Matt’s Favorites: MobiDevDay Coming, Cheap Tablets, China Cybertheft Complaint, Kim Jong-Un’s Slush Funds, And Much More
So what’s new and exciting in the wonderful world of high technology? See it all here, culled from a bunch of sources…
* Yes, there was other news besides the Kwameclipse Monday. For instance, if you got David McKinnon’s email Sunday about his upcoming MobiDevDay Detroit May 4, and how it would be the last DetroitDevDay event he would organize because he, you know, wants to have an actual life and stuff, you may have been spending Monday going “nooooooo!” Well, never fear. McKinnon sent another email Monday saying that thanks to pledges of support from several stout-hearted volunteers, the DetroitDevDays meetings will indeed go on after May 4. Yay! More at http://mobidevdaydetroit.com.
* Here’s a look at the invasion of the low-cost tablets — many well under $100.
* The White House called Monday for “serious steps” by China to stop cybertheft, which it described as intolerable to the international community. National Security adviser Tom Donilon’s comments reflect growing concern in Washington over the security risk posed by cyber intrusions and the economic costs for America.
* Speaking of our great and good friends the Chinese, they’re refusing to seize Kim Jong-un’s slush funds in Chinese banks despite voting for a United Nations resolution calling on them to do so. Nice.
* National governments are increasingly purchasing surveillance devices manufactured by a small number of corporate suppliers and using them to control dissidents, spy on journalists, and violate human rights, the advocacy group Reporters Without Borders warns in a new report released Monday afternoon.
* In Japan, two years after the earthquake and tsunami that devastated the Fukushima area, people are seething at the glacial pace of reconstruction.
* The interactive portion of the annual 10-day South by Southwest festival in Austin is starting to wind down, and while the latest in 3D printing has been on display, along with some well-attended talks by tech innovators, there’s been little talk of game changers. It appears the biggest star to emerge from the festival is Grumpy cat — the photo meme feline that replies to mundane statements with cranky one-liners.
* Former Secretary of State Colin Powell’s Facebook page was hacked for a short time on Monday. The hackers posted scathing remarks, including what appears to be an insult to President George W. Bush.
* Astronomers have discovered some new neighbors: A pair of dim brown dwarf stars that are a mere 6.5 light years from Earth. Called WISE 1049-5319, they are the third-closest star system to us, after the Alpha Centauri triple star about 4.3 light years away, and Barnard’s star about six light years distant.
* Global warming has shifted the green zone north. An international team of university and NASA scientists examined the relationship between changes in surface temperature and vegetation growth from 45 degrees north latitude to the Arctic Ocean. Results show temperature and vegetation growth at northern latitudes now resemble those found 4 degrees to 6 degrees of latitude farther south as recently as 1982.
* Last year, Tesla introduced the Model X crossover electric vehicle at its Los Angeles design center, and said it would begin production of the vehicle in late 2013. That production date has been revised, according to Tesla’s shareholder annual report, to late 2014. Not so easy to start a new car company, huh?
* Dell Inc has agreed to give Carl Icahn a closer look at its books, less than a week after the activist investor joined a growing chorus of opposition to founder Michael Dell’s plan to take the world’s No. 3 personal computer maker private.
* Server problems that botched the launch of Electronic Arts Inc’s new “SimCity” title last week and incensed gamers who could not access the game for days have improved but not yet been fully resolved, the company said.
* Clicking those friendly blue “like” buttons strewn across the Web may be doing more than marking you as a fan of Coca-Cola or Lady Gaga. It could out you as gay. It might reveal how you vote. It might even suggest that you’re an unmarried introvert with a high IQ and a weakness for nicotine.
* Engineers at the University of Illinois-Chicago have developed a “Spidey sense” suit to give its wearer superhuman powers to detect the presence and motion of nearby objects — kind of like the sense Spider-Man used to talk about.