Privacy on the Net

Screenshot from the ad

As advertised by Apple. The company introduced a feature called “App tracking transparency”, that defaults to “do not allow tracking” as of version 14.5, that was released earlier this year. The feature allows device-owners to control which apps can track user behaviour across multiple websites.

Apple App Tracking Transparency Ad

Reality is more complex, as always, but it’s still a great ad.

DuckDuckGo calls out Google for spying on users.

When Apple introduced labels in their app store to indicate which data an app would link to user information it created transparency for many. Only Google seemed to stop on moving forward and did not publish new versions of its apps. Until recently. Now that they are updated, DuckDuckGo, a search engine advocating privacy in the digital age, calls out the abundant use of personal data.

Apple to invest over 1 billion euros in Germany with new Munich campus

Apple is going to strengthen their chip design R&D with a major investment in their campus in Munich, Germany. The announcement is huge news for the chip design but also software engineering space, and technology sector in general, but in particular for Munich and Bavaria as a high-tech location.

The new state-of-the-art facility in Munich will be home to Apple’s growing cellular unit, and Europe’s largest R&D site for mobile wireless semiconductors and software.

Building on its deep roots in the region, Apple’s new center in Munich will focus on 5G and future wireless technologies.

From the Press Release

Source: Apple to invest over 1 billion euros in Germany with new Munich campus – Apple (UK)

Linux on Apple Silicon

Chris Wade, CEO of Corellium

The announcement is vague, the link gives 404. However, still somebody made a first move to port Linux to the recently announced M1 Chip, that will power future generations of Apple notebook devices. The community criticizes the approach: the port comes in a single patch with no documentation. Given the size of the patch this is pretty difficult to comprehend. Plus, the patch requires third party code, that apparently is not committed to git.

To conclude, this is a twofold message: while it’s good to see such developments and have Linux ported to such hardware, the approach indeed is difficult. On a more positive note, there are other working groups still motivated enough to work on a more complete port.

Apple is building its own processors

During this years wwdc2020, Apple announced it’s own silicon for future Mac computers. This is HUGE. After the switch from 68xxx to PowerPC and to Intel, this is the fourth change of HW Platform for the company. Mainly, it means a huge message to Intel, who has been providing CPUs for the popular Mac Computers.

via: wwdc 2020 | TechCrunch

Apple to transition to ARM

The rumours ain’t new, but appear to become more tangible. This time Ars Technica reports an announcement could happen as early as this years WWDC.

The report bases on Mark Gurman, an Bloomberg News reporter focusing on Apple News. He initially published an article in Bloomberg News on the topic and tweeted:

Not only cost structure and ownership of IP is a significant driver for Apple’s motivation to transition. Most likely, the move will also mean good/bad news for customers and Intel:

Report claims internal Apple testing has seen “sizable improvements” over Intel.

From the article

Source: Ars Technica

Rumors, that Apple would switch to ARM for their computers have been floating around for a while. MacWorld just recently reaffirmed these with Annual ARM predictions.

Another important product that was announced at this years Re:Invent, AWS has ARM servers in their cloud portfolio. The Graviton2 is a custom-built 64bit processor available for EC2 workloads.

A clear signal ARM becomes ready for primetime.

MOS 6502 - In memoriam of Chuck Peddle
650x Processor

In memoriam of Chuck Peddle: Many of us will have started with a C64, that was powered by the 6502 Processor. The device became the most popular home computer, mainly because it was self contained: at the same time it hat all functionality a computer needed, and was still simple enough for everyone to understand.

In it’s popularity, the same 6502 Processor that was sold between 12.5 – 17 million times in shape of a C64 (according to pagetable.org) during it’s lifetime was also used in many other devices, including the Apple I, the similarly popular Atari 2600 gaming console, or much later, the Tamagotchi digital pet.

The processor contributed to the transformation of a a whole generation with these devices and became so popular, that even today, creative computer users leverages these devices to produce ‘demos’, that rely on this processor. Until today, in particular the demoscene still produces for computers with this processor, most noteworthy the C64. (again).

In other noteworthy sources, the 6502 has been completely simulated, and among others is available as a visual representation. Visual 6502 allows you to watch and see all of the devices internals, while they are working. The website gives you javascript visual insight into microchip operations, the possibility to play around, stop and step through individual instructions. If you are into this, it gives you the opportunity to understand computing from ground up, without having to tinker with electronics, in your browser.

One of two chip designers, Charles ‘Chuck’ Peddle reportedly passed away this week. Thank you for the great work and rest in peace.

Source: Chuck Peddle 6502 In Memoriam via Slashdot.