October 29, 2016 — Kirk McElhearn and Sean Aune

Featured on this episode is columnist and podcaster Kirk McElhearn, also known as Macworld’s “iTunes Guy.” Gene and Kirk dissect the good, bad and ugly points in Apple’s media presentation where the main focus was to introduce a new MacBook Pro line. But what about the tentpole feature of the refreshed notebooks, the Touch Bar. Does it offer enough advanced features, as a context-sensitive OLED-based control strip, to justify price increase of between $300-$400? More to the point, does Kirk plan to buy one? And what about the missing hardware, such as the three-year-old Mac Pro? It’s still available from Apple, but does it have a future?

You’ll also hear from tech editor Sean Aune, director of operations for TechnoBuffalo, an online blog and gadget review site. He starts the discussion with his observations about the new hardware from Microsoft, introduced the day before Apple’s event, where costly Surface Books and the Studio all-in-one computer were introduced. Did Microsoft take the wrong approach to actually exceed Apple’s prices on their new gear. Gene and Sean also talk about the MacBook Pro and the pricey new models with Touch Bar and Touch ID. The discussion moves to questions about the planned merger between AT&T and Time Warner. A match made in heaven — or that other place? And what about the DDoS attacks against DynDNS, which, for hours recently, nearly brought down a large portion of the Internet.

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October 22, 2016 — Rob Pegoraro and Jeff Gamet

Featured on this episode is columnist Rob Pegoraro, who writes for USA Today, Yahoo Tech and Wirecutter. He’ll discuss what’s expected from Apple’s October 27, 2016 media event, rumored to focus on new Macs, and what might come from it. He’ll also offer his personal experiences with macOS Sierra, cybersecurity and the recent hack of Democratic emails, posted in WikiLeaks, which has become a campaign issue, and tech policy and the election. Rob will also talk about the Pixel, Phone by Google, and its prospects.

You’ll also hear from  Jeff Gamet, Managing Editor for The Mac Observer. He’ll join Gene in a brief pop culture discussion, comparing the two visions of DC Comics, and whether the more optimistic TV version is a better fit for super hero fans than the dour movie version. The discussion will move to the prospects for the Apple Car, and whether the focus will be on creating a new car or offering a turnkey solution for autonomous driving to be licensed to car makers. Jeff will also talk about the prospects for new Macs at Apple’s media event, expectations for a refreshed MacBook Pro, and the possible fates of two models that haven’t been updated in a while. So will there be a refreshed Mac mini, and what’s going to happen to the Mac Pro? And what about the failure of the Samsung Galaxy Note 7, and shouldn’t the company take a few lessons on corporate damage control?

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October 15, 2016 — Peter Cohen and Dr. Timothy Summers

Featured on this episode is outspoken blogger and podcaster Peter Cohen. This week, Peter talks about Samsung’s Galaxy Note 7 scandal, in which the product was discontinued because over 100 handsets overheated or caught fire. How is Samsung handling the controversy, and how will Apple deal with the fallout? The discussion also focuses on falling Mac sales and whether the dearth of new models is at least partly responsible. And what about the Pixel, Phone by Google smartphone? How will Google’s Android partners react to the competition?

You’ll also hear a comprehensive security update from ethical hacker Dr. Timothy Summers, President of Summers & Company, a cyber strategy and organizational design consulting firm. This week, Dr. Summers talks about the reports that the Russians are responsible for the recent hacks of Democratic emails and Twitter accounts. Can we believe the WikiLeaks disclosure of this material, or has it been altered? Is this the beginning of a possible Cybersecurity Cold War? How will it play out, and how can you protect your own email and other online accounts from hacks? Dr. Summers also discusses the recently revealed email hack at Yahoo, and whether the late disclosure will impact Verizon’s decision to acquire that company.

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October 8, 2016 — Andrew Martonik and Kirk McElhearn

Featured on this episode is tech journalist Andrew Martonik, executive editor of Android Central. The episode begins with a detailed discussion of Samsung’s ongoing problems with exploding batteries on the Galaxy Note 7 phablet. Andrew also discusses the main announcements at Google’s October 4th media event, in which the Pixel, Phone by Google was announced. Gene and Andrew will assess where this new product fits in the current saturated market, and how it might fare against the top gear from Apple and Samsung. The discussion will also focus on Google’s WiFi router system and other new products and services.

You’ll also hear from blogger and podcaster Kirk McElhearn, also known as Macworld’s “iTunes Guy.” Kirk will detail the problems he confronted trying to set up Apple’s two-factor authentication scheme on his devices, and the inability of Apple’s tech support to help him. He’ll also discuss iCloud growth pains and respond to Gene’s query as to whether it would make sense for Apple to add online support for Time Machine and other backup systems. Kirk also discusses the Pixel, Phone by Google smartphone, Google WiFi and other products. The discussion concludes with the disconnect between regular users and tech savvy users, using Apple’s decision to make macOS Sierra an automatic download to customers as a notable example.

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October 1, 2016 — Bryan Chaffin and Joe Kissell

Featured on this episode is commentator Bryan Chaffin, co-founder and co-publisher of The Mac Observer. The discussion begins with his experiences as owner of an Apple Watch Series 2. Is it something one comes to love, or simply like a little more than the original Apple Watch? The discussion also focuses on the iPhone 7, and Samsung’s battery defects on the Galaxy Note 7. And what is Google doing that has allowed Chromebooks to soar in popularity at U.S. schools? Is it all about price? If so, how can Apple possibly compete? The discussion also briefly covers the latest scuttlebutt about the Apple Car.

You’ll also hear from one of our most popular guests over the years, Joe Kissell, author of over 60 books on technology, including ‘Take Control of Upgrading to Sierra.” You’ll learn about the best features of the new macOS. The discussion will also cover Time Machine backups, and its limitations, and Apple’s new APFS file system, first introduced in development form in Sierra, which is expected to be ready for public consumption by the time the next macOS arrives in 2017. You’ll also hear hints and tips from Joe from one of his books, “Speeding Up Your Mac,” and the best ways to get maximum performance from your vintage computer. Joe will also present common sense advice from another book, “Troubleshooting Your Mac.”

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