tech innovation

Is Google Planning a Robot Revolution? Company Acquires Maker of Eerie Military Bots

Posted by Sheila Shayon on December 16, 2013 07:07 PM

Boston Dynamics builds robots that mimic the movements of humans and animals “with stunning dexterity and speed"—products widely used for dangerous military operations. So what does Google want with them?, and Google just acquired them. 

Apparently it has a plan, as the the Massachusetts-based company became the eighth robotics company snapped up by the Silicon Valley giant in the last six months in an undisclosed initiative led by former Android chief Andy Rubin. Its portfolio previously included Autofuss, Bot & Dolly, Schaft, Industrial Perception, Meka, Redwood Robotics and Holomni.

As web-based companies push back into the real world of fulfillment, robotics is heating up—a concept most recently demonstrated by Amazon, which announced the development of Prime Air delivery drones earlier this month. Amazon paid $775 million for Kiva Systems last year to automate its fulfillment centers.Continue reading...

brand challenges

Musk's Other Rocket, SpaceX, Makes 1st Commercial-Satellite Launch Today

Posted by Dale Buss on December 2, 2013 11:22 AM

Elon Musk is going on a rocket ride this evening, and it has nothing to do with the price of Tesla's stock. The serial entrepreneur will be watching as his other high-profile startup, SpaceX, is scheduled to make a critical commercial-satellite launch at 5:41 p.m. ET from Cape Canaveral.

It'll mark entry by SpaceX into the commercial-satellite market with its Falcon 9 rocket after a series of test flights and launches for NASA and the Canadian Space Agency. It will be the second of three flights the upgraded Falcon 9 must make before it can qualify for US military-launch business. The launch also will mark a crucial update on the progress of a company that plans to put rank-and-file passengers into space sometime in 2014.

And, of course, the launch will mark another testament to the engineering and entrepreneurial skills of the much-lauded Musk. He's been busy lately with Tesla, the electric-vehicle startup that has rocketed to the national and investor forefront over the last several months.Continue reading...

mobile brands

Industry Vets Launch Nationwide Mobile Carrier for US Military Community

Posted by Mark J. Miller on August 13, 2013 11:48 AM

Medical care, insurance, banking: Members of the US Military have access to countless services that are uniquely designed to serve them, though, when it comes to communication, a vital service for families that are spread across the world, there has never been a specialized service provider—until now.

This Veteran's Day, Nov. 11, anyone associated with the US Military, including active service members, veterans and family members can sign on with Defense Mobile Corp., an independent company that will provide affordable 4G mobile phone service. The network will run on Sprint, with plans ranging from $20 per month to $60 per month for a family plan, Bloomberg Businessweek reports. Also, members will have access to the latest smartphones, including the iPhone 5, Galaxy S 4 and the HTC One.Continue reading...

brands under fire

Walmart Still Accepting Garments from Blacklisted Factories as Bangladesh Struggles to Change

Posted by Sheila Shayon on June 19, 2013 10:02 AM

Almost two months after a building collapse in Bangladesh killed 1,127 garment workers, reports have surfaced that claim Walmart has continued to accept shipments from garment factories supposedly on its blacklist over safety and quality concerns, according to ProPublica. 

The largest retailer in the world, which was one of several major Western brands that refused to sign on to the Accord on Bangladesh Safety, released a list of rejected garment factories in May that the company says it refuses to do business with due to repeated safety and labor violations. However, according to import and export data, Walmart has been receiving product shipments from two of the factories on the list, Mars Apparels and Simco Dresses. 

Mars was supposedly dropped in 2011, although it was still shipping garments to Walmart as recently as last month, while Simco was placed on the list in January, even though it continued to ship to Walmart Canada into March of this year.Continue reading...

Beretta Wins Race to Capitalize On bin Laden Death

Posted by Abe Sauer on May 10, 2011 07:00 PM

In the race of brands looking to capitalize on the death of Osama bin Laden, we have a winner.

As details of the terrorist leader's death, and the SEAL team that shot him in the face, continue to come to light, Beretta Defense Technologies issued a statement. The weaponsmaker said it "wishes to thank the brave men of Navy SEAL Team Six who, together with our warfighters, selflessly risk their lives each day to make this world a safer place."

The statement comes complete with a banner ad that celebrates the "job well done" by SEAL team six. Of course, several commenters have pointed out one irony.Continue reading...

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