2014 Collected Posts

Below are links to all the 2014 weekly digest roundup posts grouped with high level seasonal themes along with summary highlights from each.

Five big technology themes covered at length in the 2014 roundups and pulled together in the final roundup of the year will remain key concerns in 2015:

  • Android in China and the Rest of the World
  • Wearables, Things and the Internet
  • The Smart Retail Environment
  • Robotic Automation and its Discontents
  • Society, Technology and Inequality

Winter – Lollipop, Mobile Questions, Automation Dystopia

  • Week 52 (30.12.14): A personal perspective on my five topics of the year, the Firefox OS based Fx0 phone, the sloppiness of Lollipop’s UI, why Yahoo isn’t well, Xiaomi’s huge valuation, Baidu’s reach, some arresting data on the smart retail opportunity, Dilbert on Marketing, The Apprentice as a barometer for ‘entrepreneurial’ Britain, tech hiring prospects 2015 and what motivates corporate developers.
  • Week 51 (22.12.14)Automation and its discontents, how Samsung are trying to break the mobile mould, Qualcomm’s 2015 premium Android chipset, why there could be trouble ahead for Google even though they’re “bigger than Russia”, why messaging disruptors like Instagram and Telegram are a really a big deal, a Skype babelfish demo, a TED talk on the state of the art in Machine Learning,  a report on the state of mobile eCommerce, the wearable health market, why we need a modern Rosetta Stone and why comparative religion will probably survive the Rise of the Robots.  For regular readers, I’ve now switched to using justified text and launching external links in a new browser window.
  • Week 50 (15.12.14)An argument suggesting innovation stopped in 1971, dark social traffic, Chinese cement usage metric, a Blackphone update, Docker prospects, internet scale Enterprise Python at PayPal, data collection vs data science, DataSift, tracking visitor traffic patterns at the Louvre via Bluetooth, the Hour of Code v2.0, phone usability for the billions with no mental model of the Internet, and Melancholia.
  • Week 49 (08.12.14)What’s next for Android and Messaging apps, Google and GMS bundling, the twin display oddity of YotaPhone2, employment prospects for data scientists, notes of alarm on the prospects for “unfriendly superintelligence” extinguishing humanity, Bluetooth 4.2, Estimote talking up the possibilities for beacon technology vs. the reality of working with an actual Bluetooth wearable development platform, some happiness research from Google, why emotion is a frequent substitute for knowledge, and the hidden nocturnal world of Silicon Valley’s 22 bus.
  • Week 48 (01.12.14)Automation dystopia and popular culture (er, Paolo Nutini + Charlie Chaplin), yet another post-hoc analysis of Nokia’s great fall entitled “Death of a Ringtone”, the dynamics of OTT Messaging propositions through the lens of WeChat, Yik Yak and Kik, a UK “better QR code” proposition called Quikkly, Chinese Android is a force of nature, Baidu’s smart bike, the increasingly blurred lines between in-store and digital retail, the OMSignal smart shirt, why your next Dyson may be a robot, social media as an echo chamber amplifier and the great question of whether to continue blogging in an age of increasingly sophisticated RSS AI. 
  • Week 47 (24.11.14)Nokia’s Android tablet, a comprehensive review of Android Lollipop, Spotify’s challenges, Xiaomi’s Indian subsidiary Mi, some bleakly prophetic poetry from inside Foxconn, the Open Worm initiative, why open source is like gardening, Interstellar, exoplanets, jellyfish and gerontocracy in the UK.
  • Week 46 (17.11.14)The emergence of smart retail, Google’s impressive cross the board app suite update for Lollipop, Google Glass less than impressive take up, more smart phone cases, Amazon Reinvent, a couple of new Garmin fitness wearables, drone roundup, Philae tweets, Microsoft going Open Source, counterintuitivity in the enterprise and the decline of middle class jobs in the UK.
  • Week 45 (10.11.14)Android Lollipop and decoding Android OEM announcements about updates, how they’re heavily dependent on Qualcomm’s technology roadmap anyway, how apps are evolving into services backed by card-based notifications, Amazon’s voice-activated Echo smart home speaker, why Slack is the fastest growing Enterprise app ever, smart clothing, more Bluetooth beacons in retail, the new Jawbone fitness wearables, workplace stress + cyberloafing, learning on the job as the most talked about neglected activity and a tale of life in the precariat where many live a single event away from a “swirling, chaotic, wholly uncontained abyss.
  • Week 44 (03.11.14)Google’s lofty moonshots, Samsung coming down to earth, why mobile not software is eating the world, more on Android Lollipop, Truecaller’s amazing smart dialler, big data skepticism from some surprising sources, new Microsoft and Fitbit fitness wearables, performance reviews considered harmful, the Apprentice discrediting capitalism (again), the science in Interstellar and how smartphones have disrupted restaurant service.
  • Week 43 (27.10.14)Is technology exacerbating inequality?  Google apps on Android Lollipop, Samsung Note 4, Nokia with and without Windows Phone, Adobe set fair, why the self-driving Google car may never happen, the “adventure technologists” moving from wearable to body augmentation, brain stimulation startup Thync, IoT hype roundup , why Tim Cook might want to tuck his shirt in, Bill Gates calling for crazy ideas and Russell Brand taking crazy ideas to a new level on Newsnight.
  • Week 42 (20.10.14)Bluetooth, Android Lollipop, Finland blaming Apple for losing its AAA rating, the Anonabox saga, how data analytics are changing the game for forward-looking traditional businesses, that Apprentice episode on wearables, more robots, more checkio.org fun including a public bitbucket repo of my submissions, frozen eggs and nerd culture, life in The Age of Loneliness, Thomas Piketty, wealth inequality and Bill Gates.
  • Week 41 (13.10.14)Apple, wearable computing and fashion, a growing partnership between Adobe and Microsoft, another report from Shenzen, the intense competition for the $300 smartphone market in China, a robot that “kills Ebola”, a summary of splunk .conf2014,  some great concept wearables from ArgoDesign that don’t involve smart watches, how an iBeacon install in New York went badly wrong, Python gamification fun via checkio.org, Will Self on the fate of literary culture in the digital age and a long read excerpt from The Glass Cage.
  • Week 40 (06.10.14)The disruptive potential of Bluetooth, thoughts on regression testing at Apple, how iPhone camera photography has improved over time, how today’s smartphone platforms will evolve to a post-app world, how voice is the next big thing in mobile, the Lineable kid tracker, why we’re living in the “golden age” of hardware hacking, Minecraft on a watch, the Kano kickstarter, what Social Media managers do all day, hidden bias diversity training at Google, more automation dystopia and some digital telepathy

Autumn – Apple Special, Samsung woes, Smart Retail

  • Week 39 (29.09.14)Apple’s double dip with BendGate and UpdateGate, how it’s getting tougher to break into the mobile app market, how huge demand for new iPhones in China helps drive all those launch day queues in the US, the Shellshock vulnerability, privacy as a platform differentiator, how a fake fingerprint can fool Apple’s Touch ID, iBeacons that are now available as stickers, why you can earn more money from COBOL than node.js, how to avoid getting your CV binned by Google on first read and a Venn diagram of the British Isles
  • Week 38 (22.09.14):  Apple Watch analysis, iPhone 6, Apple Pay, GT Advanced sapphire glass, Photokina, Android One, Oculus Rift, Instagram engineering, Yo, Cloudbees, Netropolitan, fake base station attack, PCH, PyCon UK,  Scotland and the #IndyRef, Douglas Coupland and a refreshingly irreverent look at McKinsey the so called “smartest guys in the room”.
  • Week 37 (14.09.14): This week was dominated by Apple and their Special Event.  Topics covered included: Apple Watch and what it means for the Swiss watch industry, that U2 album, Samsung and Apple copying each other with big screens and metal cases, why smartphone success is becoming much tougher, manufacturing innovation in Shenzen, two factor authentication, some other non-Apple smartwatches, UnPocket, Big Internet and comms skills for navigating the Big Enterprise.
  • Week 36 (06.09.14)Why phones are now fast moving consumer goods and what that means, Frank Nuovo on timeless design and his Meta smartwatch, IFA smart watch/phone product announcements from Motorola and Sony, the iCloud security breach, Google’s drone program, how iBeacon trialling is about to hit Regent Street, Lightbot, a Jeremy Clarkson tweet and why nurturing your CQ is as important as paying attention to your IQ and EQ.
  • Week 35 (31.08.14)Social media and the “spiral of silence”, Quora on the iPen, sapphire displays, OtterBox demonstrating that making smartphone cases could be more lucrative than making smartphones, evidence suggesting we’ve reached “Peak App”, the dynamic Chinese LTE smartphone market, Gartner’s latest Hype Cycle, a “chairless chair” and why “apparel is next” for major software technology disruption.
  • Week 34 (22.08.14): Fear of failure, who’s using 4G in the UK, the potential of VoLTE, Android fragmentation revisited, Tom Hanks’ retro typewriter app, data art, the Viv digital assistant, how the precariat is replacing the proletariat, how you could be mistaken for an idiot savant and why social media should not be mistaken for sales.
  • Week 33 (15.08.14):  Topics covered this week have a bit of a pessimistic streak and among others include: the declining status of software engineering in corporate environment,  Samsung vs. Xiaomi, Android vs iPhone, Android vs Android with and without Google Services, how smartphones are eating the datacentre, a wearable development kit, how nobody seems to be able to work out whether your job will be disrupted by a robot and why you’re probably going to be disrupted by a six-year old anyway.
  • Week 32 (11.08.14)the Product Death Cycle, Samsung dispensing with ‘mandatory’ drinking,  Android with and without Google Services, unbundling vs consolidation, the smartphone explosion in India, Xiaomi iOS theme, Ooloo, Kanban, the Happiness Equation and a Tech Creche in the New Forest.
  • Week 31 (01.08.14)Net Neutrality, the inequality giant, the Asus ZenPhone, Nvidia cascaded display technology, Snapchat $10 billion valuation, Signal’s P2P free encrypted calls proposition, Stripe, the old “software as lego” trope, how Lego the company go about developing software, a new product owner checklist and the compubody sock privacy wearable.
  • Week 30 (25.07.14)Samsung woes, Microsoft woes, Qualcomm woes, Xiaomi Mi4 and MiBand, the rising importance of app constellations, how mobile application is turning into Hollywood, goTenna, Fitbit luxury wearables and what it’s like to live the Fitbit life, the Hello smart sleep system and Rich Hall’s alternative history of California.
  • Week 29 (18.07.14)Unbundling innovation,  Samsung woes, that Microsoft memo, how not to fire 12500 people, Windows Phone stats, a ‘landfill Android’ Chinese OEM called Doogee, Netflix architecture, how big data helped Germany win the World Cup, the polarising influence of Amazon and how hardware is the new software.
  • Week 28 (11.07.14)Google and the Right to Be Forgotten, Qualcomm and LTE complexity, FirePhone analysis, Xiaomi, more Car Wars analysis,  OSS, Pavlok behavioural wearable, Google analysis of build errors, pi mnemonics, agile and retrofuturism. 
  • Week 27 (04.07.14): Nomophobia, automation dystopia, the Android L release, Android One, Google Fit, a push messaging cautionary tale, Tencent, Car Wars, Facebook A/B testing ethics, PCH the “AWS of hardware”, tech diversity and sapphire glass.

Summer – Swift, Wearables innovation, Mobile disruption

  • Week 26 (27.06.14): Resource insights from the head of Google People Operations, Google IO and the Android L release, Silicon Valley hiring, Nokia X2 and Z-Launcher, Splunk,  iWatch, Nest, Darma smart cushion, more fitness bands, smart hearing aids, the history of glass and Star Trek doors.
  • Week 25 (20.06.14): Automation as an agent of deskilling, Android’s rate of change, Amazon’s Fire Phone, Samsung discounting, Terrain card-based Android launcher, Yo, Elastic Cobol, HaaS (Hadoop as a Service), Twelve Factor, iWatch, IoT, connected cups and wireless charging trousers. 
  • Week 24 (14.06.14): The origins of Swift, how smartphones have utterly disrupted the digital camera industry, Earables, indoor GPS, Google Nearby, the LG G3 again, Apache Kafka, why future smartphone growth will nearly all be driven through APAC, Smokio, Pepper, the UK Future Fifty, Tetris and Eugene Goostman. 
  • Week 23 (06.06.14):  Steven Sinofsky on the shift from desktop to mobile computing, Apple and WWDC, Yosemite, Swift and Metal, Android Wear, Kakao, Enterprise cloud, thefties, TrueCrypt, MicroPython, newspaper ad revenue collapse.
  • Week 22 (30.05.14):  Google’s ambition, LG G3, how Apple design UX software, how Google prototypes software, Foxconn’s hardware incubator Innoconn, a Microservices primer, the ABC for CIOs, the Internet with a Human Face, JLab, Python3.
  • Week 21 (23.05.14): Innovation at the NYT, Smartisan T1, Proton Mail, big data and the new Behaviourism, the LG Lifeband, Smart Purse, the Scio pocket molecular sensor, Back to the Future played by a bunch of hard drives.
  • Week 20 (16.05.14): The top skills a developer should invest in learning in 2014, Apple and Beats, smartphone purchase drivers, OnePlus, Alibaba, botsourcing, F1 steering wheel UX, iCloud, GDS design principles, Kairos, Quitbit, Minecraft.
  • Week 19 (09.05.14): Analysing growth opportunities from customer data, Apple v Samsung, Oppo, Tesco, Android Silver, Alibaba, Docker, Tableau, Splunk, Quantified Self roadmap from GigaOM, Tinitell, kids and coding.
  • Week 18 (02.05.14): Innovercy as the inability to understand the importance and role of creativity, learning from mistakes, Samsung Level, Android Silver, Google cars, the Blackphone, an edX Linux MOOC, iBeacons, Hadoop, Goccia, Zensorium, drone orchestra.
  • Week 17 (25.04.14):  Why the winners in the next wearable wave of mobile will combine hardware, software and analytics excellence, smartphone “kill switch”, Nokia and Microsoft, Amazon corporate culture, nobody uses Samsung’s apps, Zeebox A/B Testing, Larry Page and Nikola Tesla, AWS Pricing, Truphone, Essentialism, Feynmann.

Independent observations on technology with background links curated weekly.