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October 2018 Archives

Recap of Apple’s Updated Hardware from Today’s Event in Brooklyn

Apple announced a host of updated bits of hardware at today’s event in Brooklyn. Here’s my recap on the important bits. Let’s dive right in, or jump to:

Mac Mini

Mac Mini Desktop setup display 10302018

The last update to the Mac Mini was in 2014, and it was underwhelming to say the least. Today’s announcement is a welcome refresh to those who still enjoy the small-form-factor Apple desktop computer.

Tech Specs

  • Processor: The Mac Mini comes in two main flavors, a 4-core 3.6GHz quad-core Intel Core i3 and a 6-core 3.0GHz Core i5 (with Turbo Boost up to 4.1GHz). Both can be upgraded to a 3.2GHz 6-core Intel Core i7 with Turbo Boost up to 4.6GHz.
  • Memory: 8GB of 2666MHz DDR4 SO-DIMM memory is standard and both can be upgraded to 16, 32, or 64GB respectively.
  • Storage: Depending on the model, storage options start at 128GB or 256GB of PCIe SSD storage and can be upgraded to a max of 2TB.
  • Graphics: No configurability, just the Intel UHD Graphics 630 chip. Definitely not for gaming.
  • Ports: This new configuration starts with saying goodbye to some ports and hello to some others on the back of the metal desk platter of a computer. From left to right, expect to see:
    • Power
    • 1x Ethernet
      • 1GBase-T or 10GBase-T
    • 4x Thunderbolt 3 (40gbps) / USB-C 3.1 Gen 2 (10gbps)
    • 1x HDMI 2.0
    • 2x USB-A 3.0 (5gbps)
    • 1x 3.5mm headphone jack
      • below USB 3.0
  • Wireless: 802.11ac and Bluetooth 5.0.
  • Displays: Up to 3 4K displays using a combination of Thunderbolt 3 and HDMI or one 5K and 4K display using the same port combination.

Mac Mini side ports 10302018

Pricing

The Mac Mini starts at $799 and can climb to $4199, depending on configuration. It’s available to pre-order now.


Macbook Air

MacBook Air family 10302018

We haven’t seen the MacBook Air receive a meaningful update in even more years than the Mac Mini. Until today, it rocked a 1280×800 non-retina display (and if you really want to punish yourself, you can still buy it). This version keeps the hard function keys but brings over Touch ID (and the T2) chip from the MacBook Pro line.

Here’s what’s up with the new model:

Tech Specs

  • Processor: 1.6GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 with Turbo Boost up to 3.6GHz.
  • Memory: 8GB of 2133MHz LPDDR3 memory, upgradable to 16GB.
  • Storage: Depending on the model, storage options start at 128GB or 256GB of PCIe SSD storage and can be upgraded to a max of 1.5TB.
  • Graphics: No configurability, just the Intel UHD Graphics 630 chip. Definitely not for gaming.
  • Ports:
    • 2x Thunderbolt 3 40Gbps (USB-C 3.1 Gen 2, unto 10Gbps) ports.
      • Both support charging.
    • There’s also a headphone jack.
  • Wireless: 802.11ac WiFi and Bluetooth 4.2.
  • Display: 13.3″ 2560×1600 Retina display without TrueTone. This is the same size and resolution as the 13″ MacBook Pro.
  • Battery: Up to 12 hours on the Web, 13 hours of movie playback, 30 days standby thanks to a 50.3 watt-hour battery and a 30-watt USB-C power adapter
  • Colors: Gold, Silver, Space Gray

MacBook Air Keyboard and Ports 10302018

Pricing

The MacBook Air starts at $1199 and can climb to $2,599, depending on configuration. It’s available to pre-order now.


iPad Pro

iPad Pro with attached Apple Pencil 2nd-generation

The 3rd-generation iPad Pro comes with a host of design changes that weren’t a surprise to anyone following the rumors. The home button is gone and in its place is an edge-to-edge display (with no notch!) and Face ID support.

  • Sizes: 11″ and 12.9″
  • Processor: Apple A12X Bionic chip with 64-bit architecture, Neural Engine, and Embedded M12 coprocessor.
    • 8-core CPU
    • 7-core GPU
  • Memory: Unknown, probably 3 or 4GB.
  • Storage: Both sizes have the same storage options:
    • 64GB
    • 256GB
    • 512GB
    • 1TB (new for the iPad Pro line)
  • Camera (rear): 12-megapixel, f/1.8 camera. Looks like it’s the same as the iPhone XR.
    • Records video at up to
      • 4K resolution and 60 frames per second.
      • 1080p 30/60/120 fps.
      • 720p 30/240 fps.
  • Camera (front): 7-megapixel f/2.2.
    • Records video at 1080p resolution at 30 or 60 frames per second.
  • Ports:
    • One USB-C.
  • Wireless:
    • 802.11ac dual-band 2.4GHz and 5GHz.
    • 80MHz channel width and MIMO support.
  • (optional) Cellular:
    • UMTS/HSPA/HSPA+/DC‑HSDPA (850, 900, 1700/2100, 1900, 2100 MHz); GSM/EDGE (850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz)
    • Gigabit-class LTE (Models A2013 and A2014: bands 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 11, 12, 13, 14, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 25, 26, 29, 30, 34, 38, 39, 40, 41, 46, 66, 71)
    • eSIM
    • Nano SIM
    • Assisted GPS, GLONASS, Galileo, and QZSS
  • Display: Liquid Retina Display
    • 11″: 2388 x 1668 resolution at 264 pixels per inch
    • 12.9″ 2732 x 2048 resolution at 264 pixels per inch
    • P3 wide color gamut
    • TrueTone
    • 600 nits brightness
  • Battery:
  • Both models come with an 18W USB-C charger and have a reported 10 hours run time.
    • 11″: 29.37-watt-hour
    • 12.9″: 36.71-watt-hour
    • Cellular models have a reported 9-hour run time.
  • Colors: Gold, Silver, Space Gray

IPad Pro versatility monitor 10302018

Pricing

The 3rd-generation iPad Pro starts at:

  • $799 for the 11″ model (Wi-Fi only; $949 for WiFi+Cellular; max $1,699)
  • $999 for the 12.9″ model (Wi-Fi only; $1,149 for Wi-Fi+Cellular; max $1,899)

and is available to pre-order now.


Apple Pencil (2nd Generation)

It’s cool to see the Apple Pencil get some love. As a first-generation Pencil owner, the changes they’ve made are quite welcome, but some of them aren’t noticeable unless you’re also using it with the 3rd-generation 11″ or 12.9″ iPad Pro.

  • Touch surface that supports double-tapping.
  • Magnetic attachment, charging, and pairing to 3rd-generation iPad Pro.

The 2nd-generation Apple Pencil is available to pre-order now for $129.

Stratechery: IBM’s Old Playbook

Ben Thompson, writing at Stratchery:

This is the bet: while in the 1990s the complexity of the Internet made it difficult for businesses to go online, providing an opening for IBM to sell solutions, today IBM argues the reduction of cloud computing to three centralized providers makes businesses reluctant to commit to any one of them. IBM is betting it can again provide the solution, combining with Red Hat to build products that will seamlessly bridge private data centers and all of the public clouds.

IBM believes their play to staying relevant in the “cloud” era, if you’ll call it that, is to acquire RedHat. Good luck to them. The tweets about the acquisition are fantastic:

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CBC Uncover: Escaping NXIVM

Thanks to Jason Kottke, I came across CBC Uncover: Escaping NXIVM:

NXIVM calls itself a humanitarian community. Experts call it a cult. Uncover: Escaping NXIVM is an investigative podcast series about the group, its leader Keith Raniere and one woman’s journey to get out.

This is a great podcast and if you liked Serial, Making a Murderer, and others like it, definitely check it out. It’s available on just about every podcast platform you can think of.

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Outlaw King

Netflix comes at us with a new tale about Robert the Bruce, King of Scots. Coming November 9th to the service and select theaters, this is Outlaw King

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Phone, Wallet, Keys

As a part of his latest special, 100% Fresh, out now on Netflix, Adam Sandler drops a beat on about what most of us carry always: a phone, wallet, and keys.

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The NY Times: How Google Protected Andy Rubin, the ‘Father of Android’

Killer reporting from Daisuke Wakabayashi and Katie Benner over at The New York Times:

 

Mr. Rubin was one of three executives that Google protected over the past decade after they were accused of sexual misconduct. In two instances, it ousted senior executives, but softened the blow by paying them millions of dollars as they departed, even though it had no legal obligation to do so. In a third, the executive remained in a highly compensated post at the company. Each time Google stayed silent about the accusations against the men.

Shocker. However you interpret this, Rubin denied the coercion on Twitter, but not the payments.

The article goes into detail about a host of other accounts too:

In 2013, Richard DeVaul, a director at Google X, the company’s research and development arm, interviewed Star Simpson, a hardware engineer. During the job interview, she said he told her that he and his wife were “polyamorous,” a word often used to describe an open marriage. She said he invited her to Burning Man, an annual festival in the Nevada desert, the following week.

Um, creepy?

At Mr. DeVaul’s encampment, Ms. Simpson said, he asked her to remove her shirt and offered a back rub. She said she refused. When he insisted, she said she relented to a neck rub.

“I didn’t have enough spine or backbone to shut that down as a 24-year-old,” said Ms. Simpson, now 30.

A few weeks later, Google told her she did not get the job, without explaining why.

…She said the official asked her to stay quiet about what had happened, which she did — until Mr. DeVaul’s public profile began rising in articles in The New York Times and The Atlantic.

I don’t want to spoil too much of this. Just read it. It’s really good.

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The Painted World of Red Dead Redemption 2

From Polygon:

Now we’re getting somewhere. Cameras and photographs are just one way of seeing the world, a way that in so many regards does not reflect the way that we see. But there are other ways of creating an image, and Garbut’s explanation of Red Dead Redemption 2’s philosophy of lighting, well, paints a picture, if you’ll pardon the expression.

“[We] looked to reality, we looked to the places that we were riffing from. […] However, there were certain areas like lighting where there were some direct inspirations. Owen Shepherd, our lighting director, looked to the pastoral and landscape painters like Turner, Rembrandt and American landscape painters from the 19th century such as Albert Bierstadt, Frank Johnson, and Charles Russell.”

In my opinion, that’s not where Red Dead Redemption 2’s painterly influences stop, but it’s a great place to begin.

This is a great piece by Arthur Gies and the images are stunning. I started playing RDR2 last night when it opened up at midnight EST (9pm at my home) and the visuals are simply stunning. The game is almost 100GB in size and after seeing some of the scenes capes so far in the game, it’s totally worth it. 

(featured image: Red Dead Redemption 2, courtesy of Rockstar by way of Polygon)

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GrayKey iPhone Box Reportedly Cannot Unlock iOS 12 Devices

In a not surprising turn of events, it’s reported that the GrayKey box used by law enforcement to brute-force their way into your phone does not work with iOS 12 devices.

From Forbes:

Multiple sources familiar with the GrayKey tech tell Forbes the device can no longer break the passcodes of any iPhone running iOS 12 or above. On those devices, GrayKey can only do what’s called a “partial extraction,” sources from the forensic community said. That means police using the tool can only draw out unencrypted files and some metadata, such as file sizes and folder structures.

I consider this a net win. This is what the court system and warrants are for. 

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Alton Brown on Hot Ones

It’s not new, but I stumbled across Alton Brown on an episode of Hot Ones, and I loved it.

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Facebook’s New Ad Archive Report

From Facebook:

Facebook’s Ad Archive is a searchable database. It includes ads related to politics and issues of national importance that have run on Facebook or Instagram.

This report is a weekly summary of the archive and includes data for ads that have been viewed by people in the US for the time period selected above.

Making this report available to the public is part of Facebook’s efforts to increase transparency in advertising.

A step in the right direction, for sure!

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Johnathan Lyman
Kenmore, WA,
United States
 
blogging, design, technology, software, development, gaming, photography