What’s the latest in technology and related fields this fine early week? I’m ever so glad you asked. Here’s what I found on an entertainingly busy day.
* Most times when you go to a press conference on a building dedication you’re hard pressed to find a decent quote. But Warren Mayor Jim Fouts shook General Motors’ dedication of its new $130 million data center in Warren Monday by once again calling for GM to move its headquarters out of the Renaissance Center to the Warren tech center and consolidate all operations there. “It makes sense and it saves money and I’m going to continue to push for it,” Fouts said. Well, okay, Jim, but the folks in Detroit may have a thing or 17 to say about it…
* Speaking of cool things you can build with a 3D printer, how about an invisibility cloak?
* A Russian cosmonaut, a NASA physician-astronaut and outgoing Canadian space station commander Chris Hadfield, whose deft use of social media turned him into an orbital superstar, undocked and plunged back to Earth Monday to close out a five-month stay in space. (And man, how about that picture?? I’m pretty sure I’d get claustrophobic in that ride. THIS is why America needs to get back in the low-orbit spaceflight business, that’s ridiculous.)
* Okay, so maybe I want this phone for my next phone from Verizon.
* Every time Los Angeles exhales, odd-looking gadgets anchored in the mountains above the city trace the invisible puffs of carbon dioxide, methane and other greenhouse gases that waft skyward. Halfway around the globe, similar contraptions atop the Eiffel Tower and elsewhere around Paris keep a pulse on emissions from smokestacks and automobile tailpipes. And there is talk of outfitting Sao Paulo, Brazil, with sensors that sniff the byproducts of burning fossil fuels. It’s part of a budding effort to track the carbon footprints of megacities, urban hubs with over 10 million people that are increasingly responsible for human-caused global warming.
* Breaking up before the digital age oftentimes involved a box full of photos, CDs and memorabilia. But untangling romantic relationships has become more complicated with the rise of social networks and technology. In a recent paper titled “Design for Forgetting: Disposing of Digital Possessions after a Breakup,” researchers at the University of California at Santa Cruz found that people are struggling with how to handle digital possessions after a breakup.
* A federal judge has rejected attempts by the estate of the late Aaron Swartz to disclose confidential court documents that could have revealed key details about MIT’s role in his prosecution. U.S. District Judge Nathaniel Gorton in Boston ruled today that the possibility of violence aimed at MIT officials — some have reportedly received threats, and the campus was locked down in February after a gunman hoax — outweighed the public’s right to access court records that would have identified which professors, university attorneys, or staff members were involved.
* The highly anticipated and hotly rumored Motorola X phone may have just popped up in FCC filings earlier this week. According to the paperwork, the Motorola device includes the model number XT1058, and supports earlier rumors that the X phone will be available on AT&T.
* Google’s capacity to store your files will jump by a factor of three, the company said Monday, rising from 5GB to 15GB shared across Google+, Drive, and Gmail. Google made the announcement just before Google I/O developers conference begins this week. The changes will “roll out over the next couple of weeks,” Google said in a blog post.
* We may be closer to harnessing the power of the sea and air. The world’s first hybrid wind-water power generation system will be installed off the coast of Japan later this year.
* Over the last several weeks, Marissa Mayer has talked about “sprinting.” She is referring to Yahoo’s run for daylight, after years of stumbling and being viewed as yesterday’s Internet company. Mayer’s formula for a Yahoo resurgence starts with a sprint to get the “right people in place, and culture and energy where we want it to be so we can really run,” she said during an interview last week at the Wired Business conference.