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HolidayBuyer's Guide

SpaceX rocket engine shut down at launch

An engine on the Falcon 9 rocket had a pressure problem after takeoff; 10 million iPad Minis are expected to arrive this year; and the U.S. government doesn't trust Huawei and ZTE.

Monday's CNET Update finds a few problems:

Now Playing: Watch this: SpaceX rocket engine shut down at launch

Although it appeared to be a flawless launch, there was a problem with one of the engines of the SpaceX Falcon 9. About a minute after takeoff, one of the engines detected a drop in pressure and shut down. Video posted on YouTube shows debris falling off in what some have called an explosion. SpaceX said the engine did not explode, but rather the protective fairing for the engine ruptured due to the pressure change. The other engines compensated for the failed engine, as was designed to happen if there was a problem. SpaceX had a test flight back in May, but this was the first operational space flight under the $1.6 billion contract it has with NASA to transport cargo between Earth and the space station.

United States lawmakers are strongly encouraging American companies to not do business with Huawei and ZTE, two Chinese companies that make telecommunications gear. The House Intelligence Committee released a 52-page report accusing the two companies as posing a national security threat because their equipment could be used to help the Chinese government spy on American companies or individuals. Although this accusation only applies to the large-scale network gear, it surely doesn't help its future as a U.S. smartphone provider.

The Wall Street Journal reports that part makers in Asia have been ordered to make 10 million iPad Mini units, which is about double the amount that Amazon ordered for the new Kindle Fire tablets. Although Apple hasn't announced its existence, one analyst already says the iPad Mini will outshine the design of previous iPads.

Motorola has not kept its promise to release an Ice Cream Sandwich upgrade for the Photon 4G, Atrix 4G and Electrify smartphones. Being owned by Google seems to not make a difference.

The force is strong with this brand. A Star Wars themed version of Angry Birds will arrive on November 8. The birds will take on the personalities of heroes like Luke Skywalker. And as you would expect, the pigs will play the role of characters like Darth Vader and the Stormtroopers.


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