During Apple’s “Hello Again” event, Apple spent an hour and 25 minutes talking about several cool things. The new MacBook Pros are very nice—but they were the only major Mac announcement. In contrast, the event tagline suggested that Apple would say something important about the “Mac” as a product. Instead, the vacuum persisted and Apple elected to take a stand, instead. on how it sees the MacBook Pro catering to the pro market with the Touch Bar.
Microsoft has just announced the Surface Studio, a 28-inch All-in-One computer with a Skylake Processor and a touch sensitive display that tilts. The design, operation and concept of this computer, is basically a giant iPad, the iPad John always dreamed of. His first reaction follows.
Did you know that macOS Sierra (and Mac OS X El Capitan) have pretty good dictation built-in at no extra cost? Dictation can be faster than typing and a nice change of pace; discover how to enable and use it in this week’s thrilling episode of Dr. Mac’s Rants & Raves, only here at The Mac Observer!
We tend to think of robots and AI agents as potentially threatening. But when they’re specifically charged with protecting the human passengers in autonomous cars, there could be some serious shenanigans by aggressive drivers. Even abuse. What if one of those autonomous cars, in turn, does something unexpected? John looks at a mind-numbing scenario.
IBM and Apple have been partnering with each other for some time now. The action continues with Macs finding great favor within IBM. Also, education initiatives continue. Finally, IBM’s Watson has to be giving Apple some big ideas. This has the signs of becoming one of the most productive partnerships ever, amongst former rivals, in the tech industry.
There was a time when Apple was into powerful headless Macs for technical professionals. Those who wanted their own multiple displays and great expandability. Lately, Apple seems to have lost interest in that market and focussed on mobility. There is a smattering of hopeful signs, but John Martellaro thinks the Mac Pro is headed for the annals of Apple history.
An intriguing chip has been discovered in the teardown of the iPhone 7. We know that it’s a field-programmable gate array (FPGA), but we don’t know what it’s intended to do. Speculation abounds. John has a SWAG.
Apple Car has been Bob Mansfielded, according to a report from Bloomberg. Citing unnamed sources, the report said that Apple has reassigned employees and is focusing solely on developing an autonomous software system. Furthermore, the company’s executive team has imposed a deadline of the end of 2017 to determine the viability of that system. But, Apple Car isn’t necessarily dead, and Bryan Chaffin explains why.
Duncan Lockard started a petition at Change.org asking Apple to “Put song ratings back on iOS.” I signed it, and if you like song ratings, I’d encourage you to sign it, too. [Updated with additional information on displaying Star Ratings in Songs view.]
A major problem with Artificial Intelligence (AI) development is that a time might come when AI’s are able to learn and teach themselves faster than humans can manage them. Recently, President Obama suggested AI’s that aren’t properly constrained and regulated could be unleashed on unsuspecting citizens and severely disadvantage them. Figuring out when to step in will be the great 21st century challenge for governments.
Social media as a tool of police or state surveillance is troubling, but it’s a complex issue, too. The ACLU highlighted a situation this week where the surveillance state was meeting surveillance capitalism, and Bryan Chaffin thinks it’s a topic worth discussing.
Dr. Mac’s been beta testing Apple’s new depth-of-field effect—which is coming soon to the iPhone 7 Plus (only) real soon. He says it does a phenomenal job of simulating the effect most of the time — so good, in fact, he’s threatening to sell his DSLR.
Soon, we think, there will be fall Apple event that launches new Macs. The nature of this event and the kinds of Macs that Apple updates and those that are left to quietly die will tell us a lot about where Apple is heading with technical professionals. Many of those former Apple customers have already switched to Linux. Those who remain are dismayed and are not very hopeful. Some readers weigh in.
Samsung…Samsung. Yo, dudes. We gotta talk, like, for reals. Listen and Ima give it to you straight. You have a problem, Samsung. And it’s time for some change.