A trio of leading stories today so here they are, fast and loud:
First is the Huawei Mate X2, which launched in China yesterday:
Second, there’s a big leak of the Pixel 5a, with renders from Steve “OnLeaks” Hemmerstoffer showing what looks exactly like the Pixel 4a 5G:
Third, all Samsung devices from 2019 or later will get four years of security updates.
🚀 There’s sweet, sweet video from Mars of a spacecraft landing for the first time ever, and there’s just something about seeing NASA Perseverance’s entry, descent and landing, including the full parachute and sky crane, that makes Mars really feel real. Images are one thing, decent quality video (out of about 30GB of data) is another! (YouTube). There are also some audio recordings, too (Soundcloud).
📈 Apple, not Samsung, was the top-selling global smartphone brand in Q4 2020: the first time Apple had claimed the lead since 2016 (Android Authority).
📸 Samsung Isocell GN2 announced: A new 50MP camera sensor with bigger pixels and a larger sensor size than its predecessor (Android Authority).
🔋 Oppo flaunts new mid-air charging tech on its Oppo X 2021 rollable phone (Android Authority).
🔊 Spotify announced Spotify HiFi, a new subscription tier for streaming lossless audio, instead of the maximum 320kbps it streams now. Great news, except we don’t know pricing, market availability (other than it will be limited, initially), and no word as to when. Also, it’s coming to 80 new countries, and there are more exclusive podcasts (Android Authority).
👍 Australia and Facebook are friends again! The Australian government revised its proposed laws, and Facebook gave it a like — news will once again be shared normally within a few days. What does it all mean? Not sure — Facebook has been given two months to make agreements with local media, and the social network says it’ll pull the plug again if it doesn’t feel it’s fair (ABC.net.au).
🥓 “A new entrant to the edible protein scene, Berkeley-based startup Air Protein makes a meat alternative using NASA-inspired fermentation technology to transform CO2… into a complete edible protein.”
📡 Elon Musk says Starlink internet speeds will double to 300Mbps this year (The Verge).
⛓ Beeple Mania (Esquire), Nyan Cat (New York Times) and NBA Top Shot sells $48M of digital collectibles in 24 hours (Twitter): What’s going on and how are they all linked? Digital art and collectibles are selling for crazy money on marketplaces for non-fungible tokens on blockchain. CryptoKitties started this but it mostly died down when crypto prices crashed, but the company behind it, Dapper Labs, is working with Top Shot.
🧠 Science says it is possible to communicate with dreamers (PBS).
🥾 “What’s something that’s secretly been great about the pandemic?” (r/askreddit).
It’s a great day for charts and this one tracking Warren Buffet’s stock portfolio via Berkshire Hathaway, from 1994 to 2021, showing the astounding growth over the years, including most recently in its Apple holdings:
All the best,
Tristan Rayner, Senior Editor