BlackBerry Devices Become Abandonware

As of earlier this month your classic BlackBerry cellphone will no longer function. The company will stop offering support for its classic devices—anything running BlackBerry 10, 7.1 OS and earlier. Any device not running on Android will cease to function entirely. This means no data, no text messages, no internet access, and no phone calls—including 911.

Many, maybe most, cellphone users have gone on from BlackBerry. The latest versions of its OS was released in 2013. The company announced the news originally in 2020. They will go on as BlackBerry Limited and offer security software and services to governments and businesses.

BlackBerry’s original cellphone featuring a physical keyboard was THE cellphone to own for image concerned business people around the turn of the century. Once nicknamed “CrackBerries” they were most popular among professionals who liked the ability to work outside the office using the BlackBerry’s physical keyboard and software tools they used on a desktop computer.

They were a Wall Street status symbol as well as an accessory for famous faces like Kim Kardashian. Even former President Barack Obama was know for his love of his BlackBerry, party because of the high level of security they offered.

Blackberry phones offered many things standard cellphones didn’t do or didn’t do well or securely—email, apps, web browsing and an encrypted text message system called BBM that came well before options like WhatsApp.

However, BlackBerry never kept up with touchscreen revolution that started with Apple’s iPhone in 2007. BlackBerry has continued to find some success via enterprise and auto software. And some fans are still holding out for the Onward Mobility BlackBerry 5G device that was expected to launch this year, which seems unlikely at this late hour.

 

 

 

 

 

Very Human Robot Writes Poetry and Creates Art

Artificial intelligence has been a part of science fiction for years and has often been portrayed as anywhere from troubling to outright evil.

AI is not commonly associated with things like art and poetry, but that is the purpose of the very realistic human-like robot, Ai-Da, invented by Aidan Meller in Oxford, England. She spends her time creating poetry and visual art. She is the worlds first robot of her kind and publicly performed some of her poetry that she wrote using her AI. The poetry was in celebration of famous Italian poet Dante.

Ai-Da performed her poetry recital at the Ashmolean Museum at Oxford University as part of an exhibition marking Dante’s 700th death anniversary.

Ai-Da’s poem was a response to Dante’s “Divine Comedy.” Ai-Da’s AI analyzed Dante’s writing patterns and vocabulary but also her own databank of words—between the two her AI created the final product.

Ai-Da’s creator, Meller, stated that her ability to imitate human writing is so incredible it is hard to know it wasn’t written by a human.

Ai-Da doesn’t only write poetry, she also is very capable of creating works of art. She made one of the Dante exhibition. It was inspired by her own experience in Egypt when security forces detained Ai-Da and Meller over security concerns over the cameras in her eyes, which they wanted to remove. The piece is titled “Eyes Wide Shut.”

Popular Personal Care Brand, Lush, To Go Dark on Social Media This Black Friday

In a somewhat surprising move trendy personal care brand Lush Cosmetics is quitting TikTok, Instagram, Facebook and Snapchat to draw attention to how these social media platforms can be damaging to people’s mental health, especially young people.

The accounts will be deactivated on Black Friday (6 Nov. 2021) when other retail brands will weaponize their marketing to win those holiday dollars from shoppers.

Lush, which has more than 900 locations worldwide and 240 in the United States and Canada stated that their social media channels will go dark until the platforms are make changes to protect users.

Lush is well known already as both supporting social causes like Black Lives Matter and environmental causes like sustainability and deforestation while initially gaining popularity among Millennials and Gen-Z for being a cruelty free and organic personal care company.

They will be giving up access to 659,000 Instagram followers, 275,000 Twitter followers and over 1 million Facebook followers.

Yet, this isn’t he first time they’ve tried quitting social media. In 2019 went dark on their UK accounts saying they no longer wished to fight social media algorithms and would rather speak directly to their customers.

Of course this new and worldwide black out of most of their social media accounts comes at a time when all social media has come under fire for contributing to both physical and mental health issues.

The company hopes their efforts will convince these platforms to enact better practices. Lush will continue to use its Twitter and YouTube account.

 

 

New Tech Extends Range of Deep Sea Exploration Robots

For much of human history we have explored and lived in some of the most extreme environments on the planet—mountains, jungles, deserts. However, the largest environment on Earth composing 70% of the Earth’s surface, the ocean largely remains a mystery to us.

Only about 20% of the ocean bed has been mapped.

A fuller picture of the ocean would bring many benefits including safer navigating ships, creating more accurate climate models, laying new telecommunication cables, the building of offshore windfarms and of course protecting marine species.

Many refer to this as the “blue economy” and it could be worth an astonishing $3 trillion by 2030.

While underwater robotic vehicles equipped with various equipment have been in service for quite a while and have increased the amount of data we collect and at a lower cost, many of these robots rely on batteries and have to return to the shore or a boat to recharge making it impossible for them to ever map the most remote parts of the ocean.

Yi Chao’s Seatrec startup is working on solving this challenge by channeling the natural temperature differences in ocean waters.

The technology can be attached to existing robots or Seatrec’s own ocean explorers. The device is a float that moves between warm and cold parts of the ocean. The materials inside the module the either solidifies or melts. This causes pressure that turns to thermal energy that power’s the robot’s generator.

 

Google Creates New System to Help Parents and Minors Remove Pictures of Children

Google has put in place a system to help parents and minors to have photos of the minors deleted from public search results.

In a blog post the company said the tool will let parents and children under 18 to request photos be removed from an “image search” result list and from search thumbnails.

Google had previously offered people a method for requesting the removal of any image or information that were considered: financial, non-consensual explicit, national or medical ID. It is now simply extending that system to images of minors.

The company stated in the blog post that they understand that children face unique challenges navigating the online world when a picture of them becomes available on the internet. The company said they wanted to give young people more control their digital footprint.

Users will be able to flag URLs that lead to pictures they want removed. A team of human reviewers will go over each submission and contact the user they need additional information. The company did state very specifically they won’t remove an image from the internet entirely. The administrator of the website hosting the photo will have to be contacted to have the image removed entirely. The system only stops users from finding the photos directly through Google.

 

 

 

Facebook Changes Corporate Name and Logo

Facebook is changing its company name to “Meta” as it shifts its sights to focus on the so-called “metaverse.” This also comes on the heels of yet more intense scrutiny of the real-world harms that come from its various platforms after a whistleblower released hundreds of damaging internal documents.

Facebook, the app, is basically being “demoted” by the change, and will sit equally among the company’s other apps like Instagram and WhatsApp. This rebranding is clearly in response to a number of public relations explosions on its platforms such as revelations about the negative effects of the products have on some users’ (especially children), the spreading of misinformation on its platforms and the failure to moderate inappropriate content.

The press release from Facebook/Meta stated they will begin trading under the stock ticker MVRS on December 1.

The company has also iniated a logo change and already replaced their corporate sign. Outside their California headquarters their once ubiquitous thumbs-up sign as been replaced with a blue infinity symbol.

The company announced no executive changes. Zuckerberg’s personal Facebook page now lists his job as “Founder and CEO at Meta.”

The Verge asked Zuckerberg thought he’d still be the CEO at Facebook/Meta in the next five years. He replied “Probably. I don’t have a specific date how long I want to be doing this for. I guess what I could say is I’m very excited about the next chapter of what we’re doing.”

 

 

 

 

Man Charged in MLB Streaming Service Hacking Incident

According to the US Attorney’s Office of the Southern District of New York, a Minnesota man has been charged with hacking Major League Baseball’s computer systems and trying to extort $150,000 from them.

According to court documents, 30 year old Joshua Streit sent emails to an MLB executive threatening to publicize the vulnerability he discovered and used to access the website the MLB uses from streaming live games before asking for the $150,000.

Allegedly Streit renewed his extortion attempt in September, when the MLB was under increased stress building up to upcoming playoff season.

Many news outlets contacted a Twitter accounted listed in the criminal complaint as being Streit’s, but the account has not yet responded to any requests for comments. James Beckcer, the attorney listed as Streit’s in court documents as also not responded to requests for comments.

The charges listed against Streit, aka Josh Brody, include illegally hacking a computer to commit fraud, wire fraud and sending threats over state lines with the intent to extort. Streit/Brody could face anywhere from 2-20 years in prison for each charge.

 

 

Instagram Puts Brakes on Instagram for Kids

Facebook’s Instagram social media platform is pausing development of a new version of Instagram for children under 13 amidst pressure from lawmakers as they had questions about the impact such photo sharing platforms have on teen girls.

Instagram stated that they stand by the development of the app but will pause development. Their reasoning being it will give them a chance to work with parents, policymakers, and experts to listen to their concerns and to demonstrate the importance of developing the app.

This decision comes on the heels of a US Senate hearing titled “Protecting Kids Online: Facebook, Instagram and Mental Health Harms.” This hearing was inspired by a investigation by the Wall Street Journal investigation that delved into what Facebook knows about how Instagram affects teen users and their mental health.

Instagram acknowledged the investigation by the WSJ and admitted that people sometimes have “negative experiences,” but that the app also gives a voice to marginalized people and helps friends and family stay connected.

Instagram says they are working on some tools to address mental health issues. One includes a “Take a Break” feature that allows users to temporarily leave the platform and other users won’t be able to message them or comment on their posts. They also claimed they were working on parental controls for teens users over 13.

 

 

TikTok Reports 1 Billion Active Monthly Users

TikTok, a short video based social media platform, has reached the tech world milestone of one billion monthly active users—what is, perhaps, more impressive is they are a rare platform to achieve the one billion user status that is not owned by Google or Facebook.

This growth came from both social media consumers spending more time online during the pandemic and more consumers becoming creators looking to make a living from content creation over social media.

The growth happened despite many hurdles. Among those was former president Donald Trump’s failed attempt to ban the Chinese-owned app in the U.S. Others include the app being banned in India and facing enquiry from European regulators over children’s safety as well as their data protection practices.

Furthermore, the TikTok has flourished despite competitors releasing rival products like Snapchat’s Spotlight, YouTube Shorts and Instagram Reels.

Sensor Tower, app store intelligence firm, noted that TikTok’s active user base was up 25% this August over its numbers from August 2020.

 

 

iOS 14.8: Critical Security Update

iOS users take note: while updates are often not critical, the newest update to iOS 14.8 is one of those critical updates.

Independent experts believe that all iPhone users are facing a software issue that was employed to spy on Saudi activists.

Apple recently released an “urgent” update to fix the issue. Apple Head of Security Engineering stated the vulnerability can be exploited to target specific individuals, however, is “not a threat to the overwhelming majority of our users.”

While typically for a phone to be attacked the user has to click on a corrupt link, this is not the case with this latest security workaround. The vulnerability can affect anyone who uses iMessage, according to Apple.

iPhone users can immediately update their phones to iOS 14.8 to be protected against potential, personal attacks. Users need only go into settings, click on “General” and check for a “Software Update.”

Recent months have seen an uptick in “zero click attacks. It is believe this has been enabled by spyware from Israeli firm NSO group who claims they only sell their services to government agencies to assist in combating crime and terrorism.

NOS Group didn’t address any allegations and stated only that it would continue to do business with government intelligence and law enforcement.

Despite this, researchers have demonstrated that the spyware was used in multiple cases on the phones of so-called dissidents and even journalists.

Product Announcements from Apple’s Virtual Event Part 2

At their virtual event iPhone also revealed the iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 mini (6.1 inches and 5.4 inches).

Both of these phones will include the A15 Bionic chip, just like the Pro line. They both are equipped with a diagonally arranged dual camera system. They also will have extended battery life. The iPhone 13 and 13 Mini will have a 2.5 hour and 1.5 longer battery life than their version 12 predecessors.

Other updates to the new iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 mini will include a new 5G chip, a more efficient display, a tool called Cinematic Mode which is basically Portrait mode but for video.

The iPhone 13 mini base price will be $699 with 128GB of storage, which is more than the mini has ever included in a base model. The iPhone 13 base price will be $799 with 128GB of storage. The phones will come in five new colors red, pink, blue, black and white.

Apple also showed off their updates to the iPad and iPad mini. The 10.2 inch iPad includes a new, powerful A13 chip that increases performance speed by 20% over the previous iPad. Apple claims the iPad will now be 3 times faster than a Chromebook.

The new iPad will also include a 12 mega pixel camera that employs Center Stage, AI that adjusts the front-facing camera for FaceTime calls. There will also be more accessory support to aid in use with the first-gen Apple Pencil. A color temperature feature, True Tone, which adjusts the screen color temperature will also be included in the new iPad.

The iPad mini (8.3 inches) will include smaller bezels and the corners will be more rounded. New, functional features will included updated front and back cameras, a Liquid retina display, USB-C support, new speaker system, magnetic support for Apple Pencil and new colors will include those like pink and purple.

The standard sized iPad will cost $329 with 64 gigs of storage, which is double what the base model usually includes. The new iPad Mini will begin at $499.

Finally, the Apple Watch Series 7. It’ll slimmer and include a wider screen than the previous model. The Series 7 will include a wider screen that will display 50% ore text and a full keyboard for typing or swiping messages. The Series 7 will begin at $399.

 

 

 

 

Product Announcements from Apple’s Virtual Event Part 1

Broadcasting from California Apple recently held a virtual event in which they reviled 4 new iPhones, a new Apple Watch and new iPads.

When they unveiled the new smartphones—iPhone 13 mini, iPhone 13, iPhone 13 Pro, iPhone 13 Pro Max—there was a dubious lack of any groundbreaking features, especially compared to the 2020 5G announcement. Expectations of a portless iPhone and under-display touch ID were not met.

At least among the iPhones the Pro line was probably the highlight of the virtual event. Bot the 6.1 inch and 6.7 inch iPhone Pro and iPhone Pro 13 Pro Max both include Apple’s new and powerful A15 Bionic chip. Apple claims the A15 is the “fastest CPU in any smartphone.” This allows new machine learning features like analyzing text from photos or real-time video analysis.

The Pro devices have five-core CPUs with a 50% increase in graphics speed which may attract many gamers. They also include the brighter Super Retna XDR display which has faster refresh rate, an “all-day” battery life and the option for an impressive terabyte of storage (doubling the prior max).

For the photographers, the camera system was upgraded as well. Now with 77 mm telephoto lens, 3 times optical zoom and new wide and ultrawide cameras.

The Pro and Pro Max base prices are $99 and $1,099. The Pro Max that includes one terabyte of storage comes in at a whopping $1,599. Colors will include sierra blue, gold, silver, and graphite. The entire new iPhone line ships on 24 September 2021.

Facebook Doubles Down on Creating “Instagram Kids” Amid Criticisms

Despite concerns and criticisms from lawmakers and others, Facebook restated its intention to create a special Instagram platform just for children under 13 but also announced new updates to take care of concerns about the safety of young users on its social media platforms.

In one blog post Facebook claims it is developing the new platform to reduce the chances of children under 13 lying about their age to use the current Instagram platform. The new Instagram for kids, Facebook says, will allow parents and guardians to heavily manage their children’s use of the new platform.

Facebook wrote that kids this age are already online and using social media platforms and there simply isn’t yet a foolproof way to stop them. According to an internal memo obtained by BuzzFeed Instagram identified youth work as a priority.

Earlier this year 44 attorneys general signed a letter addressed to Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook CEO) to scrap the Instagram for kids project. They cited concerns over privacy and mental health. Child safety groups and Congress expressed similar concerns just weeks before this letter.

Facebook and Instagram have made a lot of promises about safety with their new platform and reiterated steps they’ve taken to help protect young users on their existing platforms.

uSky Testing Autonomous Public Transportation

Around the world traffic congestion is a problem for cities. Some tech-based solutions have included electric scooter systems or AI powered traffic lights. Another company thinks their solution to build a network of autonomous, high speed pods that would ride around a city suspended from a steel track might be a solution.

Belarus company uSky Transport has opened a 400-meter test line in Sharjah, located near Dubai.

Outside the electric power pods look are a promised-future glossy white. Inside they look more like a first-class airplane experience. This includes mood lighting, music, and windows. There are two padded armchairs and two folding seats, each pod being rated to carry four people.

uSky claims a fully executed whole city network could support 10k passengers an hour. The pods have a top speed of 93 miles an hour. However, due to safety concerns the test pods are not using their top speed.

uSky says it has a goal to free up roads and ground space that could be used for greenery, walkways and public spaces like parks.

 

Facial Recognition Coming to Unemployment Agencies

Facial recognition is a new but controversial technology that is beginning to be employed everywhere from law enforcement, security and as a way to lock/unlock personal smartphones.

27 states’ unemployment agencies have currently entered into contracts with facial recognition company ID.me, according to the company. 25 of these states are already using it. The company also claims they are talking to these agencies in 7 other states. They are already working with federal agencies like the IRS, Social Security Administration, and the Department of Veteran Affairs to verify the identities of their staff and or clients.

ID.me’s swift integration into state unemployment agencies is just the latest step towards a future where facial recognition will be used widely for identification.

ID.me uses facial verification style racial recognition that compares a photo ID with a video selfie the user takes on their phone when ID.me’s software prompts them. It is very similar to using facial recognition to lock and unlock a personal smartphone with your face. This is slightly different than what law enforcement would use where they would take one photo of person and the software would compare it to a database of known faces.

 

 

 

Experts Express Concerns With Increasing Internet Outages

Recently a widespread disruption of internet services took down range of major corporate websites. Some of those companies included Delta Air Lines, FedEx, HSBC and McDonald’s.

The disruptions came along with reported disruptions from internet infrastructure services provides Akamai and Oracle.

This is a third major internet interruption in just two months and the second Akamai has been involved in. In early June many large websites like a UK government site, the New York Times and Target went down with dozens of others. The outage lasted for about fifty minutes because of failed content delivery network, Fastly.

10 days later everything form banks, airlines, stock exchanges and trading platforms because of bugs at Akamai in a system meant to protect from attacks.

Major app and website outages happen occasionally, but typically don’t last long. While ISPs and other local and global services use backups and redundancies, however, experts are wary that the internet’s reliance what is a fairly small number of core infrastructure providers could put the internet at serious risk for bigger outages.

 

 

John McAfee of McAfee Antivirus Dead at 75

John McAfee, infamous antivirus software creator, has died at 75 after several recent run-ins with United States law.

McAfee was found dead in his Barcelona prison cell. The cause of death, according to the Superior Court of Catalonia, is under investigation.

According to Catalonia prison system spokespersons both guards and prison medical personnel performed the proper medical procedures to attempt to save McAfee’s life. This same statement said that “everything indicates” McAfee could have died by suicide.

His death comes on the heals of a ruling from Spain’s National Court in Madrid that McAfee could be extradited to the United States to face charges there. That decision could have been appealed by the same court and a larger panel of judges.

While McAfee did have a cell mate in prison that person was not present at the time of his death and that they were out of the cell doing normal activities at the prison. Officials said no special monitoring of the cell or McAfee

Windows 11 New Features: Teams Integration, Keyboard-less, Gaming and Microsoft Store

The popular productivity and live streaming app Microsoft Teams will now be integrated directly into the UI, getting its own icon on the taskbar. The app allows chat, calls, video calls with anyone anywhere in the world on platforms including, Windows, iOS, Android and others.

For those using their Windows device as a tablet, Windows 11 will be very familiar to users with few visual changes when the device is in tablet mode. Users will still be able to snap to navigate between various open apps. And if one rotates the screen the apps will get vertically staked for easy navigation.

A new feature to Windows 11 will be a floating keyboard and voice typing that uses auto punctuation and can follow voice commands like “delete that word.”

For gamers Windows 11 is offering “Auto HDR” which automatically improves the color and lighting of game visuals. This technology was first developed for Microsoft’s Xbox gaming consoles. In Windows 11 Xbox Game Pass will now be built in and give subscribers access to a library of hundreds of PC games.

The Microsoft Store has been redesigned to be faster. Users will also have a larger selection of apps including Android apps from the Amazon App Store allow users to load thousands of Android apps on their PC.

While rebuilding the Microsoft Store, Microsoft fire a metaphorically shot at Apple’s iOS store which takes a cut of each app purchase. Microsoft Store does not.

However, to date, the Microsoft Store has not been largely popular. Most apps are still downloaded and installed from .exe files.

Windows 11 New Features: User Interface

One of the biggest updates to Windows 11 will be the Start menu and Start button which will be placed front and centered on the task bar. The menu opens to pinned apps, “recommended” recent documents and a search bar. Live tiles are gone.

What Microsoft called “snap layouts” will give the user different window layout options. This will allow users to automatically arrange up to four open windows on their screen without manually moving and resizing them.

A new feature called “Snap Groups” will save a collection of apps a user was using and their layout. This allow users to quickly shift gears between different arrangements which are focused on different tasks. If using a docking station or switching between monitors at work and at home the snaps will reload as soon as a monitor is plugged back into the computer.

Another task oriented preset feature is saved desktops with personalized wallpapers. You could have one each for say school, home, work and gaming.

The entire system will get a graphic update with founded corners on windows and icons and a return to some Vista-like translucent layers for certain windows.

Windows widgets will bring personalized, AI-powered feed of information from weather, traffic, news and more. However, it won’t be all that different from Cortana and the Interests app on Windows 10.

Google and Amazon Face More Investigations Over Fake Product Reviews

UK regulators are investigating Amazon and Google for possibly breaking consumer protection laws for not handling fake product reviews properly.

This is just one probe in a line of investigations piling up against both the tech giants. Around the world officials have been examining claims of anti-competitive behavior. These investigations could lead to large fines and more pressure on companies like Facebook and Apple to change how they do business.

The UK Competition and Markets Authority stated that its inquiry could force Amazon and Google to change they way they deal with fake reviews or result in court action.

The CMA is worried that millions of online shoppers are being misled by fake product reviews and spending money based on those recommendations. They stated it isn’t fair business practice that some companies can fake five star reviews while lawful citizens lose out.

An investigation by UK consumer group Which? found a large industry of businesses making money by manipulating reviews on Amazon Marketplace. One company was selling single reviews for $18 or bulk packages that cost over $800 for 50 reviews.

Google and Amazon stated the would cooperate with the CMA.

Facebook Testing New AI That Will Detect Arguments in Facebook Groups

If you frequent Facebook or other online platforms you know conversations can get out of hand quickly. Facebook is hoping to use an AI program to keep things calm. The social media platform is testing a machine learning program that would detect fights in Facebook’s Groups and report it to the group admins so they can intervene.

Facebook will be rolling out a number of new tools to help the 70 million users who run and moderate groups on the social media platform. Facebook has 2.85 billion monthly users, 1.8 billion participate in groups each month and there are tens of millions of active groups on the platform.

Along with these other tools, AI will decide when to send out a “conflict alert” to those admins and moderators who maintain groups on the platform. When the AI finds a conversation to be “unhealthy” or “contentious” the AI will send out a message and the human administrators of the group can decide from there what to do.

Social media platforms have increasingly relied on AI to filter what users see and to help remove hate speech from their platforms. However, AI has not always treated users fairly when left to its own devices. So, Facebook is hoping this new combination an AI watch dog and allowing the human administrators of the group to make final decisions will be a more fair way to handle things.

Facebook and Instagram Allow Users to See “Likes” Or Not.

In a surprising move both Instagram and Facebook will be giving all users the ability to hide the number of “likes” or “reactions” a post gets from the public. This will change a keystone of the platforms as “likes” are seen as social currency on social media, a measure of status and influence.

Facebook has been experimenting with the idea since 2019 and the company sees it as a way to make Facebook and Instagram less stressful or anxiety-inducing to use.

Every user can choose whether people can see the number of likes on their own posts and also whether to see how many people liked other users’ posts, according to a blog post by Facebook.

The social media giant has been working to reverse mounting disapproval about the fact that social media platforms can be harmful to the mental health of its users and society at large. However, users have to choose the option, it will not be a default, so it remains unclear how many users will take this step or how much the platforms will really change because of the new option.

Twitter Ditches Biased Image Cropping AI

Twitter has pretty much abandoned an image-cropping AI after discovering that automated system was biased. Users had complained it had a preference toward showing pictures of white people in previews of tweets.

A blog post from Rumman Chowdhury, software engineering director at Twitter, stated that Twitter concluded the AI was biased after testing it for both gender and race biases. The post and research essay attached detailed that the cropping system when tested on random images demonstrated a preference for white people over black people and men over women.

Chowdhury stated that their conclusion is some tasks are best left to people and are not a good task for AI.

The research conclusions come months after the company said it would investigate the issue with its AI image cropping program.

Twitter, in March, started testing a new method to show a full image, rather than auto cropped previews, on mobile devices when a user tweeted a single image. The program would auto-crop the preview image people saw before clicking the preview for the full image. However, the program was prone to errors.

Now they rely on saliency which requires knowing what area of the image the eye is drawn to first.

 

20 Years After the First Apple Store, Google to Open Their First “Google Store”

It is just about 20 years since Apple opened its first retail store. Google is now giving it a go as well.

The company announced that it will be opening its first physical retail store. It’ll be called simply, Google Store. It’ll open this summer in New York City. Located in the Chelsea neighborhood under its offices there. This is the same location that employs many of the 11,000 NYC Google employees.

Pixlebooks, Nest products, Fitbit products and Pixel phones will be on sale in the new retail store.

Just like Apple’s “Geniuses” concept, Google will have “experts” available to help customers troubleshoot device issues, fixe cracked screens or help with installations. A blog post by Google called this “an important next step in our hardware journey.”

Google stated that customers will want to experience their hardware before they purchase it. What it looks like, feels like and sounds like.

Google calls its hardware a “multi-billion dollar business” and has previously opened pop-up shops to premiere new products or for workshops.

SpaceX Starlink ISP Promises 300 Megabits per Second

CEO of Space X Elon Musk teased tech heads with a tweet about Starklink—which is a global broadband service created by a network of satellites. Supposedly it will double customers’ internet connection speed to about 300 megabits per second. Additionally, Musk said that latency will drop to about an astonishing 20 milliseconds later this year (that is the time it takes to send data from one point to another).

The tweet seems to be in response to a particular Starlink customer who capture and posted speed tests of their Starlink connection at between 77 and 130 megabits per second.

In another tweet Elon Musk stated that Starlink will reach customers throughout “most of Earth” by the end of 2021. And that SpaceX is working on total global coverage by the end of 2022, after this the goal will be “densifying coverage.”

Preorders for the Starlink subscription service became available earlier this month at a cost of $99 per month.