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September 23, 2017: 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.

We present outspoken commentator Peter Cohen, who, in response to Gene’s search for a better deal with a wireless carrier, talks about T-Mobile, its advantages and limitations. He mentions the Band 71 issue, the new 600 MHz spectrum that T-Mobile is rolling out to some parts of he U.S., and the fact that flagship gear from Apple, Samsung and other companies are not yet compatible. The discussion moves to the new Apple TV, the issue of cable/satellite cord cutting, and the dangers of fragmentation, where there are so many services vying for your subscriptions that it may become must too expensive to watch all the new shows that require separate memberships. What about the new iPhones, and especially the iPhone X with Face ID for logging in rather than Touch ID? What about macOS High Sierra, which is officially released on September 25th. Does the lack of support, at least for now, for all those Macs with hybrid Fusion drives cause any problems?

You’ll also hear from columnist Joe Wilcox, who writes for BetaNews. He explains why he recently switched from T-Mobile to Verizon Wireless, mostly to improve coverage, but is now considering a return to the former. The discussion covers the ongoing dilemma of choosing the right carrier. And what about published reports that T-Mobile and Sprint, the two smallest carriers in the U.S., might be ready to ink a deal and merge? It’s not the first time this has been rumored. Gene and Joe will also talk about the new productivity features in iOS 11, and whether they might impact the use of the iPad as a productivity tool. There will also be a brief discussion of macOS High Sierra before the conversation moves to the Apple Watch Series 3, which comes in a version with LTE so you can use it to make phone calls without connecting it to an iPhone. Does this big step now liberate the Apple Watch so it can do most things all by itself? Does the future take us away from a big smartphone to a tiny smartwatch?

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Download NOW PLAYING! September 16, 2017 — Kirk McElhearn and Adam Engst

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?


Download September 9, 2017 — Joe Kissell and Larry O’Connor

We present author/publisher Joe Kissell, of Take Control Books. This segment focuses heavily on all the new books Joe and his authors have written about macOS High Sierra and iOS 11. You’ll learn about the new Apple File System (APFS) and why the drives on some Macs aren’t being converted by the High Sierra installer. Joe will also talk about some of the other features of macOS 10.13, which include an enhanced version of Photos with a decent selection of photo editing tools. iOS 11’s key improvements will also be covered, and you’ll learn about one of Joe’s favorite features in Safari, which stops those awful autoplay videos that appear on many sites. There’s also a brief discussion about the recent hack at one of the American credit bureaus, Equifax, which impacted over 143 million people.

You’ll also hear from longtime Mac peripheral maker Larry O’Connor, of Other World Computing. Larry will give you the down and dirty details about upgrading Macs with new drives and RAM, and the fact that many recent Macs cannot be upgraded. He’ll also explain why he believes that Apple will eventually support more drives with APFS, especially Fusion drives, and about an app his company is developing that improves the efficiency of such drives, which combine a traditional hard drive with an SSD. A Fusion drive delivers most of the performance of a true SSD at a fraction of the cost. The discussion will also include the price of Apple upgrades, when available, and some of the products Larry’s company is working on, such as a 4TB SSD, and  peripherals to enhance new Macs equipped with USB-C and Thunderbolt 3. And what about the possibilities of the forthcoming iMac Pro, and the promised Mac Pro refresh?


Download September 2, 2017 — Josh Centers and Bryan Chaffin

We present writer/commentator Josh Centers, Managing Editor for TidBITS, and author of “Take Control of Apple TV” and other titles, As the segment begins, Josh reveals that he’s give-up smoking, as the discussion moves to Apple TV and possible missed opportunities for Apple. What about Apple’s alleged attempts to persuade the movie studios to charge the same for 4K and regular HD movies? And what about reports that the movie companies want to offer movies 17 days after release for home rentals at $50, with a $30 price tag after four to six weeks. Does it even make sense? There will also be a brief discussion on what might be announced during Apple’s September 12, 2017 media event, where new iPhones are expected along with a new Apple TV with 4K and HDR, and the Apple Watch Series 3. Josh will briefly list the new features in iOS 11.

In the second segment, Bryan Chaffin, co-founder and co-publisher of The Mac Observer, covers the forthcoming Apple event, as Bryan cites a published report suggesting that all of the new Apple smartphones will carry an iPhone 8 moniker, even the regular models previously expected to be known as the iPhone 7s and iPhone 7s Plus. And what about Apple’s plans for professional Macs, starting with the promised December release of an iMac Pro that starts at $4,999? Gene will speculate that the top-line model, with an 18-core Intel Xeon processor, could max out at over $15,000. What about the Mac Pro, expected next year? Will the top-line version, possibly with an Intel 28-core processor, exceed $20,000? What is the potential audience for such a device? Bryan will also provide Apple TV and Apple Watch predictions.



Download August 26, 2017 — Peter Cohen and Jeff Gamet

In a special encore episode, we present outspoken commentator and podcaster Peter Cohen. As part of an extensive agenda, Gene and Peter talk about self-driving technology, and what Apple might be planning. Gene will explain how air bags and seat belts helped save his life during a serious auto accident. What about the claims from Greenpeace, the environmental organization, about whether Apple is engaged in planned obsolescence by making its products difficult or impossible to upgrade? What about a survey that some 25% of Windows users in the U.S., who plan to buy new computers in the next six months, are going to choose Macs?

You’ll also hear from Jeff Gamet, Managing Editor for The Mac Observer. The discussion starts with a brief pop culture segment, as Gene mentions that Joel Hynek, the son of the late Dr. J. Allen Hynek, the well-known astronomer with a fascination for UFOs, is an Oscar-winning special effects artist. On the tech front, the discussion moves to whether self-driving technology will spread to car-sharing. Instead of buying a car, you will share autonomous vehicles with other drivers. Just will it impact the car-buying experience? Jeff will also talk about the Greenpeace report, and the flaws in the smartphone and notebook test methods employed by Consumer Reports magazine. Can you really get 20 hours battery life from a MacBook Pro with Touch Bar?


Download August 19, 2017 — Bob “Dr. Mac” LeVitus and Josh Centers

We present prolific author Bob “Dr. Mac” LeVitus, who joins Gene to talk about a variety of Apple-related topics that include sage advice on dealing with the public betas of iOS 11 and macOS High Sierra. Just what are the compelling new features, and what should you do before you install them? You’ll also hear talk about Google’s overwhelming dominance of the search engine market, and whether it’s possible they will ever be overturned. What about the speculation about a 10th anniversary iPhone, dubbed iPhone 8 in the rumors, which may list for more than $1,000? Bob explains why he hasn’t bought any new Macs lately. He also presents a special $50 discount offer designed exclusively for listeners of The Tech Night Owl LIVE.

In a special encore segment, you’ll also hear from Josh Centers, Managing Editor for TidBITS, and author of “Take Control of Apple TV” and other titles, who does this interview on his new 10.5-inch iPad Pro, using the mic  from Apple’s AirPods wireless earphones. There’s a long discussion about the value of the iPad as a productivity tool, as Josh explains why the apps he requires for his job are not all available on Apple’s tablet. So he has to use his Mac instead, and Gene explains the problems he has in using an iPad for his work. Microsoft’s move into PC hardware, the Surface, is also discussed. The interview wraps with a long discussion about the future of Apple TV, and the tepid updates being offered in the next version of the tvOS operating system. Will the next Apple TV support 4K and HDR, the latest technologies used on TV sets? Should Apple build its own TV set, or did the ship sail years ago? Gene and Josh also talk about the possibilities of Apple’s set-top box and whether such gadgets are needed in light of the fact that new TV sets already offer popular streaming services, such as Amazon Instant Video and Netflix.


Download August 12, 2017 — John Martellaro and Kirk McElhearn

We present outspoken columnist John Martellaro, Senior Editor, Analysis & Reviews for The Mac Observer. The discussion begins with the potentially costly gear Apple is expected to introduce for the fall of 2017. You’ll hear the latest rumors about the iPhone 8 — 10th anniversary model — and other gear, and just how well is Apple really doing in education? Is the new iPad enough, or does Apple have to find better ways to deliver an affordable notebook computer to classrooms? The discussion moves to expectations for the next Apple TV, which may include 4K and HDR support, plus other features. Is this a product whose time might have come and gone, or is does it still have potential against the competition? Gene and John will also speculate about reports that the next Apple Watch may include LTE support, which could allow them to make and receive phone calls, shades of Dick Tracy.

You’ll also hear from columnist and podcaster Kirk McElhearn, who will join Gene in a pop culture discussion, focusing on recent movies. What about a recent newspaper report about famous singers, most recently Adelle, who are losing their voices and have to undergo delicate microsurgery to resume their careers? Are they following the wrong singing techniques? There will also be a lengthy discussion about the potential for Apple TV, and whether cord cutting makes sense. Is it possible to get all the TV shows you want with such streaming services as Netflix, or is there the danger of getting so many services and apps that you end up spending more than with a traditional cable and satellite TV package with hundreds of channels?


Download August 5, 2017 — Adam Engst and Derek Kessler

We present long-time tech journalist and editor Adam Engst, of TidBITS. The discussion begins with the recent decision by Apple to discontinue two of the three iPods still being sold, and moves on to Adobe’s announcement that its Flash multimedia platform will be discontinued as of 2020. Gene and Adam will also talk about Adobe’s failed efforts to create a version of Flash that can run on mobile platforms, such as Android and iOS. With the news that Apple sold one million iPads to the educational market in the June quarter, the discussion moves to the ongoing potential to boost market share against such competitors as Chromebook notebooks, which use the Google Chrome OS. Gene speculates on a mythical iPad Hybrid, which he suggests could combine an iPad with a notebook-style case that includes a keyboard and trackpad. Possible, or just a silly idea?

In a special encore appearance, you’ll also hear from tech journalist Derek Kessler, editor of, as well as managing editor of Mobile Nations. Derek will tell you all about Elon Musk’s Tesla, a line of electric cars that are having a major impact on the auto industry. Derek owns a Tesla Model S, and he’ll tell you about the advantages, and disadvantages of driving an all-electric vehicle. What about the impact of cold weather on the batteries, which can sharply reduce battery life? What about “range anxiety” and finding nearby charging stations before your car runs out of juice? You’ll also hear about the forthcoming Model 3 mid-sized car, Tesla’s first “affordable” vehicle, which will carry a starting price of $35,000. Can Tesla meet its very optimistic production targets to build enough vehicles to fill hundreds of thousands of advance orders?


Download July 29, 2017 — Peter Cohen and Dr. Timothy Summers

Outspoken commentator and podcaster Peter Cohen talks with Gene about Apple’s sudden decision to discontinue the iPod Nano and the iPod Shuffle, leaving the iPod touch as the only model left in a product lineup that debuted in 2001 and changed Apple’s direction. There’s a lengthy discussion about the announced decision of Foxconn — who builds iPhones and other Apple gadgets in China — to open up an LCD plant in Wisconsin. After previous failed promises, will this factory really come to be? The discussion moves to the endless speculation about an iPhone 8, as Peter explains that he’s still happy with his iPhone 6. And what about the future of the Apple TV? Does it have unrealized potential?

In a special encore appearance, you’ll also hear from ethical hacker Dr. Timothy Summers, President of Summers & Company, a cyber strategy and organizational design consulting firm. Tim will offer a comprehensive look at the recent WannaCry ransomware attack that targeted hundreds of thousands of institutions and businesses around the world using Windows XP. This attack targeted a Windows flaw that has been patched by Microsoft. You’ll also learn more about the ongoing prospects of bitcoin, the controversial digital currency that is still regarded as a viable alternative payment method by some. The ransomware attack required bitcoin payments to free up compromised PCs.


Check out the Show Archives for earlier episodes.