So what’s the newsiest tech and science news at midweek? Hang on to your periodic tables, kids, here we go!
* And then there’s this Thursday’s uber-cool event at Lawrence Technological University on Detroit’s comeback. The panel will be Nico Gatzaros, COO, 400 Monroe Properties, Fishbones, America’s Greenline; Ryan Hoyle, director of global recruiting at GalaxE Solutions; Gabe Karp, partner at Detroit Venture Partners, LLC; Greg Schwarz, co-founder and CEO of UPTO.COM; and Derek Weaver, president of the 4731 Group, It all starts at 8 a.m. and it’s all free. More and registration at http://www.cbsdetroit.com/techevents.
* It’s barely fall and here’s a hopeful sign of spring: Nominations are open for the annual Michigan Celebrates Small Business event. Next year’s gala to celebrate entrepreneurship in the state will be held May 6 at the Lansing Center. More at http://www.michigancelebrates.biz.
* Detroit-based Parjana Distribution LLC has been awarded a $99,000 contract at Belle Isle by Royal Oak-based H2Opportunities to test the use of its DrainAge technology for removing standing stormwater and injecting it back into the earth. Read the story from my ol’ pals at Crain’s (but not too often or you’ll have to subscribe).
* Hello, Mr. Fusion? The BBC is reporting that a California lab has succeeded in producing a fusion reaction that breaks even energywise — producing as much power output as it takes to get the fusion started.
* Francois Englert of Belgium and Peter Higgs of Britain won the 2013 Nobel Prize in physics on Tuesday for their theory on how the most basic building blocks of the universe acquire mass, eventually forming the world we know today. Their concept was confirmed last year by the discovery of the so-called Higgs particle, also known as the Higgs boson, at CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research in Geneva, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences said.
* Yahoo’s free email service is becoming a bit more like Google’s Gmail as part of its second makeover in less than a year. The similarities to Gmail probably aren’t coincidental. Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer helped design some of Gmail’s features while she was a top executive at Google Inc. Since its debut nearly a decade ago, Gmail has grown into the world’s most popular email service.
* Sending astronauts to Mars aboard a superfast spacecraft powered by nuclear fusion may seem like a sci-fi dream, but it’s entirely attainable, scientists say. The physics behind a fusion-driven rocket have been demonstrated in the laboratory, so such a device may well be propelling people on 90-day trips to the Red Planet in a matter of decades, according to a team of researchers working on the technology.
* The Chromebook family just got a little bigger. Google on Tuesday introduced the Chromebook 11 from Hewlett-Packard. The $279 laptop utilizes a Samsung dual-core Exynos processor — commonly found in smartphones and tablets — and it comes in different colors, features a microUSB port for charging, and sports an improved display. There is a 4G version, although HP hasn’t announced the price of that device. It is available today.
* High-profile document leaks and shutdown-spawned worker shortages aren’t the only problems plaguing the National Security Agency. A series of electrical explosions destroyed hundreds of thousands of dollars’ worth of equipment at the spy outfit’s new data center and pushed back completion of the facility by a year, says a report.
* Tony Fadell, the man who is making home thermostats, well, cool, is at it again, this time with the release of Nest Protect, the company’s “smart” smoke detector. Fadell, the founder and CEO of Nest who once ran Apple’s iPod division and was part of Steve Jobs’ inner circle, is trying one by one to reinvent devices around the house that, as he puts it, are “unloved.” Here’s a Q&A of Fadell at News.com.
* Just in case you do hit the right six numbers some random Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday or Saturday, here’s what $20.8 million buys you: the new Lear jet.
* Imagine trying to order a bagel on a normal New York day when an angry woman takes her fury out on a man by slamming him against a wall — using nothing but her mental powers. You’d freak out, right? Thanks to Laughing Squid, a promotional video for the forthcoming remake of “Carrie” shows just that and it’s spreading like wildfire on the Internet.
* President Barack Obama has decided against vetoing a possible ban on Samsung products. Samsung requested the Obama administration veto a court-ordered ban on Samsung products that US International Trade Commission ruled infringe on two Apple patents. Bloomberg was first to report on the news on Tuesday.
* With today’s Smart Farm announcement, gardening start-up Click & Grow unveils a plan to revolutionize both the way we view fresh food and how we access it. At first glance, gardening might not seem high-tech or particularly smart, but we’re following it closely anyway. Why? It’s simple – while a raised flower bed outside or a potted herb plant on your porch is very nearly the opposite of smart technology, recent developments in sensor technology and the ubiquity of the smart phone for viewing data can take some of the mystery and difficulty out of growing your own plants and vegetables.
* Some investors who were hoping to cash in on Twitter’s forthcoming IPO probably felt like twits after they learned they accidentally bought shares in Tweeter, a bankrupted home electronics company. Last week, in the wake of Twitter’s formal filing of its intention to go public and its selection of the ticker symbol TWTR, investors inexplicably bid up the penny stock of Tweeter Home Electronics Group, a bankrupt home electronics chain with the symbol TWTRQ, more than 1,800 percent. Today, Tweeter’s symbol has been officially changed to THEGQ, and its share price has returned to about a penny, where it had been consistently idling for some time prior to Twitter’s filing of its S-1.
* Here’s a new app that turns a picture of your face into a three-dimensional image, giving you a much better idea of what your next pair of glasses will look like on you.