Dec 24, 2013

Even our Facebook 'grunts' could be monetized

by John Naughton

As Mark Twain observed: “A lie can travel halfway around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes.” And that was a long time before the Web. Which brings us to a meme that was propagating last week though social media. Its ...

Dec 17, 2013

Why do governments make such a mess of IT?

by John Naughton

This is a tale of two cities — Washington and London — and of the governments that rule from them. What links the pair is the puzzling failure of said governments to manage two vital IT projects. In both cases, the projects are critically ...

Maybe not sci-fi, but robots readied for big tests

Dec 17, 2013

Maybe not sci-fi, but robots readied for big tests

The real world has not yet caught up with “Star Wars” and its talking, thinking robots, but some of the most sophisticated units that exist are heading to Florida this week for a U.S. Defense Department-sponsored competition. Seventeen humanoid robots will be evaluated Friday ...

Sorting out that battery-life problem

| Dec 16, 2013

Sorting out that battery-life problem

by Yukari Mitsuhashi

This month saw the launch of the hybrid Arrows A SoftBank 301F, Fujitsu’s latest Android 4G LTE smartphone for SoftBank customers. Using advanced power-saving technology, the Arrow A SoftBank 301F only needs 10 minutes of charging to run a full day. Once fully charged, ...

Dec 10, 2013

Startups now have it easy thanks to 'incubators.'

by John Naughton

One of my favourite books is John Kenneth Galbraith’s “The Great Crash, 1929,” which, with John Maynard Keynes’ “The Economic Consequences of the Peace,” is a great example of how an expert can write elegantly about something that is intrinsically complex. Galbraith wrote the ...

Dec 3, 2013

Why the NSA has landed us all in another nice mess

by John Naughton

Fans of Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy will fondly remember Oliver’s complaint to Stanley: “Well, here’s another nice mess you’ve gotten me into!” In a future remake, Hardy will be played by Barack Obama, suitably enhanced with a toothbrush moustache, while Keith Alexander, currently ...

Nov 26, 2013

What's Twitter's real value?

by John Naughton

A national economy is an unimaginably complex system. And yet we compress all its complexity into a single measure, and then focus obsessively on that. If you want a metaphor for this, think of King Kong spending most of his time staring at a ...