Game of Drones
Texas is likely to become a top state for unmanned drone aircraft production in the next two decades, according to a new analysis by Fortune. The state ranks third on the magazine’s list of “9 States Poised to Dominate the Drone Economy,” thanks in part to a robust aerospace sector led by companies including Lockheed Martin, Bell Helicopter, General Dynamics, and Boeing, which all have operations here.
Fortune also credited Texas’ engineering education programs and scientific workforce bolstered by the Johnson Space Center in Houston and drone research efforts at Texas A&M. The article also points out that Texas is “thus far keeping a very open mind” about the use of drones from a policy perspective, with several city police departments already using unmanned helicopters in their operations.
The Bottom Line: A report published earlier this year by the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International estimates the drone industry will help create about 4,000 jobs in Texas and generate more than $700 million in the state economy in the next decade.
Facebook Phone Keeps Limited Profile
AT&T may be getting ready to drop the HTC First, a.k.a. the “Facebook phone,” from its friends list. The Dallas-based corporation was the first U.S. carrier to start selling the smartphone in April, but reports of sluggish sales are prompting speculation that the company could discontinue it, according to Businessweek. The phone comes with the new Facebook Home platform pre-installed, allowing users to see friends’ updates on their home screens without having to open an app.
The tech blog BGR broke the news of the potential discontinuation on Monday, citing an anonymous “trusted source” at the company. AT&T says it hasn’t made any firm decisions yet.
The Bottom Line: BGR reports that AT&T had