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    Coming July 26: On this week's all-star episode, we talk about Apple's June quarter financials. Some pundits say the numbers were "meh," while others say they were pretty decent overall. One respected industry outlet, however, erroneously reported that Mac sales were down in the U.S., whereas Apple reported that they increased in the double-digits. So we try to separate fact from fiction. We'll also discuss the Apple/IBM marketing deal, the OS X Yosemite Public Beta, which was released to up to one million Mac users on July 24, and some of the possibilities for new gear from Apple this fall.

    Our guests include Adam Engst, of TidBITS and Take Control Books, and Jeff Gamet, Managing Editor for The Mac Observer.

    Click to hear our latest episode: The Tech Night Owl Live — July 19, 2014

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


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    The Microsoft Gibberish Report

    July 15th, 2014

    So I read a recent message to Microsoft employees from CEO Satya Nadella, in which he attempts, once again, to explain his plans to reform the company. I won't quote any of the estimated 3,100-odd words here, because they frankly do not make any sense. Using fancy buzzwords the only message Nadella manages to convey, more or less, is that it's mostly about productivity.

    Yes, I can see the TV ads now? Buy a Surface 3 and become more productive! Sure, that'll sell a ton of those awkward notebook/tablet/whatevers. But it's no better than the current ads that tout the presence of Skype and Office. Of course Skype is available on multiple devices on multiple platforms, and even Mac and iPad users can get perfectly good versions of Office. So what makes the Surface 3 unique? A kickstand? A higher price than a comparable MacBook Air?

    Continue Reading...


    Newsletter Issue #763: About Products that Compete with the Apple-Whatever

    July 14th, 2014

    At the same time that I read a report speculating about the feature set of the rumored iPhone 6, there was yet another headline suggesting that Samsung was poised to introduce a smartphone designed to compete head-on, which may be called Alpha. Of course, this is the way of the tech world. Apple puts out something, and tech pundits tout competing products that are intended to be "killers."

    So we had the iPod killer, the iPhone killer and the iPad killer. But none of these killers every actually sold more copies than the Apple gadget they competed with. Yes, more Android smartphones are sold than iPhones. But most are cheap models with which Apple never competes.

    When I mention Apple having higher sales, I'm referring to single models, not hundreds of products produced by dozens of manufacturers both small and large. That's a distinction that isn't always drawn by commentators who want you to believe that the iOS has been overwhelmed by Android, there's no room for a more profitable number two, and Apple might as well throw in the towel.

    Continue Reading…


    Apple and Innovation: Are There No Surprises?

    July 11th, 2014

    So the tech media has, for months, been inundated with supposed supply chain leaks and other tales about the next iPhone, presumably the iPhone 6. If the stories are true, there will be two versions; one with a 4.7-inch screen, and the other with a 5.5-inch screen that represents Apple's first foray into the world of phablets.

    The feature set, predictably, speaks of an A8 processor, perhaps quad-core, a better camera and maybe other new hardware features. There's nothing here that seems more than the natural evolution of the iPhone. It is not going where no previous iPhone has gone before except as a natural outgrowth of improving technologies.

    As a practical matter, little of the information should come as a surprise. You don't have to have supply chain leaks, if they exist, to expect a linear progression in iPhone advancement.

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    So Is Tim Cook a Failure?

    July 10th, 2014

    If you can believe recent stories, and the general flavor of the criticism about Apple, Tim Cook was the wrong man at the wrong time to take over Apple when Steve Jobs gave up the throne. Of course, it's also true that even The New York Times mistakenly believe that Cook took control after Jobs died, which most of you know just isn't true. They also tend to ignore the long periods in which Cook was acting CEO when Jobs took his various sick leaves.

    So it's not that Cook walked into the CEO's office unprepared. No doubt he had extensive conversations with Jobs about what would be expected of him, and the obstacles he would face.

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