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The Tech Night Owl LIVE — Tech Radio with an Attitude!

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October 3, 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 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.

Episode Downloads

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Download NOW PLAYING! September 26, 2015 — Jeff Gamet and Stephen Baker

We present Jeff Gamet, Managing Editor for The Mac Observer. His bill of fare includes the XcodeGhost malware episode, which infected some copies of Apple’s Xcode developer tools downloaded in China. He’ll also cover the iOS 9.0.1 update, which fixed a critical installation bug and other problems, a comparison between Proactive Siri, from iOS 9, and Google Now, Apple Car skeptics, and WatchOS 2. There will also be a brief pop culture discussion that focuses on some of the new TV shows for the fall season in the U.S.

You’ll also hear from Stephen Baker, Vice President for Industry Analysis at the NPD Group, who will discuss whether smartphone sales have reached a saturation point in the U.S. He’ll also cover the reasons for slipping tablet sales, and whether Apple’s forthcoming iPad Pro will help improve the situation. The conversation also includes the lack of 4K support in the forthcoming Apple TV, the prospects for 4K TV sales this fall, whether the arrival of Windows 10 will help boost PC sales, and the growing prospects for Macs in the enterprise.

Download September 19, 2015 — Peter Cohen and John Martellaro

We return to a slew of newsworthy announcements and software releases from Apple. You’ll hear from Peter Cohen, whose writings are found at iMoreMacworld and Tom’s Guide. He’ll talk about the release of iOS 9, the promise of the fourth generation of Apple TV and its lack of support for 4K (Ultra HD), Tim Cook’s appearance on Stephen Colbert’s “Late Show,” and Apple’s latest appeal, this time to the U.S. Supreme Court, in the eBook antitrust case.

You’ll also hear from John Martellaro, Senior Editor, Analysis & Reviews for The Mac Observer, who will discuss the best features of the Apple Watch operating system, watchOS 2. You’ll also hear about the things that Apple does that “some hate and few understand.” The discussion also turns to the “contrarian vision” of the fourth generation Apple TV, why the forthcoming iPad Pro is Apple’s “new guiding star,” and Amazon’s failed Fire Phone, which he regards as “too creepy for customers.”

Download September 12, 2015 — Josh Centers and Kirk McElhearn

We focus on Apple’s September 9th, 2015 media event and the extensive range of product announcements. You’ll learn about the new iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus, and whether the new features are compelling enough. We’ll also cover the new Apple TV set-top box and the new features, including its gaming potential, but why does it lack 4K? Also on the agenda is the iPad Pro, Apple Pencil. Is it maybe a little too close in concept to the Microsoft Surface 3? And what might come when or if Apple introduces a subscription TV service?

On the agenda for this discussion is Josh Centers, Managing Editor for TidBITS, and author of “Take Control of Apple TV” and other titles. You’ll also hear from tech columnist Kirk McElhearn, Macworld’s “iTunes Guy.” Last year, Kirk returned his iPhone 6, and decided to stick with an iPhone 5s. One reason is that he prefers the 4-inch display. So are Apple’s new offerings enough to tempt him, or does the lack of a smaller display remain the deal breaker?

Download September 5, 2015 — Bryan Chaffin and Avram Pitch

We present Bryan Chaffin, co-founder and co-publisher of The Mac Observer. He’ll discuss predictions about the fourth generation Apple TV. What new features can we expect? Will Apple raise the price, and what about 4K (Ultra HD) support? You’ll also hear a debate about a recent report from columnist Jonny Evans, a friend of the show, who suggested Apple ought to consider making a version of OS X that’ll run in a virtual machine on a Windows box for enterprise use. Would that endanger sales of high priced Macs? And what about the admission, from an Apple executive, that they are working on fixes for Apple Music problems?

You’ll also hear from Avram Pitch, the Online Editorial Director for Laptop magazine. He’ll also discuss what might be expected from the next Apple TV. The discussion will also focus on Apple’s rumored plans for a subscription TV service, and the potential pitfalls of cord-cutting. What about cable and satellite companies offering a la carte, where you pick just the channels you want? There’s also an extended discussion about ad-blockers, which are designed to shield you from ads on web sites. But is there a downside — the large potential loss of income by online publishers? Avram will also briefly discuss the possibilities for a larger version of the iPad, subbed iPad Pro by the media.

Download August 29, 2015 — Michael Roy, Kirk McElhearn and Peter Cohen

We feature Michael Roy, Senior Product Marketing Manager for VMWare Fusion and Fusion Pro. He’ll talk about version 8, just released, which offers a number of new features, including support for Windows 10 and OS X El Capitan, along with an enhanced graphics engine for better game play in a Windows virtual machine.

Columnist Kirk McElhearn, Macworld’s “iTunes Guy,” talks briefly about the sudden departure of Apple Music director Ian Rogers, and confusing stats over the number of people still using the service weeks after it was introduced. He’ll also join Gene in speculating about what might come out of Apple’s September 9 media event, where new iPhones are expected. Will there also be the long-awaited refresh for Apple TV, and what about a recent survey, from IDC, which put Apple Watch in second place behind the Fitbit among wearables?

You’ll also hear from outspoken commentator Peter Cohen, Mac Managing Editor for iMore, who will also talk at length about what might be expected at Apple’s media event. What about the fact that Apple will also stream it to Windows users? There will be a brief discussion about the positive reception to Windows 10, the prospects for a new Apple TV, possible improvements to the remote, and whether there’s an iPad Pro in our future.

Download August 22, 2015 — Adam Engst and Jeff Gamet

We feature Adam Engst, of TidBITS and Take Control Books. During this segment, he’ll talk about making pizza and Google’s corporate reorganization that resulted in creating a holding company known as Alphabet. Adam explains why the presence of electronic stability control on newer motor vehicles was a prime reason why he purchased a new car for his 16-year-old son, and he and Gene go into an extended discussion about the sad state of auto infotainment systems. Is CarPlay the answer, and is Apple working on building its own car?

You’ll also hear from Jeff Gamet, Managing Editor for The Mac Observer, who also discusses car infotainment systems and the prospects for an Apple Car. The discussion turns to the data breach at Ashley Madison, a site that specializes in matching up people for possible “discrete encounters.” And what about Apple Music, the prospects for a larger iPad, the iPad Pro, along with a new stylus design? There’s also a brief discussion about Apple’s “neglected” products.

Download August 15, 2015 — Jeff Carlson and Kirk McElhearn

We feature Jeff Carlson, Senior Editor for TidBITS, who will attempt to explain what Google’s complex migration to a holding company known as Alphabet is all about. He’ll also talk about Apple’s replacement for iPhoto and Aperture known as Photos for OS X. There’s also an iOS version. The discussion moves on to Apple Watch, where Jeff gives you a brief crash course on using Apple’s fancy new smartwatch.

You’ll also hear from one of our show regulars, columnist Kirk McElhearn, Macworld’s “iTunes Guy,” who will focus the main part of his discussions on Apple Music, and the various problems users have reported since the subscription music service debuted on June 30. Do the iTunes 12.2.2 and iOS 8.4.1 updates fix those problems, or are there more issues that Apple needs to resolve? Gene and Kirk also switch into pop culture mode, talking about the need for daylight savings time, remaking old TV shows as movies, such as “The Man From U.N.C.L.E.” and about British and Australian actors who attempt to sound American. And vice versa.

Download August 8, 2015 — Kirk McElhearn and Jim Tanous

Amid growing reports of problems with Apple Music, we present columnist Kirk McElhearn, Macworld’s “iTunes Guy,” who focuses his discussion on possible solutions to some of those Apple Music problems. He also covers the ongoing problems with iCloud, Apple’s online network, where there are occasional outages and bouts of flaky performance. Major Apple Music problems appear related to iCloud integration.

You’ll also hear from blogger Jim Tanous, Editor-in-Chief of TekRevue. He’ll talk about the Apple Music rollout and the recent report that some 11 million iTunes customers have signed up as of the first week of August. Jim will explain why he’s unimpressed with these numbers, suggesting they should have been much larger when you consider that 800 million people have iTunes accounts. He’ll also cover the ins and outs of Windows 10. He’ll focus on the various changes in the Windows Start menu through the years starting with Windows 95, and on the controversial changes in Windows 8. He’ll also discuss the new Edge browser that debuted in Windows 10.

Check out the Show Archives for earlier episodes.