Matt’s Favorites: LTU Events Return, Burger Grown In Lab, Bezos Buys WaPo, And More
So what’s new and cool in the oft-mindblowing field of high technology? Well, you can sign up for one of my tech events, for one thing…
* Yep, it’s the time of year again. The Unwired Coffee Series at Lawrence Technological University is coming back to LTU Sept. 12. Our first program of the year is “The Business Of Energy.” The latest energy technologies aren’t just about going green — they’re about saving green. New ideas in lighting, heating, cooling, ventilation, windows and design can allow you to brag about your lighter carbon footprint all the way to the bank — because they can save you big money. Solar and wind power can play a big role in saving green by going green in modern buildings, too. Building managers, building owners, facilities managers, contractors, energy workers and others will want to hear the latest about high-tech energy saving ideas. It’s all free — coffee and bagels on us. Sign up here.
* For $332,000, you might expect a burger to come with fries and a shake. But it’s no ordinary hamburger that two volunteer taste-testers tucked into in London on Monday. The meat was grown in a laboratory, from cattle stem cells.
* Amazon.com CEO Jeff Bezos entered an agreement with the Washington Post Co. Monday to buy its newspaper publishing businesses for $250 million, including its flagship newspaper after decades of family ownership. The purchaser is an entity that belongs to Bezos and is not Amazon.com. Interestingly, the deal does not include more digital-leaning assets in the company’s portfolio, like Slate magazine and TheRoot.com.
* A walking, talking humanoid robot is on its way to the International Space Station, after Japan successfully launched the first “astronaut” of its kind. Its name is Kirobo — derived from the Japanese words for “hope” and “robot” — and it stands about 13-inches tall. Kirobo was part of a payload of five tons of supplies and machinery aboard a rocket launched Sunday from Tanegashima in southwestern Japan.
* Time Warner Cable proposed an immediate end to a three-day blackout of broadcast network CBS for consumers in some cities and channels like Showtime for subscribers everywhere by offering two options, neither of which CBS welcomed. Meanwhile, you subscribers of Brighthouse here in the Detroit area are CBS-less too. Tried to reach someone at the company Monday to no avail; I’ll keep trying.
* The Twitter-owned video app Vine is now on top of the Apple app store.
* Just in case you thought hydrogen fuel cell vehicles were completely out of the picture, way too 2003… well, Toyota still believes.
* After Curiosity’s first year on Mars, here’s a list of its top five discoveries.
* Speaking of Mars, meet this group of people who would be perfectly happy to relocate to Mars, knowing it would be a one-way trip.
* You thought you were mad about the NSA spying program? Wait ’til you get a load of what the DEA has been up to.
* Here’s a look at a rugged $99 handset for the AT&T network. I swear, if Verizon doesn’t do something pretty soon about the dead spot at my house…
* John Naughton writes in the Guardian that the insight that seems to have escaped most of the world’s mainstream media regarding the revelations from Edward Snowden is how the US has been able to bend nine US internet companies to its demands for access to their users’ data proving that no US-based internet company can be trusted to protect our privacy or data.
* It was always something of a childhood dream: a teddy bear that would wake up and become a real, live companion. Teddy Ruxpin, the storytelling bear with a cassette player inside, tried. Then there was the somewhat horrifying yet mysteriously wildly popular Furby. Enter Supertoy: a teddy bear currently seeking funding on Kickstarter that uses virtual-assistant-style software to hold real conversations. Think of it as Siri meets Ted, with the added ability to tell stories, and minus the ruder elements of Ted’s personality.
* Sooner or later, I wonder if one of these experiments is going to “wake up” — harnessing more than 82,000 processors on the world’s fourth-ranked supercomputer, scientists run an experiment that represents 1 percent of human brain activity.
* You might imagine that the people behind BreakUp Text, the app that breaks up with your lover for you, might have a follow-up. Here it is: MakeUp Text. It’s bound to work, of course.
* Professional social network LinkedIn is alleviating some of the headache around the job application process by letting its English-speaking members submit applications from their smartphones without the hassle of attaching a formal resume.
* Gadget alert — This slim, lightweight panel can hang off your bag or backpack, capturing the sun’s plentiful rays for endless on-the-go power, for a mere $19.99.
* Social media has now corralled 72 percent of adults in the United States, with most of the recent growth coming among older folk.
* Post-apocalyptic Matt Dept.: Here are 10 “wearable shelters” that serve as protective all-weather garments in the day and insulating dwellings at night. They might just help you survive the end of the world as we know it.