Google officially enters the “game of drones.” The tech giant is reportedly testing a drone-based delivery system, dubbed Project Wing. In development by Google X, the company’s advanced-research department, Project Wing would potentially rival the conceptual drone-based system being developed by Amazon. In a statement, Google said the self-flying drones “could open up entirely new approaches to moving goods – including options that are cheaper, faster, and less wasteful and more environmentally sensitive than what’s possible today.” Commercial drone usage is banned in the United States, although the FAA is considering whether to change the regulations. Google’s stock is down 2.5 percent in the past week.
While Apple is in no hurry to be outdone. The company emailed invitations Thursday to an event for Sept. 9, with the accompanying tagline “wish we could say more.” Fans are clamoring over the potential release of one or more new technologies, including a wider screened iPhone 6 and a wearable device preliminary dubbed the iWatch.
U.S. markets are up this final trading day of the month, after finishing marginally lower Thursday. European and Asian markets were mixed, with indices in Germany, Shanghai and India seeing modest gains. The Russian ruble fell to a historic low today, following an alleged Russian incursion into Ukraine that has further fueled tensions in the region. Gold is down $3.50 to $1,286 an ounce. Crude oil is up $0.45 to $95.00 a barrel.
This weekend’s battle at the box office will likely see two familiar faces at the top once again. Marvel’s “Guardians of the Galaxy,” the summers highest grossing film, and “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” are expected to retake the No. 1 and No. 2 spots at the box office this weekend, with new releases like “November Man” and “As Above So Below” only expected to bring in around $10 million apiece. As the summer season officially draws to a close, what was once a season for major revenues and blockbuster drawings has seen its weakest earnings in years. This summer’s box-office gross of $3.6 billion finished 24.5 percent lower than last year, according to Box Office Mojo.
For those not looking to catch a final summer flick, you can try your luck at a couple Atlantic City Roulette tables one last time. Two former boardwalk giants will shutter their doors this weekend; the Showboat Casino, which opened in 1987, will officially cease operations Sunday, while AC’s newest casino, the $2.4 billion Revel Atlantic City, will close its hotel Labor Day and cease all gaming operations Tuesday, less than three years after their opening day.