There was a major disconnect on display at the FT’s Digital Media conference in London on Thursday morning.
Jeff Bewkes of Time Warner and Thomas Rabe of Bertelsmann made it sound as though any-time, any-place access to media was ushering in a golden age comparable to the birth of broadcasting. But Sir Martin Sorrell of WPP had a wake-up call: Big Media is being complacent, and the real impact of companies like Google and Facebook has yet to be felt. Read more
Earlier on Friday, Wired reported that Apple’s voice app Siri, which is perhaps most famous for its comical misinterpretations, keeps users’ data for up to two years.
Now Google has told the FT that it stores queries to its voice search service for the same period. The difference is that Google stores the actual audio samples for up to two years, unlike Siri which deletes the audio after six months and then just retains the queries. So, is two years too long? Read more
Images and video poured out of Boston on Monday as runners and spectators of the city’s historic marathon posted their media across the internet after two bombs exploded near the race’s finish line.
As the content hit the internet, individuals online started to piece things together. Certain people were seen carrying black backpacks. Some of these people appeared later without the backpacks. A black backpack found at the scene was believed to hold one of the bombs.
This is the world of internet sleuthing, and depending on who you ask, it’s becoming either a shining example of crowdsourcing or a dangerous vigilante trend. Read more
Some people avoid buying clothes online because they don’t know the right size; others do buy online but end up returning ill-fitting products.
Now one of the companies aiming to address this problem – Fits.me – has raised a further £5m in venture capital funding. That follows the news earlier this year that some big names – including Adidas and Hugo Boss – have signed up to its technology. Read more
If you predicted the bubble and bust in the Bitcoin market would kill off the nascent virtual currency, well, the very best you could say is that you’re early, writes Stephen Foley.
In fact, dating site OkCupid is going to start accepting payment in Bitcoin from tomorrow, the biggest brand name so far to join the Bitcoin economy. Since the site is part of Barry Diller’s IAC media empire, this gives the currency a toehold in a major corporation. Read more
“Die, my dear doctor? That is the last thing I shall do.” — the last words of former British prime minister Lord Palmerston.
Of course, he never had to worry about leaving behind a Facebook profile, an email account, or other abandoned online haunts.
The question of what happens to our online real estate after we die is a sensitive subject, as people grow concerned that what gets left behind could be used illegally or, even worse, become a source of post-mortem embarrassment.
In an effort to address these issues, Google has rolled out “Inactive Account Manager”, which can be set up to delete an account, send messages, and even share data in the event of an untimely demise.
TransferWise, the money-moving service launched by former Skype director of strategy Taavet Hinrikus, is allowing start-ups to transfer up to $100m between different currencies without paying any fees.
The offer is open to 1,000 businesses that launched in the past two years on a first-come, first-served basis; they can transfer up to $100,000 each over the next year. TransferWise would normally collect around $500,000 in fees on the whole lot – $3m or so less, it estimates, than banks would. Read more
From the newspaper that brought you “How to spend it”, we now bring you “How to spend it: bitcoin edition”.
Looking for a guitar, a new Samsung tablet, or even some real estate? Open up that digital wallet and fork over your virtual currency.
Bitcoin hit another high today, leaving sceptical pundits in its wake as it broke through the $200 level. The currency is mostly seen as a store of value – with the FT’s Izabella Kaminska adroitly pointing out that it might serve as a type of online memory more than a monetary unit – but that doesn’t mean you can’t spend it.
By Andrew Betts of FT Labs
Google has announced a major change to its Chrome browser this week. While it represents a divergence in a key part of Chrome previously shared with Apple’s Safari browser, the move should enable Google ultimately to up its pace of innovation.
So for those who might think that a ‘rendering engine’ is a piece of farm machinery, we offer the following overview of this development, which represents a substantial fork in the road in the development of the web. Read more