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    DOWNLOAD: On this week's all-star episode, the focus is, one again, on the product announcements from Apple, expected and otherwise. You'll hear about the iPhone 6 and the iPhone 6 Plus, the Apple Watch and Apple Pay. Our guest panelists will also talk about the forthcoming demise of the print version of Macworld magazine, and the dismissal of most of their full-time editorial staff.

    You'll hear from Adam Engst, of TidBITS and Take Control Books, and Bryan Chaffin, co-founder and co-publisher of The Mac Observer, Since Bryan is a watch aficionado, you'll get some special insights about the Apple Watch. He'll also tell you about what he regards as the most comfortable headphone he's ever used.

    Click to hear our latest episode: The Tech Night Owl Live — September 13, 2014

    For more episodes, click here to visit the show’s home page.

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    Living Without Apple Product Leaks

    September 2nd, 2014

    Next week, Apple is expected to take the wraps of the next iPhone, and let us know if all those rumors over the last few months came close to the truth. Or maybe the tech pundits and Apple rumor sites got everything wrong, but I doubt it.

    As has been published elsewhere, Apple PR is very crafty about creating demand for new Apple gear. A handful of "favored" journalists get special access to new products with an embargo to keep from getting the word out too early. There are background briefings that may form the basis of stories quoting informed sources or sources with access to information confirming the arrival of an Apple product, the possible specs, and even when a media event might occur. Since it's done on background, there can be no direct quotes, nor will the source ever be named.

    But it's usually clear who is letting out the information.

    Continue Reading...

    Newsletter Issue #770: Apple Support Still Far From Perfect

    September 1st, 2014

    Every so often, Apple announces an extended warranty repair program for a product that suffers from one or more serious defects. Over the years, Macs have been subject to special programs because of logic boards or power supplies that are prone to failure. More recently, Apple has begun replacing batteries on the iPhone 5 that are subject to premature wear.

    Unfortunately, it almost seems as if the news about these special repair programs is on a need to know basis, unless you happen to stumble upon a support message at Apple's site. So I recall an episode where a friend, a graphic designer, replaced a component in his iMac's power supply. He was charged several hundred dollars for the privilege by an authorized repair shop.

    Now you may know where I'm going with this. When the problem occurred a second time, my friend took his iMac to an Apple Store, only to discover that the repair was actually covered under an extended warranty. What about the previous repair? Well, Apple arranged for him to get his money back. That's a good thing. The offending dealer, by the way, is now out of business, but shady behavior may be only one of the reasons.

    Continue Reading…

    The iWatch: A Hard Sell

    August 29th, 2014

    So it does seem that Apple will launch the iWatch during that September 9th media event at the Flint Center for the Performing Arts in Cupertino, CA. Ahead of the event, Apple is reportedly assembling a two-story structure there, in secret, to accommodate a larger audience. The auditorium will supposedly accommodate three times as many people as previous events.

    It's notable that this is the very location where the late Steve Jobs unveiled the original Macintosh in 1984. So there may be some significance, and not just audience capacity, for holding a launch event there.

    Besides, it's not as if Apple hasn't raised the hype about what is to come. Senior VP Eddy Cue has been speaking of the greatest Apple product intros ever this fall, and Tim Cook has continued to promise great things that include new products in new categories. It's important to note that the promise is made as a plural not a singular, so the iWatch may be just the beginning.

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    The September 9 Apple Media Event: A One More Thing?

    August 28th, 2014

    Maybe it's all wishful thinking, but there is a published report suggesting that Apple might introduce an iWatch sooner than previously expected. Maybe it's a matter of desperation, or the lack of anything new or significant from Apple. Well, other than the statement from Tim Cook that the recent slowdowns in iPad sales amounted to a speed bump of some sort. Maybe.

    So far the speculation about an Apple wearable pointed to a fall introduction, probably in October, with shipping to begin shortly thereafter, or at least far enough in advance of the holiday season to get the maximum number of sales. But there is that new report from Re/Code's John Paczkowski, who is one of those supposedly well-connected reporters with close ties with Apple, suggesting it'll be part of next month's iPhone launch event.

    Continue Reading...