491: The 2023 Upgradies


00:00:00   [Music]

00:00:09   From Relay FM, welcome to the 10th Annual Upgradies Awards.

00:00:16   This evening's proceedings are brought to you by our broadcast partners, Electric, TextExpander, Factor, and Vitaly, simulcast from London, England and Mill Valley, California.

00:00:27   I'm one of your hosts, Mike Hurley, and joining me is my co-host and yours, Jason Snow. Jason, welcome back to the Upgradies.

00:00:34   Thank you, Mike Hurley. It's a delight to be back. It's hard to believe it's the 10th Annual Upgradies.

00:00:40   It's hard to believe that just 10 years ago, well, nine years ago, I guess this is the 10th, starting the 10th year.

00:00:46   Just nine years ago. It's easy to believe 10. Just nine years ago, you tried to call it the first annual Upgradies.

00:00:52   And I was laughed out of the podcast. And now look at us now, you know?

00:00:57   Look at us now.

00:00:58   Look at us now. Who would have thought it? Look at us now.

00:01:01   But here we are. So I will mention right now, you can just go to Upgradies.com where you will find the winners of all previous Upgradies in all of the what will be by the end of this evening, the all 10 Upgradies.

00:01:16   Now in many award shows, there are the pre-awards, the pre-show awards that happened before, sometimes referred to as the technical awards.

00:01:23   And I would like to, if you would give us a moment, I would like to honor our technical award winners for the Upgradies.

00:01:29   I just, it's funny, I was watching a video this weekend in which Alex Horne, the co-host of the wonderful series Taskmaster, was on the Great British Baking Show, a charity version of it.

00:01:43   And they were doing the technical challenge and he asked the, I thought very perceptive question, is anything positive when described as technical?

00:01:52   Right?

00:01:53   And I think this is true that most of the things when it's like, it's technically technical, it's not actually positive.

00:02:00   It's a negative.

00:02:01   But you know what is?

00:02:02   The technical awards.

00:02:03   The technical awards are positive because they're just awarding people for doing great technical things.

00:02:10   Indeed.

00:02:12   So we have, this is the first time we're doing this, but I thought we have our technical award winners.

00:02:16   Okay.

00:02:16   For web design of Upgradies.com, Zach Knox.

00:02:19   For artwork, JD Davis.

00:02:22   For music, the one and only Chris Breen.

00:02:24   Of course.

00:02:25   For audio editing, Jim Metzendorf.

00:02:28   Video editing, Chip Sudduth.

00:02:31   And for social media, Jamie Snell.

00:02:34   Yep.

00:02:35   Yep.

00:02:35   No nepotism around here.

00:02:37   Just a well won award.

00:02:39   Well, I mean, they're really just a clever way of doing the credits, but we're getting to the end of the year.

00:02:44   So thank you to everybody who makes the Upgrade-ies and Upgrade possible every week.

00:02:48   Should we get to our very first category?

00:02:52   Let's do it.

00:02:54   We're going to start with best overall iOS app.

00:03:00   I will start off from the Upgradients votes as we do every year.

00:03:06   So we put out the call a number of weeks ago to the Upgradients to vote and make their nominations known.

00:03:13   With 5.9% was Flighty, 7.9% was Ivory, and 9.1% was Carrot Weather.

00:03:24   I love the choices by the Upgradients here, um, because I agree with all of them.

00:03:30   Yep.

00:03:30   Those are great apps.

00:03:32   All of them are great.

00:03:33   I struggle with this category because first off we've covered a lot of these, my favorite apps before.

00:03:37   And I try to think at least a little bit in that Eddy award view of sort of like what was done, what was done recently.

00:03:47   Um, you know, Ivory is basically new, although, I mean, it was Tweetbot sort of, but not really.

00:03:53   And I think I'm gonna, I mean, I'm torn between Flighty and Ivory.

00:03:58   Honestly, I think though I like last year we gave the award to Flighty.

00:04:02   Flighty is a not cheap, but excellent, excellent travel app, flight tracking app for when you're traveling.

00:04:11   And they added, I mean, they had a, they had a great year last year and then this year they added more features.

00:04:17   They just kept piling it on.

00:04:18   Like I cannot believe how much more they added this year.

00:04:24   There's a watch complication.

00:04:27   Um, there's, I just, and I use it all the time whenever I travel, I use it, I rely on it and I, and every detail is immaculate.

00:04:37   Like it is in a lot of ways, the, I don't know if it's the platonic ideal of an iPad or an iPhone app, but like pretty close, pretty close.

00:04:47   It is an app, you know, you get those apps in some niches and you're like, you know, this is good and it's useful and it's functional, but the developers have obviously compromised or they've done something.

00:04:56   Cause it's cross platform or they just didn't have the time or they just don't get it.

00:04:59   None of that is true with Flighty.

00:05:02   They get it, all of it.

00:05:04   So I think I'm going to say Flighty.

00:05:06   What do you think?

00:05:07   I look, I, I agree with all of the things that you've said about Flighty, right?

00:05:12   That it is, uh, we've already, we awarded it last year and it's an expensive app and it's an app for a very particular type of need.

00:05:20   But I think the last year has excelled the application way past last time, right?

00:05:26   Like our last awarding, like the, the addition, and I will add the addition of the Apple watch app into kind of like iOS app because we don't have a watch app category, I think for good reason.

00:05:35   Um, and so I'm going to put it all in here and really this I think is to me a no brainer.

00:05:42   I think the app has come along leaps and bounds this year by adding that app, by improving live activities, by improving widgets.

00:05:51   Um, I think it was this year that they added the friends flight feature as well, where you can track friends flights and also share with specific people that every flight.

00:06:03   Go like every flight, say me and you were to share with each other, every flight you or I take with each other, see automatically without any sharing needed.

00:06:12   Like to me, this is a, this is a pretty clear one that I would say that FlightE is the winner this year.

00:06:19   Yeah, the one feature of FlightE that I used at Thanksgiving that just blew me away is you can put in friends flights and mark them as friends flights and you get different notifications and it's at a different place than your flights.

00:06:30   But there's also a today view.

00:06:32   And so on Thanksgiving, on the day before Thanksgiving, I was able to track my daughter flying in from Portland, my son flying in from Eugene, my sister-in-law flying in from Fresno.

00:06:44   Uh, all to Denver, our flight from Oakland and actually my mother-in-law's flight the day before was, was in there too, from Orange County.

00:06:54   And so on the day I was able to actually see everybody's status at a glance, in addition to getting all my flight info and having the live activity and having the watch app and the, and the complication on the watch, I was able to.

00:07:07   Um, at a glance, see where everybody was and then going out on the Saturday, same thing in reverse.

00:07:13   I was able to see where everybody was going, what gate they were, who was leaving first, who needed to get out now, who was delayed.

00:07:19   Just, I mean, and I know there are lots of apps that do this, but like the, the detail of the work that Flighty does is also pretty impressive.

00:07:27   So I think, I think it needs to be a repeat winner, honestly.

00:07:31   Yeah.

00:07:32   It's a, it's just an app is continuing to improve.

00:07:35   I don't know how much better they can make it.

00:07:37   And like also like at this point, the, the, the subscription that we mentioned.

00:07:42   I also really liked that they have passes that you can just buy, like, I want it for a week or something like that, or a set election of flights instead of like just paying an annual fee.

00:07:52   I pay an annual subscription because I use it enough and it's wonderful.

00:07:57   So the best overall iOS app of 2023 is Flighty.

00:08:03   Two total wins in this category.

00:08:08   And that means one away from a lifetime achievement award.

00:08:12   So we will move on now to the best newcomer iOS app.

00:08:18   Last year, the winner was StickerDrop, which might be the fastest, uh, to Sherlocking.

00:08:25   I think we may have seen, uh, because now this is just, just really just a feature of iOS.

00:08:31   That was wonderful at the time.

00:08:32   Um, unfortunately it is a feature of iOS now.

00:08:35   Yes.

00:08:36   Well, I like it.

00:08:38   I like the sticker part.

00:08:39   The, the reactions part is the, is the part that's.

00:08:42   Yeah.

00:08:43   Having easy access to stickers is fine.

00:08:45   Um, the emojis should be in the tab backs and that's just the bottom line, but yes, that was last year and this year, you know, sorry, StickerDrop.

00:08:53   Not going to win this year.

00:08:55   The upgradians voted with 8.2% for threads, 22.1% for call sheet.

00:09:06   And 24.2% for ivory.

00:09:10   What are your, uh, what are you bringing to the table, Jason?

00:09:13   Well, I like call sheet and ivory.

00:09:16   Um, I am going to bring two to the table.

00:09:19   I'm going to bring ivory.

00:09:21   So I was always a Twitter-iffic person.

00:09:24   And somebody was asking me the other day about, about not being on Twitter anymore.

00:09:29   And I said, you know, I don't want to be on Twitter anymore.

00:09:35   And the only part of Twitter that I'm really on anymore is I literally have a link to my list of sports media because the sports media people are still there and they have not gone somewhere else.

00:09:45   It is still the best place for me to see that stuff, but that's it.

00:09:48   And I see it in a, in a bookmark, in a, in a web browser window, and then I close the window and that's my interaction with Twitter now.

00:09:55   But the truth is the thing that prompted me to pull back from Twitter was, uh, predated the continuing problems of Twitter and its owner.

00:10:08   Really was they killed the third-party clients and that that means they killed Tweetbot, but they also killed Twitter-iffic, which was my favorite app, probably my most used app of all time.

00:10:17   And then one day it just stopped working.

00:10:19   It was brutal, just brutal.

00:10:21   They just turned it off.

00:10:22   We all knew it was coming.

00:10:23   And it was probably the right business decision.

00:10:25   It's a rare, actually probably right business decision.

00:10:27   Although I would argue that they should have, they could have used it to their advantage, but they didn't want to do that.

00:10:33   Okay, whatever.

00:10:34   Um, so even though I'm not a Tweetbot person, when the Mastodon clients were all being built, there are a lot of them.

00:10:40   Um, a bunch of them are good.

00:10:42   A bunch of them are not good.

00:10:44   And Ivory came out and it is the most polished, I would argue, and it certainly, um, fits the way that I think about using social media.

00:10:57   So I love it and I use it all the time.

00:11:03   Um, although I would say I use a lot less than Twitter-iffic because I'm using social media a lot less than I used to, but I still am using Ivory.

00:11:10   And I will say the reason that I am more engaged on Mastodon than I am on other social media is entirely down to the fact that Ivory is excellent on the iPad and the Mac.

00:11:20   And most of those other social medias are excellent on the iPhone.

00:11:26   And then on the Mac and on the iPad, you kind of have to put it in a web browser and it's just not as good.

00:11:33   So I like Ivory.

00:11:35   I also want to throw in a word for an app I reviewed, an app I tried.

00:11:39   Uh, Final Cut Pro for the iPad came out this year and it's good.

00:11:44   They did a good job.

00:11:45   I was very impressed with it.

00:11:47   It is Final Cut Pro.

00:11:49   It is really functional.

00:11:51   If you want to cut a video on an iPad, you can do it.

00:11:56   And it works.

00:11:57   I was very impressed.

00:11:58   I was less impressed with Logic, although they made some changes there, but it's fundamentally a music app and that's of less interest to me.

00:12:04   But the Final Cut Pro implementation on iPad, I really liked.

00:12:07   So I want to give it a shout out.

00:12:09   What about you, Mike?

00:12:09   Okay.

00:12:10   So I, I maybe I'm going to say something controversial about Ivory.

00:12:14   So I use Ivory.

00:12:16   It is my masterland app of choice.

00:12:17   I struggle to award it best newcomer because it's Tweetbot.

00:12:22   I know they've done a lot to change it.

00:12:24   I know.

00:12:25   And it's been adapted and dah, dah, dah, dah, dah, but it started out as Tweetbot.

00:12:29   And I feel like other applications that could win this award did not start brand new quote unquote with 10 years worth of code base work.

00:12:41   Right?

00:12:41   It's true.

00:12:42   Because for me, my favorite app this year is CallSheet.

00:12:46   And I know Casey is one of my best friends, but CallSheet is excellent.

00:12:52   Now, if you want to check, if you want to check my creds, I have not awarded this to Casey's previous apps.

00:12:59   Right?

00:13:00   It's not like I'm just giving this to him because he's my friend.

00:13:03   CallSheet is one of the best apps that I've used this year.

00:13:07   Easy.

00:13:08   The design is really good.

00:13:10   I think it is an excellent use of the way that stock design can be adapted today.

00:13:18   Right?

00:13:18   That like he's using a lot of standard elements, but he's also sprinkling in his own touches.

00:13:24   There are, and talking about touches, there are so many little details.

00:13:28   Like the easy one to mention that everybody mentions, but it's great is that you have the ability, CallSheet by the way, in case you don't know, it is an application that is used for looking up information about TV shows, movies, actors, directors, that kind of thing.

00:13:42   So replacement for services like IMDb.

00:13:45   Me and Casey had used the IMDb app for years.

00:13:48   We used to speak about it a lot.

00:13:49   Neither of us really liked the app.

00:13:51   He decided he was going to fix that and he made CallSheet.

00:13:54   But one of the great features in CallSheet is you want to look up a TV show, but you want a specific piece of information about it.

00:14:01   You can turn on a spoiler warning, basically, which will hide all the like how many episodes there are, the titles of episodes.

00:14:10   So you could like go in and just check something about the first episode or whatever without spoiling it for yourself, which is fantastic.

00:14:16   Because I know I have spoiled myself and stuff like this all the time because you're like watching season one.

00:14:22   What do you mean he's only in one episode?

00:14:24   Exactly.

00:14:24   Yeah.

00:14:25   What do you mean he's only in season one?

00:14:26   Yeah.

00:14:27   Right.

00:14:27   Yeah.

00:14:28   CallSheet is superb.

00:14:30   I would mention the age feature is brilliant too, where you're looking up not only like who is that person, but like how old were they when they made this movie?

00:14:37   He knows you are thinking that.

00:14:39   And so the app will say that they were 24 when this movie was made.

00:14:43   It's like, oh, wow.

00:14:44   They look younger or older or whatever, right?

00:14:48   Yep.

00:14:48   You can very easily pin items if you want to, so you can kind of use the app as a simple, like this is what I want to watch kind of application.

00:14:57   If that's the kind of thing that you're looking for and you don't use another app to do that, something like so for a sequel.

00:15:02   And I just think it's really great.

00:15:06   Like this is one of my favorite apps of the year.

00:15:10   And I think that it does a really good job of doing what it should do and lives up to the premise and the promise that Casey set out to, which is like create something simple to get the information that you're looking for.

00:15:23   Well, I was thinking I was just gonna push this through on Ivory, but I think you're right that that although Ivory is an impressive app, it's basically a runner up.

00:15:40   In the in multiple categories probably, but I hear your words about a call sheet being completely new.

00:15:48   And even though we know Casey, like it's a really good app.

00:15:51   I have recommended it to friends who have come back to me later without prompting and said, oh my God, that app is so great.

00:16:00   Which I think says something about that app.

00:16:02   So sure, let's do it.

00:16:03   Worthy winner of the best newcomer iOS app this year is call sheet.

00:16:09   So I feel like there was a better case for Ivory and best overall, to be honest, than best new.

00:16:15   Yeah, you should have warned me that this was coming, but it's too late now.

00:16:18   That's not how these awards go.

00:16:20   You know what I mean?

00:16:20   Nope, that's not how they go.

00:16:21   They're very linear.

00:16:23   That's how they go.

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00:17:49   It's not the kind of thing that I would want to do with my team.

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00:18:22   Our thanks to electric for their support of this show and relay FM.

00:18:26   Okay, so our next award is for the best overall Mac app.

00:18:33   Last year, audio hijack picked up the win and a lifetime achievement award.

00:18:39   The upgradians voted with 4.1% for bartender, 5.1% for obsidian and 5.3% for Mime stream.

00:18:51   Yeah, this is a tough one.

00:18:53   So Mime stream came out as a 1.0 this year, but had been in beta last year.

00:18:58   And in fact, won our newcomer award last year, which made us have that whole question of like, is it a newcomer if it's not out yet, but it really was out.

00:19:04   Well, the funny thing, Jason, it won the newcomer award in 2021 and 2022.

00:19:10   Oh, it was two years in a row.

00:19:12   So technically it could win newcomer for a third time.

00:19:15   Oh, I'm excited about that.

00:19:18   And be in the newcomer hall of fame for being a newcomer three years in a row.

00:19:23   Cause it just come out and then it was in beta.

00:19:25   And now it's a 1.0.

00:19:26   I'm excited about the possibility for that.

00:19:29   However, I will pull myself up and say that that feels unfair to ivory for what I said about ivory to then give the same app three times in a row.

00:19:39   Yeah, it is.

00:19:40   So, so, um, Mime stream is great.

00:19:43   It is a great Mac app.

00:19:44   In fact, one of the things that I love about it, and I know we've talked about this the last few years in the newcomer category is I used, so it's a Gmail client.

00:19:53   I used mail plane for a long time, which was literally a web view of Gmail, but with Mac stuff injected into it.

00:20:01   So like you could do drag and drop of attachments and like the keyboard shortcuts made it be like a Mac app.

00:20:07   So it was like this really amazing kind of what if we took Gmail and put enough Mac stuff around it, that it felt like you weren't using a browser window anymore.

00:20:16   Quite close, but not quite.

00:20:18   And you get the advantages of all the speed and the features of Gmail.

00:20:22   Mime stream, uh, written by Neil Mime stream.

00:20:26   Uh, as we, as we do on this podcast, uh, Neil Mime stream used to be Neil mail, Neil Apple mail.

00:20:32   He worked on Apple mail.

00:20:33   Um, uh, Neil Jhaheri, I think is his actual name.

00:20:37   So, uh, he left and started a company and they said, we're going to build a Gmail client.

00:20:41   That is like a really good Mac client.

00:20:43   And eventually they're probably going to do an iOS version, but a really good Mac client.

00:20:47   That's a Mac app.

00:20:48   And, and, and people who like me, who are predisposed to dislike Apple mail, cause I I've used it and I don't like it.

00:20:53   You know, it throws off all of the stuff that I don't like about Apple mail and actually just as good.

00:20:58   And.

00:20:59   Like, it's good.

00:21:00   It is a good Mac app.

00:21:01   There are so few like core, not utilities or anything, but like a core Mac app that does basic base level functionality and replaces the system app in a way that is dramatically better.

00:21:14   And Mime stream does that now it's not for everybody because it is at least at present, just a Gmail client, but as somebody coming from Apple mail and mail plane.

00:21:24   Like I just, we gave it two newcomer awards.

00:21:27   I it's a great, legitimately great Mac app.

00:21:31   So I think it has to be in a consideration here, even though it's been much awarded because it is so very good.

00:21:38   Again, in an era where there are not a lot of great Mac apps anymore.

00:21:41   Right.

00:21:42   And the ones that are there, a lot of them are utilities, right?

00:21:46   Because that's a thing that is a space where you can modify the Mac experience.

00:21:50   That's a space that fits.

00:21:51   Um, so I think it deserves serious consideration.

00:21:55   The other apps that I think we should consider here are bartender five, speaking of great Mac utilities, lets you simplify and modify your menu bar on your Mac.

00:22:10   And it's a, it's a venerable utility implied by the version five, but big new features this year, lots of more functionality and intelligence about it.

00:22:18   Plus working around Apple's sort of trying to make it much harder.

00:22:22   Some theming settings, which are nice too, some visual stuff.

00:22:26   Um, and yeah, and I think once again, what bartender did this year is found really elegant ways to work around new problems that were introduced by Mac OS changing.

00:22:38   Cause this is one of those apps that is constantly playing reverse whack-a-mole.

00:22:42   Yeah.

00:22:44   Yeah.

00:22:44   It's it's yeah.

00:22:46   It's the mole, isn't it?

00:22:48   Is it the mole?

00:22:49   Yes.

00:22:50   Apple keeps trying to whack it.

00:22:52   Yes.

00:22:52   All that.

00:22:52   Like it's, it's Apple's doing things and it has to sneak around the hammer, you know?

00:22:58   Like Apple doesn't even know it's playing whack-a-mole, but they just know it's just a hammer.

00:23:02   The hammer and other stuff.

00:23:04   And there's a mole living under there being like, watch out hammer.

00:23:06   Yep.

00:23:07   That's an interesting idea in whack-a-mole.

00:23:09   Like is the, is the native state of Mac-a-mole the natural state of whack-a-mole that there's just a hammer that randomly appears and the moles evolve to avoid it.

00:23:16   And it's not trying to actually whack the moles.

00:23:18   The whack, the whacking of a mole is just an accident.

00:23:21   Yep.

00:23:22   Interesting idea.

00:23:24   Philosophically.

00:23:25   The other thing I wanted to mention that is not purely a Mac technology or even a Mac app, and yet I'm going to mention it in this category because reasons is open AI whisper, which is the amazing transcription engine that open AI built.

00:23:40   It has been implemented in a bunch of different ways.

00:23:43   Apple just released a version of it.

00:23:45   There's a guy on GitHub who did a version in C plus plus there have been multiple Mac apps wrapped around it, including a Mac whisper, but there are several.

00:23:55   And it has been transformative for me on the Mac desktop this year.

00:24:01   I just took the C plus plus version and put a shortcut around it, honestly, but there are also apps that do it.

00:24:10   And as a technology, it's amazing.

00:24:12   Now as an app, it's not right.

00:24:14   It's inside other apps, but I want to mention it because as a technology running on Mac hardware with that Apple Silicon power, it's staggering how good it is.

00:24:23   All right, so here's where I'm falling with this.

00:24:25   Mime stream.

00:24:26   I love Mime stream, but the fact that it only supports Gmail means that I can't actually use it for the majority of my email.

00:24:35   Um, and so I am hesitant personally to give it the best Mac app.

00:24:41   Like I love it as winning the newcomer app as it has done twice.

00:24:44   Obviously we love that, but I feel like it still has a way to go for it to be considered in my mind, like the best app that it could possibly be.

00:24:55   I'm okay giving this to bartender five.

00:24:57   I mean, it's, it's newness is part of it, but also it is a, a traditional Mac utility that is great at its job.

00:25:05   Well, what else?

00:25:05   So here's what I was going to say.

00:25:06   Bartender one in 2021.

00:25:08   Okay.

00:25:10   I would vote, my vote would go to bartender.

00:25:13   However, I just wanted to say I have not used whisper, but I benefit from whisper because people I know use it.

00:25:21   It's also like for me, interesting in a way to award something like whisper because it's what 2023 has been, right?

00:25:32   Is these machine learning tools.

00:25:34   Yeah.

00:25:35   So like if you felt strongly enough about it, that you would consider it a winner.

00:25:40   I would be happy to award it.

00:25:41   It would be a little outside the box because what I would be doing is saying open AI whisper is the winner because it feeds into some great Mac apps and other applications that you can build yourself using a script or shortcuts or whatever, or the command line.

00:25:57   And it takes full advantage of Apple hardware.

00:26:00   And the fact that Apple has now jumped on board and built their own implementation that's accelerated for Apple's frameworks.

00:26:06   Um, I, I, I do think it's kind of great.

00:26:10   And you know, it's, it is the upgrade ease.

00:26:12   We do wacky stuff and our bartender won a couple of years ago.

00:26:15   So yeah, let's do it.

00:26:16   Let's put, let's give open AI whisper, um, an upgrade.

00:26:19   Why not?

00:26:20   So the winner of the 2023 upgrade if the best Mac app is.

00:26:24   Whisper open AI whisper.

00:26:27   That's wild.

00:26:28   And everybody and everybody who has an app that's based on whisper.

00:26:32   You can, you can now say that you can't say that you want an upgrade, but you can say you use upgraded winning technology, upgraded winning technology.

00:26:39   And we'll give bartender and Mime stream the runner up NODS.

00:26:42   Yeah, sounds good.

00:26:43   Best newcomer Mac app.

00:26:46   Now, uh, last year Mime stream and the year before we don't, we don't talk about that.

00:26:54   You know, uh, love it.

00:26:55   I love it.

00:26:56   I love the chaos of it.

00:26:57   That's great.

00:26:58   Uh, bound by rules.

00:26:59   No, no rules for the upgrades are literally no rules.

00:27:02   We make them up as we go along and they they're flexible and then discard them as necessary.

00:27:06   That's the best way to do all.

00:27:08   That's how to do it.

00:27:09   The upgrade Ian's vote at bartender five of 4.4% Mime stream at 13.8% and ivory at 23.3%.

00:27:20   Do you mind if I go first at this category?

00:27:23   Please do.

00:27:24   To me, this is where ivory picks up the NODS from me.

00:27:28   Like, I think that this is the perfect place to put it.

00:27:30   Um, because it is a new app, right?

00:27:36   Like for as much as we spoke about it earlier, like it came from somewhere else, but it's a new app.

00:27:41   And I would particularly highlight it here because I feel like at the time ivory on the Mac came out, like the desperation was real for a good Mac.

00:27:53   Mastodon client.

00:27:54   And I think ivory has done the job for that where I feel like on the iPhone, the competition is much more varied.

00:28:07   And there are more really good competitors, at least at the time when ivory was around, right?

00:28:12   Like there were a bunch of apps that were popping up and they were, they were doing a good job.

00:28:16   But I feel like on the Mac version, uh, ivory was, was really needed and welcomed at the time that it arrived.

00:28:26   I agree with you.

00:28:29   I think, I think our challenge here is that we've got an app that is sort of derived from a previous app.

00:28:34   We've got an app that is not a newcomer, just the new version five is new.

00:28:38   And, uh, and, and then mind stream is the app that is, is new in a way, but also has won this category the last two years.

00:28:46   So there's a lot of, uh, of, of retreading going on in the newcomer Mac app category, which I think I feel like is kind of fitting.

00:28:55   Um, but there's a lot of good, good Mac stuff.

00:28:57   It's just, there's some iteration going on here.

00:28:59   I fully endorse ivory winning an upgrade somewhere.

00:29:02   And I do use it on the Mac and I agree getting Mac apps for modern social media.

00:29:09   Like I know everybody's really excited that there's this new feature in Sonoma where you can, uh, I mean, you've been able to do this in third party apps for a while, but like Safari will just let you set, say, you know, safe threads out.

00:29:19   As an app, but it's really just a Safari window and you can say blue sky out, which is nice.

00:29:26   And like, I'm happy I can do that, but it's not ideal.

00:29:29   No, it's not.

00:29:31   It's not a, it's not a replacement for the Mac app.

00:29:33   So yeah, let's give it to ivory because I want to thank tap bots for actually caring enough to make a Mac app.

00:29:39   Um, they didn't have to and I'm glad they did.

00:29:42   And it's a good Mac app, even though it is familiar to people who've used tweet bot, it's not the same.

00:29:47   And I'm so glad that it exists on the Mac and I have it open on my Mac right now.

00:29:50   Yep.

00:29:51   So the winner of the 2023 upgrade here for best newcomer Mac app is ivory with Mime stream and bots into five.

00:30:00   As runners up, as we mentioned earlier, there is a full list of all the winners and runner ups in every category over upgrade.com.

00:30:07   We have a new category for this year, which we're calling best feature.

00:30:13   And each year Jason and I will decide which Apple platform feature do we want to highlight for this category.

00:30:22   And this year we chose widgets in a year where widgets found their way to the Mac became interactive and became a pivotal focus of watchOS.

00:30:33   We wanted to award widgets.

00:30:35   So developers who have made good widgets, we wanted to note them.

00:30:40   The upgrade ends voted in this category with 5.2% for widget Smith, 5.8% for fantastic Al and 15.7% for carrot weather.

00:30:52   Huh?

00:30:53   Well, my nomination in this category is flighty.

00:30:57   Interesting.

00:30:58   I enjoy flighty's widgets and I use them and I find them valuable.

00:31:02   They're there.

00:31:03   They could be more dynamic.

00:31:05   They're doing a lot of work in the dynamic Island and in, in live activities and on the Apple watch in the complications, right?

00:31:12   They're, they're like kind of all around it.

00:31:13   Their widgets are okay.

00:31:14   They're sort of countdown and then current time and location.

00:31:17   It's not their strength, but I do like them and I wanted to give them a shout out.

00:31:21   The other ones that are in this category, I feel like you are, are ready to anticipate because I can see what you are going to say.

00:31:27   Cause I can see into the future.

00:31:29   So why don't you just go ahead?

00:31:30   Because I I'm, I'm in line with your picks here anyway.

00:31:34   I like flighty's widgets, but their live activity work and complication work is superior to their widgets.

00:31:39   It's superior.

00:31:39   Because that's just more helpful for the type of app that it is.

00:31:43   My nod are for the home app widget, which is just awesome.

00:31:48   And I use it every day and I'm so happy they did it because we spoke about it on the show just before it happened.

00:31:54   The control center version where it's trying to guess what you want is no good.

00:31:58   And if you have used the widget and you're like, well, that just does the same.

00:32:01   If you long press on the widget, you can turn off a toggle, which allows you to switch from a recommended system to just choosing your own scenes and items that you would like to just be an Apple home widget.

00:32:13   And then I want to give a nod to widgetsmith because look widgetsmith is the king of widgets anyway.

00:32:19   And David Smith does such a good job.

00:32:22   I feel like this is one where I don't need to make the disclaimer that Dave is my friend because like everyone on the planet uses widgetsmith.

00:32:28   So.

00:32:30   But what I think David did a really great job of this year as he is want to do is to take something new and do something with it that nobody else is doing.

00:32:41   And some of the stuff that he's done with interactive widgets are incredible.

00:32:45   Like the man rebuilt Coverflow inside of a widget so you can scroll through your albums.

00:32:51   Just because he could.

00:32:51   But my favorite thing that he did was quite simple but can be quite powerful depending on how you use it is the ability to kind of stack widgets on top of each other within one widget.

00:33:01   So something that I loved about widgetsmith and something I'd used for a long time was the countdown widget.

00:33:08   So if I had a big event going on in my life or a vacation I would set up a countdown and you could add an image.

00:33:14   So I would put an image of the place that I was going to or something.

00:33:16   But you always had to pick the right image so the text worked correctly.

00:33:20   Now you don't need to worry about it.

00:33:21   Pick whatever image you want.

00:33:23   And then when you tap it the widget slides up and shows you the countdown to your event.

00:33:27   Just little things like that.

00:33:28   Widgetsmith continues to be incredible and the interactivity is only taking it a step further this year.

00:33:36   So for my money the best widgets go to widgetsmith.

00:33:40   So we swear we did not create this category just to give an award to widgetsmith.

00:33:44   We really didn't.

00:33:45   But it's not a surprise that an app entirely devoted to widgets is doing the best at widgets.

00:33:50   And so I agree with you.

00:33:52   Let's give it to widgetsmith.

00:33:53   So I just wanted to make a couple of other statements about this because I would want to put home and flighty as the runners up.

00:34:00   And my reasoning for this, so we've got Carrotweather and Fantastical that's voted for by the Upgradients.

00:34:06   This is very interesting to me.

00:34:08   So Fantastical and Carrotweather have great widgets.

00:34:11   I don't feel that these are versions of applications that have done a great job of interactivity.

00:34:16   Which in my mind is the kind of thing we're focusing on this time.

00:34:20   Yeah, Flighty doesn't really have great interactivity either though in their widget.

00:34:24   Okay.

00:34:26   I'm trying to think of great interactive widgets and there are some out there.

00:34:32   There are not as many that at least that I've used.

00:34:36   Well, I would say though that Carrot just has really good widgets.

00:34:39   Like if we're going to say like who's got the best widgets out of all of these ones.

00:34:43   Let's say Carrot is the runner up there because Carrot's widgets are very good.

00:34:46   They're always very good, but not necessarily very good interactivity wise.

00:34:52   But super good.

00:34:55   So the best widgets, best feature of widgets goes to Widgetsmith with Home and Carrotweather as our runner's up.

00:35:03   This episode is brought to you by TextExpander.

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00:36:15   and I asked Carrie a question and she went, "Let me check that."

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00:36:46   It is time to award the Upgrady for Game of the Year.

00:36:51   It's goatee time, everybody.

00:36:53   My favorite.

00:36:56   My favorite category.

00:36:57   Last year was Marvel Snap.

00:37:00   Snap.

00:37:01   I have a word about Marvel Snap because I just took your word for it last year.

00:37:05   You made a great case for Marvel Snap and how much you liked it and how fun it was.

00:37:09   And I just want to say now, kind of moving retroactively,

00:37:14   the game I played the most this year by far was Marvel Snap.

00:37:19   Right.

00:37:20   So thanks.

00:37:21   You endorsed the 2022 Upgrady for Marvel Snap.

00:37:23   I endorse the Upgrady's about Marvel Snap.

00:37:27   I love it. It's great.

00:37:29   And I'll throw out there also, not quite an app, but Puzmo launched,

00:37:34   which is Zach Gage's web-based puzzle page,

00:37:38   basically with lots of familiar Zach Gage games and other games.

00:37:43   And they are now owned, they got bought by Hearst.

00:37:47   So they're integrating it with the Hearst newspapers,

00:37:49   like the San Francisco Chronicle and the Houston Chronicle.

00:37:53   And that's also really great, even though it's not, you know,

00:37:56   it's just a game, right?

00:37:57   This is a platform independent.

00:37:59   It's just a bunch of puzzles and they're great.

00:38:01   So I want to mention those.

00:38:02   But now I hand the floor over to the host of the Upgrady's Game of the Year, Mike Hurley.

00:38:07   All right, I'm going to start with the Upgradians votes.

00:38:09   7% for Marvel's Spider-Man 2.

00:38:13   Baldur's Gate 3, 8.9%.

00:38:16   And a whopping 30.5% was The Legend of Zelda, Tears of the Kingdom.

00:38:21   And let me tell you, the Upgradians, they are gamers with taste, Jason Snow,

00:38:27   because they pick correctly.

00:38:28   I'm sure.

00:38:29   Let me say these three games here,

00:38:32   interchangeable as Game of the Year,

00:38:34   depending on where you're coming from, honestly.

00:38:35   Like I played all of them. I could see it.

00:38:38   For me, I would put Spider-Man 2 above Baldur's Gate 3.

00:38:42   I think Baldur's Gate is an incredible achievement.

00:38:45   And I would say 60% of the game is incredible.

00:38:48   And I feel like 30% of the game starts to get a bit weird and slow.

00:38:52   And I have yet to finish it because I feel like it keeps pushing me away from wanting to play.

00:38:57   Spider-Man 2, unbelievable.

00:39:00   Like in a year without Tears of the Kingdom, this is an easy Game of the Year for me.

00:39:05   I loved it.

00:39:07   Like there was a point playing this game where I was like,

00:39:10   "Is this my favorite Game of the Year?"

00:39:13   And it's just difficult for it to hold the level that it was at,

00:39:20   I think, for an entire game experience,

00:39:22   where Legend of Zelda, Tears of the Kingdom had a almost insurmountable task,

00:39:29   which was, how do you best maybe the best game ever made?

00:39:34   And it did it.

00:39:35   And it did it by adding in incredible new mechanics

00:39:40   by expanding the world significantly and layering on top of it a beautiful story.

00:39:47   And for me, the only mark that I had against Breath of the Wild

00:39:51   was that there was not a coherent good story told in the game,

00:39:55   and they crushed it with Tears of the Kingdom.

00:39:58   This is my new favorite game of all time,

00:40:03   and is therefore the 2023 winner for Game of the Year.

00:40:09   Doo doo doo doo! Sounds great.

00:40:11   It's so good, man.

00:40:12   I know, you didn't play Breath of the Wild at all, did you?

00:40:16   No, no, I'm not a person who played.

00:40:20   My son feeds me all of these things, but I'm just not...

00:40:24   Like, when I was sick last week,

00:40:25   I played the first level of the original Spider-Man game.

00:40:31   And it was fun, but even then, it was fun,

00:40:34   but there's just so much button mashing, and it just does not...

00:40:37   My brain doesn't work like that.

00:40:41   And I was uneasy. Uneasiest.

00:40:44   I would say, though, as an opener, that's hard.

00:40:47   It's quite a hard opener.

00:40:48   I think in the first game, they did not balance the opening well,

00:40:52   where the opening to Spider-Man 2

00:40:55   is the best opening of any video game I've ever played.

00:40:58   It is un-burtly.

00:41:00   Genuinely, it looks and feels like you're playing a movie.

00:41:02   I've never seen anything like it.

00:41:05   And basically, one of the big things for them is,

00:41:08   this game was just developed for the PlayStation 5.

00:41:10   It was not developed for the PlayStation 4,

00:41:12   and so they were able to really take advantage

00:41:15   of what the PlayStation 5 is capable of, and it showed.

00:41:19   I love hearing about these.

00:41:21   I mean, the truth is, I think,

00:41:23   the truth is that my entertainment choices

00:41:26   are books and movies and TV shows.

00:41:29   And I try to think of, like, when would I play games?

00:41:33   And the other thing is, I do, other than reading books,

00:41:36   which I tend to do sort of like as I'm going to bed,

00:41:40   the movies and TV shows, I do with Lauren.

00:41:42   And video game, like, I can never find the time

00:41:46   to go off by myself.

00:41:48   I just, I never can.

00:41:49   To be like, I'm just gonna go play a video game.

00:41:51   You do something else, especially since I already do that

00:41:53   sometimes with podcasts.

00:41:54   Like, there's enough of that already.

00:41:56   So I just never find the time.

00:41:58   And when it's like this amount of time

00:42:01   to play some of these games,

00:42:02   it's just like, it never happens for me.

00:42:04   So I'm not, I always am an aspirational gamer.

00:42:08   I have bought so many games, and I almost never play them.

00:42:12   So that's just my life.

00:42:14   - Understood.

00:42:15   All right, so for the next category is favorite movie.

00:42:21   - Hey, speaking of movies.

00:42:24   - Last year was "Turning Red,"

00:42:25   which is coming to the cinemas next year,

00:42:27   and I'm gonna go see it in the cinema.

00:42:28   - It is, in January, I think, yeah.

00:42:29   - I wanna go see it.

00:42:30   - Yeah, great movie.

00:42:31   Really great movie.

00:42:32   For this year, the Upgradians voted 14.7% for "Barbie,"

00:42:37   18% for "Oppenheimer,"

00:42:41   and 18.7% for "The Dark Horse,"

00:42:44   "Spider-Man Across the Spider-Verse."

00:42:46   I loved that.

00:42:48   - Yeah, good job, Upgradians.

00:42:51   And when I look at your choices here, they're the same,

00:42:55   is the Upgradians.

00:42:56   You're right in line.

00:42:57   - Yeah, my three nominations are these three exact movies,

00:43:00   and they are coming from very different places.

00:43:05   So like-- - Oh yeah, yeah, they are.

00:43:09   - So "Oppenheimer" is the best movie I saw this year.

00:43:11   "Spider-Verse 2" was just amazing.

00:43:16   I loved it.

00:43:18   And "Barbie" was the most fun I had in the cinema this year.

00:43:22   Like if I was to rank them,

00:43:24   I probably would go "Oppenheimer," "Barbie," "Spider-Verse."

00:43:27   Like that would be my ranking.

00:43:30   What is your favorite movie of the year?

00:43:32   - "Oppenheimer" was my favorite movie of the year.

00:43:35   - It's pretty good. - Hands down.

00:43:36   I love "Spider-Man Across the Spider-Verse."

00:43:39   I really did.

00:43:40   I didn't mind that it has a cliffhanger at the end

00:43:43   because I knew going in that they were doing two movies,

00:43:46   and it felt very clear

00:43:47   that they were gonna lead up to a cliffhanger,

00:43:49   and I was fine with that.

00:43:50   And the fact that they,

00:43:51   you talk about topping "Breath of the Wild."

00:43:54   How do you follow "Breath of the Wild?"

00:43:57   Well, how do you follow the first "Spider-Verse" movie,

00:44:01   which was a beautiful thing unto itself

00:44:04   that just, it stands alone and is beautiful,

00:44:07   and one, I would argue,

00:44:08   one of the great animated films of all time.

00:44:12   How do you follow that?

00:44:13   And the answer is they followed it

00:44:15   with something that's pretty great.

00:44:16   And does it match up?

00:44:17   I don't know because the story isn't done yet,

00:44:19   but it certainly didn't make me feel like they let me down.

00:44:24   In fact, it felt like they were trying to shift

00:44:26   into another gear and be more ambitious,

00:44:28   which is what you should do after you make a movie

00:44:31   that's ambitious and successful like the first one.

00:44:33   So I really admire it.

00:44:35   I think it's really great,

00:44:37   but I thought "Oppenheimer" was the best movie

00:44:40   I saw this year.

00:44:41   I just, and I've read a lot about that era.

00:44:46   I read "The Making of the Atomic Bomb" a couple years ago.

00:44:49   I actually read the "Oppenheimer" biography after I saw it.

00:44:53   And I was like,

00:44:54   "Oh, that's why there are all these scenes

00:44:55   with Robert Downey Jr. in there."

00:44:57   I didn't think they were that interesting

00:45:00   in the book actually,

00:45:01   but in the movie, Christopher Nolan's doing his thing

00:45:05   where he is telling a story about a particularly important

00:45:09   and cataclysmic event in human history

00:45:11   and a person who was right at the center of it.

00:45:13   And in his style of breaking up the timeframe

00:45:18   and having it kind of whirl around the different parts

00:45:22   of this guy's life, you end up with a story that is,

00:45:26   you can see the story that Christopher Nolan

00:45:29   is wanting to tell with the chopped up pieces

00:45:32   placed in a particular order.

00:45:34   I think it was really brilliantly done

00:45:35   and saw it in 70 millimeter, I want to say.

00:45:40   - Me too.

00:45:41   - And looks great, really effective, beautiful,

00:45:45   serious, moving.

00:45:51   Yeah, I just, I walked out of the theater thinking,

00:45:53   "Yeah, that's why we make movies right there."

00:45:56   So I think that's the winner.

00:45:58   And then the other two are our runners up.

00:46:01   - Yeah, I would like to just on Oppenheimer,

00:46:03   also just add in just how incredible

00:46:07   of a job Cillian Murphy did, just crushed it.

00:46:11   - Yeah.

00:46:12   - Because that was a hard job.

00:46:13   The amount that he is on.

00:46:15   - Yeah, he's a very particular character too, Oppenheimer.

00:46:17   He is trying to be a very, very specific kind of character,

00:46:22   Oppenheimer, and he does a good job.

00:46:23   - Yeah, he is in so much of that movie,

00:46:26   and it's a long movie and he is in a lot of it.

00:46:29   And that is a tough job to do.

00:46:31   I watched a really good cast interview thing

00:46:34   and everyone was saying that,

00:46:36   Matt Damon, Robert Downey Jr.

00:46:37   were just giving him props of like,

00:46:39   that is a Herculean task to know all those words

00:46:44   and be in all those scenes.

00:46:47   - Yeah, he did a fantastic job.

00:46:48   I've been a big fan of his,

00:46:50   especially as a fan of Peaky Blinders,

00:46:51   and I'm happy that he has gotten

00:46:53   his Hollywood breakout movie,

00:46:56   where he's kind of been a supporting player

00:46:59   in a lot of Nolan movies.

00:47:00   And this time he was the star.

00:47:03   - Yep.

00:47:03   - Favorite TV show?

00:47:06   Last year we awarded Severance.

00:47:09   - Ooh.

00:47:10   - This year, the Upgradians voted with 8.4%

00:47:13   for The Last of Us.

00:47:15   11.4% for Loki and 12.2% for Silo.

00:47:20   If you permit me to go first,

00:47:22   'cause you have more options here.

00:47:24   So I want to throw Succession in.

00:47:26   Was Succession ended just a truly superb season.

00:47:31   Really, really, really stuck the landing.

00:47:35   The Last of Us was just a real feat.

00:47:40   I think they did an incredible job

00:47:41   retelling that story in a new medium.

00:47:44   And I think that Bella Ramsey and Pedro Pascal

00:47:47   were just superb.

00:47:50   I watched all of The Bear this year.

00:47:51   So season one and two.

00:47:53   That is a television show.

00:47:56   Let me tell you. - It really is.

00:47:57   Season two was great.

00:47:58   Season two is, I mean, season one was great.

00:48:00   And I think I might've mentioned it last year,

00:48:02   but season two is just spectacular too.

00:48:04   Talk about your followups.

00:48:05   Managing to do it, that The Bear season two does it, yeah.

00:48:09   - So does Loki.

00:48:11   Loki season two.

00:48:12   I watched episode one and I did not like it,

00:48:14   but I will power on at some point

00:48:16   and watch the rest of it.

00:48:17   I was really turned off by episode one.

00:48:19   - The last two episodes especially are superb.

00:48:23   Like I am not a Marvel doomer,

00:48:27   but this show kind of reminded me

00:48:31   of how good they can be with story.

00:48:33   And also, Slow Horses.

00:48:36   Wow.

00:48:39   Wow, Slow Horses.

00:48:42   We've spoken about this a couple of times.

00:48:44   It is a very interesting show based in the UK.

00:48:47   It's based on some books.

00:48:49   Gary Oldman in the lead,

00:48:51   just doing a really weird and wonderful performance

00:48:55   of just a disgusting MI5 agent.

00:49:00   And Slow Horses, there is a group of MI5 agents

00:49:05   who for whatever reason have been deemed unfit.

00:49:09   And so they get sent to a place called Slough House

00:49:12   where they go to work on unglamorous tasks.

00:49:17   - Yeah, junk work.

00:49:19   'Cause they can't be fired for whatever reason.

00:49:22   They won't quit.

00:49:23   And so they're basically shelved at Slough House

00:49:27   under Gary Oldman's leadership.

00:49:29   And you might think, how is that a show?

00:49:31   And the answer is, well, that's the premise, right?

00:49:34   Is that there's some things that end up going

00:49:39   to the Slow Horses for various reasons.

00:49:40   And also you get the very strong sense

00:49:42   that Jackson Lamb, Gary Oldman's character

00:49:45   is not all that he appears to be.

00:49:48   And so they're more useful than you think,

00:49:50   but they are also the rejects.

00:49:51   So it's like doing a movie about a superhero team

00:49:56   of rejects or something.

00:49:57   It's that kind of idea is like, these are spies.

00:50:00   They're bad spies, but they are spies.

00:50:03   And they're not necessarily even bad,

00:50:04   but they did stupid stuff and they've got stupid things

00:50:07   in their lives that have made them get warehoused.

00:50:10   And they also have low self-esteem because,

00:50:14   I mean, either they're dreaming on working their way back

00:50:16   to MI5 or they can't think of what else they would do

00:50:19   in life, so they're just gonna sit and stare out a window

00:50:21   at Slough House.

00:50:23   It's a great show, great show.

00:50:25   - What I would say, I've seen the whole season,

00:50:28   no spoilers, but I just wanted to throw that out there

00:50:30   'cause sometimes we get special access to things

00:50:33   and this is one of those.

00:50:35   Thank you, Apple TV team.

00:50:38   What I like about Slow Horses is it is a spy thriller

00:50:41   that is dealing with ultimately small things

00:50:45   where spy thrillers are usually huge and they're like,

00:50:50   we're dealing with the fate of the world

00:50:52   or there's a super villain who's trying to blow up space

00:50:56   and this is like, there are things that need

00:50:59   to be dealt with, but maybe they only impact

00:51:02   a small group of people or maybe it's just one town

00:51:05   or half of a city or whatever and these things have

00:51:09   to be dealt with though and the Slow Horses do it.

00:51:12   So that's what I like about this show.

00:51:14   It's everything those shows have, but on a small scale.

00:51:17   That's super good, so they're my picks.

00:51:19   - It's an Apple TV, we talked at the time about they hired

00:51:21   like somebody from the BBC to head their European TV

00:51:24   development and this is a British show.

00:51:27   In fact, I saw it in a list of 10, I was like,

00:51:29   why is it not in this 10 best list?

00:51:30   And then the next list was 10 best international.

00:51:33   It was an American list and it was in there

00:51:35   and I'm like, oh yeah, it is a British show, right?

00:51:37   But it's an Apple TV show, it's brilliant.

00:51:39   - And it's a show that they shoot oddly in such a way

00:51:43   that at the end of each season, they show you a trailer

00:51:45   of the entire next season, which I love.

00:51:47   - The way they shoot it is these are six episode seasons.

00:51:49   They're very short, but they shoot 12 episodes in a block.

00:51:51   So they shoot two seasons at once.

00:51:54   So at the end of season one, they know what season two

00:51:55   is gonna be, they show you a trailer for it.

00:51:57   So they've shot season three and four.

00:52:00   We've seen season three or you and I at least

00:52:02   have seen all of it and then there's a trailer

00:52:03   for season four based on the books by Mick Heron.

00:52:06   It's following the books.

00:52:07   My understanding is pretty closely.

00:52:08   - Cool.

00:52:10   - I've only read the first one of the books.

00:52:11   Books are good too.

00:52:12   All right, I thought this was a great year for TV.

00:52:15   Honestly, great year.

00:52:16   I've got a long list, I don't know what to pick here.

00:52:19   Star Trek Strange New Worlds season two was amazing

00:52:22   and it is everything.

00:52:24   As a lifelong Star Trek fan, I cannot believe

00:52:26   we got a show as good as Star Trek Strange New Worlds.

00:52:28   It is accessible, it's friendly, it's the captain crew,

00:52:31   the Starship Enterprise going around having adventures.

00:52:34   It is fundamentally Star Trek and Anson Mount is Captain

00:52:37   Pike and he is a super charismatic and it is an awesome show

00:52:42   and this year they did a crossover with the animated show

00:52:47   Lower Decks where animated characters came into the real

00:52:50   world that was hilarious and amazing.

00:52:53   They did a musical episode that is really good

00:52:57   and they also had like their season finale is another

00:53:01   kind of action like aliens-esque kind of thing.

00:53:06   Just every episode is a different genre, really well done.

00:53:12   So big fan, Strange New Worlds, love it.

00:53:15   You mentioned Slow Horses, great.

00:53:19   Foundation season two was really good.

00:53:23   I know people were really mixed on Foundation season one

00:53:26   because it's slow and it starts really slow

00:53:29   and you have to download a lot of information

00:53:31   and I think it's intentionally a little slower

00:53:33   than it needs to be.

00:53:35   That is not a problem with season two.

00:53:36   They got the notes, they clearly got the notes.

00:53:38   Season two is much faster pace and what I love

00:53:42   about Foundation is it looks like the inside of my,

00:53:47   in my internal mind's eye when I read these ridiculous

00:53:54   widescreen space opera novels that are full of ideas

00:53:58   and do wild stuff and you would think,

00:54:00   well, that's never gonna be able to be put on a screen.

00:54:04   It's just, who would do that and who would pay for it?

00:54:07   And the answer is David Goyer and Apple and its foundation.

00:54:12   Also, it's like, I've heard people say it's Star Wars-esque

00:54:16   in the sense that it's about an empire, but it's not.

00:54:19   Only in the broadest senses like Star Wars,

00:54:22   it is really, it's intelligent, it is weird.

00:54:25   It does make some very strange decisions.

00:54:29   You gotta pay attention to it, but it is, it looks amazing.

00:54:34   I think there is maybe not a better looking show on TV

00:54:37   than Foundation.

00:54:38   Love it, season two, loved it, every episode of it.

00:54:41   Great, so much fun.

00:54:43   The bear?

00:54:45   - Yep.

00:54:46   - You said it.

00:54:47   Pick your favorite episode.

00:54:49   There's that Christmas episode where everybody

00:54:51   in the family is, and it brings up back all the intensity

00:54:54   and all the emotional.

00:54:55   I thought the episode where they send the baker

00:55:00   to Amsterdam was the best episode of TV I saw all year.

00:55:05   I liked it even better than that Christmas episode.

00:55:08   It is a great character who's like a minor character

00:55:11   and he goes off on his own for an episode

00:55:12   and it is heartfelt and moving and brilliant

00:55:15   and has a great cameo at the end of it and is just amazing.

00:55:18   And the one with his, or actually the one with the cousin

00:55:22   is the one with the cameo at the end of it.

00:55:23   And that's a great episode too.

00:55:25   Like the bear, just, you're thinking,

00:55:28   I don't wanna watch a show about a bear.

00:55:30   Well, it's not about that.

00:55:30   It's about a family and people who run a restaurant

00:55:34   in Chicago, so it's totally not about a bear.

00:55:37   Although there is a bear in it, but it's not about that.

00:55:40   I highly, like, listen to me, listen to Mike,

00:55:42   watch the bear if you haven't, like, just do it.

00:55:44   - The bear is very popular, which is great.

00:55:47   It maybe suffers a little bit of the Patriot problem

00:55:50   of like the name is not super good.

00:55:52   - The title, right?

00:55:53   Like, why do I wanna watch the bear?

00:55:55   I don't like bears.

00:55:56   It's not about bears, people.

00:55:58   It's so good.

00:55:59   Also, it's short.

00:56:01   I would say it's a drama,

00:56:03   but each episode is like 30 minutes long.

00:56:06   So you might be thinking like, is it a comedy?

00:56:08   Is it a dramedy?

00:56:09   It can be funny, but it is a drama and it's short.

00:56:13   And I kind of love that it's short,

00:56:14   except when it needs to be long, it's long,

00:56:15   'cause it's streaming, but mostly it's short.

00:56:17   And the pace is, as a result, very fast and it's great.

00:56:22   It's a great show.

00:56:24   For All Mankind is back for season four.

00:56:28   It is, it delivers.

00:56:30   I have seen the first eight.

00:56:32   - I'm halfway through.

00:56:33   - So I haven't seen the last two.

00:56:34   - I'm halfway through.

00:56:35   - It's great.

00:56:36   I love that show.

00:56:37   - Yeah, super good.

00:56:38   I was a little nervous on one episode

00:56:40   where I felt like they were focusing on a story

00:56:42   that I kind of didn't care about,

00:56:45   but then it opened up a little bit.

00:56:47   - Yeah, 'cause they're bringing it all together

00:56:49   into one big ball of disaster,

00:56:51   'cause that's what that show does.

00:56:52   - Yes, and they, as always,

00:56:55   they open up the show with disaster.

00:56:57   After the last season, me and Athena have this joke now

00:57:00   that anytime anyone goes to do anything,

00:57:03   I'm sure that they're gonna die.

00:57:04   Like somebody goes to pick up the mail

00:57:07   and a satellite lands on their head.

00:57:09   Do you know what I mean?

00:57:10   - That's gonna happen.

00:57:10   Yeah, 'cause there's always,

00:57:12   and so yeah, in episode one, they're like,

00:57:13   "Yep, here's your giant space disaster."

00:57:15   Agree on the Last of Us, what an achievement that is.

00:57:19   That is a prestige TV show based on a video game.

00:57:24   It's done incredibly well.

00:57:27   And I would also say you could think after something

00:57:30   like The Walking Dead where people are like,

00:57:31   "Okay, we did the zombie thing.

00:57:34   We don't need to do that again."

00:57:35   It's like, well, but if you do it like The Last of Us,

00:57:38   you can do it again, because it is,

00:57:39   and the brilliant thing is it's using the zombie apocalypse

00:57:43   for what it's supposed to be, which is it's about characters

00:57:45   'cause in the end, it's always about the characters.

00:57:47   And it does it supremely well.

00:57:50   - They're not even in every episode.

00:57:53   - No, no.

00:57:54   And it's like, I mean, this is why I like genre TV in general

00:57:57   is that it's about the characters,

00:57:58   but you can have these wild ideas

00:58:01   that are not based in the real world.

00:58:03   They're there to either reflect our fears,

00:58:05   reflect our lives, or put characters in situations

00:58:09   where they have to process things

00:58:11   that are common about being human, even if they're not.

00:58:13   Like a character processing the fact

00:58:16   that there are zombies chasing them.

00:58:18   Like we may not live that life in our real life,

00:58:21   but the way it's told, it's about something fundamental

00:58:24   to being a human being.

00:58:25   It's beautiful.

00:58:26   - Also has a contender for best episode of a show this year,

00:58:29   which was the Bill Frank episode.

00:58:31   - For sure, for sure.

00:58:33   That would be my number two, I think,

00:58:35   after the Baker going to Amsterdam.

00:58:37   Or is it Copenhagen?

00:58:40   Maybe it's Copenhagen. - It goes to Copenhagen.

00:58:41   It goes to Copenhagen. - It's Copenhagen.

00:58:43   Sorry, I said Amsterdam earlier.

00:58:44   That was the Ted Lasso episode about Amsterdam

00:58:46   which was great. - Yes, Ted Lasso's Amsterdam.

00:58:47   Also a good episode.

00:58:49   Also on a boat. - Yeah, I like season three

00:58:50   of Ted Lasso, by the way.

00:58:51   I didn't even put it in the list here, but I liked it.

00:58:53   It was not as good as some of the previous,

00:58:55   but I liked it. - No, it did a really good job

00:58:57   of wrapping up a show which seemed complicated

00:58:59   and difficult to wrap up in a good way.

00:59:02   - They felt like they were forced to wrap it up in a way

00:59:04   that they're like, 'cause Jason Sudeikis

00:59:05   didn't wanna be there anymore.

00:59:07   Okay, "Reservation Dogs."

00:59:09   Again, you may or may not like the title.

00:59:12   It's done now.

00:59:14   They've done all the episodes.

00:59:15   They're not gonna make any more.

00:59:17   It is about a bunch of indigenous kids in Oklahoma

00:59:21   on a reservation.

00:59:22   And they start out as kinda like they're trying to play

00:59:26   with being thieves or being a gang,

00:59:30   but it's not really about that.

00:59:32   It's not about crime.

00:59:33   It's not a "Reservoir Dogs" kind of thing.

00:59:35   There's no blood.

00:59:36   It is about kids coming of age on the Indian reservation,

00:59:41   trying to figure out who they are and dealing with trauma

00:59:44   because one of the kids in the group has died.

00:59:48   And the rest of them are, we don't see it at first,

00:59:52   but there is a hole in that group

00:59:55   and it really affects them

00:59:57   and how they're gonna live their lives.

01:00:00   It is funny.

01:00:01   This is another show that's really short.

01:00:03   You could classify it as a comedy,

01:00:05   but it's not just that.

01:00:06   It's very emotional.

01:00:07   It's funny, but also very emotional.

01:00:10   It's beautiful.

01:00:11   It's really one of the best shows I've seen

01:00:13   in the last 10 years.

01:00:14   Highly recommended, all episodes available now.

01:00:18   Hilarious.

01:00:19   I'll also say for people who are on the fence about it,

01:00:22   the show that I find that it's most like tonally

01:00:24   is actually "Letterkenny," which is weird

01:00:26   because "Letterkenny" is just almost like

01:00:28   a sketch comedy show and I dearly love "Letterkenny."

01:00:31   But imagine "Letterkenny," but with way more heart.

01:00:35   That's "Reservation Dogs."

01:00:38   Cannot recommend it enough.

01:00:39   Amazing.

01:00:41   I wanna shout out "Mrs. Davis,"

01:00:43   which is a bizarre one-season show that was on Peacock

01:00:46   from Damon Lindelof and, oh, I forget her name,

01:00:49   the co-producer who came from a totally different genre

01:00:53   and they made this show together.

01:00:56   And it is about an AI that has become sentient

01:01:01   that's trying to find the Holy Grail.

01:01:04   And there's a nun who used to be a magician.

01:01:07   Okay.

01:01:09   Every episode is bananas and it has a beginning

01:01:13   and it has an end.

01:01:14   Is it Alithia Jones?

01:01:15   Is that who you're looking for?

01:01:16   That may be it.

01:01:17   Direct to an executive producer, Tara Hernandez,

01:01:20   writer, executive producer.

01:01:21   Oh, no, it's Tara Hernandez.

01:01:23   Okay.

01:01:24   Yeah, she did it with--

01:01:26   Lindelof.

01:01:27   With Damon Lindelof.

01:01:29   They did it together.

01:01:31   And she comes from, I think she was a writer

01:01:33   on "Big Bang Theory."

01:01:33   "Big Bang Theory" and "Young Sheldon."

01:01:36   All of this information came from

01:01:37   an upgraded award-winning course sheet.

01:01:39   It's good, thank you.

01:01:41   Anyway, I recommend it.

01:01:42   The first episode will tell you

01:01:45   whether you wanna watch the show or not

01:01:46   because it's bananas.

01:01:47   It really is.

01:01:48   If there is, you'll watch it and you'll be like,

01:01:52   "I don't like this vibe."

01:01:53   Or you'll be like, "I kinda like this vibe."

01:01:55   If you like the vibe, watch all of them

01:01:56   because it just gets weirder as it goes

01:01:59   in a delight, I found, delightful way.

01:02:02   So "Mrs. Davis," it's a gem.

01:02:04   They're only gonna make the one season.

01:02:05   It's basically a mini series.

01:02:06   Watch it, it's great, it's hilarious.

01:02:08   And then finally, the peripheral,

01:02:10   a gem that doesn't have an ending

01:02:12   and got canceled by Amazon after it got renewed,

01:02:15   it then got canceled.

01:02:16   It's the best adaptation of a William Gibson novel

01:02:18   I've ever seen.

01:02:19   Prestige, beautiful, high-budget science fiction,

01:02:24   too high-budget to survive, apparently,

01:02:26   but really great drama.

01:02:28   VR, two-time frame, parallel universe, sort of,

01:02:33   but not quite.

01:02:34   And I love the premise of the book

01:02:37   and I love the premise of the show

01:02:38   and they really did some great stuff with it

01:02:41   and I'll miss it because it was really great.

01:02:43   That's my list.

01:02:44   - Okay, big list. - So now what do we do, Mike?

01:02:45   Now what do we do?

01:02:46   - Let's look for where we overlap

01:02:47   and then maybe use that as a starting point.

01:02:49   So we overlap with "The Last of Us," "The Bear,"

01:02:51   and "Last of Us." - "The Bear,"

01:02:52   "The Last of Us." - "The Last of Us," yeah.

01:02:54   - If I'm looking at these,

01:02:55   I have to think about how I felt

01:02:59   watching these three shows, for example.

01:03:01   And I feel like "Slow Horses" would be a runner-up.

01:03:04   And then it would be out of "The Bear" and "Last of Us."

01:03:08   I would say I had a lot of emotions of "The Bear"

01:03:12   because I watched all of it, right?

01:03:14   So I feel like that's my caveat there,

01:03:15   is I watched season one and season two.

01:03:18   I don't know if that would maybe make me

01:03:20   have liked it even more.

01:03:21   I would maybe lean towards "The Bear."

01:03:26   - Yeah.

01:03:30   - Let's do "The Bear."

01:03:32   - Okay.

01:03:33   - And I would like to put, nobody cares,

01:03:38   but I would like to put "Reservation Dogs"

01:03:40   on the runners-up. - Yep.

01:03:41   - And "The Last of Us."

01:03:44   And "Slow Horses," you can catch us next time.

01:03:47   We'll be back here next year.

01:03:48   - We'll be back. - There'll be another season.

01:03:50   - 'Cause the reason I wanted to go with "The Bear" is

01:03:53   I think that it is quite an incredible thing to elicit.

01:04:00   - So many emotions out of such a simple premise,

01:04:02   which is a guy opens a restaurant.

01:04:05   - Yeah, yeah.

01:04:07   Also, like "Reservation Dogs," that is a show that

01:04:09   is dealing with a trauma that happens

01:04:13   before the episode begins. - Yes.

01:04:15   - And everything in it is, at least in part,

01:04:19   based on the fact that somebody very close

01:04:23   to many of the characters in the movie has died

01:04:26   before the show starts. - Yep.

01:04:28   - And everybody, or a lot of those people are broken

01:04:31   in a very particular way, and they have to deal with it.

01:04:34   And that's actually very similar between those two shows.

01:04:36   Those are both great shows. - Mm-hmm.

01:04:38   - They're both Hulu shows, too, I think,

01:04:40   so I don't know where you find them everywhere else,

01:04:42   but I think they're both on Hulu.

01:04:44   - Disney+ for me.

01:04:46   - Disney+ in a lot of the world, I would think.

01:04:48   - And "Twist" Disney+ for you soon, too. (laughs)

01:04:50   - Well, it is, actually.

01:04:51   I can watch them on Disney+ now.

01:04:53   - Yeah, Disney+ now. - I can do that now, sure.

01:04:54   All right, "The Bear," let's do it.

01:04:56   - Yes, Chef, "The Bear."

01:04:58   - Yes, Chef.

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01:05:23   all of your holiday to-dos.

01:05:25   With Factor, you can cross meal prepping off your list

01:05:28   this holiday season.

01:05:29   They're fresh, never-frozen meals are ready

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01:05:33   flavor-packed options to choose from every week.

01:05:36   Jason, can you tell our listeners why,

01:05:38   with all of the stuff that goes on around the holidays,

01:05:40   why it's nice to have some Factor meals in the fridge?

01:05:43   - Mike, Mike, I'm gonna let you finish,

01:05:46   but Factor has the best microwaveable meals of all time.

01:05:51   That's a very old reference.

01:05:55   So my wife works at a library away from this house.

01:06:00   I live in the house all the time.

01:06:01   I'm just here endlessly, and I do have to make myself

01:06:03   lunches too, but I will tell you, this last batch of Factor

01:06:06   that they sent us, she took most of them with her

01:06:08   to work for lunches, and I was like, you know,

01:06:10   you didn't even let me try more than one.

01:06:12   Why did you take them?

01:06:13   And this is what she said to me.

01:06:14   She said this to me yesterday, unbidden,

01:06:17   not intending for it to be in a podcast read,

01:06:19   but here we are, here it is.

01:06:20   She said, "I cannot believe how good those are.

01:06:24   "They are microwave lunches.

01:06:26   "They are so good.

01:06:28   "I don't know how they make microwave reheated chicken

01:06:31   "taste good, but they do."

01:06:33   And she said, "If we ever need," she said to me,

01:06:37   "If we ever need to get meals for my mom

01:06:41   "because she's having issues with cooking for herself,

01:06:45   "let's get these and not those other ones," unnamed,

01:06:48   "that we tried that were terrible."

01:06:50   So that, actually, I laughed when she said it

01:06:53   'cause she's right, 'cause I have, again,

01:06:55   I didn't get as many of them this time

01:06:56   because she took them away from me 'cause she demanded,

01:06:59   she was like, "Whoa, give me the factor."

01:07:02   But that is an endorsement that I just have to pass on,

01:07:04   that you may be thinking to yourself, you know,

01:07:07   sticking a little thing in the microwave and heating it up,

01:07:09   you can do it in the oven too,

01:07:10   but you know, microwave's really fast.

01:07:12   You get that two or three minutes and you're done.

01:07:15   Just take it from Lauren.

01:07:16   She cannot believe that they're this good

01:07:19   as something you stick in the microwave for three minutes,

01:07:21   because all the connotations of like, you know,

01:07:23   it's not quite right and it came,

01:07:25   but it's like the meat isn't very good and all that.

01:07:27   It's like, it's just not the case with factor.

01:07:29   I don't know what they're doing over there,

01:07:30   probably using good ingredients.

01:07:31   - Yes, that's where I start.

01:07:32   - Which a lot of places cheap out on.

01:07:35   And you think, why is heating something in the microwave bad

01:07:38   and you think it's because of the microwave?

01:07:39   Maybe it's 'cause the stuff that they make

01:07:41   for heating in the microwave is bad.

01:07:44   Anyway, so Lauren and I, but especially Lauren this time,

01:07:47   endorsed these meals, cannot believe

01:07:50   that this is a thing that came out of the microwave

01:07:52   for my lunch.

01:07:53   - And there's more in there too.

01:07:54   If you're looking for calorie conscious options

01:07:56   over the holidays that don't skimp on flavor,

01:07:59   you can try delicious dietician approved calorie smart meals

01:08:02   of around or less than 550 calories per serving.

01:08:07   Or if you need an extra boost to support your wellness goals

01:08:09   and for your best during the holidays,

01:08:11   you could try protein plus meals

01:08:13   with 30 grams of protein or more per serving.

01:08:16   You can also rest assured

01:08:17   that you're making a sustainable choice

01:08:19   because Factor offset 100% of their delivery emissions

01:08:22   to your door and source 100% renewable electricity

01:08:26   for their production sites and offices.

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01:08:31   Simply choose your meals

01:08:32   and enjoy fresh flavor pack meals delivered to your door.

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01:08:45   That's code upgrade50, that's upgrade50

01:08:48   at factormeals.com/upgrade50 for 50% of your first box.

01:08:52   Our thanks to Factor for their support

01:08:54   of this show and Relay FM.

01:08:56   It's time for the favorite book category.

01:09:00   - Oh, it's my favorite category.

01:09:02   - Your favorite category,

01:09:03   although it could be argued so is TV,

01:09:04   but you said that already and I love the TV one too anyway.

01:09:07   - Yeah, but that one we have opinions about you.

01:09:08   We both have opinions about you.

01:09:09   I have no opinions about games.

01:09:11   You have no opinions about books, almost.

01:09:14   But we both watch TV so we can share those opinions.

01:09:16   - Indeed, "Elder Race" was the winner last year.

01:09:19   "Gradients" voted, this is a complicated count up, this one.

01:09:24   This is always one of the harder ones to count.

01:09:27   "Sunlit Man" by Brandon Sanderson at 2.6% of the vote.

01:09:31   "System Collapse" by Martha Wells with 3.9% of the vote.

01:09:36   - That's gonna be a TV show.

01:09:37   That's gonna be an Apple TV show.

01:09:38   - Oh, okay.

01:09:39   - That's "Murderbot Chronicles"

01:09:41   and they just announced that's gonna go in the--

01:09:43   - I saw that with one of the "Scar's Gods" ads.

01:09:46   - One of the "Scar's Gods", yeah.

01:09:47   Yeah, that's weird casting but I don't care.

01:09:50   I read "System Collapse", really liked it

01:09:51   and I thought this should be a show

01:09:53   and it is a show, it's gonna be an Apple.

01:09:54   Apple is getting in on the,

01:09:57   you want your high quality sci-fi,

01:10:00   they seem to be really doubling it.

01:10:01   - A covenant, yep.

01:10:03   And "All Souls Lost" by Dan Morin at 27.3% of the vote.

01:10:08   - Pretty good.

01:10:10   On the "Virgis" list of the best books of the year.

01:10:12   - Really?

01:10:13   - This week, posted today, yeah.

01:10:14   - Fantastic, congratulations Dan, that's so good.

01:10:18   - And you might be saying, why is a book,

01:10:20   why is a novel, an urban fantasy in fact,

01:10:23   on the "Virgis" list of the best books of the year?

01:10:25   But here's the thing, you know and I know

01:10:28   that Dan has covered Apple for a long time now.

01:10:31   And you might be thinking, well, "All Souls Lost",

01:10:33   this seems to be a book about like a detective in Boston

01:10:36   involving magic and it's like an urban fantasy.

01:10:38   How could it be related to Apple?

01:10:40   And I'm not gonna spoil it but let me tell you,

01:10:42   it is super related to Apple.

01:10:44   In a delightful way and if you have not read

01:10:47   "All Souls Lost" yet, available as an ebook,

01:10:50   there's a print on demand paperback that you can buy

01:10:52   as well if you prefer that.

01:10:53   Is there an Apple angle to this book?

01:10:57   Oh boy is there, oh boy is there.

01:10:59   But it's like no spoilers for it.

01:11:01   - So this is from Barbara Cresloth.

01:11:05   Oh, did Dan write that part?

01:11:06   Okay.

01:11:07   - Dan wrote that part, it's a conspiracy of Dan's.

01:11:09   - This is not, it's not said in this part of the thing

01:11:11   but maybe Barbara's put the part.

01:11:12   - There's a little tag at the end of the write up that is.

01:11:15   - Thank you.

01:11:16   Oh yeah, Dan Seifert, deputy editor, I missed that.

01:11:17   So Dan says, about Dan, about Dan's book, different Dan.

01:11:22   "It took me almost a month to get to "All Souls Lost"

01:11:24   in my reading queue after it was released

01:11:26   and then I promptly tore through it in just a few days.

01:11:28   It's an incredibly fun supernatural detective story

01:11:31   with a touch of big tech thrown in.

01:11:33   The pace is fast, the prose is entertaining

01:11:35   and the characters are rich."

01:11:37   - Yep.

01:11:38   - There you go, what more do you want?

01:11:41   - Okay, so my pick's in this category.

01:11:43   - Can I just give a nod right now?

01:11:46   I read something this year.

01:11:47   - Oh, give me a nod now, sure.

01:11:48   Hooray!

01:11:49   - Which is not, I know.

01:11:50   - Mike

01:12:08   - It's just truly superb.

01:12:11   Like you think you know how a Spider-Man story can be

01:12:14   and they just twist on its head constantly.

01:12:18   - The original premise was what if we could start

01:12:20   from the beginning and use modern storytelling

01:12:24   to tell the story of Spider-Man in a familiar way,

01:12:27   but like it was a TV adaptation or a movie adaptation.

01:12:31   It was like, let's do a comic where we start from zero.

01:12:34   And they did this with a bunch of different characters,

01:12:36   but in the end, the one that was successful,

01:12:38   the most successful in this premise by far

01:12:40   is Ultimate Spider-Man.

01:12:42   And it's like Peter Parker, he's young, he learns.

01:12:45   And it uses the canon, but it also breaks the canon

01:12:48   in a lot of ways because he's making,

01:12:50   Brian Michael Bendis, the writer who wrote all of it.

01:12:53   And there are two different artists on it.

01:12:57   So it's really cohesive in a way

01:13:00   that long running comics aren't usually.

01:13:02   And he makes creative decisions

01:13:04   'cause obviously he has thought about Spider-Man

01:13:06   for 40 years and about like, how would you tell

01:13:08   this story differently in a modern context?

01:13:10   And so like to give one example,

01:13:13   like Mary Jane is involved fairly early

01:13:18   and learns about his identity and that matters.

01:13:23   And it has impacted, reminded me of Buffy a little bit

01:13:25   'cause Buffy is basically retelling the Spider-Man story.

01:13:27   And now Spider-Man is sort of doing,

01:13:29   Ultimate Spider-Man does the same thing to Spider-Man

01:13:31   that Buffy sort of tried to do it where it's still like,

01:13:33   let's make this more grounded and about the characters

01:13:36   and their family connections.

01:13:37   And also like rethinking what the wacky 60s

01:13:40   Spider-Man villains would manifest as in a modern context.

01:13:44   And he has a story arc and he grows and he ages

01:13:46   and has bad things that happened to him.

01:13:51   And it really has a beginning, middle

01:13:53   and believe it or not kind of an end.

01:13:55   - Yeah, there's multiple endings in a way.

01:13:58   And the first ending is good, but it happens weirdly.

01:14:03   And in a way that wasn't controlled by the,

01:14:06   what the writers were really going for.

01:14:08   It was like, it was in a large arc,

01:14:10   like one of those like multi-comic events.

01:14:14   And I have finished that, but I'm now on the second part

01:14:17   of it where they pick it back up again.

01:14:19   And then I'm gonna continue reading into Miles Morales

01:14:21   and onwards from there.

01:14:22   - Yeah, 'cause this is where Miles Morales is introduced.

01:14:26   And this aspect of the story is similar to what's

01:14:28   in that first Spider-Verse movie.

01:14:30   - Yep, it's really good.

01:14:32   - For those who've seen it.

01:14:33   - It's very good, it's one of the best.

01:14:35   My two favorite novels that I read this year

01:14:38   are "Mountain in the Sea" by Ray Naylor.

01:14:43   This is Scott McNulty read this before me.

01:14:45   And he said, it's the best octopus related novel

01:14:49   I've read this year.

01:14:50   - Come.

01:14:51   - Which is funny because I also read and Scott did too,

01:14:53   "Surprisingly Bright Creatures" which is also a novel

01:14:56   about an octopus and is also great.

01:14:58   It's actually a great book, but "Mountain in the Sea"

01:15:01   it pushes all my buttons.

01:15:03   It is sort of cyber punky and sort of apocalyptic

01:15:08   and is about octopuses that may be sentient.

01:15:14   And there's like an Android and a disgraced scientist

01:15:20   and that like a corporation.

01:15:22   And there's like a, in another part of the story,

01:15:24   there's like a guy who gets taken hostage

01:15:26   and put on a robotic fishing vessel

01:15:30   where he's basically, it's like human trafficking

01:15:34   is happening.

01:15:35   You're like, how is this all connected?

01:15:37   And are those octopuses really as intelligent as people?

01:15:42   And what does that mean?

01:15:42   Are they aliens, but also like us?

01:15:45   And it's all, it's just all in there.

01:15:48   It's a great book.

01:15:49   I loved it.

01:15:50   It is exactly my jam.

01:15:52   And then different, "My Murder" a book by Katie Williams.

01:16:00   It reminded me of "The Echo Wife" by Sarah Gailey,

01:16:05   which I read a few years ago, which I really loved.

01:16:08   "My Murder's" premise is that it is,

01:16:11   the protagonist is somebody who was murdered

01:16:14   and then resurrected using technology

01:16:16   that's kind of off screen.

01:16:18   It's mentioned, I like how it's a sci-fi setting

01:16:21   that they try not to make, not too much of the sci-fi.

01:16:24   It's not really obsessed with like how it works.

01:16:28   It's more about, again, about the characters and all of that.

01:16:32   But it is also kind of a murder mystery.

01:16:35   I think the elevator pitch for this book was,

01:16:38   what if the person who was murdered

01:16:42   has to solve her own murder?

01:16:44   And it has a lot to say about women

01:16:48   and how they fit in society and relationships

01:16:55   and how society, and social media

01:16:57   and fame and video games and all sorts of other stuff.

01:17:02   What's interesting about it is it's super a sci-fi novel

01:17:07   but sold as a mainstream novel.

01:17:09   So they don't want people to be scared away

01:17:12   by the sci-fi elements in it.

01:17:14   Often as a sci-fi reader, I read those books

01:17:18   and I'm like, "Oh, I see, you're slumming it."

01:17:20   You're not really committed to the bit here.

01:17:22   You don't wanna be writing a sci-fi novel

01:17:25   and you're kind of ashamed of it.

01:17:26   That's not true with "My Murder."

01:17:27   "My Murder" is expertly done as a sci-fi novel

01:17:31   but in a way that's very accessible to other people.

01:17:34   I'm not gonna spoil it, but like, whoa,

01:17:36   there are turns and twists and red herrings and surprises.

01:17:41   And it is about social media and VR in some ways too.

01:17:46   It's fascinating.

01:17:47   It's a wild book.

01:17:50   So "My Murder" by Katie Williams,

01:17:51   also one of my favorites of the year.

01:17:52   Those are the two five stars on my Goodreads this year.

01:17:56   They're both great.

01:17:57   - Tell me the winners and runner up.

01:17:59   - I would move "Mountain in the Sea" as the winner.

01:18:01   That was the best book I read this year

01:18:02   with "My Murder" and "All Souls Lost" as the runners up.

01:18:05   - All right, "Mountain in the Sea" is the winner.

01:18:08   "All Souls Lost" and "My Murder."

01:18:12   So it's the octopus book that wins.

01:18:14   - The octopus book.

01:18:16   It is exactly, it's not for everybody

01:18:19   and I know people who read it and were like, "Eh, whatever."

01:18:21   I couldn't get enough of it.

01:18:23   It's like the most, it's William Gibson-esque in some ways.

01:18:28   Reminded me of "The Wind-Up Girl"

01:18:29   by Paulo Bajigalupi a little bit.

01:18:32   It's just, it's, I mean, in the end,

01:18:34   it is also a first context story.

01:18:36   I mean, spoilers for "Mountain in the Sea."

01:18:38   It's not really much of a spoiler,

01:18:39   which is are the octopus intelligent?

01:18:41   Will it be a really disappointing book

01:18:42   if they weren't, right?

01:18:43   And I just, and it's weird.

01:18:47   And like I said, why is there an android in this book?

01:18:50   You know, honestly, the reason why

01:18:53   is because it's actually about dealing with sentience

01:18:55   and the question of like,

01:18:57   what does it mean to be an intelligent sentient creature?

01:18:59   And is this android sentient?

01:19:02   Is this octopus sentient?

01:19:03   Are human beings sentient?

01:19:04   Like, what does it all mean?

01:19:06   Like, how do we define you as being alive and real

01:19:10   versus something that we can other and say,

01:19:14   oh, they're not real.

01:19:15   And "Mountain in the Sea" is about that,

01:19:16   but it's also fun and wild and weird.

01:19:21   - We move to favorite podcast.

01:19:24   Last year's winner was "Connected."

01:19:28   You're on relay FM.

01:19:29   - Oh.

01:19:30   - The Upgradians voted thusly with 7.2% for Cortex,

01:19:35   9.5% for "Upgrade,"

01:19:39   and 14.8% for "Connected."

01:19:43   I would like to thank our listeners

01:19:46   for enjoying my programs.

01:19:48   It's quite, it feels good and it's humbling

01:19:51   when I go through these and these are the answers,

01:19:53   so I just want to tell everybody that.

01:19:54   I appreciate that very much.

01:19:56   Thank you.

01:19:58   - They didn't nominate any of my other podcasts.

01:20:00   - They're in there, Jason,

01:20:01   but they weren't up in the top three.

01:20:02   - No, they weren't at the top three.

01:20:05   What else do you have for favorite podcast personally?

01:20:09   - "The Town."

01:20:11   - Mm.

01:20:11   - From "The Ringer and Puck," hosted by Matt Bellamy.

01:20:15   This show is unbelievably good.

01:20:19   It's three times a week, about 30 minutes an episode.

01:20:23   Matt Bellamy writes at the Puck, sorry, writes at Puck.

01:20:27   He is like there--

01:20:28   - Puck News.

01:20:29   - Puck News.

01:20:29   He's there like, what'd you call that?

01:20:31   He writes about entertainment mostly, right?

01:20:34   Like, this kind of thing.

01:20:36   - Yeah, it's like Hollywood.

01:20:37   - Yeah, he used to work at "The Hollywood Reporter."

01:20:38   "The Town" is reference to Hollywood being the town.

01:20:41   It's known in the industry as the town, right?

01:20:44   And he was, yeah, it was a Hollywood reporter.

01:20:47   He was a lawyer beforehand.

01:20:48   If you enjoy anything about entertainment,

01:20:53   if you enjoy the upstream segments,

01:20:54   if you enjoy downstream,

01:20:55   I think if you just enjoy this show,

01:20:57   you would enjoy "The Town" because it is mostly looking

01:21:00   at the way that these large entertainment companies work.

01:21:04   And his Rolodex is huge.

01:21:09   He has anyone on the show that he wants to, basically.

01:21:13   It was what it feels like.

01:21:14   Like when Netflix dropped their data dump,

01:21:17   he had the Netflix CEO to surround us on the show

01:21:19   to talk about it.

01:21:20   He has regular guests,

01:21:22   including Lucas Shaw from Bloomberg,

01:21:24   he's the Monday guy.

01:21:25   I love them two together.

01:21:26   - Yep.

01:21:27   - There's segments on the show.

01:21:29   You know, we love a segment in this show.

01:21:30   They have it.

01:21:31   They have a segment called "The Call Sheet" at the end

01:21:33   where Bellamy makes predictions,

01:21:36   like falls into so many of the things

01:21:38   that I like to do on my podcasts too.

01:21:40   He makes predictions about box office over and unders.

01:21:43   But the thing that surprises me the most about this show

01:21:47   is there is clearly like good production going on

01:21:52   in the types of content they produce

01:21:56   and the people they get to come on and talk about it.

01:21:58   Like, I don't think I have heard a show

01:22:01   that was ostensibly an interview show

01:22:03   that is as good as this one.

01:22:05   Where Bellamy brings on every week

01:22:08   people I've never heard of before

01:22:10   and every single episode is fascinating

01:22:12   because of the way he is able to talk to people.

01:22:17   And he's one of these people

01:22:18   that's clearly respected enough in Hollywood

01:22:21   that he can kind of ask whatever question he wants

01:22:24   and people will answer it.

01:22:25   Or they won't, but it won't stop them

01:22:27   from going on the show.

01:22:29   Really good content during the strikes.

01:22:31   Yeah, just all around fantastic.

01:22:34   It's like three times a week, 30 minutes an episode.

01:22:37   I cannot recommend it enough.

01:22:39   It's my favorite show that I've found this year.

01:22:42   And it's maybe the only podcast I've ever listened to

01:22:46   where Idina listens to it too

01:22:48   and me and her have a conversation about every episode

01:22:51   about what we feel about it.

01:22:53   Right.

01:22:53   'Cause it's just that good.

01:22:55   It really is.

01:22:56   It's very good.

01:22:57   When Bob Iger came back, they did Matt and Luca Shaw,

01:23:02   who I'd say are the two definitive journalists

01:23:07   covering this era of Hollywood.

01:23:09   I would say and the streaming machinations

01:23:11   and all those things.

01:23:12   And you're saying, what about Julia?

01:23:13   Well, Julia's not a journalist.

01:23:14   She's an analyst who also has a column and a podcast,

01:23:16   but she's an analyst.

01:23:18   She's got clients and stuff like that.

01:23:19   These guys, this is what they do.

01:23:20   And they do that together on Mondays.

01:23:22   Right, where Julia is tethered.

01:23:24   She's doing a lot of things.

01:23:25   She has things in a lot of pies.

01:23:27   She's got client work.

01:23:28   I mean, it's not her primary job.

01:23:29   Her primary job is being the director of strategy

01:23:33   for Parrot Analytics, right?

01:23:37   These guys, this is what they do.

01:23:38   Matt Bellanito's "Puck" used to be at the Hollywood Reporter

01:23:41   and Luca Shaw's at Bloomberg

01:23:43   and covers Hollywood for Bloomberg.

01:23:45   And then you get them together, those episodes especially,

01:23:48   just like they are the smartest people in the room.

01:23:52   And so you get them to talk.

01:23:54   And that episode after Bob Iger came back is so good

01:23:59   because you can hear how giddy they are about it

01:24:02   and also how these are experts who are processing

01:24:05   in real time a cataclysmic event in their industry.

01:24:10   Like, yeah, it's a great podcast.

01:24:12   I think it's gonna win.

01:24:13   But let me tell you about two podcasts

01:24:16   that I also liked this year that I found.

01:24:18   I don't find a lot of new podcasts, but I did find two.

01:24:20   One of them obvious, but I gotta mention it,

01:24:22   Strike Force 5, which was the five late night talk show hosts

01:24:26   doing a podcast when the strike was happening.

01:24:28   It happened so late that like they only released

01:24:31   like five episodes and then they ordered all their merch

01:24:34   and then the strike got settled.

01:24:35   They're like, okay, well, please buy our merch.

01:24:38   And also please listen to our four episodes

01:24:40   that we recorded that haven't come out yet.

01:24:42   But there are some gems in that episode

01:24:47   or in that series, in that very small series,

01:24:49   there are some gems. - Adina loved it.

01:24:50   Like it was one of those shows she'd listen to

01:24:52   and just be laughing just like her head off.

01:24:54   I couldn't do it 'cause at least at the beginning,

01:24:56   the audio production was just so bad.

01:25:00   I couldn't handle it, I couldn't handle it.

01:25:02   - It's not, it doesn't sound great.

01:25:04   It is very clearly a recording of a Zoom conversation

01:25:07   between famous people.

01:25:09   - Which just didn't make sense to me

01:25:10   'cause I saw pictures and they were using

01:25:11   really nice microphones.

01:25:12   It's like, did nobody tell them how to press record on it?

01:25:15   - How to press record?

01:25:17   - I just couldn't deal with it.

01:25:18   I'm very weird like that.

01:25:22   I just can't handle bad audio.

01:25:23   - Nope, I get it, I get it.

01:25:25   I think there's one episode,

01:25:27   I'm not sure if it's episode five.

01:25:29   Yeah, it is.

01:25:31   That's the one where there are,

01:25:32   that's hilarious just to listen to

01:25:34   because that's where Jimmy Fallon tries to do a quiz

01:25:37   where he's asked questions of the wives

01:25:39   of all of the people on the panel.

01:25:41   'Cause it's Jimmy Fallon, Seth Meyers, John Oliver,

01:25:46   Stephen Colbert and--

01:25:50   - Jimmy Kimmel.

01:25:51   - And Jimmy Kimmel, yeah.

01:25:52   All together 'cause they got nothing to do

01:25:55   'cause of the strike.

01:25:57   Episode five, let's just say,

01:25:59   it reminded me of many podcasts I've been on

01:26:02   because Jimmy Fallon's prep is questionable.

01:26:07   He has not honed his questions right.

01:26:09   And throughout, the whole premise is undermined.

01:26:12   And of course you've got four other sharp-witted

01:26:15   comedian talk show hosts there

01:26:17   to pick apart the premise as it's going on.

01:26:19   It's amazing, it's very hilarious.

01:26:21   And episode nine is David Letterman.

01:26:23   They all talk to David and they ask all the questions

01:26:25   they have always wanted to ask David Letterman.

01:26:28   - I love the premise of it too that these guys

01:26:31   should all be bitter rivals.

01:26:32   You know, in previous years,

01:26:34   like when Letterman was around.

01:26:37   - Let's just say that if this was a scenario 20 years ago,

01:26:41   David Letterman and Jay Leno would not have a podcast.

01:26:43   - It would have been a boxing match.

01:26:45   It wouldn't have been a podcast.

01:26:47   - Definitely, definitely not.

01:26:48   So that was a fun podcast that came in and went.

01:26:51   And episode five is hilarious.

01:26:54   And the David Letterman one is worth a listen to.

01:26:58   And the other podcast proving that I am a middle-aged dad.

01:27:01   I'm gonna just do it.

01:27:02   I'm gonna wear it.

01:27:05   I'm gonna wear it with, it comes for you eventually.

01:27:09   The middle-aged dad comes for you eventually.

01:27:11   You can't dodge it for too long.

01:27:13   And therefore I recommend a podcast called

01:27:15   The Rest is History in which two historians,

01:27:18   two British historians, Tom Holland and Dominic Sandbrook,

01:27:21   talk about stuff that happened in the past.

01:27:24   And as somebody, what I love about it is you can pick

01:27:27   and choose the stuff that interests you.

01:27:30   And I realized like, there's some history that I learned.

01:27:33   And then all the rest of it, I did not learn

01:27:36   and don't know anything about.

01:27:37   So they did a history of like the history of Ukraine.

01:27:41   I'm like, you know, I don't know anything

01:27:43   about the history of Ukraine.

01:27:44   Let's have a listen to that and learn all sorts of things

01:27:47   that I didn't know about that

01:27:48   that are the fundamental background

01:27:49   of what's happening there.

01:27:50   I got into them because they did a series of episodes

01:27:53   about the American revolution and they're British.

01:27:56   So amazing because they are outside of the official story

01:28:01   told in American classrooms about the revolution.

01:28:04   And it was fascinating 'cause they puncture a lot

01:28:07   of illusions that, you know, myths,

01:28:11   myth-making that Americans like to tell

01:28:13   about the reasons for the revolution.

01:28:15   And I found it incredibly fascinating.

01:28:17   And that made me want to listen to,

01:28:20   they did a bunch of episodes about the American Civil War

01:28:22   that were really great.

01:28:24   The rise of, the fall of the Soviet Union

01:28:26   and the rise of Putin and those were really good.

01:28:27   And the history of Ukraine was fascinating and timely.

01:28:31   And they're funny and they have guests.

01:28:35   And like, if you are a middle-aged dad

01:28:38   and you want to listen to things about history

01:28:40   and learn stuff, the rest is history.

01:28:43   It is really a lot of fun

01:28:46   and it was a great find for me this year.

01:28:49   - All right, so can we go with the town as the winner?

01:28:51   - Yep, yeah.

01:28:52   And then let's make the rest is history

01:28:53   and Strike Force Five the runners up.

01:28:56   Although I will say, I shout out to Cortex,

01:28:59   a podcast with Mike Hurley and CGP Grey on it.

01:29:03   I don't listen to every episode of it

01:29:06   because I have limited podcast time.

01:29:09   - There's only like 15 of them a year,

01:29:10   you know what I mean?

01:29:11   - But I listen to most of them. - They are really long though.

01:29:14   - And they are really long.

01:29:15   And they're very good.

01:29:17   They're just that every time I listen to that show,

01:29:20   I am impressed with all the stuff

01:29:22   that you guys go through, your themes episodes,

01:29:24   your State of the Apps episode,

01:29:27   especially your Post-Vision Pro episode.

01:29:30   - That's my favorite thing I made this year.

01:29:32   - Lot of good stuff.

01:29:33   - I would say like considering you've just complimented me

01:29:37   and so did all of the listeners,

01:29:38   I would say that like,

01:29:40   I think this might be Cortex's best year, content wise.

01:29:44   I've been very happy with it.

01:29:45   And that has come from increased effort from the two of us.

01:29:49   We like, we've worked on trying to make the show better

01:29:52   and I think we made the show better.

01:29:54   And so I hope that that will continue.

01:29:57   Favorite Apple product of the year now.

01:30:02   Last year was the M2 MacBook Air.

01:30:05   The upgrade is voted for with 13.7%

01:30:09   to the absolute shock surprise for me,

01:30:12   the 15 inch MacBook Air.

01:30:13   I was not expecting it.

01:30:16   - It's a crowd pleaser.

01:30:19   - That was just like, I didn't really get a sense

01:30:23   that it was a popular product at large.

01:30:25   And I did, would not have guessed

01:30:28   that it would be a very popular product

01:30:30   amongst our audience based on the type of feedback

01:30:33   that we get.

01:30:34   And 15 inch MacBook Air, 13.7%.

01:30:39   16.8%, the iPhone 15 Pro.

01:30:43   And at 27.1% is the iPhone 15 Pro Max.

01:30:50   For me, it's either the 15 Pro Max

01:30:53   or the Apple Watch Ultra 2.

01:30:55   - Oh, interesting.

01:30:56   - It was my first Apple Watch Ultra.

01:30:57   - In what I would say is kind of a quiet year,

01:31:00   I was gonna say the iPhone 15 Pro, which I like.

01:31:04   Pro Max has the cool new camera

01:31:09   and I think it gets my endorsement.

01:31:12   I think that that's the best product Apple shipped this year

01:31:18   if you consider like what's new.

01:31:20   - Yep.

01:31:21   - The M3 Max MacBook Pro is also would be on my list,

01:31:28   I would say because the Max is so impressive as a chip,

01:31:35   but nothing else changed about it.

01:31:38   So I would consider that maybe a runner up.

01:31:42   - Yeah, it's a good one.

01:31:45   - So let's go with the winner is the iPhone 15 Pro Max

01:31:48   with the M3 Max MacBook Pro.

01:31:50   I'd also like to put the 15 inch MacBook Air in there

01:31:52   just 'cause it was so surprising to me.

01:31:53   - Okay, let's do it.

01:31:55   - I just thought that that was,

01:31:56   I don't know if I should be surprised about that, but I was.

01:32:00   - Yeah, I love it.

01:32:01   - Favorite non Apple product last year was the Steam Deck.

01:32:06   - Ah yes, I'll let you have that one.

01:32:09   - The Upgradients voted of a 3.4%

01:32:11   for the Anker 3-in-1 Cube, which is a very good charging.

01:32:15   - Cubes are the best, says Federico.

01:32:19   - 4.2% for chat GPT.

01:32:22   I was surprised to see it in this part, but it was.

01:32:25   And at 5.3% is the Steam Deck OLED.

01:32:28   It's back, baby, it's back, baby.

01:32:31   Here it is again.

01:32:32   I am gonna throw a vote in for the Steam Deck OLED

01:32:36   because I got one, I sold my Steam Deck

01:32:40   and with the money that I got from a product

01:32:42   that I returned that I'm gonna talk about later on

01:32:44   in the show, I bought a Steam Deck OLED.

01:32:47   And it is incredible how good that screen is.

01:32:52   And the overall package is nicer.

01:32:54   Got a faster wifi chip, which is great for downloading

01:32:56   the really large games that are on Steam.

01:32:59   It's got a little bit better battery life,

01:33:03   but not that much, it's noticeable.

01:33:05   It's a little lighter, but also not that much.

01:33:06   It's noticeable, but the screen

01:33:08   really makes a huge difference.

01:33:10   But for me, I think my absolute favorite thing

01:33:13   this year was the Sonos ERA 100.

01:33:16   I spoke about this on the show that I've gotten

01:33:18   into Sonos in my home and the ERA 100

01:33:21   is such a huge upgrade over the Sonos One.

01:33:25   It is no stereo speaker, it has line in,

01:33:27   it has Bluetooth, it sounds fantastic.

01:33:29   So it's become an even better option for people

01:33:31   that are looking to get into Sonos.

01:33:33   So I really recommend it.

01:33:34   - Wow, I really struggled with this one.

01:33:37   I don't think I have a product that I would consider

01:33:40   a favorite, just sort of like in general from everything.

01:33:45   I don't know if there's anything, I keep racking my brain

01:33:49   and I don't think I've got anything.

01:33:52   I actually thought about putting in here KitchenAid mixer.

01:33:56   'Cause I love my KitchenAid mixer

01:33:59   and it's not an Apple product.

01:34:01   So sure, make some bread, make some cookies, whatever,

01:34:05   use your mixer.

01:34:07   But really I have no vote here.

01:34:08   I would probably go with a Steam Deck OLED

01:34:10   'cause I like the doing that again.

01:34:13   - Yeah, I would like to do Steam Deck OLED as the winner.

01:34:17   - Okay, all right, let's make Sonos a runner up.

01:34:20   And Cube?

01:34:25   - Yeah, the Cube is great.

01:34:26   The Anker Cube is a great product.

01:34:28   So the winner of the favorite non Apple product

01:34:31   is the Steam Deck OLED with the runners up

01:34:32   as the Sonos ERA 100 and the Anker three in one Cube.

01:34:36   - Like I love it.

01:34:38   That seems like, 'cause okay,

01:34:40   so the background here with the upgrade is,

01:34:41   is that I used to do the Eddy Awards every year

01:34:43   at Mac World and before that at Mac user.

01:34:45   And you're in the room and you're doing debates.

01:34:50   And then in the end it comes out and it's like all very like,

01:34:52   oh yes, here's the winner and here are the runners up

01:34:54   and it's very serious.

01:34:55   And most of the time we took it extremely seriously,

01:34:58   but there are those moments where you're like,

01:34:59   can we just pick two and move on?

01:35:02   And I liked it on this podcast

01:35:03   and this has been the case for now 10 of these.

01:35:06   Sometimes you get to this point and you're like,

01:35:09   Anker Cube, let's do that.

01:35:11   Okay, that looks good, great.

01:35:13   And we just move on and it's stamped into history now

01:35:18   as a runner up, great.

01:35:21   - It's a great little product Anker Cube.

01:35:23   And this is another example of why we have the upgrading vote

01:35:26   because sometimes we don't have a good option.

01:35:28   And so it's great to have the upgrade in here too,

01:35:31   to help us balance out the awards.

01:35:33   - I like it.

01:35:34   And this episode is brought to you by Vitaly.

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01:36:49   Our thanks to Vitaly for their support of this show

01:36:51   and all of Relay FM.

01:36:53   Now with the worst gadget or most disappointing technology.

01:37:00   Last year was the iPad Pro with M2 chip.

01:37:04   - Now remember, I was taken aback by this,

01:37:06   but remember this is because the iPad Pro,

01:37:09   we were thinking that there would be like major changes

01:37:12   to the iPad Pro and they didn't do anything.

01:37:14   - And they didn't even do the bare minimum,

01:37:17   which was give the 11 inch to the bell screen.

01:37:20   - Indeed.

01:37:21   - Yep, gradients voted with 5.1% for chat GPT,

01:37:25   which is so funny to me.

01:37:28   - I will tell you, upgrade ins, you're an incredible bunch

01:37:30   where like 5% of you will say chat GPT

01:37:33   was your favorite product,

01:37:34   5% of you will say it was most disappointing, I love it.

01:37:37   9% is X.

01:37:39   And 13.3% is the humane AI pin.

01:37:45   Now I would just like to state here,

01:37:49   the PlayStation portal was my most disappointing technology

01:37:51   of the year.

01:37:52   So this was the device that PlayStation made

01:37:55   to allow you to remote play to your PlayStation.

01:37:57   So you're playing from your PlayStation, but over wifi.

01:38:01   And for me, the connection was terrible.

01:38:04   It was so bad.

01:38:05   It was at home trying to play this thing

01:38:07   with a PlayStation sitting in front of me,

01:38:09   but I wanted to play it handheld so the TV wasn't occupied.

01:38:12   That was my use case for this thing.

01:38:14   And it was so bad.

01:38:15   Like the screen was incredible for what it was

01:38:17   for like 250 dollar device.

01:38:19   The controller was great

01:38:20   because it was a PlayStation controller

01:38:22   cut in half with the screen in the middle,

01:38:24   but they skimped out on the wifi chip

01:38:26   and it would not, it just could not handle it.

01:38:29   I did not enjoy it.

01:38:31   It was really bad for me.

01:38:33   Other people have had other experiences.

01:38:36   I've heard of really good experiences with it,

01:38:38   but for me was not so.

01:38:40   And I wasn't willing to make any changes

01:38:42   to the way that my house was wired

01:38:44   just to get a better response here.

01:38:46   So PlayStation portal returned, Steam Deck OLED acquired,

01:38:51   but yeah, it was a disappointment for me.

01:38:52   I was looking forward to it.

01:38:53   It was a disappointment.

01:38:55   So I have two nominees here.

01:38:56   One is as the Upgrading said, the humane AI pin.

01:39:02   And again, I don't wanna like,

01:39:04   I kinda don't wanna kick them when they're down,

01:39:06   but I feel like their presentation was so over the top

01:39:11   and also incompetent that they are,

01:39:15   they've all, their marketing has always struck me

01:39:18   as being like incredibly arrogant.

01:39:19   Like we're great and we know it

01:39:21   and we're gonna change the world.

01:39:22   And I like on one level it's like marketing.

01:39:24   So I get it, but on another level I read it as like,

01:39:26   are you though, are you?

01:39:28   And then you see this thing,

01:39:29   which still hasn't shipped, right?

01:39:31   But like they've announced it

01:39:32   and they're taking orders for it.

01:39:33   And there's just not that much there.

01:39:35   And it definitely feels like a product

01:39:37   that was originally gonna be like,

01:39:38   oh, you projected on your hand.

01:39:40   And then they're like, oh, chatbots, let's do that instead.

01:39:42   And they made some changes.

01:39:44   And I don't know, it seems like a really dumb gadget

01:39:49   that is, I talked for a while about how I think the idea

01:39:52   of having AI agents that help know about your life

01:39:57   better than you can recall and connect the dots

01:40:01   is gonna be a big thing.

01:40:02   And it's gonna be potentially a game changer,

01:40:05   but I don't understand how this hardware would be that.

01:40:08   - No, it's not.

01:40:09   - It'll be in all sorts of other things

01:40:11   and not a pin you wear.

01:40:12   So I wanna nominate that.

01:40:14   - The one thing I'm gonna say about this is,

01:40:17   all we have had is a presentation video.

01:40:20   So I think it is hard to say,

01:40:23   like we could say it was the worst presentation video,

01:40:27   but like, and also was anybody really disappointed by this?

01:40:31   Like, were you expecting something better?

01:40:35   - I'm saying worst gadget.

01:40:37   I'm saying worst gadget, that this is a gadget

01:40:40   and I don't quite think anyone needs it.

01:40:44   And their key features are not features they invented

01:40:47   'cause they're literally just chat bots from someone else.

01:40:50   And even the integration, right?

01:40:52   I think we all assumed that it would be more than it is

01:40:56   'cause it's like, literally, hey, it's a chat bot,

01:40:58   but you can attach it.

01:40:59   And like, does it talk to my phone?

01:41:00   Well, no, we can't do that.

01:41:02   So it's got its own phone number and you just-

01:41:03   - We ruined the world by creating phones.

01:41:06   So here's another phone without screen.

01:41:07   - Yeah, well, yeah.

01:41:08   I mean, and the presentation and the whole thing around it

01:41:10   is part of it and I'm gonna nominate it

01:41:12   in that category too.

01:41:14   But I just wanna nominate it here because as a gadget,

01:41:17   yeah, I was trying to keep an open mind,

01:41:19   but like the presentation,

01:41:21   I just don't know what they're even,

01:41:22   I mean, it really felt to me like they got investment

01:41:25   and they gotta do a product

01:41:26   and this is their best swing at it.

01:41:28   But like, I'm not sure even they believe

01:41:30   that this is a thing.

01:41:31   I think that they may be, you know,

01:41:34   you get to a certain point and your choice is,

01:41:35   well, we can keep running this out

01:41:37   and then have it crash and burn

01:41:38   or we can give the money back to the investors.

01:41:40   And their decision is, well, no, let's run it out

01:41:42   and watch it crash and burn.

01:41:44   And maybe shot in the dark, it'll be successful,

01:41:46   but it probably won't, but let's give it a shot.

01:41:48   And that's how the humane AI pin feels to me.

01:41:50   Like they're just burning the money

01:41:52   of their investors at this point.

01:41:54   But I do have another disappointing tech

01:41:56   that I wanna throw out there, which is Matter.

01:41:59   Remember Matter?

01:42:01   - Yeah.

01:42:01   - This was supposed to be the year where Matter

01:42:04   unified all our stuff

01:42:06   and our smart home stuff finally came into focus.

01:42:09   And instead it kind of didn't happen.

01:42:12   Like Matter's around and some things support it,

01:42:15   but other things don't support it.

01:42:17   And it didn't really happen.

01:42:19   And it's unclear, is this just the growing pains

01:42:22   of a thing that's going to ultimately be the thing

01:42:24   that we all use next year or the year after,

01:42:28   or is it a flop?

01:42:30   And I don't know.

01:42:31   And that is disappointing.

01:42:32   - I pay attention to a couple of HomeKit YouTubers still.

01:42:36   And I feel like it is still in that camp of

01:42:41   this will make a bigger difference

01:42:43   in a year or two from now,

01:42:45   because what it seems like is so many new products

01:42:49   come out now with Matter.

01:42:51   And so it's going, it will be something we get the effect of

01:42:55   in years from now, especially as they continue to add in

01:43:00   new things into the spec.

01:43:02   They did more this year.

01:43:03   They're doing more next year.

01:43:05   I think vacuums are coming next year.

01:43:07   So it is a case of device makers need to opt into it,

01:43:11   but more and more of them are.

01:43:13   And I do feel like there are more companies,

01:43:16   there are more products available to you now

01:43:19   than there were before,

01:43:20   because whether you're on iOS or Android,

01:43:23   because there are some companies that are now like,

01:43:27   hey, this will work for you now because of Matter.

01:43:30   But I think it's one of those things where like

01:43:32   your mileage may vary for quite a while

01:43:35   as to whether it will make any impact on your life.

01:43:37   - And I think we were all, I mean,

01:43:38   disappointing is what I'm hitting home here,

01:43:40   which is I think we felt like when the first shots

01:43:43   of Matter were fired and it was late, but it was last year,

01:43:46   after already being kind of like later

01:43:49   than we thought it would be.

01:43:50   And it finally came out.

01:43:52   'Cause remember this was like Chip or something.

01:43:54   It had another, not a real name.

01:43:57   And then they, and then their Matter.

01:44:00   And then this year I just felt like all the Matter stories

01:44:03   were, well, this doesn't support it.

01:44:04   And this thing has a limited thing with Matter.

01:44:07   And this thing is not quite right.

01:44:08   And I totally get that we're playing the long game here

01:44:12   with Matter, but I would say this year,

01:44:14   I thought Matter would make more of a difference

01:44:16   and it hasn't.

01:44:17   And maybe that was an unrealistic expectation,

01:44:19   but I certainly felt the disappointment.

01:44:22   - All right.

01:44:23   I feel like we'll put PlayStation Portal

01:44:26   and I would say Matter is runner up

01:44:28   and go with the humane AI pin because,

01:44:32   because the upgraded is pretty overwhelming for it.

01:44:36   And it was also in yours.

01:44:37   And I do agree.

01:44:38   My only asterisk on it is, is it is a product

01:44:41   that I don't even think is available.

01:44:43   Like you could buy it.

01:44:44   - No.

01:44:45   - There's not been any review,

01:44:46   but I don't think it's going to surprise anyone.

01:44:48   Like I think it would probably just be worse

01:44:50   than we even think it will be.

01:44:52   - We make the rules.

01:44:53   We've decided.

01:44:55   That's all that matters.

01:44:56   - That's all that matters.

01:44:57   Hey, that's all that matters.

01:44:59   Most life-changing hardware last year was picked up

01:45:04   by the M2 MacBook Air.

01:45:07   Best Mac ever in my opinion.

01:45:09   Love that thing.

01:45:09   - Yeah.

01:45:11   The upgrade is voted with 4.8% for the iPhone 15 Pro Max

01:45:16   at 6.3% for the AirPods Pro 2.

01:45:21   And I combined the votes for Apple Watch

01:45:25   and Apple Watch Ultra to come in at 14.9%.

01:45:28   There was like Apple Watch, Apple Watch SE,

01:45:31   Apple Watch A, Apple Watch 9, Apple Watch Ultra.

01:45:33   I just combined them all.

01:45:34   Cause if that felt like the sanest thing to do

01:45:38   and that came in at 14.9%.

01:45:40   And I will say that the battery life specifically

01:45:43   of the Apple Watch Ultra 2 has made huge changes

01:45:46   to my life this year.

01:45:47   Like I'm way happier in using the Apple Watch every day

01:45:50   than I was before because it has completely removed

01:45:53   the annoyance of charging that device from my life.

01:45:56   - I'd say my nominee here, and it doesn't need to win it,

01:46:01   but I'll just say I have embraced the stream deck lifestyle.

01:46:06   Having that set of buttons that's programmable

01:46:09   that can fire off various macros.

01:46:12   I was initially skeptical and then I bought the mini

01:46:15   and then I upgraded to the full size.

01:46:16   And this year I bought another full size

01:46:19   that I can use when I travel.

01:46:21   And then because I'm doing the Studio B thing,

01:46:23   it lives in Studio B.

01:46:24   So I have the same stream deck set up in two places

01:46:28   so that I can use my familiar things in either location.

01:46:32   And that has been great.

01:46:33   So I love it.

01:46:34   And it literally as a bit of life-changing hardware,

01:46:39   I have to say the stream deck.

01:46:42   - Were the AirPods Pro 2 this year or last year?

01:46:46   When they actually came out? - No, no.

01:46:49   They were last year, right?

01:46:50   They only did the USB-C case this year.

01:46:52   I think we should do Apple Watch Ultra 2.

01:46:55   - Okay.

01:46:57   - And that acknowledges all the Apple Watch votes

01:47:00   that the upgrade-ins did.

01:47:01   - Yep.

01:47:02   - And then let's do the stream deck and the Pro Max

01:47:06   as the runners up.

01:47:06   - Love it.

01:47:08   - And 15 Pro Max and stream deck as runner up,

01:47:11   Apple Watch Ultra 2 as the winner.

01:47:15   Final two categories now.

01:47:17   - Yeah.

01:47:18   - Favorite tech story, last year,

01:47:22   the fall of FTX was the winning category.

01:47:27   - Good times, good times.

01:47:30   - This year, the upgrade-ins voted with AI progress

01:47:37   at 8.7%.

01:47:41   Open AI fires Sam Altman at 17.9%

01:47:46   and Apple Vision Pro at 23.2%.

01:47:51   Where are you sitting with this one?

01:47:53   - I think the wisdom of the upgrade-ins,

01:47:55   the Vision Pro may be the favorite tech story of next year,

01:47:58   but this year, look, years and years and years,

01:48:00   Apple's doing a headset, Apple's doing a headset,

01:48:02   what's it gonna look like?

01:48:03   What's it gonna be like?

01:48:04   We got it this year and it was not what we expected,

01:48:07   which was even more exciting.

01:48:08   And then all that has reverberated the rest of the year.

01:48:11   That was the first half of the year, right?

01:48:13   And it has reverberated where we've got

01:48:14   the different developer things and they release betas

01:48:17   and there's talk about like, what's the future of it?

01:48:20   And when's it gonna come out?

01:48:21   Which sounds like early next year, which is exciting.

01:48:24   Like earlier than some people thought early next year meant,

01:48:28   which is great.

01:48:29   So for me, yeah, the story of this year

01:48:31   is the announcement of the Vision Pro, for sure.

01:48:34   - Because as well, it was also really good and really fun

01:48:37   and like the content was good.

01:48:38   - Yeah, and we got to try it.

01:48:40   - The stories were good.

01:48:41   - It's an interesting take.

01:48:42   It is them trying to do something different.

01:48:44   I don't know if they'll succeed,

01:48:45   but they're trying to do something different with it.

01:48:47   Really interesting and a new platform from Apple,

01:48:49   like just fundamentally a new platform from Apple

01:48:52   is a big story too.

01:48:53   So that was definitely my favorite.

01:48:56   - So we will go with the Apple Vision Pro as the winner

01:49:00   and we'll put open AI and AI

01:49:03   (laughing)

01:49:04   - As the runner's up.

01:49:06   - As the runner's up, sure.

01:49:08   Thanks, Upgradians.

01:49:09   - And we now go to the final category,

01:49:11   which is the favorite tech screw up.

01:49:14   - Yep.

01:49:15   - Last year was Elon Musk buys Twitter.

01:49:18   The Upgradians voted as the humane AI pin at 6.3%.

01:49:23   Open AI fires Sam Altman, it's 23.6%.

01:49:30   And again, a combination of anything related to Elon Musk,

01:49:34   Twitter and X with 36.9% of the vote.

01:49:39   - Well, I like the idea of the humane AI pin,

01:49:43   specifically the introduction,

01:49:44   'cause I do think that was a tech screw up.

01:49:46   We've already given them another award here.

01:49:50   So I'm gonna not press them for this,

01:49:52   but that marketing video was bad

01:49:55   and they made a lot of mistakes

01:49:57   and it's kind of baffling and amazing.

01:50:00   But for my money,

01:50:03   it was almost my favorite tech story of the year,

01:50:06   but it's definitely my favorite tech screw up of the year

01:50:08   is the whole open AI leadership debacle.

01:50:13   We're a nonprofit board, we don't like Sam,

01:50:15   we're gonna fire Sam.

01:50:17   Oh, I regrets investors in open AI saying,

01:50:20   what are you doing?

01:50:21   Sam Altman being like,

01:50:22   I'm gonna start my own company

01:50:24   or maybe I'll just bring everybody with me to Microsoft

01:50:26   and having them be like, no, no, no, no, come back,

01:50:28   come back, come back.

01:50:30   We'll import a new independent board

01:50:33   so that we can do this all again

01:50:34   in a couple of years maybe or not.

01:50:36   I don't know, Microsoft will be there,

01:50:38   but not on the board just as an observer.

01:50:39   So they get a heads up if something bananas like this

01:50:42   happens again, great, weird, what a weird story.

01:50:47   And in the end, nevermind, nevermind.

01:50:52   - Yep.

01:50:52   Yeah, for me, I kind of agree with you.

01:50:55   Like as a singular story,

01:50:57   this was also my favorite tech story of the year,

01:50:59   but the Vision Pro weaved its way throughout the year,

01:51:02   which made it like overall a better story to tell.

01:51:06   And also if this wasn't also a screw up,

01:51:09   I would have, right?

01:51:10   Like because this is a screw up,

01:51:12   I knew I could award it here.

01:51:13   This was a fascinating thing that happened.

01:51:16   The initial thing itself was incredibly interesting

01:51:19   and weird, like firing him.

01:51:21   And then the twists and turns that occurred

01:51:24   over like a seven to 10 day period was just like incredible.

01:51:29   And I don't, I cannot remember in my history

01:51:34   of being involved in this industry

01:51:38   and paying attention to this industry

01:51:40   of a company bungling something so badly

01:51:43   that like a board performed their role so poorly,

01:51:48   they were all got rid of.

01:51:50   And like the company has taken a reputational hit,

01:51:55   which was pretty big.

01:51:57   And we could look back a year from now and be like,

01:52:01   oh yeah, that was where it changed.

01:52:02   I don't know what has changed,

01:52:04   but that could be what we look at and be like,

01:52:06   oh yeah, that was a inflection point or something.

01:52:08   - Yeah, the meaning of open AI has changed.

01:52:12   And it might be positive, might be a negative,

01:52:14   but it's definitely a change in how we view that company

01:52:18   and Sam Altman and everybody else.

01:52:20   Well, he's come a long way from being the looped guy

01:52:22   with the pop collars on stage with Steve Jobs, right?

01:52:24   Long, long, I can never forget that,

01:52:26   but it's that guy, Sam Altman.

01:52:28   - 'Cause I wonder, the thing that I wonder

01:52:30   that could have a lasting thing is like,

01:52:33   what do enterprise companies think about open AI now

01:52:37   and or would they now be more willing

01:52:39   to just work directly with Microsoft

01:52:41   and use the open AI technology,

01:52:43   but have a, what they might consider to be a more reliable,

01:52:48   understandable company in its stead?

01:52:50   I don't know, I don't know.

01:52:52   - So if they had fired Sam Altman and then just gone on,

01:52:56   it might not have been a screw up,

01:52:59   although they would have really been a screw up

01:53:01   if they had fired him and then everybody

01:53:03   had just left the company and gone to Microsoft.

01:53:05   - I think that actually would have been a bigger screw up.

01:53:07   - Yeah, that would have been, that would have been.

01:53:09   So there's like, they could have been in play

01:53:11   for favorite tech story, but the way it worked,

01:53:14   and it could still be favorite tech story,

01:53:16   but just, it was all, why did this happen?

01:53:19   I just think, yeah, it's a good tech screw up.

01:53:22   There are lots to choose from

01:53:23   in the tech industry this year.

01:53:24   So I think open AI is our winner

01:53:27   and the humane AI pin introduction

01:53:30   and Elon/Twitter/X are our runners up in this category.

01:53:34   - Yeah.

01:53:36   - It is actually quite a spectacular achievement

01:53:38   from open AI that they were able to topple Elon

01:53:41   in all minds at least.

01:53:43   - Yeah, I mean, that is also just an ongoing screw up

01:53:46   that happened starting last year.

01:53:47   So it just has continued.

01:53:48   And I'd say it's just rolling thunder with Twitter and X.

01:53:53   Right, like it is not,

01:53:54   they have not yet had their purely cataclysmic event.

01:53:59   Instead, it's more like it just keeps being that thing

01:54:02   that keeps happening and that's okay.

01:54:04   There's next year's upgrade-ies.

01:54:06   We got next year's upgrade-ies for whatever happens

01:54:09   in 2014 with Elon.

01:54:10   - Also for me at this point, I don't care.

01:54:13   - Yeah, I hear you.

01:54:14   - Like I don't care what happens to X at this point.

01:54:18   Like if you're still using it, I don't know man.

01:54:22   I just don't know.

01:54:22   - Honestly, honestly, if my sports writers-

01:54:26   - Like what's there, like just go there.

01:54:27   - If X got shut down, it would be great

01:54:31   because all those sports writers people

01:54:32   would have to go to threads

01:54:33   and then I could just read them on threads.

01:54:35   But as it is, I can't assemble that list anymore.

01:54:37   - It's happening though, right?

01:54:39   Like it's happening.

01:54:40   - Yeah, I'm starting to follow base role writers

01:54:42   on threads or blue sky.

01:54:43   I'm starting to put it together.

01:54:45   It's just not all there yet.

01:54:46   So that may happen in 24.

01:54:48   They might finally drain out of there.

01:54:51   - 'Cause I know that like threads is putting money into NBA.

01:54:55   Like they're trying to like convince the NBA writers

01:54:58   to come over and that's like a thing that they're doing

01:55:00   and sponsoring some NBA stuff.

01:55:02   And so like they might do that with more sports.

01:55:05   You never know.

01:55:06   I know they're doing it with F1 a little bit too

01:55:08   'cause Charles Leclerc, one of the Ferrari drivers,

01:55:11   he has like a deal with Metta.

01:55:13   He's been like in their ads for a while

01:55:15   and they've been getting him to post.

01:55:17   - I'm building my follow list.

01:55:19   And at some point I'll do actual proper lists

01:55:21   on those other services.

01:55:22   They're just not anywhere close

01:55:23   to what's still in my old sports list.

01:55:25   So yeah, give me a reason to delete that bookmark in 2024.

01:55:29   That would be great.

01:55:31   - Thank you so much.

01:55:32   If you participated in the upgrade is this year,

01:55:35   we really appreciate you giving your nominations to us.

01:55:39   If you would like to send in your feedback,

01:55:41   follow up or questions for future episodes,

01:55:43   you can always go to upgradefeedback.com.

01:55:46   You can find Jason at sixcolors.com,

01:55:48   the incomparable.com and here on Relay FM,

01:55:51   where you'll find me too on Relay FM.

01:55:52   You can check out my work at cortexbrand.com.

01:55:55   I was talking about the other social networks.

01:55:57   You can find us on Mastodon.

01:55:59   Jason is at Jason now on zeppelin.flights

01:56:01   and I am at iMike on mike.social.

01:56:03   You can find the show as upgrade@relayfm.social.

01:56:07   You can watch video clips of the show there

01:56:09   and on TikTok, Instagram and YouTube

01:56:11   where we are at upgraderelay.

01:56:12   I'm on threads.

01:56:14   I'm at iMike, I am YKE.

01:56:16   Jason has previously said he isn't,

01:56:18   but I've been seeing him on threads this week.

01:56:20   And he is @jsnell, J-S-N-E-L-L.

01:56:24   Thank you to our member. - I'm Snell Zone.

01:56:25   Snell Zone on Blue Sky, Snell Zone on Blue Sky.

01:56:27   - Are you really using Blue Sky?

01:56:29   - Not much, but a little bit.

01:56:31   There's stuff there, but mostly it's threads

01:56:34   and really mostly it's Mastodon,

01:56:36   but also a little bit of threads on Blue Sky.

01:56:37   I just wanted to, Blue Sky lets you register as a domain.

01:56:40   So I'm Snell.Zone over there

01:56:42   and I just find that hilarious every time I see it.

01:56:44   So there it is. - I mean, you could do that

01:56:45   if you're a Blue Sky person. - For Mastodon

01:56:46   if you really wanted to, but you shouldn't.

01:56:48   Don't do that.

01:56:49   - Well, I'm using Zeppelin off lights for that.

01:56:51   So that's what I got.

01:56:53   - Thank you to our members and supporters of Upgrade Plus.

01:56:55   You can get longer ad-free versions of the show,

01:56:57   including this one by going to getupgradeplus.com.

01:57:00   Thank you to those that do that.

01:57:02   Thank you to our sponsors of this episode,

01:57:04   Vitaly Factor, Text Expander and Elektrik.

01:57:07   We'll be back next time

01:57:08   with the Upgrade Holiday Special.

01:57:11   Until then. - Oh yeah.

01:57:13   - Say goodbye, Jason Snell.

01:57:14   - Have a good week everybody,

01:57:17   but don't miss that Christmas Day episode.

01:57:20   Woo!

01:57:20   It's something. - It's coming.

01:57:23   - Bye Mike.

01:57:23   See you later.

01:57:24   (upbeat music)

01:57:27   (upbeat music)

01:57:29   (upbeat music)

01:57:32   (upbeat music)

01:57:34   (upbeat music)

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