Weekly digest - 2019.40


Microsoft's Surface event

Here’s a quick recap of everything Microsoft announced this week.

Surface Laptop 3

Refreshed Surface Laptop lineup got USB-C and, for the first time, an AMD Ryzen 7 processor. Additionally, the device now comes not only with 13.5-inch screen, but with 15-inch version as well.

The Surface Laptop 3 starts at $999 for the 13.5-inch version and $1,199 for the bigger one.

Surface Pro 7

Beside newer processor and support for USB-C there is nothing new. Although, Microsoft has slashed the price by $150, and new model starts at $749.

Surface Pro X

This is a brand new model in Surface Pro lineup. It is slightly bigger with 13-inch screen, but it is 3mm thiner than Surface Pro 7. It has ARM-based Microsoft SQ1 chip and swappable SSD storage.

The Surface Pro X starts at $999.

Surface Neo

Surface Neo is dual-screen PC, powered by Intel's Lakefield processor. Each screen is about 9-inches and both add up to a 13.1-inch total display size. New device comes with a USB-C port and supports the Surface Pen,

The most interesting part is a keyboard that folds over one of the screens. When you dock the hardware keyboard, Neo recognises that, and the part that is not covered by keyboard becomes a smart input area. Microsoft is calling it the Wonderbar.

All of that is possible because Surface Neo is running a special version of Windows called Windows 10X.

Surface Neo will be available in 2020.

Surface Duo

Surface Duo is dual-screen phone that runs Android. Each screen is 5.6-inches and both add up to a 8-inch total display size. All of that is powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 chip.

Surface Duo will be available holiday 2020

Surface Earbuds

Microsoft announced a new pair of wireless Surface Earbuds that supports voice commands. They work with all the major virtual assistants:  Siri, Google Assistant, Alexa, Cortana and Bixby. They can also translate speech in real time into around 60 languages.

The Surface Earbuds will be available later this year for $249.


Image credits: Microsoft

Weekly digest - 2018.47


I know this blog is mostly about IT stuff, but this week the most important news for me was Robert Kubica's comeback as a F1 driver.
Some compares his comeback to a fairy-tale, or a story of from Hollywood movie, but for me it is an example of unprecedented will of fight, which together with hard work broke all the barriers.
I'm very keen to see what he is capable of doing as he will get a chance to drive regularly and and just the car and his driving style.
Of course Williams' car is not capable of fighting for championship, but maybe the they will be able to fight in the mid-field.
If we add to this, the fact how close the top three teams are to each other,
the 2019 season looks like it will be exciting.

Now, going back to usual stuff. As in the IT world nothing excited happened, I've only prepared short list of more interesting headlines:

Here is the list of interesting things.

Unix50.org! Celebrating 50 years of UNIX: 1969 - 2019!

The First 100 - How to get first 100 clients

Reply.id will keep your inbox free of annoying recruiter emails

The State of the Octoverse: top programming languages of 2018

Beyond Passwords: 2FA, U2F and Google Advanced Protection


Image credits: Williams F1.

Weekly digest - 2018.40


By the end of this week Lucasfilm shared the details of the first Star Wars live-action TV Series - The Mandalorian. The series is set between episodes six and seven and will be about a brand new Mandalorian character.
Jon Favreau will write and produces the 8 episodes, with Dave Filoni directing the first one. Additional episodes will be directed by Deborah Chow (Jessica Jones), Rick Famuyiwa (Dope), Bryce Dallas Howard (Solemates), and Taika Waititi (Thor: Ragnarok).
I'm very exited about this. Especially about involvement of Dave Filoni, who basically created the Mandalorian culture for the Clone Wars. It is also amazing to hear that Filoni finally will be behind real camera. He is George Lucas' protege. Lucas tought him the art of storytelling and we saw the results of this in later episodes of the Clone Wars and though entire Rebels series, which to be honest was better than The Last Jedi and Han Solo movie.

Earlier this week, Microsoft refreshed its Surface lineup. I'm not going to the technical details of the upgrade, but I have to agree with Owen Williams, right now Microsoft has the best device lineup in the industry. They have device for everyone, from casual users, through tech enthusiasts, to the power users and content creators. This is something that Apple had 10 years ago and abandon by focusing on iPhones. Now, they have lineup with various outdated devices that are also expensive. I hope that Microsoft will not make the same mistake and, in 10 years time, the lineup will be as strong as today.

Speaking of mistakes, Microsoft has pulled the Windows 10 October update after reports of personal files being deleted. Microsoft is investigating the issue. The problem didn't affect everyone, but for now, it is good to wait with the upgrade.

Here is the list of interesting things.

"STAR WARS: A NEW HOPE" Animotion Trailer

DESIGN DB

Plans for the Next Iteration of Vue.js

Under the hood of Pixling World

Achieving impossible coding tasks without knowing how to do them

Day in the Life of a Google Product Manager


Image credits: Lucasfilm.

Weekly digest - 2018.28


Last time I talked about possible premiere of the new MacBook Pros. One week later, Apple refreshed MacBook Pros with new processors, more RAM options, True Tone display (on some models), and new third-generation keyboard.
The basic configuration of the 15' MacBook Pro contains:

  • 2.2GHz 6-core Intel Core i7, Turbo Boost up to 4.1GHz, with 9MB shared L3 cache
  • 16GB of 2400MHz DDR4
  • Radeon Pro 555X with 4GB of GDDR5
  • 256GB SSD
  • True Tone Retina display

and costs $2,399. The maxed out configuration has:

  • 2.9GHz 6-core Intel Core i9, Turbo Boost up to 4.8GHz, with 12MB shared L3 cache
  • 32GB of 2400MHz DDR4
  • Radeon Pro 560X with 4GB of GDDR5
  • 4TB SSD
  • True Tone Retina display

and costs stunning $6,699. Without a doubt the specifications are impressive, but we will need to wait for the benchmarks, to verify whether the new laptops are as powerful as Apple claims. The last thing that remains the mystery is whether a new keyboard fixed issues of its predecessor. Apple only mentioned that the new keyboard is quieter, but latest teardown from iFixit suggest that included silicone membrane might protect against key failure.

Earlier this week, we heard the rumors that Apple plans to deploy the 1Password application to all 100,000 employees. There were also rumors that Apple is going to acquire the 1Password, which has been denied in quite specific way.
I'm using 1Password for couple of years now, and I would love to see it integrated into the operating system, but on the other hand 1Pasword is not only the macOS or iOS app, it also runs on Android and Windows. So it would be a shame to loose such a good app from those platforms.

Apple is not the only company that showed new hardware. Microsoft has presented the Surface Go, a smaller, less powerful version of the Surface Pro. New tablet features a 10-inch screen, integrated kickstand and Windows 10. Basic model that starts at $399 contains:

  • Intel Pentium Gold 4415Y (1.6GHz)
  • 4GB 1866MHz LPDDR3 RAM
  • Intel HD 615 GPU
  • Storage: 64GB eMMC
  • Display: 10-inch (3:2 aspect) 1800 x 1200
  • Camera: 5MP front-facing with Windows Hello, and 8MP rear auto-focus
  • Up to 9 hours battery

I must admit that the price and spec are impressive. The closest competitor - iPad Pro 10' with 64GB of storage - costs $649.

I must admit, it was quite eventful week, but in the meantime, I managed to find couple of interesting articles:

REVERSE ENGINEERING WIPEOUT (PSX)

Mobile UI Design Trends In 2018

Make your app accessible for everyone

Cross Platform Mobile Apps with .NET and Uno

Building an Animated Slider 

Build VueTube: A Youtube Clone with VueJS, Webpack and Flexbox


Image credits: Apple.

Weekly digest - 2018.27


The silly season continues. Let's start with news from Microsoft.
It looks like Microsoft postponed the premiere of the Andromeda device to unspecified feature.
Andromeda is a codename for foldable device that supposed to blur the line between phone, tablet and PC. It looks like the reason for this delay is that the Andromeda OS is not ready. It is disappointing to hear that we will not see probably revolutionary device in the near future. On the other hand it is good that they are not going to release unfinished product.

This week we also got rumors that Microsoft is going to release Surface Go later this year. Surface Go is a tablet device that suppose to compete with Apple's iPads. If Microsoft is going to do as good job as they did with Surface Books and Pros, they might have a really good chance to take a chunk of the market share.

As we are on topic of new hardware. Apple registered five new iPads and Macs in Eurasion Database. Previously, the new additions to the database preceded the premieres, which took place about a month later. It would be unusual for Apple to have an special event in August, last one we had 11 years ago, so we will probably see those devices in September or they will be released without any special keynote.
Regardless of the release date we are getting new hardware. The three of the new MacBooks are probably from the Pro series, where the remaining two might be the MacBook Airs. As for the iPads, we should see new iPad Pros with Face ID.

It looks like Gmail Developers and third party companies have been reading our emails. It is very similar case as with Facebook. If we allowed an application to have access to our email account, the developers of this app could read our emails.
One of the involved companies explained that humans have been reading emails only to improve machine learning algorithms. It is a common practice that’s gone largely unnoticed, because most of the people doesn't even realise how much information they provide to 3rd party companies, by providing access to an account.

Finally, here is the list of interesting things I stumbled upon this week.

Explore the world of passports by country

.NET Core Microservices – DShop

Introducing the Single Element Pattern

How I automated my job with Node.js

Starter template for a MEVN (MongoDB, Express, Vue, Node) Stack Application. (Part 1)

React Native: A retrospective from the mobile-engineering team at Udacity

WWDC 2018 for iOS developers: Siri Shortcuts

Using Step Builder Pattern in Swift

15 Years Ago, I Went Indie and Didn’t Know It.


Image credits: David Breyer.