The use of the M2 chip is the new 13-inch MacBook Pro's biggest change compared to the M1 version Apple launched in 2020, but it's apparently not the only one. YouTubers on the Max Tech and Created Tech channels (via MacRumors) have run speed tests on the 256GB version of the M2 MacBook Pro and discovered that the SSD's read and write speeds are as much as 50 percent slower than the 256GB SSD in the M1 MacBook Pro.
Sustained disk read speeds run by Max Tech using the BlackMagic Disk Speed Test showed a drop from about 2,900MB/s in the M1 MacBook Pro to 1,446MB/s in the M2 MacBook Pro. Write speeds dropped from 2,215MB/s in the M1 Pro to 1,463MB/s in the M2 Pro, a smaller but still significant drop.
The culprit appears to be the NAND flash configuration. Both YouTubers took the bottom off of the new MacBook Pro and discovered that the 256GB versions use just one 256GB NAND flash chip, whereas the M1 MacBook Pro uses a pair of 128GB flash chips. On drives with more physical NAND chips, SSD controllers use a process called interleaving to read data from and write data to multiple physical chips at once. Use fewer chips, and you can limit your peak performance.
While unfortunate for anyone who buys the cheapest version of the MacBook Pro, this problem isn't unique to Apple. Many modern SSDs for PCs only offer their maximum rated speeds starting at the 1TB or 2TB capacities. Higher-density NAND chips can increase your maximum capacity, making it possible to fit 4TB of storage in a drive that's just a bit bigger than a stick of gum. But speed drops at lower capacities are one unfortunate side effect of increased density.
The higher-capacity 512GB and 1TB versions of the new MacBook Pro appear to offer SSD speeds similar to the M1 version, so if you were already springing for more storage, you won't have to deal with these performance issues. It remains to be seen whether the new M2-equipped MacBook Air will have the same issues at 256GB, though it's hard to imagine Apple shipping a 256GB Air-branded laptop that performs better than a similarly configured Pro-branded laptop.
A Republican lawmaker called the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn the nationwide right to abortion established nearly 50 years ago in Roe v. Wade a “victory for white life,” which was met with cheers by crowds at a rally held by former president Donald Trump.
“President Trump, on behalf of all the MAGA patriots in America, I want to thank you for the historic victory for white life in the Supreme Court yesterday,” Rep. Mary E. Miller (R) said at the rally Saturday night in Mendon, Ill., referring to Trump’s former campaign slogan, “Make America Great Again.”
She began clapping her hands as spectators, some clutching red “Save America” placards, also began to applaud.Her remark drew widespread condemnation on social media, and Miller’s team swiftly issued an explanation for what it deemed to be “a mix-up of words.”
Uh huh. Must be a one-time mistake.
This is not the first time Miller has been scrutinized for comments in her speeches. Last year, she was forced to apologize after quoting Adolf Hitler at a “Moms for America” event in Washington.
“Hitler was right on one thing. He said, ‘Whoever has the youth has the future,’” Miller said during the rally, just two days after she was sworn in as a House member, leading to calls for her resignation on social media and from Democrats.
Her district in southern and eastern Illinois sent her to Congress in 2020 by a mere 73-26 margin.
Clinging to sunken debris in shallow, marine mangrove forests in the French Caribbean, tiny thread-like organisms—perfectly visible to the naked eye—have earned the title of the largest bacteria ever known.
Measuring around a centimeter long, they are roughly the size and shape of a human eyelash, batting away the competition at 5,000 times the size of garden-variety bacteria and 50 times the size of bacteria previously considered giant. In human terms, this is akin to coming across a person as tall as Mount Everest.
Olivier Gros, a biologist at the University of the Antilles, discovered the prokaryotes in 2009, noticing them gently swaying in the sulfur-rich waters among the mangroves in the Guadeloupe archipelago. The bacteria clung to the leaves, branches, oyster shells, and bottles that sunk into the tropical swamp, Gros said in a press briefing.
He and colleagues first thought they might be complex eukaryotic organisms or perhaps a string of linked organisms. But years of genetic and molecular research revealed that each string is, in fact, one towering bacterial cell, genetically related to other sulfur-oxidizing bacteria. "Of course, this was quite a surprise," Jean-Marie Volland, a microbiologist at the Joint Genome Institute in Berkeley, California, said in the briefing.
Their findings expand our understanding of microbial diversity in ways microbiologists didn't think possible. Scientists previously hypothesized that the size of bacteria would be limited by several factors, including a lack of intracellular transport systems, reliance on inefficient chemical diffusion, and a surface-to-volume ratio needed to satisfy energy needs. Yet, the volume of a single Ca. T. magnifica cell is at least two orders of magnitude larger than the predicted maximum that a bacterium can theoretically achieve, Volland said.
Filaments of Ca. Thiomargarita magnifica. [credit:
Jean-Marie Volland ]
Volland, Gros, and colleagues are still learning how—and why exactly—Ca. T. magnifica manages its massive size. But, so far, it's clear that Ca. T. magnifica oxidizes hydrogen sulfide from its sulfur-rich environment and reduces nitrate. About 75 percent of its cell volume is a sac of stored nitrate. The sac crushes up against the cell's envelope, limiting the depth that nutrients and other molecules need to diffuse.
While bacteria tend to have free-floating DNA, Ca. T. magnifica appears to have more than half a million copies of its genome bundled up into numerous membrane-bound compartments that the researchers named pepins, after small seeds in fruit. The distribution of pepins throughout the bacteria's outer edges could allow for localized protein production, eliminating the need to transport proteins long distances.
The next step to studying these gargantuan bacteria is for scientists to figure out how to culture them in labs. For now, the researchers have collected new specimens from the mangrove forests every time they run out. But, this has been tricky since they appear to have a mysterious life cycle or seasonality. For the last two months, Gros has not been able to find any. "I don't know where they are," he said.