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THE $1,000 PHONE: This huge problem Apple must solve before it launches the new iPhone (AAPL)

Analysts are highly optimistic about the next iPhone, which is expected to be a radical reset of the entire line. It's the tenth anniversary of the device, so there's a huge amount riding on it. It might cost £1,000 ($1,000) — a sum that many shoppers will balk at. These are significant challenges Apple needs to overcome.

Apple is gearing up to launch what may well be the most hotly anticipated smartphone ever.

2017 year is the 10th anniversary of the unveiling of the original iPhone. Since then, smartphones and mobile apps have transformed apps, business, and the global economy — propelling Apple to become the world's most valuable company.


Apple hired a veteran product manager from YouTube and Spotify to boost its video platform (AAPL)

Apple has hired veteran product manager Shiva Rajaraman, who was most recently at Spotify, to boost its video offering and help it to compete with companies like Netflix and Amazon, The Information reports.

In addition to Apple's video offering, Rajaraman will reportedly also be tasked with improving the user experience and aesthetics of other Apple media products, including Apple Music, which competes directly with Spotify. Apple News and books are other areas he may end up focusing on. 

Rajaraman will report to Eddy Cue, Apple's senior vice president of internet software and services, according to The Information. The move looks like a further bolstering of Apple's media, entertainment, and related services businesses.


VW Group is rolling out an amazing self-driving electric SUV — but there's a huge catch

On Wednesday, Škoda announced plans to unveiled an all-new electric crossover SUV concept called the Vision E at the 2017 Shanghai Motor Show.

Unfortunately for US car buyers, Škoda, a subsidiary of Volkswagen Group, is not available on this side of the Atlantic.

Which is a real shame because the Vision E looks like a winner.

Škoda expects the electric crossover to offer as much as 311 miles of electric range.

The Vision E will be driven by a pair of high-output electric motors — one mounted on each axle. Together, the duo create a virtual all-wheel-drive system while producing roughly 300 total horsepower.

Škoda did not offer an expected 0-60mph time, but did say that the concept should be able to reach a top speed of 112mph.

In addition, the concept is also slated to conform with level 3 requirements for autonomous driving.


10 things in tech you need to know today (FB, GOOG)

Good morning! Here is the tech news you need to know this Friday.

1. Oculus cofounder Palmer Luckey is leaving Facebook, which acquired his virtual reality startup for $2 billion in 2014. Luckey's sudden departure is the latest in a string of shake-ups and controversies within Facebook's virtual reality (VR) subsidiary.

2. SpaceX pulled off a revolutionary rocket launch. It fuelled up a used rocket booster, fired it off, and then recovered it for yet another launch.

3.


Google's venture capital arm has backed a startup spun out of Oxford that is developing 'biotech superglue' (GOOG)

LONDON — Google's venture capital arm has taken part in a £4 million investment round in a startup spun out of Oxford University that is trying to use "biotech superglue" to create new vaccines.

GV, formerly Google Ventures, is backing SpyBiotech, a startup that is trying to commercialise a biological discovery that it believes can be used to create highly effective vaccines.

The company's IP is based on research done by Oxford University’s Department of Biochemistry and the Jenner Institute to separate the bacteria that gives people strep throat. When separated, the two parts of the bacteria are highly attracted to each other and want to re-bond. This urge to reconnect creates the "biotech superglue" that can be used to bond things together.


There are a lot of red flags with Samsung's AI assistant in the new Galaxy S8

There's Siri. And Alexa. And Google Assistant. And Cortana.

Now add another one of those digital assistants to the mix: Bixby, the new helper that lives inside Samsung's latest phone, the Galaxy S8.

But out of all the assistants that have launched so far, Bixby is the most curious and the most limited.

Before we dive in though, here's a quick recap of what Bixby is and how it works.

Samsung's goal with Bixby was to create an assistant that can mimic all the functions you're used to performing by tapping on your screen through voice commands. The theory is that phones are too hard to manage, so simply letting users tell their phone what they want to happen will make things a lot easier.


These $50 sensors are a useful, non-invasive way to keep your home safe

My upstairs neighbors have flooded their bathrooms twice since moving into my current apartment. 

The first time it happened was when a bathtub overflowed three floors above me, damaging my ceiling and leaving a wide brown stain behind. The second time it happened, an entirely different neighbor forgot he left his faucet on. I could hear the water rushing through the walls and watched the paint on my ceiling bubble with moisture. 

Needless to say, I'm now frequently worrying about leaks — and fires, and burglars, and basically every manner of tragedy that can befall an apartment. 

So when I had the opportunity to try out Notion — a sensor that can detect open doors and windows, temperature, and even leaks — I wondered whether it would reduce my apartment anxieties and keep me informed of how my home is doing even when I'm not there. 


Trying to land a SpaceX rocket in this simple video game could drive you mad

Elon Musk and his rocket company, SpaceX, are on the cusp of something huge.

On March 30, SpaceX will try to fire off a used rocket booster — the biggest and most expensive part of its Falcon 9 launch system — and land it safely so it can be reused once more.

Ordinarily, boosters cost tens of millions of dollars to build, but always sink into the ocean or crash into the ground after helping to deliver a payload into orbit.

Not SpaceX boosters — those can touch down on land or on a ship at sea.

Musk and his band of engineers have made this look easy, with eight such landings since December 2015. It is not easy, but you don't need to take our word for it. Instead, just play "


Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos is now the second richest man in the world (AMZN)

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos is now the second richest man in the world after overtaking Amancio Ortega and Warren Buffett, according to Bloomberg's Billionaires Index.

Amazon's stock price has rocketed 50% in the past 12 months, adding to the net-worth of its largest shareholder, founder Jeff Bezos. The Amazon founder is now worth $75.6 billion, according to Bloomberg, surpassing Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffet ($75.5 billion) and Amancio Ortega, chairman of Inditex fashion group ($74.1 billion).

Bill Gates is still the richest man in the world with a net-worth of $86 billion.

Amazon has been on a roll lately, crushing numbers with Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Amazon Prime. 


The Galaxy S8 arrives as Samsung's hold on the smartphone market is slipping

In what will likely be the biggest Android device launch of the year, Samsung on Wednesday introduced its new flagship smartphones, the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+. At first blush, they look good. We mean that in the most literal way possible — the display-heavy hardware design is gorgeous.

That early promise is good for Samsung, because it has a lot riding on these phones. The company’s last big phone, the