Technology

Apple’s MacBook Pro is a GPU-shaped warning to Nvidia and AMD

Apple hit Intel hard with its first M1 chips, offering a rare step-change improvement in performance with its 2020 MacBook Air and 13-inch MacBook Pro. Less than a year later, it’s already starting to compete with the best GPUs from AMD and Nvidia as well. The new MacBook Pros with M1 Pro and M1 Max offer a first glimpse at how well Apple’s M1 chips can scale to provide raw performance that rivals the discrete graphics cards we typically find inside Windows-powered laptops. Nvidia has been trying to woo many of Apple’s professional and creative customers with its Studio laptops, but Apple has not only managed to fix the mistakes it made with its MacBook port selection and keyboard, but it’s also scaled up its M1 chips to meet the performance expectations of 14- and 16-inch laptops, too. Th...

Google just had another record quarter because or in spite of everything going on

Google has done it again — raking in more money than ever before for the second quarter in a row as the COVID-19 pandemic continues on. Alphabet’s Q3 2021 earnings show an all-time record revenue of $65.1 billion and record profits for the fifth quarter in a row at $18.9 billion. As we mentioned last quarter, the growth we’re seeing in 2021 is unusually large: a huge leap over 2020. Google’s revenue in Q3 2021: $65.1 billion2020: $46.2 billion2019: $40.5 billion2018: $33.7 billion2017: $27.8 billion2016: $22.5 billion2015: $18.7 billion2014: $16.5 billion2013: $13.8 billion2012: $13.3 billion2011: $9.7 billion2010: $7.3 billion2009: $5.9 billion — Jon Erlichman (@JonErlichman) October 26, 2021 Revenue increased 41 percent year over year; profits increased nearly 69 percent. Proportionally,...

Microsoft Office, Windows, and cloud boosts Q1 2022 earnings

Microsoft posted the first quarter of its 2022 financial results today, reporting revenue of $45.3 billion and a net income of $20.5 billion (GAAP). Revenue is up 22 percent, and net income has increased by 48 percent. Microsoft has seen strong revenue performance in its cloud, server, and Office businesses this quarter. Microsoft might have just launched Windows 11 earlier this month, but in the months ahead of this new version of Windows, PC sales have started to decline in the US due to supply issues. That doesn’t seem to have impacted Microsoft’s Windows revenues, though. Windows OEM revenue has increased by 10 percent this quarter, despite what Microsoft calls “continued PC demand impacted by supply chain constraints.” Microsoft’s new Surface Laptop Studio.Photo by Vjeran Pavic / The ...

TikTok and Snap want to prove they’re not Facebook

Snap, TikTok, and YouTube set out with one important goal for Tuesday’s Senate hearing on child safety: to convince lawmakers that they are nothing like Facebook. While lawmakers were encouraged by the companies’ transparency, their humble approach hasn’t dissuaded lawmakers from pursuing new legislation. While YouTube’s parent company Google has testified before, it was the first time representatives from Snap and TikTok testified before Congress, and they came prepared to differentiate themselves from the social media giant at the center of yet another series of scandals. It was Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen’s leaks that led senators to pursue these hearings. The Facebook Papers loomed over the event, reinforcing Snap and TikTok’s desire to set themselves apart and promising Cong...

Seagate violated sanctions by selling hard drives to Huawei, says Senate committee

A US Senate committee says manufacturer Seagate likely violated government sanctions by shipping hard drives to Chinese manufacturer Huawei. The Republican minority staff of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation released a report alleging Seagate ignored August 2020 restrictions on shipping semiconductor components to Huawei — a category the report alleges “likely includes hard disk drives.” The report orders Seagate to stop shipments to Huawei and urges the US Commerce Department to “prioritize” enforcement of the sanctions, which the Trump administration implemented after claiming Huawei posed a national security threat. Seagate said in 2020 that the sanctions shouldn’t disrupt its shipments Huawei has used Seagate, Western Digital, and Toshiba hard drives for its...

AirPod Beanies bring back the infamous iPod Sock for a new generation

The infamous iPod Sock is getting a successor of sorts from accessory company Native Union, in the form of the “AirPods Beanies” — a cozy knit case where you can put your AirPods’ existing case for an added layer of protection. For those of you who are a bit lost right now, a quick piece of history. Of all the products that Apple has made over the years, the iPod Sock definitely is one of them: a set of six colorful, two-tone knit sleeves that were designed to fit Apple’s various iPods for both style and protection. A bizarre piece of Apple’s history on par with the recent $20 screen cleaning cloth, the iPod Socks sold for the rather expensive (for socks) price of $29 for a pack of six. The original iPod Socks.Image: Apple But thanks to their relatively universal size (because, again, they...

Samsung promises Matter support for SmartThings hubs, Galaxy devices, TVs, and fridges

The Matter smart home train is picking up steam. Following Google’s commitment to the new standard at its developer conference last week and Apple’s addition of Matter support in iOS 15 at WWDC, Samsung is now following suit. The company announced a complete adoption of Matter across ​Samsung’s Galaxy devices, televisions, Family Hub appliances, and SmartThings hubs at SDC21, its virtual developer conference being held this week. A founding member of the Matter group (formerly known as Project ChiP), Samsung also announced that it has joined the Thread Group Board of Directors, where it will sit alongside the likes of Apple, Google/Nest, Lutron, Qualcomm, and Silicon Labs to shape the future of the primary protocol that Matter devices will run on. Matter is a new connectivity standard crea...

US lays out new guidelines for vaccinated international travelers

Fully vaccinated international travelers will now be allowed to travel to the United States with proof of vaccination, the CDC announced on Monday. The order will go into effect on November 8th and applies to non-US citizens who are not immigrants, with an exemption for children under 18. The order will require fully vaccinated travelers with FDA-approved and World Health Organization emergency use listed vaccines to have a negative test taken three days before their travel date. Travelers who are not fully vaccinated, including US citizens and permanent residents, will now require a test within one day of their US travel date. This rule exempts children under two and accommodates people who have a documented recovery from COVID-19 in the past 90 days. Since child vaccine availability vari...

Amazon Kindle Paperwhite (2021) review: a bigger and better book

It’s been nearly three years since Amazon has updated its best (and bestselling) Kindle: the midtier Kindle Paperwhite, which is getting its biggest upgrade ever. On paper, at least, Amazon has finally built the ultimate Kindle. The last Paperwhite update was a relatively minor one, with just a light design tweak and waterproofing serving as the main addition. The new Kindle Paperwhite refresh, on the other hand, adds nearly every update you could imagine for a hardware refresh: a bigger screen, wireless charging, USB-C, adjustable color temperature, and additional LEDs for more consistent backlighting. Verge Score 8.5 out of 10 Good Stuff Even better display Monthslong battery USB-C at last Bad Stuff Larger size won’t be for everyone Poor support for non-Amazon books Still no physical but...

Adobe is adding a collaborative mood board to Creative Cloud

Adobe is trying to make Creative Cloud’s website into more of a hub for collaborating across teams. So today, it’s announcing a few new tools headed to the platform: basic web-based versions of Photoshop and Illustrator, a new feature called Canvas that lets you make mood boards, and a feature called Spaces that lets teams arrange and synchronize assets for projects. Canvas is similar to a bunch of tools that designers already use — there’s Miro, PureRef, you could even do something like this in Figma if you wanted to — but it comes with the perk of being integrated with Adobe’s ecosystem. You can pull Cloud documents onto a canvas, and they’ll link back to the original file, letting you open them up to make changes. Creative Cloud Spaces lets users organize shared assets.Image: Adobe It a...

Photoshop will get a ‘prepare as NFT’ option soon

Adobe is launching a system built into Photoshop that can, among other things, help prove that the person selling an NFT is the person who made it. It’s called Content Credentials, and NFT sellers will be able to link the Adobe ID with their crypto wallet, allowing compatible NFT marketplaces to show a sort of verified certificate proving the art’s source is authentic. According to a Decoder interview with Adobe’s chief product officer Scott Belsky, this functionality will be built into Photoshop with a “prepare as NFT” option, launching in preview by the end of this month. Belsky says attribution data created by the Content Credentials will live on an IPFS system. IPFS (InterPlanetary File System) is a decentralized way to host files where a network of people are responsible for keeping d...

How to get up-close photos with the iPhone 13 Pro’s hidden macro mode

The iPhone 13 Pro and Pro Max have great cameras, some of the best you can buy in a phone. They’ve also got an exclusive new feature Apple never offered before: a macro mode that lets you take extreme close-ups — just two centimeters away! — of intricate things you can barely see with the naked eye. Your pet’s incredibly fine fur, the veins of leaves, and the sub-pixels in your computer monitor’s screen are all now within reach. But Apple doesn’t give you a macro mode button per se — it’s automatic. When you bring the phone within 10 cm of an object, it automatically switches to the ultrawide lens, which some users found jarring enough that Apple now lets you turn off auto-macro-switching in iOS 15.1. But if you do that, and then manually switch to the ultrawide lens, you won’t get as clos...