iMac Pro Orders Begin December 14 

Apple has updated the iMac Pro webpage, indicating that the machine will be for sale on Thursday, December 14.

Some hands-on coverage is surfacing this morning, including this video by MKBHD. In it, he mentions the 18-core option won’t ship until early 2018. There’s also a previously-unannounced 14-core model.

I’m extremely interested in this machine. I’m going to let the dust settle a little bit, but at this point, am really considering picking one up early next year.

Apps Can Now be Made Available for Pre-Order »


You can now make your new apps available for pre-order on the App Store on all Apple Platforms. Customers can see your product page and order your app before it’s released for download. Once your app is released, customers will be notified and it will automatically download to their device. Let your customers know your app is coming by using the pre-order badges in your marketing materials.

This will be great for developers who want to build hype for their new apps. I like it.

Trump Sets New Space Policy, with Eyes on Moon »

Jen Rae Wang, NASA:

President Donald Trump is sending astronauts back to the Moon.

The president Monday signed at the White House Space Policy Directive 1, a change in national space policy that provides for a U.S.-led, integrated program with private sector partners for a human return to the Moon, followed by missions to Mars and beyond.

Under Obama, NASA had a directive to go to the Red Planet that side-stepped lunar missions. Trump follows both Bushes in wanting to return to the moon. Republican leadership really likes the idea of putting Americans back on the lunar surface, it would seem. Assuming we see another president after Trump,1 will they change direction yet again?

Big projects like this take time, especially on NASA’s anemic budget. That, coupled with administrations that want to leave their own mark on the agency means that it is very hard to see something big like this through. This line speaks volumes in NASA’s press release:

Work toward the new directive will be reflected in NASA’s Fiscal Year 2019 budget request next year.

The agency is already building its next-generation rocket, which will be capable of sending a crew to cislunar space, but landing on and getting around on the moon are different things. This rocket has been plagued with technical and budgetary problems. Some have suggested NASA scrap it and throw-in with a company like ULA or even SpaceX.

I’d love to see Americans on Mars, but the moon would be amazing, too. I just can’t get my hopes up about this announcement.

  1. Or Pence. 

NASA Designing Next-Gen Wheels for Mars Rovers »

Michael Cole at Spaceflight Insider:

Engineers at NASA’s Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, Ohio, are reinventing the wheel in a way that may allow rovers and other future mobile vehicles to traverse the treacherous surface of Mars with greater and longer success. They have developed a woven mesh tire made of a shape-memory alloy, or SMA, that “remembers” its ideal shape and immediately springs back into form after absorbing the bumps and beatings of traversing rocky terrain.

In a recent test, the newly-developed tire was subjected to 6 miles (10 kilometers) of difficult driving over a punishing simulated Martian surface. At the end of the test the tire was as good as new. By comparison, the rigid aluminum wheels of the Curiosity rover, which has driven not quite twice that distance during its entire mission so far, are currently riddled with holes and dents from the rougher-than-expected punishment of traveling over the Martian landscape.

One reason I love space agencies is that their design project are just so … practical.

Report: Apple to buy Shazam (Update) »

Ingrid Lunden at TechCrunch:

As Spotify continues to inch towards a public listing, Apple is making a move of its own to step up its game in music services. Sources tell us that the company is close to acquiring Shazam, the popular app that lets people identify any song, TV show, film or advert in seconds, by listening to an audio clip or (in the case of, say, an ad) a visual fragment, and then takes you to content relevant to that search.

We have heard that the deal is being signed this week, and will be announced on Monday, although that could always change.

I assume this will just become a Siri feature, and that the stand-alone app will go away. Or maybe the recognition engine behind the app is what Apple is after as they continue to push into AR. Wild.

Update: They did.

Zero-day iOS HomeKit Vulnerability Discovered, Patch Coming Next Week »

Zac Hall at 9to5Mac:

A HomeKit vulnerability in the current version of iOS 11.2 has been demonstrated to 9to5Mac that allows unauthorized control of accessories including smart locks and garage door openers. Our understanding is Apple has rolled out a server-side fix that now prevent unauthorized access from occurring while limiting some functionality, and an update to iOS 11.2 coming next week will restore that full functionality.

The hits just keep coming.

Become a Member and Support 512 Pixels »

If you enjoy my work at 512 Pixels, consider becoming a member to help support it. Memberships run $5.12/month or $51.20/year1 and include a monthly newsletter featuring interviews, guest posts, Apple history topics and more. Members also get to see my videos before I publish them to YouTube, one of which should be going out very soon. Thanks!

  1. See what I did there? I believe it was actually Viticci’s idea…