By Helen Barrett

Before setting up her high-tech fine jewellery company, Kate Unsworth interviewed 350 women about their hyperconnected lives. She discovered an insight that seems to contradict received wisdom about what consumers want from wearable technology.

“This segment of the market wanted to find a way to disconnect – but they needed to be contactable at the same time,” she says.

As the luxury industry rushes to embrace wearable technology, many brands are seeking to emulate smart watches like the Apple Watch, which are chock-full of functions to immerse their wearers further into the digital world. But Ms Unsworth believes consumers want less information, not more. Read more

By Jonathan Soble and Lindsay Whipp

OK, so you know selfies are a thing – who doesn’t? But what about encasing that selfie-taking mobile phone in a case shaped like a Chanel perfume bottle?

Meet the Smelfie (Perfume + Selfie) – a thing, apparently, among women in China. And it hasn’t escaped the notice of product designers at Sony. Read more

By Matthew Garrahan, FT global media editor

Thomas Lesinski, the former head of digital production at Paramount Pictures, has launched a new company to produce content for television and online channels, striking a deal with Legendary Entertainment, which will have first option to release its programming. Read more

Just four years old, Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi has shot up sales rankings to become the top smartphone seller in China, the world’s largest smartphone market, according to data by Canalys, the technology research company.

In a report released this week the company said Xiaomi’s shipments in China grew 240 percent year on year, to 15.1m in the second quarter, write Charles Clover. Read more

Anthony Noto, the ex-Goldman Sachs investment banker, has just been named as Twitter’s new chief financial officer. Here are five key things to know about him, writes Arash MassoudiRead more

Jack Ma, Alibaba’s founder, admitted on Sunday that he had never once used Taobao, the ebay-like flagship website for the ecommerce company he will be taking public later this year, writes Charles Clover and Ma Fangjing.

The odd sounding admission came in the middle of a rambling commencement speech to graduates of Tsinghua University on Sunday, in which he highlighted his humble origins and lack of professional experience. He needs to keep his emotional distance from his products, he said, so that he can make decisions about them objectively. And that apparently means not knowing how they work. Read more

From interfaces operated by gestures to digital ads that target the viewer, plenty of innovations were prophesied in ‘Minority Report’, writes Jeevan Vasagar in Berlin.

Rather fewer gee-whiz novelties were on view in the final scene, when three of the central characters were shown reading books in a cabin with smoke curling from the chimney. When Berlin-based audio site SoundCloud moves to its new offices, officially opened today, one of the rooms will take a leaf out of that final, low-tech image from the Steven Spielberg film. Read more

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. Read more

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.

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Alibaba is taking a minority stake in China’s largest online video site, Youko Tudou, as it prepares for its own blockbuster initial public offering in the US.

Youko Tudou said on Monday that the Chinese e-commerce group, together with its founder Jack Ma’s Yunfeng Capital, would jointly invest $1.2bn in the video site.

Alibaba will hold 16.5 per cent stake in Youku after the deal, with Yunfeng holding 2 per cent. Read more

In a handy coincidence of scheduling, Apple and Facebook will both report earnings after the market closes on Wednesday.

The two Silicon Valley giants will give Wall Street a fast look at the state of the mobile and online advertising markets, at a time when tech valuations are facing growing questions from investors like David EinhornRead more

The Heartbleed bug, a flaw discovered on encryption software used on about two-thirds of all websites, was created unintentionally, the programmer responsible has said.

Robin Seggelmann, a German programmer, described the flaw as the consequence of a “trivial” error in an update to OpenSSL, the software widely used to enable secure connections, writes Jeevan VasagarRead more

by Barney Jopson

Frustrated by not being able to dictate your shopping list to Amazon? Well, even if you weren’t, Jeff Bezos’s company has come up with a solution to the problem you never had.

The Seattle-based online retailer on Friday unveiled a new stapler-sized device called Dash that let’s you speak a list of groceries to your Amazon account, to which it is linked via Wi-Fi. Read more

By Adam Palin in London


Education technology company 2U appears to have passed its entry exam, with shares up 7 per cent at noon on its Nasdaq debut.


At a share price of $13.91, the Maryland-based company – which develops cloud-based degrees with universities – is valued at $544m. Not a bad start as a listed company for one that has yet to turn a profit.

 Read more

Machine blowing away pieces paper

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.

Addressing drivers for the US parcel delivery service UPS, it sums up the mood of workers who sometimes find themselves at the sharp end of new technologies like this: “The system should be known as Harassamatics. They tell you it’s about safety, and seat belts . . . It’s all about stealing your break time for their profit, and harassing you into a heightened state of frenzy about your job.”

Big data is facing its human moment.

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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.

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A man looks at the screen of his mobile phone at Pudong financial district in ShanghaiA new war is brewing between China’s three internet giants, known collectively as BAT – short for Baidu, the dominant search engine, Alibaba, which controls 80 per cent of China’s ecommerce, and Tencent, the gaming and social media juggernaut with a market capitalisation of $132bn. For Wang Ran, a blogger and founder of China eCapital, an investment bank, the competition between Didi Dache [“Honk Honk Taxi”], a Tencent taxi-hailing app, and Alibaba’s Kuadi Dache [“Fast taxi”] is “the first battle in the first world war of the internet”.

 Read more

Alibaba’s decision to head to the US for its blockbuster IPO – perhaps the world’s largest ever – is undoubtedly a major blow to Hong Kong’s global ambitions.

But chucking out years of hard-won progress for a single pay-day – with the risk of opening
the market to myriad potential problems down the road – would have been the wrong move.

 Read more

Retiring Apple CFO Peter Oppenheimer

There will be a new face in charge of Apple’s balance sheet.

Luca Maestri, currently a corporate controller at the iPhone maker, will be Apple’s next chief financial officer. He succeeds Peter Oppenheimer, who is retiring. Read more

In the battle between old and new media, Time Warner’s premium cable channel HBO still rakes in more money and global subscribers but television streaming service Netflix is quickly gaining ground, writes Emily Steel.

Time Warner released separate financial figures for HBO for the first time on Wednesday, prompting comparisons with Netflix which famously overtook HBO in US subscribers in November. Read more