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    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?

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    The Real Cause of the Worldwide PC Sales Slowdown?

    April 15th, 2018

    Are we really and truly in the twilight of the PC era? Is it true that most personal computing is moving towards mobile platforms — smartphones and tablets? Will the PC become the pickup truck, as Steve Jobs once claimed, and thus needed by fewer people?

    Now those of you who follow the auto industry in the U.S. will notice that more people are buying larger vehicles, such as SUVs and trucks, and sedans are not doing so well. So maybe things are moving in reverse?

    As a practical matter, I suspect most computing chores by regular people are done on their smartphones. The popularity of phablets, models with displays of over five inches, cements it. It also seems that the larger portion of email I receive these days are composed on mobile gear. I gather that from the telltale message below one’s signature indicating which mobile device they were composed on. Well, assuming a Samsung user isn’t putting iPhone there to fool people.

    Continue Reading...

    Throttlegate Revisited

    April 11th, 2018

    Consider the crazy situation. Apple screwed up, by failing to flesh out release notes to reveal a key fact about a fix for iPhone sudden shutdowns. The solution was to regulate, or slow down performance of the affected devices if they had deteriorating batteries. It wasn’t a casual matter, of course, not was the cause casual. It was caused by batteries that were unable to handle high load.

    On the surface, it was logical enough. Would users prefer unexpected shutdowns or slower performance? But the performance slowdown was noticeable enough for some people to test the result, and post those results on YouTube. More to the point, was it a deliberate effort on the part of Apple to make older iPhones obsolete in order to trick you into buying a new one, as some claimed?

    I hardly think so.

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    Newsletter Issue #958: An Extremely Popular Unpopular Smartphone

    April 9th, 2018

    The iPhone X has taken an interesting journey, more convoluted than most Apple products. When the first rumors about it arose, it wasn’t even referred to as an iPhone X. It was the iPhone 8. Why? Well, it was assumed that the successor to the iPhone 7 must be the iPhone 7s, in keeping with Apple’s previous tradition.

    Now maybe that was Apple’s original plan, and they changed the names just to be contrary. That comes across as a Steve Jobs-type move. Or maybe the new names were byproducts of the decision to add a third flagship model to the mix. Take your choice, but does it really matter?

    Well, yes, because iPhone X really separates itself from the pack as product identities go.

    Continue Reading…

    Revisiting Mac on ARM

    April 6th, 2018

    I have lived through all the major Mac processor transitions. Makes me feel old. First it was the Motorola 680×0 series, followed by the PowerPC and, by 2006, Intel.

    Overall, the last one went pretty well. There was a way to run PowerPC software for a few years, courtesy of something called Rosetta. It was pretty decent from a performance standpoint, unlike the 680×0 emulator, which suddenly put you a couple of generations behind in terms of how well the apps ran until they went PowerPC. But until the new apps arrived, the all-new RISC architecture didn’t seem so impressive.

    So is Apple planning yet another processor switchover? Well, consider how Apple has managed to deliver its A-series processors with huge performance boosts every year, very noticeable with most apps.

    Compare that to new Intel processor families that might be measurably more powerful than the previous generation, but the performance advantages are often barely noticeable without a scorecard. Apple’s advantage was to create an ARM-based processor family that took direct advantage of iOS. It wasn’t bogged down with legacy support for things that never existed on an Apple platform, making for more efficiency.

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