Each week our intranet news channel editors provide a round up for Capgemini colleagues of the business IT news that drives and inspires us. We publish some of the highlights here.
This week's Weekly Techno Briefs brings you more highlights from the exciting world of technology. Every week, we update you about new smartphone technologies and intriguing tech developments happening in every corner of the world.
Ten years ago, Orkut was Google’s first foray into social networking. Built as a “20 percent” project, Orkut communities started conversations, and forged connections, that had never existed before. Orkut helped shape life online before people really knew what “social networking” was. Over the past decade, YouTube, Blogger and Google+ have taken off, with communities springing up in every corner of the world. Because the growth of these communities has outpaced Orkut's growth, Google has decided to bid Orkut farewell. Orkut will shut down on 30 September, 2014. Until then, there will be no impact on current Orkut users. All users will be given time to manage the transition. People can export their profile data, community posts and photos using Google Takeout (available until September 2016). It will not be possible to create a new Orkut account anymore.
Link: Tech Times
Smartphones for robots
Nasa plans to send Google's 3D smartphones into space to function as the "eyes and brains" of free-flying robots inside the Space Station. The robots, known as Spheres (Synchronised Position Hold, Engage, Reorient, Experimental satellites), currently have limited capabilities. It is hoped that the smartphones, powered by Google's Project Tango, will equip the robots with more functionality. The robots have been described by experts as "incredibly clever". When Nasa's robots first arrived at the International Space Station in 2006, they were only capable of precise movements using small jets of CO2, which propelled the devices forwards at around two centimeters per second. As NASA wanted to add communication, a camera, increase the processing capability, accelerometers and other sensors, they thought of smartphones as the solution.
Change is inevitable
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella released a letter to employees today which is aimed to address the public too. The occasion for the letter is the kick-off of Microsoft’s fiscal 2015, ahead of the final results for FY 2014, which are due on July 22. The subject matter is a call to action, combined with a warning that Microsoft is about to enter a period of significant organizational change. Satya Nadella closes with more detail on the changes required, which include reorganization and streamlining. He evokes the image of a leaner, more agile Microsoft, which can anticipate and innovate more quickly. This will mean a flatter organization and he's already asked the Microsoft leadership team to submit their ideas on how they can “simplify their operations and the way they work.” The end goal of all the change is to make sure Microsoft focuses on, and delivers, what the new CEO calls its “core” to its users and customers.
Stock photography giant Getty Images is updating its iOS apps, including iStock, which gets its update, and Getting Images proper, which is receiving its overhaul on July 17. Both apps feature design changes that make the photos more centrally focused, with great-looking lightbox designs for browsing, including mosaic views on both the iPad and the iPhone, easy filters and both full-screen and detail-heavy single image views. The new look for both apps comes out of the recognition by Getty that mobile is an increasingly important source of inbound requests and queries for stock photo buyers. Even image sourcing, which is a task formerly best suited to the big screens of desktops, has become something that works well on mobile thanks especially to high density displays. Everyone, including Google, is realizing that these screens don’t just mean higher resolution for streaming video – they require an entirely new perspective on design.
Bridge the gap
Google Maps just released a small, useful update for its Maps desktop product. On the web, you can now right-click on any map and select “Measure Distance” to start charting a path and adding points, with Google offering up distances for each of the segments you create. It’s a handy way to find out approximately how far you’ll be traveling for a backwoods hike or bike ride, and a great way to draw things with simple vectors.
Google to pay for coding lessons for female tech workers
Women hold just a quarter of IT jobs, and they make up a mere 18% of recent computer science graduates. At this year's I/O, Google's software event, the tech giant announced a new program that, it hopes, will do something to correct this imbalance. It's going to pay for "thousands" of female tech workers to discover basic coding through self-learning courses, presumably in the hope that this will advance their careers and turn them into better mentors and role models.
The highlights from our Weekly Techno Briefs above do not necessarily represent the view of Capgemini Group