The Weekly Hash - May 3, 2013

Tip-toeing through the tulips of topical tech tales

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Yahoo now offers a generous parental leave policy, but please plan accordingly

Image credit: ITworld/Phil Johnson

Kind of quiet week for tech news. Apparently it was such a slow week that even the Mars rover Opportunity fell asleep and had to be poked a few times by NASA before it woke up. To be fair, though, the rover is nine years old, which is pretty old for a rover. It’s so old that sometimes it goes into a crater and says, “Wait, why did I come in here?”

For what it’s worth, here are some of the top tech stories from this past week...

Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer announced this week they would increase the amount of paid leave for new mothers to 16 weeks, and new fathers to 8 weeks. The bad news is Yahoo employees now need her permission to not use birth control.

On Wednesday, a judge barred New Yorkers from using smartphone apps for hailing cabs. So, for now at least, New Yorkers will have to get cabs the old fashioned way - stealing them from people who hail them by hand.

On Monday, Google released it’s voice search app, Google Now, for iOS. Give it a try, if you want, but, if you do, don't expect Siri to ever speak to you again.

This week the White House released an API for it’s online petition platform, We the People. It’s part of the Obama administration’s plan to make government more transparent, more digital and much nerdlier.

Yahoo bought to-do mobile app maker Astrid this week. Afterwards, Marissa Mayer crossed that task off of her sticky-note list of things to do. 

Budweiser has developed a smart beer glass with an embedded computer chip. Here’s how smart it is: the first thing the glass does is tell you get something other than Budweiser to drink.

Warren Buffett on Thursday tweeted for the first time. He’s been reluctant to tweet since 140 characters isn’t even enough to write out his net worth.

Virgin Galactic had a successful test flight of its passenger spacecraft on Monday in preparation for its first space flight later this year. The only thing that didn’t work was the zero-g beverage service.

Indiana University unveiled the fastest college-owned supercomputer this week. College supercomputers are just like regular supercomputers, but they like to sleep late.

In honor of the 20th anniversary of releasing the source code for the World Wide Web, on Tuesday CERN reposted it’s first website. To put it into perspective, bringing a 20 year old website back to life would be like bringing Larry King back to life.

Enjoy Cinco de Mayo, everyone but go easy on the cerveza (especially you Yahoo employees).

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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