The Morning After: LG quits the smartphone race

And how to detect airborne DNA.


The early reports were right: LG is bowing out of the phone business. With long-running losses and occasionally esoteric devices never quite selling, it makes business sense. LG’s dual-screen phones (and the promise of rollable displays, which we’ll never see now) were not enough to lure consumers away from the likes of Apple and Samsung.

The Morning After
The Morning After (Engadget)

By the end of 2020, its stake in the global phone market was estimated to be around 1.7 percent, and LG announced it would outsource the designs of more of its low- and mid-range handsets to third parties.

The company won’t announce any new smartphones but it will sell through all its remaining phone inventory, so if you’re looking for an LG Wing, keep an eye out for fire-sale prices.

— Mat Smith

Scientists demonstrate how DNA can be collected from the air

It could help understand airborne diseases and solve crimes.

The Morning After
The Morning After (Getty)

Researchers at the Queen Mary University of London have shown you can collect "environmental DNA" (eDNA) from the air, using a peristaltic pump and pressure filters to grab samples of naked mole rat DNA. The method not only pinpointed the mole rats' DNA (both in their housing and in the room at large), but also even caught some human DNA at the same time.

While the method was built for conservation and ecological study, it could be used for much more, with enough development. Forensics units could pluck DNA from the air to determine if a suspect had been present at the scene of a crime. It could also be useful in medicine, to better understand how airborne viruses (like the one behind COVID-19) spread. Continue reading.

Hyundai’s Genesis broke the world record for the most drones in the sky

Sorry, but I still have time for drone shows.

The Morning After
The Morning After (Genesis)

The Hyundai-owned car brand Genesis marked its entrance into China by launching 3,281 drones into the sky, breaking the Guinness World Record for the most unmanned aerial vehicles in the air at the same time. The show itself was back on 29th March, but Guinness has to check these kinds of things. Expect to see the record broken again, though.

Shenzhen Damoda Intelligent Control Technology flew 'just' 3,051 drones in September 2020, which smashed a record set by a 2,200-drone performance in Russia just days earlier. If you’re looking to smash this record, you might want to stock up on drone batteries now. Continue reading.

NASA’s Mars helicopter is ready to make its first flight

Ingenuity is poised to make history in a matter of days.

The Morning After
The Morning After (NASA)

NASA has confirmed that its Perseverance rover deployed its UAV, called Ingenuity, on Mars after a final four-inch drop to the Red Planet's soil on April 3rd. The only challenge now is to make it to the flight itself, which could take place as soon as April 11th. For now, Ingenuity needs to charge itself using its own solar cells, ready for its first trip — a 30-second hover. Continue reading.

Personal data for 533 million Facebook users leaks on the web

Data has been circulating privately since January.

Hackers have reportedly been sharing a massive amount of personal Facebook data since January. Security researcher Alon Gal has discovered that a user on a hacking forum has made the entire dataset public, exposing details for about 533 million Facebook members. The data includes phone numbers, birth dates, email addresses and locations, among other revealing info. About 32 million of the users are in the US, while 11 million are from the UK and another 6 million come from India. Continue reading.

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