Moonwalkers: New options for the commuter

Moonwalkers are show attachments with motorized wheels – like Heelys that you see kids wearing around. But these are for adults and according to the company behind moonwalkers – they boast that it can increase the wearer’s walking speeds by 250%. I have lived in Princeton and worked in New York City for over a decade and something like this would be a game changer. They are compact and can be simply worn on your shoes without having to handle other heavy gear and bother fellow commuters.

They attach to a wide variety of shoes using adjustable straps and magnetic buckles – so need to change what you wear. The devices continuously communicate with each other and monitor the user’s gait to adjust speed. They can switch between Shift and Lock modes with a simple foot movement. A video from the Moonwalkers’ Kickstarter project is available in the article.

Obviously we’ll have to comply…

Greg Joswiak (Joz) remarks when asked about EU regulations mandating a USB-C port on phones starting at the end of 2024.

Short interview and a good one. But the part where Joz emphasizes the EU regulation is wroth watching. Apple clearly does not like to be rushed. They have built products with so much thought and have been the second one to bring in a feature, but damn they nail that feature.

I remember Samsung phones using NFC chips to share contacts before Apple showed how best to use NFC to make payments and nailed the experience.

King Kohli’s tippy toe moving backwards six

Growing up, I played cricket everyday for 4-5 hours. Bowling in the depth is hard. As a fast bowler, it all comes down to length and line and not pace.

Haris Rauf was bowling phenomenally and that length where the ball is climbing up and meets you slightly below waist height is hard to predict and hit. You are cramped for room. Scoring a single is hard and more often it produces an edge or ballon’s the ball high up for an simple catch.

Kohl’s brilliance. I have no idea how he plays this but he is not moving front not back but almost on his tippy toes and moving backwards in motion when he simply swings and hits it big. I have watched this video about 50 times now and I’m in awe.

As Harsha Bhogle said it, “Kohli goes down the ground, Kohli goes out of the ground”.

What a shot! what a game!

Happy Diwali!

Good to see Apple folks at Formula 1’s Austin Grand Prix

It was hard to miss watching Tim Cook wave the checkered flag at the Austin Grand Prix. Also present was Apple’s exec Eddie Cue Which would have prompted that Formula 1 is coming to AppleTV. Unfortunately, ESPN renewed its contract to air Formula 1 through 2025 this weekend.

Apple made its presence felt at Austin Grand Prix as they landed a Formula 1 motion picture directed by Joseph Kosinski, starring Brad Pitt. You could see him watching and understanding what goes into a Formula 1 race, the cars, drivers, et al, from the Mercedes Garage.

Apple increases its subscription prices

Benjamin Mayo for 9to5Mac:

The Apple Music monthly price has been upped by ~$1 for individuals and ~$2 for families. Apple TV+ is rising by $2 (which only has one tier and supports Family Sharing on all plans). Apple One is also going up by approximately $3 per month

And…

From an Apple spokesperson:

The subscription prices for Apple Music, Apple TV+, and Apple One will increase beginning today. The change to Apple Music is due to an increase in licensing costs, and in turn, artists and songwriters will earn more for the streaming of their music. We also continue to add innovative features that make Apple Music the world’s best listening experience. We introduced Apple TV+ at a very low price because we started with just a few shows and movies. Three years later, Apple TV+ is home to an extensive selection of award-winning and broadly acclaimed series, feature films, documentaries, and kids and family entertainment from the world’s most creative storytellers.

This translates to increases of $1 to $2 per service, with Apple One tiers going up about $3 at the same time.

You know it’s inflation when the prices go up and you don’t get anything extra in return. Not even more iCloud storage.

New Products from Apple

iPad

We didn’t get to see yet another Apple event in October as expected but we did see new product releases. New iPads and AppleTV were announced, and a short video was perfect to digest what was accounted for each new devices that came out.

The new iPad is now very similar to the iPad Air, with a USB-C port, Touch ID on the power button and the same 12 MP wide camera. It slightly bigger (1 millimeter in l x b x h) and 16 grams heavier when compared to the the iPad Air. So looks like we will continue to see iPad Air in the future. Its more like the bigger version of the iPad mini now.

If you think what you would miss from the iPad Air – its a whole bunch of things – A14 Bionic chip (no M1), no support for the second generate Apple Pencil or the Magic keyboard, wider P3 color gamut, anti reflective coating and finally, the new iPad will not support Stage Manager feature (my guess is lack of RAM).

The surprise for me was that the new iPad even though designed to support the second-generation Apple Pencil, it will continue to support only the first generation Apple Pencil, which means you will need to spend an extra $9 for a dongle to charge it.

Now, for the new iPad we also have a brand new key board accessory – Magic Keyboard Folio. Looking at this product, it feels like its a two-piece design that has a magnetic back – with a kickstand. I’m not a big fan of kickstand as it feels a shoddy solution, compared to the origami cases that just felt natural/organic. The keyboard attaches using magnets too with the smart connector and also has a multitouch trackpad. The case comes in one color – White.

I have a 10 year old and like many other families with kids most of us get the cheapest iPad for them for several things. My kid plays his games, consumes youtube, reads his books and does his homework o the iPad. The new iPad seems to be great, but the accessories aren’t. The dongle, two piece keyboards, and the color are all subject to loosing them or discoloring them within a short time frame. Hope the dongle comes with a warning that says it can be swallowed and keep it away form children.

My favorite update tot his iPad is the landscape oriented front facing camera which is a first for the iPad.

Colors are a good touch as well, as it allows one to personalize the iPad and color is a big part of personalization.

The new iPad start at $449 for the 64GB model.

iPad Pro

Both sizes of the new iPad Pro gets a speed bump with the new M2 processor, support for the faster WiFi 6E protocol and Bluetooth 5.3. Keep in mind with the M2, the iPad gets hardware-accelerated ProRes encoding and decoding.

I am excited about the new “Apple Pencil Hover” mode feature that can detect the Pencil’s height at pt to 12mm above the display and allow the iPad to react to it – it’s like iPad getting a hover state. Once this API/SDK is out apps will be able to take advantage of this to show up options when hovering over with a Pencil or trackpad. Not sure how finger hover will work.

No landscape camera yet, but then no Apple Pencil 3 either. Looks like the iPad Pro is set up for a big refresh next year. 

AppleTV

Significantly cheaper price and simpler configuration. No more 1080P option, and just 4k. Both these models are powered with A15 Bionic chip and support HDR10+, so increased high dynamic range to pictures. They do weigh significantly lighter compared to its predecessor and Siri Remote now has a USB-C charting port but you still can’t locate that remote in your Find My app.

The 64GB model with Wi-Fi only for a lower cost of $129, and a 128GB model that also has Gigabit Ethernet and Thread for $149.

Merck pays Moderna $250m for personalized cancer vaccine

Kristin Houser writing for Freethink:

A personalized cancer vaccine: Moderna’s cancer vaccine works differently than most vaccines because it’s designed to treat an existing disease rather than prevent it entirely. It’s also personalized for each patient, while other shots are typically mass produced and distributed to the population.

To create each vaccine, Moderna takes a sample of a patient’s tumor. It then uses genetic sequencing technology to identify proteins in the tissue called “neoantigens.” These proteins are found only on the surface of cancer cells, and they are unique to each person’s tumor.

This is the future.

As my pharmacy expert friend explained it to me in simple words – taking old viruses (example, HIV/Ruebelka, Measles) and directing them towards cancer cells. MRNA has been out there for a while and now with COVID vaccines success, it may pave the way for Cancer treatments; however, historically it hasn’t show an efficacy.

Gas app was able to cut Redis Engine CPU utilization by 80%

Gas app was able to cut Redis Engine CPU utilization by 80% by hard-coding a return value for a specific key.

Fascinating!

The 20 Fastest Growing Jobs in the Next Decade

Jenna Ross writing for Visual Capitalist:

The tile and the choice of visualization caught my eye. The visualization especially does a great job as it very clearly tells me what will matter in the future and what is becoming obsolete.

# 11 on the top 20 fastest growing job did raise my eyebrow. With deforestation in South America and Siberia and the glaciers melting at a faster rate, we are opening ourselves to more and more unknown viruses.

Warning: Education Required

As the composition of employment shifts, it eliminates some jobs and creates others. For instance, while production jobs are declining, new opportunities exist for “computer numerically controlled tool programmers.” These workers develop programs to control the automated equipment that processes materials.

However, while many of the fastest growing jobs are higher paying, they typically also require advanced education.

A good reference if you have kids who will be applying for college in the next few years. I wonder how this will change in the next decade.