The Weekly Hash - April 12, 2013

Reviewing the week’s top tech stories, today featuring Austin getting hipper, NASA getting Armageddony and T-Mobile getting more desperate

041113_byod-small.jpgImage credit: ITworld/Phil Johnson
Perhaps we weren't clear...

Here’s a cheery way to end the week: Google has developed a new feature called Inactive Account Manager to let you specify what happens to all of your Google content when you die. Now, in addition to an old lawn mower and a bunch of t-shirts, my kids can look forward to inheriting my rich treasure trove of Gmails, Google+ postings and Google Docs. At least when there’s no money coming their way they’ll have the family budgets from Google spreadsheets to see where it all went.

Let’s try and brighten things up a tad with some topical tech-based humor.

A new study found that two-thirds of companies allow employees to bring their own mobile devices to work to increase productivity. It also found that two-thirds of companies think that playing Angry Birds during staff meetings increases productivity.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has formed an advocacy group focused on immigration and education. Per usual, he didn't come up with the idea.

Researchers in the U.K. have developed a new high definition 3D scanner. The scanner can detect very slow and minute changes like rocks moving, grass growing and Microsoft innovating.

Google announced this week that they will offer Google Fiber in Austin. It’ll be the same high speed broadband service currently offered in Kansas City, only hipper.

T-Mobile is offering the iPhone 5 for no money down to people who trade in an iPhone 4 or 4S. They’re pretty desperate; they’re also offering to throw in floor mats and a free year of oil changes.

The U.S. Department of Labor announced this week that the unemployment rate for electrical engineers was way up in the first quarter of 2013. I can tell it’s a tough time for electrical engineers; earlier today I saw a guy on the street with a circuit board that blinked, “Will work for food.”

This week security experts announced that airplanes are vulnerable to remote hijackings. Terrorist organizations are now to expected to poach Yahoo employees who want to keep working from home.

A California court has ruled that using a mapping application while driving is against the law. The court said that using maps on your smartphone while driving is just as dangerous as texting, surfing the Internet or letting Lindsay Lohan drive.

President Obama’s $17 billion fiscal year 2014 budget for NASA includes plans to redirect an asteroid into Earth orbit so it can be studied. There aren’t many specifics given as to how it will be done, aside from line items for Bruce Willis’ and Ben Affleck’s salaries.

The band the Yeah Yeah Yeahs are asking their audiences to not use smartphones at their concerts. Fans have been supportive of it - and Siri said she was cool with it, too.

OK, people, have fun this weekend doing your taxes - or laughing at the procrastinators who left them until the last minute.

Read more of Phil Johnson's #Tech blog and follow the latest IT news at ITworld. Follow Phil on Twitter at @itwphiljohnson. For the latest IT news, analysis and how-tos, follow ITworld on Twitter and Facebook.

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