Matt’s Favorites: Cell Phone Turns 40, Dark Matter Found, Maybe, Women Design Anti-Rape Underwear And More

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Martin Cooper
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Hey, glad you stopped by. You wouldn’t believe what I found in the wonderful world of tech over the past 24 hours…

* Martin Cooper knew he had something special in his hands when he invited reporters to watch him make the first cell phone call on April 3, 1973, in New York City. “This is a time when there were no cordless phones. And certainly no cell phones. And here’s this guy talking as he was walking along. And I stepped into the street and nearly got  creamed by a New York taxicab. So talk about being prescient and seeing a picture of the future,” Cooper said. Boy, did that call change our lives.

* A $2 billion cosmic ray detector attached to the International Space Station has confirmed a steady flow of antimatter positrons streaming through the solar system from all directions, possibly the tell-tale fingerprints of collisions between particles of as-yet-unseen dark matter, scientists said Wednesday.

* Women engineering students in India have created electronic underwear they claim can protect the wearer from sexual assault. The lingerie would deliver electric shock waves of 3.8 million volts to an attacker and features GPS. The garment can also send emergency text messages to the police.

* It’s no secret that Apple wants to get into the living room by making its own TV set,  and there have been plenty of rumors and reports about how and when it’s going to happen. Now, an analyst says he’s learned that the set will go on sale late this year, for $1,500 to $2,500.

* Disney may be shutting down LucasArts, the video game arm of the Lucas entertainment empire, laying off its staff and ceasing its development of two forthcoming “Star Wars” games. “After evaluating our position in the games market,
we’ve decided to shift LucasArts from an internal development to a licensing model, minimizing the company’s risk while achieving a broader portfolio of quality Star Wars games,” LucasFilm said in a statement. “As a result of this change, we’ve had layoffs across the organization. We are incredibly appreciative and proud of the talented teams who have been developing our new titles.” Details of the shutdown were first reported by Kotaku.

* A Chicago-based social media company called Timelines Inc. can sue Facebook Inc. over allegations that it violated the smaller firm’s trademark on the word “timeline,” a federal judge ruled. Timelines launched a Web site called Timelines.com in 2009 that enables users to track historical events and their personal lives online.

* Yikes! It seems “The Daily Show” and diplomacy don’t mix. That’s the lesson the U.S. Embassy in Cairo is learning the hard way after being rebuked by both the Egyptian government and the State Department for causing an international incident. The embassy tweeted a link to a Jon Stewart monologue that mocked Egypt’s president for the arrest and interrogation of Egyptian comic Bassam Youssef, who has frequently criticized the president on a popular TV program that has been likened to Stewart’s own.

* Baidu Inc , China’s largest search engine, is developing prototype digital eyewear similar to Google Inc’s Google Glass that will leverage Baidu’s strengths in image search and facial recognition, a Baidu spokesman said on Wednesday.

* Physicists have nudged electrons to change their spin in just quadrillionths of a second, the fastest ever achieved and a basic-science feat that could lead to faster computer processing and storage.

* California, which set the standard for data breach notifications nationwide, is again seeking to set a precedent by becoming the first state in the nation to require companies upon request disclose to California consumers the data they’ve collected and to whom it was shared during the past year. They would be required to respond within 30 days and provide the report for free.

* Feast your eys on the Small Magellanic Cloud, the pocket galaxy just off the port bow of our own Milky Way.

* How about an app that can tell if you’re depressed? And maybe help a little?

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