It may not happen at the World Wide Developers Conference, but Apple will announce updated MacBooks this month, according to macrumors.com. A report from Mac Otakara cites a reliable supplier, and supports the earlier stories that Apple will drop he 11 inch MacBook Air, but continue with a slimmer 13 inch and a new 15 inch model. All the MacBooks will have Thunderbolt3/USB-C ports, and will drop USB-A, MagSafe, and Thunderbolt 2 ports. This rumor has them all out in August, although most other reports point to later in the year. The Pros will be thinner and lighter, have Touch ID, and the OLED touch bar we’ve reported previously.
Facebook is experimenting with a new type of post that is more like a Tweet. According to theverge.com, it is only visible in the News Feed, and doesn’t appear in your Timeline. Because these won’t show on the Timeline, and will be pushed down quickly on the newsfeed, the thinking is they might be used for quick or lighthearted updates. The selection is done by the individual post…with a ‘Hide from your Timeline’ option when you hit the post button. Right now, the feature is only showing up for some users, so may or may not be rolled out to everyone. Facebook is also working on a ‘notify a few friends’ feature you could use instead of tagging.
Facebook is testing a new feature, so you may see a new button on the lower right of the control bar at the bottom of videos. Thenextweb.com reports that it allows videos to float, and move to the lower left corner, allowing you to continue to scroll through your newsfeed while watching the video. You can drag the video window anywhere, and it can be shared at any point. It automatically goes away if you click to another Facebook page.
There continue to be advances in solar cell tech, and now the army…yes, the US Army…has built smaller, cheaper, tougher solar cells. According to engadget.com, instead of single crystal silicon, the army has super thin sandwiches of sliver and gold between semiconductor layers. Normally infrared and ultraviolet solar rays heat, warp, and crack all-silicon panels. With the gold an silver layers, they can use a fuller spectrum of solar wavelengths to generate power without that damage. The new panels also generate the same amount of energy regardless of the angle of sunlight…they don’t have to be on expensive, motorized tracking stands. The panels are still in the testing stage, but could be a major breakthrough in solar technology.