Light Start – No cellular Apple Watch, earthquake Pi, a broken Note 7, and flying taxis

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We might not be getting that cellular Apple Watch update after all

new_apple_watch_os3Apple’s Watch is a brilliant piece of tech but, like most wearables, it has a problem. It needs a smartphone on hand to be truly useful. That was supposedly going to be changing with the introduction of a new Apple Watch that featured its own cellular connection — except that reports indicate that Apple may have put the brakes on that one. A cellular-supporting Watch was on their to-do list, according to a report from Bloomberg, but concerns over the device’s battery life — always a major bugbear with wearables — mean that you’re still going to need an iPhone to get your new Apple Watch connected. An internal GPS, as opposed to using the iPhone’s system, is apparently still on the cards for the refreshed Watch. Apple’s new wristwear is widely expected to make a first appearance right around the time we officially see the new iPhone in the flesh for the first time.

Source: Bloomberg

Here’s a new use for that Raspberry Pi — detecting earthquakes

Raspberry Shake 9Everyone makes a little media player at first. With the Raspberry Pi, we mean. But it’s a lot more versatile than that. Take the Raspberry Shake, a Kickstarter-funded outing that uses the Pi (and a few extra bits) to make a working seismograph. Because everyone should know when there’s an earthquake heading their way. Even if the tremors are too fine to be felt by the human body. The Raspberry Shake has been funded, meaning that you can order them now. The devices cost up to $380 (R5,170 — pictured) for the Magnitude 9.0 — which contains the whole kit — and as little as $60 (R820) for the board that connects to a Raspberry Pi to give it earthquake detection powers. You’re still going to need some extra bits, though, like a geophone and some Pi.

Source: Kickstarter

Someone else has torn the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 apart, so you don’t have to

When you’re buying a phone, you’re not thinking about the eventual replacement. What if it breaks? What if a chip inside pops? Those are questions we shunt aside because… ooh, shiny. But someone has to think of these things and iFixit does one of the best jobs. They recently tore apart Samsung’s high-end Galaxy Note 7 to see what makes it tick and there’s some good news and bad news. It’s possible to fix and swap out some components without doing too much damage to the phone. The bad news is that the act of opening the handset and removing the battery are a lot harder than you’d think. Glass and glue, man, glass and glue. Oh, and replacing the device’s front glass probably isn’t going to happen. If it’s cracked, you’re looking at a replacement phone. Check out the video for yourself, above.

Source: iFixit (YouTube)

One day you might catch a flying taxi — because a normal one isn’t bonkers enough

AirbusThe face of transportation is changing. The Hyperloop is being tested, cars are starting to drive themselves. What’s next? The air, of course. And putting taxis into it. Airbus is taking a serious look at it, with an eye on using autonomous drones to fly commuters around. The project, called Vahana, seems to be serious enough and Airbus reckons the technology is far enough along to allow for testing as early as next year. Just imagine catching a flying shuttle from an airport to your destination, with your luggage following on an alternate service. And just in case you think that Airbus (which claims to have a passenger-carrying multi-rotor drone prototype waiting in the wings) only has one bunch of eggs and a single basket, they’re also talking about testing a drone-powered package delivery service in Singapore next year. The related-to-human-travel concept… looks a lot like Futurama, with the drones travelling in tubes from point to point. Yeah, none of this is scary in the slightest.

Source: Airbus

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