Next Gen Flip Phone

ZTE's dual-screen Axon M smartphone
ZTE’s dual-screen Axon M smartphone

Is this the future of smartphones? So far the biggest innovations we’ve seen in mobile this year have been bigger screens and smaller bezels, but Chinese manufacturer ZTE has raised the bar with its Axon M, the first foldable handset with a dual display, suggesting a host of potential uses.

You could browse the web on one screen and compose an email on the other perhaps, or watch Netflix on one display while Twitter scrolls across the second one. Both screens are 5.2 inches diagonally, combining to make a 6.75-inch, 1,920 x 2,160 panel with the two displays both facing forward (admittedly with a large join in the middle).

Maybe the Axon M will be most useful for productivity apps, allowing you to type away on a document in landscape mode without obscuring three-quarters of the screen with a keyboard. ZTE says a three-finger swipe sends apps between screens, or you can have them configured to act like one whole display.

In tent mode, the ZTE Axon M offers gamers the opportunity to play against each other
 Games could also benefit from the dual-screen approach, as with the Nintendo DS family of devices, and if you set the phone up in a tent shape you can play against a friend sat opposite, one screen each. That kind of experience will need some effort on the part of developers, though.

Curiosity Needs an Overhaul

Two of the raised treads, called grousers, on the left middle wheel of NASA's Curiosity Mars...
Two of the raised treads, called grousers, on the left middle wheel of NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover broke during the first quarter of 2017(Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS)

NASA’s Curiosity rover has been driving across Mars for over four-and-a-half years without an overhaul and it’s starting to show. read more

Weapon Wednesday – M1 Abrams to Get a Trophy

 A so-called active protection system—defense tech that can shoot down threats to tanks and other armored vehicles—will equip a brigade of U.S. Army tanks, protecting them during a deployment to Europe in 2020. The Israeli-made Trophy system will be retrofitted on up to 80 M1 Abrams tanks, providing added protection against modern tank-killing threats.

Trophy is called a “hardkill” system (as opposed to “softkill”, a system that accomplishes its mission by jamming or distracting the threat), and Trophy offers 360-degree coverage. That’s especially useful on main battle tanks, which concentrate their thickest armor to the front of the tank, leaving their flanks and rear surfaces vulnerable. Trophy is also effective against high-angle threats, rockets and missiles aimed from aircraft and helicopters. It can even engage multiple incoming threats.

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McLaren F1 Can be Yours for Less than $16 Million

Few cars are held in as high regard as the McLaren F1 supercar from the 1990s.

Way ahead of its time, it used F1 technology, a carbon-fibre monocoque chassis and a fearsome 6.1-litre V12 engine that made it the fastest road car in the world – a record it held for no less than seven years.

Just 106 were ever built between 1992 and 1998 and only 64 were designated road cars. All of these were tailored to the customer’s order and cost each lucky owner between £550,000 and £650,000.

Today, pristine examples are worth more than 20 times that – and this unused version looks like it could smash the record fee paid for one.

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Dandelion dazzler: This bright yellow Mclaren F1 has never been registered for road use in its 20 year history, making it the most pristine example in existence today

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Koenigsegg Shatters Bugatti Speed Record

The Agera RS set a new 0-400-0 km/h record
The Agera RS set a new 0-400-0 km/h record

Just weeks after Bugatti set a new 0-400-0 km/h world record in the Chiron, Koenigsegg has smashed it with the Agera RS. The plucky (or mad) Swedes shaved almost five seconds from the record, and did it without the considerable might of the VW Group for backing. read more

Weapon Wednesday – Remote Controlled Phantom Tank

Ukrainian military officials have unveiled an adaptable war robot that can switch up its mode of travel, and even the type of weapons it carries.

The Phantom ground robot can be fitted with tank-like treads, or move about on six wheels – and, it can carry anti-tank weapons, grenade launchers, or machine guns, according to DefenseOne.

The robot was demonstrated on Monday at the Association of the US Army show in Washington, D.C., and could hit the battlefield as soon as next year. read more

Flesby II Rubber Concept Car

Toyoda Gosei renders its Tokyo booth
Toyoda Gosei renders its Tokyo booth

Automakers like Suzuki already have us anticipating a Tokyo Motor Show full of wonderfully weird and eccentric little concept cars. But one of the show’s weirdest will come from a less familiar industry player. Rubber, plastics and LED specialist Toyoda Gosei will show the Flesby II, a turtle-like concept that uses a creative exterior shell to protect pedestrians, communicate with other road users and change shapes. read more

Seabin Trash Sucking Flotation Device

The creators of the Seabin say it can collect around 1.5 kg (3.3 lb) of debris...
The creators of the Seabin say it can collect around 1.5 kg (3.3 lb) of debris per day, depending on the conditions

There are a number of schemes out there intended to tackle the huge problem of ocean waste, and while none claim to be a complete solution, they do promise to help in their own ways. Among them is the Seabin, a rubbish-sucking flotation device that is now being installed commercially for the very first time. read more

SmithFly’s Floating Tent

The Shoal Tent – for campers who like to get away from it all
The Shoal Tent – for campers who like to get away from it all(Credit: SmithFly)

It seems to be human nature that if you’re camping near a lake or pond, you pitch your tent right at the water’s edge. Well, SmithFly’s new Shoal Tent lets you take things a step further. Described as a floating raft with a tent topper, it allows you to actually sleep out on the water. read more

Effie Self-Ironing Machine

effie can iron up to 12 items per load
effie can iron up to 12 items per load

Most of us use a washing machine to do our laundry, instead of washing it by hand. Well, effie is an ironing machine. According to its UK-based creators, you just hang damp clothes up in it – straight from the washer – and they come out dried, pressed and wrinkle-free. read more