Light Start: Betelgeuse in disguise, Sonic speeds to the top, a new Facebook app and iPhone’s 5G


Betelgeuse, our fave red supergiant star has been acting increasingly strange

If you haven’t been following Betelgeuse’s recent strange history, here’s the lowdown. So, Betelgeuse is a gigantic red supergiant star — it’s the 10th brightest star in the sky, or it was at least. Over the past few months it has dimmed so dramatically it’s now ranked 24th, and it has astronomers wondering if it might be ready to go supernova soon. ‘Soon’ in astronomy can mean anything from tomorrow to ten billion years from now. So don’t get too excited just yet. Now astronomers went ahead and snapped a view of Betelgeuse’s surface using the European Southern Observatory telescope in Chile, and it looks like our supergiant boy has been dimming significantly. Using the Very Large Telescope’s Sphere instrument, astronomers managed to capture a pic of the surface in December 2019 — and it’s evident that the star has lost most of its brightness. They compared the pic with one taken in January 2019 and the result is pretty obvious. “The two scenarios we are working on are cooling of the surface due to exceptional stellar activity or dust ejection towards us,” said astronomer Miguel Montargès in an ESO statement to Cnet last week. We’re just here hoping to see a star go supernova for the first time (in our lifetimes). 

Sauce: Cnet

Sonic’s movie debut this weekend did… very well

We all remember #Sonicgate, right? Okay, although that may not have been the actual title, the initial trailer of the lovable Nintendo character’s movie adaptation was… not satisfactory. And the internet made that extremely clear, to say the least. The massive internet outcry drove producers to re-work all the animation of the film, and it turned out MUCH better. Now Paramount’s adaptation of our favourite hedgehog just broke the record for a video game movie’s three-day opening in the US. The movie accumulated $57 million on the opening weekend, compared to Detective Pikachu‘s $54.3 million. The smart people behind movie estimations estimate that Sonic will make around $68 million over four days (that means end-of-today, yeah?). Worldwide it managed a decent $100 million, which is great considering the internet’s pushback initially. We’re hoping this is the first in a line of really good video game adaptations for cinema. We deserve good ones to make up for all the bad ones…

Sauce: Engadget

Facebook releases another social media app called Hobbi

Mark Zuckerberg’s on another bandwagon and silently released a Pinterest-style app last week. We’re certain the company doesn’t necessarily need more presence online, but here we go. According to The Information, an experimental product team within Facebook recently released the pinboard-style app called Hobbi. The app is currently only available on iOS and is apparently meant to “capture and organize your creative process,” and then “save photos of the projects you’re working on… whether it’s cooking, baking, DIY, arts & crafts, fitness or home decor.” That sounds a helluva lot like Pinterest to us. The Information spoke to Pinterest to find out if it’s rattled by the new app’s introduction. “Pinterest shares fell roughly 4% on the news. After this story was published, a Pinterest spokesperson said that Facebook’s Hobbi app appears to lack Pinterest’s ‘discoverability, search, and recommendations,’ and that the company remains ‘focused on building a visual discovery engine’.” So, it looks like Pinterest isn’t quite as phased as you’d expect. But we’ll need to see how Hobbi performs irl. But, do we really need another pinboard-style app in the market? 

Sauce: The Information

Apple’s making its own 5G antennas for upcoming iPhones, apparently

As we all probably know by now, Apple hasn’t released any 5G-capable smartphones into the market yet. And that’s probs because the company wants a hand in making its own antennas. The upcoming 2020 iPhones will probs be powered by the Qualcomm X55 modem. Because Apple and Qualcomm’s became even closer friends last year, which means more components for Apple. A new report from Fast Company shows that Apple wants to limit the need for external components, and would like to make more things themselves. Which is why the comp[any seems to be designing its own 5G antenna rather than relying on Qualcomm’s existing hardware. It looks like Qualcomm’s QTM525 antenna is apparently too big for the upcoming iPhone’s size, according to Fast Company. “As such, Apple is said to be developing its own, in-house antenna system that would better fit the intended iPhone design. Antennas for mmWave technology, in particular, are important, given the relatively poor range of the ultra-fast wireless technology, with 5G phones generally requiring multiple mmWave antennas to ensure good connectivity,” the Verge reports. The only question we have is, how slim is the upcoming iPhone gonna be then?

Sauce: Fast Co via the Verge


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Digital Editor at Stuff. Nevermind the fancy title, I like writing about things that are cool. Like games, gadgets and sometimes even software. Depending on how cool it is.

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