January 30, 2016 — Josh Centers and Jeff Gamet

We cover Apple’s financials for their fiscal first quarter, where they reported record sales and revenue, but just barely. For this quarter, they are projecting lower sales. Just what headwinds is Apple facing, and can they resume the pace of torrid sales growth? Were Apple’s 2015 product introductions, especially the Apple Watch and fourth-generation Apple TV, not compelling enough? We’ll also cover a proposal from the FCC to open up the cable set-top box market, so you can pick the devices you want to watch programing instead of being forced to buy or rent theirs. If the proposal is approved, and it will be considered on February 18 of this year, would that open up new markets for Apple, Google, Samsung and other companies?

Our guests include Josh Centers, Managing Editor for TidBITS, and author of “Take Control of Apple TV” and other titles, and Jeff Gamet, Managing Editor for The Mac Observer.

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January 23, 2016 — Kirk McElhearn and Bryan Chaffin

We present commentator and talk show host Kirk McElhearn, also known as Macworld’s “iTunes Guy.” He describes a system in use in UK supermarkets — it’s not in the U.S. — where customers can use their own hand-held scanners to tally purchases. The discussion turns to the planned phaseout of the free version of iTunes Radio, the possibilities for a sales slowdown of Apple gear, and Apple’s excessive prices for Mac RAM and drive upgrades. Since only a few Macs can be upgraded by customers, this has become an annoying problem.

You’ll also hear from Bryan Chaffin, co-founder and co-publisher of The Mac Observer. A major portion of the episode will focus on bills introduced in both the California and New York legislatures that would ban the sale of encrypted smartphones that don’t have backdoors that would make it possible for governments to have access to the contents. Such tech companies as Apple and Google have come under fire by authorities, including FBI Director James Comey, for using industrial strength encryption. During the interview, Bryan will explain why he feels this backdoor would also make encrypted smartphones vulnerable to hacking by criminals, hackers, and other governments.

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January 16, 2016 — John Martellaro and Rob Pegoraro

We present commentator John Martellaro, Senior Editor, Analysis & Reviews for The Mac Observer, who talks about the future of the Mac Pro, how Apple, denied leadership in 4K TV, is hoping to gain traction with an electric car. You’ll also hear a brief debate about whether Apple will really attempt to acquire Time Warner and how that move might restart moribund plans to establish a subscription TV service. John will also talk about how children can learn how to program on an iPad. He’ll also tell you why he loves his Mac Pro.

We also present a CES wrap with columnist Rob Pegoraro, of USA Today and Yahoo Tech. The main focus will be on 4K TV. Are customers finally ready to flock to the new high resolution TV format? Rob will talk about the latest enhancements that include Ultra HD Premium, which will deliver better color and a wider contrast that will really make the picture pop. And what about the possibility of affordable OLED TVs, and plans to release a new HD tuner system to allow 4K shows to be broadcast by TV stations? Why will the new TV tuners eventually mean the end of existing HD broadcasting? You’ll also hear Rob’s opinions about the prospects for an Apple car.

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January 9, 2016 — Kirk McElhearn and Nancy Gravley

We observe the 15th anniversary of Apple’s iTunes with commentator Kirk McElhearn, also known as Macworld’s “iTunes Guy.” He focus first on the history of Apple’s original jukebox app, and how it’s changed and expanded over the years. Kirk and Gene also talk about the need for Apple to overhaul the way movie and TV content is handled. As it is, movie rentals may suddenly disappear, while the option to buy a movie remains. Does Apple solve this by launching a TV subscription service — and will the entertainment companies accept a simpler buying/renting scheme?

You’ll also hear from columnist Nancy Gravley, of The Mac Observer. The discussion will focus on her ongoing efforts to help senior citizens become competent with Macs, iPhones and iPads. So if you have someone in your family who is uncomfortable with technology, you’ll want to hear Nancy give you some quick hints and tips about what’s confusing about even the personal computer “for the rest of us,” the personal computer that is supposed to “just work.”

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January 2, 2016 — Kyle Wiens and Kirk McElhearn

We present a 2015 teardown roundup with Kyle Wiens of iFixit. He discuss the products that were easiest to repair, and the ones most difficult. He’ll also answer the Night Owl’s hypothetical question, whether adding upgrade capability to more Macs would seriously degrade the thin and light design. In short, is Jonathan Ive and/or Apple marketing going just a little too far with their “thin fetish”?

You’ll also hear from commentator/author Kirk McElhearn, also known as Macworld’s “iTunes Guy.” On the agenda during the opening pop culture segment is his reaction to “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.” Does it really fulfill the hype, and justify the amazing box office receipts? Kirk will also talk about Apple’s agreement to pay $350 million in back taxes to Italy, and the possible consequence in the action in the rest of the European Union. Kirk also talks about his ongoing concerns with Apple Music, its inability to learn about his musical tastes, and what he’d like Apple to do in order to overhaul iTunes.

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