Matt’s Favorites: Down With Speed Cameras, Internet Cats Rule, Musk Talks Mars, Iran Blocks The Web, And Much More
What else is new and cool in the fabulous universe of high technology? Let me focus the lens…
* Here’s a look at the weirdest tech stories of last week.
* God bless this Ohio judge, who has ruled that speed cameras are a scam.
* At SXSW in Austin, there are so many cats to meet. Grumpy Cat is in the house, and the line wraps around the block. People from all over the world have come not just to interact with each other and network their tushies off, but to meet a cat that has taken the Web by storm. Grumpy isn’t the only furry feline capturing the attention of the masses.
* Also, Elon Musk, CEO of SpaceX and Tesla Motors, took the keynote stage at this year’s SXSW to talk about everything from space exploration to electric cars. Joining him onstage to ask questions was Chris Anderson, the former Wired editor and co-founder of 3DRobotics.
* Iran is blocking VPNs to enforce its Internet filters, essentially cutting the country off from services like Google, Facebook, Skype and Twitter.
* Behold, the world’s fastest (and most expensive) hybrid, a 1,000-hp Ferrari that does 0 to 60 in less than 3 seconds and 0 to 180 in about 15.
* If it looks like a Higgs, acts like a Higgs, and decays like a Higgs, it’s probably a Higgs. That’s essentially the news from the physicists at Switzerland’s Large Hadron Collider who found a new particle last summer. So far, all evidence points to the conclusion that the particle is the long-sought Higgs boson, which would explain how other particles get their mass.
* Apple must detail for a court what it’s doing to produce documents in a privacy suit, a judge ruled, saying he has already “refereed” this particular dispute and that he can no longer believe what the company tells him.
* Another judge on Friday refused to suspend Apple Inc’s patent lawsuit against Samsung Electronics Co Ltd, a case that includes search technology in Apple’s Siri voice assistant. The ruling came from U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh in San Jose, California. Apple’s Siri lawsuit involves different patents than the case that went to trial in California last year.
* Humans aren’t the only living creature that enjoys a daily dose of caffeine. Funnily enough, bees like their buzz too. The flying insect gets the drug when they drink nectar containing caffeine, and researchers have proven that the naturally occurring upper improves the bee’s memory and could help the plant recruit more bees to spread its pollen.
* Russian scientists are reporting to Russian State Media, RIA Novosti, that they found new signs of life after examining water samples from the subglacial Lake Vostok. They have been looking for the samples since Jan. 10, when they extracted an ice core from the area.
* The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is warning U.S. doctors about a mysterious new coronavirus that’s been claiming lives overseas.
* The number of new undergraduate computing majors in U.S. computer science departments increased more than 29 percent last year, a pace called “astonishing” by the Computing Research Association. The increase was the fifth straight annual computer science enrollment gain, according to the CRA’s annual survey of computer science departments at Ph.D.-granting institutions.