The Morning After:Even NASA’s Mars drone needs software updates

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Anyone who has ever brought a drone knows that after it comes out of the box, the first thing you do is install a ton of software updates. It turns out that things work similarly when you’re NASA, and the drone is a helicopter preparing to take flight on Mars, 174 million miles away from you.

Issues during a rotor test alerted the Ingenuity team to a problem with the command sequence, and to address it, they’ll put together a patch and upload it to the craft over the next few days. That means more waiting before its eventual first test flight, but given the stakes, it makes sense to do everything necessary to avoid any type of crash.

— Richard Lawler

Its next-gen car chip is coming in 2025.

The Morning After

NVIDIA

NVIDIA’s GTC conference revealed the sexiest of all graphics announcements: data center CPUs. Grace integrates NVIDIA’s latest GPUs with ARM’s Neoverse cores, and while I might be kidding around, it’s the company’s very own ARM-based solution, sidestepping any need for Intel.

NVIDIA also announced it’s working with MediaTek to bring RTX graphics to ARM-based chips and detailed pro-level versions of its Ampere video cards for workstations. Finally, the company teased Atlan, its next-generation Drive chip for cars. Slated for 2025, the chip, NVIDIA claims, will deliver 1,000 trillion operations per second of performance. Continue reading.

And a smart speaker with an iPad screen.

The Morning After

Getty

Apple recently killed its original HomePod speaker, and Apple TV is due an update. Now, according to a Bloomberg rumor, the company is considering combining the two products to create an Apple TV box with a HomePod speaker and camera for making video calls.

Judging by the description, the device sounds like a soundbar that straddles the line between a Roku Streambar (for cord-cutters who crave better audio) and Facebook’s Portal TV, which effectively turns your set into a huge video-chat screen. Meanwhile, another product reportedly in development is a high-end speaker with an iPad for a display, Echo Show 10-style. Continue reading.

Crowdsourced data can tell regulators where things are fast and where they’re slow.

The FCC has had a , but under , it’s asking that more Americans download and use the software (which you can get on and ). By doing so, the agency says you’ll help it collect more accurate information on the speed and availability of broadband internet throughout the US. In turn, that information will help guide its policies. Continue reading.

It announced the project two years ago.

The Morning After

Domino’s

Domino’s says this R2 transport is the first fully self-driving, on-road delivery vehicle to receive regulatory approval from the Department of Transportation. On certain days and times, folks who order from a Domino’s location in Houston’s Woodland Heights neighborhood can choose to have R2 deliver their food. They can track R2’s location via text alerts or on the order confirmation page. Domino’s will provide customers with a PIN, which they can punch in on R2’s touchscreen to retrieve their order. Continue reading.

Microsoft will acquire speech-tech giant Nuance for $19.7 billion

The company says this deal will push its AI and healthcare efforts forward.

The rumors were true — on Monday, Microsoft announced it has entered into an agreement to buy Nuance Communications for around $19.7 billion. In the announcement, Microsoft specifically singled out Microsoft Cloud for Healthcare as one segment that will benefit, as well as other cloud and AI-linked operations.

In a statement, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said “Nuance provides the AI layer at the healthcare point of delivery and is a pioneer in the real-world application of enterprise AI.” Nuance has a long history of developing voice controls and previously provided the speech-recognition engine for Siri. Continue reading.

But wait, there’s more…

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