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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 21, 2018

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    Emergency Notice to Readers!

    April 23rd, 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 #960: Using an ISP’s Router: Not So Fast!

    April 23rd, 2018

    As most of you know, Apple hasn’t updated its AirPort routers in five years. Even though development has reportedly ceased, there have been occasional firmware updates, and the aging products are still being sold by Apple for the same prices. Perhaps the company feels that the technology hasn’t changed all that much. Most new routers merely refine existing technology, except for those so-called “mesh” gadgets designed to provide better coverage by using multiple devices in a larger home or business.

    A quick visit to your local consumer electronics store will reveal a decent selection ranging from the inexpensive to the costlier models that promise better coverage and speed. Unfortunately, the specs don’t reveal much to the prospective purchaser, and they aren’t always as easy to set up as they should be. This is where the AirPort excelled.

    The ones I’ve tried recently come with a setup assistant designed to configure the unit to your system. Some offer default network names and tough passwords; others don’t consider password security, which means they are easy to guess unless changed.

    Continue Reading…


    About Daring to Fix or Upgrade Your Mac

    April 22nd, 2018

    Once upon a time, there was a huge question mark about whether you could or should attempt to upgrade your Mac. Whether adding RAM or replacing a drive, would the act void Apple’s warranty? But in the early days, except for some of those original all-in-one models, changing RAM was a snap. The top cover of such models as the Macintosh II and the IIcx could be popped open in a flash, giving you easy access to the internal workings.

    Later on, as Apple began to produce minitowers, it wasn’t always so easy. By the mid-90s, when Apple’s leadership appeared to be more interested in selling the company than building compelling new products, I recall having to disassemble the thin wiring harnesses around the logic board to get to the RAM slots. Indeed, when some Apple executives held a briefing to testers who had signed up for their “Customer Quality Feedback” program, a new Mac with a rejiggered and simplified upgrade scheme was displayed.

    There was a big round of applause from the audience.

    Continue Reading...


    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…