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.

Leaning Towards Against Apple Watch With A Camera

If you're on the Internet today, who isn't these days, you probably heard a thing or two about the next Apple Watch.  But one thing no one seemed to have mentioned about it today is whether the next Apple Watch will have a camera for take pictures or Facetime calls.  Personally, I'm leaning against Apple adding one but, at the end of the same, it will not affect me too much.

The main reason I am leaning against Apple putting a camera on the Apple Watch is mostly due to privacy issues.  I'm a guy and as far as looks, well, no one will be clamoring for me to be on the cover of the next issue of GC or anything public.  No, no risk of anyone taking pictures of me and violating my privacy.  I can't say that is going to be the case for a lot of what society considers to be good-looking or attractive.  I can see folks getting uncomfortable in gyms for starters.  Or showers.  Or changing rooms.

While I'm not less likely to wear my Apple Watch if it had a camera on it, I can see some people getting uncomfortable if they see someone wearing a watch with a camera.  Of course, people these days are entirely comfortable with carrying phones into gyms, maybe this is not as big of an issue as I expect. 

Still, most people would not deny privacy to be an issue with a wearable capable of taking pictures or videos.  It was an issue with Google Glass after all.  And it will be an issue with other wearables including the Apple Watch.

Another reason why having a camera on the Apple Watch will not affect me is that I don't answer FaceTime or phone calls now because it is heard to hear for one thing and holding my wrist up to my ear looks silly.  So, even if Apple does install a camera and if only for FaceTime video chats, I'm still not gonna use it much if at all.

Should Apple find the space for a camera, I rather have them add new sensors and/or battery instead.  What do you think?

New 12" MacBooks Coming Soon?

Like many of you, I am eagerly waiting for Apple to release the new updated 12" Macbooks.  It's been more than a year since we have yet to see anything new on that front.  However, with the extended sale going on at Best Buy for the 12" Macbook, there is a slight glimmer of hope that we might see an update sooner rather than later in June when Apple holds its next event, the Worldwide Developer Conference.  For weeks now, Best Buy has been pushing out the 12" Macbook with a $300 discount. 


What is more interesting is that for the low-end model, only the gold is available while the silver is the only model at the higher price.  It's worth monitoring some more over the next week or so.  A check at other retials showed that they have some models in stock while Apple's own online and retail stores does not seem to have any shortages.  However, checking other models like the Macbook Airs similar situations where there are certain models that are no longer on sale.

It does mean that we could be looking at a refresh of the Macbook line sooner rather than later.  Personally, I don't buy the speculation and rumor that Apple is waiting for the WWDC in June to unveil the new Macbooks.  Perhaps, if there is a new Mac Pro, that might be the venue to do that.  Apple has not always release new Macs at the WWDC.  It's rare that it happens.  My guess is that Apple wants to allow more time between the just released 9.7" iPad Pro and the future release of the new Macbooks so that the iPad Pro can have a window of a few weeks to itself to take off. 

And this does make a lot of sense.  Apple has been trying to stem the dwindling iPad sales for many quarters now.  Given that the iPad is the computing platform of the future that Apple is betting on, it's crucial that demand for the iPad is strong.  A couple of quarters of increase sales could go a long way in easing concerns of both Apple brass and Wall Street. 

So, I'll be waiting for the new Macbook update whenever that is.  But I'm hopeful that it'll be a shorter wait than most anticipated.