Although less than half of the consumers have used the first version of this piece of eyewear after the first month of purchase, Snapchat has released the second version of the Snapchat Spectacles. These sunglasses have small lenses on them, which allow for the user to take circular photos or videos. They are made to remove the hassle of having to pull out a phone and then take a picture, or if you are doing something that may not allow you to hold a phone, the Spectacles may come in handy. They can sync with your phone through Bluetooth, and you can then share the photos on Snapchat or save the picture to your phone.
These newer Spectacles add more features to the previous version. For example, unlike the older version, these Spectacles are water resistant and come in more colors. Additionally, the design is much better and the syncing is much faster. Essentially, most of the flaws of the previous version have been fixed. However, the newer version is more expensive, costing $150, $20 more than the 1st version. Previously, the process of transferring images and videos from the Spectacles to the phone took a long while, but now the download speeds are three to four times as fast. Prescription versions of the Spectacles are also available. So far, the Spectacles have not received great reviews. Whilst it has improved, people are still not impressed by several things, such as the fact that the photos first have to be imported to Snapchat. Additionally, people complain that the transfer from the Spectacles to a phone is inefficient, and in most situations it would be more convenient to just pull out your smartphone and take a picture. Some also complain that the video quality is not be as good as it should be. Overall, the Spectacles have improved yet still is lacking in some categories. Despite this, there is still huge potential, and they could become great once these problems are fixed. Until then, it seems like you should stick to using your smartphone.
As AT&T is in the process of buying entertainment company Time Warner, they have announced its plan to release a live streaming bundle for television. This bundle will include a smaller amount of channels but will be one of the cheapest options, as it will cost only $15 a month. This was announced during a court case between AT&T and the Justice Department. The Justice Department is trying to stop AT&T from buying Time Warner, as Time Warner owns creators such as HBO, CNN, and TNT. If AT&T were to buy Time Warner, they would also own these creators and would be able to air these channels only on AT&T bundles. The Justice Department argues that AT&T owning Time Warner would harm competitors, and these competitors would be forced to follow AT&T’s terms if they wanted to air the channels that AT&T owns. They also argue that it would be harmful to have too much power in one company. AT&T is specifically wanting to buy Time Warner to compete with companies such as Netflix and Amazon.
AT&T pointed to their plan to release AT&T Watch as an example as to why buying Time Warner would be beneficial for consumers. AT&T Watch would offer a low price alternative to the current DirecTV Now, which costs $35 a month. AT&T Watch will also be free for subscribers of AT&T wireless. One big catch is that AT&T Watch will not include any sports channels, and the channels it will include has yet to be announced. It is planned to be released in the next few weeks. It is interesting to see how the court case will pan out, and to see if AT&T Watch is any good. What do you think - should AT&T be allowed to buy Time Warner?
As space travel is gaining popularity, spaceflight company Virgin Galactic recently successfully landed the first rocket-powered flight. The aircraft, called Unity, reached supersonic speeds and has flown previously several times, but this is the first time it was a successful powered flight. Essentially, there is a big plane which carries the smaller Unity into the air, and then the Unity uses its own engine to fly. During this flight, the aircraft flew to a max altitude of over 80,000 feet in the sky, and accelerated to over 1430 miles per hour! Four years ago, Virgin Atlantic attempted a powered flight, but it resulted in a crash, leading to a fatality and an injury. On this recent flight, there were two people on board.
In the future, Virgin Galactic actually plans to send passengers willing to pay a hefty $250,000 up to space at around 60 miles above the Earth’s surface. Despite the big price tag, 700 customers have already signed up to be passengers. Although this flight did not quite go far into space, it is still monumental for the company as it means they can completely focus on rocket-powered flights. Virgin Galactic aims to improve access to space and possibly to help with travel within Earth. The founder of the Virgin Group, Richard Branson, has suggested that it is highly likely that Virgin Galactic will launch into space within the next few months. Virgin Galactic and Richard Branson have aspirations very similar to that of SpaceX and Elon Musk. Both companies are pushing the boundaries of space exploration and bringing it to everyone. It is interesting to see which company will first have passengers who paid for a flight brought to space. Additionally, we are curious to see if any other companies join the push to advance space travel, and how far companies like Virgin Galactic will push space exploration.
Just a few weeks ago, Uber halted their self-driving program in several cities after a self-driving Uber vehicle crashed into a woman, causing her death. Now, unfortunately, another death has been caused by a self-driving feature on a car. This time, it was Tesla’s Model X, which had its autopilot mode on, that crashed into a concrete barrier on a highway, leading to the fatality of the driver. This crash occurred on March 23rd and is the second crash leading to a death in America involving a Tesla car using the autopilot feature.
While the autopilot feature is able to perform many capabilities that a human driver is able to, Tesla does remind its customers that the autopilot is not a replacement for a human driver and that you must pay attention to the road at all times. This crash could have been avoided if the driver was paying attention; according to Tesla the driver of the car had about 5 seconds of clear sight of the barrier before the crash. Additionally, the driver’s hands were not placed on the wheel for 6 seconds prior to the crash. This means that the driver was likely not paying attention to the road and depended solely on the car to drive itself to the destination. When the autopilot is turned on, and your hands are not detected on the steering wheel for a prolonged period, the car gives several warnings before stopping. In the case of this driver, throughout the drive, several warning were given to the driver to put his hands on the wheel.
While The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration ruled that because Tesla’s system was working as advertised and Tesla should not be penalized, The National Transportation Safety Board has stated that Tesla does deserve some blame because, like many critics also believe, the autopilot mode convinces the user that it is better than it actually is, and is too easy to misuse. Especially since this incident is just recently after the Uber self-driving incident, it is easy to see why some people want the stop or slowing down of the advancing of self-driving technology. Tesla has addressed these concerns by pointing to a government report that shows the autopilot feature has reduced crash rates for Tesla vehicles by over 40%. The report also shows that the fatal crash rate for Tesla vehicles with autopilot capabilities is about 3.7 times better than the national average. It does seem like Tesla will get out of this situation without much blame, but the reputation of self-driving technology seems to be dropping due to this incident and prior ones. Tell us what you think in the comments below!
Source: Tesla Motors
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