TNW 64: The Appleocalypse
Tech predictions for twenty nineteen working conditions at Amazon what to make of apples letter to shareholders and the consequences of online hate all that and more on techniques weekly. Casts you from people you trust. This is. This is tech news weekly episodes, sixty four recorded Thursday, January third twenty nineteen this episode of tech news weekly is brought to you by Lincoln talent solutions find the right people for your business. This year at linked in the com slash tech news and get fifty dollars off your first job post. Terms and conditions apply. And by Gramley Graham, really is a communication tool that helps people improve their writing to be mistake. Frey clear and affective start writing confidently by going to Gramley dot com slash W and get twenty percent off a Gramley premium account today and by hover register a domain name with hover and build your online brand today. Go to hover dot com slash twit. And save ten percent off your first. Hello. Did you know, it's a new year year tech news weekly new show? Now our morning show so warnings zoo. All sorts of sound effects that we have planned for you. Now, I actually. Same show talk to the people making breaking tech news. I am Meghan Rooney. How? How it is a new year. Everyone is making predictions about what that means. But tech writer and podcast or Omar gogga is looking back at his predictions from two thousand eighteen and seeing what came true, and what's not welcome back to the show. Mar. So what was the biggest prediction that you made last year that did not come true at all? No, I thought we were going to find a way to lick this whole password thing like Shirley, someone who's gonna come up with a elegant way to you know, to figure out our password issues, and and find a way that we don't or not with these two jillion character ones. I thought that was going to be a big shift this year, and it it's didn't happen. And also I thought that an ending bunching was going to have as troublesome a year. It did I thought it was going to come to chug along and become more established and really toward the end of the year. We just how people kind of freaking out over bitcoin prices and blockchain and sort of. I'm a now I feel like there's going to be more of an exodus. This the first half of this year people sort of shake out of that industry. So those were the two that I feel like I was most off. Was just going to say, of course, the people who are really into kind of the crypto currency and into blockchain will tell you that there's nothing to freak out about right? Like, this is normal the direction that things head. You're smart. If you stay in do you do you buy that, do you think this? This is an opportunity year for people going into twenty nineteen. Is blocked him. The hardcore people saying like, no, this is good. This is going to take out all of the nonbelievers, and all of the people that are just in it for money that in a be good for the people that are in it for the long haul. So yeah, I think for them they are celebrating that you know, all the Johnny-come-latelies are going to be shaken out of the tree from from this. Well, that's the problem with all these predictions, right? Like, it's like a lot of people are comparing blockchain to the internet the internet. No, people doubted that too, and you know, people doubted Twitter and people doubted Google, and you know, so there's always that you know, that that those people that are like you just ju just wait. So you run the Twitter account, Omar stir domes-. You did make some some predictions. That did come true, which ones did come true. I definitely that. We were gonna see. I mean, this was this was a pretty obvious one. But that we were going gonna see more of the Alexa, Google home type stuff appear in more devices. It was going to be more widespread than just what Amazon and Google is doing. So you know, we're starting to see it in car devices. We're starting this yet and other speakers not made by Amazon so that whole emergence of voice tack going wider going into more devices into more places when we started see that like probably two CAS go. But I think this last year was really when we started to see actual product that you could buy at the store, and that was useful. I mean, I I think definitely in the last maybe three or four years all of the Alexa, Google home stuff. That's been to me, the probably the most exciting segment of definitely of Hometec or any of the internet of things. It's making all the stuff. We thought five years ago is going to happen. It's finally starting to happen largely on the backs of of those technologies. I mean, the popularity of that has only has only reached the level that it has because the price of these entry level like hubs be at the echo via the Google home, mini or whatever they're so low. And I mean, even around the holidays, they were pushed even lower that it kind of didn't make sense not to get one because for like twenty bucks, you get one of these suckers. And who knows if it's useful? Now, it probably is. But it will definitely be useful down the line as people get more and more interested in this mart home. So you think that's gonna continue into twenty nine hundred. This is the first year that I started to hear people say, maybe I shouldn't give that as a gift. Maybe that's not a good thing to give a listening device to a person that that doesn't have that in their home already. I started to hear people doubt. Like, maybe I'm I it's like giving someone a Pat like maybe they don't want to. But what I'm also seeing people buying their second and third echoes or Mini's there if they have a Google home. They're buying a mini for another room for the spare room or the office. So I'm starting to see multiple devices, or if you have like an Amazon show for the kitchen, you might have put the you know, that's what I did this year. I got gifted a show, and I ended up putting my old echo in the bedroom. Just to have music in there. So I I think we're starting to see homes that have multiple ones of these. And who's really missing out on this boat is the pricing. Lease apple like, you don't see people flocking to the home pod. And that's really the only you know, Siri and able to buy like it. So I think apple this next year is probably gonna push harder into that. And maybe come out with some lower priced alternatives to the home pod. Kind of more along the lines at the nine billion dollar version. Well agree. No one should surprise anyone with a gift of a pet. I think of the on these devices as gifts more like fruitcakes, just she just some people love fruitcake and other people don't want it. And they're just going to pass it. I bet a lot of the lottery gifting gifted. I'm sure that there's like one little echo dot. That's just been passed around. Maybe all over the world's perhaps. Credit? It's very easy to and stuff back Amazon. Here's a prediction that you made for next year net flicks getting into sports. What would that look like? Yeah. And I I've I've sort of that's been an ongoing I've been wrong about for the last two years. But I really I really think it's bubbling up because as I've heard it described by other people like anywhere where there's money to be made by Netflix anywhere where they can sort of eat your lunch. They're going to go there. And we already starting to see like Hulu get into some some live events though. I think that's natural progression. For for Netflixing is just get into something like soccer, or maybe boxing HBO has exited that so that leaves an opportunity for them. So I don't think we're gonna see like at massive NFL deal. Netflix this year. But I do think they're gonna start experimenting with them live sports live concerts, more stuff like that. You know, they're I think they're big New Year's thing was the Taylor swift concert. I would not be surprised if next New Year's it's a live show. So I think definitely sports and live music. We're going to be to that Netflix for this year. Impressive ended to think that that. Netflix could go in that direction Amazon's already doing that. Right. If you have an Amazon prime account, you get Thursday Night Live NFL games, which I didn't even realize until halfway through the season. I was like, oh, wait a minute. This the this streaming service that I'd never thought of as a live TV sort of thing actually is in this regard. And that's brings an incredible amount of value to that. I'm sure that drives people to the service. So it'd be really kinda surprising of Netflix. Didn't do this at some point. When Twitter started we're gonna put NFL games on Twitter and everything really. But but they did it. So I mean, yeah, I think that's kind of the out. But you know, they've got gobs Gazan preclude the money and can do it. So I think they will probably start, and, you know, for them pumping like soccer with you know, they're so big internationally that they could definitely not even just bypass the US and start doing that in other countries. That's how it goes. And then bring it here. So I could definitely see that happening. Where can you watch live soccer now is there like is there any app that has that? Or is it just regular TV? Good question. I mean, I'm sure like if you go through the they have, you know, links to things, but I you know when it's not World Cup. So under the radar. So I'm not sure I I'm not you've soccer fan. But I mean, I have friends that are in. I'm sure they would know where to watch stuff. And I mean, I know like I think direct TV has like international packages that have like stocking of soccer for the hardcore lots of emails. Our hope so foldable phones that's a big one that we've been hearing about for a long time. Do you think that I'll have one in my pocket by the end of the year? I don't know if you wanna buy one, I it's one of those things are you really going to buy the first generation version of this or wait till they they kind of refined it, but I do think there will be a mass market phone probably from Samsung. I mean that seems to be the one who's leading the charge. I think in October that was the Wall Street Journal story about Samson developing this, and there's other phone makers as well, I think while way is looking at this. But the advantage of a foldable phone is you get more screen real estate in something that you can still stick in your pocket. So you can have something that's like the screen size of a mini tablet, but still be able to put it in your in your pocket or carry it around like like a regular size iphone so that that's sort of dream of it. But so far, the, you know, the one the prototypes that we've seen are the ones that have kind of kind of bubbled up have been sort of ridiculed and not really received very well. So it would have to be something that really binds the best of both worlds all the stuff that you kind of expect out of your smartphone. But in a package that has a larger screen and can be, you know, his bendable that you can take it with you. Sometimes I have a hard time thinking about like that being the thing that catches on the flip side of that. I'm almost like, maybe it's not foldable phones. But maybe it is full phones that fold like flip phones because people want to strip back, and they don't want. This is a phone that does everything they want to minimize go the minimalist approach. But I don't know how many people are actually go not direction talk about bitcoin a little bit. Why? I mean, I guess we kind of already did. So let's not do that. Let's do. Instead what about AI? What about this has been a huge last couple of years for a and obviously that's not that's not a going to peel back inning. It is an end it's become like this big buzzword and some of the predictions. I'm seeing is consolidation in that industry is people saying, you know, this was a big buzzword every big tech company started getting into this. And you know, you're starting to see that not all of them are are making money or finding ways to to really make any progress on some of these areas. So you'll probably see like with the the the bitcoin and blockchain stuff, you'll see some shakeout of some of these companies going away or somebody somebody, you know, kind of retrenching their investments and saying maybe we don't invest so much AI. But the thing I think on the, you know, on the social side is more of a backlash of people like I said with with the Amazon echo stuff earlier people getting a little bit more freaked out when this stuff starts to overreach of people kind of saying do I really want to these devices and the services knowing this much about me, I think you'll start to see a recalibration of, you know, people saying this stuff is going little too far. Maybe I don't want this much of it in my life. And then we're seeing with all these congressional hearing, you know there. Going to be under the microscope with congress. I think Facebook Google all these companies that collect all this data over you know, a enabled devices. I think there's gonna be some pressure on that side too. So I don't know that we're going to see huge strides because I think there's going to be more caution and more rethinking of like how much of the stuff. Do we want in our lives and into we wanna maybe take a step back and think about this little bit? So we're gonna talk a little bit later in the show about apple the Big Apple news yesterday that a letter to investors the lowering the revenue forecast. But do you have any thoughts on that? I mean, do you think that we are going to be buying fewer phones, upgrading less often? I know last year predicted that that that phone camera quality would lead people to keep upgrading because the camera was getting better and better based on the news yesterday. Do you have any thoughts on what might happen with with how quickly we upgrade our phones? I think that's definitely the case. I mean, my my last phone purchase was an on iphone excess because of specifically because of the camera because I wanted, you know, the dual cameras, and and that was the reason I gave myself permission to upgrade. But it seems like they apple a lot of it has to do with China. A lot of it has to do with the trade war. That's happening. And it seems to have just based on some comments. I thought cooked make this morning. It seems like the whole China trade were situation really took apple by surprise and was not anticipated. So that seems to be a lot of where they took the hit is is sort of political moves in these things that happened that that are outside of the realm of just me and you buying phones. I think that there's definitely some issues with China that apple is dealing with that affected that. Thank you so much for joining us. Omar gogga is technology reporter a podcast or he can be found at tech minute, Texas dot com, and Omar g on Twitter and Omar Stor Domus on Twitter. Thanks for coming on. Our? Thanks, always great to talk to your present. It. New year after the break all your holiday gifts from Amazon might have come on time, but it will cost. We'll talk about how employers are fighting bad working conditions and trying to unionize. But first this episode of techniques weekly is brought to you by linked in talent solutions. You've got the whole new year ahead of you. Can you see out in the distance? This means this is a great time to set goals for you and your business making the perfect hire can help set up your team for success where the heck do you find that person you post your job where people go every day to make connections grow in their career? And discover job opportunities. You know what I'm talking about? I'm talking about linked in when most people think about looking for a job the first place. They go is Lincoln, not some random job board, they go, and they start updating their linked in profile and looking around at their connections nine out of ten Lincoln members say they're open to and interested in new opportunities just like yours with most of the US workforce on. Linked in posting Lincoln is the best way to get your job opportunity in front of the right people people with the right skills and the right background for your role. People who are ready for something new. Here's a crazy stat. I read this. I couldn't believe it. But I checked it has to every eight seconds someone hires for a new job on Lincoln. I think also every eight seconds someone is born. So the same. It's crazy linked in is the best way to find the person who will help grow your business. Find the right people for your business. This year at Lincoln dot com slash tech news and get fifty dollars off your first job post. That's linked dot com slash tech. News to get fifty dollars. Fifty big ones. Fifty dollars off your first job post. Terms and conditions apply. Lincoln dot com slash tech news. All right. So if you hadn't heard Amazon is big really big to the tune of six hundred thirteen thousand employees around the world seven hundred thirteen thousand if you include the temporary holiday workers from the season with all this employment workers are raising the red flag about working conditions within the company we've been hearing about this for a long time, particularly the conditions found in many of its fulfillment centers. Joining us to talk about how employees are seeking to improve those conditions is Michael say Nado contributor to the guardian. Welcome michael. Absolutely. It's great to get you here today. We really appreciate it. So Amazon seen explosive growth year after year. It's it's no new story. You're after you're were just use to it at this point talk a little bit about how that growth may have like affected its employees directly that rapid growth. How does that translate employee employees conditions? Well, that rapid growth is really put on to employees and Amazon. Band to hire not directly, but through temporary workers, or if third party workers in that is, you know within the labour market that's just a recipe for deteriorating working, conditions and exploitation because those temporary agencies. They wanna keep labor costs down as much as possible. And they do that by driving down wages trying down benefits and cutting corners wherever laid can. So the recent unionizing push, you know, there have been efforts at Amazon to unionize. But over the past six months, I think I I've seen in the US at foam at centers in two thousand the seat WMA tried to unionize call center at Amazon and Amazon responded by shutting down the call center in a few years ago maintenance workers tried to unionize in Amazon hired a union busting firm, and the the workers wound up voting against forming a union after a really a brutal campaign. What by that farm against unionization? And we've in down just a few months ago, the with whole foods that Amazon union Boston video I reported on his motor reported on. You know, we received copies of where managers are trained to push back in basically bust unions prevent union activities from from forming. In the you know, this been a lot of talk about the monopolization of Amazon and the rapid growth. The workforce has more than doubled over the past few years. So you know with that explosive growth on and the the rapid turnover in pick scale rated Amazon the second on most employee turnover in the United States. I in terms of their rankings for the worst companies. That's part of part of the reason is is the grueling conditions workers. They have hit a rate every hour on. And there's a lot of pressure in within that environment today rate in workers who either get injured or or can't keep up the pace or you can't keep up with that pace on week after week after week. They fall out of that system. So you're talking specifically about the job of the picker. Can you talk about what what pickers do exactly? Pickers, basically, they'll pick the item that needs to be. Delivered that someone orders from the warehouse. And you know, you know, give it to a robot for my understanding. It's pretty a across the board. It's a very monotonous ferret quick paced in the Staten Island of the pick a night him every seven seconds constantly moving up and down on back and forth. Often above the ground. One of the workers. I spoke with a few months ago, which really big story because as a pig or she was free floors stories above the ground all the robots down floor, and she had a breast car on in front of her that's supposed to be like a safety mechanism in it was broke. And she kind of had to remain oover how she was picking items. And that's you know, she wanted a parting her back from that, the, you know, she had to deal with workers compensations issues with Amazon where they were reluctant to to give her that and she wound up getting kicked out of her apartment and was homeless living out of her car. So that you know, that that was a big story out of spoken with a lot of you know, Amazon workers who have gone through similar situations where they've gotten injured and they've had to struggle with trying to get. A proper medical care improper compensation after those injuries as pickers for you know, it's no secret that work in a warehouse, very physically demanding job. But when you include all the fast paced working conditions in the emphasis on rate on it. You know, it into the reason why these fulfillment centers have amp care medical. Triage centers within their performance workers are getting injured all the time. So, you know, obviously, you you write about how you know. They're working these long hours there. You know? I don't know if they're directly asked to skip and breaks, but it turns out that that's what they feel. They have to order to keep up with demands of the job. Is there any incentivisation around this or it's, and if there isn't and they're actually being asked to kind of bypass their own health in order to kind of keep up with the pace of everything is Amazon breaking any any rules any laws in that regard. Have they been, you know, called a called the question on that? They're really skirting the laws in it. Because from what I've spoken with workers that there don't explicitly said, you can't go the bathroom. But what they do is they'll time workers on bathroom breaks had workers. Tell me this. That managers have said to their face in on timing you after they've come back from bathroom break at another thing is if you have a certain rate that you have hit every hour. You don't have the time to a. In many instances the bathroom is right behind you. The wall five minutes to get to the bathroom, very large, you know, roughly anywhere from a million square feet to millions or trying to wear houses. So you know to go into the bathroom, it's time consuming. So to take out five to ten minutes of our are you are risking not hitting that rate. And I've had other workers tell me that they track things bathroom breaks. It's called a time off task points. They have a point system where if you get time off cast owns you. You know, that could eventually lead to termination the recently got red with the fifteen dollars minimum wage increase. They recently got rid of onus is where they had these bonus inside satis for workers who didn't use their paid time off on, you know, you know, toke overtime shifts. You know, things like that. But they they got rid of that and kind of role that into the fifteen hour minimum wage. So you talked about the the pickers handing the the item to robot are these jobs that were talking about jobs that are really in danger of being eliminated through automation. And is is that what role does that play in this whole story? I mean, that's obviously been a concern. A lot of people have talked about over the years y'know as these robots in technology gets better and better in more sophisticated. There is I've covered stories where communities have pushed back against fulfillment centers being built because they had these concerns that. Yeah. You say you're going to bring all these jobs, but what are those jobs going to be here in five years because of automation, you say you're gonna give us a thousand jobs, but minot that could likely get caught to your two hundred. I don't think it's going to get to a point where it's going to be completely robot automated. There aren't going to be humans that need to work side by side with robots into a work on the maintenance and everything, but that is definitely a concern where Amazon really pushes this whole. While we're creating jobs, which in the study by the two for local self reliance that for every ten million dollars in sales on Amazon employs twenty one people while the average local brick and mortar retail store for the same amount of money, employs forty nine people. So as Amazon crows and eliminates competitors within the retail market. There are minimizing the jobs in that industry. So you see all these different euro retail and department stores are closing down or reducing their retail store presence. That's having an impact on the economy in terms of you know, what's happening to those shops in where those jobs are going. Now speaking Amazon's kind of expansion, obviously, you know, we talk in the last couple of months about their kind of H Q pursuits. They are they have they stand. The gain a lot from tax payer funded subsidies, while they're moving into, you know, these new locations in New York and north Virginia with those new Hugh hubs is there any risk to those subsidies at all and considering it's coming from the government government funding, if the company of Amazon is kind of proven to be mistreating its workers in that regard. Well, I think at this point it's not a secret how I am is on treats its workers. And I think a lot of people would like to see the subsidies, you know, people get rid of I think with a lot of the activists in organizing has been put on politicians to to stop giving Amazon those large subsidies, and it's not even just what the headquarters every time. There's a fulfillment center. There's you know, I live in upstate New York in there's a fulfillment center proposed just twenty minutes away that they're supposed to build. Soon and there's eight million dollars in subsidies. At least just for a film insider, you know, were it's socialism for corporations in a sense. And. There is a lot of no public resentment towards that for good reason. But unfortunately, most of the politicians in charge haven't been reluctant all to to stand up to Amazon. A small few with Sanders unroll Khanna leading the way to push Amazon to raise their minimum wage to fifteen dollars an hour. But they're really politically. There is in much, you know, going on in terms of politicians who have the power to actually stand up and start revoking those subsidies. But I think that you know, the trend will likely lead to that. Because Amazon is getting bigger and bigger there is a a greater public backlash to that rapid growth and Howard treats its workers in what that means for our society and our economy in just an example, or in in terms of the the political backlash on the city of Tempe. Arizona. A couple months ago, they voted to stop purchasing any hub city purchases through Amazon went from spending over two thousand dollars a year on Amazon through public in city expenses. They're going towards nothing in hopefully, more cities will will pick up on that. And it'll local businesses. I think are starting to to push back on a local in city councils to say in all you need to start helping people that like us in your local economy rather than trying to win over bend over backwards for Amazon. Yeah. Super complex too because I mean, obviously people are voting with their wallets. And I mean this holiday season alone prime, you know, sales numbers were off the charts. So you know, it it ends up being the tradeoff, right? People want want their products cheap. They want it fast. And look, you know, this is how this how Amazon chooses to get there for better for worse in. It's not a good not a good thing. So I think it forces people to kind of look in the mirror and reevaluate like how how much is this worth to you? Other companies are doing this to Taylor's. There are lots of film centers are doing the same thing. And they're trying to keep up with Amazon's like if you look into places like X P O fulfillment. I think it's called they have horrible working conditions because they're trying to keep up with Amazon on setting gold standard right of what you can do in that regard. Yeah. Michelson auto pleasure. Getting you on today. Thank you so much for taking time to chat with us about this. Where do you want people to follow you online? They can follow me look up my name on Facebook. Or my Twitter account 'em sign not one or you know, on a weekly basis at the very least might stories are on labor issues are in the guardian. So you check that out out of as well awesome. New writing for a number of publications, Michael. Thank you so much for joining us. We appreciate it and happy new year. Happy new. Thanks, take care. All right. Coming up apple lowered its quarterly guidance we referred to that just a few minutes ago earlier in the show. But what does it actually mean? Rene Richie's gonna join us to talk about that. But first this upsurge techniques weekly is brought to you by gram early. Grammar is fun. It's smart and it's optimistic. Those are all great things. They encourage everyone even the best students in top professionals to use Gramley to do their best work and accomplish even more of their goals. Gramley is a writing assistant, and it's gonna make you. Look and sound smarter than you already. Are. You can start off the new year by easily improving yourself and your communication at school at work and almost anywhere with grammar because it works everywhere. They help people show their best self through writing and are available cross platforms, including online browser extensions that you can install desktop editor mobile. Keyboard checkers. You get it on your mobile phone Gramley is available in all browsers, so chrome Firefox safari edge. And like I said platform, so you get it on Android windows, MAC wherever you happen to be doing your work, their free product reviews, critical spelling and grammar, and then Gramley premium looks out for spelling grammar, of course, plus advanced punctuation structure style within context vocabulary suggestions conciseness and readability for different occasions. So if you're writing for a business proposal versus and academe ick essay, or maybe just a casual blog post it can inform around those. Can accomplish your goals with the help that you received from Graham early. So you stop making those easy to use Email Typos on your phone. You maybe close more deals at work with your emails because they actually read the waste wants to read them. I polish your resume to make sure that you get that new job. And that you impress is just a wonderful wonderful service. I have a running on all my devices, and it saved me so many times so help save you all you have to do is go to grammar dot com slash t n w you'll get twenty percent off your premium account today. That's Gramley dot com slash t n w and doing that you're going to get twenty percent off your really premium account, and we thank Gramley for their support. So for the first time since two thousand two apple yesterday issued a press release to investors where revised its guidance for the first twenty nineteen quarter effectively lowering it below the original estimate. And because this is apple we're talking about here everyone, including the market lost. It's ever loving mind. Joining us to help if take a deep breath and calm down a little bit is Rene Ritchie from more Megan's over there. Meditating? Are you have you meditated around this yet Rene I am entirely in a Megan legs in stage. Good good good air in Twitter out. Bad hardest. Good apple stock, by the way. So we're talking about here. So I, you know, news hit of his yesterday. It seemed like everybody was given their quick rapid succession. Hot takes almost immediately. What was your initial take? That was amazing because everybody used every pet peeve or personal gripe. That is they suddenly had a way to justify. I knew apple jettisoning the floppy drive in the usual. I'm gonna come back and fight. It finally has it must have been so cathartic. It was beautiful terrifying. To watch. So obviously, you know, wake up this morning. We kind of see the effects on the stock. The stock has taken a pretty sizable hit and you have to admit this is a really big deal for apple obviously, the company itself isn't on fire. But this is one of Apple's biggest disappointments in the modern I phone era that we can talk about like how where's all this trouble coming from apple made a big point about this being a largely around their business in China. What's the bottom line there? So there are a lot of symptoms. And I think there's a route caused all of the symptoms are everything from what apple said, which is China. There was almost like a perfect negative storm in China where everything from the trade and tariff problems that ease to -tarian and unpredictable governments are suddenly finding themselves in to the Chinese economy going down to some spirit of nationalism in China and very strong competitors. Like, wow, we were in the market. There's also to some extent people use chatting say that's the platform in China and. That makes it easier to switch between the vice in between manufacturers. Although Apple services numbers were up and their install base was up which means that apple doesn't joy, a little more stickiness than your average brand doesn't China, but that's sort of China's story, and then Timberlake also said there was some softness in upgrades in North America. And that contributed in part to the iphone battery replacement program phone battery awareness was very low and price was hype obviously, but as of two thousand eighteen awareness went through the roof and prices went right to the bottom and a lot of people got a battery replacement instead of buying a new iphone, and then you could throw in high prices for the tennis also some people who just don't want to give up their home button or a detached to write it out. There's no more sell sub cellphone companies subsidizing prices. So the sticker shock is much bigger than ever been before. And you had almost like another perfect little storm in North America. But I think both of those things like I said our symptoms, and the actual thing is that we reached the stage of smartphones were almost everybody who wants. Has one and is relatively happy with the one that they have. Yeah. So you bring up this chat thing, which is so interesting to me. So what you're saying is because most people communicate on we chat, then which is cross platform. It's very easy to go back and forth. And so to switch from an iphone Android phone is not as difficult. I mean is that like you mentioned that I is that really I mean more weighted in this than than the other things because I mean, that's what I always think like think anecdotally like I could never switch to an Android because of I message. But is that I mean is that really true? To certain extent, for example, people in China US we chat for everything it is there. I message it is there apple or Google pay. They use it for every transaction for every interaction. And that means that if you get a different phone whether us you switch from Z T E to while away or you switch from apple to another manufacturer, your your instance of we just goes with you. So the barrier. Switching is much less than it isn't a country where the rest of the world is still versus Android, and I'm message, what's there are a lot more barriers everything you bought on players and everything about on the app store and the economy is just not bad tied to a platform. But again, I would be more worried, but Apple's number per services is growing and that the counter indication and the number of installing units is growing. So I think apple I seen as luxury brand. It's you get face to get a steam for owning apple. But also, I think apple is getting some buy-in to their services, which previously might not have been the case. Now. When I look at apple struggles in China, which you know, like like, we've discussed was large part of Tim Cook's kind of right up around y they were lowering these expectations. It's striking to me that apple as a company has has these challenges. But that this could be a war greater warning for a whole lot of other companies right with could could this be the interpretation that if Apple's having a challenge in in China, you know, where obviously there's a there's a huge market there to be tapped into that everybody else should also be really concerned about this. Can't can't make it work to some extent. Yeah. I mean, we've already seen a big shakeout in phones, it became got to the point where only apple and Samsung, really make money and smartphones are some people a little bit of money, but the vast majority of money is made by first and then Samsung and everyone else either spent other money to subsidize their entry into the market like, Microsoft, using windows and office profits for a long time with windows. Mobile or they folded like what happened with on? And the trouble that Nokia and blackberry have gone through. So it has never been a high profit business and as always made it slightly dangerous. But when you look at the numbers like apple is down Samsung, probably going to be down as well does show that it's no longer sort of the fire everything growth, huge success. We're making more money than oil companies story that it was for a while in the past. So I've heard some people online to basically say he it's as simple as this. And you brought this up a little bit too. They raise the price of all the phones that's very high and fewer people bought them. It's basic economics. What's the surprise talk about that take? That's another case of people taking what they feel, and then sorting facts support that and I think there's a lot more nuance than that is the same as the story. There's all sorts of things. Some people are still saying, hey, it's the headphone Jack man fan over the phone, Jack, they'd be flying high. It's again, it's whatever personally bugs you if you're offended by higher prices. And I think that certainly a case to be made that they did overprice all of these Wallin's, I think that's true. But I don't know if that's an exact causation affect here. Because for a lot of people the prices are in especially in the US, they can be amortized over subscription programs internationally. It's been very bad because the US dollar is so strong suppresses the Canada, the UK other countries are astronomical ir and that apple did mention. They did mention the foreign exchange with huge pack to them. Overall. Apple is in a bit of a sticky situation there because apple is not making. My phone's more expensive apple is making more expensive, iphones everything. From the led screens to the true depth camera. Modules are much more expensive than the old. The Elliott LCD screens the old touch ID the old front facing cameras there. Also components have gone up substantially over the last few years and apples prepaid for a lot of those. But when the prepay runs out the are paying again, and their prices go up, and if you look at what apple guided it's also guided margins down margins are down about two percent since the height of the Steve. Jobs era, which you know, some people are like, oh, it's the milk all the properly injury out of the industry at the expense of market. He's making less profit. He's making much bigger volume. But he's making less profit than the Dobbs did historically. So I think that is a factor is actually a factor sticker shock is real. But I think it's again an example of the problem just everybody if you're still desperate for an iphone you could probably justify it. But if your iphone is pretty good, if you're pretty happy, and it's harder to say, I'm gonna pay a thousand bucks, another iphone. Yeah. I think that's a that's a really big consideration and not just for apple Apple's iphones, but phones in general, we've gone to this point where things like it's such a commodity at this point. Like, you know, that your phone is probably going to be good enough to do all the things five years ago. You can name off the top of your head all the ways that your phone sucks. But now when you get it it's really good and not just for that year. It's good for two years three years, and you, and it becomes more and more difficult to justify not only replacing it, but replacing. With the new normal of the price point of thousand dollars. And so those those factors combined. That's that's a pretty potent. You know, potent go up against we're not used the price of technology going up. We've all lived in an era where technology was invented and is now quickly growing, and we're used to technology forcing prices down our high house prices, don't go down our car prices. Always go down, we pay credible money for bottles of water, you know, lots aids, but we're not used to paying a lot for technology. And as it matures that those market conditions are going to be different and it's not gonna continue to race down. And we're going to have to face either. What we consider to be a good enough phone or what we're willing to pay could be a good enough own which isn't the place that most of us use for like eight hours a day every day all year compared to a lot of other things we pay a lot of money for. So I want to get back to all of this analysts doom and gloom. And, you know, the stock market went, you know, when when people's come out with these things that aren't based on fact, I'm not talking about just random people Twitter twittering or in tweeting. But but just people. True analysts that are saying these things are not based on fact, how is that not a legal market manipulation. I think it really should be. I mean, we've had we've had we had Kramer has admitted to it in the past that if he hasn't made a shorts. He calls up starts rumor applications are happy or previously blackberry allegations were happy to jump on it. It would drive down the stock price short and he'd make us quarter. And like you said that on tape it's on YouTube. You can go look at it. And I don't know why that that's not investigated on the why the funds are invested. But it does create problems because this quarter. We saw people say that I pose sales were down. And it's gotten to the point where they didn't get believed automatically last year. There was panic and it turned out to be wrong and for quarter after quarter before that for years and years there were bribes luck on the iphone is down to make their numbers supply. And it was never true and true. Nobody believed it and that hurts the investors as much as the fake the fake stories of apple being under under beleaguer seized hurt them previously. So at this point, obviously there's going to be a lot of eyeballs on apple to see what they can. Due to right the ship. If it needs writing what what do you believe what is what is the best approach for apple at this stage of the game? One of the biggest factors. I think is that the iphone is absolutely huge distortion it just it. It destroys any or most rational takes on apple because the iphone makes so much money. Maze. More money than companies that are control of very scarce boss appeal resources and you start to look at apple. What's the next iphone? It's unclear there isn't exit phone apple for anybody like until a wearable next miraculous, wearable, technology or cybernetic implants because something that everybody's simply has to have. There's just not going to be another iphone. But if you take the iphone away and you look at the other businesses, you'll get everything from MAC to ipad to apple watch air pods to services. There's a lot of fundamentally really good really high-performing businesses there. And I think if you look at Apple's behaviour over the last four five years, they they weren't fooled by their own success. They knew that peak iphone was coming and they began will they realize that once you can't cell phones anymore. You have to sell up to people who have phones. And that's why we see air pods and apple. Watch. I think taking off and why making a bigger play into services and all of those business. I think cook said overall they were up nineteen percent. And they're having record services business even in China in other parts of the world and even with this huge hit. This is still going to be the second best quarter in the history of apple which history of really really good quarters. So I think as long as they they're not deluded into thinking, they have to necessarily fix Iceland beyond the way, a company can legitimately fix it. If they keep investing in everything else that the iphone enables, then it may not be the Taylor swift of of because you were like onyx anymore, but it'd be a bunch of really good size rock bands future. Well, Rene Ritchie. It's always awesome to get you on. We appreciate used hop. It onto tell us gives your take on this. Big Apple news. Rene ritchie. I'm more dot com. Thanks, man. Happy new year. Happy new year. Take every night after the break online hate who are the people that really suffer. But first this episode of techniques weekly is brought to you by hover building your online. Brand has never been more important buying a domain name is the first and the biggest step to building your personal brand online. Your domain name tells the online community who you are. And what you're passionate about for example, tech or dot fan or dot dot org. Anecdote security wind zone dot gov. There's so many web hosts and websites of all as their brand website and hosting needs change, keeping your domain separate from hosting gives you the flexibility to choose the right platform for your business now, no one wants to be stuck with this Lucien. That does not meet their needs hover has over four hundred domain extensions to choose from to help your you brand yourself online hover offers the best in class customer support team and no upsells hover. Connect allows you to connect your domain name too, many website builders with just a few simple, clicks, personalized Email that matches your domain name. Further supports your online indentity hover has clean interface. I love it. Now, I own goats wearing clothes dot com and hover can also help me by goats wearing clothes dot club. Just in case the goats, and I wanted to start a club or I can also get goats wearing closed democrat or goats were enclosed Republican supposing the goats, and I decided to get political. We probably won't don't worry hover our Goto domain. Name provider will be celebrating their ten year verse. Serie this January check out their promos. Starting January sixteenth that will include ten dollar dot coms and ninety nine cent. Domains kickoff 2019 with a domain name from hover. Visit hover dot com slash twit. Right now for ten percent off your first purchase. That's hover dot com slash twit for ten percent off. And we think hover for their support. Online hate has been around pretty much since the internet began. But the Washington Post points out that twenty eighteen was the year that the largest internet companies began to measure and disclosed how toxic this hate could be joining us to discuss this invest investigation at the Washington Post did into the human experience of online hate is one of the reporters of the story Jeffrey Fowler. Welcome back to the show. Jeffrey. Guys. So you usually join us to talk about robots that kids can build or devices that help senior citizens connect to the internet. This is a little different tell us what sparked to this investigation. It's the other side of the technology that we live with and we at the post hope group of of reporters reach kept talking about all of these stories were writing about people who were living with hate and become a major part of their lives for me. Personally. It started in in March win I was in parkland Florida talking to some of those students reviver of the shooting the school shooting there, and they talked about how they were dealing with. How they you know, had to take protections at home how their Twitter feeds were filled with with with all of this, vile stuff. And so we wanted to take some time and sort of do a story that looks at the other side of hate, and we always do stories about the. You know that the haters and the people who are who are going on the attack. But what does it really feel like to live with this stuff? How does it change your life? Does it change? When you think about yourself. How does it change your family and how you feel safe at home? So we went out and found people who were willing to talk about their lived experience with having people attack them online. We went to a lot of different kinds of people. It was a really broad set of folks we approached a not surprisingly, many of them would not talk on the record about their experience. They were fear. They're fearful that talking about it would would bring more hate to them. But we did find these seven who have have a pretty wide set of experiences to share and really opened my eyes to the reality that, you know, when you're on Twitter or you're on Facebook or gab, whatever, and you see you know, that that that that Zing that clapback, and you think like it's another good one. Like, there's another experienced. To to what's going on just across the screen, one of the parkland survivors, you talk to Cameron Caskey. It was just so moved by what he said, he said people are addicted to being awful, and there's nothing we can do about it. But he also was able to joke about some of the horrible things that that people sent him. Tell us more about Cameron. That was one of the most difficult interviews I've ever done. He clearly is struggling with what he has to live with every day. And the hate that he he gets on the internet. He deals with one of his coping strategies to make jokes about it. And he did that a lot. He said Jimmy what I he just tried to find the horrible comments, and some examples in the piece, they are people things people said about his little brother, for example, it just tried to find it kind of funny. But then then it started to get serious when people start to make very specific credible threats against his house where he lives started sending sending swat teams to his house. And so he's. He's he's he's kind of reached a point where he's resigned to the fact that hate is going to be a part of his life, quite a statement about where we've come as a society that here's this kid is eighteen in high school already decided that hate us part of being human. Because the the anonymity of everything just drives us further and further it makes it so much easier. That's one thing that we really struck me about a lot of these interviews is that an end I've heard of this outside of just these interviews as well as this this. I don't know this movement towards putting on a good face about him being like. Yeah. It really sucks, but I'm gonna do my best to not let it bother me. But when I get concerned with in that regard is that sometimes you don't know or understand what the long term ramifications of this end up being what is your what is your life? Look like ten fifteen years down the line when you've put up put on a good face in light of this really horrendous stuff, and how does that affect your life going forward? I mean, did they have any insight into how they could like live the next ten years of their life in this new kind of world order on the internet, and how that might affect them. Talking with Cameron Caskey the the kid from park land. I said do you talk with a therapist? Do you think he someday this is going to catch up with you? And he says he thinks in ten years time of the park. Lynn kids are gonna have a lot of problems. And they've just you know, they've only begun to scratch the surface of that. I think that that hate beyond that case, I think eight can really impact people in a lot of subtle ways that can take a long time to sort of manifest themselves. We have a story in there about a a cyclist who's a who's a trans person, and you know, one big race. But then had it ruined by people saying, you know, oh, you don't deserve to win. So so you can take the joy out of victory. And then what does that do to you to you? As you think about going on being a cyclist? We told the story of a family in Texas whose son was was attacked by believes in school when when he decided to come out as gay. Day on on Instagram, and it essentially put him back in the closet, the experienced it. And imagine the impact of that can have over many years about being proud about who you are. So you're talking about Ricky Ricky Stratton who whose parents are pursuing legal action and and house echoing not very well. That was another really opening thing for me. You know, there's a couple of years ago many states, including Texas where they live developed laws against bullying online specifically because it causes can cost kids to commit suicide. But in their case, I learned that he was very very hard. Even though they're Ricky's mom is a police officer knows the law knows how to how to get Justice. She would having a hard time getting the school and local prosecutors to take it seriously and to and to really use the law to to help them get Justice. So I think it might be time for another look at those laws to see if they're really serving the world that we are now all. Living it, and you pointed out that, you know, a large part of this was happening on Instagram. Of course, his mom kind of pulled them off Instagram to protect him to shield him from the stop yet to certain degree. This is where a lot of a lot of kids are communicating. So at some point he wants to get back on their, and I think what that did that really kind of lit a little for me around. How you know? I'm a parent. And so I've got a couple of kids and sometimes, you know, and I I have to kind of push back against the desire or the knee jerk reaction to say, I don't understand it there for I'm going to take it away or I'm going to prevent them from doing that entirely. Because when I was a kid, I didn't have that. And I grew up just fine. You know, like, I don't want to go into that very familiar, parental place necessarily. But I I guess my question is is that does that end up being the right approach? Does that create other problems Becky writing creates other problems all of these? Are complicated stories. Look, if you're a gay teen in Texas Instagram might be where bullies come and make fun of you. But it's also where you have a community. Right. It's where you could find other young people and other people who support you. So just running away is not the answer. Interestingly a lot of these folks, we spoke with didn't necessarily think the answer was just to blame these tech platforms. Either many of them actually were unaware that these tech platforms or even talking about hate talking about the problem. They thought it was just their own problems that they had to deal with. So I think there's a lot of work that can be done there, certainly, you know, by by Instagram by Twitter Facebook to to work on this stuff. And that's part of the reason why they started gathering numbers on hate this year just sort of give us at least some kind of indexes to how things are developing and changing, but it's really complicated. And what I learned it's really messy out there right now. So that double sided coin that you talked about that, you know, Instagram being the place where you can meet people, you might not have met in the. Past that are like minded and also being the place of bullies that when you talk to Cameron Caskey, he said, he's sort of blamed himself a little bit for the hate it sounded like and said, you know, their problem. The parkland kids problem was they focused on the people and not the issue, but the focusing on the people was what gained so much. That's what caused the traction. Right. That's what people I know for me like for so many people it was it was just these faces of these high school kids that you're like. Wow. So I mean, I how do how do we how do we deal with that? Because it's like there's so much. I would like to think that there is was, you know, net positive in terms of you know, of us being better people. But I don't know when you talk about you know, all these kids having to go to therapy because of the hate they've dealt with. I think you just summed up the world that we live in right now. Right. It's because of the internet were able to hear these very personal stories and hear the voices of these kids who went through this and that has had. A profound political impact on the United States. And yet, it is also became a very personal thing for them and people decided that just because a kid has a political opinion that it is okay to attack them personally. That's the point we've reached in our society. And so I think we have to question that maybe, you know, in these polarized times, we've really been unable to separate a political point of view from who someone is as a person. And I think that's something that maybe we need to to to think through differently. But, but, but, but yeah, that is the cost, you know, these kids these these kids lived through the darkest day of their lives at school. And then we sent them to battle on the internet. Yeah. Right. And you know, and it's not just the anonymity of it. All it's also just the large scale that these social networks are operating in in, you know, in the social media, kind of responsibility around that when a person has a large audience, you know, some of these interviews kind of alluded to the fact that it's very easy for someone with a large audience to whether they realize. Is it or not mobilize against or four? Somebody simply by putting out a single tweet of some sort. And then suddenly, you know, this person that made some random comment on the internet is, you know, basically their life is plagued for weeks months years potentially around that they bear some responsibility around this as well. Right. Like their public message has that power to mobilize. I don't know. I don't know how any of this is informed than I think that's the big trick of all this is that how do you enforce it? When it's just it's people being people. You brought up a case that one of the most fascinating stories, we we share this piece. This woman named wanna Thompson who's a culture writer on the internet. And she earlier in the year tweeted, a critique of Nikki Manashe, it wasn't even that Harsha. Critique she was just saying I kind of wish Nikki would make some more mature content. You know, Joan she's growing up getting older, but Nikki did not like it and obliquely sort of responded to her and Nikki's fans caught on and then the fan culture, the internet is not just about sort of celebrating things anymore. It was it became about attacking this woman and she had to live with that. And she says cost her job, and it cost her of people just saying awful things about her. They found pictures of her daughter started thunder shopping them. So it was very interesting from her perspective. Nikki Manashe shared some of that responsibility. Now, Nikki never expressly said Hello bar. Arbs messenger for fans, go attack this woman, but she let it go on. And she saw that it was happening. And and you know, with the fan culture, the internet like celebrities share some of this power. And I don't know that that they've all really thought through what that means what responsibility comes with it. And the story of Charlie Wilkins is another one. I mean, you don't even have to say anything or be famous or do anything. I mean talk a little bit about Charlie Wilkins. This is a guy who's a professional skateboarder who happens to have the same name as somebody who did something awful was was attacking a nine eleven widow. And when that happened people confused him for the other person and just started attacking him. And he just couldn't believe what was going on in. I started fighting back and saying wait, no like you've got the wrong guy. I also found that that that horrible. But but it, but it didn't really stop stop the hate flowing at him. So just even a mistaken identity can end up ruining. Ng not only your day your week, your months your year. But also make you fearful fearful to check your voicemail fearful that somebody's gonna do something crazy at your house. So is there it can we end this in a positive way? Is I know is the getting of of. An important topic. We really need to wrestle with wrestle with the world that we're creating we're all part of and and how to treat each other better. I guess just knowing it's out there here in reading these stories is important. You can read the whole piece at the Washington Post Jeffrey feller is a technology calmness for the Washington Post. Thanks so much for coming onto Jaffer. You bet take care. All right. Finally, just a quick tip for you. As you set up that new phone that you may or may not have gotten for the holidays and decide that your old phone should rest in peace in the trash. Don't throw it in the trash. Why? Well, there are better ways to dispose of the technology. That isn't useful to you first of all because it might be useful to someone else. So, you know, donate it to 'cause it actually still works and stuff. But if you can't bring yourself to be a good Samaritan, and you simply must dispose of your old phone consider that the lithium ion battery inside is incredibly flammable, and that sixty five this is this is kind of a nugget from this article sixty five percent of fires that happened in California waste facilities last year were caused by those lithium ion batteries with all that trash contacting shifting and moving around and everything becomes super easy. For lithium ion battery to be punctured ignited and even explode, which could shut down the city for days, in some cases. So if you can't pawn the device off onto someone who needs it, and you must throw it away. You can look for. Socialized battery recycling program, you can even take them into Home Depot. Lowe's. Best buy stores for responsibly recycling them, if you just got a battery in your throwing it away, they say like rapid in in duct tape or put it into a baggy like zip lock baggy that way the metal that way. Metal can't touch the battery and then close the circuit and pop the battery. But I I just thought it was a good reminder that, you know, sometimes it's easy when we're going through the house, and we're like, I don't need this anymore. And this is no use to anyone. I'm just throwing the track or I'll put it in recycling and somebody else will deal with it. They'll find it. And you know, it'll make its way somewhere because out of sight out of mind, and I don't know you could be setting up a warehouse on fire and not even know it. You could do what I do. Which is I bring them in here to the office. And I give them to Burke, and he deals with them. So do that works for me. So. Which is interesting. Today. I have some thoughts has my New Year's resolution, my intention is to fix things. Instead of you know, just getting a new one, and I've been thinking a lot about this. And one thing that you shouldn't do what I do besides bringing Burke, but with old phones, you probably do the sages put them in your right like a deal with it later that is that aside from just throwing in the trash. That's the second. Worst thing you can do because they just lose value. And so if you could sell it to someone I don't giving away is great and everything. But if you sell something to someone they really wanna use it, right? Like there, even if you're going to sell it for just a very small amount like just knowing that someone wants to put money to take that phone. That's as long as it works. Of course. I think that's important. No, I have a five. See I don't know if anyone wants to buy if you you do. An-and SC the SE is the one that I I'm gonna do it this week. So because I know that that still has value to someone and not to us. We're not using it anymore. So I think that's important thing. So if everyone could go their drawer, look look in their extra phones or and try to find someone to buy your phone those true every single day that phone is less less carries less value and not just from a monetary value standpoint. But you know, we know as the as these devices age over time, they become less useful or less, reliable number. So right back out there while it's still use right? I'm saving the SE for when your kids get home. But that's years from now. So you'll be like a while. Sorry kids. I realize you said for a full this year. All right. I'll play me for everything. Check newsweekly records live now every Thursday at eleven AM Pacific one PM eastern. You can go to twit dot TV slash is that right eleven twelve one. No, two PM eastern. Sorry. I dot TV slash live. Maybe part of the show by us at t. And w at twit dot TV what time is not. I don't know. Show at dot TV slash T and W. Then it doesn't matter. What time zone you're in? You can watch it whenever you want. And I'm excited. It's what nineteen hundred Gs and I'm excited because this means you, can you know, if you have a commute home will be up, and you can subscribe. And then it'll be ready for you and your commute home. And if you want to tweet at me to sell me, what time it is I met. Megan Mooney told me what time it is too. I could always use a time Jason how thanks Victor. Thanks to Burke. Thanks to jam be a calling everyone who helps us do the show each and every week and thanks to you for watching us under new time. We appreciate it. You're probably subscribed. Anyway. So the time doesn't matter to you. But anyways, we'll see week another upset of tech news weekly. Everybody.