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NASA and Gowalla team up for moon scavenger hunt

moon_NASA's Marshal Space Flight Center.jpg
NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center
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via Flickr
You don't have to travel to the moon to get space rocks, thanks to NASA's new scavenger hunt.

Out of this world
Space nerds rejoice, we've got two NASA items for you today.  The space agency is teaming up with check-in service Gowalla to offer a scavenger hunt for (virtual) moon rocks and astronauts.  And Information Week reports that NASA is pitting civilian programmers against each other to solve computational challenges: 

Developers then can compete with each other to solve the problems, with solutions rated based on internal code quality, performance against benchmarks and the ability to be integrated into NASA systems. The win for the space agency is that it will receive new applications for a lower cost than if it were to hire outside developers, according to NASA.

It's part of a larger Obama administration goal to crowdsource more innovation.

The future
TechCrunch response to Google's driverless car with a list of demands.  Now that the future is here, blogger Sarah Lacy is demanding her meal in a pill:

If I had a pill– like the Jetsons– and I could get all of my nutrients, make me feel satisfied and tide me to my next meal, I would pay $10 a pill and my productivity would go through the roof. Easily.

Touch screen technology
Technology Review reports that researchers are working on adding texture to touch screens, using "electrovibration:"

...the technique uses electrical charges to simulate the feeling of localized vibration and friction, providing touch-screen textures that are impossible to simulate using mechanical actuators.

Growing your business
Mashable has six tips for starting a digital business from Pandora founder Tim Westergren.  Among them: adapt, be nice to your employees, and believe in yourself.  Pretty sound advice for any endeavor, online or not.

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