Archive for April 11, 2017

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

What I Want in the New Mac Pro

Justin Williams:

Make it look like the Cheese Grater if you want, or spend time designing something more modern and attractive. If I get a say in size, I’d like something along the size of the Power Mac G4. The Cheese Grater design was nice, but it was also a chore to lug around the few times I needed to move or rearrange my desk.


What I need more than faster CPUs is more cores. The trash can Mac Pro got this right. My iMac maxes out at 4-cores. I’m going to want at least 8 for a Mac Pro.


I don’t need multiple GPUs personally. I’m just a software developer who doesn’t do any game work. I just want to ensure that I have the best GPU I can get when I buy this so that I can ensure that macOS performs as well as it can for a few years. No stuttering when I toggle Mission Control!

Stephen Hackett:

Even if a new Mac Pro had everything I’ve listed and more, I still bet the machine could be smaller than the Cheese Graters. A modern Mac Pro should be able to live on or under a desk. The Cheese Graters were too big and heavy to go anywhere but the floor, while the 2013 Mac Pro begged to be behind a display somewhere. Flexibility here is key. If the new Apple display has a built-in cable, it should be long enough to reach the floor.

Lloyd Chambers:

Dual CPU support still matters for many tasks, particularly server loads. Given the stalled-all performance of single CPU cores today and the continuing instability of GPU-based software, dual CPUs would be a welcome, and are needed for server type workloads.


Support for GPU of choice, and more than one GPU.


At least eight Thunderbolt 3 ports, on 4 busses. And not crammed tightly together.

Support for maximum speed PCIe cards, with at least two available slots.


Don’t make me dangle dongles: 4 USB 3.1 high speed ports and SD card reader slot.

I would like:

Previously: The Mac Pro Lives.

Update (2017-04-15): Jordan Kahn (Hacker News):

To find out what Hackintoshers want in the new machine, and maybe what would help bring back some pros that Apple has lost in recent years, we’ve talked to the moderators at one of our favourite Hacktinosh communities,

We also got some input from our own resident Hackintosh enthusiast (and YouTuber) Jeff Benjamin, and some other pros and gamers that have made the jump from Apple’s pro machines to a Hackintosh.

Update (2017-04-16): Marco Arment (tweet, Hacker News):

A lot went wrong with the 2013 Mac Pro. […] It was designed to accommodate exactly two GPUs with relatively low heat output each, but CPU-heavy users didn’t need the second GPU, and GPU-heavy users needed hotter-running GPUs (and often just one really hot one). So the only configuration it was offered in was either overspecced (and overpriced) or underpowered for most Mac Pro customers.


Overly aggressive minimalism fails most spectacularly when there’s no clear consensus among customers on what can be removed. And if you ask Mac Pro customers what they need and want, there’s very little overlap[…]


The Mac Pro must be the catch-all at the high end: anytime someone says the iMac or MacBook Pro isn’t something enough for them, the solution should be the Mac Pro.

Update (2017-04-17): Daniel Pasco:

I realized that the corner that Apple has painted us into is just another “sweet solution” (similar to Jobs proposal that we develop web apps for iPhone instead of native apps).


This eight year old machine is a beast. It is everything that I have been missing. It embodies the zenith of industrial hardware design. It is literally bristling with ports, has four internal drive bays, and can support TWO of the most cutting edge graphics cards available on the market today.


Realize that the dream that professionals will just accept an iMac or the trash can Mac Pro is your dream, not theirs.

Update (2017-04-20): Kirk McElhearn:

While I don’t need “pro” features, I do want a computer that is more flexible, more upgradeable. The only thing I would demand, however, is silence. When I had the cheese grater Mac Pro, it was quieter than previous Macs, but still a bit noisy.

Update (2017-05-02): Stephen Hackett:

I’ve been thinking a lot about why Apple has said it’s going to take at least the rest of this year to ship a new Mac Pro. I’m worried that Apple can’t help itself, and is going to try too hard to making something clever and beautiful.

Update (2017-05-12): Jordan Kahn:

This time I’ve asked the pros– iOS and Mac developers, photographers, audio engineers, animators and more– what they want from the promise of a modular Mac, along with the display Apple also announced it’s working on.

Lightroom 6.10


The goal of this release is to provide additional camera raw support, lens profile support and address bugs that were introduced in previous releases of Lightroom.

The direct download link is here.

This version seems to finally fix the auto-import bug that was introduced in 6.8.

Update (2017-04-18): This version seems to be much faster at bulk-moving photos, updating the display after a batch rather than after moving each photo.

Twitter Allegedly Deleting Negative Tweets Criticizing United Airlines

Mix (Hacker News):

Numerous users are reporting their negative tweets criticizing United Airlines’ abusive behavior have been vanishing into of thin air – and nobody seems to know why.


While Twitter has previously hidden tweets containing offensive messages from showing up in other people’s timelines as part of its efforts to curb abuse on its platform, deleting tweets against users’ wills goes firmly against the company’s rules.

This sort of moderation is more commonly known as ‘ghost-deleting.’ The term is a little misleading since such tweets are technically not deleted, but merely prevented from appearing in users’ feeds. This measure, however, is usually reserved strictly for offensive tweets – and this is hardly the case here.

There have been many stories about Twitter doing things like this, but it’s hard for those of us outside the company to know what’s really going on. We can’t see Twitter’s databases, only guess as what they might contain by viewing them through different accounts and clients and by watching those views change over time.

Some reported incidents may be misunderstandings or attention-seeking, but there seems to be enough smoke that there’s some sort of fire. Is Twitter censoring for business or political reasons? Are people or bots falsely reporting the tweets as abusive? Are there bugs in Twitter’s anti-harassment algorithms? What kind of evidence could one gather to even investigate this? At the most basic level, if one of my tweets really were censored, I don’t there’s a way I could prove that to you.

It’s all complicated by the fact that the alleged manipulations are more subtle than outright deletions. First, there’s the ghosting and shadow-banning. I have also seen certain hashtags that were trending excluded from auto-completion, which I guess is a way of stopping them from trending without actually manipulating the trending list. It has been alleged that Twitter does that, too, though. When the United story was blowing up, it sure seemed like #United and #UnitedAirlines were popular, but they didn’t show up in the Trends list for me, while the seemingly less popular #NewUnitedAirlinesMottos did. But who’s to say which one was actually more popular or whether some algorithm thought one was more tailored to my interests?

The Walt Mossberg Brand

Walt Mossberg:

I stepped into the Detroit Bureau of the Wall Street Journal and started on what would be a long, varied, rewarding career. I was 23 years old, and the year was 1970. That’s not a typo.

So it seems fitting to me that I’ll be retiring this coming June, almost exactly 47 years later.


And, in the best professional decision of my life, I converted myself into a tech columnist in 1991. As a result, I got to bear witness to a historic parade of exciting, revolutionary innovation — from slow, clumsy ancient PCs to sleek, speedy smartphones; from CompuServe and early AOL to the mobile web, apps and social media.

Ben Thompson:

Mossberg undersells himself: a necessary prerequisite to “convert[ing him]self into a tech columnist” was inventing the very concept. That I had to make such an observation — was there really a time in recent history in which major publications did not have someone focused on technology? — is itself a testament to Mossberg’s vision.


Mossberg was Steve Jobs’ favorite columnist — and Mossberg a frequent admirer of Apple’s products — because both had the same vision: bringing these geeky, impenetrable, and rather ugly boxes of wires and chips and disks called personal computers to normal people, convinced said computers could, if only made accessible, fundamentally transform a user’s life.

John Gruber:

Before Mossberg, tech writing was for tech enthusiasts. Mossberg is a tech enthusiast, but what he did at The Wall Street Journal is bring enthusiasm for tech — particularly the personal computer industry — to a truly mainstream audience. His influence — especially during his years at the Journal — is impossible to overstate.