How does it feel to be a ‘grey entrepreneur’?

Tech startups are usually seen as a young person’s game, so founding a website in my late 50s has been something of an adventure…

Pulling into Old Street underground station in London I can with great accuracy predict who will head for the doors of the train. Not that clean-shaven man in the three-piece business suit; nor that Armani-ed woman who’s probably heading for a City skyscraper. No, Old Street (ironically, given the name) is a magnet for tech-oriented twentysomethings. So how does it feel to be a “grey entrepreneur” blinking in the light of Silicon Roundabout?

I’m a former magazine editor (Psychologies, Good Housekeeping, In Style) in my late 50s. When, a few years ago, I wanted to find a therapist to deal with some of life’s harsher blows, I realised that most directories couldn’t give me what I needed. Picking out a face from the hundreds listed was a stab in the dark. Couldn’t you take the sort of algorithm that worked for dating sites, and find the right therapist much more accurately?

Continue reading… …read more

Mazda MX-5: car review | Martin Love

Mazda’s lovable MX-5 is the world’s bestselling sports car. And for one injured soldier it has been a lifeline…

Price £18,495
MPG 47.1
Top speed 127mph

In the footwell of the seat I’m strapped into is a sign that reads: “If the driver’s legs fall off, press here!” That must sound ridiculous to you, but then you aren’t being driven hell-for-leather round the historic Goodwood racetrack by a man with no legs…

Continue reading… …read more

It’s fast, global, engaged and influential – so why isn’t Twitter flying?

While Facebook and Snapchat soar, the most immediate social media channel in the world has many experts worried

How many tech companies are saddled with the problem of enjoying global fame but struggling with lacklustre performance? Not Facebook, which revealed in its results that it has nearly 1.5 billion users logging in each month around the world. Twitter, however, is an example where participation is lagging behind reputation.

The company built around text-message-length “tweets” announced in its own quarterly results last week that it has 304 million monthly active users (MAUs), who logged in at least once a month in the past quarter. That figure was up only 0.7% from the previous quarter, while the figure for MAUs in the US stayed stubbornly at 65 million.

Continue reading… …read more

How Google quietly revved up its very own car company

Documents obtained by the Guardian reveal the tech giant created Google Auto LLC to help develop its self-driving cars even as it courted big car makers

Google has set up its own car company. The tech giant has flirted with major car firms as it explores driverless cars but has also quietly set up its own auto company, according to documents obtained by the Guardian.

Google Auto LLC is headed by Chris Urmson, project lead for Google’s self-driving cars. Urmson has been on a charm offensive with the world’s biggest automobile manufacturers. At the North American International Auto Show in January, Urmson announced talks with General Motors, Ford, Toyota, Daimler and Volkswagen. In March, he told USA Today: “Making cars is really hard, and the car companies are quite good at it. So, in my mind, the solution is to find a partnership.”

Continue reading… …read more

Right to be forgotten: Swiss cheese internet, or database of ruin?

Posturing over Google and the ‘right to be forgotten’ detracts from larger issues about respect for individuals v overreaching economic rights in digital space

Imagine, 25 years ago, someone telling you: we really need to redress this massive social ignorance that, when you meet someone for the first time, you don’t know everything about them. What we ought to do is assemble a giant database. On everyone.

Brilliant idea. But there are a couple of provisos, they add. This database will be sourced from whatever scraps of information are lying around about you – whether carefully crafted, or pulled from the streets. The product of your life’s work; or just some odd thing you once said or did, long ago, somewhere that the database decides to rank highly and eternally.

Continue reading… …read more