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LG wows CES 2016 with its new OLED rollable TV screen

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Rollable TV screen GDuring the recent CES 2016, LG impressed the crowd with its new OLED bendable and rollable TV screen. The prototype can be rolled out like a paper into a bag. We can’t wait to see the future having the OLED technology integrated into our car, home, office and smartphone.

The development of OLED technology for the past 15 years is bearing fruit in today’s industry. OLED stands for Organic Light Emitting Diode. Technology innovators developed this because OLED can be created from a glass substrate which is widely used on today’s smartphones, TVs and other gadgets. The good thing about the OLED screen is it’s not limited only to glass, it can also installed to a bendable plastic material without compromising the screens display quality.

According to Janice Mahon, Vice President of Technology Commercialization for Universal Display Corporation, one of OLED distinguished ability is its intrinsic capability to be rolled and bent, things which cannot be seen in any regular LCD.

After the discovery of the OLED technology the LG innovators immediately shifted the focus of their development on this technology.  Numerous prototype designs were created. Then, they slowly integrated the use of OLED technology on their production, this made way on the manufacturing of today’s OLED Ultra HD TVs.

OLED can revolutionize our viewing experience, creating a much clearer and crispier display that will bring more colors to life.

Expect to see in 2-3 years from now new smartphones and new gadgets based on this tech.

Does a rollable TV screen really matter?

Did you imagine yourself having rollable or bendable TV? The TV can be stored into a bag, where you can bring it anywhere and will let you connect with your friends.

Exercise your imagination, and think of an ancient scroll-like device where you can draw sketches, play favorite games, share videos and captured images with friends by simply detaching the OLED screen and sticking it on a desirable corner.

Further development of OLED technology can benefit all industries. For example, artists can bring their masterpieces anywhere for them to explore new places or events, where they can add more to improve their work. Designers can create fashion trends based on a better unit, that is powered by this type of screen. The flexibility of changing their design based on concept and creativity will not just revolutionize our clothing, but also the society as a whole.

The OLED can also be integrated into our car’s windshields, where we can access information easier, or do other things (i.e. answer upcoming calls by simply connecting our smart watch into the car’s OLED screen). All good things will happen as we further innovate, and LG opens many new possibilities which can be achieved using the OLED technology. Sooner or later, we will enjoy every bit of this technology advancement. We won’t be using any type of paper in our office or school, we’ll be more efficient on promoting an eco-friendly living. Cutting down the trees and destroying the ecosystem won’t be necessary (at least not for making paper, that’s for sure).

Are you an advocate of an eco-friendly living? Or just a guy which really digs this new stuff? Either way, use the form bellow to share your thoughts on this.

Oculus Rift is hitting a homerun this year!

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Good news for the Oculus Rift fans, the Facebook owned company finally approved the pre-orders of their new VR gear on the first quarter of 2016. The pre-selling started last on January 6th. The product includes for the moment an Xbox one controller, but will featture the new Oculus Touch control system starting with the second part of 2016. The Rift supports the latest windows operating system and bundles with 2 hit games: Lucky’s Tale and EYE: Valkyrie. However, there are a lot more to come.

Oculus Rift Q1 G

Many techies were happy when Oculus made its official statement marking the release date of the most awaited Oculus Rift consumer version. The pre-orders initiated this month will be shipped starting with March (however, if you order today, you might get in in June). You can process your Oculus Rift pre-order here (unfortunately, at the moment there’s a limitation of 1 Rift per customer).

What’s new?

The release date of the consumer version was already predicted when Oculus decided to sell their developer kit headset last year. Finally, the wait is over! We can get our hands on this awesome Virtual Reality headset.

Official statement from Oculus says that the consumer version is redesigned and re-calibrated. The new model focuses mainly on the users’ comfort, extended controls, a much more sophisticated tracking system that can differentiate whether the user is sitting or standing and much more. The previous design was changed, creating a new concept that embodies modern industry design and comfort. At the moment, Oculus may be seen as an unstoppable force, a recognized contributor that revolutionizes the multimedia and gaming industry. However, Sony and HTC will soon be catching up.

The quest for EU Market

As of January 2016, the consumer pre-order basis bubbled. A developer kit costs you for around $500 on Ebay.

The new consumer version will cost you roughly $599, the shipping fees and value added tax is not included in the price. If the tax and shipping fee kicks in, expect a higher price depending on your location.

In an older interview, Oculus’ CEO, Mr. Palmer Luckey, was implying that the awaited consumer version will exceed the previous pricing of the Rift’s developer kit, with roughly $350 more. He also added that the consumer version will be reconfigured with additional features, they will add additional technology that wasn’t implemented on its DK 1 and DK 2 versions. Adding more features to maximize the user experience and assuring its quality will certainly require more of the company’s investment. As the company invests to further improve the VR gear, our thought is that they don’t really want to compromise on the quality by selling a cheaper product.

The importance of Oculus Touch

Oculus Rift Q1 1The newly bind partnership between Windows and Oculus created the possibility of including an Xbox One wireless controller. This boosts the capability of Oculus Rift, but we really see it as mutual benefit. It’s a great market opportunity for both companies, because all of Oculus Rift’s consumers will be complimented with a wireless Xbox One controller.

However, the development of Oculus Rift is not finished, because the upcoming Oculus Touch is not yet completed. Oculus is planning to have their own touch-powered controller. The development of this piece is code-named “half-moon”. This part is a wireless controller which can track your hands movement. The controllers also have an analogue stick, a trigger and 2 extra buttons. According to official sources, the controller has matrix sensors and can provide haptic feedback. It can easily identify movements such as thumbs up, waving and when you are pointing into something.

We expect this controller to be ready by 2016 H2, and also can’t help to dream for a partnership between Oculus and Leap Motion, which would really empower both products.

Windows 10 ready

Another good news is that the recent partnership between Windows and Oculus not only opened the door for using infrastructure, buy also paved the road for cross platform functionality. You can access windows games on the Oculus Rift menu, and playing your favorite windows game on the Oculus will be pretty much possible if the game is VR compatible.

Game titles that we can expect with the new Oculus Rift

Oculus announced that there will be a lot of games available for the new Rift. They also announced that they are willing to invest $10M dollars to help game developers create games for their system.

The hit game titles that are most expected: EVE: Valkyrie, Damage Core, VR Sport Challenge, Air Mech VR, Lucky’s Tale, Chronos and Edge of Nowhere.

Oculus Rift’s hardware specification

Oculus Rift Q1The new Rift version will be equipped with customized optic lenses and display. The headset will be installed with two OLED screens that has a combined resolution of 2160×1200 and assures low latency. Visible pixels and blur effects won’t be experienced with this VR headset. The headset also has a constellation tracking system which will maximize the VR experience. It has an integrated VR audio for optimal VR sound experience. The good thing about this Rift is the compatibility with other audio headsets: you can use a personal headset if you prefer changing the stock headset. The interior of the Rift is fabric-coated and lighter than its predecessors. If you have sight issues, you can simply adjust the lenses to correct your VR view.

To use this piece of equipment, you’ll need at least 8Gb RAM and a powerful video board such as NVIDIA GTX 970 / AMD R9 290 or higher.

The Oculus home VR portal has all essentials, from images and videos to full games. On the home screen, you can see previously played apps, social data and so on. There’s also a 2D version of Oculus home screen for your PC, where you can manage your games.

Are you excited and ready for this splendid VR headset?

EHang 184 autonomous aerial vehicle – can this drone really fly?

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Recently, a drone manufactured by EHang, a firm that is based in China, claimed of producing the world’s first autonomous aerial vehicle which can transport a person from one place to another.

The drone resembles to a quadcopter and they named it EHang 184. This aerial vehicle is powered by an all-electric system. It has eight powerful propellers which are attached to the 184’s arms. The drone can carry a maximum load of 220 pounds, it weights 440 pounds and it is 5 feet tall – sorry tall dudes, this drone is not for you.

EHang vainly claims that their autonomous aerial vehicle is the safest and most convenient means of drone aerial transportation to use. The person who rides the drone will just simply tap the drone’s touchscreen master control and its navigational panel. After the user configures the drone’s settings and sets the navigation, the drone will slowly hover and gain the necessary flight altitude, then fly the its passenger to the desired destination.

autonomous aerial vehicle Ehang 184According to EHang’s Mr. Derrick Xiong, the person that will ride their drone won’t need to get a pilot license. They will enjoy the liberty of flying without going to an expensive and time consuming flight school.

Ehang’s 184 drone is mainly used for traveling in a short or medium distances. It has a cruising speed of 60 miles per hour.

Safety and precaution: Inside Ehang’s 184 autonomous aerial vehicle

Mr Xiong pointed out that their drone will not use computer sensors to detect objects to avoid any obstruction during flight. Instead of using a computer backed sensors, its engineers designed of a fail-safe system that will let the AAV land if it detects a broken or damaged components on its hardware.

autonomous aerial vehicle Ehang 184 BThe company uses its command center which has tech support manpower and will serve as the control tower for their 184 drone. This command center will monitor the drone’s flight, considering the safety of its passenger and the weather conditions. The command center will automatically not allow any drones that will fly in extreme or bad weather condition. However there are loopholes that should not be ignored: one of this is not having a collision detection system.

Despite the vain announcement of its success, apparently there’s no specific date of its release. The company say that they will start manufacturing their drones few months from now. The first batch of the drones will be released in China, where they also plan to set up their drone command center. Ehang is planning to employ a 300-man power workforce to help them succeed in their operation.

The launching of this project in the US mainland will be most likely followed after the completion of its Federal Aviation Administration certification. The FAA must check whether the drone is air worthy or not, even though there’s a struggle on regulating the drones that are massively entering the US market. Let’s all hope that FAA won’t find any issues with this “Made in China drone”. Their promotional video listed fails to show that there is really a man inside the drone’s cockpit, while its flying. Strange, right?

Price range expectations

The price of this drone will not be cheap, according to some market analyst. The price range will be in the middle of $200,000 and $300,000. They will also require a service or a subscription free into their command center. Until now, the company is still figuring out how much 184s are they going to sell.

If the company sells at the expected price range, then this drone is not for all. Most likely, it will be used for special proposes like air news crews, emergency responders, rescue and personal use for big pocket dudes out there.

EHang believes that in the future drones will be widely used in metropolis such as Los Angeles or Beijing. Because of their plan to operate in the US mainland, they already started to have talks with several US officials.

They see the drone as a major solution for the daily traffic, and in some catastrophic events. Ehang 184 could transport a patient from any location, bypassing long traffic jams.

Cofounder Xiong claims that their drone is fully operational and it has been flying around in China on its developmental stage since 3 years ago. The company’s plan to release it last year was put on hold because they waited “for the right time”.

autonomous aerial vehicle ghostBefore the successful completion of drone 184, EHang has been mainly producing drones, such as the Ghost Drone.  The drone is not controlled by a dedicated remote control, instead it is accompanied and controlled by a smartphone application. The success of the Ghost Drone made huge bucks for EHang, which raised an income of $42 million last year. This made the company’s asset to increase up to $400 million. The application used to control the drone is simple and easy to use, making it a favorite for some of its consumers.

However, man flying drones is a completely different business. Would you be willing to invest in EHang’s AAV as your personal ride? Comment below.

What is the best way to transfer money – Comparing Payoneer vs Paypal vs Western Union vs Wire Transfer

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To determine the best national/international money transfer service, we will need to consider several things. We’ll need to look up on the method of transfer, hidden currency conversion fees, stated fees, the total cost of the transfer, reliability and speed of transfer, as well as the “hassle free” factor. These factors affect the performance and affordability of their services.

Let’s start with the basic: the recipient should have an active bank account. The bank account will serve as the destination of the money transfer. There are just a few cases where the recipient will not be required of having a bank account. To get the money they, will just need to present a valid identification card and the transaction details.

Who are the main players in the international money transfer industry?

The main players are established remittance companies which have been in the industry for many years. Some of them have been rolling the dice (standards) since the beginning of internet. They set the standard on the terms of services and rates of every money transfer transaction.

Payoneer

Payoneer cardPayoneer is one of leading international remittance companies that offers variety of services. One of their known featured services is they can transfer funds directly to a receiver’s debit card, which they offer at sign up. They have partnered with MasterCard. This feature is convenient on the receiver’s end. The receiver can directly withdraw the transferred funds from virtually any ATM machine which accepts Marstercards.

Outsourcing sites like Freelancer, Upwork (Odesk) and Elance have close ties with Payoneer. They use Payoneer’ service to send and receive member payments, as Payoneer offers just a small transaction fee. Using Payoneer’s US Payment Service, Amazon affiliates also have access to their money easier and faster (no more checks to wait and cash).

The receiver will only be charged on every ATM withdrawal. A standard charge set by the  local ATM’s bank will apply at withdrawal. Most ATMs are charging around 3% for releasing funds to MasterCard prepaid cards, and Payoneer also charges an additional $3 per each withdrawal. When receiving money from checks via the US Payment Service, Payoneer also charges 1% of the amount. The foreign exchange conversion is computed by MasterCard at the time of the transaction, using special currency conversion rates, which are in most cases more convenient than local conversion rates.

Despite the great features, Payoneer is only available on selected major affiliate or partners. From a company’s point of view, Payoneer is the best choice if you have many offshore workers. You’ll get the most out of your money and get the best service for your pennies.

PayPal

Paypal cardPayPal is considered as the forefront of digital payment and have been in the industry since 1998. PayPal’s payment system is being used widely by most of the businesses around the globe. It can transfer funds anywhere using different currencies. The main currency used by PayPal is the US Dollar, any other currencies will be converted to US dollar or from the main currency converted to the local currency.

Basically you will need a bank account if you are planning to use their services. A bank account will be linked to a PayPal account. The standard PayPal charges for every transaction is 4%.

If you have a business PayPal has some strict requirements for you to be a Business seller. You will need to link a credit card (bank account) in order to lift the initial limits set on your PayPal account.

Occasionally, Paypal checks for random suspicious transactions. If you are a service provider you will need to undergo this verification process. After a large non-dispute streak however, you will not be bothered with this process.

Paypal offers two payment options. The payment for goods and services this is ideal if you own a business. The transaction fee is shouldered by the receiver if you will use this payment option. The other option is sending the payment to a family or friend. The transaction fee is much lower and automatically added to the sender, however, in this case you will not be able to dispute the money, should something go wrong.

The downside of their service is they offer a bad currency conversion rate. They will deduct a certain percentage of the conversion fees from the main currency to your country’s currency. For example, on the latest forex exchange the rate for 1 USD is equal to 46.XX PHP. PayPal’s hidden conversion charge for 1 USD make this deal equal to 45.XX PHP. Please note that the conversion rates will often fluctuate depending on the actual Forex exchange rate.

Aside from the hidden conversion fees, the receiver is also deducted a certain amount for the transfer of PayPal credits to the receiver’s bank account. If the transferred money is lower than the specified amount set by PayPal, then there will be a charge. In many cases, you will not be able to transfer more than $500/day back to you credit card.

The transferred credit received by receiver into their bank account for a minimum of 2 days (but it may take up to a maximum of 4 days). This could extend depending on the regular holidays that are implemented in the US and in your country.

Western Union

Western UnionWestern Union is considered by some as the fastest in terms of speed and reliability. Although their rates are a bit high compared to other money transfer companies, their services are fairly reasonable, especially if you are considering speed above all. A sender can send money easily using the Western Union online services, or by going into the nearest Western Union office. Their friendly associates can accommodate and assist your transaction. There are a lot of options for you to choose when sending money with Western, such as sending the payment to a bank account, to a mobile phone or to a specific branch, for physical pickup. In the latter case, the receiver will only need to show two valid identification cards accomplished by a receiver form that contains the Money Transfer Control Number (MTCN) and other information required on the receiver’s end. Once the verification process is cleared out and completed, the receiver can get the cash instantly and automatically converted into their country’s currency (if preferred).

Western Union is also accepting transfer of funds locally.

Bank to Bank transfer

If you prefer higher rates of conversion, then bank to bank transfer is your best bet. The receiver will get almost the same rate as the actual foreign exchange rate. The downside about this service is the receiver will get the funds after 5 to 7 banking days, weekends not included. In some cases, the funds will be received after 3 banking days, but it all depends on the banks you are working with. This lengthy timeframe occurs because most banks have their transfer services outsourced to 3rd world countries. For example, even though you are a customer of an Italian bank such as Intesa Sanpaolo Bank, your transfer will most likely be processed somewhere in Romania. Wire transfer may also get pretty expensive, depending on the collaboration procedures between the involved banks.

What are the other alternative ways of sending money?

Google Wallet

Google Wallet is a digital service that accepts debit cards from other countries. This service is currently available in the US and United Kingdom. You can use google wallet on your Android devices that are NFC-enabled. You can use this service when you pay your groceries or buy any items in a store or mall.

Unlike PayPal, Google designed their service specifically for merchants. Sending money to other Google Wallet accounts is not possible. The good thing about this service is there’s no charge when you use it to purchase something.

Using google wallet is ideal when you are planning on a shopping spree in the US and United Kingdom.

You can also use google mail to send funds by attaching an amount to an email. The funds will be automatically deducted to your Google Wallet after the transaction is successfully forwarded to the receiver. This method is free of charge.

Paym

Paym is one of the most convenient ways to send money in UK to banks affiliated to this service. You’ll just need to download the banking app that is applicable to your bank. The affiliated banks are First Direct, Lloyds bank, HSBC, TSB, Barclays, Santander, Halifax and a lot more.

The funds can be sent to anyone as a gift. Users that are not using the Paym banking app can also send funds by entering their phone number. Paym uses a system that will let their affiliated banks to work with the users’ mobile number. A user just needs to register their mobile number and the name of the affiliated bank on their official website, for them to be able to receive and send funds.

Payza – formerly AlertPay

Payza is mainly operating in the US and Canadian territories. However, they also accept transfer of funds from an affiliated bank and other well-known banks abroad. Payza lets you send money to 191 countries and they accept 21 currencies.

You will need to register before accessing their services. The registration is free of charge, but the fees for money transfer are rather high compared to PayPal. However, they offer competitive rates, compared to other money transfer service providers. If you are receiving funds, you will pay 2.50% + €0.25 EUR (or equivalent). If you want to withdraw funds to your credit card, it will cost you $8.00 (or equivalent). If you want to withdraw directly to your bank account, the cost is $20. Adding funds directly from you bank account will also cost you $20, while adding money to Payza from your credit card will release you of 5%.

Paymate

Paymate is widely used by sellers in New Zealand and Australia to get their payments from their buyers abroad. Sellers using this service can get their payments on EBay Australia for a substantial fee.

If you buy from a Paymate merchant, you won’t need to register for an account. You’ll just need to key in the credit card information to proceed with the purchase making the process easy and hassle free. All of your credit card information is handled securely by Paymate. As part of their commitment on providing a quality service, the non-disclosure agreement is utmost practiced.

Skrill – formerly MoneyBookers

Skrill lets you receive and send money to other users. Skrill is used by approximately 10 million people, which can transfer funds in 40+ currencies. Most Skrill users are from gambling and casino sites. You can send funds using a debit or credit card. You can use Skrills to transfer funds to major cities in other countries. Every country has a specific rate for receiving and sending funds. Skrill focuses on sending funds among users, merchant accounts are few so it’s popular to cycle the money. Their services are far competitive to those offered i.e. by PayPal. Receiving money is free, while sending costs 1% of the amount sent, with the maximum cap of €10.

Dwolla

Dwolla is only available in the US. They offer a flat rate of 25 cents, and if the money transfer is below $10, then it’s free!

You will just need to sign up for you to be able to use their services. Expect for the standard plan which has limited functionality, all their other plans are paid, starting at $25, and ending with $1500+. The free money transfers usually take time. They also offer a $3 monthly payment for a feature that allows you to instantly send your cash to the bank. You can download the Dwolla application on iOS, Windows and Google Play Store.

Do you know about the Foreign Exchange broker service?

If you are planning to transfer a huge amount of money, then your best bet is to find a suitable Foreign Exchange broker. The persuasive reason why it is better than the usual way of sending money is the higher exchange rates and lower fees.

Did you know that FX companies are 2-3% cheaper than any usual way of transferring money? That’s the usual business on most FX companies.

Using this method is good for regular money transfer. For example, in the United Kingdom FX companies offer corporate deals that don’t require any fees and they can freeze the exchange rates prior to the sending of the funds.

The sender will only need a bank account, debit card or a credit card to send funds using the FX service. The receiver is required to have a bank account. The FX company can offer free or minimal transaction fees for a regular payment. The sender will be given a privilege of locking exchange rates to have a financial constancy.

FX companies usually operate 24/7 for convenient access anytime and anywhere. The receiver can get the funds after 24 to 48 hours. In some cases, the funds will be received instantly. This method is very easy and a convenient on the sender’s end because it can save time and money. The transferring of funds can be done using the online banking service.

Concluding

In conclusion, there’s no straight answer to the question Which is the best online money transfer service?, but based on the facts presented above, Paypal, Payoneer and Skrill are among the most convenient. It’s now up to you to find out if your bank accommodates these, and at what cost. Last but not least, I would love your feedback on this subject.

The complete guide to Android secret codes, tips and tricks in 2016

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Google’s Android operating system is dominant in today’s smartphone industry. Android is widely used even though there’s a tough competition, with major competitors such as Windows and Apple. These giants have been pitting each other, constantly innovating, ultimately improving our way of communicating and living.  From entertainment to business uses, technology advances are reaching out to each and every one of us.

Android Phone 2

The battle for the supremacy of smartphones allowed us to gain an advantage. Because of, some of the new players in the industry are considerably reducing the pricing of their products, making them affordable for everyone.

Smartphones and the world

It is trivial, having a smartphone is the coolest way to reach out to the world. You can also access a lot of information on the internet, you can get tons of applications that can be paid or downloaded for free on Google Play store. In fact, about 50% of you are reading this on a mobile phone.

This kind of mobility was unimaginable 10 years ago. Smartphones had been our companion, providing a great experience, making our life easier and simpler.

We can play our favorite games while we are on a bus ride home or on a subway train. We can play our favorite songs. A lot of good memories can be instantly stored in our smartphones, and with the latest VR trend we can even use them together with the Google Cardboard Glasses or with the Samsung Gear VR.

What is “rooting” and how can I root my Android phone?

Many of of us have been trying to root an Android at least once in the recent years. Techies conquer/discover how to do this by themselves. Last time I’ve done it, I felt like superman!

Android PhoneHowever, rooting can be a risky process if the procedure is not tested. The risk is bricking your android device. A bricked android device can be classified as soft bricked and hard bricked.

Most soft bricked Android devices are having boot loops. A boot loop happens when your Android gets stuck on the boot logo and will not continue into a successful boot. This could happen when you’re flashing a root zip file. A hard bricked smart phone can be considered as a dead android device. Why? Because, your chance of reviving it are next to zero.

A soft bricked android device can be revived by using a flashing tool and flashing the right firmware. Flashing a wrong firmware can lead to a permanently damaged smartphone. A great reference where you can find and learn more about flashing is XDA Development forums. If you are using a Samsung Android gadget, then vising Sammobile – a good place to get the latest firmware.

If your phone is already rooted, then you are a privilege user. A privilege user can configure extra settings to their smartphones, such setting that an ordinary user cannot access. Rooting your phone can also provide many advantages, if you are well versed on this matter.

The risk of a compromised security is higher on a rooted phone. If you are not aware of all rooting implications, then we strongly suggest do your homework first.

The difference between a customized ROM and a stock ROM

As android users, we can do a lot of customization to our phone. If we want a new user interface experience, we can access new ones, preloaded with lots of features, providing an extended battery life performance, removing unwanted applications or bloatware, adding additional features that can increase a smartphone’s performance while also providing a buttery smooth user experience.

This can be possible if you will change your stock ROM into a customized ROM. A customized ROM is developed by well-known Android contributors. Usually, these ROMs can be found on well-known Android enthusiast blogs or famous Android developer’s forums.

Secret codes that you can try on your smart phone

A secret code has different functions which you can manually access from your phone, by simply tapping some numeric and symbolic sequences. Please note that some of these codes only works on specific Android devices. We are not liable for any harm done on your smartphone’s system, these secret codes were already tested by many users and you may use them at your sole discretion:

Performing a factory reset
Code: *#*#7780#*#*

  1. Clears all installed applications including saved data.
  2. Removes stored google settings.
  3. Removes google accounts, user settings and application data.

Installing phone firmware
Code: *2767*3855#

  1. Removes all of stored files
  2. Restores factory default settings
  3. Re-installs a stock ROM’s firmware.

Test services
Code: *#*#197328640#*#*

  1. Runs a full test on the smart phones services.
  2. Enables service activity in this mode.
  3. Allows you to modify settings of each services.

Basic Information
Code: *#*#4636#*#*

  1. Displays the phone’s basic information.
  2. Shows phone usage details.
  3. Accesses phone’s battery information.

Creating a backup
Code: *#*#273283*255*663282*#*#*

  1. You can back up all of your media files.
  2. After entering the code an option will appear that will prompt you to copy videos, audios and images.

Google talk service
Code: *#*#8255#*#*

  1. Manually starts Google Talk Service Monitor.
  2. Monitors Google Talk services.

Display phone’s product code
Code: *2767*4387264636*

Camera information
Code: *#*#34971539#*#*

Battery Status
Code: *#0228#

Hardware information – phone’s full software and hardware specs
Code: *#12580*369*

Ciphering information
Code: *#32489#

Data Menu
Code: *#273283*255*3282*#

Usage of data
Code: *#3282*727336*#

Manually search for an On The Air update – OTA
Code: *#8736364#

Testing WiFi
Code: *#*#526#*#* or *#*#232339#*#*

Wifi Mac Address
Code: *#*232338#*#*

GPS test
Code: *#*#1472365#*#*

LCD Display Test
Code: *#*#0*#*#*

Touch screen test
Code: *#*#2664#*#*

Bluetooth test
Code: *#*#232331#*#*

Proximity sensor test
Code: *#*#0588#*#*

Display your phone’s IMEI Number
Code: *#06#

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Electrolux Design Lab: the past, the present and the future

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Electrolux Design Lab is a competition hosted by Electrolux, a Swedish company located in Stockholm, Sweden. It is a well-known international competition that encourages professionals and student designers to showcase their invention. This great event is accepting participants around the world and it is conducted annually with a themed concept that will serve as a starting guide. Each team will be given a specific timeframe. Each year, their innovative design will define in a way the household of the future, thus promoting innovation, creativity, and efficiency.

Last year’s recently concluded Design Lab 2015 theme was “Healthy Happy Kids”. 2 years ago, the famed contest theme is all about “Creating Healthy Homes”. 2014 had a healthy competition of 35 teams that represent their respective countries. 2015 was even tighter. Irrespective, the results were similar: from a total of 35 participating teams, only six teams outperformed the rest.

Prizes

The grand winner will receive 10,000 Euros and a six-month internship opportunity at Electrolux headquarters. The 1st runner up will receive 6,000 Euros and the last prize will be 4,000 Euros. Lastly, a special award called “People’s Choice” will generously offer 2,000 Euros.

Previous Electrolux Design Lab themed competitions

According to official sources, the company started this competition in 2003, with a handful of participants. Eventually, it gained its momentum of success because of the increasing numbers of participants accepting the challenge and gearing up into the fray. The host company made the event more exciting and challenging for young and old inventors, making the event a competitive way to look for new assets for the company. Here are the past themes:

  • 2003 – User Driven Solutions
  • 2004 – Designs of the Future
  • 2005 – Designs of the Future
  • 2006 – Designs for Healthy Eating
  • 2007 – Green Designs
  • 2008 – The Internet Generation
  • 2009 – Design for the Next 90 Years
  • 2010 – The 2nd Space Age
  • 2011 – Intelligent Mobility
  • 2012 – Experience Design
  • 2013 – Inspired Urban Living
  • 2014 – Creating Healthy Homes
  • 2015 – Healthy Happy Kids

2015’s theme was focused on the areas of air purification, fabric care and cooking. Lee Fain, the Innovation Manager of Electrolux Design Lab says he liked the theme very much, particularly because of the concept of linking fields such as education and entertainment with practical aspects of life. As expected, this competition also gave the company a chance to discover new designers and designs that will hopefully boost their sales. Some people call this “disruptive idea fishing”. And with such a low budget, we can’t help wondering why other big companies don’t try the same. I.e. Dyson does it, it’s called the James Dyson Award. Google also does it, at another scale, with the Google Science fair. The actual effort put in this kind of contests is low, and the benefits for these companies are high, on the long term.

The 2015 winners

The 2015 grand winner is Jordan Lee Martin (UK). He came up with the “Bloom” project, proposing a futuristic yet efficient kettle. Made especially for children, this device helps them understand hands-on food preparation with an amusing, fun way of completing the task. The “Bloom” pod recycles steam, which is used to i.e. purify air, sterilize products and amazingly, cook. Wouldn’t be great to own such an interesting multipurpose kettle?

And if you’re worrying about safety, don’t, as “Bloom” has a built-in child-friendly system. The kettle has a specially designed lid to inhibit any hot water or stream hitting your child (or you, for that matter). The steam will instead pass through a special vent system, going to the pods. As expected, Jordan won the 10,000 € and was paid a  6-month internship at the company’s design center.

The other 2015’s 5 finalists are:

Air Shield baby strollerAir Shield – a baby stroller designed for parents worried about air pollution. The stroller has its own filters and comes with a feature to purify air coming from the adjacent environment. It has a special glass that protects the baby from polluted air and harmful UV rays coming from the sun. The stroller also uses a microphone which allows parents to communicate directly with the baby, without opening the glass cover. The concept focuses on avoiding the risks of compromising the health of the baby. Dominykas Budinas (Lithuania), the creator, found the inspiration of this design from its own car. Air Shield is designed by  from Lithuania.

Quadruple HQuadruple H – the Health, Happiness, Hologram and Hula-hoop  concept got the third place. Its designer is Jeongbin Seo (South Korea). This machine is an air purifier and a hula hoop at the same time. Q.H will clean the air through the hoop’s bottom side air vent. Another good feature of this machine is a hologram function that can generate images and can be projected to a wall-mounted wireless charging system.

VorisVoris will be the loveliest robot for your kids. This amazing product can teach your kids the importance of taking care of their clothes. This will be a good asset for parents as their kids will be trained to be responsible individuals taking good care of, not just their clothes, but all of their things as well. The remarkable bot is Designed by Martha Fabiola García Bustos from Mexico. Your kids will definitely love this robot because of its liking to an imaginary creature, a creature that keeps clothes away from getting dirty. The design is like a spherical object on wheels which is propelled by air. The ultraviolet light can clean the clothes and it has an air circulation feature that keeps your children clothes’ smelling good and fresh like newly washed.

Future ClassroomFuture Classroom is a concept made possible by Tobias Tsamisis (Germany) which is a piece of kitchen furniture addressing the educational perception of the kids. This concept will help connect younger generations with the idea of sustainability. Basically, the future classroom is a kitchen where students will learn how to grow vegetables and fruits using an system called “Aquaponics.” A part of the unit is a water pump that will control the circulation of water between the aquarium and a bed of plants. Another interesting part of the classroom is the cooking area that has its own sink and cooking stoves and surprisingly, the “Future Classroom” can be towed when a change of location is needed or when not in use. An advanced interactive touchscreen menu will control the two parts.

PlatoPlato is a robotic solution that can stimulate the creativity. A Russian designer, Mary Piyuga, created an innovate concept inspired by the Platonic Solids. This product offers a projector, can become a nanny and can even UV sterilize pacifiers and bottles. But the perks don’t stop here. The product will also offer a water filtration system, an orthopedic mattress and can be easily set to supervise your baby using the built-in camera. Now that’s what I call functionality. The futuristic design is appealing, considering the latest Star Wars just rolled out a few weeks ago.

WeaverLastly, the People’s Choice award went to Larissa Andrade (Brazil). She designed a two-part textile and color repairing system called the Weaver, which can do a variety of stuff such as scanning and photo capturing. Her design can patch-up any type of fabric and increase the longevity of your clothing. The unit its rather small and can be held with only one hand, yet it can handle impressive tasks. Although meant for child use, the concept is rather futuristic, involving advanced video processing and technology not yet available to the general market (nanorobots).

Any thoughts of the projects showcased in last year’s Design Lab competition? Any expectations for the upcoming contest? Sound your comments below.

Red screen of death – iPhone’s nightmare no more!

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The red screen of death (RSOD) is well thought-out as one of the utmost common issues raised up by the majority of iPhone 6 owners. This issue had been buzzing around the web quite some time, particularly on several forum threads asking for assistance or getting information on how to fix this unwanted device’s software error, and other technical problems that currently affecting the iOS system.

The RSOD can affect any of your iOS devices, whether it’s newly acquired or has been used for several months. This event is most likely spontaneous, and most of the users are caught off-guard. The error will randomly turn your phone’s screen into color “red” in random time intervals then, it will reboot after one or five seconds. The process will continue to happen even though the phone keeps on rebooting itself. This unfortunate event will definitely frustrate you. For starters, better not panic or do something stupid on your phone to worsen the iOS software error.

There is also a quite similar software error going around that could also happen on your iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 plus. This error is the so-called having the blue screen of death (BSOD). The only difference between the two is obviously instead of getting a red screen you’ll get a blue screen.

The possible cause of the red screen of death

Numerous iOS device experts are claiming that the RSOD or BSOD that is currently infesting iPhone 6 plus and iPhone 6 could be due to a defective software. On the other side, a group of engineers pointed out that the issues took place because of its hardware components. Unfortunately, Apple is still zipping its mouth about this error. They didn’t release any official statement regarding this matter, leaving us behind crawling in the dark with no clues at all on what’s really going on.

Step-by-step guide to solving the red screen of death

We had done our research to help you guys out. The following is a compiled solution, based on our experience, as well as advice gathered throughout the web. First, we need you to relax, focus, and follow our step-by-step guide on how to get this “knot” untied. Before attempting to go to a specialized repair technician, you may want to try this procedure. Some iPhone owners (including ourselves) claim that they had successfully fixed the problem. So here goes:

Step 1. One thing you could do (which we highly recommend) is to call Apple’s support and get a case ID created for you. If your phone is still under warranty, then you can get a replacement from where you purchased your phone. However, since you ended up on this, page, most likely this option is not available to you due of some reasons.

Step 2. Perform a soft reboot/restart of your iPhone. Although it is unlikely you haven’t tried this, it is still worth mentioning. Many users claim that by doing a simple restart or a so-called soft reset, quite a few issues including freezing, crashing, auto reset, ring or vibrate fail, unresponsive keypad, not being able to make or receive calls and many other problems may be fixed by this action.

Slide to restart

The process can be simply done by turning off your phone for a minute then turn it back on. It’s a similar procedure, which I bet you are familiar from using computers with issues. Don’t be afraid of losing your saved data because this method won’t delete any. To perform a soft reboot on your iPhone 6/iPhone 6 plus:

  1. Press and hold the Power button until there will be an option that will appear saying “Slide to Power Off”. Release the button if the option comes out.
  2. To activate the power off sequence, slide the Power switch towards right.
  3. Wait for a few seconds for your phone to power off.
  4. After you had successfully turned off your phone, wait a minute (important!) and then press and hold the Power button. Don’t release it until the Apple logo displays on the screen.
  5. If the phone is not responding to any input nor restarting, press and hold the Power and Home buttons until the Apple logo appears on the screen, then release it.

Step 3. Do a hard reset/restore of your iPhone with iTunes. If problem still continues after doing a soft reset, your next option is to do a hard reset or a so called iPhone factory restore. Please be advised that this method will definitely delete all the saved data on your phone, thus we strongly recommend before doing this, to create a backup on all of your saved data.

iPhone with iTunes

Here’s how to do it:

  1. Press and hold the Power button until your phone powers off.
  2. You will need to connect or a USB data cable on your iPhone then plug it to a computer
  3. Download the latest iTunes on your computer if you haven’t installed it already.
  4. Update your iTunes before proceeding.
  5. Open iTunes on your computer.
  6. Press and hold the Power and Home buttons on your iPhone until a prompt will come up saying like “Plug into iTunes”
  7. Wait for your iPhone to be recognized by iTunes.
  8. From the Summary pane, select and click Restore.
  9. Follow the onscreen instructions to restore your device through iTunes.
  10. If your iPhone is not accepted or shown in iTunes, try to force your iPhone into Recovery Mode, and then restore it. You can enter in the recovery mode by pressing and holding the power of and the home buttons for 10 seconds.

Step 4. Remove and reinsert the SIM. Sometimes the SIM may not be properly placed, or may lose a contact because of a shock. Remove it using a needle, a paper clip or the special tool for Apple, clean it and place it back on.

Iphone 6 2

Please note that if the RSOD or BSOD problem is due to a defective hardware and neither of the above-mentioned possible solution works. If you just bought your iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 plus from an Apple Store and experience such an unfortunate error, you have the right to take it back and ask for a replacement.

Got issues with your iOS 9 device? Fix it here.

If any of you like to add more to this guide or need some additional info, don’t hesitate to use the comment form.

JAB Holding Buys Keurig for $13.9 Billion

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Recently, everyone in the business world were astonished by the huge buyout of Keurig. The buyer is one of the most prominent and wealthiest family in Luxembourg, Germany. The coffee maker “Keurig Green Mountain” has been acquired for almost $14 billion. The buyout sky rocketed the stocks of Keurig Green Mountain (NASDAQ:GMCR), which boosted from $51.70 to $92 per share.

Many had observed the struggle of the company in maintaining the trading index in the stock market. The business deal is anticipated to close all through the first quarter of the calendar in the upcoming 2016. What do you think about this event? Is a struggling company worth buying?

What’s the fuss with the Keurig 2.0?

We all know that Keurig’s coffee makers (i.e. Not allowing third-party pods may be considered a monopolist advantage type, which unfortunately, is turning it also as a major marketing disadvantage for the company.

The Keurig will scan for a special ink marker that is printed on the pod’s lid to avoid any unspecified use of pods. If you will insist to use non-specified pods, then you’ll get a message saying “Oops, I can’t brew that”. However, finding a suitable distributor is not appealing to most coffee producers, and the pods cost quite a lot. If you love coffee and you want to have a portable Starbucks coffee maker in your home then this may work. However, if you are on a tight pocket then this type of deal won’t be a good choice. The Digital Rights Management (DRM) scheme used by the company didn’t quite made the desired marketing and monopoly punch because smart consumers were able to bypass the security system installed on the machine. According to unofficial sources, many only glued a small piece of tape on the Keurig’s scanners, thus fooling the security system and allowing them to brew any type of coffee, although it doesn’t have the official ink marker. For example, the Rogers Family Company Coffee & Tea Market took this as an opportunity to make a profit. The company created the “Freedom Clip”, a ring which allows you to use their OneCups.

My K-CupThe monopoly scheming resulted in 23 percent loss in sales last May. Machines and accessories were hardly sold. Although pods sales increased by 14 percent, this growth is not enough for Keurig’s marketing goals. Compromising with its customer’s declining patronage, they tried to win back the favor by creating the “My K-Cup”. It is a reusable filter which will allows its customers to brew their preferred coffee.

The Wall Street Journal (TWSJ) was among the first to announce the decline of the company, as private coffee pods makers entered the market. Despite of introducing some new products and features, the company is still having a hard time coping up with their target sales for the rest of the year. According to the TWSJ, Keurig’s revenue in the last fiscal year was down by 4% to $4.52 billion, while profit slid 16% to $498 million.

Keurig 2.0The brewing system Keurig 2.0 was launched last year, with high hopes from the former Coke Chief Executive, Mr. Brian Kelley. Back then, he was thinking the system will eventually mine gold for the company. The appliance can brew different-sized pots and specialty drinks. Even though a promising year-path was on the line, the sales went not as expected. Initiating sales and marketing plan performed quite poor.

Keurig Kold unitIn spite of the dissatisfactory remarks, its carbonated beverage maker “Kold” gained the interest among some of its consumers.

The initiated buyout brought an advantage for the Coca-Cola’s previous investment (they bought 14% of the company at $91/share). Coke invested $1 billion on that deal, and as the share prices went up to $92, we can say the investment already generated a $25 million in profit.

JAB Holding: The uncontrolled spending

According to a market analyst, JAB has been doing some wild spending in the last few years. Acquiring several companies like Stumptown Coffee Roasters and Intelligentsia Coffee Inc. and Caribou Coffee Company but Peet’s Coffee & Tea didn’t pursue its bait seeking for an independent company as one.

According to Virginia Lee, a well-known Euro monitor beverage analyst, there’s a big factor that they cannot ignore today as a private company like Keurig can use its own initiative in innovating, creating new disruptive products.

GoPro’s new perspective of action and adventure – GoPro Karma

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Finally, GoPro confirmed the release of its drone camera, first rumored back in 2014. This year, GoPro thrilled its fans with their awaited drone camera in a YouTube promotional video and an official blog post announcement. The product is still on its developmental phase as of now, but they are polishing their final adjustments for this prototype, making a key purpose to deliver a significantly superior camera and ultimately, not to disappoint their avid fans around the globe.

GoPro Karma

After the failed strategy of GoPro’s Hero 5 release this year, their marketing department believes that next year will be awesome because they are planning to release both GoPro Hero 5 and the Karma at the same time. The company expects a boost in their sales which will contribute in achieving their sales quota or better yet, exceeding it.

GoPro Karma release date

According to the official sources, the release is set sometime in the first half of 2016.

Specifications

Official specs are not yet released by GoPro. However, based on the clip uploaded in YouTube, the company teased, or better said, it effectively “wowed” the fans. The UAV’s test footage is nearly at 2500 resolution judging from its 1440p captured video.

How did they end up with Karma?

The failed partnership with DJI and a Taiwanese OEM obviously contributed to some degree. The management chose to zip their lips for any unreasonable and unnecessary statements.

However, DJI CEO Frank Wang Tao implied GoPro was disrespectful in negotiations, just like they would be with any other Taiwanese OEM, so any successful partnership was practically not possible. If you like to speculate things, you may think the “Karma” naming may relate in a way to this unsuccessful partnership.

What’s the price range?

There’s still no word on the official price. However, there are rumors that the drone camera is roughly worth $500 to $1,000 for an introductory price next year. Want to win a GoPro give away? Sign up for GoPro’s news on drone. Who knows? Maybe it’s your lucky day, right?

GoPro’s holiday blowout or marketing strategy?

GoPro H4

The price of GoPro Hero 4 recently dropped from $400. This Christmas, they slashed down almost half of its price. The mark down of the Hero 4 is a clear indication that the upcoming release is near and they want to clear out most of their Hero 4 stocks.

If you like new gadgets and cooler stuff, then the upcoming Christmas sale is not for you. If you can’t wait any longer and you are on a tight budget, go for it, it’s a great deal.

The Do’s and Don’ts of drone flying

Having fun means flying safely!” – Federal Aviation Authority

Although recreational flying doesn’t require an approval from FAA, they vouch for a strict compliance with the guidelines set by their agency for a safer and fun way of flying drones. Avoid any daring stunts that will jeopardize airplanes or other people’s property on the ground.

“Dos”

  1. Do fly a model aircraft for personal fun.
  2. Do take lessons and learn how to fly safely.
  3. Do register your aircraft if it weighs more than 55 lbs.
  4. Do contact the airport or control tower when flying within 5 miles of the airport
  5. Do fly a model aircraft/UAS at the local model aircraft club.

“Don’ts”

  1. Don’t fly model aircraft for payment or commercial purposes.
  2. Don’t fly near manned aircraft.
  3. Don’t fly an aircraft weighing more than 55 lbs. unless it’s certified by an aeromodeling community-based organization.
  4. Don’t fly beyond operator’s line of sight.
  5. Don’t fly contrary to your aeromodeling community-based safety guidelines.

Any unlawful use of drones can lead to multiple lawsuit. Contact FAA for additional guidelines and information. And if you have questions, post them bellow.

SpaceX: The bumpy space shuttle ride

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SpaceX

Space Exploration Technologies Corporation (SpaceX) is an aerospace contractor based in Hawthorne, California, USA. SpaceX actively participates in constructing space launching platforms, being one of NASA’s main contractors. After they successfully got the certification from Air Force’s Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle (EELV) program, Space X initiated its space exploration program and achieved numerous successes. By the way, EELV is a regulatory body that is intended to increase reliability and to lower launch costs by pitting privately owned companies to propose a competitive contract that will ensure superiority performance for a lower cost project. The primary contractors are Boeing and Lockheed Martin in 1995.

Unfortunately, in 2006 the air force plans to lower the project costs were bogged down by its previous rival contenders, Boeing and Lockheed Martin. The celebrated defense contractors formed a joint venture named ULA or United Launch Alliance. The joint venture didn’t stop the federal government to look for competent new contractors. This event gave way for new contractors to showcase their work, giving them the opportunity for a rewarding multi-million contract.

The perspective of Elon Musk – devoting to his passion, against all odds, towards astonishing success

In mid-2001, the Mars Society conducted a fund raising dinning event where they invited numerous guests. Elon Musk was not invited to that event but his curiosity allowed him to sneak anonymously to the event and made a generous $5,000 check donation for the $500-per-plate event aimed to provide additional funds for their Mars research facility in the Antarctic code named: The Translife Mission.

He gave us a check for $5,000. That made everyone take notice.” – Robert Zubrin.

The facility can mimic the extreme conditions of the red planet. The Translife Mission also conducted experiments on how mice will reproduce in Martian environment. His generous donations made him an honorary member where he was given VIP access for their research laboratory in the Arctic.

Mars Society is an elite network of individuals that is dedicated on promoting the settlement on the planet Mars and human exploration.

For those of you who don’t know who Elon Musk is, I’ll briefly describe him as a millionaire who made his fortune as a CEO of Tesla Motors, SolarCity and the co-founder of PayPal. He has a degree in Physics and Business studies. His experience with the Mars Society fueled his passion for space exploration. The event conducted by the Mars Society greatly influenced Elon Musk in 2002. His ambitious plan on colonizing the planet Mars is to place a small greenhouse laden with seeds and nutrient gel where a Martian Rover will be used to grow it there. He also proposed to bring along a crew of mice, sending them to the planet and letting them reproduce there.

By the time Musk successfully got a contractor that can build him his Martian lander, the problem of launching the Martian project was delayed. Due to the monopoly of rocket contractors and costly rockets in the US, Musk decided to made several trips to Russia to get a good deal on a refurbished “intercontinental ballistic missile” so he can use it in his controversial project. Sadly, Musk didn’t make the cut because of huge financial risks – the deal was canceled.

SpaceX 4

I was trying to understand why rockets were so expensive.” –  Elon Musk

The fascination of Elon Musk towards his vision made a gap with his closest of friends

What Elon is doing is insane. A philanthropic gesture? That’s crazy” – said at the time Cantrell, one of his closest buddies who was seriously worried about his friend’s decision.

However, Elon Musk is tenacious in his passion and his friends weren’t able to stop him. This action made the fortune of Tesla Motors a bit sour because of allotting more funds into his space exploration project. That has been a tough time for Tesla Motors’ funding, almost the breaking point of the company. Despite many odds, Musk took the risk and push through. This road lead to a new opportunity which he didn’t expect to happen.

This moment sparked a new hope for Elon Musk. In pursuance of his passion thus, the founding of SpaceX happened. Musk hired brilliant veteran rocket engineers and other critical personnel that will make an enormous difference in his newly founded company.

SpaceX 3

SpaceX: Historic accomplishments

1. It was awarded the Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) contract by NASA in 2006.

2. Officially proclaimed as the first privately funded company that developed a liquid-fueled rocket “Falcon 1” that successfully reached the Earth’s orbit on the 28th of September 2008.

3. The first private company who funded the successful launching of “Falcon 9”

4. On December 9, 2010 another historic event – they successfully launched and returned a spacecraft from orbit. The “Dragon” was successfully recovered after its travel on two-orbital flights.

5. The first company to send a spacecraft (“Dragon”) to the ISS or International Space Station on May 25th 2012.

6. The primary company to send a satellite into geosynchronous orbit.

7. The company has flown four re-supply missions to the ISS.

8. In mid-2016, SpaceX will launch its first crewed “Dragon” or “Falcon 9” to shuttle its crew in the ISS as part of its Commercial Crew Development (CCDev) program.

 “To make spaceflight routine and affordable, and to make humans a multi-planet species is the company’s ultimate goal.” –  Elon Musk

Quest to perfection – Innovations that will never end

After years of research and development, SpaceX’s experience in the rocket technology has never failed to reveal new designs and concepts that are constantly applied in their prototypes and blueprints to build a new age of Rockets and Shuttles. The key principle remains the same: lower costs, without bypassing standards.

SpaceX 2

“Our performance will increase and our prices will decline over time,” – Elon Musk posted on their official website.

The success of SpaceX brought many criticisms from other manufacturers and observers in the same industry (space technology). Many of them are doubting the ambitious achievement and aim of the company. Despite all of its criticisms, SpaceX has brought huge contributions to space exploration.

If you would be in Elon Musk’s shoes, wouldn’t you do the same? Post your comments below.