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Winners and losers of the week: A new space race, yet another global internet outage

Winners and losers of the week: A new space race, yet another global internet outage

As another week draws to a close, it’s time again for us here at NextPit to wade through the maze of important tech happenings from the week and select our winner and loser. This time around we have decided to award the title of the winner to Blue Origin which managed to “beat” Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic by flying to a higher altitude. Our loser for this week was a tough choice between Jeff Bezos’ insensitive comment thanking his employees for funding his space flight and the global internet outage that took down several popular websites and services for hours. 

In the end, we chose the latter as our loser.  But before we talk about our picks for the winners and losers, let’s take a quick look at the rest of the important tech stories from the week gone by.

OnePlus Nord 2 arrives, Samsung testing 65W fast charging?

Among the most important smartphone launches of this week was the official announcement of OnePlus’ new mid-range smartphone - the OnePlus Nord 2. Launched as a successor to last year’s OnePlus Nord, the launch of this device comes mere months after the company announced another mid-ranger. We are still working on completing the full review of the phone. But my friend Antoine has penned his first impressions of the device right here. Give it a read and let us know what you think of it!

Ever since the Galaxy Note 7 explosion-gate, Samsung has been playing it safe with batteries and fast chargers. Even though some of Samsung’s flagship models now offer 45W fast charging support, the company lags behind in this department when compared to Chinese brands. That may change with the next generation Samsung Galaxy S devices thanks to a recent rumor which hints at the likelihood of the Samsung Galaxy S22 lineup likely to support 65W fast charging. 

Apple MagSafe battery pack, Realme MagDart and new super fast charging technology from iQOO and Oppo

This week also saw the emergence of a bunch of new charging-related tech and accessories. The major highlight of the week was the arrival of Apple’s MagSafe battery pack that costs $99 and has already reached the first consumers. The Apple Magsafe battery pack is capable of charging an iPhone wirelessly at 15W when it is connected to a power outlet (and just 5W when used portably). 

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The new Apple MagSafe powerbanks/ © Apple

 

Days after the MagSafe power bank arrived, Realme showcased something interesting. The name of the product is an obvious inspiration from Apple’s MagSafe and goes by the name Realme MagDart. In fact, we did talk about this in last week Winners/Losers article as well. Only now, we have additional information about the products. Anyway, what we still do not know is as to when these products would actually make it to the market. What we do know, however, is that the MagDart lineup would at least initially consist of two wireless charging pads.

Next up, we have Oppo and iQOO (the latter is a sub-brand of Vivo) both of whom announced new fast charging technology and speeds. While Oppo made improvements to its already fast 65W fast charging technology, iQOO is likely to launch a smartphone with support for 160W fast charging as early as August 4 as per current rumours. 

Samsung’s 2021 foldable to be IPX8 rated, new MacBooks coming September-November

Samsung, earlier this week, confirmed the dates for its next Galaxy Unpacked event which may see the official announcement of several new devices. The most talked about of these include the company’s new foldable devices - the Galaxy Z Fold3 and the Z Flip3. Now that the launch of these devices are mere weeks away, there has been a constant stream of leaks surrounding the probable specs of these devices.

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Samsung's 2021 foldables could be IPX8 rated for water resistance/ © Samsung

In the latest such leak it is being claimed that both of Samsung’s foldable smartphones for this year will feature IPX8 rating for ingress protection. Note that this is not the same as IP68 protection and implies that the product can be submerged deeper than 1 meter. of water. So yeah, starting this year, you can take your foldable smartphone to the pool.

Is Apple planning to launch a new lineup of MacBook Pros later this year? Yes, if we are to believe a recent Bloomberg report. According to them, Apple is likely to launch new 14 and 16-inch MacBook Pro’s by September-November 2021. These new machines may come with a completely new design, miniLED displays, and of course, the brand new Apple M1X chip with up to 10 cores (8 big and 2 efficient cores), up from the 4 + 4 core design of the M1.

Winner of the week: Blue Origin for ‘winning’ the space race

There is no denying that a new space race is underway as you read this paragraph. And unlike previous space races where nations competed against each other, this time around, it’s the turn of billionaires around the world to go at each other. This week saw two privately funded “space” companies trying to one-up each other.

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Jeff Bezos' BlueOrigin sort of won the private space race this week!/ © Thomas Kelley / Shutterstock.com

While Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic did manage to beat Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin to rocket into space first, it would be Bezos who would have the last laugh as it later became clear that he was the one who traveled farther.  Things weren’t the same for Bezos when he landed back on earth, though. He courted controversy after being called out for insensitively thanking Amazon employees for funding his space aspirations.

Loser of the week: Yet another global internet outage

Are internet outages becoming more common these days? The answer to that question could be debatable but what we know for sure is that a large chunk of the internet went down on Thursday thanks to a DNS glitch with CDN provider Akamai.  Some of the most popular sites, apps and services on the planet were down for a considerable amount of time following this. The companies affected included UPS, FedEx, Airbnb, Fidelity, Last Pass, PlayStation Network and OnePlus.

Do you agree with our picks for the winners and losers of this week? Do let us know in the comments below!
 

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