While you were all tucked up in your beds, innovation was having an all-night party. And this on a Tuesday after a long weekend? And in space? Apparently so.
1. Iridium has become the largest presence in the cosmos—well, that we know of so far. It's ordered 88 spacecraft for its Iridium Next venture, to boost its telecommunications network. French firm Thales beat Lockheed-Martin for the $2.1—or $2.9 billion, depending what you read—gig. In other space news, big shout out to the Japanese firm Shimizu for Luna Ring, its solar and lunar power generation concept (translation: solar panels on the moon). Prepare yourselves for the "infinite coexistence of mankind and the earth."
2. Google Maps and, surprise surprise, Facebook, are the most-used smartphone apps, according to Nielsen. Lest the Mountain View-sters get too big for their boots, however, Microsoft has attempted to bring them back down to size, with a retort about Google's moratorium on Windows due to security issues: "We're bad? Well, you're not so great, either." Yeah yeah yeah.
3. Delicious founder Joshua Schacter is on his way out of Google. He's "sad.. yet.. excited." Jeff Clavier too, it seems, as the Softtech V.C. guy has already met up with Joshua for coffee. If a startup beckons, he's one person who doesn't need to read Robert B. Reich's semi-take down of being self-employed. One man's startup is another man's unemployment.
4. Hulu and XBox 360? Really? It's been spotted in internal dashboard builds, says Engadget, and will join Netflix, Facebook, and Twitter as the inner clique of Microsoft gamers.
5. And finally, some environmental news that isn't too depressing. Trafigura, that oil firm that specializes in toxic waste (not to be confused with BP) has got its day in court—well, five weeks, actually—in the Netherlands. It's accused of breaking Dutch laws, environmental laws and forgery of documents.