David Marks

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Bill Nye’s Ambitious Solar Sail Has Lost Communication With Earth

Speak up, LightSail, we can’t hear you!<p>For the moment, things are on hold for the LightSail, the new solar sail spacecraft launched last week by Bill Nye and his Planetary Society organization. The prototype satellite, which uses energy from the Sun to propel through space, has suffered a computer …

Salesforce Acquires Smart Calendar Startup Tempo, App Will Shut Down On June 30

My favorite calendar app, Tempo, just announced that it has been acquired by Salesforce.com.<p>The company was incubated by SRI International, the birthplace of the voice-powered (and Apple-acquired) assistant Siri. When Tempo launched two years ago, founder and CEO Raj Singh pitched it as another …

Startups

Diving into M: Dark and light themes, and revamped app drawer too

Now that the Google Android M preview images are out, we are all eagerly digging in and trying to figure out what all has changed, both under the hood and right at the surface. We will be bringing you a video that takes a look at Android M a bit later, but in the meantime we’ll do our best to …

Android News

Shazam can now scan objects in its quest to make the whole world Shazamable

Shazam — not quite content with being the app you use to dredge up the name of the darn song you can't remember — is deciding to get into the visual …

Uber Unveils Design Concept For Its New, 420,000 Square-Foot Headquarters In SF

Images detailing the design of Uber’s giant new San Francisco corporate headquarters have emerged, showing what the new, two-building corporate campus should look like when it opens up in a few years. Occupying San Francisco’s Mission Bay neighborhood, the new buildings should offer up more than …

San Francisco

Path Confirms Sale of Social Networking App to KakaoTalk

Re/code first reported the acquisition talks back in April.<p>Path has agreed to sell its flagship social networking app along with Path Talk, its standalone messaging app, to South Korean tech company Daum Kakao, which owns popular messaging service KakaoTalk.<p><b>Re/code</b> first reported that the two sides …

Networking

From Elon Musk: The Battery Packs He Hopes Will Rule Them All

As expected, Elon Musk got on stage on Thursday night to unveil Tesla Motors' battery systems designed for home, business and utilities. And, more importantly, Tesla announced a list of companies who are trying out its batteries in pilot projects or planning to offer them to their customers.<p>The …

How 13 Successful Companies Fought For Their First Customers

Tinder, Alibaba = Brute force<br>Quora, Reddit = "Fake" content<br>Threadless, Dropbox = WoM marketing & referrals<br>Lolly Wolly Doodle = smart Facebook …

The Skills We All Need But College Doesn’t Teach

He dropped out of high school. Started a company that didn’t work. Read a lot. Then started another company. He wanted me to advise his company.<p>I …

Do the work, skip the party

<b>As the money pool increases, the attention pool decreases</b>We talk a lot about bubbles in tech because, like real estate executives, we had our world …

The electric grid’s latest threat? Rooftop solar cells

A report in March detailed how electric utilities were working through state regulators to stunt the spread of rooftop solar, the latest tactic in a campaign an industry group started three years ago.<p>What worries utilities so much? At one level, the problem is obvious: customers with rooftop solar …

Solar Power

Utilities May Lose More Grid-Connected Customers, And Billions of Dollars

A rebounding economy will lead to greater demand, rising electricity rates and falling costs tied to technology — especially energy storage devices that could facilitate the use of rooftop solar panels. For utilities, that means fewer grid connected customers and possible declines in revenue of $35 …

Amazon Prime Music Takes On Pandora With Addition Of “Prime Stations” On iOS

Prime Music, Amazon’s free music streaming service for Prime members, has been upgraded on mobile today with a new feature that will see the service better competing with similar offerings like Pandora or iTunes Radio, for example. The company has now introduced “Prime Stations” for users of its …

Tech Trends

Reddit Now Lets You Embed Comments onto Your Site

Reddit can be a goldmine of memes and grassroots news, so the platform is today making it easier to share comments on on other sites with embeddable comments.<p>Rather than copy, pasting and formatting text, you can now embed a small window into your blog or website to link towards comments.<p>“The most …

I Beat A Patent Troll And You Can Too

<b>Editor’s Note:</b> <i>Chris Hulls is the chief executive of the family networking and communication service, Life360.</i><p>I thought I was finished standing up to bullies when I left junior high. Being the quiet guy and a late bloomer made me an easy target growing up, but I eventually fought back and after that …

Intellectual Property

Meet the Makers of Howtoons DIY Comix

Thousands of kids are engineering their own toys and science projects — and learning how they work — thanks to Howtoons. Created by comic artist Nick Dragotta, toy designer Ingrid Dragotta, inventor-polymath Saul Griffith (a MacArthur Fellow and former <i>Make:</i> columnist), and self-described “big kid” …

18 Lessons in Smart Prototyping From a Self-Made Billionaire

Dan Gelbart made a fortune in R&D for his company Creo. His prototyping was done at home, in his basement, using tools on par with what many of us have access to at our local hackerspaces and universities.<p>In his spare time he has put together a short YouTube course on “how to build stuff” for …

How Life360 won its patent war

Jury saw CEO's "Dear piece of shit" letter to his "patent troll"—and understood.<p>In May 2014, Life360 CEO Chris Hulls received an aggressive patent …

Portrait video is here to stay, you might as well just accept it now

People love to hate on portrait video. I mean <i>seriously</i> love to hate it. A simple Google search for “portrait video” shows basically every blog on the internet that wants to tell you why you shouldn’t shoot video in portrait.<p>But here’s the thing: portrait video is here to stay. As much as you try to …

Who will buy a $10,000 Apple Watch Edition?

This is Apple's Vertu<p>They actually did it.<p><b>Update:</b> Read our Apple Watch review.<p>The Apple Watch Edition will start at $10,000 and will go all the way up to $17,000, Apple’s most expensive consumer-focused product ever. It’s undeniably pricy, but Apple is going after the high-end Swiss watch market, …

Energy storage to reach cost ‘holy grail’, mass adoption in 5 years

A major new Deutsche Bank report has predicted that energy storage – the “missing link of solar adoption” – will be cheap enough – and …

Clean Energy

BUILD a NOCTURNAL SOLAR LIGHT BULB

Introduction: BUILD a NOCTURNAL SOLAR LIGHT BULB<p>About: I am an Electrical Engineer.I love to harvest Solar Energy and make things by recycling old …

There are now 2,000 Tesla superchargers out there

Electric car company Tesla Motors says it’s now deployed 2,000 of its fast chargers at close to 400 Supercharger stations (380 according to the …

Tesla

First photo of light as particle and wave

At last … a wavicle! Who thought we’d ever see a single photo of light’s dual nature as both a particle and a wave?<p>Here is the first-ever photo of …

Google Makes “Mobile-Friendliness” A Ranking Signal Worldwide, Boosts Indexed Apps In Search Results

Google today announced two notable changes that will affect the rankings of search results for users accessing Google search on mobile devices. It will now take into consideration a site’s mobile-friendliness as one of its ranking signals, and information from indexed mobile applications will also …

Cellular Connectivity Comes to Microcontrollers With The Spark Electron

Meet Electron from Spark, the new board that puts GSM cellular connectivity directly on the microcontroller.<p>With its onboard cellular antenna, this diminutive board will offer a huge range of deployment options and alleviate the hassle of using a custom cellular breakout board with your micro …

Microcontroller

Tesla gearing up for release of batteries for the home

The same lithium-ion battery technology that powers Tesla’s electric vehicles will be used to develop a battery for the home, according to a …

Google Starts Testing Mobile App Ads In The Google Play Store

Google announced this morning the launch of a pilot program which will allow mobile application developers the ability to advertise their apps directly within the Google Play store. These ads, which will initially be made available to advertisers already running search ads on Google.com, will also …