Yes, the Mac Pro costs exactly as much as you expected: a lot

I was in a rush to fill out all the boxes for the newsletter late light night and ended up doing it wrong, sending it from my email address instead of the more traditional  My apologies to any and all who had their inbox filters jacked up by it. Know that my punishment was an inbox full of automated out-of-office replies.

Today's the day that Apple finally started taking real orders for the Mac Pro. In case you were wondering where our review is, Apple chose not to provide review units to the usual group of journalists. The best of the very few first impressions I've seen so far has been by Marques Brownlee. MacRumors has a short roundup of the other imporessions out there so far. We'll find our way to reviewing one when we can, though it might take a minute.

I've got a few thoughts about what the "Pro" in "Mac Pro" really means, but rather than do a whole essay I'll just leave some notes below. I think you'll get the gist.

- Dieter

The Mac Pro

Apple's most expensive Mac Pro costs $52,599

It's stories like this that sort of make me wish Apple hadn't diluted the meaning of the word "Pro." It's absolutely appropriate for a workstation to cost this much given the right context. This Mac Pro really is "Pro" in a way that the iPad Pro or even MacBook Pro simply aren't.

That dissonance, more than anything else, is the source of whatever feelings that eye-popping number might engender. Some of Apple's "Pro" devices are egalitarian, meant for regular people who just want the better thing. This is something different. Even this maximum price, for the people Apple ACTUALLY wants to sell this computer to, isn't actually all that unreasonable. 

Apple's most expensive Pro Display XDR requires a special, Apple-made cloth to clean it

It's like Apple WANTS us to keep reifying our stereotypes about the company's penchant for making pretty things that won't work in the real world. This definitely does that, but it also definitely underscores the point I made above. These displays are not meant for the average user or even the "pro" user.

Truthfully there's a word for the non-pro pro that has been tossed around a bit, one I could use to resolve this whole quandary. It's "Prosumer," and I hope you and I can both agree that we're all better than that.

The Mac Pro's optional wheels cost $400

For just $400 more, you could opt to buy a Boosted Mini board instead and then your Mac Pro could be mounted to an electric skateboard you could remotely send flying across the office. You know, for fun.

Verge Deal of the day 

Microsoft's Surface Laptop 3 is down to $799 at Amazon

The latest iteration of Microsoft's Surface Laptop is down to $799 (usually $999) at Amazon. This is the base model, which features an Intel Core i5 CPU, 8GB of RAM, and 128GB of solid-state storage. If you're shopping for a well-built Windows 10 laptop with a great keyboard, this one should be on your shortlist.

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Wheels redesigns its shareable e-bikes to include a helmet

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Somebody should do a startup with lockable helmets that can just be bolted on to any rentable rideable.

The Justice Department will reportedly investigate Google's Fitbit acquisition

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Google is using machine learning to make alarm tones based on the time and weather

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Chrome now warns you when your password has been stolen

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Google built its own tiny HDMI 2.1 box to jump-start 'the next generation of Android TV'

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Facebook tells US attorney general it won't remove encryption from its messaging apps

I wonder if this will differ in any way from the fight Apple had with the FBI over encrypted messages. Facebook does not have the foundation of wide public support for its privacy policies that Apple does.

iOS 13.3 arrives with full support for physical security keys

So far I haven't managed to get it to work with the Google Advanced Protection Program on the iPhone, which still requires a Bluetooth key (or, ironically, a secure Android phone) to go along with Google's silly, bad Smart Lock app. There's a whole story to be written about the number of inter-app redirects that are required to make this work on the iPhone and why they're happening, but it's all just too exhausting to even start.

Waze now allows you to report unplowed roads and black ice

This would have been really useful when I was plotting how to drive three hours in Minnesota right before Thanksgiving after that snowstorm. Honestly surprised it's taken this long. I would like to think it's not because most of Waze's developers live in places where this kind of weather never happens.

Microsoft's full-screen Windows 7 upgrade prompts start next month

If you're reading this, there's a better than even chance you'll not see this dialog. But a friend or relative might. Please be helpful. Sometimes it sucks offering tech advice or help because it puts you on the hook to have to help out the next time too. But in this case, it's worth that risk.

+ Legit finally Lightroom finally adds direct photo import on iOS

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