Sharing economy outfit Uber is shining the spotlight on its Operation Slog initiative for attracting new drivers to counter criticisms of its methods. “There’s been a lot of discussion – and a lot of misinformation – about Uber’s driver recruitment and the ridesharing industry’s at large,” says Uber. “We’d like to set the record straight and demystify our recruiting efforts.”
The Indian smartphone market, already fired up by homegrown brands like Micromax and Karbonn, just got more interesting. Mozilla, the Firefox browser outfit, has released a smartphone selling for a mere $33, available solely on Indian e-commerce website Snapdeal. The Cloud FX is produced by local outfit Intex Technologies and uses, of course, the Firefox operating system. The device is the company’s first in Asia – it has already rolled out handsets in 15 markets – and the company is hoping to ‘redefine’ the entry-level smartphone. “With the launch of Intex Cloud FX, we aim to enable the masses to get smartphone experience at the cost of a feature phone,” says Intex director of marketing Keshav Bensa.
Close to one-third of employees would be happy for their companies to have access to personal data such as social media profiles. This data could be used by employers to understand what motivates their workforce, reasons why people might move jobs and to improve employee well-being, says PwC, putting a corporate spin on the findings.
How much is photo-app outfit Snapchat worth? Around $10 billion, according to an upcoming finance round with a bunch of investors including Silicon Valley Blue Chip Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. Business model? Snapchat doesn’t have one (or if it does, it ain’t telling). Still, there’s always advertising to fall back on when those other innovative models don’t come off. And it will be a ‘different kind of advertising’, of course.
UK-based innovation programme IC tomorrow has launched its Connected Cities Innovation Contest, offering six digital start-ups and SMEs the opportunity to share a £210,000 fund and trial their ideas with the likes of EDF Energy, Intel, Siemens, Kimberly Clark, Amey and Ordnance Survey. Entrants need to come up with innovative ideas to solve urban challenges in the areas of connected buildings, connected communities, connected environment and connected services, and successful applicants will be expected to trial their proposed solutions with industry partners for three months.
Big Football needs Big Data, and Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich has cut a deal with SAP making it the club’s three-year official partner for sport analytics and enterprise software. The idea is that data will go a long way to help expand Bayern’s global presence, improve the team’s athletic performance and enhance the experience for fans around the world (there are an estimated 292 million of them). The German club already uses SAP software for data analysis and for ticketing but it will also be extended to the pitch with a view to, for example, minimising injury risks. SAP also believes it can help improve player performance.
There are plans afloat on crowdfunding platform GoFundMe to grab a disused sea fort in the Thames Estuary and turn it into a music club. The Grain Tower Battery - now called No 1, The Thames – is up for sale at £500,000. Built in 1855 as part of British coastal defences, the fort could now become a Berghain or Trouw at sea if Minival has its way. “What we want to do is buy this property, invest in it, and create a safe haven where the party will never stop,” says the electronic music outfit.
Revenues from the leading sharing economy sectors – peer finance, online staffing, peer accommodation, car sharing and music/video streaming – is set to spike dramatically according to PwC. While these sharing activities currently generate $15 billion a year globally, they’re set to hit a huge $335 billion in 2025.
Think BlackBerry is about to make a smartphone comeback with the new Passport? Think again.
Investors can’t get enough of tech stocks, it seems.
So, crowdsourcing contests are pretty open to fixing.
Close to 40% of advertising agencies are unsure whether to trust programmatic for their media buying, while a mere 6% said they do trust it, and 46% say they don’t use it, according to research from Strata.
Ever get the feeling that Big Data is too, well, Big? HP thinks so and has launched its ‘Business Intelligence Modernisation Services’ to take on the size issue.
John S Johnson, co-founder of BuzzFeed and executive director at The Harmony Institute, will be the keynote speaker at the eighth Power to the Pixel: The Cross-Media Forum event in London, 7-10 October.
What happens to mobile brands when they die? For fast-fader BlackBerry it’s about creating a new business unit, BlackBerry Technology Solutions, which is focusing on innovations for embedded software, cryptography, antenna tuning and, of course, the Internet of Things.
Amazon is planning to develop its online advertising delivery platform to compete with Google's AdWords.
Remember the Yo app, which simply lets users send the message ‘yo’? Well, now there’s Lo.
No one knows exactly what form computing will take on the Internet of Things, and that’s no surprise, believes Gordon Bell, a researcher at Microsoft.