Moving World Wednesday 2014/01/15

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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!

#TheDayWeFightBack

A year on since the death of Aaron Swartz, Anonymous have hacked the MIT website to announce ‘The Day We Fight Back’ campaign. The day is planned to protest against NSA surveillance and to act in remembrance of the young activist and founder of Reddit who took his life after his arrest. The online protest is due to take place on February 11th, with big name websites such as Reddit and Mozilla taking part, but they are also urging anybody to develop memes and change their social media avatars in accordance with this day.

The date marks a year in which online communities have become educated and opinionated about internet privacy and the role of government in online communications. The impact will continue to grow in 2014 as individuals take more notice and care in crafting their digital personas.

Nest Labs climbs into Google’s Nest

Nest Labs, the maker of the Nest Thermostat and Protect smoke detector, has been purchased by Google for $3.2bn in cash. It will continue to operate independently, whilst both co-founders will move over to Google. Nest have made it clear that no usage data will be passed to Google.

Many have speculated about why a company that ‘makes two products’ can be worth so much money, however the sale makes sense when you read between the lines – Nest has 100 secured patents, 200 filed and 200 ready to file, and of their 325 employees over 100 are ex-Apple employees. Nest will serve as a beachhead to launch products and other services into the home.

The purchase also extends Google’s endless list of acquired capabilities. The company now has ‘departments’ in telephony (Motorola & Android), robotics (Boston Dynamics), quantum computing (D-Wave), home automation (Nest), self-driving cars, wearable technology… and the lesser known biotech company, Calico, that wants to help us all live another hundred years. It’s the combination of these capabilities that will create exciting new products/services – we’re still holding out for the smart fridge.

Google can also afford to make expensive bets. The company reported $56.5 billion in cash at the end of September 2013. Nest cost little more than their third quarter free cash flow of $2.8bn.

Her?

Spike Jonze’s new dystopian film ‘Her’ about a man who falls in love with his operating system, won best screenplay at the Golden Globes this week, but the film had caught the imagination of the design community already. The toned down style of the film is refreshing amongst the man-pushing-floating-buttons-in-order-to-save-the-world aesthetic Hollywood has been dishing us up.

Wired are claiming that ‘Her’ will influence UI more than Minority Report. All the gadgetry is designed around human behaviour, as opposed to fetishising the technology in itself. It is already seeing a ripple of style imitators, as fashion brand Opening Ceremony have released a slightly tongue in cheek Her inspired collection. I’m putting my order in for a pair of high waisted trousers now.

YOU MAY HAVE MISSED

Path closes on elusive Series C investment

Facebook to shut down ad program

“16 Lessons I Learned in 2013” from the founder/CEO of Fab

App Store sales top $10bn in 2013

Q: You live in an oil rich country, what do you drive? A: Tesla Model S. Norway’s fastest selling car (thanks to @H3INL)

Virgin Galactic spaceship makes third powered test flight

Could internet language be changing the meaning of the word ‘because’?

UK Creative Industry worth £8m an hour to UK economy

Burberry outperforms in a slowing market, thanks to its digital-first strategy

10 things you need to know about digital wallets

LOLS

Siri and Scar Jo got beef

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