April 28, 2018 — Jeff Gamet and Rob Pegoraro

This week, we present outspoken commentator Jeff Gamet, Managing Editor for The Mac Observer, who briefly talks about the Slenderman urban legend, which is featured on our other radio show, The Paracast, before jumping full tilt into technology. There will be a detailed discussion about Apple’s decision to discontinue AirPort routers, and why, after pioneering that business, it decided to give it all up. What about reports that the HomePod smart speaker system isn’t selling so well? What about a thought piece. so to speak, in Macworld about products Apple ought to give up? Gene and Jeff point out that one of the items on the list, the Mac mini continues to get the love from Apple with positive statements from such executives as Tim Cook and Philip Schiller. The state of iTunes for Mac and Windows is discussed, plus the possibility that Apple might move the Mac platform to its customized ARM-based processors, or is there yet another option?

In a special encore presentation, you’ll also hear from columnist Rob Pegoraro, who writes for USA Today, Yahoo Finance, Wirecutter and other publications. He discusses in detail his trip to Cape Canaveral to watch the launch of the SpaceX Falcon Heavy launch vehicle, the most powerful rocket ship the company has developed so far. Rob will also explain what happened when he got lost. He briefly talks about his expectations for Apple’s smart speaker, the HomePod before discussing unexpected privacy issues involving an activity-tracking social network known as Strava, and the downsides of publicly revealing the location of its users, especially if that location is a secret U.S. military base. The privacy of connected cars is also discussed, particularly concerns about all that driving data a car collects, which can be used by insurance company, with a plugin receiver, to track your driving record. Gene and Rob also discuss whether car makers should make it easy for you to erase your data when you trade in the vehicle or it’s totaled.

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April 21, 2018 — Peter Cohen and John Martellaro

This week, we present outspoken commentator and podcaster Peter Cohen, who focuses on such topics as recent concerns about the alleged poor sales of Apple’s HomePod smart speaker system. You’ll also hear Peter explain why he loves his Apple Watch, what he uses it for, and about its ongoing success; it’s now the best selling wearable in he world. And what about the possibilities for the next Mac Pro, due some time in 2019 according to Apple? What about renewed rumors that Apple plans to move Macs from Intel processors to its own ARM-based designs? Are there pitfalls? What about emulating Intel apps, at least at the start, and running Windows apps as you can do now on a Mac? To be brief, Gene remains skeptical that it’s going to happen anytime soon.

You’ll also hear from John Martellaro, Senior Editor, Analysis & Reviews for The Mac Observer. The bill of fare this week includes Apple CEO Tim Cook’s denial that Apple plans to merge iOS and macOS into some sort of converged product. What about Amazon’s Fire TV Edition sets, and will they do what Apple TV can’t? Should Apple be licensing its set-top box technology to TV makers? John also discusses the reported struggles of the HomePod, and how the next Mac Pro, due in 2019, will be “fundamentally different” from previous models because Apple plans to focus heavily on making professional workflows run more efficiently. And what about Apple’s recent educational event, where a new $329 iPad was introduced? Could it be that Apple is attempting to regain traction in the educational market with an obsolete formula? Can they possibly turn things around, or are Chromebooks going to continue to stay ahead?

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April 14, 2018 — Chris Weber and Bob “Dr. Mac” LeVitus

This week, we present security expert Chris Weber, co-founder of Casaba Security, a Seattle-based ethical hacking firm that advises major tech, financial, retail and healthcare companies. They also work with companies to develop secure apps and software. He is the coauthor of the book, “Privacy Defended: Protecting Yourself Online.” During this session, Chris will discuss the growing brouhaha over Facebook privacy, and the kind of information they collect about their users. Its unexpected involvement with the 2016 Presidential campaign is also covered, and what about the appearance of Facebook Chairman and CEO Mark Zuckerberg before Congress? You’ll also hear Chris talk in general about protecting your privacy, and making it harder for hackers to take control of your accounts by using strong passwords and two-step authentication, which involves adding a second method, often a smartphone, to provide extra security from hackers.

You’ll also hear from long-time Apple guru and prolific author Bob “Dr. Mac” LeVitus, as Gene recounts yet another episode of his ongoing troubles with AT&T when he tried to take advantage of a cheap offer for DirecTV. Gene explains why he’s kept AT&T service for his iPhone even though there are other and possibly better alternatives. Bob says he switched from AT&T to T-Mobile. There’s also a brief discussion of “world backup day,” as Gene facetiously suggests that maybe the show ought to go back in time to honor the event in the proper fashion. And what about published reports that future versions of macOS and iOS might allow you to run the same apps on both? And what about recent speculation that Apple will someday ditch using Intel processors on Macs and make yet another processor move, to the same A-series ARM chips used on iPhones and iPads? Is this a reasonable possibility, or would the fact that many Mac users need to run Windows at native speeds make such a move unfeasible?

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April 7, 2018 — Josh Centers and Ben Williams

This week, we present author and commentator Josh Centers, Managing Editor for TidBITS, and author of “Take Control of Apple TV” and other titles, who devotes a heavy portion of this segment to focus on the inconsistencies of the two HDR formats for 4K TV, HDR10 and Dolby Vision. He cites instances where it doesn’t seem to work even on sets where it’s supposedly compatible. Gene and Josh also discuss Apple’s recent decision to hire John Giannandrea, former chief of search and artificial intelligence for Google. Will this new employee help Apple fix Siri’s problems and advance its AI and VR efforts? Gene expresses his concerns about the quality of the first batch of TV shows reportedly scheduled for production by Apple as part of its expanded entertainment roster. And will it be a value-added feature of Apple Music?

You’ll also hear from Ben Williams of Adblock Plus. Ad blocking has experienced a lot of activity over the past year, especially since Google entered the fray with its ad filter for Chrome. There are still battles between publishers and ad blockers, and payment systems to publishers from users are being talked about with more frequency. Gene and Ben will engage in an extended discussion about the value of online advertising, and the long history of making it as offensive as possible. There will also be a pop culture discussion, about ads that build branding images based on using a well-known personality, such as Oscar winning actor J.K. Simmons, known for Farmers Insurance commercials and loads of movies and TV shows, including the recent comic book film, “Justice League,” where he played Commissioner Gordon. You’ll also learn how ad blockers can be configured to allow ads that have been approved for content and presentation.

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