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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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    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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    Design the Mac I Want — Or…

    April 21st, 2017

    As Mac users — and would-be Mac users — wonder about what Apple is up to, speculation is starting to become more detailed about the next product refreshes. Indeed, it almost seems as if speculation about a new iPad Pro with a 10.5-inch edge-to-edge screen is no longer relevant. But the release of a single lower-cost iPad without much fanfare probably set those discussions aside for a while, even as we still don’t know what Apple plans next for its tablet lineup.

    While ongoing chatter about a future iPhone has been roughly consistent for a while, except for final specs — and evidently the placement of the fingerprint sensor if you can believe the reports — there hasn’t been an awful lot about the new Macs expected this year after the initial coverage of Apple’s roundtable with tech journalists. Some of that may be no doubt due to the fact that development hasn’t reached the point where final prototypes are being tested. Once that happens, I suppose there will be more detail on what to expect.

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    More Nonsense About the Samsung Galaxy S8

    April 20th, 2017

    As more and more early reviews appear about Samsung’s new flagship smartphones, my comments about overlooking its obvious flaws are confirmed. Reviewers are clearly knocked out by the quality of its “Infinity” AMOLED display, and it stands to reason that Samsung can pull it off. After all, some of the best flat panel TVs out there are made by Samsung, but the handset’s flaws are being given short shrift.

    That said, some of the reviews I read about its display are just plain dumb! So, for example, the fact that it has a higher resolution than an iPhone 7 and an iPhone 7 Plus supposedly means that it delivers a better picture. But Retina is Retina, which means that smaller pixels won’t provide a visible improvement. What does appear to be true is that Samsung tends to follow the Windows “ClearType” scheme, which means that the edges of fonts appear to be sharper compared to an Apple product. This is because Apple uses text smoothing, which supposedly makes it more readable on an LCD display.

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