So what’s the latest and greatest and newsiest in the wonderful realm of Techland for a chilly Friday Eve? Feast your eyes on these wonders… it’s three weeks until our real feasting day.
* First of all, here are links to the Tech Report home page and Tech Report Page Two, as well as our latest reports on tech-related meetings and events in Michigan (including your humble narrator’s super-cool Nov. 14 confab on how Detroit’s pro sports teams use social media marketing), HR notices from Techland, and awards and certifications earned by tech-related organizations in Michigan.
* Speaking of death from the skies, when a massive asteroid exploded over the Russian city of Chelyabinsk on Feb. 15, 2012, it injured more than 1,200 people and damaged hundreds of buildings. In the nine months since the asteroid exploded, researchers led by the Russian Academy of Sciences have visited 50 villages in the surrounding area to assess the damage it caused. Security and amateur video footage helped them trace the path of the fireball as it streaked across the sky. Their investigation, to be published Nov. 7 in the journal Science, showed that the explosion caused a shockwave strong enough to knock people off their feet. The damage spread up to 55 miles around the point of impact, as the shockwave shattered windows in 3,600 apartment blocks and collapsed a factory roof.
* Twitter and its bankers set the price for its IPO at $26 per share Wednesday afternoon, with everything set for shares of TWTR to begin trading tomorrow on the New York Stock Exchange. It’s the most anticipated — and hyped? — IPO since Facebook went public in May 2012. And Twitter execs hope the comparisons to Facebook’s IPO, which was met by eager sellers and technical glitches, ends there. Twitter tweeted the share-price news this afternoon. It’s offering the public 70 million shares, which would value the company at $14.2 billion. It’s raising $1.82 billion in the offering. Twitter could later sell another 10.5 million shares if the demand is there.
* If Instagram and Twitter were listed in a relationship on Facebook, it would be called complicated. Will the popular photo app ever reconcile with its one-time tweeting friend? The odds are slim as both aim to be a platform for in-the-now messages.
* After much silence, the tech giant fesses up on its connection to the uncommon structure in San Francisco Bay, which it’s now proclaiming Google Barge. CNet was first to make that connection.
* Governments and businesses spend $1 trillion a year for global cybersecurity, but unlike wartime casualties or oil spills, there’s no clear idea what the total losses are because few will admit they’ve been compromised. Cybersecurity leaders from more than 40 countries are gathering at Stanford University this week to consider tackling that information gap by creating a single, trusted entity that would keep track of how much hackers steal.
* Liking will take on a new hue in the weeks ahead as Facebook has redesigned the buttons that Web sites use to encourage visitors to share content on the social network. Facebook announced on Wednesday a new design for its off-site “Like” and “Share” buttons. The company said the new buttons, which are bluer and have a bit more pop than before, should help Web sites get more referral traffic, an area where the social network already dominates over competitors.
* Call of Duty: Ghosts, the latest launch in the famed franchise, has reached $1 billion in sales — to retailers. Activision announced on Wednesday that its latest launch sold more than $1 billion in worldwide sales to retailers. That is not to be confused with actual sales to consumers. Activision has essentially shipped $1 billion in Call of Duty: Ghosts product to retailers.