technology

goog3

Smart watches, TVs and cars featured prominently on Wednesday as Google laid out its plans for pushing its Android smartphone software into new fields. At its annual I/O developer event in San Francisco, “wearables” had pride of place, with news that the first smartwatches based on Android Wear are now on sale – before Apple unveils its much-anticipated iWatch. With Android TV and Android Auto, on the other hand, Google was playing catch up with Apple. The event pointed to how the battle for the next big tech markets beyond the smartphone will be fought. Richard Waters and Tim Bradshaw were at the Moscone Center for this round. 

Monday was all about the big technology companies planting their flags in the areas believed to have a mainstream impact in 2014 – but it was telling that their choices of which segment to claim leadership in was rather varied: Read more

As Japan strives to remain at the technological forefront, why is it that its companies are so averse to the idea of merging? Too many make the same thing yet do not get around to pooling their resources. The FT’s Special Report on Japan’s technology and innovation investigates this phenomenon, while looking at some of the latest in Japanese design, writes Peter ChapmanRead more

Tim Bradshaw

You can now comfortably hold the iPad with one hand.

What, you want more? That really is all you need to know. Read more

Maija Palmer

News that TV mogul Simon Cowell and Will.i.am, singer with the Black Eyed Peas are considering launching an X-Factor style reality show to find the next Mark Zuckerberg or Bill Gates has caused a combination of amusement and disbelief across the technology sector.

But the idea of bringing a bit of glamour into the industry is not without merit. Read more

Maija Palmer

For a tech start-up the aim is nearly always to “go viral” and spread as far and wide as possible. So it is no surprise that TechHub, which provides work spaces for fledgling technology businesses in London, is looking to colonize more cities starting with Manchester.

The company has teamed up with Town Centre Securities, a  property developer, to open an office with 50 desks permanent desks and a drop-in work space in a Grade II listed building in Manchester’s Piccadilly Basin. Read more

Maija Palmer

Coffee and techies go together like donuts and policemen, one the voracious consumer of the other. They have named programming languages after the stuff.  And so the alliance between Starbucks and Jack Dorsey’s Square mobile payments start-up seems quite natural.

Starbucks has never been shy of experimenting with technology, having been one of the first US coffee shop chains to offer customers free wi-fi access. Starbucks also has its  own mobile app, which allows customers to pay for their coffees using a phone. Although these mobile payments are still just a tiny fraction of overall revenues, it is considered one of the most successful mobile payments systems in use so far.  Read more

Maija Palmer

George OsborneThe UK government does not have a lot of money to pump into the technology sector so it is trying to be generous with something it does have in plentiful supply – data.

On Tuesday, as part of the government’s Autumn Statement George Osborne, the chancellor, is expected to announce plans to open up access to more government data, including transport data, health records, house prices and Met Office weather information. Read more

Maija Palmer

This internal email was sent by Tim Cook to all Apple employees early on Thursday morning, reassuring them that the company “is not going to change”.

Below is the full text of the e-mail:

Team:

I am looking forward to the amazing opportunity of serving as CEO of the most innovative company in the world. Joining Apple was the best decision I’ve ever made and it’s been the privilege of a lifetime to work for Apple and Steve for over 13 years. I share Steve’s optimism for Apple’s bright future.

 Read more

Robin Harding

The ever-entertaining Onion is running a skit about Yamaha of Japan under the headline:

Yamaha CEO Pleased With Current Production Of Jet Skis, Alto Saxophones, Snowmobiles, Power Generators, Scooters, Golf Carts*

The Onion futher refers to Yamaha’s production of synthesizers, PA systems, DVD players, tone generators, motocross bikes, power amplifiers, heart-rate monitors, signal processors, analog mixers, engine oil, microphones, HiFi systems, grand pianos, sound chips, ceiling brackets, editing software, race-kart engines, sport boats, flugelhorns, ATVs, sequencers, outboard motors, conference systems, golf clubs, projectors, MIDI controllers, lamp cartridges, portable recorders, subwoofers, component systems, and motorcycles.

It is a bit unfair – Yamaha Corporation now owns only 15 per cent of Yamaha Motor, which makes about half of these products – but the Onion could have added unmanned helicoptors, health supplements, and swimming pools to the mix, with plenty more products left over.

What is so striking is that the US satirists thinks this broad array is funny – whereas Japan’s technology industry sees it as laudable and prudent diversification. Read more