Samsung Won’t Raise Galaxy Prices; Boeing to Demo Fuel-Efficient Plane; Amazon Drops Smile Charity Program; RSV Vax 84% Effective-Older Adults

There is now a constant drip of stories in the run up to Samsung’s release of its latest Galaxy S23 phones the 1st of February. Earlier leaks had the phones going up in price by $100 or more. Now, according to 9to5google.com, spec sheets leaked from carrier Verizon indicate that the pricing will hold the line. The base S23 will start at $799.99. The S23 Plus will run $999.99, and the S23 Ultra will set you back $1199.99…all the same price points as the present S22 models. Don’t you love after all this time that consumer electronics…as well as used cars, say ‘$99.99,’ and still think they are fooling us into that being such a bargain compared to just saying $100 bucks?

Boeing has scored a $425 million dollar contract from NASA to demonstrate a super fuel-efficient airplane. Geekwire.com reports that in the next 7 years, they will develop and flight test the new craft, which features ultra thin, braced wings. Boeing believes the design can save up to 30% of fuel presently used, and is a step towards the aviation industry’s goal of net zero carbon emissions by 2050. The weight of batteries going into electric vehicles makes them impractical at this point for aircraft, so super fuel efficiency is a way to cut emissions produced by planes. Another is the use of hydrogen for fuel, but there is still something of a stigma tied to that since the explosion of the Hindenburg Zeppelin back in the World War 2 era. 

Amazon is killing off their Smile charity donation program, effective the 20th of next month. I am really bummed by this. I was enrolled in it and it was an easy way to support the California Historical Radio Society for me. Techcrunch.com says Amazon has already notified the employees involved that they are getting the chop. It’s a tiny number of people compared to the 18,000 they already announced as getting axed, but doubly sad to see the donation program halted. Amazon will just be keeping that .5 of a percent they had been donating…which came from our money anyway. Since 2013, the online giant had donated some $400 million through Amazon Smile. 

Ok, so this is really more science and medicine than tech, but mRNA is medical tech, so there’s that. Moderna has found that their RSV…respiratory sin-SHISH-uhl virus…to be 84% effective at preventing disease in older adults. The company will try to get regulatory approval for the vaccine in the first half of this year. The virus is especially lethal for young children and elderly adults. The mRNA breakthrough vaccine is great since medical researchers have been trying to come up with a vaccine for RSV since the 1960’s. Moderna ran their trial for the shot on 37,000 adults 60 or older in 22 countries, so it is a good, large trial. 

I’m Clark Reid, and you’re ‘Technified’ for now. 

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