00:00:12 ◼ ► From Relay FM, this is Upgrade, episode 365. Today's show is brought to you by Pingdom, DoorDash, and ExpressVPN.
00:00:37 ◼ ► I'm glad you did. I haven't spoken to you since you listened. I sent you a link to the file when it was ready and you said, "I will listen on Monday."
00:00:50 ◼ ► I have a #SnowTalk question. It comes from Ben and Ben wants to know, "When shutting down or rebooting your Mac, do you ask it to reopen Windows when you log back in?"
00:01:22 ◼ ► The right thing to do is to not be given the choice. Hold down the option key and just to shut down or restart and then it doesn't ask you anything.
00:01:39 ◼ ► I think it may... Is reopen a setting or is it just in that dialog box? I think it's a setting?
00:01:50 ◼ ► Yeah. Well, I've just clicked the restart button, which is a horrible thing to have done while we're recording.
00:02:02 ◼ ► I only have 48 seconds left. It says reopen Windows when logging back in. That's a checkbox.
00:02:08 ◼ ► Yes. Yes, that's true. I just am wondering if there's any way to do it. I think that is the default when you restart by holding down the option key.
00:02:19 ◼ ► So whatever it does, it does because I don't want to be asked. I don't pull down the shutdown or restart menu and have a question asked.
00:02:28 ◼ ► I feel like we're digging too deep into one. Do you like your Windows to be reopened is maybe a better question.
00:02:34 ◼ ► I don't care. I'm just saying all I care is that I shut down or restart immediately when I do it. That's why I hold down the option key.
00:02:40 ◼ ► Whatever happens then is just up to Apple, I guess. I don't care. I literally don't care.
00:02:46 ◼ ► I have a bunch of startup items set anyway. It's fine. I just don't care. That's why I hold down the option key.
00:02:58 ◼ ► Fair enough. If you would like to send in a question for us. Oh, by the way, people in the Discord are freaking out.
00:03:04 ◼ ► I have obviously pressed the cancel button at this point. They're already worried that things are about to show up.
00:03:10 ◼ ► Not restarting. It's okay. If you would like to help us open an episode of Upgrade, just send out a tweet with the hashtag #snowtalk or use ?snowtalk in the Relay FM members Discord.
00:03:37 ◼ ► For many years, I think this was an Angela Ahrens change. They removed the dedicated Store tab on the Apple.com website and you would just, when you were on any product, you could just click to buy it.
00:04:02 ◼ ► I think that has a reflection in other things that Apple does from time to time that are dumb.
00:04:09 ◼ ► Where Apple's got a really idealized idea, you know, concept for what a thing should be.
00:04:17 ◼ ► And it's usually spoken in sort of like heady kind of design and information philosophy kind of jargon about like, "Oh, well, the whole..."
00:04:25 ◼ ► In this case, the ridiculous thing that they were trying to do was, "Well, the whole site's really a store and you can buy from any page. So why do you need a store?"
00:04:34 ◼ ► And the answer is, because people want to buy things and they want to click the button to find where the things are to buy.
00:04:38 ◼ ► And we've spent the last few years going, "Well, if I need a Mac accessory, if I need like a cable or something, what do I do?
00:04:45 ◼ ► I guess I go to the Mac page where it's going to try to sell me Macs and then maybe I can click on accessories there.
00:04:54 ◼ ► And this is, I feel like such an Apple move of saying, "Well, we're just going to abstract this because who needs an actual store? That's not elegant.
00:05:23 ◼ ► Like they go to your site, they're not looking for an experience. They want to buy a cable.
00:05:28 ◼ ► And so you should be able to say, and like every other site on the internet, that's the other part is it collides with the reality of every other site on the internet, right?
00:05:35 ◼ ► Which is to buy things. And Apple's like, "Oh no, no, we're above that. We're above that.
00:05:43 ◼ ► But it's bigger than that. And the fact is everybody's trained to just, "Can I just find the thing I want?"
00:05:49 ◼ ► And so they have finally kind of, because somebody at Apple's, it's their job and they're judged based on online sales through the apple.com site, right?
00:05:58 ◼ ► And they're like, "Uh, this isn't working. I want a store page and tab because people can't find where to buy things and we want them to give us their money."
00:06:12 ◼ ► So to me it's just a perfect encapsulization of Apple having these kind of like highfalutin ideals about how things should work, colliding with the reality of how things actually work.
00:06:30 ◼ ► You remember the whole like Angela Arendt's thing of like, "We don't call them Apple stores anymore."
00:06:35 ◼ ► It's just like you meet at Apple and then it's like the website itself wouldn't have a store page because the whole experience is there.
00:06:42 ◼ ► I don't know for sure. I think this predates Angela Arendt's though. I think this is an even earlier thing.
00:06:48 ◼ ► But regardless it is from the same, it's cut from the same cloth, right? Which is, apple.com is an experience and you just wander from thing to thing and then eventually a product will hit you in the face and then you'll buy it.
00:07:00 ◼ ► And that's just not like, no. I mean, I think probably somebody at Apple said, "People are so frustrated with our site that they just go and buy it on Amazon."
00:07:09 ◼ ► Because on Amazon there's just a box and there's products and then you buy a product and you're done.
00:07:13 ◼ ► Whereas ours is more like a little adventure game where like, "How do I buy a product on apple.com?"
00:07:22 ◼ ► But they've chosen to hide it and make it more of a mystery to click around. It's like playing mist or something.
00:07:30 ◼ ► It's, you know, "Oh, it's an adventure. Where is the bag? Where is the checkout button? Well, let's find it. How do I find that lightning cable? Hmm. Well, just click on iPad and see what..."
00:07:44 ◼ ► "Oh, no. No. You have an iPad Pro. It has USB-C. Click somewhere where there's lightning. Click on iPhone." I know it's not that bad, but it's just, it's really frustrating.
00:07:52 ◼ ► Because this is such an obvious glaring thing where Apple just tried to be better than the internet and the internet said, "No, you are on the internet. You need to be what people expect from your website."
00:08:03 ◼ ► So I found an article somewhere that said that it was removed in 2015 and Aarons joined in 2014.
00:08:15 ◼ ► But I think it does go hand in hand with the whole idea of what she was trying to create. And I think there were good things that came from it and bad things that came from it.
00:08:24 ◼ ► And I think some of that abstraction of like, "We don't have a store. It's not a store," I don't think was right. But some of the design stuff is fantastic.
00:08:32 ◼ ► So here's the thing about Angela Aarons was the number two, I think, or maybe she was the CEO. CEO at Burberry.
00:08:42 ◼ ► And so her hire was very much like Apple as a luxury brand, right? I think her hire, we've talked about this before, her hire goes—
00:08:53 ◼ ► Yeah, for what they were trying to be. And it goes hand in hand with like making a solid gold Apple watch, right?
00:08:58 ◼ ► It was the idea of what can we learn from these luxury brands, which is funny because Apple stores do better in sales per square foot than luxury brands do, right?
00:09:07 ◼ ► Apple stores do better. So maybe the luxury stores should learn from Apple and not from Apple learning from them.
00:09:13 ◼ ► And this is a little like that too, which is that it's part of this kind of exclusive, it's like, "Oh, well, you know, if you have to ask how expensive it is, you can't afford it," kind of approach that like—
00:09:26 ◼ ► But within Apple, I think, Apple's true if it's really honest with itself. I think Apple's personality as a company is not—
00:09:38 ◼ ► Let me put it this way. It's further away from luxury brand and a little bit closer to hard sales, right?
00:09:47 ◼ ► Like I think Apple cares more about getting your money than maybe it wants to show or admit to itself. And the whole luxury thing was part of that, which is like, "We don't need to do the hard sell."
00:10:02 ◼ ► Remember when the iPhone sales sagged and they suddenly realized that they needed to actually hard sell on iPhones because they had just tried to not?
00:10:11 ◼ ► But that's an example where they're like, "Well, they just turned on a dime because in the end, there is somebody at Apple going, 'Where's my money?'"
00:10:17 ◼ ► So this is like that. This just feels very much like that, which is they like to think that they're above it all, but in the end, they really do want your money.
00:10:26 ◼ ► And I'm okay with that. Like as a user—it's going to be my user story of the day, right?
00:10:34 ◼ ► If you've ever built a website or probably software too, you've had the user story, which is how do you explain the feature you want? And the answer is you have to phrase it as, "As a user of Apple.com, I want to buy something. Where is the store?"
00:10:49 ◼ ► It's pretty simple, right? I want to buy something. If I go to Amazon, I type in, you know, lightning cable Apple or whatever it is, iPad Pro, and hit return, I get everything that they're selling.
00:11:00 ◼ ► And then Apple, it's like, "Hmm, you got to figure it out." I've had multiple friends say, you know, "Where do I go?"
00:11:08 ◼ ► We go to Apple.com, I'm like, "Okay, you got to click to Mac and then you should see..."
00:11:13 ◼ ► So anyway, they got over it and good for them because it was dumb that it went away. And I thought it was dumb at the time.
00:11:21 ◼ ► And thank you for allowing me—thank you, Apple, for bringing this subject back so I could beat it to death.
00:11:32 ◼ ► And with this revamped store tab, we have two new products. We have the Magic Keyboard with Touch ID for M1 Macs.
00:11:55 ◼ ► It's right. It's all of the new input devices that were previously only available on the 24-inch M1 iMac are now available silver only.
00:12:12 ◼ ► But this is great. Like, if you've got a Mac Mini, I think that's—or a docked M1 laptop.
00:12:20 ◼ ► Also, by the way, I was talking to somebody about this who was concerned about buying this because they want a new Apple keyboard,
00:12:27 ◼ ► and they're going to buy an M1 Mac or some other Apple Silicon Mac at some point, but not yet.
00:12:43 ◼ ► So if you want to get one now because you need a keyboard and you know eventually you'll get an Apple Silicon Mac,
00:12:52 ◼ ► which you will if you're going to stay with the Mac, don't worry about it. You can get it. It works fine.
00:13:03 ◼ ► Ignore Apple's compatibility. Like, on the website, they have that because they still sell the other one,
00:13:11 ◼ ► and it's just to stop people getting confused. They work. They just don't do the authentication part.
00:13:29 ◼ ► They had only made enough to get into the iMacs that they were making, and there was no overage.
00:13:44 ◼ ► that there are keyboards that don't have iMacs attached to them, that they can do this.
00:13:48 ◼ ► Because it was frustrating for a while there because I definitely heard from people who are,
00:14:00 ◼ ► You just couldn't get one. So now you can get one. That's a good thing. It's a very good thing.
00:14:19 ◼ ► Extremely expensive. The people who buy them probably don't care so much about how expensive
00:14:27 ◼ ► "Oh, you can buy a card and stick it in." These are MPX modules. They're the whole thing.
00:14:33 ◼ ► And there's, you know, we've talked about the rumor that there's probably a new iteration of
00:14:40 ◼ ► the Mac Pro coming with a new generation Intel Xeon processor. So, I mean, this is good.
00:14:49 ◼ ► I think the idea there is that they wanted to support this Mac Pro and not just kind of
00:14:54 ◼ ► ship it and forget it. So they're still updating its components. And it makes me wonder if it might
00:14:59 ◼ ► be updating components for the Intel Mac Pro for a while, right? Because the people who buy these
00:15:05 ◼ ► things are making a large investment and they, you know, Apple can move forward with Apple Silicon
00:15:14 ◼ ► and still put out MPX modules for the Intel Mac Pro, right? For years. And that, I think,
00:15:22 ◼ ► I hope that's what they do, right? Because the people who are buying these systems, they just
00:15:26 ◼ ► want them to be good and fast and work for them for a long time because they spend a lot of money
00:15:32 ◼ ► on them. - I mean, maybe it's too soon, but to me, this just feels like the Apple Silicon Mac Pro
00:15:41 ◼ ► will support this. That's just how it feels to me. I feel like it's a lot of work to offer so many,
00:15:48 ◼ ► like you have three available. Like it just seems like a lot of work. - Who's to say, given that they
00:15:51 ◼ ► threw away the trashcan Mac Pro after one iteration, you know, and they said they would do better?
00:16:03 ◼ ► connectivity spec, like this MPX module kind of thing, and then thrown it away. But you would hope
00:16:11 ◼ ► that that rumored Apple Silicon Mac Pro that's like a mini Mac Pro would support an MPX module,
00:16:20 ◼ ► if not two, right? You would hope that they would extend this. As for when we see that thing, I mean,
00:16:27 ◼ ► the more that happens with the Intel Mac Pro, the further back I imagine that other product will
00:16:33 ◼ ► exist, which is fine because it seems like it's the hardest engineering challenge for Apple to do
00:16:37 ◼ ► a Mac Pro using their own chips. So maybe that's the very end of the transition process. So end of
00:16:45 ◼ ► next year, maybe for that? - I'm choosing to have faith on the MPX stuff. - Yeah, I mean, for people
00:16:54 ◼ ► who love this stuff and haven't listened to ATP last week, as you might expect, ATP talked about
00:16:58 ◼ ► this an awful lot, and it's all in there, right? Like you would hope that Apple is not essentially
00:17:06 ◼ ► reneging on what they promised pros, which was that they were actually going to stand by and
00:17:10 ◼ ► support these devices. So I think this is Apple making good on that by releasing new GPU modules,
00:17:18 ◼ ► and they're very expensive, but there you go. The whole product is extremely expensive. That's just
00:17:23 ◼ ► what it is. - Yeah, I do wonder why they don't have versions of the consumer graphics card,
00:17:31 ◼ ► like the newer consumer GPUs, like why they always go for the pro stuff, but maybe it's just purely
00:17:37 ◼ ► because they need to make a bunch of money from it, so this is what they go to. Because the new
00:17:41 ◼ ► consumer GPUs are all incredibly powerful. They could make versions of those as well, but they
00:17:46 ◼ ► seem to choose not to. - Well, if I have a criticism of the ATP discussion, it's that it's
00:17:55 ◼ ► because it's John Syracuse and he plays games, it gets skewed toward games. And Mac Pros are not
00:18:00 ◼ ► meant for games. You can do it, but they're not meant for games. They're not meant for boot camp
00:18:05 ◼ ► and games. They're not. They're meant for a very narrow set of business needs that businesses buy
00:18:14 ◼ ► incredibly expensive computers that have, and then spend money on these incredibly expensive cards
00:18:20 ◼ ► to do whatever it is. And I don't even know what all of those things are. Is it 3D rendering? Is it
00:18:28 ◼ ► biotech analysis? I don't know what it is exactly. It's a lot of vertical categories. And so my guess
00:18:37 ◼ ► is that the people who are doing this inside Apple are aware of who their core customers are and what
00:18:43 ◼ ► they want. And what they think they want are this class of GPU. - Or maybe they just can't get any
00:18:50 ◼ ► of them because nobody can get the consumer once. - Or maybe, I mean, that's what John said about
00:18:55 ◼ ► these cards is that they cost a fortune, but you can get them. And so they're like pricing in the
00:19:00 ◼ ► scarcity of it. That's fair enough. Fair enough. And anyway, I think most people don't care because
00:19:08 ◼ ► most people aren't Mac Pro users, but it is kind of interesting to see how Apple handles this market
00:19:13 ◼ ► and the people who do care, care a lot. - All right, let's handle some upstream headlines.
00:19:17 ◼ ► We've got some news, especially from Apple as well, before we continue with this week's episode,
00:19:21 ◼ ► of course, in upstream, we take a look at some of the news and streaming media and streaming media
00:19:26 ◼ ► services. Apple has acquired the rights to Argyle from director Matthew Vaughn. This is a movie
00:19:32 ◼ ► with a huge cost, including Henry Cavill, Sam Rockwell, Bryce Dallas Howard, Brian Cranston,
00:19:43 ◼ ► - And here, here, Myke, is the key thing is it's just stated outright that the goal of this
00:19:53 ◼ ► is to create a franchise. This is a future intellectual property play. They want this to be
00:20:01 ◼ ► like, people say James Bond, but like, let's say the Bourne movies, right? They want it to be this,
00:20:08 ◼ ► you're not just buying this movie. I get the impression that you're buying into this as a
00:20:13 ◼ ► franchise. - I, yes, of course. The thing that surprises me about this though is I don't really
00:20:20 ◼ ► understand how this movie ended up ever getting in front of streaming services because of that cost,
00:20:33 ◼ ► there's a huge cost. It's just surprising to me. I don't know if it's maybe because of, you know,
00:20:40 ◼ ► concerns and nobody knowing what the future of cinema is gonna be like, et cetera, et cetera,
00:20:46 ◼ ► but I'm still really, I'm just surprised. This isn't a movie that's done, right? It's not like
00:20:51 ◼ ► it's done and then they can't put it in the cinema. - They haven't shot it yet. - No. So,
00:20:56 ◼ ► it's just a surprise to me. - So this is Apple's film, Apple Films, whatever sub-brand,
00:21:05 ◼ ► whatever it is. I'm unclear, I mean, this may be a theatrical debut and then straight to Apple TV+
00:21:12 ◼ ► kind of thing. - Yeah, but if they do that, it will be quick to Apple TV+, right? - Of course.
00:21:16 ◼ ► - You know, so really it's an Apple TV+ thing. Even if they put it in cinemas. - Yeah, but that
00:21:23 ◼ ► might be the future of all cinema, all movies is that you have a very narrow window in theaters.
00:21:29 ◼ ► What Julia was saying last week is run three weeks and then you're done basically. You've made all
00:21:34 ◼ ► your money that you're gonna make. - But that's always gonna be less box office money, right?
00:21:38 ◼ ► - Yeah, I'm fascinated by it. Just, I think one of the untold stories of this era right now
00:21:45 ◼ ► is everybody who doesn't have franchises trying to make franchises because we live in an era where
00:21:52 ◼ ► the big franchises, and Marvel is the biggest at this point, just are machines that throw out
00:21:59 ◼ ► billions of dollars with every release and every company wants, who doesn't want a machine that
00:22:06 ◼ ► you press a button and a billion dollars comes out? That's pretty good. - Yeah, I think that
00:22:11 ◼ ► there's a bit of a, like a fool's errand in this. It's just like, you can't all create Marvel.
00:22:19 ◼ ► Marvel's Marvel and that's that, right? - Yeah, oh, I agree. - Yeah, so I think. - I agree. I think
00:22:25 ◼ ► that there's a good conversation to be had about why you can't do that and you especially can't do
00:22:30 ◼ ► it if you're trying. It's like the watch pot never boils. It's like the franchises happen
00:22:37 ◼ ► and then you take advantage of them and I feel like if I were, this is hilarious, but if I were
00:22:44 ◼ ► in a position where I was acquiring content for a streamer and I was looking for franchises,
00:22:52 ◼ ► I would probably be making, I don't want to say small bets, but like medium bets, not big bets.
00:23:01 ◼ ► Like I would not do what Amazon's doing with Lord of the Rings. - No, that seems like a bad idea to
00:23:10 ◼ ► but it is one big swing and as a baseball fan, I will tell you that your percentage chance of
00:23:19 ◼ ► getting a hit in any at-bat is low and the same goes for this kind of stuff and so I would rather
00:23:25 ◼ ► take a bunch of swings and then find the ones that are the hits and cultivate them and try to build
00:23:33 ◼ ► them up, then, you know, which, you know, to be fair, the counterargument is that's what Netflix
00:23:38 ◼ ► has been doing and they really haven't, I mean, they've had a handful of things like this, but
00:23:42 ◼ ► nothing at a huge level. Yeah, I mean, is The Crown a franchise? I mean, they're gonna run out
00:23:48 ◼ ► of time for, unless there's like a future season of, oh man, can you imagine there's a future
00:23:53 ◼ ► season of The Crown that's set in like the 24th century and they've cloned Queen Elizabeth and she
00:23:59 ◼ ► comes back, then The Crown's a franchise, but until then, anyway, I don't know, hey, if this
00:24:06 ◼ ► is the next Bourne series or a new James Bond or something like that or what they didn't say in the
00:24:13 ◼ ► reports and I wonder about is one of the modern ways you do a franchise thing is you plant
00:24:18 ◼ ► characters in your movie who then get their own streaming series, right? Well, yeah, like,
00:24:23 ◼ ► franchise to me isn't just like you have a bunch of good movies, right? Like, I feel like in a
00:24:29 ◼ ► modern parlance of franchises, you have like a universe, right? Like, you can do a bunch of stuff
00:24:35 ◼ ► with it and then maybe like, but I don't know, like that seems... Right, Marvel may be the exception
00:24:43 ◼ ► to the rule, although, I mean, Marvel Star Wars, right, are great examples. There aren't a lot of
00:24:49 ◼ ► James Bond, like there are some, but that's a tough game to play, but I understand why they
00:24:54 ◼ ► want to play it because the reward could be huge. Massive, yep. But in this case, it is just a big,
00:24:59 ◼ ► expensive spy movie, which is, that's fine, it could be really good, great cast and all that,
00:25:04 ◼ ► but yeah, I just, I keep thinking that the modern way you do a franchise is, and somebody's doing
00:25:10 ◼ ► this, I can't remember who it is. I was just about to say it's Netflix with Ryan Gosling
00:25:14 ◼ ► and Chris Evans. They have a spy movie that's coming, it's The Gray Man, it's based on the
00:25:20 ◼ ► book series, The Gray Man, yeah, and they're trying to like, that's their thing. But that's
00:25:25 ◼ ► not what I meant. I meant that I read somewhere that there's a movie coming out that is, oh, it's,
00:25:30 ◼ ► oh, I know what it is, it's, it's, it came out, I think it's Suicide Squad, The Suicide Squad,
00:25:36 ◼ ► which came out this last weekend, and that, that they are already shooting an HBO Max series based
00:25:45 ◼ ► on one of the characters who's in The Suicide Squad. Yeah, I believe it's a bit of a spoiler,
00:25:50 ◼ ► so we won't say who, but yes, they are, they are making a television show based on the characters.
00:25:54 ◼ ► It wasn't a spoiler when nobody knew or could see The Suicide Squad, but now that you can see it.
00:25:58 ◼ ► I only know because I haven't seen the movie, but so like, it's, I knew it already, and then it's
00:26:04 ◼ ► like, yeah. I think, I think you're going to start seeing more of that too, which is these kind of
00:26:08 ◼ ► prefab franchises where they, they're, the whole strategy is we're going to have a film, but we're
00:26:15 ◼ ► also going to have like ancillary characters who are planted to spin off into TV shows so that the
00:26:22 ◼ ► franchise stays in front of people until the next big thing happens and they all come back together,
00:26:26 ◼ ► which I don't know if executed well, and that's always the question with this, this stuff,
00:26:30 ◼ ► if executed well, that could work. It could also be a total failure. And given that Suicide Squad
00:26:35 ◼ ► has not performed well, at least in theaters, the investment that they made in that spinoff TV show,
00:26:53 ◼ ► I'm just going to say that that HBO Max idea of putting all the movies in the service just
00:26:58 ◼ ► seems like it's become more and more of a bad idea no longer. We're out from it. Like, yeah, not good.
00:27:10 ◼ ► there's going to sweep that one right under the rug and move on to 2022. Yep. Yep. Yep. Yep.
00:27:16 ◼ ► Musical Come From Away will be arriving on Apple TV+ on September 10th. Big surprise to me. It's
00:27:22 ◼ ► going to be a live performance like Hamilton was. I don't know to what extent they've shot this,
00:27:28 ◼ ► like how similar it will be to Hamilton or not. This is a surprise. Like I had no idea that it
00:27:33 ◼ ► existed like as a, as a filmed thing. And not only is it arriving, it comes in a month, which I'm
00:27:38 ◼ ► excited about it because I've wanted to see Come From Away. Cause I, I hear it's very good.
00:27:43 ◼ ► Everybody that I know that loves musicals speaks very highly of this one. So I'm excited about this.
00:27:49 ◼ ► Yeah. And this is a question for, I guess, what would up, upstage. Oh, upstage is beautiful.
00:28:10 ◼ ► the, the, the finance is a Broadway and, and the, and the theater in general. Apologies to London,
00:28:18 ◼ ► cause the theater is huge in London. The, the, the money involved, they're very complicated, right?
00:28:25 ◼ ► And the way you make your money, you spend huge amounts of money on these shows and they're like
00:28:29 ◼ ► swings of the bat too. Sometimes they make it, sometimes they don't. The ones that make it are
00:28:33 ◼ ► the ones that pay off for all the money lost on the ones that didn't. But once you get it,
00:28:37 ◼ ► you take it, you take it from London to New York and then you do traveling and you do, you know,
00:28:44 ◼ ► and you, you franchise it in its own way out and then you're making huge amounts of money. And like
00:28:48 ◼ ► in Hamilton's case, they had multiple national tours in the U S plus they were permanently in,
00:28:53 ◼ ► uh, in New York and they were, they did a long run in San Francisco and like all of this stuff goes
00:29:00 ◼ ► on. I wonder if, is this just a COVID effect where all the theaters shut down or when you look at,
00:29:14 ◼ ► which was a phenomenon, but like, is there money, this is how they probably think of it.
00:29:20 ◼ ► Is there money available to us from people who are never going to go see it in the theater?
00:29:26 ◼ ► Because it doesn't come to them or it's too expensive or whatever. Is there another portion
00:29:40 ◼ ► filmed stage production with high production values that we can get a lot of money from a
00:29:46 ◼ ► streaming service for. And how much does that cut into our ticket sales of our traveling or does it,
00:29:50 ◼ ► or does it boost it because people become fans? I don't know the answer as somebody who doesn't
00:29:55 ◼ ► go to a lot of theater. Although I do go to some, the idea that I could catch a really good quality
00:30:01 ◼ ► capture of maybe a, maybe a high quality original cast of something performing something at a very
00:30:09 ◼ ► high level, like that appeals to me greatly, but I don't know about the financial part of it.
00:30:14 ◼ ► And I'm curious about that part, whether this is something that will end up benefiting the theater
00:30:21 ◼ ► industry or not. But I think it's great for audiences. Obviously it's not the same as going
00:30:27 ◼ ► to see it in person, but you know, first off you see it in person and then you're done and you
00:30:32 ◼ ► don't get to relive it at all. And people don't tend to go back. I mean, some people do, but most
00:30:38 ◼ ► people don't go back to the theater again and again and again to see it again and again and again.
00:30:41 ◼ ► Yeah. It has to be something special. Says the guy who's seen Hamilton three times, but still.
00:30:45 ◼ ► But Hamilton, I think is the outlier though. Like I've seen Hamilton three times. I'm planning on
00:30:50 ◼ ► going to see it again soon. Just what I want to do. I want to book tickets and I'll go see it.
00:30:59 ◼ ► which is there's an argument to be made at least that you are creating audience for your property
00:31:02 ◼ ► by doing the streaming version. Cause now you really ought to see it in person, right? It's
00:31:08 ◼ ► coming to your town. It's like, if you like it on TV, imagine what it's like to be there.
00:31:13 ◼ ► Maybe that's the plan. Like you, you run a musical until it starts to decline. You put out a video
00:31:18 ◼ ► version, which you'd make a bunch of money from and you maybe you boost tickets. I don't know.
00:31:23 ◼ ► I don't know, but it's, it's, uh, anyway, coming to Apple TV, plus I'll watch it. I'm looking
00:31:28 ◼ ► forward to it. Reese Witherspoon has sold hello sunshine for $900 million to a media company
00:31:35 ◼ ► backed by private equity group Blackstone. Right. This media group is going to be led by
00:31:41 ◼ ► ex Disney executives, Tom Stags and Kevin Mayer. Kevin Mayer, you may remember as the person who
00:31:47 ◼ ► ran Disney plus everybody thought was definitely going to be the CEO was passed over for CEO ship
00:31:56 ◼ ► So yeah, there, his name wasn't Bob. That was his fatal flaw. So the, this is fascinating because
00:32:04 ◼ ► it's like they're, they're working with a private equity group to make, uh, make a studio, right?
00:32:09 ◼ ► Like make a big studio from nothing. Um, as Julia and I talked about last week, um, she talked about
00:32:15 ◼ ► the idea that not everybody needs a streaming service, right. And, and that maybe, uh, it would
00:32:20 ◼ ► be okay if you became a content arms dealer, as she said, and that there would be value in that.
00:32:25 ◼ ► And that maybe something like CBS Viacom, um, would look at what they were doing in two or
00:32:31 ◼ ► three years and be like, Oh, we just be better off selling this stuff to the highest bidder
00:32:35 ◼ ► of the streaming services rather than doing this ourselves, which sort of is what Sony's game is
00:32:40 ◼ ► right now. And I wonder if this is that right. Kind of, which is, uh, there's a insatiable thirst
00:32:45 ◼ ► for, for content. Um, and they don't need to create a streaming service. They can just, uh,
00:32:50 ◼ ► fulfill the needs of the people who need content on their streaming services. Um, it does.
00:32:57 ◼ ► It also points out since Apple was supposedly sniffing around Hello Sunshine, right. That,
00:33:09 ◼ ► aggregating these studios together than Apple found in sort of, you know, getting some talented
00:33:20 ◼ ► Mm-hmm Reese Witherspoon will remain on the board, uh, along with current CEO Sarah Harden, and
00:33:27 ◼ ► they're going to continue to oversee operations of Hello Sunshine. And Sky has announced that they
00:33:34 ◼ ► will be the home of Peacock and Paramount Plus in the UK and Europe. This will be at no extra
00:33:40 ◼ ► cost for current subscribers. Uh, Paramount Plus will also be available a standalone at a later
00:33:45 ◼ ► date and Peacock has said that they will have, it will be ad supported on Sky, which makes me think
00:33:50 ◼ ► that they may also have a direct to consumer option in the future as well. I think this is
00:33:56 ◼ ► kind of smart from Sky, to be honest. Like, "Hey everyone in America, why don't we just take all
00:34:04 ◼ ► that content for you and we'll give you some money for it?" And, you know, I actually think it's kind
00:34:10 ◼ ► of a smart move. I don't know how I feel about it as a consumer. So Sky is a satellite linear TV
00:34:17 ◼ ► provider, is that right? It's really difficult to describe what they are now. I mean, okay,
00:34:23 ◼ ► just imagine... So this will be presumably in their app on streaming, you'll get Paramount Plus
00:34:28 ◼ ► and Peacock now. Yeah, or on their box. Their box has like a whole interface. Basically, at this
00:34:34 ◼ ► point, Sky is like Comcast and TiVo and a streaming service, right? It's like all of those things,
00:34:42 ◼ ► and no matter what part of it you are a part of, you can get this. So like, we use Now TV,
00:34:48 ◼ ► which is Sky, but it's their streaming thing, and because we're a Now TV subscriber, we'll get
00:34:53 ◼ ► Paramount Plus and Peacock. I see. So they're basically, the US equivalent would be sort of
00:34:57 ◼ ► that they're a cable or satellite provider. They've got a bundle of content. You sign up
00:35:02 ◼ ► for Sky and you get a bundle of stuff that includes linear channels and stuff that's on
00:35:06 ◼ ► demand and all of those things. Yes, everything. And now they're going to be a front for the
00:35:11 ◼ ► American streaming services too. Fascinating. Yeah. Fascinating. I think it's an interesting
00:35:16 ◼ ► play from them. I could imagine HBO doing this as well because HBO and Sky have a very long-standing
00:35:36 ◼ ► This is an interesting move for Paramount Plus and Peacock as well, because the idea here is,
00:35:42 ◼ ► how do these services that are especially, in Paramount Plus' case, a bunch of their originals
00:35:46 ◼ ► are not available to them outside of the US and Canada because they sold them off to Netflix and
00:35:51 ◼ ► Amazon, right? But they do want to have a presence. And this also is kind of a nice package deal.
00:36:02 ◼ ► for their service in the US that remains. Peacock is a good example of that. And it all just comes
00:36:08 ◼ ► over, right? So all of those are Peacock originals that NBC is building in the US will just be
00:36:14 ◼ ► available to Sky as well. And it gives them an international presence without, like you said,
00:36:19 ◼ ► they will probably build their own offering as well, but they're kind of like doing the bundle.
00:36:24 ◼ ► They're bundling it in before it exists, which is interesting. That's an interesting idea.
00:36:35 ◼ ► - This episode is brought to you by ExpressVPN. You probably wouldn't take a call in a public
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00:38:17 ◼ ► Our thanks to ExpressVPN for their support of this show and Relay FM. Okay, so big topic time for
00:38:23 ◼ ► today's episode. Last week, Apple announced that they are working on two initiatives to combat
00:38:29 ◼ ► child sexual abuse material. How was that said? CSAM? Is that how it's... Yeah, I think that's
00:38:34 ◼ ► what they're calling it. And for people who say that they haven't really heard this term before,
00:38:37 ◼ ► this is what has historically been called child pornography. And in the last few years,
00:38:45 ◼ ► there has been an effort to rename it because of the feeling that that term doesn't get at what is
00:38:54 ◼ ► actually going on here, which is any images, sexual images of children is by definition child abuse.
00:39:02 ◼ ► So they don't want people to call it pornography and instead call it sexual abuse material,
00:39:11 ◼ ► child sexual abuse material. I think it's a better phrase because I assume that it can also
00:39:15 ◼ ► encapsulate other things which can be used for this purpose. Right, right. But the idea here is
00:39:21 ◼ ► just to classify it. I mean, words define how people file things in their brains and what
00:39:28 ◼ ► they're trying to do here is say, "You need to take this more seriously. This is not material that
00:39:35 ◼ ► some people are using because it turns them on. This is evidence of a crime," essentially, right?
00:39:40 ◼ ► This is, "These photos are evidence of a crime and should be thought of in that way." So that's why
00:39:45 ◼ ► when this came out, you see CSAM, the acronym used a lot. So they showed off two new features
00:39:54 ◼ ► that are coming with an upcoming software update for iOS. Both of these features are going to be
00:39:59 ◼ ► in the US only at first, possibly coming to other regions in the future but on a case-by-case basis.
00:40:04 ◼ ► This is a very, very large topic with a lot of implications. And so we're going to try and talk
00:40:11 ◼ ► about it like this. I am going to outline the two things. Then we're going to talk about some things
00:40:17 ◼ ► that have been reported on this, some more discussion, some FAQs, some responses from Apple.
00:40:24 ◼ ► And then if anything else, we have not yet covered for our own thoughts on these systems.
00:40:35 ◼ ► - And it starts with the fact that as you mentioned, this is not one thing, right? Apple
00:40:41 ◼ ► announced sort of two very distinct things and put them in the same bucket because it's a child
00:41:00 ◼ ► - And of course, this is quite a sensitive topic, right? So if this stuff is not good for you,
00:41:14 ◼ ► - Yeah, it's not fun at all today. And of course, because this is so sensitive and complicated,
00:41:20 ◼ ► we are going to try our best to have nuanced and thoughtful discussion about this. But we will not
00:41:29 ◼ ► be perfect about it because it's so complicated, right? I just want to say that upfront before we
00:41:35 ◼ ► start digging in. So the first part is probably the easier to get your head around, but I don't
00:41:42 ◼ ► think perfect. Communication safety. This is for the Messages app on iOS and the Mac. This system
00:41:50 ◼ ► is intended to, in some cases, warn parents if their child views content that is deemed
00:41:56 ◼ ► as sexually explicit. This will be determined by on-device analysis powered by machine learning.
00:42:03 ◼ ► If a photo is determined to be explicit, it will be blurred out. Now, the sexually explicitness
00:42:23 ◼ ► that's basically saying, "Is this sexually explicit content?" It runs on device. And then there's this
00:42:32 ◼ ► interception, which is not a blocking either. It's an interception and a warning with different
00:42:39 ◼ ► things that happen based on different age groups. - And if somebody tries to view one of these
00:42:44 ◼ ► blurred images, a child, this is in an Apple iCloud family, you're deemed a child, your account is a
00:42:50 ◼ ► child, it can be turned on, et cetera, they will be shown a warning, like a set of warning screens
00:42:55 ◼ ► that Apple spot on their website, telling them the content can be harmful. If a child is under 13,
00:43:02 ◼ ► so 12 and under, their parents can be alerted if the image is viewed or sent to someone else.
00:43:09 ◼ ► - And that's a parental option. The parent would turn that option on, and then there would be this
00:43:15 ◼ ► warning. And basically the idea there is somebody sent you something, you should probably tell your
00:43:21 ◼ ► parents. If you wanna see it, your parent will be alerted. And that's for 12 and under.
00:43:24 ◼ ► - Now for 13 to 18, 'cause that's where it ends at 18, the individual will see the warnings,
00:43:33 ◼ ► but there's no parental notification of that. - Right, so a lot of the hot takes when this
00:43:39 ◼ ► first was announced were, this is Apple basically saying you can't send, you're a teenager.
00:43:44 ◼ ► Hot teenagers sending nudes to each other are gonna run afoul of this. And it's interesting
00:43:49 ◼ ► that Apple has actually built this in. It's like, no, no. And in fact, what this feature is,
00:44:06 ◼ ► so you don't have to be prompted with it. You don't have to see it if you don't wanna see it.
00:44:11 ◼ ► And if you do wanna see it, then you get to see it, which is an interesting combination that you
00:44:16 ◼ ► could also view as being sort of like for teens, it's, you know, who sent this to you? Is it
00:44:22 ◼ ► somebody who you want to see or not? And if not, then you don't have to see it. It'll get fuzzed
00:44:28 ◼ ► out and you can just tell them to go away or block them or report them to somebody in a position of
00:44:40 ◼ ► my understanding is that's it. You just say, okay, I'll see it. And your parents don't get told,
00:44:45 ◼ ► none of that happens. - There's no logging of it or anything like that between the ages of 13 to 18.
00:44:49 ◼ ► Now the CSAM detection is the much bigger part of this. So again, so everything we've just said,
00:45:02 ◼ ► They are not related in any way other than the fact that children are involved. That is where
00:45:07 ◼ ► it ends. - Right. Before we kind of close up on this first one, I'll just say this is an interesting
00:45:12 ◼ ► feature that I'm actually, and maybe it's because they're afraid that people are gonna conflate this
00:45:18 ◼ ► even more. I think it's interesting that Apple hasn't made this a feature for adults to just say,
00:45:27 ◼ ► to do this same feature, which is like, if somebody sends me an unsolicited, you don't know,
00:45:34 ◼ ► they don't know whether it's solicited or not. So why don't you just fuzz it all out? And then if I
00:45:38 ◼ ► wanna see it, I will tap to see it. It's like a machine learning based filter, but they're not
00:45:44 ◼ ► even doing that. They're like, no, this is a child protection feature. That's all it is. - You know
00:45:48 ◼ ► what, actually, just so we don't mix things up, let me give my thoughts on this part, because I
00:45:53 ◼ ► don't think we're gonna come back to this otherwise. - Yeah, I think so. - I kind of have,
00:45:58 ◼ ► like this is the easiest one to have feelings about, like on the face of it, decent system,
00:46:08 ◼ ► what is going to be considered explicit and how is this determined? Like just a machine learning
00:46:14 ◼ ► model, like is weird that Apple have been so forthcoming with the second part and how that's
00:46:20 ◼ ► determined. And I feel like this is not very well determined. Like I've seen some concern from
00:46:34 ◼ ► categorize things in these communities as explicit, even if they're not so. And so like,
00:46:46 ◼ ► considering the fact that Apple's not being very forthcoming with this. - I would say the classic
00:46:50 ◼ ► one is Facebook banning pictures of nursing mothers. - Yeah. - Right, which is not sexually
00:46:58 ◼ ► explicit in any way, but they have a basically machine learning model for breasts. And they're
00:47:08 ◼ ► like, "Whoop, there they are." And it's like, "Yeah, but no little machine, no, it's not like
00:47:13 ◼ ► that." And this is the lesson that we've all had to learn over the last few years, which is
00:47:17 ◼ ► a machine learning model is only as good as how it's trained. And if it's trained with biases,
00:47:21 ◼ ► the biases will be in the model. So that is a question. It seems less harmful here in the
00:47:26 ◼ ► sense that what it's gonna generate are false positives or it's gonna miss things. - Well,
00:47:33 ◼ ► as I say, again, and I don't know enough about this, but I've seen people saying it, so I will
00:47:39 ◼ ► listen to what they have to say, right? Like if you are a part of the LGBTQ community, right,
00:47:55 ◼ ► there are potential consequences depending on how this is trained that you could be saying
00:48:02 ◼ ► something to someone that you didn't want. Like it's complicated again. It's just complicated,
00:48:07 ◼ ► right? - I don't know about that because of the 13 to 18 thing, but yes, I guess that's true that
00:48:21 ◼ ► yeah, it's all a very sensitive subject. - It's complicated. - I will say that, and this is not,
00:48:27 ◼ ► and we're gonna get to the rest of it in a minute, but like this is not an endorsement of Apple
00:48:35 ◼ ► about whether this is good or bad. And a lot of people, very smart, thoughtful people have taken
00:48:42 ◼ ► different sides on this. And I think that's instructive about how hard a subject this is.
00:48:47 ◼ ► But I will say this, which is when this was announced, there were so many knee-jerk hot takes
00:48:52 ◼ ► that were, I can't believe Apple didn't think about X. And when you look at the details here,
00:48:58 ◼ ► it's very clear that Apple thought a lot about this. And this is a very carefully constructed
00:49:04 ◼ ► system. You may not agree with it, but I think it's worth at least acknowledging that the people
00:49:10 ◼ ► who built these features at Apple seem to have thought a lot about the ways that they could be
00:49:17 ◼ ► misused and have tried to build in features to make that not the case. We can, again, we can
00:49:24 ◼ ► debate whether they actually succeeded or not, but I think that it would be a mistake to say
00:49:27 ◼ ► they didn't think about these issues because I'm sure they did. They may have made good decisions
00:49:32 ◼ ► or bad decisions after they thought about it, but this bears the imprint of a lot of debate
00:49:38 ◼ ► and discussion and a kind of a careful choice about what features got implemented. - Yeah. And
00:49:44 ◼ ► if there's the whole angle of control over a child, right? And it's tricky, right? Because Apple can't
00:49:54 ◼ ► make that kind of situation any different than it is, right? Like if a family member is controlling
00:50:01 ◼ ► a child, if they are going to use, they'll change the age of the iCloud family, that kind of stuff.
00:50:09 ◼ ► And so it's like, I can understand how people can say, "Well, that's not Apple's responsibility."
00:50:14 ◼ ► However, there is also this element of later on where Apple is also kind of considering itself
00:50:22 ◼ ► a part of law enforcement now. So it's like you can be my protector, but also not. And it's like...
00:50:29 ◼ ► - And the truth is that every tool of control that gets built can be misused. And so the argument is
00:50:44 ◼ ► do you build the tools? Or if you know abuse is going on, do you refuse to build the tools?
00:50:50 ◼ ► Which means that abuse that was going on will continue to go on. And it can be a very difficult
00:50:56 ◼ ► choice to make. So every bit of Apple's parental control features can be abused by a parent,
00:51:05 ◼ ► right? A parent can turn off all the features on their kid's phone, and then the kids will try to
00:51:14 ◼ ► find ways around them. And so on one level, I look at this and I think, "Well, this is a tool that
00:51:18 ◼ ► could be abused." But I also look at this and think, "This is also a tool that could be subverted."
00:51:22 ◼ ► And so that's why it's complicated, right? Because whenever a parent is limiting a child's access to
00:51:31 ◼ ► something on their device, that's a tool that a good parent can use for good and a bad parent
00:51:37 ◼ ► can use for bad. And as the toolmaker, Apple has put in this difficult position of wanting to
00:51:42 ◼ ► provide good tools for — or tools for good parents and to protect their children, but they know that
00:51:51 ◼ ► every tool that they make has the potential to also be misused. And it's a very unpleasant place
00:51:56 ◼ ► to be, if you ask me. Talking about control and teenagers and et cetera, et cetera, I also would
00:52:03 ◼ ► be concerned that this feature set would drive teenagers away from using iMessage, as they may
00:52:10 ◼ ► feel that their parents are going to be spying on them, no matter what age they are. Yeah, I mean,
00:52:14 ◼ ► it is — the idea is 13 to 18 aren't, but that's true. I saw some arguments — But also as well,
00:52:19 ◼ ► like, you know, I could imagine being 16 or 17 and getting that prompt and feeling like my phone is
00:52:25 ◼ ► talking down to me. Sure, I get it. I get it. I just — I don't think — I did see the argument when
00:52:32 ◼ ► this came out of somebody saying that this was a bad move for Apple, essentially because it was
00:52:36 ◼ ► going to drive people to other chat platforms. I'm like, you know what? No, I'm not going to buy that
00:52:41 ◼ ► one. Like, imagine Apple — imagine the stories about Apple choosing to not protect children
00:52:49 ◼ ► from the fear of losing them to WhatsApp, right? But I do think that the 13 to 18 — the 13 to 18
00:52:58 ◼ ► prompt should look different to the ones that Apple have shown. Yeah, I mean, I think I agree
00:53:04 ◼ ► with that. Like, the important point is that nobody gets notified, and by conflating the
00:53:08 ◼ ► under 13 through the 13 through 18, the more you do that, the worse it seems for the teenagers. But
00:53:22 ◼ ► but they will — I think they'll figure it out. The other part of this that feels something — you
00:53:33 ◼ ► you know, bear that in mind. I feel like it's something that I, in some instances, would want,
00:53:41 ◼ ► right, to try and help make sure that my child was making the right decisions or at least had
00:53:45 ◼ ► a second to think or be able to make a second thought. It's definitely not perfect. And there
00:53:50 ◼ ► are some lines about privacy, which is, you know, interesting and strange, like, that, like, adults
00:53:57 ◼ ► can do whatever they want, but not kids. Yeah, I would say there's a debate about privacy
00:54:10 ◼ ► privacy because, like, legally, they don't. However, I would argue that that is — that may
00:54:19 ◼ ► be true, but I have some questions about the parenting choices. And everybody has different
00:54:24 ◼ ► parenting choices, right? There are the — there are — so Lauren and I were just talking about this
00:54:30 ◼ ► because she had a friend in high school and college whose parents were very strict. And
00:54:38 ◼ ► he did stuff like he bought a motorcycle from a friend and he parked it around the corner from
00:54:48 ◼ ► And my thought was, well, that'll show you how good it is to be a super strict parent. What it
00:54:54 ◼ ► means is it teaches your kids to lie to you and hide things from you because there's no trust
00:54:59 ◼ ► there anymore and they just have to go around you, right? And that's just — again, everybody's going
00:55:03 ◼ ► to have a different parenting philosophy, but that struck me. And I think when we talk about this,
00:55:08 ◼ ► it's a similar thing, which is, do children have an expectation of privacy? No, but I think that
00:55:15 ◼ ► you — as a good parent, you should give them some space to be themselves and to do things that you
00:55:20 ◼ ► don't need to, you know, go through their correspondence. I had — when I graduated from
00:55:25 ◼ ► high school, my mom made me a book of high school memories and things, and it was pictures and stuff.
00:55:49 ◼ ► And she expected that she did this nice thing for me and that I should thank her for it.
00:55:56 ◼ ► And my response was, this is a colossal invasion of my privacy, even as well-intentioned as it was.
00:56:04 ◼ ► So do children have an expectation of privacy? I think they do. I don't think it's legal,
00:56:12 ◼ ► but I think it's kind of moral. And so that's what strikes me about this feature. And we're
00:56:20 ◼ ► while we're here, one thing that this is doing is saying, parents, we are going to protect — we are
00:56:28 ◼ ► going to look for really bad things, or maybe bad things if you think they're bad, on your youngest
00:56:34 ◼ ► children's devices because we know you probably can't or won't, or we don't want you to have to.
00:56:42 ◼ ► And that's interesting. It does lead you down a path, potentially, of building more features
00:56:51 ◼ ► that are about the device watching the kids instead of the parent. And I don't think Apple
00:56:59 ◼ ► intends to go here, but it's an interesting question philosophically. Like, are you building
00:57:05 ◼ ► a machine learning, strict kind of parental state around the kid if you turn on a bunch of features
00:57:12 ◼ ► like this? Or are you giving your kid space by setting these features and letting the kid and
00:57:20 ◼ ► the machine deal with it instead of you having to pour through every bit of content that they
00:57:25 ◼ ► go through to make sure it's okay? And again, I don't think there's a clear answer there,
00:57:30 ◼ ► but it's an interesting question. Like, having it be machine learning based means the parents
00:57:34 ◼ ► don't have to police this, which is good because I think most parents won't police this. Just in
00:57:41 ◼ ► reality, parents are very busy and most of them are not going to ask their kids to hand over their
00:57:45 ◼ ► phones and have them scroll through everything, and the kids are going to find a way around them
00:57:50 ◼ ► seeing what they want to see anyway, right? That happens. But I think it's interesting to think
00:57:57 ◼ ► about the expectation of privacy and whether adding a machine learning element in reassures
00:58:03 ◼ ► parents. Is that a better kind of scrutiny of a kid than direct parental scrutiny? I don't know.
00:58:11 ◼ ► So Alex Stamos, who works for the Stanford Internet Observatory, had a really good thread
00:58:16 ◼ ► about all of this stuff, but there was one part of it that relates to the communication safety
00:58:23 ◼ ► segment that I thought was interesting, which is, and I've seen other people criticize Apple for
00:58:28 ◼ ► this too, of like- And just to be clear, this is the Alex who was the head of security at Facebook
00:58:32 ◼ ► for many years and said many interesting things while at Facebook. His track record is very
00:58:39 ◼ ► interesting, but this is what he does now for a living at Stanford is think about stuff like this.
00:58:45 ◼ ► And this is something I've seen other people say too, of like, that maybe this system has some
00:58:52 ◼ ► interesting parts to it but probably isn't enough, and it's weird the way that Apple have rolled it
00:58:57 ◼ ► out to be so focused on what it is. So what Stamos said is that he would love to see Apple create
00:59:05 ◼ ► robust reporting in iMessage, slowly roll out client machine learning to prompt the user to
00:59:10 ◼ ► report abusive materials, and staff a child safety team to investigate the worst reports. And I would
00:59:16 ◼ ► also say, as you did, I don't know why anyone couldn't report things that they didn't want
00:59:21 ◼ ► to see in iMessage. This is, again, it's kind of a tangential point a little bit, but it leaps off
00:59:27 ◼ ► of this feature, which is Apple could do more, and I think this is overall, we're going to get back
00:59:34 ◼ ► to this about why this is going on and the idea, Ben Thompson wrote a really good piece about it
00:59:38 ◼ ► on today, Monday, as we record this about this, which is there are choices Apple made about how
00:59:45 ◼ ► they built this up, and Apple is in a position where it can sort of choose where to intervene
00:59:49 ◼ ► and where not to, where somebody like Facebook can't. But this is a really good point, which is
00:59:54 ◼ ► Apple has really gotten away with not having to do what Facebook and Twitter have to do in terms of
01:00:01 ◼ ► iMessage, right? Apple just is like, "Hey, everybody, you can block people if you want,
01:00:06 ◼ ► but it's just whatever." And it's like, well, okay, but if somebody is sending awful material
01:00:12 ◼ ► to somebody, could you report them in iMessage? Are they violating a term of service? Could you
01:00:17 ◼ ► do that? Right now, you can't. And so this is what he's suggesting here is that what if you
01:00:23 ◼ ► build a system where you build a reporting framework and a safety framework for iMessage,
01:00:31 ◼ ► "Do you want to report this? You can report this as abuse," whether it's language-based or
01:00:36 ◼ ► photo-based or whatever. And then his idea is you have a child safety team that investigates
01:00:43 ◼ ► if a child says that they're being abused. All interesting points about how Apple could have
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01:02:01 ◼ ► So now let's talk about CSAM detection. This is a new technology that will allow for Apple to scan
01:02:09 ◼ ► for known CSAM images stored in iCloud photos. This allows them to report instances to the
01:02:20 ◼ ► I believe, which will work with law enforcement in the US. Apple will not be scanning the images
01:02:27 ◼ ► themselves in the cloud. Instead, they perform on-device matching using a database of image
01:02:32 ◼ ► hashes. So just a bunch of code, basically. Then before an image is uploaded, it's scanned against
01:02:38 ◼ ► this. So a hash is made of an image and it's scanned against this list of hashes. There's
01:02:43 ◼ ► like this whole cryptographic way of doing it. Don't worry about the details. Not important for
01:02:47 ◼ ► this conversation, I think. If a match is found, it creates something called a cryptographic safety
01:02:52 ◼ ► voucher, which is then uploaded alongside the image as it goes up to iCloud. Apple say they
01:02:58 ◼ ► cannot interpret these vouchers so they don't know that they exist unless an account, an individual
01:03:02 ◼ ► account, passes a threshold of known CSAM content. This threshold is not stated, but Apple say it's
01:03:09 ◼ ► set in such a way that there is a one in one trillion chance per year of incorrectly flagging
01:03:15 ◼ ► an account. Once the threshold is exceeded, Apple will manually review it to confirm a match is
01:03:20 ◼ ► correct and then disables the user and notifies NCMEC and therefore the US enforcement, you know,
01:03:27 ◼ ► like law enforcement. So a few details before we move on with this, which is, so first off,
01:03:36 ◼ ► it's happening on device. This is part of the confusion. It's happening on device, but only
01:03:41 ◼ ► at upload time to iCloud photos. So we're in this very weird situation where having one of these
01:03:50 ◼ ► photos on your device doesn't do anything. This is not what Apple, I would say could have built,
01:03:59 ◼ ► which is something that looks at all images on a device and does this. It isn't doing that.
01:04:06 ◼ ► It is only doing it if you're sending it to Apple's iCloud server. Before it does that,
01:04:10 ◼ ► it runs this check and it's running this check for people who are curious. The hashes all come
01:04:15 ◼ ► from NCMEC. They're the only, I believe, organization in the US that's allowed to possess
01:04:20 ◼ ► these images that are fundamentally illegal. So they can run code on them and generate these
01:04:27 ◼ ► hashes that Apple is using. The safety voucher thing is important because people are like,
01:04:32 ◼ ► "Well, what this means is that I'm going to take a picture as an adult, maybe a young adult,
01:04:39 ◼ ► and it's a nude picture and it is going to flag this and then somebody at Apple is going to look
01:04:48 ◼ ► at it." And now people at Apple, just like the Siri thing, people at Apple are literally looking at my
01:04:53 ◼ ► nude pictures. That's not what's happening for a few reasons. One is you've got to have multiple
01:05:02 ◼ ► versions. They have to match the hash, which is, my understanding is, very difficult to do
01:05:08 ◼ ► if it isn't the image. It's literally looking for that image or an image of that image,
01:05:17 ◼ ► to be the CSAM content. So first off, you've got to have a lot of these. One false positive is not
01:05:22 ◼ ► going to do it. And second, my understanding is when the threshold is passed and Apple manually
01:05:28 ◼ ► reviews it, I believe Apple is actually manually reviewing a low resolution preview image.
01:05:35 ◼ ► So it's not super clear, but it should be clear enough for them to verify that it actually matches
01:05:43 ◼ ► the image and then passes that on. So again, this is one of those cases where, not saying there
01:05:48 ◼ ► couldn't be a false positive, but Apple seems to have worked very hard to try to avoid false
01:05:53 ◼ ► positives and they're using a system that shouldn't flag anything that isn't already in the
01:05:58 ◼ ► NicMec database. So that's the idea here. I didn't know that part about the low resolution images.
01:06:02 ◼ ► Yeah. I just thought that they were reviewing the hashes. Yeah, no, I think that, no, they
01:06:07 ◼ ► look at the, they get the low res preview image is my understanding. So they, if it's something
01:06:15 ◼ ► that for some reason bizarrely comes across as a false positive and keeping in mind, it would have
01:06:20 ◼ ► to trigger lots of false positives to get to this point, which is unlikely, which is why they say
01:06:26 ◼ ► it's a trillion a year. Then they would look and presumably whoever is paid by Apple to look at
01:06:33 ◼ ► these matches would look at the low resolution preview and be like, oh, that's not this at all
01:06:37 ◼ ► and market and nothing would happen. So they're, they're trying to build a system where
01:06:42 ◼ ► essentially they're trying to build a system where you really need to upload a large number of known
01:06:53 ◼ ► how many people are they really going to catch with this feature? This is what I don't understand.
01:06:57 ◼ ► I'm so angry about this. The answer is dumb people, but there are a lot of dumb people like
01:07:01 ◼ ► criminals are dumb. There are a lot of dumb people, but yes, it is a very constrained thing. Yes.
01:07:07 ◼ ► Why, why are they doing it this way? So, okay. So what annoys me is this is happening on device,
01:07:13 ◼ ► right? So all of the identification of these horrible images are happening on device on your
01:07:21 ◼ ► iPhone or your iPad. Right? So the device knows if it's found something. Yeah. But it won't tell
01:07:29 ◼ ► Apple and therefore the authorities unless that image is uploaded to iCloud. Just by the way,
01:07:39 ◼ ► you don't do that. It just happens automatically. It's either on or off. So anybody that I'm sorry,
01:07:45 ◼ ► I'm imagining a dialogue box that comes up and says, this seems to be CSAM content. Would you
01:08:05 ◼ ► again, people are dumb and it will catch dumb people, but you're right. Like why give such
01:08:12 ◼ ► an easy out? And this is, this is the thing that I am fascinated by, which is Apple theoretically
01:08:26 ◼ ► that's displayed using standard Apple functionality that app developers can use, but certainly every
01:08:34 ◼ ► photo in your photo library. And it could, so if somebody has iCloud photo library turned off and
01:08:38 ◼ ► they import the big CSAM content database of their photos into their iPad, nothing will happen.
01:08:46 ◼ ► Apple could make it that all of those photos when they're added to the photo library are scanned.
01:08:51 ◼ ► And that even if you're not syncing to iCloud, it sends a note to Apple that basically turns you in
01:08:56 ◼ ► and says, this is bad. And this person has bad things on it. And they have chosen not to do that.
01:09:01 ◼ ► And this is a fascinating question because it shows you that Apple drew the line at this
01:09:06 ◼ ► particular point. And the question is, why did Apple draw the line at this particular point?
01:09:12 ◼ ► And there are a lot of theories out there. I was going to mention this at the end, but I'll throw
01:09:16 ◼ ► it in now. One of the thoughts is that Apple is drawing the line here because Apple really wants
01:09:22 ◼ ► to turn on iCloud backup encryption. And the problem with that is iCloud backups currently not
01:09:37 ◼ ► your device is yours, but if you back it up to iCloud, Apple and the authorities can look at the
01:09:42 ◼ ► backup. And one theory is that Apple has placed this where it is so that Apple can then encrypt
01:09:51 ◼ ► your whole photo library in the cloud, inaccessible to authorities, but still make the ability to flag
01:10:03 ◼ ► CSAM content. That's a theory. But if that theory is not right, then so be it. But I think it's
01:10:09 ◼ ► interesting to ask the question, why here? Because Apple could absolutely, and I'm sure somebody has
01:10:16 ◼ ► framed it this way, and if they won't, they will soon because this is how Apple gets covered.
01:10:20 ◼ ► I'm sure somebody will say at some point, Apple's okay with you putting CSAM content on your devices
01:10:26 ◼ ► as long as you don't put it on their servers. That is one, I think not very generous, but
01:10:33 ◼ ► statement that you could make about where they chose to nestle this in the system. You could
01:10:50 ◼ ► turn off iCloud photos and then Apple won't scan your stuff anymore. And that this is the choice
01:10:56 ◼ ► that they're giving you is you can have bad stuff on your phone, but you can't put it on our servers.
01:11:00 ◼ ► - I don't disagree with any of that. - And there are legal issues and quasi-legal issues,
01:11:10 ◼ ► right? Sometimes, and we talked about this in the context of other Apple stuff and legislation and
01:11:14 ◼ ► all that. Sometimes the move you make is because of legislation, like when GDPR happened and
01:11:18 ◼ ► everybody's like, "Oh boy, got to add a bunch of boxes that say, can I look at your cookies
01:11:22 ◼ ► and whatever." Right? But there's also the preemptive stuff, which is behind the scenes.
01:11:27 ◼ ► Is it like, you know, you can't turn this feature on because we're going to come at you with this
01:11:33 ◼ ► law or this regulation or whatever. And it sounds like there's some legislation brewing, you know,
01:11:37 ◼ ► that the EU is moving on some of this stuff and the UK may be moving on some of this stuff. And
01:11:41 ◼ ► then ultimately the US is going to be moving on some of this stuff. And that Apple felt that they
01:11:45 ◼ ► needed to build something or potentially the theory that they want to encrypt iCloud backups
01:11:50 ◼ ► more broadly because they think it's better if it's encrypted and law enforcement can't get to it.
01:11:56 ◼ ► But in order to do that, they've got to throw them a bone. And this is the bone, which is Apple
01:12:02 ◼ ► is going to scan for the bad stuff before it goes into the cloud encrypted. But it's just like,
01:12:09 ◼ ► they obviously, I don't want to make the cynical question, which is Apple's doing this to look good
01:12:20 ◼ ► because I think it's true that Apple is doing this to stop this from happening on its services. But
01:12:27 ◼ ► the way they're doing it seems to be much more about iCloud and stopping the bad stuff from
01:12:34 ◼ ► reaching Apple servers than it is about stopping the bad stuff period. And see, this is like,
01:12:40 ◼ ► I mean, we haven't even gone into the backdoor conversation really yet and we will, like,
01:12:44 ◼ ► don't worry. That's coming. We'll slide down that slippery slope. It's coming. We're at the top of
01:12:48 ◼ ► the slippery slope now. I just kind of feel like this is like wanting to have your cake and eat it
01:12:58 ◼ ► kind of. It's like, we want to make the system because it's the right thing to do. But we also
01:13:05 ◼ ► don't want to have to deal with all of it. And I don't know. This part of it to me is like,
01:13:17 ◼ ► Oh, it makes me uncomfortable too. I just, I want to delineate here that there is a very specific,
01:13:22 ◼ ► if we're going to talk, as some people have said about how, you know, potentially monstrous
01:13:27 ◼ ► something like this is to have a, like I was saying about kids stuff, have a monitor running
01:13:32 ◼ ► a machine learning based monitor, looking at all the content in your device. Two ways to look at
01:13:38 ◼ ► it. One is, is it's it's big brother, but big brother is automated. The other way to view it is
01:13:46 ◼ ► it's good because it means people aren't looking at your device. It's just software. And you could,
01:13:52 ◼ ► you can make both arguments. And if you take them down the slippery slope of time and in a,
01:13:57 ◼ ► you know, infinite timescale and all of that, they may be the same. They, you know, they may be,
01:14:02 ◼ ► it's actually worse, right? Because the machine never gets tired. The machine can look at
01:14:09 ◼ ► But it is, I think important to note what Apple has chosen to do and not do here. Cause
01:14:18 ◼ ► could Apple have built this feature and deployed it when the photo comes in instead of when the
01:14:25 ◼ ► photo gets uploaded to iCloud? And the answer is absolutely yes. And they chose not to. And
01:14:29 ◼ ► cause here's the interesting, you just said something. If you're a kid receiving an image,
01:14:36 ◼ ► they think that it's worth checking it when it comes in and alerting the parent, right?
01:14:40 ◼ ► But if it's this stuff, it's like, Oh no, we won't alert immediately. Like when it comes,
01:14:56 ◼ ► So, so get ready for the argument that I think, again, I don't know if I agree with it or not.
01:15:01 ◼ ► I might like, this is the challenge, right? Is everybody, you, and this actually came up in that
01:15:08 ◼ ► Twitter thread by Alex Stamos, which is there are so many people who want to do hot takes and the
01:15:13 ◼ ► two big hot takes are, yay, Apple is stopping CSAM and protecting kids. And boo, Apple is creating
01:15:23 ◼ ► surveillance devices that will ultimately watch everything you do on your phone and can be misused
01:15:27 ◼ ► by bad guys and authoritarian governments or whatever, right? Those are the two hot takes.
01:15:32 ◼ ► But the truth is that it's harder than that because both of those things are potentially true,
01:15:37 ◼ ► right? Like, and so when somebody comes out and says, Apple is okay with CSAM, as long as you
01:15:44 ◼ ► don't put it on their servers, that is, that is true. That is a choice that they made. And are
01:15:48 ◼ ► they really okay with it? No, but I suspect that Apple is trying to adhere to the letter of the law
01:15:56 ◼ ► or threats from law enforcement about it going to their servers. And that's why they built this
01:16:03 ◼ ► feature while not putting it everywhere on your phone because they're worried about the other
01:16:08 ◼ ► argument, which is you're now spying on everything I do on my phone. So they've tried to square the
01:16:13 ◼ ► circle here. They've done the King Solomon thing, right? It's like, we're going to go right in the
01:16:21 ◼ ► middle and nobody's going to be happy, right? Because we're not catching everything, but we're
01:16:24 ◼ ► also not- - The other thing is, like, my phone is spying on everything I do, whoever it tells
01:16:30 ◼ ► anyone on the line. - It's true. It's true. Right. So Apple has to, and this is why platform owners
01:16:36 ◼ ► in general, whether you're an OS vendor or whether you're a social media vendor or a cloud storage or
01:16:41 ◼ ► whatever it is, this is the line they have to walk, which is, you know, you build features and
01:16:49 ◼ ► they are helpful to people, but they also increase your data profile and can be misused. This is the
01:16:55 ◼ ► story of the 21st century tech, right? And so you got to make your choices about where you're going
01:17:03 ◼ ► to draw the line. And this is a very clear, I think, example of Apple making this choice,
01:17:09 ◼ ► which is, okay, we're going to draw the line at putting it on iCloud. And again, they could draw
01:17:17 ◼ ► the line, they could not do the feature or they could draw the line much earlier in the process.
01:17:21 ◼ ► And neither of those things are things that they did. But why? I don't know. I mean, my guess is
01:17:26 ◼ ► external pressure is why, but they haven't said that, right? Because it's PR. Instead, it's like,
01:17:32 ◼ ► yay, we did this. And Nicmec came out with a statement that was like, yay, Apple did this.
01:17:36 ◼ ► And then predictably, EFF came out, the Electronic Frontier Foundation came out with a,
01:17:41 ◼ ► boo, this is big brother. And like, you could have predicted it all. Like, it's very obviously
01:17:46 ◼ ► what's going on here, but it's more complicated than they're saying. - Before we get into the
01:17:52 ◼ ► backdoor discussion, let me read a few segments from an FAQ that Apple published, I think,
01:17:59 ◼ ► yesterday on Sunday. You know, it's been a few days for this stuff to continue to spiral out of
01:18:04 ◼ ► control. And so they've published a document where they're attempting to try and calm people down.
01:18:09 ◼ ► And there were three points that I wanted to read a little bit from just to help frame some of this
01:18:14 ◼ ► discussion we've had and we're about to have. Question, can the CSAM detection system in
01:18:19 ◼ ► iCloud Photos be used to detect things other than CSAM? Apple says, our process is designed
01:18:25 ◼ ► to prevent that from happening. CSAM detection for iCloud Photos is built so that the system only
01:18:30 ◼ ► works with CSAM image hashes provided by Nicmec and other child safety organizations. There is
01:18:35 ◼ ► no automated reporting to law enforcement and Apple conducts human review before making a
01:18:39 ◼ ► report to Nicmec. As a result, the system is only designed to report photos that are known CSAM in
01:18:45 ◼ ► iCloud Photos. - Right, so, and again, just to be clear here, this is not machine learning detecting
01:18:52 ◼ ► CSAM content. This is comparing, they have a, or Nicmec has a giant database. - A library, kind of.
01:19:01 ◼ ► - That they have taken from offenders who build these libraries of this content. And all this
01:19:07 ◼ ► feature is doing is matching that database. So it's not, it's only gonna match if it sees something
01:19:14 ◼ ► that looks like something that was in that database. It's not saying I'm looking for body
01:19:18 ◼ ► parts, I'm looking for whatever it is. It's not doing that. It's I'm trying to match the known
01:19:24 ◼ ► illegal CSAM content. - Question, could governments force Apple to add non-CSAM images to the hash
01:19:32 ◼ ► list? Apple will refuse any such demands. We have faced demands to build and deploy government
01:19:38 ◼ ► mandated changes that degrade the privacy of users before and have steadfastly refused those demands.
01:19:45 ◼ ► I will come back to this point in a minute. We will continue to refuse them in the future.
01:19:50 ◼ ► Let us be clear, this technology is limited to detecting CSAM stored in iCloud and we will not
01:19:56 ◼ ► accede to any government's request to expand it. This one is like, let's come back to it.
01:20:04 ◼ ► Right, we'll come back to it because I have so many problems with that statement. - So many
01:20:08 ◼ ► thoughts. - Question, can non-CSAM images be injected into the system to flag accounts for
01:20:16 ◼ ► things other than CSAM? Our process is designed to prevent that from happening. The set of image
01:20:21 ◼ ► hashes used for matching are from known existing images of CSAM that have been made available to
01:20:28 ◼ ► child safety organizations by law enforcement. Apple does not add to the set of known CSAM image
01:20:40 ◼ ► we're just all going to accept that the US government is given the correct list of stuff,
01:20:47 ◼ ► right? Because we're all just assuming. Because everybody points and says China, right? Or
01:20:55 ◼ ► whatever, insert your country here. And a lot of this is just the assumption that what comes from
01:21:04 ◼ ► NicMec is 100% on the up and up. We don't know that, nobody knows that except the people putting
01:21:12 ◼ ► the images into the lists, right? Like I don't think it's fair to say that the US government or
01:21:20 ◼ ► any government in the world can be 100% trusted and that for some reason, just because Apple's
01:21:32 ◼ ► think it's as simple to say as that. - It may be that NicMec has a system, I don't know anything
01:21:37 ◼ ► about this organization. It may be that this has a system that has oversight and that is part of
01:21:47 ◼ ► before we even get to authoritarian States, let's just say there's a terrorist attack on the US.
01:21:55 ◼ ► And they think that there's evidence, basically they want to take a bunch of known circulating
01:22:11 ◼ ► And they want to insert those hashes in the NicMec database, right? - The Patriot Act did a bunch of
01:22:16 ◼ ► really terrible stuff. - Yeah, so that's the argument for any country, but you could even
01:22:22 ◼ ► say it in the US is, Apple doesn't see anything except the hashes. So the question would be,
01:22:28 ◼ ► would, and honestly, I think this is a larger issue as well, which is stopping the abuse of
01:22:43 ◼ ► That although the CIA and the NSA or whoever might want to, or any FBI, whatever, might want to
01:22:52 ◼ ► insert hashes of known terrorism images into the CSAM or the database that's kept by NicMec
01:23:02 ◼ ► specifically to run an operation that will find those terrorists who are using iPhones.
01:23:06 ◼ ► Right, okay, all right. The risk is that the story is going to come out that the government
01:23:13 ◼ ► exploited the efforts of people who are trying to stop child exploitation for their own uses,
01:23:24 ◼ ► but terrorists though. - Well, yeah, and this is what I was going to say about other authoritarian
01:23:35 ◼ ► Which is like, I love that they said it, good for them. - Thanks. - But it doesn't really take
01:23:54 ◼ ► they need to be processed in China, your people who look at the positives that come out have to
01:24:00 ◼ ► be in China. The counter argument right now is that China, your iCloud backup is not encrypted
01:24:06 ◼ ► and it's on a server that's run by a company that's basically run by the Chinese government,
01:24:09 ◼ ► so they can look at your photos anyway. And maybe they're scanning them, who knows? But let's just
01:24:14 ◼ ► force, we'll use China as a proxy, it could be somebody else, it could be Kazakhstan. - China's
01:24:19 ◼ ► a good one because of that exact thing that you just said, right? That what Apple considered to
01:24:23 ◼ ► be so incredibly important that it's all encrypted and blah, blah, blah, like the iCloud backups,
01:24:28 ◼ ► they just allowed for China to say where those are stored. And it's the only country in the world
01:24:35 ◼ ► where Apple is not storing the iCloud backups on their own servers that they control. - Exactly.
01:24:40 ◼ ► And I would assume that if Apple does ultimately turn on encrypted iCloud backups, it probably
01:24:46 ◼ ► won't be turned on in China, that's my guess. So anyway, my point here is- - Yeah, and that won't
01:24:50 ◼ ► be by their decision, right? - Right. An authoritarian government, China, somebody else,
01:24:56 ◼ ► whatever, could say, "Okay, well, we're gonna do this and we're gonna provide you with a list of
01:25:00 ◼ ► hashes." But the list of hashes is not actually, even if they say it is, it's not actually just
01:25:05 ◼ ► child abuse imagery, it's not just CSAM, it's known images circulating in questionable political
01:25:16 ◼ ► groups and it flags them. That's the argument here. So let's say that China, for example,
01:25:21 ◼ ► comes to Apple and says, "We're gonna do this." Apple at that point either says Apple abides by
01:25:31 ◼ ► It's what they said when they added the, "Would you like to add these Russian apps to your phone
01:25:35 ◼ ► at startup in Russia?" It's what they say about China. It's like, "We follow the rules of the
01:25:40 ◼ ► local countries." Apple will refuse any such demands. And this gets back to my prior point,
01:25:51 ◼ ► if China wanted to use this feature for something other than child abuse, the story would be
01:25:59 ◼ ► China subverts attempts to stop child abuse in order to do whatever it wants to do, stop other
01:26:07 ◼ ► unrest in China. Is that enough? I don't think it is. I don't think the Chinese government would
01:26:13 ◼ ► necessarily care, but that's kind of it. If the Chinese government wants to put Apple on the spot,
01:26:20 ◼ ► Apple will either need to agree or Apple will need to basically pull the iPhone out of China and
01:26:24 ◼ ► lose a huge amount of money. Now, I think when we talk about Apple in China, and this is a whole
01:26:28 ◼ ► other big topic, but I think when we talk about Apple in China, what we often do is give China too
01:26:35 ◼ ► much power and Apple not enough. The truth is Apple being in China is really good for China,
01:26:40 ◼ ► too. It is a point of pride. The people in China love Apple's products. It's a point of
01:26:52 ◼ ► China doesn't want Apple out of the country, but this would be Apple will refuse any such demands.
01:26:58 ◼ ► It's like they're laying it down there, but what if those demands happen? What if it happens and
01:27:03 ◼ ► you have to abandon a market, China, Russia, wherever, you have to abandon a market because
01:27:08 ◼ ► the local regime says, "We got a hash of images for you and we want you to scan for it."
01:27:24 ◼ ► -Like, yes, they need each other, but China will get on just fine without Apple. They just will.
01:27:35 ◼ ► but they could really hurt for a while if they can't, you know, be participating in China Smart.
01:27:43 ◼ ► -Yeah, it'll be tough. So this is why the bluster here is fascinating to me. Apple will refuse any
01:27:48 ◼ ► such demands. They're basically saying, "Go ahead and call our bluff. Go ahead and take this feature
01:27:54 ◼ ► that's about protecting children and turn it into a tool for an authoritarian state to analyze its
01:28:00 ◼ ► citizens. Go ahead and try us." The problem is I can think of one country that could go ahead and
01:28:06 ◼ ► try them, and it would be very difficult for them to refuse that demand. -I think the thing that
01:28:11 ◼ ► frustrates me quite a bit, like, and again, like, I'm just looking at this from my, like, common
01:28:17 ◼ ► sense look at everything that's being said and being written about. The Apple say, like, the
01:28:22 ◼ ► only thing this technology can be used for is CSAM detection. -That's not true. -But that's a lie,
01:28:28 ◼ ► right? Because all it's doing is like looking at the hashes. -Yes. -But you can hash anything.
01:28:36 ◼ ► -Exactly. -And I think I do not find it acceptable to say this. -Their hedge against it is the human
01:28:42 ◼ ► review, right? But again, if the human review is in a place or for, you know, is subverted itself
01:28:48 ◼ ► in any way, then you're done, right? The technology can be used for whatever. It is built to only be
01:28:54 ◼ ► used for this. But I think that's absolutely right. Now, what this does, because it's about hashes,
01:28:59 ◼ ► it's not gonna, like, use an ML model to find, you know, people who are speaking out against the
01:29:05 ◼ ► government. But if you've got a bunch of photos that are circulating in your, you know, subversive
01:29:14 ◼ ► circles in your country, you put those in, right? You put those in the memes and, like, the example
01:29:28 ◼ ► stuff like that, right, in China. They put that stuff in there, and they're gonna, and basically,
01:29:33 ◼ ► the idea would be, we can find people who are not thinking properly about the regime, and we
01:29:39 ◼ ► can capture them and do something to them. And, like, this technology could do that if it was used
01:29:46 ◼ ► in that way. And what Apple's really saying is, by policy, we are not going to use it that way,
01:29:52 ◼ ► which is not the same as it can't be used that way. - And that's exactly what it is, right?
01:29:57 ◼ ► This isn't a technological enforcement. It's a policy enforcement. And I don't think, personally,
01:30:05 ◼ ► that's good enough. And this is where I struggle so much on this. I cannot tell you how much I want
01:30:14 ◼ ► the people that circulate this kind of imagery to be removed from society and given the help that
01:30:20 ◼ ► they need, right? And I know that maybe some people would find that even, like, that second part of
01:30:27 ◼ ► what I said to be weird, but I feel like you've gotta do both parts of this, I think, 'cause,
01:30:33 ◼ ► I don't know, it's tricky, right? - Well, this is the, again, I'm gonna bring us back to the
01:30:40 ◼ ► spectrum, right, which is catching bad people and tools to spy on a mass population by,
01:30:54 ◼ ► by anyone, by any government, for any reason. And those are, they seem like polar opposites,
01:31:04 ◼ ► but the polls wrap around. 'Cause essentially what you're doing is saying, "Society has deemed this
01:31:10 ◼ ► kind of material bad, and we wanna look at what people have on their devices and find them if
01:31:18 ◼ ► they're uploading this stuff and stop the bad people." And, like, it's all, and then it's all
01:31:28 ◼ ► about how it's used, which is why all the slippery slope arguments exist, right? This is the Edward
01:31:32 ◼ ► Snowden, you know, statement that he made, which was, "No matter how well intentioned," and I think
01:31:37 ◼ ► that's right, 'cause I think it is well-intentioned, "Apple is rolling out mass surveillance."
01:31:41 ◼ ► And it's like, okay, it's a little overheated 'cause of the way it's done with the hashes,
01:31:55 ◼ ► and you built it for good. It can be used for evil. I will go back to why they built it where
01:32:01 ◼ ► they did. I feel like this is Apple's compromise. Apple's compromise is, "Don't use iCloud, and we
01:32:11 ◼ ► won't spy on you." That's the compromise at this point. Now, you could argue, like, "Well, what
01:32:16 ◼ ► will happen if a government said, 'We want you to scan everything that goes in your device.'" And I
01:32:20 ◼ ► do actually think that Apple would walk away at that point. I do think that there are limits to
01:32:24 ◼ ► what somebody, even China, that has the most leverage over Apple, I do think that there are
01:32:28 ◼ ► limits to what even China could make Apple do with its products. But that's why I think they
01:32:35 ◼ ► positioned it where they have, is if it does ultimately get subverted, there's still an out,
01:32:56 ◼ ► it's the struggle maybe even of our era between authoritarianism and people who want freedom from
01:33:02 ◼ ► big groups, is this, which is, we can stop crime and make everybody happier by having a panopticon,
01:33:16 ◼ ► having everybody, everything that everybody does is watched. And don't worry, it won't be people.
01:33:21 ◼ ► I just read a book about this, actually, a novel that I don't recommend to anybody because it's
01:33:26 ◼ ► very long and very dense, but I loved it, called, I'll mention it if you want to inflict it on
01:33:32 ◼ ► yourself. It's Nomon by Nick Harkaway. It's 700 pages and super dense and I loved it. But
01:33:44 ◼ ► is about the UK in the future being a machine learning police state. And the idea is there's
01:33:51 ◼ ► no longer people watching you, but the machine is watching everyone everywhere. And isn't it great?
01:34:00 ◼ ► Everybody's happier. The machine can stop crime and the machine can give you advice about how
01:34:05 ◼ ► to be happier and all of that. Well, yes, but also if that machine, that machine can, whatever
01:34:11 ◼ ► that machine has decided is bad, can't happen anymore. That's the ultimate slippery slope
01:34:18 ◼ ► argument here and I see it. And it's a tough one because the more freedom you give, it's like Apple
01:34:26 ◼ ► with the FBI. Like the more freedom you give, law enforcement's like, but no, we want to see
01:34:31 ◼ ► because we need to find the bad people. And the counter argument is, yeah, you say you want to
01:34:35 ◼ ► find the bad people, but who's going to stop you from finding other people? And maybe these people
01:34:40 ◼ ► aren't bad. Maybe you have a new set of bad people who aren't bad, but you want to find them anyway,
01:34:45 ◼ ► for your reasons. Like that's, this is the struggle I think of our era, both politically
01:34:58 ◼ ► to exist in the world. I don't want it to remain unchecked. See, Sam, right? You don't want to,
01:35:05 ◼ ► like the idea, the idea that these devices are being used as a safe harbor for this kind of
01:35:11 ◼ ► material. Yeah. I don't want that, right? No, who, you know, nobody does. That's the risk. Nobody does.
01:35:19 ◼ ► But I think it's really tricky to balance this against the potential of the security of every
01:35:27 ◼ ► single iPhone user on the planet. Because like, this is a slippery slope. Like this is just
01:35:36 ◼ ► a start. Like why would this be the only thing? Why would this be the only thing that is imaginable?
01:35:46 ◼ ► My understanding, by the way, another thing that I've seen in these stories is there's actually
01:35:51 ◼ ► kind of an understanding that lots of other cloud photo and storage services, they're already doing
01:35:58 ◼ ► this. They're already scanning. Apparently Apple was already doing it, right? Like there was a
01:36:02 ◼ ► report that somebody at Apple said this uploaded images. So the idea here is that if you encrypt it,
01:36:07 ◼ ► then you need to scan them before you do it. But like, this is not a new thing. And Apple is the
01:36:11 ◼ ► first crack and the dam is going to burst. This has been going on, right? Um, it's not, it's not new.
01:36:17 ◼ ► This stuff, this, this stuff has been scanned, but I think the, the people at places like Nick Mac,
01:36:22 ◼ ► what would they would say is that they're trying to eliminate more safe harbors for this stuff.
01:36:28 ◼ ► And, and that this is a place where stuff is getting stored to which I would counter. Yeah,
01:36:33 ◼ ► but are they really uploading it to iCloud? Yeah. But like Apple's created a safe harbor.
01:36:37 ◼ ► It's called your device, right? Like you can keep it on your device and no one will ever know about
01:36:43 ◼ ► it. But like, my point is like, this is the first time this has happened. I could imagine
01:36:48 ◼ ► a couple of years ago, uh, us saying an Apple saying we would never do something like this.
01:36:59 ◼ ► San Bernardino thing. I feel like Apple of them would never have created a backdoor into
01:37:24 ◼ ► look in the end, we don't know why Apple's doing this. Although we have lots of suggestions that
01:37:31 ◼ ► threat that the idea, they either want to do something that they can't do until they build
01:37:35 ◼ ► this or they know that they're going to be required to build this or something like it.
01:37:39 ◼ ► And they want to build it. I would argue, my guess is build it preemptively. What Apple considers the
01:37:44 ◼ ► right way instead of being told to build it away that they're not comfortable with. That seems like
01:37:48 ◼ ► a very Apple thing to do, which is like, we're going to mandate that you do it this way. And
01:37:51 ◼ ► Apple's responses, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, let's let us come up with a better way of doing
01:37:56 ◼ ► what you want that we feel keeps things private. And whoever is behind this is like, okay, you know,
01:38:02 ◼ ► all right, that's fine. So like they're doing it their way. Um, but the problem that we always get
01:38:10 ◼ ► back to, and I think this is fundamentally, and there's no answer to this is Apple has built a
01:38:14 ◼ ► tool that is being used for good, but tools can be misused. That's it. This is coming off that,
01:38:22 ◼ ► what is it? Pega sus, pekatron Pegasus, right? When I'm being serious, is it Pegasus? That spying
01:38:30 ◼ ► software thing? Uh, Pegasus anyway, uh, it's Pegasus. Yeah. Pegatron is a different thing,
01:38:41 ◼ ► right? Is it a Taiwanese manufacturer? Like, like, uh, like, uh, the what's the one that
01:38:46 ◼ ► Apple uses Foxconn anyway, Pegasus. Yes. Wasn't it expected that it was completely impossible
01:38:54 ◼ ► for anyone to do that to an iPhone. Yeah. It comes back to my, like this thing that I have,
01:39:03 ◼ ► a human can break it. It's as simple as that. Right. There are always holes in these systems
01:39:10 ◼ ► and that's just like another part of it that makes me uncomfortable. There's now this thing
01:39:13 ◼ ► that can look at every photo. Now you can tell me what you, what Apple wants to put into it.
01:39:19 ◼ ► Fine. But there's a thing that can look at every photo and it can assess them and it can put a
01:39:24 ◼ ► little cryptographic signature on it. Here's another way where again, I think all these
01:39:29 ◼ ► arguments are valid and, and we need to consider all of them, but I will throw this out there,
01:39:40 ◼ ► Yeah. Yeah. Right. Better to say than not to say. Right. Because here's, here's the thing.
01:39:44 ◼ ► There's a lot of surveillance going on already in a lot of different ways. And a lot of companies are,
01:39:51 ◼ ► are, are, uh, complying to do it. So on one level, it's kind of refreshing that Apple's like,
01:39:59 ◼ ► this is what we're doing. I wish they would have done it differently though. Right. Like
01:40:03 ◼ ► we said it already, like they really bongled this one. They should have done these two things
01:40:07 ◼ ► separately. It would have made it a lot easier. Well, whenever you have to post an FAQ days after
01:40:12 ◼ ► you made your announcement, because there's been a whole, like you blew it. Like, yeah,
01:40:20 ◼ ► that Nick Mac put out this press release, that's just like this incredible, like patting itself
01:40:24 ◼ ► on the back and saying like, you know, people who don't like this or are just furthering crime. And
01:40:29 ◼ ► it's like, Oh boy, uh, who are these people? But like, yeah, the rollout was bad. It was used too.
01:40:40 ◼ ► yeah. Well, in modern times, if you have had to create an FAQ because Qs have been F'd,
01:40:54 ◼ ► you anticipate the questions. No, that's, that's, that's, this is, we've learned a new,
01:41:08 ◼ ► cause they just frequently anticipate the questions. To the Q. But the other thing that
01:41:16 ◼ ► has really made me uncomfortable in the last few days is realizing how much power these technology
01:41:21 ◼ ► companies have in our lives now that they are actually law enforcement. They're not just
01:41:25 ◼ ► computer manufacturers anymore. Apple is attempting to enforce law, right. That they are doing this,
01:41:32 ◼ ► whether, and this is the way that Apple has decided to enforce the law. They have not been told they
01:41:38 ◼ ► have to do it this way. They've been told they've had to do something. Apple's interpretation is we
01:41:42 ◼ ► will enforce laws this way. And it's like, Oh my God, thank you police. Like it's like, Oh,
01:41:49 ◼ ► all right. Like all of the technology companies are enforcing laws in the ways that they want
01:41:54 ◼ ► to enforce them and then pass that information over to law enforcement. This is the truth is,
01:41:58 ◼ ► this is a consequence of the fact that our law enforcement system is based on the real world
01:42:05 ◼ ► and they patrol our streets and they visit our houses and they go knock on the front door and
01:42:14 ◼ ► they do whatever they, or they knock it down. All of those things, right? The problem is,
01:42:18 ◼ ► is that so much of life now, maybe even most, but certainly a lot of life now is in servers in the
01:42:28 ◼ ► and devices on, you know, on the internet and in our devices. And the problem is that our policing
01:42:34 ◼ ► isn't made for that. Our laws aren't made for that. This is something we talked about with the FBI
01:42:38 ◼ ► stuff with the San Bernardino shootings, right? Like we, and if you, if you followed any of the
01:42:46 ◼ ► gamer gate stuff, like people would make reports to police and the police are like, I don't know,
01:42:53 ◼ ► it's the internet. We're not, we don't, we don't police the internet here. And it's like, I know,
01:42:58 ◼ ► yeah, I know you don't. But, but that's the problem is, is nobody does and somebody needs to.
01:43:04 ◼ ► And, and you probably should be the ones to do it because you're law enforcement, but you're not.
01:43:14 ◼ ► the owner quote unquote of, you know, to a certain degree, anyway, builder slash owner,
01:43:20 ◼ ► depending on where you are in the chain is a tech company. And so we're put in this position where
01:43:25 ◼ ► it's like, okay, you said that, that Apple is now law enforcement. It's like sort of, or you could
01:43:31 ◼ ► say they're the owner of a large amount of real estate that law enforcement has decided they're
01:43:36 ◼ ► that, you know, they need to patrol and Apple can't refuse them because, and they may not have
01:43:43 ◼ ► wanted to be that, but that's what they are. And that goes for all of that goes for Apple and
01:43:47 ◼ ► Google and Facebook and everybody else. Like they don't want to be, well, I should say they don't
01:43:54 ◼ ► want the responsibility of being the owners and operators of a huge portion of the territory of
01:44:02 ◼ ► our lives, but they've, but they've made a lot of money from being that. And this is the other part
01:44:07 ◼ ► of it is that they actually do have to have the responsibility for this stuff. And the law
01:44:11 ◼ ► enforcement agencies are going to come to them and these thorny problems are going to happen and
01:44:16 ◼ ► they can't run away from it. So this is an interesting example, whatever you think of it,
01:44:20 ◼ ► of Apple trying to find a way through that is not so bad. But I think we hear a lot from the,
01:44:30 ◼ ► because this is kind of a win for law enforcement. We are hearing a lot from people like Edward
01:44:34 ◼ ► Snowden and the EFF. Again, watch for it. Somebody is going to say that this is a victory for people
01:44:41 ◼ ► who use CSAM because Apple's not scanning everything on your device and there's an easy way
01:44:45 ◼ ► to turn it off. That will also be an argument. And we may in the tech side, we're not hearing
01:44:49 ◼ ► that argument, but mark my words, that is going to be an argument that this doesn't go far enough.
01:44:54 ◼ ► And that all that argument will always be there, which is why there's always the potential for
01:44:59 ◼ ► tools like this to be used in ways in which they weren't intended. This episode of upgrade is
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01:47:29 ◼ ► Let's do a palate cleanser of a few #askupgrade questions before we round out today's episode.
01:47:35 ◼ ► The first comes from JD who asks, "What feature of Monterey do you think that you'll be using the most
01:47:46 ◼ ► I've not used Monterey yet. My beta experience is still maintained just to my iPads. I've not yet
01:47:51 ◼ ► put it on my phone yet. The reason I haven't put my, the reason I haven't put iOS 15 on my iPhone
01:47:58 ◼ ► is if Apple continue to change Safari and I never have to have dealt with the problems that people
01:48:03 ◼ ► like Federico are going through in trying to use Safari, then that'll be great for me. I will have
01:48:08 ◼ ► never had to endure what is happening with Safari on iOS. However, I know that already on my iPad,
01:48:16 ◼ ► I love tab groups. I think it's a great feature. I have it set up really well. I like using it.
01:48:22 ◼ ► And I feel like with Monterey is going to be just as useful as it is on my iPad. So that is a
01:48:29 ◼ ► feature that I know I am going to really appreciate and enjoy from Monterey. Shortcuts. Shortcuts.
01:48:36 ◼ ► Oh, I forgot about shortcuts. I forgot about shortcuts. Yes, shortcuts too. I'm going to use
01:48:41 ◼ ► that all the time. I can't wait. I was talking with a developer friend of mine who makes a really
01:48:46 ◼ ► great app that I use and love very much. And he was saying that he wanted to put shortcuts into
01:48:51 ◼ ► the app and because it was a capitalist app, it's already done. So he's very excited about that.
01:48:57 ◼ ► And that wasn't James Thompson? It wasn't James Thompson. No. You would have mentioned it if it
01:49:01 ◼ ► was, I assume, because he's a friend of the show and listener to the show. Yeah. And I spill all
01:49:04 ◼ ► of James' secrets. You know, that's true. James is doing some really interesting stuff right now
01:49:11 ◼ ► that I'm very excited about, which would appear to be multiplayer and dice by Peacock. Yes. Yeah.
01:49:18 ◼ ► That's really, we, I talked to him about that a long time ago and he was like, that, that is very
01:49:23 ◼ ► hard. I don't think I'm ever going to do that. And then all of a sudden he tweets a thing, which is
01:49:26 ◼ ► like, oh, look, I'm using Game Center to have a shared table where people can roll dice. I'm like,
01:49:31 ◼ ► oh my God, there it is. Plus he's doing, he's built all that AR stuff. So you can roll dice on
01:49:37 ◼ ► like a real table. I did that and it'll even fall off the table. The dice will like real dice.
01:49:42 ◼ ► They'll fall off the table. That is so impressive by the way. It's amazing. If you haven't checked
01:49:46 ◼ ► that out, the AR mode in Dice by Peacock, I think it's still in beta. Like it's, it's in the app,
01:49:51 ◼ ► but it's, you know, James is still working on it. If you have a LIDAR sensor on a device,
01:49:57 ◼ ► it's really incredible that you can, you can, and so there's a few things I like about it. One,
01:50:02 ◼ ► you can have like the dice tray on the, on a table, throw the dice, the dice can jump out the
01:50:07 ◼ ► dice tray. That's a setting that you can turn on and it will fall off the table. And then also if
01:50:11 ◼ ► you throw a lot of dice down and you bring your iPhone down to the AR, you can push the dice
01:50:15 ◼ ► around with your phone. It's bananas. It's so good. I love it. Check out Dice by Peacock.
01:50:26 ◼ ► No, but maybe. It wasn't, but probably also applies. Matt wants to know, would you want
01:50:33 ◼ ► Apple to make a multi-socket mains adapter? This is, there is a huge third party market for this,
01:50:44 ◼ ► I don't know. I don't know where Matt's from, this person. I don't know. And I don't think I
01:50:48 ◼ ► would call it mains. Mains is not a word that yeah, I would ever use. Power adapter. Sorry.
01:50:54 ◼ ► I know that it's impossible for Americans to understand what I'm saying. So I will say power
01:50:59 ◼ ► adapter instead. Thank you. There is a huge third party market for this, but you would have thought
01:51:04 ◼ ► Apple would maybe want a slice of the pie. You got a Mac book, iPad, iPhone, AirPods, Apple watch,
01:51:09 ◼ ► probably going to need to plug at least a couple of them in to power. To power, to the mains.
01:51:14 ◼ ► Maybe Matt's on a ship or something. Like you have to tap into the mains and hoist the mains sail,
01:51:23 ◼ ► which is an electrical sail, I believe that's how that works. I'm going to let you get this out of
01:51:27 ◼ ► your system and then eventually we'll get to answer the question. I just bought another one of these
01:51:32 ◼ ► Belkin, I think it's Belkin adapters where it's a big brick with a bunch of ports on it.
01:51:38 ◼ ► I think the reason Apple wouldn't make it is because they, I'm not sure they could add a
01:51:45 ◼ ► lot of value and because they're kind of inelegant because it's just a whole bunch of cords coming
01:51:49 ◼ ► off of them and they prefer these sort of like slightly more elegant flat things. Although they
01:51:54 ◼ ► did make that weird, you know, inelegant charger thing. But I don't know. What I wanted, I'm
01:52:02 ◼ ► surprised they haven't made it just because those things seem to sell pretty well and they could
01:52:06 ◼ ► make one that was, you know, priced much higher than the others and sell it in the Apple store
01:52:09 ◼ ► and then I probably wouldn't buy it because there were cheaper ones. I don't know. I think it might
01:52:16 ◼ ► come down to that Apple's got other fish to fry and that this, they can't see how this is going
01:52:21 ◼ ► to be better than just letting the Belkins of the world make these things. I just bought a great
01:52:26 ◼ ► product that I'm very happy about for this kind of purpose. It's made by Anker and it's one of those
01:52:32 ◼ ► GaN charges. So they're like way more powerful and small. And Apple isn't using this technology yet.
01:52:39 ◼ ► I think that they may wait until they can do this kind of thing where you can have much more powerful
01:52:43 ◼ ► charges in a smaller form factor. I have a couple of those things that look like the little square
01:52:48 ◼ ► chargers that they do for the iPhone in the US but it's USB-C and it's got way more power. And the
01:52:55 ◼ ► reason I bought this is because I wanted one thing that I could charge an iPhone, an Apple Watch,
01:53:03 ◼ ► and an iPad Pro from. And you can do that with these things. So I mean, I don't know if they
01:53:08 ◼ ► would do this but I am at least looking forward to the day when Apple goes gets on the GaN train.
01:53:13 ◼ ► Not that they would ever include that in the box, you know, because they don't do that anymore.
01:53:17 ◼ ► Right. But like the super awesome charging thingy. Yeah. I mean, don't get me wrong. I've got one
01:53:24 ◼ ► that goes into the wall that is like not on a plug but the whole brick just goes into the wall.
01:53:29 ◼ ► That's got a USB-C and a one USB-A I want to say. But like that I could see Apple making a product
01:53:38 ◼ ► like that that sort of like charge all your things at once. But again, can they really add value?
01:53:43 ◼ ► I'm not sure they can. Maybe one of the reasons they stopped putting the charges in the box is so
01:53:47 ◼ ► they could move to the technology. Maybe. Maybe. Amalie's asks, can I get an official ruling on
01:53:52 ◼ ► wearing my Summer of Fun merchandise in the fall? It started to arrive. I've been very happy to see
01:53:57 ◼ ► Upgradient's taking pictures and sending them to us. Yes. Tank tops are out there now. Very good.
01:54:03 ◼ ► I mean, what I'll say is, summer goes on longer than you'd think, right? In the Northern Hemisphere
01:54:10 ◼ ► it goes on until the middle of September, toward the end of September. So there's more time out
01:54:14 ◼ ► there. And I would say really, if the Summer of Fun keeps you warm in the fall and the winter,
01:54:21 ◼ ► then, you know, Summer of Fun lives on in your heart. Summer of Fun's a state of mind, man.
01:54:26 ◼ ► Yeah, that's right. Also, it's very hot here in October and I will consider it the Summer of Fun
01:54:33 ◼ ► even then. So there. Thank you so much to everybody who sent in a #AskUpgrade question. If you would
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01:55:26 ◼ ► If you want to find Jason online, you can go to SixColors.com. You can also find Jason, he's @JasonL
01:55:32 ◼ ► on Twitter, J-S-N-E-L-L-L. I am @imike, I-M-Y-K-E and Jason and I host many shows here on Relay FM
01:55:40 ◼ ► as well if you're looking for something to listen to. If you made it through this entire episode,
01:55:45 ◼ ► thank you so much for listening. I know it was a difficult one. Fun will hopefully resume next week