Darden Restaurants: The Orlando-based restaurant giant that boasts more than $7 billion in annual sales announced yesterday a new sustainable restaurant design initiative aimed at bringing its establishments up to LEED standards. The new eco-friendly restaurants will utilize recycled building materials, natural light, energy-efficient equipment, and “reclaimed heat,” which reuses heat otherwise expelled, to help the kitchen boil water. Since the restaurant group has Red Lobster and the Olive Garden in its roster, and over 1,800 locations worldwide, even capturing a little hot air could have a big impact.
GE: The Mayo Clinic announced yesterday that it’s joining forces with Intel and GE Health Care to start testing a new home health-monitoring technology which could reduce health-care costs, hospitalizations, and emergency room visits. The monitoring systems are being installed in the homes of about 200 high-risk seniors, and will give the Mayo Clinic access to the patients through real-time vital-sign measurements and videoconferencing Q&A sessions. GE and Intel will conduct the study over the next year to see if the new technology is viable.
Spotify: After receiving a huge investment from venture cap firm the Founders Fund, Spotify has just found its first investor in the U.S., TechCrunch reports. While exact numbers haven’t been released, reports call the investment “substantial.” The Founders Fund’s investment is a significant vote of confidence for the popular European music service, which is gearing up for its U.S. launch in the coming months and has been negotiating deals with big record labels.
Apple: The App Store will soon have an “Explicit” category for all its promiscuous content. This update is likely thanks to a recent dissertation on pornography from our very own Kit Eaton–or perhaps Apple has succumbed to pressure over its banning of controversial iPhone apps.