The Talk Show

381: ‘Tape Deck Dongle’, With Joanna Stern


00:00:00   I saw a thread from your wife that you guys... You were threading? I was threading, and I saw that your family had completed a very long road trip.

00:00:08   Every year. Well, we do it twice a year. My parents built a house about an hour outside of Buffalo. So it's basically a 450 mile drive with two young children. We used to take the dog and we left him now at home. We can't, poor dog. So Brousser stays home and yeah, it's six hours plus a stop. So seven hours.

00:00:29   There and seven hours back. And the killer is that apparently they're not sleeping the car kids? They're not sleeping the car kids, but they're iPad kids. So they both have their iPads. They both... We download a ton of stuff for them and parenting parents of the year. We just... It's iPad the whole time. I don't know what people did before the iPad.

00:00:54   I don't know either. And I know you can over... I guess it's like any problem. Everybody thinks the correct amount of iPad time for the kids is the amount of time you grant your kids. And the parents who grant more time are the ones who have a problem.

00:01:11   And I... Like my six year old doesn't play that many games on the iPad. So I keep thinking like, well, this is the equivalent of how much TV I watched at six years old. So I keep like justifying it that way.

00:01:29   When Jonas was young, Jonas, of course, you're going to be shocked is 19 heading into his sophomore year of college this fall. The problem with Jonas as a traveler was that he either A) would sleep in the backseat, which is the ideal, or he would get carsick. And it was always one or the other. And so we knew like if we had a long car trip, and we check and he wasn't asleep, it's like, wait for it.

00:01:57   And luckily, well, I guess one of them Noah has thrown up in the car one or two times. But it's not typically like, I mean, this is also like highway driving. It's not twirly roads around mountains or something like that.

00:02:15   Nope, it didn't matter for Jonas. If he didn't fall asleep, you know, and it wouldn't be right away, but like an hour, hour and a half into any car trip. Every time.

00:02:26   Yeah, I'm always fun. I am working on a EV piece for the summer. And I am about to spend a lot of time in cars by myself. And it actually feels like a vacation. I'm very excited.

00:02:43   Can you say or is it a spoiler to say which cars you'll be driving? I don't want spoilers. I don't want to break any kind of...

00:02:59   I don't want to spoil the column too much, but I think this is widely, we all agree now that buying a car is very much like buying a computer. And so I'm going to test these like computers.

00:03:18   So I've narrowed it down four or five cars. I'm still deciding off, I should get one more in. Obviously, there's a Tesla.

00:03:25   But I won't reveal the others. All right. All right. I look forward to it. Do you have one? Do you have a...

00:03:32   No, I still drive. We still drive a 2006 Acura TL. 17 years old, has 60,000 miles. I mean, honestly, I laugh really because we live in the city and walk.

00:03:47   We really are prime people to, we don't really need to own a car. But it's like the times we do want a car, I don't want to have to go rent it. I don't want it.

00:03:58   So we use it enough and Amy used to drive Jonas to school when the weather was in in Clement. And so we racked up one mile back and forth.

00:04:08   I would say half of the 60,000 miles on it are probably one mile trips to school. But otherwise...

00:04:18   That's probably like a throwback every time you're in that car, right? Like this has a tape deck?

00:04:20   Yeah, it does. It does. Nope. Well, it has a tape deck and a CD player. But our interface to listen to like anything from the phone is one of those tape to headphone jack adapters, which of course then needs a headphone to lightning adapter.

00:04:37   Have you talked about this on your show before?

00:04:39   Here and there, I'm overdue to buy a car. What I should do and plus it. Here's the thing, I don't want to make it a whole thing about my 17 year old Acura, but it the car has never given me any problems at all.

00:04:51   We've never needed anything other than oil changes ever. It is the most reliable car. I've replaced the battery several times, change the oil when I'm supposed to change the oil and it just runs and runs and runs.

00:05:03   And we don't drive much, but we're obviously overdue and my wife and son are, I wouldn't say furious, but they're ready for a new car.

00:05:13   Let's go back to the fact that you play your music through a tape adapter, through a tape dongle.

00:05:19   Yes, a tape dongle. Through a lightning dongle. A double dongle.

00:05:23   One of the foremost reviewers of technology and commentators of technology is still using a tape dongle.

00:05:31   A $7 thing from Amazon. I actually wore one out. I don't even drive that much, but I had one from long ago.

00:05:39   And I remember thinking like, hey, this doesn't even sound that good anymore. And I realized the way those tape adapters work is they just have like a piece of metal in there that's a fake piece of tape that just goes around and around.

00:05:50   And it wore out. So I bought a new one. And again, I'll throw hundreds of dollars away on stuff left and right, but I resisted buying the new $7 tape adapter for the car.

00:06:02   And as soon as I bought the new one and plugged it in, it sounded fantastic. I should not be in charge of the car for the household.

00:06:13   I don't even think you could probably retrofit that now with a CarPlay screen or something like that. I bet you would have to do it. You'd have to get one of those. They have the screens that you can mount.

00:06:23   No. Well, the funniest part is that when we bought it, we bought it at the end of calendar year 2006. So it was like mid-December 2006. And it's a 2006 model year.

00:06:35   But we had the option. And Acura, I don't know, again, I haven't shopped for a car in a very long time, so I don't know if it still holds. But one of the nice things about Acura, at least at the time, was they had almost no upgrades at all.

00:06:50   Here's the car. This is what it comes with. And we had the choice to get, we could pay, I don't know, like $1500 to get their mapping solution, which I declined thinking, ah, the car.

00:07:03   I don't even know if that works. What is the 2006 Acura built-in dash mapping thing? I don't know. We wouldn't use it. And the other thing we had the option to buy was, it would cost extra, but it would give us the iPod 30-pin adapter coming out of the glove box.

00:07:23   So that, and I was like, ooh, that's tempting. But I remember thinking at the time, I don't know if that has legs. It was the same thing when we did our kitchen. They wanted to put USB ports in. And I was correct about this. I was like, USB-A ports are going the way of the dodo. I don't want them in our island. We'll just use plugs. That's the better choice.

00:07:43   Well, I'm in the same boat. This house, which we got last year, but was built in 2018, has USB-A plugs in the kitchen and it's driving me nuts and I want to swap them. And then in my car, which is a 2020 Volvo, there's a USB-A port. There's no USB-C. And it's driving me nuts.

00:08:03   Yeah, that would drive me nuts too. It came up, we can talk about it as we get to the real business of the show, but when we were talking with people at Apple back at WWDC a month ago about the Vision Pro and the, one of the obvious questions every single member of the media asked is, blah, blah, blah, this is going to be great when you're on a flight.

00:08:22   But what about the two hour battery life? Most of the flights I take are more than two hours. And they were like, oh, well, most seat backs come with USB ports, blah, blah, blah. And my question was, yeah, but they're always USB-A ports, which I think max out at 12 watts charging. Is that going to be enough to keep it going? Because it sounds to me like when you're plugged in, it's going to be like a 30 watt device. And then all of a sudden Apple PR just said, we'll have more to say about that later.

00:08:49   We're working on new planes. We're working on new planes. Those are coming soon. Vision planes. No, they, well, I was thinking the same thing, but also I think a couple of us had a conversation about this there that many flights have the usual three pin regular outlets.

00:09:04   Right.

00:09:05   So I guess you could travel with your, you have, or you have your, your plugin and you also, and or you just buy multiple battery packs to get you through the flight because when you're spending $3200 on a headset, why not?

00:09:19   Well, anyway, I'm in a market for a car, so I actually literally will be looking forward to your review of the EVs. That's a part of the problem too, is that the point where I got fed up with this old car really did coincide with COVID. I'm not trying to make excuses, but then all of a sudden it became impossible to buy a car, right?

00:09:36   Both because nobody wanted to go out during COVID and then there was this tremendous car shortage and the prices went up and it was obviously a seller's market. And now it's like we're on the fence of, I kind of feel like our next car should be, even if we lease, it should be an EV, not a gas car.

00:09:54   I think we're there and we don't really need to drive more than the range of a car. Most of our trips and our extended family are easily under 200 miles round trip. So, you know,

00:10:07   I think you're the perfect candidate for it. And I think, yeah, I mean, look, I'm convinced it's never a good time to buy a car because even right now when everyone's like, we have the best options, like, but if you wait till 2024, there's going to be even better options.

00:10:18   Right. It's like, well, okay. And I think this is going to be part of the series that I do, but I think I'm going to lease this, hopefully lease this because I think that the EV space is moving so quickly.

00:10:28   That's what I'm thinking too. I don't want to be locked in. And I just bought our Volvo. So yeah, anyway, I do think it is like a car talk. It is. It is a car talk show. I'm the worst person to talk about cars with but well, so am I, I'm the one driving a 17 year old car.

00:10:41   This, we should have like the world's worst car YouTube channel. Everybody wants to see like these Lamborghini supercars and our show would be about 17 year old Acura's that play music through a tape deck.

00:10:54   Seriously, I call Neil Ipital every time I have a car question or problem. I'm like, my flat, my tires flat. What do I do?

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00:13:26   I say we start with the freshest news, we'll work backwards chronologically, but that's talking threads, right?

00:13:33   Threads all the way down.

00:13:35   I people seem to miss one thing. I think people I've made some people angry who follow me shocking with my enthusiasm for threads in the face of Facebook being a somewhat disreputable company and to me it's and and or combined with the basic new threads experience being sort of pop culture oriented.

00:14:03   But at the very highest level, I don't see how people cannot be impressed by the launch. I think it's technically speaking the most impressive launch in the history of the internet. They had I don't know something like 30 million sign ups in the first day.

00:14:17   They hit 100 million sign ups by day five. I don't think there's ever been any service in the internet that's ever had used user numbers like that so quickly. And while there have been some glitches here and there for the most part, it's been it's worked. It hasn't fallen down.

00:14:32   From a stability perspective, it's very impressive. I mean, if you think about even how quickly the numbers were rising in that first 24 hours and how many people were not only signing up, but posting and then reposting and uploading images and just think about all the traffic that was happening.

00:14:49   And it was tough because I was on vacation last week. So I'd really like to thank Mark Zuckerberg for the perfect timing of this, which obviously we should talk about the timing because it obviously was very rushed for a reason.

00:15:03   Right. But I had so much incoming media interest in this and I thought, okay, it's because it's summer and it's a slow Newsweek and they've got nothing else to cover. But then when the numbers started ticking as fast as they did, I was like, okay, this is this is there's mainstream interest here, right? Like at first I thought, okay, Twitter clone. Yeah, we're back. Like, yeah, it's got meta attached to it. So it's bigger than a mastodon and it's bigger than a blue sky.

00:15:30   But like, like, there's not that many people that are that interested in Twitter, to be honest. And then once the numbers started ticking up and really started to see the number of people that were on it and the types of people that were on it, it really did feel like a big story.

00:15:46   And to your I think absolutely, like I, I stopped my vacation or tried to take parts of my vacation. I wrote a column, I did a lot of TV. And I did that because I no one asked me to but I thought it was one of the biggest product launches of the year. No doubt. Like this is I cover product launches, I cover products. And I felt I need to cover this.

00:16:06   Right. I that's how I feel it. I think I'm overall known as as a critic of Facebook as a company for the most part. That's just me calling balls and strikes. And that's just how I've seen it over the years. But that there's a certain anti Facebook, almost zealot tree contingent who are so emotionally tied up with anti Facebook feelings, which have foundations.

00:16:35   I'm not I'm not saying that there's there isn't there isn't reason to have that emotional dislike of the company. But if you want to just step back and again, be an umpire just call balls and strikes whichever team you're rooting for just call the game as you see it. It's just an incredible launch, it really is. And the timing clearly was I would guess, based on the state of the app and and the shakiness of certain you know, again,

00:17:04   overall uptime is there. But you know, just some things don't load. Sometimes you have to pull to refresh again, the website in particular, which doesn't even work as a web app. But for me, at least when I tried to just view only somebody's thing on threads, it doesn't load. Sometimes you hit reload and then it appears. But clearly they move this up, I would guess they were about a month away from launching. It feels to me like they were one month from like a super smooth launch. And they were like,

00:17:33   Oh, my gosh, and they saw the turmoil at Twitter last weekend, with these goofy rate limits and the nonsensical excuses for them. And you just know you just know what happened inside that Zuckerberg said, Can we launch this week? What do we what do we need to do? What features do we need to pull? Let's strike while the iron's hot and and launch this while they're having having one of the Elon moments.

00:18:01   Yeah, and he had the fodder of the fight happening. I mean, it was just I had just done a column the week before about the fight. I did a video recapping what this fight was about. I mean, obviously, even the fight being ticked off was a thread or sorry, not actually a thread a Twitter thread about threads. And so there was there was all this chatter around this in the media. And then absolutely that weekend with the rate limit and more people saying, screw Elon, screw Twitter, and

00:18:30   yeah, I think they were a few weeks out from the launch. I mean, I can tell you is I I had been talking to the company about covering this. And I had sort of been assured this was not going to happen while I was on vacation. Right. And then I start getting texts and emails on vacation. So yeah,

00:18:46   and from what I understand, and I think that's how product launches typically go is it's especially by Facebook standards, a relatively small team has been designing and engineering the app, or apps because there's Android and iPhone and the back end. But by their standards, a relatively small team launching during not just any holiday weekend, but when July four hits on like a Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday.

00:19:15   You kind of get like a de facto five day. Yeah, weekend. I mean, Ben Thompson and I took off last week for for dithering because we thought nothing's going to happen when Ben's traveling. We're like, Yeah, this will be one of the weeks where we don't do a show. Yep. Of course, there's tons to talk about. But they obviously said all hands on deck. We're sorry, it's a holiday weekend. But this is the moment to strike. And in some ways, obviously, if it affects your job, like you who were on vacation, me who at least half of my job,

00:19:44   or part of my job with dithering was off for the week, but kind of sucks that it happened in a July 4 week, but in some ways for for just users with nothing. Yeah, with nothing else going on. Right?

00:19:57   Nothing even for me because I was on big I said I'm gonna write the column. I'll do my my media hits that do my NBC CNBC stuff. But otherwise, like I'm offline. But of course, you have time on vacation at night. My kids are sleeping. I'm spending more time on threads. I'm not working on stuff. I'm sitting on the beach. Sure, I should be reading a book or more maybe watching my kids, but I'm on threads looking at what's happening on threads. As long as they don't drown, you're doing a good job. Just keep an eye. Keep an eye on screaming. He's still here.

00:20:25   The other thing is I know that there are people who feel I like Mastodon. I use it more than I use any of these other services right now. And and I it's part of me. What I see is my job and I know you do too is separating your personal taste and what you want to do from objectively reviewing things or describing things that might not be for you. Right?

00:20:54   So Mastodon Mastodon is more up my speed. If I could only use one of these Twitter like services for the next year, I would pick Mastodon right now just because that's where lots and lots of daring fireball readers are. It's a very high engagement engagement. I did just a couple months ago. I just just to test the waters. I forget what I asked. It was a pretty good question like up up some nerdy question.

00:21:21   But I asked the same poll on Mastodon and Twitter and got slightly more responses on Mastodon than Twitter. Even though if you look at how many people supposedly follow me on Twitter, it's hundreds and hundreds of thousands more. But those aren't real people.

00:21:37   Those aren't real people. No, I did the same thing yesterday with that EV post. I just said let me let me because I actually really did want to hear from the audience and from readers and anyone about how you judge a new car decision decision a buying decision.

00:21:51   And on let me see if I find my numbers but on Twitter, I got 120 responses by end of day, maybe six hours or something. And then on threads, I had 70 or 80 responses. And on threads, I don't even have like, you know, what percentage of the Twitter followers I have not even there yet, but the engagement is really is really there. And I'm sure if I did it on Mastodon too, I would have gotten some really quality, good engaged responses.

00:22:18   Right. But there's it's obvious, though. And part of what I like about Mastodon is my tribe is there. People who, you know, when they find out Joanna Stern is back on the talk show, they're excited. Right?

00:22:30   Well, yeah, we got badgered there a few months ago, right for not we did right. They were like, you forgot. And they kind of like held their feet to the fire on that day.

00:22:38   Somebody a couple people chimed in, they were very upset that I had let 12 months come and go without having you on the show. And I thought there's no way that happened. And I was about to tell them off. And then I looked at the show. And I was like, huh, it has been 14 months, I really and I apologize, you you saw me do I was like, I'm sorry. I will run, I will rectify this.

00:22:57   I will say that's not on for those that are listening. That's not only on john, he will often text and say, let's do it. And then I am busy. And I let it fall. And I've got to find two hour block of time. And so this is just as much on me as it is on you.

00:23:11   But it's there's no doubt in either of our minds that the mastodon audience is not the general population of the internet. It's it just isn't. It's dwarfed already. It certainly never approached the size of Twitter's user base. And I don't trust Twitter's numbers anymore under active users, but clearly they have hunt over 100 million active users.

00:23:34   And blue sky, which I really like as a product, I really like the team. I like their philosophy. I love so much about it. I think that their idea of having custom feeds built into the protocol where you can pick. So you can say I just want a chronological timeline. That's not like just one binary feature.

00:23:56   If you want an algorithmic timeline, you're going to you already can while it's in testing and private limited release, you can choose from different algorithms. You can choose one where it's just links that you're that your people you follow have posted.

00:24:11   If you just want to find good links, you can go for their what's hot, which is sort of their idea of just a generic engaging thing. But I love and individual users can define their own algorithm for a timeline.

00:24:27   And then you can pick and choose from them in your settings. So somebody can put together one if you're really into baseball, you can pick like a baseball oriented feed and it could be one of your timelines. Or if you're really into Taylor Swift, there could be like a timeline that is just sort of optimized for it.

00:24:45   And you don't have to try to catch which hashtags or something people are using. It's it's all brilliant, but their invitation only on Blue Sky. And right now, as they're continued to expand, they're at 50000 users.

00:24:57   It's a drop in the bucket compared to Twitter and threads going from zero to 100 million in five days and continuing to grow. So by the time the show comes out later tonight, it'll probably be like 110, 120 million. I don't know. But you can see it in the timeline.

00:25:17   It's palpable that that there are lots and lots of people there like Twitter and there's so there's never been for this this format of social media. There was Twitter that had 100 million plus people and now there's now there's finally a second one that has that sort of base of people.

00:25:38   And of course, I mean, as you were saying before, right, we all have our issues with Facebook or meta over the years, we've covered them, we've seen all of the missteps.

00:25:49   And is it fair that meta this company that's built over 3 billion users by acquiring companies and building and building and building their monopoly over social media basically can just point Instagram at this and just say, Hey, go to town?

00:26:09   I fair probably not. But does it create a mass audience and onboard them in in such a quick way that we can find people to communicate with and to chat with and to share with almost instantly? Yes. And so that creates a better product because social media is only as good as the people that are there.

00:26:33   And it's really telling to me and and I know people's reaction to the feed. And for me, at least I don't know about for you when I signed up, I happened to be paying attention. You were on vacation. So maybe you missed it early. But I I was paying attention.

00:26:49   Last Wednesday, when I think whatever the day of the week it was when they actually went live, and they had been scheduled to go live on the next day, and they moved it up 12 hours. So you just know that Zuckerberg said, let's launch as soon as we're ready.

00:27:04   Somebody said, I think we can do it Thursday. They got to Wednesday, and they're like, Hey, hey, Zuck, I think we could go tonight. And he's like, All right, let's do it. And then they move the clock up. They went live. I downloaded the app. I said import from Instagram. And boom, you know, and they're they're telling you what user number you are, if you go to your Instagram profile. And that's how people can track how many signups are. I think my number is like 28,000. I don't know, 40,000.

00:27:33   Yeah, it's pretty low. But right away, and I just said, let me follow all the same people I follow on Instagram. I only follow like 299 people on Instagram, something like that. So it's not a lot, mostly a lot of people I know personally. And I saw a bunch of them. No, no surprise. A bunch of the people I follow on Instagram are nerds who would jump on threads the day it launched. And some of them were there. And then there was lots of stuff in my timeline. There's only one timeline in threads. And it is right now for now.

00:28:02   It's algorithmic. They filled in the gaps with lots of stuff from brands and celebrities and the type of things you'd expect from Instagram on a text only thing like threads. But I would say by the end of the night, it was already much, much more to my interest. They dialed it in. And now I mostly see stuff from the people I choose to follow. It's not I don't see a lot of algorithmic junk food.

00:28:31   It depends for me. And I feel like I mean, this is where I feel like it's just algorithmic black box in a way. But then on the other hand, like stuff will start to populate that I don't care about. Right. And then I'll kind of have to reset it a little bit by engaging with some of the stuff I do care about. Like, I don't know how it got to me, but it was actually an amazing post by Paris Hilton. I think I read I rethreaded it if that's what you're saying.

00:29:00   I rethreaded it if that's the right word, but she had shared photos of her old cell phones. Did you see this? No, I did not. But I'll look for it. Yeah, she and it showed up in the thread in my main feed. And I was like, I don't care about Paris Hilton. But I actually really did care about the fact that she was sharing what is an odd godly amount of old blackberry. Yeah, some are bedazzled some Oh, she's got this old sidekick in there. That's bedazzled from the ad she was in.

00:29:29   I mean, and I'm thinking, why is this in my feed, but then I engaged with it. And then I couldn't stop seeing Paris Hilton in my feed. Right. So I had to kind of reset it, I had to go back and engage with some of the stuff that more tech type of people I for some reason, I mean, not for some reason, but like, I can't get anything that Zucker Zuckerberg or Missouri, whatever they say is in the feed. I'm assuming because the people in my graph, like all are resharing those things and engaging with those things. But as of right now, I'm going through in my whole feed is

00:29:58   about the Microsoft Activision stuff. So I mean, it's right before pretty much there.

00:30:03   Yeah, right before we started recording the I guess it's not official, the ink hasn't been signed, but the lawsuit, the FCC, FTC registered to try to halt the acquisition was declined. So Microsoft's acquisition of Activision will go through my threads feed similarly carries that news, which is interesting, right? Because one of the things people and again, there's lots of for all the bad things we can say about Twitter, even before

00:30:33   Musk, certainly after Musk, it still has been a place for breaking news. And, and is threads going to take over that even though they're admitting Adam Mosseri and Zuckerberg both have said that they're they're trying, they're trying to tune the algorithm to keep it a sort of upbeat, cheerful place. And in my opinion, so far it is that kind of makes it the complaint I could see being registered against it is

00:31:03   that it's it, you could see it as vapid. But they're, yeah, they're, they're not discouraging people from posting news, but they've said, we're not going to over index on news in terms of what we promote. But here with this Microsoft Activision thing, it's of my interest, I want to see it. And I'm getting it in threads.

00:31:24   Yeah, and I think it's, I think it's like, I'm trying to go back and forth between Twitter. And yeah, I mean, I've got the Activision news in my Twitter feed as well. There's no way to keep it some social media utopia. There's just no way. I mean, even even for me, which I have to say, I've been very lucky. I think, sir, I've got haters on the internet. I've got haters in the tech community, people don't believe certain things I've said over the years, whatever, maybe you want to be harsh, they can be. I have heard from some of them on threads.

00:31:54   Already, right? There's nothing you can do to keep out people from just being who they are often. This is like social media, right? This is humanity. But I think, I think we'll see where they where they might roll out trending topics and how they try to structure things will be very telling about how they want to keep the conversation where they'd like to keep the conversation.

00:32:22   And I've heard there's there's certainly a lot of thought around the fact that, hey, Facebook screwed over the news industry many times. And so they don't want to repeat that they don't want to promise this as a new news platform where everyone should come and there'll be monetization for news platforms and news organizations. I think they just want to say, hey, right now, this is a place for having conversation. We want the conversation to be nice, because also, hey, the conversation on that other place, Twitter, not so nice.

00:32:52   Yeah. Ryan Broderick, he writes the excellent newsletter garbage day. I think people know garbage day better than his name. But he his his hot take on threads. I don't want to quote it too much. But more or less, he thinks it's garbage. He doesn't like it. He had a bunch of good good jokes about what type of nonsense is in there. And but one of his throwaway jokes was that it's the Ellen show the Ellen DeGeneres show on

00:33:22   on the web, as as a putdown. And somebody forget who showed me that and and sort of linked to it like hey, this is a good take on threads. But my take on that is Ellen Ellen DeGeneres is daytime show was on for 19 years, which is impossible at TV. People love Ellen DeGeneres. People loved her show. And was it was it 60 minutes? Was it hard hitting news?

00:33:51   No, it was like, hey, I it's four o'clock in the afternoon. And I want to watch something, see some movie stars talking about their new movie and hear Ellen crack some funny jokes. And 19 years people love Ellen DeGeneres and loved her show. So being able to have that vibe on a social network is, to me a sign that it is going to be successful and has the potential not to be a flash in the pan, but to have legs for a long time.

00:34:20   Agreed. And I think, look, there's going to be no way to keep it out when there is a big national news moment. It is going to flood the zone here. There's just no way there's no way to keep it out. It's gonna it's gonna happen.

00:34:33   Yeah, I think the other huge, huge sign of legs for this platform are the number of and I there's an overlap between which is brands like Wendy's is threading up a store of all sorts of brands are already there, you know, and they're cracking jokes. There's there's the whole thing where one brand is getting in a back and forth with another of totally unrelated

00:35:02   industries. You know, Wendy's I had this example making up but Wendy's cracking jokes at United Airlines and United Airlines back. And of course, the social media accounts for these major brands aren't cracking. Good jokes. They're their dad jokes, right? They're, they're, they're corny. But people like that, right? It's do people love it? Does anybody out there really think this is seriously great content? No, but people are mildly

00:35:31   amused when the Wendy's account cracks, cracks a joke. It just it's I don't know, it's just good fun. But they are there on threads and they are not there on Twitter anymore. Right? The brands that are left on Twitter are few and far between I wrote about Apple still using Twitter to promote like they used it to promote that they put the whole first episode of their TV show silo on Twitter as an embedded video that you could watch.

00:36:01   And I'm not you know, at the end of my piece about I was like, is this called reason for outrage that Apple is still active on Twitter? No, it's not outrageous. But it is a little curious because they are one of the most carefully curated brands in the world. And Twitter is sort of a bad neighborhood for brands right now. threads is very, very friendly to big brands. And then that where I was going before,

00:36:28   and again, the same thing for us. They're already on Instagram. Yep. Yep. Well, so it's an easy port over and it's easy. Hey, let's let's see what we can do here with some of our followers. Yes.

00:36:39   I think it's related to brands. So there's corporate brands, and then there's celebrity brands, right? But celebrities are their sports stars, movie stars, Oprah, Oprah's there. They still the to me the gold standard for a celebrity who's going to embrace your platform. Oprah's there and it sounds to me from her threads, it's her typing them. It sounds like Oprah. It's not just, you know, I mean, I'm sure

00:37:07   I have a big question for you. Okay. Did John Cena follow you? Oh, I don't know. I haven't I've lost. I've got enough followers where I've stopped looking at everybody who follows me. Let me see. I sometimes scroll through. Also nice humble brag about all your followers. Let me take a look at how many you have.

00:37:23   Also, if you're listening to this, please follow me so I can get more followers than john. Thank you. All right. Hold on. Let's see. You've got 13.6 thousand. I've got 1717. Okay. That's a gap I can close. You know what you're gonna you're gonna you're gonna catch me. I'll catch you. That's fine. But john Cena seems to have followed a lot of verified.

00:37:48   I'm not I'm not verified on you're not verified. Yeah. Okay, so I like woke up the other morning. I was just looking because you know, it pops up in the thing. It's in your main feed. It will say like, one, two users and then other users followed you. I'm looking at his following list. He is following 7500 people. And but no, but I'm special. He just wanted my tech. All right. analysis. Okay, but listen to this. This is how good Facebook is at this stuff. So I

00:38:17   go to john Cena's profile. It says he has 1 million followers, you tap that and then you get a new panel that shows you who his followers are. Now what am I going to do with a list of a million people but if I go to the following tab, in other words, I can see who he follows. They don't just show them in a random order. They show them in a Facebook algorithmic order. Now let me read the list in order from top to bottom. Number one, Matthew panzerino. Number two, Austin man, the

00:38:47   photographer. I know him personally, he's a friend. He's the guy who Apple often sends like to Africa with a new iPhone to test out the camera. Shooting chimpanzees or lions or something like that. Number three, somebody named Joanna Stern. For Mike Mattis, former designer at Apple now doing work at love from and other places. mg. Siegeler, my friend Craig, I know, but it's but this is making me feel bad. I was super excited about my john

00:39:17   Cena follow and then it turns out he's just following everyone in the tech community and really anyone on threats. But how good is that list? It is it for me to spot somebody who I might want to follow who I'm not following yet that list of his the people he's following is fantastic. They've got Matthew panzerino just got to follow from me. Yeah, they didn't know I wasn't following him. They again, put aside your feelings about their ethics, which to me to put it in Dungeons and Dragons terms. I think the problem with Facebook is not

00:39:47   that they're an evil company. I think the problem all along from the get go is that they are just neutral. There are certain nobody's going to say Facebook has been a force for good in the world. But they're not evil. They're just neutral. And they're sort of like the way that they've gotten into trouble with with what they promote and what they've done what they've optimized for for engagement is just by being detached from the morality of it and just well, if this is going to increase our engagement, we should

00:40:17   do it and it's I'm not excusing it. I'm just saying it. Put aside those ethics though, and just think about their their technical chops, the way that they can sort a list of 7500 people he's following and it's instantly the list of people who I know and would want to follow. It's amazing.

00:40:36   And I think this is there's this like it's it's not a beautiful moment, but it is a moment right now where it's a decade plus into social media. We have learned so much about how these systems are built, the algorithms, the misinformation, the engagement, the growth hacking, all of the stuff we've learned in the last decade plus. And yet we're sitting here, loving a new social media service that's largely built on everything we've learned and

00:41:06   said we hated over the last decade plus. It's kind of amazing. I mean, and as I'm doing trying to do the same thing as you here. I'm not trying to assign bias or preference here. Just look at the picture of what we are we're at right now.

00:41:24   The top brands in my list I have to get down to around 10 before it becomes individuals is New Yorker magazine, which I love. I'm going to follow them letterboxed the app you use for reviewing movies. And then the next brand on my list is the Wall Street Journal. Again, excellent taste.

00:41:42   Excellent taste. Yeah.

00:41:44   It's really amazing.

00:41:45   Yeah, I'm with you, though. I think this is a like from a pure technology product launch. This is extremely well done. And I really believe this. It's been a big year of product launches. I was thinking about how busy I've been this year. We've had more recently the vision Pro, we had Bing back in February. These are big product launches. And this one ranks right up there, maybe, you know, at the top of it. Because when you think about the number of users, and how the engagement on it, I mean, if you look at it from that point of view, it is the biggest.

00:42:15   Yeah, I think it counts as the big I've described it as the most interesting and most fun launch of the year. Because I don't think vision Pro counts. It's it's a pre launch, right? We're not we don't have it yet. I won't be till next year. I think yeah.

00:42:28   And I think you think about big companies this year, right? You've had Microsoft with its AI and Bing. Yeah, an open AI partnership. Yeah, you had Apple with a brand new platform vision Pro, right? You have meta now with this. I don't know what Amazon does this year.

00:42:44   I don't know what Google really does mean. You could say Google's Google IO around everything AI, but I don't think it's looking very good for Google this year. You think about their their sort of even mindshare. Yeah.

00:42:55   Yeah, I Yeah, I agree. It's a big year. It really is. And it's honestly I would say that's one. It's not a launch. It's sort of an anti launch is in terms of big stories of the year, I would say the way that Google has been revealed as having

00:43:14   been caught flat footed on this AI stuff is the big story of the year because maybe not a year ago. I mean, I think open AI, we had inklings that they were sort of creeping towards some kind of public launch. But certainly even two years ago, you would have thought if you found out 2023 was the launch of the year of AI chat, hitting the mainstream, you would have I would have thought Google is going to be the one who leads the way and they should that that's

00:43:43   a that's a thing where they should be best of breed and they're not. And so I think that's the big story is, hey, what's wrong inside Google that they're not where I had of open AI, or at least on level with them.

00:43:56   That's absolutely I think that's you're right. I mean, when you think about Google's story this year, but they don't they certainly don't have a big product that we're all talking and clamoring to try and barred wasn't it

00:44:08   at a personal level, this thing with Musk and Zuckerberg is so it's it's as close as me and you get to being gossip writers, right? I mean, it's obviously personal. There's a certain spite to it. I mean, they're actually it's no joke. I know it sounds I tried to convince my wife of it. And she was like, this is not real. I said, I'm telling you that they're talking about actually fighting in a ring. This is something that might happen. She's just like, don't even don't even tell me about this. But

00:44:38   there's obviously some spite here, right? This this whole platform threads. I don't know that it you know, I there's no way I don't know that it exists. If Musk hadn't bought Twitter, I'm not saying it's entirely spite. But I think the opportunity that Zuckerberg was like, yeah, we do have an opportunity here. We could own this space. And financially, the new CEO at Twitter, who've a quote unquote, CEO, because I she's clearly not in charge of the company. She doesn't own it. Musk does. But Linda Yang,

00:45:08   Carino comes from NBC Universal, an advertising background. When you think NBC Universal, what type of brands are you talking about? You're talking the big brands. Those are the brands that have left Twitter. That's that's where if there's any chance that they're going to get back to profitability, it would be through advertising with those brands. And those brands have all moved to threads.

00:45:31   Yeah, I Well, first of all, there's no way threads exists without Musk buying Twitter. I mean, if you we could say that best Musk's best social media product is now threads. Yeah. I think that's a fair quote. It's it's his ultimately, his actions led to its existence, right? He's done beautiful product design on this. And around the fight. I mean, you might recall a few years ago, I did this video where it was Tim Cook action figure

00:46:01   fighting Mark Zuckerberg action figure. And I had these action figures made because, okay, yeah, it's funny. Let's see them fight in the ring. But like this is obviously a metaphorical fight. They're not really going to get in the ring together. But we had these rock 'em sock 'em robot heads made. And it was fun video and it did really well. And okay, we did that video and then this fight thing happens. And I had happened to have gotten the Musk action figure made a few months ago when I thought that

00:46:30   Musk was gonna fight Tim Cook metaphorically, right? Because there was the whole app store issue at 30%. And I just had had the Elon Musk one sitting on the shelf. And then this news comes out about like the really gonna fight and I'm like, but they're really gonna fight and we're really gonna do the action figures is even as funny now. Like it's not as funny because they're really gonna fight like this isn't a metaphor anymore. They're there. There's the figurative fight. And then there's actually going to be a physical fight. So yes, we did the video.

00:47:00   Of the Zack and Elon Musk action figures fighting and it did not hit as well because I think people were like, we want to see the real thing. It's we don't want to see toys.

00:47:09   It it it's like the state of the world. It's getting harder and harder to do parody comedy. For example, it reminds me of Trump, right? So imagine, like, how does some but something like the onion top the time that Trump had I think it was like a college football team that won the championship and and he bought I don't know $20,000 worth of McDonald's hamburgers to serve to the team. And there's pictures of Trump in like some fancy room in the White House surrounded by

00:47:39   700 McDonald's hamburgers and french fries that that you would think that's something the onion photoshopped but it's not it was real. So how do you top that? Right? How do you top Zuckerberg and and Musk possibly getting into a mixed martial art ring? I mean, you can't

00:47:55   And then we have this week with the dick measuring contest. Yes. So say it on here. Right? Right. That's that's what Musk has proposed. So I mean, yeah, here we are. I, I have to say it. And again, I would say probably the most oft repeated reaction of the entire week since thread launched is I cannot believe Elon Musk made me root for Mark Zuckerberg, but that's where we are. And

00:48:23   it's where we are. It's a lesser of two evils, right? I mean, it's this is where we are. And again, I, I do think one thing that's really interesting about Zuckerberg, and Facebook overall, is they don't repeat the same mistakes twice. Like there's no that they still have that. And I think it often comes from still having the founder running the company, there's a certain hunger and a certain let's keep moving forward.

00:48:52   And I really do think I don't think it's temporary that the overall vibe on threads for a typical user who signs up is like I said, like, like the Oprah show or the Ellen DeGeneres show sort of daytime TV, and a dime in terms of is this controversial? Is this is this political? Is this a thing that's on the left or the right? Is it going to make people angry? No, it's it's mostly if you're not looking for something

00:49:22   political or something like that, you're going to get the equivalent of like, I don't know, gay, well, game shows and celebrity news. That's what people like. Yeah, I'll push back on you there. I think we'll be here in six months having a very different conversation once they I mean, this is the early days, they've only got an algorithmic feed. Once they get a following feed in there, once you start following your favorite politicians, and you start filter bubbling, this is going to have a lot of the same problems. I mean, and and we haven't talked about the fact that they have said that this is

00:49:52   going to support activity pub. And that means there are another set of issues, possibly really good things to happen. I think it's a great thing that they're doing it. On the other hand, there is the fact that there could be some tough stuff that could come through here that isn't moderated. So how they're going to deal with that as well. I'm with you right now. I think right now out of the gate, there might be some things they can do. But I think we're going to have some of the same, I don't think we are going to have the same issues we have had.

00:50:19   Well, I think that stuff will be there. And it's like you said about already getting a couple of haters chirping at you on the platform. Nobody with 10,000 followers like me and you who put our opinions out there aren't going to have some of it. So we have to have some sort of thick skin that a lot of people don't have to some degree. But I think the thing that threads I do believe I mean, again, would I bet my house on it? No, maybe I'd bet my own about your what about your accurate? Yeah, I'd bet my accurate on it. No, no question about it that

00:50:47   All right, let's bet it let's bet you know what will bet your dot your tape dongle

00:50:50   Yeah, my tape dongle I'll bet my tape dongle that that I while that stuff will be there, I don't think they're ever going to promote it algorithmically to do engagement, which is where Twitter really went wrong, where Twitter really, I mean, Twitter has gone wrong in so many other ways. But one of the things I remember from all the way back in 2016, even so this is way pre musk, but like when Hillary Clinton was running for president, and she would tweet

00:51:17   something and I'd look at her tweet, the top replies to her tweets were always from garbage people like hot takes. And it was like, and you can I could see what the algorithm was optimizing for it was optimizing for me to be angry at these people replying to Hillary Clinton, the topper and they were randos total randos, not like famous people from Fox News or something like that just people with fake names and numbers at the end of the username and an avatar that's a cartoon character or something.

00:51:47   And you could just see I don't think threads is ever going to promote. And those sort of replies to the top of the replies you see, just for engagement, I they'll be there if you're looking for them. And there's already people that everybody can object to on threads. I mean, with 100 million users, of course, there's people who everybody is going to think is a jerk, no matter which side of any issue you are, right. But I just don't think they're going to index on that in terms of what they promote. Because the other thing the

00:52:16   difference is that Twitter is all Twitter has, and they have to, at all costs, try to make money on it. Facebook doesn't need threads at all. This is like a total side project for them. And I'm not saying they're not eventually of course, they're going to turn ads on and, but Zuckerberg says once they only once they get to a billion users, which again, how bold is that his play? His idea is every time we build a platform, we wait till we can see if we can build it to a billion users, then try to figure out how to do it.

00:52:46   Well, there's only 8 billion people on the planet. So they wait until they get one out of every eight living people using their platforms before they look to monetize it. It's the ambition is is insane.

00:52:59   I had to keep updating the end of the column because the kicker in my column was there's

00:53:06   a famous quote, "70 million sign ups isn't cool, you know what's cool. A billion sign

00:53:11   ups." But I had to keep updating that quote because the sign ups keep upping and upping

00:53:19   and upping, and I even had it in the first draft of the column, which went up a few hours

00:53:23   after the launch. I said this isn't going to likely happen this week, but it's probably

00:53:27   what he's aiming for. And then a couple days later he does confirm, "Yes, I want a billion

00:53:33   people here, and this is another full-on platform play for us."

00:53:38   So, I will just add before we move on from this, the other thing I will add is that Zuck

00:53:45   is funny when he wants to be. Some of his little zingers have been very, very funny.

00:53:51   One of the things he did, he has, I forget his username, it's crazy, it's something he

00:53:55   must have, some nickname he must have had back then.

00:53:58   >> PHYNNKT Yeah, Phynkt or Phynkt or something like that.

00:54:02   But he hadn't posted to his Twitter account in 11 years, and when Threads launched, he

00:54:07   posted one tweet and it was that Spider-Man cartoon meme of one Spider-Man pointing at

00:54:13   another, like everybody has seen the meme. What a funny thing to tweet. And then there

00:54:20   was a couple other, like there's a...

00:54:22   >> JESSE. Yeah, it's already got almost like 40,000 retweets.

00:54:25   >> PHYNNKT Unbelievable. There's also a sort of, it's almost a meme, it's a thing Musk

00:54:30   does on Twitter where somebody will post something about like a Hunter Biden conspiracy theory

00:54:36   and Musk will just write, "Hmmm, concerning." So there was somebody pointed out that about

00:54:44   24 hours after Threads launched, Threads was no longer a trending topic on Twitter, which

00:54:51   obviously it would have been if there wasn't a thumb on the scale, right? I mean, because

00:54:56   you could just look at Twitter and everybody was writing about Threads on Twitter, but

00:55:00   yet it's not trending, there's no #Threads hashtag. And somebody pointed out that it

00:55:06   wasn't on the list of trending topics and Zuck replied, "Concerning." I had to laugh.

00:55:13   It's super funny.

00:55:14   >> JESSE. And I'm looking, I thought Threads was trending on Twitter still.

00:55:19   >> PHYNNKT Yeah, they probably like dropped it or something.

00:55:23   >> JIM. Yeah, no surprise. Anyway, I do think Twitter's in big trouble because obviously

00:55:28   Musk can keep writing checks and keep selling Tesla and SpaceX stock to keep it afloat if

00:55:34   he wants to keep throwing good money after bad. But I think that their opportunity to

00:55:40   return as the microblogging safe home for major brands and advertisers, I think it's

00:55:48   gone because I think Threads is going to occupy that space. The one thing Twitter had that

00:55:53   will never come back was it was the one, for a long time, it was the only place that was

00:55:58   like Twitter and everybody was there. And it was easier then, right? If you wanted to

00:56:03   do something like Twitter, you use Twitter, and that was it.

00:56:07   >> PHYNNKT I think there's just that idea that Musk,

00:56:10   who wanted to grow this, who wanted to grow this platform, and not only grow it, but turn

00:56:16   it into a subscription platform, a place where you would pay to engage there, to buy more

00:56:22   services because you loved the community and it was a pillar of free speech and all of

00:56:28   the things he's said he's wanted to do. Growing that seems so very hard now with Threads up

00:56:37   his butt or whatever word he would insert there. And I mean, I will say, I have been

00:56:43   paying for Twitter Blue and I will tell you why I pay for Twitter Blue. Everyone will

00:56:48   call me a hater and people fired off at me because I have the blue checkmark still, but

00:56:52   this was one of my main ways of engaging with my audience. And being able to edit tweets

00:56:58   and being able to have some more of the capabilities that is underd off for Twitter Blue was a

00:57:03   good incentive, it was fine for me, okay? To pay, what, $8 a month? I don't pay through

00:57:08   the App Store, I go directly through them. Okay, fine. Now, do I need to pay that? If

00:57:14   my audience is building on Threads and I'm going to try to split my time and maybe eventually

00:57:19   go more over to Threads? So, look, think about users and growth, fine, I don't think he's

00:57:26   growing users, I just don't think that's happening. But what he's really been trying to do is

00:57:30   keep that subscription business, build it, build it, build it. I think that's what's

00:57:34   really in jeopardy.

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01:00:23   figure out how to do your own cold brew at home, which you can do, but which I've never

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01:01:14   on Threads. How crazy is it that their app doesn't support the iPad? I mean, you can

01:01:19   run it, but it's the iPhone-sized window on iPad, which is the same. I know, it's like,

01:01:26   well, shocker, it's Instagram. Instagram's 13 years old and still doesn't have an iPad

01:01:30   app.

01:01:31   Yeah, they're going to go back and forth on this on Threads. So I would say, I hear your

01:01:35   argument, which is that if they do web first, then they'll never do the iPad because people

01:01:41   will just say, "Well, run the web app on your iPad. Every iPad has a browser." Everyone

01:01:46   will say that. I argue the number one thing they need to do is Mac.

01:01:54   A Mac app or just a good web app that you can just run in a browser on your Mac?

01:01:59   Well, I've worried for the same reasons you do about the iPad app. If they just do the

01:02:04   web app, they'll be like, "Well, you can just run it. I heard every Mac can run a browser."

01:02:08   Yeah. Well, I think that's what they're going to do. I would love it if they had a Mac app.

01:02:13   The fact that Instagram is never...

01:02:14   I would even take the iOS app on Mac. I mean, it's very... And I threaded about this this

01:02:19   morning and people said, "Why don't they just enable the one step in the submission to the

01:02:25   app? Run on Mac."

01:02:26   Yeah.

01:02:27   You can run on any Apple Silicon. Let's do it. I would be fine with that. I would be totally

01:02:32   fine with that for right now.

01:02:34   And for many types of apps, just running the iPhone app as is on the Mac is not what you

01:02:41   really want. Like if it's a photo editing app or something where you actually do stuff.

01:02:45   But if you're just scrolling a list and you just want to type with a real keyboard, it

01:02:49   actually would be fine, right? Like my window, like when I use Ivory for Mastodon, is just

01:02:55   a long, tall, skinny window, sort of like a phone on my Mac that I just scroll and reply.

01:03:00   So...

01:03:01   Yeah. And look, Facebook really... I don't think... I think they might have done a Windows

01:03:07   app at some point.

01:03:08   Yeah. Maybe a long time ago.

01:03:10   But they never really were into desktop apps for Windows and certainly not for Instagram.

01:03:14   So I think the best we get here is a web app.

01:03:17   Yeah. That's my guess. And I think the only reason that there isn't a web app that you

01:03:23   can use, like I said earlier, you can go to threads.net and see threads, but you can't

01:03:31   log in and actually post or reply to them. I just think it's because they rushed it out

01:03:36   to capitalize on Twitter's recent downtime.

01:03:39   Yeah. And they had told us actually in the briefing that we did with... that I did with

01:03:45   a few other reporters at the journal, within... sorry, his name is Connor Hayes. He's the

01:03:50   VP of product at Meta. He said they had a web app. So it's clear they have a web app

01:03:55   that's coming and right now it's just very limited to users or whatever. I'm looking

01:04:01   at yours right now, right? Just I go to threads.net/@Grouper.

01:04:06   I even had the thought... I remember thinking, because Zuck was very, very active in the

01:04:11   first 48 hours, I thought he must have a web app that he's using because I think it would

01:04:16   be hard to be as productive in as many threads as he was without doing it with your hands

01:04:22   on a real keyboard and operating at the faster speed you can go at with a full computer in

01:04:28   front of you. But anyway, exciting times. I thought the next topic we can go back a

01:04:33   month and sort of look at the Vision Pro, Vision OS announcement from WWDC. Where are

01:04:41   you thinking about this one month after it was announced?

01:04:45   I want to try it again. It's like that 30 minutes, you had your 30 minutes and it stuck

01:04:52   with me. I don't know what yours was like, but I sort of ended up butting up a little

01:04:56   bit against the demoers in the room because I kept wanting to sort of go off and do my

01:05:00   own thing. And they're trying to steer you back on the road. And I'm like, "Well, no,

01:05:05   I want to go over here." You know, and they're like, "No, no, we only have limited time and

01:05:08   we need to do these things." And on top of that, I was trying to keep notes because I

01:05:12   knew that I had to file my column really quickly. And I will forget, I will forget what I'm

01:05:19   thinking. So I wanted to keep taking some notes, which actually was really good testing

01:05:23   because I was able to see the notebook, right? Compared to any meta quest I've used or meta

01:05:29   quest pro, you're sort of fighting the headset to find your notebook and look down. And so

01:05:34   that was actually quite a good test. They were not quite happy that I kept trying to

01:05:38   write notes, but it worked well. So my biggest thing is I want to use it again. It's been

01:05:43   a month, right? Or a little bit more.

01:05:45   Yeah, a little bit more.

01:05:47   I want to try it again, out again.

01:05:49   Yeah, because there's some stuff that has, it's not that I've forgotten it, but that

01:05:54   it's it almost has faded into, it was more like I watched a video, even though I was

01:05:59   really using it. My friend Ben Thompson from Dithering, during his trial of it, he somehow

01:06:05   got the keyboard to pop up. Like one of the things that, you know, there was a definite

01:06:09   happy path that we were guided to and we were not meant to ever have the keyboard appear.

01:06:17   And it did for Ben, I forget what he did. I think he like, I think he looked at the

01:06:21   location bar in Safari and pinched his fingers. And so then like you're editing the search

01:06:28   term or the URL and the keyboard came up and they, because they could see what we were

01:06:33   seeing and they're like, Oh, you weren't supposed to see that.

01:06:35   Yeah, yeah.

01:06:36   And tried to back out.

01:06:37   No, I saw a few people sharing that they got to see the keyboard interaction. I didn't

01:06:41   see it either, but yeah, I think some stuff like that. I'd like to try the FaceTime experience

01:06:47   again. I feel like I might be blurring what I saw in the presentation and what I saw in

01:06:53   real life with the woman who was talking to me. Though I had a lot of fun with that. I

01:06:57   sort of kept checking because I was, I really wanted to make sure it wasn't a canned demo.

01:07:01   Yes. Cause it kind of looked like it kind of looked like a canned demo.

01:07:05   Yeah. So I was asking her to do really weird things. Like I was like, stick out your tongue

01:07:10   and like, I was like, pick your nose, things like that. Like she's like, excuse me. And

01:07:15   I was like, I'm just trying, I'm just being a journalist here. Gotta make sure this is

01:07:19   real. It was fun. And it was, and it, and it did work quite well. And of course like

01:07:23   we didn't get to try scanning our faces and making our own, what do we call it? What are

01:07:28   they called FaceTime personas?

01:07:30   Personas? Personas?

01:07:31   I was going to call it a FaceTime avatar, but I'm sure that's not what it's called.

01:07:37   No, they're calling them personas. And I don't know why. I guess avatar implies static.

01:07:42   It also implies meta.

01:07:44   Yeah. Oh yeah. Maybe. Yeah. I would like to do that again too. And I know a lot of people

01:07:49   have been speculating about, you know, are people going to be creeped out by this or

01:07:52   not? And I don't know. It wasn't creepy, but it was weird. It threw me off because before

01:07:59   they announced it, I know people were thinking maybe, you know, when you have the headset

01:08:02   on, you'll appear to others as your Memoji, which I didn't think they would do. Cause

01:08:09   that seems too weird. As much as some people might, that might be a mode you would toggle

01:08:14   as a gag, but it doesn't work in either. To me, the two main contexts for those things

01:08:22   are talking to your family and talking for work. And you certainly aren't going to appear

01:08:28   as your Memoji in a professional context. I mean, I guess you and I would for the show,

01:08:34   right? Like, yeah, I could definitely be my Memoji talking to Joanna for the podcast.

01:08:38   But why? Right. But like why?

01:08:39   Yeah. But you're not going to do a story. And in the course of researching the story,

01:08:44   if you have a FaceTime call with a source, you're not going to be a Memoji, a cartoon

01:08:49   character. And when you're apart from your family and you want to talk to your kids or

01:08:55   you're talking to your parents or your spouse or whoever, you want to, the whole reason

01:09:01   you're doing a FaceTime call is they want to see your face. It defeats the purpose to

01:09:06   be a Memoji or something like that.

01:09:08   Yeah. And I think I shared this maybe a day or two after another really compelling use

01:09:18   of this does really seem to be the photos. And one of the demos that stuck with me was

01:09:24   the image of the family, right? And having the birthday party, the 3D, what do they call

01:09:31   it? It's sort of like a volumetric 3D capture of this family. And that also stuck with me

01:09:38   because that is far more lifelike and real because it's the real image of what had happened,

01:09:44   right? And the idea is that we'll take it with the headset. And I think I shared on

01:09:47   the thing that this is as I was traveling for work and missing my family, I could really

01:09:52   see the benefit of looking at these 3D lifelike, they're sort of like live images.

01:10:01   Yeah. Well, they're like memories. They really are. And it was uncanny. They had a couple

01:10:09   examples for us. And the one was, I forget which order they appeared in, but the one

01:10:15   was Alicia Keys, I think, in a music recording studio. And it's like, you're getting to observe

01:10:21   one of the biggest, most popular singers in pop music today recording a song. And it wasn't

01:10:30   like watching a video. It was like you were there and you could see her and she seemed

01:10:34   like she was pretty close to just a couple feet in front of you. But because it was a

01:10:39   professional recording studio and it's a pop star, it kind of still felt, it was amazing

01:10:46   in 3D, but it kind of felt like I was on a ride at Disney World. Like here I am looking

01:10:52   at Alicia Keys. But when they showed us the one with the kids and the birthday cake and

01:10:57   the kids, brother and sister, the weird part about it was it honestly felt like I was intrusive.

01:11:05   You know, it was like, it wasn't like I was watching somebody's family video. It was like

01:11:10   I was in their house for the family birthday party. And it's like, I don't know these kids,

01:11:14   so why am I here? You know?

01:11:17   But imagine it was your family, right? And that's where I was trying, I think I shared

01:11:22   this maybe from the hotel room and I was like, I couldn't stop thinking about that experience

01:11:27   and that I really could see Apple investing, whether it's the next iPhone or iPads, as

01:11:33   ability to take those photos, right? Because I think, look, the memes around the dad taking

01:11:39   the photo of the family were hilarious and very, very black mirror, right? You've got

01:11:45   this guy wearing this headset, why isn't he playing with his kids in real time? But if

01:11:50   your iPhone takes those or your iPad takes those using LIDAR and a combination of camera

01:11:58   lenses and all the other kind of AI stuff they have going on there, I'm in.

01:12:04   Yeah, yeah, I would say one of the huge game changing factor would be if the if and presumably

01:12:11   if they can do it, they would they'd be crazy not to. But if future iPhones have the ability

01:12:17   to shoot these volumetric videos, whatever, I forget their their term for them.

01:12:21   Yeah, I forget what this

01:12:22   But if you could shoot these 3d things with your phone, or even an iPad, but something

01:12:28   that's not so odd as putting a headset on. But even with just the headset, I still think

01:12:36   in the early years, it'll be it still would be something I wish and I talked to a couple

01:12:43   other people at Apple who've been using it who are sort of my age and my situation where

01:12:48   they've got kids, but the kids are already college age or older. And they're like, man,

01:12:53   and people who were working on the feature. And they said, once we got it working, I was

01:12:58   like, Oh, my God, I can't believe I don't have this for my kids. My kids are too old,

01:13:03   you know, and, and the people who are a little younger, like in your situation where you've

01:13:08   got like six year olds and two year olds still running around the house. They're like, once

01:13:12   we had this working, I can't wait to be able to take this home and start shooting some

01:13:17   of these. And I think I know everybody is it's not a unique observation. 1000 people

01:13:21   have made the observation that like back in the 80s when VHS camcorders became consumer

01:13:27   priced, and they were the size of a boombox they had whichever parent was using it often

01:13:33   the dad, but it was shoulder mounted. They were that big. Yeah. But the families who

01:13:39   had them have memories of kids on blowing out birthday cakes that are way better than

01:13:47   the my family never had a video camera. My parents were not I don't know where my gadget

01:13:51   hound it jeans come from. But we did not have we relate to much technology. We had an Atari,

01:13:59   but we didn't have a camcorder. But I think that even that I but you as a kid of the 80s,

01:14:05   I certainly remember other kids parents having them and the way it would work is the dad

01:14:10   would get it out for the for the birthday cake part, shoot 10 minutes of video and then

01:14:16   put it away. So so you know, my dad had one. Yeah. So put the headset on and be the weird

01:14:22   parent who's going to wear a headset on a birthday party for 10 minutes. And then I

01:14:27   just don't think you're going to need to for long. But yeah, I agree. I mean, I agree.

01:14:30   Put it on for a few minutes capture that that one scene take it off. I just I think it think

01:14:35   it's pretty clear. It's just gonna it's gonna be a format and Apple loves their own their

01:14:39   own photo formats and video formats and we'll get one of them and I think eight for me,

01:14:46   that was one of the places we talked about it earlier, like the the the watching on the

01:14:50   airplane. Okay, I can see myself doing that, especially on some long flights. And the memory

01:14:58   thing and certainly for me the work applications really seem like I do want more monitors and

01:15:05   I do like the ability to put things all over my desk and I'm editing looking at a video

01:15:09   and I'm working on a call. I mean, like, it did open my eyes. And I think the whole the

01:15:14   whole spatial computing pitch it is it is going to have to find just like any computing

01:15:21   platform people's uses, but they did demonstrate quite at least three really strong applications

01:15:29   for this. What are you counting the three applications work right right entertainment

01:15:37   yeah watching videos. We saw some of the 360 videos though I wasn't that impressed with

01:15:44   that having made 360 videos for the last 10 years where you know other VR platforms but

01:15:50   I think the compelling like really compelling to me was what was the it was the avatar trailer

01:15:56   yeah yeah right and being able to dim but not see see some of my surroundings but really

01:16:02   being able to just see that but also see like a little bit of the person sitting next to

01:16:06   me I think is really compelling it's like what I would want to do on a flight and then

01:16:10   I think that third thing being photography or memories yeah yeah those were three that

01:16:15   stuck to me I think there are others that yeah I think so too and I think as the rumor

01:16:21   mill churns the the first year is it's not going to be a big deal and and the cost is

01:16:28   almost irrelevant yeah I agree because by all accounts the the constraint are these

01:16:36   super super rare displays in front of each eye and everybody is saying that their apples

01:16:43   buying them from so Sony and they're only going to be able to make like a million of

01:16:48   them in by 20 the end of 2024 and so if it takes two good ones so they're a what's the

01:16:55   yield if there's some 10% of them have dead pixels will they have to throw those out that

01:17:01   they're only going to be able to do no matter what the demand is from consumers apples theoretical

01:17:06   maximum is like four to five hundred thousand units for the first year that they can make

01:17:12   so if they can only make five hundred thousand of them I think they'll sell out instantly

01:17:16   I think they'll be back ordered for six months the whole year but then they'll they'll by

01:17:22   2025 they'll be able to make them fast enough to meet demand and by 2026 if you want it

01:17:28   you'll be able to go to the Apple store and buy it it it'll take the price will come down

01:17:32   and I think even when you look at where the market is right now for these VR AR mixed

01:17:38   reality headsets and enterprise picking that up at a at a pace that sure that's not mainstream

01:17:43   but that's a place that I've spoken to many people in this industry they're going to buy

01:17:47   them they're going to buy them in not in mass but a number of them for their companies they're

01:17:54   getting going I think it's going to be amazing for some types of work I think for people

01:17:58   who want to spread out with multiple monitors I really I really think you'll be able to

01:18:03   work like this I and I look forward to and then you could travel with just just a keyboard

01:18:08   and a trackpad for it'll obviously be better to type on a real keyboard but instead of

01:18:13   logging a whole laptop just take a Bluetooth keyboard with you I should probably write

01:18:17   this but I went to Aspen for the Aspen ideas festival at the beginning of June and there

01:18:22   were two things on that trip that made me realize and I guess I'm being repetitive now

01:18:26   but on the plane there and I and I thought about this and I don't think I ever shared

01:18:31   it but I thought about this in the presentation as well we've had meta quests for a long time

01:18:35   now number of years I never see someone on the airplane wearing a meta quest why haven't

01:18:39   I but on the flight one of my flights that was very delayed and I will not get into it

01:18:44   right now I somebody from United is listening I'm very unhappy anyway but someone on my

01:18:50   flight to Denver put on a pair of N real that's the company glasses these AR glasses and he

01:18:58   was sitting next to me and go oh I was like freaking out I was like excuse me excuse me

01:19:02   a tap him on the shoulder I was like what are you watching in the air it's like oh I'm

01:19:05   just I'm watching some stuff I downloaded on YouTube and and I thought okay this is

01:19:11   a thing this is gonna be a thing it's it's this nerdy guy here and I don't even remember

01:19:16   his name but if you're listening he strike to me as someone who might listen to your

01:19:19   podcast to be honest okay if this nerdy guy is doing this now this is gonna be a thing

01:19:24   yeah yeah it's like air pods is like okay we kind of think they look ridiculous but

01:19:31   when you got him on and you're free from that yes it is so much better than watching this

01:19:36   tiny screen on the back of my airplane see it's so much better I honestly think I mean

01:19:41   from the the the 30-minute demo we had in the amount of time we spent watching movies

01:19:46   it it's going to go from hey this is a slightly better way to watch movies like on an airplane

01:19:52   or a train to this is actually more compelling and visually better than watching on your

01:19:57   TV at home it is like being in a movie theater like it it'll elevate movie watching on a

01:20:03   plane to a this is actually the best place this is like the best way to watch a movie

01:20:08   yeah and this was a guy Road Warrior clearly traveling for business just like I was so

01:20:14   he that's one place he's using that device the second place then I had to work on a column

01:20:19   and video in my hotel room and I'm setting up my Mac and my iPad screen and I'm trying

01:20:24   to figure out my sidecar situation and I want to get the the screen to the right height

01:20:29   because I don't want to look down at the iPad but I want to put the other thing up and this

01:20:32   whole thing is like no I would have my headset down the line I'm not I'm not saying what

01:20:36   year I'm gonna have this perfect setup but I'm gonna have my headset I'm gonna be working

01:20:40   in my hotel room and you're right maybe all I've brought with me on this trip is actually

01:20:45   just a keyboard and a mouse yep I guess I don't even bring the mouse right I'm using

01:20:49   my hands yeah I don't know I think I kind of feel like I'm gonna want a mouse for like

01:20:53   for text editing right because we're gonna be writing and I feel like I want the person

01:20:57   I don't want to I don't know I don't want to prejudge that looking at yeah I don't know

01:21:02   how accurate placing the insertion point will be with it but I I would expect if I want

01:21:08   a keyboard I'll probably just want a mouse and I'll have to take it in the bag but I can

01:21:12   really see working that way I do think I think they're on to something I think they know

01:21:16   it I think it will be years and that's you know I agree and I think it goes the way of

01:21:20   the Mac honestly at first yep in terms of adoption and in terms of usage yeah yeah I

01:21:27   mean and the Mac people don't it's it seems but it seems ridiculous now that it's this

01:21:32   platform we expect to now sort of be a forever platform but it it sold terribly for the first

01:21:38   couple years there was like hey that the Steve Jobs took it out of the bag and the Mac cute

01:21:44   little Mac says I'm so glad to be out of that bag and everybody laughed and some people

01:21:49   bought it right away and so like the first month sales were great and then like six months

01:21:54   later nobody was buying this $2,500 computer that didn't have a lot of software yet at

01:21:59   the end inflation adjusted that's 7,500 in today's dollars right so if you think 3500

01:22:06   a lot a 1984 Mac was 7,500 equivalent so no wonder it didn't sell that well but but it

01:22:13   was a great idea obviously and just needed a couple of years for everything to sort of

01:22:18   prices to come down software to be available and people to sort of get it like hey this

01:22:24   is great but imagine like like when you you've got to turn around videos so fast I remember

01:22:29   talking to you at keynote day and you were already like I've got to go because you're

01:22:34   working on a on a video with with the team that you work on at the journal but like imagine

01:22:40   if you could preview the video with the headset so you could see it instead of seeing it on

01:22:45   like your phone or whatever you have with you or even just like a 13 inch screen on

01:22:49   a laptop if you could just see the video big it would be fantastic like video editors or

01:22:55   people like who are shooting movies and commercials and want to do work and start editing the

01:23:00   footage in the field you don't have to look at it small on a laptop you can look at it

01:23:06   big like it's going to be when you're showing it on TV or showing it you know if it's actually

01:23:11   a movie showing it on a big movie theater screen which makes things look different you

01:23:16   can actually preview it as a movie and I mean they made this cell and I think the idea that

01:23:22   this was come for the TV market is is not a huge I don't think that's really realistic

01:23:27   right people it's a different a sit it's a different market but I think monitors that

01:23:33   is that is the place right I don't you know I don't want to say never because you know

01:23:39   I at the moment I can't imagine that I would rather when I go to my office to work for

01:23:44   the day that I'd rather put a headset on I don't think so but I you know come back in

01:23:51   five years and see what we're talking future I'm not talking this nothing I've really said

01:23:55   here do I mean and that's where it's like sort of thinking through that trip I just

01:23:59   had but with the lens of okay in the future I take this trip what are the devices I'm

01:24:04   bringing with me it isn't an iPhone a Mac and a iPad yeah it really sure the devices

01:24:09   I traveled with an ear pods right it just air pods a phone your headset and a keyboard

01:24:14   and a mouse and you'd be set I don't think that's crazy yeah I don't think so either

01:24:19   all right let me take one last break here for of course our good friends sponsors and

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01:26:35   com slash the talk show alright last segment and this is the build one we've been waiting

01:26:41   for is the other big story of the year is your and the coal winds combined investigative

01:26:48   research at the journal on forgot about it I didn't realize we were going to go there

01:26:53   but great well let's let me let me let you summarize the problem in the situation okay

01:27:01   simply tl;dr three of our articles or four of our articles and two videos both about

01:27:09   ten minutes each across the country thieves are stealing people's iPhones typically this

01:27:16   happens at night in and around bars but before they steal the phone they are watching people

01:27:23   put in their passcodes and they are learning their passcodes sometimes they're even filming

01:27:29   them from afar they get the passcode they steal the phone and they steal it through

01:27:35   some pretty interesting methods it's sort of a trickery type of deal and then with the

01:27:42   passcode they're basically able to wreak havoc on these people's financial and digital lives

01:27:48   and one thing that we've really kind of focused on here because this is actually what prompted

01:27:52   many of these victims to reach out to me and how I found out about this story is that when

01:27:58   these thieves get their passcodes one of the first steps they're taking if not the first

01:28:02   step is they use the passcode to change the Apple ID password because all you need to

01:28:08   do to change the Apple ID password is the passcode and so then they are locking people

01:28:14   out of their Apple accounts so they can't use find my to get back into their phones

01:28:19   and they're really locking people out of their phones forever or sort of their Apple accounts

01:28:24   sorry I should say they're locking people out of their Apple accounts forever so when

01:28:27   these people's phones get stolen many times they are drunk sometimes they've been drugged

01:28:32   by these people when they when they come to they'll go to their computer as all of us

01:28:36   would do when if our phones got taken or we lost it and try to go to find by but they're

01:28:40   blocked out then they try to get back into their Apple account by doing recovery account

01:28:46   recovery they can't get back in and after many many hours and months and time on the

01:28:52   phone with Apple customer support they're told repeatedly you cannot get back on into

01:28:57   your account right because and again when I first read this I have to admit the first

01:29:03   story that you and Nicole published on this and I I I know both of you and I certainly

01:29:09   knew that it wasn't that you were making it up and it doesn't seem like you or certainly

01:29:16   the Wall Street Journal's brand to exaggerate a problem to the point of unfair sensationalism

01:29:23   but I thought well that can't quite be though that if you just know the device passcode

01:29:28   you can just go in and change the Apple ID password without knowing the old Apple ID

01:29:34   password and I go to settings iCloud password and security change password and then it's

01:29:40   just a field where you can type a new password and you hit return and that's it and now you've

01:29:45   got a new password on your Apple ID and now it's because it and at that point the per

01:29:52   if it's a thief who did it and their goal is just to empty your bank accounts or whatever

01:29:57   they're not looking they don't really care about the fact that they now they've got your

01:30:02   Apple ID at iCloud.com email and can send email as you they just want to use it to empty

01:30:08   the bank accounts or your Venmo or your PayPal or whatever else you've got hooked up to your

01:30:15   to your phone Apple Pay Apple Pay the main one right and and then they can log in and

01:30:20   what what happens what's the what happens if you if they go to log into your bank and

01:30:25   they don't know your bank password and you say I forgot my password what happens a lot

01:30:29   of the times they the bank will just say okay we sent a password reset to your email but

01:30:35   they've got your phone and then they go to your email and they can click the thing that

01:30:38   says okay reset my password and now they've set a new password for your bank account or

01:30:43   your credit card yeah and and the biggest really the biggest thing too is we've seen

01:30:48   the most damage to victims who were using iCloud keychain because once you have the

01:30:52   password it unlocks iCloud keychain there's no other second form of authentication to

01:30:57   get into that password manager on the phone so in the worst cases they had and I no longer

01:31:04   have this set up on my phone I no longer have any of my bank account information set up

01:31:08   in iCloud keychain but those that had their chase account or Bank of America account with

01:31:12   iCloud keychain hooked in well that was like basically game over they were draining accounts

01:31:17   and it didn't you think well then this must be a bug and Apple will fix it what a what

01:31:23   a crazy bug to exist but it's not it it actually is by design and as Apple very is every time

01:31:32   I've talked to them about it I'm sure they've said it to you about a hundred and fifty times

01:31:37   that it the same thing is possible on Android right I mean how many how many times did you

01:31:42   hear that it but it is true it is true it is true that if you cap if you take somebody's

01:31:48   Android phone and you know the device passcode you can do the same thing with their Google

01:31:53   account which is to an Android phone what your iCloud Apple ID is to your iPhone you

01:31:59   can change that person's Google account and again it's devastating right how many people

01:32:05   at this point have 15 years of their or longer of I forget when Gmail launched but there's

01:32:11   people who over a decade of all of their personal email is their name at gmail.com and it's

01:32:17   their login for more services than they can imagine and losing access to so it's true

01:32:24   but why is it by design and I think it's clear and nobody to me at least Apple won't just

01:32:31   come out and say it on the record but it's it's about customer service that there are

01:32:39   and they won't tell I've talked to them a lot about it I'm sure not as much as you and

01:32:43   Nicole but there are tons of people thousands of people I don't know every day who lose

01:32:50   access to their Apple ID because they don't remember their Apple ID password but they

01:32:55   know their phone password and they actually use this feature they're like I can't get

01:32:59   into it my Apple ID is asking me for my password I don't know it and they can call Apple or

01:33:05   go to the Apple store and Apple they'll say well do you know your device passcode and

01:33:10   that's the one thing most people won't forget because you have to enter even with face ID

01:33:14   and touch ID you have to enter your device passcode every time it restarts or a day goes

01:33:20   by that you don't use face ID or whatever okay now go to settings go to your iCloud

01:33:25   and now you can type a new password for your Apple ID and you're back and all thousands

01:33:30   and thousands of people a day are like oh thank you Apple thank you Google that I was

01:33:34   able to recover my thing I won't forget my password this time and

01:33:39   that's absolutely it that's absolutely it and I think the perspective of the company

01:33:43   though you thankfully asked during your who I forget who was actually on stage at the

01:33:49   time when you asked Craig and Craig and Jaws you you brought it up and they he said we're

01:33:54   on it I believe was the the ending thing we're on it so I think that was the direct quote

01:33:59   so that that made me feel better but I think there is a real internal question right now

01:34:03   of the convenience of setting up your of being able to easily reset a password for somebody

01:34:09   who doesn't all the other ways they have to factor all the other stuff or they've they've

01:34:14   forgotten a couple of the the key moments or key phrases in their passcode recovery

01:34:20   and then there's balancing that with the fact that and it is not just a few there are many

01:34:26   many victims of this hundreds and hundreds in specific cities across the country now

01:34:33   and since publishing the pieces we continue to hear from more people in more cities where

01:34:40   this has happened to them and the the as you mentioned that the financial damage is sad

01:34:47   and it's hard and people though get over it because the banks refund their money the one

01:34:51   that they don't get over and if the if the thieves have both changed the password and

01:34:56   turned on the recovery key setting they are not getting back in their Apple accounts and

01:35:02   so that's often why these victims are reaching out to us and the original reason the victims

01:35:06   started reaching out to me was they told me the story I mean I one of the first stories

01:35:10   I heard from one of the victims and he's he's in one of the stories he told me a story he

01:35:17   believes he was drugged this happened to him he woke up the next morning has no phone or

01:35:20   has the phone that's he had a version of his phone had been replaced with another version

01:35:25   of the phone and I just sort of didn't believe it I was like that sounds like a one-off that

01:35:30   this sounds crazy to me yeah okay let me know if you hear more and he sent me more and then

01:35:35   I started hearing from another guy who happened in another city so this this is happening

01:35:39   and so I think that is the question internally how they're trying to balance the convenience

01:35:43   of resetting with what is obviously happening to yes not as many it's not a billion people

01:35:49   but it is happening to people and I don't know what the answer is I guess I think one

01:35:55   one answer would be and it wouldn't solve the problem for everybody and and it wouldn't

01:36:01   solve it for most people but for people who are overly concerned about this people who

01:36:07   are paying attention who've read your story who listen to this show and are thinking well

01:36:11   what can I do I would like to put an added layer of protection on my account some kind

01:36:16   of opt-in way to say I I would like I would like not to be able to change my Apple ID

01:36:23   password just with a device passcode I would like to have to know my Apple ID passcode

01:36:29   or when you turn this on it would say okay now here's a list of one-time codes you can

01:36:33   use to to reset it if you do forget your passcode keep this in a safe place put it where you

01:36:40   put your passport or your will or whatever other precious documents you have everybody's

01:36:45   got I have a couple printouts like that for certain of my accounts and then it would be

01:36:50   for me I've chosen not to be able to reset my Apple ID or or change my Apple ID password

01:36:57   just with the device passcode even though maybe that's still the default for most people

01:37:03   I don't know or maybe something even for the masses maybe there's some kind of 24-hour

01:37:09   delay 24-hour delay I think is one is a big run and I think you know we also did a dedicated

01:37:15   second piece to the recovery key because that is also another vulnerability in the sense

01:37:21   that what happens is even if you've set up your recovery key right you're you're John

01:37:26   Gruber you're a good Apple Samaritan you have set up your recovery key you have printed

01:37:31   it out you have it sitting in your desk drawer and your top secret lock or in your very secure

01:37:36   Acura you you have it turned on but in if a thief has your passcode steals your phone

01:37:44   they can turn off that recovery yeah and they generate a brand new recovery so you go to

01:37:49   Apple and say no no my phone was stolen last night I am John Gruber I have the the recovery

01:37:55   key I have it right here this is the right code they'll say no that's not the recovery

01:37:59   key on the account there's a new one the other thing that might be worth turning on I'm sure

01:38:06   people listening there's the people who've turned it on or are already screaming at the

01:38:10   podcast and they're like I know they already mad there what about screen time screen time

01:38:14   and so you can turn on in screen time even if you if you're most people think of screen

01:38:20   time passcodes is something that you set for your kids as a parent to to limit the amount

01:38:25   of time they can use but you could do it for yourself and one of the options in screen

01:38:29   time is to say protect any password changes using the screen time password and now you've

01:38:37   got a second passcode that they might not know and superficially if you're if you're

01:38:44   a naive thief that definitely might keep you from doing it if you don't know about it but

01:38:50   I don't think anybody who's running an organized thieving ring and is doing this over and over

01:38:55   again is unaware of the fact that you can reset your screen time passcode guess what

01:39:01   with your device passcode if you know the device passcode you can override the screen

01:39:08   time passcode and you have to go through you have like three different screens and claim

01:39:13   that you forgot the passcode that you never knew in the first place but eventually you

01:39:18   just keep saying I forgot it I want to reset it and then it'll say well what's the device

01:39:22   passcode and if they have the device passcode boom the screen time passcode is gone it does

01:39:27   not protect you yes but I will just say here that if it yes they would have to know how

01:39:38   to do this but one thing we know about these crimes is how quickly they are resetting yeah

01:39:44   so this would slow down in right actually two or three instances we have heard from

01:39:49   victims who immediately asked to borrow a friend's phone yep to do find my realize they

01:39:56   had been locked out within a minute yep right yeah so this could slow down somebody at least

01:40:03   till they get it and the way they these these I know a lot about sort of the way these organized

01:40:08   crime groups work at this point they have groups as they go out to the bars and so they're

01:40:13   handing the phones off each person has a real role in the crime one person's job is to get

01:40:19   the passcode one person's phone job is to get the phone one person's job is to then

01:40:23   do a lot of the stuff on the phone to make sure they're locked out yep so this is a big

01:40:28   team effort so I do believe it could slow people down but you're totally right we shouldn't

01:40:33   give people a false sense of security I don't think it hurts to do it I have it set up on

01:40:36   mine yep we'll leave it at that yeah we need a better solution from Apple at the end of

01:40:40   the day we need a better solution from Apple yeah and if you're not roofied and you're

01:40:43   aware that your phone's missing and you're at a bar and you think oh my god my phone

01:40:48   was probably stolen I'm at a bar it's 12 30 at night yeah giving an extra two minutes

01:40:54   of buffer around it could could absolutely make the difference so I'm not saying don't

01:40:59   use it I'm just saying don't be fooled into thinking you're completely protected my I've

01:41:04   repeated this on the show when I've talked about your your Nicole's coverage of this

01:41:08   the number one tip I have about this is guard your device passcode preciously in the way

01:41:16   that like if a random stranger on the sidewalk like some guy with a clipboard was like hey

01:41:22   what's your social security number you would be like what no what kind of a weirdo are

01:41:26   you I'm not going to give you my social security number treat your device passcode like that

01:41:31   like a super secret thing and if you're ever out in public and your face because it there's

01:41:37   tricks people can pull like you guys covered this where one of the tricks they'll pull

01:41:41   is let's say a group of people are out they seem to be celebrating a pal's birthday and

01:41:46   a stranger will say let me get a picture of all of you here to give me your phone and

01:41:50   they'll take the picture and then if they just squeeze the power button for three seconds

01:41:54   as they hand the phone back to you that that puts the phone in a mode where you need you

01:42:00   don't you can't unlock it with face ID you have to enter your passcode and that's a it's

01:42:05   a great tip to know like I always do that when I go through TSA I squeeze my phone and

01:42:11   when I put my phone through the conveyor belt it's in a mode where face ID won't work anymore

01:42:16   everybody should know it but the thieves know it too and now you you get your phone back

01:42:22   oh let me see the picture this this guy took and it's like huh face ID doesn't work enter

01:42:26   your passcode oh one two three four and you're in and you're looking at the photo meanwhile

01:42:31   the guy's partner is looking over your shoulder and sees that your code is one two three four

01:42:36   and now they've now all they have to do is get the phone again absolutely it's it and

01:42:42   it's you like when we put this all together we were like holy this is so smart it really

01:42:46   is the other thing I tried just as like I sort of had my son sit down and just hold

01:42:53   his phone and I shot for with my iPhone shot 4k video over his shoulder and then like looked

01:43:02   at the video and with 4k footage you can easily see what they're typing on on the phone when

01:43:08   you zoom in totally and it's very we've done that too we've also pretended like you're

01:43:11   pretend like you're typing but you're actually filming yeah yeah it's it yeah so it's great

01:43:17   that we have these 4k cameras but if you're a thief looking to glean little tiny details

01:43:23   like what they're typing on their phone from four feet away it's really convenient for

01:43:28   them too to have really nice high resolution 4k footage that you can zoom in on and apparently

01:43:35   an even better zoom camera coming on the 15th so I would but I agree with you number one

01:43:40   thing just even I I am on the subway all the time now but looking at people how often people

01:43:48   put in that password or passcode and a lot of people wrote to us and I've seen them a

01:43:52   lot of the YouTube comments why would anyone be putting in their passcode why wouldn't

01:43:56   you be using face ID there I mean face ID doesn't always work also the changes they

01:44:02   made during COVID to make it get quicker to that passcode screen it's all there and it

01:44:08   I see it all the time it would be well I guess if we had another hopefully we don't but if

01:44:15   we had another pandemic and we had to start wearing masks again I guess we've got the

01:44:19   option now to to do face ID with a mask but I I when I read your story I thought back

01:44:25   of how many hundreds I guess thousands honestly thousands of times I entered my phone passcode

01:44:33   in public during COVID because face ID didn't work with a mask for so much of the time I

01:44:39   would never do that I remember they sped it up there was an update where they made it

01:44:42   quicker to get to the passcode screen yeah I it happens like I mean I also think like

01:44:47   look it's later at night you're not getting all things lined up now I think face ID works

01:44:53   far better on newer phones too they try to go after new newer phones because they have

01:44:57   higher resale value but it happens and it they've also improved Apple has definitely

01:45:02   improved face ID with more brands of sunglasses it was a huge problem when the iPhone 10 came

01:45:08   out like I know Ray-Bans in particular for whatever you know which is super popular brand

01:45:13   and was actually the brand of sunglasses I own that you couldn't use face ID through

01:45:17   their lenses they've really improved that over the years and I know there's an option

01:45:23   where you could say don't require attention so it would work but any face ID is better

01:45:28   than entering your passcode but if you ever find yourself hey I for whatever reason you

01:45:33   have to enter your passcode on your phone and you're in public you should go somewhere

01:45:37   private go to the corner of the room just in the same way that you wouldn't write down

01:45:42   your ATM pin code in front of strangers don't enter your device passcode in front of strangers

01:45:47   the second tip I would have and I don't do it I still have all my stuff in in iCloud

01:45:53   Keychain but I know the risks and I'm doing it knowing the risks but if you're really

01:45:58   worried about the fact that anybody with your device passcode could get everything in your

01:46:03   iCloud Keychain you should switch to a third-party password secret manager like 1Password or something

01:46:09   like that because that's an entirely different password that is separate from your device

01:46:15   passcode and so anything in your 1Password is never going to be gleanable by somebody

01:46:22   who in part of this criminal ring that you guys are documenting

01:46:25   yeah and in Venmo you can set up a second password as well so it's an extra four digit

01:46:32   security code above the usual main Apple passcode but I would also say that I was really hoping

01:46:38   at WWDC to see in iOS 17 this rumored passwords app because I thought okay this could be part

01:46:46   of that solution one I think iCloud Keychain has always been really buried in settings

01:46:51   you barely know that it's there and then two maybe this password app could have that extra

01:46:55   layer of security on it you have to set up another passcode password on top of it right

01:47:00   your your master password but we didn't hear anything

01:47:03   yeah I forget the actual numbers and I forget too so it's all ballpark but it's you know

01:47:08   but the basic story I was told by people who work in the security area at Apple is after

01:47:15   touch ID came out which is a long time ago at this point it was what the iPhone 5s I

01:47:20   think the single biggest change from Apple's perspective that touch ID made to make the

01:47:28   average iPhone users life more secure was the unbelievable increase in the number of

01:47:37   users who had previously had no passcode at all on her iPhone because they were so sick

01:47:42   of typing four digits even a four digit ones whereas once they added touch ID and they

01:47:46   just had to put their thumb on it but you have to have a device passcode to use it the

01:47:51   number of iPhones that had no passcode at all dropped to near zero which was a huge

01:47:56   difference and it's bananas and people who are concerned about this stuff were thinking

01:48:00   you know even when it was the iPhone 4 and 4s before touch ID the idea that you would

01:48:05   have your iPhone with all of the stuff on it without any passcode at all seems crazy

01:48:10   but people totally but most people go towards what's can most convenient and easy and they

01:48:16   don't really think about things they do and I think the there there's been talk of adding

01:48:23   second layer right would there would there would Apple ever add a back the the fingerprint

01:48:28   sensor and have face ID as a second layer right if your fit your face isn't worth and

01:48:33   you use your finger then you have the passcode as a backup but one other thing that was very

01:48:38   revealing in all of this because one of our tips was to actually just make your passcode

01:48:42   stronger right you can use a six digit you can use alphanumeric Apple gives you the ability

01:48:46   sorry you can use you do that on your passcode six digit or or or alphanumeric how many people

01:48:53   were still on yeah yeah I'll bet it's really I bet it's a high number and one two three

01:48:57   four yeah or zero zero zero yeah because and I forget what they do I know when you enter

01:49:02   like zero zero I think that's Kanye's yeah and he entered it in the White House while

01:49:08   he was on camera I know it gives you a warning like hey that yeah it's easily got that is

01:49:13   a super easily guess yeah you can still say yeah that's what I want one two three four

01:49:17   yeah yeah people do it and people really do it and believe me I hate to say I'm watching

01:49:23   people on the subway and I don't mean to be learning what their passwords are I'm just

01:49:27   seeing I'm looking around I've been looking around for months even before writing this

01:49:31   story because we were so really looking into it and I'm like oh man that person has one

01:49:35   two three four you can see from the way the hand movements it's a or you can definitely

01:49:39   see when it's the same digit right because it's just do do do do no hand movement at

01:49:43   all it's I'd be such a good beef at this yeah you really would you guys you and Nicole should

01:49:47   turn to a life of crime god wouldn't that be it wouldn't that be a great story if the

01:49:51   the the crusading consumer tech reporters for the Wall Street Journal investigated everything

01:49:59   there is to know about this iPhone thieving ring and then you guys became like the oceans

01:50:03   eleven of I mean I I wouldn't I would love to skirt the FBI on my other tip is that what

01:50:14   you can do I it's pretty easy once you know you can do it but when you go to create a

01:50:18   new device passcode you can set up a numeric one of an arbitrary digit length it doesn't

01:50:25   just have to be four or six you can make like a custom one of nine digits or something like

01:50:30   that and it's not just easier to remember maybe but it's certainly easier to type on

01:50:37   a phone and very and also very very secure as long as somebody isn't looking at you enter

01:50:43   it and if they're looking at you it doesn't matter if it's using the alphanumeric keyboard

01:50:47   or not they're gonna be able to see it but you could set like an eight-digit passcode

01:50:52   and just put like I don't know a phone number and two more digits to make it unguessable

01:50:57   and you've got a very strong passcode and when you enter an arbitrary length passcode

01:51:03   like that the screen doesn't even tell a thief how many digits it is so they don't even know

01:51:08   if it's eight or seven or nine it's just a field where you see bullets until you hit the

01:51:13   enter key and and put it in so that would be my other tip is if you want the ease of

01:51:19   using the numeric pad with your thumb for entering it don't even use a six-digit one

01:51:25   make a custom seven or eight-digit passcode or even use a six-digit code but have it so

01:51:30   that they don't know how many digits it is but if you're going to do custom you might

01:51:34   as well go to like nine digits or something yeah all right I I we finally covered it I'm

01:51:43   going to make a promise that you it will not be a full calendar year before you're back

01:51:48   on the show I'll come back when Apple makes changes that would definitely we'll have to

01:51:52   have an emergency podcast we'll have to emergency podcast and I really do hope I am I was really

01:51:58   really happy so thank you for asking them about that on stage I was happy to hear that

01:52:01   well and it wasn't just it wasn't even a favor to you honestly I I asked because I I really

01:52:07   do think it was again one of the most interesting stories of the year and it affects every single

01:52:11   person who owns one of these devices and that's everybody because it's every Android I mean

01:52:16   Apple's obviously not going to ship a solution for Android but you know well the big thing

01:52:20   I mean this is the and everyone has said why are you uncovering Android these thieves do

01:52:24   not go after and know that you had a great quote from the detective and Minnesota it

01:52:29   was like well I don't know it's all I know is we caught 50 we have 57 victims and they're

01:52:34   all iPhone owners yeah 99% are iPhones I mean and it's a hundred percent and I am still

01:52:40   looking at the story a little bit and Nicole and I are trying to figure out if we can if

01:52:44   we can keep digging but this is because of the resale value of the phones so it is funny

01:52:50   that Apple PR wants to say yeah but Android too but then you say yeah but they only take

01:52:55   iPhones because the resale value is higher and it's actually in the iPhones favor in

01:53:02   a way in a way but they don't right it's a good thing for Apple but in the context of

01:53:06   being a target of thieves they don't want to they don't it's almost like it makes their

01:53:10   PR heads explode because right they're like but on one hand this is really good people

01:53:14   want to buy our phones because they will sell them for more on the other hand oh shit they

01:53:19   can do this but and it's been really interesting we have not heard from any Android users and

01:53:25   and it makes sense right most are on 13 and 14 right because there's higher resale value

01:53:32   for the newer phones in many cases it's usually a brand new phone I think that they can obviously

01:53:37   tell just from looking at the phone whether they don't have a case on it I can't tell

01:53:41   you how many people have told me iPhone 14 Pro go yeah like that was the one that went

01:53:46   I had just gotten it or the max yes and the max is also better too because they can see

01:53:50   the passcode so yeah they they want yeah and you it had nothing to do with crime but you

01:53:57   also in the last year did a big big story on the whole used iPhone market like when

01:54:02   you when you sell them back to Apple or whoever else like you trade in yeah where they go

01:54:07   where do they go and what do they do but that and it's a huge industry and it's Apple Lisa

01:54:13   Jackson talks it up on stage in it's in terms of it being good for the environment because

01:54:20   iPhones have such lasting value that a three-year-old iPhone goes through the refurb process and

01:54:26   is a great buy at a great price for people to do it but it just shows like this whole

01:54:31   industry is about three-year-old iPhones or whatever two-year-old iPhones but that's

01:54:36   what makes them the target of thieves to that yeah the resale value is way higher for iPhones

01:54:42   yeah well maybe more to come on this we're looking into it I'm still on the I crime

01:54:46   beat I'm alright I loved it I loved reporting this story so if you if you have tips if you've

01:54:52   been a victim yeah iPhone crime any kind of tech crime please reach out to me at my Crime

01:54:57   Stoppers line thank you Joanna again promise it won't be another year let me thank our

01:55:01   sponsors our good friends we had Squarespace Trade Coffee and Rocket Money all great companies

01:55:09   and of course everybody can follow Joanna's great reporting at the Wall Street Journal

01:55:14   no no you can follow me on threads at Joanna Stern you can help me beat Jon Gruber in the

01:55:21   climb to more thread followers.