Apple officially released OS X Yosemite today, and to mark that occasion - as has become tradition among our people - the only OS X Yosemite review you need, from John Siracusa.
OS X and iOS have been trading technologies for some time now. For example, AVFoundation, Apple's modern framework for manipulating audiovisual media, was released for iOS a year before it appeared on OS X. Going in the other direction, Core Animation, though an integral part of the entire iPhone interface, was released first on the Mac. Yosemite's new look continues the pattern; iOS got its visual refresh last year, and now it's OS X's turn.
But at this year's Worldwide Developers Conference, Apple made several announcements that point in a new direction: iOS and OS X advancing in lockstep, with new technologies that not only appear on both platforms simultaneously but also aim to weave them together.
These new, shared triumphs run the gamut from traditional frameworks and APIs to cloud services to the very foundation of Apple's software ecosystem, the programming language itself. Apple's dramatic leadership restructuring in 2012 put Federighi in charge of both iOS and OS X - a unification of thought that has now, two years later, resulted in a clear unification of action. Even the most ardent Mac fan will admit that iOS 7 was a bigger update than Mavericks. This time around, it's finally a fair fight.
Grab some tea or coffee, and enjoy.
Apple introduced a 5K Retina iMac today.
iMac has always been about having a huge, immersive place to see and create amazing things. So making the best possible iMac meant making the best possible display. The new 27‑inch iMac with Retina 5K display has four times as many pixels as the standard 27‑inch iMac display. So you experience unbelievable detail. On an unbelievable scale.
At a relatively mere $2500 (a dell 5K display will set you back just as much, and that's just a display), this is an amazing machine. It's not useful for me (certainly not at that price point), but professionals are going to eat this thing up.
Time for happy news! Google has just released Android 5.0 Lollipop, and to accompany the release of their latest treat, they're also unveiling not one, but three new Nexus devices.
Let's start with Android Lollipop. Since its features have been unveiled months ago, there's little news to tell you that you don't already know. The biggest visible change is Material Design, the brand new design and behaviour language that spans all of Android's screens - from watch to car. Notifications have been significantly overhauled, and Lollipop will give you more control over what you see and when. There's also a lot of work done on battery usage, and Google promises you should get 90 minutes more battery life with the battery saver feature.
As fa as security goes, and as we touched upon recently, all new devices will come with encryption turned on by default, making it harder for third parties to see what's on your device if it get stolen or impounded. Lollipop will also be the first Android release to swap out Dalvik in favour of ART, and it brings support for 64bit.
Google will release a new Developer Preview for Android Lollipop this Friday, which, looking at its label, still isn't complete. Of course, this build is for Nexus devices only.
The Nexus devices, too, have been leaked extensively. There's the Motorola-made Nexus 6, with its huge 6" 2560x1440 display, Snapdragon 805 processor, and a 13 MP camera with OIS. It basically looks like a larger Moto X - not exactly my thing (way too large), and the price is decidedly non-Nexus too: $649. It'll be available on contract, too. Luckily, the Nexus 5 remains available as well. Pre-orders will open late October.
The second new Nexus is the Nexus 9, built by HTC. As the name suggests, it's got a 9" 2048x1536 with a 4:3 aspect ratio. The processor is interesting: NVIDIA Tegra K1 64-bit dual-core processor at 2.3 GHz, making this the first 64bit Nexus device. It's a lot cheaper than the Nexus 6 at a mere $399, and it will also be available for pre-order 17 October (in stores on 3 November).
Lastly, there's the odd one out: the Nexus Player. It's a box (well, circle) for your TV, much like the Apple TV. It's actually got an Intel Atom processor inside, making it the first x86 Nexus device. It's got all the usual TV stuff, and Google is selling a dedicated gaming controller separately. It'll also be available for pre-order on 17 October, for $99.
I can't wait to update my Nexus 5 to Lollipop, but I'm a little unsure about the Nexus 6. It's huge and expensive (in Nexus terms), and I just don't like the Motorola design (but that's moot).
It's been another fantastic few days in the fabricated GamerGate terror campaign. This past weekend, female game developer Brianna Wu was forced to alert the police and leave her home, after receiving threats that she, her family, and possible children would face rape, mutilation, and death. Wu has vowed to not bow to the terrorist threats, and will continue to develop games.Wu's ordeal was just the last in a long line of GamerGate terrorism, and yesterday we reached a new low.
Gaming critic Anita Sarkeesian was scheduled to hold a talk at Utah State University. However, GamerGate terrorists threatened to enact "the largest school shooting in American history" if the talk were to take place. The contents of the terrorist threat are horrific, and fit the general tone of GamerGate terrorism; threats of rape, murder, mutilation, the usual stuff, but now also with mass murder, automatic rifles, and pipe bombs.
Sadly, the GamerGate terrorists have won, because of concealed carry laws in Utah. Sarkeesian asked the police to perform pat-downs and check for firearms so she would not get murdered, but the police told her that if someone has a valid firearm permit for concealed carry, they are allowed to bring the weapons to the talk. As a result, Sarkeesian was forced to cancel the talk to ensure she and attendees would not get murdered.
And so, these people have successfully employed terrorism to stifle free speech. These GamerGate terrorist threats will continue, because sadly, there is very little that can be done to stop them. Sarkeesian - and several other women who have received terrorist threats from GamerGate supporters - have vowed to continue doing their work.
At this point, we're essentially just waiting for the first GamerGate supporter to murder someone. We like to think of terrorism as something done by outsiders, something imported from other countries or cultures. However, these GamerGate threats are just as much terrorism - we just hate calling it that because it hits too close to home.
Meanwhile, we're hearing very little - if nothing - from large game companies and distributors. These companies and distributors should, of course, take a stand against GamerGate terrorism, but they also know full well that they might lose business over it. So, they decide to shut up. Will it take an actual murder before they speak up?