Tech


former Twitter CEO Dick CostoloDick Costolo is out as chief executive of Twitter, and Jack Dorsey, one of the company’s co-founders, is in – at least on an interim basis.

Here’s how the news unfolded on the messaging platform on Thursday. Read more

What have we learnt in this week’s experiment? Can we better understand how wearables might be used in workplaces by looking back at history? Just what did FT’s news editor, Alec Russell, make of Sarah’s wearables data? Does he want to roll it out across newsroom? Read more

What could go wrong? Many things, it turns out, when a company wants to use wearables to track its workers or measure its business. Employers have to be aware of potentials for people to game the system, how to ensure cybersecurity and legal compliance, and perhaps most importantly, how not to lose their workers’ trust. Read more

Hannah Kuchler

Even if employees are happy with their bosses’ using wearables to track their days – and possibly nights – they risk seeing that sensitive data fall into the hands of hackers.

Information on how employees spend their time could appeal to hacktivists
searching for potential embarrassments, cyber criminals looking to sell addresses online or rivals seeking an insight into possible M&A negotiations (who visits where) or trade secrets (who sources what where).

Kevin Mahaffey, co-founder and chief technology officer at mobile security start-up Lookout, said wearables will inevitably be attacked once they become more widespread.

Wearables are computers and all computers are hackable,” he said. Read more

Do employers want to track their staff with wearables, or is it too much information? Would managers even know how to make sense of, and use, the data collected? Read more

How would employees feel about being tracked by their bosses via wearables? Could some grow to value it if it helps them in their work? Read more

Some experts think wearable technology – from sleep monitors to fitness bands – could be the next frontier in how companies monitor their workers, further blurring the lines between our work and private lives.

Over the next four days Sarah O’Connor, the Financial Times’ Employment Correspondent will be fitted out in wearable gadgets while she works, to see if the personal data they generate really would be useful to managers – and whether workers could learn to live with it.

Follow her regular updates via the Wearables at Work Facebook page, where you’ll find her updates, videos, and thoughts on the project. She’ll be tweeting about the project using the #wearables hashtag, and each day, we’ll storify a selection of the Facebook posts and bring it here to the Techblog.

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Richard Waters

In Kevin Martin, former chairman of the Federal Communications Commission under George W Bush, Facebook has just hired a moderate on the all-important issue of network neutrality.

One of his first challenges: to prevent a repeat of the backlash seen in India last month against Facebook’s Internet.org, which critics see as a blatant attempt by the social network to colonise the mobile internet. Read more

Leslie Hook

At a party the other day, one start-up founder told me the secret of Silicon Valley’s sky-high valuations. “I’ve had investors tell me, you can name any valuation you want, we’ll just make up for it in the terms,” he said.

His comment points to the fact that in the world of tech start-ups, the word “valuation” means something a bit different than it does for public companies. The favourable terms and generous downside protections that accompany many investments help limit the risk that venture investors take. Read more

Kendra Gibbons, Director of Engineering and Co-founder, Bradley Ross, CEO and Co-founder (center), Bigi Lui, CTO and Co-founder (left)

CoinTent co-founders Kendra Gibbons, Bradley Ross and Bigi Lui  © CoinTent

The people behind FarmVille and Mafia Wars want to bring micropayments to the news. Read more

Richard Waters

Even by the standards of today’s rapidly ascending start-up valuations, Docker has reached unicorn status remarkably quickly.

Barely two years after releasing its software to the world, the open source company has raised a $95m funding round that one source says puts it either at – or very close to – a $1bn valuation. With open source once more the flavour of the month among venture capitalists, this will be one of the more conspicuous tests of whether giving away software can be the route to a seriously large business.

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Tim Bradshaw

The first wave of Apple Watch reviews are out and their conclusion is mixed. While there is consensus that Apple has made the best smartwatch out there, many see niggles that make it equally clear this is still very much a “version one” product.

That chimes with my experience trying the device at its two launch events. But after reading all the reviews, two unexpected observations stood out. Read more

Sarah Mishkin

Alternative lenders such as Lending Club are now well known for having created new kinds of securities for investors looking for high yields. But it’s not just Silicon Valley’s larger start-ups courting hedge funds with new financial instruments.

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Tim Bradshaw

  © Tesla

April Fools’ Day has become a grand tradition in the tech world, with Google in particular pulling out all the stops to show how they don’t take themselves too seriously, no really haha.

But this is 2015, a time of self-driving cars, kickable robots, interplanetary internets and a Cambrian explosion of connected devices. It’s getting tricky for us poor journalists to separate reality from science fiction at the best of times.

So forgive us if some of us were left a little confused when some of this year’s April Fools were just too close to call. Read more

Richard Waters

He’s at it again. With 1.86m followers on Twitter, Elon Musk is a one-man publicity machine – as he showed on Monday, with the promise of big Tesla news to come next month.

The Tesla and SpaceX boss has been wielding the tweet megaphone with increasing effectiveness over the past couple of years. Now, he just needs to show a little more control over the messaging. Read more

Tim Bradshaw

Facebook CTO Mike Schroepfer  © Facebook

When will the consumer version of the much-anticipated Oculus Rift virtual reality headset ship? With competition looming from Sony PlayStation’s Project Morpheus and the Vive headset announced by Valve and HTC a month ago, Oculus’ early lead in VR suddenly looks like it could be under threat.

After launching two prototype headsets for developers and an “innovator edition” of its Samsung Gear mobile VR device, executives at Facebook-owned Oculus have been tight-lipped about when consumers will be able to buy the PC-based Rift.

But at the F8 developer event in San Francisco, one Facebook executive’s lips were a somewhat looser. Read more

It was probably best that I died, my computer companion told me sadly. Read more

Sarah Mishkin

Michael Ginty, former head of global security for Uber, used to spend his days thinking about how to keep the ride-hailing company’s facilities and staff safe as it opened new offices and angered taxi drivers in hundreds of cities around the world.

This week, the former military special agent is starting a new job protecting far smaller charges. He has left Uber to figure out how to protect primary school children at Altschool, a venture-capital backed start-up opening new schools in the San Francisco area that integrate technology into the curriculum.

 Read more

Richard Waters

Silicon Valley’s super-rich tech companies have found a new way to compete: which of them can come up with the coolest new headquarters?

With the unveiling of a new, adaptive building style that it says will have the capacity to evolve over decades, Google on Friday made its own bid for architectural immortality, following Apple and Facebook.

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This post on BuzzFeed is getting a lot of traffic – 26m 27.6m page views (and counting) since Thursday. It’s important to work out why otherwise we will all feel very old.

The basic attraction is working out what colour the dress is. “Currently, 74% of readers see a white and gold dress. Only 26% see black and blue,” BuzzFeed explains.

But to put its popularity in perspective – last year the Guardian said that its most popular article ever was a piece revealing Edward Snowden as a whistleblower. That had nearly 4m page views.

So let’s settle this: why do you think BuzzFeed’s post went viral? Read more