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  • Google Stadia exits beta period, available now on iPhone

    genovelle said:
    Sounds like games can work as a browser app. Hmmm. 
    Nothing new here. Games have been running in web browsers for years, and not just Java apps.

    There are a bunch of online gaming sites (especially for legacy games) that run in browsers.

    In a few years, a lot of gaming will be streaming. All of the heavy lifting will be done by the servers and the client (your handheld or PC) will mostly just be a frame buffer with mouse/gamepad input.

    Google Stadia has been running as a production service for Windows PCs and Android phones for a while. iPhones are finally "catching up" but this headline isn't noteworthy as an innovation headline. 
  • The bell is tolling for Intel Macs with the arrival of the first Apple Silicon specific fe...

    hmlongco said:
    As you yourself point out, there can be many reasons why a given feature isn't available on Intel-based systems. Here, and in my opinion, most of them are hardware-based in that they rely on the real-time processing made possible by the Neural Engine.
    This appears to be the likely explanation. These tasks rely on machine learning and Intel CPUs do not have AI cores.

    On PCs tasks like real-time video and audio processing are also best handled by machine learning silicon. Much of this is actually handled by graphics cards with machine learning hardware (e.g., Tensor cores on GeForce RTX cards do the bulk of the work in the Nvidia Broadcast utility).
  • AirPods Max won't support Apple Music lossless over Lightning, HomePod also left out

    MplsP said:
    crowley said:
    So who exactly is this lossless nonsense for then?
    3 groups:
    1. A select group of audiophiles with both the equipment and the ears to hear the difference and who actually care about the difference.
    2. People who like to think they are more discriminating than they are and want 'pro quality audio' so they can feel like they're listening to the best quality.
    3. People who compare Apple's streaming service to Amazon, Spotify, etc.

    I have a suspicion that group 1 is dwarfed by groups 2 and 3.

    AI has a post describing how to take tell if you can actually tell the difference: How to find out if Apple Music Lossless streaming will make a difference for you 0 of 5 writers who took the comparison test could tell a difference. 
    There's one thing missing here: the content.

    Lossless/high-definition audio is mostly useful for certain types of music, essentially classical for the most part. Of the AI writers' test article, none of the songs used were classical so it's no wonder than the five writers couldn't hear a difference.

    Lossless doesn't really benefit the standard stuff you hear on the radio: contemporary rock, pop, rap, hip-hop, whatever.

    It does make a difference for playback of something like remastered albums of historic recordings like Wagner's Ring Cycle (Sir Georg Solti, late '50s) or Tristan und Isolde (also Solti from this era). Both are considered by recording engineers to be amongst the finest ever made.

    Regular contemporary music doesn't have the dynamic range to truly benefit from high-bitrate playback. Worse, most listeners are doing so in environments not ideal for music listening are are using music as a background soundtrack, not something they are focusing on.

    If you care about sitting on the living room couch and listening to Sir Andras Schiff playing the Goldberg Variations or a Beethoven sonata on a two-hundred year old piano (or the Bosendorfer he travels with), yeah, you might get something out of lossless audio. If you are just listening to whatever Top 40 [email protected] on your AirPods while you're out for a run, forget about it.

    For typical people (Joe Consumer) listening to typical music (mundane radio stuff) on typical equipment (mass market hardware) in typical situations (while you are doing something else), 256Kbps AACs are quite sufficient.
  • 'Secret' Apple retail policy reportedly rewarded polite customers with free fixes, replace...

    This article is attracted an amazing number of respondents who registered today. LOL

    First impressions are as important in 2021 as they were a hundred years ago.

    With modern technology, merchants like Apple can keep a scorecard of your history as a customer, just like your dentist keeps track of your punctuality. recognizes that I've been a customer since the late Nineties. They definitely know how many transactions I've made, how much I've spent, how many returns I've made. Most likely they have some sort of internal customer score on how much I am worth to them as a customer to retain.

    That's basically what it comes down to: customer retention.

    Apple does not reveal to the customer what they think is the duration of the Apple-customer relationship. But undoubtedly Apple is using some sort of machine learning to track this: product registrations, iTunes Store downloads (including freebies), etc. I would be foolish of me to believe that Apple cannot track my relationship with them back into the Nineties.

    Apple Stores are retail. The smarter sales associates silently assess everyone who walks into the store. 

    You don't need to look like James Bond in a tuxedo or a supermodel in an evening gown. You just need to look slightly better than the rest of the Great Unwashed. For a planned visit to the Apple Store, I ensure I look better than the average (this isn't difficult due to the low standards around here). Take out your damned earpods (even if they're Apple AirPods Pro) before you walk into the store. Wear a better jacket and shoes.

    This isn't advice specific to Apple bricks-and-mortar stores. This works pretty much for all retail. Just look a little better than the others around you.

    Not that difficult.
  • Apple event predicted for April, not March 23

    March 23rd was a stupid prediction for an event date anyhow. That's four days before the end of Apple's Q2FY2021.

    There was zero logic behind that proposed date.