Technology Tidbits #1

Rumor: Next Apple Watch won’t need an iPhone for data

Dated: 5 August 2017

Read More: Apple Plans to Release a Cellular-Capable Watch to Break iPhone Ties

Summary:

According to Mark Gurman from Bloomberg, who has been pretty spot on in the past, Apple is planning to release a version of its smartwatch that can connect directly to cellular network later this year. Apple is already in talks with carriers in the U.S and Europe about offering the cellular version.

Intel Corp. reportedly will supply the LTE modems for the new Watch and that is consider a big win for the chipmaker as it has been trying very hard to get its chips into Apple mobile devices. Qualcomm has been the primary modem supplier for Apple gadgets but then the two of them are currently in a bitter legal dispute.

Author’s Take:

I personally like the way Apple Watch is paired with iPhone but then consumers want convenience. Therefore having an untethered watch where users can just go to the gym or do workout without carrying a phone is just better. But I am concerned with the security, privacy, and battery life.

Stories are for news and not social in the eyes of Google and Facebook

Dated: 5 August 2017

Read More: Google and Facebook envision Stories for news, not social

Summary:

There has been signs that suggest both Facebook and Google believe that snapchat’s Stories slideshow format could work for sharing news. Snapchat has offered Discover channels for publishers since 2015 but it is limited in its appeal and reach due to the small audience and mobile-only format.

As reported by Techcrunch earlier this week, Facebook Stories are currently being used by public figures to share Stories to their followers and not just friends.

The Wall Street Journal reported that Google is preparing to launch “Stamp”, which combines Snapchat’s Stories format with Google’s own Accelerated Mobile Pages. This will allow news outlet share slideshows of content that will appear in search results and also be hosted on a publisher’s website.

Author’s Take:

There’s just so many similar products for the purpose of sharing news. I guess whoever wins is the one with the largest audience unless the company messed up badly and screwed with its users.

AMD reveals Radeon RX Vega 64 and RX Vega 56 graphics card

Dated: 30 July 2017

Read More: AMD’s Radeon RX Vega 64 and RX Vega 56 graphics cards revealed

AMD finally reveals the details of their Radeon RX Vega 64 and RX Vega 56 graphics card. Most of the high-level details of the Vega architecture were already known by the public for a while now but the actual implementation on the Radeon RX gaming cards remained a mystery.

Now, there will be two different GPU configuration spanning three products.

The Radeon RX Vega 64 Liquid-cooled edition and Radeon RX Vega 64 (air-cooled) will both feature the fully enabled Vega 10 GPU, which has 4096 stream processors (64 compute units), 256 texturing units, 8GB of HBM2 RAM with a bandwidth of 484 GB/s, and 64 ROPs. Both of these cards will compete with the Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 1080.

The Radeon RX Vega 56 will be an interesting product. The Vega 10 GPU on the card will feature only 56 out of the 64 compute units (implied by its name), for a total of 3584 stream processors. Yet, it gets to keep all 64 ROPs despite shipping with only 224 texturing units enabled. Its lower memory clocks give a peak bandwidth of 410 GB/s. This card will compete Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070.

Author’s Take

Personally, I will stay in the green camp and I just recently got a GTX 1080. Therefore, I don’t see the need to change card. For those who want to get a new gaming PC, the AMD Vega might be a good choice.