Here’s a quick follow-up on yesterday’s top story: It doesn’t look like the Broadcom/Qualcomm/Intel deal is happening now that President Trump has quashed the merger over national security concerns.
Taiwan-based Broadcom was even looking to re-base their operations in the US so they could quell those security fears, but that was too little, too late. In a unilateral move, President Trump said no way, no how to the deal yesterday evening.
It’s about that time
Meanwhile, Spring is springing so it’s time to start shedding those extra pounds from winter hibernation. And the best way to keep tabs on all those calories is with a good fitness tracker, something there seems to be no shortage of these days. To that end, Fitbit has just revealed a new device that’s more smartwatch than step counter although it does that too. The new Versa is a smartwatch step up from the already smartwatch-ish Ionic, which came out five months ago
The Versa has a very familiar “rounded square” form factor and rings in at 200 bucks, and replaces the Fitbit Blaze in the company lineup. A key demo for the new Versa? Women. The Versa includes reproductive system tracking including period and ovulation information, as well as sleep cycle information and other key data points. It can also get dressed up with a wide range of accessory bands and color options.
The Flying Hedge Trimmer?
While people have dreamed about flying cars for decades, it looks like flying taxis are going to get here first, which is actually good news since the cost of a flying car – if one ever makes it to market – will probably make a fully optioned-up Tesla look like a bargain. But check out this footage of the Cora flying taxi from Kitty Hawk, the passion project by Google co-founder Larry Page. It’s been making not-so-secret test flights down in New Zealand.
The Cora flying machine is an electrically-powered drone/airplane hybrid, with 12 wing-mounted rotors for vertical takeoff and landing, and a large pusher-prop out back for flying like a regular airplane. In flight, the small rotors move into an aerodynamic “home” position and lock into place. The Cora air taxi has been undergoing extensive flight tests and you don’t need a license to fly it… because you don’t fly it. It’s autonomous.
Page’s Kitty Hawk and the New Zealand government now have an agreement in place to get the Cora planes certified and the hope is to get an air taxi service underway in about three years’ time. The Cora planes reportedly have a range of just over 60 miles. It’s not clear if anyone has actually flown in one yet, or if the test flights are still unmanned. We’ll definitely be keeping tabs on this venture.
We’ve got more news on our Facebook page and YouTube channel, and be sure to tune in to this week’s DT podcasts: Trends with Benefits (general tech shenanigans) on Thursdays, and Between the Streams (movie and TV topics) every Friday.