Last week, there was word that Apple had paid a hefty $4.5 million for the domain icloud.com. Now, we see reports that signs of iCloud have been found in a developer preview of Mac OS X Lion. The blog Consomac was poking around, looking for references to iCloud and MobileMe, when it stumbled upon strings saying things like, “Complete your Castle upgrade.” PC World says this suggests “Castle” will be more than Apple’s online music service. It could be a full cloud solution for music, photos, contacts, files, and anything else you’ve got stored digitally. Remember that Apple’s setting up a 500,000 square foot data center to support iTunes and MobileMe. That’s five times larger than its California data center. The Mac OS is high on the agenda for Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference, which begins June 6. So, that might be where Apple announces its real intentions for the cloud.
Last month, American manufacturers expanded at the fastest pace in nearly seven years. More important: over 80 percent of them can’t find the technology help they need. KPMG says nearly 41 percent of U.S. manufacturers plan to increase hiring in 2011. That could mean 230,000 new jobs before the end of the year. And we’re not talking about assembly line jobs here. Companies need tech professionals to build and operate automated manufacturing systems. They need mechanical and electrical engineers and people who can read and write machine programming code, design mechanical systems, and troubleshoot problems. Since the industry is actively recruiting — and keen to find the right people — you may be able to telecommute or relocate to a manufacturing town that offers a lower cost of living.
Some other hiring news: At least one big tech name is hiring: Amazon. The company’s quarterly profits fell, but the reasons have to do with building more fulfillment centers and expanding technology offerings as it continues to staff up. Amazon added 4,200 employees in the first three months of the year, to reach a total of nearly 38,000. And let’s end with some some quasi-hiring news. AOL wants to bring on 8,000 bloggers for its Patch network of local sites. That’s great. Except the company’s not going to pay them. See, you’ll get all this exposure. Such a deal.