Stories for Jul. 22, 2014

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Stories for Jul. 21, 2014
In Brief

Tesla robots, courtesy of Tesla.

Tesla factory robots, courtesy of Tesla.

Electric car maker Tesla Motors has temporarily idled production at its factory in Fremont, California, reports the San Jose Mercury News. It will use the almost two week downtime to increase production of its Model S sedan car, and to make way for manufacturing of its upcoming Model X, crossover SUV, minivan. Tesla plans to deliver 35,000 Model S cars this year, with a goal of 1,000 per week and the first Model X cars will  be delivered in early 2015. Production will resume on August 4.

In Brief

Facebook’s acquisition of virtual reality startup Oculus is now final, the company announced Monday. Facebook announced the purchase for $1.6 billion in stock and $400 million in cash in March. “We’re looking forward to an exciting future together, building the next computing platform and reimagining the way people communicate,” the two companies wrote in a statement.

In Brief

zte-blade

Not that we needed yet another data-point explaining why China is such an important mobile market or anything but Reuters is happy to provide one. On Monday, it reported that for the first time ever, more people in China access the web on a mobile device as opposed to a PC. The data comes from the China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC) and says that of the 632 million internet users in China, 83 percent (527 million) used a phone or tablet to do so. That compares with 81 percent of the connected population accessing the web through a PC, with some overlap between the two of course.

In Brief

fios
Verizon will upgrade its fiber-to-the-home service to symmetrical broadband connections at no extra charge for customers. That means customers get the same speeds when uploading data as they do downloading data (So my colleague Kevin Tofel’s speeds up above should soon match up.) Verizon says this is because people are creating a lot more content, but it’s also smart marketing. Fiber doesn’t face the same constraints as copper or cable, so symmetrical speeds are a relatively cheap way of offering customers more value, especially customers irked about the ISP’s Netflix fight. The upgrades will be phased out in the coming months.

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