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Friday briefing: Vuzix launches Blade AR smart glasses

Vuzix's stand-alone consumer augmented reality hardware is available to order online, Yutu 2 has begun exploring the Moon's surface

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Vuzix launches Blade AR smart glasses
The consumer version of Vuzix's Blade augmented reality smart glasses is now available to buy online, priced at €1,099 (£991) and set to be delivered in four to six weeks (Engadget).

While they aren't particularly stylish, they look like a fairly conventional pair of glasses and Vuzix has an impressively long production history of AR glasses for business and industrial use. The Blade has an integrated transparent display in one lens, touch controls, a light so people can tell if you're filming them, smartphone integration and will support both Google and Amazon's digital voice assistants.

Yutu 2 has begun exploring the Moon's surface
China's Yutu 2 lunar rover has begun exploring the Moon's South Pole-Aitken crater following yesterday's successful landing of the Chang'e 4 spacecraft on the far side of Earth's natural satellite (The Guardian). The rover – whose name translates as Jade Rabbit 2 – has been photographed leaving the lander via a ramp and is expected to carry out a range of soil tests and environmental measurements.

Apple's profit warning is important but it shouldn't be a shock
In a letter to investors, Apple CEO Tim Cook announced the company’s revenues in the last three months of 2018 would be approximately $84bn – between $5bn and $9bn lower than expected (WIRED). The news wiped $55bn off Apple’s stock market value, with shares falling by 7.45 per cent when markets opened. Investors who had used Apple stock as a safe bet rushed to find alternatives, causing a spike in the value of Japanese yen.

Plants can recognise their relatives
Research increasingly supports the once-controversial idea that plants are able to recognise and respond favourably to their relatives (Science). Animals routinely aid their relatives in order to help spread their shared genes, and it looks like plants similarly support their kin, for example by shifting their leaves to avoid shading their relations, constraining the spread of their roots or flowering cooperatively to collective attract more pollinators.

PewDiePie-promoting UPnP hacker quits social media
A hacker who inadvisably started a Patreon crowdfunding account to support their – mostly well-meaning – efforts to take over the world's exposed UPnP devices has deleted their social media presence, seemingly in response to threats of legal action (The Register). TheHackerGiraffe is one of a two-person team that's exploited printers and Google ChromeCast devices to expose the risks of leaving the UPnP protocol enabled on your router and – more dubiously – share their hero-worship of YouTuber PewDiePie with the world.

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