Weekly Digest - 2021.17

Basecamp's controversy

Earlier this week, the Basecamp CEO posted a blog post announcing big changes inside the company. The new philosophy prohibited, among other things,  the “ No more societal and political discussions” on internal forums.  

After public backlash, CEO offered generous severance packages to any employee who disagreed with the changes.

On Friday,  about a third of 58 Basecamp employees took his offer and accepted buyouts. Later that day, 18 people had confirmed they left the company.  

While the CEOs argued that they were trying to get employees focused on work, the way it was done raises many questions. The most popular theory right now is that CEOs just wanted to easily get rid of employees that might disagree with their specific vision. Well, probably we will never know the truth. But what we know is that this will be difficult time for Basecamp.

Apple accused of antitrust violations

The European Commission issued antitrust charges against Apple over concerns about the company’s App Store practices. The Commission found that Apple has broken EU competition rules with its App Store policies. The Commission sent Apple a list of violated competition rules. Now, Apple has 12 weeks to respond.  

This specific case is only about Apple’s practices for music streaming. If Apple is found guilty, they will have to pay $27 billion fine for this case alone.

The EU is also investigating  other cases of  competition rules violation within App Store, so the total fine might be much bigger.

SpaceX's Crew-1 is back

The SpaceX and NASA finally completed the their first operational crew mission. It all started in November last year, with launch of 4 astronauts into the International Space Station. The crew spent 166 days onboard the station. On the 167th day, the capsule brought astronauts back to the Earth, splashing down in Gulf of Mexico. What's interesting, this was the first night splashdown for NASA since Apollo 8 in 1968.

So far, the Crew Program is a huge success for SpaceX. Both Demo and Crew-1 missions finished without any issues, and the third mission - Crew-2 - has successfully docked to the ISS.

Weekly Digest - 2021.07

Perseverance landed

NASA's probe Perseverance survived the Mars atmosphere and successfully landed on the surface. The landing sequence was an engineering masterpiece. At first, the probe free-fallen through the Mars atmosphere. Then, deployed parachutes to decelerate. When the spacecraft was close to the surface, it fired onboard thrusters to slow itself down and hovered above the ground. Then the Perseverance was lowered down on cables to the surface.

Now, when the rover is on Mars, it can start its primary mission:

  • studying Mars' Habitability,
  • seeking Signs of Past Microbial Life,
  • collecting and Caching Samples,
  • preparing for Future Human Missions.

Also, during this mission, NASA will test a drone called Mars Helicopter. If it works, it will be the first time we will be flying (not just falling) on Mars.

New iPhones rumors

It's this time of year when we start getting rumors about upcoming tech. This time it's about iPhones. Let's start with iPhone 13:

  • Always-On Display With 120Hz ProMotion,
  • Touch ID integrated into a screen,
  • Stronger MagSafe,
  • Support for astrophotography,
  • Grippier phone's back.

There are also rumors that foldable iPhone will have 7-inch display and will be released in 2023.

Image credits: NASA

Weekly Digest - 2020.31

Nasa launched Mars 2020 Perseverance Rover

Mars 2020 rover launched from Cape Canaveral on Thursday, and if everything goes as planned, the rove will land on Red Planed on 18 February 2021.

It's mission includes studying Mars' habitability, seeking signs of past microbial life, collecting and caching samples, and preparing for future human missions.

The rover itself is the most sophisticated ever created. It's tightly packed with latest technologies, including a freaking helicopter 🚀.

Crew Dragon returned home

SpaceX's Crew Dragon Demo-2 mission has successfully ended after 63 days. Capsule Endeavour, with Douglas Hurley  and Robert Behnken onboard, undocked from International Space Station on August 1st. After 19 hours of deorbiting,  capsule splashdown in the Gulf of Mexico.

Mission that started on May 30th is a huge success for the SpaceX and Nasa. SpaceX proved that a private company can launch man into space and safely bring them home. Not only that, they can do this much more cheaper, thanks to the reusable rockets.

Hopefully, launching men into space, not only by private companies, will become more frequent. At the moment, the next crew mission is planned for the end of September.

Apple Testifies in U.S. Antitrust Hearing

In last couple of month there was a lot of going on regarding Apple's 30% cut in the AppStore. Already EU commission is investigating the issue, now also US government started. You can read the coverage of the testimony here, but long story short, Apple is convinced they are right, despite some contradicting evidence.

iPhone 12 delayed!

Apple's CFO Luca Maestri confirmed rumors about iPhone 12 delay. During earnings call, Maestri shared that new device won't be available late September, but a few weeks later. Although the launch of the headset is delayed, Apple is still expected to unveil the device during an event in September.

Image credits: NASA/JPL