The third week of January began with the dreaded ‘Blue Monday’ allegedly the most depressing day of the year. Let us lighten the mood with issue 3 of techspel, your weekly gander at all things technical in music, radio, ad-tech, mobile and emergent.

In a little over a decade, Blue Monday (that’s the day and not the song), has made the UK a world leader in the big data of well-being, enabling us to measure ourselves (and be found wanting) against other countries in 41 different ways. But big data is not just for countries, one of the perhaps surprising companies that makes heavy use of analytics to get 4 billion drinks a year just right in its 24,000 stores is Starbucks (unless your name is Marc).

This week the IoT got a new language which may well lower the bar for manufacturers to enter the market and fundamentally improve interoperability for consumers to control all manner of devices. In other standards news, a key piece of the 5G future takes another step at the end of February with the first meeting of the LTE-B Alliance. Think data broadcasting for mobiles, and hence the potential to be a huge disruption to the status quo, and you’re not far off!

Last week we commented that VR / AR tech hadn’t made much of a splash at the CES show, this week we’re speculating that part  of the reason is Oculus Rift being accused of IP theft. Amazon is investing heavily in Alexa and now has an installed base of nearly 9 million units.

We’ve heard about new ad formats for radio and rising sales of vinyl music but what about the revival of the audio cassette?

Splashing the cash this week, Twitter has sold their Fabric developer platform to Google and Chip Designer & manufacturer ARM has acquired Allinea for machine learning.

Finally, in Barrack Obama’s farewell speech he commented about the automated future highlighting the effects it’s likely to have on employment in the next twenty years. He’s not the first to comment on the subject, but his advice is timely.