January 27, 2018 — Adam Engst and Jonny Evans

This week’s guests include writer/editor Adam Engst, of TidBITS, who delivers an update on the CPU bug and Apple’s ongoing fixes to “mitigate,” but not eliminate the problem. Adam briefly explains the Meltdown and Spectre bugs, as Gene briefly banters about the connection of the latter name to one of the James Bond villains. There’s a brief discussion of CES, which involved the usual presentation of gadgets that most people will forget soon, or will never actually go on sale. And what about the DNS Attack, malware that was recently discovered on the Mac platform? What does it do? Also discussed: Apple’s HomePod, which is now available to order, as Gene mentions how TV makers have licensed such technologies as Roku, Amazon and Google Chromecast to replace their usual clunky interfaces.

You’ll also hear from outspoken columnist Jonny Evans, Computerworld’s “Apple Holic,” who talks about reports of an “iPhone addiction,” in which people supposedly pay too much attention to their smartphones. Gene mentions the well-known phenomenon of lines and lines of people walking about looking down at their mobile gear. Apple’s CarPlay is briefly mentioned, along with the 2018 CES in which, again, many of the announcements involved gadgets that will never see the light of day. Jonny brings up privacy in connection with Amazon’s Alexa, about the world’s largest online retailer’s interface turning up on some TV sets. After Gene lists the connection cables he needs for his TV and his iMac, Jonny makes a strong pitch for “cable free,” in which all your gear can be connected without the need for wires and endless wire clutter.

Share
Click HERE to download

January 20, 2018 — Peter Cohen and Jeff Gamet

This week’s guests include commentator and podcaster Peter Cohen, who discusses the CPU bug, involving malware dubbed Meltdown an Spectre, and why was Apple blamed by some for a problem that’s existed with CPUs throughout the computing industry since 1997? Peter provides a full explanation of the problem and how it’s triggered. There’s also a discussion about the dispute over iPhone X sales, whether sales were high or disappointing. Gene and Peter also talk about the recent announcement from Apple about its five-year plan partly based on the U.S. tax cut, where Apple plans to repatriate billions of dollars of its overseas hoard and use some of it for new hires, employee stock awards, a second corporate headquarters, new data centers and, as expected, stock buybacks and dividends.

You’ll also hear from tech journalist Jeff Gamet, Managing Editor for The Mac Observer. Jeff discusses a possible Skype alternative known as Discord, and mentions the announcement that Microsoft has unified the Office code base that may, at some time in the future, mean feature parity of both the Mac and Windows versions. In discussing the Apple TV 4K, Jeff mentions a problem with a recent update for one of the HDR protocols, Dolby Vision. The discussion moves to the amazing performances of character actors and how they enhance a movie or TV show, which includes brief discussions of the duo’s favorite shows. Jeff offers his opinion about Apple’s promised investments as the result of the tax cut. There’s also a brief exchange on whether or not Apple ever plans to update the Mac mini, which hasn’t been changed since 2014.

Share
Click HERE to download

January 13, 2018 — Josh Centers and Bob “Dr. Mac” LeVitus

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 the notorious CPU bug and how it’s impacted the computing world. Gene brings up reports that older Windows PCs will evidently suffer from performance reductions, and Josh mentions cloud services, such as gaming systems, which are heavily impacted. There’s a brief discussion of 4K TVs which moves into the Apple TV 4K. Has Apple’s set-top streaming box realized its potential, or has it become less useful with the growth of smart TVs that offer their own streaming channels without needing outside gear? Josh mentions the TCL televisions that come with Roku technology built in. There’s also a CES 2018 update and some of the most interesting new gadgets.

You’ll also hear from prolific author Bob “Dr. Mac” LeVitus, who summarizes his joint tests of an iPhone X and the iPhone 8 Plus. He carried around one of them in each pocket for weeks, and tested the cameras to see which he preferred and why. Which one did he decide to keep? What about the CPU bug and its impact, and about the misleading impression created by some members of the media that it was just an Apple problem and not one that affected billions of devices? Gene and Bob also talk about Apple’s iMac Pro workstation, which can cost over $13,000 when fully maxed out. Will Apple keep its promise to release a newly-designed Mac Pro that will be both modular and upgradeable? Or will the company just stick with the new iMac? Gene explains why he suspects one of Apples new display will offer 8K to better support movie editing.

Share
Click HERE to download

January 6, 2018 — Kirk McElhearn and Jeff Gamet

We feature podcaster and commentator Kirk McElhearn. The main focus is the revelation that CPU chips from Intel, AMD and other manufacturers have serious security flaws that may have existed as far back as 1997. This week Apple announced that recent iOS and macOS updates have contained “mitigations” for the Meltdown bug, and that it plans to introduce fixes for the Spectre bug that impacts browsers. The session also covers Apple’s Throttlegate scandal, and what the company should have done to better inform customers of how it was reducing performance on iPhones with deteriorating batteries. Gene and Kirk also talk about remastered and remixed classic recordings such as the Beatles “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.” Kirk believes that the best version is the original mono recording from 1967.

In a special encore presentation, you’ll also hear from tech journalist Jeff Gamet, Managing Editor for The Mac Observer. As the segment begins, Jeff complains that his copy of Skype 7 for the Mac was upgraded to Skype 8 without his approval, and he doesn’t like the all-new interface. In an extended discussion of net neutrality, Gene points out that more and more cable companies are embedding Netflix into their set-top boxes, perhaps as a move to help reduce cord cutting. As the pair move into pop culture mode, Gene mentions the latest reported move by Apple to add original TV content, with a direct-to-series order for a new sci-fi series from producer Ronald D. Moore, whose previous shows include Battlestar Galactica. Jeff explains in great detail why the fabled Star Wars lightsaber would be impossible to use in a real world setting. Gene suggests that the DC Comics super heroes on TV are better than their movie counterparts. And what about having different actors portray such characters as the Flash and Superman?

Share
Click HERE to download