MacBreak Weekly 917 Transcript

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

0:00:00 - Leo Laporte
It's time for MacBreak Weekly. Andy's here. Alex is here, actually. Alex is at NAB in Las Vegas. Jason Snell is here. I'm at mom's house and we're going to talk about lots of interesting things, including M4 and AI. Is Apple prepared for the revolution WWDC, what's going to be in the new iPads and why you never want to be a showrunner with a show on Apple TV+. All that and more coming up next on MacBreak Weekly.

Podcasts you love. From people you trust. This. Is TWIT.

This is MacBreak Weekly, episode 917, recorded Tuesday, April 16thth 2024. Let a Thousand Dorks Bloom. It's time for MacBreak Weekly, the show. We cover the latest news from apple and we are all over the map. Today, the only person uh well, I'm not, I'm, I don't know where I am. I'm at mom's house. Jason snell is it. Are you at home?

0:01:04 - Jason Snell
I'm in my garage. This is real. This is not a green screen. I am in my garage, I'm back from the eclipse and now back just in my garage with my dog. Was it really cool? Yeah, it was great. Total eclipse is the best Life-changing Well. I've seen it before. So this time when it happened I was like, oh my old friend, we meet again.

0:01:27 - Leo Laporte
We're not so different, you and I, and anyway it was really great, yeah, awesome. You know, some of the spookiness goes out of it when you realize it's just the moon casting a shadow yeah, oh yeah, it's like it's a weird shadow.

0:01:35 - Jason Snell
I mean the fact that one of the things people don't talk about enough is that because you're in a shadow, at like a spot shadow, everywhere around you in 360 degrees is sunset, so there's orange all around you because out there there's still sun, but not right in the in the shadow. It's pretty wild.

0:01:50 - Leo Laporte
That's cool my head is big enough that I can kind of simulate that.

0:01:54 - Jason Snell
Uh, in case anybody wants, to stand in front of a light. Do it make the ants?

0:01:58 - Leo Laporte
worship in their home. Yeah, andy and I goes also here. In fact, I'm gonna see any, uh, because he's just down the road a piece. I'm going to see him in a couple of days. Hey, andy. Yeah, we're going to get some clam cakes and chowder. Oh, I'm so excited. I was hoping it was close enough to summer that maybe some of the clam cake places would be open. I think Dune Brothers is open. I'm going to be heading over there. Yeah, I love that. That's the best part of this area. Also here, but this time from Las Vegas, Alex Lindsay doing their NAB coverage for Office.

0:02:29 - Alex Lindsay
Hours. You're on the show floor, we're on the show floor, we have our own booth, so yeah, so we're in Central Hall and we're here at NAB and this is the you know kind of the mecca for video production. So we've got three big halls full of toys.

0:02:45 - Leo Laporte
Your assignment is to bring stuff home.

0:02:48 - Alex Lindsay
Yes, it's the most. I go to a lot of expensive places. This is the most expensive place that I visit every year. I do the best I can not to spend too much money, but, yeah, learning a lot, it's been pretty amazing.

0:03:02 - Andy Ihnatko
Can I just say that I love the room tone that you've got and it just makes me wish you were. Instead of sitting down behind like a table microphone, you're standing up holding like a 1970s style Like this is Shelby Scott from Gloucester.

0:03:16 - Alex Lindsay
I'm here in the Central Hall, Central Hall of the National Association of Broadcasters. Association of Broadcasters.

0:03:24 - Andy Ihnatko
You know with all the Intensity in the Senate chambers as Senate Bill 24, known as the Nasties Bill, is argued to a contentious and fractious Senate. We should do a whole MacRig that way.

0:03:34 - Leo Laporte
With all the nostalgia going around. You know my little Atari 400 and stuff. It'd be really cool if you had that Dunesbury backpack that had the satellite dish on it and the whole thing we have.

0:03:45 - Alex Lindsay
I don't know. We can't really bring it over right now. We have a rig that looks very nearly as complicated. We saw that. You showed us the. It's gotten way worse, so much worse than it was before.

0:03:56 - Jason Snell
We are one year away from Alex doing an episode live, where he's just walking and a drone is following him.

0:04:03 - Alex Lindsay
Maybe two, no, that's not as cool as where he's just walking and a drone is following him. Maybe One year. No, that's not as cool as the rig he showed off last week.

0:04:13 - Andy Ihnatko
He made me think that you're outfitted, and functionally, just like Edison Carter from the Max Headroom TV show.

0:04:16 - Alex Lindsay
Yeah, yeah, yeah.

0:04:16 - Leo Laporte
That's nice looking.

0:04:17 - Alex Lindsay
That's my view of you.

0:04:18 - Leo Laporte
And that's, by the way, that box that you're looking at is not our normal feed Back to you. You're looking at is not our normal feed back to you. You're looking at that in the unreal engine.

0:04:26 - Alex Lindsay
Yeah, so we basically this was, this was just unreal. You know, I mean zoom released a bunch of things this week, but one of the things that they've been, they've been, they showed off at zoomtopia. Now we're using this kind of pre-release, um is, uh, this is zoom joined the zoom, the zoom meeting that we're in, and I mean not unreal engine joined the zoom meeting and we're in, and Unreal Engine joined the Zoom meeting, and we can then just map each person to different planes inside of Zoom, and so we can. Actually we're not going to do it now, but we can animate all these frames.

0:04:54 - Leo Laporte
Can we shoot?

0:04:54 - Alex Lindsay
it each other. That's the thing I'd like we could. I could actually, you know, we could actually set it up so that I could like fire at the different windows and there'd be like little holes in them and everything else. Yeah, it's all possible.

0:05:05 - Leo Laporte
I actually feel like I'm in a kind of my own version of fallout. I'm going through the cupboards to see what I can eat. I found some Bush's baked beans and I'm seeing well, how old is it? Do you think I could? And then I, but where's the can opener? There's no can opener and you know there's stray dogs wandering by. It feels. I feel like I'm, uh, I'm in the post-nuclear apocalypse that's great yeah yeah, it's great.

And creaky chairs. Uh, let us talk, ladies and gentlemen, about apple, because it's so funny. We're not even through releasing m3 products and now all the rumors are going crazy about m4. Maybe we'll even see m4 at wwdc. Because no, this is, this is the, the ai flavored apple silicon no, no, no, I don't think that's true.

0:05:53 - Jason Snell
I mean, mark german has a great report. I, I agree with you. There's the whole like m3, welcome, get out. Right, it's happening now because, like it was just, but it was just here, and now you're talking m4. But I think people are running away from uh with themselves when they're like, oh, maybe it'll be a wwc. I think mark german's report is pretty clear. It's going to happen toward the end of the year. It's going to be a one-year cycle, so it'll come in october or november ish, just like the m3 did.

And as for the report about ai, I want to just caution people. Mark Gurman's sources are amazing. He is the best scoop reporter working today and has been really for almost a decade, I would say now, from back when he was in college. However, there's also storytelling happening here, and when he talks about AI and he talks about how Apple's hoping to revive flagging Mac sales, that's narrative building, that's storytelling.

He doesn't report that Apple is adding souped up AI features to the chips. He just says Apple is, by the way, adding AI features at WWDC. I think if this chip had like a whole brand new neural engine or many, many, many more neural engine cores and was like completely redesigned because they realized they needed to do more AI and their chips. I think he would have reported it. The fact is, apple's been doing AI capability in their chips for ages now, and so the story is just he's trying to say, put it in the larger context of hey, you know, this summer Apple is also going to talk about AI software and these chips will be powerful. But there's no, this is not like a magic chip full of AI juice. It's just an M4 and Apple's already. Trust me, machine learning hardware is not Apple's problem.

0:07:36 - Andy Ihnatko
Yeah, and and and. Also, like we're asked, when Google announces, hey, we've got this new tensor tensor AI chip that we're putting on all our phones, that's the result of them working on AI and shifting to AI for 10 years, apple probably has not had enough runway on this idea to say we are building silicon specifically to run our AI models and to serve the AI needs of macOS and iPhone OS Not yet, so I'm certain. Yeah, exactly. Iphone OS Not yet, so I'm sure, yeah, exactly. I mean, at this point, I'm sure that they're.

That affects the metrics that they use when they decide on performance versus power, like a power consumption heat, when, if they're probably thinking that, ok, we are now willing to increase the thermal envelope of our chips, we now, we're now willing to have these things draw more power if it means that we can get a little, we we can go from 10 to 11 when we need to to run a whole bunch of stuff on device, because that's going to be the thing that distinguishes Apple's AI from everyone else's AI, whereas with Google they are very, very they want to make sure you know that amongst the portfolio of models that they have, they have a low power device that will be able to run excuse me, a low power model that can run entirely locally on device without connecting to Google servers or anything.

Apple is the one that's going to say we might have a model that can do some stuff in the cloud, but mostly we are going to have you trust that whatever data that you're interacting with with our AI is going to be staying private to your device, whether it's a Mac, whether it's a power Mac, whether it's a pro Mac, whether it's a, whether it's an iPhone, whether it's a pro iPhone, whatever.

0:09:06 - Leo Laporte
It makes. I guess it makes sense to me that Apple. Okay, this is talk about storytelling, jason. This is what the story I told myself.

0:09:15 - Jason Snell
Apothecy tells us the story.

0:09:17 - Leo Laporte
Well, what I'm thinking is we saw this with the M3, as much as we expected, even on a new what was it? Three nanometer node uh, we didn't see the biggest performance jumps. That maybe I thought I was going to see. Others thought, and maybe apple is now to the point with their chips of uh its flavors, not performance.

0:09:42 - Jason Snell
That they're going to start looking at is that we definitely saw that with the m3, and you're right. Right, the m3 is not like the m2 and the m1 in the sense that the the m3 pro chip is different from the max the interconnects are different right yeah, but it used to be a chop basically.

So there was like the pro chip and the max was just like more. And then this m3 max is different and the m3 Pro is actually a little bit less, because I think they want to make it more portable, to hit a sweet spot, kind of on the low end Not the low end of, I guess, mid range we could call it but like, right, you're lower end MacBook Pro, but you want a little more than the M3. It is, but it doesn't advance like the M3 Max, which really got a lot faster. So I think that I think you're right. I think Apple is only going to be able to make incremental updates most of the time, because that's just the way it works, right. So every M gets whatever 15 percent faster or something.

But what they can also do is mix and match with their components. So like if they do a new neural engine core which they did, I think, last time it will be a lot faster. But they can also choose how many of those cores to put on, how many GPUs to put on, how many. They've got these different processing blocks. So, for example, in the pro versions of the M1, they had processing blocks to do video encoding to do, to do Apple ProRes encoding and now and it's in the base M2 and M3 as well.

So that's their other part of this, right, is? It's not just like how fast is a core, it's like how fast are the cores? Yes, how fast are the GPU cores and the CPU cores? How fast is the neural engine? How many of each of them? What's the balance? And that does allow them to do that thing where they're like I'll put it's like a chef making a few different versions of the same recipe. Right, I'll make this version for the down-low version and this one will go to the mid-range and this will go to the high-end, and they can experiment with those variations. So the one thing where we might actually see Apple's interest in AI in a future version is, for example, ramping up the GPUs or ramping up the neural engine cores. But they can do that, right, like that's the kind of stuff where they're mixing and matching that I think you'll see more of.

0:11:49 - Alex Lindsay
And I think the danger really is, you know, confusion, you know, for the person who's buying, you know there starts to be like, well, what chip do I get? You know, and usually it's been like, oh, I get the new one. The new one's going to be this much faster than the old one, and if it starts getting into, I got to figure out which one, and I need a spreadsheet to figure out which one I want. This gets back into all the trouble that Apple had in the 90s, where it wasn't simple anymore. Too many skews. You just couldn't figure out what you needed and how you needed it.

So I think that's going to be the challenge that they're going to have to work through. I also think that, with all of the AI stuff that they're talking about, I think Apple's approach is going to be much different than everyone else's, so it'll be really interesting to see how they roll that out. It's probably not going to look like chat, gpt. It's going to be probably some kind of federated solution that the most important things stay on your device and then other things that are less important are probably sent out to the rest of the out to google or somebody else I.

0:12:46 - Andy Ihnatko
I do hope that they're giving that a lot of thought, though remember that we all love the cardinal differences in philosophy between apple and google, where google can do so much more for you in certain areas because it's collecting so much information, apple is not quite so savvy about being able to uh divine a solution for you that works across applications and across structures, but it is keeping your privacy sacrosanct. That's again. That's the cardinal, uh, cardinal opinions that differ, but you can pick which one you get, and with ai it might be the exact same thing, but also but also a bit of a problem if google is. If solutions from google open ai, whatever are saying, well, no. We are also a bit of a problem If solutions from Google OpenAI, whatever are saying, well, no, we are putting a lot of stuff in the cloud, we are doing a lot of the processing off of your device, but that means that anytime we need a gajillion cores to make this solution, to make it happen fast.

Anytime we want to make a solution that does not burn up your device's battery, all it needs to do is transmit something via Wi-Fi or broadband, and then it will simply spit out a result back. If Apple is limited to just what their own handheld CPUs can do. That's going to put them at a disadvantage for a suite of features that I think is really going to speak to a lot of people.

0:14:03 - Jason Snell
Yeah, I wanted to say something about the confusion thing, because I think Alex is right, and we've always mentioned the four quadrants. I do think, though, that Apple has done a very good job, in the Apple Silicon era, of keeping it clear. We can all, as nerds, talk about how many CPUs, how many GPUs, all of that kind of stuff, but in the end it's the M, whatever the Pro, the Max and the Ultra, and so it's the m, whatever the pro, the max and the ultra, and so it's one, two, three, four. It's good, better, best, and you don't, you can't afford it, and they go in very specific products, and that hasn't really changed. They, they. They added a higher end skew to the mac mini in version two, but like the m3 goes in the macbook air, so will the m4 and the iMac. Right, that's where it goes.

The MacBook Pro spans because there are low-end ones and high-end ones, like there are. The Mac Studio has the high-end two chips, right, so I think there is some discipline there. That is good, because it's absolutely true that this consumers, you know, they don't care, and even pros on one level kind of don't care, and even pros on one level kind of don't care, they just want to know, like, give me the right target to shoot at and and say, like max, like as a as a Mac studio user, like M three or four, max is going to be my next purchase. Right, it's like max is the sweet spot when I make an investment to do all my video encoding and stuff like that. It's just so I think they've been pretty good at that for something that could be like they. We don't talk about clock speeds and right. We don't really even talk about the cores, right. I mean they have very limited core variations on their site.

0:15:34 - Andy Ihnatko
They really keep it simple, um, which is good because it gets real complex, real fast yeah, people who read the german report might be surprised to find that, oh, wow, wow, the G4, the next generation and, according to his report, the first devices that will use the M4s and the ones that will be coming out in late 2024, wow, they're putting it first in the desktop, in the iMac, they're putting it first in what's described as a low-end MacBook Pro. But it's the hottest news? Well, no, it's not really, because, like jason says, it's not somewhat the. The m4, m3, m2, m1 that's base. That's the basic design of this piece of silicon and how they package it is how they turn it into a pro, into a max, into into a budget, affordable and unobtainium, by putting so much of these cores on a single die to have them communicate with each other in flea whisker length lengths of copper. That's how they actually get that performance, not by saying, well, this M is one more, isn't it?

0:16:40 - Leo Laporte
But that's how consumers are going to look at it. I mean, an M4 is one better than an m3, isn't it?

0:16:46 - Andy Ihnatko
and until intel is creating the exact same confusion we we all think of oh, this i3, if i5, i7, i9, yes, but which i3, which i5?

0:16:55 - Leo Laporte
which i7 really muddied the waters as is amd. It's very hard to know what you're getting also, we already just did this right.

0:17:01 - Jason Snell
Last fall we they announced the iMac, which was an M3, and they announced the MacBook Pro, which was M3, m3 Pro and M3 Max. All right, let me throw.

0:17:10 - Leo Laporte
There's a monkey wrench into this oh no mention the iPad. Okay, is it going to be an M4?

0:17:16 - Jason Snell
iPad. No, the. The next generation of iPads is coming out and it'll be an M3 and there'll be an M4 iPad. You know it'll be for sure. I mean there are. Look, people run away with this mark.

0:17:27 - Leo Laporte
German's report's pretty clear the m4 is coming at the end of the year end of the year, not any sooner, okay, no sooner okay, um, you know, because it up till now the iphone's got the latest chip, but but there was, as you say, it was different sprinkles and no gummy bears yeah, so what?

0:17:46 - Jason Snell
what german's report? There's a detail in there that I think is interesting, which is he says apple's goal has been to get apple silicon on the m series right for the mac on an annual cycle, like the iphone. Right and it sounds like that which, which saves a lot. Right, because it means that they design a core and it's instantly like that generation ships with that core, whereas before we were like, ok, every 18 months, is this on last fall's core or is it on next fall's?

0:18:11 - Leo Laporte
core. If they did that, they could drop M3 4 and just call it 2024, 2025.

0:18:17 - Jason Snell
Yeah, yeah, well, it's just like the A series, right? They increment the A series every year for the iPhone, so it sounds like this is their platonic ideal is, every fall there's a new core generation and it includes the A whatever and the M whatever, and off we go. And that seems to be what they're doing.

0:18:35 - Andy Ihnatko
So okay, for what it's worth. I mean, I've been talking about, oh, I'm finally gonna be able to upgrade my Mac mini to like Apple Silicon, and I keep putting it off, putting it off with every new iteration, and I'm not going to wait until the spring of 2025 to wait for an M4 based Mac mini. I'm going to get some flavor of M3 Max or M3 Pro this year, because it's not going to be that big of a difference between the M3 and the m4 now, maybe I misremembered this, but didn't german also say, though, that the new ipads will be the first generation of this uh?

0:19:12 - Leo Laporte
is it this uh 3n node the new node, and isn't that? I mean, I am really muddying the waters, isn't that a little chip design, right? I know, I don't remember that report, but the node isn't the chip design.

0:19:25 - Jason Snell
there's some speculation that they might be on the new node for the Ultra, that the M3 Ultra might actually be on a different process at TSMC, but now we're really down in the weeds. Right, but it would still be using the M3 generation of cores, and so the process is not the same as the chip generation.

0:19:43 - Alex Lindsay
So the process is not the same as the chip generation and I think that for the iPad, that's the real place where I don't know if people will know or care. I mean, they're going to want something that's faster. But I have to say that for most applications, I have one iPad that's two years old and one iPad that's three years old. I didn't buy last year's iPad because I didn't think it was. What am I going to do with it? Like, what is new and this is the biggest challenge that Apple has with the iPads what is new? That's enough new that I'm going to buy a new one, because, you know, my kids just finally stopped using one, the very original iPad Pro. I mean not iPad Pro or iPad, no, the very original 12.9.

And it was working perfectly well. I I mean apple's almost overbuilt them for a long time. They're all overbuilt well and and the issue is that the software, the, the, the, they are getting better from ipad to ipad. The problem really is is that there's not enough. You know, apple, even apple and others aren't pushing the, the hardware, the software, hard enough to to actually use the hardware. You know, use the hardware, and that's the issue. That's a tale as old as time.

0:20:44 - Leo Laporte
Let me read the paragraph from the Verge, that is that this is to me. This is what consumers are going to read, not Mark Gurman, because that's paid paywall. They're going to read this and this is going to confuse the hell out of them. The this is the Verge. The M4 chip will come in at least three different tiers, including the entry-level M4 chip codenamed Donan, the mid-tier Brava and the highest-performing Hydra chip. According to Bloomberg, apple reportedly will add Donan to the entry-level MacBook Pro, its MacBook Airs and the lower-end Mac Mini. Meanwhile, bloomberg says Apple reserved the mid-tier Brava for the higher-spec MacBook Pros, mac Minis and Mac Studio, while adding the top-tier Hydra to the Mac Pro.

0:21:27 - Jason Snell
Yeah, I mean, aren't codenames fun? Everybody loves codenames.

0:21:31 - Leo Laporte
This is the worst.

0:21:32 - Jason Snell
You can just do it in your mind Donen is M4, and it sounds like Brava is M4 Pro and maybe also M4 Max and whatever it is. Mechagodzilla is M4 Ultra, and that's it like, and it's gonna go where you want, like there's nothing here, right? This is it. It's storytelling. It really is mark german showing off that he knows the names of the products.

0:21:55 - Leo Laporte
That's what it is and fine credit to him, but nobody else should care yeah, you should really just buy and the product says what it is. You know what you're getting. If you're getting a, you know what you're getting, if you're getting a Mac Mini. You know what you're getting.

0:22:06 - Jason Snell
It only matters if you're in a product like the Mac Mini or the MacBook Pro, where you have chip options right and they are more expensive, and you can go all the way from the M3 up to the M3.

0:22:16 - Leo Laporte
Pro, but even then you can go by price. You just go by price.

0:22:19 - Jason Snell
But you could extrapolate from the price that you're getting more. It's 100% true. I Extrapolate from the price that you're getting more.

0:22:22 - Leo Laporte
It's 100% true, I'm getting the cheap one, I'm getting the expensive one. I do think it's interesting and again, this is not coming from Apple, but the drumbeat is very strong. The WWDC is going to be the AI WWDC that Apple's going to focus on AI. Apple really hasn't had much of a story with AI, you know, except for for you know research papers about ferret and things like that. Um, I feel like this is I. I can't decide whether apple has decided to let the ai pass them by. They're probably not insured themselves. They're not going to let ai pass?

0:22:58 - Andy Ihnatko
no, absolutely not. I, I, they are kind of visibly on the back foot because they have AI has been. They've used words like machine learning a lot, particularly with computational photography For years, and little things like that. They haven't been able to show anything. But again, the suites of AI-driven features a lot of them are again so compelling to so many users. It's not about hey look, I've got the new GTP4 Pro LLM model running on my, whatever it's like. Hey look, I've got 500 emails and it was able to summarize pretty much and prioritize these things for me immediately. That's the sort of stuff that's compelling. Circling a person in a photo you just took on your phone and shoving them over to the right a little bit and having the background hole filled in with a completely convincing replacement of of trees, grass and sky that's really compelling.

0:23:52 - Leo Laporte
Right, those places are owned by Microsoft and Google respectively. I mean owned big time?

0:23:57 - Andy Ihnatko
No, well, but Apple can get back, can get back on on that horse, but this is WDC, is is being is going to be the AI WWDC because Apple really has to, after they had a lot of months to put this, put this presentation together to make sure that analysts, investors, everybody knows that, no, we're not going to get black buried by AI, we are not going to be the company. That's that keeps our faith. And well, touch screen, people don't want to type on a piece of glass. I think that our business model is completely still in tune with what customers want. No, they're saying that, no, we don't have, we don't have a touch screen yet, but we have stuff to show off and we are clearly moving towards that place. This is AI is not going to sink the company. It might be one of several factors that kind of make it a kind of a hot potato investment for the next year or so.

So this is why they're going to make that sales pitch.

0:24:50 - Leo Laporte
There has to be some concern. In Cupertino, though, mac sales fell in the last fiscal year 27 percent. For the first time in some years, samsung is the number one smartphone manufacturer. Apple's iPhone sales are down a significant amount.

0:25:06 - Andy Ihnatko
That's particularly bad, by the way, because they're down 9.6% year to year, despite the global market for smartphones being up 7.8%.

0:25:14 - Jason Snell
That's not good.

0:25:15 - Andy Ihnatko
And particularly in markets like China, where they are just having so much problems holding on to that reputation as no, no, we are the elegant, expensive brand that everybody wants as opposed to well. No, we're Huawei. We're the homegrown example that's absolutely in tune for your local market. We're not someone from across the planet who's just taking guesses as to what we want. So this is, as I said a lot of this has to be. I can't think of another WWDC where the subtext of please, analysts, please, don't keep undervaluing us, please don't make it difficult to maintain us as an investment. Again, they're not desperate, not this year, not by any stretch of the imagination. But this is the sort of stuff that wipes hundreds of millions of dollars off of valuation very, very easily with just one bad press release, just one bad announcement that they didn't have any control over, and they're going to be trying to mitigate that over the next several months.

0:26:12 - Alex Lindsay
I still don't know. I mean I don't know how much iPhone users are worried about whether their hardware has AI. I mean we've got chat, gpt, We've got a lot of these other services available to us. The fact that it's not embedded into that system may or may not be that. I just don't know if it's a desperate. They're a hardware company with people who are probably not going to change size anytime soon. A lot of their sales are going down in China, not in a lot of other places. So it may be down overall, but I'm not sure that the AI story is really what is affecting people buying their phones and I don't think it would be that way. People were talking about Apple being behind on 5G and they finally did 5G after I don't know being two years behind, and it didn't. I don't know if it moved the needle. I mean, it didn't make any difference on my phone, except that the calls aren't as good.

So, like you, know, so I think, that you know, we don't care so much about the stock market. I just think that, like the five, everyone was like 5G, 5g, 5g. And then we, you know, got 5G and didn't make any difference. You know, like you know, and Apple didn't rush, and if they still had LTE, my phone would probably work better.

0:27:20 - Jason Snell
I don't know, I I don't know if I was telling earlier, Right, but the fact is, the one place where it matters is some place like the stock market and like investment. And if you care which again I do not care I don't think we care about the stock market and about Apple.

I bet you people at Apple care yeah people at Apple do care and the shareholders care, and so it. It is important in that way. I also want to say just we can get like are there some flashing warning lights in Cupertino? There absolutely are. That said, we can overstate some of this drama. Mac sales are basically back where they were pre-pandemic, but in the meantime, between then and now, there was an enormous influx of Mac sales, so the Mac install base is actually way larger than it was. I would actually argue it's kind of amazing that Mac sales went back to the 2019 level because they sold a lot of brand new Macs for like three years. Those people probably aren't upgrading, so they're still managing to not take a nosedive after that incredible high in 20 and 21.

And on the iPhone side, we can talk about it and yes, there is softness in the iPhone. But I'll also point out the holiday quarter iPhone sales number was the second highest iPhone sales number of all time, down from the previous quarter. So it is also a case where sometimes Apple's heights get so high that when they lose 5% or 8%, everybody freaks out in Wall Street. I get why and those warning lights should be coming on. But let's also get real here. Apple's still selling more iPhones than they were three years ago and probably two years ago. So it's not like. But if you're at Apple, you're paid to worry about what's going to happen three years, five years out, right, because they're designing those products. They absolutely should be. I'm also not convinced that any sales are being lost because people are like oh gee, I don't know what Apple's going to do about AI. I feel that that's a little bit of an inside industry thing at this point.

0:29:10 - Andy Ihnatko
Well, yeah, I mean, I do agree with that. But the thing is, these things are cumulative. It's like putting stress on a piece of metal that you can get away with it for years and years and years, and then suddenly you have to shut down the entire bridge for five years and rebuild it from the top to bottom, because now it's just so stressed it's about to collapse again. Apple is not in that position right now, but there comes there. There comes a point where, uh, the iphone, iphone users will be that, excuse me, in the worst case scenario, there would be a point where the iphone users are the ones who are sort of looking over the shoulder at a friend of theirs who has an android phone who says, wow, you were able, were able, to make that photo edit really quickly.

Why doesn't my phone do that? Hey, wow, you and I both were at the same meeting. You're going home at 5 pm. I'm still processing all of this data that needs to be turned into action items and figures and updates, and you're going home right now and I'm still working on this. Why can't my phone? Why can't my operating system? Why can't my desktop do that?

0:30:06 - Jason Snell
And over. Well, sure, but that's why the warning lights are on, and I mean, you're describing a world where Apple does nothing and Android moves forward, and I think that's not going to happen.

0:30:15 - Andy Ihnatko
Well, no, I'm just reframing it as, yes, it's true that most users don't care about AI. They don't care about language models, they don't care about open AI versus Gemini. However, they do care about wow, a modern phone. I expect that a modern desktop and a modern phone can do these things. Apple has to make sure that their phone and their desktop can do those things as well, and what's going to power a lot of those features is going to be AI. And when?

0:30:40 - Jason Snell
we're talking about warning lights and the future, that's absolutely right, but when you're tying it to Apple's current phone sales or Mac sales, it's wrong, I think. I think, that's the difference is, if we talk to the future, sure, but I do not think there are people who are like, oh geez, I'm going to abandon the iPhone now because I don't know. I really want this. I just don't think that that's happening in any appreci the future, which is why they're freaking out and doing AI this summer. Apparently, we'll see how good they did.

0:31:08 - Andy Ihnatko
Just quickly knowing this conversation is making that point, just to make that really, really clear. But when you talk about analysts, analysts are the sort of people who do worry about what moves are going to be made with a $100 million investment at a time in the next quarter, and a lot of that is based on faith. A lot of that is based on guesswork backed by millions of dollars of spreadsheets. But these are the things where, if Apple trips up, that can wipe out tens of millions of dollars of valuation in a day and hopefully, and it will almost certainly be brought back in about a week. But in the meantime, there are a lot of investors and a lot of boards that are like I really wish that Apple hadn't lost tens of millions of dollars of value, because that really screws up what I can do with my money in this quarter. So, yeah, there are a lot of different variables.

0:32:02 - Alex Lindsay
I think Apple, methodically, is doing the kind of buybacks and all kinds of other things to keep the stock moving forward, and I think that that's there. But I think also, apple has a cash position set up specifically so they don't have to sit there and worry at every moment about what people think of what they're doing. I think it's a much longer term process and I think that Apple always knew that this day would come when people stopped buying iPhones at a record rate every single quarter, and that's why there's focus so much on services, yeah, and I think the real threat from AI it's hard to tell this is reading tea leaves, but the real threat from AI is probably not on your computer or on your phone.

0:32:43 - Leo Laporte
It's an adjunct device. You know. Rewindai just announced their Limitless clip, did you see? You probably all saw that, which is a really interesting device that does not require an iPhone does not use.

0:32:58 - Alex Lindsay
The question is, am I going to buy that and then not use my iPhone?

0:33:01 - Leo Laporte
Well, no, but I think that's what I'm saying is that AI may not be so tightly tied to the phone or the computer that what people end up and apple really should have a position in this as separate from the phone and the computer what people may very well end up doing is using ai devices. You know how humane just got slammed by marquez brownlee and everybody's all upset about that. Uh, I think we all saw that coming. I saw the AI pin, the main pin and I was thinking should I buy that? And I immediately said no. I did buy, however, the limitless clip, because it records everything, synopsizes, it, writes notes for you. It's an off device thing and I think that there may. It's again, it's hard to predict where the future of AI lies. Who knows? It could be in the dumps for all I know. But I think it's Apple's position. They need to be working. I wish they'd worked as hard on an external AI device as they did on the Vision Pro. To be honest with you.

I think that's going to be where you really want to be to be where you really want to be.

0:34:05 - Alex Lindsay
But I think that apple but I think, I think I still think that apple tends to hang back.

Watch, you know a lot of you know a lot of times I always think of. Apple is a little bit like you know, I'm a stealer fan and there was, we had this running back levion bell and what made him so good was you'd watch him stutter, step going into the line. He didn't just barrel into the line like he's sitting there waiting for his moment to open, and I think Apple does this a lot. They look at a technology, it, we, we, everyone wrings their hands that Apple's behind on this and they're behind on that. And then they put something out and but oftentimes it's a year or two years behind everybody else, and so there's a bunch of wringing of hands for a couple of years and they put something out and it it's, it's, it's the Apple version of that, and sometimes it's not even as good as some of the other ones. I don't, you know, I'm not going to purport that everything there, but it fits into the overall experience that an Apple user expects.

0:34:52 - Andy Ihnatko
Yeah, we just have to hope that there's enough long enough runway that they can actually pull that sort of thing off Again with AI. You have to have such a long-term investment, you investment, you have to plant your crops 10 years before you can harvest. And if again, if five years from now, everybody's talking about how I don't think. I don't think the phone is going anywhere because it just fulfills so many functions, including taking wonderful 4K videos and beautiful multi megapixel photos, in any situation. That's one of the reasons why the phone isn't going anywhere.

0:35:22 - Leo Laporte
But that's what they said about point and shoot cameras about five years ago. They're not going anywhere. What else would you?

0:35:28 - Andy Ihnatko
do. Well, yeah, that's equivalent. Things change. But what I'm getting at is that it could be just as simple as again, five years from now, being able to tell your personal assistant hey, bob and Julia send me reports every Thursday and Friday, set everything up so that every Monday, I get an analysis of this, incorporating everything from our financials and everything from the Reuters news service, and prepare a report and a slide deck that's ready for me every Monday at nine and it just says OK, I'll do that. And that's the sort of thing, five years from now, that people are going to say well, why You're, you're, you're actually open. What? What is keynote? What is that app?

0:36:14 - Leo Laporte
It's, it's, you're, oh, you're building a presentation with an app with a keyboard. Okay, that's. The point is that things are changing in a very unpredictable way, very rapidly, and I don't think you can look at the history of Apple and Apple's playbook and say, well, that's going to work forever. I don't know if it is. I think it's very easy. Apple could lose this, but they have the pieces. Right now, with the AirPods, for instance, they have the pieces. I think that, honestly, that's putting AI in the phone or in the Mac or in the chip is maybe not the way to be looking at it.

0:36:44 - Jason Snell
So this is what I was thinking about the HumanePin, which you mentioned earlier, is I wonder if the problem with the HumanePin isn't just it's a product with a bad premise, because I feel like they tried to at least put lipstick on a pig and say oh, you don't need your smartphone, you don't need a phone. They couldn't afford to integrate with smartphones or they couldn't do it All you need is the palm of your hand.

That's all you need. Yeah, I mean I. I, which I mean people love their smartphones. So I think it was stupid, but I think maybe it was out of desperation that they did that. But I remember a classic Steve Jobs-ism which is uh, your thing is.

A is not a product, it's a feature. And I think sometimes about the AI pin, that that's what it is is it's a feature. And so the question is does Apple, for example, need to be the world's leader in AI models, or they're going to go out of business? Or is it more like does Apple need to be a leader in having products that work with the good AI models and do the stuff that people want to do and succeed? Because you're right, leo, when I think about the AI pin, I start to think well, apple's doing some AI stuff right now. Is it possible? Um, the the great verge video talks about this too.

Where, where? Um, where? The verge reviewer oh God, now I've forgotten his name David Pierce. Um. So such a great video, such a great review.

And he says, like my cellular Apple Watch is already more capable than the AI pin is at a lot of things. And then you think and if there's a new Apple Watch in the next year or two that has a good enough processor that it can do some on-device ML processing plus cloud querying and bring it all back. And then you've also got AirPods that can hear your world around you and maybe some other devices that Apple is building. You know, if Apple does that right, then what Apple is all about is integrating their hardware and ecosystem into a world where there are cloud data sources and there's AI processing happening and, like they don't necessarily have to do it all, but they do, like there are. There are opportunities because they've already got the hardware and the hardware skills to put those things in our ears and on our wrists and in our pockets yeah, to put it in terms, alex would understand levy on bell has to skate to where the football is going.

0:38:57 - Leo Laporte
Oh, isn't that right?

0:38:59 - Alex Lindsay
yeah, exactly well, and I think that I think that the the thing is is that is that again, I think Apple's got a lot of time. I don't think they have a lot of time.

0:39:07 - Leo Laporte
That's the point I think they need to be on it now.

0:39:09 - Alex Lindsay
I think that they've been on it probably for a little while. I hope so. So I think us assuming that Apple turned it on in the last two years is probably yeah, they've probably been thinking about AI for a little while.

0:39:20 - Leo Laporte
They probably have a couple hundred employees working on it. But Siri, if Siri's the best they could do at that.

0:39:23 - Alex Lindsay
No, I think Siri is the I mean like. For instance. A good example is for me, siri. I don't use Siri almost at all, and the main reason I don't do it is I have a whole bunch of Apple devices and they all light up every time I say something, you know, and so I just turn it off everywhere, you know, and the problem, you know the thing is, is that I don't use Siri very much and I still love my Apple products, you know. And so the thing is it's not like I in the kitchen will ask Siri some basic things like the weather and everything else I don't feel like I need like as an Apple user, I guess I don't feel like I need that anytime soon.

0:39:54 - Leo Laporte
We're talking about the future, not the present.

0:39:56 - Alex Lindsay
What I'm saying is that it's I think that Apple. Number one is I think that we should probably assume Apple has been thinking about AI for at least a decade and that we should. You know, you know so they. It's not that they haven't been paying attention, they just haven't released anything yet. That's a big, big difference there. And number two is that I think that, but I don't think it has to be, I don't think they can talk about WWC, talk about WWC. I don't think it's that much of a rush. I think that they have to be working on it. I think that they have to be figuring out what they're going to do, but I don't think they have to do something this June. That's going to suddenly move the needle.

If you know, and I think that the you know cause the number one thing every year that people use to decide what what phone they're going to buy is what is their camera doing? Like you know, like that is like when you look at every time they ask someone like, how do you choose a new phone? Like, and most of us, when we're waiting, looking at a new iPhone release, we're like waiting, waiting for them to get to the camera, and they put it at the end, because they know that as soon as we find out what the camera, the new camera, is, we'll decide whether we're upgrading or not. You know, and so the thing is is that I think that that's the and that's going to be the case probably for at least a couple couple more years, and I think that Apple absolutely has to figure out how they're going to and, again, I think it's a federated solution I think that they're going to do things that interrogate the content that you have on your phone privately, very effectively.

Tell me, hey, I had an email to Andy two years ago and it was about what kind of lights he was using. Can you find that email for me and have it come up in? Those kinds of natural, like, natural, like, I need to do that. That's the kind of thing you want to keep on your phone. And then integrating with other things that allow you to do the higher, scalable and and riskier things, um, and making, making sure that those are integratable into what? Into your experience, and I think that that's a. To me, that's a much better solution than trying to boil the ocean, and I think that the but I think Apple I'm not saying that Apple shouldn't be worried about it and I think that they are, and I think they've been thinking about it for a while. I just don't think that they have to do something. There's not a lot of rush that's required. I don't think people are making phone decisions about it this year or even next year.

0:42:00 - Andy Ihnatko
Yeah, and also we all know that the iPhone market is. You can't really judge it or predict it. The way that you talk about Samsung or any other manufacturer, the iPhone audience is a very special audience. Apple really has to stick its thumb in a user's eye in order to get people to even consider walking into a phone and not just deciding what new iPhone am I going to buy. But the only thing I'm worried about is that a lot of the AI features you described. They're great, they're useful, but you're making a faster horse and other people, even startups, might be creating jet engines. They might be creating rockets, things that, no, it doesn't do. Search local and internet much, much better and much, much faster.

It is the answer to the question of why aren't digital assistants more useful? As much as I like digital assistants, as much as I see the potential in it, I acknowledge that most people are using it to turn lights on or off and set timers, and that's pretty much it. But that's the failing of imagination. I've always just loved the potential of every single circumstance in which I want an absolute no touch, no look interface that can do 50 to 70 percent of the things that I need a phone or even a desktop to do just as. Simply, while I'm in the kitchen, not setting a timer to make sure that I take out my roast in time, but saying that, oh, by the way, I want to take a look. Look through my, my Chrome bookmarks. But saying that, oh, by the way, I want to take a look, look through my, my Chrome bookmarks, find everything that's related to Mac news and put it in a Google doc spreadsheet and organize them by topic. And if I've, and if I've done something, if I've bookmarked something several times, put that higher up on the list. And actually, if you could give me a heat index of how much other P other news organizations are talking about that, that'd be great too. And while I'm drying the dishes, like now on my smart display, there is a picture of that spreadsheet. That's the sort of stuff that's not a faster horse, that's a rocket ship.

And again, I agree with everything that's being said that Apple does not have to pull a rabbit out of its hat this year. But that's why, when we talk about WWDC, all they have to do is make sure that they know that AI is part of the conversation, with every large, serious tech company's keynote of their strategy. They just have to make sure that they're not necessarily saying here's what we're going to be doing in late 2024, 25, 26. But they can no longer pretend that this is something that oh well, here's a research project that we've done, we've published a paper and here is a way that we've done to enhance facial recognition. They have to say here is investments we're making in AI, not just any AI, but Apple's version of AI, which we think we can bring great things to the table for.

0:44:39 - Leo Laporte
What's really clear is that the stakes for June are very high for Apple and that WWDC is going to be hotly anticipated and watched with interest.

0:44:51 - Alex Lindsay
I don't think it's that. I think if next year or the year after is a big deal from an AI perspective. I think that they have a lot planned for WWDC, I think if they show some stuff. But I just don't think.

0:45:02 - Leo Laporte
They don't need to show anything. They need to show that they get it.

0:45:07 - Jason Snell
That's it. That get it, that's it, that's it. I think that's where the stakes are high. Is that? Alex is right? This is going to take years and if they just ship a bunch of stuff this fall and then walk away, they will have failed. But I think the stakes are high because the narrative is important, because telling the world and wall street that you are on it, which they've, I mean honestly. If you listen to statements Tim Cook has been making for the last four months, it's always like yep, we know, we're on it, we're doing stuff, you'll see Right. Like they are aware that people want to hear them say we have a strategy and here's what it is, and then they have to execute. But Alex is right in the sense that this is not going to be a thing where they're going to be able to announce some stuff and ship it and solve it this year. It's an ongoing process, but they do need to show their commitment and that they get it and that they understand that it's important and they've been releasing some white papers.

0:45:50 - Alex Lindsay
It's more of a touchy-feely. Yeah, and they've started to release a couple of white papers. That's kind of like, hey, you know, we have some smart people here. You know, like there is a little bit of a hinting towards that as well.

0:46:16 - Jason Snell
Yeah, I bet that everyone who works on AI at Apple.

0:46:17 - Leo Laporte
They're suddenly like around October, maybe even August of last year they said, hey, wow, now we've got like actual name brand creamer in the fridge in the break room instead of like the Walmart brand. Who are the good sons here now? The mechanics of AI are well known. It's not.

0:46:26 - Alex Lindsay
There are no real secrets, at least in llms. Maybe there's something else.

0:46:28 - Leo Laporte
Well, the challenge, the challenge has been saying lately llms are not, are a dead end. It's interesting, but the point is, apple's a product company and I don't think research papers or an r&d division working on llms is what we're talking about, and apple needs to productize ai and needs to be at the forefront of that, where they will be eclipsed very rapidly. Honestly, that's just the way the world works. Yeah, I think that's good. Innovations are coming.

0:46:56 - Alex Lindsay
I think that Apple needs to also figure out how they do it inside of their ecosystem. How do they protect user privacy? How do they deliver solid results? How do they deliver solid results? How do they you know or be able to tell you how solid those results are? So there's a bunch of things that Apple has to think about that other folks are just kind of like ah, we'll see.

0:47:14 - Leo Laporte
By the way, that's why Apple hasn't done anything yet, because AI safety is an unsolved problem.

0:47:22 - Alex Lindsay
Right, and so I think that the only time I start thinking I need something other than my Apple devices is when they start, when Apple does an update and I've got a bunch of things that aren't working on my phone or I've got a bunch of things. I'm like what I pay for is everything's working. I don't care that it's on the cutting edge, I just don't want to think about why is this hanging?

0:47:41 - Leo Laporte
up If you're a rug pull in a couple of years, All of a sudden everybody could be saying, oh, forget it. Look what this is doing I mean there's real danger to Apple.

0:47:50 - Jason Snell
I think in the long term, there's some existential danger to Apple and the idea that, like, if you, really, if user interface and apps don't matter, because AI is just sort of like doing it all. But we have heard about like maybe plateauing of various LLMs. But I think, leo, it's really interesting, right, because they've been given a challenge and it's a challenge that I think they didn't anticipate, which is interesting. It's almost like they were given a pop quiz in a college class, right, where it's sort of like oh, llms is the thing, and they were not working on that, and now they are working on it and the good snacks are in the break room. But, like, there is an advantage Apple has here because of what Leo said, which is Apple is a product company and when Apple succeeds or fails, it's in productizing things.

In fact, the history of Apple is that other tech companies there's a new kind of whizzy technology that comes along and other tech companies are like, let's put it in a product, and Apple has never done that. Apple is like what do people want? And could this whizzy thing solve a problem? And, for right or for wrong, that's always been Apple's MO and it allows them to make really good products. Well, guess what? Llms are weird and they hallucinate and they do some stuff that doesn't make any sense, and yet they are incredibly powerful and could change how we do everything on our devices. So, apple, how do you make that into a product people want to use and delight them, and I think they're uniquely positioned to do a good job. But it's a hard challenge and they're running from a, you know, a sort of a surprise start and I can't wait to see what happens. But, like, it's a really good challenge and I think they've got the skills to do it.

0:49:29 - Leo Laporte
But they're gonna, we're gonna see. Right, they might fall flat on their faces too, yeah, but this is what's exciting about technology. Yeah, we're gonna take a little. Take a little break. Jason snell, Alex Lindsey's at nab I gotta get an update on nab for me in a little bit. Uh, Andy Ihnatko as well. Uh, great to have you aboard. All especially to our club twit members Thank you for making this show possible and to our sponsors like Melissa, longtime sponsor, they've been with us for many years now the data quality experts.

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Get started today with 1,000 records cleaned for free. You can do it right now at That's We thank him so much for supporting MacBreak Weekly. It's a really good conversation. You know it's funny how AI has intruded all of a sudden into every show we do and every conversation we have. Uh, and I have to say this rewind pin. I've been watching rewind ai with interest for some time. The announcement of this limitless pin is very interesting. It's not attempting to do what humane? Uh, did it's just a microphone, it's just a recording device with an ai back end, but I think it's. I think what we're going to start to see is some really interesting solutions in this space, and I would love I mean, this ai pin looks like something apple would design. I'd love to know what apple's planning with the watch, with the airpods. There's a great opportunity here.

0:52:20 - Jason Snell
Imagine something, and I this explains the rumors that german had had about them looking at trying to put a camera in the AirPods and you're like, why would you do that? Or why would you do it in your wrist? But the idea is not to take a pretty picture. It's another data source, like the Humane Pen has, where it can see what you're looking at or what's around you and knows where you are. And Apple building more because, again, what is Apple good at? They're good at productizing. They're good at making those little tiny gadgets, little tiny devices that are mobile that have little batteries.

0:52:49 - Leo Laporte
It's right up their alley, yeah.

0:52:50 - Jason Snell
Like if they can build all of that, but they have to have a foundation and that's what they're hopefully building, right, but there's a lot of potential. I mean, I really think it's.

0:52:59 - Andy Ihnatko
This is why, like you said, leo, it yeah, this is why I this is one of the things that puzzles me about these AI hardware systems like the pin, like these pins. We keep saying it's like not necessary to have a 100% on-device little communicator badge that does every single process, all the processing on hand is a little badge that has a Bluetooth badge that has a microphone, a little speaker, maybe, if you need it, and a little camera so that I can talk to a very, very well-bred digital assistant and occasionally say, oh, by the way, take a look at this package of flour, is this proper for baking bread? And it can simply take a look at this sack of flour and say, yeah, but King Arthur actually look at this sack of flour and say, yeah, but King Arthur actually also makes a type of type of flour. It's even better for that. And if you put the, if you put, if you, if you let me see the rest of the shelf, I can actually point it out to you.

Yeah, look for the, look for the orange bag that's kind of next to the blue one. That's the one of the most powerful computing computers in your pocket. And, once again, I don't. I've never heard anybody make a case for why phones are on their way out. Anytime in the near future. They're going to change, but people do so many things with a handheld phone.

0:54:24 - Leo Laporte
You're still calling it a phone and it isn't a phone anymore because I, because I'm a generation I'm a generation x that's my point is look how fast it went from being a phone in your pocket to an internet communicator in your pocket, to a camera, and I think that that's what's in, and I think that that speed, that acceleration of those changes is getting faster and faster and faster, and so the transition from a phone to a camera happened over what? 15 years? I don't think you have that much time for the next thing, and I don't even know what the next thing might be.

0:54:56 - Andy Ihnatko
Maybe, maybe I can be more abstract and say that I have never seen an argument that says that people don't want to carry a useful, compact, pocket sized slab of technology that can do lots of things for them. I've never seen an argument that says, oh my God, if only I could leave my iPhone at home and only wear this little two-inch by two-inch badge on my chest at all times. That's not something that I'm hearing, and until someone comes up with a two-inch by two-inch little badge that absolutely blows everybody away and fills a hole that we did not even see in our lives, I just don't see that happening.

0:55:34 - Leo Laporte
Well, I think that's why Humane got so much attention, and the fact that they didn't do it is not a surprise.

0:55:39 - Andy Ihnatko
They made a great device for a 10-minute demo on a TED stage under a controlled lighting. Doesn't have to work for 10 minutes, doesn't have to have battery, doesn't have to so long as it doesn't burn a hole through the person's shirt during the 10 minutes. They did not. But, unlike the iphone, which we we now know like, legendarily, had a very twitchy, fear-inducing demo that could, we're could, have exploded in steve jobs hands, figuratively, at any moment, they had a plan for well, by the time we ship it, it's not going to explode in people's hands.

0:56:10 - Leo Laporte
So I just I think jason and I are both. We're all saying the same thing, but I think Jason and I are in agreement that it's great to say hey, we don't know what the next thing is going to be, and is it a slab in your pocket? I don't know. Maybe people don't want that, Maybe they want something in their ear. I just ordered the brilliant glasses that are augmented reality glasses. They should come pretty soon and they replaced my regular glasses, by the way. They they've got the prescription so, and they look like. They look goofy sorta. They look like Mr Peeper's glasses, but they don't look like a VR helmet. Um, maybe that's going to be it, or maybe I'll do a Marquez Brownlee. This is the worst product I've ever seen.

0:56:49 - Jason Snell
It may be I mean, I enjoy getting you know science fictional with you guys too but, like it may be that the phone, I feel like the phone has a lot of advantages in that it's it's got a screen and there are advantages, Unless you're unless your display is on your eyes having a screen that you can look at.

Even if it is, you know, because even if the AI is doing everything, you're doing everything. You're going to want to see things, you're going to want to be shown things. We don't all just like all of us remember when Siri came out and we were like, oh, we're going to be talking to our phones. I was like, no, even if it's good, it's like there are a lot of times when you don't want to do that. So I feel like that, and having a place that's got a nice solid internet connection and a place that's got a processor in it that can do some of the work before it gets to the cloud is something that is going to be hard to replace, but it might become way less important or way less detailed, and that's the part that we really don't know, we don't know, we have no idea.

0:57:46 - Leo Laporte
No, I think it's a very yeah, it's a very good time to be covering technology. Honestly, what? What does nab look like this this year? It's changed a lot, I'm sure, alex, since I've been there about six years ago yeah, it's, it is, um, you know they've they've got a new west hall.

0:58:03 - Alex Lindsay
Uh, it's a long way away and so, so, and I've walked a couple times and then, and then someone asked me I had I walked over and did a talk about remote production and everything else and and, and they and I was like, oh, now I have to walk back. And they're like you know, there's a Tesla bore, there's a boring boring tube. Yeah, I took it. It's really cool. Like you look at how many people are walking by you. While you're talking to someone, you're like, oh, I'm going to wait in a long line. You're never there for more than a cool, and so you go back and forth to there.

There's a couple of big theaters in the South Hall that are creator labs and they're really looking at how do you make that more available? We're in the Central Hall. The Central Hall is where all the good stuff to touch and feel is. So this is cameras and gear and lights and LED walls and Sony and Canon, but lots of Nanlite and Aperture and and, uh, small rig and you know all of those companies are all in the central hall. So that's why we wanted to be here, because we're out, um, actually shooting. Um, we've rigged up I don't know if we can bring that. The guys are working on the rig See if they can bring the rig over, but we're shooting the um. We have this rig that basically ties zoom wirelessly into the rig, so the Zoom goes out to a screen on the camera and the camera goes back to Zoom and what we can do, what we're literally doing, is walking over and let's see if we can see it there.

This is the rig. We'll see if they can make it lower there. So this rig the funny thing is it's about a $100,000 rig. So this is using VizLink, which is the wireless that they use for the Super Bowl, and I don't know if you guys can bring it over here. You don't need to make it much lower, anyway. So bring it over here right here. Right here it looks heavy. Well, you know, it actually works pretty well and if we turn it here, you can see that screen up there. I'm going to try to bring it down a little bit lower. So there's a screen up there that you can look at and so that's zoom, and so what happens is is that you can, you can actually, um, you can, yeah, you can see what the camera's seeing there. Yeah, yeah, but that would be so the person can actually. Um, but there's a bunch of you know transmitters and stuff over here.

Um, you know that, are you streaming this in office hours today yeah, so right after the show, 2 o'clock, andy Carluccio from Zoom is actually going to be on to talk about all the stuff. Well, they released tons of stuff today or this weekend, so he's going to talk about that, but you can see now. Right now it's just showing the camera, but what will be here typically is Zoom participants, and so what it's allowed us to do is, instead of me interviewing somebody on the floor, I just go, I'm here with joe and he's going to tell you about this, and then I step out of the frame and the panelists in zoom are actually just out. Talking to joe directly virtualizes the whole and it is transformational anyway. So we're doing that. Um, the big news. Of course, I know this is going to blow you away, given our last conversation, but one of the big conversations is AI. How does AI affect media and who's going to get paid, and what about the copyrights and all the things that broadcasters and media companies are worried about? So they had how to use it in post, but now they're doing AI on trial. How is AI going? There's the AI issues with legal. These have all been things that NAB is looking at, or that this has been a big theme here.

Also, how do we move a lot of stuff into IP? Blackmagic just released 2110, which is kind of the high-end Ethernet-based video. So we use STI and HDMI, and 2110 lets you just send itend Ethernet-based video. So you know we use STI and HDMI, and 2110 lets you just send it over Ethernet, so it's that format. And, of course, blackmagic, because SMPTE was taking a long time to get stuff out, blackmagic was like here's our version. So they've released their own version of 2110, which some people are really upset about, some people are excited about. But they put out a bunch of products. You know Viz, which owns that bought NewTek. They've released a new version of NDI which is much higher bandwidth. It supports 10-bit HDR, those types of things. So we've seen a lot of IP in video.

And then the other big thing is how do we get IP into audio? So there's all this. You know Lavo and and CalRec and and and a lot of others. There's one that we're really interested in looking at. I haven't gotten time to go over it called Onhertz, which allows you to build mixers in the cloud, you know. And so, because audio has been this huge issue, you know every time someone says, oh, I'm doing production in the cloud. I'm like how's the audio? They're just like I don't know.

We're learning that yeah, yeah, so, and so the um, so, so those have been some of the big things that we've seen, Um, and then just the, the little companies that were doing these camera rigs, like that rig that you just saw, that I just brought over, like that's all, like these small rig, you know, and that was like a little booth. Uh, a couple of years ago it was like a little 10 or 20 by 20. Now it's like a 40 or 60 by 60 or something. It's a massive booth. So, customizing your cameras, your phones, everything else, has become a huge business. And then, of course, finally, led walls. Like there's LED walls everywhere, you know everyone's. You know there's lots and lots of people producing ones that are less expensive higher performance.

1:03:16 - Leo Laporte
You know that type of thing, you know. I feel like COVID could have launched this whole remote style of interaction. Right yeah, and people all thought, oh, after COVID we'll all go back to the office. And now what's very clear is that no, look at us.

1:03:26 - Alex Lindsay
Well, and I think it was in the office.

Well, and I think that you know, if it had happened 10 years earlier, the technology wasn't cooked Right, you know, and so had happened 10 years earlier. The technology wasn't cooked Right, you know, and so we would have gone right back to what we were doing. It happened to be that a lot of that technology had been building over the last year, last decade. Zoom was so beautifully positioned. Yeah, and no one really knew, and I would say they were well positioned and they pivoted very effectively. Yeah, because a lot of the other companies just didn't, weren't in the right place and didn't have the right leadership. In my opinion.

1:03:58 - Leo Laporte
I mentioned this last week but did you see John Oliver saying Skype? What happened you?

1:04:03 - Jason Snell
fumbled at Skype.

1:04:05 - Leo Laporte
You had the you could have won it all, and you what happened?

1:04:08 - Alex Lindsay
It is. It is one of the most epic fails of a corporate, you know even in the popular culture, like that they they were so far ahead. It was. It was the quality of Skype was so high in 2010,.

You know, 20, 2009 for years and it was so clean and it was so, so high quality and it just got muddled into nothing. You know, and and I think that what we're seeing now with with you know, with Zoom, is that they were able to do that pivot and and make it make it something that that really expanded. And, of course, once you spend, suddenly Zoom got this huge influx of money, of course, because everyone's using it and they've they've invested in the, in what they've needed to do to keep moving forward, and I think that's going to make it hard to go back. And, of course, webex has. We used to make fun of WebEx and they've made huge. They're not as good as Zoom, but they've made huge jumps. I mean, it was a joke two years ago. Webex was a complete joke and now they've put a lot of good features in. They've made a lot. They're the fastest moving company at the moment, except for the release this week with Zoom kind of pushed it jumped way out again but the. So WebEx is moving really fast as far as, but they're still way behind, but they've moved a lot faster.

You know, teams and Meet are kind of. You know, they need to rethink, they just need to. I mean teams especially just need to really rethink their life choices. It's just such a mess and you feel like I don't know what's going on. So, anyway, but all of these things come together in the sense that now we're used to doing this A lot of times meetings, I think what people find is meetings like what we're doing here, when we go to Twit and do it. There's everything's kind of set up for that. But when you have conference rooms and then some people are in conference rooms and some people are remote, it's such a disaster and so more and more people are just doing single people in their own, you know, in their own offices, and and and I think people have realized, not, some people are going to come back to work, but not everyone like 30% are never coming back and if you tell them they're going to have to go back, they're going to go find another company. That doesn't make them go back.

1:06:20 - Leo Laporte
It's really interesting because NAB used to be the National Association of Broadcasters.

1:06:25 - Alex Lindsay
And there's still a lot of those discussions.

1:06:27 - Leo Laporte
For broadcasters, for TV and radio engineers and stuff, and that's still there.

1:06:32 - Alex Lindsay
Solad o'brien was doing a speak. You know talk, but I will tell you that area is not nearly as bustling as it used to be last time was there, it was clear that creators were becoming a big part of it.

1:06:43 - Leo Laporte
But now I'm thinking it's gone beyond creators. I mean this is the ultimate democratization of the technology. It's gone from big, highly capitalized companies to creators like us and now to offices to everybody well and you talk about, you know, a lot.

1:06:59 - Alex Lindsay
One of the discussions that's come up over and over again is we talk about the competition between apple and netflix and amazon and everything else, but the real career, it's all of them um competing with youtube. You know, like, because that's right, because youtube is a much, a much wider group of users that are producing so much individualized content that it's just a behemoth that I think that people aren't really paying attention to. Because they look at all the streaming, but everyone keeps talking about how a lot of people aren't watching any of it. They're subscribing and the views and not what they. You know the views and viewership. It's enough to keep them around, but a lot of the behaviors keep moving more and more towards. You know, if you look at the sub-18 and sub-25, you're looking at 60, 70, 80% of their viewership is on YouTube and that's the. You know that's a picture of the future and that's the. You know that's a picture of the future and that's a really complicated thing that people are talking about here. Things are changing so fast.

1:07:56 - Leo Laporte
I mean, related to our previous conversation. Technology moves at a much faster pace. The revolutions are faster.

1:08:04 - Alex Lindsay
I would say that it's always been. It's been accelerating for the last 2000 years and as and and you know there's jumps, because you know, then there was a big bump in in you know the, you know when the printing press was created, because suddenly knowledge was expanded quickly. Another big bump when radio was created. Another big bump when TV was created. So these things keep on, because we we keep on being able to share ideas faster and faster and faster. So we're seeing this hockey stick, that that, but it's always been growing. I mean, we've always that that knowledge has been passing around, and you know someone, you know, uh, and I think that it, you know, I think we're going to continue to see that it's just, it's just always slowly accelerating. Now it's accelerating much faster this is the.

1:08:43 - Jason Snell
It puts me in mind of verner vinci, the great science fiction writer who just passed away a couple weeks ago and he talked about uh, he was one of the people to popularize the concept of the singularity, along with Kurtzweil and some other people this idea that at some point, that acceleration becomes so exponential that what happens then? Infinite acceleration, and the answer is often, I don't know. We kill all humans, ai kills all humans, or we become Star Trek energy beings and float into space, or, I think, a more likely scenario humans keep on doing their human things, but like the sphere of technology and and all of that is so beyond our able to understand it that we just, you know, we get little pats on the shoulder by the, the robots, and they're like it's fine, we'll feed you, don't worry about it, you just watch your tv, that's what happened in her right, and that's you know exactly fell in love with her and then she said, hey, I, I gotta go leaving for another dimension.

Goodbye, bye-bye, yeah. Yeah, that's the singularity. I mean there's that idea of like that, that there may come a time where it accelerates. I mean I think we're already arguably in a point where a lot of our societal structures are not built to withstand the technological changes that are going on. That's clear, and it's only going to get faster.

1:09:58 - Leo Laporte
Wow, wow, deep thoughts and I'm always amazed.

1:10:02 - Alex Lindsay
I had to identify a bunch of venues for a bunch of things that I'm working on and being able to sit there with ChatGPT. I didn't use all the data, I backed it up, but to brainstorm, I'm like, okay, I need the top 20 markets and I need the top 30 college markets and I need this and tell me why you're doing that and what are the what's your data behind that? And I and I put that in and in 15 minutes I did you know, a week of work, you know, and then I go that that that gets me to the start point and then I start working. So I think that this stuff is still going to be, I really think, people for the next little bit of time.

I think we worry a lot about it.

I think the human consciousness is probably a little bit more complicated than just processing power, and so I think it's going to probably take a little bit longer to get to where the singularity.

But I think that the ability to magnify a person's work and I think that's complicated there is all the people coming in the ability to magnify someone who really knows what they're doing and and take you know, they can be 10 times more valuable when they do that and erase a lot of other, the need for a lot of other people.

But the problem is is then how do they get there? You know, like, how do they get to that next level if they don't get any practice? And I said so, I think that that's going to be the most the biggest risk that I see is really that problem of who gets in and how they get in, because there's it's, it's a um, because the folks that are already in there can use these tools to not need a lot of the folks that are around them and get paid more. And then you get that whole pay in balance gets worse and worse and worse, because the folks that can actually do it can get paid more and at the cost of a lot of other jobs, and that's going to be the thing that I think we're going to have to grapple with for quite some time.

1:11:45 - Leo Laporte
I agree 100 percent. We live in interesting times, so to speak. Alex Lindsay, I know you have to go in about an hour, so let's say we're gonna move on. We'll get our vision pro segment next, but first, just for you, jason, but first did you bring your vision pro to the nab show?

1:12:04 - Alex Lindsay
I am. So I, oh yeah, I did so. I've been so, uh, this today's busy because we're doing this. Then we do three hours after this of this, but tomorrow I'm actually going to shoot segments with my vision pro cool. So I'm going to walk around because one of the things you can do. It's like the google glass.

My favorite feature from google glass was I could do hands-free reviews of looking at things and just point, you can see my hands and it's my vo, my pov, and so I'm going to experiment with doing with that with the vision pro. Where I put the Vision Pro on, I go to a booth and I show you what I like, and for people like Jason, I'll send Jason some of these reviews and see what it looks like for him to just watch in stereo me looking at something that I think is interesting, and so I don't know where else I'll share it, other than sending to my friends that I know have the Vision Pro. But I'm a that's it's, I'm experimenting with it, thinking that we may do a lot more of it in the future, but we're here and everyone spent millions of dollars to give me a set to test.

1:13:02 - Leo Laporte
You see, you see, it's the haves and the have nots already. The gulf is already opening.

1:13:08 - Alex Lindsay
Leo, I'll send you the 2D version. It's fine. I mean, it'll still be good. You and Andy can look at the 2d version. It'll be, it'll.

1:13:16 - Leo Laporte
It'll be great, it'll be fine, it'll be fine, we'll have more with Alex Lindsey at the nab show in las vegas. Uh, in just a little bit, along with Andy Ihnatko from wgbh boston and jason snell, And, as I said, we will have our just for you guys, vision pro segment. Just a moment. But first I have 60 seconds to tell you about Wix Studio, the web platform for agencies and enterprises. Now here are a few things you could do in 60 seconds, from start to finish, in a minute or less, on studioDO Adapt your designs for every device with responsive AI.

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1:14:57 - Andy Ihnatko
You are made model of a modern media general yes, indeed, indeed, uh vision pro, what is this?

1:15:03 - Leo Laporte
uh fisheye, uh lens thing? You must have put this.

1:15:06 - Jason Snell
Oh yeah, jason, yeah it's an interesting uh, it's a blog post that's really interesting about um, how does apple do immersive video right, like with nobody? There's no, it's all DRM right, so there's no way to get it. And this guy is like I'm really curious about this, mike Swanson. He wrote a blog post about it. He's like he's got a background in this he's like how do I do this, how do I do this?

And it turns out, believe it or not, that the little bong thing that happens at the beginning of an Apple TV project, that in the immersive video, is a not DRM video file. And so, even though it's mostly black with just the logo in the middle, he was able to. It's a fun blog post where he's trying to it's nerdy, but he's just trying to back out what this format is that they're using, because it's not defined anywhere and I think in the long run it will be and people like alex will be like, oh, that's what they're doing with it, but, like right now they're kind of keeping it a secret. But I just thought it was really interesting because it's the. It's all the stuff that alex especially has talked about, about the, the technical challenges of doing immersive video and whether it's 180 or 360. And most, believe it or not, you know video formats are not round, are not spheres, they're rectangles. So how?

1:16:22 - Leo Laporte
do you encode the video as a?

1:16:24 - Jason Snell
rectangle and then bring it back, and it's just an interesting tech side about what Apple is building, where they seem to have built their own format for immersive video and he's trying to find a clue about how it works and it blows.

1:16:38 - Alex Lindsay
I'm sure it blows everyone away that apple would be doing its own version of shocking of how this works and that it's copy protected well, yeah, and I think that you know the uh.

You know we have to remember that they bought, uh, they bought next vr a long time ago, you know. So they've been thinking about that and those are some of the heaviest thinkers about dual 180 that were out there. They have hired folks that you know are connected to other big camera manufacturers and so on and so forth. So they really have a lot of people in-house that are, you know that, really know a lot about fisheye, really know a lot about sensors.

1:17:14 - Leo Laporte
Just to explain what we're talking about. When I use my Insta360 360-degree cameras to record a 360-degree video, it's got two fisheye lenses, each of which gets 180 degrees. It gets half of the sphere around me, and then they're using software to stitch it together.

1:17:32 - Alex Lindsay
Now, in this case, what Apple's doing and what you know. The problem with 360 is that it's much harder to do production, because where do you hide the people? Where do you hide the production? How do you deal with all these things and how do you do all that stitching that Insta360 does so well? Because you have to have a little bit of overlap and if you move too quickly you might see a seam, you know, because of the frame rates and so on and so forth, and rolling shutter, and so this becomes a problem where the seam can appear in certain places without a lot of processing. That's why, a lot of times, your Insta360 needs a little time. A lot of these need a little time to stitch it all back together.

One of the ways that the Theta does this is to project it both on the same chip. So what a lot of folks did, what NextVR thought through, is hey, you know, there's not a lot we need to see behind you, like you're not turning around. You don't really want 360 degrees. You sometimes do if you're exploring, but a lot of times what you want from a video perspective is I'm going to show you something in front, and so what you do is you have two sensors or you either have two sensors right next to each other or a lot of folks are doing one. The Canon does. Well, canon has one sensor, one 8K sensor projecting to both of both. It's two lenses for each projecting on half of that sensor and it's a full frame sensor. And one of the big things that you know, blackmagic just put out a full frame sensor at 12K and everybody that does immersive is talking to them. You know, like so, so, like it's like. You know, like like that, for immersive folks, they're all interested in the black magic camera figuring out what they're, what they're, that and that just came out this week, um and so. Or last week, last friday, um and so the uh.

So a lot of people feel that projecting onto one chip that's really high resolution, could possibly be a better solution because it allows you to do that. But you're trying to get to a lot of you know, to a higher and higher resolution. You know Apple really needs to get 90 frames a second. 90 frames is kind of a weird frame rate, but so 90 frames a second is there. Other people have been, you know, targeting 8K per eye. Now, if it's 8K per eye, of course, you need a 16k you know image to you know sensor to grab onto 8k per eye um, you know, in sphere, so what?

What happens is, when you shoot it, these spherical lenses they're each getting 180 degrees are projected as spheres onto the, onto the sensor, and you're being captured together. And the reason it's so important to capture them together is, if you don't capture them on the same sensor, you have to sync the two cameras perfectly, and that means that, especially on a rolling shutter, they have to be gen-locked together. Any idiosyncrasies are going to cause a problem, and so by doing it to the same one, it's much more compact. You don't have to have two whole camera bodies and it is going to keep everything in sync. But you've now got these two images, so now what you have to do is slice those apart, cut that image in half, and then you have to convert those back out. You're basically converting them back out to a square image, because if I just show you the sphericals, it's not going to look right. So it's the math of how do you get to that, that's the magic, and how you stretch that back out.

And so Apple has again there's obviously oftentimes little issues with you start looking over and things look stretched and that type of thing, and Apple's obviously spending a lot of time trying to figure out how to really perfect that and perfect that experience, because you know, a lot of the problems that we've had with immersive so far is that they're kind of half cooked, you know, and and so that you know like you're, we're, you know people think, well, we'll do this incrementally, we'll put something out and then we'll improve it slowly. But that's like saying we're going to serve steak at 80 degrees and and then we'll see how people like it and eventually we'll get to 130 to 32 degrees. But you know, 80 degree steak is not edible for most people, you know. And so some people are gonna be like, oh, I like steak tartare, but most people are gonna be like this is too raw for me, and that's been the problem that a lot of you know that Meta's had that, other people have had it's the. Until you get the resolution, the frame rate, all of those things together to and combine it and cook it properly, people don't think that there's anything there, you know, and so so Apple is. You know, we're going to see. I think we're going to see a lot.

This is something that a lot of us are paying a lot of attention to for WWDC is Apple explaining more about what is being talked about in this blog post, and we think they're going to tell a lot of people about it. I don't think that they necessarily will give all of it away Right now. They have this ability to generate content that is on their own, that is much higher quality than any other headset, and I'm not sure they're going to give all of that away immediately, but I do think they're going to give developers and give content producers a lot more data in June, and I think we're going to see a lot more of. This is what you can actually do with and this is how to produce that. A lot of us keep on asking the person that we're interacting with at Apple like, hey, we'd really like to know a lot more about MVHEBC, and the answer is generally, yeah, a lot of people do, so.

1:22:27 - Leo Laporte
We're all waiting to get more information, and I think we're going to see a lot of that in a couple of months If you want to find out more. It's a great detective story. Mike Swanson, Blogmikeswansoncom. He finally kind of found a backdoor into it with one unprotected video. He still, by the way, even at the end of the blog, can't quite figure out how Apple's doing it.

1:22:45 - Alex Lindsay
It's a really great blog post, but not quite right. It's a fantastic blog post. It really is interesting.

1:22:52 - Leo Laporte
I don't even understand half of it and of course I'm in the have-nots. I'll never be able to see that. Do you have to shoot this with a Vision Pro?

1:23:03 - Alex Lindsay
No, no, no. This is no, these are shot. I mean I think that Apple's shooting these. I mean you can shoot them on Raptors, you can shoot them on the.

1:23:12 - Leo Laporte
Canon R5P. So the secret sauce is not the hardware.

1:23:14 - Alex Lindsay
Well, we don't know that, Like we don't know what you know. No one really knows what Apple's shooting on, and so you know we want to be. You know, like they may be cooking up stuff on their own, so we don't know for sure. But what most people are shooting on are Raptors and R5s and there's some other larger sensors that folks are using. So there's a couple different solutions for this, but those are the most common ones. We don't know what. Apple's been pretty careful about putting them in boxes. They put them in blimps where, when you see them behind the scenes, the behind-the-scenes photos are like there's a box with two lenses sticking out the front yeah, we saw that at the NBA All-Star game but we're not seeing, they're not showing off what the camera is on the inside, so we don't know what that hardware is.

1:23:59 - Leo Laporte
Anything else to say about the Vision Pro, jason, any exciting software you're seeing.

1:24:05 - Jason Snell
I mean, I assume you all talked about spatial personas last week, but I'll just say they're great.

1:24:10 - Leo Laporte
We were hoping you would join us with a new 3D persona.

1:24:13 - Jason Snell

I mean if we can figure out how to get this whole show into some sort of spatial format, we could try that. But it's yeah, it's really good and I like for every discouraging moment where there's something like that MLS video that makes me think what are they doing? They're not releasing immersive video, which is their best thing, and when they do, it's disappointing for every one of those. Then there's like the we shipped 1.1 and didn't even tell you that. In there is this spatial persona feature which, as goofy as it looks, if you see screenshots and videos I will absolutely tell you it is spectacularly good on. You know, as a person, uh, experiencing it, it feels it like it adds that level of immersion that you really are asking for. So I again it's all Apple's all over the place.

I wrote a piece last week on Mac world about how the vision pro isn't a flop, it's an experiment, and my point with it is, just like I enjoy the fact that Apple clearly itself doesn't really know what it's doing with the vision pro that it's like for every victory there's a failure, for every like. Like because we're so used to apple being so locked in right for the last 10, 20 years, so locked in with their products and this feels like a much older kind of class of product where it's like I don't know, let's try it and that's that's what it is it's not a finished product, clearly and that when they have these moments where they're like oh yeah, we couldn't, we have this amazing immersive spatial persona thing that we, we built. Oh, we couldn't ship it in time. Well, oh well, we'll just turn it on later and tell people it's just, it's kind of charming in a way that they're also feeling their way with this product, because that's what this product is. It is a, an experiment that has no practical application but might be showing us the future.

And again, I know you don't love the vision, pro leo, but this gives me some of those same. This is why I'm in this business vibes of like, for every time there is a uh like, oh well, this is kind of dull. Maybe it's not that that exciting, that spatial persona moment, I was like, oh my God, this feels like something and it's so fun, it's like a shot of adrenaline when you get one of those moments. Now, whether it can lead anywhere or do anything it remains to be seen, but like big thumbs up for me for the spatial personas.

1:26:29 - Leo Laporte
They're awesome. To me it's the humane AI pin of VR helmets. That's fine. No, I'm just kidding. I'm not saying it's a flop, I'm just saying I don't get it and I don't know why anybody would want to buy one. But I'm glad you're happy that you spent it.

1:26:45 - Jason Snell
Well, I mean nobody should buy one. I mean, that's the thing is. I talk about how interesting it is. Nobody should buy one. You should only buy one when you're the kind of person who blows through the advice of the podcast you listen to about buying it and says, no, I am going to buy it because it's the future and that's why I keep bringing it back to like PCs in the early in the late 70s, early 80s. Like they were super expensive and impractical and you couldn't really like oh yeah, put your recipes in a balance. Your checkbook is like none of that was real. It was like give it to your kid and maybe in 20 years they'll change the world, which happened. And that's where the Vision Pro is right. Like it's not something anybody should buy unless you want to get a taste of what the future might be like, because that's I think that's really interesting, but like it's not practical in any way.

1:27:28 - Leo Laporte
I think we actually know that people will be wearing in the future giant Pip-Boy bracelets on their arms. That's the future, my friend.

1:27:37 - Alex Lindsay
And you know, when you look at when you convert the 1982 dollars to today, I believe that the Apple IIe that I got was about five grand Right and and my dad bought it and it didn't do anything that I didn't write a program for.

1:27:50 - Jason Snell

1:27:50 - Alex Lindsay
Like I mean I sat there and wrote, wrote all the apps that I used on it, you know, and it was, it works, yeah, yeah. So so I but everything that I for command, yeah, well, I mean I I loved aztec, you know, like you know, it was a great game.

1:28:05 - Leo Laporte
I just, I'm sorry, go ahead that was like my favorite game you touched, you touched the nerve, you touched the nerve I've been, I've been playing, I've been playing with like Apple II emulators.

1:28:14 - Andy Ihnatko
I just found a copy of Aztec last night. I have not put it on my emulator yet. Yeah, send it on.

1:28:19 - Jason Snell
Send it on. The story we're telling, though is that right? Which is they came out in the late 70s and they didn't do anything, and then we spent a decade getting there to be some software that made sense, that wasn't just a game, and then another decade getting sort of the Internet infrastructure or online infrastructure involved, and then computers became something, but like something like the Vision Pro. It feels very 1979 to me, where it's like we haven't even gotten VisiCalc yet and I hope and again no guarantee that they will, but like it feels very much like that, which is like you just got a cursor blinking at you and your allies?

1:28:52 - Leo Laporte
I don't know. Jason, you wrote an interesting article along that line. Can anyone but a tech giant build the next big thing? We actually talked about that when the Vision Pro came out. Only Apple could have done the Vision Pro.

1:29:04 - Jason Snell
Yeah, I was thinking about the humane pin too, where it's like you, really it needs to be Google or Apple, right, because integrating that with the rest of the ecosystem is so important. And Vision Pro I. Integrating that with the rest of the ecosystem is so important. And vision pro, I mean the fact that vision, you can do things in vision pro. Right, you can. But the reason you can is because apple has got a catalog of software that they can put on it, either by making light modifications to it or just running the ipad app. They've got a whole ecosystem, they've got a whole operating system. They can take off the shelf and put on it, but like, that's a, that's a nice starting point, but it doesn't. We don't know what it's going to be.

1:29:35 - Leo Laporte
But apple has the ability to do that your point is also that, uh, it's without a business model. So many, as you say, so many innovative products will never get funded or launch a product, but that's what's interesting is that this v the idea of these VR goggles did get funded. They got funded big time over the last 10 years. Ai is now the next big thing that these companies are funding, and a lot of small companies I mean look at Palmer Lucky was not a big company when he started Oculus Rift.

1:30:08 - Jason Snell
I had that moment, too, where I thought well, because, like again, it's like if you're not tied directly to one of the tech giants, what is your plan? And there's a great cable disaster from panic did an amazing cable disaster from.

Panic did an amazing speech at GDC. That is available and he talked about how everybody tries to classify panic as a startup and they've been around for 20 years. But it's like tech companies don't work like that and the challenge with that is you end up in a scenario where, ok, jason, you say that no small company can build the next big thing, but that's not true. You can get venture capital funding like, oh boy, because what happens then is you have two exits you have go public and maybe become a tech giant might happen, probably won't or you will get acquired by a tech giant and we're back to where we started and that is an engine of innovation.

But I just the whole AI pin story gives me pause because it strikes me that that what we were talking about with DOJ and Apple and the DMA and this idea that the Apple Watch has great hooks into iOS, and I thought, well, you know, an AI pin-like product, anything like that, like, if it's cut off from my smartphone ecosystem, no matter what it is, it's a flop. I mean, it's a failure because the smartphone ecosystem is where I live my life. That's the truth of it and that's the danger of having the duopoly that we have with Android and iOS is and there are lots of benefits, right but it struck me that the challenge there is that who's going to make that product that really kicks? And the answer is it's going to be Apple or Google or Samsung.

1:31:42 - Andy Ihnatko
This is why just quickly, this is why the DOJ's action against Apple is so important. A lot of their complaint is nonsense, but they really hit a target when they said that nobody can make something that functions as well as the Apple Watch and the Apple ecosystem, because Apple reserves all of the stuff that makes the Apple Watch instantaneous, convenient, more powerful, to its own APIs. They will not let Samsung or anybody else have that kind of simple Bluetooth access to the main phone. So this is why, in some cases, I do believe that regulation and interference from a government regulator is very, very appropriate, because otherwise we're going to be stuck with whatever Apple thinks is right for the iPhone, whatever Google thinks is right for Android. We won't have the idea of Pebble coming up with.

Well, what if we have a really cool e-paper watch that does really awesome things Like? Well, apple doesn't want to make that, google doesn't want to make that. Well, guess what? We're going to make it? And because it's based on a Bluetooth standard that nobody can block, we're going to do it ourselves. And now it can be blocked.

1:32:40 - Alex Lindsay
And on the other side of that, for every one of those great ideas is 10 idiots who do some weird. They have some dorky interface and dorky to bloom?

1:32:55 - Leo Laporte
Yeah, Because every one of them might turn into a dork. I mean, you know, like I have engineers.

1:33:00 - Alex Lindsay
There's someone I was talking to a couple weeks ago that has sold three companies to Google. Like they go in, they end up at Google, then they leave Google, then they make another company and they can bring it back and sell it back to Google. And the thing is is that and he said it's just a business model because you can't make that product inside of Google and Google doesn't care. Like you know, like it was, like they were, just like you can't. The problem, the hard part with with these products is some of these have to. What they do is they get built so that no one can make. You have to make some of these things outside of these companies. That's sold to people through the big company and that's been happening since the dawn of time.

1:33:36 - Leo Laporte
All I think of when I hear that story is here's somebody who figured out the game in Google.

1:33:42 - Alex Lindsay
No, but they're not gaming Google's gaming the system in the sense that it's very hard. Well, there's overhead and there's late, because the thing is that I'm it's almost like they got a side deal, they got a side deal.

They got a side hustle and google will let them do this and then buy it. Then do that inside of all the infosec and inside of all of the checks and balances and inside of all the things that are that are at google. Let's say, there's every button that you see on your browser costs a million dollars. Yeah, you know a minimum, minimum a million dollars to put that button on there on there.

I don't understand why they don't put a button there because they haven't spent that million dollars yet to put it on, whereas when I want to put a button onto, like my Q&A system, it costs, you know, it's done the next day by a programmer that puts it together, and so you figure that out.

1:34:27 - Leo Laporte
But if I wanted to scale, I have to fix all of that Are the days of two guys going into a garage, or maybe two gals going in a garage and creating a product that takes over the world. Are those gone? Is that over?

1:34:37 - Alex Lindsay
I don't think so. I don't think so. I think that it's just that it's a matter of, I mean, when you're dealing with hardware integration and all those things. But I think there's plenty of software opportunities that are out there that could definitely be homegrown. Software actually is a lot easier than hardware, isn't it? Oh man, I don't. I've done hardware devices and software devices and I would never do hardware again. When I have ideas around hardware, the process that I went through for some of the hardware stuff I worked on it was so grueling and then the costs are all there and all the bits and pieces. I was like I would never do that again. To me, software hardware is just crazy.

1:35:19 - Leo Laporte
Let me take a little break. We come back and do a little more with our panel. Alex is at NAB. That's the noise in the background. It's not too bad. Actually, it sounds really good, you know, sm58s.

1:35:29 - Alex Lindsay
Those SM58s they rock, they're good.

1:35:37 - Leo Laporte
They work great Since 1950, whatever, if it would work at CBGBs, it'll work on the show floor at.

1:35:43 - Andy Ihnatko
NAB Andy Notko also here. Wgbh in Boston. When are you going to be on GBH next?

1:35:47 - Leo Laporte
Not this Thursday, but next Thursday at 1245 Eastern Time. And this Thursday you and I are going to go to a fine, I don't know something.

1:35:53 - Andy Ihnatko
We're going to be doing a really wonderful 90-minute podcast. We've got this new twist where we're not going to live stream it or record it, but if you have a table near us, you'll hear a lot. You'll hear it.

1:36:05 - Leo Laporte
That's the best kind of podcast. Jason Snell also with his sixcolorscom. Actually, dan had a great piece in the Six Colors about how regulation is pretty much the only way to get Apple to do anything.

1:36:17 - Jason Snell
Or the threat of regulation. Another powerful thing is just being under threat a little bit.

1:36:21 - Andy Ihnatko
We just spontaneously decided that you no longer have to code that used components for repair are perfectly fine. We just spontaneously decided that had nothing to do with Oregon. We love you that made it illegal. We love you customs.

1:36:33 - Leo Laporte
We went to decided that had to do with.

1:36:33 - Andy Ihnatko
Oregon law that made it illegal we love you customers.

1:36:36 - Jason Snell
We went to Portland this weekend and had a thought what if we changed our policy?

1:36:40 - Andy Ihnatko
What if we didn't get sued into oblivion? What if we were able to still sell iPhones in Oregon? And then we said, hey, you know what? That's just crazy.

1:36:49 - Leo Laporte
And I have to say I like my type C connector on my Apple iPhone. I love not having to carry a lightning cable with me anymore Actually, I still do for my AirPods, but that's another story. Our show today brought to you by Zocdoc. Now here's a great idea. Look, I know there are things in life you've got to compromise on. You know, the apartment in your budget may not have two bathrooms, the upstairs neighbor may be a drummer, Hello. But when it comes to your health, you should not compromise. You shouldn't have to. Instead, check out Zocdoc Z-O-C-D-O-C, where you can find and book doctors who will make you feel comfortable, who will listen to you, who will prioritize your health. How do you know? Because Zocdoc has authentic, verified reviews from actual patients. What an innovation.

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I've been seeing a lot of especially on Reddit a lot of people posting alerts they received from Apple saying a nation state is trying to hack you. Apple sent threat notifications to users on Wednesday last week in 92 countries Last week in 92 countries. The company said it sent alerts to individuals in 92 nations at noon on Pacific on Wednesday. The notification which I've seen. Techcrunch say they've seen it. It was on Reddit. Doesn't say who's attacking or what country, but it says quote Apple detected you are being targeted by a mercenary spyware attack that is trying to remotely compromise the iPhone associated with your Apple ID. This is the scary part. The attack is likely targeting you specifically because of who you are or what you do, Although it's never. This is all a quote from Apple. Although it's never possible to achieve the absolute certainty when detecting such attacks, Apple has high confidence in this warning. Please take it seriously. It's not the first time apple's done this. How does it know what's going on and why all of a sudden, on noon, uh, last wednesday?

1:40:21 - Andy Ihnatko
I think this is one of those examples of uh ai at work. I I I read a message thread from some people who work in this business that I did not fully understand, but they're saying that there are a lot of metrics involved, including traffic timing of traffic vectors, intermediaries that are known to be used by certain state-sponsored operatives, but also AI tools that can basically say this looks like a pattern we've seen from this group before.

1:40:49 - Leo Laporte
It's like when the intelligence agencies say we're hearing chatter. Yeah, it's chatter. Actually, they said it was state sponsored at first, but I see that they actually dropped state sponsored notification, thanks to the Indian government.

1:41:05 - Andy Ihnatko
Yeah, that's. According to a story from Reuters. They have a source that says that I'm actually going to quote here. Apple's removal of the term state-sponsored from the description of threat notifications comes after it repeatedly faced pressure from the Indian government on linking such breaches to state actors, said a source with direct knowledge.

1:41:22 - Leo Laporte
That's like admitting you're doing it. Indian government.

1:41:26 - Andy Ihnatko
It says. The next graph is is the smoking gun for that source. India's opposition politicians accused the prime minister of trying to hack into their mobile phones following apple's messages in october that mourned of quote state sponsor, and they're saying that apple had held extensive talks with indian officials before releasing this set of alerts. I hope there's more reporting on this, because that kind of sticks Wow.

1:41:50 - Leo Laporte
Apple did expand repair options to support I see it in the Apple newsroom genuine used parts. That's interesting.

1:42:02 - Andy Ihnatko
Yeah, will start at the end of the year, that they're announcing that they're no longer forcing the supply chain to make sure that you have special software that basically links this screen component, this battery component, this camera component to the rest of the hardware for it. So that was a block against independent repair. That's one of the reasons why iFixit had reduced iPhone's repairability score. So the press release has some details and says that at the end of the year a lot of that certification of a new component will happen now on device. So essentially, the software that says it's okay for this to work, work to work with this set of components, that's going to happen on the device itself after, after it's rebooted, as opposed to needing a special tool only at the apple store. Um, they, they didn't backtrack it at all, but they did say that, like we all, we will still have things in place so that the user can be informed that. Oh, by the way, you have a new battery it is not an apple battery battery, it was made by somebody else and also kind of like an odometer where they can get their tools so they can see when this device was repaired, what components were swapped out and it actually is.

We can speculate as to what they would or would not have done if they were to implement this without the pressure of Oregon's right to repair law, which again was signed into law the last week of March, but it seems to be a very, very nicely done thing.

The only limitations they seem to have put on it are, like a touch ID sensors, I think there's a camera sensor, some security related stuff that they say won't be able to fall under this new rubric this year, but new phones will be designed so that it will be able to fall under this program, so that, once again, you don't you don't necessarily not only not only all that, but, like an independent repair shop, will no longer have to if they're ordering a part from Apple, they will no longer have to like here is, here's the actual serial number of the actual phone that we are actually going to be putting this in. So that's another lack, of lack of control. They're giving up. Finally, that doesn't mean that Apple is going to be selling used parts themselves. They're just removing a barrier to a used parts market being exploited by independent repair shops to get better accessibility to repair components and hopefully make things less expensive to repair.

1:44:23 - Leo Laporte
Brian Heater at TechCrunch quotes John john turnus at apple vp of hardware engineering saying the way we look at parts pairing, he says it has a negative connotation. But but no, the way we look at it is we need to know what part is in the device, for a few reasons. One, we need to authenticate it it's a real apple biometric device and then it hasn't been spoofed or something like that and the other one is calibration.

1:44:51 - Andy Ihnatko
Yeah, I wish I was in the press release or some of the covers they obviously made made him available to a lot of different people or, excuse me, some selected people who were able to ask the right questions, but I'm still confused as to what, what the validation process is, what the certification process is, whether they are just simply making sure that, okay, this is perfect.

We don't know where this part came from, but we have performed a self-test on it and determined that it is working according to specs, so that we are going to simply allow this thing to work on this device. No knowledge as to what that happens, but it does seem as though they haven't given themselves any weasel language to make it equally difficult, for different reasons, for a third-party repair to happen. Again, good move, and I absolutely understand people's negative connotations with government regulation, government interference. Sometimes, though, it does work out well for consumers. They've been fighting this stuff for a couple of years, saying, oh, it can't be done without compromising the integrity and security and the privacy of a device. But again, if they have a lot big economic incentive to figure out, figure that stuff out, they can find those solutions.

1:45:59 - Leo Laporte
Yeah, I mean the Oregon bill isn't specifically attack, attacking, going after Apple. There are other companies that use parts pairing. The idea is, if you use a repair part, that you have to have special Apple software to validate it and to pair it again with your phone. So it'll work, which means Apple's still in the equation. And clearly Oregon legislators felt like that was just a way to avoid making something repairable and outlawed.

1:46:31 - Andy Ihnatko
I mean it's also an ecological thing. I mean I'm glad that a phone that falls out a window, gets smashed on the sidewalk it's not repairable as a phone, but there are components in there that can at least be harvested off of that by a driven individual to do so, and it's great that even a broken phone well okay, obviously I'm not going to get a replacement for this under warranty, but at least I can get 80 bucks for it. And because of other motherboards I don't think are obviously covered by all this sort of stuff. So it's not as though someone's going to use this to revive my iPhone and get the data off of it.

It's batteries, screens and things like that yeah exactly Stuff that's perfectly good, perfectly serviceable and there's no reason why it should just be chucked and recycled.

1:47:14 - Leo Laporte
Although Apple did enhance activation lock to deter thieves from stealing phones and then harvesting the parts. If this is the changes, if a device under repair detects that a supported part was obtained from another device with activation lock or lost mode enabled, calibration capabilities for that part will be restricted, which I guess makes sense. You want to discourage a brisk market in stolen parts. Obviously, market and stolen parts. Obviously Do you all feel that Oregon's bill makes sense and that this is the right thing to do?

1:47:54 - Alex Lindsay
And Apple is. I mean, I'm definitely the wrong audience. I would hesitate to send it to Apple to have it fixed and I would never give it to a third party to fix. To me that's just absolutely crazy.

1:48:05 - Leo Laporte
Lots of people buy secondhand iPhones. Just you know it's okay, just make sure you get it from Apple.

1:48:12 - Andy Ihnatko
It's just a lot of people. They might even be aware of the skeeviness of having a third-party repairer phone or even buying a secondhand phone, but they don't have the money to buy a brand new, brand new equivalent of their iPhone 13. If they can find a way to repair it for a couple hundred bucks, so they can get another two or three years out of that. That is the difference between having a smartphone and having a contract phone that runs like Android nine from five years ago. So yeah, that's, it's a good thing.

1:48:42 - Leo Laporte
Ready for some gossip. Somebody put this in, not me. The showrunner of the apple tv show, dickinson, says she ended. This is from the rap. Says she ended the show after apple actively gas lit her it's pretty good.

1:49:00 - Andy Ihnatko
She she gave an interview with this there. The the rap is quoting uh, an article, an interview with uh, with harpers, yeah, and she says this isn't like she's giving details and saying that the relationship with Apple was. That she's saying was very, very bad. It's the reason why she decided not to go forward with another season, because the gaslighting she refers to is that they would not tell her. Are you renewing us? Are you renewing us? Are you renewing us While at the same time saying we're not going to tell you, but we want you to develop another season purely on spec and we're under no obligation for us to use any of your material or pay you for it, but we'll take a look at it and that might factor in our decision.

And that's the sort of stuff that she was really on about. It goes on and this is it's pretty bad. Uh, she was. I think part of it was that she was expecting, for whatever reason, that doing a deal with apple was going to somehow be different than doing a deal with a network or netflix or any other streamers, but she was quick to lump them in with. They're pretty much like everybody else. So they are not necessarily, if you have an impression from wherever that they are more kind to creators and they're more into the humanities, no, they are basically. They're TV producers, so they're jerks Right.

1:50:23 - Alex Lindsay
Like, when you were describing that, I was like well, that's what we deal with with every piece of product. Yeah, like that's what we deal with with every piece of product.

1:50:28 - Jason Snell
You know, like that's the Harper story, which is excellent, and if you've got a spare half an hour, I recommend it because it really does paint a pretty clear picture of the state of affairs in Hollywood right now for a lot of creative people. But it is not that. Yeah, that's the story. We're talking about it from an Apple perspective. The story is that this it's a rough time to be in Hollywood and Apple is, you know, run Apple's studio group, right, like they're run by a couple of guys who used to work at Sony. They're Hollywood guys and the way that they behave is not great, and I it's bizarre but again, not unusual to hear these stories.

For example, the one of the things in here is like they wouldn't tell me how my show was doing. Well, it's like on streaming. Yeah, that is basically what's going on is that they don't tell you who watches your show, and all of the creatives are, as I totally understand, super needy and they're like but I want to be liked, are people watching my show? And the streamers are like no, we're not going to tell you. Now, at least there are some Nielsen ratings and things like that. It is to me bizarre, though, that Apple would not, would would basically say you've got to work on spec for season two because we're not willing to green light you yet, but if you're not working on season two, we're less likely to renew you, because that is, I mean, that's the kind of thing that the unions need to do an even better job of protecting their writers from, because it's unacceptable to have a demand, essentially from your studio, for work without pay in order to ultimately give you the green light to pay you.

Uh, that like it's ridiculous to do something like that. That shouldn't even be allowed. But uh, it was. And dickinson, by the way, got great reviews, got good ratings in terms of apple, tv plus and the showrunners. Story is basically she got to the end of season three where she'd done three of these iterations with apple and they'd all been, by all accounts, very successful, and it was going to be the same thing again and Apple came and said well, do you want to? And she said no and walked away. I understand it probably walked away from money by doing that, but also walked away from the emotional frustration of being put in that position.

1:52:41 - Andy Ihnatko
Yeah, it's terrible, especially not having access to viewership data, because like, ok, it's time we need to negotiate for a new season. You're not willing to tell me that I am actually your number one season series for the first half of Apple TV, because if I knew that I would say, well, obviously I should get. I should be suing for better. Excuse me, I should be negotiating for better pay and better treatment and a better staff, for better pay and better treatment and a better staff.

1:53:07 - Jason Snell
But there's probably an existing contract there. But this is the issue that has gone on a lot, which is this asymmetry between the streamers and the agents and the talent, and it is a huge problem that some of it did get covered to a certain degree in the latest WGA strike resolution, where there's some data WGA strike resolution where there's some data. But it was one of the great outside of the Hollywood trades uncovered stories of the streaming era, which was for lots of reasons. The streamers consider that stuff proprietary information. But one of the effects and don't kid yourself, it's absolutely known by the streamers that this is one of the effects is it's a lot harder to negotiate when you can't point at the Nielsen rating and say friends is a hit and David Schwimmer isn't coming back to work unless you pay him more money.

And in the streaming area it's like, well, we don't really even know if people are watching your show or not and we can't compare it. And it's not just because she was probably under contract for Dickinson Right. But the other thing is your job ends and you try to get a new job and start a new show and people are like, well, how did your last show do do? And the answer is we don't know that is so like and that suppresses salaries. That's the net result, and and the and.

1:54:15 - Alex Lindsay
The hard part is of course, everyone's pushed back. You've got, you've got the unions pushing back, you've got the producers pushing back, and all the streamers are going. You know, maybe we should just make less content like so. So the you know, you know, and it's dropped dramatically. You know, but, but, and so what what's happening is is you're seeing what you're going to start seeing a lot of, and cause everyone's talking about it here is how much live the streamers are asking for.

So live, live, live, live, live, live, live is coming out of all of the streamers. How do we do live? How do we do live? Why? Because it's a fraction of the cost of narrative. And so the thing is that the interest in sports, the interest in a lot of these other things, is we can put on a product, and because it's live, it keeps you going from one month to. Because we have to remember that a streamer's view of content is so much different than theatrical, in the sense I just have to give you enough that you don't unsubscribe, I don't have to persuade you to show up at everything that I do.

And so there, there, there's this huge focus change that that's being talked about here at NAB, of the streamers moving, you know still doing narrative, but they're definitely the last year definitely had a massive impact on their interest in narrative. You know, and it's and it's it's rippling through this entire conference of people talking about how important live is to the streamers. Now Netflix and Apple and Amazon, everyone's focused on how they make that conversion because it's one-tenth the cost per minute. And then they're also just realizing that their catalog is way bigger than they need it to be. And the other thing is they're realizing how valuable that back catalog is, way bigger than they needed to be. I mean there's, you know, and so they're. And the other thing is they're realizing how much, how valuable that back catalog is. How many people are actually watching back catalog versus new stuff, and so there's just a lot of you know, there's a lot of shifts that it's absolutely like all the stuff described.

I mean the pitch us and we're not going to pay you. That's been like since the start of hollywood. You know, like, like everything that we do, we, that we that we work in la. I mean I'm I don't do a lot of work in la anymore because I got tired of doing that, so I definitely know what that is. I was just like, ah, it's too much trouble to work with guys in hollywood. So so the so that you know, and having to, I mean, you know, like when we work with, when I do like promotional events for holly, you know, we always, if we're not working with a big corporate, we want everything up front because we know that everything's going to be tooth and nail, everything's tooth and nail in Hollywood all the time and it's really, you know, hard to do. Work there. It's a hard, it's a hard business.

And I think that they thought that that and for a while, the corporate event, the corporate, you know, the streamers were easier to work with. They were. There was a moment because they were all desperate to get content, they were all desperate to get the next big film, you know. And so they everyone was like how? Like? I mean, they went to Angela Netflix, went to Angelina Jolie and said we will give you $25 million to make a movie, what do you want to do? And she's like I want to do a movie in Khmer, no-transcript.

They're like you know, you know I don't. There's this, like I'm not sure this relationship's really working. You know, the streamers are kind of like you know, we're buying all this stuff Not a lot of it, as good as we thought it would be. It's not performing as like. Do we really need this to keep subscriptions? And when they suddenly stopped producing a lot of content and they didn't lose that many subscriptions, they were like the whole market has changed and it's more difficult and less valuable at the same time, and that's going to be a real challenge for Hollywood. Hollywood is, you know, everyone's happy If you have a job. I mean it's 30 or 40 percent of Hollywood right now and is not working, you know, like they're not. No one's talking about that in detail, but internally, people are definitely talking about the fact that there's a huge chunk of people that are going to have to go into another career pretty soon because there's just no. The demand is gone, you know, and it's really problematic.

1:58:07 - Andy Ihnatko
Alex, you can help me out with something, cause you know, you guys, this is, this is your, one of your areas, of one of your many areas of expertise, and including, golf course, maintenance uses. But, but, like so it's, is it within the, within the expectations that, if you've already had a couple of seasons that are successful enough that they are considering a third season, that they would say, well, yeah, instead of giving you a thumbs up or thumbs down, we want you to produce the. We want you to map out the entire season on spec, even if you already have this existing relationship. You're not. It's not just a pitch.

1:58:40 - Alex Lindsay
Yeah, oftentimes you're pitching. You're pitching like this is the, this is going to be the arc, this is the story arc. They're not asking for the scripts. I mean, typically, I don't know, maybe they were asking for the scripts, but usually they're not asking for the scripts. They're asking for hey, there's going to be 10 episodes and in this episode, here's a, you know, here's a hard, pretty hard paragraph or a page and this they're not doing the storyboards, they're not doing the scripts, they're they're developing ideas, and it does take a lot of thinking, but they are are kind of like well, what are you thinking about there? And that's for us to do. That. That's common, like I, in fact, so common that I would never expect anyone to expect anything else. Like it is, like that is the. You know, that is the water that we swim in all the time is like giving someone an idea of this is what they're like, what's your idea for next year? Like what is the story arc, and so that's a very, very common thing to happen.

So when I read that I was kind of like yes, they're not different, but I don't think that they're different. You know, like I don't see anybody that ever says hey, we really liked what you did, we'll pay for anything without any of the ideas up front. And now, once they see that they go okay, now we're going to pay you. Now, typically what happens after that is they say we're now going to give you a development contract. Now we want, you want, we want to know scenes we want to see.

1:59:53 - Jason Snell
But there's there's money that comes after that. She was, she was under contract and she says she was asked to write season two by Apple, which, by contract, she was under contract. All they needed to do was renew for season two. So I can understand the tell us, give us a pitch about what you want to do in season two, but what she says is she had to write it and more than that, and this is actually, I think, even more offensive. She was told she needed to go to everybody who worked on the first season and tell them not to take other jobs because they might get a second season. And you know what? There's a really easy contractual way to make sure they don't take other jobs, which is pick up the second season, yeah, you just pick them up.

Pick them up to the say you're, we renewed your contract. But apple didn't want to do that. And I understand in the early days of apple tv the show was made and hadn't been shown because the thing hadn't launched yet. And there was, and there were lots of issues like so I get how and this is a question I have is, I'm actually a little more concerned about what happened with season three, because season two you talk to anybody who was on one of those launch shows for Apple TV they did them so far in advance and then the thing didn't get announced and the announcement slipped at least six months that there was a huge gap and Apple started to have to pick up shows or the pickup would lapse and they couldn't renew it for another season because it had gone so long. And so I can understand some degree of that. But if she was told to write scripts and convince everybody to not take other jobs, did she really say?

2:01:18 - Alex Lindsay
did she really say that she had to write the scripts?

2:01:20 - Jason Snell
she said all the story says is to write season two, and we don't know whether that means that she's held out.

2:01:27 - Andy Ihnatko
The money quote, which is the one that really makes this interesting, is I'm quoting here I was only allowed to make the show to the extent that I was willing to take on unbelievable amounts of risk and labor on my own body, perpetually without ceasing for years, and I knew that if I ever stopped, the show would die.

2:01:44 - Alex Lindsay
That's, that's some story and I'm sorry but welcome to hollywood 2024 harper's magazine if you want to read it.

2:01:52 - Leo Laporte
Uh, fascinating story the life and death of hollywood by daniel bestner. Alex, I know you have to get out of here. Do you want to take off?

2:02:00 - Alex Lindsay
oh yeah, I, I, um, I just want to share my little pic. I'm excited, okay, the uh, okay, the super exciting. So Liminal and Zoom did the biggest release that they've had since the beginning or somewhere in COVID, and it is for production folks. It's really exciting. Now I'm coming to you because, just in full disclosure, I'm coming to you because they paid for our bandwidth. I have bandwidth on the ground, but I will tell you that what I'm looking at is Unreal Engine. What we're using over here.

They have a new thing called Tiles that lets you actually reorganize all of, basically build new galleries, and from the stuff that I work on every day, it is the biggest release we've ever seen from Zoom, and so it is a really, really interesting. You know it's a production tip, so it's not that everyone's going to use it. There's a new release of Zoom, of course, but it has been a. I'm having so much fun with this, you know, and Tiles is Mac only, and being able to actually what Tiles lets you do is define how you're going to lay out the tiles, how they're going to look. I think, leo, you may want to look at that for larger things, but you can round the corners. And what color are those corners, and really design and customize those things. It's a step between the Unreal Engine stuff that we're using for this show and the vanilla version of Zoom, and I didn't know if it was really going to work when I heard about it, but playing with it, it's a pretty exciting update, so I would highly recommend checking it out.

2:03:34 - Leo Laporte
Great. Thank you, alex. Have a great day, enjoy NAB. We'll continue to watch the coverage at officehoursglobal. Thanks, we will get to our picks of the week in just a moment. You're watching MacBreak Weekly Alex Lindsay, andy An, not go, jason Snell Our show today, brought to you by our great friends in the club.

We love the club. Club twit is the best way to get ad free versions of all of our shows, to get video of all of our shows. You know we we made a big change in how we do shows. You know we want to give you a reason to join club to it, so we wanted to give you a benefit and we did have shows behind a paywall, but I don't like paywalls, I really don't. We had iOS today behind the paywall home theater geeks with Scott Wilkinson, micah's hands on Mac, paul Theriot's hands on windows, the untitled Linux show. So thank you, lisa, where you now put it out as audio. So all those shows are available to you as a regular show ad supported in audio only. So everybody who's not yet a subscriber to club twit you can get the audio if you want the video. That that's the benefit. Uh, all you have to do is join club twit. It's seven bucks a month. You get ad free versions of all the shows.

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We're going to have a live studio in-studio audience for TWIT on Sunday. I'm very excited about that. I will be there. Mikah, Jason Howell will make his return as well. Should be a lot of fun. But all of this is possible because you support what we're doing and I really appreciate that support from our Club Twit members and I would love to get you in the club. $7 a month, that's all. Visit It makes a huge difference to our bottom line. It really means, to be honest, the difference between continuing to grow and create content. I think you need it more than ever. We need it more than ever to keep track of what's happening in this very fast moving world of technology. Uh, but without that support, the lights go out and we go home. So please, All right, we got rid of alex, thank goodness. All that background noise is driving me crazy. No, I'm just kidding I?

2:06:09 - Andy Ihnatko
I actually just messaged him saying that I got so nostalgic for soothing all these trade shows. I used to go to like four years ago oh, trade shows.

2:06:19 - Leo Laporte
They used to be fun, didn't they? Oh well, yeah, I miss going to nab. There's a lot of toy. It's really a toy show for people like us.

2:06:26 - Andy Ihnatko
I haven't even been to a comic-con in like since covid, so it's like I need, I think. I think I'm going to. Boston has a new comic con called wicked comic-con, run by people that I know very, very well. They used to do like little cons, so I think that might be my first like major comic-con before covid yep, there's something about being with people I quite enjoy.

2:06:46 - Leo Laporte
Yeah, your pick of the week, mr, not co okay.

2:06:50 - Andy Ihnatko
Now this is going to be a pick that we seem to make or, okay, I seem to make more often than might seem logical, given that it's not updated with huge, huge updates. I'm going to once again pick of the week downy by charlie monroe software. This is the app that is for downloading stuff off of off of YouTube, twitch, basically anything that is like an embedded video. If you pass the URL to to the Downey app, sometimes you have to open a built in web browser to log into it if that service doesn't give you credentials, but it's a way to if you are on a, if you are on a six hour flight and you want to watch something that was only available like on on on streaming.

We're not talking about Netflix, we're not talking about Hulu. We're talking about, again, most like user, user generated content, sort of stuff. It's a way to get it so that you can actually download it on your device and watch it, and I'm recommending it once again because I discovered a feature that I'm sure it's had for years, but I'd never had a chance to use it before. You know this thing called Coachella, and they have a whole bunch of these once, once in a lifetime performances where bands that maybe haven't had a really huge like arena type show in years and they really pull out all the stops for the Coachella I didn't know that they had opera at Coachella, Andy.

2:08:06 - Leo Laporte
that's wonderful.

2:08:07 - Andy Ihnatko
I didn't know that they had opera at Coachella Andy.

2:08:08 - Leo Laporte
That's wonderful.

2:08:08 - Andy Ihnatko
Some of the you know no Doubt is very operatic. Oh yeah, no Doubt's back.

Yeah yeah, yeah, yeah, and so I had. I was looking forward to watching no Doubt on Saturday, looking forward to John Batiste, and I discovered that down. I was trying to figure out God, there's got to be a way that I can just capture this somewhere. I don't have to just use like QuickTime, and it turns out that if you give a streaming link to Downy, it will capture the live stream. As it goes oh that, uh, uh, the, like the, the, the, the whole suite of, uh, of uh Peewee's Playhouse music and uh, batman music, like a three hour concert. All this great stuff I never heard before and I'm like, oh no, I can't live with just three or four clips. And I had to look around to see if I could find no one had. Of course no one had it. Of course people had captured it, but no one was like posting it anywhere. But now I can. Actually, I've seen the john batiste performance like four times since and I was watching it live as well. It is amazing. So this is yet another reason why 20 bucks not, it's not a subscription fee 20 bucks and you own that version of it's now at version 4.0.

Uh, go to charlie monroenet or just search for downy on mac os. Uh, it is every six. This app just comes in clutch for me so many times, particularly when, as a journalist, when there's something live that is happening that is going to be historically interesting, or I might just want to later on feed it through an auto transcript generator, because I can't. I want to watch it and pay attention to it, as opposed to taking furious notes about it Time and time and time. It's one of those apps that, if it's, pay attention to it as opposed to taking furious notes about it Time and time and time. It's one of those apps that, if it's on your volume, if it's on your Mac at some point several times during the month, you will probably find oh wait, I'm not totally hosed, I can actually use Downy and actually get that. That's great.

2:10:01 - Leo Laporte
Very cool and bottom line Coachella weekend.

2:10:04 - Andy Ihnatko
Second weekend is this weekend.

2:10:05 - Leo Laporte
Before I left to download some Tai Chi videos to practice my moves on the airplane. Very useful, very good to have. I wish I'd known no Doubt was playing Coachella Is that was that last weekend?

2:10:17 - Andy Ihnatko
That was last weekend. No, no, no. And Batiste there's, and also again there's. There are times where you've got your, your local government will live stream, like town meetings and stuff like that, but they don't put it up elsewhere. So if you're not watching it at the time, again it's just a good thing to have handy. And again, I'm very, very happy that I can listen to this music like over and over and over again.

2:10:42 - Leo Laporte
Very nice Jason Snell pick of the week.

2:10:47 - Jason Snell
It's a weird one, but I wanted to mention it and this seems like a good place. The masters was this weekend. I am not a golf fan, I have to be honest. Uh, not my thing, not my thing, but the masters app for vision pro was amazing and you can still get it.

Watch the uh, watch it. So it's got a. It's's got multiple video feeds. It's got a one, two, three or four up, because I love a quad box for sports where you can watch it at very high quality. You can have this big box. You can bring a leaderboard they actually take the scoreboard from the Masters and it's a 3D item that you can place in your environment while you're watching and it updates automatically. And then there's also a like a highlights tab that will take you back to particular shots and every hole seems to have a 3d model of the hole and as the shots are happening, you're actually able to see where that shot was on actually, as it's flying and as it lands, and what the previous shots on that hole were for a given golfer.

It's all it's just. It's so well done and it makes me sad actually that it's only for the masters. I hope that whoever built this, maybe they are going to have it for other sporting events or other networks, but like it looks so good as a multi-video player, as a example of integrating 3D content into a sports experience. It's like one of the. I was complaining about the MLB app the other week and it's got a ways to go. The Masters app shipped in good shape, so good job to the Masters.

2:12:24 - Leo Laporte
If F1 ever does it. Will you let me know? I'll let you know. I would probably buy a Vision Pro just to watch Formula One racing in a Vision Pro with all the screens. Andy just got his green Masters jacket by the way, yes, I did Congratulations.

2:12:38 - Andy Ihnatko
I didn't want to brag, but since it came up, congratulations, andy. The special Mandalorian edition.

2:12:46 - Leo Laporte
They also serve to merely sit and watch.

2:12:49 - Andy Ihnatko
Well, I couldn't afford to simply fly to Augusta, so I had to have bounty hunters sponsor me.

2:12:55 - Jason Snell
One does not simply fly to Augusta, Andy. One does not do that.

2:13:00 - Andy Ihnatko
This is the way. Oh my God, you should see my clubs though the steel on that.

2:13:07 - Jason Snell
Four before I'm not four iron oh my god, best car four iron, yeah great finest kind yeah, you guys are great.

2:13:14 - Leo Laporte
I appreciate your time, andy. I will see you wear that jacket to dinner, I hope. Uh, okay, now you can't eat it. I don't, in fact, have a jacket to wear, so I'll just be there in my vest. Andy Anotko, wgbh in Boston a couple weeks from now, and always here on our microphones, and we really appreciate that One of the highlights of my week. Thanks for having me it's going to be fun. I don't think when's the last time I saw you in the flesh Pre-COVID, for sure.

2:13:45 - Andy Ihnatko
I think it was the last time you were in Boston for, oh, the last pass event. Yeah, yeah, yeah.

2:13:51 - Leo Laporte
Yeah, yeah, yeah, wow, that's been quite a while. Yeah, I have a great picture of the three of us, exactly. Thank you, andrew. Jason Snell, sixcolorscom slash. Jason, he's a busy man doing podcast after podcast. Nobody ever asks him for a rundown, a script ahead of time.

2:14:12 - Jason Snell
No, he just goes out and does it. Why not? Why not just do it? Let's see, what do I want to plug this time? Star Trek is back, discovery is on right now and that means the Vulcan Hello is back. So Scott McNulty and I spend every week we talk about the new Star Trek, and it's fun because I get to talk, see. And every week we talk about the new Star Trek and it's fun because I get to talk to you, because podcasting isn't just a media product. No, no, no, it's also essentially where I talk to my friends.

Yeah, I just record them and turn them into podcasts and therefore it's a secret. Jason, but the truth is I would talk to Scott every week about Star Trek anyway, and this way we get a podcast out of it. Exactly so, vulcan. Hello, you can check it out on TheIncomparablecom.

2:14:48 - Leo Laporte
Do people wonder how is it that Jason does so many podcasts this?

2:14:52 - Jason Snell
is how I'm just keeping up with my friends and you just get to listen along. That's just how it goes.

2:14:57 - Leo Laporte
I actually had an idea for a retirement podcast which I produced a few episodes, called Leo on the Line.

2:15:04 - Jason Snell
And it's just going to be me calling people and saying, hey, what's happening?

2:15:10 - Leo Laporte
Anything good going on. I think it'll be a lot of fun. Thank you all for being here. We love doing this show and we're glad you love listening to it. Mac break weekly is produced every Tuesday, 11 am Pacific, 2 pm Eastern, that is 1800 UTC. You can watch us do it live on YouTube, We stream it live as we're doing it. You can also watch, more convenient for you, an on-demand version from our website, That's where the show notes live as well. There is a YouTube channel dedicated to MacBreak Weekly so you can watch the video there. Great, if you want to share clips. And, of course, the best way to get any of our shows is subscribe. And your favorite podcast player. We've been around 19 years as of tomorrow, so if a podcast player doesn't know what twit is, it's not paying attention. That's all I could say. Uh, we, uh, we. Hope you will subscribe.

2:16:06 - Andy Ihnatko
We should take it personally, yes.

2:16:08 - Leo Laporte
I do. It's clearly aimed at me. I hope you subscribe. I hope you join the club, celebrate our 19th anniversary. Tomorrow's the party. Actually, I think we're going to defer the party till the open studio on Sunday because there'll be a lot of people around and maybe we'll even have some cake. Thank you, everybody for being here. We'll see you next time. It is my sad duty now to say get back to work. Break time is over. We'll see you next time. Bye.

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