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    A PREMIUM TECH NIGHT OWL LIVE EXPERIENCE! Welcome to Tech Night Owl+! For a low monthly or annual subscription fee, you will receive access to an ad-free higher-resolution version of The Tech Night Owl LIVE and other exclusive content. For more information and simple signup instructions, click here.

    DOWNLOAD — GCN Version: On this week’s all-star episode, we present commentator and columnist Rob Pegoraro, who writes for USA Today, Yahoo Tech and Wirecutter, who discusses, at length, the new wireless data plans from AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile, and why “unlimited” data plans are actually not quite “unlimited.” He’ll also talk about the issues involved with municipal broadband, why “everybody is getting hacked,” and the Microsoft’s Windows 10 Anniversary Update. Now that it’s no longer free, is it worth the upgrade price? What about Microsoft’s shady efforts to force people to upgrade when it was available at no cost to customers?

    You’ll also hear from Jeff Gamet, Managing Editor for The Mac Observer. In a special pop culture segment, Gene and Jeff will discuss the plans for a musical episode of two of The CW’s super hero shows, “Supergirl” and “The Flash.” Jeff will continue to express his concerns about the different DC Comics “universes” on TV and the movies. This is where there are different actors playing such characters as Superman and The Flash. Jeff will also talk about Uber’s project to establish a self-driving ride-sharing system and the new efforts to fight spam robocalls by Apple, Google and the FCC.

    Click to hear our latest episode: The Tech Night Owl Live — August 20, 2016

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    Android, Security and Failed Promises

    August 18th, 2016

    Every year or so, Google promises to make the Android update system more reliable. As it is, when an OS update is posted, there is no guarantee your Android smartphone will ever receive it. Sure, if you own a Nexus device, it should arrive, eventually, but otherwise you may be left waiting and waiting.

    Suppose there’s a critical security bug. Google does its due diligence, confirms the bug and releases an update. For those not using a Nexus device, the update goes to the handset manufacturer, not the end user. The manufacturer, in turn, has to decide to push it. So they will integrate it with their own customized junkware. Once that’s done, it goes to the carrier, who may have its own junkware collection and its own agenda.

    But once they sell you a phone and a service plan, there’s little incentive to provide ongoing support. Better you buy more hardware. Worse, buying a new Android handset may still saddle you with a fairly old OS.

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    Tim Cook and Photo Ops

    August 17th, 2016

    At one time, Apple CEO Tim Cook was regarded as the man behind the scenes. But in the last year or two, he’s become quite the public personality, appearing on late night TV shows, financial news networks, and the U.S. Congress. That’s quite an achievement for someone who used to be the supply chain guy who usually made music with numbers.

    At first, Cook’s presentations at Apple keynotes seemed amateurish, the slow delivery with the gentle southern drawl seemed awkward at best. But with experience — and no doubt lots of practice — he has become effective and sincere. Not that he deviates from Apple’s marketing message, but he delivers his spiel in a warm, friendly fashion, thus seeming quite credible overall.

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    The Mac Betting Pool

    August 16th, 2016

    If you’ve purchased a Mac in recent years, you may have considered buying the latest and greatest. But it doesn’t seem as if much has changed. While the iPhone of every other year looks different, Apple can keep the same Mac form factor for years before it changes. If you bought a 2010 MacBook Air, you may wonder how it differs from the current model, released in 2015. I mean, they do look the same and all, aside from the near-microscopic lettering on the bottom, although the specs have been beefed up substantially.

    That’s certainly one of the shortcomings of Apple’s Mac upgrade cycles and the labeling strategy. You cannot easily detect what model Mac you have unless you consult About This Mac to see. Or you have a good pair of reading glasses to help you check the underside labeling. Even then you have to translate the model or serial number.

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    The ABCS of Becoming a Successful Online Gamer

    August 15th, 2016

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    Playing online for real money might seem an easy task, but it involves a lot of things you have to keep a lookout for. If you plan to make your first foray into this unique form of online entertainment, you have to make sure you don’t run into issues that will ruin the whole experience for you. Online gaming is supposed to be fun, after all, not just something to swallow your cents and leave you with a bad taste in your mouth. These tips will help you take your first steps in this amazing world of games, glitter, and (possibly) big wins.

    A stands for Advice

    When looking for a gaming outlet, it’s best to take a look at what other users are saying about it — and take their advice. User opinions are (usually) not paid for, but written to help others take the right decision — or warn them before they take the wrong one. There are quite a few online sources where you can find unbiased reviews of online gaming outlets, with true opinions posted by real players. Read them, and keep them in mind when choosing your gaming destination.

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