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    DOWNLOAD — GCN Version: We present columnist and podcaster Kirk McElhearn, also known as Macworld’s “iTunes Guy.” During this session, Gene will tell Kirk about the free Internet service he’s received and how its speed and reliability compare to the service you have to pay for. Kirk will discuss his article on the iPhone’s schizophrenic store numbers, where you get different figures on how much space you have available on your device. He’ll also talk about mastering and remastering techniques for music recordings.

    You’ll also hear from commentator Bryan Chaffin, co-founder and co-publisher of The Mac Observer. Bryan will talk about the information leaks from the supply chain and what they might tell you about forthcoming Apple gear, whether there is reason to freak out over reports Apple plans to ditch the headphone jack on the next iPhone, incremental improvements in battery technology, his concerns over the lack of a Mac Pro refresh since 2013, and possible Apple products in the future and how they might be even more significant than Apple’s present-day gear, including the Mac and the iPhone.

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    Was This the Worst Phone Menu Nightmare Ever?

    August 26th, 2016

    Before the merger between AT&T and the largest satellite service, DirecTV, was approved by the U.S. Department of Justice and the FCC, they added the usual terms and conditions that would cover the deal. Most probably won’t concern you. Unfortunately, I don’t think any of those terms and conditions covered customer support and phone menus. Or at least if it did, something is very wrong here.

    That leads me to a long and annoying encounter with DirecTV support that consumed two hours of my time; time that I hoped to mostly devote to editing one of my radio shows.

    Let me back up a bit. As many of you know, I moved into a new home this week. One of the advantages of this place is free entry-level broadband Internet (15 megabits down, 3 megabits up) and a midrange Dish Network package that is provided to all residents courtesy of a firm known as accessmedia3. But let me amend that: You still have to pay for the cable box, with extra charges for DVR and HD and, if you want the option, premium channels such as Showtime.

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    The iPhone 7 Headphone Jack Controversy

    August 25th, 2016

    People outside of Apple frequently criticize the company and what it’s doing. That’s perfectly acceptable. Whatever Apple does is ripe for the picking, even if the brickbats are totally unfair. That’s to be expected.

    Some of those criticisms come from people that gain credibility because of a past association with Apple. A key example is the other co-founder, Steve Wozniak. So if the Woz says something, anything, it gets headlines as if it’s something credible. After all, here’s someone who was there at the beginning, who evidently still derives a paycheck from Apple, and evidently doesn’t set off alarm bells for violating confidentiality requirements.

    Now to put things in perspective, the Woz basically left Apple in 1981, after he sustained serious injuries in a plane crash. A rich man, he decided it was time to go.

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    Microsoft and Stupidity

    August 24th, 2016

    Let’s put this in perspective; In July of 2015, Microsoft made a solid effort to rid itself of the stench of Windows 8 and 8.1. Windows 10 was meant to embrace all the cool new technologies, including convertible notebooks and smartphones. Smartphones? Well, yes, after everything else failed, Windows 10 was meant to work on all computing devices.

    Microsoft also hoped to establish a huge online Windows Store in the spirit of the App Store. But Microsoft no doubt realized customers would be skeptical, so they made Windows 10 free for customers to build a large user base. Businesses who paid annual support contacts, which include all Windows updates, would continue to pay.

    In any case, after a short flurry of early adopters, the upgrade pace slowed as the fall and winter of 2015 approached. Now I can’t say that I have any deep insights into Microsoft’s corporate decision-making process. But somewhere something stupid happened. Maybe it was part of the desperation to move things along, and so a few shortcuts were taken, shortcuts that stretched the bounds of legality.

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    Some Thoughts about macOS Sierra

    August 23rd, 2016

    Since the middle of June, Mac developers have had the chance to pound on betas of Apple’s operating systems to find bugs and make sure their products are compatible. The public got their chance a couple of weeks later with macOS Sierra and iOS 10. All told, more than a million have had their chance to see what Apple is working on, and there’s been plenty of coverage.

    Let’s hope Apple pays attention to all that user feedback they must be receiving.

    It’s unfortunate that a few have treated these betas as final releases in the way they cover them. The bugs, of which there are plenty, are described in exquisite detail, and Apple is criticized for their lapses. Forgotten is the fact that prerelease software is apt to have lots of problems, and the purpose of a beta is to iron out as many as possible, with the emphasis on things that can cause crashes, data loss and poor performance.

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