SpaceX Successfully Lands Rocket, Lily Robotics Refunds $34 Million, & Amazon to Add 100K Jobs

SpaceX Successfully Lands Rocket, Lily Robotics Refunds $34 Million, & Amazon to Add 100K Jobs

SpaceX Successfully Lands Rocket, Lily Robotics Refunds $34 Million, & Amazon to Add 100K Jobs

SpaceX Successfully Lands Rocket After Sending 10 Satellites into Orbit

Space Exploration Technologies Corp. resurfaced for the first time in over 4 months to launch a Falcon 9 rocket from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California on Saturday morning. The rocket brought 10 satellites into space for the voice and data company Iridium. This is the first launch from SpaceX since the Falcon 9 explosion in September from Cape Canaveral in Florida. This time, the rocket returned for a smooth landing on a platform in the Pacific Ocean known as a drone ship. The landing is excellent news for SpaceX, as the company has been attempting to land a rocket following the last two rather catastrophic attempts. The return landing will help SpaceX reuse major components in future rocket launches.



Drone Startups Returns $34 Million in Pre-Orders; San Francisco District Attorney Files Complaint for False Advertising

Lily Drone was one of the most anticipated startups of 2016 with $34 million in pre-orders and the winner of a CES Innovation Award. Unfortunately, the $499 quadcopter drone was unable to secure loans in order to complete the manufacturing and ship the first units. On Wednesday, the company announced it was canceling the product and closing down the company. Meanwhile, on the same day, San Francisco’s District Attorney took action against the startup. The DA George Gascon charged the company with false advertising and misleading business practices. Sources close to Lily Robotics say the investigation has been underway for months, and depending on the outcome of the trial, could result in more than a hundred million dollars in fines. The complaint, obtained by The Register, alleges the company knowingly misled customers by creating a promotional video showing video footage captured by a Lily drone prototype. However, the video in the promotional video was shot with a professional camera drone called the DJI Inspire. Of the Lily prototypes presented at the video shoot, those that could record were able to do so because GoPro cameras were mounted to the drones. The company has 60,000 unfulfilled orders, each carrying a civil penalty of up to $2,500.



Outgoing FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler Urges Republicans to Maintain Net Neutrality

Republicans have been fighting net neutrality since 2015, and with the incoming Trump administration, it is expected that Open Internet Order passed by the FCC will be challenged – if not completely gutted. In anticipation of this occurring, the outgoing FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler made a closing speech defending the idea that all internet traffic should be treated equally. However, telecommunications giants, such as Comcast and Verizon, may be allowed to “discriminate” against certain types of traffic if categorized as internet service providers rather than utility-like common carriers. “The overarching goal of the new policies was to promote a thriving broadband ecosystem, and that’s exactly what happened,” Wheeler said. “A hands-off approach to network oversight is more than a shift in direction, it is a decision to remove rights and move backward.”

You can view the full speech here:



Amazon Plans to Add 100,000 New Jobs over Next 18 Months

Amazon plans to beef up its full-time workforce by adding 100,000 employees over the next 18 months. Many of the new positions will be in fulfillment centers being built across the country. Amazon Web Services will also be contributing to the growth with openings for engineers and software developers. The announcement is believed to be Amazon’s way of appeasing the incoming President Trump. Indirect job growth was also cited via Amazon’s marketplaces for content and goods, estimating the Marketplace creates 300,000 jobs in the US for small business owners.


image source: SpaceX

Beth Kindig
Beth Kindig writes the "This Week in Tech News" column covering the most essential headlines of the week in abbreviated form. Her readers are busy professionals and casual tech enthusiasts who want to effortlessly stay on top of the latest news. Follow her on Twitter @Beth_Kindig


4 Devices for Ultimate Productivity Boost

4 Devices for Ultimate Productivity Boost

According to recent statistics, happy workers work 12 percent more than their discontent counterparts. Considering