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Matt’s Favorites: Social Media And Sports In Detroit, Tons Of Earths, And Much More

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mattroush Matt Roush
Matt Roush joined WWJ Newsradio 950 in September 2001 to spearhead the...
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So what’s the latest and greatest on what may be our last 60-degree day for a while? Fan yourself from the heat and enjoy these dandies…

* First of all, here are links to the Tech Report home page and Tech Report Page Two, as well as our latest reports on tech-related HR notices in Michigan and tech-related events and meetings.

* And our next Unwired tech breakfast at Lawrence Technological University, coming up Nov. 14, is going to be a doozy. We’ll be looking at using social media to boost your business — with about the most fun business imaginable, professional sports. Yep, we’ve got the social media managers of the Lions, Red Wings and Pistons coming in, talking how they connect with fans online with social media. Register at http://www.cbsdetroit.com/techevents. See you at 8 a.m.! Free coffee and donuts and sports marketing ideas!

Stars with Earth-like planets may be the rule rather than the exception, scientists announced Monday. Data collected by NASA’s Kepler space telescope indicates one in five sun-like stars in the Milky Way galaxy likely hosts an Earth-size planet in the habitable zone where life as it is known on Earth can, in theory, exist. Put another way: That could be 28 billion Earthlike planets — in this galaxy alone.

* Where to, mister? None of your business! An Internet security firm says a limousine software company has been hacked, exposing credit card numbers and potentially embarrassing details about close to 1 million customers, including politicians, star athletes and corporate executives. Alex Holden, chief information security officer of Milwaukee-based Hold Security, says he discovered the breach at Corporatecaronline more than a month ago. He said he informed the owner of the Kirkwood, Mo.-based software company that customers’ credit card numbers, pickup and drop-off information, and other personal details had been stolen.

* With commercial space flight on the horizon, a Pennsylvania training center offers would-be astronauts a chance to experience the rigors of blasting off. Cnet sister site SmartPlanet investigates.

* Also, CNet really likes the Google Nexus 5.  And here I just got a new Motorola Droid Moto X from Verizon. Like it a lot, too.

* And in the There’s Still Room For Amateurs To Do Cool Things In Science Dept., a 10-year-old Canadian boy has discovered a 600-million-year-old supernova.

* Valve has unveiled a prototype of its Steam Machine — a new kind of gaming console that leverages Valve’s Steam software. The video game developer and distribution company is known for blockbuster games, like “Half-Life,” “Counter-Strike” and “Portal.” Its Steam software is one of the most popular ways to purchase a video game through the Internet — and now it’s providing another alternative to consoles like the Xbox One and PlayStation 3. The Steam Machine is a powerful gaming computer that will run Steam’s open-source operating system.

* A record number of starfish are dying along the West Coast, as a disease turns their arms into “goo.” The animals, also known as sea stars, are falling victim to sea star wasting disease. It causes white lesions to develops along their arms, which slowly spread and cause their arms to disintegrate.

* The Supreme Court has left in place the settlement of a class-action lawsuit against Facebook over a marketing program that broadcast users’ purchasing and shopping habits to their friends. The justices declined Monday to review the $9.5 million settlement of a lawsuit about the now-shuttered Beacon marketing program. The money from the settlement was used to pay lawyers and set up an Internet privacy foundation. Surprise, surprise: Almost none of it reached Facebook users.

* Novelty foods are all the rage. Just look at the cronut craze that hit New York earlier this fall, with fans shelling out upwards of $100 and waiting hours in line for a taste of the new twist on the breakfast staple. Now, a British foodie has unveiled what might become the next cronut: glow-in-the-dark ice cream. Sounds nifty, until you hear that the reason it glows it’s because it’s got jellyfish protein in it.

* India is aiming to join the world’s deep-space pioneers with a journey to Mars that it hopes will showcase its technological ability to explore the solar system while seeking solutions for everyday problems on Earth. With a Tuesday launch planned for Mangalyaan, which means “Mars craft” in Hindi, India will attempt to become only the fourth country or group of countries to reach the Red Planet, after the Soviet Union, United States and Europe.

Motorola’s next big smartphone is right around the corner. The Google-owned company sent out save-the-date invitations for the launch of its Moto G smartphone on Nov. 13. There aren’t many details beyond the invitation, which features an artsy globe with the Motorola “M” logo on it.

* The wife of Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos expressed her dissatisfaction with a recent book about the company’s history in an appropriate fashion: She wrote a one-star customer review on the book’s product page on Amazon. MacKenzie Bezos, a published author herself, posted the review titled, “I wanted to like this book,” on Monday. Spotted by The New York Times, the review questions the accuracy of the book written by Bloomberg Businessweek journalist Brad Stone.

* Nintendo has announced that it will finally be stocking its stripped down, $99 Wii Mini console on US store shelves later this month. The Wii Mini, which debuted in Canada shortly after the official Wii U launch last fall, has seen launches in a number of other markets, most recently the UK in March. With Wii U sales tepid, only spiking recently thanks to a significant price cut, Nintendo has its eyes set on expansion.

* Folks in the Pentagon appear to be rethinking the idea that one person should be in charge of both the NSA and the United States’ cyberoperations. Top military officials are considering separating the role of National Security Agency director and the head of Cyber Command, a former high-ranking administration official on Monday told The Hill.

* In the not-too-distant future, it is quite likely that most interactions between patients and the health care system will happen online, according to researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, who partnered with The Commonwealth Fund to review recent trends in digital health care as well as scientific literature.

AT&T had a good weekend thanks to the iPad. The carrier said that iPad activations over the past three days rose more than 200 percent over last year’s launch weekend, as customers signed up for plans for the newiPad Air.

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