Japan struggles in quake's aftermath (week in review)

A week after Japan's devastating 9.0-magnitude earthquake and resulting tsunami, the country deals with disaster relief efforts and a nuclear crisis. Also: more iPad 2 buzz and SXSW updates.

It's been a week since Japan's devastating 9.0-magnitude earthquake and resulting tsunami. Amid the disaster cleanup and relief efforts, new problems continue to evolve, such as the crisis at the Fukushima nuclear power plant.

Anxiety over the damaged facility increased Wednesday as the United States' top nuclear regulator told Congress the situation was worse than reported by the Japanese government and that "extremely high" radiation levels could hamper containment efforts. On Friday, Japan's nuclear safety agency raised the severity of the crisis to level 5, up from 4, on a scale going up to 7, according to The New York Times.

The American Embassy in Tokyo, meanwhile, recommended evacuation to U.S. citizens within 50 miles of the plant--an area much larger than the approximately 12-mile radius established by the Japanese. Still, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission maintained that there was little cause for worry about radioactive drift on the part of residents of Hawaii or the West Coast of the U.S.

Among other efforts to address the issues at the plant, the facility's operator said it hoped to be able to connect a new power line Saturday to help restore crucial cooling systems.

Other quake news: The U.S. military blocked popular sites like Amazon and YouTube from the .mil computer network to reserve bandwidth for use in quake recovery efforts, and Google is digitizing lists of Japan shelter dwellers . At the same time, tech industry watchers are concerned about how the earthquake will affect companies and consumers. For example, it's likely to lead to shortages of memory, LCD displays, and other key electronic components, thereby increasing their prices .

See our roundup for more complete coverage of the earthquake and how Japan is dealing with the aftermath.

Why are people waiting and paying more for iPad 2?

The iPad 2 has proved to be a big hit for Apple with some of the longest, and most persistent, lines of any product launch. But some people aren't just waiting for the product.
• Analyst: Up to 500K iPads sold over weekend
• Apple randomizing Web order numbers to veil iPad 2 sales?
• iPad 2's weight loss secrets bared

At SXSW, IE9 envisions a happy, appy Web

Microsoft demonstrates the new browser by showcasing of high-speed, app-like browsing experiences from big-name partners like Foursquare, Pandora, and eBay. Also, a game with cartoon stars.
•  CNN at SXSW: All about citizen media, connected TV
•  Deal with it: SXSW has changed
•  New York, Silicon Valley teams win Startup Bus competition
•  At SXSW, a peek at the post-laptop age?

Just try to cut off Netflix's content supply

By bidding on rights to Kevin Spacey's new show, "House of Cards," Netflix signals that it won't let big media stand in the way of the company acquiring content.
•  Reports say Netflix in talks for original content
•  Stunning story revealed in latest Netflix movie stats
•  Netflix for Android leaks onto Net but won't stream
•  Replacing DVD, a Hollywood cliffhanger

New HP CEO Apotheker lays out vision

In his first official public appearance before the press, Leo Apotheker says Hewlett-Packard is "strong, but the world is changing." HP will focus on cloud services and connected devices in the future.

AT&T to introduce data caps on DSL

The carrier plans to set limits of 150GB and 250GB on its DSL and U-verse broadband services as it clamps down on heavy data.

Acquisition to improve YouTube image quality

Green Parrot Pictures' technology can make video sharper, steadier, and less bothered by visual noise. Google plans to use it to improve YouTube videos.
• Google refurbishes Chrome logo
• Google to crack down further on ads for fake goods

White House wants new copyright law crackdown

Obama administration asks Congress to make "illegal streaming" of audio or video a federal felony and says FBI agents should be able to wiretap suspected infringers.
• Obama admin calls for more ICANN accountability
• White House pushes for online privacy bill of rights

RSA: Cyberattack could put customers at risk

RSA warns in open letter that information stolen in attack could be used to compromise SecurID authentication implementations.

Criminal probe into iPhone prototype nears end

Probe into lost iPhone 4 prototype is expected to end soon, which could lead to criminal charges against man who found it or Gawker Media's Gizmodo, which bought it.

Also of note
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• High school math wiz wins Intel Talent Search
• Facebook to test Groupon-like deals service

About the author

Michelle Meyers, associate editor, has been writing and editing CNET News stories since 2005. But she's still working to shed some of her old newspaper ways, first honed when copy was actually cut and pasted. When she's not fixing typos and tightening sentences, she's working with reporters on story ideas, tracking media happenings, or freshening up CNET News' home page.

 

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