Friday, November 04, 2016

TechTalk November 1, 2016

There are 1000s of conversations, websites, blogs, tweets as day about technology.

Where do you get a week of thoughts and reviews that add value to your busy life?

Nightline listens and reads to what is being said and brings you the best bits to chew on.

Nov 1

Huwawei p9

5.2 inches screen
Android OS, v6.0 (Marshmallow)

microSD, up to 256 GB (uses SIM 2 slot)

32 GB, 3 GB RAM (EVA-L19/EVA-L09)
64 GB, 4 GB RAM (EVA-L29)
Dual 12 MP, f/2.2, 27 mm, Leica optics, phase detection autofocus, dual-LED - this is the seller!

Fingerprint, super fast open

3000 mAh battery
44% in 30 minutes usb c

-1499 is the pricetag

-nice tweeks with the operating system

-didn’t easily transfer from my phone on setup so  I was reluctant at 1st, but after the google sync it was all rock and roll!

Galaxy S8 in the works!

iPhone 7 and Pixel camera issues phone are it!

Tablets out detachebales in

Narrative lifelog lives do we care?

FIREFOX IS READY FOR SOMETHING BIG (chrome talks why it is fast below!)

While most eyes were glued to Apple’s press event on Thursday revealing new MacBook Pros, Mozilla’s Head of Platform Engineering David Bryant made a reveal of his own: Firefox is receiving a new browsing engine called Quantum. Slated to arrive by the end of 2017, Quantum will replace the current Gecko engine, which is responsible for presenting and running all content on the internet.

Mozilla chose the Quantum name because the next-generation engine will provide a “quantum leap” in performance on mobile and desktop. To put this in perspective, Gecko started out in the Netscape browser released in 1997 and has been modified over time to support new technologies. Quantum is built from the ground up to support the latest hardware and technologies, such as HTML5.
“We are striving for performance gains from Quantum that will be so noticeable that your entire web experience will feel different,” Bryant writes. “Pages will load faster, and scrolling will be silky smooth. Animations and interactive apps will respond instantly, and be able to handle more intensive content while holding consistent frame rates.”
More specifically, the new Quantum engine will be fine-tuned for processors with more than one core. Gecko was created in an era of single-core processors and the emergence of stand-alone graphics cards. Now multi-core CPUs and GPUs are seemingly standard across the device board, and many desktop customers even install more than one graphics card in their systems. Quantum will supposedly take advantage of all this high-performance hardware.

MacBook or Microsoft

MacBook Pro 15-inch
Surface Book with Performance Base
Microsoft Surface Book
13.75 x 9.48 x .61 (in)
12.3 x 9.14 x .51-.9 (in)
4.02 pounds
3.63 pounds
6th Generation Intel Core i7
6th Generation Intel Core i7
8, or 16GB LPDDR3
15.4-inch IPS display
13.5-inch PixelSense Display
2,880 x 1,800
3,000 x 2,000
256GB, 512GB, 1TB, 2TB PCIe SSD
256GB, 512GB, 1TB PCIe SSD
802.11ac, Bluetooth 4.2
802.11ac, Bluetooth 4.0
4 x Thunderbolt 3, 3.5mm
USB 3.0, Mini DisplayPort, 3.5mm, SDXC
720p FaceTime HD
5MP front-facing, 8MP rear-facing
Operating System
MacOS Sierra
Windows 10
76 watt-hours
Quoted 16 hours
Available for pre-order

Both laptops feel just as good as they look. Both are sturdy machines without panel gaps or worryingly flexible points on their respective chassis. Of course, the Surface Book’s removable keyboard lends it a versatility of use cases not available to the Apple side of the equation, but there are many out there who find the MacBook Pro’s look among the most attractive on the market.
Apple’s improvements to the keyboard and input methods on the MacBook Pro are a mixed bag. We were a big fan of the old keyboard, but weren’t so hot on the Butterfly key switches found in the new MacBook, which have now made their way to the MacBook Pro. The current Surface Book’s keyboard is less compelling, but not detrimental to the experience, particularly with such a solid touchscreen. The added bulk also gives Microsoft some room to expand the keyboard, although without having spent time with it, we can’t speak to whether that happened or not.

Clearly there’s no obvious choice between the two systems, and the biggest dividing factor is going to be operating system preference. That being said, there are a few reasons you might lean towards the Surface Book with Performance Base, assuming you have no loyalty to MacOS or Windows.
Performance, battery life, and portability are basically too close to call, which makes recommending one system over the other based on that too speculative. Pricing is very similar as well, albeit with the concession that the MacBook Pro 15’s base model offers a slightly better value than the Surface Book with Performance Base in its most basic configuration.
Ultimately, the Surface Book’s touchscreen and form factor versatility offer up a set of use cases that simply aren’t possible with the MacBook Pro. Not everyone is going to make use of them all the time, or maybe even at all, but wouldn’t you rather have the option?


This is a good writeup!-studio is a cross between a drafting table and desktop computer!

The new apple chip
If you didn’t notice, Apple showcased its new 15-inch MacBook Pro during Thursday’s press conference that packs an interesting new graphics processor: the AMD Radeon Pro 450 or Radeon Pro 455, depending on the model you pre-order. If you have never heard of these chips before, it is because they are part of AMD’s new Radeon Pro 400 Series launched on Thursday after Apple’s press event. Surprise!
Billed as the company’s most ultra-thin graphics processors to date, AMD’s new Radeon Pro 400 Series is based on 14nm FinFet process technology, which is essentially a platform for cramming millions of fin-shaped transistors into a tiny graphics chip. Of course, the smaller the number, the more transistors manufacturers can cram into an equally sized chip. Right now, 14nm seems to be the new sweet spot.

Radeon Pro 460
Radeon Pro 455
Radeon Pro 450
Polaris 11
Polaris 11
Polaris 11
Transistor count:
3 billion
3 billion
3 billion
Graphics Core Next Version:
Compute units:
Stream processors:
Peak performance:
Memory bandwidth:
80GB per second
80GB per second
80GB per second
HDMI 2.0 Support:
Via USB Type-C
Via USB Type-C
Via USB Type-C
DisplayPort 1.2 Support:
Under 35 watts
Under 35 watts
Under 35 watts
Unfortunately, that is all the information we have on the three new Polaris chips for now. Keep in mind these are discrete graphics processors and do not necessarily sit nice and cozy next to the company’s APU all-in-one processor portfolio for laptops. They are cousins of the desktop-focused Radeon RX 400 Series of GPUs released for general consumption over the summer.

Vine closing down!

Released in 2013, Vine quickly established itself as a valuable content channel, and in particular, a key source for trending content and memes. Last October, the app reported that it was seeing 200 million users per month - up from 100 million only six months earlier - while it had consistently held its place in the iTunes Top 100 apps in several countries.
But in more recent times, Vine has struggled. While no official numbers have been released, a former Twitter executive told BuzzFeed that usage rates have been low - likely due to the growth of Snapchat and other, more popular video options – while the company has also lost almost all of its top product and business leaders, with nine of their most senior employees leaving in the past six months.
Even without definitive user numbers, there are indicative measures that Vine had lost its appeal. Looking at Google Trends data, you can see that search volume for Vine has been on a steady decline, while, comparatively, Snapchat has rocketed on by (I’ve added Periscope too for additional comparative measure).
Twitter Announces the Closure of Vine | Social Media TodayContributing to these declines, much of Vine’s creative community have also moved on to bigger platforms where they can reach a wider audience and enjoy more significant monetization potential. Fixing that problem has been a focal point for Twitter, which has introduced a range of measures to try and keep Vine creators on side, even flying some of them around the world as part of their Twitter Amplify program.  
Twitter also added pre-roll ads to Vine content, with 70% of the revenue going back to creators, but the potential of any significant monetization on 6-second content is, of course, limited. This may be why Twitter also added a ‘Watch More’ option back in June which enabled creators to record Vines up to 140 seconds in length – or even up to 10 minutes for selected partners.
Twitter Announces the Closure of Vine | Social Media TodayIn retrospect, that change may have been the white flag for the app – the fact that Twitter couldn’t work out a viable monetization process, and had to fundamentally alter the core function of the platform to find one, suggests that they were struggling to understand how to deal with it.
According to the official announcement, nothing’s happening to the app straight away.
“You’ll be able to access and download your Vines. We’ll be keeping the website online because we think it’s important to still be able to watch all the incredible Vines that have been made. You will be notified before we make any changes to the app or website.”

Some of the best vines

75% of global internet access is coming from mobile this year!

internet speed and smartphone ownership, it's easy to imagine that Asian countries would dominate global mobile usage, but a new report from Zenith finds that Spain may actually be the world's most most plugged-in country.
In Zenith's new Mobile Advertising Forecast report, the media-buying agency expects 85 percent of Spain's total internet usage to come from smartphones this year. Hong Kong was No. 2 on the list at 79 percent, while 76 percent of China's internet access is from mobile. The U.S. follows with 74 percent, and Italy and India each have 73 percent mobile usage.
Overall, Zenith's report tracked patterns in 60 countries and expects 75 percent of internet access globally to be from mobile this year, up from 40 percent in 2012.
Spain's lead may not last long, however. According to the report, Hong Kong will have 89 percent mobile adoption by 2018. China, meanwhile, will have 87 percent adoption followed by Spain at 86 percent. And 83 percent of internet access in the U.S. and Italy will be from mobile by 2018. Also by 2018, 79 percent of all internet traffic will come from mobile.
The jump, of course, is attributable to greater smartphone ownership. Currently, 56 percent of people have smartphones. That number was just 23 percent in 2012. In terms of a country-by-country breakdown, 92 percent of people in Ireland and 91 percent of those in Singapore own smartphones in 2016.
Per Zenith's estimates, 63 percent of consumers in the 60 countries analyzed will own smartphones by 2018. Ireland will remain the biggest mobile-using country, with 94 percent adoption, while Switzerland and Singapore are expected to reach a 92 percent adoption rate.
When it comes to ad spending, mobile will make up 60 percent of internet advertising by 2018—equivalent to $134 billion—up from 52 percent this year. That figure is greater than the total amount advertisers are expected to spend on newspaper, magazine, cinema and outdoor advertising combined in 2018.
Chrome loads fast!
Google's main selling point for Chrome has always been simple: speed. With the browser's latest update, 64-bit Chrome 53 and 32-bit Chrome 54 on Windows, the internet juggernaut is upping performance again. By using Microsoft's Profile Guided Optimization -- a part of Visual Studio, as noted by TechCrunch -- the browser has boosted new tab page loads by 14.8 percent and page loads by 5.9 percent. In terms of firing the browser up for the first time (people actually close it?), that's seen the most improvement of all, with Google claiming 16.8 percent faster startup time.

Why facebook loads so fast
Steve Fernandez, Facebook expert and developer of the FB Purity add-on: FBPURITY.COM
Facebook has a “Lazy Loading” system they call “BigPipe” that helps the pages load fast. Facebook breaks each page down into sections they call “Pagelets”, and using Javascript only load the most important Pagelets first then load the less important ones shortly afterwards. By loading and rendering the main page structure first with minimal info on it, the page appears to load quicker than having to wait for a complete page to download and then render.
Screenshot showing “Pagelets” in Facebook home page. Each rectangle corresponds to one pagelet.
They also break feed pages down into chunks, that load a few posts at a time, while you scroll the page down, this means they can show an almost never ending stream of data on a single page.


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