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November 28, 2015: Meet the Night Owl himself, the incomparable Gene Steinberg, best-selling technology author and columnist. Get to know Gene, and discover his unique, thought-provoking viewpoints about the technology universe, from the always-fascinating happenings at Apple Inc. to consumer electronics, innovative products and overall trends in the tech industry.

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 Kirk McElhearn, also known as Macworld’s “iTunes Guy.” He returns this week to discuss Black Friday sales, and how he recently had his Internet connection upgraded so he finally receives speeds that are appropriate to the power user (36 megabits downloads, 9 megabits uploads). He also talks about the possible failure of the Mac Pro that received a major upgrade in late 2013 and hasn’t been upgraded since. Kirk has moved on to a 27-inch iMac with 5K Retina display. There will also be a brief discussion of the ongoing VW emissions scandal.

You’ll also hear from Jeff Carlson, Senior Editor for TidBITS, who will offer a lengthy discussion about Apple Watch, partly in response to one tech pundit’s claim, in a major newspaper, that this gadget was a turkey. Jeff will explain why he disagrees. He’ll also talk about the use case of the new iPad Pro, about Tim Cook’s claims that this, and an iPhone, are his only computers. Jeff also responds to the question of whether he’d buy an Apple Car, assuming one appears and the price is reasonably affordable.

Episode Downloads

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Download NOW PLAYING! November 21, 2015 — Peter Cohen and Kirk McElhearn

We present outspoken commentator Peter Cohen, whose writings are found at iMoreMacworld and Tom’s Guide, who covers a wide range of topics. He offers his expectations of the iPad Pro as compared with supposed convergence devices, which offer the functions of a tablet and a PC notebook. Apple has said it wouldn’t produce such a device. Peter also talks about the ongoing reports of serious problems with recent Apple OS releases, such as iOS 9 and OS X El Capitan. Has public beta testing helped? Gene expresses his skepticism that Apple will actually build a car, something long rumored, rather than focus on user interfaces in motor vehicles. And what about Apple TV?

You’ll also hear from columnist Kirk McElhearn, also known as Macworld’s “iTunes Guy,” who also talks about the usability of the iPad Pro as a notebook replacement. He also discusses the Apple Watch and the possible security problem he discovered when he first set up two-factor authentication with Amazon. The discussion turns to the car buying experience, and Gene’s concerns about the obstacles buyers confront in trying to finalize a deal. On the pop culture front, the discussion turns to Bob Dylan, and Kirk’s history in becoming a fan of the folk rock legend.

Download November 14, 2015 — Dr. Timothy C. Summers and Bryan Chaffin

We present a special appearance by Dr. Timothy C. Summers, President of Summers & Company, a cyber strategy and organizational design consulting firm. This week, Dr. Summers talks about how to protect yourself from hackers and identity theft during the holidays. He focuses on credit card safety, how to avoid phishing emails, whether to sign up with a financial security service, why you should say “credit” instead of “debit” when using your bank debit card, the value of a “designated mailbox” and why it might be a good idea to use prepaid credit cards.

We also present Bryan Chaffin, co-founder and co-publisher of The Mac Observer. The discussion focuses on the iPad Pro, and whether that or other iPads are suitable as possible PC replacements. We’ll also talk about Apple product proliferation, and the possibilities for an Apple Car. Bryan explains that he’s convinced that Apple is working on such a product, and we speculate about how the Apple Car might help overhaul the industry. Bryan also gives you an update on his Apple Watch. Has it become an indispensable gadget, or can he just return to his mechanical watch?

Download November 7, 2015 — Kirk McElhearn and Jeff Gamet

We present columnist Kirk McElhearn, Macworld’s “iTunes Guy.” We continue our discussion of Volkswagen’s ongoing problems with emissions testing and reporting, but Kirk doesn’t know, yet, if his SEAT automobile, built by Volkswagen, is impacted. He also updates his first look at the Apple TV, and explains how broadband speeds are soaring in the tiny village in the UK in which he lives. He’ll also talk briefly about his ongoing Apple Watch experiences.

You’ll also hear from Jeff Gamet, Managing Editor for The Mac Observer, whose bill of fare includes Apple Watch sales estimates for the first two quarters, where it reportedly outsold all other smartwatches, combined. He’ll also talk about Amazon’s new book store, which was set up in Seattle, WA, and his ongoing views about the Apple TV and the Apple Watch. The discussion closes with some pop culture talk, focusing on the new TV season and our favorite super hero shows.

Download October 31, 2015 — John Martellaro and Kirk McElhearn

We present outspoken commentator John Martellaro, Senior Editor, Analysis & Reviews for The Mac Observer. His bill of fare includes a discussion of how Apple quietly established a $25 billion enterprise business with support from IBM and Cisco, what if a forthcoming Apple Car, with autonomous driving capability, made a “very bad” decision when faced with the possibility of a potential accident? He’ll also talk about the efforts by Apple and Microsoft to rethink the tablet, and why Apple may have turned its back on 4K (Ultra HD) support on the new Apple TV while the industry moves forward to support the new high-resolution technology.

You’ll also hear a first look at the fourth generation Apple TV from columnist Kirk McElhearn, Macworld’s “iTunes Guy.” Does the revised set-top box meet expectations, and what about the impact — or lack thereof — of the missing support for 4K? Did Apple make a bad move, or are they waiting for the new 4K color standards to stabilize? Kirk will also discuss the mixed reaction to OS X El Capitan. Should we take all the complaints seriously?

Download October 24, 2015 — Josh Centers and Rob Pegoraro

We present Josh Centers, Managing Editor for TidBITS, and author of “Take Control of Apple TV” and other titles. The bill of fare includes an extended discussion with Gene about pop culture, with an emphasis on the new TV season in the U.S. and superhero TV shows, based on comic book characters. The discussion turns to the forthcoming Apple TV, and the lack of support for 4K. We move on to the prospects for an Apple Car, Tesla’s quality control issues, and car technology.

You’ll also hear from columnist Rob Pegoraro, of USA Today and Yahoo Tech. He’ll talk about the quality issues of iOS 9 and OS X El Capitan, and the discussion will also move to his concerns about the features in Photos for OS X, 4K TV prospects, the hope for more models HDR color, and, again, the lack of 4K support in the new Apple TV. Could Apple manage such an upgrade through software? We’ll also cover the prospects for an Apple Car, and Tesla’s quality issues that resulted in the loss of a Recommended rating from Consumer Reports magazine. Such problems included the hardware, such as rattles and squeaks, and the software.

Download October 17, 2015 — Peter Cohen and Kyle Wiens

We feature columnist Peter Cohen, whose writings are found at iMoreMacworld and Tom’s Guide. During this session, Peter discusses Apple’s iMac refresh, and compares Apple’s all-in-one computer  to the Mac Pro. Which is best for you? He also discusses his experiences with OS X El Capitan, and offers suggestions on dealing with Wi-Fi connection problems.

You’ll also hear from Kyle Wiens, of iFixit. He explains the circumstances surrounding the company’s decision to post a teardown of a preproduction Apple TV that they received through the Apple Developer program. As a result, Apple “fired” them and pulled their iOS app. He’ll also offer information about teardowns for the new iPhones, compare them to last year’s model, and explain the difficulties in repairing recent Samsung Galaxy smartphones. You’ll also hear the results of iFixit’s teardown of one of the new 21.5-inch iMacs, and why it’s impossible to upgrade its RAM.

Download October 10, 2015 — Kirk McElhearn, Adam Engst, and Dr. Timothy C. Summers

We are rejoined by columnist Kirk McElhearn, Macworld’s “iTunes Guy,” who joins Gene in a discussion about the claims that the battery life of the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s may be very different depending on who supplied the chips. So if yours has a processor from TSMC, it may give you up to two hours extra battery life over the Samsung version. Apple, by the way, denies these reports. We also cover Volkswagen’s emission control scandal.

You’ll also hear from Adam Engst, of TidBITS and Take Control Books, who also focuses on car technology. We cover problems with the infotainment interfaces and voice recognition, and the possibilities of an Apple Car. Adam will also explain why he decided not to renew his Apple Music subscription after the free trial period ended, and his deep concerns over what he regards as the poorly-designed iTunes interface.

We also present a special appearance by Dr. Timothy C. Summers, President of Summers & Company, a cyber strategy and organizational design consulting firm, who is known as an “ethical hacker.” He’ll talk about attempts to hack car electronics, the controversial Ashley Madison break-in, and how you can protect your data from unwanted intrusions.

Download October 3, 2015 — Bryan Chaffin and Kirk McElhearn

We present Bryan Chaffin, co-founder and co-publisher of The Mac Observer. His bill of fare includes the curious decision of to post a teardown report of a prerelease Apple TV that they received as part of Apple’s developer program, which resulted in the loss of their membership. Bryan will also talk about Amazon’s decision to stop carrying the Apple TV and Google Chromecast after releasing a new Fire TV set-top box. Other topics include the iPad Pro and Apple Music, where Gene explains why he has decided not to continue his membership.

You’ll also hear from Kirk McElhearn, Macworld’s “iTunes Guy,” who will also discuss’s controversial move with their Apple TV. Gene will expand on his Apple Music decision, and Kirk will explain why, after suggesting he’d rather stick with an iPhone 5s, he decided to buy an iPhone 6s despite the uncomfortably larger size. Kirk and Gene also talk about the emissions problems that impact many Volkswagen’s equipped with diesel engines, and whether Kirk’s Seat Ibiza, a VW-built car, may be impacted.

Check out the Show Archives for earlier episodes.