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    DOWNLOAD — Free Version: In a special encore episode, 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.

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    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...


    Newsletter Issue #968: Ready for the iPhone Key Fob?

    June 25th, 2018

    I don’t recall the first time I bought a car with a keyless-entry remote control, commonly known as a key fob. I did some quick research the other day and ran across an item about the 1983 AMC/Renault Alliance as providing support for a remote that allowed you to lock and unlock the doors. But I was never a fan of AMC’s cars.

    I also ran across a mention of a 1987 Cadillac Allanté, an ultimately unsuccessful attempt at building a two-seater roadster for the luxury brand. It was yet another car in which I had no interest whatsoever.

    Now I can’t exactly recall the first car I purchased with one of these electronic gizmos, which are, of course, coded for a specific vehicle. It may have been a Honda Accord, but it still started conventionally. A real key popped out of the fob and the ignition assembly was traditional.

    Continue Reading…


    Newsletter Issue #967: Samsung Attacks “Unreasonable” Juries

    June 15th, 2018

    I thought long ago that stories about the years of legal skirmishing between Apple and Samsung had become downright tiring. I’ve barely kept abreast of the original trials, the appeals, and a U.S. Supreme Court ruling in 2017 in which the justices decided not to review a lower court ruling which thus upheld the ruling against Samsung.

    In 2016, Samsung won in another Supreme Court decision, however, thus throwing out a $399 million verdict against them for allegedly infringing on Apple’s intellectual property. As a result a new trial was ordered to reconsider the award. Be careful what you wish for.

    So what happened next? Well, in May following yet another trial, Samsung was ordered to pay even more, $539 million to Apple for violating iPhone patents. You’d think, after all these years, Samsung would take the hint, write a check, and get on with their business. After all, Samsung earns billions in revenue selling parts to Apple, which includes the iPhone X’s nifty OLED display.

    Continue Reading…