While you were setting off fireworks, throwing a coyote on the barbecue, and squeezing on your Stars and Stripes Speedo, innovation was releasing mobile payment systems, scraping together $350 million, and wearing 3-D specs. But not all at the same time.
1. Here's the A Whale oil skimmer ship being put through its paces in the Gulf. Only trouble is, 10-foot waves are hampering its progress—and Neptune alone knows what the stormy weather will do to the relief well drill. They have one chance to get it right, says The Guardian. Kuwait and Libya are both getting excited by BP, which is calling on its partners, Anadarko and Mitsui, to help shoulder the costs.
3. Three years after its last fund raised $600 million, Venrock has scraped together $350 million for a smaller fund for tech investors. Tech moneymen have welcomed the scaling down, saying that too much money in start-ups means less return.
4. Could Anna Chapman persuade even the most fervent environmentalist to drink petrol? Check her out on video talking about her startup firm, a real estate Web site. Whatever "it" is, she's got it.
5. Is Justin Bieber the secret weapon to bring Kim Jong Il down? Intermong Web site 4Chan has hijacked the singer's campaign to let his fans choose where he goes on tour. (Memo to 4chan: was this hacking of the Biebster's YouTube page you as well?) Unless there is a mammoth push from Camp Bieber, Justin will be headed to North Korea. Screeeeeeam! And, in other famous persons' news, here's the Queen of England in 3-D specs. Note they've been customized with Swarovski Qs on the arms. Better than steampunk.