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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, cutting-edge commentator Daniel Eran Dilger, of Roughly Drafted Magazine and AppleInsider, dissects the facts about the presumed success of Google, the Android mobile platform, and Chromebooks, those cheap notebooks that are evidently selling well to K-12 school systems. Daniel asks the questions journalists seldom ask about the problems with Android, and the lack of serious new features in the latest version of the OS. He also discusses the problems Microsoft has had as it disengages itself from the failed multibillion dollar purchase of Nokia’s handset division.

    You’ll also hear from an ethical hacker, Dr. Timothy Summers, President of Summers & Company, a cyber strategy and organizational design consulting firm, who delivers an update on the Apple versus FBI controversy, where the two parties were locked in a legal battle over attempts to unlock an iPhone used in a terrorist attack. The case ended after the FBI paid over a million dollars to hackers who succeeded in breaking into the phone. He talks about Microsoft’s lawsuit agains the U.S. government over the right to inform customers when a federal agency wants to examine their emails. There’s also an extended pop culture discussion, where Dr. Summers comments on how computer hackers are portrayed in the movies and on TV, and whether those portrayals accurately reflect how these people actually do their stuff. The segment concludes with an overview of how hackers attacked the SWIFT interbank funds transfer system in an attempt to steal $100 million.

    Click to hear our latest episode: The Tech Night Owl Live — May 28, 2016

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    OS 10.12: Is it All About Siri?

    May 19th, 2016

    You hardly think a single feature would be sufficient to hang a major operating system upgrade on, but it appears to be that way, at least based on the first predictions for the next version of OS X. Or will it even be called OS X?

    If past is prologue, it’s a near-certainty that the next version of OS X will be demonstrated next month at Apple’s WWDC. That, along with iOS 10, watchOS 3 and other goodies. But it’s not at all likely there will be much in the way of hardware announcements, unless a new Mac Pro appears, and that’s certainly overdue. Some even doubt Apple’s commitment to its flagship workstation.

    In any case, there is speculation, based on findings of some resources in recent OS X versions, that it’ll be rebranded. In keeping with Apple’s current approach with iOS, watchOS and tvOS, it’ll become macOS. In a sense the approach reverts to the original designation of Mac OS, or Mac OS X. Regardless, that’s just a minor relabeling.

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    Apple, AT&T and Google Follies

    May 18th, 2016

    It is the end of a long, annoying day, not made better by three large tech and telecom companies. As I write this column, I’m decompressing and wondering about the conventional wisdoms of some services.

    So let’s start with Apple Maps and Google Maps. The conventional wisdom has it that the latter is much better than the former. We’ll see.

    I planned a visit to a client in Peoria, AZ, a suburban community west of Phoenix. The trip would take from 50 minutes to an hour from my home, such as it is, in the East Valley. Now through force of habit, I called up Google Maps and entered my home address and the address of my client. As per my usual routine — and call me old fashioned — I printed out the route.

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    Apple Brings Back What It Took Away from iTunes

    May 17th, 2016

    Once upon a time, Apple’s iTunes had a sidebar with colorful icons, the better to identify different categories and playlists. But some people at Apple decided we must all be color blind, so the icons were changed to shades of gray. The Finder inherited the same questionable simplicity.

    And then the iTunes sidebar went away; well unless you chose Playlists in iTunes, in which case it appeared, until you chose a different option. All so confusing, all so unnecessary. The online forums, including Apple’s own discussion boards, were littered with complaints about the downward spiral of iTunes. Rather than attempt to make the app simpler over the years, as it inherited more services and features, it appeared that developers had taken a holiday.

    Prolific author and long-time Mac advocate Bob LeVitus, sometimes known as “Dr. Mac,” wrote, produced and performed a song called, “iTunes Must Die!” In passing, Apple decided not to allow it to be posted on iTunes.

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    Newsletter Issue #859: Is the Apple Car a “Johnny Cab”?

    May 16th, 2016

    It’s a lot of fun to speculate about a future Apple product, particularly one that has, as yet, not been officially announced. With a dearth of major announcements from Apple, might as well use our crystal balls and ouija boards to figure out where all that extra R&D cash is going.

    The key rumor has it that an Apple Car is under development. You’ve read about the possible locations of the development and test facilities, and the names of some executives who might be working on the project. It is said that personnel have been recruited from major car companies, and even Tesla Motors is said to have waged a hiring war with Apple to grab the best people.

    According to some reports, one Steve Zadesky said to be one of the key executives for what has been called “Project Titan,” left Apple for one reason or another. Spending over 16 years with the company, Zadesky reportedly worked on the iPod and iPhone, but, in 2014, he was named to head the alleged project to create what has been called an Apple Car. Make that Apple Car to employ Apple’s penchant for referring to its products as proper names. Oh, yes, Zadesky was once an engineer at Ford Motor, so he had some car cred.

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