Intel's 9th Generation Chips Confront Moore's Law

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Intel 8th gen Core.

Moore’s Law appears to be coming to a grinding halt, and Intel is confronting that reality with new ideas to speed up it’s 9th generation CPUs. The Verge writes: “But for the most part, the new chips have the same things last year’s chips had: more cores. And the reason is pretty simple: Intel still hasn’t managed to move on from its 14nm manufacturing node to the next step, its repeatedly delayed 10nm process.”

TMO Background Mode Interview with Science Fiction Writer & Biographer Alec Nevala-Lee

· · Background Mode Podcast

Alex Nevala-Lee on Background Mode

Alec Nevala-Lee is a science fiction novelist, essayist and biographer. He’s known for the scifi novels: The Icon Thief, City of Exiles, and Eternal Empire. He’s written for Analog Science Fiction, and he’s had essays and non-fiction published in the Los Angeles Times, Salon, The Daily Beast and more. We chatted about growing up in California, the influential book that inspired him to become a writer, his early career, life at Harvard, and quitting his job to become a struggling – then successful novelist. Alec also shared a bit about his writing tools and techniques. Finally, we explored his new biography entitled: ASTOUNDING, a critical look at the life, writing and mutual influences of four famous scifi authors: John W. Campbell, Isaac Asimov, Robert A. Heinlein and L. Ron Hubbard during the Golden Age of Science Fiction in the 1940s and 50s.

Saudi Arabia Had a Mole Inside Twitter

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The New York Times reports that Saudi Arabia “groomed a Saudi employee at Twitter” to help spy on certain user accounts, presumably including that of Jamal Khashoggi.

Many Saudis had hoped that Twitter would democratize discourse by giving everyday citizens a voice, but Saudi Arabia has instead become an illustration of how authoritarian governments can manipulate social media to silence or drown out critical voices while spreading their own version of reality.

Once Arab Spring happened back in 2010-2011, I think that was the moment that governments—authoritarian and otherwise—realized the power of social media as a force for the public. And of course some governments don’t like that.

The White House Encourages Public Service for Silicon Valley

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Today the White House will talk with technology companies with a plea to make it easier for tech workers to do public service in government.

For the Trump administration, the hope is that private companies might encourage employees to take leaves of absence to help modernize state and federal agencies — bringing a Silicon Valley sensibility to challenges like improving veterans’ health care and combating cybersecurity threats.

This sounds like a shockingly good idea for the current administration, and maybe it will help to deflate the Silicon Valley bubble a bit.

Jobs at Apple: A Brand New Design

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The Jobs at Apple web page has a new design, and there’s a video that gives you a look at what’s like to work for Apple. There are links to teams, Apple Retail, an About page, and students.

This is where some of the world’s smartest, most passionate people create the world’s most innovative products and experiences. Join us and you’ll do the best work of your life — and make a difference in other people’s lives.

Sir Jony Ive Interviewed by Financial Times

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Sir Jony Ive

Apple Chief Design Officer Sir Jony Ive was interviewed by The Financial Times of London. The first part of the story can be skipped, since it’s about waiting, meetings past, and snacks, but the second half includes some interesting comments on Apple Watch. Here’s a snippet:

“I think we have been lulled into this sense that people will accept new products and services very quickly, and I don’t believe that’s true at all,” [Sir Jony] says. “Very often, so much of what a product ends up being able to do isn’t what you initially thought. If you’re creating something new, it is inevitable there will be consequences that were not foreseen — some that will be great, and then there are those that aren’t as positive. There is a responsibility to try and predict as many of the consequences as possible and I think you have a moral responsibility to try to understand, try to mitigate those that you didn’t predict.”

Populele - the Smart Ukulele: $179 [Update]

· · TMO Deals

Populele Smart Ukelele

We have a fun deal of the day for you, Populele. It’s a smart ukelele, by which I mean it interacts with an app. It also has LED-lit frets that work with the app to help teach you how to play. You also get real-time feedback and correction via sound-responsive technology. It works with iOS and Android, and it’s $179 through our deal. [Update: our deal includes the Accessory Kit that features a capo, canvas case, 2 picks, a string set, and a MicroUSB charging cable.]

watchOS 5: How to Silence Siri

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Apple Watch and Siri

For today’s Quick Tip, we’re going to cover how to shut Siri up on the Apple Watch—and it doesn’t involve Silent Mode. If you’re easily embarrassed by your voice assistant shouting at you, then you’ll like this!

Experiment: Go Without an iPhone For a Week. Apple Watch Only

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iPhone 8 and Apple Watch Series 3

Could you do it? Give up your iPhone and depend on just an Apple Watch? “Loup Ventures went phoneless last week. That is, some of the Loup team turned off our iPhones for a full week and only used Apple Watches for connectivity. It was freeing. And frustrating.”  There’s a lot of substance in this report, including a discussion of the “Eisenhower matrix” a “four-quadrant graph … meant to help people analyze where they’re spending time.” Fascinating stuff.

Scanmarker Air, a Wireless OCR Pen Scanner for $89

· · TMO Deals

Scanmarker Air Wireless OCR Pen Scanner

Check out today’s deal of the day on Scanmarker Air. It’s a wireless OCR pen scanner, meaning a scanner you hold in your hands, and it does optical character recognition. This device can scan one line per second, and it can also translate text in 40 different languages. The Scanmarker Air is $89 through our deal.