network engineer, cloud infrastructure fluffer, fascinated with the machinations of the tech industry, friend to Cthulu and animals everywhere
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iFixit Found a New Silicone Membrane in the Mid-2018 Macbook Pro’s Keyboard

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Sam Lionheart of iFixit:

Here’s an inflammatory take for you: Apple’s new quieter keyboard is actually a silent scheme to fix their keyboard reliability issues. We’re in the middle of tearing down the newest MacBook Pro, but we’re too excited to hold this particular bit of news back:

Apple has cocooned their butterfly switches in a thin, silicone barrier.

This is a promising discovery.

The biggest lingering question for me is whether this keyboard is being swapped into repaired 2016 and 2017 MacBook Pros. If you get your MacBook Pro keyboard repaired over the next couple of months and notice any changes, let me know.

Update: Joe Rossingol, MacRumors:

When asked if Apple Stores and Apple Authorized Service Providers will be permitted to replace second-generation keyboards on 2016 and 2017 MacBook Pro models with the new third-generation keyboards, if necessary, Apple said, no, the third-generation keyboards are exclusive to the 2018 MacBook Pro.

I hope there’s a purely technical reason for this decision.

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MotherHydra
7 hours ago
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Cue Nelson: HAW-HAW!
Space City, USA
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The Power of Positive People

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MotherHydra
7 hours ago
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Some say you can meme an idea into reality, of course this is a rephrasing of one of the oldest concepts of the human condition: reality is utterly malleable and science doesn't know dick regarding the pursuit of higher planes of matter and existence.
Space City, USA
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2018 Keyboards Will Not Be Used to Repair 2016, 2017 Macbook Pros

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There has been some hopeful discussion that the silicone-covered keyswitches in the 2018 MacBook Pros could filter down to 2016 and 2017 models via repair.

There is some precedent for this; many customers with 2016 models have reported that Apple has replaced their keyboards with the 2017 variant. However, that does not seem to be the case this year, according to Joe Rossignol at MacRumors:

When asked if Apple Stores and Apple Authorized Service Providers will be permitted to replace second-generation keyboards on 2016 and 2017 MacBook Pro models with the new third-generation keyboards, if necessary, Apple said, no, the third-generation keyboards are exclusive to the 2018 MacBook Pro.

I had feared this would be the case. When a MacBook Pro’s keyboard is replaced, it’s actually the entire top case, with the keyboard and battery along for the ride. It is not an efficient repair, and one that was going to eventually lead to part compatibility issues between generations.

While I don’t know for sure, I have to guess that the screw boss locations needed for the revamped logic board, coupled with the higher capacity battery found in the new machines, dictated the change in repair strategy.

This leaves 2016 and 2017 customers potentially stranded with a design that is clearly less than ideal. However, many have reported that the failure rate on the 2017-style keyboard is much lower, so maybe this won’t be that big of a deal in the long run.

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MotherHydra
10 hours ago
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I say this as a former Apple Authorized Repair Robot: they simply can't be. It is idiotic to think otherwise unless you're pushing tools, parts and repair manuals (and an agenda) on your i-depot repair site. Should Apple devices be more serviceable? Absolutely. Is it fair to ask for reverse engineering? I'd say no. Is there a historic precedence for this, I'd love to know...
Space City, USA
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iPhone X: 8 Months Later

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The iPhone X has been for sale for eight months, so I thought it was time to check in and see how things were going:

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MotherHydra
10 hours ago
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So glad I didn't do anything but a test drive with this phone. Form over function personified.
Space City, USA
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Let's Remember Microsoft Encarta

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Apropos of nothing other than I talked about it at a bar last night, today is a good day to remember Microsoft Encarta, the encyclopedia-on-a-CD-ROM Microsoft released between 1993 and, technically 2009 (once the internet and Wikipedia started, my memories of Encarta end.) On this Friday let's enjoy these two iconic parts of Encarta—the 1996 opening intro, which even 22 years later feels like mind candy, and Mind Maze, the extremely difficult medieval trivia game that I definitely never beat as a child.

May you always be remembered by those who loved you.



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MotherHydra
10 hours ago
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Yeah, no thanks I actually lived through it instead of reading a biased Wikipedia article on the subject. Fucking sakes with this site today.
Space City, USA
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All Elon Musk Has to Do Is Literally Anything Besides What He's Doing

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It is worth pointing out that Elon Musk can do and say anything that he wants. I don’t mean this in an abstract way. The man has multiple rockets, an electric car and battery storage company, owns a private jet, has hordes of fans who hang on his every word, and, until recently, had lots of earned good will for his futuristic vision for humanity.

Unlike basically all of us, he can go anywhere and do anything, talk to anyone, at a moment’s notice. What he’s chosen to do with at least some of his time recently is to pick fights with journalists, people who challenge him, and, most recently, one of the hero divers who helped rescue a soccer team of boys from a flooded cave in Thailand. Without providing any evidence whatsoever, Musk called British diver Vernon Unsworth a “pedo,” then doubled down on the attack when called out on it.

If you’re reading this article, you probably know the background; Musk very publicly offered to build a miniature submarine to help rescue the children. The children were rescued without the help of Musk’s sub, and the rescue was, or should have been, one of those feel-good moments in which a team of very brave humans did something seemingly impossible. Instead, Musk’s submarine got lots of the headlines. Unsworth, in an interview over the weekend, said Musk’s submarine was a “PR stunt” that wouldn’t have worked.

With his unfounded “pedo” comment, it’s never been more clear that Musk is playing by a different set of rules than the rest of us. Musk has spent much of the last few months saying that journalists are peddling false stories about his companies, going as far as to say that he’d be setting up a service to vet the ethics and reliability of different journalists. Meanwhile, he publicly accused a rescue diver of being a pedophile to his 22 million followers without backing that up with anything at all, let alone backing it up with the type of evidence and vetting that’d be needed to make that claim as a journalist.

Unsworth has already indicated that he may sue Musk, but there is no defamation lawsuit that could tank Musk’s business enterprises, his personal brand, or his personal wealth in any meaningful fashion. While journalists around the world know that any misstep or false claim made about a powerful person or company could be an existential risk for their publications and their livelihoods, Musk says and does whatever the hell he wants, knowing that he’s insulated by personal wealth capable of settling any defamation lawsuit and by a fanbase that is still standing behind him.

Unlike Jeff Bezos, Musk has not destroyed local businesses in creating his SpaceX and Tesla. Unlike Mark Zuckerberg and Google’s various billionaires, Musk has not based his business on selling the personal details of people around the world. Musk’s companies built new, tangible things, not software, that felt inspired by science fiction—solar-powered battery storage, space ships, electric cars. It is easy to describe to my dad what Elon Musk does: He builds cars—the fastest cars in the world. They run on batteries. He builds spaceships. He sent a car in the general direction of Mars. The vast majority of people think this is insanely cool, which is why he remains popular even now.

His companies are inspiring and easy to explain. They cement American dominance in two industries that Americans have fallen behind in, at least narratively speaking. Most people want Elon Musk to succeed.

It’s disappointing that Musk has chosen his platform to incessantly beef precisely because he can do whatever he wants. He can continue to attack everyone who criticizes him, and his businesses might still succeed. He will remain a billionaire, and he will grow increasingly divisive. There is a model for this: It's Donald Trump, it's Sheldon Adelson, it's every other powerful person that uses their platform and their wealth to attack, belittle, and take advantage of everyone else. The only thing he has to do to be the most popular businessman in the world is to do literally anything besides what he’s doing right now.



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MotherHydra
10 hours ago
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Absolute bullshit from the same dinosaur-based cartels trying to take this guy down any way possible. Don't drink the hatorade. I expect nothing less from this "news" outlet. Who else has done more to push humanity forward through sheer force of financial capital? I'll go ahead and wait, maybe Gates comes in second and arguably with lesser results. Don't people see hit pieces for what they are? Manufactured outrage does what it says on the tin.
Space City, USA
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DMack
18 hours ago
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absolute skrilla corrupts absolutely
may grimes guide his heart to truth & purity
Victoria, BC
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