Elon Musk has been trying to build a better rocket for awhile — and now he’s getting serious about getting SpaceX more business. Speaking at an event discussing the successful “soft” ocean landing (but failed recovery, due to storms and rough seas that prevented boats from reaching it for two days) of SpaceX’s reusable Falcon 9 rocket prototype, Musk announced that the company is filing a complaint against the US Air Force, hoping to win the right to participate in launches that relate to national security. At issue is the government’s contract with the United Launch Alliance, an exclusive launch agreement that keeps Musk’s firm from competing for certain launches. The ULA won the contract, in part, because it has a very high launch success rate, but Musk says it’s too expensive.
“This contract is costing US taxpayers billions of dollars for no reason.” Musk said. “And to add salt to the wound, the primary engine that’s used is a Russian Engine.” Musk argues that the existing rockets are based on 90s technology, whereas SpaceX’s rockets were built and designed today. By filing suit in the Court of Federal Claims, he hopes to force the government to open these kinds of launches to competition. “If we compete and we lose, that’s fine,” he said. “But why are they not even competed?” Despite the lawsuit, Musk says he doesn’t think the legal action will damage SpaceX’s relationship with the Air Force, saying that his battle isn’t with the organization itself, but only with “a handful of people in the procurement department.”
We met up with Toast at CES and had a chance to check out some of their special all wood covers for various devices. What makes them pretty unique isn’t so much the all wood aspect, but more so the customization ability to have something ‘burned’ into the wood. It is pretty personalized and interesting. What I like even better, is they are just a few hours drive from my house up in Portland. Anyways, Toast has been teasing, with the help of +KevDoy, an upcoming real wood skin for the Acer C720 Chromebook.
It certainly has a nice look to it, don;t you think? Toast makes mentions in a G+ response that the new wood skin will retail for around $50USD and pre-ordering will begin soon, but no specific date is mentioned. Check out a few more images from KevDoy to hold you over though.
If this is your first exposure to the wonders of Toast, check out their site at toastmade.com and have look around at the variety of real wood skins they have available.
Update: Moments after posting this Toast let loose that they are available for Pre-Order starting today and will ship Tuesday. They on’t have the page to pre-order up just yet, but it should come online shortly at Toastmade.com.
Amazon has certainly been tossing a lot for free apps out to the Android world lately, more so than just their free app of the day promotion that is always on going. Today we see that Amazon has 6 music related apps up for grabs at the magical price of free.
Some of the apps are ones you might be pretty familiar with but haven’t gone through with the purchase of in the past. Shazam Encore being one of them with a normal retail value of $5, is a steal at free. Litterally. Amazon rounds out the offering with TuneIn Radio Pro, Ultimate Guitar Tabs, jetAudio Music Player Plus, iReal – Music Book & Play Along, Metronome: Tempo, Guitar Riff Pro and Treble Cat – Learn to Read Music. Not a bad selection for music listeners, lovers, learners and players all wrapped up into a great package.
To pick up any one of these, or all of them, you will want to visit the Amazon Promo page that is up and running. You will need the Amazon app store installed on your device if you want to download them and get them installed.
Update: Just fixed the link. Not sure what happened there.
The highly sought after Android 4.4.2 KitKat update for the Galaxy Note II (International GT-N7100) is starting to make it’s first official appearance today. The update isn’t going out in a typical OTA fashion though, it is only popping up through Samsung Kies. The build number associated to the update shows off as N7100XXUFND3.
If France is starting to pick it up, then we can only hope that it will start to filter its way around the globe over the next couple months. All depending on the network and the roll out of course. If you are anti Samsung Kies, SamMobile has the file and install instructions available as well to do it all manually.
There has been plenty of talk of Motorola releasing a new flagship phone this year, to take the baton from their current Moto X, and the popular name for this yet-to-be announced device is Moto X+1. Now, pocketdroid.com has reported that a new prototype phone dubbed “XT912A” (the same prototype number given to the current Moto X back in its pre-release days) has shown up on the GFX Bench website.
The specs of this version of XT912A includes a 5.2″ screen at full HD, quad-core Snapdragon 800 CPU, 12MP rear/2MP front cameras, and 1080p video recording. No photos or other details exist yet, however, and it cannot be confirmed whether this prototype number is in fact the next Moto flagship.
Personally, as an owner of a Moto X, I’m very curious to see what Motorola will do to top this current device. What about all of you; what’s on your X+1 wishlist? Comments welcome!
We recently learned of a modular smartphone accessory on Indiegogo that we think you might be interested in checking out. Called Snap! it’s an “efficient attachment system” that goes on the back of your handset. Once in place you can snap (get it?) it into other accessories. Like to take your smartphone with you when riding a bike? Snap! Perhaps you’d prefer to leave your wallet at home and take but a few credit cards or some actual cash. Snap on the money clip and you’ll ensure that the phone and your money are never separated.
There are a number of clips already in development for the Snap! accessory with more promised in time. Currently in its first few days in seeking funding, the Indiegogo project is well on its way to hitting the goal. In fact, as of right now it’s at 65% with another 42 days left to go.
While you’ll find a variety of funding packages available we recommend the $100 kit which includes a bike mount, car mount, wallet, earbud wrap and sports armband. Considering the price of standalone accessories you’ll definitely come out ahead here. Hurry, though, there are only 300 of these bundles available!
And, before you say this has been around a while and can be done with already-existing cases, we know. What we like about Snap! is that it doesn’t require a specific, often times bulky protective case.
The post Snap!: the modular smartphone accessory you should be funding appeared first on AndroidGuys.
The 11″ and 12″ MacBook Airs may be updated soon. One report even claims next week. Meanwhile, a new 12″ MacBook Air with Retina display may be coming out this fall.
iPhone 6 design renderings aimed at helping case manufacturers create early iPhone 6 cases ahead of the device’s release have surfaced on Ukranian website UkrainianiPhone [Google Translate] (via Nowhereelse.fr), from what the site calls a “reliable source of information.”
The renderings are seemingly based on the same general design principles found in schematics leaked back in early March, but they provide more detail on what we might possibly expect from the iPhone 6. As with most of the current design leaks, the authenticity of the renderings cannot be confirmed.
While the majority of renderings, cases, and iPhone 6 details leaked up until this point have failed to explain how Apple will incorporate antennas into the iPhone 6, the new Ukrainian renderings suggest that the back shell of the iPhone will not be all one piece, potentially leaving room in the aluminum casing for possible antenna inserts, similar to the design of the existing iPhone 5s. There are separate top and bottom pieces depicted in the renderings as well, which also point towards an antenna.
According to the renderings, the device will have a thickness of 6mm, which is somewhat in line with predictions from reliable KGI securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who pointed towards a thickness of 6.5 to 7mm. At 6mm, the iPhone 6 would be significantly thinner than the iPhone 5s, which is 7.6mm thick. The renderings also suggest the iPhone 6 will have a length of 138mm and a width of 67mm.
As with the original design schematics, the renderings incorporate a rounded flash, which is a departure from the existing pill-shaped True Tone flash introduced with the iPhone 5s. There’s also a sleep/wake button located on the right side of the device, and rumors have thus far suggested Apple could move the button to make it easier to access sleep/wake on a larger device with one hand.
Overall, the renderings are more or less in line with previous iPhone 6 rumors, which have indeed pointed to a thinner design with smaller bezels. Apple’s iPhone 6 is also expected to include an upgraded A8 processor, Touch ID, and an improved camera.
When last we left our intrepid heroes they were changing all their passwords and wondering what weird gimmick would being the crux of their next smartphone. But, this week, they’ve got bigger fish to fry. The FCC, China, Russia, the Supreme Court… basically the whole f’ing world! As usual the fun all starts at 12PM (ish) ET. So click on through past the break, sit back, relax and forget about your troubles. It’s Friday, after all.
Filed under: Misc
Until today, we thought that Bosch’s HomeConnect system would only let you turn your washing machine on if you had Bosch (or Siemens)-branded hardware. Turns out, however, that the company wants to be the middleman for all of your internet-connected appliances. At an event in Turkey, a spokesperson revealed that HomeConnect will become a platform that’ll let you control all of your kitchen gadgets, no matter which company makes them. That way, instead of having a smartphone chock-full of apps, each one dedicated to a separate appliance, it could all be run from HomeConnect.
On the downside, such controls would be limited to turning the units on and off, as well as alerts if something goes wrong. Then there’s the fact that we don’t know what other manufacturers would want to contribute, rather than locking users into their own, proprietary, systems. Still, Bosch’s market research has found that, unlike in the smartphone business, people often buy appliances from a wide variety of manufacturers, so a unified control system makes a lot of sense. According to Bosch, the HomeConnect platform will launch in Germany on iOS in September, coming to Android at some point in 2015. All we need now, of course, is a robot that’ll go through our laundry and hang it up when it’s done.