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November 1, 2021

🎃 Good morning and hope you had a fun Halloween! First things first, daylight savings has ended here in Germany which may mean some different arrival times for this newsletter into your inbox. 

Second, WebSummit kicks off in Lisbon today (on a US-friendly timezone approach) with 40,000 attendees lining up. One keynote of interest happens on Wednesday: Craig Federighi, Apple’s SVP of software engineering, delivers a “keynote address on user privacy and product security.” 

Lenovo Thinkbook Plus makes you think

Evan Blass is at it again, releasing a bunch of product images of different devices, ranging from small-time like the JBL Live Free 2 to the next Royole folding phone, to a weird upcoming device: the 17-inch Lenovo Thinkbook Plus.

I think all the information we have is in this single (fairly low-res) image but there’s a lot going on with this big ol’ laptop:

thinkpad plus
  • In short, Lenovo seems to have decided that with all the extra space on the deck of the 17-inch laptop, it wouldn’t add a numpad as you often see, but a touch display that can handle a stylus.
  • That lets you, from what we can see, use a stylus without getting in the way of the main display,  so you can, as we can see, color in a lovely parrot with laptop and stylus, for example.
  • You may faintly recall that Lenovo showed off a ThinkPad Plus that had an E-Ink display on the back earlier this year, and so once again the Plus range is Lenovo trying to do different things.
  • It’s unclear exactly how this truly helps artists/designers or people who just like a bit of a draw or to take notes. The alternative is something like using an iPad on the side via different apps, or similar, or another interesting idea from Asus, which was the dual-screen laptop in its Zenbook Pro Duo.
  • A bunch of people said “what about left-handers?” and I don’t have an answer for you just now.
  • Lenovo has a bit of a history of launching a wide lineup of devices at CES each year, and with CES 2022 back as a large-scale in-person event on January 5 next year, you could reasonably expect this there, too.

👉 “Our $1,000 phones deserve better cases(Android Authority).

📁 Royole could add a pop-up selfie camera to its next foldable phone, presumably FlexPai 3 (Android Authority).

⚡ There’s a mild flickering with the Pixel 6 Pro display for some people, fix coming in December (Android Authority).

📸 Nikon Z9’s new sensor could be the start of a big shift in photography: first Nikon to omit a traditional mechanical shutter, but something coming to more cameras too (The Verge).

🆙 Somehow, Roblox (worth $50B) was down for three full days, preventing 50 million people from playing it each day! The company was oddly quiet about the issue, but says that the problem is now solved: “A core system in our infrastructure became overwhelmed, prompted by a subtle bug in our backend service communications while under heavy load.” Random speculation points fingers towards HashiCorp, software for managing servers across data centers, possibly being the issue (HackerNews). Final note: Roblox is closer to the metaverse than anything Meta has at the moment…

🤔 Two views on the 2021 MacBook Pro: Yep, it’s what you’ve been waiting for (Ars Technica), but also, while it’s Apple’s best laptop, you probably don’t need the new MacBook Pro: just get the MacBook Air (Android Authority).

📉 Global chip shortage ‘is far from over’ as wait times get longer: “Some buyers trying to place new orders are getting delivery dates in 2024” (WSJ, $).

💿 5D storage could fit 500TB on a CD-sized glass disc (Engadget).

🕹️ Hey look, Sega is doing something: exploring a cloud gaming alliance with Microsoft where it may develop big-budget titles using the Xbox maker’s cloud gaming tech (Sega).

🥽 John Carmack issues some words of warning for Meta and its metaverse plans, and his boss, Zuckerberg (Ars Technica).

🌎 What is COP26 and why is it important? (Gizmodo).

🐤 Just to explain some fake news about Elon Musk “offering $6B to solve world hunger”: no, actually, the $6 billion is just to avert 42 million people starving. So the $6B helps, but doesn’t “solve” world hunger. So, a massive grain of salt on stories like this from Bloomberg.

🔭 “Do powerful space telescopes, able to see back to a younger, smaller universe, see the same thing no matter what direction they face? Or is the smaller universe “stretched” out over every direction?” (r/askscience).

Monday Meme

This is just so great:

queengambit board game
Bonus: Ghostbuster’s theme song played by 14 random old electronic devices (YouTube).


Tristan Rayner, Senior Editor

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