Samsung launches smartphone with curved screen

The Galaxy Round, is Samsung's attempt to gauge consumer appetite for curved phones.

Samsung Electronics Co Ltd on Wednesday launched the world's first smartphone with a curved display, a variant of the Galaxy Note which moves the Asian giant a step closer to achieving wearable devices with flexible — even unbreakable — screens.

Federal Reserve to Unveil a Redesigned $100 Bill

The Federal Reserve will begin circulating a new $100 bill on Tuesday with some modern and colorful anti-counterfeiting features, after overcoming problems that postponed its debut for more than two and a half years.

NASA grounded by government shutdown

Two U.S. astronauts in space, and their support staffs on Earth, will keep working through the government shutdown that began Tuesday.

But almost all the rest of NASA has been shuttered, just one of many federal agencies affected when the government shut down at midnight Tuesday because of Congress' inability to pass a budget.

Many of those agencies took to social media and other online venues to share the news. Twitter was a popular choice for the messages.

Among them? If an asteroid starts hurtling toward Earth ... well ... good luck.

"In the event of government shutdown, we will not be posting or responding from this account," NASA's Near Earth Object Office tweeted from its @AsteroidWatch account Monday, just hours before the deadline in Congress. "We sincerely hope to resume tweets soon."

The office is responsible for tracking and reporting asteroids that threaten the planet, like the 150-foot chunk of space rock that came closer to Earth than the moon in February.

The office later noted that observatories, academics and other astronomers continue to monitor the skies.

In all, about 18,000 NASA employees, or 97% of its work force, were furloughed on Tuesday.

Among those still working will be astronauts aboard the International Space Station. Which may be just as well -- it's not like they could get away from the office even if they wanted to.

NASA's Mission Control will also stay open to support astronauts Karen Nyberg and Mike Hopkins.

"To protect the life of the crew as well as the assets themselves, we would continue to support planned operations of the ISS [space station] during any funding hiatus," reads a NASA furlough plansubmitted last week. "Moreover, NASA will be closely monitoring the impact of an extended shutdown to determine if crew transportation or cargo resupply services are required to mitigate imminent threats to life and property on the ISS or other areas."

Other NASA spacecraft, like the Curiosity Rover on Mars and the New Horizons craft hurtling toward Pluto, will be largely left to their own devices (literally) during the shutdown.

The funding mess may be enough to have them all jealous of the Voyager 1 space probe, which was launched into space in 1977. Last month, NASA confirmed that the original Voyager left the solar system.

Maybe the Voyager 2 probe, in protest of the impasse in Congress, will follow suit.

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Firefox gets into the smartphone business

A new smartphone operating system is joining the fray.

Mozilla released a phone running its new Firefox OS in Spain on Monday, joining leading mobile operating systems Android and iOS, as well as smaller players Windows Phone and Blackberry.

The ZTE Open and Alcatel OneTouch Fire are very basic phones with 3.5-inch screens, entry-level specs and appealingly low price tags. Telefonica will sell the ZTE Open in Spain starting July 2 for 69 euros, or about $90.

Nonprofit company Mozilla is trying to shake up the typical closed app ecosystems with the Firefox OS. Built using open Web standards, it will appeal to the estimated 8 million Web developers who can jump right in and start creating HTML 5 apps for the phones.

There is no timeline for when the phone will come to the United States. For now, Mozilla is focusing on emerging markets such as Spain, Poland, Colombia, Venezuela and eventually Brazil, where an iPhone is prohibitively expensive for most people.

$15 million yacht can be controlled by an iPad

This space-age yacht might be better suited to the sky than the sea. With her curved 'wings,' long pointed nose, and gleaming underbelly propped high above the waves,


Valued at $15 million -- Just a few square meters of the futuristic vessel -- actually touch the surface of the water, allowing it to skim across the waves with ease.