04 Jan 2017
Bitcoin, the digital currency whose anonymity attracted drug dealers and tax evaders, is on a roll again. But after a renewed price spike that echoes its first speculative bubble three years ago, even many of the currency's backers warn that another sharp correction is likely to follow.
28 Dec 2016
As with so many other aspects of life, 2016 was a strange year for technology, more likely to be remembered for what went wrong than for great innovation. Samsung's Galaxy Note 7 exploded, GoPro recalled its Karma drone after some started falling out of the sky and rampaging Pokémon Go players caused havoc.
09 Dec 2016
Echoing Bill Gates’ prediction about the internet, Satya Nadella says AI will revolutionise technology. Microsoft’s ability to capitalise may hinge on the success of his three-year effort to reboot its culture. By Richard Waters
Microsoft is about to face its next big disruption. The world’s biggest software company has come up against a series of threats over the past two decades. The internet, smartphones and cloud computing each represented big opportunities for the tech industry - while also eroding the power of the company whose PC software monopoly once made it the industry’s most feared competitor.
05 Dec 2016
Europe’s technology sector is frequently criticised for lacking ambition, but growth in so-called “deep-tech” start-ups in less glamorous segments of the industry has raised hopes for the region’s digital hubs.
Industrial applications and technical platforms that underpin consumer- focused services are attracting record levels of activity and investment, according to Atomico, the venture capital fund that specialises in the sector.
22 Nov 2016
It is tempting to see the US presidential election as a watershed moment for the big US internet companies. Facebook, Twitter and Google have each, in their way, been cast in an unflattering light. They stand accused of helping to circulate fake news and conspiracy theories, most of it favouring the Trump camp, that may have worsened what was already a deeply partisan battle. And the raucous debate on Twitter often tipped into outright harassment and hate speech.
11 Nov 2016
"If you can't beat them, join them," could well be the mantra for the world's central bankers. Having watched as bitcoin went from obscure experiment in digital money to a currency with a market value of almost $10bn, they themselves are now experimenting with digital currencies rather than waiting idly to be swept away by the tide of technology.
08 Nov 2016
Are you having a crushingly tedious day at work? Try playing Google autocomplete. Type the start of a question into the world's most trusted search engine, and marvel as the aggregated curiosity of the global crowd is marshalled to anticipate your inquiry
04 Nov 2016
The other day Angela Merkel took a few hours out from the cacophony of day-to-day politics. Putting to one side migration, the eurozone, Russia and Ukraine, Brexit and the rest, the chancellor gave a speech about algorithms. Yes, algorithms.
28 Oct 2016
The financial world has spent the past few years trying to decide what to make of blockchain - the automated ledger that supports the bitcoin cryptocurrency. Could it be a gold mine for banks looking to make their back-office systems more efficient, driving costs from the business? Or is it just another techno dead-end, a clever idea but one that lacks sufficient profitable uses to be worth deploying on a large scale?
26 Oct 2016
As any visitor to my house will be able to tell, I love maps. Our living room is full of them. A Soviet map of Portsmouth (complete with Cyrillic labels) gazes across the room at old maps of South America and Italy. A large Mercator world map occupies an entire wall while Charles Minard's celebrated map of Napoleon's ill-fated Moscow campaign hangs in the hallway.
14 Oct 2016
11 Oct 2016
Half-a-dozen years ago, the American wine critic Antonio Galloni decided to come up with a critical guide to the world's best wines. If he had tried to do that in the 1990s, he would have had two options: 1. create a (very heavy) encyclopedia; or 2. issue lots of (equally cumbersome) magazines. "Thirty years ago wine knowledge was books and magazines," Galloni says.