Talking shoe from Google – UK guide for Microsoft workers – The English village with French internet
Google introduces 'talking shoe'
In the same week the search engine giant announced the shutdown of Google Reader, the company has revealed an innovative new idea. The Google talking shoe is able to comment on the actions of the individual wearing them, providing live updates of their training.
From runners to basketball players, athlete would be able to receive such updates as "You have made me a very proud shoe", as well as supportive comments when it looks like they are about to stop. The experimental product unveiled at the SXSW conference was designed to highlight the new advertising platform, entitled Art, Copy and Code.
The kind of technology in these experimental shoes is already used in many smartphone apps, showing that exercise motivation from inanimate objects is certainly possible. While it may be some time until talking shoes become a part of everyday life for athletes, Google has provided yet another example of how technology is constantly evolving to make life easier.
Microsoft gives guide to UK living
Microsoft employees who are relocating to work in the United Kingdom have been provided with a guide to living on our shores. This advice is in preparation for the opening of new Microsoft offices, set to be the European base for the company.
The 44 page handbook is entitled 'A guide to working and living in Cambridge', covering a great deal of topics. As well as speaking of the benefits of the NHS and fish and chip shops, other helpful hints included by the software giant include 'Don't take your gun with you'. There was also a warning for Chinese employees, which stated that despite Chinese food being "largely cherished" by the British, the food was adapted to British tastes and not served in a traditional Chinese style.
The £80m offices in Cambridge are set to open in the near future, with many Microsoft employees set to relocate to the company's new European headquarters. As well as some 50,000 square feet of office space, student accommodation, residential and retail development will also take place, as well as a dedicated rail station.
English village - French internet
Two small villages near Dover have been hit with some unexpected roaming charges, as smartphone devices established a data connection with a French system over the channel.
The close proximity of the white cliffs of Dover blocks out English data signals, meaning that on a clear day with the right weather conditions, smartphone users can find themselves connected to French data.
Residents of St Margaret's and St Margaret's Bay have reported that their phones often display a 'Welcome to France' message, with the cost of French data connection as much as four times greater than British rates. Nigel Wydymus is a local business owner in the bay area, and commented: "People on the beach in England do not expect to be on a French network and so, unlike when they get off the plane in Spain, they haven't switched off data roaming, causing extra bills".
A spokesperson for EE commented on this phenomenon, stating: "We always recommend our customers switch off roaming while they are in this area to ensure that they are connecting to the correct network." They also confirmed that while they were aware of the problem, there was currently nothing that could be done due to a lack of control over French networks.