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July 22, 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.

On this week’s all-star episode, commentator Bryan Chaffin, co-founder and co-publisher of The Mac Observer, considers the Apple rumor front, where speculation continues about a rumored iPhone 8 and the alleged problems Apple might be having in finalizing the design for production. But are such reports made by or influenced by bloggers who have been inspired by Apple’s competitors? What about the tepid updates for Apple TV? Has time passed Apple’s set-top box by, or is it possible for the product to be improved enough to realize its potential against the competition?

You’ll also hear from tech columnist Joe Wilcox, who writes for BetaNews. This time Gene and Joe talk about Microsoft’s sales in the most recent financial quarter, and how it is succeeding beyond expectations at cloud services and Office 365. But is there any significance in the fact that sales of Surface PCs remain relatively flat? You’ll also hear Joe’s observations about the iPhone 8 and whether it’s potential might overshadow the expected refreshes of Apple’s mainstream models, which will probably be named iPhone 7s and iPhone 7s Plus. With Comic-Con San Diego in force, Gene and Joe have a pop culture discussion, where they talk about super heroes, including Batman and Superman, and having the same characters played by different actors in the TV and movie versions. And what about a rumor that Ben Affleck may be encouraged by Warner Brothers to give up Batman’s cape?

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Download NOW PLAYING! July 15, 2017 — Kirk McElhearn and Josh Centers

Columnist and blogger Kirk McElhearn talks with Gene about the future of technology books. Are printed computer books dead? What about sharply targeted eBooks that focus on the topics tech savvy people are interested in. What about magazines devoted to Apple? Is Apple now too mainstream to require separate publications?  The discussion also covers the end of the platform wars, and the hazards of running beta software on your computer.

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 July 8, 2017 — Shaun Murphy and Derek Kessler

On this week’s all-star episode, ransomware is back in the news as the “Petya” ransomware attack affected 12,000 computers in 65 countries including the U.S. This time an infected software update seems to be to blame for the breach. So if you cannot even trust a software update any more, how are you supposed to keep your documents and computer safe from hackers?  You’ll hear the answers from security expert Shaun Murphy, founder of, about what to do to help prevent yourself from becoming a victim of a ransomware attack. Shaun will offer lots of information covering the world of cybersecurity.

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 1, 2017 — Peter Cohen and Jeff Gamet

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 June 24, 2017 — Kirk McElhearn and Rob Pegoraro

On this week’s all-star episode, we present outspoken commentator and podcaster Kirk McElhearn, also known as Macworld’s “iTunes Guy.” During this episode, Gene will recount his frightening experience, when his car was totaled as a result of being struck at high speed by a truck. The discussion continues with Kirk’s progress report on his home-built faux Mac clone, which is usually referred to as a Hackintosh. Was it all worth it, or is it better to buy a real Apple Macintosh and not put up with things that just won’t work without lots of baby-sitting? You’ll also hear Kirk’s skeptical comments about whether he’s interested in buying a new Mac, and about Apple’s forthcoming speaker/digital assistant known as HomePod, which will ship later in 2017.

You’ll also hear from columnist Rob Pegoraro, who writes for USA Today, Yahoo Finance, Consumer Reports, Wirecutter and other publications. During this segment, Rob will recount his problems with a broken Google Nexus 5x, which succumbed to a known hardware defect, and why he bought a Pixel phone as its replacement, since he favors Android over iOS. Gene recounts his concern with the recent review of Samsung’s Galaxy S8 at Consumer Reports; Rob doesn’t do reviews there. He’ll also talk about his next computer, a 21.5-inch iMac with 4K Retina display. You’ll also hear a brief report on China’s version of the CES. The discussion will move to the productivity possibilities for an iPad, or the lack thereof, Apple’s forthcoming move to overhaul the Mac Pro, and the prospects for the iMac Pro, due to arrive in December of 2017 at a starting price of $4,999.


Download June 17, 2017 — Adam Engst and Bob “Dr. Mac” LeVitus

We present long-time tech journalist and editor Adam Engst, of TidBITS. During this segment, Gene and Adam will have an extensive discussion about Apple’s forthcoming professional Macs, the iMac Pro and the new Mac Pro. Is the iMac Pro, which will start at $4,999 when it debuts in December, overpriced compared to the competition? Will a decked out version cost as much as a compact car? You’ll be surprised at the response. There will also be a discussion about whether Macs are good for hosting web sites, and about cloud solutions for hosting. During this segment, Gene will talk about his brief experience using a Mac mini to host all his sites.

You’ll also hear from prolific author Bob “Dr. Mac” LeVitus, who will talk about a variety of issues related to Apple, such as the Apple Watch and why he wouldn’t mind a slightly thicker iPhone if it came with a battery that lasted longer. The discussion will also cover the newest Macs, whether Bob plans to buy one of those upgraded models, and what about the future of Apple’s digital assistant, Siri? Bob will also talk about the print version of his latest book, “Working Smarter for Mac Users,” and how it can help you become more productive in getting work done on your computer. Bob had to overcome an ADHD condition in order to become a working writer.


Download June 10, 2017 — John Martellaro and Josh Centers

We focus on one of the most important keynotes from Apple Inc. in recent years, at their 2017 Worldwide Developer’s Conference (WWDC). During this event, new operating systems for the iPhone, the iPad, the Mac, the Apple TV and the Apple Watch were demonstrated. You’ll hear about some of the important new features, such as how iOS 11 will make the iPad work more like a Mac in handling productivity apps.

By far the most attention was focused on a slew of new hardware announcements. After a slowdown in Mac updates in 2016, Apple introduced updates for the MacBook Air, MacBook, and MacBook Pro notebooks. There were also updates for the iMac. Keeping the promise of an iMac with pro features was a demonstration of the forthcoming iMac Pro, a 27-inch all-in-one powerhouse sporting the guts of a computer workstation. You’ll also hear about Apple’s answer to the Amazon Echo, the HomePod, a $349 loudspeaker that is directed by Apple’s digital assistant, Siri.

Our guests include outspoken commentator John Martellaro, Senior Editor, Analysis & Reviews for The Mac Observer and author/editor Josh Centers, Managing Editor for TidBITS, and author of “Take Control of Apple TV” and other titles.


Download June 3, 2017 — Kirk McElhearn and Bryan Chaffin

On this week’s all-star episode, we feature outspoken columnist/podcaster Kirk McElhearn, also known as Macworld’s “iTunes Guy.” This week Gene and Kirk talk briefly about the iTunes movie bundle sales, where you can buy 10 movies for $2 each, or individual movies for $5. Do those bundles provide top quality movies, or just a mixture of the good and the not-so-good? You’ll also hear fearless predictions about what Apple may announce at the WWDC developer’s conference. Will there be new Mac notebooks, a Siri speaker? What about a surprise product that nobody anticipated? Kirk also wonders why the pre-event chatter about what might be coming has been so light.

A contrary opinion comes from tech journalist Bryan Chaffin, co-founder and co-publisher of The Mac Observer. Bryan feels a number of rumors have been published about Apple’s plans ahead of the event, more than usual. Gene and Bryan cover the basics, such as the new operating systems, possible new notebook computers, a Siri speaker system. Is such a gadget even needed? What about the fact that the presumed main rival the Amazon Echo, hasn’t sold in large numbers? Or does such a product represent a focal point for Apple’s HomeKit, which allows for home automation? Gene offers an update to his ongoing customer support issues with AT&T that required, so far, talking to no less than 25 people without any positive results.


Download May 27, 2017 — Peter Cohen and Joe Wilcox

We feature outspoken commentator/podcaster Peter Cohen. During this segment, Gene will discuss his efforts to get decent support from AT&T wireless, which involved multiple phone calls, and frustrating encounters with more than 20 different reps. Did he finally succeed? Gene and Peter will also discuss prospects for new Mac notebooks at Apple’s 2017 WWDC developer event in June. And what about Apple’s decision to deliver subpar gaming performance on the Mac? As a former Macworld gaming columnist, Peter explains what is going on, and what he believes to be Apple’s reasons for not paying attention to the needs of avid gamers.

You’ll also hear from independent tech journalist Joe Wilcox, who writes for BetaNews. This wide-ranging discussion will include Joe’s observations about the quality of the four major wireless carriers in the U.S., as he explains the surprising result of his efforts to switch from one company to another to get better download speeds. Were there any notable announcements at the 2017 Google I/O conference in Mountain View, CA? Was it all about photos? What about the voice assistant platforms from Amazon, Apple and Google? Should Apple respond to the Amazon Echo with its own version? Gene and Joe will also talk about the prospects for new Mac notebooks at the WWDC, and is there a possibility that Apple will pull the plug on one of its three notebook models?


Check out the Show Archives for earlier episodes.