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 - 2019.19


Google IO

Google held its annual conference this week. This year, nothing revolutionary announced,  it was rather a presentation of an evolution of the current products. You can watch a recap here. Here is the short list of more interesting news:

From all the thing that's been shown I'm most impressed by the Google Assistant. As I tweeted earlier this week, it is lightyears ahead of Bixby, Siri or even Alexa. I wish Apple care about Siri as much as Google does with Assistant.

PowerBeats Pro

Tech reviewers started getting their hands on the new Beats earbuds. First impressions are very positive. PowerBeats Pro are the best Beats ever, but they have two major issues. One is pricing and the second is ery big charging case. I have already accepted the price, but the case is humongous. It will definitely not fit to the pocket, so you either need a backpack/bag to carry it or leave it at home.

Windows Now Comes with Linux

Microsoft will ship a full Linux kernel in Windows 10. Although Microsoft added multiple Linux Bashes to Windows over the years, this is a big surprise.

New Microsoft Edge released as a preview

Microsoft has released a preview of their new browser powered with Chromium engine. Right now it is available only on macOS. I run a quick test with Tatooine.live. So far, this site worked properly only on Chrome, now it also works, without any issues, on Edge for Mac.

What's even more interesting, this is the first Microsoft's browser on the Mac since Safari replaced Internet Explorer over 15 years ago.

New Star Wars Movies

Disney has announced the release dates for its upcoming movies, including Star Wars. Right now, only new trilogy has been announced with following releases:

  • Part 1 - Christmas 2022
  • Part 2 - Christmas 2024
  • Part 3 - Christmas 2026

So, after Episode 9, there will be no Star Wars movies for 3 years. Hopefully the new TV shows will fill the gap. Right now, we know nothing about this trilogy, but we know about 2 potential projects:

No spinoff has been announced, which is disappointing, because I'm waiting for Kenobi movie.

Spider-Man: Far From Home Trailer

Roughly two weeks after Avengers Endgame premiere, the new Spider-Man trailer hit the web. The trailer shows the aftermath of the events from the Endgame and it looks like it's opening the Multiverse  for the Phase 4.


Image credits: Gogole

Weekly digest - 2019.03


At the beginning of the year Apple informed investors to prepare for lower revenue. Mostly caused by lower than expected iPhone demand, especially on the Chinese market. More than the week later Apple reacted by reducing the price of the iPhone XR by $100. Furthermore, Apple brought the iPhone SE back to the store in US, also with lower price tag. Looks like Apple is trying to fix the sells issue. I really like to see lower prices of the newest phones, but I cannot understand why Apple brought back almost 3 year old phone. Hopefully Apple will learn the lesson from this iPhone flop and new models will be more affordable or will have features that will justify the price.

Apple struggles not only with iPhones, but with Macs as well. Apple sold less Mac than a year ago, but we can see that entire PC market is falling. Computers are expensive, especially Macs, and people are more keen to replace the computer with their phone or tablet. And again I believe that lower prices would help to revive this market.

Speaking of Apple, they also have some good news. DuckDuckGo started using Apple’s MapKit.js framework to display search results on the map. This is really interesting move, because DuckDuckGo’s first priority is privacy and they trusted Apple with all the search queries. Well, in the future we will see how both companies respect our privacy.

Now moving on, there was a lot of going on around Star Wars. Lets start with another cancellation of the Star Wars game. First we heard rumors that EA has canceled the Open-World game that supposed to be Uncharted in the space. Then EA ha released a statement, which basically confirms the cancellation. Well it looks like some manager at EA realized that the cannot put micro-transactions into story driver, single player game 😛.
During 6 years of having rights to Star Wars franchise, EA has released only 2 games, which has not been well received because of all the controversies around them. If I were a Disney I would be furious, because all the EA does just damages the franchise. Hopefully Disney/Lucasfilm realizes that before it will be to late.
And Lucasfilm knows how to intervene. They helped the fan film creator with a dispute between him and Disney/Warner/Chappel. The outrage among Star Wars fans have definitely been notices, so someone at Lucasfilm did the right thing and saved the film. This entire situation is really worrying. Disney, which earns billions of dollars each year, goes after a fan who is just promoting a franchise. And what's even more ironic, Lucasfilm each year is promoting and awarding the fan films.

Thats all for this week. Here is the list of interesting things.

The hole-punch display is going to be okay

Why Founders Should Start With a Website, Not a Mobile App

A Christmas Challenge — A Cinema app in just 7 days

Dart vs Swift: a comparison

Deno is the new Node?

A comprehensive introduction to Docker, Virtual Machines, and Containers

Weekly digest - 2018.48


As in this week nothing happend, there is nothing to discuss. In that case I hope you will find something interesting in the following articles.

How to Land on Mars

Software Library: C64

How to Deal with Difficult People on Software Projects

How to Become a Better Software Developer: A Handbook on Personal Performance

Redesigning the Office App Icons to Embrace a New World of Work

Apple Music: A UX/UI Holistic Case Study

Voice User Interfaces (VUI) — The Ultimate Designer’s Guide

11 Sketch Plugins That Will Improve Your Workflow

UNDERRUN – MAKING OF

How to Build a Serverless Backend with AWS Lambda and Node.js

These are the concepts you should know in React.js (after you learn the basics)

Introducing ASP.NET Core with Docker

How to Integrate a C Library into an iOS App Written in Swift


Image credits: 85Fifteen.

Weekly digest - 2018.44


This week Apple held its October event. This time they focused on Macs and iPads. The first presented product was new MacBook Air. New model starts from $1199 and here is the specification:

  • 13-inch Retina display,
  • 1.6GHz dual-core Intel Core i5, Turbo Boost up to 3.6GHz, with 4MB L3 cache,
  • 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, 1.5TB od SSD storage,
  • 8GB or 16GB of 2133MHz LPDDR3 memory,
  • Intel UHD Graphics 617,
  • New keyboard with TouchID,
  • Up to 12h of battery life,
  • only 2 USB-C ports.

This update was long overdue, and I have to admit it doesn't look impressive. Don't get me wrong, it is good update, but it's an update we should have long time ago. After couple of years I would expect something more revolutionary, but this model looks like a step back. Previous MacBook Airs offered the quad core i7 option, the new model is only dual core, which is really disappointing for people who wants light and portable computer with a little bit more power under the hood. Now, they have to buy bulky MacBook Pro. The only impressive thing about this computer is new T2 chip, that disconnects a microphone when lid is closed.
What is even more surprising, Apple kept the old model on the shelves, without any price change. Wojtek Pietruszewicz compared this to selling a 1990's car for today's price. I completely agree with him, Apple devices are overpriced, especially computers, and there is nothing that could justify such high prices.

Now, let's move on to the Mac mini. This computer has not been updated for 1475 days! During the keynote Apple showed the new version specification starting from $799:

  • 3.6GHz quad-core Intel Core i36MB shared L3 cache in base model up to 3.2GHz 6-core Intel Core i7 Turbo Boost up to 4.6GHz 12MB shared L3 cache,
  • 8GB, 16GB, 32GB, 64GB of 2666MHz DDR4 SO-DIMM memory,
  • 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, 1TB, or 2TB of SSD storage,
  • Intel UHD Graphics 630,
  • 2 USB-A and 4 USB-C ports, HDMI output and 3.5mm headphone jack,
  • 1Gb or 10Gb RJ-45 Ethernet port.

The rest of the design, beside the black mate color is the same as in the previous model. This update is a solid one, of course it is still long overdue, but it is better than nothing. This is basic computer that can be used by anyone, people who only wants to watch cute animals and by people who uses computer professionally. I'm glad Apple still support this type of computers.

The last device presented by Apple was new iPad Pro. And this is the iPad we have all been waiting for. Let's start with the specifications:

  • 11 or 12.9 inch Bezel-less Liquid Retina screen,
  • 64GB, 256GB, 512GB, 1TB of storage,
  • 4GB of memory and 6GB in 1TB model,
  • A12X Bionic chip,
  • 7 and 12-megapixel cameras,
  • e-Sim,
  • Face ID working in portrait and landscape modes,
  • USB-C port.

This model is the biggest change to iPad since 2010, when the first iPad came out. First big change is the bezel-less screen, now we have bigger screen in the smaller for factor. This is the first iPad that has new 1.43:1 aspect ratio, all previous models had 1.33:1 (4:3). Unfortunately, this screen is not OLED, Apple deviced to use the Liquid Retina display, which we can find in the iPhone XR.
Moving to the next big change, the new USB-C port. I have to say - FINALLY! We all have been waiting for USB-C in iPhones and iPads since 2016, when new MacBook Pros came out. New port offers not only faster changing and data transfers, but also offers connectivity with external displays up to 5K.
To drive the 5K monitor you need the powerful processors. Early benchmarks suggest that new iPad Pro is a beast comparable to 2018 MacBook Pro. Thats a lot of power! I really wish, we could so enthusiastic about the power of the Macs...
Together with new iPad, Apple presented new Apple Pencil. It has completely new design. It features wireless charging (finally) and it also supports gestures. A nice addition is, that it magnetically attaches to the iPad.
Apple also showed a new keyboard cover, but beside the new size, there is nothing to talk about.
Unfortunately, the new version cost more that previous models. The 11-inch starts from $799 and 12.9 inch model starts from $999.

Thats all. This week was all about Apple, but if you want to see more interesting things, please check out the list below.

Custom Apple Watch face for Halloween 2018 with source code

Docker Cheat Sheet

DevOps NIGHTMARE

What is the revenue generation model for DuckDuckGo?

udocker

Using dark mode in CSS with MacOS Mojave