Nokia v. Apple, Nintendo Switch no slouch @1080p, 7-Eleven beat Amazon in drone drop, Reactionless Engine

Mobile:

  • Smartphone patent wars redux: Nokia sues Apple, big time

Nokia, partnered with Patent Assertion Entity Acacia (and others) are suing Apple over 32 patents spanning almost all Apple handheld devices. Even Siri is said to be in violation. Apple is fighting back saying “No fair!” and filed its own lawsuit but this time saying Nokia is teaming with these PAEs to come at big companies from many different sides maximizing returns from the lawsuits effectively crippling competition. More here.

  • Turkey & Russia Want to Unlock iPhone of Russian Ambassador’s Killer (Updated)

Turkish and Russian authorities want to unlock the iPhone 4S that was owned by the off duty officer that shot and killed the Russian Ambassador to Turkey while speaking at an Art Gallery in the Turkish capital Ankara. The Russian team was able to retrieve some data without actually unlocking the phone but we guess the need to fully unlock it is still there. Sound familiar? Yes, the FBI wanted to unlock an iPhone 5S owned by the San Bernardino shooter and claims to have successfully have done so without Apple’s help in a very public back and forth where Apple didn’t want to crack it’s own stuff.

Game Consoles:

  • Nintendo Switch hits High 1080p Unreal Engine 4 preset

Nintendo wants to get back into the game particularly as it was over shadowed for quite a while by both the PlayStation and Xbox lines of consoles. Now, they want to offer gaming on the go without sacrificing the full blown home console experience. The handheld unit offers a docked mode that apparently seems to be able to mess with the big boys.

Condiments:

  • Convenience shop items delivered by drone in US

On Dec 14 2016, Jeff Bezos CEO of Amazon announced they made an autonomous drone delivery that took 13 mins from click to deliver. Now it seems a 7-Eleven partnered with a startup called Flirtey has been dong that since July. They even brag they delivered hot food and cold drinks.

  • Uber’s self-driving tests in SF end after the DMV steps in

After regulators put a blockade on Uber self-driving cars in SF, as well as the blind spot for cyclists, Uber said they are going to go ahead anyway so the DMV just revoked the registration for the vehicles.

  • Uber launches electric fleet of Teslas in Madrid

A lot of Uber this week, this time the company is rolling out electric cars into the capital of Spain that had trouble with the company over using unlicensed drivers, there was a big kerfuffle over the service leading to its ban and eventual return last March. The city was also complaining of pollution related problems so Uber thought, why not take advantage of that? Want an Uber in s Tesla? Tempting for sure.

  • That drone sub Trump said China could keep—what was it doing, anyway?

Arstechnica dives deep into story of the underwater drone the Chinese People’s Liberation Army had ceased from the US Navy. There is a lot of tension int eh South China sea as China appears to broadening its footprint with what appear to be military bases on remote islands and terra-formed reefs near nations that are getting nervous. The US on the other hand was always critical of those actions with China always saying “This area is all mine, butt out!”. So I guess when a US Navy underwater drone is found by the Chinese in the area, they cease it.

  • Don’t pay up to decrypt – cure found for CryptXXX ransomware, again

The gurus at Kaspersky Labs say, don’t pay, save your data and be patient, they’ll crack it sooner that you think. They have already done it three times each time the perps were upping the ante and the Kaspersky team was able to defeat the encryption each time.

  • Russian military hackers used Android malware to seek-and-destroy Ukrainian artillery

We know cyber warfare lives in cyber space but this is more like a crossover between cyber to IRL. CrowdStrike co-founder Dmitri Alperovitch claims the hackers were also the same group that hacked the DNC. Excerpts from CrowdStrike’s research note could be found here.

  • Twitter is toast

Twitter is losing a lot of its top brass. But the biggest injury perhaps comes from, as Trip Chowdhry managing director of equity research at Global Equities Research, mentions, if Twitter data predicted Hillary would win and she didn’t, then ads prediction will be bad and so money will not come in as planned. Simple equation really.

  • Crytek will close the majority of its studios

“Can it run Crysis?” was a long running joke ever since the company released its groundbreaking title way back in ’07. It was a very demanding game for the hardware at the time and the developers kept releasing title after title with more or less the same style. The artwork and cinematic inclinations were clear, they wanted to make blockbusters so no holds were barred. The company’s game engine series “CryEngine” is currently in its fifth iteration but if facing heavy competition from the Unreal Engine. Looks like they are feeling the heat badly.

  • Canada declares ‘high-speed’ internet essential for quality of life

Canada’s government has declared that high speed internet is a basic service that every citizen should have access to. The rest of the specs are quote impressive considering that the average speeds in the most populous nation in MENA has very modest speeds and a very high price per Mbps. Canada is willing to spend hundreds of millions to get these services out to 90% of Canuks by 2021. Impressive.

  • Honda in talks with Alphabet’s Waymo on self-driving car technology

Honda is already working on it’s own tech for self driving cars but I guess they are willing to help others get theirs out the door. But this isn’t exactly new as Honda already spoke to the previous incarnation of Waymo (GoogleX) but this time it seems things might look a bit different. Considering that Apple is also working on it’s own car but they intended to make the whole vehicle until they put that part on hold till late 2017. FiatCrysler already give them 100 Pacifica minivans. Hondas? Sure.

Science:

  • EmDrive: China claims success with this ‘reactionless’ engine for space travel

EmDrive is an electromagnetic powered “reactionless” drive, the theory of operation is that contrary to reaction engines where you burn fuel and high exhaust (reaction) gas speeds generate force (thrust) that pushes the vehicle (newton’s third law), this works differently. According to the Chinese, they say they have built a reactionless engine that uses the peculiarities of electromagnetic radiation. In this case the radiation is microwaves where the waves are generated in a reflective cavity of a special shape (a cone with it’s pointy head cut off, called a truncated cone). The microwaves self-interact in the cavity of varying diameter along its length and a net force is generated. This is currently under development but the Chinese claim to have broken the back of the research and built a working unit that will be tested on their Tiangong 2 space station. More here.

  • “Pregnancy brain” means reductions in gray matter for new mothers

Brain scans for pre-pregnancy women compared to those post pregnancy show a reduction in grey matter in their brains. Exactly pin pointing what that means is yet to be discovered.

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