INNOVATION \ CHANGE

Latest Features

Growing social

22 July 2016 in -e.mobile

WeFarmUK-based P2P farming network WeFarm has picked up $200,000 from The Venture, Chivas Regal’s initiative to support the innovative social enterprise start-ups. WeFarm snagged the second-largest contribution from the $1 million fund – behind Conceptos Plásticos from Colombia – with entries judged on their ability to create sustainable change through a viable business model and the potential to scale.

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Behind the tigers

22 July 2016 in technology

Digital skillsThe UK’s failure to keep up with digital advancements and invest in digital skills could hamper its ability to compete globally, according to research from Barclays. Britain ranks only fourth behind digital tigers Estonia, South Korea and Sweden in the new Digital Development Index, a measure of digital savvy in an economy. The survey uncovered a disconnect between UK policies to support digital engagement, which score well overall, and a lack of confidence in digital skills at an individual level among workers.

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Betting on chips

21 July 2016 in technology

Softbank chipUK chancellor Philip Hammond is wrong to paint Softbank’s $32 billion acquisition of chipmaker ARM as an investment in the UK economy – it’s more like a punt on the semiconductor as the company’s sales are overseas and dollar-denominated. And the more realistic appraisal is simply that, in the wake of the Brexit vote, UK businesses are now cheap and more deals are set to follow, especially involving firms with substantial export sales and UK-based costs, argues John Colley, professor of practice at the University of Warwick, The Conversation.

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Then we take Berlin

21 July 2016 in technology

Berlin techOver 100 London tech start-ups have made enquiries in Berlin about moving operations to the German capital following the Brexit vote, says Cornelia Yzer, Berlin Senator for economics, technology and research. And, speaking at Fintech Week 2016 in London, she encouraged others to look to Germany to grow their businesses. “Berlin is a boom town for companies focusing on fintech, ecommerce, mobile apps,” she said.

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Let’s chat pizza

20 July 2016 in -e.mobile

chatbotAre regular apps on the way out? We ask the question because while apps still eat up those consumer minutes on mobile devices, that chunk of time is taken up by fewer and fewer apps – a regular smartphone owner now spends close to 90% of their app activity on a mere five of them, according to Fiksu metrics. Plus, the volume of top 200 free iOS apps downloaded slipped 7% in April, and was down 11% year-on-year.

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Gimme BrexitJustice

20 July 2016 in Sharing economy

BrexitJusticeCan crowdfunding be used to gain Brexit revenge? #BrexitJustice thinks so, and has set up a funding campaign aimed at launching legal action to prosecute dishonest Brexit politicians and ‘bring integrity back to British politics’. Organisers are looking to raise a £100,000 minimum to get the show up and running and to formerly engage a batch of barristers, solicitors and QCs who are willing to work at a fraction of their normal fees, or pro bono.

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Scoring innovation

19 July 2016 in Innovation

Europe innovationThe UK is a strong innovator and its innovation performance relative to the EU has also been on the rise between 2008 to 2015 – it was 6% above the EU average at the start of the period and was more than 15% higher in 2015, according to the latest European Innovation Scoreboard published by the European Commission. The UK’s best attributes relate to open and attractive research systems and human resources, says the report.

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Hands on, Tesla

19 July 2016 in transport

Driverless carCool auto maker Tesla has installed its Autopilot hands-free driving feature on some 70,000 cars around the globe. But now it’s time for hands-on as Consumer Reports is asking the company to disable the tool until safety can be improved. “By marketing their feature as Autopilot, Tesla gives consumers a false sense of security,” warns Laura MacCleery, vp of consumer policy and mobilisation for Consumer Reports.

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Latest News

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 -e.mobile

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.

Tough for vinyl

3 May 2016 in Music

Vinyl just keeps on making music industry tracks as consumers get increasingly physical.

Esports drive future gaming

26 April 2016 in Video

Tuesday metric: The global gaming market will be worth close to $100 billion in revenues this year, a healthy spike of 8.4% on the 2014 total.

No contact

25 April 2016 in -e.showcase

Contactless payments aren’t everyone’s bag – in fact, one third of UK shoppers never go that route because they don’t trust it.

Bring on the Gallic girls

22 April 2016 in Innovation

Three-quarters of French start-uppers are under the age of 34 – with 35% are between 25 and 29 – and almost half graduated from one of France’s elite schools.