Monthly Archives: December 2012

iRobot Roomba 790

A decade after iRobot introduced its first Roomba vacuum cleaner, home robots not only sweep up dust but also clear gutters and cut grass. New designs launched this year have made the devices more useful than ever, but how do they compare with the traditional methods of getting the chores done?

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Chris Nuttall

Hybrid convertible computing devices may seem like a new phenomenon created by the dual interfaces of the Windows 8 operating system, but Hewlett-Packard has been pushing similar products at businesses for years.

And so the HP Elitebook Revolve, a notebook unveiled today with a swivelling screen that can turn it into a tablet, will actually be a ninth-generation convertible for the Silicon Valley company when it goes on sale in March. Read more

The FT’s latest ebook is about Amazon and its voracious expansion from online book retailer into technological giant.

Is the company a force for good? Can it justify its current stock price? Why does Amazon compete with the companies it provides services to? Will Amazon agree to pay more tax in the UK as Starbucks just agreed to do?

Thanks to everyone who took part in the Q&A. If you have further questions, please post them to Twitter using #FTAmazon. Barney Jopson, the FT’s US retail correspondent, and Andrew Edgecliffe-Johnson, global media editor, will answer them here as soon as possible. Read more

Robert Cookson

LumiTwo of the three founders of, the original Silicon Roundabout success story, have arrived back on the London tech scene to launch a new service that helps people discover popular web pages.

Felix Miller and Martin Stiksel, who sold their music “scrobbling” service to CBS in $280m in 2007, announced their new venture Lumi in a blog post on Tuesday. Read more

Rupert Murdoch on Monday said he was closing The Daily, the iPad-only newspaper launched with great fanfare in February 2011, writes Robert Cookson.

Mr Murdoch characterised The Daily as “a bold experiment in digital publishing”, but said that ultimately, “we could not find a large enough audience quickly enough to convince us the business model was sustainable in the long-term.” Read more

Interesting commentary from around the Web on a tech story that made headlines last week.

Despite an unexpected delay, the release of Apple’s updated iTunes on Thursday was generally well-reviewed by tech bloggers. Its simple interface and speedy performance was seen as a major upgrade. However, questions lingered over whether it would keep iTunes at the forefront in a new world of music subscription services like Spotify and Rdio. Read more

Facebook’s push for more frictionless sharing is now reaching into the depths of photo albums past and future.

The social network is promoting Photo Sync, a new feature for its mobile app that allows people to automatically upload every picture taken with their mobile phones to a private Facebook album. They then choose which photos to share on Facebook, but the automatic upload makes that process much faster and easier.

Turning Facebook into a catch-all photo repository also gives the company a new glut of information about its users from the geo-location data attached to the photos. The company can now tell where you are, when, and with whom, even if you don’t make the images public. Read more