Qualcomm's Snapdragon S4 Pro processor has been blowing us away with its speed in phones like the Nexus 4 and HTC's Droid DNA, and that's why we can't wait to meet its big brothers. The Snapdragon 800 boasts a quad-core Krait 400 CPU, that can go up to 2.3GHz per core.OK. Pardon me, but-- I knew better than to compare clock speeds across architectures and platforms when I was 12 years old. Understanding the limitation of clock speeds in these kinds of comparisons isn't some sort of arcane computer knowledge. It's basic information for anyone interested in computing. (For the specifics, Ars Technica provided a rundown a couple years ago.) I assure you, for a variety of tasks, the Retina Macbook Pro will significantly outperform the ARM processor. Yes, technological advancement in the mobile computing sphere has been impressive, but x86 and 64-bit processing has advanced quite a bit too. And indeed, a lot of the gains have been precisely in the realm of improving speed without improving clock speed, given the constraints of heat and conduction. And as quickly as technology can move, it also faces certain physical constraints, constraints that are particularly troubling in the confined spaces of mobile gadgetry. More processing power means more heat and more power consumption. The former is a wall; the latter just the reason you can't play a game of Snood on a modern cellphone without running your battery under 50%.
To put that in perspective, the base-level Retina MacBook Pros come with a 2.3GHz processor. In other words, things are about to get very fast.
Obviously, if I overheard someone making this comparison, I wouldn't get snotty about it. But this situation isn't the same as overhearing an amateur. Gizmodo is a professional blog staffed by professional writers. Rose was presumably paid for his post. I guess it just drives me crazy that the professional Internet is still filled with so much casual, basic incompetence. I'm reminded of a Jalopnik post where the blogger wrote derisively of electric cars, as those cars have to be charged with electricity that is produced using carbon-based fuels-- which would be a relevant criticism, were it not for the fact that a standard electrical grid is far more efficient than an internal combustion engine. Sure, these are just a couple examples, but I'm constantly amazed at how many elementary mistakes there are in professional writing online. I particularly cringe when I read a lot of writing on education, my own field, because there is so much written that demonstrates a lack of understanding of basic social science principles or statistical innumeracy.
To make matters worse, Rose includes the Platonic ideal of contemporary tech journalism: "Not to gush, but seriously, phones are so awesome right now." I literally facepalmed when I read that. This is exactly what's wrong with the Internet: fanboy gushing that overwhelms the ability to be discriminating, rational, and adult. All common sense and responsible thinking gets thrown out the window for the latest round of wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee! Whether it's cell phones or superhero movies or the latest Dynamic, Proactive, Market-Driven, Digital, Innovative Education Revolution For The 21st Century, nobody lets the facts get in the way of some gee-whiz story about how everything is going to be endlessly badass real soon. And the pros are often worse than the amateurs.
When blogs really began taking off, there was a hope that they'd combine the best parts of traditional journalism with the best parts of the Internet, high-quality fact finding and reporting with the openness and egalitarianism of the Web. I would argue we've seen exactly the opposite since then: so many of the systems of gatekeeping and insiderism of the old media world have been replaced by equivalents that are just as rigid, and so much of what's published today lacks the most basic accuracy or fact checking. What's galling isn't just these mistakes are made, but just how little people care that they are made. Minor factual mistakes are pointed out by commenters all the time without any correction or review. Because the world of Internet commentary writ large is flagrantly hostile to the academy, its culture is antagonistic to the schooling that could teach these writers not to make such elementary mistakes. And as time goes on and a general level of crappiness becomes the norm, the quality falls further and further. What we have online is not merely a culture of low expectations but a culture of studied apathy towards ubiquitous crappiness.