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    DOWNLOAD: On this week's all-star episode, we welcome Josh Centers, Managing Editor for TidBITS, and author of "Take Control of Apple TV" and other titles, who discusses the contentious issue of net neutrality, the curious episode where the TidBITS email newsletter was bounced by some major ISPs, Apple's mistakes in dealing with the iMessage "lock" issue that impacted people who switched from iPhones to other platforms, and the good, bad and ugly issues of iTunes 12.

    You'll also hear from former Macworld Editorial Director Jason Snell, who discusses the reasons the print version of the magazine folded. He'll also give you his up-to-date comments on the state of Apple and the state of Microsoft.

    Click to hear our latest episode: The Tech Night Owl Live — November 15, 2014

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    They Still Believe Rumors Based on Rumors

    November 11th, 2014

    Before the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus arrived, there were photos of components and finished cases that appeared quite close to the mark. So despite Apple's efforts to clamp down on security leaks, the word still got out. As a practical matter, with hundreds and hundreds of thousands of people assembling Apple gear, it is virtually impossible to shut it all down. The stories will get out from time to time, and Apple has to cope with it.

    Sure, secrets are kept, but very often they manage to avoid the Asian supply chain. The Mac Pro, for example, is assembled in the U.S.A., and production is fairly limited, hence there were fewer people to suffer from bouts of loose lips before the original launch. Since the Apple Watch hasn't yet gone into mass production, again Apple has fuller control over the leaks. Indeed, very little of the final configuration was known in advance of the September media event where the curtain was lifted, though there was plenty of guesswork, some of which might have hinted at the reality by sheer logic or luck.

    Continue Reading...


    Newsletter Issue #780: iOS 8 and Apple’s Big Mistake

    November 10th, 2014

    Taking advantage of lower prices for flash storage, buying iPhones and iPads with more space to put your stuff has become cheaper. So it costs $100 extra to increase capacity from 16GB to 64GB, and another $100 to go to 128GB. In passing, I eagerly await the time when Apple offers larger solid state drives on new Macs for prices that come closer to that of a mechanical hard drive.

    So clearly Apple is delighted if you have plenty of extra space. Unlike Microsoft and Samsung, Apple actually doesn't reserve a huge portion of storage space for its own needs on an iPhone or an iPad. But it still may not be enough for iOS 8.

    Now there have been loads of questions as to why the iOS 8 upgrade pace continues to lag behind iOS 7, and even iOS 6. Give it time some suggest, while others talk about rampant bugs. The 8.0.1 update, which killed cellular service and Touch ID on an iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, is cited as a key example. But Apple withdraw the update within a little over an hour, not enough time for many people to be impacted. In all, some 40,000 devices were affected, and Apple provided easy instructions to restore those devices. The next day, iOS 8.0.2 arrived, which fixed the problem that was allegedly due to a problem with the update's "wrapper," according to Apple.

    Continue Reading…


    The Apple Pay Conundrum

    November 7th, 2014

    Shortly before starting this article, I went to the nearest Walgreens store to buy some batteries for my Apple Magic Mouse. When you get the low battery warning, you only have a short time to replace them.

    Now understand that Walgreens is seldom the cheapest place to buy anything unless it's on sale, or you have one of their rewards cards, which occasionally works with one item or another. But I needed those batteries yesterday and didn't have time to get to a store with a better price.

    I might even have been tempted to give Apple Pay a try, since Walgreens supports NFC-based mobile payment systems, and that includes the seldom-used Google Wallet. But my bank hasn't yet opted to support Apple's payment schedule, and the same is true for my one-and-only credit card. Well, at least not yet.

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    Fear and Loathing About Mac Security

    November 6th, 2014

    Some months back, a high-profile tech journalist and talk show host posted an overwrought spiel about the possibility of getting malware on a Mac. The few malware outbreaks over the years, such as Flashback, a Java exploit, were cited, and a certain unnamed Mac security app was recommended to protect you from possible misery.

    Now the 2012 Flashback trojan affair reportedly impacted 600,000 Macs, although it's not at all certain independent researchers were actually able to verify that figure, which came from one of the security software companies. It's very true Apple should have acted sooner than it did to block the trojan, even though the security lapse was actually the responsibility of Oracle, who publishes Java.

    It's also clear in the way that Apple acted, when it finally acted, that it is taking such threats seriously, even though those impacted by Flashback probably didn't suffer serious damage and were able to remove the trojan fairly easily. But they could have had their data compromised as a result of such malware. Watching this episode play out taught me to stay away from Java.

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