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    A PREMIUM TECH NIGHT OWL LIVE EXPERIENCE! Welcome to Tech Night Owl+! For a low monthly or annual subscription fee, you will receive access to an ad-free higher-resolution version of The Tech Night Owl LIVE and other exclusive content. For more information and simple signup instructions, click here.

    DOWNLOAD — Free Version: On this week’s all-star episode, we feature prolific author Joe Kissell, who will discuss the third edition of “Take Control of Your Online Privacy.” You’ll hear hints and tips on ongoing threats, including the fallout from the decision by the U.S. Congress, signed by the President, to allow ISPs to sell your online history to third-party providers. Are there ways to protect yourself against this and other invasions of your privacy? Joe will also discuss another of his books, “Are Your Bits Flipped? Overcoming Tech Misconceptions.” He’ll talk about a few common day-to-day mistakes some people make.

    You’ll also hear a wide-ranging interview with prolific author Bob “Dr. Mac” LeVitus, who will discuss Apple’s commitment to take heed of the needs of professional Mac users and build a new Mac Pro, offer an iMac with professional options, and perhaps a souped up Mac mini. In discussing the potential of self-driving vehicles, Bob mentions the safe driving features now available in many new cars, such as his Subaru Legacy. Bob will also talk about the steps he took to overcome his ADHD condition, and how he developed the advice he offers in his first self-published book, “Working Smarter for Mac Users,” which will also soon be available in a Windows version. Gene and Bob will also briefly discuss old-time radio.

    Click to hear our latest episode: The Tech Night Owl Live — April 22, 2017

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    Some False Assumptions About Apple

    April 27th, 2017

    In recent columns, I’ve covered at length the attempts by the tech media to present the just-released Samsung Galaxy S8 smartphone as not only superior to the iPhone 7 but more advanced than the unannounced iPhone 8. The latter is obviously an absurd comparison.

    But what bothers me most is that the Galaxy S8’s known flaws are being largely overlooked by reviewers. Consider the flawed biometrics, key components to enhance the handset’s security. Consumer Reports initial review came close, mentioning the inconvenience of putting a fingerprint sensor at the rear and the limitations of its slow iris detection system that cannot handle darkness and bright sunlight. It’s not as flexible as the ones you see on TV, but there’s nothing said about the flawed facial recognition that can be fooled by a photograph.

    Well, you get the picture. Imagine if an iPhone had similar flaws. You’d never hear the end of it.

    The critics want to tell you that Apple is in deep trouble and there’s no way the iPhone 8 can possibly compete. But what about other Android  competitors, such as the LG G6, which is being touted as a cheaper alternative to the Galaxy S8?

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    The Silly Warnings About iWork

    April 26th, 2017

    The silly things I read about Apple or an Apple product boggle the mind. The other day, I ran across a perfectly absurd piece suggesting there was something harmful or nasty about Apple’s iWork software.

    I’m waiting for the mind to boggle!

    Now in the real world, Apple has been producing consumer-level productivity suites for years. It dates back to the launch of AppleWorks for the Apple II platform. Mac and PC versions existed ClarisWorks before becoming AppleWorks.

    Apple stopped selling AppleWorks in 2007, two years after its successor, iWork, was introduced.

    iWork consists of three apps. Pages provides word processing and simple page layout functions. Numbers is the spreadsheet, and Keynote is the presentation component.

    When iWork debuted for the iOS platform in 2013, the critics attacked Apple for releasing comparable Mac versions that lost some key features, such as multiple selection, linked text books, bookmarks, mail merge, the ability to import and export RTF files, page count, and, most important to some, AppleScript support.

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    A Paranoid Theory About the Source of Apple Criticisms?

    April 24th, 2017

    If you look at the media meme these days, the just-released Samsung Galaxy S8 is the bee’s knees. Apple’s unannounced successor to the iPhone 7, which may include a high-end iPhone 8, must be an inferior product. Apple has lost its taste for innovation, and the executives are sitting back and drinking Frappuccinos or some other overpriced beverage counting their blessings. Or the value of their stock options.

    Samsung has announced that it has received record orders for the Galaxy S8, 30% above the underperforming Galaxy S7. However, that boast means little since Samsung doesn’t exactly release sales figures. At least when Apple released iPhone sales for its first weekend, you’d get real numbers. All right, Apple didn’t do that last fall amid expectations of lower sales, perhaps fed by severe constraints on supplies of the iPhone 7 Plus.

    Despite the favorable press, the Galaxy S8 ships with some known problems, such as a rear-mounted fingerprint sensor that’s awkward to reach, a facial recognition system that can be fooled by a photograph. The Consumer Reports review suggested you could use the iris scanner instead, but it, too, has some shortcomings. “The iris scanner, however, takes about a second longer to unlock the screen and doesn’t work very well in sunlight or very dark rooms.”

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    Newsletter Issue #908: Assuming that Apple Can’t Innovate

    April 24th, 2017

    Do you remember the IBM Selectric? It represented the pinnacle of traditional typewriter technology before companies tried to turn them into rudimentary word processing machines. The Selectric made it easy to change typefaces by putting the letters on tiny switchable font elements or balls.

    My recollection of the Selectric is that they were smooth, reasonably reliable and expensive. Even better, IBM would easily finance most anyone, making it possible to get one with for a small monthly fee. That’s how I acquired my red Selectric II in the early 1970s. At one time, the Selectric had 75% of the typewriter market.

    The Selectric survived from its introduction in 1961 until 1986 with only modest changes. I kept mine for well over a decade, until it developed some irritating mechanical problems, and I replaced it with one of those so-called electronic typewriters that were sold in the heady days before personal computers took over.

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