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Microsoft on Monday announced the general availability of SQL Server 2017, now with support for Linux, at its Ignite conference in Orlando. The company first announced its plans for the newest iteration of its database software a year and a half ago. This is the first version of SQL Server to run on Windows Server, Linux and Docker, noted Scott Guthrie, EVP, cloud and enterprise, at Microsoft. SQL Server offers "mission-critical performance and security," he said. It now has everything built in, including AI, "on the platform of your choice."
Microsoft has been working on a language for a computer that doesn't exist. The company unveiled the language -- as yet unnamed -- at its Ignite conference in Orlando, Florida. Part of its Visual Studio product, it will run on a quantum simulator and quantum computer. Microsoft introduced the language during a presentation about the company's progress toward developing a topological qubit and an ecosystem of hardware and software for developers to produce wares using the power of quantum computing.
Twitter has announced a limited test to double the maximum tweet size to 280 characters. Twitter has been struggling to boost user engagement, and its tweet character limitation has been the subject of a longstanding debate among customers and company insiders. One reason for the possible change is to correct for the imbalance between applying the maximum character count to Asian characters, which convey more meaning than characters in western languages, noted Twitter Product Manager Aliza Rosen and Senior Software Engineer Ikuhiro Ihara.
Nvidia on Thursday announced that its Shield TV now includes Google Assistant as part of its Shield Experience Upgrade 6.0 update, which is now available for download. The update also lets the Shield device work as a SmartThings Hub when paired with a SmartThinks Link. The SmartThings Link, which can be used to connect Shield TV as a SmartThings Hub, will be released in the coming months with a promotional launch price of $14.99. Shield TV supports voice commands to search apps, play and pause TV, and seek out particular programs.
Nvidia went to China last week and made a series of interesting announcements having to do with smart cities and autonomous cars. IBM made an announcement on advancements in tying the Weather Channel to its Watson artificial intelligence engine, and improvements in targeted marketing. We also found out about Oculus' Fall in Love VR project which is kind of like The Bachelor or The Bachelorette, but the significant other is a hot computerized avatar. Intel announced Loihi, a new AI processor that emulates the human brain.
If you want to stretch your Linux desktop acumen from the Debian Linux lineage to Arch Linux, Archlabs might be a better choice than Parabola. Arch Linux is something of a black sheep when it comes to installing and configuring a Linux distribution. It presents a few more stumbling blocks than other Linux options, which could make it a less welcome alternative to some users. Arch Linux distros are notorious for their intense installations and sometimes-challenging software management processes.
Blowback over Apple's iOS 11 upgrade has been increasing, despite an update that was supposed to solve battery drainage issues and a large number of other glitches but apparently has not done so. Apple officially launched iOS 11 on September 19, but problems quickly became apparent, prompting the company to roll out iOS 11.0.1 just a week later. iOS 11 provides immersive AR functionality to iPhones and iPads, as well as a redesigned App Store, enhanced Siri, a Do Not Disturb feature for drivers, and the ability to share music playlists.
A refresh of Google's critically acclaimed Pixel smartphones is expected Wednesday when the company holds its annual product launch event at the SFJAZZ center in San Francisco. Although their features won't be known officially until Google raises the curtain on the phones at the event, leaks -- including photos -- have given the public a good idea of what's to come. The smaller of the two phones, the Pixel 2, is expected to have a 1080p FHD display with an aspect ratio of 16:9. Its larger brother, the Pixel XL, is believed to have a 6-inch, QHD+ display with an 18:9 ratio.
"Coding is one of the most in-demand skills. There's a myth out there that you need to have this skill only if you work with computers, but as society develops, you're going to see coding in every field. This is a skill that's needed in all job sectors," said Rachel Décoste, director of the Congressional App Challenge. "The jobs of tomorrow will require, if not coding, at least an understanding of how it works. If our children are going to be competitive on the global scale, it's going to be a skill they have to develop, and the earlier the better."
Amazon's Alexa has a new musical talent, the company announced Tuesday. "Today, we're making Alexa even smarter with an all-new feature that lets you play music synchronized on multiple Echo devices to provide room-filling music throughout your home," said Amazon Alexa Vice President Toni Reid. Setting up the syncing is easy. Using the Alexa app, you give a group of devices a name -- "first floor," for instance. Then you can play music through all the devices simultaneously by saying something like "Alexa, play Allman Brothers first floor."
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