What’s new and cool in the wonderful world of high tech, both locally and around the whole freakin’ universe? Well, check here first…
* Started my Tuesday with Vision 2013, the annual technology conference of Farmington Hills-based IT consultants TM Group Inc. This was the 14th annual version of the event for the 30-year-old company. Microsoft software experts told around 200 TM customer representatives about how they can use Microsoft Dynamics GP, SL, CRM and Office software to keep their business users happy. And these days that indeed means access to all your data, all the time, anywhere, on any device. Oh, and by the way, make it secure, won’t you? Microsoft officials at the event bravely defended Windows 8, while other presenters offered the latest on everything from managed services to workflow and document management to data visualization to dashboards. Here’s a podcast interview with Microsoft product manager Errol Schoenfish, and here’s another with TM Group president Judy Thomas.
* Before the International Space Station and viral videos from space, there was Skylab — America’s first space station. Skylab launched into space by the unmanned Saturn V rocket on May 14, 1973, 40 years ago Tuesday, from launch pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center.
* In case you haven’t already seen it, here is the epic social media meltdown of the owners of a Phoenix bakery after they were judged too crazy to survive the ministrations of TV’s Kitchen Nightmares.
* According to CNet’s News.com, Google is close to unveiling its streaming music service, as it prepares to take on Pandora, Spotify, and possibly Apple.
* Research In Motion (BBRY) unveiled a lower-cost BlackBerry aimed at consumers in emerging markets on Tuesday and said it will offer its once-popular BlackBerry Messenger service on iPhones and devices running Google’s Android software.
* The sun has fired off three of the strongest solar eruptions this year. The flares occurred in a 24-hour period from May 12 to 13. NASA said the first flare was classified as an X1.7, making it the first X-class flare of 2013. The two that follow were classified as X2.8 and X3.2, with each growing stronger. Fortunately for our orbiting electronics but unfortunately for aurora lovers, they weren’t aimed at Earth.
* The X-47B prototype on Tuesday flew off an aircraft carrier and into the history books. Today’s achievement, the first-ever catapult launch of an unmanned aircraft from the flight deck of a carrier, promises to open up a new chapter in the annals of naval aviation.
* Google suffered another loss in a German court ruling. On Tuesday, Germany’s Federal Court of Justice ruled that Google’s autocomplete feature, which automatically generates search suggestions based what the user is typing, can lead to infringing situations that require remedy.
* Nao is a humanoid robot created by Aldebaran Robotics. He wears a jaunty orange headpiece, moves his limbs, dances, and interacts with humans. Nao has held jobs ranging from human-machine interaction research subject to synchronized show dancer at events. His new role, however, may be one of the most impactful yet. ASK Nao is a special version designed to work with autistic children.
* ‘Ij, eartHlIngh, veng SuvwI’ Hol chu’ tu’lu’. I’m not sure how accurate that really is, but, according to Bing, it means, “Listen up, earthling, there’s a new language in town.” Bing is so excited about the new “Star Trek Into Darkness” movie that it added Klingon to Bing Translator, the translation service that usually handles Earth languages like Bulgarian, Turkish, and Polish.
* Here’s a great guide to the right way and wrong way to use Twitter. Tweeting is a great way to share thoughts and information with friends and followers, as long as you stay safe, keep it civil, and most importantly, be interesting.
* If you’re the type of person who asks long-winded questions, Siri would like to change your ways. Apple’s server-powered software assistant is now telling users to trim down questions that are too long or otherwise complicated — a move that iLounge suggests is to retrain how users interact with the service versus an actual human being.
* CNet columnist Chris Hines says there’s one thing Microsoft could do to salvage Windows 8. The only question is whether it has the courage.
* Fox TV will be the home for scientist Neil deGrasse Tyson’s remake of Carl Sagan’s Cosmos series, one of my all time faves.