214: Nobody Seems to Know Anything


00:00:00   [Music]

00:00:08   From Relay FM, this is Upgrade, episode 214. Today's show is brought to you by Squarespace and FreshBooks and Simple Contacts.

00:00:18   My name is Myke Hurley, I'm joined across the airwaves by the one and only Jason Snell.

00:00:23   Hello Myke Hurley from the airwaves, woo! Airwaves!

00:00:27   How are those waves of air today?

00:00:29   We're surfing them dude, it's California.

00:00:31   Nobody cares about this Jason, because it's time for #SnellTalk.

00:00:35   And this week's question comes from someone named Casey. Casey wants to know, "Has Jason ever lived outside of California? If so, where? If not, where would he consider living?"

00:00:48   Well hi Lister Casey, Upgrading Casey, it's good to hear from you.

00:00:52   Sounds like the kind of person who's super into the West Coast lifestyle to me.

00:00:57   Yeah, I think that this person is purely asking because they would like to also move to the West Coast because I think they probably think it's the best coast.

00:01:07   I think almost certainly they think that.

00:01:10   So Lister Casey, "Have I ever lived outside of California?" I haven't. I was born in California.

00:01:17   However, I will say that, to put this in perspective, because I know some people don't understand this, California is a very large place. It's about the size of France.

00:01:28   It's big. So I was born in Oakland, but I grew up in the foothills, which is about 100 miles east of the Bay Area.

00:01:41   I went to college in San Diego, which is many hundreds of miles away. It was about a nine hour drive to go from home to school.

00:01:49   And now I live in the Bay Area. So although I have never lived outside of California, I have definitely lived in three very distinct regions in California.

00:02:01   I assume the climates and the terrain and stuff is very different in those areas.

00:02:06   Yeah, San Diego is quite different. We have seasons up in the foothills and the mountains.

00:02:12   I had a friend who was from Tennessee and went to college in Ohio.

00:02:16   And she said, "Oh, you Californians, you're so provincial." And I said, "I will bet you that my college was further away from my home than yours was."

00:02:25   And it absolutely was true by like 100 miles because even though she had to go through a couple of states to get there, because California is really big.

00:02:33   Have I ever lived outside then? No. If not, where would I consider living? I gotta say, listener Casey probably will back me up on this.

00:02:42   I'm kind of a West Coast guy. I think the places that I think realistically I would consider living outside of California would be Oregon, Washington.

00:02:55   That's probably about it in a pinch. If I was forced to flee to higher ground, maybe I would go to, I don't know, Colorado, Utah, something like that.

00:03:05   I don't feel like I'm an East Coast guy. I live in Hawaii. That would be expensive, but I would do that. I'd suffer that indignity of living in Hawaii all the time.

00:03:15   I'd suffer the time zone problems.

00:03:17   I'd have to deal with it, being way back there in time, but that would be pretty nice. I think realistically I'm probably a California lifer.

00:03:26   I'm okay with that. Even though they always joke about how nobody is from California. That's not true. Lots of us are from California.

00:03:34   Made by Apple. Signed by Apple in California. Whatever. Me too.

00:03:42   Thank you so much to listener Casey for sending in that question. If you would like to send in a question to open the show, just send a tweet with the hashtag SnellTalk.

00:03:53   It goes into a wonderful document for me to pick from in future episodes. This question can be about anything.

00:03:59   Whatever you would like to know about Jason, you can ask. Potentially I may ask Jason and he may answer.

00:04:06   We do have some follow up today. This comes in from Upgrading Oliver. We were talking in Ask Upgrade last week about if Apple Pay Cash may ever get outside of the US.

00:04:18   We were talking about some of the various complications that could be surrounding launching it out and rolling it out.

00:04:24   It's taken them about a year at this point and it's just been US only. I think it launched with iOS last year, didn't it?

00:04:32   Kind of around that time. There has been some reporting done by MacRumors because their readers have been sending in stuff.

00:04:43   There has been rumblings and little hints that it may be expanding into Europe. Some people in France, for example, have been seeing Apple Pay Cash setup screens on their Apple Watch.

00:04:55   Some digging has discovered that Apple Pay Cash support pages have been localised for Austria, Italy, Poland, Sweden and Russia.

00:05:05   Something is happening. This happened with Apple Pay when Apple Pay launched itself outside of the US.

00:05:14   There was some stuff where it was starting to show up in this way. Screens were showing up on the iPhone and pages started to appear.

00:05:24   It seems like Apple Pay Cash could be imminently rolling out to Europe. Which would be wonderful. I hope that includes the United Kingdom.

00:05:34   We can't tell by the page localisation because I assume we just use the pages that are written in English for Americans.

00:05:43   I really do hope that this is something that pops up and I do hope, again as we spoke about last time, if Apple do this, they find a way to make

00:05:53   international transfers a simple possibility because that would be truly wonderful if I could send Jason a dollar every time he gives me a good idea. Very easy to do.

00:06:04   That's great. My price is higher than that. This is great. Apple Pay Cash is good. I enjoy using it when I get a chance to use it. It's easy. It is one of the few iMessage apps that I've ever used. It's nice to be able to just say, you wire it up and say, "Here it is. I'm going to pay you."

00:06:25   It's relatively easy to pull it back out and put it back in your bank account if you have a large balance too. Or you just leave a little bit on the phone in your account.

00:06:36   You can use it then, can't you? It's just like regular Apple Pay. You could go to Walgreens or whatever and I don't know if they support it. I just picked that name out.

00:06:45   Sure. I go to Whole Foods and buy some peanut butter with that. Yes, you can. Otherwise, it's like a PayPal balance almost where somebody pays you $15 and then later you pay somebody $5 and it just comes out of the $15 that you already had sitting there.

00:06:57   You can pull it out. If somebody gives you $800 in Apple Pay Cash, you can pull that out and put it back in your bank. You link it to a bank account basically via a debit card essentially. Then it all works. Yeah, it's great.

00:07:09   It's actually a really well put together product and has not -- I envision that the banking system would have put up more roadblocks to make it more finicky and less frictionless.

00:07:23   Between Apple and the banks and the financial system, however, they visualized this feature and then realized it. It is good. It's good. I like it a lot.

00:07:34   I hope other people in the world get to use it and that we get to send money to each other. It would be really weird if they didn't deal with the currency and it was sort of like your wallet has $40 and three pounds in it. I'm like, I don't want -- why are they there?

00:07:49   It's actually a really good question. Would they auto convert or would they give it to you in that currency and then you could choose to convert it or keep it so that you could pay another British person pounds later? I don't know. That's a real interesting question to be sorted out.

00:08:07   Everything that I've ever used that does this, it makes you choose. The money will come in in dollars and then you transfer it when you're ready. PayPal does this. I just recently started --

00:08:19   Right. There you go.

00:08:20   It's transfer-wise and it's the same. You have multiple currencies and then you choose. The reason for this is if you're receiving a lot of money, the exchange can be a big difference. You might want to exchange the money on a day when the market is in your favor.

00:08:38   We'll see what they end up doing. There are pluses and minuses, I think, no matter what way they decide to go because if they do the multiple currency thing, then that's just going to be complicated. I don't know. I'm keen to see. I am also personally in the camp that I would be absolutely not surprised at all if it was into country only. You could only transfer within your country.

00:09:04   I wouldn't be surprised.

00:09:06   I would like it if you could send me a dollar and literally be like, "I want to send Jason US dollars one." Then it does the conversion on the fly. I get a dollar. You have whatever needs to be deducted from your balance in pounds and that's it. You sent me a dollar. I don't care how many pounds that is. You sent me a dollar. I like that. That's good.

00:09:27   Should we do some upstream?

00:09:30   I think so. Is there anything happening in the world of streaming services?

00:09:36   Let me tell you. There's actually quite a lot going on this week. I think I'm going to save some of it for next week because I expect that there might not be as much but there's some big movements happening with Netflix that we might get into in the future.

00:09:52   Amazon is quite clearly, Jason, trying to find their Game of Thrones.

00:09:57   Jeff Bezos wants a Game of Thrones. He wants an international sensation.

00:10:01   He basically has said that, right? In so many words.

00:10:05   Absolutely. No, I think in that many words. He wants a huge international hit. They've done a bunch of stuff already. They paid famously a huge amount of money just for the rights to the Lord of the Rings characters.

00:10:20   And that is now being developed into a series but they spent huge amounts of money just for the rights. Now the series development is going on. It's unclear whether...

00:10:32   I think they're trying to get Peter Jackson involved in some way, whether it's just his blessing or as a consultant or something.

00:10:40   But I think they would like to make it feel like those movies that were so wildly popular to a certain degree.

00:10:48   Or even just at least attach his name to it so it adds the credibility for people that are going to check in on him.

00:10:53   Exactly right. But it's unclear. I mean, he won't be heavily involved but it's unclear whether he might be involved a little bit or not.

00:11:00   But that's going on. That was like the first sign and they've made other deals since then.

00:11:04   And the item that you've got in here is the latest in the line, right? Which is that they've got a deal to adapt Robert Jordan's The Wheel of Time series which is many, many books.

00:11:13   It was a book series so long that Robert Jordan died before he finished it and they had to hire another writer to finish the story.

00:11:19   I don't know this story. I don't think I know this. Is this a, I'm assuming it is, but specifically well-regarded series?

00:11:27   It is an epic fantasy series. It is, I would say, generally well-regarded, although most of the people I know read it for a while and then just got tired of it because it's so long.

00:11:37   I will say our friend Kathy Campbell, Mrs. Soup in the chat room, it's I think her favorite or one of her very favorite book series.

00:11:45   And she's read it all probably more than once. I don't know. Kathy can tell me that. But anyway, it is an epic series. There's a lot of material. There are a lot of characters.

00:11:55   And so they've added that to their list and so they continue to build these deals. They've got a deal with Neil Gaiman.

00:12:08   Yeah, that is called an overall TV deal, which is another thing that they announced at the same time, which basically just means anything.

00:12:17   Yeah, well, he's doing, so Neil Gaiman, for those who don't know, a best-selling writer, he's actually doing a show with them now that's co-produced by BBC, but it's going to premiere on Amazon Prime worldwide.

00:12:30   And that is Good Omens, which is a book that Neil Gaiman wrote with Terry Pratchett. And apparently, Neil Gaiman, even though he's a novelist, he knows, I think between this and American Gods, he knows that there's a lot of money in TV too.

00:12:46   And that part of his career...

00:12:49   If you've written the book, the book's written. Why not do something more? You can totally see why this happens and why people do it. It's like, he wrote the book. The book is done. Now it can be adapted into a TV series. Great. Let's go for it.

00:13:02   You see how this stuff is playing out now. It's so interesting to see these companies, these tech-focused companies, just picking, going to the library and just picking these things off the shelves. It's so fascinating.

00:13:19   So there is that one, right? So obviously Amazon's doing its thing, but Netflix have announced, I think, something equally huge, which is that they're going to be developing adaptations of The Chronicles of Narnia.

00:13:33   They're very proud of the fact that they are the first company to ever have the rights to all of the books. There are seven books in the Chronicles of Narnia series.

00:13:44   Most people know about The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. It's one of the books. They have all of them. And apparently this has never happened before. So all seven books, they have the rights for them.

00:13:55   Like the Prime deal with the Tolkien estate, my understanding here is that they own the rights to Narnia at this point. And they can tell that story.

00:14:04   I think this is really smart, actually, because there have been so many adaptations of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe over the years that they have Narnia. So they can tell that story or stories in that world, and they can do it however they want.

00:14:17   And they've set new series and film projects. So I think the idea here is they might be able to produce films if they want to that would presumably just debut on Netflix, but that they also could drill down and do series.

00:14:30   And they can cover this whole world instead of doing, essentially rehashing the exact same story about the kids who find the back of the wardrobe leads to a magical world. They can take a bigger picture.

00:14:44   Especially because famously those books were released out of order. So they could go back to the start, couldn't they?

00:14:50   Exactly. They could tell it in any direction that they want to. I've never been thrilled with any of the adaptations. I read those books when I was a kid, but I think it's interesting just again that basically these companies that have all this money, and we talked about Apple being in here, but Amazon and Netflix, and of course Disney and Comcast.

00:15:12   These companies that are huge companies and they have a lot of money, and they know that the world is going to streaming. One of the things that they're all looking for is blockbuster hits.

00:15:21   HBO and Game of Thrones really made everybody sit up and take notice. That was a huge hit. It was a big picture epic fantasy, which has led to a lot of people saying, "We'll do an epic fantasy too."

00:15:32   My guess is that the next big crossover breakthrough worldwide hit won't be fantasy, that everybody's skating to where the puck was and not where it will go.

00:15:42   But it is telling that Game of Thrones not only has thrown a lot of money at Warner Brothers, which is now owned by... who owns them now? Is that Comcast?

00:15:56   I don't even know who owns them yet. Some giant conglomerate owns Warner now.

00:16:03   AT&T owns them, another giant with lots of money to throw around.

00:16:12   It's not only that that's generated a lot of money for AT&T now and WarnerMedia, but it has cost the rest of their competitors a lot of money because everybody is now spending huge amounts of money on this stuff.

00:16:28   Again, my gut feeling is the giant blockbuster rights deals that are being bought here are less likely to generate the worldwide sensation than something that happens a little more organically.

00:16:43   But, you know, it's Hollywood.

00:16:45   I think that one of these shows, probably one of these ones that we've mentioned today, or at some point, is going to be a next big hit, but maybe not Game of Thrones, but you've got to assume that at least one of these is going to break out and be like, "Oh, that's the show everyone's talking about right now."

00:17:05   Yeah, maybe. I mean, they're brand names. That's why they do them. Something that I talk about with Tim Goodman on the TV podcast we do is, you know, TV Talk Machine on the Incomparable. You can listen to it.

00:17:17   He points out, especially network TV, why does network TV do reboots now in the US? They're doing reboots and remakes and revivals of old stuff, and they're doing TV versions of movie titles like Lethal Weapon and things like that.

00:17:32   Why is that? And the answer is, it's a name you recognize. It's a concept you know. There's some value in getting people's attention with something that they already know about.

00:17:43   That's the idea there, is that when you're desperate for attention and trying to get an audience, one way you do it is by using some concept or name that they're familiar with.

00:17:51   And that's what's going on here with, you know, maybe not so much Wheel of Time, although it's got a little bit of resonance, but like the Lord of the Rings thing, the Chronicles of Narnia thing.

00:18:00   Like, that's part of what's going on there. They want a big concept. They've got a world that's pre-built that some people know about.

00:18:06   And we'll see how these investments pay off. Again, my gut feeling is that the next big thing will just emerge, and partly that's my...

00:18:16   You know, I think it's more likely that somebody will find a book that nobody's ever heard of or that very few people have heard of and say, "That's the book that will be like the Broken Earth trilogy by N.K. Jemisin, which won three consecutive Hugo Awards for Best Novel."

00:18:29   I think that has been picked up. And like, that's a book series almost nobody outside of the sci-fi world has read.

00:18:38   I've never heard of that.

00:18:39   And it could be huge, right? And that would be like Game of Thrones, which the George R. R. Martin series was only really read by sci-fi and fantasy nerds.

00:18:49   And it was gaining attention. It sold really well, but still not like when it reached a TV audience. I feel like my gut feeling is that that's a more likely source of the next big hit than a book written in the middle of the 20th century that's been...

00:19:07   They spend a lot of money on turning into a series or a chain of movies, but we'll see. It's a high-stakes game here, and these players have the money, so they're going to take their chances because they think it's probably a bet worth taking.

00:19:24   Can I just super quick, before we do our next piece of news, I'll be talking about Netflix.

00:19:28   I just wanted to recommend a Netflix show that I stumbled across and watched all and really enjoyed. It's called The Good Cop.

00:19:35   I saw a trailer for it on Netflix and was really surprised to see Josh Groban in the show. It's like, "Oh, that's Josh Groban, right? The singer-songwriter."

00:19:45   And Tony Danza.

00:19:46   And Tony Danza. I was like, "I saw the trailer. The trailer looked good. It looked funny." It's a very good, lighthearted comedy with detective mystery. There's like whodunnits and stuff. It's really good. I enjoyed it. We watched it all.

00:20:00   Tim Goodman's review of it was hilarious because basically what he said is it's like a basic cable show from the old days of USA Network and the Blue Skies, like Monk and things like that.

00:20:13   Or it's like a network show. It's super soft and fun and no hard edges. Basically, exactly what he does not like. And he was like, "People are going to love it."

00:20:26   It's a great show.

00:20:27   He was like, "I hate this. People are going to love it."

00:20:30   I mean, I'm obviously the people that Tim is referring to, which is fine. I see him. Whatever. I really liked it.

00:20:36   You and everybody else, probably.

00:20:38   And I think I was super surprised at how good and funny Josh Groban was in the show. I was like, "All right, Josh Groban. Here's another thing you can do." I recommend it. It's a good show. People should check it out.

00:20:49   And this is my update. N.K. Jemisin's Hugo Award-winning books that start with the fifth season is being developed as a drama at TNT, which is a basic cable channel in the US.

00:21:03   So it is definitely being made. Who knows?

00:21:07   Last thing. Apple was supposedly, reportedly, according to the Telegraph, working with UK TV provider BT to make the Apple TV its set-top box. So this deal would be available, this is where it gets confusing, to EE broadband customers.

00:21:23   EE, the mobile network, owns BT. BT is British Telecom. It's now the parent company. So EE broadband customers would be given an Apple TV box, which would come preloaded with apps, which allow for BT Sport and the BT over-the-top TV service that they provide.

00:21:41   We have seen these deals before. Canal Plus in France is one of these two. And apparently this is just another step for Apple to try and get the pay TV stuff kicked off outside of other countries and to try and make the Apple TV a more widely accepted product.

00:22:05   Which if you think about it, is kind of a genius move to try and find ways to sneak the Apple TV into people's homes before Apple has their own service that you can pay for.

00:22:16   Right. It's like, okay, this is interesting. Like, here you go. Here's a free one of these without Apple having to give it away. Right. So they work with other providers. The providers put them in people's homes as part of the contract that they pay for.

00:22:29   And then when Apple has its own TV shows available, the Apple TV has already been more widely adopted. It is an interesting move and I'm keeping my eye on that one.

00:22:39   Alright, today's show is brought to you by our friends over at Simple Contacts. I'm sure that you're all busy people out there. I know this. I know that the upgrade-ians are very busy and that there's lots of things that demand your time.

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00:23:14   This is way faster than taking time off out of your day to go to the doctor's office. A licensed doctor reviews every single Simple Contacts test so you can skip the office visit but not the care.

00:23:25   But I do want to let you know this is not a replacement for your periodic full eye health exam. You need to go and do that whenever it is that you need to do it on your schedule.

00:23:33   Simple Contacts is just checking that the last prescription, your current prescription, still helps you see 20/20 and then they will renew your lenses based on that prescription. They're not writing completely new prescriptions or examining your eye health.

00:23:45   But what they can do is take away that time from you needing to go to the doctor's office to renew your contact lenses. Now Jason, I believe that you have in fact taken that very simple test and I want to know what your experience was like.

00:23:57   Yeah, it's funny because they've got a little video person, a little video helper who walks you through the process and will say like, "Nope, you need to hold it further away."

00:24:08   And then you basically get an eye chart and you need to read the letters and it uses speech recognition to confirm that you're reading the right letters.

00:24:16   And that's all part of the eye test because what they want to do is make sure that your contact lens prescription is still valid because that's the idea here is that they're renewing your existing prescription.

00:24:26   So they want to verify that you have 20/20 vision and they can do that by you sticking your phone somewhere or your iPad and then walking away and using it as an eye chart and then they do the test for you. It's very clever.

00:24:38   You could even, I don't know, dress your iPad up in a little white doctor's coat, you know, if that makes you feel better.

00:24:43   Yeah, make a mannequin, dress it up as a doctor, have a place where the head is to put your iPad and then do that if you really wanted to do that. That's less convenient at that point than maybe going to a doctor and the point of this is that it's super convenient.

00:24:57   Maybe more novel, you know.

00:24:59   Whatever you want to do in your own home is your business, frankly.

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00:25:43   So, do you remember last week I thought, I think it would be nice if we had a little chat about some of the rumours and what we might like in the next iPad Pro.

00:25:55   And then, friend of the show, Guilherme Rambo.

00:25:59   Best friend. I think Mr Rambo has now insisted that he is the BFF of the show.

00:26:05   The best friend of the show, forever, Guilherme Rambo over at 9to5Mac has published a report that I think, if I'm looking at this, it appears that he has pieced together things that he has discovered in iOS 12.1.

00:26:19   And some information from some unnamed sources. Which, correct me if I'm wrong, I think this is the first time I've seen him write a report in this way. Right? With like, I have sources rather than I'm just like a great spelunker.

00:26:33   I feel like he got into this along with Steve Trotton Smith because they were good at digging up details in public things released by Apple or things put out on the internet by Apple accidentally or whatever.

00:26:45   And this seemed to, as I was reading, I was like, oh, he quotes or references according to sources like their people he's talking to.

00:26:55   Sources familiar with the development of the iPad Pro have offered additional details about the device.

00:27:01   Yeah, how about that?

00:27:03   I really like this article, it's nicely written, it's nicely chunked up. I'm going to give you the details here, but you should go check it out anyway because you did a good job.

00:27:10   Two sizes of iPads with two Wi-Fi and LTE models of each, seems pretty normal.

00:27:16   Edge to edge display, no home button and no notch because the bezels will be large enough to incorporate the TrueDepth system and therefore making the iPad easy enough to hold. Right? You've got to have some bezels.

00:27:29   So I will say if it's got bezels, it's not an edge to edge display.

00:27:34   Let's say then, it's edge to edge in the way that we understand it.

00:27:39   It's edge-ish.

00:27:41   Edge-ish. Because it's like the iPhone X isn't edge to edge either. But it's like you can basically look at it and you're like, this is the smallest it could be.

00:27:50   And I'm assuming it's going to be very small, but if you actually had edge to edge, it probably wouldn't be that convenient to hold because you'd always be covering something.

00:27:58   So let's just assume it goes to the complete maximum that you would expect from the device to be.

00:28:04   Think about what happened when they redesigned the iPad Pro and they reduced the bezels. And there was that whole conversation about how they had like...

00:28:12   Increased palm detection and all that stuff.

00:28:14   The palm detection and all that, right? So it's more of that. The idea right now is that those iPads have a very large bezel at the top and the bottom and a narrow bezel at the sides.

00:28:23   I would not be surprised if the side bezel doesn't really get much more narrow, maybe a little bit, but then the top and the bottom will get reduced a lot.

00:28:31   And it won't be invisible to the edge, but it'll be much, much closer to that while still allowing them to have some hardware on there and some place for you to put your hands when you're holding.

00:28:43   My expectation is that the bezel will be about as thick as the notch is on the iPhone X. That's the space we need to embed the camera, so we'll make that the thickness basically the whole way around.

00:28:56   I think that might be a way to kind of think about it. And that is about as thick as the side bezels on the 10.5 inch iPad Pro for example.

00:29:05   I think that's fine. And you do have to hold it. And it's not just about palm detection. It's about being able to not cover content with your hands while you're holding the device, right?

00:29:15   Because if you want to watch a movie or look at a YouTube video and you're holding it in your hands and your hands are covering up the movie, that's not good. So yeah, you need a little bit of space.

00:29:26   This iPad, these iPads will include the Face ID system found in the 2018 iPhone line, so the XS, the XS Max and the XR, but it will work in portrait and landscape, but not upside down is noted.

00:29:40   So as I think we spoke about last week, our assumption would be there is a landscape and there is a portrait, right? So that's how it will work.

00:29:48   You can't do it in all four orientations. There has been a Rambo found code which said, "Please turn your iPad the other way around."

00:29:57   So there is a portrait and a landscape, but it is not clear on if this will be enabled via hardware or software.

00:30:06   So we don't know if it's going to come to other devices. There is no information given in this report about whether it is extra cameras or different cameras or different sensors or software.

00:30:16   That is unknown, but it will work in portrait and landscape, but one of each basically.

00:30:22   These iPads will feature USB-C and this will allow them to output to 4K HDR displays.

00:30:29   Now, this is really interesting to me because this is the only place in the report that USB-C is mentioned and is almost kind of blown past.

00:30:37   And that is intriguing because adding USB-C to the iPad is a huge deal. That is a massive deal because of what it could potentially say.

00:30:51   I just found that interesting. This is the only piece of information about USB-C.

00:30:57   It could be huge or it could be nothing because if they have made no real efforts to do anything major with the software to support external devices other than perhaps the idea that it's got larger display support,

00:31:09   so they're going to have to add some external display controls in the settings app.

00:31:14   But beyond that, if that's all they do, then all this really is is you're trading your lightning dongles for USB-C dongles.

00:31:21   And it's less interesting, although my hope is if they go USB-C with these devices that that is setting them down a path where future software updates are going to enable more stuff you could do with USB-C.

00:31:33   But you could see a gentle version of a transition where what it means is you have a different video dongle.

00:31:40   You have a different, you know, you still need a dongle to go to USB-A, right? It's just a different one.

00:31:48   Do you think that these devices would have lightning or do you think they'll be purely USB-C?

00:31:54   If I had to guess, I'd guess they'll be purely USB-C because Apple doesn't want to have two ports on it. I would love it if they had both. That would be super weird though, wouldn't it?

00:32:02   If they had USB-C and lightning. I just assume that instead of a lightning port, it'll have a USB-C port.

00:32:08   I would prefer both just for charging complexity reasons. But again, I would totally understand it. And to be honest, whenever I travel, I always have a USB-C cable with me now anyway.

00:32:19   But I'm more thinking in my home environments where lightning is just easy for so many devices.

00:32:25   You know, really, I think that when I say it's a huge deal, I was even thinking that even if it's just the display support, it will be a big deal for us because we will have something to, a drum to bang for a while, right? Which will be add more. Add more.

00:32:47   Well, I think the way you look at this is that this is making the iPad in a lot of ways fall into the laptop camp instead of the phone camp.

00:32:58   It's also just what it says about Apple's belief, like how it used the iPad is also a big deal, right? Like if you remove lightning, well, lightning has always been a symbol of iOS. And now if it's USB-C, well, that's more of a symbol of Mac OS. It is a statement.

00:33:17   And it doesn't necessarily mean people will say immediately, oh, well, you know, the iPhone is going to go USB-C as well. I don't know if that's necessarily true. But the iPad being USB-C, you talk about charging.

00:33:29   Well, I mean, the answer is it charges like a laptop, not like a phone. And that's it. And laptops now in Apple's line are charging with USB-C. So it's like that. It's more like a laptop and less like the phone. And I think that is not unreasonable.

00:33:45   But it does mean that, yes, if you have invested in lots of lightning dongles and don't have USB-C dongles, guess what? You too will be going to dongle town.

00:33:54   Everybody goes to dongle town. Dongle town is an inevitability.

00:33:57   Yeah. All trains pass through dongle town.

00:33:59   Yeah. Eventually. Moving on from that, there will be a new Apple Pencil that pairs via proximity. Guillermo mentions AirPods. My initial, like how, you know, the AirPods will pair via proximity. My thought, though, was like the Logitech Crayon is probably the technology they're using here.

00:34:19   The way it was described in the article, that's immediately what I thought. The Logitech Crayon uses a very specific frequency. It doesn't have to do a Bluetooth pair to one device. If you bring it in proximity and start writing on the screen, it just works.

00:34:32   Because the AirPods do not work like the Crayon. You have to manually switch them in software, right? You can't just walk up to your iPhone and it connects to your iPhone. That's not how the AirPod stuff works.

00:34:43   Well, they can, but once they've been paired. And that's the difference. And so it's unclear here, but I would not be surprised if what we saw with the Logitech Crayon is the future of how Apple Pencil works. And so a new Apple Pencil would use that same idea.

00:34:58   I can't imagine. He says it's unclear whether the old Apple Pencil will still work. I kind of can't imagine that it won't because you could still do a, you know, you could still having a Bluetooth pair, like why would you give that up?

00:35:10   But I do think that it's more flexible and it's a better user experience if you just take the pencil and put it down and it works because it's all based on proximity and the crayon works that way. So why not? But we'll see. It's all about the details here.

00:35:25   But it would not be a surprise if that crayon turned out to be essentially a first peek at what Apple was thinking for the future of the Apple Pencil.

00:35:34   And then the mag, what is being referred to as the magnetic connector for accessories on the back of the iPad.

00:35:41   Yeah. So this is, I mean, this is wacky. And I should say, like, I love Guillermo Rambo, but, you know, his track record is with digging things out of the details of Apple's stuff and not with sources.

00:35:58   So I think we have to be more skeptical of his sources, even though we're not skeptical of him because we don't know his track record with sources.

00:36:05   And could these be people who do, are these people who really know this or not? He obviously has some confidence in it, but I would be, I would be more skeptical of that.

00:36:14   So especially since a lot of this stuff is telling us stuff that we've already kind of heard.

00:36:19   But, uh, so I'm going to just inject a little bit of skepticism here. That said, this is one of those things that has been a big question mark for a while now, which is there's a new connector on the back.

00:36:29   And what does that mean? And if you've got a connector on the back and not the side, what does that mean in terms of attaching the keyboard?

00:36:36   If it's on the back, does that mean that the keyboard has to have a shell and that they're not going to do the smart cover style keyboards, but they're going to do a different kind of keyboard?

00:36:46   Or are you going to have something that kind of like snakes up the back and attach it? It's just, it's weird. This doesn't give us any more detail on any of that.

00:36:53   It just is like, yup, that thing. And I don't know what that is or why it's where it apparently is on the back.

00:37:04   So that's, and also it's like, and other accessories, it's like, well, yeah, Apple's been saying other accessories with a smart connector too, and there have been none.

00:37:11   So what other accessories are there other accessories here?

00:37:14   This connector has to be better at what it's supposed to do than the smart connector was or what it was supposed to do.

00:37:22   Right. Now, what it does make me intrigued by is another thing that you and I have talked about a little bit, which is would Apple go full on embracing the keyboard and actually build something that makes your iPad into a laptop instead of just an iPad with a little floppy keyboard?

00:37:40   And, uh, I don't know, but putting it on the back suggests maybe something like that, something that gives it a lot more back support so it can stay upright in a laptop configuration.

00:37:52   Maybe not. I don't know. It's it's, I still don't get it. I still don't get why this thing is there and what it's for and why Apple would do this.

00:37:59   And that suggests to me that Apple has something has, there's another shoe to drop that we don't really know about.

00:38:05   That is a reason why it's doing this because it wouldn't just do this for kicks and to make all of its accessories more complicated, right?

00:38:12   It's got to have a reason why you need that magnetic connector on the back.

00:38:18   I'm getting really excited. I can tell it feels like that. Like, I don't know what's going to happen when they actually eventually show these things off, but it feels like it could be something pretty big.

00:38:30   Myke, this week is the time where finally my iPad has started to feel slow. I definitely am mentally prepared for a new iPad because I'm like, why are you doing this?

00:38:38   Why don't you react this way? And I honestly, I think it's maybe just that I'm on the beta and the beta is bugging me because it's a little bit buggy, but because I needed the new emoji because Jeremy Burge, uh, you know, bullied me into getting the new emoji so I could see what emoji he was setting me.

00:38:53   But, um, but I'm getting that frustration of, uh, I'm ready to buy a new iPad now. So I guess we're there. We're at the season. If only Apple would release them.

00:39:03   Yeah, pieces are falling out of my iPad screen right now. So I desperately need one. The cracked screen situation, Jason, has gotten very bad.

00:39:11   A piece fell off next to the home button, so I keep sticking my thumb into a hole at the moment and it's sharp. You know, I really desperately need a new iPad Pro.

00:39:23   Save Myke's hands now, please.

00:39:25   My kind of theory, my theory, I'm still sticking to it. I think that invites will go out this week for an event next week, product shipping on the 26th. I'm sticking to that. Let's hope.

00:39:38   I'm keeping my eyes locked to six colors to see that, you know, to see, Oh, the invites going out.

00:39:45   The I got the invite post. That's a classic. I want to see it too. Also, we've got our live event in Chicago when I really don't want Apple to do an event while we're supposed to be in Chicago.

00:39:55   Yep. Yep. We don't want to, we don't want to think about that though.

00:39:57   That would be super awkward.

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00:41:46   Okay, this is a weird one. You've probably heard about this by now. It is a Bloomberg Businessweek story that has implicated Apple and Amazon in a Chinese surveillance issue.

00:42:01   So this has been something that has been going on some very weird twists and turns. This is the type of story, Jason, that I ideally like to just avoid because it's super high level.

00:42:14   I don't really have anything like particularly insightful that I think I can say about it, but it's taken so many strange twists and turns over the last seven days that I feel like we have to at least catalogue it on the show.

00:42:28   Because if we don't talk about it at this point, it would seem almost strange because it has dominated the news cycle over the last week or so. Right. Would you agree?

00:42:37   Yeah, this is such a difficult subject because we don't know anything. Right. We don't know anything. Nobody seems to know anything.

00:42:45   Everyone's saying something and it's all conflicting.

00:42:48   Yeah, exactly right. But at least we need to address it, if nothing else. Just to say that they're, "Hey, how did this elephant get in this room?" And so I guess that's what we're doing now.

00:43:00   Very big elephant in a very big room. Here's the timeline of events. I'm going to try and break them down. Okay. We're like the big temp poll things that have occurred in this news.

00:43:11   So Bloomberg Businessweek last Thursday published a report that claimed that companies including Amazon and Apple had discovered Chinese surveillance chips in server hardware obtained from a company called Supermicro.

00:43:30   Bloomberg says that Apple found the chips in May of 2015, kept it quiet and informed the FBI.

00:43:38   They also say that there is an ongoing investigation still going on about this hardware hack. This was the report. It was this big report. They did like a whole big like different layout for it. Like it was a big thing for them.

00:43:52   And again, you have like, let's look at this in just its bubble for a second. If this is the information you have, that is a friggin huge story. Right? Like that is massive.

00:44:04   And they play it as that. This is their magazine cover story basically. They got art. They got like lots of photographs of pencils and fingers.

00:44:13   Fingers with chips on them. Yeah.

00:44:15   Yeah, exactly right. And so they're very proud of this big story. That's this big expose about how China is infiltrating America's tech companies with their hardware hacking of motherboards where they're putting secret chips that compromise the systems on and are shipping them into the data centers powering the cloud in the United States.

00:44:38   That is that is their story. We're blowing the roof off of this thing. Look at this. Look at how China is infiltrating our cloud companies. And then something strange happened.

00:44:48   Apple went nuclear on this one.

00:44:50   Yeah. Yeah. Apple Apple released multiple denials that were by far the most sort of like definitive aggressive like I feel like we're all fairly well trained on what your usual non answer answer is from Apple PR.

00:45:09   And this was not that this was categorical.

00:45:13   Especially post Steve Jobs because you know, Jobs would sometimes write these kind of op-eds right which sure scathing but that sort of stuff doesn't exist anymore.

00:45:25   Nobody's doing that.

00:45:27   So just say that they gave multiple statements to multiple press outlets. Then they published a press release titled what business week got wrong about Apple, which is like the most passive aggressive aggressive title I may have ever seen from Apple.

00:45:47   Why why business week disappointed us?

00:45:50   Yes.

00:45:51   It was holding it wrong.

00:45:53   Yeah, and and there were there was the escalation to where they did the initial denial and then people said well they could be told, you know, they could be not able to say that there are national security things here that prevent them from saying that at which point an Apple spokesperson said no, we don't there has been no no statement by government entities telling us not to say anything which you know, I think technically means that that's probably true.

00:46:20   Like I think they would have no comment on that if they couldn't comment on it, but instead they're like nope.

00:46:25   We have nothing like that.

00:46:28   This is just not accurate and and that began a cycle where because Amazon also had a statement and a whole bunch of other organizations had statements like the the US Department of Homeland Security came out with a statement saying we have no reason to doubt Apple statements like what is happening.

00:46:48   So the UK National Cyber Security Center said this first and then the US Department of Homeland Security stated in their statement that they agree with the UK team to say they have no reason to doubt the statements from the company's name in his story, which is like a real weird way to say it.

00:47:04   But you kind of understand why they say it that way. Like they believe that it's true.

00:47:08   I do want to touch on a couple of things from Apple's press release just because it's so kind of fascinating in its own way.

00:47:14   So they stated that over the past year Businessweek contacted them multiple times about this story.

00:47:19   Every single time Apple conducted their own investigation and found no evidence and then refuted these claims to Bloomberg, both as factual responses and on the record.

00:47:29   But I love I love some of these just some of the way that this stuff is written.

00:47:34   So they say this is these are direct quotes from the press release on this week could be very clear.

00:47:45   We are deeply disappointed that in their dealings with us, Bloomberg's reporters have not been open to the possibility that they or their sources might be wrong or misinformed.

00:48:06   Our best guess is that they are confusing the story of a previously reported 2016 incident in which we discovered an infected driver on a single super micro server in one of our labs.

00:48:16   That one time event was determined to be an accident to be accidental and not a targeted attack against Apple.

00:48:22   I love that line like that they have not been open to the possibility that they or their sources might be wrong or misinformed.

00:48:31   It goes on that Apple wrote a letter to Congress once again stating that they have found no sign of this.

00:48:36   This letter was written by Apple's vice president on information security, George Stathokopoulos.

00:48:42   And finally, BuzzFeed reports that multiple Apple executives have spoken to them on the condition of anonymity about this story.

00:48:50   They all say they have found that they know nothing about anything claimed in the story.

00:48:55   They have tried to find evidence of this internally, but haven't been able to.

00:48:58   And as we focus on Apple, Amazon is in the same boat. They're refuting the complaints, the claims, they're making statements.

00:49:05   This is so weird, right? This is so weird.

00:49:07   It's super weird. And the closest that you get, what's interesting about Apple's response is, although it is what Bloomberg got wrong, we are deeply disappointed, that kind of language.

00:49:20   The real place where the knives come out from Bloomberg is the line, "They were not open to the possibility that their sources might be wrong or misinformed."

00:49:31   And I think that, looking at it from the outside, I think that's the crux of this for me, which is Bloomberg had somebody tell them that this happened.

00:49:39   And they ran with it, which is fine. It strikes me as possible that that initial inciting piece of information was not accurate, even though it came from people who would seem to know what they're talking about,

00:50:00   and that it led them on this entire project. And I think maybe some of the fundamental skepticism that journalists often have about companies that deny things came into play.

00:50:16   This is my guess. I'm just trying to extrapolate this based on what I know of journalism and how journalism works.

00:50:22   Then they get denials, and they are thinking back to the inciting incident here, the base information they got, which is that this thing happened.

00:50:31   They're like, "You're denying it, but we know the truth. This thing happened." My question is, what is that inciting information? Where did it come from?

00:50:41   Because the danger is that even though Bloomberg says they have multiple sources inside Apple who say this happened, we can't see what the detail is there on that, because it's anonymous sources protected by Bloomberg.

00:50:57   And that's fine. They should protect their sources. These are people who, they're not characterized in any way, other than being like senior Apple people or something.

00:51:05   If Apple is telling the truth here, which if, let's just say it, and several people have said this on Twitter that I follow who are journalists, if Apple's lying here, that's like a huge, like the law has been broken.

00:51:18   Someone's gone. People will go to jail for that.

00:51:21   Yeah, yeah, seriously. So my guess is that this is a game of telephone. My guess is that something happened, perhaps the 2016 incident where a driver was discovered that was infected.

00:51:39   Or perhaps they're discussing a hypothetical security breach that somebody at Apple used to discuss why they do what they do with their servers in terms of analyzing them and making sure that the suppliers are legit and that every piece on the motherboard is tested.

00:51:58   And everything they do to make sure that software and hardware isn't inserted into their system that is hacked, that all of that is going on because they're like, what if this happened?

00:52:13   And they had that whole conversation of like, what if they hacked us and put this thing in there and then this would happen and that's why we look.

00:52:20   And then, you know, whether it's the hypothetical or whether it's this 2016 incident or both, there's a grapevine of people who don't work on this part at Apple but have heard about it secondhand.

00:52:34   And maybe it gets distorted into that this thing actually happened. Maybe they conflate the infected driver with the hypothetical hardware attack vectors that are discussed as a boogeyman of like, this is why we're awesome and do what we do is because there's bad people out there.

00:52:52   And that is it not plausible that you could end up with a few senior people at Apple who when talking to somebody they know at Bloomberg off the record or at an event or over dinner or who knows where say, oh yeah, that happened here when they're asked about hardware hacking.

00:53:11   They're like, oh yeah, I heard a whole story about how that happened here and we got these hardware things that came in and did the spooky stuff and it was bad.

00:53:18   Do you not think that if that was the case though that like, I mean obviously that would be documented inside of Apple and they would have said in their press release like, oh no, they're thinking about this considering like how...

00:53:28   Well, that's what Apple said though is like, maybe they were thinking about this other incident that happened.

00:53:32   Right, right, I see what you mean. Yeah, okay. So that thing happened and some theoretical testing has changed.

00:53:37   Yeah, so what baffles me here is for this to all be true about why Bloomberg is reporting this, it would almost have to be a perfect storm where there were people who "confirmed" this thing who maybe didn't know.

00:53:55   We don't know, like maybe they don't know, maybe it was just like they thought they knew a fact but it wasn't a fact. That happens.

00:54:02   Not every false piece of information given to a journalist by a source is known to be false to the source, right?

00:54:10   That is a tricky one but that's a true thing that happens is you as a journalist have to gauge the quality of your source's information.

00:54:20   That's part of it and since these sources were apparently fairly senior Apple people, they judged them to be a quality source.

00:54:28   They aren't necessarily. That piece of information may not have been accurate.

00:54:33   But still, to have those sources do that and then to have other Bloomberg sources corroborate this, there is this question of like, is it an echo chamber?

00:54:42   Where somebody in law enforcement heard that Apple had this happen even though it was just this story that was going around Apple that wasn't based in truth?

00:54:52   Is there another incident out there? Is it this 2016 incident that Apple is referring to? Is there some other incident that affected some other company

00:55:00   and it got distorted into being this Apple thing and they all kind of played against each other to give Bloomberg this piece?

00:55:07   But what's fascinating is that Bloomberg had such high confidence in this whole story that they did a cover story, they got all that art, they've got all this detail.

00:55:14   So that's the mystery. I can see a lot of ways how this could have gone wrong. I am amazed that it could possibly have gone through all of these different logical steps to reach the fact that it's a cover story in Businessweek.

00:55:31   Based on, even if that first thing was shaky, the fact that at no point with talking to other people, trying to parse the logic of this, reporting about these other companies that are involved, were there red flags put up, other than by the company's denials.

00:55:49   Which, you know, as a journalist, you are trained to be skeptical of that. Like, we've got this thing that Apple got hardware hacked by China and Apple says they didn't happen.

00:55:58   Well, would they admit it if it did?

00:56:01   Yeah, of course they did. That kind of thing.

00:56:03   But what you don't know is how to differentiate those two things. And then when Apple gives this response out in public like it does, I got to say, as an editor, you see Apple's response the day you post your thing and you're like, "Oh."

00:56:16   Because you don't know how they're going to react. You know that they're probably being full bluster with you to say, "Don't write this. You're wrong. You don't want to write this." It's like, well, of course, they don't want any bad PR. They're going to try to intimidate us.

00:56:28   But when you post it and then they come out with a very clear denial that calls you on it and says, "You never listened to us and this is completely factually untrue," you get that sinking feeling of like, "Oh, no. That wasn't bluster.

00:56:42   We ignored them because we thought it was PR bluster. It turns out it was because we were wrong." And at that point, it's really difficult because now you're in it. You've published it.

00:56:53   And what's weird is that we also, as far as I can tell, have not really heard a lot of additional detail from Bloomberg about it, which makes me really concerned that they're unable to go back to their sources and confirm that this is in more detail, that they kind of got some information a long time ago and have run with it but haven't really been able to check it out.

00:57:19   We're in a really weird limbo state right now. And because this is about international intrigue and espionage and things like that, there's also that cloud hanging over this whole thing, which is there's some players in this who aren't talking because they're spies.

00:57:35   And so there's that part of it too. Maybe Apple actually did get hacked and nobody at Apple knows about it because the only person at Apple who knew is keeping it a secret except Bloomberg. It doesn't really add up.

00:57:49   Because it is a lot of detail, a lot of possibilities. I think the most likely scenario is that Bloomberg based this on some sources who thought it was real, but they were misinformed because they were getting it through the grapevine at Apple. They thought they were referring to a real incident, and they weren't.

00:58:08   That's my gut feeling here. There have also been some technical people who look at the story and are like, "I don't think this adds up. I don't think you can just do this. There are way easier ways to compromise a system than something like this."

00:58:21   So there's some skepticism that this may be a little bit kind of panicking about something beyond what anybody would actually do.

00:58:29   Let me ask you a question on this. You worked in this exact industry for many years, right? Like the tech publication industry. It's different to what you do now, right?

00:58:41   I have a master's degree in journalism. I have been writing news stories since I was a high school student.

00:58:46   Do you think that it is at all possible that you get a story like this, a story so huge, that's going to draw so much attention, that you could get a little bit blinded? Is there a possibility that the story is so big and so tantalizing that there is a weird bias thing that goes on?

00:59:08   That you want it to be true so much that you are less likely to want to believe that Apple is giving you the truth in their answers?

00:59:18   Yeah, there's part of that. I keep coming back to the photography and stuff, but let me tell you, that's a sign that they knew they had a big story.

00:59:26   Because this was a big takeout magazine piece where they got custom art and photography. They got a fake little mini chip thing and a pencil tip and a finger and all this stuff.

00:59:37   They were doing it up. This was not just a story with text that ran on a website on a Tuesday afternoon. That is not what this story is.

00:59:45   This was going to be in all the airports and all the magazine stands.

00:59:47   Exactly. We know we've got a big story. You don't have people working on a story for months or a year unless you are certain that it's going to be huge.

00:59:57   And yes, there is some sunk cost fallacy that happens there where once you've worked on it all this time, you've got to get a story out of it.

01:00:07   I'm not saying Bloomberg did this, but I can say in general that pushes you toward running the story because you put so much time into it.

01:00:15   One of the great temptations for journalists and for editors of journalists is you spend a year on a project and at the close of the year you discover that your project is not, you don't have anything.

01:00:30   That the story just fell apart. You had this great story and you had a couple of leads that indicated it was going to be huge and then through your diligent reporting you find out that there's nothing there.

01:00:40   That's a very difficult thing to deal with because you have to show something for the work that you've put in and if there's no story, that's very hard.

01:00:49   So there's some of that going on here possibly. And again, I think there's a fundamental skepticism that is good that serves journalism, skepticism of companies, especially big companies.

01:01:05   Their PR departments are not on a lie detector. Their PR departments, as I said last week, I think, in a different context, I've talked to, there was a senior person at Apple PR for a long time who I talked to and at one point the statement that was made to me was, "My job is sales."

01:01:23   Like, don't forget the PR people, they work for Apple, they don't work for you, their job is to spin everything positively. And so as a journalist, you know, when you think you've got this amazing scoop and somebody from the PR department says, "This isn't accurate, we deny everything."

01:01:41   You just don't believe them. And that's the right thing to do, but the vociferousness of Apple's response indicates that they weren't, you know, they weren't just trying to shut down the story.

01:01:55   That in this case, they were telling the truth. This wasn't just spin. And I do wonder if there was, you know, how do you escalate that? How do you get, how do you break through it for Apple? How do you break through?

01:02:08   Like, did Tim Cook or Phil Schiller or something call whoever the editor-in-chief is at Business Week or the editor of Bloomberg or Myke Bloomberg and say, "I need to tell you something," which is that, "I know that your people at Business Week think this is a huge story, but I can tell you it is categorically false.

01:02:33   And if you run with this, we're going to come out and say you're completely wrong. Don't make a mistake. This is not our use. We're not spinning here."

01:02:42   Was there an explicit heads up from them?

01:02:44   Right? And I gotta say, if that happens and you're an editor, you're like, "Whoa, they're really trying to kill this story. There must be something here."

01:02:52   And maybe there is, right? You can't, again, you can't tell. This is when the Secretary of State or the White House Chief of Staff calls Katharine Graham from the Washington Post and says, "You gotta not do the Pentagon Papers or you gotta not do this Watergate coverage."

01:03:11   Like, "Oh, I guess we got a story here if they're trying to suppress it." So I suspect that this is, at least at this point in the process, what happened is that Apple was kind of waving his hands like, "No, no, no, seriously, this is wrong."

01:03:25   And Bloomberg's like, "Aha, that's what they want you to think," which, again, I think is a good impulse if you're a journalist because so often the companies are telling you things that are not true.

01:03:35   They are spinning you. They want to minimize whatever it is that's going on. However, I will say, I have never felt lied to by Apple PR. They spin, but I've never felt lied to.

01:03:46   And if Apple came to me and said, "Look, this is completely wrong," I'd be like, "Oh, that is..." Like, if they said, "Look, off the record, this story is completely wrong," you know, that would be very different than, "We're aware of the, off the record, we're aware of something going on here and we're looking at it."

01:04:04   And, "We'll be reporting on it as soon as we figure out something like that." I've experienced that. So, you know, it's fascinating. And I really, I hope we get to the bottom of it at some point.

01:04:18   But again, if Apple is just flat out lying, and Amazon too, flat out lying about this not having happened, and these are blanket statements like, "This did not happen," then the stakes are high.

01:04:33   Because, yeah, I think you're right, somebody's going to go to jail because they're committing fraud by making those statements.

01:04:40   I love when we start a thing by saying, "We're not sure if we have that much to say on it."

01:04:45   It's a small story. I told you I had journalism feels, and there they were.

01:04:50   The thing is, this is what I wanted because I don't know anyone else who would be as uniquely qualified to have an opinion on the journalistic part of this than you.

01:05:04   Right? Like, you ran this.

01:05:06   And we can't talk about if you can make a little chip and put it on a motherboard.

01:05:10   Don't know that.

01:05:11   We don't know.

01:05:11   I don't even know. I literally have no idea if this stuff is possible, but my assumption is always that military and spy technology is always so far ahead that I'll believe anything anyone tells me.

01:05:24   Because if you tell me that you can make a chip which is that small and it will send literally every piece, yeah, sure, I'll believe it.

01:05:31   I'll believe it because military contracts and whatever, that money's so huge.

01:05:36   Totally.

01:05:37   Just whatever, I'll believe it because I have no way of knowing otherwise.

01:05:41   But you were the person who would have made the decision probably about whether this was going to run.

01:05:50   In Macworld, we didn't do big investigative journalism pieces, but I mean, I know I worked for a newspaper for a while.

01:05:58   I get it. I get what this is and what it has to go through.

01:06:02   I had heard one interesting theory about this, which again is a conspiracy theory, which is that there is a feeling like that they may have been played by somebody possibly in the executive branch of the US government that was hyping them up about this stuff because they want to use it.

01:06:24   Because fear of China matters when you're in a trade war with China.

01:06:28   And I think that's accurate that it is in the administration's best interest to have people convinced that China's technology and its supply chain are a national security threat and that China is our enemy and is out to get us and is already spying on our cloud data and things like that.

01:06:48   That benefits politically the American administration.

01:06:54   I don't think that that means that it actually happened that way, but it certainly does benefit them to have fear, uncertainty, and doubt about our tech companies and their relationship with things made in China.

01:07:08   I hope we get more information about this at some point though because I would really like to know if there are secret chips that are reading all of our cloud server data and if Apple is suppressing that or if Bloomberg just kind of got something wrong.

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01:08:57   Should we do some #askupgrade questions?

01:09:00   Great idea.

01:09:01   Josh wants to know, "Is there a way to make a shortcut run every day at a specific time automatically?"

01:09:08   Oh boy, do I wish there was. Wouldn't that be a wonderful addition, Jason?

01:09:13   This is not possible to do. I expect this will be at some point. It feels like a really natural next step.

01:09:20   It's going to be on the list for next year.

01:09:22   You'd expect so, right?

01:09:23   Bringing it over with phase one, bringing shortcuts over with phase one from Workflow. Phase two presumably will be all sorts of things and this has to be on that list. It just makes sense.

01:09:32   What I will recommend to you if you want to do something that can approximate this, you can use an app like Launch Center Pro where you can make a Launch Center Pro action to be a shortcut.

01:09:44   It allows you to select a specific shortcut and you can set a schedule there.

01:09:49   You can say like, "Every day at whatever time you can notify me" or even by location.

01:09:54   What happens is Launch Center Pro will give you a notification.

01:09:57   You need to tap on the notification but then it will open the shortcut and run the shortcut for you.

01:10:02   It's not perfect but it can get you 70% of the way there. You need to tap something but it stops you from having to remember it or have you set up an alarm to remind you to do something.

01:10:17   You still have to be involved in some way but it will get you part of the way there.

01:10:22   Yeah, I wanted to mention Launch Center Pro because the general perception has been like, well, because of shortcuts and workflow that Launch Center Pro isn't relevant but it actually has a bunch of features that do very clever things like location-based launching that doesn't happen in shortcuts.

01:10:42   There's stuff you can do to actually trigger shortcuts from Launch Center Pro that are very clever.

01:10:48   In terms of scheduling, you know, there are alarms now. The Home app lets you schedule things.

01:10:55   You have to have a HomeKit hub in your house in Apple TV or an iPad to do that but it lets you schedule things in HomeKit.

01:11:01   So I feel like Apple is right on the verge of being able to do this but we haven't quite gotten there yet.

01:11:08   There are probably, you know, there are security implications and user interface implications.

01:11:12   If you can set a thing that is basically running code at a certain time, like is that surreptitious, you know, there's like lots of stuff that you have to step through in order to make that happen but it would be super convenient to be able to run things at a particular time of day.

01:11:29   So hopefully they'll figure that out for next time.

01:11:32   Ted writes in, "Both of you seem to be enthusiastic Instagram users. Do you ever feel down after looking at Instagram for a couple of minutes because everyone else's life seems so much more exciting?"

01:11:44   So I am an enthusiastic Instagram user. Would you consider yourself an enthusiastic Instagram user, Jason?

01:11:50   I would not.

01:11:51   You use it every now and then.

01:11:52   If I'm traveling or at a sporting event or am taking a picture of something amazing, which is usually traveling or at a sporting event, I will post it to Instagram and when I'm there I will look at Instagram but I don't check Instagram every day.

01:12:06   So I probably, you know, when I look it's like, "Hey, my friends are doing things. Great." And then that's sort of it.

01:12:12   So I definitely don't feel that because I'm not popping in there to get feedback about what's happening in the world.

01:12:18   I just use it as a kind of sharing service when I, you know, I work out of my garage. I'm not taking pictures most of the time and I'm not looking at Instagram most of the time.

01:12:26   I am consuming and what would you say, like creating.

01:12:32   Like I am giving more to Instagram and spending more time in Instagram at an increasing rate.

01:12:39   It's a social network that I get a lot more enjoyment out of than some of the other places that I frequent on the Internet.

01:12:47   So, you know, Jason is @jasonel on Instagram. I am @imike. I am @yke on Instagram. You should follow us there. Especially follow me because I use stories a lot now.

01:12:57   I'm sharing a lot more to my Instagram stories. FOMO is the thing that Ted is reaching for here. Fear of missing out.

01:13:04   So you see something happening and you're like, "Oh man, I wish I was there. I wish I was doing that."

01:13:09   It is a real thing. A thing that people feel. And sometimes I'll feel this way. Like if I see a bunch of my friends together and I'm not there for some reason.

01:13:18   Like I'll be like, "Oh man, I wish I was with my friends." But mostly no. Like I don't see stuff that Jason's doing or Federico's doing or Steven's doing or Serenity's doing and be like, just in general, like sad that I'm not doing the cool things that they're doing.

01:13:31   So my recommendation to you, Ted, and to anyone really is this general blanket statement. If a social network makes you feel sad, try to stop using that social network.

01:13:42   That would be my advice that I would give to our listeners.

01:13:47   Samuel writes in, "Do you mix and edit your shows differently knowing how apps like Overcast will change them with smart speed and voice boost?" And I will also add to that just general speed changes that people may do.

01:14:01   They may listen to the show at 1.5 times speed, for example. Jason, do you make any accommodations for this stuff?

01:14:08   I am curious what you have to say here, although I think we're going to be on the same page, which is Overcast voice boost exists to make shows that sound bad sound better.

01:14:20   Or shows that sound good sound louder, which is another thing.

01:14:24   Yeah, but I would say the primary thing is a show that is mixed to quiet. And maybe the volumes are off and it helps boost it.

01:14:34   So my thought is not everybody has voice boost. Not everybody has Overcast.

01:14:39   I make my show so people can listen to it without needing to fix its audio.

01:14:46   So I don't do this because I want to take control of it and make it to sound as good as possible to begin with before getting it to Overcast.

01:14:56   So I would say no to that. And smart speed, you know, I never was somebody who was cutting out long pauses I cut out, short pauses I don't.

01:15:08   Smart speed is all about the individual detail work. I don't do individual detail dialogue edits where I'm pulling out every single "um" and "uh."

01:15:15   My method of using logic involves finding any time that there is a pause for longer than a second. I see those because I'm using strip silence.

01:15:27   So everything, there's a break, there's a cut if there's silence for more than a second in the settings that I use.

01:15:35   And I will close those up because that feels like there's a weird long pause happening that I want to close up.

01:15:43   There's often an "um" or an "uh" that's associated with it and I can just close all of that up and the person's thoughts just continue to flow and it's all great.

01:15:52   But smaller ones I don't bother. So I don't do that either. Nor do I consider the fact that people are going to listen to this at all sorts of speeds.

01:16:01   One and a half times, two times, three times, whatever. I can't. Like, I edited it at 1x, I want it to sound good at 1x,

01:16:09   and then everybody's algorithms and personal preferences can do whatever the heck they want with it.

01:16:14   I just want it to sound good at 1x and then everybody else can do whatever they want.

01:16:20   Yeah, there are too many preferences that people may have, they're switching on and off, in all of the different applications.

01:16:26   Like, so many apps do something like a voice boost or something like a silence removal right now.

01:16:32   It's too tricky that if I did want to tune it, to tune it in a way that would be best of all of them because every app does things slightly differently.

01:16:41   So I don't make any considerations to the audio to try and sound good in a specific preference other than nothing, right?

01:16:50   Like, no silence boosting, no voice boosting, no audio EQing. I'm just making it so if you use nothing, the show sounds good.

01:16:59   If you want to do speed stuff, that's for you, right? Like, smart speed and silence removal and the voice, the silence skipping,

01:17:07   and stuff that's in Pocket Casts, stuff that's in Overcast, it's good, you know?

01:17:12   Like, I use it, but every now and then they will all destroy something in a show, right?

01:17:17   Like, a show with music in it, it's just going to rip through that music at times, you know?

01:17:22   I was going to say, I would love, and I don't know if this is ever even technically possible, I would love to be able to mark parts of my show that have music in them.

01:17:33   I actually saw Marco having a conversation with somebody about this on Twitter recently and his, I think it was with Jeremy Burge,

01:17:39   and I'm paraphrasing, but he was like, there would then just be some people that mark the entire show that way and it's going against what the listener wants,

01:17:48   or like, they would do it to ads or, yeah.

01:17:51   Yeah, I could say that, but he could also limit it to 30 seconds or something like that as these very specific things.

01:17:56   I would love that, or even better, and I know that there are algorithms out there that claim to be able to do this, Marco will probably shoot this down too,

01:18:03   but Marco does so much audio processing, maybe the next generation smart speed detects music and sets it off and says, "Oh, music is running here."

01:18:13   Yeah, but what if you run music under the, you know, you run music, anyway, but there are many ifs and buts,

01:18:18   but basically, I just make the show for how it's going to be and then whatever preferences the listener wants to place on it, I'm like, that's cool.

01:18:26   Sometimes, if I'm making a particularly interesting or tricky or like I'm doing something that's a little bit out of the box, I will check it.

01:18:36   This is typically around like doing weird stuff with chapters for fun, right?

01:18:42   Yeah.

01:18:42   Like I'm adding art in, I'm adding some secret art in, then I'll check it that it works and...

01:18:46   Yes.

01:18:47   ...or doesn't break in a couple of apps, right, before I publish it, but when it comes to the audio stuff, there's only so much we can do and we can't plan for everything, so...

01:18:59   No, my big thing is that I use a compressor on the voices on all the podcasts I do and then I do a master compressor on the end,

01:19:05   and what that basically means is I'm trying to bring everybody's voice up to essentially the same volume all the time,

01:19:12   because not only do different people in different places have different volumes, but as speakers, sometimes we talk like this and then sometimes we trail off and we talk like this,

01:19:21   and by putting the compressors on there, and I'm kind of aggressive with it, what I want is I want everybody to be audible all the time.

01:19:28   I don't want the podcast to need a podcast player feature so that you can hear every word that I say,

01:19:36   but so I do that, even though I could probably get away with not doing that knowing, well, you know, Overcast will fix it if it's a problem.

01:19:44   I want it to go out the gate as good and as listenable as I can make it, because...

01:19:48   Because not everybody listens in one app, right?

01:19:50   No.

01:19:51   And that's the great thing about podcasting, so I don't want to just...

01:19:54   We're not doing like Master for Overcast or like Pocket Cast Approved, you know, we're not doing that, because that's not the way it is.

01:20:02   And again, if you want to... I do things slightly differently to Jason, I do some audio leveling before rather than compression after.

01:20:10   If you want to hear about this in a little bit more detail, listen to episode 200 of this very show where we go into it.

01:20:16   Also, if you ever wondered why some of our episodes sound different from others, every so often there's one that sounds a little bit different,

01:20:23   you usually tell because the music is a little different at the intro.

01:20:26   It's because when I edit upgrade, which I usually don't do, it's usually mic, but when I edit upgrade, I use my template, and so I use my compression settings and all of that.

01:20:36   And it does sound different.

01:20:38   It does sound different. I prefer the way I sound in my edit.

01:20:41   And I prefer how it sounds in mine.

01:20:43   And this is like because audio editing is like an art, really.

01:20:49   It is an art. There are lots of different ways you can go.

01:20:52   The editor has their preference for how things should sound.

01:20:58   And that's just how it is, right? And I kind of... it's a weird thing that I've come to love.

01:21:05   Also, I have software that you don't have and you have software that I don't have.

01:21:08   So I couldn't actually do what you do.

01:21:11   Because you have software I don't have.

01:21:13   Because I want you to edit your way, right?

01:21:17   Yeah.

01:21:18   So there you go.

01:21:19   That's right. Even though I put the music at the wrong place.

01:21:21   I have a very specific place that I...

01:21:26   No, it's not just that you use completely different music.

01:21:28   Well, that's also true.

01:21:29   I have a very specific place that I put the music and where I begin to speak.

01:21:34   Oh, I know you do. And I disagree with it.

01:21:36   And that's fine.

01:21:37   So you can tell those are the little tidbits for when one of us edits the show instead of the other one.

01:21:43   Anyway, that was a fun question.

01:21:45   We call it editor's prerogative. That's how I call it.

01:21:47   Exactly.

01:21:48   All of these things.

01:21:49   Thank you, Samuel.

01:21:50   They do the work. They get to make their preferences.

01:21:53   All right. I think that's going to wrap it up for today.

01:21:56   We have a lot more to say on that one.

01:21:58   I think any time anybody ever asks us about some kind of podcast editing decision, we'll have a lot to say on it.

01:22:04   So if you do have questions like that, again, we're always happy to accept them.

01:22:07   But I expect a lot of those answers can be found in episode 200 of this very program,

01:22:12   where we spoke for about an hour and a half, just about that.

01:22:16   And that's most of one of my favorite episodes of this show.

01:22:19   If you've never heard it, I recommend that you go and listen.

01:22:22   If you would like to send in a question for us to answer on a future episode of this very program,

01:22:27   just send out a tweet with the hashtag #AskUpgrade and we will do so.

01:22:31   I want to thank Squarespace and FreshBooks and Simple Contacts for their support of this very show.

01:22:38   If you'd like to find Jason online, go to sixcolors.com and the incomparable dot com for more of Jason's wonderful work.

01:22:44   He is @JSNEW, J S N E double L on Twitter and Instagram.

01:22:48   I am @imike, I M Y K E.

01:22:51   Once again, please follow me on Instagram.

01:22:53   I'm trying to share a lot more stuff that I'm doing there.

01:22:57   And it's a very different medium that I'm enjoying greatly.

01:23:00   Me and Jason both host many shows on Relay FM.

01:23:03   You can go to relay.fm/shows to find your next second favorite podcast after upgrade, of course.

01:23:10   We'll be back next time. Until then, Upgradients, thank you very much for listening.

01:23:16   We'll be back next time. Say goodbye, Jason Snow.

01:23:18   Farewell, Upgradients.

01:23:20   .