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    DOWNLOAD — GCN Version: On this week’s all-star episode, we feature cutting-edge commentator Daniel Eran Dilger, of Roughly Drafted Magazine and AppleInsider. Hell talk about such topics as the the current state of the platform wars. Daniel covers the open source nature of Google’s Android mobile OS, and the ongoing problems with fragmentation. This means that critical security fixes, including system updates, are usually not available to most users of Android gear. In response to a column suggesting that Google give up on open source and try to emulate Apple’s proprietary approach, Daniel explains how other tech companies are often following Apple without success.

    You’ll also hear from Bryan Chaffin, co-founder and co-publisher of The Mac Observer. The bill of fare this week includes possible changes in Macs over the next few years, and some talk about the future of the platform. Will there come a time in our lifetimes where Macs have been completely replaced by something new and better? Bryan will also discuss the controversy over rumors that Apple plans to ditch the headphone jacks on the next iPhone, presumably the iPhone 7, and rely on the Lightning port for such connections. He’ll explain why it’s not going to be bad news if it happens. He’ll also talk about watchOS 3, and whether the forthcoming update for the Apple Watch will allow people who merely like the device to learn to love it.

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    The Great Headphone Jack Conspiracy

    June 29th, 2016

    It’s clear that Apple doesn’t like lots of different ports. Over the years, PC makers put everything that would fit and then some, legacy and current, without regard to how it impacted a product’s weight or form factor. Starting with the first iMac in mid-1998, Apple eliminated several ports, such as ADB, for a mouse and keyboard, LocalTalk, for printers, and SCSI, a nightmarish and temperamental protocol for storage devices.

    Even floppy drives were history.

    Now it took a year or two for people to realize that the venerable floppy was obsolete, not just because of the stingy amount of storage, but the abysmal lack of reliability. I can’t tell you how many times I confronted corrupted floppies on different Macs. Had I not had a backup, I would have lost plenty of data. Once Apple ejected floppy drives, people still bought external floppies and other floppy-based systems, at least the first two or three years.

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    Revisiting the Apple Price Disconnect

    June 28th, 2016

    For years, Apple has been attacked for selling luxury, overpriced gear. Year in and year out, the same arguments are made, that you can buy an Android smartphone and a PC running Windows for far less than anything from Apple. Therefore, greedy Apple is being predatory about pricing. You are paying too much to immerse yourself in Apple’s walled garden.

    For years, I’ve made the argument that, by and large, Apple gear is priced in the same league as comparable gear from other companies. Sometimes the same price, sometimes cheaper, sometimes more. But it’s very important to make sure the products match up as closely as possible. As soon is the components change, all bets are off.

    Now when you visit a Walmart and see desktop PCs for less than $400, and notebooks for not so much more, the argument in favor of an $899 MacBook Air — the cheapest Mac in the current lineup — doesn’t appear to make a whole lot of sense. How does Apple justify such a high price?

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    Newsletter Issue #865: Windows 10 and Microsoft’s Desperate Moves

    June 27th, 2016

    As some of you might recall, Windows 10 debuted last July as a free update for many Windows users; well, mostly except for businesses that paid for support contracts. The theory went, in part, that since Microsoft didn’t really pull a whole lot of revenue from OS upgrades, getting hundreds of millions of users up to date with Windows 10 would have an ancillary effect, which would be to make it more profitable for developers to put their stuff in the Windows Apps Store. As people bought apps, Microsoft would get a piece of the action.

    Many Windows 8/8.1 users would be delighted to get an OS that was actually usable, if they hadn’t already downgraded to Windows 7. With Windows 10, you had a proper Start menu, and a pretty decent and well-performing environment. Security was surely better than that of Windows 7, which was released nearly seven years ago. That would be a given.

    The argument for Windows 10 might still be less compelling to a Windows 7 user, unless you plan to buy a convertible PC that operates either in standard desktop mode or tablet mode. Indeed, Windows 10 is supposed to sense that configuration change, so you get an optimized user environment. Unfortunately, Microsoft has attempted to make some interface elements a little too simple, being unable to lose the stick-pin graphics and too-thin text of the interface formerly known as Metro that make it appear as an OS designed for kids than adults. Some apps, such as Mail, lack the power user capabilities of a proper email app, but perhaps Microsoft would prefer you get a paid email app, particularly Outlook.

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    Are We Waiting for the End of the Mac?

    June 24th, 2016

    Some time before the acquisition sayf NeXT returned Steve Jobs to Apple in 1996, he was asked to comment on the state of the company. He mentioned something about milking the Mac for all its worth until it was time to move on the next great thing. I can’t cite the article so many years later, but it’s buried in a search request somewhere.

    Well, if Jobs hadn’t returned to Apple, it is quite likely the Mac — and the entire company — would have gone kaput. But through thick and thin, the Mac has remained a constant. During the latter part of the 1990s, the platform hung on with tape and string, because the core of the Mac OS had become older and buggier. Although the final versions, starting with Mac OS 9, were pretty decent and snappy overall, it wasn’t what you’d call a modern operating system.

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