00:00:08 ◼ ► For Relay FM, this is Upgrade, episode 273. Today's show is brought to you by PDF Pen from Smile, Linode, Moo and Freshbooks. My name is Myke Hurley. I am joined by Jason Snell. Hello, Jason Snell.
00:00:23 ◼ ► Hello, Myke Hurley. How are you? I am fine and dandy, my friend. Big show today. Lots of stuff going on. Huge. Giant.
00:00:28 ◼ ► Massive. But we start off with a #snowtalk question from our listener, Upgrading Troy, who says,
00:00:36 ◼ ► "Do you gentlemen, or Jason, I guess we'll start with Jason, do you, Jason, put your AirPods in at the same time or one at a time?"
00:00:45 ◼ ► Is this a trick question? I saw this question and I was like, there's obviously only one way.
00:00:51 ◼ ► But then the more I thought about it, I was like, well, I guess there are both ways. But to me, there is only one way.
00:00:57 ◼ ► I am assuming that you are like me. So I think that the concept here that Troy's talking about, about putting them in simultaneously,
00:01:05 ◼ ► is you would extract both from the case, put the case down, and then you do a kind of like, I don't know,
00:01:10 ◼ ► Mission Impossible kind of thing of like, synchronize, you know, and then they go in. That is not what I do.
00:01:17 ◼ ► I open the, I pick up the case, I flip it open, I'm holding it in my left hand, I take my right hand and I pull out the right earbud
00:01:26 ◼ ► and stick it in my ear. Then my right hand takes the case, pulls out the left earbud, sticks it in my left ear.
00:01:35 ◼ ► That's how it works. I hope that was exciting. I will, I don't know which pant leg I put on first,
00:01:46 ◼ ► Yeah, I'm with you. I think I'm left and then right, but like one at a time. But I see how you could do two, like at the same time.
00:01:54 ◼ ► I'm assuming that Troy does both, which is why Troy would even fathom to ask this question.
00:01:59 ◼ ► He's Tom Cruise, he's Ethan Hunt, he's James Bond, he's doing both at once and he's like super cool about it,
00:02:12 ◼ ► If you would like to send in a #SnailTalk question to open the show, just send out a tweet with the hashtag SnailTalk
00:02:18 ◼ ► and it may be considered for future openings. Thanks so much to Troy for sending that in.
00:02:23 ◼ ► We have some follow out mostly today. Jason has some grievances and would like to air them. So Jason, over to you.
00:02:32 ◼ ► I've been listening to podcasts this last week and I realized that we're missing out. Yeah, technology podcasts,
00:02:37 ◼ ► you might be familiar with them and I've been realizing we're missing out. I mean, also broadly, I've got lots of ideas, Myke,
00:02:42 ◼ ► we should talk about it sometime, other ways that we can like improve the show by adapting things that work for other podcasts more generally.
00:02:49 ◼ ► But I'm going to leave that there for now and instead I'm going to focus on... I can't tell if you are burning or if this is all just a bit,
00:02:56 ◼ ► like I can't, I'm not sure where we're going with this. It might be a bit. Anyway, but among the things that I listened to this week
00:03:06 ◼ ► and I thought, boy, why don't we do that on our podcast? I just always thought that was out of bounds and yet they're talking about it for all of this time
00:03:11 ◼ ► and people seem to be interested in it. So ATP, the Accidental Tech Podcast, the lifetime upgrade award winner for our favorite tech podcast,
00:03:21 ◼ ► did an episode where the entire after show was basically a... Preparing the Way was the refrigerator episode of Reconcilable Differences.
00:03:31 ◼ ► This ATP episode 353, they talked about Jon preparing the way for his Mac Pro that he hasn't bought yet because you can't buy one yet,
00:03:40 ◼ ► but he's already prepping his workspace. And he's going into details about like, I had this folding table and I'm going to replace our tray table,
00:03:47 ◼ ► I'm going to replace it with a real table and I've got this power strip that I'm replacing and here's the model of that and let's talk about upright UPSs
00:03:55 ◼ ► and the difference between the power strippy ones and the upright ones. And I thought to myself, I've spent the last two months reorganizing my office space
00:04:06 ◼ ► to... Because after five years, I decided it needed to be, you know, refreshed and I don't think I've spent very much time at all talking about it
00:04:23 ◼ ► There's one important thing to remember here, Jason, which is the Siracusa effect. Jon could read a phone book and people would listen, including me.
00:04:31 ◼ ► The world is enwrapped by the idea of what particular short extension cords Jon is using in his power strip. I understand.
00:04:39 ◼ ► But what I'm saying is, maybe we should get in on that action, you and me. Maybe we need to up our game a little bit in terms of talking about like office supplies
00:04:53 ◼ ► Well, I already do that. It's called The Pen Addict. I don't want to say we would be upping our game. I would say that we would at best be sidewaysing our game.
00:05:04 ◼ ► Well, actually we could use the same prepositions here. So we would be outing our game because it's another podcast.
00:05:10 ◼ ► If it was upping our game, it would be follow up. It would be from our previous episode, but this is follow out. So we would be outing our game.
00:05:24 ◼ ► Because Jon likes those, so you should create one of those for when you just show up, steal a topic, and then just use it as your own.
00:05:33 ◼ ► Yeah, that's a good idea. I like it. So anyway, what I'm saying is, the big wall in my office is orange now. That's what I'm saying.
00:05:46 ◼ ► I want a whole segment about paint colors. We can talk about shopping for paint. I went through so many samples of paint before arriving on the right paint color.
00:05:58 ◼ ► I had to buy some of those little cords too. So I realized that I had an area of my office where there were going to be five cords running across a run of carpet where one could theoretically walk.
00:06:15 ◼ ► And I looked at it and I was like, "That looks really bad." Not just does it look bad, but that looks like a horrendous accident that not only makes me fall and break a bone, but potentially pulls equipment off of my desk and shatters it.
00:06:33 ◼ ► And I had this whole thing of, "Well, how am I going to make this work?" And I have an adjustable desk. So you can't just lock it down at the bottom level because then you press the button and take it to standing height and everything tears apart. That's no good.
00:06:47 ◼ ► So I ended up like, there's a... Am I really going to mention products here? I have a carpet that actually is basically like velcro. Velcro will stick to my carpet. And so I found a cable run thing on Amazon that is velcro and fabric. And it's a very similar color to my carpet.
00:07:11 ◼ ► And so instead of having one of those tubes that you lay down and run cables on so people don't trip on the cables and they trip on the tube instead, right? That's what those people are for.
00:07:23 ◼ ► Well, because, see, that's the thing. The trippable situation, that's actually not to protect you. It's to protect the camera, right?
00:07:33 ◼ ► Exactly. So I got one of those and that actually really worked, except then I discovered that with the cables pinned down, which is good, rather than having trip wires across my office, then it didn't reach the UPS unless I pulled the UPS out and now I've got a big, ugly power strip that's in the way.
00:07:53 ◼ ► So I went on Amazon and I did buy some of those, you know, one-meter cables that have, they do work if you have a tightly clustered bunch of things and you've got bricks and they don't fit on the power strip.
00:08:08 ◼ ► Like, they do work for that, but in my case I literally just needed to get them to be a little bit longer and reach out to the UPS so I could put them all underneath this fabric thing.
00:08:18 ◼ ► And I did it and it works and it looks pretty great and I bought all of this cable management stuff that I've never really done good cable management, but I bought it with this desk that I got and the desk is great.
00:08:30 ◼ ► The cable management actually looks pretty good. I have a, yeah, it's coming along. I've painted two of the walls, but I've got two more walls to paint, which are the more utilitarian walls in the garage.
00:08:41 ◼ ► They're more garagey walls, which means they're full of junk and covered with stuff and I'm going to have to do a lot of cleaning to paint that part.
00:08:48 ◼ ► But it's shaping up and I did have to buy a bunch of stuff. And the best part, Myke, because I will move on from this now, because I haven't prepared enough Amazon links to talk about all these products that I bought, because that's how you prepare the way, is...
00:09:04 ◼ ► That's how you prepare the way for an affiliate. Yeah, yeah. So it's, you know, I still haven't assembled everything back together. I still haven't hung the stuff on the walls, but I will say that as a part of this, I got to...
00:09:18 ◼ ► So I had two different segments of my office in terms of like networking. I had like the stuff that was over by the door to the rest of the house.
00:09:26 ◼ ► And because I have a TV over there, I had a bunch of like video game consoles and stuff. And I had... That's where as I bought new smart home things that required little hubs, like the Hue hub and my Casita wireless switch has a little hub.
00:09:42 ◼ ► I had to plug those in somewhere. So I ended up with this whole cluster of things over by the door where there was a big power strip and there was a bunch of video game consoles.
00:09:49 ◼ ► And then there were all of these little things that needed to be connected to Ethernet, which means I needed an Ethernet hub. And one of the things that was nice is I completely changed where the stuff is in my office.
00:09:59 ◼ ► So all of the networking stuff is really in the corner over here to my left. I got to... I had to buy some longer Ethernet cords.
00:10:10 ◼ ► And I don't think I bought any hubs or anything. I think the net result was that I ended up with an Ethernet hub that I wasn't using anymore and a bunch of cables I wasn't using anymore, which is really nice because I think the truest sign of a successful tear down and re-hookup of your stuff is when you discover you don't need all the parts that you used to use.
00:10:36 ◼ ► I relocated a bunch of the hubs to... Well, I mean it depends. If you're doing that to your washing machine that's a bad... No, but if it all still works and you end up with like five extra cables, you're like, "What were these plugged into? Why were they there?"
00:10:48 ◼ ► And the answer is they probably weren't plugged in and weren't being used because they were being used for something that you ripped out but you left the cable.
00:10:54 ◼ ► Anyway, so I relocated a bunch of my smart home hubs to the corner of my living room where I already had an Ethernet hub and a couple of things plugged in. And the only network device that's... There are like two network devices that are over by the door to the rest of the house.
00:11:13 ◼ ► So it's not a big technology thing there. I actually relocated the video game console to in the house as well. And yeah, so it's... What I'm saying is every five years or so you should tear apart your office and put it back together again.
00:11:30 ◼ ► I'm about to do that, but I don't know what I want to do yet. Like I know I need to destroy my office and rebuild it stronger and better and faster than before, but I haven't worked out exactly what I want to do. The only thing I know is that I want to... I have two desks in the office. I want to have my gaming PC on it.
00:11:48 ◼ ► I want to have that do double duty and also be like a permanent place that I can plug my iPad into and have a keyboard monitor and mouse that's always there really like perfect. Perfectly ready for me if I want to do like fixed iPad work, which is something I do do.
00:12:09 ◼ ► Which is the stuff where I end up like walking out into my kitchen, which I can't do this week because my son's off for Thanksgiving this week. So I can only do it when there's nobody in the house really. Although he is a 15 year old boy. He basically stays in this room. So maybe I could work out there.
00:12:25 ◼ ► By the way, speaking of things that we should consider for stealing from other podcasts, you just made a $6 million man reference there. There's no upgrade references Twitter account, is there? There isn't. We need to make more pop culture references that are cryptic.
00:12:43 ◼ ► I don't want to do those because you are so many and I know none of them. It doesn't work when it's just you know everything and I know nothing. What do you mean that's exactly the dynamic of ATP? It's that Sarah knows all the references and they don't.
00:12:55 ◼ ► You know, and then they can fight. I haven't got somebody to fight with about how few references that I know.
00:13:00 ◼ ► Anyway, talking for 10 minutes about nonsense, also a thing I picked up from other podcasts. I feel really good about it. Well done. Oh, not yet because I haven't even mentioned last week's episode of Connected which had like 40 chapter markers in it and was largely a podcast about three gentlemen from all over the world loading web pages and reading them on their computers while they were doing a podcast.
00:13:24 ◼ ► You just did that, right? There was a bunch of websites that you just went to and looked at products and I'm not including literally any of them in the show notes. Absolutely not. I didn't look at a web page once when I was doing that. I was staring at my office.
00:13:40 ◼ ► We just record at a time when Apple decides to release battery cases. What do you want from us?
00:13:44 ◼ ► Yeah, anyway, my point there is that you and I need to up our, I feel like on this podcast, up our accessory game in some way. Sideways the game. Yeah, okay, because it's like PopSockets, more PopSocket talk from you. I think I drove you away with my, let's say, lack of interest in PopSockets.
00:14:04 ◼ ► Yeah, you only have yourself to blame with this one, right? Like foldable phones, PopSockets. Yeah, foldable phones, well, I regret nothing about the foldable phones, but PopSockets, yes, cases. I mean, then I do realize that we did spend a lot of time talking about iPad stands and keyboards. So maybe that's our bailiwick is iPad stands.
00:14:28 ◼ ► Yeah, yeah, mine failed. So I'm also looking for a better iPad stand. Anyway, at least there's, at least we do merch like other podcasts. That's a place where we're already keeping pace.
00:14:39 ◼ ► At upgradeyourwardrobe.com, there is currently merchandise available. Registering domain names, we're also pretty strong with registering domain names. Oh, I have another one for you in a minute, don't you worry about that. I know, I know.
00:14:59 ◼ ► Yeah, I don't know why we didn't assume that it was brain ball, which somebody mentioned. It's probably brain ball.
00:15:09 ◼ ► I have yet to confirm or deny if it's brain ball. Federico sent me a good suggestion, actually. What was it? He said that competitive piano because it's all key based. Interesting. So that's one. We've had debate team I've seen a couple of times. You know, there's dodgeball, all sorts. How about competitive adapting, like what Stephen Hackett did on his video last week? Competitive adapting, where you're given, or like the escape room that we did at WWDC.
00:15:37 ◼ ► Given a box of dongles and you have to create a meta dongle. And you've got to connect this thing to this thing and you've got to just put it all together. Maybe that's a sport in dongle town. Maybe it is. Who knows? Dongle town is a wonderful place. You can support the dongle town butterflies or the local port authority by going to upgradeyourwardrobe.com. Upgrade hoodie is available too. It's great for the cold winter months. Upgradeyourwardrobe.com and you can buy that merchandise right now. We still have more follow up, don't we, Jason Snell?
00:16:06 ◼ ► Yeah, I guess we do. Just a really quick one, which is we talked about last week the idea that maybe Apple could be a little more open about its future product directions rather than just saying we don't discuss anything when you've got a crisis and you're trying to defuse it. And I think I would say that the keyboards is a PR crisis. When you announce the product that's got the new keyboard in it, you could put your foot on the gas or your some extra weight on the scales or I don't know what the right metaphor is here.
00:16:35 ◼ ► And do a kind of a wink wink nudge nudge to say, you know, this is a great keyboard. We expect to use it in future versions and basically like say this is our keyboard going forward. Yes, you know, please end this. And I got I feel like we mentioned this in the episode, but I definitely got feedback from people who said, but they can't ever announce anything about future products because of the Osborne effect, which is this famous story from the early days of the personal computer industry, where if you announce a replacement for a product, sales of that product will cease and that will be a problem.
00:17:04 ◼ ► It will cease and that will hurt your company. And that is an issue which I would say I'm not advocating that Apple announce a new 13 inch or 14 inch MacBook Pro today or last week.
00:17:16 ◼ ► I'm not advocating that, but I don't know if a wink and a nod saying, you know, this is going to be our keyboard on future laptops too and leave it at that would really kill future sales any worse than all of the bad reputation that Apple is building up.
00:17:35 ◼ ► And I think that's the counter argument is the damage done by the perception that Apple's keyboards are bad. Could they start repairing it sooner by being a little more open about how it like? Yeah, you know, we are this.
00:17:47 ◼ ► This is a great leap forward and we expect that it will come to all of our products and you know, they could even use it as a way to spin the existing keyboard if they and this is the challenges they would need to actually have data that they could say truthfully, which is thank you.
00:18:02 ◼ ► That's a reference references acknowledge. See right there a tribute act today. Yeah, I think so. We're playing the hits anyway. Here's Wonderwall.
00:18:13 ◼ ► So they could if they have data that shows that the new materials butterfly keyboards that they introduced this year are actually more reliable and stable and people like them more.
00:18:23 ◼ ► They could even roll that in there and say, you know with this now, we've got two sets of keyboards that keyboard designs in 2019 that have really upped our game in terms of stability and happiness of users and they could use it as a selling point of like see we figured it all out.
00:18:38 ◼ ► I you know, and also I will say I don't know if a wink and a nod is going to really move sales that much in terms of the fact the only people who are looking for Phil Schiller's winks and nods are us the you know computer nerdy types and less the general public.
00:18:53 ◼ ► But anyway, I acknowledge that that's what motivates Apple not to talk at all about future products.
00:19:00 ◼ ► But this seems like an extreme circumstance where maybe they could have given it a little more of a wink and a nod I would have taken that Santa Claus like.
00:19:18 ◼ ► Invites have gone out only Lance Yulinoff shared the invite Lance Yulinoff was not supposed to share the invite.
00:19:37 ◼ ► No, it I'll tell you what it's going to be it is it is Apple's annual press release where they're in-house editorial people have picked the best and top apps and stuff of the year turned into an event.
00:19:57 ◼ ► So it is it is a press release turned into an event and I suppose you could argue that all of Apple's media events are a press release turned into event.
00:20:03 ◼ ► But what I would say I don't want to be too harsh here, but like this is a press release.
00:20:13 ◼ ► It's a again, you know, it's great people who get named on that list are super into it.
00:20:18 ◼ ► And why would you not think this shows Apple like marketing the heck out of their stuff is like well, you know apps of the year.
00:20:25 ◼ ► Why don't we make more of that and so somebody was like, all right, let's do a little thing in New York and we'll have a red carpet.
00:20:32 ◼ ► And we'll have apps and everybody will you know, it's a good promo for buying Apple stuff over the holidays and let's do it.
00:20:42 ◼ ► We all know there's only one awards ceremony of the year that anybody should care about anyway, right Jason?
00:20:48 ◼ ► I yes, that's exactly right. Only one award ceremony in at the end of the year merits your attention friends.
00:20:55 ◼ ► The Upgradies! The Upgradies are coming. The Upgradies award ceremony will be broadcast live from our independent homes on December the 30th 2019.
00:21:09 ◼ ► But the nominations, the voting is now open. If you go to our wonderful new URL, which is Upgradies.vote.
00:21:17 ◼ ► So you go to Upgradies.vote. You will be able to find the Google form to allow you the Upgradient to have an impact on who may take home Upgradies this year.
00:21:30 ◼ ► There's going to be no award for my favorite Michael movies this year because we've only done one with one more to be done later on today.
00:21:44 ◼ ► Remember the Upgradies are not a democracy. We use the Upgradians votes to help influence who will win.
00:21:51 ◼ ► Sometimes it goes to whoever the Upgradient picked because me and Jason don't have strong feelings about a category.
00:22:05 ◼ ► Voting will be open for a number of weeks throughout December until it gets to the point where there's so many as there were last year that I have to close it down because I need to total up those answers.
00:22:17 ◼ ► Which is a very, very complicated process when people write in their own text what they want the winners to be.
00:22:26 ◼ ► But go to Upgradies.vote and you can cast your votes right now for the sixth, sixth annual Upgrady Awards.
00:22:45 ◼ ► I mentioned, Myke, at the movies. We're going to be doing Die Hard at the end of the episode today. So you can look out for that.
00:23:28 ◼ ► And you can even use your iPad or your iPhone to scan documents directly into PDF Pen on your Mac using Continuity Camera.
00:24:07 ◼ ► If you're interested in getting some inspiration for your upgradeys votes, then you can go to upgradeys.com.
00:24:20 ◼ ► Okay, we have a topic that I want to talk about today that I am more keen to talk about than Jason,
00:24:31 ◼ ► And these things tend to be -- I mean, it's one of the cardinal rules, right, of podcasting?
00:24:49 ◼ ► I don't want to steal -- I don't listen to political podcasts, but I'm turning ours into one right now.
00:24:57 ◼ ► All right, so I have a bunch of stuff to say, then we're going to talk about it a bit more in general.
00:25:05 ◼ ► So last week, as part of promotion for Apple announcing that they were opening a new campus in Austin,
00:25:11 ◼ ► which they haven't -- we'd heard about before, but they were kind of confirming and giving some architectural overviews and stuff.
00:25:17 ◼ ► For that, Tim Cook gave Donald Trump a tour around their Mac Pro manufacturing facility that is also located in Austin.
00:25:26 ◼ ► This facility is owned by a company called Flex, who were previously known as Flextronics.
00:25:31 ◼ ► They're an American manufacturing company that's headquartered in Singapore, but they're an American company.
00:25:40 ◼ ► Flex has been manufacturing the Mac Pro for Apple since 2013, so it started with a trash can.
00:25:51 ◼ ► I did a little bit more research, but I've been able to find a definitive answer about this facility in general.
00:26:05 ◼ ► And this may be reason for you to buy a Mac Pro, Myke, so you can look at the bottom of the can and see what it is.
00:26:27 ◼ ► I'll -- yeah, since 2013 -- and I think this is a point, as we get into, like, what Apple does for -- to pander to American politics, I think this is an important point, right?
00:26:40 ◼ ► This factory making the Mac Pro was -- I mean, we could argue it, but, like, in 2013, which is before the current administration, Apple was already pandering to American politics, where they were being criticized for making all their products in China.
00:27:09 ◼ ► It's like a fig leaf over Apple's production of devices out -- they designed in California, wasn't working, because they knew it was made in China, even though it was designed in California.
00:27:19 ◼ ► And so they did this in 2013. They set up this factory and said, "Look at us. We're doing manufacturing in the USA," even though it's a very low-volume, high-margin product, and there were all sorts of stories about how there were a lot of issues.
00:27:32 ◼ ► But they have kept at it, and they are making the new Mac Pro at this facility, the Flextronics facility.
00:27:39 ◼ ► The most I could find is in Apple's press release where they said that they were making this device in Austin again, is that they said that the new Mac Pro will include components designed, developed, and manufactured by more than a dozen American companies for distribution to U.S. customers.
00:27:55 ◼ ► Now, that says one thing, doesn't say the other thing. One could read that that is purely like if you're ordering in America, it comes from there, but if you're ordering from somewhere else, it comes from somewhere else. But it doesn't confirm that.
00:28:09 ◼ ► No, it doesn't. And again, I'll say this is not new. The suppliers thing is not -- I'm sure there are new --
00:28:17 ◼ ► I'm not sure, but I would guess there are probably some new suppliers in this list because it is a new product, and it might have even been designed with the idea of how many U.S.-based supplies.
00:28:29 ◼ ► It reminds me a lot when Steven and I talk on the Liftoff podcast about how a lot of NASA programs made a point and still make a point of spreading out the suppliers to all, shall we just say, congressional districts that one can,
00:28:44 ◼ ► because it allows every member of Congress to say, "Oh, you know, NASA's working with us, and you've got our vote because you brought some money to my district."
00:28:52 ◼ ► It's a little like that, a little reminiscent of that, I guess I would say, but Apple has made a point of pointing out, even when it's criticized for things like assembling the iPhone in China, about things like how the Gorilla Glass is made by Corning in Kentucky, I want to say,
00:29:09 ◼ ► and that there are a bunch of components that are made in the U.S., even when the device is assembled in China, that those are things made in the U.S. and then shipped to China for assembly.
00:29:20 ◼ ► So this has been an Apple priority to talk about all of its U.S.-sourced parts for a while now because they get criticized as a major American company, and there has been this ongoing conversation about the lack of factory support in the tech industry,
00:29:38 ◼ ► for American industry, and there are lots of reasons why that doesn't exist, but it doesn't stop them from being criticized for it.
00:29:46 ◼ ► Yeah, it's like, I know that Apple have other facilities like this in other parts of the world. There is one of these in Ireland that does all of the build-to-order stuff, I know for the U.K. and maybe for most of Europe,
00:29:56 ◼ ► so that's why it would just surprise me if Mac Pros were not also being put together there, if they had to be put together anywhere else.
00:30:03 ◼ ► Anyway, I don't know that. I would love to know if anybody does know, but I haven't been able to find out. We will know eventually, but I don't know when that will be.
00:30:12 ◼ ► And we're about to talk about tariffs and things like that. I think it's also something that we should mention here is like, the reason there's an assembly plant in Cork in Ireland is almost certainly because there is favorable European Union regulation for those products to be assembled.
00:30:39 ◼ ► So, part of, this is something to keep in mind that maybe seems invisible at times, and other times it seems like as thick as a thick fog, but tariffs and import restrictions and all sorts of things like that are part of the calculation that a big multinational company like Apple makes
00:31:11 ◼ ► Yeah, exactly right. And again, could they have just shipped it from the US or shipped it from China? Maybe, but there is that plant in Cork. And is it there for Apple to make the people in Ireland feel great about Apple?
00:31:25 ◼ ► I don't know. Maybe, maybe not. I don't know. But I would gather that favorable Irish regulation and also favorable access to EU markets plays a part in it.
00:31:36 ◼ ► And that's part of the big corporation distribution supply chain game, which by the way, Tim Cook is the master of, and that's why he's the CEO of Apple.
00:31:46 ◼ ► And I will say from my perspective up to this point, we're all good. These are the things you do, right? You do this stuff. This is the game you play.
00:31:57 ◼ ► But from here, I think things start to get a little bit strange. So there was a press conference after the tour that Cook took Trump on in which Tim Cook said,
00:32:17 ◼ ► Okay. And the other members of the administration, "I'm grateful for their support in pulling today off and getting us this far. It would not be possible without them."
00:32:24 ◼ ► Like, I just don't really know what that quote is referring to. And it seems, it's very pandering.
00:32:30 ◼ ► It feels, I mean, for their support in pulling today off, it feels is like hovering over this to, really is this idea of an exchange or you could say a quid pro quo.
00:32:43 ◼ ► Where the idea here is, you know, we will do this if you can cut us a break on tariffs.
00:32:51 ◼ ► Yep. Which again, all right, even to this point, okay, right? Like, you want the tariffs so your products can still be made where you want them to be made because you want to try and stop, you want to be basically cut out of America's trade war with China, right?
00:33:11 ◼ ► My company, Cortex Brown, would like to be cut out of this because we have our notebooks made in China and we are being hit with terrorists. Like, it's a thing, right? Like, stuff is happening, right?
00:33:27 ◼ ► Then there was another part where Trump is giving a speech, he's given a press conference afterwards, and he turns around and asks Tim Cook a question about the economy.
00:33:36 ◼ ► And Tim Cook says, "I think we have the strongest economy in the world right now," right? That is to appease Trump.
00:33:44 ◼ ► And then also during the press conference, Trump said that he is currently looking at exempting Apple from the next round of China tariffs.
00:33:52 ◼ ► It's nice for him to put out there the specific reason why this is all happening, isn't it?
00:33:56 ◼ ► Yes. Well, because, you know, it just says what's on his mind, I think, is the typical thing.
00:34:04 ◼ ► It's all he can do. And so this is all to this point where like, "Oh, this is like, this gives me an odd feeling."
00:34:11 ◼ ► But again, it's like, I understand. He wanted that. He's trying to like, play it all up, look nicey nice.
00:34:18 ◼ ► But then the part that I really don't like is Trump then states online that he has opened a major Apple manufacturing plant in Texas, which we know isn't true.
00:34:30 ◼ ► It was already in effect and has been going for six years, and it is not by any stretch of the imagination major.
00:34:44 ◼ ► And the most, so the most generous reading, and I kind of can't believe I'm going to give Donald Trump a generous reading because…
00:34:52 ◼ ► I'm not a fan of this guy, but I will say he, and this isn't that generous because I'm going to say that he's a little confused, as he always is.
00:35:07 ◼ ► I think what's happened is that he's conflated Apple's commitment to building that large campus in Austin, which they broke ground on on the day that Trump came.
00:35:27 ◼ ► But I suspect that that's what's going on here because Apple is building, I think, again, not necessarily because of Trump, but Apple is building a big campus in Austin, and they broke ground on it.
00:35:36 ◼ ► And that's a thing that you could show off as like, look at Apple expanding in America and isn't this great?
00:35:43 ◼ ► But it's been intentionally, perhaps, conflated with this manufacturing thing because it serves the story that the president wants to tell, which is that, to pander to his base of people, especially in industrial states, who feel like the American Industrial Corps has been hollowed out and moved away,
00:36:01 ◼ ► that here's an example where your guy, the president, has taken Apple and gotten them to open a huge plant in Texas, even though that plant was already open, and the place that they're opening, that they broke ground on, is a non-manufacturing plant, and it's going to be full of white-collar workers, and it doesn't have anything to do with the industrial base.
00:36:22 ◼ ► So, I completely agree with you. But the two parts of this that then, so one, I think that they are very aware of the fact that this isn't new, and it's convenient to say, because there is now a Trump reelection campaign video using footage of this tool, talking about and showing how Trump is bringing manufacturing back to America.
00:36:46 ◼ ► But the thing is, Apple have not corrected -- Not 100% if it's a campaign video or if it's just a White House video, but it's certainly a promotional video.
00:36:55 ◼ ► It is a pro-Trump video, right? And at this point in time, you could argue any pro-Trump media can be used as an idea of why he should be the president, right?
00:37:06 ◼ ► Sure. Apple have not corrected this statement at all, even when being pushed from the media to correct it.
00:37:23 ◼ ► Yes, but this is something that is very correctable. It's not even one of these ones where it's like, we're going to talk about a software shakeup at Apple later on, and Mark Gorman has asked an Apple spokesperson to confirm something that's secret is real, right?
00:37:40 ◼ ► This is facts. We know these facts. It's even to the point that the pictures in the campaign video show the Flex logo on the workers' t-shirts.
00:37:54 ◼ ► Well, I mean, it's Apple -- they're assembling Apple things. It's not Apple's factory, but they're assembling Apple things, for sure.
00:38:01 ◼ ► I mean, we know that, but Trump's all claiming that. So, John Gruber wrote a great post about this, and he says in the post, like we did, there are good reasons to engage with the President of the United States, right?
00:38:14 ◼ ► You need their support to get things done. And if you're able to bend the President to your will a little, that's great. You have done your job as the CEO of a company.
00:38:26 ◼ ► "But appearing alongside Trump at an Apple facility in a stage photo opportunity is implicit support for Trump and his reelection. The video makes it look like Trump's trade policies have been good for Apple and that Tim Cook supports Trump. Both of these things are false."
00:38:38 ◼ ► So we're very aware of why all this has happened. It's the tariffs stuff, right? It's obvious that, like, it's very difficult for Tim Cook if he is hit with tariffs on literally the things that he needs, right? Aluminium, right? All of the components, right?
00:38:55 ◼ ► Well, every -- how about this? Every iPhone shipped out of China, which is all of them, basically.
00:39:00 ◼ ► Which would be very expensive. Because, look, you know, and we may all know the story by now, right? But, like, there was -- Apple put out into the press, clearly, that they were going to manufacture the Mac Pro now in China because of the tariffs.
00:39:15 ◼ ► Then there was a bunch of stories, and then Apple got 10 out of 15 tariff exemptions, and now they're like, "Bring in the manufacturing back to America."
00:39:24 ◼ ► This is managing up on the biggest possible scale, right? Like, this is Tim Cook -- and we can talk about the political ramifications of it because I think they're absolutely there.
00:39:36 ◼ ► Because you're being -- you're being -- allowing yourself to be used by somebody who is simultaneously a politician running for reelection and the President of the United States who's threatening your business with tariffs.
00:39:50 ◼ ► And you're trying to navigate this thing, and he does the same with China as well, Tim Cook, where you've got these entities that can make business for you really bad, really bad.
00:40:03 ◼ ► And so you don't want to anger them, and you want to handle them carefully, and you maybe even want to try to manage the situation so that they get along if you can be a go-between a little bit, which I think sometimes Tim Cook is a little bit.
00:40:16 ◼ ► But yeah, he's managing up, where he wants to steer Trump and his people, although with Trump you can potentially steer his people by steering him, because he will -- you know, he's going to say stuff, and then that's what it has to be, even if the people were working on something different.
00:40:36 ◼ ► And so that -- yeah, you can see it happening here. This is -- anybody who's had a terrible manager where you've had to spend huge amounts of effort on managing your manager so that they, you know, behave in a way that is conducive to whatever you want to have happen will -- I mean, I certainly feel it every time I see a situation like this with these guys.
00:40:56 ◼ ► It's like, oh boy. Because, yeah, that's what Tim Cook's trying to do as the CEO of Apple, is he's trying to say what he needs to say and do what he needs to do in order to get Trump to be like, "Apple is great, they're playing ball, I don't want to hurt them with tariffs, let's exempt them from the tariffs."
00:41:12 ◼ ► That's what he's trying to do. And the exchange there is that he stands next to Trump and says, "This is the best economy ever," and gives him a photo op at an Apple factory.
00:41:27 ◼ ► Yeah, and if you don't think this will come up at the Republican convention next summer, before the election, as a thing that people keep citing about, like, how great Apple is, and that they're all coming back to America, and Apple is investing in America and all that, if you don't think that's going to be a bullet point somewhere at campaign rallies and at the convention, I think you're wrong. I think it absolutely will be used that way.
00:41:55 ◼ ► But like, I think it is, I feel like I'm, you know, the meme with like, Charlie Day and the string and, you know.
00:42:06 ◼ ► This is not about the Mac Pro at all, right? The Mac Pro, surely, surely has profit margins to swallow the tariffs. It's about the iPhone.
00:42:15 ◼ ► Yeah, it's the Mac Pro is a symbol, as it's been since 2013, when they did this with in Austin with the Mac Pro, it is a symbol of something that Apple can say that they brought back to the US.
00:42:26 ◼ ► I don't think it's all entirely cynical. I do think that Apple is proud of using American suppliers.
00:42:33 ◼ ► And I think it was right for Apple to say it is not the perception that an iPhone is a Chinese product, is not accurate, in addition to all the software and the industrial design being done in the US, that there are lots of suppliers that are key suppliers, including, perhaps most importantly, Corning for the glass, that's all happening in the US.
00:42:55 ◼ ► Like, I think they're right to push back on the narrative that it's all China, but this is a thing that's, you know, more for show, I think, because you're right, in the end, this is about a chess game to have the iPhone escape as much of the pressure of a trade war with China and tariffs as possible.
00:43:16 ◼ ► I just think he went a little bit too far here. I think he gave up a little bit more than he got.
00:43:22 ◼ ► I, you know, I think that this is what he had to do. I think that's my problem with it is I think you're perfectly reasonable, and Jon is perfectly reasonable, to say this is embarrassing for Cook.
00:43:39 ◼ ► And he does. He does. And I keep coming back to like thinking, you know, as a CEO, you do...
00:43:49 ◼ ► Yeah, I can make a defense of Tim Cook about the fact that he is the CEO of a public and profit-driven corporation, and that his job is to maximize shareholder value in profits, and that's capitalism.
00:44:02 ◼ ► However, Apple does talk big about corporate values and trying to do good in the world, and I think it is a fair argument to say that, you know, if iPhone margins were destroyed by the trade war because Tim Cook antagonized Trump, that he would be held accountable.
00:44:18 ◼ ► But also that Apple tends to emphasize the corporate values where it feels it can actually advance the ball, like renewable energy and recycling of materials, but if you watch that, you will see a negative space.
00:44:33 ◼ ► You will see an empty space, which is the stuff where Apple maybe has some corporate beliefs and values, but it needs to make profits and maximize shareholder value.
00:44:49 ◼ ► And so you end up in a position where you're Tim Cook, and you're like, "iPhone profits and playing ball with Donald Trump, and how do you square that circle?"
00:44:58 ◼ ► And honestly, the other problem is, in the past, you could cut a deal as a CEO with a president, a sitting president or other politician, and they're like, "Okay, we're going to make a deal, and we're going to say this and we're not going to say this, and you're going to say this and you're not going to say this."
00:45:13 ◼ ► And you come to some agreement, and everybody goes, "Yeah, this is how it happens," and then it's a staged opportunity, and Obama walks in, and, you know, "USA, USA," and then he walks out and it's done.
00:45:29 ◼ ► Like, you are—once he's in your factory and the cameras are on and you're Tim Cook, like, he could say anything, and what do you do then?
00:45:41 ◼ ► And I think that's where some of the unease here is, is it's not lockdown. He can say or do anything, and if you're Tim Cook, are you prepared to start fact-checking Donald Trump on the floor of your factory during his photo op?
00:45:56 ◼ ► And I think there's a strong argument to be made that by him not doing that, he is completely capitulating to Trump's agenda about Apple that is based on lies, right? It's based on completely inaccurate information.
00:46:12 ◼ ► And to me, that's the—I understand that moment, but that is the disappointment, right? Is, like, he allowed himself—perhaps he was trapped in it, but to be in a moment where he either needed to sit there and smile, stand there and smile, or he needed to push back at the President of the United States, who, as we are constantly reminded, does not appreciate that.
00:46:35 ◼ ► This is so complicated, and I understand the complication, but it just feels a little disappointing, right? Like, I can't help but be disappointed.
00:46:45 ◼ ► Yeah, I mean, and I think it's fair to argue in another post that Jon Gruber made last week, like, I think you could also argue that allowing data centers in China to be—Apple data centers to be in Chinese government-owned companies' facilities, and removing the Taiwan flag if you're localized in Hong Kong, where it's not illegal to show the Taiwan flag, and then coming out last week and saying we've never felt pressure from China.
00:47:14 ◼ ► I mean, you could argue that we've spent the last ten minutes talking about the second most embarrassing thing Tim Cook did last week.
00:47:23 ◼ ► That's true. That's a very good point. I'd forgotten about that exact interview, because he's had a bit of an all-wig to Timmy.
00:47:31 ◼ ► And here's the thing, and this is not going to please everybody who wants the rage session, the 30 minutes hate in 1984, that's a reference, it's not going to please everybody, but it's a tough line.
00:47:48 ◼ ► Like, CEO of Apple, he literally has to do diplomacy with China, and diplomacy with the government of the United States and its president, and try to keep his company running and not falling apart because of the bad relationships.
00:48:10 ◼ ► Yes, I think essentially it is, and that says something about the assent of large corporations and the power they wield. I think that we could talk, like, there's a lot of things here that we're not necessarily equipped to talk about, about capitalism and the assent of the power of corporations and all of that, versus governments wielding trade powers and things like that in order to perhaps address domestic issues by rattling their sabers on trade.
00:48:36 ◼ ► There's a lot, there's so much going on here. And my point is not to absolve Tim Cook, my point is to say, this is really hard stuff. And I'm not sure there's a good answer here, because anybody who doesn't like Trump wants Tim Cook to say, "No, I'm not going to do a photo op with Trump."
00:48:52 ◼ ► Or say, "I'll go to the photo op with Trump, but when he says that this is a new facility, I'm going to correct him, I'm not going to let it stand, or I'm going to go on the first interview I do afterward and I'm going to correct what he said and hope that that doesn't rain fire down on me for contradicting him."
00:49:07 ◼ ► And the fact is, and I don't think I'm surprised, because Tim Cook doesn't seem like a firebrand to me, that he just gritted his teeth and smiled and spoke when he was called on and hoped to, I think, just hoped to escape and minimize the damage and hope that the net result is positive for Apple and live to fight another day.
00:49:27 ◼ ► Is that cowardly? It's easy to call somebody a coward if you're not in their shoes and you don't see what they have to lose, if you're purely idealistic and you can let it all burn if they say that thing.
00:49:40 ◼ ► You really want to tell Trump off in person in front of the cameras, you could do it, but what's that going to mean for you and for Apple?
00:49:48 ◼ ► Doesn't mean he shouldn't have done it, doesn't mean he shouldn't have found a way, but it's a really tough set of trade-offs and that's the high wire that Tim Cook gets to walk every day. So, yeah, I wouldn't want his job.
00:50:09 ◼ ► Cook has a particularly difficult time because of the ideals created by his predecessor.
00:50:16 ◼ ► Yeah, for sure. And, you know, and on one level, he's the exact right CEO for Apple for this era because of what we said at the beginning, because of operations, because operations and logistics and all these things, this is what this is about.
00:50:30 ◼ ► This is about what are you making where and about balancing lots of different interests.
00:50:35 ◼ ► And while Tim Cook probably didn't expect to be doing delicate negotiations with senior Chinese ministers and the President of the United States, that's where he is.
00:50:46 ◼ ► And, yeah, it's hard. It's tough to have the company that you follow and care about and you want them to do well, which I think a lot of people who listen to the show obviously feel, interact with politics, like with John Gruber, obviously, like he's got Tim Cook and then there's Donald Trump who he can't stand.
00:51:09 ◼ ► And it's like, no, no, no, no, you need to not give this guy material. I get that feeling. But, you know, then you're Tim Cook and it's your whole company and it's riding on this.
00:51:28 ◼ ► Succession planning for Cook, I think is going to be and is probably more difficult than succession planning for jobs.
00:51:37 ◼ ► I think at this level, and I would put this across industries, like, I think this is, it's hard to replace any CEO because everybody at that level, you know, ideally has a totally different set of responsibilities.
00:51:51 ◼ ► But yeah, it's, it's brutally hard at Apple, right? Because realistically it has to be somebody at Apple, a current or former Apple person, because I would argue, and this is arguable, but I would argue Apple's culture is so unlike other cultures.
00:52:06 ◼ ► That you could not bring in somebody who is the CEO of some other tech company and install them at Apple.
00:52:13 ◼ ► It would take, yeah, it would take years for them to figure it out unless there's some magical cultural match.
00:52:19 ◼ ► And I would argue at that point, that person probably either worked at Apple before or was surrounded by people who worked at Apple who started that company.
00:52:25 ◼ ► I'm not sure there are a lot of things. So really you're looking internally, which I think is interesting also in terms of who they hire and who they promote.
00:52:31 ◼ ► Like, because part of your succession planning needs to be to hire really, really, really good executive level people around you over the course of 10 years or more, because that's who the next CEO is going to be.
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00:54:42 ◼ ► We have a report from Mark Gurman over at Bloomberg in regards to a software shakeup happening at Apple.
00:54:57 ◼ ► Stacey Lysik, who's a name that I was not familiar with, is the senior director of operating system platforms.
00:55:09 ◼ ► So apparently Apple are once again changing their approach when it comes to operating system software development and release
00:55:15 ◼ ► after what has been no doubt a rocky release cycle this year is probably a nice way to put it.
00:55:21 ◼ ► In a nutshell, from this report, Apple are no longer going to be allowing buggy features to appear in their daily test builds by default.
00:55:31 ◼ ► So Apple's QA testers will be able to selectively enable features that are deemed to be unfinished and then see what impact they have on the system.
00:55:39 ◼ ► One of the reasons for this is because over the summer it turns out that Apple's testers were sometimes completely unable to test features
00:55:46 ◼ ► or use the operating system at all because parts of the operating system were completely broken.
00:55:52 ◼ ► Also, internally Apple have a scale that they rate their problems at or their operating system builds are and how stable they are.
00:56:00 ◼ ► Unsurprisingly, iOS 13 has been rated lower than iOS 12 in Apple's internal stability testing.
00:56:13 ◼ ► I assume that this meeting was the like, you know, smashing the champagne against the wall kind of thing for iOS 14.
00:56:21 ◼ ► I was thinking of that a little more violently and then I realized, oh you mean like a boat?
00:56:48 ◼ ► which is for some reason, according to Mark Gurman, being dubbed internally as iOS 14 plus one, which was just very weird.
00:57:05 ◼ ► I love the idea, by the way, I love the idea that they are going to focus on stability and also introduce just as many features as they did this year.
00:57:13 ◼ ► That was something that it says in a report that it's going to be comparable to iOS 13 in features, but they're going to focus on stability.
00:57:19 ◼ ► I mean, let's be honest, 12 had a bunch of stuff in it and we know that 12 was stability release, but it still had a bunch of stuff in it.
00:57:26 ◼ ► But it may have been that 14 was going to be even more ambitious and they've pushed stuff to 15.
00:57:37 ◼ ► And while I know for a fact that there are people who listen to this, who work at Apple,
00:57:47 ◼ ► But I will say we talk about it a lot. It's a black box to a certain degree, like how they do their processes.
00:57:52 ◼ ► And sometimes when we talk about things that are going wrong or we perceive as going wrong with Apple product releases, like the OS bugs,
00:57:59 ◼ ► we have this debate, we've had it here a couple of times, which is like, how do you fix this?
00:58:07 ◼ ► But like, we don't know what the processes are. We aren't diving deep in there and trying to figure it out.
00:58:11 ◼ ► So what's interesting about this report is it's basically saying, here's a report from inside the black box at Apple saying that they're changing their processes
00:58:20 ◼ ► because they've identified in a meeting, they identified some ways where it made it harder for them to test their software,
00:58:27 ◼ ► specifically that the people who are relied on to test the software when it's in beta were unable to run the betas because of, you know,
00:58:38 ◼ ► And the answer is stuff gets checked in every day for the daily builds that's really bad and it doesn't work.
00:58:42 ◼ ► And they're like, maybe we could turn that off if it doesn't work. And so then you could continue to use it.
00:58:52 ◼ ► And we so rarely get any peek in at all that I love this story just for that, just the idea that, you know,
00:59:00 ◼ ► I want to hear about Apple recognizing issues with their process and adjusting their process.
00:59:10 ◼ ► I don't know the details. I don't know if this will work or not, if it's a good idea or a bad idea.
00:59:17 ◼ ► But, you know, you like to hear it. You like to hear that they're trying to work it out.
00:59:31 ◼ ► I hope somebody doesn't create that upgrade references account this week because they are dead now.
00:59:39 ◼ ► I don't really have a lot to say on this. This seems like the inevitable thing that would have happened, right?
00:59:49 ◼ ► And that is a nice little barb that Germin throws in where he's like, you know, they scored on 100 points stale in terms of stability.
01:00:10 ◼ ► Yeah, yeah. But I think, and in terms of future stuff, which Germin likes to report about,
01:00:16 ◼ ► like I think Apple in the last couple of years have shown they are willing to pull features out and punt them if they need to.
01:00:24 ◼ ► And that's great. He talks about punting them into iOS, what they're calling, you know, plus one, 14 plus one, or whatever the code is, Azul plus one.
01:00:39 ◼ ► But, which he assumes is iOS 15. And maybe it is because maybe he knows more than he's saying there.
01:00:54 ◼ ► They're already doing this a little bit, but like not punt features straight away to iOS 15.
01:01:01 ◼ ► But like, I really would like to see them plan out features and spread them out over the year so that they could say,
01:01:07 ◼ ► I know that's not entirely practical because, you know, they're starting to work on the OS now and it's not even the end of this year.
01:01:22 ◼ ► So they may as well just say some features will come throughout the year, but these are the ones shipping in June, you know?
01:01:28 ◼ ► Yeah. And I would, I would also prefer them not to say, look, if it doesn't ship by December or January,
01:01:33 ◼ ► it's just not going to ship until beta in June and the following September. I think that that is no way to run a railroad that they need to.
01:01:42 ◼ ► They need to try to, even if there is the big tent pole in the summer, they need to kind of spread out the rest of the feature rollout.
01:01:50 ◼ ► But anyway, I do think it's interesting that they said feature on performance, kick some things to iOS 15,
01:02:01 ◼ ► which is important because as an iPad user, I hear about things getting kicked out of iOS 14 to iOS 15,
01:02:07 ◼ ► and it gives me a flashback to when there were a bunch of iOS, iPad features in iOS, what, 12 that got kicked to 13?
01:02:25 ◼ ► I did. I called, you know, so Phil Michaels, my editor at Tom's Guide, and I'm writing for them monthly now,
01:02:32 ◼ ► he's great at suggesting, and I've worked with him for years, he's great at suggesting story ideas,
01:02:39 ◼ ► and he said, "IOS 14 wish list." I'm like, "Wow." Well, I said, "Well, at the moment, iOS 13 ships, I suppose."
01:02:50 ◼ ► It's the, in the aftermath of 13, what didn't get addressed or didn't get addressed properly
01:03:13 ◼ ► Well, number one on my list was stability, right, which is just that TikTok thing that we were just talking about.
01:03:18 ◼ ► And I think that I would like to see Apple, look, I would like to see Apple focus on stability all the time, right?
01:03:24 ◼ ► But if it can't, then at least alternating releases where you introduce a bunch of new features
01:03:58 ◼ ► and just kind of like keep it rolling in that way because 13 was too bumpy and it can't happen again.
01:04:17 ◼ ► Just as a person talking about technology, I don't like to have to keep talking about the fact that X feature isn't working.
01:04:24 ◼ ► I much prefer it when features work. It's more interesting to talk about things going well than things going not well, I find.
01:04:31 ◼ ► It's what I like to talk about most. So, selfishly, as a technology-focused podcaster, I would much prefer there to be less bugs.
01:04:42 ◼ ► Sure. I had a bunch of stuff about shortcuts, and this is really my, I mean, Federico talks about it way more than I do,
01:04:50 ◼ ► and Matthew Casanelli does a lot of stuff about shortcuts, but I care about shortcuts a lot,
01:04:57 ◼ ► And I feel like shortcuts, this is, 2020 is like the, I don't want to say make or break year, but it's a very important year for shortcuts
01:05:07 ◼ ► because 2018 was rollout, right? The product was acquired. 2018, rolling it into official Apple version.
01:05:19 ◼ ► Although it was very much just workflow turned into shortcuts, and there were some new features for the Siri shortcuts and stuff like that,
01:05:30 ◼ ► but really those were kind of a different feature welded on, and it was otherwise kind of just workflow, which was great.
01:05:40 ◼ ► 2019, we got a bunch of new features in shortcuts, which is great, but if you look at shortcuts,
01:05:58 ◼ ► It's got more potential than so many other parts of iOS, just so much stuff, because it's so new, so much more that they could do.
01:06:07 ◼ ► And what I really want for 2020 and iOS 14 is I want them to keep their foot on the gas with shortcuts.
01:06:14 ◼ ► And, I made this point in the article, one of the great things about shortcuts is it gives you a release valve
01:06:21 ◼ ► because you can build shortcut connectivity, and it frees Apple from having to actually make some features that are edge case features.
01:06:33 ◼ ► And instead, you put in some effort to wire everything up to shortcuts, and then let the users make the edge case features themselves.
01:06:43 ◼ ► Yes, I want folders and shortcuts and more organization and the ability to copy and paste different sections and debugging and all of those things,
01:06:51 ◼ ► but I also just want Apple to extend shortcut stuff to more parts of the system and make it more powerful.
01:06:56 ◼ ► And the example I gave is, I would love to be able to say, you know, when I squeeze the stem on my AirPods Pro,
01:07:04 ◼ ► instead of toggling transparency, what I wanted to do is toggle transparency, turn on transparency, and lower the volume of what's playing back.
01:07:15 ◼ ► And then when I do it again, if transparency is on, I wanted to turn it off, go back to noise canceling, and then raise the volume again.
01:07:23 ◼ ► That's a shortcut. I don't need them to build a feature in the Bluetooth submenu of some other modes for that squeezing on the stems of the AirPods Pro.
01:07:34 ◼ ► It's ridiculous, super fiddly, they shouldn't do it, it's bad, but I want that feature.
01:07:44 ◼ ► That's just one example, but that's what I want to see. The iOS development group to say, "Shortcuts is a part of what we are now,"
01:07:54 ◼ ► and like back in the old days with AppleScript and Apple Events on the Mac, say, "You're not a good part of the system or an app if you don't tie into shortcuts,"
01:08:14 ◼ ► But seriously, Apple is so used to, on iOS especially, if we don't build it, it can't happen.
01:08:19 ◼ ► And I think that the response to that is, if you build a shortcut connection and walk away,
01:08:29 ◼ ► unless it's a feature that most users want, you should build it as an explicit feature, right?
01:08:34 ◼ ► So much of this stuff is at the edges and it's the details, and it's like, this is better handled through shortcuts,
01:08:44 ◼ ► And yes, I would like it to be more powerful and have support for a scripting language or command line sandbox or something like that,
01:08:51 ◼ ► but if you think about some areas of iOS where they've built so much and it's so functional,
01:08:59 ◼ ► and then I look at shortcuts and think, "I could list like a hundred things that I wish shortcuts could do,"
01:09:03 ◼ ► there's so much possibility, there's so much potential, that I will be really disappointed if it feels like they kind of took their foot off the gas and said,
01:09:16 ◼ ► "You know, shortcuts is good for a while," because it's not. It's good, but it could be a big win for users and for user automation if they kept pushing it.
01:09:27 ◼ ► This stuff is all kind of customer focused. Do you have anything more focused on developer tools?
01:09:40 ◼ ► This was a rough year, right? So it's like lots of bugs, but it's not just for users, it's for developers.
01:09:46 ◼ ► They introduced the two different new methods of building apps, Mac Catalyst and SwiftUI.
01:09:51 ◼ ► You've seen the result in developers. I mean, we, I don't know about you, I expected this fall to see a whole lot of app updates supporting new features of iOS 13 and supporting Catalyst.
01:10:07 ◼ ► And for lots of the apps that I rely on, the developers, the message from the developers has been,
01:10:14 ◼ ► "Spent the summer working out the bugs in iOS 13, spending the fall looking at implementing iOS 13 new features, and as for Mac Catalyst, talk to me next year."
01:10:27 ◼ ► And that's rough, that's rough. So I feel like making progress with the developer tools, making Mac Catalyst better, progressing SwiftUI,
01:10:45 ◼ ► Stability doesn't just benefit users in the fall, stability during the summer benefits users because the developers are able to develop instead of getting frustrated by the development tools being in pieces and the betas being messed up, which is what happened this year.
01:11:05 ◼ ► Another example of like, you did some new stuff, don't walk away, because that happens sometimes.
01:11:10 ◼ ► Apple rolls out new stuff and it walks away and says, "I'll get back to this in two or three years."
01:11:15 ◼ ► And no, don't, no, no, it's not good enough. Like, you need to keep pushing on all of this stuff.
01:11:21 ◼ ► They walk away, like Catalyst is a great example. Like, there's so many things, if they listen to developers, there is a whole list of things that they could do to make Catalyst better.
01:11:28 ◼ ► They're going to do that? And if they don't do that, what does that mean? Does that mean that Catalyst is never going to be better than it is and it's just kind of is what it is and they've walked away from it?
01:11:36 ◼ ► SwiftUI, I fully expect for them to keep progressing because it's in its infancy, but like, all of this stuff is important.
01:11:44 ◼ ► - iPadOS is one of those things. - Yep. That's my last big point that I made in the article and that I can make here, which is just what we said before about kicking features out of iOS 14 to iOS 15.
01:11:56 ◼ ► Like, what we said last summer, they named iPadOS. iPadOS is a thing now. There will be an iPadOS 14, right? Right?
01:12:05 ◼ ► It can't have no new features. It can't have enhancements to features that matter to the iPad.
01:12:12 ◼ ► By giving iPadOS its own name, it's Apple putting a chip down and saying, "Yes, this is also a thing we're working on. We're going to, we're going to, I don't know what I'm going to do with this chip now."
01:12:24 ◼ ► Are they playing poker with it? Is it Baccarat? I don't know. But it's them saying, "iPad is important too."
01:12:31 ◼ ► You cannot go the next year and walk away from the iPad and do what you've done the last off years with iPad features and iOS, which is to kind of ignore them.
01:12:41 ◼ ► So that's all of us who use the iPad are going to be watching very closely next year with 14 because we want to see forward motion on the iPad every year.
01:12:54 ◼ ► Yes. And it needs it. There's a whole, you and I can come up with a list. And it can be nerdy. We can come up with 20 things.
01:13:00 ◼ ► We can fix files full of more features and we'll be happy. Fix files, make the cursor support better. There's so many things they could do. Better keyboard support, keyboard shortcuts across the system, keyboard tie-ins with shortcuts.
01:13:14 ◼ ► There's so many things. External display with app mirroring. There are so many things that are there. And they don't have to do them all because that's not possible, but they could pick some.
01:13:26 ◼ ► But I really hope they do because it's going to be very frustrating if iPadOS gets introduced in 2019 and in 2020 if the iPadOS update page is basically like, you get all the features the iPhone does.
01:13:38 ◼ ► Right. Because that goes against exactly what they said when they announced it. It's like, this is now one of our operating systems.
01:13:50 ◼ ► I will at least say I have more faith in them this time than I did in '16 and '18 because they called it its own thing.
01:14:00 ◼ ► I'm still nervous, but I have more faith this time because they have given it a distinction.
01:14:07 ◼ ► Like if you are actually legitimately calling it its own operating system, at WWDC there is always features for every operating system.
01:14:14 ◼ ► Even tvOS gets new stuff, right? So iPadOS has to get new stuff as well as benefiting from whatever you introduce to the major iOS stack as it is.
01:14:23 ◼ ► That would be not just my hope. That is my baseline assumption for what is acceptable as an iPad user.
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01:16:26 ◼ ► He says, "If you have the iPhone 11 battery case and use the Halide application, can you confirm for me that I know it won't launch Halide?"
01:16:35 ◼ ► Because it will launch Apple's camera app. "But does the camera button fire the shutter in Halide when you have it open?"
01:16:42 ◼ ► No, it doesn't. So the new smart battery case has a physical camera shutter button on it.
01:16:51 ◼ ► So this is a surprise to everybody. You can press and hold the button and it will open the camera app.
01:16:59 ◼ ► And then once the camera app is open, any press of that button, physical button, not even like a smushy button, it's a clicky button, plastic button, will take photos.
01:17:09 ◼ ► When you open the Halide app, which I did today, and you press the button, nothing happens.
01:17:14 ◼ ► If you press and hold the button, then the camera app will open. So no, this is a pure Apple camera app feature.
01:17:20 ◼ ► Wouldn't surprise me if there's an API for that so that camera apps will be able to add support for it later.
01:17:27 ◼ ► But it's good to know that right now Apple has shipped a feature that's only available on its accessory.
01:17:33 ◼ ► And I also want to thank Upgrading Jason for doing one of the things I asked at the beginning of the show, which is just give us more of that sweet, sweet accessory talk.
01:17:48 ◼ ► Just be like upstream or something, you know? I know that's what you want. More segments.
01:18:02 ◼ ► Oh, well, we were doing Amazon referral links to all the accessories and people are going to be like, I want that, I want that, I want to get that.
01:18:21 ◼ ► Howard says, "I'm an owner of a mid 2014 13 inch MacBook Pro. I've been very satisfied of it up until recently.
01:18:34 ◼ ► I've noticed that my Mac cannot play the video without frequent short pauses. Is this to be expected?
01:18:44 ◼ ► Yeah, I don't know exactly what's going on here, but it feels very much like either the, uh, because 60K, uh, 60 frames 4k is a lot of video.
01:18:58 ◼ ► So I don't know if it's the data not streaming off the hard drive fast enough, or if decoding presumably HEVC at 4k 60 is, uh, it's failing.
01:19:09 ◼ ► Or if it's transcoded it on the Mac to a different format and it's having trouble play that.
01:19:15 ◼ ► I'm regardless a five year old laptop not being able to play 4k 60 video, um, smoothly is not surprising.
01:19:24 ◼ ► And so, so yes, I'm pretty sure retina MacBook Air would be able to handle that much better.
01:19:30 ◼ ► Recent Apple, um, laptops have ability to do hardware decoding of HEVC, I think, which helps.
01:19:36 ◼ ► Uh, and, uh, they've all got SSDs that are faster, I think, than they were back in 14, assuming you've gotten SSD.
01:19:45 ◼ ► So, um, yeah, I think that this is an example where your iPhone's feature set has outstripped your laptop's capabilities.
01:19:58 ◼ ► Harry asked, do you think Apple will ever release a new product line under the eye naming scheme?
01:20:04 ◼ ► A cursory glance at their website and the only products that have are all big Steve Jobs hits like the iMac, the iPod, the iPhone and the iPad.
01:20:11 ◼ ► That was replaced with the Apple logo, which is very frustrating if you ever write anything down.
01:20:24 ◼ ► There you go. That's the big one to the point that even on Apple's website, it just says watch.
01:20:29 ◼ ► I was surprised today. I was looking through the Apple's website while I was compiling some categories for the, uh, the, uh, the upgrades.
01:20:47 ◼ ► It's also on the iPad page, the iPhone page, everywhere, but AirPods all over everything.
01:20:52 ◼ ► I know it's compatible, but it was just seemed like a funny, like top level navigation thing.
01:20:58 ◼ ► No, I will only give one exception to that, which is I think that it's not impossible that a spinoff product of the iPhone or the iPad could get that name.
01:21:15 ◼ ► So like, I think it's unlikely because, um, they could have called the home pod the iPod, I guess, and they didn't, but like the one that I keep coming back to is if they made an iOS laptop, would they call it iBook?
01:21:29 ◼ ► And I think maybe, probably not, but maybe because it couldn't be a Mac book, but it could be an iBook.
01:21:40 ◼ ► Anyway, that's my only exception and I think that's not very likely. Otherwise, I don't think it's ever going to happen again. It's over.
01:21:52 ◼ ► I mean, I don't personally, I don't really actually like the Apple something branding because it's, it's, it's led to, I think really unimaginative product naming.
01:22:11 ◼ ► But then you just, everything is just named what it is. Music, TV, news, like, I don't know.
01:22:23 ◼ ► I just said, like, it's just like everything is Apple something, right? Like it's Apple news, Apple music.
01:22:30 ◼ ► It just seems a bit like the one company that controls it all. I don't know. I just don't like it.
01:22:37 ◼ ► I get it. I get it. I just, I feel like if you're the most recognized brand in the world that leaning into that, probably not a bad decision.
01:22:44 ◼ ► I 100% agree with that. And I know that's why they're doing it, but I still would love a little bit more.
01:22:50 ◼ ► Jeremy asks, if we all now live in dongle town and root for the dongle town butterflies, upgradeyourwardrobe.com, where did everybody live previously? Was it port city somewhere else?
01:23:01 ◼ ► Jeremy, there's always been a dongle town. It's population ebbs and flows, but since the first parallel port made the first RS232 interface, there has always been a dongle town.
01:23:16 ◼ ► It started as a village that was adapter village, but yes, dongle town has always been with us as long as there has been technology and things that need to be adapted.
01:23:30 ◼ ► Well, the population ebbs and flows over time. There are often new members of dongle town as new technologies are launched, the population grows, and then over time that population will have had their fill of dongle town and will finally move on to elsewhere.
01:23:47 ◼ ► But then the next time moves on and more dongles are needed and then the population grows again. So they've just, the people of dongle town have learned, the shopkeepers of dongle town have learned to be flexible because the population does ebb and flow.
01:23:59 ◼ ► They've got like whole schools that they turn into garden centers when, you know, there's, the USB hasn't changed in a while and then they turn them back into schools again when there's a new USB.
01:24:11 ◼ ► That's a true story. There's an elementary school by my house that was a garden center when we lived here and then they turned it back.
01:24:18 ◼ ► Way too specific. Yeah, no, there was, they sold plants and then like two years later it was back to being an elementary school because they had more kids and then you needed space.
01:24:29 ◼ ► I'm pleased that that one wasn't just like purely constructed from your brain because that was, would have been very esoteric.
01:24:31 ◼ ► And that asks with the rumored 13.3 MacBook Pro going to a 14 inch, I wanted to say this, I think I heard this in ATP.
01:24:41 ◼ ► And when the number is purely constructed by our own hopes and dreams, there is nothing to say that that laptop is going to get any bigger, right?
01:24:51 ◼ ► We keep talking about the possibility of the 13 going to a 14 MacBook Pro size, but there is no way of knowing right now if that's the case.
01:25:05 ◼ ► Do you think the MacBook Air line could again split into two different sizes, maybe there's a 12 inch and a 14 inch or something like that.
01:25:18 ◼ ► I have a hard time seeing it, but I do feel like it's possible that they would make an ultra compact laptop.
01:25:23 ◼ ► I feel like this is the thing we've been talking about as the ARM MacBook, but it's hard to say.
01:25:32 ◼ ► They really thought that they had replaced it and then they had to go back and basically make it, I think.
01:25:37 ◼ ► So, I don't know. As a lover of small laptops, I would love there to be something smaller.
01:25:50 ◼ ► So, I think it's possible. I wouldn't put money on it, but I feel like it's entirely possible Apple would make another ultra compact laptop in the vein of the MacBook.
01:26:01 ◼ ► Whether that's ARM and whether that's an iOS laptop or a Mac laptop, I think those are all kind of out there.
01:26:15 ◼ ► Laurie asks, "With so many Apple TV+ shows being renewed, I wonder if Apple will time the second seasons of these shows to line up with when the free accounts from 2019 products,
01:26:26 ◼ ► so we all got our free account if we bought a product, when they expire, driving people to renew their subscriptions.
01:26:38 ◼ ► To say that just as your year of free Apple TV is waning, the premieres of those shows are going to be returning, the ones that you liked and remembered.
01:26:49 ◼ ► Wouldn't surprise me. I think that the renewals happened largely because there is always a contractual moment where you need to either...
01:26:59 ◼ ► Because what happens is the actors and the other production crew, those who are under contract are under contract with a renewal date.
01:27:11 ◼ ► Yeah, right. You need to pick up their contract and then you pay them and they work again.
01:27:19 ◼ ► And you can't keep them around forever and wait for one of them to become a star and then say, "Haha, now I'm reactivating your contract."
01:27:25 ◼ ► It doesn't work like that. And because Apple TV ended up not launching until quite a ways after that they produced these shows,
01:27:31 ◼ ► I think possibly later than Apple planned on launching it initially, I think the main reason this stuff got renewed when it did was because they had to contractually.
01:27:55 ◼ ► It could be ready next fall. So now that they've been renewed and they've done it and see and all of that.
01:28:05 ◼ ► Right? Just one year later, here they come again. And that's how TV shows work that are released weekly.
01:28:11 ◼ ► You premiere them and play them out and then the next year at the same time more or less, ideally, you premiere them and roll them out again.
01:28:40 ◼ ► You would maybe get back into them. If you hadn't seen them yet, maybe you would binge the first season and then start watching the second season.
01:28:47 ◼ ► And there would be another hook to get you. You'd hit that brick wall of the renewal and you'd be like, "All right."
01:28:56 ◼ ► So it's not quite the same as having to choose to renew. You have to choose not to cancel.
01:29:05 ◼ ► But it would be a good time if you're thinking, "Oh man, I should have canceled that. I should cancel it before they charge me for another month."
01:29:11 ◼ ► If there was content on there, you're like, "Oh yeah, right. I did like that show." And then you stay.
01:29:16 ◼ ► In theory, what they could do is when they show off the iPhone, the first episodes are available today and it would give them that time.
01:29:22 ◼ ► And they can say, "Here's the thing. Go get it." Because it will line up because everybody's trials didn't start until November.
01:29:38 ◼ ► All right, that is it for #AskUpgrade. So now we're going to talk about Die Hard in the Myke at the Movies segment.
01:29:46 ◼ ► But before we do that, I want to thank our final sponsor of this episode, and that is FreshBooks.
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01:30:20 ◼ ► You can very easily automate late payment email reminders so you don't need to spend any time chasing payments, because that's just one of the wonderful things that FreshBooks does.
01:30:30 ◼ ► Every time you send out an invoice, you can say, "Hey, after this period of time, just send that person a reminder so then you don't have to."
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01:30:43 ◼ ► You can see whether they've seen it. You can see whether they've come back to it. It's so, so simple.
01:30:47 ◼ ► I also love that with FreshBooks you can save all of your line items and stuff, so it's really, really easy with just a couple of key clicks, honestly, that you can get an invoice sent out.
01:30:56 ◼ ► You can also automate invoices to just go out. Like if you're billing somebody the same amount every month, you can just set it up so it recurs.
01:31:09 ◼ ► And they're doing a 30-day free trial for listeners of this show. Just go to FreshBooks.com/upgrade. There's no credit card required to sign up.
01:31:18 ◼ ► And when you do sign up, when they say, "How did you hear about us?" say, "On the upgrade podcast."
01:31:33 ◼ ► Time for Myke of the Movies Die Hard. Starting the holiday season off right, Jason Snow.
01:31:39 ◼ ► We're a month away from Christmas, so what better time to talk about the classic Christmas movie, Die Hard.
01:31:48 ◼ ► Well, the number one thing is probably that people like to annoy other people by calling it a Christmas movie when it is.
01:31:54 ◼ ► In fact, an action movie. But it is set on Christmas Eve, and the soundtrack is heavy with Christmas music.
01:32:15 ◼ ► The phrase is actually, "Now I have a machine gun, ho, ho, ho." But the sentiment is there.
01:32:21 ◼ ► And, yeah, I think it's one of those things where, is it a Christmas movie in terms of content?
01:32:29 ◼ ► No, but it is an action movie with Christmas trappings that is a beloved movie that is fun to watch, fun to rewatch.
01:32:36 ◼ ► And Christmas, especially if you don't like a lot of the Christmas canon, you can bring this into your personal Christmas canon and watch it at the holidays.
01:32:51 ◼ ► It is in the family family Christmas canon. It is a movie we watch every year at Christmas.
01:33:00 ◼ ► And Home Alone is as violent as Die Hard in many ways. There's a lot of similarities, including broken glass and feet, falling off high places.
01:33:10 ◼ ► It's all in there, you know? But it's just because it's set at Christmas is what makes it a Christmas movie.
01:33:16 ◼ ► This is also the maybe only time or the rare time where we have both seen and loved this movie.
01:33:25 ◼ ► One of my most fond feelings, memories towards this movie is the colouring of this movie.
01:33:40 ◼ ► Especially the beginning. It's all kind of like sunset-y and everything's red and pink.
01:33:46 ◼ ► Right, because he's landed in LA and they're doing their Christmas party on what appears to be...
01:33:52 ◼ ► I mean, they didn't do an early release for Christmas Eve, which is kind of jerky, but they did do a lavish Christmas party.
01:33:58 ◼ ► Most company Christmas parties aren't done on Christmas Eve. That is a little bit of a stretch. Maybe in the 80s.
01:34:29 ◼ ► There's a question of whether Nakatomi is a bad boss, is a bad company to work for. Mr. Takagi seems very nice, but at the same time they're making you stay and work on Christmas Eve instead of just sending you home.
01:34:44 ◼ ► Well, they did say as well there was a big deal done that day, right? So maybe really they're just celebrating the big deal.
01:34:49 ◼ ► It's like a combination thing where they're like, "We're just going to bring in stuff and have it be... The holiday party is now going to be even more lavish." And then you go home, right? Then you get your Christmas bonus and you go home.
01:34:59 ◼ ► And it's all going to be over by about six and then you can go back to your families. Unfortunately, surprise! Christmas terrorism!
01:35:10 ◼ ► I'll explain this. On the low definition on the incomparable game show, we did a round that was... It's called "Love's a Strange Place" and the idea there is what do American movie titles get translated into in other languages? Because they're often not direct translations.
01:35:26 ◼ ► And I think the Swedish title of Die Hard is "Action Skyscraper." But we all had to come up with guesses about what a good mistranslated or weirdly translated title was. And I think my favorite might have been "Surprise Christmas Terrorism." Although "Lonely Christmas Cop" is also a good one.
01:35:45 ◼ ► So this movie... I don't even really know how to describe it. It's just the "man pushed too far" type idea, right?
01:35:57 ◼ ► Chris Willis's character plays a New York cop whose wife is... They're currently separated. He's separated from his wife and he's flown to LA for this "will she..." But they both go through at the beginning, which I think is interesting, a "will she invite him?"
01:36:19 ◼ ► Will he accept to stay in the guest bedroom of where she's living with their kids? But he's got a pretense of staying with someone else, but she's already told the nanny to make up the spare room for him.
01:36:35 ◼ ► So they're in a precarious situation where they've separated, but he's coming out to visit and there's a real question about, like, are they gonna reconcile? Are they going to have it out and be done? What exactly is gonna go on? And it's hovering in the air as the bullets start flying.
01:36:58 ◼ ► And I love the whole 80s vibe of this movie. I love the way the Nakatomi offices look. I love the touchscreen company directory. That's a very fun scene because, like, you know, it's like, "No way. No way is there a touchscreen."
01:37:19 ◼ ► And I was like, "I don't know. I think there was some weird rubbish touchscreens." But that was clearly a non-working touchscreen because when you watch that scene, every time Bruce Willis presses a key, his body kind of moves a little bit. It's very funny.
01:37:36 ◼ ► I was just kind of paying notice that you could see him kind of flashing a little bit as they're stopping and bringing up a new screen.
01:37:43 ◼ ► That was totally the kind of weird, expensive, and not necessary tech that you would have seen in the late 80s where you're putting your finger on a CRT and it's able, with these giant buttons, and you're able to do that rather than having a directory book or something. They've just got this electronic directory running on a PC with a touchscreen.
01:38:10 ◼ ► Yeah, I don't know whether that was optical or what it was, but yeah, definitely those kind of things existed. And of course, it serves a character point, right? Because he looks her up under his name and she's not listed, and then he looks her up under her maiden name, and she is.
01:38:27 ◼ ► And this is how he finds out that she's going by Holly Gennaro and not Holly McLean, which is a super important character and plot point later, which is a little bit of economy that I like in this screenplay.
01:38:40 ◼ ► It's saying something about the precariousness of their relationship while also leading to the point where there's confusion about once his identity comes out to Hans and his gang, they don't immediately connect her to him, which is important to plug a plot hole.
01:38:59 ◼ ► Yeah, I mean, this is one of those things where I could imagine that being put in after the first kind of reading or whatever, you know?
01:39:06 ◼ ► Or it's like, well, but if she's Holly McLean and her name's on a door somewhere, they're going to work this out. And it's like, oh, well, what we can, you know, it's like a clever way of doing it.
01:39:19 ◼ ► Which reminds me, like, kind of like just the identity thing. One of my favourite funny parts of this movie, I'm jumping way ahead now, is when McLean, like John McLean's talking to the policeman Al, and they're just having all these conversations on the public radio.
01:39:37 ◼ ► And that, you know, that like the terrorists are all listening to like their heartfelt communication that, you know, Al's saying like, "I shot a kid," right? Like he does the whole thing. And it's just like, they're just letting it happen, which I think is kind of funny most of the time.
01:39:55 ◼ ► But they also have like, they are speaking in code, right? Like throughout, they're limited in what they know that it's an open channel. So even though they can share feelings on an open channel, you can't, there's something there. You can't encode your feelings on an open channel, something like that.
01:40:19 ◼ ► And although he's grunting and groaning as he's removing glass from his feet, he's not saying, "Oh, I'm really injured and I can't walk," because that would be giving them information that he doesn't want to give them.
01:40:29 ◼ ► So they kind of, they have that kind of double thought. It's a good, it's great because they only, you know, Bruce Willis and Reginald Val Johnson are only in one scene together at the very end. That's it.
01:40:39 ◼ ► Like that's the whole, otherwise they're just, it actually reminds me a lot of one of my favorites, Star Trek II, in two ways. One is that those two characters are only on screen together in the one scene, like how Kirk and Khan are never on the same set together.
01:40:55 ◼ ► But it's also like the conversation between Kirk and Spock where they're speaking in code and it's like they know what they're communicating but they know that they're listening to them. So it's a nice, any movie that reminds me of Star Trek II is also made in the 80s. So it's got a lot of things going for it.
01:41:11 ◼ ► This movie features one of my least favorite corporate lines, which is when, so Holly and John are in the bathroom, right? And they're talking like he's washing up or whatever. And Holly's assistant comes in and says like, "Mr." What's the guy's name? Is it Mr. Nakatani?
01:41:33 ◼ ► No, it's not Mr. Nakatani. He wants you to say something to the troops about like giving a speech. I hate like people in companies being referred to as troops. Don't like that.
01:41:46 ◼ ► Yeah, and it totally happens. We watched this with Julian and he snorted at that line. He's like, "Troops? Troops?" And I said, "Yeah, that's a corporate thing." But he was rolling his eyes at it too. And yeah, that's totally, which is worse, all the employees were a family or you're my attack troops?
01:42:15 ◼ ► Well, but troops is a lie too. But like there is at least with family, there is something warm in that. And like troops is like, you're in the army now. Congratulations. We're fighting everybody.
01:42:29 ◼ ► Yeah. And Ellis as a character, right? The Weasley co-worker. He's the worst, right? Because he embodies every 80s yuppie archetype right down to his multiple instances of snorting cocaine and thinking that he can make the best deal with the terrorists, which doesn't go well for him.
01:42:56 ◼ ► Yeah. That's actually a legitimately great scene because you're reading it on the multiple levels of Hans Gruber trying to glean information from this guy. And he's also trying to glean information about the relationship that this guy has with Maclean.
01:43:13 ◼ ► Maclean knows exactly what is happening and Ellis is completely oblivious and thinks that he can convince. He's a great salesman. He convinced anybody of anything. And of course, in the end, Ellis is dead at the shot by Gruber. So it doesn't work out for him.
01:43:28 ◼ ► You've mentioned Hans Gruber. How just fantastic. Alan Rickman is so good in this movie. I do love anything to do with Alan Rickman speaking in this movie is fun for me because it's like at the very beginning of the movie, he pretends to have a slight German accent.
01:44:04 ◼ ► But it is there. I like how wacky this character is too. He doesn't get enough credit for being wacky. The whole, like, I read about him in Time magazine or whatever about the Asian son.
01:44:16 ◼ ► And the fact that he is the whole time he is pretending to be a left-wing terrorist, but in fact is just a robber. He's just stealing money because the terrorism thing is...
01:44:34 ◼ ► Yeah, right. But I must have missed 60 Minutes. He has a sense of humor and of course then he pretends to be a scared American who works in the building briefly and that's really funny.
01:44:47 ◼ ► And the accent is so terrible. I love it. I love how bad the accent is. It's so perfect for what's happening in that moment.
01:44:56 ◼ ► Bill Clay. That's another example too where he's smart enough to have figured out that he needs to pose to somebody in case this happens. And it does. And then he has a name ready to go, which is like how smart Hans Gruber is. But of course it's not enough to fool Bruce Willis. He's got enough clues there to know that he's actually a...
01:45:21 ◼ ► He's got clues. This is why this movie is so good and I'm sure there are other movies before it that are similar, but it says something that there's so many movies after that are literally just diehard in what blank.
01:45:33 ◼ ► Because it's the idea of like you take a hero and you close them off from the rest of the world so that they don't have the resources to do this. They have to do it by themselves. Because we live in a big connected world and you can't...
01:45:45 ◼ ► Most movies that's going to be the plot hole, right? Why didn't they call for help? A friend of mine, their review of Iron Man 3 is, "Well, why didn't he call the Avengers?" It's like, "Okay, well, they were busy."
01:45:56 ◼ ► But here, so you close them off and he doesn't even have shoes and he's got his one gun and he's way outnumbered, but he has his skills and then he keeps working the problem. It's so great.
01:46:09 ◼ ► And the fact that although many of the henchmen are lackeys and not very bright, his primary opponent is very smart and they keep matching wits. And as the situation keeps escalating, the movie holds back enough that you always are thinking that Hans Gruber is going to have another card to play.
01:46:28 ◼ ► And he keeps... So like the cops show up and you're like, "Aha! Now we're getting somewhere." And he's like, "Good. I needed them to show up." And you're like, "What?"
01:46:37 ◼ ► And what I really need is cop level two. I need the FBI. I don't even want the cops. Which is very good. You mentioned the barefoot. That is so iconic, right? Like barefoot vest wearing. That look is so iconic to this movie. And I love the fact that he doesn't have his shoes on.
01:46:56 ◼ ► Yeah. No, he's desperate. It's actually one of the reasons I love Indiana Jones is that he gets beat up and he makes mistakes and he's taken damage. Both of them get shot at one point in their movies and they just got to keep doing it.
01:47:12 ◼ ► And what works about Indiana Jones, he's vulnerable. He's just trying really hard. You can see him exerting huge amounts of effort. And I mean Die Hard takes that to extremes, right? Like he's bloody, he's beaten. At several points, he's like...
01:47:27 ◼ ► First off, he's confronted with a situation. He's like, "Oh, no way. This is ridiculous." And then as he's doing stuff that's ridiculous, he's like screaming and growling and being like, "Ah!" He's not having a good time. He's not a robot. He's not a Terminator. He's just this guy who has to survive. And that gets you on his side and it makes you root for him. It's really good.
01:47:50 ◼ ► How many times do you think Bruce Willis stubbed his toe in the film and in his movie? I was thinking of that when I was watching this last night. It must have been grueling for him to film for that reason, right?
01:48:02 ◼ ► He's bare feet all the time. Like just running up the metal staircase must have hurt so bad because it's that metal that's got those little indentations in it, right?
01:48:12 ◼ ► Like just all of that stuff. And they're building a film set. He must have stepped on so many things. He must have legitimately hurt himself. And it's not serious stuff, but at a point where there must have been times when filming this movie when he must have been very unhappy.
01:48:28 ◼ ► Because that is not a nice way to work, right? Like in those circumstances, you have no shoes, no socks. He's just running around with his bare feet. It must have been pretty difficult to film this one, I think. Probably quite a bit of method acting going on there.
01:48:44 ◼ ► It's glass everywhere, you know? Kind of been nice stepping on the leg, I'm sure at some point. That's a great part, right? When it's shooting out the glass, which I can't imagine any more bullets have ever been shot in a scene in a movie than the shoot the glass scene.
01:49:01 ◼ ► But isn't that good? And that is another one of those things where it's like Hans Gruber is smart and he's dangerous. He's a dangerous opponent for John McClane because he has good ideas that he expresses in movie German and then translates immediately into English so the audience can understand it.
01:49:18 ◼ ► I don't understand that part. Why couldn't the German guy understand the German? Maybe there's no German word for shoot the glass. They're European, so maybe he couldn't remember if he spoke German or only spoke Swedish or something like that so then he switches to English.
01:49:32 ◼ ► It's funny that part. But it is good though, right? And I also like that whilst it's happening, McClane is freaking out. It's too much, right? I like it. He even indicates these are too many bullets. Oh, I forgot to mention something which is very late 80s, early 90s. Hans Gruber is using a Filofax at one point.
01:49:55 ◼ ► He's a very organized robber, right? That's why he's so good at it. The most organized crime. I love the disdain for the FBI and their rules. Everyone's so mad that the FBI has a process, right? Where it's like, "Oh, they're doing it by the terrorist playbook."
01:50:19 ◼ ► It's like, "Yeah, they probably should though. There's got to be a process. Come on." Right. That's the beauty of the plan, right? Gruber knows the process and so he knows if I say that I'm a terrorist, the FBI is going to come, they're going to do the terrorist playbook.
01:50:34 ◼ ► That includes cutting the power and all these things. That's what I want. I want the playbook.
01:50:41 ◼ ► Although the FBI are not portrayed very well in this movie, right? When they're in the helicopter and it's like, "Oh, probably there's 25% of the hostages. Ah, seems like a success."
01:50:50 ◼ ► Law enforcement is not portrayed because there's Dwayne Johnson. Who is our Dwayne Johnson? Dwayne something.
01:50:57 ◼ ► The Lieutenant. Because it's Johnson and Johnson are the agents. No relation. But Dwayne T. Robinson, right? He is a jerk and it's very much like we're rooting for Al.
01:51:12 ◼ ► But then this guy takes over and he's a stuffed shirt. He's like, "Oh, we're going to do it my way." He has his guys go in and they're doing it badly.
01:51:22 ◼ ► And they send, "Send in the car. Send in the car." I love that. And they fire the missiles at it. It's amazing.
01:51:29 ◼ ► And then the FBI guys come in. If I have a criticism of the movie is while it is, they're a little, they're so broad. The FBI guys are so broad.
01:51:40 ◼ ► But, you know, at that point, it's funny because in this movie, you're rooting for John McClane, but against the FBI and the LAPD jerks, you're kind of rooting for Hans Gruber, right?
01:51:55 ◼ ► You're kind of like, "Oh, he's smarter than them." Like, you don't want Hans Gruber to win because you want McClane to win.
01:52:01 ◼ ► But when the cops come, they're so bad and it makes you want to see them fail just because they're bad at their jobs. It's a weird line to walk where you actually kind of want the good side to fail or at least see how they're going to fail.
01:52:17 ◼ ► A period of time, the FBI is more of a villain in this movie than the villain in this movie.
01:52:25 ◼ ► Yeah, because they're going to get people killed and John McClane's not going to let them. So, yes, at one point, John McClane has to save people, save the hostages from the FBI.
01:52:34 ◼ ► Because, and it is, you know, technically, it's he's saving them from the terrorists or the robbers because they've wired the building with C4, but it's an action that's precipitated by the FBI.
01:52:45 ◼ ► And then the FBI try to shoot Bruce Willis because he's trying to scare the people off the roof, which he succeeds at doing. Yeah, it's funny.
01:52:55 ◼ ► All I can say about the FBI guys is they're comic relief, essentially. They're in it to blunder and have wacky dialogue.
01:53:07 ◼ ► Yeah, sure. And then you get that moment where, where, was it Robert Davi, who is like, this is like Saigon and the other guy, his response, I won't repeat, but his response is basically like, how old do you think I am? I wasn't in Vietnam. What are you talking about?
01:53:21 ◼ ► And then it's all really there so that when they blow up in the explosion and their helicopter crashes, that Dwayne T. Robinson can say, we're going to need some more FBI guys, I guess.
01:53:32 ◼ ► Which is a horrible line! It's so mean! And then there's another villain we haven't even spoken about yet, Richard Thornburg, the news guy who upsets everybody.
01:53:59 ◼ ► Well, I mean, it's that, William Atherton, if you can get William Atherton as a villain in your movie, you are doing great. Because he is the villain.
01:54:13 ◼ ► Ghostbusters and real genius are the two best examples of that, but he's also great in this. He's just awful. And here it's like, who's the true villain? The terrorist robbers with the C4 who are killing people and blowing things up.
01:54:26 ◼ ► Yeah, yeah, yeah, okay. Alright, they're the true villain. But the TV news guy, he's pretty bad too. It's just kind of funny, like the imbalance there.
01:54:36 ◼ ► And do they need the social satire of the TV news guy and the two anchors and the guy who gets where Helsinki is wrong and he insults him before he goes on the air and then they have to tell him he's on the air?
01:54:49 ◼ ► Do they need that part of the movie other than for the plot point where it's revealed that the kids are there and it leads Alan Rickman to realize that Holly is John's wife?
01:54:59 ◼ ► Like, it's not, a lot of the stuff with William Atherton is not necessary, but it's great. It adds a lot of flavor and color to the movie.
01:55:12 ◼ ► Like, there are a million ways that they could have had them find out about them being married, but the fact that it was for the thought of nobody inside of the building is a good thing, I think, like that it's an external force.
01:55:26 ◼ ► Not to get too highfalutin here, but I think that one of the things that this movie is about is about isolation. And it's not just about putting John McClane on his own in the building, but I would say it's about the fact that there's no one that he or Al can rely on because nobody's listening to them.
01:55:41 ◼ ► So they know, but they are forced to go on their own because nobody else will help. And the media revealing information like that, I feel like is just yet another layer on top about how you are not going to get help from the outside world.
01:55:57 ◼ ► They are only going to be a hindrance. The FBI guys, the TV news, the LAPD, they are all against you, not because they hate you, but because they aren't interested in listening to what you need.
01:56:12 ◼ ► They just are going to do their own thing. So it's even more isolating for John and Al to have that extra. So the media is just another layer of not helping.
01:56:22 ◼ ► Oh, this is also exemplified by the police dispatchers who pick up the radio signal earlier on in the movie.
01:56:37 ◼ ► So it's a British phrase and the definition from the dictionary is the best way to describe this. A job's worth, that is one word, the word worth, w-o-r-t-h, added to jobs. An official who upholds petty rules even at the expense of humanity or common sense.
01:56:55 ◼ ► It's a 911 dispatcher who gets a call saying people are being shot. First off, in modern America, people being shot in an office building would not be viewed.
01:57:08 ◼ ► That was a moment where I was like, "Oh, yeah, 1988." You'd be like, "Oh, this seems like a prank call." And today you'd be like, "Oh, people being shot in an office building? Yeah, that happens all the time."
01:57:19 ◼ ► But she's so passive aggressive about it. She doesn't even want to alert a single car. She has to work up to alerting a single car.
01:57:34 ◼ ► Because he's using a private call line or whatever. Which, if he knows it and knows how to access it, could indicate something.
01:57:45 ◼ ► But you're right. Again, it's good because it's me against the world and I'm alone and nothing is helping. It just keeps getting reinforced. Die Hard isn't just about his isolation.
01:57:56 ◼ ► Wow, I'm going to blow your mind. No, this is too much. It's not just about his isolation in the building. It's about his isolation in society and in the world.
01:58:05 ◼ ► He's separated from his wife. The authorities can't help him other than Al who is himself an isolated man. And you could argue that Hans Gruber is isolated too.
01:58:17 ◼ ► And he's playing the other side of the chessboard there. But this movie, if you watch it closely, it is really isolating John McClane.
01:58:24 ◼ ► He is on an island in the middle of a lake on the island where there's another little island. He is all the way by himself as he could be.
01:58:46 ◼ ► And it's just a fantastic movie to have a reason to watch every year. Which is one of the reasons why I and many others consider Die Hard a Christmas movie.
01:59:02 ◼ ► Yes. We just did a sequels draft on the incomparable. And one of the ones that I mentioned was just after Die Hard 2, there's Stop.
01:59:11 ◼ ► You mentioned in our notes here the classic scene where Hans Gruber falls out of the window at the end.
01:59:19 ◼ ► Where it's actually, if you watch, it's amazing. There is this line of dialogue early in the movie, right when John gets to the tower.
01:59:26 ◼ ► Where they're talking about how she's got her new watch that she should show John. And it's a Rolex and all of that.
01:59:31 ◼ ► And it's only there so that at the end they have her watch which he's grabbing onto and they undo it and he falls to his death.
01:59:46 ◼ ► If anything, the only thing that could have made that moment better is if Hans Gruber had given her that watch.
01:59:53 ◼ ► But for those who don't know the trivia, it is an amazing moment. They shot it in the shot from above looking down at Alan Rickman as he's falling.
02:00:13 ◼ ► And I'll come back to it in a second because then it cuts to a person falling and flailing against the side of a building.
02:00:22 ◼ ► And I believe that may still be the record for the longest fall by a stunt person in a movie.
02:00:31 ◼ ► Because they actually did a person for... I don't know how many stories it actually was that they shot of that.
02:00:39 ◼ ► And there's movie magic there. But that is a person flailing and falling into a gigantic air mattress thing with I don't even know what, how many.
02:00:48 ◼ ► So that's a true story. That was like a record-setting stunt fall. But the Alan Rickman face is so amazing when he starts to fall to his death.
02:00:56 ◼ ► And the story behind it, and I don't know if this is apocryphal, I think it's real, is that they said, "Okay, Alan, we're going to drop you on three. One, two," and they dropped him.
02:01:08 ◼ ► And that's why he looks so surprised. Because they dropped him before they said they were going to drop him.
02:01:20 ◼ ► And in slow motion especially, there's some things with acting that you can get away with in full speed, but in slow motion you really are analyzing every single tiny moment.
02:01:40 ◼ ► Which only factors into the plot very tangentially at the end when he runs his car into the van that has Theo in it, the safecracker.
02:01:49 ◼ ► Who, by the way, I think is the only person who survives from the whole terrorist group, assuming he doesn't die by having his car run into in the garage by Argyle.
02:02:02 ◼ ► Maybe not. Somebody can do the math about where they all die. I'm sure somebody has done that. But I think he might arguably still be alive.
02:02:14 ◼ ► And honestly, I talk about Argyle, it's really a double act, right? It's Argyle and the giant stuffed bear that's in the back of the limo.
02:02:21 ◼ ► And the way they frame it where it's like, Argyle's there and the bear is in the rearview mirror.
02:02:26 ◼ ► Because McClain brought the bear for his daughter. And it's funny that the bear is always in the background.
02:02:34 ◼ ► And then finally there's that shot where Argyle looks at the bear in the mirror and is like, "Shut up."
02:02:39 ◼ ► Or whatever. It's like the bear is judging you, Argyle, as you sit there locked in the bottom of the building.
02:02:46 ◼ ► I just love it. Again, is Argyle's presence in the movie necessary? No, but it's great.
02:03:09 ◼ ► You can find Jason online at sixcolors.com, the incomparable .com and he's @jsnell on Twitter.
02:03:15 ◼ ► I'm @imike, I-M-Y-K-E. We both host many shows here at relay.fm/shows and probably find something new if you're looking for a new podcast in your life.
02:03:26 ◼ ► We'll be back next time. Thanks so much for listening. Until then, say goodbye, Jason Snell.