⇡ # What’s new in Russia and in the world?
Coincidentally, the week began with a rare astronomical phenomenon – Jupiter and Saturn appeared in the sky at close range, forming a binary planetary system. In itself, this phenomenon is not so rare by astronomical standards – the convergence of these planets occurs approximately once every 20 years. But still, the present has become exceptional: for observers on Earth, the planets were separated by only a few angular minutes, which was not observed for almost 800 years – the last time Jupiter and Saturn were just as close to each other on March 4, 1226.
Good news for those who want to see it with their own eyes (or maybe even take a few pictures through a telescope) – you can observe this phenomenon until the end of December, the main thing is to be lucky with the weather.
Well, NASA last week delighted in themed New Year and Christmas images from space. Shown here is the so-called Snowflake Cluster (aka NGC 2264) in the constellation Unicorn, which is 2,600 light-years from Earth. A scattering of red lights are young stars that have formed within the last 100 thousand years. Well, we note that this image was obtained not from the Hubble telescope, but from the Spitzer space observatory, which was launched in 2003 and ceased operations at the beginning of this year. And here is a link for those who want to view a larger image.
Moving on to earthly news, first of all we need to remember Cyberpunk 2077 – it seems that talk about this game will not stop soon. Last time we talked about the fact that a class action lawsuit is being prepared against the developer of CD Projekt RED in Poland, and now it became known that a similar lawsuit was filed in the United States. The company is accused of lying to investors about the state of the console versions of the project. The text of the statement states that the CDPR management deliberately concealed this information, because “the game is almost impossible to play on consoles due to the huge number of errors.” Despite this, and despite massive returns and critical reviews online, the company sold over 13 million copies of Cyberpunk 2077. About 8 million copies were sold on pre-orders, and in the first 10 days after the release, more than 5 million copies of games were sold for all platforms. And it should be noted that if it were not for the lawsuits, the company would not be in a hurry to publish such data, because it is accused of a very serious matter – deceiving investors.
One of the main newsmakers of the last week was again Apple, this time there was a lot of talk about the electric car, on which the company has been working for some time. Of course, all this is still rumors, which, nevertheless, find more and more confirmation, and the car itself is overgrown with details. For example, Reuters reports that the official announcement may take place in the fall of 2021, and the market entry may not be earlier than 2024. The main feature should be new battery technology, which will significantly reduce the cost of batteries and increase the range, as well as the world’s most advanced autopilot, which will use several lidars, including a new sensor of its own design.
According to Reuters, Apple itself will not be engaged in the assembly of cars, but there is no information on who could do this yet. Despite the fact that the car market is not as lucrative as the market for gadgets and digital services, Apple has ample free funds to try new things. In addition, some analysts believe that in the case of cars, Apple will earn mainly on the subsequent monetization of services that passengers will receive while in the car.
It is indicative that against the background of new rumors about the Apple car, the shares of the lidar manufacturers increased in price. And Elon Musk suddenly decided to admit that the Cupertinians could purchase Tesla for 1/10 of the current cost, but refused it. Rather, it was about the fact that Musk contacted Tim Cook with a proposal to meet and discuss the purchase on such terms, but Cook immediately refused.
Well, since we are talking about Apple, it is worth once again confirming the seriousness of the company’s intentions regarding ARM chips, both for smartphones and tablets, and for laptops. The main chip manufacturer for it has long been TSMC – and recently it became known that Apple will take over about 80% of the production capacity of 5nm chips in 2021. Moreover, the company has already booked all the capacities for the production of 3nm chips, the first batches of which will be released next year. According to industry sources, most of these orders involve M chips, which are already used in the Mac Mini, MacBook Pro and MacBook Air, and will also be used in the iMac and Mac Pro in the future. It is logical to assume that the chips made according to finer manufacturing processes will go to the most expensive Apple devices – presumably the new 16-inch MacBook Pro, as well as the iMac and Mac Pro.
However, the news and rumors about Apple do not end there. Last week, Facebook decided to join an open confrontation with the “apple”. You know the beginning of this story: in iOS 14, users are allowed to restrict the ability of applications to collect their data, Facebook sees this as a direct threat to its business interests. As a result, the social network last week launched a $ 750 million PR campaign in which Apple is accused of destroying small businesses by banning targeted ads.
However, analysts unanimously say that Facebook is thus trying to push small business with Apple, although it itself is the most interested party in this. Zuckerberg’s company is projected to get about $ 80 billion in ad sales this year, so the stakes are really high. From the user’s point of view, Apple’s move looks logical – not everyone wants to share their data with certain applications, moreover, it does not deprive Facebook of the ability to collect data on all other devices. In general, we are inclined to believe that the case will not come to court, and Facebook’s PR campaign most likely will not affect Apple in any way, but we will follow the development of events.
In addition, you should definitely follow the first steps to monetize Telegram. Pavel Durov himself spoke about this last week. According to him, the audience of the messenger is approaching the 500 million mark, and the team is not going to sell the messenger and will develop it on its own. First of all, we are talking about a unified advertising platform for channel owners, which currently does not exist – either the channel owners themselves or intermediaries are engaged in advertising placement. With this innovation, messenger ads should be more streamlined. In addition, Telegram will have paid stickers with an expanded set of features (whatever that means), part of the profits from which the artists themselves will receive. At the same time, Durov notes that all Telegram services related to messaging (chats) will remain free of advertising.
In the face of Telegram, Russia has its own WhatsApp and Viber, but there is no analogue of TikTok. But this is for now, because it will appear soon – the other day the Gazprom-Media holding acquired the application “I am Done”, on the basis of which an analogue of the popular social network will be created. All jokes about the app’s popularity aside (on Google Play, for example, it has less than 5,000 downloads), this could indicate a significant increase in interest in platforms with vertical user videos. Well, if “I am Done” is included in the list of applications that must be installed on all smartphones in Russia, then everything can turn out as it should. It is possible that Gazprom-Media is counting on this, although it does not openly admit it.
⇡ # What’s new in reviews on 3DNews?
If you suddenly missed all our articles and reviews, then we traditionally advise you to start with light reading, for example, with a review of Airborne Kingdom, the latest release of Gamesblender, as well as with an interesting column on how we rate games.
The week turned out to be especially rich in video card reviews – there were already three of them: AMD Radeon RX 6900 XT, ASUS ROG STRIX GeForce RTX 3070 OC and MSI GeForce RTX 3090 SUPRIM X 24G. In addition, there was a review of the Lenovo Legion 5 15ARH05H laptop, the ID-Cooling SE-225-XT Black processor cooler, the JBL TUNE 225TWS Ghost wireless headphones and the Infinix Zero 8 smartphone. in another, we talk about how smart lamps differ from conventional ones. At the end, as usual, the last five issues of the digest:
- Everything you missed: total solar eclipse, DJI sanctions, and Cyberpunk 2077 issues.
- Everything you missed: the first records and problems of Cyberpunk 2077, the failed flights of SpaceX and Virgin Galactic, the announcement of the Apple AirPods Max.
- Everything you missed: the collapse of the giant telescope, the successes of the Chinese lunar mission, and the ranking of the best apps from Apple and Google.
- Everything you missed: Elon Musk’s space lasers, electronic passports of Russian citizens and the lawsuit of 300 football players against Electronic Arts.
- Everything you missed: an asteroid dangerously close to Earth, lower App Store fees, and a ranking of popular passwords in 2020.
That’s all! Take care of yourself and try to read only good news from trusted sources.
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