• Listen to The Tech Night Owl LIVE

    DOWNLOAD — Free Version All good things must come to an end. After 17 years as a pioneer in online radio and podcasting, this will be the final original episode of The Tech Night Owl LIVE. For this show, we’ve gathered some of our favorite guests to reminisce and talk about the present and the near-future of or favorite fruit company, Apple Inc.

    Guests for this very special episode include tech commentator and publisher Adam Engst, Editor and Publisher of TidBITS, outspoken veteran tech commentator Peter Cohen, cutting-edge commentator and podcaster Kirk McElhearn.

    Click to hear our special wrap-up episode: The Tech Night Owl Live — July 6, 2019

    For more episodes, click here to visit the show’s home page.

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    Newsletter Issue #1007: Apple’s Tricky Pricing and Suspicious Claims Mar iPhone 12 Rollout

    October 13th, 2020

    Nothing about Apple’s rollout of the iPhone 12 series and a smaller, cheaper HomePod was surprising. It was a typical overproduced sales pitch that came across as cold, over-rehearsed.

    The final scene, of CEO Tim Cook walking towards the camera, was especially artificial. He speaks well, and has a calm, reassuring demeanor, but his delivery is stiff almost as if he’d practiced too much. He should avoid the flourishes, and perhaps speak from his desk to give it more of an aura of credibility.

    On the other hand, none of that diminishes the value of the new gear. Indeed, Apple can make a compelling argument for you to upgrade your iPhones, especially if the unit you have — from whatever company — is getting long in the tooth. That’s where the value of the new gear is front and center.

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    Newsletter Issue #1006: Living Watch-Free

    September 23rd, 2020

    When my brother-in-law died in 2014, his widow asked me to sell his wristwatch, a well-worn Rolex knockoff. I took it to a couple of jewelry shops that promised to buy old stuff at decent prices, and it was summarily rejected. It wasn’t just a knockoff, but a bad one at that, it was badly scratched and, worst of all, it didn’t work. Not even with a new battery.

    In the end, it was thrown out.

    Now when it comes to wristwatches, I’ve made one on my hand nearly every day since I was 10 years of age; well, except for a couple of hospital visits along the way. I never left home without it, and felt it was indispensable. Since I love gadgets, I focused mostly on chronographs and other types that had extra buttons and extra functions.

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    Newsletter Issue #1005: Looking at Apple’s Totally Boring Media Event

    September 21st, 2020

    For months, it was a given that Apple would announce the rumored iPhone 12 at its annual September media splash. And, in the days before it happened, it was rumored that it wouldn’t happen, which essentially took much of the meat out of the event.

    Indeed, Apple’s 65-minute infomercial last week was decidedly predictable and not terribly impressive. The new products and the new features may be useful, but there was nothing so compelling that you should throw away your recent Apple gear and invest in something new.

    Well, I suppose there’s the blood oxygen sensor in the Apple Watch Series 6, but it seems to be sensitive to the type of band you wear to make it reliable. All right, the display is brighter and the battery charges faster, but such improvements aren’t game-changers. If you want one, the main decision is whether to save $120 and buy the Apple Watch SE and sacrifice the blood oxygen and ECG apps.

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    Newsletter Issue #1004: Free TV is Not Dead — At Least Not Yet!

    September 6th, 2020

    It makes sense to want to save money on entertainment even in the best of times. The concept of “cutting the cord” resulted from all those regular increases in the price of cable and satellite TV. Of course, having 300 channels and nothing to watch was no incentive to continue to pay.

    In 2007, when Netflix first offered the option to steam movies and TV shows, things began to change. Even though the early offerings consisted of older product, it wasn’t long before Netflix began to invest in original programming, such as “House of Cards,” and demonstrate it could beat traditional entertainment companies at their own game.

    Netflix helped pave the way towards other streaming services, and it wasn’t long before you had Hulu, and even Amazon’s Prime Video, which was offered as a perk for Prime members. There were even streaming versions of HBO and Showtime, and nowadays entrants include Disney+, Apple TV+ and many others.

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