It’s almost exactly a year since I last discussed the possibility of Apple ditching Intel in favor of Macs powered by Apple-designed CPUs. I argued then that it was a question of ‘when’ rather than ‘if,’ echoing a view earlier expressed by my colleague Chance.
Bloomberg yesterday suggested that the ‘when’ might be 2020. That might seem like an ambitious timescale, but I do firmly believe two things. One, Apple is already running ARM-based Mac prototypes internally. Two, if it doesn’t happen in 2020, it won’t be too long afterwards …
As we learned this week, Android fanboys really hate the “notch” that’s cut out of the iPhone X’s display. This could end up being a problem for them, of course, since many Android smartphone makers insist on copying Apple so shamelessly. In fact, Android vendors are so eager to rip off Apple’s design that even some of the biggest smartphone brands out there can’t even be bothered to do it properly. They just want to hop on the bandwagon, embarrassing though it may be, and sell smartphones that feature Apple’s latest designs. Even Google itself knows that Android vendors are going all-in on Apple’s iPhone X notch, so it’s building notch support into the new version of Android that will be released later this year.
The notch on the iPhone X and the ever-growing flock of Android copycats will continue to be a hot topic for the foreseeable future — at least until next year, when Apple is rumored to be planning a new generation of iPhones that ditch the notch. If that is indeed the case, it’ll be hilarious to see all these Android phone makers coincidentally begin to ditch the notch on their own phones. In the meantime, Android fans may have to make do with notched smartphone screens, unless they don’t mind choosing a new phone from an increasingly small number of notchless options. The irony here is that people who actually own the iPhone X don’t even notice the notch anymore.
A prospective iPhone X buyer took to Reddit to see what people who have been using the iPhone X for a while think about the notch. The answer turned out to be pretty simple: They don’t think about it at all anymore.
“iPhone X users, do you get used to the notch?” the user asked. “Deciding between buying the 8 or the X, mainly for the camera.” With more than 100 comments having been posted in the Reddit thread at the time of this writing, the vast majority of responses were from people who said they don’t think about the iPhone X’s display notch at all anymore. In fact, many people said that it only took a day or to for them to get used to the notch.
Much ado about nothing? It sure looks like that’s the case.
Look, it's no secret that Spotify is out to make its own hardware. As of last April, Spotify was already looking for people to help craft "a category defining product akin to Pebble Watch, Amazon Echo and Snap Spectacles." (In hindsight, Spotify's HR… Engadget RSS Feed
We have less than a week to go before Samsung unveils its Galaxy S9 and S9+ flagships, though we already know just about everything there is to know about them, including a number of their key specifications, physical design, release date and more.
According to a new GSMArena report, which cites multiple mobile industry sources in the United Kingdom and Norway, we now [potentially] have an idea of what the S9 and S9+ will cost when they finally hit store shelves sometime in mid-March — though each source appears to hint at a slightly different price point.
Techradar confirmed that a 64 GB Galaxy S9 will retail for £739 ($ 912) in the United Kingdom — marking a £50($ 61) price hike relative to a Galaxy S8 with the same storage.
The publication went on to note that sources originally cited the S9 could cost as much as £100 ($ 123) more than its predecessor, the Galaxy S8. However, “A £100 price hike from the S8 is no longer on the cards and it’s looking much more like a £50 increase instead,” said one U.K. mobile industry source cited in the report.
Interestingly, U.K.-based mobile phone specialists, Clove Technology, cite on their website that an unlocked Galaxy S9 will retail for even more — as much as £800 ($ 986.90), which is just a few dollars more than the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 cost when it launched last September.
In Norway, meanwhile, at least one mobile industry source alleges that a 64 GB version of the Galaxy S9 will cost as much as 8,790 NOK ($ 1,121) while a Galaxy S9+ of the same capacity will cost a whopping 9,790 Norwegian Krone ($ 1,248).
Given that the S9 duo hasn’t officially been released yet, we highly recommend taking these pricing details with an extra grain of salt.
Moreover, while the price of U.S. Galaxy S9 and S9+ variants was not revealed, it’s definitely worth pointing out that the price of mobile phones in European countries generally runs higher than here in the U.S.
So while it’s somewhat difficult to discern what they could cost through a U.S. carrier like T-Mobile or Verizon — if anything is apparent from these pricing leaks, it’s that U.S. customers holding out for the Galaxy S9 or S9+ should be prepared to pay a premium, too.
BeyondPod has been one of the top podcast managers on Android for ages thanks to its robust feature set. However, development seems to have hit something of a rough patch. Users have been complaining about a beta release that’s hopelessly broken for months, and it’s been well over a year since the Play Store version has been updated.
BeyondPod used to get regular updates several times per year that were relatively bug-free, so what changed?
The fourth season of Charlie Brooker’s Black Mirror, a Twilight Zone-esque anthology TV series about technological anxieties and possible futures, was released on Netflix on December 29th, 2017. In this series, six writers will look at each of the fourth season’s six episodes to see what they have to say about current culture and projected fears.
Audio can be just as important as visuals if you want to make true-to-life VR experiences. That's why Oculus has introduced changes to the Rift SDK that give developers the power to make spatial audio as realistic as possible. One of the features the… Engadget RSS Feed
Verizon is committing an astonishing $ 10 million to support Hurricane Harvey relief efforts. A lot of you guys may not like Big Red, but it’s hard to deny that this is a stand-up move. Direct competitor AT&T donated a not-insignificant $ 350k, while Google plans on donating $ 2.25 million. In total, corporate America has thus far donated around $ 40.9 million.
In addition to its incredible $ 10 million donation, Verizon is waiving South Texas customers’ data, talk, and text charges, and giving prepaid customers an extra 3GB from August 26th to September 15th – a one-week extension over what had previously been announced.
Snap has had two bad quarters in a row. What’s the deal?
Snapchat delivered another disappointing earnings report on Thursday, the second time it has underwhelmed Wall Street in its first six months as a publicly traded company.
The issue in Q1 was that Snap’s business didn’t grow as quickly as expected, and its spending grew much quicker than expected. In Q2, its revenue growth issues returned, but Snap also added fewer new users than Wall Street wanted.
It was a bad combination, and in both cases, the stock took a dive. Snap now stands well below its $ 17 IPO price tag, and in after-hours trading on Thursday, it fell more than 53 percent below the $ 24.48 closing price it had after its first full day of trading back in March.
More than five months into life as a public company, it’s time to ask: Is Snap simply having its post-IPO Facebook moment, where its stock spends a year in the cellar before a valiant comeback? Or are Snap’s troubles here to stay?
First, the positive scenario. It’s possible that Snap is simply facing the growing pains that Facebook once faced in the first 12 months after its own IPO, and there is mounting evidence to support the idea that Snap simply went public too early. If that’s the case, perhaps it will grow into expectations over time.
A few reasons to believe that Snap rushed its IPO:
There was a legitimate motivating factor for CEO Evan Spiegel to rush an IPO: An $ 800 million bonus. Spiegel received the bonus on the condition that he would take Snap public, which he did. Perhaps earlier than he should have.
One of Snap’s key metrics for measuring business growth is ARPU, or revenue generated per user. Snap insiders have argued in the past that the company believes its ARPU could one day be as big as Facebook’s, meaning that while Snapchat’s user base may not be as big as Facebook’s, it could still make money off each user the way Facebook does.
But at the time of its IPO, Snap’s business was nowhere near as mature as Facebook’s was when it IPOed. Facebook’s ARPU the quarter that it IPOed was more than double Snap’s ARPU the quarter it IPOed. And Facebook wasn’t dealing with a much bigger incumbent trying to squash it into oblivion.
One of Snap’s main advertising challenges is that some advertisers still have no idea why they should give Snap their money. Snap’s chief strategy officer, Imran Khan, said on Thursday’s earnings call that Snap was “working on the education process” with advertisers. Education takes time, and Wall Street isn’t always very patient.
So those who believes that Snap IPOed too early might take solace in the idea that things could improve with time. But there are plenty of other signs here that Snap’s problems are much bigger than simply going public too soon, the most notable of which is the app’s user growth.
A year ago, Snap was growing quickly. It added 21 million new users in Q2 2016. A year later, in Q2 2017, it added just seven million new users. That’s not the kind of growth Snap investors envisioned 12 months back, and we know from watching Twitter how hard it can get for a public company once user growth slows down.
Snap has not been focused on growing in emerging markets, arguing that the cost of supporting and adding users in emerging markets would be more than they’d make from them in advertising revenue. So it’s possible that Snap’s user growth could shoot up again once those emerging markets become a priority, but no one knows when that will be, or if Facebook will have already beat them there with their own product.
Snap’s business is also showing concerning signs. Snap’s Q1 revenue was less than people expected, and the company said it was due to “seasonality.” Advertisers simply spend less in Q1 following a busy holiday quarter than they do in other quarters.
But as Ben Thompson, who writes an insightful tech and media newsletter called Stratechery, pointed out at the time: Snap’s business should be too young to be impacted by seasonality. “If it has the ‘great advertising business’ that [Snap chief strategy officer Imran] Khan claims then growth should easily overcome seasonality,” he wrote. Seasonality is for more established advertising businesses like Facebook and Google, not super-hot upstarts.
On Thursday’s call, a number of analysts asked about seasonality, and Khan said that seasonality will become “muted,” but that it will “will take some time.” Snap already braced investors for some seasonal impacts next quarter — executives pointed to the Olympics and the U.S. presidential election in Q3 2016 as important world events that buoyed their business. Those won’t happen in Q3 2017, and should be taken into account when projecting Snap’s revenue, these execs said.
It’s too early to close the book on Snap. But there isn’t a lot of positive trends for investors to grab hold of, either.
Up next for Snap: Monday, when current employees can finally sell shares for the first time. If employees rush to sell at what will most likely be one of Snap’s lowest stock prices ever, we’ll know things look as bad from the inside as they look from out here.
In a first-of-its-kind analysis, Northwestern University astrophysicists have discovered that, contrary to previously standard lore, up to half of the matter in our Milky Way galaxy may come from distant galaxies. As a result, each one of us may be made in part from extragalactic matter.
Using supercomputer simulations, the research team found a major and unexpected new mode for how galaxies, including our own Milky Way, acquired their matter: intergalactic transfer. The simulations show that supernova explosions eject copious amounts of gas from galaxies, which causes atoms to be transported from one galaxy to another via powerful galactic winds. Intergalactic transfer is a newly identified phenomenon, which simulations indicate will be critical for understanding how galaxies evolve.
“Given how much of the matter out of which we formed may have come from other galaxies, we could consider ourselves space travelers or extragalactic immigrants,” said Daniel Anglés-Alcázar, a postdoctoral fellow in Northwestern’s astrophysics center, CIERA (Center for Interdisciplinary Exploration and Research in Astrophysics), who led the study. “It is likely that much of the Milky Way’s matter was in other galaxies before it was kicked out by a powerful wind, traveled across intergalactic space and eventually found its new home in the Milky Way.”
Galaxies are far apart from each other, so even though galactic winds propagate at several hundred kilometers per second, this process occurred over several billion years.
Professor Claude-André Faucher-Giguère and his research group, along with collaborators from the FIRE (“Feedback In Realistic Environments”) project, which he co-leads, had developed sophisticated numerical simulations that produced realistic 3-D models of galaxies, following a galaxy’s formation from just after the Big Bang to the present day. Anglés-Alcázar then developed state-of-the-art algorithms to mine this wealth of data and quantify how galaxies acquire matter from the universe.
The study, which required the equivalent of several million hours of continuous computing, will be published July 26 (July 27 in the U.K.) by the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.
“This study transforms our understanding of how galaxies formed from the Big Bang,” said Faucher-Giguère, a co-author of the study and assistant professor of physics and astronomy in the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences.
Complex Flows of Matter
“What this new mode implies is that up to one-half of the atoms around us—including in the solar system, on Earth and in each one of us—comes not from our own galaxy but from other galaxies, up to one million light years away,” he said.
By tracking in detail the complex flows of matter in the simulations, the research team found that gas flows from smaller galaxies to larger galaxies, such as the Milky Way, where the gas forms stars. This transfer of mass through galactic winds can account for up to 50 percent of matter in the larger galaxies.
“In our simulations, we were able to trace the origins of stars in Milky Way-like galaxies and determine if the star formed from matter endemic to the galaxy itself or if it formed instead from gas previously contained in another galaxy,” said Anglés-Alcázar, the study’s corresponding author.
In a galaxy, stars are bound together: a large collection of stars orbiting a common center of mass. After the Big Bang 14 billion years ago, the universe was filled with a uniform gas—no stars, no galaxies. But there were tiny perturbations in the gas, and these started to grow by force of gravity, eventually forming stars and galaxies. After galaxies formed, each had its own identity.
“Our origins are much less local than we previously thought,” said Faucher-Giguère, a CIERA member. “This study gives us a sense of how things around us are connected to distant objects in the sky.”
The findings open a new line of research in understanding galaxy formation, the researchers say, and the prediction of intergalactic transfer can now be tested. The Northwestern team plans to collaborate with observational astronomers who are working with the Hubble Space Telescope and ground-based observatories to test the simulation predictions.
The simulations were run and analyzed using the National Science Foundation’s Extreme Science and Engineering Discovery Environment supercomputing facilities, as well as Northwestern’s Quest high-performance computer cluster.
The study is titled “The Cosmic Baryon Cycle and Galaxy Mass Assembly in the FIRE Simulations.”
This article was provided by Northwestern University. Materials may have been edited for clarity and brevity. And make the name of the source a link back to their website.