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    Coming November 29: On this week's all-star episode, we present prominent tech blogger Dann Berg, who discusses the potential dangers of artificial intelligence, such as those voiced by entrepreneur Elon Musk. You'll also hear Dann's views about Bitcoin, the iPhone 6, and whether sales of the new, larger iPhones are cannibalizing sales of the iPad.

    You'll also hear from commentator Jeff Gamet, Managing Editor for The Mac Observer, who offers his outspoken views about the complaints voiced about iTunes 12, and the controversy over iMessages, where people who switch from iPhones to other mobile platforms suddenly find their messages aren't working. He'll also discuss Apple's recent failed attempt to fund a sapphire planet in Mesa, Arizona, and the issues that have apparently slowed sales if iPads.

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    Newsletter Issue #782: Taking a Third Look at the iPad

    November 24th, 2014

    Those of you who have followed these columns in recent years know that I have never really warmed up to the iPad. Perhaps it's just me, or my age showing, but I'm perfectly comfortable doing all of my major production work, such as audio editing, on my Mac. Trying to do the same on an iPad becomes a chore.

    Now it may be the result of the fact that the apps on which I depend have no iOS equivalents. For basic audio editing, I use Amadeus Pro and Sound Studio. I call upon ID3 Editor to insert tags in the podcast versions of my radio shows, Transmit to send the files to my server, and Feeder to post updates to iTunes, Facebook, Twitter and other services. I have since added Join Together to help prepare high resolution ad-free versions of the shows for the new premium or "plus" services.

    There are no doubt better apps to be found, but these work for me. I am productive and quite fast at what I do. So why do I need to force a change? Besides, integrating this workflow in basically a single app environment on an iPad would sharply reduce productivity. Since the work goes slower, so why should I force the issue? True, I might be more encouraged if Apple would release side-by-side multitasking for iOS.

    Continue Reading…

    The Ministry of Short Memories

    November 21st, 2014

    I remember it well. Apple released a spanking new OS. As soon as people started to install it, the complaints come in, lots of them. It's unstable, this, that or the other thing doesn't work. Why can't I just go back to the previous OS?

    What's wrong with Apple anyway? Why is the quality going downhill? Is Apple on its last legs?

    Now it so happens that I'm actually writing about Mac OS 7.5.1, sometimes known as System 7.5 Update 1.0, which was released in March 1995. It was replaced that summer with 7.5.2, said to be more stable, and later by a more unified release, 7.5.3, which ran on both regular and PowerPC Macs.

    Continue Reading...

    Reporters or Copy Machines

    November 20th, 2014

    One quick way to pad content in an online or print publication is to publish someone's press release. Sure, it may be adapted slightly to create the veneer of original reporting, but at its heart it's just someone's publicity spiel.

    It may come from a politician, a government agency, a company, or any individual. But a press release is still a press release. It is not necessarily the truth, and is often just a sales pitch.

    Sure, there's nothing wrong with a press release, and getting coverage is the goal, but does that mean that the media should print them with little or no changes? What about some background perspective, second opinions, alternate points of view? What about a few terms and conditions, such as "reportedly" or "allegedly"?

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    Be Dumb, Be Very Dumb!

    November 19th, 2014

    It almost boggles the mind to realize that an article with a headline praising the OS X 10.10.1 update is essentially not much more than yet another an ill-informed attack against Apple. It almost seems as if the stock words were "borrowed" from other critical rants, and somehow strung together incoherently to express a point that is about as far from reality as you can get.

    I won't give you the link. The author in question, writing for a major web portal, doesn't deserve the hits. But if you happen across the piece by accident, you will likely agree with me that it's tragically misinformed.

    It starts with the claim that Apple's updates have become "Windows-esque," as if Apple never before had problems with initial OS releases. Never! Well, hardly ever because it's just not so. This argument is in keeping with the common meme that Apple's software quality has declined since Cook over because he's the supply side person who focuses mostly on hardware. Well, he doesn't actually design hardware, and you can't go to Asia to find component parts for an operating system obviously.

    Continue Reading...