April 2017 Tech
April, 2017 Issue
Q. Self-driving cars may not be quite ready for city streets, but what self-propelled craft is traversing San Francisco Bay?
A “Self-sailing is already happening on the water” with vessels like the Saildrone, reports IEEE Spectrum magazine. Looking much like a miniature America’s Cup racing yacht, it “can do things like monitor the melting of the polar ice caps that are difficult and costly to do on a traditional boat with a human crew.” Operators at the California Saildrone company control the wind-powered vessel via satellite. On the upside, the Saildrone can haul up to 160 kilograms of equipment (some 350 pounds worth), providing for better understanding of the oceans, and carries improved weather and climate prediction technology. The downside is that its speed tops out at roughly 5 knots, or 5.75 mph.
Source: Bill Sones and Rich Sones, Ph.D.
Women in Tech
While the percentage of women in the United States labor force has gradually climbed to 46.8 percent over the past decades, it is still significantly lower in the tech sector.
Female employees make up between 26 percent (Microsoft) and 44 percent (PayPal) of the workforce at major tech companies, with the percentage dropping lower when it comes to actual tech jobs. In terms of leadership positions, the status of women in the technology sector is roughly on par with the rest of the economy. In 2015, women held 25 percent of executive, senior-level and management positions in S&P 500 companies.
Less is More?
According to the infographic site Statista, Samsung and Apple follow polar opposite approaches in the smartphone market. While Apple is decidedly minimalist in how many different models it sells and focuses on the high-end segment of the market, Samsung churns out more smartphones than any other major brand year after year.
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