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Tech Digest daily roundup: NASA’s Artemis 1 moon-launch postponed

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The launch of the world’s most powerful rocket on its test flight to the moon’s orbit has been postponed, after scientists discovered a hydrogen leak on board. The Artemis 1 could now lift off from Cape Canaveral on Friday, after missing its launch window today. The launch had been delayed by organisers during the fuelling process, just 40 minutes before the scheduled take-off, after a liquid hydrogen leak was discovered. NASA said: “Launch director Charlie Blackwell-Thompson has called a scrub of the attempt of the launch of Artemis 1. The issue that came up was an engine bleed which couldn’t be remedied, but the rocket is currently in a stable configuration.” Sky News

Samsung’s hi-tech flip phone has been a bit of a hit over the past year. Now the Z Flip is back for 2022, with better cameras, a faster chip, longer battery life and more customisation options than ever, as the company attempts to appeal to those bored of flat phones and looking for something more exciting…Four versions on, the Flip has lost none of its novelty. Opening it to reveal the large 6.7in OLED screen still feels like magic. Its compact pocket size is a welcome relief from massive phones, and its attractive design still very much turns heads. You can even choose a custom colour combo with Samsung’s bespoke studio tool. The Guardian 

Image: Fitbit

After a two-year wait, the Fitbit Sense 2 and Versa 4 will ship this September, followed by the long-delayed Pixel Watch in October. All three watches are essentially “Google fitness watches” now: Fitbit is incorporating Google Maps and ditching Fitbit Pay for Google Wallet while bringing back Google Assistant support, and the Pixel Watch will integrate Fitbit tools like Active Zone Minutes and Fitbit Premium. We don’t know yet how much the Pixel Watch will cost, but it’s a fair bet it’ll cost somewhere between the $280 Galaxy Watch 5 and $400 Apple Watch Series 7. Given the Fitbit Sense 2 will cost $300 and the Versa 4 $230, they’ll undercut the Pixel Watch with similar features, iOS, and Android support, and a one-month head start. Android Central 

HTC Vive is running a sale across its VR hardware from 29th August to 11th September. The timing of this couldn’t have fallen (or been planned) better on HTC’s part. Combined with the current cost of living crisis in the UK and the price hikes of both PlayStation 5 and Meta Quest 2, a discount is sorely welcomed. All deals can be found on Vive’s website. The discount puts some of Vive’s offerings on the same price point as Meta Quest 2 now, which had a price increase to £400/£500 last month to try and mitigate the losses Reality Labs, Meta’s VR and metaverse division, is incurring. Eurogamer

Have you sworn at a robot recently? A few years ago, Twitter users claimed they had discovered a surprise method for frustrated customers to escape from being kept on hold while they waited for a company representative to pick up the phone.  Several people claimed they were fast-tracked to a human customer service agent after swearing or shouting in frustration at a pre-recorded message. Soon, many other internet users were reporting the same phenomenon.  Don’t be tempted to swear at a chatbot, though, for it doesn’t seem to make the slightest difference. Telegraph 

 

 

Chris Price


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