The Hula-Hoop Edition Friday, April 27, 2018

Apple Officially Discontinues Its AirPort Wireless Routers, by Mark Gurman, Bloomberg

Apple Inc. is discontinuing its line of AirPort Wi-Fi routers after not updating the devices for about five years.


Bloomberg News reported more than a year ago that Apple had abandoned development of the routers. The products were a slim part of Apple’s revenue and their demise won’t have a meaningful impact on the company.

Apple Outlines Key Features To Look For When Upgrading From AirPort Devices, by Peter Cao, 9to5Mac

While Apple’s AirPort devices never support mesh networking, Apple recommends using such a setup if you have a larger home.

How To Reset Your AirPort Base Station, by Peter Cao, 9to5Mac

Apple just announced that it will be killing its AirPort line of products. Whether you’re wanting to get rid of it, or replace it with another Wi-Fi router in the home, you’ll need to reset it.

Back in 1999: Apple Offers iMac's Laptop Offspring, The iBook, by Steve Lohr, New York Times

The wireless features for iBook were the most striking technological innovation that Apple announced at the Macworld trade show in New York yesterday, analysts said. The technology, developed jointly with Lucent Technologies Inc., amounts to a wireless local network.

Called Airport, the technology allows people using iBooks to have wireless connections to each other and to the Internet as long as they are within 150 feet of a small white ''base station'' that is plugged into a telephone or network connection at home or in a school. The speed at which data is relayed from the base station to an iBook machine is extremely fast, comparable to office Ethernets. It can deliver Internet access to each of the iBooks at the same speed as the base station's Net connection, which can range from slower conventional dial-up modems over telephone lines to high-speed network links.

Apple At Work

Apple Has Become An HR Issue For Enterprise IT, by Jonny Evans, Computerworld

These days enterprises let their people choose the platforms they want to use. This activity is happening at colossal scale. IBM, GE, Concentrix, Oath, SAP, and Capital One already have hundreds of thousands of Macs in active use across their companies. iOS is becoming pervasive across the enterprise. Apple recently revealed Europe’s Intesa Sanpaolo bank is deploying iOS apps, and LensCrafters is equipping 7,000 employees with iPad Pros.

These corporations are not simply following an imaginary trend. Apple is becoming a must-have platform in enterprise IT, partly because incoming employees like its products more than others.

The Surprisingly Simple iPad Apps Pilots Use To Make Your Flight Better, by Jack Stewart, Wired

iPads and other tablets first entered the cockpit about a decade ago, replacing the reams of printouts and books that pilots had to carry in their flight bags, an easy way to save about 100 pounds of weight in an industry where fuel efficiency is incredibly important. But an off-the-shelf tablet is powerful enough to augment a plane's built-in computer, and airlines keep finding new ways to use that handy power. Pilots can swipe and tap to stay up to date on safety notices, meet the rest of their crew, order fuel, and plot the fastest, most efficient routes.

Backing Up

The Real Problem With Apple’s iCloud Storage Options (Hint, It’s Not Price), by Matt Birchler, BirchTree

I think the solution for Apple’s “iCloud is too expensive” problem is super simple: don’t count iPhone and iPad backups towards your iCloud storage, and offer a free, limited photo backup option.

By doing this, your backups would always work no matter how much storage you have. You could buy and sell your phones and tablets as you please and never worry about the math, it would “just work.” This would leave 5GB of space available entirely to your actual files, which might be enough for a bunch of light users. It would be great if Apple made this 10-20GB, but let’s take baby steps.


iTunes Is, At Last, In The Microsoft Store, by Peter Bright, Ars Technica

Because this iTunes is a Store app, it's installed and updated not with Apple's installer and updater but with the Windows Store updater. This means that it'll never try to install iCloud or other Apple software. It also doesn't install any services in the background: Centennial apps aren't allowed to do that.

1Blocker X Is The Definitive Version Of The Best iOS Content Blocker, by Mikhail Madnani, Beautiful Pixels

Aside from that huge feature enhancement that also introduces over 120,000 blocking rules in the app, you can now lock the main app behind Face ID and Touch ID to make sure things remain safe if you install this on another device that someone else will use.

Best App To Monitor Your Sleep, by Adam Green, Komando

One of the top-rated apps in the Apple Store is Sleep Cycle. Free, it is both a sleep tracker and alarm clock. But while you may be familiar with sleep trackers and likely have some experience with alarm clocks, it is quite unique in both areas.

Dropbox Paper Now Lets You ‘Templatize’ Docs Into Standardized Templates For Streamlining Workflows, by Michael Potuck, 9to5Mac

Kick off projects without having to set up and format docs from scratch. You can even create new docs from templates on the go with the Paper mobile app.


"Culture Fit" Is A Two Way Street; It's Them, Not You, by Rachel Kroll

And remember, you're still a good person and you're still good at what you do. The way you prove it is by moving on and succeeding beyond what you could have ever done at the current gig. Once that happens, you can confidently say "it was them, not me, all along".

Been there, done that. Trust me. It gets better.


Why Ray Ozzie’s Plan For Unlocking Encrypted Phones Won’t Solve The Crypto Wars, by Dan Goodin, Ars Technica

Almost as soon as the Wired article was published, security experts and privacy advocates took to social media to criticize Clear. Little of their critiques was new. Instead, they largely cited shortcomings first voiced in the 1990s when the Clinton administration proposed a key-escrow system that would be enabled by the so-called Clipper chip. In fairness to Ozzie, Clear has one significant difference—the automatic bricking feature. This post will mention later why critics are skeptical of that, too.

Apple News Ramps Up Its Video Push While Publishers Wait On Revenue, by Tim Peterson, Digiday

Apple wants publishers to distribute higher-quality videos on Apple News. But publishers want to see higher revenue from those videos. Apple has told publishers it knows the money isn’t yet there, and it has begun to show them how the company hopes to raise their videos’ profiles and revenue prospects.


The Apple News team is pushing for longer, more original videos from publishers, coinciding with the additions of the in-app Top Videos section and interstitial video ads. To date, publishers typically distribute the same short, sound-optional videos on Apple News that they post on their own properties as well as platforms like Facebook and Twitter. If they do tailor those videos, that usually means making sure a video features text for audio-averse viewers and that it is edited into a square or vertical format to be eligible for the Top Videos sections. But since adding the in-app Top Videos section in March, Apple has solicited longer videos that exceed two minutes.

Why All Your Favorite Apps Are Serving You New Privacy Prompts, by Craig Timberg, Washington Post

The new laws, known as GDPR, for General Data Protection Regulation, take effect May 25 in the European Union. They require that tech companies use plain language to explain how their data will be used and that users give explicit consent for these uses. As companies create new ways of using data, they must ask again for permission.

Under GDPR, users also are gaining new rights to download their data and move it to other platforms. And there are new restrictions on data collection on users under the age of 16, unless parents or guardians consent.

Bottom of the Page

In my entire life, I have never owned a wi-fi base station that is not from Apple. From the UFO version to the current (?) tall-and-thin version, I have it all.

I'm guessing that when anything breaks in my house (touch wood) next, I will probably want to replace both of my Airports (one of them is acting as an extender).

Better start saving up.


On the other hand, I heard that things outside of Apple's ecosystem can be cheap. Real cheap. :-)


Thanks for reading.