Bezos’ Blue Origin Vs. Musk’s SpaceX | Crunch Report


Unicorn chat app Tango shuts down its e-commerce
feature, Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk have a rocket pissing content on Twitter, Square readers
are now supporting Apple Pay. and more… It’s Tuesday November 24th, and this is Crunch
Report. Tango, the mobile messaging app that hit a
billion dollar valuation when Alibaba invested $280 million in it early last year, is pulling
back on an e-commerce effort and laying off around 9% of its staff, or 30 employees. The
commerce feature was linked to Alibaba and Walmart inventory and launched back in May
in the U.S., but the company now tells TechCrunch that ‘Tango Shop’ was closed down last
month after the initiative didn’t pan out. Tango now has 270 staff across its U.S. office
and a smaller presence in Beijing, China. Back in May when Tango Shop launched, the
company claimed 300 million registered users, but isn’t updating that number on this most
recent news. Which probably means user growth isn’t very exciting. Tango is somewhat of
a chat veteran, first coming onto the scene as a mobile video calling service back in
2009. You know how Jeff Bezos has that space company,
Blue Origin? Things appear to be going well. Blue Origin’s “New Shepard” vehicle flew
to space… well specifically, reached its suborbit test altitude of 329,839 feet and
then successfully landed vertically at the launch site in West Texas. Bezos tweeted of
the feat: “The rarest of beasts – a used rocket. Controlled landing not easy, but done right,
can look easy.” Elon Musk, whose competitor company SpaceX has been very publicly attempting
similar milestones, first congratulated Bezos on Twitter, which is very nice of him….
but then, he took the opportunity to explain that “space” and “orbit” aren’t the same thing,
and then got into Mach 3 vs. Mach 30, and mentioned SpaceX’s Falcon 1 Grasshopper…
and in general just let all of us know that SpaceX did everything Blue Origin did, first.
Billionaire space CEOs, splitting hairs about vertical takeoff and landings. It’s a wonderful
life. Newly public payments company Square has announced
its new wireless card reader is now available to pre-order on its website for $49, for shipment
in early 2016. The big new feature is support for Apple Pay, plus an NFC chip and a tokenization
system for a variety of secure contactless payments. If you can’t pay with your phone
for some reason, the new reader’s design now has a slot for chip cards too, which should
make Square adoption in Europe a lot more attractive. Being that it’s wireless, a small
built-in battery inside is rechargeable with a standard microUSB port. Square says 100
retailers are already using the new reader, which is a pretty small rollout… but I say
any Apple Pay expansion is a good one. Speaking of, sources cited by a new Dow Jones report
claim that Apple plans to have Apple Pay live in China by February 2016. China is Apple’s
big cash cow now, where revenue jumped 99% year-over-year to reach $12.51 billion in
the company’s most recent quarter. Alipay and Tencent’s WePay, which is the payments
service inside the crazy popular WeChat app, are currently the front runners in China’s
mobile payments race. It took me a while to warm up to Twitter’s
6-second looping video app Vine. But over the years, I’ve come around. Vines are excellent,
and educational. And Today, Vine is letting us all discover new Vines that have things
in common with Vines we already like. So say you’re browsing a channel or through your
own feed, you can now swipe left on a Vine and see some more good stuff. For me, it’s
cat butts. For you, maybe, Justin Beiber. It doesn’t always work, but it’s clearly helping
me discover stuff I wouldn’t see otherwise. Vine actually launched a Similar Vines feature
back in October for Android and then iOS, but the swipe left feature is new, instead
of having to click the “Similar Vines” tab under the post. Good for discovery for
sure. Oh, and Vine’s app is now Apple Watch compatible, and if you’re seriously into it,
you can add Vine as a watch face that will show your account’s total loops.
] Tis the season to buy junky gifts for people
who probably don’t really want them. Do you feel like doing that? Yeah me neither. Luckily,
companies like Magic, Operator, Fetch, GoButler, even Facebook, are all testing out messaging-based
virtual assistants that help you buy pretty much anything from gifts to restaurant reservations,
airline tickets, all sorts of things you might not feel like doing yourself. And now Google’s
trialing ITS own SMS-based alerting service, with a special focus on helping holiday shoppers
in the U.S. find the best deals. The company announced in a Google+ post that it would
be adding this service earlier this month, and today the blog Google Operating System
noticed a new option to “subscribe” to Black Friday phone deals on a mobile phone
after a related search. Now Google explains these “deal alerts” are actually an AdWords
option that’s being trialed with a limited number of advertisers, but didn’t elaborate
on ad pricing or which companies are participating. That’s the report for today. I’m Sarah
Lane. Crunch Report airs every weekday at 7 pm Eastern,
4 pm Pacific, on techcrunch.com. You can also find us on iTunes, and on YouTube. See you
tomorrow!

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11 thoughts on “Bezos’ Blue Origin Vs. Musk’s SpaceX | Crunch Report

  1. The points Elon Musk brought up is hardly splitting hairs. Do you not understand the difference between mach 3 and mach 30? Mach 30 is ten times as fast and vastly more difficult to achieve. Model rocketry enthusiasts have reached space before with widely available amateur rocket parts and what Blue Origin did is literally almost a decade behind SpaceX.

  2. Blue Origin does look like a flying Phallic symbol. Shreks reaction would be "Do you think he's compensating for something? (hehehe)"

  3. Bringing back a big bulky rocket stage from 300k feet is nothing compared to bringing a slender, much taller rocket back from much higher speeds and altitude. Jeff Bezos must think the dude with the biggest EGO wins this competition. Not. SpaceX has been to the ISS multiple times. What Bezos is going to do is give rich people a little short flight, nothing more than SpaceShipTwo with no wings.

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