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    DOWNLOAD — GCN Version: On this week’s all-star episode, we can’t escape speculation about an Apple Car. Is this something Apple is really planning, or just a bunch of assumptions based on the decision to hire car industry executives? You’ll also hear speculation about Apple’s March 9th media event, where the final details of Apple Watch will be disclosed, along with some other possible product intros. What about the potential for a larger iPad, known as iPad Pro, and can it help jumpstart moribund sales. Topics also include the FCC’s approval of a set of rules to enforce net neutrality.

    Our guests include author Bob “Dr. Mac” LeVitus, a skeptic of the possibility of an Apple Car, who also talks about his new TV show, and Jeff Gamet, Managing Editor for The Mac Observer, who asserts that his publication is on solid ground that Apple is really designing a motor vehicle that will be introduced several years from now.

    Click to hear our latest episode: The Tech Night Owl Live — February 28, 2015

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    About that Rumored Genius Bar Replacement

    February 25th, 2015

    I’m of two minds about Genius Bar. The idea is surely compelling enough to make it one of the most important features of an Apple Store. Assuming the Genius staff knows what they’re doing, which is usually the case, it gives you a way to get free hands-on help direct from Apple. You don’t have to depend on someone at a consumer electronics store who might be a dunce (all right, they’re not all dunces), and lead you astray. The Genius is trained by Apple and should be able to readily solve most routine and not-so-routine problems.

    Of course, when I call upon Apple to help, it’s anything but routine. That’s my lot in life I suppose. I also hate waiting, and even when I make an appointment, I still have to hang around for a while, and I hate sitting around and waiting. It reminds me of a doctor’s office, where the patient is seldom greeted even by the physician’s assistant at the appointed time.

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    Life Isn’t the Same Without an Apple Rumor

    February 24th, 2015

    Understand that Apple hasn’t held a press event since last October. After last month’s quarterly conference with the financial community, Tim Cook has given speeches, met with the President and granted a few interviews to friendly reporters. But it’s not that a lot of new material can be found in those statements, at least when it comes to unexpected new gadgets and services.

    Sure, we have heard about new datacenters powered by renewable energy. This will be a boon to the solar industry no doubt, and certainly it’s nice to know that there will be more employment opportunities as a result. Being able to better cope with growing online traffic will no doubt make your iCloud experiences more reliable, and maybe give Apple enough capacity to cut the price for the optional packages, but it’s not exactly a new product or service, and hence it’s not worth much in the way of a rumor.

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    Newsletter Issue #795: Junkware Goes Off the Cliff

    February 23rd, 2015

    No you might wonder just how a PC company can sell you a notebook for $400, and a desktop PC for $300 and somehow stay in business. Just what sort of components do you expect in computers that cheap, and where’s the profit? Well, it’s not that PC companies are, in general, all that profitable, except for Apple of course. Apple manages to exist in a different universe, ranging from the MacBook Air, at $899, which is in the middle of the price range, to the Mac Pro, which sells for close to $10,000 if you get carried away with the option list on a custom model. Either way, profits are exemplary.

    Well, one way the PC makers make up for the profit shortfall is to sell the desktop to third party companies. So you unpack your spanking new PC, turn it on, and you find the Windows desktop cluttered with stuff that you never ordered. It may consist of demo software, which works for a short time before you have to buy a license to keep it working. Or perhaps a six-month trial for a security app, or maybe something that’ll provide some value that you don’t quite understand.

    So it seems that Lenovo, one of the fastest growing PC makers, one of the few companies that continues to increase sales, recently installed a possibly insidious variation on the junkware theme, or did. It seemed they loaded a number of PCs with adware from a company known as Superfish. So when you visited a site in your browser, Superfish would insert itself into your request and stick some ads in there, ads that, of course, you never requested. Aren’t the targeted ads you already see online quite enough?

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    Apple Watch: A Failure, But They Can’t Stop Talking About It!

    February 20th, 2015

    It’s likely that Apple Watch sales won’t match expectations right away even though it might be hugely successful. There’s too much anticipation, and that can be a dangerous thing, though it’s likely that the initial publicity will attract early adopters. It’s also likely there will be an Apple media event late next month, or early in April, to herald its arrival, and perhaps introduce some other Apple gear.

    What other Apple gear? Well, there are reports of a 12-inch MacBook Air with Retina display and/or possibly a 12.9-inch iPad, dubbed Pro, or perhaps both. A brand new MacBook Air, however, wouldn’t warrant special event status unless the release just happened to coincide with one.

    Now there are unconfirmed claims of alleged missing features, including blood pressure and stress sensors, because they didn’t work reliably, particularly with hairy wrists or dry wrists. So we really don’t know the full bill of particulars yet. No doubt Apple is saving something for the launch event.

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