Daily Tech Briefing: May 19, 2014

 
 
By eWEEK Staff  |  Posted 2014-05-19 Print this article Print
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

AT&T announces $48.5 billion bid for DirecTV; Microsoft SQL Server 2014 already powering production workloads; Google faces pressure for scanning student Gmail to mine ad data; and more.

 
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Read more about the stories in today's news:

 
 
 

AT&T officials announced that they intend to purchase satellite-TV provider DirecTV for $48.5 billion, which is equal to $95 per share. This deal could make AT&T the one of America's largest pay-TV providers.

Randall Stephenson, AT&T chairman and CEO, had previously said he was keeping a close eye on Comcast's planned merger with Time Warner Cable. Now, regulators will be considering whether to allow that merger alongside this newly announced plan from AT&T and DirecTV.

Microsoft SQL Server 2014 has only been available since April 1, and since the latest edition of this database server is still brand new, it's likely that risk-adverse enterprises will wait and see how it performs before adopting it.

However, Mark Souza, general manager of the Microsoft Azure Customer Advisory Team, announced that some companies have already embraced the platform. Some Microsoft Technology Adoption Program participants have already decided to implement the platform, since they had access to the new edition months before its release.

Google continues to feel pressure from opponents of the company's former practice of scanning Gmail messages to help target advertisements to Gmail users. Jeff Gould, the president of industry group SafeGov.org, said that the fact this practice is used to occur raises concerns about Google's past and future privacy practices.

Gould and his groups are demanding more specifics from Google about the kinds of ad scanning the company was doing, and when it intends on deleting the information collected from its servers.

Finally, Microsoft is continuing its efforts to advance natural language processing. The company's Word Online browser-based app Tell Me has been extended to Excel Online and PowerPoint Online.

Tell Me is a search box that appears in the center of the Office ribbon that enables users to look up features and options by typing out the intended result in plain language. This is meant to help users who want to create a certain effect in Word, PowerPoint or Excel, but are unsure of the tools they need to do so.

 
 
 

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