Cool Things I have Seen This Week

So to kick off the first CTISTW (catchy right?) of the year we start with a bit of everyday sexism coming straight form those lovely folks at Disney. Now we all know that Disney is money making, franchise creating beast so it is no surprise that they have created a Monopoly (irony) board game for the new Star Wars film. What is a bit of a surprise is that Rey, a key character and a member of the fairer sex, was excluded. Cue outrage and a hastily prepared change from Disney. Tut Tut.

The boys and girls in Cupertino had a stellar Christmas period with the app store hitting a record $1.1billion in sales. This hasn’t however stopped it’s share price sliding amidst reports of slowed growth across its major markets and a reduction in production of the flagship 6S. Cracks in the shiny white headphoned façade may be appearing.

So those plucky upstarts at Snapchat have finally realised that being valued at $50bn is cool, but making a tonne of cash is actually much better. They are creating a fully fledged ad tech platform and are shutting down their 2 month old lens store so they can concentrate on it. This will only strengthen comparisons to Facebook for their try things and fail quick approach, but valuing them based on this comparison is flawed according to some.

Another interesting week for Mr Dorsey and his team over at Market Square with the news that Twitter will be rolling out the 10,000-character limit it has been trialing in DM’s to timeline tweets. This has led to most users losing their minds and the hashtag #twitter10k quickly started trending. The city, who are not Twitters biggest fans currently, were typically unimpressed and their share price tanked to close at an all time low od $20.26. What makes it even worse is when you put their 2015 side by side with Facebooks and realise that Uber is now worth more than twice what Twitter is worth. Ouch.

So the Zuck has been using his paternity leave to set out his new years resolutions, one being to run 365 miles this year and he is encouraging everyone to do the same. He has also overseen the release of the messaging API to key partners, fresh from the success of the Uber integration so expect to see a lot more of this over the coming months. Oculus Rift has finally been launched and you can pre order one for $600, even though very few computers are actually powerful enough to support it.

Lots going on in the auto world at the mo. Tesla competitor Faraday Future have just a 1,000HP electric batmobile, GM have invested $500m in Uber competitor Lyft to further their autonomous car service, Toyota want to create a car that, urm, doesn’t crash, they have also partnered with Ford to try and challenge Apple and Android for in car OS and Uber have hired the ‘creator of the hashtag’ to build the future. And breathe.

In general cool/geekery this week we have A second mention for Disney who have an R&D lab (who knew?) and have made a wall climbing robot. Wall climbing AT-AT anyone? Much more interesting is what the clever people at the University of Tokyo’s Department of Complexity Science and Engineering have come up with. They have creating touchable holograms through the creation of telehaptics. This genuinely is the start of something special.

Stat of the week – 150%. The amount Amazon’s share price increased in 2015.

And finally….

Everyone has an opinion on the new Star Wars movie, for me it was a little disappointing, but here is the only review you need to see from Koko the Gorilla.