iFive: iPhone’s Carrier-Free Future, Google TV to YouTube, BP Atlantis Fears, 1000 Genomes Success, Chinese Supercomputer Win

Innovation for the nation, brought to you with love from us.

On the night that President Obama subjected himself to a bit of a grilling from Jon Stewart, innovation was in the driving seat, doing a heckuva job.


1. Rumors abound in Europe that Apple is attempting to do with its iPhone what Google failed to do with the Nexus One: cut out the carrier. The firm has apparently been working with German SIM card-manufacturer Gemalto in an attempt to allow consumers to buy the best-selling smartphone via its online and physical retail outlets, and then choose the carrier via the firm’s App Store. Meanwhile, Leander Kahney claims that the white iPhone’s delay is down to its failure to take photos because the white casing leaks the light back into the camera. On Tuesday, Apple announced that the white version would be delayed until next Spring, but Boy Genius Report claims that the firm is considering cancelling the model altogether.

2. If there was any doubt about what Google’s greatest asset is, one of the company’s executives has confirmed that the purchase of Android was its “best deal ever.” Meanwhile, the firm has shifted the running of Google TV to its YouTube division, meaning that Salar Kamangar, the head of the team that created AdWords, will be in charge of the day-to-day running of that business. And finally, Fortune reports that the search engine giant, which is giving its employees credits to allow gophers to run errands for them, is close to buying a $2 billion building in Manhattan that boasts 3 million square feet and covers a whole block.

3. According to Kate Sheppard of the Mother Jones website, BP has another rig in the Gulf of Mexico that is “a ticking time bomb.” A former worker on the BP Atlantis, 124 miles off the coast of Louisiana, claims that over 7,000 documents pertaining to safety are either missing or incomplete. The platform produces 200,000 barrels of crude oil each day, over three times the amount that the Deepwater Horizon site was pumping.

4. The 1000 Genomes Project has successfully mapped 95% of all gene variations, after sequencing and comparing the DNA of 2,500 people worldwide. Costing $120 million, the initiative has involved hundreds of scientists, and a slew of universities, charities and firms, and has harvested the results using three different methods.

5. A Chinese supercomputer has knocked the U.S. off the top spot of, er, supercomputers. The Tianhe-1A has 1.4 times the horsepower of its closest rival, housed in a national laboratory in Tennessee, and “blows away the existing No. 1 machine.” Giddy-up!

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.