Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4; Jolt For You & Your EV; Amazon Palm Payments Expand; Ford Restarts F-150 Lightning Orders

Samsung has unveiled its latest flagship folder, the Galaxy Z Fold 4. Theverge.com reports that it is pretty well an incremental update…nothing earth shaking. It sports a slimmer hinge and bezels, but is less than a millimeter thinner. It remains heavy…but since it’s really a mashup of a phone and small tablet, that’s not unexpected. It runs a Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 chip system, and the base phone has 256 Gigs of storage…you can get up to a TB. The 50MP primary camera is an upgrade, as is the 3x telephoto. Thanks to a software update, it is a bit better for multitasking. Nope, the price didn’t drop…but it didn’t go up, at least. It’s still a wallet-crushing $1799. Preorders are open now, and it is available August 26th. You can get gray-green, beige, phantom black, and an extra burgundy color option…that one is only available direct from Samsung.

In an EV answer of sorts to the ubiquitous gas station stop and rob, Starbucks is partnering with Volvo for a jolt and jolt. According to geekwire.com, they are installing 60 EV charging stations at some 15 Starbucks locations from Denver to Seattle. The goal is to have the chargers every 100 miles along a route running around 1350 miles. They should be up and running by year’s end. The stations will use the ChargePoint system. Volvo says it will take about 40 minutes for one of their cars with the battery down to 20% to get up to 90%. In a departure from Tesla chargers that only work with Teslas (for now), thee will charge any EV with a standard CCS1 or CHAdeMO plug. Non-Volvo drivers will pay a fee. If you have a Volvo EV, you can top off for free or at a discounted rate. Savor that coffee, check your smartphone, take a leak, and you and your car should be good to go for another few hundred miles!

Amazon is adding its palm payment tech to 65 more Whole Foods locations in California. Engadget.com says they are starting in Malibu, Santa Monica, and LA. More will be getting the tech in coming weeks in Orange country, the San Francisco Bay Area, Santa Cruz, and Sacramento. It will be the same as the palm readers they already have had at some Amazon Go locations. You link your palm and payment card to the service, then when you check out, you hover your hand over a scanner to make the purchase. It’s a tad quicker than pulling out your phone or a credit card, but not near like the Just Walk Out system that uses cameras and sensors. Amazon is still looking to get the palm reader in use by 3rd parties, but hitting resistance over concerns about your biometric data being appropriated or stolen. 

Ford sold out in a minute when they unveiled the F-150 Lightning EV truck, but now, they are reopening orders. According to electrek.co, there is upgraded range, new colors, and you can get some new features. The down side? New prices! The prices have gone up between $6000 and $8500, depending on the trim.The cheapie model, dubbed the ‘Pro,’ is now $46,974. The top of the line, gold-plated, loaded model..called the ‘Platinum Extended Range’ is now a princely $96,874! So far, Ford has delivered over 4400 of the new EV pickups. With a new factory coming on line, they expect to be making 200,000 a year by next year. 



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