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    DOWNLOAD — GCN Version: On this week’s all-star episode, we present Jeff Gamet, Managing Editor for The Mac Observer, with a busy agenda. Gene and Jeff will share their 14 years of experience with OS X, and talk about the prospects for USB-C, the new standard that Apple is including as the sole peripheral port, aside from a headphone jack, on the forthcoming 12-inch MacBook. You’ll also hear a discussion about the dueling biographies of Steve Jobs, and whether Apple is engaging in a sort of spin control in order to sanitize the reputation of the company’s mercurial co-founder.

    You’ll also hear from columnist Rob Pegoraro, who writes for USA Today, Yahoo Tech and other outlets, who will discuss the confusion and fear mongering surrounding net neutrality. He’ll also talk about Google and the value of the European Union’s “Right to be Forgotten” ruling and its impact on individual privacy. The possibility that Apple will introduce a subscription TV service along with a new Apple TV set-top box, and the implications is also on the agenda.

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    Questions About an Apple TV Service

    March 18th, 2015

    Forget about the widely-quoted proclamations of the late Steve Jobs that he had discovered the greatest TV interface of all, bar none. It was first published in the authorized biography of Apple’s late co-founder, written by Walter Isaacson. And I think those of you who read the book or just his comments realize the author knew absolutely nothing about the tech industry. He was just an experienced author paid to interview people and write a book.

    Besides, how often did Jobs say he actually hated TV?

    Since then, however, there were widespread rumors that Apple had a TV set in the wings, and that prototypes had been built. I suspect some TV makers altered their designs to compete with the expected competition from Apple, which never, of course, actually appeared. Maybe Jobs simply wanted to freak the industry.

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    Fear and Loathing about the Apple Watch

    March 17th, 2015

    Typical of the way some members of the media handle upcoming products from Apple, there has been a spate of stories saying Apple Watch is doomed to fail. To a large extent, none of the people writing these stories have even seen one in person. At best, they watched the online feed of Apple’s “Spring Forward” media event, or maybe saw some pictures in an article.

    Yet they just know it has to fail.

    A fairly typical example is an article from ZDNet (a division of CNET), entitled “Has Apple lost its religion of simplicity?” Now I won’t dignify the piece with a link or identify the author. But I will give you a disclaimer. I once wrote for CNET, several owners back, and even won a journalism award for them. Unfortunately, I also worked with some editors who had a questionable respect for accuracy; one of them ended up as a purveyor of silly claims at The New York Times.

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    Newsletter Issue #798: The Cord-Cutting Trap

    March 16th, 2015

    So it may seem that the cable and satellite TV industry is in deep trouble. People are getting more and more disgusted with paying up to $150 or more each month for a bucket of channels, many of which they don’t even watch. Even when you want to get a cheaper deal, in order to get a good cross-section of the content you want, you may have to buy several tiers — or higher tiers — of service. You cannot choose from Column A and Column B. So you’re stuck!

    To some degree, you may blame the entertainment companies who bundle channels and provide them to the cable/satellite industry as packages. You may be surprised to know that NBCUniversal’s cable networks include not just Syfy and USA Network. They also include such channels — some of which may be unknown to many of you — as Chiller, Cloo, Sprout, Universal HD, and several more.

    Now not all of these channels may be available from your cable company. Cloo, for example, which offers mostly crime procedurals, such as Law & Order and NCIS. It’s not even available in HD, and many of the content carriers, such as Dish Network and Cox, don’t include it on their schedule.

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    Tech and the Mainstream Media

    March 13th, 2015

    At one time, a number of newspapers featured tech columnists. I was one of them for the Arizona Republic, before we were declared obsolete in the endless rush to reduce expenses. True, there are some tech writers who still labor away on their columns at local papers; more so on national papers such as USA Today. Some are quite capable of handling the subject, while others convey the impression that this was a hand-me-down position when other jobs weren’t available.

    On cable TV news, the quality of tech reporting is usually worse. Sometimes they do bring on a representative from a tech publication who knows their stuff. At other times, they make do, and not always so well. Or they bring aboard someone with known axes to grind without being aware that they have a built-in bias that may make them not very credible.

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