A Distraction-Free Phone Goes Back to Basics + SolarCity Is Coming

Sacha Strebe
  • A new distraction-free designer phone has stripped back the “smart” for “simple.” Created by Punkt and designed by British creative Jasper Morrison, the MP01 reverts back to the original mobile, complete with a T9 keyboard. It lets you call, text, set a reminder or an alarm, and use a basic calendar. And it will also set you back $300 for the basic privilege. “Say it with words. Focus on what matters most and leave the rest.” Are you ready to give up all the mod cons your smartphone offers for this limited-functionality phone? — The Next Web
  • Ten years after Big Willie Style, Will Smith is “Gettin’ Jiggy Wit It” again. Returning to his musical roots, the 47-year-old rapper-turned-actor has released a remix of Latin group Bomba Estéreo’s “Fiesta.” The song is full of comedic lines, such as “hola, mamacita, go get me a beer-a!” and “no gas for me; I’m a Tesla!” Turn it up just in time for the weekend. — E News
  • Japan will start experimenting with self-driving taxis next year. About 50 people in the Kanagawa prefecture, just south of Tokyo, will use the auto-driving car to transport them from their homes to local grocery stores. Toyota Estima hybrid minivans were retrofitted by Robot Taxi Inc., and if the trial goes well, they hope to have a commercial service up and running by 2020. — The Wall Street Journal
  • The new SolarCity, co-founded by Elon Musk, will build enough panels for 200,000 homes per year. The rooftop solar panels are the world’s most efficient, with a module efficiency of just over 22%. SolarCity CEO Lyndon Rive plans to build the 360-watt panel plant in Buffalo, New York, and hopes to charge about 55 cents per watt. — Engadget
  • Today Google Inc. will officially transition its stock to Alphabet. This is the beginning of a new era for the Internet giant and will bring the entire company assets under one umbrella. The goal of Alphabet is to free up Google co-founder and CEO Larry Page’s time so he can focus on the next big thing, rather than the day-to-day business. The assets under the new company include Nest, Google X, Google Ventures and Google Capital, Calico, Life Sciences, and Footpath Labs. And, of course, Google. — Mashable
  • To shop this long week: Don't miss Jason Grant's eclectic Bondi Beach home.!

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