What else is new and cool on the wild, wonderful edge of technology? I’ll sharpen the view for you — but watch out, don’t get cut.
* Well, kids, I managed to get caught up with almost all the week’s extra tech news from exceptionally busy Tuesday and Wednesday, so almost nothing had to sit over the weekend. Which is a good thing; news that’s more than three days old tends to develop just a little bit of an odor, you know? Kind of like leftovers.
* 89X’s former morning zoo team, Dave and Chuck The Freak, are coming back — in a video game app. And yes, but of course, there are many, many penii.
* Facebook launches its News Feed redesign, but not among all users at once. Mine still looked the same Thursday night.
* It turns out it was easy for new Yahoo CEO Marissa Ann Mayer to ban working from home. She looked at the data on who was logged in to the company’s network remotely, and discovered people who were supposed to be working from home were slacking off. (Boss, in my case, I recommend you check when I’m logged into Webmail and when I’m reading and sending mail just to show you I’m NOT slacking off… ;) )
* A new study looking at 11,000 years of climate temperatures shows the world in the middle of a dramatic U-turn, lurching from near-record cooling to a heat spike. Scientists say it is further evidence that modern-day global warming isn’t natural, but the result of rising carbon dioxide emissions that have rapidly grown since the Industrial Revolution began roughly 250 years ago.
* The U.S Federal Trade Commission said it is cracking down on marketers that are allegedly bombarding consumers with hundreds of millions of unwanted spam messages on their cell phones in the hopes they will give away personal information on bogus Web sites.
* Curiosity hunkered down after the sun unleashed a blast that raced toward Mars. While the hardy rover was designed to withstand punishing space weather, its handlers decided to power it down as a precaution since it suffered a recent computer problem.
* If you’ve ever watched “Entourage,” you’ll know how Hollywood studios like to control things. If you’ve ever watched “Entourage,” you’ll know how funny it is when they don’t. It is appearing increasingly possible that there might be a few Hollywood weaves being torn out at the latest pronouncements about the projected new “Star Wars” movies.
* Researchers have managed to accurately measure the distance to Earth’s nearest neighboring galaxy, the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC), which was one of the biggest mysteries of the universe. Consequently, at the same time researchers have recalibrated the astronomical calculation that helps measure the expansion of the universe.
* BlackBerry is encouraged by early sales of its Z10.
* Speaking of smartphones, herewith is the latest rumor roundup on the Samsung Galaxy S4.
* In a big blow to EA and Maxis, Amazon has stopped selling download copies of the just released SimCity.
* PCs may be dying, but they sure are fun to mod. Check out these crazy PC mods from SXSW.
* Creditors of telecoms equipment giant Nortel Networks will find out on Friday how the bankrupt company will proceed in ending the years-long battle over its $9 billion in cash.
* China and Russia are buying increasingly powerful surveillance technologies to intercept communications and try to take control of the Internet, a senior U.S. official said on Thursday.
* A patent battle between Google and Microsoft could see Google Maps banned in Germany. Florian Mueller, of FOSS Patents, reported from court in Munich today, where he said the tide is shifting against Google.
* Pandora Media, the company behind the Web radio service, posted big fourth-quarter revenue gains as advertising revenue jumped 51 percent from the year-ago period. At the same time, the company’s losses widened 78 percent to $14.6 million.