Ballmer bounces into retirement
Microsoft's former chief executive Steve Ballmer was in his usual lively form at a question and answer session at the Said Business School in Oxford.
For more than three decades he has been a huge and noisy presence at Microsoft, whether bouncing sweatily across a stage at a staff rally, or bawling at a colleague who announced his departure for a rival. But in Oxford today, Steve Ballmer was a quieter and more sober figure, barely audible and apparently shy in front of an audience of MBA students.
You didn't believe that, did you?
What we got at the Said Business School was Ballmer Squared, with the volume turned up to 11. His booming laugh echoed out across the lecture hall, as he joked with the dean, Prof Peter Tufano, a friend from Harvard student days. A stream of reminiscences and life and business lessons flowed freely for an absorbing hour.
The man who yelled "I... LOVE... THIS… COMPANY!" in that infamous video was obviously still deeply enamoured of the business he joined in 1980 and only left a few weeks ago on the appointment of the new CEO Satya Nadella.
Campaigning for coding
The campaign to get children coding has hit a few bumps in the road lately. The launch of the Year of Code turned into something of a PR fiasco, with attention focused on the lack of programming experience of many of those involved. Even the use of the term coding instead of programming offended some.
But this week's Hour of Code - an attempt to get schools across the UK to give their pupils just a flavour of programming - may prove a better way of promoting the idea that we need to improve the way children understand computing.
Amazon Prime’s suspect move
Amazon has announced changes to its Lovefilm and Prime services. But are customers getting a better deal?
The other day I got an excited call from a PR acting for Amazon. He told me that on Friday the online retailer was completely revamping its Lovefilm Instant streaming video offering in the UK. That sounds interesting - since Amazon bought Lovefilm three years ago it has struggled to make the streaming side of the business stand out against competitors like Netflix and Sky.
Mac and the Micro - memories of Ian McNaught-Davis
How do you make the subject of computing accessible to a wide audience?
A very topical question, with arguments raging about the Year of Code. But maybe we need to go back and look at the work of a man who was a brilliant communicator about computers, without ever talking down to his audience.
WhatsApp - is it worth it?
Why exactly is WhatsApp worth $19bn (£12bn) to Facebook?
After all, that is more than the current valuations of the UK retailer Next, the publishing giant Pearson, or the commercial television business ITV. Those businesses earn quite chunky profits, unlike the fast-growing messaging app.
Lie detector on the way to test social media rumours
Jony Ive has resigned from Apple, Justin Bieber is dead and the army has been mobilised to deal with riots in London. No, none of these stories is true, but they are all rumours that have been spread via social media in recent years.
Twitter, Facebook and other social networks have played an increasingly vital role in breaking stories rapidly, from an earthquake in China to the emergency landing of an aircraft on the Hudson River in New York. But journalists are also learning to their cost that just because it is on Twitter that does not make it true.
The internet through a light bulb
Imagine an office where every computer, mobile phone and tablet is connected to the internet not through an ethernet connection or via wi-fi but just through the overhead lights.
That is the vision that Professor Harald Haas lays out for me when he visits my office to demonstrate his LiFi technology.
TV's changing? Not so fast….
From new devices on which we view, to a whole range of new online services, a wave of innovation has swept across television in the past decade. But how much have your viewing habits actually changed?
Here is how my weekend looked. I spent much of it binge-viewing the second series of House of Cards, the Netflix production often seen as the symbol of how TV is changing. I watched it in various ways - on the TV via my cable company which has just added Netflix, via a games console where the streaming service is now an app, and on a tablet computer, which was the simplest most portable viewing method.
Virtual Bagel, Virtual Cat - who 'likes' you?
What's a Facebook Like worth and should you spend money on adverts to get them? That was a question I asked in 2012 when I set up a business called Virtual Bagel and got thousands of people to like it by placing a few Facebook adverts.
My conclusion was that advertising on Facebook was likely to win you the kind of customers who wouldn't actually be much use to you because they clicked on anything but did not engage with the content. Indeed, the suspicion was that these were fake "likes", possibly generated in so-called click farms in countries like Indonesia and Egypt.
Viber messaging app bought by Japan's Rakuten
This is a deal that tells you three things about the way the world is heading.
First, Rakuten - the biggest internet business you've never heard of - is on the march.