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Analysis and Comment (442)

But they might also cost £12 billion and arrive, non-functional, 10 years late. But they might also cost £12 billion and arrive, non-functional, 10 years late. US FDA

Small firms and open-source software put Spine back into NHS after IT fiasco

Without the fuss and delays that have plagued so many large government IT projects, a key part of the NHS digital infrastructure was recently migrated and updated in a single weekend. The collection of…
Cute but formidable. Cute but formidable. JD Hancock

Why Nintendo is still the games master at 125

In the world of video games few companies have as long or vivid a history as Nintendo, which turns 125 years old this week. Founded in 1889 as a producer of toys and playing-cards, the company is quite…
Few would argue piracy is not changing the industry, but is it really killing it? Few would argue piracy is not changing the industry, but is it really killing it? r5d

How piracy is changing the music industry landscape

While legal sales of recorded music continue to suffer from widespread music piracy, the popularity of live music appears to be enjoying an unprecedented boom, particularly in the UK where new stadiums…
Or not, as the case may be… Or not, as the case may be… Duncan Rawlinson

How can Bitcoin bridge the gap to our everyday lives?

Bitcoin has recently received favourable acknowledgement from Apple and significant recognition from the Bank of England, but it has just suffered another serious slump in value and some more fundamental…
Blow a few grand on a gold watch, and you can help sustain tech firm profits. Blow a few grand on a gold watch, and you can help sustain tech firm profits. Apple

Technology firms need new strategies as the purpose of devices changes

The profits generated by some technology firms are awe-inspiring, serving as beacons for those at less fortunate enterprises. Devices have accounted for a large part of that success, particularly smartphones…
Too cool for cash. Too cool for cash. Yui Mok/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Radiohead and U2: making money by giving music away for free

On September 9, U2 released their new album, Songs of Innocence. Not quite in the normal style: they are offering it as a free download to all 500m iTunes users. Lead singer Bono described the release…
It’s not just about getting a job. It’s not just about getting a job. David Parry/PA Wire

Coding classes should bring in everyone, not just children

The US and UK governments often mirror each other’s strategies when it comes to new education policies, and the recent introduction of coding into the school curriculum is no exception. From this September…
Yup, that’s GQ’s new Philanthropist of the Year. Yup, that’s GQ’s new Philanthropist of the Year. John Stillwell/PA Wire

Surprise, surprise, Twitter is outraged by Blair’s GQ award

It doesn’t take someone with the mentality of a conspiracy theorist to conclude that the decision by GQ magazine to name to Tony Blair as philanthropist of the year was one taken in the full knowledge…
Jennifer Lawrence was the victim of hacking. Jennifer Lawrence was the victim of hacking. Ettienne Laurent/EPA

Three ways your personal photos are vulnerable to hackers

Recent reports of celebrities having nude or risqué photos of themselves leaked online highlights the serious risk of hackers getting access to our personal pictures. While many of us take inane and uninteresting…
Making hackers happy. Making hackers happy. erautio

Google must make Android safer – our data is at risk

Over the past few months, the Android platform developed by Google and based on the Linux operating system has been having a difficult time. Hackers, with malicious intent and those without, have been…
Even bears don’t mess with drones. Even bears don’t mess with drones. John Biehler

Drones are fun toys until you get hit in the face by one

Mini drones are not yet appearing in our skies on a daily basis but they certainly are a rapidly growing trend. People can and do get hurt so we really need to help amateur pilots learn how to fly their…
I thought they’d look a bit more like Scarlett Johansson. I thought they’d look a bit more like Scarlett Johansson. Nate McBean

Your essential guide to the rise of the intelligent machines

The risks posed to human beings by artificial intelligence in no way resemble the popular image of the Terminator. That fictional mechanical monster is distinguished by many features – strength, armour…
Useful uses for a smartphone #5: take picture of Pope. Useful uses for a smartphone #5: take picture of Pope. EPA/Giuseppe Lami

If the Pope thinks kids are wasting time online, he should think about why

Pope Francis has taken aim at today’s youth by urging them not to waste their time on “futile things” such as “chatting on the internet or with smartphones, watching TV soap operas”. He argued that the…
“I honestly can’t stand you guys in real life.” “I honestly can’t stand you guys in real life.” Janus Sandsgaard

The virtual reality hype train is starting to make me queasy

Anyone who subscribes to an online hi-tech gizmo newsfeed can’t have failed to notice a certain preoccupation in the past couple of years on the part of developers to bring viewers close to the action…
I’m sure I use mine more that you do. I’m sure I use mine more that you do. Boys and smartphone via Twin Design/Shutterstock

Unlocking the habits of Britain’s smartphone generation

The bond between a child and their smartphone is like an umbilical cord. Now, a new survey has uncovered just how dependent the “smartphone generation” of British children are on the devices compared to…
A star player can’t afford to short circuit under pressure. A star player can’t afford to short circuit under pressure. campuspartymexico

4-4-2 becomes 0101: inside the competitive world of robot football

The whistle has just been blown on one of the most thrilling events on the international sporting calendar. It took place in Brazil and pitted teams from all over the world against each other, each hoping…
An early version of the internet of things in the Somme. An early version of the internet of things in the Somme.

How WWI codebreakers taught your gas meter to snitch on you

In the depths of night on August 5th 1914 the British Cable Ship Alert took the first significant action of World War I, severing the five German submarine cables that ran through the English Channel…
Google knows if you’re pulling a sickie. Google knows if you’re pulling a sickie. Sergio Alvarez

Is Google’s project to monitor healthy people just a bit creepy?

You donate gigabytes of valuable data to Google every day. Your browsing history, search results, and gmail behaviour as well as the countless smartphone apps which monitor your movements and personal…
Never ever, ever, ever, ever gonna give you up. Ever. Never ever, ever, ever, ever gonna give you up. Ever. ping.fm

Why we’re never gonna give up on the Rickroll

Rick Astley, 80s pop singer and unlikely king of internet memes, is dead. Or at least the most persistent song in his catalogue is. Or at least its most popular unofficial YouTube upload is. Or at least…
The digital generation are a mystery to some. The digital generation are a mystery to some. Besties

Reinventing entertainment for a digital generation

Children’s entertainment is in a mess. This is in no small part due to recent revelations about just what was happening when the stars of earlier generations were producing content. The high-profile cases…
We’re in danger of getting revenge porn rules very wrong. We’re in danger of getting revenge porn rules very wrong. observador oculto

The law must focus on consent when it tackles revenge porn

Earlier this week, the House of Lords debated what the prime minister, David Cameron, has described as the “appalling” and “dreadful” practice of so-called revenge pornography. This is where explicit images…
If it ain’t broke don’t fix it - but sometimes it’s just time to move on. If it ain’t broke don’t fix it - but sometimes it’s just time to move on. Otherthings

A juggernaut like the NHS won’t find it easy to drop Windows for open source - but it should

Like many large modern organisations, the NHS has grown up with constant change – not only in medical practice, but also in the systems that support the daily routine of one of the world’s largest health…
The 18-month jail sentence imposed on Andy Coulson in the UK phone hacking trial raises questions about the value attached to people’s personal information. The 18-month jail sentence imposed on Andy Coulson in the UK phone hacking trial raises questions about the value attached to people’s personal information. EPA/Will oliver

Crime and punishment must keep up with the Information Economy

If someone breaks into your home and steals your possessions, it’s a crime you can easily understand. Most crimes are offences against property or the person. Even crimes such as defamation are attacks…
No problem, I’ll find them easily. No problem, I’ll find them easily. Akshat Rathi

Forget the right to be forgotten, other means exist

The May 2014 ruling by the European Court of Justice, dubbed the right to be forgotten, is seen as a precedent for all internet searches in all European Union member states. But the issues this ruling…
It’s not that simple anymore. It’s not that simple anymore. photosbybrionna

The right to be forgotten is fundamental in the digital age

The current debate over the right to be forgotten, spurred by a European Union ruling that allows people to stop certain web pages from appearing in search results, is proof – if further proof was required…
The cloud could mean a stormy future for Samsung. The cloud could mean a stormy future for Samsung. Chris Zielecki

Samsung looks on as profits migrate to online ecosystems

There used to be a time when the launch of a Galaxy handset, a Macbook, or a fancy game console could set investor hearts on fire and firms on a path to untold riches. These days, new devices no longer…
Women play computer games, but they don’t drive the industry. Women play computer games, but they don’t drive the industry. EPA

Without women, the computer game boom years may not last

An encouraging report by the International Game Developers Association recently found that women now make up 22% of the computer game workforce. This is a massive improvement from the previous figure of…
Pixorama (London), 2006. Pixorama (London), 2006. Image courtesy of eBoy

Barbican’s digital exhibition is nothing more than gimmickry

Art exhibitions that celebrate revolutions are hardly few and far between. After all, a revolution is a very sexy thing, and a surefire way to sell tickets. But those planning to visit the Barbican’s Digital…
This informs us that someone has odd taste in signs. This informs us that someone has odd taste in signs. Staci Myers

Yo! How much information can you pack into one bit?

Yo! And to say it again, yo! There’s a new app available which does precisely one thing: it sends the single word “yo” to another user. No context, no other message, not even “no”. Just “yo”. Yo. Yoyo…
BP Portrait Award 2014 Shortlisted entries, L to R: Richard Twose, Jean Woods 2013; Thomas Ganter, Man with a Plaid Blanket, 2013; David Jon Kassan, Letter to my Mom, 2013. BP Portrait Award 2014 Shortlisted entries, L to R: Richard Twose, Jean Woods 2013; Thomas Ganter, Man with a Plaid Blanket, 2013; David Jon Kassan, Letter to my Mom, 2013. National Portrait Gallery

Portraits are a fine art, so let’s embrace the selfie

The BP Portrait Award 2014, which opens at the National Portrait Gallery this week, might seem to some like the celebration of a dying art. In our digital age, portraiture might seem to be less and less…
Waiting for the next notification. Waiting for the next notification. Sabphoto/Shutterstock

Our dependence on digital devices may affect sleep and memory

As smartphones have become ubiquitous, parents and teachers have voiced concerns that a technology-rich lifestyle is doing youngsters harm. Research on this question is still in its infancy, but other…
Streaming opens the charts up to new directions. Streaming opens the charts up to new directions. awaywiththepixies

Streaming hits the Top 40, but is this the end of the chart itself?

Music streaming is soon to be counted within the charts, a reflection of a major shift in the music industry. Spotify and other sites like it make access to their vaults of recordings free – if you don’t…
Picking an app isn’t as easy as ABC. Picking an app isn’t as easy as ABC. Kathy Cassidy

How to choose the best educational app for your child

Parents and teachers have long been given guidance on which books can help children learn but no such help is on offer when it comes to apps. The bad news is, definite recommendations may be a long time…
La Grande Danse Macabre, printed by Matthias Huss, Lyons, 1499. La Grande Danse Macabre, printed by Matthias Huss, Lyons, 1499. British Library

Hachette v Amazon, the death of print and the future of the book

The public clash between Hachette and Amazon has been making headlines for a while now, most recently around J K Rowling’s latest novel. Amazon bowed to consumer pressure after complaints that the book…
Edgware Road: where big decisions are made. Edgware Road: where big decisions are made. HowardLake

The London meeting that could shape the future of the internet

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers is holding its 50th public meeting in London from June 22. An international crowd spanning business, politics and civil society will be meeting across…
Phil Neville told to stick to his day job. Phil Neville told to stick to his day job. Martin Rickett/PA

#WorldCup: tweeting football fans change nature of the game

Experiencing live football has never been so easy. And the enjoyment of following the action can now only be complete for many of us if we tune in to the global chorus of opinion that takes place on Twitter…
Outside the box. Amazon’s new direction makes sense. Outside the box. Amazon’s new direction makes sense. Uwe Zucchi/EPA

Amazon’s smartphone launch offers a prudent platform for growth

Amazon, the e-commerce internet giant, is launching its first smartphone. Media attention is focusing on whether the phone’s features, such as its rumoured 3D interface, are really as cool as portrayed…
Watch your step in Copenhagen – no one else will. Watch your step in Copenhagen – no one else will. jacobchristensen

The 21st century bystander effect happens every day online

If you’re going to fall, injure yourself and need help, where is a good place to do it? Should you choose a busy thoroughfare or a deserted backstreet? Statistics and experiments in social psychology will…
Many trolleys have been reduced to roaming the countryside in search of work. Many trolleys have been reduced to roaming the countryside in search of work. Patrick Wilkin

Hard-to-please ‘fauxsumers’ pin it and save it but rarely buy it

Ever since there were shops, people have enjoyed window shopping. But a new phenomenon is emerging that takes the habit to the extreme. If you save things to your Amazon wishlist without ever actually…
OS X Yosemite will be available this autumn. OS X Yosemite will be available this autumn. Apple

Bumper Apple package brings devices closer than ever

Apple has set developers in a frenzy with an overwhelming spread of software updates, unveiled at its Worldwide Developers Conference. The new releases include updates for its desktop operating system…
Zeus is coming. Not the cool one. Zeus is coming. Not the cool one. ElDave

Two weeks to stop Gameover Zeus: what you need to know

It’s little wonder that computer experts are warning that computer users could be experiencing “notification fatigue” after the past few weeks. But even if you’re feeling overwhelmed following the Heartbleed…
Trust me guys, you’ll like me in the morning. Trust me guys, you’ll like me in the morning. opacity

Adding on Facebook makes us like new friends more

We’ve all returned home after a night out at a party to find a Facebook friend request from someone you briefly met but barely know. Just to be polite, you add the person to your friend list. But it turns…
What do you mean ‘IHATECAT’ is not a strong password? What do you mean ‘IHATECAT’ is not a strong password? konsvi

Four steps to a simpler, safer password system

Several high-profile security breaches have, of late, got many people wondering about their passwords. It would be great news if I could tell you a perfect sure-fire system to manage your passwords; the…
Remember this look? Remember this look? matheo

NHS must think like Google to make data project work

As the UK government wrangles with the sticky problem of how to make health records useful for research without compromising privacy, it might look to how Google has evolved for inspiration. Google was…
And how do you read your typeface? And how do you read your typeface? Justmakeit

The secrets of designing a good typeface: it’s all in the tuning

When we want what we write to be clearly communicated to a reader, we generally try to use a typeface that is clear to read. But few people realise how quickly your choice of typeface affects that process…
Learning braille is liberating so it’s time to modernise. Learning braille is liberating so it’s time to modernise. Dave Halberstadt

Good vibrations bring braille into the 21st century

Even in a world of digital devices, braille continues to be a vital part of life for blind people. For nearly 200 years, this versatile writing system has allowed them to learn, work and live in a more…
Anyone got a good VPN so I can get on Facebook? Anyone got a good VPN so I can get on Facebook? EPA

Five Chinese e-businesses on the rise, and one salutary tale

Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba plans to float on the New York stock exchange in what could be the largest initial public offering in US history. The success of Alibaba and fellow Chinese firm JD.com…
Bad news for iPhone users. Bad news for iPhone users. Vasile Cotovanu

Explainer: is your iPhone at risk after the Oleg Pliss hack?

iPhone users in Australia were greeted with an alarming message this week when they tried to use their devices. They were told that a hacker or group of hackers going by the name Oleg Pliss had taken control…
This should help David Cameron get in touch via Facebook - but only if you want him to. This should help David Cameron get in touch via Facebook - but only if you want him to. Chris Ison/PA

Facebook’s $500m advertising deal may clear up your newsfeed

Facebook has announced a long-term partnership with the French advertising conglomerate Publicis Groupe, a deal thought to be worth around US$500m over several years. The tie up between the world’s largest…
It’s like Shakespeare to me. It’s like Shakespeare to me. Child wide code, ollyy via Shutterstock

The computing curriculum: what every child should know

Ask a parent what a school should teach and they’ll tell you, “When my child leaves school, I want them to be able to understand money, to work well with others, go to university or to get a good job…
Coldplay are in the middle of a spat between the biggest names in digital music. Coldplay are in the middle of a spat between the biggest names in digital music. EPA/Marcelo Sayao

Coldplay coup no defensive tactic from Apple – it’s an aggressive move on the market

Coldplay has barred music streaming service Spotify from adding their latest album Ghost Stories to its database, sparking a debate about the sustainability of the streaming model. Coldplay signed an exclusivity…
The low end just got a bit more high end. The low end just got a bit more high end. Ikhlasul Amal

Cheap as chips phones: is it time to make the switch?

A change is taking place in the mobile phone market that has the potential to bring more power to the consumer. Cheaper devices are becoming an option and while they’re not quite ready yet, they could…
You can trust some but not others. You can trust some but not others. williamhartz

Explainer: is your Wi-Fi secure?

James Lyne from IT security firm Sophos recently carried out a two-day public awareness exercise as part of the InfoSec 2014 conference. In a low-emission variation of war driving, Lyne cycled around the…
Europe has the right to be forgotten, Google does not have the right to forget Europe. Europe has the right to be forgotten, Google does not have the right to forget Europe. Eric Fischer

Right to be forgotten ruling highlights global reach of EU law

The Court of Justice of the European Union has issued a ruling that affects privacy and data protection for millions of people. But the ruling is also significant because of what it says about whether…
Human rights monitoring can now be done by anyone. Human rights monitoring can now be done by anyone. Allyson Neville-Morgan

Big data brings new power to open-source intelligence

In November 2013, the New Yorker published a profile of Eliot Higgins – or Brown Moses as he is known to almost 17,000 Twitter followers. An unemployed finance and admin worker at the time, Higgins was…
Anyone could be Clarksoned these days. Anyone could be Clarksoned these days. Mark Hooper

In a post-Snowden world, can we afford to criticise Clarkson?

Jeremy Clarkson is in the soup again for saying the wrong thing. This time he has been accused of using deeply offensive, racist language, in a Top Gear outtake two years ago. The usual gang of anti-Clarksonites…
Moss original and Moss copied. Moss original and Moss copied. EPA/Facundo Arrizabalaga

The internet is not going to sap originality from art

In the last few months I’ve noticed a groundswell of murmurs about the internet’s relationship with culture. Again. But this time it relates to visual art. The discussion in terms of publishing is well…
You could hire an army to protect yourself. Or just do your research. You could hire an army to protect yourself. Or just do your research. Michael Li

Malware is everywhere so watch out for the fake healers

There is nothing worse than having a fake healer offer a cure that does absolutely nothing. History is full of tales of frauds and quacks offering a cure for all, which eventually turn out to be nothing…
Brain bending with fo.cus. Brain bending with fo.cus. Fo.cus

Regulate brain boosting devices so everyone can have a go

Gamers around the world are snapping up a new device that promises to give them an edge on competitors by boosting their gaming focus. It is certainly easy to see the appeal of being able to improve your…
Tomodachi Life: make friends, fall in love but stay straight. Tomodachi Life: make friends, fall in love but stay straight. BagoGames

Nintendo can’t take the gay out of gaming without a fight

Nintendo is facing a storm of criticism over its decision not to allow gamers to play as gay characters and form same-sex relationships in the life-simulation game Tomodachi Life. There has been disquiet…
Ken? Ken? Are you still there, Ken? Ken? Ken? Are you still there, Ken? disappointing video chat shutterstock

Awkward pauses in online calls make us see people differently

We all know the feeling, you’re chatting with your friend or even your boss over the internet and you interrupt them awkwardly. A silence ensues as you both try to let each other talk. Then you interrupt…
Some are working but some have other business. Some are working but some have other business. Michiel2005

Tweets and cybersex: workplace web use is a minefield

Market research reports have indicated that many office employees in the UK spend at least one hour of their day at work on non-work activities. They are booking holidays, shopping online, posting messages…
BT could be tripped up by focusing on sports tv. BT could be tripped up by focusing on sports tv. EPA

Is mutual obsession placing BT and Sky’s future at risk?

These days you can easily get your landline and mobile, your internet access, and your TV package from a single provider. Whereas consumers previously had four separate contracts, one will now suffice…
Driven to extinction or steered towards innovation? Driven to extinction or steered towards innovation? Nick Ansell/AP

Fare’s fair? Uber sparks battle for taxi supremacy in London

London recently found itself in a state of gridlock. A group of taxi drivers created a deliberate traffic jam near the Shard as a protest. The cause for this cabbie consternation? A taxi rank – or lack…
Beautiful doesn’t have to mean deadly. Beautiful doesn’t have to mean deadly. Alan Hughes

Satellite ultrasound supports stroke victims in remote areas

The Scottish Highlands are beautiful: snow-topped mountains rolling down to deep blue lochs. The peace is untroubled by the widely dispersed population; it is rural tranquillity at its most spectacular…
No need to learn Bieb’s moves, just set up an instagram and watch the fans roll in. No need to learn Bieb’s moves, just set up an instagram and watch the fans roll in. Ricky Brigante

When looking like Justin Bieber is worse than dodgy stock trading

A couple of months ago my 13-year-old son came to me with a true story. One of his acquaintances had given him control of an Instagram profile with roughly 3,500 followers as a gift. A few days later…
Microsoft has been at the forefront of allegations regarding the NSA. Microsoft has been at the forefront of allegations regarding the NSA. rhonogle

Using Microsoft products may be unethical for universities

Universities and researchers all over the world have a problem with Microsoft. It’s not just that the company forces expensive and dated software on customers. Using products like Microsoft’s email service…
errmmmm, no I don’t really know how to add friends either. Vic Gundotra has had enough. errmmmm, no I don’t really know how to add friends either. Vic Gundotra has had enough. niallkennedy

Google+ isn’t dead, it just hasn’t got any friends

The news that Vic Gundotra, Google’s vice-president for social media, is to leave the company has fuelled speculation that Google+, the company’s much maligned social network that Gundotra oversaw, is…
Probably an unnecessary precaution. Probably an unnecessary precaution. Redcorn Studios [Matt]

Explainer: which phone is most vulnerable to malware?

As each new computer virus attack or vulnerability comes to light, millions instinctively check their computer to see if their anti-malware application is up to date. This is a good idea and they are wise…
The Duolingo owl is becoming a familiar face on smartphones. The Duolingo owl is becoming a familiar face on smartphones. mwkelley

How smartphone apps are revolutionising language learning

When the iPhone launched in 2007, few could have predicted the impact it would have on education. One of the most powerful developments in education has been the arrival of language learning apps. Regardless…
Mad Men has jumped the shark, people! Mad Men has jumped the shark. Mad Men has jumped the shark, people! Mad Men has jumped the shark. Tim Bradshaw

Oh, you have an opinion? Are you sure about that?

Tell us what you think about police brutality, organ donation, Obamacare, private schools, zoos, breast implants and stew. Tweet your instant reaction, share your perspective on anything on Formspring…
Nothing to wear this evening? Sorry, but 3D printing can’t help. Nothing to wear this evening? Sorry, but 3D printing can’t help. Rain Rabbit

3D printing possibilities are beautiful but not limitless

3D printing has to be a contender for the most talked about technology award at the moment. Gone are the days when I’d start talking about my research in this area only to be met with glazed eyes or polite…
Revenge porn victim Tulisa Contostavlos took legal action against an ex-boyfriend. Revenge porn victim Tulisa Contostavlos took legal action against an ex-boyfriend. Sean Dempsey/PA

Revenge porn has become too profitable to go away

The recent calls for legislation to prohibit revenge pornography – sexually explicit media of unwitting people shared online without their consent, often as punishment for a break up – are not surprising…
The internet didn’t fall to pieces at the millennium and it won’t now. The internet didn’t fall to pieces at the millennium and it won’t now. drinksmachine

Let’s not panic like it’s 1999 as we clean up after Heartbleed

Take a moment to jump back in your mental time machine to 31 December 1999. It was the biggest New Year’s Eve for a thousand years. The dawn of a new millennium. But as we prepared to party, the world…
Emailing from the car: fast, convenient and not in the least bit secure. Emailing from the car: fast, convenient and not in the least bit secure. rheauchyr

Cybersecurity czar dodges questions over IT security

Cyber security has been a hot item on the UK government agenda in the last few years. Francis Maude of the Cabinet Office is the minister in charge. So if anyone was looking for answers in this area, his…
I sent a friend request so I’m pretty sure this is OK. I sent a friend request so I’m pretty sure this is OK. mattiasjajaja

Nothing is private once Facebook gets into your wallet

Facebook has been on a shopping spree in 2014. It’s looking to buy a drone company so it can bring the internet and Facebook to the remaining 6 billion people on Earth who aren’t already using it, and…
One pupil posted online that a teacher’s skin was ‘covered in potholes’. One pupil posted online that a teacher’s skin was ‘covered in potholes’. Dave Thompson/PA

Cyberbullying by parents and pupils takes toll on teachers

A new survey by the teachers union NASUWT has provided further evidence to confirm that teachers too, as well as pupils, can be targets of online bullying. In the research, just more than a fifth of the…
Don’t panic, she still likes books too. Don’t panic, she still likes books too. Todd Morris

Kindle vs books? Children just don’t see it that way

A furious debate has been raging for some years now between adults. Are you a Kindle lover or a devotee of the good, old-fashioned book? As the e-book spreads into children’s publishing, some look in terror…
Now for lot 56: a rare collection of Graham’s angry emails to his ex-girlfriend. Now for lot 56: a rare collection of Graham’s angry emails to his ex-girlfriend. portableantiquities

Dutch student sells his data for €350 but at what price privacy?

A dutch student has taken the bold decision to sell all his data at auction. It’s a decision that should make us think about the future of our own information. In an auction on April 12, Shawn Buckles…
Look, I know we’re not really talking right now but could I possibly borrow a tenner? Look, I know we’re not really talking right now but could I possibly borrow a tenner? ejbSF

Hand out money with my mobile? I think I’m ready

A service is soon to launch in the UK that will enable us to transfer money to other people using just their name and mobile number. Paym is being hailed as a revolution in banking because you can pay…
Sleeping on the plane is no jet lag cure. Sleeping on the plane is no jet lag cure. Edward Simpson

Mathematicians develop new app to put jet lag to bed

Jet lag is a discomfort many of us will have experienced in the days following a long-haul flight across time zones. Mathematicians in the US may have a jet-lag cure in the form a new app called Entrain…
If only it were this straightforward. If only it were this straightforward. Alias 0591

Hard Evidence: how does false information spread online?

Last summer the World Economic Forum (WEF) invited its 1,500 council members to identify top trends facing the world, including what should be done about them. The WEF consists of 80 councils covering…
Early exposure can lead to addiction. Early exposure can lead to addiction. Brit.

Screenagers face troubling addictions from an early age

In 1997, Douglas Rushkoff boldly predicted the emergence a new caste of tech-literate adolescents. He argued that the children of his day would soon blossom into “screenagers”, endowed with effortless…
You guessed it: there’s an app for that. You guessed it: there’s an app for that. USDA

FoodSwitch is an addictive app to help find healthier food

Working out what are the healthiest options in the supermarket can be a difficult job, especially when food labels are often designed to trick you into thinking they’re healthier than they are. We asked…
Take a duster to your password collection. It’s as good a time as any. Take a duster to your password collection. It’s as good a time as any. Karen Blakeman

Don’t panic about Heartbleed but have a spring clean anyway

The web is full of scare stories about the Heartbleed security vulnerability but panicking won’t help. Better to use this situation as an opportunity to clean up our acts. Few of us do it but we should…
Don’t break your heart over this issue but stay secure. Don’t break your heart over this issue but stay secure. Optx

Explainer: should you change your password after Heartbleed?

If you’re struggling to understand the deluge of information about the Heartbleed vulnerability, you’re not alone. Some reports tell us to change all our online passwords immediately, others warn us that…
Will your smartwatch contain graphene? Samsung thinks so. Will your smartwatch contain graphene? Samsung thinks so. Kārlis Dambrāns

Samsung heats up wearable tech race with graphene wafers

Samsung has had a mixed relationship with wearable technology to date but an announcement this week may put it ahead of the crowd. The South Korean firm made an early bid on the market with smartwatches…
Amazon data centres like these power the internet. Amazon data centres like these power the internet. Eric Hunsaker

The key to a green internet lies beyond Amazon’s data centres

Environmental group Greenpeace has slammed Amazon for its environmental practices in its latest report on the green credentials of the technology industry. Greenpeace is concerned that Amazon Web services…
Turbulence and disruption ahead. Turbulence and disruption ahead. Takver

Fresh thinking needed if tech is to help fight climate change

The IPCC has re-iterated its concern that climate change is a serious threat to human safety and security in its latest series of reports. And while energy, transport, water, tourism and health are highlighted…
Master the crow pose, manage your inbox. Master the crow pose, manage your inbox. yoga at laptop image. Shutterstock

Approach your laptop mindfully to avoid digital overload

Information overload has become an everyday experience for anyone who works with computers, owns a smartphone or waits at a bus stop with minute-by-minute updates about arrival times. And this information…
Full speed ahead in search of globalisation. Full speed ahead in search of globalisation.

Data mining uncovers 19th century Britain’s fat habit

A collaboration between historians, text mining, and information visualisation researchers has thrown up new insight into the hunger for sugar, coffee and rubber in the 19th century, as well as how fat…
You want to see what’s in my trolley? What’s in it for me? You want to see what’s in my trolley? What’s in it for me? Alan

The next internet revolution brings data to the market

Every day, our lives are being captured digitally in the data that is generated by our transactions, interactions and movements. And as we become more connected through the internet of things, even more…
Hands up if you’re on Twitter. Hands up if you’re on Twitter. EPA/Al-Masry Al-Youm

When the town square is online, power lies with the people

In the age of information, we no longer need to leave the house to shape democracy. We’re heading towards a world in which the traditional sites of protest are sitting alongside online forums, which are…
Oh hi Dad, can you put Mum on? Oh hi Dad, can you put Mum on? nan palermo

Oculus Rift brings a whole new dimension to communication

Mark Zuckerberg’s latest spending spree has landed Facebook an exciting new gadget in the form of the Oculus Rift, a virtual reality headset that is used by gamers and researchers alike to enhance encounters…
Pinpoint that sex offender or maybe your own past problems. Pinpoint that sex offender or maybe your own past problems. heiwa4126

Even the innocent should worry about sex offender apps

The average citizen may not feel that they have anything to fear from the rise of apps that promise to identify sex offenders in their area but they are part of a worrying trend that should act as a warning…
The online equivalent of a nasty clamp. The online equivalent of a nasty clamp. CZmarlin

Cryptolocker has you between a back up and a hard place

Cryptolocker, a particularly vicious form of malware that first appeared in September 2013, is a game-changer. After getting into your computer, it will encrypt all your data files, from your word documents…
Tim Kelsey doesn’t want you to worry about your data. Tim Kelsey doesn’t want you to worry about your data. Policy Exchange

FoI reveals cynical logic that compromises NHS data privacy

It’s crunch time for the UK government’s controversial care.data scheme, which has been postponed for the second time. A new advisory panel is starting work this week to try to work out how to get this…
Few of us understand what happens when the doors are closed for take off. Few of us understand what happens when the doors are closed for take off. EPA/Mak Remissa

If MH370 was sabotage, look to the organisation for answers

As authorities rush to a remote corner of the southern Indian Ocean to identify wreckage that could be part of missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, speculation remains as to whether its disappearance…
Yeah that’s right: English major with philosophy. Deal with it. Yeah that’s right: English major with philosophy. Deal with it. whatleydude

In the digital age, the humanities can afford to go on the offensive

Humans, as a species, are around 200,000 years old. Compared to the age of the universe we’re clearly infants but compared to the internet, we’re pretty old and compared to social media, which is still…
Still no signal. Still no signal. EPA/Luong Thai Linh

If we’d used the cloud, we might know where MH370 is now

As the biggest ever hunt for a missing plane continues, many are beginning to wonder if we will ever know what happened to Malaysia Airlines flight MH370. If the plane has crashed, it has been suggested…
The picture so far as the crowd springs into action. The picture so far as the crowd springs into action. Google Earth

Crowdsourcing hunt for MH370 extends to millions of sq miles

The hunt for MH370 now involves 26 countries and an estimated 30 million square miles of terrain over both land and sea. The missing aeroplane may have continued flying for up to seven hours after sending…
The floodgates are open, bring on the age of 3D printing. The floodgates are open, bring on the age of 3D printing. S zillayali

The printed face is just the beginning of a 3D revolution

The news that a man in Wales was able to have his face reconstructed after a serious motorbike accident has brought the wonder of 3D printing to the mainstream. It’s the result of changes in regulation…
Austria’s Roman Rabl makes light work of the Sochi slopes. Austria’s Roman Rabl makes light work of the Sochi slopes. EPA/Vassil Donev

The incredible tech behind Paralympian daredevil stunts

Watching the Paralympics makes us forget about the term “disability” and the idea that sport with a disability is about limitations. The athletes on the slopes and rinks at Sochi are showing us that theirs…
Volunteers are trawling satellite imagery in the hope of finding the wreckage of MH370. Volunteers are trawling satellite imagery in the hope of finding the wreckage of MH370. EPA

Volunteers and algorithms need training to find MH370

It has been nearly a week since flight Malaysia Airlines MH370 disappeared some time after taking off from Kuala Lumpur International Airport. Despite searches led by the Malaysian authorities, there is…
Come on old chap, let’s get you a nice cup of tea and a bourbon cream. Come on old chap, let’s get you a nice cup of tea and a bourbon cream. smademedia

BAFTA wins reflect British flavour in modern gaming

As early as 2009, Keiji Inafune, then head of R&D at games company Capcom saw the writing on the wall. “Japan is over. We’re done. Our game industry is finished,” he warned. And the 2014 BAFTA Games…
You can’t tell if someone’s lying by listening to their voice and councils should know that by now. You can’t tell if someone’s lying by listening to their voice and councils should know that by now. Florian Seroussi

Sounding like a liar doesn’t make you a benefits cheat

Councils are facing questions about their use of lie detectors in attempts to catch benefits cheats over the phone. The idea is to listen out for subtle changes in the voice that might indicate that someone…
Working on your creativity. Working on your creativity. Kaptain Kobold

Happy Birthday dear (innovation-killing) web

As we hit our online quarter century it’s easy to get caught up in the idea that technology has been the making of us. But for innovation in tech entrepreneurship it might just be our undoing. Many experts…
Local news isn’t old anymore. Local news isn’t old anymore. @Doug88888

Mobile technology is leading the way in hyperlocal news

Access to independent information about what is going on locally is essential to a healthy democracy and vibrant community. News, views and information are the life-blood of engagement and action. For…
Believe it or not, this is what the future of the internet really looks like. Believe it or not, this is what the future of the internet really looks like. garryknight

You’ll hardly notice the next generation of wearable tech

On a trip to Germany, David Cameron has announced £45 million to prompt a “new industrial revolution” based on the internet of things. This marks the beginning of a new era for computing and for wearable…
Masdar City in Abu Dhabi. Not everyone’s cup of tea. Masdar City in Abu Dhabi. Not everyone’s cup of tea. 準建築人手札網站 Forgemind ArchiMedia

Is anyone asking people what they want from the smart cities of the future?

Future cities, where infrastructure adapts to our needs, offer are an enticing prospect. But who is in the driving seat as these urban developments crop up around the world? We need to make sure that the…
Tiny phytoplankon are at the start of the food chain. Tiny phytoplankon are at the start of the food chain. R Kirby

The smartphone app that could rescue the world’s plankton

Phytoplankton are the microscopic plant-like cells that float in the sea’s sunlit surface. They underpin the marine food chain and controversy over their stocks means it’s necessary to better understand…
Your robot’s decisions will be less of a shock if you plan ahead. Your robot’s decisions will be less of a shock if you plan ahead. x-ray delta one

If you want to trust a robot, look at how it makes decisions

Robots, and autonomous systems in general, can cause anxiety and uncertainty, particularly as their use in everyday tasks becomes a more immediate possibility. In order to lessen at least some of that…
À la Recherche du Temps Perdu. Done. NEXT! À la Recherche du Temps Perdu. Done. NEXT! radarxlove

Speed reading apps are great for snippets but not sonnets

A new app is about to come on the market with promises to dramatically increase the speed at which you read. Spritz is a text streaming technology that allows you to read a sentence, one word at a time…
You don’t even need a match to burn a digital book. You don’t even need a match to burn a digital book. Jason Verwey

In cyber-war, you could change history at the touch of a button

Not all violence in war and conflict is simply strategic. And not all the destruction that takes place is a consequence of territorial or geopolitical objectives. Taking over the next village, blocking…
Good grief. Have you checked out the small print on this care.data deal? Good grief. Have you checked out the small print on this care.data deal? Machine Project

Time for some truth about who is feeding off our NHS data

The UK government has decided to hold off on plans to upload GP records onto a central database for six months. But it may have to drop the plan permanently unless it can provide satisfactory answers to…
@N has spent months trying to get his username back from thieves. @N has spent months trying to get his username back from thieves. Twitter

Joyriders make a black market of prestige Twitter handles

Joyriding – stealing a car just for the fun of it – is a signature act of troublemaking teenagers seeking excitement and a chance to show off their bravado. But while car theft is among the most common…
If people are talking online, we need to be talking about HIV online too. If people are talking online, we need to be talking about HIV online too. Jayel Aheram

In the age of Grindr, HIV support needs to get online

Websites and apps such as Grindr and Scruff are booming as a new way for men to meet other men. But the people who seek to inform men about HIV and AIDS are finding they need to think on their feet to…
George and Sandra were relieved to hear they wouldn’t actually be filming in space. George and Sandra were relieved to hear they wouldn’t actually be filming in space. Warner Brothers

How Harry Potter magic turned Gravity into Oscar gold

The huge success of Alfonso Cuarón’s Gravity at this year’s Oscars is a genuine cause for celebration for much of the UK film industry – not least for the many visual effects artists involved in its creation…
When is a broken phone not really broken? When is a broken phone not really broken? Hugovk

A self-destructing phone isn’t the last word in security

Businesses battling to keep their information safe pricked up their ears last week as it was announce that Boeing has produced a mobile phone that self-destructs should the wrong person try to use it…
Sina Weibo, China’s Twitter-like internet giant, is going public, but wants to list in New York, not China. Sina Weibo, China’s Twitter-like internet giant, is going public, but wants to list in New York, not China. Flickr/Jon Russell

Weibo’s US listing: tweeting the end of the Hong Kong IPO?

With news that another Chinese tech giant is headed to Wall Street, Hong Kong appears to have again missed out on another lucrative IPO. Valued at a phenomenal US$7-8 billion and boasting more than 600…
Even the tallest infrastructure creeks under flood pressure. Even the tallest infrastructure creeks under flood pressure. Derek Harper

What use are apps when your web infrastructure is underwater?

According to Ofcom, 80% of adults in the UK had access to the internet in 2013 and each spent about 35 hours online each month. And half of all adults in the UK access the web using their mobile phones…
Your Facebook settings now stay put, even after you die. Your Facebook settings now stay put, even after you die. rutty

Faceless Facebook reps help bereaved families Look Back

Facebook’s Community Operations team has announced it is changing the privacy settings on accounts for deceased users to reflect the settings they chose in life. Before the new policy, Facebook automatically…
JK Shin unveils the latest Samsung Galaxy phone. JK Shin unveils the latest Samsung Galaxy phone. samsungtomorrow

Many phones, little innovation at Mobile World Congress

The Mobile World congress in Barcelona is the largest mobile phone exhibition in the technology calendar and is the place to see the new mobile technologies that will be attempting to claim your money…
Accepting Bitcoin. But for how long? Accepting Bitcoin. But for how long? Targaryan

Demise of Mt Gox exposes the shaky foundations of Bitcoin

The Mt Gox Bitcoin exchange, the most high-profile market for the online currency, has suspended trading on its systems. It shut down on 24 February after noticing “unusual activity” and is yet to reopen…
Hi I’m Mark and I’m new here, but I want to shake things up. Hi I’m Mark and I’m new here, but I want to shake things up. Ludovic Toinel

Mobile operators needn’t fear big spender Zuckerberg

With Facebook eyeing mobile internet, it is no accident that Mark Zuckerberg is making a much-publicised appearance at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona this week. In attendance are executives from…
The Last of Us is as gripping as many of the films you’ll see in the cinema. The Last of Us is as gripping as many of the films you’ll see in the cinema. PlayStation Europe

We’ve delivered our Citizen Kane, now give gaming an Oscars ceremony

Hollywood’s most celebrated actors, actresses and directors are, by now, finalising their outfits and having their manicures in preparation for the impending Oscars ceremony on 2 March. It’s considerably…
What’s worse than an enemy with a gun? An enemy with malicious code. What’s worse than an enemy with a gun? An enemy with malicious code. Niall Carson/PA Archive/Press Association Images

South Korea’s cyber-war ambitions could backfire badly

South Korea has made a suprisingly public announcement that it plans to develop cyber-weapons for potential use against North Korea. The decision to make its plans known is baffling and the potential consequences…
For pity’s sake, get away from those cacti! Google glassers are out of control. For pity’s sake, get away from those cacti! Google glassers are out of control. Leaflet

Oh Glassholes, what have you done? Google is not pleased

Google must have been getting some negative feedback on people misusing Google Glass. It hasn’t overtly admitted as much, of course, but we can tell because of a communiqué that has been issued to “Glass…
It’s a physical struggle in these skirts, but we always shop in store. It’s a physical struggle in these skirts, but we always shop in store. Haute Couture News

Chanel opts out of fashion’s love affair with online shopping

In the world of luxury fashion, Chanel stands apart from the crowd. But it’s not the designs that make it different. The French luxury brand is one of the last few major labels that does not sell its clothes…
Mark Zuckerberg certainly thinks so. Mark Zuckerberg certainly thinks so. Patrick Denker

WhatsApp has everything Facebook needs to survive

Facebook has made a play for the mobile market by buying WhatsApp in what should be seen as a significant sign of the times. Desktop computing is the past and mobile access is the future. Facebook knows…
“Having a really hard time at the office today.” What can you believe in social media? “Having a really hard time at the office today.” What can you believe in social media? Apuch

Study shows concern over use of social media data in research

For researchers, social media is a veritable goldmine of opportunity. Every day, reams and reams of naturally occurring data are produced by users of Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. At any given moment…
Or, eat, sleep, think, tweet. Or, eat, sleep, think, tweet. Guillaume Capron

The wrong online persona can make you a social media casualty

Anthony Fisher, a lecturer at Nottingham University, has become the latest casualty of unwise social media use after causing outrage with Facebook posts about his students and their intellectual ability…
Is information like this going to stop you putting the kettle on? Is information like this going to stop you putting the kettle on? athriftymrs.com

Smart meters don’t make us any smarter about energy use

Energy bills are higher on the political agenda than ever before and we are constantly being told that devices such as smart meters will help us make better decisions and take control of the energy we…
Something fishy going on in the next cubicle? Check your inbox for clues. Something fishy going on in the next cubicle? Check your inbox for clues. Mark Drago

Employers can predict rogue behaviour using your emails

Most office workers send dozens of electronic communications to colleagues in any given working day, through email, instant messaging and intranet systems. So many in fact that you might not notice subtle…
Lush’s gripe with Amazon is an explosive issue and it’s not just about ethics. Lush’s gripe with Amazon is an explosive issue and it’s not just about ethics. firepile

We might regret backing Lush over Amazon in trade mark wars

The ongoing battle between cosmetics company Lush and internet retailer Amazon is starting to give off a distinctly unsavoury odour. At the beginning, many supported plucky little Lush as it sought to…
Where is the Welsh? Increasingly online. Where is the Welsh? Increasingly online. Alan Fryer

Minority languages fight for survival in the digital age

Language is about much more than just about talking to each other; it’s one of the bases of identity and culture. But as the world becomes increasingly globalised and reliant on technology, English has…
A trip down memory lane or normalising Facebook as part of everyday life? A trip down memory lane or normalising Facebook as part of everyday life? Facebook

Facebook’s ‘look back’ is marketing in disguise

Are you one of the thousands of people around the world who recently created a “look back” Facebook movie? Did it make you cry? Or maybe laugh at your wacky life? The videos are a new feature available…
“Hi! Is that the 1980s? I’ve got your phone. You can have it back.” “Hi! Is that the 1980s? I’ve got your phone. You can have it back.” Computex e Forum

The three rules that stop a tech device from losing its cool

In the world of hi-tech devices, it is imperative to keep your finger on the pulse. Some of the most successful companies of our times, such as Apple and Google, are those that understand the power of…
The bird that just won’t die. But can you live without it? The bird that just won’t die. But can you live without it?

Flappy Bird obsession is not necessarily an addiction

Flappy Bird, a deceptively simple gaming app, has been withdrawn by its creator Dong Nguyen because it is too “addictive”. His decision appears to have sparked a frenzy among fans who are reportedly so…
Major app developers make enormous sums from basic and derivative games, so why can’t independent game makers? Major app developers make enormous sums from basic and derivative games, so why can’t independent game makers? Flappy Bird

Games world in flap about originality

This week the game app Flappy Bird was removed from the Apple App Store. And while the gaming press can usually be relied on to come to the defence of independent developers facing pressure from major…
‘Avoid cat’, or ‘torment cat’? ‘Avoid cat’, or ‘torment cat’? anti_christa

What to expect from Dyson’s new robotics lab

James Dyson’s decision to fund a robotics laboratory at Imperial College London may not lead to the super advanced robot friends of our dreams, but what he has planned could make robotic domestic appliances…
No use waiting for a politician to turn up. No use waiting for a politician to turn up. Rebecca Sandover

While ministers dither on floods, social media springs into action

I’ve just returned from sandbagging near the swollen River Parrett at Langport, a town next to the flooded Somerset Levels. There, local people are using new media to take action in the midst of a disaster…
Does my £9,000 get me a tablet? Does my £9,000 get me a tablet? BillyONeal

For £9,000, students expect their classes to go digital

Students in the UK are now paying annual fees of up to £9,000 – and they expect more for their money. This is a radical change from the situation a couple of decades ago when student grants provided the…
Its about to rain pennies from heaven in Iceland. Its about to rain pennies from heaven in Iceland. Jokull Masson

Free cash for Iceland, but it pays to keep cool about Auroracoin

The Bitcoin craze has hit Iceland, where an entrepreneur has set up his own cryptocurrency and announced plans to give every citizen a handful for free. Baldur Odinsson says he is setting up a new cryptocurrency…
GIFs can help show the effects of climate change. GIFs can help show the effects of climate change. Patrick Kelley

How GIFs are changing the way we talk science

The use of “GIFs” has exploded in recent years. They are used for news, views and entertainment but are most commonly seen as a light-hearted medium. Now scientists are beginning to see how GIFs can be…
Google has you in a filter bubble and you might not even know it. Google has you in a filter bubble and you might not even know it. melanie.phung

Google still controls your information, despite EU ruling

After a long investigation, Google has finally reached a settlement with the European Commission about how it presents search results. The Commission had started investigating Google in the first place…
Can you ever be anonymous in your doctor’s surgery if your doctor isn’t? Can you ever be anonymous in your doctor’s surgery if your doctor isn’t? MTSOfan

Your NHS data is completely anonymous – until it isn’t

The debate about uploading nearly all data from UK medical practices to a national database continues to cause concern. Responding to fears that the information held in the care.data database will put…
Mark your territory now. It’s about to kick off online. Mark your territory now. It’s about to kick off online. the justified sinner

Domain name expansion signals political shift of the internet

More than 1,000 new generic top-level domain names – the part of an internet address that comes after the “dot” – are being rolled out by the International Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers. It’s…
Recommended for me? Milk appreciation group? LIKE. Recommended for me? Milk appreciation group? LIKE. c r z

New mums shun Twitter and stick to baby-friendly Facebook

Although it might sometimes seem that your Facebook feed is overrun with chatter about babies, research from Microsoft has suggested that mums actually spend less time on the site after they have had children…
“Hey, where are u?” “Ummm, right next to you”. “Hey, where are u?” “Ummm, right next to you”. TonZ

Watch where you put that emoticon AND KEEP YOUR VOICE DOWN

Emoticons, punctuation and creative spelling have been debated, condemned, and regulated since the very beginning of online text-based communication. We’ve all seen “netiquettes” on how not to use ALL…
Twitpic does all the hard work these days, so A&R men don’t even have to leave the office. Twitpic does all the hard work these days, so A&R men don’t even have to leave the office. marfis75

Twitter data puts music moguls back in the game

Twitter has decided to woo the music industry with a promise to share data on up-and-coming artists in a deal that would whet the appetite of most music lovers. It makes sense for one of the largest social…
Instant access to health data is becoming the norm so we are wise to the implications. Instant access to health data is becoming the norm so we are wise to the implications. IntelFreePress

What the NHS can learn from the smartphone on data consent

In the run up to the introduction of the NHS care.data programme, there is an urgent need for a debate about what we, and our healthcare providers, mean by the term “consent”. So far, the plans for care.data…
After a long search, the right person was right under Microsoft’s nose. After a long search, the right person was right under Microsoft’s nose. Heisenberg Media

Microsoft seeks security in the expert hands of Satya Nadella

Faced with uncertain times, Microsoft has named Satya Nadella as its new CEO. His appointment follows months of speculation over who would replace longstanding leader Steve Ballmer, who retired last year…
Facebook, the world’s biggest social network with 1 billion users, celebrates its first decade this February, but challenges remain in the coming years. Facebook, the world’s biggest social network with 1 billion users, celebrates its first decade this February, but challenges remain in the coming years. EPA/How Hwee Young

Facebook turns 10, no longer a minnow, no longer ‘new media’

Facebook turns ten this month, but so what? Google celebrated its 15th anniversary last year. Even though it has been through several redesigns and relaunches, MySpace is already 11, having been established…
All eyes are on GCHQ as it justifies its spying activities. All eyes are on GCHQ as it justifies its spying activities. Campaign Against Arms Trade

Ministers exploit legal grey area to justify GCHQ spying

A debate is brewing after a report submitted to MPs suggested that GCHQ has been breaking the law by conducting mass surveillance on UK citizens. In the red corner sits public law barrister Jemima Stratford…
More comfortable than they look, the lens will monitor wearers' tears. More comfortable than they look, the lens will monitor wearers' tears. Google

Google’s glucose contact lenses could transform diabetes care

Google has teamed up with researchers at the University of Washington to create a contact lens that can measure blood glucose levels in a person’s tears and display the reading on their mobile phone. If…
Happy decade, Facebook. You’ve come a long way. Happy decade, Facebook. You’ve come a long way. Creative Cakes by KeeKee

Write on Facebook’s timeline for its birthday – you’re still friends

When we think of tenth birthdays, we associate them with youth and the cusp of tweenhood, a life only just begun and about to get more exciting. But it’s different in the technology industry and, as it…
Not just for games. Not just for games. flickingerbrad

Backlash against computing curriculum misses the point

Computing is an important subject, but it is only one of many that schools have to teach, and few would argue that it is more important than English, maths, or science. But as a high-profile debate continues…
Civil servants everywhere heave a sigh of relief. Civil servants everywhere heave a sigh of relief. psd

There’s no better time for governments to go open source

The UK government has revealed that it is considering ditching Microsoft software for open source alternatives. Cabinet minister Frances Maude has said he wants to see a range of software being adopted…
New York and California are considering ways of regulating Bitcoin and making it easier to access, but those already using the virtual currency say over regulation could drive people away. New York and California are considering ways of regulating Bitcoin and making it easier to access, but those already using the virtual currency say over regulation could drive people away. Department for Communities and Local Government

For Bitcoin, regulation may kill the golden goose

It seems governments are finally coming around to the idea that virtual currencies are here to stay. Backed by a business community eager to utilise innovations like Bitcoin, California and New York are…
Once-mighty Motorola will be part of Lenovo. Once-mighty Motorola will be part of Lenovo. Titanas

Everyone wins in Motorola sell off, except HTC and Blackberry

Google’s decision to sell Motorola to Lenovo could easily be misread as a sign of defeat. In fact, it is win-win. And it spells trouble for struggling competitors Blackberry and HTC. Google originally…
The golden age of AI is upon us. The golden age of AI is upon us. kidpixo

What does Google want with DeepMind? Here are three clues

All eyes turned to London this week, as Google announced its latest acquisition in the form of DeepMind, a company that specialises in artificial intelligence technologies. The £400m pricetag paid by Google…
Exercise in front of screens has yet to take off. Exercise in front of screens has yet to take off. wiiuspiele

Sorry gamers, Wii Fit is no substitute for real exercise

It’s been about ten years since Sony popularised “exergaming” – games where you move your body along with the game – with the release of Eye Toy. The device projected players into video games by getting…
Would you trust this guy with your personal data? Would you trust this guy with your personal data? tomazstolfa

Angry Birds will have angry users until privacy rules are clear

It was reported this week that the NSA and British intelligence agency GCHQ have been gathering information from popular apps including David Cameron’s favourite game, Angry Birds. According to the Guardian…
A morning staff meeting gets underway in 2034. A morning staff meeting gets underway in 2034. Grathio

Machines spell change rather than doom for white-collar work

If Google chairman Eric Schmidt is to be believed, the automation of jobs will be the “defining” problem of the next two to three decades. At a debate at Davos 2014, he warned that the constant development…
NHS systems are groaning under the weight of big data and that’s bad for patients. NHS systems are groaning under the weight of big data and that’s bad for patients. Trevor Pritchard

Outdated laws put your health data in jeopardy

Given the heightened sense of concern about our personal data following the Edward Snowden revelations, it probably isn’t the best time for the NHS to ask us for more. So it simply hasn’t bothered asking…
Vincent F Hendricks likes this post, but in a sort of ironic, self-referential way. Vincent F Hendricks likes this post, but in a sort of ironic, self-referential way. Ksayer1

How Facebook changed what it means to ‘like’

The “like” is the predominant gesture on social media, whether you’re sticking to Facebook or shifting to Instagram. It may even be the most common gesture among humans nowadays. Some of us probably “like…
Incoming message: Nice glass of rioja and a baked camembert. Incoming message: Nice glass of rioja and a baked camembert.

Is that a risotto in your pocket? The app that smells like dinner

Even though we are communicating in more ways than ever using online technology, we remain largely confined to the audiovisual when we do it. An app that has been on sale in Japan for some time aims to…
John Nimmo has been given eight weeks in prison for online abuse. John Nimmo has been given eight weeks in prison for online abuse. Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Court sends the right message in sentencing Criado-Perez trolls

Two people have been jailed for making threats and sending abusive messages on Twitter to Caroline Criado-Perez, the feminist campaigner who sought to have a woman put on a British bank note. Isabella…
Children are already experimenting. Teachers need the skills to keep up. Children are already experimenting. Teachers need the skills to keep up. San Jose Library

Teachers need confidence to teach coding properly

Michael Gove is ploughing ahead with plans to gather an elite team of computer science experts to help bring coding into schools. He has rightly acknowledged that teaching programming in schools is vital…
Can I interest you in the Acme Corporation? I’m hearing great things. Can I interest you in the Acme Corporation? I’m hearing great things. Rafael Matsunaga

When Twitter storms cause financial panic

On the morning of 22 January 2013 a story started to develop on Twitter about the imminent and unexpected resignation of Jens Weidmann, the CEO of Deutsche Bundesbank. The first documented tweet came at…
But open to all on the same terms? But open to all on the same terms? balleyne

Europe can learn from US on how not to do net neutrality

We are entering a time of great uncertainty for internet freedom following two recent events. Both occurred in the US but have repercussions for Europe, where the debate on the future of net neutrality…
Can you spot your Facebook data? Can you spot your Facebook data? National Security Agency

Obama’s reformed NSA may look much the same as before

President Obama faced a difficult task in his speech on reform of the NSA’s surveillance activities. As an accomplished orator, crafting a well-received speech was obviously within his capabilities, but…
I’ll be right with you sir, just after I put this cup away. This is a cup, right? I’ll be right with you sir, just after I put this cup away. This is a cup, right? garrettc

Your robot helper is on the way now it can learn from its friends

January is a time when many of us seek to better ourselves. We want to learn a new skill or improve an existing one. A network designed especially for robots, RoboEarth, is being tested in the Netherlands…
Google sees Nest as a way into smart homes. Google sees Nest as a way into smart homes. born1945

Google’s smart-home strategy starts with smoke alarms

Google is set to pay £1.9 billion (US$3.2 billion) for Nest, a manufacturer of “smart” thermostats and smoke alarms. Though Nest is still relatively unknown, the buzz around smart homes – where all manner…
Who’s in charge here? It’s not us. Who’s in charge here? It’s not us. jdlasica

From breastfeeding to politics, Facebook steps up censorship

Facebook has recently tried to close down the popular Anarchist Memes page on its site in the latest of a string of crackdowns on political online activism. It’s just one more example of the social media…
Some are more equal than others when it comes to internet access. Some are more equal than others when it comes to internet access. acroll

Verizon ruling is a major blow to equal internet access

These are wild times for the management and governance of the internet, as is clear from the ruling that came out of the US this week. In a victory for the private sector, the Federal Communications Commission…
What we self-censor on Facebook is a fascinating topic for sociological research, but it raises some uncomfortable questions about our digital rights. What we self-censor on Facebook is a fascinating topic for sociological research, but it raises some uncomfortable questions about our digital rights. J Bizzie/Flickr

When did you consent to Facebook’s self-censorship research?

Are corporate and academic research ethics up to the task of dealing with the “cool but creepy” dilemmas of big data? A recent paper, Self Censorship on Facebook, shows that Facebook wants to know why…
How come you never text me no more? How come you never text me no more? Jan Persiel

Texting is bound to decline but it won’t die out just yet

Reports this week reveal the number of text messages sent between mobile phones has fallen into decline for the first time since the service was introduced. According to figures from Deloitte, the number…
Nargono-Karabakh. They’ve got landmarks but no domain name. Nargono-Karabakh. They’ve got landmarks but no domain name. Blackwych

The politics of getting online in countries that don’t exist

What is the quickest route to international recognition? Aspiring states may try to ally themselves with a great power, lobby national governments, or even try to enlist the support of celebrities, which…
Caroline Criado Perez has spoken out about her experiences with trolls. Caroline Criado Perez has spoken out about her experiences with trolls. Canadian Pacific

Trolling stays with you, long after the abuse

As someone who researches online behaviours such as trolling, cyberbullying, and cyberstalking, I have, from time to time, ended up on the receiving end of abusive online behaviour myself. Out of a wide…
The search for Steve Ballmer’s replacement at Microsoft is hampered by the fact he will remain on the board. The search for Steve Ballmer’s replacement at Microsoft is hampered by the fact he will remain on the board. EPA/Michaelâ Kappeler

The long search for Microsoft’s next CEO

Microsoft is hunting for a new CEO, and five months after Steve Ballmer agreed to retire, the search continues. There are some key reasons why potential CEOs being considered for the post may think twice…
Just hold still while I check your back story. Just hold still while I check your back story. NameTag

The app that checks whether your date is a sex offender

An app on offer in the US says it can determine whether the person you are dating has anything to hide, using facial recognition to see if they are on the sex offenders register. This should make us question…
Cyber-security takes more than cautious laptop ownership. Cyber-security takes more than cautious laptop ownership. sridgway

UK trails European neighbours on cyber-security

To my amazement, the latest Eurobarometer survey on Cyber Security across Europe received very little attention in the UK, despite its quite revealing findings. The report shows in no uncertain terms that…
Went to CES, couldn’t decide, so bought the lot. Went to CES, couldn’t decide, so bought the lot. Robert Scoble

Wearable tech sees all, so choose what you want to share

This week’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas has offered up a veritable smörgåsbord of wearable technology. We’ve seen devices of all kinds to tempt us into this new age. So now is the time to decide…
Australian technology firms are being lured overseas, to list on stock exchanges in the US and in London. Australian technology firms are being lured overseas, to list on stock exchanges in the US and in London. Elias Gayles/Flickr

London’s calling and Australian tech firms are answering

When Australian online labour market company Freelancer decided to list publicly on the Australian Stock Exchange last year, they did so in part to spur investment in the local technology industry. That…
Curved TV: the future. Using glam girls to advertise tech? Not so much. Curved TV: the future. Using glam girls to advertise tech? Not so much. samsungtomorrow

You don’t need a curved TV, but 4K is the future

There has been a lot of hype and misinformation in the press over the last few weeks about the future of television. At the CES Electronics Showin Las Vegas, curved screens and 4K TV are being touted as…
Beating computers is hard, and it’s going to get harder. Beating computers is hard, and it’s going to get harder. George Widman/AP

How to teach Deep Blue to play poker and deliver groceries

Deep Blue gained world-wide attention in 1997 when it defeated the then chess world champion Garry Kasparov. But playing chess was all that Deep Blue could do. Ask it to play another game, even a simpler…
The shoulder pads are gone but the IT infrastructure remains. The shoulder pads are gone but the IT infrastructure remains. Phagan photos

Ancient IT makes a banking meltdown inevitable

A KPMG report warned last year that the next systemic shock to UK banking could come from an as yet unforeseen event, such as a massive payment outage or a cyber attack. Since the IT systems in most banks…
Make the known unknowns and the unknown unknowns known and we’ll all be better off. Make the known unknowns and the unknown unknowns known and we’ll all be better off. David Shankbone

Make surveillance work for the people: let them spy back

Privacy – in our bedrooms, at work, on the street and on the internet – is important to everyone. But every week brings another story demonstrating the ongoing shredding of privacy that undermines those…
Not exactly where you’d imagine e-commerce to be booming, but rural China has embraced online retail platforms for cheaper supplies and extra income. Not exactly where you’d imagine e-commerce to be booming, but rural China has embraced online retail platforms for cheaper supplies and extra income. EPA/Micahel Reynolds

The social side of e-commerce: lessons from rural China

Every year, for the foreseeable future, another 30 million Chinese will go online to shop, according to a new Boston Consulting Group report. Pushed by a government-subsidised rollout of internet – and…
Facebook deals with what’s acceptable and what isn’t through surveillance, community monitoring and self-regulation. Facebook deals with what’s acceptable and what isn’t through surveillance, community monitoring and self-regulation. Xomiele/Flickr

A thin blue line: how Facebook deals with controversial content

Stories of Facebook allowing beheading videos but removing breastfeeding images, and then reversing the decision to allow graphic violence after public uproar, has led many to question how Facebook should…
High growth enterprises, or ‘gazelles’, are a growing source of global employment. High growth enterprises, or ‘gazelles’, are a growing source of global employment. Smithsonian's National Zoo/Flickr

Rocketing regions: the jobs of the future in gazelle headquarters

Do you know someone who has lost their job in the last few years working in IT, media, finance or retail? These industries and many others are already feeling the pinch of “online gravity” - a special…
So meme, such Doge. This guy ruled the internet in 2013. So meme, such Doge. This guy ruled the internet in 2013.

The year of the Doge: 2013’s top meme owes it all to LOLCats

In the world of internet memes, 2013 was without doubt the Year of the Doge. Participants on Twitter, Tumblr and reddit created and circulated their own narrations of this Shiba’s fragmented internal monologue…
Caroline Criado-Perez learnt the hard way about internet trolls in 2013. Caroline Criado-Perez learnt the hard way about internet trolls in 2013. Chris Ratcliffe/PA Wire/Press Association Images

The catfish, spies and regulators who changed social media

It was an extraordinary year for social media. We saw sites such as Twitter shift from being a fun pastime to a fundamental part of life. The change might not have been unexpected but each time a new incident…
No more Mad Men. Advertising is heading online faster than ever, as the digital landscape becomes easier terrain for targeting consumers. No more Mad Men. Advertising is heading online faster than ever, as the digital landscape becomes easier terrain for targeting consumers. Flickr/Orobi

The year that was: 5 advertising trends from 2013

The advertising industry appears to be locked into the perpetual cycle of continuous change, fuelled by the combination of the rapid and ongoing evolution of new and disruptive technologies and the increasing…
The dark web is under threat. The dark web is under threat. Fir0002

Anonymity will be the next victim of internet censorship

The worrying developments in UK internet freedom over the last year make predictions for 2014 gloomy to say the least. Censorship now affects us all, so we should be thinking about it. And it’s not politically…
Age: 16, likes: social networking, dislikes: Facebook. Age: 16, likes: social networking, dislikes: Facebook. dangaken

Facebook’s so uncool, but it’s morphing into a different beast

What does 2014 hold for your online life? If you’re young, it probably won’t involve Facebook that much. This year marked the start of what looks likely to be a sustained decline of what had been the most…
Huawei’s technology HQ in Shenzen. Huawei’s technology HQ in Shenzen. Brücke-Osteuropa

Keeping tabs on Huawei raises awkward questions for everyone

In its often fractious dealings with western governments, Chinese tech giant Huawei has been repeatedly accused of being a proxy for government espionage and other practices unbecoming of a global corporation…
Clint Eastwood and his empty chair don’t let facts get in the way of a good narrative. Clint Eastwood and his empty chair don’t let facts get in the way of a good narrative. Lynne Sladky/AP/Press Association Images

All those likes and upvotes are bad news for democracy

Human beings have long been easily influenced by the opinions of others but the social media networks that have come to dominate our lives may be making this “social proof” a problem. A recent study in…
Where is this building? It really doesn’t matter. Where is this building? It really doesn’t matter. brionv

Google is unlikely to avoid UK courts on privacy

The question of accountability under national law for the wrongs committed by international companies has been debated and litigated for many years in many different courts and across many different countries…
Overseas based online retailers are far more innovative in coming up with ways to keep customers clicking. Overseas based online retailers are far more innovative in coming up with ways to keep customers clicking. BBC

Doing it better? Overseas online retailers aisles ahead

All the signs are there that Australian retailers are not investing enough in their online operations. More than A$24 billion was spent online during the 12 months to March 2013, with Australian online…
It looks like you’re playing a ukulele. Would you like to buy some quinoa? It looks like you’re playing a ukulele. Would you like to buy some quinoa? Lilah Shepherd

Computer sees your hipster haircut, sells you a plaid shirt

Researchers at the University of California, San Diego, are developing an algorithm that aims to identify whether you’re a hipster, a goth or a punk, just from the cut of your social media jib. The team…
Sing it loud in Brussels, listen to it all over Europe. Sing it loud in Brussels, listen to it all over Europe. Lievan SOETE

Europe’s music fans sing in harmony, so why can’t industry?

Digital technology has transformed the music industry in Europe, making both distribution and piracy easier than ever. But regulators are yet to catch up with the pace of change, leaving them unable to…
Out and about on the digital farm. Out and about on the digital farm. Sabrina Dent

Virtual nature makes us feel good even if it’s Farmville

Environmental psychologists have long known that encounters with the natural world are good for us. But nature can now also be found in our virtual lives – in the photos we share online, the games we play…
Digital democracy gives you the tools to create the society you want to live in. Digital democracy gives you the tools to create the society you want to live in. Dominic's pics

Digital democracy lets you write your own laws

True democracy is not just about casting a vote every five years. It means citizens being fully involved in the proposal, development and creation of laws. The Commission on Digital Democracy currently…
A budding romance? A budding romance? Ed Yourdon

The iPod zombies are more switched on than you think

Teenagers get a bad rap for zoning out on their iPods at every given opportunity, but they may not be the unsociable narcissists they are often portrayed as. In fact, they are often skilled users who manage…
Like butter wouldn’t melt: Francis Maude thinks we’re doing pretty well on cybersecurity. Like butter wouldn’t melt: Francis Maude thinks we’re doing pretty well on cybersecurity. Cabinet Office

The UK government is working in a Snowden-free bubble

Anyone who took the time to read the UK government’s latest update on its cybersecurity strategy could be forgiven for thinking that a man called Edward Snowden never existed. Most people who are even…
You’re producing a lot of useful data but would you know what do with it? You’re producing a lot of useful data but would you know what do with it? altemark

The trials and tribulations of giving back your data

Living in the age of data – whether big or small – certainly has its benefits for businesses and governments. Consumers, however, might be excused for feeling like they are being carried along without…
Not your pirate currency any more: as traditional institutions embrace Bitcoins, the price will only increase. Not your pirate currency any more: as traditional institutions embrace Bitcoins, the price will only increase. Flickr/Zach Copley

Bitcoin’s rehab will ultimately determine its true value

As Bitcoin’s backers push for it to become acceptable mainstream currency, its value has become increasingly tied to attempts to break the public image that it’s just a currency for cyber criminals. It’s…
Now widely collected by intelligence agencies and private companies, and often seen as trivial, metadata should be an important part of privacy. Now widely collected by intelligence agencies and private companies, and often seen as trivial, metadata should be an important part of privacy. TK Link

The morality of metadata: not just innocuous adornment

The Snowden leaks may have highlighted the extent of state surveillance on its citizens, but debate continues about the significance of the kind of data collected. In many cases, that’s metadata, and while…
Do you know anything about machine learning? Do you know anything about machine learning? newyork

Are you an expert in machine learning? Facebook is hiring

“Move fast and break things.” That is the Facebook motto plastered all over their California headquarters to remind engineers never to stop innovating. This week, the company moved fast and broke some…
Your water-cooler moment 2.0. Your water-cooler moment 2.0. 'Pong

Twitter matters as science seeks to make a social impact

Scientists are increasingly turning to social media to publicise their research. While some see Twitter and Facebook as a bit of fun, others find online tools are becoming integral to their work. In an…
The backlash against state surveillance is growing stronger by the day. The backlash against state surveillance is growing stronger by the day. ubiquit

A digital rights bill means nothing without basic state compliance

More than 500 high-profile names, including authors, musicians and five Nobel laureates, have signed a petition to the United Nations calling for a bill of digital rights to be developed in the wake of…
Grubby, mean and out for your ideas. Patent trolls are on the prowl. Grubby, mean and out for your ideas. Patent trolls are on the prowl. kewl

Tinkering with the law won’t stop patent trolls

For a country that has long been a staunch defender of intellectual property rights, the US has struggled in recent years to get to grips with the menace of a new breed of patent holders, pejoratively…
If successful, electronic voting poses a serious threat to the great British queue. If successful, electronic voting poses a serious threat to the great British queue. Ruth W

Digital voting is a game changer but we have to get it right

The UK may be taking its first, tentative steps towards introducing online voting with the establishment of a Commission on Digital Democracy. As so many of our routine tasks are going digital, the shift…
Games like Minecraft can be retooled to be used for spatial math puzzles, proportions, spacing and creativity, but do all games have the same educational value? Games like Minecraft can be retooled to be used for spatial math puzzles, proportions, spacing and creativity, but do all games have the same educational value? Dean Groom/Flickr

Edu-games hit the market, but not all are are created equal

The re-purposing of video games as learning tools continues to gather pace with the recent release of high-profile educational incarnations of games like SimCity and Minecraft. Different educational games…
Chin up, mate, there’s money to be made. Chin up, mate, there’s money to be made. marsmet473a

Cybersecurity isn’t all about doom and gloom

Much is made in the press of the devastating effects that weak cybersecurity is having on the economy in the UK and globally. We regularly see news articles about companies having their secrets stolen…
New research from the Centre for Broadband Innovation explores what’s required to get more businesses online. New research from the Centre for Broadband Innovation explores what’s required to get more businesses online. Lukas Coch/AAP

Broadband and business: if you build it will they come?

As the debate about the type of broadband infrastructure Australia is investing in rolls on, the really big question concerns the extent to which Australians will benefit from this investment. This is…
You can wait a long time for a postman to show up in the country. You can wait a long time for a postman to show up in the country. amandabhslater

Small businesses think smart to keep up with Amazon drones

The biggest names in internet retail appear to be dramatically stepping up efforts to make delivering your online orders, fast, reliable and extremely hi-tech. But in a week in which Amazon talked up its…
Small but powerful, the BRCK brings the web to those hard to reach places. Small but powerful, the BRCK brings the web to those hard to reach places. BRCK

The little black box bringing the internet to Kenya

The BRCK is, in a sense, just like the archetypal little black box. It does what you need and you don’t have to worry about its inner workings. The team developing it has a simple aim – to extend and stabilise…
The big questions in the Snowden saga hinge on who knows what about encryption. The big questions in the Snowden saga hinge on who knows what about encryption. Bob Lord

It’s all about cryptography as Rusbridger faces parliament

Despite all the political blustering that has surrounded Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger’s meeting with the House of Commons Home Affairs Committee this week, the real story in the Snowden affair is cryptography…
Amazon worker wraps someone else’s Christmas present. Amazon worker wraps someone else’s Christmas present. Chris Radburn/PA Wire

Moral outrage at Amazon is cancelled with a click

If there’s any time of year that retail companies fear bad press it’s in the run-up to Christmas, so undercover footage revealing gruelling work conditions which was broadcast last week and the ongoing…
Data protection may soon come at a price. Data protection may soon come at a price. Randomskk

Hard evidence: how much is your data worth to you?

Data privacy is on our minds like never before. In a relatively small amount of time many of us have gone from carrying out our daily transactions in person to conducting them digitally. We pay energy…
It’s not just about hardware, software matters too. It’s not just about hardware, software matters too. argonne

Genetic testing is easy to access thanks to computer scientists

Frederick Sanger, who died recently at the age of 95, won two Nobel prizes in chemistry for his methods for sequencing proteins and DNA. Proteins were of more direct interest to many people because many…
Foxtel will compete directly with half owner Telstra when it begins offering telephone and broadband internet services in the next twelve months. Foxtel will compete directly with half owner Telstra when it begins offering telephone and broadband internet services in the next twelve months. Flickr/Bell

Pay TV triple play pits Foxtel in three-legged race with Telstra

Monday’s announcement by Foxtel that it will launch broadband internet and fixed line telephony services bundled with its pay tv services comes as no surprise. The deal, known as a Triple Play, will see…
Yep, looks like you’ve got too many browser windows open. Yep, looks like you’ve got too many browser windows open. eliz.avery

After the laughter comes a serious role for the SmartWig

Want to move your slide presentation on? Just raise an eyebrow and let your SmartWig flip to the next graph on your behalf. Well, not yet perhaps, but this is one of the ideas behind Sony’s surprising…
Not quite ready for your Christmas orders. Not quite ready for your Christmas orders.

Don’t count on Amazon drone deliveries just yet

Apparently keen to inject a bit of fun into its image after a damaging few weeks of press coverage, online retail giant Amazon has announced that it is experimenting with the use of drones to deliver its…
Bleuurgh, gross! Get it on Facebook quick. Bleuurgh, gross! Get it on Facebook quick. Nick Saltmarsh

Pics in the bin, Fridgecam and the digital war on waste

Our awareness of food waste is increasing all the time, yet we continue to throw away vast amounts of produce even when we don’t need to. We are getting tired of being lectured on our habits so its time…
Do you believe in bubbles? Do you believe in bubbles? David Jones/PA

Looking beyond the headlines shows there is no tech bubble

There has been lots of talk lately of a “tech bubble”. The NASDAQ composite index - a widely observed benchmark of the high-tech sector - last week reached the level of 4000 for the first time since the…
Haiti is now one of the most mapped developing countries. Haiti is now one of the most mapped developing countries. RIBI Image Library

Natural disasters put Haiti and Philippines on the map

In the developed world where many people happily post their current locations on Facebook and can look up the exact locations of buildings online, it is often overlooked how poor locational information…
Social media has long been said to enable “produsage”, where viewers can also be content producers. But new research shows this is not how we use these networks. Social media has long been said to enable “produsage”, where viewers can also be content producers. But new research shows this is not how we use these networks. The Conversation

Compulsive checking trumps content creation on Facebook: study

The democratising potential of social media have long been heralded. Successive government ministers, starting with Helen Coonan, Stephen Conroy and now Malcolm Turnbull, have all talked up the marvels…
That’s right chaps: top rated on rice pudding and chicken kiev, again. That’s right chaps: top rated on rice pudding and chicken kiev, again. Lynne Cameron/PA Archive/Press Association Images

NHS TripAdvisor be aware: if you build it, they don’t always come

Tim Kelsey, the NHS’s Director for Patients and Information, has announced that the service is to launch a TripAdvisor-style patient feedback site, following a pilot in London and the north-east. In the…
I’ve always thought that Miliband was a bit extreme … I’ve always thought that Miliband was a bit extreme … Anthony Devlin/PA

Blocking extremist sites is not the same as fighting child porn

Fresh from its success calling on search engines to block access to child porn, the UK government is turning its attention to terrorism. Ministers are poised to call on internet service providers to block…
Games like Lucky Cruise, available on social networks and through mobile apps, are growing in popularity and profitability. The Social gambling industry generates $2 billion in revenue a month. Games like Lucky Cruise, available on social networks and through mobile apps, are growing in popularity and profitability. The Social gambling industry generates $2 billion in revenue a month. Lucky Cruise Social Casino

Big money made on social apps as gambling and gaming collide

Regulations prohibiting gambling on social media in Australia are being increasingly challenged by the popularity of casino apps for iPhones and Androids, as well as loopholes exploited by offerings on…
Just don’t forget your password. Just don’t forget your password. pinguino

Governments will struggle to put Bitcoin under lock and key

The hearings in the US senate last week were the most high profile public discussions that have taken place on the subject of virtual currencies. The US showed its openness by broadcasting the hearing…
It’s not all about building multi-coloured-ball guns. But you might as well. It’s not all about building multi-coloured-ball guns. But you might as well. Stratageme.com

Five ways the Raspberry Pi is making life a little sweeter

The Raspberry Pi project began when a few of us in Cambridge bemoaned the fall in numbers of computer science applicants and the decline in hobbyist programmers. Five years on, much has changed. Applications…
The federal government has come under increasing pressure to lower the GST threshold for online purchases as sales continue to rise and revenue continues to be lost. The federal government has come under increasing pressure to lower the GST threshold for online purchases as sales continue to rise and revenue continues to be lost. AAP/Alan Porritt

States' push for GST on online shopping is just small change

Both Labor and Coalition states are pushing the federal government to extend the GST to more online purchases as they look for additional sources of revenue. And while the Coalition had promised no changes…
Just sending one last email from the bar … before my phone gets nicked. Just sending one last email from the bar … before my phone gets nicked. philcampbell

Bring your own device, lose your employer’s secrets

A survey of 2,500 British adults has revealed 27% have had up to three devices containing sensitive work-related data stolen or have lost them. Of these, 52% admitted that they were out drinking when it…
Safety first, but which kind of safety? Safety first, but which kind of safety? peretzp

Stuxnet is scary, but human safety should come first

Critical national infrastructure keeps our water and electricity flowing, our payments running and our manufacturing and distribution moving. This infrastructure faces a new threat in the form of cyber-attacks…
Marketing professionals are facing a moment of truth as reaching customers becomes easier than ever for non-professionals. Marketing professionals are facing a moment of truth as reaching customers becomes easier than ever for non-professionals. Boston Public Library/Flickr

Goodbye marketers: Facebook’s moment of truth

The effectiveness of Facebook advertising as a marketing tool for companies has come under intense scrutiny in recent weeks. The first volley was fired by Nate Elliot, the principal analyst at Forrester…
Small changes to currency can have a big impact. Small changes to currency can have a big impact. @Doug88888

If foreign exchange markets are rigged, the solution is simple

In the latest big scandal to hit the banking sector, regulators around the world are investigating whether foreign exchange markets have been rigged. At least seven major banks have been caught up in the…
Double-duckface-synchronised-selfie. Very fresh, very now. Double-duckface-synchronised-selfie. Very fresh, very now. Chris Gansen

Note to selfie: you’re more than just a narcissist’s plaything

We truly live in a digital age. The “selfie”, has been announced by the Oxford English Dictionary as this year’s most popular word and, by me, as this year’s most unremarkable word. This new-found trend…
As offerings becomes more and more alike, price competition for music access services will fall, benefiting those with diversified business like Apple, and hurting stand-alone sites like Pandora. As offerings becomes more and more alike, price competition for music access services will fall, benefiting those with diversified business like Apple, and hurting stand-alone sites like Pandora. Miley Cyrus

Wrecking ball: could big tech firms ruin the Spotify party?

YouTube is contemplating the launch of a new music service. But how would such a service fare against established music services like Spotify, Rdio, and Pandora? All these services are referred to as “access-based…
There are doubts provisions will benefit copyright holders. There are doubts provisions will benefit copyright holders. AAP/Lukas Coch

Trade pact would make internet services more expensive

Last week Michael Froman, a US trade representative, took his son touring around the Paramount lot in Hollywood to visit a sound mixing stage, watch a movie and pose for happy snaps with company executives…
I can haz online anonymous? Probs not, depending on your lingo. I can haz online anonymous? Probs not, depending on your lingo. striatic

The linguistic clues that reveal your true Twitter identity

Twitter is awash with trolls, spammers and misanthropes, all keen to ruin your day with a mean-spirited message or even a threat that can cause you genuine fear. It seems all too easy to set up an account…
The media regulator ACMA has been able to do little about breaches to the broadcasting guidelines, and is calling for greater mid-strength powers. The media regulator ACMA has been able to do little about breaches to the broadcasting guidelines, and is calling for greater mid-strength powers. AAP/Tracey Nearmy

Be careful what you ask for: ACMA’s bid for more power

A media super-regulator, bigger and bolder than anything considered by the ALP? Or just an ambitious government agency engaged in street theatre as the Coalition slashes the public service? Those are questions…
Sgt Barclays reporting for duty. Sgt Barclays reporting for duty. Dunechaser

It is vital that our banks score well in cyber war games

A war gaming exercise began in London recently to test financial institutions' effectiveness against a range of simulated attacks from cyberspace. It was called Waking Shark II, which sounds very exciting…
Changing ways educational organisations use film content in learning environments could see major changes in the way film producers are paid for their copyright. Changing ways educational organisations use film content in learning environments could see major changes in the way film producers are paid for their copyright. Public Record Office Victoria

Copyrights and copywrongs: reforming educational film rights

At the end of November, after 18 months of deliberations, the Australian Law Reform Commission will hand down its report on the appropriateness of existing copyright laws in the new digital environment…
David Jones has seen online sales grow 1000% since launching its omnichannel strategy, but online sales still only represent 1% of total sales. David Jones has seen online sales grow 1000% since launching its omnichannel strategy, but online sales still only represent 1% of total sales. AAP/Jeremy Piper

Australian retailers online: late to the party and much to do

Australian consumers are embracing digital commerce, but Australian retailers are failing to build long-term relationships with their customers online, according to new research. More than 50% of Australians…
Let me be clear. Because you’ll not be able to Google this later. Let me be clear. Because you’ll not be able to Google this later. Department for Culture Media and Sport

Tories forget how the internet works, deletegate reminds them

The 1996 election campaign that brought Bill Clinton to the White House fundamentally changed the way campaigns are run in more ways than one. Clinton’s success owed much to the genius of James Carville…
New Daily editor-in-chief Bruce Guthrie brings a wealth of experience, but will it be enough to support a free, general news publication in a crowded market? New Daily editor-in-chief Bruce Guthrie brings a wealth of experience, but will it be enough to support a free, general news publication in a crowded market? AAP/Julian Smith

The hits and misses of journalism’s New Daily

From more than one perspective the New Daily, Australia’s latest online news provider, couldn’t have a better chance of survival. With Bruce Guthrie (ex-Herald Sun and Age editor) as editor-in-chief, Daniel…
Online, businesses are fuelled by a different set of economic forces than those that exist purely offline. Online, businesses are fuelled by a different set of economic forces than those that exist purely offline. x-ray delta one/Flickr

Why there’s no Pepsi® in cyberspace

The world of big business is littered with once popular but now discarded household names like Kodak, Borders and Blockbuster. In this disruptive forces series we find out who might be next, uncovering…
Egg on face? Don’t look so surprised. Egg on face? Don’t look so surprised. Anirbas_84

Obamacare web fiasco won’t be the last big IT fail

Healthcare.gov – the web-based manifestation of Obamacare – launched last month to numerous and widely-publicised problems including long wait times, corrupted data and nonfunctional buttons. Although…
Small emerging firms could benefit from bypassing venture capitalists and investment banks and crowd funding their initial start-up capital, if Australian regulators make similar changes to those proposed by the SEC in the US. Small emerging firms could benefit from bypassing venture capitalists and investment banks and crowd funding their initial start-up capital, if Australian regulators make similar changes to those proposed by the SEC in the US. James Cridland

Equity crowdfunding could help Australian firms fill capital gap

Last month the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in the United States released a proposal that paves the way for “equity crowdfunding”. Unlike existing crowd-funding platforms such as Kickstarter…
Perhaps macaques would like Angry Birds too? Perhaps macaques would like Angry Birds too? Jerome Micheletta, University of Portsmouth

Touch screens help monkeys relax

Zoos are great places to study animals. The non-human primates among them get the most attention from researchers. Some of them are trained to interact with computers for psychological research. In a new…
Public IT projects like Melbourne’s myki come in over-budget and far behind schedule, if at all, often because contacts are based on specific technology, not how it will be used. Public IT projects like Melbourne’s myki come in over-budget and far behind schedule, if at all, often because contacts are based on specific technology, not how it will be used. Richard Jones/Flickr

Badly designed contracts doom public IT projects to failure

Governments have never been more keen to leverage information technology for public projects, but their track record isn’t particularly good. In Victoria, myki has been branded a “disaster from touch on…
Finding links between vast amounts of cancer data could drive new drugs. Finding links between vast amounts of cancer data could drive new drugs. Fran Simó

Artificial intelligence uses biggest disease database to fight cancer

We live in an exciting era where new technologies are allowing us to amass huge quantities of data about cancer. And vast databases containing the genetic profiles of tumours and other information have…
Programme makers are wary of turning off viewers with climate change. Programme makers are wary of turning off viewers with climate change. Till Krech

We’ve woken up to climate change but we’re not tuning in

A report from the International Broadcasting Trust has argued that more investment should be made to get environmental issues covered on television. Environment on TV is based on interviews with people…
Tesco is no longer content with just knowing what’s in your basket. Tesco is no longer content with just knowing what’s in your basket. SFB579

Why too much privacy is bad for the economy

Tesco, a British grocer with global status, has this week teamed up with Alan Sugar’s Amscreen to take personalised advertising to the next level. By means of Amscreen’s proprietary facial recognition…
The start of something beautiful? The start of something beautiful? Garrett Heath

Twitter frenzy could generate another tech bubble

During the past few years, a strange evening ritual has begun to spring up around the City of London. Instead of heading to the local pub with their colleagues, city workers are flocking to cocktail parties…
Time to declare an unread email amnesty. Time to declare an unread email amnesty. Clint lalonde

TMI! TMI! Can anyone save us from email overload?

A new computer program is seeking to help us cope with the deluge of email that floods our desktops on a minute-by-minute basis. It’s a sign of the times that we are adding on yet another service to cope…
BlackBerry smartphones, nice but too late. BlackBerry smartphones, nice but too late. Achmad Ibrahim/AP

BlackBerry #fail shows perpetual dilemma of tech innovators

It is now well known that successful companies often have an annoying habit of missing the next big thing. Harvard’s Clayton Christensen coined it the innovator’s dilemma. He also produced advice on how…
Learning on the job could make a real difference to healthcare. Learning on the job could make a real difference to healthcare. Tricia Wang

Developing countries and the MOOC learning revolution

Universities are being shaken up by a new mode of learning. The world’s elite institutions are opening up courses so thousands of people can learn for free via their laptops, mobiles or tablets. And these…
Televised court proceedings will reveal what goes on inside these walls. Televised court proceedings will reveal what goes on inside these walls. John Allan

Cameras in court throw us in at the deep end before we’re ready

The Court of Appeal is to be televised for the first time now that a ban on cameras in courts in England and Wales has been lifted. High-profile media organisations have been lobbying for such a move for…
Animated evidence is often used in court but is it reliable? Animated evidence is often used in court but is it reliable? Gareth Norris

Computer-generated images influence trial results

Recent cases involving the use of computer generated images as evidence in courtrooms have shown the powerful impact they can have on jury decision making. But studies show that jurors can be unduly influenced…
Engaging with the creative industries gives companies such as Google a competitive edge. Engaging with the creative industries gives companies such as Google a competitive edge. AAP Image/Mick Tsikas

Beyond the IT crowd: the pitch for Google’s Australian Big Tent

Will the web create more Australian culture than it destroys? How do we tell Australian stories in the digital age? Why would Google host an event and ask questions such as these? On Friday, Google will…
The money is piling up but will the regulators knock crowdfunding down? The money is piling up but will the regulators knock crowdfunding down? Jeff Belmonte

Crunch time for crowdfunders as regulation looms

Crowdfunding has attracted the attention of regulators and may have to change its ways. As it finds itself at the centre of a Financial Conduct Authority consultation, those in the game are wondering if…
Al Jazeera launched an US-only channel after failing to penetrate the market with its existing English-language offering. Al Jazeera launched an US-only channel after failing to penetrate the market with its existing English-language offering. Flickr/Paul Keller

America could be Al Jazeera’s final frontier

From its humble beginnings in the tiny middle eastern state of Qatar, Al Jazeera has been a genuine trailblazer, and can be partially credited with kickstarting a news and media revolution in the Arab…
Friend them, like them, poke them but are they really your friends? Friend them, like them, poke them but are they really your friends? LarimdaME

Social networking is the new out-of-body experience

Is it possible to socially interact with another person in the absence of a body and the senses? Social networking allows us to present versions of ourselves. But when we use a computer to mediate our…
When disturbed, badgers' social groups scatter and spread TB more widely. When disturbed, badgers' social groups scatter and spread TB more widely. Ben Birchall/PA

Tuberculosis, tracking devices, and the social lives of badgers

Badgers in the UK are an important wildlife reservoir for bovine tuberculosis, a disease that leads to the slaughter of thousands of cattle each year at a significant cost to the tax payer. But the badger…
Will the US take the UK’s seat at the table? Will the US take the UK’s seat at the table? casinowebscripts

All bets could be off for online gamblers in the UK

In its short life to date, online gambling has grown exponentially, both in terms of customer base and revenue. But the industry faces a difficult future as different governments begin to take wildly different…
Day 36 in the Big Brother huset and herring supplies are running low. Day 36 in the Big Brother huset and herring supplies are running low. laggyluke

Could Norway’s boring TV be your next audiovisual addiction?

There is reality TV, and there is reality TV Norwegian style. The reality of life in Norway is that events take a long time and unfold very slowly. Norway is a country with a population of barely five…
Twitter users crowd in to discuss Apple’s latest product. Twitter users crowd in to discuss Apple’s latest product.

Want to understand the stock market? Just log in to Twitter

The world of financial trading remains something of a mystery to the average person. Every day, stocks are traded at a frenzied rate and decisions are made that have wide reaching repercussions for us…
Lionel Barber is successfully navigating his paper online despite pressure on all sides. Lionel Barber is successfully navigating his paper online despite pressure on all sides. World Economic Forum

The Financial Times deserves high praise for its digital plans

One of the most irritating things about digital journalism evangelists is their lack of respect for editorial leaders who have to take old institutions into the new age. Yes, of course the future is digital…
Slimmed down before the Christmas binge. Apple’s latest iPads. Slimmed down before the Christmas binge. Apple’s latest iPads.

Slim iPad and new hardware show Apple can still innovate

Is it time to reappraise the idea that Apple is incapable of innovation in the post Jobs era? The company has failed to introduce a game changing consumer device since the iPad but its latest range contains…
We turn in droves to the sites that know most about us. We turn in droves to the sites that know most about us. The Next Web

Ignoring your privacy pays nicely for leading websites

You might think that as we grow increasingly concerned about the way our personal information is used online, we are choosing to turn away from those that infringe on our privacy. However, sites that adopt…
In the good old days you could spot a robber from his glossy finish. In the good old days you could spot a robber from his glossy finish. foilman

How to commit a bank robbery (or stop one) using the internet

Two recent incidents have shown that you no longer need to risk life and limb to rob a bank. In September, an attempted cyber-robbery at a London branch of Santander was stopped in its tracks and shortly…
Cheap weekends in NYC could be a thing of the past. Cheap weekends in NYC could be a thing of the past. WanderingTheWorld

It’s bad news all round if Airbnb bites the dust in New York

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has sent a subpoena to the home-renting company Airbnb. The demand asks for personal data relating to 15,000 users of the service in the city that have rented…
Where are all the Parisians? Call of Duty avoids hurting people by simply pretending they don’t exist. Where are all the Parisians? Call of Duty avoids hurting people by simply pretending they don’t exist. Call of Duty

Realistic war games have collateral damage of their own

The Red Cross has called for makers of videogames to more actively embed and interrogate the laws of war by, for example, punishing players for killing civilians or using torture to gain information. However…
Will the sun set on migratory songbird hunting, or the birds themselves? Will the sun set on migratory songbird hunting, or the birds themselves? ONDR

Ending songbird slaughter? There’s an app for that

In an article for National Geographic and a forthcoming documentary film, author and birder Jonathan Franzen ponders the slaughter of migratory songbirds around the Mediterranean, and asks how it can be…
Giant iPads: the only way to make Shepard Smith’s tan look subtle. Giant iPads: the only way to make Shepard Smith’s tan look subtle. Fox News

Fox lays down newsroom gauntlet with ludicrous giant iPads

In the autumn of 1997, a group assembled from across the BBC and beyond gathered to take part in a seminal moment of broadcasting history: the launch of the BBC’s first 24-hour news channel. The 24-hour…
Thom Yorke: not a fan of streaming services. Thom Yorke: not a fan of streaming services. angela n

Spotify is no desperate fart, just ask the music fat cats

Spotify is currently the world’s largest music streaming service with 24 million active users. Founder and CEO Daniel Ek has stated that the company will pay out roughly $500 million to rights owners in…
You’re going to have to try a bit harder if you want to be really anonymous. You’re going to have to try a bit harder if you want to be really anonymous. moirabot

Silk Road bust unmasks our misconceptions on anonymity

The US National Security Agency and the UK’s GCHQ have upped the stakes in the battle for internet privacy by targeting users of Tor. Not only have the NSA documents leaked by Edward Snowden up until this…
The BT van is taking its sweet time and some are tired of waiting. The BT van is taking its sweet time and some are tired of waiting. Loopzilla

Disused loos and elbow grease break BT broadband monopoly

While broadband internet services get faster and faster for some, there are communities in the UK that are not fully benefiting from the technology. It has recently become clear that many communities in…
Does the Fail Whale loom on the horizon for Twitter after its IPO? Does the Fail Whale loom on the horizon for Twitter after its IPO? 铁蛋骑士

All that Twitters is not gold

Twitter has finally announced its much anticipated initial public offering, revealing at the same time some pretty impressive user figures. The IPO documents show Twitter has around 200 million monthly…
Online news is great, but you can’t chew it on the train. Online news is great, but you can’t chew it on the train. Arjen Stilklik

New measures of success extend newsprint’s shelf life

Figures published recently suggest that more than 90% of newspaper reading still happens in print. This might come as a surprise given the gloomy assessments often made of the state of print media in the…
Still together but the spark is gone. Still together but the spark is gone. CoreForce

More of us are online, but we feel pretty meh about it

The number of people in Britain who are using the internet has risen substantially, reaching 78% of the population aged 14 years and over as compared with 59% in 2003. But according to the latest survey…
Copyright is changing. Some are yet to catch on. Copyright is changing. Some are yet to catch on. eddiedangerous

MPs have missed the mark in attacking copyright reform

The House of Commons Culture, Media and Sport Committee set out some fairly strong views last week about how its members think the UK should approach copyright reform. I have an interest to declare in…
Walt and Jesse prepare for their red wedding in the final episode. Walt and Jesse prepare for their red wedding in the final episode. deviantART

Twitter app stops you Breaking Bad news to good people

WARNING: This article contains a spoiler. Don’t worry though, it’s not what happens in the final episode of Breaking Bad. Even academics don’t get early access. This week, Netflix has created a handy service…
Open government. The word is spreading. Open government. The word is spreading. joebeone

A century of opening up government gathers pace

The World Bank is to provide a $1.2 million grant to fund the Open Data Partnership for Development, a project with the Open Knowledge Foundation and the Open Data Institute. The aim is to help developing…
What do they know about you? What do they know about you? MyDex CIC

The government scheme that’s after your data

A little known UK government initiative is underway to release vast amounts of personal data from companies to citizens with the laudable aim of handing power to the consumer. The midata initiative aims…
“Cat! No, wait, dog! Oh I give up.” “Cat! No, wait, dog! Oh I give up.” Travis S.

Oh great, Facebook wants to know you’re being sarcastic

You might think social networks couldn’t possibly gather more information on you than they already do. That in a world where your every move is tagged, flagged and logged, there is nothing more that could…
How many English people did I conquer again? How many English people did I conquer again?

We still need the census to tell us who we really are

This week the Office for National Statistics opened a consultation on the future of the decennial national census. Two options are on the table: continuing the census, but with a switch to online collection…
Finger or falsie? It’s too hard to tell. Finger or falsie? It’s too hard to tell. hawaii

iPhone hack shows security isn’t at our fingertips just yet

We’ve come to expect something radically different from Apple every time it launches a new product and sure enough, the fingerprint sensor unveiled as part of the iPhone 5s, seemed like a revolution in…
“Oh hi, Mike from accounts. I believe we have a 10.30 strategy briefing?”. “Oh hi, Mike from accounts. I believe we have a 10.30 strategy briefing?”. Honda News

Machines on the march threaten almost half of modern jobs

Computers have been an important part of many industries for decades already and have replaced humans in many jobs. But a new wave of technological development means that even positions that we once saw…
Banking is global at every level. Get used to it and decide what’s important. Banking is global at every level. Get used to it and decide what’s important. Hakan Dahlstrom

Pick your battles when fighting financial spying

Another day brings yet another “revelation” based on documents leaked by Edward Snowden. This time, Der Spiegel revealed the details of an NSA programme known as “follow the money”, through which the agency…
Computer says “not on your nelly, mate”. Computer says “not on your nelly, mate”. quinn.anya

Just another few billion down the drain in government IT

A report from the Public Accounts Committee has revealed that the National Programme for IT in the NHS has cost the taxpayer close to £10 billion, despite having been abandoned. The committee’s chairman…
New tech open avenues for dyslexic readers. New tech open avenues for dyslexic readers. thequietlibrary

E-readers prove easy on the eye for dyslexics

Using an e-reader may help some dyslexic students understand what they read more effectively, researchers at Harvard University argue. In a paper published in the journal PLOS One, the authors found that…
Finally! A UK MOOC can be mine. Finally! A UK MOOC can be mine. CollegeDegrees360

MOOCs open for business in the UK

Massive Open Online Courses landed in the UK today with the launch of FutureLearn, a project led by the Open University and including around 20 universities from the UK, Monash University in Australia…
Older people embrace social media if it fits their needs. Older people embrace social media if it fits their needs. Menno van der Sman

Silver surfers forgotten in social media boom

Social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter are an almost ubiquitous part of most young people’s lives after just a few years of existence. But the enthusiasm with which they have been adopted…
Frustrated consumers can now get their own back online. Frustrated consumers can now get their own back online. Sybren A. Stüvel

Disgruntled customers waging a social media war

Social media may have done much for the world, but it certainly hasn’t made everyone happy. It’s not just trolls, bullies and pedants: regular customers are annoyed too. Take a glance at the twitter feeds…
Now, where did I leave my keys? Ah, yes, in my left skin pocket. Now, where did I leave my keys? Ah, yes, in my left skin pocket. Ted Eytan

Not long now before on-body gadgets get under your skin

My Dad used to say that if he had a pocket somewhere on his skin he’d keep a torch in it. I thought it was weird at the time but as my eyesight has dimmed, I get what he was on about. Now it’s a mobile…
The women of ENIAC, because you don’t need to see another picture of Titstare. The women of ENIAC, because you don’t need to see another picture of Titstare.

Titstare proves there are still too many dicks in tech

It would be tempting to say the tech industry was reeling this week from the blatant discrimination and misogyny that took centre stage at the TechCrunch Disrupt Hackathon in San Francisco. It would be…
From massively open to really massively open. From massively open to really massively open. oxyman

Google and friends put the ‘open’ back into MOOCs

The entrance of Google into the Massive Open Online Courses market this week has the potential to reignite the spirit of openness that saw these alternative routes into higher education emerge in the first…
Stop, look, listen before you lay hundreds of miles of very expensive railway. Stop, look, listen before you lay hundreds of miles of very expensive railway. thechilterns

The future is in high-tech work, not high-speed trains

The UK’s most ambitious infrastructure project is in trouble. Criticism of the High Speed 2 rail network has come from left and right of the political spectrum, with both the New Economics Foundation and…
New app delivery models could disrupt Apple’s plans. New app delivery models could disrupt Apple’s plans. kobiz7

Innovative Apple should watch out for app disruption

The new iPhone 5S features a better camera, a faster processor, a finger-print reader, and much else. These innovations make the iPhone even better than it was before, but it’s still very much an iPhone…
Cheap and cheerful or gold and flashy. You now have a choice. Cheap and cheerful or gold and flashy. You now have a choice. Martin uit Utrecht

Apple plays to the middle market with colourful iPhones

Seasoned Apple watchers will have successfully predicted nearly all the hardware in the two new iPhones that have just been unveiled by CEO Tim Cook in a hotly anticipated presentation. But while one model…
Perfect parking has a human cost. Perfect parking has a human cost. Steve Jurvetson

Self-driving cars will change more than just our roads

It seems that self-driving vehicles will be with us quite soon. Google has been practising letting go of the wheel on its autonomous cars for some time now, Nissan has recently promised self-driving cars…
50 wpm, punctual, fast learner. Especially after a few Jager Bombs. 50 wpm, punctual, fast learner. Especially after a few Jager Bombs. upsuportsmouth

Your future boss knows what you did this summer: it’s online

Just over a fortnight ago, LinkedIn announced it is to make its professional network available to UK-based students aged 13 years and older; primarily as a way of enabling young people to leverage the…
I don’t need one of these, do I? I don’t need one of these, do I? Samsung tomorrow

Scoff now, but you’re probably getting a smartwatch

The tech wars took a major swerve into the leftfield this week. No longer content with updating their phone offerings, companies have come over all James Bond in the hope of hitting upon the next big innovation…
News with your Shreddies? News with your Shreddies? Brendan Lynch

Spike the gloom – journalism has a bright future

Whenever more than two journalists gather together to discuss the future of their business, the dialogue is usually depressing. This prevailing pessimism must change: we need a new conversation about what’s…
Ashes to ashes, pixel to pixel. The latest tech means you can do it your way. Ashes to ashes, pixel to pixel. The latest tech means you can do it your way.

You can linger longer with a digital death

Digital life now begins before birth, with excited expectant parents sharing ultrasound images of their unborn babies online. But your digital life also continues after you die, and can come in handy in…
Digital health is a daunting task. Digital health is a daunting task. juhansonin

Patient privacy will not be lost in a digital NHS

The government has announced an extra £1 billion is being channelled into efforts to make the NHS “paperless” by 2018. Central to this aim are plans to make patient health records digital. The goal is…
Government funding can be poorly targeted. Government funding can be poorly targeted. PlayStation Europe

State cash for gaming? I’ll stick to Kickstarter, thanks

The UK government’s Technology Strategy Board has announced (and not for the first time) that it’s putting its weight behind the creative media sector, this time by way of a competition designed to encourage…
“They hate me! I’m rich!” “They hate me! I’m rich!” Javier Dominguez Ferreiro

Steve Ballmer: the hits and misses of a Microsoft CEO

How much are you worth to your company? Earlier this week, Steve Ballmer had the misfortune to discover that the announcement of his retirement increased Microsoft’s share price by 7.6%. Dispiriting as…
Cheap construction of intricate designs. Cheap construction of intricate designs. fdecomite

3D printing market is booming as the buzz catches on

3D printing stocks jumped early this week following analyst Kenneth Wong’s assertion that the market could triple in the next five years. But why the sudden attention? The possible economic impact of 3D…
How are you feeling today? Mobile phones tell us more than ever. How are you feeling today? Mobile phones tell us more than ever. Jonathan Adami

Mobile phones are a window to the soul in modern research

What does your world look like? What are the contours of your neighbourhood? How are you feeling today? Mobile phones are increasingly providing us with the answers to these questions. In our daily activities…
Google says it can change the world with its Loon balloons. Google says it can change the world with its Loon balloons. iLighter

Spreading the net takes more than balloons and bombast

A flurry of initiatives aimed at connecting the billions – mainly in Africa – who still do not have access to the internet are underway. A few weeks ago, Google’s possibly aptly named Project Loon was…
#timeforlunch brb. #timeforlunch brb. Sean Gray

Forget tweeting, meet the birds who blog

Researchers in Aberdeen and the RSPB have set up a project that enables Scottish birds to write their own blogs. Readers will be able to track the daily lives of red kites as they travel around the Scottish…
Long distances make for long response times in rural settings. Long distances make for long response times in rural settings. robert wade

High-tech monitoring helps hard-to-reach patients

The first minutes of a medical emergency can be crucial for a patient’s chances of recovery, but what if that emergency happens in a rural setting, far away from help? Scottish ambulance crews respond…
Children receive little guidance on how to use the internet safely. Children receive little guidance on how to use the internet safely. Enokson

Children need help to understand online bullying perils

I can only begin to imagine the pain, grief and suffering of the family of Hannah Smith, who committed suicide recently after apparently being bullied online, and Daniel Perry, who appears to have killed…
And this is how we grab the cookie. And this is how we grab the cookie. cactusbeetroot

Don’t ask Google for privacy but steer clear of stalking bins

“You are being spied upon” is a warning that seems to greet us from the pages of our newspapers almost every day at the moment. The government is stockpiling your data, your Internet service provider is…
You think I’m violent? Have you met Macbeth? You think I’m violent? Have you met Macbeth? lisby

Hamlet is but the latest to fall victim to library censorship

“There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so,” says Hamlet upon welcoming Rosencrantz and Guildenstern to the “prison” that is Denmark. But if you’re reading this from the British Library…
Lily Cole contemplates BlackBerry options. Lily Cole contemplates BlackBerry options. Matt Crossick/PA

BlackBerry has a future, but it’s not in handsets

The news that BlackBerry is considering “strategic alternatives”, including a possible sale, will come as no surprise to anyone who has followed its decline in recent years. Once a smartphone pioneer…
Some readers might find this image distressing, and so they should. Some readers might find this image distressing, and so they should. Soggydan

Cute slow loris videos should come with a health warning

There’s no doubt the slow loris is a cuddly cutie from central casting. It is an animal that could easily have been dreamed up in the studios of the Disney Corporation of the 1950s and I’m afraid that…
Cyber-bullies can have access to potential victims round-the-clock. Cyber-bullies can have access to potential victims round-the-clock. wentongg

With the right tech, online bullies can be outsmarted

Recent revelations about the frequency with which children experience cyber-bullying have caused alarm among parents, advertisers that feature on social media sites and even the Prime Minister. Social…
Lucky it’s pointing the wrong way this time. Lucky it’s pointing the wrong way this time. Nasa's Marshall Space Flight Center

Solar storms could lead to a global techno-meltdown

In 1859, from August 28 to September 2, we were given an important lesson about how vulnerable we are to the Sun’s power. The Carrington Event, named for the amateur astronomer who recorded it, Richard…
Which self are you expressing when you vent online? Which self are you expressing when you vent online? west.m

140 thoughtless characters cost dear in academia

The censuring of an academic in the US for sending out an offensive tweet has led many university tweeters to pause for thought. Geoffrey Miller, an Associate Professor of Psychology at the University…
Many internet users don’t know what they’re clicking on. Many internet users don’t know what they’re clicking on. drubuntu

Malware hits new low with abuse image attacks

The Internet Watch Foundation, an organisation that aims to eliminate access to indecent images of children online, says it has received 227 reports in the past six weeks of business websites being compromised…
Don’t stop ‘til you get enough. Don’t stop ‘til you get enough. bkolko

Time for the gaming industry to take addiction seriously

The growth of online gaming has spawned a new kind of addiction and it’s time the industry woke up to its responsibilities. Since the first videogame was launched in 1972, the gaming industry has become…
Learn from the master to take over the world. Learn from the master to take over the world. fugutabetai shyashin

Five things the Washington Post can learn from Amazon

The Washington Post’s purchase by Amazon chief executive Jeff Bezos is the latest example of a new generation of internet moguls spending big on pet projects. It was also revealed this week that Google…
Highbrow or trash? No one ever needs to know. Highbrow or trash? No one ever needs to know. Annie Mole

Digital chart reveals what we really want to read

E-readers have been a regular sight on public transport for years now but until recently, little has been known about the impact they are having on the publishing industry and readers alike. For the first…
Nothing on the box? The Home Office is providing a new source of entertainment. Nothing on the box? The Home Office is providing a new source of entertainment. ukhomeoffice

Immigration arrests are not a spectator sport

In the week that saw the British press rightly condemning the use of Twitter to send violent threats to several women, the Home Office started to use the social media site to publicise operations to carry…
Your fridge needs a more hi-tech way to ask for a refill. Your fridge needs a more hi-tech way to ask for a refill. sk8geek

Explainer: the Internet of Things

Many, if not most, of us are now connected to the internet, and we have become familiar with it: we shop, we bank, we socialise online. The Internet of Things is not a different internet but refers to…
Know your enemy: trolls come in many shapes and sizes. Know your enemy: trolls come in many shapes and sizes. Dunechaser

Minor irritant or real threat? Time to decide what a troll is

Somewhere around 2010, the concept of trolling arrived in the national consciousness with a flurry of news stories: the hateful tweet Tom Daley received about his father during the Olympics; the defacement…
Wanna take down a casino? DEF CON minglers swap tips. Wanna take down a casino? DEF CON minglers swap tips. vissago

Hack the mini bar, spot the feds, DEF CON is back

Why would thousands of people flock to Las Vegas, right in the middle of summer, when temperatures easily reach the high thirties, to shut themselves up in one of Sin City’s largest hotels without spending…
BT is the new player. BT is the new player. Nick Potts/PA

Kick off for BT’s big bet on television sport

Premier League fans will find their viewing experience complicated by the arrival of BT Sport this season, and there has been much public scrutiny of who will screen which matches and for how much. On…
An old sign, or the future of the internet? An old sign, or the future of the internet? mikecogh

War on web porn obscures wider sexualisation of teens

Can we really separate a “nice” internet from a “bad” internet? That appears to be the thinking behind David Cameron’s statements foreshadowing the introduction of “porn filters” and search engine roadblocks…
Portrait helps keep the good times alive for dementia patients. Portrait helps keep the good times alive for dementia patients. leakytr8

The technology that remembers the past for those who can’t

Care homes in Scotland are taking on a new type of technology to help improve the service they give to residents, particularly those suffering from dementia. With the help of digital portraits, staff can…
You might want to forget that picture, but the internet won’t. You might want to forget that picture, but the internet won’t. Miia Ranta

The internet will never forget you … if you’re British

Justice ministers from across Europe sat down in Brussels yesterday to discuss some tricky issues for internet privacy, one of the most controversial of which was the right to be forgotten. After the NSA…
Defeating piracy is harder than law enforcement agencies would like to think. Defeating piracy is harder than law enforcement agencies would like to think. spieri_sf

A battle has been won, but the war on piracy is far from over

According to a new Ipsos report, piracy in Norway has declined markedly over the past few years. In 2008 they estimated there were 1.2 billion illegal downloads of songs, but by 2012 this had dropped to…
Covering your ears won’t protect you from bone conduction advertising. Covering your ears won’t protect you from bone conduction advertising. Markus Kison

Getting brands into brains using bone conduction

Just when you thought it was safe to have a nap on a train, the window you’re resting your head on might try to sell you a new app, skin cream or tickets to the theatre. Sky Deutschland has announced a…
Moving with the times. Mobile phones are a vital tool in African banking. Moving with the times. Mobile phones are a vital tool in African banking. whiteafrican

Bitcoin fuels Africa’s banking revolution

Bitcoin has landed in Kenya. The online currency that was, until recently, the preserve of tech entrepreneurs and only the most pioneering financiers, is to go mainstream in Nairobi while the rest of us…
Exciting times for school kids. Exciting times for school kids. Lupuca

Keep it creative to get kids into coding

A new subject is to be introduced in England to kick start our technological future. Instead of teaching ICT, the national curriculum published this week calls on schools to teach computing. This new way…
Very good Miss, but how do I print a gun? Very good Miss, but how do I print a gun? RiAus

Are you ready for your child, the 3D printing genius?

In his new National Curriculum for schools in England, announced this week, Education Secretary Michael Gove pledged to modernise design and technology education. This is thought to include introducing…
Hacker to mastercrook by way of HMP Pentonville. Hacker to mastercrook by way of HMP Pentonville. DFectuoso

Locking up hackers could do more harm than good

Following an agreement in the European Parliament on the 4th July, EU countries are to strengthen their domestic laws against the more serious forms of cyber-crime. We can now expect to see prison sentences…
Analysis of Twitter timing can catch robots red-handed. Analysis of Twitter timing can catch robots red-handed. Flickr: Arthur40A

Human, group or robot? It’s a matter of timing on Twitter

A recent study of Twitter communication patterns has revealed that human activity on Twitter is easily distinguishable from other types of users. By analysing the timing of tweets, we were able to discover…
Still waiting to load the hamster dance… Still waiting to load the hamster dance… Scorpians and Centaurs

Out of town, out of the loop: rural areas need broadband

The National Audit Office has warned that the government is two years behind schedule in its plan to bring broadband to 44 rural areas by 2015. It now looks like only nine of these areas will be linked…
Regrets may lie ahead in the switch to the universal credit. Regrets may lie ahead in the switch to the universal credit. Karl Ludwig G Poggemann

Digital welfare only deepens the class divide

The introduction of the universal credit will change the face of benefit and welfare services for families all over the country. By making assumptions about digital literacy levels, the government is putting…
Huawei has many critics to face before becoming a trusted partner in the UK. Huawei has many critics to face before becoming a trusted partner in the UK. Huawei Press

Huawei-Imperial plan renews Chinese cyber-security fears

In a memorandum of understanding signed this week, Imperial College London signed up to working with controversial communications technology firm Huawei. The two have set plans in motion to run a joint…
MOOCs aren’t the answer to all higher education’s questions. MOOCs aren’t the answer to all higher education’s questions. Kanaka Menehune

MOOCs and the battle to open up higher education

Foundation essay: This article on the rise of massive open online courses by Martin Weller, Professor of Educational Technology at The Open University, is part of a series marking the launch of The Conversation…
Where can I plug in my laptop? Courtrooms are due a digital makeover Where can I plug in my laptop? Courtrooms are due a digital makeover Fayerollinson

Paper-hungry courts put on digital diet

The UK courts are to be dragged into the 21st century with a £160 million investment to help them go digital. Announcing its plans, the Ministry of Justice revealed that the courts get through a staggering…
Cyber-snooping is a threat to knowledge as well as privacy. Cyber-snooping is a threat to knowledge as well as privacy. EPA/Guardian/Glenn Greenwald

Not as glamorous as NSA snooping, but IP theft is a real threat

While Edward Snowden sits in a Russian airport, the repercussions of the NSA scandal are being felt far and wide. But while headlines warn us about personal data and privacy, an even more sinister threat…
Hasta la vista AltaVista. Hasta la vista AltaVista. Wikipedia

So farewell then, AltaVista, we hardly knew ye …

The news that Yahoo! is to close down AltaVista on 8 July was greeted on the internet with shock. Shock because everyone over the age of 30 thought their original search engine of choice had ceased to…
Committing to open data goes beyond government charters. Committing to open data goes beyond government charters. opensourceway

Can the G8 Open Data Charter deliver real transparency?

Last week G8 leaders signed up to an Open Data Charter, calling for government datasets to be “open data by default”. Open data has risen up the government agenda in the UK over the last three years, with…
A grand narrative is more important than bloodlust. A grand narrative is more important than bloodlust. jit

Gamers want epic tales, not just violent short-cuts

Battlefield 3, a video game developed by Electronic Arts (EA), has caused a stir. The debate of violence in computer games has become not just a regulatory issue but a political one too. Perhaps understanding…
You are what you eat off. Smart design is being developed now You are what you eat off. Smart design is being developed now Aestheticodes

Small businesses could save reputation of digital services

The recently published Information Economy Strategy is a welcome recognition of the increasing importance of digital in all aspects of the economy and a call to action to bolster skills and infrastructure…
“Quick and dirty” or “slow but consistent”? The policies are now on the table. “Quick and dirty” or “slow but consistent”? The policies are now on the table. Dan Peled/AAP Image

A tale of two NBNs: the Coalition’s broadband policy explained

Today in Australia, the Coalition released its policy on the National Broadband Network (NBN). So what is the proposal? Amid rhetoric claiming Labor government inefficiency, cost blowouts and failure to…
Companies want you in their “ecosystem” – make no mistake – so should governments offer more protection? Companies want you in their “ecosystem” – make no mistake – so should governments offer more protection? TF28 ❘ tfaltings.de

Smash the machine: digital monopolies have trapped you

The business model of many modern technology companies is to lure people into digital monopolies (or what are sometimes called “ecosystems”) from whence ridiculous profits can be gouged. You see, the internet…
What does 3D printing mean for Australian copyright law? What does 3D printing mean for Australian copyright law? Wikipedia Commons

Creation and copyright law: the case of 3D printing

The Australian Law Reform Commission is conducting an inquiry into copyright law and the digital economy in 2012 and 2013.The President, Rosalind Croucher, stated: “While the Copyright Act has been amended…
Consumers have options if they want to avoid the feeling of being out of tune with world prices. Consumers have options if they want to avoid the feeling of being out of tune with world prices. Edson Motoki

Cheaper hardware, software and digital downloads? Here’s how

Australians are paying about twice as much as they should for a range of tech products including computers, software and digital downloads. It’s time for the government to act to bring this shameful situation…
Access to the internet is becoming less of a problem - but does society have the structures to support free exchange of information? Access to the internet is becoming less of a problem - but does society have the structures to support free exchange of information? Howard Stateman

Challenge 6: Switching on to the politics of the digital era

In part six of our multi-disciplinary Millennium Project series, Jake Wallis argues that the infrastructure of global communication networks is inherently political and calls for a switched-on populace…
Fabric and leather wallets are so early 21st century. Fabric and leather wallets are so early 21st century. PrettyCoolShops

Digital economy: why tech firms want a piece of your wallet

Banks, financial institutions and now internet service providers such as Google are falling over each other to gain a share of your wallet – your digital wallet to be precise. Of course, not all of us…
The NBN promises to be way more than a technology side-show. The NBN promises to be way more than a technology side-show. Theophilos

The NBN and cloud computing … a marriage made in heaven?

Now that the hoopla associated with the Australian National Broadband Network (NBN) has died down somewhat, I’d like to discuss one of the significant opportunities by drawing a line between the NBN and…

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