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 - 2021.06


CD Project Red hacked

CD Project Red has fallen victim to a ransomware attack. Hackers got access to the company's internal network and stolen some data. In the end, they encrypted everything. The hackers are threatening to release or sell the data if their demands are not met. If that happened, it would be a big blow to CDP Red. The stolen data contains source codes of the games (including the unreleased Witcher game), alongside internal legal, HR, and financial documents.CDP Red has confirmed the attack and stated that they will not negotiate or give in to the hacker's demands. Hearing that, Hackers haven't waited long and sold the stolen data on the Dark Web.

Earth's "invasion" of Mars begun

The two probes successfully reached Mars's orbit within 24 hours. The first one - Hope - is from the United Arab Emirates. The second one - Tianwen-1 - is from China. Both countries reached Red Planet for the first time. Now we are waiting for the Perseverance probe, which should reach its destination later this month.

Disney+ gains subscribers

A couple of weeks ago I reported that Netflix has 200M subscribers. I also mentioned fast-growing competitors like Disney+. This week Disney has confirmed my words, as Disney+ gained 95M subscribers in 14 months. This growth is unprecedented, even Disney thought they would achieve the 90M mark by 2024. If Disney keeps this momentum, it might become the most popular streaming service even this year.

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

Weekly digest - 2019.29


50th Anniversary of Historic Moon Landing

This year we celebrate the 50th Anniversary one of the greatest achievements in human history, the human Moon landing. On July 16th 1969, Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins went on a voyage that took them to the Moon.

It took NASA only 8 years not only to build  the spacecraft, but also to invent the technology, procedures and even science which would allow them to land on the Moon. During Gemini and Apollo programs, NASA mastered the rocket launches, they learned how to bring two spaceships together and dock them on Earth's orbit. With Apollo 8, for the first time ever, human left Earth's orbit, went around the Moon and was safely brought back to Earth. And, of course, the culmination of all the efforts was on July 20 1969, when Neil Armstrong, as first human in history, set foot on the Moon.

I really wish that US government didn't stop fundings. With this speed and rate of innovations, the space travels would be now a "routine". Maybe we would be celebrating not only the Moon landing, but also the Mars one. Not to even mention innovations in other branches of science and their impact on day-to-day life.

But the history went differently ☹️  Even with limited fundings the innovation did not stop and we achieved some of those things. Thanks to the private companies, like SpaceX, the spaceflights became "cheap" and "routine". Also, we are still benefiting from Apollo program in other areas. All of that is awesome, but we have not reach the Mars yet. Hopefully we will not have to wait for long.


Image credits: NASA

Weekly digest - 2019.28


Nintendo Switch Lite

Nintendo has announced the Switch Lite. It is a new Switch that only supports handheld mode. Here is the list of changes in comparison to "standard" Switch:

  • smaller touchscreen (5.5-inch),
  • no detachable Joy-Con controllers,
  • cannot be connected to TV,
  • side buttons are replaced by real D-pad,
  • lack of HD Rumble and IR Motion Camera,
  • better battery life (~1h longer),

Nintendo Switch Lite launches on September 20 for $199.99 in three colors: yellow, grey, and turquoise.

Apple's new MacBook lineup

On Tuesday Apple completely revamped their notebook lineup. First of all, they stopped selling 12-inch MacBook. Macbook supposed to be replacement for MacBook Air, but it never became popular.  Smaller size and new keyboard weren't enough to steal users hearts.

Speaking of MacBook Air, the old non Retina version is also finally gone. Also, Apple has updated the new Retina version with True Tone display and they lowered the price from $1199 to $1099 ($999 for students).  

MacBook Pro lineup also is simpler. Apple stopped selling the 13-inch MacBook Pro without Touch Bar. It means that all MacBooks Pro, not matter of size, now come with Touch Bar.

In addition to cleaning up the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro lineup, Apple has lowered the cost of SSD options for all Mac, including the desktop ones. The price drop is especially visible in more high-end versions.

For example this is how the new prices, of SSD options, look like in comparison to old ones for 15-inch MacBook Pro:

Storage Price Before Price Now
256GB $0* $0*
512GB $200 $200
1TB $600 $400
2TB $1200 $800
4TB $3000 $1600

(*) Base model

Overall, this news was a completely surprise and the welcome one. It's not only a huge simplification of the MacBook lineup, but also a big change for the entire Mac lineup, as most of the Macs are now more affordable.

I hope Apple will continue this trend with other products.


Image credits: Nintendo