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Wednesday Night (2 Comments) (link)
 Wednesday, 5-June-2019  21:53:45 (GMT +10) - by Agg

The big news of the last few days is the big price tag (or maybe even more if you spec it up) of Apple's new Mac Pro. Apple hasn't yet revealed official Australian pricing for the Mac Pro. But it has an opening price of US$5999 - or about $8000 once you add GST and some currency hedging margin. The design is reminiscent of the old Mac Pro, with an aluminium body that takes the traditional tower case PC but gives it the Apple industrial design treatment. The base model will come with an Intel 8-Core 3.5GHz Intel Xeon W processor with support for up to 1TB of memory. But there will be 12, 16, 24 and 28 core options with up to 2TB of memory. Storage kicks off with a meagre 256GB SSD with support for up to 4TB of SSD - although that will require a pair of 2TB units assuming you order everything from Apple. Also they want to charge one thousand dollars for a monitor stand. Alrighty then. Discussion continues near the end of this thread.

TomsHardware have some info on the AMD goodies that will power the new Mac Pro. The latest Radeon Pro Vega II and Radeon Pro Vega II Duo cater to the needs of professionals who constantly interact with demanding workloads, such as rendering, video editing in 8K resolution, high-end 3D content creation, etcetera, just to name a few. The pair of graphics cards continue to use AMD's second-generation Vega architecture. They employ a variant of the 7nm Vega 20 silicon that first debuted on the Radeon Instinct MI50, Instinct MI60, and later made its way into the Radeon VII.

Also on the Apple side of things, iTunes is finally dying. Apple announced at its conference Monday that is retiring the iTunes brand and introducing three separate apps for music, podcasts and television in the next version of its software, macOS Catalina. The last time I used iTunes was when I had an Apple iPhone 3G, and it was iTunes's infuriating crappiness that made me move away from Apple products to Android and never look back.

The USA is apparently now requiring visa applicants to hand over social media usernames as part of security screening. The department says it has updated its immigrant and non-immigrant visa forms to request the additional information, including "social media identifiers". The change, which was proposed in March 2018, is expected to affect about 15 million foreigners who apply for visas to enter the United States each year. I'm pretty sure if a terrorist can take over a plane, they can make a fake Trump-friendly Twitter account. Discussion here.

TechSpot have posted Part 3 of their "How CPUs are Designed" article, titled Building the Chip. In the first part, we covered computer architecture and how a processor works from a high level. The second part took a look at how some of the individual components of a chip were designed and implemented. Part three goes one step further to see how architectural and schematic designs are turned into physical chips.

It's been 75 years since Colossus went into operation at Bletchley Park in the UK. Colossus was the world's first programmable computer and went into operation at Bletchley Park in 1944. The machine was used to decipher encrypted messages sent between Hitler and his generals. Former workers gathered at The National Museum of Computing where there is a working reconstruction of the machine. Due to secrecy surrounding the work at code-breaking base Bletchley Park, many were unaware how important their role was. For decades after, they were sworn to secrecy and could not talk about their former work.

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All original content copyright James Rolfe. All rights reserved. No reproduction allowed without written permission.