tech in the spotlight

London Tackles Its Tech Exploit Problem with New Unilever-Backed Launchpad

Posted by Mark J. Miller on June 23, 2014 05:01 PM

Not wanting to be left behind, London hosted its first Technology Week event last week, showcasing some of the most promising startups and technology products from across the pond. 

But many of the products and concepts seen and heard at the event won't make it out of the city's limits thanks to a clogged pipeline of business development. 

"The old adage is that it gets invented in the U.K. and exploited in the US," serial entrepreneur and venture capitalist Hermann Hauser said, according to Bloomberg. "We are getting better but a lot more needs to be done."

To help combat that problem, some of the UK and Europe's biggest brands, including Unilever, John Lewis and EE are collaborating with Tech City UK to give life to The Internet of Things Launchpad Competition, which will award a total of £1 million ($1.7 million) in grants to winners who are aiming to take on projects that are “too risky for companies to take forward without support” and hope to “take companies into new innovative areas,” PopsOp reports.Continue reading...

brands with a cause

Google, Microsoft Team Up to Fight Child Exploitation on the Internet

Posted by Sheila Shayon on November 18, 2013 05:54 PM

Following a Canadian sting operation last week that resulted in 348 arrests and over 380 children rescued, Google and Microsoft have teamed up to take substantial steps to block the exploitation of photos and videos containing child pornography on the Internet with modifications to more than 100,000 search terms.

Instead of delivering content associated with child sex abuse, such searches will now trigger a warning that said content is illegal. Content that steps over the boundary will be assigned a unique digital fingerprint that speeds detection and deletion. YouTube has created similar technology to identify videos of the same nature. 

"We've listened, and in the last three months put more than 200 people to work developing new, state-of-the-art technology to tackle the problem," Google Chairman Eric Schmidt wrote. "We've fine-tuned Google search to prevent links to child sexual abuse material from appearing in our results. Microsoft deserves a lot of credit for developing and sharing its picture detection technology."Continue reading...

brand loyalty

Analysts: Despite Its Claim, Starbucks Suffered Damage in U.K. Due to Tax Flap

Posted by Mark J. Miller on February 5, 2013 01:18 PM

Are British consumers truly looking past the Starbucks tax flap in the nation and staying as loyal to the brand as the global chain recently claimed?

Some analysts say they don't think so.

In autumn, it was revealed that the company had paid only £8.5m ($13.8 million USD) in tax in the U.K. since entering the market there 14 years ago, despite having £3bn ($4.8 billion) in sales over the same period. 

Starbucks has pledged to pay an extra £20 million ($31.48 million) to the British government in corporation tax over the next two years to help repair the damage.

In a Jan. 25 earnings call, the chain said that British customers had "stayed loyal" through the contoversy. But an Agence France Presse report this week casts doubt on that claim.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: iCloud Opens, Sony Hacked, Zynga Looks Beyond Facebook

Posted by Dale Buss on October 12, 2011 09:00 AM

In the News

AMC kills Bing product placement deal for Walking Dead.

Apple's iCloud service goes live in first major product launch since Steve Jobs died.

BlackBerry outage response not RIM's finest moment, says BBC.

British PM David Cameron holds kids' advertising summit, while Tory Party rebrand has missed the mark, critics argue.

Cadillac unveils 'Cue,' its connected car system.

Chrysler strikes tentative deal with the UAW.

Diddy makes a landmark donation to the Boys & Girls Club of Harlem.

eBay looks to deepen its relationship with Facebook.

Google sees 60% drop in Google+ usage.Continue reading...

brand news

Brands to Watch: AmEx, Kodak, Dodgers & more

Posted by Shirley Brady on July 20, 2011 06:00 PM

Brands to Watch

British PM David Cameron tells Parliament that he now regrets hiring former News of the World editor Andy Coulson as News Corp. faces US calls for Dow Jones inquiry over phone hacking and London police say their investigation could take years. Wendi Murdoch fever also explodes on the web as her husband's media empire attempts to restore reputation.

American Express reports record cardholder spending.

American Idol co-creator Simon Fuller is suing Simon Cowell for a cut of The X Factor on FOX.

Associated Press will link to sources starting Aug. 1st.

Coach signs Gwyneth Paltrow for UK launch campaign.

Google offers credit card to advertisers, winds down Google Labs, launches Google+ iPhone app.

Intel quarterly results beats analysts' expectations.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: News Corp., Borders, McDonald's & more

Posted by Dale Buss on July 18, 2011 09:00 AM

In the News

News Corp. shares tumble as company goes on PR offensive with print apology as News International's former head Rebekah Brooks was arrested Sunday, London's police chief quits and actor Jude Law claims his phone was hacked. Prime Minister David Cameron called in Parliament to deal with the scandal, as speculation rises about possible harm to Murdoch's US empire.

ABS by Alan Schwartz balks at design copyright protection.

Amana introduces new online shopping tool.

Australia's government launches campaign for carbon tax.

Borders faces liquidation.Continue reading...

brands under fire

News Corp. in Crisis: Murdoch Drops BSkyB Bid

Posted by Sheila Shayon on July 13, 2011 09:30 AM

When the British prime minister tells you your deal should die, Rupert Murdoch listens.

As News Corp.'s phone hacking scandal continues to dominate headlines around the world and unfold in the very public court of public opinion, the latest shoe to drop is Murdoch's BSkyB bid.

Following British PM David Cameron's call for the "disgraceful" News Corp. to drop its bid to acquire all of BSkyB, the company is doing just that. The move marks something of an about-face for Cameron, who has been criticized for not being tough enough on News Corp. before now.Continue reading...

brand news

Headline Roundup: Cookie Crumbs

Posted by Stephanie Startz on October 5, 2009 10:04 AM

Conde Nast shutters Gourmet, Cookie, Modern Bride and Elegant Bride. [NY Times]

Murdoch's News International tests paid web model with Times+ site, free to Times print subscribers. [Telegraph]

WPP's Sorrell urges International Olympic Committee to reach younger audiences by going online. [NY Times]

Brands recognize importance of iPhone apps, but not necessarily their purpose. [NY Times]

Wal-Mart reaps profits through bodega chains in Mexico. [Bloomberg]

Japan's Fast Retailing Co. experiences 6-year sales high as demand surges at Uniqlo. [Bloomberg]

Merrill Lynch brings the bull back to Wall Street with the "help2" campaign. [BrandWeek]

(More headlines: HSBC, France Telecom, Chrysler, Imus, tatler.)Continue reading...

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