This month has given us a lot of food for thought and excitement. The companies in the post-covid race try to please us faster and better. Let’s take a look.

Apple revealed an iPhone 12. Three questions we had after the presentation

The Cupertino-based company finally unveiled the iPhone 12 line. There were no surprises or breakthrough technologies, but after the presentation, some questions remained anyway. Let's disassemble them.

1.Why 5G?

The new iPhone models support the newfangled communication standard. Apple even demonstrated in a special room that the device caught 5G and proved incredible download speeds. The problem is that so far, all this has nothing to do with reality. Yes, there is at least a somewhat developed 5G network in China. But even there, low-frequency towers are installed, and not the "golden millimeter," which was used to demonstrate the capabilities of the iPhone 12.

2.Is it all for the sake of ecology?

It was known a couple of months before the presentation that the "apple" tech giant would cease to equip iPhones with headphones and charging blocks. However, this decision still caused a violent reaction: on the Internet, they joke that the company will offer to the buyers to assemble the next model on their own.

From the outside, it seems that the Cupertino bosses' motives are obvious: to save on equipment and make people spend more money on accessories. And talking about caring for the environment is an excuse.

However, this is not quite true. A penny headset and a charger are only a couple of dollars in the total price of the device. Probably, money is also important for Apple, but at the same time, we should not discount the environmental reasons.

 iPhones are the most popular smartphones in the world. Over the past year, the iPhone X has sold over 60 million of these models. Each kit contains a charger and headphones. And these figures are only applicable to the top ten. Can you imagine how much waste Cupertino generates every month? Millions of units.

We can assume that in another world and time, Apple would ignore environmental impact, but in 2020, you cannot be a giant IT corporation with a positive reputation and not care about the environment in any way. Even if it's at the expense of its customers, the environmental aspect should be considered.

3.Will MagSafe lead to revolution?

The company first showed MagSafe in 2006 - it was a magnetic connector for charging a laptop. Technology is back in triumph, crawling under the back of the new iPhones. Now you can attach something like a business card holder to the apple flagship.

Apple has announced another presentation. Surprises expected

The rumors were confirmed. Apple suddenly announced another presentation - the third for this fall. According to the official announcement, something interesting awaits us.

Apple's special event will take place on Tuesday, November 10, under the famous slogan "One more thing." Traditionally, this phrase has been used by the company for really significant and iconic announcements. 

It is expected that the main star of the presentation will be the first Apple computer based on Apple's proprietary ARM Silicon processor. Most likely, it will be a laptop. Rumors are pointing to both an update to the 13-inch MacBook Pro and the 12-inch MacBook resurgence.

In addition to computers, there might be shown full-size wireless AirPods Studio headphones, AirTag tags for finding things, and an updated Apple TV set-top box.

Samsung's first Mini LED TVs will be released 

Samsung is known not merely as a major brand in the smartphone market, but the company is also famous for its branded TVs, which often set the entire industry trend. According to network informers, the Korean tech giant will soon release the first consumer models based on promising Mini LED matrices. The estimated date for the announcement of new products has already appeared on the network.

According to the network sources, the company's next-generation smart TVs will be unveiled in the first half of 2021. According to analyst reports, by the end of the same year, Samsung plans to sell at least two million such devices. A feature of Mini LED matrices is the use of miniature LEDs ranging in size from 100 to 300 micrometers. Thanks to their dense layout, they can provide a high level of image brightness, significantly superior to that of OLED panels.

Now in the line of flagship models of Samsung TVs, there are options based on QLED and Micro LED matrices. At the same time, company representatives do not officially comment on the information about the release dates for the upcoming new products.

Samsung mini LED TV

Xiaomi will release a "pocket" mini PC on Intel for $149

Ningbo, a subsidiary of Xiaomi specializing in the development of single board computers, has unveiled a laptop on the Youpin crowdfunding platform. Despite its diminutive dimensions, the apple-sized "system unit" is not inferior in performance to many office desktops, and its price is comparable to an inexpensive smartphone.

The dimensions of the device called Ningmei Rubik's Cube, packed in a metal case, are 62x62x42 millimeters, and the weight is 145 grams. The computer is built on the basis of the Intel Celeron J4125 quad-core processor with a clock speed of up to 2.7 GHz and integrated Intel UHD600 graphics. The amount of RAM, depending on the configuration, is 6 or 8 GB.

The novelty received a solid-state drive with a capacity of up to 256 GB in the M.2 form factor. The design also provides an active cooling system that removes heat from the components. The Rubik's Cube has an HDMI port for connecting to displays with a resolution of up to 4K, two USB 3.0 Type-A connectors, a microSD card slot, a 3.5 mm audio jack, and one USB Type-C port. Under the "hood", there was a place for wireless modules Bluetooth and Wi-Fi 2.4 / 5 GHz.

The cost of the basic version of Ningmei Rubik's Cube with 6/128 GB of memory is $ 149 at the crowdfunding stage. The 8/256 GB configuration will cost $ 186.

Snapdragon 875 compared to Kirin 9000

Qualcomm has not yet introduced the flagship Snapdragon 875 processor, but this does not prevent the future novelty from regularly appearing in the databases of various benchmarks. Following testing in AnTuTu, the mobile platform was also noted in the Master Lu app rating. This time, the promising chip was compared to the HUAWEI Kirin 9000 - the final result was not predictable.

According to the results of synthetic tests, the unannounced novelty yielded to its Chinese rival with a score of 899 401 points against 902 616 for the Kirin 9000. It is noteworthy that Qualcomm's solution turned out to be faster in CPU and GPU tests: 333 269 and 342 225 parrots, respectively, while the HUAWEI chip scored 330,327 and 338,174 points in the same disciplines. Nevertheless, Snapdragon lagged behind in testing the speed of access to the drive, as shown in the final result. 

Both mobile platforms are manufactured using a 5nm process technology and received eight processor cores. The Snapdragon 875 is rumored to be equipped with the new Cortex-X1 and Cortex-A78 cores, which explains its advantage in basic disciplines.

 It is expected that the new Qualcomm will be presented on December 1 this year. And at the beginning of 2021, it will debut in the Samsung Galaxy S21 and OnePlus 9 smartphones.

New reviews and images of StarLink satellite internet equipment

One of the popular Reddit community users has published a detailed report on the use of StarLink satellite Internet. A member of the beta testers group, the owner of a set of branded equipment, conducted a thorough review of the device and demonstrated the speed that potential subscribers should expect.

The author of the publication noted that he conducted tests in conditions that are far from ideal: trees, fences, houses, and thick clouds - all this could affect the speed of satellite Internet. In turn, all the last publications of this kind included measurements that were carried out during the installation of equipment directly on the roof.

The cost of a ready-made StarLink kit with a 59 cm antenna array and a 180 W power supply is $ 500. During testing, the enthusiast placed the antenna at different points throughout the entire house. The maximum connection speed was 191.35 Mbps, with a latency of 21 milliseconds. Under the most challenging conditions for the equipment, including bad weather, fences, rooftops, and tree crowns, data transfer rates reached 46 Mbps.

During the testing, one of the original owners of the StarLink satellite Internet bundle viewed streaming video on YouTube TV and Amazon Prime Video. He noted that once every 15 minutes, there was a delay of half a second, which is presumably due to the switch of equipment to a new satellite.

There were no problems with organizing video communication. The longest transfer between satellites took no more than 15 seconds. It is worth noting that now the number of Starlink satellites is far from planned - it is expected that as the grouping of repeaters increases, the connection will become almost seamless.

Tesla Roadster Elon Musk flew at record close range to Mars

The famous Tesla Roadster Elon Musk has been surfing the solar system for more than two years. He "dashed off" 36 thousand times longer than the warranty period of 93 thousand kilometers during this time. And recently, SpaceX reported that the famous electric car flew past Mars at a record close distance.

In February 2018, the first human-crewed flight of a Falcon Heavy rocket took place. It would be unreasonable to send it empty, so Elon Musk decided to put his own Tesla Roadster inside. The billionaire later admitted that it was a bad idea, but, in his opinion, sometimes it is worth doing stupid and funny things because they can attract attention and inspire people to do things that matter.

Since then, anyone can observe where the car is now with the famous Starman - the driver of the sports Tesla Roadster. This week, SpaceX reported that the red roadster approached Mars for the first time. It is now only 8 million kilometers from Mars or more than 60 million kilometers from Earth.

 The Tesla Roadster orbits the Sun every 557 days. Since its launch into the space, it has flown more than two billion kilometers, moving at a speed of over 88 thousand km/h. According to company representatives, the total distance traveled is so great that the car could travel 57 times on every road in the world.

Xiaomi unveils the world's first refrigerator with 5G and Wi-Fi 6

Viomi, a subsidiary of Xiaomi, has released a new original product - 21Face 5G IoT refrigerator with an interactive display, built-in Wi-Fi 6, and 5G modem for connecting to the fifth-generation mobile networks. At the same time, the manufacturer did not forget about the device's main function, the price of which is comparable to the purchase of a flagship smartphone.

The novelty is equipped with a large touch screen that can be used to watch videos, listen to songs or search for recipes on the Internet - and, if desired, various applications such as social networking clients can be loaded into the device's memory. The refrigerator communicates with the Internet via Wi-Fi at speeds up to 1200 Mbps or using a 5G connection.

 Viomi 21Face 5G IoT is also capable of taking on a central hub's role for managing other devices in the smart home ecosystem. In addition, support for voice assistant functions allows the model owner to interact with other smart appliances in the kitchen. The refrigerator's total internal volume is 520 liters, and the declared compressor noise level is no more than 38 dB.

The cost of novelty in China will be $ 744. The manufacturer did not announce plans to sell the device in other regions.

NVIDIA, watch out! AMD showed RX 6000 graphics cards - and it seems they are not worse than RTX 30XX

On October 28, AMD unveiled the upcoming AMD Radeon 6000 graphics chips to the public. These graphics cards were supposed to compete with the RTX 3000 from NVIDIA in terms of performance. Besides, they are the first AMD chips to support hardware ray tracing technology.

AMD President Lisa Su called the Radeon 6000 graphics cards based on Navi21 architecture, the most powerful line of graphics chips the company has ever created. New AMD devices are not only more powerful than previous ones, but also more energy efficient: according to the vendor, the difference with the last year's models was an impressive 30%. Compared to the AMD Radeon 5700XT, the performance has doubled, and this is expressed not in the bare benchmark numbers but in the real frame rate of popular games. 

AMD Radeon RX 6800 XT has become one of the most powerful devices in the line. The video card contains 72 computing units and 16 GB of video memory, and it operates at a frequency of 2015 MHz. The company was not afraid to compare the novelty with the solution of a competitor in the person of NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080: judging by the charts provided at the presentation, against its background, the AMD graphics accelerator proves to work very well. AMD Radeon RX 6800 XT demonstrates a similar performance level with reduced power consumption, and in some scenarios, it even slightly outperforms the NVIDIA chip.

HUAWEI Shows revenue growth despite all the sanctions

 Despite the sanctions from the US authorities, HUAWEI not only continues to release flagship smartphones with advanced technologies, but also boasts positive financial dynamics. According to the published report for the first three quarters of 2020, its revenue has grown significantly compared to the same period in 2019.

During the reporting period, HUAWEI's revenue was 671.3 billion yuan (about $ 100 billion), up at 9.9% compared to the same period last year. Furthermore, the company's net profit margin for the first three quarters of 2020 equaled 8%.

 The company noted that it plans to continue to focus on the development of artificial intelligence technologies, computers, cloud computing, and fifth-generation networks, creating solutions for various scenarios and developing applications in the industry. HUAWEI has set itself a goal to help enterprises grow their businesses, assist government agencies to stimulate national economies, develop industries and optimize governance.

Microsoft will speed up the "funeral" of Internet Explorer

Microsoft recently announced the end of support for Internet Explorer, the last numbered version of which was introduced back in 2013. The company did not limit itself to one simple reminder - in the coming days, users of the classic application will begin to receive even more persistent notifications about the need to "move" to another proprietary browser.

After the release of Microsoft Edge version 87, which will take place in November 2020, certain changes will be introduced: when you open some particular sites (Google Drive, YouTube, Microsoft Teams, ESPN, and others - more than 1100 addresses in total) through Internet Explorer, they will automatically launch in Microsoft Edge. This function will work in the background thanks to the Browser Helper Object (BHO) DLL module. The user will receive a notification about the use of outdated software and a proposal to transfer the saved data to Edge.

In this case, the outdated browser will not be removed from the operating system. Instead of incompatible content, it will display a help window with a proposal to go to the developer's website for a detailed explanation of why it is necessary to switch to a more modern web browser. Previously, Microsoft also announced that it would end support for Internet Explorer 11 with other branded applications, including the Microsoft 365 office suite, starting August 17 next year.

An unmanned electric truck without a cockpit conquered the race track

Reducing trucking costs has become a leitmotif for many startups looking to enter the market with fully-built prototypes based on autonomous control systems. To demonstrate the effectiveness of its development, the startup Einride arranged a drive for an unmanned electric truck on the famous Goodwood Track in the UK.

The Einride Pod Truck Showcase took place as part of the annual Goodwood SpeedWeek Motorsport Festival. The car was provided by the development team from Sweden. According to the manufacturer, the car is ready for transportation on short and medium routes on condition that all the necessary information about the route is entered into its database. It is also capable of moving in other directions, but requires an operator to control complex maneuvers remotely.

The Einride Pod circled, accompanied by an operator in a Lincoln MKZ sedan. The startup says the truck has the fourth level of autonomy but did not specify if anyone was driving during this demo ride.

One of the hallmarks of the new Einride Pod is the lack of a cockpit. The manufacturer said that its design and arrangement are too expensive, so he deleted the driver's seat from the final configuration. It is noted that autonomy is provided by an intelligent system based on NVIDIA solutions.

Toyota opened about space rover to conquer the moon and Mars

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) is building ambitious plans to explore the Moon and Mars. The latest project involves cooperation with Toyota, within the framework of which a crewed all-terrain vehicle will be created for long trips to the distant planets and worlds.

 JAXA and Toyota announced their collaboration back in March 2019. And now, they have shared more information about the "conqueror of distant planets." The rover was named Lunar Cruiser, after Toyota's famous Land Cruiser. It will be a powerful electric all-terrain vehicle, whose development and design should be completed by the end of this decade.

It is known that the rover will be not only robust but also spacious, having received at least 13 square meters of interior space, which will provide comfortable seating for two people. Although development is still in its early stages, the engineers have already listed the main requirements for the all-terrain vehicle:

Six weeks of complete autonomy. Astronauts will be able to take off suits inside the rover. Fuel cells of the new generation will provide about 1000 km of the track without refueling.

In the first mission, the rover must cover 10,000 kilometers in 42 days.

There are built-in solar panels for additional power - solar energy will be stored for use at night. A fully automatic driving capability is provided.

The exact timing of the rover's appearance is not named, but by the end of 2020, experts intend to build test samples of some structural elements.

Analysts predict when prices for electric vehicles will fall

According to analysts, the share of electric cars in 2020 will reach 10% of the total number of cars, and in 2021, it will grow to 15%. So far, their massive distribution is hindered by their high cost. Judging by the latest forecasts, the cost of cars with an electric motor will soon be equal to conventional ones using fossil fuels.

The most expensive part of a modern electric car is still the battery. It accounts for 25 to 40 percent of the vehicle price. It is expected that by 2022 the difference in the cost of vehicles on electric and gasoline engines will be reduced to $ 1,900 and will completely disappear by 2024. This will be facilitated by a further decline in battery prices. So in 2022, the cost of one kWh will fall below $100, which will lead to the increase of electric cars' market share to 17% by 2025 and to 40% by 2030.

It is noted that the increase in pace is hampered by the indecisiveness of multiple large companies, which still do not want to switch to electric motors. On the one hand, this position is economically justified since the transfer of current models to electric platforms will cause a significant rise in their price. However, many automakers have already announced additional investments to develop even more efficient models. Tesla and Volkswagen have pledged to spend $ 33 billion on this.

Another problem is that the battery market is divided by several companies, such as South Korea's LG and Japan's Panasonic. This discourages competition, and as a result, rapid price reductions are not possible.

Final Thoughts

As a final note, it is worth to mention how the presentations of companies have changed today. Now, this is not a live broadcast but a pre-recorded video clip with a vast number of special effects. 

See you in November with the new updates and presentations from the impressive IoT world.