Weekly Roundup: Snapchat’s new Specs, Beyoncé is a tech investor and SpaceX’s plans to colonize Mars

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This week, Elon Musk revealed SpaceX’s plan for humans to inhabit Mars, Google rebranded its cloud services and rumors swirled about a Twitter bid. These are the top stories of the week, and you can also receive them in your inbox.

1. The little blue bird may find a new home soon. Word is that Salesforce, Google, Microsoft and Verizon are all eyeing a Twitter bid. If Google buys, there’s a perfect spot for Twitter within YouTube. But Salesforce may be the best fit of all.

2. All eyes were on Elon Musk this week as he detailed SpaceX’s plans to colonize Mars. He believes humans have two options: One path is to stay on Earth forever and eventually face an extinction event. The alternative is to become a space-faring, multiplanetary species. He clarified that less than 5 percent of the company is actually working on the Mars mission, and a 2024 launch is optimistic.

3. If there’s one company cool enough to pull off the “computer on your face” concept, it’s Snapchat. The messaging company rebranded to Snap Inc. and made its first foray into hardware with the long-rumored camera glasses, the Spectacles. Yes, they’re actually real and will cost $130. But will they end up changing our behavior? 

snapchat-spectacles

4. Google combined all its cloud services under the “Google Cloud” brand, and rebranded its business apps to G Suite.

5. Facebook wants work to be as addictive as socializing. Facebook at Work, the company’s enterprise communication and collaboration network, is launching on October 10.

6. A week after GoPro announced its new Karma drone, DJI introduced its new folding drone, the Mavic Pro. At $999, the Mavic is smaller and better at tracking than GoPro’s offering.

7. Queen Bey is bringing her business skills to the tech world. Beyoncé and the management company she started, Parkwood Entertainment, have invested $150,000 into Sidestep, an app for buying concert merchandise and skipping the line to pick it up at the show.

8. Where will AI lead us in the future? Facebook, Amazon, Google, IBM and Microsoft came together to launch the new Partnership on AI. The alliance was formed for the purpose of conducting research and promoting best practices when it comes to advancements in artificial intelligence.

9. This year, ClassPass jacked up its prices from a $100 monthly payment to a $180 monthly payment, at its highest, marking the first wave of doubt over its new-found business model. Following the price hike, the company lost 10 percent of its user base, but it was also the price that had to be paid to get ClassPass back to profitability. Here’s where the company is now.

10. New tech-backed voting initiatives seem to be popping up on the daily, and Silicon Valley is ready to spend. But will VC-funded registration apps and big-dollar donations really change the course of this election?

11. Contractors are preparing to boycott online grocery service Instacart over the elimination of tips. The new payment structure is meeting criticism because it will eliminate tips, but guarantee a delivery commission. Only the full-service shoppers (contractors) are affected.