Fossil Group Inc announced today that it would sell its intellectual property related to a smartwatch technology currently under development to Alphabet Inc’s Google for approximately $40-million, and will send a portion of that R&D team currently to the search giant, with the deal expected to close at the end of January. “The addition of Fossil Group’s technology and team to Google demonstrates our commitment to the wearables industry,” said Stacey Burr, vice president of product management at Google’s Wear OS, a smartwatch platform. Read more for an in-depth look at the latest Wear OS features.
Photo credit: Newsweek / The Weather Channel
The polar vortex swirling above the arctic broke apart into three parts to start off 2019, and now the eastern half of the United States is about to feel its effects. Recent weather models project the onset of a severe and punishing winter weather pattern in just over 10 days, with extreme cold, which will hit the Patriots-Chiefs game on Sunday as well. Despite the polar vortex splitting in the beginning of January, it often takes weeks for the effects to become apparent in day-to-day weather. Read more for another video and additional information.
SpaceX on Friday successfully launched a payload of global communications satellites for Iridium, marking the first launch of 2019 for Elon Musk’s California-based company. The mission, transporting 10 Iridium NEXT satellites to orbit, completes the Iridium NEXT project to replace the world’s largest commercial communication satellite network with 75 new ones. Read more to watch the landing video and for additional information.
Bungie officially announced today that it’s parting ways with Activision Publishing and will self-publish all future Destiny titles. They partnered in 2010 after Bungie sold its Halo rights to Microsoft and started work on what would become 2014’s mega successful online multiplayer / shooter RPG hybrid called Destiny. The franchise’s downfall may be somewhat due to the popularity of free-to-play games like Fortnite and PubG that make all of its revenue with microtransactions. “Looking ahead, we’re excited to announce plans for Activision to transfer publishing rights for Destiny to Bungie. With our remarkable Destiny community, we are ready to publish on our own, while Activision will increase their focus on owned IP projects,” said Bungie. Read more for another video and additional information.
Earth’s north magnetic pole is suddenly moving and scientists involved in tracking its motions don’t know why. The Earth’s magnetic field extends from the planet’s interior out into space, where it meets the solar wind, a stream of charged particles emanating from the Sun, and serves to deflect most of the solar wind, whose charged particles would otherwise strip away the ozone layer. “The magnetic pole is moving so quickly that it has forced the world’s geomagnetism experts into a rare move,” said science journal Nature. Read more for another video and additional information.
Photo credit: Controller Chaos
Thinking about a video game console mod or possibly altering save files? It’s now illegal in Japan and both are punishable by up to five years in prison as well as fines up to 5 million yen ($46,000). Japan’s Association of Copyright for Computer Software states that modding games and consoles violate the country’s Unfair Competition Prevention Law. Peripheral maker Cyber Gadget immediately stopped selling its Save Editor data tool, which enabled gamers to use cheats and patch codes, immediately on its Japanese website. Read more for another video and additional information.
No, “super blood wolf moon eclipse” is not a fictional name, but rather a real phenomenon. The main event is a total lunar eclipse, also known as an eclipse of the moon, which begins late on Sunday, Jan. 20 and finishes early on Monday, Jan. 21. This type of eclipse happens when the moon passes fully into the shadow of Earth, but this time, it takes on a reddish glow during the event, making it a “blood moon.” Since the moon will make its closest approach to Earth on Jan. 20, it appears larger and more full in the sky, which is known as a “supermoon”. Read more for another video and additional information.
Google has received FCC approval for its experimental, gesture-controlled watch at higher power levels, and this means that the technology is one step closer to being effectively touchless. The original project was introduced in 2015, but Google’s Project Soli was unable to effectively progress after 2016 due to Federal Communication Commission power restrictions. The watch prototype uses a radar to detect hand movements, like tapping your index finger against your thumb or opening all your fingers simultaneously, and then processes this information to control various features. Read more for another video and additional information.
Apple cut guidance yesterday, but CEO Tim Cook revealed in an internal memo to employees that the company saw record Christmas Day iPhone activations in the United States and Canada, as well as inviting them to an all-hands meeting at 9:30 a.m. Pacific Time at Apple’s Town Hall auditorium on its Infinite Loop campus to discuss the first fiscal quarter of 2019. He also mentioned record revenue in “Services,” “Wearables” and “Mac” categories as well as “all-time revenue” in “key markets.” Read more for another video and additional information.
Chang’e-4, a Chinese lunar probe, has successfully touched down on the far side of the moon, said state media, hailing it as an historic first landing there on a mission seen as an important step for the country’s space program. It officially made a “soft landing” at 0226 GMT in the South Pole-Aitken basin’s Von Kármán crater and transmitted the first-ever “close range” image of the dark side of the moon. The spacecraft, which includes a lander and a rover, touched down at a pre-selected landing area, after entering the moon’s orbit in mid-December. Read more for two additional videos and information.