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rocket science
SpaceX raises $1 billion backed by Google, Fidelity
First spaceships, now satellites.: Elon Musk at a press conference in May 2014. (Photo: AP file/Jae C. Hong)
An early private investor in Facebook and other hot tech stocks, Fidelity Investments has a history of backing moonshots, but this time, it has put its money on a bona-fide rocket. The Boston financial giant joined with Google Inc. and other investors in a $1 billion funding of Space Exploration Technologies, the California company started by billionaire Elon Musk. Known as SpaceX, the company builds reusable rockets and spacecrafts to ferry cargo to the International Space Station and might one day attempt to transport humans to Mars. Read More
Say goodbye to road rage: By 2025, the market for self-driving cars will be $42 billion
Google's latest self-driving vehicle prototype.
Fully self-driving cars will hit the road in the next decade, and Americans are ready and waiting for that day. A report published Thursday by the Boston Consulting Group brings the next 10 years into focus for makers and buyers of self-driving cars, projecting a $42 billion global market for fully autonomous vehicles by 2025. That market is expected to swell to $77 billion globally by 2035. Read More
Double feature
After Google buy, special effects shop Zero VFX cooking up more software
Zero VFX co-founders Sean Devereaux and Brian Drewes on the set of the soon-to-be-released boxing film, Southpaw. (Courtesy Zero VFX.)
It was a surprising acquisition by Google that happened in the thick of vacation season last August: the Silicon Valley giant picked up Zync Render, a software tool developed in Boston that makes it easier and cheaper to use cloud data processing services to produce special effects for movies or TV commercials. Zync Render had been created by a team at Zero VFX, a special effects shop that has worked on movies like "American Hustle" and "The Equalizer." And now the parent company that spawned Zync is planning on a sequel. Read More
Google's Holiday Shopping trends
What's trending on Google in the days prior to Black Friday? L.L. Bean and My Little Pony
Boston-area shoppers use Google to fine their L.L. Bean boots. Photo: Hilary Nagle/Boston Globe
As the hordes head to the Internet to purchase gifts for the holiday season, there are two things that Google has discovered about them by looking at recent search trends. First, they are shopping much more actively on mobile than ever before (shopping and buying, not just searching for goods). Second, there are more people shopping for holiday gifts online right now than the entire holiday period last year. Read More
A sensor you can swallow
Google's quiet partner on cancer-detection project: Mass.-based Entrega
Entrega board members Robert Langer, Jonathan Behr, and Colin Gardner. (Globe Photo / Jim Davis.)
Earlier in the week, Google took the wraps off an intriguing project that is part of its secretive Google X skunkworks: a magnetic nanoparticle that would travel through the bloodstream searching for early signs of cancer. But what Google executive Andrew Conrad didn't mention is that a Boston-area startup, Entrega Inc., is working with his company to actually deliver the nanoparticles, using a novel kind of pill. Read More