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Matt’s Favorites: Google Chromebook Contest (Ahem) And Much More

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mattroush Matt Roush
Matt Roush joined WWJ Newsradio 950 in September 2001 to spearhead the...
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So what’s the latest, greatest and dominatin’-est among the wonderful STEMs of science, technology, engineering and mathematics as we approach the weekend? Oh, man, you won’t believe some of this…

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

* Here’s a contest Google is running where you can nominate someone to get a free Chromebook that you thinks makes the Internet a more amazing place. Ahem. Why, thank you!

* Three U.S.-based scientists won this year’s Nobel Prize in chemistry on Wednesday for developing powerful computer models that others can use to understand complex chemical interactions and create new drugs.

* Apple plans to unveil its the fifth-generation iPad and new iPad mini on Oct. 22, according to a report by AllThingsD. Citing people familiar with Apple’s plans, the tech blog says both new iPads will likely have Apple’s new 64-bit A7 chip. It’s been rumored that the iPad mini will come with a Retina display, however reports suggest that production of the screens has been delayed.

* The rumors were spot on. On Tuesday, Samsung announced the Samsung Galaxy Round, which it’s proclaiming as the world’s first (deeply) curved display smartphone. What the heck does that mean? I’ll tell you. It means that instead of the slight vertical bend seen in the Samsung Galaxy Nexus and Samsung Nexus S, this smartphone features a horizontal curve much like a half smile. It’s different and will arrive in Korea first, in brown, with flashier colors (and in perhaps more markets) coming later down the line.

* A NASA spacecraft bound for Jupiter buzzed Earth Wednesday to snag a gravity speed boost that will slingshot it toward the largest planet in the solar system. The Juno spacecraft was within 350 miles of Earth when it zoomed by our planet at 3:21 p.m. Eastern time. It was passing over South Africa during its closest approach to Earth.

* Speaking of gubmint work, oh, great — we’re about this close (picture your humble narrator holding his right thumb and forefinger about a femtometer apart) to achieving friggin’ nuclear fusion powerand the project is shut down by the friggin’ government shutdown!  Ghod, I need an Obama Beer Summit, or Boehner’s supposed favorite, red wine, stat.

* Dr. Pascal Lee and I are probably about the same age. As kida, we read all kinds of books about going to the moon. We both learned what the astronauts would wear and were fascinated to see the inner workings of the spaceships. Well, Dr. Lee became an actual space scientist — he now chairs the Mars Institute and is a planetary scientist at the SETI Institute, while I just stumbled onto a career as a modestly talented science writer. And he’s also done something else very cool — he’s written a children’s book about how a future Mars mission would work. 

* Very cool: Google Maps has added event calendars, personal itineraries, and multiple destination support.

* It appears that Airbnb is going to bat for its New York City hosts; the rent-out-your-home service has filed a motion objecting to the state’s recent subpoena asking for troves of host data. Attorney General Eric Schneiderman filed the subpoena last Friday requesting that Airbnb divulge three years’ worth of data on thousands of New York hosts. While Airbnb has said that it will cooperate with New York’s lawmakers to root out illegal hotel operators and slumlords, its motion stated that it won’t turn over sweeping amounts of information on hosts who have done no wrong.

* Gartner paints a much darker picture of recent PC sales than does IDC.

* Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck made a surprising entrance at the Los Angeles Police Museum last month when he stealthily zipped into the parking lot on a souped-up, racing-style, all-electric motorcycle. An avid motocross racer, Beck parked the bike just yards away from where retired police cars from the 1930s to 1950s now rest. It was a striking study in contrasts and visual evidence of the LAPD’s continuing efforts to upgrade its technology. 

* Microsoft once again plans to open its retail stores just before midnight to sell the first batch of Surface 2 tablets to early buyers. Ten of its 70 retail locations (including pop-ups) will host midnight launch parties, Microsoft said Wednesday. The company also has hired musician Pitbull to perform at its Orlando, Fla., location, where one line-goer who participates in various “head-to-head” games will be “whisked away” to go see the show.

* Gadgets are sometimes substitutes for other sorts of stimulus. So when Jimmy Kimmel spotted the fairly vast, beautifully balanced new Windows tablets in Fox News’ new so-called Deck of a newsroom, he was reminded of this: “It looks like what happens when a guy gets divorced and then goes nuts at Best Buy.”

* And so much for that line about how men are only looking for one thing. Turns out new survey results show that 75 percent of men on online dating sites are actually looking for love, not just sex.

* Quartz reports (reportz?) that we Americans aren’t much good at math, or the whole technology thing either.

* “Grand Theft Auto V’s” success over the past month has been huge, but according to Guinness, it’s also been groundbreaking. Guinness on Tuesday announced that “Grand Theft Auto V” has set six world records since its launch, adding to its previous title of “most viewed trailer.” The game, which launched last month, has become the best-selling action-adventure game of all time, the best-selling video game, and the fastest entertainment property to ever net $1 billion. The game also has reached the heights on revenue generated in a 24-hour period.

* “Doctor Who” fans have put in a formal request to light up the Empire State Building in a Tardis shade of blue for the show’s 50th anniversary.

* Sure it’s $200. But this high tech coffeemaker promises to take the bitter out of coffee.

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