10 things in tech: Musk visits Branson – AI tiny homes – Amazon Prime Air issues

Elon Musk is shown next to Richard Branson

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1. Elon Musk went to Richard Branson’s house at 3 a.m. to wish him luck before his flight. Branson tweeted a photo of Musk visiting him on the morning of his historic flight to the edge of space. Jeff Bezos, who is heading to space on July 20, wished Branson well in an Instagram post. Miss Branson’s launch? Check out a video of him in space.

2. About 600 people reserved tickets to space with Virgin Galactic – including A-list celebs. Tom Hanks and Lady Gaga are among those who paid $250,000 for a ticket. Virgin Galactic isn’t the only company offering space tours – here’s what passengers will get when they fly with SpaceX, Blue Origin, or Virgin Galactic.

3. Amazon’s Prime Air drone-delivery team is experiencing more growing pains. Internal conflict, high turnover, and launch delays are threatening one of Amazon’s loftiest projects, which aims to deliver packages using fully electric drones. Here are some of its pain points.

4. Singapore-based Nestron is now shipping its futuristic tiny homes overseas. The company is introducing its artificial intelligence-powered, prefabricated tiny homes – some of which start at $34,000 – to the UK this year. Take a look inside the AI-powered houses.

5. Some of Google’s own employees told Insider the company is too large and complex and needs to be broken up. “Google is all over the place,” one senior employee said of the firm’s sprawling projects. More on their dissatisfaction here.

6. Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos were spotted at the Sun Valley “billionaire summer camp.” This marks Gates’ first appearance at a major event since the announcement of his divorce from Melinda French Gates. More on that here.

7. More than 10 new electric vehicles will go on sale in the US by the end of 2021. From Porsche’s $91,000 station wagon to an electric Hummer “supertruck,” here are nine of the coolest electric vehicles launching this year.

8. WhatsApp is trying to bring Snapchat-style disappearing photos and videos to iPhones. The Facebook-owned app rolled out the feature, called View Once, to iPhone beta testers on Friday. Read up on Facebook’s latest push to mirror Snapchat’s popular features.

9. Salesforce and Amazon are becoming each other’s best allies in the battle against Microsoft. The partnership brings them so many benefits that analysts even suggested an (admittedly unlikely) way they could be even stronger together: Merging the two companies.

10. “Digital nomads” are ruining tropical paradises. Unlike tourists who stay just a few days, nomads – people who’ve willingly moved three times in the last year – create a permanent strain on local infrastructure. Read our exclusive report on the invasion of remote workers.


Compiled by Jordan Erb. Tips/comments? Email [email protected] or tweet @JordanParkerErb.

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