Returning to Sender
●● The recycling race is heating up in space. On Dec. 21, Elon Musk’s SpaceX launched a Falcon 9 rocket that put 11 satellites into orbit before returning to land vertically in Florida. A few weeks ago, Jeff Bezos’s Blue Origin performed a similar feat, though its vessel didn’t carry satellites. Reusable rockets are expected to drastically reduce the cost of space launches. ● ● Toshiba, rocked by one of Japan’s biggest accounting scandals in 2015, said it would eliminate 7,800 jobs, roughly 4 percent of its workforce, and sell its health-care division in a bid to stem losses. Most of the layoffs will be in its consumer electronics and appliances unit. The company said it would post a loss of about $4.5 billion in the year ending in March. Ride-hailing startup Lyft filed plans to raise as much as $1 billion in a funding round. Venture capital experts have put Lyft’s prefunding valuation at $4 billion to $4.5 billion. Rival Uber is seeking to raise an additional $2.1 billion, which would give it a $62.5 billion valuation. Panasonic said it’s buying Hussmann, a maker of refrigeration systems, for $1.5 billion. The deal helps the Japanese electronics giant pivot away from TVs and smartphones and toward products and services that might interest corporate customers. Missouri-based Hussmann makes coolers for food distributors and retailers.
Apple signed a global licensing agreement with Ericsson, ending an almost yearlong patent dispute between the telecommunications giants. Apple will pay Ericsson an undisclosed sum over seven years for the rights to a number of patents used to speed wireless networks.
CEO Wisdom “Once someone starts thinking like an inventor, they can’t turn that off.” ——Ford Global Technologies CEO Bill Coughlin, explaining a 36 percent increase in the carmaker’s annual patent applications