Nov 192016

Baby Boom aka XB-1 Supersonic Demonstrator is the prototype for the upcoming supersonic passenger plane to be developped by Boom Technology and Virgin Galactic.

Baby Boom Supersonic Plane

Baby Boom supersonic passenger aircraft (photo credit:

The big promise is that we could go from London to New York in just a little over 3 hours.

“Baby Boom” aims at becoming the fastest airplane designed for carrying passengers, thus defeating the fierce competition from other aerospace giants such as Boeing and Lockheed Martin known to develop their own supersonic spacecraft.

The XB-1 aircraft will reach a speed of Mach 2.2 ( 2,335 km/h), that’s 2.5 times faster than any current airliner and 10% faster than Concorde’s 2 Mach performance.

The Boom’s founder and CEO, Blake Scholl, a former pilot and Amazon manager, says that a flight from London to New York will take only 3 hours and 15 minutes, while nowadays an air travel time over same distance lasts twice as long.

Baby Boom Passenger Supersonic Jet Aircraft

Baby Boom Supersonic Jet (pic: Boom)

As for the pricing, a round trip would cost about 6,000 dollars, an amount considered quite decent for those who usually fly on business class, in conditions that a flight on the famous Concorde, was once $20,000.

The plane will have a special design that supports incredible speeds and will be made of carbon fiber. The project will be developed by the Denver-based Boom Technology in collaboration with engineers at The Spaceship Company, a division of Virgin Galactic, the company owned by British billionaire Richard Branson, who has already ordered 10 such aircraft, worth $2 billion.

But Branson is not the only customer. A European carrier has ordered 15 aircraft, but the company’s name was not made public.

Supersonic aircraft “Baby Boom” will carry only 45 passengers, significantly lesser than the 100 seats found on Concorde, which was withdrawn from the market several years ago.

The XB-1 Supersonic Demonstrator’s tests will begin next year with the first commercial flight expected in 2023.

Oct 282016

Qualcomm Inc. has revealed its intention to complete the largest transaction in company’s history. The American multinational semiconductor and telecommunications equipment company is ready to pay $47 billion (43 billion euro) to take over the Dutch rival NXP Semiconductors, which, until 2006, was known as Philips Semiconductors.

qualcomm headquarters

Qualcomm headquarters in San Diego (pic: wikimedia commons)

NXP was part of the Philips Group until 2006. It currently operates in 35 countries and has 45,000 employees of which 2400 in the Netherlands. Qualcomm has less staff but higher sales. The acquisition by Qualcomm creates a giant over 70,000 employees and a combined annual turnover of more than $30 billion. According to the Verge, the US group will become “a sort of Intel of the 21st century”.

The Dutch firm is well ranked on the automotive market, providing processors for the vehicles of numerous brands, and that was a serious reason for Qualcomm to acquire it. NXP is also force in terms of NFC processors, as it bought the Austin-based Freescale Semiconductor last year thus expanding the production capacities.

Qualcomm’s record-breaking transaction makes the company become an independent chip maker as NXP owns seven plants in five countries. Qualcomm’s processors are currently produced by Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing.

Qualcomm Inc. had revenues of $16 billion last year, well below the 2014 earnings that peaked at $19.2 billion. The growing success of smartphones had a positive impact on the company which saw sales of only $6.4 billion back in 2009.
Photo credit: Coolcaesar at English Wikipedia [CC BY-SA 3.0 or GFDL], via Wikimedia Commons

Oct 112016

Samsung Electronics has permanently suspended production and sales of its flagship smartphone Galaxy Note 7.

galaxy note 7 fire burning

Samsung Galaxy Note 7 burned due to faulty battery (pic:

The South Korean giant seems to face serious management troubles after its decision to recall 2.5 million devices sold worldwide, while increasingly more reports of smartphones catching fire or exploding are coming in.

The move comes after the new Note 7s offered to customers as replacement for the problematic first model, also caught fire.

The halt in production shows how serious the situation is for Samsung, after the largest product recall in company’s history.

Samsung officials began to receive reports of phones catching fire in September just a month after Note 7 went on sale, and the incidents were called “isolated”.

The firm tried to fix the problem by switching battery suppliers and updating the smartphone’s software, according to CNN.

But when replacement smartphones were issued, a number of customers claimed that those devices also caught fire, including one aboard a Southwest Airlines flight from Louisville to Baltimore.

And that happened after Samsung answered reports of replacement phones having faulty batteries, saying it does not represent a health risk to users.

“If we determine that there are problems with the products, we will seek to resolve the situation,” said the electronics giant before failing to solve the problem.

Furthermore, mobile operators AT&T and T-Mobile have announced that they will no longer replace Note 7 after new reports of phone bursting into flames.

If you want to know why Galaxy Note 7 catches fire, you have to understand the mechanism behind the operation of a lithium-ion battery, therefore check out here for more info.

Oct 062016

A viral video shows a guy throwing an iPhone 7 Plus from the 148th floor of Burj Khalifa but his stunt sparked public concerns over the safety of those on the ground.

burj khalifa

Burj Khalifa looming over skyline of Dubai (picture: wikimedia commons)

It may sound like pure madness to drop intentionally an iPhone 7 off the world’s tallest building, but apparently there are people keen on doing that and one of them is Ukranian vlogger Tech Rax.

After having drilled a hole into a smartphone and driving many people crazy that their gadgets do not start up after having done the same, TechRax decided to try even more crazy stuff!

He climbed up Dubai’s Burj Khalifa, currently the highest building of the planet, and dropped a brand new jet black iPhone 7 Plus from its top floor in what was supposed to be a 830 meter drop test.

Not much is known of phone’s condition or its whereabouts but many websurfers seem to write complaining comments that the area wouldn’t have been cleared and the phone could have killed someone.

Video: Smartphone drop test: IPhone 7 falling off Burj Khalifa of Dubai

Oct 062016

A skyscraper in China boasts the fastest elevator in the world!!! (SCROLL FOR VIDEO) Built by Mitsubishi Electric, the elevator moves up and down inside Shanghai Tower, the second-tallest building in the world, at a record-breaking speed of 20.5 meters per second (67 ft/s), which means more than six floors per second. Thus, it will climb from the underground parking up to the 119th floor in less than a minute.

shanghai tower china

Shanghai Tower (here pictured right) dominates city’s skyline (public domain)

Air pressure inside cabin changes with height, so that passengers would not get clogged ears. The high-tech air pressure adjustment system that protects ears from popping and blocks any uncomfortable G-force effects, makes the trips very smooth despite the dazzling speed.

The 632 meter (2,074 feet)-tall Shanghai Tower faces a harsh competition when it comes to speed. In the Southern Chinese city of Guangzhou, Hitachi installed this summer its fastest elevator in city’s highest tower, the CTF, which stands at 530 meter (1,739 feet) tall, writes CNN.

Its lift gives people an upward ride from floors zero to 95 in an amazing 45 seconds, that’s 20 meters per second (65 ft/s).

Video: Worlds’s fastest elevator shatters speed record inside China’s Shanghai Tower

Oct 012015

Starting November 2015, two driverless electric vehicles will start travelling between Wageningen University and the city of Ede in the Netherlands, writes Foxcrawl. The fully autonomous minibuses, called WEpods, are programmed to travel a distance of 5-6 kilometers and passenger will be able to stop them via a smartphone mobile app.

autonomous vehicles

Autonomous buses will mix with common traffic in Holland starting November (pic: BBC)

Wepods are designed serve the public transport by carrying up to 12 passengers along the route at a speed of 25 kilometers per hour.

The unmanned busses will be using the regular roads, however, during the first stage of the program they won’t mix with regular traffic if harsh weather conditions – raining, snowing – or if night falls.

The passengers are not left unwatched during their journey: besides the onboard surveillance video cameras and other sophisticated high tech equipment, they will have an emergency button at their disposal which stops the bus whenever pressed. At the same time the technicians at the control center are informed of any possible incident.

The developers of the WEpods project are confident that there will be no unpleasant events, and the entire Netherlands will be able to make use of such uncrewed vehicles starting next year.

Mar 142015

Sony Xperia Z4, the flagship of company’s mobile line-up, is scheduled for roll out over six months at the IFA 2015 event, but some of the features of the new smartphone leaked already on internet.

It is rumored that Sony’s gadget, which will most likely see its launch earlier than iPhone 6S, will be 0.04 mm thinner than the previous model Z3, fact which makes Xperia Z4 slightly slimmer than the Samsung Galaxy S6 and Apple iPhone 6.

Sony Xperia Z4

Sony Xperia Z4 dimensions allegedly unveiled on Twitter

A recent leak unveiling dimensions of 146.3×71.9×7.2 mm for Xperia Z4, proves that the upcoming gadget has somehow comparable size to the Xperia Z3, which shows 146 x 72 x 7.3 mm.

By contrast to the other models released so far, Sony would give up the microSD card slot for its Xperia Z4 smartphone. Furthermore, the second microphone for noise reduction will be side-mounted but well separated from the headphone jack. In addition, since all Sony Xperia models were dust and waterproof, we expect Xperia Z4 to have similar capability as well.

In terms of design, the Z4 terminal does not show much change, as the Japanese phone maker chose to keep the line of the Xperia Z characteristic.

Sony Xperia Z4 will come with a 810 Snapdragon processor, up to 4GB RAM and a 5-inch display at a Quad HD resolution of 2560 × 1440 HD pixels. It has apparently a 22MP Sony Exmor RS main camera whose resolution is thus 2MP larger than that of Sony Xperia Z3.

Mar 142015

ASUS unveiled ROG G501, one of the thinnest gaming notebooks that features an impressive 0.81-inch (2.05 cm) thickness and a 4K display.

ASUS Republic of Gamers G501 has a weight of 2.06 kilograms and in terms of specifications, comes with a 4GB GDDR5 Nvidia GeForce GTX 960M graphics card, an Intel Core i7 quad core processor, 512GB SSD and generous amount of RAM memory. As for its body design, Asus used a combination of aluminum with red accents at joint points.

Asus ROG G501

Asus Republic of Gamers G501 (pic:

The gaming notebook has a screen diagonal of 15.6 inches with 4K/Ultra HD resolution (which offers pixel density of 282 PPI). G501 has preinstalled Windows 8.1 OS and its edge unveils three USB ports and an Intel Thunderbolt.

ROG G501 will hit the market as of April 2015 at a price of $2,000. The device stays cool and silent thanks to an elaborate cooling system dubbed as ASUS Hyper Cool Technology which consists of two powerful fans and copper heat-pipes.

At the same time, ASUS announced the updated editions of some of its older notebooks. The 17-inch G751 is renamed G751JL, in the context that the video card GTX 980m/970M was replaced by the newer model GTX 965M. This upgrade points to a purchase price of 1400 dollars, about $100 cheaper than before. Asus GL551 makes also a transition to a GTX 960M card with an acquisition price that starts from $1,100, depending on the SSD storage capacity.

Mar 142015

Apple is ready to build side displays into the next generation of iPhones! Various sources argue that the Cupertino-based IT giant has received approval from USPTO with respect to a patent application for edge display technology submitted in 2013.

Thus, besides rumors claiming that the iPhones will feature Force Touch just as Apple Watches, it emerges now that the company is working intensively on the concept of a flexible side display, somehow similar to that rolled out by Samsung for its latest Galaxy S6 Edge smartphones.

Apple side display edge

Patently Apple unveils concept of edge display technology

The innovation would bring kind of dynamic hardware buttons able to change their function depending on the way people use their phones.

According to the description of the patent delivered by “Patently Apple”, the groundbreaking technology may include one or more flexible layers mounted under a transparent glass or plastic display. In addition to the classic layer, Apple plans to implement also a sensitive touch screen which records user’s input while the display provides visual information on the running applications, be it a camera, game or volume control.

The patent application appears to unveil a flat shape for the new display, fact that would allow it to cover “the front, rear and side of the devices”. It is therefore expected that the technology could entirely replace the hardware buttons .

Also Microsoft announced in the past its intention to develop a somewhat similar technology, but it was in fact Samsung that made the difference with its Galaxy S6 Edge smartphone and Note 4 Edge tablet.

Jul 132013

(VIDEO) Last Wednesday, an X-47b drone touched down for the first time ever on the deck of an aircraft carrier, autonomously making one of the most complex maneuvers in aviation.

X-47B landing USS aircraft carrier

Drone X-47B makes aircraft carrier landing in historic first (Credit: US. Navy)

After 102 years since the first landing of a biplane on a war ship equipped with a platform, naval aviation entered a new era, as unmanned airplanes will integrate on their own in naval air operations before landing on the deck of giant ships.

“Today you could see the future”, said enthusiastically the U.S. Navy Minister Ray Mabus, who came aboard the aircraft carrier “George HW Bush” to attend the U.S. Navy premiere along with other senior officials.

Framed by two F-18 fighters during its flight from the Carrier Patuxent River, Maryland / East / air base, the X-47B drone, dubbed Salty Dog 502, landed on the aircraft carrier that was sailing off the coast of Virginia.

Perfectly aligned with the aircraft carrier, the drone has autonomously made its descent and landing by adjusting constantly its position thanks to the constant communication between the GPS integrated in both the ship and the aircraft.

Unlike Predator or Reaper drones that are continuously remotely controlled, X-47B has exceeded in automation range: the operators have only set the flight path and left the drone fly on its own. However, the military experts monitored how the device evolves and changes “orders”.

X-47B is about 38 feet (11.4meter) long with a 62 foot (18.6 m) extended wingspan. The drone is powered by a Pratt & Whitney F100-220U turbofan, capable of a cruise speed of over Mach 0.9, and have a flying range of 2,100 nautical miles. X-47B has two built-in weapon bays for 2.5 tons of ordnance.

Video: X-47B drone autonomously lands on aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush