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    DOWNLOAD — GCN Version: On this week’s all-star episode, we present John Martellaro, Senior Editor, Analysis & Reviews for The Mac Observer and a columnist for The Street, with a big plate of topics. He’ll explain how his skepticism about Apple’s new MacBook was lessened after he had a chance to use one, and why it’s not a “4-year step backward.” Apple Watch is also on the agenda, as John suggests it won’t be a luxury for long. The topics of discussion also include why iPad sales are faltering, the Microsoft Surface 3 tablet, and Apple’s new association with IBM.

    You’ll also hear from Kyle Wiens and Andrew Goldberg from iFixit. This time they’ll tell you about their experiences tearing down the new MacBook, the Samsung Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 edge, and some Windows gear. Which models are easy to fix? Which models are just messy? They’ll also outline their plans to take apart the Apple Watch.

    Click to hear our latest episode: The Tech Night Owl Live — April 18, 2015

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    The Shoe on the Other Foot Report

    April 8th, 2015

    One of the larger media freakouts about Apple last year was all about “BendGate,” the allegation that the iPhone 6 Plus was unduly sensitive to bending, even in your back pocket. It all started with someone’s possibly bogus YouTube video, in which deformed a tech gadget that costs upwards of $750 without the carrier subsidy.

    Yes, the video showed the bend, but it’s easy to omit the extraordinary steps the poster may have taken to get it that way. There’s no real way to know what really happened, but the video went viral and soon Apple had to explain that the their largest and most expensive iPhone wasn’t defective, that they had, at the time, only seven complaints about such damage. They even took selected journalists on a tour of their test facility so you could see exactly how these products were tested. Even Consumer Reports got into the act and proclaimed all iPhones to be sufficiently robust under normal use and service.

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    More Foolishness About Unreleased Apple Products

    April 7th, 2015

    You can bet that, even when Apple hasn’t announced a product, some online bloggers will ignore the facts and pretend to describe the specs and the features, missing or otherwise. That comes even before others suggest that you shouldn’t buy the product after all. Give it time to develop.

    Chase the moving target, but don’t make a commitment!

    Since Apple cut the price of the Apple TV from $99 to $69, speculation has mounted about its successor. The present model was first released in 2012, and underwent a very slight change in CPU design, which didn’t change actual performance. So it stands to reason that an upgrade is long overdue, but what form will it take?

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    Newsletter Issue #801: Apple Needs to Change a Few Things

    April 6th, 2015

    Believe it or not, but most people who buy Macs don’t consider the ability to upgrade or lack thereof. The latest Geekbench scores are not high on the list of priorities. Apple publishes specs, but they aren’t quite as detailed as on some PC boxes. Reason is that Mac customers are seeking a soliton, not a built-it-yourself kit. That has always separated the Macs from the PCs since 1984.

    Some of you may not realize that the very first Mac couldn’t be upgraded. It was a closed box, same as the toaster oven or refrigerator. You wouldn’t think of tearing apart a refrigerator unless something needs to be fixed, and then it’s usually done by the repair service. So it’s easy to see the reason for some of the choices Apple has made through the years since they claim to be selling computing appliances.

    To me, however, the very first Mac that I brought into my home (after using one at work for several years) was a IIcx from 1989, which was quite easy to upgrade; in fact, easier than most modern Macs. Just pop the cover, and everything was out in the open for you. Of course, you had to remove the floppy drive on occasion to clean it out, since it was prone to gather dust, so being too open had its downsides. But Apple has more and more moved to preventing users from being able to replace or upgrade anything.

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    Is Apple Watch a Way to Get You To Spend Less Time on Mobile Gear?

    April 3rd, 2015

    This is a common scenario. You are seated at dinner with family or friends. At times, or maybe simultaneously, each of you will look at your smartphone and check for notifications or messages; maybe even send one. It’s not just young people, but people of all ages who are so dependent on their gadgets that they have less time to talk to people in person. Even the people across the table.

    I remember when I’d have dinner with my son (he’s since moved to Spain so that doesn’t happen very often nowadays). For long periods of time, he was immersed in texting on his feature phone. After upgrading to an iPhone, he simply did it more, or at least more flexibly.

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