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  • This is why Apple TV 4K Siri Remote scrubbing doesn't work on Disney+, other apps

    Apple's player API is extremely limiting if you want to do custom overlays, play more than one program at a time (2-,3-,4-up), or preview information from other channels or programs, etc. You also have limits on knowing if the content meets the user's content restriction criteria because they don't make that available unless you use their player controller. There's more than one reason there are dozens of custom player API's.  Most of them are lousy.

    I wrote my own that supported swiping to scrub through the stream, among other things. I wouldn't be surprised if Apple announces those API's at WWDC next week and all this hoopla is over nothing, presuming the dev teams adopt the new gesture recognizers.

    rundhvidwilliamlondonMacProforgot usernamefastasleep
  • USB4 Version 2.0 to offer up to 80 Gbps data transfer

    urahara said:
    Here is a sequence for you to come down a little: 802.11 -> 802.11b -> 802.11a -> 802.11g -> 802.11n -> 802.11ac -> 802.11ax -> 802.11be ;)

    WiFi's more of a tree with branches. Some standards are band dependent.

    2.4GHz = 802.11b -> 802.11g -> 802.11n
    5GHz =  802.11a -> 802.11n -> 802.11ac (WiFi 5) -> 802.11ac Wave 2 -> 802.11ax (WiFi 6) -> WiFi 6E -> 802.11be (WiFi 7)
    6GHz = 802.11ax (WiFi 6E) -> 802.11be (WiFi 7)
    60GHz = 802.11ad -> 802.11ay

  • Parallels Desktop 16 revamped to run Windows faster on macOS Big Sur

    razorpit said:
    Certain Windows apps would previously fail because they required hardware that Parallels wasn't able to mimic. Many of these will now work, with Parallels saying its new version can run over 200,000 Windows apps.

    Would love to know what one or two of those apps are. I had to run SolidWorks 2020 on a 2010 Mac mini yesterday for some testing. While it was painfully slow, it worked.

    Parallels Desktop 16 for Mac also claims to run those apps faster than before, with Windows launching twice as fast, and resuming or shutting down up to 20% quicker. It also improves on the previously significant issue that virtual Windows could request extra disk space, but not then return it when shut down.

    My comprehension is a little off. If you are running an older version of Mac OS will you notice these advancements as well? I skipped Catalina, I did have it on one test machine for support purposes. I may be a little more open to Big Sur.

    macOS has had "hypervisor.framework" for a while, but offline discussions and tea leaf reading leads me to believe this is the first year VMware and Parallels may have gone "all-in" with it (perhaps the reason for "25 person-years" of work).  Based on release notes for betas and tech previews, it also appears to be the first year that the new version of those hypervisors will not work on previous versions of macOS, likely due to the kext changes.
  • Apple's M1 Ultra combines two M1 Max into a powerhouse chip

    The keynote also mentioned "the last" M1 chip in the lineup was Ultra.

    My bet is Mac Pro gets M2 (Max/Ultra) with each chip having 2 interconnects instead of one and perhaps 128GB per package, supporting quad/hex/octo configs within insane core counts.
  • Elon Musk and T-Mobile try beating Apple with satellite vaporware

    I'm guessing a lot of people didn't watch the event.

    This will use a thin slice of existing T-Mobile mid-band (PCS, 1900-2100MHz) spectrum, which they have licenses for across the entire US.  This isn't necessarily 5G, and they said "the phone you already have."  I'm guessing that they'll only need to implement the 4G/LTE spec (or a lite version of it), enough to support voice and simple data.

    According to Musk, the antennas to support this will be roughly 5-7 meters wide and tall, and there will be serious electronics involved to counteract doppler effect etc. Because cell phones transmit omnidirectionally, cell antennas on towers are already designed to be really big ears to pick up the weakest of signals.  Licensed spectrum is much quieter than Part 15 (unlicensed) bands where WiFi and baby monitors and IoT devices live.  So they wouldn't have put out the "vaporware" if they didn't believe there was technical capability. 

    There's also only so much bandwidth available (2-4Mbps) for the whole spot beam, so they're starting with the easy stuff. SMS uses the SS7 signaling network (which runs on most telco phone switches across two 56K channels). They've got oodles of bandwidth to support texting and messaging, and with store-and-forward capabilities onboard the bird, that part's pretty much figured out.

    Since T-Mobile already owns the spectrum, the biggest challenge could be regulatory issues.
    just cruisinmuthuk_vanalingamhtbduryeigoh
  • T-Mobile will shut down Sprint's 3G network in March

    davgreg said:
    The only area rough around the edges is the millimeter wave 5G which is still problematic. I was in Nashville near Vanderbilt Thursday and the millimeter wave was up and running but the network not well optimized - crazy fast signals outside and nothing inside a simple brick restaurant. It was like this in Memphis recently as the same tech was rolled out but was much improved within a month or so.
    Physics.  The lower the frequency, the greater the likelihood it will travel far and go through objects.  Converse is true: the higher the frequency, the shorter the distance traveled and the more likely items are to interfere with that frequency's propagation.

    Lower bands = lower bandwidth channels; higher frequency bands = huge bandwidth channels.  Wider channels travel shorter distances; narrower channels can go further, generally speaking.

    The addition of 700MHz for LTE and 600MHz for 5G to T-Mobile's portfolio mean they will benefit tremendously from the lower frequencies, but you won't get crazy fast on those bands at great distance (I would argue that anything over 100Mbps to a cell phone > 1 mile away is pretty cool).

    Millimeter wave bands such as 28-47GHz, their Part 15 counterparts, 24GHz and 60GHz, and the lightly-licensed 70/80GHz E-band are amazing. I have deployed point-to-point links on 24-, 60-, and 70/80GHz, and they range in capacity from 1Gbps to 10Gbps.

    But those frequencies don't propagate through most solids. The antennas have to have line of sight to each other. At anything over 18GHz, rain begins to cause problems. 
    At 58-65GHz, oxygen absorbs the signal. Human bodies certainly have a blocking effect, and building walls most certainly will too.

    The 5G spec has all kinds of redudnancy/resiliency/aggregation built in to allow the phone's radios to switch back and forth between bands, based on what's available.

  • FCC re-examining iPhone RF levels after controversial report

    Picking at nits here, but...

    "Sample cellphone tower that you can probably see from your house right now"

    The towers pictured are not traditional cell towers, and have little to no cellular on them. You have a bunch of UHF/VHF (the yagis and the dipoles), a couple of colored patches (which could possibly be cellular, but are more likely Part 15 PTMP), and a lot of microwave point-to-point links (the dishes). [Edit: Upon further inspection, there appear to be a some on the left tower about 2/3's up that could be for 1900-2100MHz LTE and a couple of scattered omni's similar to those in the photo below.]

    Most cell towers (that I can probably see from my house) have an array of 2-4 patch antennas on each side, with the "sides" typically arranged in a triangular pattern, and the exact number of antennas dependent on the number of frequencies and companies colocated on the tower, something like this.

  • NTSB lays partial blame on Apple for fatal Tesla crash involving employee

    You can't legislate against stupid.

    Also, rhetorically...

    Who hires/appoints these people that work for federal agencies, anyway?  Apple and Tesla are to blame because the driver broke multiple laws and misused/abused technology?

    In the world I live in, I have to take responsibility for my own actions.
  • Waterfield unveils new carryable 'Shield Case' for Apple's Mac Studio

    I totally see the value in this.

    When I was teaching software development, all of the workstations had monitors, keyboards, and mice from when the classroom had thin clients. We got rid of the thin clients, stowed the keyboards, kept a couple of mice handy, and put the monitors up on moveable arms.

    Most students plugged their laptops into the monitors and occasionally grabbed a mouse (or had one already).  But a couple of $$$ savvy students bought Mac Mini's or Raspberry Pi 4's and grabbed a nearby keyboard along with a mouse. The Mini (or Pi) fit just fine in their backpack, and used 2014/2018 Minis were much less expensive than their laptop counterparts.

    For me, because the Studio is portable enough, I can take it on location to the handful of video broadcasts I do every year. My 13" M1 MBP is OK at that task, but can only run one external monitor. Oftentimes I need two or three displays to properly manage the broadcast, and am not really in the market for yet another laptop (I still have two very capable 13" Intel MBP's alongside the M1).

    Now this can both be my desktop replacement (replacing a 2018 Mini, which replaced a 2012 Mac Pro) and come with me the few times I need it to, without throwing it in the bottom of a backpack full of cords and accessories.
  • Buy 10 Mac Studios, or this one Macintosh Color Classic

    That's a French AZERTY keyboard.

    It's tempting to put in an offer, just to see what the demand truly is.  Unless you're a collector or museum, I think the novelty would wear off and then you'd be wishing it was faster.

    I have an Apple IIe and two Mac SE's that boot up beautifully.  I download fun classic games from the Internet via my iPhone and the cassette port to the Apple IIe.  I had a couple hard drives for the SE's, but they're showing their age.  I've considered SCSI to SD-card adapters for those, which would make them fast and silent.

    Or I could gut all three of them and put some Mac Mini's, Intel NUCs, or Raspberry Pi's inside, with vMac, SheepShaver, Basilisk, etc.