What's happening in the world of technology today? We interview Bas Lansdorp, the CEO of Mars One, and ask about recent criticism of his organization's project. In other news, you may soon be able to pay bills from inside Gmail and the White House snags another Silicon Valley veteran to help rub the administration's Office of Digital Strategy. Read about these stories and more in today's daily roundup.
Mars One promises to send humans on a one-way trip to the red planet, with the intent to colonize, by 2027. Once the first four people leave Earth for Mars, there's no turning back, no panic button, no chance to return home. This aspect of the trip isn't just for drama - it's a core tenet of Mars One's technical feasibility. CEO Bas Lansdorp believes that it's possible, using current technology, to land and sustain human life on Mars.
Google will remind you of some upcoming bills (if you're down the contextual beauty that is Google Now at least), but that's not all the search giant is doing with that knowledge. According to a document obtained by Re/code, Google's working on a way for you to receive bills from your service providers in your Gmail account, and pay for them without having to leave the confines of your inbox.
President Barack Obama has been awfully busy shoring up his administration's tech credentials: Former Google exec Megan Smith is the White House's current Chief Technology Officer, while former Facebook engineer David Recordon was recently named its first Director of IT. Now the president (and his voluminous crew of advisors) has plucked another Silicon Valley stalwart - Jason Goldman - to serve as the executive branch's very first Chief Digital Officer.
Much as we'd like to emulate our NASCAR heroes, breaking the speed limit often comes at a price. Ford is hoping to prevent accidents and speeding tickets by introducing cars that can see what the speed limit is and preventing heavy-footed motorists from driving any faster. Ford's Intelligent Speed Limiter tech will first appear on the new Ford S-Max that's launching in Europe that could just change the way that we drive.
It's generally understood that being able to delay your gratification helps you to become more successful. Resisting everything but temptation can be difficult, which is why the kSafe is stepping in when your resolve weakens. Essentially, the kSafe is an oversized cookie jar, but one that'll only let you get at its tasty treats inside if you've achieved something that day.
A recent study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences hypothesizes that when Jupiter rocked up to our then-infant solar system, it obliterated the incumbent planes, and gave us a lot of apparent quirks of our solar system. Konstantin Batygin and Gregory Laughlin's study highlights some curious parts to our galactic home that aren't typically found in other solar systems - particular the lack of planets between Mercury and the Sun itself.
The folks over at Oppo sure know how to tease. Well, that's my guess, anyway, based on the fact that several Chinese tech writers received the above photos from "anonymous" sources yesterday. This mysterious smartphone - running on Oppo's ColorOS Android ROM - features an almost edge-to-edge screen that's similar to what we've seen on the Sharp AQUOS Crystal series, except for the earpiece that Oppo decided to keep.