SpaceX just successfully launched and landed its 5th rocket this year
May 28, 2016

SpaceX just successfully launched its fifth rocket of the year on Friday at 5:40 p.m. EST.

The Falcon 9 rocket launched out of Cape Canaveral, Florida, at twice the speed of a speeding bullet. It was carrying a rhinoceros-size communications satellite called Thaicom 8 that weighs nearly 7,000 pounds.

Once up, the satellite, built by aerospace manufacturer Orbital ATK for Thailand's first satellite operator, Thaicom, will provide TV and internet services to Southeast Asia.

The satellite will run for 15 years, a long lifetime for a satellite. It'll stay powered using solar wings that extend out, each of which holds four panels.

As for the rocket that launched it? It'll fly again, said SpaceX staff during the launch.

Here's the Falcon 9 rocket blasting off:


Then the first stage of the rocket separates and returns home, sticking the landing:


Talk about hitting the target:

After the first stage separates, the second stage of the rocket kee..

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Why Apple needs to sell a lifestyle, not another iPhone (AAPL)
May 28, 2016

Apple critics often scoff that when people buy a MacBook or an iPhone, they aren't really buying a gadget as much as they are buying into the “Apple lifestyle.”

But that might not be such a bad thing for the company moving forward, according to analysts at Bernstein.

Here's Apple’s problem, as it stands: It makes the bulk of its money by selling hardware on a renewal cycle, and that makes it vulnerable if people start replacing their iPhones less often.

“iPhone amounts to nearly 70% of total company profits today, and over time, the smartphone market will invariably saturate,” the analysts wrote in a note on Friday. “Apple will no longer be able to gain share, and the iPhone business will become a replacement market.” That problem worsens if those replacement cycles get longer.

The analysts' solution to this is simple: Make “Apple,” in a broad sense, a subscription.

Apple is already pushing toward this with its “iPhone upgrade program,” in which users pay a certain..

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Here’s why you shouldn’t freak out about that ‘cell phones cause cancer’ study
May 28, 2016

It's scary to hear that cellphones — devices that most of us have with us all the time — have been linked to cancer by a government study.

But despite any headlines you may have seen, there's still not enough information or evidence for the average person to be concerned by these findings.

“I'm not going to stop using my mobile phone in the light of this,” Kevin McConway, emeritus professor of applied statistics at The Open University, said in a statement to the Australian and UK Science Media Centre.

Here's why you shouldn't panic
The latest results that we have access to are very preliminary findings from a peer-reviewed study conducted by the US National Toxicology Program (NTP). That experiment looked at the effects of cell phone radiation on a number of rats, and we won't see the full findings until at least later on this year.

So far, the released NTP data show a very weak link between excessive cell phone radiation exposure and the risk of devel..

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Google is selling its robot company to Toyota
May 28, 2016

Google is selling Boston Dynamics, the robotics startup it bought in 2013, to Toyota, reports Tech Insider.

A source says that the “ink is nearly dry” on the deal, but didn't disclose the price.

The robotics division has been a source of tension within the company since Andy Rubin, the exec who led it, left in 2014.

Rubin, who also founded Android and led Google's smartphone business for many years, drove the purchase of Boston Dynamics and brought in a bunch of other robotics companies as well for a new division known internally as Replicant.

But after Rubin left, the division never found a permanent leader to replace him and struggled to fulfill his ambitious vision of creating the first wave of consumer robotics products.

Bloomberg previously reported that Google was working on the sale and had floated Toyota and Amazon as possible buyers. Other members of the robotics division were folded into Alphabet's experimental hardware lab, X.

Boston Dynamics was known f..

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How retailers and tech giants are pushing consumers to do more of their spending on smartphones
May 28, 2016

As millennials and younger consumers become larger parts of the key spending demographic, mobile devices like smartphones and tablets are quickly becoming consumers' primary computing device. But for retailers, that poses a key challenge: Users are spending considerable time shopping on mobile, but making relatively few purchases.

As a result, social networks, payment processors and card networks, and retailers themselves, are all developing solutions that make it easier for users who shop on mobile to begin to buy on mobile, and then channeling funds into products that incentivize users to do so.

By presenting options like on-site buy buttons, single-click checkout, financing services, and unified offline-to-online commerce experiences, various brands are beginning to convert desktop shoppers to mobile. But mobile wallets are beginning to take hold, and if they can successfully combine multiple features that ease barriers to mobile purchasing into one payment platform, they co..

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Gusto CEO to Zenefits CEO: ‘I don’t think a culture can be changed by tweets’
May 28, 2016

Joshua Reeves, CEO of HR software startup Gusto, would rather not talk about the meltdown that occurred earlier this year at his rival, Zenefits.

He's busy running his own billion-dollar-valued startup with 30,000 customers, he says.

But everyone keeps asking him about it as the two companies, once partners, are now competing head to head.

And his comments have led to a public squabble of sorts with Zenefits CEO David Sacks.

Gusto recently added insurance benefits management software to its payroll offerings for small businesses. Zenefits recently added payroll to its benefits management software.

And, as we previously reported, you couldn't find two other competitors who have so much in common but such different cultures. Reeves wants Gusto to be warm and fuzzy. Zenefits is known for being hard-driving. That culture led to Zenefits' founder CEO, Parker Conrad, abruptly leaving the company in February over a scandal involving selling insurance without a license.


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Former Yahoo COO slams media coverage of Marissa Mayer as ‘remarkably unfair’ (YHOO)
May 28, 2016

Dan Rosensweig, the CEO of Chegg and former COO of Yahoo, isn't too happy with some of the media coverage Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer has received lately.

In an interview with Bloomberg's Emily Chang on Thursday, Rosensweig said a lot of the press reports on Mayer had been “unfair.”

“I think a lot of what has been said has been remarkably unfair,” Rosensweig said. “Unfortunately, some of these things are fair game whether she likes it or not.”

Rosensweig pointed to recent stories about Yahoo's spending over half a million dollars on Mayer's security as examples of unfair coverage, saying it “doesn't really matter” for public investors. Yahoo disclosed in a public filing for its annual shareholder meeting last week that it spent $544,061 on Mayer's security because of “specific security threats that we believed were credible.”

Rosensweig believes the press should instead focus on the bigger story around Mayer.

“She should not be under this kind of attack b..

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Apple spent $1 million on the stairs in the new San Francisco Apple Store (AAPL)
May 28, 2016

Apple budgeted $1 million for the staircases of its new San Francisco flagship Apple Store, reports Curbed, using data from BuildZoom.

The data shows Apple expected to spend $23.6 million building and renovating the store, based on the construction permits it obtained. $19 million of that was slated for the exterior of the building.

Those are just ballpark figures — Apple gave these numbers to San Francisco City Hall before construction actually began, so real costs could be higher.

Here's what a half-million-dollar staircase looks like:
SEE ALSO: Apple Stores are getting their biggest makeover in 15 years

And here's the other one:

Apart from the $1 million staircases, the signage on the exterior of the building was budgeted at $82,000…but the Apple logo itself was only $2,000.

Plus, Apple budgeted $50,000 on the support systems for the gigantic video screen in the new store, which is good, because that screen reportedly cost $1.5 million on its own.

See the res..

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With billions at stake, here are the weirdest moments in Oracle’s massive lawsuit against Google (ORCL, GOOG, GOOGL)
May 24, 2016

Oracle is suing Google for up to $9 billion.

The two were back in court this week, with an all-star list of witnesses.

At issue is Google's use of 37 application programming interfaces in its Android software that came from a programming language called Java that's owned by Oracle.

The software industry is in a tizzy over this case because if Oracle wins and Google has to pay up, it could set off an explosion of lawsuits in the industry.

The trial has been going on for years, across three phases. The jury is currently deliberating.

No matter what the jury decides, the loser will likely file an appeal.

In the meantime, many stars of the tech world were called to the stand and a lot of memorable things happened.

Here's a look at some of those highlights, as well as an overview of what this case is about.
SEE ALSO: Larry Ellison explains why life isn't about money: 'At some point, you can't spend all of it. Trust me, I've tried'

Oracle fir..

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CONFIRMED: Twitter plans to exclude photos and videos from 140-character limit (TWTR)
May 24, 2016

Twitter has confirmed plans to exclude photos, videos and @names from its 140-character tweet limit, giving users more freedom to write longer messages.

The social media platform, founded in San Francisco in 2006, said on Tuesday that the changes will be made in “the coming months,” adding that they'll make conversations faster and more intuitive.

The changes were reported by Bloomberg earlier this month but Twitter declined to comment at the time.

Under the incoming changes, Twitter users will also be able to retweet and quote tweet themselves, allowing people to resurface their previous Tweets and add new commentary to them.

“One of the biggest priorities for this year is to refine our product and make it simpler,” said Jack Dorsey, Twitter CEO and cofounder, in a statement. “We're focused on making Twitter a whole lot easier and faster. This is what Twitter is great at – what's happening now, live conversation and the simplicity that we started the service with.”

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