What’s the latest from the wild and wacky world of technology? I’m ever so glad you asked — here goes!
* Syria’s Internet has gone down, according to wide reports. The traffic monitoring site Umbrella Security Labs reported that a Syria had a significant drop in traffic at around 6:45 p.m. UTC. The organization posted a graph showing that both top-level domain servers for Syria are “unreachable.”
* China has engaged in widespread cyber espionage in a bid to extract information about the US government’s foreign policy and military plans, said a Pentagon report issued this week.
* CenturyLink, the nation’s third largest telecom network, was experiencing an outage of its broadband service nationwide, leaving its support systems overwhelmed and even causing its website to hit a few snags Tuesday morning.
* Nerd heaven: Now, a small, portable pizza oven that will give you the kind of high-heat baking you can’t get from a regular oven, so that homemade pizza will taste like the pizzeria.
* Researchers at Princeton University haven’t just created a functional ear; they’ve actually manufactured some that may work better than our human ones. Nicknamed the “bionic ear,” the operative device can hear at frequencies far out of the range of a normal human ear.
* A more secure Internet is possible, and a government lab has been testing it for over two years. The MIT Technology Review reports that the Los Alamos National Labs in New Mexico has been testing a so-called “quantum Internet” for two-and-a-half years.
* One of the Philippines’ most active volcanoes rumbled to life Tuesday, spewing room-sized rocks toward nearly 30 surprised climbers, killing five and injuring others that had to be fetched with rescue helicopters and rope.
* Speaking of volcanoes, Alaska’s Cleveland volcano hid its most recent eruption from spying eyes this weekend. But the deep rumble from the volcano’s three big blasts couldn’t escape infrasound detectors, which “hear” low-frequency sounds below the range of human hearing.
* The moon will block the sun in a potentially spectacular solar eclipse this week — a celestial event that will transform the sun into a cosmic “ring of fire” in the daytime sky. The ring-shaped solar eclipse, known as an annular eclipse, will occur Thursday and Friday (May 9 and 10) Eastern time. Weather permitting, the eclipse will be visible in certain parts of Australia and the Southern Pacific Ocean, where the local time will be Friday. (This is the only type of total solar eclipse that I’ve ever seen. One went pretty much directly over Detroit on May 10, 1994, and it was insanely cool.)
* Boeing announced Tuesday that it has received a $76 million contract that will enable the company to start upgrading the U.S. Air Force’s aging but still potent fleet of B-52 Stratofortress bombers with modern network communications technology systems.
* Here’s a look at four iOS weather apps that exude elegance.
* They’re released movie trailers for the movie version of Orson Scott Card’s epic sci-fi novel “Ender’s Game.” Pretty heavy hitters in the cast — Harrison Ford, Ben Kingsley and more.
* Here’s some really strange geological features recently found on Mars.
* Marissa Mayer has clear vision of what a moonshot — an epic accomplishment — would be for Yahoo. She wants Yahoo persistent on every smartphone, tablet and PC for every Internet user.