Saturday

Dyson In Hot Pursuit Of The Better Battery

Dyson is proposing to spend a lot of time, effort and cash to build a better battery. Despite considerable advances, batteries can still be a weak point in electronic and computer devices (both in terms of performance and sometimes safety), and James Dyson and his company want to change that.
Dyson believes the answer lies in using ceramics to create solid-state lithium-ion batteries. Dyson says he intended to spend $1.4 billion in research and development and in building a battery factory over the next five years. Last year Dyson bought Ann Arbor, Michigan-based Sakti3, which focuses on creating advanced solid-state batteries, for $90 million. The global lithium-ion battery market accounts for $40 billion in annual sales, according to research firm Lux as cited by Forbes.
SlashDot


Wednesday

World's Largest Aircraft Crashes On Sophomore Flight

When I say "crashes", I should probably say "does a slow-motion pratfall" - but that's too long for a blog post title. The aircraft in question, the Airlander 10, is essentially a large, modern hybrid blimp and is filled with helium. 

The aircraft was not traveling very fast and maneuvers slowly anyway and so it sort of slowly crunched into the ground. No one was seriously hurt during all this. The first flight had gone well, but this is why they are called "test flights". 

Boiiiinnnggg

What Is Google Daydream?

Google's Daydream may be with us pretty soon; Daydream is a virtual reality platform for mobile devices, and looks to be tied to the release of Android 7 ("Nougat"). 2016 is actually starting to seem like "The year of Virutal Reality" so often promised for the last few years, but now actually being pursued by major companies like Google and Apple.
While Daydream seems like a far more ambitious VR initiative than Google Cardboard, there's still plenty we don't know about it. For one, we've only seen a sketch of a prototype headset design, which looks very similar to Samsung's Gear VR. It's also unclear what, exactly, Google will demand of its hardware partners.

Monday

Lord Of The Rings And Hobbit El Humongo Collectors Set

The Lord Of The Rings trilogy of movies are very high on my list of all time favorites; a largely reverential telling of the beloved JRR Tolkien books. It was remarkable and even quite moving to see a "serious" (but not humorless) attempt to film what had long been considered un-filmable.  


The Hobbit trilogy, on the other hand, smacked of a cash grab. Stretching a short book into three overstuffed over-the-top movies was too much even for me, even counting some good performances and several stirring set pieces. I still have not actually watched the third movie.

The latest offering from New Line Cinema also sounds like a bit of a cash grab to me - an $800 Middle Earth Ultimate Collectors Edition (10% off at Amazon!), which is a Blu-ray boxed set behemoth that knows no bounds (or restraint).
What exactly do you get by paying essentially a $595 upgrade price [referring to the existing Blu-ray set]? After all, no new disc content is coming to this 30-disc set. The priciest part of the UCE appears to be a wooden shelf complete with a carved logo on both of its sides. 
ArsTechnica