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Matt’s Favorites: Mars Rover Brain Transplant, Detecting Life Around Dying Stars, the White House On Unlocking Phones, And Much More

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Mars Curiosity
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So what else is new and cool? Well, here’s what I found out on the Series of Tubes Monday night…

* NASA’s Mars rover Curiosity is on the road to recovery from a serious glitch after a ‘brain transplant.’ Cosmic radiation may be the culprit.

* And back in NASA’s glory days, they looked at Mars flyby missions with Apollo technology, much like the mission being  envisioned by gazillionaire Denis Tito for 2018. Unfortunately, our presidents in the 1970s found the space program an easy budget to cut, which is why we’re so far behind where so many thought we’d be by now.

* But at least we have cool robot probes. Here’s the latest compilation of cool Cassini Saturn pictures.

* Scientists discover a workaround around the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle. I wonder if this means Star Trek transporters are now possible?

* It’s not quite Google Glass, but police in Laurel, Md., have decided it’s time they started filming the public, just like the public films them.

* Scientists also now believe that humans didn’t domesticate dogs, dogs domesticated us. It was a survival move by the wolf to get friendly with humans.

* Scientists have created an artificial spectrum showing that the upcoming James Webb Space Telescope will be capable of detecting oxygen and water on an Earth-like planet orbiting a white dwarf, a dying star that slowly cools down over millions of years until it fades into oblivion.

* Meet 83 year old inventor Hugh Lyman, who just won a prize for 3D printing innovation. He’s been a passionate participant in the maker movement in years. Very cool.

* The white House says unlocking cell phones should be legal.

* Here’s a list of facts about sinkholes, like the one that killed that poor guy in Florida. They aren’t particularly common in Michigan, which is another thing we’ve got on many other states.

* Rumors that Apple may announce a so-called iWatch are heating up. According to Bloomberg, the tech giant could introduce a smart watch this year.

* IDC predicts a 1.3 percent slide in computer shipments this year, hurt by limited Windows 8 traction and pressure from tablets. It earlier expected shipments to rise 2.8 percent.

* Gun-toting adventurer Lara Croft is back in the latest “Tomb Raider” game to fight for new players but she comes gadget-free, without the improbable curves and trademark braid, and with an adults-only rating.

* Two years after Japan’s worst nuclear disaster displaced 21,000 residents of Namie, much of the town remains the same. The desolation has largely been hidden from public view, behind checkpoints set up to cordon off the government mandated nuclear exclusion zone. But Google is hoping to bring the displaced residents back home – at least virtually – using its street view technology.

* Japan also may be restarting six of its nuclear reactors by the end of the year. Well, OK, as long as they’re a long way from the reach of tsunamis…

* Samsung has apologized for the January acid leak at one of its semiconductor plants that killed one worker and injured four others. The event occurred at one of the plants in the Hwaseong area of South Korea.

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