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Matt’s Favorites: LTU Thursday, Rivers In Rough Shape, Apple’s Next iPhone, Google Glass Winners And More

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Toxic metal pollution in a stream. Wikimedia Commons photo

Toxic metal pollution in a stream. Wikimedia Commons photo

(credit: istock) Technology Report
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So what else is up in the wide wide wild wild world of high technology? Well, after a spin around the Interwebs, here’s what’s up…

* Yep, it’s tomorrow! 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.

* A nationwide survey shows that more than half of the country’s rivers and streams are in poor biological health, unable to support healthy populations of aquatic insects and other creatures. (I’m trying to see the bright side here. Lots of future work for my son the hydrology major.)

* Apple will likely bring out its next iPhone in late June, projects Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster. Like most analysts and Apple watchers, Munster expects the phone to include a faster processor, better camera, and new software features tied into the hardware. He thinks there’s an “outside chance” the 5S may come with an NFC (near-field communications) chip to open the door for mobile payments.

* A private SpaceX cargo capsule undocked from the International Space Station early Tuesday to begin the trip back to Earth after three weeks linked to the orbiting laboratory. Dragon is returning to Earth with about 2,670 pounds of cargo, including a set of LEGO toys that have been on the station for the last two years.  Here’s the splashdown.

* Google has picked out 8,000 people who will be given a chance to don a pair of Internet-connected glasses and make a fashion statement likely to be envied by gadget-loving geeks around the world. The pool selected by Google won a contest conducted last month requiring U.S. residents to submit 50-word applications through Twitter or Google’s Plus to explain how they would use a technology that is being hailed as the next breakthrough in mobile computing.

* A 9-year-old girl who wanted to learn how to build a video game turned to the popular crowdfunding site Kickstarter to raise funds to attend programming camp. But instead of meeting the $829 goal, her project garnered over $21,000 and allegations that her mother exploited her gender to raise money for a project that she could have afforded on her own.

* We know a lot about how babies learn to talk, and youngsters learn to read. Now scientists are unraveling the earliest building blocks of math – and what children know about numbers as they begin first grade seems to play a big role in how well they do everyday calculations later on. The findings have specialists considering steps that parents might take to spur math abilities, just like they do to try to raise a good reader.

* T-Mobile USA announced Tuesday that it would drop two-year contracts, roll out 4G LTE and get two of the hottest smartphones on the market, the iPhone 5 and Samsung Galaxy S IV.

* A federal judge on Tuesday recommended the dismissal of a lawsuit against Facebook Inc in which Paul Ceglia, an upstate New York wood pellet salesman, claimed a huge ownership stake in the social media company.

* Oracle Corp. CEO Larry Ellison unveiled a new line of faster servers on Tuesday, the latest step to revive a shrinking hardware division and shore up a core software business threatened by smaller rivals.

* Google is beginning tests on white space spectrum — TV channels that are unused in a particular area — to deliver broadband internet access to rural communities in South Africa.

* Humans don’t “own” their own genes, the cellular chemicals that define who they are and what diseases they might be at risk for. Through more than 40,000 patents on DNA molecules, companies have essentially claimed the entire human genome for profit, report two researchers who analyzed the patents on human DNA. Their study, published March 25 in the journal Genome Medicine, raises an alarm about the loss of individual “genomic liberty.” 

* In a twist that evokes the dystopian science fiction of writer Philip K. Dick, neuroscientists have found a way to predict whether convicted felons are likely to commit crimes again from looking at their brain scans. Convicts showing low activity in a brain region associated with decision-making and action are more likely to be arrested again, and sooner.

* In a move federal prosecutors hope sends a strong message to the knuckleheads who point lasers at aircraft for fun, a California man was sentenced to 30 months in prison for shining one at two aircraft. According to the FBI, Adam Gardenhire, 19, was arrested on March 29, 2012 and named in a two-count indictment filed in United States District Court in Los Angeles that said he pointed the beam of a laser at a private plane and a police helicopter that responded to the report.

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