Richard Waters

Will the smart home of the future be controlled by a single app to rule them all? Or will it be a more ad hoc affair, as a myriad different gadgets learn to play nicely together without a central “control panel”?

Before it was bought by Google earlier this year, Nest was pursuing the second of these visions. And to judge by the API it has just released so that other developers can write applications that draw on some of the functions of its devices, nothing much has changed since then. Read more

Richard Waters

It’s not every day an Apple executive gets personal.

That makes Angela Ahrendts’ first public comments since starting at the company – posted on LinkedIn – of more than usual interest. It is a sign that she intends to keep her own style, whatever the pressures of running Apple’s retail operations – and also that, under Tim Cook, Apple is evolving further beyond the Steve Jobs era. Read more

Richard Waters

All games, all the time. That’s what new Xbox chief Phil Spencer promised at the E3 games show on Monday, as Microsoft put the final touches to its comeback strategy for Xbox One.

He wasn’t kidding. Raging first person shooters were the order of the day. But Microsoft’s remedial action on the One has left the way open for Sony, whose E3 event is due later in the day in Los Angeles, to steal the show. Read more

Richard Waters

Without seeing Uber’s financials, it’s impossible to say whether its amazing post-money valuation of $18.2bn is deserved. But even if its business is starting to take off, as seems to the case, it still has a long way to go to live up to the hype generated by its latest fund-raising. Read more

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