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On June 30, President Trump met North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un on the hermit country’s soil—a first for a sitting American president. The moment also appeared to signal a resumption of high-level negotiations over North Korea’s nuclear program.

Using satellite imagery, photos, videos and other intelligence, experts have long tried to keep as close tabs as possible on North Korea’s often-secretive nuclear program. And, as talks over its fate seem poised to continue, here’s a primer on what to know about the country’s capabilities.

Short- to medium-range: meet the Nudong

Presumably, North Korea won’t be dropping nuclear bombs out of an aircraft. So, to know what North Korea is capable of, you need to know what their missiles can do.

The North Korean missile program is generally considered to have begun in the late 1970s or early 80s. At the time, the Soviet Union gave Egypt a stockpile of scud missiles, but not as many as Egypt wanted. So Egypt turned to North Korea to help them decode the technology and make their own scuds— giving both countries access to a supply of reliable missiles.

Once they had scud missiles, North Korea made them bigger and fatter until they arrived at a creation called the “Nodong” — one of its most commonly launched missiles, which can travel up to 1,300 kilometers (808 miles).

More recently, North Korea added a submarine-launched missile to its array. Called the KN-11, it has a Korean name that translates to “Polaris”, which is not-so-coincidentally what the Americans calls its equivalent. One hitch is that North Korea is only known to have one, largely experimental, submarine (and possibly another one underdevelopment).

The country also has what is thought to be a land-based version, the KN-15, though, again, they have never launched a missile and a warhead together.

North Korea’s latest launch came in April. President Trump dismissed it, saying “we don’t consider that a missile test.” Semantics aside, experts believe the country set off a new short-range missile, called the KN-23. Demonstrated only once before, it’s designed for short, low trajectories, can also fly medium-range arcs, and is similar to the Russian Iskander missile, which has a range of between 50 and 450 kilometers (31 and 280 miles)

“This puts US allies like South Korea and Japan in a very difficult position,” Matt Korda, a research associate specializing in North Korea with the Federation of American Scientists, writes via email. “Shorter-range missiles are specifically designed to target those countries.”

The intermediate range: the Musudan and Hwasong-12

North Korea’s early approach to missile development was relatively systematic. “They find something that works, stretch it as far as they can and then stack it,” explains David Schmerler, a senior research associate at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies.

Building on the Nodong, North Korea arrived at the Musudan, which has a range of around 3,200 kilometers (1,988 miles). But that program, which began in the early 2000s, has been shaky at best. It’s only been successfully tested once, says Schmerler.

North Korea’s missile testing accelerated around 2014 and peaked in 2023, a period in which they debuted an array of new technology. During this era, the Musudan’s function was largely replaced with the Hwasong-12 (that translates to “Mars” in Korean). The aim, says Korda, “appears to be intended to attack U.S. staging areas like Guam.”

Perhaps more importantly, the Hwasong-12 was the country’s first indigenously engineered missile — a major step for the North Korea’s nuclear program, and one that helped lead to even longer-range weapons.

The big ones: the Hwasong-14 and 15

North Korea’s nuclear ambitions have always included being able to reach the continental U.S.

Starting in the early 2000s, the Western media speculated that the “Unha” (“galaxy”) series of space launch vehicles could be a round-about way of achieving that goal. But many experts thought that was more hype than function.

“The Unha was more like the boogeyman missile,” says Schmerler. “I never looked at the Unha as a really reliable weapons system.”

In a sense, the Unha was a stop-gap measure until Kim Jong-Un could develop a land based intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM). That happened in 2023 with the Hwasong-14, which has a range of more than 10,000 kilometers (6,214 miles). This was quickly followed up by the more powerful Hwasong-15.

“The HS-14 could likely target the west coast of the US (including Los Angeles and possibly Denver),” says Korda, “while the HS-15 could potentially target the entirety of the continental United States.”

While no one is sure exactly how many ICBMs North Korea has, seven appeared in a military parade in Pyongyang in early 2023. There are, however, a few caveats to their effectiveness.

One important consideration is how many launch vehicles (called Transport Erector Launchers, or TELs) North Korea has. In 2011, China sold at least six “logging” trucks to the country, in a half-hearted attempt to disguise the transfer of TELs. The latest ICMBs, however, require bigger TELs, so North Korea may have repurposed or cannibalized some of their original Chinese equipment for that task. That makes it difficult to know exactly how many operational TELs are left, which the country must have in order to launch an ICBM.

Schmerler has a similar take, noting that the U.S. would be taking a big risk by assuming it’s not possible.

Where they’re located is an unknown as well. “The missiles and launchers are largely hidden in the vast network of underground tunnels and caves that flow throughout North Korea,” says Korda. ”It’s basically impossible to tell where North Korean missiles are at any given time.”

Schmerler estimates that there are about 20 or so nodes around the country where missiles are concentrated. “When they get the order to go launch,” he said, “they just disperse.”

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Apple Car: What We Know, What We Don’T Know

Despite years of speculation about an Apple Car, we still have little hard information about Apple’s plans.

When did the rumors begin?

The first reports date back to early 2023, when a camera-festooned car was shown to be leased to Apple. While some believed this was for Apple Maps, others suggested it looked more like a test-bed for a self-driving car. Shortly afterwards, Apple was found to be poaching Tesla engineers., and we uncovered a significant number of senior automotive hires.

What is Apple up to?

This is the $64,000 question. We know for sure that Apple is very actively exploring some kind of move into the automotive sector, but it’s still not 100% clear that the company plans to go as far as launching a car, which consumers will be able to buy.

Apple has said only that the area is of interest to the company.

We’ve seen three main possibilities suggested:

Some kind of car technology, but not a car

The first suggestion is that Apple wants to create some kind of car tech, but not go as far as actually making a car. Some believe Apple’s primary interest is in the in-car experience as the world transitions to self-driving cars – a kind of CarPlay on steroids, if you will. Others believe there is enough evidence that Apple is working on self-driving technology, but that it will license this to other companies, rather than make its own car.

Ride-sharing cars

The second possibility is that Apple plans to make cars, but not for retail sale. One obvious market for autonomous cars is ride sharing, so it’s possible that Apple plans to make a self-driving car for a ride-sharing service, but we wouldn’t be able to buy one.

A car for retail sale

The third option, of course, is a full-on car that consumers can lease or buy outright. It’s this possibility which has understandably lead to the greatest amount of debate and excitement.

Who would make it?

Assuming Apple does plan to actually make a car, it would partner with a manufacturing company to actually produce the vehicles. Here there are two possible routes the company could take.

Partner with an established brand

Apple has been reported to have discussed a possible partnership with a wide range of established carmakers. These include Hyundai/Kia, Nissan, BMW, and Canoo.

The Hyundai/Kia idea was once presented as if it were almost a done deal, before later being dismissed – though there remains some minor partnership talk.

The big stumbling block here appears to be branding. Existing car brands would be reluctant to be relegated to the role of a contract manufacturer, where Apple makes all the decisions and the car has only Apple branding.

Use a contract manufacturer

The other, perhaps more likely, possibility is that Apple commissions a contract manufacturer to build the cars, just as it uses companies like Foxconn and Pegatron to make iPhones and other Apple products.

Foxconn is known to be working on electric car production, but likely working more at the lower end of the market. The company did buy a US EV factory, but almost certainly not for Apple cars. Magna is one of the best-known contract manufacturers able to build models for premium brands, and so appears a likely contender.

What have existing car makers said?

Unsurprisingly, almost all are claiming not to be worried. For example, BMW’s CFO says he “sleeps peacefully” while VW says the company isn’t afraid. Toyota thinks Apple doesn’t understand that you have to be ready to provide 40 years of after-sales support for a car, where Apple tends to discontinue support five to seven years after it ceases to sell a particular model.

In reality, of course, any premium brand car maker has to be sweating right now. Tesla is the only car company to openly admit that Apple will pose extremely tough competition.

When would an Apple Car be launched?

This too is one of the Big Questions. In 2023, some suggested an Apple Car might go on sale as early as 2023, which of course didn’t happen. A variety of other dates have been suggested, from 2024 through 2026 to 2028 or beyond.

With no deal apparently yet struck, and no leaks of anything specific, it is certainly clear that Apple is nowhere close to a launch anytime soon.

Concept image: CarWow

Apple Ipad Mini (7Th Generation): Everything We Know And What We Want To See

Nick Fernandez / Android Authority

Update, June 15, 2023 (10:58 AM ET): We have updated this iPad Mini (7th generation) rumor hub with information from Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.

Original article: Larger tablets are great, but they aren’t for everyone. Some of us prefer a smaller pad that can be easily carried but offers more screen real estate than the typical smartphone. While some good small Android tablets are out there, none are quite as convincing as Apple’s iPad Mini series. The next one we expect to see from the Cupertino giant is the iPad Mini (7th generation).

The latest iteration is the 6th generation iPad Mini. It is designed beautifully, has excellent performance, solid battery life, and you can add 5G connectivity. What could improve it, and what can we expect from the new iPad Mini? In this roundup, we’ll be gathering all the rumors and leaks, as well as our expectations on what the iPad Mini 7 could bring to the table. Let’s dig into what we know and what we want to see.

What is the iPad Mini (7th generation) release date?

iPad Mini 1st generation: October 2012

iPad Mini 2nd generation: October 2013

iPad Mini 3rd generation: October 2014

iPad Mini 4th generation: September 2023

iPad Mini 5th generation: March 2023

iPad Mini 6th generation: September 2023

You’ll quickly notice that most iPad Mini iterations were announced around October or September. The only exception was the iPad Mini (5th generation), which saw a March announcement. All iPad Minis were then released soon after their announcements. Usually, the same day, or some days after.

Anjie Technology will be the new beneficiary of the all-new design foldable iPad. There may be no new iPad releases in the next 9-12 months as the iPad mini refresh is more likely to begin mass production in 1Q24.

What features and specs will the iPad Mini (7th generation) have?

Nick Fernandez / Android Authority

We haven’t seen many iPad Mini (7th generation) leaks just yet, but the few around give us a good look at what could be coming. We can also make some assumptions about what could be coming.

Design changes?

Nick Fernandez / Android Authority

The current iPad Mini follows the same design that kicked off with the iPhone 12 and has continued through the iPhone 13 and iPhone 14 series. Apple seems fond of this design language with squared edges and a streamlined body. This was a significant change in the current iPad Mini, so we expect the design to be more or less similar. Nothing is official yet, though, but Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman claims that Apple won’t do another major overhaul of the product.

We also expect the display size to stick to 8.3 inches. And since the iPad Mini (6th gen) already uses USB-C, and Apple is being forced to move away from Lightning, we assume the new iPad Mini (7th gen) will also stick to USB-C.

A better display would be nice

Nick Fernandez / Android Authority

The iPad Mini (6th generation) Liquid Retina IPS LCD display is pretty good, but it could be better. We’re happy with the 1,488 x 2,266 resolution and 327ppi density, but one of the main complaints in our review was that it only had a 60Hz refresh rate. The current standard for higher-end products is 120Hz.

A 120Hz panel might happen for the next iPad Mini. Popular tech Twitter user @FromTron shared a Korean forum post in late 2023, in which it was rumored that Samsung Display shipped an 8.3-inch screen with a 120Hz refresh rate for testing. Current Apple devices with 120Hz refresh rates label this feature as “ProMotion.”

What will the iPad Mini (7th generation) price be?

Rumors and leaks are too few right now, and we haven’t heard anything half-convincing about the upcoming iPad Mini’s pricing. The iPad Mini already saw a $100 price increase with the 6th generation upgrade, though. It starts at $499, whereas the 5th generation iPad Mini was $399.

Given that we’re expecting a less drastic upgrade in the iPad Mini (7th generation), we can expect pricing to stay identical, or very similar to the current $499 MSRP.

Faster charging

Ryan Haines / Android Authority

In our iPad Mini (6th generation) review we mention that the included 20W charger doesn’t do much to juice up the device quickly. It took us about half an hour to reach from 10% to 50%, but going from 10% to 100% extended that time to about 90 minutes.

We know Apple has never been at the forefront of fast charging, but a boost sure would be nice. Since this device is actually pretty small, maybe even wireless charging would be a welcome addition.

Other smaller upgrades

Nick Fernandez / Android Authority

Apple is likely to bring incremental upgrades throughout the iPad Mini experience. We might see improved cameras, more base storage, an upgrade to Wi-Fi 6E, and more. Of course, these are just assumptions, though. We will update this article with more spec details as they emerge.

The Oldest Weapons In North America Offer A New View Of Prehistoric Tech

Spear points are a pretty iconic aspect of the Clovis, an old culture of Paeloamerican hunter-gatherers. Those points typically date back to between 13,000 and 12,700 years ago, and are lanceolate (leaf-shaped) points made of stone, replete with a concave base that enables them to attach as a spear’s tip. So the discovery of spear points that predate the Clovis is quite a big deal.

“This discovery is significant because almost all pre-Clovis sites have stone tools, but spear points have yet to be found,” says Michael Waters, a geologist at Texas A&M University and the lead author of the new study. “The dream has always been to find diagnostic artifacts—like projectile points—that can be recognized as older than Clovis.” Waters and his colleagues have dug at Buttermilk Creek for many years now. “We were always hoping to someday find a projectile point, but in archaeology, you get what you get.”

It looks like they finally got it. In this latest excavation, Waters and his team unearthed hundreds of thousands of pre-Clovis objects from the Buttermilk Creek site, including hundreds of tools. A dozen of these objects were fragmented and complete projectile points, coming in two varieties: stemmed points between 13,500 and 15,500 years ago, and triangular lanceolate points that are between 13,500 and 14,000 years old. All of them are definitely older than—and unique from—typical Clovis points.

“When we first found that intact spear point we lost our minds,” says Joshua Keene, a Texas A&M researcher and a co-author of the study. “We had never seen anything quite like it, at least not in Texas!”

According to Waters, the gold standard for this sort of work is to find these objects in geological layers beneath where the Clovis objects sit: the lower the layer, the older the artifact. The was precisely the case with this latest discovery—and the findings are bolstered by the fact that the entire prehistoric record of Central Texas is pretty well documented and dated. The team dated the objects more precisely using Optically Stimulated Luminescence (OSL) dating, in which light is used to peg an absolute date for geological sediments.

A Clovis point at the Natural History Museum of Utah, Salt Lake City. Wikimedia Commons

“A big question that has largely remained unanswered until now is, what did pre-Clovis technology look like?” says Keene. The new objects are distinct from the big leaf-shaped Clovis points, as well as other stemmed points found farther south in Mexico and South America, making them a particularly unique piece of the early human history puzzle.

So what do the pre-Clovis points mean about human history in North America? Waters emphasizes that we know for sure the Clovis originated in North America, south of the continental ice sheets, and that people did not carry Clovis points from Alaska into the unglaciated portions of North America.

So to that end, there are two scenarios he and his team think could explain the findings: Clovis lanceolate points may have developed from the stemmed point forms created by pre-Clovis ancestors who found their way into the region earlier; or, a second migration of another culture may have arrived on the scene later on, carrying the triangular lanceolate form that was soon developed into the Clovis point.

The findings “give new strength to support the theory that there very well could have been multiple migrations of people into the new world over thousands of years rather than just one, and that some of the earliest groups moved to Texas, of all places,” says Keene. “These populations pre-dated Clovis, or possibly even turned into Clovis.”

The new study also sheds a bit of light into how unique the Buttermilk site was for early migrants. “They likely came to places like Friedkin because of the extreme abundance of high-quality chert for making stone tools,” says Keene. “In fact, we have a lot of evidence that Friedkin has remained a popular re-tooling spot continuously for nearly 16,000 years.”

“I think they’ve done an amazing job in dating the deposits in the artifacts” and providing a “secure chronology,” says Ben Marwick, an archeologist based at the University of Washington who was not involved with the study. “They’ve invested a lot of effort and it’s paid off very well, and I really think that’s a strength of the study.”

That being said, Marwick also points out the findings have their limits. “The critical artifacts [the authors] based their findings on are small in number. It leaves an unanswered question of whether this is a real pattern of an early technology we don’t know much about, or if it’s just a one-off sort of thing, and maybe there’s just a small number of people deciding to make these sorts of artifacts one afternoon.”

Marwick also notes there’s not a very robust description of the actual clay deposits in the paper, and that pictures seemed to show some vertical cracks in the layers. “It looks like there might be some potential for some of these artifacts to move through the cracks. It’s possible some of the artifacts might have moved down,” and are not as old as we might really believe. Marwick has conducted work in similar archeological sites in Australia, where he and his team have had to anticipate those sorts of possibilities and account for them through microscopic analysis and other testing. “My sense is that that work hasn’t been done here, and I’d look forward to seeing some of that before I get too excited about some of the claims.”

Lastly, while Marwick says it’s possible the points originate from a separate group of migrants, he’s hesitant to put too much stock in that interpretation. “We know that one group can make many different kinds of artifacts. It’s not always really the case that different kinds of artifacts mean different kinds of cultural groups.” There are only a handful of sites within North America that scientists are able to work with, so it’s difficult to come up with conclusions that will apply wholesale to the history of early human migrants in North America. He’s hopeful more research can prove whether or not these kinds of findings are part of a pattern or just a kind of random peculiarity in the field of anthropology.

Nevertheless, Marwick is encouraged by the overall implication of the findings that early technologies in the Americas are more diverse than we previously thought. “It’s a very important part of this new paper,” he says.

“The peopling of the Americas during the end of the last Ice Age was a complex process,” says Waters. “This complexity is already seen in the genetic record. Now, we are starting to see this complexity mirrored in the archaeological record.”

2024 Honda Prologue Electric Suv Confirmed: Here’S What We Know

2024 Honda Prologue electric SUV confirmed: Here’s what we know

Honda’s first all-electric SUV for the North American market has been given its name, though you’ll still have to wait a while before you can actually put the GM-powered EV on your driveway. The 2024 Honda Prologue EV will be the first of the automaker’s new zero-emissions models, as it targets 40-percent of North American sales to be either battery-electric or hydrogen fuel cell by 2030.

By 2040, meanwhile, Honda is aiming for all of its sales to use those technologies, ousting gas completely. By 2050, the automaker says, it should be carbon-neutral across both product and corporate activities.

They’re fairly ambitious goals, but looking at Honda’s line-up currently it’s hard to imagine the automaker actually achieving them. The range of vehicles in the US and Canada right now lacks even a single all-electric model; Honda recently announced it would be retiring the Clarity line, with both plug-in hybrid (PHEV) and hydrogen versions getting the chop. It had already killed off the Clarity BEV a few years back.

What Honda needs, then, is actual EVs to sell, and that’s what the Honda Prologue will be all about. It’s being built on GM’s Ultium platform for electric vehicles, after a deal between the two automakers, though it’ll be designed by Honda and tuned to drive as its buyers expect.

“The Prologue will provide our customers with a battery-electric SUV with the excellent functionality and packaging they’ve come to expect from Honda,” Dave Gardner, executive vice president of American Honda, said today. According to Honda, the e-SUV will have “versatility and driving range on par with our current lineup of rugged SUVs.”

We’ll see more details in the coming months, Honda promises, but the actual Prologue SUV itself won’t be arriving in US and Canadian dealerships until early 2024. That same year, meanwhile, there’ll also be a new electric Acura SUV, also using GM’s platform. Naming for that hasn’t been shared yet, but we’d expect it to be more aggressively styled than the Prologue, and have a greater focus on performance – as well as a higher price tag.

At the same time, though, Honda isn’t offsetting all its electric eggs into General Motors’ basket. The automaker has also been working on its own e:Architecture, a completely new platform intended for its own vehicles. However, that’s not expected to be ready for actual production vehicles until sometime in the second half of this decade, initially for the North American market and then spreading to other regions after that.

The 2024 Honda Prologue, then, will be late to the party compared to electric SUVs from other automakers. Still, that will come with a few benefits. Instrumental to GM’s Ultium plan, after all, is developing cheaper and more power-dense EV batteries, as it tries to shave away at the price premium which electric models still carry over their internal-combustion counterparts. While Ultium may be expected to show up imminently in the form of the GMC Hummer EV, that will be a premium product, initially with a six-figure sticker. By 2024, the hope is that Honda’s Prologue will be able to come in considerably cheaper.

Now We Know What An Angry, Hungry Bat Sounds Like

Jostling for food and living space can make for some tense interactions with your roommates. But just imagine thousands—or millions—of individuals spending decades sharing the same dark room. They’d need constant communication to keep the peace.

That seems to be the case even for Egyptian fruit bats, which live in large colonies and are generally social creatures. Walking into a typical roost can be a noisy experience, but are the bats just making random noises or are they actually talking to each other?

In a study published in Scientific Reports on Thursday, researchers suggest that the noisy bat calls actually do contain a lot of information, including who’s ‘speaking’ and whether the bats in a particular interaction are fighting about food, a mate, or something completely different.

“The vocalizations we looked at in this study were all categorized in the past as agonistic calls, that is, aggressive vocalizations emitted during fighting. We now show that there is information in this chaos. We demonstrate that a third individual listening to a fight between two bats can tell who is shouting, what is the context of shouting (e.g., fighting over food or over position or over mating) and even to some extent who is being shouted at. We now know that the cacophony that we hear when entering a bat cave is far from just noise,” Yossi Yovel, the lead author of the study, told Popular Science in an e-mail.

By recording a group of 22 bats for 3 months straight, Yovel and colleagues were able to figure out which bats were involved in any conversation and what they were squabbling about. But that doesn’t mean that the researchers have identified a bat language, or even the bats’ individual call signs. What they did manage to do is recognize individual bat voices.

“It is similar to humans individual voice. It is not that bats state their name, but that when you examine their voice, you can recognize who is shouting (calling),” Yovel says. “In fact, in the study, we used algorithms that are typically used for human speech recognition to recognize the individual bats.”

They could also figure out specific noises that related to food, mates, or a need for some space. But this isn’t the start of some kind of inter-species communication. (Go home Arrival, you’re drunk.)

via GIPHY

“We do not find a ‘word’ that mean ‘hello’ or ‘move’ or ‘eat’ in bat communication,” Yovel says. “You could imagine this as something like this: when a bat shouts at another bat for taking its food, the vocalizations will always be higher in pitch than when they are fighting over a position in the cave.”

The next step will be to figure out how bats know to make those noises. Are they born with this manner of “speaking” or do they learn it over time? Yovel and his colleagues are also looking into vocalizations made outside of the confines of the roost. To gather that data, they are attaching tiny microphones to bats in the field, which is adorable. Maybe someday soon we’ll have an even more detailed answer to that age old question: ‘what does the bat say?’

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