While you were sleeping, innovation was buying up domain names, and readying itself for a launch with large retail displays that look like something from Superman’s home planet, Krypton.
1. Around 4 million barrels of oil from the Deepwater spill has gone missing, according to the Washington Post. As well as having been cleaned up by nature, the unaccounted oil could also be in the air, or even floating in the water like a “toxic fog.” Oceanographer John Kessler thinks that, wherever it is, the oil could remain in the environment from a year up to decades. Meanwhile, Shell has posted its Q2 financial report: profit is $4.39 billion, above analysts’ expectations, while BP’s Photoshopping exploits have been added to by readers from Gizmodo and Wired.
2. The Obama administration wants to let the FBI have access to a person’s Internet activity without the need for a court order. Four words, “electronic communication transactional records” are to be added to the bill, which will affect anyone suspected of terrorism or intelligence activities. Meanwhile, the CIA and Google are both investing in a firm called Recorded Future, which monitors the Web, says Wired’s Noah Schachtman.
3. BlackPad. Is this the name of BlackBerry maker RIM’s tablet? The firm has purchased the domain name BlackPad.com, the name of which has been mooted for some time now. As for AT&T’s mysterious displays sprouting up in its shops, rather like malevolent girders or bad sci-fi effects, we’re putting that down to the Canadian firm as well, whose BlackBerry 9800 is arriving–probably–on Tuesday.
4. Plankton is declining
at a rate of 1% a year, say marine scientists from Dalhousie University
in Halifax, Nova Scotia. As well as providing food for whales,
phytoplankton also absorbs carbon. “This decline will need to be
considered in future studies of marine ecosystems, geochemical cycling,
ocean circulation and fisheries,” say the authors of the paper.
5. And finally, another day, another Facebook product. The social network has rolled out Facebook Questions in public beta form, which allows users to access questions either via a randomizer (ChatRoulette! Scream!) or by topic. GigaOm has the gen on it, while the Valleywag blog has all the juice on Mark Zuckerberg. To be honest, it’s a bit stalky–but there’s a certain amount of fascination to be had gawking at the Facebook founder’s life through a lens.