Matt’s Favorites: Super TV, BBC Notes Kalamazoo Startup, Parrots In Volvos And More
* Want to see what $20,000 worth of TV looks like? Get over to ABC Warehouse’s Lakeside store at 15477 Hlal Road on Thursdsay, March 14 from 6 to 9 p.m. and check out LG’s new 84-inch Ultra HD Cinema 3D Smart TV. The TV has 3,840 lines of resolution from the top of the screen to the bottom. For comparison, the standard-definition TVs we all grew up with had 480, while HDTVs have either 720 or 1,080. So the picture ought to be amazing. Attendees will also have a chance to win LG prizes, including a Wi-Fi Blu-Ray Player, 3D Home Theater System with Built-In Blu-Ray Player, 42-inch LED 1080P HDTV and a 60-inch 3D Smart HDTV. Besides its picture, the 84-inch TV also offers LG’s Smart TV system, composed of over 1,000 apps, giving users access to a growing range of premium content services. For more information on LG’s Ultra HD TV, visit www.lg.com/us/tvs/lg-84LM9600-led-tv. (Those who know me know I hate to go to events at Lakeside — from my home in Dearborn, you might as well ask me to go to Lansing — but for this, I just might.)
* In case you’re wondering where General Motors was going to put its fourth major IT center, the winnah is Chandler, Ariz., a suburb of Phoenix. The rescued automaker announced that it would hire 1,000 tech workers there. Chandler joins Austin, Texas; Roswell, Ga.; and Warren as the centers of GM’s strategy to bring high-value IT work in-house, taking it away from outsourcing firms. GM expects to hire more than 4,000 new IT workers over the next three to five years to staff the four centers. So far, more than 1,000 employees have been hired for the three locations previously announced.
* The BBC World Service radio paid attention to a Michigan company not long ago — Vestaron Corp., one of the startups at the Southwest Michigan Innovation Center in Kalamazoo. They are developing biopesticides based on naturally occurring peptides from a variety of sources, including spider venom. Take a listen at this link.
* Parrot, the Paris-based developer of wireless Bluetooth technology for the car and home, announced it’s bringing its Android-powered Asteroid line of connection technologies for the car to numerous new and used Volvo models. Parrot happens to have its American automotive headquarters in Southfield, where there are a mind-blowing array of toys to check out, from auto navigation to music to driver assistance — and of course, hands-free telephony.
* And you did it again, Michigan Tech Community — you made more news than I can cram into two pages of the Tech Report Web site, which is my daily size limit. (I figure nobody on Earth is gonna read more than 20 stories a day no matter how good they are.) So some stuff is holding for Friday. Check this space again tomorrow morning!
* Facebook will reportedly unveil on Thursday new ways for people to filter their news feeds. The changes will include a photos feed of users’ Facebook and Instagram images, as well as a music feed that will allow people to share what they are listening to, sources tell Tech Crunch. Bigger images are also expected in the Web and mobile versions.
* Physicists in Italy said Wednesday they are achingly close to concluding that what they found last year was the Higgs boson, the elusive “God particle.” They need to eliminate one last remote possibility that it’s something else. The long theorized subatomic particle would explain why matter has mass and has been called a missing cornerstone of physics.
* Marvel Comics has gone all dystopian with its latest “Age of Ultron” comics — in Matrix style, an artificial intelligence that has put robots at the top of the food chain, and humanity nearing extinction.
* In civil liberties news, a man from Long Island, New York, is facing up to 30 days in jail and a $500 fine after a neighbor complained to police he was laughing too loudly, his lawyer said on Wednesday.
* The latest on schools shifting from textoobks to tablets.
* Nearly half of all of Africa’s lion populations could face extinction in the next 40 years if conservation measures aren’t changed, according to a new study. Insert your favorite Detroit Lions joke here.
* Google may be gearing up to launch an online shopping service that will directly compete with Amazon Prime, according to TechCrunch.
* Carrie Fisher is the latest Star Wars star to say she’d return if asked to her original role in the new films.
* T-Mobile reportedly plans layoffs ahead of the MetroPCS merger.
* Turns out there might be a very simple explanation for the spike in autoimmune diseases like multiple sclerosis and type 1 diabetes in recent decades: too much salt.
* Here’s a new discovery that increases the potential for life on Jupiter’s moon Europa.