Weekly Digest - 2021.02


CES 2021

Due to pandemic, the CES 2021 was different. First of all it was virtual. Second, it was smaller, much smaller. Not many products ware introduced, but couple of them were interesting:

Samsung Galaxy S21 family

Samsung announced the next version of the flagship phone. Here is the spec of the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra:

  • 6.8-inch AMOLED 120Hz display (1440 x 3200 px),
  • Snapdragon 888,
  • 12 or 16GB of RAM,
  • 128GB, 256GB, and 512GB of Storage,
  • Triple back camera system: 108 MP (wide), 10 MP (telephoto), 12 MP (ultrawide),
  • 40 MP selfie camera,
  • 5000 mAh Battery,
  • Support for S pen,
  • Starting at $1199.

Return of the King?

According to Ming-Chi Kuo, next MacBook Pro might return to its glorious days. If rumors are true, the new MacBook Pro will get not only the ARM processor, but also new form factor, and new display. The TouchBar will be gone, and the MagSafe will return with additional ports. This is too good to be true.

Lucasfilm Games

Lucasfilm announced that all future Star Wars games will be released under the Lucasfilm Games brand. It looks like, EA lost their exclusivity right to Star Wars games. Bethesda is working on Indiana Jones game, and Ubisoft is making an open world Star Wars game. Despite the fact EA lost exclusivity rights, it's still working on the new Star Wars games, including sequel to the Jedi Fallen Order.

Wikipedia anniversary

Wikipedia turned 20. Yeah, It's hard to believe, but Wikipedia is helping us for two decades now. It definitely helped me when I was a student, so I would like to thank everyone who contributed to this awesome project.

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SpaceX Crew-1

For the second time, SpaceX and NASA launched the Crew Dragon capsule with people onboard. Following the successful Demo-2 mission, NASA gave SpaceX's Crew Dragon an operational status, and the Crew-1 mission is the first flight with such status. Crew of 4 astronauts launched on Sunday, and docked to the International Space Station the next day. According to NASA plans, astronauts will spend in space about 180 days.

Apple reduces AppStore tax to 15%

Apple announced, that from January 1st, the AppStore tax will be reduce from 30% to 15% to all developers that during a  year made under $1 million. If the developer exceeds the $1 million threshold then the 30% tax will be applied.

This is huge for the most of the developers. The change from 30% to 15% cut, by then increases developers revenue for about 20%.

ARM Macs delivers

Apple started shipping new ARM powered Macs and the first benchmarks started showing up. It looks like, all Apple claims about new hardware are true. New macs are not only the fastest, but also super efficient, which improves battery life. Now, the only thing that might stop a customer from choosing an ARM mac is a software compatibility. But even that should not be a big issue for the most users. And if a particular application is not ready yet, it should be very soon.


Image credits: NASA/SpaceX

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Macs with Apple Silicon

Apple held the One more thing event that focused on new Apple Silicon for Macs.

Apple introduced a brand new M1 chip, which combines couple of  chips and controllers under one single housing:

  • 5‑nanometer process,
  • 16 billion transistors,
  • 8-core CPU with 4 high‑performance cores and 4 high‑efficiency cores,
  • Integrated  8-core GPU,
  • Integrated 16-core neural engine built-in,
  • Integrated and shared memory including DRAM and cache.

According to Apple, new CPU is up to 3.5x faster on the same power usage. And the GPU is twice as fast. Looking at early benchmarks, those claims might be true.

The new chip would be nothing without new hardware that uses it, so Apple announced 3 new Mac:

Mac mini

  • Apple M1 chip (8-core CPU,  8-core GPU, 16-core Neural Engine),
  • 8 or 16GB of RAM,
  • 256GB, 512GB ,  1TB or 2TB of storage,
  • WiFi 6 and Bluetooth 5,
  • Price starting at $699.

MacBook Air

  • 13.3-inch Retina Display (2560 x 1600px)
  • Apple M1 chip (8-core CPU, 7 or 8-core GPU, 16-core Neural Engine),
  • 8 or 16GB of RAM,
  • 256GB, 512GB ,  1TB or 2TB of storage,
  • 2 USB 4/Thunderbolt ports,
  • WiFi 6 and Bluetooth 5,
  • Up to 18 hours of battery life,
  • Price starting at $999.

MacBook Pro 13

  • 13.3-inch Retina Display (2560 x 1600px)
  • Apple M1 chip (8-core CPU,  8-core GPU, 16-core Neural Engine),
  • 8 or 16GB of RAM,
  • 256GB, 512GB ,  1TB or 2TB of storage,
  • 2 USB 4/Thunderbolt ports,
  • WiFi 6 and Bluetooth 5,
  • Up to 20 hours of battery life,
  • Price starting at $1299.

macOS Big Sur released

Apple has also released the newest version of the mac operating system. I've been using it since Beta and it's rather stable, but the launch itself was far from perfect.

Xbox Series X launch

Microsoft has finally launched the next-gen console. The launch itself was rather smooth, but there were some vaping accidents 😅 Now, when the console is here, it's time for some next-gen games to be released.


Image credits: Apple

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November Apple Event

Apple announced their November event, which will focus on ARM based Macs. According to latest rumors, we should see a new MacBook Air as well as 13 and 16 inch MacBook Pros. Although ARM powered MacBook Air is no brainer, the release of the Pro models would be a bold move from Apple. It would mean that first generation of new processors is  (at least) as powerful as current generation of Intel ones.


Image credits: Łukasz Łada

Weekly Digest - 2020.15


Image Credits: Sony

Introducing DualSense the New Wireless Game Controller for PlayStation5

Image Credits: Microsoft
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Image Credits: Google
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Image Credits: Disney
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Image Credits: Jon Porter
Leaker Claims New 13-inch MacBook Pro Coming as Soon as Next Month
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Google extends free access to advanced teleconferencing features to September 30th
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Apple and Google partner on COVID-19 contact tracing technology
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