Touch Bar on Apple's Standalone Keyboard Will Take A While If It Ever Happens

Almost immediately upon learning about the Touch Bar on the new MacBook Pro, the next thought that occurred to me was when Apple will bring it to their standalone keyboard.

I've left it on the table for a bit and allowed it to simmer for a few days. With Halloween on the horizon, I didn't think about it until now.




I've seen a decent render of one but I'm not impressed and that has lead me to believe when Apple bring the Touch Bar to the standalone keyboard and other devices, it will work very differently and much more useful.

More at On Apple.

Best To let Macs Be Macs - You Know, With Intel Chips Inside

Source:  On Apple.

There is a lot of speculations about what Apple will or will not do with the Mac products as the level of anxiety has risen over the lack of new hardware from Apple.  Rightly so since most of the Macs on the market, the Macbook being the only exception, have been around for more than a year without any new hardware update.  

And for most of us, it does not help when even leading Apple blogs seem to suggest that Apple is no longer focusing on Macs and has shifted even more resources to the development of iOS devices and the faster growing apps and service segments of its business.  

Let me assure you that Apple will not abandon the Macs. More at On Apple.

If Fujitsu Can Create A Supercomputer with ARM Chips, Apple Can/Should Create A Superdupercomputer

Call it the superdupercomputer from Apple - or the Mac S as in super or the Super Mac.  See, Fujitsu decided to use ARM chips over SPARC to design its next supercomputer (Source:  Duckduckgo).  The Japanese tech company is looking to use ARMv8 architecture to be the brain behind its next computing machine, dubbed the Post-K, due to exceed the K Supercomputer in 2020. 

So, given that Apple also use the ARM design as the basis for its iOS devices and with rumors that Apple has been spending time and effort to put its A-series chips as a potential replacement of Intel chips for its Mac computers, I wonder if Apple had considered designing its own supercomputer and perhaps even make it easier to link iOS devices and Macs together to share processing power. This would be especially useful and quite possibly necessary as mobile computing becomes smaller and even more portable as wearable devices begin to populate the mobile market.

First, let's speculate a bit about the Apple superdupercomputer (SDC) a bit.  Faster, more efficient, and scalable than anything on the market, the SDC can be build deep within the new Apple campus, allow it to power and process everything that Apple needs for its R&D.  After all, supercomputers are not build to display as many 4K frames of the next hottest computer game.  It's use for research. 

With Apple getting more and more into designing its own tech and making sure it can stay ahead of its competitors, it makes sense for Apple to build and own the SDC.  It create simulations for its car designs, create models, and even test algorithms that can make Siri smarter. 

Imagine banks of Macs or Apple TV-like devices that are faster and more efficient than anything else on the market, not to mention that it requires much less power than anything else on the market and that it operates at a much power temperature. 

And as with tech and features Apple create, they can trickle down from one product to another.  While we do not need a 10.5 petaflops of computing power the Fujitsu Post-K is capable of, just imagine a bank of A-series chips for the home that can process your mobile and home needs.  On top of that, this could be just the key that Apple delivers as far as privacy is concerned and making Siri even smarter and faster.  All the processes and learning is done right in your home and office. 

Forget wanting a separate answer to Google or Amazon's Echo.  A redesigned Apple TV or ARM-based Mac that serves as your home's central nervous system and Siri's own backbone.  And then suppose you can link a box filled with Apple designed chip or another Mac and create a device with more processing power. 

Of course, this is mostly wishful thinking on my part.  I'm sure smarter folks at Apple have through this through and probably dismissed it as impractical and/or create a better solution.   Make no mistake, our homes and offices will need and require this type of computer, one that does not sit necessarily sit on a desk but, perhaps, by the TV.  The Echo, Apple TV, our phones, and other hubs are only the beginning. 






Turmoil Within Google: Nest That Wasn't, Time to Sell It Off, And Holding Off on the Smart Home

After reading this Arschnica post on the tumultuous period between Google's acquisition of Nest and last Friday's firing of its former CEO, Tony Fadell, AKA "the godfather of the iPod", the missteps Nest took, and the power struggle within the Alphabet company, the take away seems to be that making and launching a product is not as easy as Apple, Google, and a few others make it seem despite having almost unlimited resources and smarts.  And that perhaps, even as I go through my home improvements, my decision to go very slow with smarting up my home is the right one.

Take some of the failed products like Nest's smoke alarm as an example.  Or the discontinuation of Revolv hub device. These are big name and products that you'd think you can trust and rely on.  But not so.  And walking through the small section of home improvement stores like Home Depot, it is tempting to get on my phone, read a couple of reviews of the products they sell, and pick the ones that seem to work best.

But you never know what will happen next to these companies and their products.  As far as the smart home is concerned, it just feels like there is first a land grab by dozens of small companies hoping to gain some market share and name recognition before the big boys come in and snatch them up or just muscle them out of the market entirely.  I've also looked at products from Honeywell, GE, and a few others but there does not appear to be any comprehensive solution.

Sure you have Echo from Amazon but Google just announced their competing Google Home.  Who knows what Apple will offer this year or in the years to come. The real issue here is what is a smart home.  And that is what all these companies are struggling with.  Being able to control the lights or opening/closing your front door with your smartphone does not make your home smart.  But with Echo, Google Now, and other potential AI just barely beginning to show signs of "intelligence", we will have to wait a few years before knowing what smart tech really is and can do for us to make our lives eaiser.

For now, I say wait.  There is no hurry at all.  The Next issues within Google may not have anything to do with power grabs, personalities, or other corporate nonsense but that no one knows where we are headed just yet with smart tech.

Oil Is To Bush As Google IS To Obama?

Here is an interesting post from The Daily Mail UK looking at the number of times Google officials have visited the White House and what roles offcials from the Obama administration and Google have played in each other's organization.  Worry?  Folks were worried about oil and anti-global warming guys and the revolving door at the Bush White House, perhaps, we should be concerned about the same for the Obama years as well as it relates to trade, regulation, and privacy in the Internet.

Here are the quick, cold, and hard facts:

  • Google have visited the White House more than 400 times and got 363 meetings. Some of those meetings are with the president himself. 
  • Executives from Google have gone on to work for the White House and Obama officials have gone on to likely more lucrative posts at Google.
  • former CEO of Google Eric Schmidt have worked for the Obama campaign as well as the administration. 
  • Google's top lobbyist in Washington have spent more time at the White House than those from other lobbying firms.
  • Some of the meetings coicided with investigations from the Federal Trade Commission as well as privacy matters.
Google did note that some of the meetings are for matters like science fairs.  Even so, that is a lot of face time.  So, for folks who were suspicious or even upset with the tight relationshipment between the Bush administration and the energy sectors, should be be concerned with Google and Obama being so tight? 

I like to believe that Google officials and engineers would offer their expertise on matters of education, security, and privacy.  And I'm sure that sort of exchange of infromation has occured but I'm sure Google's top lobbyist was not there for these kinds of discussions. 



Top Gun Theme Serves As Star Wars Video

Someone put together a video of some of the hottest action scenes from Star Wars and paired it with the Top Gun theme song, Danger Zone.  Not bad.  It's a good try but I still think the original is better.

What do you think?


Now, here is the original version with scenes from Top Gun.


Now, if someone can put together a version for Robotech, I'd be a happy boy.