Tech

Sarah Mishkin

A win for online education and sensible sanctions regulation. Today, online course provider Coursera says it is able to re-open the majority of its classes to Iranian students, a few months after US sanctions on Iran and certain other nations forced the start-up to block learners in those countries from its site.

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Fashion, just like the tech world, is borne from, reflective of and defined by the cyclical and cultural trends that continually evolve and adapt around it.

Both are businesses that are high-risk and tricky to be in, balancing books around supply and demand. But, more specifically, the real art that defines leaders from the pack is preemptively being able to guess what people want and need before they manage to recognize it for themselves. The best at this are making billions, both in fashion and tech.

But there’s one overlapping sector which both the titans of Silicon Valley and tastemakers of London, New York, Paris and Milan are still struggling to get en vogue.

Wearables.

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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

Tim Bradshaw

Image from @tim_cook on Twitter

Even before the ink is dry on his $3bn acquisition of Beats Electronics, Apple chief Tim Cook is still “on the prowl” for more deals.

That was Mr Cook’s phrase when asked in last month’s earnings call whether Apple would consider making large acquisitions, before he had sealed the iPhone maker’s largest ever transaction.

In April, he said that Apple had made 24 acquisitions in the last 18 months. That number has now risen to 27, Mr Cook told the FT on Wednesday, and looks set to keep growing: Read more

Sarah Mishkin

Google’s first ever public report on its diversity is out, and the numbers are not hugely shocking. Women make up less than a third of its workforce globally, while 5 per cent of its US staff are black or Hispanic.

More notable: The fact that Google admits it was in the wrong not to have released this data earlier. Read more

Sarah Mishkin

Famed internet analyst Mary Meeker’s latest prognostications on how the internet is developing were out today. The key — perhaps unsurprisingly — is mobile, and how it’s reshaping what gadgets we buy, what we use them for, and where exactly those users are from.

Here are five key figures from her report: Read more

Hannah Kuchler

It is the week before a major Apple announcement, and like a scrooge before Christmas, Samsung tried to spoil its rival’s party on Wednesday. Read more

By Gautam Malkani

Jimmy Iovine, Tim Cook, Dr. Dre and Eddy Cue at Apple headquarters in Cupertino, California. (Photo by Paul Sakuma Photography)

It was the geeks who made commerce cool. Or at least that’s the popular assumption. Silicon Valley’s tech scene supposedly did for business and entrepreneurism what James Dean did for denim.

Start-up founders became superstars and VC morphed into modern-day A&R. San Francisco’s earlier incarnations as the home of beat writers, hippies and counterculture in general merely reinforced this view.

Apple’s acquisition of Beats by Dr Dre may look like another case in point. But it isn’t. Instead it reminds us that, tech schmeck, business became hip because of hip-hop. Read more

Maija Palmer

Clive Sinclair’s C5, Tata’s Nano and baby toys come to mind, apparently. Read more

The importance of small and medium-sized enterprises as engines of job creation is a well-established economic fact. In countries such as Italy and Spain, SMEs account for 70-80 per cent of the workforce, and for a similar proportion of all newly created jobs, writes Ferdinando Giugliano.

Much less is known, however, about which kinds of SMEs are better at boosting employment. The SMEs universe is varied, but distinguishing between them is essential for governments to direct their economic policies in an effective way.

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