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    DOWNLOAD — GCN Version: Featured on this episode is columnist Rob Pegoraro, who writes for USA Today, Yahoo Tech and Wirecutter. He’ll discuss what’s expected from Apple’s October 27, 2016 media event, rumored to focus on new Macs, and what might come from it. He’ll also offer his personal experiences with macOS Sierra, cybersecurity and the recent hack of Democratic emails, posted in WikiLeaks, which has become a campaign issue, and tech policy and the election. Rob will also talk about the Pixel, Phone by Google, and its prospects.

    You’ll also hear from  Jeff Gamet, Managing Editor for The Mac Observer. He’ll join Gene in a brief pop culture discussion, comparing the two visions of DC Comics, and whether the more optimistic TV version is a better fit for super hero fans than the dour movie version. The discussion will move to the prospects for the Apple Car, and whether the focus will be on creating a new car or offering a turnkey solution for autonomous driving to be licensed to car makers. Jeff will also talk about the prospects for new Macs at Apple’s media event, expectations for a refreshed MacBook Pro, and the possible fates of two models that haven’t been updated in a while. So will there be a refreshed Mac mini, and what’s going to happen to the Mac Pro? And what about the failure of the Samsung Galaxy Note 7, and shouldn’t the company take a few lessons on corporate damage control?

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    Is the End of the Mac Drought Near?

    October 19th, 2016

    There are certain media outlets that are well-connected when it comes to Apple. So when Re/code reported that Apple plans to hold a media event on Thursday, October 27th, presumably to launch new Macs, you can probably take it to the bank. Indeed, that’s as late as it can get to announce Mac upgrades and have them ship before the end of the month or early in November. This explains why the date for the release of Apple’s September quarter financials was moved to October 25th.

    In any case, the official invitations went out to selected media outlets on Wednesday. Is the announcement, bearing the phrase, “hello again,” a reminder that Apple hasn’t given up Macs? Clearly it’s a smaller event, since it’ll occur at the Apple Campus.

    Continue Reading...

    The Apple Car May Never Be

    October 18th, 2016

    Apple’s participation in the auto business has been on a fairly basic level. With CarPlay, you can “play” or stream some apps from your iPhone onto your vehicle’s infotainment system. While you can keep tabs on email and other messages, it works best with mapping and music. Unfortunately, it’s also somewhat awkward to use, because you have to connect your iPhone to the auto’s USB port with a lightning cable.

    I’ve had limited opportunities to use CarPlay, since a couple of friends have new cars that support the system. But to be fair to everyone, car makers generally also support Google’s competitor, Android Auto, which is meant to offer similar features.

    Eventually, you’ll be free of the need for cabling. Beginning in 2017, the BMW 5 Series sedan will support the wireless version of CarPlay. But it’s an expensive alternative, since the 5 Series usually costs upwards of $50,000 unless your dealer is offering a smokin’ deal.

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    Newsletter Issue #881: What About Smoke Signals?

    October 17th, 2016

    Whenever I read about yet another hack of an email or credit card system, I wonder about the price of almost constant online access and what we have to give up when it comes expectations of privacy. It almost seems as if nothing is safe regardless of what you do.

    So I wasn’t too surprised to read that some 500 million Yahoo email accounts have been hacked. Unfortunately, it doesn’t appear that Yahoo bothered to disclose the extent of this massive intrusion to the executives at Verizon who were doing their due diligence in advance of acquiring the company. Does that mean that Verizon is going to abandon this deal? Probably not, although they might demand some financial concessions.

    Now as many of you know, I do have email accounts with a some of the larger fee services, and I quickly took the appropriate steps to protect my Yahoo account. I do notice that you can take advantage of two-factor authentication, which means that you need to authenticate with two systems to login. This may include a standard password — and one hopes it’s strong — and having the service send a text message to your mobile phone with an additional passcode. If you don’t successfully manage both tasks, you cannot connect to your account.

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    Revisiting the Lack of New Macs

    October 14th, 2016

    With so much time elapsing since the last appearance of an influx of new Macs, questions have arisen about Apple’s commitment to the platform. It’s made worse by published reports of an up to 13% dip on Mac sales in the September quarter. Compare that to the report that some PC makers actually reported slight increases for the same period.

    True, such numbers are estimates, and only Apple’s actual financials, to be revealed later this month, can be taken as accurate. Indeed, it’s possible the sales downturn won’t be quite as bad.

    Still why is Apple apparently losing pace against an already declining PC industry? Is there something wrong in Apple’s marketing of new Macs? Is it about the fact that Macs, even though usually better equipped, are still in the mid- or high-priced segments of the market? Should Apple be selling cheaper Macs, or is it all about the lack of recent updates?

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