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    oming August 23: On this week's all-star episode, you'll hear from cutting-edge commentator Daniel Eran Dilger, of Roughly Drafted Magazine and AppleInsider. This week he'll continue to talk about the platform wars, but he'll also focus on the continuing demands from the tech media that Apple build cheap gear and why it doesn't make sense. You'll also hear his comments about the issues facing Google and companies building Android gear and what Microsoft has to do to solve long-standing problems.

    If you are irritated by offensive web advertising, such as pop-ups and interstitials (ads that insert themselves above content on a site), you'll want to hear from Ben Williams, director of PR for Adblock Plus. He'll talk about protecting yourself from annoying online ads, and the advantages of the company's free browser add-on.

    You'll also hear from Kirk McElhearnMacworld's "iTunes Guy," who will discuss whether you need gigabit Internet, or even 4K TVs for that matter. He'll also talk about blind tests putting CD against higher resolution audio, what lossless audio is all about, and whether most of you can reliably hear a real difference between a CD and a compressed audio file, such as the AAC tracks Apple offers via iTunes.

    Click to hear our latest episode: The Tech Night Owl Live — August 16, 2014

    For more episodes, click here to visit the show’s home page.


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    Quicken Disses the Mac One More Time

    August 21st, 2014

    It is well known that the Mac version of Quicken has long trailed behind the Windows version. Why this should be so is anyone's guess. The price of Quicken 2015 for Mac is $74.99, same as Quicken Deluxe for Windows, a mid-priced version. On the basis of price alone, customers have a right to expect comparable products.

    But that's not quite how Quicken works.

    Indeed, the latest version of the app actually dispenses with features that existed in previous Mac versions. You can no longer create a 12-month budget, show loan amortization, or pay bills from the app. But why? In addition, such features as multi-currency conversion that are found in the Windows versions of the app have never made it to the Mac platform.

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    A Slice of Silliness

    August 21st, 2014

    So there's a commentary from a blogger at a certain well-known tech site suggesting that Apple needs to compete with the — take a deep breath — Chromebook, Google's no-frills OS. The what? Yes, I am quite serious. The article in question, for which I will not provide the link for obvious reasons, appears to be sincere and all that, but the sheer ignorance about Apple and the marketplace is just too much to ignore.

    Before I get into the details, a demand that Apple make cheap stuff isn't new. It all dates back to the very early days of the Mac, where an IBM PC or compatible almost always cost considerably less except for the high-end models.

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    The Microsoft Death Watch: In Search of a Strategy

    August 20th, 2014

    As I watched a TV ad for the Microsoft Surface 3 tablet/notebook, intended to compete with the MacBook Air, I was troubled by the lame attempt to draw important differences between the two. While an Apple spot will focus on lifestyle and the things you can accomplish with a Mac, an iPhone or an iPad, Microsoft is hoping a logical appeal, however tenuous, will turn the tide and boost tepid Surface 3 sales.

    This approach harkens back to those Surface ads that touted the presence of Skype and Microsoft Office, as if anyone outside of the business world really cares about the latter. It was about specs and features, and not about what you could actually do with the product. I also recall the first Surface ads, where a single person setting up the tablet was soon surrounded by jumping, dancing, prancing fools with noisy music, evidently hoping your senses would be so overwhelmed that you'd become the fool to buy the thing.

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    The iPhone 6 Will “Only” Have 1GB of RAM Because…

    August 19th, 2014

    Although there are few complaints about the performance of current iPhones, we are nonetheless obsessed with the specs. So with the iPhone 5s, benchmarks indicated that it had a dual-core A7 processor with an estimated clock speed of 1.29 GHz and 1 GB of RAM. Although those numbers seem lacking when compared to some of those high-end Android smartphones, the iPhone still came out ahead in a number of published benchmarks.

    This recalls something Apple said back in the days of the PowerPC, that raw specs alone do not necessarily predict how well the product will fare in performance benchmarks. Of course, that came at a time where the clock speed of the PowerPC was far lower than those of the Intel chips used in PCs.

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