Tech Bites #3
Well would you look at that, #3 already?! This week we look at tech partnerships, WiFi in the sky, and a cool CSS addition to Google Chrome at the end.
Balloon powered internet by Google
It’s testament to Google’s finger/pie ratio that they have featured in every Tech Bites article thus far. Two weeks ago we were looking at Chrome URL’s and extensions. Last week it was new acquisitions. Now we are going to look at Loon LLC, another subsidiary company of Alphabet seeking to provide WiFi to poorly connected parts of the world.
Loon operates by launching balloons up in to the air, 12 miles into the stratosphere. Once they are there, the balloons transmit a 4G LTE signal back down to the countries below them. The balloons are supposed to offer countries a cheaper alternative to laying thousands of miles of cables and building cell towers.
Last week, these solar powered ‘internet balloons’ were launched over Kenya, in partnership with a Kenyan mobile carrier. Africa has the worst internet availability in the world, so this seems like a good place to start.
No, really. Uber has teamed up with Thames Clippers ferries in London to begin offering rides along the River Thames.
This should hopefully make the prospect of jumping on a boat more appealing. For the majority of users, payment info is already stored in the app. A QR code then becomes your boarding pass, similar to flying for example.
No changes are being made to the ferry schedule. So once you have booked, you’d had better be there! Otherwise, you may need to get a taxi…
Microsoft partners with Citrix
Last week Microsoft partnered with Citrix to use their workspace portal as their preferred supplier. In return, Citrix has announced Microsoft Azure, the cloud platform, will henceforth be their preferred cloud solution.
This isn’t a completely new partnership, rather, the extension and expansion of an existing agreement. As the world of work increasingly moves online, we are excited to see how this changes remote work!
CSS Overview in Chrome
We aren’t sponsored by Google, I swear! (yet). This feature was just a bit too cool to miss out though. I read this over on CSS Tricks, who spotted a new addition in Chrome Dev Tools.
For those who are interested, a new CSS Overview option has been added in Chrome. Its function is to provide a breakdown of the stylistic elements of a web page. Whilst one could theoretically do this before, the UI of the new tool is a lot easier to read. This should hopefully make understanding CSS a lot more approachable for those new to the language.