Looking for top tech news you might’ve missed last week? Don’t look any further. Here we’ve come up with ten top tech news headlines from the week that just went by. Let’s have a look:
1. Musk’s Space X rocket launch cancelled at final countdown
At the last moment, Ellen Musk’s Space X aborted its plans to launch a Falcon 9 rocket, thus again delaying an attempt to put a satellite into orbit.
The 23-story rocket, carrying a communications satellite for Luxembourg-based SES SA, was just two minutes away from its scheduled launch at 6:47 pm when the launch team decided to abort the countdown. This is the third time when the company has postponed the launch of the satellite.
According to Allen Musk, Air Force safety officers stopped the countdown after a boat strayed into a restricted zone east of Space X’s Cape Canaveral Air Force Station launch site.
Space X resumed the countdown a few minutes later, aiming for a 7:21 p.m launch, but a technical issue ultimately caused to stop the liftoff again.
Space X has already succeeded in landing a Falcon rocket on an on-shore site near the Cape Canaveral pad where it launched , but it has failed thrice to guide rockets back to ocean platforms.
The Californian company didn’t reveal any details about the next launch date. Perhaps it will take some time before the company makes another attempt to launch the satellite.
2. Raspberry Pi 3 adds Wi-Fi, Bluetooth; still costs only $35
The Raspberry Pi Foundation is celebrating the fourth birthday of its computer in a special way.
The Company is launching a brand new Raspberry Pi dubbed Raspberry Pi 3.
The Raspberry Pi 3 is perhaps the biggest update to Raspberry Pi computer till date.
Despite several enhanced tweaks such as Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, the latest model costs you $35.
Other enhanced tweak is the 64-bit, quad-core 1.2GHz ARM Cortex-A53, which guarantees to make Pi3 around 50 percent faster than its predecessor. However, the RAM remains 1GB.
One of the core uses of Raspberry Pi lie in the education field. The computer costs you only $35, making the device affordable to students. With the latest enhancements, the device has become a perfect choice for educational purposes.
With the help of Wi-Fi, you can easily connect the device to the internet, thus eliminating the need of traditional cables.
The Bluetooth availability has come up as a plus for hobbyists and researchers who are already using Pis to collect data from various sensors around their labs and homes. With on board Bluetooth, the Pi will now be able to collect data from sensors without being directly wired to them.
In terms of performance and tweaks, Raspberry Pi 3 is far ahead of its predecessors.
According to the CEO of Raspberry Pi Trading, Eben Upton,
“After a long effort, we have made the device; we were looking forward to make from long time.”
“I am really quit hopeful this time. The Pi3 is the device where you can really say, yes, this is a PC.”, said Upton in his statement.
3. Researchers create matrix-like instant learning through brain simulation
Researchers at HRL Laboratories have discovered that in a realistic flight simulator, novice pilots can learn faster when you use transcranial direct current stimulation to send the brain activity of commercial and military pilots into their heads.
According to the researchers, the subjects receiving brain simulation via electrode embedded head caps improved their piloting abilities.
According to Dr. Matthew Phillips “These techniques are pretty much effective and can be implemented for classes like driver’s training, SAT prep, and language learning.”
The technology is still far from commercial grade, but if zapping your brain can teach you how to fly a multi-ton piece of ultra specialized transport equipment, nothing can be more interesting and exciting.
4. First Hololens kit to cost $3,000
Microsoft has started taking orders for the developer edition of its Hololens augmented reality headset.
The test kit will cost you $3,000(£2,160). The orders will be shipped to buyers in March.
Augmented reality glasses overlap computer generated images on the wearer’s surroundings, thus allowing you to interact with mobile devices more interactively.
However, there are different speculations about augmented reality among users.
According to an expert, augmented reality devices are still at an experimental stage.
“I don’t expect Hololens to be a mass market product due to its pricing”, said Piers Harding-Rolls of IHS Technology.
“Like the early VR headsets, the Hololens will be affordable only to the technology enthusiasts with large income. However, i am pretty sure that we are just few years away from creating compelling consumer AR smart glasses, which will have the desirable content and will be affordable by everyone,” he said.
Microsoft is not the first one to adopt AR technology; several companies have already launched several headsets. Let’s have a look:
- $3,000(£2150) – Hololens development kit (February 2016)
- $1,500 (£1070)- Google Glass developer edition (April 2014)
- $840 (£600) – Sony Smart Eyeglass developer edition (February 2015)
- $599 (£430) – Oculus Rift development kit (January 2016)
The Hololens will be packed with several basic applications, specially intended for developers. The applications are:
- Skype – for video calling friends and family
- Holo Tour – lets the wearer look at 360 degree images of world cities
- Holo Studio – lets developers build 3D objects
- RoboRaid – a first-person shooting game
The online booking for the HoloLens have been started. You can grab it from stores and enjoy.
5. This cable could be the charger Apple and Android users dreamt of
If you are an iOS user, you must have been familiar with the fact that you will need at least three lightning cables to get along with your device, since all accessories like Bluetooth headphones, camera, hard drive etc. need Micro – USB cables for them to work.
So you are stuck in this irritating mess of entwined charging cables.
But now you don’t need to worry,
the company LMcable has come up with the world’s first Lightning and Micro-USB in one connector.
Talking about the connector, its one side features the pins for a lightning port, while the other side is suitable for Micro-USB. Both the pins have a 2.4A output, thus allowing fast charging and data transfer.
The cables have been covered in a textured material to prevent knotting and they’ve even wrapped it in leather to give is a stylish look.
So if you’re fed up of using different cables on your iPhone, this cable is a perfect option for you.
6. NASA is spending $20 mn on this supersonic ‘X-plane’
NASA has sanctioned Lockheed Martin $20 mn to design a new series of supersonic aircraft, which will clear the road for the reintroduction of commercial supersonic flights.
Charles Bolden, the administrator of NASA announced the news during an event at Ronal Reagan Washington National Airport in Virginia.
“Now we’re continuing that supersonic X-plane legacy with this preliminary design award for a quieter supersonic jet with an aim toward passenger flight”, said Bolden in his statement.
According to NASA, the design for Lockheed’s test plane will be about half the size of a commercial plane and will likely to be piloted, thus leaving some space for autonomy.
The $20 mn awarded to Lockheed Martin will fund preliminary design work over the next 17 months. During that time, the contract requires the company to develop the design and specifications for the aircraft, which will be tested by wind tunnel tests and computer simulations. After that, another contract competition will be held to build the aircraft.
NASA is aiming to begin test flights from 2020 as long as funding is continued.
7. Google I/O 2016 website goes live, registration begins March 8
Google’s I/O conference is all set to begin from May 18. However, the registration process has already started.
Google has launched a dedicated I/O 2016 website for the event more than two months in advance.
The registration process starts from Tuesday, March 8, at 9:00 AM PT/12:00 PM ET and runs until Thursday, March 10, at 5:00 PM PT/8:00 PM ET.
Once the registration closes, Google will randomly choose applicants and offer them the option to buy a ticket.
Ticket prices for the three-day event start at $900. There are also a limited amount of $300 tickets for full-time students, faculty, and professors that wish to attend.
Are you planning to attend the conference this year? Well if you are, hurry up! Because the time is limited, so are the tickets.
8. Google’s new Resizer tool lets mobile web designers and developers test URL
To help web designers and developers, Google has introduced Resizer, a tool that allows designers test Material design across platforms, and see where the breakpoints are.
Once you input a URL, you can toggle between desktop or mobile experiences. Resizer is totally interactive and mimics actual performance. You can test it side-by-side for desktop and mobile.
Resizer also features few default URLs in the input bar where you can get a subtle hint of Google’s best practices.
However, one thing worth noting is that the tool is only meant for performance testing, it won’t help you to design a webpage. So don’t expect much from it.
9. Amazon to restore encryption to Fire tablets after complaints
Following the complaints from customers and privacy advocates, Amazon.com Inc has announced that it will restore the encryption feature on its Fire tablets.
Amazon had removed the security update from its latest operating system and following this, the company was highly criticized.
“We will return the option for full-disk encryption with a Fire OS update coming this spring”, the company spokeswoman Robin Handaly announced via email.
Amazon’s decision to drop encryption from the Fire operating system came into light this week, when the company announced that it had removed the feature because very few customers were using it.
Many customers and privacy advocates criticized Amazon’s decision. Famous cryptologist Bruce Schneier called the Company’s decision stupid. Few other people also criticized and publically urged the company to restore the feature.
On-device encryption is an important feature of any operating system. It scrambles the data so that the device can be accessed only if the user enters correct password. So Amazon’s decision to drop the feature was not good.
Well if you have noticed that the on-device encryption feature is missing on your Fire tablet , please don’t worry. The company will restore it again in the next update.
10. WhatsApp for Android gets document sharing feature
A new WhatsApp update has been released for Android smartphones. The new update has added document sharing feature, which many rivals of the messaging app already have.
The new document sharing feature allows you to only share PDF files for now. This means that you can’t share .doc, .xls and .ppt files for now. Perhaps the company will start supporting them later on.
In order to share files,
- Tap the attachment icon on top right of the screen in a chat window
- Select the Document option
This will open a list of PDF files stored in the system, but the navigation does not let you open specific folders.
One thing worth noting is that
The update is not available on Google Play, since it has not been released to all Android users.
However, you can click on here and download the install file directly from the official website.
That’s all we have in top tech news of last week. For more, stay tuned with us.