How-to: Set time limits on your Wi-Fi network using AirPort Utility

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AirPort Utility is a built-in Mac app that is used to configure and control Wi-Fi networks using Apple’s AirPort Extreme, AirPort Express, and Time Capsule. The AirPort Extreme is a base station router like you would use when setting up your Wi-Fi network. An AirPort Express is used to extend a Wi-Fi network to a larger area, or can be used to stream audio using AirPlay. A Time Capsule is a combination of an AirPort Extreme and an external hard drive, and comes in 2 TB or 3 TB. It automatically backs up all Macs on your network.

AirPort Utility has the ability to set limits on what time of day the network (and therefore the internet) can be accessed from specific wireless devices. This can be helpful in situations where parents want to keep kids off of the internet after a certain time. Time limits can be set for different times on different days of the week.

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Maps roundup: Early Placebase founder leaves for startup, Alaska airport directions disabled, & secret project job listing

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A few Apple map related stories have popped up today starting with the departure of early Placebase founder– the mapping company Apple bought back in 2009–  Jaron Waldman. After Apple bought Placebase, Waldman started and lead the Apple Geo team behind the Apple Maps infrastructure and location services on iOS and Mac like MapKit and CoreLocation. He was at Apple up until last month and even filed for numerous Apple mapping patents, but recently left to work at a “new startup” according sources and verified by his LinkedIn page.

As Waldman is on his way out, the Apple Maps team today posted a job listing (via Macrumors) seeking a web UI designer to “design, develop, and maintain complex front-end code for a new secret project.” Unfortunately we don’t get many hints at what the project would consist of, but the job listing adds that the successful applicant would join “a small team working on an advanced web platform upon which many of Apple’s future services will be based.” It is almost like Apple knows the listing will get lots of publicity if it adds ‘secret project’ therefore attracting a wider audience of potential candidates.

Finally, over a year into Apple’s Maps launch, Apple is still getting press for some hiccups it is yet to work out. A couple days ago news broke that Apple’s Maps app was directing drivers in Alaska down a dangerous route across a Fairbanks International Airport runway and taxiway. It’s certainly not the first time that Apple’s Maps app has given dangerous directions to drivers (those lacking common sense anyway) since its controversial launch, and today airport officials confirmed that Apple has disabled directions to the airport until it fixes the directions: Read more

OS X 10.8.4 code confirms new Macs incoming with super-fast 802.11ac Gigabit wireless support

Apple is preparing to soon release new Mac computers that support super-fast 802.11ac Gigabit wireless, according to code-findings inside of Apple’s latest OS X Mountain Lion 10.8.4 beta seed to developers. The code was located by a tipster inside of the operating system’s WiFi-frameworks folder. As you can see in the image directly below, the 802.11ac code is not found in OS X 10.8.3, which is the latest public release of Apple’s Mac operating system.

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Previous reports have claimed that Apple is working with wireless chipmaker Broadcom to produce 802.11ac chips for future Macs. Now, it appears, Apple’s software is ready to support the new wireless technology as well. More details below…

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Apple announces new AirPort Express featuring dual-band 2.4GHz and 5GHz 802.11n Wi-Fi for $99

Apple just unveiled its new AirPort Express on its online store at the conclusion of its WWDC keynote. The new router features dual-band 2.4GHz and 5GHz 802.11n Wi-Fi for $99. Besides the new bands, the new Express does not seem to feature any new updates, except that it does seem to look closer to an Apple TV — in white. The update Express keeps the same USB 2.0 and 3.5mm headphone jack that it has always carried. You can check it out on the Apple Online Store now.  Read more

9to5Toys: Amazon cuts Kindle Fire to $139 (refurb), Airport Extreme for $99, lots more

Some good deals from 9to5Toys.com today:

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If you like Kindle, no better time to jump on the refurb Kindle Fire for $139 + free shipping.  Like new with 1 year warranty.

MacConnection has the Airport Extreme Base Station ($30 off) for $149.  Best Buy has refurb for $99

Used iPhone 4 (no contract): $235 at Cowboom

Transcend 8GB Class 4 SDHC Memory Card for $5 + free shipping

iTunes library fixer upper Tuneup bundle is $30

Logitech Wireless Keyboard: $15 at Best Buy

Lots more at 9to5toys.com (Facebook) (Twitter)(RSS)(Subscribe via eMail)

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Goodbye white MacBook, Apple takes the MacBook Air into education with new five-pack, mobile lab programs

Early last week, Apple discontinued the white plastic MacBook, which had been an education-only item since mid-2011, but is continuing to sell the product to education institutions while supplies last. The remaining supplies are being sold for $899, and sources say that Apple’s white MacBook inventory for educational institutions is still rather high. While white MacBooks for education are a thing of the past, Apple is not giving up on education: they are launching two new MacBook Airs for schools programs today.

The first new program is called MacBook Air 5-Pack Bundles and allows schools to purchase the MacBook Air in bundles of five at a discount. There are six bundle options, and each bundle saves schools $20 per MacBook Air:

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MacBook Air still starts at $849

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For those who missed out on the Black Friday specials, Amazon still offers the entry level Core i5 MacBook Air for $849.99 plus free shipping.  That’s a significant $150 off of retail and the lowest price available.  This latest MacBook Air includes an Intel Core i5 1.6GHz “Sandy Bridge” dual-core processor, 11.6″ 1366×768 LED-backlit display, 2GB RAM, 64GB SSD, AirPort Extreme (802.11n wireless), Bluetooth 4.0, Facetime camera, Thunderbolt port, and Mac OS X 10.7 Lion.

Amazon also still has the lowest prices on the entry level MacBook Pro ($1049).  Other price lows (mostly from MacMall) can be found here.
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New MacBook Pros launching as soon as next week at current price points

Last week we exclusively reported that the current line of MacBook Pros is severely constrained and that part numbers for a new MacBook Pro line had surfaced. Based on these similar internal part numbers, the new MBP’s design should be the same as the current design.

Now, we’ve received pricing for the new laptops and the prices for each unit are the same as the prices for the current generation.

With supplies only becoming more constrained, and with shipments already touching down in select countries, we think a launch next week is likely (between Tuesday and Thursday). That is, of course, if there are no unforeseen circumstances. Thanks Mr. X! 

One more thing… after the break:

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Why buying the 3TB Time Capsule is crazypants

We know Apple charges a premium on storage.  That’s why many people buy RAM and HDD/SSD storage for their Macs from third party retailers, saving lots of money.   With iOS devices, however, Apple is able to keep out third party upgrades because the devices are sealed shut.  That’s why a device with 16GB costs $100 less than a device with 32GB of RAM, which in turn costs $100 less than a device with 64GB of flash storage.  Apple buys Flash for less than anyone else on earth but mere mortals can get storage for a fraction of what Apple charges.

So here’s this Time Capsule thing.

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 $299 for 2TB.  To upgrade to a 3TB drive, you’ll need $200 more.  How absurd is this?  The difference between a 2TB and 3TB drive is like $40.

Not only is this beyond the call of the “Mac Tax” but it is crazy easy to get around.  For an extra $150 (Still $50 less than the 3TB model) you can buy a perfectly good 3TB USB Seagate or Western Digital hard drive from Amazon.  Then just plug it into the back of the 2TB model and you have 5TB of addressable space.    You’ve been able to use USB drives since 2008 as Time Machine backups or Network Attached Storage.

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Of course it is nice to have the drive in a convenient little package with only one plug, but for $200, only getting an extra TB seems a little absurd.   Read more

More on Apple's Airport/Time Capsule and a possible refresh


Image via Amazon

We’ve been tracking Time Capsule/Airport shortages reported earlier for about a week. Our sources noted that Airport Express has been plentiful but supplies of TimeCapsule and Airport Extreme have been tightening globally the way products usually do before a refresh.

What we do know is that Apple has been internally testing Time Capsules to cache Software Updates for both Mac and iOS devices.  The way we’ve heard it works is that the new Time Capsule learns which devices connect to it via Wifi.  It then goes out to Apple’s servers and downloads Software Updates for those products.

When the user wants to install the software update, the Time Capsule, which is also the router, routes you to the locally stored update, rather than downloading the whole thing over the Internet.  This works for iOS updates as well, though the updating still happened via the Mac.

Apple’s Mac OSX Servers currently do this for Mac businesses, so the technology already exists externally (though Mac OSX Server just downloads everything – without knowing which devices will be connected).

With Apple’s new iCloud component, we believe Apple has a chance to extend this functionality.  Perhaps Time Capsules could cache parts of your iCloud music locker that you use the most so that it speeds up the streaming process.  It could also cache large documents and files that get used often or even movies and photos you own.

While Macs have plenty of local storage, this would be particularly beneficial for iOS devices which are limited to Flash storage, especially AppleTV which has very little local storage.  As HD video gets bigger (1080P) Apple will need new ways to deliver and store this content.

The system could also work in reverse.  Apple could allow these new Time Capsules to back up your backups to the Cloud.

Will this be part of Apple’s iOS 5/Lion/iCloud announcement?  We’ll just have to wait and see. Read more