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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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    Apple’s Patch Monday: All Problems Resolved?

    July 19th, 2016

    As development continues on fall’s OS updates, Apple hasn’t stopped working to improve the current versions. So on Monday, expected updates appeared for OS X version 10.11.6, iOS version 9.3.3, watchOS 2.2.2, and tvOS 9.2.1. All told, Apple has been busy, and it’s interesting how these were all timed to appear around the same time.

    The cynics might suggest that Apple set a hard-wired deadline, and fixed what it could before the deadline arrived. Fixes that didn’t make the cut might be pushed off to the future or, if not significant, perhaps set aside for the fall upgrades. But maybe I’m just guessing in light of how well the signs aligned in delivering these updaters.

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    Newsletter Issue #868: A Return to the Thin Client as a PC Alternative

    July 18th, 2016

    Once upon a time, the computer placed on the desk of the typical employee in a large company wasn’t a PC at all. It consisted of a simple terminal, no local storage, providing just enough processing power to run a display with decent performance. The main computer was a mainframe placed in a special room or datacenter, managed by a team of system admins, and each terminal was connected via a physical cable. After all, this was long before the advent of Wi-Fi.

    Over the years, most computing systems became independent, fully-capable machines that might still depend on a single network for data. The connection might still consist of a cable, but more often has become wireless, since performance may no longer be all that different.

    With the growth of cloud-based services, most anyone can utilize an online network for data storage, rather than just email or web access. Apple’s iCloud Drive, Google Drive, and Microsoft One Drive, are key examples of interactive online storage systems that can serve as extensions to your computer’s storage device in extending its capabilities, and perhaps as a potential replacement.

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    Office for Mac 2016 Preview: New Looks Without Much Substance

    July 17th, 2016

    So Microsoft has amply demonstrated that the company is not ignoring the Mac any longer. On Thursday, the first Office for Mac 2016 Preview appeared, with new versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, One Note and Outlook. Since a complete preview of Office 2016 for Windows has yet to show up, it does seem as if we’re at platform parity after all these years. Indeed, Microsoft is at last paying more attention to other platforms, witness the release of Office for iPad some time back, and a public preview of Office for Android, and there’s not a touch version of Office for Windows out quite yet.

    I gather Microsoft’s new marketing plan is to accept Office 365 subscriptions regardless of platform, so long as the money is good. But the Office for Mac beta is free, and you’ll get free updates until it’s released; it’ll expire 30 days later. After that, the final version will require an Office 365 subscription, or a regular software license.

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    Seeking Longer iPhone Battery Life

    July 15th, 2016

    There’s a decent market out there for add-on battery cases that extend the life of your iPhone’s battery. One example is a Mophie Juice Pack. So for an extra $99.95, you can essentially get twice as much. Instead of managing 10-12 hours of Internet use on the iPhone 6s, you can get up to 24 hours. Even the latter may not be enough, since you’d have to recharge both batteries to start over ready to go for another day.

    Now comparing battery life with other smartphones may be difficult. Some manufacturers use the specs that seem most favorable. So Samsung claims up to 22 hours of 3G talk time for the Galaxy S7, which may really happen if you do nothing else while talking, and that includes such tasks as checking your email and using Safari. In contrast, Apple claims up to 14 hours of 3G talk time on the iPhone 6s and up to 24 hours of 3G talk time on the iPhone 6s Plus. Apple is also better about actually meeting specs in real world tests than Samsung.

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