So what’s new and cool from the wide, wonderful world of science, technology, engineering and mathematics? Well, as the STEM is bent…

* First, I want to thank sponsors Lawrence Technological University, Strategic Staffing Solutions, ITC Holdings, Gerry Weinberg & Associates and Comerica Bank for letting me stage a terrific event, How To Get A Tech Job In Detroit, at LTU Thursday morning. And many thanks to panelists Allen Coleman, COO of S3, Nathan Hughes, co-founder
of Detroit Labs, Peg Pierce, director of the Department of Career Services at LTU, and Molly Rose, senior technical recruiter at Secure-24 for their contributions. (And Matt Mosher, co-founder and CEO of, get well soon.) The bottom line: developers of virtually all sorts are in strong demand, as are project managers and
business analysts, so stick to those IT books, youngsters, you’ll get great jobs, make good dough and go far.

* If you’ve got an idea for a great app that encourages increased fuel economy, Ford might have a check with your name on it. The American automaker has announced that it is sponsoring a $50,000 Personalized Fuel Efficiency App Challenge to mobile and Web-app developers.

* A veteran Russian spacecraft commander, a rookie cosmonaut and a Navy SEAL-turned-astronaut rocketed into space Thursday aboard a Russian Soyuz spacecraft, kicking off on an abbreviated four-orbit flight to the International Space Station.

* Thousands of followers on a science-related Facebook page reacted to the creator’s gender. Science blogger Elise Andrew and “CBS This Morning” contributor Michio Kaku discuss sexism in the field of science.

* Worldwide spending on IT is set to grow to new highs this year and next, according to a new study from research firm Gartner. Total IT spending last year hit $3.6 trillion, Gartner said, representing a 2.1 percent gain over the prior year. In 2013, that spending will go up to $3.8 trillion, a rise of 4.1 percent. Things will get even better for the IT sector in 2014, when spending, according to the research firm, is expected to hit $3.9 trillion.

* Amazon, the world’s biggest online retailer that got its start in bookselling, is agreeing to buy book recommendations site Goodreads. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

* A new video game produced in Cuba lets you fight your way through mangrove swamps shoulder-to-shoulder with bearded guerrillas clad in the olive green of Fidel Castro and Ernesto “Che” Guevara. Your mission: Topple 1950s Cuban dictator Fulgencio Batista. Wonder at what level you get to suspend Cubans’ civil liberties?

* Google plans to manufacture its futuristic glasses in the United States, a recent report says. Google Glass is augmented reality eyewear that uses voice recognition to take commands and display information. The Financial Times reports that Google Glass will be manufactured in Santa Clara, Calif. by the Taiwanese company Hon Hai Precision Industry, better known as Foxconn.

* BlackBerry announced Thursday that is has sold 1 million smartphones running on its new mobile operating system BlackBerry 10. And the BlackBerry Z10 isn’t just being snatched up by loyal fans of the once-dominant smartphone. BlackBerry CEO Thorsten Heins says about 55 percent of the people buying a Z10 are crossing over from different platforms.

* Google Inc launched a same-day delivery service in the San Francisco Bay Area on Thursday as the world’s largest Internet search company works with retailers such as Target Corp to compete more with e-commerce leader Inc.

* AT&T says it will start taking pre-orders for the Samsung Galaxy S 4, the season’s most eagerly awaited smartphone, on April 16 for $250. The amount is $50 above the usual introductory price for high-end smartphones.

* Wireless service provider Clearwire Corp said it would draw on $80 million in financing from Sprint Nextel Corp., which is seeking to buy it, reducing the chances for rival bidder Dish Network Corp. Clearwire, which is already majority owned by Sprint, said on Wednesday that it would continue talks with Dish but that it has not changed its
recommendation in favor of its agreement with No. 3 U.S. mobile provider Sprint.

* Inc and other out-of-state online retailers must collect state tax on New York state customers, the state’s highest court ruled on Thursday, a decision at odds with other courts that could set the stage for a showdown in the U.S. Supreme Court.

* A solar-powered plane that has wowed aviation fans in Europe is set to travel across the United States with stops in Phoenix, Dallas, Washington, D.C., and New York, organizers of the trip announced Thursday. Unfortunately the plane isn’t coming anywhere near the Great Lakes.

* Here’s a look at the most-reviewed technology at CNet for March.

* Out of all the 6,700 files in the FBI’s virtual reading room known as The Vault, one towers above the others in popularity. It’s not about Nixon. It’s not about John Lennon. It’s a one-page memo concerning flying saucers.

* After nearly four years of taking extraordinary images of the universe, the European Space Agency’s Herschel space observatory has only weeks left before it exhausts its supply of liquid helium coolant. When the lights go out, ESA says that Herschel will have performed over 22,000 hours of science observations, 10 percent more than originally planned, according to Leo Metcalfe, the science operations and mission manager for Herschel at ESA’s European Space Astronomy Center in Madrid.


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