Jonathan Guthrie

Mobile phones are a “fifth wave” in the development of computers, according to Hermann Hauser, the veteran technology investor. When I visited him in Cambridge recently he said: “Mainframes were the first wave, mini computers were the second wave, work stations were the third wave and PCs were the fourth.”

Mr Hauser, kingpin of the “Silicon Fen” innovation scene for three decades, was making a point that applies more broadly than solely IT. New technologies devour old ones in waves, destroying established businesses but simultaneously creating new ones. Read more

Jonathan Guthrie

A bust-up between British Airways and trades unionists is a top business story in the UK this morning. What makes the dispute cat nip for news journalists is its political dimension. The ruling Labour Party and the opposition Tories are neck-and-neck in the polls as they head towards an anticipated May 6 general election. Looming strikes – and ministers’ responses to them – are therefore seen as potentially swaying voters.

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Jonathan Guthrie

Carlos Slim

Carlos Slim

Carlos Slim Helu has snatched the title “World’s Richest Man” from Bill Gates in this year’s rankings of billionaires from Forbes. A jump in the value of the Mexican’s telecoms business America Movil helped put his net worth at $53.5bn, $500m ahead of the Microsoft founder.

The Forbes rankings makes compulsive if snoopy reading for those never likely to appear in them, as well as for some that already have. I once lunched with a couple of US billionaires who could not get over how much higher up the league table the guy at the next table was. Read more