Richard Waters

Faddish mobile apps and instant 20-something billionaires have become the public face of Silicon Valley’s latest boom. But some in the tech industry have ambitious ideas that could have a far more profound impact on the world.

In the latest Weekend FT magazine, we report on some of the ideas that will shape the future. Also: our take on life on the front lines of the tech boom, including what it’s really like to run a start-up (hint: it’s not all stock options and free food).

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Ephemeral snaps and messages help the technology take on the form of a conversation Read more

Sarah Mishkin

Spanish bank BBVA has struck up a partnership with payments start-up Dwolla as the Spanish group continues trying to figure out how to integrate new digital technology into its core banking business.

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Richard Waters

IBM and Twitter executives were not short of extravagant claims on Wednesday as they announced a partnership to apply data from the network to real-time business decisions.

For example: “It’s no longer social data, it’s world data.” Also: “People talk about the internet of things, but we’ve already instrumented the human race.” Read more

Sarah Mishkin

The number of California residents whose personal data was stolen by hackers jumped six-fold between 2012 and last year, with nearly half of California’s residents affected by one of the year’s many data breaches, according to a new report by the state’s attorney general.

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Robert Cookson

The New York Times Company and Axel Springer are hoping that a little-known Dutch start-up called Blendle may hold the key to making money from news online.

The two media groups have paid a combined €3m to acquire a 23 per cent stake in Blendle, which was founded last year and styles itself as the “iTunes for journalism”.

Blendle was launched in the Netherlands in April and sells individual articles from a number of newspapers and magazines to internet users through its website and app. On average an article costs 20 cents. The pricing per article is set by the publishers and revenues are split 70:30 between the publisher and Blendle. If a reader doesn’t like an article, they can ask for a refund. Read more

Hannah Kuchler

It’s #ThrowbackThursday, where the internet celebrates all things Michael Jackson and dodgy haircut-related. For Facebook, it is a chance to announce a retro app called Rooms from its Creative Labs team, the engineers and designers who play around with creating different kinds of social apps that may not be every Facebook users’ cup of tea.

According to the blogpost that accompanied its launch on Thursday, Rooms is a throwback to the “early days of the web” when it was about “connecting to people who you would never encounter otherwise in your daily life”. Read more

There is something peculiarly impressive about the video below of Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook, talking in Mandarin to students at Tsinghua University in Beijing. If nothing else, it shows a dedication to the country’s customs that very few foreign business leaders can match.

Mr Zuckerberg clearly has business motives for making the effort, in addition to his personal connections – Priscilla Chan, his wife, comes from a Chinese family and her mother speaks mostly Mandarin. Facebook is blocked in mainland China, along with other US internet companies, and wants restrictions to be loosened. Read more

By Helen Barrett

Before setting up her high-tech fine jewellery company, Kate Unsworth interviewed 350 women about their hyperconnected lives. She discovered an insight that seems to contradict received wisdom about what consumers want from wearable technology.

“This segment of the market wanted to find a way to disconnect – but they needed to be contactable at the same time,” she says.

As the luxury industry rushes to embrace wearable technology, many brands are seeking to emulate smart watches like the Apple Watch, which are chock-full of functions to immerse their wearers further into the digital world. But Ms Unsworth believes consumers want less information, not more. Read more

Sarah Mishkin

London’s burgeoning fintech scene is about to get a bit bigger as a US start-up with a board of former Wall Street chief executives starts expanding internationally.

Orchard, a online direct lending platform, just raised $12m in venture funding with plans to open an office in London to tap into the UK’s growing demand, and government support, for direct lending.

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