Jony Ive's promotion

Jony Ive

We learn this morning that the man behind the design ideas that made Apple the world's richest company has got a new job. Sir Jonathan - or Jony - Ive has been promoted to Chief Design Officer. Now this will be of huge interest to those Kremlinologists who follow every move at Apple's Cupertino headquarters - but should anyone else care?

Well yes, especially anyone who holds Apple's extremely valuable shares. Many investors have backed the company based on Jony Ive's continuing presence, and there have been hints in recent months that the design guru is tired, and perhaps considering stepping back from frontline duties.

So any announcement about his future role is major event for the market. Which makes it somewhat bizarre that it came not in a press release or a stock market announcement but in an article in the Daily Telegraph written by Stephen Fry, a friend of Jony Ive and a huge fan of his work. He tells us that it is "an especially exciting time" for Ive, but does not really probe him about what the news means for him or for the future of Apple.

So what does the new job actually mean? On the face of it Chief Design Officer does not sound any more important than his current role as Vice President for Design, and in a memo to Apple staff Tim Cook says he will remain responsible for all design. But it sounds like he will have a wider, vaguer brief, looking at everything from the look of Apple Stores to the design of the chairs in the new corporate headquarters.

Meanwhile, his daily managerial responsibilities are handed on to two people. Another British designer Richard Howarth becomes Vice President for Industrial Design, looking after hardware, while an American Alan Dye will be in charge of the look and feel of software and the user interface. No mention, though, of where that leaves the superstar designer Marc Newson, hired by Apple last year to work on a number of projects including the Watch.

The Apple Watch

Read full article Jony Ive's promotion

Will London's mayor put the brakes on Uber?

Uber app on the phone near London black cab

It is the new technology superpower, promising to transform the way we travel and much else, and London is one of its most important bases. But now the car service Uber is at the centre of a major political battle, and the new Conservative government has a tricky choice to make.

London's mayor Boris Johnson, who has until recently been seen by taxi drivers as far too kind to Uber, is now backing new laws which could put a stop to its growth. The newly elected MP for Uxbridge is pushing for the inclusion in next week's Queen's Speech of a proposal to cap the number of minicab licences in London.

Read full article Will London's mayor put the brakes on Uber?

Will Britain's Chirp be drowned out by Google Tone?

Chirp logo
The Chirp logo

A few years ago I came across one of those rare inventions that make you sit up and go "wow".

Chirp was launched in 2012. It's an application that allows you to transfer files between devices simply using an audio signal. It was instantly appealing - and best of all it was the work of a British inventor, Patrick Bergel, from University College London.

Read full article Will Britain's Chirp be drowned out by Google Tone?

Will mobile firms really block ads?

Iphone 5

How much do you enjoy seeing adverts pop up as you browse the web on a computer, or increasingly on a mobile phone?

Not much, I bet, but advertising is all that keeps many online businesses afloat and on mobile phones it is turning into a multi-billion dollar industry.

Read full article Will mobile firms really block ads?

Facebook tightens its grip on news

Facebook on a laptop

Where do you get your online news? For millions, the answer is Facebook, and now the social media giant is moving to make it even easier to access news articles.

It's introducing something called Instant Articles, which will offer news organisations the chance to create interactive content that is much simpler and faster to read on Facebook via a mobile device.

Read full article Facebook tightens its grip on news

Election 2015: It wasn't social media 'wot won it'

Reporter live tweets a press conference by Michael Fallon during the election campaign

Five years ago, in the aftermath of the 2010 election, it became the received wisdom that next time things would be different.

Technology and in particular social media would play a key role in the 2015 campaign. Twitter and Facebook would become vastly more influential than newspapers in spreading election messages, and sentiment analysis - mining the big data of social media - would tell us exactly what was going on. How wrong that turned out to be.

Read full article Election 2015: It wasn't social media 'wot won it'

Twitter, Facebook - and the battle for advertising dollars

Facebook and Twitter logos

It's been a dismal week for social media companies that aren't Facebook.

Last night the professional networking site LinkedIn posted a disappointing revenue forecast, sending its shares plunging 25% in after-hours trading. Earlier in the week, Twitter had also shocked the market by missing revenue forecasts.

Read full article Twitter, Facebook - and the battle for advertising dollars

Secret fails fast - but did Silicon Valley fail too?

Secret app logo

Silicon Valley is applauding the founder of the Secret app, which allows people to share rumours anonymously. Which is strange because he's failed.

But what he's done is admit that the project has gone wrong, shut it down and return the remaining cash to investors. And in the West Coast start-up bible, failing fast and moving on has become one of the 10 commandments for all true entrepreneurs.

Read full article Secret fails fast - but did Silicon Valley fail too?

Brand/Miliband: Is this the real start of the 'social media election'?

Russell Brand and Ed Miliband

Was Ed Miliband right or wrong to agree to an interview for Russell Brand's YouTube channel?

I'll let you be the judge of that, but the strategy seems clear - reach an audience of young people who are more likely to watch online video and share news on Facebook than tune in to TV news or read a newspaper.

Read full article Brand/Miliband: Is this the real start of the 'social media election'?

Google’s 'mobilegeddon'

Google on mobile

If your business depends on people finding your website, then this will be an anxious day for you.

Google is making changes to the way its search engine ranks sites, and that could send some hurtling down the rankings.

Read full article Google’s 'mobilegeddon'