Category Archives: Technology

Listen to Peter Thiel: Politicians must embrace the fact there’s no money left

MORE must cost less. In his new book Zero to One, entrepreneur and investor Peter Thiel observes that the dream of globalisation – expanding the affluent consumption habits of the western middle class to more and more of the world – demands we also commit to radical technological innovation in order to reduce that lifestyle’s environmental cost. Continue reading

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Robots won’t take all City jobs – they could even give you a pay rise

You’re back from the summer, but for how long? In case you missed it, one tech visionary thinks many City jobs could be automated within a decade. Dave Coplin, who glories in the title of chief envisioning officer at Microsoft UK, told the Telegraph that “the City could be run by algorithms”. Continue reading

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Amazon’s Twitch purchase heralds a new age of creative consumption

It’s enough to make an accountant develop a nervous one. This week Amazon snapped up Twitch, a video platform and community for computer gamers, paying the princely sum of $970m (£585m) in cash. That’s a lot of money for something many people have never heard of – more than three times the amount Amazon spent to pick up DVD and streaming video service Lovefilm in 2011.

But Twitch is something very different. Instead of a provider of films created by large studios for a mass audience, it is a niche platform where the customers create their own content. It has 900,000 unique broadcasters and accounts for 1.8 per cent of peak internet traffic in the US, ahead of Facebook (1.5 per cent) and Amazon (1.2 per cent). Its success demonstrates seismic changes in consumer behaviour and the previously unimaginable opportunities they offer attentive firms. Continue reading

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The limits of celebrity power and the rise of selfie-nomics in one tweet

It was the tweet heard round the web. The selfie Ellen DeGeneres took during the Oscars became an internet sensation. First, it garnered the most retweets ever: as I write, Twitter reports 3.3m users have recommended it in this way. The previous record holder, President Barack Obama, had managed only 780,000 retweets, for a photograph celebrating his reelection on 7 November 2012. Continue reading

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Bill Gates is gone and the dot-com era is over: It’s only the end of the beginning

AS FACEBOOK turns ten, and with Bill Gates stepping down as Microsoft chairman, it feels like something is drawing to an end. But if so, it is only the end of the technological revolution’s beginning. Continue reading

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The robots are coming – only the power of human ingenuity can save our jobs

I for one don’t welcome our new robot overlords. Don’t get me wrong – I’m all in favour of the liberating potential of new technology. I’m also conscious that worries about jobs lost to mechanisation have a history of being misplaced: the jobs go but new and even better-paying ones appear elsewhere. Continue reading

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The real way to shake up British banking: Embrace the third party future

The lack of competition among Britain’s retail banks is under the microscope. Yet an important part of the solution is not getting enough attention. While breaking up big banks would not be as easy as Ed Miliband thinks, and the current height of the regulatory hurdles makes the field of entrants sparse at best, the potential for third parties to disrupt the consumer experience online is huge. Continue reading

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