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    Coming December 3: We feature commentator John Martellaro, Senior Editor, Analysis & Reviews for The Mac Observer. His bill of fare includes the “tribal warfare” that often surrounds the Apple ecosystem, the difficulties in “extracting truth” from Apple, along with how the company has been blindsided by such products as the Microsoft Surface Stereo all-in-one desktop and HP’s Z2 Mini Workstation; the latter is designed to compete as a higher-end alternative to the Mac mini. John will also focus on Apple’s mistakes in releasing a fourth-generation Apple TV set-top box without such key features as 4K and HDR support, comping at a time when 4K TVs are really taking off.

    You’ll also hear from outspoken columnist and podcaster Kirk McElhearn, also known as Macworld’s “iTunes Guy.” Gene and Kirk begin the discussion covering the so-called resurgence of vinyl, and Gene’s personal experiences listening to some of the most famous recordings on the cheap record player his parents bought him. The two also provide a no-nonsense look at the real differences between analog and digital. Kirk moves into rant mode as he complains about the delays in shipping the Late 2016 MacBook Pro and the fact that, except for a brief period, the LG 5K display that was supposed to accompany Apple’s upgraded notebooks was not available to order. Kirk calls it “bait and switch.”

    Click to hear our latest episode: The Tech Night Owl Live — November 26, 2016

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    The Bug That Can Wreck a MacBook Pro’s Hardware

    December 2nd, 2016

    We all know about software bugs that can cause creates, the failure of apps to launch, and sometimes booting problems. Eventually the developer or the hardware company will, one hopes, come out with a fix that will set things right. Well, more or less, because bug fixes sometimes make things worse, or do not fix the problem they were supposed to fix.

    You would assume — or hope — that the bug itself is not going to damage your hardware. But that may not be quite true when it comes to the Late 2016 MacBook Pro. And therein lies a tale.

    So shortly after the product began shipping in reasonable quantities, some users reported problems with the enhanced stereo speakers. So one or both speakers would suddenly produce a crackling or distorted sound. The previously high volume level was not so high. Not good, and once it started, it wouldn’t go away. You actually needed to have Apple replace the unit. It’s not that you can easily swap out the speakers.

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    Analyzing Apple from the Sidelines

    December 1st, 2016

    You’ve heard all this before: There’s an article in a certain online publication that pretends to analyze Apple under Tim Cook and Jonathan Ive and reach conclusions about the company’s future. There’s a lot nuance as to what they believe Apple is doing or not doing, but, obviously, real facts are scarce. It’s not as if Apple gives very much information about its future plans.

    True, when new products are released, there may be some carefully curated background information. So we know that it took two years to create the Touch Bar for the new MacBook Pro. On the other hand, that may be, in whole or part, very much about corporate spin, to tell a good story in order to make the product seem more attractive. Or just to create an air of magic around the design process. But since nothing can be verified, how are we to know what really happened? It’s not as if selected members of the media were allowed to document the process with video on the promise not to talk about it till the products were released.

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    The Glass Houses Report

    November 30th, 2016

    Both Apple and Google have app stores. Big app stores, with millions of titles available for download or purchase and download. Although Apple had the lead out of the starting gate, Google is somewhat ahead of Apple now with 2.4 million offerings in the Google Play store as of September of this year. In contrast, two million items were listed at the App Store as of June, so perhaps Apple has caught up since then.

    However, Apple developers appear to earn far more money. The total payouts are said to be $50 billion as of the June WWDC. But those numbers include all sales since 2008, when the App Store debuted.

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    Apple Losing its Luster? Not Yet!

    November 29th, 2016

    When Apple first announced that iPhone sales had dipped in the March quarter, you can bet that the critics were salivating. After predicting doom and gloom for the company for so many years, maybe they weren’t crying wolf after all. Maybe the iPhone would lose sales big time, and become a niche product in the marketplace. Is Apple fated to become the next BlackBerry?

    All right, that’s pushing it.

    But it’s really easy to talk about crumbling demand for iPhones — and Macs for that matter — considering recent declines in sales. And don’t forget the iPad. Aren’t tablets passé?

    Such “nasty” details may seem to verify the claims from some so-called industry analysts and tech pundits who always seem to find excuses to demonstrate that Apple is doing something wrong, and that the company’s leadership, particularly CEO Tim Cook, just isn’t smart enough to figure it all out and do what they really want Apple to do. Besides, isn’t he the operations guy? What business does he have leading a company that relies on cutting-edge innovation?

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