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No, the new MacBook (and its single USB-C) isn’t for everyone
More controversial than the keyboard, more divisive than the battery life: the thing that’s causing the greatest number of arguments about the new Retina MacBook is its paucity of ports. A single USB-C on the left side of the notebook isn’t, as Vincent observed in our own review of the 2023 MacBook, a deal breaker, but not everyone is quite so ready to be convinced. It’s a legitimate concern, even if in the grand history of tech it’s not a new one.
Apple’s minimalism is partly a side-effect of trying to build the skinniest, most power-sipping laptop possible, and another part “Grand Scheme” thinking. Sure, a second USB-C – a technology which can handle not only data, but hook up displays and even charge the MacBook – would’ve been a nice addition, but that’s just how the Cupertino designers and engineers made it.
So, you live with it, or you buy something else.
Living with it involves dongles and adapters, at least during the transition period. I’m not so worried about cost per-se – since USB-C is an industry-wide standard, not something any one company controls, I don’t have concerns of price-gouging – and I think that the standardization means we’ll see faster adoption than, say, Lightning or even Thunderbolt.
Dongles may not be the most elegant aspect of mobile computing, but in many ways they’re unavoidable. I currently carry around a 15-inch MacBook Pro, and always have a Thunderbolt to Ethernet adapter in my bag: sure, most of the time WiFi is sufficient, but there’ll occasionally be a point where a wired connection is faster, more practical, or simply the only option.
Am I ready to do the same for the outgoing USB port? At first glance it’s hard to imagine, though when I really think about it, there’s a limited number of things I’m found commonly plugging in. USB sticks and an SD card from my camera are probably the most frequent.
On the desktop, meanwhile, I rely on an iMac rather than plugging my MacBook Pro into an external monitor. Dropbox and other cloud services keep all of my files up to date across both machines. If I use a mouse, it’s Bluetooth not wired.
Most galling then, personally speaking, is the fact that Apple doesn’t include even the USB-C to USB adapter in the box. That seems a little miserly, to ask an extra $19 on top of a $1,299+ laptop, when it’s frankly impossible to imagine any MacBook buyer not needing to plug at least one old-school USB device in.
After all, right now there’s no such thing as a USB to Lightning cable, so even Apple’s own phones and tablets need a dongle if you’re not content with a wireless link.
Am I a niche user considering a laptop made for niche users? Certainly. For me, a dongle or two in my bag is preferable to a heavier computer overall. I’m not saying that’ll be the case for you, but I can weigh the compromises involved and decide that, like giving up on optical media, I’m at a place where I can make the leap to USB-C and all that entails.
Make no mistake, though, this is the direction Apple is headed, and other products will only fall in line in future. Just as earlier Macs did away with optical drives, and slimmed the number of ports down in favor of multifunctional ones like USB, so the chase for “one socket to rule them all” is almost certain to spread across the MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, and onto the desktop.
Is the new MacBook the laptop for you? Possibly not if, as Vincent pointed out, you have a bag or desk full of legacy devices you want to hook up. The lessons Apple learns from it will proliferate through the Mac range, though; USB-C specifically is meanwhile showing up on machines from other manufacturers already, so even if you’re not an OS X fan it’ll be something you need to consider eventually.
Early adoption isn’t for everybody. Neither is it always headache or compromise free. It’s the reason why the new MacBook sits alongside – rather than replacing – the MacBook Air and 13-inch MacBook Pro: some people will buy it, but nowhere near every Mac lover. Happily, a little patience and many more will get to enjoy the fruits of Apple’s research.
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The Touch Bar is the flagship feature for the new MacBook Pro. It’s a small touch surface that offers dynamically changing content based on the current app you’re using.
The Touch bar is simple to use, but it’s somewhat deeper than it may appear at first. In this walkthrough video, we’ll discuss 15 tips and tricks for the new MacBook Pro Touch Bar to help you get started.How to show function keys
To show the traditional F1, F2, etc. keys, simply hold the Function (fn) key in the bottom left-hand corner of the keyboard to reveal them. These keys can be revealed within any app at any time.How to always show function keys for specific apps
You can quickly show the normal function keys by pressing and holding the Function (fn) key on the keyboard. But what if there’s an app that requires you to use standard function keys often?
With this setting enabled for a specific app, function keys will be displayed by default while using that app. If you press and hold the Function key while using this app, the expanded Control Strip options on the Touch Bar will be revealed.Video walkthrough
Subscribe to 9to5Mac’s YouTube channel for the latest videosQuickly adjust brightness and volume
Instead of tapping the brightness or volume key on the Touch Bar Control Strip, simply tap, hold and drag the slider to the desired level for a quick adjustment in one fell swoop.How to customize the Touch Bar’s Control Strip Access the expanded Control Strip
Tap the chevron button to the left of the Control Strip to access an expanded list of system functions and controls.Customize the expanded Control Strip
If you tap the chevron button while in the middle of customizing the Control Strip, you’ll gain access to more system functions and controls, allowing you to customize the full expanded Control Strip.How to customize the app region of the Touch Bar for favorite apps
If a Touch Bar-enabled app supports customization, you can go to View → Customize Touch Bar while using the app to configure its key layout in the Touch Bar.How to customize the Control Strip while editing an app region
While editing an app’s Control Bar settings, you can quickly switch to editing the Control Strip just by giving it a tap.Escape key
The escape key is located in the upper left-hand corner of the Control Bar, but it doesn’t align perfectly with the hardware keyboard keys directly below it. But if you’re a touch typist, your Escape key presses will still register, even if your finger doesn’t fully make contact with the key.Sleep and wake
The Touch Bar will dim after 60 seconds, and time out completely 15 seconds later. To wake the Touch Bar, tap the Touch Bar, trackpad, or press a key on the keyboardTrackpad + Touch Bar
macOS allows you to interface with both the trackpad and the Touch Bar simultaneously. This means that you can do things like move a shape in Pixelmator while, at the same time, changing its color or the size of its border.Take screenshots of the Touch Bar
Zac provided us with an excellent how-to that shows how to create Touch Bar screenshots. To use this functionality, you’ll need to run macOS 10.12.2 Beta 3 or later. It’s now available for public beta testers.Make Siri listen
When invoking Siri via the Touch Bar, you can touch and hold the Siri key to make it listen to your commands for the duration of your touch.Persistent media scrubber
When playing media on your MacBook Pro, you’ll notice a persistent media scrubber in the Touch Bar. This scrubber is present when playing music via iTunes, Safari videos, QuickTime videos, etc. You can even use it to scrub through YouTube videos while watching via Safari.
What makes the scrubber nice is that it is always available when eligible media is playing, even if that media isn’t a part of the top-most window. No matter where you are on your Mac, you’ll see a handy media key on the left side of the Control Strip in the Touch Bar area. Simply tap that key to reveal media controls.You can use the Touch Bar on a Boot Camp Windows installation
When used with Windows, the Touch Bar will display basic controls for things like keyboard brightness, screen brightness and volume. You also get access to the Escape key and pressing and holding the physical Function (fn) key will reveal a set of 12 function keys. You won’t of course, gain any of the other dynamic benefits that the Touch Bar is known for in macOS.Conclusion
Have you been able to go hands-on with a Touch Bar-enabled MacBook Pro? If so, please share your thoughts on the experience. Be sure to watch my full video review where I share my opinions on Apple’s new MacBook Pro input method.
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For corporate IT teams and work-from-home desk jockeys alike, there’s no question that anyone who needs a monitor to do their job — and doesn’t have time or budget to waste — needs a monitor with USB-C connections. With ports built directly into the monitor, this technology supports staff by cleaning up workstations, reducing support requests and lowering the overall capital cost of business computing equipment.
With full USB-C support, employees can sit down with their laptop and connect a single cable to find everything they need to be productive. External USB hubs and docking stations are no longer necessary. For peripherals like an external USB-C keyboard, mouse, printer, hard drive, power adapter “brick” and a video signal cable, instead of the usual tangle of USB cables, one USB-C cable to monitor connection handles everything — including powering the laptop, which is especially useful in home office setups.Growing usage and adoption
USB-C is gradually replacing older USB types, including USB-A, USB-B and USB Mini-B ports that have been around for more than a decade and don’t offer the same capabilities or data transfer speeds.The complete guide to USB Type-C
Learn how to clear desk space, streamline workflow and save time and money with USB-C connectors. Download Now
USB-C is the connector type; USB 3.1 is a broad technology standard. The Thunderbolt 3.0 standard developed by Intel also uses USB-C ports but supports much higher data transfer speeds than USB 3.1.Increasing benefits
Simplified connections, with a standard reversible connector that can never plug into a jack the wrong way
Handles multiple duties from one monitor port, connecting peripherals like the USB-C keyboard, mouse, backup drives and printers, all plugged into the monitor instead of the laptop
Quick charging that doesn’t require a bulky external power supply and cord
Universal compatibility, meaning a USB-C monitor can power and charge any laptop equipped with USB-C
Higher data transfer rates for tasks like external hard drive backups (conventional USB has a transfer rate of up to 10Gbps, while USB-C enables transfers as fast 40Gbps using Thunderbolt)
For users, that means quick and easy connections, and no more worry or hassle to keep their laptop charged. IT teams also welcome technologies that simplify usage and remove potential points of docking failure. USB-C offers unprecedented versatility, packing more desktop capabilities into a single no-nonsense connector.Building a modern workspace
For most desktop support teams in a corporate environment, at least part of their day-to-day job involves running around helping staffers set up their workstations and meeting spaces. When someone loses a cable, needs a different docking station or doesn’t have the right monitor connector, the IT team is the first to be contacted.
To minimize support time, some IT teams are investing in expensive docking stations that make it easier for people to connect a laptop to a monitor. But at many organizations, these docks need to support multiple laptops and hardware types. In meeting rooms, these docking stations need to be equipped with multiple types of signal cables and adapter dongles, to minimize IT support requests for monitor connection issues. Now consider this type of IT snafu with an employee working from home who, at best, has direct communication channels set up through a messaging app to contact their support team. There the employee sits, several cables spread out on their desk, with a laptop and monitor that won’t connect to each other.
A USB-C monitor removes all the headaches for workers who just need to plug in and get to work. The monitor becomes the hub, and employees can connect their USB-C-ready laptop no matter where they are — and, with access to a keyboard and mouse, be ready to work.
Investing in monitors with built-in USB-C support, such as Samsung’s new S40UA, provides an easy upgrade path as business laptops go through their refresh cycle. These monitors still offer more conventional connections, and when the shift to USB-C happens, IT support can immediately realize the benefits.
You can calculate the total cost of ownership of upgrading your business’s monitors with five easy questions in this free assessment. And explore Samsung’s full range of USB-C monitors, designed for streamlined productivity and an organized desktop.
One of the changes Apple has made in iOS 12 is much tighter protection against devices designed to brute-force iPhone passcodes. Unless the device has been unlocked within the past hour, the USB port will be restricted to charging, requiring the phone to be unlocked before it will permit data access.
From much of the reporting on this, you could easily get the impression that Apple’s aim here is to thwart law enforcement investigations – and that simply isn’t the case …
Let’s look at a few examples of the coverage this is getting …
The New York Times: Apple to Close iPhone Security Hole That Police Use to Crack Devices
Apple is closing the technological loophole that let authorities hack into iPhones, angering police and other officials and reigniting a debate over whether the government has a right to get into the personal devices that are at the center of modern life.
Apple said on Wednesday it will change its iPhone settings to undercut the most popular means for law enforcement to break into the devices.
The Verge: Apple will update iOS to block police hacking tool
For months, police across the country have been using a device called a GrayKey to unlock dormant iPhones, using an undisclosed technique to sidestep Apple’s default disk encryption. The devices are currently in use in at least five states and five federal agencies, seen as a breakthrough in collecting evidence from encrypted devices.
But according to a new Reuters report, Apple is planning to release a new feature to iOS that would make those devices useless in the majority of cases, potentially sparking a return to the encryption standoff between law enforcement and device manufacturers.
Mashable: Apple’s officially making it harder for cops to bust into your iPhone
Apple intends to update its iOS with a new feature that will make it significantly more difficult for law enforcement agencies to access data on locked iPhones.
I could go on (and on), but you’ve probably seen other headlines yourself.
To be fair, many pieces that start in this vein do go on to point out that tools like GrayKey are used by criminals as well as law enforcement. But the overwhelming impression given is that Apple is out to make life hard for law enforcement.
The reality is that Apple is dealing with one simple fact known to every security professional but seemingly not to the law enforcement agencies that are complaining about the move: you cannot have a security hole that is used only by the good guys. Anything law enforcement can use with good intentions, criminals can use with bad intentions.
You could argue that Apple could have a special law enforcement mode, but again: any backdoor into iOS intended for use by the good guys will inevitably fall into the wrong hands.
Some persist, suggesting Apple could have this mode require a special device available only in a locked strongroom at Apple Park, with law enforcement agencies having to go there (with a court order) to access it. But, as I’ve said before, this simply isn’t a realistic scenario.
It is an extremely short distance from there to arguing that there will be some very time-critical cases where the delay involved in knocking on Apple’s door is too damaging. The classic ‘time-bomber in custody’ scenario. That the FBI needs to hold the key to prevent delay. It still wouldn’t do so without a court order, so where’s the harm? It would simply be cutting out the middleman.
So soon, the FBI would hold the key. Then other law enforcement agencies. In time, that key would be held in every police precinct house. We would then be trusting more than a million people with access to that key to abide by the rules. Government agencies don’t always have the best of track-records in doing that.
And even if we assumed not one single bad apple among those million people, you’d also be trusting every courier not to lose one in transit – and if you do that, I want access to your courier companies!
But it’s worse than this. The very fact that a backdoor exists means that hackers know it can be done. Sooner or later, they are going to figure out how, and then they can create their own devices.
So no, this cannot be safely done. Apple has no desire to hinder the work of law enforcement agencies, but it’s not them the company is trying to thwart: it’s the bad actors who would use the same vulnerability for nefarious ends. That’s why Apple is doing this – not to make life harder for cops.
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Israel’s capital Tel Aviv ranks sixth in the global startup hub rankings. Silicon Wadi the tech valley of Israel hosts 4300 startups. A desert nation surrounded by enemies and is short on water resources has managed to mark its place in the world rankings. Exactly, this is why it is also called as ‘Startup Nation’. The Israel Defense Forces in collaboration with the government and venture capital companies have pushed the nation to the level it is at today. It also finds its name among one of those countries where it is the easiest to pioneer a startup. The nation boasts of the highest per capita venture capital in the world. With a minuscule population of 8 million and total GDP of US$153 billion, about 14% of it is spent on the tech ecosystem of the country accounting for US$22 billion. With more developments in place, the nation has a dedicated R&D fund. Now with such an impressive resume, it is like doing a particular task and naming Israel’s top startups error-free and clutter-free.
The name sounds like just another website. Well, doomed is he who got immersed in that thought. Because chúng tôi offers services in the best log management platform called ELK. The platform offers a database, a manipulator and a visualization tool at the same time. ELK expands for Elasticsearch, Logstash and Kibana. Elasticsearch acts as a database, logstash as a tool to process the data and Kibana, a visualization tool. chúng tôi utilizes the machine learning algorithms and community knowledge to get the hidden data. Surpassing its own limits, the startup provides a log analytics platform with alerts, multiple sub-accounts, and third-party integration.
IBM, FourSquare, Ticketmaster, Spark are some of the customers of Dataroma. And, they all rely on it for the marketing data and decision-making. Dataroma speaks volumes about its artificial intelligence-powered technology, visualization tools, and real-time insights. The functionality here allows connecting the whole marketing data despite its spread locations. It customizes the dashboard so as to facilitate the performance monitoring.
Redislabs provides the world’s most popular in-memory database platform as a commercial provider of Redis Enterprise. It is available both as a service and software product for private, public and cloud atmospheres. Redis is the world’s fastest and non-complex database platform. Moreover, Redis Labs is ranked as the topmost position holder in the world’s analyst reports. Redis data structures and optimize the data before it goes to the application level, at the database level. Real-time analytics and high-speed transactions are some of the benefits on the side.
JethroData is used by customers for interactive business intelligence on big data. It is a SQL-on-Hadoop engine that allows the customer to run complex queries and maintain the appropriate speed with the help of full indexing and auto cubes. BI tools like Tableau, Qlik, and MicroStrategy are the most compatible ones. It works on the concept of a relational database. JethroData stops the exodus of the businesses from enterprise data warehouses.
It works on automated machine learning algorithms that immediately alert you in case of an incident that might need your attention. It detects the anomalies at an infant stage and prevents it from becoming a bigger problem. This, it does with the help of inbuilt data science. Founded in 2014, Anodot’s founders come with a prior experience in data analytics. Microsoft, Rubicon, Wix, Waze are among a few customers of the startup.
Israel’s capital Tel Aviv ranks sixth in the global startup hub rankings. Silicon Wadi the tech valley of Israel hosts 4300 startups. A desert nation surrounded by enemies and is short on water resources has managed to mark its place in the world rankings. Exactly, this is why it is also called as ‘Startup Nation’. The Israel Defense Forces in collaboration with the government and venture capital companies have pushed the nation to the level it is at today. It also finds its name among one of those countries where it is the easiest to pioneer a startup. The nation boasts of the highest per capita venture capital in the world. With a minuscule population of 8 million and total GDP of US$153 billion, about 14% of it is spent on the tech ecosystem of the country accounting for US$22 billion. With more developments in place, the nation has a dedicated R&D fund. Now with such an impressive resume, it is like doing a particular task and naming Israel’s top startups error-free and chúng tôi name sounds like just another website. Well, doomed is he who got immersed in that thought. Because chúng tôi offers services in the best log management platform called ELK. The platform offers a database, a manipulator and a visualization tool at the same time. ELK expands for Elasticsearch, Logstash and Kibana. Elasticsearch acts as a database, logstash as a tool to process the data and Kibana, a visualization tool. chúng tôi utilizes the machine learning algorithms and community knowledge to get the hidden data. Surpassing its own limits, the startup provides a log analytics platform with alerts, multiple sub-accounts, and third-party chúng tôi FourSquare, Ticketmaster, Spark are some of the customers of Dataroma. And, they all rely on it for the marketing data and decision-making. Dataroma speaks volumes about its artificial intelligence-powered technology, visualization tools, and real-time insights. The functionality here allows connecting the whole marketing data despite its spread locations. It customizes the dashboard so as to facilitate the performance monitoring.Redislabs provides the world’s most popular in-memory database platform as a commercial provider of Redis Enterprise. It is available both as a service and software product for private, public and cloud atmospheres. Redis is the world’s fastest and non-complex database platform. Moreover, Redis Labs is ranked as the topmost position holder in the world’s analyst reports. Redis data structures and optimize the data before it goes to the application level, at the database level. Real-time analytics and high-speed transactions are some of the benefits on the side.JethroData is used by customers for interactive business intelligence on big data. It is a SQL-on-Hadoop engine that allows the customer to run complex queries and maintain the appropriate speed with the help of full indexing and auto cubes. BI tools like Tableau, Qlik, and MicroStrategy are the most compatible ones. It works on the concept of a relational database. JethroData stops the exodus of the businesses from enterprise data chúng tôi works on automated machine learning algorithms that immediately alert you in case of an incident that might need your attention. It detects the anomalies at an infant stage and prevents it from becoming a bigger problem. This, it does with the help of inbuilt data science. Founded in 2014, Anodot’s founders come with a prior experience in data analytics. Microsoft, Rubicon, Wix, Waze are among a few customers of the startup. With the increasing popularity of Israel, it has now started to provide other countries with the technologies that it leverages in various industries. Despite all the interferences, Israel has grown to be the Startup Nation. This achievement does not only sing praises about the country but also depicts how open and easy is the technology ecosystem there. Now such atmosphere attracts startups from other nations and eventually adds up to the economy of Israel.
An AMD Athlon or Sempron chip may not drum as much excitement as Ryzen, but loyalty has helped those brands stick around for more than a decade.
So what happens to those and other PC processors, like the A-series and FX, when AMD’s new Ryzen chips start flooding the market in March? AMD has said the first high-end desktop Ryzen chips will ship in March.
For now, AMD plans to make no changes to its lineup of existing chips, a company spokesman said.
Instead, the chips will be regrouped to focus on price-sensitive PC buyers.
Ryzen-based PCs are expected to be priced at a premium, competing with Intel’s top gaming CPUs. The FX chips will not go away once Ryzen arrives, and will be targeted toward budget gamers.
The A-series chips — which were targeted toward a wide range of laptops — will be much like Intel’s Core i3, i5 and Celeron and Pentium processors, which are also targeted at low-end to mid-range laptops and Chromebooks.
Unified AM4 socket compatibility helps maintain existing chips and has provided an easy path to Zen-based PC chip upgrade, the spokesman said. For example, the AM4 socket supports Zen chips and the recent 7th Generation A-series chips.
Expanding the PC chip lineup will help AMD compete with Intel, from the high-end to low end. AMD is already gaining in the PC market.
AMD took x86 chip market share from Intel in 2023. AMD had a 13.6 percent market share in 2023, growing from a 12.7 percent share in 2023. Intel’s share was 86.3 percent in 2023, dropping from 87.1 percent in 2023, according to Mercury Research.
Strong laptop chip shipments in the second half of 2023 and an inventory purge in 2023 helped AMD grow its market share, said Dean McCarron, principal analyst at Mercury Research.
The most vulnerable AMD chips are Athlon and Sempron, which sit on the bottom rung of the company’s chip lineup. Some brands like Phenom have died, but Athlon and Sempron have shown amazing staying power thanks to brand loyalty from home PC builders in Asia, McCarron said.
Those chips will be hard to discontinue overnight, McCarron said.
“Intel dealt with that in Asia on Pentium. Once it is established, they can’t go away,” McCarron said.
Chips like the Athlon X4 and FX-4300 — which is cheap to manufacture — will keep serving customers’ needs and will stay in production for some time to come, McCarron said.
Also, PC makers need low-end products to segment markets and maintain prices. The price of high-end FX chips helps set a minimum price for Ryzen chips. It also helps retain Ryzen as a high-margin product, which is important for AMD in its pursuit of higher profitability.
The low-end chips will also help keep AMD’s chip volume active and meet supply agreements. AMD has an agreement with GlobalFoundries to manufacture a certain number of chips each year.
Low-end chips are also important to manufacturing. They help amortize manufacturing costs and provide a market for chips with minor defects. It’s fairly common for chips to get defects during manufacturing, and those are repackaged into low-end parts. That helps reduce inventory and produces revenue from those chips.
AMD can’t say it is getting rid of older chips because that would damage partnerships with PC makers and OEMs, said Jim McGregor, principal analyst at Tirias Research.
“They can’t displace the entire product portfolio over night,” McGregor said.
But at some point, AMD will have to figure out which ones to chuck. It’s likely the chips that are more expensive to manufacture will get the boot. Some chips like high-end FX parts could get the boot as Ryzen chips expand into lower-end gaming PCs. A decision to drop expensive chips and retain cheaper ones would be a cost-saving measure to reduce the manufacturing overhead.
“You’ll see the transition over the next nine to 12 months to move everything over,” McGregor said.
AMD has also released Zen-based server chips to succeed the current Opteron server chips. The company has seemingly put the development of ARM-based server chips on hold, and few server makers are using Opteron chips now. AMD will continue making embedded chips, which are used in devices with life spans of up to 10 years.
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