Tech

Today’s cache | Google’s rival search engine, Blockchain in energy trading, and more

A former Google top executive builds a rival search engine that will go ad-free.

Blockchain technology has been largely confined to finance and cryptocurrency. It is now slowing branching out into solar energy trading.

Android’s version of AirDrop has bigger ambition, but it is still work in progress.

Almost four years after acquiring its French rival, Nokia cuts over a thousand jobs at Alcatel-Lucent.

Lastly, Google Photos is stopping its monthly print subscription service trial as of June 30.

Ex-Google ads boss builds a rival search engine

Google’s former head of advertising is building a rival search product that will allow users to look for information without ads.

Neeva, now in beta, is an attempt to personalise search and remove ads. The Google rival is built to deliver ad-free searches and to simplify results.

Founded by Sridhar Ramaswamy, the executive who was in-charge of Google’s $115 billion advertising division, and Vivek Raghunath, ex-VP of monetisation at YouTube, Neeva is designed to keep user behaviour tracking at bay.

“A lack of competition in the search space is bad for innovation and bad for users,” Sridhar Ramaswamy wrote in a blog post.

“We need more search engines, offering different kinds of experiences and preferences, to fit people’s individual needs.”

First blockchain-based solar energy trading initiative works

Blockchain technology has been largely confined to finance and cryptocurrency.

The distributed ledger system’s relevance in other areas of business are slowly coming to light.

The first use of the technology in the world of renewable energy happened in Australia.

The RENeW Nexus project found that peer-to-peer-based solar energy trading is ‘technically feasible’ after testing 48 households in Fremantle, Western Australia.

The project is funded by the Australian government’s smart cities initiative, and is run on Power Ledger’s blockchain technology. Curtin University and Murdoch University are also involved in the project.

Power Ledger is a software company that facilitates electricity and environmental commodity trading with the help of blockchain technology.

Android’s version of AirDrop is still work in progress

Google has been working on its version of AirDrop for some time now.

The search giant calls it ‘Fast Share,’ and more commonly known as ‘Nearby Sharing.’

With it, Google users can share links, videos and photos with other Android devices like how AirDrop works on iOS products.

However, it looks like the feature can do more than just sharing within Android devices, according to a report by 9to5 Google.

The news agency said that Google has brought the service to Chrome OS, and the feature is starting to appear in the Chrome OS Settings app, as of the latest builds of Chrome OS Canary.

The feature needs to be activated with a flag in Chrome. However, after toggling the option in Settings, the feature is not responsive, meaning it’s a work in progress.

Nokia to cut hundreds of jobs at Alcatel-Lucent

About four years after acquiring Alcatel-Lucent, Nokia is cutting a third of jobs at the French rival, a move that could have political repercussions in France.

The move by Nokia will cut 1,233 jobs at the French subsidiary.

Nokia bought Alcatel-Lucent on condition that it would keep jobs, and expand research and development division at the acquired company.

A Nokia spokeswoman said the company of free of any such commitments this month, according to a report by Reuters.

The Finnish telecom company said the job cuts were necessary due to cost pressures in the market, the new agency added.

The company added that the job cuts will particularly impact the research and development division.

“Nokia will continue to be a major employer in France with a strong foothold in R&D, sales and services, which will enable us to develop and execute our customers’ projects efficiently,” Thierry Boisnon, president of Nokia in France, said.

At the time of acquisition, Nokia said it would protect the jobs in France for two years and expand research. The company employs 5,138 people in France, of these, 3,640 work at Alcatel-Lucent.

Google Photos ends monthly print subscription trial

Google Photos will be ending its monthly print subscription service trial as of June 30, droidlife reported.

The search giant had launched the service back in February. It allowed users to subscribe to a monthly $8 printing service. Subscribers would be sent physical pictures from their Photos Library once every month.

Google emailed the below note to those who were signed up for the trial, according to the news service:

“Thank you for your invaluable feedback these last several months. You have provided us with a lot of helpful information about how we can evolve this feature, which we hope to make more widely available. Please keep your eyes open for future updates.”

Google did not share the reason behind its discontinuance. It also did not say whether it will restart the service at a later point in time.

As seen on thehindu Image Credits thehindu

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