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These are tech/gadget related posts. Archive for 2013.

→ What the rumored Apple iWatch might look like, inside and out

We speculate on the properties of a rumored Apple "iWatch."

Read the article - posted 2013-02-18

Buying a USB 3 - Gigabit Ethernet adapter

When I get the new computer, I guess I'll have to buy a second GE adapter so I can transfer data between the two computers at the highest possible speed. There are now 10/100/1000 Ethernet - USB3 adapters. Those should give me full GE performance on the new computer that will have USB3, but in the meantime something better than wifi using USB2 on my current machine.

Read the article - posted 2013-07-05

→ Have iPhone, will travel—without a data plan

It's that time of year when people tend to go on vacation, and although data roaming in Europe is now slightly less expensive, it's still not cheap, so here's a link to my Ars Technica story on how to use your iPhone without a data plan.

Read the article - posted 2013-07-05

→ On the internet, nobody knows you're a dog

Twenty years ago today, Peter Steiner's now iconic cartoon was published in the New Yorker. Of course with all the tracking and spying, on the internet everyone knows you're a dog these days.

Read the article - posted 2013-07-05

No more Google Reader = anonymous searching

It just occurs to me that Google may have shot itself in the foot by discontinuing its Google Reader RSS reader service, because now more people will do their Google searching without being logged in.

Read the article - posted 2013-07-12

My OHM2013 talk: Federation fosters freedom

Between 31 july and 4 august OHM2013 ("Observe. Hack. Make.") will take place in Holland. I'll have a talk on the 4th at 16.00 about how network protocols that let you run your own server foster freedom, while monolithic services such as Facebook and Twitter do the opposite.

Read the article - posted 2013-07-15

iOS 7, new iPhone screen sizes and insta-deletion

Decisions, decisions: update your iOS apps now for iOS 7 and be ready on day one, or wait until new iPhones and iPads arrive and incorporate support for a possible new screen size/resolution in the update?

Read the article - posted 2013-07-17

Caching PHP-generated pages

For years, I always used to include an If-Modified-Since header in my PHP scripts in order to allow their output to be cached by web brow­sers. Turns out, it takes a bit more work.

Read the article - posted 2013-07-18

→ iOS 7: watershed moment

Gedeon Maheux of the Iconfactory makes the point that it takes a lot of developer time to create new versions of apps and then asks:

how willing would you be to re-purchase your favorite apps if they are optimized for iOS 7? Look at your device’s home screen and go down the list of apps you use most and ask yourself if you could live without it once you upgrade. I think that most users (at least those that matter to de­velop­ers) would answer that they would gladly pay again if it means having the latest and greatest version of their favorite apps, at least I would hope so.

I hope so too. I would much rather pay for new iOS 7 optimized versions of my favorite apps than be stuck halfway there because of lack of time/money to do the work to get fully on board with iOS 7 and/or the need to keep supporting iOS 6.

Read the article - posted 2013-07-18

Een eigen server zorgt voor vrijheid—als de protocollen meewerken

Dit is een samenvatting van wat ik zaterdag op OHM2013 ga vertellen. Het is ook te lezen op ISP Today. De foto is van HAL2001.

Read the article - posted 2013-07-30

Slides for my talk federation fosters freedom

These are the slides for my talk "federation fosters freedom" at OHM2013. (PDF.)

Read the article - posted 2013-08-03

→ Deleting zombie photos from iPhoto

Recently I noticed when I delete photos from the iPhoto trash, iPhoto doesn't necessarily delete the image files from its library. My iPhoto library is the single biggest thing on my MacBook Air's hard drive, and it's the reason I had to pay extra for a 256GB SDD rather than use the stock 128GB one. I'm in the habit of taking a bunch of shots of every subject to make sure at least one has the correct focus, exposure, and is level. All this is to say I have a lot of extra photos that I need to get rid of.

But as I noticed, sometimes iPhoto doesn't delete photos when you empty the iPhoto trash. It just removes them from its database so they're no longer visible without deleting the actual image files. Those files still use up disk space—to the tune of 10 GB in my case.

So, after a little tinkering, here's how to get rid of those unwanted photos and reclaim that disk space in eight easy steps.

Read the article - posted 2013-08-19

→ Apple using Multipath TCP for Siri

According to Olivier Bonaventure, Apple is using Multipath TCP (MPTCP) so that iOS 7 devices can communicate with the Siri servers over both Wi-Fi and 3G/LTE at the same time. If you want some background, see this article in the IETF Journal about MPTCP that I wrote in 2009.

Read the article - posted 2013-09-19

Apple's iPhone 5s dock

When the iPhone 5 was released last year, Apple didn't bother with any cases or docks. Third parties certainly addressed the lack of cases, but as far as I can tell, there were never any good docks. But now there's the iPhone 5s dock, which is also compatible with the iPhone 5. So I got on my bicycle and went to the nearest Apple Store to get one. Read on to see if it was worth € 29 and cycling 63 km.

Read the article - posted 2013-09-22

→ Multipath TCP lets Siri seamlessly switch between Wi-Fi and 3G/LTE

In the past, Google has created alternatives to widely used networking protocols such as SPDY in order to deliver search results as fast as possible. Apple is now doing something similar by having Siri use Multipath Transmission Control Protocol (MPTCP). MPTCP is an extension to the TCP protocol that's used for about 85 percent of all Internet traffic. Generally, it allows TCP to operate over multiple paths at the same time. However, Apple seems to use MPTCP for one very specific purpose: to allow Siri to switch between Wi-Fi and 3G or LTE as quickly and seamlessly as possible.

Read the article - posted 2013-09-26

My advice to podcast app developers

As an avid podcast listener, I felt a strong urge to dispense some advice after listening to Marco Arment talk about his ideas for his upcoming Overcast podcast player application for iOS. First a rant about iTunes 11.1.

Read the article - posted 2013-09-30

Archiving data: DVDs, flash drives, hard drives?

Originally, I intended to write a story under the title "saying goodbye to the optical drive". But after a few minutes of research, it turns out that, in my particular case, the optical drive may be on its way out, but it hasn't quite left the premises yet, and not just because I may need to rip a DVD or CD once or twice a year. Let me tell you a tale of backups and storage management.

Read the article - posted 2013-10-14

Late 2013 MacBook Pro review: battery life

No more bottlenecks: the late 2013 MacBook Pro reviewed

Over the next few days, I'll publish my review of the new MacBook Pro¹ here in several installments. This is the first one, which looks at battery life.

Read the article - posted 2013-10-28

Late 2013 MacBook Pro review: CPU performance

No more bottlenecks: the late 2013 MacBook Pro reviewed

Over the next few days, I'll publish my review of the new MacBook Pro here in several installments. This is the second one, looking at CPU performance.

Read the article - posted 2013-10-30

Late 2013 MacBook Pro review: ports and networking

No more bottlenecks: the late 2013 MacBook Pro reviewed

Over the next few days, I'll publish my review of the new 13" MacBook Pro here in several installments. This is the third one, looking at the MacBook Pro's I/O ports and wireless networking. Also see the earlier instalments about battery life and CPU performance.

Read the article - posted 2013-10-31

NL-Alert on the iPhone

The Dutch government has an emergency alert system called NL-Alert. With this, they can send alerts to all cell phones in a region using the cell broadcast feature. So unlike SMS messages, everyone who has them enabled in the deployed region gets them immediately, even if the network is otherwise congested and without the government knowing the phone numbers in question.

As of iOS 7 the iPhone can now receive these alerts, as you can see with today's test in this Youtube video.

Read the article - posted 2013-11-04

Late 2013 MacBook Pro review: audio

No more bottlenecks: the late 2013 MacBook Pro reviewed

Over the next few days, I'll publish my review of the new 13" MacBook Pro here in several installments. This is the fourth one, looking at the MacBook Pro's audio capabilities. Also see the earlier instalments about battery life, CPU performance and ports and networking

Read the article - posted 2013-11-08

No more bottlenecks: the late 2013 MacBook Pro reviewed

This is the last instalment of my review of the 13" late 2013 MacBook Pro. Now also available in ePub format, for reading in (for instance) iBooks.

Read the article - posted 2013-11-11

→ Why I use a 20-year-old IBM Model M keyboard

My latest Ars Technica post, extolling the virtues of the IBM Model M keyboard. This got a lot of comments on Ars and on Twitter, but so far nobody has picked up on the easter egg. Have a good look at the photo (larger version).

Read the article - posted 2013-11-18

→ Review: The productivity suite formerly known as iWork

My review of iWork '13 for Ars Technica. I tried to be open to the new incarnations of Pages, Numbers and Keynote, but that quickly went out the window as I kept discovering new problems. But I still got called out for being too generous by a commenter.

Read the article - posted 2013-11-25

About that third-party lightning cable for my iPhone

Last month I posted a picture of the lightning cable I got for € 6.29 at my local super market—a third of what Apple charges.

At first, it seemed to work well except for this warning that pops up when I connect it to my iPhone 5...

Read the article - posted 2013-12-16

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