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April 30, 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, Kyle Wiens of iFixit joins us to give the results of teardowns of some of the very latest tech gear. During this segment, he’ll discuss Apple’s 2016 MacBook, and whether, aside from minor hardware upgrades, it differs much from last year’s model. He’ll also present the results of the teardown of the iPhone SE, the latest smartphones from Samsung and LG, and some virtual reality headsets. He’ll also remind you about the poor repair rating of the Microsoft Surface tablets.

You’ll also hear from Stephen Baker, Vice President for Industry Analysis at the NPD Group.. He discusses why he feels Mac sales dropped so much in the March quarter; he suggests some of Apple’s notebooks are long in the tooth and need major refreshes. He’ll also talk about the impact of the iPhone SE, and whether there’s a big market for smaller smartphones. The discussion will also focus on 4K TV, and where the new format is going. What price points are most popular, and what about getting more genuine 4K content to watch? Stephen also talks about the contribution of Android Auto and Apple CarPlay to the infotainment systems of a growing number of motor vehicles.

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Download NOW PLAYING! April 23, 2016 — Kirk McElhearn and Jeff Gamet

We present columnist and podcaster Kirk McElhearn, also known as Macworld’s “iTunes Guy,” On this episode, he talks about the new monthly price plans for Amazon Prime, Amazon customer service, a possible smudging problem on 9.7-inch iPad Pro’s display, and Apple’s user hostile upgrade policies for most Macs. There will also be a brief discussion on Kirk’s search for a new hybrid car.

You’ll also hear from commentator Jeff Gamet, Managing Editor for The Mac Observer. Jeff will talk about lingering Apple/FBI issues, concerns about proposed legislation in the U.S. Congress covering device encryption, the European Commission’s antitrust case against Google over its alleged restrictive policies on the Android platform, the prospects for an Apple Car, the inability to upgrade RAM on many Macs, and the need for new features in the iOS to make it possible to do more productive things on an iPad. Gene repeats his concerns about the fact that he cannot use an iPad to record episodes of his radio shows due to Apple’s “sandboxing” limitations.


Download April 16, 2016 — Daniel Eran Dilger and Jonny Evans

We present cutting-edge commentator Daniel Eran Dilger, of Roughly Drafted Magazine and AppleInsider. He’ll discuss what you need to understand about the Apple versus FBI conflict over iPhone security and its implications. Daniel will also talk about the well-known security shortcomings of the Android platform, that only a small number are using a slow software-based encryption scheme. Sales of iPhones and the high-end Samsung Galaxy smartphones are also compared and contrasted.

You’ll also hear from Jonny Evans, Computerworld’s “Apple Holic.” Jonny will talk about the prospects for an Apple Car, and what we might expect from Apple. Does the forthcoming mid-sized Tesla 3 pave the way? Jonny will also question why Apple hasn’t pushed the fourth generation Apple TV to the educational market, Apple versus the FBI, and how things are being done in the UK. The discussion will move to how Apple has been able to boost Mac market share against Windows, and the growing presence of Macs and other Apple gear in the enterprise.


Download April 9, 2016 — Josh Centers and Kirk McElhearn

We present author Josh Centers, Managing Editor for TidBITS, and author of “Take Control of Apple TV” and other titles. He’ll focus his discussion first on the forthcoming Tesla 3 electric car, which garnered over 325,000 preorders days after it was announced. He’ll also talk about the lingering Apple/FBI issues, OS X security and his latest book covering the fourth generation Apple TV. Gene explains why he’s still using the previous model.

You’ll also hear from commentator and podcaster Kirk McElhearn, also known as Macworld’s “iTunes Guy,” who discusses the latest security exploit involving Adobe Flash, and why he removed Flash from all his Macs, and only uses the embedded version in the Google Chrome browser. He’ll also comment on the lingering Apple/FBI controversy, and talk up his new iPhone SE and iPad Pro. The discussion concludes with Amazon’s efforts to expand same-day delivery and supermarkets that allow you to place online orders for home delivery in the U.S. and UK.


Download April 2, 2016 — John Martellaro and Dr. Timothy Summers

We present columnist John Martellaro, Senior Editor, Analysis & Reviews for The Mac Observer. At the top of John’s agenda this week is Apple’s dispute with the FBI over an iPhone 5c used by a terrorist. Now that the authorities have recovered data from it, is the dispute over — or is it beginning? The very thought takes us to a compelling issue, that, to John, iPhone technology is “indistinguishable from magic.” John will also explain why he feels Apple’s 9.7-inch iPad Pro will “breathe new life into the product line.” He’ll also talk about OS X, which debuted as a Public Beta in 2000. Is it time for Apple to think about making OS X and iOS more proactive, more intelligent?

You’ll also hear from ethical hacker Dr. Timothy Summers, President of Summers & Company, a cyber strategy and organizational design consulting firm. Dr. Summers will participate in a thorough discussion of the ins and outs of the FBI’s solution to unlocking that iPhone. He’ll also speculate about what techniques the authorities may have employed to recover the data, and whether that method can possibly present security problems for users. He’ll also explain why he thinks that Android’s more flexible encryption model might present a higher level of security. The discussion concludes with credit card safety and whether Bitcoin has seen its day. Is there anything about the Bitcoin financial model that banks might still find useful?


Download March 26, 2016 — Bob LeVitus and Kirk McElhearn

We present prolific author and commentator Bob “Dr. Mac” LeVitus with lots to talk about. He first complains about problems dealing with Microsoft’s One Drive and why he kept getting strange system errors after trying to upload files to the cloud storage system. The discussion moves on to why Apple refused to post his new satiric song, “Why iTunes Must Die!” in iTunes. Bob and Gene talk about Apple dodging a bullet in its conflict with the FBI, and there’s a segment about the “printer ink wars” and how to save a bundle on consumables. Bob will also explain how his Apple Watch continues to be an indispensable tool for his health and fitness needs.

You’ll also hear from outspoken columnist and podcaster Kirk McElhearn, also known as Macworld’s “iTunes Guy.” Kirk will discuss what he regards as an advertising scam at Facebook, when you agree to pay for additional traffic to boost a post in your timeline. He’ll also explain why he prefers a 4-inch iPhone, and, therefore, ordered an iPhone SE. There’s a brief discussion about Apple’s public conflict with the FBI over a court order to unlock an iPhone 5c used by a terrorist. That order is current postponed as the FBI tries out a third-party’s solution.


Download March 19, 2016 — Bryan Chaffin and Peter Cohen

We present Bryan Chaffin, co-founder and co-publisher of The Mac Observer. He’ll discuss the ever-complicated Apple/FBI conflict, where Apple is being asked to create what’s called a “GovOS,” to allow the authorities to break into an iPhone 5c used by a terrorist. He’ll also make some sage predictions of what might come from the Apple media event set for March 21, 2016. Speculation has it that the offerings will include a new 4-inch iPhone, and an iPad refresh, a new version of the 9.7 model. Bryan also talks about his efforts to live without his Apple Watch for a full week, offering his impressions after five days. And, yes, he still wears a watch, a mechanical one.

You’ll also hear from freelance writer and podcaster Peter Cohen, who will also discuss the possibilities at the Apple media event, and whether the expected new products appeal to him. The discussion will also include Peter’s impressions of the Apple/FBI conflict, and his feelings about the government’s contradictory claims about whether or not it’s limited to a single iPhone. Gene moves the discussion to the reliability of recent laser printers, citing his problems with a Brother black and white laser, where the fuser assembly failed after roughly 28,000 copies were printed; it’s rated for 100,000 copies.


Download March 12, 2016 — Jeff Gamet and Kirk McElhearn

We present outspoken commentator Jeff Gamet, Managing Editor for The Mac Observer. He will present his views about the ongoing Apple dispute with the FBI over whether our favorite fruit company can be forced to build a special OS backdoor to unlock an iPhone 5c work phone used by a terrorist in the San Bernardino attacks. He’ll also talk about Apple’s March 21, 2016 media event, where they are expected to introduce a 4-inch iPhone and a new 9.7-inch iPad. And how does adding new models contribute to model bloat at Apple? Can they — should they — produce fewer product variations?

You’ll also hear from columnist Kirk McElhearn, also known as Macworld’s “iTunes Guy.” Kirk will present his views about the ongoing Apple/FBI case. He will also explain why he has preferred 4-inch iPhones over the larger versions, and what he anticipates from Apple’s media event. Is he ready to trade his iPhone 6s for the rumored iPhone 5se? He’ll also talk about the final outcome of the Apple e-book antitrust case, where they are now forced to pay a settlement of $450 million to states, attorneys, and customers.


Download March 5, 2016 — Bill Carey, Daniel Eran Dilger and Rob Pegoraro

On this week’s all-star episode, the polarizing topic of Apple versus the FBI is front and center once again, as our guests all give you their opinions about Apple’s fight to prevent being forced to create a special version of iOS that would defeat security controls on a terrorist suspect’s iPhone 5c work phone. The matter was made more confusing by the ruling from a Federal Magistrate Judge that Apple did not have to break the encryption of an iPhone that was evidence in a criminal case. As the week progressed, other tech companies had filed amicus briefs in the case favoring Apple’s position, while some others filed in favor of the government. You’ll also hear about the possibility that Apple plans to introduce a new 4-inch iPhone in a late March media event.

Our guests include Bill Carey, VP of Marketing for Roboform, a company that makes password management software, cutting-edge commentator Daniel Eran Dilger, of Roughly Drafted Magazine and AppleInsider, and columnist Rob Pegoraro, who writes for USA Today, Yahoo Tech and Wirecutter.


Check out the Show Archives for earlier episodes.