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October 13, 2021
👋 Nick here temporarily taking the helm once again. Today is the International Day for Disaster Reduction (IDDR), but I think the first disaster we should address is the name of the holiday itself. Yeesh.
Macbooks and Mac Minis and more, oh my
Apple Unleashed October 2021 event

Yesterday Apple sent out invites to yet another streaming event, this time taking place on October 18 at 1PM ET. (That’s next Monday!)

In typical Apple fashion, the invite is light on details, but given what we know about the company’s roadmap it’s pretty easy to guess what will be announced:

  • First and foremost, expect to see the long-rumored revamp of the 14- and 16-inch Macbook Pros.
  • If rumors are correct, they’ll have larger screens, MagSafe chargers, plus the return of the HDMI port and SD card slot, with no more touch bar at the top of the keyboard.
  • A tweet from Apple marketing executive Greg Joswiak also features a series of flying dots, which may or may not imply that mini LED tech will also be unveiled.
  • There’s also the matter of the suped-up M1X processor, which is poised to steal the show.
  • According to reports from earlier this year, it will jump from eight to ten CPU cores, and from seven or eight to 16 or 32 GPU cores. 
  • The M1 blew the competition out of the water last year, with incredible performance and excellent power and heat efficiency.
  • Also on the docket is an M1X upgrade of the Mac Mini. It’s also rumored to feature more ports than last year’s model, which would make it a more attractive alternative for power users.

Then there’s the matter of redesigned AirPods.

  • While far less certain, there’s also a chance that Apple shows off a third-generation of its ubiquitous earbuds.
  • These have been rumored for months, with a report stating that they went into production in August.
  • Note that these are the ($160) entry-level AirPods, not the AirPods Pro, which run $250.

However, word on the street is that the new AirPods will feature a design more similar to the Pro models, with shorter stems and a redesigned charging case.

Roundup

✂ In slightly less positive news for Apple, the company may have to cut production of the iPhone 13 lineup by 10 million units this year due to chip shortages (Android Authority).

📅 Samsung announced another Samsung Unpacked (the fourth this year) on October 20. Here’s what might be in store (Android Authority)

📱 Foldables are historically Samsung’s territory, but a new leak suggests that Oppo might be getting in on the game sooner rather than later (Android Authority).

🔊 In the latest Decoder podcast Nilay Patel goes deep into the weeks of how Amazon runs Alexa with Dave Limp, Senior Vice President of devices and services at Amazon. Check out the transcript here (The Verge).

🤔 Motorola Edge (2021) review: A tale of two models. TLDR: It’s great value for Verizon customers, but for everyone else… (Android Authority).

🕵️‍♀️ NVIDIA wants to rush through its purchase of Arm, but an extended investigation from the EU threatens to scrap the deal (Reuters).

🎮 20 years ago the original Xbox made a last minute switch from AMD to Intel, and according to the console’s designer, it was “pure politics” (Gamespot).

📺 Nerds rejoice, G4 TV returns November 16 with Attack of the Show, Xplay, and more. It will be available both as a linear TV channel and via streaming on Twitch (The Verge).

🚰 A Finnish company has just launched a solar-powered desalination system to turn seawater into fresh water for 400,000 rural Kenyans (Good News Network).

⚛ Led by France, 10 EU countries call on Brussels to label nuclear energy as a green source. France gets 70% of its electricity from nuclear power, but it has to convince Germany and others to change their tune (Euronews).

Wednesday Weirdness
The Pocket Gods periodic table

We’ve all seen and studied the periodic table, but have you ever heard it?

That’s the premise of a new album from the British group The Pocket Gods (via A Journal of Musical Things), who released 118 30-second clips of white noise, each named after an element on the periodic table.

  • Before you bust out your bunsen burners and crank up your stereo, you should know that they all sound exactly the same. 
  • The goal of the album is to game Spotify’s algorithm by releasing lots of songs at once as a means of protesting streaming royalties.
  • The band claims it will follow up this effort with a holiday-themed album titled I’m dreaming of a White Noise Christmas this December.
  • It reminds me of Vulfpeck’s stunt back in 2014, where the band earned $20,000 from an entirely silent album called Sleepify.
  • Music these days is weird, man.

Until tomorrow,

Nick Fernandez, Editor

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