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Is Silicon Valley really so inventive?

According to TechRepublic, Google produced two of the five worst technology products of 2009 – Android 1.0 and Google Wave. The fact that Google remains dominant suggests that, while not infallible, it’s rich enough to take risks and weather occasional failures. If you are as rich as Google, it’s not extravagant to allow

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Smartphones: what’s coming next

It should be no surprise to anyone that many smartphones may have been designed to last about 24 months — the length of a typical contract with a network service provider. After all, it is a fast-moving, high-turnover market and planned obsolescence is how it is kept moving. Being high turnover means

In-depth

Avoiding big data’s horsemeat moment

There have been so many leaks, hacks and scares based on misuse or misappropriation of personal data that any thought that “big data” could provide benefits rather than only opportunities for harm may be fading in the public imagination. Beyond the humiliation of those involved, the main effect has been to deepen

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Why people fall for 419 scams

How do you decide if you can trust someone? Is it based on their handshake, the way they look you in the eye, or perhaps their body language? We know that what someone wears has an effect on our trust in them. If you happen to

World

Windows ATMs: how safe is your money?

How safe is Microsoft Windows? After all, the list of malware that has caused major headaches worldwide over the last 15 years is long – viruses, worms and Trojans have forced computers to shut down, knocked Korea offline and even overloaded Google’s servers. Now, how safe

Editor's pick

Your phone’s screen just won the Nobel Prize

You’ve probably got the fruits of this year’s Nobel laureates’ handiwork in your pocket. In fact, if you’re reading this on your phone or a relatively recent flat-screen monitor, you’re more than likely staring at some of them right now. But what is a light-emitting diode? Fundamentally, the simplest

Editor's pick

Bitcoin’s value is that it’s useful

The price of bitcoin has crashed to below US$290, its lowest since November 2013, and far below its all-time-high of $1 242 later that same month. For about three hours the price sat below $300. This relatively mundane observation is actually merely the tip of the iceberg for bitcoin

Editor's pick

Tech firms turn to fashion for profits

The profits generated by some technology firms are awe-inspiring, serving as beacons for those at less fortunate enterprises. Devices have accounted for a large part of that success, particularly smartphones. But challengers trying to follow this route to profits are likely to be disappointed

Editor's pick

Apple critics eat humble pie

It’s interesting to see the storm of pique and indignation Apple’s watch has generated. Some critics have dismissed it as nothing more than a fashion accessory. Even the BBC, that staid bastion of technical neutrality, had two articles pushing a general disbelief that the watch

In-depth

Windows 10: what’s in a number?

The name came as a surprise, although it wasn’t the surprise watchers had been expecting: the latest version of Microsoft Windows had been codenamed Threshold, and it was thought this would become its official name, rather than the more predictable Windows 9

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