The Talk Show

372: ‘$8 Billion in Late Fees’, With Rene Ritchie


00:00:00   René, good to have you here.

00:00:02   Good to be here, John.

00:00:03   This is unusual for people who don't know the behind the scenes stuff.

00:00:05   We are using a system that is typically used by YouTube streamers,

00:00:09   so I feel very much at home right now.

00:00:11   Yeah, I'm looking at you.

00:00:13   It's more than just audio, so we'll see how it goes.

00:00:16   There's a lot going on.

00:00:18   We just talked for your YouTube show, and we could start with it

00:00:22   and just reiterate, we could just repeat everything we said on your show.

00:00:26   I can just send you the recording.

00:00:27   That's helpful.

00:00:30   But we talked on your show, we did a whole thing about Apple's entry

00:00:33   into generative AI, or what do we expect, which they haven't been into yet.

00:00:37   And I won't reiterate the whole thing.

00:00:38   They can just watch your fun show and see me blather there.

00:00:41   But I'll skip to the end, which was with WWDC coming up.

00:00:46   Spoiler warning.

00:00:47   Yeah, spoiler warning.

00:00:48   Do we expect any generative AI news from Apple at WWDC?

00:00:54   My thing is Xcode, because all the other major IDEs out there,

00:01:00   led by Microsoft Copilot or GitHub Copilot, whoever's branding it is,

00:01:05   have these things where if you're writing programming code in your IDE,

00:01:10   the same way that you and I can stick around with chat GPT coming up,

00:01:16   trying to get it to write a screenplay for the 15 Fast and Furious movie,

00:01:23   or whatever gimmick story.

00:01:24   Or prequels, as if they were written and directed by the Empire Strikes Back team.

00:01:29   Right, or even weirder, Wes Anderson, Wes Anderson's Star Wars movie,

00:01:34   or something like that.

00:01:35   Actually, there's so many of these floating around.

00:01:38   But one of the generative arts that was floating around,

00:01:42   I saw in the last week, was a movie about the World Cup soccer directed by Blank.

00:01:47   And it was like 10 of these things.

00:01:49   The Kubrick one is obviously why people send it to me.

00:01:52   But the Wes Anderson one was amazing.

00:01:54   It really did look like the poster from Wes Anderson's soccer movie.

00:02:00   Unbelievable.

00:02:01   It doesn't look like anything else that he's done.

00:02:04   It's not like, oh, they just took Blank and then just put soccer uniforms on it.

00:02:09   It looked like an original composition, but totally amazing.

00:02:13   We have prompts that will turn live action movies into as if Pixar had made them,

00:02:16   which are always astonishing as well.

00:02:18   Right.

00:02:20   My big thing that I'm looking for on the AI front at WWDC is Xcode,

00:02:25   code, chat help to help fill in source code,

00:02:29   which either they've been ready.

00:02:34   This isn't the sort of thing they could squeeze in at the last minute.

00:02:36   They've either been planning for this because they've seen it coming from

00:02:40   co-pilot or it's going to-- WWDC comes and goes and they don't mention it.

00:02:45   And to me, that's a swing and a miss.

00:02:47   So and again, the reason it really matters is Xcode is the only game in town for

00:02:55   creating software for Apple platforms.

00:02:57   It's so like if Final Cut doesn't come out with AI editing features,

00:03:03   well, you can still use Adobe Premiere on your Mac.

00:03:06   You can't really solve any of those.

00:03:07   Yeah, yeah, you can't.

00:03:08   But you can't really substitute anything for Xcode at a certain level.

00:03:13   Anything you're looking for on the AI front from Apple at WWDC?

00:03:18   Yeah, I mean, I think there's camera features I would love to see,

00:03:21   for example, a version of the Pixel's Magic Eraser or just out painting,

00:03:25   which is like you can crop into an image,

00:03:26   but if you need to crop out, it can generate just like quick backup.

00:03:29   So basically what these systems do is they ask what's next?

00:03:32   What's the next pixel? What's the next word?

00:03:34   And then they make their best guess as to what that could be.

00:03:37   So if you take a photo and it's poorly framed, but you need more of the photo,

00:03:41   it could figure out where all those pixels should be.

00:03:43   So that kind of stuff.

00:03:44   And also, I think we've gotten to a point

00:03:46   where the AI is just way over processing faces and scenes in general.

00:03:50   They look almost baked at this point.

00:03:52   So if you get to a point where the AI looks natural again,

00:03:55   I think that would be usually welcome.

00:03:57   Yeah, it's like I'm sort of getting spoiled by using natural language

00:04:02   to direct these things.

00:04:04   And I'm not even all that heavily,

00:04:05   you know, I don't spend that much time on a weekly basis playing with these things.

00:04:09   But it's like they've added all of these great features

00:04:14   to the iOS camera app over the years.

00:04:16   I think they've done it just a remark.

00:04:18   And as somebody who just bought a Ricoh GR3X,

00:04:22   which I think has a better interface for their camera than most camera makers.

00:04:30   But even that's a very low bar.

00:04:33   And I'm continuously impressed as I familiarize myself

00:04:38   with the Ricoh settings and how to change the different modes

00:04:41   and which button to use for which.

00:04:43   Continually like, hey, that's a lot better on the iPhone camera.

00:04:49   But you've got like a little, oh, that's how you toggle action mode on and off.

00:04:53   Oh, but cinematic mode is an entirely different video mode.

00:04:58   So I kind of learn these things.

00:05:00   At some point, you just want to tell the iPhone camera,

00:05:02   please make this look more natural.

00:05:05   Right?

00:05:05   Like Zork.

00:05:06   We were like, again, we've been bombed back to the interface of Zork.

00:05:10   You just want to say, take this picture as though it is from this camera.

00:05:13   And it will give you like your favorite ancient Leica camera or something that you just loved.

00:05:18   Right.

00:05:18   And I do it's I think Marques Brownlee had a pretty all of his videos are widely viewed,

00:05:23   but he had a pretty good one in the last couple of weeks about like, hey, what's going on with the iPhone camera?

00:05:30   And I think he's talking about the same thing you're alluding to where

00:05:35   it's not that pictures look bad, but they just it's a clear sign of, I think, over processing.

00:05:40   Right.

00:05:40   It's not 100%.

00:05:41   It's like if you take a bad photo and you put it through an AI photo like regenerator,

00:05:46   sometimes it can't do very much.

00:05:47   And that's what it looks like sometimes.

00:05:49   Like it's trying to fix the image.

00:05:50   I had this great story.

00:05:51   So I went to Justine and Jenna Azarek's creator camp two weeks ago and they gave us paper maps, which was great,

00:05:58   but I didn't want to carry it with me.

00:05:59   So I took a photo of the map because I wanted to see all the little numbers on it.

00:06:04   And when I zoomed in later to see it, there were no numbers.

00:06:07   It thought it was a pattern and tried to reinterpret it,

00:06:09   reinterpret it as a pattern, but it made the numbers illegible.

00:06:13   And if it had just photographed the pixels of what was there, I would have been able to read it easily.

00:06:18   But the AI processing was so much that it made it useless for that particular task.

00:06:23   That's pretty funny.

00:06:25   Right.

00:06:25   Some stuff on that front would be good.

00:06:28   And I guess the other, as we mentioned on your show, but the big elephant in the room is Siri, right?

00:06:33   Yeah.

00:06:34   And they can't no matter what.

00:06:37   There's well, can't, I guess, is famous last words in all of computers.

00:06:45   But at the moment, there's no practical way for Siri to entirely be backed by an open AI chat, GPT style backend.

00:06:56   You can see it when you talk, when you type to these things, how slow they are.

00:07:01   Right.

00:07:02   Yeah.

00:07:02   You can actually see the words coming out of the chat GPT coming in.

00:07:08   It takes sometimes multiple seconds.

00:07:11   You type your command and hit return and it's dot, dot, dot for a while before you get an answer.

00:07:19   Siri obviously can't work that slowly.

00:07:22   No.

00:07:23   I do dream though, John.

00:07:24   I dream that we will get to the point where the Zork interface is replaced with a natural language audio interface,

00:07:29   not for everything, but like where it's useful.

00:07:30   And we basically get to the point of that Avengers scene with Tony Stark, where he has the mixed reality glasses on,

00:07:37   and he has this conversational interface with Jarvis.

00:07:41   And he says, like, he starts making a molecule.

00:07:43   He's like, give me this, give me that.

00:07:44   He moves his hands around, but he says, add this and do that.

00:07:46   And that feels like what craft is inevitably, it has to be in the digital AI mixed reality world.

00:07:53   And you just wonder what maybe because Apple has a different perspective, because they,

00:08:00   they're always designing for, we've got literally a billion devices out there that are whatever it is,

00:08:10   we're, we're building towards in the AI front.

00:08:12   We've got a billion devices out there that we know the Silicon, we designed it from the ground up

00:08:19   or from the sand up, if you prefer.

00:08:21   Do they have an entirely different perspective on how to approach AI and the modern world of

00:08:26   these large language models that can do more local processing?

00:08:31   I mean, and I, everything we've seen from the big leading end experts or entries like chat GPT

00:08:39   and Microsoft's integration of their technology and Google's BARD is from companies who are cloud first.

00:08:47   So of course it's cloud first.

00:08:48   Massively.

00:08:49   Right.

00:08:51   And we've seen on this, the device side smarts, lots of stuff that Apple's doing now with the

00:09:00   handwriting recognition, the recognition of, of things in photos, both for search.

00:09:06   So you can say, show me cars.

00:09:09   And it shows you all the photos in your entire photo library with cars.

00:09:12   And, and I forget what they call it, but the feature where you can take a picture and just

00:09:17   sort of drag the person and you get a cutout of the person.

00:09:21   And it shows you pictures with the words car.

00:09:24   Right, right, right.

00:09:26   So, and you can search for the text of things on signs in your photos.

00:09:30   It does all that stuff locally.

00:09:34   And that stuff that a decade ago, or even, even more recently, a lot of people thought

00:09:39   had to be done server side because that's the companies that were already doing it were doing

00:09:46   server side, right?

00:09:47   It can, that sort of thing can fool people into thinking, well, if everybody who's doing

00:09:52   X is doing it in the cloud server side, X has to be done server side.

00:09:58   And therefore Apple isn't, this isn't good for Apple because of privacy or because they

00:10:03   want to do stuff on devices, but it, Apple's in a unique position where they can do stuff

00:10:08   device side because they have a billion devices with very fast silicon.

00:10:11   So what we see from Apple on the AI front might be different.

00:10:15   It might not.

00:10:16   I'm repeating myself a little bit here, but there's a lot of companies are chip, like

00:10:23   chip set.

00:10:23   Like they will say, here's an NFC chip, figure out what you want to do with it.

00:10:27   Where Apple is very feature set and they're like, here is Apple pay.

00:10:30   And yes, it uses NFC behind the scenes, but if you didn't know that you would never know

00:10:35   that.

00:10:35   And so it's possible we'll see features from Apple that use generative AI or some other

00:10:39   things like we do now.

00:10:40   We were at, we were talking previously, like did they even mention how much AI is involved

00:10:44   and holding your finger on the picture and dragging the thing out of it?

00:10:48   I don't remember that they did.

00:10:49   And so we might see just a bunch of things that you can type in or do that are based

00:10:53   on these things.

00:10:54   And it's just, that is what is behind the scenes for the feature.

00:10:56   Yeah.

00:10:57   So we'll see.

00:10:58   I mean, I, I, I, I, at a meta level, it's always part of the, the it's, it's, it's why

00:11:06   punditry is still a thing.

00:11:09   It's oftentimes though, it's like, of course, after an Apple keynote, they would love it

00:11:15   if everybody was only talking about what they put in the keynote, but it's often, what's

00:11:20   not in the keynote.

00:11:21   Yes, but we didn't get.

00:11:23   That gets the most attention.

00:11:24   And I, I think to some degree, it's almost inevitable that we're going to be a little,

00:11:30   we collectively, maybe not close watchers of Apple, but tech watchers in general will

00:11:36   be a little underwhelmed by the AI stuff because I did, it's just not their game.

00:11:41   And it's not, but you know, who knows, but again, WWE or Xcode in particular to me is

00:11:48   the one that I'm most, most interested in because they really need to have it.

00:11:52   And if they don't do it this year, I think it's guaranteed to come next year, but that's

00:11:55   a whole year off.

00:11:56   Right.

00:11:56   And that's one of those, that's where Apple's annual cadence sort of hurts them.

00:12:02   It, there's no technical reason why they WWDC could come and go and they don't say anything

00:12:08   about a co-pilot like feature for Xcode.

00:12:11   Then they could call you to come to New York two months from now.

00:12:14   Oh yeah.

00:12:14   And come see these developers who we've seeded with this thing and it's coming out in October

00:12:18   or something like that.

00:12:19   But it's probable major new Xcode features, and this would be pretty major, typically

00:12:25   only come once a year and they're the sort of thing they preview at WWDC.

00:12:29   So I'd be looking, looking for that.

00:12:31   Where like your biggest strength is your biggest weakness.

00:12:33   And like for Apple, like Apple culture is incredibly strong, but it also means they

00:12:37   just can't get engineers often who won't relocate to Cupertino.

00:12:41   And the same way they, they are so good at having this integration of hardware, software

00:12:45   and platform technologies, but that takes two or three years to coordinate.

00:12:49   And then when something is changing so fast, the way the generative AI and just the whole

00:12:53   AI field are, it's like a butterfly keyboard.

00:12:56   You just don't have bandwidth to fix it for three years.

00:12:58   Can you not have bandwidth to offer something like this for a year if it's purely software

00:13:03   or for three years if it's hardware accelerated, something like that.

00:13:06   Yeah.

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00:15:35   Also in the news this week, Joanna Stern and Nicole Nguyen at the Wall Street Journal had

00:15:41   a follow-up on their, to me, Blockbuster story from February about the repercussions.

00:15:47   I've been talking about it on the show a little bit.

00:15:49   I want to have Joanna on the show soon to talk about it in detail because I can definitely

00:15:54   go two hours, three hours just talking about this.

00:15:57   The gist of their original story from February, just to catch everybody up, is that if an

00:16:05   adversary, and we're talking mostly about thieves, if a thief has both your iPhone and

00:16:11   your iPhone device passcode, it more or less gives them root privileges in computer science

00:16:22   terms, God mode in game terms.

00:16:24   It's game over for just about everything built into the system on your phone, including,

00:16:32   and this is the part where it's non-intuitive, your iCloud account.

00:16:38   Because with just the device passcode, you can go to settings and then the thing at the

00:16:43   top for your iCloud, the Apple ID, the picture of you, you tap into that and then type security

00:16:49   and password there.

00:16:51   And you can just change the iCloud password without entering the old one.

00:16:56   And so what thieves...

00:16:58   And it's not as far-fetched as people think because in a bar situation, somebody could

00:17:02   be recording you, putting it in, they could be shoulder surfing you, putting it in.

00:17:06   Like if you're just not looking at your phone properly and you get fed up with the face

00:17:09   ID, touch ID, type it in, they could get it.

00:17:12   And then when you're not paying attention, get your phone as well, which I think is how

00:17:15   a lot of these attacks are happening.

00:17:16   Yeah.

00:17:17   And they uncovered that.

00:17:21   And it's sort of like many security problems.

00:17:24   There's a social engineering aspect to it where either they work as a team and somebody

00:17:30   shoulder surfs and somebody else steals the phone.

00:17:33   The one scam they do is look for people who are maybe out together and make bar or temporary

00:17:43   friends with them and say, "Hey, hand me your phone.

00:17:45   Let me take a picture of you guys while you're celebrating this thing."

00:17:48   And that's not when they steal the phone, but they take the phone.

00:17:51   And then when they hand it back, if you squeeze the power and volume buttons to hard lock

00:17:56   it, now the next time you use your phone, you've got to all of a sudden face ID doesn't

00:18:01   work anymore.

00:18:02   You have to enter your passcode and that's where they can see you enter your passcode.

00:18:05   Because part of the mystery of this whole thing is you don't really enter your passcode

00:18:09   that often.

00:18:10   And ever since their story came out, it's made me keenly aware of when I do.

00:18:14   And it almost never happens in public.

00:18:17   Although it did during COVID, which is something.

00:18:22   And I don't know if the fact that we were locked in and going to the grocery store felt

00:18:29   like an adventure where you're risking your life.

00:18:31   The zombie apocalypse.

00:18:32   Yeah.

00:18:32   It's like maybe I'm guessing phone thefts were down because people weren't going to

00:18:39   bars, which is where this happens.

00:18:41   But we were entering our passcodes over and over and over again because you couldn't

00:18:45   use face ID with a mask while masks were mandatory.

00:18:49   I know it's a feature they have now.

00:18:51   But it still is kind of hit and miss because I've been traveling a lot lately and it is

00:18:55   still hit and miss from quite a bit.

00:18:57   Like it's me.

00:18:58   I don't look down right or I don't hold the phone high up enough or whatever it is.

00:19:01   But I don't want to put my passcode in.

00:19:04   So I force myself to do it properly, but it takes a while and it's frustrating.

00:19:07   Yeah.

00:19:08   The follow up that Joanna and Nicole had this week, which is interesting too, is that they've

00:19:14   uncovered that what some of these thieves are doing, and it does seem like there's some

00:19:18   kind of checklist out there.

00:19:21   Like here's how to run an iPhone theft scheme.

00:19:24   And what they want to do is they take shoulder surf or somehow otherwise obtain your passcode,

00:19:29   observe you doing it.

00:19:30   Then they steal your phone and now they have your passcode and then they lock you out of

00:19:34   your iCloud.

00:19:34   Because when you do change the iCloud password, it says, would you like to let's say you

00:19:41   have a Mac and an iPad at home too.

00:19:44   When you change the passcode on the phone, though, it says, would you like to lock out

00:19:48   all of your other devices?

00:19:49   And it's a feature intended to help people who think their account has been compromised

00:19:55   by a thief.

00:19:55   Let somebody else maybe just has stolen their password, right?

00:20:00   Not your device and your password, but they just have your Apple ID or you think somebody

00:20:05   might have your Apple ID, email and password combination.

00:20:09   Would you like to log everybody else out as you change the number?

00:20:12   And that's supposed to be a feature for you.

00:20:14   But a thief who has your phone and your device passcode and then changes your iCloud/Apple

00:20:21   ID password.

00:20:23   Yes, lock out your other devices.

00:20:25   Now you're like...

00:20:26   I think it's fair to point out that most of the time this won't work because most systems

00:20:30   require your current password to reset the password.

00:20:33   And Apple, like security and convenience are always at war.

00:20:36   Like you make something less convenient.

00:20:39   Regular people get locked out of their own stuff.

00:20:41   You make it more convenient.

00:20:42   Bad actors get into your stuff.

00:20:43   So it's a trade off, but Apple's trade off here is allowing the passcode, which is simple,

00:20:48   easier to shoulder surf and easier to enter to reset the password instead of requiring

00:20:53   the previous password to reset it.

00:20:55   Right.

00:20:55   And it is absolutely...

00:20:57   It's not an accident.

00:20:58   It is by design.

00:21:00   And it is...

00:21:01   I have been told reliably by people at Apple way more people ordered.

00:21:07   I don't know if it's entire...

00:21:08   They wouldn't put an exact factor on it like 10x or 15x or 20x or whatever.

00:21:13   But some number in that realm, more people get locked out of their Apple ID because they

00:21:19   forget their Apple ID password.

00:21:21   But they of course still know their phone passcode.

00:21:24   Right.

00:21:24   We've talked about that, like the huge support burden that it was before Apple started encrypting.

00:21:28   Like why they didn't encrypt all these backups because people lost access to their backups.

00:21:33   Right.

00:21:34   But it's a feature intended to help people that does help people on a daily basis.

00:21:40   Way more people than who do get their phone stolen and have their passcode stolen with

00:21:47   the phone.

00:21:47   But the downside of it is the people who do have their phone and passcode stolen.

00:21:54   Now this feature can be used against them because you think, "Oh, my phone...

00:21:58   I don't know where my phone is.

00:21:59   And if you suspect it was stolen or maybe you know it was stolen or you're almost sure

00:22:04   it was stolen, like, "Hey, it was that weird guy at the bar.

00:22:07   I think I'll bet he stole my phone because he's gone.

00:22:10   And my phone's gone."

00:22:11   Shit.

00:22:13   Well, let me run home and get on my iPad or get on my Mac and see what's going on.

00:22:17   Well, you can be five minutes away, but you get home and you're already locked out of

00:22:22   iCloud and your password's changed.

00:22:24   Now...

00:22:25   And your friends can't get in because you can't use it on their web browser either.

00:22:28   Right.

00:22:29   Because the thief has stolen or changed your iCloud.

00:22:32   Like, yeah.

00:22:33   Your iCloud password.

00:22:35   Now the next step, what they're calling Chapter 2 in their story is they've encountered a

00:22:41   bunch of people who...

00:22:43   Victims who have, in addition to having their password changed, the thieves have added a

00:22:51   recovery key to their account.

00:22:54   Which again, this recovery key is a feature Apple added to help people protect their

00:23:00   accounts.

00:23:01   But a thief who's taken over your account and locked out your other devices and then

00:23:05   adds a recovery key means that some of these people are locked out of their Apple ID

00:23:12   permanently.

00:23:13   Yeah.

00:23:13   Because they can never get that key.

00:23:14   Right.

00:23:15   They'll never get that key.

00:23:16   And even if they themselves had previously set a recovery key, the thief can override

00:23:24   it because with the device in hand and the passcode, that device, that iPhone is considered

00:23:31   one of the trusted devices in your chain.

00:23:34   And that therefore can be used to do all of this.

00:23:39   And by when you change the password and it asks you, do you want to log out all your

00:23:46   other devices or keep them logged in because you're just changing your password?

00:23:51   At that point, none of your other devices are trusted devices anymore.

00:23:56   And now the only trusted device is the iPhone that the thief has.

00:23:59   And the irony here is that the original version of iCloud two factor used a recovery key and

00:24:06   so many people would lose it and lose access to everything that Apple switched to the current

00:24:10   system, which allows them to recover.

00:24:12   Who knows in the future, but let them, well, actually now we know there's a recovery option,

00:24:17   but it let them recover it for people because we know that people do lose access to these

00:24:21   things.

00:24:21   I'll stop going on and wait and do a whole show on it with Joanna, hopefully soon.

00:24:26   But my key advice to people is to just the best advice I can give is actually the simplest.

00:24:33   Just be very, very cognizant of where and when you type your passcode.

00:24:38   And I don't think you need to, to be safe from this.

00:24:41   I don't think you need to set.

00:24:43   I don't even think you need to set an alphanumeric passcode in general.

00:24:47   And I know that's what a lot of people who are paranoid are doing, and it certainly doesn't

00:24:51   hurt.

00:24:51   In other words, switching from entering a number 1234567 to something with letters and

00:24:58   numbers or letters and numbers and punctuation.

00:25:00   And it's certainly harder to shoulder surf that sort of thing.

00:25:04   So it does make you more secure.

00:25:07   But if you're just cognizant of the fact like that, you just never type your passcode in

00:25:13   your phone.

00:25:13   If you think anybody stranger could see it, you're almost certainly safe from this.

00:25:19   You really are.

00:25:20   And I think even a numeric passcode is still fine.

00:25:24   I would just say if you're going to stick with a numeric passcode and what I'm doing

00:25:28   is just switch to one of not just going from four to six.

00:25:32   Six is the new default.

00:25:34   Just you can make one when you change your passcode for your device, you can make it

00:25:38   an arbitrary length.

00:25:40   Like could be seven characters, could be five characters, but even five, I think in some

00:25:45   ways is more secure than the standard six because the interface for those custom lengths

00:25:52   doesn't tell the thief how long it is by definition.

00:25:56   Right.

00:25:57   When you have the system standard six digit passcode, you don't even have to hit the

00:26:02   ennarr key.

00:26:03   You just type 123456.

00:26:06   And when you type the six, you're done.

00:26:09   And it tries the six digit passcode you did.

00:26:12   If you set a custom length one, even if it's five, you still have to hit like an OK button

00:26:18   because it doesn't tell you how long it is.

00:26:20   I think that's fine.

00:26:21   Make it like seven digits.

00:26:24   Anybody can memorize seven or eight digits.

00:26:26   Which is what my pixel does by default.

00:26:28   I don't know if you can change it, but you have to press a button when you're finished

00:26:30   typing in your passcode.

00:26:31   Yeah, you do have to.

00:26:32   It's a different...

00:26:34   It's never quite...

00:26:35   It's funny now that I've gotten more paranoid about it in light of this story and our

00:26:42   sort of realization of just how important that device passcode is.

00:26:46   I've thought about it more.

00:26:48   But when Apple first switched to that, it kind of annoyed me.

00:26:50   It never felt right to me that on the sixth digit it automatically submitted.

00:26:57   Because up till then, you can backtrack.

00:27:00   There is a delete button.

00:27:01   Yes.

00:27:02   So if you make a mistake, but if you make a mistake on the sixth and final digit, you

00:27:08   can't correct it.

00:27:09   And that felt wrong to me.

00:27:11   But I realize now that I've changed to a custom length alphanumeric that I did get used to

00:27:17   that.

00:27:17   You get used to it either way.

00:27:18   But I did develop the muscle memory where I was like, "Ah, man, now I've got to go all

00:27:25   the way up here and hit an OK button."

00:27:26   The only thing to be careful about there is people can...

00:27:28   Because one version of this attack is recording you entering the passcode.

00:27:32   And that's much rare because it's much harder to get away with recording people.

00:27:36   But if you are and it is obvious what you are typing, that won't protect you.

00:27:41   It is a layer of protection.

00:27:42   But just your original advice, be very careful where you're entering your passcode.

00:27:46   And often we don't...

00:27:47   Sometimes there is an emergency, you have to check it.

00:27:49   But we don't always need to pick up our phones as often as we think we do.

00:27:53   Well, the thing about if you're being recorded, alphanumeric doesn't really help.

00:27:58   Because if anything, it might even be easier as long as they have it in sharp focus.

00:28:05   Because with the alphanumeric, it pops up a thing for every character you press.

00:28:10   And again, it's all of these features meant to help you being used against you.

00:28:16   It's like all of a sudden, the thief doesn't have to guess which key your thumb was on.

00:28:20   There's a pop-up that tells you which letter or number was entered.

00:28:23   It is simple in essence.

00:28:24   Like if you make it easier for humans to get in, it's easier for humans to get in.

00:28:27   And if you make it harder for humans to get in, it is harder for humans to get in.

00:28:30   It's just there are good and bad actor humans involved.

00:28:33   Just my basic advice.

00:28:35   And again, I know people are going on and on about this screen time as a passcode.

00:28:39   But it would help a naive thief.

00:28:42   But the truth is you can reset your screen time passcode with a device passcode.

00:28:47   You just say you forgot the screen time passcode and that you forgot your Apple ID password

00:28:53   if they haven't reset that already because you've protected it with screen time.

00:28:57   And then it just lets you use the device passcode.

00:28:59   So the screen time...

00:28:59   It's the Konami code basically.

00:29:01   Like you're just all in once you have it.

00:29:02   Yeah, the screen time thing, it would help a naive thief, but not a thief who knows that

00:29:07   the device passcode lets you override everything.

00:29:09   So anyway, be very protective of your passcode.

00:29:13   And one of the things that stood out to me in the story, because this is another trade-off

00:29:17   that is really tough in security is recovering these accounts because you don't have the

00:29:24   recovery key.

00:29:24   And one of the examples was someone who had all of his child's photographs.

00:29:29   They'd never taken them off the device.

00:29:31   They were all there and they desperately wanted to have it restored.

00:29:34   And this is the same thing when you forget your password and you have to go to Apple

00:29:38   and it is a lengthy and frustrating process to prove your identity, to prove ownership

00:29:43   of that device and get it recovered.

00:29:45   And people who lose their devices constantly, like I remember constantly complaining, why

00:29:50   is it so hard?

00:29:51   It's my phone.

00:29:52   Just let me back into it.

00:29:54   And it's hard because every criminal who stole a phone was walking into an Apple store

00:29:58   saying, I forgot my password.

00:30:00   Can you just unlock it for me?

00:30:01   Can you remove the access for this and just let me have it?

00:30:06   And all of these social engineering attacks, SIM swapping, which is when you convince a

00:30:10   carrier to change a number to your SIM card instead of the original owner's SIM card.

00:30:15   All of these attacks are based on convincing customer support at the carrier or at the

00:30:20   manufacturer that you are the legitimate owner.

00:30:23   So they have to be incredibly careful to make sure they keep every bad actor out who's

00:30:29   trying to use the process to hijack the process and still let in the people who actually do

00:30:34   own those phones and those devices and those things.

00:30:37   And it is sometimes really tough to figure those out.

00:30:40   It's I'm not jealous of anybody who works on those features at Apple.

00:30:47   I think it's it's no well, you can win because you can create features that help people and

00:30:54   make the world a better place, but you're never going to solve it all right.

00:30:57   There's always going to be edge cases that fall through.

00:31:00   Edge cases, yeah.

00:31:01   That it's I mean, one thing that I keep coming back to, and I know you and I talk about this

00:31:06   a lot when you're on my show, these security features, the we're talking about thieves

00:31:13   stealing your phone and your passcode and that it's that and your passcode part that

00:31:19   really I think should make people feel a little less concerned about this.

00:31:24   It's a real problem.

00:31:26   I'm not trying to downplay it, but in terms of like, should you, a listener of this podcast,

00:31:30   be spooked and worried that somebody is going to do this and drain your bank account because

00:31:35   they've taken over your iCloud account, etc?

00:31:37   I think as long as it scared you straight and you're like, hey, I'm aware of this story

00:31:46   and you're just paranoid about your passcode and just don't enter it in a bar or go to

00:31:51   the bathroom before you if you get locked out and be suspicious if your phone has been sitting

00:31:57   on the bar top or a tabletop and you come back to it and face ID doesn't work and it

00:32:04   says, hey, your passcode is required to enter your phone.

00:32:08   And every once in a while, that happens when you restart your phone.

00:32:12   It happens if face ID is trying, if somebody is trying to use face ID with your phone a

00:32:19   couple of times, five times or something like that, and it five times and you're out and

00:32:23   now it needs a passcode.

00:32:24   But if you're not expecting to enter your passcode, but you're out in public and your

00:32:28   phone suddenly is asking your passcode, be a little suspicious about it and don't just

00:32:32   blindly type it in right there.

00:32:34   Look around your shoulders, think about where you are.

00:32:36   Go to the restroom.

00:32:38   Yeah, go to the restroom or walk away and do it and just be, I think that just being

00:32:43   aware of the story gives anybody who's listening to this a huge advantage over the

00:32:48   masses who are still being affected by these criminal rings.

00:32:53   I mean, honestly, it's what it is.

00:32:54   And it's also like, there's other attack factors that are very similar to this, like

00:32:59   the evil roommate or the evil, like you have someone over cleaning your house and they're

00:33:03   watching you and, or you like you have a roommate they have a disagreement with, or you

00:33:06   like you and like a significant other get into an argument.

00:33:10   These are all attacks that they can use.

00:33:11   So this is not like the way that this is being done is novel, but this exploit itself

00:33:17   isn't necessarily novel.

00:33:18   So it is always worth, I think like the fine line when like someone is like a really good

00:33:23   security journalist, some, some people just want to scare you.

00:33:26   They want to scare you to get attention and they want to sensationalize you.

00:33:29   And they want to do that to get clicks and to get like whatever.

00:33:33   And that becomes malware because they are going out of their way to unnecessarily make

00:33:37   you scared of something.

00:33:38   The good side of that is to inform you.

00:33:40   They don't panic you.

00:33:40   They give you context.

00:33:42   They give you like, how reasonable is this attack?

00:33:44   What is your threat level?

00:33:45   And you can figure that out.

00:33:47   And then they inform you so you can protect yourself.

00:33:48   And I love that Joanna is always on the right side of that.

00:33:50   Yeah.

00:33:51   It would be interesting to hear if there's anything on that front of WWDC either.

00:33:56   I mean, and again, I don't think they would present it as, Hey, we fixed this glaring

00:33:59   hole that Joanna Stern and Nicole Nguyen uncovered.

00:34:03   We won't cut to this video of Craig in a bar.

00:34:05   Right.

00:34:05   But it might be something that, you know, like, Hey, here's a new improved security

00:34:10   feature coming in iOS 17 that you realize solves the problem that they uncovered.

00:34:15   So that is another thing.

00:34:16   Or it's not even in the keynote, but afterwards people start to hear and share that they've

00:34:20   heard that.

00:34:21   All right.

00:34:21   Moving on a big topic at last year's WWDC was what they're called.

00:34:27   I don't think they called it CarPlay 2.0.

00:34:29   I think they called it Next Generation CarPlay.

00:34:31   But it got a surprising amount to a lot of people of screen time during the keynote at

00:34:37   WWDC last year.

00:34:39   And Apple was very key.

00:34:41   And the main point of Next Generation CarPlay was sort of moving beyond a simple, for lack

00:34:47   of a better description.

00:34:48   All right.

00:34:49   CarPlay is in a little rectangle somewhere on your car's dashboard on a notebook size

00:34:57   screen of some sort somewhere on your dashboard.

00:35:00   But it's a rectangle to, Hey, CarPlay can do everything on your dashboard.

00:35:06   And a car maker who embraces Next Generation CarPlay.

00:35:09   It could be CarPlay all the way from the driver's side across the dash to the passenger side,

00:35:15   filling in all of these irregular shaped screens because that's where the speedometer is.

00:35:22   And that CarPlay can integrate with instead of just providing a way to play overcast podcasts

00:35:32   and Apple music and use Apple Maps on your car to integrating with the car itself so

00:35:38   that the car can have diagnostic info and all the other stuff that modern computerized

00:35:44   cars need to do.

00:35:45   Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.

00:35:47   Here we are.

00:35:48   And nine months later, General Motors announced that their future electronic vehicles are

00:35:55   not going to have CarPlay and Android Auto support.

00:35:59   And instead, they're going to do something more akin to what Tesla and Rivian have uniquely

00:36:06   done, which is sort of go their own way.

00:36:09   Except Tesla has their entire own software stack that runs their cars.

00:36:14   Rivian has written their entire own software stack that runs their cars.

00:36:18   And GM is using Google's Android Automotive.

00:36:24   Now, this is where the name is really confusing.

00:36:27   Android Auto is like CarPlay for Android phones.

00:36:31   Android Automotive is sort of a lower level thing, which is sort of like its foundation

00:36:39   for GM to build their own computer interface for their cars akin to Rivian and Tesla.

00:36:47   But there won't be any way to get a CarPlay.

00:36:51   And Android Automotive doesn't let you use Android Auto, right?

00:36:55   It's like an embedded system like embedded Linux or QNX.

00:36:59   Like most entertainment like infotainment had QNX back in the day.

00:37:02   Microsoft tried really hard with like the Windows Mobile, I forget what version it was,

00:37:06   but basically like an underlying stack that you then build your interface and entertainment

00:37:11   system on top of.

00:37:12   I think Jason Snell wins the award for the best summary.

00:37:16   His headline was General Motors hates your iPhone.

00:37:19   But it is how people feel.

00:37:22   And I do think it's interesting.

00:37:24   I get why and speaking of Marques Brownlee, he had, I forget his name, the CEO of Rivian

00:37:31   was on his show recently, a great episode.

00:37:33   And he asked him about it.

00:37:35   And you got the answer that you would expect that, hey, they see the software.

00:37:39   They see them.

00:37:40   He didn't.

00:37:41   I'm putting some words in his mouth, but Rivian sees themselves as something more akin to

00:37:45   Apple where it's the back store on Windows.

00:37:48   Yeah.

00:37:49   The whole experience is their game.

00:37:52   It's not just, we'll do everything up to the entertainment center, but then we'll just

00:37:57   farm that out to your phone.

00:37:59   Whether it's...

00:38:00   Like you mentioned, Tesla doesn't have CarPlay and there are still people, especially people

00:38:03   at Apple who have tons of Teslas who don't have CarPlay.

00:38:05   Yeah.

00:38:06   You can definitely, when you visit Apple, you could definitely see in the employee parking

00:38:10   lot, a lot of Teslas.

00:38:11   When you go that way with Tesla and Rivian and Marco Armand and I, when Marco was on

00:38:16   this show recently, I spoke about the extended test drive of a Rivian that I had last summer.

00:38:21   I spent like two hours driving one.

00:38:23   It's a great experience.

00:38:25   I would consider buying a Rivian even though it doesn't support Tesla because I'm pretty

00:38:31   sure...

00:38:31   And based on reviews from other people, I know Quinn Nelson, he owns a Rivian and has

00:38:37   done a lot.

00:38:38   People with good taste have said, "Hey, the Rivian is doing good stuff with their software."

00:38:42   But that's the bar, right?

00:38:45   If you're going to say you can't do CarPlay, then you better have a good interface, right?

00:38:51   And I just don't...

00:38:53   I do not expect GM to come up with a good alternative.

00:38:58   Like, "Oh, okay, this is fine.

00:39:00   I kind of wish you had CarPlay, but this is good enough."

00:39:03   I think people who know CarPlay are going to be like, "Oh my God, this is terrible.

00:39:07   I can't believe this."

00:39:08   Or is it off...

00:39:10   Like even if the interface isn't quite as good because it would take years just to get

00:39:14   the experience to build good, is it offering such incredible differentiation, like features

00:39:19   that are only possible if you do control the whole stack, that it is a fair trade-off in

00:39:24   value?

00:39:25   Yeah, I don't know.

00:39:26   And why would they do this?

00:39:27   Well, it's not just...

00:39:28   Like with Rivian and Tesla, I really get that the controlling the experience is part of

00:39:36   it and that there are people at those companies, I think in Rivian's case up to the CEO level,

00:39:43   who really do care about the experience enough that that...

00:39:47   And they really think it is the best move for the customers.

00:39:50   They consider themselves software companies the same way Apple does, like fully integrated

00:39:55   product companies.

00:39:56   I think at GM this decision, there might be people at GM who really are looking forward

00:40:02   to designing their custom interface, who think they can do as good as enough job.

00:40:06   But I think the decision was clearly made by people looking at the numbers.

00:40:11   And their CEO has even said that they're looking to generate 20 to 30 billion dollars

00:40:17   a year in services revenue by like 2030 or some year like that.

00:40:22   Not the immediate future, but not the distant future.

00:40:26   Because it's like you're only going to get a couple of years of integrated service with

00:40:31   your...

00:40:32   You buy the new car, you can't connect CarPlay.

00:40:35   And at some point, they're going to demand that you pay 20 bucks a month just to get

00:40:40   maps and music and whatever else.

00:40:44   It's that damn services revenue.

00:40:47   Yeah, absolutely.

00:40:48   Well, we saw a lot of companies try to offer what were just considered basic features now

00:40:53   is subscribing BMW famously trying to just subscribe, make everything a subscription

00:40:59   service, your steering wheel.

00:41:00   It was like seat warmers, right?

00:41:03   It was like...

00:41:03   Yeah, something like that.

00:41:03   I swear to God.

00:41:04   I really think it was the seat warmers, which is ridiculous.

00:41:08   So they're going to put a seat warmer, I think, in every BMW, but you only get to use the

00:41:14   seat warmer that is in the car you own if you're paying $10 or $20, probably more than

00:41:20   $10 a month to BMW.

00:41:21   Just sort of...

00:41:23   It crosses a certain line.

00:41:25   And it's just weird how everything is becoming a computer.

00:41:30   It's sort of like the overarching theme of the whole world that we cover.

00:41:35   Everything is becoming a computer.

00:41:37   Our headphones are little mini computers, right?

00:41:40   Yes.

00:41:40   Of course, like system on a chip in your ear or...

00:41:43   Yeah.

00:41:43   ...a package in your ear.

00:41:44   Yeah, like a kind of surprisingly powerful computer just right in your ear.

00:41:50   Our cars are obviously computerized out the wazoo.

00:41:53   And it's like the car is like a series of computers, right?

00:41:59   There's each door of the computer that has its own chips.

00:42:02   And so that silicon shortage during COVID when the whole world's supply chain locked

00:42:09   up and then had these, I was going to say months long, but years long repercussions.

00:42:15   I still don't think you can buy a PlayStation 5 at a storage.

00:42:17   Huh?

00:42:17   It's really hard.

00:42:19   What else?

00:42:19   I just saw something else is surprising.

00:42:21   GPUs for a long time.

00:42:23   Those are finally stabilized.

00:42:24   And it was cars like you just could like the price for used cars skyrocketed.

00:42:28   Oh, I know.

00:42:28   Companies thought people wouldn't buy.

00:42:30   They canceled their orders.

00:42:31   They realized people were buying.

00:42:32   They tried to order again and they were the back of the line and just cascade it.

00:42:35   I know what it is.

00:42:36   It's I'd mentioned earlier that I just recently bought my first camera camera in years.

00:42:40   I bought the Ricoh GR3X.

00:42:43   But the previous camera I had bought was back in 2014, which is the longest stretch of my

00:42:50   adult life between buying cameras, like that whole stretch.

00:42:54   But what I bought in 24, part of the reason is that the camera I bought in 2014, I liked

00:42:58   and used for enough years that it filled in a lot of that gap.

00:43:02   And then I just had like a years long gap where I pretty much shot everything on my

00:43:06   iPhone.

00:43:07   And now I'm like, hey, surprising how good a real camera can be with a big sensor.

00:43:12   Anyway, I bought in 2014 the Fuji X100S, which is not quite pocketable, but is a camera with

00:43:22   a lens that it's a 28 millimeter, no zoom, prime lens, a large sensor, not full size,

00:43:31   but like micro two thirds.

00:43:32   But anyway, it's a great camera.

00:43:34   People love it.

00:43:34   And there's been sequels to it.

00:43:37   And the current one is the Fuji X100V.

00:43:40   People who listen to ATP will know that Marco Armond has been going through the same sort

00:43:46   of, if I get a small camera, should I get the Ricoh that Gruber has or the X100V, which

00:43:51   is bigger, but therefore it does have better image quality.

00:43:55   But anyway, if you want to buy a Fuji X100V, you can't, unless you want to pay up the aftermarket

00:44:04   prices that are above the manufacturer's recent.

00:44:07   Now, is that because Fuji can't get chips?

00:44:10   Is it?

00:44:11   I suspect it is because I don't remember that ever being a problem like before COVID where

00:44:17   there's some hit camera from somebody.

00:44:19   And sometimes when it's brand new, sure, there's limited supply, but the Fuji X100V has been

00:44:25   out for a while and it's really hard to buy.

00:44:27   I even remember when I was building out my studio during lockdowns and I bought like

00:44:33   an R5 and then I bought an R5C and it took me forever.

00:44:37   Mutual friend, Whiskas, had to tell me, Dave, Whiskas had to tell me, they're available

00:44:40   at this one place in Denver right now if you go there and order them.

00:44:43   Yeah, but there's lots of things like that.

00:44:45   And everybody knows the whole car market got seized up and they just got like all of these

00:44:50   $3 chips.

00:44:53   Or even less maybe, but yeah, the legacy node, like 70 millimeter.

00:44:56   There's like some $3 chip that controls the windows in your car and all of a sudden they

00:45:08   couldn't get their hands on them.

00:45:09   And of course, if there is like a chip shortage, the TSMCs of the world are going to prioritize

00:45:15   expensive cutting edge chips.

00:45:17   The leading edge nodes like five, four nanometers.

00:45:20   Yeah, above the ancient old technology 70 cent chips that...

00:45:26   Well, TSMC, they wouldn't even make them.

00:45:27   It was like these old factories.

00:45:29   I think one of them had like a fire.

00:45:31   It was bad.

00:45:32   But it's been oddly the holdup buying a new car for a lot of people was computer chips,

00:45:39   which I don't know, even 20 years ago, I think most people would have laughed at.

00:45:42   But here we are.

00:45:43   I don't know.

00:45:46   I wouldn't be surprised if before this comes to pass, if GM relents.

00:45:51   It's one of the things and it is slightly curious that they've hedged it where they're

00:45:58   saying only our EVs and only our new EVs.

00:46:02   So like the Chevy Bolt, which is already out and is very popular, very well regarded electric

00:46:08   vehicle.

00:46:08   They're not going to drop carplay from it.

00:46:11   They're only going to go with their own thing with future EV models that aren't out yet.

00:46:18   We'll see.

00:46:19   I think this is...

00:46:21   And again, it's one of those stories where it caught my attention as an Apple nerd.

00:46:26   And I thought, well, that means I'm never going to buy or rent a GM car again if this

00:46:33   comes to pass.

00:46:34   But it was interesting to me how widely the story got taken up in the larger media world.

00:46:41   And the other thing about it, and I heard from like, DF readers, I didn't hear from

00:46:45   anybody who actually sells cars, but I heard from people who bought cars recently that

00:46:50   carplay integration is...

00:46:51   The car dealers are keenly aware of how popular a feature it is.

00:46:56   Selling cars is hard.

00:46:59   Everybody makes jokes about car salesmen, and they may not be everybody's most popular

00:47:04   neighborhood salesperson.

00:47:06   But it's hard work.

00:47:10   It's hard.

00:47:10   Sales of any kind are hard.

00:47:12   You have to have a certain talent, a certain personality, and car sales are especially

00:47:16   hard.

00:47:16   And so people who sell cars, they're keenly aware of what features sell cars.

00:47:23   And carplay is definitely one of them.

00:47:25   And I heard from people who are just like, "Ah, like five years ago or whenever I was

00:47:30   buying a blank brand car, and it was weird because there were certain models that didn't

00:47:35   have carplay, and the car salesman was like, "Yeah, we can't get rid of these damn things

00:47:39   because everybody wants it."

00:47:40   So I'm curious how it goes.

00:47:41   I was just thinking what you were saying about the aftermarket.

00:47:43   I don't know what full self-driving costs on a Tesla now.

00:47:46   I think it was originally like $5,000, and now it's like $15,000 or something.

00:47:50   But we've really changed the idea of buying something.

00:47:53   Oh, definitely.

00:47:54   Right.

00:47:55   Because you own the car, but you don't own the computer.

00:47:59   You have the switch that turns that on.

00:48:00   Yeah.

00:48:00   Right.

00:48:01   And at a philosophical level, I guess where they cross a line that feels gross to me is

00:48:13   when it's a hardware feature you literally can't use without it.

00:48:17   Self-driving, I guess it makes sense as a software feature you have to buy to get.

00:48:26   But the seat warmers, to me, that's offensive.

00:48:28   Because that seat warmer is in your seat and it's inert without the software ability to

00:48:35   run it.

00:48:36   Right.

00:48:36   But maybe for them it's usually a feature that's a paid upgrade and they just don't

00:48:41   want to have to manufacture separate SKUs for those cars.

00:48:43   So they want to...

00:48:44   Right.

00:48:44   I guess that's the argument.

00:48:48   Right.

00:48:51   But it's sort of letting the bean counters, the accountants make decisions that they shouldn't

00:48:59   be making.

00:48:59   So, okay, accounting-wise it makes sense if they only make...

00:49:04   All the seats have seat warmers, so they'll save money even if 20% of customers don't,

00:49:13   maybe because they live in Florida and think they never need seat warmers, don't pay for

00:49:19   it.

00:49:19   It makes sense to just have it in the seats anyway to save money on their production.

00:49:23   Whereas somebody with more of a product-first mindset would have the mindset, "Well, even

00:49:31   if that saves us money, it grosses the customers out and sullies..."

00:49:36   It's bad for the brand.

00:49:37   Yeah, it's bad for the brand.

00:49:38   It's worth our brand equity to spend the money to actually make heatless seats to sell

00:49:46   to the people who don't want seat heaters, then to give them to them, but have them blocked

00:49:51   out by software and requiring...

00:49:53   It's like if every MacBook actually came with 96 gigabytes of RAM, but it would be

00:49:58   software-locked.

00:49:59   Right, right.

00:50:00   Which would be, to me, downright offensive.

00:50:06   Yeah.

00:50:07   But how far away are we from that world where everybody has an M4

00:50:15   Ultra with 196 gigs of RAM and out of the box, though, you've only got 16 gigs of RAM

00:50:22   that you can access?

00:50:22   I mean, again, I don't think Apple's going to do it.

00:50:24   Well, you were writing about this today.

00:50:25   It's like you buy the phone, but so much of the phone now is these services, and this

00:50:29   is true for everybody.

00:50:30   And do you want to pay for extra iCloud storage, and do you want to pay for Apple Music, and

00:50:33   do you want to pay for TV Plus?

00:50:35   So do you want to pay for Apple Arcade?

00:50:36   You buy the thing, but there are still recurring revenue streams, again, services on top of

00:50:42   it that are part of the potential package now.

00:50:45   Right.

00:50:45   Well, maybe we'll touch on that in a bit.

00:50:49   Speaking of brands, GM was first.

00:50:52   The next one that I would like to say has done damage to their brand is HBO and Warner.

00:50:59   So Warner Brothers Discovery is the mouthful of a name of the new parent company, and they

00:51:08   went ahead with their rumored name change and changed their streaming service name from

00:51:14   HBO Max to just plain Max, which I--

00:51:17   So is there no plain HBO anymore?

00:51:19   Like, is just plain HBO gone?

00:51:20   No, but it's only just plain HBO as a cable channel.

00:51:24   Okay.

00:51:26   So if you have old-fashioned cable TV, people listening to the show that just doesn't--

00:51:35   probably literally out of the 100,000 people who listen to the show or whatever the number

00:51:40   is, there may not be one of them who this applies to.

00:51:43   Yeah.

00:51:44   Who don't use streaming and only watch traditional cable TV.

00:51:49   But if you only watch traditional cable TV and you've been a long-time HBO subscriber,

00:51:54   you don't know any of this has ever happened.

00:51:57   I guess the only thing you might know is they might show on cable TV HBO, tell you that

00:52:04   such and such is on HBO Max.

00:52:07   They have shows.

00:52:08   HBO Max was more than HBO.

00:52:12   It wasn't--

00:52:13   Yeah.

00:52:13   There were Max originals, which if you are a cable TV subscriber with HBO, you didn't

00:52:20   get.

00:52:21   So I guess--

00:52:22   The Snyder Cut, I think, came out on HBO Max during the lockdown.

00:52:25   Oh, and yeah, maybe wasn't shown on HBO.

00:52:28   Yeah, you're right.

00:52:28   You're right.

00:52:29   It was-- you know what?

00:52:30   There were a bunch of Warner Brothers movie that went like that, that I think were only--

00:52:39   Yeah, and that's a way that HBO Max was more premium than HBO.

00:52:44   But again, that was sort of a lockdown thing where they were putting Blockbuster.

00:52:48   It was more than just the Snyder Cut.

00:52:51   I think like Wonder--

00:52:52   And they had a separate DC streaming service for a while, but they had DC shows on both

00:52:55   services.

00:52:56   It was wild.

00:52:56   But the gist of it is that with the new ownership, however watered down HBO Max was compared

00:53:05   to HBO as a brand, the new Max adds all of the Discovery cable TV channels, the HGTV

00:53:14   that's like Home and Garden TV and the Food Network and Discovery Channel, which is, I

00:53:20   guess, the root of the HBO Warner Brothers Discovery.

00:53:24   My argument was that the exam-- we'll see how it goes.

00:53:29   And I got a lot of it.

00:53:30   I wrote about it, and I got a lot of interesting feedback.

00:53:33   Most people seem to agree with me.

00:53:34   Some don't.

00:53:35   Ben Thompson doesn't agree with me.

00:53:38   He thinks this is a good strategy and that there's some kind of way to design their

00:53:44   way out of that to keep HBO as a prestigious brand within the Max app, that you'll be

00:53:50   in the Max app, and then you go into HBO within the app, and it'll be fine or I don't

00:53:57   know.

00:53:57   It just feels so undifferentiated because Max is not like a brand.

00:54:02   Max is like an adjective that is associated with every other brand.

00:54:05   It's almost like calling your network thick with a bunch of Cs.

00:54:09   It's just like it feels like it's trying to be cool, but it's like the most generic--

00:54:12   It's not Quixster, I don't know if it's Quixster.

00:54:16   No, yeah, that was--

00:54:17   Well, that was when Netflix was going to rename their "Mail Your Disks in a Red Envelope"

00:54:23   to you.

00:54:23   Did you see that they finally announced the end of life for that?

00:54:26   Yes, that's what brought Quixster to mind.

00:54:28   Right.

00:54:29   Again, I'm half worried that I've got three of those somewhere.

00:54:35   No, not in a library book.

00:54:37   It's like $8 billion in late fees.

00:54:39   I don't know.

00:54:40   Yeah, I wonder.

00:54:41   I should check my Netflix account, make sure they're not charging me for it, that when

00:54:45   we moved five years ago to this new house that I had three Netflix DVDs.

00:54:50   It's an interesting digression that they've still been doing that.

00:54:54   I'm a little surprised they were still doing it.

00:54:57   Quixster, that did not last.

00:54:59   That's what they were going to say.

00:55:00   Netflix equals streaming and Quixster equals our old DVD business.

00:55:05   Twitter equals X.

00:55:06   The world is a fun place.

00:55:08   Yeah, I guess in hindsight, and I think Netflix really--

00:55:12   And again, speaking of GM, sometimes corporations make decisions that are unpopular and they

00:55:18   just say, "Okay, we'll listen to you, never mind."

00:55:20   And my idea that GM might just say, "Never mind," on this no-car-play thing, Netflix

00:55:24   was like, "Okay, if you love our discs and you don't want us to call it Quixster, okay,

00:55:29   we'll just call that Netflix 2.

00:55:31   We just thought it would clarify streaming versus disc.

00:55:34   We'll just call them both Netflix."

00:55:36   I don't think HBO can walk-- not HBO, sorry, I don't think Warner's Discovery can walk

00:55:39   Max back after all that, at least not quickly.

00:55:41   I don't think they can.

00:55:43   I don't think the Max name-- I just think what they should do is-- I wrote about it,

00:55:47   but I'll just repeat it here-- is I think Disney shows the way, where Disney has Disney

00:55:53   Plus, and everything in Disney Plus-- now, the provi-- I don't know, you can tell me

00:55:58   how it is up in Canada.

00:55:59   Here, is it the US or North America only, where there's Disney Plus is separate from

00:56:04   Hulu?

00:56:05   There is no Hulu in Canada, so we often get those shows on Disney Plus, or we have Star

00:56:11   is like the extra tab on the side of Disney Plus.

00:56:13   Yeah, so the--

00:56:14   Which is the Fox stuff.

00:56:15   The-- I try not to be too much of a provincial American who is only aware of what's going

00:56:21   on in America, but clearly I am on the streaming front, and I didn't realize that Hulu is really

00:56:27   only an American thing.

00:56:29   In fact, as I just proved 30 seconds ago, I didn't even know if it was an American thing

00:56:33   or American Canada--

00:56:34   I think it's own-- it was or is owned by several US networks, which is why it is localized.

00:56:39   Right, right.

00:56:39   It's like-- yeah, it's like a partnership where they've got shows from ABC-- well, ABC

00:56:43   is a division of Disney, but they've got like NBC content mixed in there, too.

00:56:48   But putting aside the fact that Hulu is America only, if not for that, I think that it's a

00:56:54   good division, where Hulu is sort of a catch-all here, and they've got shows from ABC and NBC

00:57:00   traditional shows, and Hulu-- a lot of Hulu originals, which are-- and I forget, there's

00:57:06   a couple of them that have been really good lately, including some good movies.

00:57:09   I think Boston Strangler was on Hulu, which is a pretty good movie.

00:57:14   Disney Plus is a separate app, and even outside of America, where that-- OK, I didn't realize

00:57:22   Hulu was there, but I'm thinking Mac sequels Hulu-- a catch-all for general audience mass

00:57:29   market content, which is really what Discovery has specialized in.

00:57:33   And I'm not a fan of the Discovery Network or HGTV shows or all of that stuff, but I'm

00:57:40   not even putting it down.

00:57:42   I watch my own-- everybody has their own garbage content that they like to watch, but it's

00:57:46   not HBO.

00:57:48   I would just say Macs would be their equivalent of Hulu, a catch-all-- not a catch-all like

00:57:53   a garbage bin, but just sort of general interest all over the place.

00:57:57   Yeah, popular programming.

00:57:59   And then HBO would be their equivalent of Disney Plus, where it's sort of a premium

00:58:04   brand and it connotes something.

00:58:06   Disney content--

00:58:07   Maybe even more prestigious, because Disney Plus can be a lot of mainstream, like Popcorn

00:58:11   Fair.

00:58:12   Yeah, but it's--

00:58:13   But you're getting HBO, and make it separate.

00:58:15   And maybe TV Plus feels more like traditional HBO now than HBO does.

00:58:19   Yeah.

00:58:20   Well, MG Sigler is the first person I heard to put that forward, but I've stolen it from

00:58:25   him liberally over the time.

00:58:26   I think Apple TV Plus is taking over the role that was traditionally for 40 years played

00:58:36   by HBO, which is-- this is nothing but high quality content.

00:58:41   You may not like every show, and now TV Plus, Apple has enough shows that there's almost

00:58:46   certainly nobody who really just likes them all, but that was never true of HBO either,

00:58:51   right?

00:58:51   Where they've got sports programming and gritty adult dramas like The Sopranos and Game of

00:58:58   Thrones, but also lighthearted fare and comedies and stuff like that.

00:59:03   And no franchises.

00:59:04   Like if you prefer Star Trek to Star Wars, DC to Marvel, and Warners to Magic Kingdom,

00:59:09   there's nothing on DC Plus for you.

00:59:11   Right.

00:59:11   But we'll see.

00:59:14   I don't know.

00:59:14   I think that the part-- I don't know.

00:59:19   Part of it is I do read the gossip media stuff, and this David Zaslav, who's the new CEO,

00:59:26   came from the Discovery side.

00:59:28   It feels and the gossip seems to suggest that it's-- every corporate merger-- no corporate

00:59:35   merger is instantaneously harmonious, right?

00:59:39   It's always a turf battle, right?

00:59:42   And the whole point of mergers is that duplicated effort often gets eliminated, and if they're

00:59:48   going to get rid of a marketing division or whatever--

00:59:51   Increase efficiencies.

00:59:53   Right.

00:59:53   It's like now it's like the scene in The Dark Knight where the Joker says to the guys,

01:00:01   "We've got room for one of you.

01:00:03   Here's a pool cue."

01:00:03   Yes.

01:00:04   Yeah.

01:00:04   Yeah.

01:00:05   And it's like, "Here's the new marketing team, the old marketing team.

01:00:08   We only need one of you."

01:00:09   Five minutes.

01:00:11   Right.

01:00:11   But it just feels like the Discovery people have a chip on their shoulder about HBO's

01:00:17   premium status and that they're sort of the garbage mass market TV channels.

01:00:24   And it's like, "Well, we'll show--"

01:00:24   There's someone with a PowerPoint saying we want to make it more accessible to these audiences.

01:00:28   "We'll show you HBO snobs how to run a streaming service.

01:00:33   So we'll see."

01:00:33   Here's a Game of Thrones sitcom we're launching in two years.

01:00:36   But I guess it's just finding the right mix, right?

01:00:40   And to me, the one thing that the max conglomerate-- almost to me, they're presenting themselves

01:00:46   almost as more akin to your whole cable package, right?

01:00:52   So you go back pre-streaming to when cable TV was really the only game in town or even

01:01:00   if the alternative was something like DirecTV, it was just a different delivery method of

01:01:06   the same idea.

01:01:07   You get 200 channels and this is how it works and these are the channels.

01:01:14   And it's ESPN and CNN and MSNBC, Fox News and same channels, different way of paying for

01:01:22   it.

01:01:23   But you pay us $100 a month or nowadays more and you get all of this stuff.

01:01:31   And no, not everybody likes to watch sports, but everybody gets ESPN.

01:01:36   And so your five bucks of your thing goes to that.

01:01:39   And not everybody wants to watch Fox News or MSNBC, unlikely that anybody really likes

01:01:48   watching both, right?

01:01:49   If you really like Fox News, you probably don't like MSNBC.

01:01:53   And if you really like MSNBC, you probably don't like Fox News.

01:01:56   But your cable package includes both.

01:01:58   You don't get to pick and choose.

01:01:59   And to me, Max is presenting himself sort of like a cable package, right?

01:02:03   Where it's like so big and Netflix is big like that too.

01:02:09   You couldn't possibly, if you literally just spend 18 hours a day every day, six hours

01:02:14   a day sleeping and 18 hours a day watching Netflix, you'd fall behind every day on new

01:02:21   stuff that they've added, right?

01:02:22   There's more than 18 hours of content being added every day probably to Netflix.

01:02:27   And it's all sorts of stuff that nobody likes at all.

01:02:30   But it's more of a conglomerate.

01:02:32   Whereas HBO, even if you don't like every show, it's like, oh, that's an HBO type show,

01:02:38   right?

01:02:38   Yeah.

01:02:39   As prestige content.

01:02:42   Right.

01:02:42   And if you own, if you're a big, giant media conglomerate and you've just completed a merger

01:02:48   to become even bigger, where do you draw the line on, okay, how much do we all cram into

01:02:54   one mega streaming service subscription and how much do we break apart, right?

01:03:00   It's an interesting strategic decision.

01:03:06   I think Disney is navigating that better than Warner Brothers Discovery.

01:03:11   Yeah.

01:03:13   Yeah.

01:03:13   A hundred percent.

01:03:14   It just feels like they have better brand clarity and better packaging and everything.

01:03:18   Yeah.

01:03:19   All the well-run aspects of it, I think.

01:03:22   Well, and I don't know if there's any reason to draw the correlation, but it does correlate

01:03:32   well to how well the two companies run their superhero franchises.

01:03:36   Yes.

01:03:37   Oh, God.

01:03:38   You're pretty where I heard, Jon.

01:03:39   I know.

01:03:40   That's why I've got you here.

01:03:41   The Marvel universe seems much more.

01:03:44   I mean, it's faltered lately, but in general, it is way better managed than Warner's DC

01:03:51   franchise.

01:03:51   Right.

01:03:52   Oh, I have a question for you, Jon.

01:03:55   I don't know if we want to get into this, but I lost my check mark today.

01:03:58   Daddy Elon took my check mark away.

01:04:00   I've talked.

01:04:01   At 420.

01:04:02   I was traveling today that I was in New York for a briefing for Friday night baseball with

01:04:08   Apple.

01:04:09   So I've been sort of offline.

01:04:11   I let me check and see if I, because he said it was going to be April 1st and that turned

01:04:15   out to be fool's day and nothing happened.

01:04:16   And then he said 420, which sounded like a meme date.

01:04:19   So I didn't think anything would happen, but I got some messages saying, Hey, your check

01:04:22   mark is gone.

01:04:23   And I went and looked and I think mine's gone too.

01:04:25   I don't see it.

01:04:26   Although I'm logged in as me, so maybe I wouldn't see it.

01:04:29   Let me see what happens.

01:04:30   No, you'd see it.

01:04:31   All right.

01:04:31   I would see it.

01:04:32   So yeah, it also says that I follow myself.

01:04:36   So I'm looking for you.

01:04:38   I'm not sure.

01:04:39   Yep.

01:04:40   My blue check mark is gone.

01:04:41   Well, I guess I'm fine with that.

01:04:45   I mean, I'm not.

01:04:46   I don't really, I really do.

01:04:48   And again, I'm not even trying to make a statement about it.

01:04:51   I've really decreased my Twitter usage and it's not, I'm not making a statement.

01:04:57   I honestly just find it so much less pleasing to use without tweet bot.

01:05:04   And it's even worse because I feel like under musk and the original sin is canceling the

01:05:14   API for third party clients like Twitter effect and tweet bot.

01:05:17   But secondarily, it is so buggy.

01:05:20   Like I don't know if this is happening to you, but it keeps happening.

01:05:23   I don't get mentioned.

01:05:24   I will take, cause I have two accounts.

01:05:25   I have a personal and work account.

01:05:26   And sometimes people at mention both of them and the, I will see like replies in one, but

01:05:32   not the other, or there'll be whole replies missing or mobile and web will be different

01:05:36   or like Android and iOS will be different.

01:05:38   And one of them I use for work and I require social for work and there, I just, I don't

01:05:43   get the data.

01:05:43   Like it feels like it's just broken.

01:05:46   Mine's been broken ever since I started writing about it, which I think was back in February

01:05:50   or whatever, maybe January.

01:05:54   I don't know when did they, when did they kill the third party clients?

01:05:57   It feels like forever now.

01:05:58   Cause there's so many features I used on tweet bot that I never realized the official at

01:06:01   like just going in like someone's at mention tab doesn't exist.

01:06:04   No, my Twitter official, I go to notifications and then within notifications, there's all

01:06:10   verified and mentions my mentions show a grand total of April 1st, April 2nd is one April

01:06:20   7th, April 12th, April and two from April 14th.

01:06:24   So from the last 20 days, one, two, three, four, five, six mentions.

01:06:30   And one of them is from somebody anonymous total rando.

01:06:36   McCloy, the ashy 16, 9, 6, 6 is their username.

01:06:41   I'm sorry out there.

01:06:42   If you're a real person and you listen to the show, but I'm throwing you into the bus.

01:06:47   There one of them is, is a, it just says to me at the talk show and then the next one

01:06:53   just says, Hey, with a bunch of Y now, I don't know how those two made it through, but of

01:06:59   the seven mentions Twitter thinks at Gruber has had in a month.

01:07:05   And no one that I know still works.

01:07:07   I used to know a ton of people that works there.

01:07:09   I don't know a single person anymore.

01:07:11   No, me neither.

01:07:13   Unfortunately.

01:07:14   Well, I don't know that would have helped, but no.

01:07:15   And so, and so I'm not fizzle off it.

01:07:17   Like I'm not philosophically opposed to Twitter blue.

01:07:19   Like I think I make so many typos.

01:07:21   I think the editing feature is, is good, but the fact that you don't get ample, like they

01:07:27   will not, they will suppress you if you don't pay for Twitter blue.

01:07:30   Like it's no longer like, it's not a feature.

01:07:32   It's like, you've now got to pay to have like a presence on the service.

01:07:36   And then I'm like the person who runs it is acting in a way that is constantly degrading

01:07:44   the dignity of other human beings.

01:07:46   Which makes me not want to give money to them.

01:07:47   It's just, I just spend less time there.

01:07:53   So I just don't use it.

01:07:53   I, cause it is.

01:07:55   A lot of people I know are gone.

01:07:56   They're just like, I think they're all gone.

01:07:58   Yeah.

01:07:59   So I'm not caught up, but I'm not caught up in the whole, I know.

01:08:03   And I don't blame you if you are, but I know there were previous people who were verified

01:08:07   the way I was and the way you were as, as media people or well-known people.

01:08:12   I don't know.

01:08:12   I never even asked for it.

01:08:14   I didn't even apply to be verified way back in the day.

01:08:17   It's it was because I was in the pool of users.

01:08:21   You probably were at the time too, when, cause you were writing at, I'm more who were like

01:08:24   dimmed for like home cohorts.

01:08:27   I'm sure it was when Matt honed in like out, like whole outlets at a time, like Mac world,

01:08:31   all of them, like all of I'm more.

01:08:33   Right.

01:08:33   But they realized that it was like a security thing where people were targeting high profile

01:08:38   Twitter accounts from the media to steal their accounts or to masquerade as them.

01:08:44   So they that's when they created verification.

01:08:47   I never applied.

01:08:48   Great thread on this.

01:08:49   Like the guy who was in charge of it originally said that they realized early on that there

01:08:53   was tremendous value in having media highly engaged on Twitter.

01:08:56   That's what drove almost all of the other engagement on Twitter.

01:08:59   And they went to a lot of high profile media people and said like, will you work with us?

01:09:03   And they're like, how much are you going to pay us?

01:09:05   And it was a real sticking point that they wanted to get paid to be on Twitter.

01:09:09   And they finally were figured out a way that they weren't going to pay them and they would

01:09:12   have them on Twitter and they would verify them.

01:09:14   So people knew that they were them and they got tremendous value out of sharing their

01:09:17   links and great growing their profiles.

01:09:19   And it was hugely important to Twitter because it made Twitter where the news happened, where

01:09:23   people would share stories and tidbits even before they published them.

01:09:27   And he like, this person is just watching all of that get thrown away.

01:09:31   This person, that's what we're going to call them.

01:09:35   No, no, sorry.

01:09:36   The person who started the program whose name I don't remember, the program at Twitter,

01:09:39   the news program at Twitter.

01:09:41   I thought you were dancing around saying Elon Musk.

01:09:43   No, no.

01:09:44   Elon, I just don't think he understands.

01:09:47   I think he doesn't understand what he doesn't understand, which is a typical problem for

01:09:50   people who are very, very good in certain things or highly focused in certain things.

01:09:54   Is that there are huge bodies of knowledge that are just different or not what you expect

01:09:58   or can't be like.

01:09:59   His Twitter seems to be like, I'm an edgelord.

01:10:02   I want to say hello fellow kids things, and I have enough support that nobody calls me

01:10:06   cringe when I do it.

01:10:07   And I want to be all formative, but that's not like understanding the core value of,

01:10:12   of Twitter.

01:10:13   And a lot of that core value, at least for me, and I think for a lot of people who were

01:10:17   using it previously is gone.

01:10:19   And I think that's the, the, the, like the, the LARP, the LARP edgelord community, if

01:10:26   they don't have anything to react to, where are they going to go?

01:10:28   Like, if there's no long, they want to yell at, what is the point of being there?

01:10:31   I mentioned too, and I know there's other people, like I said, there's some people who

01:10:35   were verified, who were upset that they might even, they didn't even want to keep their

01:10:38   verified badges because they don't want to be mistaken for people who are paying $8 a

01:10:43   month.

01:10:44   That, that there's a lot of people who really have a visceral, and tithy towards Elon Musk,

01:10:50   who are like, people have written like browser extensions to auto block anybody you encounter,

01:10:56   who's a subscriber to Twitter blue, right?

01:10:59   You know, that anybody who's giving money to, to Elon Musk for this, they want to block

01:11:04   them automatically or, or whatever.

01:11:07   I don't even care.

01:11:09   I don't care if I'd kept my verified badge and people thought maybe I was paying.

01:11:13   I don't care.

01:11:14   I really don't.

01:11:15   And I, I,

01:11:15   Well, because they changed the text to make it like, I think there was like pushback.

01:11:19   People didn't like people who paid for it.

01:11:20   Yeah.

01:11:20   So they changed the text to say you're either a legacy blue baby or you paid for it.

01:11:24   So they wouldn't be shamed.

01:11:25   Yeah.

01:11:26   It's, it's, well, it's really funny how much it was becoming.

01:11:29   I forget the name.

01:11:30   What is the name of that Dr. Seuss story with the star belly?

01:11:33   Oh, I don't remember.

01:11:34   But it was, it was stigma.

01:11:36   Well, but it also, it, it, the gist of the Dr. Seuss thing, some people had stars on

01:11:43   the bellies and others don't, and a guy made a machine to give other people stars.

01:11:47   I don't know that one.

01:11:48   Oh, oh my God.

01:11:49   It's a great, great book.

01:11:51   But the, they were like,

01:11:52   My childhood was incomplete.

01:11:54   Sneetches.

01:11:55   All right.

01:11:55   The star belly Sneetches.

01:11:56   Wow.

01:11:57   The gist of it is there were two groups of Sneetches and some had stars and some didn't.

01:12:01   And the ones with stars felt like they were superior to the others.

01:12:05   And then a salesman came to town with a machine that put stars on the other ones.

01:12:08   And everybody who didn't have a star paid the guy money to get a star.

01:12:12   And then the ones who had the stars before started getting their stars removed.

01:12:17   And then next thing, things go haywire and some people have got six stars on their bellies

01:12:21   and some have none.

01:12:22   And everybody learns a lesson that it doesn't matter whether you have a star.

01:12:26   But it's funny, like the way that that machine goes haywire towards the end and the way kids

01:12:32   story go haywire and some people are getting stars on their heads instead of their bellies,

01:12:37   or they've got six of them or one of them is on their butt.

01:12:40   That's how it's got with these badges on Twitter, right?

01:12:43   That's where there's blue ones for legacy verified and yellow ones for brand.

01:12:47   Yeah.

01:12:47   My work account has a yellow.

01:12:48   Yeah.

01:12:49   Gray ones for government authorities.

01:12:52   And there's a label for this.

01:12:54   I mean, one thing we've learned, there's all sorts of things we could say about

01:12:58   Musk and the way he's run Twitter, but one thing he clearly loves is revealing metadata.

01:13:03   Right?

01:13:04   Because now it's like tweets have all this.

01:13:06   Except for what phone you used.

01:13:07   He took that away.

01:13:08   Right.

01:13:08   He took that one away for some reason, which I still don't get.

01:13:11   I don't get why he had such a bug in the butt about that.

01:13:14   It's gonna like Marques used to live on.

01:13:15   I know.

01:13:16   Right.

01:13:17   Right.

01:13:17   Marques was the king of finding some Samsung tweet that was sent from Twitter for iPhone.

01:13:24   Yeah.

01:13:24   But all sorts of stuff like the view count and the bookmark.

01:13:28   I mean, even like the bookmark count, like count the bookmark count.

01:13:31   And there was the whole controversy that they started labeling the PBS and NBC or not NBC,

01:13:37   NPR and the CBC in Canada as state sponsored media.

01:13:43   Even though as Mike Masnick at Tector had pointed out in the previous regime, pre-Musk,

01:13:51   they would use that label just for like Pravda or whatever the Russian or North Korean state media.

01:13:58   Or the new China daily or whatever.

01:13:59   And their example of a counter example of a good, like this is not going to get the label was NPR.

01:14:06   NPR was the example of, yes, they get some government funding, but they're not,

01:14:11   the content is not dictated by the government.

01:14:14   So therefore that's our poster child for publicly funded.

01:14:20   Anyway, but he just loves labeling things.

01:14:22   So everything's got labels.

01:14:23   I lost my place.

01:14:24   It's one of the dangers of becoming like very powerful is that you start to not want accountability

01:14:29   and you start to actively dislike things that hold you accountable.

01:14:32   And media is one of the things, not doesn't always do a very good job or does a terrible

01:14:35   job sometimes, but it's one of the mechanisms that things are held accountable and people don't like

01:14:40   that.

01:14:40   Yeah.

01:14:41   And I guess some people, Twitter is, I didn't expect to talk about Twitter, but it's, you know,

01:14:47   I am still fascinated watching it go.

01:14:49   It's, I don't know, is it dying?

01:14:52   I don't think it's dying, but it is rapidly evolving into something Musk shaped.

01:14:59   And I don't, I don't enjoy that Twitter as much, even if it is busy, but I kind of feel

01:15:05   like it's, it's why I'm enjoying Mastodon so much, because that's sort of people who are like me,

01:15:14   who don't like the new Twitter and the fact that Twitter hasn't completely collapsed and driven

01:15:22   everybody to Mastodon to me makes Mastodon better, right?

01:15:25   That Mastodon is sort of, it's growing.

01:15:28   I've saw some stats this week about how they're continuing to grow.

01:15:31   It wasn't just the hype cycle in January or February.

01:15:35   They're still like last week was the busiest week overall in the whole Fediverse that there's

01:15:40   ever been.

01:15:40   It's growing, but the fact that it's, people say, well, yeah, but it, the whole thing of

01:15:47   picking your own server is so confusing.

01:15:49   Most people won't do that.

01:15:50   It sounds elitist, but that's actually, I think what we've proven is that a social network

01:15:57   that does appeal to most people ends up being unpleasant.

01:16:01   Like I don't want to be on a, spend my time on a social platform where

01:16:10   representation of all of humanity is there because most people I don't want to hear from.

01:16:15   Do you know Hank Green's worst people theory?

01:16:17   No, I don't think so.

01:16:19   I might be misquoting him.

01:16:20   I might be misquoting him as Hank Green, but there's an idea that people become upset with

01:16:24   the boundaries that are inevitably formed on a mature platform.

01:16:28   And so someone will start a new platform and the people who go there are typically the

01:16:31   people who are upset with the boundaries.

01:16:33   And they're often the worst people because they're the ones smacking up against those

01:16:36   boundaries, but then those people are alone together, screaming, and people have to say,

01:16:40   well, what this can happen.

01:16:42   Like there has to be some rules, like you can't do crime.

01:16:45   And then they start putting a boundary in and then, oh, well that's child and age.

01:16:48   And they put a boundary in and then, oh, this is costing us advertising.

01:16:51   They put a boundary and, oh, finally we're being sued by Viacom for piracy.

01:16:54   We're putting a boundary in and inevitably that becomes the mature platform.

01:16:58   And then the worst people get upset again.

01:17:00   Right.

01:17:01   Just like regenerates.

01:17:02   That didn't happen with Mastodon.

01:17:05   That's the amazing thing is Mastodon is the opposite of that.

01:17:07   No, I kind of feel, and I kind of feel one of the reasons it gets overlooked in the tech

01:17:14   press as a success story is that, and I'll even include myself on Daring Fireball.

01:17:22   And what I cover in there is that we've all collectively let ourselves get too focused

01:17:29   on the intersection of the tech industry and the business section, meaning who's making

01:17:37   the most money.

01:17:38   And Mastodon is purely a technology play.

01:17:42   Right.

01:17:43   It's just a protocol.

01:17:44   It's really a throwback to the early, like the 90s or late 90s of the internet where

01:17:52   people were just making cool things for free and to, oh, if we have this protocol,

01:17:59   we can have a bunch of clients and we can all do this.

01:18:01   And there's no central entity making billions of dollars.

01:18:06   There's the closest Mastodon has to a central authority is the main Mastodon development

01:18:12   team and Mastodon.social is the, which doesn't have any special privileges.

01:18:18   It's just big because it's the original.

01:18:20   The creator was on Nilay Patel's podcast recently.

01:18:26   And basically they just, they make it right now, they would like to make more money to

01:18:30   hire some more people, but basically they just make enough money to support a couple

01:18:33   of developers at this point.

01:18:35   That's it.

01:18:35   That's it's very small scale, like human scale amount of revenue coming in and they've

01:18:41   built this thing.

01:18:42   And it's therefore it does seem not interesting.

01:18:45   Like, again, I just think too much of the technology press has been focused for years

01:18:51   now on what makes gobs of money as opposed to what's cool and interesting technology.

01:18:56   Yeah.

01:18:56   And I should point out people get sometimes really angry when you could have saw it.

01:18:59   Like it's funny, like Mark Zuckerberg, people will just universally dunk on him.

01:19:03   Doesn't matter what happened.

01:19:04   Like you'll get universally dunked on and very few people defend him.

01:19:07   Elon Musk has an incredible amount of people who like to defend him.

01:19:12   So people get really angry when I mentioned that I don't like the current Twitter.

01:19:15   Like I'm like, I might be old guy yelling at the Twitter clouds and they'll point out

01:19:20   that yes, like I work at YouTube, which is owned by Google, which some people think is

01:19:23   a competitor.

01:19:24   I publish everywhere.

01:19:25   I publish.

01:19:25   I'm a monetized creator on Twitter.

01:19:27   I put my videos on Instagram.

01:19:29   I put them on nebulite, put them on TikTok.

01:19:31   Like I publish everywhere.

01:19:32   I just want Twitter to be a fantastic place where I publish and my criticism is intended

01:19:37   to make it a better place again.

01:19:38   All right.

01:19:40   Let me take a break here and thank our second sponsor.

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01:21:31   One last thing I wanted to talk about.

01:21:32   I think I've been a show full of complaints and bad news.

01:21:35   Here's something, no pun intended, wonderful.

01:21:38   Make Something Wonderful, a new book from the Steve Jobs archive, comprised of Steve

01:21:47   Jobs' own words.

01:21:49   Transcripts of some talks that he gave or internal things he said at Apple or other

01:21:57   companies, emails that he sent to people, and an awful lot of emails that he sent to

01:22:02   himself.

01:22:03   So it's from the Steve Jobs archive.

01:22:05   It is available in print, but not for sale.

01:22:09   And it's designed by the folks that love From, I will say.

01:22:13   I saw Mike Mattis was there.

01:22:15   I hadn't realized that.

01:22:16   Yeah, and if you look, it's one of those things people might have...

01:22:20   Now Mike Mattis, for people who don't know, he did a lot.

01:22:23   Delicious monster and the original iPhone and iPad camera and photo interfaces and chat

01:22:30   heads infamously at Facebook.

01:22:32   Right.

01:22:33   Really, really good.

01:22:34   Just a wonderfully talented designer.

01:22:36   I call him a friend personally.

01:22:39   A very nice guy too.

01:22:40   But it did some of the design work, iconic design work from the original iPhone, like

01:22:45   the delicious looking green battery.

01:22:51   Yeah, lookable icon.

01:22:52   The battery that showed you...

01:22:53   Remember there was a big green textured three-dimensional battery.

01:22:58   I think he did the slide to unlock too.

01:23:01   I forget what else.

01:23:02   I think he also...

01:23:03   I mean, also it's just very, very good at broadly original design work.

01:23:08   I think he did time machine or at least he worked...

01:23:11   And the photorealistic stuff that Steve Jobs really loved, like when the camera would spin

01:23:16   around and click, like the shutter effect.

01:23:18   And when you could move the photos apart and back together again.

01:23:21   Yeah, and the groupings and iPad, just really tactile interface.

01:23:25   Yeah.

01:23:25   But one thing, and it made me...

01:23:27   Before I knew that he had been involved with the website version of Make Something Wonderful,

01:23:33   I did think of him and it made me wonder, was scrolling the website and seeing some

01:23:39   of the interactions and the animations, it reminded me of the work from Push Pop Press.

01:23:45   Yeah.

01:23:46   Which alas, to me, it's one of the great tragedies of the last decade or extended decade,

01:23:53   was after leaving Apple, Mike co-founded a company called Push Pop Press.

01:23:59   And the first product...

01:24:01   And the idea was that they were going to produce eBooks for lack of a better word,

01:24:08   but not the eBooks that go into a Kindle or Apple Books.

01:24:12   They were standalone apps.

01:24:14   And the one that shipped that people might remember was a book by Gore,

01:24:18   which oddly didn't last long in the app store.

01:24:21   And you would think, given that he's an Apple board member...

01:24:25   That's a four-year term.

01:24:26   Al Gore book, Push Pop Press.

01:24:29   Let's see.

01:24:29   That was bought by Facebook, right?

01:24:31   That's how he ended up there?

01:24:32   Yeah.

01:24:32   They bought...

01:24:33   Facebook acquired, acquired Mike and everybody else to work there,

01:24:38   but they didn't keep Push Pop Press going.

01:24:41   Al Gore's thing was called Our Choice.

01:24:42   So Push Pop... I'll put the picture notes.

01:24:44   They still have a website, although it doesn't load all the resources.

01:24:47   And then there's like Origami and all the Quartz composer type stuff,

01:24:50   and the Redheads and the Facebook Home.

01:24:53   Yeah.

01:24:53   Well, the part of it that I call a tragedy with the Push Pop Press was the editing tools.

01:25:00   Al Gore's book was the first product of it,

01:25:05   but it was sort of like getting focused on one magazine being produced by QuarkXPress.

01:25:11   Yes.

01:25:12   And QuarkXPress was the real story where anybody could get QuarkXPress,

01:25:17   and then you could do all this fancy graphic design and have all these features.

01:25:21   What they'd done is they'd had...

01:25:23   And I saw it.

01:25:24   It never was shipped as a product to the company, to the public,

01:25:28   but Push Pop Press had developed this editing interface to make books like that.

01:25:33   And you didn't just scroll.

01:25:35   And at everything, Mike Mattes is sort of...

01:25:38   He's done broad, broad...

01:25:41   I don't want to pigeonhole him into one style of design,

01:25:43   but one thing, an overarching theme of his work is eliminating Chrome, for lack of a better word.

01:25:51   And so instead of having toolbars and buttons and editing modes hit edit and then do this,

01:25:58   you just directly manipulate stuff and pinch and zoom for everything.

01:26:03   And it was just...

01:26:05   And I saw...

01:26:06   He demoed the software for me back then,

01:26:08   and it was just amazing stuff where you could be making your own book like Al Gore's thing,

01:26:13   and you'd want to...

01:26:15   Well, I want to put four photos here and do you want them to be in a carousel,

01:26:20   or you want them to be in a two by two grid, and you would just directly manipulate that yourself.

01:26:25   And then like, "Oh, but what happens when you do tap one of them in a grid?

01:26:29   How does it open?"

01:26:31   And you had editing tools right there on the phone to change the ease in, ease out animation.

01:26:39   And you could just type numbers or drag sliders.

01:26:42   You didn't even have to type numbers.

01:26:43   You could just drag sliders to make it like a bouncy animation.

01:26:47   Like, "Oh, you tap this image and it bounces.

01:26:50   It opens up bigger than the display port and then bounces back to size and it feels light and

01:26:57   playful." Or you could change these, drag these sliders to make it feel heavy.

01:27:01   Like it just like a chunk just fills the viewport.

01:27:05   Just amazing software.

01:27:07   And it just never shipped because Facebook bought them and they didn't really...

01:27:10   They had no interest in the actual pushpot press stuff.

01:27:12   They just did it to acquire them.

01:27:15   But then they built the amazing thing at Facebook called Paper.

01:27:18   It was like an alternative client to Facebook itself.

01:27:21   That was the closest I ever got to signing up for Facebook.

01:27:26   Not because I wanted to use Facebook, but because I wanted to use the Paper app.

01:27:31   So I was never happier in a perverse way than when they cancelled Paper.

01:27:36   Because then I finally felt like, "Ah, my last temptation to sign up for Facebook is gone."

01:27:42   But it was remarkable, remarkable software.

01:27:45   And it just never stuck though because it was like this great, graceful, light,

01:27:52   decluttered, profoundly decluttered interface.

01:27:57   And it turns out people who use Facebook, whatever it is they're using Facebook for,

01:28:00   it's not for a graceful, light, decluttered interface.

01:28:03   Yeah, it's a fire hose.

01:28:05   Yeah.

01:28:06   But anyway, the Make Something Wonderful, the website has that sort of feel to it.

01:28:11   It's a very Mike Mattes-like touch.

01:28:15   And I know he did work on it, but it shouldn't be...

01:28:18   There is the credits in the book for design and production go to Love From.

01:28:23   And like Apple, it's not just by edict.

01:28:27   I think that's chatting with Mike offline a bit.

01:28:30   He's adamant that he doesn't want me or anybody else saying this was designed by Mike Mattes.

01:28:36   Because it wasn't.

01:28:37   It was collaborative with the whole team at Love From, but he was a big part of it.

01:28:40   I hinted at this.

01:28:42   I don't know that I revealed it, but also directly involved, not in the design,

01:28:46   but the lead in production of the website is a fellow named Lauren Briktor.

01:28:52   Oh, oh, he finished building his house finally, did he?

01:28:55   No, he did not finish building his house.

01:29:02   He has not finished building his house.

01:29:04   I checked.

01:29:05   Hadn't chatted with Lauren for a while, for those of you who are like, "Oh yeah,

01:29:11   I remember that name, but who's he from?"

01:29:12   Lauren Briktor was the, again, back to Twitter, the creator of Tweety, which became the original...

01:29:18   The original GL stack on the iPhone, and then he appeared with Tweety.

01:29:22   Yeah.

01:29:22   While he was...

01:29:23   He had worked at Apple and done lots of amazing stuff with the touch stuff.

01:29:29   Yeah.

01:29:30   At Tweety...

01:29:31   The OpenGL stack.

01:29:32   Right.

01:29:33   Did that, which heady stuff.

01:29:34   Pull to refresh.

01:29:36   Invented pull to refresh in Tweety.

01:29:39   So before Tweety, every Twitter client or every infinite scrolling thing that you used,

01:29:47   there was refresh buttons.

01:29:49   You'd go to the top and if you wanted more tweets, there'd be a button like load more or refresh.

01:29:54   Yeah.

01:29:55   Now it's hard to...

01:29:56   Pull to refresh is so integrated everywhere that it's hard to...

01:30:02   Eviquitous.

01:30:03   That it came from one person's single... One person showed Twitter client named Tweety.

01:30:11   And he's just like, "I'm pulling down, pulling down, and I figure I should do something.

01:30:14   I should do it. You should give me more."

01:30:15   Yeah.

01:30:16   It just pulled down enough and then it just fills in.

01:30:18   Also did the...

01:30:21   Speaking of lost tragedies, did when he did...

01:30:24   I think it was called Tweety for iPad, but...

01:30:27   Yeah.

01:30:27   Or was it...

01:30:28   Yeah.

01:30:28   Did it debut as Twitter?

01:30:29   But he went to Twitter when they acquired Tweety.

01:30:33   That wasn't just, "Oh, we want to hire you and we're going to throw away your work."

01:30:36   Tweety actually, for a while, the Twitter branded app was Tweety and it was awesome.

01:30:41   Yes.

01:30:42   And then it wasn't for...

01:30:43   But the iPad app was arguably the most innovative iPad app I've ever seen.

01:30:52   'Cause it was an iPad app that was...

01:30:54   That Lauren designed with, "What if we didn't just blow up the iPhone interface?

01:31:00   What if I create... What would an interface for Twitter on the iPad look like

01:31:05   that wouldn't work on the phone? 'Cause you need a 9.7 or bigger screen."

01:31:10   And it was a totally different interface.

01:31:11   And a multi-touch screen.

01:31:13   Like it was true to the hardware.

01:31:14   Right.

01:31:15   Right.

01:31:15   And of course, Twitter threw that away.

01:31:17   Yes.

01:31:18   And everybody sort of forgot about the work and everybody's now back to just making iPad apps that are just...

01:31:23   And then after that, he clowned around doing, what is it, some pet project called Letterpress.

01:31:27   Yeah. Yeah.

01:31:29   Which I only lost several dozen hours to over the years, Letterpress.

01:31:33   But anyway, Lauren did the web production work for the Make Something Wonderful website.

01:31:38   Anyway, it's really great.

01:31:41   I wish that they made the book available for sale.

01:31:44   Same.

01:31:45   I lucked my way.

01:31:46   I John-Groubert-ed my way into a copy, and it is a very, very nice book.

01:31:51   And I say that just in the interest of being honest.

01:31:55   It's not hopefully intended as a humble brag that I got it.

01:31:59   But I wish more people could get it.

01:32:01   I get it that they don't want...

01:32:03   I guess the thinking, I don't know from anybody I love from or Steve Jobs' archive,

01:32:09   why they're not selling it.

01:32:11   I guess at some level, they don't want to monetize what the stewardship they have over Steve Jobs'

01:32:22   private archives, which they've...

01:32:24   Because they did sell the big Johnny, like made and designed in California book.

01:32:29   Yeah, but that was Apple sold that, right?

01:32:32   And Apple is a commercial company.

01:32:33   And so Apple selling...

01:32:34   I don't forget how much did that cost.

01:32:36   What was it like $300?

01:32:37   Depends on what size you got.

01:32:39   The big, the enormous.

01:32:40   Right.

01:32:41   But the $300 or plus, whatever it was, coffee table book, as much as people are like,

01:32:46   "$300 for a book," says me, the guy who's got a $1,500 copy of the new Shining Taschen

01:32:53   copyable book from Lee Youngkrich here.

01:32:56   Yeah.

01:32:57   Coffee table books, really good ones are very expensive.

01:33:00   Apple's wasn't that expensive.

01:33:02   But at least Apple's a commercial enterprise.

01:33:04   But Apple wasn't comfortable with that either.

01:33:09   That book was available for sale until the day Johnny officially left Apple.

01:33:16   And the day Johnny officially left Apple was the day that that book was no longer for sale.

01:33:20   So some contingent at Apple obviously wasn't comfortable selling a $300 coffee table book.

01:33:31   I would just say if they're not comfortable making money off it, they could have done it

01:33:35   and just said, "We're going to...

01:33:36   All the proceeds from the copies we sell, we're going to donate to XYZ charities that

01:33:43   Steve Jobs supported that Laureen Powell Jobs is still involved with.

01:33:48   All of the proceeds will go to these charities.

01:33:51   They could have done something like that.

01:33:53   And it's, again, it's like playing spend Tim Cook's money.

01:33:57   It's spend the Steve Jobs archives time.

01:34:00   Obviously selling books, you know, how many more thousands they would have had to print,

01:34:04   then you have to ship them to people.

01:34:06   There's production involved.

01:34:08   Because he went to Apple, Disney, blanking on the third one.

01:34:11   I don't know who the third one is.

01:34:13   I know Apple and Disney got the biggest number of copies because that's where the Pixar

01:34:18   division went.

01:34:19   And it's not too...

01:34:21   And you can go to eBay.

01:34:22   I don't know what the prices are.

01:34:23   I haven't looked recently when they first started hitting eBay.

01:34:26   Tim Box.

01:34:27   Yeah.

01:34:27   People are selling them for like $500, $1,000.

01:34:31   I don't know if the prices come down because more people have gotten rid of them.

01:34:35   It is very nice.

01:34:36   But I will say the web interface is excellent.

01:34:39   It really is.

01:34:40   And speaking of push pop press, the one way of reading this book that I think is crummy

01:34:48   is reading it in Apple Books.

01:34:51   I think that the actual ebook that you can read in Apple Books, really, it's more like

01:34:58   a transcript of the book.

01:35:00   Yeah, it doesn't have the whimsy.

01:35:02   It doesn't have any of the whimsy or the animation.

01:35:04   And it just...

01:35:04   I don't know.

01:35:06   And it just...

01:35:07   You can do the...

01:35:08   It's like an approximation of the print book in ebook format.

01:35:13   And yet there's something about an ebook that may... a real physical paper book that is

01:35:18   tangible and it involves your other senses like touch and even smell.

01:35:23   It's a good smelling book.

01:35:24   And that's the advantage that books have.

01:35:27   And just mimicking the page turn...

01:35:30   I know people are excited or at least noted that Apple Books re-added the page turn,

01:35:36   curl, animation.

01:35:37   And I'm glad they re-added that.

01:35:40   But the basic broad idea of what could a book on an iPad be is so much more...

01:35:51   There's a thousand different things you could do other than simulate the page turn of a

01:35:55   physical paper book.

01:35:56   And yet that's where we're left at.

01:35:58   And the website shows just how more expressive it can be.

01:36:03   The website, if you're going to read on a screen, which almost everybody here has to

01:36:07   do because the book isn't publicly available, definitely read it in a browser.

01:36:12   - Yeah, well a book has the tactility.

01:36:14   It feels analog-authentic and the webpage has that same kind of Mike Mattis, Lorne

01:36:19   Bricke, tactility.

01:36:20   Feels digitally authentic and the ebook is stuck in being neither.

01:36:23   - Yeah.

01:36:24   And that's all getting around the actual content of the book, which I think is really

01:36:28   wonderful.

01:36:29   It really is...

01:36:30   It's like one more thing from Steve Jobs.

01:36:35   It's like we're getting one more Steve Jobs product, a book of his own words.

01:36:40   And it's really inspiring, interesting, insightful, and sad, really.

01:36:47   It just reminds me, just given what we write about in the companies we think about in the

01:36:51   products that we like, we think about Steve Jobs all the time.

01:36:54   Reading this book, it just makes...

01:36:57   I'm so glad they did it, but a big part of my emotional response to it is sadness that

01:37:04   we lost him so tragically young.

01:37:07   Says me, who's now in his 50s.

01:37:12   - So many people who want to be him but don't have the nuance that made him.

01:37:16   - No, really do.

01:37:17   You read him in his own words and you're like, "You know what?

01:37:21   He really was one of a kind."

01:37:22   And there's other people who are one of a kind in their own way or really want to get

01:37:27   kindergarten about it.

01:37:28   We're all unique snowflakes, Rene.

01:37:30   - Yes.

01:37:30   - But Steve Jobs was a more unique and better and more interesting snowflake than most of

01:37:35   us.

01:37:36   - You can generate of AI any snowflake you want now, John.

01:37:38   - Oh, good way to wrap it up.

01:37:42   I'm going to call that a show.

01:37:43   Thank you for your time, always.

01:37:44   - Oh, thank you.

01:37:45   Yeah, I love talking to you.

01:37:46   I could do this.

01:37:47   We often do do this for hours.

01:37:48   - Your YouTube channel is...

01:37:50   What's the best way to get to it?

01:37:52   - youtube.com/reneritchie.

01:37:54   - youtube.com/reneritchie.

01:37:57   They'll see, though, I don't know if it'll be out before the show, probably after the

01:38:01   show, but sometime next week...

01:38:02   - I'll edit the video, yeah.

01:38:03   - Yeah, sometime next week, I'll be on there.

01:38:05   They can hear me talking and your good content and your...

01:38:08   - It's like a prequel.

01:38:09   - I will also give a shout out here to our two sponsors of this episode, our good friends

01:38:15   at Squarespace, where you can build your own website and Collide, where you can bring your

01:38:20   whole fleet of devices into compliance with Okta.

01:38:23   Thank you, Rene.

01:38:23   - Thanks, John.