Smart gadgets are getting their own Wi-Fi standard in 2018

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A new type of Wi-Fi is on the way.
Photo: Ming Xia/Flickr

With CES, aka the world’s biggest consumer electronics show, coming up this week, we’re about to hear a whole lot more about the Internet of Things and smart, connected gadgets.

Which makes this the perfect time for the announcement of a new type of Wi-Fi called Wi-Fi HaLow, which is an extension of the upcoming 802.11ah Wi-Fi standard, designed to end up inside fitness trackers, home sensors and other smart gadgets.

Summit selfies will be a thing with Wi-Fi on Mount Fuji

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The Japanese government is working to bring Free WiFi to Mount Fuji.
The Japanese government is working to bring Free Wi-Fi to Mount Fuji.
Photo: Wikipedia

Just when you thought the “Guess where I’m at?” post on social media was a thing of the past, Japan’s government may install free Wi-Fi on Mount Fuji

The government is working with regional officials to set up eight hotspots on the mountain, including the summit for climbers who must first take a selfie before taking in the view.

iOS 8 privacy changes bring big layoffs to retail tracking startup

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iOS 8 is cruising through the final stages of development ahead of its fall release, and while most users can’t wait for its arrival, one NY-based startup already had to cut a third of its staff, after privacy changes in iOS 8 have threatened to already make its retail tracking technology obsolete.

Nomi, a startup that creates solutions for retail stores to track shoppers and their spending habits, has laid off 20 of its 60 or so employees, thanks in part to some small changes in iOS 8 that make make it impossible to identify repeat visits from shoppers with an iPhone.

Indulge your inner OCD with Brother’s tiny Wi-Fi label printer

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Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac
The Brother P-Touch P750W label printer works like a charm. Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

When I was a kid, we used to label everything: toys, boxes, file folders. My parents used one of those manual rotary label dispensers, the kind you had to squeeze hard enough to make each individual letter poke up through the hard plastic label tape. It was a good day when my brother and I got to use the label maker to title our shelves, toys and books (“Rob’s Stuff” was a common theme).

These days, printing labels is a lot easier thanks to computers and label printers like the ones from Dymo and Brother. Typically, you’ve got to connect these to a Mac or PC, and then use special software to send labels to the label printer.

The Brother P-Touch P750W (printer makers really need to work on their model names) is a label printer that can connect to your computer via USB, sure, but also connect either to your existing Wi-Fi network or create its own Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n network to print labels from any device, including iPhones, iPads, Android devices, Windows PCs and Macs.

Yeah, I’ve already labeled some shelves around the house. Old habits, it appears, die hard.