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NASA’s Curiosity rover team is exploring Mars from home

Redefining the meaning of remote operations

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People across the world are adapting to the work-from-home model due to the Coronavirus pandemic, including the team running NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover. Well, we can’t say they’ve shifted to working remotely since the rover is inherently designed to work remotely.

But the difference now is, instead of being run from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California, it’s now decentralized and scientists are running it from their home.

On March 20, the rover’s operations were timelined while the entire team worked remotely. Two days later, the instructions they had sent to Mars executed as expected, resulting in Curiosity drilling a rock sample at a location called “Edinburgh.”

For many of us, driving is a herculean task. Now imagine, driving a robot on a completely different planet where the terrain is unknown and any mistake could cost hundreds of millions of dollars as well as years of research. The space agency has revealed how its team is managing the robot from a work-from-home model.

“We’re usually all in one room, sharing screens, images, and data,” said team lead Alicia Allbaugh. She further added “I probably monitor about 15 chat channels at all times,” she said. “You’re juggling more than you normally would.”

Previously tasks that were accomplished on high-end workstations are now being done on laptops and web services. They also shifted to simple red-blue 3-D glasses that work well for planning drives and arm movements instead of the specialized googles at the lab

Curiosity launched in November 2011 and landed on Mars in August 2012. It is part of the four rovers NASA has sent to reveal new discoveries on Mars since 1997.

Enterprise

Qualcomm isn’t scared of Google’s in-house processor

Will continue to work with Google

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Earlier today, Google unveiled its first-ever in-house chipset, the Tensor. Naturally, the announcement holds a lot of promise for the company’s upcoming flagship series. The Pixel 6 series looks amazing even from teases. However, the announcement is likely a blow for the company that Google previously depended on chips: Qualcomm. For its part though, Qualcomm isn’t scared of the Tensor.

According to a tweet from Walter Bloomberg, globally renowned chipmaker Qualcomm isn’t backing down from Tensor’s huge promise for the upcoming Pixel phones. A spokesperson is still reportedly working with Google for existing and future Qualcomm-based devices.

Unfortunately, the report does not indicate which devices that Qualcomm is pertaining to. Currently, we already know that the upcoming Pixel 6 series will sport the Tensor. Whatever it is pertaining to isn’t the upcoming flagship series.

Currently, it is reaping the fruits from the Snapdragon 888 chipset unveiled late last year. The company is likely preparing for the Snapdragon 888 Plus soon. Honor has already promised a smartphone with the upgraded chipset coming later this year.

In general, the company has no real reason to be scared of Google’s latest chipset. Currently, Google has not revealed any plans to market the chipset towards other smartphone makers. The Tensor will likely be a Pixel exclusive for now.

SEE ALSO: Qualcomm launches a phone for Snapdragon Insiders, costs $1500

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OnePlus shipments grew by a whopping 257 percent

Fastest growing phone brand in the US

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OnePlus Nord CE

Last year, OnePlus started an experiment: Can it reinvigorate its midrange lineup with the new Nord series? The Nord series promised a new identity for the company to delineate its flagship offerings from its midrange ones. It was a hip refresh. And, according to new data, it looks like the new series is paying off.

Compared to this time last year, OnePlus’ global shipments grew by a whopping 257 percent for the first half of the year (via AndroidCentral). The impressive growth can only point to the success of the Nord series. Since the series’ first announcement, OnePlus has added more and more devices for the lineup, ultimately leading to the Nord 2 today. The company says that they shipped over 1 million Nord phones since the start of the year.

Besides the shipment growth, OnePlus is also touting sales growth all over the world including territories like the United States, Europe, and India. Most notably, OnePlus grew its shipments in the United States by an astronomical 428 percent, effectively making it the fastest-growing smartphone brand in the country for the first half of 2021.

Additionally, OnePlus’ Europe numbers grew by 304 percent. China saw a 124 percent increase. Finally, the company supposedly grabbed 48 percent of the market share in India.

Of course, the YoY increase shouldn’t be a huge surprise. Taking out any new series that came out last year, the entire smartphone industry crashed under the COVID-19 pandemic. The industry is bouncing back.

SEE ALSO: No OnePlus 9T or 9T Pro, rumor says

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Xiaomi leaps forward in Fortune Global 500 list

Now at number 338

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Since Huawei’s rapid fall from the smartphone rankings, Chinese smartphone makers have rushed to fill in the hole left behind by the former leader of the Chinese smartphone race. According to the latest rankings, Xiaomi has already done well for itself in the standings. The tech company is already the second largest smartphone maker in terms of sales. Xiaomi is already making strides in another leaderboard: the Fortune Global 500 list.

As always, Fortune has released the list of companies that are worth more than the rest this year. Of note, Xiaomi is number 338 — a huge jump from its place last year at 422. It’s Xiaomi’s third year on the list. The jump reflects the company’s success following its removal from the U.S. blacklist.

Another thing to note is that 135 of the companies on the list are of Chinese origin. Chinese companies are on the rise after the 2020 pandemic.

Xiaomi’s position is impressive but not entirely a surprise. Besides smartphones, the company also has its hands on different industries like wearables and lifestyle products. Most recently, Xiaomi was reportedly working on a revolutionary smart band with a 360-degree display.

For reference, Xiaomi’s rivals Apple and Samsung are at a higher position on the Fortune Global 500 list. Apple is currently sitting at number 6. Samsung is at number 15. The Chinese company still has a lot of ground to cover, but it’s on the right path.

SEE ALSO: Xiaomi’s 200W charger is coming next year

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