AT&T Expands Expands 4G Network

DETROIT — AT&T Inc. said it is now covering more of several areas of Michigan with improved 4G LTE service.

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MSU, Marathon Team Up To Help STEM Students

EAST LANSING — Michigan State University and Marathon Petroleum Corp. celebrated a new partnership and a $150,000 commitment for underrepresented and underprepared students in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM).

Marathon Petroleum’s support will strengthen the Engineering and Science Success Academy (ESSA) at MSU – a seven-week residential program administered by the Diversity Programs Office in the College of Engineering.

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FCA US Launches Bug Bounty Program For Vehicle Cybersecurity

AUBURN HILLS — FCA US LLC, the American arm of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, has launched a “bug bounty” financial reward system for the discovery of potential vehicle cybersecurity vulnerabilities.

Individuals will be paid up to a $1,500 bounty per bug discovered, depending on its impact and severity.

FCA also named the crowdsourced security testing firm Bugcrowd Inc. to manage the program.

For a video on how Bugcrowd works, visit  https://youtu.be/LEyYDwXJDMc.

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M2 TechCast Talks Mobile Apps, Data Centers, Consulting

ROYAL OAK –The Monday, July 11 M2 TechCast podcast is all about mobile and data centers.

Matt Roush and Mike Brennan, co-hosts of the hour-long weekly podcast on all things technological in Michigan, will interview Linda Daiscendt, CEO of the Mobile Technology Association of Michigan, about her organization, as well as a Mobile Monday Detroit program this evening about virtual reality devices connected to smartphones.

Other guests on the show, which begins at 3 p.m. Eastern time at http://www.podcastdetroit.com, are to include Robert Sanders, CEO of the Troy managed services provider ManagedWay, about the company’s latest data center, and Randy Richardville, former majority leader of the Michigan Senate, who has opened a new consulting business.

For more information, check out this link.

The M2 TechCast is hosted by Brennan, founder and publisher of Michigan Technology News, http://www.mitechnews.com, and Roush, director of the university news bureau at Lawrence Technological University in Southfield. Both have covered high-tech in Michigan as journalists for more than 20 years. The M2 TechCast airs live on the internet at 3 p.m. Eastern time Mondays at http://www.podcastdetroit.com. Past podcasts are available on demand at http://www.podcastdetroit.com/artist/mi-tech-cast.

The M2 TechCast is part of Podcast Detroit, a network of more than 40 locally produced podcasts on a wide variety of topics, anchored by IT in the D. the nation’s No. 1 tech podcast, which regularly draws more than 500,000 listeners a week. IT in the D airs live Monday nights from 9 to 11 p.m. Eastern time.

Visteon Completes Acquisition Of Indian Software Firm

VAN BUREN TWP. — Visteon Corp. (NYSE: VC) announced the completion of its acquisition of AllGo Embedded Systems Pvt. Ltd., an India-based leading supplier of embedded multimedia and smartphone connectivity software.

The two companies announced plans for the transaction on Jan. 12.

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AT&T Brings Faster Network To More Of West Michigan

DETROIT — AT&T Inc. Friday announced it had activated an upgrade to bring faster speeds to more than 65 cell sites in Kent, Ottawa, Cass and Allegan counties and surrounding areas.

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$2M Gift To Fund Bridge Research At MSU

EAST LANSING — The largest single donation ever given to Michigan State University’s Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering will enhance research focused on the nation’s strained transportation infrastructure.

A couple from the Greater Lansing Area has designated $2 million of their estate to fund an endowed faculty chair with an emphasis on bridge research.

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UM Researchers See Smaller Algae Bloom In Lake Erie For 2016

ANN ARBOR — Dry weather sometimes has a benefit. This year, for Michigan’s waterways, that includes a noticeable improvement in the appearance of Lake St. Clair due to fewer storm-related flows of raw sewage into the lake — and for Lake Erie, the University of Michigan and federal officials now predict a less severe algal bloom this summer.

The outlook reflects less discharge from the Maumee River thanks to a return of normal rainfall patterns in the spring and a dry June, creating a return to an average nutrient runoff into the lake.

The 2016 bloom is expected to measure 5.5 on the severity index, but could range anywhere between 3.0 and 7.0. The forecast is similar to conditions last seen from 2008 to 2010, although the bloom may be as small as that seen in the relatively mild year of 2004.

This year’s forecast was issued by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

The severity index is based on a bloom’s biomass — the amount of its harmful algae. An index above 5.0 indicates blooms of concern. The extreme bloom of 2011 was a 10. Last year’s was 10.5, the greatest on record.

This year’s bloom is expected to first appear in late July and increase in August in the far western basin of Lake Erie. The location and effects will depend on prevailing winds. During calm winds, some areas may experience scums that contain substantial concentrations of algal toxins.

The seasonal outlook uses models that translate spring nutrient loading into predicted algal blooms. After three years with wet springs, this spring had more typical rainfall, leading to more normal discharge from the Maumee River. As a result, there is less phosphorus entering Lake Erie and fewer nutrients to fuel a bloom.

“With a return to average spring discharge, and much lower river flow in June than in the recent years, the western basin should look better. However, the phosphorus inputs to the lake are still high enough to support bloom development,” said Richard Stumpf, NOAA’s National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science’s lead for the Lake Erie bloom forecast.

The main driver of Lake Erie’s harmful algal blooms is elevated phosphorus from watersheds draining to the lake’s western basin, particularly from the heavily agricultural Maumee River watershed. About 85 percent of the phosphorus entering Lake Erie from the Maumee River comes from agricultural sources.

In February, the U.S. and Canadian governments called for a 40 percent reduction, from 2008 levels, in phosphorus runoff from farms and other sources into Lake Erie. A UM-led, multi-institution computer modeling study released in March said that meeting the 40-percent target would be challenging but achievable. A recent U.S. Department of Agriculture study reached similar conclusions.

“Recent studies led by the University of Michigan and USDA identified potential pathways for reducing phosphorus loads by the needed 40 percent,” said UM aquatic ecologist Don Scavia, a member of the Erie forecast team.

“But both studies conclude that it will take unprecedented implementation of conservation programs to reach that goal,” said Scavia, director of UM’s Graham Sustainability Institute and a member of the NOAA-funded teams that produce annual algal forecasts for the Gulf of Mexico and Chesapeake Bay.

The seasonal outlook models use nutrient load data collected by Heidelberg University’s National Center for Water Quality Research and Maumee River discharge models from NOAA’s Ohio River Forecast Center. The models were developed by scientists at NOAA’s National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science, the University of Michigan, and LimnoTech, an Ann Arbor-based environmental engineering firm that specializes in water quality.

“The need to reduce phosphorus and other nutrients from fertilizer, manure and sewage remains,” said Chris Winslow, interim director of the Ohio Sea Grant College Program. “This year’s forecast not only highlights NOAA’s forecast, but it will also focus attention on current efforts to assess bloom impacts on human health, to educate water treatment plant operators, to inform and implement landscape best management practices, and to determine the best way to track our progress toward a 40 percent reduction in phosphorous loading, the target set by Annex IV of the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement.”

NOAA will provide timely information via twice-weekly bulletins for western Lake Erie that can be received by subscription. Details on the forecasted movement of the bloom and its location and intensity in the water column can be found via NOAA’s experimental tracker.

Field observations on the bloom and nutrient loads are collected by NOAA’s Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory (GLERL) in Ann Arbor, NOAA’s Cooperative Institute for Limnology and Ecosystems Research (CILER) at the University of Michigan, Ohio State University’s Sea Grant Program and Stone Laboratory, Heidelberg University, University of Toledo, Ohio EPA and LimnoTech, and made available for monitoring and model improvements.

“This year we’ve added a Maumee River flow forecast model that increases our confidence in the seasonal outlook and may allow us to produce a specific harmful algal bloom forecast even earlier in the season,” said Russell Callender, assistant NOAA administrator for the National Ocean Service.

In September 2016, GLERL, CILER and the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute will deploy an Environmental Sample Processor in Lake Erie for the first time. The ESP “lab­in­a­can” will autonomously collect water samples and analyze them for algal toxins to provide drinking water managers with data on harmful algal toxicity in near real­time before the water reaches municipal water intakes. The deployment will mark the first use of the ESP technology in any freshwater system.

“The Environmental Sample Processor will enable us to more closely track changes in the toxicity of the blooms with one or two analyzed water tests each day to augment the current system of someone sampling twice a week from a boat and then taking those samples to be analyzed in a lab,” said Tim Davis, a GLERL research ecologist. “Our goal is to get more rapid detection of sudden changes in toxicity to improve the timeliness of NOAA’s harmful algal bloom forecasts and better protect communities.”

The Lake Erie forecast is part of a NOAA ecological forecasting initiative that aims to deliver accurate, relevant, timely and reliable ecological forecasts directly to coastal resource managers and the public. NOAA also provides, or is developing, HAB and hypoxia forecasts for the Gulf of Maine, Chesapeake Bay, the Gulf of Mexico and the Pacific Northwest.

Funding to support the NOAA forecast was provided by NOAA’s National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science, the EPA­-administered Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, the Erb Family Foundation, and the University of Michigan’s Graham Sustainability Institute. The research programs supporting this work are authorized under the Harmful Algal Bloom and Hypoxia Research and Control Act (HABHRCA 2016).

Visit the Graham Sustainability Institute’s harmful algal bloom and hypoxia forecast page at http://graham.umich.edu/news/hypoxia-july-2016.

State Aid OK’d for Business Projects Investing $14M, Adding 211 Jobs

LANSING — Two business expansions – which combined will generate over $14 million in capital investment and create 211 jobs – have received Michigan Strategic Fund approval for support, officials of the Michigan Economic Development Corp. announced.

TecNiq Inc. received a $540,000 Michigan Business Development Program performance-based grant to support a $6.6 million new plant in Kalamazoo County’s Comstock Township that will create 120 new jobs. TecNiq was founded in 2004 by engineers Jeff Condon and Mark Pruss, designs and manufactures energy-efficient LED lighting for fleet vehicles, construction trailers, emergency response vehicles, boats, recreational vehicles, and more. Michigan was chosen over a competing site in Indiana. Comstock Township has offered support to the project in the form of property tax abatement.

Taylor-based Logos Logistics Inc. received a $300,000 Michigan business Development Program performance-based grant to support an $8 million warehouse expansion and new headquarters in Romulus.  Michigan was chosen over competing sites in Alabama, Georgia and Tennessee. VantagePort Detroit Region Aerotropolis is supporting the project with a property tax abatement. For career opportunities with Logos Logistics, visit http://www.logoslogisticsinc.com.

For more on the MEDC and its initiatives, visit michiganbusiness.org. For Michigan travel news, updates and information, visit michigan.org. Michigan residents interested in seeking employment with any of Michigan’s growing companies should check mitalent.org where more than 100,000 jobs are currently available in a variety of industries.

Mobile Monday Seeks Apps For Aug. 8 Showcase, Sets July 11 VR Demo

DETROIT — The Mobile Technology Association of Michigan is seeking developers eager to show off their apps to a live audience in an event scheduled for the Aug. 8 meeting of Mobile Monday Detroit.

Four selected firms or individuals will get the chance to present their app to an audience of industry professionals. Each presenter will have 15 minutes to showcase their app. All presentations will answer Mobile Monday-provided questions that will help the audience gain a clear understanding of what the app does, why it was developed, and how well it’s working for those who use it.

The event begins at 6 p.m. Monday, Aug. 8 at Research Into Internet Systems (RIIS), 1250 Stephenson Highway, Suite 200, in Troy.

The deadline for entry is Monday, July 25. Entry details may be found at http://www.gomobilemichigan.org/app-showcase-application.html. The four winners will be notified by Monday, Aug. 1.

All entrants must be members of MTAM. Those who are not members and who wish to be considered for the presentation can join online at http://GoMobileMichigan.org/Membership.

For more information, email info@GoMobileMichigan.org.

Mobile Monday Detroit is a chapter of Mobile Monday Michigan, which itself is a subsidiary of the Mobile Technology Association of Michigan. It is a mobile and wireless industry networking and education organization, and a branch of the international Mobile Monday organization. The organization has four Michigan chapters — Ann Arbor, Detroit, Grand Rapids, and Lansing — with more than 3,000 members statewide.

Mobile Monday Detroit’s July 11 meeting, meanwhile, will offer members a chance to experience augmented reality and virtual reality technology hands-on. In a change from its usual format, this event will not feature formal presentations. Instead, attendees may interact one-on-one with those providing the demonstrations to ask any questions they may have about the technologies.

The July 11 event begins at 6 p.m. at RIIS.

Giving demonstrations will be:
* Ali Al-Aasm, co-founder, Red Piston Inc., Windsor, Ontario
* Dominic Chiudioni, product manager, Vinh Chu, technology director, and Kristin Hope, marketing strategist, Pixo Group, Southfield
* Sam Harrell, media labs research director, NBC Universal, Ann Arbor
* Salvatore “Sam” Vilardi, vice president of product development, and Justin Kirkegaard, software engineer, Immy Inc., Grand Rapids
* David Pollock, managing director, Kitestring Visuals, Louisville, Ky.

Equipment available for testing will include the Oculus DK2, Google Cardboard, Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, Microsoft HoloLens, Samsung Gear VR, Immy NEO iC60, and more.

The event is free to attend but advance reservations via Meetup are mandatory. Make your reservation at  http://meetup.com/Mobile-Monday-Detroit. Refreshments will be served courtesy of RIIS. Free parking is available onsite.

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