Leak provides early details for Trump’s proposed Space Force

The proposal, crafted by Deputy Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan, would also lead to a major overhaul in how the military buys, develops and launches satellites, including (surprise) a larger role for private space companies. A new Space Development Agency would gradually take over the acquisition processes that are currently handled by individual branches. As their existing programs wrapped up, their resources would shift toward the new agency.

There’s no certainty that the proposal will stay as-is, let alone that it’ll be accepted. There are practical concerns whether or not you like the idea. What happens to the Air Force’s Space and Missile Systems Center, which handles the vast majority (about 85 percent) of the military’s space budget? What about its other space-oriented locations? Shanahan’s office describes the proposal as just “the start,” but it’s evident that some ideas would have to be fleshed out quickly.

Regardless, it may read more

Seattle judge blocks release of designs for 3D-printed guns

Today U.S. District Judge Robert Lasnik granted a temporary restraining order sought by eight state attorneys general and the District of Columbia to block the sale of designs for 3D-printed guns. Based on a settlement between Defense Distributed and the US Department of State, they could have gone on sale starting tomorrow, but now that is on hold.

In both the House and Senate, bills were introduced today to block the sales, and this morning the President tweeted the plan “doesn’t seem to make much sense!” The New York Times reports that in his ruling, Judge Lasnik said read more

Apple Pay comes to 7-Eleven and CVS later in 2018

If you’ll recall, both 7-Eleven and CVS were members of Merchant Customer Exchange, the alliance that created the CurrentC mobile payment format. It was supposed to help stores both cut transaction fees and gather more shopper data, and retailers even dropped support for tap-to-pay to spur adoption. They were fully ready for the future of shopping — just so long as they had full control over that future.

Of course, that’s not how it panned out. CurrentC’s protracted development time gave services like Apple Pay plenty of room to grow, and the clunky QR code system was far less appealing than tapping your phone at a terminal. Companies like Best Buy and Rite Aid soon changed their minds, and JPMorgan Chase effectively signaled CurrentC’s failure by buying the technology in 2017. Simply put, 7-Eleven and CVS have little choice but to embrace tap-to-pay if they want to keep with the times.

And the market is growing. Cook mentioned during the call that there were read more

Turing’s newest phone is even more ridiculous than its last

Turing may have gone bankrupt without shipping a single unit of its much-hyped smartphone, but that isn't stopping it from promising another handset. The company has unveiled the HubblePhone (yes, named after the space telescope), and it's even more…
social experiment by Livio Acerbo #greengroundit #engadget https://www.engadget.com/2018/07/31/turing-hubblephone/

At Panorama, art exists for the sake of the ’gram

My favorite part of The Lab was HP’s lounge, which had its own theme — “Digital Eden.” The cool, air-conditioned tent was dripping with flowers, both motorized and real, which made for a gorgeous visual spectacle. Visitors could control the dozen or so mechanical flowers at the Bloom Art station by choosing the colors of the buds and petals. You could also design and print your own water bottle wrap at the Hydration Art station, and HP stuck them onto water bottles that attendees could fill up at the fountains next to the station. At the Light Art booth, people posed for 8-second videos while using a light pen to draw virtual art around them.

For HP, the benefits of participating in the event are obvious. Emily Ketchen, HP’s regional head of marketing for the Americas, told Engadget that not only do attendees’ sentiments about the company improve after seeing its work at Panorama, but “from the social perspective it’s really, really good read more

Netflix’s Calibrated Mode promises perfect images on Sony’s new TVs

The companies teamed up to create Calibrated Mode, which you’ll only find on A9F OLED and Z9F LED TVs for the foreseeable future. Netflix claims the feature offers “studio-quality picture mastering” with “precise colors,” and it will adjust the contrast dynamically while making sure you don’t see the dreaded, unnerving “soap opera effect.”

Netflix says that viewers are watching more and more 4K and HDR material, and about a third of Smart TVs that use Netflix support HDR. With more 4K content on deck by the week, it’s only natural that Netflix wants its material to look as good as possible in your living room. It wouldn’t be surprising to see Calibrated Mode land on other TV models down the line.

social experiment by Livio Acerbo #greengroundit #engadget https://www.engadget.com/2018/07/31/netflix-calibrated-mode-sony-bravia-tv-hdr-4k/

Apple may include support for a second SIM card in new iPhones

iPhones currently support eSIMs along with normal SIMs, so this could be nothing. But the diagnostic report also references “second SIM tray status,” which signals that Apple could be planning on including support for a second physical SIM card with new iPhones.

This has been rumored for years, so we don’t want to get anyone’s hopes up too much. This could just be a way of distinguishing between different types of SIM cards. But the fact that Apple is using the word “tray” signals that this long-awaited feature might finally make its debut in iPhones this fall.

social experiment by Livio Acerbo #greengroundit #engadget https://www.engadget.com/2018/07/31/apple-iphone-dual-sim-ios-12-beta/

Audi will unveil its e-tron supercar EV concept next month

According to Audi, the new car features tech developed from the Le Mans-series winner R18 e-tron. As the above teaser pic shows, the PB 18 is squat, boasts bulging wheels, a raised spoiler and slim headlights — all the visual markings of a supercar, but we’ll have to wait until its debut on August 23 to find out what’s underneath the hood.

social experiment by Livio Acerbo #greengroundit #engadget https://www.engadget.com/2018/07/31/audi-unveil-e-tron-supercar-ev-concept-pebble-beach/

The Morning After: Don’t jump out of your car and dance to Drake

Almost.Nintendo’s Switch has almost hit 20 million in console sales

Nintendo sold 1.88 million Switch consoles last quarter, bringing total sales up to 19.67 million. These figures, while decent, pale in comparison to the 2.93 million and 7.23 million sales reported in its previous two earnings. This slowdown can be attributed to the time of year and the lack of a new killer title. Beyond Octopath Traveler, Fortnite and Mario Tennis Aces, there have been few major hits on the scale of Zelda or Mario. That said, Super Smash Bros. is incoming…

Money troubles or technical hurdles?
MoviePass stops offering tickets for big movies amid outages

Over the weekend and into Monday, MoviePass suffered through more issues, preventing customers from using their subscriptions. According to Business Insider, CEO Mitch Lowe told staffers that the company will not provide tickets for two major upcoming releases (Meg and Christopher Robin) and could extend this policy to other high-profile read more

Canon’s selfie-oriented point-and-shoot now handles 4K video

With stellar cameras on smartphone models like Huawei’s P20 Pro, the end seems nigh for point-and-shoot cameras. Canon hasn’t given up on the category yet though, as it’s just unveiled the compact PowerShoot SX740 HS, a spiffed-up version of last year’s SX730. The new model is a dead ringer for the last one, and has the same 24-960mm equivalent (40x) lens, 20.3-megapixel sensor and pop-up flipable rear screen. However, with a new a Digic 8 processor, it can shoot photos at a speedier 7.4 fps, and video at 4K 30 fps instead of just 1080p.

social experiment by Livio Acerbo #greengroundit #engadget https://www.engadget.com/2018/07/31/canon-sx740hs-4k-point-and-shoot/