Windows, tadpoles, and Apple
Instruction Set, 2023/11/20
Welcome back to Multicore. This is Instruction Set for the week of Monday, November 20th.
Here’s the view from my front door right now:
Winter is finally hitting Tokyo after an unseasonably warm November. Normally I’d see snow like this on Mt. Fuji a week or so earlier. Still, let’s hear it for crisp air and clear sunsets — this is by far my favourite time of the year.
It has not been a banner week for tech news, however, at least not on Multicore’s side of the river. Much of the industry has been gripped by the bizarre drama engulfing OpenAI over the past few days, which may well have peaked as I type; Microsoft has just recruited OpenAI’s inexplicably fired CEO Sam Altman and subsequently resigned co-founder Greg Brockman to head a new advanced AI research team. The whole thing feels like NBA trade deadline day.
Still, we are here to discuss hardware news, such as it is. Let’s start with something cute.
Opal has announced the Tadpole, a $175 webcam designed to clip onto laptop screens.
Opal’s first webcam, the $300 C1, had a boxy mount that worked with laptops or external monitors. The Tadpole’s iPod Shuffle-style clip limits it to laptop use, but in all other ways it looks like a big upgrade. The sensor is now a 1/2” Sony IMX582, up from the 1/2.3” IMX370 in the C1, and the software is much simpler and offers Windows compatibility.
My guess is that the C1 found itself caught between people who wanted a simple laptop upgrade and people who’d go all-in on a better desk-bound setup. The Tadpole looks great for anyone who primarily uses laptops and prioritises portability and convenience.
Amazon is not only developing its own operating system, but has already deployed it on devices that previously ran Android.
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