Hey, good morning!
Welcome back! After a quick holiday break, we have a social-media scandal involving a Kardashian (no, the other-other-other one) and big EV news from Volvo.
A 2014 crash undid Virgin Galactic's private space-travel plans, but now the company says it'll resume powered test flights. This comes after a series of glide-only trials since December, and it hopes to reach the edge of space by the end of this year. Richard Branson is targeting the middle of next year for his first trip to space, with commercial passenger flights starting soon after.
Volvo isn't quite going full-Tesla, but the company has announced that from 2019 on, it won't launch another car without an electric motor inside. All new models will be full electric, plug-in hybrid or 'mild-hybrid' cars that run mostly on gas or diesel. Of the five new models Volvo plans to introduce between 2019 and 2021, two are high-performance Polestar vehicles.
Ending months of speculation, Guardians 2 director James Gunn confirmed his movie will be available in Ultra HD this fall. The flick is especially colorful since it was filmed on a new Red Weapon 8K camera, and home viewers will enjoy more detail thanks to 4K and HDR. We're still waiting for an official announcement from Disney, but it could go on sale August 22nd, leaving just one more question -- when will we see Star Wars in 4K?
NASA is one step closer to testing its proposed line of defence against the threat of a potential asteroid impact on Earth. The "kinetic impactor technique" essentially involves smashing a spacecraft into an asteroid to bounce it away from Earth. It sounds a lot saner than the plan hatched in Armageddon: send oil drillers and a nuclear bomb. Don't cry, Liv Tyler.
According to reports, Chinese company Geely (which owns Volvo) has agreed to buy up Terrafugia. For years, Terrafugia has been working on designs for its Transition flying car, and a boost of capital could be enough to make that a real product.
Copying yourself digitally is not easy. Ideally, you want multiple all-around, soft-illumination photos taken from every angle at the same moment. A company called People's Industrial Design Office in Beijing, China, has created something called the 3D Copypod, which can do all that for you in one neat package. It's based on the Hoberman sphere, a type of geodesic dome that can fold down to a much smaller size thanks to its scissor-like joints.
Einride has just revealed the prototype of the T-pod, its autonomous electric truck. The Swedish company's driverless vehicle can transport 15 standard pallets and travel 124 miles on one charge. And because there's no need for a person, the T-pod has no cab space and no windows.
Jay-Z's latest album, 4:44, had a very exclusive release. To hear the new album, fans had to be Sprint customers and, if they hadn't already, join the floods signing up to the Tidal streaming service before the album dropped. But despite those limitations, the album is the latest streaming-only release to go platinum.