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The Weekly Authority: 👀 Stylus and keyboard for the Pixel Tablet?

Plus Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 6 leaks, Z Fold 5 and Z Flip 5 price rumors, Reddit API updates, and Xbox Series X price hikes.

Published onJune 24, 2023

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Rita El Khoury / Android Authority

⚡ Welcome to The Weekly Authority the Android Authority newsletter that breaks down the top Android and tech news from the week. The 250th edition here with a possible stylus and keyboard for the Pixel Tablet, Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 6 leaks, Z Fold 5 and Z Flip 5 price rumors, the latest Reddit updates, and some bad news for anybody thinking of buying an Xbox Series X or subscribing to Game Pass. Plus, we dive into some safety concerns surrounding the Titan submersible tragedy.

🪤 I’m back from my trip up north, where we saw a 70th-anniversary production of Agatha Christie’s The Mousetrap. It was amazing, even if I did guess whodunnit!

Popular news this week

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Weekly Wonder

Following the tragic news on Thursday that all five members of the submarine expedition to the Titanic are presumed dead after a “catastrophic implosion,” there’s been a lot of discussion in the media surrounding the safety of the Titan submersible.

  • The Independent spoke to Chris Brown, a digital marketing businessman and friend of British billionaire Hamish Harding, one of the five passengers.
  • Mr. Brown was almost a passenger on the expedition but pulled out due to safety concerns, though didn’t mention what these were.

Later, details emerged which suggested OceanGate, the company responsible for building the sub, had a questionable record of safety.

  • Passengers signed a “death waiver” before boarding, a disclaimer which stated that the submersible “has not been approved or certified by a regulatory body, and could result in physical injury, disability, motion trauma, or death.”
  • Back in 2018, OceanGate’s director of marine operations, David Lochridge, was fired after the company claimed he shared confidential design information with the Occupational Health and Safety Administration and breached his contract.
  • Lochridge filed a wrongful termination suit, claiming he’d been fired for whistleblowing regarding safety issues.
  • Lochridge commented on issues including flammable materials onboard the sub, “visible flaws” in the carbon fiber hull, and a viewing window that hadn’t been rated for the Titanic’s depth, allegedly pushing for more testing and outside evaluation from the American Bureau of Shipping.

Other concerns were raised by submarine industry leaders in 2018 in a letter from the Marine Technology Society to OceanGate, signed by over three dozen experts, warning of “catastrophic issues” in the development of the submersible.

  • But in a 2019 blog post, OceanGate defended the decision not to have the submersible “classed” by outside evaluators: “The vast majority of marine (and aviation) accidents are a result of operator error, not mechanical failure. As a result, simply focusing on classing the vessel does not address the operations risks. Maintaining high-level operational safety requires constant, committed effort and a focused corporate culture — two things that OceanGate takes very seriously and that are not assessed during classification.
  • The list of alleged issues goes on: In 2020, OceanGate’s CEO told Geekwire the sub’s hull showed signs of “cyclic fatigue” during testing. Following a 4,000-metre dive in the Bahamas, the hull depth rating was reduced to 3,000 meters (1,000 meters less than the depth of the Titanic, according to TechCrunch.
  • In 2022, the Titan suffered battery issues and had to be manually attached to a key lifting platform, according to court documents obtained by the New York Times.
  • And also, in 2022, CBS News observed “off-the-shelf components” being used on the sub, including lights from Camping World. That same year a communications issue caused the sub to be lost for almost three hours underwater.

This raises the question, could this tragedy have been avoided if OceanGate had done its due diligence with building, testing, and certifying the Titan sub?

Tech Calendar

  • June 29: ASUS Zenfone 10 launch @ 9 AM ET
  • June 29: Anapurna Interactive showcase @ 3 PM ET
  • July 1: Reddit’s API changes take effect
  • July 6: HONOR 90 global launch
  • July 11: Nothing Phone 2 launch @ 11 AM ET
  • July 11-12: Amazon Prime Day
  • July 26 (TBC): Samsung Galaxy Unpacked (Galaxy Z Fold 5, Z Flip 5)
  • October 24-26: Snapdragon Summit 2023 (Snapdragon 8 Gen 3?)

Tech Tweet of the Week

tech tweet june 20
Twitter / The Hustle

Something extra: Capcom celebrates its 40th anniversary with the launch of an interactive website where you can play games, find hidden characters, and more (h/t: The Hustle).

Until next week,

Paula Beaton, Copy Editor.

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