Last Active
  • Apple's A12Z Bionic chip could be a re-binned A12X

    Disabling and limiting for price points is to save test time and improve yields. Not testing a part of the CPU can save precious test time which leads into a cheaper part. Also portions of the chip might not be as fast as the rest due to longer paths to memory, main busses, power rails, etc. Thus, it is faster to test and produce higher yields leading to savings in manufacturing costs. Moreover, a portion of the chip might add too much power consumption or noise to the system, so it is better to shut it off. There could be a bug with a portion of the chip where timing closure was tight and a subsequent version addresses this issue or reduces the power consumption. Given that Apple is the only customer for their own parts, disabling a portion is probably one of these concerns rather than pricing for additional features or speed.
  • Lawsuit blames Apple's 'less safe' FaceTime implementation for fatal traffic accident

    How about suing the state of Texas for not placing laws against distracted driving, the car company for not placing anti-collision technology in the car to prevent stupid people from slamming into the back of another car, the family of the driver for not teaching the dangers of distracted driving to their kids, and all cell phone companies for not turning off all calling and texting features when the phones are traveling at high speeds. All this has been known, explained, and developed for over 20 years, but let's try a ridiculous lawsuit and blame stupidity on someone else.
  • Apple, Maine Department of Education working to swap 'toy' iPads for MacBooks

    The local elementary schools here had a mandate to use technology. Some grant got them a whole bunch of iPads. The grant did not include any training for the teachers (none of them owned an iPad) and no budget for software. Software was not considered technology. So teachers downloaded free software. Many of them had iAds, so kids would tap on the adds instead of using the software. Once I explained how to lock the iPad to one app and a region that did not include the add, things started to work better. Then we asked for a budget for some decent learning apps. Then you got into the problem of can we have one account for all this apps and who owns the Apple-ID account. I also showed them how to use AirPlay so that they could mirror the screen of the iPad on the projector or SmartBoard and teach the kids what they were seeing. One of the most interesting benefits with e-books is that the teacher set each iPad to the page in the book for the day's lesson. When the kids arrived in the classroom, they turn on the iPad and it was set to the right page. No more wasting time getting 20 kids to go to page 100 (No Johnny not page 110, page 100, look at the lower right corner what number do you see...) In some areas the iPads were tremendous success, in others utter failures. Now the school prefers Chromebooks since the kids can make their papers on them, go home and get their files without any complicated issues, and they are very cheap. The teachers are more comfortable with them since they use a lot of Google tools already. However, the school ignores or is not aware of all the privacy issues. So the big problem is: - lack of school and district actually asking the teacher what are their needs - lack of understanding what are the best tools to fit the students and teacher needs. - lack of training - lack of curriculum targeting the technology - lack of proper budgeting training and software into their costs
  • Neil Young rails against 'Fisher-Price' MacBook Pro audio for music production

    He doesn't know what he is talking about! He complains that MacBook Pro has a poor performing DAC that converts all those digital bits into an analog signal. No audio producer is going to directly plug in a recording system, mixing board, or mic input to the analog audio output of any computer. These under $2 DACs are 100-110 dB SNR. They are not bad, but they are not great, just good enough. First, computers have a lot of inherent noise with those chargers banging away, then processors running at hight speed with a lot of ground noise, added with LCD displays, etc. In summary, Laptops are inherently noisy. Second, an audio expert, would keep its music digital and connect to a pro-audio interface for final analog recording. But who converts their digital audio into an analog recording these days? This digital audio is transcoded into different sample rates and bit widths at the end product to maintain the most resolution of the audio signal. Third, at his age and exposure to loud noises from his many concerts, his hearing has the high probability of being damaged. Some people claim he wears a hearing aid. By the way, today's best hearing aids only operate for speech, (bandwidth of 4KHz), not the full audio spectrum. It is hard to amplify frequencies that are so damaged you can't hear them at any volume.
  • Apple TV+ shares second season trailers for 'Home Before Dark,' 'Trying'

    Home Before Dark had some good moments. Its mediocre show whose premise had so much potential, but the series fail to exploit. 

    The adults are all hobbled with past psychological issues, the kids run around with little adult supervision and messing things up, those in the law and power are very corrupt with some good ones trying to make a difference. So it somewhat mirrors many of the problems of a lot of towns and small cities. The show seems to drag the plot too much. Maybe it will be better in the second season.

     I would say so far Ted Lasso, Mosquito coast and Tehran had been the best shows I have seen so far.
  • UK's NHS coronavirus tracing app prevented thousands of deaths, study claims

    r002092 said:

    Also… the virus was suppressed outside our doors because we were huddled inside our homes… granted effective test and trace from the outset MAY have prevented that but we actually have no way of knowing that for sure, since the only thing that has really been shown to suppress the spread in any country has included an element of mass isolation
    If we actually had done that we would not be dealing with this virus a year later. But that was impossible, people need to get food and groceries, many had to work, many had to care for those that got sick and family members that could care for themselves, many still disobeyed the rules and went out to rallies, parties, and spring breaks, and so on. If all the people that went out actually wore masks and kept social distance, then this virus would have been wiped out in a few weeks. Sadly, many did not believe the virus, much less wearing masks and compromised the rest.

    Moreover, if the virus did not spread by asymptomatic carriers, it would be easy to spot who was contagious and keep distant while in public. Contact tracing is to identify those that really need to isolate and follow the rules because someone next to them was asymptomatic, did not wear a mask properly, or kept socially distant and could have potentially transmitted it to the user.
  • TSMC raising prices, iPhone pricing may get hit through 'iPhone 14'

    Many factors:
    • Raw material and their scarcity have driven semiconductor prices up. 
    • Covid-19 related expenses (more masks, hand sanitizer, more cleaning, divisors, better filters, greater health insurance costs, etc). 
    • Higher gas prices have led to higher shipping costs. Many semiconductors are manufactured in one place (Taiwan, US, Korea, Japan, China, Germany, France, Italy, etc.), but assembled (placed into a package) and tested in another country (Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Korea, Japan, etc.)
    • Labor costs have gone up as well since low unemployment leads to increases in pay to keep current workers or might need to pay more in high risk Covid-19 areas where the workers are exposed to greater risk.
  • Apple's new iPhone MagSafe wallet adds Find My support

    Just logs the location when it was detached, but does not act as an active AirTag. It also seems to be a new feature of iOS15 and supported on iPhone 12:
     "It now supports Find My, so you can be notified of your wallet’s last known location if it gets separated from your phone**
    **Requires iPhone Leather Wallet with MagSafe and iPhone 12 or later with Find My enabled in iOS 15. Not supported on Clear Case with MagSafe."