World-famous cosmologist and physicist Stephen Hawking and Russian billionaire Yuri Milner announced the Starshot Project, a $100M research project that aims to make interstellar travel possible. According to a report in The Guardian, the project will develop a lightweight spacecraft so that it can travel at one-fifth of the speed of light and get to the nearest star.
The Breakthrough Starshot Project was unveiled by Hawking and Milner as part of the Breakthrough initiative that both of them have been collaborating on since 2012. This project is the third of such initiative, and according to the report, it will look into knowledge and technology that will allow a featherweight robot spacecraft to travel to the nearest star system to the earth, the Alpha Centauri star system. In order to travel 4.37 light years - 25 trillion miles or 40,000,000,000,000 kilometers - the spacecraft must travel almost at the speed of light.
What it hopes to develop is a "nanocraft" that weighs just a little more than a sheet paper and is equipped with a sail like that of a kite. It must be made of fabric "only a few hundred atoms in thickness." This "nanocraft" will be transported by a 100 billion-watt laser powered light beam at 60,000 km per second. more >>
The same as any other Apple device, the arrival of the new Apple Watch 2 is highly anticipated, although it may not be as everyone expects it to be. Its predecessor seemed like everything one can ask for in a wearable, so the designers could only muster a few minor improvements. The question now is will it flood Apple stores, too?
There is speculation that the production of this new device already has gained ground, which means that it may actually be ready for launch together with another rumored device, the iPhone 7, by fall. And no, it won't be a totally different product. Just think about the iPhone 6 upgraded and turned into iPhone 6s.
One of the reasons why the Apple Watch line hasn't been as successful and popular as the iPhone and iPad is because not as many people find it useful. And while consumers are to expect several technical and feature-focused improvements in the second version, there is still uncertainty as to whether it'll sell more than the first generation. Rumors have it that the watch will now sport a bigger battery since it was one of the major concerns with the first one. Display should be bigger in order to add more visibility. more >>
Tesla's Model S electric sedan has been given a new set of tweaks that could once again fire up sales for one of the most popular electric cars today. According to Tesla, the first-ever hardware update is highlighted by a facelift, particularly losing the black faux grille and replacing it with a nose that is reminiscent of the Model X sports utility vehicle.
Those Model S cars that were built in the Fremont assembly plant after the April 12 production will likewise be featuring a better front fascia and attractive headlights that make the car look distinct when compared to the previous model. With these new aesthetic improvements, the Model S is rapidly pulling away from competition, and when one looks at it, they easily can distinguish it from the rest, particularly gas-powered vehicles since it no longer has a grille that is traditionally intended for engine ventilation.
Bioweapons protection, anyone? more >>
After admitting that the pricing for its first Android phone, the BlackBerry Priv, was "not as wise as it should have been," BlackBerry CEO John Chen has announced that it will come out with two mid-ranger handsets this year, according to a report in Ars Technica.
Chen said that they were hearing what their customers were telling them after they released the Priv. According to Ars Technica, Chen said that "a lot of enterprise customers" were saying "I want to buy your phone, but $700 is a little too steep for me. I'm more interested in a $400 device."
The Priv is a high-end device which has a physical keyboard and an onscreen keyboard as well. Sales of Priv units were not as good as the company expected, which did not bode well for the company's performance as well. According to a BBC News report, sales fell by almost $200 million from December 2015 until the end of February. Chen also cited that their decision to come out with a high-end phone with a high-end price was not a wise one. BlackBerry devices have been a popular choice among enterprise users because of its security features so the move to make more affordable handsets will likely mean better sales, according to the BBC News report. more >>
Gamers playing the first-person shooter video game "Destiny" on PlayStation consoles are in for a treat yet again, as PlayStation and Bungie, the game's developer, have announced that there will be PlayStation-exclusive content included in the game's upcoming update.
"We're really excited to provide you with new things to do and new things to earn in the April Update," Bungie Community Manager David Dague said in an announcement on the PlayStation blog. "The Reef is about to become the center of action in the game again, and the party wouldn't be the same without you," he added.
The much-anticipated "Destiny" update, which is scheduled to go live on April 12, will offer a variety of new content for all players of the game at no additional charge. However, those playing "Destiny" on PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4 will get some new exclusive story content and gear, including a sniper rifle called Zen Meteor, a new Sparrow known as Velumbra, and a new quest called Essence of Darkness. more >>
Huawei, the Chinese smartphone manufacturer has big plans for the year especially when it comes to expanding its market reach to other countries. According to a Tech Times report, Huawei is planning to release a new flagship phone in the United States this year, which is going to compete against the newest flagships of other companies. Another report in Gadgets 360 on the other hand reports that another Huawei device, the Huawei Watch is already available in India.
Huawei has been slowly expanding its market beyond its home country, China. And according to a report in Android Police, the company's chief of consumer electronics Richard Yu said that it wants to launch a flagship device in the U.S. market this year. So far, the only Huawei devices that are available stateside are the Nexus 6P which carries Google branding rather than Huawei's, and the budget phone P8 Lite.
Speaking to the Wall Street Journal, Yu said that they "want to become No. 1 as a premium brand," thereby indicating that they want to compete head on with other leading brands such as Apple and Samsung. Although Huawei has not confirmed if they are indeed launching the Huawei P9, based on recent leaks, the phone is shaping up to be a powerful phone with a Kirin 950 chipset paired with 3 GB of RAM, 32 GB of internal storage, a 3,000 mAh battery and a dual 12 megapixel rear camera set up with Leico optics. more >>