Monday, 14 October 2013

What I've been reading this week

Last week was a bit of a busy one, but I still had chance for a bit of reading. Here’s a brief roundup of stories from the TMT industry that caught my eye.

This week: Google vs Facebook in Internet Risk, goodbye Google TV, cars drive themselves (but not in Canada), kids break Murdoch’s tabs

Traditional business models

FT says that its print product will henceforth derive from the digital. I’m not so sure that’s really practical. There’s a big difference between the fast twitch, unlimited word count world of the web and the more structured, quality-first print product. There’ll be two newsrooms for a long time yet.

BT bows to the inevitable and goes back into mobile. I think they’ll do well, since BT Retail has seemingly figured out how to do product marketing. Bad signs for O2 though, who now have the poorest spectrum asset in the UK and seem to be going backwards from a proposition perspective.

Goodbye Google TV. Sure this was the future two years ago?

You don’t need a PC to do real work… especially if it’s as bad as the one I have to suffer on a daily basis.

New business models

Great little graphic showing the most visited website by country. Note how popular Facebook is… although not in the major Internet geographies.

Amazon has bought education startup tenmarks for an undisclosed sum. Given the giant retailers publishing aspirations, this makes a lot of sense.

First deployments of Newscorp’s Amplify education tablet show that kids break them. A lot. Um – are we surprised by this? Perhaps some ruggedisation is required?

Study on brands’ social engagement shows that consumers want openness and honesty, not the ability to share brand-related stuff with each other. That was my supposition. Useful to have it confirmed!


A nice summary of how optical sensors can be used for non-invasive monitoring of various chemicals in the human body. In combination with wearables, this would really enhance the potential of wearable technology.

Autonomous vehicles are the future, particularly in long range, low involvement applications like road trains. This article suggests that Canada needs to accelerate its progress in this area.

Toyota is the latest auto manufacturer to launch a practicable self-driving demonstrator. The key technology here is co-operative cruise control, which synchronises multiple vehicles’ speed. Since it’s speed differentials (often very big ones!) that result in accidents, cause traffic jams and consume fuel, multiple manufacturers working on an interoperable system would be hugely beneficial. I doubt they will. Perhaps the EU should make it mandatory for all cars to have a system fitted…

…we’d just need to convince people to trust the cars. Self-evident, really.

Sprayable energy? I really hope this is some sort of fakery…

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