February 28, 2014

Weekly Roundup: Messaging app wars, next-gen cybersecurity and ‘white hat’ hackers

Posted by: in North America

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-A Pew Research Internet Project report takes stock of the Web at 25 (unsurprising overall verdict: It’s been good for society and very good for individual consumers).

-BBC examines the wearable technology worn by attendees of the Mobile World Congress.

-The New York Times argues that Facebook’s purchase of WhatsApp is just the start of the messaging app wars.

-In Ad Age, our own Marian Berelowitz takes a look at how messenger apps are bringing brands fresh access to consumers.

-The FT examines trends around women and the workplace in a special report.

-MediaPost explains how women have come to dominate the mobile gaming space.

-The FT looks at ways in which U.S. retailers are “smartening up” the shopping experiences with tracker beacons that communicate with customers’ phones.

-Fast Company reports on a group of venture capitalists and engineers, with some big-name backers, who are betting that they can run an insurance company like an Internet startup, a potential sign of things to come post-Obamacare.

-The Wall Street Journal reports on how chewing gum makers are in a turf battle for Chinese chewers—whose numbers grew by double digits last year.

-Quartz looks at why Americans have been falling out of love with orange juice.

-The New York Times reports that a federal survey has found that the obesity rate for young children plummeted 43 percent over the past 10 years.

-The FT releases a special report on the ways in which telecom companies are shaping up for an “always-on” world.

-The Wall Street Journal reports on the ways Silicon Valley is jumping into next-generation cybersecurity.

-The FT reports on Boeing’s new “self-destruct” mobile phone that will delete all its call and message data if an unauthorized attempt is made to crack it open.

-The Economist explores the trend of law-abiding “white hat” hackers, who help companies find and repair their vulnerabilities to cyber-criminals.

-WNYC explains why “the future of texting is all about dancing wombats” thanks to stickers, emojis and a visually oriented culture.

-An opinion piece in Wired asks whether today’s apps are outsourcing humanity and turning us into sociopaths.

-Digiday looks at the rise of Upworthy clones looking to replicate the viral publisher’s success.

-The Guardian looks at the rise of “sad-food” photography on social media, such as the Dimly Lit Meals Tumblr feed.

-The New York Times ponders the rise of the ugly selfie.

-Nielsen reports on how smartphones are changing consumers’ daily routines around the world.

-The Economist takes a graphic look at U.S. housing prices and suggests the country may be in the midst of another housing bubble.

-A survey conducted by America Saves finds that only one in three Americans is living within their means and saving enough for their long-term financial future.

-According to The New York Times, the U.S. is at a “pivotal point” as more states consider legalizing medical or recreational marijuana.

-The Guardian reports on the growing number of computer-generated fake papers—“gobbledegook”—that are being submitted and even accepted at academic conferences.

-The New York Times Magazine delves into the work of scientists who are working to bring back extinct animals—and the possible dangers of that work.

-The Economist reports that a new way to double the efficiency of solar cells is about to go mainstream.

-The Wall Street Journal predicts that pricey hydrogen cars will soon challenge electric, with companies planning to lease hydrogen-cell-powered in California and several European countries by the end of next year.

-The New York Times profiles the founder of a startup that creates computer games designed to teach players social-emotional learning.

-The Wall Street Journal examines the ways in which brands are encouraging mother-daughter shopping with coupons and social platforms.

-Autoweek highlights a new service in development from Volvo that allows delivery companies to place items directly into consumers’ cars.

-TechCrunch reports that Disney has launched a new iOS app called Disney Movies Anywhere that will let users stream Disney, Pixar and Marvel movies; unusually for the industry, the app is integrated into, not competing with, iTunes.

-The Wall Street Journal takes at look at the South Korean app Kakao, which has 133 million users and is pushing the boundaries of what an app can do, including messaging, gaming and celebrity friending.

-The Wire reports on Amtrak’s plan to give free long-trip tickets to writers in residence (and pick up some good PR along the way).

-Bloomberg Businessweek looks at the growing clout of gay gamers, or “gaymers.”

-Our own Ann Mack spoke to Elle Canada about the most exciting innovations in beauty.

-The FT explains that with chat apps cutting into their revenues, many mobile operators are turning to machine-to-machine communication for new growth.

-Quartz asserts that nostalgia is “the emotion of the Internet.”

-The Daily Mail reports on new research into the ways children interact with toys and, increasingly, tablets.

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