Grab’s Promotion Problems

(updated to include Grab’s response, edits) Grab, Uber’s rival in Southeast Asia, is putting up an impressive fight against the ridesharing company. Both have deep pockets, and offer incentives to both drivers and riders. But Grab is either struggling to phrase its promos correctly or something more sinister afoot. Today riders were in uproar when …

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Ripe for Disruption: Bank Authentication

One thing that still drives me crazy, and doesn’t seem to have changed with banks, is they way they handle fraud detection with the customer. Their sophisticated algorithms detect fraudulent activity, they flag it, suspend the card, and give you a call, leaving a message identifying themselves as your bank and asking you to call …

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Awesomeness Fatigue

This is a commentary piece I’ve recorded for the BBC World Service. I call it awesomeness fatigue – the exhaustion that comes from being bombarded with stories, videos and pictures designed to amaze you. The problem is not that they don’t work: it’s that they’re too good. In the past week or so I’ve watched …

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The Rising Noise of Silence

This is a commentary piece for a semi-regular slot on the BBC’s World Service. It’s not content that appears on Reuters, nor does it reflect the views of my employer.  I’m here to report a new scourge of the public space: folk who watch video on their tablets in public without a headset. Just the …

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Podcast: Presentation Blues

The BBC World Service Business Daily version of my column on presentation blues. (The Business Daily podcast is here.) Loose Wireless 100623 To listen to Business Daily on the radio, tune into BBC World Service at the following times, or click here. Australasia: Mon-Fri 0141*, 0741  East Asia: Mon-Fri 0041, 1441  South Asia: Tue-Fri 0141*, Mon-Fri 0741  East Africa: …

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Still Sneaky After All These Years

I still retain the capacity to get bummed out by the intrusiveness of software from companies you’d think would be trying to make us happy these days, not make us madder. My friend Scotty, the Winpatrol watchdog, has been doing a great job of keeping an eye on these things. The culprits either try to …

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Software, Slowly, Gets Better

Is it just me, or are software developers beginning to get their users? For a long time I’ve felt the only real innovation in software has been in online applications, Web 2.0 non-apps—simple services that exist in your browser—but now it seems that ordinary apps are getting better too. Evernote, I feel, is one that’s …

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Is New Media Ready for Old Media?

I’m very excited by the fact that newspapers are beginning to carry content from the top five or so Web 2.0/tech sites. These blogs (the word no longer seems apt for what they do; Vindu Goel calls them ‘news sources’) have really evolved in the past three years and the quality of their coverage, particularly …

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