July 2, 2012 at 9:49 AM ET
Our pre-caffeine roundup is a collection of the hottest, strangest, and most amusing stories of the morning. Here's everything that you need to know before taking that first sip of coffee.
In the last few weeks, the tech industry's biggest players have shown off their newest software and hardware, all aiming to make big moves before the end of the year. Apple has iOS 6 and the new MacBook Pros, Microsoft unveiled the new Surface and is preparing Windows 8 for launch, and Google has shown off the new version of Android and entered the tablet game. It should be much more exciting than last year.
When Google announced the Nexus Q, an Android-powered "social streaming device," most people scoffed. It has a silly label — what is social streaming anyway? — and a startling $299 price tag. But don't write the ball-shaped gadget off just yet.
Meanwhile, the storm that hit the DC area knocked out power to some of Amazon's Cloud services in Northern Virginia; Netflix, Pinterest.com and Instagram all went offline as a result.
Social surveillance — simultaneously stalking and being stalked — is changing how we feel about being watched. Is Facebook to blame?
In just a few days, there's a chance you will not be able to access the Internet on your personal computer. No email, no Facebook, no Google, no Twitter — nothing. Here's why and what you need to do.
And yet, here's a rather fascinating essay all about how there is no offline anymore. We are all online, one way or another.
So don't forget to sign the Declaration of Internet Freedom ... or just talk about it, on Reddit of course.
Your smartphone can be your second brain, but it can also turn you into a person with no sense of direction, poor social skills and next to no privacy. Here are all the stupid things you're doing with your smartphone and how to fix them.
In closing, meet the Internet's new favorite cat: "Lil Bub, Nature's "Happy Accident" Who Is About To Win Your Heart."
— compiled by Helen A.S. Popkin, who invites you to join her on Twitter and/or Facebook. Also, Google+.