By Hannah Kuchler and Tim Bradshaw
Facebook unveiled the sleek, unfolding pages of its Paper app last month to appreciative oohs and aahs from reviewers, marking a new era for the social network as design becomes more central to companies up and down Silicon Valley.
Paper was developed with a small unit of designers who wanted to break away from the site’s basic ‘blue and white’ look to create an app inspired by the National Geographic magazine. Read more
You need a strong gut to invest in a market when it’s just suffered the kind of financial scandal that hit the Bitcoin world with the demise of Mt Gox.
But that hasn’t stopped Matt Cohler at Benchmark from leading a $20m investment round in Xapo, the latest entrant in Silicon Valley’s bid to assume a leading role in Bitcoin innovation. Read more
Bill Gates has a soft spot for Mark Zuckerberg. In an interview with Rolling Stone magazine that has just been published, this is what he has to say about the Facebook CEO: “We’re both Harvard dropouts, we both had strong, stubborn views of what software could do.”
And he strongly endorses Zuckerberg’s acquisition of WhatsApp: “It means that Mark Zuckerberg wants Facebook to be the next Facebook.” Read more
Looking back at the history of the world wide web (which celebrates its 25th birthday on Wednesday) brings to mind that famous question from Monty Python’s Life of Brian: “What have the Romans ever done for us?”
Like the Judean revolutionary complaining about his Roman overlords, it’s easy to see the downside. Spam, viruses, government surveillance, loss of privacy: the negatives are hard to ignore. Read more
How much freedom will Google have to come up with new advertising formats after its anti-trust settlement with the European Commission?
That question looks like being tested sooner than you might think. The ink isn’t even dry on the settlement yet, but Google is already trying out new forms of advertising that will reveal how well the regulators have done their job. Read more
The BBC thinks its iPlayer service is “the best online television service in the world” – a platform so good that it’s the envy of Silicon Valley. So will Apple and Google be impressed by the platform’s latest redesign, unveiled in London on Tuesday?
This is a crucial time for the iPlayer: it will soon become the only home of BBC Three, the off-beat channel which is being taken off air to save costs. Tony Hall, the BBC’s director-general, wants the platform to be the “front door” to all the broadcaster’s content.
So what’s on offer in the new version? Read more
It would be easy to glance at Samsung’s new Milk Music service and dismiss it as another copycat. The personalised internet radio service for Galaxy smartphone owners that launches in the US on Friday is, in essence, pretty similar to Pandora or Apple’s iTunes Radio, which launched last year.
But while maintaining feature parity is an important if unglamorous part of the hypercompetitive smartphone market, Milk does bring something new to Samsung Galaxy: great software design. Read more