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Matt’s Favorites: Bohemian Gravity And Much More

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So what’s the wonderful mind-blowing latest for the last Friday of summer 2013 in the ever-growing domains of science and technology? Buckle up, kiddos, it’s gonna be a wild ride…

* First of all, here are the links to your Tech Report home page, the Tech Report Page Two (trust me, it contains much fascinatin’ news), as well as our latest event notices, HR notices, and awards and certifications notices.

* THIS IS AN INCREDIBLE VIDEO mashing up modern physics to the tune of Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody. It is more than worth your time, honest. A thousand thanks to my old Salon.com Table Talk pal Maia C. for the link. (And remember those halcyon days when we all talked on message boards? Or were they Halcion days?)

* The auto supplier Delphi has opened its Silicon Valley lab and is talking about autonomous cars.

* NASA is looking at operations at the International Space Station beyond its scheduled lifetime. The space agency says that with a bit of luck the multibillion-dollar orbiting lab will serve its scientific purpose until 2028. (By which time Elon Musk and his minions will probably have built 100 of them.)

* Speaking of NASA, ever since the Mars Curiosity rover touched down on the dusty surface of the Red Planet, observers on Earth have been hoping for signs of alien life. We would be thrilled with even the hint of a microbe, but it’s starting to look more like wishful thinking than a scientific possibility. Methane is considered to be an indication of the existence of microbes on other planets, just as it is on Earth. A paper published in the journal Science, titled “Low Upper Limit to Methane Abundance on Mars,” analyzes the results from Curiosity’s search for methane and concludes that it simply isn’t to be found on the planet’s surface.

* Living up to its name, Rockstar Games says Grand Theft Auto V is well on its way to a billion dollars in sales.

* And here’s a look at a teardown of the new iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C.

* CNet loves the new iPhone and iPad operating system, saying it makes the whole thing feel new again. But unfortunately, a hack of the lock screen is already out there.

* And criminals with a passion for iPhones — the so-called “Apple pickers” who’ve been known to snatch a device right out of an unsuspecting user’s hands — face a new deterrent: a “kill switch” that law-enforcement officers hope will curb the soaring number of thefts.  Apple’s new operating system, iOS 7, includes an Activation Lock feature that can render an iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch useless to thieves.

* When it comes to earning big bucks on the job, a new study says you should focus less on the S in STEM. Some science grads earn no more than English majors.

* Here’s a tech journalism version of “You Can’t Blame…” involving Detroit native Steve Ballmer and the fate of Microsoft. This writer argues you can’t blame Ballmer for Microsoft’s recent failures.

* The excellent tech news website All Things D is cutting its ties to The Wall Street Journal and News Corp.

* Okay, so America’s crappy broadband infrastructure is so bad it threatens the advances of the cloud.

* So much for Russian science — the government has effected a hostile takeover of the Russian Academy of Sciences.

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