Apple World Today News Update: January 9, 2018

 The tiny SanDisk 1TB USB-C flash drive

The tiny SanDisk 1TB USB-C flash drive

In the news today on the podcast -- Apple's ITP is choking online advertising firms, an overheated battery causes an evacuation at a Swiss Apple store, WPA3 is announced and may force Apple AirPort users to go elsewhere for Wi-Fi router equipment, and a tiny USB-C flash drive with a big capacity is displayed at CES:

  • "Hundreds of millions of dollars" are being lost by online advertising firms due to Apple's ITP feature in Safari
  • A Zurich, Switzerland Apple retail store was evacuated after an iPhone battery overheated and started filling the back of the store with smoke
  • WPA3 is announced, and will require hardware certification on new Wi-Fi routers -- most likely meaning that Apple AirPort routers will be left out
  • SanDisk shows off a tiny 1TB USB-C flash drive

The text version of the podcast can be read below. To listen to the podcast here, click the play button on the player below. Apple News readers need to visit Apple World Today in order to listen to the podcast.

Text Version

This is Steve Sande for Apple World Today, and you’re listening to the AWT News Update podcast for Tuesday, January 9th, 2018.  

There’s one thing that keeps the Internet going right now, and it is advertising. However, a report out today says that online advertising businesses are losing out on “hundreds of millions of dollars” thanks to Apple’s Intelligent Tracking Prevention (ITP) that was added to the Safari browser for iOS and macOS last year. As an example, Criteo — a company that controls 15-percent of the browser based advertising market — is expected to cut its 2018 revenue projections by 20% because of ITP. Based on Criteo’s 2016 revenues of $730 million, that means that one company could see a reduction of at least $150 million in revenue. Take the rest of the ad firms that sell online advertising, and the total impact to the industry could reach as high as $1 billion per year. ITP prevents the use of cookies, which are used to build up user profiles of web activity — that’s supposed to stop you from seeing ads focusing on one topic based on your browsing history. Many ad industry organizations protested ITP in September, saying that it is a threat to the “valuable digital advertising ecosystem that funds much of today’s digital content and services.”

An Apple Store in Zurich, Switzerland was evacuated for a short time today after an iPhone battery that was being removed from an iPhone overheated and started filling the back of the store with smoke. Reuters reports that “Zurich police said the incident occurred as the repair worker was removing the battery, which overheated and burned his hand slightly. At the same time, there was a slight build-up of smoke, which led to around 50 customers and employees having to leave the business temporarily.” The Zurich police pointed out that the store staff acted properly, sprinkling quartz sand on the battery to allow the smoke to be contained. Police are still investigating the incident.

Get ready for WPA3, announced by the Wi-Fi Alliance as a new standard of Wi-Fi security features for both users and service providers. The new standard will become official some time later this year, and will require hardware certification before it can be adopted by networking equipment manufacturers for their gear. The group said it will also try to refine WPA2, the existing standard. Some of the capabilities of WPA3 include protection even when users choose passwords that fall short of complexity recommendations and making it easier for users to configure security for devices with limited or no displays. Other features will strengthen user privacy in open networks. Now, the big question for users of Apple’s AirPort hardware — which includes the AirPort Express, AirPort Extreme, and AirPort Time Capsule — is whether or not the company can adapt its old hardware to the new standards. Since Apple seems to be ignoring its Wi-Fi router line, users will most likely need to turn to other router manufacturers to gain the security features of WPA3.

Finally, users of the MacBook and MacBook Pro have something coming in the future that might be useful in making fast backups. SanDisk is showing off a USB-C flash drive with a 1TB capacity at CES this year. It’s a working prototype, so of course there’s no word yet on when the device will arrive or how much it will cost. The device is tiny thanks to the USB-C connector, and since 1TB portable SSDs cost $300 to $350 right now, you can expect that the SanDisk flash drive would be a bit more expensive.

That’s all for today; I’ll be back tomorrow afternoon with another edition of the AWT News Update.