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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 tech writer/editor Bryan Chaffin, co-founder and co-publisher of The Mac Observer. Recent Apple news is front and center, as Gene and Bryan talk about the insidious bug in Group FaceTime, since fixed, which allowed you to listen to someone at the other end of the connection before the call was made. You’ll also hear about Apple’s revenue shortfall, and whether high prices might have, in part, caused the sales shortfall. There’s also a discussion about Apple’s decision to license AirPlay 2 to major TV makers, such as LG, Sony and VIZIO. Will this be the savior for Apple TV technology? Bryan also offers an update on his theory about the forthcoming Mac Pro, which Apple has promised for this year. Will it result in a key change that is comparable in its impact to the one Apple announced in 2005?

    In a very special encore segment, we also present the fascinating life story of a former “most wanted” cybercriminal. Brett Johnson discusses his long and varied history as a career criminal, which took him from petty crime to online scams that included identity theft, tax fraud, social engineering attacks, hacking and more. He built and was leader of ShadowCrew, the precursor to today’s darknet markets. As a reformed criminal, Brett consults with large corporations and helps them harden their systems to prevent intrusions from cybercriminals. A nationally-known lecturer and podcaster, he’ll also deliver common sense advice on how you can product yourself from the dangers of the online world where privacy is usually just a talking point and not much else.

    Click to hear our latest episode: The Tech Night Owl Live — February 9, 2019

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


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    Newsletter Issue #970: The Night Owl Takes a Cautionary Approach to macOS Mojave

    August 8th, 2018

    On the surface, it may seem that macOS Mojave is an extremely minor update. Other than Dark Mode and the reliance on Metal graphics, it doesn’t seem a whole lot different when you look it over, as I did starting last month. But the mere fact of choosing Metal means that Macs without support for that graphics technology have been made obsolete.

    Before Mojave was announced, I had planned (hoped) to test the betas on my 2010 17-inch MacBook Pro. Obviously that’s not possible, despite the fact that it has an SSD formatted with the APFS file system. That’s because its graphics hardware, state of the art eight years ago, preceded the arrival of Metal.

    A 2012 MacBook Pro,  where a Retina display debuted on Macs, works just fine. So do older Mac Pros with graphics cards that support Metal. So, my only option was the iMac. With a Fusion drive, it lost out on the APFS conversion last year, because Apple couldn’t make it compatible. It appeared on the early betas of High Sierra, but was soon pulled.

    Continue Reading…


    5 Ways to Speed up Your Gameplay

    August 7th, 2018

    What’s worse than dying in a game? Dying because of something you have no control over. When a better – OK, luckier – player frags you, that’s one thing. When your connection hangs and your character stands in the line of fire like a zombie, that’s something else.

    Except, maybe you can control it. There are things you can do to accelerate your connection speed, eliminate sudden changes in speed and only die when the game, not the ISP, dictates.

    Some cost money, some are free, and they’re all pretty easy. Check ‘em out.

    1: Ditch Wi-Fi

    Wi-Fi is convenient. But it’s slower than a cabled connection, always. Wi-Fi is shared so individual connections are usually gated for speed.

    It’s also another set of protocols and handshakes to put in between you and the server you’re communicating with. Another layer of complexity, another thing to go wrong. Drop it and switch to ethernet instead for your gaming machine; leave wifi for less speed-sensitive devices.

    Continue Reading...


    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…