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Week Ending: June 9th - A Roundup in I.T. & Tech News

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Each week we keep an eye out for the most interesting stories from the world of I.T. and Tech. This week has delivered in abundance, and in the Claritas office we’ve been discussing some of the more viral news from around the globe – here we share some of our personal highlights.

Apple’s HomePod launched to battle Amazon’s Alexa

The first new major category release since the Apple Watch in 2014, Apple announced its plans to launch HomePod this week – a voice controlled Wi-Fi speaker with very similar functionality to Amazon’s Alexa.

We may well have Speaker Wars: The revenge of Siri on our hands come December as Apple’s Siri-powered launch will look to battle Amazon and other competitor virtual assistants.

The Apple HomePod is an extension of the Apple audio experience and will cost £270. The news came from Apple’s annual developer conference in San Jose, alongside a number of new software features and gadget upgrades.

Microsoft’s Project Premonition works to fight deadly viruses

A story we’ve been discussing internally recently is Microsoft’s Project Premonition – something we think is truly fascinating.

Project Premonition is an initiative in which Microsoft and its partners are working to determine where viruses come from and how they are spread. The group is doing this by collecting information from animals bitten by mosquitoes.

Ethan Jackson, the Microsoft researcher who is leading Project Premonition said the project opens the team up to “a plethora of data we never had before about the behaviour of the insects.”

It’s a technical business, as you can imagine. The captured mosquitoes are used for data via gene sequencing, producing more than 100 million pieces of small DNA sequences. These sequences are compared against the genomes of hundreds of thousands of organisms, from viruses and bacteria to reptiles and mammals.

The team’s vision is to be one step ahead of the next deadly virus and we’re interested to find out how things pan out.

Naturally, the technicality of this project is very detailed so you can read more about it here.

We’re all human

This week Willie Walsh, the chief executive of British Airways’ parent company IAG, explained it was “human error” that caused the I.T. catastrophe of late. It came down to an engineer causing a power surge by disconnecting a power supply in a British Airways data centre and then reconnecting.

The power surge is said to have caused a catastrophic travel disaster for over 75,000 passengers, however, the recent statements have been met with scepticism. Some have said the explanation is too simplistic and others have explained that a power surge could not cause such chaos of that level.

We’ll soon know for sure, IAG has launched a full investigation into the I.T. crash and confirmed that they will disclose the full details once they have their full findings. Undoubtedly this isn’t the last we’ve heard of this story.

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