Matt’s Favorites: Costa Concordia Free, Cyberbullying Tragedy, And Much More
So what’s the latest and greatest from the super-groovy world of science and technology? Well, brace yourselves. Most of the news is good, but not all of it…
* Hey, the engineers pulled it off! In an unprecedented maritime salvage operation, engineers on Monday gingerly wrestled the hull of the shipwrecked Costa Concordia off the Italian reef where the cruise ship has been stuck since January 2012. But progress in pulling the heavily listing luxury liner to an upright position was slower than expected. Delays meant the delicate operation — originally scheduled from dawn to dusk Monday — was not expected to be completed before Tuesday morning.
* This is just tragic: A 12-year-old girl has committed suicide after months of online bullying. Someday, somewhere, somebody’s gotta be held responsible for this. Ultimately the bullies killed her just as surely as if they’d beaten her to death. And authorities in Florida are exploring the possibility of bringing charges against her cyberbullies.
* Grumpy cat… in spaaaaaaace! Seriously, Iran is mulling sending up a Persian feline in its next space shot.
* Oops! “Grand Theft Auto 5” fans in the United Kingdom reportedly got a pleasant surprise on Saturday. It appears from that early copies of the game may have been delivered early to Amazon UK customers, breaking an embargo set by the game’s publisher.
* A rescued sea turtle whose shell was repaired using denture glue is recovering well. Florida dentist Fred Troxel treated the 40-pound green sea turtle on Sept. 11, using over-the-counter denture glue to help heal a deep crack in her shell. Today, officials at the Turtle Hospital are calling the experiment a success.
* And once again, Bill Gates is your richest human, with a mere 72 billion simoleans. Overall, the list is a tech industry who’s who.
* And speaking of cell phones from America, some very cool new handsets from Motorola.
* And here’s some very cool art drawn with a stylus on mobile devices.
* And speaking of mobile devices, here’s more evidence of more and more people going on the Internet with them.
* And what a cool little retro 22-inch TV for kitchen or bedroom.
* We don’t see the moon rotate, but rotate it does, in the exact same period as its 28-day orbit — its face is tidally locked in, always facing the earth. But thanks to NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, here’s totally cool video of the moon rotating.
* And how about this, there’s science behind skunky wine.
* Google has purchased Bump, makers of smartphone apps for wirelessly sharing files, photos, and contacts, for an undisclosed sum. Bump CEO and co-founder David Lieb made the announcement in a blog post and tweet Monday morning. Google confirmed the buy to CNet.
* Pandora has ridden a tide of growth to become the Internet’s top radio service. But only days before the launch of Apple’s iTunes Radio in the US, Pandora said in a filing to the Securities and Exchange Commission that the “rapid growth in both listener hours and advertising revenue” it has experienced is something it doesn’t “expect to be able to sustain” in the future. It said it expected to continue to post annual losses in the near term.
* Apple launching two new iPhones at once is not the only unusual thing about this year. For the first time since the 2009 introduction of the iPhone 3GS, Apple appears to be keeping quiet on just how many devices it presold in the first 24 hours. In the past, the company has published the first-day figures in an early-morning press release on the Monday following the Friday start of sales.