A weekly round up of news and views from the tech, creative and business world.
Apple have announced a new entry into the car market with CarPlay, a new way to integrate the iPhone and its associated services with the car dashboard. The system allows users to connect their iPhone to the car’s infotainment system, interacting via a built-in display, dashboard controls and voice commands courtesy of everyones best friend, Siri. This real life Herbie may be coming to a road near you soon as a long list of major car manufactures have already committed, including Honda, Ferrari, Jaguar, Mercedes Benz and Volvo.
This will give customers the ability to update in-car interfaces as simply as downloading a new application from the App Store, future-proofing the technology in a market which is traditionally very fixed and expensive. However, it will be interesting to see how successful the combination is between different brands’ interfaces, for example how an Apple interface can exist next to a Honda steering wheel, while Siri’s soothing voice asks you to please not turn right into someones back yard.
NHS England patient data has been uploaded to Google servers based outside of the UK by an external consulting company, PA Consulting. The information is said to have filled 27 DVDs and taken weeks to upload, but the full set is now accessible within a click to shared parties. The move has prompted a worry from people fearing their medical records could be used for targeted advertising.
PA Consulting said of the project, “Within two weeks of starting to use the Google tools we were able to produce interactive maps directly from HES queries in seconds.” This provides the ability to scan, search and create graphs of data in order to see an overview of health issues, but it severely affects personal and confidential information from the general public, and has been described as “spectacularly illegal”. It has also been warned by journalist Ben Goldacre that the truth of the situation is “infinitely worse” than reported.
And the best product placement goes to…
Samsung were all over the Oscars, having spent an estimated $20 million on advertising, but it’s this selfie, taken very visibly with a Samsung Galaxy Note 3, which has amassed the most attention. The picture featuring big name celebs including Brad Pitt, Meryl Streep and Julia Roberts has become the most retweeted tweet of all time. It surpassed Obama’s ‘4 more years’ tweet, which had held the top spot since his re-election in 2012.
The fun and spontaneous nature of the picture spread like wildfire, but behind the scenes it was clear that Samsung’s sponsorship of the event included use of the phones during the broadcast of the ceremonies, with the understanding that these would get airtime on screen. And although it was supposedly Ellen’s idea to take the selfie snap, eagle eyed viewers noticed she was using an iPhone to take pictures while backstage.
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