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Google Announces Stadia, Streaming Video Game Service

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Phil Harrison, vice president and GM of Google Stadia:

Using our globally connected network of Google data centers, Stadia will free players from the limitations of traditional consoles and PCs.

When players use Stadia, they’ll be able to access their games at all times, and on virtually any screen. And developers will have access to nearly unlimited resources to create the games they’ve always dreamed of. It’s a powerful hardware stack combining server class GPU, CPU, memory and storage, and with the power of Google’s data center infrastructure, Stadia can evolve as quickly as the imagination of game creators.

They have a custom game controller too, which from the outside looks a lot like a Sony Dualshock. The innovation is that the controller isn’t a peripheral to a local device — it connects by Wi-Fi to the Stadia cloud.

Streaming high-performance games over the internet sounds like something that could never compete with a local device, but no less an authority than John Carmack vouches for it in principle.

It’s worth pointing out too that this is a very Google-like strategy, where your device doesn’t really matter, only the cloud service.

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thepyrate
210 days ago
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Stadia will be to Xbox/Playstation/Nintendo X what Google+ was to Facebook/Instagram.
Hobart, Tasmania
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Turbo Boost and the iMac Pro

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How much of a performance bump do you get from Turbo Boost?
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thepyrate
483 days ago
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For all the naysaying about poor thermal performance I’ve found my iMac Pro maintains near constant turbo, even on long renders (after 4 hours at 100% CPU it remained at Turbo clocks with a temp around 90°). Running CPU and GPU bound tasks the CPU would dip to stock clock but never below, and usually dipped briefly and returned to turbo. I have the 14-core and have seen maximum turbo speeds on occasion. It is usually able to stay around 4GHz except on longer renders or CPU+GPU.

Most impressively it remains whisper quiet.
Hobart, Tasmania
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Jackass of the Week: Analyst Neil Campling

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Arjun Kharpal, writing for CNBC under the jacktastic headline “Apple’s iPhone X Will Be Killed Off This Year, Analyst Says”:

TSMC’s record inventory levels are due to Apple not buying components for any future iPhone X models, suggesting the device will be killed off this year, Campling said.

“With the declines in iPhone X orders and the inventory issue at TSMC at record highs, which basically reflect a need to burn off inventory. Why? Because the iPhone X is dead,” Campling wrote in his note.

“The simple problem with X is that it is too expensive,” Campling told CNBC by phone on Friday, talking about the device’s $999 price tag. “Consumers are turning their backs on high-priced smartphones.”

It might be true that the iPhone X will be discontinued in September when new iPhones are announced, but I guarantee it will be replaced by a successor. It actually makes sense that Apple wouldn’t keep the iPhone X around for another year at a lower price — that’s the iPhone 8’s role.

I don’t know why CNBC is paying credence to Campling on this, because by all accounts the iPhone X is selling well or very well. Tim Cook told CNBC in February that “iPhone X was our most popular iPhone, despite not beginning to ship until November.” A report this week from Counterpoint claims the iPhone X alone accounted for 35 percent of all profits in the industry in Q4 2017 — even though it only went on sale in November. (The iPhone 8 and 8 Plus combined for 34 percent; all iPhones combined accounted for 86 percent. I don’t know how much credence to give to Counterpoint’s report because I don’t know their methodology, but if their numbers are even vaguely accurate, Apple has almost no competition in the premium handset market. Samsung’s top two phones combined account for less than 5 percent of industry profits, and no other company had a phone that cracked the top 10.)

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thepyrate
543 days ago
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I see iPhone X’s everywhere. Even our plumber had one! This idea that they’re selling terribly just doesn’t add up. Reminds me of everyone saying the Apple Watch was a failure - I live in a fairly small town and you couldn’t go anywhere without seeing an Apple Watch or two. Travelling to New York and London they were everywhere (this was a month after launch). I know it’s not statistics based research, but a casual glance suggests these products are doing well, let alone Apple insisting they are.
Hobart, Tasmania
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YouTube Didn’t Tell Wikipedia About Its Plans for Wikipedia

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Megan Farokhmanesh, writing for The Verge last week:

At SXSW yesterday, YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki announced that the platform would start adding information from Wikipedia to conspiracy-related videos within the next few weeks. “We will show a companion unit of information from Wikipedia showing that here is information about the event,” she said. The company is “using a list of well-known internet conspiracies from Wikipedia” to pull from. However, YouTube appears to have left one party in the dark: “We were not given advance notice of this announcement,” said the Wikimedia Foundation in a statement on Twitter.

According to Wikimedia, this partnership isn’t a formal one with either Wikimedia or Wikipedia. “We are always happy to see people, companies, and organizations recognize Wikipedia’s value as a repository of free knowledge,” the company said. YouTube doesn’t need to officially partner with Wikimedia to use information from Wikipedia, but it’s still a bemusing tactic to make such an announcement without any official word passed between the two.

It really was rather shitty of YouTube not to tell Wikipedia in advance. But what gets me about this whole story is this: if YouTube knows that these videos need these fact-check disclaimers, why are they serving these videos at all? The videos that are flagged by this algorithm shouldn’t be shown with fact-check disclaimers — they should be removed from YouTube.

The answer, of course, is money. YouTube’s executives know these videos are harmful but they want the money from the ads they show against them.

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thepyrate
577 days ago
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You can’t really just disappear everything you don’t like. They have shown plenty of junk conspiracy theory stuff on TV too. A disclaimer is far better than outright censorship surely. As a kid I found conspiracy theories fascinating and I think they actually helped me to learn to be far more objectively minded, because the more I read into conspiracy theories, the more I started to see how utterly flawed the thinking was.
Hobart, Tasmania
jkevmoses
577 days ago
I agree. There is lots in life that we are exposed to that is not true. I agree with you that they can help us become more objectively minded.
ejp1082
577 days ago
100% agreed. It's far more valuable to nudge people towards being critical thinkers. Gruber's idea of only exposing people to what's true doesn't help anyone get better at identifying what's true. "This is false, and here's *why* it's false" is exactly the right approach, IMHO.
sfrazer
575 days ago
YouTube doesn't need to disappear these videos, but they should probably stop promoting them. Why are they monetized? Why are they suggested as "what you want to see next?" The disclaimer is a fig leaf so they can keep making money off this garbage.
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jhamill
576 days ago
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The old, "the only reason to do this is money" argument is a pretty shitty argument to use when you don't agree with why a company is doing something *you* don't like with *their* service.
California

Scott Galloway on Amazon and Whole Foods

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Scott Galloway:

Amazon / Whole Foods will be the fourth-largest grocer in the US, and will likely post growth rates no $10B+ retailer, sans Amazon, has registered. The Seattle firm will apply its operational chops and lower (zero) profit hurdle to the Whole Foods business model and bring prices (way) down. If you wish you could shop at Whole Foods more often, but it’s too expensive, your prayers have been answered. Whole Foods will become the grocery equivalent of a Mercedes for the price of a Toyota. Grocery has stuck their chin out (little innovation), and the entire sector is about to have its jaw shattered.

It’s a great piece. I disagree with him on this though:

Amazon will displace Apple as the top tech hardware innovator, with Alexa cementing itself as the gadget that defines the decade (post iPhone). Grocery / commerce via Alexa will create the utility that Alexa needs to [maintain its lead] over Google and Apple’s home / voice offerings as they try to play catch-up.

Alexa may well maintain its lead in the smart speaker market. It may even grow. Maybe HomePod will be a complete bust. But even if all of that happens, the smartphone will remain the dominant device in people’s lives. Something will eventually replace the phone, but smart speakers aren’t it.

Hardware just isn’t where Amazon is good.

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thepyrate
844 days ago
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Let's not forget that outside the bubble that is the North American continent, Alexa doesn't exist. I don't know anyone who could tell you what it is, let alone know anyone who either has one or is thinking of getting one.
Hobart, Tasmania
wtf
844 days ago
Well, out here in Brazil Amazon sells only books. It is very sad.
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tingham
844 days ago
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Excepting their less than stellar track record at making amazing hardware.
Cary, NC
jhamill
844 days ago
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"Hardware just isn't where Amazon is good." sounds an awful lot like, "PC guys are not going to just figure this out. They're not going to just walk in."
California
arnabocean
844 days ago
No, not really. In the "PC guys" case, it wasn't that Apple was a *crap* PC maker; on the contrary, they were known to have a small but extremely loyal base of customers. No, the critique was simply that they couldn't enter a new market. In Amazon's case, it's not that they cannot enter a new market; sure they can. It's that their already in-market offerings have not been good at all.
invinciblegod
844 days ago
Well, this time there is past examples to refer to such as the disastrous Fire Phone.
jhamill
843 days ago
@arnabocean Kindle readers, Fire tablets, Fire TV's, Echo's, Echo Dots, all are really good hardware, both in new and existing markets.
jhamill
843 days ago
@invinciblegod you have to forget about the Fire Phone, one miss does not make a trend.
adamcole
816 days ago
I deal with a lot of Kindles and Fire tablets in my job as a public librarian helping people figure out their hardware, and I don't agree that these are really good pieces of hardware--they're serviceable but they're mediocre at best compared to other hardware I have to help folks figure out.

Link: ‘Fuck Facebook’

3 Comments and 5 Shares

John Gruber has some choice words for Facebook and their desire to wall off posts and force you into their service in order to read it comfortably. It’s actually worse than he knows since he doesn’t use Facebook.

My wife was trying to show me something a friend of hers had posted on Facebook. A cute shiba inu or guinea pigs jumping over CGI pits of fire or some political thing or something. She had seen it earlier in the day and wanted to share it with me and she knows the best way to do that is just show it to me on her phone because, while I do have a Facebook account, I’d rather cut my eyelids off and eat them than log into it.

But she couldn’t find it. She scrolled and scrolled and scrolled but Facebook’s shitty algorithmic timeline just kept showing her crap it wanted her to see instead of what she wanted to see.

So, not only can’t you access Facebook content from outside of Facebook, half the time you can’t access Facebook content from inside Facebook, either.


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thepyrate
866 days ago
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I have had the situation where I've seen some link I want to open but the next thing down looks interesting as well, I scroll down a bit, nah, I'll go back and open that link now, and the post that was literally RIGHT ABOVE the next post I scrolled to has disappeared. It's a mess and gets worse and worse to use as time goes on.
Hobart, Tasmania
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2 public comments
MotherHydra
860 days ago
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I wanna see #fuckfacebook turn into a thing.
Space City, USA
Spuzzy
866 days ago
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True story.
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