Xiaomi Mi 6c with Snapdragon 660 may have just been spotted in a benchmark

Xiaomi’s Mi 6 went official last month, but it seems like the Chinese company is currently working on a lesser version of its flagship handset. A cheaper entry-level model. A Mi 6c, if you will. If true, this would come quite soon after the Mi 5c, which is powered by Xiaomi’s own Surge S1 chipset. That’s not the case for the device codenamed Jason, that recently ran GFXBench. Jason may or may not end up being sold as Mi 6c, but one thing’s certain – in this case the company has opted to use a Qualcomm chip. Namely, the recently unveiled Snapdragon 660. That’s not a slouch by any…

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LeEco Le Pro3 is now just $249.99 unlocked

LeEco’s been going through a very rough patch over the past few months, especially affecting its once grandiose expansion plans for the US. The company is still breathing though, and will hopefully see better days in the near future. Regardless of how you feel about its troubles, today there’s one great LeEco-related deal to know of. The Le Pro3 smartphone was launched in the US, in unlocked form, last October. It was then priced at $ 399.99. Now though, you can pick one up from Best Buy’s eBay store for just $ 249.99. So you save a cool $ 150 compared to the recommended retail price. What…

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The U.S. Military Just Teamed With Boeing, and They’re Building a Hypersonic Space Plane

Experimental Spaceplane (XS-1) Program

The U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has chosen The Boeing Company to design and build its Experimental Spaceplane (XS-1), an unmanned, reusable space plane expected to improve national security by making low-cost, launch-on-demand access to space a reality.

If successful, the XS-1 project will give birth to a completely new kind of space plane, but many of its features would be reminiscent of an ordinary earthbound plane. About the size of a commercial jet airplane and powered exclusively by self-contained cryogenic propellants, the craft would take off vertically without external boosters and achieve hypersonic speeds. Upon reaching sufficient altitude, it would release its upper stage and deploy a 3,000-pound satellite.

The job complete, the first stage would return to Earth and come in for a landing horizontally, much like an airplane. Again, just like a typical commercial jet, it would only require a few hours of downtime before being ready to fly again.

The XS-1 design also includes futuristic technologies that would set it apart from existing aircraft and spacecraft. These include composite cryogenic propellant tanks and hybrid composite-metallic surfaces and wings capable of withstanding temperatures of more than 1,093 degrees Celsius (2,000 degrees Fahrenheit) and hypersonic, suborbital flight stresses. It is also expected to feature autonomous flight and flight-termination capabilities, courtesy of the agency’s Airborne Launch Assist Space Access (ALASA) program.

A New Era in Space Flight

There And Back Again: A Timeline of Space Planes [INFOGRAPHIC]
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Today, most (but not all) spacecraft aren’t reusable, and the ability to launch into low Earth orbit within a matter of days, rather than months or years, is even more out of reach. If Boeing succeeds with the XS-1 project, humanity’s abilities to guard, repair, and replace satellites — which both civilians and the military rely upon heavily — will be exponentially enhanced.

DARPA is hopeful that Boeing is up to the task.

“The XS-1 would be neither a traditional airplane nor a conventional launch vehicle but rather a combination of the two, with the goal of lowering launch costs by a factor of ten and replacing today’s frustratingly long wait time with launch on demand,” DARPA program manager Jess Sponable said in a press release. “We’re very pleased with Boeing’s progress on the XS-1 through Phase 1 of the program and look forward to continuing our close collaboration in this newly funded progression to Phases 2 and 3 — fabrication and flight.”

If the design and testing phases all go as planned, we should see the XS-1 in the air in 2020.

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Samsung Galaxy Note7R pictured, looks just like Note7

A new leak reportedly shows the Samsung Galaxy Note7R in the wild. Consisting of two photos of the device’s front and back panel, the leak brings more evidence that Samsung’s refurbished Note7 is inching towards availability. Samsung Note7R (click to enlarge) The leak holds nothing surprising as we already know what a refurbished Galaxy Note7 will look like. The only change we’re expecting is the battery capacity (thus far 3,200mAh seems likely) and the price (duh!). However we have to point out a few suspicious bits about the leak – first the boot screen lists “Samsung Galaxy…

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Mark Zuckerberg Just Voiced His Support for Universal Basic Income

Meaningful Roles In Society

This week Mark Zuckerberg spoke to the latest class of Harvard graduates, offering advice about the future and inspiration to grow on. Among his ideas was the notion that universal basic income (UBI), a standard base “salary” for each member of society that can help meet our basic needs regardless of the work we do, is worth exploring.

UBI pilot programs are sprouting up all over the world, including one in Oakland, California sponsored by Y Combinator. Many are modeled in part after the State of Alaska’s long-term “Permanent Fund” which distributes a dividend to every resident so they can share in the wealth gleaned from the state’s natural resources equally.

While the successfulness of such initiatives can be analyzed several different ways, Zuckerberg emphasized to graduates the need for metrics that go deeper than standard economic measures — metrics that can help foster innovation.

“We should have a society that measures progress not just by economic metrics like GDP, but by how many of us have a role we find meaningful,” Zuckerberg told the Harvard graduates and their guests. “We should explore ideas like universal basic income to make sure everyone has a cushion to try new ideas.”

The Time Is Now

This idea that basic income supports more innovation as well as human rights is perhaps what has made it such a popular idea among Silicon Valley tech minds. In fact, this public endorsement from Zuckerberg is not all that cutting edge — he is one of the later proponents of UBI by Silicon Valley standards, joining the likes of Tesla’s Elon Musk, eBay’s Pierre Omidyar, and Y Combinator’s Sam Altman. Bill Gates agrees that UBI is a good idea, and that we’ll be ready for it soon.

Universal Basic Income: UBI Pilot Programs Around the World
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UBI isn’t just a Silicon Valley thing. Andy Stern, the President Emeritus of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), has recently written a book that sets out a detailed plan for making UBI work here in the U.S. Timotheus Höttges, the CEO of Germany’s largest telecommunications company, Deutsche Telekom (DT), also supports UBI because it supports social stability in the age of automation.

UBI pilot programs will hopefully show strengths and benefits of different strategies, and data from Alaska can suggest how such programs can survive the test of time. As pilot programs succeed — and early results seem to indicate that they will — expect more experts to endorse UBI.

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