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    DOWNLOAD — GCN Version: On this week’s all-star episode, we feature Josh Centers, Managing Editor for TidBITS, and author of “Take Control of Apple TV” and other titles, who will talk about  the use case for Apple Watch, and whether he would have kept his had he not been a tech editor. He’ll also talk about the prospects for the next Apple TV and whether Apple will add support for 4K TV. Do people even care about 4K and other fancy TV features? Josh will also discuss his one month as an AOL member.

    You’ll also hear from tech columnist Rob Pegoraro, of USA Today and Yahoo Tech, who will cover what may be the beginning of the end for AOL, which is being acquired by Verizon. He’ll also talk about cable cord cutting, Comcast’s efforts to make the company more likable to customers, prospects for an Apple branded TV subscription service, the fight over the Patriot Act and NSA surveillance, and the arrival of EMV security on credit cards in the U.S.

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    Do We Need Another Film About Steve Jobs?

    May 19th, 2015

    In the summer of 2013, less than two years after his death, a biographical film about Steve Jobs premiered in American movie theaters. Starring in the lead role was Ashton Kutcher, best known for replacing Charlie Sheen in the now-discontinued TV sitcom, “Two and a Half Men.”

    While similar in height to Jobs according to one report I’ve read, Kutcher hardly seemed to otherwise fit the part, which would have required a gifted character actor. The public wasn’t that impressed either. According to the IMDb, it got a 5.9 rating. But it appears to have been profitable, since it reportedly cost $12 million to make and earned nearly three times that amount at the box office worldwide. The usual rule of thumb to breaking even is a take at the movieplex of at least twice the production cost.

    But perhaps it was too early for a biography.

    Continue Reading...


    Newsletter Issue #807: A Decade After the Intel Mac Announcement

    May 18th, 2015

    Although the news had been predicted by mainstream news organizations, the announcement that Apple would be moving Macs to Intel processors at the 2005 WWDC came as a shock. For years, Apple had been touting the superior performance of the PowerPC chips, so why the turnaround? Was Apple betraying Mac users?

    The truth was straightforward and logical. For years, Apple had been claiming that the PowerPC could easily trounce a Pentium PC with a far higher clock speed. That was certainly true, and Apple regularly conducted bake-offs showing how a Mac would leave Intel gear in the dust.

    To be sure, some doubted Apple’s claims. They must have cooked the books, or targeted very limited benchmarks where the PowerPC’s performance shined. In fact, I remember requesting Apple’s test methodology at the time, and they employed some canned Photoshop routines as part of the process. In every case where I tested a Mac against a PC, Apple’s results were pretty much confirmed.

    Continue Reading…


    4K TV — Do We Care?

    May 15th, 2015

    After high definition TV took over, and most everyone who cared bought new sets, what could the TV makers due for an encore? If you think iPad sales suffer because people keep the ones they bought for several years, imagine the family TV. It’s not uncommon for sets to last 10 years or more before there’s serious deterioration in picture quality, or the set develops hardware issues. I recall giving a neighbor a 27-inch Sony TV, with a CRT, a year or two back because I had no need for it. The set was acquired in the early 1990s and had always worked perfectly.

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    The TV Experience: Living in the 1980s?

    May 14th, 2015

    So when Tim Cook complains about the shortcomings of the TV/living room experience, just what is he talking about? Unfortunately, when he’s interviewed, there are seldom follow-up questions. They just move on to other subjects, grateful they got to talk to him in the first place.

    But rather than guess what he meant, I’d rather focus on my personal experience as a too-frequent TV watcher of broadcast, cable and streaming content. I am quite happy to cut costs, but there are shows I watch regularly, and I’m sure many of you agree with me on this approach.

    Now our one-and-only family TV set is in the master bedroom. It is connected to a standard Blu-ray player, an Apple TV, a Cox set-top box, and a sound box. The latter is the equivalent of a sound bar that is essentially a long thin stand for the TV. Supposedly it offers better quality sound than traditional sound bars. Aside from an overpriced Bose TV, audio quality on most sets is barely passable.

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