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July 21, 2021
🏀 Good morning! I'm set to see Space Jam 2 this weekend, but with the reviews pretty savage, well, at least theatres will be quiet?
Samsung Unpacked: August 11
Samsung Unpacked Invitation

We have a date! Samsung announced its next Unpacked event for August 11, at 10am ET, where it’s expected the company will unveil its new foldables, and more.

  • The launch image is fun; a clever way to definitely obviously tease the expected Galaxy Z Fold 3 in the darker colors, and the Z Flip 3 in the lighter purple. The tagline is “Get ready to unfold,” in case it wasn’t already 1000% obvious as to what’s coming.
  • Samsung’s announcement post said: “Now more than ever there is a need for flexible, versatile mobile devices that can keep up with the fast pace of our lives so we can maximize and enjoy every moment.” 
  • Which, sure! That makes sense. 
  • But at what price, Samsung? That’s a massive factor for most consumers who’ve considered a foldable thus far, and will be one of the more closely watched pricing announcements for a new device in some time.
  • That said, Samsung is once again sweetening things in advance: Samsung already has a reservation page open for the “next flagship,” where you’ll get extra trade-in credit value if you trade-in a current device, and a year of Samsung Care Plus thrown in.

What else?

  • Samsung said it’d have an Unpacked event in summer to launch its Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 range, so it would seem pretty likely that this is the event for that. We should see the Watch 4 and the Galaxy Watch 4 Classic variant as well, all sporting the new Samsung-Google Wear OS.
  • Then there’s the less-likely chance we might see Samsung launch the Samsung Galaxy S21 FE on August 11. 
  • My money is on Samsung bringing it out as it did with the S20 FE last year, when it was released on September 23, with a relatively more quiet launch.

🚀 Jeff Bezos touches space aboard Blue Origin rocket(Wired). It was a fun watch, hearing the passengers whooping it up, in what seemed to be a flawless 10 minutes and 10 seconds of flight. Then, he gave $100 million to two recipients to “direct to the charities of their choice as they see fit,” with Van Jones, founder of the racial justice nonprofit Dream Corps, and José Andrés, the chef and founder of World Central Kitchen, receiving the money (MarketWatch). Blue Origin has two more space tourism flights planned this year.

📺 Netflix says it will first offer mobile games with your subscription(Android Authority). Netflix, in its earnings reports, said it is finding people are watching less TV, but also has less blockbusters on offer due to pandemic filming restrictions. It lost 400k subscribers in the US and Canada, a rare loss for the company, which showed growth in Asia.

🔜 Xiaomi’s top Mi Pad 5 model could be 5G, with a 120Hz display (Android Authority).

👉 What should you expect from MIUI 13? A new leak may have dropped details (Android Authority).

💵 LG might sell iPhones in its Korean stores after quitting Android devices (Android Authority).

🍎 According to a report, the next iPad mini could well be a powerhouse: A15 chip, USB-C, and a magnetic Smart Connector (9to5Mac).

💸 Venmo’s redesigned app gets rid of the global payments feed, finally (Engadget).

Qualcomm has a big plan to help push the wearables industry forward, with a new Wearables Ecosystem Accelerator Program, with 50 brands on board already (Android Authority).

🔐 NSO Group latest: French President Emmanuel Macron’s phone number was on a list of leaked targets (The Guardian). This cryptographer and security technologist says we shouldn’t just say that absolute security isn’t possible and should ask Apple and Google to do more (

💱 Good riddance, TurboTax: Americans need a real ‘Free File’ program (NY Times, gift link).

🌞 Is any country installing renewables fast enough to reach climate goals? (Ars Technica). From a Nature report, here.

🚄 China’s latest maglev train goes 600kph (373mph), according to state media. It looks very slippery fast, but commercialization is an issue (The Independent).

♨️ “ELI5: Why are metals smelted into the ingot shape? Would it not be better to just make them into cubes, so they would stack better?” Fun question, and time to learn about draft angles I guess… (r/explainlikeimfive).

Weirdness Wednesday
nike air zoom victory

So things are getting weird for sprinters and former sprinters at the Olympics, because spike technology has reached the super spike phase.

  • In the past, swimming records were largely wiped away when super suits were allowed, with new materials like polyurethane allowing for added buoyancy and less drag in the water.
  • In 2009, they were phased out. At the time, athletes like two-times Olympic gold medallist Britta Steffen approved, saying, “It’s nice when human achievement and not science is in the foreground.”

And that’s why Usain Bolt is, in my view justifiably, mad.

  • There’s been a tech race in running shoe technology across all levels, with distance runners enjoying thicker, carbon-plated shoes to help crush records.
  • Now, “super spikes” are adding “superlight and highly responsive Pebax material,” which is a kind of energy-returning foam.
  • In the super spike race, there’s Nike with the Nike Air Zoom Victory, while New Balance offers a New Balance FuelCell MD-X and SD-X, and so on with the competitors. The New Balance shoes were used by the fastest man in the 100m this year, US Sprinter Trayvon Bromell, when he ran a blistering 9.77s this year.
  • Usain Bolt isn’t happy, because shoe advances in his time weren’t allowed, and Bolt thinks he could’ve been faster and run “below 9.5 seconds for sure. Without a doubt.”
  • “When I was told about it, I couldn’t believe that this is what we have gone to, you know what I mean, that we are really adjusting the spikes to a level where it’s now giving athletes an advantage to run even faster,” Bolt told Reuters($).
  • “It’s weird and unfair for a lot of athletes because I know that in the past they (shoe companies) actually tried and the governing body said ‘No, you can’t change the spikes’, so to know that now they are actually doing it, it’s laughable,” the eight-time Olympic Champion added.
  • Once again, science vs human achievement is back on the menu.


Tristan Rayner, Senior Editor

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