Week in Tech: Elon Musk Plots His Hyperloop Project
BY John Brandon
The investor says plans for his latest entrepreneurial endeavor--a high-speed train between San Francisco and L.A. are coming soon.
Each Monday, I'll cover the tech trends, gadgets, business services, and apps of note. The goal is to highlight not just consumer flash-in-the-pan ideas, but actual developments that could impact your business. Post in comments if you know of any other trends!
1. Samsung Ativ 9 Lite This super sleek and light notebook, which I will be testing over the next two weeks, is the latest MacBook Air challenger. At just .69 inches thin and weighing a hair under 3.5 pounds, the notebook has a "real" processor--an AMD quad-core--that will help you run Web apps, productivity suites, and even edit photos.
2. BlackBerry Z10 price reduction Big news for the BlackBerry loyalists out there: the flagship Z10 model, not to be confused with the keyboard-equipped Q10 or the budget Q5, is now much cheaper. The phone could be yours for as low as $49 with a contract. Why is this important? I'm waiting to see if BlackBerry can still rebound after major losses, both financially and in market share.
3. Sprint Tri-Band for Travel Going on a trip overseas anytime soon? If you can wait until July 19, be sure to pick up one of the new tri-band hotspots gadgets from Sprint. The NETGEAR Zing Mobile Hotspot, for example, will work in the U.S., most of Europe, and even in Australia. The three bands (800MHz, 1900MHz, and 2.5GHz) will help you connect to the Internet from just about anywhere.
4. Big marketing budget for the Moto X Here's another phone to watch--one that might be hard to ignore. The Wall Street Journalreports that the new Google phone will be trumpeted far and wide thanks to a $500M marketing budget. My guess: You will see commercials, bus banners, YouTube long-form videos, and maybe even some viral marketing to make sure it's on your radar.
5. Elon Musk's Hyperloop In case you don't watch his Twitter feed like a hawk, Elon Musk (of Tesla fame) posted about his latest crazy entrepreneurial endeavor: the Hyperloop. The speedy train, he says, will whisk people from San Francisco to L.A. in just 30 minutes. He calls it the "fifth" mode of transportation, impervious to weather problems and faster than a plane. Want to know how it will work? His tweet says he'll release the design specs in August.