In: Business News

In the belly of the beast: Inside one of the world’s largest cargo jets
July 14, 2016

Not all jet engines work hard when they’re in the air. Like off-duty pilots flying jump seat, GE sometimes moves its engines in the belly of the massive Antonov An-124 Ruslan freighters operated by the Volga-Dnepr Group. Among the GE businesses that take advantage of the planes’ 150-ton cargo capacity is GE Power, which uses them to ship entire power plants to far corners of the world.

One Ruslan arrived at Farnborough International Airshow on Saturday. But the cargo jet isn’t Volga-Dnepr’s only connection to GE. The airline showed off a brand-new Boeing 747-8 freighter powered by four GEnx-2B jet engines — akin to the engines GE developed for the Dreamliner — this week at the Farnborough International Airshow in England. GE also just signed a $1.4 billion deal to service Volga-Dnepr’s GEnx engines.

Pilot and photographer Adam Senatori spent one afternoon exploring both planes. Here’s what he brought back. (The jets left on Thursday morning. We were there and you can replay the take-..

Read More
The UK’s air safety watchdog is refusing to reveal where Amazon is flying its delivery drones (AMZN)
July 14, 2016

The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has refused to reveal where Amazon is testing drones in the UK.

The cofounder of Amazon's Prime Air business, Daniel Buchmueller, revealed in a talk earlier this month that Amazon's largest outdoor drone testing site is somewhere in the UK, without specifying exactly where it is.

Following the talk, Amazon's media team declined to say where in the UK the drones are being tested so Business Insider decided to ask the CAA.

But in a Freedom of Information response received on Thursday, the CAA also refused to say where Amazon is flying its drones. The regulator knows the address but it said it can't disclose it for legal reasons.

Here is a copy of the relevant part of the FoI response:

Several Business Insider sources have suggested that the site is somewhere in Cambridgeshire, which would make sense as Amazon has an R&D facility in the city.

Trade publication TechWeekEurope discovered a NOTAM (Notice to Airmen) was established ..

Read More
Are you ready for the 18-hour flight?
July 14, 2016

Make sure to check out our playlist at the end of the article, inspired by Qatar Airways’ 18-hour flight.

The oil embargo of 1973 was a miserable period when American towns banned Christmas lights to save electricity, billboards urged citizens to “turn off the damn lights” and filling stations dispensed gasoline by appointment only. The crisis got everyone thinking seriously about innovation and energy efficiency. One result: the massive and efficient jet engines that power the world’s longest commercial flights today.

Starting on Feb. 1, Emirates launched the world’s longest passenger flight between Dubai and Panama City. A westbound Boeing 777-200LR powered by a pair of GE90 engines covers the 8,950 miles that separates them on a single tank of gas in 17 hours and 35 minutes. But that record may soon topple. In January, Qatar Airways announced plans to launch a 9,034-mile flight lasting 18 hours and 30 minutes between Doha and Auckland in New Zealand. That route would use an Airbus..

Read More
THE CONNECTED DEVICE PAYMENTS REPORT: Market opportunities, top stakeholders, and new use cases for the next frontier in payments
July 14, 2016

The rapid expansion of the Internet of Things (IoT) offers payments companies an opportunity to expand beyond mobile phones, cards, and point-of-sale devices, to a broad and diverse ecosystem of internet-connected devices.

We forecast that there will be 24 billion connected devices installed globally by 2020, up from nearly 7 billion today. And over 5 billion will be consumer connected devices by 2020, representing a massive expansion of touchpoints that could eventually offer payments functionality.

A recent report from BI Intelligence dives into the budding industry of connected device payments, providing a rundown of the stakeholders driving innovation in wearables, connected cars, and connected home devices. It also gauges the impact of new payment devices on different payments companies, along with how these devices could shift consumer purchasing behavior.

Here are some of the key takeaways:

The Internet of Things is ushering in a new era for payments companies and manufactur..

Read More
Nintendo just introduced a mini $60 version of its first major game console, NES
July 14, 2016

Remember the 1980s? Everyone had big hair and cassette players and a bunch of stuff I can't properly reference because I wasn't born yet. Anyway, that was when video games were video games, man. You blew on your “Castlevania” cartridge, plopped it into your Nintendo and that was your weekend!

Thanks to Nintendo, you can now relive the part of your life when you didn't have a job or children or social obligations with the Nintendo Entertainment System: NES Classic Edition.

This miniature version of the original Nintendo Entertainment System (or NES) comes packed with 30 mostly-beloved games from that console's lifespan, and will retail for $59.99 starting this holiday season. It comes with an HDMI cable so it will work with modern televisions, and one controller that's an exact replica of the rectangular one you remember. Additional controllers are $9.99 each.

Here are the games that come with the NES Classic Edition:

“Balloon Fight”
“Bubble Bobble”

Read More
Here’s what you need to earn to buy a home and live comfortably in 27 US cities
July 14, 2016

For those hoping to own a home, there's some good news: the salary required to buy a house and live comfortably is dropping throughout the U.S.

That's according to new data out from The personal finance website calculated salary requirements throughout the nation and found that while home values are on the rise, the average home loan interest rates are decreasing — which means it's getting more affordable for the average American to live comfortably and buy a house.

While living “comfortably” may have different definitions for different people, Finder defines it as being able to buy a home (after saving up a 20% deposit), cover typical expenditures, and pay off annual household debt.

Since Finder last analyzed the cost of living nationwide in January, a few things have changed. For those hoping to buy a home in Colorado Springs, Denver or Harrisburg, it's become more expensive in the last six months, and New York City jumped up one spot in the rankin..

Read More
Snapchat is looking at a way to recognize objects in your snaps and serve you related ads
July 14, 2016

Snapchat appears to be working on a new ad product that would use image recognition to pick out real-world objects in user's snaps in order to serve them related filters, ads, and coupons.

A patent published by the United States Patent and Trademark office on Thursday and first filed in January 2015 (you can read it in full below) details how the system would work.

A person taking a photo of The Empire State building, for example, could be served a fun filter of King Kong that they could apply to their snap.

In the patent application, Snapchat details how someone taking a photo of the south side of the building could be served a filter of King Kong's back, while someone over on the north face of the building “might see King Kong's face looking at you.” The patent says the filter could include audio and visual effects content, meaning the filters could be animated or play a theme tune.

Snapchat is also thinking of a way to monetize the technology. As this diagram show..

Read More
Amazon has the perfect comeback to end a silly debate about apps (AMZN, AAPL)
July 14, 2016

Most people don't read the change notes when their iPhone or Android apps update — nobody's got time for that.

That's why many companies have started to post short and simple app release notes for their apps, such as “bug fixes,” instead of detailing every little change. Facebook is particularly well-known for doing this.

Some people have a problem with this! For example, TechCrunch published an article last November titled: “App release notes are getting stupid.”

Sarah Perez writes:

It seems that once you’re a certified “big company,” having to actually detail which bugs just got squashed is no longer your job.

More importantly, the lack of detail in release notes makes a statement about what a company thinks of its user base …

It's a valid point. But in the most recent changelog for its Amazon iPhone app, Amazon fired back, saying that “in reality, most of the work app developers do are 'bug fixes.'”

Here's the entire note:

Have you eve..

Read More
THE BLOCKCHAIN REPORT: Why the technology behind Bitcoin is seeing widespread investment and early application across the finance industry
July 14, 2016

Blockchain technology, which is best known for powering Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, is gaining steam among finance firms because of its potential to streamline processes and increase efficiency. The technology could cut costs by up to $20 billion annually by 2022, according to Santander.

That's because blockchain, which operates as a distributed ledger, has the ability to allow multiple parties to transfer and store sensitive information in a space that’s secure, permanent, anonymous, and easily accessible. That could simplify paper-heavy, expensive, or logistically complicated financial systems, like remittances and cross-border transfer, shareholder management and ownership exchange, and securities trading, to name a few. And outside of finance, governments and the music industry are investigating the technology’s potential to simplify record-keeping.

As a result, venture capital firms and financial institutions alike are pouring investment into finding, developing, an..

Read More
Morgan Stanley: Some drivers may go too far with Tesla Autopilot (TSLA)
July 14, 2016

Morgan Stanley lead auto analyst — and somewhat repentant Tesla bull — Adam Jonas published a research note on Thursday in which he reviewed his stance on Autopilot, the semi-self-driving technology that was involved in the fatal crash of a Tesla Model S sedan in Florida in May.

Overall, the note is a realistic and pragmatic take on a system that has suddenly become controversial. The bottom line is that as more Teslas take to the roads, there will be more deaths linked to its cars; that's just statistics.

Some of those deaths may involve Autopilot, and in any case, more autonomous-driving technologies are coming, from established industry players. For Jonas, this is an inescapable and transformative trend.

But what about the name “Autopilot?”

That one now poses some problems for Jonas:

When you hear the world ‘Autopilot’, you may think of technology for commercial airline pilots which temporarily relieve the human operator from using the aircraft controls. In fact, Tesla Aut..

Read More