Monthly Archives: June 2013

An illustration by Toby Leigh depicting a taco drone©Toby Leigh

Before he invented Pintofeed, a smartphone-enabled pet food dispenser, Carlos Herrera made drones. How far morality played a role in his decision to move out of the drone business isn’t clear but there were, at least, other factors. People spend $100bn a year on pets globally, while commercial drones – the kind that don’t spy on or kill people – remain an unproven market proposition.

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Chris Nuttall

Apple introduced a much-needed and radical redesign for its Mac Pro desktop line this week, but its refreshing of the MacBook Air was all internal – the laptop’s look has not changed since its revamp in 2010.

Since then, many Windows laptops have tried to copy the Air’s classic wafer-thin looks and it has inspired an entire “Ultrabook” category, created by Intel. But, after trying the new Air and its most recent competition, it’s easy to see why Apple felt no need to change things externally. Read more

Facebook launched its own Twitter-style hashtag system in an attempt to bolster its fledgling search feature, and raise a challenge to its rival social network that pioneered the use of the # symbol in online communications.

Introducing the marker to Facebook posts will help the company organise comments around certain celebrities or real-time events, like sports games, concerts, or television shows. This way users can search for what other people are saying about the same topic, and advertisers could target ads against real-time trends. Read more

Tim Bradshaw

It was the moment designers and Apple fans alike have been waiting for since October: Sir Jonathan Ive – spiritual heir to Apple’s chief tastemaker Steve Jobs and creator of the world’s finest tech hardware – unveiled his vision for iOS on Monday in San Francisco.

After seven months of anticipation, perhaps some anticlimax was inevitable. But a lot of designers are already taking to the web to voice their dislike of iOS 7’s new lookRead more

Richard Waters

A redesigned iOS was the centrepiece of Apple’s annual World Wide Developer Conference in San Francisco on Monday, as CEO Tim Cook and other company executives sought to hit back at Google’s Android and prove that Apple has not lost its innovative edge.

Designer-in-chief Sir Jonathan Ive appeared only by video to talk about the new flatter, sleeker look that Apple called the most important redesign since the birth of the iPhone. Also as expected: new Macbook Airs and an iRadio music streaming service.

See below for our liveblog of the event as it unfolded.

 

Tim Bradshaw

The inventor of the world wide web is not happy with the direction his creation is going.

For several years, Sir Tim Berners-Lee has been warning about incursions to the founding principles of the web, from the UK’s Digital Economy Act and SOPA to Facebook’s “walled gardens”.

This week’s reports about the PRISM system, through which the NSA extracts huge amounts of personal information from Google, Facebook, Apple and other internet companies, are “deeply concerning”, he says. Read more

Tim Bradshaw

In trying to reconcile the tech companies’ denials of involvement in the NSA’s PRISM programme and the agency’s presentation that suggests it has “direct access” to their servers, some have looked to private Silicon Valley company Palantir as a possible bridge between the two. Read more

Nick Lowndes illustration for Millennial Generation special report

Few “millennials” – or the generation aged between 18 and 33 – can remember a time when technology has not been a fundamental part of their lives. Not only does it answer their questions, but, through social media, it also gives them the ability to alter the way in which they are perceived by their peers and the greater world around them. Online tools and smart devices have empowered the generation born since 1980 in a way few previous technologies have done.

“Technology has played a huge role in how they’re different from the ­generation that came before them,” says Jean Case, chief executive of the Case Foundation, which she and her husband Steve Case, AOL’s co-founder, created in 1997.

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Chris Nuttall

Salesforce.com shares were back in positive territory on Wednesday – closing up 0.5 per cent at $37.95 – after an 8 per cent fall the previous day caused by its decision to spend $2.5bn on its biggest acquistion to date – ExactTarget.

Salesforce, whose CRM ticker name is an acronym for its business – customer relationship management, came to the market nine years ago as the leading exponent of a new way of working. Companies would subscribe to its online service through the internet cloud rather than run traditional software on their local machines. Read more

Chris Nuttall

Zynga appears to have wasted the $200m it was understood to have paid last year for OMGPop – with the Draw Something maker’s New York office being reportedly shut down as part of the restructuring announced this week.

It had already written down the March 2012 acquisition by around $90m last October as the drawing game’s popularity waned. Zynga is laying off 18 per cent of its global workforce – around 520 people – as it tries to shift the focus of its business away from Facebook to mobile games. One alleged victim of the cuts has been sounding off on Reddit over the past few hours about his experience at Zynga’s San Francisco headquarters. Read more

Less than a week after its founder Iain Dodsworth announced he was leaving, TweetDeck has bared its new web-design to the world. Users of the web version and Chrome app will notice that the top bar is now at the side, it’s easier to add new columns and that the overall look has been tweaked Read more

Chris Nuttall

The Computex show in Taiwan this week has featured some inventive takes on computing, including Asus’s Transformer Book Trio that works as a Windows 8 notebook and desktop as well as an Android tablet.

Next to that, announcements from Sony and Toshiba around the show seem rather conventional, with pens featured and the latest fourth-generation “Haswell” Core processors from Intel. Read more

Chris Nuttall

Days after August’s launch, yet another smart lock has come knocking on the door in the shape of Goji, which launches an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign today.

Goji stands out from other remotely operated deadbolts with its built-in camera, which takes and emails or texts you a picture alert of the person entering your home. So you can check what state your son was in when he came in at 3am or see if the cleaner sent someone else to do her shift. Read more

The privacy row over Google Glass has forced Google do an unusually Apple-like thing: block applications.

Despite repeated attempts to reassure the public that Google would not include face recognition in its Glass project without the appropriate privacy controls, the search giant has been unable to silence privacy campaigners or curb the aspirations of third party developers who are keen to exploit the new technology. Read more