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The Tech Night Owl LIVE Logo

January 23, 2016 — Kirk McElhearn and Bryan Chaffin

We present commentator and talk show host Kirk McElhearn, also known as Macworld’s “iTunes Guy.” He describes a system in use in UK supermarkets — it’s not in the U.S. — where customers can use their own hand-held scanners to tally purchases. The discussion turns to the planned phaseout of the free version of iTunes Radio, the possibilities for a sales slowdown of Apple gear, and Apple’s excessive prices for Mac RAM and drive upgrades. Since only a few Macs can be upgraded by customers, this has become an annoying problem.

You’ll also hear from Bryan Chaffin, co-founder and co-publisher of The Mac Observer. A major portion of the episode will focus on bills introduced in both the California and New York legislatures that would ban the sale of encrypted smartphones that don’t have backdoors that would make it possible for governments to have access to the contents. Such tech companies as Apple and Google have come under fire by authorities, including FBI Director James Comey, for using industrial strength encryption. During the interview, Bryan will explain why he feels this backdoor would also make encrypted smartphones vulnerable to hacking by criminals, hackers, and other governments.

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