Herding Cats: Mayan Calendar Miscalcution, MacBook Air Update and Moon Water

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This week has been so random. First, we found out Verizon is going with tiered data plans and China is withholding the rare minerals we need to make the phones to use said data plans. If it weren’t for the totally awesome possibility of sustainable water resources on the Moon and the fact that the Earth may end sixty days later than what we previously thought, I’d probably be more incensed at Apple’s iLife 2011 and their half effort on the new MacBook Air models.

But I’m not. 

EngadgetVerizon’s Tiered Data Plans Hitting October 28, Smartphones Still Getting Unlimited Option? – Looks like the mobile industry is following AT&T in creating tiered data plans! Unlike AT&T, Verizon will continue to offer an unlimited data package for the usual $29.99, although AT&T offers 50MB more at the $15 level. I think Verizon got it right, just in time for the iPhone…

The New York TimesChina Said to Widen Its Embargo of Minerals – Looks like China is upping its game by widening its trade embargo. Punishing the U.S. with its economic muscle (they’re taking over the world, people) seems to be the newest strategy. Roughly 95% of the world’s rare minerals are mined in China and are exported for use in high tech devices, weaponry, and a host of other essential gadgets. What’s funny is that these minerals aren’t unique to China–they’ve just built what’s needed to get them out of the ground, while everybody else hasn’t.

BBCMoon’s water is useful resource, says NASA – The recent experiment NASA conducted (you know:  The one where they slammed REALLY expensive probes into the Moon to kick up dust…) showed that there’s a lot more water on the Moon than we originally thought. This means we can probably sustain astronauts up there on the 11-12 gallons of water found in one ton of Moon soil. The water is actually ice, found in random pockets scattered across the Moon. Considering we landed on the Moon 41 years ago, I expect to retire to a nice day spa up there after the next 41. 

GizmodoAll the Cool New Stuff from Apple – Apple unveiled a slew of improvements on big ticket products this week including: OS X Lion, an iChat replacement, an updated iLife suite, and new MacBook Air models. Notable is Apple’s switch from iChat to Facetime and the updates to iPhoto, iMovie, and GarageBand–all of which give the user a bunch more power and some interesting new features. The new MacBook Air update looks pretty cool with instant on capability, but are stuck with dual-core processors (seriously Apple?). In any event, you’ll find something new you like for your Mac soon enough.

CNNPilot refuses full-body scan, pat down – Congratulations to Michael Roberts, who did what we’ve all secretly wanted to do for a long time: Refuse a full body scan at airport security. These scans essentially create an image of your nude body, which Roberts objected to. And although you can opt of a full body scan, the alternative is an “enhanced pat down” where actual, physical groping occurs. Either way, our right to privacy is being violated, even if we choose to travel. There has to be a line somewhere.

Discovery News2012 Mayan Calendar ‘Doomsday’ Date Might Be Wrong – Finally, good news! It looks like UC Santa Barbara Professor Gerardo Aldana found a discrepancy in the constant used to calculate dates on the Mayan calendar, meaning that we could be off by as much as sixty days from the December 21, 2012 date we’ve all come to know as the end of the world. (Other sources put the miscalculation of the Mayan Calendar as being off by as much as 50-100 YEARS!) But we should take it with a grain of salt:  Aldana also doesn’t think the Mayans believed the world was going to end in 2012. That’s just crazy talk!  I just want to know if we have another sixty days after the December 21st. Christmas is my favorite holiday and I’d die if I missed it.

Take it easy this weekend, kids. Next weekend’s Halloween! (can you say…Mr. Peanut?)

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