August 22, 2014

UM traffic hack exposes the Internet of things

At Crain's Detroit Business -
"The Michigan road agency's devices were all on the same network using commercially available radios. The protocol they used to communicate was proprietary but similar to the Wi-Fi we use in our homes. The connections were unencrypted, and the devices used factory-default usernames and passwords. Using one of the radios — which it assumed an able hacker could obtain with a bit of subterfuge — the Michigan team got onto the network and gained access to the controller. It was able to slow down or speed up light changes, freeze the state of the intersection indefinitely, and even turn the lights green along the route of a hypothetical getaway car. The malfunction-management units prevented it from turning on four conflicting green lights, but the team could send all the lights on the network into blinking-yellow mode, which could only be exited manually by workers at every intersection."

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June 28, 2014

John Conyers appeals to Obama over water shutoffs

At the Detroit News -
"The water department, responsible for about $6 billion of Detroit’s $18 billion in debt, is a major issue in the city’s bankruptcy. Earlier this year, the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department said it would be more assertive about delinquencies. About 46,000 shut-off notices were sent last month and service to about 10 percent of that number was recently cut.

Conyers, who also sent letters to U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell and city water department Chief Executive Sue McCormick, specifically asked for some of the $200 million available to the state through the federal Hardest Hit Fund. He also urged an “immediate end to the shutoffs” and the designation of a public health emergency that would be “eligible for direct federal relief.”

There was no immediate response from federal officials."

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Report: Higher taxes helped Minn. economy outpace Michigan

This item reported at Crain's Detroit Business on June 16, 2014
"Higher taxes — including those on business — are the key to Minnesota's economic good fortune in recent years, according to a report issued Monday by Michigan Future Inc. that takes an in-depth look at why our neighbor state has so outpaced Michigan in economic fortune since 1990.

For example, in 2012 Minnesota ranked 11th in the U.S. with per capita income of $46,227, the highest in the Midwest, while Michigan was 35th at $37,497. The difference was $8,730. In 1993, the difference favored Minnesota by just $555.

Other key statistics? As of last December, unemployment in Minnesota was 4.6 percent, the ninth-lowest in the country. Michigan had the fourth-highest, at 7.3 percent. And in 2012, Minnesota had a poverty rate of 11.4 percent, compared with 17.4 percent in Michigan."

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June 18, 2014

Nearly 1 million small businesses open in Michigan

At Crain's Detroit Business -
"Nearly 1 million small businesses operate in Michigan – accounting for nearly half of the state’s private employers.

To be precise, Michigan has 856,273 firms with fewer than 500 employees, according the Small Business Administration’s annual state-by-state look at small business in America. The data, released today, looks at the demographics and lifecycle of these firms from 2010 to 2013.

“Michigan’s small businesses contribute so much to the state’s economy,” said Winslow Sargeant, the SBA’s Chief Counsel for Advocacy. “No one can doubt the significant role small businesses play in our economic landscape.”"

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June 4, 2014

Grand Rapids Griffins - Detroit signs Blashill to new three-year contract

5 flavorful Michigan breweries worth the drive

Posted at The Freep -
"For many Michiganders, summer and beer go hand-in-hand. Drive through Mitten towns on any given summer weekend, and you’ll likely spot folks sitting on their front porches, sipping on the cool, flavorful drink.

Michigan, of course, has endless top-notch choices when it comes to craft beers and Michigan-made brews. In fact, our state is currently fifth in the U.S. in the number of breweries, microbreweries and brewpubs, according to Pure Michigan."

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May 14, 2014

Visas for Detroit? Unprecedented plan to repopulate ailing city

From via Franklin Center -
"Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder has opened an Office for New Americans, with the goal of luring foreign workers and overseas capital to pump up the Motor City. The once-bustling metropolis of 1.85 million people has shriveled to 701,000, and falling.

Detroit’s unemployment rate officially is 8.3 percent, but tops 15 percent when accounting for residents who have quit looking for work. The city perennially ranks as one of the worst job markets in the country.

“For decades, Detroit has watched its manufacturing jobs exported overseas while suffering fiscal mischief at the hands of corrupt city officials,” said Dane, who grew up in the city now going through bankruptcy."

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Red Wings' top prospect Anthony Mantha leads his team to the QMJHL title, spot in Memorial Cup

From MLive -
Detroit Red Wings top prospect Anthony Mantha again showed why he was the most valuable player in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.

Mantha scored with 52 seconds remaining in the third period Tuesday to lift Val-d'Or to the QMJHL championship with a 4-3 victory over Baie-Comeau in Game 7.

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May 6, 2014

Lawmakers split on upfront payment to help settle Detroit bankruptcy

At The Freep -
"The city of Detroit's latest bankruptcy exit plan, released Monday, calls for the state of Michigan to contribute $194.8 million upfront toward the settlement, rather than $350 million over 20 years, as originally proposed.

In Lansing, where bills to provide for the payment are expected to be introduced this week, some lawmakers said Tuesday the revised plan could make approval of the state money easier, while at least one believes the opposite is true.

The state money would be part of a “grand bargain” under which foundations and philanthropists and the Detroit Institute of Arts have also pledged about $466 million to minimize the impact of the bankruptcy on city of Detroit retirees and prevent a sell-off of DIA artwork."

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April 16, 2014

Special Mustang marks 50th anniversary

From The Detroit News -
"Ford Motor Co. today will unveil a limited-edition 50th-anniversary Mustang pony car.

The Mustang 50 Year Limited Edition, modeled on the Mustang GT fastback, will be limited to 1,964 — in honor of the year the car was introduced — and will come with nearly every available option.

“We wanted to provide our most dedicated fans with the emotion of the original Mustang in a 21st-century car,” said Ford executive chairman Bill Ford Jr. in a statement ahead of the reveal at the New York International Auto Show. “With this 50 Year Limited Edition, I believe we have accomplished our goal.”"

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April 2, 2014

Ted Lindsay donates $1 million for autism program at Beaumont

The story from The Detroit Free Press -
"The foundation of Detroit Red Wings great and Hockey Hall of Famer Ted Lindsay is donating $1 million to the Beaumont Health System to help children with autism and their families.

Beaumont announced today that support from the Ted Lindsay Foundation will expand and create a new facility for the Hands-On Parent Education Center, which offers services for families of children with autism spectrum disorder and other developmental disorders.

“It’s not just the child that has autism. It’s the whole family that has autism,” Lindsay said in a released statement. “It’s not a one-person thing.”"

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March 26, 2014

6 things to know now about the landline phone bill signed by Gov. Rick Snyder

From mLive -
"Gov. Rick Snyder on Tuesday signed Senate Bill 636, which makes it easier for a company to stop traditional landline or "plain old telephone service" in an area. The bill stirred up controversy as senior citizens, led by AARP Michigan, fought the bill over concerns that residents would be left without reliable access to phone, medical alert and alarm services. "AARP remains concerned that some people could be left without affordable, reliable phone service when this bill takes effect," spokesman Mark Hornbeck said in an email after the legislation passed the House. "Also, it does not provide the consumer protections that are in current telecommunications law.""

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