Category Archives: Opinion

Sound Off

Sound Off is a terrific organization dedicated to increasing access to professional settings to marginalized people in tech. It’s a worthy cause addressing an under appreciated difficulty for too many people.

This round Sound Off is raising funds to send two fellows or alumni of CODE2040 to the Layers conference. Here’s what they have to say about Layers and CODE2040:

Layers is a design conference in San Francisco taking place from June 13th – June 15th. Folks who know our history, know that Sound Off started as an informal fundraiser to send two women on scholarship to Layers 2015. We’re proud to continue to support a conference that features some of the best and brightest voices in our industry, including an outstanding number of women and people of color on stage and in the audience. Like all the conferences we support, Layers has a strong Code of Conduct.

CODE2040 is a nonprofit organization that creates pathways to educational, professional, and entrepreneurial success in technology for underrepresented minorities with a specific focus on Blacks and Latinxs. Every summer, CODE2040’s flagship Fellows Program supports minority students interning in Silicon Valley by providing them with a sense of community, through mentorship, a speaker series, and workshops. CODE2040’s mission aligns with our own, and we’re excited to provide opportunities to their fellows and alumni.

 

Layers is terrific. I attended last year, I’m friends with the organizers, and I cannot recommend a conference higher. Sending a couple of people from the CODE2040 project seems like a terrific idea to me. If you can please consider a contributing. You’ll make the world a better place.

Adrian Courrèges Dissects a Grand Theft Auto Frame

To turn back to technical topics — Adrian Courrèges has done an amazing job of deconstructing and explaining exactly what goes into rendering a frame of Grand Theft Auto 5.

This is a phenomenal piece of work. Not only does it deconstruct how a frame is rendered but it does so in a way that is approachable by people who are not necessarily graphics programmers. That’s not to say that people who don’t know the ins and outs will walk away with the ability to implement an engine like the one employed by GTA but, rather, that they can walk away with a basic understanding of the ingredients. These are the eggs that make the omelet.

Adrian concludes:

All in all there were 4155 draw calls, 1113 textures involved and 88 render targets.

That’s a lot of eggs. Adrian does a terrific job of explaining how it all fits together.

Ben Thompson on Apple

STOP DOUBTING THE IPHONE, THE MACINTOSH COMPANY

Thompson tears apart the fears of iPhone growth slowing narrative with compelling arguments. The gist is that smartphones are increasingly becoming the most important piece of technology people interact with.

Regarding the Macintosh.

Indeed, the Mac remains one of the strongest arguments for the iPhone’s continued success; there is precedent for a higher-priced OS-differentiated product housed in the best hardware outgrowing the competition in a saturated industry for years, and it just so happens to be made by the same company.

The rest of the PC industry is collapsing while Apple is still making money. If anything you’d think that might be a sign. Yet so many are hooked on the idea that when history repeats itself it does it in exactly the same way. That’s not how history works. History is perspective.

As Thompson points out in this piece, there are a number of issues that should trouble Apple. Unprecedented success with a product that remains top of class around the world and sells like hotcakes isn’t one.

Some time ago I culled a bunch of feeds I’d been following from my RSS reader and subscribed to the Stratechery newsletter. Asking for email isn’t something I often do. I don’t regret it. Ben’s thoughts are one of the first things I read in the morning. They’re sharp and well argued. I don’t always agree with his assessments but that’s exactly the kind of person you want to be reading more from.