Chuckellania for October 28th, 2021

Published on Sunday, October 31, 2021

The world's first mass-market use of the RISC-V architecture might be Google's Titan M2, a security chip in the Pixel 6 phones.

To be clear, the main application processor continues to be ARM. Moving a dedicated chip to a different ISA is much easier, as you don't have to support existing (or any) third-party code. The main process, OTOH, has to run existing Android apps, and moving those to RISC-V isn't quite as practical — yet.

I suspect we won't see Apple moving to RISC-V. Rather, if they do move away from ARM — such as because they're unhappy with Nvidia having bought them, or because they disagree with further the evolution of the ISA — I expect them to diverge, slowly at first and then very rapidly. They've already started making custom extensions, and there's no reason we can't eventually have "Apple Silicon" that is in fact quite dissimilar from ARM. Just not any time soon, as Apple does benefit from compatibility with existing binaries. Look for this a decade or two from now.


I've been lucky in the 2+ decades of using PayPal, but I've always hurt of the capricious ways in which it screens transactions or outright bans accounts.

Such as, say, when you mention a trip to Cuba.

Or a Persian rug.

The MacBook Pro "notch" is the gift that keeps on giving. This time: what if you don't just split the menu bar but rather the entire screen?

TopNotch (via)is a tool that makes the notch nearly impossible to see, by turning its surrounding menu bar black as well.

Xiaomi phones apparently have a similar setting built in.

Depending on how popularity of this feature plays out, I wouldn't be shocked to see a first-party option in 11.1 or 11.2 that simply shifts the menu bar down.

Dropbox still doesn't have an ARM-native client on macOS.

Some of the early staff responses in that thread aren't great:

This idea is going to need a bit more support before we share your suggestion with our team.

It's not an "idea", and there isn't really any discussion to do, other than on priorities. But it's been a year and a half since Apple announced the transition.

A later comment announces a timeframe of "first half of 2022", which is not a great look, but better than nothing.

I imagine Mac users are no longer the key demographic Dropbox is focusing on, and haven't been for a while, but such a response will only further accelerate people moving away.

Not great.

In more bird news, you don't quite expect this wingspan.

The bird also seems quite aware of how impressed the humans are.