The Talk Show

237: ‘Out on Home Video’ With Matthew Panzarino


00:00:00   This is episode 237, which is actually, to me, a very special number.

00:00:05   Because of course, that's the room in Stanley Kubrick's The Shining, where bad stuff happens.

00:00:12   I'm curious, have you seen Ready Player One? Maybe you even, you're the one who told me I

00:00:16   should go see Ready Player One. I guarantee you I didn't tell you, you should go see it. But yes,

00:00:21   I've seen it. And so here's a bit of a spoiler. I don't, is it a spoiler? I don't know. At this

00:00:28   point, I feel like the movie's been out on home video for a while. So I will say that in Ready

00:00:33   Player One, there is an homage to The Shining. And I had no idea I went into the Ready Player One,

00:00:41   knowing almost nothing about it. My son and I went to see it in the theaters.

00:00:45   I am of course, a huge Spielberg fan. It sounded like a good movie, you know, it's like virtual

00:00:56   reality, apocalyptic future, blah, blah, blah. I was like, all right, that's it. I don't need

00:01:01   to know anymore. And I went into this movie Blind. And when the Shining sequence came on,

00:01:09   I swear to you, I wept. I actually had tears streaming down my face. Like, actual tears. It

00:01:19   was so amazing. I absolutely cannot believe how good it was.

00:01:25   Well, you know what they say, John, representation matters.

00:01:28   I don't know about the movie overall.

00:01:33   I think that's the general consensus. People found things to like, but then the immediate caveat is,

00:01:42   "I don't know about the movie overall."

00:01:45   I guess I would still recommend the movie overall because it is, it held my interest.

00:01:51   I...

00:01:54   Let's put it this way, like it's, it did, I think, the best it could do with the source material.

00:02:00   Yeah.

00:02:00   Which was not very, I mean, you know, I don't know, I'm not really in, I don't live in fear

00:02:07   of angering Ready Player One fans. It's not something I quake about. But that said, I

00:02:16   probably will anger some people. But I just think the book is terrible. And I think the

00:02:21   author certainly has had a vision and certainly has a lot of clever ideas and things like

00:02:28   that. But the book itself is very poorly written, I believe. It's very amateurish in its prose,

00:02:35   it totally took me out of the story. And then a lot of the concepts in the story are very,

00:02:43   I don't know, either basic or not very well thought out or don't take into account like,

00:02:48   you know, simple logic and things like that. And you can totally set all those things aside

00:02:53   and go, you know, I just loved it was a rollicking good time and all of that stuff. And I get

00:02:58   it. I get it. I'm not telling anybody else they shouldn't like it. Just for me, it wasn't

00:03:03   so great. And so the watching the movie, I was very, very

00:03:06   concerned. I'm like, Ah, my even being able to make it through

00:03:09   this thing. And I actually didn't watch it for a long time.

00:03:12   And then saved it for a plane ride, which is what you do.

00:03:14   And I know watching it on the plane. And it was just fine. It

00:03:20   really was just fine. Like I didn't, you know, it wasn't like

00:03:22   I came away from that with any sense of like, Oh, I wasted my

00:03:25   time. I was like, that was, you know, it's absolutely enjoyable.

00:03:28   Great actors in it. Lena Waithe is in it, who's one of my

00:03:33   favorite actresses. She's an amazing director as well. Directed a great series called "Chicago

00:03:38   Land." If you haven't seen it, it was also in "Master of None" season two, or both seasons,

00:03:44   but season two, she directed an episode that I think won an Emmy. And, you know, there's a lot

00:03:49   of good things to love about that in Spielberg, right? Like he knows how to handle those big

00:03:53   things and treat them with a sense of truth. So I came away feeling okay about the movie itself.

00:03:57   It's—I'm glad that Spielberg is still so productive and, I mean, I would say bordering

00:04:07   on prolific, right? I mean, in some ways it's the opposite of Kubrick, who, as, you know,

00:04:14   years went on, was almost spiraling into like a logarithmic scale on how frequently movies

00:04:20   came out.

00:04:21   Right, right.

00:04:22   But it's funny because he's so gifted. He literally, you know, like, like in debate class or law school, you know, you're, you're always expected, you could argue, you have to be ready to argue either side, right? You know, like, you can't just say, well, I think this guy is guilty, so I would like to prosecute him, you know, you'd share, you might be have to defend them.

00:04:48   defend them. Yeah, what's your argument for the defense? And in

00:04:51   that way, it's like if you were in like a debate, and you were

00:04:56   going to have to argue for somebody to be the best

00:04:59   filmmaker ever, and you got dealt the card Steven

00:05:02   Spielberg, I would, I may not be who I would have picked out of

00:05:05   the deck. But I would be like, Oh, this, this, I can do this,

00:05:08   right, I can make the argument that he's the best there ever

00:05:11   was. Right. But what's weird about him, as arguably, you

00:05:18   certainly one of the best, but it's like he occasionally puts out some real clunkers,

00:05:23   ones that are like, I don't even see how anybody thought this was a good idea.

00:05:28   Right? Like Indiana Jones 4, whatever that was called. That was a bad movie.

00:05:34   Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.

00:05:35   Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. It is very, very difficult to believe that that was made by the

00:05:42   same people who made the first movies in the series, right? Like, and that's one in particular,

00:05:48   where I'm a particular humongous fan of Raiders of the Lost Ark. And I would even say that the other

00:05:53   comes with a lot of baggage, right? Right mind, you know, and that, you know, I like Temple of

00:05:59   Doom, and I like the last crusade. I thought they were good sequels. And, you know, but they weren't

00:06:08   Raiders. There was something there was some ineffable. There's something about Raiders and

00:06:13   the exact tone that it strikes that they never seem to have been able to recapture. You know,

00:06:19   maybe can't be recaptured. It was just so perfect. I put the crystal skull one. It's like,

00:06:25   how is this made by the same people? I cannot believe this right. Right. Ready Player One is

00:06:30   not in that territory. Ready Player One is is pretty good. But it's still you have to it's

00:06:34   like you said about the source material. It's like, it's like, I'm not sure how before they

00:06:39   even started production, how they thought this was going to be that good. I don't know.

00:06:44   Jared Ranere: Yeah, I mean, it, you know, the problems were very clear on their face walking

00:06:50   into it, right? You know, you looked at that, and you said, Okay, here are your issues. It's

00:06:55   a jumble of pop culture stuff without any true, like gluing force, right? It's enormous amount

00:07:03   of exposition going on in it that really has nothing to do with an ongoing story. Like it's

00:07:11   just a lot of digression into his personal likes, the author's personal likes, right? Like, "Oh,

00:07:17   I loved this game from the 70s, so now I'm going to describe it to you in intimate detail." And I

00:07:22   think one of my original issues with the book and the reason I read it twice, even though I hated it,

00:07:27   which I do sometimes, just to make sure. But I listened to the audiobook and Wil Wheaton read it.

00:07:36   And I like Wil Wheaton quite a bit, but I find his audio narration to come off as quite smug.

00:07:42   Like, and it normally I don't mind it. You know, I totally like the guy a lot. I like his writing

00:07:49   and all of this. But when he was reading—

00:07:52   Pete: His narration's a little too Wesley Crusher is what you're saying.

00:07:54   Yeah, basically and in the situation is is that you had that source material, you know with its particular

00:08:00   Proclivities to like condescension and like oh you didn't know about this game

00:08:04   But I'm gonna explain it to you in detail and why it was so amazing and whatever right and then you pair it with his voice

00:08:11   I convinced myself that maybe I was just I had some sort of anaphylactic reaction, right?

00:08:17   To the combination so I went ahead and read it myself, you know, like in

00:08:24   text form and I was like, oh no, I was

00:08:26   It was bad it's good did you sound like it he did

00:08:32   he had in fact read the book beforehand and

00:08:36   we had a very I

00:08:38   Thought very interesting conversation after the movie about it was it, you know, like to me this is good parenting

00:08:45   it's like we had a very like an hour-long conversation about

00:08:48   mm-hmm movie versions of books and and worse yeah that you know, there's

00:08:53   There's a lot of people who just have their take on it is the book is better than the

00:08:57   movie and that's their book is the North Star and that's it and and it's like that's not

00:09:03   a good take and we you know he's seen The Shining. I think he's even read the book on

00:09:07   the shiny and I was like The Shining is you know maybe the canonical example where the

00:09:10   book is excellent and the movie is amazing and they're totally different and you know

00:09:16   the author of the book had because it was different had bad feelings about the movie

00:09:20   and then he made his own version for television and it was all yeah right do you ever see that i

00:09:26   actually it's funny i never did i've only heard about it like apocryphally yeah i don't know what

00:09:31   even made me watch it because like for example uh i've never seen the movie 2010 because it to me is

00:09:39   it's like uh uh what's that word when you're uh breaking a religious law uh oh uh well not verboten

00:09:49   No taboo or no. I know what you're talking about, but it's not coming to me.

00:09:56   Yeah. Not coming to me either. But that's what I feel like that, you know,

00:09:59   you can't just make an unauthorized sequel to 2001. What the hell's wrong with you?

00:10:03   So I won't, I won't even watch it. Well, not even look at it.

00:10:05   No, it was Isaac. Isaac Asimov was not alive, right? When the,

00:10:11   no, not as him off. It was Arthur C. Clark as you're thinking of.

00:10:14   I was sorry. Excuse me. I apologize. Yeah. But he was he alive at the time.

00:10:18   they made 2010? I can't remember.

00:10:20   I don't know. He wrote the book. You know, he

00:10:24   certainly I read the book and I'm almost positive. I did see the movie but it's in the sort of in the

00:10:30   hazy reaches of my movies watching past you know, I don't I doubt I dwelled on it, which probably

00:10:35   says a lot, you know,

00:10:36   I should I don't know why I'm irrational. I am I don't know if you've ever noticed this. I have

00:10:42   never I have some hangups never crossed my mind. But for whatever reason, I decided I would watch

00:10:48   the ABC miniseries, The Shining. Steven King, I think it was called Steven King's The Shining,

00:10:53   just so you knew that this one was by the book. And it was bad. It's just bad. It's just poorly

00:11:01   made, poorly shot, poorly cast. Anything that can be bad about it was bad. Well, it's like,

00:11:09   people use that phrase too close, right? You're too close to something to see it for what it is,

00:11:16   or to see the value in it. And, you know, I certainly believe that that even great authors

00:11:22   are great playwrights or screen screenwriters can fall prey to that. And I think that's an example

00:11:27   of that for sure. Yes, you need a distant eye to look at it for you. Yeah. Anyway, Ready Player

00:11:32   One's overlooked thing made me weep. It was so good and so amazing and so loving. And it just

00:11:39   so you know, just the right and it was just the right length, you know? Right. So it's,

00:11:44   to me. There was lots of great stuff in there like that, I think. But it's just, you know,

00:11:49   the overall was a little bit rough for me.

00:11:51   But the other thing about Spielberg, I want to before we go off it is he's also making

00:11:59   still making some amazing, amazing movies. Have you seen Bridge of Spies?

00:12:03   I haven't yet. And it's on my list. But yeah, it looks looks amazing. It's like this late stage

00:12:10   collaboration with Tom Hanks and Spielberg is amazing. The post is really good to Bridge of

00:12:16   Spies, though, in particular is one that I would hold up. So you know, anybody out there is looking

00:12:20   for movies to watch over the holiday season. Bridge of Spies is so good. And it's, you know,

00:12:28   it's like proof that he still got it. But it almost it's interesting to me that he wavers

00:12:33   between like a, quote, small movie like Bridge of Spies, which isn't really effects laden. I mean,

00:12:40   you know, the effects are that it, you know, takes place in the past. So I mean, there's obviously

00:12:46   some sort of, you know, special effects trickery going on there, but it's not a blockbuster,

00:12:54   you know, right. $500 million grossing movie, you know, it's, you know, it's a movie for adults,

00:13:02   I guess. Yeah. I don't know. I do. I worry I it is interesting because the other thing about

00:13:08   like a movie like Ready Player One, which was clearly meant to be like a ginormous worldwide

00:13:14   blockbuster is. And it was the explanation that I saw for why Crystal Skull was the way it was that

00:13:22   when they make movies now that are supposed to be, you know, like one of the top grossing movies of

00:13:28   the year. It's like, it's also arguably why the James Bond movies have gotten a little incoherent

00:13:34   is that it's all about the spectacle and the worldwide box office is so much bigger than the

00:13:40   U.S. box office that the sense that a movie makes by listening to the dialogue and what they say

00:13:47   isn't even that big a consideration anymore because the idea, you know, most of the people

00:13:52   who are going to be buying tickets to see it are not even going to care. Yeah, that it's all

00:13:57   either dubbed or subtitled or something, right? It's just the spectacle of it.

00:14:01   it.

00:14:02   Jeffery

00:14:16   major concern. But I think it's, we've gotten to the point where we had all the arguments, and now everybody just assumes it's true. And nobody bothers to really push back against it and go like, Oh, no, you know, it's a thinking man's blockbuster or whatever, we've gotten to the point where we sort of, you know, you have all the arguments, but the generation that had the arguments is now passed. And the generation that has grown up with that in their face is now here, and they don't care, you know, and it's it's an interesting one. But they're there every once in a while,

00:14:46   you will still see these big movies that managed to have just a great combination of course of director screenwriter, you know, team etc. You can almost never credit one person. But that do it right. And like Mission Impossible was quite excellent in that regard. Because it certainly was a blockbuster. But the last I think three have been attached, you know, because they used to be pretty standalone, right? Yeah. But the last three of them have sort of been attached to one another. Did you see the

00:15:15   latest one? I did. I did. Yeah. What would you think? What do you think? Uh, good enough.

00:15:22   You know, I'm not disappointed. I, you know, it is effectively I've been thinking about it. I

00:15:27   thought about before I even hit play on it. I think I just watched it last weekend. Definitely

00:15:32   recently. You know, it seems very obvious, but I also seem to be personally 15 years late to

00:15:38   the realization that the Mission Impossible and Ethan Hunt are America's James Bond.

00:15:44   James Bond. Right. Right. It's, you know, yeah. Yeah, I like the series a lot. It's, you know,

00:15:52   it's, you know, as a Bond fan, I feel like you, how could you not? It is interesting to me that

00:16:00   it's an interesting film series to me, because they try not to, there's a formula, obviously,

00:16:06   but they try not to remake it. And that they've done, you know, even just by starting with,

00:16:11   by having the first one helmed by Brian De Palma, you know, who's sort of the

00:16:18   what was it noir, right? It was an action movie or noir disguised as an action movie,

00:16:25   which I thought was he's sort of the failed Spielberg. I that sounds wrong.

00:16:29   Because I'm a huge De Palma fan, you know, but sure. But at a certain point in the 70s, he was

00:16:36   shoulder to shoulder with Steven Spielberg, you know, and was sort of the, you know, and Lucas and

00:16:44   Francis Ford Coppola, you know that and score says he that there were all these guys who were,

00:16:50   you know, and they were all came of age in the 70s and made these amazing movies and they all sort of

00:16:57   had their personal styles, you know, like, to Palma's camera movement, you know, diploma was

00:17:03   moving the camera around before Steadicam was even invented. I don't even know how, you know.

00:17:08   So it was fascinating that the first one was Palma and it's, I love, the first one is truly

00:17:14   a magnificent movie. But then they had what, John Woo directed the second one or the third one?

00:17:20   Jared Ranerelle Yeah, the second one, the second one was John Woo's,

00:17:23   I mean, he had made other stuff before in the US. He made

00:17:30   Broken Arrow, I think. But it was supposed to be his big entry into the US market. And it certainly

00:17:36   was very John Woo. I mean, you can't say that that movie wasn't a John Woo movie.

00:17:41   He even had the slow motion doves. I mean, it was—

00:17:43   Oh, yeah, he had the doves. But it wasn't the right choice. And it was certainly, you know,

00:17:47   the most incoherent. Ironically, I think some of the most like weird and awkward and good and

00:17:54   in that way, villain performances. Doug Ray Scott is the villain in that. And he's just so sneery

00:18:02   and malevolent, you know. But it had some good things about it and a lot of the good things were

00:18:09   basically Tandy Newton and Doug Ray Scott, you know. But it was a misstep. But then the third

00:18:16   one recovered big time, you know. And it just has gone on to be, I think, a really, really great

00:18:22   example of the action or blockbuster genre that manages to miss out on the, you know,

00:18:30   Oh, this is a horror show. And, you know, is not worth your intellectual interest, you know,

00:18:35   kind of thing that's been happening with these movies. Yeah. Which have you have you seen? Oh,

00:18:40   I'm sorry, I digress. Go. I'm, before we get off Mission Impossible. I like the series a lot. And

00:18:45   I like the last one. It's, it's good. It's probably it's not my favorite. I don't know.

00:18:51   maybe because there was a little too, there wasn't like a there there. I don't know. I don't know.

00:18:57   I'd give it at least a B plus. Certainly worth watching. And it was a little long.

00:19:01   Like, I'm not quite sure why it was over two hours long.

00:19:05   But yeah, I think that's a disease all movies are suffering from. The editors are getting less and

00:19:12   less power. And the directors are getting more and more power. And the analogs of the corporate world

00:19:19   they're strong. You know, when you get a CEO, and there's nobody there to tell them no, you end up

00:19:24   with, you know, problems. And the director is the CEO of that production. And you need an editor to

00:19:29   be like, Nah, you know,

00:19:31   who else has direct I mean, with the list of directors of the Mission Impossible movies is so

00:19:34   great. Brad Bird directed the one. That's right. JJ Abrams directed was that the third one that

00:19:41   I think he directed to DJ Abrams.

00:19:45   Yeah, but really great directors in it. You know, I don't know. It's a great series. And I think

00:19:51   it's a real testimony to Tom Cruise. I mean, however weird he is in his personal life. He's

00:19:57   really, really racked up a hell of a film catalog. Yeah. So the yet john john Woo was the the second

00:20:04   one of the JJ Abrams sort of resurrected it, you know, with Mission Impossible three. Remember,

00:20:09   it was, it was only four years between the first two and then six years to the second one of the

00:20:15   third one because I think everybody was like, "Oh, God, that's over." Right? And but then J.J. Abrams

00:20:20   kind of resurrected and then Brad Bird, which was one of the best entries in the whole series, and

00:20:26   then Rogue Nation and Fallout are both Christopher McQuarrie. Which is, yeah, both of them, I think,

00:20:34   are excellent. Yeah. No, it's a good series. I really liked it. Yeah. I mean, in the way that

00:20:39   the Bond films sort of ebbed and flowed with the quality of the director, you know, sometimes you

00:20:44   would get a director in the 70s who went on to be great, but at the time was just sort of doing

00:20:50   whatever. And then sometimes you got directors who were on the wane, right? And like they were friends

00:20:55   of the Broccolis or something, they got a directing job. And you sort of saw the difference. But what

00:21:01   I was gonna say about the blockbuster big movie thing, and I'm not going to talk about the movie

00:21:05   at all, because it's opening today. You know, I won't talk about plots particulars, but Into the

00:21:11   Spider-Verse, a Spider-Man animated film. I highly, I mean, I don't know, you know, I don't know

00:21:17   when this will air, but if you haven't seen it by now, if you didn't go see it on opening weekend,

00:21:22   go see it immediately. It's amazing. And not only is it one of the best Spider-Man movies,

00:21:28   if not the best Spider-Man movie ever made, it is just an incredible animated film with a ton of

00:21:34   heart, really, you know, conscious of the world we live

00:21:37   in, really entertaining and heartwarming. And it sort of

00:21:43   does that it pulls this magic trick in that it, it does that

00:21:46   thing where a movie deconstructs the genre that it's in, you

00:21:50   know, you've seen this with some other movies where, you

00:21:54   know, it's a very self referential in terms of like, it

00:21:57   knows it's an action movie, so it's gonna play with the tropes,

00:21:59   let's, let's say true lies or something like that, right?

00:22:03   where you know, this this action movie is just it's so over the

00:22:06   top because it knows it's supposed to be and it also

00:22:09   comments on it, you know, whatever. But it does that for

00:22:12   comic book movies and comics in a way that's that is also very

00:22:19   respectful, right of the of the genre. It does not make fun of

00:22:24   it. It makes you feel like these are fans of this, you know,

00:22:28   genre that made it and they want you to have the best experience

00:22:31   possible and it's really good. I highly recommend it.

00:22:33   Yeah, it looks good. It just also seems well cast. I know. I

00:22:38   don't know much about it. I again, I it's a lot like Ready

00:22:42   Player One, I kind of got the gist. I get it multiverse.

00:22:45   There's multiple Spidermans and some kind of dimensional thing,

00:22:49   right? People are shooting through different dimensions,

00:22:51   and you get a whole bunch of different universes where

00:22:54   there's always a Spiderman. All right, cool.

00:22:56   Which is a concept that was established in the comics, you

00:23:00   so the comics already have established the framework for that, but none of the movies

00:23:05   have ever touched on that. But the only other thing I know about it is that at least one of

00:23:10   them—I believe he's a Peter Parker—is played by John Mulaney, who's a stand-up comedian who—

00:23:17   Yeah, John Mulaney plays—and this is not a spoiler because it's in the credits of IMDb, etc.—but

00:23:23   he plays Peter Parker, which is—and it's in the trailer, so I'm fine mentioning it. But Peter

00:23:28   Porker is like a Mad Magazine pig version comic book version of Spider-Man.

00:23:36   Pete Turner Well, Spider-Pig, Spider-Pig.

00:23:37   Jared Polin Right, exactly. And it's amazing. I mean,

00:23:41   how that's handled in the movie is incredible. You would think that something like that would

00:23:47   take you completely out of it and kill any dramatic momentum the movie had,

00:23:51   but they somehow managed to sidestep it entirely.

00:23:53   John Mulaney is a national treasure, in my opinion. Big fans here in the Gruber household.

00:23:59   We've gone to see him, all three of us. He's truly, truly a terrific stand-up comedian.

00:24:05   And I can totally see how his voice would be perfect. Like, he could make a living

00:24:09   in doing animated movies. You know, he's got a great voice.

00:24:12   Jared: Yeah, absolutely. But the cast overall is really good. Haley Steinfeld is in it. Jake

00:24:18   Johnson is in it, who many people probably know from the—Zoey Deschanel TV series. I don't know,

00:24:26   I never watched it. But he's a great actor. I like him. But the lead, Miles Morales, who's the

00:24:32   kind of lead Spider-man, Spider-young person, is played by this guy named Shameik Moore. And

00:24:41   Shameik Moore is not known to a lot of people, although I think this will certainly get him a big

00:24:46   exposure. But he was in this movie called dope, which was

00:24:50   very under seen and incredibly funny. I really, really liked

00:24:53   it. But it was super talented actor and definitely held his

00:24:58   weight with other characters. And there are other people in it

00:25:02   that are, yes, they're in the credits, but I don't want to

00:25:04   mention them. Because when they when they pop up, people will be

00:25:07   like, holy crap, you know,

00:25:08   it's sort of like Ready Player One that way.

00:25:13   Yeah, exactly. Like, I mean, the uncle voice, which is fine. The uncle voice, which I'll

00:25:18   mention, is played by Mahershala Ali. So it's, you know, there, there's amazing and amazing

00:25:27   cast of this Lily Tomlin plays Aunt May, you know, so it's, it's great. It's, they got

00:25:33   us really solid. What's the story on how this movie even came to be? Because it's like,

00:25:39   For as rich as Disney is, the Marvel film universe is still like the worst.

00:25:50   It's fragmented.

00:25:51   Yeah.

00:25:52   Right.

00:25:53   It's the victim of really poor decisions made by a flailing Marvel in the 90s or late 80s.

00:26:02   When Marvel was flailing, they sold like the X-Men to Fox and Spider-Man to Sony.

00:26:10   It was exciting because Sam Raimi was going to make it.

00:26:15   I'll tell you the truth, I've never been a big Sam Raimi fan.

00:26:19   The Spider-Man movies he made are exhibit A.

00:26:23   We can't be friends, but that's fine.

00:26:25   No, I'm joking.

00:26:28   You know, it's...

00:26:30   What is it that you don't like about him?

00:26:32   it the humor or is it? It's what he thinks is funny and I don't. Okay, yeah, I got it. And

00:26:37   I don't know, like to me, the way that he made the Spider-Man movies and maybe that's the way

00:26:46   they had to be made. I don't know, but it's almost like there's a, there's always been like a video

00:26:52   game ness to his visuals that I don't like, you know, and, and I don't know. I enjoyed them. I've

00:27:00   I've watched all the Spider-Man movies, I think,

00:27:03   but why, what a twisted saga.

00:27:05   And now they've somehow got Spider-Man

00:27:08   in the regular Marvel universe

00:27:11   through some kind of finagling.

00:27:14   But what's the deal?

00:27:14   Like they had like an exception for animated movies?

00:27:16   Is that what happened legally?

00:27:19   - No, it's the studio is,

00:27:22   it's Columbia and Sony and Marvel co-production, right?

00:27:27   So it is still a Sony thing

00:27:29   because they do own the licenses even for animated stuff.

00:27:32   But Marvel and Sony have this sort of deal,

00:27:35   this cross-licensing deal now,

00:27:37   where Marvel basically gets to use the character,

00:27:40   but Sony is still making Venom

00:27:42   and other Spider-Verse characters stuff.

00:27:45   - Yeah.

00:27:46   - But it is very complicated.

00:27:48   - I heard that was terrible.

00:27:50   I read a review of the Venom movie,

00:27:52   and they were like, "This movie doesn't even make any sense."

00:27:55   - Yeah, I haven't seen it, and it's unfortunate too,

00:27:57   because Venom's such a great character, but I'll be honest, I never really had any sort of faith in

00:28:03   Venom as a character that was not an immediate foil for Spider-Man. I mean, the whole reason

00:28:10   Venom was invented was to explore the darker side of what Peter Parker could be or was, and it came

00:28:17   out of the whole Secret Wars thing, which is a whole other story. But I really do believe that

00:28:22   it's like, Spider-Man without Venom is pointless as hell, you know, in my opinion.

00:28:26   But…

00:28:26   Yeah, I was reading comic books back in the Secret Wars era. Wasn't that, was that,

00:28:33   am I misremembering that it was like he got like, he got the black costume from outer space and…

00:28:40   Yeah, well, it was when they were fighting, yeah, it was when they're fighting in the

00:28:44   Secret Wars off planet and his suit got damaged or whatever and he found this suit that was

00:28:52   just sort of like ready-made or there and he came upon it and everybody's like oh maybe

00:28:59   you shouldn't put that on you know like where did it come from but it was the symbiote it

00:29:06   was an alien that gave him additional strength and power and eventually became you know obviously

00:29:13   its own villain when it attached to Eddie Brock but yeah that's what he acquired it

00:29:17   off planet. Yeah. And it was it was very, it was a very interesting was it was fun.

00:29:23   It was sort of precursor to Infinity War. Yeah. You know, in that and it was definitely

00:29:28   a, an interesting kind of crossover big event. I mean, Marvel was doing a lot of those in

00:29:34   that era. But then that I have, so one of my personal, I have a few personal comics

00:29:41   that I really held on to, like I had Amazing Fantasy 15 for a while, but ended up selling

00:29:46   that's the first appearance of Spider-Man.

00:29:49   And then I have, but I have a web of Spider-Man number one,

00:29:55   which is the web of Spider-Man number one

00:29:56   is when he realizes that the suit is no good for him

00:29:59   and he has to get rid of it

00:30:01   and he tries to get it off of himself.

00:30:03   You know, that's that storyline.

00:30:05   And it's just like, that was just one of my treasured,

00:30:07   you know, belongings growing up.

00:30:09   And like, I had a lot of love for the Venom character.

00:30:11   So I haven't even seen the movie

00:30:12   'cause I don't want to be sad, you know?

00:30:15   still want to be sad. But anyhow, I think it's it's the the

00:30:22   animated one sidesteps a lot of the problems that could have

00:30:26   cropped up. And I think the secret sauce there, which is no

00:30:29   real secret is Miller and Lord. So I don't know if you know who

00:30:36   Christopher Miller and Phil Lord are now but they did the they

00:30:41   started off in like 2009. They made this movie called cloudy

00:30:45   with a chance of meatballs. Sure. You ever seen it?

00:30:47   Well, I know the book and I think we watched the movie too. Yes. Yes, we did

00:30:52   watch the movie. It was when it was age appropriate for my son. Yeah, yeah,

00:30:57   it's hilarious. Yeah. Yeah, it's hilarious. It's funny and, and in the

00:31:02   heartfelt and kind of zany, but in that great way and totally proves why.

00:31:06   What's his name? From SNL, the lead actor in in that

00:31:14   - Bill Hader. - Yeah.

00:31:15   - Bill Hader. - Yeah.

00:31:16   - Well, he's such a great voice talent.

00:31:18   And he's in some Pixar stuff now,

00:31:19   'cause he's a big Pixar fan.

00:31:20   But anyhow, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs was great.

00:31:23   And they kind of cut their teeth on that.

00:31:25   And they ended up playing that into directing

00:31:27   21 Jump Street.

00:31:29   - Ah.

00:31:30   - And which, have you ever seen that?

00:31:32   - Yeah, I think so.

00:31:34   I think I did. - Yeah, 21 Jump Street was--

00:31:36   - I don't know why I don't remember.

00:31:38   - Yeah, Jonah Hill and, I mean,

00:31:40   it's not like you need to remember anything about the movie.

00:31:42   I mean, it was very funny, you know,

00:31:43   But it's one of those things that's like, okay, that was hilarious, but it's not you know, it'll be on your rewatch list, right? But

00:31:48   Yeah, Jonah Hill was in that and that was a project that he tried to get off the ground

00:31:54   It was sort of his Genesis

00:31:55   but Miller and Lorde directed that and it was a big hit a very surprise hit because everybody was like

00:32:00   an r-rated comedy starring Jonah Hill and

00:32:05   What

00:32:10   Who was the other Oh Channing Tatum, you know and and I'll based off of 21 what you know

00:32:16   Tell me 21 Jump Street and but it was a huge hit surprise hit

00:32:21   So that sort of like gave them a platform to stand on and then they they made

00:32:26   22 Jump Street as well, but they made their biggest bang with the Lego movie

00:32:32   So they're behind the Lego movie. And so when you look at that you go like, okay anime animation expertise

00:32:38   Yeah, great sense of humor. They honor material. I mean the Lego movie when you know, you first saw that was coming out

00:32:44   You're like, oh god, what cash-in job is this?

00:32:46   right

00:32:46   right and and it was hilarious and somehow managed to like honor the origins of all those superhero characters as well as

00:32:54   the concept and feeling of Lego and like the joy of

00:32:58   Creation and family and all of this stuff and you're like how the hell did this happen in a Lego movie, you know

00:33:04   So it just proved that they they really had chops

00:33:06   And so when I heard the project was gonna was gonna fire up like an animated Spider-Man

00:33:11   I was like, oh, you know another one because they've all been crap all the animated spider-man's have been pretty terrible

00:33:15   But it was produced by Amy Pascal and I'm like, well she's not you know, she's not a dummy and then

00:33:23   They got attached filler and lure got attached. I was like, oh hell yeah, like I'm in like whatever they do

00:33:29   I think they'll do it

00:33:31   right. And they managed to chart the course between Sony and Marvel and all of that to

00:33:35   be to use the extended universe and the characters and to do it right. And it was good. It was

00:33:41   really, really good. Yeah, because the other thing when I when you hear animated superhero

00:33:45   movie, you think about those awful, awful DC ones that they keep turning out, you know,

00:33:51   like, I don't watch them, I but I can't help but watch the previews. Like I see a new one

00:33:55   show up in iTunes and I'm like, well, let me see how bad this one looks.

00:34:00   And they're like, how much of an asshole can Superman be?

00:34:04   And they're made using that, like, whatever you want to call the style.

00:34:11   But it's like a low-- The dour filter?

00:34:14   But it's like even like a low frame rate, you know what I mean?

00:34:16   They're like only animated at like 12 frames per second.

00:34:20   It's everything.

00:34:21   Oh, you're talking about the animated ones.

00:34:23   Yeah, like the animated DC movies.

00:34:25   I was talking about the Cinematic Universe ones, but sure. The animated ones too.

00:34:28   Trenton Larkin No, the animated ones are so bad.

00:34:30   Jay Haynes I know what you mean. There have been a couple

00:34:33   of good ones, to be honest. Like there's a couple of the Justice League ones that are decent.

00:34:37   Trenton Larkin Oh, come on.

00:34:37   Jay Haynes Because they had people involved.

00:34:38   Trenton Larkin Are you serious?

00:34:39   Jay Haynes They had the right people involved. I swear to God.

00:34:41   But for the most part, they're not good. Yeah, you're right. They're not good.

00:34:44   Trenton Larkin I actually watched it. I couldn't help it.

00:34:46   Jay Haynes Which one did you watch?

00:34:47   Trenton Larkin I watched The Dark Knight.

00:34:49   The one that's based on like the most beloved graphic novel of all time.

00:34:55   Right. That's not good. That was not good. The one that I did like was the one based on and I

00:35:03   can't, I mean, there have been so many, I can't even begin to think that I would call it out of

00:35:07   my, out of the ether. But there was one that was based on this storyline where the Golden Age heroes

00:35:15   had to link up with the, with the Silver Age heroes and kind of defeat this cosmic threat

00:35:21   of some sort. So it was like Barry Allen and Classic Flash, what's his name? Anyhow, or New

00:35:29   Flash. So it was basically like New Flash, Old Flash had a team up kind of thing. That was

00:35:33   really good. Like, and so there have been some gems in there. But I agree that the animation

00:35:38   itself, like production value has never been good, which is actually a great contrast to

00:35:44   Into the Spider-Verse, which is, has a style that is absolutely unlike any movie I've ever seen,

00:35:50   animated or otherwise. It lives incredibly unique. Sony, there was like this new story, which,

00:35:57   you know, people got kind of wrong, to be honest, and animators on the project are actually kind of

00:36:02   mad about it. But there's a story that Sony was like saying, "Hey, we're gonna patent the system

00:36:08   that we used to create this movie." And everybody took it to mean that they were trying to patent

00:36:13   it so nobody can make anything like it, you know? But in reality, they're patenting the tools that

00:36:18   they made, which Pixar does, right? I mean, they just Pixar just open sourced their tools, some of

00:36:23   their big tools this like a year or two ago. And, you know, open sourcing a tool is a big deal for

00:36:29   a studio like Pixar, who relies on I mean, tools, a huge part of their value prop and their workflow,

00:36:36   you know, what they do, how they create movies. And so anyhow, the the Sony is saying like, hey,

00:36:41   this thing that we use to create this is so unique, we want to productize it so other people

00:36:45   can use it. But there the animation style is one of the best I've ever seen. It sort of manages to

00:36:53   translate the feel of like half tone and comic and you know, hard edged line, you know, line drawn

00:37:00   look with a really clever use of art style to telegraph to the audience what universe each

00:37:08   Spider Man is from. Right. So like they're, they're all animated. I mean, and there's no way I would

00:37:12   would have thought they'd be able to, to sort of include all

00:37:15   these different styles and animate all of these characters

00:37:18   differently to kind of telegraph where they came from, and for it

00:37:21   to still mesh somehow. And they did it. They pulled it off. It's

00:37:24   really good.

00:37:25   No, I'm looking forward to it. Yeah. That's a bit of a

00:37:29   digression. Movies, though, we do digress.

00:37:32   I think it's just our mo.

00:37:35   All right, let me take a break here and thank our first

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00:39:39   that special deal where you get three devices in perpetuity for free. What else? Anything

00:39:46   else on movies?

00:39:47   I think we've done enough on movies. Maybe we need an editor.

00:39:54   It is funny though. We touched on a lot of ones I've been sort of vaguely thinking I

00:39:58   should talk about. I've been kind of wanting to make the point of just saluting the Mission

00:40:03   Impossible series. I mean, it's not like they're quiet. They're obviously big-budget

00:40:10   movies. They're always well-promoted and they seemingly all do well. But I kind of

00:40:15   feel like the series as a whole is sort of doesn't get the recognition it should. I think it is

00:40:23   extremely rare to make, what, seven movies and have them all be good?

00:40:26   Jared: Yeah, I mean, anytime you make more than the allotted three, you know, that people think

00:40:34   should ever be, then you start to get into this thing. It's like, oh, is it a cash grab? Is it

00:40:38   going downhill? And I think it does deserve credit for continuing to evolve. You know,

00:40:44   kind of become a little bit more, not self-referential, but self-aware, you know,

00:40:49   to some degree. And it's clever. It keeps coming up, they keep coming up with nice, nice new ideas.

00:40:57   And I think certainly you can't, you can't talk about Mission Impossible at all, not to spend

00:41:01   another, you know, 30 minutes on movies, but you can't talk about it without talking about,

00:41:05   you know, Tom Cruise and his commitment to those things. And you can have problems with him,

00:41:09   personally or whatever, and I totally understand, but his commitment to those movies, to making

00:41:14   those things feel real and the stunts and, and his desire to make them as good as possible,

00:41:21   all backed by, of course, his very unique star power and power in the industry, etc. And you

00:41:29   can't, you can't imagine those movies getting made or being good without him, you know?

00:41:33   I know.

00:41:34   Yeah.

00:41:35   He's sort of an ageless wonder.

00:41:36   I mean, it's, you know, my wife watched the movie with me and she thinks he's got

00:41:40   some, I think she said filler.

00:41:43   I don't know what that is.

00:41:44   It's some kind of thing they stick in the face or something.

00:41:47   But, you know, but he certainly doesn't look like artificial.

00:41:50   It doesn't look like he's had weird cosmetic surgery.

00:41:53   He just looks like he's in tremendous shape.

00:41:55   And, you know, it's kind of remarkable, really.

00:41:59   like he's still making action movies and he's totally credible at it. It's very, very credible.

00:42:05   Jared Polin Yeah, it's actually pretty wild.

00:42:08   Pete Turner Did you see the thing? He's, I guess they're making a new Top Gun movie.

00:42:12   Jared Polin Yeah. Oh no, we can spend about 40 minutes talking about this.

00:42:17   Pete Turner That he made, I don't even know, I don't know who he did it with. I should know.

00:42:22   I could look it up for the show notes. But he made a video recently and put it out

00:42:28   from the set of Top Gun and he's in costume, I guess, as Maverick. Like, it just seems so weird.

00:42:37   Like, I don't know how they're going to make this movie. Like, how can how can there are no

00:42:41   57-year-old fighter pilots? And he kind of has to be 57 because he made the first one in the 80s.

00:42:46   Right? Like, but anyway, right. But the movie isn't about the promotional video isn't about

00:42:52   Top Gun. He's just there in costume, but he's there to talk about motion smoothing. And

00:42:59   it's remarkable. Have you seen this?

00:43:01   Jared Ranerel- Yeah, I have.

00:43:03   Pete Turner No, I know you know. I know you know what motion smoothing is.

00:43:06   Jared Ranerel- Motion smoothing PSA.

00:43:07   Pete Turner Yeah.

00:43:08   Jared Ranerel- Right, which was, it was, it was the guy with him, by the way, was Christopher

00:43:14   McQuarrie.

00:43:14   Pete Turner Oh, that was Christopher McQuarrie.

00:43:15   Jared Ranerel- The last two.

00:43:16   Pete Turner Huh? Is he doing the Top Gun?

00:43:18   Jared Ranerel- The last two Mission of Possibles. I believe so.

00:43:20   Pete Turner Huh?

00:43:20   Don't quote me but I believe so. Yeah, that would make sense. Yeah, exactly and they did recorded at

00:43:25   straight to the camera PSA

00:43:28   Instructing people on how to remove motion-spoothing which the found was hilarious. I I will put this in the show notes. I've got this here

00:43:35   but it's so great and it is and it didn't I

00:43:39   Mind misremembering the details of this where they even said like hey when you go home for the holidays like yeah

00:43:47   - Yeah, yeah.

00:43:48   - Take your parents' TV and turn off motion smoothing.

00:43:51   Like every--

00:43:52   - I don't know if you remember the reference of the parents,

00:43:54   but I think all of us do that, right?

00:43:57   Like it's as a service for our parents.

00:44:00   And like sometimes without them even knowing,

00:44:02   'cause just we're so mad that they have to watch movies

00:44:04   like this, you know?

00:44:05   - Right.

00:44:06   - But they did reference it,

00:44:07   they did use the colloquial to reference it,

00:44:10   which I think a lot of us have over the years,

00:44:12   which is the soap opera filter.

00:44:13   - Yeah. - Right?

00:44:14   - The soap opera effect, right.

00:44:16   It is one of the strangest aspects of like the fact that that video has to exist is extraordinary

00:44:25   and it's fascinating. And I was talking, I was on, I think on a slack group or something with some

00:44:32   friends and we were talking about this video and I do think that part of it is simply that Tom

00:44:36   Cruz loves movies, right? Like it, he doesn't need, you know, he's obviously doesn't need to work,

00:44:43   you know, I mean, well, presumably, I mean, unless he's, you know, squandered,

00:44:47   I feel themselves about Yeah, right. You would think that financially, he's, you know, he doesn't

00:44:51   need to work and, you know, but instead, he's constantly working. He's, you know, making movies,

00:44:57   you know, not, you know, much again, like Spielberg prolific. Right. I, but I think he loves movies,

00:45:04   you know, and I think that that's what comes out in that motion smoothing video is they,

00:45:09   they put all this effort into making movies look good,

00:45:12   and then people watch them on TVs

00:45:14   that out of the box make it look like garbage.

00:45:16   And that's, isn't that the strangest thing in the world?

00:45:19   Like, we live in a world where TVs are beautiful,

00:45:24   and they're huge, and they're getting bigger,

00:45:26   and bigger is definitely better, right?

00:45:28   People have, you know, you can buy like 67-inch TVs,

00:45:31   and they're reasonably priced, and they have great color,

00:45:35   or they're capable of great color. (laughs)

00:45:38   And out of the box, they all have this terrible,

00:45:42   terrible thing turned on.

00:45:43   And like, why, why is that?

00:45:45   How did motion smoothing, how did this happen?

00:45:49   - No, there probably have been much better,

00:45:51   like treatises written on this by people who have studied it

00:45:55   and I'm sure I've probably read someone somewhere,

00:45:57   but the basics of it are that live sports look better

00:46:01   with motion smoothing on. - I don't even think

00:46:03   that's true. - And live sports

00:46:04   still drives cable and TV.

00:46:07   But I mean, I that's that's the basics of it as far as I understand it. And you know,

00:46:11   maybe maybe I'm wrong. But yeah, because that is certainly is bewildering to anybody who

00:46:16   loves movies, because it's makes movies look friggin terrible. And that is that is the

00:46:20   one thing in that PSA that I sort of disagree with is that they they endorse going into

00:46:25   your relatives homes and turning it off only for when you're watching movies. But that's

00:46:30   a hard I think that's hard to do. Right? Like, yeah, I mean, I guess you could do it if they

00:46:35   have like an Apple TV or if they have like an Amazon fire stick or box or something,

00:46:41   you know, anyone or Roku rock you? How do you pronounce it? Roku Roku Roku.

00:46:48   I always get it wrong. And now I second guess myself. But if you have, you know, any of these

00:46:56   set top boxes, you know, you can presume that you're using them mostly to watch movies and

00:47:02   movie like TV shows. But I don't even know if that's safe to assume anymore, though, because

00:47:07   so many people who are cutting their cable, they watch, they might be watching their live sports

00:47:12   through those boxes now to write. So how do you tell your TV to turn off motion smoothing only

00:47:18   if it's a movie like you can do it by the input, but you can't really assume that everything from

00:47:24   these things is a movie anymore. So I just say turn it the hell off for everything. You don't

00:47:28   need it. I love sports. I like to watch sports. I don't think motion smoothing makes sports look

00:47:35   better. No, I mean, it doesn't, right? I mean, not in my mind, but it certainly is the look that

00:47:41   people have become more used to, you know, that high frame rate look, and basics interpolation

00:47:46   as additional frames, right? To make it look smoother, which is dumb because it creates

00:47:53   images that weren't there, you know, in effect. I think Ryan Johnson called it liquid diarrhea

00:47:58   at one point.

00:47:59   Trenton Larkin The- Ryan Johnson, I- that was one of the other

00:48:02   things that I would- that PSA was like, I would like to see the Ryan Johnson version of it because

00:48:07   it would be R-rated, right?

00:48:08   Jay Haynes Right.

00:48:10   Trenton Larkin Ryan Johnson's hatred of motion

00:48:12   smoothing makes it look like- makes me feel like maybe I'm okay with motion smoothing.

00:48:16   Jay Haynes Yeah, yeah, exactly. Exactly. I think like

00:48:20   all these guys are in on it like James Gunn and Edgar Wright and Chris McCrory and all these guys,

00:48:26   but yeah, it's certainly terrible. You know? Yeah. It just makes the bottom, the lowest common

00:48:37   denominator on this is like, does it look good in the store? Right. And I think a lot of it has to

00:48:41   do with that. And the fact that they play like sports and highlight reels and stuff in the store

00:48:45   to get people to buy big TVs and watch live sports. And the thing is, like, live sports is

00:48:50   the thing that's keeping cable alive. Like it's the it's huge, you know what I mean? And for for

00:48:57   people that want, you know, to be able to get those games and to bounce around between games

00:49:01   and all that stuff, because the streaming services, unless you subscribe to something very specific,

00:49:05   and the MLB is very unique in this, like the MLB app, you know, you can't just get every game you

00:49:12   want. It's not the way it works. And even with the MLB app, as you know, if you want to watch a game

00:49:17   that's on locally, a local team, you often have to resort to your local broadcaster.

00:49:23   Yeah. For those who don't know, and if you're outside the US, I think this is going to sound

00:49:32   crazy, but I pay like 100 bucks a year to subscribe to the MLB app at bat, and I'm happy to do it.

00:49:41   maybe it's more than 100 bucks. I don't know, like 120 or something. I don't know. But the Yankees

00:49:45   play 162 regular season games a year. I watch, I'll bet I watch at least 100 of them. Maybe more.

00:49:53   But because I don't live in New York's TV area, I can do that. I can just fire up any device,

00:50:00   my Apple TV, my phone, my iPad, whatever. And because I subscribe, I can watch. But you can't

00:50:07   watch your local team that way. So like, I couldn't watch the Philadelphia Phillies,

00:50:13   or if I happen to be in New York, I can't watch the Yankees on the app. Because they have these

00:50:20   TV deals. And it's, you know, we could probably draconian, it really is like a mafia situation,

00:50:27   right? Well, and in Philly in particular, because the Philadelphia's, you know, Comcast is

00:50:35   headquartered in Philadelphia. The two tallest buildings in city are both Comcast towers. They

00:50:40   don't just have one giant tower, they have two. They quite literally own the city. And they have

00:50:48   the TV rights to the Phillies. Like how is that? How is that legal? It's like the cable company

00:50:54   actually owned the TV rights. So you have to the only way to watch the Phillies is on Comcast

00:50:58   Sports Network. It's not even that it's some, like the Yankees have the YES network that the

00:51:07   Yankees themselves own. And they actually had a fight like two years ago where they weren't on

00:51:11   Comcast because they were arguing over how much, they had like a financial disagreement. And so,

00:51:16   at least, I think it was like two years ago, two or three years ago, the Yankees played most of the

00:51:21   season and you couldn't even watch them on TV. People in New York couldn't even watch the Yankees,

00:51:25   period. And even though they weren't on cable, because they had to spat with Comcast, you still

00:51:31   couldn't watch them in the app. Because it was a local blackout. Right? Very, very. Yeah.

00:51:37   Yeah. And in the, you know, consumers, there's this, you know, once again, this is another huge

00:51:44   discussion we could go on. But consumers always get screwed in this. And the the cable companies

00:51:50   and the distribution companies fight all the time, right?

00:51:55   - Right.

00:51:56   - Like they fight about the content that goes on.

00:51:58   The sports situation is one element of this.

00:52:01   You know, they fight for the deals

00:52:03   and they cut local deals

00:52:04   and they cut national deals, et cetera, et cetera.

00:52:06   But there are other deals too

00:52:08   with like content producers like Disney, for instance.

00:52:11   Disney always fights with Comcast.

00:52:13   Like they fight with Comcast like off and on all the time.

00:52:17   And so like sometimes you'll be on your Comcast

00:52:19   and you just won't get ABC or whatever. They'll threaten to remove CBS or whatever.

00:52:26   They fight with each other all the time. And so the only person that loses is the consumer.

00:52:31   And what usually results is some even more draconian deal that locks you out of even

00:52:36   more choice. It's really bad, which is why everybody loves cord cutting. It's just

00:52:39   not there yet.

00:52:40   Dave Asprey I've noticed, because we go to Walt Disney

00:52:44   world every year. And we're, it's funny, I don't know if you're like this, but it's,

00:52:49   we as a family, we don't, we're not anti TV, we watch, you know, plenty of TV at home. But

00:52:55   whenever we travel, we almost never even turn the TV on in a hotel room. Because we're,

00:53:00   wherever we are, whether it's Disney or anywhere else, we're in this outside our home traveling to

00:53:09   do something right and that something is not watching TV. So like, no, we've even commented

00:53:14   that there's a lot of times where we don't even know if you know, like the TV couldn't even be

00:53:18   plugged into the wall and we wouldn't know because we just never turn it on. But every once in a

00:53:22   while, I will be there and maybe it's like a Sunday in Dallas Cowboys are on or something I

00:53:26   want to watch sports. And it's very funny like it when you're at Disney World, they have a very

00:53:31   strange selection of channels available. They definitely have ABC.

00:53:37   They have ABC.

00:53:38   Everything Disney owns.

00:53:39   Yeah. It's very strange. It's like you're in the Disney universe.

00:53:47   You've got Disney Junior and Disney Channel for sure. Everything else is like a question mark.

00:53:53   And 18 different ESPNs.

00:53:56   Yeah, ESPN Ocho.

00:54:00   Yeah. So there's, it's like, you're here, if the sport you want to watch is on ESPN, you're in

00:54:05   luck. And if it's not, you might be out of luck.

00:54:08   Jay Haynes Yeah. I think they're the TV, like,

00:54:15   division, you know, deal scenario, whatever you want to call it is one of those things that

00:54:22   everybody wants to try and break up, which is why everybody's like trying to like come up with these

00:54:28   streaming packages and OTA packages, including Apple, you know, and everybody else. And it's

00:54:33   one of the big major things everybody wants to take down. You know, they want it to go away.

00:54:38   And nobody's really figured out a way to do it, though, because the claws are in super deep.

00:54:43   And it's difficult to get them to give up because you're essentially telling them to give up,

00:54:47   like an essential monopoly and all the money in the world for some other nebulous ideal.

00:54:52   And that's just very difficult to do. So, do you have cable?

00:54:57   I do. And to be honest, I only have it because my wife watches Bravo.

00:55:03   Hmm. We definitely still have it. And my wife watches a bunch of shows that I guess we could

00:55:11   get through cord cutting. But, you know, it's, you know, just, it's just, we, we have it. I

00:55:19   think we're, you know, the bills on auto pay. I'm sure it's ridiculous amount, but I don't see it.

00:55:25   I call, I call them and, and, and threatened to cancel and get a lower rate every like six to

00:55:30   eight months. Which seems disingenuous. Yeah, I know it seems disingenuous, but at the same time,

00:55:36   I don't know. I, you know, it would I cancel? Sure. If there was another viable option,

00:55:41   absolutely. You know? And so I figure it's the monopoly tax. You know what I mean? If they're

00:55:46   going to be a monopoly, they're going to have to deal with me calling them once in a while to get

00:55:50   a lower rate, which they do. Like you, all you gotta do is call them and they're like, oh yeah,

00:55:54   yeah, here's this promo deal. If you'll stick around. And I'm like,

00:55:57   great. Why didn't you just give me the promo deal? You know, I

00:56:00   mean, I mean, I'm a loyal customer. Why don't you just

00:56:02   give me that? I literally been a Comcast customer for over a

00:56:06   decade easily. Yeah. And that that is just, they have no, they

00:56:12   have no desire to be friendly to loyal customers, because there's

00:56:18   no other choice in many areas. Yeah. And that's the big thing.

00:56:22   I mean, obviously, that ties into neutrality and a bunch of

00:56:24   other things, but it's just sad that they've gotten common, they've gotten complacent and lazy

00:56:31   about trying to please anybody or treat them well because you have no other options. Like somebody

00:56:36   punches you in the face and you're tied to a chair. What are you going to do? You know?

00:56:40   Trenton Larkin Well, I think one of the things for us too,

00:56:42   though, is that we have a TiVo. We've had a TiVo for, oh my God, that's probably like close to 20

00:56:48   years now. I mean, we don't have a, we're not using a 20 year old TiVo box. I forget how many we've

00:56:54   had, but not too many. And I, I know, I think Syracuse still uses one too. And I know that

00:57:02   I tell people this and they're like TiVo is still a thing. And it's like, yeah,

00:57:05   but it is the best. It is the best play pause experience and fast forwarding of anything I've

00:57:12   ever seen. Like it, I don't understand how this isn't a solved problem, you know, and I know that

00:57:18   when Apple came out with like the current generation of Apple TV, you know, that they

00:57:25   emphasize to us, you know, that they spent tons of time, you know, getting their stuff for streaming

00:57:31   video to be able to fast forward and, you know, go back and forth better, because it's always been

00:57:37   a problem. Sometimes it works and then sometimes you get a spinner and it doesn't work, right?

00:57:43   It's confounding. With TiVo, it has no latency at all. And it never has. Going back to when I

00:57:53   first got one in 1999, it's the only on-screen thing that perfectly works for fast forwarding.

00:58:03   everything else is always a little frustrating. And they have, they've been adding it and it

00:58:10   continues to get better. They've actually added the thing that the, who was the rival to TiVo back

00:58:17   in the day? Oh, good question. They had an arch rival. They did. And they're, the arch rival had

00:58:26   a 30 second skip button and TiVo never did TiVo. Never, you know, they had fast forward, but they

00:58:32   They didn't have like a 30 second button.

00:58:34   But what they've done in about a year ago,

00:58:38   they added this new feature.

00:58:40   They have four buttons.

00:58:42   - 31 second skip button?

00:58:44   - No, it's, you just, they,

00:58:48   I'm not even sure how the backend of this works.

00:58:50   And it doesn't work for every show.

00:58:52   'Cause it's not magical.

00:58:53   The button, you know,

00:58:54   there's some kind of human interaction on TiVo's end.

00:58:58   But TiVo knows what shows you have.

00:59:01   Like it's not just like a VCR, you know,

00:59:04   where it's just a random video feed, you know,

00:59:06   like it knows that you were watching

00:59:10   Full Frontal with Samantha Bee.

00:59:11   And it knows that this is episode,

00:59:14   season three, episode 27 or something.

00:59:17   And they, for some shows, and the more popular the show,

00:59:20   the more likely it is, about a year or so ago,

00:59:22   they started adding codes for the,

00:59:26   like they know where the commercials are.

00:59:28   And you can just, it just tells you,

00:59:30   the D button and skip all the commercials. And so you just have one button, you just hit D,

00:59:34   and you just instantly jump to the exact right second you want to be at after the commercial

00:59:40   break. Like not, it's not it, you know, it's uncannily perfect. It's a great, it's really

00:59:48   a great experience. But it's funny, because I mentioned this Samantha Bee Show, because there

00:59:53   was an episode that we missed, and our TV for whatever reason, didn't have it, even though we

00:59:56   we have a subscription to it. And so I downloaded the TBS app to the Apple TV. This is, I think,

01:00:06   literally last night. And I had to download the TBS app. I had to authenticate through

01:00:14   Comcast or Xfinity, whatever you want to call it, you know, which—and it all worked. But

01:00:20   it made me mad because I have the single sign-on thing on my Apple TV. I shouldn't need to

01:00:25   do that anymore. But then, you know, I could, I could watch any episode of Samantha Bee

01:00:30   show I wanted to, but there were two commercial breaks. And each commercial break had six

01:00:36   commercials and you can't skip them. Like, he literally just got to sit there and watch

01:00:42   these. And it's like the rant. I've said this, I think I mentioned it on the show,

01:00:46   like the thing that TiVo makes it, it's the opposite of a, you know, that type of

01:00:52   box. But like, when we first computerized watching TV, first started using computers as the—put a real

01:00:59   computer between the TV, you know, the signal coming in from the cable to your TV, put a

01:01:06   computer in between it. We did it so we could skip commercials. And now, more and more, we're using,

01:01:12   we're watching, we're watching stuff through a computer more than ever. Some people, everything

01:01:16   they watch, you know, it goes through a computer. And we're using the computer to make the ads

01:01:22   unskippable. Like, it's so wrong at a fundamental level. That is totally wrong.

01:01:28   Jared Ranere: Yeah, exactly. And that that goes kinds of experiences are what I mean by kind of

01:01:33   like spitting in people's face, you know, because you know, that's mandated by the cable providers,

01:01:36   right? Like Apple doesn't want that and right, CBS, or the, you know, no app maker wants to

01:01:42   stream you that it but the companies themselves are beholden to those advertisers just all the way

01:01:48   down it makes the customer experience extremely poor and that the Comcast sign on thing I don't

01:01:53   know if iOS 12 it started working and forgive my ignorance on this somebody may know I don't know

01:01:59   but you know Comcast always didn't work because they hadn't arranged you know they hadn't worked

01:02:05   out the deal with them yet and I don't know if it started working yet or not I noticed an

01:02:09   interesting behavior on my because I was set up an iPad for my son. All right, I kind of used

01:02:16   it and set it up for him. And was installing everything brand new. And once I had lined in,

01:02:24   logged into my iCloud account, I was able to kind of like log in like Disney Junior, for instance,

01:02:29   and authenticate with Comcast without having to enter my Comcast password. Whereas previously,

01:02:34   it would do this fake thing where it looked like you could do it. I don't know if you know what

01:02:40   I'm talking about, but like you could click on Comcast and it would say, "Oh yeah, we know your

01:02:45   provider. Is it Comcast?" And you'd think, "Oh great, all I got to do is tap this and I'm home

01:02:50   free." And then it would still force you to log in because it's not real. It's not like actually doing

01:02:55   it. It's just offering it in the list so that you know they know you know or whatever. But now it

01:03:01   seamlessly logs in and I can't, I don't know if it's iCloud wide or what, but that's the way it

01:03:07   should work. You know, one tap and then effectively it should just automatically find your account and

01:03:12   just use it. You know, like the tapping part of it is the part I think they need to get rid of next.

01:03:18   But for a long time, you know, the Comcast experience, every time you had to log in,

01:03:24   I don't think any executive at Comcast ever really understood this, but every time you had to log in,

01:03:30   it was effectively like spitting in your face, you know? Because like, we, you know, you know,

01:03:36   you're having to log in right now specifically because we are being punks and don't want to agree,

01:03:43   you know? And being protectionist about this and you're the one who's going to suffer. So, anyhow,

01:03:49   sucks. Pete:

01:03:52   I think I've mostly, as a defense mechanism, I've largely forgotten the experience. But when

01:04:00   we moved two years ago, I know I've talked about this on the show, but it was probably like two

01:04:05   years ago, but to get the TiVo working, you have to have these things called cable cards.

01:04:09   That are like, they're literally cards, and they go in the back of the TiVo. And it's, you know,

01:04:14   you need one for each, however many inputs you have. And I think I think we have like four now,

01:04:19   I don't know how it I blacked out, you know, but in other words our TiVo can record like four shows at the same time

01:04:24   And

01:04:27   They make it very very difficult

01:04:29   And we were we almost gave up. I was actually like on the cusp of just

01:04:35   Cancel it all cancel the cable. I'm gonna sign up for this PlayStation view thing, which seems like the best, you know

01:04:43   The best equivalent to cable TV for a cord cutter at the time

01:04:49   And then I got like somehow and I did I don't know how it happened

01:04:53   But I got escalated to like the secret agent team at Comcast and like the guy showed up and he was like totally aces

01:05:00   You know, he like knew everything

01:05:02   Do you ever see the movie Brazil it's one of my favorite movies he's the Robert De Niro, you know

01:05:09   So the Robert De Niro v6. Yeah. Yeah. So yeah the Robert De Niro guy

01:05:15   showed up and

01:05:17   literally in five minutes everything was working and in every other, you know, like the three,

01:05:23   four times that somebody else had come was always 90, 90 minutes. They'd never heard of a TiVo.

01:05:29   They have no idea. And then they're on the phone for an hour talking to somebody at, you know,

01:05:35   somewhere and they're reading off all of these like crazy 20 character strings, you know,

01:05:41   that the diagnostic brings up. Just and this guy showed up five minutes later, everything's working.

01:05:48   And he's like, bloop, bloop, bloop. And he's like, showing me like, here, here's the end,

01:05:51   you know, like, because that's the other thing, too, is usually like, when somebody shows up like

01:05:55   that, they just want to leave. And you're like, well, hold on a second. Let me see if this works

01:05:59   before you leave. Right? He showed me he was like, here, look, here's proof that it works.

01:06:03   Boom, boom, boom.

01:06:06   Yeah, I love a good tech. I'm a huge fan of a competent tech working at a place, either

01:06:14   a contractor working for them or working directly for them who shows up and is like, "Oh, yeah,

01:06:18   here's what's wrong," and fixes the problem. And I've had this experience in my old house.

01:06:23   It was built in the '50s, so the wiring was whatever it was. And time after time after time,

01:06:30   I was like, "Yeah, exactly. Bad." And time after time after time, we were just having trouble with

01:06:34   with it, pulling new lines, trying to figure all this stuff out. And like, I had people

01:06:39   come out like three, four times from Comcast. And then some guy came out, he was like, "Oh,

01:06:43   it's this." You know? He goes, "Guarantee you. I gotta go up on that pole. I gotta replace

01:06:46   this filter at the source. It'll be fixed in like 15 minutes." He climbs up there, he

01:06:51   fixes it, boom, done. And I'm like, "You know what? Can I just like permanently request

01:06:56   you?"

01:06:57   You know, I love that. I love a competent tech.

01:07:00   Oh, Comcast. All right there. Let me take a break and thank our next sponsor line node.

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01:10:18   talk show. I don't know what the explanation is. Philly is sort of downtown Philadelphia

01:10:26   is for a big city. It is relatively small downtown. And it's part of what I love about

01:10:33   living here is the—you can kind of know everything downtown. It's wall walkable,

01:10:43   and you can get from point A to point B in a couple of minutes. It's really useful.

01:10:49   But for whatever reason, like the Apple Store is at—I think it's on the 1500 block of Walnut,

01:10:57   maybe 1600 of Walnut. So like 16th and Walnut here in Philadelphia is where the Apple Store is.

01:11:03   is. One block east is a corner where there's a big Verizon store, huge, with a—I swear

01:11:16   to you—a giant cheesecake factory on top of it. Caddy Corner is a big AT&T store. Across

01:11:27   the street from the AT&T store is a fairly big T-Mobile, but it's funny because the

01:11:32   actual retail footprint of the stores sort of tells you the nature of these carriers,

01:11:38   right? Okay, Verizon's biggest AT&T is sort of a copy of the Verizon and t mobile is more like,

01:11:45   you know, could easily be like a sneaker store. You know, it's, you know, there's nothing wrong

01:11:51   with it. You know, but it's not it's not big and huge. And and gotcha. Yeah. But now there's also

01:12:01   and it's all why are they all together? I don't know. I don't know if it has something to do

01:12:05   with that they want to be close to the Apple store. It is, you know, like, like in most cities,

01:12:10   Apple, Apple's location, would they chose, you know, like, the, it's like, the best retail area,

01:12:17   you know, the highest end retail area, Philadelphia is on Walnut Street. None of these

01:12:24   stores were there years ago, maybe the T mobile one was but the AT&T and Verizon ones are fairly

01:12:30   new within the last couple of years after the Apple Store has been there.

01:12:37   And now though, here's the thing that made me think of this, is now there's an Xfinity

01:12:41   cell phone store. So you can get Comcast as your cell phone provider.

01:12:49   And they don't have their own, right? So it's an MVNO.

01:12:52   It has to be. I don't know the details of it. It has to be an MVNO though. They don't

01:12:55   have their own network. And they do have—because we're a cable town, we do have a fair number

01:13:06   of Xfinity Wi-Fi hotspots. So if you are an Xfinity customer, you can get Wi-Fi in large

01:13:14   parts of the city if you need it. But with their phone, you don't really want to count

01:13:21   on Wi-Fi, you need a network. But the thing that occurred to me and I just wanted to bring

01:13:26   it up is who thinks like, I can see switching carriers, like I've been on Verizon for years.

01:13:35   It's not great. But the last company I think on the world that I would want to do more

01:13:39   business with is Xfinity, right? Because why are you going to be like, that is not the

01:13:44   consumer brand I would think you would want to shoot for, or you would put on the front.

01:13:50   Verizon by the way, it's powered by Verizon. So it's like an alternate consumer brand for Verizon.

01:13:55   Totally, I could see that some people don't like Verizon. You know, some people are like, oh,

01:13:58   you know, Verizon has negative connotation with them or whatever. But if you're gonna pick one,

01:14:02   if you're gonna pick a brand to take the place of a brand that people already may, you know,

01:14:08   not like for just because it's been in the public eye, and maybe they've heard negative things,

01:14:12   whatever, you know, good God, you know, I mean, you think you could come up with something better.

01:14:17   right. And the problem is that it because my cable, I know what they do with my cable

01:14:23   bill. And that's that they just keep charging me more and more, because they can because

01:14:27   they are taking advantage of their monopoly status. So they've, you know, that's their

01:14:34   right. You know, I could cancel the service if I want to write, I choose to keep paying

01:14:39   them. But I've, I've got decades of knowledge that they will, they will keep raising my

01:14:44   cable bill and that I have to do what you would you do because you're more sensible than I am is

01:14:51   call them up and renegotiate like that's a bad relationship right right like I mean when I call

01:14:59   a renegotiate most of the time it's basically a very mild faint towards hey I should probably

01:15:06   cancel this because it's expensive and they immediately transfer you to a customer retention

01:15:11   person who's like hey we've got this deal we're offering new customers and we're just going to

01:15:14   to give you that. And it's usually like $100 off my monthly bill or $80 off my monthly

01:15:21   bill. And I'm like, "Well, you know, you could have just given me this because I'm

01:15:25   a loyal customer." You know? But their point of view is like a gym. They operate like a

01:15:31   gym membership where if you don't cancel, they're not going to tell you to cancel.

01:15:34   They're not going to call you up and be like, "Dude, seriously? You don't go. We

01:15:38   should probably just pause your membership for now." You know what I mean? No gym ever

01:15:41   does that. And that's the way they operate. And it stinks. It doesn't make me feel good

01:15:47   about that company.

01:15:48   JL: It doesn't make me want to. Like if Xfinity opened a gym, I would not sign up

01:15:51   for that gym, right?

01:15:53   [laughter]

01:15:54   CB; Right. Exactly. Because not only would they not cancel your membership if you weren't

01:15:58   going, but they'd probably just increase the price every probably six to eight months

01:16:02   and never tell you.

01:16:03   JL; Right. I wonder though, and the other thing that it makes me wonder about is, in

01:16:10   In some ways, it's a bad look to me for them because it shows—I don't know whether

01:16:14   it's a bad look or a good look.

01:16:16   Is it good because they're realistically looking at the fact that cable is in decline

01:16:24   and cable TV subscriptions are not coming back, right?

01:16:30   The trend is going in one way and it is towards not having cable.

01:16:35   So is it good that they're looking at things like cell phone service because they've

01:16:39   got to move beyond cable or is it a bad look like,

01:16:43   hey, we can do this stuff, we can do this other stuff too?

01:16:46   - Yeah, I don't know.

01:16:49   I mean, I think it's a good look

01:16:51   if you're doing it yourself and it's a bad look

01:16:54   if you're just marketing somebody else's product,

01:16:56   in my opinion.

01:16:57   - Right.

01:16:58   - And so I don't even think they view it that way.

01:17:00   I wish, I would hope that they would

01:17:02   just from a business perspective

01:17:05   and think they have the acumen to figure that out.

01:17:07   But I actually probably think they think of it

01:17:09   a retention model so that they can retain people. You know, they're saying, "Hey,

01:17:15   if you get it in-house, you don't have to worry about going to another cable provider.

01:17:19   We've got all of your stuff here." Right? It's more along the lines of that protectionist,

01:17:23   right? Versus innovative. That's the way I think that a lot of that stuff happens.

01:17:28   Pete: Yeah. Which brings me to, maybe it's something that's actually on topic for the

01:17:35   show is this ongoing series of reports that iPhone, say, iPhone 10S, and especially the 10R,

01:17:45   it seems, according to these reports that sales are bad, or disappointing that they are,

01:17:51   I don't know, not good. And there's so much, it's, it's funny, because on the one hand, it's,

01:18:01   it's again, I don't know which side to come down on on these stories like

01:18:04   there's so much smoke that you feel like there's got to be some kind of fire. But on the other

01:18:10   hand, it seems like every goddamn year, there's the same type of stories that so you know,

01:18:16   some such and such supplier in in Taiwan, has said that a major company has drastically cut orders,

01:18:23   and everybody knows that it's Apple. And so it must mean that something you know, that that

01:18:29   they're not making anywhere near as many of the iPhone whatever. And every year,

01:18:33   these stories come out and every year when Apple actually announces their quarterly stuff, it's

01:18:42   nowhere near as drastic as it was. But the effect of this is seriously real. Apple has taken a huge

01:18:50   hit. I mean, the stock market as a whole is a little shaky, but Apple's

01:18:58   lost like $200 billion in market cap. And, you know, this is not a financial podcast. I'm,

01:19:06   you know, don't take investment advice from me. But I know that it matters. Like one reason that

01:19:11   it matters is that affects me, as somebody who's mostly interested in Apple's products is it's like

01:19:18   a retention problem. Because so many, you know, a lot of people at Apple, their Apple stock is,

01:19:25   is a huge part of the reason they stay. And when Apple stock takes a hit, it's like you can roll

01:19:31   your eyes and say, "Ah, it'll bounce back," because when the stories come out. But I don't know when

01:19:35   the company loses 20, 25% of its market cap, that is a serious hit to real people's personal wealth

01:19:44   and investment. I don't know what the hell is going on. I don't know what to make of it.

01:19:50   is this the same story as in previous years

01:19:53   and it's just people playing the game

01:19:56   to manipulate the stock and get click bait.

01:20:01   Like iPhone, the headline, iPhone XR sales are in the tank,

01:20:05   gets a lot more clicks than iPhone XR is doing great, right?

01:20:10   - Yeah, yeah.

01:20:12   Yeah, it's like, 'cause if you say,

01:20:13   "Oh, iPhone XR is selling pretty well,

01:20:18   as to be expected to the mix,

01:20:20   mixes to the higher end, everybody just kind of is like, "Oh, okay, more of the same."

01:20:24   And that doesn't engender excitement as much as, "Oh, iPhone XR sales are taking a shit

01:20:29   and maybe Apple, the golden child, is going to fail this time." You know? And which I

01:20:33   think is the motivator behind a lot of people pursuing those stories. Because, and I'm not

01:20:38   even saying it's just like everybody's looking for something negative to say, because that's,

01:20:42   that is true with some reporters, but it certainly is also true that the news industry values

01:20:49   things that are different, right? Like you're reporting on change. Reporting on something that

01:20:53   has stayed the same is just not the primary motive of most news writers. They want to see things that

01:21:01   are new and different and present those to the audience, which is understandable to some degree.

01:21:06   But sometimes new and different, the hunt for new and different, the hunger for it,

01:21:10   can sometimes blind you to the realities of a situation because you want to see something

01:21:17   is changing so that you have the ability to commentate on it or to highlight it or to be first to point it out.

01:21:25   So we get a lot of people saying things prematurely, not just about Apple but about a lot of things.

01:21:30   It's sort of a motivator for the news industry and you have to push back against it constantly and it's hard.

01:21:35   You do as an editor, as a writer, etc. So I think part of it is that the hunt for some new information that you're bringing to light for the first time.

01:21:46   Sometimes that information is, hey, Apple maybe is not doing as well as it used to or whatever as far as iPhone sales go.

01:21:53   But I mean, there are a couple leading indicators that we know.

01:21:57   One, we know that Apple is selling a shit ton of iPhones, but the growth rate of its iPhone sales have slowed in recent years.

01:22:10   And they are making up for it by increasing the sales price of iPhones.

01:22:15   Like that's in the numbers, it's pretty undisputable

01:22:19   that they charge more for them

01:22:20   and sell a little bit less of them

01:22:24   on a growth rate each year.

01:22:27   And it had been for the past few years.

01:22:29   And so I think that the stock market

01:22:31   is always going to, remember that the stock market

01:22:34   does not represent current value of a company,

01:22:36   it represents potential future value.

01:22:38   And I think, yes, that's extremely bare bones

01:22:41   for most financial writers,

01:22:42   but I don't think most readers of those stories

01:22:45   necessarily get it, especially once it hits mass media and very, very wide media. But

01:22:52   they're looking at the future value of the company and going like, "Hey, if Apple can't

01:22:57   sustain growth, then there's not a lot of future growth and then maybe the stock's not

01:23:01   worth as much." And that's what the stock market's reacting to. So, you know, it's on

01:23:08   one hand you're going, "Yeah, their growth is slowing for sure." On the other hand, there

01:23:15   is a lot of similarities between these reports and reports in the past because a lot of those

01:23:21   reports have been based on single component suppliers or maybe even one or two component

01:23:28   suppliers and that the modern supply chain, especially for a company like Apple, who is

01:23:34   the biggest company on the planet and has one of the best, most complex operations orgs

01:23:42   in the world, you know, has always been that the supply chain is super complex and reading

01:23:49   into one supplier's ordering sheet is a recipe for misreading. And I think that's still true as well.

01:23:59   Pete: I wrote about this on Doing Fireballs. Somebody at Apple, a long-time reader of the site,

01:24:05   that's, you know, a little birdie with knowledge of the situation, just said that they were

01:24:11   familiar with at least one particular supplier getting cut. And they didn't tell me why didn't

01:24:19   even you know, as often as the case, you know, would give you know, sell a little info and you

01:24:23   know, you have friends like this, you don't ask, you know, if they wanted to tell me what the

01:24:27   component was, they would have told me. But that it was, you know, all they all they said was that

01:24:33   it had nothing to do with any current phone had nothing to do with it's something in the future,

01:24:39   you know, presumably I didn't, they didn't even tell me, you know, like next year's phone,

01:24:43   but I presume that that's what they meant. And they said that there was a similar situation

01:24:48   last year that there was a late breaking change to the iPhone 10. Are you know, pretty much

01:24:55   I would guess I don't know exactly when but I'm going to guess that that's around January,

01:24:59   maybe like around right now, like anything for the 20. Like next year's September iPhones,

01:25:06   right around now is when they need to make decisions.

01:25:09   Everything gets--

01:25:10   - Yeah, well, two months ago, but yeah, exactly.

01:25:12   - Well--

01:25:13   - Now would be a late, a very late-breaking decision.

01:25:16   - You couldn't, I don't think, I think it's too late now

01:25:18   to make a major design change, but you could do something.

01:25:22   But something changed with the iPhone XR late.

01:25:25   And it, you know, supplier A, who might have had

01:25:30   a lot of business, no longer had the business,

01:25:32   and it all got construed in the news

01:25:34   as the iPhone X was last year.

01:25:36   The iPhone X sales must be in the tank.

01:25:38   But it had nothing to do with the iPhone X.

01:25:40   It was the XR.

01:25:41   So I think stuff like that happens a lot.

01:25:44   I think that the supply chain stuff is nonsense.

01:25:46   I really do.

01:25:48   And I often say it's fine to be skeptical.

01:25:52   And I still am, even with what I'm about to say.

01:25:55   Apple officially says something,

01:25:58   and I try to treat it, always treat it

01:26:01   with some skepticism.

01:26:03   Don't just take them at their word.

01:26:05   But in general, when Apple says something on the record,

01:26:10   it's usually the truth, right?

01:26:12   It is, they're a very clear communicating company.

01:26:16   And like when Tim Cook says,

01:26:19   you shouldn't listen to these supply chain stories,

01:26:21   they're nonsense.

01:26:23   I really think that he means it.

01:26:24   Like it's not just that he's trying to spin it

01:26:26   because these stories are usually,

01:26:29   they're always bad news for some reason.

01:26:32   Like there's never like, never a story like supply.

01:26:35   It never goes the other way.

01:26:37   - Supply chain tax to the max,

01:26:39   iPhone selling off the charts, yeah.

01:26:41   - Like somehow--

01:26:42   - You know, it used to be,

01:26:43   you remember when the iPhone was on the rise

01:26:46   and like there's something new here,

01:26:47   you know, like this is fresh.

01:26:49   It was always about how many more units

01:26:51   the iPhone was gonna sell, you know,

01:26:53   but it, you know, things get old,

01:26:55   things get boring or whatever you wanna call it.

01:26:57   - Right.

01:26:59   So the supply chain stuff,

01:27:00   I don't go for it, but I think it's absolutely true what you said a couple of minutes ago.

01:27:05   The growth in iPhone units is over. The market is saturated. We've seen peak—

01:27:13   And the thing is, that's coupled with failures in markets where they had an opportunity.

01:27:19   So it's not just that, yes, our market is saturated. That is absolutely true. But it's

01:27:24   also that markets like India, where they had enormous opportunity, unfortunately, they

01:27:31   failed to capitalize on the opportunities. And they had a, you know, they had a sort

01:27:36   of misunderstanding of the market there. And, you know, aren't able to like capture it

01:27:41   as well as they thought they would. And that, that, I think, kneecapped maybe some potential

01:27:47   growth that they thought they had in the in hand, you know?

01:27:51   Yeah, and they're also and they say this when they do theirs, you know, they talk about it because it

01:27:57   you know, it matters but the the value of the dollar compared to, you know, foreign currencies

01:28:02   hurt is hurting Apple in a lot of ways. Like I just I did my goofy little video of the 10R clear

01:28:10   case a week ago on Twitter. And somebody told me I forget what country it was. I'm sorry, but

01:28:16   but somebody told me that it, whatever country they live in,

01:28:20   it costs like $80.

01:28:21   So in the US, it's a $39 case, it's 40 bucks.

01:28:26   So it's expensive for a phone case.

01:28:29   And Apple's cases are expensive

01:28:32   compared to third-party cases.

01:28:34   More expensive than most Apple stuff is compared to stuff.

01:28:40   The cases in particular are very expensive.

01:28:44   But that's $40, like $80. That's kind of nutty. You know, like, I'm of the opinion

01:28:52   that if you're going to use a case on $1,000 phone, $40 actually isn't too much. And

01:28:57   if it's actually a better case, and I would argue Apple's cases are superior, like I

01:29:02   particularly think their leather cases are excellent. You know, if I had to use a case

01:29:08   all the time, I would definitely use an Apple leather case. I think it's, you know, best

01:29:12   feeling best fitting. Everything you'd want in a case, in my opinion, worth a premium

01:29:19   for $1,000 device. But $80 for a plastic clear case, boy, that's hard. That's a hard sell.

01:29:30   Why even bother selling it? How many of them are they going to sell?

01:29:33   Jay Haynes Yeah, I don't know. I mean, and I don't know

01:29:38   whether that's an import thing or, you know, where they made them and how they're importing,

01:29:43   importing them or whatever the case may be. But yeah, that's, that's too expensive. I

01:29:47   mean, frankly, the plastic case, I found it to be nice. But in the cardinal sin that it

01:29:53   commits, and I don't want to separate this from any other of these kinds of cases, because

01:29:58   they all do it, is that the buttons are hard to press. And I'm, it's a done, it's a done

01:30:03   deal for me at that point. And I know why, you know, it's obviously it's flexible, TPU

01:30:07   and you know, they can only make it so flexible until the button probably gets unreliable or

01:30:11   flimsy or it tears out or whatever, you know, the little button mold. But once a button becomes hard

01:30:18   to press, that case is dead to me. And like, that's what I like about their leather ones.

01:30:22   Their first leather ones had this solid button. You know, it was just like a bump, essentially,

01:30:27   that you could shove on and it would press the button underneath. And the newer cases have this

01:30:32   nicely, you know, kind of debossed little arrangement where there's a, it's more flexible in that little hole. And so when you press it, it's like a nice snap, you can feel the button underneath, right? And like, that's, you know, absolutely, you could tell that this, they've been making this case for a while, and I've iterated on it, you know, from the first ones, and certainly better now. But the plastic one for me, when you press on it, the buttons, it's just too hard, and it doesn't doesn't make sense to me. But you look at that in the

01:31:01   the context of all the other plastic cases out there and I go, yeah, this may not yellow as much. It certainly has less seams than most of the plastic cases. It's absolutely cream of the crop in terms of ID, you know, from all the other plastic cases out there for however much you could call that on a clear case, you know, but it's good. It's the best you could best you could possibly make. But then you look at it and you go like, okay, well, you know, if you can't sell it for the same price all over the world, then, you know, who could, you know,

01:31:31   if not Apple, then who could?

01:31:33   - Yeah, I don't know.

01:31:35   I, I,

01:31:35   Apple sent me the clear, did they send you one?

01:31:40   - Yeah, they sent me one.

01:31:41   - So I didn't pay for the Apple one.

01:31:43   And I, you know, but I did buy a bunch of others

01:31:47   that people, you know, on Twitter were saying,

01:31:51   well, I don't see, you know,

01:31:52   why would I spend $40 for this

01:31:53   where the Spigen has one for 11 bucks?

01:31:56   So I bought the Spigen and I had the one from this company

01:31:58   I mentioned on a couple episodes ago,

01:32:00   Total Lee, which is such a crazy stupid name, but they're very, they're like the wire cutters,

01:32:05   like top rated nice budget case maker, the total E one and the Spigen one are very, very similar.

01:32:12   They're much more rubbery than apples. They're they're sort of a softer rubbery type thing.

01:32:17   The Spigen one is crazy, though. It's a clear case. And they've printed their logo on the one side.

01:32:25   they've printed in small print on the other side, like on the side underneath the volume buttons,

01:32:32   they've printed in in myriad. So that's Apple's old font they've printed like design designed by

01:32:38   Spigen in California manufactured in China or wherever. And then up on the top, the craziest

01:32:44   part is they it it has a thing that says, like air gap protection. And then there's like an arrow

01:32:52   pointing to the corner of the case. This is printed on the actual case now.

01:32:56   It's just a marketing phrase printed on the case. It's not printed like in black ink. It is. I guess

01:33:05   it's just embossed or something like it's yeah. Yeah. You have to look for it to see it like at

01:33:11   a glance. If I had this case, you wouldn't see that. You know, you would think it was just a clear

01:33:16   case. You wouldn't think there's a logo and there's small print and this, you know, crazy

01:33:21   thing telling me that the corners have an air gap trademark protection. But I notice

01:33:27   it and it's supposed to be a clear case, right? Like, why would you print anything

01:33:32   on it? It would drive me insane using that on my phone.

01:33:35   Jared: Yeah. And I think that willingness to be chill about that stuff is certainly,

01:33:45   you know, has been an Apple trademark for a while in their design. But it really does

01:33:49   not by its nature, it doesn't jump out at you until you use some other product that

01:33:54   is by definition not chill about it. And you're like, wow, okay, I get it. Like, you know,

01:34:00   this is your brand. But really, do I need all this, you know? And what makes it even

01:34:05   worse is like, Apple has more of an excuse than anybody else to plaster Apple logos all

01:34:10   over everything. Because the Apple logo represents, you know, some sort of high end product and,

01:34:16   you know, well-designed, like it has a lot of implications, right? Whereas, you know,

01:34:20   I don't think anybody's going to be like, "Oh my God, is that a Spigen? Holy crap,

01:34:24   you know, oh my, oh goodness gracious. Oh, you sprung for the Spigen? Man, you must be

01:34:30   doing well." You know, and I think that there's a disconnect there and it's certainly hard

01:34:36   to appreciate until you're faced with it, where you're like, "Oh, thanks for not putting

01:34:41   your shite all over everything, Apple." You know?

01:34:44   It would be so tragic if this generation, like 20 years from now, and Phil Schiller

01:34:56   is retired, and new people are coming up the ranks at Apple, and they start making everything

01:35:01   with six Apple logos everywhere.

01:35:03   Yeah, there is this design trend in sneakers right now that is basically called overbranding

01:35:12   or overbranded and you know it is what it is right it is what exactly what it sounds

01:35:16   like where like a Nike shoe will have like six Nike logos on it you know or you know

01:35:22   sweatshirt may have a repeating pattern of Nike logos across its face and back you know

01:35:29   because it's sort of people love the brand and want to want to rep the brand and the

01:35:34   brand itself has transcended whatever it used to be like a orientation logo to show you

01:35:41   that yes, you're buying a Nike thing like a stamp of officiality, you know, of some

01:35:46   sort. It's transcended all that and it's become its own pop art almost, you know, and you

01:35:51   could absolutely see like a point where you have like you could have like a MacBook with

01:35:56   like, you know, an Apple print across it like just the apples and repeating pattern across

01:36:01   the face of it or whatever is like a special edition. I hope they don't go that way. I'd

01:36:06   certainly I think it's fun sometimes in a sweatshirt. I would want it on a piece of

01:36:11   electronics, but it is, I'm surprised that we haven't seen more of that kind of stuff,

01:36:17   at least from their accessories. Because you know, Apple does like to hire designers to

01:36:21   play with their accessories and to make interesting things. So I'm surprised we haven't seen like

01:36:25   an overbranded Apple, you know, kind of case or, you know, iPad case and stuff like that.

01:36:30   Yeah. And I could sort of see that, you know, it, they probably could make it work like

01:36:34   some, you know, like the way that like Louis Vuitton sells stuff with that LV, the LV logo

01:36:39   in a repeating pattern. I could see an Apple Watch strap that has a repeating pattern of

01:36:48   Apple logos. There's ways that it could be done well. But I don't know, it's spiking.

01:36:54   **Matt Stauffer:** But just as easily, yeah, exactly. Spike it,

01:36:57   spike it, spike it. Just as easily, it could be gauche.

01:37:00   **TZ:** And it's a clear case. It's supposed to be invisible. Why would you print something?

01:37:06   Yeah, exactly. Well, like, look, I don't want to like wax rhapsodic about this case any longer than we have to but and I as I said, I already am. I'm off the market for this case because of the buttons like I can't use it because of that right. Yeah, but the

01:37:19   The fact that they are showing restraint is nice. You just have to say look, it this is the only company on earth that's going to be like no branding means no branding. It's a clear case. Let's honor the truth of a clear case. Right. Yeah. And I like I get

01:37:35   I got crap about defending the original battery case,

01:37:39   which there's like some FCC approvals

01:37:41   or something like that shows that maybe

01:37:43   we have a new battery case coming.

01:37:44   - Oh really, I didn't see that.

01:37:46   - Yeah, yeah, I think MacRumors had the original story,

01:37:49   but I could be wrong.

01:37:51   But basically the, or maybe nine to five Mac,

01:37:56   one of those two, I'm sorry, gents,

01:37:58   if I misappropriate that, you can find it

01:38:00   and put it in the notes.

01:38:01   But basically they found a--

01:38:02   - I'm sure even if it was nine to five Mac,

01:38:04   I'm sure MacRumors had a copy of this story.

01:38:08   - Had it pretty quickly, yeah.

01:38:10   The original case, you know, the battery case,

01:38:13   obviously the quote-unquote controversy over it

01:38:17   was that it had this big lump on the back, you know?

01:38:19   The battery, basically they just wrapped the plastic

01:38:24   of the case itself right around the battery,

01:38:26   and the battery showed through the case,

01:38:28   and everybody thought, oh my God, how hideous,

01:38:30   and all this stuff.

01:38:30   And me, on the other hand, I'm like, well,

01:38:33   I mean, it's a battery case and the case shows the battery and it's, that's pretty honest,

01:38:38   as far as I'm concerned. There's not, because in most of those cases, there's actually a lot of air

01:38:43   in there because they sort of create a smooth transition between the battery and the back of

01:38:50   the phone. And so they have to create this big bulbous sort of enclosure, right, around it so

01:38:56   that it doesn't have that lump, right? Whereas on the other hand, Apple's like, well, why all this

01:39:02   extra plastic and air to add extra bulk to it, why don't we just, you know, put the bare minimum of

01:39:08   plastic on this necessary to cover it and to make it a case, and that's it, and we're done. And I

01:39:14   actually appreciated that. I thought that was clever, and I did not have a problem with it,

01:39:19   even though everybody else did, pretty much on the planet. I hated the sheep in that case.

01:39:23   I was with you. I'm also of of the mind that I don't think that the way you charge the

01:39:30   Mighty Mouse is ridiculous

01:39:33   I

01:39:33   I'm okay with the lightning port underneath because you only need to plug it in for a couple of minutes and it gets a charge

01:39:41   for months and

01:39:42   If they put it where everybody thinks it should go so that you know

01:39:46   It would plug in the top it would do you'd have to design a totally different Mouse

01:39:50   There's no there is no room for a port given the design of that mouse

01:39:54   Well, John, you're on your own with the mighty Mouse, but I appreciate you making the argument. I

01:40:00   I'm just saying I'm not

01:40:04   I don't have one. So I haven't like had to use it or experience it. That's it. I had no value

01:40:10   Just I have one that came with my iMac years ago and I've you know, I don't know

01:40:13   It's just sitting on a shelf somewhere. So maybe maybe I shouldn't speak to it because I don't use it. But

01:40:18   Anyway, I was fine with the battery case to the other thing with the battery case design was

01:40:23   It wasn't just a truthfulness like here's the battery

01:40:28   It was also by putting it in by centering it it

01:40:31   It meant there was no battery covering the antennas at the top or bottom and that's a huge problem with these battery cases

01:40:38   because of them and all the the

01:40:40   Okay, the materials ever put two and two together there that makes a lot of sense

01:40:44   the materials and a battery are not good for

01:40:47   or cell phone reception or any antenna reception. I don't know, probably all of them, Bluetooth,

01:40:54   Wi-Fi, everything. And so that if you think about that, where the battery hump was, it's

01:41:01   away from the top and bottom and that's why. And apparently that's—

01:41:04   Chuck Liddell Interesting. Yeah.

01:41:05   Dave Asprey And for a battery case to work, it has to

01:41:10   be—well, I guess it doesn't have to. Somebody could obviously just make some crazy, uncertified

01:41:16   Lightning connector and use it. But because it has to have a Lightning connector, it has

01:41:22   to be MFI certified. And apparently, you know, there's this whole—actually, we could

01:41:29   talk about the cables, but this whole MFI thing is fascinating, but nobody really—Nelay

01:41:38   Patel has said that The Verge has been trying to get the story for over a year, and they're

01:41:44   up empty because nobody will talk about it because of the terms of the agreement. It's like you

01:41:51   become an MFI licensee and you're subject to big fines, like $10 million fines or something if you

01:42:00   talk about the confidential nature of the agreement. So nobody talks about it. So it's

01:42:08   a very secretive world, which in turn, you know, and you know, you're in the business to it. It

01:42:15   makes you think, Well, that's a good story, right? Like, right. Yeah, it does. You hear this is

01:42:21   secretive. And, and there's all sorts of crazy rules. And instantly, you know, your light bulb

01:42:27   goes on, you think I would like to have that story? Who can I get to talk about? But apparently,

01:42:33   with battery cases in particular, you know, part of it is just Apple being Apple. But part of it

01:42:39   too is that they, you know, they don't want you to they don't want they're not going to certify

01:42:44   a case if you put your iPhone in the case and all of a sudden it gets bad cell phone reception.

01:42:49   Because who are people going to blame? They're going to blame Apple, right? People aren't going

01:42:53   to think and it's natural, right? You would think, you know, you know, brand X, let's just say,

01:42:59   you know, you know, or let's just say like Mophie, I don't know, I mean, Mophie makes cases, but

01:43:05   they're a well known brand. Their cases are fairly premium priced. So you would think, you know,

01:43:13   well, this isn't going to, you know, make my cell phone not get good Wi Fi, right. But if you're so

01:43:20   you would it just you would just think like, all of a sudden, if everything you know, your cell

01:43:23   phone is slow, and you start missing phone calls or phone calls drop or whatever, you wouldn't

01:43:27   think to blame the case. You would just think it's a problem with your phone.

01:43:30   Right. But that's why there's so few there are there just aren't many battery cases,

01:43:35   you know, and there's there was none for the 10. Right, right, right. And mofis just came out.

01:43:43   But that's for the iPhone 10. And I don't think it's certified for the 10 s, even though the

01:43:50   tennis is almost the same size. It just has like a slightly different camera bump.

01:43:54   Well, the antennas are different. Yeah. Two. So I don't know if that makes any difference.

01:44:00   Right. Yeah, the MFI thing is strange. I mean, it's certainly I've heard very much the same,

01:44:06   you know, very draconian terms. And they like to keep it secret and all that stuff. And

01:44:11   everybody's reluctant to talk about it. They certainly have been reluctant with me as well.

01:44:14   I have been able to talk to some of them. I think when it when it comes to a real pain point,

01:44:21   they're willing to talk because they view the press as a crowbar of sorts, you know.

01:44:25   I just, I don't think that this scenario is necessarily a big pain point for them. It's just

01:44:31   sort of, you know, the cost of doing business and what they expect, you know. I don't think any of

01:44:36   them are really worrying about these things like we as consumers may do because to them it's money

01:44:42   and so they're making money and they don't really care. The last time I was able to shake anything

01:44:47   loose out of that whole sort of cabal of manufacturers was when the home stuff started

01:44:54   transitioning to, you know, kind of a more secure chip. You know, they were sort of willing to talk

01:45:00   about it to a degree because there was some pain there because they had to switch to a hardware

01:45:05   solution that was more specific, and it caused delays. And they were essentially the wall,

01:45:12   the manufacturers are getting blamed for the delays. When in reality, it's like Apple's like,

01:45:17   like, hey, you got to do this thing, it's harder, it's better

01:45:20   for security, it'll be better for customers. And they were

01:45:23   right, you know, in the end, of course, but it still caused them

01:45:27   a lot of grief and a lot of sort of customer blowback and bad

01:45:32   publicity or whatever. So people were more willing to kind of

01:45:34   talk to me and say, Look, here's what happened. You know, Apple

01:45:38   says this new home system, you know, has to have you have to

01:45:41   have this hardware chip has to have hardware protection has to

01:45:44   have this strong kind of like, essentially two factor, you know,

01:45:48   authentication that says that I'm the owner of this hardware device and, you

01:45:52   know, all of that, which makes it better than most of the smart home stuff out

01:45:57   there, and harder to kind of circumvent, you know, get, you know, Apple nanny

01:46:02   cams, or MFI nanny cams that are easy for people to stoop on, you know, by

01:46:07   extension of all of this. But I certainly think that there is an

01:46:10   opportunity, there was an opportunity them for them there to be like, we need people to know this is

01:46:16   Apple, you know, causing this delay and not us. So when it comes to that, so that's what you need to do. If you

01:46:21   really want them to talk, you need to find the pain and leverage the pain. I mean, I'm just speaking as a, as a

01:46:28   reporter here, this is this is the way you do it, you know, you go, what's your pain point? You know, do you want to

01:46:33   talk about it? You know, let's, let's discuss it. What's the issue? And then of course, from that point, you do your

01:46:38   due diligence and figure out whether you know they have it has merit or not. But that's

01:46:43   how you get to open up about this. And I just don't think it's too much of a pain right

01:46:47   now because they're making money and everything's fine, you know.

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01:50:44   So here's the thing on the MFI thing I wrote recently about the weirdness of the USB-C

01:50:53   cables right now and how it is we're so many years into the USB-C Apple world right like the MacBook

01:51:02   and you know now all of the new Mac books come with USB C right it's now that the

01:51:08   heirs come out the new heirs come out to where you know they still sell the old

01:51:12   air but in terms of what's the latest model all of the Mac books now are USB

01:51:17   C but you the only two cables in the world that you can buy that go from USB

01:51:23   C to lightning are apples cables they have a one meter cable and a two meter

01:51:28   cable. Apple's cables, much like their cases, pretty expensive compared to third parties.

01:51:37   And unlike their cases, which I would argue are actually some of the best cases in the

01:51:42   world, their cables, you know, maybe the quality is not so great. Certainly the durability

01:51:47   on lightning cables is questionable.

01:51:50   questionable

01:51:52   Yeah, yeah, and I believe Marco posted this and it made complete sense to me the immediate moment. I read it

01:51:59   but there's a

01:52:01   With the lightning cables a lot of the durability issues of the cables obviously are based on the cable relief and all of that

01:52:07   Which is obviously physical and very easy to see but I was

01:52:12   encountering this period this issue on

01:52:16   my cables a lot and I couldn't quite pin it down why they were failing on me and

01:52:22   I finally was able to figure it out

01:52:24   Via reading this and then made complete sense

01:52:28   But they were coming up with these like blackened pins

01:52:31   on them and then becoming very difficult to use to charge it like flip them over and try and scratch them off with your finger and

01:52:38   Stuff like this, but apparently the pins, you know, I will not apparently I do know this for a fact the pins in the

01:52:46   To connect to charge and to transmit data are in the iPhone, right?

01:52:50   So they're obviously they're not on the the cable the cable itself is flat contacts and the sort of pins on the iPhone

01:52:57   Are what you know make the the contact?

01:53:01   well

01:53:03   those pins

01:53:05   Were our get bent and one of them gets bent it creates this sort of like short

01:53:12   problem, which kind of creates that carbonization, the blackening on that contact on the cable, and

01:53:19   then they no longer charge properly. And this has been happening to me for years. And you know, ever

01:53:25   since they kind of switched over to this new pin system. And it's frustrating, you know, your cables

01:53:31   perfectly fine, other than that you got one pin that's blackened, and it barely charges and you

01:53:36   got to scratch it with your fingernail to try and clean it. And, you know, maybe you can use an

01:53:39   an eraser or whatever. But the long story short is it's it's

01:53:43   kind of a flaw. I mean, not kind of flaw. It is a flaw, you know,

01:53:46   and like that, that to me, is irritating because like the rest

01:53:51   of lightning I have no problem with. I'm unlike a lot of people

01:53:54   who are USB C fanatics and I you know, fine, whatever you like

01:53:57   USB C cool. It works fine on the iPad, you know, I'm fine with

01:54:01   it. I'm down. But at the same time, I don't have any problem

01:54:03   with lightning. And it's been around a long time. There's a

01:54:05   lot of buy in now. It's fine. But if it doesn't work, it

01:54:09   it didn't work.

01:54:10   You know, the thing that I learned, I guess I shouldn't be surprised, but what I learned

01:54:14   when I started looking into this, why are there no third party USB-C to lightning cables

01:54:19   is that every single MFI licensed lightning cable is you have to buy the actual lightning

01:54:28   connector from Apple. Like it's not like that you license a design and you get you

01:54:34   as a cable, you know, like whoever makes Amazon's lightning cables or I always forget their name.

01:54:42   What's the name? Monoprice. Monoprice, you know, is one of my favorite places to buy cables because

01:54:47   their prices are good and the cables are, you know, the prices are really low and the cable

01:54:52   quality is very good. But the actual lightning connector, even for Monoprice, you know, who

01:54:56   who makes millions and millions of cables,

01:54:58   they all come from Apple.

01:54:59   And the, obviously it's like you need

01:55:04   a new lightning connector for the USB-C ones

01:55:08   because it can do higher power, right?

01:55:11   You can plug that into an 85-watt MacBook Pro charger, right?

01:55:16   And you're not gonna get 85 watts to charge your phone,

01:55:21   but the cable needs to negotiate that, you know.

01:55:26   Whereas the old USB-A connector,

01:55:29   the lightning cable that we all have a million of

01:55:32   all over the place,

01:55:33   the most powerful thing you can plug that into

01:55:37   as a USB port is like 18 watts or something.

01:55:40   And so Apple, and MacRumors had a story, I linked to it.

01:55:46   Supposedly this problem, this log jam

01:55:48   will be solved early in 2019,

01:55:51   that Apple is, the gears are in motion

01:55:54   and third party companies have been told by Apple

01:55:58   that they will get these new Lightning connectors

01:56:01   will be available in 2019.

01:56:02   But they're like four bucks each.

01:56:04   They're like twice the cost.

01:56:06   So every single one of those,

01:56:08   even when you buy a third party cable app,

01:56:10   there's like a $4 Lightning connector

01:56:13   that Apple sold to the company.

01:56:14   - Yeah, and that's a huge expense for those companies.

01:56:18   - Yeah, yeah, especially, I mean,

01:56:20   I don't know what mono price will charge,

01:56:22   But if they're selling $10 cables and it has a $4 lightning connector, that's a significant

01:56:29   portion of the cost.

01:56:30   Steven: It's enormous, right, right, right.

01:56:32   And Monoprice is sort of known for passing on the savings to the customer, so to speak,

01:56:36   by producing the cables directly or buying them direct from the factory and selling them.

01:56:44   And they're decent cables.

01:56:45   I've always used their stuff in a wide variety of audio and video applications.

01:56:50   It's always been great.

01:56:51   when you cut into their margins that hard,

01:56:53   then you start to go like,

01:56:54   hey, how long are they gonna stand for it?

01:56:57   - Yeah, and I don't even know that it's,

01:56:59   I don't think that they were raising the prices

01:57:02   on it just arbitrarily.

01:57:04   I think it actually is a more expensive,

01:57:05   it makes sense that it would be more expensive

01:57:07   if it supports, it's technically more difficult

01:57:11   because it's whatever.

01:57:13   - And, you know, Apple makes a ton of devices,

01:57:16   but still when you look at every USB-C device period

01:57:20   versus only Lightning devices. There's probably a disparity there.

01:57:25   Yeah. The other thing I learned after I wrote about this, I got an email from a reader,

01:57:32   you know, who is in the third-party Lightning world. And they told me that last year, there

01:57:40   were like, I don't know, four or five months where there were no Lightning connectors available

01:57:45   to third parties, period, because Apple was consuming the entire supply. Every single

01:57:51   Lightning connector that was being made, Apple needed because they were putting three in every

01:57:56   box with the iPhone 10. And I was like, "That doesn't make any sense. Why would there be three

01:58:01   Lightning connectors in the iPhone 10 box?" But you think about it, there were. There was one for

01:58:05   the charger, cable, one for the headphones, and then one for the headphone adapter. And

01:58:13   it literally did that. And you know, how many do they sell a quarter? They sell, I don't know,

01:58:19   70 million iPhones. I don't know how many iPhone 10s they sold because they didn't break it down.

01:58:24   But, you know, figure 50 million or something like that. So, you know, 50 million iPhones means

01:58:29   150 million lightning connectors in the boxes. Jesus. Yeah. When you think of the scale,

01:58:35   it's pretty, pretty wild. Yeah. And so that means, you know, the third parties,

01:58:42   unfortunately, I mean, not only is Apple making money, but they also have the sort of

01:58:46   setup, the room where a delay like that is not going to kill them, even if it happens,

01:58:52   but a third party that might kill them, you know, like it, if you're trying to make cables and you

01:58:57   think you got a unique marketing spin, Hey, we're going to make cables that are pink, you know, or

01:59:02   wrapped in, in horse hair or whatever, you know, whatever they do. Um, if you're basing your

01:59:07   business off of those those connectors you're kind of boned you know you don't have the runway to to

01:59:13   make up for that yeah uh i it just is mind-boggling to me that that you just don't think of that but

01:59:21   it really could be the case that you know one of the reasons they don't give you the headphone

01:59:27   adapter anymore is that it's they don't have enough oh well that you know making when you

01:59:33   when you're working at the iPhone scale, it really does, it really makes a difference.

01:59:38   You know, 50 million extra headphone adapters is like a serious operational issue.

01:59:43   **Beserat Debebe:** Right. I mean, even if it costs them 50 cents,

01:59:46   that's $25 million. And I guarantee you it probably costs them a little bit more than that.

01:59:51   **Ezra Klein:** Yeah. I don't know. It's kind of mind boggling.

01:59:55   Anything else? What else do you want to talk about?

01:59:58   **Beserat Debebe:** I can't think of anything burning at the moment.

02:00:02   The only other thing I just want to touch on briefly is the MacBook Air, the new MacBook

02:00:12   Air.

02:00:13   And is it a—I like it, and I tend to think that that is—just the nut of my review was

02:00:22   this is the MacBook that most people should buy.

02:00:25   I've seen some pushback on that on the grounds of why would you know why buy the MacBook Air instead

02:00:32   of the the 13 inch MacBook Pro without the touch bar, the aka the MacBook escape, because it's

02:00:40   it's significantly faster, only marginally heavier, it's like a quarter of a pound or something,

02:00:47   but pretty insignificant. And even in terms of thickness, it's it's like the teardrop shape of

02:00:54   the air is sort of an illusion, you know, that it's really just the side and that if

02:00:59   you actually put them side by side by it's actually not that much smaller by volume.

02:01:06   And I don't know why I feel now I still I still like the air. I don't know why that

02:01:11   is. I'm curious what your thought is, you know, a month now. And you know, now that

02:01:16   it's been out for a while and it's not new where your thoughts have settled on the MacBook

02:01:19   air versus the keyboard's better. Yeah. The MacBooks pros, you know, um,

02:01:26   and by better, I mean, it has a different feel and if you like that different

02:01:31   feel, it's better, you know? Right. And, um, I'm, I'm fine with the PR. I

02:01:35   have a pro and I'm fine with the keyboard to be honest. I don't, it

02:01:37   doesn't bother me, but I certainly understand that a lot of people, it does

02:01:42   bother them. And if it bothers you, it's a great option, you know, uh,

02:01:47   especially if you type a lot and don't do a lot of other things, you know, um,

02:01:51   and I think the same people that argue that Chromebooks are just fine because we

02:01:56   do all of our work on the web now, et cetera, et cetera. You know,

02:02:01   this is an excellent computer for that kind of workflow. So if you're,

02:02:06   if you're a student and you do a lot of your work in Google docs or, or, you know,

02:02:11   in corporate world and do a lot of your work in Google docs, I mean, there's,

02:02:15   it's hard to argue it gets a computer like the air, which may not edit video all that fast, but certainly is an excellent overall computer, and lighter or lighter than the MacBook Pro for sure. And great keyboard and proven to work for a long period of time. You know, it's it's hard to argue against it as an option. I feel that I still like the shape of it. I like the angle. I like the you know,

02:02:45   my hand rest feels it feels better there. I don't like the high lip of the MacBook Pro.

02:02:49   I tend to I tend to have a little bit lazier, you know, typing stance. So I like the fact that

02:02:57   it has that nice low lip so I can kind of rest my arms on the table. I like the shape of it. It's

02:03:03   pleasant. I just think there's not a lot to recommend against it. It's not so much as I'm

02:03:10   advocating for it as like, you know, the best computer or

02:03:14   whatever. It's just there's, it's hard to find arguments

02:03:18   against it. It's like, what, why, why don't you want it? And

02:03:21   the arguments against it, I think, are largely centered on,

02:03:24   well, wouldn't you want the maximum performance, right, the

02:03:26   price, right. And I think for some people, that's absolutely

02:03:29   true. Sure. You know, if you're if you're, you know, burgeoning

02:03:33   YouTube star, you should get a MacBook Pro, so that you can

02:03:36   edit your videos and save time, save time.

02:03:40   - Save time on your export.

02:03:41   - Exactly, save time on your rendering and export,

02:03:43   all of that stuff.

02:03:44   It makes total sense for you to consider it

02:03:47   from that angle, from that perspective.

02:03:49   But if you're a student who wants a computer

02:03:52   that is a reasonable price,

02:03:55   certainly cheaper than a MacBook Pro,

02:03:57   but does everything pretty much by the book

02:03:59   and is really well proven at this point,

02:04:03   I think a lot of people are completely fine to say,

02:04:06   oh, you should wait and buy the next gen

02:04:08   whenever any new Apple product comes out.

02:04:11   And they're right to many degree, in many ways.

02:04:14   There's always some weird little quirks

02:04:15   when Apple kind of invents something new

02:04:18   because it's completely fresh.

02:04:19   And the second generation often fixes those problems.

02:04:23   This is proven and very well known.

02:04:26   Well, you really can't get much more nailed down than this.

02:04:29   - Right.

02:04:30   - You know, if you wanna talk about reliable

02:04:33   and lack of fuss and probably not a lot of weird

02:04:37   manufacturing quirks or any issues. This is an extremely proven design and platform. So

02:04:44   it's also going to be reliable and going to be you're going to have a lack of surprises

02:04:49   on that front.

02:04:50   Right. And the error is still, you know, a month old or six weeks old, however long it's

02:04:54   been. But the third generation keyboard design came out in the summer with the Touch Bar

02:05:00   MacBook Pros. And, you know, six months is, you know, you expect to get a lot more than

02:05:05   six months out of a keyboard. So we'll see how it goes. But so far, anecdotally, it seems

02:05:10   like this third generation design with the membrane has solved the reliability problems

02:05:15   with the keyboard. I mean, it, it, right. I'm not saying nobody has an issue with the

02:05:20   keyboard, but it certainly doesn't. It seems like the problem that was a real problem has

02:05:25   been solved.

02:05:26   Jared Ranere>> Yeah, I don't, the reliability for sure seems to be better. I don't know

02:05:32   if it has fixed any problems re people's feel, you know, if people have problems with the feel,

02:05:38   they probably, I don't know if it has rectified all that much for them. But it's certainly from

02:05:44   a reliability perspective, I think that people seem to feel better about it.

02:05:47   Pete: Yeah. Yeah, that's a good summary. That's probably my take too. I still feel I'm still

02:05:54   a big fan of the new air. I really, really like it.

02:05:57   it. Yeah, I am too. I mean, I don't think it's irrational either. You know, I think

02:06:01   some people want to put it in that bucket. You're like, Oh, you just like it because,

02:06:05   you know, of what it used to be or the concept, you know, the original concept. And I think

02:06:10   the concept still holds up. It's a light computer. It's extremely pleasantly shaped. It's well

02:06:15   made and it does exactly what you need it to do. You know, what more do you want? Yeah.

02:06:19   Well thank you for your time. It's always good to talk to you. Have a good holiday.

02:06:24   Have a good holiday season. Everybody can see your work at TechCrunch, of course, and

02:06:31   follow you on Twitter at @Panzer, P-A-N-Z-E-R. My thanks to our sponsors. We had Linode,

02:06:40   Trace Pontas, and Jamf, Jamf Now, where you can manage your Apple devices. Thank you,

02:06:49   Matthew.

02:06:50   Thank you sir, appreciate it.