In the News

128: Watching All the Legal Drama, ApplePay for Plywood, and a Power Plug Lament

December 29, 2023 Brett Burney, Jeff Richardson Episode 128
128: Watching All the Legal Drama, ApplePay for Plywood, and a Power Plug Lament
In the News
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In the News
128: Watching All the Legal Drama, ApplePay for Plywood, and a Power Plug Lament
Dec 29, 2023 Episode 128
Brett Burney, Jeff Richardson

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In the News blog post for December 29, 2023:

00:00 Watching All the Legal Drama
10:53 How to Hack an iPhone
15;59 Jason’s Favorites
20:06 Apple Pay for Plywood
24:32 AI @ Apple
31:09 SuperCarPlay
34:32 iPad Wishes
37:48 Where Y’at? Segment: Satellite Game Changer
43:08 Sci-Fi Done Right
46:31 Power Plug Lament
47:08 Brett’s Security Tips: TunnelBear VPN and 1Password
50:49 Jeff’s Security Tip: ALWAYS Protect Your iPhone Passcode!

Chance Miller | 9to5Mac: Apple to halt Apple Watch Series 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2 sales in the US this week

Michael Potuck | 9to5Mac: ‘Most sophisticated’ iPhone attack chain ‘ever seen’ used four 0-days to create a 0-click exploit

Jason Snell | SixColors: Jason’s favorites of 2023: Apps, movies, TV, books

Chance Miller | 9to5Mac: Long-time holdout Lowe’s finally begins rolling out Apple Pay support

Jason Cross | Macworld: Wanna see something cool? Try this awesome AI feature built right into the iPhone

David Price | Macworld: The iPad doesn’t need a refresh–it needs a reboot

Mary Beth “Mouse” Skylis | BackPacker: One Year in, it’s Clear the iPhone’s Satellite SOS Feature Is Saving Lives

Brett’s Sites: Your Technology Security Resolutions for 2024 should be to use a VPN such as TunnelBear and a password manager such as 1Password Both of these services have deals right now, and you can get $30 back by signing up through Rakuten (you can use my link, searching for TunnelBear or 1Password and making the purchase that way - you’ll get $30 back!

Jeff’s Sites: Your Technology Security Resolutions for 2024 is to use a complicated iPhone passcode and NEVER let someone see you enter it! You can read this story from the Wall Street Journal for more information. 

Support the Show.

Brett Burney from
Jeff Richardson from

Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Send us a Text Message.

Watch the video!

In the News blog post for December 29, 2023:

00:00 Watching All the Legal Drama
10:53 How to Hack an iPhone
15;59 Jason’s Favorites
20:06 Apple Pay for Plywood
24:32 AI @ Apple
31:09 SuperCarPlay
34:32 iPad Wishes
37:48 Where Y’at? Segment: Satellite Game Changer
43:08 Sci-Fi Done Right
46:31 Power Plug Lament
47:08 Brett’s Security Tips: TunnelBear VPN and 1Password
50:49 Jeff’s Security Tip: ALWAYS Protect Your iPhone Passcode!

Chance Miller | 9to5Mac: Apple to halt Apple Watch Series 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2 sales in the US this week

Michael Potuck | 9to5Mac: ‘Most sophisticated’ iPhone attack chain ‘ever seen’ used four 0-days to create a 0-click exploit

Jason Snell | SixColors: Jason’s favorites of 2023: Apps, movies, TV, books

Chance Miller | 9to5Mac: Long-time holdout Lowe’s finally begins rolling out Apple Pay support

Jason Cross | Macworld: Wanna see something cool? Try this awesome AI feature built right into the iPhone

David Price | Macworld: The iPad doesn’t need a refresh–it needs a reboot

Mary Beth “Mouse” Skylis | BackPacker: One Year in, it’s Clear the iPhone’s Satellite SOS Feature Is Saving Lives

Brett’s Sites: Your Technology Security Resolutions for 2024 should be to use a VPN such as TunnelBear and a password manager such as 1Password Both of these services have deals right now, and you can get $30 back by signing up through Rakuten (you can use my link, searching for TunnelBear or 1Password and making the purchase that way - you’ll get $30 back!

Jeff’s Sites: Your Technology Security Resolutions for 2024 is to use a complicated iPhone passcode and NEVER let someone see you enter it! You can read this story from the Wall Street Journal for more information. 

Support the Show.

Brett Burney from
Jeff Richardson from

(upbeat music)

- Welcome to In the News for December 29th, 2023.

I am Brett Burney from

- And this is Jeff Richardson from iPhone JD.

Hey Brett, how have the holidays been for you?

- It's been good.

I can't believe it's over.

The year is coming to a close.

All right, this is our very last episode for 2023

with just a few days to go.

And we missed last week 'cause you know,

we just wanted to take some time off

to be with the families and everything.

But wow, Apple didn't take any time off.

There was all kinds of news around the Apple Watch

over these last few days.

And this story, we probably should have just checked

before we started recording, Jeff.

There could have been something new happening

in the last 30 minutes or so.

The Apple Watch was available, then it wasn't available,

then it was available.

I think it's still available as of right now.

But who knows in the next few hours.

- I've been watching this for weeks and weeks.

And the thing is, you know, knowing how these things go,

I knew it could change at any moment.

And I've seen so much bad commentary on this too, Brett.

People saying, oh, well, you know,

they timed it that they would be able

to sell the Apple Watch until Christmas day.

Like Apple didn't time anything about this.

It all had to do with court deadlines.

So the post, when I started the iPhone JD this morning,

I wanted to sort of go through from,

and again, I'm not an IP attorney,

so I don't know all the ins and outs of patent law,

but I did want to go through a little detail

about what's going on here.

- Yeah, you did great.

- We have this special type of corporate,

this administrative law judge court in Washington, DC

that allows for relatively quick proceedings,

which is how you went from something being filed

earlier this year or being filed relatively recently,

and then to have a trial earlier this year,

and then the first level review and the second level review.

But, you know, Apple had no control over the fact

that there was going to be a decision released

on October 26th, and that that would trigger 60 days,

which would just happen to fall after Christmas.

But it certainly worked out well for Apple

that they were able to sell all the Apple Watches

that they wanted through Christmas day.

And then when the ban actually went into effect,

it happened to be right after Christmas.

And then for now, at least they have the appellate court

temporarily staying the bans, they can sell them again.

The underlying issues here though are interesting

because this company Massimo, you know,

sometimes you hear about patent disputes

where it's, you know, being filed by a company

that it's just a patent troll.

They don't actually do anything, they just sue people.

But this is not that at all.

Massimo is a company that really is in this field,

and they have been developing this type

of medical technology for a while.

I think it's fascinating that Apple first talked to them

even before there was an Apple Watch.

So it goes back a very, very long time.

And although Apple did not form a partnership

with the company, they did hire some of the employees

from that company to come to Apple.

And that of course is what led Massimo to allege

that they stole, you know, not just their employees,

but also some of their underlying intellectual property.

- Yeah, some trade secrets and stuff.

- And you know, I don't know enough about the details of it

to know who is right or who is wrong.

I know that Massimo has some arguments

that seem pretty good in their face,

but then Apple has some pretty good arguments

that no, no, we developed this stuff, you know, internally.

I know that there was a jury earlier this year

in federal court in California

that couldn't reach a decision, it was a hung jury,

which just sort of tells you that, you know, who knows.

It just so happens that the judges here

have sided with Massimo for now.

We'll see what happens on appeal.

But I mean, at the end of the day, I mean, look,

either Apple's gonna win and then they're fine,

or Apple's gonna lose and then Massimo will force Apple

to pay some settlement because Apple is obviously

wants to have this technology in their watches.

They wanna be able to read blood oxygen levels and stuff.

So, you know, there will be some temporary effects

on consumers, like for example,

if the ban does go into effect until the time

when it gets resolved,

and one way or the other will get resolved,

it will mean that, you know, maybe you can't buy

an Apple Watch, you know, version nine,

or you can't buy the ultra version two

for a short period of time.

And I think maybe what might be effect,

or really an issue for people is if you have

a current Apple Watch and you have to bring it in

to get repaired, you know, these Apple watches

are so hard to fix, Brett, that lots of times,

if even if you have AppleCare and stuff,

Apple doesn't actually fix your watch

and give it back to you, they just give you a new one.

And then they do what they can with the parts,

but they can only do that if they can give you a new watch.

And if there's a ban in effect that would prevent them

from giving you a replacement watch,

well, then some people might be, you know,

between a rock and a hard place

if they have their Apple Watch break.

So, I mean, it has a real impact on Apple users,

which is the part of this case that really interests me,

that there's just a whole lot of complicated

legal maneuvering and we'll see

who ultimately wins in the courts.

- It was just a crazy whirlwind seeing these headlines,

like Apple is being ordered to stop selling

the Apple watches.

- Yeah, you don't see that often.

- And when I saw that, it was just like,

okay, well, you know, just because of the profession

you and I are in, it was like, okay,

well, things just have to work its course

and probably things will be worked out.

But I didn't think about your angle

that you provided this morning, Jeff,

that it's not just for new watches,

but it's like for folks that currently have

an Apple Series 9 or Ultra 2 that have to get it repaired,

like Apple would be prohibited from giving them

one of those new watches, or, you know,

there could be something that wouldn't fly right.

And just quickly, the technology that is underlying here

is called the blood oxygen sensor, right?

It's, in other words, it's basically the technology

built into the Apple watches.

And I guess Massimo, I don't even know,

do they have something similar,

like a watch type of a device or so?

I don't even know, but I'm assuming

that this is just measuring your blood oxygen levels, right?

Which is very important.

I think my wife liked to check that

in the health app every morning, you know,

just to see how it was like over the evening

or overnight or something like that.

And, you know, you and I have talked so many times

about how you're right, Apple wants this in their watches

because this is such an important component

of like the overall health measurements, right?

That people like want to be able to track

and the data that they want to be able to gain

from all of this.

And so, you know, obviously the headlines

were just amazing to see

because they were prohibited from selling.

So like for what, a few days, they couldn't sell.

And the way that you were talking about this special court,

they had to even go to President Biden, right?

For a review to see if Biden was going to put some kind

of a veto on this, right?

And the White House decided not to.

I mean, the White House is getting involved in this now.

- That was a part that really surprised me

and many other lawyers who don't practice

before the international commission.

You know, since I'm not familiar with the ITC

before this case, the idea that there could be a court,

that the court rules, and then the president decides

if he's going to send it in,

and then you go to an appellate court,

that's a mixing of executive

and judicial branches for sure.

But you're right, you know, the underlying technology

is Apple really wants the Apple Watch

to be a health device as much as possible,

which means having sensors.

And one of the first sensors they put on there,

back with the Apple Watch version six in 2020,

was their version of, in fact,

I didn't even know the word, it was a pulse oximeter.

It was something that I learned about during COVID

because that was based upon your blood oxygen levels.

Yeah, that was something that you can measure

to see how sick you were.

And so, but before COVID, I didn't even know

that people often use those things.

And so then Apple, right around the same time period,

you know, put this in the watch,

but it was just because they could shine a light

on your wrist and look at your blood

and figure out the blood oxygen levels from that.

Not as precisely as something that goes on your finger,

but still pretty good for something

that you're wearing all the time.

And Apple is always looking for, you know,

we have this thing that's on your wrist all the time.

You know, what can we measure?

What can we do?

What data can we find to help you to be more healthy,

to give you early warning signs,

which is another story we're going to have later on today.

So they're always looking to make it better,

but this was one of the first things that they put in there

was the blood, you know, was back in 2020.

So, you know, a lot of people are very interested

in this field and I'm sure we're going to see this again

in the future.

The next time that Apple comes out with something,

you know, for example, we know that a glucose monitor

is something that they've been looking at for a long time.

There are many, many companies in this field.

It would not surprise me if Apple comes up with something,

someone else is going to claim

that they've got the patent on it too,

and we may go through this again.


- Well, people are watching this just quickly, Jeff,

because there was two or three people

that reached out to me and like,

hey, should I go buy an Apple Watch Ultra 2

just to have one, like before they get stopped selling?

And as you said, it was about two days, I think, 48 hours,

that the Apple Watch was the SE,

was the only Apple Watch model

that you could purchase from Apple.

And then I thought you had some good insights here

as to what you think could happen.

Like if Massimo ultimately is successful,

Apple will probably reach some kind of a settlement, right?

I mean, like you said, there's no way I can see

that Apple would not have this technology in the watches.

And they're just going to exhaust

all of their legal avenues, right?

Before they have to maybe pay up or so.

- Maybe, Brett, or maybe they want to have the appeal going.

I mean, I've been involved in litigation enough to know

that if you have a decent argument on appeal,

but you don't want to lose and make bad law,

what you might want to do is pursue the appeal

to give yourself some negotiating leverage.

But then while that appeal is pending,

but before a decision is reached,

that's when you negotiate with the other side.

So I don't, I mean, I'm not privy to Apple's,

are they just trying to win the appeal?

Are they using the appeal as negotiating leverage?

Who knows?

But one thing's for sure is that Apple plays hardball

when it comes to litigation.

You know, if they're in a lawsuit,

they have a reputation of being willing

to go into the bitter end.

And so as somebody that would be suing against Apple,

you know that you can't just expect them to roll over.

You know, they've got the money and the resources

and the lawyers and everything else to defend themselves.

- So, but right now, as we're speaking today

on December 29th, you can purchase an Apple Watch 9

or an Ultra 2, correct?

And so, I mean, that's the way it's going to be,

at least for the foreseeable future,

until we hear maybe something after the first year.

Okay. - In a couple of weeks,

I suspect in the month of January,

the federal appellate court will either say,

yes, we're going to keep the ban in effect

throughout the appeal, which could be many, many months,

or they're going to say, you know what?

We're not going to, we're going to lift the stay

and it's the right thing to do to have the ban in place.

And you know, who knows which way they're going to go,

but you know, they're going to make their decision

in a few weeks and either we'll be back here again

with more dire warnings that you can't buy the Apple Watch

or it'll be back to normal, we'll see.

- What a legal drama to watch, man.

Just, that's just nuts.

That's just involved with the technology side as well.

We have talked many times, Jeff,

about little tiny upgrades or patches,

security patches for the iPhone,

that whenever they come out,

we encourage everyone to go ahead and get updated.

Now we generally know that we call them zero day attacks

or some kind of simple hacks or so,

but this article that you linked to,

I don't think I've ever seen an article, Jeff,

that goes into as much detail

that basically hurts my brain to look at it.

I've never seen anything go through so much detail

as to exactly how a zero day attack actually happens.

This was pretty fascinating to me,

even though I barely understand

even the first two steps here.

- The reason for the detail

is because there was a security presentation.

You know, there's a small number of companies

around the world that sell security software for computers.

And one of them is Kaspersky,

which is actually based in Russia,

which has its own level of things

because people some days don't trust,

you know, the country of Russia,

but regardless, but the folks that work at Kaspersky,

I mean, these are true experts on security.

So what they did is they detailed

something that they had looked at that was in effect,

I mean, it was in the wild being used

from 2019 until December of 2022.

So for two or three years, a small group of hackers,

certainly the people that developed this,

and I don't know if any others figured it out,

you know, had this exploit.

And what's so interesting about it, Brett,

is, you know, we have often heard

that one of the scariest types of iPhone exploits

is one that doesn't require the user to do anything.

Obviously, if you download a bad app, you know,

if you use an Android device, for example,

where you have alternate app stores,

you might download an app that you think is app X,

but it's actually app Y.

But these things where you don't even do anything,

and that's what this one started,

it was somebody would send you a text message

and your iPhone in processing the image

associated with the text message,

it would somehow trip something up in it,

but without you even doing anything.

So you wouldn't even have to open up the messages app

or even know that the message was there.

But then the reason that you talk about it

getting so complicated is that was just the start.

Once it got this PDF file,

then it exploited something in TrueType,

which is the engine that's used to display fonts.

And then from there, it was exploiting something else.

And it went through like, you know, eight different layers.

I mean, it does make you think

that the people that came up with this hack,

oh my goodness, are these people smart.

And not only are they smart,

but what this article points out

is that they knew something about how the iPhone works

that Apple has never revealed.

And it's something that Casperci says,

it's probably an internal testing tool.

So maybe like somebody who used to work at Apple

and knew about this and left the company,

maybe they exploit, but you know,

it's something that none on the outside world

had even known about.

Someone really knew what they were doing

to come up with this test.

But once they figured out the hack,

it basically, you know, you could use it

with impunity to get control.

And, you know, it's just interesting

that it was out there for so long.

So, you know, if when Apple releases security patches

and we just sort of say, oh yeah,

they patched a security flaw, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.

But these are the sorts of things that they are fixing

that are so complicated, so detailed,

and yet expose your phone to being taken over

by somebody else.

So, you know, install those security patches

when they come out and let the smart people at Apple

and elsewhere figure out the details.

But what we need to do is just keep our phones up to date.

- And just so everybody is understanding about this,

the reason that this article was able to be published,

this information is because this little zero day attack

was fixed back in December, 2022.

Now, hopefully then in December, 2022,

we were updating to iOS 16.2.

So hopefully everybody has already updated

to at least 16.2 and maybe even iOS 17,

if you've updated that way.

So in other words,

this exploit theoretically would not work today.

So that's one of the reasons that they can publish it,

I think, or, you know,

that from a journalistic perspective,

they're not as worried about publishing it

because theoretically most people

would have been updated by now,

and this may not affect most people.

- But Brett, it makes you wonder, you know,

what exploit is out there today as we speak

that's going to be patched a year from now.

And then they're like, oh my goodness,

can you imagine back in December of 2023 that we had out,

you know, it just,

it makes you wonder about what else is out there.

- It just, it just creates, I mean, it starts off,

I think I can get the first two of what,

what there's maybe 20 different steps here.

I, attacker's iMessage account got that, a PDF file.

Okay, I understand that.

So they send a PDF through iMessage

and then there's a true type font exploit.

And then at that point,

I have no idea.

I see Safari in there somewhere.

Anyway, it is interesting just to kind of have

a little bit of an idea, you know,

even for me that I have no hope in being,

basically understanding a lot of this,

but just having a little bit of insight

into some of this kind of helps, you know,

nothing else just makes me even more confident,

like you said, Jeff, to make sure that I upgrade

to those, those small patches when necessary.

Jason Snell is one of our favorite Mac focused journalists.

And he's been doing this for a long, long time.

And this was just a lovely little list of his favorites

of 2023 apps, movies, TV, and books.

And I gotta say, I think I was on board

with like 95% of these.

He is right on the money on this, Jeff.

- Yeah, I've seen so many of these posted

at the end of the year.

- I know, I know, it's the time.

- The ones that basically sort of I agree with

or that I think are pretty good suggestions.

And this was one of them, you know,

he has a great list here of apps for the Mac,

some apps for the iPhone, for the iPad,

you know, bartender, a great app for the Mac.

And I also really liked his list of movies and TV shows,

many of which are Apple TV plus shows that I love,

like "Foundation," "Slow Horses," and "For All Mankind."

He also has on here "The Bear,"

which was on, I think Netflix, was it?

Or was it Hulu? - Hulu.

- And Hulu, which was just, oh my goodness,

if you haven't seen "The Bear,"

both seasons are just so-- - No, I gotta, I gotta.

- You haven't seen it, Brent?

- No, I keep seeing people talk about it.

- Oh, it's so good, oh my goodness.

- Okay, okay. - I don't know

if you have to learn how to-- - I gotta get

"Slow Horses," season three.

- I haven't even done that. - "Slow Horses."

- That's oh, so good. - I haven't started

season three yet, I've been saving it for--

- Okay, okay. - In fact, I think

I might watch it this weekend for New Year's.

But it's so, so good, "The Last of Us" on HBO,

so it's a good-- - Yeah, oh, that's great.

- It's a good list here of things to catch up on

if you missed 'em. - Even the books.

On his apps, quickly, I just love this.

He talks about Flighty, 'cause that was one of the things,

you know, obviously-- - We've talked about

many times, yeah. - I've talked about that

many times.

The other one, quickly, for the Mac,

he talks about Bartender, which I have not used

for all the years that Bartender has been around.

This is a little utility that could help you

arrange your little menu bar on the Mac.

But maybe, I wanna say about maybe eight months ago, Jeff,

I finally tried it out, and I'm like,

I'm just like Jason here says, it's a must-have utility now.

Like, I can't do without it.

And then lastly, just to point this out,

he talks about the Whisper technology here,

which is using AI to transcribe audio into text.

And I'll just say, you know, from a little bit

of inside baseball for anybody listening,

I have been using some of this Whisper technology

to basically create transcripts for our podcast.

And it's just amazing to me, Jeff, how well that it works.

I mean, you and I have been around long enough to know

that people have always wanted a way to easily,

you know, transcribe audio into editable text.

And there have been technologies that'll do it,

but they are very cumbersome.

They were huge, it took a long time,

and they were not very accurate.

This Whisper is amazing.

I run it right here on my app, on my Mac,

and I have an M1 processor.

So it's not the fastest,

it's probably what it would be on an M3,

but it's just amazing to me how accurate it is, Jeff.

And anyway, Jason talks about it,

that's what he uses it for on here as well,

but there's a lot of other uses in there.

So great list, I'll make sure that we link to that as well.

- Can I just highlight that, Brett?

'Cause you know, we haven't mentioned

that in the podcast before.

You know, I find that sometimes I'll say,

you know, I remember hearing something

like a couple episodes ago in a podcast that I enjoy,

but then you can't remember

what it was they were talking about.

And you don't wanna have to listen

to the entire audio podcast again, because it's so hard.

But looking at a transcript,

you can just sort of skim through it.

And so I do encourage folks, I mean, we have the website,


And if you go to,

you can see all the episodes.

But when you click on an episode, there's a tab there

that's called transcript.

And you can see the transcript.

It's not perfect.

It is not 100% perfect,

but it is more than good enough for you to get a sense of it

and to skim through it quickly and see,

oh, now I see what they were talking about.

They were talking about flighty,

or they were talking about bartender,

or they were talking about whatever.

So it's something that you can use

to find things in an old episode.

And I guess in theory, it should be searchable by Google too.

So maybe that's another way to do it as well.

But yeah.

- Absolutely.

And that's one of the, I mean,

there's all kinds of accessibility components

and stuff like that that we did,

but we have been doing this for almost about a year,

I think now, Jeff.

And when I saw Jason Stelm mentioned the Whisper app,

I mean, there's so many applications for that technology.

And that's just a great way, I think,

that a lot of people can be using even AI today.

So good stuff.

Apple pay for the win.

I gotta tell you, over this holiday purchasing season,

I'm constantly now almost,

I would say more than half of the time

when I need to pay for something,

whether it's gas or groceries

or anything else that I go in person, Jeff,

I am pulling out my phone

instead of actually pulling out my wallet

with a physical credit card.

Apple pay to me is just becoming just the norm as it were,

until I get to a store that either doesn't take it

or they don't let me tap.

And I gotta tell you, I don't know why

it frustrates me so much.

It's more than it should.

But I'm like, how can you not support that?

Well, it seems like there's other people

that are agreeing with me.

This was a story you linked to from 9to5Mac

that Lowe's, the hardware store,

is now finally accepting Apple pay.

- Yeah, as it should.

Home Depot has for a long time now.

And you're using your phone to pay.

I'm usually using my watch to pay.

I just find it, I tap my little thing

on the side of the watch and bring up my credit card,

put my watch right there on it,

and I find it the fastest way to pay.

And I so prefer to do that. - Absolutely.

- Plus, it's a little bit safer

than providing a credit card.

I mean, there's so many reasons to do it.

But for me, it's just speed and convenience.

It just works so well

that I wish I could use Apple pay everywhere.

And what I like about Apple pay is,

on the one hand, you've got the big stores

that have tons and tons of franchises

like a Lowe's or a Home Depot.

They are implementing it.

But even when you come up from the other angle,

small businesses that may just be little mom and pop shops

on a cool street, more and more,

they are using these devices made by companies

like Square and stuff like that

that have these little car reads on it.

Our car readers.

So, they don't have to be part of some major conglomerate

to have the technology to accept Apple pay.

And so, the small businesses have it,

the big businesses have it.

I wish we would just be at the point where everybody has it,

but it's nice that you can get through so much of your day.

I like it for my kids too, Brett,

because as teenagers,

I don't necessarily want them carrying around cash

every place, just from a safety standpoint.

But I love the fact that my daughter,

you can use her Apple watch to pay for things

at most anywhere.

I mean, yes, it means that maybe she'll be paying

for that coffee at Starbucks

that I don't necessarily think she needed,

but that's a separate issue of talking to kids.

But at least she wasn't having a big wad of cash

in her pocket or something.

- Well, Jeff, I have to tell you, they point out it here,

and I thought about this as well.

Home Depot actually does not accept Apple pay right now.

- I could have sworn that they did, because I...

Oh, actually, you know what the story here is?

Home Depot used to, and then they changed it.

That's what it was.

I forgot about that.

Yes, that's right.

- Because it says here,

"Lowe is the second largest hardware store chain

in the US behind Home Depot."

Now, it's been a long time.

It's been a few months since I've been to Home Depot,

but I do remember specifically that I went in

and I tried to use my phone, Jeff,

and they said, "Oh no, you can't use tap."

Just, I mean, they just like flippantly said that.

And I kind of looked at them like, "What's wrong with you?"

Like, how can you not?

- I'm glad you questioned me on that,

because they absolutely supported it for a time,

and then they turned it off,

which just sort of shows you how silly it is.

From a technological standpoint,

they could support it, and then they didn't turn it off.

- They could support it.

And I'll just quickly point out another big store for me.

It's a grocery store chain that's down in the South,

at least when I go to Texas, is H-E-B.

It's a huge grocery store chain, at least in Texas.

I mean, I think that's where it's based out of,

and I'm sure there's other places.

And I gotta tell you,

so when I go down and visit family in Texas, Jeff,

I will go to H-E-B's,

'cause that's pretty much the biggest store in town,

and they don't take it.

Like, again, I sat there, and I'm just, you know,

like, I'm just accepting the fact.

I'm pulling out my phone, and I'm banging it on the,

you know, on the little paste stopple there,

and they're like, "Oh, yeah, you can't tap."

And again, I'm just like, how can you not tap in this day?

I mean, to me, this is just inevitable, right?

And I'm just glad that you linked to this today

from 9to5Mac, 'cause if Lowe's is doing it,

surely, surely Home Depot and other competitors

have to jump on.

But I do like the idea, just like you said.

I mean, it kind of democratizes, right,

the idea that everybody can accept it,

you know, in so many different places.

I always think of, like, the farmer's market, right,

the local farmer's market.

You can just go, and it's just so easy to take care of that,

and I'm glad that they have the capabilities

to accept that now.

So we just, I think we mentioned AI a little bit ago.

I know we've mentioned it in the past,

because it's almost like a story that isn't really a story,

but a lot of people kind of highlight the fact that,

hey, Google is doing AI, Microsoft is doing AI,

OpenAI is doing AI, why isn't Apple doing AI?

And I think we talked to a couple of weeks ago

about a story where they were talking with Johnny

and a couple of the gentlemen,

the executives from Apple, right?

And they were like, "You know what?

"We're not too worried about this."

And sure enough, they knew things

that of course we didn't know,

and you linked to a story today,

Apple quietly released an open-source,

multimodal large language model in October,

and that's really the same technology

that OpenAI and others are using.

So Apple is already on the bandwagon.

- Yeah, there's so many aspects of AI.

There's things that Apple is already doing with AI

and has been doing for years,

and then you have these sorts of large-scale type things,

and it was interesting that they have partnered with,

what is it, Columbia University, I believe,

to work on this model, to have it open-source

so that people can be looking at it.

It just goes to show you that there's all these,

and I'm sure this is one of dozens of things

that Apple, just like other tech companies,

are doing to use artificial intelligence.

AI became the big thing earlier this year

because of chat2DT, and people thought,

"How cool is it that you can type a question

"and get an answer?"

And that is cool, and that is a part of AI,

which will continue to be really fantastic.

I mean, heck, here as a lawyer,

we're using this thing called Westlaw

that has an AI built in, which has just

completely transformed the way that I do research.

It's really neat.

But that's just one type of AI.

There's other things that you could do with AI, too,

and so I'm glad to see Apple putting all the resources,

both internally and working externally with universities

in an open-source way to just get at this

in every which way possible.

- They call this technology ferret,

but this surprised me in no way, Jeff.

I mean, even when we've talked about it,

and even when I saw all the other headlines,

which I sometimes thought it was kind of more clickbait

than anything else, of course Apple is investing in this.

And in fact, I love this other story that you linked to.

Speaking of AI, I think I knew some of this was in here,

but not quite as in-your-face as what this was.

There already is an amazing AI feature

built right into the iPhone.

It's an app called Magnifier.

And I did this this morning and my jaw hit the table, Jeff.

- Yeah, often Apple takes cool technologies

and sort of starts them off

in some of its assistive technologies.

And that's where this one is.

You know, the Magnifier app is something you can use

if you can't see something.

It's like a, what do you call it?

A thing that you hold in your hand to make things bigger.

- Like a magnifier.

- Exactly, exactly.

- Magnifying glass.

- Magnifying glass, that's what I was looking for.

But in addition to just making things bigger,

the app has the built-in ability to actually identify it.

So let's say we're completely blind

or just hard of vision, you can hold it up.

And like you say, Brett,

it's one of these things that when you try it,

it's like, how in the world is this working?

You hold it up.

- It's amazing.

- This is a tree, this is a plant.

This is a such, you know,

it will read the headline off of it.

It's like, wow, you really understand things

in the world around you.

And right now it's just in this one app

and it's just when you turn it on and stuff like that.

But it really does make you think of a world

in the not too distant future

where your iPhone could have much more of a sense

of the world around you.

You know, it already has the GPS,

add to it the ability for the iPhone

to actually see the world around you.

Think about technology like the Vision Pro

that's coming up like glasses.

I mean, as all of this stuff comes together,

Apple technology of whatever form, watch, phone, goggles,

are going to just have this more and more of a sense

of understanding the world around you

so that it can then put that in context and aid you.

I mean, this is so exciting to me.

And I really think that we are seeing,

I mean, this stuff's cool.

It's cool today, but I think this is just the breadcrumbs

of five, 10 years from now,

things that are just gonna be completely transformational.

And we're gonna say, gosh, I mean,

can you imagine back in 2023

when we didn't yet have this technology?

It's some really cool stuff coming.

And this is yet another use of AI.

- Just quickly, I was thinking,

I don't know if it's quite AI,

but just the fact that with today in the camera app

that you can point it at a sign, right,

that has text on it and it can recognize that text.

I mean, we call that optical character recognition

back in the old days,

but I think there's a lot more going on now on that

than just kind of recognizing each individual character.

Second of all, the magnifier app alone is really cool.

I use this a lot, Jeff.

Like when I need,

when there's like a little tiny piece of technology

and you get that teeny, teeny, tiny,

infinitesimally small text on it, right,

that you have to read,

I'll use the magnifier app to open that up

and to zoom in and take a picture of that teeny, tiny text,

you know, so I can have a picture of that.

But the fact that it has this detection mode is amazing.

And I'll link to the story here

so people can go in and try it for yourself.

And just like, what is this, Jason Cross in "Macworld,"

he pointed it at his cat sleeping in a little pet bed.

And it says at the top, a cat sleeping on a pet bed.

And so Jason Cross was just saying it recognized,

not that it was just a cat,

which by the way, the cat does not look normal.

It's like all twisted up.

So the phone recognized a cat,

not in a normal like sphinx-like mode or anything like that.

He said it recognized it was a cat,

not just a cat, but a sleeping cat,

and that it was in a bed, but not just any bed,

in a pet bed.

I mean, all of that put together,

it seems so simple for us because as humans,

we just logically understand that

as we look around something.

But opening this app this morning

and just pointing it around,

I pointed at a candle on my table and it said,

that is a red candle that is lit on a wooden table.

Incredible, Jeff.

I mean, that was just amazing.

And just like, I think what you were getting to here,

this technology right now is so cool,

but this is just gonna become taken for granted.

I mean, this is gonna be put into the camera app.

This is gonna be something

that is just gonna be in most of the apps.

Now, granted, you do have to have

a more modern type of iPhone

to be able to take advantage of this.

I think you have to have LiDAR ability on there.

Yeah, on iPhones with LiDAR.

But man, go and try this today because it is super cool

and Merry Christmas. - Merry Christmas.


- All right, let's go to CarPlay quickly.

This was a story about, wow,

Porsche and Aston Martin are going to have

bespoke Apple CarPlay interfaces.

I like this.

- We had learned, gosh, it was at the beginning of this year,

the end of last year,

that Apple was gonna have a next generation of CarPlay

that would not just be a small window, which we have now,

but it could stretch across the entire dashboard.

And more important than real estate,

it could, in your car, it would incorporate more technology

so that some things that your car natively would tell you,

like your speed and how much gas you have left

and those sorts of things,

that could be built into the interface.

And Apple said that they would have something to show off

before the end of this year.

And it's just a few days before the end of the year.

They just barely made it.

And it's only gonna be in the two cars

that you and I typically buy, of course,

our Aston Martin and our Porsches.

- Oh, I've got three.

- Exactly.

So it's just starting to get these high-end cars,

but at least they have something to announce.

And so you can see a couple of preview pictures

and these cars apparently will be for sale next year again.

We joke because these are very expensive high-end cars,

but I guess you gotta start somewhere

and hopefully before too long.

I mean, I'm waiting for this to bubble down

to the Toyotas and the Hondas

and stuff like that of the world.

So, but it'll be cool.

- I'll just tell you a couple of,

about three or four weeks ago,

I went to Texas to visit family.

I had my son with me and we rented a car.

My son's very much into cars.

So he picked out a Cadillac.

It was an SUV Cadillac of some kind, Jeff,

an XTR or something, I'm not really sure.

But here's the thing,

and I've gone on record saying this before.

To me, this became my Apple car

because when I plugged in my phone,

it had the regular CarPlay screen right there in the middle

as it normally does.

But Jeff, as you've seen on most modern cars,

the entire instrument panel that was directly in front of me

behind the steering wheel,

there were no analog instruments on there at all.

It was one big screen.

Now that screen showed the normal things you would think

like the speedometer and the odometer

and the gas gauge and everything.

Or Jeff, I had the option of keeping my CarPlay screen,

showing whatever I wanted on the regular CarPlay screen

on the console.

And the entire screen behind my steering wheel

basically became Apple Maps.

It was a huge map that was there.

I was enthralled, Jeff.

It was so great because that took advantage basically

of the additional screens.

Does that make sense what I'm saying there?

It was just great.

And at the very below the map,

it had like your speedometer in numerals, right?

And it had like your odometer.

I mean, you could customize it exactly the way that you,

to a certain extent, the way that you wanted it.

But it was just so neat that I felt like I had two screens

in my car that I could be controlling via CarPlay.

And for me, it wasn't quite an Aston Martin or a Porsche,

but to me, when I saw the story,

I started thinking about that.

And you and I have talked about CarPlay often, as I said.

I mean, it was just neat that I could customize

that experience in that rental car

without having to kind of like change my typical,

you know, driving habits to that car.

If that makes a little sense.

I was able to turn it around.

And that's where it's gonna go.

That was a 2023 model, obviously.

And I was just thrilled with that.

Okay, so we did the watch, we did the iPhone, of course.

We did the CarPlay.

Let's talk about the iPad, which hasn't had a lot of news.

In fact, nothing was happening this year, I don't think.

And so everybody's been anticipating

what in the world is Apple gonna do with the iPad next year?

And this was a good article in Macworld from David Price

talking about, well, here are some things Apple

that you could consider for the newest iPad in 2024.

- Yeah, and you know, who knows what we're gonna do.

Some of the ideas he has in here,

I think that Apple both should and probably will do.

Others, I don't know.

He, for example, says that they should simplify the line

and just have the iPad Air and then have the iPad Pro.

Because with the Mini and everything else,

I guess you could argue there's some confusion there.

On the one hand, I understand his argument.

On the other hand, iPad Mini is a device that people love,

that small size form factor.

And the name iPad Mini is one

that people are very familiar with.

So I don't know that Apple would get rid of that name

just under the case of simplicity.

On the other hand, I really do think that,

and hope that the next version of an iPad Pro

really pushes that word Pro.

The processors, presumably they'll have the M3s and stuff,

and they will be even more powerful.

And we wanna see Apple really take advantage of that.

So I would love it if they had an iPad Pro,

an Apple Pencil Pro,

things that brought next level features.

I would really love to see that.

At this time next year, Brett,

we will look back and say,

why was it in 2023 that there was nothing

happening on the iPad?

My hope is that the reason for the lack of activity

this year is because Apple has some really cool stuff planned

for the iPad next year.

And so, you know, so we shall see.

So we have some ideas there.

People also think that the displays will get even better,

which, you know, already, I mean, I tell you-

- Which is so good already, yeah.

- Just yesterday, Brett,

I was looking at some pictures on my iPad Pro, 12.9 inch,

some pictures that I had taken on Christmas day at my house.

And, you know, I took them with my iPhone,

which has such a beautiful, wonderful camera

with the HDR, so the brights are really bright

and the colors really pop.

And when I was looking at those pictures on my iPad,

which has a very, very nice screen that has,

I forget how many nits this thing goes up to, maybe 1600.

You know, those pictures really popped.

And I'm like, wow, this is, you know,

something that even with my regular SLR camera,

I don't get that same, you know,

highs and lows of colors.

And I'm like, gosh,

these pictures look just so beautiful here.

I'm really, I'm enjoying watching the pictures

because they bring back memory,

but I'm also enjoying the pictures themselves

because they're so wonderful.

So, you know, hopefully Apple will continue

to push that even more with even better screens

and the iPads, we shall see,

but I'm very much looking forward to it.

And we may not wait that long because there was a time

when Apple would often introduce new iPads in the spring.

Right, Brett?

No, we often saw those March introductions.

- Right, that's what I was gonna ask.

- So maybe, I mean, maybe March is not that far away.

- That's what I was thinking.

- Maybe it'll just be a few months

when we get to see something really cool.

We'll see.

- That would be good.

And I know even Mark Gurman not too long ago

talked about this, right?

And so that is the projection, but yeah, that'd be great.

I would like to see something in March.

Let's go.

I don't think my billfold would enjoy that, but I'm ready.

- That's true, that's true.

- Let's go to the where are you at segment.

- Where are you at?

- A couple of stories quickly.

This was a nice little, I thought,

an overview of how the iPhone satellite SOS feature

not only has been saving lives

as we have been traditional to support

in the podcast here, but I just like that

some of this gave a little bit of insight

from the actual first responders,

which they're calling this feature a game changer.

And the fact that it's just made their job even easier

to be able to go out and rescue so many people

over these last few years.

- Yeah, the publication that this article is in

is Backpacker.

And so, you know, they're really focused on people

that are almost necessarily off of the grid, right?

You're hiking on a mountain

and you're not gonna have good cell range

of any cellular service at all.

And so you're in a situation where if you get hurt

and you need to call for help, you need to call for help.

Satellite service is really your only option.

And the thing, you know, this is a nice sort of year

in review because she has lots of stories

that she's collected,

some of which we've heard about in the past,

some of which were new to me.

But in the common theme throughout these stories

is the rescue people saying that what's often most important

in these rescues is getting there quickly

because during those first few hours,

that can often make the difference between life and death

because if you're bleeding out or another situation,

something happens.

And, you know, without having access to satellite technology,

you know, just getting the word out

or the trauma that you put on your body, if you can move,

to get from where you are to where you can call for help

and then waiting for the help to come, you know,

that's the thing that will make the difference

between life and death.

So thanks to the phone and the Apple watch, you know,

when you can contact authorities,

they know exactly where you are from GPS.

One of the stories that she shared in here,

she said that because the GPS is so accurate

in one of these situations,

it just turned out that once a woman had gotten into trouble,

the rescue authorities happened to be pretty close by,

just about 15 minutes away.

And because they knew precisely where she was,

they were able to go directly there

as opposed to starting another big search

and then narrowing down locations.

And again, getting there quickly makes such a difference.

So, you know, you hope that you never need to use this stuff

but you sure are happy that it's there if you need it.

- I like how she points out here,

this technology is not new, right?

Garmin and some other companies

have been doing this for a long time.

And she just says the fact that adding this ability

into the iPhone though,

has just put that technology into vastly more people's hands

and she even says,

it's worth noting that iPhones have a modest battery life

compared to these other dedicated beacons.

But, you know, the fact that it's there

and it's a possibility and it's an option,

it's just amazing.

And yeah, you know,

and she even talks about what we've talked about.

Right now, it's still a free feature.

Who knows if Apple is gonna charge for this

in the future or not, but we'll be watching.

I feel like that they're not going to.

And at some point, something will get ironed out on that.

And then as we are want to do on our,

where are you at segment,

two more people got saved from their Apple Watch.

Let's see, both of these, I think were on their heart rate.

And apparently when they got saved by it,

they sent some thank you emails to Tim Cook

and he or somebody in his group

was very nice to reply to them.

I thought these were great stories too.

- Yeah, and these are examples of, you know,

early warning devices, early warning situations

where somebody thinks that something's going on.

And then, but the Apple Watch sort of gives

an early indication of maybe you should go to the doctor.

Or in one case, the person went to the doctor

for something that they thought might've been a one-off.

And then he's like, well, wait a minute,

I've been wearing my watch for, you know, for forever.

And so he was able to go back and look through his history

at what his heart had been doing

over the last couple of days.

And then the doctor was able to say, oh, wait a minute,

this is not isolated.

You've actually had an issue for a while now.

And then, you know, used that information

to give him better services.

You know, I don't know, you say, Tim,

somebody responding on behalf of Tim,

I'm sure that some of that happens.

But from what I've read from interviews and stuff,

I do think that Tim Cook, Apple CEO,

does spend a portion of his day every day

looking at at least a small subset.

I mean, maybe somebody calls out the thousands of emails

that he gets and just gives him a select number

to look through.

But I actually do have a sense that it's actually Tim

looking at this.

And in between these types of stories,

Brett, and the ones that we just talked about,

I mean, the device, it's literally saving people's life,

whether it's a satellite or whether it's your heartbeat.

I mean, that's pretty cool that the technology

that you love to use also can, in certain situations,

save a life of you or a family member.

I mean, that's pretty cool.

- I would very, very much like to believe

that Tim Cook is doing this.

It does say at the bottom, sent from my iPad Pro

and sent from my iPhone, as if, you know,

he was sitting just like the rest of us do.

And that little signature is down at the bottom

of some of these emails.

That would make me ever so happy if I knew that Tim Cook,

and like you said, some people, it may be,

somebody surely is filtering out some of these emails.

And maybe he just replies to some of them.

Okay, it doesn't really matter.

If I got an email from Tim saying somebody was Tim Cook,

I'm gonna keep it.


'Cause that would just be really cool on there.

Tim Cook is also apparently doing some good stuff

with Apple TV+.

I was thrilled to see this story today, Jeff.

How Apple conquered sci-fi.

And you know, I mean, I'm a huge sci-fi fan.

And so I've watched many, many of the movies, you know,

from the historical perspective.

I didn't know many of them are big budget.

I don't think I realized how big of a budget

that they needed, but apparently Apple and Apple TV+

are committed to providing the money when it's needed

to make a really, really good sci-fi show.

And they've done a good job.

- Yeah, I mean, just because you throw money at a project

doesn't mean it's gonna be good.

You still need good actors,

you need a good story and everything else.

But in those situations where you do have people,

like for example, Ron Moore,

who has done so many successful things over the years,

he knows how to do fantastic science fiction

between Star Trek and Battlestar Galactica

and all the things that he's done in the past,

that when he came to Apple with the For All Mankind story,

you know that it was gonna be somebody good behind it,

but it was only gonna work if he had the resources

and the commitment that, you know, we're not gonna,

you know, if For All Mankind was something

that only lasted one season,

it wouldn't have had nearly the power

that it has now that we can look back over multiple seasons

that span multiple decades.

And then more recently,

we have the Godzilla type movie called Mammoth

that has a number of people.

They interview here, Matt Fraction,

who is well-known by many people for the comic books

that he's worked on over the years.

But he's now one of the,

I think he's a co-creator of the Godzilla show,

which I mean, I don't think it's nearly as good.

Monarch, I've been watching Monarch.

I'm totally up to a date.

I'm on the latest episode.

It's not as good as something like For All Mankind,

but I have to tell you, like, I'm enjoying it,

and it looks really good on the screen.

They're definitely spending the money on the special effects

and, you know, I will stick with it,

and I will go through future seasons

just because it's not the very best thing on Apple TV+.

It's still interesting and worth watching.

So it was interesting seeing people like this say

that they love the Apple TV+ service

because people at Apple tend to get sci-fi.

I mean, they're into technology in the first place,

and they understand that if you wanna do it right,

you have to give these smart people the resources

to do a really good show, so.

- If sci-fi isn't your thing,

this was another great story you lead to at iMore,

who is this, Steven Shaw saying,

"Slow horses is so good, the show is so good

"that it alone justifies pain for Apple TV+."

I think I'd probably agree.

Of course, I like so many shows,

as you and I have talked about over and over,

but I haven't started the season three of Slow Horses,

but both of the first seasons were so good.

I might have to rewatch them,

and like, they're that good.

It's great stuff.

- And isn't it cool that, I mean, Apple TV+,

it has not been around that many years,

and already we have people saying,

"Gosh, if for no other reason,

"you've gotta get it because of Severance,

"or you've gotta get it because of Ted Lasso,

"or you've gotta get it because of Slow Horses."

They have so many of these shows that are so compelling

that it's really become a great service.

At the same time that we're reading articles,

like I just saw this week, Brett,

that Amazon Prime, which has a couple of good shows on it,

now they're gonna start putting commercials in there,

and they're gonna pay even more money,

and it's like, oh, I'm not gonna notice commercials there.

- I think Jason Snell wrote about that.

He was like, "Big shock."


They're gonna put in, yeah, not cool.

I mean, I guess it's fairly inevitable,

but still not cool.

All right, the last little thing quickly.

Great video.

I even sent it to my wife this morning,

and she was laughing out loud.

This is called Miss You.

Again, we're not gonna give anything away,

but it is worth the 20 seconds to watch this little video.

We'll link to it in the show notes.

It's an ad for the iPhone 15,

but in a different perspective.

- It's a very clever way.

- Most people, right.

- It's a very clever way of showing you

that they have longer battery life

if you get the Plus model,

whether it's the iPhone 15 Plus or the 15 Pro Plus.


- Good stuff.

All right, in the know.

I thought this was good.

Both of our tips at the end of this year

are helping all of you,

our fantastic and wonderful listeners,

to have your technology security resolutions in order

for the new year.

You've heard us talk about, I think,

all of this stuff in the past,

but I've got two sites or two services

that I am recommending

to get your technology security in order.

Number one is a VPN, virtual private network.

If you have not subscribed to a VPN yet

and you regularly, regularly, fairly often,

go out to like a Starbucks to sit

and do some work, for example,

or you're traveling and you're sitting at a coffee shop,

anytime that you're not at a trusted wireless network

and you're using some kind of an open network, use a VPN.

There's many of them out there, NordVPN, ExpressVPN.

All of them are really good.

You can find them, but the one that I use

and I like so much is called TunnelBear.

It is so simple to use.

I use, I pay for all of my,

it's one subscription for all of my devices.

I've got it on my Mac, my Windows, my iPhone, my iPad.

And so anytime that I am surfing somewhere

that I know that it's on an open wireless network

and I'm sending emails or doing anything, anything really,

I just make sure that I turn on TunnelBear.

Fairly inexpensive right now.

They have a 67% off on this.

So it's worth getting before the new year.

And then my second one,

which of course is one of our favorite services

is a password manager.

I'm hopeful that most people listening today

have a password manager.

If you do not, 1Password is absolutely our best option.

I know there's Bitwarden out there

and there's other options

that people have been talking about.

Still don't recommend LastPass

just because of the issues that they had several months ago.

But 1Password is totally worth doing.

I just gotta tell you, I've been doing this with my family

since I lost my father a few years ago

with my mother and my aunt.

This is the way that I manage all of the stuff

that I have to deal with a lot of times,

with their logins, Jeff,

from their different bank accounts and stuff like that.

I'm able to manage all of that,

both from my family as well as others as well

through 1Password.

And it's just really a great service.

Right now, I think there's a 50% off offer maybe

before the end of the year.

I don't have it right here.

I don't think it's publicized on the website,

but I've seen some people talk about it.

However, last little quick tip.

If you are looking for a way

to maybe save a little bit of money,

you can go, I've got a Rakuten link.

Rakuten is a site that you can click through

to make a purchase before you get to TunnelBear

or 1Password, and you will get $30 back even on that.

So Rakuten makes money as getting commissions

from some of these other stores.

And so I'll have that link in the show notes.

If anybody is interested in using that link,

you don't have to, but if you wanted to get,

you get $30 back as well.

So in other words, you can use Rakuten, sign up for it,

go to either 1Password or TunnelBear or both,

and you will even get $30 back through Rakuten.

So it's a win-win.

It's like, it's a no-brainer, I think,

for a lot of folks to make sure that at the end of the year,

you are ready for your technology security

buttoned up for 2024.

And those are my technology security resolutions for 2024,


- Yeah, those are good suggestions for, you know,

simple things that people can do in the new year

to improve their security.

You know, I especially am like having a password manager.

You and I have already talked earlier in today's podcast,

as we always do about install,

about installing the Apple security updates

when they come out.

That's another simple thing you can do.

And the last one that I was going to mention,

and we've referred to it in the past,

earlier in the beginning of this year,

Joanna Stern at the Wall Street Journal

had had this report on how people were stealing iPhones.

And I just want to use this opportunity

to both plug a follow-up she did

and to emphasize the message.

The follow-up is I have links to an article

in the Wall Street Journal,

and the video is either on the Wall Street Journal,

or you can also watch it on YouTube too.

She recently went to a jail and she interviewed somebody

who had actually been doing this and was arrested

and is now in jail and incarcerated

because he had been stealing people's iPhones

and getting their passwords.

And, you know, the key of the story

is you have to protect your iPhone passcode,

whether it's just a simple six digits,

or what I encourage you to do

is make it even more complex than that,

make it longer, make it more, you know,

you can either use letters and numbers

so that it's harder for someone to get it.

But the key is to protect it,

because when Joanna Stern interviewed this person in jail,

he said that sometimes they would use it

where like he was trying to talk to somebody

and somebody else had like a camera

and was looking to see as you put the numbers in.

But he said more often than not,

people would just right there in front of him,

type in their passcode and he saw it.

Or what he said he would do is he would say,

you know, let me see your phone,

I'm gonna give you my Instagram,

I'm gonna type it in for you.

And then he would say, oh, your phone is locked.

Of course your phone's locked 'cause he just locked it.

And then he'd say, you know, what's your number?

And the person would say, oh yeah,

you can just type in my number,

it's, you know, one, two, three, four, five, six.

He's like, okay, so he'll type it in.

But as he's typing it in, he's of course remembering it.

- Of course, memorizing it, yeah.

- And then somebody, either he or someone else

steals the phone.

And then once you have the passcode,

I mean, not only do you have access to the phone

so you can resell somebody's stolen phone,

that's the tip of the iceberg.

The real problem is that you can then use the phone to,

and he said millions of dollars that, you know,

they would use the phone to buy things at stores,

to drain your bank account.

And so again, we've talked about the story before,

but my message is this, going into the new year,

be very careful about what your passcode is,

use something that seems secure.

And, you know, when you put it in,

pretend like it's your pin for your ATM card.

- Exactly, right.

- If you were typing in your ATM card

to get money out of the bank

and somebody was just standing there right next to you

that you don't know.

- You would hide it.

- You would hide it.

Or you would say, excuse me, can I have some space here?

You know, treat it the same way

because it is not just unlocking your phone.

It's the key to so many financial things

and so many security things

and all of your pictures and everything else.

Be careful with it.

And just through simple, you know, carefulness,

it can make such a huge difference

in preventing yourself from being a victim.

So that's my big security tip for 2024.

- Yeah, and this other thing quickly,

I think you linked to, then iOS 17.3,

which just came out not too long ago,

has the device protection.

- Yeah, coming out.

- Oh, it's coming.

That's right, that's right, okay.

- Yeah, this is, Apple has, the beta is in place right now.

They have something called advanced device protection

and it's not gonna,

the problems that I just talked about

of having somebody steal your device

because they know your code,

you don't solve all of the problems,

but it solves some of the problems.

It's something called stolen device protection.

It's an optional feature that you can turn on

once you have 17.3.

17.3 is not out yet.

My guess is it's gonna be out

at some time in January of 2024.

It could push, it could go back a little bit,

but that's my guess,

is that in the next four weeks,

we're gonna see 17.3.

And 17.3 is gonna have a number of new features,

but one of them that I promise you

I'll be talking about on this podcast when it's out

is this stolen device protection,

which just makes it a little bit harder

for somebody to take over your life

by stealing your phone and your passcode.

But again, you can avoid this problem completely

by just protecting your passcodes

so that they don't have it in the first place.

- That's right.

Just making sure that you are not giving it out to anybody.

And I see this all the time.

I mean, truly, like, you know,

just in friends and family and all,

and I don't know, I mean, obviously it's family,

but just emphasizing that.

Again and again, it's like, just be so careful.

I mean, even like my daughter, you know,

going off to school, it's like,

I just try to emphasize to her, like, you know,

just don't share it with anybody

'cause they're constantly snapping things.

Anyway, just some good heads up for the new year.

Speaking of which, happy new year, everyone.

If you're listening to this in the next few days,

it has been kind of a wild ride in 2023,

but a lot of good stuff.

And I don't know, I'm just even more excited for 2024, Jeff.

I think there's gonna be a lot of stuff

we'll be reporting on in the next year.

- 2024 is gonna be fantastic.

We hope that there's gonna be new iPads.

Of course, there'll be a new iPhone later in the year.

The Apple Vision Pro goggles are coming out.

I really think that 2024

is gonna be an incredibly exciting year

in the Apple and related technology

that we talk about here on the podcast.

So I can't wait.

I'm really excited.

Here, let's bring it on.

- We'll talk with you next week and next year, Jeff.

- Thank you, bud. - See you then.

- Talk to you soon.

Watching All the Legal Drama
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Jason’s Favorites
Apple Pay for Plywood
AI @ Apple
iPad Wishes
Where Y’at? Segment: Satellite Game Changer
Sci-Fi Done Right
Power Plug Lament
Brett’s Security Tips: TunnelBear VPN and 1Password
Jeff’s Security Tip: ALWAYS Protect Your iPhone Passcode!