What Will We Do When Siri Picks Our Pocket?


| Particle Debris

Page 2 – The Tech News Debris for the Week of October 10th.
Apple and Intel. An Excedrin Headache.

We’ve survived the crisis of having the 3.5 mm headphone jack removed from the iPhone 7. In my case, it’s been a non-event. I have the Lightning adapter attached to my favorite Sony headphones (with a mic), and never looked back. I haven’t even thought about breaking out the Lightning earbuds.

Concept of Macintosh, MacBook Pro with OLED strip

What amazing things will the next MBP bring? Concept image by Martin Hajek

But it looks like Apple isn’t done. The Mac Authority claims that the 3.5 mm jack will also be missing from the new MacBook Pro, citing…

Evidence for the new MacBook design first surfaced when it was revealed that Apple has been quietly surveying customers about their habits with the headphone jack on the current MacBook Pro. This is pretty strong evidence….

What worries me is that if Apple is doing this survey in mid-September, given the lead times required for design and production, what does this mean for the prospects of the new MacBook Pro shipping before the December holiday period? Suddenly, I’m more depressed than ever.

Even more depressing is this prior report from MacRumors about Intel’s mobile processor roadmap. A sentence that caught my eye:

Looking at Intel’s roadmap for chips beyond Skylake, the 15-inch MacBook Pro runs into a problem as Intel appears to have no plans for any quad-core chips with integrated graphics higher than the “GT2” tier, which typically has about half the raw power of the GT3 tier, to be launched in the next-generation “Kaby Lake” processor family.

That means we may not see another upgrade to the MacBook Pro until “Coffee Lake” chips in 2018. I can only imagine Apple’s exasperation.

It’s becoming more and more clear what Apple is up against with Intel.

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More Debris

If you’re into deep tech and display specifications, this report from Dr. Raymond M. Soneira at DisplayMate goes into tremendous detail on the iPhone 7 display. It’s LCD, not OLED, but it’s probably the peak of the technical development possible with a backlit LDC display. Dr. Soneira writes:

The iPhone 7 display is a Truly Impressive major enhancement and advancement on the iPhone 6 display… and even every other mobile LCD display that we have ever tested…

Use the data and charts in this article to really understand what Apple has done with the iPhone 7 display.

Next. I’ve been writing about the apparent lack of attention by Apple to it’s Mac lineup. The issues described above tell some of the story about the MacBook Pro, but there are other products in that line. Here’s a major punctuation of that effect by Adrian Kingsley-Hughes. “Apple’s disgracefully outdated Mac lineup is killing sales.” Perhaps it just can’t be helped for certain Macs, but there are other products from Apple that need some attention. Dan Moren opines: “3 neglected Apple products that could use some love.

And Dan doesn’t even mention the Apple TV which could sure use a 4K/HDR uplift in time for the holidays.

Awhile back, I wrote about the potential moral decisions an autonomous car might have to make. In the article: “Autonomous Vehicles Might Develop Superior Moral Judgment.,” I proposed four autonomous vehicle morality laws. Law #1 was: “Priority number 1. The System must use all available means to avoid death or serious injury to the human passengers.

That’s what Mercedes has decided to do. See: “Self-Driving Mercedes Will Be Programmed To Sacrifice Pedestrians To Save The Driver.

To first order, a set of rules that I outlined is certainly easier to identify, sync with human values and sensibilities, and implement in software. Maybe they read my article?

Over at The Verge, Walt Mossberg wants to know: “Why does Siri seem so dumb?” Of course, making SIri a whole lot smatter drops us back to page 1 here.

I’ve heard of people having trouble with enabling Apple’s two-factor authentication. It should be easy, but Kirk McElhearn didn’t have an easy time of it. “The Apple two-step: My disastrous attempt to use Apple’s two-factor authentication.” My question: why does everything with Apple and the cloud have to be so darn confusing and glitchy?

Finally, Apple has done something really smart. “Apple Stores Removing Security Tethers From iPhone Display Models.” There’s no real danger here of someone stealing an iPhone. If one “walks” out the door, Apple will just kill it. The advantages clearly outweigh the risk. And it’s a great example of how Apple’s development of key technologies, like “Find My iPhone” allows it to flourish in the retail business.

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Teaser: Hal 9000 eye via Shutterstock

Particle Debris is a generally a mix of John Martellaro’s observations and opinions about a standout event or article of the week (preamble on page one) followed on page two by a discussion of articles that didn’t make the TMO headlines, the technical news debris. The column is published most every Friday except for holidays.

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Proto732
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Proto732

What is stopping Apple from going back to optional discrete graphics chipsets from NVIDIA or AMD like they used to do in the Pro line?

vpndev
Member
vpndev

I sure hope that Apple is doing a Mac rollout on the 25th before the delayed financial report on 27th because otherwise they’re going to be killed [figuratively].

The continued reliance upon Intel has proven to be a millstone.

aardman
Member
aardman

So Five of the biggest tech companies have formed “The Partnership on Artificial Intelligence to Benefit People and Society” to address the ethical issues surrounding AI.

I don’t expect much from this partnership given that 3 of the 5 are headed, or co-headed, by people who I suspect to be sociopaths.

brilor
Member
brilor

At this point it’s more likely to be something other than Siri picking our collective pockets. See Walt Mossberg’s column for more. Siri is basic. Would like to be able to make queries like: “What time is XXXX on TV tonight?” “What channel is XXXX on?” “How much is XXXX on Amazon?” “Check for new emails.” “When was my last email from X?” “Text XXXX about [subject] in one hour.” “What’s the best way to go to work this morning.” or even better: “Order my usual pizza from X.” “Open X files and send them as a PDF to XX”… Read more »

brilor
Member
brilor

At this point it’s more likely to be something other than Siri picking our collective pockets. See Walt Mossberg’s column for more. Siri is basic. Would like to be able to make queries like: “What time is XXXX on TV tonight?” “What channel is XXXX on?” “How much is XXXX on Amazon?” “Check for new emails.” “When was my last email from X?” “Text XXXX about [subject] in one hour.” “What’s the best way to go to work this morning.” or even better: “Order my usual pizza from X.” “Open X files and send them as a PDF to XX”… Read more »

Lee Dronick
Member
Lee Dronick

“We’ve survived the crisis of having the 3.5 mm headphone jack removed from the iPhone 7”

We does not include me as I do not yet have an iPhone 7. Where I am suffering greatly is with iOS Music and that disaster of an app. I think that it was designed by someome who got fired for incompetence from Facebook.

Member
NorthSaanichBC

“What Will We Do When Siri Picks Our Pocket?”

Answer: Invite her back home for a romantic evening (Siri, I think you already knew that it wasn’t a “gun” in my pocket 😉).

Bregalad
Member
Bregalad

Intel has long had integrated graphics for low end hardware. As their technology improved they were able to push into higher and higher price ranges. With their Iris chips they were finally getting into the upper tiers of home and business PCs. The roadmap you’re referring to is proof that the marketplace has spoken. Most manufacturers use Intel graphics in machines where energy efficiency trumps performance, where all that’s needed is “good enough”. Intel has a huge advantage in that market because they can provide a single energy efficient chip that provides top notch CPU performance and good general purpose… Read more »

CudaBoy
Member
CudaBoy

short story “I Have No Mouth, and I Must Scream” – is the AI story that keeps Elon awake at night. Very quick read you can find online-if you don’t get nightmares easily that is.