Weekend Roundup: Going With ARM, Getting Lost, and Being Found

It was a pretty quiet week in tech (aside from Jony Ive deciding to leave Apple), which is great in some ways, but we’d love to have too much to talk about. There were a few cool standouts, though.

Up In ARMs

MacBooks are awesome, but they’ve got Intel inside… and Apple seems keen to get us away from that architecture. This week, news leaked that the company has hired one of ARM’s CPU architects, Mike Filippo. It’s not clear what Filippo will be doing at Apple (his LinkedIn simply says he’s an “Architect” at the company) but all bets are on ARM for Mac.

‘ARM for Macs’ has been bandied about for a few years, and there have been reports that Apple has actually tinkered with a working ARM desktop. The interesting wrinkle here is Apple doesn’t license ARM technology, but uses its reference guide for its A-series chipsets found in iOS devices.

Filippo is working out of Apple’s Austin, Texas facility, a known hub for its semiconductor business. 

This likely means an ARM-based Mac with Apple-designed silicon is coming, and we’d venture late 2020 or early 2021 is when we’ll see it. It could be the rumored 16-inch Mac Apple has floating around. Of course, we’d also venture the delivery date for an ARM-based Mac is heavily dependent on how well Catalyst does in terms of bringing cross-platform apps to the Mac.

Then again, Filippo did work on “automotive-enhanced” processors at ARM, and Apple just purcahsed Drive.ai. This could all end up with some kind of autonomous-driving platform, too.

Google Gets You Lost…

Technology should enrich your life. Services such as Google Maps are widely relied upon and believed to be bulletproof… until they’re not.

About 100 drivers in Colorado trusted a detour offered up by Google Maps, and ended up stuck on a muddy road in the middle of a field. Whoops.

“There were a bunch of other cars going down [the dirt road] too,” Connie Monsees told CNN. “I said, ‘I guess it’s OK.’ It was not OK.”

Google deflected blame, saying that, because the road was not marked private, its Maps service had no way to know it wasn’t a detour, adding: “We encourage all drivers [to] use their best judgement while driving.”

… and The Pentagon Finds You

MIT Technology Review reports the Pentagon has developed a laser that uses your unique heartbeat to detect you.

It doesn’t even require that you’re hooked up to an ECG monitor. This beam can detect users up to 200 meters away, and identify them based on their heartbeat.

Scary? Kinda. In a dystopian future, the government houses biometric data alongside your fingerprints, using it all as a unique identifier to go full-KGB on us. Or maybe it’ll license all that data from Facebook, which is undoubtedly interested in knowing that much about you, anyway.

Have a great weekend!