So what’s the greatest and latest in the ever-evolving worlds of science and technology on the day when I head toward Michigan’s Great North to start my tour of all the great technology at some of the nation’s great research universities? Well, fasten your safety belt and let’s ride…
* First, as well as our latest report on tech-related events coming up in Michigan, staffing notices from companies and institutions on my beat, and the various awards and certifications earned by tech-related companies and institutions.
* Divers raised a coffee-table-size chunk of the Chelyabinsk meteorite from its muddy home at the bottom of Russia’s Lake Chebarkul on Wednesday (Oct. 16). The massive boulder is the largest fragment recovered so far from the Feb. 15 Russian meteor explosion over the city of Chelyabinsk that injured more than 1,000 people.
* Apple’s plans for a massive new campus in Silicon Valley that co-founder Steve Jobs likened to a spaceship have cleared a major hurdle. The San Jose Mercury News reports the City Council in Cupertino, where Apple’s current headquarters is also based, unanimously approved the estimated $5 billion project on Tuesday.
* Nifty cancer-research fundraising idea from a local startup, MyInchoftheEarth.com, the Detroit Lions and Henry Ford Health System. They plan to raise $15 million for cancer research over the next three years using the My Inch of the Earth platform to run it. You can buy an inch of Ford Field and in doing so raise money for cancer. More at http://www.myinchoftheearth.com/gameoncancer. Go. Do.
* Here’s a really cool look from NPR at the high tech behind the apple harvest in West Michigan.
* Despite what you may have heard yesterday, no, Oreo cookies aren’t as addictive as cocaine. Sheesh.
* New research shows that human impact on the climate will heavily influence marine habitats by 2100, supporting a study earlier this month that showed coral reefs could be extinct by 2050. Climate change triggered by greenhouse gas emissions will influence every corner of the world ocean by that time, the researchers say. They predict that the changes will impact the 470-870 million people who depend on the oceans for their livelihoods.
* Square launched a free service Tuesday that lets anyone send money via email to anyone else. The service, known as Square Cash, was previously available only in an invite-only beta. For now, at least, it is only available in the United States. Western Union, your days of high fees are numbered.
* A NASA plan to launch the world’s largest solar sail into space and unfurl it like a giant parasol has passed a major test as the mission moves closer to a planned January 2015 launch. Sunjammer mission successfully deployed part of its huge solar sail in a test on Sept. 30, revealing the craft should be ready to function successfully following its January 2015 launch.
* Here’s a look at the newest and coolest in wearable tech.
* Facebook said Wednesday that teens can share their posts publicly for the first time, but the default privacy setting for new users will limit their sharing to friends only.
* One of the things that’s gotten lost with the popularity of streaming TV shows and movies is the extra features that come on DVDs. But those days may not be so bygone on Netflix. At the GigaOm Mobilize conference in San Francisco, Todd Yellin, vice president of product innovation at Netflix, said that the company will bring those DVD-style extras to its original programming.
* After eight years as the longest-serving leader of the National Security Agency, Gen. Keith Alexander will be making his exit sometime in spring 2014, according to a report. Alexander, who has been in charge of the NSA since August 2005, is expected to depart the agency in March or April of next year, US officials told Reuters on the condition of anonymity.
* ”Star Wars” fans who want to get a close-up look at some of the films’ original history should make their way to Silicon Valley before February. This weekend, the Tech Museum of Innovation here begins showcasing “Star Wars: Where Science Meets Imagination,” an exhibit that has been traveling the country for the last eight years and is now making its final stop, almost in George Lucas’ backyard. Visitors to the show, which runs through February 23, 2014, will get an up-close view of 70 original artifacts from the six “Star Wars” movies, including costumes, models, props, and more.
* Personally I think the guy acts like a blithering idiot, based on his actions as a sports team owner, but the jury says Mark Cuban did not sell his shares in a search engine based on insider information. Well, alrighty then.
* Those nasty, abusive comments left on news articles aren’t the responsibility of the news site… or are they? Well, maybe only in Europe. The European Court of Human Rights ruled Wednesday that DelfiSA, a popular Estonian news site, is responsible for a slew of threatening and offensive comments left on one of its stories, according to The Wall Street Journal.
* Thanks to recent advances in genome sequencing that allow scientists to analyze DNA faster and more affordably than ever before, scientists at Washington University in St. Louis say it may someday be possible to perform a single test to screen for a wide range of cancer types.
* Alarmed at the potential threat to a free press posed by aggressive attitudes toward leakers and by the National Security Agency’s seemingly boundless spying powers, eBay founder Pierre Omidyar is set to pour at least $250 million into a new kind of journalism outfit. The eBay founder, who with projects like community news site Civil Beat has previously moved into journalistic territory, has tapped Glenn Greenwald to help build a team of “independent journalists with expertise, and a voice, and a following” who can practice the art of deep-dive investigative reporting.
* Meanwhile, here’s a new way for whistleblowers to communicate really anonymously with jouralists.
* Well, this blows me away: Most parents say they start allowing their kids unsupervised use of the Internet at age 8.