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July 23, 2016 (DOWNLOAD — GCN Version): 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 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.


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Download NOW PLAYING! 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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Download June 25, 2016 — Daniel Eran Dilger and Bryan Chaffin

We feature cutting-edge commentator Daniel Eran Dilger, of Roughly Drafted Magazine and AppleInsider. Hell talk about such topics as the the current state of the platform wars. Daniel covers the open source nature of Google’s Android mobile OS, and the ongoing problems with fragmentation. This means that critical security fixes, including system updates, are usually not available to most users of Android gear. In response to a column suggesting that Google give up on open source and try to emulate Apple’s proprietary approach, Daniel explains how other tech companies are often following Apple without success.

You’ll also hear from Bryan Chaffin, co-founder and co-publisher of The Mac Observer. The bill of fare this week includes possible changes in Macs over the next few years, and some talk about the future of the platform. Will there come a time in our lifetimes where Macs have been completely replaced by something new and better? Bryan will also discuss the controversy over rumors that Apple plans to ditch the headphone jacks on the next iPhone, presumably the iPhone 7, and rely on the Lightning port for such connections. He’ll explain why it’s not going to be bad news if it happens. He’ll also talk about watchOS 3, and whether the forthcoming update for the Apple Watch will allow people who merely like the device to learn to love it.

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Download June 18, 2016 — Josh Centers and Peter Cohen

The Night Owl and his guest panel take a long look at the Apple’s announcements at the annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC). It starts with our fearless prognostications as to what Apple would announce. How close were they and those of the guests on the June 11, 2016 episode? On addition to the debut of Siri on macOS Sierra, you’ll learn about the other key features, such as the Universal Clipboard, Optimize Storage and the ability to share a Mac’s Desktop and Documents folders. How do they impact iCloud, and can your ISP cope with the higher bandwidth demands? You’ll also learn about the new, fancier Messages app for Mac and iOS, and all its special effects, along with the other changes for iOS 10, watchOS 3 and tvOS 10. So does the new OS for Apple Watch finally resolve all the performance and usability problems that have evidently held the gadget back?

Our guests include author Josh Centers, Managing Editor for TidBITS, and author of “Take Control of Apple TV” and other titles, and outspoken commentator and podcaster Peter Cohen. Peter will also introduce you to Apple’s brand spanking new file system, APFS, which, when it debuts in 2017, promises to deliver faster and more reliable performance on the storage devices on all Apple products.

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Download June 11, 2016 — Jonny Evans and Sean Aune

We focus almost entirely on Apple’s WWDC, coming the week of June 13. The most significant predictions will be highlighted, including the possibility that the Mac operating system will be renamed “macOS” to conform to the style of the other operating systems, such as iOS. You’ll also hear about the possibilities that a souped-up version of Apple’s virtual assistant, Siri, will be launched along with its initial appearance on the Mac. What about updates for iOS, watchOS and tvOS? Is there room for Apple to introduce new hardware at what is usually a software-related event for developers? Note: We fully expect that some of this material may be outdated after the WWDC keynote, but it’ll be a fascinating episode regardless due to all the fascinating background information.

Our guests include columnist Jonny Evans, Computerworld’s “Apple Holic,” and Sean Aune, director of operations for TechnoBuffalo, an online blog and gadget review site. Jonny will also discuss the sudden departure of Tony Fadell, the “father” of the iPod and CEO of Google’s Nest division, which builds intelligent thermostats and smoke detectors. Gene will express his skepticism about “Internet of Things” gear.

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Download June 4, 2016 — Kirk McElhearn and Jeff Gamet

On this week’s all-star episode, columnist and podcaster  Kirk McElhearn, also known as Macworld’s “iTunes Guy,” joins Gene to engage in speculation about the possible new product announcements at Apple’s WWDC. In talking about possible enhancements to Siri, Kirk will explain why it hasn’t been terribly successful for him. We’ll also cover the possible future of the Mac Pro, which hasn’t been updated since 2013, whether Apple should extend the iPhone product cycle because it’s harder to find compelling new features, and the possible appearance of Touch ID on Macs. Kirk will also talk about his new podcast, “The Next Track,” which recently debuted.

You’ll also hear an experimental segment featuring Jeff Gamet, Managing Editor for The Mac Observer. After briefly discussing the prospects at the WWDC, we’ll go into pop culture mode, with the emphasis on DC Comics super hero shows on TV. Ahead of this segment, Gene binged on the 1990’s version of “The Flash,” which starred John Wesley Shipp as the “scarlet speedster.” That show will be compared to The CW version, starring Grant Gustin. The discussion will move on to “Arrow,” and its resemblance to Batman, the Batman prequel, “Gotham,” and “Supergirl,” which moves to The CW for its second season after debuting on CBS. And does the line of demarcation between DC Comics movies and TV, which causes all sorts of confusion, make any sense?

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Check out the Show Archives for earlier episodes.