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True crime and the start, stop, skip podcast revolution

Apple’s new stats could revolutionise the way we find podcasts. A new version of the Podcast app will tell creators of the audio shows when listeners start an episode, when they stop and what parts they skip. True crime and comedy are most popular;  listens increased by 49% last year and growth expected from more connected devices and…

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He’s got the whole world, in his hands

Amazon surprised many with its acquisition of Whole Foods and the launch of a   ‘magic wand’ that can scan goods to buy and has AI built in. Amazon is taking the delivery of fresh grocery items very seriously and has scaled big time since its slightly mocked experimental Treasure Truck was first seen in Seattle.…

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The opaque role of Facebook in democracy

After the shenanigans of the UK General Election last week some have been analysing  the political nudges the appeared in their Facebook feed and how they got there. Opinions vary, but a sharp increase in the number of younger voters who principally turn to tech, rather than newspapers, for information played a significant role. Labour tweets…

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An amazing half-decade for big internet companies

The annual slide-fest (355 this year) from Mary Meeker is all things internet and well worth a read as it charts the plateauing mobile user base and more actionable ad tech market. Over the last 9 years, Spotify has grabbed 20% of the music market and Netflix 30% of the TV market. It’s been an amazing half-decade…

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Brotli, the mobile friend you haven’t heard of

After the world wide focus on cyber security and patching, this week focus moved to the perils of outsourcing and disaster recovery (and not testing business continuity plans) after British Aiways closed its skies for a weekend. More businesses will realise their future business is all about data, technology and digital so areas which were deemed non-core could…

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25 passwords not to use and patching is important after all

Lots of fallout from the WaanaCry Ransomware attack that hit large parts of the world last week. Although the spread of this particular attack was thwarted relatively early on (albeit accidentally) by an examination of the attack’s anatomy, it re-opens a discussion involving vendors, governments and citizens on responsibilities. Is it the vendors responsibility to make things…

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Improbable way to a $Billion

British VR firm Improbable raised a staggering £388m; 5 years ago the founders were writing their dissertations. Beer + Virtual Reality = Good night out in Clapham. And then get home and put on a head-set to spice up things in the bedroom. Amazon moves into live music with a series of 4 London intimate gigs,…

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A third of the ad business has moved to the internet

Only 23% of people prefer to watch television on a TV according to Accenture research. This is adversely impacting ITV revenues but good for Netflix and event YouTube growing long-form content. YouTube can’t get Barb ratings though. Meanwhile Google allows you to buy TV adverts programmatically . Ben Evans points out this week that “A third of the…

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What if AI could augment human memory?

Everyone seems to talking about AI these days. At the TED conference this week, Siri founder Tom Gruber hinted how he thought AI would augment human memory; What if you could have a memory that was as good as computer memory and is about your life? What if you could remember every person you ever met? How to pronounce…

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The big bets on Augmented and Virtual Reality

It’s Virtual Reality Show week in London and the F8 annual get together where Facebook tells the world what it’s up to. VR has come a long way in the last year; driving an Audi car, exploring the surface of Mars to interactive physiotherapy, training submariners on a sub that is still being built, getting construction…

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Creme Egg time

Golf fans enjoyed a great weekend; The Masters enhanced by Cognitive highlights courtesy of IBM Watson. Uh Oh Google, Amazon is growing its ad business and it’s also growing its music streaming business (65 million Prime customers with access) and is only just getting started. Burger King rolls out new TV ad designed to hijack…

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Kanye Goes Platinum, Spotify Gets Ready to IPO

A significant week in music with the first album to go Platinum solely on streaming; The Life of Pablo by Kanye West. Streaming is big business, contributing more to some record labels bottom line than downloaded media. As Spotify prepares for an IPO (possibly without selling shares first) it’s improved the relationship with Universal and some of their albums will only…

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Backdoor to messaging services

Following on from the tragic events on Westminster bridge just over a week ago, there have been renewed calls from the Government to have access to encrypted messaging services; not the first or last time Government request ‘backdoor access’. Staying with the theme of security, dos having rules about complexity actually help? (apologies for the language), or is the weak link…

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