Stories for Feb. 25, 2014

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In Brief

Every time SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket returns to Earth, it crashes heavily into the Atlantic Ocean. It’s a crude but effective way to cushion the rocket’s landing. SpaceX wants to make the Falcon 9′s return to Earth more gentle by adding landing legs, which eventually could allow it to land on solid ground. SpaceX CEO Elon Musk tweeted a picture of the rocket with attached legs today, and stated in another tweet that the company will begin testing the feature next month. The Falcon 9 will continue to land in the ocean for now, but use the legs to soften the impact.

On The Web

Sean Parker’s video chat startup AirTime quietly pulled off a relaunch last year, and no one noticed, until now: Erin Griffith over at Fortune reported Tuesday that the AirTime team is behind OkHello, a group video chat app. The main difference to AirTime, aside from a focus on mobile? This one may actually be working, and attracting real users – even without splashy press events.

On The Web

The conflict in Syria has led to internet blackouts, but this article reveals the more pernicious censorship that’s ongoing. Most content gets through, but a focus on blocking instant messaging and scouring social networks for certain key words means that citizens are censored in their day-to-day web surfing.

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In Brief

Twitter users may see something new when they search: The company announced via a blog post Tuesday that it will now include “relevant promoted accounts” in search results. (Promoted tweets have shown up in search results since 2010.) The promoted accounts will show up in Twitter’s “who to follow” recommendations. The move is clearly a way to add value for brands that advertise on Twitter – but it may turn off users looking to get the right answer to their query, not just who has paid enough to appear on top.

In Brief

Orange, which has the largest stake in French online video portal Dailymotion, is reportedly in talks with Microsoft over a potential partnership. Regulators in France nixed a previous attempt to sell the service to Yahoo, but this doesn’t appear to be a sale attempt – according to the Wall Street Journal, Orange wants an “industrial” partnership with Microsoft that would leave the telco in charge while expanding Dailymotion further into the U.S. market. Orange CEO Stephane Richard told the publication that talks are ongoing, but a deal is no certainty.

Stories for Feb. 24, 2014


RunKeeper tracked what its users were up to in Sochi during the Olympics and found they ran the equivalent of about 78 marathons. It’s an interesting nugget, but part of a much larger picture about learning how, when and where people exercise. Read more »

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