United Airlines Pilots Get iPads, Sony Redesigns Home, Cloud Music Locker’s Legal OK, NASA’s Robot Astronaut

This and more important news from your Fast Company editors, with updates all day.

United Airlines Sends 11,000 iPads To Pilots. United Airlines is equipping its pilot fleet with 11,000 iPads–following in other’s footsteps–in an attempt to make the cockpit of its airliners a paperless office. As well as equaling at least $5 million in income for Apple, it’s going to save huge quantities of paper waste and fuel expenditure. –KE


–Updated 12:30 p.m. EST

Samsung Uses Kubrick’s 2001 As Apple IP Defense. Samsung has just pulled a crazy legal maneuver: It’s suggesting there’s plenty of prior art that negates Apple’s argument its Galaxy devices infringe Apple’s iPad IP, in the form of tablet PCs mocked-up for sci-fi classic movie 2001: A Space Odyssey. The special effect tablets were large-screened, thin-boardered devices with a flat back seen resting on a table in the movie. –KE

The Hub

Sony Is Redesigning PlayStation Home. The new virtual space will debut in Fall 2011. Home director Jack Buser said, “We’ve been very focused on the evolution of the service from a 3-D social network to a social game platform.” There will be districts based on genres, not unlike Disneyland. Beyond the central Hub, there will be an Action district (urban, for shooters like Call of Duty), an Adventure district (jungle, for roleplaying games and adventures games like Uncharted), Sportswalk (for sports games), and Pier Park (for casual games and carnival games). There will also be a quest system, to add a gamification element to the virtual space. “It’s an opportunity to better interface with the user and introduce our products into the heart of Home,” said Halli Bjornsson, CEO of Lockwood, one of Home’s top publishers. PlayStation Home currently has 230 games, and 23 million users that spend an average of 70 minutes each session. –KO

–Updated 10:40 a.m. EST

Cloud Music Gets Legal Thumbs-Up. A court ruling yesterday in New York has cleared the legal way for cloud music lockers in the U.S. The case was between the EMI and early locker pioneer MP3Tunes–the recording industry said it was a harbor for pirated material, and was delinquent in policing repeat pirates. Six years after MP3Tunes launched everyone from Amazon to Apple is trying something similar, and Amazon’s rumored to have not sealed record label deals. –KE


–Updated 9:00 a.m. EST

NASA Wakes Its Robot Astronaut. Months after President Obama mildly teased NASA for not using it, astronauts aboard the ISS have woken Robonaut2, the world’s first robot astronaut and an important prototype for future space operations, including missions to the Moon and Mars. In a demonstration of how socially aware NASA is in the post-Shuttle era, Robonaut2 is now tweeting his status, including imagery through his eyes. –KE

AEG’s TicketMaster Competitor Due. Anshutz Entertainment Group, a major concert promoter in charge of big arenas around the world, is about to launch its own website for direct sales of tickets to concerts as a rival to industry giant Ticketmaster. It’s called, and is designed to avoid long-held complaints about Ticketmaster, including showing full ticket prices and not charging for home ticket printouts. –KE

Samsung Sniffing Around HP’s PC Business. Samsung has been making checks with Taiwan-based suppliers like Compal, Pegatron and Quanta about procuring hardware orders, which is being taken as a sign that it is interested in buying HP’s PC business–recently on the block due to HP’s emergency restructuring. Samsung’s traditional manufacturing base is in China’s mainland, whereas HP’s supply chain is Taiwan-based. –KE

–Updated 6:30 a.m. EST


Yesterday’s Fast Feed: Twitter’s Photo Galleries, India’s $99 Tablet, Skype Buys GroupMe, Apple Outsells Lenovo in China … and more …


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