Startup Fermyon Releases Spin 1.0 for WebAssembly Serverless Applications
Fermyon recently announced Spin 1.0, an open-source developer tool and framework for developing serverless applications with WebAssembly (Wasm).
With Spin, the company provides an easy developer experience for creating applications running with Wasm, including a framework for deploying and running them fast and securely.
Radu Matei, CTO of Fermyon, explains in a blog post:
Spin is an open-source developer tool and framework that helps the user through creating, building, distributing, and running serverless applications with Wasm. We can use spin new to create a new application based on starter templates, spin build to compile our application to Wasm and spin up to run the application locally.
Besides running the spin application locally, developers can deploy the application to Fermyon Cloud (launched in open beta last year). After signing in to the Fermyon Cloud, they can deploy their application by running the following command in the directory where their application’s spin.toml file is located:
$ spin deploy
In addition, developers could also choose to push the applications to a container registry.
One of the key takeaways from an InfoQ podcast with Matt Butcher was:
Spin, an open-source developer tool from Fermyon focused on the inner loop (the fast iterative local development cycle), allows you to quickly build web assembly-based applications without having to worry about deployment. Spin has a Visual Studio Code plugin and functions similar to serverless event listener models like AWS Lambda.
The company plans to use WASI Preview 2 and the Wasm component model in the near future. In addition, in a Reddit thread, Matei responded to a question regarding web support with more details on future developments:
In the future, we want to allow calling Wasm components from Spin, which could be used in the browser or outside the browser, but the functionality of Spin is intended for non-browser scenarios.
Fermyon is one of many companies investing in WASM technology. For instance, Docker recently announced the first Technical Preview of Docker+Wasm, a unique build that makes it possible to run Wasm containers with Docker using the WasmEdge runtime. From version 4.15, everyone can try out the features by activating the containerd image store experimental feature.
Furthermore, a runwasi project is part of the CNCF’s containerd ecosystem, allowing developers to run a WebAssembly runtime via containerd shim inside of Kubernetes.
Lastly, more details on Spin are available on the documentation pages.
ChatGPT comes to iPad, adds support for Siri and Shortcuts
Less than a month after its release on the App Store, OpenAI’s ChatGPT app is getting its first big update. The new version, out today, brings native iPad support to the AI chatbot app, as well as support for using ChatGPT with Siri and Shortcuts. Drag and drop is also now available, allowing users to drag individual messages from ChatGPT into other apps.
The latter could be useful in iPad’s split-screen mode, for instance, as you could ask ChatGPT for answers in one window and then drag its replies to another.
On iPad, ChatGPT now runs in full-screen mode, optimized for the tablet’s interface. This change, along with drag-and-drop, will likely make it preferable to using the web browser version of the chatbot, which is what many iPad users were still doing ahead of today’s release. The update could also drive incremental new downloads of the ChatGPT app, which had popped to the top of the App Store right out of the gate with half a million installs in less than a week from its debut.
It has since rolled out to other markets outside the U.S., including Albania, Croatia, France, Germany, Ireland, Jamaica, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Nigeria, South Korea and the U.K., and promised an Android version would arrive soon.
Another new feature of interest with today’s release is ChatGPT’s support for Siri and Shortcuts. While that doesn’t mean you can fully swap out Siri for the OpenAI chatbot as your iOS device’s voice interface, it does mean you can create custom ChatGPT Shortcuts that work with Siri. For instance, you could turn your favorite prompts into Shortcuts and then have those perform an additional step after the query is completed, like saving the response to a different app. You can also now ask Siri to open ChatGPT using voice commands.
Like its iPhone counterpart, iPad users can also opt to upgrade to ChatGPT’s paid subscription, ChatGPT Plus, which starts at $20 per month, providing elevated access to ChatGPT even during peak times, faster response times and priority access to new features and improvements.
The ChatGPT mobile app has proven to have staying power in the App Store in the weeks since its launch. In the U.S., the app is still the No. 4 app on the App Store’s Top Free charts, for example, and has a 4.8-star rating across 421,000 ratings and reviews — a figure that’s hard to achieve for any app. Estimates from third-party app intelligence provider data.ai indicate the app has now seen 7.3 million worldwide installs on iOS, and hasn’t left the top five in the U.S. since its debut. The app is also now No. 1 overall in 31 countries worldwide.
Apple this week updated its App Store rules with a seeming eye on ChatGPT clones, noting that submitting apps that impersonate others is a violation of the Developer Code of Conduct and may result in removal from the Apple Developer Program. The App Store had been overrun with ChatGPT pretenders ahead of the arrival of the official version.
Mark Zuckerberg shares his thoughts on the Apple’s Vision Pro
Meta is Apple’s chief competitor in the VR market, and it launched its premier offering, the Quest 3 just a few days before Apple dropped the Vision Pro.
So it’s interesting to hear what Meta founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg thinks of Apple’s inaugural VR headset.
During a meeting with Meta employees, Zuckerberg addressed Vision Pro in detail. He said that Apple didn’t find “magical solutions” to the constraints of physics that Meta’s teams haven’t already explored.
He notes Apple’s use of higher-resolution displays but adds that it requires more energy to power, a battery and a wire attached to use it, and the fact that it costs seven times more than the Quest 3.
Perhaps most importantly, Zuckerberg talks about the “difference in the values and the vision” between Meta and Apple when it comes to their headsets. He adds that Meta’s vision is “fundamentally social” and that “it’s about people interacting in new ways and feeling closer in new ways”. He continues that Apple’s approach, by contrast, showed “a person sitting on a couch by themself”. He finished off by saying that Apple’s Vision Pro could be “the vision of the future of computing”, “but like, it’s not the one I want”.
Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth is on 2 discs for PS5, just like FF7 Remake
Even for fans of Final Fantasy, the news that Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth would ship on two discs was eye-catching. Like, dang, are we actually still doing this?
Well, yes, even if the PlayStation 5 now uses 100 GB Blu-ray discs, compared to the PlayStation 4’s 50 GB discs. It likely means one is a data installation disc and the second is the play disc, meaning it’s the one that is always in the drive when the game is being played. That’s how plus-sized games on the PS4 rolled.
We assume it’s the same because this will seemingly be the first PS5 game on two discs. (It doesn’t appear that Xbox Series X has had any multi-disc games, if you were wondering.) They used to be quite common, but with media capacity ever increasing — and most players shifting to online purchases and downloads of games — they’re now rare enough to remark on.
In fact, Square Enix seemed almost proud that the multi-disc tradition would carry on with Rebirth (calling that out in the final title card). Final Fantasy 7 Remake was two discs when it launched on PlayStation 4 in 2020, and of course the original Final Fantasy 7 was a three-discer back in 1997.
This doesn’t necessarily portend a completely ridiculous download size for those no longer interested in collecting game cases. Final Fantasy 7 Remake Intergrade was 81 GB when that launched in 2021. That’s about half of Cyberpunk 2077, and it’s regularly dwarfed by annual sports titles (to say nothing of Call of Duty’s indulgent sizes). But it does mean that PlayStation 5 fans with unexpanded storage will have to budget their space wisely once Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth arrives in early 2024.
We reached out to Square Enix representatives to see if we could get more of a sense of Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth’s size, and why two discs are still the norm.
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