Snap May Buy Chinese Drone Maker; Huawei Nearly Even With Apple in Phone Sales; IBM Crams 330TB into the Palm of Your Hand

Because selfies from phones, and Spectacle glasses for short clips just aren’t enough, Snap is looking at picking up Zero Zero Robotics, a Chinese drone maker. According to thenextweb.com, they make the ‘Hover Camera Passport’ drone for $500. It is tiny, made of light carbon fiber, and uses facial recognition to track the user…making sure you’re in those shots you can later filter or plaster with stickers! The drone is being sold through the Apple Store, and so far, Zero Zero denies any deal with Snap.

Huawei is relentlessly pushing to be the world’s largest smartphone maker, and wants to do it by 2021. Macrumors.com reports that they are nipping at the heels of Apple right now, with 38.4 million shipped in the 2nd quarter of this year, compared with Apple’s 41 million. It’s still a ways to top dog Samsung, at 79.5 million. These 3 brands account for nearly half the 360 million smartphones shipped out in the 2nd quarter of 2017.

While some chase the dream of storing nearly unlimited data in your genetic material, the scientists at IBM have managed to cram 330 TERAbytes of data into a cartridge that will fit in the palm of your hand. Theverge.com says that’s enough for 330 million books! The IBM folks went old school for the medium, too, with a twist. It’s a special prototype sputtered magnetic tape. The original back up tape drives IBM made 60 years ago could hold 2 megabytes on reels of half inch wide tape! They think the medium will work well for cold storage of vast amounts of data being stored in the cloud.


New GoPros Including Drone; Waze Gets Parking Help; Google’s Pixel Event; GM Sets Bolt Price & Pledges 100% Renewable Power

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GoPro has revealed 3 new cams- the Hero 5, Hero 5 Session, and Hero Session. Businessinsider.com says they start at $399 for the 5. They also showed a foldable drone called Karma. The Drone is $799, but can be bundled with the cams…with the Hero 5 Session the combo is $999, and it’s $1099 for the Hero 5 Black and the Karma. It has a gimbal to stabilize footage you shoot.

Parking in cities can be infuriating. Now, Google’s Waze throws you a lifeline, as they’ve partnered with Inrix to bring additional parking lot data to the Waze app. According to 9to5google.com, the beefed up parking adding parking lot data to the already available street parking data is available on both the Android and iOS Waze apps.

We reported a rumor last week about Google’s Pixel smartphone event in early October. Now it’s official. Engadget.com reports that the invites are out and the event is October 4th. Google may show 2 new Pixel branded phones, a 4K Chromecast, and a new Daydream VR headset.

GM has announced pricing for it’s all electric Bolt, due out the end of the year. Reuters.com says it will start at $37,495. This should bring it under the ‘magic’ $30,000 level with the Federal tax break of $7500. It’s supposed to go 238 miles fully charged. Also, the General has just pledged that it would move all its facilities to 100% renewable energy by 2050…that’s over 350 facilities in 59 countries! Walmart, Unilever, and Apple are also moving to all-renewable facilities.


Bigger, Thinner MacBook Air Coming; Amazon Unveils Delivery Drone

There may be new, thinner MacBook Airs on the way by next June, including one with a 15 inch screen. 9to5mac.com reports that they will sport substantial internal changes, including battery, cooling modules, and more. Apple is still deciding whether to keep the 11 inch air, with the new iPad Pro now out.

Amazon has revealed a new delivery drone design with a 15 mile range. Geekwire.com says its intended to be able to deliver a small package directly through the air to your doorstep in 30 minutes. Amazon has a new video showing off the drone featuring Top Gear’s Jeremy Clarkson, who along with his colleagues, is starting a new car show for Amazon. The version 2.0 drone flies at under 400 feet, and weighs less than 55 lbs. Amazon says it won’t launch Prime Air until they are able to demonstrate safe operations.

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DJI Eye in the Sky

The latest DJI Eye in the Sky has….well, eyes. The company has unveiled a drone equipped with a guidance system using stereo cameras and ultrasonic sensors, that allows it to detect objects up to 65 feet away, and keep it at a preconfigured distance. Theverge.com says it’s the Matrice 100 model, and it’s built to be developer friendly and modifiable for various tasks across varying industries. It can fly 20 minutes-longer with an extra battery. No price has been announced yet.

GE Engineers have come up with a way to get more power from wind turbines, without making them so big they can’t be moved across country for installation. The ecoROTR has a 60 foot wide geodesic dome in the center, driving air to thicker…but not longer blades. According to gizmodo.com, this makes for a 3% increase in energy production. For an entire wind farm, that will be a significant boost in power generation.


GoPro Quadcopter Out Next Year

Why wear a camera for active videos when you can fly one overhead? Theverge.com says GoPro announced at the Code Conference that they plan to launch their own quadcopter drone the first half of next year. Although they declined to put a price point on the drone, CEO Nick Woodman noted that they’re a consumer focused company, so expect it to be competitively priced. GoPro also said there will be a number of related products available when the quadcopter launches.

Lenovo has dropped a competitor to Chromecast. According to slashgear.com, the hockey puck shaped gadget is due to sell for $49, and should be out in August. Like Chromecast and Roku and the rest, it’s plug and play. It has HDMI and micro USB ports, dual band WiFi, supports up to 1080p resolutions, and comes with a bracket, so you can mount it on the back of the TV instead of laying it on your TV stand.


Patent App- Amazon Drones May Stalk You With Delivery

With the range limited by battery power, Amazon is working overtime, trying to develop their drone delivery system. Thenextweb.com reports that FAA rules may not be in place for something to work in the next couple years, but meanwhile, Amazon is pressing ahead. One patent just granted lets them get data from a smartphone to determine the best place to deliver your item…in other words, that Amazon drone will stalk you until you get that item!

A little late to the mobile party, but Nintendo’s first smartphone game should be out by late this year. Macrumors.com says they expect to release 5 games by late 2017. Nintendo claims none are ports of existing franchises, but are all tailored for the smaller screen experience. Earlier, the company announced a partnership with Universal for Nintendo characters to be used in a theme park.


Testing the First Real Drone Delivery System

No, it’s not Amazon! The first actual test of drone delivery is being launched by Swiss Post, the Swiss postal service. They’ll use the service of Matternet starting this summer. The Matternet One drone can deliver about 2.2 lbs 12 miles on a charge. Swiss Post thinks that’s enough to deliver light packages such as documents, medical supplies, and parts. Check out tech crunch.com for more.

The widely used Dropbox cloud synced storage system has already expanded into photo storage and mail. Now, they are beta testing Dropbox Notes, a collaborative note taking function. It sports a similar interface to Google Docs, and competes with that as well as Evernote. The verge.com reports that so far, it looks like a corporate focused beta, not yet available to individuals.