Can't Find an AirPort Base Station in Stock? Here's How to Pick a Wireless Mesh System

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Wi-Fi mesh routers

With Apple officially dropping its AirPort Base Station product line it’s no surprise the remaining inventory is dwindling. Reports are cropping up saying some models from Apple’s Wi-Fi router lineup are already gone, although we’re still seeing AirPort Extreme, Express, and Time Capsule as in stock in the Apple Store app. Still, if you’re looking into getting a new Wi-Fi router it may be time to check out the wireless mesh network options. Dave Hamilton has done a great job of explaining what your options are, and how to pick the right product for your needs.

Report Says Apple Sold 600,000 HomePods in Q1 2018

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Apple HomePod

Apple owns 6% of the global smart speaker market, according to Strategy Analytics. The research firm says Apple sold about 600,000 HomePods during the first quarter of 2018. Of course, that’s only an estimate because Apple doesn’t share sales HomePod figures. Considering Amazon holds 43.6% of the smart speaker market, and Google has 26.5% with far more than a single quarter’s sales, it’ll be interesting to see how many people say this proves HomePod is a failure. It’s possible HomePod is a flop, or it’ll own the market. Either way, a single quarter’s sales isn’t enough to make a definitive conclusion.

About Twitter's API Stupidity

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Bug with a Twitter coffee cup

I was going to write a rant—OK, another rant—about how stupid Twitter is being its APIs and third party apps. The company announced a change that will effectively render third party clients useless without change—this after the company killed its own Mac client. Twitter has confused its ^#%$ desire for me to use its service on a browser with my desire to do so. Because I do not want to. At all. Anyhoo, enter John Gruber, who already wrote the rant. It’s a good one.

To me this is like finding out you’re now required to access email entirely through a web browser. Sure, lots of people already do it that way and either prefer it or think it’s eh, just fine, who cares — but a lot of others hate it and find it completely disruptive to longstanding workflows.

Apple Wants $1 Billion from Samsung for iPhone Patent Infringement

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Apple v Samsung justice scales

Apple and Samsung are back in court for the next round in their years-long legal fight over copying the iPhone’s design. This new trial is to determine how much money Samsung owes Apple for patent infringement. Apple is pushing for US$1 billion in damages, and of course Samsung is balking. It’ll be interesting to see how this plays out considering Apple was originally awarded over $1 billion, but that was cut back dramatically over the years in the ongoing legal fight. Maybe now Apple can get that number pushed back up. Bloomberg has more about the new damages trial.

Ruling Invalidating Personal Audio's Podcast Patent Stands, Supreme Court Refuses to Hear Appeal

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Apple lawsuit

Personal Audio’s fight to use a patent to force podcasters to pay royalties is finally at an end. The U.S. Supreme Court won’t hear PA’s appeal in a ruling that invalidated its patent, which means the EFF won its legal fight. That’s great news because now PA can’t claim all podcasters have to pay royalties. It’s also an example of something going right in our painfully broken patent system. You can read more about the ruling at Ars Technica.

Robots, Emotions, Empathy & Lies

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I, Robot (the movie)

Should our modern robots have emotions? If not, should they at least be able to detect and respond to human emotions?  If they do, how can/will we, in turn, treat them? What happens when a Boston Dynamics Atlas inherits the abilities of Google’s Duplex? Should robots on the phone divulge who they are? Should we permit them to lie? More questions than answers, but the awesome Particle Debris readers are, as always, up to the challenge.

Amazon's Obsession With Our Personal Lives

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Amazon Photo on Delivery

Page 2 of Particle Debris takes a look at all the ways Amazon is trying to insert itself into and learn about our personal lives. Customers are continually manipulated into choosing convenience and neglecting standards for privacy. Now, an Amazon family robot looms.

Facebook Wants to Build Hardware; What Could Go Wrong?

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Death Star schematic.

According to a Bloomberg Technology report, Facebook Inc. is building a team to design its own semiconductors. Just what this new hardware will be used for is not known for sure, but one surmise is for artificial intelligence applications on its servers. But the hardware could also extend to personal electronics. Like Han Solo, I have a bad feeling about this.

Endless Refinements and Updates to Autonomous Cars - How Will THAT Work?

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Autonomous car concept

The myriad of different traffic, road, lighting, and weather conditions  presented to autonomous cars will pose endless challenges to automotive software engineers. The complexities are beginning to temper initial optimism and portend a future of continuous updates, according to this Particle Debris linked article at Wired.

Steve Jobs Had to Convince Tim Cook to Work for Apple

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Apple CEO Tim Cook during Mac

Steve Jobs really wanted Tim Cook to leave Compaq to work for Apple, but kept getting stonewalled. Tim wouldn’t even agree to a meeting, which makes sense because this was before the iMac and iPod were introduced. When the two men finally met, Steve had to convince Tim to take the job as Apple’s senior vice president of worldwide operations. CNBC has a great look at how that played out from Tim’s perspective, and it’s worth checking out.

Remote Control for your Mac (Sponsor)

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Cherpak's Remote for Mac showing Netflix, Youtube, and Plex controls

I am both happy and thankful to welcome Evgeny Cherpak as our sponsor here at TMO this week. As a solo developer, Evgeny has created a series of apps aimed at making your life easier by remote controlling your Mac in purpose-built ways, and this week we’re talking about Remote for MacRemote for Mac turns your iPhone or iPad into a very full-featured, easy-to-use remote controlfor your Mac. Not to be confused with screen-sharing, Remote is built for when you’re looking at your Mac’s screen either directory or via AirPlay but don’t want to use your typical keyboard and mouse to control it.

Apple’s Annoying OS Antics

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Setting up macOS

macOS is brilliant. It’s the best GUI and development environment ever put on top of a UNIX OS. So why does Apple engage in so many silly things that annoy (or imperil) users? Particle Debris page 2 looks at three.