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    DOWNLOAD — GCN Version: On this week’s all-star episode, we present Bryan Chaffin, co-founder and co-publisher of The Mac Observer. His bill of fare includes the curious decision of iFixit.com to post a teardown report of a prerelease Apple TV that they received as part of Apple’s developer program, which resulted in the loss of their membership. Bryan will also talk about Amazon’s decision to stop carrying the Apple TV and Google Chromecast after releasing a new Fire TV set-top box. Other topics include the iPad Pro and Apple Music, where Gene explains why he has decided not to continue his membership.

    You’ll also hear from Kirk McElhearn, Macworld’s “iTunes Guy,” who will also discuss iFixit.com’s controversial move with their Apple TV. Gene will expand on his Apple Music decision, and Kirk will explain why, after suggesting he’d rather stick with an iPhone 5s, he decided to buy an iPhone 6s despite the uncomfortably larger size. Kirk and Gene also talk about the emissions problems that impact many Volkswagen’s equipped with diesel engines, and whether Kirk’s Seat Ibiza, a VW-built car, may be impacted.

    Click to hear our latest episode: The Tech Night Owl Live — October 3, 2015

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    Apple TV and the 4K Dilemma

    October 8th, 2015

    As most of you have noticed if you check the ads for consumer electronics, the price for 4K sets is going down. Way down. When I did a casual check of Walmart’s site, I found some below $400. But they were for sets with relatively small displays; the cheapest was rated at 42 inches.

    To be realistic, the promise of “stunning lifelike detail” is rarely realized, particularly on smaller 4K sets. Indeed, when I visit a TV department in a store, many of these 4K or Ultra HD sets are showing still pictures, not movies or sports. The main reason is that the enhanced resolution, roughly four times higher than a 1080p set, is not always visible with moving pictures.

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    Apple Music: Gone and Forgotten

    October 7th, 2015

    Within 30 days after Apple Music debuted, Apple touted 11 million signups. But since they were for 90-day free trials, it meant, obviously, that had actually paid for the service. With contradictory surveys showing how many planned to actually keep their subscriptions active when it came due, the potential for success remained a huge question mark.

    It didn’t help that there were loads of complaints about the messy user interface. Did Apple screw up, or were people just expecting too much? Or somewhere in between? The other day, I read an article suggesting Apple made a major mistake in designing Apple Music, which seems peculiar. After all, Apple has done well enough with iTunes, although it doesn’t always get the love.

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    El Capitan: Glitches Please?

    October 6th, 2015

    As Apple reportedly continues to test the first maintenance update for OS X El Capitan, a small number of glitches have shown up. I know of two on recent iMacs, and I realize such a tiny sampling of similarly configured hardware isn’t sufficient to reveal a trend. But I’ll tell you what I’ve seen and what I’ve discovered as we wait for the expected arrival of 10.11.1, and I’m curious to see what readers have discovered.

    It’s almost a given that there will be mail glitches. I have large IMAP folders spanning several accounts, and I wasn’t surprised that I’d see something this time. It might be the result of some sort of background message processing, for every so often, when I click on a message folder, such as an Inbox, nothing happens. It seems as if the app has frozen solid, but after a few seconds, it’s working again.

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    Newsletter Issue #827: The Auto Industry and Trust

    October 5th, 2015

    I was surprised to learn that most auto makers use their own facilities, or hired hands, to test for emissions and fuel economy. So it’s not that America’s EPA will necessarily come on over to a factory, test equipment in hand, to perform a direct inspection unless there was the need to do so. It’s not the same as a restaurant being visited by the health department to make sure the facilities are clean and there are no creepy crawly things running loose.

    So this was a disaster waiting to happen, and when Volkswagen apparently tried to make excuses when confronted with evidence that many recent vehicles with diesel engines emitted too much of the foul stuff, they were forced to come clean. So hundreds of thousands of cars sold between 2009 and 2015 in the U.S. are subject to recalls to install a fix. VW admits that over 11 million vehicles around the world suffer from the same problem.

    The source? Well, evidently VW installed software on these vehicles that disabled certain emission controls under normal use, but when they were being checked for emissions, the controls were switched on. The mind boggles over excuses from departing corporate executives that they didn’t know that millions of their vehicles were being hacked in this way to pass air pollution regulations around the world.

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