The MacBook, introduced in 2015, appeared to leapfrog the venerable MacBook Air. It sported a Retina display and USB-C. Now, it may be a dying breed.
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It takes awhile before a trend in sales becomes definitive. The Mac’s downward unit sales for each Apple fiscal year are showing a trend now.
During Apple’s Q4 Financial Results Conference Call, it was announced that, staring with the December quarter, unit sales will no longer be reported.
How this change will be received by investors remains to be seen.
Apple’s October 30 event in New York wasn’t just a set of new product announcements. Rather, it was a challenge to its customers to ponder how they’ll use these new tools creatively.
Apple has released tvOS 12.1 for Apple TV 4K and Apple TV (4th generation). While there are no new features, there are plenty of security patches.
A new, low-cost, non-Retina MacBook of some kind has been envisioned and dreamed about by the community. Whatever Apple’s plans are, the new 2018 MacBook Air isn’t it. And that’s okay.
It would be obvious and easy to criticize the new Mac mini. John won’t do it.
Siri is a fairly good AI, but the fact that it stumbled on some basics is a source of disappointment for John.
Dr. Catherine Pilachowski is a professor of astronomy at Indiana University in Bloomington. She received her M.S. and Ph.D. in Astronomy from the University of Hawaii. Her principal research interests include the evolution of stars and the chemical history of the Milky Way Galaxy from studies of chemical composition of star clusters. “Caty” got excited about astronomy as a youth reading the books of Asimov, Hoyle and Gamow. She told me about her serendipitous decision to attend graduate school in Hawaii where some very large telescopes were being built on Mauna Kea and how that ultimately led her to her current faculty position. We then chatted about her star cluster research and ended with some great tips for students who want to pursue a career in astronomy.
For many, Apple’s Mac mini is a beloved computer. For others, it’s a dream rack mount server. Last year, Tim Cook told a customer, “I’m glad you love Mac mini. We love it too.” Rumors suggest we’ll see a new model this year, maybe next week in New York. In any case, if you’re a fan, sit back and enjoy this lovingly crafted, illustrated history.
Apple isn’t just doing original TV content for fun. There’s a plan. And it’s bad news for cable and satellite providers.
When macOS Time Machine works, it does so swimmingly. But when it goes wrong, it can be hard to diagnose the problem. Worse, according to the developer, “Before Sierra brought the new unified log, it was easy to check for problems using Console. But from Sierra on, that has become increasingly complex, and most users would rather undergo root canal treatment than try to make any sense of what they now see in Console.”
“My solution is a free tool, The Time Machine Mechanic, or T2M2, which I built to analyse Time Machine entries automatically in [macOS] logs.”
And it now looks great in Mojave’s Dark Mode.
With the new iPhone XS, XS Max and XR, using Portrait mode, you can invoke Depth Control to change the depth of field after the photo is taken. John shows us how.
I’ve written about Volocopter before. Now, progress is being made, and it’ll be undergoing autonomous trials in Singapore next year. The expectation, according to engadget, “If the Singapore tests go well, the technology progresses as planned and the company can get regulators on board, you could be hopping into a Volocopter for your commute in about five years.” The best part? You won’t have to tip the autonomous pilot.
We commonly encounter URLs, in blue, in iOS, either in Mail or Safari. John shows us that there are actually, in most cases, three ways to touch that URL and get different results.
This tidbit is from February, but it has some interesting facts. First, H.266 is in the works and will offer 30% better compression than the H.265 standard used for 4K TV. It’ll be needed for 8K TV.
Plus, “Jason Power, Sr Director of marketing/broadcast at Dolby Labs, said that the progress made by Dolby Vision was further boosted when the codec was accepted at CES by Apple for its portfolio of video products, and where Apple was aggressively promoting High Dynamic Range (HDR) as ‘the new normal’ for broadcasters. There were now more than 200 titles available in HDR from Apple.” No wonder the iPhone XS/Max and XR both fully support HDR10 and Dolby Vision.
The iPhone itself can’t do it. So John shows how to display the current time in digital hours, minutes and seconds with (almost) free apps.
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.”
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.
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.