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Royole FlexPai, World’s First Foldable Smartphone, Hits the Market

A virtually unknown California-based tech firm that first made T-shirts has become the first company in the world to market a foldable phone.

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Arthur J. Villasanta – Fourth Estate Contributor

Fremont, CA, United States (4E) – A virtually unknown California-based tech firm that first made T-shirts has become the first company in the world to market a foldable phone.

By introducing its “Royole FlexPai,” which became the world’s first commercial foldable smartphone to hit the market, Royole Corporation beat Samsung Electronics that was slated to release its own foldable and bendable phone in 2019.

FlexPai will cost between $1,300 to $1,900 depending on technical specifications. Royole Corporation chose to unveil its foldable smartphone in Beijing the other day.

Royole’s investors include Boston-based venture capital firm IDG Capital and Shenzhen Capital Group, which was founded by the city government.

Royole FlexPai combines a smartphone and a tablet with a flexible screen. Because of this, Royole FlexPai can be used either folded or unfolded. This unique feature fives the flexiphone it the portability of a smartphone plus the screen size of a high-definition tablet.

The FlexPai foldable smartphone is based on Royole’s Flexible+ platform that can be easily integrated into a variety of products and applications. It’s elegantly designed with multiple form factors.

When unfolded, FlexPai supports split-screen mode and multi-tasking. It also supports drag-and-drop across applications, enabling it to share features just as a computer does. It automatically adjusts screen sizes for enjoyable video-watching and gaming experiences.

Folded, FlexPai supports dual screens with separate but simultaneous operations. The interface on the primary and secondary screens mutually interacts with each other. They can also act independently and use different interfaces without interfering with one another.

Users can get notifications on the edge screen side bar, which can be used to manage calls, messages, and other notices that may disturb the primary and secondary screen. The phone’s screen measures 7.8 inches from corner-to-corner. When folded in half, its software adjusts to display all its information on half of the screen. Royole said its display can be folded more than 200,000 times before it’s likely to break.

FlexPai uses Royole’s innovative and proprietary technologies. This foldable phone has passed bending, twisting, and tension tests over 200,000 times, claims Royole.

FlexPai can also be folded at different angles. Its unique Water OS automatically adapts different viewing modes for different folding angles and user scenarios, such as taking photos, office usage, video watching and gaming. The OS is a version of Google’s Android operating system adapted for foldable screens.

FlexPai uses Qualcomm’s latest Snapdragon 8-series flagship SoC. Its camera consists of a 20 megapixel telephoto lens, and a 16 megapixel wide-angle lens. Both cams can be used for both normal photo shooting or taking a selfie, thanks to the dual view camera mode.

Fast-charge is powered by the company’s own Ro-Charge technology, which delivers a speed increase of 40%. Other features include expandable storage with MicroSD, fingerprint ID, USB-C charging, stereo speakers.

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Nike Unveils ‘Nike Adapt BB’ Self-Lacing Shoe

Nike has unveiled its second-generation “self-lacing shoe” that adapt to a wearer’s foot at the touch of a button or an app.

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Arthur J. Villasanta – Fourth Estate Contributor

Washington County, OR, United States (4E) – Nike has unveiled its second-generation “self-lacing shoe” that adapt to a wearer’s foot at the touch of a button or an app.

“Nike Adapt BB” pairs a smartphone with the self-lacing shoe to adapt to a wearer’s foot at the touch of a button. BB stands for basketball and it identifies who this shoe was developed for.

Nike will begin offering the Adapt BB in February for $350, or less than half the Hyperadapt’s original price of $720.

“Say goodbye to the shoelace,” said Michael Donaghu, Nike’s director of global footwear innovation.

Donaghu said the new shoe is all about fit and is targeted directly at basketball players.

Nike explains Adapt BB has a near-symbiotic relationship with its digital app thanks to opt-in firmware updates. It explained that when a player steps into the Nike Adapt BB, a custom motor and gear train senses the tension needed by the foot and adjusts accordingly to keep the foot snug.

The tensile strength of the underfoot lacing can generate 32 pounds of force to secure a foot throughout a range of movement. FitAdapt tech, the shoe’s “brain” then kicks-in. A user can input different fit settings depending on different moments of a game by manual touch or by using the Nike Adapt app on a smartphone.

For example, a player can loosen the shoe before tightening it up as he re-enters the game after a time-out. Nike said varying the fit is necessary because a foot can expand almost a half-size during play over the course of a basketball game. A level of fit that’s comfortable at one point might feel constrictive 20 or so minutes later.

Adapt BB enables these minute changes in tightness using the companion app, leading to 40% more “lockdown” for feet.

The app also lets users change the color of the glowing twin dots on the midsole of the shoe to 14 different colors. Adapt BB comes with a wireless charging mat that can charge the shoes in three hours for two weeks of wear time. The new shoe is also connected.

It can send data about usage and analytics back to Nike, should users allow that. The data might also eventually be used to track athletes’ movement and performance, which Nike says can help it offer new products or services to customers.

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New GPS Block IIIA Satellites Provide 3X Better Location Accuracy

The first GPS Block IIIA satellite operated by the U.S. Air Force will provide much better accuracy and will be compatible with global positioning systems used by other countries.

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Arthur J. Villasanta – Fourth Estate Contributor

Washington, DC, United States (4E) – The first GPS Block IIIA satellite operated by the U.S. Air Force will provide much better accuracy and will be compatible with global positioning systems used by other countries.

Costing some $577 million, this satellite was launched two weeks ago. The 10 new Block IIIA satellites will provide three times better accuracy compared to current GPS satellites, said Lockheed Martin, the satellite’s developer.

The tenth and final GPS Block IIIA satellite launch is scheduled for the second quarter of 2023, if all goes well

“Launch is always a monumental event, and especially so since this is the first GPS satellite of its generation launched on SpaceX’s first national security space mission,” said Lt. Gen. John F. Thompson, commander of the Space and Missile Systems Center and Air Force program executive officer for space.

He said that as more GPS III satellites join the constellation, it will bring better service at a lower cost to a technology now fully woven into the fabric of any modern civilization.

Gen. Thompson said GPS Block IIIA satellites keep GPS the gold standard for positioning, navigation and timing information. He said the launch of the first GPS Block IIIA satellite was a capstone, but it doesn’t mean the Air Force is done. He said the Air Force is going to run a series of procedures for checkout and test “to ensure everything on Vespucci functions as it was designed.”

GPS III’s L1C civil signal will make it the first GPS satellite broadcasting a signal compatible with other international global navigation satellite systems such as Europe’s Galileo, thereby improving connectivity for civilian users.

For the U.S. military, the new birds have up to eight times better anti-jamming capabilities, making them more resistant to electronic warfare (EW) attacks by either the Russians or Chinese.

The anti-jamming capabilities of the GPS IIIA satellites spring from its use of the new “M-code” (or Military code) first used on the operational Block IIF series launched from 2012 to 2016. The new M-Code signal is also designed for more secure access to military GPS signals. M-code is transmitted on the L1 and L2 frequencies already used by the previous military code, which is the P(Y) code.

GPS satellites use the NAVSTAR radionavigation system owned by the U.S. government and operated by the Air Force.

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Time Existed Before the Big Bang, says New Study

A new study has again resurrected the theory that time did indeed exist before the Universe itself but in another Universe that gave birth to our own.

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Arthur J. Villasanta – Fourth Estate Contributor

London, United Kingdom (4E) – A new study has again resurrected the theory that time did indeed exist before the Universe itself but in another Universe that gave birth to our own.

The study by University of Oxford physicists David Sloan, Tim A. Koslowski and Flavio Mercati suggests a completely new model of the Universe. Their published study re-interprets how time might have existed before the Big Bang itself by circumventing the limits imposed by the existence of the “Initial Singularity,” or that infinitesimally small blip that exploded to give birth to the Universe.

The model proposed by the three scientists starts with a new interpretation of the Initial Singularity.

The conventional wisdom is that physics as we know broke down inside the initial singularity. This breakdown arose from a contradiction in properties at a particular point in time as defined by the Theory of General Relativity.

Sloan, Koslowski and Mercati disagree with the assumption of an inevitable break down in physical laws inside the singularity. Instead, they adhere to the assumption that physics at the Big Bang remained intact but the stage it acted upon “reorientated.”

And instead of a singularity, the team said there is this thing called a “Janus Point.” In this Janus Point, the relative positions and scales of the stuff that comprise the Universe flatten into a two-dimensional (2D) pancake as we rewind time.

Passing through the Janus Point, that pancake turned 3D again, only back-to-front, so that time now moved forward. Sloan, Koslowski and Mercati believe their Janus Point could have profound implications on symmetry in particle physics, and might even produce a Universe based primarily on antimatter.

While the idea of a flipped Universe is nothing new, the model proposed by Sloan, Koslowski and Mercati of working around the singularity problem is novel.

“All the terms that are problematic turn out to be irrelevant when working out the behavior of quantities that determine how the Universe appears from the inside,” said Sloan.

“We introduce no new principles, and make no modifications to Einstein’s Theory of General Relativity — only of the interpretation that is put upon objects.”

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