First Click: SpaceX, the letter 'e,' and a look at the week ahead

September 8th, 2015

The triptych Labor Day weekend is over. Now, having rested, the workers of the world must unite under the oppressive glow of big browser to catch up on all the news. Be quick about it though, Labor Day marks the end of the summer lull and the beginning of the fall tech events meant to build thirst for holiday buying. It all kicks off with Apple’s traditional September iPhone show tomorrow. So put down the Pabst and grab your wallet because it's time to start enjoying the fruits of your labor.

  1. The PC industry is betting big on gamers

    Acer, Asus, and Lenovo are on a charm offensive at IFA this year, and their target demographic is that reliably spendthrift group we know as gamers. Collectively, these three companies account for a third of global PC shipments, and they represent an industry-wide trend toward promoting more gaming gear. The hope is that slumping PC sales can be rejuvenated by appealing to the class of users who upgrade their hardware most often and spend most lavishly.

  2. After delays, SpaceX's massive Falcon Heavy rocket set to launch in spring 2016

    SpaceX's super sized Falcon Heavy rocket has a new launch date: spring 2016. That's according to remarks given by Lee Rosen, SpaceX's vice president of mission and launch operations, at a conference in Pasadena this week. Space News reports the executive as saying, "It’s going to be a great day when we launch [the Falcon Heavy], some time in the late April – early May timeframe."

  3. Canon makes a 250-megapixel image sensor

    The megapixel wars broke out on a new front today as Japanese camera giant Canon announced a head-spinning new sensor. The roughly 250-megapixel (19,580 x 12,600) APS-H CMOS sensor sets a world record for resolution in its size, according to a Canon release, and is said to be able to distinguish lettering on the side of an airplane from 18 km away. APS-H is a sensor size bigger than APS-C but smaller than full-frame, and is primarily used on Canon's legacy EOS-1D line of DSLRs.

  4. Should you hope your child never has to drive a car?

    You can debate the realism of putting fully autonomous cars in actual customers' hands by 2020 — that seems optimistic, considering the regulatory hurdles and technological challenges that remain — but there's another issue at hand: what about this parent's hope that his child never has to drive? The notion sparked a heated debate in the Verge newsroom. Is it reasonable? Is it realistic? Is it fair to the child?

  5. Bragi's Dash, the wireless earbuds of our dreams, aren't up and running yet

    Bragi’s Marijo Sarac tells me that the company is now hoping to deliver the Dash Beta 3 (the pair I tried out was the Beta 2) to backers who chose the developer option on Kickstarter in "the next couple of weeks," with the final product supposed to ship some time soon after that. After the product's repeated delays and seeing the current state of the Dash, I have strong doubts about this time frame, but this skepticism didn't dim my enthusiasm for the product itself. Even in a half-finished state I could see its appeal.

  6. Google and Lenovo fell in love with the same 'e'

    When we asked type designer Tobias Frere-Jones what he thought of Google's new logo, he concluded his remarks by saying "I really hope this 'e' does not become a thing." Well, two big tech companies are now using it, and there are plenty of others outside the tech sphere too, so maybe that 'e' is indeed a thing already.

  7. LG's Rolly keyboard packs up into a Bluetooth wand

    Despite the name, LG's Rolly keyboard doesn't really roll. Instead, the Bluetooth peripheral unfolds segment by segment, with four rows of keys laying neatly on any flat surface or clacking magnetically into place around a square spine. As a rod, the Rolly feels neat and balanced, and although it's too long to stow in your pocket, you could easily slip it into a bag and forget about it. Unfortunately, while the device's form factor is impressive, actually using the thing as a keyboard leaves something to be desired.

  8. The pitch video for Bell System's iconic logo is like a lost episode of Mad Men

    Come into the conference room and take a seat, please. It's 1969, and you're an executive at Bell Telephone (now AT&T). Legendary graphic designer Saul Bass is about to pitch his plan to completely rebrand the company. Quiet — here he comes now...

  9. I stared into the abyss of Sony's 4K phone and saw nothing new

    This is the truest exhibition of a tech company flexing its tech muscle that I've seen in a long time. I thought everyone had wised up and was following, at least superficially, the maxim that innovation should be meaningful and / or functional. The spec wars are over, but Sony seems to have been so thoroughly shellshocked by the way they turned out that it's now in a trance and continuing to fight them blindly. That's my best theory for why a company struggling to sell phones just launched a super expensive smartphone with an entirely unnecessary screen.

  10. How to be Human: how do my wife and I get over my porn addiction?

    My wife and I are 23 and 25. We married three years ago, after a four-year (long-distance) relationship. Things got off to a bad start when she found out about my porn addiction. I have certainly managed my issues, but her trust and respect for me are non-existent. I feel like I’m ready to move onto better things but she is still stuck with that grudge. I’ve asked her to get into marriage counseling with me, but she’s unwilling. We don’t have kids yet, and I know it’s now or never. Does this situation have a remedy?

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