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Matt’s Favorites: Trading In That Old iPhone, Brick Phone Returns And Much More

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(credit: istock) Technology Report
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So what’s the most wonderful stuff you can think of in the wonderful world of science and technology? Well, here goes…

* First of all, here are the links to your Tech Report home page, the Tech Report Page Two (homeicon1 Matts Favorites: Your Privacy Is An Illusion, And Much More of much fascinatin’ news), as well as our latest event notices and our news on awards and certifications. Go ahead and check ‘em out, I’ll still be here when you get back.

Apple unveiled two new iPhones on Tuesday — its flagship model, the iPhone 5S, and a new low-cost model called the iPhone 5C. So what can you get for your old iPhone 4S? If you play your cards right, a couple hundred dollars — depending on its condition and where you sell it.

* Sure, you could gain hipster cachet with a snazzy new iPhone, but nothing screams “before it was cool” louder than a massive brick of a phone that doesn’t even fit in your handbag, never mind a pocket. Cue Binatone’s The Brick — a mobile phone that seems to have been beamed to us from the 1980s. Why would anyone want such a thing? Well, it does play Snake, and it has a killer battery. The Brick can last up to three months on standby on a single full charge, with 28 hours of talk time.

* Scientists at the European Space Agency Wednesday presented evidence that levels of arctic sea ice reached an all-time low this spring, according to data collected by the ESA’s Cryosat satellite.

* AT&T learned the hard way that when it comes to product placement, a national tragedy is probably not the best way to go. The telecom giant posted an advertisement on Wednesday of a smartphone taking a photo of light beams commemorating the World Trade Center, with the caption: “Never forget.” Outrage over the tweet quickly spread on Twitter, with several people calling the ad insensitive and a marketing blunder.

* NASA’s Mars rover Curiosity has made its longest Martian drive yet as it trucks along on the Red Planet. Curiosity performed its longest one-day drive on Sept. 5, putting it within striking distance of an interesting patch of rocks called Waypoint 1, NASA officials said in a mission update.  Arriving at Waypoint 1 will place the rover about one-fifth of the way to its ultimate destination: a 3-mile-high mountain dubbed Mount Sharp.

* And here’s a look at something we’re going to have to figure out if long-term space exploration is ever actually going to happen: Farming in space.

* Although Apple sidestepped any discussion of the Apple TV set-top box during Tuesday’s iPhone event, it might make up for that next week, according to one report. On September 18, the same day Apple plans to release iOS 7, the company will announce an updated Apple TV, All Things Digital is reporting, citing people who claim to have knowledge of the computer maker’s plans. The updated Apple TV will boast “an internal overhaul,” according to the tech blog, that incorporates enhancements to the Airplay wireless streaming technology.

* A powerful NASA space telescope has found not one, but 10 monster black holes lurking in the hearts of distant galaxies — the first major finds for the X-ray space observatory, scientists say. The discoveries, which scientists say occurred “serendipitously,” were made as astronomers reviewed images from NASA’s Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array (NuSTAR), an X-ray space telescope designed specifically to hunt black holes.

* For green fair-weather transportation, how about the Smart Electric Bike?

* The Internet radio company Pandora has hired former Microsoft executive, former advertising executive and former Madrona Venture Group partner Brian McAndrews to take over for longtime CEO John Kennedy.

* The iTClamp, which CNet wrote about back in early 2012 when it received a top innovator award, controls bleeding by sealing the edges of a wound shut to temporarily create a pool of blood under pressure and thereby form a clot that helps reduce more blood loss until surgery. And now it has saved its first life, a Mississippi victim of a chain saw accident.

* Shares in the social network Facebook rose to an all time high of $45.05 a share Wednesday. The shares are up 70 percent in value since its second-quarter earnings report in late July.

* Sigh. A Maryland woman allegedly admits she was texting and driving, when she hit a tree, rebounded 60 feet, and ended up in a lake.

* Our great x 100 grandfathers may be off the hook — researchers have found evidence to suggest that an earlier period of climate change, rather than human hunting, was the main factor that drove the woolly mammoth to extinction.

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