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GUESS WHAT. Recode reports that iPhone 6 pre-orders went live last night, and a lot of people bought the new phone. So many people bought it that Apple’s website had trouble keeping up, and Apple and all the phone companies seem to have sold out all their pre-orders. An AT&T spokesperson said demand for the new iPhones is higher than they’ve seen in either of the past two years. Does any of this surprise you?
The entire DTNS subreddit wants you to know that in 2008, the United States government threatened Yahoo with a $250,000 dollar a day fine, forcing the company to hand over large amounts of user data. The Washington Post reports that 1,500 pages of unsealed court documents from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court of Review revealed a secret and eventually unsuccesful lawsuit by Yahoo. The company was eventually forced to become one of the first to participate in the US NSA’s controversial PRISM program. Eventually, most major U.S. tech companies, including Google, Facebook, Apple and AOL also agreed to participate.
PCMag reports that SanDisk has released an SD card that can store 512 gigabytes of storage. The card was made for people who will be filming in new higher resolution HD formats, and is temperature-proof, waterproof, shock-proof, and x-ray-proof. Oh, and it costs $800 dollars. So don’t lose it and always remember to LABEL YOUR CARDS.
Reuters reports that T-Mobile US added 552,000 postpaid customers in August, more customer additions than any other month in the history of the company. CEO John Legere told investors that the wave of new subscribers was partly due to a promotion that allows customers to add four lines for $100 a month. The company also added 208,000 pre-paid customers in August.
The Los Angeles Times reports that the Curiosity Rover has reached Mount Sharp after a 25-month journey on the surface of Mars. The rover will begin to climb the lower portion of the three mile high mountain, and will eventually start drilling deep into the planet’s geological record, looking for evidence that life might have once existed on the Red Planet.
If you dream of a world where it’s possible to buy a subscription to HBO GO without having to get cable or satellite service, OR mooching your parents password, hear this: Gizmodo reports that Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes told a room full of investment bankers that HBO is “seriously” considering allowing users to purchase a standalone subscription without paying a cable provider for all the other TV.
The Verge reports that efforts to bring drones to the ocean are now underway. At a nautical trade fair in Hamburg, a shipping research firm unveiled an electric concept vessel call the ReVolt, which would ferry cargo containers between ports without human crew. The ReVolt carries up to 100 shipping containers at 6 knots.
The best way to waste time in an office is under attack — by robots! Ars Technica reports that Japan’s Fuji Xerox company spent its summer testing a prototype of an autonomous roaming robot printer. The robot uses laser light remote sensing to deliver a color laser printer to your location. That’s right, no more leisurely walks to the printer by way of your friend’s cubicle by way of the kitchen–that printer is coming to YOU. Before you bemoan the loss of all good things, remember this ALSO means no one will accidentally grab the printout of your disastrous 2nd quarter performance review. Fuji has not announced plans to actually release the roaming printer into the wild, but that’s what they said about those dinosaurs in Jurassic Park and look how THAT turned out.
News From You:
KAPT_Kipper passes along an Engadget report that a European Union court says it’s OK for libraries to digitize books and distribute them to reading terminals without first asking permission from publishers. The law still prevents the digitized copies from being stored on USB keys or printed out by users.
KAPT_Kipper also submitted The Verge report that the US military is trying to develop a flexible robotic exoskeleton to make soldiers stronger and safer without weighing them down. DARPA recently issued a $2.9 million contract to Harvard researchers to build what they’re calling the ‘Soft Exosuit.’ The suit fits around a wearer’s waist and legs; it’s made of textiles, woven into straps, containing microprocessors, sensors, and a power supply. Additional motors are also located in a strap that goes around the wearer’s waist. Researchers already have several working prototypes, which could eventually also be used to help people with mobility issues and paralysis to move again.
And spsheridan sends us an IFLScience report that scientists at Princeton have been able to lock individual light photons together so that they behave like a solid object. The researchers constructed an “artificial atom.” They then brought this close to a superconducting wire carrying photons. Due to the bizarre rules of the quantum universe, the atom and the photons became entangled so the light photons started to behave like atoms. Researcher Darius Sadri said, “in one mode of operation, light sloshes back and forth like a liquid; in the other, it freezes.” The team hopes to use solid light to simulate subatomic behavior which is difficult to observe.
Discussion Section Links: Google Hacks and Apple Pay breakdown
Pick of the Day: It’s a drone! Hubsan H107L X4 Mini RTF RC Quadcopter
Plug of the Day: mobile.alphageekradio.com
Monday: Tom is back! Tom is back! Tom is back! Seriously, Tom is back!