AT&T just declared the end of the satellite-TV era in the US

DirecTV will continue offering satellite-TV service—it had nearly 20 million satellite video subscribers as of September, per company filings. But the company will focus on growing its online video business instead, Donovan said. It has a new set-top box, where people can get the same TV service they’d get with satellite, through an internet-connected box they can install themselves. It expects that box to become a greater share of its new premium-TV service installations in the first half of 2019. It also sells cheaper, TV packages with fewer channels through its DirecTV Now and WatchTV streaming services, which work with many smart TVs and streaming media players like Roku and Amazon Fire TV devices.

Source: AT&T just declared the end of the satellite-TV era in the US — Quartz

The first detailed look at how Elon Musk’s space internet could work

When sending an internet message via Starlink, a ground station will begin by using radio waves to talk to a satellite above it. Once in space, the message will be fired from satellite to satellite using lasers until it is above its destination. From there, it will be beamed down to the right ground station using radio waves again.

Source: The first detailed look at how Elon Musk’s space internet could work | New Scientist

Between distant places, this will allow messages to be sent about twice as fast as through the optical fibres on Earth that currently connect the internet, despite having to travel to space and back. This is because the speed of the signal in glass is slower than it is through space.

A powerful new battery could give us electric planes that don’t pollute

Planes are rarely used for regional travel, representing less than 1% of trips under 500 miles, according to the US Bureau of Transportation Statistics. Airlines have shied away from shorter flights largely because most of the fuel is burned during takeoff, meaning longer routes are far more economical. And given the high costs and hassles of flying, consumers largely opt for cars, trains, or buses instead for this travel range.

Source: A powerful new battery could give us electric planes that don’t pollute – MIT Technology Review

Vigilante engineer stops Waymo from patenting key lidar technology

The USPTO was not impressed. In March, an examiner noted that a re-drawn diagram of Waymo’s lidar firing circuit showed current passing along a wire between the circuit and the ground in two directions—something generally deemed impossible. “Patent owner’s expert testimony is not convincing to show that the path even goes to ground in view of the magic ground wire, which shows current moving in two directions along a single wire,” noted the examiners dryly.

Source: Vigilante engineer stops Waymo from patenting key lidar technology | Ars Technica

Self-driving startups should not take this legal confusion as carte blanche to use the lidar technology described in Waymo’s and Velodyne’s patents, warns Brian Love, co-director of the High Tech Law Institute at the Santa Clara University School of Law. “There’s a joke among patent lawyers that a final rejection is anything but final, because owners still have options even after a final rejection,” he tells Ars. “And to get an award in a patent action, you only have to show infringement of one claim in one patent. The fact that there’s even one claim left in Waymo’s patent means there’s one shot for arguing that someone infringes that claim.”

For Now, at Least, the World Isn’t Making Enough Batteries

There’s booming demand for one of the product categories Tesla makes that gets far less focus than its cars. Residential-energy storage has been surging in the U.S., with more capacity installed in the second quarter than in all of last year. Tesla sells its Powerwall to homeowners.

Source: For Now, at Least, the World Isn’t Making Enough Batteries – Bloomberg

Why Tesla’s Elon Musk asks job applicants this key interview question

“People [who] really solved the problem, they know exactly how they solved it,” Musk explained. “They know the little details.” These candidates are able to talk in-depth about the struggles that they faced and the strategies they used. Says Musk, great candidates can answer this question on “multiple levels.”

Source: Why Tesla’s Elon Musk asks job applicants this key interview question

MoviePass has deep ties to Indian company accused of fraud

The connection between HMIT and MoviePass may be seen as one more negative in an already concerning situation for investors. HMNY’s financial outlook has been a topic of heated debate as the stock has nosedived over 98% in recent months. On Tuesday, the stock hit an all-time low of 24 cents during trading.

Source: MoviePass has deep ties to Indian company accused of fraud – Business Insider

Best Buy Should Be Dead, But It’s Thriving in the Age of Amazon

After knocking gently on the front door, they would step back and stand to the right, smiling, head down slightly, arms uncrossed, name tag visible on their blue, wrinkle-free Best Buy polo shirts. They would shake hands firmly, avoiding the dead fish or the lobster claw.

Once inside, they would offer to remove their shoes. They wouldn’t lean on the walls or place their Best Buy tablets on the furniture. If they noticed a cat, they would know better than to say they own a dog, and they definitely wouldn’t

Source: Businessweek – Bloomberg

A $1.6 billion Spotify lawsuit is based on a law made for player pianos

In 2018, streaming companies know with precision how many people are listening to what song. Databases of artists and how much they’re being owed are being updated regularly. And yet, in this unprecedented age of information and automation, it’s only become more difficult and more complicated to get money to the people who are owed it. Everywhere else the digital revolution is supposed to be streamlining old processes; when it comes to music, the logistics have only gotten more convoluted.

Source: A $1.6 billion Spotify lawsuit is based on a law made for player pianos – The Verge

US startups are shunning IPOs. That’s bad news for Americans

When industry powered US growth, companies grew by spending on capital investments like factories and machinery. Back in 1975, firms once spent six times more on capital investments than they did on research and development. But as the US shifted toward a services and knowledge-based economy, intangible investments became increasingly important. In 2002, R&D expenditures for the average firm surpassed capital expenditures for the first time. It’s stayed that way since; nowadays, average R&D spending is roughly twice that of capital expenditures.

Source: US startups are shunning IPOs. That’s bad news for Americans — Quartz