Your iPhone 12 supports 5G. Don't want it? You can turn that off - CNET
Worried about battery life or don't have 5G coverage? We'll show you how to turn it off and control how much data it uses.
5G is one of the iPhone 12's main features, but it's not readily available to everyone. James Martin/CNET Apple is in the process of releasing four new iPhones, with the first two -- the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Procurrently available, while the iPhone 12 Pro Max and iPhone 12 Mini start shipping on Nov. 13 -- all of which are equipped with 5G connectivity. Even though the latest crop of iPhones can connect to 5G cellular networks, you may find out that your wireless plan won't give you 5G access, or if you're like me, you live in an area that doesn't have 5G coverage. Some reports even indicate that 5G drains the iPhone 12's battery faster than the LTE connection we're normally connected to. In other words, right now, 5G may not live up to your expectations. To be clear, Apple has built a new Smart Data feature into the iPhone 12's software that only uses a 5G connection when you're doing something that requires it -- like streaming a video or playing a game on a cellular connection. The goal of switching between an LTE and 5G connection in the background is to extend the iPhone 12's battery life. So the battery life reduction you experience may end up being negligible. I personally haven't been able to test the difference because, as I just mentioned, I don't have 5G coverage. That said, if you don't want or need your phone to connect to a 5G network, you can disable 5G with just a few taps on your iPhone's screen. You don't have to do too much to turn 5G on or off, but there's more that you should know. Screenshot by Jason Cipriani/CNET How to turn off 5G on the iPhone 12 Open the Settings app then go to Cellular > Cellular Data Options > Voice & Data and tap LTE. Your phone will then turn off its 5G connection, reverting to (sometimes) slower LTE connection. You can always turn 5G back on when you want it, or when service in your area improves by repeating the steps above and selecting 5G Auto. Or if you'd rather your iPhone 12 not use Apple's Smart Data mode, you can force it to always use a 5G connection when available by selecting 5G On. Install OTA updates over 5G? It's possible. Screenshot by Jason Cipriani/CNET One more thing If you decide you want to leave your iPhone 12's 5G connection on 5G Auto, it's a good idea to double check this setting. Go to Settings > Cellular > Cellular Data Options > Data Mode on your iPhone. There you'll find three different options for how aggressive your iPhone will be with how it allows apps and services to use your 5G connection. For example, with Allow more data on 5G selected, your FaceTime and streaming video will come through in "high-quality," and your phone will even allow you to download future iOS updates over a 5G connection. Read through the descriptions for each data mode and select the one that works best for you and remember, even if your carrier touts unlimited data plans, odds are there's some sort of limit after which your internet speeds will be slowed down. If you're waiting for your iPhone 12 to be delivered, get your current iPhone ready now, ensuring a smooth upgrade process when it does arrive. After that, read through our guide that covers four different ways to set up your new phone, and then dig into these settings.
Huawei Mate 40 Pro: Gorgeous design doesn't make up for this phone's biggest problem - CNET
It's a beautiful phone with a great screen and capable camera, but we still can't recommend it. Here's why.
Andrew Hoyle/CNET The Mate 40 Pro is Huawei's latest superphone, which the company hopes will go up against the iPhone 12 Pro and Samsung'sGalaxy S20 and Note series. Wrapped up in an attractive body, it's packed with the latest top tech and 5G. But while it's got solid specs on paper, it suffers from one major problem. Due to the ongoing restrictions imposed by the US government, Huawei's phones can't use any Google services, including Gmail, Maps and Chrome and, most importantly of all, the Google Play store. While Huawei has its own app store (which I'll come to later) it's nowhere close to rivalling Google's and it makes this phone difficult to recommend over any of its rivals. The Huawei Mate 40 Pro will be on sale later this year for 1,199 Euros (converts to £1,082, $1,418, AU$1,996). But the lack of apps aside, there are still things to like about the Mate 40 Pro. Let's begin with the positives. Andrew Hoyle/CNET Mate 40 Pro has a gorgeous design I adore the pearlescent finish on the back of the phone. Look at it from one angle and it shows soft orange and light blue tones. Tilt it in the light and those colors shimmer and blend into deeper blue and purple hues. Move it around more and I'm sure you'll be able to identify even more colors that I can't even name. The design is satisfying and simultaneously gives the phone a beautiful and classy aesthetic. The frosted glass feels extremely premium too, as does the metal edging and the overall solid build. There's no question that it feels like a top-end device when I'm holding it in my hand. The 6.76-inch display is bright, pin-sharp with narrow bezels that stretch right to the edge. It curves attractively to meet the metal frame. Images look vibrant, small text is crystal clear and it's easy to read outdoors in sunlight. Andrew Hoyle/CNET Mate 40 Pro's 4 rear cameras are good overall The four rear cameras are decent, but not outstanding. The main camera balances exposure well and delivers accurate, vibrant colors. The 5x optical zoom captures impressively detailed shots, and even at 10x zoom there's still a lot of clarity in the image. The super-wide camera is less impressive, producing shots often with more subdued contrast and sometimes a noticeable shift in white balance, likely due to an overenthusiastic HDR mode lifting the shadows. Huawei Mate 40 Pro camera test, standard lens. Andrew Hoyle/CNET Huawei Mate 40 Pro camera test, wide lens. Andrew Hoyle/CNET Huawei Mate 40 Pro camera test, 5x zoom. Andrew Hoyle/CNET Huawei Mate 40 Pro camera test, standard lens. Andrew Hoyle/CNET Huawei Mate 40 Pro camera test, standard lens. Andrew Hoyle/CNET Huawei Mate 40 Pro camera test, wide lens. Andrew Hoyle/CNET Video has been a big focus for the Mate 40 Pro, but there's room for improvement. The stabilization is excellent, and it managed to capture smooth footage even when I was walking at a fast pace. The optical zoom comes in handy for shooting different compositions, although I found that the focus frequently drifted in and out when shooting at 5x zoom. Also, the HDR mode in video is as heavy-handed as it was in photos. Its processing brought up the shadows and turned down the highlights to such an extent that the resulting footage was a bit disappointing and suffered from odd stabilizing distortions. Specifically, I could see the software struggling to balance a bright sky that was moving around in the frame. There's no question that it's a good camera overall, but I feel that a few software tweaks could go a long way to making it a great camera. Mate 40 Pro processor, 5G and battery life Inside the phone is Huawei's Kirin 9000 processor, which provides superfast 5G connectivity, and 8GB of RAM. Navigating around the phone's interface is swift and I didn't notice any lag while playing the demanding racing game Asphalt 9: Legends. The game also showed consistently high frame rates. However, on paper at least, its score of 7,827 on the 3D Mark Slingshot: Unlimited benchmark test sits below both the OnePlus 8T ($749 at OnePlus) (9,802) and the iPhone 12 ($799 at Apple) (10,988). While I haven't ran the usual battery rundown tests on the phone, based on our anecdotal experiences so far, the phone seems capable of getting through a full day of mixed use, with plenty to spare into the next day. It supports fast charging too, so giving it a quick boost before heading out isn't a problem. Andrew Hoyle/CNET Mate 40 Pro's big software and app problem While the phone runs Android software at its core, it doesn't use Google's services, which means it can't access the Google Play store. Apps like Gmail and YouTube are not available at all, although you can still access YouTube through the web browser. To help combat this, Huawei launched its own app store and, to its credit, it's done a lot to close the gaps in recent months. Big names like Amazon, Snapchat, TikTok and Tinder are available while Facebook and WhatsApp can both be downloaded as apk files directly from their respective official websites. I couldn't find an official download for Instagram, but the apk is available from third-party services, as is the case for a variety of Android apps. Andrew Hoyle/CNET The issue of doing this, however, is that you have to trawl through websites that seem adamant on tricking you with adverts. Many I visited used the trick of a big "Download Now" button that's actually an ad, and buried the actual, much smaller "install apk" button further down. You have to be on your guard and it's not as pleasant an experience as browsing through a regular app store. Also, installing apk files from unknown sources is inherently risky. Because they don't come from official sources, you don't know if they're even up to date or if they're loaded with malware. I didn't mind trying this out with my review device, but I wouldn't be comfortable doing it on a phone that also contained my banking details, contact lists and work email accounts. Huawei says it's working with developers to bring more apps to its store. For instance, it launched a system whereby if a certain app isn't available, you can log your interest and, assuming enough people do the same, Huawei will prioritize that app and bring it to the store. It's also launching its own maps service in the coming weeks. But the fact remains that its shelves are relatively bare right now and if you're into getting the latest games and services then this isn't the phone for you. Huawei Mate 40, Mate 40 Pro Plus and accessories Alongside the Mate 40 Pro that I've tested, Huawei also has the standard Mate 40, which has a slightly lower-spec camera setup, including 3x and 5x optical zoom lenses and a lower resolution ultra wide lens. The top-end Mate 40 Pro Plus meanwhile packs a 3x telephoto, a 10x telephoto and a huge 17x optical zoom lens which is the biggest optical zoom we've ever seen on a phone. What images look like at this zoom range remains to be seen. The ultra wide lens on the Mate 40 Pro Plus also promises less image distortion thanks to a 'free-form' lens. There's also the Mate 40 RS, made with design firm Porsche Design. The technology remains basically the same as the Mate 40 Pro, but it's got a tweaked overall aesthetic and there's a Porsche Design version of Huawei's existing Watch GT2 as well. The company also The Huawei FreeBuds Studio are the company's first over-ear wireless headphones that promise noise cancelling, high resolution audio and up to 24 hours of playtime from a full charge. Huawei Mate 40 series pricing
- Huawei Mate 40: 899 euros (converts to about £810, $1,060, AU$1,500)
- Huawei Mate 40 Pro: 1,199 euros (converts to £1,080, $1,420, AU$2,000)
- Huawei Mate 40 Pro Plus: 1,399 euros (converts to £1,260, $1,660, AU$2,330)
- Porsche Design Mate 40 RS: 2,295 euros (converts to £2,070, $2,710, AU$3,820)
- Huawei FreeBuds Studio: 299 euros (converts to £270, $350, AU$500)
Pixel 5 vs. Pixel 4A 5G: Spec-by-spec comparison of Google's 2020 phones - CNET
A rundown on what makes 2020's Pixel phones different from each other, and from last year's Pixel 4.
Available for pre-order now, Google's latest Pixel phones, the Pixel 5 and Pixel 4A 5G follow the August launch of the Pixel 4A. The Pixel 5 is Google's main flagship phone and is the sequel to last year's Pixel 4. The Pixel 4A 5G, meanwhile, serves as a bumped-up version of the Pixel 4A, which is part of Google's midrange line of phones. The Pixel 5 costs $699 (£599, AU$999) and the Pixel 4A 5G is $499 (£499, AU$799) and will be available from retailers on Nov. 19. As Google's marquee handset, the Pixel 5 is the most premium and advanced of all phones. It features 5G connectivity, a 90Hz display and reverse wireless charging. Compared to its predecessor, it's $100 cheaper at launch and it makes big jumps in battery capacity and memory. In fact, preliminary battery tests on the Pixel 5 for continuous video playback on Airplane mode clocked in 21 hours -- twice as long as the Pixel 4's time last year. But it also replaced the Pixel 4's telephoto lens with an ultrawide camera, and it doesn't have Google's Soli motion sensing or facial recognition technology. The Pixel 4A 5G also has 5G, but it doesn't have a higher refresh rate screen and it can't charge other accessories. It's also not water resistant, unlike the Pixel 5. It does, however, have a headphone jack similar to the Pixel 4A. Take a look at the chart or watch this video, Pixel 5 and Pixel 4A 5G spec comparison, to learn more about how these Pixel phones differ from one another. And for more info, including photos from the camera and benchmark scores, check out CNET's Pixel 5 review and Pixel 4A 5G review. Pixel 5 vs. Pixel 4A 5G, 4A and 4
|Google Pixel 5||Google Pixel 4A 5G||Google Pixel 4A||Google Pixel 4|
|Display size, resolution||6-inch OLED; 2,340x1,080 pixels||6.2-inch OLED; 2,340x1,080 pixels||5.81-inch OLED; 2,340x1,080 pixels||5.7-inch OLED; 2,280x1,080 pixels|
|Pixel density||432 ppi||413 ppi||443 ppi||444 ppi|
|Dimensions (Inches)||5.7 x 2.8 x 0.3 in||6.1 x 2.9 x 0.3 in||5.7 x 2.7 x 0.3 in||2.7 x 5.7 x 0.3 in|
|Dimensions (Millimeters)||144.7 x 70.4 x 8.0 mm||153.9 x 74 x 8.2 mm (Sub-6 only) 153.9 x 74 x 8.5 mm (mmWave + Sub-6)||144 x 69.4 x 8.2 mm||68.8 x 147.1 x 8.2 mm|
|Weight (Ounces, Grams)||5.33 oz; 151g||5.93 oz; 168g (Sub-6 only) 6.03 oz; 171g (mmWave + Sub-6)||5.04 oz; 143g||5.7 oz; 162g|
|Mobile software||Android 11||Android 11||Android 10||Android 10|
|Camera||12.2-megapixel (standard), 16-megapixel (ultrawide)||12.2-megapixel (standard), 16-megapixel (ultrawide)||12.2-megapixel||12.2-megapixel (standard), 16-megapixel (telephoto)|
|Processor||Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G||Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G||Qualcomm Snapdragon 730G||Qualcomm Snapdragon 855|
|Battery||4,000 mAh||3,800 mAh||3,140 mAh||2,800 mAh|
|Special features||5G enabled; water resistant (IP68); 90Hz refresh rate display; dual-SIM capabilities (nano-SIM and e-SIM); reverse wireless charging; fast charging||5G enabled; dual-SIM capabilities (nano-SIM and e-SIM); fast charging||Dual-SIM capabilities (nano-SIM and e-SIM); fast charging||Soli motion sensing and touchless gestures; 90Hz display; water resistant (IP68); dual-SIM capabilities (nano-SIM and e-SIM); wireless charging|
|Price off-contract (USD)||$699||$499||$349||$799 (64GB), $899 (128GB)|
|Price (GBP)||£599||£499||£349||£669 (64GB), £769 (128GB)|
|Price (AUD)||AU$999||AU$799||AU$599||AU$1,049 (64GB), AU$1,199 (128GB)|
NASA robotic arm overflowing with spoils of asteroid Bennu theft - CNET
NASA bumped into a space rock this week and collected so much of it that larger rocks seemed to fail to make it all the way inside its spacecraft's sampling arm.
The spacecraft's sampling arm, called the Touch-And-Go Sample Acquisition Mechanism, over the target sample site during a dress rehearsal in April. NASA NASA's asteroid-chaser Osiris-Rex completed a key part of its mission this week by managing to nab some rocks from the surface of the potentially hazardous asteroid Bennu, NASA reported Friday. The spacecraft traveled over 200 million miles and four years to briefly bump into Bennu, blast it with compressed gas and collect bits of its surface. The space agency on Wednesday shared the first batch of images from the daring operation, revealing a delicate-yet-explosive moment between rock and robot. NASA TV reported Tuesday that the spacecraft's robotic sampling arm, named Touch-And-Go Sample Acquisition Mechanism, or Tagsam, did touch down on Bennu. During the brief contact, it performed what amounts to a cosmic pickpocketing maneuver. Mission planners expected that the total time of contact between the arm and asteroid would be less than 16 seconds. When preliminary data was released, it showed that the period of contact was just six seconds, with much of the sample collection happening in only the first three. The spacecraft, which operates largely autonomously due to the 18-minute communications delay with mission control on Earth, fired a canister of gas through Tagsam that disrupted the surface of Bennu and forced a sample into the arm's collector head. Photos taken of the head on Thursday showed that so much sample was collected that some larger rocks seemed to fail to make it all the way inside, wedging a mylar flap meant to seal the container partially open, allowing some small bits of dust and pebbles to escape back out into space. Captured by the spacecraft's SamCam camera Oct. 22, this series of three images shows the sampler head on Osiris-Rex is full of rocks and dust collected from the surface of Bennu. They also show that some of these particles are slowly escaping the sampler head. NASA "Bennu continues to surprise us with great science and also throwing a few curveballs," said Thomas Zurbuchen, NASA's associate administrator for science, in a statement. "And although we may have to move more quickly to stow the sample, it's not a bad problem to have. We are so excited to see what appears to be an abundant sample that will inspire science for decades beyond this historic moment." Osiris-Rex was designed to touch down on a flat, even surface, but Bennu is so rocky the team found no suitable space. Fortunately, Osiris-Rex outperformed its design and was able to perform its sampling on a site dubbed Nightingale, which is only about as big as a few parking spaces. Osiris-Rex tags a boulder As the spacecraft approached and then spent two years orbiting and surveying Bennu, it became clear this tiny world is different from what scientists expected. The team hoped to find a number of sandy surfaces ideal for sampling, but it turns out Bennu is a rubble pile, with a rugged terrain strewn with boulders. Around 24 hours after the operation, NASA shared the first images of the touchdown operation captured by the spacecraft. The Tagsam moves into position and its sampling head makes contact with Bennu's surface before the explosive burst of nitrogen is fired. The operation kicks up a ton of debris that flies around the acquisition arm. It's really something! Touchdown! NASA Although the above GIF appears relatively fast, the operation proceeded much more delicately. The arm was lowered at around 10 centimeters per second, much slower than walking pace, when it contacted the sample site. The team's goal is to collect about 60 grams of dust, dirt and pebbles from the surface of Bennu. It reported on Friday that it believes Osiris-Rex collected a sufficient sample and moved to begin to stow it quickly, skipping a planned sample mass measurement and canceling a braking burn to keep acceleration of the spacecraft to a minimum. "We are working to keep up with our own success here, and my job is to safely return as large a sample of Bennu as possible," said Dante Lauretta, Osiris-Rex principal investigator at the University of Arizona. The Osiris-Rex team celebrates at the moment of touchdown. NASA TV The mission joins Japan's Hayabusa and Hayabusa-2 missions in the annals of asteroid exploration. Hayabusa sampled and returned a tiny bit of material from asteroid Itokawa, and Hayabusa2 is in the process of returning a significant sample of space rock Ryugu. Once the sample is stowed, the team will begin preparations for a long journey back to Earth, with a planned landing in the Utah desert in September 2023.
iPhone 12 teardowns offer inside peek of Apple's latest phones - CNET
The video shows how much thinner the iPhone 12's display is, as well as the MagSafe technology.
The new iPhone 12. Screenshot/CNET An iPhone 12 teardown released Thursday reveals all the parts of Apple's 5G device. While the video isn't in English, it compares the iPhone 12 to last year's iPhone 11. Its OLED display is much thinner than the iPhone 11 display, 9To5Mac noted. The video also shows the 2,815mAh battery capacity and MagSafe system. The iPhone 12's new ceramic phone screen is tougher than glass, according to Apple, and it'll be the first iPhone with 5G. Another teardown by iFixit Friday also examined the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro's insides, showing off the cameras, LIDAR sensor and a "surprising" lack of differences between the two phones. The iPhone 12 is on sale as of Oct. 23 for $799, while the iPhone 12 Pro will cost you $999. Check out the iPhone 12 teardown video below.
iPhone 12 launch shouldn't be a COVID-19 superspreader event - CNET
Commentary: Waiting in the usual hyped-up Apple store line isn't worth the risk of getting the coronavirus.
Just skip the hoopla and order online. Sarah Tew/CNET For the most up-to-date news and information about the coronavirus pandemic, visit the WHO website. Every fall, Apple fans dependably line up at marquee stores like Manhattan's famed Apple Fifth Avenue Cube, spending days in folding chairs for a chance to be one of the first to get their hands on a new iPhone. But with this year's launch of the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro on Friday, the situation is radically different thanks to the coronavirus pandemic. That throws into question whether people should show up at Apple stores at all. If there's any confusion on this, let me clear it up for you: Stay away. Let me also be clear: I'm not advocating you skip out on buying an iPhone. Apple has spent years building up its online presence and working with its carrier partners to allow you to activate wireless service online, and now you can chat or call a retail specialist, removing the need for people to physically show up at stores aside from pickups (You should call your local Apple store to see what options it offers). For the most part, you haven't needed to line up for a long time, and Apple is offering even more options this year. "We're offering new ways for our customers to get to know all of our products before they buy, so they can be sure to get the product that's right for them," Diedre O'Brien, head of Apple's retail business, said in a release issued Wednesday. What's left has been a mix of hardcore Apple fans who want the glory and publicity of being first in line -- knowing the media will dependably be there to interview them -- tourists waiting in line to snag the phone because their home country won't have it for a few weeks and enterprising, cash-carrying buyers looking to quickly flip the devices on the secondary market. I've spent years covering these product launches, and I've grown to appreciate the camaraderie and fun that comes from spending hours or even days with other fanboys eagerly awaiting the latest and greatest from Apple. But these lines are just a showy demonstration of the loyalty of Apple's fanbase and the kind of draw products like a new iPhone can still have -- even if they don't really offer any real insight into what broader demand for these products actually looks like. So it's important to say this again: No amount of geeking out is worth the risk that comes from either catching or spreading a deadly and highly contagious airborne virus -- even if you're wearing a face mask. In an era when social distancing and masks are literally the difference between life and death, the typical lines at Apple stores shouldn't exist. I say this knowing that there will inevitably be lines forming at Apple stores, many of which are open around the world. The Cube, for instance, will be open at 8 a.m. ET on Friday for the new phones. Apple will enforce strict social distancing protocols, which means those lines that used to span the block will extend even further as people stay at least six feet away from each other. Apple in March closed all of its stores outside of China and extended the closure of US stores as the spread of coronavirus was just beginning to climb. In May, Apple reopened a number of stores but instituted temperature checks and health screens for customers. Since then, Apple has had to shut down some stores and reopen them in different areas based on the rate of infections. Of the 510 Apple stores around the world, 481 are open, according to a tally taken by 9to5Mac. Needless to say, it's not advisable to visit a carrier partner store either. You could argue that these lines are outdoors and the stores will surely limit the number of customers inside. Apple has shown itself to be conscientious of the virus, as evidenced by the credit reel that explains how it put together its presentations for its developer conference in June and then the iPad and iPhone events in September and October. But it's easy to see some of that discipline breaking down as the lines stretch further and further back. The company will offer people further back in the line a reservation ticket to come back later and offer pick-up kiosks as it shakes things up. The company has expanded the number of express kiosks where you can quickly pick up products too. But that likely won't be enough if the expected demand is to be believed. Analysts predict that the iPhone 12 series will be a top seller this holiday, instantly making Apple the No. 2 5G player behind Huawei. CNET reviewer Patrick Holland just this week called the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro among "the highest rated phones of all time." Mix that kind of excitement with people already dealing with pandemic fatigue over the lockdown rules and it's a recipe for many potentially forgoing the safety measures in place. This isn't the time to be taking a step back on our containment efforts. While some countries have effectively dealt with the coronavirus, they're in the minority. Cases in the US, among other countries, are beginning to spike back up as we deal with the coming of yet another wave. The US alone accounts for more than 221,000 of the 1.1 million deaths from COVID-19, with 8.3 million Americans testing positive for the virus. Hundreds of people, of all ages, are still dying from the virus in the US every day. And that doesn't even take into account that we're at the start of the flu season, another virus that takes lives. It's telling that Apple won't be sending any public relations staffers to its flagship stores -- something it usually does to help coordinate media coverage during these splashy launches. CEO Tim Cook has showed up to stores in the past, but it would be surprising if he made an appearance this year. Let's hope consumers, especially those hardcore fans, take advantage of those options and place their orders at home. Because nothing -- not even the new iPhone 12 -- is worth dragging out our terrible coronavirus lockdown situation even longer.
The diabolical ironclad beetle is practically indestructible. Now scientists know why - CNET
Drive over the beetle in your car and it won't even break a sweat. How does it do it?
David Kisailus/UCI You can accidentally stomp on the diabolical ironclad beetle and it won't even flinch. Go one further -- drive over it in your car -- and that won't cause the critter any trouble at all, either. Its exoskeleton is one of the toughest in the animal kingdom. And scientists now believe they know why. In a study, published in the journal Nature on Wednesday, researchers have unraveled the secrets of the diabolical ironclad beetle's astounding crush-resistance and demonstrate how new ultra-tough materials may take advantage of the beetle's biology. At a glance, the beetle appears impressive: a dark, bumpy exoskeleton that looks a little like a charred rock. But lurking beneath its humdrum exterior lie a few structural marvels, built by evolution. Many species of beetles can fly and their wings are encased within elytra, a protective, tough shell. Flying is a great defensive mechanism for beetles, allowing them to escape predators, but the ironclad doesn't have wings and routinely plays dead, relying on its exoskeleton to keep it safe. "The ironclad is a terrestrial beetle, so it's not lightweight and fast but built more like a little tank," said David Kisailus, a professor of materials science and engineering at the University of California, Irvine and co-author on the study, in a release. The beetle's exoskeleton is so tough it has even presented some issues for entomologists hoping to display them -- it's difficult to put a pin through the ironclad. The two elytra of the diabolical ironclad beetle fuse together in a winding suture (circled) Jesus Rivera/UCI To study the tiny tanks, a member of the research team, Jesus Rivera, captured beetles and brought them back to the lab. First, researchers discovered the beetle's exoskeleton could withstand around 150 newtons of force -- 39,000 times its body weight. Three other species of terrestrial beetle were only half as resilient. But why is this particular exoskeleton so much stronger? The research team looked at the beetle using a 3D imaging technique called microcomputed tomography, which works like an X-ray for the whole organism. They focused in on the ironclad's elytra. It may seem unusual for the ironclad to have elytra. After all, it's a ground-dwelling beetle that can't fly. But it has evolved from a beetle that, at one time, could, and its elytra are critical to its exoskeleton's strength. They've fused together in the most remarkable way creating a winding, twirling suture. The researchers describe it like pieces of a jigsaw puzzle, connecting together. Lock two pieces together and the likely point of failure is at the "neck" of the jigsaw piece. But studying the suture under a high-powered microscope and using computer simulations, the team didn't see any catastrophic failure. The suture seemed to hold up, transferring the stress across the entire region, rather than cracking open. That's important -- it protects the beetle's neck In addition, the chemical composition of the ironclad's elytra is slightly different from that of a flying beetle. It appears to have a higher concentration of protein mixed in, which could increase the insect's toughness. The researchers took it further and looked into how this exoskeleton geometry might enable development of tougher materials. They took the lessons learned from the beetle's suture and created some carbon fiber jigsaw pieces to test the mechanical strength in a real world application -- fasteners used in aerospace engineering. The jigsaw pieces that mimicked the ironclad performed the best. "This work shows that we may be able to shift from using strong, brittle materials to ones that can be both strong and tough by dissipating energy as they break," said Pablo Zavattieri, a civil engineer at Purdue University and co-author on the study.
NASA has 'exciting new' moon announcement: How to listen and what it could be - CNET
On Monday, the space agency will unveil a discovery that contributes to its moon and deep-space aspirations.
A brilliant full moon rises at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida in 2017. NASA/Kim Shiflett Buckle up for "an exciting new discovery about the moon." NASA teased an upcoming teleconference to share new science results from its Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (Sofia), an airplane equipped with a telescope. "This new discovery contributes to NASA's efforts to learn about the moon in support of deep space exploration," the agency said in a statement on Wednesday. The news is expected to tie in with the Artemis program, which aims to return humans to the moon in 2024 while also developing a moon presence as a stepping stone to the more distant destination of Mars. NASA isn't dropping many details about the announcement, but you can tune in for a live audio broadcast of the media teleconference on Monday, Oct. 26 at 9 a.m. PT via the NASA Live website. Sofia is a high-flying, customized 747 airplane. "Flying above 99% of the atmosphere's obscuring water vapor, SOFIA observes in infrared wavelengths and can pick up phenomenon impossible to see with visible light," NASA said. NASA has been busy investigating water ice around the lunar south pole, which could be a valuable resource to have on site as astronauts live and work around the moon. The space agency is also interested in lava tubes, spacious caves that could provide shelter for visiting humans. We'll have to wait for the announcement to get all the juicy details, but there are some topics it probably isn't about. Despite some entertaining speculation on social media, don't expect any bombshells about alien life or cheese.
NASA's Osiris-Rex spacecraft touches down on asteroid Bennu - CNET
The mission marks the space agency's first landing on an asteroid.
The spacecraft's sampling arm, called the Touch-And-Go Sample Acquisition Mechanism, over the target sample site during a dress rehearsal in April. NASA Four years after launching from Earth, NASA's Osiris-Rex on Tuesday made a historic and brief landing on potentially hazardous asteroid Bennu, over 200 million miles away. The spacecraft traveled all that way to perform a short touch-and-go maneuver with the goal of collecting a sample from the asteroid's surface and transporting it back to Earth for study. We won't know until Wednesday whether Osiris-Rex succeeded in grabbing a space science souvenir, but on Tuesday, NASA TV reported the spacecraft's robotic sampling arm, named Touch-And-Go Sample Acquisition Mechanism (Tagsam), successfully touched down on Bennu for about 15 seconds. During the brief contact, it performed what amounts to a cosmic pickpocketing maneuver. The spacecraft, which operates largely autonomously due to the 18-minute communications delay with mission control on Earth, fired a canister of gas through Tagsam that should have disrupted the surface of Bennu enough for a sample to make its way up into the arm's collector head. The team's goal is to collect about 60 grams of dust, dirt and pebbles from the surface of Bennu. To determine if that goal has been met, in the coming hours Osiris-Rex will maneuver to a safe position and then move its arm into position to take photos of the collector head and weigh how much mass lies within. There's no guarantee Osiris-Rex has collected a significant sample. As the spacecraft approached and then spent two years orbiting and surveying Bennu, it became clear this tiny world is different than what scientists expected. The team hoped to find a number of sandy surfaces ideal for sampling, but it turns out Bennu is a rubble pile, with a rugged terrain strewn with boulders. The Osiris-Rex team celebrates at the moment of touchdown. NASA TV Osiris-Rex was designed to touch down on a flat, even surface, but Bennu is so rocky the team found no suitable space. Fortunately, Osiris-Rex seems to be outperforming its design when it comes to precision navigation. This gave the team the confidence to try its sampling maneuver on a site dubbed Nightingale, which is only about as big as a few parking spaces. Given the landscape, there are a number of things that could have gone wrong if Osiris-Rex clips a boulder or contacted an uneven surface at a weird angle, for example. If that turns out to be the case, we will find out Wednesday and Osiris-Rex will begin to prepare for a second attempt at one of the backup sites. The spacecraft is equipped with three nitrogen gas bottles, so the team should get at least two more shots at a successful sampling. If Osiris-Rex does succeed, it will join Japan's Hayabusa and Hayabusa-2 missions in the annals of asteroid exploration. Hayabusa successfully sampled and returned a tiny bit of material from asteroid Itokawa and Hayabusa2 is in the process of returning a significant sample of space rock Ryugu. Should the mission gather up a sample, it will begin a long journey back to Earth, with a planned landing in the Utah desert in September, 2023.
PS5 vs Xbox Series X: The next-gen consoles we're buying and why - CNET
We asked CNET staff: Which console are you buying, and in which order?
Next gen console releases are weeks away and we're excited!The PlayStation 5 hits stores on November 12 and the Xbox Series X and Series S launches two days earlier on November 10. But which one should you buy? And which one can you buy now that pre-orders have gone nuts? That's a tricky question with a lot of layers to dissect. The answer is: It depends. Do you own a 4K TV? Do you subscribe to Game Pass? Are you a Halo fan or a God of War fan? Do you like Bethesda games or Naughty Dog games? We thought we'd ask the dedicated gamers on CNET's staff which consoles they're planning to buy and in what order. Mark Serrels If you have a 4K TV you most likely want to go with the Series X over the Series S. Microsoft I've thought long and hard about this and I'm pretty sure I'm going to end up with both an Xbox Series X and a PlayStation 5. As an owner of a 4K LG OLED, I have zero interest in the Xbox Series S, despite the fact I love the design. The fact the console doesn't support 4K gaming guarantees I'll be picking up a Series X instead. I suspect the Series X will be the best choice for cross platform games this generation and Game Pass is an incredible service so, for me, an Xbox Series X is a must. I love how seamlessly it runs last-gen games with super high frame-rates at 4K. It'll be a while before must-play next-gen titles trickle in so that's another important selling point for me. I'll also pick up a PS5 though -- probably the digital edition. I haven't bought a box copy of a video game in years, despite the fact they're slightly cheaper here in Australia. I like the convenience of having all my games stored on a hard drive and I like the lower cost of the digital edition itself. Which console will I buy first? Depends which one I can get to be honest. Most likely I'll pick up the PS5 if I can -- purely because I want to play the Demon's Souls remake. But I'll be grabbing an Xbox Series X either at the same time or immediately afterwards. Steph Panecasio I think at this point I've settled on getting the digital edition of the Playstation 5, but not at launch. The hype is pretty extensive and I'm enjoying being a spectator for the console war drama, but I'd rather wait until it's actually necessary to get them my PS4 and Xbox One X can still do the job well enough and I've got no reason to upgrade just yet. So yes, when I do, I'll opt for the Playstation first. Historically I'd get both, but I need to stop being a hoarder when it comes to consoles and games (you're looking at the person who inexplicably has seven physical copies of The Witcher 3). By opting for only one console (at least to start) I'm saving a huge chunk of space on my TV cabinet have you seen the size of these things? And by opting for the digital model, I'm freeing up space in my bookshelves for, well, actual books. As for Xbox, I'm still incredibly tempted by the Game Pass service, I won't lie. Will I get one eventually? Maybe. I'm half hoping my partner will get one himself, thus removing the need for me to worry about forking over more cash. Excuse me while I send this article to him for future reference. Dan Ackerman CD Project Red Who am I kidding, I'm getting them both. I've already pre-ordered a Xbox Series X and plan on getting a PS5 asap. I can legitimately say it's for "professional development," plus, as terrible as this sounds, I just like going through all the menus and setup and output options and everything. That's what happens after you work at CNET for a certain number of years. Funnily enough, I was never into console games as a kid. After the Atari 2600, I was right onto my Tandy TRS-80 Color Computer (aka, the Trash 80), and mostly PC gaming through my teen and college years, but not even much of that. My return to consoledom started when I caught a live-action TV ad for Resident Evil 2 back in the late 1990s and said," Wow, that looks like a George Romero movie, I've got to get one of those" Less than a year later, I was working at an early video game website (UGO.com) and covering the launch of the Sega Dreamcast, so I've had every console since then, from the RROD Xbox 360 to the dusty Wii U. I am skipping the Series S, no need with my 4K LG OLED TV (probably the most-common TV among CNET editors) and, frankly, I'm not thrilled about the launch game lineup on either console. No must-haves for me, and there's not even a next-gen version of Cyberpunk 2077. I'd love my Spider-Man save to transfer to the PS5, but that's about as much as I care about backwards compatibility. I generally have zero interest in revisiting old games. They're never as good as you remember. If you're worried about playing Perfect Dark or Halo 1 or anything like that on a new-for-2020 console, you might as well just make the full leap and start playing Gloomhaven. Nicole Archer Horizon Forbidden West will be a must play on PS5. Sony I'm going to make this short and sweet: I am not a fan of brutalism and I find the design of the Xbox Series X personally offensive. If my niece comes to visit, I would have to baby proof the box lest she falls and blinds herself on the corner. Plus, I just really really like Horizon Zero Dawn and want to play the sequel. That said I'll probably eventually get the Xbox Series S because I feel like it would look good next to my PS5. Plus, my first gaming console was the original Xbox and I will always have a soft spot for the old boy -- I would be betraying my roots if I didn't pick up an Xbox again. Daniel Van Boom Eventually, I'll buy both a PlayStation 5 and an Xbox Series X. By the end of 2020? I'll have bought neither. I enjoy system wars as much as the next guy, but right now the excitement around both next-gen consoles is a little too theoretical. Microsoft's Game Pass-centred model, in which the Series S/X are essentially hardware to power the Xbox streaming service, could change the industry. Sony's renewed fanaticism about exclusive titles could result in more must-play first-party games. But both possibilities lie in 2021 and beyond. Come November, there won't be many games on either console you can't play on a PS4 or Xbox One. For me, that means there's no rush to buy a PS5 or Xbox Series S/X. For the future, I suspect I'll buy a PS5 first. Both consoles will be bought with a disc drive -- it makes it easier to wiggle out of a $69.95 RRP. Lori Grunin Let's split "Lori Grunin" in two: The reviewer and the real person. Both ended up agreeing that the Xbox Series S is the best option because money and Game Pass Ultimate. Dan Ackerman/CNET Personally, a console is competing with the need for a pricey new phone, a new iPad Pro and a new full-frame camera and lenses, along with a cranky old biddy of a cat who needs dental work and who has expensive taste in food. I've still got a 1080p TV, which I haven't watched since cutting the cord a while back. I don't particularly want to chip in for a new one because I'm a cranky old biddy of a person with expensive taste in gear. While Lori the reviewer toyed with the idea of a PS5, Game Pass Ultimate and day one availability for new exclusives sold the Xbox to both sides of my brain. But I would never have preordered anything, because as a rule I consider it insane to spend money on almost anything over $50 before it's been out for at least a few months and has had a chance to be debugged and dissected ad nauseum. I've also had years of exposure to the latest and greatest of everything to learn to get over the FOMO for most of it. Lori the reviewer spent hours hitting refresh on three different sites for them all when preorders went live. Jackson Ryan Would love to see a new console generation defined by the unique experiences it can bring to video games, rather than improvements in POWER and SPEED. These new consoles feel like souped up current-gens. I have a perfectly good Nintendo Switch. That will see me through until there's an absolute must play on either of these bilious boxes. Sean Keane After much thought, I preordered a PS5 so I can play the shiniest version of Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles Morales and the Demon's Souls remake. But the deciding factor was Resident Evil Village. I know the console won't get a price drop before that comes out next year (Capcom hadn't hinted at a PS4 version before I preordered). Miles Morales goes to work. Insomniac/Screenshot by CNET I'm still using a launch PS4 and don't intend to get whatever mid-generational PS5 upgrade Sony puts out, so I'll wring plenty of value out of the PS5 over its seven-year lifespan -- to play the remaining PS4 games in 4K and move fully onto the next-gen when it really gets started in late 2021. To maximize the likelihood of getting games as cheaply as possible, I've opted for the model with disc drive. Even though most of my purchases are digital, I don't want to give Sony too much power. Also my friends sometimes give me physical games as presents. As for Xbox Series X, I'm still undecided. I was all about the Xbox 360, but the Xbox One never had an exclusive game that made the console irresistible. Microsoft's purchase of Bethesda certainly makes a killer Series X exclusive (Series Xclusive?) more likely, but I'll wait and see. Game Pass is a pretty great service, but my already massive backlog makes it a less tempting prospect. Eli Blumenthal While I have been looking for both the Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5 All-Digital, I so far have only preordered the Xbox. After growing up playing all three generations of Xbox, I have been swayed towards PlayStation in recent years through games like Spider-Man PS4 and MLB The Show. I'm a big sports gamer and while most recent titles have lacked noticeable or game changing improvements on current-gen, the new trailer for NBA 2K21 on next-gen has me hyped for what both of these new systems can offer. The insane battle to find somewhere to preorder a PS5 has kept me in the Xbox camp, at least for right now. As someone who doesn't have a large catalog of PlayStation discs, I can't bring myself to justify shelling out the extra $100 for the regular PS5 (based on early reports, I could be in for a longer wait as it seems like Digital consoles are in shorter supply than disc ones). Throw in the rising costs for next-gen PlayStation controllers and major games and I feel like there are even better uses for that money than a disc drive I almost certainly won't use. I can't even remember the last time I used a disc in general -- PlayStation, Xbox, Blu-ray, DVD or CD. As for the Xbox, a few factors swayed me including the fact that I have a Game Pass subscription, am really intrigued by xCloud and that I have friends and family planning to get one. While I thought about the Series S, with my TCL 6 Series has 4K and Dolby Vision and like Serrels the appeal of 4K gaming was enough to get me to choose the bigger system. Plus, I was lucky enough to see it available on Amazon to place the order (even if it now may no longer arrive on the 10th). Eric Franklin Since the release of the Xbox One X I've become a primarily Xbox player. Microsoft's services like Play Anywhere, xCloud and of course Xbox Game Pass address my gaming needs as a dad with two young kids and not a lot of time to himself. So I've opted to preorder both the Xbox Series X for my living room and an Xbox Series S for my home office. The Series X will replace my One X and the Series S will double up with my newly built PC on my brand new 27-inch 1440p HDR 144hz monitor. In reality, I'll likely end up playing on the Series S the most since my wife gets first dibs on our 4K TV. As for games, while I'm looking forward to trying a few launch games like The Medium, The Ascent and The Falconeer, I'm equally as interested in playing my current huge backlog of game like The Outer Worlds, Doom Eternal and the Yakuza series -- I'm still early in Yakuza 0, my first foray into the world of Japanese gangsters and goofiness -- with faster load times and the ability to quickly switch between them -- I get bored easily -- with the Quick Resume feature. Since Microsoft revealed these features in March, the new Xbox has occupied way too much of my brainspace, but soon it will have a chance to live up to my way too high expectations for it. As for the PS5, I'll likely get one eventually, but may wait until they slim that puppy down -- have you heard? It's big. Oscar Gonzalez I'm usually a two-console kind of gamer, but my original plan for this generation was to start off with the PS5 and then eventually get my hands on an Xbox Series X. The lack of a strong, exclusive launch game -- for me, it would have been Halo: Infinite -- makes Microsoft's next-gen console a little less attractive. That changed with EA Play's inclusion into Games Pass and seeing Quick Resume in action. While yes, I will be able to play Games Pass titles on my Xbox One, the idea of having all the games I'm playing through available to play within seconds of each other is something I didn't know I wanted. As a guy who wants to jump into different multiplayer games such as Call of Duty: Warzone, Tom Clancy's The Division 2 and even Fortnite as well as work on various single-player games like the Assassin's Creed and Far Cry games, the Quick Resume is going to be the feature designed just for me. Epic Games Because of that, I have a pre-order for the PS5 and Xbox Series X. As tempted as I am to go entirely digital this generation, the fact is that new physical games at launch, or weeks after release, tend to go on sale. Digital version don't. Retailers are also quicker to drop the price of games if they fail to sell at launch while digital titles take much longer before a significant sale. So for me, the Xbox Series X will be the Games Pass machine while the PS5 is for Sony published titles and other exclusives. It's the best of both worlds and at the best price.