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Weekly Rewind: The next moonshot, quantum computer duets, stateside Skodas

top tech stories 08 7 2016 wr 8 head
Moon Express
In the tech world, a lot happens in a week. So much news goes on that it’s almost impossible for mere mortals with real lives to keep track of everything. That’s why we’ve compiled a quick and dirty list of the top 10 tech stories from this week. Everything from the reasons behind Pokémon Go’s popularity to a suitcase that follows you around, it’s all right here.

A game designer explains why ‘Pokémon Go’ blew up (and what’s next)


As of this week, Pokémon Go is, by almost every measure, the most successful mobile game ever created. In the short time since its release, the game has been installed on tens of millions of smartphones. In cities across America (and the world) millions of people are leaving their homes to play the most popular Pokémon game of all time. Why is that?

Read the full story here.

5 reasons why the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 is the big, beautiful phone you should buy


Samsung has done a superb job of tempting us with its Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge phones this year, but it may have outdone itself with the Galaxy Note 7. The latter is a larger version of the S7 Edge, one that comes with a handy stylus tucked inside for those times you feel like scribbling something down with a pen. We’ve spent some time with the Galaxy Note 7 and we’re really impressed. If you’re almost ready to hand over your money for one, but are hesitant, we’ve got five reasons why you should take the plunge.

Read the full story here.

U.S. government approves first-ever moon landing for a private venture


For the first time, the U.S. government has granted regulatory approval for a commercial company to travel beyond Earth and land on the Moon. The historic authorization was granted to Moon Express, one of sixteen private enterprises vying for the Google Lunar XPRIZE, a competition that will award $30 million to the first privately funded team to land a rover on the Moon, travel 500 meters, and send high-definition images and video back to Earth.

Read the full story here.

Here boy! This robot suitcase will follow you around like a faithful dog


Who doesn’t love the thought of a faithful old dog walking by their side? It’s one of life’s joys, certainly, but let’s face it, dogs aren’t very good at hauling your stuff around. Meet the Cowarobot R1, an incredible robotic suitcase that follows you around, will come when it’s called, and has considerably more storage space than the average dog.

Read the full story here.

Xiaomi announces the Mi VR Play, a virtual reality headset for your smartphone


Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi just jumped feet first into virtual reality. On Thursday, the firm announced the Mi VR Play, an “entry-level” headset that relies on your smartphone to deliver VR apps, games, movies, and TV shows. It’s oddly made of Lycra (the same stuff as your stunning bike shorts), features “dual openings” on the front for airflow, and lets you make micro adjustments for fit. Uniquely, it’s able to accommodate a wide range of phones.

Read the full story here.

A mezzo-soprano singing with a quantum computer is 2016’s craziest duet


What do a Welsh mezzo-soprano, a castle in the southwest of England, and a quantum computer in Los Angeles have in common? Answer: They all teamed up recently for a musical performance that, according to its creator, represents the “first computer music algorithm implemented on a quantum computer [and] the first live use of explicit quantum processes in an artistic piece.”

Read the full story here.

Turn the lights off when you sleep to slow the aging process, study suggests

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If you’re afraid of the dark or just prefer sleeping with a light on, you might want to read this. A new medical study suggests this will make you age faster, and potentially lead a host of other medical problems too. There is already a good deal of research out there on the potential effects of overexposure to artificial light, ranging from poor sleep to far more life-threatening illnesses.

Read the full story here.

Czech carmaker Skoda could return to the U.S. after a 50-year hiatus


What started out as a wild, seemingly inconceivable rumor turned out to be true: Volkswagen’s Czech Republic-based Škoda division is seriously considering returning to the United States after about five decades of absence. The company’s executives are currently laying out the pros and cons of sending cars to our shores. “During the next year, we want to have the question of North America decided for us,” said company CEO Bernhard Maier in an interview with German newspaper Handelsblatt.

Read the full story here.

Three of the best ’90s platformers revived as classic Disney games appear at GOG


GOG has announced that a trio of classic Disney platformers are now available to purchase from its storefront. Nostalgic gamers can now purchase DRM-free downloads of Aladdin, The Lion King, and The Jungle Book. While video game adaptations of movies aimed at children are often sub-par, these games stand out from the crowd. Disney licensed their properties out to talented teams including Virgin Games and Westwood Studios, and the titles produced as a result are still remembered fondly to this day.

Read the full story here.

How Comcast plans to pipe 6,000 hours of Olympics coverage into your house


If you’re anything like us, you know what it means to have Olympics fever. We’re talking about those “stay up till 4 a.m. to watch Biathlon” kind of fans. If that’s you, Comcast’s plan to broadcast an all-out blitz of coverage for this year’s Rio games should have your mouth watering. Laying out a titanic 6,000 hours of footage, this year’s games could make even staunch cord-cutters who love the thrill of competition ponder going back to the box.

Read the full story here.

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