So what’s the latest and greatest in science and technology? Buckle your seat belts, kids…
* First of all, you may have noticed that the Tech Report is shorter than normal in story count the past couple of days. That’s due to a glitch in our newsletter sending software that’s now being worked on by our tech wizards. In the meantime, never forget you can go straight to the Tech Report page and see all the stories we file every day. And even go to Tech Report Page Two, because yesterday we filed 16 stories! Also, here are links to our latest event notices, and our latest HR notices.
* More greenhouse gas isn’t the only downside of globalization: Mercury pollution from power plants in China and India is making its way into fish in waters near Hawaii, according to new research. In a study published Aug. 25 in the journal Nature Geoscience, University of Michigan researchers say that mercury produced by the coal-burning power plants in these northern Pacific countries travels thousands of miles through the air before rainfall deposits it on the ocean floor near Hawaii. From there, it’s passed on to humans who consume contaminated Pacific Ocean fish, such as tuna and swordfish.
* So what will power the next thousand years of civilization? Well, if we’re lucky, nuclear fusion, this expert says.
* The 2013 MTV Video Music Awards had some bizarre moments that have been immortalized as animated GIFs posted on blogs across the Web.
* Yahoo is one step closer to recycling usernames. The Web giant announced Monday the launch of Watchlist — a service that will send a notification when a username becomes available.
* Rumors surrounding Apple’s next iPhone are flowing in ahead of the tech giant’s imminent announcement of its new flagship smartphone. A tweet from a Fox News reporter claims that new Apple silicon rumored to land in the iPhone 5S is “very fast,” while an Apple-centric blog says it will be 64-bit — echoing a previous rumor.
* Astronomers have discovered a hot Earth-size planet so close to its star that a year on that exoplanet lasts just 8.5 hours, making it one of the fastest alien planets ever seen. The small orbital period — one of the shortest ever discovered for an alien planet among the worlds discovered by NASA’s Kepler Space Telescope — means the planet is far outside what is considered the habitable zone of its star, where liquid water, and maybe life, could exist. In fact, scientists have described the new world as a so-called “lava planet.”
* A lot closer to home, NASA snaps this picture of a near-earth asteroid as it scoots in front of the gorgeous Orion Nebula.
* Closer to home but still in space, a chilling view of the Yosemite fire from orbit.
* And here on Earth, America’s next space shot will take place not from Florida, but from Virginia.
* And this is great fun — a look from the fabulous Isaac Asimov from 1964 at what we’d see at the World’s Fair of 2014.
* Loose lips, sunken ships and — iOS7? Sure looks that way, given an email sent to a developer named Owen Williams who reposted contents of an email sent to him today by Siri developer Nuance suggesting that the public would get its first look at iOS 7 on Sept. 10.
* With new game consoles on the horizon, it might be a good idea to buy the old version if you hadn’t — they’re practically giving them away. But this article says beware the stripped-down $199 versions — for just a little more, you get a lot more fun.
* And now it’s on — Siri is openly mocking Google Glass.
* And China put up with a major denial of service attack on its root level domains Monday.
* It appears the road has finally come to the end in Facebook’s “Sponsored Stories” lawsuit. US District Judge Richard Seeborg gave final approval to the suit’s $20 million settlement on Monday, according to Reuters.