New to Doctor Who and don’t know what a K9 is? Feeling left out of the conversation when you and your Trekker friends get together? Well, don’t despair! J.D. will have you geeking out with the best of them. Also on the show, El Kaiser gives us his thoughts on Samsung’s newest flagship phone, the Galaxy S4 and digs into movie box office numbers. In the news Yahoo buys Tumblr and starts handing out storage by the terabyte over at Flicker; Microsoft unveils their new gaming console and hopes it will be The One that rules them all; and more proof that Science rocks and it rocks the hardest!
All those fast and furious rumors at the end of last week about Yahoo buying Tumbler turned out to be true. Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer herself posted the informal announcement of the acquisition on the company’s blog Monday. (Mergers must be in the spring air, as GrubHub and Seamless hooked up this week as well, united in their mission to deliver takeout potatoes to couch potatoes.)
Yahoo owns Flickr as well, and that site got a redesign this week. Owners of free accounts now have a terabyte of online store to roll in. Holders of the paid Flickr Pro accounts still have their unlimited space for photo storage, but Yahoo is retiring the Flickr Pro account option in favor of new pricing plans. (Also going into retirement: Google Checkout.)
Microsoft unveiled the next version of its Xbox game console. A new gamepad and Kinect motion controller were also introduced, and the company announced a forthcoming live-action TV show based on the Halo game.
Tired of of not being able to do videochat over an AT&T cellular connection? AT&T says it’s working on it. Also in mobile news this week: some sources looking at the leaked 4.2.2. firmware planned for Samsung Galaxy S3 phones whisper that the update includes several new features. And Dell Computer, not really known for its prowess beyond desktops and laptops for years, will go really mobile and have a sticktop computer out this July. It’s called Project Ophelia, and is expected to cost about $100 bucks.
The annual World Science Festival is coming up soon in New York City The five-day fest starts May 29th and will have 50 events taking place across all 5 boroughs. Here’s the event list so you can start making plans.
Speaking of science fairs and festivals, an 18-year-old California girl’s science project has just won her the Intel Foundation Young Scientist Award. Eesha Khare’s winning project is called Design and Synthesis of Hydrogenated TiO2-Polyaniline Nanorods for Flexible High-Performance Supercapacitors. And meanwhile, up on Mars, the Curiosity rover drilled into a second rock this past Sunday to obtain a sample. Science rocks!
The Super Bowl is over and according to the Marketing Land site, Twitter was the winner of the Social Media Bowl, getting mentioned in 50% of the commercials shown during the game. #HashtagsRule! But about 250,000 Twitter accounts were hacked last week, perhaps prompting Twitter to step up its security measures, as someone at the Guardian noticed a Twitter job posting for a security gig.
Facebook, which turned nine this week, will soon be letting its users know when ads from its FBX ad exchange are targeting them. In addition to serving up ads that track you, Facebook is also said to be working on mobile software that tracks the location of its users, even if they don’t have the Facebook app open at the time. As Bloomberg News points out, such a tracking app “could help Facebook sell ads based on users’ whereabouts and daily habits. It may also raise the hackles of consumers and privacy advocates concerned about the company’s handling of personal information.”
In a perhaps related development, a new Pew Research Internet study out this week found some people are suffering from Facebook Fatigue. The Pew study found that one in four people surveyed plan to cut back on their Facebook usage in 2013.
On the hardware scene, Dell Computer is going from a public to a private company and transitioning from maker of inexpensive PCs to an enterprise-solutions company. Cheap computers are one thing, but it may be hard to beat the Raspberry Pi, which just released its $25 model; the Pi was also recently featured in The New York Times. And IBM plans to bring some of the same technology used by Watson, the super-smart Jeopardy-playing supercomputer, to its new Power Express servers for the small business market.
Researchers at the University of Leicester revealed that the remains of the English king Richard III have been buried under a parking lot for the past 500-odd years. DNA testing and other scientific tools helped confirm the identity of the skeleton, which did have a spinal deformity as historians and even Shakespeare have noted. No contemporary paintings of the not-very-popular-at-the-time king when he was alive have ever been found, but scientists used computer simulations to reconstruct a life-like model of what Richard actually looked like. (Those members of the British monarchy sure get around, don’t they?)
Meanwhile, up on Mars, the Curiosity rover is still running tests in preparation for the big drilling adventure.
And finally, we’re headed into awards season good and proper now. The Grammys are this weekend, the Oscars are at the end of the month and the National Academy of Video Game Trade Reviewers has announced its nominations for its 12th Annual Awards. Let’s see what fancy commercials all these awards can attract.