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Last week in tech: Yes, Elon Musk really made a ‘flamethrower’

Category: Technology
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Back in December, Elon Musk promised via Twitter that he would celebrate the sale of 50,000 hats with his company’s logo on them by releasing a branded flame thrower. Last week, he fulfilled that promise and it’s every bit as confusing as it sounds. The $500 weapon has a Boring Company logo on the side and seems more like a gun-shaped blowtorch than an actual flamethrower, but if for some strange reason you want one, you can pre-order one here. Once it arrives, you can use it to light a big pile of money on fire.

A tough week for self-driving cars

One of GM’s self-driving cars had an unfortunate encounter with a motorcyclist last week and it has sparked an interesting debate as well as a lawsuit. You can check out the details here. Also last week a Tesla that was reportedly in autopilot mode slammed into a parked fire truck, which makes it a less-than-stellar week for self-driving and driver-assist tech.

Sneakers that help you run

Nike’s latest running sneaker uses new materials in the sole to increase its energy return, which actually propels you down the road as you go. Frankly, anything that makes running even a little easier is fine with us. Check out our look at the tech.

DJI’s new folding drone

The coolest new actual gadget we met was DJI’s new Mavic Air drone. It’s smaller than the Mavic Pro, but it also has more collision detectors, improved gesture control so you can fly it by waving your arms around in front of its camera, and a cheaper price at just $800. Expect our full review later this week.

Another cryptocurrency heist

It was a relatively boring week in the world of Bitcoin—at least compared to the recent wild price swings. One of Japan’s largest crypto exchanges, however, reportedly lost $400 million of a currency called NEM and no one is totally sure how it happened. This isn’t the first time something like this has happened and it probably won’t be the last. The company says it will repay the stolen funds with its own money.

HomePod is finally coming home

Apple announced its new HomePod speaker will finally go up for pre-order on February 8th. The $350 speaker was originally scheduled for the end of 2017. Initial impressions suggest that the speaker sounds great, but the fact that it only works with Apple Music and not the other ultra-popular streaming services makes the experience feel limited. Sonos responded to news of the pre-orders by offering two of its Sonos One speakers for $350.

This putter knows about your bad short game

Heading out to the driving range is fun, even if you’re not a serious golfer, but practicing your putting can be tedious. TaylorMade’s new Spider Interactive Putter makes the most out of your time on the practice green by recording crucial info about your stroke. It measures things like tempo and the rotation of the club face, then transmits info to a smartphone app so you can neurotically analyze the data until the courses open for the season.

A classy option for wireless charging

Now that the iPhone has jumped into the wireless charging space, we’re starting to see more and more charging options pop up. The Nomad Wireless USB Hub costs $80, but it can charge up to five devices at a time, thanks to four USB ports and a Qi wireless charging pad on top. Plus, it’s a lot nicer to look at than the rat’s nest of cables currently cluttering up your desk.



Written By Stan Horaczek

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