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    DOWNLOAD — Free Version: We present outspoken columnist and podcaster Kirk McElhearn, who talks at length about Apple’s controversial changes in iTunes 12.7, in which they removed access to the App Store. This means that iPhone and iPad users will have to download and organize their apps on their mobile gear rather than Macs and PCs. With the release of a developer and public beta seed of the Golden Master of macOS High Sierra, Gene and Kirk discuss Apple’s decision to remove the ability to convert Macs with Fusion drives — which consist of a regular hard drive and a small solid state drive — to the new Apple File System. They also talk about Apple’s iPhone announcements, which include the iPhone X. And what about the controversial “notch” at the top of the unit? What about the new Apple TV with 4K and HDR?

    You’ll also hear from writer/editor Adam Engst, of TidBITS, who covers the new Apple Watch Series 3, which includes an LTE radio that can make phone calls. He reflects on how the product has become more of a health and fitness accessory as Apple has continued to develop the product. Gene and Adam also talk about the iPhone X, the notch and its impact, plus Apple’s last minute change to the High Sierra OS that no longer supports Macs with Fusion drives. You’ll also hear an extended discussion about the Apple TV, its new features, and about the growing fragmentation of TV streaming services. This is creating a situation where you may have to join a number of these services to watch their exclusive shows. How does this impact cable cord cutting? Does it end up costing more than cable and satellite what with all the separate services?

    Click to hear our latest episode: The Tech Night Owl Live — September 16, 2017

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    Look Who is Redesigning the iPhone X

    September 21st, 2017

    From the earliest days of the Mac, Macworld magazine chronicled its history. The print publication hit the newsstands in 1984, same year as the original Macintosh personal computer, and kept going for some 30 years, until management decided it was time to go all digital. Only recently, there was a reported staff cutback in which some long-time contributors found themselves without assignments.

    I actually wrote for Macworld for a period of several years in the 1990s. I switched to its main rival, MacUser, only months before that magazine folded and combined itself with Macworld. Not one of my smartest moves.

    Now I gather most of Macworld is put together these days by a small full-time staff of editors and writers. There are a few notable exceptions, such as Macalope, who delivers a humorous look at some of Apple’s lamer critics.

    But without a lot of outside influences and ideas, perhaps the quality of the content may have taken a hit and the publisher may be trying harder to generate some click bait.

    Continue Reading...

    A Few Things About Apple — Real or Imagined

    September 20th, 2017

    As promised, Apple released three of its four operating systems on Tuesday. macOS High Sierra will arrive on Monday, September 25th, but I’ll get to that shortly.

    Both tvOS 11, for the fourth-generation Apple TV, and watchOS 4, for the Apple Watch, have minor improvements. The world won’t change, although loyal users of both devices will appreciate the fact that Apple’s developers labor away at making them better and better.

    Then there’s iOS 11, which is a major update for the iPhone, and most especially for the iPad. Up till now, the iPad’s status as a productivity tool has been questionable. Yes, you can get pretty decent mobile versions of Microsoft Office; Apple’s iWork and other apps do a creditable job of moving the tablet away from being strictly a consumption device.

    Beginning with iOS 10, Apple began to chip away at the iPad’s productivity limits, a potential replacement for a notebook computer. With such things as split-screen multitasking, it became more useful.

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    Reader Alert!

    September 20th, 2017

    Dear Reader,

    I turned 72 on September 9th. I have worked long and hard for over 55 years to earn my keep.

    Unfortunately, the Night Owl is suffering from a severe financial crisis.

    In addition, it’s becoming more and more difficult for me to walk.

    If anything I’ve ever done has ever made a positive difference to you, please help me survive and get past this nightmare.

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    Wireless Service and T-Mobile’s LTE Band 71 Conundrum

    September 19th, 2017

    The entire American marketing scheme for selling mobile handsets received its overdue overhaul via T-Mobile’s “Uncarrier” program. Instead of being stuck with a two-year contract, they basically separated the device from the service.

    Well, I suppose it seemed different enough, because you would strike a separate deal to buy or lease a mobile device. This meant that, once the equipment was paid off, your bill would be reduced accordingly. Compare that to those old fashioned two-year cellular plans where, even when you technically had no more obligation to pay off a device, the price would never go down. You’d pay it forever.

    You can bet which plan sounds better. But that doesn’t mean U.S. cellular carriers — and even Apple — don’t have a scheme to lock you in. So you can pay a monthly fee for the device, and depending on the deal you select, you can regularly trade in your equipment for the new model. If you want to upgrade every year, you pick the appropriate deal.

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