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TidBITS#1178/17-Jun-2013

With the smoke having cleared from Apple’s WWDC keynote, Glenn Fleishman looks deeply at Apple’s claims about the 802.11ac technology featured in the new AirPort base stations and MacBook Air models. Is it as fast as Apple says? One thing has gotten faster for Apple developers: app sales and transfers, which are finally possible in the App Store. Could you control your electronics by dancing through your house? It may soon be possible, as researchers have invented a way to use existing Wi-Fi signals for gesture control. That is, unless there’s a patent involved. The patent system has gotten so out of hand that even lawyers from firms that work for Apple have been implicated in patent lawsuits against the company. While there’s little you can do to fix the patent system, you can relocate folders inside your Dropbox folder to another disk — Camera Uploads is the poster child here — and Jeff Carlson shows you how. To fill up that Camera Uploads folder, check out Analog Camera; Josh Centers reviews the clever, gesture-based photography app for the iPhone. Also new for the iPhone is Duolingo, an app and Web service that turns language learning into a game, and Chris Armstrong has all the details in our latest installment of FunBITS. Notable software releases this week include LaunchBar 5.5.1, Keyboard Maestro 6.0.1, Mellel 3.2, and AirPort Utility 6.3 for Mac.

Adam Engst 6 comments

Researchers Demo Ubiquitous Gestural Control via Wi-Fi Sensing

Ever wanted to lower the volume from your stereo or change the channel on the TV merely by waving at it? With WiSee, a proof-of-concept technology from researchers at the University of Washington, whole-home gestural recognition without cameras or special sensors has become a reality. It’s not a product yet, but its capability to sense gestures by analyzing disruptions in Wi-Fi signals is tremendously intriguing.

Adam Engst 19 comments

Why Do So Many People Fail to Back Up?

Prompted by Joe Kissell’s new “Take Control of Backing Up Your Mac, Second Edition,” Adam Engst ponders what has changed such that backups don’t seem to have the same urgency as in the past. Could it be Time Machine’s ubiquity? The rise of cloud services? Or just different problems to worry about?

Jeff Carlson 11 comments

How to Relocate a Dropbox Subfolder to Another Disk

Jeff Carlson wanted to use Dropbox’s Camera Upload feature for automatically copying photos from iOS devices, cameras, and memory cards, but doing so would fill up his 256 GB SSD with image files. Instead, he created a symbolic link (symlink) in Mac OS X to relocate the Camera Uploads folder to a separate volume.

TidBITS Staff No comments

ExtraBITS for 17 June 2013

It’s time for ExtraBITS: WWDC Edition! With all of Apple’s announcements, many new features didn’t get much play. Macworld’s Serenity Caldwell lists 27 you might have missed. You probably did see iOS 7’s awesome-looking Weather app, but Apple might not have been first to the idea. One of the subtle new features in iOS 7 is a male voice for Siri in the United States, but why now? Apple also handed out the latest round of Apple Design Awards, which include some incredible apps you’ll love. However, some folks don’t think iOS 7 is worthy of a design award, citing disjointed icons as one of the reasons, but it turns out that there’s an explanation. In all the hype about iOS 7, you might have missed a feature in iOS 6 that can protect your device from prying eyes — Rene Ritchie of iMore explains how to make the most of it. And finally, Microsoft has quietly released Office for the iPhone, but should you care?