February 27, 2016 — Adam Engst and Dr. Timothy C. Summers

We take a common sense look at the brouhaha involving Apple and the FBI. The authorities have obtained a court order directing Apple to, in essence, build a special version of iOS that would defeat the security protections of an iPhone 5c to access its encrypted data. This handset was used by one of the shooters in the December 2015 San Bernardino, CA attack. Apple’s response is that it would create a dangerous precedent that could compromise the security of hundreds of millions of Apple customers, and would also allow other government agencies, and even foreign governments, to make similar requests. Apple is also calling for a government commission to consider the matter and make recommendations.

Our guests include publisher/editor Adam Engst, of TidBITS and Take Control Books, and security guru Dr. Timothy C. Summers, President of Summers & Company, a cyber strategy and organizational design consulting firm. In addition, Dr. Summers will provide a brief look at the security situation on iOS, Android and Windows 10.

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February 20, 2016 — John Martellaro and Kirk McElhearn

We are joined by commentator John Martellaro, Senior Editor, Analysis & Reviews for The Mac Observer. His bill of fare includes Apple’s dispute with the FBI over whether they should be forced to develop a special iOS update that’ll allow the authorities to break into an encrypted iPhone 5c that belonged to a terrorist. John will also talk about “hard disks spinning right into the graveyard,” the severe limitations of Apple’s Time Machine backup app, what happens when your autonomous (self-driving) car crashes, whether the next Apple Watch will be thinner, and what to do when your Apple Watch informs you NOT to eat a candy bar or other junk food.

You’ll also hear from commentator and podcaster Kirk McElhearn, also known as Macworld’s “iTunes Guy,” who also talks about the implications of the court order demanding that Apple break into an encrypted iPhone. Kirk also attempts to answer the question of how software on an encrypted iPhone can be updated without someone entering the correct passcode. He’ll also discuss rumors that Apple is working on an explicit TV series featuring their own Dr. Dre, whether Apple’s software quality has declined, and whether we should discontinue daylight savings time and, perhaps, all time zones.

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February 13, 2016 — Peter Cohen and Bob “Dr. Mac” LeVitus

We present freelance writer and podcaster Peter Cohen. He covers the “Error 53” controversy, involving iPhone 6-family handsets that have had Touch ID sensors repaired or replaced by unauthorized service shops. When you try to update the smartphones, they stop working and display that obtuse error. Although Apple maintains the move was done for the customer’s protection, it has already sparked threats of class-action lawsuits. Peter will also talk about the fourth-generation Apple TV and whether some might have expected too much from it. And what about Apple’s so-far moribund attempts to start a TV subscription service?

You’ll also hear from prolific author and commentator Bob “Dr. Mac” LeVitus. After he and Gene have a brief chat about Texas culture and cuisine, the discussion moves to the “Error 53” controversy and Bob’s take on it. He also talks about cable cord-cutting, admitting that he would actually like to shut off his cable TV service if he could replace the programming in other ways. Bob also details the course he’s taking in online marketing, and his plans to write a book on how to stop procrastinating when you’re trying to get work done with your Mac. He’ll also introduce his new recording and petition to persuade Apple to overhaul iTunes, entitled “iTunes Must Die!” You’ll hear an excerpt of the recording during the episode; we’ll present the full song in stereo exclusively in the version of the show posted for members of Tech Night Owl+.

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February 6, 2016 — Stephen Baker and Kirk McElhearn

We present noted industry analyst Stephen Baker, Vice President for Industry Analysis at the NPD Group. He provides an extensive discussion about the arrival of 4K TVs, their success so far in the marketplace, Will enhanced color features, such as the Ultra HD Premium standard, continue to push sales? What about the lack of 4K content? Stephen also discusses flattening sales of iPhones and other smartphones, and whether one key reason is the longer upgrade cycle?

We also present commentator and talk show host Kirk McElhearn, also known as Macworld’s “iTunes Guy.” He offers a change-of-pace discussion about the technology of dealing with autoimmune diseases. The discussion moves to why iPad sales are falling, and have fallen for several years. Is it much, again, about the fact that people who buy them see no reason to upgrade? Kirk goes to explain that the older iPad actually works fine other than some possible performance issues with games and other software. He also cites an article, from tech columnist Jason Snell, about the rise of Chromebooks against iPads in budget-conscious school systems. And what about competition from cheap competitors, such as a $50 tablet from Amazon? What about Apple buying BMW? Are we serious?

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