In 2008, the venerable cheese grater Mac Pro was designed for Apple customers who needed high end performance and expandability. In 2013, Apple shifted gears and saw the Mac Pro as an iconic desktop system with great performance if one shared the company’s vision for both industrial design and OpenCL. Now, it appears that Apple sees the Mac Pro as a platform that will support its future initiatives. Can Apple hold to that pattern? That abiding faith in high end computation and visualization? A new trademark filing suggests Apple now sees the light.
Dr. Mac says today’s column is a blast from the past dedicated to Mac users who still remember Macintosh System 6, MacPaint, Crystal Quest, and other golden age Mac apps—whether fondly or not. He adds that even shorter-time Mac users will find it interesting and amusing. So you have no excuse not to read it!
I have a message for Facebook: snuff films aren’t “content.” Videos and streams of humans murdering other humans aren’t “content.” Any outlook that considers such videos “content” is morally bankrupt, and Bryan Chaffin believes it is rooted in a business mind-set that sees all of our lives as product to plunder.
The iPad was developed, in the Macintosh era of maturity, as a simpler alternaive for content consumption. It nicely eliminated the headaches of PC complexity and security concerns. Today, things are radically different, and the need to be able to create content and generate personal revenue is much more pressing than when the iPad was first conceived nearly a decade ago.
You ever hear the one about Tim Cook bending Uber CEO Travis Kalanick over his knee and spanking him? It happened in 2015, but went unreported until Monday. The New York Times offered an account of Tim Cook threatening to pull Uber’s app from the App Store if it didn’t stop behaving like a spoiled bully on at least one front. And, according to the story, Mr. Kalanick cried uncle.
What happens when AI machine learning becomes so sophisticated and inscrutable that humans can no longer understand how an AI came to a decision? AI processes will go far beyond simple structured code that can be debugged and audited. Will we just shrug and accept? John maps out the major issues with advanced AIs.
Apple has put out four videos that take an animated look at yaks, zero-waste initiatives, a breathing building, and making artificial sweat. Each focuses on a different aspect of Apple’s global environmental efforts for Earth Day, which takes place on April 22nd, 2017.
There’s a new iPad in town—a 9.7-inch model with the lowest prices ever for a full-sized iPad—priced from a mere $329 for a 32GB WiFi-only model (vs. $599 for the least expensive 32GB WiFi-only 9.7-inch iPad Pro). Dr. Mac has been testing one for a couple of weeks and is convinced the biggest difference between it and the 9.7-inch iPad Pro is its price—$270 less than the cheapest 9.7-inch iPad Pro, without an Apple Pencil or Smart Keyboard ($99 and $149 respectively).
A couple of interesting pieces got me thinking about Apple. The first was by Neil Cybart, who wrote, “The Mac Is Turning into Apple’s Achilles’ Heel.” The second was John Gruber reacting to that, saying ” The Mac is not Apple’s Achilles heel. The iPhone is.” They’re both well written and insightful pieces, but they’re also both wrong. Bryan Chaffin offers his thoughts.
There they are. The five tech giants: Facebook, Google, Apple, Microsoft, Amazon. FGAMA. They’re all doing well. But if one had to predict which one won’t be around in 50 years, which one would it be?
John humbly predicts.
The education market is very price sensitive. Three players are in a pitched battle for the right-priced personal computer: Apple (iOS), Google (Chrome OS + Android), and Microsoft (Windows 10 Cloud). These OSes and their implementation on hardware, plus the right kind of marketing and staying power, could determine which company seizes the hearts and minds of schools and students.
Several things have become clear regarding AIs in our lives. There is little regulation. AIs can be manipulated in clever ways. Small devices like Google Home and Amazon Echo have very indirect business models so that they can be priced for the middle class, but have hidden drawbacks. John wonders where all this will lead with family service robots if Apple doesn’t step in and do it right.
Everyone has to take notes at some time in their life. After trying just about every note-taking technology ever invented, Dr. Mac recently discovered an iPad app that’s nearly perfect for his note taking needs.
Apple is heading to court again, this time to battle watchmaker rival Swatch over its use of the “Tick Different” slogan. Jeff Butts thinks there’s a definite similarity between Swatch’s catch phrase and Cupertino’s “Think Different,” but that the fight is best left alone.
Apple’s streaming music execution has been nearly flawless. From all but abandoning the world’s largest and most profitable online music store, to launching a “radio station,” to attracting tens of millions of monthly subscribers, Apple Music has been a huge hit. And two bits of news hit Bryan Chaffin that emphasizes just how good Apple’s execution has been.
This special edition of Particle Debris looks a teenager addiction to the iPhone, what might be in store for the next iMac and Mac Pro, thoughts on the greatest Mac ever made and what Apple may be up to with its next iPads.