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The Future

The Apple Watch hand washing feature is coming — dirt and filth, beware



Wow, what a WWDC that was! We had confirmation of picture-in-picture video for iPhonesa redesigned homescreen across devices, and a whole new way of interacting with the iPad.

And — who, really, could possibly forget? — an Apple Watch hand washing feature.

You heard that right: no longer will you have to sing Happy Birthday or other equally irritating songs (though that decision rests with you) to protect yourself from filth and coronavirus. Instead, your fancy Apple wearable will do the dirty work.

Well, okay, it’s not going to actually wash your hands for you, but it is going to automatically give you a countdown while you do the deed.

And yes, you read that right, automatically.

Your Apple Watch will use motion sensing and sound to recognize when you’re washing your hands, meaning you don’t have to turn the feature on.

The company used machine learning to understand the common movements of hand washing. When this is recognized, the Apple Watch will listen out for the telltale signs of running water and the squishy squelches of soap being squeezed between your fingers.

At that point, a 20-second timer starts — something that’ll look like this:

Apple Watch Hand Washing

Throughout the Apple Watch hand washing process, you’ll also receive haptic notifications (in other words, little taps on your wrist), as well a sound somewhere between a drip and bubble popping as each second passes.

And if you stop washing your hands before the 20 seconds are up? First off, ew. Secondly, you’ll get a notification to keep on washing.

There are some other cool aspects of the Apple Watch hand washing feature. It’ll sync with Apple’s Health app, meaning you’ll be able to track your hand washing times and frequency. Another interesting feature is that the Apple Watch will remind you to wash your hands when you’ve returned home.

On the privacy front, none of the sounds used to start the Apple Watch hand washing function will be recorded — which should help ease the mind of many.

Yeah, you could argue that the this feature is a little nanny-ing — and you wouldn’t be wrong — but you can always take the damn thing off. And me? Anything that makes washing my hands more fun is fine and dandy.

Bring on watchOS 7.


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The Future

Samsung may remove chargers from some smartphones starting 2021




Samsung may stop including chargers with some of its smartphones in the future, a new report coming from South Korea claims. One of the world’s largest smartphone manufacturers is trying to cut costs in an ever-growing industry.

After British investment bank Barkley predicted that Apple’s next iPhone model will be shipped without earphones and charger, it looks like Samsung is going to do the same thing. Nothing is set in stone at the moment, as the South Korean company is waiting for consumers feedback before taking such a radical decision.

Samsung has taken into consideration removing chargers from its smartphones for quite a while because the company believes there have been enough supplied to the market in the last 10 years.

Although the cost of a charger is very small compared with other components, support for 5G technology has increased smartphone prices. In order to balance that, Samsung is looking to cut costs from everywhere it can and the removal of the charger could give it some room when it comes to setting prices.

Strangely, the report doesn’t mention e-waste reduction as the primary reason for Samsung’s decision to remove chargers from some of its smartphones. It sounds like Apple and Samsung are just looking for new ways to boost their profits or at least maintain them at a certain level.

That’s not a bad thing business-wise, but removing a key component from the retail packaging must be backed by solid reasoning and extra measures, to ensure that consumers are getting everything they need to start using a product they bought right out of the box.


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The Future

ASUS ZenBook Pro Duo: Truly the laptop of tomorrow?




ASUS clearly had the creatives in mind when they were conceptualizing the ASUS ZenBook Pro Duo. Known by ASUS as “the laptop of tomorrow”, the ZenBook Pro Duo is a multitasking machine or laptop as you may call it that was purposely built for you if you are a programmer, video editor, photographer, animator, graphic artists, illustrators, architects, music producer, music artist, or even a Game streamer.

The ZenBook Pro Duo is not just an incredible laptop with powerful and admirable specifications, it’s an exceptional one too, allowing you take your creativity and productivity to the next level. It is designed to give you the ultimate edge in workflow efficiency, the powerful RTX Studio Laptop features a full width 4K ASUS ScreenPad™ that works seamlessly with the main 4K UHD OLED display.

Computing Performance

The ASUS ZenBook Pro Duo UX581 is a Windows 10 Home laptop with a 15.60-inch display of 3840 x 2160 pixels resolution. The laptop comes with a 32GB of 2,666MHz DDR4 RAM and 1TB of SSD storage which is appropriate for a creative’s laptop these days. For the very best graphics experience, ZenBook Pro Duo uses the latest NVIDIA® GeForce RTX™ 2060 discrete graphics powered by the NVIDIA Turing™ architecture. The ultrapowerful GPU with the NVIDIA Studio Driver enables you to enjoy the power of real-time ray-tracing and high-resolution video editing for the ultimate visual realism. Featuring up to a 9th Generation Intel® Core™ i9 eight-core processor that’s designed to deliver the ultimate multitasking performance, the ZenBook Pro Duo can effortlessly handle all the apps on your main screen and ScreenPad™ Plus, this ultrapowerful combination ensures that ZenBook Pro Duo takes professional-quality tasks with ease, such as multi-layer photo or video editing, 3D graphics rendering or even game live-streaming.


The ZenBook Pro Duo’s primary screen is a 4K OLED display with a base resolution of 3,840 by 2,160 pixels. The ScreenPad™ Plus, a 3840 x 1110 resolution matte secondary screen is very different from the glossy primary screen despite having the same PPI and width. Together, these screens are an arresting sight to behold. While both multitouch displays support stylus input, ScreenPad Plus gives you a superbly ergonomic and stable platform for writing or drawing. Take notes, sketch out your ideas, or do precision graphical editing in the most intuitive way ever. ZenBook Pro Duo’s display has PANTONE® Validated colour accuracy and supports an exceptionally wide 100% DCI-P3 colour gamutAdvertisement

ScreenPad™ Plus

The ScreenPad has a matte finish with its own display settings and a dedicated on and off button. This is good for when you don’t want any distractions from that screen or just want to conserve some power.  When you power on the ZenBook Pro Duo for the first time, the ScreenPad Plus offers some hands-on tutorials, which familiarize you with using the Launcher and the Action Menu. The ScreenPad™ Plus is equipped with a series of handy built-in apps to help boost your productivity. Such built-in apps include; Quick Key which allows one-tap automation of complex keyboard sequences, and Handwriting which lets you input text intuitively. There are also useful quick controls such as App Switcher, ViewMax and Task Swap for intuitive interactions between the main display and ScreenPad Plus. Task Group lets you lock into work mode by opening multiple tasks with a single touch. And now you can drag apps or in-app toolbars onto ScreenPad Plus to give you more room to work on the main display, wherever you are.


As far as connectivity is concerned, the ZenBook Pro Duo is powered with a full set of high-performance I/O ports — including the latest Thunderbolt™ 3 USB-C™ port — which gives you dongle-free connectivity whatever you’re doing and wherever you are. The latest Intel Wi-Fi 6 with Gig+ (802.11ax) takes wireless speeds to the next level especially if you are connected to broadbands that are reliable and fast enough in this part of the world. Although the MicroSD reader cannot be found on this laptop, port positioning is otherwise good as they are evenly distributed and easy to reach along the sides.


ZenBook Pro Duo is equipped with the ASUS SonicMaster stereo audio system with surround-sound; smart amplifier for maximum audio performance. Its array microphone supports Cortana and Alexa voice-recognition. 3.5mm headphone jack. Long-travel voice coils for improved low-frequency response. Certified by Harman Kardon


The machine is powered by a massive battery and is backed up by a 230W charger. On a full battery, the laptop will give a 6-7 hours lifetime without a recharge and when playing movies /games the consumption goes down to 4.7-5.5hours of use.

Features worthy of note

The DCI-P3 colour space — widely used in the motion picture industry — is increasingly the preferred choice of creative professionals for its increased range of possible colours and makes images on ZenBook Pro Duo look simply stunning.
There’s also a separate palm rest in the box, which enhances the ErgoLift tilting keyboard design to give you the most comfortable typing experience ever.
Touchpad & Numberpad: ZenBook Pro Duo features the latest version of the ASUS NumberPad6, an LED-illuminated numeric keypad integrated into the touchpad. The precision touchpad (PTP) technology supports up to four-finger smart gestures
Infra-Red camera for Hands-free login with face unlock even in the dark!
Alexa built-in with light bar
Stylus: The ASUS ZenBook Pro Duo comes bundled with a stylus. Both displays support stylus input, although the ScreenPad Plus gives you a stable platform for writing, sketching, or drawing.

In conclusion, the ZenBook Pro Duo is a worthy investment for a creative and daring professional. In as much as you keep an open mind and can deal with its weight, lack of SD card reader and battery life, it’s an excellent glimpse into the future of laptop-based content creation.


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The Future

Elon Musk: ‘SpaceX is building floating, superheavy-class spaceports’ for its Starship rocket to reach the moon, Mars, and fly passengers around Earth




This week SpaceX posted two new jobs for “offshore operations engineers” in Brownsville, Texas.

elon musk mars bfr rocket spaceship launch earth launch transportation system youtube
elon musk mars bfr rocket spaceship launch earth launch transportation system youtube
  • Elon Musk, who founded the aerospace company in 2002, all but confirmed in a tweet on Tuesday that the jobs are to help build “floating, superheavy-class spaceports” for its next-generation Starship vehicle.
  • Ocean-platform launches as a concept is not new, as Musk first detailed SpaceX’s in October 2017. A company called Sea Launch also demonstrated the idea in March 1999 with an orbital rocket launch.
  • Safety is likely driving the work, since SpaceX’s new launch system may carry about 9 million pounds of liquid fuel and would create sonic booms when its Super Heavy boosters or Starship spaceships land.

It’s no secret that SpaceX, founded by Elon Musk in 2002, wants to launch and land its next-generation Starship rocket system over water.

One of the first detailed mentions of the plan emerged during an October 2017 talk Musk gave , in which he updated the world on SpaceX’s plans to build cities on Mars and populate them with a million people or more.

During the presentation, Musk shared a video of Starship (then called the Big F—ing Rocket) rocketing passengers from an ocean platform near New York City, then landing them 39 minutes later on a similar floating spaceport near Shanghai. Musk called the high-speed transportation concept ” Earth to Earth .”

However, plans to actually build ocean launch platforms seemingly lacked teeth for years. That is, until this week: when the aerospace company posted two jobs for engineers who will help “design and build an operational offshore rocket launch facility.”

Neither posting mentions “Starship,” but both are located in Brownsville, Texas. The city sits about 30 minutes west of the state’s southeastern tip, which is where SpaceX is building and testing Starship rocket prototypes (sometimes to explosive effect ) amid a community of retiree-age homeowners called Boca Chica Village .

Business Insider first saw the job listings in a tweet by user “Cowboy” Dan Paasch, who lives in Forth Worth and follows SpaceX’s activities. Musk later quoted a tweet by another user about the job postings.

“SpaceX is building floating, superheavy-class spaceports for Mars, moon & hypersonic travel around Earth,” Musk tweeted on Tuesday.

Musk: Starship ‘not subtle’ when it launches or lands, necessitating a floating spaceport

spacex starhopper starship nasa saturn v apollo mk1 height comparison graphic illustration chart

spacex starhopper starship nasa saturn v apollo mk1 height comparison graphic illustration chartSamantha Lee/Business Insider

The concept of ocean-platform launches is not new. A company called Sea Launch, for example, first launched an orbital-class Zenit rocket from a platform in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean in March 1999 . (The company used to be managed by Boeing but is now owned by a Russian airline .)

Though SpaceX lacks operational experience launching rockets from ocean platforms, it has landed more than four dozen first-stage rocket boosters the most expensive part of a launch system, given the numerous complex engines attached to their base and landing them on drone ships. The boosters are then refurbished and reused, saving SpaceX millions of dollars per use and allowing the company to be price-competitive.

When a Twitter user brought up Sea Launch and its Zenit rocket, Musk responded : “Zenit is an order of magnitude smaller than Starship system & doesn’t come back & land.”

Now it seems SpaceX is ready to make the leap, with safety as a driving factor.

Homeowners who attended a private meeting with Musk in September 2019 told Business Insider that the entrepreneur described long-term plans to move away from land-based launchpads and instead use offshore platforms near Boca Chica Beach to fly Starship with less risk to the ground.

Starship is divided into two sections: the first-stage Super Heavy booster, which may stand about 22 stories tall, and the upper-stage rocket ship called Starship, which Musk said could ferry up to 100 people to Mars at a time (though presumably more in an Earth transportation design).

spacex starship mars rocket rendering illustration launch flying earth orbit boca chica texas youtube september 2019 00003

spacex starship mars rocket rendering illustration launch flying earth orbit boca chica texas youtube september 2019 00003SpaceX/YouTube

A fully stacked Starship-Super Heavy vehicle could weigh more than 9 million pounds, mostly in fuel, and each section returning to Earth would create deafening sonic booms, perhaps three times per day per rocket, or 1,000 launches per year .

“We need to be far enough away so as not to bother heavily populated areas. The launch & landing are not subtle. But you could get within a few miles of the spaceport in a boat,” Musk tweeted on Tuesday, adding that a jet-powered Incat ship may be suitable for land-to-platform transportation.

A crash program to develop Starship in South Texas

spacex illustration starship spaceship moon lunar surface landing artemis program nasa

spacex illustration starship spaceship moon lunar surface landing artemis program nasaSpaceX

SpaceX is currently in the midst of a crash program to develop Starship into a safe and fully reusable launch system.

If it works as Musk envisions, the system could launch several times a day unheard of in this history of spaceflight and reduce the cost-per-pound to launch something to space by 1,000-fold or more.

To that end, Musk has told his staff to make Starship ” the top SpaceX priority ” and has enlisted about 1,000 staff to work on a production facility for the vehicle in Boca Chica what the CEO sees as the key to making a viable, low-cost system. The company expects the vehicles to fail during tests at its private spaceport, and they often do, but Musk thinks SpaceX may be ready to fly to orbit by the 20th version or so .

SpaceX also recently won a NASA contract to develop Starship into a lunar-landing vehicle. The company also aims to fly Japanese fashion billionaire Yusaku Maezawa around the moon in 2023 , then fly the first people to Mars in 2024, Musk reconfirmed in a June 4 tweet .

Amid that work, SpaceX is hoping to get its high-speed Earth transportation system up and running. The ultimate goal with the scheme may be to replace grueling long-haul airplane flights perhaps to the tune of 1 million to 15 million per day Caryn Schenewerk, the senior legal counsel for SpaceX, said in January at the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) 23rd annual Commercial Space Transportation Conference .

“There will be many test flights before commercial passengers are carried,” Musk tweeted on Tuesday. “First Earth to Earth test flights might be in 2 or 3 years.”


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