Hello and goodbye to the MacBook Air | The Vergecast

Hello and goodbye to the MacBook Air | The Vergecast

Intro (00:00:00)

  • The hosts discuss the emotional reactions to regulatory changes, comparing it to the advice of entrepreneurs and business professors.
  • David Pierce mentions receiving numerous requests for a 10,000-word feature on the Samsung Frame TV and announces that it has been approved.
  • The hosts joke about David's unique approach to reporting, which involves encountering people related to the topic on public transportation.
  • David mentions working on a piece about Samsung's acquisition in the mid-2010s.
  • The new studio setup is described, including the installation of a wall and a Frame TV with a Vergecast logo.
  • David expresses his intention to discuss the Frame TV in a future episode.
  • The hosts introduce the main topics of the episode, including the new MacBook Air, Microsoft news, iPad rumors, and the Digital Markets Act in Europe.
  • They note that major platforms like Google, Facebook, and Apple are all making changes in response to the new regulations.

Apple releases M3 MacBook Airs (00:03:55)

  • Apple released new 13-inch and 15-inch MacBook Airs with M3 chips, featuring enhanced photo editing and faster video noise removal capabilities.
  • The new MacBook Airs support dual displays for the first time and have improved performance, but some argue that the examples provided by Apple are not particularly groundbreaking.
  • Despite the lack of truly innovative features, the MacBook Air is still praised for its overall performance and reliability, with improvements in Excel spreadsheet processing and video editing speed.
  • Notable improvements include the return of the headphone jack and support for two external displays with the lid closed.
  • The MacBook Air event was underwhelming because the new features were not significant enough to warrant an event, and Apple's infomercials for their events have become necessary due to the lack of engaging discussions at in-person events.
  • The Verge discusses the discontinuation of the iconic wedge-shaped MacBook Air, which had a longer battery life and a unique design compared to the current model.
  • Despite the release of newer models, many users still find their M1 Air to be sufficient and have no desire to upgrade, leading to longer upgrade cycles.
  • The MacBook Air brand has proven to be stronger than Apple may have realized, with users valuing its design and functionality.

What is the Eurozone? (00:38:10)

  • The Eurozone is a group of 20 out of the 27 countries in the European Union (EU) that use the Euro as their currency.
  • The Eurozone is often described as an amusement park resembling Europe, with various countries offering different attractions such as cheese, chocolates, and scenic walking areas.
  • There is a proposal in the EU to rename the fat-burning zone on treadmills to the Euro Zone.

DMA goes into effect (00:39:10)

  • The Digital Markets Act (DMA) has come into effect in the EU and EEA, designating Alphabet, Amazon, Apple, ByteDance, Meta, and Microsoft as "Gatekeepers" and requiring them to make changes to their practices to increase transparency, data protection, and user choice.
  • Apple is making significant changes to its iOS App Store policies, causing controversy and negative public sentiment due to its aggressive response to the regulations, despite its recent multi-billion dollar fine.
  • Epic Games announced its own app store in the EU, even under restrictive rules, in response to Apple's compliance plan with the DMA, but Apple revoked Epic's app store privileges due to past actions and criticism of the App Store.
  • Apple's decision to revoke Epic Games' developer account raises questions about Apple's motivations and long-term strategy, highlighting the unstable foundation for businesses operating on Apple's platforms and concerns about the lack of vibrant competition and diverse app offerings.
  • The absence of a dedicated gambling app store in Europe, despite permissive gambling laws, is seen as a missed opportunity, while Apple's refusal to allow sideloading of apps in Europe could have negative consequences and raises concerns about capricious behavior.
  • Apple's browser choice screen on iOS in the EU is seen as malicious compliance, designed to be unhelpful and confusing, showing Apple's lack of investment in making it a positive experience.
  • Apple's decision to make it difficult to open a third-party app store is seen as a clever but risky move to protect its dominance in the app market, potentially damaging its consumer goodwill.

Apple Podcasts transcriptions (01:12:26)

  • Apple Podcasts now has transcriptions for all of its shows, including The Vergecast.
  • Transcriptions can be inaccurate and sometimes humorous.
  • Tapping on a paragraph in the transcription takes the listener to that part of the show.
  • Transcripts are a great way to quickly find specific information in a podcast episode.
  • Sean Hollister has been covering game emulators recently.
  • Game emulators were discussed on The Vergecast last year.

Emulating Nintendo (01:13:15)

  • Nintendo's aggressive legal action against the popular Nintendo Switch emulator, Yuzu, has led to its shutdown and created uncertainty about the legality of emulators.
  • Emulators are popular for playing older games, but Yuzu allowed users to play unreleased games, attracting Nintendo's attention.
  • The shutdown of Yuzu highlights the challenges of emulating current-generation consoles and the potential legal risks involved in distributing unreleased games.
  • Nintendo has a history of being aggressive in stopping piracy but has generally tolerated fan-made emulators.
  • The recent settlement between Nintendo and the Yuzu emulator team raises questions about the future of emulation and game preservation.
  • Emulation is not illegal, and there is no legal precedent against it.
  • Nintendo may have settled with the Yuzu team to avoid a costly legal battle and protect its game piracy efforts.

Lenovo Legion Go (01:20:19)

  • The Lenovo Legion Go is a $700 Windows handheld gaming device.
  • It can be converted into a tablet by removing the handles.
  • One of the handles can be turned into a vertical mouse.
  • Despite its potential drawbacks due to Windows limitations, it is still a cool and desirable gadget.
  • Sean gave it a score of six.
  • The design and photography choices are unique and reflect Sean's style.

Elon Musk sues OpenAI (01:22:33)

  • Elon Musk is suing OpenAI, a company he co-founded, for breach of contract, claiming that it has become a proprietary extension of Microsoft. OpenAI denies the claims and is moving to dismiss the lawsuit. The key issue is whether there is a valid contract between Musk and OpenAI, as Musk claims the contract exists in emails and documents, while OpenAI argues there is no written contract.
  • Musk's argument relies on the concept of "Reliance," where he claims he took actions based on the assumption that OpenAI would fulfill its obligations and suffered negative consequences when they did not.
  • X, a company owned by Elon Musk, is suing the Center for Combating Digital Hate for breach of contract, claiming their report on hate speech on Twitter interfered with advertisers. The judge in the X case criticized the company's legal theory as a "vapid extension of contract law."
  • The Vergecast hosts will be hosting a live show and playing a game on stage at the South by Southwest event on March 8th.
  • On March 9th, there will be a live Decoder interview with the CEO of Figma, Dylan Field, where they will discuss the future of the web and Figma's role as a web app.

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