00:00:08 ◼ ► From Relay FM, it's the Summer of Fun, and this is episode 206 of Upgrade. Today's show is brought to you by Backblaze, Squarespace, and Instabug.
00:00:25 ◼ ► Summer rolls on and we have a #SnellTalk question from Brian to start this week's episode, and Brian wants to know.
00:00:32 ◼ ► I like this question. So, Jason, you need to remember to put the frozen steak that's in the freezer in the fridge to thaw out overnight.
00:00:57 ◼ ► And then I get out my sous vide immersion cooker and fill up a pot with cold water and put in the immersion cooker and set it to the lowest temperature possible to basically not heat it, just circulate.
00:01:13 ◼ ► And I put the steak in and it's thawed in probably less than 30 minutes because with the circulating water, it will very rapidly thaw that meat.
00:01:22 ◼ ► So I don't thaw meat overnight anymore. I use the immersion circulator to thaw the meat before I—and then I cook it.
00:01:31 ◼ ► Sometimes I just put it at the target temperature and throw in the frozen meat and cook it sous vide, but sometimes I don't.
00:01:38 ◼ ► Yeah, so that's my answer. I know what you're going for here, but that's my answer is I use technology to mean that I don't need to move the frozen snake—stake.
00:01:45 ◼ ► Frozen snake, oh no. It could be. It could be a snake steak. Who knows? Into the fridge from the freezer.
00:02:01 ◼ ► I don't know what it is. I have the one that doesn't have Wi-Fi. It just has Bluetooth and I don't use the Bluetooth. I find the app control of that thing pointless.
00:02:10 ◼ ► I really just want to set a temperature and press the button and I walk away for several hours and then the food is cooked.
00:02:17 ◼ ► It is a lot of fun to do, but it also is practical because it does—yes, it lets you thaw the meat and it lets you cook it kind of like right there.
00:02:25 ◼ ► I'm doing a lot of things that are like—it's for dinner and I'm home during the day so I can go start it cooking at one or two in the afternoon and then by the time it's 5.30 or whatever, it's ready.
00:02:38 ◼ ► Because the funny thing about the sous vide cooking is once it reaches the target temperature, it just sits there.
00:02:43 ◼ ► And over time, it'll get—the texture of the meat will change because it's not done more, but if you've got a tough piece of meat, it will become more tender.
00:02:57 ◼ ► If you let it cook, I've done some things that are like for 24 hours, but the nice thing about it is it won't overcook it. It won't burn it.
00:03:05 ◼ ► So if you leave it for two hours or three hours, it actually doesn't matter because it only reaches the target temperature. It never gets hotter than that.
00:03:12 ◼ ► They have a new one, a real little one called the Inova Nano, which looks really interesting.
00:03:27 ◼ ► The other way to thaw a steak, by the way, is you put it in a bowl and put it under the tap and turn on the tap as little as it possibly can come out dripping into the bowl.
00:03:39 ◼ ► Because that's basically going to circulate, and that's the point is that the water moves and the water's whisking the cold water away from the frozen object,
00:03:49 ◼ ► replacing it with water that's a little bit warmer, and that thaws it very, very quickly.
00:03:55 ◼ ► Yeah, I want to get one of these. I'm going to wait for this little one to come out. It's coming out in the UK soon.
00:04:00 ◼ ► Just because I've had a couple of sous vide steaks, and they have always been the best home steaks I've ever eaten.
00:04:08 ◼ ► Yeah, it can be really well done. Not well done. It's well made because you can choose your target.
00:04:17 ◼ ► If you want it medium rare, you choose that temperature, and when it hits it, they're done.
00:04:26 ◼ ► And then you can do Brian Chen at the New York Times, who's a tech writer, but he wrote a whole thing about doing roasts using sous vide.
00:04:33 ◼ ► And I've done that a couple of times, and for $20 of meat, we got two steak dinners out of it for four.
00:04:41 ◼ ► So, kind of amazing. In fact, one of the things we did there is that we served one dinner, and then I froze the rest of it.
00:04:50 ◼ ► Because then once it's frozen in a Ziploc bag, you can just toss the Ziploc bag into the sous vide water and thaw them,
00:05:04 ◼ ► So, it's a pretty cool thing. It's a kitchen gadget for sure, but it's one that I think has...
00:05:30 ◼ ► I'm going to give you answers that you don't want to hear, which is one, it's in the old Snellatron.
00:05:45 ◼ ► You're going to love this. Phase two is, I put an item on my calendar that says, "2pm, thaw the steak."
00:05:53 ◼ ► It's not really like a to-do-y app type thing. I don't like to put stuff like that in my to-do app.
00:06:02 ◼ ► Then we're on the same page here, right? Because it's not that I need to do it eventually or today sometime.
00:06:07 ◼ ► It's that in the early afternoon I need to do it. So it goes on the calendar because it's a time thing.
00:06:16 ◼ ► It is like a very quick reminder-y app. And what I like about it is that when the reminder hits,
00:06:25 ◼ ► until you either complete it or you postpone it. That's why I liked DUE, because it will bug you.
00:06:39 ◼ ► If you would like to send in a question to open the show, just send in a tweet out into the world,
00:06:45 ◼ ► the hashtag SnellTalk. And as you can clearly see, it can be about absolutely anything.
00:06:51 ◼ ► Now, Jason, I want to conclude my iPad stand follow up with a very interesting tale for you today.
00:07:01 ◼ ► Okay. So if you remember, I have been looking at and looking into, we talked about a couple of weeks,
00:07:15 ◼ ► I can never remember off the top of my head. The company's name is Colebrook-Boson-Saunders.
00:07:25 ◼ ► That's a lot of names. But it's the Tabitha stand. And I remember I mentioned it felt like it was faulty
00:07:29 ◼ ► and they were sending me a new one. They have sent me the new one and I have it and I really like it.
00:07:35 ◼ ► So the height, it's not a huge difference. It's maybe an inch higher than the Viazon stand,
00:07:41 ◼ ► but it is exactly the height that I needed. So it is a full extension and it does lock on the full extension.
00:07:49 ◼ ► There was a problem with the one that they sent me before. It fits perfectly and it is at the exact height that I need.
00:07:56 ◼ ► Unfortunately, the way that this thing is set up, it kind of attaches in on two edges and then clips in on one other,
00:08:04 ◼ ► like in the middle of this. So two sides and then kind of in the middle on the other side where it kind of clamps in.
00:08:12 ◼ ► It doesn't fit with the smart keyboard attached, so I have to remove the smart keyboard when I put it in.
00:08:17 ◼ ► I really like it. It feels much more secure to me, even at full height than the Viazon does.
00:08:25 ◼ ► Like when I tap on it, it doesn't move. Like it is more secure than the Viazon stand is.
00:08:54 ◼ ► Then it has these extended arms that click on to, as I say, to two corners and then you do the other on the other end,
00:09:04 ◼ ► Now, I don't know exactly how I did this, but I repositioned it because you can also kind of like move it up and down and left and right on the stand.
00:09:14 ◼ ► Right. And you can kind of move it around and lock it into place so you can adjust kind of what angle it's at, as well as the up and down height.
00:09:22 ◼ ► I think that what I did was I was trying to adjust it too forcibly and I've put too much pressure on the top
00:09:30 ◼ ► and bottom edge of my iPad because I have cracked the screen the whole way down and the edges have those like semicircle cracks.
00:09:44 ◼ ► Yeah. I don't blame the stand for this right now because I believe with the way that it's cracked,
00:09:53 ◼ ► I had some kind of small break somewhere, some like chip in it or something because it's way too clean for not that much pressure applied to it.
00:10:06 ◼ ► I still use this stand. I don't think that this stand is completely at fault for breaking my iPad.
00:10:13 ◼ ► I actually don't think that is the case. I broke my iPad while it was in this stand, if that makes sense.
00:10:38 ◼ ► I just have some very precocious cracks in the screen. Sometimes when I pick up the iPad, I can hear the glass, you know.
00:10:49 ◼ ► I have never broken a device. I've never broke a screen on any device I have ever owned.
00:11:17 ◼ ► So the other thing that I should mention, the articulation point has a little screw locking mechanism.
00:11:24 ◼ ► So I think I may have had that too tight and I was trying to move it and I put way too much force on the iPad.
00:11:36 ◼ ► Yeah, I don't think that having like I don't think that using this stand or moving the iPad around in this stand will break it.
00:11:44 ◼ ► Either I had a chip or I had some kind of weak weakness in the screen and then I've combined it with exerting too much pressure on the iPad as well.
00:12:10 ◼ ► My batting average has been pretty high at this point that I've spent like 10 years with these devices and I've never broke a screen.
00:12:22 ◼ ► But I will say I do recommend this stand, but just be careful with it when you use it, which I guess is the same for most products that you own.
00:12:59 ◼ ► Well, yeah, you just the way that you do it is you unscrew it at the back before you pivot it, which is probably what you should be doing, not trying to pivot it when it's locked in.
00:13:16 ◼ ► And hopefully Apple does release a new iPad in early September so I can replace my broken one.
00:13:24 ◼ ► It turns out that we scared Elon Musk into taking Tesla private when we were talking last week about what companies Apple should buy.
00:13:40 ◼ ► Hello to upgrading Elon who had that moment where he was like, oh crap, even even the Apple could buy my company.
00:13:56 ◼ ► I don't think we have a lot to say about this other than to say that it was very funny that like the day after we listed Tesla in our summer of fun Apple shopping spree.
00:14:11 ◼ ► I think the reason being more than anything else that he doesn't like the rules that public companies have to play by.
00:14:16 ◼ ► And there's something to be said for that that they're, you know, I'm sure this is my feeling about Apple too is like Apple would much rather never disclose anything, right?
00:14:27 ◼ ► But because they're a public company, they are required to disclose in certain product categories at certain points what they're doing.
00:14:35 ◼ ► And so, you know, they get all the benefits of being a public company, but there are the drawbacks and Elon Musk may be considering if he can just exit from that entirely.
00:14:52 ◼ ► But there I can't think of like a high powered individual like in technology who's had a biggest fall from grace for me personally about the way I think about them than Elon.
00:15:06 ◼ ► I would say like three or four months ago, I was comparing him in my mind to Steve Jobs is like this incredible visionary.
00:15:17 ◼ ► But I now think of Elon as like, he feels like a not good, dangerous, bad person, which Steve Jobs may have been, but Steve Jobs just didn't have a Twitter account.
00:15:37 ◼ ► I think you may be right. I think you may be right. I think Steve Jobs probably did all sorts of infuriating things that we know of secondhand or long after the fact. They're similar, but you know, everybody is different.
00:15:49 ◼ ► I'm looking forward to that book that was called Small Fry that Lisa Brennan Jobs wrote is coming out soon.
00:16:01 ◼ ► Like, I like she has a Twitter account, doesn't tweet very much. She sent two tweets and I think the second tweet was kind of just like, I'm pleased people are excited about this.
00:16:20 ◼ ► You know, for those of you that don't follow particularly, Lisa is the child that Steve Jobs tried to avoid for most of his 20s before kind of owning up to the fact that she was his daughter.
00:16:35 ◼ ► She's kind of written a book, which the reason I'm very intrigued about it is she is obviously going to talk very openly about her relationship with him.
00:16:44 ◼ ► And I think it's going to be kind of interesting to see how someone who shouldn't like him ended up liking him.
00:17:14 ◼ ► Maybe, although I have to say I am what I'm not is a voracious reader of books about the tech industry.
00:17:48 ◼ ► Well, yeah, but also do I want to do I want to use my personal time that could go toward another thing that's part of my job or something that is not part of my job.
00:18:00 ◼ ► And it's it's a difficult decision to invest my personal reading time because it's not like I'm like, oh, for work today, I will watch this movie.
00:18:11 ◼ ► I read when I read and I watch a movie when I watch a movie and to have it be something like, you know, like this.
00:18:19 ◼ ► It has to clear a bar because oftentimes I'm reading to do something different than the tech world.
00:18:27 ◼ ► I'm not, you know, I'm not one of those people who's like, if it's not a book about the subject of my profession, then I don't want to read it.
00:18:41 ◼ ► I bought Nick Bilton's book about Twitter like two years ago and I've never cracked it.
00:19:22 ◼ ► So there you go. There's Tech Book Corner, which is a one and done segment of the show.
00:19:40 ◼ ► You can sign up for a 15 day free trial with no credit cards required at backblaze.com/upgradepodcast.
00:21:08 ◼ ► Upgrade listeners can get a 15 day free trial just by going to backblaze.com/upgradepodcast.
00:21:33 ◼ ► So they also go to Backblaze and I feel safe knowing that my wedding photos now exist with Backblaze.
00:22:35 ◼ ► Oh, I'm just hearing that Johnny YouTube did something really unfortunate on his YouTube channel
00:22:40 ◼ ► and he's offended a lot of people and he's no longer the host of the YouTube device report.
00:22:52 ◼ ► Anyway, this first appeared during the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 announcement that happened last week
00:23:48 ◼ ► YouTube encode all of their 4K stuff in a codec called VP9, which Apple does not support,
00:26:20 ◼ ► As a consumer, I just want it to work right and it's really frustrating that it doesn't work right.
00:26:27 ◼ ► And I don't know, in the end, this is two big rich companies fighting while consumers lose.
00:27:29 ◼ ► than it is for, you know, I'm assuming Apple to add this support to the operating system.
00:28:05 ◼ ► The result for YouTube is re-encode every single 4K video in a different format to please Apple.
00:28:53 ◼ ► and isn't going away versus one you do like which is also out there and is also not going away.
00:28:59 ◼ ► Or having your product not be as good because it doesn't play content from one provider.
00:29:45 ◼ ► in your presentation about why you have to do something to Tim is to talk about CustomerSat.
00:30:01 ◼ ► I mean, I like that approach, but also if you're in a company that's as successful as Apple,
00:30:16 ◼ ► but can you talk about whether this thing is going to improve our customer's satisfaction rates
00:30:50 ◼ ► Here's something that will probably increase my CustomerSat with Apple's upcoming streaming service.
00:30:56 ◼ ► Apple have ordered a show from the creators of Always-- It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia.
00:31:02 ◼ ► The show will be created by Rob McElhenney. I think that's how you pronounce his surname.
00:31:18 ◼ ► Have you never seen this show? I have never seen It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, no.
00:32:04 ◼ ► And it's like, "All right. Another collaboration from those guys. That's a really good get by Apple."
00:32:09 ◼ ► And then you hear it's set at a video game studio and one of the producers is a video game studio.
00:32:14 ◼ ► And you're like, "What does that mean? Is that going to be a really weird forced connection
00:33:22 ◼ ► Now, if you've ever seen It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia or know much about the show,
00:33:42 ◼ ► or the Lego movie or at least was signed on for one of those and is eventually not doing it.
00:34:42 ◼ ► you would have a good sense that Apple are not going to really be very shy about their content.
00:34:49 ◼ ► I think that they have, at this point, signed on enough creators and enough types of shows
00:34:59 ◼ ► You would expect that at least one of their space shows would be Game of Thrones-y in that way.
00:35:15 ◼ ► It's as if all the different streaming services are just doing a big draft with real money.
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00:38:39 ◼ ► I am entirely and I think Jason is in a large part due to podcasts and a big part of that is our membership.
00:38:48 ◼ ► We are obviously an advertising-focused business, but knowing that we have a baseline of support that comes in every month is really, really important to us.
00:39:03 ◼ ► I want to restate the idea that you get everything from the previous ones when you sign up.
00:39:07 ◼ ► So that's a great value. It's not like you're cut off from the previous two years now of doing that.
00:39:13 ◼ ► And you said it was very hard and that made me chuckle because I just listened back to the draft version of what will be posted on Friday and was laughing at how gentle I was with you guys.
00:39:43 ◼ ► And you guys are also, in some cases, you were your own worst enemy because one of the things that I love, and that's why they're so entertaining to listen to, is that you and Gray are worried that everything is going to be a trap.
00:39:59 ◼ ► Some of the most innocuous things, you're like, "Okay, I don't know if we can do this," which is great. I felt like you were making your own difficulty, so I didn't need to ramp up the difficulty on my end. You took care of it.
00:40:13 ◼ ► Well, so the thing is, this is PTSD for us, right? From the original, from Six Gun Showdown, but we were just rolling through our lives and then things just kept jumping out and killing us. So we're always scared that something's going to come out and kill us, I think.
00:40:29 ◼ ► So yeah, go and listen to that by signing up. So go to relay.fm/upgrade and you can pledge to give this show some money. But no matter what you decide to do, no matter what show you support, you can support any show, you can support all of the shows, you'll get access to everything.
00:40:48 ◼ ► And on that note, every year, me and Stephen do a Q&A. We do this in August because it's relay.fm's birthday and we're about to celebrate our fourth birthday this weekend.
00:41:00 ◼ ► So we're going to be doing on this coming episode of Connected, so this week's episode of Connected is going to feature our relay.fm Q&A.
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00:41:26 ◼ ► There was a new beta of iOS today, iOS 12, and group FaceTime has been removed from the initial release of iOS 12 and will ship in a future software update later in the fall.
00:41:42 ◼ ► Are we going to see AirPlay 2 here, do you think? Let me tell you. What is your experience of group FaceTime?
00:41:51 ◼ ► Well, this was my initial reaction to seeing this, which was to say I have tried group FaceTime a few times and therefore I understand why they're doing this and it seems like a smart move to me.
00:42:03 ◼ ► Because it was really buggy and weird and saying, I applaud them for saying we can't ship this to everybody with the final version. It's still too weird and buggy and we need some more time to let it cook.
00:42:18 ◼ ► I think that's a good move because it was, you know, again, could you use it? Sure. But it was weird and buggy and I think it's a good idea to say we're going to put our best foot forward here so we're not going to enable this feature at launch for iOS 12.
00:42:40 ◼ ► Yeah, I mean, if you're going to do it, you want to do it right. The last thing they want is to do group FaceTime and have everybody's first experience with it be a disaster.
00:42:48 ◼ ► And then even if they fix it and say, no, no, no, it's better now, everybody will be like, no, group FaceTime didn't work. It was stupid. Remember that. So better to just take it out until it works better.
00:42:57 ◼ ► And I think my use of it so far has been that it doesn't work right. Really, basically, I've never participated in a group FaceTime that was fully functional.
00:43:16 ◼ ► I feel like should you say that? You'll be real confident, like if you're going to say that it's going to come later this fall.
00:43:24 ◼ ► You're expecting confidence that maybe AirPlay 2 didn't give you. I mean, I'm sure these are very, very different challenges, but it would be much easier to just say in a future version of iOS 12 rather than later this fall.
00:43:43 ◼ ► My only feeling on this is that they really want to use this as a way to show off the next iPhone somehow. I don't know. Like, I can't work out why you do it, but I guess we'll see.
00:43:54 ◼ ► And I hope it does work because it should be a very good feature, especially with all the Memoji stuff. So there you go. Some breaking news.
00:44:02 ◼ ► Jason, after talking about it for the last couple of weeks, you were kind of saying, oh, maybe I should buy an Xbox at some point.
00:44:12 ◼ ► I did. I did. This is the, the slippery slope continues. Remember last week I said I bought a 4k TV and that led to taking a lot of furniture that we'd had for more than a decade and putting it out on the street with a sign labeled free on it.
00:44:30 ◼ ► It's all gone now, by the way, they took everything. But that meant, you know, so we bought new furniture, which cost like twice as much as the TV did.
00:44:41 ◼ ► And then I lamented also that, that getting 4k HDR movies is complicated and that like the Marvel and Disney stuff doesn't, isn't available on iTunes and you can't buy it on movies anywhere and have a 4k play on, on iTunes.
00:44:58 ◼ ► But you can do some stuff on Voodoo and you can buy the 4k Blu-ray disc and use the code and then that'll play on Voodoo.
00:45:05 ◼ ► And it's just kind of this whole mess. And I mentioned that 4k Blu-ray discs are intriguing because the bit rate's way higher than anything that's going to stream like streaming 4k.
00:45:13 ◼ ► You're losing a lot because the bit rate just can't be that high. But I didn't want to buy a 4k Blu-ray player because that seemed dumb.
00:45:20 ◼ ► Then I realized, but what I could do is buy a new Xbox. Replace my existing Xbox, not go up a box. I don't want another box.
00:45:29 ◼ ► Yeah. Games consoles are always the best new media players because they're not just new media players, right? Like it's not just a high definition Blu-ray player. It's also a games console.
00:45:40 ◼ ► Let's say I don't love the fact that when I'm watching a movie on the Xbox, I have to pick up an Xbox controller and wake it up in order to play or pause. That's dumb.
00:45:50 ◼ ► Although I think it'll do infrared. So I think I can, I can do infrared signals for that. And I'm going to program that into my Logitech harmony, but it is a little bit weird, but you're right.
00:45:58 ◼ ► Like in terms of not having a unitasker, like I just, I'm not going to buy a standalone 4k Blu-ray. It's like we got rid of our Blu-ray players.
00:46:04 ◼ ► We just use games consoles when we need to use a disc, but there is a big benefit in using a 4k disc in that the bit rate is so much better than anything that's streaming.
00:46:15 ◼ ► And that was enough. So yeah. And what happened was the day after our show, I think a listener pointed out that Microsoft had just done a new promo where they were going to do a rebate.
00:46:29 ◼ ► Basically you could turn in your old Xbox or any other console basically, and they would give you money toward a new Xbox.
00:46:36 ◼ ► And it's also, my son had his birthday party last week and he loves video games. So I had that moment of like, you know, I could do this.
00:46:45 ◼ ► So I took my external USB drive. I copied all of the files and settings off of the old Xbox and wiped it and went to the Microsoft store and got a, and I decided to get the Xbox one X because my son will really appreciate the 4k and graphics and all that.
00:47:02 ◼ ► And if I'm going to buy a new Xbox, I might as well get the good one so that it's got a nice long life on our beautiful 4k TV.
00:47:08 ◼ ► And I got, I got money back for the other Xbox one, which was great, which I think I bought used. So like, I think, I think I did okay there.
00:47:22 ◼ ► And what I told my wife is the present I give to you is there's not another box in the house. And she was like, Oh, good, good, good, good.
00:47:29 ◼ ► Yes. That is a present for me. Cause she just, I bought another box and attached it to the TV. Like all the other boxes. She's like, no, no, no, no more boxes. So that's, that's all done. So, so yeah.
00:47:38 ◼ ► I, uh, so now we have the, uh, a newer Xbox one with fancy graphics and it'll play my black Panther, uh, U UHD Blu-ray and it looks beautiful.
00:47:51 ◼ ► And, uh, yeah, that, so, but again, more money so that the TV is a bargain it's 9 99 97. Did we say it's 3 cents under a thousand and it's cost me so much money in ancillary products at this point.
00:48:03 ◼ ► I'm way over the 3 cents now. Yeah. Oh man. You just blew that budget right out. Huh? 3 cent budgets gone. And what a shame. Um, do you have any real opinions about the Xbox?
00:48:18 ◼ ► Not really. Um, like I said, my, my son does most of the game playing on it. Uh, I will say like for 4k gaming, it is the leader right now. So it is, it outputs true 4k where the PS4 pro doesn't really, um, or at least the games are in true 4k.
00:48:40 ◼ ► The Xbox games are in true 4k, which I think the PS4 pros games aren't like you, you do get a better, uh, 4k experience from the Xbox than you do the PlayStation is my understanding.
00:48:52 ◼ ► He was very deep into it, right? It's kind of like, I would expect it is pretty similar to how 4k streaming to 4k from the discs is kind of what you're looking at between the PlayStation and the Xbox.
00:49:04 ◼ ► So you did make the right decision, uh, in regards to gaming, but I know that wasn't the reason, but like, you know, you, you have at least got the best 4k console. The problem was though.
00:49:18 ◼ ► I mean, part of the motivation was that it's got the 4k HDR TV. Um, and wanted to do something nice for my son on his birthday. Yeah. Had this other interest in it that was set off by getting the 4k TV and wanting the disc support.
00:49:31 ◼ ► And it just felt like, oh, well, this makes sense that I can make him happy. I can make me happy. And, uh, and he and his friends, most, you know, most of his friends are playing on Xbox.
00:49:41 ◼ ► He has a friend who just moved away and they're Xbox buddies. So it's like upgrading the Xbox seems like a, seems like a good way to do it.
00:49:49 ◼ ► The only thing in, uh, the only, the only problem against the Xbox, which is a pretty big problem is all of the really good exclusives are on PlayStation.
00:49:58 ◼ ► Now they X Microsoft are doing an immense amount of work to solve this problem. Like for example, they just bought five game studios. Yes, they did. Right. So like, you know, they're making a lot of efforts.
00:50:11 ◼ ► Um, and I think their best effort that they, that Microsoft have right now in making, uh, your experience worth it is something called the Xbox game pass, which is like Netflix, but for video games.
00:50:27 ◼ ► Um, so they have over a hundred games and it's nine 99 a month. And you get like a bunch of really, there's some really good games in this, like rocket league and fallout four, sea of thieves, doom.
00:50:42 ◼ ► There's a lot of really good games in this. What makes it extra good is any exclusive, any Xbox exclusive gets added to the game pass. The day is released.
00:50:54 ◼ ► So fortsa, which is their big driving game fortsa horizon four is coming out soon. Um, that will be added to this nine 99 a month pass immediately. Now that's unprecedented in this type of stuff. You know, there are, there have been a lot of attempts at this in the past.
00:51:10 ◼ ► That's really great. But again, the problem with is there are not a lot of console exclusives, but then they're working on it and Microsoft are really working on it and they're trying to make it a better experience because Microsoft have lost this round of, of, uh, console.
00:51:26 ◼ ► They've lost in the console wars here because you've got Sony's got all the really big exclusives in the big, the biggest games, or at least they have all of the big games, the same way the Microsoft do. And then, uh, Nintendo have captured all of the minds, the minds.
00:51:42 ◼ ► And it is believed that there have been more switches sold than there have been, uh, Xbox ones sold. Sure. Um, or at least if that hasn't happened yet, it will happen. Like Nintendo just reported that they sold 20 million switches so far and are expecting to sell another 20 million over the next year.
00:52:00 ◼ ► And what's funny is that it just, it has worked out this way that we have a switch and an Xbox one. And, uh, so it's hard for PlayStation because again, there's the new, new boxes rule.
00:52:12 ◼ ► So until the point where we put the Wii U to rest, which is hard because we have such a massive catalog of games that the kids love to play even now on the Wii and the Wii U that play on that thing, that, um, I think we're just not a PlayStation forward kind of house.
00:52:30 ◼ ► And, and I kind of don't care. You have made the best decision for your set of circumstances, especially for the fact that your son and his friends already play on Xbox. It's like, you should never have bought the PlayStation.
00:52:42 ◼ ► You know what I mean? That would have been a very bad idea. I was just merely kind of laying out the landscape, but you have actually kind of the reverse Syracuse. Yes, I guess you are.
00:52:51 ◼ ► You have bought into the Xbox at the right point though, because Microsoft have now realized their problem and they are taking great steps to try and fix it.
00:53:00 ◼ ► Yeah. You know, so this is the larger point here, which is that, uh, saying like, all right, Microsoft's going to take care of this. Like I just, and I realized this is dumb, but as a long time Apple person, I am just uneasy about every interaction I have with Microsoft.
00:53:22 ◼ ► And for no good reason, like I went to the Microsoft store, I've been in the Microsoft store a couple of times before I went to the Microsoft store.
00:53:34 ◼ ► I felt like either a like spy who, who was going to be found out and I did, I took out my iPhone. I'm like, yeah, but you know, come on. Uh, or, or like a trader, like, why are you in the Microsoft store? You everybody get your rocks, throw the rocks at the guy who's the trader.
00:53:55 ◼ ► I'm glad that Syracuse walks past, like he's somehow in California, he walks past the mall. He would never, he would never know it would be like me coming out of, of, uh, of the store with my Xbox and bumping into John Syracuse.
00:54:10 ◼ ► And I'm like, John, what are you doing here? And he would just shake his head and walk away. Yeah. That was playing in my mind really. Yeah. It was, it was super weird. I did get to play. I played with the, um, the new Surface Go a little bit while they were getting me set up.
00:54:24 ◼ ► And that's tiny. Well, it is a beautiful piece of hardware. It's like taking an, it's almost like taking an 11 inch Mac book air, something that size or a little bit smaller. And then again, you know, except it's a, it's sort of like a tablet with a, with a, with a keyboard add on, like an iPad keyboard, the surface keyboard is.
00:54:45 ◼ ► Um, and my thought is like, I would love a device like this to travel with that's a computer and a tablet, but it doesn't run either my preferred computer or tablet operating system. So it's exactly what I don't want.
00:54:59 ◼ ► Here's the thing, right? Like I have, I've been watching some reviews of like the Surface Go and stuff, and I'm like really intrigued by it. What I, I tell you what I want to do. I want to switch to it for a week to like try it and like talk about it on this show or something.
00:55:13 ◼ ► But I am, I don't want to spend a thousand dollars to do that because that's kind of what you need to spend to go all in on it. Right. Cause it starts out cheap, but it starts out cheap with a like super slow storage and no keyboard, no pen.
00:55:27 ◼ ► Yeah. This is one of those, those examples of where Microsoft is willing to sell you something that is not a great product to get to that low price. And then if you want something that's appreciably better, you are now, you know, you're now going to, it's no longer a cheap product, but it is an intriguing product.
00:55:44 ◼ ► And I think I am kind of fascinated by it and, you know, turning it to an Apple perspective as I often do. I do have that moment where I think, yeah, but imagine if this was like an iPad or a Mac with an iPad app layer or something like that.
00:56:00 ◼ ► Imagine where this was the tablet operating system that I wanted or the computer operating system that I wanted. But neither of those is actually true. And, and when I talk, you know, I, I have not spent massive amounts of time and with windows 10, I haven't installed.
00:56:17 ◼ ► I spent some time with it. I'm very confused by it because I learned how to use windows XP basically. And all future versions of windows are like, wait a second, what's happening here. But I will say this, the, um, it is, uh, the people who know about this stuff say it's still not great as a tablet.
00:56:36 ◼ ► Like it's, you know, you can get around in the tablet mode, but really it's a PC. It's really still a PC. And, uh, you know, I I'm sure Microsoft is pushing in that direction that there's some people who like holding it as a tablet, but like I like my iPad as a tablet.
00:56:52 ◼ ► I want it to be a tablet and a good tablet when I want it to be a tablet. And then I want to attach it to a keyboard and get work done that way. And that's, that's a challenge for Apple because they've got the two different operating systems that they're, that they're trying to put together. Whereas Microsoft is trying to get the context to switch in the single operating system, which is a different kind of challenge.
00:57:10 ◼ ► But as, as a piece of hardware goes, it's great to see it because that's the kind of hardware that Apple is not making, uh, because they kind of can't right now, although maybe soon they could. Um, but it was, that was fascinating. And I also got to spend a little bit of time with the surface studio, which again, I'm not entirely sure the ergonomics of it, but, um, it is kind of cool to have a big, like I Mac like screen that you can just kind of put your hands on. Yeah.
00:57:36 ◼ ► And this is, this is the case where, you know, I think, I think some of Apple success limits their ability to do, um, little weird products and see what happens to them that they, uh, Apple has so much success and, and I think so much pride.
00:57:53 ◼ ► There's so much scrutiny of them that, um, they test a bunch of stuff in house, but they're really conservative with what they release. And there are strong arguments that that's the right approach, but it is funny to see Microsoft just out there experimenting with all of these different variations of hardware.
00:58:11 ◼ ► Um, and, and some of them are interesting. Now they may some, a lot of them may end up being kind of a very limited appeal to the point where for, from an Apple perspective, it would be a flop.
00:58:23 ◼ ► Um, but maybe from a Microsoft perspective, it's, uh, they can get away with that because they're, they're appealing to that kind of audience. I don't know. Anyway, it felt super weird being in the Microsoft store.
00:58:33 ◼ ► Um, it's never as crowded as the Apple store, but the people were very nice and they didn't know about the trade in offer. And so I pointed them at the Xbox Twitter feed and they're like, Oh yeah, okay.
00:58:44 ◼ ► And then they calculated out how much money I got back and it was, uh, it was fine. Um, yeah, he literally the guy was like, Oh, we don't have it. I don't think we have any specials like that, but we can trade it in for recycling.
00:58:55 ◼ ► And I said, no, you should check you do. It was on the Xbox Twitter account yesterday. And they're like, Oh, okay. And he was like, Oh yeah, here it is. Okay, great. And then we, uh, we put it together.
00:59:06 ◼ ► So, uh, anyway, yeah, it was weird. Um, and, and not Syracuse approved, right? John's like, no Microsoft things in my house, but, uh, for us, uh, especially, I mean, like literally with my son's birthday and not to get into it too deeply, but like my son's birthday party was also basically the going away party for his best friend.
00:59:24 ◼ ► Who's moving to Minnesota and they play video games together. So it was also a little bit of an investment in, um, making that experience continue to be great.
00:59:35 ◼ ► Was it a surprise? The game, the Xbox? Oh yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. That's really good. Yeah. I mean, we had the Xbox original, right? But, but he came home and we turned it on and he was like, Whoa, wait a second. I'm like, yeah.
00:59:50 ◼ ► Yeah. And that comes with a month of game pass. So he's, he's actually, and this is the last couple of weeks before school starts. So that's been great. Cause he's got time to, uh, download, download sea of thieves and try it out.
01:00:05 ◼ ► All right, let's take a break and thank instabug. The new, new sponsor of upgrade here. Instabug is a lightweight SDK that provides more than 20,000 companies with bug and crash reports from users and testers.
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01:02:02 ◼ ► Okay, so summer fun time. You thought it had gone away. It doesn't go away. It runs all the way through the summer. Considering we just spent some time talking about a games console, why don't we talk about some of our favorite video games of all time?
01:02:19 ◼ ► And I can see our list. If you want, and this is going to like almost if you cut into a tree, you can see.
01:02:28 ◼ ► Are you saying I'm a tree? No, cause this is for both of us. I think for some of my, some of mine too. Cut into a tree. You can, you can tell how old the tree is by looking at the rings in the tree.
01:02:39 ◼ ► Some of our video game picks here are like almost the rings in our tree where you can guess our ages a little bit from this. I think.
01:02:49 ◼ ► So, uh, should we do this in, in almost draft style? We'll just go one each until we're through our lists here. These are not comprehensive lists, but I've tried to pick out kind of, uh, as I'm sure you have to, something that shows the breadth of our picks from all ages of consoles, um, all ages of platforms and the types of games that we like.
01:03:11 ◼ ► And I'm going to start off, which is probably, I think I'm pretty confident in saying my favorite video game of all time. Um, and I'm trying to adjust for recency bias, but it still doesn't matter when I do.
01:03:24 ◼ ► Uh, Legend of Zelda, Breath of the Wild. It's the perfect video game is why I love it so much.
01:03:31 ◼ ► Um, I don't want to say too much about this right now because, uh, we are going to be discussing, uh, the Legend of Zelda Breath of the Wild on playing for fun.
01:03:41 ◼ ► It's going to be our episode, which will be out in like a week or two. So if you don't listen to playing for fun, it's a show I do with Tiff Arment where we pick a video game that we both love and we talk about it with just the good stuff.
01:03:51 ◼ ► We don't talk about bad things on the show. We just talk about things that we love about video games. So, um, but, but Breath of the Wild is in the front of my mind right now because of that.
01:04:01 ◼ ► I think it was really the perfect storm of game and console. You know, it was the launch game for the Switch and the Switch gave me the video game console of my dreams, which was one console, the same games on home and home.
01:04:20 ◼ ► And portable, right? Like it was perfect. And the Legend of Zelda being this massive world on this tiny console that I could play on a plane just only added to my overall love of this video game.
01:04:34 ◼ ► I've played many open-world video games. I have a couple more open-world video games in my list here because I do really like these big worlds where you can go about and make your own game in.
01:04:44 ◼ ► I really like making my own game inside of a video game. It's one of my favorite things to do in a good video game.
01:04:54 ◼ ► The Legend of Zelda Breath of the Wild has the most living world of any game I've ever played.
01:05:02 ◼ ► You just sometimes feel like you're stumbling into something, which you never really feel with video games. Even open-world games, they always feel like, oh, this is happening.
01:05:10 ◼ ► I've seen many videos of this and it's happened to me where you're fighting a huge monster and you're kind of backing off and then it somehow bumps into another big monster and then you fight each other.
01:05:22 ◼ ► Like, what is going on? It's an incredible video game. I love it. Breath of the Wild, that's my first in my favorite video games of all time.
01:05:33 ◼ ► Yeah, I haven't ordered my list at all. So I'm going to start with a great Mac game. So now I'm channeling my inner Syracuse.
01:05:42 ◼ ► There is probably not a game I've invested more time in than Marathon on the Mac in the '90s.
01:05:53 ◼ ► Now, for those who don't go that far back, this is the game that the Bungie guys made before they made Halo. And it is kind of like Halo Zero in a way.
01:06:04 ◼ ► It is a first-person shooter with multiplayer as well as a story mode that led them to make Halo.
01:06:14 ◼ ► It's the reason that they made Halo, the reason they got bought by Microsoft. And it is... I played, I think, most of the single players through.
01:06:26 ◼ ► I'm not sure if I got to the end of all of them, but I got to the end of some of them. And then this was my multiplayer game of choice.
01:06:33 ◼ ► Back in the day, with Marathon, it was on LAN, and we would just play at the Mac user office, especially, '95, '96. End of the day, traffic's really bad.
01:06:46 ◼ ► Some of us couldn't really even bother going home because the traffic was so bad. And we would get on a conference call on speakerphone and then play Marathon.
01:07:00 ◼ ► The maps were great. The maps that they made for Marathon were great. And then there was a third-party map-making app, and there was a map-making community on the internet.
01:07:10 ◼ ► And we would download these maps, and most of them were garbage, let's be honest. But every now and then there'd be one where we'd be like, "Oh yeah, let's play that again."
01:07:18 ◼ ► And my favorite one that was a good palate cleanser was called Kill Fest, You Can't Run. And it was a tiny room full of ammunition.
01:07:25 ◼ ► And it was just chaos. It was complete chaos. And all we would do is laugh at how ridiculous the game was.
01:07:32 ◼ ► But some of them were brilliant. The way they built it, the idea was that they were kind of like portals.
01:07:38 ◼ ► Actually, a little bit like Portal, not quite, but these kind of permanent portals. So you'd have different angles that you could go in when you stepped between a portal.
01:07:47 ◼ ► And so there'd be kind of different worlds, and you'd have to chase people between different worlds. Really good.
01:07:52 ◼ ► And I'll mention as an honorable mention that I almost said Halo 1 here, which I played all the way through on my Mac.
01:08:00 ◼ ► And I played huge amounts of multiplayer on that. And at that point it was on the internet with random strangers for the most part.
01:08:13 ◼ ► And being on the internet on the server with people you didn't know back in the day, that was revelatory because now all of a sudden I could play 8 on 8 team Halo.
01:08:23 ◼ ► Because there were always 15 other people who were interested in playing it along with me.
01:08:30 ◼ ► And those maps were so amazing. So that was an experience that I will also never forget. So just like a sort of some love for Bungie right there.
01:08:39 ◼ ► I'm going to go with Super Mario Bros. 3. It's just an incredible 2D side-scrolling Mario game. It's my favorite of that style of Mario game.
01:08:52 ◼ ► It's the one that I have the fondest memories for as a kid. You know, getting the Tanooki Mario and then you can swipe at things and fly.
01:09:09 ◼ ► Did you see recently that Nintendo confirmed that it is pronounced "Nes" and not "Nes"? Anyway, they officially confirmed that in some exhibition somewhere.
01:09:19 ◼ ► Nintendo does this every now and then, where they're like "Oh, Mario's not a plumber anymore." Or like "Toad's head is a hat" or something like that.
01:09:29 ◼ ► They have these pieces of lore that they randomly confirm. Anyway, Super Mario Bros. 3, I love it. It's an absolute classic. I have such fond memories of that one as a kid.
01:09:42 ◼ ► That's great. I'm going to really quickly go... I mentioned this not too long ago on this show because my son and I played this at the arcade earlier this summer over in Alameda.
01:09:56 ◼ ► My favorite arcade game is Joust, which is where you're riding an ostrich and you're jousting with evil... what are they? Buzzards? I don't know.
01:10:08 ◼ ► It's just the mechanic of the game where you have to be higher than them and you hit them and you knock them off. Then you have to pick up the egg that gets dropped because apparently when you kill a rider, they turn into an egg.
01:10:21 ◼ ► Then if you wait too long, they hatch back out and get picked up, which is super weird as my son pointed out to me and I never really thought about it.
01:10:27 ◼ ► As a result, you've got to flap and you can go fast or you can go slow. There's a really good physics engine there. It's simple but it's also complicated. Things get faster. They start dropping out terrain so you have to stay in the air longer. I love that game. It's my favorite arcade game.
01:10:43 ◼ ► My favorite iOS game of all time is Threes. It is perfect when it comes to iOS games. I've been playing it for years and years and years and continue to. If you've never played Threes, you should play Threes. It's wonderful.
01:11:03 ◼ ► Yeah, I've played it. It's great. Let me pick an Apple II game because part of what I do -- do you have any Apple II games on your list?
01:11:15 ◼ ► Okay. We're into the inner rings now, Myke. I played a lot of games on my Apple II when I was in high school. My favorite was Lode Runner, which again, like Marathon, you could make your own levels, most of which were bad but occasionally there would be a really great level.
01:11:33 ◼ ► It's a puzzle game but it's like an action puzzle game where you're a little guy and you run around and it's 2D and you can climb up ladders and you can go across pits on a vine. But basically what you're doing is you're digging.
01:11:47 ◼ ► You need to dig holes to either drop your enemies in because if they touch you, you die, but also to move to other parts of the screen. You have to dig a bunch of holes and drop down into a hole and through into the next part of the screen.
01:12:00 ◼ ► And as a result, usually as the mazes get harder, the maps get harder, there are very specific solutions and sequences you need to go in order to get through without dying.
01:12:12 ◼ ► And it's a great combination of that. You know, action puzzler is a fun genre, the idea that you're thinking but you also have to move fast and if you wait too long, you will not succeed.
01:12:25 ◼ ► And Lode Runner did that and I play that, that great game to play on a keyboard and I have that on an Apple II emulator and I call it up every now and then and play it because it's still really great.
01:12:36 ◼ ► And I think actually it's one of those games that has been remade a bunch of times using high quality graphics and I'm not interested. I feel like it works like classic arcade games.
01:12:45 ◼ ► It works as these little low quality bitmap dudes running around on a screen destroying bricks with their little zapper gun or whatever it is. I love it.
01:12:55 ◼ ► Tony Hawk's Pro Skater, I'm going to go for versions 2 to 4 because it's an iterative game really and after 4 is where it started to get bad and I loved all of those versions pretty much equally.
01:13:09 ◼ ► I really like the Tony Hawk's games. I've always enjoyed them as like a arcade-y sport game. I enjoy skateboarding games. I like a lot of the music that's in the games.
01:13:19 ◼ ► It's a real shame that the Tony Hawk's franchise has kind of fell apart over the years and is nowhere near what it used to be.
01:13:30 ◼ ► Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2 specifically is always in people's top 20 lists. When you see the top 20 video games of all time or whatever it's very very frequently in there.
01:13:43 ◼ ► And now the most recent games are just absolute garbage. I've always really enjoyed those games though. They've been a lot of fun over the years.
01:13:52 ◼ ► I enjoyed growing up just pouring hours and hours and hours into trying to perfect the tricks. I like the skate games as well that are a more realistic take on skateboarding but Tony Hawk always wins out for me.
01:14:07 ◼ ► I once found Julian and his friend, speaking of them playing video games together, taking turns at a Tony Hawk game and they're literally just basically jumping a skateboard off the edge of a building and falling to their death over and over and over again.
01:14:25 ◼ ► And just laughing. It was hilarious. Let me pick an iOS game. I recently finished Alto's Odyssey. Played that all the way through.
01:14:38 ◼ ► Yeah, the second one right? Yeah, I prefer the second one to the original. There's more. And the original I never played through to conclusion and this one I played through to conclusion. I felt like I was really good at this game and a lot of the games I play I feel like I'm terrible at it and I'm not among the top 80% of players.
01:15:10 ◼ ► Yeah, and I got to the end fairly quickly I think and I was really good and all my friends who were playing it were like "Oh my god, what happened? How do you have that score?" And I was like "You'll get there, right? You'll figure it out."
01:15:24 ◼ ► But it was delightful to play. It was sort of relaxing but also challenging. And then the way it ended was beautiful where you get to the last one.
01:15:35 ◼ ► And the last thing I had to do was basically just ride for a day or ride for two days or something like that. Which is in the game you see the sunset, you see the sunrise, right?
01:15:44 ◼ ► And I had done the get huge number of points as my next to last challenge and the last challenge was just ride a long time.
01:15:53 ◼ ► And that was great because at that point riding a long time is not the issue. If you can get the points you can ride for a long time.
01:16:00 ◼ ► You dial it back, you don't have to try as hard to get points and you can just ride for a long time.
01:16:05 ◼ ► And it led to a really wonderful experience of a long ride, I get to spend time with this game, kind of like one last time, go out, have a really nice run and then the game is over and then I closed it.
01:16:18 ◼ ► And I was like, that was perfect. And I was done. But I loved the whole experience of it. It was beautiful, sounds great. I love both those games but Odyssey is the one that I really got to experience as somebody who figured out how to play the game and could play it really well.
01:16:34 ◼ ► So I mentioned that I loved open world games where you got to make your own game, right? I mentioned that with Zelda. The game where I learned to do this was Gran Tertouto Vice City. Vice City is and will probably always be my favorite in the Gran Tertouto series.
01:16:52 ◼ ► I love the setting. I loved the kind of 80s setting, the graphics, everything was really awesomely colored, right? It was all like pastel and neon. I loved the music in the game. This was the first time that they licensed music for a Gran Tertouto game.
01:17:09 ◼ ► And it was incredible. They just had loads of really great 80s songs and they made these great radio stations. There was one I think I listened to, it was called Emotion. And it was just amazing. It had such great songs in it. Songs that have become some of my favorite songs now. I love the track list that they had.
01:17:27 ◼ ► And once I completed the game, I spent probably at least a year continuing to play the game afterwards. Just driving around and picking the thing I wanted to go and do and just doing it. Like making my own objectives, driving around for a while, seeing a thing, exploring a thing.
01:17:44 ◼ ► I really, really love this game. I really hope that one day they actually remake this game. I think it's, of all of the Gran Tertoutos, like the older ones, I feel like it's one that they could really, would be really amazing if they spent the time now to bring it up to modern standards.
01:18:02 ◼ ► So yeah, that's my favorite and one of my favorite games of all time very easily is Gran Tertouto Vice City.
01:18:10 ◼ ► All right, I'm going to go and again, feeling a lot of mentions of John Syracuse in this episode, but he's the one who raved and raved and raved about Journey. It's the reason that I bought a PS3. It's great. I mean, he's right. It is a spectacular game.
01:18:28 ◼ ► It is beautiful to look at. The sound design is beautiful. The music is beautiful. It's easy to play, but there are challenges that engage your brain. It isn't very long, but it's wonderful.
01:18:42 ◼ ► It is one of the only games that is linear that I have replayed because I wanted to have that experience again. I know people do that. I don't do that. And I did it with Journey a couple of times because it's a very beautiful and sort of special experience.
01:18:59 ◼ ► So, you know, he's right. John Syracuse is right. Journey is one of my favorite games of all time, and I will listen to the soundtrack. And not only is the music beautiful, but the music makes me remember the parts of the game where the music played, which is, I think, for me, it's the only time I've ever done that with a video game soundtrack.
01:19:23 ◼ ► So it's just a wonderful experience. It really is kind of like the standard bearer for that experience game. Journey is really, really amazing.
01:19:34 ◼ ► I'm going to go in the complete opposite direction and pick Uncharted 4. Uncharted is a series, an action series, akin to something like Tomb Raider, but with really incredible cinematic sequences.
01:19:48 ◼ ► Uncharted 4 is like part video game, part action movie. It really is just excellent. I love the story. It has a really great story in it with lots of twists and turns. The graphics are incredible. The acting is incredible. It really takes you along for the ride. It is excellent.
01:20:05 ◼ ► If you have a PlayStation 4 and you have not played Uncharted 4, do yourself the kindness of buying and playing that game. It is wonderful. It's really, really good.
01:20:20 ◼ ► I am going to go to the PlayStation 1, the second video game console that I ever had, the first being the original Atari 2600. I'm a sports fan. I like sports. I generally don't like video games.
01:20:39 ◼ ► The drive in most sports video games is simulation, as close to reality as possible. Not interested in arcade simulation where you've got to kick a soccer ball around it or you've got to swing the bat and judge the fastball or the softball or whatever.
01:21:01 ◼ ► Forget about that. Instead, the game that it turns out the sports game that I love the most as an arcade game is NFL Blitz 2000. There's your date. A completely unrealistic football game where you could choose plays and you could hit people and you could hit people after they were down and nobody cared and the referees didn't flag you.
01:21:21 ◼ ► It's arcade football. It bore no resemblance to regular football but so much fun to play against a friend especially.
01:21:32 ◼ ► It's like NBA Jam, which is a game that I've played. It is a basketball game but it is not a basketball simulation game. They have those games. NBA Jam is not that.
01:21:44 ◼ ► This is just a ridiculous, fun, yes, that is exactly the idea. NFL Blitz 2000 for the PS1.
01:21:55 ◼ ► I'm going to pick Stardew Valley next. What a wonderful game. I love Stardew Valley so much. It is a farming/relationship simulator. It's like a cross between Animal Crossing and Harvest Moon.
01:22:14 ◼ ► Stardew Valley will take from you every minute you want to give it and then some more. It's just absolutely enthralling. I love it.
01:22:26 ◼ ► We are talking about video games so I'll make another plug for a video game related thing that I do.
01:22:34 ◼ ► Playing for Fun, which is the show that I mentioned earlier where we're talking about Zona next, we have a Twitch stream that we do. We have a Twitch channel and right now we are streaming the multiplayer update of Playing for Fun.
01:22:47 ◼ ► So me and Tiff are playing Stardew Valley together. If that interests you, we have some videos you can go and watch there and you can follow so you'll be notified next time we play.
01:22:57 ◼ ► Stardew Valley is a lifestyle. That thing will just get into your bones and all you want to do is play Stardew Valley. It's just superb. I love it so much.
01:23:14 ◼ ► What I just said about sports games is how I don't want them to be realistic. I bought many different versions of Madden football. I bought baseball games. It doesn't work for me once it gets to be the simulation.
01:23:32 ◼ ► Look, I was bad at sports. Do you have the reflexes to hit up baseball? No, I don't. Stop reminding me. NFL Blitz was great because it was super unrealistic.
01:23:44 ◼ ► My favorite baseball game of all time was the Apple II game called SSI Computer Baseball. You were just the manager. You could input teams, you could input players, you could save the teams out on discs, you could play them against each other.
01:24:00 ◼ ► It was a statistical simulation. The graphics were incredibly rudimentary, even for the Apple II if I'm being honest. You could pinch hit, you could set your lineups, you could bunt, you could set your defense, you could do all those things.
01:24:13 ◼ ► Then the players would execute on the field connected to statistics. The updated version of this, which I've also played a lot, although not recently, is called Diamond Mind, which is a Windows app that is the modern equivalent of this.
01:24:26 ◼ ► It's ultra simulated and you can buy seasoned discs that have every team that played in a particular season and you can have them play against each other. Or you can draft your own teams and make your own league, which a friend of mine and I did.
01:24:40 ◼ ► That was a lot of fun too. Baseball simulation stuff, nerdy stuff. Don't make me hit the fastball because I can't hit it.
01:24:47 ◼ ► Let's make our last picks. I'm going to pick Portal. Portal is just one of the greatest puzzle games ever made.
01:24:59 ◼ ► It's incredible. It's just such a great puzzle game and Born in Such an Interesting Way is just part of a three in one pack that Valve put out. You have a gun that can shoot portals and you have to traverse through the environment.
01:25:19 ◼ ► You have to get from the beginning to the end of a room and everything that entails with shooting a portal here and then shooting one over there and trying to find your way from point A to point B.
01:25:36 ◼ ► I'm going to conclude with an absolutely ridiculous choice, which is Superman for the Atari 2600. If you look at this game, you'll be like, "There's a blob and then there's some other blobs?"
01:25:51 ◼ ► It's like, "Okay." It was the Atari 2600. It looked really bad. But what it was is you're Superman and you've got to fly around and you've got to save various people and you've got to stop Lex Luthor.
01:26:03 ◼ ► I don't remember all the details, but it was like a whole series of things you did and you didn't even get a score. It was a time. If you got to the end, the whole idea was what was your time?
01:26:15 ◼ ► The reason I pick it, not because it's a good game, not because I have played it since 1981 because I'm certain I haven't, it's because it was the first video game I ever mastered.
01:26:27 ◼ ► I could win Superman in a minute five or something like that, which again, I'm confident that I was one of the best players of this game in the world.
01:26:38 ◼ ► Maybe top 5%, top 10%. I'm not saying I was the best. I'm sure somebody out there was like, "Oh yeah, but you can win Superman in 58 seconds."
01:26:44 ◼ ► But it was the game where once I figured out how you beat it, and this is super rare for me. I know people do this, but completely rare for me.
01:26:51 ◼ ► I kept replaying it and shaving off time and figuring out you could just do this and this and this and this and this and be done.
01:26:59 ◼ ► And so it was the very first video game that I felt like I mastered. And again, once I got to that minute or whatever, I just never played it again.
01:27:08 ◼ ► But my friend Greg, when he found all his Atari cartridges in his attic and was getting rid of all of them, he had heard me talk about this game and he sent me the cartridge.
01:27:18 ◼ ► So I have the cartridge, not to play it, it just amuses me. Every time I see it, I'm like, "Oh yeah, Superman on the Atari 2600." I was really good at that.
01:27:27 ◼ ► And it fills me full of warm feelings. And I had to pick an Atari 2600 game because that was how I started playing video games.
01:27:33 ◼ ► That was the one where I had to convince my parents it wasn't going to break the TV to hook up a video game console to a television.
01:27:42 ◼ ► Just do some cursory Googling and you seem to be very good. I think the fastest speedrun I can see was 51 seconds.
01:27:50 ◼ ► Yeah, see, that's exactly right. So I was in the minute, minute five kind of range and it looks like, yeah, I will tell you, I optimized.
01:28:01 ◼ ► I'm fairly confident that you could not get it done. It's like those famous speedrun things where they're like, "This is actually impossible.
01:28:09 ◼ ► This score you're claiming can't be done on the original hardware." Well, it was a little bit like that.
01:28:14 ◼ ► I knew where every single thing was and I couldn't, you know, and that was really cool as a kid, especially.
01:28:20 ◼ ► I feel this way about why do kids dive deep into lots of stuff that are their area of expertise?
01:28:28 ◼ ► One reason kids do that is because the world is big and strange and complicated and they can't understand it, but they can become really good at something.
01:28:36 ◼ ► And it gives you a good feeling. And so for that brief moment in time, I was the master of Superman for the Atari 2600.
01:28:44 ◼ ► I hope you have enjoyed hearing about our favorite video games. We should do some hashtag #askupgrade before we wrap up today.
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01:30:23 ◼ ► Thank you. Comes from El El says, I know it's advised to log on to your bank whilst using public Wi-Fi.
01:30:29 ◼ ► So, you know, just to be careful when you're using public Wi-Fi because you never know what people might be looking at.
01:30:41 ◼ ► No. Sorry to say that, but face ID face ID is just unlocking the saved password on your app.
01:30:51 ◼ ► And then the app is doing its usual thing. I will say I would doubt that any banking app is not doing everything encrypted.
01:31:07 ◼ ► So I would I would say I don't think face ID makes a difference there, though, because face ID, what it's really just doing is instead of having you put in your password or do touch ID.
01:31:16 ◼ ► I mean, it basically is saying, OK, we will make it easier for you to enter your password or we'll we'll save your password,
01:31:23 ◼ ► but only if it's got extra levels because they don't want any random person opening your phone and logging into your banking app.
01:31:40 ◼ ► Yeah, I mean, you should always exercise caution, you know, when you're using public Wi-Fi, you know, if this kind of thing is a concern to you.
01:31:48 ◼ ► But, yeah, as Jason says, it's whilst face ID is potentially more secure than a just typing in a PIN code,
01:31:55 ◼ ► it doesn't inherently protect the information or what's being sent over Wi-Fi any more than anything else does.
01:32:01 ◼ ► But it is a good question. And kind of along the same kind of lines, our next question comes from Robin.
01:32:07 ◼ ► Robin says, in light of Apple's privacy efforts, could you see the possibility of Apple launching its own integrated VPN service?
01:32:15 ◼ ► Feels like it would go a long way with privacy and ads and bad practices by applications, if possible, on that scale.
01:32:26 ◼ ► No, I can't. The overhead required would seem enormous, especially at the scale that Apple operates.
01:32:34 ◼ ► And VPNs can be, you know, they're useful, but they're also, like, the experience is not great.
01:32:45 ◼ ► Like, am I on? Am I not on? There are slowdowns when you're on a VPN. I just, I don't see it.
01:32:54 ◼ ► Yeah, it's like, I can see how you would get there because it feels like something that fits a lot of what Apple would like to do, you know, with privacy and stuff by helping you protect your Internet traffic.
01:33:07 ◼ ► But the pure scale required to take care of something like that, when they would probably want to enable it by default, right, because that's kind of their idea, it would just be too much.
01:33:26 ◼ ► Parker says, I use a HomeKit button to set off different scenes around nighttime when going to bed.
01:33:32 ◼ ► Do you know if there will be a way to set off Siri shortcuts in a similar way using a button?
01:33:41 ◼ ► Yeah, I think the impression, yeah, yeah, I mean, Siri shortcut HomeKit support is questionable already, but sort of like set off a shortcut tied to a button? I can't, yeah, I don't think that's a thing.
01:34:00 ◼ ► It's not completely impossible, but I think your phone would have to be included somewhere along the way. Like you might be able to press a button that then gives you a notification to open your phone, right?
01:34:12 ◼ ► But I can't imagine, well, definitely not in this first version, can they run without some kind of interface with a device? It is a nice idea. I would love it, but I don't see it in the future.
01:34:25 ◼ ► Yeah, and I don't think the HomeKit, because the Home app on Mojave is going to be one of these new kind of apps, it's not scriptable in any real way.
01:34:34 ◼ ► Because what I was going to say is you could probably, there's probably some button that you could use that was attached, you know, linked wirelessly or something with your Mac.
01:34:41 ◼ ► And that when you press the button, it runs a script on the Mac that clicks the right thing in the Home app, but it would be super janky.
01:34:48 ◼ ► And I just don't think that's going to, I mean HomeKit aside, running a Siri shortcut on iOS is just like, by hardware, it's not a thing.
01:34:58 ◼ ► Lex asks, "Okay, you have a choice. Camera bump on the back of your phone or notch on the front of your phone, which do you dislike more and would rather have gone from the next iPhone? You can choose. You either have a phone with no camera bump but it has a notch, or you keep the camera bump and remove the notch."
01:35:19 ◼ ► Oh, wow. Well, it depends on how pretend we want to be here, because the fact is that I don't love the camera bump, but the camera bump is what gives us better pictures, and I wouldn't want to have a camera that wasn't as good.
01:35:38 ◼ ► Let's, for the fun of this, let's assume that there is absolutely no change. So the camera still gets better, or, you know, the Face ID still gets better, or whatever.
01:35:47 ◼ ► So my next question would be, is the iPhone X that is going to come out still so slippery that I'm more likely going to put a case on it? Because the thing is, the case eliminates the camera bump.
01:36:00 ◼ ► The leather case, there's no camera bump. And so if I'm still going to have it in the leather case, I don't feel the camera bump, I don't worry about it, and then I would go with the notch.
01:36:09 ◼ ► Even though the notch doesn't bother me. But all things being equal, I would say I would, neither of them bother me immensely. I would probably choose the notch.
01:36:32 ◼ ► So my initial feeling was, keep the notch, get rid of the camera bump. Because I have no problem with the notch, but I wish the camera bump wasn't there because it makes the phone uneven.
01:36:41 ◼ ► But then I remembered that I use a case, so it doesn't make a difference. And I'm probably always going to use a case on my iPhone because I want to protect it in case I drop it.
01:36:50 ◼ ► So then yes, get rid of the notch, because then I get more screen and I get a benefit from it. So I think we're both in agreement.
01:36:57 ◼ ► Whilst I have absolutely no problem, I actually quite like the way the phone looks with the notch. I would get rid of it because the camera bump doesn't ever cause me a problem in my day to day life because I'm a case person.
01:37:09 ◼ ► Finally today, Brandon asks, "Do you think that this will be the year that the higher tier iPhones will have some kind of Apple Pencil support?"
01:37:28 ◼ ► I think it's possible that you could see it on the bigger phones. There is an interesting thing to me where if they were going to do this, what phones would they put it on?
01:37:46 ◼ ► Because if you put it on the successors to the iPhone X, then you end up with the iPhone X successor and the iPhone X Plus. But then the LCD screen is supposedly bigger than the iPhone X screen.
01:38:00 ◼ ► And wouldn't it make more sense to put Apple Pencil support on the bigger iPhones? So I feel like you would only put it on the biggest one or you wouldn't do it at all.
01:38:12 ◼ ► Which is weird for me to think about. But then I also, one of the reasons I picked this question is purely because I just wanted to mention the Galaxy Note 9, which we mentioned earlier was unveiled last week.
01:38:25 ◼ ► And they did a bunch of really interesting things with the S Pen. So the Galaxy Note 9 is the one that comes with a stylus which is embedded into the phones that pops out.
01:38:35 ◼ ► But this is the first time that they have added smarts to it. It now has Bluetooth. So here are a few things you can do with the Note 9 stylus, the S Pen.
01:38:45 ◼ ► You can click on the button that it has to play or pause music. You can take a photo with it on the selfie camera. So you can take a photo and then also switch to the selfie camera and then use the button as a remote.
01:38:57 ◼ ► You can change slides in a presentation. You can start and stop the recorder app. You can cycle through photos in the gallery. You can use it to play and press music with Bluetooth headphones or whatever.
01:39:10 ◼ ► I don't know why you would do that exact one. But they also have allowed for developers to use the buttons that are on there. There are two buttons, one at the top and one on the side to create functions in their own applications as well.
01:39:23 ◼ ► So there are a lot of functions that this thing gets. I like the selfie camera one where you can hold the phone far away from you and then click with the S Pen to take pictures.
01:39:33 ◼ ► So they're doing a lot of interesting stuff with it. And I hope that if Apple ever were to make something for the iPhone that it would have some more interesting function to it. So yeah, I just wanted to mention that. I think it's cool.
01:39:46 ◼ ► And I actually wrote a thing on Tom's Guide, which we can put in the show notes about sort of jumping off from the Galaxy Note and thinking about the next iPhone, especially this iPhone 10 Plus idea.
01:39:57 ◼ ► And I do think it's a possibility like you do that on something like an iPhone 10 Plus, a fancy high-end, even bigger iPhone 10, that doing Apple Pencil support on that might be a possibility. They would need to make a new pencil because the Apple Pencil is huge.
01:40:16 ◼ ► But if you've got a huge phone, having the ability to use something like the pencil or like the crayon from Logitech, something like that on those devices, maybe. Why not? It's sort of my feeling.
01:40:31 ◼ ► If somebody wants to write on their big iPhone or draw or whatever, why not let them? It's going to be an add-on. They're not going to, I think, embed a pencil in the iPhone or anything like that.
01:40:45 ◼ ► But I think it will happen eventually that they'll do that. And maybe that would be one of the differentiators of the iPhone 10 Plus would be pencil support in some form.
01:40:57 ◼ ► I would love it. It would be great. Just out of interest, do you know who the Tom is at Tom's Guide? Is there a Tom?
01:41:07 ◼ ► Now they exist. Tom's the brand now. Yes, there is a Tom. Thomas Pabst was the founder in 1996 of Tom's Hardware. So there was a Tom.
01:41:19 ◼ ► If you'd like to find our show notes for this week's episode, go to relay.fm/upgrades/206.
01:41:26 ◼ ► And if you go to that site, if you go to that page, you can find our links there to become a relay.fm member and support this show. And don't forget, we're going to play our space station trailer for you so you can get an idea as to what the upgrade/cortex member special is going to sound like.
01:41:44 ◼ ► So you can know what you're going to get before you buy. Trust me, though, you will enjoy it. It is as fun as they always are, if not more so.
01:41:52 ◼ ► You can find Jason online at sixcolors.com and he is @jsnell, J-S-N-E-double L on Twitter. I am @imike, I-M-Y-K-E.
01:42:00 ◼ ► Thanks again to Squarespace, Instabug, and Backblaze for their support of this week's episode and we'll be back next time. Until then, say goodbye, Jason Snell.
01:42:22 ◼ ► You wake up inside the cramped confines of a cryosleep capsule. You're still in your service uniform and have a world-class headache. A hypo-injector rests on a countertop just within reach.
01:42:42 ◼ ► Let's not be very specific about where it's going to go. Let's just let the Snellatron decide where that ends up being.
01:42:48 ◼ ► There is one thing we haven't checked. Like, are we human? Do we know this? We don't know this.
01:42:58 ◼ ► You are wearing the Regulation Green Technician's uniform, marking you as a member of the Planetary Action Research Science Exploration Corps, or PARSEC.
01:43:07 ◼ ► And yes, you are a human being. You figured that out when you injected yourself with the hypo-injector.
01:43:19 ◼ ► You see a dog-sized robot designed to perform repetitive or dangerous tasks. The name FROZ, F-R-O-Z, is laser etched into its skin.
01:43:55 ◼ ► I agree with Gray in this case. You've literally just wandered around and learned things.
01:44:14 ◼ ► Oh, I'm sorry. Does the view of the death world not -- is that not enough for you, Myke?