Weekly Recap: Rough week for Elon Musk, Tim Cook not happy, Yoga Book, Swing Drone and a Windows 10 fridge
Musk Hebdomas Horribilis
Rough week for Elon Musk. First Tesla revealed a cash crunch ahead of its merger with SolarCity (also having liquidity problems), sending shares in both tumbling. Then one of his SpaceX rockets blew up during a launch pad test, taking with it the satellite that Mark Zuckerberg's Internet.org was going to use to bring broadband to sub-Saharan Africa. Between the stock loss and putting up $489 million of his Tesla and SolarCity shares as collateral for personal borrowings, Bloomberg estimates, Musk saw his personal fortune shrink by $779 million on Thursday. Hebdomas horribilis…
⇨ Recode, “Elon Musk just blew up Mark Zuckerberg’s satellite.”
Responding to a European Commission decision commanding Apple to pay 13 billion euros to Ireland, Tim Cook didn’t mince words: “It’s total political crap”. Apple’s CEO went on a media blitz, speaking with several different Irish media and calling on the government to appeal the European decision. Ireland does seem to prefer keeping its European status and low tax system attractive to large corporations like Apple, over receiving 13 billion euros. Tim Cook also announced that his company would appeal the decision, which would set the actual payment back by 3 to 4 years. He also took the unusual step of releasing a “Message to the Apple Community in Europe”. With $220 billion in the bank, Apple has no fears for the future. Other international corporations such as Amazon, Starbucks, Microsoft and McDonald’s are also in the European Commission’s sights for the same reason: extreme tax optimization. In its Thursday issue, the daily Le Monde praised the Commission’s move to optimise and harmonize tax systems.
⇨ Apple Inc., Tim Cook, “A Message to the Apple Community in Europe.”
Lenovo Yoga Book
Lenovo has released a radically new and original tablet computer: a conventional 10.1-inch (1920x1200) touch screen connected by a 360° hinge to a haptic-feedback touch surface which can be used as a virtual keyboard or with a stylus for hand writing. The Yoga Book packs an Intel Atom x5-Z8550 processor, 4 GB of RAM, 64 GB of storage and an 8 megapixel camera in just 690 grams. Battery life is 15 hours. The Yoga Book loaded with Windows 10 will be available in October for US$549. The Android 6 version will sell for US$499.
⇨ Ars Technica, “Lenovo’s new Yoga Book is a 360-degree laptop without the keyboard.”
⇨ Circuit Breaker, “I’ve fallen in love with Lenovo’s Yoga Book.”
Parrot Swing Drone
Halfway between an airplane and a helicopter, the new Parrot mini drone reminds us of Star Wars’ X-wing craft. Soaring to 80m and cruising at 30km/h, the Parrot is child’s play to fly. The Swing costs US$155 (€139).
Windows 10 Fridge
Samsung unveiled a smart fridge with a giant 1080p touchscreen attached to it earlier this year at CES. Not to be outdone, LG is at IFA today in Berlin with its own smart fridge, except it goes one step further. While Samsung opted for Tizen in its own fridge, LG has gone for Windows 10. LG isn't revealing exact specs of the fridge just yet or pricing and release information.
⇨ Circuit Breaker, “LG put Windows 10 on a fridge.”