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Matt’s Favorites: Big ‘Pink Slip Party,’ Google Hates Great Lakes For High Speed, And Much More

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Auroras light up the skies over Mount Washington in New Hampshire in the early morning hours of Feb. 20, 2014. MOUNT WASHINGTON OBSERVATORY

Auroras light up the skies over Mount Washington in New Hampshire in the early morning hours of Feb. 20, 2014. MOUNT WASHINGTON OBSERVATORY

(credit: istock) Technology Report
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So it’s Friday again, and it’s actually going to be above freezing, so of course we’re at risk for catastrophic flooding, since there’s about three feet of snow everywhere from Maine to Tennessee to the Rockies. So make sure your rowboat is ready on the roof, and check out the latest tech news from around Michigan and the entire planet!

* Detroitnet.org, the agenda-free networking group for information technology  professionals in the Detroit area, will hold its bi-annual Pink Slip Party at St Andrew’s Hall in Detroit on March 13 (that’s 313 day!) from 5 to 9 p.m. Although anyone in the IT industry is welcome, the invitation is extended specifically to professionals and jobseekers in IT and professionals interested in this growing field. As always, the event is free, there will be no speakers, and names will not be sold. Recruiters and hiring managers will be tagged with a lanyard and the open-floor concept is highly conducive to networking and interaction. Job seekers are asked to merely bring business cards as resumes are not being accepted. There will be an open bar and light snacks will be provided. Recruiters and hiring managers are being asked to RSVP to detroitnet@gmail.com. There is no cost. More at http://www.detroitnet.org, and mais oui they’re on LinkedIn as DetroitNet.org and Twitter at http://twitter.com/detroitnet.

* The University of Michigan Dearborn will host a March 13 “Distinguished Lecturer Workshop” on wireless power transfer at the UM-D Institute for Advanced Vehicle Systems, 4901 Evergreen Road in Dearborn. The workshop is sponsored by IEEE, ANSYS, and the GATE Center for Electric Drive Transportation. Seven distinguished speakers will discuss the latest progress in wireless charging for electric vehicle applications. Topics include wireless charging systems for EVs; the research and development history of “Online Electric Vehicles,” or OLEVs; simulation-driven product development for wireless power transfer; optimization of a high power wireless EV charger; methods for the study of wireless power transfer; how to create an ecosystem for dynamic wireless charging of electrified vehicles; recent advances in circuit topologies, mathematical modeling, and system design, control, and implementation; and coupled electromagnetic and thermal simulation for high power wireless power transfer. To register, visit http://www.cvent.com/d/74q1q1/1Q. The cost of $100 includes breakfast, lunch and an evening reception.

* Adtegrity.com (Pink Sheets: ADTY), a Grand Rapids-based company specializing in Internet advertising networks and services, reported net income of $899,799 on revenue of $17.98 million, up from net income of $840,555 on revenue of $20.01 million in 2012. The company also increased its employee count to 43 – a net increase of seven compared to this time last year. Adtegrity reported serving more than 69.4 billion ad impressions during the fourth quarter, resulting in 37.5 million clicks and 1.7 million conversions for Adtegrity.com advertisers. Founded in 1999, Adtegrity.com’s primary business is the delivery of interactive advertising and marketing services. Adtegrity currently delivers billions of advertisements across thousands of websites each month.  For more information, visit http://www.adtegrity.com.

* In case you didn’t think the facilities at the University of Michigan were fantastic enough, a couple of huge building projects have been approved. First, a $135 million construction project will provide room to grow for the University of Michigan’s Stephen M. Ross School of Business, including construction of a new academic building and a comprehensive renovation of the Kresge Business Administration Library. To make way for the new construction, the Computer and Executive Education Building will be demolished. In addition, the project includes the addition of exterior building finishes to Sam Wyly Hall, the Business Administration Executive Residence and the Hill Street Parking Structure to create a unified look for the business school facilities. The new building will include 104,000 square feet of space. Renovation work will cover 75,000 square feet. The entire project will be financed by gifts, including a $100 million gift from New York real estate developer and UM alumnus Stephen M. Ross. The Ross School project will add classrooms, study space, faculty research and office space and improve nonacademic operations to improve the student experience with added space for admissions, financial aid, student life functions and on-site recruiting students. Since 2004 enrollment at the Ross School has grown 25 percent to 3,500 students. Then there’s a new teaching, research and museum facility for the biological sciences. The $261 million project will bring together the Department of Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology and the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, now housed in Kraus Hall and the Ruthven Museums Building. The museums of Anthropology, Natural History, Paleontology and Zoology also will move into the new space. The 300,000-square-foot Biological Science Building will house the research laboratories, associated support functions, offices and classrooms of the two departments. Funding will be provided from the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts, and Office of the Provost resources. The building will sit adjacent to the Life Sciences Institute, where both North Hall and the Museums Annex currently exist. Those buildings will be demolished, pending approval by the Regents. The new building also will have a connection to LSI to increase utilization of its dock.

* IT consultants C/D/H, with offices in Grand Rapids and Royal Oak, announced that Amy Moore has been promoted from consultant to director of client service for applications. The company said the new role comes about as the firm realigns itself to meet the growing need for SharePoint services in Michigan, with nearly every client requiring a SharePoint system. This announcement comes on the heels of Sue Cotts being named the firm’s first female partner in January. Amy is now the second woman in a leadership position at the firm in an industry that is famously male-dominated. Women now hold two of the five leadership spots at the technology consulting company. With this position, Moore will have additional resposibilities outside of her consultant role to expand this business offering, hire talented people, assure quality service, and assist with the firm’s strategic direction for future growth. Moore joined the firm in 2011 when C/D/H purchased Plante & Moran’s web development and SharePoint team. She has more than 15 years of consulting experience in website and application development, including analysis, design, implementation, and project management. Moore is a Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist and a frequent speaker at the Southeast Michigan SharePoint Users Group (SEMSUG) and SharePoint Saturday. She holds an MBA and a bachelor of science in computer science from Lawrence Technological University. For more information visit http://www.cdh.com.

* Troy-based SunTel Services this week announced personnel changes, a restructured marketing department and expanded sales force. Michele DeLuca has joined SunTel as director of marketing, where she will lead the new marketing department. She has more than12 years of sales, sales management and marketing experience in the telecommunications industry, having worked previously with AT&T and Cable & Wireless Communications. Betty Lieb was recently promoted to marketing administrator for the marketing department. Lieb has 23 years of experience working with SunTel in a variety of support roles for the executive and sales teams. Casey Christensen has also joined SunTel as an account manager. Christensen has more than six years of telecommunications experience, having worked most recently with Altura Communication Solutions. SunTel provides unified communication products and services to more than 1,000 customers. The company holds key partnerships and certifications with industry technology leaders, such as Adtran, APC, Avaya, Blue Coat Systems, Citrix, Cisco, Dell, Fortinet, HP, Juniper Networks, Microsoft, Mitel, Polycom and VMware. It has branch offices in Detroit, Flint, Grand Rapids and Traverse City. More at http://www.suntel.com.

* The University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business has issued a call for submissions for the first annual Positive Business Project. The project is a contest that aims to identify, profile and showcase exceptional business leaders that make a positive difference in their work. UM is seeking video stories of how business practices can make a positive difference in the world while driving great bottom-line outcomes. The project is part of the first annual Positive Business Conference, which will take place May 15-17 in Ann Arbor. Finalists will be showcased at the event, where a grand prize winner will be named. Submissions for the first annual Positive Business Project are now being accepted in the form of an original two-to-three minute amateur video highlighting positive business practices in the workplace. The video can focus on an individual or the company as a whole, and multiple individuals from the same company can submit entries. Finalists will be selected based upon the extent to which the video illustrates positive business practices, originality and creativity and overall workplace impact. Submissions will be judged by an independent panel of experts with scholarly and practical experience with positive business practices. Submit a video entry at http://bit.ly/PositiveBusinessProjectSubmit. For more information, official rules or to submit, visit http://www.positivebusinessproject.com; for more information on the Positive Business Conference, visit http://positivebusinessconference.com.

* Truven Health Analytics announced the release of enhancements to its Micromedex CareNotes, part of the Micromedex Patient Connect Suite. The enhancements feature workflow improvements to save clinicians time, enriched imagery to improve the patient experience, and a redesign of medication instructions to make educating and engaging patients even easier. To learn more about Micromedex CareNotes, visit http://www.micromedex.com, or call (800) 525-9083, option 4 and ask to learn about CareNotes Patient Education solutions.

* Walsh College is challenging high school and community college students to think outside the box by participating in the third annual Walsh College Blackstone LaunchPad Make it Better Competition. With a Friday, Feb. 28 deadline looming, the competition asks 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. Ten cash prizes, including two $500 awards will be presented, along with Apple gift cards. Competition applications are still available and 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.

* Michigan Virtual University has hired Kathryn Kennedy to its team of researchers within the Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute. MVLRI serves multiple roles to support Michigan’s students, parents, schools, K-12 and postsecondary educators and state and local policy makers. Housed at Michigan Virtual University and headquartered in Lansing, MVLRI draws upon recognized state and national leaders from K-12 schools, higher education and private industry to provide research, evaluation and development expertise. Before joining the Michigan Virtual University team, Kennedy was research director for the International Association for K-12 Online Learning. She facilitates a national webinar series and blog, both of which are dedicated to featuring the latest research and its implications for practice in K-12 blended and online learning. Prior to her position at INACOL, she worked as a university professor at Georgia Southern University’s College of Education, preparing preservice and inservice teachers to integrate technology and teach in online and blended learning environments. Kennedy earned her Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction with a concentration in educational technology from the University of Florida. For more information about Kennedy or MVLRI, please visit http://www.mvlri.org.

And now, the national and global stuff…

* Google announced it’s considering 34 more cities for its ultra high speed Internet service. But look at this map. It’s like it’s purposely avoiding anything within 500 miles of a Great Lake. Was it something we said? Signed, Chicago, Minneapolis, Milwaukee, Grand Rapids, Indianapolis, Cleveland, Detroit, Duluth, Columbus, etc. etc. etc. Jeez, you’d think they’d at least be looking at Ann Arbor, where they have a good-sized office…

* In today’s wired world, buying a cup of coffee no longer requires pulling out your wallet. Instead, you can use your smartphone. Companies have developed a variety of approaches to mobile payments. But how safe are they? CBS News takes a look. 

* An internet security firm based in Toronto managed to track the exact locations of Tinder users, down to a 100-foot radius — a precision that many users of the popular dating app might find unnerving.

* The northern lights spilled over into New England Wednesday night and Thursday morning, courtesy of an eruption on the sun that supercharged a geomagnetic storm.  From the top of the Northeast’s highest peak, a night observer at New Hampshire’s Mount Washington Observatory snapped pictures of the greenish glow of auroras around 1 a.m. Eastern time and then again just after 2 a.m.

* Speaking of mountaintop observatories, here’s the ultimate — Hawaii’s Mauna Kea.

* Facebook (FB) is buying mobile messaging service WhatsApp for $19 billion in cash and stock, by far the company’s largest acquisition and bigger than any that Google, Microsoft or Apple have ever done. And let’s meet Silicon Valley’s newest billionaires. Jan Koum once relied on food stamps. Brian Acton was rejected by Facebook and Twitter. My, how things can change.

* It certainly didn’t feel this way in much of the eastern U.S., but across the globe, January 2014 was the 4th warmest January on record. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reported Thursday that Earth was 1.17 degrees warmer in January than the 20th century average. Since records began in 1880, only 2002, 2003 and 2007 started off warmer than this year.

* For the second time in two weeks, Adobe delivers a quick fix for a Flash flaw. Meanwhile, Microsoft patches Internet Explorer with a stopgap measure.

* Sure, electric cars will never make it. Tesla Motors (TSLA), led by billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk, posted better-than-expected fourth-quarter results on Wednesday and said deliveries of its Model S electric sedan would surge more than 55 percent this year. Tesla shares were up 16 percent at $224.62 in extended trade, a day after the stock pushed to an all-time high after the San Francisco Chronicle reported that Musk met with Apple’s (AAPL) head of mergers and acquisitions in 2013.

* The PC business didn’t suck nearly as bad as feared, and Hewlett-Packard’s first quarter benefited as a result. The company sees strong enterprise demand for PCs as Windows XP systems are tossed.

* Overall, the wireless purchase experience is getting better. But as with most rankings, there’s one company that wins and many more that lose. This time around, AT&T is the winner. In J.D. Power’s 2014 study on wireless purchase experiences, AT&T scored the top ranking, earning a score of 806 out of a possible 1,000. That was just above the industrywide average of 798 points. Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon followed, in that order, with 797 points, 796 points, and 792 points, respectively.

* A space-based X-ray telescope has detected the glow of radioactive titanium created in the catastrophic death throes of a distant star, shedding new light on the mechanisms that may be responsible for destroying massive suns and creating the heavy elements that give the cosmos its substance, scientists said.

* The online version of Microsoft Office has a new name, along with some new features intended to streamline certain activities. Why the name change? In a blog post on Wednesday, Office Online product marketing manager Amanda Lefebvre acknowledged that the name Office Web Apps confused users. Some apparently thought they had venture to an app store to find the software and then manually install it.

* It’s been tested on only a handful of kids, but using MRI with a diagnostic dye to look for cancer may work just as well as using PET and CT scans, which expose kids to radiation.

*Wurm Online, a massive multiplayer online role-playing game, has been down since a distributed denial-of-service attack on Tuesday. In a DDoS attack, computers left online infected with malware are instructed to bombard a website with traffic until it crashes. But Wurm has turned the tables, offering a $13,000 bounty for identification of the idiots responsible.

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