MacBook

Twitter Thinks Apple’s HomePod Looks Like A Roll Of Toilet Paper

Yesterday Apple unveiled HomePod, a home speaker system that plays music and takes commands. The cylindrical, motor-driven device comes in white and space gray and will retail for $349 when it hits stores in December.

HomePod is going to be the most expensive scratching post my cat has ever had.

— Jessie Char (@jessiechar) June 5, 2017

please do NOT eat the homepod it is NOT an electric marshmallow try ordering…

Self-Driving RC Cars with TensorFlow; Raspberry Pi or MacBook Onboard

You might think that you do not have what it takes to build a self-driving car, but you’re wrong. The mistake you’ve made is assuming that you’ll be controlling a two-ton death machine. Instead, you can give it a shot without the danger and on a relatively light budget. [Otavio] and [Will] got into self-driving vehicles using radio controlled (RC) cars.

[Otavio] slapped a MacBook Pro on an RC car to do the heavy lifting and called it carputer. The computer reads Hall effect sensor data from the motor to establish distance traveled (this can be used to calculate speed) and watches the stream from a webcam perched on the chassis. These two sources are fed into a neural network using TensorFlow. You train the system by driving the vehicle manually through the course a few times and then let it drive itself.

CarDiagram
tensorflow-rc-car

In the video interview below, you get a look…

Long live the laptop. Long live the Apple-Microsoft rivalry

There may yet be life in the laptop market. A few weeks after Microsoft launched its long-promised, fully fledged Surface Laptop, Apple is reportedly planning to refresh its Macbook lineup. Apple’s anticipated announcement followed last fall’s update of the Macbook Pro, which left many enthusiasts underwhelmed.

Apple will upgrade the Macbook Pro and the 12-inch Macbook with faster processors, Bloomberg reported, citing unnamed sources. In particular, the Macbook Pro will get a quad core processor using Intel’s Kaby Lake architecture, which wasn’t available when the Macbook Pro relaunched last October. In addition, Apple is said to be considering a faster chip for the 13-inch Macbook Air. The new laptops will be announced at Apple’s developer conference next month, according to Bloomberg.

The competing offerings from the longtime personal-computing rivals suggest a brighter future for laptops than was on the horizon even a few months ago. The new Macbook Pro received mixed reviews upon its announcement, with some enthusiasts — especially professionals who relied on its processing power — feeling that it fell short of their expectations. Instead of a new Touch Bar that seemed nice if not necessary, they wanted the speed and power Macbooks have always offered.

And rather than delivering the fancy upgrade that Macbook Pro users had waited 524 days for, Apple had signaled that it may be moving away from laptops in a personal-computing landscape where smaller devices were dominant, at least in terms of sales. Reports inside Apple…

How to Use Mulitple External Monitors With Your Laptop

Multiple monitors are awesome. They really are—ask anyone who’s used a two- or three-screen setup for their desktop, and they’ll tell you that they have a hard time going back to just one. Laptops have a built-in advantage here, since they have one screen: to boost productivity, just add a monitor.

But what if you want more than one screen hooked up to your notebook at once? What if your laptop lacks a bunch of external video ports? What if you’re travelling, and you can’t lug around a full-sized monitor? Don’t worry, you still have more options than you might think.

The Ideal Solution for Newer Laptops: Thunderbolt

Thunderbolt 3, which uses the new USB Type-C connector standard, is the newest way for laptops and tablets to output video. The advantages are obvious: a single cable can handle video, audio, standard data transmission (for external hard drives or a wired Internet connection) and power, all at the same time. Not only does this reduce clutter on your desk—assuming you have the hardware to take advantage of it, of course—it means laptops can be made smaller and thinner by consolidating ports.

So, if you have a laptop with Thunderbolt 3 and a Thunderbolt-capable monitor, this is by far the best solution. You can just hook up each monitor to one Thunderbolt/USB-C port.

However, it’s rarely that simple. Unless you have a very new laptop and very new monitors, you’ll probably need a bit more to make this work:

  • If you have a laptop with multiple Thunderbolt/USB-C ports but older monitors that don’t have Thunderbolt input, you’ll need some sort of adapter for each monitor, like this USB-C to HDMI or this USB-C to DVI adapter. Remember, you’ll need one adapter for each monitor you’re connecting.
  • If your laptop only has one Thunderbolt/USB-C port, you’ll likely need some sort of docking station to connect two monitors to one port. We recommend checking out this Dell Thunderbolt Dock, though there are others out there as well. Note that some laptops, like the small one-port MacBook, do not support running multiple displays from one port using these docks, so check your laptop’s specifications, and if you’re going to try a dock, buy from a store with a good return policy in case it doesn’t work.

Thunderbolt has a massive amount of video bandwidth, and it’s more that capable of supporting multiple standard monitors (the new Macbook Pros can output to two 5K displays at once, so long as you have the right adapters). Specialized adapters—basically mini-laptop docks—are designed for the purpose of regular docking to a multi-monitor setup with mice, keyboard, and other connections.

Once USB-C and Thunderbolt become more common on laptops and…

Windows 10 S And The Surface Laptop Are Bad News For Gamers

Use A Side Gig To Fund Retirement

The Surface Laptop may be a MacBook killer but it's not a good choice for gamers.

The Surface Laptop may be a MacBook killer but it’s not a good choice for gamers.

The Surface Laptop debuted Tuesday to much fanfare and Apple comparison pieces. It’s Microsoft’s answer to the MacBook, and if you care at all about playing games on your PC, it’s decidedly not for you.

Windows 10 S wants to take the steam out of Steam.

The primary reason the Surface Laptop is bad for gamers is the fact that it’s the flagship device for Windows 10 S. Microsoft’s newest operating system abandons all pretense of openness in favor of a closed ecosystem. On Windows 10 S computers, only apps from Microsoft’s app store will run. All other software is closed out of this new walled garden. Microsoft isn’t just taking aim at the MacBook line with the Surface Laptop, it’s taking a page from Apple’s App Store success.

Notably absent from the Microsoft Store? Steam, the number one destination for PC gamers. This is where almost every PC gamer goes to buy and play games (though Mac and Linux users can also use Steam.) Also missing from the Microsoft Store are EA’s Origin, GOG Galaxy and Ubisoft’s Uplay. Basically all…

Anker’s New Battery Pack Is One of the First With USB-C Power Delivery

Ever since laptops and game consoles started launching with USB-C charging, the promise to effectively infinite battery life with the help of USB battery packs has been tantalizingly close, and yet so far away.

While just about any battery pack can trickle charge an Apple MacBook or a Nintendo Switch while they aren’t in use, very few include the USB-C Power Delivery standard that enables full speed charging. But Anker’s looking to change that with the new PowerCore+ 26800, the latest iteration of your favorite line of USB battery packs.

This massive battery pack’s USB-C port can output up to 30W at four different…