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Improve Apple Services with AirPort Base Stations

You can make iChat file transfers, iDisk, and Back to My Mac work better by turning on a setting with Apple AirPort base stations released starting in 2003. Launch AirPort Utility, select your base station, click Manual Setup, choose the Internet view, and click the NAT tab. Check the Enable NAT Port Mapping Protocol (NAT-PMP) box, and click Update. NAT-PMP lets your Mac OS X computer give Apple information to connect back into a network that's otherwise unreachable from the rest of the Internet. This speeds updates and makes connections work better for services run by Apple.

 

 

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Undercover Adds Wi-Fi Location to Laptop Recovery

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Orbicule, makers of the computer-recovery package Undercover, will capture Wi-Fi information to offer a rough location for help in retrieving a stolen computer. Version 3 will be released on 20-Jan-09, and was demonstrated at Macworld Expo. It's a free upgrade for current users; new copies cost $49 (individual), $59 (up to five in a family), or $39 (student).

Orbicule is working with Skyhook Wireless, a firm that captures Wi-Fi signal information and triangulates locations based on an enormous and constantly updated database. (See "Loki Here," 2007-06-18, for details on how Skyhook collects data and produces results.)

Undercover operates in the background, and is triggered by a user entering a special code on Orbicule's Web site. The next time the background Undercover app on the missing Mac checks in with Orbicule's servers, it switches into recovery mode where it captures images via an iSight camera (if available) and logs network data, transferring this information to Orbicule. Orbicule then works with your local law enforcement to provide recovery data.

Orbicule becomes the second computer-recovery software firm to work with Skyhook Wireless; GadgetTrak's MacTrak ($59.95, one-time fee) added this capability two months ago (see "Laptop Recovery Software Uses Wi-Fi and Flickr," 2008-11-13).

 

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