Japanese telecoms business SoftBank has made a lightning-quick deal to buy British smartphone chip company ARM Holdings for $32 billion in a bid to become a major player in the ‘internet of things’ technology market.
Yahoo is the ultimate internet survivor. For many millennials, the veteran portal was their first introduction to the worldwide web – an exciting door to a brave new world. More recently it’s become an anachronism, an ageing player outclassed by fresh-faced newcomers.
A recent study by researchers at Stanford University shows how details obtained from telephone calls as part of routine surveillance by the National Security Agency (NSA) may pose a threat to privacy of ordinary citizens.
Shockingly, despite only having access to anonymous ‘metadata’ on people’s calls and texts, and without seeing the contents of any of the communications, the Stanford scientists managed to ascertain individuals’ names, addresses and the names of their partners.
Where’s the glamour gone?
Up till recently, technology companies have enjoyed a privileged position in the commercial hierarchy. Think of software giants like Microsoft – riding to fame and fortune on the brilliance of their geeky founders, making money as easily as shelling peanuts and elevating tech innovations to the top of the cool list. All the messy compliance issues, environmental problems and pettifogging regulations that dog other, less glamorous, sectors didn’t concern this gilded league.
Could cash become obsolete? It seems unthinkable. Although advancements in technology mean we can now pay for even small purchases with a quick tap of the credit card, there’s nothing quite so reassuring as having a wallet filled with crisp $20 bills.
That said, banks and other financial institutions would prefer it if cash became a thing of the past. So far, central banks’ anti-crisis measures have included cutting interest rates to the bone and various quantitative easing (QE) programs. More recently, we’ve seen countries like Japan and Sweden imposing negative interest rates in order to further stimulate economic growth.
After the scandal surrounding the recent VW emissions episode, consumer confidence is being tested once again with the news that some Samsung TVs in Europe appear to record lower energy outputs during official tests than they do in real-world use. The alleged discrepancies were found in unpublished lab tests by EU-funded research group ComplianTV which logged consistently higher energy consumption rates for the company’s models in the field than in lab conditions.