Catch up on this week’s tech and science news with the latest TowleTech from our correspondent Daniel Williford.
HP makes computers, printers, cameras, and bad decisions. That’s the lesson this week, as company heads underwent scrutiny at a congressional hearing that had the majority of those involved pleading the 5th when confronted with undeniable evidence of pretexting and other spy-like tactics on journalists, employees, and their families. Meanwhile, both the FBI and California state are organizing criminal investigations into the company. "This is not my finest hour," said chief executive Mark Hurd, taking some of the blame as his lawyer crawled into a fetal position.
Scientists creamed themselves this week as Mars rover Opportunity rimmed Victoria. "The pictures we got tell us there is a tremendous amount of geologic information hidden in that crater." Though the crater Victoria is deeper than expected, the team will edge Opportunity as close as possible to further explore Victoria’s craggy protrusions.
What would a magazine library look like? The New Yorker has released what might be the future for collectors of popular print media: the 4,164 issue back catalog is now available in digital form on a 3.5 x 5" 80 GB hard drive. For $299, the portable external drive includes 20GB of free space for updates that will be available online.
Richard Branson unveiled a mock-up of Virgin Galactic’s 8-person spaceships intended for non-scientific trips to space. The flights are expected to begin in 2009 at a cost of $190,000 per ticket.
Slingbox, the popular television set-top appliance that pipes your home television to any computer with an Internet connection, has released second-generation devices: One for basic cable and regular TV; one for digital cable, satellite, and DVRed TV; and the extra-long power bottom version for multiple inputs including HD. Sling it any way you want, boy.
Do you use a feed reader to catch up with all your favorite websites and blogs? Then take a peep at Google’s refreshed and revived Reader, if not for the new features and improved interface, then for the cute engineer who created it…helloooo Chris…
Still can’t get your technophobic silver fox daddy to get a damn cell phone? Jitterbug has a new solution: a simplified cell phone for those who still long for the days of rotary. The phone features big, bright buttons, a major lack of features, menus, and options, and even…get this…dial tone. [via david pogue]