Gmail has recently announced in a blog post the graduation of three new Gmail labs, one of which includes its automatic message translation, a handy tool that lets users translate email messages that are sent or received into a variety of languages.
Automatic message translation was first experimented by Google in May 2009 to find out how people would respond to and use it.
With an overwhelmingly positive response from various users, Google decided that it was time to take it out of the lab and bring it “into the real world”.
In the next few days, Google will be rolling out the new feature to all users which allows for all emails to be translated into the language of their choice. Next time a user receives an email in another language or wants to send an email in a language other than their own, all they have to do is click on ‘Translate Message’ that will appear in the header at the top of the email.
Other options include completely turning off the translating feature for a specific language if a user happens to be bi-lingual for example or turning on the translation as a default for a particular language. So, you can select the ability for every message that comes through from your friend in Germany to be automatically translated into English, for example or when your German lessons start paying off, disabling it.
HP has had some tough times in the past year – after their then-CEO Leo Apotheker announced that HP would be stepping out of the PC game, their sales figures took a small dive, but luckily he got ousted before such rash moves. HP is now once again back in the number one spot when it comes to overall PC sales worldwide.
Canalis’s research now starts to include tablet devices under PC sales, and Apple’s iPad sales has contributed significantly to Apple’s sales numbers, but even so, HP’s sales was slightly higher overall. So Apple was in second place, Lenovo in third (with big increases in sales) and Acer and Dell taking the fourth and fifth spots.
What is clear however, is that tablet devices has started to eat away at the previously very popular netbook market:
“The total client PC market grew by 21% to 107 million units. Importantly, while the pad category exhibited the highest growth – more than 200% year on year – notebook and desktop PC shipments were up too, rising 11% and 8% respectively. Netbook shipments, however, were down 34% on the year-ago quarter – the sixth such fall in succession.”
Take a look inside the offices of Microsoft’s headquarters in Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
The space has been designed to optimise what is called ‘hotdesking’ , where employees and senior executives are not assigned specific desks or individual offices. Rather, a variety of different types of work areas are provided, conducive for conducting different kinds of work. This includes “teamwork benches, enclosed and semi-enclosed meeting rooms, open informal meeting areas, concentration booths, individual work carousels and work lounges.”
The spaces provide either a more formal working environment or place for employees to relax and wind down in areas that include simple and comfortable furniture with pops of colour and natural lighting.
The office, designed by Sevil Peach and Veldhoen + Co. took several years to implement as it was important to the company to receive employee feedback to ensure that staff were receptive to the idea of ‘hotdesking’ before going ahead with the design.
View the office images below:
According to a report by the Financial Times, Nokia are in advanced talks to sell off its luxury brand Vertu that offers customers expensive and limited edition handsets and exclusive services, to private equity group Permira.
Should the sale be completed, Nokia could make approximately $265 million dollars from the brand which aims “to dispose of non-core assets to help turnround its devices division”.
The article also reveals that EQT, the Northern European private equity group, has also been in talks about buying the company however sources close the to process say that not much progress has been made.
Nokia who recently launched its Lumia 610, the first NFC Windows Phone, recently reported a $1.8 billion loss in the first quarter of 2012.
After revealing the sales figures above and as the company focuses on driving sales of its Windows-based Lumia smartphone platform, chief executive Stephen Elop said that “There are things we’re doing today that we may have to stop”.
The sale of Vertu would be an appropriate one to Permira as it would add to the company’s portfolio of other existing luxury technology brands including Valentino and Hugo Boss.
Vertu is an independently managed UK-based subsidiary of Nokia that was launched in 1998 by the Finnish company in order to reach the growing demand of the wealthy for exclusive brands at the time. The phone’s high price tags of more than £200, 000 are due to their “precious metal components”.
According to The Next Web, Apple has had a planning request approved to build on off-site restaurant for employees primarily so that staff can talk freely amongst themselves during their breaks without worrying about any possible eaves-droppers from other competing companies.
The new cafeteria approved by the Cupertino Planning Commission, will be located a short walk or drive from Apple’s Infinite Loop headquarters and will provide a meeting room, restaurant, lounge areas and courtyard facilities.
At a meeting held on Tuesday when the plans were approved, Apple’s director of real estate facilities, Dan Whisenhunt explained that “We like to provide a level of security so that people and employees can feel comfortable talking about their business, their research and whatever project they’re engineering without fear of competition sort of overhearing their conversations.”
Whereas the current Caffe Macs located at Apple’s HQ on site, allows visitors, the new off-site restaurant will be exclusively for Apple employees and provide them with the privacy they need to talk freely.
The new restaurant is a short-term solution for Apple who are planning on building its brand new “Spaceship” headquarters once those plans are approved which will accommodate 13, 000 of its employees on 2.8 million square feet.
Only a very exclusive group of special people have the opportunity in their life time to watch Earth out the window of a space craft or through the International Space Station. A perspective that is overwhelming, fascinating and educational.
Now, a new startup called Urthecast is going to change that by bringing a live view of Earth from space to our computer screens, an experience that will be achieved by mounting the world’s very first HD cameras onto the space station that will stream live footage.
The space station will orbit Earth about 15 times a day and provide footage 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The footage will be downlinked from space to ground stations and then immediately streamed onto the internet via Urthecast.com.
Urthecast co-founder, Scott Larson explains that the experience will be a combination of Google Earth and YouTube, where Google Earth’s static views of the planet will combine with YouTube’s features of rewinding, pausing and tagging video footage.
Ad Dynamo has announced its entry into Brazil today.
“Brazil represents an enormous growth market in both online and mobile advertising, and we’re very pleased to be launching here with a relevant and established player such as Realmedia,” says Sean Riley, CEO of Ad Dynamo.
Though today is the official launch date, Ad Dynamo has been quietly building traction in Brazil over the past couple of months. The global contextual ad marketplace brings more choice to the market currently dominated by Google. Website owners who work with Ad Dynamo get paid faster than any other ad network can offer, and advertisers now have an additional avenue to reach their targeted audiences within Brazil.
Realmedia serves more than 3,4 Billion ads per month in Brazil and represents a very interesting proposition – this is a market where Ad Dynamo launches with real traction and critical mass.
Couple this with Ad Dynamo’s global publisher network of more than 26,000 websites, Brazilian advertisers have a compelling option to market their businesses both within Brazil and abroad.
Over the next month, Ad Dynamo will be launching a Brazilian Portuguese version of the site and introduce Brazilian Real support for both publishers and advertisers. In addition, Brazilian based publishers have the option to be paid in their local currency, the Ad Dynamo Debit Card is already available as an alternative form of receiving funds – publishers that qualify get their very own Visa card that is automatically topped up monthly with the revenue they earn by placing ads on their website.
According to Peter Gervai, Managing Director at Realmedia “Realmedia consolidated its story through the areas of technology and media in vertical sites. Our plans for the next year includes expanding the range of products we offer to the market and increasing participation in various forms to meet the consumer at the right time. Partnering with Ad Dynamo is an important step on this path, especially because Ad Dynamo is as dynamic and agile as our market. “
South African banks and retailers are likely to be slow to adopt near-field communications (NFC) technology for mobile payments because of the high costs of installing point-of-sale terminals and other enabling infrastructure. That’s the word from Tim Walter, Executive Head of Marketing at Nashua Mobile, who says that there is little appetite among institutions to drive adoption of yet another new point-of-sale payment technology just as the end of their protracted rollout of the EMV credit card standard is in sight.
NFC is a short-range wireless technology that will eventually allow people to use their mobile phone as a wallet. It will enable consumers to make secure payments to compatible point of sale terminals or to another user’s smartphone. NFC has proven itself to be a viable technology in field trials in countries such as the US, and South African banks (like ABSA) are reportedly also trialling NFC. But, as yet, there are not enough NFC compatible handsets in the market, nor is there a compelling commercial model for the rollout of the technology in South Africa, says Walter. The only brand to actively deploy NFC on new handsets is RIM with their latest Blackberry devices.