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Matt’s Favorites: High Tech Helps In Boston Explosion Investigation, Clash Of Smartphone Titans, Anonymous Tweaks North Korea Again, And Much More

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Boston Explosion
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What’s the latest in technology? Well, hopefully, it’ll help bring that (multiple expletive deleted) who bombed the Boston Marathon to justice. Here’s the story from CNet’s News.com.

Elsewhere, here’s the latest:

* Google has launched a person finder tool for those who are searching for missing people at the Boston Marathon following two explosions Monday afternoon. And here’s a roundup of Boston explosion online resources.

* It’s the clash of two Android smartphone titans, the Samsung Galaxy S4 vs. the HTC One.

* Anonymous is once again trying to raise the hackles of North Korea by hacking into one of the country’s official news sites. For the second time this month, the North Korean news and information site Uriminzokkiri.com has been taken down.

* And this is just disgusting. Giant escargot, anyone? Giant African land snails have migrated to Florida, and are causing massive agricultural and social problems in the state. Hugely destructive to crops, the creatures themselves are dangerous, in that they are able to gnaw through stucco and plastics, will eat almost any organic material, their shells are hard enough to pop tires on the freeway and become shrapnel when run over by lawnmowers.

* Scientists at Case Western Reserve School of Medicine and Stanford University have mastered a technique that adapts skin cells to brain cells. They are able to convert these normal skin cells into the type of brain cells that are often destroyed in patients with multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy and other myelin disorders.

* A comet that had a slim chance of crashing into Mars in 2014 will almost certainly fly harmlessly past the Red Planet, scientists say. NASA researchers had given Comet C/2013 A1 (Siding Spring) a 1-in-8,000 chance of striking the Red Planet in October 2014, but revised calculations now put the possibility of an impact at just 1 in 120,000.

* The United States Navy’s first academic research ship to be named for a woman will be christened after NASA’s first female astronaut to fly in space. Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus announced Friday the next ocean-class auxiliary general oceanographic research (AGOR) ship will be named the R/V Sally Ride, after the astronaut who died last summer of pancreatic cancer.

* The company behind an exoplanet-naming contest says it’s fighting to restore its business and its reputation in the wake of some disapproving words from the International Astronomical Union.

* NASA’s Mars rover Curiosity has only been exploring the Red Planet since last August, but the robot has already racked up quite a string of accomplishments. Here’s a brief rundown of Curiosity’s biggest scientific and engineering achievements to date.

* Microsoft is reportedly exploring the idea of joining what promises to be a crowded smartwatch market. The tech titan has asked suppliers in Asia to ship components for a potential touch-enabled watch device, executives at the suppliers told The Wall Street Journal.

* Sediment in a deep-sea core may hold radioactive iron spewed by a distant supernova 2.2 million years ago and preserved in the fossilized remains of iron-loving bacteria. If confirmed, the iron traces would be the first biological signature of a specific exploding star.

* Here’s a story about a company that’s working on earthquake prediction.

* And here’s a fascinatin’ story about how NASA brought the monstrous F-1 moon rocket engine back to life.

* The Hawaii Board of Land and Natural Resources has reportedly granted a permit to the University of Hawaii at Hilo for the construction of the $1.3 billion Thirty Meter Telescope. The telescope will be built atop Mauna Kea and will be one of the largest telescopes in the world, according to the university. In theory, it might be able to see back to the beginning of time.

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