Neil Armstrong spacesuit Kickstarter smashes target

Neil Armstrong wore on his Apollo 11 mission to the moon just got an astronomical amount closer, after the campaign to restore the suit raised more than $200k over their $500k target.

The Reboot the Suit campaign closed on Wednesday and the total of $719,779 raised means that the Smithsonian Institute in Washington DC is also able to restore the Mercury spacesuit worn by Alan Shepard, the first American in space.

The Smithsonian plans to show the suit as part of their Destination Moon exhibition but unfortunately, 40 years in a climate-controlled storage area doesn’t do enough to conserve such an important piece of space history. That’s why they appealed to Kickstarter to raise the funds to conserve, digitize and display Armstrong’s spacesuit. They clearly knew their market, as the $500k target was smashed in only four days, enough time to go to the moon and back.

Rewards for the campaign, aside from that warm, fuzzy feeling of doing something awesome for science, ranged from stickers and posters for $10 donations, to tickets to the unveiling of the suit for those big spenders out there.

Alas, no amount of money let you don Neil Armstrong’s Apollo 11 suit and recreate that giant leap for mankind…


Buick Envision Benchmark: The Immigrant

You probably learned it by reading this title.Chevrolet actually offers a hybrid variant of its intermediate sedan Malibu, it even begins its second year of life in this cuvée. This model is probably one of the least known vehicles among the current General Motors (GM) portfolio. The shadow of the excellent Volt can certainly be the explanation for this anonymity which, in truth, is not entirely deserved.

It’s design

Entirely renewed last year, the Malibu appropriates the new stylistic current that borrows the latest creations of Chevrolet. One thus finds at the front a grille in two pieces crossed by a band putting, obviously, prominently the bow tie of the mark. The thin headlights, placed low, give a certain dynamism, as the design of the hood, some of whose folds converge forward. The low roof line, which at last coincides with the trunk, a little like the Sportback sedan, also helps to cultivate a more modern image of this sedan, which, it must be said, a rental car.


The cockpit is undoubtedly the strong point of this Malibu. Vast and well prepared, it offers many storage spaces.The dashboard, which plays with textures and depth, displays great attention to assembly and good materials. The controls of the heating and air conditioning system are cleverly arranged, as are those placed on the steering wheel. In the front, one easily takes place and the clearance for the head and the legs is without reproach. At the back, it’s a little less inviting. As a result of the low roofline, rear passengers have to negotiate with little space for the head.

Under the hood

The powertrain of this Malibu is largely inspired by that of the Volt, without the possibility of external recharging. Its four-cylinder 1.8L is therefore supported by two electric motors. The whole is coupled with two epicycloidal trains to relay the torque to the front wheels. We get 182 bhp in total and a lot of torque for nervous behavior, especially in town. The heat engine nevertheless has a rough appearance even at its optimum temperature, a fault which is attenuated when the temperatures pass above 0 ° C. The electric mode is also used for short periods due to the low battery capacity (1.5 kWh).

Behind the wheel

Obviously, we do not buy a hybrid Malibu with the ultimate idea of ​​having an athlete in the hands. The sedan has a reserved temperament, not having a very frank personality. It does, however, fulfill its role of the road, except on one aspect: soundproofing. As soon as one crosses a road in less good condition, one perceives some suspicious noises of suspension. The behavior is very predictable and balanced overall. The direction is precise, but not really communicative. It deserves to be strengthened. Braking is progressive, despite its system of accumulation of kinetic energy.

Embedded technologies

The Malibu is equipped as standard with the MyLink system, to which you can add functionality depending on the choice of options. This system of infotainment essentially relies on tactile manipulations, only three physical buttons are presented. Like Cadillac’s CUE system, the menu structure does not greatly encourage intuition, so we often find ourselves in dead-ends for simple manipulation. The system nevertheless offers docking to Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as well as the independent 4G LTE Internet connection. The Bose sound system, which is part of a group of options, also allows enhancing the walks of a very good quality of sound.


Without hurting anything, the Malibu Hybrid does all the right work with a different technical approach to competition. Its powertrain inspired by the Volt provides excellent fuel efficiency while retaining an acceptable power output. The refinement of the four-cylinder would deserve to be refined and the periods in electric mode would benefit to be longer. Notwithstanding these minor drawbacks, this sedan offers an interesting practical appearance, a good finish, and a good reliability rating according to the data collected by Consumer Reports magazine. The top of the hybrid intermediate sedans may not be that far, despite its image deficit induced by its name.

The Malibu Hybrid in Brief


The battery, located in the bottom of the boot, amputates nearly 120 L of loading volume. The trunk is still fairly loveable.

Without transmission

While the hybrid competition uses CVT boxes, the Malibu hybrid has no transmission, but two epicycloidal trains to send the torque to the front wheels. The behavior remains very similar to that of a CVT.


While some are displaying their green virtues, the Malibu hybrid is very discreet, contenting itself with a small logo “H” on the lid of the trunk.

Thermal efficiency

The Malibu Hybrid uses a system that recirculates heat from the exhaust gasses to warm the engine and passenger compartment more quickly.


Despite the addition of the hybrid system, this version of the Malibu is barely 30 kg heavier than a well-equipped livery and weighs 70 kg less than a Chevrolet Volt.

Technical sheet

Trial Version: Hybrid

Price (with options, transportation and preparation): $ 37,230

Engine: L4 DOHC 1.8 + two electric motors

Power: 122 hp at 5000 rpm (petrol engine) + 182 hp (electric motors combined)

Torque: 129 lb-ft at 4750 rpm (petrol engine) + 277 lb-ft (combined electric motors)

Transmission (test model): Direct drive by epicyclic trains

Drive architecture: Front transverse motors, four-cylinder + two electric motors, front drive wheels

Consumption (EnerGuide): 5.1 L / 100 km

Direct Competitors: Ford Fusion Hybrid, Honda Accord Hybrid, Hyundai Sonata Hybrid, Kia Optima Hybrid, Toyota Camry Hybrid

New in 2017? No major changes


Tesla wants to simplify the ordering process

In the meantime, it will no longer be possible to purchase a Tesla Model S with a 60 kWh battery pack. Tesla sent an e-mail to potential buyers informing them of this change.

The US manufacturer had already removed the 60 kWh version of the Model S in 2015, before bringing it back to 2016. At present, the autonomy offered is 338 km for the basic model and 351 km for the 60D all-wheel drive. For a few dollars more than the original price, buyers who had purchased a 60 or a 60D could unlock an additional 15 kWh through a software upgrade.

Tesla confirmed the news with Electric. In the email sent to customers, the electric vehicle manufacturer explained: “A year ago, we introduced the 60 kWh Battery Model S, which was a more affordable option than the current model, Accelerate the adoption of electric vehicles. However, most buyers eventually chose a version equivalent to the Model S 75 kWh battery. In order to simplify the ordering process for our customers, we will withdraw the 60 kWh option from our product range. “

If you wish to purchase a Model S 60, you have until April 16 to place your order. After that date, the Model S base price will rise above the $ 100,000 mark before tax credits.

By removing the 60 kWh battery, the Model S will follow the traces of the Model X which is currently offered as a base with the option of a 75 kWh battery. This change will also make it possible to distinguish the Model S from the Model 3, a less expensive model that will make its entry later this year.

Energy regulations in power supply

The extreme power supply has become a staple part of system design for the electronics engineer. It provides a convenient means by which to add an AC front-end to a product which already meets international safety approvals. It also provides a faster time to market, with the option to use a connector which suits the application and reduces the risk of a generic power supply being plugged in and causing damage. By supplying a lower DC voltage to the equipment, it becomes easier to design a compact product that complies with all the necessary safety standards a key consideration in applications in the consumer, industrial and medical marketsstontronics2

It’s based on the International Efficiency Mark (IEM) scheme developed by the US Environmental Protection Agency as part of the Energy Star program. The IEM scheme calls for manufacturers to test the efficiency of the power supply under different load conditions: not just no-load but also intermediate loads through to 100%. An average of the four active load conditions provides an overall efficiency rating for the supply. The no-load measurement is treated separately.

There are differences in the legislation which covers efficiency for external power supplies used for IT equipment, the global trade environment encourages manufacturers to adopt designs that can be sold in as many territories as possible. A Level VI-rated power supply delivers that ability. Suppliers can use the improved specifications in territories that have less stringent regulation as a means of competitive differentiation.

There are exceptions to the US regulations for external power supplies. One is for products intended for medical use and which require approval from an agency such as the US Federal Food and Drug Administration. The medical environment has, for reasons of safety, a number of stringent requirements. For Canada, Europe, and the US, the power supply manufacturer needs to provide a full risk assessment and accompanying documentation that follows the procedures laid out in the third edition of the IEC 60601. Other countries follow an older procedure laid out in the second edition of IEC 60601, but changes in legislation in the near future will likely make the fourth edition of the standard the one to follow.stontronics-adaptor2

In addition to a risk-analysis procedure intended to ensure there is no risk of harm to patient or operator, the fourth edition reflects the higher complexity of the electronic environment around medical systems. Electromagnetic compatibility is now such an important issue that it forms part of the fourth edition standard.

The focus on safety in medical power supplies does not detract from the overall thrust of development in this area to be one of energy efficiency. Although there is no requirement for the same level of efficiency from medical supplies as that in supplies for generic IT equipment in the European or US regulations, the market demands designs that have a similar performance to Level V. The availability of Level VI power adaptors with approvals to US and European standards provides manufacturers with the confidence that they can design them into their final systems and be assured of the ability to serve customers worldwide.

New Surface Book coming with great GPU performance and battery life, but it doesn’t come cheap


Apple and  Microsoft have pursued very different strategies for their new platform refreshes this year. Apple opted to make the MacBook Pro thinner, lighter, and to use just a single set of ports for all peripherals. On the other hand, Microsoft made its new Surface Book slightly thicker, slightly heavier, and added a new Performance Base option that dramatically improves GPU performance over last year’s model. All of the Core i5 models from last year are still on sale, at least for now, so you can still jump into the Surface Book ecosystem at $1,500. All of the new Surface Books start at $2,000+ ($2,099 for the cheapest variant), and they pack Core i7 processors and new discrete GPUs from Nvidia.

The Surface Book With Performance Base uses a Core i7-6600U with a 2.6GHz base clock and a 3.4GHz Turbo. Last years’ Core i5-6300U had a 2.4GHz base frequency and a 3GHz top clock. The general review consensus on the Surface Book With Performance Base is that this update dramatically improves GPU performance, but offers comparatively little improvement in CPU performance. Not much changes much about the styling or design at all. Ports are still the same (two USB 3.0 and an SD slot on the left, mini-DisplayPort on the right). The hinge, outer styling, and screen are all identical.


The Core i7 CPU included in the new systems may offer higher burst performance, but it likely can’t sustain its frequencies over long periods of time. And the problem with the new Performance Base Microsoft designed is you can’t buy one separately from the rest of the system. The fact that the two base generations are perfectly backward and forwards compatible only makes this more frustrating. If you want a faster Surface Book for the GPU, you have to buy the entire system despite how the CPU doesn’t get a performance upgrade in any sustained tests. The Surface Book’s new GeForce GPU is more than capable of delivering basic gaming performance. But where the Surface Book excels is battery life; PC Mag reports 19 hours, 16 minutes, compared with 15 hours, 41 minutes for the previous model.

Finally, be advised that the new hardware prices aren’t remotely in line with what you can buy from other laptop manufacturers. You’re paying a huge premium for a detachable 2-in-1 and a nice GPU with great battery life. Some will find that premium attractive, and the new Surface Book’s 19 hours run time is amazing. Others will find better value in a more conventional machine from a different manufacturer.

Apple iPhone 8 Coming in 2017

In the 10th anniversary of the iPhone and Apple has something major planned to celebrate the occasion. We’re more than a year away from the launch of the iPhone 8, but because of Apple’s ambitious plans for the device, there is already an abundance of rumors hinting at the impressive features coming in the 2017 iPhone.iphoneconceptimage

It’s going to be a radical redesign, with an edge-to-edge display that does away with the top and bottom bezels where features like the Touch ID fingerprint sensor and the front-facing camera are housed. Instead, touch ID and the camera may be built directly into the display, meaning there will be no home button. Jony Ive has wanted to introduce an iPhone that looks like a single sheet of glass for several years, and 2017 may be the year that it’s possible.

As for the body, rumors suggest Apple is finally going to move away from the aluminum used in the iPhone 5, 5s, 6, 6s, and SE, instead of re- adopting a glass body that’s similar to the body that was used in the iPhone 4. At least one iPhone model coming in 2017 will use a glass body, according to Apple supplier Catcher Technology, and according to analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, the glass will be built around an aluminum or stainless steel frame.

Expected Specifications of iPhone 8

  • 8-inch 2K AMOLED curved edge display
  • No home button and no bezels
  • iOS 11 OS
  • Apple A10 Chipset
  • 4GB RAM
  • Fingerprint Sensor
  • Dual Camera
  • 16MP & 12MP rear camera and 8MP front-facing camera
  • Li-Po 3000 mAh Non-removable battery

iPhone 8 is still under development and will likely launch in the fall of 2017, and in the months ahead of its launch, we’ll undoubtedly learn more about the specs of the device.