Weekly digest - 2019.22


Deepfakes becomes real

Researchers from Samsung’s AI Center have figured out a method to train the AI to animate a person's face from an extremely limited dataset, like a single photo. They achieved this by training algorithm for detecting facial features and face landmarks, like shape of the face, eyes, mouth shape, etc. They used 7,000 images of celebrities gathered from VoxCeleb to train the model and achieve realistic results.

What they achieve is really impressive and scary at the same time. I'm afraid that soon we will have problem to tell the difference between what's real and what's fake.

Facebook & cryptocurrency

According to BBC, Facebook plans to launch its own cryptocurrency in 2020. New digital currency, named GlobalCoin, will be launched in 12 countries and it suppose to make money transfers easier for Instagram and WhatsApp users.

This is an interesting approach, and it's completely different from Apple's "traditional banking" route. I'm curious how it will be adopted by users. Maybe, finally, the cryptocurrency money transfers will become widely used.

iOS 13 and macOS 10.15 rumors

One week before WWDC, Guilherme Rambo revealed screenshots of some upcoming iOS 13 features. So far, the following changes will released with new operating system:

  • Dark mode,
  • New toolbar for screenshots editor,
  • Redesigned Reminders app,
  • Find my iPhone and Find my Friends apps are united into one app called Find My.

On the macOS side, we got screenshot of new Music and TV apps.

Those features align with previous rumors about iOS 13 and macOS 10.15, so there is high chance that we will see the rest of anticipated features on Monday.

New iPod Touch

Apple has quietly updated the iPod Touch with new A10 Fusion chip. Beside new CPU, iPod got new version with  256GB of storage. And that's it. This update is strange as Apple didn't even use latest generation of  A11 or A12 chips.

I'm surprised that Apple even bothered to upgrade iPod Touch, but apparently  they are convinced that users need more performance. Maybe they think that people will use iPods to play games, for example from Apple Arcade. Well, iPod Touch, with starting price at $199, is definitely chipper than the iPhone, so they might be people who like mobile games, but cannot afford a new iPhone. In that case, iPod Touch is reasonable choice.


Image credits: Egor Zakharov

Weekly digest - 2019.21


Huawei vs USA

Google has immediately suspended all operations with Huawei on May 19th. This means that Huawei will not be able to use Google's Android on their phones and Google Play services. For now, currently sold devices will be receiving security updates, but this might change in the short future. MKBHD has explained this in his video.

This whole situation is a result of the trade ban issued by US government on China. Google is just one of the several tech companies that suspended partnership with Huawei. Intel, Qualcomm, Broadcom and Xilinx have stopped supplying Chinese company with new parts.

Huawei was one of the fastest growing tech companies in a world. Now, when they have no software and they are cut off from main suppliers, their future doesn't look that good.

MDS vulnerabilities

New procesor's vulnerabilities have been discovered. They are really bad. Both Intel and AMD processors are affected, but fixes hit mostly Intel processors. Intel losses even 5 times more performance than AMD. Phoronix run a set of benchmarks which shows about 15% performance drop on Intel processor, when AMD lost only 3%. What's even more interesting Google and Apple advise to disable Hyper-threading on Intel chips, which can cause even 40-50% performance drop.

New MacBook Pro

Apple has refreshed their MacBook Pro line. New computers can now get 9-gen of Intel's Core processors. The base model starts with a 2.6GHz, 6-core i7, which can turbo boost up to 4.5GHz. If  we need more performance, we can buy model with 8-core i9 chip with a 2.4GHz base speed, which can turbo boost up to 5.0GHz. Apple also added more options for the GPUs. The base model has Radeon Pro 560X with 4GB of GDDR5 memory. As an option we can choose the Radeon Pro Vega 16 or 20, both with 4GB of HBM2 memory.

Also new MacBooks come with 3rd generation of the butterfly keyboard. Apple updated the materials used to create butterfly mechanism. According to Apple, those changes should solve the majority of the keyboard issues, but looking at this thread from iFixit employee, the reality might be disappointing.

Keyboard Service Program for MacBooks

Apple has not only updated the keyboards, but they also updated their keyboard repair program. All MacBooks with the butterfly mechanism  will now be fully eligible for Apple’s Keyboard Service Program. All repaired MacBooks will get newest, 3rd generation keyboard.


Image credits: Dice

Weekly digest - 2019.07


This week we got some information about Apple event that is rumored for March. During this event we should see new iPads mini, which I've already covered two weeks ago, long awaited AirPower and AirPods 2 with new color options. Unfortunately, we don't know when we will be able to buy new AirPods, one rumor says it will be available this spring, and another says that we have to wait till fall. I cannot wait for new AirPods, especially black matte ones, and I hope we will get them in the first half of this year.

On the other side of the barricade, Samsung released a new tablet, Samsung Galaxy Tab S5e. Starting at $399 device has following specification:

  • 10.5inch Super AMOLED (2560x1600) display,
  • Qualcomm SDM 670 (Dual 2.0GHz + Hexa 1.7GHz) processor,
  • 4GB or 6GB of RAM,
  • 64GB or 128GB of internal storage,
  • SD card slot supporting cards up to 512GB
  • Front (8-megapixel) and back (13-megapixel) cameras,
  • Up to 14.5h of battery life.

Right now, the market of the tablets is dominated by iPads. The root cause of that situation was lack of decent Android devices. With this new Galaxy Tab, Samsung finally has something that might be recommended as an alternative to the iPad.

From the other news, JPMorgan is launching its own cryptocurrency. Yeah, another cryptocurency to the collection. This time, one JPM Coin will be equivalent of one dollar, and will be used to perform real-time transfers of substantial amount of money, which right now might take even days. I'm not a big fan of another cryptocurency, but I'm glad to see that big and respected bank is going to use blockchain to transfer money.

That's it for this week, if you want more, here is the list of interesting things.

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