Weekly Digest - 2020.02


Cool tech at CES 2020

As always, the second week of January is the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) week. I'm not going to cover in much details what has been shown, people on the site can do much better job. Instead, I've created a list of the most interesting gadgets & thing shown at CES 2020.

Mobile, portable & wearable devices

Laptops

Computers

TVs & Monitors

Headphones & speakers

Smart home devices

Cars & Vehicles

Weekly Digest - 2020.01


Apple Gaming Computer

According to Taiwan's Economic Daily News Apple is going to announce a gaming computer during this year WWDC. The report claims that new machine may be a a laptop or all-in-one desktop with a price tag of up to $5,000. So basically it could be a new MacBook or an iMac.

This rumor is so sketchy on so many levels. First of all Apple, just released a brand new, large-screen, laptop that is arguably gaming capable. Second, both iMac and iMac Pro are long overdue for an update, so they might get a hardware upgrade around WWDC. Also, iMac Pro is VR capable, so, without a doubt, newer hardware will be more powerful.

Beside that, Apple is focusing on Apple Arcade, which has small Indie games. Those, compering to AAA titles, are not that demanding, and most of today's computers could run them easily.

So as you can see, I take this rumor with a grain of salt. But in every rumor there is a little bit of truth, and I believe we might get updated iMacs. But the updates will be related more with VR than traditional gaming.

Emoji engravings on AirPods

Since last year, customers could engrave their AirPods with custom text. This year Apple extended this option with emojis. Unfortunately the number of emojis is very limited, but it includes the most popular ones:  smiling face, thumb up, heart, dog, alien, and even poop.

This feature is very silly, but I have to admit that those emojis look pretty dope on the charging case.

Samsung Galaxy S10 Lite and Note 10 Lite

Samsung announced the budget versions of 2019 flagships. They offer some the of premium features at more affordable price points, which at the moment are still unknown.

Here are the specs:

Galaxy S10 Lite

  • 6.7-inch Super AMOLED display (2400 × 1080),
  • CPU: Snapdragon 855,
  • 6GB or 8GB of RAM,
  • 32-megapixel f/2.2 front camera,
  • Tripple lens rear camera:
    • 5-megapixel f/2.4 macro lens,
    • 48-megapixel F2.0 wide-angle lens,
    • 12-megapixel f/2.2 ultra-wide with a 123-degree angle lens,
  • 128GB of storage,
  • 4,500mAh battery.

Note 10 Lite

  • 6.7-inch Super AMOLED display (2400 × 1080),
  • CPU: Samsung’s Exynos 8895,,
  • 6GB or 8GB of RAM,
  • 32-megapixel f/2.2 front camera,
  • Tripple lens rear camera:
    • 12-megapixel f/2.2 ultra-wide lens,
    • 12-megapixel f/1.7 wide-angle lens,
    • 12-megapixel f/2.4 telephoto lens,
  • 128GB of storage,
  • 4,500mAh battery,
  • SPen for hand writing and controlling the phone.

Weekly digest - 2019.52


2019 in review

This week, I looked back on what happened over last 12 months. This year was crazy, not only in terms things that happened around the world, but also in my personal life.

It wasn't easy, but I picked my top 3 news from each month.

January

  1. CES 2019,
  2. Lucasfilm resolved dispute with Disney/Warner/Chappel over fanfilm,
  3. MacBook's Flexgate.

February

  1. Major FaceTime bug,
  2. Announcement of the Samsung Galaxy Fold,
  3. JPMorgan launching its own cryptocurrency.

March

  1. Launch and docking of the SpaceX's Crew Dragon to the International Space Station,
  2. Apple's March Event,
  3. Announcement of the Google's Stadia,

April

  1. First picture of the black hole,
  2. Premiere of the Avengers Endgame,
  3. Release of Powerbeats Pro.

May

  1. Google suspended all operations with Huawei,
  2. Deepfakes became real,
  3. Tatooine.live.

June

  1. WWDC 2019,
  2. E3 2019,
  3. Flora Colossus.

July

  1. 50th Anniversary of Historic Moon Landing,
  2. Announcement of the Switch Lite,
  3. Jony Ive left Apple.

August

  1. Gamescom 2019,
  2. Release of the Apple Card,
  3. Spider-Man (not) leaving MCU.

September

  1. Release of iPhone 11 & 11 Pro,
  2. Announcement of the Xiaomi Mi Mix Alpha,
  3. Deborah Chow will direct Obi-Wan Kenobi series.

October

  1. Announcement of the Surface Duo,
  2. Release of the Pixel 4,
  3. Release of the AirPods Pro.

November

  1. Premiere of The Mandalorian,
  2. Release of 16-inch MacBook Pro,
  3. Announcement of the Tesla Cybertruck.

December

  1. Premiere of Star Wars Episode IX The Rise of Skywalker,
  2. Premiere of The Witcher on Netflix,
  3. Release of the Mac Pro.

That's all folks. As I said, this was eventful year. I hope next year will be even better.
Happy New year and see you guys soon!


Image credits: NordWood Themes

Weekly digest - 2019.51


Star Wars Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker

When Disney bought Lucasfilm I was really excited. Especially after seeing what they've done with Marvel franchise. In MCU every movie has its own plot, but ultimately it is a step forward into bigger, more important, story. Unfortunately the last Star Wars movies felt random. They lack of greater vision. It is especially visible with The Last Jedi. That movie is so much different from the rest of the saga, that JJ Abrams had to sacrifice a part of the Rise of the Skywalker to fix the wrongs of its predecessor. It is clearly visible by the incredible pace of the movie and some, still unanswered, plot holes.

Beside that, I enjoyed the Episode 9, and I think it is very good conclusion of the Skywalker Saga. It's not perfect, but it gives a closure to the story that started over 42 years ago.

The Witcher

Netflix has released the first season of The Witcher. And I really liked it, especially the role of Geralt. It looks like Henry Cavill  was born to play him.

I was a little worried about putting Yennefer and Ciri as the main characters so early in the story, but in the end I really liked it.

The only thing I didn't like, was mixing the events from the past with the current ones. There was no clear distinction between them. Past events felt like they were happening today, and in the end they are a little bit confusing.  

Overall, the first season of The Witcher is very good, and I can't wait for the next one.

Weekly digest - 2019.50


Mac Pro

Mac Pro is finally here. The base configuration has:

  • 8-Core 3.5GHz Intel Xeon W with Turbo Boost up to 4.4GHz
  • 32GB of DDR4 ECC RAM,
  • AMD Radeon Pro Vega 580X with 8GB GDDR5 memory
  • 256GB SSD,
  • 1.4 KW PSU,
  • Eight PCI Express expansion slots,
  • I/O card with 2 USB3 and 2 thunderbolt ports,
  • Two 10Gb Ethernet ports,
  • 802.11ac Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 5.0,
  • Built-in speaker and 3.5 mm headphone jack.

The base model cost "only" $5999. The top specification looks like this:

  • 28-Core 2.5GHz Intel Xeon W with Turbo Boost up to 4.4GHz
  • 1.5TB of DDR4 ECC RAM,
  • 2 AMD Radeon Pro Vega II Duo cards with total of 128GB of memory,
  • 4TB SSD,
  • 1.4 KW PSU,
  • Afterburner card for accelerating ProRes and ProRes RAW footage manipulation,
  • I/O card with 2 USB3 and 2 thunderbolt ports,
  • Two 10Gb Ethernet ports,
  • 802.11ac Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 5.0,
  • Built-in speaker and 3.5 mm headphone jack.

It is mind-blowing, and costs $52199.

Also, we can buy steel frame with wheels for additional $400. So far first impressions are positive, so it looks like Pro focused Apple is back.

Xbox Series X

During Game Awards Show, Microsoft has unveiled the name and design of the upcoming Xbox called Xbox Series X. The console itself looks more like a PC than we’ve seen from previous Xbox consoles, but I really like this design. What's important, it can be used in both vertical and horizontal orientations, which was not the case with original Xbox one. There is no more details about the hardware inside the console, but we know it will have:

  • Custom CPU based on AMD’s Zen 2 architecture,
  • Radeon RDNA GPU,
  • GDDR6 RAM,
  • SSD for storage,
  • Native 4K at 60 FPS, up to 120 FPS,
  • Support for 8K gaming,
  • Hardware accelerated ray tracing.

For the first time we also get a first glance at the new gamepad. To my relief, it has not been changed that much, but there is couple of improvements. It’s slightly smaller than current one.  Also, there is new, PS4 style, Share button, for uploading screenshots and video clips. The D-pad has also been redesigned, instead of cross shape, it has circle one, like in the Elite controller.

Regarding the name. At the first sight, it is awful, but there might be more to it than meets the eye. The name might suggest, to average consumer, this is continuation to Xbox One X lineup and all the games will we compatible (which has been confirmed by Microsoft). Or, which is more probable, Microsoft is going to release more than one next-gen console.

Game Awards 2019

Here is the list of new trailers presented during the show:


Image credits: Apple