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    DOWNLOAD: On this week's all-star episode, we present commentator Kirk McElhearnMacworld's "iTunes Guy," who will discuss Amazon's pilot program, underway in New York City, to deliver your stuff in two hours, coping with ISPs and bandwidth caps, the possibilities for Apple TV, and the recently-ended iPod antitrust trial where a jury found in Apple's favor in just three hours.

    You'll also hear from cutting-edge columnist Daniel Eran Dilger, of Roughly Drafted Magazine and AppleInsider, as he exposes false and misleading tech reporting, often about Apple. So in this segment, he'll explain that, no, Apple didn't exactly lose the top spot in education to the Google Chromebook. His revealing remarks will also include the iPod trial and the possibilities for the Apple Watch.

    Click to hear our latest episode: The Tech Night Owl Live — December 20, 2014

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    Whatever Happened to Discoverability?

    December 19th, 2014

    One thing was part and parcel of the original Mac OS, and that was the promise of being able to discover many of the most important features by pointing and clicking. Features were mostly consistent among applications, so if you learned one, you knew most of the others. But of course things are never so simple in the real world, as I learned during my first extended encounters with Macs back in the 1980s.

    I knew how to type pretty well, but mastering the mouse took a little while. I wouldn't say how long, but one day I realized it had become second nature.

    Still, over the years, there were exceptions, applications that had features deeply embedded in menus and submenus. I actually had to read some manuals from cover to cover, although that's not something most of you do these days. Indeed, most of today's manuals consist of some brief online instructions. For the rest, well, figure it out.

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    Lawyers Lose a Huge Payday

    December 18th, 2014

    On the surface, it must have seemed a sure thing. File a multimillion dollar antitrust lawsuit against an iconic tech company and maybe get a settlement that will enrich everyone, except for the aggrieved customers of course. At best, they can expect a discount coupon or a prepaid gift card for a small sum.

    Well, that's what usually happens. Certainly Apple has lost a few, won a few, and settled other claims over the years. On the surface, this particular case, involving Apple's decision to make iTunes and iPods incompatible with rival music services and devices, could have cost up to one billion dollars if the plaintiff won.

    What is striking about this case is the time it took to resolve. It was first filed in 2005, and covered some eight million customers who bought iPods while Apple's FairPlay DRM was being used. Apple was accused of not just locking in customers to the iPod and overcharging for their devices.

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    About the Pricey Mac

    December 17th, 2014

    I was reading a review of the iMac 5K, highly favorable you understand, which had the telltale "pricey" word in the title. It's a cheap shot, since it's a common perception — actually misperception — that Apple overcharges for its gear to earn stellar profits.

    Of course, that claim ignores the fact that a company like Samsung, having high-end smartphones priced in the same range as an iPhone, makes far less in the way of profits. So clearly there's a disconnect. But let's return to the subject of the Mac.

    Nowadays, if you want an expensive Mac, just look over the configuration options for a Mac Pro. Check off every possible upgrade, and add a Sharp 32-inch PN-K321 — 4K Ultra HD LED Monitor, and you'll end up with a bill for $13,522. That includes the AppleCare extended warranty. Back in 1988, a Macintosh IIx could also be configured to set you back a five-figure sum.

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    Just When You Thought Only Apple Does Bad Updates

    December 16th, 2014

    Apple never heard the end of it when September's iOS 8.0.1 update went awry. This sorry little episode fueled speculation that the company had taken on far too many projects and needed to slow down and improve quality control. While Apple's new product introductions were but a fraction of what other tech companies delivered, that must be too much. The theory had it that Apple must be perfect, and there was little room for error.

    Of course, 2014 wasn't the first year where Apple screwed up, and it won't be the last no matter you think they've taken on too much or not.

    Over the years, there have been flawed updates, and the need to enhance product warranties to handle persistent problems. Don't forget the power supply failures on the iMac G5, which was first released in 2004. At that time, the iPhone and iPad hadn't quite reached the rumor stage, and forget about an Apple Watch.

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