Weekly#109

  • Google Wants to Be Handier for Handymen (WSJ)
    Google  is planning a service to connect users with plumbers, electricians, roofers and other home-service providers, according to two people familiar with the matter.
  • Apple Watch and Beats Music Unite in Pulse-Activated Playlist App, recommend tracks playing nearby based on changes in your pulse (PSFK)
  • The electric grid’s latest threat? Rooftop solar cells (QZ)
    Power-generating panels, called solar photovoltaics (PV), represent the fastest-growing source of electric power in the United States. In percentage terms, installed PV has grown four-fold over the past several years, and costs have fallen as rapidly as installations have risen.
  • Amazon Hints at Smart Home Future Through Echo Device (WSJ)
    The company is adding new capabilities to its Wi-Fi-connected speaker and virtual assistant, such as the ability to remotely operate lights and appliances. With just voice commands, for example, someone in bed could turn a television on and turn off the lights. Amazon informed Echo owners about the new services in an email Wednesday.
  • Android Creator Andy Rubin Launching Playground Global (WSJ)
    The creator of Android, the world’s largest mobile operating system, is returning to his roots in hardware.Mr. Rubin said Playground had raised $48 million from investors including Google, Hewlett-Packard Co., electronics manufacturer Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., and other tech companies. Playground won’t invest in startups, but will take equity stakes in return for its support.