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.

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July 22, 2017 — Bryan Chaffin and Joe Wilcox

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 its 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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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.

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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 sndr.com, 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 TeslaCentral.com, 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?

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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?

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