Techlife News #505

Read the most relevant news of the week about the world of technology and its influence on our lives. New products, Apps, acquisitions in the industry, highlights about the digital world and everything about your favorite iGadgets and upgrades. Everything you need to keep well informed. A new concept of light, intelligent, innovative reading at your fingertips. A global view of Tech LifeStyle and its influence on our lives.

United States
Ivan Castilho de Almeida
$3.99(Incl. tax)
$53.31(Incl. tax)
52 Issues

in this issue

2 min
branson’s virgin orbit launches 7 satellites from 747 plane

Richard Branson’s Virgin Orbit delivered satellites from three countries into space Wednesday, its second successful rocket launch from a plane. The company’s modified 747 jet dubbed Cosmic Girl jet took off from California’s Mojave Desert, carrying the 70-foot (21-meter) rocket beneath its left wing. Once the plane was over the Pacific near the Channel Islands, the LauncherOne rocket peeled away, then fired its engine to head to space. The drop occurred at an altitude of about 37,000 feet (11,000 meters). Camera views showed the package of seven small satellites on the end of the second stage, against the curve of the blue Earth. The satellites are from the U.S. Defense Department, the Royal Netherlands Air Force and Poland’s SatRevolution company, which is working to set up an Earth-observing constellation. Virgin Orbit later declared…

3 min
navy ditches futuristic railgun, eyes hypersonic missiles

The U.S. Navy pulled the plug, for now, on a futuristic weapon that fires projectiles at up to seven times the speed of sound using electricity. The Navy spent more than a decade developing the electromagnetic railgun and once considered putting them on the stealthy new Zumwalt-class destroyers built at Maine’s Bath Iron Works. But the Defense Department is turning its attention to hypersonic missiles to keep up with China and Russia, and the Navy cut funding for railgun research from its latest budget proposal. “The railgun is, for the moment, dead,” said Matthew Caris, a defense analyst at Avascent Group, a consulting firm. The removal of funding suggests the Navy saw both challenges in implementing the technology as well as shortcomings in the projectiles’ range compared to hypersonic missiles, he said. The Navy’s decision…

4 min
robinhood pays $70 million to settle range of allegations

Robinhood Financial will pay nearly $70 million to settle a wide range of allegations, including that it gave customers misleading information and improperly allowed some users to make riskier trades after they lied about their trading experience. The financial penalty is the largest ever ordered by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, a non-governmental organization that oversees the brokerage industry, and one that “reflects the scope and seriousness of Robinhood’s violations,” said Jessica Hopper, head of FINRA’s department of enforcement. Since its 2014 launch, Robinhood has shaken up the brokerage industry with zero-commission trading and an easy-to-use app that’s drawn a new generation of investors into the market. It already has more than 31 million customers, many of whom were earlier getting left behind as the stock market rose without them. But it’s also…

1 min
maine law restricts facial recognition technology statewide

A bill touted as the country’s strictest statewide regulation on the use of facial recognition technology has become law in Maine. While several states regulate facial recognition as a surveillance tool, the Maine law represents a broad prohibition of the technology at the state, county and municipal government levels, with limited exceptions for law enforcement purposes, officials said. The ACLU of Maine said it’s the strongest statewide facial recognition regulation in the country, and the bill’s sponsor, Rep. Grayson Lookner, called it “a huge victory for privacy rights and civil liberties in Maine.” “I hope that Maine can provide an example to other states that want to rein in the government’s ability to use facial recognition and other invasive biometric technologies,” said Lookner, D-Portland. The bill became law without the governor’s signature. Under the law,…

5 min
california tests off-the-grid solutions to power outages

When a wildfire tore through Briceburg nearly two years ago, the tiny community on the edge of Yosemite National Park lost the only power line connecting it to the electrical grid. Rather than rebuilding poles and wires over increasingly dry hillsides, which could raise the risk of equipment igniting catastrophic fires, the nation’s largest utility decided to give Briceburg a self-reliant power system. The stand-alone grid made of solar panels, batteries and a backup generator began operating this month. It’s the first of potentially hundreds of its kind as Pacific Gas & Electric works to prevent another deadly fire like the one that forced it to file for bankruptcy in 2019. The ramping up of this technology is among a number of strategies to improve energy resilience in California as a cycle of…

4 min
watch what you like on streaming, assuming you can find it

Content is king — if you can find it. As streaming services proliferate, it’s becoming more of a challenge to track down your favorite TV shows and blockbuster movies when streaming services can change up their offerings every month. That’s complicating life for those who know what they want to watch, but just don’t know where to locate it. Some hits are practically itinerants. “Batman Begins” and “The Dark Knight,” for instance, bounced around four different services between March 2020 and March 2021 — Netflix, Hulu, HBO Max and Peacock. Some of these services hosted the movies twice in that time according to Reelgood, a service that tracks videos across streaming services. (You can currently find the movies on Hulu and HBO Max.) Want to watch a Harry Potter movie? Films in the…