“Free Shipping Day,” the demise of “Ebb,” “Flow” and the Jersey Shore, taking time for tomorrow’s tech entrepreneurs, a strike for Christmas and Doomsday… This week’s notable news and startup events for young treps:
1. Free shipping news: This year’s “Free Shipping Day,” is Dec. 17, when many retailers offer free shipping with delivery promised by Christmas Eve. So far, about 1,400 retailers, including small independent stores, are participating. Though, the number is expected to tick up to 2,000 by next Monday. If you don’t make that deadline, don’t stress: Amazon announced that orders can be placed through Dec. 18 and still get free delivery in time for Christmas.
2. Crash landing: Two space probes — named “Ebb” and “Flow” — the size of washing machines that have been orbiting the Moon and measuring its gravity field, are scheduled to plunge into the celestial body’s dark side on Dec. 17. The idea behind the mission? It’s a garbage-disposal operation, designed to ensure that the probes, which are running out of fuel, don’t crash into historical sites.
3. Tomorrow’s tech entrepreneurs: NYC Generation Tech, a hands-on learning and mentorship program for young tech entrepreneurs is hosting a demo night this Tuesday, December 18, from 6 – 9pm at NASDAQ MarketSite (4 Times Square). Six teams of high-school students are presenting mobile apps they created to a panel of industry professionals, including executives from Microsoft, Tumblr and Birchbox. The winning team receives $5,000.
4. A pre-Christmas strike? Employees at John F. Kennedy International Airport voted to approve a strike that could muck up the flow of holiday travel, if their employer doesn’t agree to their demands. Among other things, the workers are vying for better equipment, and more extensive training.
5. Doomsday, revisited: The Mayan calendar is scheduled to end on Dec. 21, which has some morose-milestone watchers counting down to a global apocalypse. According to an Associated Press report, one gambling website, MyTopSportsbooks.com, puts the odds of the world ending on Dec. 21 at 300 million to 1. But for those who think it’s better to be safe than sorry, here are some tips to getting your financial house in order.
6. Another Nor’ Easter: Hurricane Sandy-battered portions of the Northeast could get hit with yet another Nor Easter, mid-week. Though unquestionably a burden for individuals and businesses stricken by the hurricane, the nor’ easter is expected to be much weaker.
7. Taking on Netflix: Verizon Communications and Coinstar Redbox plan to launch a beta version of their new video-rental service, with streaming content and DVD rentals, says the WSJ. For $8 a month, a subscriber gets four one-night rental credits at Redbox kiosks, in addition to unlimited streaming video. Standard DVD rentals at Redbox kiosks are $1.20 each. Netflix also charges $8 a month for streaming, but it charges another $8 to rent a single DVD at a time.
8. So long Snooki: NBC’s hit singing competition The Voice ends Dec. 18. And MTV’s guilty pleasure, the Jersey Shore will end its three-year reign over Seaside Heights, N.J., with its final broadcast on Dec. 20. If the loss is getting you down, check out the movies. With Lincoln, The Hobbit and the Dec. 19 release of the Osama bin Laden CIA thriller Zero Dark Thirty, there’s much to see these days.