November 25, 2017 — Peter Cohen and Kirk McElhearn

This week’s guests include outspoken commentator Peter Cohen, who joins Gene in a brief discussion of the decision of Disney/Pixer chief John Lassiter, once a colleague of the Steve Jobs, to take a leave of absence over a possible sexual abuse scandal. What about rumors that an iPhone SE 2 will be assembled in India for distribution in that country? The discussion also focuses on the possibilities of Apple’s Project Titan, said to be an initiative to develop technology for self-driving vehicles, in light of a published report that Apple engineers have posted a report about improvements in sensing the presence of cyclists and pedestrians? What’s Apple’s end game?

You’ll also hear from commentator and podcaster Kirk McElhearn, who also offers his opinions about Apple’s ongoing work on self-driving. Will this technology be offered as a platform to auto makers? Kirk also wonders if the improvements in iPhone X availability might reflect possible weaker demand as much as improved production. With reports that Apple has postponed the arrival of its HomePod voice controlled speaker system, Kirk suggests it’s overpriced, and that he can probably buy Bluetooth speakers with better sound for less money, since he’s less impressed with having Siri on such a device. He also joins Gene in discussions as to whether Apple ought to consider building a notebook computer using iOS instead of macOS.

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November 18, 2017 — Josh Centers and Bryan Chaffin

This week’s guests include tech journalist Josh Centers, Managing Editor for TidBITS, and author of “Take Control of Apple TV” and other titles. Josh talks at length about his iPhone X, and perhaps its most controversial feature, the notch. He explains how easy it was for him to adapt to a smartphone that doesn’t have the traditional Home button. As the owner of a new Nintendo Switch portable gaming console, Josh explains how he, his wife, and his son have been using the new gadget. Gene delivers an update on whether or not he’s changed his mind about not buying an Apple Watch, and the discussion moves to the case of the missing spare tire, as most cars come with either a limited use donut spare tire, a canister with which to repair a flat, or a “run-flat” tire that is costly to replace.

You’ll also hear from columnist Bryan Chaffin, co-founder and co-publisher of The Mac Observer. As the interview continues, Bryan will explain how he’s waiting for the arrival of an iPhone X that may arrive during the session. Did it show up, or was there a false alarm? He also discusses his decision to buy an Apple TV 4K even though he doesn’t have a 4K TV. There’s also a brief discussion about an article from Bryan’s colleague, John Martellaro, about why Apple needs a “smarter way” to manage macOS upgrades. He suggests several system checks, including whether apps are compatible with the new OS and making sure the user has backups. Gene expresses his skepticism about comments made by Sir Jonathan Ive, about Apple’s innovation process, in a Time magazine interview in connection with the iPhone X being listed as one of the top 25 inventions of 2017.

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November 11, 2017 — Kirk McElhearn and Bob “Dr. Mac” LeVitus

This week’s guests include outspoken commentator and podcaster Kirk McElhearn. The main focus is on taxes, and whether Apple is unfairly reducing its corporate tax burden by strategic parking of its huge offshore money hoard. Apple has selected the small island of Jersey, which has ties to the UK. In a series of statements, the company claims that it pays billions of dollars in taxes every year, and that it is complying with the law regardless of the skepticism about such practices, but Kirk is skeptical of the practice. The discussion shifts from taxes to electric cars, as Kirk explains that he owns a Toyota Yaris hybrid. Among the models mentioned is the somewhat pricy BMW i3, and the new compact-sized Tesla, the Model 3, which is still confronting problems in ramping up production.

You’ll also hear from prolific author Bob “Dr. Mac” LeVitus, who talks about the ongoing fear-mongering but some members of the media about the iPhone X and its Face ID and other features. Bob explains that, despite the advertised backorder situation, he was able to buy one from his mobile carrier and receive it on the day it was released. But will he keep it? He appears to be skeptical of its perceived advantages, but will make a decision while he still has time to return it for a refund. He is also holding off publishing a review while he considers its value. Bob also discusses the use of iPads in major league baseball, and how it may have helped the Houston Astros win the World Series. He also says that you shouldn’t be in a rush to install a new OS on your Mac, iPhone or iPad, and maybe wait a short while to make sure there aren’t any serious bugs that’ll cause you trouble.

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November 4, 2017 — Jeff Butts and Adam Engst

This week’s guests include outspoken columnist Jeff Butts, of The Mac Observer. During his first visit to the show, he’ll explain how he first switched to the macOS when his PC failed, by converting it to a “Hackintosh,” a computer hacked to run Apple’s OS. He’ll also explain how he modified a PC to run macOS High Sierra. Jeff will also discuss the iPhone X, which remained seriously backordered during its first weekend on sale; will he buy one? Gene and Jeff will also examine the misleading statistics from Gartner and IDC that indicated disappointing Mac sales during the September 2017 quarter. In fact, Apple revealed that sales grew by 10%, way ahead of the industry, with revenue increasing by 25%, making for a record quarter. There will also be a brief pop culture discussion, in which Gene mentions that movie and TV composer Danny Elfman has become the composer for “Justice League,” and that he’ll include portions of his original 1989 Batman theme in the score.

In a special encore appearance, you’ll also hear from writer/editor Adam Engst, of TidBITS, who covers the new Apple Watch Series 3, which includes an LTE radio that can make phone calls. He reflects on how the product has become more of a health and fitness accessory as Apple has continued to develop the product. Gene and Adam also talk about the iPhone X, the notch and its impact, plus Apple’s last minute change to the High Sierra OS that no longer supports Macs with Fusion drives. You’ll also hear an extended discussion about the Apple TV, its new features, and about the growing fragmentation of TV streaming services. This is creating a situation where you may have to join a number of these services to watch their exclusive shows. How does this impact cable cord cutting? Does it end up costing more than cable and satellite what with all the separate services?

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