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March 11, 2021

✨ Good morning! The Oppo Find X3 Pro and X3 series launch right about now — I’ll keep things short today and recap it tomorrow!

New and sometimes strange EVs

Here are three short bits of news on new EVs that I have helpfully ranked in order of importance:

First, Toyota has teased an electric car reveal on March 17th (The Verge):

toyota x prologue
  • Toyota isn’t saying much beyond the name X Prologue and this little microsite to go with it.
  • We do know Toyota has previously talked about its plans to reveal an electric SUV like the Rav4, aimed at the European market sometime in 2021. Given the timing of the launch of the X Prologue is on European time, maybe that’s it.
  • As we’ve talked about before, Toyota has been slow to release pure battery EVs vs hybrids but that’s now changing. Great!

Second, Polestar will an unveil ultra-narrow three-wheel electric delivery vehicle called Re:Move (Autoblog)

Polestar Re Move
  • It can carry around a 606-pound/275kg payload, plus the driver/rider.
  • It will debut at SXSW Online (South by Southwest) on March 17.
  • This is exciting for urban transport; I see non-electric versions of these around Berlin and they’re much, much faster for delivery.
  • The only problem I see is security, which probably means they won’t be for delivering packages but more hauling from point-to-point.
Canoo PickupTruck

Finally, here’s something: Canoo plans to launch the oddly-shaped electric truck you see above, in 2023 (Engadget).

  • Nothing against Canoo, but this just looks so odd that it feels …unlikely?
  • I definitely don’t dislike the design, though, and Canoo is hyping up what it can do; “This is like no truck you’ve ever seen,” said Canoo executive chairman Tony Aquila in an interview. “It’s the size of a Ford Ranger, can take the payload of a full-sized pickup and the turning radius of a Prius.”
  • Per Engadget: “The specs promise more than 200 miles of range on a charge, with up to 600 HP and 550 lb-ft of torque in a dual-motor configuration, and a payload capacity of up to 1,800 pounds. At 76 inches, it’s one inch taller than Tesla’s Cybertruck but notably shorter than GMC’s 81.1-inch tall Hummer EV.”
  • No final specs or pricing yet, but pre-orders open Q2, apparently.
Roundup

🟩 OnePlus 9 image leaks show an eclectic color mix: green, blue, purple on offer, and no antenna bands? (Android Authority).

🆕 Samsung’s latest Galaxy M12 is a value offering with a massive 6,000mAh battery and a 90Hz display for $150 (Android Authority).

📸 Leaked renders of the Huawei P50 Pro show a bonkers camera bump (Android Authority).

🎧 Leaked renders claim to show third-generation AirPods design (MacRumors).

🙅‍♀️ MWC is still set to take place in person in Barcelona in June, but Ericsson, Sony, Nokia won’t be there. It looks shaky at best (CNET).

🍎 Apple reportedly overestimated iPhone 12 mini demand by as much as 70% — may have sold between 5-10% of Apple’s iPhone 12 sales, possibly due to battery concern By the way, Apple is also assembling the iPhone 12 in India, marking a huge shift (The Verge).

🍏 Photoshop now runs natively on Apple’s M1 Macs(Ars Technica).

🧯 You don’t see this too often: Fire destroyed OVH’s Strasbourg Data Center (SBG2) in France, taking down two of its four facilities and a bunch of websites, mostly .fr domains. Check the pictures (Data Center Knowledge). It knocked out things like game servers on EU servers… completely — see Rust(Twitter).

🚀 Blue Origin to simulate lunar gravity on suborbital flights for NASA, by rotating at 11 revolutions per minute, for two minutes (Spacenews).

😥 Ten years on from the Fukushima disaster (BBC).

🍅 Please enjoy: “This Reddit thread about dehydrating tomatoes in a Ford F-150 with a parrot is so very confusing” (Jalopnik).

Throwback Thursday
The NINM Lab Bluetooth Cassette Walkman, known as It's OK on Kickstarter.

Dutch inventor of the cassette tape, Lou Ottens, has died aged 94. Ottens invented the cassette tape with his team at Philips in Belgium, where he held the patent (patents.google.com), and over 100 billion were sold worldwide. 

From DutchNews:

  • “Ottens, who studied to be an engineer, started working for Philips in 1952. Eight years later he became head of the firm’s recently introduced product development department. Within a year he and his team had developed the first portable tape recorder of which over a million were sold.
  • Two years later he revolutionised the old reel-to-reel tape system by inventing the cassette tape. 
  • ‘I got annoyed with the clunky, user-unfriendly reel to reel system, it’s that simple’, Ottens said later. The new carrier had to be small enough to fit into his jacket pocket, Ottens decided, and he had a wooden model made to determine the ideal size.
  • In 1963 the first plastic encased cassette tape was presented at an electronics fair.
  • The tapes were quickly copied by the Japanese but in different formats. 
  • Ottens managed to make a deal with Sony to use the mechanism patented by Philips to introduce a standard cassette which was then rolled out globally.”

Cheers,

Tristan Rayner, Senior Editor.

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