Monthly Archives: May 2014

This Is SpaceX’s First Ever Manned Spacecraft, The Dragon V2

I can’t wait to see this in action.

TechCrunch

Not too long ago, the idea of a commercially-built craft that could carry people back and forth into space was but a sci-fi pipedream.

Tonight, SpaceX revealed a spacecraft built to do just that.

Called the Dragon V2, the craft is built to carry up to 7 passengers (or fewer passengers, with cargo) into orbit and up to the International Space Station. According to SpaceX co-founder Elon Musk, it’ll be able to return and “land anywhere on earth with the accuracy of a helicopter“.

“The reason that this is really import,” said Musk, “is that it allows rapid reusability of the spacecraft. You just refill the propellant, and go again… Imagine if aircrafts were thrown away after each flight; no one could afford to fly.””

SpaceX had previously shown Dragon V1, a smaller, unmanned version of this craft meant primarily for testing and, in a few cases, sending…

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With 20 Million Units Sold, Eddy Cue Says Apple TV Will Continue To Evolve

The players in the set-top box space are few and far between. Oh what a missed opportunity, but there are many more to come.

TechCrunch

Apple TV has been a pretty modest success when you compare it to some of Apple’s other products, but with 20 million units sold, the product has clearly captured consumer attention. Tonight at the CODE Conference, Apple SVP Eddy Cue said the Apple TV will continue to evolve as the company seeks to improve upon today’s TV experience.

Sales on Apple TV topped $1 billion last year, and Cue said it will be even bigger in fiscal 2014. And the company will continue to update the product as a way to improve the user experience for consumers.

Cue noted that the company had added a lot of new content to the Apple TV, and has tied more of its content to iCloud, like user photos.

When trying to explain the reason for the interest in TV, Cue said that it’s because the TV user experience is so bad. In particular…

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Apple Now Makes Apps For Other Mobile Platforms – Which Could Be Huge For The Future Of Media

Apple is playing for keeps when they expand their content licenses and applications to other platforms; they are clearly in the music/video business as an end-to-end provider outside their hardware eco-system. Other companies whether hardware/software/or content providers can compete with a complete ecosystem. Apple will make their devices have the best experience – how can Rdio, Spotify, Samsung, HBO, compete even if they all partner. They can’t.

TechCrunch

Apple became something more with the Beats acquisition today – a multi-mobile platform developer at least for the time being. The company will continue to operate Beats Music on Android and Windows Phone, Apple CEO Tim Cook tells The Financial Times’ Tim Bradshaw following the acquisition.

While Apple has offered iTunes for Windows in the past, this marks the first time that an app it runs, even through a subsidiary, will be available on a rival mobile OS. Apple says it’s “all about the music” when addressing this change of practice, and it marks a departure that could become very significant as we think about what this deal means for the future of digital media.

The Apple acquisition of Beats is said to be primarily about the streaming service, according to a source familiar with the deal, and the Beats brass team will be reporting to Eddy Cue, we’re told…

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Uber Confirms “Record Breaking” Fundraising, Interest In Driverless Ubers

Today, I take an Uber to a Car2Go that is out of reach. I can’t wait for  the day to summon a driverless car to pick me up and drive me to my destination.  I’ll like this post when it happens.

TechCrunch

Uber CEO Travis Kalanick has just confirmed a “record breaking” valuation to Kara Swisher at the CODE Conference today. That financing, which could total more than $500 million, would be on top of the more than $300 million that the company has raised since being founded in 2010.

Investors interested include mutual fund BlackRock and private-equity firm Technology Crossover Ventures.

We’ve heard that other parties interested hail mainly from the East Coast, and that the gist of the WSJ’s $17 billion valuation story is accurate. And we’re guessing the “record” it breaks is the $10 billion valuations of Airbnb, Dropbox and Xiaomi. The deal is still being shopped, so these figures of course could change.

What could justify such a grand round?

Sometimes truth is stranger than fiction: Last summer I wrote a fictional dispatch from 10 years in the future about Uber purchasing self-driving cars from Google. That tie-in…

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