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Apple’s Rumored to Debut First 5G iPhone in 2020 With Intel as Modem Supplier

Apple will launch its first 5G iPhone in 2020, according to an unnamed source that spoke to Fast Company.

Apple is said to be planning to use Intel’s 8161 modem chip in the 2020 iPhone lineup, with Intel set to be the sole provider of 5G chips for Apple devices. The upcoming 8161 chip will be fabricated using Intel’s 10-nanometer process.

Right now, Intel is said to be testing a precursor to the 8161, the 8060, which will be used for prototyping the 5G iPhone.

Fast Company’s source says that Apple has “been unhappy” with Intel as of late because of Intel’s failure to solve heat dissipation and battery life issues with the 8060 modem chip that’s in the works.

Many wireless carriers, including Verizon and AT&T in the U.S., will initially rely on millimeter-wave spectrum (between 30 gigahertz and 300 Ghz) to connect the first 5G phones. But millimeter-wave signal requires some heavy lifting from the modem chips, our source explains. This causes the release of higher-than-normal levels of thermal energy inside the phone-so much so that the heat can be felt on the outside of the phone.

Despite its displeasure with Intel, Apple has not considered reopening conversations with Qualcomm about supplying 5G modems for the 2020 iPhone models. The company has, however, held conversations with modem chip maker MediaTek as a Plan B if Intel can’t work out its modem problems over the course of the next year and a half.

With its legal dispute with Qualcomm escalating, Apple has been relying on Intel chips for its devices. The iPhone XS, XS Max, and XR all use Intel modem chips, with Apple having transitioned away from Qualcomm entirely for its flagship iPhone lineup.

Rumors late last year suggested Intel and Apple were already working on 5G chip technology for future iPhone devices. Intel is said to have thousands of people working on 5G tech to catch up with Qualcomm and win Apple’s 5G modem contract.

The first 5G smartphones are expected to start debuting early in 2019, with the first to be Android devices using Qualcomm 5G chips. 5G technology is expected to deliver speeds that are 10 to 100 times faster than the average 4G connection, at a gigabit per second or higher, along with lower latency and other benefits.

Related Roundup: 2019 iPhones
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To curb teen vaping, schools across the U.S. welcome A.I. into their bathrooms

There’s a problem with bullying at schools. Since today’s students are also members of the post-millennial generation there’s, unsurprisingly, a reported problem with vaping as well. Who are you going to call? If you’re anything like 500 schools across the U.S. and Canada, the answer is simple: Soter Technologies.

Soter has developed a smart bathroom sensor called Fly Sense. It’s capable of detecting both indoor vaping and noises above a certain decibel threshold, indicative of bullying or fighting. Think of it like Amazon Alexa: Snitch edition — but in a totally good way.

“Fly Sense, and now Fly Sense 2.5, is the first Internet of Things device that was designed to detect sound anomalies in schools that suggest potential incidents of bullying,” Derek Peterson, CEO and founder of Soter Technologies, told Digital Trends. “After receiving feedback from school administrators about the explosion of the vaping problem with young people in secondary schools, an advanced vape detection and alert system was [also] integrated into the system solution. Developed for the education market, FlySense is the only dual sensor and real-time alert system of its kind on the market today.”

Fly Sense contains multiple sensors capable of making different environmental readings. Using air quality sensors and associated software, it can identify trends of vape use in a given location over time, thereby helping schools identify hot spots for reacting accordingly. Despite our quip about smart speakers, the devices do not actually record sound, but rather analyze decibel levels to identify anomalies. When a vaping signature or a sound anomaly is detected, an alert is then automatically sent via email, SMS text message, or push notification to a defined user list.

While Fly Sense could theoretically be installed anywhere, Peterson said that schools will typically use them in places like locker rooms or bathrooms. That’s because these represent “the soft underbelly of school security,” where there are no cameras, teachers or coaches to keep an eye on what happens.

Since being introduced in August 2017, Fly Sense is now shipping out more than 600 units per month. The cost of a single unit is $995 and includes cloud-based monitoring and alert service for one year. Each subsequent year costs $150 for the service.

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NASA dreams of fueling up its rockets at a gas station on Mars by 2038

Glen Benson/NASA

The idea of robots mining for dirt on Mars, which could then be transformed into water, oxygen, or rocket fuel, sounds like some futuristic sci-fi concept. But it’s an actual idea that NASA scientists are working to make a reality just a couple of decades from now. It’s part of research that could one day allow a Mars-based crew to return home to Earth after using up much of their fuel on the journey there. And while it’s all hypothetical right now, NASA has a prototype robot to underline how serious it is.

“RASSOR is a low-gravity excavation robot that NASA is currently prototyping and evaluating for potential future use on the Moon or on Mars,” Kurt Leucht, NASA software engineer at Florida’s Kennedy Space Center, told Digital Trends. “It’s a novel design because it is itself a very lightweight machine – because minimizing launch mass is a major focus in the rocket business – and yet it is still a very capable digging machine despite its low weight.”

RASSOR digs using small digging scoops that are mounted onto counter-rotating hollow bucket drums. It drives forward while digging in order to create a long slot-trench, and digs down deeper and deeper with each pass. The hope is that, as it digs down several feet beneath the surface, it will discover water/ice mixed in with the soil.

Glen Benson/NASA

This water could then be filtered and deionized to produce water, or split into hydrogen and oxygen components to provide some of the raw materials needed for liquid rocket fuel.

“The processing plant will also collect carbon dioxide from the thin Mars atmosphere, and create methane rocket fuel using the Sabatier process,” Leucht said. “It’s basically an unmanned and fully autonomous gas station on the surface of Mars. It can create oxygen for breathing air. It can create liquid water for drinking. And it can create liquid methane and liquid oxygen rocket propellants for our return trip.”

In a recent article for IEEE Spectrum, Leucht cited the year 2038 as a possible date for this to take place. However, he noted that that this date is just notional at present — although he is hopeful it will come to fruition. “It’s very difficult for NASA, as a federal agency, to plan in detail more than just a few years out into the future,” he said. “Everything depends on funding and direction from our federal administration.”

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HP blasts a supercomputer into orbit and it’s (mostly) still in one piece

Back in August 2017, HP Enterprise teamed up with Space X and NASA to send a supercomputer to the International Space Station. Part of a year-long mission to test if the systems onboard the computer could survive the harsh environments of space, it is now still alive and partly in working order, Wired reports.

Built with help from NASA, and based on HP Enterprises’ Apollo 40 servers, the supercomputer’s 32 cores all kept working all year despite the radiation of space. There were, however, several periods where the connections to NASA were down for three seconds to 20 minutes at eight times during the day. Despite the downtime, data was not lost, which is something that shows big potential for use in space, according to HP.

“There’s a lot of 4K cameras and videos on ISS looking for something … We should do that kind of general-purpose image processing on board and save that bandwidth for other things,”  HP told Wired.

Parts of the Linux-powered supercomputer were also protected by a custom water-cooled enclosure and software which would default it to safe mode if radiation and heat thresholds were met. Unfortunately, that system wasn’t 100 percent accurate and failures occurred on nine out of 20 of the solid-state drives onboard.

Likewise, power failures were common for the supercomputer, happening four times during the one-year testing period. That shows that while the supercomputer might not be perfect, it still holds value for NASA for tasks like crunching data and beaming it back to Earth.

“They learned a few things and they demonstrated that the system works in space. …It gives NASA the option to purchase a capability we may need in the future rather than developing it ourselves,” NASA’s David Hornyak told Wired.

NASA provides a full rundown of the initial mission online and HP also dives deeper into the technical details of its supercomputer offerings on its website. The rocket carrying the supercomputer originally launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida, but after the initial success, HP is now announcing plans to allow more researchers to access the Spaceborne supercomputer.

That should make computing in space much easier for the astronauts looking down on Earth.

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Get a refurbished Apple 12-inch MacBook for $400 less than price of a new one

Now that Apple has announced its new MacBook Air, we’re starting to see deals that make the 12-inch MacBook more competitive. Amazon is the latest to offer such a deal — and it’s for today only. The internet retailer is offering a certified refurbished MacBook for $400 less than the cost of a new one.

For $899, you’re getting a device with a 1.2GHz dual-core 7th-Generation Kaby Lake Intel Core M3 processor, a 256GB solid-state drive, and 8GB of memory. Amazon’s discount applies to all colors, so you can pick up the 12-inch laptop in space gray, silver, rose gold, or gold. The MacBook deal is part of Amazon’s early Black Friday promotions.

Amazon’s deal represents a sizable savings, but, as we mentioned, the unit you’re getting is refurbished, not a new one, and Amazon only offers a limited warranty on the laptop.

“The condition of these units are Manufacturer Certified Refurbished by Apple,” Amazon said in its MacBook listing. “These units are not eligible for Apple Care and do not come with an Apple Warranty.” Amazon does offer a 30-day return policy, however, but a restocking fee may apply.

Given widely reported keyboard woes plaguing Apple’s MacBook and earlier generations of the MacBook Pro since the company switched to the butterfly key designs, the warranty may be an important consideration for potential buyers. Apple has since redesigned the keyboard to mitigate problems with sticky keys, but the keyboard is only available on the latest models of the MacBook Pro and the MacBook Air, not the MacBook.

In addition to the warranty, another consideration that potential buyers looking to hop on this deal should make is that the MacBook ships with just a uniport USB-C port. This means that you won’t be able to connect another peripheral while the charging the laptop, unless you’re willing to carry a hub. Apple’s other laptops, including the newly announced MacBook Air, ships with at least two USB-C ports for added convenience, allowing users to use one port for charging and the second for connecting peripherals like a storage drive or monitor. Additionally, the USB-C port on the MacBook doesn’t support the faster Thunderbolt 3 specifications.

If you’re looking at picking up the MacBook, be sure to check out our review and laptop buying guide. If you’re not set on MacOS, there should be plenty of deals on Windows laptops as the holiday shopping season approaches.

We strive to help our readers find the best deals on quality products and services, and choose what we cover carefully and independently. If you find a better price for a product listed here, or want to suggest one of your own, email us at Trends may earn commission on products purchased through our links, which supports the work we do for our readers.

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Paralysis treatment that helped 3 patients walk again could come to hospitals

Three paraplegics who sustained serious spinal injuries years ago have been given the ability to walk again, courtesy of electrical stimulation of their spinal cords using a wireless implant. Called STIMO (Stimulation Movement Overground), the technology allowed people who had long since lost the use of their legs to regain control of them.

“In our method, we implant an array of electrodes over the spinal cord, which allows us to target individual muscle groups in the legs,” Jocelyne Bloch, a neurosurgeon involved in the study, said in a statement. “Selected configurations of electrodes are activating specific regions of the spinal cord, mimicking the signals that the brain would deliver to produce walking.”

The study was led by the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) and the Lausanne University Hospital (CHUV), both based in Switzerland. It represents a potentially massive leap forward for rehabilitation technology. Participants required only one week of usage before they regained limited ability to walk with body weight support. After several months, they were able to exchange this for other less-supportive devices such as walkers or crutches.

Best of all, even after the electrical stimulation was switched off, the participants retained the progress they had made over the course of the experiment.

A paper describing the work, titled “Targeted neurotechnology Restores Walking in Humans with Spinal Cord Injury.” was recently published in the journal Nature. A medical startup called GTX, co-founded by Jocelyne Bloch and another researcher named Grégoire Courtine, will now aim to turn this work into a treatment that’s available to patients in hospitals and clinics.

“We are building next-generation neurotechnology that will also be tested very early post-injury, when the potential for recovery is high and the neuromuscular system has not yet undergone the atrophy that follows chronic paralysis,” Courtine said in a statement.

As impressive as it undoubtedly is, this work is not the only example of electrical stimulation yielding impressive results. Recently, researchers at the Mayo Clinic in the U.S. demonstrated how an implanted electrical stimulator was able to help a man paralyzed four years earlier in a snowmobile accident to regain the ability to stand — and even walk the length of a football field.

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Does the SmartThings WiFi mesh router include a smart hub?


Best answer: Yes — the SmartThings WiFi mesh router system also doubles as a smart hub that can connect up to 100+ different SmartThings gadgets.

Amazon: Samsung SmartThings WiFi Mesh Router ($280)

The SmartThings WiFi mesh router doubles as a smart hub

The SmartThings WiFi mesh router is really two different products in one.

In addition to providing ample Wi-Fi coverage for your home, it also works as a smart hub for all of your other SmartThings devices. So, if you were already planning on getting a mesh router system and are invested in the SmartThings ecosystem, going this route just makes sense.

Everything’s controlled through the SmartThings app

Whether you want to turn off your lights, adjust the thermostat, or customize your home network settings, everything is controlled through the main SmartThings app.

For buyers that already use the app for controlling other smart home devices, having your Wi-Fi options handled through here too is a really nice treat.

You can buy a single router or get a three-pack

If you’re interested in buying the SmartThings WiFi system for yourself, you can purchase just a standalone unit or pick up a three-pack for maximum coverage.

Although it’s more expensive upfront, we recommend going the three-pack route as it offers excellent Wi-Fi range (up to 4,500 square feet) and provides the most bang for your buck at around $93 per router instead of $120.

Our pick

Samsung SmartThings WiFi Mesh Router


$280 at Amazon

Mesh router + smart home hub in one

Samsung’s SmartThings WiFi mesh router not only blankets your home in reliable internet coverage, but it also doubles as a hub for all your SmartThings devices. This bundle comes with three routers for one low price.


Blizzard announces Diablo Immortal, coming to Android


Blizzard has just announced a brand new, mobile-first Diablo game at BlizzCon.

Blizzard kicks off BlizzCon today, and hot off the heels of the Diablo 3 Nintendo Switch release (our review) is the next addition to the Diablo franchise: Diablo Immortal, coming to mobile devices on Android and iOS.

There’s not too much known about Diablo Immortal right now, but they did say that this game takes place after Diablo II: Lord of Destruction and before the events of Diablo III. This will be a full-fledged massively multiplayer online action RPG (MMOARPG) for mobile, and graphically speaking, it will look similar to Diablo III.

Tyreal the Archangel is dead, and a shattered Worldstone is scattered all over, tainting and bringing forth ancient evils who want to harness the Worldstone’s power to control mankind.

If you’re wondering how the gameplay on a touchscreen will be, don’t worry. This is the first game that Blizzard has designed with mobile in mind, and it’ll feature a virtual joystick in the bottom left, with several buttons for abilities on the right.

Diablo Immortal will feature six playable character classes that most people will be familiar with: Barbarian, Wizard, Monk, Necromancer, Demon Hunter, and Crusader. Oddly enough, the Witch Doctor from Diablo III seems to have been omitted, though more classes could be added later. These six classes were the only ones that were shown off at BlizzCon.

With Diablo Immortal, every class gets new abilities that we haven’t seen before. There will also be new zones, new stories, and new dungeons to play through. And like the full console and PC games, there’s an online multiplayer experience, so you can team up with others and slay the demons of hell together. It appears that up to six people can play together at once, which is more than previous Diablo games (up to four).

Diablo started out as a PC game, but Diablo III (originally released in 2012) has made its way onto the PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, and now Nintendo Switch.

You can pre-register here to find out more info for the game as they reveal it, as well have a chance to get in on the beta and get exclusive in-game rewards.


Play your NES or SNES classic wirelessly with the $15 Nyko Super Miniboss

Play from (almost) anywhere.


Amazon has the Nyko Super Miniboss Wireless Controller on sale for $14.97, which marks this item’s steepest price drop to date. Typically it costs $5 more.

This controller can be used wirelessly with your Nintendo NES Classic and your Nintendo SNES Classic. You can play up to 20 feet away, and the Turbo button enables a mode that requires less button mashing. You can wirelessly access the Home menu by holding down the Turbo and Select buttons, and the rechargeable battery can be topped up with the included USB cable.

So far, the reviews are favorable, leaving this with 4.2 out of 5 stars.

See at Amazon


Grab Snow Joe’s 22-inch electric snow blower for $185

Be gone, snow!


Right now Amazon has the 22-inch Snow Joe electric snow blower on sale for $185. This is about $25 less than it’s recently been selling for, and nearly $50 less than it sold for earlier this year. It has a 22-inch path to clear the snow, and is powered by a 15A motor to make your sidewalk and driveway clean up a breeze. It has a built-in headlight, and can clear piles up to 13 inches tall in a single pass.

You’ll want to make sure you have a long, heavy duty, extension cord available to use with it as well. Be sure to grab this stuff now, while it’s discounted, instead of scrambling to find one when the snow starts falling.

See at Amazon

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