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The rumors leading up to the last Apple event 2023 had to offer generated a ton of hype. Word on the street suggested we were about to get a new MacBook Pro that would bring the machine back to its former glory from way back in 2023 when the Touch Bar debuted and the MBP line lost some of its station.
Rumors promised new custom Apple silicon, a high-refresh-rate screen, a built-in SD card reader, and even the return of MagSafe. As we found out at the Oct. 18 “Unleashed” event, it was all true. The new 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro 2023 laptops look like a true return to form for the line if they can live up to the hype.Enter the Apple M1 Pro and M1 Max chips
The M1 Max chip is the fastest in the Apple silicon stable for the moment. Apple
The heart of the new announcements centers around a pair of new Apple chips. The M1 Pro and the M1 Max build off the extremely popular M1 chip that debuted in the 13-inch MacBook Pro and the MacBook Air roughly a year ago. It powers the excellent new iMac.
The new M1 Pro and M1 Max chips augment the typical M1 with similar hardware, just a lot more of it.
The new M1 Pro and M1 Max chips use the same 5 nm technology from the original M1, but drastically increase the number of individual transistors. The M1 Pro promises more than 33 billion transistors, which is more than twice the stock M1. The M1 Max takes that number all the way up to 57 billion. While the Apple silicon approach largely centers on making improvements through efficiency, the company still clearly recognizes that brute force hardware upgrades still make a difference.
The M1 Pro implements a 10-core system, eight of which are performance-oriented and two of which are meant for efficiency. It pairs that CPU with a 16-core GPU. The M1 Max has the same 10-core CPU, but it drastically increases the amount of shared memory in the system (up to 64 GB total), and pumps the GPU core count up to 32.What does all that power mean for users?
This set of features and powerful components addresses some long-standing user requests. Apple
During the presentation, Apple showed charts comparing these hardware configurations to some of the most powerful PC laptops with integrated and discrete graphics. Apple promises to match or exceed that hardware’s performance while drastically reducing energy consumption.
That comparison is especially compelling with a laptop, which runs on a battery. Apple claims it can maintain that lofty performance when unplugged in the field, where other powerful laptops would quickly burn through their battery reserves, even while nerfing performance.
As the name suggests, these really do appeal to “professional” users who deal in resource-greedy processes. This kind of power comes in handy when you’re editing high-res raw video, especially with multiple high-res streams involved. We’ll know just how fast they really are once review units start rolling out, but Apple has made some lofty promises that should appeal to creatives and coders.Look at all the ports!
HDMI? An SD card reader? Yes and yes. Apple
Beyond the computing power inside, Apple has made some upgrades to the MacBook Pro’s connectivity by throwing it back to the old school. The new design once again features an SD card reader, which means photographers, videographers, audio recorders, and other creatives can simply cram an SD card into the side of the machine to dump their take without having to worry about a cable or external reader.
The right side of the machine also has a full-sized HDMI port, so it’s simple to connect to most displays without the need for a dongle. The computers still offer three USB-C Thunderbolt 4.0 ports, which can transfer data as well as power.
If you don’t want to charge via USB-C, Apple has also brought back the old MagSafe adapter, which is a huge deal for clumsy users like myself who frequently trip over cables.
It really does have the feel of those pre-2023 MacBook Pros that were some of the best laptops ever made.MacBook Pro 2023 displays
The display promises to be extremely beautiful. Apple
Both the 14-inch and 16-inch displays now have considerably smaller bezels around the edge. That’s thanks in part to a notch in the top of the screen that’s not unlike the one you’d find in an iPhone. The MBP notch doesn’t contain a FaceID sensor (which would have been terrific), but it does give the upgraded 1080p webcam a place to live.
The taskbar now nestles around the notch, which may cause some early funkiness as apps adapt to it, but it seems like an overall improvement.
The screen hardware has gotten a few serious upgrades. The backlight now comes from Mini LED technology like you’ll find in the latest 2023 iPad Pro and iMac models. Thousands of tiny LEDs are split up into tiny arrays that can turn on and off when needed to maximize contrast ratio and brightness. The new MacBook Pro can sustain 1,000 nits of brightness and hit 1,600 nits at peak levels, which matches the Pro Display XDR. You don’t really need to truly understand what a nit is, just know that these levels are extremely bright so you’ll have no problem working in bright areas. In dark areas, it’ll practically sear your eyeballs.
The new displays also come toting ProMotion technology, which means they can run at up to 120 Hz for ultra-smooth motion, then ratchet that refresh rate all the way down to 10 Hz when you’re looking at mostly static images to save battery. If you’ve ever used an iPad Pro, or even the new iPhone 13 Pro models, you know this makes a weirdly tangible difference when it comes to the overall feel of the system.Other notable features
MagSafe is back! Apple
We’re looking forward to testing the new MacBook Pros down the line, but the spec sheet already delivers on most of what people were asking for. The new speaker system still includes six speakers: two tweeters and four woofers. All of them have increased in size and move more air. The woofers give the entire system the capability to produce sound a half-octave lower than the previous models.
Like the M1 MacBooks, the new M1 Pro and M1 Max models promise drastically improved battery life. Apple is still offering up battery specs in terms of continuous video playback (a somewhat outdated and not particularly useful metric). However, the company claims that the 14-inch MacBook Pro gets up to 17 hours of continuous video playback, while the 16-inch version gets up to 21 hours. Those are big jumps from Intel-based MBP numbers, so I’m very curious to see what that means in terms of real-world usage.
The 16-inch model supports fast charging, which allows it to pull a 50-percent charge from a compatible brick in just a half-hour.So when can you order the new MacBook Pro and how much do they cost?
As you might expect from all of the superlatives thrown into this announcement, the new MacBook Pros aren’t cheap. Then again, MBPs have never been cheap.
The 14-inch model comes stock with an 8-core M1 Pro chip, a 14-core GPU, 16 GB unified memory, and a 512 GB SSD for $1,999. You can move up to a 10-core CPU, 16-core GPU, and 1 TB storage for $2,499 as a standard configuration. If you want to get wild and max it out completely, you get a 10-core CPU, a 32-core GPU, 64 GB unified memory, and 8 TB storage for $5,899. It’s worth noting that $2,200 of that upgrade comes in the form of the 8 TB SSD, though.
The 16-inch MacBook Pro base model offers a 10-core CPU, a 16-core GPU, 16 GB unified memory, and a 512 GB SSD for $2,499.
Unlike the 14-inch version, the 16-inch MBP will let you step up to the most powerful M1 Max chip. The base M1 Max version comes with a 10-core CPU, 32-core GPU, 32 GB memory, and a 1 TB SSD for $3,599. The most expensive version of that machine puts you up over $6,000.
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See also: 16-inch MacBook Pro review
We also have an in-depth guide to MacBook accessories, which you can check out right here. Also, check out a few of our favorite stands if you still find yourself working from home. Now for the list!
The best MacBook Air cases:
Editor’s note: We’ll be updating this list of the best MacBook Pro cases regularly as new options launch.
If you want to throw your MacBook Pro back to the days of the classic iMac G3, the Smartshell from Speck is a great pick. It comes in a rainbow of familiar transparent shades as well as black and clear — although the latter two are currently sold out. Speck’s case is a simple hard shell with redesigned corners that should handle bumps and drops better than previous versions. In addition, the matte finish and rubberized feet should help you keep a solid grip on your new machine.
Urban Armor Gear is one of the toughest customers around, and its Plasma case for the MacBook Pro is as durable as they come. It’s MIL-STD 810G certified for drops, and the rubber bumpers lock to keep the lid closed tightly. Each rubber bumper element is also coated in a tactile honeycomb pattern, so you probably won’t lose your grip no matter what. The UAG Plasma is a heavier option, but it adds 13mm to the overall footprint.
Another option from UAG, the Plyo is ready for your massive 16-inch MacBook Pro. It’s a slightly slimmed-down version of the Plasma, and the rubber bumpers are transparent rather than matte black. UAG kept the tactile honeycomb pattern, and the Plyo is MIL-STD 810G certified to withstand drops and falls. Both front corners also feature the same locking mechanism to keep your lid squared away. The case comes in a transparent gray color that UAG calls Ice.
Twelve South Book Book
If you want to make your MacBook Pro feel like a master of disguise, the Twelve South Book Book case is your best bet. It looks like a well-aged novel, thanks to the full-grain leather construction. You can either trust the case as a sleeve or strap your laptop in for full protection. Twelve South’s Book Book is available for any sized MacBook, though it looks very similar to a library book, so you may not want to leave it unattended.
Fintie MacBook Pro case
There are tons of high-end, feature-packed cases on the market, but a simple hard shell is often all you need. The Fintie case is a perfect example, and it doesn’t come close to breaking the bank. It offers 360-degree protection with just two snap-on pieces, and you can choose from four sleek finishes. A fully ventilated bottom panel should keep you working hard for longer, but you’ll have to make sure you grab the right size case. Check out each option carefully:
Hardshell cases aren’t for everyone, and if you’re just looking for protection while you travel, then a sleeve might be a better fit. This option from Mujjo is a luxurious felt and leather creation, and it’s sized for the 15-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pros. You can choose from either brown or black leather to pair with the black felt. The durable snap should keep your laptop safely inside, and a handy storage pocket is perfect for your charger or other accessories.
Amazon Basics sleeve
Although Mujjo’s sleeve is about as luxurious as they come, this Amazon Basics option might fit your budget a bit better. It’s a simple zipper sleeve that comes in various colors and just about any size you might need. There are no extra pockets or premium materials, but Amazon’s simple case should offer all of the protection you really need. You can also buy the sleeves in packs of up to 10 if you’re shopping for a classroom or another group.
Apple MacBook Pro leather sleeve
Apple doesn’t offer its own hardshell cases, but if you want protection from the source, then you’ll have to try the leather sleeve. It comes in three shades of premium European leather with a microfiber lining for added protection. Of course, you’ll have to be ready for the Apple Tax — this leather sleeve costs nearly $180. You won’t find a storage pocket or anything like that, but the case does allow you to charge your MacBook Pro without exposing it.
While Apple skips hard cases of its own, the Cupertino company does offer an option from InCase if you’re interested. It’s a straightforward shell that comes in three shades with a texturized dot pattern. InCase’s offering is well-ventilated and offers easy cutouts for all of the ports and buttons. You won’t be able to grab the InCase shell for your 15-inch MacBook Pro, but it’s available below for both the 13-inch and 16-inch versions.
Tech21 Evo MacBook Pro case
Tech21’s Evo MacBook Pro case offers slightly more protection than the InCase option, thanks to its hybrid design. It relies on a soft bumper around the edges to absorb impacts, while tough polycarbonate panels sandwich the top and bottom. While it’s slightly more expensive than the InCase option, it’s your best bet from Apple if you have a slightly older laptop. The Tech21 case is crystal-clear and should resist UV yellowing to help show off your device.
Apple officially left the standalone display market in 2023, discontinuing its Thunderbolt Display and pointing users towards third-party options. The move, however, was met with disappointment from Pro users who rely on seamless integration between Apple’s various hardware products.
Subsequently, in 2023, Apple announced that it was doubling down on the Pro market with a new modular Mac Pro and a new Apple Display. That announcement was almost exactly two years ago, and now it seems we’re finally nearing the launch of Apple’s highly anticipated Pro display. Here’s what we know so far.Apple Display Size and Resolution
According to reliable Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, the Apple Display will feature a 31.6-inch display. That’s considerably larger than the 27-inch iMac – and should certainly please Pro users in many industries. Kuo says that the Apple Display will feature a 6K3K resolution.
At this point, it is unconfirmed whether the Apple Display will be 16:9 in nature or join in on the trend of ultra-wide displays. Our own Jeff Benjamin, however, has presented a very solid case for the latter.
Jeff argues that Apple’s display will feature a 6240×2880 native resolution. This is a “true” 5K footprint that has been expanded horizontally to turn the display into an ultra-wide panel. With the extra pixels, the display’s resolution is stretched into 6K, which matches exactly with Kuo’s claim that the display will be 6K3K.
Theoretically, Apple would also want its standalone Pro monitor to match the existing iMac and iMac Pro form factor and DPI. Some basic math explains how this would be possible. Essentially, the 27-inch 5K iMac uses a pixel-per-inch standard of 218. With a resolution of 6240×2880, an Apple display could hit that by being 31.59-inches – which rounds up to 31.6-inches, matching Kuo’s claims.
The end result is a 6K3K ultra-wide display with 6240×2880 resolution, measuring 31.6-inches diagonally, and with a display panel height (13.2-inches) and PPI (218) the same as the existing 5K panel in the iMac and iMac Pro. The width of such a display would measure 28.7-inches, which is 3.1-inches wider than the iMac Pro, even when including its bezels.
Thus, while Kuo has not made mention of whether the Apple Display will be ultra-wide or 16:9, the math certainly seems to favor the former. With so many third-party displays going the ultra-wide direction, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that Apple also follow that trend. Furthermore, if it can do so in a way that makes the Apple Display beautifully complement the existing iMac and iMac Pro, creative users everywhere are sure to be pleased.Mini-LED
Ming-Chi Kuo also says that Apple’s 6K display will feature mini-LED backlight technology. What this means is that the external display will only use mini-LED for the backlight, not for true end-to-end mini-LED screens. In late 2023 or early 2023, however, Apple is expected to launch new MacBook and iPad models with true mini-LED panels.
Kuo specifically says that the Apple monitor will use a “mini-LED like backlight unit” with larger LEDs. By using mini-LED backlighting, the Apple screen will have more power efficient backlighting that allows for more accurate blacks and improved contrast. Furthermore, mini-LED backlighting should allow for the panels to be thinner, resulting in a slimmer design overall.
The performance won’t match that of OLED, such as what is found in the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max, but Apple is said to favor mini-LED backlighting because it is not susceptible to burn in. In day-to-day use, this is likely a wise choice. A computer monitor is far more likely than a phone to show the same thing – such as a static email inbox – all day. This would greatly increase the likelihood of burn-in.Apple Display Release and Price
The Apple Display is said to be released sometime in Q2 or Q3. This aligns well with Apple’s upcoming developer-focused WWDC, which kicks off on June 3rd. It does not seem presumptuous at all to think that Apple could announce both the 31.6-inch monitor and modular Mac Pro during its WWDC keynote.
Assuming the panel is announced at WWDC, that would be just over two years from when Apple announced its renewed focus on the Pro market.
As for price, it’s hard to know at this point what Apple might charge for this 31.6-inch 6K monitor. The Thunderbolt Display was sold for $999, but you should expect this new display to cost more than that, especially when you consider Apple has little competition in this area of the market.Wrap up
Apple doubled down on the Pro market almost exactly 2 years ago, and it seems we’re finally about to see the first results of those efforts. Pro users certainly have high hopes for the new Apple Display and modular Mac Pro, and it will be interesting to see the reactions.
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Apple has already had a busy 2023, releasing a new education-focused iPad and new MacBook Pro with Touch Bar models. There’s still plenty to come as the year progresses, though, with the rest of 2023 certainly shaping up to be busy.
In addition to the new iPhones coming this fall, Apple is said to have a pair of new iPad Pro variants coming as well with a slew of changes. Read on as we roundup everything we know so far about these new devices…Design
Save the 10.5-inch iPad Pro, the iPad has remained largely the same in terms of design over recent years. That all changes this year, however, as Apple is expected to give the iPad Pro an iPhone X-like design overhaul.
First and foremost, reports indicate that the company will reduce bezel sizes on both the 10.5-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pro variants. For each of those models, however, this change will mean different things.
According to Ming-Chi Kuo, Apple will keep the 10.5-inch iPad Pro the same physical size, but extend the screen. This means you’ll get added screen real estate in a form factor that is the same. According to Kuo, the 10.5-inch model will this year become the 11-inch model because of those reduced bezel sizes.
Meanwhile, for the 12.9-inch iPad Pro, Kuo expects Apple to simply reduce the bezel sizes, not increase the display size. Thus, the 12.9-inch display will remain the same, but the overall footprint of the device will decrease, making it more portable and easier to manage.
As we reported earlier this month:
Kuo’s rumored 11-inch model sounds like a replacement for the current 10.5-inch iPad Pro. That would put the lineup at 7.9-inch, 9.7-inch, 11-inch, and 12.9-inch. Kuo also specifically says 11-inch and 12.9-inch, not 13-inch, which suggests he’s being specific and not rounding 10.5-inch up to 11-inch. This suggests the 12.9-inch iPad will have a smaller overall body versus making the hefty body feature a larger screen.
Personally, I’m glad to see the 12.9-inch iPad Pro decreasing its footprint. It’s currently just too big for easy portability in my case, but fitting a 12.9-inch display into a smaller body makes it a very appealing option.
Read more:Face ID
Perhaps the biggest upgrade of them all for the 2023 iPad Pro models will be the addition of Face ID – and thus the removal of the Home button. As indicated by Kuo, Bloomberg, and various pieces of evidence found within iOS, it’s all but confirmed that this year’s iPad Pros will be the first to include support for Face ID.
For instance, in the iOS 11.3 beta, we found references to a new ‘modern iPad.’ Prior to its release, the iPhone X was also referred to as a ‘modern iPhone’ within the iOS code. iOS 12, meanwhile, includes multi-user Face ID support – a feature that makes sense for the iPad Pro as it is commonly shared among multiple people.
Face ID on the iPad Pro is also expected to mark the inclusion of support for landscape oriented Face ID recognition. With the iPhone X, Face ID is limited to working in vertical orientation, but the iPad Pro is commonly used in landscape mode.
Read more:Notch or no notch?
One of the biggest questions about the new iPad Pros is if they will feature notch cutouts like the iPhone X. While there is no hard evidence suggesting either way, my gut feeling is that the iPad will not adopt the notch design.
While it’s easy to assume that with Face ID comes a notch, the iPad Pros will presumably have bigger bezels than the iPhone X purely for usability purposes. Thus, there should (hopefully) be room along the top of the device for all the necessary Face ID components without cutting into the display itself.
While iOS 12 does include some changes that could perhaps indicate a notch is on its way to the iPad Pro, the more likely scenario is that those changes were made purely in an effort to keep gestures and interfaces uniform across the iPad and iPhone.Read more: Power
Currently, both the 10.5-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pro models feature an A10X Fusion processor with 4GB of RAM. This year, the amount of RAM will likely stay the same, but we will almost certainly see Apple switch to a new processor. While it’s not explicitly clear, it’s likely it will adopt a variant of the A12 processors coming to this year’s iPhones.Pricing
At this point, there is no indication that the iPad Pro pricing structure will change with this year’s overhaul. You should expect the 11-inch model to start at $649, while the 12.9-inch model will likely start at $799.
Of course, pricing is always the hardest thing to predict ahead of an Apple announcement, so those prices could very well change when the new iPad Pros are released later this year.Release
As for when we should expect Apple to announce its new iPad Pros, there are two possibilities: September or October.
Apple is expected to hold an event in September to announce a trio of new iPhone models, as well as new Apple Watches. It’s possible that the new iPad Pros will be announced at that same event – which would make for both a busy and expensive (for customers) event.
The other possibility is that Apple will hold another media event in October. In addition to the iPad Pro, iPhone X, and Apple Watch, Apple is also expected to introduce new Macs this fall. Those new Macs include a refreshed Mac mini (!!!), a new iMac, and a lower-end MacBook update.
There is precedent for Apple holding both a September and October event. In 2023, it held a September event for new iPhones and AirPods, as well as an October event for new Macs.
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The slogan for this new version of the Mac OS is “Works smarter. Plays harder”. After all, as you can see on the Cupertino company’s official website, You can do everything you do on a Mac in a better way via macOS Ventura. There are a lot of new ways to improve productivity, share interests, and work together on apps”.
There are many new features that macOS Ventura 13 will add to Apple computers, including features on Mail, Spotlight, Safari, Passkey, Messages, Photos, and many others. In summary, users are eagerly awaiting the release of this update.macOS 13 Ventura Launch date
According to Apple’s announcement, macOS Ventura 13 will be available on Monday, October 24, in the final week of October. However, the Cupertino company recently released the macOS 13 Ventura Release Candidate. Which in reality is a developer-only version that precedes the final one.Download macOS 13 Ventura
All Macs released to the market starting in 2023 will be able to download the new version of macOS Ventura for free. In more detail, the update will be installed automatically after the software has been downloaded from the Mac App Store.macOS 13 Ventura Compatibility
As previously stated, macOS 13 Ventura will be available on all Macs sold starting in 2023. Therefore, there won’t be an update for “older” Intel models.
The Macs compatible with the new operating system will be:
MacBook Air: starting from 2023
MacBook Pro: starting from 2023
MacBook: starting from 2023
iMac Pro: starting from 2023
Mac mini: starting from 2023
2023 Mac Studio Mac Pro
In other words, the only way to fulfill the desire of those who own an older model of Mac and want to try the new operating system is to purchase a newer computer.macOS 13 Ventura New features
Numerous new features in the new operating system guarantee a never-before-seen experience. Stage Manager, Continuity, Passkey, Mail, Messages, Spotlight, and Safari got the most important features.Stage Manager
This function automatically arranges the open windows so that the app the user is using can take the center stage. On the other hand, the other windows will show up on the left and be available at all times. When working on multiple tasks or projects, grouping windows will also be an option.Continuity Gizchina News of the week
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With this new feature, the Mac’s webcam can now be in use with the iPhone’s camera. Additionally, users will be able to start a FaceTime call on their iPhone or iPad. And transfer it to their computer thanks to the addition of “Handoff” to FaceTime.Passkey
This feature is unquestionably one of the coolest. In reality, using your own biometric authentication method will be sufficient in place of creating a new password. Therefore, writing down a password won’t be necessary. Actually, passkeys are distinct digital keys that are stored locally on the device rather than online. End-to-end encryption is in use to synchronize with iCloud Keychain on Mac, iPhone, iPad, and Apple TV. Finally, scanning a QR code will be sufficient. If the user needs to log in on non-Apple devices using the iPhone.Mail
It will be possible to postpone, schedule, and receive alerts for any follow-up. And even cancel an email that has already been sent. In addition, the internal research has improved from the previous version.Messages
You can now retrieve accidentally deleted chats, edit or cancel recently sent messages, mark messages as unread, and mark messages as read. In addition, when a user shares a file through the app, you can collaborate with other users or share a copy of the file. A specific conversation will start on Messages in the case of collaboration.Safari
The most energy-efficient browser on macOS has always been Safari. And it now has a useful new feature for collaborative projects called shared tab groups. This feature enables you to share a particular group of tabs with particular friends, who can then add new cards to the collection.Spotlight
The new operating system’s Spotlight has a refreshed look that makes navigation even easier. Now, you can search for a picture using the position, scene, or position criteria (even through the text they contain). The ability to start a timer, create a document, and perform a link is the last option.Wallpaper
The new wallpaper for macOS 13 Ventura was unveiled at Apple’s WWDC 2023. It demonstrates the graphic overhaul that the company wanted to give its operating system.
With orange tones on a blue background. It is an image with a figure in the center that is available in Light and Dark versions. It is a distinctive background that unquestionably grabs users’ attention.macOS 13 Ventura Beta version
Ventura, like every other version of macOS, has its own beta program that began before the stable will be released. There are two types of macOS betas: those intended for developers and those intended for the general public.
To participate in the beta, you must first log in to the official Apple website using your Apple ID, enroll your Mac (or other macOS-powered devices) in the program, and then download and run the macOS Public Beta Access Utility, which is a small program that makes sure your Mac is able to receive beta updates.
Godot, a tunnel-boring machine
This adorable thing could be digging a tunnel from NYC to DC in the near (or far) future.
Another edition of San Diego Comic-Con has come and gone, which means the last week has been saturated with all kinds of wonderfully nerdy stuff to obsess over. (Did you see the new Stranger Things trailer? Oh, man.) But, as always, the tech world kept rolling along, so wipe off that cosplay makeup and get caught up on last week’s biggest stories with our handy recap.This week’s Musk-read
Just received verbal govt approval for The Boring Company to build an underground NY-Phil-Balt-DC Hyperloop. NY-DC in 29 mins.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) July 20, 2023
Our favorite tech super hero (and maybe eventually super villain) Elon Musk was the big news in the tech world yet again this week. He off-handedly tweeted about having “verbal government approval” for an East Coast hyperloop that would make the trip from NYC to DC in less than half an hour. We did a little digging to find out what kind of approval actually goes into a product of that scale. Spoiler alert: It’s going to take some superhuman paperwork skills to navigate all of the bureaucracy.Google space view
If you haven’t gained the super power of space flight just yet, Google is giving you a chance to putter around inside the International Space Station using Street View technology. It’s a fascinating way to waste 30 minutes of work time.Land speeder, two seater
One of the cooler actual tech products to come out of the Comic Con fray was this small-scale Star Wars land speeder from Radio Flyer. It will be available on September 5 as a Toys R Us exclusive for 500 credits. It’s actually $500, but you can make a joke about it costing 500 credits to the cashier at the store and then tweet about how hilarious it was even though the cashier had no idea what you were talking about.Alexa continues her conquest
Have you noticed how quickly Alexa has been spreading in recent months? Amazon has been quietly adding its virtual assistant to more and more devices, this week extending to Kenmore smart home appliances and the Amazon shopping app on Android devices. Stark Enterprise—er, Amazon sure does believe in that plucky virtual assistant.Not hotdog
This is the hard way to determine that a cupcake is not a hot dog. MIT CSAIL
Pic2Recipe is a product of MIT’s renowned Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) and uses AI to try and translate pictures of food into the actual recipes required to create it. The trials “mostly failed,” but it allowed everyone in the tech media to make lots of Silicon Valley jokes, so it wasn’t a total loss.Need a (self-driving) Lyft?
Left is still playing catch-up to Uber, but this week the company announced its plans for a major self-driving car division that will be a more open platform that can integrate tech from other major auto manufacturers. I ran out of super hero puns. Sorry.Snaps
Spectacles were once rare and hard to get. Now, you can order them from Amazon without having to put on pants. Amazon
At one time, if you wanted a pair of Snap Inc.’s Snapchat-specific Spectacles, you had to find out the location of a special vending machine, then wait—sometimes for hours—in line to purchase a limited pair. Now, you can impulse purchase them in all three colors from Amazon. They’re $130 with free shipping and will give you the super power of sending video of everything that happens in your life to your friends on the internet.Final cut
Did you know that YouTube had built-in video editing tools? Apparently many people didn’t because they will be going away on September 20 due to low usage. So, you’re going to need to pick up some video editing software if you want to keep making those UFO “proof videos.”Pokemon Stop
Players were excited about the addition of new Pokemon to Pokemon Go, but less excited about how difficult they were to catch due to technical issues. Pokemon Go
Last week was the one-year anniversary of Pokemon Go and the celebration included a massive get together in Chicago called Pokemon Go Fest. The event was plagued with connectivity and other technical issues bad enough that the organizers felt compelled to issue refunds and other incentives to those in attendance. If you remember the initial troubled launch of Pokemon Go, this seems like a very fitting tribute.Snap the news
NBC is the first network to launch a twice-daily news show for Snapchat‘s social media platform. The jump to content like this is a logical step for Snapchat, but it may be a long time before users make the transition from watching friends eat donuts to serious news. I wonder what the Daily Planet‘s Snapchat strategy is….D&D goes digital
D&D Beyond helps manage game rules and provide other digital resources for campaigning against monsters. Wizard of the Coast
Finally, Wizards of the Coast and developer Curse have brought a new set of digital tools to Dungeons & Dragons, including sourcebooks and compendiums. The company says it’s just the first step in bringing digital elements to the traditional role-playing experience. Of course, players have been doing this on their own for years, but the official version looks pretty robust.
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