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    DOWNLOAD: On this week's all-star episode, outspoken commentator Peter Cohen, Managing Editor for iMore, holds forth on the possibilities of the iPhone 6, the ins and outs of those complicated wireless carrier contracts, whether NFC networking will be available in the next iPhone — and what about the iWatch?

    You'll also hear from John Uppendahl, VP Communications for Parallels, who will talk about the release of Parallels Desktop for Mac version 10, and how it allow you to run guest operating systems on your Mac — including Windows and OS X Yosemite.

    Josh Centers, Managing Editor for TidBITS, and author of "Take Control of Apple TV," tells you about his odyssey in having a defective battery in his iPhone 5 replaced by Apple. Service policies and planned obsolescence will also be discussed. And is Josh ready to consider buying an iWatch?

    Click to hear our latest episode: The Tech Night Owl Live — August 30, 2014

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

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    The Microsoft Death Watch: In Search of a Strategy

    August 20th, 2014

    As I watched a TV ad for the Microsoft Surface 3 tablet/notebook, intended to compete with the MacBook Air, I was troubled by the lame attempt to draw important differences between the two. While an Apple spot will focus on lifestyle and the things you can accomplish with a Mac, an iPhone or an iPad, Microsoft is hoping a logical appeal, however tenuous, will turn the tide and boost tepid Surface 3 sales.

    This approach harkens back to those Surface ads that touted the presence of Skype and Microsoft Office, as if anyone outside of the business world really cares about the latter. It was about specs and features, and not about what you could actually do with the product. I also recall the first Surface ads, where a single person setting up the tablet was soon surrounded by jumping, dancing, prancing fools with noisy music, evidently hoping your senses would be so overwhelmed that you'd become the fool to buy the thing.

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    The iPhone 6 Will “Only” Have 1GB of RAM Because…

    August 19th, 2014

    Although there are few complaints about the performance of current iPhones, we are nonetheless obsessed with the specs. So with the iPhone 5s, benchmarks indicated that it had a dual-core A7 processor with an estimated clock speed of 1.29 GHz and 1 GB of RAM. Although those numbers seem lacking when compared to some of those high-end Android smartphones, the iPhone still came out ahead in a number of published benchmarks.

    This recalls something Apple said back in the days of the PowerPC, that raw specs alone do not necessarily predict how well the product will fare in performance benchmarks. Of course, that came at a time where the clock speed of the PowerPC was far lower than those of the Intel chips used in PCs.

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    Newsletter Issue #768: If There’s a Competitive Threat, It Must Be About Apple

    August 18th, 2014

    After being the tech media's darling as the company that would take over the mobile handset industry and destroy Apple, Samsung is finding the traveled road more and more difficult. Sales are flat or declining, and profits are down. They are being hit on the high end by Apple, and on the low end by some new Asian manufacturers, particularly Xiaomi.

    To add insult to injury, Xiaomi is clearly making a bid to reach a wider market with their low-cost gear. The initial move in that direction was to hire a former Google executive to handle International sales, although there's no clear message of a major push into the U.S. But you can still find the products listed at Amazon.

    Now Apple and Samsung don't always compete for the same customers. Apple has concentrated mostly in the premium category, although you can get an iPhone free with a wireless contract or extended payment plan. That, indeed, is Apple's way to reach a wider audience in China, India and elsewhere without sacrificing profits.

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    Calling Out Industry Analyst Failures

    August 15th, 2014

    As most of you know, IDC is a major industry analyst. The company is also a division of IDG Group, which also brings you, among other properties, Macworld magazine and the Macworld | iWorld Expo. So you sort of expect that IDC would be fair to Apple.

    But expectations are sometimes not met. So you have the case of IDC "misunderestimating" Mac sales in the last quarter, claiming U.S. sales declined. But according to Apple, which has obviously the actual sales figures and not estimates, they increased by double digits. This is the second consecutive quarter where IDC's numbers undercounted true Mac sales.

    The long and short of it is that those who report on IDC findings ought to include the fact that those findings may be subject to error.

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