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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: This week, we present security expert Chris Weber, co-founder of Casaba Security, a Seattle-based ethical hacking firm that advises major tech, financial, retail and healthcare companies. They also work with companies to develop secure apps and software. He is the coauthor of the book, “Privacy Defended: Protecting Yourself Online.” During this session, Chris will discuss the growing brouhaha over Facebook privacy, and the kind of information they collect about their users. Its unexpected involvement with the 2016 Presidential campaign is also covered, and what about the appearance of Facebook Chairman and CEO Mark Zuckerberg before Congress? You’ll also hear Chris talk in general about protecting your privacy, and making it harder for hackers to take control of your accounts by using strong passwords and two-step authentication, which involves adding a second method, often a smartphone, to provide extra security from hackers.

    You’ll also hear from long-time Apple guru and prolific author Bob “Dr. Mac” LeVitus, as Gene recounts yet another episode of his ongoing troubles with AT&T when he tried to take advantage of a cheap offer for DirecTV. Gene explains why he’s kept AT&T service for his iPhone even though there are other and possibly better alternatives. Bob says he switched from AT&T to T-Mobile. There’s also a brief discussion of “world backup day,” as Gene facetiously suggests that maybe the show ought to go back in time to honor the event in the proper fashion. And what about published reports that future versions of macOS and iOS might allow you to run the same apps on both? And what about recent speculation that Apple will someday ditch using Intel processors on Macs and make yet another processor move, to the same A-series ARM chips used on iPhones and iPads? Is this a reasonable possibility, or would the fact that many Mac users need to run Windows at native speeds make such a move unfeasible?

    Click to hear our latest episode: The Tech Night Owl Live — April 14, 2018

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    Emergency Notice to Readers!

    April 18th, 2018

    As you know, the Night Owl has been suffering from serious financial difficulties. Last month, he left his apartment ahead of the arrival of the constable who was coming to evict him and his wife, and left them in danger of becoming homeless when the motel money runs out.

    If you are in a position to help or want more information, please read this:

    Weekend update!

    Newsletter Issue #959: Watching TV Without iTunes and Apple TV

    April 17th, 2018

    Aside from adding 4K and HDR support and a few odds and ends, the Apple TV 4K didn’t change much from its predecessor. Well, except for those complaints about the fact that the 32GB model is, at $179, $30 more expensive than the already-expensive fourth-generation model. That doesn’t seem to make a whole lot of sense inasmuch as the 64GB version is unchanged at $199.

    Evidently Apple’s bean counters have an answer for this screwy move, but it still doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to me. It’s not that the Apple TV 4K does so much more than the Roku Ultra, which can be had for as little as $69.99 from Amazon.

    Well, there is the fact that Apple TV of any sort is required if you are invested in Apple’s ecosystem for iTunes video content and hope to watch the forthcoming TV shows that will probably come to you via Apple Music.

    Continue Reading…

    The Real Cause of the Worldwide PC Sales Slowdown?

    April 15th, 2018

    Are we really and truly in the twilight of the PC era? Is it true that most personal computing is moving towards mobile platforms — smartphones and tablets? Will the PC become the pickup truck, as Steve Jobs once claimed, and thus needed by fewer people?

    Now those of you who follow the auto industry in the U.S. will notice that more people are buying larger vehicles, such as SUVs and trucks, and sedans are not doing so well. So maybe things are moving in reverse?

    As a practical matter, I suspect most computing chores by regular people are done on their smartphones. The popularity of phablets, models with displays of over five inches, cements it. It also seems that the larger portion of email I receive these days are composed on mobile gear. I gather that from the telltale message below one’s signature indicating which mobile device they were composed on. Well, assuming a Samsung user isn’t putting iPhone there to fool people.

    Continue Reading...

    Throttlegate Revisited

    April 11th, 2018

    Consider the crazy situation. Apple screwed up, by failing to flesh out release notes to reveal a key fact about a fix for iPhone sudden shutdowns. The solution was to regulate, or slow down performance of the affected devices if they had deteriorating batteries. It wasn’t a casual matter, of course, not was the cause casual. It was caused by batteries that were unable to handle high load.

    On the surface, it was logical enough. Would users prefer unexpected shutdowns or slower performance? But the performance slowdown was noticeable enough for some people to test the result, and post those results on YouTube. More to the point, was it a deliberate effort on the part of Apple to make older iPhones obsolete in order to trick you into buying a new one, as some claimed?

    I hardly think so.

    Continue Reading...