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ExtraBITS for 24 November 2014

In this Thanksgiving edition of ExtraBITS, Ars Technica explains which networking services Continuity uses, we learn why no one can build things like Apple, Walt Mossberg traces the rise of the Mac, and Apple removes the “free” label from apps.

Which Networking Technologies Do Continuity Services Need? -- With Continuity, OS X 10.10 Yosemite and iOS 8 can share all sorts of information, but it’s difficult to know which network technologies are required for each service: Bluetooth, a local Wi-Fi connection, or a general Internet connection. Ars Technica has delved into AirDrop, AirPlay, Handoff, Instant Hotspot, and SMS and phone forwarding to tease out the networking requirements of each.

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Why No One Can Copy Apple’s Hardware Design -- Many companies want to build products with the quality of Apple’s, but as Ben Einstein of Bolt explains, that’s nearly impossible to do. One reason is that Apple has bought up many of the machines and firms capable of such precision manufacturing. Besides that, Apple has mastered some of the most difficult manufacturing processes, such as color-matching white plastic, mass-scale CNC machining, and laser-drilling holes.

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Walt Mossberg on the Return of the Mac -- Many were shocked at the growth in Mac sales in Apple’s fourth fiscal quarter of 2014, but not veteran technology journalist Walt Mossberg. He credits the second act of the Mac to three factors: the leadership of Steve Jobs, the rise of the Web, and Microsoft’s many mistakes.

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App Store Apps Are No Longer “Free” -- Apple has changed the “Free” label on apps with no upfront cost to “Get.” The move is likely due to regulatory concern over the cost of in-app purchases. While some apps are still truly free, many “free” apps require in-app purchases to be usable.

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