London’s Tech Boom Is More Than Just Hype, The Hard Numbers Say So

simonhamer:

Another reason for Scotland to stay in the UK. It should be noted that the gaming industry is building a great base in Wales. With both the BBC and Pinewood Studios considering building or expanding bases around the growth in Wales.

Originally posted on TechCrunch:

While London Technology Week may not yet rival last week’s London Fashion Week for glamour, there is real substance to the capital’s tech boom. This is why, for the first time, TechCrunch is bringing its Silicon Valley conference, Disrupt, to London this October.

A number of things are driving it. London has long acted as a “bridge” both to US tech companies entering Europe, and for European companies scaling their proposition before expanding into the US. At the same time, its proximity between the US and Asia makes it a natural home for international expansion for Continental European startups

US Investors looking to pick up cheaper bargains than in ‘bubblish’ Silicon Valley much prefer to invest in UK businesses which have all their documentation in English. One Delaware company later, and a US expansion can beckon at any time in a company’s lifecycle.

But geography is only one aspect…

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Microsoft Shakes Up Its Board, Boosts Its Dividend 11%

simonhamer:

Microsoft making changes

Originally posted on TechCrunch:

Microsoft has announced two coming board departures, two board additions, and a boost to its dividend.

Leaving the board are Dave Marquardt and Dina Dublon. Marquardt is best known for his work in venture capital, and Dublon for her work at JPMorgan Chase. Taking their places are the appointed Teri List-Stoll from Kraft and Charles Scharf of Visa.

I doubt there will be serious opposition to the board changes. If you’re a Microsoft shareholder, it’s time to start doing your homework on what the new blood might bring the software company.

Microsoft also announced that its dividend will be increased by 11 percent, or $0.03 to a total of $0.31 per share, per quarter. Before the increase, Microsoft’s stock had a yearly yield of 2.4 percent.

Former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer recently stepped down from Microsoft’s board.

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A Better Look At What’s Next For Windows

simonhamer:

Windows 9 – a few thoughts

Originally posted on TechCrunch:

Two important things happened this week in Windows: It became more evident that the Windows Phone branding that Microsoft has pressed for years is likely set to fade, and Windows 9 was detailed in greater focus thanks to a large leak.

The two events are linked, given that Microsoft is widely expected to better unite Windows, Windows RT, and Windows Phone. There won’t be three operating systems, the company has said. To see Microsoft start to call Windows Phone just Windows is further evidence of the company’s strategy to bring Phone into the larger Windows world.

Separately, the Threshold leaks are nearly precisely what you would expect of them: The fusion of some Metro elements into a bolstered desktop. In the new images of what we presume will be called Windows 9, it’s evident that much of what has been discussed and rumored will make it into the operating system.

The…

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There’s Something Rotten In The State Of Social Media

simonhamer:

Twitter, Facebook and the monetization of their networks.

Originally posted on TechCrunch:

We need no ghost to tell us something smells increasingly rotten in the state of social media.

Facebook forcing users to download a separate messaging app if they want to carry on IMing their friends.

Twitter polluting its users’ carefully curated timelines with content they did not choose to read.

Facebook manipulating the emotional cadence of content to figure out whether it can actively impact users’ emotions.

Twitter flirting with the idea of adding even more algorithmically selected content into the timeline — content that prioritizes what’s already popular, and thus mainstream, at the expense of non-mainstream interests, nuance and minority views.

Meanwhile, studies suggest the majority of Facebook users are unaware that what they see in their newsfeed is not actually the sum total of their friends’ news, but rather an algorithmic skim — biased for clickbait, stickiness and, of course, advertising.

There are a few clear themes to point to here that can illuminate exactly where the rot stems from. The overarching theme being monetization — or, more specifically, increasing external pressure…

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LinkedIn Is Quietly Retiring Network Visualization Tool InMaps

simonhamer:

Linkedin changes underway

Originally posted on TechCrunch:

A little autumn cleaning underway at LinkedIn. The company is quietly retiring InMaps, a tool that let you map out how your LinkedIn network looks. A notice on the InMaps homepage notes that today, September 1, is the last day for you to use it, and that it is being discontinued so that LinkedIn “can focus on developing new ways to visualize your professional network.” As of right now, if you want it, you can still download and save your own map for posterity.

A slightly longer note in LinkedIn’s help pages explains a bit more:

Sometimes we have to retire tools we love so we can focus our attention and resources on creating even better experiences for our members. We’re currently looking at new ways to help you visualize and gain insights from your professional network. That’s why we’re discontinuing InMaps as of September 1, 2014.

A little background…

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This New Card Skimmer Is Almost As Thin As A Credit Card

simonhamer:

My suggestion one account for cash, another for the rest of your banking. Need for extra security.

Originally posted on TechCrunch:

Good old Brian Krebs has the scoop on a new card skimmer found in Europe. How is it different? It literally fits right into the card slot of any ATM, essentially allowing unfettered access to cards as they slide through. Add in a tiny camera and you’ve got a complete card cloning system.

The skimmer is powered by a simple watch battery and uses a very small PCB and magnetic strip reader to store the numbers. Apparently the thieves didn’t remove this unit from the slot in time and it caused a fatal error in the ATM.

“It was discovered in the ATM’s card slot and the fraudsters didn’t manage to withdraw it,” the bank employee said. “We didn’t capture any hidden camera [because] they probably took it. There were definitely no PIN pad [overlays]. In all skimming cases lately we see through the videos that fraudsters capture the PIN…

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Pinterest Rolls Out Messaging So Pinners Can Have Conversations Around Shared Pins

simonhamer:

Pinterest just became more social

Originally posted on TechCrunch:

Pinterest today is unveiling a new way users can communicate, collaborate and share with one another. With the launch of a new messaging feature, users will be able to keep discussions going on Pinterest around their favorite Pins without having to leave the site or apps.

Last spring, Pinterest launched its Send a Pin feature, which enabled users to share interesting Pins with their friends on and off the site. Users that were connected on Pinterest would receive a notification that would point them to the shared pin. And others would receive emails about the content that was shared.

Since then, the feature has become incredibly popular with users — which Pinterest like to call “Pinners” — with more than 2 million Pins sent each day. But it wasn’t all that useful.

The Evolution Of Pinterest Messages

While sending a Pin was a good way for users on Pinterest…

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