Weekly news round up 9 November 2017

Here’s a summary of interesting stories I’ve seen over the last week. I try to concentrate on the stories which aren’t necessarily mainstream.


The Spanish Bank, BBVA, approached its latest mobile app in a totally different way. They reduced the size of the team to 15 and incorporated Design Thinking (for more information about Design Thinking, read this excellent article from the UK Design Council). The results have been very impressive:

  • Credit card applications increased by 80%
  • Current account openings by 20%
  • Sales of investment funds up 50%
  • Sales in pension plans, health insurance and home insurance doubled
  • Car insurance tripled
  • People carrying out mortgage simulations tripled.



Warning: fake WhatsApp apps started appearing this week
Warning: fake WhatsApp apps started appearing this week

It’s been a shameful week for security with two large public scams. The first was a fake WhatsApp app appeared in the Google Play store. It would have taken a very keen eye to spot any problem with the fake app. And the second scam was fake supermarket vouchers being distributed among WhatsApp users. The problem with the voucher was that it took users to a landing page which asked for personal details.

The old saying, “If something is too good to be true, it probably is” is still holding strong.

This is what it looks like inside an Ocado factory. (Ocado are a UK-based, Internet-only supermarket delivery service). Wow.

IBM has agreed to hand over their Notes and Domino products to HCL. Possibly the most surprising part of the announcement was that the products are still being developed and have roadmaps. A sceptic might suggest that the only reason for announcing a roadmap is to encourage HCL’s staff to work on these products.


This article from Bob Lutz, a former vice chairman and head of product development at General Motors, is one of the most interesting articles I’ve read about automated cars. Lutz describes how the revolution to automated vehicles will happen and what roads will look like afterwards.

I still think there’s an unanswered question about what stops us walking across the path of an automated car. Will it always stop? And if the answer is yes, why will we have pedestrian crossings?


Clients pay WPP for advertising space on various media outlets. And WPP has to buy that ‘stock’ from media companies. WPP’s top media ‘suppliers’ last year were:

  1. Google
  2. NewsCorp, Twenty-First Century Fox, Sky and Foxtel
  3. Facebook

Facebook and Google account for over $7 billion. Sir Martin Sorrell also suggested that Facebook is likely to move into second place.


Apple deserves a section all by itself, with the most impressive financial report of all time. The reaction of Apple’s new iPhone X seems to be negative but it hasn’t harmed the company whatsoever:

  • Revenue from App Store, Apple Care and Apple Pay has increased over a third
  • Apple Watch sales are up 50%
  • 7m iPhones were sold in the quarter
  • Apple Mac computer sales are up 25%
  • ‘Other products’ such as iPad and iPod are up 36%
  • Overall revenue up 12% against last year, with profit up 19%

To summarise, Apple is likely to become the first trillion dollar company.


The next time your with a friend who takes a photo of their meal, you can ask them what the most common thing people take pictures of. Food is only 9th on the list (thankfully). It turns out we’re still more interested in capturing our beautiful scenery and surroundings than selfies. Thankfully.


Website of the week

This website shows the other side of the planet from any point on Earth.

To manage expectations, most places on Earth don’t have an antipodal land mass. i.e. the opposite to most places we consider places is water!


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