Honda Announces Rare Earth Free Hybrid Motor; Verizon Testing Gigabit 5G Service; Samsung 4TB SSD

In what amounts to a pretty big deal, Honda says it has co-developed the world’s first motor for hybrid cars that uses no heavy rare earth metals, a breakthrough that would reduce its dependence on the expensive materials, which are controlled mainly by China. Reuters.com notes that Japanese car makers have been working towards this since China put a temporary moratorium on rare earth exports to Japan in 2010. There are caches of rare earths in the US and Australia, and the US just last year began to reactivate a mine in Southern California. Mining the metals is an environmental issue.
Honda hopes to get from 5% ‘new energy’ vehicles now to 2/3 of it’s line up by 2030.

Verizon has announced final specs for its 5G service, and will indeed offer gigabit speeds….faster than cable internet in a lot of places. Bgr.com reports that Verizon is testing in New Jersey, Massachusetts, and Texas. We’re a few years from seeing this, as federal regulators have to sign off on the specs, but 100 mbps plus speeds in your pocket will be quite welcome as soon as we can get it!

The great news for data hogs…Samsung has a 4 terabyte SSD drive for laptops. The bad news….it costs as much as a MacBook Pro at $1500! If you can slide by with less storage though, thenextweb.com says they’ve dropped the 2 TB model to ‘only’ $675, and 1 TB clocks in at $317. If you’re on any kind of budget, you probably ought to opt for an old fashioned spinning drive for these higher storage options!

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