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    Listen to The Tech Night Owl LIVE on the GCN radio network

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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 In a very special encore episode, we present ethical hacker Jason Lang  of TrustedSec, who reports on the goings at a major hacking conference known as Black Hat. It’s one of the top cybersecurity events where a ton of new vulnerabilities and hacker tricks are revealed. This year, as usual, they are revealing new attacks on smartphones, wearables, computers and other personal gadgets, along with IoT, cars and more. Also to be presented is new research on criminal trends in the Dark Web. Jason provides common sense details about the various tricks of the hacker trade, and how you can protect yourself from intrusions. Gene also recounts a recent attempt by a hacker to exact ransom from him for something he didn’t even do. Desperation?

    You’ll also hear from industry expert Stephen Baker, Vice President for Industry Analysis at the NPD Group. Stephen will discuss Apple sales, particularly the saturation of the smartphone market. What about those outrageous claims that the iPhone X was a miserable failure, and that suppliers had received reduced orders from Apple even though sales hit record levels? Stephen will also talk about the state of the PC market, including the recent drop in Mac sales. Gene and Stephen discuss the prospects for the HomePod, which hasn’t been a big seller, and set-top streamers from Apple, Amazon and Roku. Is it true that Apple TV sales are much lower than the others? What about the efforts to move more product by offering an Apple TV with special sign-up offers from AT&T’s DirecTV Now, and reports that Charter, one of the larger cable companies in the U.S., will be offering Apple TV. Gene wonders if we even need one of these devices with more and more TVs offering a decent collection of “smart” features.

    Click to hear our latest episode: The Tech Night Owl Live — December 8, 2018

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


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    Special Notice to Readers!

    November 22nd, 2018

    The Tech Night Owl debuted in its original form and format in 1999; it was upgraded to WordPress to its current design in 2006.

    My son, Grayson, and I started The Tech Night Owl LIVE in 2002, and it became part of the GCN network in 2010.

    I have complete archives for the radio show, and all episodes since 2007 are available online via iTunes and our site.

    In order to right my personal finances and prepare for the future, wherever it leads, I have decided to put up The Tech Night Owl and the radio show for sale.

    If you wish to make an offer, please contact me directly: Gene Steinberg

    Peace,
    Gene


    Newsletter Issue #972: Has Apple Become an Old, Boring Company?

    November 22nd, 2018

    Our image of Apple, Inc. has long been that of a maverick company that defies the conventional wisdom and goes its own way. Here’s to the “crazy ones” indeed!

    In the old days, the most famous example was the Macintosh personal computer. Where computers in the early days used an arcane text-based interface, paying lip service to color displays, Apple provided a graphic user interface designed to make it warm and fuzzy even to people who couldn’t adapt to the traditional PC.

    Steve Jobs always envisioned the Mac as a computing appliance, and the original model actually offered no way for you to do any upgrades to memory and other components. In passing, the Apple of 2018 has mostly reverted to this concept, and what you buy is as upgradeable as your toaster oven. Period!

    Continue Reading…


    Newsletter Issue #971: A Predictable Apple Event with a Predictable Outcome

    September 20th, 2018

    In the run-up to Apple’s September 12th media event last week, there was speculation aplenty. But most of it coalesced on three new iPhones and an Apple Watch Series 4, the new operating systems under test since June — and not much else.

    This is not to say that Apple’s announcements were disappointing. The new products are tempting, particularly one reasonably affordable iPhone that I’ll mention shortly. But it may well be that the Apple Watch Series 4 turned out to be the star of the show.

    But I’m getting ahead of myself.

    Continue Reading…


    A New Way To Deliver an Apple TV? Give Them Away!

    August 22nd, 2018

    It’s no secret that the Apple TV isn’t doing terribly well compared to similar gear from Amazon, Google and market leader Roku. While Apple was the pioneer in this space, it took far too long to modernize the product.

    Even when Apple introduced an all-new model in 2015, it made it much more expensive, yet still lacking 4K support at a time when tens of millions of TV sets featured the higher resolution capability. So it left the customers with a dilemma. If they still wanted to stick with the Apple ecosystem, the entry-level 32GB model was $149, compared to $99 for the third generation model before it was discounted.

    I suppose some might have found the new features, which included an enhanced remote, and Siri and app support, to be reasonably compelling, but did it really matter? How many people really strayed beyond iTunes and Netflix anyway.

    In 2017, Apple discovered 4K. Rather than keep the same price, or, better, reduce it, the entry-level unit was priced $30 higher. This may have been necessary to the bean counters who evaluated such matters as the price of raw materials and such, but it made even less sense.

    Continue Reading...