GVS, he gleefully explains, is “basically taking high-voltage electrodes and passing current through your head for entertainment”.
© The Financial Times Ltd 2014 FT and 'Financial Times' are trademarks of The Financial Times Ltd.
Want to hear a Silicon Valley joke? Two geek billionaires walk into a coffee shop and nobody notices.
There’s no punchline. This actually happened a couple of weeks ago when I was in Mountain View and the co-founders of WhatsApp popped into their local for a brew. Despite being full of start-ups, nobody in the Red Rock Café seemed to recognise the pair who had just sold their app to Facebook for upwards of $16bn.
WhatsApp has almost 500m active users around the world but many in Silicon Valley’s elite only discovered the chat app when Mark Zuckerberg opened his chequebook. It’s entirely possible that, in the past year, more people here have tried Google Glass, the sci-fi headset that most outside Silicon Valley love to hate, than sent a message on WhatsApp.
Elon Musk, founder of Tesla, must be humming that tune this morning after announcing a solution to the two car fires that dented the electric car maker’s reputation last year.
South Koreans consumers will be able to jump the global queue for Samsung Electronics’ new flagship smartphone, after mobile operators put it on sale two weeks ahead of the official launch date.
Facebook has just spent $2bn on start-up Oculus VR, in a bet that virtual reality headsets will be the next big social platform after smartphones. The world’s largest social network thinks virtual reality will become part of everyone’s daily life, being used in everything from entertainment to education. This is Facebook’s second big deal of the year, as Mr Zuckerberg goes on an acquisition spree to help maintain its dominance. Join Hannah Kuchler and Tim Bradshaw for a live blog of the call where Mr Zuckerberg is expected to explain the sense behind the deal.
It only takes a quick internet search of the terms “UPS” and “telematics” to understand why the promised benefits of big data are likely to take longer to arrive than many have been led to believe.
Among the links to technology information sites and Teamsters Union web pages is a comment from a blogger known as Denverbrown.
Big data is facing its human moment.
The prospect of a US-based IPO by Chinese e-commerce juggernaut Alibaba has triggered a recent wave of short-term conjecture over the eye-watering figures involved.
A listing could garner as much as $25bn for example – making it the largest float in history. Wall Street banks could reap up to $400m in fees. Alibaba’s $170bn annual revenue now accounts for 2 per cent of China’s gross domestic product, and is bigger than those of eBay and Amazon combined.
Google has been working hard lately to dampen the constant, rumbling criticism of Glass. First, it issued guidelines on etiquette for its pioneering wearable gadget, warning early adopters: “Don’t be a glasshole.”
Then last week, it decided that the people buying its $1,500 headset weren’t glassholes after all, trying to dispel ten “myths” about the prototype product: Glass really isn’t a “distraction from the real world” or “the perfect surveillance device”, it insisted in a blogpost.
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