A lot can happen in a week when it comes to tech. The constant onslaught of news makes it nigh impossible for mere mortals with real lives to keep track of everything. That’s why we’ve compiled a quick and dirty list of this week’s top 10 tech stories, from everything you need to know about AT&T’s unlimited plans to how you can watch the NFL on Amazon — it’s all here.
Amazon scored a deal with the NFL to stream 10 Thursday Night Football games during the upcoming season. The news, confirmed to Digital Trends via email, is a serious blow to Twitter, which secured the rights for the same coverage last season. This time, however, Amazon outbid not only Twitter, but also YouTube and Facebook. The retail giant paid a reported $50 million to take the prize — that’s $40 million more than Twitter’s payout last year.
When it comes to subscribers, the undisputed king of on-demand streaming music is Spotify. The Swedish-born service helped pioneer the current market and has tens of millions more paid users than the competition, not to mention millions more free users. But Apple Music, known for its high-level exclusive releases and full integration into Apple’s popular iOS system, is the hottest service on Spotify’s heels. Apple’s streaming service has shown impressive growth in its audience since its inception, so which is better?
Few companies have been as integral to bringing the future to computing for as long as Intel. Now the technology conglomerate is putting its chips where the films are, acting as a sort of “tech whisperer” to help filmmakers create in virtual reality. Does this mean Intel, and other companies that power VR films, are becoming de facto movie studios? assisting moviemakers in acheiving their look is nothing new to Intel. The company provided processing technology to Dreamworks Animation in 2008, for instance. If you thought 2009’s Monsters vs. Aliens looked cool, you can thank Intel.
Do you have an inordinate amount of shipping containers? Are you trying figure out what to do with all them? In the unlikely event that the answer to this question is “Yes,” you’ll be pleased to learn that they’re far more practical than you may have imagined. And if you answered in the negative, then good news! You can grab yourself a decent size shipping container for just over $1,500.
Last week, NASA retired one of its greats — the Earth Observing-1 (EO-1) satellite. Initially commissioned for the agency’s New Millennium Program, EO-1 proved to be the satellite that could. Its one-year mission nearly extended to 17 years. EO-1 was never meant to be such a star. In fact, its original purpose was to test and refine technologies for future Earth imaging. It was launched on November 21, 2000 with 13 new technologies, three of which had never been tested. Many of the most stunning images were capture by the Advanced Land Imager (ALI).
AT&T finally did it. The wireless carrier recently announced that it joined Sprint and T-Mobile in offering unlimited talk, text, and data. But even with the switch, the carrier’s plans remain the most expensive, and some of its plan options are odd. If you live in an area where Verizon, T-Mobile, and Sprint don’t work, AT&T is likely your only option. That said, it offers some solid options for subscribers.
Although small, implantable fibers have given neuroscientists unmatched insight into the brain, similar experiments on the spinal cord have been difficult, due to the fibers’ stiffness. Our spines are flexible but fragile, and the brittle fibers pose a safety risk. But materials scientists in Professor Polina Anikeeva’s laboratory at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology want to change that with rubbery, conductive fibers that can stretch and flex.
YouTube’s own live TV streaming service, aptly named YouTube TV, is now available in Chicago, Los Angeles, New York City, Philadelphia, and the San Francisco Bay area. It joins the ever-growing list of live TV streamers, including Sling TV, PlayStation Vue, and DirecTV Now. YouTube TV charges a fee of $35 per month, while Google offers a free 30-day trial for all new users. To sweeten the deal, Google will also provide customers with a free Chromecast for a limited time after the first monthly payment.
Even if you don’t keep up with developments in space propulsion technology, you’ve still probably heard about the EmDrive. You’ve seen headlines declaring it the key to interstellar travel, and heard claims that it will drastically reduce travel time across our solar system, bringing our dreams of walking on other planets closer to reality. There have even been claims that this highly controversial technology is the key to creating warp drives.
Call it a superdrone. Call it a helicopter on steroids. Call it what you like, but the extraordinary Volocopter represents a step closer to becoming a reality for rich folks interested in a quirky mode of transport. Or possibly a flying taxi service in urban settings. Built by German firm E-Volo, we first heard about this remarkable VTOL (vertical-takeoff-and-landing) contraption six years ago, and last year it finally took to the skies for its very first manned flight.
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