MacBreak Weekly 203

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MacBreak Weekly
Episode 203

MacBreak Weekly 203: That's Our Lenny



Disclaimer: Show notes written after Apple's 17 July 2010 press conference and two Dublin Dr. Peppers.

Report on the iPhone 4 Consumer Reports... Report

CR confirms antenna problems in iPhone 4 hardware

  • Alex has to be more careful with his iPhone 4 than 3GS
  • Frederick's (bumper-ized) iPhone 4 is used mainly with his earbuds, doesn't have problems.
  • Andy points out CR's slavish devotion to their process does not take into account the whole, overall iPhone 4 experience (Retina Display, FaceTime, dl/ul speeds, etc.)
  • Dropped calls? Who cares! Alex & Andy are more concerned with dropping the handset. Andy's research indicates the back pane of glass is more prone to damage than the front.
  • Scientific-ality of the CR antenna testing called into question.
  • Alex exasperated over AT&T exacerbating iPhone 4 antenna problems. Sarsaparilla joke ensues.
  • Former Clinton-era White House PR maven predicts iPhone 4 recall to protect Apple's iPhone brand image.
  • Alex (presciently) counters by saying Apple should offer free Bumper cases because:
    • It's cheap for Apple vs. a complete recall
    • It solves the issues
  • Andy & Leo call shenanigans on the comparisons to Toyota or Clinton scandals, the iPhone 4 problem is nowhere near that level (nobody dying or lying under oath).
  • Frederick agrees that free Bumper cases would work better than a recall.
  • All agree that Apple's response to antenna problems not up to Apple's usual standards.
  • Frederick points out for all the complaining and gnashing of teeth over consumer electronics, look how far we've come in such a short time.
    • WHAT?!!? NO HDMI-OUT??!! On my 300+dpi screen pocket-sized computer that's three times faster than the computer Alex used to render shots for Star Wars? Maybe if it was on Verizon...
    • Louis C.K. had a similar rant talking with Conan O'Brien.

Mac News (this show is called MACbreak after all)

  • Leo does a tech news segment for local news and the last month has mainly been about cell phones, Google, and social media, not 'computers' - the times, they are a changin'.
  • Alex - these phones ARE computers.
  • Andy anxious to hear about Mac OS 11.
  • With all the engineering required by iOS, iPhone, iPad, whither Mac OS?

DING DING - Round 1

  • Alex vociferously advocates for open sourcing Mac OS.
  • Internationally beloved technology prognosticator, pundit, and poo-bah Andy Ihnatko disagrees.
  • Alex sees Apple being done with OS X within 5-10 years.
  • Leo ends Round 1, "Do we need an OS 11?"
  • break for ad

Mac OS 11

  • Andy, poker face set to 11, claims to have no knowledge of any future OS plans. (Make him take it out of the case!)
  • Andy clarifies when he says 'Mac OS 11' he means an operating system that is as radically different from OS X as OS X was from OS 9.
  • No mention of even 10.7 at WWDC 2010, let alone OS 11. Does this mean the desktop OS is not as important to Apple as it once was?

DING DING - Round 2

  • Alex makes a case for open-sourcing OS X, most of it is already open source except the top-level Aqua layer.
  • Frederick wants to know how the cloud aspect of computing will figure in to Apple's OS plans.
  • Alex does not feel Apple is focused on the desktop and won't as long as it is not a huge profit maker.
  • Andy respectfully disagrees with the premise that Apple is not interested in its desktop OS.
  • Leo points out: you NEED Mac OS to develop for iOS.
  • Younger generations not as attached to desktop/laptop computers, they are more focused on hand held devices.
  • Alex: in 5 years 80% of users will not need more than what iPad/iPhone devices offer.
  • Leo sees iPad as a natural progression from computer to personal computer.
  • Andy gives examples where mouse/keyboard/big screen computers are necessary and the need for those computer will not go away.
  • Leo calls for a vote: Is Apple spending resources on where the money is (iOS) or moving away from the desktop OS?
    • Alex - moving away from desktop OS
    • Frederick - sees it as a little bit of both, but doesn't want to give up the fit & polish of his Mac if OS X were to go open source.
  • Alex proposes one 'official' version blessed by Apple and all the other forks created as needed.
  • Andy lays out the situation. Apple has three children:
    • 25-year old Macintosh
    • 10-year old Mac OS X
    • 3-year old iOS
  • Andy says most of Apple's resources are being spent on iOS because of its relative age. If Apple is ignoring the desktop OS, it's only because the OS is stable and self sufficient.
  • Andy: Mac OS is NeXT OS, Steve Jobs won't abandon something like that.
  • Leo doesn't see the desktop OS ever being open sourced nor does he predict radical innovation for the desktop since Steve Jobs' laser focus is on mobile platforms at the moment.

Andy predicts Mac OS 11 to bring a greater level of intimacy between iOS devices and the desktop. break for ad

Apple Killing Consumer Reports discussion threads

Apple moderators removing any mentions of the negative Consumer from the Apple Support Forums.

  • Alex incites an internet riot by calling for TwitLive watchers to go and create threads about Consumer Reports right now.
  • All hosts agree that these forums open Apple to criticism by their nature as a place to find and discuss problems with Apple products.
  • Leo amends the news story: As of the taping of the show, Apple did allow a few threads to persist.
  • Andy points out the reason for the existence of shows like Macbreak: Apple's secrecy lends itself to endless speculation over the 30 possible reasons a thread about Consumer Reports was taken down. From sinister to comic i.e. Lenny, a junior moderator, decides to kill it while his boss goes out for Starbucks.
  • Alex goes back to the original issue of people complaining about antenna reception issues: take the phone back if it's not up to your expectations.

The Apple Friend Bar


  • Leo's daughter will be off to college and worried about what statement her phone will send. Faced with the offer of FaceTime chats with her father, the teenager immediately chose the dumb feature phone.
  • Andy replaces frames for his glasses on a glacial timetable.
  • Glasses and cell phones immediately and irrevocably date a picture or film.
  • Want to visit NYC circa 1970s? Watch the original Taking of Pelham 123.
  • Andy wants to implant an iPhone into a first generation car phone from the 1980s.
  • Last Call for news stories. Result: Old Spice Commercial Guy and his personal message to Kevin Rose.

Picks of the Week

Alex Lindsay
Andy Ihnatko
Frederick Van Johnson
Leo Laporte

Notable Quotes

Significant Products

  • Link URL and optional brief description




Medium Raw: A Bloody Valentine to the World of Food and the People Who Cook by Anthony Bourdain (UNABRIDGED)
Narrated by Anthony Bourdain



  • Gazelle #3
  • ad times: 00:37-00:49 and 28:58-33:20

Production Information

  • Edited by: djc
  • Notes:
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