Today in Tech: The New; MuSigma's valuation; Hack attacks & Google Glass

NS Ramnath
Updated: Mar 7, 2013 11:54:11 AM UTC

The New and old habits The most interesting thing about the new is the way it highlights how internet is establishing its own grammar. One could be forgiven for thinking that internet has already established that. After all, it has changed the way we work and the way we live. But to see how deeply the offline world continues to cast its shadow online, we don't need to look beyond our PCs. Folders and files may be one of the better ways of organizing information offline, but that's how we organize stuff on our computers, even if digital world offers more possibilities.

It says something about our resistance to take a big leap into the digital world. (Rupert Murdoch meditated on this problem when he spoke to editors back in 2005 - drawing a distinction between digital immigrants and digital natives.) So, it should come as no surprise that websites start their journeys imitating offline world. This is how Yahoo in its early days.



Even Facebook called itself a directory in its early days.



The beauty of Facebook is that it evolved pretty fast, and along with Twitter, for good or bad, it shaped the way we consume information - as endless stream of news.

Its impact on Yahoo is pretty evident. But to say Facebook influenced Yahoo because Yahoo has a timeline like format is to miss the larger point. To paraphrase Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer, "It's not how Facebook looks, it's how it evolved".


Mayer, whose preference for minimalist, simple design influenced the way the world's most popular search engine looks (she was Google's 20th employee and first female engineer), seems to be chanting a new mantra: dynamism. She told Businessweek:

“Overall it’s about a cadence, about staying fresh and constantly revisiting the design. People’s expectations of design have really risen. I think there should be multiple updates per year to any core page or application like this. It’s not the case that you can let something like this sit. While this is the first of these updates in 2013, there would be more to come.”

MuSigma's valuation
Economic Times story on Mu Sigma Mastercard deal turns our attention to the valuation of big data firms. So far, most of the conversations around Big Data has been around the promise it holds - for the customers and for the suppliers. One consultant recently told me that most of his time goes in educating the potential users, and in helping them tell the wheat from the chaff. This is not to say no one has been doing deals. The following graph - from Orrick -  gives the five year financing trend globally.



The age of hack attack
We are living in it. A few days back, hackers took over Burger King's twitter account.  And then, it was Jeep's.  Even Apple, whose users have always boasted about their systems being virus free, came under attack.  Meanwhile, Mint raises a question: Is India prepared for a cyberwar?


Google Glass: How it feels



Also of interest

  • Start-up Pinterest wins new funding; $2.5 billion valuation | Reuters
  • Apple TV, now in India | The Hindu
  • Women Who Run Tech Startups Are Catching Up | Business Week
  • When a Calorie Is Not a Calorie | Wired
  • Any Website Just 19 Clicks Away From Any Other, Study Shows | ABC
  • Google Developing Touchscreen Devices Using Chrome Operating System | WSJ


The thoughts and opinions shared here are of the author.

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