Renault Partners With Microsoft

Renault SA’s carmaking alliance with Nissan Motor Co is partnering with Microsoft Corp to improve cloud-based services for cars, a step toward the group’s plans to build self-driving automobiles by 2020.

The services, based on Microsoft’s Azure cloud service, will comprise advanced navigation, predictive maintenance and over-the-air software updates.

Renault and Nissan plan to launch more than 10 vehicles with autonomous drive technology by 2020. In January, the alliance hired former Nokia executive Ogi Redzic to lead its connected car efforts.

The alliance said last week it would buy French software development company Sylpheo to offer new services with ride hailing and car sharing.

Microsoft Partners with Adobe

Tech giants Microsoft and Adobe today announced a major partnership to endorse the use of each other’s cloud-computing tools among their mutual customers. Satya Nadella, Microsoft’s chief executive, called the deal a “massive milestone,” in the presence here with Shantanu Narayen, his Adobe counterpart. The deal follows a pact last year that linked some Adobe products to Microsoft’s customer relationship management tools.

Cloud-computing, a growing business in which companies progressively turn to rented, web-based infrastructure to run their software instead of their own back room servers, has a been a showcase of Microsoft’s newfound willingness to partner with erstwhile competitors. Under the new deal, the maker of Photoshop will use Microsoft’s network of on-demand data storage and processing power to run its web-based digital media and marketing software.

Microsoft Launches Xbox Onesie Jumpsuit


Microsoft has launched the Xbox Onesie jumpsuit, a one-piece zip-up casual garment accessible in white or black, for its gamer community in Australia. It features enlarged pockets to fit an Xbox Controller and Media Remotes, an arm pouch for a mobile phone, forearm grips to prevent slipping, and an extra-large hood to accommodate headsets.

Microsoft Releases OneNote Import Tool For Mac Users

Microsoft releases OneNote import tool for Mac users

Microsoft has launched OneNote import tool for Mac users. This permits Evernote users on Mac platform to make a switch to OneNote and the timing of the move is brilliant. Earlier in March, the company launched a similar tool for its Windows users and since has imported 71 million Evernote pages to OneNote.

The company has highlighted the differences starting off from the fact that OneNote is a free service while Evernote has three tiers of plans ranging from basic to premium. The price for Evernote premium was again increased to $69 per year in June this year forcing people to search for alternatives.

Twitter Is Talking To Apple To Get On Apple TV


In a move to strengthen its live video streaming service, micro-blogging website Twitter is reportedly talking with Apple to bring National Football League (NFL) games live to Apple TV, media reported. This news led to a surge in Twitter stocks, giving hope to investors that such a deal can help Twitter come out of the sluggish user growth and falling revenues. The obtainability of Twitter app on Apple TV will help reach more people as they love watching live sports on TVs and not on a mobile app or desktop.

“Such a partnership might also complement Apple’s plans for the TV business,” the report added. Apple TV has more than 10 million customers in the US. In April, Twitter protected the rights to live stream NFL games. It is known that Twitter will make money from advertising when it streams 10 NFL games later this year.

Twitter Denies Rumors of Shutting Down


Twitter Inc denied rumors that the social media messaging service will be shutting down in 2017, disapproving the claim as groundless. “There is absolutely no truth to the claims whatsoever,” a spokesman for Twitter said in an emailed response to a Reuters request for comment.

Social media started buzzing with the hashtag #SaveTwitter , with more than 100,000 tweets mentioning the hashtag by early afternoon. It was unclear how the rumor started although some tweets said it originated from a Twitter user who complained about online bullying and Twitter’s poor handling of such abuses.

Russia Fines Google $6.7 Million


Russia’s anti-monopoly watchdog said it has fined technology giant Google 438 million rubles ($6.7 million) for violating competition law.

The Federal Anti-Monopoly Service (FAS) said Google had forced mobile device manufacturers to pre-install its applications on mobile devices using the Android system, Xinhua reported.

Google was also accused of placing its applications at priority positions on the home page of mobile devices to the detriment of alternative software. Google’s software also prevented the installation of applications of other developers, the FAS was quoted as saying.

“The Competition Law must be observed by all the companies that supply their products to the Russian Federation, including multinational corporations,” Yelena Zayeva, Head of the Communications and Information Technologies Department of the FAS, said in the statement.

Facebook’s News Feed Algorithm Leaked


In a move to make your News Feed more informative, Facebook has tweaked its algorithm to bring news that’s applicable and of interest to you.

“Our goal with News Feed is to show people the stories most relevant to them, so we rank stories so what’s most important to each person shows up highest in their News Feeds,” said Facebook in a blog post on Friday.

According to Jie Xu, Research Scientist, Akos Lada, Data Scientist and Vibhi Kant, Product Manager at News Feed, when Facebook rank and make improvements to News Feed, it rely on a set of core values.

“These values — which we’ve been using for years — guide our thinking and help us keep the central experience of News Feed intact as it evolves,” they wrote.

Microsoft Acquires Gaming Startup Beam


Microsoft said it is strengthening its Xbox arsenal with the purchase of a startup specializing in letting people join in the fun while watching live-streamed game play.

Microsoft did not reveal financial terms of the deal to buy Seattle-based Beam, which puts an interactive spin on the hot trend of video games being spectator sports.

“With Beam, you don’t just watch your favorite streamer play, you play along with them,” Xbox Live partner group program manager Chad Gibson said in a blog post.

For example, Beam can be used to let viewers allocate missions, summon adversaries, or select virtual gear in games being streamed online by broadcasters.

LinkedIn Crosses 100-Million In Asia-Pacific

LinkedIn is now 100-million strong in Asia-Pacific

Professional networking website LinkedIn on Wednesday announced that it has crossed the 100-million member mark in the Asia-Pacific region (APAC), and with 37 million members, India is its largest market in the region. Globally, India retains its spot as the second largest market after the US, a company statement said. LinkedIn has gathered its member base in the region from 50 million to 100 million in just two years. The region now represents 22 per cent of LinkedIn’s global member base of over 450 million.

“At this scale, LinkedIn is in an even stronger position to help members connect to economic opportunity, whether it’s a new job, a promotion or other business opportunities,” said Olivier Legrand, Managing Director, LinkedIn Asia Pacific and Japan, in a statement. China presently accounts for more than 23 million members, while Australia has eight million members.

Apple to Revamp the Entire MacBook

Apple plans to revamp the entire MacBook Pro line this year

US tech giant Apple is planning to revamp its entire MacBook Pro line this year, with a new design and a number of new features, a media report said.

The company is working on a new programmable strip of OLED-based function keys that can be switched to perform different functions depending on which application users are using.

Apple’s goal is to simplify shortcuts and permit it to reprogramme hardware buttons to add capabilities with software updates, rather than refreshing internal hardware, technology website reported.

Google Finally Updates Its App

Google Docs%2c Sheets and Slides apps can now run side by side on Apple iPads

Google has finally updated its app to support iOS 9’s Split Screen multi-tasking feature available on the Apple’s iPad Pro 12.9. iPad Pro 9.7 and the iPad Air 2. The new version tagged as 1.2016.30204 for Docs, Slides and 1.2016.30206 for the Sheets app, essentially brings along support for the iPad’s multi-tasking feature and nothing else.

We have no clue why Google woke up so late, but nonetheless it will be useful to those who are glued to Google services. Google however pegs the update as move to use two of its apps concurrently. The apps, at best, are not as intuitive compared to other offerings from Microsoft.

Snapchat Pulls Down ‘Yellow Face’ Photo Lens

Snapchat pulls down ‘Yellow Face’ photo lens after uproars of racial insensitivity rose

Vanishing message app Snapchat made a photo lens quickly disappear after an online uproar branding it an offensive stereotype of Asians worthy of the label “Yellow Face.”

The lens overlaid faces in photos with cartoon visages featuring slanted eyes, wide cheeks and toothy grins.

Snapchat pulled the lens after its release on Tuesday ignited concerns it was insulting and racist.

Snapchat said the lens was meant as a playful take on anime characters and promised it would not return to circulation.

Microsoft Exec Calls Out Apple on Its Aging Mac Hardware


Apple wasn’t always a phone company. Today, their claim to fame is the iPod and iPhone, but they started with the Mac and Mac OS. Sadly, the Mac is so deserted today that even Microsoft is calling them out for the “disservice” they’re doing their customers.

As we’ve pointed out in the past, Apple’s Macs are aging. The original Mac Pro is still running on 2013 hardware and many devices, including the Mac Mini and certain MacBook models are still running on 2014 hardware.

One might argue that MacOS doesn’t need the latest generation hardware, but irrespective of the fact that this is the same argument used by Steve Jobs when he told people they were holding their phones wrong, you’re on the wrong track completely.

Microsoft Asked To Stop Collecting Excessive User Data by French Government


The French data protection authority on Wednesday ordered Microsoft Corp to stop collecting excessive data on users of its Windows 10 operating system and serving them personalized ads without their consent. The CNIL said the U.S. company had three months to stop tracking browsing by users so that Windows apps and third-party apps can offer them targeted advertising without their consent, failing which it could initiate a sanctions procedure.

A number of EU data protection authorities created a contact group to investigate Microsoft’s Windows 10 operating system following its launch in July 2015, the French privacy watchdog said. The action against Microsoft mirrors that taken by the CNIL against Facebook, which was ordered in February to stop collecting users’ information then used for advertising without their consent.

Opera Hits Back At Microsoft


Microsoft recently published a blog post in which they claimed that Edge on Windows 10 offered vastly superior battery life to every other browser out there. Specifically, Microsoft claimed that Edge offered 17 percent more battery life than Opera and 70 percent more battery life than Chrome.

Opera took this as a challenge and decided to prove Microsoft wrong with a test of their own. Microsoft demanded to have run two tests, one in which they only streamed video and another in which they ran a script that ran through a series of websites, tabs and videos.

Meanwhile, Opera ran their own test, the full details technical details for which have been explained in this blog post here. The main difference was that this time, Opera enabled the “battery-saver mode” on their browser, as well as the native ad-blocking functionality. Their tests show that Opera with battery saver and ad-block enabled is 22 percent faster than Edge and 35 percent faster than Chrome.

The Latest Microsoft Windows Insider Preview Brings Enhanced Handwriting Support

The latest Microsoft Windows Insider Preview brings enhanced handwriting support

Microsoft’s latest Insider Preview for the lucky minority in the Fast Ring brings a with it a whole slew of improvements and updates.

The latest Insider Preview build, numbered 14367, has previously started rolling out. Here are some key highlights from the preview:

Handwriting support

The latest build brings support for handwriting recognition in 23 languages on PC and mobile. These languages include Malay, Swahili, Xhosa, Chinese and more. Sadly, there doesn’t seem to be Hindi support just yet.

Microsoft to Buy LinkedIn for $26bn


Microsoft is buying the professional networking website LinkedIn for just over $26bn (£18bn) in cash.

The software giant will pay $196 a share – a premium of almost 50% to Friday’s closing share price.

The deal will benefit Microsoft boost sales of its business and email software.

Microsoft said that LinkedIn would retain its “distinct brand, culture and independence”.

Ben Wood, head of research at CCS Insight, said the deal would give Microsoft access to the world’s biggest professional social network with more than 430 million members worldwide.

Microsoft Officially Releases Skype Integration for Third-Party App Developers


Skype for Business could soon find its way to custom apps as Microsoft has formally released the Skype for Business software development kit (SDK) for download. Skype for Business permits users to meet and collaborate remotely through dedicated servers and infrastructure, apparently making it faster and more secure than the free-to-download version.

The company announced on Office Blogs on Thursday that the new SDK would permit developers to integrate instant messaging as well as audio and video experiences into custom third-party apps.

Microsoft Is Killing Its Sunrise Calendar App on August 31st

Microsoft is killing its Sunrise calendar app on August 31st

Microsoft revealed last year that it was planning to merge its Outlook and Sunrise apps into a single app. After obtaining Sunrise more than a year ago, Microsoft is now planning to kill off the standalone app at the end of August. Sunrise will be removed from the App Store in the “next few days,” and it will stop working altogether on August 31st. “As heartbreaking as this sounds, we’re hard at work bringing the magic of Sunrise to the Outlook apps,” reads a message from the Sunrise team at Microsoft. “The complete Sunrise team is now working side-by-side with the Outlook team and it’s a thrilling moment for us to work on an app of this scale.”