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Matt’s Favorites: FIRST Robotics On DPTV, MTAM Director Published, And Lots More

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The Kettering Univerisity FIRST Robotics district competition March 3, 2012. Photo courtesy Kettering University.

The Kettering Univerisity FIRST Robotics district competition March 3, 2012. Photo courtesy Kettering University.

(credit: istock) Technology Report
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So what’s the latest, greatest, and help-our-state-est from the wonderful wild wide world of high technology? (Boy, try saying that sentence fast. ) Anyway, I’m glad you asked, because look at all the cool stuff I found on the Series Of Tubes…

* Detroit Public Television, channel 56 on air and www.dptv.org online, will broadcast its one-hour special on the FIRST Robotics Michigan State Championship on Wednesday, May 29 at 8 p.m. The program will be repeated Thursday, May 30 at 4:30 p.m. Watch and learn just how cool FIRST Robotics is!

* Linda Daichendt, Executive Director of Mobile Technology Association if Michigan, has contributed to a new gude on mobile development, The Everything Guide To Mobile Apps, being published by F&W Media Inc. The comprehensive guide, which is now available as an eBook through Amazon online book stores, provides brands and businesses with clear direction and critical information to enhance and extend the lifecycle of their mobile app. The Everything Guide To Mobile Apps has brought together the insights of more than 25 mobile professionals, practitioners and pundits to identify market trends, best practices and key lessons learned in developing, distributing and promoting mobile apps.  With mobile app downloads pegged to reach a whopping 81 billion by end-2013 according to eMarketer, the pressure is on companies to tackle the business and technology challenges of making and marketing a winning app.

Internet giant Yahoo announced the acquisition of the blogging site Tumblr on Monday, one day after the Yahoo board approved the $1.1 billion purchase. The Tumblr acquisition is said to be part of Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer’s lofty goal of making Yahoo — which has a large but aging audience — a daily visit for all Internet users.

* After a few months of silence, Chinese government-backed hackers are back on the hunt and going after U.S. targets, according to a New York Times report. Back in February, the Pentagon for the first time used its annual report on China to directly assert that Beijing’s government and military have conducted computer-based attacks against the U.S., including efforts to steal information from federal agencies. The report may have caused the Chinese hackers to go silent, or at least be more subtle for a time, but not anymore, according to the Times.

* Yahoo announced Monday a complete redesign of photo-sharing site Flickr and a new office in New York City. Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer kicked off a press event in the Big Apple by first acknowledging the company’s acquisition of Tumblr, the popular blogging platform, then saying that more than 500 Yahoo employees will soon be moving into the old New York Times building — and namesake for Times Square. The new Flickr will offer users on terabyte of free space.

*A Senate panel late Monday accused Apple (AAPL) of using what it called a “complex web of offshore entities” to dodge billions of dollars in U.S. income taxes. The technology giant, the world’s second-largest company by market value, has used a range of offshore structures, transactions and other arrangements to shield its earnings from taxes, said the U.S. Senate permanent subcommittee on investigations in a report.

* The Canadian government has launched an aggressive campaign to lure Silicon Valley tech workers frustrated by U.S. visa policies northward, just as Congress wrestles with a long-sought overhaul of America’s immigration system. Canada’s minister of citizenship, immigration and multiculturalism, Jason Kenney, arrived in the San Francisco Bay area Friday for a four-day visit aimed at snapping up talent for his country’s high-tech economy by offering startup entrepreneurs a new visa.

* LG Display is preparing to demonstrate a new, flexible smartphone panel that promises to be unbreakable.

* A little known fact is that the source of most weather forecasts delivered on your TV news and smartphones are two supercomputers housed in Reston, Va. and Orlando, Fl. An infusion of funding into the National Weather Service from Hurricane Sandy relief legislation promises to massively upgrade those machines that may dramatically improve local, national, and global weather forecasts.

* Mucus may be gross, but it’s full of protection from viruses.  Almost every animal uses it to make a barrier that protects tissues that are exposed to the environment, such as the gut or lungs. Now, a team of researchers in California has discovered that mucus is also the key to an ancient partnership between animals and viruses.

* Apple stores continue to outpace the rest of the retail industry in sales per customer. The company took in record revenue per visitor of $57.60 during the first quarter, mobile analyst Horace Dediu said Monday in his Asymco blog. That’s up from $51.75 per visitor in the first quarter of 2012. (As someone who used to cover retailing before he covered tech, let me tell you, that’s an incredible number.)

* The plane I can’t wait to fly, the Boeing 787 Dreamliner (window seat, please), is back in the air in the United States. Apparently they’ve worked out a way to keep those battery packs cool.

* When did ancient humans first start hurling spears instead of using sharp sticks to gore prey animals? (Lots safer to hurl a spear from a distance rather than get right up there close to fang and claw.) Scientists now have a better idea.

* India is attacking Pakistan — but so far only online, not in the real world.

* Google’s YouTube is celebrating its 8-year birthday, and at the same time they reveal some interesting numbers. ‘Today, more than 100 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute. (And not all of it is bad music video.)

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