Hello everyone, here’s this week’s roundup of business, tech and creative news from across the Moving World! Many thanks to all who submitted links!
Nest, the brains behind the learning Nest Thermostat, have released their latest product. The Nest Protect is an intelligent smoke and carbon monoxide alarm, designed to be a companion in the home, rather than an annoying white box that beeps every 6 months and every time you make toast. It has different levels of warning (from a polite “Please be aware” to full volume alarm), compatibility with your iPhone to provide system notifications, and motion sensors that adjust notifications based on your location within the home. Nest’s VP of engineering says they set out to create “an emotional smoke detector, much like we did with the thermostat. […] Safety shouldn’t be annoying,”
An interesting feature is how the Protect integrates with other Nest products. If the CO2 detector registers increased levels of CO2, it will instruct your Nest Thermostat to turn off the boiler (the most common source in domestic incidents). With the rise of M2M connected devices and increased awareness of the internet of things, it’s an example of how this technology can unobtrusively enter the home on a product-by-product basis – rather than requiring top down, expensive integration into new builds.
The not so silky smooth Silk Road
It’s long been known that the popularity and growth of Bitcoin has been supported by its compatibility with the Deep Web and illicit activities. The Silk Road, a Tor based marketplace known as ‘eBay for Drugs,’ was shut down last week after the arrest of its founder Ross William Ulbrich. FBI documents have revealed that the site was running an astoundingly large operation, with $1.2 billion revenue and commission (paid to Ulbrich) of around $80 million – all from a site which only launched in February 2011.
The news caused Bitcoin’s price to temporarily drop to half it’s value, and has reignited discussion around anonymity on the internet and how clever use of Google Adverts to identify criminal’s locations shows that there is no place for criminal activity to hide, even on the deep web.
Five years ago this week Spotify was launched, as a way of offering free music in a world where illegal downloads were on the rise. 5 years later, with 24 million users worldwide (18 million free users and 6 million paid subscription users), debates about the service are still strong. This week Thom Yorke called Spotify ‘the last desperate fart of a dying corpse‘, urging fellow musicians to fight against the service and push for the next big thing saying, “I feel that in some ways what’s happening in the mainstream is the last gasp of the old industry. Once that does finally die, which it will, something else will happen”.
Though the industry has suffered major issues with the rise of illegal downloads and streaming service, recent research from London School of Economics has emerged showing that, though music sales have been on the decrease, ticket sales are significantly on the rise, attributing to an overall higher trend in revenue for the industry.
You may have missed…
Amazon takes on Paypal with new payment service
Samsung Galaxy Round tipped to be first flexible phone
Switzerland to vote on a $2,800 basic income for all citizens
A great behind the scenes writeup of the first iPhone prototypes and launch event
The UN says that 40% of the world’s population will be online by the end of 2013
Cadbury loses legal fight over rights to Pantone 2685C purple
“The visual telling of stories”. A sprawling collection of visually interesting things. (Link thanks to Jed)
Lego wall planner syncs digitally with your Google Calendar account (Link thanks to Julia)
iOS7 Making You Dizzy? Here’s why – and a Fix
Fox News goes digital and shrinks staff to save space