Weekly news round up (18 October 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 five biggest announcements from Amazon’s hardware event were:

  1. The Echo alarm clock (spot)
  2. Echo plus (a home hub)
  3. Cheaper echos in a three-pack
  4. Echo buttons
  5. BMW integration
  6. New Fire TV.

Hmmm… that’s six products. The big question: does a houseful of echos make an echo chamber? https://www.theverge.com/2017/9/27/16374254/amazon-event-2017-news-recap-echo-spot-fire-tv-hardware

The new GoPro Fusion 360 degree camera. It looks outstanding, even if it makes your hand look a little odd on playback. Watching it again, I cannot believe the video quality of this tiny device:

Strava iOS11 Augmented Reality demo with awful music. Expect to see more visualisations like this coming out. Albeit with better music:

Do you use noise cancelling headphones on flights? Or do you sometimes miss the sound of the aircraft engines humming away? Don’t despair, for you can now download real flight noise to see what you missed (and it’s not free):

Social media

Insight on Strava’s business model – now and the future. It’s not advertising related, and I love it. In fact, there’s not much I don’t like about Strava. https://www.recode.net/2017/9/30/16389990/strava-social-network-athletes-sports-business-james-quarles


I commented on this article on Finextra which then spawned an online debate: “PSD2: Brits don’t trust retailers & social media platforms with bank details”. In summary, I disagreed with the research piece (of course we trust retailers such as Netflix, Uber and Amazon with our card details BECAUSE THERE’S VALUE). And that’s the key point – if the customer sees an advantage, they’ll go along with it.  https://www.finextra.com/news/fullstory.aspx?newsitemid=31133

The number of ATM and payment terminal scams are tripling across Europe with estimated losses of €1.5 million. There were more fraud incidents on payment terminals, but the value of losses have fallen. Card skimming has also reduced. https://www.finextra.com/newsarticle/31165/atm-black-box-attacks-soar-in-europe

The Manchester United Football Club ISA from Virgin Money. If Utd win the double, they increase the interest rate! Brilliant. https://uk.virginmoney.com/savings/find/productpage?id=man_utd_1_year_fixed_rate_double_champions_e_isa_issue_1

Our environment

The future of energy, featuring peak oil, peak wood, washing machines and Australia. I remember learning about the end of oil in geography in secondary school.


Good news for the music industry! Over 30 million people now pay for a subscription streaming service in the U.S., pushing streaming revenue up 48% to $2.5 billion, H1 2017. Streaming now accounts for 62% of the U.S. music business. This is helping the overall music business after a looooong fall which began in 1999, with Napster. Retail sales were up 17% to $4 billion. Digital download sales have fallen 24% as consumers get used to streaming (legally) for up to $10 a month. I wonder if this news combined with music festival business economics have combined to make the industry a commercial success once again. https://www.recode.net/2017/9/20/16339484/music-streaming-riaa-spotify-apple-music-youtube-2017-revenue-subscription

A beautiful comparison of the payments and finances for the major Streaming Music Services: http://www.informationisbeautiful.net/visualizations/spotify-apple-music-tidal-music-streaming-services-royalty-rates-compared

The UK

A lovely visualisation of UK Government Spending – incomes & outcomes – how the tax from an average UK salary is split up. http://www.informationisbeautiful.net/visualizations/uk-government-spending-incomes-outcomes

This graph shows how terrorism in the UK has changed in the last 47 years. It also shows how 24-hour media has changed our perception of the scale and threat of terrorism.


Amazing news! Endava ranks among Econsultancy’s top 100 digital agencies in the UK for 4 years in a row. I am so thankful to everyone in the team for this award. http://www.endava.com/en/About/News/2017/Endava-Ranks-Among-Econsultancys-Top-100-Digital-Agencies

Favourite tweets

Favourite tweet of the week is about Bear Grylls at the UK conservative party conference. Pure genius. The scouting movement is fortunate to have him.

And my second favourite tweet, which spawned a debate at a conference I attended:

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