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    DOWNLOAD — GCN Version: We present blogger and podcaster Kirk McElhearn, also known as Macworld’s “iTunes Guy.” He’ll talk about his strange problems moving from the beta channel of iOS 10 to the release version, outline the interface changes that are meant to simplify Apple Music, and briefly comment about a decision by the U.S. Senate to spend a mere $19.5 million on plans for Mars exploration and a new spaceship design. The discussion moves to computer speakers, as Gene talks about his quest to find a system that won’t blow the circuit breaker for his office when he’s listening to music and also printing a document on his laser printer.

    You’ll also hear from commentator Jeff Gamet, Managing Editor for The Mac Observer. He’ll also talk about Gene’s quest for new computer speakers, Apple’s application to patent an exclusive design for a — paper bag, Apple’s alleged attempt to discourage customers from buying music with Apple Music, new developments in AI technology at Apple, and the latest scuttlebutt about alleged plans for an Apple Car. Is Apple giving up on building a car and focusing on self-driving technology? What about those published reports that Apple is in talks to acquire a luxury sports car maker, McLaren Automotive, and whether such a move even makes sense.

    Click to hear our latest episode: The Tech Night Owl Live — September 24, 2016

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    Waiting for the macOS Sierra Download

    September 21st, 2016

    So, as promised, the newly minted macOS, Sierra, launched on Tuesday. With heavy loads on Apple’s servers, you may have had to wait a while for it to arrive. The downside of the free Internet service I’m getting in this place is that it’s not super-fast. So it took a grand total of six hours for it to arrive. But it’s not that I wasn’t using it already, having installed the first Golden Master candidate. Apple has released two for developers, one for public beta testers, who now have to download a full installer to be up to date.

    I had hopes that that some of the minor glitches I found in Sierra might be resolved with the release version, which bears the same build number as the second Golden Master, 16A323, but that’s not quite true. So I still have that occasional temporary freeze with Mail, in which it becomes unresponsive for 30 seconds or so, before it resumes normal operation. I had the identical problem in El Capitan from the earliest betas through the final maintenance update, 10.11.6.

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    More Evidence the iPhone 7 is More Than a Modest Refresh

    September 20th, 2016

    Despite the endless claims that the iPhone 7 is a minor update compared to previous models, the reviews clearly indicate that it’s a whole lot more significant in many ways. To see what I mean, do a little online research about the major changes in new iPhones in recent years. Other than form factor — and the switch to larger displays beginning with the iPhone 6 — there are usually a very few significant enhancements.

    So, as I reported in this weekend’s newsletter, consider the iPhone 5s. One memorable change was the Touch ID fingerprint sensor, Apple’s first implementation of technology it acquired when it bought AuthenTec. There was one more change of note, although the benefits are probably more difficult to describe, and that’s the A7 processor, the first 64-bit chip using ARM technology. While the competition at first derided the news, it wasn’t long before they were desperately trying to match Apple’s achievement.

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    Newsletter Issue #877: What You Won’t Learn From Apple About the iPhone 7

    September 19th, 2016

    Every single year, there has been one constant about the iPhone. After the three-day launch weekend, in which customers actually receive them, Apple has revealed sales figures. Year after year, those numbers have increased, thus breaking records. But it wasn’t always so simple. In 2013, when Apple announced record sales for the iPhone 5s, moving a record five million units just wasn’t enough, because some tech pundits and industry analysts said it must be 10 million or bust. Ignored was the fact that Apple claimed more product could have been sold if they had enough stock on hand.

    No matter that neither Samsung — or any other handset maker — ever reported that many sales for flagship smartphones in so short a time. Apple was in danger of losing its luster because it failed to achieve the unrealistic goals set for them by third parties. Indeed, the iPhone 5s was long regarded as a failure even though sales were higher than those of the previous year. But launch weekend results and misleading reports from the supply chain about reduced orders, caused Apple’s stock price to dip and reduce the company’s market cap by billions of dollars, at least until the market regained its senses.

    In 2015, Apple reported sales of 13 million on launch weekend. But the luster of the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus dimmed this year as sales dropped for the very first time in the product’s history. So expectations for the iPhone 7’s launch weekend were also diminished.

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    Catching Up with Apple

    September 16th, 2016

    Back in 1998, Apple did the impossible, so to speak. With the introduction of the first iMac, the famous Bondi Blue model — Apple ditched the ADB, LocalTalk and SCSI ports, and replaced them all with USB. This was USB 1.0, thus fairly slow, but usable for anything but a hard drive. The floppy drive vanished, and you can bet lots of people complained.

    True, there were adapters for your old input devices, printers and drives that mostly worked. If you had to have a floppy drive — and who didn’t in those days? — you could buy an external USB device instead. This gave third-party manufacturers a chance to try out a new format, SuperDisk (no resemblance to Apple’s SuperDrive optical devices), which used media similar to a floppy. But the capacity was 120MB at first, later doubling to 240MB. But it never caught on and died a few years later.

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