This week in the news, Amazon made a pledge to run its entire cloud computing division on renewable clean energy, Google announced its return to China with the opening up of its Play Store to Chinese developers, and analysts predict that wearable devices will soon be replaced with smartgarments.
Amazon Pledges to Switch to 100% Clean Energy
Following the likes of Apple and Google, Amazon has finally pledged to reach 100 percent renewable clean energy usage for its global footprint. The e-commerce giant made the announcement on Wednesday, without giving a time frame or declaring any renewable clean energy investments. Amazon is the largest cloud computing company in the world and if it cuts its emissions, it could have a significant impact on the tech industry’s carbon footprint. The Seattle-based company currently stands as one of the dirtiest technology companies as ranked by Greenpeace. (zdnet.com)
Google Play Store Opens to Chinese Developers
Google announced a small step forward in returning to mainland China after leaving the country over censorship concerns in 2010. On Wednesday, the company said it would allow Chinese developers to sell mobile applications through its Play Store. However, Chinese developers can not earn any money in China, as the Play Store is unavailable in the country. One of Chinese developers that have had great success abroad is Cheetah Mobile. It claims to have more than 10 million monthly average users in the United States. The new initiative by Google is expected to make it easier for companies like Cheetah to do business abroad. (BGR)
New York City to Replace Pay Phones with Free Wi-Fi Kiosks
The city of New York plans to replace its pay phones with up to 10,000 free public Wi-Fi kiosks that have speeds of up to a gigabit. According to the American Public Communications Council, there were about 2.2 million pay phones in the U.S. as of 2000 and now there are only under 500,000. The decline in pay phone usage is largely attributed to the prevalence of mobile phones. The planned kiosks will use Android-based touchscreen tablets and can be used for accessing directions, public service announcements and city services. (Forbes)
Analysts: Smartclothes are the Future
Market analysts predict fitness-tracking wristbands may soon be a thing of the past and be replaced with smartclothing. Scientists have developed new technologies that allow tiny, stretchable electrical circuits to be printed onto fabric. The Polo Tech smartshirt by Ralph Lauren, for example, can measure heart rate and respiration, connecting to a smartphone via Bluetooth. The shirt could replace traditional chest straps and other wearable fitness gadgets for fitness enthusiasts and athletes. In an interview with the Guardian, Gartner research director Angela McIntyre said smartgarments can hold more sensors closer to the skin, therefore they can collect more information and produce better data. (The Guardian)
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