Latest Features

Bots, GIFs for City

26 August 2016 in Innovation

Manchester City digital techManchester City is outflanking its Premier League rivals in the digital space, writes Steve Mullins. In just the last few months in the run-up to the start of the new season, the football club has relaunched its website, hired an e-gamer, launched a global virtual reality initiative, lit a dedicated Giphy page and rolled out a chatbot platform for fans, along with other innovations.

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Time for ads

26 August 2016 in Innovation

GuardianThe Guardian is moving into time-based advertising, selling its space in slots of 10, 15, 20 or 30 seconds. First to purchase the new format is The Economist, which has a campaign up and running until September. In fact, The Economist is pretty au fait with time-based ads, given that it also runs them on its own website. Also in the UK, the Financial Times rolled out the format last year, based on research which found that brand recall increases significantly the longer an ad is in view.

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US smarts

25 August 2016 in

XiaomiCool Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi is looking to enter the US handset market and plans to push its communications along social media channels to target young consumers keen on getting their hands on new technology. Xiaomi does already have a US presence selling audio earbuds and fitness bands via its online store.

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Waiting for Tesla

25 August 2016 in transport

Tesla Model-3Worldwide plug-in vehicle sales reached 180,500 units in the first-quarter, up 42 % on the same period in 2015. However, growth was down compared to last year – which was 71 % on 2014 – according to EV Volumes data. China remained the global plug-in sales driver, with passenger car volumes more than doubling in the first three months of the year. Japan recovered after a weak 2015 (-22 %) with a 36 % spike for the first quarter, while the US market for plug-ins lifted, posting 19% for the same period. Europe struggled to maintain the 99% growth rate of last year.

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Robots in the valley

24 August 2016 in technology

Robovalley roboticsAccenture is investing €500,000 in RoboValley, a Dutch hub for start-ups working in robotics. RoboValley was founded by the TU Delft Robotics Institute specialist engineering college with a view to fostering robotics knowledge and supporting international collaboration in the sector. It is currently home to some 30 start-ups, as well as a handful of more mature robotics companies.

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Electric mail

23 August 2016 in transport

StreetscooterGerman postal group Deutsche Post DHL is looking to start selling transport from its own fleet of electric delivery vehicles next year as it ramps up production to 10,000 units per year. Post developed the 120-km range Streetscooter for its own delivery usage but now wants to make it available to third parties.

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Ozo’s eastern prize

23 August 2016 in technology

Virtual realityNokia is leaning heavily on the Ozo virtual reality camera as a means of winning back some cool after its smartphone debacle, writes Steve Mullins. The company is planning to roll out the 360-degree VR kit in China next month – its presently available only in Europe and the US – and it has cut the price of the camera by a hefty $15,000 to $45,000 a pop. Nokia reckons VR is really taking off in China so this is a big play to take the Ozo to the next level.

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The self of Uber

22 August 2016 in transport

Uber Volvo carsFrom car-sharing to self-driving, Uber is putting the wheels on its autonomous car strategy via a tie-up with Volvo. The two companies have inked a deal for a joint project to develop new base vehicles incorporate the latest innovations, including driverless cars. Uber and Volvo will use the same vehicles for deployment in their own autonomous car strategies. Volvo reckons a car manufacturer allying with a Silicon Valley-based outfit is as major move in the automotive sector and says it is seeking a longer-term industrial alliance with Uber.

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Latest News

Bloody Booker book

17 August 2016 in Publishing

Historical crime novel His Bloody Project: Documents Relating to the Case of Roderick Macrae by Graeme Macrae Burnet, published by indie house Saraband, has been longlisted for the Man Booker prize.

Bot goes for gold

15 August 2016 in technology

The Washington Post is using a bot to support its news reporting on the Olympic Games.

The news is mobile

29 July 2016 in

Friday metric: News-content audiences have spiked 66% on mobile over the past three years, with digital newspapers having doubled their audiences across mobile devices.

Tech for culture

26 July 2016 in

The Google Cultural Institute has rolled out the Google Arts & Culture website and app featuring digital versions of the world’s cultural treasures.

3-in-1 for Africa

14 July 2016 in technology

Start-up watch: Italo-Spanish start-up Watly is testing its all-one electricity, clean water, and online services technology in Africa.

Bad, bad Brexit

8 July 2016 in technology

Global IT spending will be flat this year following the UK’s vote for Brexit. “With the UK’s [EU] exit, there will likely be an erosion in business confidence and price increases,” warns Gartner.

Euros on alert

9 June 2016 in

Just ahead of the start of Euro 2016 football tournament, France has launched a mobile app aimed at alerting users to terrorist attacks.

Ripping up music

20 May 2016 in Music

Illegal streaming websites are the largest providers of pirated music, accounting for over 35% of all illicit global traffic in 2015, ahead of infamous Torrent sites (28%).

Xiaomi seeks India floorspace

5 May 2016 in Mobile

Cool Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi is looking to break into direct sales in India after making its name in the market through online flash sales.