Matt’s Favorites: Using The Excess CO2 We Made, Massive DoS Attack, Big Web Vandalism, NASA’s Curioisity Is Back, And Much More
So what’s the latest, greatest, newest and coolest in the ever-expanding world of high technology? I thought you’d never ask. Buckle up!
* The large amount of carbon dioxide in the Earth’s atmosphere that’s created by the burning of fossil fuels is cited by scientists as a major driver of climate change. Now, researchers at the University of Georgia say they’ve hit upon a way to take the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and turn it into useable industrial products. The impact of such a discovery is potentially huge. The goal is to remove the CO2 directly from the air and turn it into bio-fuel — not only helping power the world, but hopefully taking down global temperatures at the same time.
* An Internet watchdog group responsible for keeping ads for counterfeit Viagra and bogus weight-loss pills out of inboxes around the world has been hit by a huge cyberattack, a crushing electronic onslaught that one expert said had already had ripple effects across the Web.
* Or maybe it’s just vandalism: Egypt’s coast guard caught three divers cutting through an undersea Internet cable on Wednesday, the army said, the first suggestion criminals might be involved in days of severed connections and disruptions online. A patrol stopped a fishing boat near the Mediterranean port city of Alexandria and arrested three divers, the army spokesman said on his official Facebook page.
* Thank goodness: NASA’s Mars rover Curiosity has fully recovered from a glitch that knocked out its main computer system late last month, space agency officials say. The rover has now resumed science work inside the Red Planet’s huge Gale Crater.
* Astronomers have discovered a new kind of supernova, a star explosion so weak that scientists dubbed it a miniature stellar blast.
* The debate over the reburial of English King Richard III is heating up, with a group of the monarch’s supposed descendents challenging the University of Leicester on the plans for re-interment, basing their argument on human rights violations.
* Not all that many people know that Steve Jobs’ first boss was Nolan Bushnell, who was running video game pioneer Atari in the early 1970s. Atari’s refusal to be corralled by the status quo was one of the reasons Jobs went to work there in 1974 as an unkempt, contemptuous 19-year-old. Bushnell says Jobs offended some Atari employees so much that Bushnell eventually told Jobs to work nights when one else was around. Now, Bushnell has written a book about the unorthodox thinking that fosters the kinds of breakthroughs that became Jobs’ hallmark as the co-founder and CEO of Apple Inc.
* Talk about streaming media: The Philadelphia Phillies’ top minor league affiliate is set to debut what it calls a “urinal gaming system” at its ballpark in Allentown, Pa.
* People judge each other on what they drive, what they wear and where they live, so it’s not a surprise that people may also judge each other on what electronics they whip out to use in public.
* Twitter will generate nearly $1 billion in ad revenue next year due to a surge in mobile advertising on its Web microblogging service, according to a report released on Wednesday. Mobile ads will account for roughly half of Twitter’s advertising revenue this year and will make up more than 60 percent of the company’s ad revenue by 2015 according to research firm eMarketer.
* The editor-in-chief and entire editorial board of the Journal of Library Administration announced their resignation last week, citing ‘a crisis of conscience about publishing in a journal that was not open access’ in the days after the death of Aaron Swartz.
* After just a month online, North Korea has pulled the plug on its 3G network, which was previously made available for tourists to access the Internet starting on Feb. 22.
* Climate scientists have linked the massive snowstorms and bitter spring weather now being experienced across large parts of Europe and North America to the dramatic loss of Arctic sea ice. Both the extent and the volume of the sea ice that forms and melts each year in the Arctic Ocean fell to an historic low last autumn. According to a growing body of researchers, the Arctic ice loss adds heat to the ocean and atmosphere, which shifts the position of the jet stream, allowing cold air from the Arctic to plunge much further south.
* Working to keep an edge on the mapping front, Google announced today that it’s boosting Google Maps’ live transit feature. Now, users can see several subway and bus live departure times in New York and Salt Lake City and service alerts for Washington, D.C.’s Metrorail.
* CNet’s News.com says Cadillac is more than up to the challenge of competing with the German luxury cars with the CTS, now with some weight-saving tech as well as a new graphical interface inside.
* Gaps in free wireless Internet access are slowly being filled in by public and private organizations, as well as by ad hoc groups of wireless-network users offering a portion of their bandwidth to the public.