🚀 Good morning! I’ve hit send slightly early today because right at 7:50am ET, or about 50 minutes after when you get this email, NASA launches its Perseverance Mars Rover, the one rover (and helicopter) that will we all hope makes a safe landing on 18 February 2021, at Jezero Crater, Mars. Coverage starts at 7:00am ET — right now! Watch it here.
After an hour delay, yesterday’s congressional subcommittee hearing stretched nearly six hours. Much has been said about too many members of the subcommittee wasting time with politically-motivated questioning ...during an antitrust hearing.
But enough committee members came prepared, with internal corporate emails and detail from interviews with smaller companies that said they were harmed by anti-competitive practices. And questions yielded some surprising answers from the tech CEOS.
Did we get any fundamental new revelations? Yes and no. Here are some of the big moments out of the five hours, 29 minutes, thanks to great reporting:
🔜 From motion blur to audio zoom, here’s what Google could soon bring to Pixels based on app teardown insights (Android Authority).
🤔 Report: Huawei eclipses Samsung as the world’s biggest smartphone maker (Android Authority).
🔊 Alexagate is a gloriously unnecessary tool to stop Amazon Echo from listening (Android Authority).
🆙 Google One will backup iOS or Android devices for free (The Verge).
🍎 Apple earnings tonight: What to watch for, including iPhone 12 launch (CNET). Mind you, a possible spoiler: Qualcomm results suggest the 5G iPhone will be slightly delayed: “Qualcomm is expecting “a partial impact from the delay of a global 5G flagship phone launch” (Engadget).
on-schedule projects underscore Intel's continuing failures to deliver (Ars Technica).
🛰 Airbus to build 'first interplanetary cargo ship' (BBC).
🔋 Sony plans to test its prototype Vision-S electric car on public roads. The surprise from CES might be more than a concept car (Engadget).
💫 Pluto’s dark side spills its secrets — including hints of a hidden ocean (Nature).
🔴 Mars’ elongated cloud has reappeared. Like clockwork! (Gizmodo).
👷♂️ Stonehenge: Analysis of long-lost rock seems to show the largest rocks came from a forest 15 miles away; builders began work on the structure around 3,000 BC (ScienceMag).
📺 ELI5: Why have we settled on 16:9 as the standard aspect ratio? (r/explainlikeimfive)
Tomorrow, July 31, in 1971, a lunar rover was driven on the moon, during the Apollo 15 mission.
Crossing fingers for today's launch!
Tristan Rayner, Senior Editor.
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