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    Coming July 21: This week we feature commentator Jeff Gamet, Managing Editor for The Mac Observer, who joins Gene in an extended pop culture chat. After a brief talk about the first female Doctor Who, as portrayed by Jodie Whittaker, the focus moves to comic book movies, and the dark approach taken by DC Comics compared to the lighter fare from Marvel. Gene provides a detailed report about SHAZAM, a character that once competed with Superman, which will be featured in a movie next year. You’ll also hear about the new MacBook Pro, and whether Apple addressed the concerns over the previous model. There is also talk about whether there will be an update to the iPhone SE, the next Apple Watch, the pending merger between Sprint and T-Mobile, and the problems Netflix encountered in boosting subscriptions in the last quarter.

    You’ll also hear from  about election hacking risks and the uproar over the Helsinki summit. Featured on this segment is Jason Glassberg, co-founder of Casaba Security. Last fall, Casaba and his company explored possible voting system vulnerabilities for a couple of national groups, and the potential problems exhibited by different machines. What about the electronic voting units that do not offer paper backup? What about the chances of hacking returns and altering the results? Gene and Jason engage in a lengthy discussion about the flaws, particularly involving older equipment with obsolete embedded operating systems that can no longer be patched to fix security flaws.

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

    For more episodes, click here to visit the show’s home page.


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    Special Notice to Readers!

    July 17th, 2018

    As you know, the Night Owl has been suffering from serious financial difficulties. To make matters worse, hackers have gone after my bank and Twitter accounts in recent months, and I’ve been the subject of regular online attacks on the social networks. I’ve twice faced the threat of eviction; as I wrote this we’re stuck in a cheap motel until the money runs out.

    If you are in a position to help or want more information about the ongoing hate campaign, please read this:

    Struggling along!


    The iPhone Fear Monger Report: Even the Rumors are Bad News

    July 17th, 2018

    Note: Updates for the site have been less frequent in recent months as The Night Owl works out personal issues. But we’re still active and busy exploring the world of technology and more cutting-edge commentaries and reviews are in the works.

    What I read last week is so typical of anti-Apple foolishness, but I was hardly surprised. As you know, we’re less than two months away from an expected Apple event to introduce new iPhones and no doubt an updated Apple Watch. Whether or not any other gear will be launched is a question mark, even though new iPads and Macs (in addition to the ones launched last week) are expected.

    But it’s not too early for the usual gang of Apple haters to claim that whatever is going to happen is wrongheaded, that the company with the world’s largest market cap is just incapable of doing things right. Or perhaps following the foolish speculation from a wayward and ill-informed blogger. If Apple doesn’t follow the erratic and illogical twists and turns of would-be journalists, they will never succeed. All that’s happened to them so far is some gigantic fluke.

    Continue Reading...


    Newsletter Issue #969: More Throttlegate Aggravation for Apple?

    July 9th, 2018

    Recently, Apple settled its outstanding patent issues with Samsung, so it’s free to buy the parts it needs without that cloud hanging over dealings with the South Korean electronics giant. For Samsung, one hopes they will be a little more careful about copying, or stealing, technology and focus more on selling gear. And parts.

    While Apple has continued to seek out alternate suppliers for the components it sources from Samsung, this settlement may actually help preserve at least some of the business. With no legal complications to consider, the two companies can do what they do best, and doing business with one another ought to be a more positive experience.

    But that still leaves other lawsuits in place for Apple to consider. Over the years, there have been patent lawsuits, some of which Apple wins, but they lose some too and have to settle. Other actions come from people who feel that Apple has doing something evil with greedy intent.

    Continue Reading…


    The First iOS 12 Public Beta: But Will You Need Those New Features?

    June 27th, 2018

    Since I’ve been largely in cheapskate mode in recent years, I seek ways to save money. I no longer pay $99 to join the Apple Developer Program. At most I miss one or two early previews after the annual WWDC. Otherwise, a public beta release is usually released no more than a day after the developer version, unless there’s something really bad that has to be fixed first.

    With the release of the iOS 12 public beta, I went ahead and downloaded it for installation on a late model iPhone. It is possible to restore your device if something goes wrong by downloading a previous version (not to worry, it’s searchable). So I took the plunge.

    The first step requires installing Apple’s device profile on your iOS device, so it will be able to alert you, download and install the new releases.

    Continue Reading...