So what’s the neatest and newest as I hit the midpoint of the Tech Tour? Well, after you check those hotel mattresses for bedbugs — heck, I always do, better safe than sorry — take a look.
* Apple is widely expected to announce a new line of iPads on Tuesday and a new report suggests that the tech giant’s flagship tablet will have a thinner, lighter body. The tech giant is holding a press event on Oct. 22 in San Francisco, where it is also expected to announce new Macs and detail on its new desktop operating system OS X Mavericks.
* A European Parliament committee on Monday approved sweeping new data protection rules that would strengthen online privacy and outlaw the kind of data transfers that the United States used for its once-secret spying program.
* Last month, archaeologists announced a stunning find: a completely sealed tomb cut into the rock in Tuscany, Italy. The untouched tomb held what looked like the body of an Etruscan prince holding a spear, along with the ashes of his wife. Several news outlets reported on the discovery of the 2,600-year-old warrior prince. But the grave held one more surprise. A bone analysis has revealed the warrior prince was actually a princess, as Judith Weingarten, an alumna of the British School at Athens noted on her blog, Zenobia: Empress of the East. [See Photos of the Unsealed Etruscan Tomb],
* The White House has called in the tech troops to try to get its health insurance Web site up to snuff. Since HealthCare.gov launched a few weeks ago, the site has experienced various technical issues, preventing many people from registering for health insurance. In a speech Monday, President Barack Obama said that the government has pulled in IT people from around the country to fix the site’s problems.
* BlackBerry said Monday that its popular messaging service BBM is heading to Android and iOS devices. BBM fans who signed up on the official site will be able to use the application immediately. BBM fans who signed up on the official sitewill be able to use the application immediately. But those who haven’t can download the app to “hold your spot in line,” and will get an e-mail when they can start using the service.
* Online dating is shedding its stigma as a refuge for the desperate, but people who use sites such as Match.com and eHarmony are still in the minority. Thirty-eight percent of Americans who are “single and looking” say they’ve used an online dating site or mobile dating app, according to a new study.
* With a resounding third-quarter profit and record high share prices, the video streaming service Netflix’s CEO says it’s best to focus on increasing subscribers and “ignore the volatility in our stock.”
* A glow-in-the-dark pathway? Yes please. A glow-in-the-dark pathway that harvests UV light during the day to power its nighttime illumination? Yes please very. A UK company, Pro-Teq Surfacing, just introduced Starpath, a spray-on technology that can be applied over concrete, tarmac, wood, or any other existing solid surface to give it an artificial sparkly blue glow.
* Google’s latest product launches have little to do with Android or Chrome. Instead, the company wants to expose and prevent DDoS attacks, and help dissidents build secure Internet proxy networks.
* Attacks in which airplanes are targeted with laser pointers are up 1,100 percent nationwide since 2005. According to Quartz, the Federal Aviation Administration reported that there were more cases of planes being targeted with lasers in January 2013 than in all of 2005. This January, there were 346 cases, while in all of 2005, there were just 283.
* After racking up more than 100 million units sold worldwide, Nintendo ends production on one of its most successful pieces of hardware ever, the Wii, your humble narrator’s favorite game system ever, and focuses solely on the Wii U.
* Facebook had a serious case of the Mondays. The social-networking Web site went down for some users Monday morning, with people unable to post a status update or even access the site. Facebook confirmed to CNet via a statement that there were issues that popped up during network maintenance.
* The US may be in hot water with France following reports that the NSA snooped on a large number of French citizens. A report published Monday by French paper Le Monde revealed the spying activities on the part of the National Security Agency, based on documents leaked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden. From December 10, 2012, to January 8, 2013, the NSA made 70.3 million recordings of phone calls conducted by French citizens. The recordings, which also gathered SMS messages, were apparently triggered automatically based on certain key words.
* How important is a STEM degree? Well, most IT workers don’t have one.