1. Barack Obama once promised to have a science-friendly presidency, and at his ground-breaking town hall on Facebook, he promised more science. Specifically he wants to “start making science cool” and hopes the American people will think of the next “big energy breakthrough” the same way they felt about the moonwalks 40 years ago. If Obama hadn’t meddled in NASA’s budgets and plans, perhaps people would have a real moonwalk to get excited about, but let’s not be petty.
2. Facebook may be launching a suite of Facebook phones, but it seems the company lost out on what may have been its biggest smartphone coup–the iPhone. Digging through some prototype code for iOS4, it’s been revealed that originally there was going to be much tighter integration of Facebook in Apple‘s device. For presumably the same reasons the Facebook-Ping deal fell through, the idea was later excised from iOS4–and Apple is going its own social media way.
3. Proof positive that the space race is evolving to include some surprising players, Iran has announced today that its rocket systems are ready to fire a monkey into space in mid-September–echoing experiments that the U.S. and Russia made in the early part of the Cold War before Yuri Gagarin’s famous first flight. The global concern is that Iran’s space plans are merely a cover for advanced ICBM weaponry. Meanwhile NASA’s revealed Space Shuttle Endeavor’s last flight will be on April 29th.
4. Chalk this one up as very curious: Foursquare‘s cofounder Dennis Crowley “checked-in” at Apple’s Cupertino campus yesterday, at the same time as Holger Luedorf (the exec in charge of business development) and PR manager Erin Gleason. Speculation is now rife that some kind of deal is being struck with Foursquare to bring its expertise to the expected upgrade of MobileMe, which it’s thought will contain a social media angle.
5. Nokia and Microsoft just revealed that they’ve signed a “definitive agreement” ahead of schedule. It’s part of the plan to bring Windows Phone 7 to Nokia smartphones (to revive the company’s flagging smartphone business). Microsoft notes “hundreds of personnel” are engaged on joint engineering products and that “significant progress” has been made on the first MS-Nokia phone. They’re even reaching out to third party app developers.