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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’s guests include tech journalist Josh Centers, Managing Editor for TidBITS, and author of “Take Control of Apple TV” and other titles. Josh talks at length about his iPhone X, and perhaps its most controversial feature, the notch. He explains how easy it was for him to adapt to a smartphone that doesn’t have the traditional Home button. As the owner of a new Nintendo Switch portable gaming console, Josh explains how he, his wife, and his son have been using the new gadget. Gene delivers an update on whether or not he’s changed his mind about not buying an Apple Watch, and the discussion moves to the case of the missing spare tire, as most cars come with either a limited use donut spare tire, a canister with which to repair a flat, or a “run-flat” tire that is costly to replace.

    You’ll also hear from columnist Bryan Chaffin, co-founder and co-publisher of The Mac Observer. As the interview continues, Bryan will explain how he’s waiting for the arrival of an iPhone X that may arrive during the session. Did it show up, or was there a false alarm? He also discusses his decision to buy an Apple TV 4K even though he doesn’t have a 4K TV. There’s also a brief discussion about an article from Bryan’s colleague, John Martellaro, about why Apple needs a “smarter way” to manage macOS upgrades. He suggests several system checks, including whether apps are compatible with the new OS and making sure the user has backups. Gene expresses his skepticism about comments made by Sir Jonathan Ive, about Apple’s innovation process, in a Time magazine interview in connection with the iPhone X being listed as one of the top 25 inventions of 2017.

    Click to hear our latest episode: The Tech Night Owl Live — November 18, 2017

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    About Missing Shipping Deadlines

    November 22nd, 2017

    Does it matter if a company is late to ship a product? I suppose if you need it right away, now, yesterday as if you’re life depended on it, maybe it would be a major issue. If you wanted to give it as a gift for the holidays, someone’s birthday or someone’s anniversary, and the deadline was missed, it would be an upsetting situation. After all, just sending a sales slip as proof that a present was on the way wouldn’t convey a very nice impression.

    When it comes to technology, being late is not unusual. An auto maker introduces a new model, and it may take a while for production to catch up with demand, especially for a hot seller. I remember waiting for months for certain cars years back; I’ve always been a little obsessive about colors and options. More recently, in addition to setting my sights on cheaper models, I try to buy what’s on the showroom floor, or something that can be exchanged with another dealer. That way, virtually instant gratification, well except for that lengthy and annoying process of making the deal and waiting for the finance manager to get things in order.

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    More About iPhone X Demand

    November 21st, 2017

    As regular readers know, this past weekend’s newsletter covered a survey from a previously unknown company that indicated higher demand for the Samsung Galaxy S8 than the iPhone X for holiday giving. This was a survey of adults. For young folk, the results were essentially reversed.

    While the market research company, Propeller Insights, seemed real enough, at least based on its site, there was no indication that it had any known clients, or any clients for that matter, and certainly no track record for providing accurate data. Now I don’t want to seem paranoid, or expressing sour grapes since I have no personal interest in the outcome, but it may well be that the company was put together to conduct a single survey. Or perhaps to produce similar faux surveys.

    While the survey was supposedly commissioned by Ebates, a company specializing in tracking product rebates, I also wonder about the motive. Apple is not offering product rebates for any iPhones these days. It’s not a practice in which they often engage. So what was the point, unless this was all done to hide the identity of the party that really funded the survey.

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    Newsletter Issue #938: There Are Surveys and There Are Surveys

    November 20th, 2017

    You can manipulate sets of numbers to prove most anything you want, and even with the best of intentions, there’s a margin for error. Does either situation explain why Mac sales for the September quarter were severely undercounted by Gartner and IDC, two major market research firms? While Apple reported sales increases of over 10% year-over-year, Gartner and IDC estimated flat or slightly declining sales.

    It isn’t the first time they screwed up. In the past, IDC claimed that Windows Phone — remember that one? — would eventually achieve a higher market share than the iPhone, thus putting it in second place. While Microsoft surely loved the news, it didn’t work that way in the real world. These days, Microsoft has mostly unraveled its smartphone presence. Market share is only a tad better than a rounding error.

    So did Gartner and IDC apologize to the media for providing erroneous sales estimates, or making projections the turned out to be the opposite of the truth? Are they offering refunds to their clients for failing to deliver accurate information?

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    Kudos for the “Unoriginal” iPhone X

    November 17th, 2017

    While 2017 isn’t over, Time magazine has already published the list of its “25 Best Inventions of 2017.” Now you’ve probably read about this already, but a little explanation is in store.

    So after the iPhone X was first announced, the critics lambasted Apple for being late to the party with some of its important features. Take OLED displays, which have already appeared on Android smartphones. It’s important to note that Samsung makes the iPhone X’s display. Whatever you think about Samsung’s penchant for stealing ideas from other companies, it certainly has the chops to build the parts tech companies need, such as displays, memory and other components.

    Facial recognition is also nothing new, and Face ID was attacked for being insecure and slow even before the critics had a product to evaluate. So even though reviewers, including Consumer Reports, have praised Face ID, there were complaints about privacy and other matters. The difference is that, for the most part, Apple made it work pretty much as advertised. Yes, I know about the problems with twins and some other exceptions.

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