Hello! Here’s this week’s roundup of business, tech and creative news from across the Moving World! Many thanks to all who submitted links!
Logo in a second
The design world has been up in arms about a new logo design tool launched by Squarespace this week. You too could have a wordmark with a cut out shape of a deer on it! It has inevitably launched articles and tweets aplenty claiming it to be the new design armageddon, devaluing the work our industry does. Anthony Casalena, founder of of Squarespace took to the company blog to argue against the negative claims they had been receiving, stating their aim is to drive more people to appreciate good design, rather than drive designers out of work.
There is an increasing number of these services, for logo and web design, but they are not currently able to fulfil the needs of companies who need fully formed and cohesive brand identity systems. So let’s ease up on the internet hate and concentrate on what we do best.
January sales are one thing, but Google are going beyond the usual start of the year splurge, continuing their shopping spree by purchasing UK artificial intelligence company, DeepMind. Google fought off competition from Facebook to buy the British company for £400m ($650m), making it their largest European acquisition so far. The head of DeepMind, Demis Hassabis, is a neuroscientist and Chess prodigy, who set up the company only two years ago to focus on making technology with the power to think like a human.
Interestingly, it has been reported that prior to the purchase, DeepMind pushed Google to set up an ethics board, to ensure their technology would not be abused. It is thought that Google, having missed out on mobile, are trying to establish themselves as front runners in the tech of the future, specifically in areas such as robotics and artificial intelligence. They are currently strategically building the world’s largest and smartest team on these subjects. Combined with Google’s very well endowed wallets, they have the human and financial resources to position themselves as arguably the world’s biggest influencer on the future of technology. We’re somewhat glad DeepMind pushed for that ethics board now…
Welcome to the age of service
Using user data to create a personalised, low price-point subscription service helps create and maintain revenue in markets that are otherwise dwindling – and is becoming a much more viable model over say, in-app purchases or ‘expansion packs’. This can be seen across all sectors, one example being Spotify growing year on year whilst digital music sales are down (by 5.9%) for the first time ever since the the iTunes store launched. It’s not just low-end services seeing success, sites such as BagBorroworSteal and GirlMeetsDress are offering ‘luxury rental’ for goods that people could otherwise not afford.
A newly released survey from Zipcar shows that millennials are less focused on ownership than their 55+ counterparts, with car and house ownership becoming less important, and 50% stating they would drive less in favour of other services, if available. With the cash rich Uber expanding rapidly into Asia, the non-ownership-premium-
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Samsung to open 60 more ‘branded’ stores in UK high streets.
How Google Labs are embracing failure
90% of top mobile banking apps contain major security flaws
Gmail bug sends 1000s of emails to one mans hotmail account
How the NSA almost killed the internet
NSA move over, turns out the British government are reportedly tracking YouTube and Facebook data without permission
Internet flesh engine
EU court says Nintendo can’t stop users from hacking its consoles
Flights interactive: see the planes in the sky right now
Lessons from the world’s most tech-savvy government
The CEO of Winklevoss-backed BitInstant has been arrested and charged with money laundering
M-Pesa and beyond: why mobile money worked in Kenya and struggles in other markets
Is Yahoo worth trying to save?
The botmaker who sees through the Internet
Arby’s win (link thanks to Aki)