Sunday, 25 September 2016

Snap Inc!

Snapchat has rebranded as Snap Inc after they unveiled their wider strategy beyond its messaging app services. Snap 'Spectacles' are their first product and look to be focused only capturing moments, a mantra the company has been built upon. Footage captured on the specs is sent to the Snapchat app, transferred via Bluetooth of Wi-Fi, to memories where the footage can now be viewed in all orientations via a new format. The $130 spectacles feature one of the smallest wireless cameras in the world. The Spectacles are available in three colours and can reportedly operate for a full day on a single charge. “When we were just getting started it made sense to name our company Snapchat Inc., because Snapchat was our only product! Now that we are developing other products, like Spectacles, we need a name that goes beyond just one product – but doesn’t lose the familiarity and fun of our team and brand. We decided to drop the “chat” and go with Snap Inc!


Apple have submitted an application for a patent for a paper bag. Recycled paper bags are not an innovation, of course. The innovation, in this case, is how Apple intends to hold the bag together with such a high proportion of recycled material. White paper bags made of recycled material tend to be fairly flimsy due to the amount of bleach used, so Apple has come up with a bundle of alterations that should help its bags remain both pearly white and environmentally friendly.

Currency Collectors

New issues of bank notes, uncirculated and with low serial numbers in the first printing run are attractive to collectors. Extra value comes when there is something unusual about them, as is the case with the first plastic notes to be issued by the Bank of England. A total of 440 million new £5 notes have been printed. About one million have AA01 serial numbers, but some are not in general circulation. The very lowest serial number notes are handed to the Queen. The polymer note - which is much more durable than the old fiver - was delivered to banks over the course of a week. After arriving at the bank just at the right time, Mr Scrase decided to put a set of three fivers with consecutive serial numbers on internet auction site Ebay. After 31 bids were made, the set was sold for £456.


A man in Australia has successfully patented, and started selling, the Hamdog - a combination of a hotdog and a burger in one bun. Mark Murray first appeared on Shark Tank - the Australian equivalent to the UK show Dragons' Den - where he pitched the idea to potential investors. The judges turned him down for funding. But one year later, he is selling the Hamdogs at fairs and markets in Western Australia and looking for people interested in taking on a franchise. The burger is split in half, to allow the hotdog to be placed in between. The bun is then also filled with lettuce, tomato, pickles, cheese, mustard, tomato sauce and mayonnaise.

Saturday, 17 September 2016

Healthy Greggs

Greggs, the baker famous for its butter-laden steak bakes and creamy chicken slices is introducing a range of low-fat "healthy" pasties as it tries to keep up with increasingly calorie-conscious customers. The new healthy snacks, which shun the indulgent greasiness of flaky pastry for a more heart-friendly sourdough will hit the shelves tomorrow and come with a choice of chicken katsu or bombay potato filling. The pasties contain 9g of fat and less than 300 calories, compared to 33g of fat and over 500 calories in their traditional beef and vegetable counterpart. It was also revealed that Newcastle is the Greggs capital of the UK with more than three times as many stores as the national average. This is the equivalent of 9.9 stores for every 100,000 people in the city - the highest rate for any local authority area in the country.


McDonald’s has opened a restaurant that doesn’t serve any burgers or fries. The new McCafĂ© in Paris sells soup, club sandwiches, tiramisu and macaroons, but none of the fatty fare customers are used to. The branch is more Cafe Nero than McDonalds, featuring a glass case with smoked salmon or pastrami bagels in place of the traditional counter doling out Big Macs at breakneck speed. The walls are covered with phrases like “Coffee time” and “Great club sandwiches”, and there's no sign of the famous golden arches. The company has made several attempts to ditch its fast and cheap image as the developed world battles with an obesity epidemic. But as fast food struggles, coffee shops are booming. The sector grew by 10 per cent in Europe last year and McDonald’s wants a slice of a growing pie.

Pocket Money Pitch

Budding young entrepreneurs from across the UK pitch their ideas to some of the UK's most famous entrepreneurs in a bid to get a year's worth of pocket money to turn their business dreams into a reality. This shows that age is just a number when it comes to being an entrepreneur. Take a look at some of the clips of the winning pitches from the latest episodes from CBBC.

Friday, 9 September 2016

iPhone 7

Apple has unveiled new versions of its iPhones, which have done away with the traditional headphone socket. Instead the firm is promoting the use of its Airpods - new wireless earbuds, which offer new abilities but also need to be recharged on a regular basis. The latest iPhone launch is crucial for Apple, which has seen sales of the device slip amid ever fiercer competition. In July the company recorded its second consecutive quarter of revenue decline, breaking a streak of uninterrupted growth since 2003. Check out the video to see how Apple have evolved the iPhone over time.

Playstation Pro

Sony has announced a more powerful version of its PlayStation 4 console at an event in New York. The PS4 Pro will be able to render more detail in games when connected to an ultra-high definition 4K television. A cosmetically redesigned, slimmer PlayStation 4 was also announced and will be sold at a cheaper price. One analyst said releasing an upgraded console so soon after the PS4's debut in 2013 took the company into "uncharted territory". Sony is currently thought to be leading the console race, after announcing in May that it had sold 40 million PS4s. Microsoft said it had sold 10 million Xbox One devices in 2014, but has since stopped reporting its sales figure.

Life Saving Invention

A 22-year-old British student has invented a mobile fridge that could save millions of lives across the world. Will Broadway's "Isobar" has been designed to keep vaccines at the ideal temperature while in transit in developing countries. And Will doesn't plan to make money from his creation. His focus is to get it to people who need it, which is why he won't be trying to get a patent. Will's Isobar has won him the annual James Dyson Award, open to students across the world with a simple brief - design something that solves a problem. Having previously worked at a medical device consultancy, Will has first-hand experience of how large companies monetise life-saving products. "Medical products have such a big mark up that it's unreasonable for people around the world to purchase these items," he says. "If it is the best thing available, then it should be out there saving lives." It has been estimated that Will's invention could save the lives of 1.5 million people across the world, a number he says is "astonishing".
Life Saving Invention