For years, Apple’s mobile devices have been off in their wonderland of proprietary ports while the rest of the tech world did its best to converge on a few simple standards.
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Back in 2014, we were duly impressed with the inCharge, which made it easy to keep a tiny emergency USB charging cable on your keyring. Four years later, its creators have found a way to improve the inCharge with a new version featuring a connector that works with both Lightning and microUSB ports so you don't need to carry a separate cable for your non-Apple devices.
A post by DigiTimes that's making the rounds cites unnamed "analogue IC vendors" who say that Apple could be moving the iPhone and iPad to USB-C by 2019. That move would spell the gradual demise of Apple's proprietary Lightning port, which was introduced in 2012 and has been the connector for basically every iProduct since.
Video: There's no denying that a massive bolt of electricity streaking hundreds of kilometres across the sky is one of Mother Nature's most impressive demos. But when seen through the lens of Dustin Farrell's high-speed camera, lightning becomes even more phenomenal as it slowly zig-zags its way from the clouds to the earth below.
Thunderclouds rolled into the Japanese beach town of Uchinada early one December morning in 2015. The scientists expected the storms; they'd staked out the location specifically for studying something normally only seen by satellites. Sometime after 5am, a flash of lightning struck a wind turbine. And along came a more perplexing weather phenomenon, too: The thunderstorm turned into a particle accelerator and blasted gamma radiation at the ground.
Video: The intense flash of light and booming crack of thunder that follows a lightning strike can be exhilarating, but it's best to observe both while safely inside your home. As Norway's Daniel Modøl discovered while filming a storm from his deck, those unpredictable lightning bolts can strike anywhere, even 5m from where you're standing.
While the iPhone itself gets more and more resilient every year, the cables that come with them can feel like they’re made of paper mache. I’d say there’s good odds that you’ve replaced your phone cable at least once. You don’t want to do it again. So here’s three cables that have stood up to the rigours of daily life.
Video: Meteorologists can predict, with surprising accuracy, when a storm will roll through your town. But predicting exactly how severe it will be can still be hit and miss. That's why it took filmmaker Chad Cowan six years to capture the spectacular timelapses he assembled into this awe-inspiring compilation.
Video: The next time you accidentally spill soft drink, or water, plus a little bicarbonate of soda on one of your cutting boards, don't complain about having to clean it up. Instead, tear the safety cover off your microwave and use it as a high-voltage power source to etch a cool lightning pattern into the mess. (Don't actually do this.)
Video: Tom Scott took a pair of DJI Phantom 3 drones to the University of Manchester's High Voltage Laboratory, where they can manufacture lightning strikes measuring over a million volts. The goal was to see what happens to a drone were it to get struck by lightning while flown in a storm, and the results will probably surprise no one.
Lightning is a beautiful but dangerous beast: While we're pretty good at observing it from the ground -- and occasionally, being struck by it -- there's still some mystery about how the electrical discharges in the upper layers of our atmosphere actually work. The names given to these discharges (such as red sprites, pixies, elves) sound like the musings of a Dungeons & Dragons zealot rather than legitimate scientific phenomena. But at long last, scientists have been able to study images and video of one these elusive happenings -- called blue jets -- and the results are as spellbinding as lightning itself.
After the initial outrage of Apple removing the headphone jack from the iPhone 7 died down, users not wanting to go wireless soon realised that using the phone's Lightning port meant they could no longer charge while listening to music. Pioneer's new Rayz Plus earbuds include a simple solution to that problem, but they're still far from perfect.