Archive for April 2018 - Page 1


    Apple Discontinuing Airport Line


    One of the realities of today's companies, regardless of industry and age, is that no company can focus on everything all the time. There are times throughout a company's life when they feel as though it is worth the effort to create and maintain a product. As time progresses, I may become less worthwhile to maintain the product. Apple has decided to stop making and selling all of their Airport products. This includes the AirPort Extreme, Airport Express, and the Time Capsule.

    Apple has indicated that it will be supporting the product with security updates for five years. The products themselves will still be sold through and Apple Authorized resellers while supplies last.

    It is not really any surprise to those who have been following Apple for a while. The AirPort line was introduced in 1999 by Steve Jobs at the same time the iBook was introduced.




    At the time Wireless networking was basically non-existent. The introduction of the AirPort base station helped propel the industry forward. Today there are a large number of companies that are doing more with wireless. One of the technologies is Mesh Networking.

    While it is sad to see the AirPort line going away, I cannot say that I am surprised at all. I likely will not be replacing my AirPort base stations anytime soon. Unless one of them dies. If it does, I am not sure what type of wireless router I would go with. I own my own cable modem, and it does not wireless built-in. At that point I may just see what the best recommendation for wireless routers. I know that one of the things that I will look at is whether the company does regular security updates.

    If the discontinuation of the AirPort line means that Apple can focus on other new products, then it will ultimately be a good decision.


    Apple and Earth Day


    No company can focus on everything. It is not feasible, nor is it practical. Instead, all companies must decide what is the most important to them. One area where Apple chooses to put some focus is on the environment. They do this in a couple of different ways. The first is by using using renewable energy for all of its operations. These operations include corporate offices, retail spaces, datacenter and co-location facilities across the world.

    Renewable Energy

    One way that Apple demonstrate using renewable energy is by having installed solar panels all over the roof of their Apple Park campus. Along with their properties being renewable, Apple also tends to work with suppliers who also utilize renewable energy. An additional nine suppliers have agreed to use 100% renewable energy for their operations. With Apple being the most valued company they have shown that being eco-friendly is not only good for nature but can also help with its bottom-line.


    There is another way that Apple is helping the environment, that is by recycling. Apple uses sustainably harvested materials for packaging, and other various aspects of their operations. Something that goes hand-in-hand with this is that Apple offers recycling of products. In March of 2016, Apple unveiled their iPhone recycling robot, Liam. Now Apple has unveiled its second-generation iPhone recycling robot, Daisy.

    Daisy can recycle up to 200 devices per hour. When Daisy does recycle a phone, it can retrieve some materials that can be recycled. Amongst these are:

    • 1900 kilograms of Aluminum
    • 710 Kilograms of Copper
    • 0.97 kilograms of of Gold
    • 0.10 kilograms of Palladium
    • 7.5 kilograms of Silver
    • 42 kilograms of Tin
    • 11 kilograms of Rare Earth metals
    • 770 kilograms of Cobalt
    • 93 kilograms of Tungsten
    • 1.8 kilograms of Tantalum

    The statistics above are for every 100,000 devices, or approximately every 3 weeks if Daisy is running at full capacity. Every kilogram of materials that Apple is able to recover means that the same amount does not need to be mined out of the earth. Apple is looking out for the environment, but you can as well.

    Give Back

    If you have an older device that is no longer needed you can recycle it and Apple might even give you some money for it.. This could a laptop, iPhone, or iPod. You can see how much your device is worth by going to Apple's Give Back page.

    Apple Watch

    Many companies are always on the lookout for ways to have multiple products converge to provide some incentive for users. One are where Apple uses Earth Day is with Apple Watch users. Apple does not incentivize Apple Watch users to recycle, instead they provide Apple Watch users with a badge if they complete a 30-minute workout on Earth Day. Apple did the same thing for Earth Day 2017 with the same reward. If you complete the challenge you will get not only a badge, but some iMessage stickers that can be used to adorn your conversations.

    Anything you can do to help conserve the limited resources on the planet is beneficial for everyone, whether they appreciate or realize that it is beneficial for them.

    Sources: Apple Newsroom (Renewable), Apple Newsroom (Recycling).


    RIP Carl Kassell


    It is not often that someone is in a position for many years, but there are some that manage to do so. What is even more rare is when they become an iconic part of that place. One person has managed to do just that, Carl Kassell.

    Today, the voice of NPR's Morning Edition's, Carl Kassell, has died at the age of 84, due to complications of Alzheimer's. Carl was also the voice, and Score Keeper of the NPR gameshow, Wait Wait Don't Tell Me. When Wait Wait started they could not afford actual prizes so Carl would record messages on answering machines. For anyone who has received a message from Carl, it is something to be cherished, and saved, if possible.

    You can listen to Carl's farewell episode on NPR's website. I re-listened to the last episode and the last segment in particular is quite touching. I was never able to get to a show, but I have been listening for years now.

    A couple of posts from the host of Wait Wait Don't Tell Me, Peter Sagal and contestants on the show.

    Rest in Peace Carl. You will be missed by not only NPR but also by the many fans.

    Image Source: Jen Orr.

    Story Source: NPR.


    Apple's PRODUCT(RED) iPhone


    Apple is a company that tries to do some good along with selling their products. One of the most prominent causes that Apple likes to donate to is (PRODUCT)RED. There have been a number of products throughout the years that Apple has made to sponsor PRODUCT(RED). Some of these have included iPods, iPhone cases, headphones, even a 2013 Mac Pro, and even more.

    Today Apple announced a new item that is available in PRODUCT(RED), the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus. When Apple has done PRODUCT(RED) iPod Touches and iPhones in the past, they have been Red backs with White faces. The PRODUCT(RED) iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus have changed this. The backs are still Red, but the front is now black.

    The change o the front actually does two things. The first is it responds to the request from users to have a black front with the red back. The second is that it will help differentiate between an iPhone 7 and iPhone 8 that are in PRODUCT(RED).

    Personally, I like the look of the PRODUCT(RED) iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus. Even though It would be great to see a Product Red iPhone X.

    Even though there is not a PRODUCT(RED) iPhone X, there is a PRODUCT(RED) iPhone X Leather Folio.

    The PRODUCT(RED) iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and iPhone X Leather Folio will be available for order starting tomorrow, April 10th, 2018, with products available in stores on April 13th, 2018.

    If you do not want an iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, or iPhone X Leather Folio, there are more options available PRODUCT(RED) on Apple's PRODUCT(RED) page.



    Apple Education Event: Additional Thoughts on Classroom


    I listen to a lot of podcasts and many of them are technology-focused, which likely would come as o surprise to nobody. One of the announcement that Apple made at their Let's Take a Field Trip event was that their iOS app named Classroom was coming to the Mac.

    The Classroom app allows teachers to perform a variety of tasks. Some of these include:

    Start, focus, or pause student work
    • Launch any app, website, or book on student devices with a tap
    • Lock devices into a single app to help students focus
    • Lock screens to pause work or refocus your class
    • Mute audio on student devices

    See what your students see with Screen View
    • See an overview of all student screens at once
    • Focus on a single student screen
    • Students are informed when their screens are being viewed

    What I heard many times was that the Classroom app was being ported to the Mac because the teachers are more accustom to the Mac. I understand the idea behind it. Meaning that teachers are not used to iPads. I think that for a percentage of teachers this is true, however I do not think this is the primary driving factor. Let us start with a scenario.

    Imagine that you are a teacher with 25 kids. You are doing a lesson that involves showing the students the planets and what you are showing them is a video that is within the app. Along with this you would like to make sure that the students are paying attention. Since the iPad that you, as the teacher, are using is showing the app, so you cannot monitor what the students are doing.

    Now, with the Classroom app on the nearby Mac, you can now keep an eye on what the students are doing while the video is playing, and if necessary put them back on task.

    We are definitely in a transition time, but the immediate thought that teachers are "olds" and need to use a Mac to get stuff done. While that may be the case for a number of teachers, the ability to use the Classroom app on the Mac, in addition to an iPad, will allow teachers to monitor the students even if the iPad is currently in use.