Weekly Digest - 2020.09


Safari will reject HTTPS certificates with over 13 months validity

Apple has announced that from September 1, Safari will reject any website that uses HTTPS certificate with more than 398 days of validity. Certificates issued before September 1 will not be affected until the date of their next certificate renewal.

ARM Macs in 2021?

According to Ming-Chi Kuo, first ARM Mac could be ready for sale in first half of 2021. Apple is working on ARM Mac for couple of years now, as part of switching from Intel processors to custom silicon chip. New CPU will not only allow Apple to become independent from Intel, which has been an issue in the past. But also will introduce more efficient silicon, which might result in better performance or/and battery life.

More Xbox Series X details

Phil Spencer shared couple of new details about upcoming console:

  • Xbox is powered by chips based on  latest AMD’s  Zen 2 and RDNA 2 architectures enabling 12TFLOPS of computing power,
  • Support for Variable Rate Shading (VRS) - instead of rendering all effects at the same frame rate, VRS will allow developers to apply different refresh rate to each of the effects,
  • Hardware-accelerated DirectX Raytracing will allow to achieve even more realistic computer graphics,
  • Quick resume will allow to resume multiple games from a suspended state almost instantly, thanks to fast SSD storage,
  • Dynamic Latency Input (DLI) will help to reduce lag between console and wireless controllers,
  • Support for 120FPS,
  • Support for HDMI 2.1.

Coronavirus affects tech conferences

Facebook announced that their annual developer conference - F8 - has been canceled due to coronavirus outbreak. F8 was scheduled to take place on May 5th and May 6th this year. Although, the conference will not take place, Facebook is planning to organize local and online events.

Also, Game Developer Conference (GDC), that was planned for this March,  has been postponed to this summer.

Weekly Digest - 2020.05


One connector to rule them all

EU lawmakers voted overwhelmingly (540-40) in favor for rules that would establish a common charger standard for mobile devices. It has not been decided which connector is the chosen one, but proposed charging ports include Micro-USB, USB-C and the Lightning connector. Looking at the already wide adoption of the USB-C, it's rather safe to say that it will be chosen. Fortunately, we won't have to wait long for the decision, the European Commission should adopt new rules by July.

Apple wants to make SMS one-time codes safer

Apple's WebKit team published a proposal to change the format of SMS one-time passcodes. The idea is to make the two-factor authentication process more secure. The proposal describes two ideas to achieve that:

  1. SMS one-time passcodes would be associated with a URL. It would be achieved by simply adding the website's URL to the SMS itself,
  2. Standardized format of two-factor authentication SMS code would allow applications to detect passcodes; automatically extract them, and complete the login process without further user interaction.

Here is an example of such SMS message:

011970 is your Brain Archives authentication code.
@brainarchives․com #011970

So far Apple and Google have backed the proposal.

iOS 14 to support the same iPhones as iOS 13

According to French website iPhonesoft, iOS 14 will be compatible with all iPhones supported by iOS 13,  including:

  • iPhone 11,  11 Pro & 11 Pro Max,
  • iPhone XS & XS Max,
  • iPhone XR,
  • iPhone X,
  • iPhone 8 & 8 Plus,
  • iPhone 7 & 7 Plus,
  • iPhone 6S & 6S Plus,
  • iPhone SE,
  • iPod touch (7th generation).

As for the iPads, iPhonesoft informs that iOS14 will drop support for the iPad mini 4, and will support following devices:

  • 12.9-inch iPad Pro,
  • 11-inch iPad Pro,
  • 10.5-inch iPad Pro,
  • 9.7-inch iPad Pro,
  • iPad 7th, 6th & 5th   generation,
  • iPad mini (5th generation),
  • iPad Air (3rd generation).

iPad turned 10

This week is the 10th anniversary of the original iPad announcement. iPad supposed to become the "post PC" device that would replace personal computers. 10 years later, we know it hasn't done that yet, but current generation of iPads and iPadOS is closer than ever. Although, tablets hasn't become as popular as smartphones, iPad helped Apple take over this market.

Google's new business communicator

According to report from The Information Google is working on a new communicator for workplaces, that will combine the part of GSuite functionality, like Gmail Google Drive & Hangouts.


Image credits: Lucian Alexe

Weekly digest - 2019.47


Tesla Cybertruck

Tesla has revealed its new car. This time it is,  Blade Runner inspired, electric pickup truck called Cybertruck. There will be 3 versions available:

  • Single motor rear-wheel drive with 250 miles of range, 7500-pound towing capacity, and 0-60 mph in under 6.5 seconds. Starting at $39900.
  • Dual motor all-wheel drive with 300 miles of range, 10,000-pound towing capacity, and 0-60 mph in under 4.5 seconds. Starting at $49900.
  • Triple motor all-wheel drive with 500 miles of range, 14,000-pound towing capacity, and 0-60 mph in under 2.9 seconds. Starting at $69900.

All models are made of ultra-strong glass and polymer-layered composite that can withstand even bullets.  Also, all versions come with Autopilot, but "self-driving" costs additional $7000.

Cybertruck is available to preorder, but first models won't be delivered until late 2021.


Image credits: Tesla

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 - 2019.31


MacBook Pro 16

Last week I was wondering whether new 16-inch MacBook Pro will have the same form factor as current 15-inch model. Based on the rumors from this week it seems so.  Here are the rumors surrounding  this laptop, we know so far:

  • 16-inch LED Retina display,
  • Resolution 3072×1920 px,
  • Same form factor (body size) as current 15-inch model,
  • New keyboard with scissor key switches,
  • Price starting around $3000,
  • Release date - October 2019.

The only thing we still don't know is the components (CPU, GPU, RAM, storage) spec, but I would assume it will be very similar to what we can see in current 15-inch models.


Image credits: 9to5mac