Monthly Archives: May 2014

Tim Bradshaw

Image from @tim_cook on Twitter

Even before the ink is dry on his $3bn acquisition of Beats Electronics, Apple chief Tim Cook is still “on the prowl” for more deals.

That was Mr Cook’s phrase when asked in last month’s earnings call whether Apple would consider making large acquisitions, before he had sealed the iPhone maker’s largest ever transaction.

In April, he said that Apple had made 24 acquisitions in the last 18 months. That number has now risen to 27, Mr Cook told the FT on Wednesday, and looks set to keep growing: 

Sarah Mishkin

Google’s first ever public report on its diversity is out, and the numbers are not hugely shocking. Women make up less than a third of its workforce globally, while 5 per cent of its US staff are black or Hispanic.

More notable: The fact that Google admits it was in the wrong not to have released this data earlier. 

Sarah Mishkin

Famed internet analyst Mary Meeker’s latest prognostications on how the internet is developing were out today. The key — perhaps unsurprisingly — is mobile, and how it’s reshaping what gadgets we buy, what we use them for, and where exactly those users are from.

Here are five key figures from her report: 

Hannah Kuchler

It is the week before a major Apple announcement, and like a scrooge before Christmas, Samsung tried to spoil its rival’s party on Wednesday. 

By Gautam Malkani

Jimmy Iovine, Tim Cook, Dr. Dre and Eddy Cue at Apple headquarters in Cupertino, California. (Photo by Paul Sakuma Photography)

It was the geeks who made commerce cool. Or at least that’s the popular assumption. Silicon Valley’s tech scene supposedly did for business and entrepreneurism what James Dean did for denim.

Start-up founders became superstars and VC morphed into modern-day A&R. San Francisco’s earlier incarnations as the home of beat writers, hippies and counterculture in general merely reinforced this view.

Apple’s acquisition of Beats by Dr Dre may look like another case in point. But it isn’t. Instead it reminds us that, tech schmeck, business became hip because of hip-hop. 

Software may be “eating the world”, in the words of venture capitalist Marc Andreessen, but should some software be given the same moral status as animals or even humans?

In a new paper, Anders Sandberg, a research fellow at Oxford’s Future of Humanity Institute, takes the reader on a whistle-stop tour of the various moral quandaries that may be raised by “brain emulations” – hypothetical software that can replicate the function and structure of a whole animal or human brain. 

Maija Palmer

Clive Sinclair’s C5, Tata’s Nano and baby toys come to mind, apparently. 

The importance of small and medium-sized enterprises as engines of job creation is a well-established economic fact. In countries such as Italy and Spain, SMEs account for 70-80 per cent of the workforce, and for a similar proportion of all newly created jobs, writes Ferdinando Giugliano.

Much less is known, however, about which kinds of SMEs are better at boosting employment. The SMEs universe is varied, but distinguishing between them is essential for governments to direct their economic policies in an effective way.

 

Hannah Kuchler

Facebook has unveiled a new feature which allows it to takeover a smartphone’s microphone to identify and track what songs a user is listening to and what TV programmes people are watching. 

Paul Taylor

How best to judge Microsoft’s next-generation tablet, the Surface Pro 3, which was unveiled by its new chief executive Satya Nadella at an event in New York on Tuesday?

One way would be to compare it to its previous incarnation, which received a more positive critical response for its improved features, but still did not really make a dent in the market share of Apple iOS or Android devices – Microsoft has recorded about $2.64bn in Surface sales so far. For comparison, Apple sold $7.6bn worth of iPads in the latest quarter alone.