Today in Most Innovative Companies

Daily news of note from our Most Innovative Companies, including Apple, Google, GE, and IBM


Apple: Steve Jobs maintains an almost paranoid secrecy about Apple products, and yesterday News Corp. boss Rupert Murdoch gave the public a little taste of just how clandestine things are in Cupertino. The Wall Street Journal has been given access to a pre-release iPad, though only “under padlock and key,” Murdoch says. Just how far does Jobs go to keep the product under wraps? According to Murdoch, Apple checks in on the pre-release iPad nightly.

Google: The team over at Google Lat Long has teamed with the 2010 Pew Fellows in Marine Conservation to develop a project that combines Jacques Cousteau and Google Earth. The new maps allow you to dive into underwater ecosystems along with marine scientists, who provide a narrated tour of the deep blue.

GE: Beluga SkySails, a gigantic cargo vessel, is the world’s first ship partially powered by a huge computer-controlled kite. Partnering with GE’s Project Logistics team, the 600 square meter kite can now help the cargo ship sail, and will have a big effect on the boat’s CO2 emissions. GE expects the new system will cut fuel costs over the next years by 10 to 35 percent.

IBM: Scientists revealed today a significant advance in the way electrical signals and computer chips communicate, replacing traditional copper wiring with silicon circuits that run dramatically faster. The nanophotonic avalanche photodetector uses pulses of light that snowball and snowball to create an even stronger pulse that is similar, researchers say, to an avalanche barreling down a steep slope. IBM’s device is the world’s fastest of its kind, and is capable of receiving signals at 40Gbps — which it can then exponentially multiply. What this means without all the technical mumbo-jumbo is that the device could eventually create huge advances in energy-efficient computing. Check out the video below to get a better picture (and to get a sneak peek at Tron Legacy):


About the author

Austin Carr writes about design and technology for Fast Company magazine.