The Never-Designed-to-Provide Edition Wednesday, February 15, 2023

Is Apple Making A Mac Pro Nobody Wants?, by Jason Snell, Macworld

Here’s the problem with the Mac Pro on Apple silicon: Apple has spent more than a decade designing mobile processors to be power efficient, to share a fast pool of memory between CPU cores and GPU cores, and to integrate Apple-built GPU cores inside the same chip package. It’s a model that was made for the iPhone, but it turns out that it scales pretty well to the iPad and, as we’ve discovered over the last few years, even to the Mac.

That’s great, but the Mac Pro doesn’t want to be any of that. It doesn’t want to learn any of those lessons. A big tower Mac doesn’t worry about energy efficiency. It’s got huge cooling fans and is plugged into the wall. It wants expansion slots to load in more GPU horsepower. It wants loads of expandable memory. It wants what Apple silicon was never designed to provide.

Audiobook Narrators Fear Spotify Used Their Voices To Train AI, by Shubham Agarwal, Wired

Furlong was among the narrators and authors who became outraged after learning of a clause in contracts between authors and leading audiobook distributor Findaway Voices, which gave Apple the right to “use audiobooks files for machine learning training and models.” Findaway was acquired by Spotify last June.


The dispute led to a reversal this week from Apple and Findaway, according to labor union SAG-AFTRA, which represents recording artists as well as actors and other creatives. An email to members seen by WIRED said that the two companies had agreed to immediately stop all “use of files for machine learning purposes” for union members affected and that the halt covers “all files dating back to the beginning of this practice.”


There’s Finally A Way To Find Out When Your Apple Music Library Goes Spatial Audio, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

Music Library Tracker is a third-party app for iPhone and iPad that helps you monitor additions, deletions, and other changes to your music library. [...] A new update to the app this week expands the app’s library monitoring to support Spatial Audio for the first time.


Apple To Scrutinize Customer History For New ‘Buy Now, Pay Later’ Service, by Mark Gurman, Bloomberg

The lending criteria were revealed as part of a test of the service with Apple employees, who can now use the option for their own personal purchases. The evaluations determine whether the company is willing to lend money to applicants and how big an amount it will approve. Many testers are seeing loan approvals for $1,000 and under.


The new service will let Apple leverage its trove of data on customers, including their spending at company retail outlets, App Store transactions and services like Apple Cash peer-to-peer payments. Apple Pay, a mobile payment service launched in 2014, and the Apple Card, which debuted in 2019, have given the company an even closer connection to consumers’ financial lives.

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I agree: the Mac Pro need to be philosophically different from all the existing M1/M2 Mac computers. It need to be the most environmentally-unfriendly in its thirst for power. If Apple is still talking about power per watt, it is not a Mac Pro.


Thanks for reading.