Microsoft Changes Outlined In Memo, Amazon Drones On To FAA, And More… [Tech News Digest]
Also, the UK government restores its data retention powers, Verizon and Netflix continue war of words, Cortana predicts World Cup winners, Netflix advertises the best job ever, and Kelsey Grammer is a grammar Nazi, but only on Twitter.
Nadella Issues Mission Statement Memo
New Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella has issued a memo to his workforce, and, by publishing the memo on Microsoft.com, CC’d us all. There is nothing particularly groundbreaking in the memo, but Nadella does spell out his vision for Microsoft as it transitions into a new, forward-looking company.
The most important paragraph in the 3,000-word statement is this one. “At our core, Microsoft is the productivity and platform company for the mobile-first and cloud-first world. We will reinvent productivity to empower every person and every organization on the planet to do more and achieve more.” Which sees Nadella moving away from former CEO Steve Ballmer ‘s focus on “devices and services.”
We’ll have to wait and see what this mission statement will mean in the real world, but it’s becoming clear that Microsoft is changing how it operates. The problem Nadella faces is changing the culture of a company that has been operating a certain way for decades. And created as many haters as fans over that time.
Amazon Ramps Up Drone Development
Amazon’s plan to deliver goods by flying drones has, in some quarters, been written off as nothing but a publicity stunt to be parodied. However, despite the obvious and undeniable barriers to this ever actually happening, Amazon is ramping up its efforts.
According to CNET, Amazon has asked the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for permission to test its drones in locations other than the six approved sites scattered across the U.S. The request also revealed that Amazon’s drone prototypes “can travel over 50 miles per hour while carrying a 5-pound package.”
You and I may not believe Amazon will ever put delivery drones in the sky, but the company is clearly still trying to make it happen. The question being whether this is more or less ludicrous than self-driving cars .
UK Government Fast-Tracks DRIP
Well, I hope the UK government at least offers an API to get to my data they store for me to keep me safe. is free?
— Christian Heilmann (@codepo8) July 10, 2014
The U.K. Government is fast-tracking a new law enabling security services to carry on spying on British citizens. The law is being treated as an emergency measure after the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) killed off the previous directive on data retention.
Titled DRIP (Data Retention and Investigation Powers), this bill primarily reinstates the need for communications companies to hold onto data for months at a time. However, according to GigaOM, DRIP also expands surveillance legislation to include foreign companies.
Perhaps British spooks became envious of the NSA’s powers to spy on foreigners and wanted a piece of the action for themselves.
Verizon & Netflix Continue War Of Words
Unsurprisingly, Verizon’s blog post about Netflix doesn’t allow comments…
— Dan Gillmor (@dangillmor) July 10, 2014
Verizon and Netflix are continuing the war of words that has been raging for months. The latest salvo was fired by Verizon, which issued a blog post entirely blaming Netflix for congesting the Internet. Netflix responded by blaming Verizon for failing to “upgrade those interconnections … controlled by ISPs.”
We suspect consumers don’t care who is to blame as long as they can embark on a Netflix binge-watching marathon once in a while.
Cortana Predicts World Cup Final Result
Cortana, Microsoft’s answer to Siri , has an incredible record of predicting the results of the World Cup , correctly predicting all 14 of the games played since the group stages. She didn’t predict Germany would score seven against Brazil, or Luis Suarez biting an opponent , but no one is perfect.
There are just two games left to play, and Cortana has once again predicted the results [Broken URL Removed]. She thinks Brazil will beat the Netherlands in the third place playoff, and that Germany will beat Argentina in the final to win the 2014 World Cup. Do you agree?
Netflix Advertises Best Job Ever
Netflix is advertising for what could possibly be the best job ever created. Ignore the professional language used in the ad; this job involves sitting at home watching films and TV shows and tagging them for other viewers to find. Preferably while wearing sweatpants and eating popcorn. Apply here.
Kelsey Grammer Is A Grammar Nazi
— Kelsey Grammer (@KelseyGrammer) June 30, 2014
And finally, Kelsey Grammer has joined Twitter, but, unusually for a celebrity, he isn’t on there just to promote stuff. Instead, Grammer is primarily on Twitter to revel in his role as a grammar Nazi. He even has his own hashtag, #KelseyGrammerGrammar. Which is all kinds of genius. As a fellow grammar Nazi , I applaud Grammer’s efforts.
Your Views On Today’s Tech News
Is Satya Nadella taking Microsoft in the right direction? Would you ever use the Amazon drone delivery service? Do you want to be a Netflix tagger as much as I do?
Let us know your thoughts on the tech news of the day by posting to the comments section below. Because a healthy discussion is always welcome.
Image Credit: Matt E via Flickr