As NASA declares its Mars Opportunity rover’s mission to be over, El Kaiser and J.D. raise a glass to the plucky little machine who did far more than what was expected of it — and sent back so much science. This week’s batch of headlines also brings a potential new subscription service (or two) from Apple, Amazon bailing out of New York City and a Tinder-like app for cattle. J.D. also discusses apps to better plan your home renovation. Here’s a toast to Opportunity from PTJ Episode 301!
But Apple was in the spotlight for other reasons as well this week. A story on the front page of The New York Times highlighted the company’s national security tussle with the United States government over encryption and data access with software like iMessage, a program Apple says it can’t decrypt itself.
Comcast is testing a new form of data plan in south Florida. While the company normally imposes a 300-gigabytes-a-month limit, customers can now pay an extra $30 for the Unlimited Data Option. It’s just like those old unlimited broadband plans of yore, except more expensive!
Verizon announced its new Go90 mobile streaming TV service this week. The service will be ad-supported and show programs young people want to watch.
NASA said late last week that it has begun its intensive data downlink phase to grab the massive amount of data the New Horizons spacecraft collected during its Pluto flyby in July. The agency also announced that engineers at a facility in New Orleans have welded together the first two segments of the Orion crew module that will be used in a test flight to the far side of the moon in preparation for an eventual manned journey to Mars.