Daily Archives: 2020-11-10

Apple dishes details on its new M1 chip

Source: Ars Technica

Article note: Neat, desktop-class ARM parts from a major vendor. I'm curious about the boot-loader situation, these things might be appliances. The benchmarks look a little cooked (I think the i7 comparisons are throttled to base clock?) Max 16GB memory cuts the current generation of machines off from any "high end" applications. Looks like their "Rosetta2" translation layer is a decent JIT, though it sounds like there are some quirks around memory behaviors (4k vs. 16k page size?), I'm excited to see how that works out.

(credit: Apple)

Apple's "One More Thing" event is all about Macs. Here's the scoop on Apple's latest chip, the M1, which is the first ARM-based computer chip the company is making in-house.

The M1 is the first computer chip built on a 5nm process with 16 billion transistors. Optimized for Apple's lower-power systems with minimal size and maximum efficiency, there are four performance cores and four efficiency cores in the CPU. Pound for pound, Apple says it has the highest CPU performance per watt, and the four efficiency cores alone match the performance of a dual-core MacBook Air while using much less power. This should contribute to longer battery life and better efficiency in low-power tasks like checking emails, for instance.

The integrated graphics card has eight cores and can process up to 2.6 teraflops, making it the world's fastest integrated graphics chip in a computer. In concert with the 16-core neural engine, which is capable of 11 trillion processes per second, Apple says apps like Garage Band can handle three times more instruments and effect plugins, while Final Cut Pro, for instance, can render complex timelines up to six-times faster. Compared to "previous-generation Macs," Apple says the M1 delivers "up to 3.5x faster CPU performance, up to 6x faster GPU performance, and up to 15x faster machine learning" with up to double the battery life.

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YouTube Premium members can get Stadia Premiere Edition for free

Source: Engadget

Article note: Oooh, my being slow to cancel my Youtube Premium because I mostly had it for Play Music (RIP) and YTM is a garbage fire just got me $100 worth of Chromecast Ultra and Stadia controller.
Google has quietly launched a killer deal for YouTube Premium members in the US and UK: free access to Stadia Premiere Edition, a $99 bundle that includes a Chromecast Ultra and Stadia Controller. Anyone with an active YouTube Premium subscription ca...
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Software development: should we stop? Maybe we should

Source: Hacker News

Article note: It's a nifty piece of writing, more thought-provoking poetry than a traditional argument. In several ways I agree. (Commented on HN:) Thinking about the state of the software world in the last several years always makes me think of Vernor Vinge's notion of a "Mature Programming Environment" from _A Deepness in the Sky_ (1999), "The word for all this is ‘mature programming environment.’ Basically, when hardware performance has been pushed to its final limit, and programmers have had several centuries to code, you reach a point where there is far more significant code than can be rationalized. The best you can do is understand the overall layering, and know how to search for the oddball tool that may come in handy" (Longer excerpt with an earlier bit about rewriting things always eventually just moving around the set of bugs, inconsistencies, and limitations rather than improving them here: http://akkartik.name/post/deepness ) And and Danny Hillis' idea about the Entanglement ( excerpt from a 2012 interview with SciAm) - "But what's happened though, and I don't think most people realize this has happened yet, is that our technology has actually now gotten so complicated that we actually no longer do understand it in that same way. So the way that we understand our technology, the most complicated pieces of technology like the Internet for example, are almost like we understand nature; which is that we understand pieces of them, we understand some basic principles according to which they operate, in which they operate. We don't really understand in detail their emerging behaviors. And so it's perfectly capable for the Internet to do something that nobody in the world can figure out why it did it and how it did it; it happens all the time actually. We don't bother to and but many things we might not be able to." (more: https://www.scientificamerican.com/podcast/episode/the-coming-entanglement-bill-joy-an-12-02-15/)
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