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August 27, 2016: 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 present columnist and podcaster Kirk McElhearn, also known as Macworld’s “iTunes Guy.” During this session, Gene will tell Kirk about the free Internet service he’s received and how its speed and reliability compare to the service you have to pay for. Kirk will discuss his article on the iPhone’s schizophrenic store numbers, where you get different figures on how much space you have available on your device. He’ll also talk about mastering and remastering techniques for music recordings.

You’ll also hear from commentator Bryan Chaffin, co-founder and co-publisher of The Mac Observer. Bryan will talk about the information leaks from the supply chain and what they might tell you about forthcoming Apple gear, whether there is reason to freak out over reports Apple plans to ditch the headphone jack on the next iPhone, incremental improvements in battery technology, his concerns over the lack of a Mac Pro refresh since 2013, and possible Apple products in the future and how they might be even more significant than Apple’s present-day gear, including the Mac and the iPhone.

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Download NOW PLAYING! August 20, 2016 — Rob Pegoraro and Jeff Gamet

We present commentator and columnist Rob Pegoraro, who writes for USA Today, Yahoo Tech and Wirecutter, who discusses, at length, the new wireless data plans from AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile, and why “unlimited” data plans are actually not quite “unlimited.” He’ll also talk about the issues involved with municipal broadband, why “everybody is getting hacked,” and the Microsoft’s Windows 10 Anniversary Update. Now that it’s no longer free, is it worth the upgrade price? What about Microsoft’s shady efforts to force people to upgrade when it was available at no cost to customers?

You’ll also hear from Jeff Gamet, Managing Editor for The Mac Observer. In a special pop culture segment, Gene and Jeff will discuss the plans for a musical episode of two of The CW’s super hero shows, “Supergirl” and “The Flash.” Jeff will continue to express his concerns about the different DC Comics “universes” on TV and the movies. This is where there are different actors playing such characters as Superman and The Flash. Jeff will also talk about Uber’s project to establish a self-driving ride-sharing system and the new efforts to fight spam robocalls by Apple, Google and the FCC.


Download August 13, 2016 — Peter Cohen and Josh Centers

On this week’s all-star episode, we present outspoken commentator Peter Cohen for a return visit. In a wide-ranging discussion, Peter discusses the possible reasons why there has been only one Mac update this year. Is it possible Apple is planning major refreshes for the MacBook Pro and other models come fall? How has the iPhone SE, the smallest model, influenced sales? He’ll also briefly discuss Apple’s new bounty policy, announced at the Black Hat USA 2016 conference, to offer up to $200,000 to those who discover serious security leaks in Apple products. Ongoing rumors about  an Apple Car are also discussed, along with the possibility that it may actually be about self-driving technology and not a new car.

You’ll also hear from commentator and author Josh Centers, Managing Editor for TidBITS, and author of “Take Control of Apple TV” and other titles. He’ll discuss the Apple TV, and the efforts by Apple and other companies to provide cord-cutting alternatives to cable and satellite TV. What about the decision of Hulu, owned by several TV networks, to kill the free service and focus on subscriptions only? Josh talks about the recent failure of Kagi, a payment processing company that managed funds for shareware and other products. He also outlines Apple’s decision to pay a bounty to those who discover security defects, and the possible reasons for the late arrival of upgrades for Mac hardware.


Download August 6, 2016 — Kirk McElhearn and Sean Aune

We present blogger and podcaster Kirk McElhearn, also known as Macworld’s “iTunes Guy.” This time, Kirk speaks interactively as he follows the online queue countdown so he can purchase tickets for two Harry Potter plays in London. Would such information on one’s place in the pecking order serve as an inspiration for Apple’s online ordering system when a new gadget is launched? Kirk also talks of the dangers of inserting an unknown USB stick from an unknown source into a computer’s USB port, and the possible reasons why only one new Mac has been introduced so far this year.

You’ll also hear from Sean Aune, director of operations for TechnoBuffalo, an online blog and gadget review site, who will also talk at length about the lack of Mac updates. Is it about Intel’s chips, new designs, the fall arrival of macOS Sierra? Or has Apple necome less interested in keeping the Mac up to date? Sean will also give positive reviews on his experiences with a pair of Chromebooks. He’ll also talk about their growing presence in school systems in the U.S. You’ll also hear advice on what to do if one of your accounts, bank, credit card or services, is hacked, as Sean recounts the occasion when someone from the UK hacked his Netflix account and was watching movies and TV shows day and night.


Download July 30, 2016 — Jeff Gamet and Dr. Timothy Summers

We feature Jeff Gamet, Managing Editor for The Mac Observer. The discussion begins with a pop culture session, covering the latest super hero shows, the selection of a new actor to play Superman on TV, and the curious differences between DC Comics TV shows and movies, which exist in what appear to be separate universes. Moving on to the tech world, Gene and Jeff talk about the recent appointment of Bob Mansfield to lead Apple’s Project Titan, which reportedly is focusing on autonomous driving and a potential Apple Car. There’s also a discussion of Apple’s financials and the possibility that Apple is slowly starting to rise again from the doldrums.

You’ll also hear from ethical hacker Dr. Timothy Summers, President of Summers & Company, a cyber strategy and organizational design consulting firm, who will focus the main part of his discussion on the recent hacks of Democratic National Committee (DNC) emails, and how hackers might conspire to influence the U.S. election for President. Is there an object lesson here, that anything in an email is potentially vulnerable to hacking? And what about the security of voting machines? Can hackers manipulate the results? Dr. Summers will also discuss the Summer 2016 Olympics in Rio De Janeiro. Does the arrival of hundreds of thousands of people create the climate for hackers to steal money from tourists by taking over ATM machines and performing other criminal acts? How do you protect yourself from theft while traveling abroad?


Download July 23, 2016 — Josh Centers and Bryan Chaffin

We feature columnist and author Josh Centers, Managing Editor for TidBITS, and author of “Take Control of Apple TV” and other titles. During this session, Josh dips into the status of Apple Pay and compares it with Walmart Pay. And what happened to the Apple Pay rival, CurrentC, which Walmart and other vendors had been testing? You’ll also hear Josh’s reaction to the iOS 10 beta, and what he regards as the best features. Both iOS 10 and macOS Sierra are being made available as public betas for download by Apple customers.

You’ll also hear from commentator Bryan Chaffin, co-founder and co-publisher of The Mac Observer. He’ll focus on a report that scientists are attempting to use a 3D printer to match the fingerprints of a deceased person in order to open a protected smartphone. It’s not stated whether this is an iPhone, which sets a 48-hour limit for fingerprint access before requiring a passcode. Bryan will also talk about rumors that Apple is ditching the old fashioned headphone jack on the next iPhone in place of using the Lightning port and an adapter. You’ll also hear about reports that Apple has delayed production of an Apple Car until 2021, the potential downsides of self-driving, and about a curious statement about Apple from BlackBerry CEO John S. Chen.


Download July 16, 2016 — Kirk McElhearn and Rob Pegoraro

We feature columnist, podcaster and show regular Kirk McElhearn, also known as Macworld’s “iTunes Guy.” Before getting to the meat of the discussion, Gene and Kirk discuss their choices for Internet service. Essentially, Kirk has one hookup to his UK home, though he can use different providers, but it offers slow uploads. Gene explains why, as a cost-cutting move, he switched providers and what level of performance he receives. The discussion moves to Kirk’s snap decision to buy an entry-level Lenovo Chromebook during Amazon Prime day for 99 pounds UK, and his surprising reaction upon being exposed to Google’s web-based PC platform.

You’ll also hear from columnist Rob Pegoraro, who writes for USA Today, Yahoo Tech and Wirecutter. With reports of slowing Mac sales, Rob presents his concerns over the lack of significant Mac hardware upgrades in 2016, except for a refreshed MacBook. The discussion moves to political incorrectness. Rob discusses an open letter from some technology executives that opposed Donald Trump. He also summarizes Hillary Clinton’s tech policy paper (Trump didn’t have one when this show was prepared), and what we can learn from her email situation when you move past the politics. Rob goes on to explain some best practices to make your email as secure as possible without jumping through hoops.


Download July 9, 2016 — John Martellaro and Kirk McElhearn

We feature columnist John Martellaro, Senior Editor, Analysis & Reviews for The Mac Observer. During this interview, he’ll explain why people who feel the iPhone is just a cute phone with Internet access are wrong, with the focus on the fancy new Messages app for the next versions of iOS and macOS, why he plans to buy the iPhone 7, the possible reasons Apple killed the Thunderbolt display and the fate of the Mac Pro, and the new file system Apple plans to introduce on all their devices some time in 2017.

You’ll also hear from columnist, podcaster and show regular Kirk McElhearn, also known as Macworld’s “iTunes Guy.” Before getting to the meat of the discussion, he’ll tell you how he helped out with props for a skit during an episode of “Saturday Night Live” back in the 1970s. The discussion will move to Gene’s ongoing odyssey with an office chair that keeps breaking apart before talking about the public betas of macOS Sierra and iOS 10. Kirk will offer what he feels are some of the best things about the macOS beta, and his early experiences running the Siri voice assistant on his Mac. He’ll also briefly comment on the enhancements coming in iOS 10. Apple released public betas of both on July 7th.


Download July 2, 2016 — Kirk McElhearn and Bob “Dr. Mac” Levitus

We feature columnist and podcaster Kirk McElhearn, also known as Macworld’s “iTunes Guy.” Topics will include the rumors that Apple will ditch a proper headphone jack on the next iPhone. Is this true, or just another tall tale, and why would Apple make such a move. The discussion also includes Gene’s troubling odyssey in updating his Logitech Harmony universal remote to recognize new devices, which came to a dead halt because of a conflict with OS X El Capitan. We offer the workaround, and there will also be a brief discussion on “Internet of Things” home automation.

You’ll also hear from prolific author and commentator Bob “Dr. Mac” LeVitus, who will offer his skeptical viewpoint about Apple’s rumored move to set aside headphone jacks on future iPhones. The discussion will move to Apple’s “head fake” policy, where they will deny or deride a product, only to come up with their own version a short time later. Bob will also give his reaction to the news that Siri is making its debut on Macintosh computers starting with macOS Sierra, due this fall. The discussion will also focus on Amazon customer service and Gene’s Harmony remote odyssey.


Check out the Show Archives for earlier episodes.