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The Future

Europe to develop reusable rockets to fend off SpaceX dominance



No one country can claim monopoly or sovereignty of the vastness of outer space. They can, however, claim superiority in the technologies that will take equipment and humans there. For the past years, space tech news has mostly revolved around SpaceX and, to a lesser extent, Blue Origin, both US companies. Other countries like China and even Russia aren’t sitting still and now the European Commission is making a move as well. It has just greenlit a three-year project to develop its own reusable rockets.

This is an almost complete U-turn from the sentiments and opinions in Europe back when SpaceX was still at its infancy. Then again, the entire rocket industry seemed to think Musk was bonkers and that landing rockets vertically would never be viable. SpaceX, of course, proved it could be done and now other companies and countries are scrambling to recreate that success.

Europe, however, had a slightly different objection to the idea of reusing rockets. Compared to the US and China, the region is relatively small and launched very few rockets a year. Reusing those rockets would, in other words, put rocket manufacturers out of business.

The new Retropropulsion Assisted Landing Technologies project or RETALT, however, basically acknowledges that it’s the unavoidable future. It also admits that Europe is only just getting started in developing something that’s already state-of-the-art in the US. It doesn’t directly address the economical repercussions of the technology but that seems to be where the market is heading anyway.

The Commission has allotted 3 million EUR ($3.4M) for RETALT. It isn’t shy to admit that one of its goals is to pretty much replicate the Falcon 9. It does, however, also have plans on developing a single-stage-to-orbit rocket to get ahead of other regions.


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The Future

The Future of 5G: Comparing 3 Generations of Wireless Technology




Wireless technology has evolved rapidly since the turn of the century. From voice-only 2G capabilities and internet-enabled 3G, today’s ecosystem of wireless activity is founded on the reliable connection of 4G.

Fifth-generation wireless network technology, better known as 5G, is now being rolled out in major cities worldwide. By 2024, an estimated 1.5 billion mobile users─which account for 40% of current global activity─will be using 5G wireless networks.

Today’s chart highlights three generations of wireless technology in the 21st century, and the differences between 3G, 4G, and 5G networks.

5G: The Next Great Thing?

With over 5 billion mobile users worldwide, our world is growing more connected than ever.

Data from GSMA Intelligence shows how rapidly global traffic could grow across different networks:

  • 2018: 43% of mobile users on 4G
  • 2025: 59% of mobile users on 4G, 15% of mobile users on 5G

But as with any new innovation, consumers should expect both positives and negatives as the technology matures.


  • IoT Connectivity
    5G networks will significantly optimize communication between the Internet of Things (IoT) devices to make our lives more convenient.
  • Low latency
    Also known as lag, latency is the time it takes for data to be transferred over networks. Users may see latency rates drop as low as one millisecond.
  • High speeds
    Real-time streaming may soon be a reality through 5G networks. Downloading a two-hour movie takes a whopping 26 hours over 3G networks and roughly six minutes on 4G networks─however, it’ll only take 3.6 seconds over 5G.


  • Distance from nodes
    Walls, trees, and even rain can significantly block 5G wireless signals.
  • Requires many nodes
    Many 5G nodes will need to be installed to offer the same level of coverage found on 4G.
  • Restricted to 5G-enabled devices
    Users can’t simply upgrade their software. Instead, they will need a 5G-enabled device to access the network.

Global 5G Networks

5G still has a way to go before it reaches mainstream adoption. Meanwhile, countries and cities are racing to install the infrastructure needed for the next wave of innovation to hit.

Since late 2018, over 25 countries have deployed 5G wireless networks. Notable achievements include South Korea, which became the first country globally to launch 5G wireless technology in April 2019. Switzerland boasts the highest number of 5G network deployments, currently at 225 and counting.

To date, China has built roughly 350,000 5G sites─compared to the less than 20,000 in the U.S.─and plans to invest an additional US$400 billion in infrastructure by 2023. Chinese mobile providers plan to launch 5G services starting in 2020.

What Does This Mean For 4G?

4G isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. As 5G gradually rolls out, 4G and 5G networks will need to work together to support the wave of IoT devices entering the market. This network piggybacking also has the potential to expand global access to the internet in the future.

The race to dominate the wireless waves is even pushing companies like China’s Huawei to explore 6G wireless innovation─before they’ve even launched their 5G networks.

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The Future

MIUI 11 leak reveals new design, icons, and features for Xiaomi smartphones




Unlike OnePlus, Samsung, and Huawei, Xiaomi doesn’t tie new versions of its Android skin, called MIUI, to new Android OS releases. MIUI 10 is available for dozens of Xiaomi smartphones, and depending on the phone, it’ll be layered on top of Android 7 Nougat, Android 8 Oreo, or Android 9 Pie. Earlier this year, Xiaomi announced that development had begun on MIUI 11 and that the new MIUI version will introduce new icons and features like a system-wide dark mode, ultra power saving mode, and more. These features have already made their way into MIUI 10, though, so we’re expecting to see other changes that haven’t been announced. Fortunately for us, Xiaomi accidentally rolled out MIUI 11 for a handful of devices, including the Redmi K20 Pro, Mi Mix 2S, and Mi 6, giving us an early look at Xiaomi’s next Android release.

Download links for the closed beta MIUI 11 9.9.9 were briefly publicly accessible, allowing many users to grab the firmware and flash to their own devices. The builds contain code that overlay the device’s IMEI all over the UI, so we had to blur many of the screenshots below. XDA Recognized Developer erfanoabdi modified the system image to make it flashable on other devices, allowing users to install it even on non-Xiaomi devices. The screenshots without any visible blurring were taken from a device running this unofficial MIUI 11 system image.

New Icons

As promised, we can see the new iconography used in Xiaomi’s Android skin. The icons are colorful, but there doesn’t seem to be consistency in size or shape unlike stock Android 10.

MIUI 11 settings
MIUI 11 settings
MIUI 11 settings

New Design

The motto for MIUI 11 is “Empowering the productive,” and the design uses a lot of empty white space and big, bold text throughout. One of the screenshots shows off the new design in more system apps, and interestingly, there’s a reference to the upcoming Xiaomi Mi 9 Pro 5G.

MIUI 11 motto

New Features

In terms of features, we can see that MIUI 11 will bring the new cross-device file sharing implementation that Xiaomi, OPPO, and Vivo are collaborating on. The new MIUI Always on Display features include changing the text color automatically over time, adding a Kaleidoscope-style which has 5 different patterns that rotate each time you turn the screen on, an outer space style that changes the light depending on the sunrise/sunset schedule at your location, and more customization options. There’s also a new “dynamic sounds” feature, a new Xiaomi Community app, a redesigned file manager (that we’ve previously seen), dark mode scheduler, and quick replies for some messaging apps.

MIUI 11 features
MIUI 11 features
MIUI 11 features

This is an early, pre-release build of MIUI 11 for Xiaomi devices. We’re unsure if these builds contain all of the release features. We’ll keep an eye out on forum activity both on XDA and Weibo, as well as Telegram channels to follow the latest developments of Xiaomi’s MIUI software.


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The Future

Android 10: Nokia To Start Roll-Out In November, Confirms Launch Of Cheap 5G Smartphone In 2020




With HMD Global set to launch three new mid-range Nokia smartphones (5.2, 6.2, 7.2) at the IFA 2019 consumer technology conference in Berlin this week, the Finnish startup is finalizing the roll-out of the next generation of Android to 17 of its smartphones.

All the latest Nokia phones will run Android 10 by May 2020 and below is the complete list of Nokia handsets that will receive the latest version of Google’s mobile operating system as well as the roll-out schedule:

  • Mid Q4 2019: Nokia 7.1, Nokia 8.1, and Nokia 9 PureView
  • Early Q1 2020: Nokia 6.1, Nokia 6.1 Plus, and Nokia 7 Plus
  • Mid Q1 2020: Nokia 2.2, Nokia 3.1 Plus, Nokia 3.2, Nokia 4.2
  • Late Q1 2020: Nokia 1 Plus, Nokia 5.1 Plus, Nokia 8 Sirocco
  • Mid Q2 2020: Nokia 1, Nokia 2.1, Nokia 3.1, Nokia 5.1

“After being the fastest to upgrade Nokia phones from N [Android 7] to O and O to P [Android 9], I am super excited to share with you that the Q(ueue) for Nokia phones is moving fast as we get ready to welcome Android 10 on Nokia smartphones – roll out starts in Q4, 2019,” confirmed in a tweet HMD Global’s Chief Product Officer Juho Sarvikas.Today In: Innovation

Despite an impressive timeline, especially for a company who’s only 2 years old, Nokia smartphones will not be the first devices to receive Android 10 this time around.

Aside from all the Google Pixel phones—unlocked models only though—which were the first ones to receive the Android 10 upgrade, Essential has already rolled out the next evolution of Android to its PH-1 smartphone and OnePlus has officially distributed the Android 10 Open Beta update to its latest flagship devices, the OnePlus 7 and OnePlus 7 Pro.

Nokia promises 2 years of Android updates

Nokia has promised that all its smartphones will receive Android updates for at least two years from the date the device became available while Google has recently extended the support of its Pixel 2 and 3 handsets from two to three years.

In comparison, Apple has confirmed that the 4-year-old iPhone 6 will receive the next version of its mobile operating system (iOS 13) to be released this month.

Finally, unrelated to the Android 10 update schedule, Sarvikas also confirmed that HMD Global is planning to launch a 5G smartphone next year at about half the price of current 5G devices on the market today—which cost upwards of $1,000—which puts the price of Nokia’s future 5G handset in the $500 price range.


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