The latest unfortunate headline for Tesla comes courtesy of actress Mary McCormack, who on Friday tweeted a video of a Model S with flames shooting from it. “This is what happened to my husband and his car today. No accident,out of the blue, in traffic on Santa Monica Blvd….
Apple removed several years’ worth of Macs from the list of supported systems when it unveiled macOS 10.14, aka “Mojave,” earlier this month.
As the Cupertino, Calif. company has done before, its two-year cycle scratched out Macs that had been able to run the immediate predecessor, macOS High Sierra. Apple’s odd-even cadence has alternately retained the prior year’s models (odd-numbered years, odd-numbered editions) and dropped models (even-numbered years, even-numbered editions).
In 2016, for instance, macOS Sierra (10.12) struck 2007’s, 2008’s and some of 2009 Macs from support. Last year, High Sierra (10.13) stuck with the same models as Sierra.
Apple has not published an actual list of Mojave-works Macs, but when it rolled out the developer beta two weeks ago, the company said macOS 10.14 is “for Macs introduced in mid-2012 or later, plus 2010 and 2012 Mac Pro models with recommended Metal-capable graphics cards.”
That short sentence rubbed out all Macs introduced in 2009, 2010 and 2011, leaving these on the Mojave approved list:
- MacBook Air; mid-2012 (6/2012) and later MacBook;
- early-2015 (4/2015) and later MacBook Pro;
- mid-2012 (6/2012) and later MacBook Pro with Retina, 15-in. model;
- mid-2012 (6/2012) and later MacBook Pro with Retina, 13-in. model;
- late-2012 (10/2012) and later iMac;
- late 2012 (10/2012) and later iMac Pro;
- 2017 (12/2017) and later Mac Mini;
- late-2012 (10/2012) and later Mac Pro;
- late 2013 (12/2013) and later, mid-2010 (8/2010) with Metal-capable GPU, mid-2012 (6/2012) with Metal-capable GPU.
The revamped requirements dropped Macs that were up to nine years old, including MacBook models sold between October 2009 and July 2011, and MacBook Air machines sold between October 2010 and June 2012. Those older systems were supported by High Sierra at its debut last year and can continue to run that edition even though they cannot upgrade to Mojave. They will receive macOS 10.13 security updates through the summer of 2020.
macOS Mojave will be offered as a free download from the Mac App Store when it launches this fall, most likely in September.
This last week had a couple of interesting changes announced and rumored from Microsoft (disclosure Microsoft is a client of the author). The first was some needed changes to Office that will likely upset a lot of people. The second was the announcement of a Generation 3 HoloLens. (What happened to generation 2? Well, like Windows 9, Microsoft pretty much just skipped it.) And third was the application of AI in the patching process that could dramatically reduce the expense and aggravation attached to it. Let’s talk about each in turn.
Starting with the new Office updates; first a new simplified ribbon designed to help people better focus on their work and more naturally collaborate with others. It is also more customizable, so the most used features will be easier to access. The appearance of the product better uses the improved graphics performance on newer PCs, so the product will look more modern. And finally, search has been improved with a stronger AI back end that will provide recommendations and a better connection to Microsoft Graph. Microsoft Graph is a new capability in across Microsoft applications that improve user onboarding, helps manage employee profiles, helps with document conversion, and improves email syncing.
This mostly sounds wonderful (I’m still not all that clear on Microsoft Graph) so why will it likely piss off users? There are users who embrace change, generally younger users, and there are users that hate change which generally fall into older categories. This tends to make updating any product a lot more drama filled than you otherwise would expect. But if products aren’t updated then can fall so far behind the technology curve that a newer product from another vendor is likely to displace it.
I’ve never really found an effortless way though this other than just listen to the complaints while keeping the comments on age, inflexibility and whining to yourself as they won’t help. In a few months this will pass, and these rigid folks will eventually adjust to the new capability. They’ll grow to like some of the changes but forget this process and get upset again the next time the product is changed.
Personally, I view these changes as positive but, in my business, if you don’t learn to love change you’re dead.
Generation 3 HoloLens
I personally think that HoloLens will eventually evolve into what will replace our cellphones, tablets and laptops. A connected head mounted display with AI (Cortana/Alexa) and AR that will allow us to put virtual monitors where ever we need them and allow us to communicate with less likelihood of walking into a telephone pole or fall into a ditch. What was interesting about rumor of this latest version (code named Sydney), due early in 2019, is that it leapfrogs the second-generation device and moves to Generation 3. Historically Generation 3 devices are the most improved. This is because it takes 3 generations to address the user feedback on the first-generation device.
Timing typically works like this, Generation One comes out and it is really rough with much of the technology not really yet adapted to the use case. Generation 2 addresses the most annoying problems and reflects the component suppliers coming up to speed on the technology making the device more usable. With that improved customer base and two generations of customer feedback, Generation 3 is massively changed going from more of a guess about what the market needs to something that better matches a now known need. The 3rd generation of the iPod and iPhone were reflective of this and coincided with massive adoption as a result. The old saying that “the prospectors get the arrows and the settlers get the gold” is often applied here with the settlers being the ones who wait till the third generation.
I don’t think Generation 3 will get us to a broad market potential iPhone killer yet, but I do think the device will be massively improved and begin to look more practical in that eventual role as a result. Oh, and it is supposed to be cost reduced as well so market adaption for its current industrial use should accelerate as a result.
AI for Windows patches
One of the biggest complaints desktop analysts are getting surrounding Windows is that the number and speed of patches is unmanageable. Since most address security exploits which are coming at unprecedented rates (so you really do have to apply them) the cost of assuring application and unique device compatibility is extra ordinary. I’ve heard of services firms trying to charge what they charge to roll out a new version of Windows to apply every major patch costing millions of dollars a shot.
Up until now Microsoft just didn’t have the bandwidth to do this testing for their customers, the numbers of unique applications and hardware exceeded by magnitudes the resources they could focus on this. But that is one of the huge benefits of deep learning, machine learning and AI technology. It can scale massively better than you can scale people allowing the April 2018 update to roll out far faster and with far fewer problems than earlier efforts like the Fall Creators Update.
This best thing about this technology is that, once applied, it improves the process at machine speed and this means that every subsequent patch process should be a huge improvement over the prior effort. This doesn’t mean the pain is going away, sadly the level of malware and breach attempts are also accelerating, but it does mean there is light at the end of this tunnel.
Wrapping up: the speed of change is increasing – adapt or die
Whether we are talking Office, HoloLens or Windows we are seeing what is likely the beginning of a far faster and far more fluid product development acceleration schedule. For things like HoloLens this is driven by a combination of maturing technology and changing needs, for products like Office they are designed to hold off ever more capable and more numerous competitors, and for products like Windows to offset increased risks with greater automation and machine speed intelligence.
This to me means that those that can embrace change and roll with the punches will be far more successful than those that are more rigid in their thinking and tend to resist change. That might be something to factor into both your personal development and how you select new employees. Or, to put this differently, whether we are talking companies or people, becoming better at adapting will likely be how we assure survival.
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Every successful wireless company rides several different growth waves. Wave after wave, time after time. Those who are not successful ride one growth wave up then down again. This is crucial for long-term success. We can learn some important lessons of exciting growth companies, and others who rode their one growth curve up then down again.
Let’s start with the handset side of the wireless industry.
Over several decades, Motorola was the number one handset maker in the wireless industry. They had been in wireless for decades. If you recall all those TV shows from decades ago, where actors would talk on wireless phones mounted in their cars. That was Motorola in Los Angeles in the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s.
Yes, wireless was around way back then, but different. That was back before the time where the service was available everywhere. Way back before it was affordable by the masses. It was a toy for the rich and powerful in certain cities.
Apple iPhone, Google Android, Samsung Galaxy took handset lead
Today, wireless is available everywhere with a wide variety of handsets and carriers. You would think Motorola would be even bigger and stronger than ever. After all, their marketplace has exploded with growth.
Why then did Motorola hit their peak in the mid 1990s with their StarTac, and why has it been crashing and burning ever since? In 2004, Motorola tried to re-start their next growth wave with the RAZR. It temporarily worked but was just a single growth wave. It climbed, crested then fell again and they had nothing to replace it with.
Growth seemed unstoppable, until it stopped.
Motorola gave way to Nokia on handsets, and Blackberry and Palm on smartphones. These companies took the lead for the next decade. Everyone loved these companies. They were addictive. You remember the term Crackberry?
Growth with these companies seemed unstoppable as well, until it stopped. That was until the Apple iPhone and Google Android were introduced.
Suddenly. Motorola, Nokia and Blackberry went from the top to the bottom of the list of leaders in the handset space. Over a few short years, both Apple iPhone and Google Android took the number one position leaving the others behind in the dust.
I think Nokia understood what was happening, but still could not come up with the next growth wave. Blackberry, who was the leader in smartphones was like Motorola. They never saw it coming. They denied reality. I and many others warned them in a variety of ways and times over several years, but they thought we were crazy.
Today, they are just a faint echo of what they used to be.
Carriers like AT&T Mobility, Verizon Wireless, T-Mobile and Sprint
The carrier side has also changed. It started with countless smaller and regional players. Today, the vast majority of customers choose either AT&T Mobility of Verizon Wireless. Today, T-Mobile has moved from number four to number three, switching places with Sprint. T-Mobile has been showing stronger growth than Sprint.
Now, with growth slowing, T-Mobile and Sprint are trying to merge. If they do, it will be good for both of them because they face a tougher marketplace going forward. T-Mobile is great at marketing and Sprint has loads of wireless spectrum. Something T-Mobile really needs more of.
The marketplace is changing. Wireless used to be just wireless. Today, wireless includes pay TV over wireless like what AT&T DirecTV NOW is doing. They send pay TV over the AT&T Mobility network letting users watch anywhere in the USA over their smartphone or tablet.
This is changing the pay TV marketplace. Verizon says they see AT&T success in pay TV and are going to enter themselves. Since their acquisition of DirecTV, AT&T has created DirecTV NOW, Anywhere TV which is their wireless or mobile TV over the AT&T Mobility network.
After AT&T acquires Time Warner, they will have access to loads of content. Just like they did with DirecTV, DirecTV NOW and wireless TV, I expect AT&T to make one plus one equal four or five.
AT&T Time Warner acquisition will transform industry again
Remember, the AT&T of today is a different company than the AT&T we knew decades ago. A little over a decade ago, the smallest baby bell, SBC acquired AT&T, BellSouth and Cingular. They went from the smallest to the largest player in the space, overnight.
They have been innovation leaders ever since. They were first with the iPhone. First into pay TV with services like Uverse and then DirecTV acquisition.
Now, they are also first into TV content with Time Warner. The deal closed right after they won the court battle. Time Warner is now part of AT&T.
AT&T and Time Warner will be one plus one equals three
That’s what AT&T does. That’s why they are the most innovative and rapidly changing companies in the industry. They lead, and others follow. If you want to know the direction of the wireless, wire line, Internet and pay TV industries, just follow them.
It will be very exciting to watch what AT&T does in the next few years with their new Time Warner asset. How they add one plus one and get four like they did with DirecTV NOW and wireless TV or Anywhere TV.
Verizon follows the successful moves and have done very well over time. T-Mobile started to recover after their merger with AT&T was denied in 2011 and they were given cash and spectrum from AT&T as a break-up fee.
If T-Mobile didn’t get their hands on that cash and spectrum from AT&T, I wonder whether they would be growing today. However, they are and that’s what counts. Now they want Sprint to get their hands on more spectrum.
This kind of change wave happens in every company and every industry every few years. Either companies ride the change wave and create the next one, or they simply ride it up then down again like Motorola did and that growth wave rides on without them.
Companies have a choice, lead, follow or get out of the way
Companies have a choice. They can either lead, follow or get out of the way. Leaders take the arrows but pave the roads and set up the new industry. Followers take an easier path, but don’t shape the direction the industry is heading. Both can be successful. The third category should just get out of the way as the change wave moves forward, leaving them behind.
This is important to understand whether you are a worker, customer, investor or executive in this industry. You always want to connect with those companies on the growth side of the growth wave. These are the companies like Apple, Google, Samsung, AT&T, Verizon, Facebook, Amazon and others who are on the growth side of the changing industry.
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You can look at the new KB 4056254 Win10 Update Facilitation Service and the re-emergence of Win10 Update Assistant V2 from two different perspectives. On the one hand, you have those poor hapless Win10 users who accidentally munged Windows Update. On the other hand, you have folks with bazookas and flamethrowers who want to keep some semblance of control over updating their machines.
Both groups now face two different Microsoft initiatives to reset Windows Update.
Susan Bradley was looking at some new KB articles over the weekend and stumbled onto KB 4056254, an announcement for a, uh, service known as the Windows 10 Update Facilitation Service. (If you have a hard time thinking of Win10 as a service, try wrapping your mind around the concept of a forced patching bulldozer as a service.)
We’ve seen KB 4056254 before. Microsoft apparently released it back in January, but it didn’t make much of a splash. I haven’t seen KB 4056254 in action as yet, so all I can relay is the official description, which goes like this:
This update includes a background service to facilitate Windows Update service on devices running Home or Pro editions of Windows 10 Versions 1507, 1511, 1607, and 1703.
This update includes files and resources to address issues affecting background update processes in the Windows Update servicing stack. Maintaining Window Update service health and performance helps ensure that quality updates are installed seamlessly on your device and help to improve the reliability and security of devices running Windows 10.
KB 4056254 isn’t available through the Microsoft Update Catalog, and I haven’t seen it on my test machines, but it sounds thoroughly obnoxious:
Only certain builds of Windows 10 Versions 1507, 1511, 1607, and 1703 require this update. Devices that are running those builds on Home or Pro editions that are not domain joined will automatically get the update downloaded and installed through Windows Update.
You have to wonder, if Windows Update isn’t working, how it’ll be installed through Windows Update. The plot thickens:
Devices not connected to Windows Update may see a User Account Control (UAC) prompt during installation. Click Yes to install.
Which, of course, makes absolutely no sense. If you aren’t connected to Windows Update, how do you get the update — and why would Win10 throw a UAC prompt if you aren’t connected to Windows Update? But never mind. Maybe somebody on the patching team just posted this KB as a troll.
The “Important fix for Windows Update” dialog posted in the KB article (screenshot) hasn’t been seen in the wild yet, as best I can tell, but it says:Microsoft
Important fix for Windows Update
Windows Update isn’t working and needs the Windows 10 update facilitation service to make sure operating system updates can install properly.
Select Yes on the next screen to allow it. A restart won’t be required.
The next screen is a typical UAC prompt.
There are so many inconsistencies — “Windows Update isn’t working” but the only way to get KB 4056254 is through Windows Update; “Devices not connected to Windows Update may see a UAC prompt” — that it’s hard to take any of it seriously.
Günter Born on his Borncity blog points out many additional inconsistencies. For example, KB 4056254 only goes out to Home and Pro copies of Win10 1507, 1511, 1607, and 1703 — but most of those are out of support.
An anonymous AskWoody poster says:
KB 4056254 looks like a morphing of March 2018’s KB 4023057 which had unblocked disabled or blocked Windows Update on Win 10
… and, sure enough, if you compare the verbiage from March’s KB 4023057 (and its predecessor, KB 4022868), there are several cut-and-paste similarities. The anonymous poster goes on to say:
Seems, from April to June 2018, some savvy Win 10 users have found new ways to disable or block Windows Update. So, M$ has to come out with KB4056254 to “neutralize” their efforts. It’s like a cat-and-mouse game.
Which seems to me like the core of the matter. It’s not nice to mess with Mother Microsoft’s patching schemes, so you’re going to get a few new services running in the background to whop your system upside the head if you dare to block patches.
How the January release of KB 4056254 compares with the latest release baffles me.
As if that isn’t bad enough, it seems that we’re getting another jolt of our old friend the Win10 Update Assistant V2. ViperJohn reports:
The June 2018 Cumulative KB 4284874 for Win10 v1703… installs the dreaded Windows 10 Update Assistant V2. It installs in the \Windows\UpdateAssistantV2 folder which should be deleted before the horror show in the folder can execute… the sole purpose this delightful piece of MS designed MalWare is to undo and /or reset every single User set or altered Service / PC Setting / Group Policy impediment to a forced version upgrade.
EP confirms that the lovely Update Assistant is also bundled with this month’s cumulative update for version 1607.
I talked about the Update Assistant back in March. It was blamed for one of the three incidents where Microsoft forced Win10 1703 machines to 1709, even if they were set to block updates. It’s possible that the same malfunctioning Assistant upgraded 1709 machines to 1803, even when they were blocked.
Bottom line: If you don’t want to join the unpaid beta-testing force currently working on the “fully available” Win10 version 1803, avoid the new Windows Update Facilitation as a Service (just click “No”), make sure you use the official settings to block forced upgrades and, if you do install this month’s cumulative updates complete with Update Assistant v2 (I don’t recommend it just yet), go back and make sure your settings are intact.
Nag me all you want, Microsoft, but this is getting ridiculous. All I want is an “Off” button — until you figure out how to deliver reliable patches and upgrades.
We’ve got your back on the AskWoody Lounge.
Video: WWDC 2018: Does Apple still care about macOS?
Yesterday, I watched the WWDC 2018 keynote with anticipation.
WWDC is ultimately a developer event, not a consumer one, so you have to look at it from the view of someone who writes software for Apple’s OS platforms.
CNET: Here are the Macs that will work with MacOS Mojave | TechRepublic: How to download the macOS Mojave beta
I am not a software developer. I am by profession a systems integration expert and an infrastructure-oriented guy. Still, as a lover of technology, I was keenly interested in new advancements in iOS.
Apple’s big fix for iOS
With iOS 12, there is enough for me to ponder, but I still walked away with the feeling that it was very much a release focused on qualitative rather than feature improvements.
Read also: Will your Mac run macOS 10.14 Mojave?
This is not going to be the big re-write everyone wants, rather this is aimed at being the ‘big fix,’ which is fine because iOS 12 needs to be that big fix very badly.
But I was also keen on new hardware announcements. I was hoping that there would be new iPad Pros — because that is the device I have come to use the most next to my desktop PC for work.
It’s not that my current iPad Pro 12.9″ is particularly old, but iOS’s 11.x resource utilization has taken a toll on it, and it doesn’t feel as snappy as it used to be. My iPad needs more RAM and more CPU horsepower.
And, yes, I’m potentially interested in new iPhones. Even though I love my iPhone X, it’s on the upgrade program as a lease, so at some point in the next six months, I will have to turn it in for another model.
While I was disappointed there were no new pieces of iOS hardware, I know with reasonable certainty there will be new products to look at come September.
My VISA card and savings account have been given at least a temporary reprieve.
No new Macs at WWDC 2018
The big reveal at WWDC 2018 was not so much what was shown, but what wasn’t.
It is instead engaged in a multi-year effort to provide iOS API support on macOS so that iPhone and iPad apps can be more easily ported to the Mac.
It sounds similar to convergence, but it really isn’t. True convergence would mean full touchscreen API support and multi-modality, which macOS doesn’t have today. It would also mean support for ARM processors on macOS, which doesn’t seem to be a near-future option either.
We did not get any new Macs at WWDC 2018. That breaks David Gewirtz’s heart. Sorry, dude.
This is going to be the new normal for Mac users. I hate to say that I told you so, but I told you so.
I’m not going to go into the reasons for why I think Mac is a dying platform. I’ve done that already ad nauseam.
Heck, all traditional personal computers in a consumer setting, even ones that run on Windows, are dying platforms. And that is because people — and I’m talking about consumers here, not businesses — can now do much more now with smartphones and tablets and IoT devices than ever before.
The Mac’s twilight years are here
The Mac is definitely in need of assisted living and hospice services. It is in its twilight years now.
There will be several iterative macOS releases over the next few years. That much is certain. But the feature improvements you are going to see will be much more along the lines of “Dark Mode” and Stacks (which, by the way, exists already with feature parity in Windows 10) than major architectural and UX changes.
The Mac is heading for its retirement into the desert. First, we will get Mojave. I guess we get Sun City and Scottsdale next. At least it’s not Boynton or Vero.
Don’t worry, Mac. It’s a dry heat.
It is now patently obvious that Apple is not undertaking the equivalent of a Windows 10 project — where the fundamental DNA that makes up the end-user pieces of the OS is being completely re-written and legacy components are being discarded bit by bit through a continuous release agile development process.
In Microsoft’s case, it just plain had to be done; there are API and other code underpinnings that are literally decades old that Windows needed cleaning up. The Windows 8 and Windows 10 API modernization projects were absolutely essential for moving their products into a cloud-based future.
The entire Surface family of touchscreen PCs would have been impossible to create without this modernization effort.
If Mac had a user base that was similar in size to what Microsoft has, it would have been an essential project for Apple to undertake in order breathe life back into the platform.
But Mac doesn’t have Windows’ vast user base in consumer and business; it’s a boutique business by comparison, albeit a valuable boutique business, which generates about $26 billion in revenue a year — around 12 percent of its net revenue.
A boutique business
But a boutique business for who? Well, for that increasingly dwindling subset of content creators who absolutely must use a Mac to get work done — edge-case folks like David Gewirtz and folks who write software for iOS.
But even when you look at software development for iOS, owning a Mac is not really a hard requirement anymore. You need access to a Mac running XCode to produce the object code, but it isn’t necessary to use it as your primary development environment for most types of apps.
The current software development trend is to be multi-platform so that you have as many device targets as possible to consume your software. If you are a small shop, that’s the smart way to do things and the most efficient use of developer resources.
Modern development environments such as Microsoft’s Visual Studio allow you to work from a single unified codebase, and from there, deploy to Windows (on any architecture), Android, the Web, iOS, and, yes, the Mac.
Microsoft is all about being the home for your code if its $7.5 billion acquisition of GitHub means anything to anyone.
Developers use GitHub today as the repository of repositories to download, compile, and test their code using their own systems. But when it is ported to Azure, they will be able to do it all in the cloud much faster without pulling and pushing code over the internet.
While Microsoft doesn’t currently have a solution in Azure to directly output application code for iOS and Mac, this is not something that would be difficult for it to implement, especially if it did this in partnership with Apple.
In fact, third parties such as MacStadium and MacinCloud already do this. As a one-man development shop, you don’t need to actually own a Mac for the purposes of compiling the code. You just need access to one, or an on-demand cluster of them as shared resources.
Indeed, if you’re one of the big game development shops producing a popular 3D title for multiple platforms, you’re probably going to want a whole bunch in-house. But this is the exception rather than the rule.
Apple is shifting its priorities
I’m under no illusion that there won’t be more Macs in the offering. You can pretty much guarantee there will be new Macs, but I think that Apple is now shifting its priorities.
To paraphrase a famous old man that lived in the desert: These are not the Macs you — as a Gewirtz-style edge case and power user — are looking for.
It’s not unreasonable to assume there will be further consolidation of the line, and the company is going to focus on getting by with the least amount of SKUs to address the widest base of users.
We will probably see the MacBook line whittled down to just the Pro, the iMacs reduced to two models, and the elimination of the Mini.
And given Apple’s enthusiasm for eGPUs, I think its a given that this is the way the company sees being able to scale performance for Macs going forward. Need more compute for that 3D visualization or model running on your MacBook or iMac? Add an eGPU. Or two. Or three. Or eight.
By the way, I wrote about this seven years ago as a fanciful prediction of the future.
I don’t think it’s a guarantee we are going to see a new Mac Pro if developers and content creators can get better bang for the buck with more modular system designs, especially if you combine this with cloud-based resources that can be provisioned on demand and paid for when they are really needed.
What about ARM?
I have no doubt that Apple has a Marklar-style project, which has the objective of creating a next-generation computing platform using that architecture.
It is investing a lot of resources in producing new A-series semiconductor designs, no doubt with the ARM Cortex-A76 architecture that has performance rivaling true desktop PCs and Macs.
So, yes, Apple is creating new computers. But I don’t think these will be Macs. And it won’t be iPads. Not as we recognize them now. They will be something else.
At this point, the fundamental software architecture of Mac and iOS is approaching 30 years old, if you count everything that came out of NeXT in the late 1980s as part of modern Mac and iOS device DNA. So, everything needs a re-write and replacement.
Apple does not have the problem Microsoft faces with trying to bring legacy users into the future with a hybrid OS like Windows 10, which incorporates both new and old technology in order to maintain compatibility with application code in very wide use that is very old and to provide functionality for new features and modernized applications.
For Microsoft this is a difficult tightrope to walk on: To find that balance that is acceptable to everyone. Ditching legacy baggage is extremely difficult for it, and it is probably its No. 1 challenge going forward.
Entirely new platforms are coming
Because Apple isn’t Microsoft, it can afford to throw babies out with the bathwater, which would be a very Apple — even Jobsian — thing to do. So, rather than re-writes of OSes, I believe it intends to create entirely new platforms that have little or no ties to the past.
What types of platforms are systems are we talking about?
We are talking about platforms that use modern systems architectures, such as ARM, rather than Intel, which has decades of power-consuming cruft included for backward compatibility, something that such a future platform would not need.
These will be built from the ground up to be secure with fault domains built into the hardware and the operating system working together — rather than have security features bolted on in order to address threats from everywhere and everyone.
Most importantly, they will have user experiences that are not just the desktop and icon paradigm, which we have been used to for 30-plus years, but also new experiences such as augmented and virtual reality, holographic interfaces with computer vision, machine learning, and voice control.
They will have sensors that are not just on our bodies using wearables like Apple Watch, but also all over the home, in our vehicles, and in public spaces that will anticipate our needs and inform us at all times.
In essence — to paraphrase Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella — everything we interact with in our world will be our “computer.”
These won’t be Macs. They won’t be iOS devices. They will be something else. It’s not entirely apparent as to what these are, but I believe we are at a transition point where these plans will become much more self-evident in the next 18 months or so.
Is the Mac now entering its twilight years? Talk Back and Let Me Know.
Video — iOS 12: First look at the developer beta.
Apple has announced a new feature coming in iOS 12 that will automatically share the location of an iPhone with emergency services when users ring 911.
The iOS 12 feature is aimed at providing faster and more accurate information to first-responders and cutting emergency response times.
Apple says about 80 percent of 911 calls come from mobile devices, but outdated infrastructure makes it difficult for 911 centers to locate a device’s location.
Apple launched its HELO or Hybridized Emergency Location system in 2015 as part of its answer to this problem. It uses cell-tower data, GPS, and Wi-Fi access points to estimate a mobile 911 caller’s location.
The Wall Street Journal reported in January that AT&T and T-Mobile recently started using Apple’s HELO, while Verizon and Sprint were testing a similar system from Google.
Apple is partnering with the firm RapidSOS on the iOS 12 feature, using its IP-based “data pipeline” to securely share HELO location data with 911 centers. RapidSOS’s technology integrates with 911 centers’ existing software.
Given Apple’s firm stance on iPhone user privacy, the company stresses that user location data cannot be used for any non-emergency purpose, and only the 911 center will have access to the user’s location during an emergency call.
“Communities rely on 911 centers in an emergency, and we believe they should have the best available technology at their disposal,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO.
“When every moment counts, these tools will help first responders reach our customers when they most need assistance.”
iOS 12 is due out this fall and the combined systems could go a long way to helping carriers meet FCC rules that require them to be able to locate callers within 50 meters at least 80 percent of the time by 2021.
“This will accelerate the deployment of Next Generation 911 for everyone, saving lives and protecting property,” said Rob McMullen, president of the National Emergency Number Association, the 911 Association.
Tom Wheeler, former FCC Chairman from 2013 to 2017, said: “Lives will be saved thanks to this effort by Apple and RapidSOS.”
Previous and related coverage
A new patent awarded to Apple has technology for the iPhone to send 911 responders to the emergency location.
A new patent application describes using Apple Watch sensors to detect emergencies and summon help when the wearer cannot do so.
Apple iOS 12: Cheat sheet (TechRepublic)
With iOS 12, Apple adds security features, performance enhancements, Group FaceTime, ARKit 2, and more.
Apple’s iOS 11 includes a great SOS feature for when you feel unsafe in an emergency, but you may want to disable the feature on your iPhone or Apple Watch to avoid accidentally calling 911.
The company wants first responders to get to emergencies more quickly.
Video: Should Apple spin off the Mac into a separate company?
Apple’s new series of ads promoting the Mac as the choice for creatives could backfire and simply draw attention to how infrequently it updates its Mac lineup.
Just before Apple released the Mac ads, Mac app developer Quentin Carnicelli of Rogue Amoeba, posted a scathing assessment of the sorry state of the Mac. Basically, Mac fans are out of luck if they’re looking for a fresh Mac from Apple.
“It’s very difficult to recommend much from the current crop of Macs to customers, and that’s deeply worrisome to us, as a Mac-based software company,” Carnicelli writes.
MacRumor’s Buyer’s Guide sums up the state of the Mac: not a single model in its current line-up is rated as ‘Buy now’. The MacBook Air and MacBook Pro were last updated over a year ago, while the Mac Pro was updated 436 days ago. The Mac Mini was last updated over three and a half years ago. The only ‘fresh’ option Mac fans have is the $5,000 iMac Pro.
Age is just one problem though. Apple’s recent butterfly keyboards and TouchBar on MacBook Pro laptops, and the sole USB-C port on the MacBook have drawn criticism, too. And fans are wondering why Intel’s eighth-generation chips aren’t present.
The critique follows Apple’s omission of any new hardware updates at its recent Worldwide Developers Conference.
Given the current choice of Mac hardware, Carnicelli says for testing the company ended up buying used hardware rather than having to “compromise heavily on a new machine”.
Another problem facing Mac users is the consistency of updates. As Apple writer John Gruber points out, the iPhone is updated not just “annually, but predictably”.
However, no one can say for certain when the next MacBook or MacBook Pro will be available, leaving buyers wondering whether to settle for current hardware with known problems that could be addressed soon, or might not be until 2019.
With iPhones making up the vast majority of Apple’s business these days, Mac users have become a shrinking part of Apple’s user base and are likely to continue to take a backseat to mobile gadgets, content, and services.
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Carnicelli nonetheless hopes Apple returns to its more frequent updates to the Mac it was capable of in the days before the iPhone.
“Rather than attempting to wow the world with ‘innovative’ new designs like the failed Mac Pro, Apple could and should simply provide updates and speed bumps to the entire lineup on a much more frequent basis,” he writes.
“The much smaller Apple of the mid-2000s managed this with ease. Their current failure to keep the Mac lineup fresh, even as they approach a trillion-dollar market cap, is both baffling and frightening to anyone who depends on the platform for their livelihood.
“Apple needs to publicly show their commitment to the full Macintosh hardware line, and they need to do it now. As a long (long) time macOS developer, one hesitates to bite the hand that feeds. At a certain point, however, it seems there won’t even be anything left worth biting.”
Previous and related coverage
Out of nowhere, new Apple ads celebrating the Mac. How strange.
See what changes are headed to your Mac.
Sorry Mac users, but you’re not a high priority for Apple these days. The iPhone changed all that.
A new report claims that two new MacBooks and a Mac desktop will feature custom chips that assist Intel CPUs with some processing duties. Could Macs using only Apple’s own chips be in its future?
WWDC 2018: Does Apple still care about macOS? (TechRepublic)
Apple still makes computers. Larry Dignan and Jason Hiner examine why Apple treats the Mac as a second-class citizen, and explain the latest productivity updates coming to macOS.
Chef has been a leading open source tool for automating the provisioning and configuration of servers for the better part of a decade. In recent years the company added InSpec and Habitat to the portfolio, open source projects that automate policy compliance testing and the deployment and configuration of applications, respectively. The company’s flagship commercial offering, Chef Automate, brings all of these pieces together.
Chef Automate provides a suite of enterprise capabilities for workflow, node visibility, and compliance, and integrates with the open source products Chef, InSpec, and Habitat. Chef Automate comes with support services for the entire platform, including the open source components. In addition to providing views into operational, compliance, and workflow events, it includes a pipeline for continuous delivery of infrastructure and applications.
Chef components and workflow
The Chef DK (development kit) workstation is where users interact with Chef. On the workstation users author and test cookbooks using tools such as Test Kitchen (to generate test VMs) and interact with the Chef server using the command line tools. For instance, Knife is a command-line tool that provides an interface between a local Chef repo and the Chef server. Knife helps users to manage nodes, cookbooks, data bags, and the installation (bootstrap) of the Chef client onto nodes, among other tasks. Most files in a Chef cookbook are written in Ruby, although some configurations are written in YAML.
The Chef architecture.