Turbotodd

Ruminations on tech, the digital media, and some golf thrown in for good measure.

Posts Tagged ‘apple

JEDI Clouds

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Happy Monday.

China’s Great Firewall may soon evolve into the Great Cyberborder.

The FT has reported that Beijing has ordered all government institutions and public bodies to get rid of their foreign computer gear, and transition off American hardware/software by 2022 in favor of local alternatives.

On the domestic IT front, Amazon has made a new filing claiming that it didn’t win the $10B JEDI Department of Defense (DoD) contract as a result of repeated public and private attacks against Amazon and CEO Jeff Bezos, including by President Trump.

According to a report from CNBC, the company argued that the president “made no secret of his personal dislike” for Bezos by criticizing him publicly and then “used his office” to prevent AWS from winning the contract.

Amazon is calling for DoD to terminate the award and conduct another review.

Funding Monday: Education software company Instructure is being acquired for $2B by private equity firm Thoma Bravo. Pharma clinical trial SaaS firm Suvoda has raised a $40M round.

And if you’re looking to gift yourself a new Mac Pro (made right here in Austin, Texas!), you’d better let Santa know and soon: Apple has indicated the updated models will start at $5,999 (the company will start taking orders tomorrow).

Written by turbotodd

December 9, 2019 at 10:51 am

Russian Code

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Dobroye Utro. (That’s “good morning” in Russian.)

Russia has passed a new law which will ban the sale of certain devices that are not pre-installed with Russian software. Like smartphones, computers, and smart TVs.

The law is intended to promote Russian technology and to make it easier for people to use the gadgets they buy, but will not exclude Russian users from using non-Russian software.

Apple bean counters are in high heaven. Shipments of their AirPod wireless earphones are expected to double to 60M units by the end of this year, demand driven in part by the new $249 AirPods Pro introduced at Apple’s October launch event. Current wait times for the new version on Apple’s U.S. website: 2-3 weeks.

I remember a similar production issue 2 years ago when I bought my Gen 1 AirPods. The good news? I haven’t lost them, as feared, and they still work great.

Hacker Alert: Google has announced it will pay up to $1.5M for the “most severe hacks of its Pixel line of Android phones.” That’s up 7X over the previous top Android bounty.

This to help refine the Titan M Google-designed chip that carries out core security functions for the Pixel. We’ll see if anyone can hack it.

Happy weekend!

Written by turbotodd

November 22, 2019 at 10:45 am

Growing Languages

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iFixit and others have torn down the new 16″ MacBook Pro, which has revealed, yes, a keyboard similar to the standalone Magic Keyboard (and which allegedly will not have the same keyboard woes of the more recent MBPs). Also, a new thermal system, a high-performance microphone array, and six speakers (which apparently can play quite loud so you can annoy all your cubicle amigos).

GitHub just released it’s “State of the Octoverse” report, which tracks the most popular programming languages. The top three fastest-growing include Dart, Rust and HCL. Dart is similar to Javascript and often used in conjunction with Google UI tool kit for building mobile and web apps, Flutter.

Rust is used in game engines, OSes, VR, and other systems-intensive tasks. And HCL helps developers run and secure software running in the cloud.

On the subject of cloud, Google has bought Microsoft-backed CloudSimple which enables companies to run compute workloads based on VMware’s server virtualization. No terms were disclosed.

Today’s Funding: Financing and small-banking services firm BlueVine has raised a $102.5M Series F. BlueVine is a fintech startup focused specifically on the needs of SMB, providing both lines of credit and term loans of up to $250K).

Written by turbotodd

November 19, 2019 at 9:58 am

Bad Weather

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Happy Friday, and TGIF.

Yesterday, some news about the weather from IBM with the introduction of its GRAF weather forecasting model.

GRAF stands for “Global High-Resolution Atmospheric Forecasting” and is the first global weather model to run on a GPU-accelerated supercomputer called “DYEUS.”

In partnership with the National Center for Atmospheric Research, this new system uses state-of-the-art science to forecast the atmosphere on a global scale, providing hourly (vs every 6-12 hours) updates and bringing forecast fidelity once limited to a few countries to the rest of the world.

Forecasts from the new system will be available via The Weather Channel and Weather Underground apps and websites, and also to businesses via IBM offerings.

IBM GRAF runs on supercomputer powered by the IBM Power9 System and CPUs and GPUs optimized on open source software for AI and high-performance computing.

Also on the cloud front…Amazon is filing a protest of the Pentagon’s decision to award the JEDI contract to Microsoft, claiming “unmistakable bias” and “errors” in process.

And Apple is just saying no to vaping, announcing it will remove all 181 vaping-related apps from its store amid growing health concerns over e-cigarettes.

Written by turbotodd

November 15, 2019 at 10:33 am

Data Ignorance is Strength!

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It is Tuesday. The rest of the country (world?) is talking about the pending public hearings on the impeachment inquiry.

But I’m going to talk about data and algos.

First, Google. It was reported yesterday by the WSJ that the company is engaged with Ascension on a project to collect and crunch the detailed personal-health information of millions of people across 21 states.

Data like lab results, doctor diagnoses, hospitalization records, and personal data including health histories, patient names, and dates of birth. 

Calling Dr. Google, Dr. Fine, Dr. Howard!

Microsoft, meanwhile, indicated in a blog post that it would honor Calilfornia’s digital privacy law throughout the entire U.S., an attempt to elude a patchwork of state data privacy laws and a call for federal privacy legislation.

And then there’s the new Apple Card algorithm which is being probed by the New York Department of Financial Services for alleged algorithmic gender discrimination.

There have apparently been several instances where Apple and banker Goldman Sachs Group are giving husbands credit limits of up to 20 times to that of their wives.

Including, with much irony, Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak.

“So 1984 won’t be like…1984.”

 

Written by turbotodd

November 12, 2019 at 4:32 am

Posted in 2019, google

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Apple Watch

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Friday’s as good a day to start getting fit as any. And that includes Google, which has acquired FitBit for $2.1B, ramping up its speed in the wearables/fitness category.

The move could certainly help amp up the Fitbit line of tracking devices in the near term, but could also help accelerate Google’s own efforts for its Wear OS smartwatch software.

Apple TV+ launched late yesterday, and includes nine original titles in 100+ countries. The price is $4.99/month, or $49.99/year (and one year free trial with the purchase of any new Apple device).

Apple is experimenting with the release model of its new content. It released all 10 episodes for its period drama “Dickinson,” but for other shows like “For All Mankind” and “The Morning Show,” it released the first three episodes, followed by weekly releases.

In other words, half Netflix, half HBO. Maybe they’ll find their way to, “I binge, therefore I am.”

Hidden in the airwaves, China’s three state-backed wireless carriers started launching 5G service in select cities today. And there are roughly 13,000 base stations that have been installed in Beijing that enable 5G, of which 10,000 are already operating.

U.S. telcos, did you hear that pin drop?

Written by turbotodd

November 1, 2019 at 5:35 am

Posted in 2019, 5G, apple watch

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Tiger’s Roar

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I’m back! I had to take a little time off to chase a little white ball and disconnect from these amped up Interwebs for a bit. 

So what caught my eye on the return trip to the office? First, Apple’s new fancy AirPods that have active noise cancellation and are water resistance, and cost $249.

You won’t catch me dissin’ AirPods, or their price. My NPS for these things would be off the charts, and I highly recommend them to anyone who asks. So, yeah, I’d give the Pro versions a spin if I lost one of my 1st gens (which was a fear that, knock on wood, has so far never come true).

Next: Microsoft winning the JEDI cloud contract with Uncle Sam. Be interesting to read former SecDef Jim Mattis’ book which claims that Trump directed him to “screw Amazon” out of winning the contract. No Amazon Drone deliveries at the White House anytime soon!

But Amazon IS upping their grocery game, making grocery deliveries free in ~2,000 cities for all Prime members and removing the $14.99/month Amazon Fresh fee.

And speaking of golf, Tiger Woods tied Sam Snead’s record with 82 PGA Tour victories, this at last week’s Zozo Championship in Japan. Congrats, can’t wait to see you win # 83!

Written by turbotodd

October 29, 2019 at 12:56 pm

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