What’s new and cool? Glad you checked in, you won’t believe what I found…
* Well, of course I’m going to remind you once again about a terrific upcoming event in our Last Thursdays Unwired Coffee Series at Lawrence Technological University. On Thursday, March 28 it’ll be “How To Get A Tech Job In Detroit.” Yours truly will moderate a panel of experts on the topic. Scheduled to appear are Allen Coleman, Chief Operating Officer, Strategic Staffing Solutions; Nathan Hughes, Co-Founder of Detroit Labs; Matt Mosher, Co-Founder and CEO, hiredMyway.com; Margaret Pierce, Director of the Department of Career Services, Lawrence Technological University; and Molly Rose, Senior Technical Recruiter, Secure-24. The meeting will be held at the University Technology and Learning Center Gallery at LTU, 21000 W. 10 Mile Road in Southfield. Registration and networking begin at 7:30 a.m., and the discussion and question-and-answer session will be held from 8 to 9 a.m. Register at this link.
* March Madness is upon us. Sixty-four college basketball teams will duke it out to win the championship. There are only a few days left to make your picks and everyone is scrambling to pick a winner. It’s not easy to keep track of 64 teams, so here are some of the best apps and hashtags out there to manage your brackets.
* At a House Committee hearing Tuesday, NASA administrator Charles Bolden Jr. was asked what America would do if a meteor similar to the one that hit in Russia on Feb. 15 was found to be on a path toward New York City, with impact three weeks away. His response? “Pray.” At the moment, we might be lucky to get even three weeks’ warning. The United States and the rest of the world simply do not have the ability to detect many “small” meteors like the one that exploded over Russia, which has been estimated at roughly 55 feet long. Still think a space program is a useless extravagance?
* The president of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology announced Tuesday that the school will voluntarily release public documents related to the prosecution of free-information activist Aaron Swartz, who hanged himself in January as he faced trial on hacking charges.
* Researchers in Germany said Tuesday they have completed the first high-quality sequencing of a Neanderthal genome and are making it freely available online for other scientists to study. The genome produced from remains of a toe bone found in a Siberian cave is far more detailed than a previous “draft” Neanderthal genome sequenced three years ago by the same team at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany.
* Check this list of animals that have been placed on a short list to be “de-extincted” by modern biological science. I’m thinking it would be cool to bring back the Neanderthals. First thing we learn to say to them: “Sorry about that. No hard feelings? We brought you back as soon as we could.”
* In Chattanooga, Tenn., adjustable LED streetlights are fightiung crime in downtown’s Coolidge Park. They are usually left at 25 percent of power, preserving the ambiance of the historic park. But the minute there’s a sign of trouble, up come the LEDs, and the place is bright as a stadium. Noplace for muggers to hide.
* A former Oregon gubernatorial candidate was arrested on Tuesday for his alleged role in defrauding investors who had hoped to buy shares of Facebook before its initial public offering in May 2012. Craig Berkman, 71, falsely told investors he had access to scarce pre-IPO shares of Facebook and other social media companies. Instead, he received $8 million and made Ponzi-like payments to earlier investors. Berkman has long been active in Oregon politics and served for a time as the head of the state’s Republican Party. He was arrested in Florida.
* A federal appeals court is being asked to decide if the government must obtain a warrant before placing a GPS tracker on a suspect’s car. The case before the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia involves three brothers suspected of robbing pharmacies. A GPS device led to their arrests in 2010.
* At $236, the Samsung Galaxy S4 is costlier to produce than the S3 was, according to a teardown by iSuppli.
* Microsoft is starting to push Windows 7 SP1 to Windows 7 users via Windows Update, ahead of the early April end-of-support date for the original, release-to-manufacturing version of the product. Wonder how long I’ll be running 7 at home? Heck, I’ve still got a backup machine I use only for Webmail, Web browsing and casual gaming that chugs along just fine on XP SP2!
* Samsung’s next battle with Apple may just be over smart wristwatches that also act as smartphones.
* A law regulating authorities’ access to email drew a good deal of attention in Congress on Tuesday as a House panel quizzed Department of Justice and Google experts about it, and the Senate began taking on a bill to update the rules. The Electronic Communications Privacy Act, passed in pre-Web 1986, does not require government investigators to have a search warrant when requesting access to old emails and messages stored online, providing less protection for them than, say, letters stored in a desk drawer or even messages saved on a computer’s hard drive.
* Here’s a problem with fracking: Sewage plants are struggling to treat serouisly contaminated post-fracking water.
* And where can you find electric car charging stations all over the place? Estonia.