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    DOWNLOAD: On this week's all-star episode, we welcome columnist Dan Frakes, a former Macworld editor, who discusses the decision to discontinue the print edition of the oldest Mac magazine, and to put the Macworld / iWorld conference on "hiatus." He'll also discuss current Apple issues, such as iOS 8 and Yosemite.

    You'll also hear from security expert Alain Ghiai, CEO of DigitalSafe, who focuses on smartphone safety and whether Americans should be concerned over the government's claimed right to "break down the doors" to our digital privacy. He'll also discuss the company's encrypted cloud storage system, which is based in Switzerland.

    Our final segment features commentator Jeff Gamet, Managing Editor for The Mac Observer. His bill of fare includes the possible reasons that iPad sales are flagging, the disconnected coverage of the goings on at Apple, the prospects for the Apple Watch and how it sucked the air out of the smartwatch market for this holiday season. He'll also comment briefly on Microsoft Windows 10, which is currently available as a Technical Preview.

    Click to hear our latest episode: The Tech Night Owl Live — October 25, 2014

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


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    So Much for Samsung!

    October 31st, 2014

    For quite some time now, members of the media have proclaimed Samsung the indisputable winner of the smartphone wars, the veritable king of the hill. Apple was doomed to niche status, so might as well get ready for the PC and Mac wars revisited. You know, that's when Microsoft cemented its leadership long ago, and Apple was consigned, forever they believed, to niche status with tiny single figure market shares.

    Yes, Apple's worldwide Mac market share is still in the single digits, but the figure has now returned to levels not seen since 1995, before Windows 95 essentially took over the PC market for most people.

    But it's time for a reality check in the mobile business. In recent quarters, the conventional wisdom about a victorious Samsung has been turned on its ear. Big sales, sure, but wait!

    Continue Reading...


    Yosemite Ongoing: Only Minor Glitches

    October 30th, 2014

    Usually when Apple releases a new OS, there are loads of problems that require a fast maintenance update. This was very much true with iOS 8, where Apple released 8.0.1, with a buggy "wrapper" that was killed in about an hour and replaced with 8.0.2, with a fixed wrapper, the following day. With iOS 8.1 things appear to have settled down for the most part. But the adoption rate, over 50%, continues to trail iOS 7 and even iOS 6. But it may not be the early-release bugs, which plagued the older releases too, but rather the difficulty in doing in-device upgrades on gear with limited storage.

    With OS X Yosemite, Apple opened the beta process to over one million Mac users. Yes, there was a supposed limit of just a million, but I never heard of anyone being turned away. You just needed an Apple ID account, a heartbeat, approval of the non-disclosure agreement, and be good to go.

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    The iOS 8.1 Follies

    October 29th, 2014

    Apple's critics want to tell you that iOS 8 and the iOS 8.1 updates are seriously flawed, that maybe it was a rush job. Besides, aren't people avoiding that update in droves? So how can the company continue to proclaim it a success? After all, the infamous Steve Jobs "reality distortion field" is gone, kaput.

    The reality is rather more complicated, and I won't gloss over legitimate issues. So there's the adoption curve, which lagged seriously behind iOS 7 and to a lesser degree compared to iOS 6. Of course iOS 6 had its own problems, most particularly the seriously flawed release of Maps. In apologizing for that buggy release, Tim Cook even recommended that you try someone else's Maps app, even Google's. Oh the indignity of it all!

    Of course, the worst problems with Maps have once since been fixed. The most important limitation appears to be the lack of direct support to public transit systems. Now you are directed to a third-party app, but I doubt that's forever.

    Continue Reading...


    The “Products to Compete With” Report

    October 28th, 2014

    So there are reports this week that Amazon, stung by the abject failure of the costly Fire Phone, is back to selling cheap. There is now the low-end $39 Fire TV Stick, yet another TV streaming appliance that's designed to compete with the Google Chromecast. It's marketed directly against the Chromecast with the claim of having four times the storage and twice the memory.

    To boost initial demand and sales, Amazon Prime members, who pay $99 per year and up for free two-day shipping on many products and free Amazon Prime Instant Video streaming, get a $20 discount. Well, at least through Wednesday. I suppose in the scheme of things spending $19 on a small electronic gadget might be a pretty casual purchase.

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