Space tech, quantum computing and tales from India

Stories of the month - November 2010
Written by Tim Ferguson, Contributor

Stories of the month - November 2010

November's top stories had a distinctly global feel as silicon.com's reporters covered everything from the technology used by Nasa in Houston, Texas, to one of the world's best supply chains in India.

Senior reporter Nick Heath filed a series of reports after a visit to Nasa, where he spoke to astronaut Clayton Anderson, who logged five months in the International Space Station (ISS) in 2007.

The resulting story explores how astronauts use IT on the ISS as it hurtles around the Earth, from the systems that keep the crew alive and in touch with mission control, to the potential value of Apple's iPad in orbit.

News editor Jo Best travelled to India, bringing back the story of how Mumbai's lunchboxmen - known as dabbawalas - operate one of the world's best supply chains as they deliver 200,000 lunches to workers across the city every day.

Also in November, silicon.com's Bangalore correspondent Saritha Rai examined the implications for the Indian outsourcing industry of the murder of a call centre employee.

Another of silicon.com's most popular stories last month was senior reporter Natasha Lomas' investigation into how technology could be powered once the potential of silicon has been exhausted, including the potential of photonics and memristors.

The development of quantum computing is also likely to be writ large in computing's future, and was also the subject of another silicon.com report last month as Natasha Lomas discovered how it could lead to a fundamentally new type of computer but isn't likely to spell the end of the humble laptop just yet.

silicon.com also found how the people who may one day be responsible for bringing these new technological developments into the workplace may find their skills aren't up to the task - as research out last month found IT graduates' job prospects are being hindered by the pace of technological change, which is rendering their recently acquired skills irrelevant.

On a more positive note, businesses may be buoyed by the news that the new generation of workers may not be as demanding as they think, as millennial Shelley Portet debunked some myths about how the newest generation of workers are likely to use tech in the workplace last month.

November also featured a look at one of tech's current hot topics, analytics, as online travel company Expedia revealed how a tiny alteration on its website - as a result of using data analytics - generated an extra $12m.

Meanwhile, Nokia received the silicon.com company profile treatment and its progress from rubber boot manufacturer to one of the world's mobile giants was charted by Jo Best, who also looked at what the future might hold for the company.

And finally, silicon.com's Apple guru Seb Janacek looked into the mysterious case of the white iPhone as he wondered why the version, as shown off at the launch of the iPhone 4 back in June, has so far failed to materialise.

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