Richard Waters

Ever wonder how far your email provider goes to protect your messages from prying eyes? If you’re using a Microsoft service (like Hotmail, Live or MSN), then the answer is: perhaps not as much as you’d like.

That is one of the conclusions from an analysis released by Google on Tuesday. It tracks the amount of encrypted traffic flowing to and from Gmail users. Only half the inbound messages from Microsoft’s services are encrypted, about the same as coming from Russian service Mail.ru. And some – like Comcast.net and Orange.fr – don’t seem to have encryption turned on at all. Read more

Richard Waters

It is nearly two years since Google took the wraps of Glass, its ambitious smart glasses project, and said it was aiming to put them on sale by the end of 2013. Read more

Richard Waters

Is there such a thing as permanence on the web? Former Facebooker Adam D’Angelo thinks so. He claims to be buying it, with the help of another $80m he has just raised for his question-and-answer service, Quora.

As with a lot of big fund-raising rounds at the moment, though, the main reason Mr D’Angelo is acting now is not hard to discern: just because he can. Read more

Richard Waters

Google’s founders have just completed a silent coup of their own company – and so far, it hasn’t cost them a dime.

The new class of non-voting Google stock that started trading on Thursday is selling at a discount of around 0.3 per cent to the existing, reduced-voting right shares. If that gap rises above 1 per cent, the company will have to pay out cash to compensate investors: but the narrow spread at the outset suggests that is no longer a risk. Read more

Richard Waters

For its most promising new technology, IBM has been searching for problems to solve that are both deep and broad enough. Now, with a clinical trial in the US aimed at personalising the treatment of cancers, it might just have found one. Read more

Richard Waters

You need a strong gut to invest in a market when it’s just suffered the kind of financial scandal that hit the Bitcoin world with the demise of Mt Gox.

But that hasn’t stopped Matt Cohler at Benchmark from leading a $20m investment round in Xapo, the latest entrant in Silicon Valley’s bid to assume a leading role in Bitcoin innovation. Read more

Richard Waters

Bill Gates has a soft spot for Mark Zuckerberg. In an interview with Rolling Stone magazine that has just been published, this is what he has to say about the Facebook CEO: “We’re both Harvard dropouts, we both had strong, stubborn views of what software could do.”

And he strongly endorses Zuckerberg’s acquisition of WhatsApp: “It means that Mark Zuckerberg wants Facebook to be the next Facebook.” Read more

Richard Waters

Looking back at the history of the world wide web (which celebrates its 25th birthday on Wednesday) brings to mind that famous question from Monty Python’s Life of Brian: “What have the Romans ever done for us?”

Like the Judean revolutionary complaining about his Roman overlords, it’s easy to see the downside. Spam, viruses, government surveillance, loss of privacy: the negatives are hard to ignore. Read more

Richard Waters

How much freedom will Google have to come up with new advertising formats after its anti-trust settlement with the European Commission?

That question looks like being tested sooner than you might think. The ink isn’t even dry on the settlement yet, but Google is already trying out new forms of advertising that will reveal how well the regulators have done their job. Read more

Richard Waters

Hold the Sean Parker jokes about $1bn.

It was Justin Timberlake, playing Mr Parker in The Social Network, who delivered the famous line: “A million dollars isn’t cool. You know what’s cool?”

Founders Fund has just raised its first $1bn fund – but Mr Parker has now officially cut his ties with the firm. Read more