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    DOWNLOAD — GCN Version: On this week’s all-star episode, we feature columnist and author Josh Centers, Managing Editor for TidBITS, and author of “Take Control of Apple TV” and other titles. During this session, Josh dips into the status of Apple Pay and compares it with Walmart Pay. And what happened to the Apple Pay rival, CurrentC, which Walmart and other vendors had been testing? You’ll also hear Josh’s reaction to the iOS 10 beta, and what he regards as the best features. Both iOS 10 and macOS Sierra are being made available as public betas for download by Apple customers.

    You’ll also hear from commentator Bryan Chaffin, co-founder and co-publisher of The Mac Observer. He’ll focus on a report that scientists are attempting to use a 3D printer to match the fingerprints of a deceased person in order to open a protected smartphone. It’s not stated whether this is an iPhone, which sets a 48-hour limit for fingerprint access before requiring a passcode. Bryan will also talk about rumors that Apple is ditching the old fashioned headphone jack on the next iPhone in place of using the Lightning port and an adapter. You’ll also hear about reports that Apple has delayed production of an Apple Car until 2021, the potential downsides of self-driving, and about a curious statement about Apple from BlackBerry CEO John S. Chen.

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    Newsletter Issue #869: About the Alleged Failure of the Apple Watch

    July 25th, 2016

    Perhaps the biggest source of suspicion about the potential success of the Apple Watch is the fact that Apple won’t reveal how many have been sold. It is placed in the “Other Products” category, so its level of success has to be inferred as a percentage of total sales. It does allow for rough estimates that may not be far off the mark, but it also fuel’s the complaints that it can’t be doing so well because Apple is keeping the numbers close to its vest.

    That was a decision made early on, however, before a single unit was sold. Did Apple expect a failure out of the starting gate, or expect it would take several years to deliver meaningful results? Or maybe none of the above.

    If you can believe the estimates, however, the Apple Watch is still far and away the number one smartwatch on the planet. Well, maybe sales have declined in the last quarter compared to the competition, but that, too, is a guess. Besides, competing companies are more into shipping loads of product to present the facade of high sales, even though actual sales to real customers are far lower.

    Continue Reading…


    Apple’s Competition and iPhone 7 Rumors

    July 22nd, 2016

    It’s a sure thing that, over the next few weeks, you will be reading more and more about the presumed iPhone 7. There have been plenty of rumors already, but one expects they’ll all coalesce into something close to the final product. It would be the result of the fact that it’s probably already in the early stages of production since it’s probably no more than two months from going on sale.

    As a result, it’s easy to give those rumors credibility, and there are some that appear to be consistent.

    So the next iPhone will allegedly come free of that old fashioned headphone jack. The 3.5mm jack dates back to the 1950s, when it first appeared in those small transistor radios. But the technology itself, based on the quarter-inch phone jack, was invented in the late 19th century. It would stand to reason, by logic alone, that it’s time for it to go.

    Continue Reading...


    A Tricky Poll with Tricky Results

    July 21st, 2016

    You can use a poll to prove mostly anything you want. One way is to choose participants that would tend to favor the point of view you want to convey. So a poll meant to show a Republican candidate in the U.S. as having an advantage in an election might choose sneak more Republicans into the sampling pool to get the answer they want. Or perhaps add some Democrats who occasionally vote for a Republican with certain political leanings.

    The sampling can be manipulated any way you like if you want to deceive.

    Another way is to ask questions in a way that favors the point of view you want to convey. This may be done by asserting something that may or may not be true, such as claiming that someone is known to lie, and then asking if you’lle believe them on one issue or another.

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    The Never-Ending Mechanical Hard Drive

    July 20th, 2016

    When I brought a Mac into my home in 1989, after using one for several years at the office, I thought I had a truly high-end computer. It had chosen a Macintosh IIcx. Released that year, it sat just below the Macintosh IIx in the lineup, but was relatively affordable as Macs went, at least in those days. I equipped it with a 100MB Rodime hard drive which cost, all by its lonesome, $1,200. In passing, I see you can still buy one, in 2016, for $126.95 from a dealer. I suppose there are people with ancient computers who need new drives.

    The entire system, with an Apple laser printer, came to $14,000 even with a discount. I leased the system, but how things have changed!

    Continue Reading...