NOW PLAYING! December 8, 2018 — Jason Lang and Stephen Baker

In a very special encore episode, we present ethical hacker Jason Lang  of TrustedSec, who reports on the goings at a major hacking conference known as Black Hat. It’s one of the top cybersecurity events where a ton of new vulnerabilities and hacker tricks are revealed. This year, as usual, they are revealing new attacks on smartphones, wearables, computers and other personal gadgets, along with IoT, cars and more. Also to be presented is new research on criminal trends in the Dark Web. Jason provides common sense details about the various tricks of the hacker trade, and how you can protect yourself from intrusions. Gene also recounts a recent attempt by a hacker to exact ransom from him for something he didn’t even do. Desperation?

You’ll also hear from industry expert Stephen Baker, Vice President for Industry Analysis at the NPD Group. Stephen will discuss Apple sales, particularly the saturation of the smartphone market. What about those outrageous claims that the iPhone X was a miserable failure, and that suppliers had received reduced orders from Apple even though sales hit record levels? Stephen will also talk about the state of the PC market, including the recent drop in Mac sales. Gene and Stephen discuss the prospects for the HomePod, which hasn’t been a big seller, and set-top streamers from Apple, Amazon and Roku. Is it true that Apple TV sales are much lower than the others? What about the efforts to move more product by offering an Apple TV with special sign-up offers from AT&T’s DirecTV Now, and reports that Charter, one of the larger cable companies in the U.S., will be offering Apple TV. Gene wonders if we even need one of these devices with more and more TVs offering a decent collection of “smart” features.

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December 1, 2018 — Josh Centers and Bryan Chaffin

This week we present commentator Josh Centers, Managing Editor for TidBITS, and author of “Take Control of Apple TV” and other titles. During this week’s session, we focus heavily on the ramifications of Apple’s decision to stop reporting unit sales as part of its quarterly financials. Since then, amid rumors, not confirmed, of serious cutbacks in iPhone production, Apple’s stock has dropped to the point where it was no longer the largest company on the planet by market cap. Gene and Josh will also cover Apple’s deal with Amazon to make Apple Music available on Alexa. What about the higher prices of the latest Apple gear?

You’ll also hear from tech editor Bryan Chaffin, co-founder and co-publisher of The Mac Observer. During this segment, Bryan will also cover Apple’s move to remove unit sales from its quarterly financials and the possible impact, and Apple Music on Alexa. There will also be a discussion on the lack of 5K displays, other than Apple’s iMac and iMac Pro, and an LG display. What about reports of online blackmail, where someone claims to have discovered your password, and threatens to out you as visiting unsavory sites unless you pay the ransom, by Bitcoin. Gene and Bryan will also talk about Apple’s higher prices on its latest gear, and what about the promised Mac Pro, due out in 2019? Bryan reveals his theory about why Apple is taking so long to produce the successor to the failed “trashcan” model introduced in 2013 and never updated. Will the next Mac Pro herald a major change in the Mac platform?

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