So how is everybody at midweek? I’m surviving. TONS of cool tech news this week, eh? And here are a couple of local tidbits, and then the national highlights…
* Mark your calendars how for our next Unwired Coffee Series event at Lawrence Technological University — it’s Thursday, Feb. 13 at 7:30 a.m. The theme is “Health Care – Effects Of The Affordable Care Act, nad Advanced Health Technologies Like Electronic Medical Records and Health Information Exchanges.” Yeah, health care has been just a little bit in the news lately, and there’s plenty of technology involved. Panelists include Mark Bennett, president, MJBennett PLLC; David Fuehrer, President, CureLauncher; Jim Giordano, CEO of CareTech Solutions; and Subra Sripada, Executive Vice President, Chief Administrative and Information Officer, Beaumont Health System. Sponsors are LTU, Comerica Bank, Gerry Weinberg & Associates and Strategic Staffing Solutions. It starts with networking at 7:30 a.m. and the program from 8 to 9, and of course it’s all free. Sign up athttp://www.cbsdetroit.com/techevents.
* If you’d like to see some very cool behind the scenes video of how the electricians of the National Electrical Contractors Association – Southeast Michigan and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 58 get the North American International Auto Show ready, click here.
* High school and community college students across Michigan are invited to join Walsh College students and alumni by participating in the third annual Walsh College Blackstone LaunchPad Make it Better Competition. The competition requires individuals to describe in 1,000 words or less how they would redesign an existing product or service, or develop a new one to help improve the quality of people’s lives or make the state of Michigan or their community a better place to live. A total of 10 cash prizes, including two $500 top awards will be presented, along with four Apple gift cards. Competition applications may be obtained by contacting Diane Fisher at (248) 823-1670 or by visiting http://www.walshcollege.edu/blackstonelaunchpad. Entries must be received by 5 p.m. Friday, Feb. 28. Winners will be announced in April.
* SME, the manufacturing promotion group formerly known as the Society of Manufacturing Engineers, has received a $40,000 grant from the New Economy Initiative of Southeast Michigan to share NASA technologies with regional businesses. The SME Technology Interchange, featuring NASA Technologies, will be held on Wednesday, Feb. 19 at the College for Creative Studies in Detroit. The forum will bring together a broad community of stakeholders from industry, academia, and the U.S. government to engage in strategy development, partnership building and implementation of ways to foster technology collaboration and innovation. The 25 NASA technologies to be shared are ready for co-development, collaboration and commercialization with Detroit-area companies. These technologies should be of particular interest to the market segments of advanced energy, automotive and innovative manufacturing. More information on the event is available at http://www.sme.org/smetech.
* Detroit-based Quizzle.com, the credit and finance education site established by Detroit’s Quicken Loans, has adopted VantageScore 3.0 from Stamford, Conn.-based VantageScore Solutions. The move means Quizzle.com will provide free credit scores to its users. Introduced in March 2013, VantageScore 3.0 is the first credit score model to be built on post-recessionary data, and thus has the ability to generate a credit score for 30 million to 35 million more consumers than traditional credit scoring methodologies. Quizzle.com also integrates information powered by VantageScore Solutions through ReasonCode.org, which allows consumers to search specific reason codes to receive deeper explanations and tips for addressing credit behaviors that negatively impact their credit score.
* Right on schedule after hibernating for 31 months in the cold of deep space, the European Space Agency’s solar powered Rosetta probe, finally returning to the light and warmth of the inner solar system, woke itself up and phoned home Monday, a major milestone in a $1.7 billion attempt to orbit a comet and place an instrumented lander on its icy surface.
* An increasing number of electric-vehicle driving employees at Silicon Valley companies are finding it hard to access car-charging stations at work, creating incidents of “charge rage” among drivers. Installation of electric vehicle charging ports at some companies has not kept pace with soaring demand, creating thorny etiquette issues in the workplace, the San Jose Mercury News reported.
* TV channels must be starting to feel the sting as more subscribers opt for video streaming services. New data from global information company The NPD Group shows that television channel subscriptions fell 6 percent in the last two years, while streaming services grew 4 percent.
* Amazon.com has filed for a patent for a shipping system that would anticipate what customers buy to decrease shipping time. Amazon says the shipping system works by analyzing customer data like, purchasing history, product searches, wish lists and shopping cart contents, theWall Street Journal reports.
* And even though I’m a PC guy, I’d sincerely like to wish a happy 30th birthday to the Macintosh.
* Even Verizon is starting to feel the heat of the price war in the mobile phone biz. Verizon Chief Financial Officer Fran Shammo acknowledged on Tuesday during a conference call with investors that the company is “seeing a certain segment of our base is responding to competitive offers,” adding that the company would “respond accordingly.” The comments underscore the increasing industry pressure hitting all of the carriers, largely driven by an aggressive T-Mobile.
* Apple could reveal record iPhone sales when it announces its December quarter results next week. In an investors note out Tuesday, Morgan Stanley analyst Katy Huberty said she expects unit sales of 54 million to 55 million for the final quarter of 2013, aka Apple’s first fiscal quarter of 2014. That’s slightly higher than the Wall Street consensus of around 53 million units. In contrast, Apple sold 47.8 million iPhones in the first fiscal quarter of 2013.
* This strikes me as a pretty broad trademark: The company behind “Candy Crush” has been granted a copyright on the use of the word “candy” in games and clothing. Watch out, Candy Land!
* Sony’s next flagship smartphone, believed to be codenamed “Sirius,” will come with 4K video recording, according to a new report. Xperia Blog, a site that follows Sony’s mobile moves, published images purporting to come from the device’s software. Among the features was a mention of 4K Ultra HD video recording, as well as a timeshifting feature, allowing users to automatically apply slow-motion effects.
* The hottest toys and top gadgets due to be lining your nearest Toys R Us were given their public debut at the Toy Fair in London. Among the building blocks and train sets, movie and TV show tie-in toys, as well as gaming merchandise dominated many of the stands.
* Windows 8.1 isn’t getting a lot of love from Hewlett-Packard. The computer maker has begun offering a handful of desktop and laptop PCs running Windows 7, touting the older operating system as “back by popular demand.” To spur sales, HP is also offering the Core i5- and i7-powered machines at a $150 discount.
* From Slashdot.org: A Google Glass user was interrogated without legal counsel for a couple of hours undersuspicion that he may have been recording a film in the AMC movie theater. Although the matter could have been cleared in minutes, federal agents insisted on interrogating the user for hours. Overzealous feds, what a concept!