They say that "All's fair in love and war." This week in tech, there was plenty of love among nations in a future endeavor to Mars, but there's no love lost in a war between Apple and Samsung.
Did you order a Nexus Q from Google? Chances are you don't have it yet. Google announced that it will delay the sale of the Nexus Q, even though it was originally scheduled to be released in July.
The Nexus Q, a spherical gadget that Google described as the first social streaming device, allows Android-powered devices to play music and videos on a home TV.
Google first unveiled the Nexus Q at the Google I/O developer conference in California in June. At the same conference, the tech giant revealed the Nexus 7, Google's first tablet computer; the latest Android software update; changes to Google+, its 1-year-old social network; and Google Glass, a preliminary project to mount a smart-camera in a pair of glasses.
"Aw, this sucks!"
Not so fast. If you pre-ordered a Nexus Q, Google has promised you'll get the $299 device for free.
Is that really all we know?
Pretty much. Google did not say when it would release the Nexus Q or why it is delaying its release.
"I have no desire to do a Mars landing on our own," Bolden said. "The U.S. cannot always be the leader, but we can be the inspirational leader through international cooperation."
Six astronauts will spend six months to fly to Mars. They will then land on the fourth rock from the sun and stay for a month before spending eight months on the return voyage.
What's the next step?
Meanwhile, unmanned rover Curiosity is set to land on Mars early Monday morning. It will join Opportunity, which has been traversing Mars' red landscape for eight years. Bolden hopes to broadcast the landing in New York City's Times Square to satiate our pop culture fascination with the Red Planet.
Why should I care?
Because Mars is awesome, writes Britt Kennerly for Florida Today. From Ray Bradbury to Buck Rogers, Earth's neighbor has long been speculated as a potential second home for the human race and the origin of extraterrestrial life, hence the term "Martian."
Though more of a sci-fi idea in popular culture, some scientists do see hope for the planet's ability to sustain life. NASA science chief John Grunsfeld says there is a "very high" chance of finding chemical signs on Mars with Curiosity that would point to the planet's potential for a habitable environment 2.5 billion years ago.
In the Wild West of technological innovation, there are bound to be a couple of shootouts.
Apple and Samsung held opening statements in court Monday, one year after after Apple accused Samsung of stealing tablet and smartphone technology in defiance of U.S. patent law. Apple claims Samsung's tablets, including the latest Galaxy S III and Galaxy Tab, are too similar to Apple's iPhone and iPad.
Apple cites internal Samsung documents and multiple similarities between Apple's and Samsung's mobile devices, including using rounded edges and user controls such as tapping a screen to zoom in.
"We've been ripped off, it's plain to see," Apple designer Christopher Stringer testified in San Jose, Calif. "It's offensive."
Samsung is fighting the claim, saying it "employs thousands of designers and spends billions of dollars on research and development to create new products." It is also counter-arguing that Apple stole from Samsung, citing a computer chip in the iPhone designed by Samsung, and Samsung's 21-year history in the mobile market.
"Samsung is not some copyist, some Johnny-come-lately doing knockoffs," said Samsung attorney Charles Verhoeven.
Believe it or not, people still use Hotmail and AOL mail. But both services have declined in favor of Yahoo Mail and Google's Gmail, even though Hotmail is still king outside of the U.S.
Outlook: Microsoft hopes to push Live.com and Hotmail e-mail addresses "to the back burner," writes USA TODAY's Edward C. Baig, in favor of Outlook.com addresses.
You'll recognize Outlook from the e-mail client on Microsoft Office. But the new-and-improved Outlook.com e-mail service is cleaner than Gmail and offers more social integration. There is also less advertising, and the user interface shows more e-mails in one window than before.
Other cool tools we like in Outlook.com:
•automatic deletion of expired deals from sites such as Groupon and LivingSocial
•messages flagged as important float to the top of your inbox, even as new messages come in
AOL: AOL accounts also got a makeover recently, but they're "relatively modest" and "mostly cosmetic," Baig writes. The interface is still cluttered, but there are more opportunities to customize the view with "more than 70 decorative themes and backgrounds" that can be randomized each time you check your mail.
Best part of AOL? You can still get that friendly alert we've come to love: "You've Got Mail."
The Federal Trade Commission ruled that websites cannot obtain private information about children under the age of 13 without parental consent.
According to the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act of 1998, websites must take certain precautions to protect users under the age of 13. But that law is outdated and does not address advertising networks or plug-ins, such as Facebook's "Like" function or apps on mobile devices.
The ruling mostly affects children's sites. Even Facebook must contend with the ruling as rumors persist of a "baby Facebook" for children.
"While Facebook's policies prohibit children under the age of 13 from signing up for our service, we are committed to improving protections for all young people online and helping them benefit from new services and technologies," Facebook said in a statement.
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