Head of Apple's Electric Car Program to Leave the Company

Today's topics include the departure of Apple’s Electric Car Program chief, upgrades to Window’s 10 digital assistant Cortana, an upgrade to Cray weather facility supercomputers and the addition of a recycle bin to Microsoft’s Sway presentation application.

Steve Zadesky, the Apple executive who has been spearheading the company's electric car program for the past two years, is reportedly leaving Apple in the near future for personal reasons. Zadesky's imminent departure was reported Jan. 22 by The Wall Street Journal based on information from sources who are familiar with the matter. The article said that Zadesky apparently told some people about his pending departure. No timeline was given for Zadesky's final day with Apple.

Windows 10 users will soon have a new ally in helping preserve professional and personal relationships. Microsoft is upgrading its Cortana virtual assistant technology that is built into an upcoming update for Windows 10. Microsoft is releasing the Windows 10 update with members of an Insider early-access program. According to Marcus Ash, group program manager for the Microsoft Cortana group, it will soon gain the ability to remind users about work deadlines and personal promises.

Supercomputer maker Cray will get $36 million to upgrade the systems running a European weather forecasting facility. This move highlights the growing use of such massive compute infrastructures by meteorological and climate research facilities.

Cray officials announced the agreement Jan. 25, saying the company will upgrade the supercomputers and high-end storage systems that it put in place for the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts almost three years ago.

As part of this month's update to Microsoft Sway, the cloud-powered tool for creating Web-based interactive presentations, users can now restore presentations they deleted. Launched last summer, Sway uses machine-learning technology to help users assemble text, images and videos into presentations with a professional touch.

In authoring so-called "Sways," users can also pull content from a variety of social media sources, including YouTube, Facebook and Twitter. In its first update for 2016, Sway for Windows 10 is introducing the ability to drag and drop images directly into Sway, mimicking the browser-based version of the software.

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