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

    DOWNLOAD — Free Version All good things must come to an end. After 17 years as a pioneer in online radio and podcasting, this will be the final original episode of The Tech Night Owl LIVE. For this show, we’ve gathered some of our favorite guests to reminisce and talk about the present and the near-future of or favorite fruit company, Apple Inc. It all begins with the early days of the Internet, its complexities, and Apple’s path from Macintosh to iPod, to its most lucrative product, the iPhone, followed by the iPad, Apple Watch and beyond. There will also be an extensive discussion about the prospects for the success of Apple’s fledgling services, which include News+, a premium version of the app offering access to hundreds of magazines and newspapers, and Apple TV+, in which the company is spending billions of dollars to hire top-flight talent to create original TV shows. Where does Apple+ fit in market currently owned by Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu and other streaming services? Are there already too many for a newcomer to succeed?

    Guests for this very special episode include tech commentator and publisher Adam Engst, Editor and Publisher of TidBITS, outspoken veteran tech commentator Peter Cohen, cutting-edge commentator and podcaster Kirk McElhearn.

    Click to hear our latest episode: The Tech Night Owl Live — July 6, 2019

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


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    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...


    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...