Weekly digest - 2019.50


Mac Pro

Mac Pro is finally here. The base configuration has:

  • 8-Core 3.5GHz Intel Xeon W with Turbo Boost up to 4.4GHz
  • 32GB of DDR4 ECC RAM,
  • AMD Radeon Pro Vega 580X with 8GB GDDR5 memory
  • 256GB SSD,
  • 1.4 KW PSU,
  • Eight PCI Express expansion slots,
  • I/O card with 2 USB3 and 2 thunderbolt ports,
  • Two 10Gb Ethernet ports,
  • 802.11ac Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 5.0,
  • Built-in speaker and 3.5 mm headphone jack.

The base model cost "only" $5999. The top specification looks like this:

  • 28-Core 2.5GHz Intel Xeon W with Turbo Boost up to 4.4GHz
  • 1.5TB of DDR4 ECC RAM,
  • 2 AMD Radeon Pro Vega II Duo cards with total of 128GB of memory,
  • 4TB SSD,
  • 1.4 KW PSU,
  • Afterburner card for accelerating ProRes and ProRes RAW footage manipulation,
  • I/O card with 2 USB3 and 2 thunderbolt ports,
  • Two 10Gb Ethernet ports,
  • 802.11ac Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 5.0,
  • Built-in speaker and 3.5 mm headphone jack.

It is mind-blowing, and costs $52199.

Also, we can buy steel frame with wheels for additional $400. So far first impressions are positive, so it looks like Pro focused Apple is back.

Xbox Series X

During Game Awards Show, Microsoft has unveiled the name and design of the upcoming Xbox called Xbox Series X. The console itself looks more like a PC than we’ve seen from previous Xbox consoles, but I really like this design. What's important, it can be used in both vertical and horizontal orientations, which was not the case with original Xbox one. There is no more details about the hardware inside the console, but we know it will have:

  • Custom CPU based on AMD’s Zen 2 architecture,
  • Radeon RDNA GPU,
  • GDDR6 RAM,
  • SSD for storage,
  • Native 4K at 60 FPS, up to 120 FPS,
  • Support for 8K gaming,
  • Hardware accelerated ray tracing.

For the first time we also get a first glance at the new gamepad. To my relief, it has not been changed that much, but there is couple of improvements. It’s slightly smaller than current one.  Also, there is new, PS4 style, Share button, for uploading screenshots and video clips. The D-pad has also been redesigned, instead of cross shape, it has circle one, like in the Elite controller.

Regarding the name. At the first sight, it is awful, but there might be more to it than meets the eye. The name might suggest, to average consumer, this is continuation to Xbox One X lineup and all the games will we compatible (which has been confirmed by Microsoft). Or, which is more probable, Microsoft is going to release more than one next-gen console.

Game Awards 2019

Here is the list of new trailers presented during the show:


Image credits: Apple

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 - 2019.20


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

Weekly digest - 2019.16


As I mentioned last week, we had Star Wars Celebration. I've already covered Rise of Skywalker and  Jedi Fallen Order. Now, it's time to catch up with other news.

The Mandalorian

This is the first, beside Star Wars TV Special, live action Star Wars TV series, so I've been really excited for this panel. Unfortunately we have not learnt many details, but what have been leaked looks promising. It looks like we will get dark, greedy world that I love in Rogue One. And if Dave Filoni created the story on level of Rebels, we will get Netflix's quality show. Can't wait to 15th of November, when series will debut on Diney+.

Star Wars The Clone Wars

This panel haven't brought any surprises as most of the story have been already told one way or another, but at least we've got official trailer. Unfortunately we still don't know when it will be released.

Notre Dame

On Monday the Notre Dame cathedral burned down. Normally I would not cover such tragedy, but Ubisoft released Assassins Creed Unity, which featured the detailed recreation of the cathedral, for free. I thought it was cheap and low marketing action, but later on Ubisoft announced that they will give $500K for restoration process. Maybe it was a PR stunt, but at least those money will be used to something good.

Playstation 5

This week we got couple of details about next generation of Sony's console. Here is what we learnt, so far:

  • It will not be released in 2019,
  • 8-core CPU  based on AMD’s 3rd gen Ryzen (7nm Zen 2),
  • GPU based on AMD’s Radeon Navi with support for  8K resolution and ray-tracing,
  • Custom AMD chip for 3D audio,
  • SSD storage,
  • Backward compatibility with PS4 games,
  • Physical drive, probably Blue-ray, but the type of the drive has not been confirmed.

So far it looks promising. The only thing that is a mystery now is pricing, but I think we will find it out next year.

Broken Samsung Galaxy Fold

Samsung has started shipping review units and multiple phones already broke after couple days of usage. I knew this device will be a prototype to see how this technology behaves and how people use foldable phones, but I didn't expect to see such problems before the premiere. Hopefully Samsung finds out the root of the problem and the next generation will not have such issues.

Crew Dragon anomaly

On Sunday SpaceX was doing static fire test of the Crew Dragon capsule, but something went wrong and vehicle exploded. At the moment we don't know why it happened and how is it going to affect the manned mission, originally planned for this July.

Weekly digest - 2019.15


This was a busy week. We have news from our galaxy as well as the one that was a long time ago, far, far away. So without further ado, lets get started.

First black hole picture

For the first time ever we finally were able to capture the black hole. This is a breakthrough moment for the astronomy. We knew about black holes for a while now, but we have definite proof of their existence. I'm sure, this is the one of those pictures that become iconic.

Star Wars: Episode IX The rise of Skywalker

When I write this post, in Chicago, there is Star Wars Celebration happening right now. So Star Wars related news will be split into 2 weeks. But the main event, Episode IX panel, has already happened. Panel itself didn't unveil too many details, but we finally got the title and the teaser trailer.
I have to admit, J.J. Abrams knows how to tease a movie. The voice of the Darth Sidious/Emperor Palpatine, at the end, literally gave me a goosebumps.
Regarding the title, I believe that Skywalker will become a new name for a force sensitive people. Although I still prefer Jedi and Sith, it might not be a bad conclusion of the Skywalker saga.

Star Wars: Jedi Fallen Order

Finally we got our first look at this game. It is so long in the production that I started worrying it was canceled. Thankfully I was wrong and it will be release on 15th November this year. According to developers this game is singleplayer and story driven game, without any microtransactions, but I won't believe it until I see it.
Story wise, the game will take place between episodes III and IV, and will tell the story of the young Jedi named Cal Kestis. Beside that we don't know too much, but Lucasfilm already started planting some elements of the game into the universe.

SpaceX Arabsat-6A Mission

This week Space X launched, for the second time ever, the Falcon Heavy rocket. This time it was not only first commercial mission, but, for the first time, all 3 boosters have been successfully retrieved.
By retrieving most of the rocket, SpaceX has set the bar really high. The next milestone is successful crew mission.

Microsoft Edge

Microsoft has release first preview of the WebKit powered Edge.


Image credits: Event Horizon Telescope.