Published by the Students of Johns Hopkins since 1896
July 4, 2020

Wrap up: the latest in technology...

By WILLIAM XIE | November 8, 2018

The new iPad Pro is the best tablet on the market 

Apple recently released the new Macbook Air and iPad Pro in Brooklyn, N.Y. The highly anticipated new iPad Pro model did not disappoint. It is all around better than its predecessor with huge upgrades. Weighing in at one pound for the 11 inch and 1.4 pounds for the 12.9-inch model, Apple’s new iPad Pro has gotten lighter. Apple has further decreased bezels, giving the new iPad a sleeker look. Apple has also gotten rid of the home button, replacing it with Face ID. The tablet magnetically holds the Apple Pencil while also wireless charging it.

As expected, Apple has left the old generation lightning port for the industry standard USB-C port, for theoretically quicker charging times and faster data transfer speeds. There are still four speakers on the tablet, but Apple has added three more microphones. The device’s five microphones will ensure calling and audio recording is solid. 

The highlight addition to the new iPad is Apple’s A12X bionic chip with neural engine. The processor is insanely fast, rivaling even Intel’s seventh generation processors. According to GeekBench scores published on Tom’s Hardware, the A12X chip has a multi-core speed of 17,995 compared to a Macbook Pro with an i7-8559U score of 17,348. Storage options have increased from 256GB to up to 1TB, with the new capacities being 64GB, 256GB, 512GB and 1TB. Memory probably won’t be a problem, since it was confirmed models may come with 6GB of RAM. 

The 11-inch model starts at $799, and the 12.9-inch model at $999. Pre-orders have already begun with an estimated shipping date of Nov. 7.

Parker spacecraft is now the closest man-made object to the sun

The Parker Solar Probe recently broke the record for the closest human-made object to the sun. It has surpassed the solar approach record set by Helios 2 in 1976. This comes with no surprise as the Parker is expected to be the first spacecraft to reach the sun’s atmosphere or corona. 

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) head the Parker project. The team launched the probe on August 12, and it’s set to repeatedly orbit the sun. Its first perihelion, or point in orbit closest to the sun, is on Nov. 5 when it will be contactless with the researchers due to the sun’s strong radio emissions. At the closest approach in 2024, it is expected to reach a distance of 6.2 million kilometers from the sun while traveling at 692,000 kilometers per hour.

Andy Driesman, project manager from the APL, described the historic importance of the project.

“It’s been just 78 days since Parker Solar Probe launched, and we’ve now come closer to our star than any other spacecraft in history. It’s a proud moment for the team, though we remain focused on our first solar encounter, which begins on October 31st,” Driesman said in a press release.

The probe is equipped with four measurement packages: Fields Experiment (FIELDS), Wide-field Imager for Solar Probe (WISPR), Solar Wind Electrons Alphas and Protons (SWEAP) and Integrated Science Investigation of the sun (ISOIS). These will measure participles and electric fields as the probe approaches the sun. The exploration of the solar corona will help scientists understand the nature of the sun’s energy and the reason for solar wind acceleration. 

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