Matt’s Favorites: No Tech For Higgs, Crashy iPhone 5S, Robots And Much More
So what’s the brightest and best in the worlds of science and technology at the beginning of a week I plan to end in the western Upper Peninsula on my tech tour, yeehah! Well, here’s what I found on the Series of Tubes…
* First, here’s your daily linkage 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 meeting notices and awards and certifications.
* Here’s a hoot — the guy they named the “God particle” after, Peter Higgs, doesn’t use cell phones or email, so they had a heck of a time letting him know he had won the Nobel freakin’ Prize.
* Of course, if Higgs used an iPhone 5S, he might not have found out anyway. Apps running on the iPhone 5S crash twice as often as those available on the iPhone 5 or iPhone 5C, data from mobile app analytics company Crittercism shows. The information, which was presented to All Things Digital and published on Friday, comes from analyzing “hundreds of millions of apps,” according to the tech site.
* Scientists have been garnering inspiration from nature to make biomimicry breakthroughs in robotics. On CBS Sunday Morning, David Pogue visits a zoo in Germany where an elephant’s trunk is providing engineers with the blueprint for a soft robot.
* Here’s the scoop on that Bridge Card snafu from over the weekend.
* As someone who grew up during the Cold War in a house that actually had a bit of a basement fallout shelter, I was fascinated by this survival shelter. I just wonder how they handle air exchange that far underground. Find that and you can make somebody’s stay in one of these shelters real short.
* Turns out Negative Nancies may actually be born that way.
* Mars, move over. There’s a new red planet, according to researchers at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. Dubbed PSOJ318.5-22, the exotic young planet is about 80 light years from Earth. Unlike all other known planets, this one does not orbit a star. It is considered free-floating. The research team was on the look out for failed stars, known as brown dwarfs, when they came across PSO J318.5-22. The Pan-STARRS 1 (PS1) telescope, located in Haleakala, Hawaii, first detected the planet’s heat signature, and they confirmed the findings by using other telescopes on the Hawaii Islands.
* And get this — in parts of the atmosphere in Jupiter and Saturn, it rains diamonds.
* Here’s a nifty idea for data mining — using the many small signs of impending heart trouble that doctors and patients often miss to make better predictions about who’s going to have ticker trouble.
* Great, armed robots. So is this Robocop or Terminator?
* And now they’re using 3D printing to make sophisticated rocket motors much more cheaply. Citizen spaceflight, here we come! The motor produced 200 pounds of thrust and cost just $6,800 to build.
* A team from Austria wins the 2013 Solar Decathlon competition for net zero energy homes with an absolutely gorgeous entry. Would love to plonk that baby down near the shore of some pretty lake.
* Here’s a peek from the Mercury News at Apple’s planned $5 billion new headquarters in Cupertino.
* Scientists for the first time have detected a world — albeit a tiny, dying one being eaten by a dwarf star — that is both rocky and has liquid water. In other words: By our standards, habitable.
*Turns out your teachers were right. New research shows that to be a better person, read better books. (But I don’t think there’s any amount of quality literature that can counteract a steady dose of Honey Boo Boo and Duck Dynasty.)
* It sounds like something out of “Gravity,” but astronauts aboard the International Space Station saw and took amazing pictures of a Russian missile test.
* Samsung, LG, and others have been showing off flexible displays and even a prototype phone for years, but it’s only now that flexible displays are going commercial. Samsung’s Galaxy Round raises a lot of questions about what a flexible display is and isn’t, what the word really means, and just what kinds of benefits a bendable display would bring to a smartphone or any other gadget. CNet addresses your burning questions here.
* KGI Securities has offered a veritable data dump of speculation on upcoming Apple products, including a higher-resolution iPad, a low-cost iMac, and an iPad Mini Retina.
* Netflix, which has long had a love-hate relationship with the cable industry, could finally be looking to get cozier with US pay-TV providers. According to a report Sunday in The Wall Street Journal (subscription required), Netflix is in talks with Comcast, Suddenlink Communications, and other service providers to offer its online video service as an app on their set-top boxes.
* The largest Windows PC maker has gotten the Google religion. Hewlett-Packard’s CEO and top PC executive came out swinging this week. And they both took swipes at the traditional Windows-Intel (Wintel) PC.
* Most folks don’t want to or can’t listen loud at home. I know I only can when my wife’s out of town. But if you want to shake the foundation, CNet’s Audiophiliac is here to help with reviews of speakers that sound really great really loud.
* In 1975 the personal computer revolution got its start at the Homebrew Computer Club. The club is where Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs showed off the first Apple computer and other pioneering geeks of the time shared their designs. On November 11, the Homebrew Computer Club is reuniting at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, Calif., with the aid of a Kickstarter campaign. At least 25 original members of the club are expected to attend the event, including Wozniak; Ted Nelson, the father of hypertext; club co-founder Gordon French; and Lee Felsenstein, who designed the world’s first mass-produced portable computer.
* Here’s a fun Q&A with the real voice of Siri.
* With “Lego Space: Building the Future,” Peter Reid and Tim Goddard show us their vision for what life in space could be like. And they built it using $10,000 worth of Legos.
* Sifting through millions of tweets, researchers at Brigham Young say they found that each state’s ratio of tweets discussing suicide strongly correlates with its actual suicide rate.
* Following the release of photos that purportedly show Google’s soon-to-be-released flagship Nexus phone and the company’s new mobile OS, we now have a nice long video to take in.
* In a protest over Google now grabbing users’ profile photos for ads, some people have apparently decided to change their shot to a photo of Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt.
* Here’s a bit of nasty controvery in the science blogosphere.
* A citizens group says it has found elevated levels of radioactivity at some of the athletic sites scheduled to be used for the 2020 Olympics in Japan, thanks to the Fukushima disaster.