488: The New Numbers


00:00:00   [Music]

00:00:08   From Reel AFM, this is Upgrade Episode #488, recorded Monday, November 27, 2023.

00:00:17   And the show today is brought to you by Memberful, Ladder, and Notion. I am not Mike Hurley, but I am

00:00:24   Jason Snell, one of the voices you're used to hearing. Mike Hurley is on assignment with me, as

00:00:30   not always, and in fact quite rarely, is my guest host, James Thompson. Hello, James.

00:00:36   I'm a Brit, but probably not the one you were expecting.

00:00:40   Reference knowledge, there'll be more Doctor Who references later, we promise.

00:00:43   Yes, well, it's going to be 90% Doctor Who, 10%.

00:00:47   Welcome to Upgrade, a Doctor Who podcast.

00:00:53   Yeah, we are the Double J. James and Jason are here. I don't know who the third J would be.

00:00:58   Yeah, literally only deployed when nothing is happening whatsoever.

00:01:04   Yes, well, I thought I'd make it hard on you by doing an episode of Upgrade where,

00:01:08   because of the Thanksgiving holiday last week, essentially nothing has happened. But we're going

00:01:14   to find things to talk about. I suspect when I'm on podcast, generally, we find things to talk about.

00:01:20   Yeah. But before we do that, I would like to do what usually is our Snell Talk question,

00:01:26   but since you're here, and I'm hosting, and it's the most wonderful day of the year,

00:01:31   the most exciting time of the year, everybody. It's Cyber Monday. And while Thanksgiving is a

00:01:39   US only holiday, Cyber Monday is for the world. James, how are you feeling on Cyber Monday?

00:01:46   Well, I was at a Thanksgiving dinner at the weekend, so I mean, I've already been eased into

00:01:52   it. So yeah, I mean, I have spent, well, actually no money today because Cyber Monday is like Black

00:02:01   Friday month now, it seems to me. And I have had so many emails from LEGO,

00:02:11   Kobo, many other companies that just keep sending me emails like, "Maybe you didn't buy

00:02:19   anything yesterday, but maybe you'll buy something today. Would you like a £500 LEGO set?" Well, yes,

00:02:25   but no. Yeah. It sounds up your alley. It sounds like that's something you would like. I don't know

00:02:30   where you would put it. You're flat and small enough. I think you would need a room just

00:02:36   literally filled with LEGO and I mean filled about five feet high. So that would be awkward.

00:02:40   People who are viewing the video of this will see the... there used to be three frames filled

00:02:48   with LEGO minifigures behind me. There are now six, two of which are not currently filled,

00:02:52   but I'll get that. That's a great promotion for our videos that we do on various channels,

00:02:57   as well as sometimes experimenting with the full show on YouTube. By experimenting, I mean,

00:03:02   sometimes we post it. When we don't post it, it's because something horrible has failed.

00:03:05   It's not essential. We can't see each other here, even though James has just

00:03:09   specifically made reference to what's behind him. I don't even know what he's talking about.

00:03:13   That's a surprise for everyone. It is. That's great. I've been in that room. I've slept in

00:03:19   that room where you are now. But anyway, let's let's... Cyber Monday. I agree with you. I was

00:03:25   watching the Black Friday football game on Amazon Prime because Amazon Prime convinced two of this

00:03:31   country's great institutions, Amazon and the NFL, came together to put a football game on Black

00:03:37   Friday for the first time, where there were QR codes everywhere for various things you could buy.

00:03:43   I wonder how it did for them. But I did load one of the QR codes, which just went to a page with

00:03:49   Black Friday deals. And late on Black Friday evening, I switched to that tab or I reopened

00:03:56   Safari and it went to that tab and reloaded it. And what was it? It had already flipped over to

00:04:01   Cyber Monday deals. They just like, "Next, next up." And then after Cyber Monday, I don't know

00:04:06   what's next. Maybe it's literally just holiday buying from that point off. We don't even need

00:04:11   to cloak it in a clever phrase. When I was growing up, all the sales came after Christmas. It's like

00:04:16   your Boxing Day sales that we've lost. We've lost the true meaning of Christmas, which is the sales

00:04:22   that come after them. It's the Boxing Day sales. It's the war on Boxing Day sales. All right.

00:04:26   What we want to do here, and I just had this idea last night. I decided to go with it. Cyber Monday,

00:04:32   cyber from a period, a brief period where cyberspace, I guess, was a thing that people

00:04:37   in the general public tried to talk about for buying things on computers, which is what we now

00:04:42   just call shopping. But back in the day, it was novel. And so they lifted cyberspace, cyberpunk

00:04:49   kind of thing, William Gibson-esque. And so I thought we would do a little word association.

00:04:54   It's cyber word association. I looked in my dictionary app and saw all the words that start

00:04:59   with cyber, and I thought I would get your thoughts about them. Just quick word association.

00:05:04   Here we go. Cyber law. My mind immediately went to Robocop. Is he law or is he justice? Is he order?

00:05:13   Law and order, Robocop edition. He's kind of judged red, but more metal. Right. It's the American

00:05:23   judge dread Robocop. I think that's actually pretty fair. And nobody gets satire on either side.

00:05:30   Cyber crime. Well, chopper, the most chaotic neutral droid. Oh, from Star Wars Rebels, right?

00:05:37   Yes. My favorite droid who occasionally does war crimes, but is apparently lovable.

00:05:43   I should have said, by the way, that these cyber words were randomized by random.org. So

00:05:50   they're coming in any order, no particular order. Cyber surfing, James.

00:05:54   MG. Well, I'm as old as you, and my mind immediately went to Cyberdog,

00:06:00   Apple's web browser of the late '90s. CB; I mean, even calling it a web browser

00:06:08   is not quite right because it was OpenDoc, right? So it was like a web browser window you could put

00:06:16   in documents. It was very strange. And I never understood why they called it Cyberdog,

00:06:23   although I read recently that apparently it was just in a reference to that on the internet,

00:06:27   no one knows you're a dog saying. They're like, product name.

00:06:32   I'm trying to remember what it is. I was watching last night that had a club called Cyberdog in the

00:06:39   background of the shot. Oh, man.

00:06:40   That's why it was in my mind. But we've forgotten Cyberdog.

00:06:44   Cyberdog, it was in some ways the epitome of '90s Apple, the bad product name, the unclear concept.

00:06:55   We spent a lot of money on R&D trying to develop technologies without actually figuring out

00:07:02   how they would be used. Wow, Cyberdog. Cybernaught.

00:07:08   Well, the naught just to me, I thought of Micronauts.

00:07:13   Oh, my favorite toy from when I was a child. Also astronauts and cosmonauts, James. Those are more

00:07:18   common naughts. Yeah, but are they real?

00:07:21   I never encountered the Micronaut comics. I only ever encountered the toys, and the toys turned up

00:07:30   in the discount toy places. So I would go and I would buy quite a lot of these heavily reduced,

00:07:39   transparent little people and fun ships and bases and stuff. And they are probably all still in my

00:07:49   parents' attic somewhere, and I need to go digging. You should. And if you don't want them, I'll take

00:07:54   them, but you should want them. Cyber Slacker. Well, what came to my mind for this was Bill

00:08:02   and Ted, but the robot versions from the second Bill and Ted movie.

00:08:06   I don't know. I'm going to actually open the dictionary for this one, but this is there.

00:08:10   There is not a more 90s word than Cyber Slacker. I think a person who uses their employers internet

00:08:15   and email facilities for personal activities during working hours. See, we don't even have

00:08:20   this word anymore because it's everybody. I think that's called employees.

00:08:22   Employees. Yes, exactly. Cyberphobe.

00:08:26   And I don't know why, but my brain said John Siracusa because, well, that's just what came

00:08:34   to mind. He gives his judgments on various things. But he has no fear. Is cyberphobe

00:08:41   definition a person with an extreme or irrational fear of computers? I guess to truly know them,

00:08:46   you must fear them. I think he just doesn't like them, which I guess is different from

00:08:51   fearing them. But you know, phobe, you can take that in multiple ways.

00:08:55   All right, I'll let you. Cybercafe. Well, again, I don't know. My mind just went

00:09:04   to a robot cat cafe, which I think would be good because I don't like cat cafes. Well,

00:09:11   I like cats, right? Cats are great. I don't like cat cafes because all the cats tend to be,

00:09:18   shall we say, sedated by a variety of things, and I feel bad for the cats. I'm sure it's just so that

00:09:26   they can have a chill life with all the annoying children running around wanting to hug them, but

00:09:33   robot cats. What I want to say here, and this is true, is cybercafe is actually a cat cafe.

00:09:37   But imagine instead of cats, they had computers. So you come in and you can sort of like,

00:09:43   don't pick up the classic unless it gets on your lap. Just sit down and put your hands on it.

00:09:50   And I would also say that this is yet another word where cybercafe, a place where you go to maybe

00:09:57   drink coffee and also be on the internet, now just a cafe. Cyber squatting.

00:10:03   CB; And Ted Lasso domain names because I had so many Ted Lasso ones that were shown in the show,

00:10:12   and Apple never registered them, so I registered them.

00:10:15   CB; You were a cyber squatter on Ted Lasso branding domain names. I believe you let that

00:10:21   go. So people who are out there who want to get it from a season one episode of Ted Lasso, a domain

00:10:27   that appeared in the background, if you want to own it, you can own it now. CB; Yeah, this is my

00:10:33   gift to everyone. CB; Cyber war. CB; Again, the word that just came into my mind was Twitter,

00:10:43   because that's really all it is these days, and it's nothing that I want anything to do with.

00:10:49   But yeah, it's just a battlefield. CB; Cyber attack. CB; When I'm in the kitchen

00:10:58   trying to get something and the Roomba bumps into me, it should know where I am, but it's not very

00:11:08   smart, our Roomba. CB; Do you do the thing where you see the Roomba coming and you just,

00:11:12   it's like the Roomba Roomba, it's like a dance where you just keep your feet moving just ahead,

00:11:18   so you can always just sort of like, "Oh, it's coming back. I'm going to take a step." And

00:11:21   I do that a lot in the kitchen because whatever timing I have, it seems inevitable that when I'm

00:11:26   trying to make myself a sandwich, the Roomba is in the kitchen. The Roomba is a great idea for a

00:11:31   product for somebody who doesn't work at home, and I work at home like you do. And it's less good

00:11:36   because you have to dodge a robot as it roams around your house. It's less good. Cyberpunk.

00:11:42   MG; Keanu Reeves, the original cyberpunk. He's been in so many--well, okay, not the original,

00:11:50   but in my heart. CB; It's your word association.

00:11:53   I shouldn't be so judgy. MG; Oh, somebody has just posted a

00:11:58   picture of the Cyberdog Place, which now tell me what show I was watching yesterday. It's a shop

00:12:04   in Camden. CB; Yeah, you were watching Doctor Who, and it's come back to Doctor Who again because

00:12:07   that cyberdog-- MG; Was it Doctor Who?

00:12:08   CB; Is in the background. MG; Must have been Doctor Who. Yes, it was Doctor Who.

00:12:11   CB; Yeah, it seems very weird because they have cybermen, and that's not even in this.

00:12:14   Cyberpunk, of course, I will always think of it's a genre of fiction.

00:12:19   William Gibson, Neuromancer, and all of that, but Keanu Reeves can be the living embodiment.

00:12:24   MG; Yeah, Johnny Mnemonic. CB; He was in Johnny Mnemonic, yeah, sure.

00:12:27   Cyberstore, James, Cyberstore. MG; And Sharper Image. It was always the high-tech

00:12:35   seller of TAT when I was in the store. CB; And now we would just call that an online store, but

00:12:41   back in the day, Cyberstore was something special. Cybercast.

00:12:45   MG; Well, I immediately think of Roboism with Kathy Campbell and Alex, so that's just some

00:12:54   branding. CB; Cybercast actually is listed as a video broadcast of an event transmitted over the

00:13:00   internet. Welcome, everyone, to the Upgrade Cybercast. Only on YouTube, though. Here,

00:13:06   it's just a podcast instead. We don't have the cyber. We're leaving the cyber for CyberTube,

00:13:12   which is probably what they used to think they would call it. Cybermall.

00:13:15   MG; I wrote an abandoned metaverse version of the former Valkoball in Cupertina,

00:13:24   which was an interesting model because I watched it over several decades go from a bustling hive

00:13:32   of capitalism to closing one shop after another. Then everybody moved up to one level and they

00:13:39   started to close, and then it went away. The saddest thing I have ever seen is David Price

00:13:45   sitting at a small table in the middle of Valco trying to sign autographs for 10 pounds, and there

00:13:51   was nobody there. CB; Well, that's not good. Cybermall, by the way, officially in the dictionary

00:13:56   as a commercial website through which a range of goods may be purchased. You don't say. Cybernetics,

00:14:04   a real word. MG; Yeah, well, you know, it's a T-800 or something like that because, I don't know,

00:14:14   cybernetics just now, I just think of sci-fi things rather than real things. CB;

00:14:20   I know now why you humans cry. Cyberkondriak. MG; Well, I wrote down Marvin the Paranoid Android,

00:14:29   but I mean, he did have a pain in the diets down his left side, so I don't think he was a

00:14:35   cyberkondriak, really. CB; Apparently, a cyberkondriak is somebody who compulsively searches

00:14:39   the internet for symptoms. It's the WebMD addict, basically. I get it. You've got everything.

00:14:47   MG; Now known as human being. CB; Yes. Cyberculture. MG; I visualized an exhibition of AI

00:14:56   stolen art, you know, just a whole load of things that were nicked from other artists. CB; Nice,

00:15:04   nice. The dictionary definition is "the social conditions brought about by the widespread use

00:15:08   of computer networks for communication, entertainment, and business." In other words,

00:15:12   you're soaking in it. Cyberpet? MG; Also cyberdog. CB; Okay, well, we came all the way back around.

00:15:21   I think a Tamagotchi is a cyberpet, so that tells you how timely that word is.

00:15:28   MG; They keep trying to bring Tamagotchis back, like their color now. CB; Yeah, well, I mean,

00:15:34   sure. The final word is cyberbullying. MG; And I said what the Discord does to Mike every week.

00:15:40   CB; Yeah, I was going to say, whenever Mike is challenged in any way that's not in person,

00:15:47   and honestly, even when it's in person, he thinks that it's cyberbullying. That's not how that

00:15:51   works. All right, well, thank you for participating in our first and last Cyber Word Association game.

00:15:58   I do want to tell people that the upgradees are still open for nominations. This is the 10th,

00:16:06   believe it or not, annual upgradees. You can go to upgradees.vote. Nominations run until December

00:16:13   5th, so you've got a little bit more time. You've got another week. We really rely on your

00:16:18   nominations. Not only is it great to get the voice of the upgradeians in the upgradees, but also you

00:16:24   get to tell us about things that we don't know about. We'll go, "Oh, what's that?" and we'll check

00:16:29   it out. And sometimes that leads to us talking about it or writing about it and maybe making it

00:16:35   a nominee or a winner. So we could not do the upgradees without your help, or at least we could,

00:16:40   but it wouldn't be as good. So please help us. upgradees.vote. That episode is coming out on

00:16:44   December 18th, a little bit earlier than usual, because we've got some other special stuff planned

00:16:51   for the rest of this month and into the beginning of next year. So you can see all the previous

00:16:56   winners of the award at upgradees.com, of course. I will not try and influence the vote in any way.

00:17:03   Okay, good. Good. Good job. Upgrade Plus, by the way, if you love upgrade and want to hear more of

00:17:09   it, please subscribe to Upgrade Plus. No ads, bonus content every week, access to the excellent Relay

00:17:14   FM members Discord, and there is a special deal right now. Until December 15th, you can get 20%

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00:17:37   who knows what we're going to talk about, but I'm going to guess it's probably going to be

00:17:40   Doctor Who related. Who knows? Who knows, eh? Who knows? Let's do a little bit of follow-up. Open AI,

00:17:48   Mike and I decided to take the brave step to talk about Open AI last Monday, thinking it's probably

00:17:54   over, right? It's probably over now and there will be no more news about Open AI. I don't think we

00:18:00   actually believe that, but we thought we could maybe like slide in some takes on last Monday,

00:18:04   and I'm glad we did. But just to wrap that up in a bow in case you were not paying attention,

00:18:10   the board realized that the whole company was going to dissolve and Satya Nadella, as Mike said,

00:18:19   he's a stone cold killer, said we could just take them all at Microsoft, which seems like it was

00:18:24   basically a ploy to get Open AI to do what they did, which is reshape the board and bring Sam

00:18:30   Altman back. So in the end, I don't know what the net result is other than Sam Altman's back.

00:18:36   He's not on the board. The board is still sort of semi-independent. Their weird governance is

00:18:41   still there, but I feel like if nothing else, there is now kind of an acceptance that Open AI

00:18:47   is going to do what it's going to do and the board is probably not going to suddenly fire everybody.

00:18:52   MG Yeah, it did seem coincidental,

00:18:56   perhaps, that all the women have now been removed from the board. The ones who wanted, perhaps,

00:19:02   to consider the ethics of rushing to ship generative AI products without thinking of all

00:19:08   the implications of that are now gone. So good job.

00:19:14   CB They just got in the way, I guess. Get them out of there. I could say things ironically now that

00:19:22   I'm not going to say, right? Because it would all be funny, but also kind of unpleasant. So I'm just

00:19:26   going to move on and mention another thing that is something that we cover on Upgrade from Time

00:19:32   to Time, which is Apple's little holiday films that they released. They released a new one. It's

00:19:36   called Fuzzy Feelings. Put a link in the show notes to that. And over at Six Colors, my pal

00:19:43   Andy Anotko wrote a, I think, funny article about his journey while watching this video about empathy

00:19:51   that includes... It's about a bad boss, but is he really a bad boss? Because the main character is

00:19:59   late for work and the boss says, "You're late for work." And is he being mean about it? But she's

00:20:05   making an elaborate stop motion video in which she gets to harm him in various ways. But in the end,

00:20:13   she learns that he's a human being, which she should have known all along and ends up being nice

00:20:19   to him at the end. So it's a weird... I enjoyed it. And I think that it's very impressive that in

00:20:24   a few minutes it takes you on a whole journey, a whole story arc. I thought it was a lot of fun and

00:20:30   it looks really great, but it is weird. It's a little weird. I had slightly a different response

00:20:36   to watching it. I think that boss deserved everything that he was getting in Felt and Life.

00:20:44   Why did she suck it up and be nice to him just because he knitted her a sock? He eats alone

00:20:50   because he's a bad boss, a bad human. I didn't feel that he had earned the redemption

00:20:59   because I thoroughly was impressed by the various murder scenarios that she had dreamed up for him

00:21:08   because it started with him losing his trousers and then go on a bit and he was being hit by cars

00:21:15   and all sorts of things. And I thought, "This is a really interesting Apple advert. I'm not sure

00:21:22   what the message is, but I'm really on board." And then she kind of like... Because I think she was

00:21:29   coming in late because she doesn't want to be at work. He's terrible. He doesn't take any of her

00:21:37   feedback. He closes the door when she's coming up to try and talk to him about things. Don't give

00:21:44   up on your Felt murder dreams, lady. (laughs) So you're disappointed that it takes a turn at the

00:21:49   end where she learns the spirit of the holiday season and human empathy. Yeah, I think he should

00:21:54   have learned something. No. Interesting. All right, well, that's our follow-up.

00:22:01   I feel conflicted about it now. Let me take a pause to tell you about our sponsors this week.

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00:25:23   All right. It's time for the details.

00:25:31   James, you didn't do the hoo-hoo. Okay. I did my own hoo-hoo and no, we all know how painful that

00:25:38   can be. All right. I had a rental car this weekend. I just am telling you a little story. It's vaguely

00:25:43   Beta. I almost said Beta. You're doing it to me. It's Beta related, James. I had a rental car with

00:25:50   CarPlay this weekend because I don't have cars with CarPlay. So then I get rental cars with

00:25:55   CarPlay. It's very exciting. This was a Jeep Wrangler. Shout out to Casey Liss. I was driving

00:26:00   a Jeep in the snow in Colorado. And I had a couple of observations. One is the shared playlist

00:26:11   feature in CarPlay, which we didn't use and none of my family knew about. And I'm not sure, is it

00:26:17   in there in the shipping version? Have they added that or is it in the 17.2 Beta? I'm not sure. You

00:26:23   don't drive. So how would you know? I don't drive and I don't have CarPlay. Not a real road tripper.

00:26:28   And I only installed the 17.2 Beta this morning. Okay. Well, it is a new feature of 17 at least,

00:26:36   whether it's in the shipping version or not. And I think that would be great because my daughter was

00:26:41   trying to pick songs for us to listen to when we were on a long part of the drive and driving from

00:26:46   the airport because the airport in Denver is very far away from everything. And she's like pulls the

00:26:54   USB-C cable as far as she can away from where it's plugged into the car in order to use it. And I'm

00:26:59   sitting there looking at the taught USB-C cable as she was trying to pick music. And I thought,

00:27:03   well, this is the perfect example of bringing up that share interface where you can have a shared

00:27:08   playlist of what's coming up next and people can add songs to it, which I can't wait to use that

00:27:14   feature, but I still haven't used it despite that. But it got me thinking about the other feature

00:27:18   that I really want to try. And that is in the 17.2 Beta for sure, which is collaborative playlists.

00:27:25   The idea that I can make a playlist. I was thinking about this because I used to have a

00:27:28   playlist that is at various points in a failure of iTunes or the music app. I don't know which. I

00:27:33   lost this. It's probably still on an iPod somewhere in my drawer. I could maybe see what songs were on

00:27:40   it from that, but it was a favorite humorous playlist of mine called Creepy Stalkers, where

00:27:46   it was good songs. And then you listen to the lyrics and realize that it is about very bad

00:27:51   behavior by people who really need to just let it go and move on with their lives. But it makes for

00:27:56   good songs, but it's also creepy. And I was talking to my daughter about it, and she had a bunch of

00:28:03   suggestions of songs that I don't know that were also sort of creepy stalker-esque. And I had that

00:28:07   moment of thinking, this is what a shared playlist is for. So one of these days, those collaborative

00:28:14   playlists will come out, and I will try that USB road trip control the music feature, which let me

00:28:20   tell you, have there been shouting arguments in my life about who gets to choose what song plays on

00:28:26   the radio? Yeah, yeah. At least one. So this is a good feature, and I'm looking forward to it. But

00:28:33   neither of those things have I tried yet. And at least one of them, and maybe both of them,

00:28:38   is in the beta. So yeah, I thought I would slide it into details. This is all about Cars, James. So

00:28:43   very little relevance to you, really. MG Yeah. Well, I was gonna say whenever we do

00:28:47   long car journeys, we end up listening to either podcasts or audiobooks. So it's not something

00:28:53   that is like... There's usually debate over, will we listen to my podcasts or will we listen to

00:28:59   Saskia's podcasts, which are quite different. She listens to a lot of things that are sort of

00:29:05   worthy in nature, whereas I listen to things which are mostly about video games.

00:29:09   JONATHAN Right. Yeah, that is the issue. In our four-family group, we will occasionally listen

00:29:16   to podcasts together, but it's fairly rare. Usually it's more like, let's just get some music on so

00:29:21   we're not just sitting there and listening to the road and occasionally saying something. We do talk,

00:29:27   but it's nice to kind of have something in the background. But anyway...

00:29:31   MG The last time, I was just thinking we did put on an audiobook for a long drive,

00:29:36   and it started, I would say, right in the middle of an extremely explicit scene,

00:29:40   which made for a, you know, like a 10-minute kind of awkward drive.

00:29:45   JONATHAN You have to turn on the defogger. All the windows got fogged up while you were listening.

00:29:51   What is a long drive for you? Well, 30 minutes.

00:29:56   MG You're not wrong. Driving to Edinburgh is a long-ish drive because that's like 45 minutes

00:30:05   to an hour. JONATHAN Wow. It's a little island. It's a little island.

00:30:09   All right. In the spirit of Cyber Monday and the holiday season, which is all about commerce,

00:30:17   of course, I thought we would do another quick segment about where we are right now in terms of

00:30:27   Apple products. Just a little idea I had, because we don't have news to talk about, which is like,

00:30:33   go through the list of current Apple products and say, what would we recommend for people who are

00:30:38   looking for something for this season of commerce? And what will we not? Do you get it? You get the

00:30:44   concept here? MG It seems fairly straightforward.

00:30:47   JONATHAN All right. MacBook Pro. Start easy.

00:30:51   MG I mean, that seems to be the easy one to recommend. Nice, nice new chips.

00:30:59   Full range of things. You can spend infinite, almost infinite amounts of money if you want

00:31:06   to fully spake one of those. And as we discovered, the high-end Macs ones, they beat my M1 Ultra Mac

00:31:16   Studio by significant amounts. And that makes me sad. JONATHAN Yeah. Yeah. I think this is the

00:31:22   easiest one on the list, honestly, is if you are looking for a MacBook Pro for you or someone else,

00:31:28   now is a good time to buy. The usual caveats apply. I feel like

00:31:33   for all of our consternation about that low-end MacBook Pro, I think it's better than what was

00:31:41   there before. But I would still say what I said back then is still true now, which is,

00:31:46   if it's in your budget to go up to the $2,000 model that has the M3 Pro chip in it,

00:31:56   instead of just the M3, do that because you get a lot more for your money once you break that

00:32:02   1999 barrier. But yeah, now is a perfect time for that. What do you think about the MacBook Air?

00:32:10   Would you recommend anybody buy a MacBook Air now? It is both a great product, but also a little bit

00:32:16   longer the tooth? MG Yeah. I mean,

00:32:19   I was thinking about that because I'm in the market for something, and I don't know what,

00:32:24   because I usually have the split lifestyle of I have my Mac Studio, which is where I do all the

00:32:31   sort of heavy lifting, and then I have something that I sit on the sofa and answer emails on and

00:32:36   things. And that seems like the perfect candidate for a MacBook Air. But there's just part of me

00:32:42   that's thinking, "Yes, but if I waited maybe until March, maybe I would get an M3 MacBook Air." So,

00:32:49   it's really nice. It's fast. It's decent. But maybe wait?

00:32:55   CB I'm going to come down as saying,

00:32:59   'tis the season to buy a MacBook Air. The MacBook Air M2 is amazing. The M3 will be

00:33:08   incrementally better, but only incrementally. I think it won't change in any substantive ways,

00:33:13   other than the chip inside. I think it's already great. If it's in your price range,

00:33:20   when you're looking for a product like this that doesn't have the Pro chip and the Pro features

00:33:25   and all of that, I think it's going to not matter whether you get an M2 or an M3 because it's going

00:33:31   to last a long time. I really love that laptop. I love the design of it. I love everything about it.

00:33:36   And there's a 13 and a 15-inch version now, which I know that, although I always like little

00:33:42   laptops, it's a stumbling block for some people. And so, to have a more affordable large screen

00:33:48   laptop, there may be somebody, you or somebody in your life who has either shied away from the

00:33:53   MacBook Air because of the screen size or has maybe spent too much money, maybe they got an

00:33:58   Intel MacBook Pro and one of the reasons they do is just because they wanted a bigger screen,

00:34:03   this would be a perfectly great time to get them a MacBook Air. And honestly, if you are on a

00:34:09   serious budget and you want to get somebody a computer and they don't need a lot of horsepower,

00:34:15   I think you can find the M1 MacBook Air for like $799 now. That's a great deal on a really good

00:34:21   computer that will serve you for years because the M1 alone, it's not the new design, it's the

00:34:26   old style design and all that, but you know what? It's an Apple Silicon Mac and it's going to be

00:34:33   great. It will stay in service and be a modern Mac for a long, long time to come.

00:34:38   MG Yeah, I mean, even the lowest of the Apple Silicon chips are significantly better than many,

00:34:47   if not most of the Intel Macs that ever existed. CB; We have this effect because this is a tech

00:34:54   podcast and we are tech nerds and we live in tech nerd circles and sometimes I think we lose sight.

00:35:00   This is one of the reasons why everybody got angry with me when I talked about low price

00:35:05   MacBook Pros with not enough RAM. Some people don't have our priorities and they don't have

00:35:12   our use cases and they don't have our budgets. And Apple Silicon, like talking about an M1 Air,

00:35:19   I know that there are probably a lot of people out there like, "Oh, but it's so old and outmoded."

00:35:23   And it's like, yeah, it's true, but it's also $799 and the person who's thinking of buying it,

00:35:28   they probably have some battered MacBook Air from 2016, something like that, right? That's 2015.

00:35:39   They've got, I know people who are replacing computers that are six, seven years old, right?

00:35:46   Which most tech nerds, except John Siracusa won't do, but people do. And anybody coming from Intel,

00:35:55   especially from like deep history of Intel, Macs, an M1 Air is going to... First off,

00:36:02   they've been proven that they can hang onto a computer and use it for years and they want to

00:36:06   get productivity out of it. And I think once you cross over into Apple Silicon, even if it's just

00:36:10   an M1, you are going to get productivity for years. It's going to be a huge boost and you

00:36:15   are going to be good for a long time because I think Apple is going to be very good about,

00:36:19   not only is it a big boost, but Apple is going to support Apple Silicon for a while,

00:36:24   all the way back to M1, I think. I think the support will be solid for the chips that it

00:36:29   controls. So I think it's a good deal. I think if 799 or maybe even cheaper on sale,

00:36:36   that M1... I would choose the M2 if you've got the budget because it's more modern and it's beautiful,

00:36:42   but not everybody can do that. Or they're buying it for a kid or something and they're like,

00:36:46   "I can't, I'm not going to spend $1,000 on a..." I get it. 799 M1 Air is a pretty great deal.

00:36:53   Yeah. Max Studio.

00:36:55   Well, if you're the kind of person that's buying a Max Studio, you probably would want the M3 Ultra

00:37:06   Max Studio. I agree completely. I think this is a don't buy it.

00:37:09   Yeah, it is because it is... Yes, the M2 is good. The M3 will be significantly better. I mean,

00:37:17   as we've seen, the M3, just the Max ones are beating the Ultra for a lot of stuff.

00:37:24   And keep in mind, Max Studio is Ultra and Max. They don't use the Pro chip in the Studio. They

00:37:30   use the Max and the Ultra. And the Max is the one that is so much faster than the previous generations

00:37:36   of Max where they really souped it up. And then imagine an Ultra on top of that. But even if

00:37:40   you're just in the market for the Max version, the base model Max Studio, I think you're going

00:37:44   to want to wait for the M3 because I'm certainly looking at that and thinking that's going to be a

00:37:49   very impressive upgrade. And those things are so expensive. I mean,

00:37:53   it is a tiny cube that'll cost you whatever, $5,000 to $10,000. And yeah, I'm looking at it

00:38:03   because I've got my M1 one. Me too.

00:38:05   And I love it. It's great. It's fast. And now I'm seeing that it is slowly falling off the

00:38:14   performance curve. And I am running into things where it's like, it would actually be nice.

00:38:19   Maybe I should have specced it when I got it originally with more GPU cores. I didn't think

00:38:24   that they were useful. Apparently they are useful now.

00:38:26   And just to be clear, the base model Ultra starts at $2,000 for the Max version. The Ultra,

00:38:33   the Max is $2,000, the Ultra is $4,000, right? Yeah.

00:38:37   Yeah. So you choose your cube of power,

00:38:42   something they said to Loki at some point, I think. But I think anybody who's looking at that

00:38:48   should probably wait, right? Because performance obviously matters to them, or they would get a Mac

00:38:52   Mini where it matters less. Speaking of which, Mac Mini. And I feel like I want to say something

00:38:58   similar to the MacBook Air, which is I'm sure there will be M3 Mac Minis next year. Well,

00:39:04   I'm not sure. I'm less sure than of some other systems, but I think probably. And I think if

00:39:08   you're in the market for a Mac Mini, I don't think it matters. I bought a Mac M2 Mac Mini

00:39:12   a few months ago. I think it's fine because you're using those for utility. If you're using it as a

00:39:19   main computer, you know what you need. And I think that getting an M2 Pro or an M2

00:39:24   base Mac Mini is not going to be like the M3. If it does roll out, I don't think you're going to

00:39:31   say, "Oh no, I missed all these wonderful features." Because I really doubt it's going to just be a

00:39:35   little bit faster. I don't think it's going to be as big a deal. You could do it. If you need it now,

00:39:38   you could buy it now and be okay. Yeah. Get a Mac Mini under the tree. Mac Pro, what do you think?

00:39:44   I mean, I would argue, was it ever a good time to buy a Mac Pro? Solid. I was going to say the

00:39:51   same thing. I mean, if you want to buy it, we're not going to stop you. We're not the law. We're

00:39:56   not Judge Dredd and/or whoever we said the American equivalent of Judge Dredd was. RoboCop. We're not

00:40:01   RoboCop either, no. You have more than 20 seconds to comply. I don't know what it's for. I think

00:40:13   it's because they said, "We're going to ship a Mac Pro." And so they've shipped a Mac Pro. But

00:40:18   the Mac Studio is fine for... I mean, the Mac Studio is not a low-end computer.

00:40:26   And it's pretty pro enough for, I think, almost everybody. I just don't see the point.

00:40:35   Yeah. I mean, if somebody wants it, I think that's great. I have said for a long time that there is a

00:40:44   volume that Apple has as a minimum for shipping anything. Even a Mac, you have to sell a certain

00:40:51   number of them. The Mac Pro kind of goes against that. I'm sure that they are... First off, they're

00:40:58   doing it because they sort of made that promise and they designed that case and they want to

00:41:03   deliver something in that case. And I'm sure that they've heard from certain key customers who have

00:41:09   IO card needs that the compact systems that are kind of like laptops that Apple does everywhere

00:41:17   else in the Mac line now aren't going to fulfill their needs. I would even argue then you could

00:41:22   probably do it with Thunderbolt in the breakout box. But maybe there are cases where that's not

00:41:26   even true or you wanted something cleaner than a breakout box connected by a cable. Okay. But

00:41:32   they've got to know how many Mac Pros they're ever going to sell. And it can't be a large number,

00:41:37   but they must think that it's key sites and they already have the case and they already have the

00:41:41   chips. It probably is the reason why they never did the quad chip version because it was hard and

00:41:46   they're like, "We're not going to sell any of them because it's going to cost a fortune."

00:41:49   MG - That's what I was going to say is like the one thing that I think would give it some kind

00:41:54   of revitalization is if they did actually put in an even more ultra chip into the thing. But yeah,

00:42:03   for whatever reason, that's not happened. So for most people, there's not much in it.

00:42:07   CB - All right, next year, no new iPads this year. Next year, all new iPads. So I think the default

00:42:17   answer here should probably be no. MG - Yeah, I mean, I've had people say,

00:42:23   "Should I buy an iPad?" And I've literally told them, "Well, probably not because they haven't

00:42:27   touched them in a year. And there's going to be a whole load of catch up you will get in the 18

00:42:35   months since the last load." CB - There is one iPad that I am supremely

00:42:40   confident will still be on sale this time next year, and that's the low-end, 10th generation iPad.

00:42:46   Because even if they come out with an 11th generation iPad, they will still sell the

00:42:52   10th generation iPad at a discounted price. And honestly, if you just want a low-end iPad,

00:42:59   just to replace my iPad - and frankly, I think most people who are not very techy

00:43:04   don't need anything more than the base model iPad. And that's a really nice, they redesigned it,

00:43:09   it feels much more modern. It's got the touch ID button instead of the home button on the front.

00:43:16   Feels like a modern iPad while being pretty affordable. I assume next year it'll come down

00:43:21   in price, but still, that would be something that I might recommend to people right now.

00:43:25   For everything else, I think I'd say wait and see. MG - Unless it's something that you're giving as a

00:43:30   Christmas present, then yeah. CB - Yeah, I mean, even then, I mean, yeah, you can do what you want,

00:43:36   but even then you're like, "Oh, here's this iPad Air that's kind of stale and is going to be

00:43:40   replaced with something new next year." Yeah, do it if it makes sense, but it's not the savvy choice.

00:43:48   It doesn't mean that if you see it or get a good deal or whatever, you couldn't make it.

00:43:51   I put the iPhone down here. I mean, they turn the iPhone over every year in the fall. This is why,

00:43:57   right? If you want an iPhone, get it, I think. MG - Yeah, I mean, I think it only becomes more

00:44:05   of an issue when you... Because we know what the cycle is. It's unlikely that they're just going

00:44:10   to turn around in July and say, "Surprise, new iPhones." So it's only when you're past that

00:44:18   six months, which I think in my head of, and you're getting closer to the new phones than

00:44:26   than you are far from the other ones. But yeah, I mean...

00:44:31   CB; As designed. MG - The iPhones are great.

00:44:34   CB; They are. 15s are good. Never a bad time. And then the older models actually are pretty good too,

00:44:40   and you get deals on those too. But this is how they get you. It's literally designed so that when

00:44:46   people have a conversation like this in the buying season that the iPhones are all there and they're

00:44:53   fresh and they're ready to go. Don't buy an iPhone SE now because I think that's about ready to turn

00:44:58   over again. And the Apple Watch is a similar story, right? I think that if you want to get

00:45:04   a new Apple Watch, well, guess what? They just made new Apple Watches for you,

00:45:07   a new series, a new Ultra, and go for it. MG - I mean, they did kind of make new ones,

00:45:15   but also they kind of seem quite similar to the previous generations.

00:45:19   CB - Sure, sure. But if you're in the market now, I think you don't need to fear like,

00:45:22   "Oh, but they're about to unveil a brand new amazing..." There's even the rumor of the Apple

00:45:26   Watch 10 kind of thing out there, and it's unclear if that will come next year or if it might be

00:45:32   further down the line. So I wouldn't... In terms of the like, "Should I buy something now or should

00:45:38   I wait because something new is around the corner?" Yeah, no, the Apple Watch progress is slow, but

00:45:43   the latest ones are refreshed and they're ready for you if you want to buy them. You can do it.

00:45:48   MG - I think we didn't mention the iMac. CB - Oh, we didn't. I skipped right over the iMac. We should

00:45:53   mention it. It just came out. I think you should buy it, right? Like, if you want it, buy it.

00:45:59   MG - Unless you're really wanting a big one, in which case, well...

00:46:05   CB - You're not gonna get it. MG - You're not waiting like six months is not gonna have that.

00:46:10   CB - I just talked to somebody about this who... I forget. I think it was in a member

00:46:14   Discord, maybe the Six Colors Discord, and in the end it was... Their solution was they found a deal

00:46:20   on an LG Ultrafine 5K 27-inch monitor, which is much cheaper than the Apple Studio display

00:46:27   or the Samsung display, which I didn't like, but which is comparable to the Studio display,

00:46:31   and a Mac Mini, and that was in their price range. And the truth is that although

00:46:40   buying an external display, even a Studio display, and a computer is going to be more expensive than

00:46:45   buying an iMac, the beauty of it is that that display will last you a long time, and in three or

00:46:51   four years or five years or whatever, you could buy a new Mac Mini and still use that perfectly

00:46:57   fine display, and that's when you start to save money, is because you're just replacing

00:47:03   the computer and you're keeping that display, but you do have to buy that. There's the initial

00:47:07   investment in the display, and I know that people are... The Ultrafine, nobody seems to love the

00:47:13   Ultrafine, but it is the iMac 27-inch panel, and it looks good, even if it's not Apple-level of

00:47:21   quality of build, and then you can get a Mac Studio if you want to, but you can get a Mac Mini,

00:47:28   and you can put that together pretty reasonably. If you're a 27-inch iMac user who is frustrated

00:47:34   and doesn't like the 24-inch M3 iMac, although if you haven't seen it, you should go to an Apple

00:47:41   store if you can and see it, because it's pretty good. It may be enough screen for you, but if it's

00:47:46   not, then I think the 27-inch display and a Mac Mini will give you... I mean, base Mac Mini will

00:47:53   give you iMac performance, right? It's not an M3, but it's an M2. It's close enough, and then if you

00:48:00   want a little more performance, you can get the Pro version, which no iMac has right now. So,

00:48:05   and again, you scale it up. If you want Mac Studio, use the same display with that.

00:48:09   MG - The only thing, the only sort of possible wildcard in this whole scenario is it is the

00:48:17   40th anniversary of the Mac in January, and there's part of me, because there was the 20th

00:48:22   anniversary Mac, which was a ridiculously... I mean, it was kind of like an iMac ahead of its

00:48:30   time. It was a flat screen. CB - And to be clear, not 20 years ago, because it was the 20th anniversary

00:48:36   of the founding of Apple, not the 20th anniversary of the Mac, and came out a year too late. MG - But

00:48:41   still, 40th anniversary of the Mac, maybe they do something fancy, something nice. CB - It won't be

00:48:51   an iMac though, because they said they're not going to do an iMac. As much as I'm skeptical

00:48:56   that they said we're not going to do a 27-inch iMac, which everybody who's read is like, "Ah,

00:49:01   but what about a 30-inch iMac or a 32-inch iMac?" All that. I get that. The fact that they went to

00:49:06   the trouble of reading that statement out to journalists and reviewers, and you know,

00:49:12   like, I got it. I was sent it, right? Here is a statement from Apple. It wasn't, "A dogged

00:49:17   journalist finally gotten a PR person to confirm this thing." It's like, no, they sent out a

00:49:21   crafted statement about not doing a bigger iMac. I think that implies that it's going to be a while

00:49:27   before there's a bigger iMac if there ever is. I think that you don't worry about it. But yes,

00:49:32   maybe they'll do something wacky for the 40th anniversary of the Mac. It could happen.

00:49:36   MG - I would like to see them do something different and interesting. You know, maybe,

00:49:41   like we've talked a long time about, convertible things that, you know, could become like,

00:49:47   it's like an iMac, but it's also a big tablet or, you know, like drawing thing or whatever.

00:49:53   It would be nice if they did something that we haven't seen before. I don't think it's likely,

00:49:58   but it's just that day because it's the day before my birthday, so I always think of it.

00:50:03   CB - A little birthday present for you from Apple. I should probably say this for some sort of

00:50:10   annual pick, extravaganza, or a year in preview and all that, but I'll give a preview here of it,

00:50:15   which is my wild idea. If they do something pretty wacky for the 40th anniversary of the Mac,

00:50:20   it would be announcing new iPad Pros that will run macOS in a VM.

00:50:29   MG - Or they announce for the 40th anniversary of the Mac that they're getting rid of the Mac.

00:50:34   CB - Oh, okay. Well, that's a bummer, but I mean, you do you, Apple.

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00:52:17   James, you are a very kind co-host who gave me a topic today. I have to build this. You know,

00:52:27   Mike gives me topics. Mike's up. I'm sleeping. It's Monday. It's Monday in the UK. I am just

00:52:32   sleeping away Sunday night into Monday morning. I wake up on Monday morning and there's a show doc.

00:52:37   Maybe I've left some notes in places for Mike, but he puts it together. I had to put together this.

00:52:43   I did it my Sunday afternoon. Then I come in this morning and look. James has given me a topic.

00:52:50   Would you like to explain to the people what the topic is?

00:52:53   My topic is, I am calling it subscription burnout.

00:53:00   Basically, it's one of these things where you take a thing that is happening in your actual life

00:53:04   and turn it into a story. I have been, like over the last weeks, everybody has been turning up the

00:53:13   screws on their subscription pricing, including Apple who just put up all their tiers of things

00:53:20   because they want to make some more revenue, some revenue. It's unclear. And I think a lot of people

00:53:29   are reaching the point of it being too much money and are doing the thing of like, "Well,

00:53:36   do I actually need to have this thing or do I need like five different versions of this thing?"

00:53:42   And I'm certainly at that point. I mean, it's not necessarily that I can't afford it. It's just that

00:53:49   I don't think they justify the amount that a lot of these things are. And when the leaps are,

00:53:56   it's not just, "Well, this is going up 10% in line with inflation," or whatever it's like.

00:54:02   "No, we're going to go up 50%, 75%."

00:54:06   Yeah, because it was all teaser rates back when it was 0% interest. So they're just like,

00:54:11   "Yeah, teaser rate. We'll borrow the money. We'll pay it back later, teaser rates." And then there's

00:54:16   inflation and they need to raise the rates anyway. And it's like, "You know, when we said $6,

00:54:19   what we meant is $15."

00:54:22   Yeah. And Netflix was, I think, the early culprit of this. And I think probably started a lot of

00:54:29   these runs of subscription rates. And you get the email from Netflix saying, "And we're putting it

00:54:36   up this much. And also, we're going to give you adverts now." And I'm like, "No, no, you don't."

00:54:46   So Netflix, we cut Netflix six months ago or something. And yeah, we've had a number of other

00:54:54   services that have all said, "Yeah, we think that adverts are really what you want." And I'm like,

00:54:59   "No, it really is not."

00:55:01   Yeah. We talk about this on downstream a lot. But the truth is that there's this economic

00:55:06   challenge where there is an amount of revenue you make from each user in the ad-based system,

00:55:13   right? Where they know... And this is assuming they sell all the ads and they sell them all at

00:55:16   a good rate. When we talk about this, sometimes we start to run away to assume that all ads are sold

00:55:22   and they're all sold at the perfect rate, which does not happen. I've worked at a magazine for a

00:55:27   lot of years. There are ad slowdowns. You have to sell below rate. But if everything's humming

00:55:32   along, you make X amount from that person on the ad tier. It's the amount of money you're making

00:55:38   from them on ads and the money they're paying you because they're doing both, which my magazine,

00:55:43   you had to pay for it and there were ads in it. It's a standard model. It's not unreasonable to

00:55:49   have both ads and for you to pay. But then they look at what their ad free tier costs

00:55:54   and they look at how much money they make per user on that and they think, "Oh no, we make less money

00:56:01   on the premium product without ads because we're undercharging for it, essentially.

00:56:08   That's the lesson they take." For all of us who pay for the ad free tier, and I am an

00:56:13   inveterate pay for the ad free tier person, I am not interested in your ad tier at all. It is

00:56:20   terrifying because Netflix now really doesn't want you to not see ads. In order to get that other

00:56:30   premium ad free version to pencil out for them, they have to raise the price kind of a lot because

00:56:37   the ads are so successful. It's great in the sense that I think Netflix and other places will be a

00:56:44   little more accessible for people who are willing to watch the ads, but I'm not. I think you're not.

00:56:50   And so you end up in a situation where now you're paying even more because the ad business has been

00:56:56   so successful that they're going to charge you even more figuring that if you don't like it,

00:57:00   you can just flee to the ad version. Yeah, and I think it wouldn't be so bad if we hadn't had

00:57:07   whatever the last decade with... I don't know how long Netflix has been doing their thing, but

00:57:14   we've had this ad free model for so long. It's like, "I pay you money, you give me shows."

00:57:22   And to then like them to say, "Oh, but we're going back to pretty much the thing you

00:57:31   fled from in the first place." No, I don't want to do that. And the other thing is not...

00:57:36   Also, we had all the amazing shows as well because all of these people were just trying to

00:57:43   get as many subscribers as possible. It was a gold rush. They were overspending in order to

00:57:50   get people in the door. But it was a gold rush and it was also a golden age. We had so much

00:57:55   really good stuff. And now it's like, as Joe pointed out in the chat, production has been

00:58:01   down for so long because of all the strikes because they didn't want to give the writers

00:58:06   and actors money either. But it ended up giving them money after all. But yes,

00:58:12   it's going to be thin on the ground the next few months too. Now would be a great time to cancel.

00:58:18   Yeah, there's going to be like six months of whatever. We haven't actually got any shows in

00:58:27   the pipeline apart from these two or three that we held back, and that's your lot. So yeah, this

00:58:33   is a great time to save money and cancel all your subscriptions. And it's not just... I mean, I'm

00:58:41   talking about TV, but it's not just TV. Software. Software. I mean, we will come back to my views on

00:58:50   developer or app subscriptions, but with things like the Adobe, they've been hiking their prices

00:58:59   up and I just got an email from them saying, "Yeah, we would like fast amounts more for

00:59:05   Illustrator and Photoshop." And I use both of those things a lot in my work, but I'm not using

00:59:13   them to a level they couldn't be replaced by something like the Affinity suite of software,

00:59:21   which is indeed what I bought Black Friday deal this weekend because I can pay once and I can use

00:59:29   it until it stops working. CB: Cyber Weekend, you were cyber dealing.

00:59:35   That's what you were doing. For the people who don't know, the Affinity apps are so good. I was

00:59:43   using an ancient copy of Illustrator that was 32-bit and that stopped working. I tried to use it.

00:59:54   And I realized, what am I doing here? And I bought Affinity Designer, which is their Illustrator equivalent.

01:00:00   And it's great. And I only use Illustrator a very small amount, but I did use it to do

01:00:06   like t-shirts and stuff and some podcast art. And it was never going to be worth it to pay

01:00:14   a subscription for it. And the Affinity app is just fantastic. And then on the photo, I do pay for

01:00:19   Photoshop and there are so many good photo editing apps out there, but I have 25, 30 years of

01:00:27   Photoshop in my brain now. So that one is still reasonably priced enough that I'm not yet willing

01:00:34   to give up Photoshop, but everything else sort of like in that the Affinity, I just couldn't be more

01:00:40   impressed with their stuff. And a lot of the Adobe, the push is AI generative stuff, at least

01:00:49   in the last couple of releases, which is worse than most of the generative AI stuff I have ever

01:00:58   used. But I don't want to be funding that really, to be blunt about it. And I've paid for Photoshop

01:01:09   like about 30 minutes before this podcast started recording because our video editor, Chip, wanted

01:01:16   some stuff and I double clicked it. It launched Photoshop, which then said, "Oh, we had trouble

01:01:21   with your payment, so we can't open this file." And in like my cross-ness, I just paid for it again

01:01:27   for another year. But as you say, it's reasonably priced.

01:01:31   - $120 or something. And it's like for the app I've been using for most of my life at this point,

01:01:37   I'm like, "Okay, fine." If they continue to raise it, I would have that moment where I'd say,

01:01:41   "There are so many other options here, Pixelmator and..." - And I own most of the other options.

01:01:47   Like I bought the whole Affinity Suite. So I'm going to play with the Photoshop equivalent and

01:01:53   see. - I have Pixelmator and Acorn, and I'm sure I could use the Affinity Photo app too. The only

01:02:00   reason I'm using Photoshop is inertia, but boy, there's a lot of inertia there. And they know it,

01:02:06   they know it, but this is the risk with the subscription inflation is every time you increase,

01:02:13   there is a chance of churn, as they call it. You drop off. And you may never...

01:02:18   Like when I give up Photoshop, I think I'm never coming back, right? So don't push me too hard here.

01:02:24   - And it was Illustrator was up to, I don't know, it was like £280 or something. And it was like,

01:02:30   "You know, I can buy the entirety of the Affinity Suite for like £100 this weekend,

01:02:36   and that leaves me like £160 extra. And then every year I get a free extra £280."

01:02:44   - They're not a sponsor, but if you go to affinity.serif.com, they are having a Buy Friday

01:02:52   40% off sale that's still going on. And I can endorse, certainly I can endorse Designer,

01:02:57   but their goal really is to sort of replicate the classic Adobe suite as apps you can just buy,

01:03:03   Designer Photo Publisher. And their iPad apps are pretty much equivalent too,

01:03:11   which is very impressive. So yeah. And you don't have any subscriptions in your apps, right?

01:03:16   - No. So I understand both sides of this because as a developer, it would be really nice if I had

01:03:25   recurring income because if you bought Pcalc for iOS, that's like 15 years ago. And you may have

01:03:34   tipped or something, but I've not charged for any updates, which is foolish, but there isn't really

01:03:42   a good way to do it. And from a developer point of view, I would really like that because the money

01:03:53   coming in regularly and you have an idea of what you're going to get and how much churn as you say

01:03:57   and all that. But as a consumer, I hate them. And lots of consumers hate them. And I think there's

01:04:06   a more of an argument if you've got a thing that is tied to a service. If there's like backend

01:04:11   servers and maybe you're paying somebody else down the line for like weather data or something,

01:04:17   I think there's an argument. For something like a calculator, it's harder. I mean, I'm not saying

01:04:25   that there is no work done because there is work done. And even just making the things keep running

01:04:31   is a lot of work, but it's harder to sell a consumer on that, I think. And especially now that

01:04:39   everybody's feeling this pressure, it's like if I turned around tomorrow and I said, "Oh yeah,

01:04:44   Peacock's gonna be a subscription now," I do not think that would go down particularly well.

01:04:49   CB; You would cancel your own subscription to your own app.

01:04:52   MG; Yes, I would.

01:04:53   CB; That's outrageous. Okay, so I get what you're saying. There is an app that I'm not gonna mention

01:04:58   because I'm not trying to shame them because I actually think it's still a great app and I

01:05:02   understand they need to do what they need to do. There is an app that I have come to rely on,

01:05:06   and their new version is going to a subscription model. And it is not an app that has a substantial

01:05:13   server component. They're really just saying, "From now on, we want you to pay us." And I get

01:05:20   the argument is it's continually developed, but it's a utility that the amount of value I get,

01:05:24   I do rely on it, but I think about paying a subscription for it and it just stops me cold

01:05:30   because I do that. And we all do this, right? You do the calculation. What's the value here?

01:05:35   If the price and the value or the good feeling, a lot of the subscriptions I get are the good

01:05:40   feeling of, "I love this app. I want it to keep going." And then I look at the price and I think,

01:05:45   "Yeah, for an app I use a lot." And yet this one app, it stopped me short where I thought,

01:05:53   "Really? This is just a utility that does this one thing." And it's like, "Well, no. Now it's an

01:05:58   annual thing that you spend money on to do this one thing." And I don't understand the psychology

01:06:06   entirely because sometimes I'm very happy about it, but every now and then I see one and I think,

01:06:10   "This is kind of pushing it." But the flip side of that, and it's something that you did,

01:06:15   I boosted you or whatever they call it, I masked it on, you did a Black Friday sale for Peacock.

01:06:21   - Still running at time of recording.

01:06:24   - Yes, okay. But here's my question for you. You don't have a subscription plan.

01:06:28   You don't charge for upgrades. You are putting your product on sale and it's a product that

01:06:36   people can only buy once. Why are you doing that? To capture people who would otherwise never buy it?

01:06:43   Is that the idea? - Basically, so what I have found

01:06:47   over the years is whenever you do a big sale, because I don't normally... This was an experiment,

01:06:56   the Black Friday stuff. But I did, I think for the 30th anniversary of Peacock, I did a 90% off.

01:07:05   Which was, you know, that's silly. It was like, it's a dollar. And it made so much money doing

01:07:15   that. And it's not something that, you know, it's not like if it was 99 cents, I would always be

01:07:21   making that kind of money. But it's because it was a big deal and it got a lot of press and it didn't

01:07:29   affect sales in the slightest. Because it's not taking anything away from the regular sort of

01:07:35   steady sales. The Black Friday thing was an experiment because I've done it for the last

01:07:40   couple of years with dice, which is my standard experimental product. And it did pretty well.

01:07:49   I mean, like you get this big bump of sales and again, no downside that I could see. The thing is

01:07:58   you people then start to come to expect it, you know? And it's like, well, I won't buy that because

01:08:04   I know it goes on sale every year on Black Friday or whatever. But I mean, part of it is, you know,

01:08:11   Peacock is 15 years old, like that version of Peacock is 15 years old, the iOS one. And the

01:08:18   sales have slowed. I mean, you can't have an infinite steady growth or whatever.

01:08:28   AC: Now you'll eventually reach everyone who would ever possibly want to buy a calculator and put it

01:08:34   on an iOS device. MG; Yeah. And then, well, no more sales for you. It was kind of like, well,

01:08:40   let's do a thing. Let's see how this works. And you know, it did very well. It is continuing to

01:08:47   do very well. It will pay for Christmas. But I don't have good solutions to all of these things

01:08:53   because, you know, it's not like a lot of this stuff is absolutely essential. And if people are

01:09:00   starting to see everything going up in price, they're going to start to see, well, where are

01:09:09   we going to make cutbacks? We're not going to buy the thing. We're not going to do this. Or we're

01:09:13   going to wait for it to be on a deal, which was what I was counting on. And that kind of seems to

01:09:17   have paid off. But yeah, making money is a funny old thing in this world. AC; It is. So when you're

01:09:28   looking at that app and saying, like I find it fascinating that it has sold as well as it has

01:09:35   over time because it is a single purchase. And if I bought, so if I bought Peacock on the iPhone 15

01:09:42   years ago, I still get it. All of it, right? All of it. And I know you've got like a tip jar in

01:09:49   there, but basically you have, do not have a model. You are continuing to keep it updated and it is

01:09:56   your number one, I would assume moneymaker for your business. And you know, you do things

01:10:03   differently and you don't have a lot of overhead and you work out of your house and all of those

01:10:07   things. But like have we talked, we're talking about subscriptions here. Remember like this is

01:10:15   the, why they do subscriptions. And I agree a subscription for a calculator does seem like a

01:10:22   weird thing to do, but at the same time, this is your job and you do need to make money on what

01:10:29   you're doing. I think the thing is we are making the money, you know, like it's never been, I've

01:10:36   never been at the point where, you know, like I'm saying sales are down, but you know, they're down

01:10:43   like say, I don't know, 20, 30% from the peak of what they were. So you still, there is still an

01:10:52   ongoing flow of people who say, oh, I need a calculator. And so you haven't explored or you

01:10:59   filled that entire gap of people. They're always people realizing they actually need a better

01:11:03   calculator than what Apple has to offer. But you can see it's slowing, which is, you know,

01:11:09   that is the, you know, you can see the universe expanding out and record number of installed base

01:11:19   and all of that plus new people come in and they, or their needs change and they search for it. So

01:11:24   it's not going to steady state, but it's also not like you reach the end and there are no more sales.

01:11:30   MG; No, no. So, you know, if that was what it was looking for, then, you know, I would be like,

01:11:37   yeah, subscriptions, they're great. Let's have those. But, you know, that's the canary. If I

01:11:44   go for subscriptions, things are going bad. But I just, right now, you know, we're making enough

01:11:55   money to comfortably live and, you know, you can do the maths on how long am I going to live from

01:12:02   this point? How much money do I need? Right. And you don't have investors who are obsessed with

01:12:08   growth. You are doing what they, I think they call a lifestyle business, which is a little bit silly,

01:12:13   but there it is. MG; Yeah, I mean, that's the thing. It's like it makes us enough money to

01:12:19   have a comfortable life and we don't have shareholders. We don't have anything else.

01:12:23   You know, we can just kind of like, mangrothe our way through this whole thing and see how it goes.

01:12:35   But yeah, I just, you know, I could make more money, but to a certain extent, why? Maybe I

01:12:46   just have a nice business and people like me. Look, Lauren and I had this conversation this

01:12:50   weekend that there are different sort of like choices and different career trajectories. I

01:12:57   forget what we were talking about, but it came up the idea that in the line of work that I'm in,

01:13:04   and really the line of work that you are in, there is this question of like life work balance. And

01:13:11   like if I wanted to maximize the amount of money I make, I would make some different choices. I

01:13:18   would enjoy my work less and work a lot more. And I could probably do that, right? I could launch

01:13:27   new initiatives and have new stuff and do stuff beyond what I'm doing now, drop some of the stuff

01:13:32   that doesn't make a lot of money that I do because I enjoy it and focus it all. And I made the

01:13:39   decision that I don't want to do that. Like that I don't want to, you know, I've been going the

01:13:46   other way where I realize I'm working so many hours on so many projects and that I need to do

01:13:52   less because not only will the stuff that remains be better, but I will also have more energy and

01:13:58   that's part of the whole thing. So you do have that balance that you have to seek, but at the

01:14:04   same time, you also need to pay your bills and all of that. CB; Yeah, and I think that that balance

01:14:10   thing is something that certainly I've been thinking particularly over the last like four

01:14:15   years or something because, you know, the sort of the last couple of years, I was pushing myself

01:14:23   harder than I should have because I wasn't feeling particularly creative, you know, because the sort

01:14:31   of global events going on around us. And, you know, so it's like, well, you've got to be creative,

01:14:38   you've got to be on the cycle, you've got to have your stuff out for when Apple has their stuff out

01:14:42   and you've got to do all the things. And I kept pushing myself and pushing myself and effectively

01:14:48   a burnt out and I was fed up and I didn't want to do any of it. And this year what I did was I've

01:14:56   done less, you know, it's like I've done stuff. I did explored interactive widgets and dice and

01:15:04   I've been doing things and I've been playing with vision pro things and stuff. But I don't want to

01:15:11   say I did the minimum because I don't think I did the minimum, but I did not like push myself where

01:15:16   I was working more than was healthy. And I've kind of like I've had, you know, I'm taking a bit of a

01:15:25   break just now, you know, I got stuff out. I've, you know, I did as I say like messing with vision

01:15:32   pro things. But I'm, you know, I think we need downtime, like otherwise and particularly I will

01:15:44   say as both of us are in our 50s, you get to the point of like what is actually more important to

01:15:53   me? You know, I would like to enjoy my life. I would like to, you know, not give myself a

01:16:01   wide variety of chronic conditions that will continue until I die because I have pushed

01:16:07   myself too hard on stuff. And so, I think it's, you know, it's finding the balance of doing enough

01:16:16   work and work is also interesting because, you know, it is a creative outlet as well. But you

01:16:25   want to enjoy it. And I think that's the thing. It's like, you know, we've talked to a number of

01:16:29   people we know, you know, like mentioning no names, but somebody who runs an awful lot of D&D. And

01:16:36   you know, said person was saying maybe he's going to take January off from doing stuff. And I'm like,

01:16:43   I think that's an excellent idea. You know, have a break, take a break, relax. We all deserve it.

01:16:50   And that's a thing that you're doing for fun, right? And that's part of it too, is I know you

01:16:54   have obligations and other people and all that, but like there you do need to regulate yourself

01:16:58   and watch yourself. That said, I have a, well, I don't want to say it's a million dollar idea,

01:17:03   but maybe you can tell me why this has never happened. Because one thing that strikes me is

01:17:07   with Peacock being the way it is, you and you play around with graphics and stuff. What you could do

01:17:15   is add new features and ask people to pay for the upgrade for the, to unlock the new features as a

01:17:23   revenue source within Peacock. Most of, I mean, the numbers don't change, right? Numbers are

01:17:28   numbers. They don't really change. So you can't say, Oh, 2023, the new numbers are here. You need

01:17:35   the, you need to buy the new upgrade for peak alchemy. You're using the old numbers, right? I

01:17:39   get it. But, um, like you people out there, kids in schools even have to do graphing calculator

01:17:50   stuff. And that's not a feature that you've ever put into peak calc. And I've always thought like,

01:17:56   well, that's an obvious, I thought like 20 years ago, well, this is an obvious direction for James

01:18:01   to go and eventually, and you never have, and maybe you never need to, but it did strike me

01:18:04   that if you, if you made peak calc also have a graphing function, you would probably be able to

01:18:09   charge for it. I mean, there was the whole thing with the graphing calculator has been shipped on

01:18:15   the Mac for a long time. And I don't want to step on Ron's toes, but I think that, you know,

01:18:30   that we will consider this, this is just between us, you know, nobody's listening. I'm not actually

01:18:36   like particularly excited about numbers. It is a thing that people assume that I am like, wow,

01:18:48   I must be like really big on maths. It's not the case. What I like is designing user interfaces for

01:19:00   things. And that is what gets me up in the morning is I want to make a new thing. So like, for

01:19:09   example, dice apps, you know, it's like, this is a completely different sphere of doing things. And

01:19:18   it's fun to sort of like, well, how would the interface work for this? What would be the best

01:19:24   way to do these kinds of things? And that is what is interesting to me rather than the actual

01:19:30   numbers. I mean, you've got to get the numbers right. But James numbers graphs aren't numbers.

01:19:34   That's the beauty of it is graphs are graphics and you like graphics. I know you heard here first,

01:19:41   the vision pro peak calc is going to have a virtual, a full 3d grapher. Well, that is not

01:19:51   a product. No, maybe not. No, I'm just trying to get you into it. I get it though. I get it. You

01:19:56   know, you, you wanted to build up an interface and build a product and you built a calculator

01:20:01   and it has become your career, which is kind of funny. Yeah. I mean, it's not like I, I'm,

01:20:08   I am now I am the peak out guy or the dice guy or whatever. Like 10 years ago, 15 years ago,

01:20:15   I was the drag thing guy. Right. And I don't think anyone remembers tracking anymore other than John

01:20:23   Syracuse who keeps trying to replicate it with his own apps. Absolutely. He does. And I am,

01:20:27   you know, it is one of those things that the curse is only ever truly lifted once you pass it on to

01:20:33   somebody else. Yes. And I, I'm very happy for John and I support all of his efforts in this field.

01:20:45   That's right. Well, yeah, I, I I was going to ask you if, if you think if John's continued

01:20:54   effort to slowly rebuild drag thing, one app at a time has only convinced you that you were right

01:20:59   to stop. Yeah. I mean, it really has. It's I mean, app Apple these days is tightening up a lot of

01:21:09   stuff. So, you know, if you back in the day, you could have an app that did anything at all. You

01:21:15   know, you could hook into the lowest levels of the system and you could, you know, you, you want to

01:21:20   like control an app in some way, you can do that. No problem. Nowadays, it's like, as you have seen,

01:21:27   you get 15 dialogue boxes saying this app really wants to like, you know, look at the contents of

01:21:35   your windows or control this or whatever. And it's getting tedious and it's getting locked down and

01:21:41   it's writing sort of system level utilities is like being in a war with Apple. And, you know,

01:21:51   you just look at like the, even the audio hijack people, the hoops that you need to jump through

01:21:58   when you first install that, you know, now, now restart your computer, hold down this button,

01:22:04   switch on this scary sounding thing, and then you can install it. And, you know, that, that,

01:22:10   that's one of the beauties of calculators is they just exist and they don't have to do any of these

01:22:16   things. Even dice apps is the same. I, I don't miss that system utility space because it was

01:22:25   just becoming hard. And I, you know, you can ask John if you perhaps have him on a podcast at any

01:22:32   point a couple of weeks, maybe. Yeah, sure. And you can say, does he regret all his choices?

01:22:40   Sure. Sure. I just, every time he tells, talks about the pain that he's going through and

01:22:45   building those apps, I just imagine I just like you appear like hovering overhead, smiling happily

01:22:53   in your retirement drag thing. I feel like every time I still get, I still get the emails like,

01:22:58   you know, not often, but like I will get an email from somebody who says, I just updated my machine

01:23:05   to whatever system after, you know, Catalina or later and drag thing doesn't work. How do I make

01:23:11   it work? And I go, I'm afraid to tell you don't you don't. It's an X utility. Please check out

01:23:18   these utilities from John Syracuse. Indeed. This episode of upgrade is also brought to you by

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01:25:22   supporting, Mike and Upgrade. Time for a very brief discussion of the Vision Pro before we go.

01:25:32   I really wanted to get your thoughts as a developer about where we are. We're probably not a month out.

01:25:38   We're probably a few months out from Vision Pro shipping. And I wanted to know, but before we get

01:25:45   to the developer part, can we talk a little bit about spatial videos? Because I think you and I

01:25:49   have both been experimenting with spatial videos. We got a letter from Upgrading and Brandon about

01:25:54   converting. There was an app that converts your spatial video shot on an iPhone to a format that

01:25:59   lets you view it on an Oculus Quest, which I did. I think you did. What did you think of that?

01:26:05   MG; So, I've seen a lot of fairly high-quality video on the Quest, so I had an idea in my head.

01:26:15   And I first did this, and I just walked through my apartment, and I looked at it and I thought,

01:26:26   "Well, that doesn't look very good at all." It's a 2D video. It didn't really seem to add anything.

01:26:35   And I did another test, which was to have my dear wife talking at me, and I recorded her. And that

01:26:44   actually worked quite well because there was somebody close enough to the camera that you

01:26:49   could get a sense of 3D separation from what's around you. And it's fine, but it's fairly obvious.

01:27:01   I mean, it should be obvious, but it's not a 180 view which you get with a lot of these 3D videos,

01:27:10   where you can look around a scene independent of where the camera was actually pointing. We had

01:27:16   this--not 3D, but you had your experiments with the 360 camera when we were recording D&D. And

01:27:23   that's an interesting thing because you can make a different choice to whatever the person was

01:27:30   looking at. So you can look off in the corner or whatever, and this isn't that. It is basically a

01:27:37   rectangular or square or whatever video, but it has depth. It's like a 3D movie, effectively,

01:27:48   like the kind they used to make for the 3D televisions. And I can see that it adds

01:27:56   something to that, to watching a video, that you get this certain amount of depth to it. But it's

01:28:05   not like you're there. I've seen some kind of fairly hyperbolic statements about how magical

01:28:16   it is, and I'm just thinking, "Well, you've clearly never seen any decent 3D video before."

01:28:22   Cote: Now, it may be that in the context of VisionOS, they're gonna do some more processing

01:28:28   with it because we're not watching it in VisionOS. And they're certainly doing things like having the

01:28:33   fuzzy frame and all of that, which I think it's all there to kind of cover the imperfections in

01:28:38   here. And look, they're doing what they can with this. It's 1080 at 30 frames a second,

01:28:44   and it's not that high resolution, and you kind of need to have it as a little fuzzy-edge thing.

01:28:50   All their demo videos, or at least two of their initial demo videos, including the ones that I

01:28:55   saw, are a kid blowing out candles and people at a campfire, both of which are designed to have smoke

01:29:04   in the foreground. And there's a reason for that. You can see there's an element hovering in the

01:29:11   foreground with a lot of parallax to what's in the background, and it makes you go, "Oh,

01:29:15   right. Oh, it's a 3D effect." And in this video that I shot, very similarly, if there isn't

01:29:21   something very close in the foreground, like I was walking past people or had people sitting in front

01:29:26   of me, that you could see the depth effect. But otherwise, you lose most of the depth,

01:29:32   and you end up with something that's just a 1080 video, to the point where I would say,

01:29:37   somebody asked, they said, "I'm going out with a beta." This is sort of like a little backward

01:29:44   details happening here. And should I shoot using these spatial videos? Should I shoot 3D video with

01:29:53   my iPhone on this trip? And my thought was, you know what? Sure, if it's something where there

01:30:00   are lots of people in the foreground or lots of elements in the foreground and nearby, and you're

01:30:05   going to get the most out of it, try some because they may be fun. But honestly, if these are

01:30:11   precious moments, especially if they're not stuff that really benefits from this depth collection

01:30:18   going on, I mean, you're better at shooting at... I'd shoot a 4K, I'd shoot at 60 frames.

01:30:24   I mean, take panoramas because those look great too. They're still, but they're beautiful and

01:30:30   immersive. But if you're shooting video right now, unless it's something that really is going

01:30:36   to benefit from 3D, at 1080, 30, I would probably choose to have a 2D, 4K HDR,

01:30:45   and maybe 60 frames a second of that event rather than a 1080 P30.

01:30:51   And I think one thing that I don't know that there's an answer out there for is whether

01:30:57   these things recorded on the Vision Pro are going to be 1080, 30. Because I mean, the Vision Pro

01:31:04   literally has the ability to bring in all of reality around you.

01:31:07   Yes. Oh, those cameras are high resolution and they're identical. And the other problem here is

01:31:11   that the iPhone has to crop the sensor on the One because it's the ultra-wide. And so the quality

01:31:19   is degraded overall when you put them together. I'll mention if you're a Six Colors member,

01:31:23   Joe Rosenstiel wrote a piece. It's subscription fatigue. You may not be. It's fine. But if you

01:31:28   are, Joe Rosenstiel wrote a piece about this where he kind of broke it down in detail and

01:31:33   said a lot of the same things we're saying here. And that it's really interesting. And Apple is

01:31:37   trying to get around some of the faults of it, but it really does have its limitations,

01:31:41   especially on iPhone. And I think the most important information to walk away with is

01:31:47   do not start taking every video you take as a spatial video because the quality isn't going

01:31:57   to be very good. You're giving up lots of quality in order to get 3D effect. And you know what?

01:32:02   Yeah. If you're at a birthday party for your kid and you want to take some of those videos in 3D,

01:32:08   go for it. But I would say also then switch and take a bunch of videos at 4K and your preferred

01:32:16   frame rate because those are going to look amazing in the Vision Pro 2. They're just not going to

01:32:21   have depth. They're going to look amazing on your TV. They're just not going to have depth. It's

01:32:24   okay. Not everything needs to be 3D, especially when you have to give up so much to get it.

01:32:30   Yeah. And I think that, as you say, a 4K 60 HDR thing, I think is going to look probably better

01:32:38   even on the Vision Pro than the slight depth effect that you get from this.

01:32:46   CB; What I would like Apple to do is let you say, I'm capturing--and I think probably they

01:32:51   technically can't do it right now--I'm capturing spatial video. And the spatial video will only

01:32:57   be at 1080. But since I'm also using the main camera as a part of that, I will also get a main

01:33:04   camera video out at full quality in 2D. That's where it should go, right? You should have the

01:33:11   maximum quality possible that you want at least out of the good camera and a degraded quality

01:33:16   video that's out of both cameras. But I don't think they can do that right now. Or if they can,

01:33:21   they can't. The amount of post-processing required, it's not worth it. But that's really what this

01:33:28   feature should be. You shouldn't have to make the choice. You should be able to shoot it at 4K

01:33:32   in the one camera and then generate a 1080 out of both cameras in stereo. But the framing change,

01:33:39   I get that there are lots of issues there, but that's the ideal. Users should not have to make

01:33:46   this choice, but that's where we are right now. Users will have to make this choice.

01:33:50   There's people selling these little 3D cameras. I would like to see Apple do something.

01:33:58   Its entire point of it is to shoot spatial video. It's just a small thing, and it doesn't have to be--

01:34:06   CB; I don't think Apple even needs to make it. I think if Apple finds good partners who they can

01:34:11   sell at the Apple Store saying, "Here is a great thing to capture spatial video for Vision Pro,"

01:34:15   and it works with Vision Pro, thumbs up, seal, licensing program, all those things they

01:34:20   are good at doing, I think that would be a great way. They don't necessarily even have to make the

01:34:26   product. They just need to find a partner who can sell that product. I agree. Although, again,

01:34:31   your point, you mentioned that I brought a 360 camera to Portland when we did the incomparable

01:34:35   get together and we played D&D. I'll see if I can put it in the show notes because it's just public

01:34:43   now. There's a 360 video we did on YouTube. If you watch that inside an Oculus Quest or whatever,

01:34:48   MetaQuest, you're sitting on the table. You're like a very small person standing on the table

01:34:55   while we play D&D. There's no director. There's no camera angle. You just look around and see

01:35:03   what people are doing. That's immersive. It's 2D, but it's immersive in a completely different way,

01:35:10   but still it's really immersive and interesting. There's not a single answer here. A gorgeous 4K

01:35:18   HDR 60 frames a second video is going to have a lot of feelings of realism and you are there

01:35:26   that a 3D video at 1080 is not going to have and a 360 video is going to have an immersion level

01:35:33   that that other video is not going to have. There's no one right or wrong answer here.

01:35:38   There's a lot of different stuff you can choose from.

01:35:40   Yeah, but I imagine that is one of these things that is going to get better over time.

01:35:45   This is what they can do with the current hardware and if it becomes a thing, they could turn iPhones

01:35:55   into very high-end stereo capture things. Sure. I mean, depending on the technology

01:36:04   and the price and all of those things, I'm sure they're discussing whether there's a future iPhone

01:36:09   that has a much more capable… This is kind of a hack, right? I appreciate that they did it,

01:36:14   but it is kind of a hack to get it to do this at all and it's great that it does it. It is

01:36:20   really cool. It's a cool idea because you're out and about. You're probably not wearing a Vision Pro.

01:36:24   Speaking of which, as a developer talking about the headset itself, what's your experience been?

01:36:30   What are your quick thoughts about where Vision OS is right now?

01:36:35   So again, this is my standard canary that I do not have a Vision Pro developer kit. I know

01:36:42   you were saying on previous weeks that some people are starting to get them. It's unclear whether

01:36:47   shall we say smaller indie developer types are getting them.

01:36:51   Right, or if it's just bigger companies, yeah. Yeah, because I can imagine you start out with

01:36:56   the Disney's and the whatever and then you work your way down. But yeah, I don't have anything

01:37:01   yet. And I would say if you are building a complicated 3D app and you don't have a developer

01:37:09   kit, it is tough because the more complex, the more interactions you're doing, the more distant

01:37:20   the experience of using the Vision Pro developer kit, or sorry, the simulator is. If you're

01:37:27   building a 2D stuff like taking your existing apps, I think it's entirely doable. There are

01:37:32   still things to consider in terms of the interactions because I've been thinking about

01:37:38   this. It seems like only yesterday, but 15, 16 years ago when we were building iPhone apps in

01:37:46   the simulator and nobody had an iPhone, it's the, "Well, I know how it might feel and I will build

01:37:54   this thing." And then as soon as I got like with Peacock, I got it onto an actual iPhone in my hand.

01:38:01   I'm like, "This doesn't work well like this." The kind of interaction model of you holding it in

01:38:11   your hand and tapping on it, it's not the same as you clicking with your mouse and moving a cursor

01:38:17   around. And while the Vision Pro, there is a kind of effectively you're moving a cursor around

01:38:24   because you're looking, it's not one-to-one. And I think, I mean, had I had the experience of being

01:38:35   an Apple developer kitchen, I think I'm allowed to say that was actually, you realize that, yeah,

01:38:44   oh, this is different. There are things that are important that I'm not doing that just don't,

01:38:52   it's not really an issue on an iPad. And I think there's going to be that the first run of apps is

01:39:02   there's going to be a lot of stuff where it's like, to make an analogy, it's like when the

01:39:09   first Catalyst app shipped. You can tick the box and you can ship an app, but is it the best app

01:39:17   for the platform that you're going on? And I think over time, people will kind of realize more what

01:39:25   is important, what's not as important. And I think things will get better on that front. I mean,

01:39:34   I've got like my apps are running happily. My apps ran day one. There's still things in them that I

01:39:41   don't think are the best way of doing things. CB; Can you just drop bananas? Do they drop bananas

01:39:45   out into the world in a random way? Are they in windows? Are you rolling dice in 3D spaces,

01:39:50   having a floating calculator that looks like a calculator, stuff like that?

01:39:54   MG; All of the above has been tried to some degree or another. I have thrown bananas in

01:40:03   augmented reality. It is a thing that has happened. And I will tell you, those bananas look great.

01:40:12   There is a certain amount of like I spent an unrealistic--not just bananas, the dice. I've

01:40:16   spent an unrealistic amount of time making perfect little 3D models of dice. And to see those as a

01:40:25   real thing or as close to a real thing as you can get is pretty amazing because you move your head

01:40:32   just slightly and like all the reflections on them change. And it's like, those look real. And

01:40:40   that's really, it is a really amazing thing to see these things. It's like 3D printing it and

01:40:48   putting it in front of you. But the question like, so I think like the Vision Pro is probably one of

01:40:57   the most impressive pieces of technology that I've used, full stop. It's got so much stuff which is

01:41:07   ahead of like other headsets because we've both got our meta quests and things like that. And it's

01:41:15   way better than that. I am still not 100% sure what the use case is, which is a different thing.

01:41:28   And I'm sure Apple is having this same kind of thought. And I'm 100% going to do my apps for it,

01:41:35   and I'm going to see where this goes because I think it is an extremely interesting space. But

01:41:44   do I think it's a sure bet? No. But still, the technology is so cool, and they've done so much

01:41:54   with it. And even not just the technology, the software. The software is really good. The way

01:42:01   that they've sort of adapted the developer APIs into 3D and done things is very interesting.

01:42:10   It just comes down to I'm waiting to see the killer app for this thing. I don't think it's

01:42:17   going to be a calculator. I'm not even sure it's going to be a dice app, although the dice app

01:42:21   might look cool. But what is going to be the thing? And I think things will come, but it's

01:42:28   just a question of will the interesting apps turn up fast enough for this thing?

01:42:36   Yeah. It's going to be an interesting year next year, isn't it?

01:42:40   Oh, definitely. I was quite glad. The rumors are that this thing is probably not going to be January.

01:42:47   We're probably more talking March or something. That's good because what I'm going to do is I'm

01:42:52   going to spend basically January and February and whatever of March working on this stuff. Because

01:42:58   I think that's my plan for the start of this year is to... I mean, I've been doing things,

01:43:02   but I'm really going to sort of make the best apps that I can at that point. And then we'll

01:43:14   see where it goes. And I think it will be fascinating. And maybe it's going to be this

01:43:24   amazing thing and it's going to find a place or maybe it's not. I don't know the answer.

01:43:29   Yeah. Nobody does. That's the beauty of it. Whatever happens, it's going to be a surprise

01:43:33   and I think can't be predicted right now, really, because something will catch on or

01:43:37   nothing will or it should be really interesting to watch.

01:43:39   Yeah. And I think that's a good space for us to be in. I mean,

01:43:44   because we don't know what the answer is and that's interesting.

01:43:48   Well, James, it has been a pleasure having you on upgrade. As a participant,

01:43:53   instead of just a listener and in the chat room, which you frequently are, thank you for that too.

01:43:58   It is always a pleasure. It is always mildly traumatic to be on one of these flagship

01:44:04   podcasts, but I try and it's always fun. We raised the flag today and it just had

01:44:11   bananas on it. I don't know what that's about. It's a sign that you're here somewhere. He got

01:44:15   to us. He substituted the usual upgrade flight with a banana. You can find James. James,

01:44:21   tell people where they could find the things you want to plug right now.

01:44:24   Well, as was stated, if you act now, you can get PCALC on dice of 50% off from... If you go

01:44:33   to PCALC.com, just follow the links there. If you follow me on... Usually Mastodon is probably the

01:44:41   place that people will find me at and I'm James Thompson on mastodon.social, Thompson without a P.

01:44:47   And I'm also... I'm on everything else as well. And all their social networks are weird. Mastodon

01:44:56   seems like the one that has got most of the tech people on it. Doesn't have all the fun people on

01:45:03   it. No. But... Just living in a fractured world now. I'm stress panda on threads.

01:45:10   Okay. That's very good. Of course, you can send us your feedback, your follow-up and your questions.

01:45:17   At upgradefeedback.com. Didn't do any Ask Upgrade today, but it'll be back next week when Mike is

01:45:22   back. You can also check out my writing. I am at sixcolors.com. Podcast here at Real AFM, of course,

01:45:29   over at the incomparable.com. Doctor Who Flashcast is back. We're doing... Dan Moore and I are doing

01:45:34   For All Mankind on the NASA Vending Machine podcast with every episode. Lots of that stuff

01:45:39   going on. That's that stuff that I do for fun and not for money, by the way, that I mentioned

01:45:43   earlier, because it's fun to talk to my friends about stuff that I'm excited about. You can also

01:45:48   find me on Mastodon, JSnell@Zeppelin.flights. Mike always says that I'm on threads. Really not. Not

01:45:56   yet. Maybe not ever, but we'll see. And check out our videos. We have a YouTube channel. We're on

01:46:01   TikTok and Instagram. It's Upgrade Relay on all of those things. And we do often post the full show

01:46:08   as well as some fun clips. And I know I've heard from a bunch of people who that their preferred

01:46:13   way to listen to podcasts is to have it playing in YouTube. And occasionally you glance over and see

01:46:16   that there are humans saying those words and we are working on that one. We're going to work on

01:46:21   that one. Thank you to our members who support us with UpgradePlus.com. Thanks once again to our

01:46:26   sponsors for this week episode, Memberful, Ladder, and Notion. And of course, as always, thank you for

01:46:33   spending your time with us today. Until next week, James Thompson say goodbye. Goodbye. Goodbye,

01:46:41   everybody.

01:46:41   [Music]

01:46:46   [ Music ]