Weekend takeaway: 10 tech stories you need to read right now

27 Mar 2015

Ten nuggets of knowledge to take away for the weekend, including Apple CEO Tim Cook’s plans to give away his fortune to good causes, Spotify thrives on One Direction fallout, and the five forces disrupting business.

1. Apple CEO Tim Cook plans to give all of his US$785m fortune to charity

Apple’s chief executive Tim Cook plans to give away all of his wealth to good causes, eschewing the current Silicon Valley penchant for material gain.

Cook, who took over the leadership of Apple just months before Steve Jobs’ death in 2011, has set his own style of leadership and has stubbornly refused to be daunted by Jobs’ legacy, especially by critics who claim that Apple can’t innovate under Cook.

Instead, he has led a cultural shift at Apple, has been outspoken on human rights and environmental issues, come out the only gay CEO in the Fortune 500, encouraged the development of new device categories like the Apple Watch and has overseen significant revenue growth and the soaring of Apple’s value to approaching US$1trn.

Instead of mimicking Jobs’ obsession over every nut and bolt, Cook has been more of a cheerleader, gently but steadily guiding Apple’s product teams and backing their efforts up with a strong and efficiently performing company. He has also guided Apple in the direction of the enterprise, forging vital deals with giants like IBM.

2. ‘A spike of sadness’: Spotify reports 1,900pc rise in One Direction streams following Zayn quit

Spotify is gleefully rejoicing in the misery of teenage girls everywhere after the music streaming service reported a 1,900 percent rise in One Direction plays following Wednesday’s news that Zayn Malik had left the group.

3. Biohackers have developed eyeball drops to give people night-vision

Imagine being able to see in the dark without cumbersome night-vision (NV) goggles? Well now thanks to a team of biohackers, a course of eyedrops can give you superhuman NV powers.

4. There are five digital forces disrupting business today, says Oracle’s Jon Paul (video)

Five forces of mobile, social, cloud, analytics and big data are disrupting businesses and leaders are under pressure to narrow the gap between skills and processes, says Oracle regional director Jon Paul.

5. Cyber spying under attack from all sides as ECJ and UN lose patience

A day after the European Court of Justice (ECJ) revealed Safe Harbour for what it is – ridiculous – the UN has agreed to appoint a special investigator to look into digital spying and violations of online privacy.

6. DARPA feels GPS is old news and is now developing new location tracking tech

Move over GPS and GLONASS, the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) say they are working hard on developing new location tracking tech because they feel the current tech is unreliable.

7. Irish company to build world’s largest offshore energy park off Cornwall

Irish offshore energy company Simply Blue Energy has attained a substantial contract to build the world’s largest off-shore energy park off the coast of Cornwall in the UK.

8. Facebook completes first test flight of internet airplane in UK

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has just revealed that the first test flight of unmanned aircraft that can beam internet from the sky has been completed in the UK.

9. Cortechs named as winner of FutureHealth pre-accelerator at NDRC

Cortechs, a maker of wearable brainwave technologies that help children with ADHD focus on tasks more effectively, has been named winner of the FutureHealth programme at the NDRC.

10. The art of working in an Apple store, while not an Apple employee (video)

What happens when trouble-makers pose as Apple store employees? A lot of recommendations for Microsoft, that’s what.

Takeout image via Shutterstock

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years