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Nest, one of Silicon Valley’s best-known hardware startups, unveiled the follow-up to its “smart thermostat” on Tuesday: a talking smoke alarm that can send alerts to an app.
The Nest Protect has already received praise for its slick design and imaginative touches, such as motion-sensing nightlights and a woman’s voice to warn more gently of rising smoke than the traditional buzzer. These are not features you often associate with a humble smoke alarm. Read more
Backlash? What backlash? Adoption of Apple’s latest update to iOS has been strong in its first 24 hours, despite fears that some iPhone owners would freak out at its bright colours and new design. Installs of iOS 7 are ahead of iOS 6 at the same point last year, according to external estimates. Read more
Pandora has just appointed a veteran of Microsoft’s advertising technology business as its new chairman, president and chief executive.
Brian McAndrews left his role at Seattle’s Madrona Venture Group, once a seed investor in Amazon.com, to join the internet radio service as it braces for new competition from Apple’s iTunes Radio. He replaces Joe Kennedy, who is retiring after leading Pandora since 2004. Read more
It’s the biggest day in the Apple calendar: the iPhone launch. This year, for the first time, Apple unveiled two new smartphones: the upgraded 5S, with a 64-bit chip and fingerprint scanner, and the all-new 5C, with plastic casing in a handful of colours.
Tim Bradshaw was at Apple’s Cupertino headquarters and April Dembosky reported from San Francisco.
Samsung took to the stage in Berlin to become the first major smartphone maker to launch a smart watch accessory, beating Apple, Google and other rivals to market, and hoping to recapture the innovation initiative in the process. Tim Bradshaw and Paul Taylor report from the “Unpacked Episode 2″ event.
Microsoft’s €5.4bn acquisition of Nokia’s devices business was both long predicted and a bolt from the blue, coming so soon after its chief executive Steve Ballmer announced his retirement. Here Mr Ballmer explains the logic of the deal to investors.
Trading may have been halted on Nasdaq-listed stocks but the tweets were still flowing on Twitter.
Step forward Carl Icahn, the activist investor, who picked this moment to update his 67,000 followers on his campaign to persuade Apple to hike its share buyback. Read more
It is three months since Apple announced a whopping $100bn return of cash to investors, topping up its existing $45bn dividend plans with what it billed as the biggest share buyback scheme in American corporate history.
In the weeks that followed that announcement, Apple’s shares soared, finally emerging from the months-long funk that saw them dip below $400. But that rally went into reverse as soon as Apple paid its next dividend on May 9. Read more
Dropbox chief executive Drew Houston didn’t mention iCloud once during his presentation at the cloud storage company’s first ever developer conference on Tuesday. But as Dropbox rolls out its new platform tools – allowing apps to synchronise not just files and folders but progress in games, realtime sketches or any other kind of data from one device to another – it’s clear that Apple was the unnamed competitor that Mr Houston has to take on. Read more
If ever you start to fret about being replaced by a robot in some Terminator-style apocalypse, look up a YouTube video entitled “PR2 Autonomously Pairing Socks”. The two-minute clip from a University of California, Berkeley research project in 2011 shows a robot identifying the two matching pairs from five socks. After carefully flattening the socks to inspect their shape and pattern, it checks they’re not inside out, then couples them.
It’s an impressive feat of robot engineering, of course. But for some it will be quite comforting that this task, dispatched in seconds by us humans, takes the $280,000 Willow Garage PR2 robot fully half an hour.