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September 24, 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 blogger and podcaster Kirk McElhearn, also known as Macworld’s “iTunes Guy.” He’ll talk about his strange problems moving from the beta channel of iOS 10 to the release version, outline the interface changes that are meant to simplify Apple Music, and briefly comment about a decision by the U.S. Senate to spend a mere $19.5 million on plans for Mars exploration and a new spaceship design. The discussion moves to computer speakers, as Gene talks about his quest to find a system that won’t blow the circuit breaker for his office when he’s listening to music and also printing a document on his laser printer.

You’ll also hear from commentator Jeff Gamet, Managing Editor for The Mac Observer. He’ll also talk about Gene’s quest for new computer speakers, Apple’s application to patent an exclusive design for a — paper bag, Apple’s alleged attempt to discourage customers from buying music with Apple Music, new developments in AI technology at Apple, and the latest scuttlebutt about alleged plans for an Apple Car. Is Apple giving up on building a car and focusing on self-driving technology? What about those published reports that Apple is in talks to acquire a luxury sports car maker, McLaren Automotive, and whether such a move even makes sense.


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Download NOW PLAYING! September 17, 2016 — Josh Centers and Sean Aune

We present Josh Centers, Managing Editor for TidBITS, and author of “Take Control of Apple TV” and other titles. The topics include speculation about iPhone 7 sales in light of reports of heavy preorders and sellouts, particularly for the iPhone 7 Plus. As author of “iOS 10: A Take Control Crash Course,” Josh details some of the best features of the new OS, and discusses the download glitch that, for an hour, gave Apple customers a defective version that bricked some devices until they could be restored, usually via iTunes.

You’ll also hear from tech editor Sean Aune, director of operations for TechnoBuffalo, an online blog and gadget review site. Gene begins the discussion with his tale of woe about a Brother HL-5450DN printer that keeps tripping the circuit breaker in his home office, and surprising solution from the manufacturer. Gene and Sean go back and forth about Apple’s “courageous” decision to remove the headphone jack on the iPhone 7, the possible reasons and the impact to customers. Sean will also discuss an Apple poll of Mac notebook owners reportedly circulating in which they are asked whether they ever use the headphone jack. The discussion also focuses on Samsung’s quality control problems with the Galaxy Note 7 that has been recalled due to episodes of the battery bursting into flames or exploding.

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Download September 10, 2016 — Kirk McElhearn and Bob “Dr. Mac” LeVitus

On this week’s all-star episode, we present columnist and podcaster  Kirk McElhearn, also known as Macworld’s “iTunes Guy.” In pointed remarks, Kirk explains why he’s not terribly impressed with Apple’s explanation for ditching the headphone jack, nor, for that matter, with the iPhone 7, which he doesn’t regard as a significant improvement over previous models. In response to Gene’s remark about the headphone jack being a notorious source of unreliability, Kirk brings up problems with frayed Lightning cables. There’s also a brief discussion about the failure of the paperless revolution.

You’ll also hear from prolific author and commentator Bob “Dr. Mac” LeVitus, who works with Gene in setting up the Golden Master version of macOS Sierra, which was released on September 8th to public beta testers. Gene briefly toys with the Mac version of Siri, not his favorite feature, before the discussion moves to the iPhone 7. Contrary to Kirk’s reaction, Bob explains why he’s impressed with the new features, particularly the camera enhancements that may allow him to leave his DSLR camera home. You’ll also hear Bob’s reaction to the loss of the headphone jack, and Gene will talk about Apple’s announcement that it will no longer reveal first weekend sales for the new iPhone. The excuse is that they won’t have enough stock on hand to meet demand, so potential sales can’t be reported.

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Download September 3, 2016 — Sean Aune, Dr. Timothy Summers, and John Martellaro

We present tech journalist Sean Aune, director of operations for TechnoBuffalo, an online blog and gadget review site. He’ll focus mainly on what’s expected from Apple during the September 7th media event in San Francisco. The predictions mainly cover an iPhone 7, but Sean will also discuss the possibilities for introducing an Apple Watch 2, and Apple’s skirmish with the European Commission over a $14.5 billion tax bill.

You’ll also hear from security expert and ethical hacker Dr. Timothy Summers, President of Summers & Company, a cyber strategy and organizational design consulting firm, who will discuss the latest hacks impacting the Democratic National Committee and other Democratic facilities. Are the hackers strictly focusing on one political party? And what about those recent security fixes from Apple?

The final half of the show will feature John Martellaro, Senior Editor, Analysis & Reviews for The Mac Observer. His bill of fare includes such topics as “Blood in the Macintosh Water,” why “There Ain’t No Such Thing as Free TV,” “Is There Anything Apple Can’t Do? That’s Now a Problem,” and how “Autonomous Vehicles Might Develop Superior Judgement.” Gene wonders whether the day might come in the next few years where he will have to give up the keys to his car and surrender to a self-driving vehicle.

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Download August 27, 2016 — Kirk McElhearn and Bryan Chaffin

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 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.

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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.

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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.

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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?

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Check out the Show Archives for earlier episodes.