iFive: Troops In (Iraq!), Starbucks’ Digital Network, Apple TV Becomes iTV, Google-Verizon Ruminations, Rubik’s Cube Break-Thru

Innovation never snoozes.

While you were sleeping, innovation was redesigning itself and changing its name to Boomer the Dog.


1. Despite the timetable being fixed in stone, the U.S. military’s withdrawal from Iraq has been called into question–by an Iraqi officer. Lt Col Babaker Zebari does not think that his country’s military will be ready to take control for another decade, although the U.S. is still counting on an end to combat ops by the end of this month, and the removal of all foreign troops by end 2011.

2. Starbucks is rolling out its free Wi-Fi experience for all later this year, and Mashable has some clues about how the firm is going to monetize SDN, or Starbucks Digital Network. It’s going to offer exclusive and premium content to consumers from names such as Apple, Yahoo, Nickelodeon, and the New York Times. Starbucks’ VP of Digital Ventures, Adam Brotman, calls it a win-win situation.

3. Engadget seems to have got itself a little scoopette on the relaunch of Apple TV. It’s going to be called iTV (what will UK terrestrial channel ITV think of that? Or, for that matter, Spain’s test certificate for vehicles? 1080p will be a no-no, but apps a yes-yes. The site’s editor, Josh Topolsky, also broke the clearest indication that there is a PSPhone on the way. High five!

4. There’s still a lot of ruminations over the Google-Verizon pact from last week. And here’s a little round-up: AT&T is, apparently, very happy with the tie-up. Marc Hedlund reckons the deal was done with a make-weight clause in there: No iPhone on Verizon. Facebook, eBay, Skype, and Amazon are all dead against the idea, says the Financial Times. Here’s Facebook’s statement on it.

5. Google’s computers have solved one of the last great mysteries of the universe: the maximum of moves needed to solve a Rubik’s cube. And, for all of you who thought the number might be 42, you’re wrong. It’s 20 or less.

About the author

My writing career has taken me all round the houses over the past decade and a half--from grumpy teens and hungover rock bands in the U.K., where I was born, via celebrity interviews, health, tech and fashion in Madrid and Paris, before returning to London, where I now live. For the past five years I've been writing about technology and innovation for U.S.