Cocoaheads Melbourne asked me to give a quick presentation over Zoom about my adventures scanning in old magazines. Absolutely nothing to do with Apple development, but there’s a pandemic going on. It’s tonight at 6:30pm if you wanna join in.
New update to Dell XPS laptops feature very thin bezels and 17” display
Epic shows off Unreal Engine 5 running on the PlayStation 5
US extends Huawei/ZTE ban whilst Chinese hackers try steal COVID-19 research from US labs
Cheap Acer Swift 3, AirPods Pro, Microsoft Surfaces, 4K Dolby Atmos HDR iTunes movies, GTA 5
Dell's XPS range of laptops got an all new design with the highlight being super thin bezels. A 15" screen fits in what would otherwise be a 14" chassis. There's also a new 17" variant that thanks to the thin bezels is about the same size as a 15" laptop - I like the sound of that! Dell also managed to fit a 720p webcam and dual mics into that thin bezel, avoiding the dreaded "nosecam" for video calls. Coil whine and poor cooling on the previous XPS ruined an otherwise great laptop, hopefully they took care of that in these new ones. Only downer is that they don't use the latest Ryzen 4000 CPUs. Dell's PR person sent me these reviewer's guides for the 15" and 17" that have heaps of info you might not find anywhere else.
Epic Games (not to be confused with the Epic electronic medical records system!) has given the first public demo of Unreal Engine 5, the basis for many, many video games. It looks bloody awesome, as you'd expect, but what makes it even more interesting is that it's running on the PlayStation 5, which Tim Sweeny (Epic's boss) reckons has such an advanced SSD in it, PC makers are gonna struggle to catch up with. Epic really wants developers to play around with this engine as the basis for their next game, so they're waiving royalties on its use in shipping titles until the title hits US$1m in revenue. Unreal 5 engine comes out 2021 and the PlayStation 5 is still on track for Christmas 2020.
The Huawei (and ZTE) ban in the USA that began a year ago has been extended for another year. That means another year of Huawei's phones lacking Google services and becoming virtually unsellable outside of China. Seems unlikely it'll ever end as long as Trump is in charge. Meanwhile, the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) have gone on the record accusing Chinese hackers funded by the government, of "attempting to identify and illicitly obtain valuable intellectual property (IP) and public health data related to vaccines, treatments, and testing from networks and personnel affiliated with COVID-19-related research" - one could argue that stuff should be open for everyone to see so there's no need to steal it. Really makes you think, doesn't it?
Check out this video of someone cooking a slice of meat on an old AMD Phenom CPU. Those CPUs go up to over 80-degrees so it's not surprising the meat eventually sizzles and browns. This person aptly describes their creation as a "meatsink". Wonderful! What I wanna know is if the meat effectively soaked up the heat enough to actually let the CPU run without crashing. Could you constantly have some form of food cooking on the CPU? Eggs? Ham? What if you had a few GPUs going at the same time running F@H and could serve up a full breakfast? Quad CPU and eight GPUs and you could create a versatile hot plate.
Acer Swift 3 laptop (i5-1035G1, 8GB RAM, 512GB SSD, 1.19kg) - $999 from Bing Lee
Apple AirPods Pro - $338.50 from Tobydeals (HK stock but warranty should be valid here)
15% - 20% off various Microsoft Surface products (Laptop 3, Pro X & Pro 7) at JB Hi-Fi
Loads of cheap 4K Dolby Atomos & HDR movie downloads off the iTunes store if you're piracy averse (good for you)
GTA5 is free on the Epic Games store. Log in, download it and it's free forever
🎶 Clint - Jebediah
😁 The Sizzle is curated by Anthony "@decryption" Agius and emailed every weekday afternoon. Join us on Slack and chat with other Sizzle subscribers.
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The Sizzle is created on Wathaurong land and acknowledges the traditional owners of country throughout Australia, recognising their continuing connection to land, water and community. I pay my respect to them and their cultures and to elders both past and present.