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Apple Receives FCC Approval for HomePod, Suggesting a Launch Could Come Soon →

Juli Clover, writing for MacRumors:

Ahead of the promised “early 2018” launch of the HomePod, Apple has received official FCC approval for the smart speaker. Now that FCC approval has been obtained, Apple is free to begin selling the device at any time.

We’ll see if Apple is too late to the game on this one. Amazon looks to have the biggest lead, and CES was filled with smart assistants from other manufacturers this year. Also, the type of person that might get a HomePod for audio, as opposed to for its smart assistant features, seems to me to be the type of person already immersed in the Sonos ecosystem. Count me in that camp. I’m still on the fence with the HomePod – the reviews will go a long way toward my decision.


They don’t make movie theaters like they used to.


How to Detect if Your ISP is Throttling Netflix and Other Online Services

With the FCC having rolled back Title II protections that classified the Internet as a public utility, you may wonder if your ISP is throttling your traffic. The Wehe app, available on both iOS and Android, allows you to do so.

Wehe - ISP detect throttling

The app is part of a study on ISP’s treatment of different kinds of traffic.

Wehe uses your device to exchange traffic recorded from real, popular apps like YouTube and Spotify—effectively making it look as if you are using those apps. As a result, if an ISP tries to slow down an YouTube, our app would see the same behavior. We then send the same app traffic, but replacing the content with randomized bytes , which prevents the ISPs from classifying the traffic. Our hypothesis is that the randomized traffic will not see application-specific shaping, but the original traffic will see it. We repeat these tests several times to rule out noise from bad network conditions, and tell you at the end whether your ISP is shaping your traffic.

Wehe: Check Your ISP for Net Neutrality Violations

Warning – the app takes a long time to perform its testing. That might be due to server overload.


Office for Mac now shares a codebase with Windows, gets real-time collaboration →

Samuel Axon, writing for Are Technica:

Microsoft has released a major Office update for Mac. Update 16.9.0 finally brings long-anticipated real-time collaboration features and automatic cloud saving. Notably, the Mac version of this software is now built from the same codebase as the Windows version, which means that Office shares a codebase across all platforms for the first time in 20 years.

This bodes well for Mac-using lawyers, and really for all Mac users who use Office in a mixed-platform environment. I don’t expect to ever see complete feature parity, but this might get us closer. I use Word on both Windows and Mac, and require some brain re-wiring each time I jump between them. Tools such as Quick Parts work differently on each platform.


An interview with Manton Reece of Micro.blog →

From Colin Devroe’s interview of Manton Reece, the man behind micro.blog:

Facebook recently announced they were hiring 10,000 moderators, and I know Twitter has a large staff as well. I expect one mistake that these larger social networks made early on was hiring too many programmers, and not enough curators. For Micro.blog we always want people who can interact with the community and stay ahead of any issues.

I’ve been getting heavily into micro.blog over the last week or so. I like the philosophy behind it, which comes through in this interview with its creator. Micro.blog is all about the open web – you own your own content. If Twitter has you down, or you have a blog that has been stagnating, check out micro.blog.


A Drone Saves Two Swimmers in Australia →

Isabella Kwai writing for the New York Times:

In video of the incident taken from the drone, it can be seen releasing a yellow “rescue pod” that inflates in the water. The two swimmers grabbed the pod, and with its support they made their way to shore. They were fatigued, but not hurt, Surf Life Saving New South Wales, a volunteer organization, said in a statement.

In the future, our robot overlords may make even lifeguards obsolete.


Wish list item for Apple Watch: If you only have iPhone on you, let the phone fill in gaps in watch’s activity stats when it next connects to the watch, and vice versa. Looks like they each do their own thing now, as best I can tell (2 separate step counts, for example)


Using an iPad for photography workflows →

Marius Masalar for the Sweet Setup:

To be practical, an iPad photography workflow has to encompass everything from shooting, importing, culling, editing, and the final export. The ideal scenario is to be able to trust the iPad to replace a laptop as my daily photography companion. It needn’t do so entirely — I’m happy to continue using my desktop-based collection of apps when I’m at home and need their specific capabilities — but I should feel confident taking nothing but an iPad with me when I head out on a shoot or take my next trip.

If you’ve been looking for a comprehensive iPad photograph workflow, this is about as thorough as you’ll find, from apps to help plan photos, to software and accessories to streamline the process.


DEVONthink 2.9.17 updates web interface and more →

From the DEVONtechnologies blog:

In addition, we’ve made PDF annotations and the text you’ve entered into PDF forms searchable, and we’ve added a convenient way for linking to other documents from plain text and Markdown documents via the contextual menu.

They’re calling this a maintenance update. If you check out the full post at the link, I’d call this a bit more than that. I’ve written frequently about DEVONthink here. Not only is it a great piece of software, but the developers are constantly refining it. There is a 150 hour trial of DEVONthink, so you have nothing to lose if you want to put it through its paces.


Dear spammer: not the best way to get a response from me.