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Matt’s Favorites: Take An Innovation Survey, And A Billion Pixel Tour of Mars, And More

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NASA photo

NASA photo

(credit: istock) Technology Report
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So what’s new and cool in the amazing world of high tech? Ah, Grasshopper, let’s quiet our minds and check these out…

* If you’re a boss at a small or midsized business, don’t forget to take a 10-minute survey at www.innovationquotientsurvey.com, The survey will ask you questions designed to measure innovation activity, the business value of innovation and drivers and constraints on innovation. In return, you’ll get a keen report full of ideas on boosting innovation in your workplace. Your Technology Report is a partner in this survey, sponsored by the fine folks at Plante Moran.

* A composite of nearly 900 images taken by NASA’s Mars Curiosity rover can give people on Earth a sense of what it’s like to stand on the Red Planet from millions of miles away. Comprised of more than 1.3 billion pixels, the image released by NASA on its website is from the “Rocknest” site, where the rover scooped up samples of windblown dust and sand, according to NASA.

* Less happily draft NASA authorization bill floated by the House Science, Space and Technology Committee would eliminate funding for the Obama administration’s proposed asteroid retrieval mission and slash overall agency spending by about $1 billion, lawmakers said Wednesday.

 * Former investigators are convinced a missile brought down TWA Flight 800 just south of Long Island in 1996, and they have petitioned the government to reopen the probe, citing new evidence. All 230 passengers and crew were killed when the New York-to-Paris flight crashed July 17, 1996, shortly after takeoff from John F. Kennedy Airport.
* Consumer Reports is out with its rankings of the best mobile devices. More than 175 smartphones, tablets and cameras have been put to the test. Consumer Reports’ research includes the products on the market they’ve tested, some survey data and trends, and expert advice on how best to utilize these gadgets effectively to simplify your “mobile life.”
* Los Angeles’ school system, the second largest in the United States, is ordering iPads for all its students, handing Apple a major success in its quest to make the tablet computer a replacement for textbooks. The Los Angeles Board of Education on Tuesday approved the purchase of $30 million worth of iPads as the first part of a multi-year commitment.
* Self-dubbed the world’s design store, Fab is an online retailer that sells quirky products, ranging from clothes to jewelry to furniture to food. Its “True Blood” shop, for example, allows fans of the HBO series to buy books, perfume, and even fangs to celebrate the show. Chinese Internet site Tencent Holdings clearly sees something in Fab. It haskicked in $150 million in financing, earning itself a spot on Fab’s board. Fab is now worth more than $1 billion — not even counting Tencent’s investment — The Wall Street Journal said Wednesday.
* Apple announced Wednesday that its video streaming device, Apple TV, will be getting HBO GO and Watch ESPN. Apple senior vice president Eddy Cue said in a press release that the two video streaming apps were some of the most popular Apple’s mobile devices and is confident it will translate to the set-top box.
* An app called STD Triage allows you to photograph your, um, “rash down there” and have them checked by a dermatologist within 24 hours.
* Here’s a look at the startup boom that fast Google Fiber has created in Kansas City.
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