That’s May and, then to September.
Leo: And, not even that one (cross talk about dates)
Leo: Six months (Laughing)…….
Leo: Any more changes? (cross talk)
Andy: Rene, I’ve just dropped a box of tooth picks on the floor, I want you tell me how many toothpicks that I’m looking for?
Rene: Two hundred,….. and,…… thirty seven, definitely. If that was the case the chips in that were not good enough to sustain that product. You can talk to game developers and everyone about it, it was harder to use than the iPad 2, which….. because the retina display’s pulled so much resources out of it and it didn’t have a lighting connector, they could have probably waited just not release the iPad 3, but with the iPad 3 on the market I think it was the best of bad decisions to put out the iPad 4 faster.
Andy: I have never heard that expressed before. Why did they have to put out the iPad 3 as opposed to waiting and, making just the usual……people were just expecting one more iPad at one point during the year. They knew that we all knew that retina was certainly coming and certainly coming given the panel orders that we’d seen.
Why did they maybe not have an option but to ship a reasonably under powered version that was going to be happening in…… six months later.
Rene: No I think that they did, if they knew then what they knew now…….they would have probably just have waited and done it in the Fall with the iPad 4 I don’t know if they understood that full extent of the retina tax that they would be paying with that device when they shipped it. But, because it’s internal testing is way different than a million people paid for that device and, they probably learned a good lesson from that.
Andy: Okay……I would agree with learning a good lesson I’d be surprised if they weren’t aware that they didn’t have the game plan that told them here’s when we can……..we know that this’s going to produce some problems when we ship this because we do feel that this is a very strong solid product, but we know when the iPad 4 is going to be ready. It’s……it’s interesting….I…..I……I don’t have any conclusions to draw……I think that the iPad 3, is when we look back ten years later is going to be an interesting case study as to how Apple makes it’s decision. (cross talk)
Rene: It’s a way better antenna too right? The Verizon and iPhone antenna are way better than the iPhone 4. That was a learnt lesson that caused them…..
Andy: And, the iPhone 4, I mean that…..that…..I think that was colored with some of the old Apple arrogance, because there’s was no way that they couldn’t have known, what was going to happen with these things two ways. But, it’s…..it’s a new Apple and as I say that I don’t draw any conclusions but I think that when we have access to more information ten years from now that the we will be able to point to the iPad 3 and, learn a lot about how Apple developed hard-ware at that point.
Leo: Only the most hard-core fan boy would say Apple doesn’t ever make mistakes, they make lots of mistakes and, I think it’s fair to say that the three……see I have the three…..I skipped four because….. I am like many did not have a problem….did not feel like the three was slow.
Rene: It was fine for everyday use over hard-core gamer and, other……
Leo: It was surviving me and I literally did not upgrade but that was because it was six months time frame.
Andy: It’s just….. I think that this is the great……given the multitude of changes that we’ve seen in Apple within the last year and half or two years I think it’s time to make sure that we revisit everything that we think is economical about how Apple operates and I do think that the old Apple will definitely delay……Apple will not ship something till it’s perfect this is their scheme……that is certainly a goal I think but I think there enough counter examples over quite a few years to say that……they…..they don’t ship crap but they will say….. okay, well you know what let’s ship it, let’s all get the first goodnight’s sleep that we’ve got in eight months and then come back to work on Monday and finally attack the final points of this problem.
Leo: We have in the brig-house two exactly diametric views Patrick Delahaney said I didn’t upgrade from three to a four because I didn’t have the money to spend on yet another iPad,……. so soon. Jeff Neal said……oh by the way I’ll add another reason why I didn’t want to upgrade was I wanted to keep my 30 pin cable so I didn’t want to have to buy all new cables. Jeffrey Neal said I went from the three to the four so I could get lightning. That’s a fan one.
I was so excited about lighting, I immediately six months later……
Andy: Did you say fan boy…..some of us have more resources than others.
And, that’s not an insult to whatsoever, I ………
Leo: I could afford it, and I didn’t do it not in principle……
Andy: For the first time in my life I bought a new MacBook even though I had a perfectly good MacBook from the 15 inch 2011 to the 20….13 inch retina and certainly if I did not have some…….I can justify it by saying oh but there are some many hard-ware features that are tied into the operating system till now that I can’t test out, I can’t benefit from …….okay well I know that, normally I wait for me to spill the beverage into the key board it caused sparks to shoot out but yes I will have two…..for the first time in my life I will have two perfectly good working Mac Books, so I don’t insult that. But, yes there a lot of people that really………do have to make that decision that the iPad 3 is for…….a lot of people upgraded from the iPad one to the iPad three they felt a little bit minus when the
iPad four came out…four, five…..six months from now, but certainly not so minus that they were going spend another 5,6,7,8 hundred dollars to replace a piece of hard-ware that works perfectly.
Leo: Perfectly good ….
Rene: Unless you need a better GP, the extra LTE bands or are fine.
Leo: I bought Sara the four because we were doing the iPad today somebody should have the four and, I want to represent those who are pissed. (panelists laughing) and I stuck with my three darn it.
Andy: You would much rather have an iPad three and a spiteful attitude……
Andy:……than the iPad four and be perfectly happy with that.
Leo: I am holding on to my resentments.
Rene: Then there’s people who bought the Mac Book Air with touch ID and people who bought one without the touch ID and who are going to go without, do I want touch ID….
Leo: Yes you’re going to have to prove……you’re going to have to prove that touch ID is………
Rene: Well you start by using one password on iOS 8 and touch ID. I mean Steve Gibson was talking about this last week, when you start having the touch ID API and, it hooks into everything.
Rene:……suddenly all your apps are one thumb print away, I mean…..
Leo: Do we know yet which apps will do that, is one password going to…..
Rene: One password …….is shown on their demo and you have iOS 8 you can use it now and it’s transformative.
Leo: So yes my bank doesn’t……..I use last pass……but no you’re right that’s what I kind of mean that it’s not up to Apple to demonstrate it, it’s up to all the developers to demonstrate it, use besides unlocking the screen faster.
Andy: And that is something that demonstrates exactly why when you invest in Apple boy does it pay off over the life of that product because touch ID as released in with the iPhone 5 S as with iOS 7 it’s nice. I know it’s unlocking the phone it’s a pain in the butt, having to be able to do it with the touch that’s nice. But Apple themselves knew that well we’re working on extensibility, we’re working on iOS 8, once we have the ability to let people write third party soft-ware that simply says, every time you sign into anything touch this and it’ll work. That’s what get’s people to say,’ why do any other companies make tablets again,?’ ‘Do they have this feature….no……. so why are they shipping phones or tablet?’
I don’t know. Well why?
Leo: Let’s take a break and when we come back Beats acquisition is final. So, we’ll talk about that, Andy Ihnatko’s here from the Chicago Sun Times, Rene Ritchie from imore(dot)com, we’re talking Apple, Mac and more.
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Oh Boy I never thought……I never thought I’d see this day, Apple welcomes Beats to the fold, the approval first was last week, got approval last week, and they closed the deal, Beats Music and Beats Electronics is now part of the family…..
Andy: See when you said I thought that I would never see this day, I though you meant that Apple official web page with white text and black background.
Leo: (Laughing) and that too.
Andy: That shook me to my core.
Leo: That’s the Beat’s color scheme, right? Red on black…..you know one of the things, the most interesting things is…..eeee…..something went wrong…..Beats by Dres page……
Rene: Yes, that’s a CSS error.
Leo: CSS error……let’s reload that page……Akamine fail. One of the things that’s happened already is that Ian Rodgers CEO of Beats has taken over iRadio, iTunes Radio which is good because I think actually iTunes radio is a very good thing and it seems that nobody knows about it. Although, Apple does claim a fairly large 6 million……some big number for a user bay.
Rene: Because, it’s part of iTunes it gets the blessing that people who are heavy into iTunes will use it. But, people who don’t use iTunes won’t even notice that it’s there.
Andy: I….I wish I could see it broken down with people who actually actively use it, then……in the way that they would use Spotify and, the people who take a look at it launch it once….’why do I want this, I’ve got Spotify,’
Rene: Like Gmail and Google Plus.
Leo: They’re going to keep the Beat’s Brand, right, but they’ll start selling the Beats headphones in the Apple store and online. They’ll I presume start offering
Beats music in some form or fashion. Will they at some point fold that into what they’re doing?
Rene: It’s hard because they’ve been selling Beats in Apple stores for a while and, the Beats app is on iOS and, android and windows phone and, I think they said they’re going to continue that, which means that it probably needs to be kept at least somewhat separate, at least for those platforms.
Andy: It’s possible that they might treat the Beats stand the same way that they used to treat iPod, where…..where….there’s such close association with music this brand that they don’t want to dilute it, they don’t want to change it and they don’t want to try and make the quote all,’unhip’ wear a hard-drive box iPod make that into the name, that we try and get young people interested in, as possible they’re going to keep the Beats name and, make that so intrinsically……make that so intrinsically connected to Apple so that we assume that consumer music gadgets is always Beats, and con…..consumer music gadgets doesn’t run apps their always Apple brand.
Leo: 9 to 5 Mac reported there would be lay-off, Beats and Apple said, ‘No’ there have been no lay-offs except for five performance based terminations, however and all employees have been offered full time jobs at Apple. However, a number of Beats employees were informed positions could be subject to elimination in three months to a year. I would have guessed that would be like the HR department, we’re done in business…..
Rene: Oh, yes…..
Leo: But, everybody has apparently got a job, at least for now, which is unusual.
Andy: Do I have the time to get the discount at the Apple store? Use that by the end of the year.
Rene: It’s your company corporates done now.
Leo: Get those DJs while you can.
Rene: But Jimi and Dres are taking care of it.
Leo: They’ve got an office…..I wonder how much you’re going to see them around the campus really? They’ve got other stuff to do.
Rene: I think that Iovine will do a lot of his stuff by phone(Leo laughing)well negotiations and stuff like that.
Leo: Yes, he’s down in LA, he wants to leave…..Like if I was the guy down in LA doing the contracts and stuff right?
Andy: I think….I….I am curious to see like it seems he’s basically jumped off the horses he was in the last year and, jumped on Apple horses even if he’s running them in LA. I’m wondering how much day to day Dres is going to be doing, because he’s still (cross talk)…..
Leo: He’s still a producer……
Andy: He’s still a producer, he’s a music guy and Apple doesn’t……Apple sells music but Apple doesn’t make music.
Rene: Yet. (Andy laughing)
Leo: I’ve decided absorbing Beats is not going to change Apple the way we think it going to change.
Andy: We’ll fix melodic interference and created a better musical experience. We’ve cleaned up the market place……to reduce confusion of so many options down to 2……one good song, a better song and one best song.
Leo: And, of course they’ll sound best on Beats headphones. Part of this was also buying……I didn’t realize this Vivendi…..I think that a universal….. one of the big music…..big record companies owned 14% stake in Beats so Apple had to fork over another 404 million……chump change to buy them out. So……
Rene:……that’s all your phone profits right there again.
Leo: The nice thing about this is they’re Paris based, so this is 404 million dollars funny money…..European money…..tax free. No big deal. Do you guys see any real change in the way Apple does music or, anything because of Beats?
Andy: I’d say so, certainly the way they handle streaming…..they…..they…..Beats was a very, very small product but, it had a reason to exist, as opposed to iTunes radio which is a fine product, but it doesn’t really distinguish itself other than something simply being something that’s pre-installed for life on everything that comes out of there.
I’m also interested in seeing what changes come to the iTune store we have a power house executive in the music industry that can cut these super, super deals……
Andy:…..so he has business fire power but he also has creative fire power, so I’m curious to see if he has the ability to dangle carrots in front of super star acts to say guess what here’s the terms that we can offer you if you agree to be iTunes exclusive for the first year of your act.
Leo: Well, that’s what Steve Jobs did really, I mean he went to the Rolling Stones in person, he went to the Hold Outs in person and, he had……
Rene: He went after the Beatles for years…..
Leo: Yes……he had star power……
Rene: I think he did that with Beyoncé…….I think it was last year the way they basically took over the entire store for a while…..
Andy: We could be looking forward to a year from now, suddenly a new channel appears on your Apple TV……maybe it’s the Beyoncé channel, it’s only there for two weeks but it’s there for the promotion of this album and, all the videos associated with it just front, center, on an equal footing with who plus for that two week period. I think we’re going to see some really interesting happening because, so…..
Leo: I would rather see a weird house channel (cross talk)
Andy: I would pay for a weird house channel.
Rene: Just eat it. (cross talk)
Leo: People think that Weird House stole that idea from Beyoncé because she released all her, suddenly an album is out, make videos…….boom, boom,boom, but ……but Weird House did it in 2011, I just want remind everybody he invented the massive marketing push. Apple, speaking of Akamine, Apple has been using Akamine for media delivery, apparently they’ve created their own CDEN, this is based on Tech Worth Dan Raven had him on Twit before, he’s an expert in streaming media and, he writes a streaming media blog and, he’s an analyst for Frost & Sullivan said,’By looking at the trace routes on OS 10 downloads, you could see they now come from…..instead of Akamine from Apple’s own content delivery network…..AAPLMING(dot)com
Rene: All image.
Leo: AppleImage(dot)com from ISPs I have spoken with Dan writes, Apple’s put a massive amount of capacity in place. With, many saying Apple has more than ten times the capacity they’re using today all ready to go. Is this a business for Apple, or is it merely about improving the consumer experience?
Andy: Consumer experience I think.
Rene: It’s their business…..day in…..day out……
Leo: Right……so it is business. Dan says Apple still uses Akamine for iTunes and, Level Three for iRadio and, app downloads, but he expects over time that’ll all be moved over to Apple’s own content delivery network.
So, for those who don’t know what a CDN is………we use CDNs, everybody does ours is CacheFly, you’ve heard us talk about that at the beginning of every show. The idea of content distribution network is instead of having one server in Cupertino or North Carolina or Petaluma, where all the stuff comes from…..many……many….many servers so they can be geographically nearby…..that does make a difference on the Internet, believe it or not closer is better and, those servers have a special caching system to make sure that they all carry the same content. So, for us when we upload audio or video show to CacheFly, they then replicate it to servers all over the world, when you download is you’re downloading it from a CacheFly server that’s geographically approximate to you. And……..Apple’s……I presume is going to do the same thing……it’s not just North Carolina, they have to have servers in a lot of places.
Rene: And, they’re building out…..again this is a part of controlling your stats, we seen them do this with….….they own the kernel on this other make, then on Chips set they’re making their own programming language now and, as much and I’ve said this before we complain about Apple being way too controlling, often our biggest complaints are my carrier network sucks or that UPS delivery took too long or why is my iTunes timing or why is Netflix stutter……that’s more important.
Leo: That’s more important…..yes……
Rene:……they want to make sure that when people who complain it’s taking forever to download the iOS 8 update they want to make sure that you have a great experience. It’s the same as opening a box as a part of unboxing their box and content experience.
Leo: It’s expensive…….
Leo:……. and ofcourse they pay Akamine a lot, so it’s been expensive all along. One of the reason why Apple said, we don’t make money on iTunes, iTunes with 30% is most of the money goes to Akamine.
Rene: And, again One Plus One is not doing a content delivery network. They’re building that into the price of their devices.
Leo: It was Dan who told me that the best place to watch Netflix until they made all the deals with the ISPs……your ISP was on Apple TV, because Apple served the Netflix movies and, video from its content delivery network, not over the public Internet. So, Apple TV always had better Netflix.
Rene: Or, they paid specifically in areas that they didn’t serve.
Rene: Yes, they spent a lot of time on that experience.
Leo: Have you noticed that Apple TV is better than some of the other stuff?
Rene & Andy: Absolutely…
Andy: I….I switch between Roku and Apple TV pretty much on a daily basis depending on what I’m going to run, and I will say that there…….I spend less time on the Roku, moving from one app to the other, looking at the spinning, waiting or validating or stuff like that, but I almost never see a stutter in play in backing or caching sort delay on the Apple TV, it’s that router that you talk about that sells that feature.
Leo: By the way you know in the Net Neutrality conference conversations we’ve talked a lot about these interconnects between for instance Comcast and, Level Three. Back in may Dan wrote that Apple was negotiating paid inter connects with some of the biggest ISPs in the US. He wouldn’t say which ISPs, but I think probably in your head can name them. And, that’s also really good, it means that you’re not going to see these wars you know between Comcast and Apple for instance saying, well you’re not giving us enough bandwidth,’ they’ve got the inter connect set up.
Rene: Throw money at their problems.
Leo: Boy, at some point you know……you start to eat up all your profits. So, I mean…..really …..yes I agree wonderful, make a great experience for your users. I guess it must have a lot of margin?
Rene: That’s what they’re getting at……their entire business is predicated on having that extra money to do all these extra things. Which is why I say you can’t look exactly at the cost and, margin ratio on two different phones, because that’s only part of what Apple’s providing.
Leo: Okay……that was right and the call back to an earlier conversation ….yes.
Andy: And, the dance for Apple is always going to be making sure that their spending your money improving experience in ways that users can really touch and appreciate, as opposed to conceptual things to just get them to buy the next thing or upgrade to the next service.
So, things like making sure that things like Netflix version and, Netflix is the one that never stutters, that’s money well spent.
Leo: Presumably, I guess that Amazon is doing the same thing. Some body in the chat-room is saying that Fire TV beats Apple TV?
Andy: I agree with that, in a lot of ways, Roku is the only that’s actually got four different streaming devices on the big TV in my living room…..I keep having to try different things every once in a while……
Leo: No….. one of them does everything. (cross talk)
Andy: Well, I mean the Fire TV is probably the nicest experience over all for all the Apple TV is the most consistent and, fastest experience, the Roku is the most broad experience, where things that I have in my house I would love to enhanced through the use of this thing……
Andy:……that’s mostly Roku….
Leo: That’s where ITPro TV comes in…..it’s on Roku…….we’re on Roku….we’re not on Netflix……
Andy: And, the ChromeCast, over the past year like man it’s……I’m…..I’m continually amazed by how much this 35 dollar thing is completely invisible can do. They keep making improve……they keep broadening the apps on mobile devices that can exploit it. They also…….they’ve also greatly improved the way You Tube interacts with it, so much so that I use the ChromeCast link for almost all of my You Tube viewing even if I’m on Apple TV. The reason why I don’t leave it on Apple TV is because it’s so much easier through You Tube to grab on to other Roku and other ChromeCast than simply be looking into a link on my laptop, but then saying this is nice, okay…… they’re actually going to be spending building Star Wars lego models in real time. I don’t think that I want that to be on my lap-top but, I panic……
Leo: Put it on your big screen……
Andy: …….because you know in hour 8 they’re going to start hitting each other and, biting each other, I want that in the full HD experience. But that’s……in terms of I’ve got something on my lap-top……on You Tube on this screen I want it to happen on that screen, it still happens on the You Tube apps that are on these other machines, not Apple TV.
Leo: I was Chad, I was watching you on my 70 inch Panasonic Viera last night.
Leo: Yes….through ChromeCast red it up,
Andy: Oh yes……
Leo: And, I have to say it really looked good, and said to Mark Hanson this is a third party developer who does Twit cast for android, I don’t know if he does it for iOS, but it sure great. You launch it……and you can watch……storage shows like….you can watch live stream too…..and it really works nice, we don’t use a CDN……(Leo Laughing)…it works pretty good, because there’s only 12 people watching so…….
Andy: Isn’t that a big challenge to Apple and everybody else that tries to perfect the experience by giving us original channels and original programming, ………I had a weird experience the other day because the first time I sat down and, I actually found myself thinking as I picked up the Roku remote, ‘I wonder what’s on You Tube now?’ just the same way that I used to think, ‘I wonder what’s on Turner Classic Movies, right now?’
That was so much great content coming through.
Leo: For a long time Roku did not have You Tube.
Andy: Yes, it was late in coming and, that they have one of the best experiences possible now.
Andy: Yes…..it just works so well, it’s so intuitive…..yes……part of it is……I have respect for people who have to……..have to design such a cave-man level consumer object, because I find the reason why I keep my input pointed to the Roku is that the Roku has the best remote. It’s fills the end nicely, the buttons are easy to find, there’s never any ambiguity about what these buttons do.
With Apple TV it’s stick a gum that’s step one to just possibly find their remote.
Leo: I always lose their remote every single time…..
Andy: And, they’re so few button on it…..oh man so do I long press this….oh no I just stopped this……oh damn it.
Leo: I just do the exact same thing.
Andy: And, then you have to aim it at the IR port as opposed to low powered Wi-Fi like on the Roku and, you could definitely make the case that the Apple TV is better engineered, you could definitely make the case that the soft-ware…….that Apple’s soft-ware is a little bit more on the ball on integrating stuff, it’s certainly a lot easier to throw stuff off my iPhone or my iPad onto it but the fact that there’s this really nice remote and, this really nice You Tube app and what I’m really connecting to is not a store or anything like that but the same resource that everything else wants to connect to. That’s what makes it my favorite 99 dollar streaming what’s it.
Leo: It’s also the case that you forget that you have one, I mean there’s so many ways to watch You Tube as an example, it probably goes in tracks right?
Andy: But, you what breaks my heart every single time…..I……I……it has to kill people inside Apple, if I have some-one who works at Apple over at my house I could not resist pick up the Apple TV remote, like silently clicking on to You Tube, then walking over and pointing at that little media option on the You Tube app that says show me the most recently uploaded videos to You Tube which made sense like five years ago when maybe 18 being uploaded every single day, but which of the 8.1 million every second do I want to see right now.
I’m not……I put it to you perhaps it’s not the most useful little thing to have as the top most feature, especially given that I have to click the button five times to get into my own personal subscriptions!
I’m saying it’s overdue for a major update.
Leo: It is……it is…..
Andy: I love you all …..it’s a great job and it’s a great product(cross talk)
Leo: September 9th…..
Rene: Next spring…..
Andy: No probably not…..
Leo: Spring……..but that’s hard-ware, can we have s soft-ware update, please…..
Rene: Well, with the iOS beta, the new version of the soft-ware was shown off but I think so far it’s just the iOS7 needs a new look to the icons.
Rene……they’re putting so much effort into the new device…..soft-ware stack, that I think we’ll have to wait for that.
Leo: Okay….within A8……
Rene: Right now it’s a single A core five, so I don’t think it’ll get any…..
Leo: ……get any better…..
Andy:…..the bottle neck isn’t the process, the bottle neck is still ChromeCast.
Leo: Oh it’s the soft-ware,……oh …… it’s ChromeCast……
Andy: Yes, I mean you’ve got to have a good connection and that what’s delivers the best to the screen.
Leo: Their interface is a little sluggish.
Andy: Yes, I do agree that their interface is a little bit sluggish.
Leo: Yes……our show today brought to you by our good friends SquareSpace. When I was talking to Kevin Rose today he said he did a foundation with the founder of SquareSpace Anthony Casselina and, he gave a tip of the hat to Twit. It’s true Twit and SquareSpace go together, like this if you are a SquareSpace user, you’ll probably heard about it first on Twit. We’ve been talking about them for several years. What’s great about SquareSpace is to watch them not only do they such a great job, never let up. Continually get better and, better and, better and, this is good for you, because it’s not always web hosting, web hosting I guess doesn’t seem like it changes much, it does. Oh, it’s very different now than it was just a few years ago, but it’s also the soft-ware on top of it, that I’m sure everybody knows has changed the way websites work and, look and, feel for long time you had a mobile site and, a desk top site. Not anymore with SquareSpace all the sites look great on all the possible screens. In fact when you upload an image to your SquareSpace website, SquareSpace behind the scenes without your knowledge makes nine thumbnails for every possible size. Thirty one inch screen, four inch iPhone and, everywhere in between it really does a nice job. SquareSpace reflects your style, your look, your feel. It’s not cookie cutter sites. When you go to SquareSpace site just click the get started button, you don’t have to have a credit card or anything, you know try it for two weeks free.
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Ahhhh……this is an interesting hire, Mark Gurman reporting in 9to5 Mac that Angela Ahrendts, the new head of retail who came over from Burberry has hired Musa Tariq who worked at Burberry as a social media chief, he’s also worked at Nike. At Nike he ran social media marketing and, also social media partnerships with athletes. So, he would tell an athlete, ‘Okay, you got a tweet now,’ at Burberry he led strategy and innovation in social media. He is as I am told or as Mark tells us a confidant of Dame Ahrendts, so what will his role be?
Andy: Also, his LinkedIn profile says (quote) he’s a social media star-rock star (unquote)
Rene: They really need him to stop all those celebrities tweeting from iPhones.
Leo: Maybe that’s what he’s been up to all this time (Leo in a deep voice),’here’s a tweet kid, got so much better.’
Rene: Hey Leo, this is aside, I’ve decided to build some Lego live while Andy watches…..
Leo: Wow…..the Death Star, we have that…..
Rene: I’m working on it now…..
Leo: You’re going to do the whole thing?
Leo: Jeff built last year, was that on ARKD news, he built that for us last year, big for the Gitzwhizz and, now it sits in my living room table.
Rene: I’m going to put it behind me.
Leo: Really…..he says his eleven year has been slowly dismantling it and, adding figures from other franchises.
Rene: I’m going to get a five year and nine year old to help me that should be much more fun.
Leo: Yes, that should be much more fun. So, is he just going to come in and be the social media guy, is he going to be the marketing guy, they did confirm his role appropriately enough on his personal Twitter account, he tweeted,’ first day at school, hope the other kids like me, ‘from Cupertino California. It’s cute 8.38 a.m.
Tariq ….a little bit of hint, you might want to get there earlier.
Rene: Apple, famously an incredibly small marketing team. Like people have said for years the social network now opened up the piggy bank for the marketing team and, it look like they are getting more progressive with that, yet in terms of social media they have a few Twitter accounts, they have a few FaceBook pages but nothing to the level of a lot of other major brands, never mind consumer electronics. Because some with Burberry knowledge, some-one with Nike knowledge, probably could be a huge help to them, especially as things like celebrity selfies might not become more important.
Andy: I wonder if the Twitter accounts are like belong to Schiller and Tim Cook, those are now not necessarily subservient to his office, but at least part of his effort that he’s launching in social media.
Rene: Tim don’t press that yet…..Tim….wait….wait…
Leo: Well, he’s had great success…..Gurman says……
Andy: …..where’s Anthony Weener…..where is he now…..now where…..
Leo: But, his title…..he’s technically Digital Marketing Director(short pause)…..that can go a lot of different ways, I mean you could do what ComCast did and create you know create accounts to monitor response to unhappy customers.
Rene: Apple cares…..
Leo: Apple cares?
Andy: Part of it is simply using every single online service out there, just as a new data stream of customer feedback and not just people who have tweeted directly at Apple but to see where the conversations are going, but the velocity of those conversations are and, what if there’s….there’s all…..there’s a whole bunch of people that are having problems with the iPhone 5 camera ever since the iOS…..iOS 7 came out, so it’s a long, long, long, long threaded support forum. Just as an example, right now it is a…….Apple can think of it as a handful of people that are having a very unusual problem, but it’s the social media who’s able to look at what’s happening on FaceBook and Twitter and Instagram people complaining about it and noticed that velocity was really picking up it was a trickle when iOS 7 first came out, now there’s lots and lots of ……constantly new people added to this thread, that is then the information that they can feed to the engineers saying that this is not something that they’ll handle on a user by user basis. This is now a problem that we’re really going to have to attack just right now.
Rene: Sentiment analysis.
Leo: Yes….there’s a lot ways…..he’s very famous for using Twitter to preview…..it was called the Tweet Walk back in 2011 to preview outfits from Burberry too soon to hit the London Fashion Show Runaway.
Rene: There’s a couple of things from this I mean, famously customer retention is much cheaper than customer acquisition so, anyone who can keep engaged and happy through social media is one more person you don’t have to convert. But for a while now Apple’s getting much more savvy. In the old days you could rely on people going onto Apple(dot)com or iTunes(dot)com to find the stuff that they want, they want a poll based system, but increasingly for example FlipBoard for example has started putting their iBooks in their because that’s where their customers where, so they’re going to push out their products. And, social media is a huge surface area, they probably feel that they can better cover. For example if they had deals on Twitter, on…..they had collections on Pinterest or whatever he figures out it’s a way to get more eye balls on your brand and, your products.
Leo: They certainly could do a lot better, they certainly don’t seem like they’re very involved in social media.
Rene: Almost nothing…..
Leo: They’re doing almost nothing. Tim Cook tweets, right?
Rene: Tim Cook, Angela Ahrendts, Eddie Cue, Phil Schiller occasionally, they have a podcast account they have….
Andy: But, the nice thing is that is that I’ll compare my question with Rene is that, that everything that I’ve heard these are real genuine tweets as opposed to, ‘we’ve decided now…that the second week in August is a good time for Tim to say something on how nice the weather is. They’re not voracious tweeters, but that is that actual person expressing that sentiment.
Leo: Big win….they could tweet about Ford to ditch BlackBerrys for iPhones, that’s
Rene: Is that a little mean or is it me at this point…..
Leo:……thirty three hundred iPhones but, by the end of the year that is not insignificant again over the next six thousand more employees will replace according to Bloomberg Blackberry Flip phones so it was about time.
Andy: No…..I think there’s more Blackberry news than Apple news, because I think the last time Blackberry’s senior staff said, was talking about where they want to go, broadly speaking, they were going more towards we’re not going to have the sort of saturation before the iPhone came out but we’re going to be the best possible support and the best possible hard-ware for a class of users that aren’t being supported well by android or by iOS.
And, man for them to lose the most business, business there is in all the world of business…..oh dear……(cross talk)
Rene: I was going to say the Blackberry passport didn’t hold them down.
Leo: Big story……breaking story……some hand wringing going on about iOS…..I’m sorry OS 10, Yosemite 10(point)9(point)5…..they’re changing the gatekeeper app signing rules and, will you explain this Rene Ritchie…..
Rene: Yes…….so currently there’s three ways that you can get apps on a changed over last couple of years ago you installed them willy nilly any way you wanted. Now, you have the option of locking it to the app store if you only want Apple only apps ever touch your precious machine or you can insist that they are at least signed by a certified Apple developer so you don’t have to get them from the app store. But, they come with the knowledge that persons accountable for that app.
Leo: And, that going to be fault setting……that’s what I use…..so I can’t install unsigned apps…without over-riding it, but I can…..
Rene: Yes, you have to a explicit user app to make a default.
Leo: It’s not a big deal…..yes you say right click open and, it opens it….
Rene:…..,but it helps if you unintentionally down load and it’s malicious.
Leo: So, I think this is a good thing……a very good setting, it’s kind of a perfect way of keeping people safe and, I believe it is a default and you can either get it from the apps store or it has to be signed. The new rule is that it has to be signed by a version of OS 10, 10(point)9 or greater.
Rene: Now, I don’t know this for sure but it’s subtle and, it came out yesterday but maybe the signage was previously wasn’t as good or they found a better way to do it or there might have been some vulnerability in it. I don’t want to start rumors based on that but it sounds like this is a better, a more solid way of signing and they have been encouraging people to go to it for a while and, it doesn’t seem that onerous.
I mean if developers have stopped developing an app maybe it’s annoying to have to go and back and do it, but it looks like it’s a very small amount of work and, it provides a better protection.
Leo: Sara and, I were talking about this iPad Today yesterday that a vast number of abandoned apps in the store, not so much on the Mac, certainly on iOS maybe this is one way of cleaning out the croft, you can’t use it if it’s not signed recently….ummmm…..
Rene: That’s going to happen….
Leo: In two signatures, they must have changed the signatures……
Rene:…..and, that’s going to happen as people discover more vulnerabilities…….as cryptography improves as the system changes significantly enough to require maybe there’s more permissions available than those that weren’t accounted for.
Leo: This does not seem onerous, I am looking at Apple’s….note to developers if your team is using an older version of 0S 10 pre 10(point)9 to build your code, just resign the app using the thing using OS 10 version 10(point)9 or later and, you just use the code sign tool and you’ll have signature 2 app sign with the version two signatures will still work on older versions of OS 10 so it’s downwards compatible and, if you’re in the app store you have to re-submit your signed app as an update.
Rene: and, you probably have to update things anyway still in the app store I mean.
Leo: Are there people like who say,’Oh my God it’s breaking……it’s only in the developer agreement, you use right?
Rene: Yes, the developer preview for Mavericks and, Yosemite.
Leo: Oh, Mavericks as well?
Rene: Well Mavericks, because they always seed the next date to the developers before they seed it to the general public.
Leo: So, 10(point)9(point)4 or 5…..
Rene: 5 I think……
Leo: Will include this as well as Yosemite.
Leo: Yes it’s point 5…..okay no cause for concern yet.
Rene: No, this is part of the cost of doing business. If there was for example a big security exploit and, Apple had to patch something as a developer you might have to do something to this app as well. This is part of the normal process.
Leo: This is a really good solution this gate-keeper, you should just be happy about it. Popcorn time adds Apple TV support……I don’t know what that means this is that app that kind of everybody’s quasi- it lets you watch Torrance, is that right? I don’t know.
Chad: It lets you stream…..
Leo: Oh Chad…..you know…..(cross-talk)
Chad: It lets you stream Torrance just like you would stream Netflix or something like that.
Leo: It was pulled off the app store right?
Chad: Well, it’s been……it’s kind of weird project because the main developers I believe…..I believe have left it so that the only things that pop back up are others that have made this open source four, it’s super difficult to find a legitimate…..I mean maybe all the ones out there are but……
Leo: Do I have to use a jail broken iPhone to use it or can I just get it from the app store? It seems like Apple would not allow this.
Chad: It seems like…..
Leo: We’ve tried it on iOS and, support is being added to the Windows release, back to the Mac version not till next week,……version will follow shortly thereafter (Leo reading)
Rene: That’s not it even, Apple’s closed in lots of ways, you can generate an air play and you can tell Apple stuff like that, you can make a web page and you can play it on any version, you can open it on any version….even preference Safari.
Leo: This is a cool one I……many of us have broken our iPhone screens, my kids break them every few weeks, and usually you go to a third party to down the street to have this little iPhone repaired in a kiosk. They’re everywhere now. Apple says we’re going to do it too, in fact they’ll probably do it better because 5Cs and 5Ss I think because of the way the glass is glued on they don’t seem to be good repairs.
Rene: They’re easier…..the 4S and the 5 that was really easy to replace, everything was forward mounted the 5 and the 5S are front mounted and so these the screen is much easier to replace on these.
Leo: Oh, it is….
Leo: Well, Apple’s going to do it self, it’ll be a little more expensive for Apple, so I have been paying them 90 bucks for a new screen, Apple’s going to charge about 150 dollars per repair that’s less than the 269 to completely replace the phone.
Rene: If you have Apple Care Plus that price goes down.
Leo: Ahhhh good reason to get Apple Care.
Rene: I think you get three repairs at a lower price.
Leo: This will happen on August 4th next month Monday. And they have that special machine I……. we had a couple of Apple geniuses in the studio audience a couple of weeks ago and they were there for training and they said they train you how to use the machines and they said yes. So, Apple stores have like gadgety machines that do these specific things like they put a phone in and it goes (Leo making funny sounds) and puts your screen on.
Rene: It suction cups the iMac screen off of it.
Leo: Yeah. So that’s good. So if you’re willing to pay fifty bucks more. I would because you know you’re going to get- it’s probably warrantied and all of that right.
Rene: And you’re absolutely certain it’s a genuine part.
Rene: There had been issues with parts not being that good when they’re done. Some 3rd party manufactures use fantastic parts but you have to be knowledgeable enough to know the difference.
Leo: We talked last week, or maybe the week before, about the new MacBook Air ad with the stickers. And apparently I has generated huge sales surges in Apple’s stickers. Now we used to get them from, the first place I saw…
Leo: GeleSkins. You see them in MacWorld every year. Their beautiful booth. Apparently they’re not really doing that anymore.
Andy: Yeah, as a matter of fact, when I saw that, was it Dave Hamilton or who was it who basically decided to track down every single one of those stickers and ….
Leo: Apples doing it now.
Andy: And I couldn’t help notice that most of the links went to Etsy. Which to me indicates that perhaps these aren’t actually licensed from the DC comics and Fox and that sort of thing. And so it really did put me in a reflective mode of thinking would Apple not care that they are showing rip-off non-IP registered versions of trademark stuff?
Leo: I think they’d have to register them.
Rene: My understanding is that Apple made a lot of those for that ad. Those aren’t the exact ones that people are finding. Apple built a lot of them in house for the ad.
Leo: Apple.com/MacBook-air-stickers they have them all one by one. So you can go there and see them. And but we’ve all seen people with these stickers right? Especially the Snow White.
Rene: Versions of them.
Andy: But it’s weird, the Snow White one is, as far as I can tell, legit and it’s licensed by Disney. I was able to find that page. But I was trying to find the more obvious ones like the Snoopy and Woodstock one, like the Wonder Woman one, and it’s not suspicious. It’s just that it was harder, I couldn’t find the scrat, I couldn’t find so many of these. Which really surprised me because I thought that something like that, the Homer Simpson one, that must be- you go to Simpsons.com, you go to Fox.com, you go to the store page. That has to be a licensed thing. It’s so nicely done and so specifically done. If they did it themselves, okay.
Leo: So apparently GeleSkins is now NewVango. Okay. Why would you change your name? I don’t know. They’re now NewVango and really it says more like build your art collection. Art gallery and fine goods. It’s a community for people passionate about great art. It’s not what it used to be I guess.
Andy: I.E. it’s a lot easier to have you just commit the copyright violation than for us to commit the copyright violation.
Leo: Aah, I understand.
Rene: There’s a little link at the top for skins and cases that seems to have all the gallery art plastered on your iPhone.
Leo: Oh, okay.
Andy: But they don’t have- at least when I checked a week ago or so, I didn’t see many that had the actual cutouts for the Apple logo.
Leo: Oh, they don’t. Yeah, they’re not the same. But you’re right, I found them on Etsy. Oh man, did I find them on Etsy.
Andy: And to be clear, I don’t think this is a scandal of any kind. I just think- there’s so much about how business transact on a national and international ad like this, that it makes me wonder at what point did lawyers get involved to say, okay I know that you’ve put together this storyboard of what you would like to have, here is how you would have to do it if you really want to put the Walter White hat and eyeglasses on.
Leo: That’s the one I want.
Andy: Just like I was surprised and really pleased to find that whenever you have a commercial that uses like, a Barbie or G.I. Joe type of doll, it’s clearly supposed to be a Barbie, clearly supposed to be a G.I. Joe. Not only is it a unique art, but usually what they do is they actually will hire a specific model and make a model that is at least nominally looks like this model that they hired, so that they’re- that’s the only way to make it bulletproof from Matela or anybody else. They can say, no, no, it’s not G.I. Joe, look, here’s Dave, and it’s modeled after Dave. You see, Dave has the eyebrows, Dave has the nose. Enjoy a bottle of water on your way out sir, because we are bulletproof.
Leo: I do want to- I was just thinking I should just buy a hundred of these. And every week I should have a different one.
Rene: Its interesting too, if you go to the MacBook Air site, unlike the IPhone ad sites, where it tells you the apps with links and accessories with links-
Leo: There’s no links.
Leo: It’s up to you to find it.
Andy: I would love to hear- I didn’t get too far with this, but I would love to- for somebody to do a definitive history of Snow White and the apple sticker. Because this is our version of Calvin Peeing on the Chevy logo. It didn’t exist, and then it was everywhere. And not just the licensed one, but knockoffs forever. And that might be the sort of idea that was so clear that several people had it pretty much as soon as the Apple logo started glowing. But I would love to see someone do a definitive history of that. Because there is somebody out there who first managed to get that into people’s hands and I think that person, I want to buy them a cup of Dunkin Donuts coffee, or at least something, a $5 Dunkin Donuts gift card. That was a cool idea.
Leo: I wonder if there’s a variation in quality in these. I mean, you want- the GeleSkin ones were on a special type of material that you could remove and all of that. Here’s one of the Etsy stores. This is Oh Yeah Decal!!! On Etsy. And you know, I doubt that they registered Ariel the mermaid.
Rene: The master Disney license.
Leo: Yeah. But these are easy to make with cut out vinyl. So I think- I would guess that the black ones are just vinyl cut outs right? Which means that they might be a little tricky to apply. Because a lot of those things are just individual pieces. Like this one, if you bought this, you’d be spending a little bit of time…
Rene: That’s after sales. That’s your problem.
Leo: But its only ten bucks. They’re a lot cheaper than the GeleSkins. The GeleSkins used to be very expensive. The business has changed since I’ve looked. I want to get the Walter White hat though, I really like that. Do you think John, Paul, George and Ringo are getting $1.50 for every one of these?
Leo: Oh, notice, it doesn’t say “Beatles”, it says “Beaties”. It’s the Beaties.
Rene: That’ll hold up in any court of law.
Leo: The Beaties?
Rene: It’s a parody.
Leo: Who are the Beaties?
Rene: Warren, and his wife.
Andy: I bet on the sticker sheet its B-E-E-T-I-E-S. If someone wants to put those letters in out of order, we’re as horrified as you are Beatles, but what can we do to stop that?
Leo: Ships worldwide from Beijing. It says, by the way, the materials are 3M Avery vinyl decal and sticker. Unless something’s happened since I last checked, I don’t think 3M and Avery are the same company.
Rene: If it was 3N it would be funnier.
Leo: 3N. So buyer beware! But I’m glad Apple supported this by doing this ad. It’s certainly helped the sales of all of these phony stickers.
Rene: If Apple had their act together they’d have a whole section of the store with- if Angela had gotten there earlier they’d have a whole section of the store with stickers ready to go for-
Leo: I wish, I wish. The decal guru is apparently the world’s largest collection of MacBook decal stickers. And they have a lot of these. And I guess this is not Etsy. And they’re not ex- some of them are cheap. $5. Some are $12. All of them are less- oh! Look, you can turn- this would confuse everybody if I used this one. Turn your Apple into the Google logo. Is it a Chrome Book, is it a MacBook, what is it? Let’s take a break, when we come back, your picks of the week my friends. Actually, a couple of real quick things before us- no, I guess that’s it. We’ll save the quickies for another time. Our show today brought to you by Hover.com. The place to go to register your domain names. When we first started using Hover, I transferred everything from- I used several different registrars. Transferred them all over. Hover makes that easy to do by the way, with their concierge transfer service at no charge to you. The transfers are great too because for most domain names, you keep the time left on your registration, plus you get an additional year for $10. Hover is also great because that includes who is domain privacy. All their registrations do. They know you want that. There isn’t a 50 click upsell thing going on here. You go there, you get the domain name, and you register it. You can add email to any of your domains. You can- the domain management system is beautiful. Every domain includes unlimited domain forwarding. The who is privacy. The fantastic domain management and DNS management tools that are very easy to use. They’re not obscure. You can go in there, make the changes, including bulk management, which is great. And they have such a good support team, which is great. In fact, Hover takes pride in the fact that when you call their support team during business hours they will- a representative will answer. From Hover. Who is empowered to help you solve your problem. You will not be put on hold, you will not be transferred, you will not wait. There’s a real person there waiting to help you. Wait a minute. MacBreak… we could get .net, .org, .info.
Rene: Quickly Leo, quickly.
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Leo: Yeah, I won’t say anything about that, but this is a known practice that’s happened to me too. On some of those other guys, not Hover.
Rene: Yeah. Hover is great.
Leo: Yeah. We love Hover. We love our Canadian friends. Speaking of which, from Montreal, from Québec, Rene Richie. With his pick of the week.
Rene: Merci Leo. So my pick of the week is actually an Australian app. so I’m going to circumnavigate the globe for a minute. And it’s an old favorite that has just been updated this morning. And that IStat Menus. It’s gone to IStat Menus 5. Full disclosure, Mark Edwards who runs Bejangle and makes this app is a good friend of mine. So we had Peter Cowen do the post for iMore. Just to make sure that Peter gave it a good testing. I’ve always used it. I know so many people who use it. We all love it. It’s gotten new features now from Mavericks and Yosemite so it can do things like keep track of the battery shaving, it can use the dark mode in Yosemite to blend in with the menu. There is a list of improvements, some of the subtle, some of them profound. Bejangle does a great job. You can’t get it from the Mac App store because this is not the kind of app that Apple wants in the Mac app store sadly. But you can get it directly from Bejango, and their customer service is excellent. Their apps are excellent. The design is beautiful. The functionality is just what you want. They have an iOS app that you can use to remotely monitor stuff as well. And I just, I have this running because I want to be able to sit in my living room and see what’s happening to my Macs in the other room.
Leo: Wasn’t this a dashboard widget originally?
Rene: They were originally iSlayer. And they made the iSlayer widgets. Which included the iStat widgets. And then it moved to the menu and it became Bajango.
Leo: It’s better in the menu. And I imagine they’ll start doing some notification stuff.
Rene: I can only hope so. But Leo, I can only imagine what’ll happen if you hook this up to your new Mac Pro and you drop that list down. Because I think it would look like NASA or NORAD.
Leo. I’ll send you a screenshot. Ill tweet it when I get home. That’ll be fun. By the way, just an update on that Mac Pro, somebody called it a MacTube. I love it, it’s working flawlessly. 4k screen. Beautiful. I put Yosemite on it. Loves it. Everybody is happy. Haven’t had one problem. Not one. Except that it has no CD burner. So I have to use the old Mac Pro to burn CDs.
Ren: What’s a CD Leo?
Leo: CDs. I make mix tapes for all the girls I meet.
Rene: Like the Guardians of the Galaxy mix tapes?
Leo: Yeah. Yeah, exactly. I made a tape for you. Hope you like it. Think of me when you listen to it. Andy Ihnatko, your pick of the week?
Andy: I bought myself a toy last week that I’ve been wanting to buy for a while. I bought myself a Raspberry Pie. And oh, boy are these things fun. A lot of people are probably familiar with Arduino which are the little single board controllers so that you hook up to your Mac by USB and you load code onto them and they can do things like throw lights, flip switches, control motors, stuff like this. This is sort of like that to the 2nd or 3rd power. So this is a $35 computer. And it’s not just a hobbyist thing for controlling motors. It is a $35 computer. And if you want to just put code on it and put your own hardware on here so it’s controlling lights or controlling a robot or wiring up a- making your toys do really fun and interesting things, you can do that. But this also has 4 USB ports. It also has an Ethernet connector built into it. It has a full size HTMI connector over here. It has a full sized stereo/audio connector that also does composite video. And it has a micro SD slot for storage. So really, if you want to use it as a hardware hacking platform, you can do that. However, if you want to simply plug this- plug in a mouse and a keyboard and a screen on this, and use it as a Linux computer that could run Liber Office and a browser and stuff like that, you can also do that. If you want to use it as a prototyping board, you can do that. If you want to put it into an $8 plastic case that’s designed for it and turn it into a stand-alone XBMC media player, the software that runs that is as good as almost anything else that I’ve got plugged into any HTMI port that I’ve got on my big screen TV. I love it because you can program with Python and a couple of other languages. It really is the first computer I’ve bought, I’ve had, since I was a teen that really brought back what I love about computers as a kid. I feel like I own this computer. I know everything there is to know about it, I can build things for it, I can write things for it. As opposed to, I can sort of write an app for it with lots of really wonderful APIs, but with the permission of the company that makes this thing, I can do that. No, no, no. this is- there are many computers like this, but this computer is mine. The other thing is that I love the fact that it really is so versatile. I also have a couple- I’ve been using Arduinos for a good long time but its only good for certain types of hobby projects. This, again, if I want to word process on it all week, I can use this computer. If I can put it into my Darth Vader electronic bank to have it respond to things by Wi-Fi or Bluetooth, once I put the right transponders into those USB ports, I can do that. And then when I travel I can pull it out of the Darth Vader bank, put it into this little case and take it with me. When I travel so when I get my hotel room I can just plug this thing into the HDMI port in whatever TV is in my hotel room. And because, again, standard USB boards. I’ve got like, my 64 GB little data traveler thing, has lots of movies and TV shows on it. And now without having to bother with Apple TV and hooking it up with Wi-Fi and this, that and the other, I can simply have a VCR travelling with me that just simply has about 20 hours’ worth of high definition video on it. And then when I come back home again, I pull out the Wi-Fi, pull out the data storage thing, and then put it right back and have it controlling my Darth Vader bank via Wi-Fi and the internet. So it’s so much fun. Its $35. $35 damn stinking bucks. You’re not going to get a better bargain than that. And once you have this around, every time you think about, gee, I’d love to tinker with electronics. Well, guess what? You can probably do it with this. Or anytime you’ve got a programming project, guess what, you can probably do it with this. And the last thing to encourage you to actually buy one of these things, is that there’s such a powerful such a powerful and potent community of people who’ve been messing around with these for the past year or two. And so pretty much, you almost never have to build anything yourself. If you want to figure out how do I flip on the switch of this electronic toy with this device, there will be a tutorial that tells you, you’ll probably want to do this with a power mosfat. Here’s how to wire that up into these little pins, and here’s the script you want to run in order to do that. Here’s how to write a script so that it will automatically tweet out the temperature to your twitter account based on its built in sensor. You can just simply go out and get the Lego bits of all the different pieces of code and pieces of electronics that you want. And then build whatever you want. So much fun and $35. Just go get it.
Leo: It’s really cool. Which one did you get?
Andy: I got the B+, which just came out a few weeks ago. And I think that’s what really pulled the trigger. Because the first version was sort of a proof of concept. It was originally designed so that probably the marquee thing for people, the reason why this was open source design was we need a really cheap computer for kids in classrooms. Whether they want to learn how to program, learn how to develop electronics or just electronic courseware over the web or stuff like that. And so it was good, but you needed to add a whole bunch of stuff to it to make it really useful. Then they have the second version which has only 2 USB ports so that you couldn’t do keyboard, mouse, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, storage all in one thing. This one not only has the extra ports, but also it has a lot less power. It’s powered from this standard micro USB port right over here. That’s not data, that’s just power. But this thing sifts so little power that you can drive it from the little battery charger that I have for my phone. So If I want to do something and make it completely portable, if I don’t want to do something as complicated as develop a whole power bus for all of my electronics, I can just again, grab my phone charger, grab my USB cable, put that in a box. Great, it’s portable.
Leo: You can get them at Radio Shack. So help Radio Shack out because they’re about to go under.
Andy: I just feel like it’s kind of mean to come in there and say “no, I really only want to buy this $35 thing that doesn’t require- I’m sorry. Really I am. But I did bring this can of only recently expired canned food, it’s all pretty good. Who wants chili?”
Leo: Did you get it at Amazon? Where’d you get yours?
Andy: I bought it from Amazon. You can buy them as parts of kits too. So if you don’t want to even monkey with making any components whatsoever, you can buy add on boards that deliver the motor controllers and the server controllers. It’s manufactured by a bunch of different places and mine was manufactured by Element14. Which is also a great source for more information on how to program for it, how to do things for it. I can’t recommend it highly enough. And the other great thing is that they acknowledge that this is going to be the first time people have used a computer that needs to be set up before you can use it. And so there is this, you download a 1.2GB file called “knobs”. And you simply unzip it, you copy the files onto a micro SD card, put it in there, connect it to a monitor and boot it up. And it will show you, because the knobs instillation has, if you want it to be a Linux computer, here it is. You want it to be a media server? Click on this. 4, 5, or 6 different distros are on that file. And you click it, you select what language, select your time zone, click another button, and it will just simply configure this card to make this into whatever you want it to be. I’m sorry, when I get enthusiastic about things I have to burb along. But the last thing I will say is that another thing I like is that this is all the storage board. So if I want I can actually have one card that makes this into a Linux computer, another card that is a media server, another card that is something else entirely. Goodness gracious, the fun that you’re having. This really is like digital Legos. It’s just a box with stuff on it. And then it responds to your imagination.
Leo: I feel like someday I’ll retire and then I can just retire with my Raspberry Pie. ADAfruit is a really good resource. Adafruit.com. they have, not only the Raspberry Pi, but a lot of add on boards. Cameras, all sorts of stuff. Plus they do very good podcasts that describe this. We have a podcast, this is the ADAfruit page, just for people watching the video. And you can see all of the modules you can add to this. It’s really quite amazing. It’s not XPMC anymore. They renamed it. Terrible name. Kodi. The Kodi entertainment center. Just so you know. And another plug, we interviewed Ibon Upton, the founder of Raspberry Pi, this was a couple of years ago, so it’s a little out of date. On Triangulation. Triangulation 61. But he talks about the motivation for doing this and how it got together. And we have, I think, several know-how episodes on the Raspberry Pi with Father Robert. So lots of Raspberry Pi information here and else ware. It’s really cool. My pick of the week is not yet out, but it has been announced for iPhone and IPad. BioShock1. This is going to be a port from 2K Games. They haven’t announced a price but they do say it will be a premium product, not a frenium product. Thank you.
Andy: Kardashian free zone.
Leo: Kardashian free zone. By the way, the Kardashians is available on the desktop as well as iOS in case you’d like to… BioShock was one of the great PC games of all time. I loved the whole ethos. You’re underwater and it celebrates Arman’s objectivism and it’s just very interesting and really just a lot of fun to play. I look forward to this because this is pretty exciting. This is a port forum the creators 2K UK. Don’t know when. Don’t know where. Don’t know why. Don’t know how much. But we do know it’ll be iPad, iPhone. And when it comes you will see me playing.
Rene: You won’t see him here. You’ll see him playing it.
Leo: Yeah. You won’t see me here. I’ll have disappeared. Thank you so much for being here, Rene Ritchie is at iMore.com. That’s where you’ll catch all his great stuff, including the debug podcast. Always a good listen.
Rene: Thank you.
Leo: Give us a plug, what do you have coming up on debug?
Rene: On the next two Debugs we have Giant Space Cat who did Revolution 60 and then we have Jim Ray who was formerly of Mule Design. Vector tomorrow though, which is a different show. We have Don Melton talking about team building and how he built the Safari team at Apple and why it’s better to have people who are trustworthy and teachable than people who are necessarily just smart or experienced.
Leo: Ooh, awesome. And I do recommend the Marco Armont Debug. He talks about Overcast as a podcast app. you’re doing great stuff. Really love your podcasts. Imore.com. its great stuff. Also, from Andy Ihnatko, he is a writer- what are you, the tech guy?
Andy: I am a tech columnist. I am the hub of all technology at the Chicago Sun Times. The Mighty Chicago Sun Times.
Leo: The mighty Chicago Sun Times. He also has a little blog. Cwob. The celestial waste of bandwidth. You can catch his great stuff, andyi on the Flickr and does a couple of shows for the 5x5 network including the Ihnatko’s Almanac where he gets to talk about all the stuff he doesn’t get to talk about here. Including Guardians of the Galaxy. You guys liked it?
Andy: I’ve not seen it yet.
Leo: I am root.
Rene: It applies to everything.
Leo: It apparently does. It’s the saying of the month. Yeah, we enjoyed it. Yeah. See, but I read the comics, so I don’t know.
Andy: I haven’t seen it yet. Rene, is there a small compact luminescent glowing thing that they refuse to explain what the deal is with?
Rene: There are….. Gems everywhere Andy.
Andy: I’m just saying that in every Marvel movie there’s the glowing thing that everyone seems to think is important but nobody seems to be able to explain it, to be honest.
Leo: This whole movie is built around that.
Rene: They’re building towards the Infinity Gauntlet Andy. They have to get those stones.
Andy: Oh, and you know this because they explain this to you in the movie?
Leo: They do. Well, they don’t mention the Gauntlet. No spoilers here, but I think there is a glowing lump of something.
Andy: It’s a Marvel movie so I know it’s a glowing lump of something. I just don’t know what it is.
Leo: I actually love the required appearance of Stan Lee in this. In which he plays a lecherous old man with a young girl on his arm.
Rene: Huge stretch.
Andy: He’s a sweetheart, I’ve met him several times and he is the sweetest man you could ever want to be.
Leo: You can tell he’s sweet, but he’s kind of laughing at himself a little bit now. Which is fun.
Rene: I forget the movie, but he was in a Hefner jacket I think in one of them.
Leo: Yeah. They’re really playing up the lecherous old Stan Lee. It was fun.
Andy: What is the line from A Man for All Seasons? “To be 91, Stan Lee and alive all at the same time.”
Leo: Thanks for joining us. We do MacBreak Weekly each and every Tuesday 11am pacific, 2pm eastern time and 1800 UTC. If you watch live you will see things that you’ve never saw before. But if you can’t watch live, don’t worry. Fear not. We have on demand audio and video available after the fact at twit.tv/mbw. And also on stitcher, on our apps, by our generous 3rd party developers. Everywhere podcasts are aggregated and performed. And I today, am going to let the close out be handled by the great folks from the Clone Wars show. Are you getting my audio? Get back to work! We’ll see you next time on MacBreak Weekly.