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    DOWNLOAD — Free Version: We present outspoken columnist and podcaster Kirk McElhearn, who talks at length about Apple’s controversial changes in iTunes 12.7, in which they removed access to the App Store. This means that iPhone and iPad users will have to download and organize their apps on their mobile gear rather than Macs and PCs. With the release of a developer and public beta seed of the Golden Master of macOS High Sierra, Gene and Kirk discuss Apple’s decision to remove the ability to convert Macs with Fusion drives — which consist of a regular hard drive and a small solid state drive — to the new Apple File System. They also talk about Apple’s iPhone announcements, which include the iPhone X. And what about the controversial “notch” at the top of the unit? What about the new Apple TV with 4K and HDR?

    You’ll also hear from writer/editor Adam Engst, of TidBITS, who covers the new Apple Watch Series 3, which includes an LTE radio that can make phone calls. He reflects on how the product has become more of a health and fitness accessory as Apple has continued to develop the product. Gene and Adam also talk about the iPhone X, the notch and its impact, plus Apple’s last minute change to the High Sierra OS that no longer supports Macs with Fusion drives. You’ll also hear an extended discussion about the Apple TV, its new features, and about the growing fragmentation of TV streaming services. This is creating a situation where you may have to join a number of these services to watch their exclusive shows. How does this impact cable cord cutting? Does it end up costing more than cable and satellite what with all the separate services?

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    Newsletter Issue #928: Alternatives to a Non-existent Product

    September 11th, 2017

    Once again, let’s put all this in perspective: On Tuesday, September 12th, Apple will hold its annual iPhone bash, where new models are expected to be introduced. There may also be a third-generation Apple Watch with an optional LTE radio, and a fifth-generation Apple TV featuring 4K and HDR.

    But for the sake of this column, I’m not going to bother with much in the way of new products and product specifics beyond the iPhones. While I can read the rumor reports as well as anyone, it hardly makes sense to speculate about matters that may or may not have been made obsolete before some of you actually have a chance to read this column.

    Instead, I’ll continue my focus on how the skeptical Apple media continues to try to spin their stories in a negative way. Where I discuss specs, it’s only in relation to the products you can buy now from other companies.

    Continue Reading…

    About Yet Another Dumb Argument Predicting Apple’s Failure at TV

    September 8th, 2017

    I’ll try to phrase this commentary carefully because, as usual, Apple must play by a different set of rules. If a blogger perceives the rules may no longer apply, the company must be in really deep trouble. Not just ordinary trouble, but deep trouble. Really deep trouble. Deep.

    So let’s start at all those reports that Apple is going to spend at least $1 billion to acquire or develop TV shows. In order to hit the ground running, the company has reportedly hired several seasoned executives from Sony TV to make sure it’s done properly.

    Indeed, one of the properties Apple might also be going after is the James Bond franchise. This report is based on a Hollywood Reporter story, so it might have a basis in fact. Or it may just be that Apple executives have made a number of routine inquiries, and the media, having learned about them, will give them more credibility than they warrant.

    Continue Reading...

    Bond, James Bond Under Apple Control?

    September 7th, 2017

    To realize how much influence the James Bond film franchise has had, consider that the first film of the theatrical series was released in 1962. But it wasn’t the first time there was a visual interpretation of one of Ian Fleming’s best selling novels. A version of Casino Royale was produced as part of the TV anthology series Climax! in 1954, starring Barry Nelson as 007.

    You don’t remember? I don’t either, and I was alive at the time.

    For all practical purposes, Bond actually debuted with “Dr. No,” one of the few films that actually had a passing resemblance to the novel of the same name. After all these years, the most famous — and arguably the best — Bond was the star of that film, Sean Connery. After a procession of actors, the character is currently being played by Daniel Craig, who has decided to do one more film after evidently holding out for a bigger bundle of cash.

    Continue Reading...

    Siri Fear Mongering Continues

    September 6th, 2017

    So Siri is bad. Terrible, a huge fail. Apple is late to the party, and the digital assistants from Amazon, Google and Microsoft are the only ones to be taken seriously.

    You get the picture.

    Yes, it’s typical Apple fear mongering, the sort of thing where nothing the company can do will ever gain the respect of certain critics. It doesn’t matter that Siri arrived in 2011, ahead of the digital assistants from those other companies. It has to be behind the curve, because Apple refuses to configure its cloud-based servers to capture your personal information to better configure Siri to do your bidding.

    Now that may, in part, have been true up till now. Tests show that the Google Assistant may be more responsive than Siri in answering your requests, particularly when they become a little more complicated than setting an alarm or performing other simple tasks.

    Continue Reading...