Tech 2.0 for Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Contributor: Matt Davenport
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Updated: 10/08/2013 1:50 pm

The Army Corps of Engineers says it has found electrical problems at the National Security Agency's $1.7 billion data center that could delay the new facility's long-awaited opening this fall in Utah. The data center is filled with super-powered computers designed to store massive amounts of information gathered secretly from phone calls and emails. The Army Corps of Engineers says it discovered the problem during tests ahead of the fall opening of the facility located south of Salt Lake City, on a National Guard base. The Corps, which is in charge of construction, says experts are working to correct it. An NSA spokeswoman acknowledges the problem and says the failures are being mitigated.

The CEO of electric car company Tesla is defending the battery technology behind its vehicles. Elon Musk spoke about the vehicle in a blog post — in the wake of a fire that consumed one of its electric vehicles last week. Musk says the battery in the Model S that caught fire appeared to have been impaled by a metal object. The battery damage was enough to cause a fire. But Musk noted in his blog post that fires are more common in conventional gas-powered vehicles.

Yahoo's free email service is becoming a bit more like Google's Gmail as part of its second makeover in less than a year. The similarities to Gmail probably aren't coincidental. Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer helped design some of Gmail's features while she was a top executive at Google Inc. Since its debut nearly a decade ago, Gmail has grown into the world's most popular email service. Yahoo's redesigned email unveiled Tuesday includes a Gmail-like tool that will thread together emails related to specific topics so they appear as a succession of messages. The "conversation view" has become a widely used email feature since Gmail helped popularize the concept after it embraced the format in 2004. Users can turn off Yahoo's new conversational tool if they want.
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