Elon Musk's company SpaceX has announced that it has signed the first private moon traveler. The company will announce who it is, and when that flight to the moon will be, on Monday. The original plan called for two passengers to fly around the moon using a Falcon Heavy rocket and a Crew Dragon capsule, but the new strategy is to fly around the moon using an even bigger SpaceX rocket that has its own dedicated passenger ship with only one person aboard.
This Week in Tech News
This week Apple announced the iPhone Xs, Xs Max, and Xr. Rich says it sounds like a drink you buy at the gas station. Why Apple dropped the "Plus" moniker is beyond Rich, because Plus and Max are really the same thing, except the new iPhone Xs Max has an edge to edge screen, rather than any sort of bezel.
This week Verizon Wireless severely throttled the wireless internet speeds of the Santa Clara Fire Department, unless the department paid double. Verizon says it was merely a mistake and has nothing to do with new net neutrality rules. Leo says that throttling the fire department is a danger to public safety and doesn't buy the excuse. But it'll take years to settle in court, if it goes at all.
Calling Minecraft the "Lego" of the 21st century, Leo says that Microsoft has created an education edition of the game for computer programming, chemistry, and a host of other teaching tools within the game itself. It's also available on the iPad. Leo says it's a very cool idea and a great way to learn science, technology and math (STEM).
Magic Leap has jumped into the VR headset game with a strange looking goggle like headset that makes you look like an alien when wearing them. It's called Magic Leap One, and it's a developer edition, so most people won't get it in this form. As the field continues to mature and more companies offer headsets, though, the price will go down.
It wasn't that long ago that Google pulled out of China because of the country's authoritarian demands and acts of censorship. Now reports are that the company that once said "do no evil" as their slogan, is developing a special Google browser for China that will allow the country to strictly control the flow of information online. So much for doing no evil.
Intel has run up against a wall in Moore's Law that said that the number of transistors in a processor would double every 18 months. In the last few years, Intel has been up against a wall, not being able to double the speed. But a recent breakthrough has created a transistor using a single atom! That will enable processors to become faster and smaller, using very little energy.
The latest scam to hit the interwebs is an email saying that you've been hacked and spied upon, viewing porn online and unless you send thousands in Bitcoin, they will send the information to everyone you know. If an email plays upon your fear or strong emotions, don't fall for it!
Read more at krebsonsecurity.com.
Samsung announced the Galaxy Note 9 on Thursday morning, and it'll be out already on August 24. Leo says the Note phone has a lot of devoted fans, but there's also a lot of people who think it's too big and too expensive. It starts a $999, and goes even higher if you want to get more internal storage. It's a beautiful phone, and slightly larger than the old Galaxy Note 8. Samsung has put a very big 4,000 mAh battery in the Note 9. They're putting in water cooling, though, so it won't get too hot and won't explode. This is the largest battery ever in a Note smartphone.
Leo says that when it first began, Twitter called itself the "free speech wing" of the free speech party. But after recent bans of Alex Jones, Leo ponders what happened. The bottom line is, if you are for the first amendment, you have to be for unpopular speech as well. But make no mistake, Twitter is a private company, and it can ban anyone for any reason.