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    DOWNLOAD: On this week's all-star episode, we talk about Apple's June quarter financials. Some pundits say the numbers were "meh," while others say they were pretty decent overall. One respected industry outlet, however, erroneously reported that Mac sales were down in the U.S., whereas Apple reported that they increased in the double-digits. So we try to separate fact from fiction. We'll also discuss the Apple/IBM marketing deal, the OS X Yosemite Public Beta, which was released to up to one million Mac users on July 24, and some of the possibilities for new gear from Apple this fall.

    Our guests include Adam Engst, of TidBITS and Take Control Books, and Jeff Gamet, Managing Editor for The Mac Observer.

    Click to hear our latest episode: The Tech Night Owl Live — July 26, 2014

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

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    New Mac Updates: Worth the Bother?

    July 31st, 2014

    Apple is between a rock and a hard place and it's all Intel's fault. Yes, it was the right thing to cast its lot with Intel when PowerPC processor development stalled. The Mac was falling behind Windows PCs, and the promised G5 chip for notebooks never arrived. And I haven't begun to mention those Power Mac G5s that required liquid cooling because they ran so hot.

    So when the first Macs with Intel Inside appeared in 2006, it was a revelation. Performance improved at a good clip, and the teething problems were few. The worst issue for most was the tendency for those first MacBook Pro notebooks to run too hot.

    In recent years, though, performance improvements for Intel chips have been modest. Sure, Intel's slow integrated graphics have become less slow and are pretty decent overall, but the largest change was improved power efficiency. That has allowed for all-day service on Apple's notebooks without having to plug them in.

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    The Apple/Samsung Patent Wars: A Dose of Sanity?

    July 30th, 2014

    So it’s clear that Apple’s ongoing patent war with Samsung, though it has brought some victories, hasn’t actually accomplished anything except create legal bills and enrich the lawyers. The same Samsung gear is being sold, and the company has yet to pay anything to Apple despite being penalized to the tune $929 million as the result of two losses in a California courtroom.. At the end of the day, it doesn’t seem as if an awful lot has been accomplished.

    So in the most recent filing, Apple has decided to drop the cross-appeal of the final judgment from California Federal Judge Lucy Koh, which means in plain English that they aren’t going to seek a ban of Samsung gear. The cross-appeal had been filed because Judge Koh continued to deny the motion to halt the sale of some 23 Samsung devices.

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    The OS X and iOS Integration Freakout

    July 29th, 2014

    In recent years, Apple has turned topsy-turvy for long-time Mac users. Whereas the Mac used to be the cash cow, now it's relegated to third-rate status, just behind the iPad when it comes to quarterly revenues. So there's been the wrongheaded perception that Apple doesn't care about Macs anymore, and would just as well have you switch to an iPhone or an iPad and be done with it.

    As a practical matter, Apple has been selling more than four million Macs per quarter in recent years, which is quite enough to sustain a sizable business. Lots of companies would love to earn a fraction of what Apple pulls in from Macs. Besides, with double-digit sales growth, there's little incentive to give up on the platform. Indeed, the Mac was the surprising winner in the June quarter.

    The iPod? Well, that's another matter, although Apple is selling enough to a smaller market to keep them in production.

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    Newsletter Issue #765: Is Apple Gaining Traction on Wall Street?

    July 28th, 2014

    After Apple allegedly missed estimates that ten million copies of the iPhone 5 would be sold over the first weekend it went on sale in 2012 — they only managed five million, which was a record for the industry — Apple's stock price began to take a battering. Every perceived miss from inflated expectations brought new rounds of criticism that something was amiss in Cupertino, CA.

    A lot of the criticism centered on Tim Cook and his alleged inability to focus on developing fabulous new products. Forgetting the trendsetting Mac Pro, first announced at the 2013 WWDC, everything Apple did was iterative. Although it normally took at least several years for Apple to have a breakthrough product, suddenly it had to happen every week.

    If Cook failed to deliver on these insane expectations, that was his fault pure and simple and he must pay for this alleged evidence of abject incompetence. A 64-bit ARM-based processor? Smoke and mirrors because it didn't offer any advantage with low-resource mobile apps, despite evidence to the contrary. Touch ID? Well, Apple's fingerprint sensor wasn't exactly perfect, so it should have been tested and fixed before release. And don't get me started with Apple's Maps.

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