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Is Technology Ruining Sport?

Contributed by Libby Reynolds

With goal-line technology already causing controversy in the World Cup, is technology really improving sport?

Advances in technology have dramatically altered sport in recent years; from Hawk-Eye in Wimbledon to video-refereeing in the Rugby League. For the first time, technology is having a real effect on our global sporting competitions. It has even been suggested that Hawk-Eye significantly contributed to Andy Murray’s victory at Wimbledon, when Novak Djokovic lost his cool over a Hawk-Eye decision. So should we really be relying this much on technology? Is it harming the character of our sporting competitions, or ensuring their accuracy?

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Friday TechMunch: A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

Contributed by Libby Reynolds

If you thought 140 characters was strict, try Snapchat. The user has only 10 seconds to view an image. After that, it’s gone. For good.

Snapchat is the latest social media phenomenon. 400 million “snaps” are sent everyday – making the 40 million images captured by Instagram seem paltry in comparison. Much like Instagram and Pinterest, Snapchat’s core audience is women; but while the two older photo sharing channels are favoured by women aged 18-35, Snapchat’s demographic is younger still, beloved of 13-25 year olds.

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Friday TechMunch: The Rift Observation

“The Oculus Rift is the coolest product in the world right now.”

Invented by 21 year old Palmer Luckey, a man as fortunate as his name, the Oculus Rift is the oh-so-close answer to a decades-old promise of virtual reality (VR). Snapped up by Facebook in March for a cool $2bn, VR might have finally reached the point where investment and mainstream interest have reached critical mass.

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The Newark By-election

We were promised a political earthquake. The last time Newark saw one of any great measure was in the 12th century, when nearby Lincoln Cathedral lost both of its imposing spires – at that time, the tallest man-made objects in the world.

No such political pillars crumbled last night, with the Conservatives and Labour reacting predictably to what was an uncertain night for UKIP and its Malta-loving anti-Europe leader Nigel Farage MEP.  In fact, the Conservatives saw their first by-election victory in 25 years, albeit with a campaign that Labour’s election chief dryly observed as having “thrown in the kitchen sink, the butler’s sink, the nanny and everything else.” So what does this mean?

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Sony PlayStations available in China: A Game Changer

Contributed by Christina Farrugia, Liz Mercer, Francesca Palmiero

Big news in gaming this week – Sony has partnered with Shanghai Oriental Pearl to manufacture and sell its PlayStation consoles in China, giving Sony access to millions of gamers.

The Chinese government’s decision in January to allow international brands to sell consoles was a game changer and console manufacturers from around the world want to profit from the previously impenetrable video-game industry in China, which PriceWaterhouseCoopers predicts will generate £6bn in sales next year. And it’s game on, because Microsoft also announced that its Xbox One will go on sale in China this summer too.

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Friday TechMunch: Is Cloud Computing Leaving you Feeling a Bit Foggy?

Over the past few years, the tech world has been bubbling over with excitement around all things ‘cloud’. Private clouds, public clouds and hybrid clouds have been hot topics for consumers and businesses alike.

In the future, cloud evangelists expect 100% of computer storage to be cloud-based. Cloud computing offers a flexible, often cheaper alternative to in-house data storage, with secure back-up. In addition, the cloud has been a fantastic enabler in connecting devices through wireless networks and joining them to the ‘Internet of Things’.

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Friday TechMunch: The Right to Be Forgotten?

Contributed by Maeve Harte

Last week the European Courts of Justice backed the “right to be forgotten”. Google must now delete “inadequate, irrelevant or no longer relevant” data from its search results at the request of a member of the public.

This landmark case against Google was brought to ruling by a Spanish man, Mario Costeja Gonzalez, who demanded an article related to the repossession of his home 16 years earlier be deleted from the search engine.

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Friday TechMunch: Droning on About 3D printing

Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No…actually, it’s another drone

Drones… they seem to be everywhere lately. Over the last year we’ve seen an insurgence of drone announcements, including the Amazon delivery drones (swiftly followed by the ingenious O.W.L.S campaign issued by Waterstones), and this week two new drone announcements, coincidently both related to repairs. The first announcement comes via EasyJet, which has announced plans to introduce unmanned drones to inspect its fleet of aircraft. The drones will then report back to a team of engineers on any damage or items requiring further inspection from the team. Is this just a PR stunt to demonstrate EasyJet’s investment in R&D and to position it as an innovative technology leader? The company insists not and says that by introducing this drone technology, as early as next year, the team of engineers will be able to reach all nooks and crannies while also reducing the amount of time needed to perform checks, due to the drone’s high levels of efficiency and accuracy.

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We find out Now / Next / Why from Contagious

This week, some of us attended the annual Now / Next / Why briefing from marketing, consumer culture and technology trend analysts Contagious.

It followed on from December’s Most Contagious, which brought together experts from Contagious and leading marketers to explore the major trends affecting our industry now and in the future; now, next and why.

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Teaching Mandarin in British Schools Will Improve Britain’s Global Standing

Whilst Britain agonises over 200km of new high speed rail track to be placed through the country, over in China it is building an estimated twenty four new cities each year., and with expanding military budgets, a Pentagon report estimates that China will have a modern military capable of sustained high-intensity combat as early as the end of this decade. In addition, the Chinese Government is pushing hard in an attempt to make the Renminbi the global reserve currency.

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