Samsung took the wraps off its new Infinity Flex Display device this morning, the first foldable hybrid gadget from the company that transforms from a phone into a tablet. Samsung says it plans to go into mass production for just the display in the “matter of months,” but we don’t really know much of anything about it beyond the brief glimpse we got onstage today. It’s a total mystery what it will cost, and we know very little about how the software will really function and just how many different display orientations it supports.

At a session this afternoon at its developer conference, Samsung did reveal some new information about the planned device, including pixel density, screen size, and aspect ratio in both the folded and unfolded modes, as reported by CNET’s Shara Tibken:

Pixel density is a standard 420 ppi, which is not the highest out there, but perfectly fine. Resolution when folded is 840 x 1960, but 1536 x 2152 when unfolded. The aspect ratios, however, are the more interesting specs here. The folded, phone version of the Infinity Flex has a 4.58-inch display with an aspect ratio of 21:9, which would make it pretty much the tallest device on the market and probably not the greatest screen for game-playing, video viewing, or anything like that. The unfolded, tablet version is clearly the primary mode for those types of activities, as it has a more standard 4.2:3 aspect ratio and a screen size of 7.3 inches.

There’s still a lot we don’t know about how this device is going to work, and how many iterations it might take for Samsung and other phone makers to really nail this form factor. (My guess is it will take a lot.) Thankfully, Google announced Android support for “foldables,” as we’re calling them, earlier this morning in conjunction with Samsung’s big reveal, so the initial software support is already there and it will only continue to get more robust over time.

In fact, news aggregation app Flipboard has already signed on to develop a special version of its app that modifies itself depending on which mode the Infinity Flex is running in:

Flipboard certainly won’t be the only developer to sign on. Considering Samsung is launching a new, three-app multitasking feature it’s calling Multi Active Window, it’s likely at least some other big-name developers will jump at the chance to create responsive and modular versions of their mobile apps to be among first to capitalize on the foldable trend.

AT&T plans to alert over a dozen customers in the next week or two that their service will be terminated due to copyright infringement, anonymous sources told Axios. This is one of the first instances AT&T has ended a customer’s service over piracy issues.

AT&T told The Verge today in a statement:

Content owners notified us when they believed they had evidence that an internet account was sharing copyrighted material unlawfully. Based on the notices we received, we identified the customer on the account and share with them the information we received. We also reached out to the customer to educate them about copyright infringement and offer assistance to help prevent the activity from continuing. A small number of customers who continue to receive additional copyright infringement notifications from content owners despite our efforts to educate them, will have their service discontinued.

These dozen-plus customers have received at least nine warnings that they might be infringing on copyrights before AT&T could cancel their service, as AT&T’s new policies state. AT&T told Axios that owners of the content notified the company when they found an internet connection was illegally distributing copyrighted material. The customers who did not modify their behavior accordingly will now have their services terminated.

In June, AT&T acquired Time Warner, which also gave it ownership of an enormous content network, WarnerMedia. An anonymous source told Axios that it wasn’t immediately clear if WarnerMedia was the entity issuing piracy accusations this time around.

Before the acquisition, it was unclear if AT&T ever had to warn customers directly about copyright infringement issues. It was definitely rare for people to be kicked off their service providers over piracy, unless the scale and distribution of the copyrighted materials was massive.

Update November 6th, 7:55PM ET: This article has been updated with comment from AT&T and a correction that the piracy policies have been in place for years.

Foldable phones are coming, there’s no doubt about that. Samsung, LG, and Huawei are among those who’ve set out their intentions to launch bendable handsets within the next year, but they’ve all apparently been beaten to the line by the Royole FlexPai.

Whereas last year’s ZTE Axon M stuck two displays together with a hinge, the FlexPai screen really does fold over – it’s a tablet one moment and a phone the next. The Chinese manufacturer behind the device says it can be folded open and shut more than 200,000 times before breaking.

When folded, you actually get three screens on the FlexPai: one on the front, one on the back, and one down the side of the device (across the fold) to show notifications, messages and more.

So how has this little-known firm beaten the big names to market? Based on demo videos, this looks very much like a prototype device, and not something Samsung or LG would officially push out into the world. Indeed the FlexPai is being sold as a “Developer Model” for now, indicating it’s not yet fit for the public at large.

Royole is also charging a hefty sum for the technology – prices start at US$1,318 for the cheapest model – and delivery isn’t scheduled until “late December.” This is very much for early adopters only.

Nevertheless, it gives us a glimpse of what’s coming down the line in 2019. The FlexPai features a 7.8-inch, 1,920 x 1,440 resolution OLED screen (308 pixels-per-inch) when fully opened out, 6GB or 8 GB of RAM, and a Qualcomm Snapdragon 8150 processor (likely to appear in next year’s Android flagships as the Snapdragon 855). It comes with 128 GB, 256 GB, or 512 GB of internal storage, and has dual 20 MP + 16 MP rear cameras.

The on-board software is Royole’s own Water OS, which is based on Android 9 Pie, so plenty of apps should be available. How they’ll react to the foldable screen isn’t clear, but presumably there’ll be a switch like there is for landscape to portrait modes.

“Say goodbye to rigid surfaces,” explains the device’s sales blurb. “FlexPai will completely change your perception of a traditional mobile phone and the need to own multiple mobile devices.”

It’s worth emphasizing that this is more of a prototype than a finished product, though it is an interesting early look at how smartphones might evolve over the coming years. Look out for some of the big Android manufacturers to follow Royole’s lead in 2019, though again the technology is likely to be a little rough around the edges, and expensive.

The Royole FlexPai is the first phone we’ve seen with a truly foldable screen [New Atlas]

Samsung may be just days away from taking the wraps off its very own foldable smartphone-tablet hybrid, but consumer electronics company Royole has stolen a bit of its thunder with its very own flexible display device. Called the FlexPai, the 7.8-inch hybrid device can fold 180 degrees and transform from a tablet into a phone, albeit a bulky one.

At an event in San Francisco this evening, Royole brought out a working version of the FlexPai that we actually got to hold, and the folding feature works as advertised. Granted, it feels miles away in quality from a high-end modern flagship, but it is still the first real foldable device I’ve seen in person, and not just in a concept video or prototype stage.

The FlexPai will be available as a consumer device in China with a base model price of 8,999 yuan, or around $1,300. You can also pay that amount of money in USD for a developer version if you live in North America. That gets you 128GB of storage, but you can double it for an additional $150 and add an additional 2GB of RAM for a total of 8GB.

 Image: Royole

As for the other specs, the device is going to come with a 2.8Ghz, eight-core Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, the display resolution is 1920 x 1440 when fully expanded, and it comes with a 3,800 mAh battery. Both the consumer model and the developer version are up for preorder on Royole’s website right now. Royole says the Chinese consumer model and the developer version are slated to ship in December.

 Image: Royole

It should be said that this device is very much a first-generation product. The software seemed extremely sluggish, apps continuously opened accidentally, and the orientation kept changing randomly when one of the Royole representatives was demonstrating the folding process. That, to me, indicates that the company’s custom Water OS (a fork of Android 9.0, Royole says) is probably not the most robust operating system just yet.

 Image: Royole

Still, this is much more about the hardware innovation of making a virtually unbreakable AMOLED display, with a reasonable enough battery that can sustain the folding process. Royole says the screen can withstand being folded 200,000 times. (What happens after that was not made immediately clear.) We don’t know how it will stack up against Samsung’s version, or whatever competing display makers like LG are working on. But it certainly bodes well for the imminent foldable / flexible display trend that we’re already seeing working devices like this hit the market.

GM made a fun surprise announcement at this past week’s Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) trade show: an all-electric Chevrolet Camaro concept with 700 horsepower meant to bust out a quarter mile run in about nine seconds. And unlike EV performance cars like the NIO EP9 or the upcoming second-generation Tesla Roadster, which are purpose-built, the Camaro concept appears to be a beautiful, cobbled-together Frankenstein’s monster of a car.

The car, dubbed the eCOPO Concept (after the original COPO Camaro special order performance models from the late 1960s) looks like any other modern Camaro from the outside, even in electric blue paint. Inside is much different. For instance, the eCOPO is powered by a combination of BorgWarner electric motors, which are the same ones used in these Daimler electric trucks.

The motors draw power from an 800-volt battery pack, which is twice as much as you’d find in a Chevy Bolt. But the eCOPO doesn’t use a “skateboard” style battery pack that takes up the whole floor of the car, which is pretty much the standard for EVs these days. Instead, the pack is split into four 200-volt modules that are tucked into different spots around the car’s frame: two sit in the rear-seat area, and two are in the trunk, with one over the rear axle and one taking up the spot where the spare tire usually goes.

GM says distributing the mass of the batteries like this helps improve performance on a drag strip, as it gives the car a 56 percent rear weight bias, which helps on launch. But it also shows how much of a sort of clever workaround effort this was on the part of Hancock and Lane, an electric drag racing team that helped Chevy build the car.

“This project exemplifies Chevrolet and General Motors’ commitment to engaging young minds in STEM education,” Russ O’Blenes, the director of performance variants, parts, and motorsports at GM, said in a statement. “It also represents our goal of a world with zero emissions, with the next generation of engineers and scientists who will help us get there.”

GM’s brands aren’t involved in any of the current EV racing series like Formula E, but the eCOPO might be a sign that they’re thinking about it as the company moves its fleet toward hybrid and electric power. And they’re approaching it in an interesting way that might make electric racing a bit more accessible.

“I like that they’re using proven off-the-shelf components and that they’re pushing electric vehicles into motorsports,” automotive journalist Bozi Tatarevic tells The Verge. “The motor that they are using is obviously stout since Daimler chose the same one for the eCanter. The inverters they are using are widely available and match up with their claims of running 800 volts.”

Perhaps most important, Tatarevic says, is that the housing for the electric motors matches that of GM’s combustion LS motors, which are supremely popular. This “offers an opportunity for other race cars to adapt the same system if they decide to offer it as a crate package,” Tatarevic says, theoretically making it easier for people to explore EV drag racing beyond just bringing their Tesla to the track.

O’Blenes admitted as much in the official press release. “The possibilities are intriguing and suggest a whole new world for racers,” he said. “Chevrolet pioneered the concept of the high-performance crate engine right around the time the original COPO Camaro models were created, and the eCOPO project points to a future that could include electric crate motors for racing, or even your street rod. We’re not there yet, but it’s something we’re exploring.”

The eCOPO is far from the first muscle car that’s been retrofitted with electric power. Three years ago we met a man who turned his 1968 Ford Mustang into an 800-horsepower electric monster. A Maryland-based company called Genovation recently transformed a modern Chevy Corvette into a similarly powerful EV. Seeing a company support the effort to make a car like this, though, signals that there’s interest in electric racing beyond purpose-built solutions like Formula E’s cars.

In fact, the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) praised the concept this week. “Chevrolet’s dedication to innovation and performance is evident in this new concept vehicle,” NHRA president Glen Cromwell said in a statement. “NHRA has been discussing and exploring how electric cars are evolving to determine how they will shape the future of drag racing. The new COPO Camaro is an exciting development in that process.”

JP Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon says he doesn’t “really give a shit” about bitcoin, his latest harsh comment on the popular cryptocurrency. Dimon spoke out about bitcoin yesterday at an Axios conference, after keeping silent for a period of time following an apology for calling bitcoin a “fraud.”

Last September, Dimon called out bitcoin in searing comments, added that, “It won’t end well. Someone will get killed.” But by January, he had backpedalled, saying that he regretted his comments and acknowledging that “the blockchain is real” technology. He kept quiet about the subject until August, when he again declared bitcoin was “a scam.”

Despite the CEO’s negative outlook on bitcoin, JP Morgan is still investing time and money into related technology. The company announced last week that it had built a blockchain platform called Quorum, based on Ethereum, for enterprise customers. The company proposes to offer digital tokens backed by gold bars and diamonds on the platform.

The conflict between cryptocurrency traders and traditional banks and financial figures like JP Morgan and Warren Buffett has been ongoing. Dimon’s comments encapsulate how the relationship is still sour, as traditional banking institutions tend to be wary of how financially volatile cryptocurrency is and, if blockchain ever achieves its goals, the decentralized financial structures that it could create. Bitcoin has lost a bit of its shine since prices hit an all-time high of over $20,000 earlier this year.

Dimon’s comments also happen to coincide with Bitcoin’s tenth anniversary. On this day 10 years ago, someone or a collective of people going by the name Satoshi Nakamoto published the bitcoin whitepaper, detailing a new “peer-to-peer” electronic cash system. Since then, bitcoin’s rising popularity has spawned many other cryptocurrencies, including Ethereum, Litecoin, and Monero.

Amazon is apparently narrowing in on its location for its second headquarters: Crystal City, Virginia, on the outskirts of Washington DC in Northern Virginia. The Washington Post says that the company has “held advanced discussions” that are “more detailed” than similar talks happening in other candidate locations in the immediate region and around the country.

The Post says that the talks have included discussions about which buildings the company can occupy, and how quickly it can more employees there. It cites two people “close to the process” that indicate that Amazon could likely move “several hundred employees” into a pair of office buildings within nine months if the city is ultimately selected.

Sources also tell the Post that the announcement could come this month, following the midterm elections next week. The paper does caution that the company could be conducting “similar discussions” with other cities. But talks are apparently far enough along that JBG Smith, the city’s top real estate developer, has pulled some of its property off the market.

Amazon launched its bid for a second North American headquarters last year, with plans to invest around $5 billion and 50,000 jobs. In January, it announced that it had narrowed its pool of finalists down to 20 locations: Atlanta, Georgia; Austin, Texas; Boston, Massachusetts; Chicago, Illinois; Columbus, Ohio; Dallas, Texas; Denver, Colorado; Indianapolis, Indiana; Los Angeles, California; Miami, Florida; Montgomery County, Maryland; Nashville, Tennessee; Newark, New Jersey; New York City, New York; Northern Virginia, Virginia; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Raleigh, North Carolina; Toronto, Ontario, and Washington, DC.

Amazon is reportedly close to announcing its final decision, and while Washington DC has been rumored to be a frontrunner, Northern Virginia’s Crystal City located just minutes away.

Amazon launched a new delivery option for Prime members in the US today, just ahead of the holiday gift-giving season. The invite-only program is curiously called Amazon Day, not to be mistaken for Amazon’s yearly Prime Day shopping event, as spotted by CNET.

Through Amazon Day, you can set the day of the week when you prefer all of your shipments to arrive. So far, the program is only open to a small group of users by invite, although Amazon plans to add more users in the coming months. You’ll be able to see if you were invited through the Amazon homepage and see the option in checkout. Amazon told The Verge in a statement, “Amazon is always innovating and looking for new ways to surprise and delight our customers, and we’re excited to be testing a new service aimed at making the delivery experience more convenient for customers.”

For instance, if you always work from home on Fridays, you can set it up so that all of the packages that you order throughout the week arrive on Friday (as long as the orders are made at least two days before). If you’re in the program, the option should appear when you check out and pick your shipping option.

If you join the Amazon Day program, you’ll still be able to use other available options like free two-day shipping on each order. And if weekend deliveries are available in your area, you could also set Saturday to be your designated delivery day.

The Amazon Day option is mostly coming to products that are already fulfilled by Prime two-day shipping. It’s a way for users to cut down on excess packaging since orders will be shipped in fewer boxes rather than one bag and box per item. It could also streamline orders to make the replenishing of certain products, like paper towels or other household goods, more predictable.

At the same time, Amazon’s bottom line could also benefit from the decrease in packaging and multiple shipments. Amazon reported higher fulfillment costs this quarter by nearly $2 billion, and part of that is the cost of packaging. If the company can shave down that number while keeping the number of orders rising, it could significantly improve its retail profit margins, which have always been a small sliver of net sales.

Given that our level of alertness varies throughout the day, it only makes sense that we should avoid performing attention-demanding tasks when we’re at our drowsiest. An experimental new Android app is designed to determine when those times are, by examining users’ eyes.

When we’re in an alert state, our sympathetic nervous system causes our pupils to dilate so that we can take in information more easily. On the other hand, when we’re tired, our parasympathetic nervous system causes our pupils to contract. With that in mind, a team at Cornell University developed the AlertnessScanner app, which utilizes a smartphone’s front-facing camera to gauge the size of users’ pupils.

In an initial study, test subjects were prompted to use the app to manually take photos of their pupils, once every three hours. Additionally, six times a day they completed a five-minute phone-based Psychomotor Vigilance Test (PVT), which is an established method of gauging reaction time. When the results of the two alertness-testing methods were compared, they were found to be very similar.

That said, it was determined that most people wouldn’t like having to make a point of using the app so many times every day. Additionally, in order to properly image the test subjects’ pupils, the infrared filters of the phones’ cameras had to be removed.

The first problem was addressed by adapting the app so that it automatically took a one-second-long burst of 30 pupil photos whenever users unlocked their phones – something that most people already do multiple times daily. Improvements in the resolution of smartphone cameras solved the second problem. In a second study conducted a year after the first, it was found that a phone’s 13-megapixel front-facing camera could adequately image the pupil, even with its infrared filter left in place.

“Since people use their phones very frequently during the day, we were thinking we could use phones as an instrument to understand and measure their alertness,” says doctoral student Vincent W.S. Tseng, lead author of a paper on the research.”If you want to get something very important done, then probably you should execute this task while you’re at the peak of your alertness; when you’re in a valley of your alertness, you can do something like rote work. You’ll also know the best time to take a break in order to allow your alertness or energy to go back up again.”

Carbon fiber as we know it is one of the most impressive materials in our toolkit. Its incredible lightness and strength has seen it take hold in everything from competitive cycling, to supercar design to cutting edge aircraft. But could it also play a role in energy storage? One team of scientists has been exploring the possibilities, and say that carefully engineered forms of the material do indeed boast the necessary electrochemical properties, raising some interesting possibilities for weight-saving vehicle design.

The research was carried out at Sweden’s Chalmers University of Technology and started with a pretty simple premise. Carbon fiber has already been shown to have potential as an electrode material in experimental batteries, while its mechanical properties are well established, so can these two attributes be combined in the one multipurpose material?

Carbon fiber manufactured for structural purposes is generally engineered to be as stiff as possible, but these materials leave a lot to be desired in terms of electrochemical capacity. Conversely, carbon fiber with good electrochemical abilities tends to offer a much lower stiffness.

In what they say was an unexplored field of research, the scientists set out to find a carbon fiber that can fit both bills. This meant studying the microstructures in different types of commercially available carbon fibers, looking at how the crystals within were sized and arranged. They discovered that carbon fibers with greater stiffness had large, highly oriented crystals, while less stiff carbon fiber had small and poorly oriented crystals.

This new knowledge, the researchers say, provides a basis for the pursuit of carbon fibers that hit the sweet spot, offering both useful electrochemical properties and required stiffness. And as study author Leif Asp explains, there is a bit of room to move in the current crop of commercially available carbon fibers.

“We now know how multifunctional carbon fibers should be manufactured to attain a high energy storage capacity, while also ensuring sufficient stiffness,” he says. “A slight reduction in stiffness is not a problem for many applications such as cars. The market is currently dominated by expensive carbon fiber composites whose stiffness is tailored to aircraft use. There is therefore some potential here for carbon fiber manufacturers to extend their utilization.”

Because weight is so critical in vehicle design and the fuel efficiency of the finished product, the scientists are already imagining how this new material, if developed to become part of the energy system, could shake things up. The researchers are already working with the automotive and aviation industries to explore these possibilities for structural batteries.

“A car body would then be not simply a load-bearing element, but also act as a battery,” he says. “It will also be possible to use the carbon fiber for other purposes such as harvesting kinetic energy, for sensors or for conductors of both energy and data. If all these functions were part of a car or aircraft body, this could reduce the weight by up to 50 percent.”

Can carbon fiber car panels double as energy storage materials? [New Atlas]

Two years ago, XPrize extended its list of pioneering technology competitions with a new contest aimed at the problem of global water security. After revealing the five finalists earlier in the year, the foundation has today announced the grand prize winner, which outshone almost 100 competitors with its superior ability to harvest fresh water from thin air.

The Water Abundance XPrize drew 98 competing teams from 25 countries, who were asked to develop and demonstrate technologies capable of harvesting 2,000 L (528 gal) of water from the atmosphere each day. They needed to be powered entirely by renewable energy, and produce water at a cost of no more than two cents per liter (0.26 gal).

Over the month of September, two finalists were made to fully demonstrate their devices satisfying these requirements, with LA-based Skysource/Skywater Alliance coming up trumps. Its range of deployable machines pull moisture from the air, condense it and then filter it into fresh water, with outputs ranging from 30 gal (113 L) to 300 gal (1,135 L) per day.

The company’s website states that it harvests atmospheric water more efficiently than any other method, and we guess it now has the accolades to back up its claims, along with US$1.5 million in prize money.

Coming in second place was Hawaii’s JMCC WING, whose solution combines a high torque wind energy system with an atmospheric water harvester as a way of keeping energy requirements, and thereby costs per liter, to a minimum. JMCC WING has received $150,000 for its efforts.

Atmospheric water harvester takes out $1.5m XPrize [New Atlas]

At some time, we’ve probably all seen a photo of some great-looking place and thought “If I knew where that was, I’d go there.” Well, the new Look&Book iOS/Android app can reportedly figure out where such photos were taken (within Europe, at least), and it proceeds to plan your flights.

Designed via a partnership between British airline easyJet and mobile tech company Travelport Digital, Look&Book gets users to upload photos of places that they’re curious about to a server via the app. Utilizing image recognition technology, it then searches through a database of existing photos, attempting to match the scene in the submitted photo to one from over 1,000 European locations.

Assuming a match is found, it then goes on to find easyJet flights going from the user’s location to that place, allowing them to select departure and return dates. Once everything has been set up, the booking is made.

The system is said to currently work best with screen caps from Instagram (which is what the database is presumably based on), although we’re told that photos from other sources will also work. And although it’s also presently limited to easyJet flights and European destinations, it will be interesting to see if other travel services start offering similar apps.

Free-standing candles have a tendency to dribble melted wax all over the place, while candles contained within glass jars can be difficult to light once they’ve burned down. The Lumos offers an alternative, in that it’s a jar candle which you light simply by pressing a button.

There are two parts to the Lumos Candle – a base that contains the battery and other electronics, along with replaceable/interchangeable refills that are placed upon that base. Each refill in turn consists of a clear jar containing a wooden wick surrounded by essential-oil-scented natural soy wax.

When users want to light the candle, they just press a button on the base. This produces an electrical discharge which travels up the wick (via a proprietary process), setting the top of it alight. From there, the Lumos just burns like a regular candle until it’s blown out.

One USB-charge of the base’s battery should reportedly be good for over four months of use, based on four candle-lightings per day.

If you’re interested, the Lumos Candle is currently the subject of an Indiegogo campaign. A pledge of US$58 will get you one with two refills (in a choice of six scents), when and if they reach production. The planned retail price is $98 – there’s no word on the cost of refills.

Lumos Candle auto-ignites on demand [New Atlas]