Weekly digest - 2019.29


50th Anniversary of Historic Moon Landing

This year we celebrate the 50th Anniversary one of the greatest achievements in human history, the human Moon landing. On July 16th 1969, Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins went on a voyage that took them to the Moon.

It took NASA only 8 years not only to build  the spacecraft, but also to invent the technology, procedures and even science which would allow them to land on the Moon. During Gemini and Apollo programs, NASA mastered the rocket launches, they learned how to bring two spaceships together and dock them on Earth's orbit. With Apollo 8, for the first time ever, human left Earth's orbit, went around the Moon and was safely brought back to Earth. And, of course, the culmination of all the efforts was on July 20 1969, when Neil Armstrong, as first human in history, set foot on the Moon.

I really wish that US government didn't stop fundings. With this speed and rate of innovations, the space travels would be now a "routine". Maybe we would be celebrating not only the Moon landing, but also the Mars one. Not to even mention innovations in other branches of science and their impact on day-to-day life.

But the history went differently ☹️  Even with limited fundings the innovation did not stop and we achieved some of those things. Thanks to the private companies, like SpaceX, the spaceflights became "cheap" and "routine". Also, we are still benefiting from Apollo program in other areas. All of that is awesome, but we have not reach the Mars yet. Hopefully we will not have to wait for long.


Image credits: NASA

Weekly digest - 2019.28


Nintendo Switch Lite

Nintendo has announced the Switch Lite. It is a new Switch that only supports handheld mode. Here is the list of changes in comparison to "standard" Switch:

  • smaller touchscreen (5.5-inch),
  • no detachable Joy-Con controllers,
  • cannot be connected to TV,
  • side buttons are replaced by real D-pad,
  • lack of HD Rumble and IR Motion Camera,
  • better battery life (~1h longer),

Nintendo Switch Lite launches on September 20 for $199.99 in three colors: yellow, grey, and turquoise.

Apple's new MacBook lineup

On Tuesday Apple completely revamped their notebook lineup. First of all, they stopped selling 12-inch MacBook. Macbook supposed to be replacement for MacBook Air, but it never became popular.  Smaller size and new keyboard weren't enough to steal users hearts.

Speaking of MacBook Air, the old non Retina version is also finally gone. Also, Apple has updated the new Retina version with True Tone display and they lowered the price from $1199 to $1099 ($999 for students).  

MacBook Pro lineup also is simpler. Apple stopped selling the 13-inch MacBook Pro without Touch Bar. It means that all MacBooks Pro, not matter of size, now come with Touch Bar.

In addition to cleaning up the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro lineup, Apple has lowered the cost of SSD options for all Mac, including the desktop ones. The price drop is especially visible in more high-end versions.

For example this is how the new prices, of SSD options, look like in comparison to old ones for 15-inch MacBook Pro:

Storage Price Before Price Now
256GB $0* $0*
512GB $200 $200
1TB $600 $400
2TB $1200 $800
4TB $3000 $1600

(*) Base model

Overall, this news was a completely surprise and the welcome one. It's not only a huge simplification of the MacBook lineup, but also a big change for the entire Mac lineup, as most of the Macs are now more affordable.

I hope Apple will continue this trend with other products.


Image credits: Nintendo

Weekly digest - 2019.27


Solar eclipse

On Tuesday was the only total solar eclipse in 2019. The eclipse was only visible across the southern Pacific Ocean and South America, but people from around the world could watch it on Internet.

New keyboard in future MacBooks

Apple's keyboard telenovela continued 😝Couple weeks ago Apple introduced the 3rd generation of the Butterfly keyboard in MacBooks Pro. Now, we have rumors, from analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, that Apple is going to use new Scissor mechanism in future laptops. The first laptop to get the new keyboard will be a new MacBook Air that will be released later this year, followed by a new MacBook Pro in 2020.

I was hoping to see new keyboard mechanism in 16-inch MacBook Pro, but it looks like I will have to wait to next year. Despite that I'm really glad that Apple is finally going to get rid of Butterfly switches. I've using those keyboards (first and second generation) every day for almost 2.5 years and I still prefer the good old Scissor mechanism.


Image credits: u/johnnyditt

Weekly digest - 2019.20


2019 iPhone design

Mark Gurman tweeted a photo of alleged case molds for upcoming iPhones. Those molds align with previous rumors and shows much bigger, square camera bump. The bigger bump could be justified on the next iPhone XS ans XS Max, which are suppose to get 3 rear cameras, but XR model, despite the rumors about having only 2 cameras, also has square bump, almost the same size as XS will have.

Next Star Wars movies

Last week we got confirmation of the next Star Wars trilogy. This week, Bob Iger confirmed the rumors that David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, Games of Thrones show runners, will create next movie.  I'm stoked to see next movies, but looking at the turmoil the last season of Games of Thrones created I'm also a little bit worried.

Beside this, we also got more detailed release dates:

  • Part 1 - 16th December 2022
  • Part 2 - 20th December 2024
  • Part 3 - 18th December 2026

3rd Star Wars TV show

Bob Iger also revealed that during 3 years break from the movies we will get 3 Star Wars TV shows. So far we know about The Mandalorian and Cassian Andor series. The third one was a surprise and becomes an interesting mystery.

App Store Monopoly Lawsuit Against Apple

The U.S. Supreme Court decided to proceed with the class action lawsuit against Apple. The lawsuit was filed in 2011 by some iPhone users who believe that Apple violates federal antitrust laws by requiring apps to be sold only through  the App Store. This allows Apple to collects a 30% cut from all purchases, which leads to inflated prices of the applications.

Long story short, iPhone users believe that apps would be priced lower outside of the App Store, as Apple's 30 percent cut would not be calculated into  prices.

I have mixed filings about this. I agree that 30% cut is a big one and it didn't change since the beginning of the AppStore, but I also doubt that apps would be priced differently outside of the AppStore.  


Image credits: Mark Gurman