Netflix Releases Shuffle Play Feature; Ford- EV Battery Center in S.E. Michigan; Google Rakes in Cash in Q1; Microsoft Teams-Big Boost in Daily Use

Netflix has rolled out a shuffle play feature. Engadget.com reports it should be a boon to people who are just plain overwhelmed by the thousands of possible shows to watch on the platform. The feature is simply called ‘Play Something.’ It isn’t available on mobile yet, but Netflix says it will be soon. As you watch, Netflix should learn from the choices…like on normal Netflix, and it will try to play something it determines you like. 

Ford will build a new EV battery center in Southeast Michigan which they are dubbing ‘Ion Park.’ The center will encompass all aspects of battery tech development…manufacturing, mining, and recycling, according to Ford. The center will have a staff of 150 when it is up and running next year. It will join Ford’s new Battery Benchmarking and Test Laboratory in Allen Park, Michigan. That site, which opened in 2020, is where the company tests new battery cell types. Ford claims to have tested over 150 different types of cells with various chemistries. Besides the Mustang EV, Ford will bow an electric transit van next year, and a fully electric version of the F-150 pickup. 

After a small drop off of 2% when the pandemic first raged last year, Google has come roaring back. Theverge.com says that at the end of the 1st quarter, Google pulled down $55.3 million…compared to $56.9 million in the final quarter of 2020. It’s a stunning 34% increase year over year. YouTube was a $15 billion per year business in 2020, and $6 billion in the quarter just ended alone!

It’s not a big shock as so many continue to work from home, but Microsoft Teams has now amassed 145 million daily active users. Zdnet.com reports that its up from 115 daily just last October. A year ago, Teams only had 75 million active daily active users. Considering that more people are trickling back to offices, Teams seems to have gotten a pretty huge foothold in the video meeting area…and Microsoft has been working on turning it into nearly an operating system like product as they add features. 



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