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    DOWNLOAD — GCN Version: On this week’s all-star episode, we present outspoken commentator Peter Cohen, whose writings are found at iMoreMacworld and Tom’s Guide, who covers a wide range of topics. He offers his expectations of the iPad Pro as compared with supposed convergence devices, which offer the functions of a tablet and a PC notebook. Apple has said it wouldn’t produce such a device. Peter also talks about the ongoing reports of serious problems with recent Apple OS releases, such as iOS 9 and OS X El Capitan. Has public beta testing helped? Gene expresses his skepticism that Apple will actually build a car, something long rumored, rather than focus on user interfaces in motor vehicles. And what about Apple TV?

    You’ll also hear from columnist Kirk McElhearn, also known as Macworld’s “iTunes Guy,” who also talks about the usability of the iPad Pro as a notebook replacement. He also discusses the Apple Watch and the possible security problem he discovered when he first set up two-factor authentication with Amazon. The discussion turns to the car buying experience, and Gene’s concerns about the obstacles buyers confront in trying to finalize a deal. On the pop culture front, the discussion turns to Bob Dylan, and Kirk’s history in becoming a fan of the folk rock legend.

    Click to hear our latest episode: The Tech Night Owl Live — November 21, 2015

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    A Turkey for 2015’s List Season

    November 26th, 2015

    So it has begun. For the next few months, you’ll be seeing loads of best/worst listicles. The choices may be based on reader surveys, editorial preferences, personal preferences, or just by shooting darts at the wall and hoping a few will hit their targets. In other words, there are no standards, and anyone’s opinion is as good as anyone else’s.

    But if you’re talking about the tech business, might as well put Apple on the top of a list of the year’s tech turkeys. Not that it necessarily deserves to be there, but it’s certain hit bait. So the only thing lacking in a report published by a certain national newspaper was to use Apple in the title. But maybe someone will get the clue and change the headline.

    First and foremost, the Apple Watch must be a “turkey.” Unfortunately the reasons are incoherent, such as referring to “useful apps that can be easily accessed on the phone…”

    Continue Reading...

    The “Never Say Never” Report

    November 25th, 2015

    Reading the tea leaves around the Apple universe is pretty common. All sorts of rumors arise, and some of them are even true. One sure source of bits and pieces about future Apple gear is the supply chain, at least for those who have access. It’s been shown that it’s near impossible to keep everything hidden, despite Apple’s efforts to shut down leaks.

    So before a new iPhone, or a new iPad, or a new Mac arrives, the outlines of the new product will usually be known, more or less. Sure, the fine details, such as processor speeds and other hardware attributes, may be a secret. Special features may not be fully fleshed out, but there’s enough solid information to feed fairly accurate speculation.

    Less so are details about products that are all new and not refreshes. The new Mac Pro managed to escape detailed speculation largely because it is being built in the U.S. and thus managed to avoid the usual supply chain chitchat.

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    The Apple Car and Reality

    November 24th, 2015

    This may come as a surprise to some of you, particularly if you’ve purchased a new car in recent years in the U.S. But the average age of a car on the road is 11.5 years. That means that it would be a 2003 or 2004 model, such as the VW Passat GLX I once owned. To me that would be a pretty old car, ready for retirement, but I suppose I’m out of touch.

    Indeed, Chris O’Brien, my co-host on The Paracast, the other day bemoaned the fact that he has a 10-year-old car, but that’s not at all unusual. Now if the vehicle is in a pretty good state of repair, you can probably get a great deal if you decide to buy one of those cars, since depreciation is no longer much of a factor in the purchase price. Indeed a key reason that cars hang on that long without breaking down is due to improved reliability. It’s no longer unusual for vehicles to deliver far more than 100,000 miles of relatively trouble-free service.

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    Newsletter Issue #834: Apple TV — What’s the End Game?

    November 23rd, 2015

    Before the fourth generation Apple TV arrived last month, there were huge expectations. While the previous versions of the Apple TV were about testing the waters, the reason the product was referred to as a “hobby,” the 2015 version was supposed to be daringly different. This was the one that Apple was expected to use as the basis for conquering the living room.

    Certainly Tim Cook’s statements fueled expectations. He would regularly denigrate the current living room entertainment experience, although he wasn’t terribly specific as to what was wrong. So leave it to Apple to devise a solution that would overhaul the TV industry, or at least that’s what you might have expected.

    When Steve Jobs said, as quoted in Walter Isaacson’s authorized biography, that Apple had cracked the secret of the best TV interface ever, it was widely believed that a brand new smart TV was on the horizon. The tech industry was clearly spooked, and one of the larger PC makers even announced a TV, presumably in response. It’s not as if this Lenovo TV concept over made it to market, however.

    Continue Reading…