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Clubhouse for Android is a couple of months away
by Paul Hill
According to Clubhouse co-founder Paul Davison, his popular but exclusive app is set to arrive on Android in a “couple of months”, according to a report in TechCrunch. Davison initially announced the Android time frame during a Clubhouse Townhall meeting that was subsequently made public when a recording was uploaded to YouTube.
This is not the first time we’ve heard mentions of Clubhouse arriving on Android. In a January blog post, the firm said that it was planning to bring its product to Android “soon” but never gave any concrete details. Last month, CNBC reported that the firm had now hired Android software developer Mopewa Ogundipe to begin work on the Android app.
Clubhouse’s appeal has not gone unnoticed by the larger tech firms who want to stomp on any competition before it becomes a threat. In February, there were reports that Facebook was working on an alternative to Clubhouse and at the end of last week, the messaging app Telegram got a new update which brought similar functionality to Telegram channels.
With its rivals working on similar products, it’s not clear right now whether Clubhouse will keep its invite-only model or make access open for everyone. On the one hand, exclusivity may boost its appeal – something Apple does with its high prices, on the other hand, rivals that make their competing product open may grow to become more popular than Clubhouse.
NASA unveils Perseverance landing footage and Mars audio
by Paul Hill
Just days after the successful landing of its Perseverance rover, NASA has released extraordinary footage of the landing sequence as well as audio from the surface of the planet where you can make out the sound of the wind blowing. High definition cameras that give a view above and below the rover, as well as the one looking from the vantage point of the sky crane, caught all the action beginning 11 kilometres from the surface to the rover’s landing.
Some of the highlights of the three-and-a-half-minute clip include seeing the Martian surface from a high altitude, seeing the dust on the surface come to life as the rover was close to landing, seeing the sky crane fly off after the rover had touched down and seeing the parachute unfurl. According to NASA, the parachute is also the most massive ever to be sent to another planet.
Commenting on the content, NASA Administrator Steve Jurczyk said:
To watch the descent, check out the embedded video below. To hear the audio from the rover, skip to 40:48 in this NASA event.
Since landing, NASA has been busy checking equipment on the rover to ensure there are no problems. Some of the instruments being checked this week include the Mars Environmental Dynamics Analyzer to look at the weather in the area and the Mastcam-Z which can take panoramic shots of the Jezero crater. The crater used to be a lakebed and contains rocks and sediment which the rover plans to collect up so that it can be examined to find out whether life ever existed on Mars.
Aside from searching for evidence of ancient life, the rover is also carrying the Mars Oxygen In-Situ Resource Utilization Experiment (MOXIE) which will try to produce oxygen. This part of the mission is key for future human-led missions to Mars where resources will be scarce and the ability to generate oxygen essential.
By Usama Jawad96
Clubhouse confirms security breach, deploys new safeguards
by Usama Jawad
Private social app Clubhouse allows users to engage in informal conversations. The invite-only iOS application is used by Elon Musk with Facebook also looking to clone the chat service. However, concerns were raised around Clubhouse a couple of weeks ago with the Stanford Internet Observatory (SIO) citing numerous potential security weaknesses in the service. Today, Clubhouse has confirmed a security breach and placed new safeguards to prevent similar incidents in the future.
This situation feeds into the security concerns raised by the SIO a few days ago. One of these was Clubhouse user and chatroom IDs were being transmitted over the internet in plaintext instead of being encrypted.
Furthermore, SIO also revealed that the backend of the platform is handled by a Shanghai-based startup called Agora Inc. The Chinese company states that it "temporarily" stores raw audio data for processing in its servers but it is currently unknown how long this time period is and where the servers are situated. In a statement to The Verge, the firm confirmed that it does not route traffic produced by non-Chinese users through China. However, Agora declined to go into details about the security mechanisms and protocols in place to prevent security breaches, such as the one that took place over the weekend.
Source: Bloomberg | Image via Walk the Chat
By Garg Ankit
Upcoming Google Nest Audio unboxed in a new leak
by Garg Ankit
Image via WinFuture Google is all set to hold a hardware event at the end of this month, where the company is expected to announce several devices including the Nest Audio, a Chromecast with Google TV dongle, and new Pixel phones. Nest Audio, which is the upcoming smart speaker from the brand and will replace the original Google Home, has been leaked quite a few times already. This time around, a set of images unboxing the device have been leaked (via Reddit) for the world to see.
It is worth noting that Google itself shared a photo and teaser video of the speaker with some publications in advance, and a teardown of the Google Home app almost confirmed the new name earlier this month. This was followed by a press renders leak, which confirmed the size and color offerings of the upcoming smart speaker.
The Nest Audio will have a fabric covering which helps with audio quality. It is also notably larger when compared to the original Google Home, and shall help with bass and sound quality. The front will sport four LEDs similar to the Nest Mini. Touch controls at the front will allow play/pause and volume control. The Nest Audio will come with a proprietary connector instead of the standard micro USB or USB-C.
Gallery: Leaked Google Nest Audio unboxing
Google's upcoming Nest Audio smart speaker renders leak
by Rajesh Pandey
Google has already given us a glimpse of its upcoming smart speaker, the Nest Audio. The company is widely expected to announce the new smart speaker at its event later this month. Ahead of that though, the folks at WinFuture have posted detailed press renders of the Nest Audio.
Google is seemingly planning on offering the Nest Audio in two different colors: Charcoal and Chalk. The press renders also make it clear that the Nest Audio will have a fabric covering which helps with audio quality. Compared to the original Google Home, the upcoming Nest Audio is also notably larger which should help with sound quality and bass.
The front of the speaker will also feature four LEDs similar to the Nest Mini and previous Google Home speakers. A physical mute switch will also be located at the rear. Lastly, the leaked renders point to the Nest Audio coming with a proprietary connector instead of microUSB or USB-C. This means the smart speaker won't be portable in nature and won't come with a built-in battery.
The full specs of the Nest Audio have not yet leaked, but rumors suggest it will be priced around €100 . Users will also have the option of pairing two Nest Audio speakers for high-quality stereo playback.