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December 8, 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.

In a very special encore episode, we present ethical hacker Jason Lang  of TrustedSec, who reports on the goings at a major hacking conference known as Black Hat. It’s one of the top cybersecurity events where a ton of new vulnerabilities and hacker tricks are revealed. This year, as usual, they are revealing new attacks on smartphones, wearables, computers and other personal gadgets, along with IoT, cars and more. Also to be presented is new research on criminal trends in the Dark Web. Jason provides common sense details about the various tricks of the hacker trade, and how you can protect yourself from intrusions. Gene also recounts a recent attempt by a hacker to exact ransom from him for something he didn’t even do. Desperation?

You’ll also hear from industry expert Stephen Baker, Vice President for Industry Analysis at the NPD Group. Stephen will discuss Apple sales, particularly the saturation of the smartphone market. What about those outrageous claims that the iPhone X was a miserable failure, and that suppliers had received reduced orders from Apple even though sales hit record levels? Stephen will also talk about the state of the PC market, including the recent drop in Mac sales. Gene and Stephen discuss the prospects for the HomePod, which hasn’t been a big seller, and set-top streamers from Apple, Amazon and Roku. Is it true that Apple TV sales are much lower than the others? What about the efforts to move more product by offering an Apple TV with special sign-up offers from AT&T’s DirecTV Now, and reports that Charter, one of the larger cable companies in the U.S., will be offering Apple TV. Gene wonders if we even need one of these devices with more and more TVs offering a decent collection of “smart” features.


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Download NOW PLAYING! December 8, 2018 — Jason Lang and Stephen Baker

In a very special encore episode, we present ethical hacker Jason Lang  of TrustedSec, who reports on the goings at a major hacking conference known as Black Hat. It’s one of the top cybersecurity events where a ton of new vulnerabilities and hacker tricks are revealed. This year, as usual, they are revealing new attacks on smartphones, wearables, computers and other personal gadgets, along with IoT, cars and more. Also to be presented is new research on criminal trends in the Dark Web. Jason provides common sense details about the various tricks of the hacker trade, and how you can protect yourself from intrusions. Gene also recounts a recent attempt by a hacker to exact ransom from him for something he didn’t even do. Desperation?

You’ll also hear from industry expert Stephen Baker, Vice President for Industry Analysis at the NPD Group. Stephen will discuss Apple sales, particularly the saturation of the smartphone market. What about those outrageous claims that the iPhone X was a miserable failure, and that suppliers had received reduced orders from Apple even though sales hit record levels? Stephen will also talk about the state of the PC market, including the recent drop in Mac sales. Gene and Stephen discuss the prospects for the HomePod, which hasn’t been a big seller, and set-top streamers from Apple, Amazon and Roku. Is it true that Apple TV sales are much lower than the others? What about the efforts to move more product by offering an Apple TV with special sign-up offers from AT&T’s DirecTV Now, and reports that Charter, one of the larger cable companies in the U.S., will be offering Apple TV. Gene wonders if we even need one of these devices with more and more TVs offering a decent collection of “smart” features.

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Download December 1, 2018 — Josh Centers and Bryan Chaffin

This week we present commentator Josh Centers, Managing Editor for TidBITS, and author of “Take Control of Apple TV” and other titles. During this week’s session, we focus heavily on the ramifications of Apple’s decision to stop reporting unit sales as part of its quarterly financials. Since then, amid rumors, not confirmed, of serious cutbacks in iPhone production, Apple’s stock has dropped to the point where it was no longer the largest company on the planet by market cap. Gene and Josh will also cover Apple’s deal with Amazon to make Apple Music available on Alexa. What about the higher prices of the latest Apple gear?

You’ll also hear from tech editor Bryan Chaffin, co-founder and co-publisher of The Mac Observer. During this segment, Bryan will also cover Apple’s move to remove unit sales from its quarterly financials and the possible impact, and Apple Music on Alexa. There will also be a discussion on the lack of 5K displays, other than Apple’s iMac and iMac Pro, and an LG display. What about reports of online blackmail, where someone claims to have discovered your password, and threatens to out you as visiting unsavory sites unless you pay the ransom, by Bitcoin. Gene and Bryan will also talk about Apple’s higher prices on its latest gear, and what about the promised Mac Pro, due out in 2019? Bryan reveals his theory about why Apple is taking so long to produce the successor to the failed “trashcan” model introduced in 2013 and never updated. Will the next Mac Pro herald a major change in the Mac platform?

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Download November 24, 2018 — Sean Aune and Jeff Gamet

This week we present tech journalist Sean Aune, Editor-in-Chief of technobuffalo.com. During this segment, Sean will discuss the ongoing debate about privacy, focusing on recent issues involving Facebook. Do these incidents mean that Facebook is destined to lose its status as the world’s largest social network? Will it become the next MySpace? Gene and Sean also discuss Apple and whether its new product intros have become a little too much same old same old. Moving to pop culture, they talk about the problems with DC Comics having one set of actors playing a character in a movie, and another on a TV show. Thus we get two versions of Superman, and the Flash, and so on.

In a very special encore segment, you’ll also hear from commentator Jeff Gamet, the former 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?

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Download 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.

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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.

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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?

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Check out the Show Archives for earlier episodes.