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Matt’s Favorites: Google Glass Tryouts, Google Defeats Authors, And Much More

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A model wears Google Glass, the search giant's new wearable computer. Google photo.

A model wears Google Glass, the search giant’s new wearable computer. Google photo.

So what’s the latest on a gorgeous fall Friday from the wonderful, wild and occasionally weird world of science and technology? Direct to you on a Thursday night from Orchestra Hall in Detroit, here’s what I found…

* 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 event notices and tech-related awards and certifications.

* Don’t forget that you can try out Google Glass this weekend. You can get a firsthand look in an event at the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 16 and Sunday, Nov. 17. Google says it’s the first public event open to consumers to try out Glass outside the trials by invitation-only Glass Explorers, people who have been selected to preview the technology, and who have been doing so since May. Included among the Glass Explorers are more than 70 people from Michigan. Glass will display on-the-go map, voice searches, video calls, photo sharing and more, Consumers can RSVP at http://detroitthroughglass.splashthat.com.

* Don’t know why, but Compuware stock jumped 42 cents a share or nearly 4 percent to $10.94 a share Thursday on heavy volume of 5.4 million shares. Something up? Stay tuned.

* Google Inc. on Thursday won dismissal of a long-running lawsuit by authors who accused the Internet search company of digitally copying millions of books for an online library without permission.

* Sony’s PlayStation 4 hits store shelves on Friday — and gamers with early access are starting to weigh in. The electronics giant is holding a launch event Thursday night at the Standard Hotel in New York City, where fans are invited to play with the new console. For those keeping score, Sony’s big launch event for the PlayStation 3 in 2006 was held in San Francisco. Reports are coming in that people are already waiting in line at retail stores, like Best Buy, and the device has been listed in eBay for as much as $10,000. 

* Requests from governments worldwide for user information have more than doubled since three years ago. Worse still, says Google, is what the United States government won’t let us tell you.

* The life of a clam doesn’t seem terribly exciting, but boy, can it last a long time. A group of researchers working in Iceland in 2006 discovered a really old clam. They wanted to figure out just how old it could be, so they decided to open it up and count the growth rings along the clam’s hinge ligament. That of course killed the clam — but they got their answer, 405 years old. And now they say their measurement was wrong — Ming the clam was actually 507 years old.

* In case you want to know what’s in that controversial trade deal, the Trans-Pacific Partnership, Wikileaks has published the whole thing.

* An amusing new Tumblr matches up sexy dudes in exaggerated poses with LOLcats rocking the same look.

* You know those 3D printed guns? Yeah. Tests show they can blow up the first time they’re used, inflicting serious injury on the shooter.

* Identifying people from video streams or boatloads of images can be a daunting task for humans and computers. But a 4-year development program set to start in April 2014 known as Janus aims to develop software and algorithms that erase those problems and could radically alter the facial recognition world as we know it, NetworkWorld reports.

* NASA on Thursday revealed the first imagery of what the Milky Way galaxy likely looked like when it was much younger. Thanks to evidence gathered by the Hubble Space Telescope, NASA has been able to determine what our galaxy looked like billions of years ago. Though the space agency obviously wasn’t able to take actual photographs of the Milky Way in its infancy, it intuited its conclusions based on Hubble’s observations of 400 similar galaxies.

* Just as one high-tech breakthrough often paves the way for the next big thing, technology IPOs move in cycles, too. Twitter’s stock market debut last week punctuated a procession of highly anticipated coming-out parties over the past two-and-half years, providing a springboard for a new generation of rapidly growing startups to make the leap to Wall Street.

* In a compact San Francisco office suite equipped with soldering stations and swipe-testing machines, Coin’s team of seven has been working furiously to perfect the final prototype of an unlimited credit card. No, not one that will let you charge with abandon. Rather, a device as slim as a standard piece of payment plastic that can hold countless credit, debit, and gift cards in its dynamic magnetic stripe.

* Amazon’s arm for making movies and TV shows has veered away from its early ambitions with a grander plan to lure Prime customers and crush Netflix. Now it has some in Hollywood on edge. 

* That Sears Auto Center? It’s about to become part of a national chain of server farms, the retailer says.

* The next time there’s a big volcanic eruption like in Iceland in 2010, airline pilots should be better equipped to assess the dangers, with the help of a new sensor designed to detect ash in the atmosphere. Engineered by European airline easyJet, aircraft maker Airbus and Nicarnica Aviation, the Airborne Volcanic Object Identifier and Detector (AVOID) would be mounted on aircraft.

* Flipboard released a new app Thursday that will work for any tablets running Windows 8.1, which includes the Surface Pro 2. The company has designed the new app to take advantage of Windows 8‘s signature live tiles, which means users can feature Flipboard as a live title on their Windows Start screen.

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