Weekly Rewind: Apple’s secret lab, astronaut applications, smartwatch cheating

International Space Station
In the tech world, a lot happens in a week. So much news goes on, in fact, 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 you may have missed. Everything from climbing Mt. Everest in VR to Apple Pay arriving in China next year — it’s all here.

Climbing Mt. Everest in VR is so terrifying that my knees wobbled

Thanks to the power of VR, one of DT’s writers got to climb Everest, scare himself stupid on an imaginary rope bridge, then shoot down aliens in space like Han Solo. HTC’s Vive and Nvidia powered the demo, and it was an incredible experience. It was created using more than 300,000 photos of Everest, then modeled using Unreal Engine 4 by Sólfar Studios and RVX, the latter being responsible for the amazing effects in the movie Everest. The Vive hasn’t officially launched yet, but the headset is coming soon.

Read the full story here.

NBA dominates all other sport leagues, reaches 1 billion Vine loops

LeBron_James_(15823062226)
Wikimedia Commons / Keith Allison

Football may be the overlord of television ratings, and baseball may be America’s (way in the) past time, but basketball rules the social media landscape — and it just planted another flag. The National Basketball Association became the first sports league to accumulate a billion loops on Vine.

Read the full story here.

Apple Pay coming to China in early 2016, company announces

apple-china-store-pudong

Apple Pay is finally set to roll out in China. The Cupertino company said Thursday it’d struck a deal with China UnionPay, the country’s powerful credit- and debit-card processor which already has around five million payment terminals at retail sites across the nation. The deal also involves 15 of China’s leading banks, the company said in a release. Apple said its mobile payments service would arrive in 2016.

Read the full story here.

Seattle just became the first city to allow Uber and Lyft drivers to unionize

Uber

In a landmark unanimous decision on Monday, the Seattle City Council voted to allow Uber, Lyft, and other for-hire drivers the right to unionize. It’s a move that these transportation giants have tried desperately to avoid, as the regulations that come along with unionizing (or the ability to do so), may come as a hindrance and lessen the edge the companies have maintained over traditional taxi services.

Read the full story here.

Wanna be an astronaut? NASA has just opened application process

nastronaut
NASA

NASA on Monday officially launched its application process for its next lot of space travelers, and anyone can apply. Sure, competition will be super-tough, and you’ll need some solid qualifications under your belt, but who’s to say you’re not up to the job. “NASA is on an ambitious journey to Mars and we’re looking for talented men and women from diverse backgrounds and every walk of life to help get us there,” NASA administrator and former astronaut Charles Bolden said in a release.

Read the full story here.

Next page: 5 more tech stories you might have missed this week

Emerging Tech

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Mobile

We tried all the latest and greatest smartphones to find the best of 2019

Smartphones are perhaps the most important and personal piece of tech on the planet. That’s why it’s important to pick the best phone for your individual needs. Here are the best smartphones you can buy.
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Here are 20 portable tech gadgets you’ll want to use every day

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Mobile

Want more power, but faster? This new charging tech claims it can deliver

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Wearables

Swatch and Mastercard team up for on-the-wrist, on-the-go mobile payments

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Mobile

Do these Geekbench results accurately represent the Moto G7?

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Mobile

Sony is showing something off at MWC -- will it be the Xperia XZ4?

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Set your ears free with the best completely wireless earbuds

If you can't stand the tangle of cords, or you're just excited about completely wireless earbuds, you're going to need some help separating the wheat from the chaff. Our list serves up the best true wireless earbuds around.
Mobile

Is this the first image of a Galaxy S10 being used in real life?

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Omron HeartGuide brings blood pressure monitoring to your wrist

High blood pressure leads to heart attacks, strokes, and many other health problems, so it's important to keep an eye on. Omron's HeartGuide is a fitness tracking watch that can also monitor your blood pressure from your wrist.
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Google is buying mysterious smartwatch tech from The Fossil Group for $40 million

Google is about to step up its smartwatch game. The company has agreed to buy an unnamed smartwatch technology from The Fossil Group for a hefty $40 million. Considering the acquisition, it's clear Google is serious about smartwatches.
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Learn how to play YouTube in the background on iOS and Android

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Android vs. iOS: Which smartphone platform is the best?

If you’re trying to choose a new phone and you’re not sure about the merits and pitfalls of the leading smartphone operating systems, then come on in for a detailed breakdown as we pit Android vs. iOS in various categories.
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