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 the best of James Bonds’ cars to the future of the Apple MacBook — it’s all here.
Just about every major mobile carrier in the United States is hard at work on 5G wireless technology in advance of its launch (hopefully) in a few years’ time. Meanwhile, device makers have to be sure their products will be ready for the network when that day comes. Apple is seeking permission to begin testing 5G technologies for that very purpose, according to a report from Business Insider.
Although 5G specifications have not been entirely hammered out yet, we know the FCC approved the 28GHz and 39GHz bands for commercial 5G use last year. These are the same ones mentioned by Apple in its testing application.
The 28GHz band, specifically, is meant for ground-to-space transmission, and Apple has reportedly hired engineers with experience developing satellites ahead of testing.
Roger Moore, the actor with the longest run as British superspy James Bond, has died at age 89. The news of Moore’s death was confirmed by his children — Deborah, Geoffrey, and Christian — in a statement posted on Twitter. The actor’s death was attributed to cancer, and his family indicated that he died Tuesday, May 23, in Switzerland.
Born in South London in 1927, Moore was the oldest actor to take on the role of Ian Fleming’s famous secret agent. Already well-known to American television audiences due to his featured roles in the medieval adventure series Ivanhoe, the Western series Maverick (in which he replaced James Garner during the show’s fourth season), and the popular British series The Saint (which became a hit in syndication in the United States), Moore began his run as James Bond in 1973’s Live and Let Die at the age of 46.
China has announced that the largest floating photovoltaic (PV) facility on earth has finally been completed and connected to the local power grid. Long reviled for its carbon emission record, this is the Chinese government’s latest achievement in its ongoing effort to lead the world in renewable energy adoption.
Located in the city of Huainan in the Anhui province, the 40-megawatt facility was created by PV inverter manufacturer Sungrow Power Supply Co. Ironically, the floating grid itself was constructed over a flooded former coal-mining region.
What if Apple announced the Mac’s retirement? A huge swath of the company’s devotees would be furious … but is it truly an impossible scenario?
To many, the MacBook has long been the gold standard for luxury laptop computers. But as Apple’s business interests continue to change over time, the importance of the device’s established user base has become less and less relevant to the company.
Apple has enjoyed incredible success thanks to the iPhone and several other wildly popular products — and as a result, the company is poised to do whatever is deemed best for its long-term future. Few of its rivals would kill off such a cash cow, but Apple has no fear of making bold moves forward, even when it means leaving some of its fans behind.
Vodka martinis. Perfectly tailored suits. The Walther PPK pistol. There are countless examples of iconic imagery sprinkled throughout the James Bond saga, but perhaps none is more memorable than 007’s choice of transportation.
During his lengthy tenure at MI6, Mr. Bond and his adversaries have had the pleasure of driving a wide array of vehicles, ranging from stunning Aston Martins to weaponized submarines to combat aircraft. Then there were some have embraced the oft campy nature of the British spy films, and it is those automotive oddities that we’d like to focus on here.
Danish audio experts B&O Play, quirky fun-loving sister company to the more serious Bang & Olufsen, has revealed a new music product. It’s not a Bluetooth speaker, nor a pair of gorgeous headphones. It’s a beer. Not just any beer, but one infused with music played through the Beoplay A1 speaker. Don’t check your calendar, it really is the end of May, and not April 1.
Now that we’ve established this isn’t a joke (at least, we don’t think it is), here’s what you should know about what’s being called the Beobrew. B&O Play worked with craft brewery Mikkeller to investigate the effect music has on how beer tastes. We imagine a fair amount of beer was consumed before this question was asked in the first place. To find out, a Beoplay A1 speaker was connected to a classic third-generation iPod Nano, and submerged into a fermenting tank over the course of a two-week period.
Being a Game of Thrones fan has required extra patience this year. After eschewing the usual production schedule to get the right weather to finally allow winter to come to Westeros, the show’s season 7 premiere was pushed back until summer. In the meantime, we’ve had to obsess over any and all pieces of information we can find.
The season is going to be a crazy one — even for Game of Thrones — as the stakes have never been higher now that the series finale just 13 episodes away. There are already interesting storylines in progress, from Cersei Lannister (Lena Headey) seating herself on the Iron Throne to Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke) coming to make her claim on the crown on the backs of her dragons. The great game could play out in so many ways, and it is going to be fascinating to watch it develop. Prepare yourself with everything we know so far — but be warned that there are spoilers ahead.
Want to eat more fresh ingredients? Wish you could spend the Memorial Day weekend tending your very own garden?
A new Kickstarter project may be able to help with both of these desires. Billing itself as the World’s Smallest Garden, it promises to bring the joy of gardening to your home — even if you live in a tiny, top-floor apartment where the closest thing to wild vegetation is the leftover stir-fry in your fridge.
The World’s Smallest Garden is a small cylindrical device you place in the top of a regular bottle, transforming it into a self-watering herb garden in seconds.
There is a certain humor in Twin Peaks devoting one of the first scenes of its revival to a man staring at a glass box, waiting for something, anything to appear in it. Like the audience, that man — Sam Colby (Ben Rosenfield) — stares at the box, unsure how long he must wait for something to happen. David Lynch, back in the director’s chair, takes his time with the scene, with long cuts back and forth between Sam and the box, the only sound a faint hum. The buzz of an intercom, piercing the silence, gives a greater jolt than most horror movies could hope to.
In the age of on-demand shows and binge watching, Lynch establishes that these new episodes of Twin Peaks will not provide quick satisfaction. These first two installments wander from place to place, story to story, briefly visiting old characters and introducing new ones. In New York, Sam maintains his vigil over the box. In South Dakota, police find the severed head of librarian Ruth Davenport in her bed, a scene that hearkens back to Lynch’s Mulholland Drive. And back in the town of Twin Peaks, Deputy Chief Hawk (Michael Horse) looks into a cold case: the disappearance of Special Agent Dale Cooper.
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- These are the 10 most important tech news stories of 2018