Daily Archives: December 1, 2011

Chris Nuttall

After extensive testing of the latest fitness gadgets, I have discovered one major problem common to all of them – me.

Sticking to fitness regimes and weight-loss programmes requires a degree of rigour I seem to lack and this carried over into the discipline of having to record my activity on the new Jawbone UP and updated versions of the Fitbit widget and the BodyMedia FIT armband. 

Richard Waters

Kleiner Perkins doesn’t admit new partners often. Last year it was the turn of former “Queen of the internet” Mary Meeker, the first to get a seat at the table of one of Silicon Valley’s top VC firms since video games star Bing Gordon in 2008.

So the appointment of Mike Abbott, former vice president of engineering at Twitter, looks like an important hire. 

Maija Palmer

Iceland subsea connectionsIceland’s hopes of becoming a global hub for data centres came a step closer on Thursday, when plans for a new transatlantic subsea cable were announced, that would link New York and London via Iceland and Ireland.

Iceland has long been trying to market itself as a prime location for data centres. Its plentiful, cheap geothermal energy is attractive to data centre operators who are becoming increasingly worried about electricity costs, and the cold climate means cooling the racks of servers is virtually free. 

The Israeli military’s in-house high-tech research and development unit has spawned a process for coming up with new ideas

When Aharon Zeevi Farkash enters the offices of his company south of Tel Aviv, he needs neither key nor code. As soon as he leaves the elevator, a camera captures his face and body shape, and feeds the information to a computer that recognises his features. The door unlocks.

Should the face recognition software fail, Mr Farkash will be prompted to speak a few words into a receiver. The computer will switch to voice recognition – and unlock the door.

 

Google, PayPal, Visa and leading mobile phone operators are all rushing to announce mobile payments services, in a battle to establish a foothold in a lucrative new market.

In September, Google launched its mobile wallet service in the US, allowing people to pay for goods at stores including Bloomingdale’s, Toy’R’Us and Walgreens, by using a mobile handset equipped with a near-field communications (NFC) chip that communicates wirelessly with the cash till.

 

Tech news from around the web:

MasterCard is to invest in mFoundry, a company that provides mobile banking solutions for more than 500 US banks, TechCrunch reports. As part of the deal, mFoundry will offer MasterCard’s PayPass Near Field Communication technology to the banks and credit unions it works with. 

Richard Waters

Six months after setting up its cutely-named @WalmartLabs offshoot in Silicon Valley, the world’s biggest retailer is ready to launch its first experiment in social commerce: a gift-recommender that taps into the Facebook social graph.