Last week in tech: Quantum supremacy, Facebook News, and circular pizza boxes
Listen to the latest episode of the Techathlon podcast.
You’ve probably heard the phrase “quantum supremacy” floating around the internet this week. It stems from Google’s announcement that its new quantum computer can officially perform a whopping boatload (not the technical term) of calculations in a hurry. In fact, the company claims the quantum machine called Sycamore takes roughly three minutes to do work that would take roughly 10,000 years on a powerful supercomputer. That number is disputed, but there’s no denying that Google’s borderline-magic machine is really, really fast.
It’s hard to tell exactly what this means for the average person, but we can only hope that within a decade, we’ll be using quantum smartphones to send dog-filter Snapchats to each other while we’re bored at the DMV.
Keep reading for a rundown of the other big tech news that you may have missed this week. It will only take you a few minutes to read, or a small fraction of a second if you replaced your squishy human brain with a fancy new quantum brain.
Listen to the latest episode of the Techathlon podcast
On this week’s episode of the podcast, we take a look into the wacky and obscure world of Disney’s streaming content, let the iPhone review its biggest competitor, and take on the Techathlon Decathlon. It’s the most fun you can have while learning about tech.
The RED phone died
Camera maker RED produces some of the most impressive movie capture rigs around, but its effort at a phone was lackluster. The Hydrogen device promised a holographic screen that was cool to look at, but extremely impractical for everyday use. Now, the RED smartphone project is officially dead and the company’s founder, Jim Jannard, retired.
Facebook has a dedicated News tab now
If you notice some changes in your Facebook app, you probably now have access to the new News tab, which highlights stories the service thinks you’ll find interesting. It makes the news easy to find in the app, but more importantly, it will free up your main timeline and leave more room for posts from people you vaguely knew in high-school to overshare about their relationship drama or kids.
We reviewed the Google Pixel 4 camera
If you’re thinking about taking a leap into Google’s flagship smartphone, the Pixel 4, have a look at our camera review. It’s generally pretty great, but there’s one issue you should know about before taking the leap.
Bollinger’s fancy electric trucks will cost $125,000
We first saw the Bollinger B1 and B2 electric vehicles more than two years ago, but now they officially have a price. The B1 SUV and the B2 pickup truck will command a cool $125,000 each when they hit the market. They’re very cool vehicles, but that price is well above the sub-$100K mark for which it was originally aiming.
Mark Zuckerberg testified in front of Congress
Zuck spent hours in front of a Congressional committee this week. We dare you to watch it.
Fujiflm announced the coolest new camera we’ve seen in a while
The Fujifilm X-Pro3 is a digital camera, but it shoots like a film model. The only screen on the back is a small e-ink display that shows info about settings or which film emulation mode you’ve chosen. If you want to see your photos, you can flip the screen down and check it out, then flip it back up to concentrate on the scene in front of you.
Pizza Hut may soon sell you a fake meat pizza in a round box
Almost every fast food restaurant around is jumping on the fake meat bandwagon and Pizza Hut doesn’t want to get left behind. The company is testing some fake meat toppings from prolific veggie burger purveyors, MorningStar Farms. The company is also trying out a round box that claims to keep the pizza hotter and crispier on the way to your house.
Try out Google’s new wellbeing apps
If you’re worried you might spend too much of your weekend staring at your phone, Google may be able to help. The Digital Wellbeing Experiments are specific apps and features that try and convince you to spend less time on your device. For instance, one app tracks the number of times you unlock your phone in a day to shame you back into the real world. And speaking of the real world, you’ve reached the end of this post, so you could go back there right now if you wanted to.