Weekly Digest - 2020.46


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

Weekly Digest - 2020.44


Mandalorian Season 2

It's finally here. Mando is on a quest of uniting the Child with its kind. And  if rumors are true, he will meet interesting characters along the way.  First episode started very strong. If the rest of the episodes are on the same level,  we will have superb season ahead of us. This is the way.

SpaceX 100 successful launches

SpaceX reached 100 successful launches with latest Starlink mission. It all started in September 2008 with  flight of a Falcon 1 booster.  Twelve years later, SpaceX has a fleet of reusable Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy rockets, that not only sent cargo into space, but also humans.

If everything will go according to SpaceX's plans, then we might see 200th launch within next 3 years.


Image credits: Lucasfilm

Weekly Digest - 2020.34


The war continues

The conflict between Epic and Apple is escalating. Epic informed that Apple is terminating all of its developer accounts and cut Epic off from iOS and Mac development tools. Apple left 2 week notice on that matter, and is planning to terminate the accounts on August 28th, which is strange, normally account would be terminated immediately without any warning, so here is another example that not everyone is treated the same.

In a meanwhile, Epic is trying rally allies in battle against Apple.  If they succeed, they might get support from giants like: Amazon, Netflix, Spotify, Microsoft, Google, Facebook, Valve.

Weekly Digest - 2020.06


Faking trafic jam on Google Maps

Google Maps monitors traffic data using various sources, including phones with location services turned on.  Sam Wecker tricked Google Maps and created virtual traffic jam by walking through empty streets of Berlin with 99 second-hand phones loaded on a small wagon.

Google is aware of this flaw and, in response to 9to5Google, stated that they liked the idea, and hope that it will somehow improve the service.

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip leaked

A video showing upcoming Samsung's Galaxy Z Flip has been shared on Twitter. Phone itself looks more like a traditional flip phone that folds up into a compact device. There is not much information about this phone, but here is what we know so far based on the leaks:

  • It will have 6.1- inch foldable main screen,
  • Smaller screen on the back for clock & notifications,
  • Front facing camera built into the main screen,
  • Double camera system on the back.

The Galaxy Z Flip is expected to be revealed at Samsung's Unpacked event on February 11.

GeForce Now finally released

Nvidia's game streaming service -  GeForce Now - left the beta and is finally available for everyone. At the moment, players can choose one of two tiers:

Free

  • Play session is limited to 1 hour,
  • Raytracing is disabled.

Founders

  • Costs $4.99 a month,
  • Unlimited play time,
  • Priority access to servers,
  • Raytracing is available.

GeForce Now allows to play already purchased games from Steam, Uplay, and Epic Store. The list of compatible games is impressive.

At the moment, the client is available for Windows, macOS i Android, but Nvidia also plans to release the PWA version.

Microsoft forgot to renew a certificate, again

Microsoft Teams went down for nearly three hours after Microsoft forgot to renew a critical security certificate. Teams users couldn't sign into the service because the app was failing to establish an HTTPS connection to Microsoft’s servers.

This is not Microsoft's first incident with expired certificate. In 2013,  Microsoft Azure was not available for couple of hours.

AMD Powered macs?

New beta of macOS 10.15.4 Catalina continues to reference the AMD processors. Those references could mean one of couple of things:

  • Apple is just playing with AMD's hardware and there is nothing more to the story,
  • AMD's CPU and GPU will power rumored gaming computer,
  • Apple is going to replace Intel's chips with AMD ones in future iMacs and MacBooks.

Image credits: Google Maps

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