Good day, and welcome to your high tech Friday! Got a bunch of local stuff for you today, then on to the national tech stuff… And hey, don’t forget to check the Tech Report web site for more stories than can appear here. Good stuff, Maynard.
* Enjoyed a terrific Unwired Coffee Series breakfast on automotive technology Thursday at Lawrence Technological University with Tom Apostolos, president of Ricardo USA Inc., Jeff Gilbert, auto reporter at WWJ Newsradio 950, Jerry Klarr, director of innovation and strategy at AVL, and Andrew L. Pontius, chief engineering technical officer for North American Operaiotns at Faurecia Emissions Control Technologies. We talked about the limitations and future of the internal combustion engine (hint: it’s gonna be around a while), the future of autonomous vehicles (a little dispute there), hybrids and EVs and all sorts of cool auto tech. If you missed it, you can listen to the audio right here. Next month’s meeting will be on health care IT and the Affordable Care Act, which ought to be just a little interesting.
* The Engineering Society of Detroit is launching its monthly Business Over Breakfast series Tuesday, Jan. 14 at ESD headquarters, 20700 Civic Center Drive, Suite 450, in Southfield. The featured speaker? Well, that would be me, on the topic “Tech Detroit: The City’s Resurgence As A Technology Hub.” I’ll be talking the story behind the tech-based economic development that has Detroit on a lot of people’s lists of hottest tech centers on the planet. It starts at 7:30 and I’ll get you outta there shortly after 9 a.m., because I gotta work too. The series is intended for business leaders, college students, and anyone interested in learning about the latest trends and innovations. To sign up visit http://www.esd.org.
* This is neat: The Detroit business welcoming center D:hive is offering tours of the city to media visiting Detroit for the North American International Auto Show. D:hive community relations director Jeanette Pierce said in a statement that “Too often media barely scratches the surface; we want to take them deeper to see the city from a Detroiter’s perspective. Detroit is more than the auto industry and the bankruptcy, and we want to show the media what’s happening on the ground level in Detroit.” The tour takes just an hour. Media members can email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (313) 268‐6562 to schedule a free private tour. D:hive will also offer free Walking Tours and practically free bus and bar tours so the public can get a better understanding of Detroit as well. The walking tour will take place from 2 to 3 p.m. Saturdays, Jan. 18 and 25, and the “insider’s bus tour” runs 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Jan. 25. There’s also an auto show bar tour from 6 to 9 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 18.
* Eastern Michigan University will host a virtual job fair Jan. 21 to help people learn more about employment opportunities at the Ypsilanti university. EMU officials say they’re currently hiring for a range of excellent jobs, including both staff and faculty positions. The virtual fair will be held from 1 to 3 p.m. This free event will allow participants to chat one-on-one with representatives from the university in real time, all from the comfort of an online environment. To register for the job fair, visit http://www.brazenconnect.com/event/emu-career-fair or https://www.emujobs.com/ .
* Also in career fairs, Oakland University will spotlight fast-growing careers in engineering, computer science and information technology during an information session from 6 to 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 14 at the OU Anton/Frankel Center in Mount Clemens. Through this interactive event, attendees will discover the latest trends in current and emerging careers, explore bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree programs offered at Oakland University’s Rochester campus and Macomb County locations, and meet with faculty experts from information technology, computer science and various engineering fields, including electrical engineering, computer engineering, industrial and systems engineering, and mechanical engineering. In addition, OU advising staff will be on hand to provide information about transfer credits and admissions requirements. The OU Anton/Frankel Center is located at 20 South Main Street in downtown Mount Clemens. For more information or to RSVP to the event, visit oakland.edu/macomb.
* Attention Folks Up North: The Keweenaw Chamber of Commerce and the Keweenaw Economic Development Alliance, along with co-sponsors MTEC SmartZone and Keweenaw Young Professionals, are hosting the second annual Keweenaw Spark Plug Awards Dinner, a local business awards ceremony, on Thursday, Feb. 13, in Houghton. Chamber and KEDA members have the opportunity to recognize local businesses and individuals for their efforts in the 2013 calendar year. It also gives community members the opportunity to nominate a Person/Project of the Year and Young Professional of the Year. The celebration takes place at Shelden Grill, with Spark Plug awards handed out in six categories of business performance. All Spark Plug award recipients must be KEDA or Chamber members. They are chosen by the Spark Plug Award Winners Committee, made up of board members and staff from KEDA, the Chamber, MTEC SmartZone and KYP. In addition to the Spark Plug categories, awards are given to Person/Project of the Year and Young Professional of the Year. Community members can submit all nominations by visiting http://www.keweenaw.org/.
* Fenton-based 3Sixty Interactive has been named on two Top 100 industry lists, the Top 100 Best SEO Companies and Best Pay Per Click Management Companies. This is the third consecutive month that 3Sixty Interactive has been ranked on these TopSEO lists. TopSEO looks at companies from all over the world and ranks them based on needs analysis, keyword analysis, on page optimization, off page optimization and reporting methods. Of the thousands of companies analyzed, 3Sixty Interactive was ranked 72nd fest Pay Per Click Management Company and 79th best SEO company. 3Sixty Interactive has previously been featured on TopSEOs list of Top 100 agencies for Search Marketing, SEO, Integrated Search and Pay Per Click Management Consultant. More at http://www.3sixtyinteractive.com.
* Attention southwest Michigan college and university students: The Monroe-Brown Internship Program, a collaboration between Southwest Michigan First and the Monroe-Brown Foundation, has announced its 2014
internships offered by local companies to currently enrolled college students. This year’s 41 internship offerings at 31 companies include opportunities in engineering, health sciences, information technology, production planning, merchandising, architecture, interior design, human resources, marketing, sales, financial management and environmental science. Begun in 2006, the Monroe-Brown Internship Program provides interns with $5,500 in scholarship funding for college and career experience through an internship paid for and supported by the Southwest Michigan business community. A number of interns have gone on to be hired by participating companies into full-time positions upon graduation. The program’s simple formula of allowing the employer and intern to have a look at each other and see if it’s a fit has found tremendous success. The program is open to incoming juniors, seniors and graduate students at Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo College, the Kalamazoo campus of Davenport University, Michigan State University, the University of Michigan and second-year students at Kalamazoo Valley Community College. Students attending Michigan State University and University of Michigan must have attended high school in the greater Kalamazoo area. Once the intern is hired, he or she will work for the company for a minimum of 400 hours between May and September. This is typically full-time for 10 weeks, but can be customized to suit the needs of the individual companies and interns. Throughout the internship, the student will receive hourly wages, valuable networking opportunities and applied career experience. Available internships and further program details can be found and applied for on the Southwest Michigan First website at this link.
* At CES, we’ve seen new, competing smart-car “standards” announced, and multiple manufacturers tying their data-enabled cars to specific carriers. Ford CTO Paul Mascarenas shares his thoughts on these developments — and they might surprise you.
* From Slashdot: “Current laws make the driver of a car responsible for any mayhem caused by that vehicle. But what happens when there is no driver? This article argues that the dream of a self-driving car is futile since the law requires that the driver is responsible for the operation of the vehicle. Therefore, even if a car is self-driving, you as the driver must stay alert and pay attention. No texting, no reading, no snoozing. So what’s the point of a self-driving car if you can’t relax or do something else while ‘driving?'”
* Delayed one day by concern about space radiation, an Orbital Sciences Corp. Antares rocket carrying a commercially developed cargo ship blasted off Thursday and climbed into orbit, kicking off the company’s first operational flight to deliver supplies and equipment to the International Space Station.
* As if the Arctic Vortex wasn’t enough — now, a Velveeta shortage?!
* Here’s the latest on wearable tech from CES.
* Workers building a massive Samsung factory in northern Vietnam battled police and torched motorbikes on Thursday, in a rare outbreak of labor violence in the tightly controlled country. Samsung and other tech companies such as Intel and Nokia are increasingly moving production to Vietnam, where labor costs are cheaper than in neighboring China. The country’s Communist rulers are encouraging them with tax breaks, eager to move away from traditional exports of clothes, shoes and shrimps to higher value products.
* Officials in Las Vegas are harnessing the power of the sun to light the city’s iconic welcome sign. Elected officials and project leaders flipped a switch Wednesday linking solar panels on 25-foot towers to the glittering neon “Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas” sign.
* CNet’s Cheapskate is here with a list of stuff he would actually buy at CES.