It’s that time of year again when we look back at some of the news stories we’ve covered in 2017 and update you on later developments. Turning to May, Elon Musk announced he’d formed “The Boring Company” to advance his dream of a series of underground tunnels beneath to carry cars on sled-like platforms, switching between different levels to maximize efficiency. While nobody expects to see such a network any time soon, Musk later said he’d completed the first segment of tunnel. That’s almost certainly under his own private land at the SpaceX headquarters.
An Indian teenager won a competition by designing a satellite weighing in at just 64 grams. Rifath Sharook’s ‘KalamSat’, a four-centimeter cube, was launched by NASA in July and measured temperature, radiation and other atmospheric conditions. Although it wasn’t put into orbit, it went into micro-gravity for 12 minutes before falling to its inevitable watery grave.
Andy Rubin, one of the creators of the Android system, launched a handset named the ‘Essential’ phone. Perhaps because of the $699 price, not many folk agreed with the name and it reportedly sold only 5,000 units in its first two weeks. Early reviews suggested it was unspectacular, with the key selling point being a slot for expandable modules, though to date only a 360 degree camera is available to buy and fit.
In June, an experiment on Twitch streamed stock prices and asked chat room commenters to vote to buy or sell stocks. At the time of writing it was proving a success, the initial $50,000 investment was worth $55,220, a 10.4 percent growth rate. That’s behind the 17.6 percent of the Dow Jones Average for the same period.
Atari revealed it was making a retro-style console with a similar design to the original 2600 cabinet. It’s since said it won’t just be a dedicated emulator, but rather a full-blown Linux gaming PC. Pre-orders were scheduled for earlier this month but delayed so that the company had “more time to create the platform and ecosystem the Atari community deserves.”