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February 25, 2017: Each week, Gene speaks directly to the industry’s movers and shakers, including corporate leaders, industry analysts, and regular panels that feature the most respected journalists who cover personal technology.

On this week’s all-star episode, we feature prolific author and commentator Bob “Dr. Mac” LeVitus, who talks about his first self-published book, “Working Smart for Mac Users.” He’ll discuss how he overcame his Adult ADD disorder to organize his time and become more productive as a freelance writer. He’ll also explain how he began as a hunt and peck typist to become reasonably fast on the keyboard. Does he type as fast as Gene, and does it even matter? And does he intend to review the Late 2016 MacBook Pro or does he have other products to cover?

You’ll also hear from commentator Jeff Gamet, Managing Editor for The Mac Observer. His bill of fare this time includes a brief pop culture discussion, and then he moves to the Mac Pro and whether it makes sense for Apple to upgrade a product that has been sold unchanged since 2013. Gene brings up his dream or mythical iMac Pro configuration with a more powerful processor and two internal drives. And what about AMD’s new Ryzen processor family, which they claim is faster than comparable Intel silicon? Jeff brings up a recent case of ransomware on a Mac, where those infected will find their data encrypted unless they pay the fee — and maybe not even then. And is Apple going to hold a media event to launch a new lineup of iPads? What about all those predictions about the next iPhone, rumored to have an edge-to-edge OLED display and wireless charging?

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Download NOW PLAYING! February 18, 2017 — Adam Engst and Josh Centers

We feature Adam Engst, of TidBITS and Take Control Books. The main focus will be on Apple’s decision to discontinue displays, and the deal that resulted in the development of the troubled LG UltraFine 5K Display, which was announced along with new MacBook Pros. What went wrong, and why did some units fail when in close proximity to a Wi-Fi router? Adam will also discuss the possibilities for future upgrades to Mac desktop computers, and the rumored use of ARM processors to manage more Mac functions. What about replacing Intel processors with Apple’s A-series silicon?

You’ll also hear from Adam’s colleague, Josh Centers, Managing Editor for TidBITS, and author of “Take Control of Apple TV” and other titles. There will be a complete discussion of the hopes and dreams for the Apple TV, and how Apple has failed, so far, in its plans to conquer the living room. What about attempts to forge content deals with the TV networks? When does Apple TV support 4K and HDR, and where is the rest of the industry going? Can Apple find a way to dominate the set-top box market? Will the networks and cable/satellite companies let them? What about the lack of new AirPort Wi-Fi routers, and is it true, as published reports claim, that Apple moved its AirPort engineering team to other divisions in the company? Is there room for an AirPort in the current marketplace, and what about combining AirPort with Apple TV?


Download February 11, 2017 — Peter Cohen and Derek Kessler

We feature outspoken commentator Peter Cohen. During this segment, Peter will go into detail on the value of the Apple Watch, primarily for fitness, and its other potential benefits. What about the iPad? Is there a way for Apple to persuade more people to buy them? Gene explains why the iPad doesn’t suit his workflow. There’s also a long discussion about Apple’s use of an ARM processor and watchOS-style OS to power the Touch Bar on the new MacBook Pro, and the possibilities that Apple might be gradually moving the Mac away from Intel to ARM.

You’ll also hear from columnist Derek Kessler, managing editor of Mobile Nations, a web portal that runs several popular tech sites.. In advance of the 2017 Mobile World Congress on Barcelona, Spain, Derek will look over some of the possible product announcements there. What about smartwatches? Does Apple have a clear field with the Apple Watch in light of the soft sales reported by Fitbit and the Samsung Galaxy Gear? How about the smartphone market? Are there compelling features manufacturers can add to entice customers to continue to upgrade every two years or so? Why did Samsung decide not to introduce new Galaxy smartphones at the Congress this year? What about the future of tablets? Are there killer features to boost sales of the iPad and other gear? Derek will also explain why he thinks Apple is destined to move the Mac to ARM, and how that decision will really mess up Intel.


Download February 4, 2017 — John Martellaro and Kirk McElhearn

On this week’s all-star episode, we feature commentator John Martellaro, Senior Editor, Analysis & Reviews for The Mac Observer. During this session, John will talk with Gene about the possibilities of running macOS apps on iPads, whether Apple is moving more and more functionality on Macs to ARM, and whether a total processor switch is in the offing. The discussion will also cover Tim Cook’s statement that iPhone tech has plenty of room to grow, possible reasons for falling iPad sales, the possibility that the Apple Watch may become a BioMed lab, and what went wrong with the fourth generation Apple TV.

You’ll also hear from outspoken columnist and podcaster Kirk McElhearn, also known as Macworld’s “iTunes Guy.” Kirk will also talk about the prospects for moving the Mac to Apple’s ARM-based A-series processors and the reasons for falling iPad sales. Can Apple find a new direction to boost sales for its tablets? The discussion will also include the varying opinions of Gene and Kirk about the value of trackpads, why Kirk no longer uses his Apple Watch and why, for now at least, Gene doesn’t plan to buy one. And what about those Wi-Fi glitches with the LG UltraFine 5K display, which has resulted in a design upgrade to improve shielding. Kirk wonders why LG didn’t catch this defect during product testing.


Download January 28, 2017 — Steve Guttenberg and Bryan Chaffin

On this week’s all-star episode, we feature writer Steve Guttenberg, CNET’s “Audiophiliac.” Steve covers the home audio beat, and on this episode he’ll focus on such things as the death of FM radio in Norway, whether it’s on the endangered species list in the U.S., and what about HD radio, a digital add-on for AM and FM that delivers enhanced sound? Have broadcasters and audio equipment makers done enough to make you realize this technology — which comes on many new cars — even exists? Indeed, do people really listen to music anymore? Gene and Steve will also discuss the so-called vinyl resurgence, as Steve suggests a cheap way for you to begin to hear records again.

You’ll also hear from “cranky” commentator Bryan Chaffin, co-founder and co-publisher of The Mac Observer. And why is Bryan in “cranky” mode? He is concerned over the relative lack of new products from Apple in 2016, specifically the Mac platform, where only two models, the MacBook and the MacBook Pro, received refreshes. Bryan will also express his concerns over the fact that Apple is evidently no longer developing AirPort Wi-Fi routers, and what about the decision to ditch the display lineup and offer an ugly LG display for users of the new MacBook Pro?


Download January 21, 2017 — Kirk McElhearn and Bob “Dr. Mac” LeVitus

We feature outspoken commentator and podcaster Kirk McElhearn, also known as Macworld’s “iTunes Guy,” After Gene discusses a curious virus-style documents he was receiving from his Brother laser printer — and his solution — Kirk explains why he is bullish on Apple, despite the problems he has with recent products. Kirk continues to complain about Apple’s inability to ship products on time, using the MacBook Pro and the AirPods as recent examples.

You’ll also hear from author Bob “Dr. Mac” LeVitus, who joins Gene in reminiscing about Apple’s past, in the mid-1990s, when they actually licensed the Mac OS to such companies as Power Computing, who then produced low-cost clones. The discussion moves to Consumer Reports’ controversial tests of the Late 2016 MacBook Pro. At first, due to inconsistent battery life ratings, CR refused to recommend the new notebooks. Once they worked with Apple to trace the problem, where their peculiar testing scheme activated an obscure Safari bug, the rating was changed to recommended. Bob calls it hit bait. He also discusses his first self-published book, “Working Smarter for Mac Users” and how the solutions he discovered helped him deal with his own ADHD symptoms.


Download January 14, 2017 — Jeff Gamet and Russell Holly

We feature Jeff Gamet, Managing Editor for The Mac Observer. In addition to a brief pop culture segment where Gene schools Jeff on the correct pronunciation of the wacky DC Comics character, “Mister Mxyzptlk,” the discussion focuses on the MacBook Pro and the controversy over the battery tests from Consumer Reports, in which Apple’s notebooks were at first not recommended until retested. And what about all the great gadgets introduced at the CES in Las Vegas? According to Jeff, there were more products that appeared to be ready to sell, rather than to show off an idea that may never make it into production.

You’ll also hear from Russell Holly, managing editor of VRHeads. After a brief focus on smartphone sales, and whether the market can continue to grow quickly, the discussion moves to the upcoming Nintendo Switch gaming console. Nintendo is trying to get a leg up on the competition from Microsoft and Sony by including a small embedded tablet that can be used for gameplay on the road. You’ll also hear about popular gadgets at the CES, but the main focus is Russell’s special introduction to VR technology. Are those goggles poised to take over the consumer electronics market in a big way? What about shared experiences among more than a single player? Are there any downsides other than the relatively high price of admission for the best VR gear?


Download January 7, 2017 — Josh Centers and Joe Wilcox

We feature tech journalist Josh Centers, Managing Editor for TidBITS, and author of “Take Control of Apple TV” and other titles. The discussion begins with Gene’s strange story of the problems he encountered installing macOS Sierra on a 2010 17-inch MacBook Pro. The segment moves on to reports that Apple is giving the Mac short shrift, and whether such stories have any credibility. Josh brings up the question of whether innovation in the tech industry began to slow down after the death of Steve Jobs in 2011. Or is that just the way the industry was destined to evolve?

You’ll also hear from independent tech journalist Joe Wilcox, who writes for BetaNews. He’ll tell the curious tale of the two Late 2016 MacBook Pros that he owns, and the battery life issues he has confronted on both. Yet when he gave one of those notebooks, the 13-inch model, to his wife and reconfigured it with her apps and settings, battery life was normal. What about the erratic battery life tests reported by Consumer Reports magazine, which decided not to recommend the new MacBook Pros? The discussion moves to the pressing topic of whether Apple’s quality control has nosedived in recent years, as Gene cites the long-term problems with the macOS’ “forgetful” Finder.


Download December 31, 2016 — Stephen Baker and Derek Kessler

On this week’s all-star episode, we feature noted industry analyst Stephen Baker, Vice President for Industry Analysis at the NPD Group. He begins the conversation discussing the success of 4K (Ultra HD) TV sets during the holiday quarter. What about the advanced picture technologies, such as HDR, and what about the dearth of 4K content? The discussion will also focus on whether Samsung was hurt at all, in holiday sales, by the exploding batteries scandal that forced the company to discontinue the Galaxy Note 7 phablet. You’ll also hear some positive news about Mac sales for the holiday quarter despite the controversy over the Late 2016 MacBook Pro.

You’ll also hear from Derek Kessler, managing editor of Mobile Nations, a web portal that runs several popular tech sites. The discussion begins with the success of 4K TVs, and whether or not Samsung customers were dissuaded by the failure of the Galaxy Note 7. There will also be a preview of the expected hot ticket items at the 2017 CES in Las Vegas, which include VR gear. Is virtual reality poised to come into its own? What about the connected home — the Internet of Things — and can security issues derail its success? Gene and Derek will also talk about smartwatches. and the recent failure of Pebble, a pioneer in the market. Its assets were recently purchased by Fitbit. So are smartwatches now stillborn, or is there hope that the Apple Watch can help move the market to the point where such products become must-haves?


Check out the Show Archives for earlier episodes.