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November 17, 2018 (DOWNLOAD — Free Version): Each week, Gene speaks directly to the industry’s movers and shakers, including corporate leaders, industry analysts, and regular panels that feature the most respected journalists who cover personal technology.

This week we present a special holiday season segment, featuring security guru Scott Nusbaum, senior incident response at TrustedSec (a white hat hacking firm). A main focus is a frightening new risk to online shoppers called “formgrabbing.” Nusbaum will focus on what this means when you place an order, and how online criminals can gather your personal information, such as your address and credit card numbers and use them to steal your money. Are there ways to protect yourself from this threat? Nusbaum covers the whole gamut of online shopping dangers and how to navigate through the troubled waters.

In a special encore segment, you’ll also hear from commentator/podcaster Peter Cohen, who also focuses on “Right to Repair” and the upsides and downsides. Peter offers his personal experiences as the employee of an authorized Apple dealer some years ago and how it influenced his opinion about whether Apple and other companies need to allow more repair freedom. There’s also a brief discussion about the concept of states’ rights and how it affects customers where such laws vary from state to state. The discussion also focuses on the HomePod and its possible value as a smart speaker. Both Gene and Peter explain, at length, why a HomePod is not on their shopping lists right now, and whether Apple could sell more copies if it loosened its dependence on Apple’s ecosystem when it comes to being able to listen to your stuff.


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Download NOW PLAYING! November 17, 2018 — Scott Nusbaum and Peter Cohen

This week we present a special holiday season segment, featuring security guru Scott Nusbaum, senior incident response at TrustedSec (a white hat hacking firm). A main focus is a frightening new risk to online shoppers called “formgrabbing.” Nusbaum will focus on what this means when you place an order, and how online criminals can gather your personal information, such as your address and credit card numbers and use them to steal your money. Are there ways to protect yourself from this threat? Nusbaum covers the whole gamut of online shopping dangers and how to navigate through the troubled waters.

In a special encore segment, you’ll also hear from commentator/podcaster Peter Cohen, who also focuses on “Right to Repair” and the upsides and downsides. Peter offers his personal experiences as the employee of an authorized Apple dealer some years ago and how it influenced his opinion about whether Apple and other companies need to allow more repair freedom. There’s also a brief discussion about the concept of states’ rights and how it affects customers where such laws vary from state to state. The discussion also focuses on the HomePod and its possible value as a smart speaker. Both Gene and Peter explain, at length, why a HomePod is not on their shopping lists right now, and whether Apple could sell more copies if it loosened its dependence on Apple’s ecosystem when it comes to being able to listen to your stuff.

Share

Download November 10, 2018 — Daniel Rubino and Josh Centers

This week we present a very special encore episode in which we are joined by Daniel Rubino, executive editor of Windows Central,who covers a few key stories from the tech world, starting with an historical view of Skype, after Gene complains yet again about the glitches in the latest Mac version. The discussion moves to Microsoft’s decision to withdraw a faulty Windows 10 upgrade for October, 2018, due to critical problems, such as user files being erased. And what about the decision by Google to discontinue its Plus social network after a serious security flaw, hidden by Google, was revealed? Daniel will also discuss Microsoft Surface lineup, and how it serves to influence the rest of the PC industry.

You’ll also hear from commentator Josh Centers, Managing Editor for TidBITS, and author of “Take Control of Apple TV” and other titles, who covers Apple’s expected TV programming, and how it might be presented. What about the new rumors of an updated TV app that will showcase the programs free and present other streaming services for in-app purchases? Does the world need yet another streaming service? What about Google’s decision to cancel Plus next year, which is yet another service the search giant has canceled over the years. Did it ever stand a chance against Facebook? What about Facebook’s own security problems, and will that ultimately lead to another social network eventually catching fire and taking over the market? Consider that young people these days are mainly focusing on YouTube, which is owned by Google.

Share

Download November 3, 2018 — Rob Pegoraro and Jeff Gamet

This week, we are joined by independent tech columnist Rob Pegoraro, who writes for USA Today, Yahoo Finance, Wirecutter and other publications. The discussion begins with Apple’s recent penchant for raising prices in light of flat sales for its key products, such as the iPhone, iPad and Mac. With the new models introduced in September and October of this year, there have been healthy increases, so we now have a 12.9-inch iPad selling for as much as $1,899 in U.S. dollars, and an iMac reaching $4,199 U.S. when it’s all decked out. The iMac it replaced, which was introduced in 2014, started at just $499 U.S. The discussion also covered Apple’s September quarterly financials, election security issues and other topics.

In a very special encore segment, you’ll also hear from Jeff Gamet, Managing Editor for The Mac Observer, who also focuses on the so-called Siri follies. Gene repeats his suggestion about setting up an error-correcting feature to improve its accuracy. Jeff mentions the recent auction of a job application from Steve Jobs, as Gene wonders why anyone would actually care about such a thing, while Jeff reminds us of Jobs’ influence on society. There’s also a pop culture discussion that includes well-known character actors and how they enhance the value of a film or TV show. Focusing on 4K TV, Gene and Jeff discuss the confusion and incompatibilities of HDR. Even if a TV or set-top box supports both HDR10 and Dolby Vision, not all sets will be able to present content in both formats. To make matters all the more confusing, not all sets support HDR from all HDMI ports, even the ones that are supposed to support these formats.

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Download October 27, 2018 — John Martellaro and Jason Glassberg

This week, we feature outspoken columnist John Martellaro, Senior Editor, Analysis & Reviews for The Mac Observer. After the usual complaints about Skype 8 for the Mac, John talks about the things he loves — and hates — about his Apple Watch Series 4, as Gene sits back and checks the time on his $12.88 Walmart calendar watch. There will also be discussions about 4K TV coming of age, and about Apple’s possible plans for its forthcoming lineup of TV shows. And just what is Apple planning for its October 30, 2018 media event in Gene’s hometown, Brooklyn, NY? Will it include, as expected, refreshes to the iPad Pro lineup? What about new Macs, and will there be a brand new Mac mini, after Apple’s cheapest personal computer has languished for four years? Will the new model be oriented more towards pro users?

In a very special encore segment, 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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Download October 20, 2018 — Kirk McElhearn and Jeff Gamet

This week, we feature outspoken columnist and podcaster Kirk McElhearn, Gene and Kirk began by repeating their usual complaints about Skype glitches before exploring such topics as Kirk’s problems with the Apple Stores in the UK, which aren’t rated terribly high for customer service. Kirk also reveals what iPhone he might end up purchasing from the new lineup introduced in September. With an Apple media event set for October 30, 2018, in Brooklyn, NY, Gene and Kirk wonder whether the conventional wisdom that new iPads and Macs will be introduced is correct. Is it even possible that Apple might provide a brief preview of the new Mac Pro that has been promised for 2019?

You’ll also hear from commentator Jeff Gamet, Managing Editor for The Mac Observer, Gene and Jeff catch up briefly on pop culture lore, focusing on super heroes. Did the less-than-successful “Justice League,” signal the beginning of the end for the efforts of DC Comics to match Marvel in producing blockbuster films? What about the apparent cutback in schedules of some of their titles, and will DC Comics expand its focus on super hero TV shows on The CW network? In talking about the Apple media event, Jeff suggests that only the iPad will be introduced, and that any new Macs to be launched this fall will be heralded by nothing more than a press release. What about new reports that Apple plans to ditch Intel processors in 2020 and 2021 and install its own A-series processors on new Macs? What will the possible impact be?

Share

Download October 13, 2018 — Daniel Rubino and Josh Centers

This week, we are joined by Daniel Rubino, executive editor of Windows Central,who covers a few key stories from the tech world, starting with an historical view of Skype, after Gene complains yet again about the glitches in the latest Mac version. The discussion moves to Microsoft’s decision to withdraw a faulty Windows 10 upgrade for October, 2018, due to critical problems, such as user files being erased. And what about the decision by Google to discontinue its Plus social network after a serious security flaw, hidden by Google, was revealed? Daniel will also discuss Microsoft Surface lineup, and how it serves to influence the rest of the PC industry.

You’ll also hear from commentator Josh Centers, Managing Editor for TidBITS, and author of “Take Control of Apple TV” and other titles, who covers Apple’s expected TV programming, and how it might be presented. What about the new rumors of an updated TV app that will showcase the programs free and present other streaming services for in-app purchases? Does the world need yet another streaming service? What about Google’s decision to cancel Plus next year, which is yet another service the search giant has canceled over the years. Did it ever stand a chance against Facebook? What about Facebook’s own security problems, and will that ultimately lead to another social network eventually catching fire and taking over the market? Consider that young people these days are mainly focusing on YouTube, which is owned by Google.

Share

Download October 6, 2018 — Rob Pegoraro and Bryan Chaffin

This week, we are joined by independent tech columnist Rob Pegoraro, who writes for USA Today, Yahoo Finance, Wirecutter and other publications. The discussion begins with the curious tale of a BusinessWeek report claiming that the Chinese engaged in a hacking operation that impacted servers installed by Apple, Amazon and other tech companies, along with strong denials that any such thing occurred. The discussion moves on to iOS 12, and how it appears to work well even on older hardware, such as Rob’s iMac mini 4. And what bout the state of browser competition between Chrome, Firefox and Safari, and does Microsoft’s Edge for Windows alternative even have a chance? There’s also a discussion about Washington’s interest in tech privacy, autonomous vehicles and, of course, Tesla’s recent troubles with the SEC after CEO Elon Musk made some unfortunate comments on Twitter about the company allegedly planning to go private.

In a very special encore segment, you’ll also hear from tech editor Bryan Chaffin, co-founder and co-publisher of The Mac Observer. During this segment, Bryan will talk at length about Apple’s September 12th media event, in which three new iPhone X variants were demonstrated. Bryan covers his experiences in ordering one of the new smartphones, plus an Apple Watch Series 4. As a long-time user of luxury watches, Bryan relates his experience with an Apple Watch Series 2 and his expectations for the Series 4, which includes more health-related features, such as an ECG to measure the health of your heart. There is also some talk about the forthcoming iOS 12.

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Download September 29, 2018 — Adam Engst and Jeff Gamet

In a very special encore episode, we present writer/editor Adam Engst, of TidBITS, both of whom talk about their different approaches to watching TV. Gene actually cares about the technology, while Adam will more or less accept anything that works. The Apple TV isn’t treated well by Gene, who suggests that at least some sets with built-in smart features are more or less just as useful. There’s also a discussion about the HomePod, and its tendency to sound a little bassy. And what about Siri? Has it truly reached its potential or does it need work? What about a published report that some of the original Siri employees at Apple were unhappy with its direction and how Apple handled its development. Or would it take an improved scheme to handle its higher and higher load on Apple’s servers? Gene suggests an error correcting feature, where you inform Siri when it makes a mistake and give it permission to allow Apple to record the problem.

You’ll also hear from Jeff Gamet, Managing Editor for The Mac Observer, who also focuses on the so-called Siri follies. Gene repeats his suggestion about setting up an error-correcting feature to improve its accuracy. Jeff mentions the recent auction of a job application from Steve Jobs, as Gene wonders why anyone would actually care about such a thing, while Jeff reminds us of Jobs’ influence on society. There’s also a pop culture discussion that includes well-known character actors and how they enhance the value of a film or TV show. Focusing on 4K TV, Gene and Jeff discuss the confusion and incompatibilities of HDR. Even if a TV or set-top box supports both HDR10 and Dolby Vision, not all sets will be able to present content in both formats. To make matters all the more confusing, not all sets support HDR from all HDMI ports, even the ones that are supposed to support these formats.

Share


Check out the Show Archives for earlier episodes.