Weekly Digest - 2020.51


Christmas Card

I've created a minimalistic Christmas Card using HTML, CSS, and SVG. This is an interactive version of an artwork I've done couple years ago. You can check it out here.

Cyberpunk 2077 in trouble

It is a week after a premiere, and everybody is talking about Cyberpunk 2077. Too bad, it's about how bad the game is on previous generation of consoles. The issues are so severe, that Sony decided to pull the game off their store. Microsoft's action wasn't so drastic, but they expended refund policy for Cyberpunk 2077. CD Project Red says they will refund the game from their own pocket. All of this caused that CDPRed stocks have been slaughtered, and investors are abandoning, what's looks like, a sinking ship. CD Project Red has a lot of work to do, first they need to fix the game to make it at least playable, then they need to get back the trust of the gamers, which will be almost impossible task.

iPhone 13 rumors

Welp, the iPhone 12 is barely released, but we have rumors about next year iPhone. It looks like new phone will have 120Hz ProMotion display, thanks to LTPO. The LTPO screens have lower energy consumption, which is important on devices with small batteries.

Weekly Digest - 2020.50


Cyberpunk 2077 released

CD Project Red, after 9 years of development, finally released the Cyberpunk 2077. First reviews are very positive. CDP Red once again delivered very solid game, although it is far from being perfect. The game is hunted by many little bugs. Bugs are not  unexpected as the game is huge, but they make the  experience less pleasant.  Overall it looks like Cyberpunk is solid game and it somehow met the expectations.

Starship launch

Space X has performed a test flight of the Starship. The launch was verifying following scenario:

  1. ✅ Launch Starship,
  2. ✅ Achieve altitude of 12.5 KM,
  3. ✅ Shutdown engines and rotate rocket on it's belly,
  4. ✅  Fall free,
  5. ✅ Turn on engines and rotate the rocket to the vertical position,
  6. ❌ Land on the ground.

The test  ran perfectly until the landing. The pressure in fuel cells was too low, which resulted in higher touch down speed than anticipated, which ultimately caused an explosion.

Despite the fact, that Starship is gone, the test was successful.

AirPods Max

Apple announce AirPods Max - the over-ear noise-canceling headphones. Here are selected features:

  • Active Noise Cancellation,
  • Spatial audio with dynamic head tracking,
  • Audio Sharing,
  • Digital Crown for controlling volume and playback,
  • Magnetic ear cups,
  • Apple H1 chip, in each ear cup, for fast connecting with Apple devices and device switching,
  • Sensors in each cup can detect whether they are placed on a user’s head and pause playback when removed,
  • Bluetooth 5 compatible,
  • 20h of battery life,
  • Come in five colors: space gray, silver, sky blue, green, and pink.

AirPods Max  will be available from December 15th for $549.

New ARM macs in 2021

According to latest rumors, Apple is working on new 32-core chip, that will be shipped with upcoming iMacs and 16-inch MacBook Pros. Looking at performance of the current M1 chip, it is something worth waiting for.

Apple Fitness+

Apple also announced that Fitness+ will launch on December 14th. The workout service will be available only in Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, the UK, and the US  for $9.99 per month or $79.99 per year.

Disney plans

Disney have unveiled their plans for the foreseeable future.

Star Wars:

  • Star Wars: Andor (TV); 2022,
  • Obi-Wan Kenobi (TV); 2022,
  • Ahsoka (TV),
  • Rangers of the New Republic (TV),
  • Star Wars: The Bad Batch (TV),
  • The Acolyte (TV),
  • Star Wars: Lando (TV),
  • Droid Story (TV),
  • Star Wars: Visions (TV),
  • Rogue Squadron (Movie); 12.2023,
  • Untitled Taika Waititi Film; 12.2025.

Marvel:

  • WandaVision (TV); 15.01.2021,
  • Falcon and the Winter Soldier (TV); 03.2020,
  • Loki (TV); 05.2021,
  • Hawkeye; 2021,
  • She-Hulk (TV),
  • Ironheart (TV),
  • What-if? (TV),
  • Moon Knight (TV),
  • Miss Marvel (TV),
  • Secret Invasion (TV),
  • Armor Wars (TV),
  • Black Panther 2 (Movie), 07.2022,
  • Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania (Movie),
  • Fantastic Four (Movie).

Image credits: Apple

Weekly Digest - 2020.03


Samsung Galaxy S20

XDA Developers leaked the photos of the successor to Samsung's flagship phone - Galaxy S10. What's interesting, Samsung is not going to just increment the number to S11, instead they are going to jump ahead to S20. Probably Samsung is naming is based on current year.  Other visible differences are:

  • front facing camera cutout is closer to the center of screen,
  • rear camera has 4 lenses:  regular wide, an ultra-wide, portrait, and a macro,
  • body is less curved.

For the rest of the spec, we'll have to wait until February 11th.

New iPhones and iPads with faster 5G

According to Ming-Chi Kuo, this year iPhone will support both sub-6GHz 5G (slightly faster than LTE) and faster mmWave 5G (closer to WiFi transfers). Previous reports suggested only the the former, so this week rumor is a nice surprise. Of corse, it is possible that faster 5G will be available only in selected models of iPhone.  That would line up with  last week rumors,  that new iPhones might have staggered rollout.

Also, according to DigiTimes, upcoming iPads will get faster 5G as well.  Although, this feature might be limited only to iPad Pro lineup.

New MacBooks coming soon

Apple has register portable and unreleased Mac in Eurasian Economic Commission database. Common sense indicates that might be new 13-inch, or maybe even 14-inch, MacBook Pro with a scissor keyboard. Regardless, of the screen size, new Mac will be released within couple of weeks.

Windows 7 is dead

After 11 years, Microsoft is officially ending support for Windows 7. Although, users should not get any bug fixes or feature updates, Windows 7 will share the fate of Windows XP, and Microsoft will be releasing critical security updates for couple more years.

New Microsoft Edge is out

Microsoft has finally released the stable version of the Edge browser based on the Google's Chromium web browser project. New Microsoft Edge is available on both Windows and macOS.

Cyberpunk 2077 delayed

Cyberpunk 2077 has been delayed by 5 months.  In the special statement,  CD Project Red (CDPR) announced that the released date has been moved to September 17th.

Cyberpunk 2077 is one of the most anticipated games of this year, and it is not a surprise, that CDPR want to polish the game and release the best game possible. CDPR did similar move with Witcher 3, which also was delayed for 3 months and turned it to be one of the best RPGs ever. So, there is nothing to worry about, all we need to do is be patient.

SpaceX Crew Dragon Launch Escape Demonstration

On Sunday, SpaceX performed the final test of the Crew Dragon. The goal of this mission was to verify the escape mechanisms of the Crew Dragon capsule.

Less than one and half minute after Falcon's 9 launch, Crew Dragon separated from the booster. Seconds later rocket itself was destroyed. Meanwhile, Crew Dragon achieved safe distance and parachuted in the ocean.

The test looked to be successful. If the telemetry confirms that, it means that SpaceX will be in the home stretch to send first astronauts into space.


Image credits: XDA Developers

Weekly digest - 2019.36


Sleep tracking in Apple Watch

New rumors surfaced about sleep tracking in Apple Watch. According to anonymous sources, Apple Watch will allow to track sleep quality without any additional hardware, which means this might be only a software update which would track :

  • user's movement,
  • heart rate,
  • noises

Tracked data should be accessible via Health app.

Smart Watch bands

Patently Apple noticed that Apple has been granted new patents for watch bands and bracelets. In the future Apple could create following Watch accessories:

  • band with biometric authentication sensor,
  • band with visual indicators,
  • self-tightening band.

Apple already has couple of patents for watch bands and we still haven't seen any smart one, so Apple is probably just trying to be ahead of competition in terms of patents, rather than trying to start production of a new product.

Apple Music on the Web

Apple launched a brand new Apple Music web player, which is currently in a beta state. Service itself looks and behaves like the Music app from macOS Catalina, so even the Windows or Linux users will be able to use Apple Music on their computers. For me, lack of lightweight client for Apple Music on Windows and Linux was the biggest blocker keeping me from switching from Spotify. I will wait a little bit to see how it will turn out. Then I will evaluate what both streaming services have to offer and maybe I will do the switch.

USB 4 standard finalized

The USB Implementers Forum has announced thatUSB 4 standard is finalized and ready for wide deployment. Here is  tl;dr version:

  • up to 40Gbps data throughput,
  • up to 100W power delivery,
  • backwards compatibility with earlier USB standards, including USB 3.2 and USB 2.0, as well as Thunderbolt 3,
  • will use USB Type-C connector.

Hopefully this will convince manufacturers to produce more accessories with USB-C connector.

Multiplayer in Cyberpunk 2077

CD Projekt Red confirmed that multiplayer in Cyberpunk 2077 left the stage of R&D and is officially coming to the game. As the multiplayer is still under early development, it will come later to the game. Next April we will get single player campaign, then couple of (free) DLCs, and after that, there will be multiplayer beta.

I'm curious how company known for single player masterpieces will tackle the multiplayer mechanics.


Image credits: Apple

Weekly digest - 2019.35


Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker | D23 Special Look

On Monday Lucasfilm publicly released  Star Wars Episode 9 teaser trailer which has been shown to the audience at D23. In my opinion this is perfect teaser. It doesn't reveal anything related to the plot, but still keeps me hyped about the movie 😀Can't wait for mid-October when the full trailer will be revealed.

Apple improves Siri's privacy protection

Couple weeks ago, we could saw, on various services, that big companies like Apple, Google or Microsoft employed 3rd party contractors to listen to voice recordings send via Siri, Google Assistant and Cortana. This of course caused a discussion about the privacy of the voice assistant users. This week, Apple released a statement addressing that issue. The key points are following:

  • Contractors will no longer listen to recordings,
  • Reviewers will have access to less information about users,
  • By default, written transcripts of Siri recordings will be send to Apple,
  • Opting out from sending any data (including transcripts) requires disabling Siri,
  • Users can opt in to also send the recordings to the Apple.

I think this is great improvement. Apple still need to have the user data to improve Siri and people can choose how they want to contribute. I'm also glad that the data will not be accessible outside the Apple, which should be the case from the very beginning.

Apple's September event

Apple started sending invites for the upcoming September event, which will take place on September 10th. What's interesting, invite itself contains colorful Apple logo, which might be hinting new color options for the iPhones.

iPhone 11 Specs Leaked

The alleged specifications for upcoming iPhone 11 lineup have leaked. This leak comes from unverified source, so I would take them with a grain of salt. Also, Banjamin Mayo from 9to5mac says it's not real.  That being said, if some of those information are somehow true, then they look interesting:

  • 6GB of RAM in Pro models,
  • Storage for Pro models starts from 128GB, which is significant upgrade from current 64GB,
  • Much bigger battery. Basically the 11 and 11 Pro models are getting the battery with capacity from current iPhone XS Max,
  • Pricing is the same as for current models 😞, but the spec is better, so at least that's an improvement.

There is also a rumor about about Apple Pencil support in iPhone Pro models, but I think, at the moment, this is only wishful thinking rather than something that could we see this year.

Well, we are going to see whether those leaks are true in couple of days.

Apple allows 3rd to repair iPhones

Apple allowed independent repair shops to fix out-of-warranty iPhones. There is a lot of controversy surrounding Apple regarding the blocking users from fixing their iPhones outside authorised services. There is event entire Right to Repair movement. Fortunately for us, Apple is slowly loosing their restrictions:

  • Apple will provide genuine part replacements, tools, training and manuals.
  • Independent repair shops will be allowed to repair only (for what we know at the moment) out-of-warranty iPhones,
  • The shop must have an Apple certified technician that will perform the repairs.

This is great news, I hope this will be soon extended to other Apple products.

Interesting things


Image credits: Lucasfilm