Weekly Digest - 2021.28

Next step in Space Tourism

A couple of weeks ago I mentioned about the race between SpaceX, Blue Origin, and Virgin Galactic. Last time, Bezos' Blue Origin supposed to be the first civilian company to sent the civilian into space, but last Sunday, Richard Branson stole the show. His Virgin Galactic successfully sent him, and five other crewmates to the edge of the Space and back. Although, the crew experienced the Space for brief moment, Branson called it "an experience of a lifetime".

Branson plans to open the Space for masses next year. The ticket costs around $250k, and Virgin Galactic already sold 600 of them. If you don't have such money, you can try to win 2 tickets with Omaze.

The remaining competitors still plan to launch later this year. Blue Origin on July 20th, and SpaceX, with their Inspiration4 Mission, on September 15th.

Windows in the cloud

Microsoft announced the Windows 365 service, which puts Windows in the cloud. Windows 365 will let users access Windows 10 or Windows 11 from a web browser.

There will be two editions of Windows 365: Business and Enterprise. Both are powered by virtual machines in 12 configurations. Business will be able to choose from a single CPU, 2GB of RAM, and 64GB of storage, up to eight CPUs, 32GB of RAM, and 512GB of storage.

The service will be available on August 2nd. Unfortunately, the pricing is still unknown.

Steam Deck

Valve announced SteamDeck - a handheld gaming console.  

It will be powered by AMD's quad-core Zen 2 CPU with eight threads and eight compute units. It will have 16GB of RAM and three storage options: 64GB eMMC, 256GB NVMe SSD, and 512GB of high-speed NVME SSD. The storage is also expendable thanks to the high-speed microSD card slot.

On the front there is a 7-inch 1280 x 800 touchscreen for 720p gameplay.

In term of controls, there are two thumbsticks, two small trackpads, ABXY buttons, and a D-pad. The device also has a gyroscope for motion controls.

According to Valve, the device should allow to 7-8 hours of gameplay on a single charge.

Device will be available in December, starting at $399.

Image credits: Virgin Glactic

Weekly Digest - 2021.27

Switch Pro not so Pro

Nintendo announced the new version of the Switch console. Everyone was expecting the Pro version, but Nintendo had different idea. They updated the screen to the OLED technology and made it a little bit bigger (7-inch), but it's still only 720p. Beside the screen, they bumped the storage from 32GB to 64GB. And that's it. The rest of the console is the same - it still has the same CPU, RAM and bad joycons :(  

Although the internals have not been upgraded, this model includes an adjustable stand for tabletop play, and the dock also got the Ethernet port.

To be honest this new model is disappointing. It is basically the same console that costs $50 more for a better screen. It might be an option for people who wants to buy their first switch, but if you already have one, there is no need to replace it.

If you are, for some reason, waiting for the Switch OLED model, it will be available for $350 on October 8th.

Image credits: Nintendo

Weekly Digest - 2021.26

Another Space Race?

The SpaceX has won the races for launch of the first reusable rocket and first manned mission on privately built rocket. But apparently the space race continues. SpaceX,  Blue Origin, and Virgin Galactic try to fly a civilian into space.

At the moment, it looks like Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin has the high ground. They plan to launch on the July 20th. Bezos will be joined by his brother, as well as Wally Funk - one of the “Mercury 13” veterans. There is one other passenger but we still don't know who that is.

While the Blue Origin is preparing for launch, Richard Branson apparently will try to fly into space before the Bezos. On July 11th, he will be on board of the fourth crew test flight of the Virgin Galactic’s VSS Unity spaceplane.

If they succeed they will be first, so it's either super clever or crazy. But, who knows maybe you need to be a little bit crazy to achieve something.

SpaceX tries to keep away from this scramble, and stick to their original plan. The "Inspiration4" mission will launch  4 civilians to orbit on September 15th.

Although SpaceX might be last in this race, their mission will provide the best Space experience. The mission will last for a couple of days and will be in low Earth's orbit. Where Blue Origin and Virgin's mission are only to the edge of the space, to give passengers a few minutes of weightlessness.

Image credits: Marek Piwnicki

Weekly Digest - 2021.25

Windows 11

Microsoft has announced Windows 11. Here are the most important features:

  • New UI, including new Start Menu,
  • The brand new store and support for Android apps on Windows,
  • Snap Layouts -  allowing to easily arrange multiple windows,
  • Faster and smaller updates,
  • Microsoft Teams and Xbox Game Pass are now built into the system,
  • Windows Widgets is an AI driven personalized feed,
  • Auto HDR adds HDR to DirectX 11 and 12 games,
  • Improved support for stylus and voice commands/dictating,
  • It's a FREE update!

It all looks very good, but there is one catch - the system requirements. Windows 11 will require a 64-bit PC with UEFI firmware that is Secure Boot capable. It also needs a  Trusted Platform Module (TPM) 2.0 module. Some versions of Windows also require an Internet connection to complete the setup process.

iPhone rumors

There are some new rumors surrounding the 2022 iPhones:

  • Apple will discontinue the 5.4-inch “mini” size,
  • There will be only 6.1-inch and 6.7-inch size,
  • Both new models will have improved wide-angle camera with 48 megapixels,
  • Apple may include an under the screen Touch ID sensor for some models,
  • Apple also plans to release a new iPhone SE that will support 5G.

Image credits: Microsoft

Weekly Digest - 2021.24

E3 2021

This week we had a virtual E3 conference. Here are the games that were presented:

Image credits: Electronic Entertaiment Experience