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The Week In Tech: Twitter, Apple and Microsoft Make Waves

Week In Tech

In a sign that multi-national corporations are assuming more of the roles once associated with government, Facebook and Microsoft teamed up this week to announce plans to lay 4 000 miles of cable under the Ocean from Virginia Beach, USA to Bilbao, Spain. “The companies said the system — designed to support the fast-growing demand for cloud and online services — will be the highest-capacity subsea cable ever across that span. Composed of eight fiber pairs, the cable will have an initial estimated data-carrying capacity of 160 terabytes per second.

This development confirms how Facebook sees its future growth as being dependent on bandwidth heavy multi-media content and is likely to perpetuate its market dominance in the near future with access to its very own ‘data superhighway’.

For over 12 months now, there have been rumors and speculation that Apple is working towards building an electric car, but there have been no official reports from the Cupertino giant confirming the story. But this week, another source came forward to tell the world that the makers of the iPhone have been “investigating how to charge electric cars, talking to charging station companies, and hiring engineers with expertise in the area.” So while there is still no official confirmation, it seems that the tech media are slowly putting all the pieces together to document what is likely to be a seismic shift in the development of the electric car.

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Last week, we reported that Twitter was in the process of easing restrictions on its famous 140 character limit. This week, the micro-blogger confirmed that was indeed the case, amidst much positive reaction from users. The company wants to make the service easier to use, and as a result “User handles and visual media like photos, videos and GIFs will no longer count toward the character count. People will now be able to retweet themselves, in case they want a message to get more visibility down the line.” Historically, tweets that started with a user handle did not get seen by everyone, but only by people who followed both users, but that is also set to change in the coming months.

Google’s woes with the taxman deepened this week, following the news that its Paris HQ was raided by a French police team that included 25 data experts, and “was part of a preliminary investigation into aggravated tax fraud opened in June last year”, according to the Financial Times. European authorities have had American multi-nationals in their sights for some time now, as they seek to crack down on companies moving their profits into places where they pay lower taxes. According to some reports, the French authorities believe they are owed over $1.6 billion by Google.

By Jeremy Daniel

Jeremy Daniel

Jeremy Daniel is an author, online marketing strategist and a firm believer in the transformative power of mobile technology for emerging markets. Jeremy has written across various media platforms since 2001, from television to advertising to print, and spends most of his time in the beautiful city of Cape Town, South Africa.

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