This is the complete rear face of the sun, imaged for the first time in this manner by NASA's two STEREO solar imaging spacecraft on June 1. It's intriguing, and also relevant: Scientists are predicting that the next 11-year Solar Cycle could be very muted, which some suggest leads to an extended period of cold weather on Earth.
1. Pandora, highly praised U.S.-based Internet radio service, has just priced its IPO. It's selling 14.7 million ordinary shares at $16 per share, which values the firm at $235.2 million. The move is important in the digital music world, as it could blaze a trail for other similar services, like Rdio, to follow, just as the industry is facing an onslaught from Google, Amazon, and Apple's own cloud music efforts.
2. Henry Kissinger and the former U.S. Ambassador to China are calling for a detente between the U.S. and China on the subject of cyberattacks--placing the high-level conflict on the same politically charged footing as nuclear proliferation and the militarization of space. Meanwhile the Wall Street Journal has a prominent article by a former White House security official alleging massive infiltration of U.S. digital properties by the Chinese government, and calls for official comment. The Cold Cyber War just got real.
3. Color, the highly lauded then criticized social photo sharing startup has apparently lost its president and founder Peter Pham, less than three months after the company launched with a huge $41 million venture investment. There's no word on why Pham left, and it's unclear what effect it'll have on the company's operations, but it does shine an uncomfortable spotlight on one of this year's hottest tech startups.
4. Rumors are suggesting the next generation Xbox will be unveiled at the huge E3 game show next year, in 2012. This seems far off, given that 2011's E3 just finished, but it's critical given the long development process games consoles seem to need. Plus the rumor's surfaced immediately after excitement about the Wii U (due in early 2012) has begun to swirl. Test hardware may already have gone to games writers, it's claimed.
5. Forget the iPhone "halo effect," and instead feel its devilish horns: The rise of touchscreen smartphones with GPS has slammed the stand-alone GPS market, with intra-industry price wars having a similarly damaging effect, and now once-giant Garmin is buying up popular European GPS maker Navigon. If approved, the move will boost the composite firm's chances of future success in the new order: Both companies have popular, competing iPhone apps.