TWIT 972: Judicial Whimsy

Beep boop - this is a robot. A new show has been posted to TWiT…

What are your thoughts about today’s show? We’d love to hear from you!

The controversial bit between Cathy and Brianna was EXCELLENT! Such a lovely stretch of great debate. Thanks to both and Leo for letting them run!


I hope Cathy on again soon :slight_smile:


I love Brianna’s comments beginning at 23:54 (Club TWIT audio version timestamp) regarding the Tech Pundit Merry-Go-Round. There is such a tendency to dismiss solutions because they are not absolutely perfect (perfect being a subjective evaluation based on who or what is impact by the outcome).

So glad she articulated that thought.


Completely agree with this. The exchange was great and exemplifies the best of what I love about TWIT (both the company and the show). Well informed and articulate panelists offering different points of view in intelligent and coherent ways.

Both Brianna and Cathy held their own incredibly well - I feel like I’m better educated for having heard their discussion. More of this, please!


And both had valid points to share, but kept it a level headed conversation, which is how it should be. It also shows that everything has a grey area and there are no black or white solutions.

Go Team Nuanced


Not yet done with the show and there are a lot of things I do not like about how Apple does business but I do have. Couple comments:

  1. A basic tenant of cybersecurity is minimize the attack surface. Additional app stores, sideloading and allowing access to currently private APIs all expand the attack surface. Security is at least some justification for Apple’s restrictions.

  2. The comparison to the Mac is not really valid. The Mac (and PCs) were introduced in a time when the infosec landscape was very different than it is today and the amount of personal information (and financial vulnerability) that was present on them was vastly smaller. I dare say if the PC and Mac were introduced today, without the burden of legacy support they have, their security models would be very different than they are.


On the other hand, it is the user’s decision, whether they want to reduce security by using 3rd party stores or side loading, or fluent have to affect the sectors security of the pure apple experience.

Assuming, of course, that the argument - using 3rd party stores means a reduction in security - is valid.

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I would argue that the user makes that choice when they buy the product. If you want to have other app stores buy an android phone. Also, are we going to require the same thing of game console makers? And other platforms?

I see no limiting principle here.

Can we please stop bringing game consoles into this discussion? When number of people who own a console matches the number of people who have phones, then there might be a valid comparison. Until then - it’s a strawman. They are different markets and different audience sizes.

And, in case anyone has missed it, Phil Spencer is talking about Epic Games app store on XBOX, That would put the console argument to rest, I think.

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Legally, the total size of a market has nothing to do with whether a company is a monopoly.

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I bought an iPhone, because I don’t like Google’s business model and wanted some level of privacy and security on the device - my Samsung phone got updates a month or 2 behind schedule, which meant my phone was vulnerable for 2 months, after patches had been released. I also had to spend a lot of time de-googling the phone - deactivating as many Google services as I could, although, even then, you can’t completely de-google it.

The iPhone is already, largely, de-googled, so it is much easier to remove the rest - like the default search engine. Apple isn’t perfect, but unlike Samsung and Google, they don’t trade your personal information.

It is also, generally, more secure than Android, when you aren’t using a Pixel (and trying to de-google a Pixel is a Sisyphean task).

There are reasons, other than the app store, for chosing Apple.

I much prefer iOS, but some things were problematic, like having to use ApplePay for NFC transactions in shops - why do I have to involve Apple, who isn’t beholden to the banking privilege laws, which prohibit the sharing of data? Although I have gotten used to it, but it would still be nice to leave out the middle-man and do it directly, like I used to be able to do on my Samsung.

So, if you want more privacy and use an iPhone, why shouldn’t you have the option to load apps from a third party, if you so wish? I don’t, it doesn’t bother me, one way or the other, but if others want to, why shouldn’t they?

No, but Apple also don’t sell their phones at a loss… That is a huge difference, the consoles are generally sold under cost and the profit is made up by selling games for them.

If someone buys an iPhone, Apple has made a profit, if they use some of Apple’s services or buy apps through the Apple App Store, they make even more profit.

If someone buys a PlayStation or an XBox, Sony and Microsoft make a loss. If the purchaser only plays one game on it, they never make a profit on that device. If the purchaser signs up for their services and regularly buys games, they will, eventually, make a profit.

When I bought a PlayStation 2, I bought GTA 3 and Gran Turismo (3?). And that was it. Sony probably made a loss on my purchase, because I only ever bought and played the 2 games (I think I did buy GTA San Andreas, shortly before the PS2 died, from a bargain bin).


A strident supporter of regulation would say selling the console at a loss is a form of predatory pricing to lock people in to their monopoly market for games on their console. I do not believe how much profit, if any, is relevant to the monopoly discussion.

Regarding the App Store, my point is that Apple even having the mechanism in place to allow alternate app stores makes the phone more vulnerable to security attacks than if it wasn’t there. Even if the user does not enable it.

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