PCM16 Techcast – Confessions of an Apple Fanboy at 3:01 a.m.

Sometimes, we have so many topics to cover we can’t decide what is the most important.

So it is in this episode, as we first we talk about how the new Apple Watch became available for pre-order this week, for all of about 10 minutes. That’s all it took for existing supplies to be sold out to the herds of Apple lemmings. Yes, I am one of them.

That’s one big tech story we cover this week.

The other story is a serious scandal just waiting to break into public awareness.

Anyone who’s ever used email should know this: the U.S. government can legally and easily access emails older than six months – and wants to keep it that way.


We start out with the Apple Watch story. But then quickly get in to the government’s claimed right to read your old email.

Yes, you read that right. Under the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA) – enacted in 1986 – the government may read any email without a warrant that is more than 180 days old and can be put under the vague area of being useful to an investigation – no NSA needed.

Sounds scary, right?

That’s why for this episode of the PC Mike Techcast, we talk to Jennifer Granick, director of civil liberties at the Stanford Center for Internet and Society, and use our “no geek-speak” approach to talking about how this is even possible and what you can do to have a fighting chance at keeping your private emails, well, private emails. Among other things, we talk

– What the government can access and why

– Why your emails aren’t afforded the same protection as your “regular” mail

– Ways to keep your data safe right now

Back to the Apple Watch story: After months of going back and forth over whether he would even get an Apple Watch – guess who stumbled out of bed at 3 am April 10 to be among the first to order one? PC Mike!

My reward? Problems being able to actually order Apple Watch, a $422 bill and being told I may have to wait as long as six weeks to get what I just ordered.

Ah well, such is the life of a confessed Apple fanboy lemming – the ordeal of a initial limited supply that sells out in minutes, takes forever to actually have in hand (or on wrist in this case), and isn’t exactly cheap. For this episode of the PC Mike Techcast, I documented the whole ordeal that he says seemed like a bit of a joke.

Also in this jam-packed episode of PC Mike, we talk YouTube’s new subscription-based service, LinkedIn’s $1.5 billion acquisition, and offer up some great apps for avoiding traffic jams!


Shownotes from episode 16 of the PC Mike Techcast

First Things First: Getting In Line in the Middle of the Night for an Apple Watch

PC Mike was among the first to get in line for the Apple Watch April 10. That meant 3 a.m. for him. We kick off the show by listening to Mike’s documentation of how it went.

Tech News and Trends: YouTube’s Subscription Service, LinkedIn’s $1.5 Billion Acquisition

YouTube plans to start a subscription service soon that, among other things, would eliminate any ads for those who subscribe. We discuss the merits of such a service and YouTube in general.  (Read more)

LinkedIn acquired Lynda.com for $1.5 billion as part of its efforts to expand into the realm of online education. We talk about LinkedIn and the evolution of online education.  (Read more)

Interview: Jennifer Granick, director of civil liberties at the Stanford Center for Internet and Society

The government can legallyJennifer Granick, director of civil liberties at the Stanford Center for Internet and Society, joins us to explain in “no geek-speak” terms how and why the government has access to just about any email older than six months. Her bio can be found here.

During the interview, Jennifer mentions the following links:

– A recent TechCrunch editorial about congress taking up email privacy reform (Read more)
– Signal 2.0 – a private-messaging app for iPhone (Read more)
– The ACLU did a blog listing five ways to keep your data safe right now (Read more)

App Review: Best Traffic Apps of 2015

One sure-fire way to put a damper on any day is being slowed down – or stopped altogether – by a traffic jam that could have been avoided. I have three great apps that can help you stay abreast of current traffic conditions and avoid being stuck in traffic. We talk about three of the most popular – Waze, Inrix, and Sigalert. Check out the full report from PC Mike for more details and links to the apps. (Read more)

Online Learning – Free Trial for PC Mike Listeners

I get asked a lot about finding online courses for learning how to use photography software such as Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom CC, which are both on my recently updated list of tech gear. I talk about how I benefited from taking online courses as well as a special deal available only to PC Mike Techcast listeners at pcmike.com/lynda, where you can even try it free for 10 days and see if online learning works as well for you as it has for me. By the way, they have more than 3,300 courses to pick from – including more than 100,000 video tutorials – in subjects ranging from photography, video and audio to graphic design and web development. With Lynda, you can get:

– Unlimited access to all 3,314 courses – more than 100,000 video tutorials
– Learn new software and stay up to date

Listeners of the PC Mike podcast can get a free 10-day trial. Try any course. Start your trial now and see what you can learn. Just go to https://pcmike.com/lynda to get the free 10 day trial.


We Need Your Help!

As we begin a new podcast like this, it’s very important to get a bunch of reviews to be able to show well in the iTunes listings. So if you can, I’d sure appreciate it if you’d subscribe and leave me your rating and review.

Here’s how:

First, open up the iTunes app on your computer or mobile device. Click on Podcasts on top
> From the iTunes Podcasts page, use the “Search Store” field up at the top right corner of the page. Type in PC Mike Techcast under the Podcasts category.
> Click on the logo image of the PC Mike Techcast on the search return page
> From there, you can:

1) Subscribe

2) Choose and Click on a star (1-5) that reflects your rating. Five stars means you really like it, one star not so much.

3) Leave a written review.

Thanks to all for the kind reviews we’ve received so far. I read and appreciate every review! If you haven’t left a review please do so. I will be so grateful!

And remember, you can appear in future episodes. Ask a question or voice your comments by clicking the Leave Voicemail tab on the right side of this page here at pcmike.com. You can then use the microphone on your computer to record your question.

Thank you!

Mike is a veteran journalist whose video "PC Mike" reports have been distributed weekly to all 215 NBC-TV stations since 1994, making him one of the most experienced tech reporters in the country. His tech stories and videos have appeared on MSNBC, CNBC, the Today Show, The New York Times, USA Today and in numerous national newspapers and magazines. In addition to the PC Mike tech blog, he also publishes the Roadtreking.com RV Travel Blog in which he travels North America in an RV reporting about interesting people and places.