Microsoft announces strategy to become “water positive” by 2030

Clean drinking water is a scarce commodity around the globe. This week, Microsoft laid out its plan to help address water scarcity worldwide.

Image: iStock/piyaset

In recent months, Microsoft has revealed a series of innovative strategies to help the company reach its sustainability goals. In July, the company announced that it had used hydrogen fuel cells to power data center servers over the course of 48 hours. Earlier this month, Microsoft ended a multi-year study with positive initial results testing the reliability and practicality of underwater datacenters. On Monday, the company announced it would be “water positive,” meaning it would consume less water than it would replenish, by the end of the decade.

“We’re tackling our water consumption in two ways: Reducing our water use intensity–or the water we use per megawatt of energy used for our operations–and replenishing water in the water-stressed regions we operate,” said

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Zoom: New video chat features aim to make meetings more accessible to everyone

Everyone should be able to participate in video meetings, so Zoom has added new features for those who might find them more of a challenge.

Zoom has added new features to make its platform more accessible for users who might find video meetings more of a struggle.

The company has been working with accessibility organizations including the A11y Project to help tackle accessibility challenges faced by people with hearing, vision, mobility, and cognitive difficulties, particularly when communicating via video.


Zoom

said it had been working with these organizations to make Zoom accessible to a more diverse user base.

Among the new features introduced to the platform this week are tools to make it easier for users who require an interpreter follow the chain of conversation when the speaker in a meeting switches.

SEE:
How to improve your audio in a Zoom meeting

(TechRepublic)

Multi-pinning, for example, allows users to pin

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Google Maps now shows you where covid-19 cases are spiking

The news: Google Maps has added a new feature that lets people see the number of covid-19 cases per 100,000 people for any given area, with a label indicating if cases are trending up or down. In a blog post, Google said the functionality will start rolling out worldwide on both Android and iOS this week. In the US the information goes down to the state and county level, but in Europe just the national figure is available for now, so the feature will be of very limited use.

How it works: You open Google Maps, click on the top right-hand corner of your screen, and click on “covid-19 info,” Google Maps product manager Sujoy Banerjee explains in the blog post. Color-coding makes it easy to see at a glance how many new cases each area is reporting.

Where’s the data from? Google says the data comes from “multiple

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