Politics · Technology

Reviews of the new MacBook Pro 14″ and 16″ are out and the plague of disposable products resulting in an ewaste mountain.

I’ve been watching videos reviewing the new MacBook Pro 14″ and 16″, even after all this time I am astonished at how well the Apple GPU is scaling given the tendency of GPUs designed for lower power tend to have an upper limit in terms of scalability (architectural decisions made to reduce power usage can inhibit the ability to scale) so I was expecting them to maybe work with AMD on a discrete GPU but it appears I have been proven incorrect (keeping in mind the post I made in the past was pure speculation rather than making definitive statements facts). It’ll be interesting to see the performance in the upcoming larger iMac and Mac Pro – rumour has it that it might end up scaling up 2 x M1 Max in lieu of putting more on a single SoC which will result in a 20 core SoC; 16 high performance cores, 4 efficiency cores. What I hope is that because they control the hardware and software that we’ll see a better graphics experience – greater use of Metal optimisation as Apple moves more of its underpinnings from OpenGL to Metal.

The other part of the equation is where the Windows world will fit into this when one considers Qualcomm’s recent purchase of Nuvia which will hopefully give them to people power along with their expertise to bring about some silicon that can cater for the laptop, tablet, desktop and workstation market that Microsoft appears to be hinting at having an interest in moving Windows for ARM from merely a box that needs to be ticked to taking it seriously particularly when one looks at the investments being made by MIcrosoft to bring their middleware to the platform.

On Another topic given the recent discussion about ‘right to repair’ and dealing with the amount of electronic waste that is building up, if we’re going to get serious about the environment such as using electricity more efficiently and reduce our e-waste then we need to, as consumers, demanding products that prioritise convenience over all things else.

A good example of this would be the rise in wireless earbuds where the batteries are dead after 2 years max even with moderate usage then add to the recharging which is wireless which is inefficient – on a small scale that wouldn’t be an issue but on a cumulative basis it would cause a problem in those countries whose power generation is dependent upon burning fossil fuels. Then there is the ‘right to repair’ movement regarding the ‘right to repair’ ones devices by getting access to the information and parts required to do so. I think it is a good start but the biggest component in this war on electronic waste is the issue of planned obsolescence where there needs to be requirements – either the OEM is forced to provide x number of years security and bug fixes (rather than the current situation of Apple not providing all security fixes to old versions of iOS) or the alternative being that the source code for drivers etc. are merged back into a public Android tree that allows people to keep updating their Android phone beyond what the OEM is willing to provide (maybe a third party business model could develop around providing a long term supported version of Android that one can install after the OEM has abandoned it).

This is one of the reasons I get frustrated when I hear people go on about how electric vehicles are the future – no they’re not, the future is better unitary plans that stop and reverse urban sprawl, focus on dense housing, shared green spaces, greater use of telecommuting, greater use of staggered start times, investing into mass transit and fully electrifying the rail network, building more renewable energy generation. Why aren’t electric vehicles the future (in the sense of it being a ‘silver bullet’ to solve all of life’s problems) – consider the full life cycle from start to finish when building a car including the battery, when you consider all that you quickly realise that although it is better than a petrol car it’ll never be as good as mass transit, it won’t fix congestion not to mention all the maintenance costs of supporting and upgrading urban motorways and state highways.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.