Our future is self-driving cars

It’s hard to believe. “This is running our pedestrian protection systems in real time. And every time we have human either riding a bike, or walk or running you will detect him as a yellow box,” said professor Xiaoming Liu. Liu works behind the scenes on autonomous, self-driving cars. General Motors recently announced they’re reinvesting six billion dollars in self-driving, electric cars.

Watch Focal Point: Engler cancels Nassar survivor fund, Michigan new minimum wage and more

On the last show of the semester, Interim President John Engler has put a halt to a fund dedicated to help Larry Nassar survivors. Plus, a easy way to get money in Michigan could soon not be possible. Also, a student is trying to get more American flags installed on campus, but he’s being met with complications. In sports, the MSU football team is going west for their bowl game against Oregon. This week in entertainment, Kevin Hart gives up his Oscar-hosting gig after old homophobic slurs resurface.

Computer tablets boost inmate education and behavior

By JEREMY WAHR
Capital News Service

LANSING — Prisoners are better behaved and more of them get high school equivalency diplomas when they use computer tablets, according to the Department of Corrections. Prisoners tend to behave better to avoid having their tablet privileges revoked and because they are occupied by their contents, said Heidi Washington, director for the Michigan Department of Corrections. “These tablets also serve as a great way to manage prisoners,” Washington said. “Overall, the use of the tablets has led to a drop in misbehavior.”

And they have significant educational value which can reduce the likelihood of a return to prison. The program targets young prisoners, women and prisoners in maximum security, Washington said.

Bringing Lansing to eBay

With the help of online shopping, people from all over the world are able to shop and help support businesses. Now, people from all over the world can shop and help support businesses in the greater Lansing area through eBay. It’s all part of eBay’s Retail Revival program where Lansing entrepreneurs and small business owners get the opportunity to sell their merchandise and goods online. “I’ve sold things just from my website to people across the country, but it’s me promoting it, but it’s nice to have eBay on my side and to help me promote my stuff as well,” said Cori Thackery, Owner of Sweetlees Boutique. Thackery wanted to be a part of the program because she says eBay is a platform she has never really sold on before and she thought she would reach a whole new customer base.

WATCH: Coverage on President Bush’s funeral, Amazon explosion and more

This week on the Spartan News Update: Former President George H.W. Bush’s funeral was today with over 3,000 people in attendance. Additionally, Amazon has a bear repellant fall and explode leaving 54 people injured. In more positive news, the Meridian Township Fire Department found a new way to recover patients from cardiac arrests. Please watch for more information.

Haslett teachers demonstrate the advantage of technology in the classroom

 

When Christopher Luea, a middle school Spanish and robotics instructor, teaches a lesson, a robotic device, called a SWIVL, records him while rotating to follow his movements. “Our Spanish language instructional theory is based heavily on comprehensible input and focused immersion,” he said. “Therefore, when students are absent or would do well to revisit lessons, these recordings offer a high-quality audio and video recording for them.”

During a Haslett School Board Meeting on Nov. 12, teachers from Haslett Middle School and Haslett High School showcased how they are incorporating modern technology into the classroom. Chelsea Pennington, a high school math teacher, records her algebra outlines using a different kind of device.

A top ten MSU team that will rev your curiosity

Michigan State is known for their hoops. The basketball team started the season in the AP Top Ten. But one of the best teams at Michigan State might be one you’ve never heard of… the formula racing team. “We design, build and race a brand new formula styled vehicle every single year,” said Ajay Mehta, team project manager.

High school tech training improves wages, computer literacy

By JEREMY WAHR
Capital News Service

LANSING — High school students who train for the tech industry gain improved computer literacy and higher wages, state officials say. They are also likely to pass advanced placement computer exams, according to the Talent and Economic Development Department. The agency promotes the Technology Education and Literacy in Schools program that pairs tech industry professionals with high school teachers to prepare students for technology careers. The program has 21 schools, 59 volunteers and 33 tech companies participating this year in Michigan. The four classes offered under the program are: Introduction to Computer Sciences, AP Computer Sciences A, AP Computer Science Principles and Advanced Topics and Projects in Computer Science.

A new way to get around campus, Skoop

Students can get around campus on foot, bike, skateboard, CATA and most recently, the Bird and Lime scooters. But now, there is another alternative. It’s called Skoop… a free service created so students don’t have to pay for transportation or walk far distances. To ride in a Skoop, all you have to do is simply wave them down like a taxi cab, and get in.

Energy alternatives on the rise in Michigan–slowly

By JEREMY WAHR
Capital News Service

LANSING –Residents pay less for electricity from the grid when they produce some energy themselves from solar, wind and other alternative sources, according to a recent report. But their efforts still don’t make up much of the state’s energy needs. The energy from alternative sources produced in Michigan by energy users increased from 21,888 kilowatts in 2016 to 29,571 kilowatts in 2017, according to the report by the Public Services Commission. That’s a 35 percent increase, but it makes up only 0.032 percent of Michigan’s retail electricity sales. Residents can receive a credit whenever they produce their own electricity, said Nick Assendelft, a public information officer for the Michigan Public Services Commission, based in Lansing.