The End-Of-Life Edition Saturday, April 28, 2018

The Future Of Some Older Games On The Mac App Store, by Rob Griffiths

I imagine that each porting company will look at their top revenue-producing titles and some of those will get converted—some additional revenue will result, and some positive press may be gained. For the rest, though, we’re probably looking at the end-of-life for a number of games—much as we saw with the PowerPC to Intel transition.

Switching Airports

Alternatives To AirPort, by Jason Snell, Six Colors

Wirecutter really seems to love Netgear hardware, which I’ve had mixed results with. In fact, I was so unhappy with my Wirecutter-recommended Netgear router that I turned off its wireless features and returned a previous-generation AirPort Extreme base station to service for a while. Later, as part of a podcast sponsorship deal, I got some Eero mesh-networking equipment, which I’ve been using ever since. (Consider this a disclaimer, as Eero continues to be a podcast sponsor of mine.)

Mesh networks can be pricier than just buying a single router, and they are not always available in all territories, but my setup experience was easy, the connection is solid, and all the wireless dead zones in my house have vanished.

Apple’s Done Making Airport Routers, So Try These Instead, by Brian Barrett, Wired

The good news is that over the last few years a new wave of so-called mesh network systems, which deploy multiple units throughout your home for can’t-miss coverage, have caught up to Apple in design and far surpassed it in functionality and coverage. It's a complete enough walloping that Apple even sells a pricey Linksys mesh networking system in retail stores, alongside the few Airport Expresses and Extremes that it hasn’t yet cleared out of its warehouses.

State Of The Lower-Cost

Apple And The Land Of Low, Low Prices, by Dan Moren, Macworld

But though the company may not traditionally play in the low-cost markets in which so many of their competitors make their bread-and-butter, that doesn’t mean that Apple hasn’t occasionally aimed to provide lower-cost models to consumers. The iPhone, iPad, and Mac lines have all had their lower-end models with varying degrees of success.

At a time when it often seems that the breakneck pace of technological development has slowed somewhat—at least compared to the last decade or two—it seems worthwhile to take a look at what Apple produces when it focuses on bringing its tech to lower-cost devices, and what the state of those products are today.


Seek By iNaturalist - Get Out And Capture Nature, AppAdvice

You don’t have to go to special locations to appreciate nature. Seek by iNaturalist is an app designed to help you record and learn about nature in your own backyard. The app identifies your location, and lists the common species in your area to provide a jumping off point. There are species of arachnids, amphibians, birds, fish, fungi, insects, mammals, mollusks, plants and reptiles to find. All you have to do is snap a picture, and the app then marks it off in your collection.

Review: The Button By Fibaro Makes A HomeKit Setup More Accessible To All, by Andrew O’Hara, AppleInsider

HomeKit buttons or other switches really make a smart home easier to use. Fibaro even includes multiple mounting options that make it easy to put within reach for everyone. Put one really low next to the bed for kids, right on a desk to toggle all of the lights, or as a master switch in the bedroom to put the house into night mode.


A Few Thoughts About Ray Ozzie’s “Clear” Proposal, by Matthew Green, Cryptography Engineering

“Let me sum this up my point in case I’m not beating you about the head quite enough:

The most well-funded phone manufacturer in the entire world• tried to build a processor that achieved goals similar to those Ozzie requires. And as of April 2018, after five years of trying, they have been unable to achieve this goal — a goal that is critical to the security of the Ozzie proposal as I understand it.

Now obviously the lack of a secure processor today doesn’t mean it will never exist. However, as a general rule: if your proposal requires a secure lock that nobody can ever break, then it’s on you to show me how to build that lock.”

Bottom of the Page

Of all the products Apple is selling right now, the one thing that I wish Apple has a low-cost version is the Apple Watch. This is especially so since Apple switch focus to the health and fitness aspects, and not treating this as yet another app-store powered general-purpose computing machine.

In fact, this is the one product that many people, I suspect, will be fine with if Apple adopts a razor-and-blade business strategy. Price the Watch as low as possible, and persuade your typical Apple nerd to buy a new Strap or two every fashion season.


Maybe Apple is already doing this; it’s just that it hasn’t quite gotten the price of the Watch down yet.


Thanks for reading.