Matt’s Favorites: Fast Company On Rebuilding Detroit, Facebook Grows In Iowa, Online Taxes Coming, And Much More
What’s the newest and coolest at the end of a llllloooooong day chasing down tech news? Glad you asked. Before I collapse, here’s the latest…
* Here’s the Fast Company take on the rebuilding of Detroit by tech entrepreneurs. Cool stuff.
* Social networking giant Facebook is apparently the company behind a mysterious data center construction project under way in the town of Altoona, Iowa, according to a report in the Des Moines Register. It would be Facebook’s fourth company-owned data center. The others are in Prineville, Ore., Forest City, N.C., and Lulea, Sweden.
* A measure to empower U.S. states to require out-of-state retailers to collect online sales tax cleared a legislative hurdle in the Senate on Monday, after earlier winning official backing from President Barack Obama.
* Samsung is testing a way to control your mobile device with your brainwaves. If that project succeeds, it would truly be a case of science fiction brought to real life.
* IBM Monday said its researchers are developing a solar power system that concentrates solar radiation 2,000 times by using a human-blood supply modeled way of cooling and coverting 80 percent of Sun’s heat into useful energy. IBM says the system can also desalinate water and cool air in sunny, remote locations where such systems are often in short supply.
* AT&T subscribers who pre-ordered the Samsung Galaxy S4 could have the hotly-anticipated smartphone in hand by Thursday. When AT&T began taking orders for the Galaxy S4 last week, it promised delivery of Samsung’s new flagship smartphone by the end of the month. Now, the mobile provider is rushing to get to the finish line ahead of its rival carriers.
* Over six months ago Superstorm Sandy hit the waterfront area of Rockaway Beach of New York City. The community itself was devastated, and at the same time it faced some of the worst aftermath complications from the storm. This weekend the residents in Rockaway celebrated their first Earth Day since being ravaged by the storm. The celebration was organized by Jon Rose, an avid sports fan who knows understands how summer sports impacts the community.
* It’s hard to imagine what life would be like if the United States had to start looking for water sources in other locations, or if the weather changed so drastically that crops would not grow. What might seem like a far-off idea for Americans is actually happening in other areas of the world and making living in those places much more unstable. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the Earth’s average temperature has risen by 1.4 degrees over the past century, and is projected to rise another 2 to 11.5 degrees over the next hundred years, as direct result of the human population and their lifestyles.
* Meanwhile, here’s a sometimes discouraging look at what the average American knows and doesn’t know about science.
* A new Web site called FriendFracker.com says it can help minimize defriending anxiety on Facebook, by instantly, randomly and irrevocably deleting as many as 10 Facebook friends with a single click. Just enter your Facebook details and — poof! — a handful of Facebook friends vanish from your timeline. The service does not inform you which friendships it ended for you, and that’s the point. “If you can’t tell which friends vanished from your social network,” FriendFracker co-founder Rafael Lozano-Hemmer explained, “then good riddance!”
* Netflix Inc. impressed investors with solid subscriber growth and better-than-expected profits in the first quarter, sending shares of the video subscription service soaring 24 percent higher in after-hours trade. A big push into original shows, a strategy aimed at hooking new customers with content they can’t get anywhere else, seems to be working, with its February release of the series “House of Cards”, a drama starring Kevin Spacey, generating plenty of buzz.
* Intel has announced that the Thunderbolt and USB SuperSpeed specifications will soon double data transfer speeds, opening up peripheral pipes to greater throughput. But what Intel hasn’t hyped much is the fact that the upgrade to the USB Super Speed 3.0 spec will also boost power transfer in both directions from 10 watts to 100 watts. The increase in power means that computer monitors, laptops and even high definition televisions could be powered through the use of a single USB hub, which would also allow for a bidirectional data flow.
* Bad news for cartoon humor fans — Futurama has been cancelled again.
* Speaking to the BBC, Google’s Eric Schmidt said that Glass for consumers is not imminent and that the wearable device will require new social etiquette.
* The first commercial application of using so-called TV white space, or unused UHF channels, for wireless Internet service is coming to a rural area of Northern California called El Dorado County, or Gold Country. Internet provider Cal.net is partnering with network equipment provider Carlson to bring this region’s residents something more than dial-up.
* News agency Thompson Reuters has fired Matthew Keys a month after federal prosecutors accused the social media editor of conspiring with the hacktivist group Anonymous to break into the Los Angeles Times Web site. Keys announced the development Monday morning on his Twitter accounting, saying he had just learned of his dismissal and that his union would file a grievance.