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    Coming October 22: Featured on this episode is columnist Rob Pegoraro, who writes for USA Today, Yahoo Tech and Wirecutter. He’ll discuss what’s expected from Apple’s October 27, 2016 media event, rumored to focus on new Macs, and what might come from it. He’ll also offer his personal experiences with macOS Sierra, cybersecurity and the recent hack of Democratic emails, posted in WikiLeaks, which has become a campaign issue, and tech policy and the election. Rob will also talk about the Pixel, Phone by Google, and its prospects.

    You’ll also hear from  Jeff Gamet, Managing Editor for The Mac Observer. He’ll join Gene in a brief pop culture discussion, comparing the two visions of DC Comics, and whether the more optimistic TV version is a better fit for super hero fans than the dour movie version. The discussion will move to the prospects for the Apple Car, and whether the focus will be on creating a new car or offering a turnkey solution for autonomous driving to be licensed to car makers. Jeff will also talk about the prospects for new Macs at Apple’s media event, expectations for a refreshed MacBook Pro, and the possible fates of two models that haven’t been updated in a while. So will there be a refreshed Mac mini, and what’s going to happen to the Mac Pro? And what about the failure of the Samsung Galaxy Note 7, and shouldn’t the company take a few lessons on corporate damage control?

    Click to hear our latest episode: The Tech Night Owl Live — October 15, 2016

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    Windows: Yesterday’s News?

    October 11th, 2016

    In Microsoft’s vision of an ideal world, Windows would have fully supplanted the original Mac OS 20 years ago. For a while in the mid-1990s, it appeared that Apple might allow that to happen by default. But when Apple’s executives made a final, desperate move — to acquire Steve Jobs’ NeXT in late 1996 — the future of the company was cemented.

    Only it wasn’t obvious then.

    But when you look at how things turned out, you can see how Apple saw our mobile future and Microsoft continued to live in the 1980s. Today’s Microsoft is doing well enough, with promising sales of apps and cloud services. Windows got them there, but remains mostly confined to traditional PC desktops. The mobile handset version is barely on life support, and Microsoft is selling some Surface tablets, but only a fraction of the number of iPads shipped by Apple.

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    Newsletter Issue #880: Of Scandals and More Scandals

    October 10th, 2016

    It is very common to append the label “gate” on any alleged scandal, all originating from the infamous Watergate break-in at Democratic headquarters that ended up with Richard Nixon resigning as President of the U.S. At the time, the Watergate contained offices, hotel rooms and condos. I should know, as my uncle, agricultural consultant Martin Sorkin, was living there when my first wife and I spent the night at his home in June, 1972.

    A week later, well, you probably know the rest.

    Today, the Watergate appears to be mostly a luxury hotel with nightly rates beyond what regular people can usually afford. But the reputation remains, and almost every time something that appears akin to a scandal occurs, the name must contain the word “gate.” But if you consider the way it was originally used, Watergate would actually become “Watergate Gate.” But cultural memes never die, despite the facts.

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    Did Google Double-cross its Android Partners?

    October 7th, 2016

    Clearly the name “Pixel, Phone by Google” isn’t very memorable. Instead, it’s an example of a company without a whole lot of experience in the consumer market trying to build a gadget that seems exclusive. True, Google also has Chromecast video streamers, which have been quite successful perhaps mostly due to its $35 purchase price. But that’s a notable exception.

    In the past, Google partnered with different Android handset makers to market a line of devices sporting the pure, unadulterated Android experience known as Nexus. It wasn’t that features or performance was necessarily any better than the competition, but it served as a demonstration of Android technology, and for those who didn’t appreciate the junkware embedded on their gear by handset makers and wireless carriers, this was the way to go.

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    Are Samsung Smartphones Dangerous to Your Health?

    October 6th, 2016

    Consider the embarrassment. Samsung released the Galaxy Note 7 smartphone several weeks before Apple was expected to put the iPhone 7 on sale. With rumors that Apple’s new flagship handset might not be a very significant upgrade — something that turned out not to be true — I suppose Samsung was hoping to get a leg up with its new gadget.

    So did Samsung’s mobile design team, pressured to deliver the product as soon as possible, cut corners in quality control? Is that why, shortly after it went on sale, reports emerged of overheating batteries that sometimes burst into flame? While I am not at all impressed with the way the media dealt with the issue — a similar problem with Apple would have made worldwide headlines for months — at least the story got out. On September 2nd, Samsung agreed to recall the device, and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission also ordered a recall.

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