Information & Technology

  • Permalink Gallery

    How would-be entrepreneurs can harness the power of the internet of things

How would-be entrepreneurs can harness the power of the internet of things

The internet of things – it’s a wonderfully vague term, but one that both consumers and businesses will have been hearing a lot over recent years. IoT is, after all, one of the single biggest areas of technological development that is reshaping the world around us. In short, the umbrella term refers to the way in which devices – […]

  • Permalink Gallery

    The new federalism: blockchain will decentralise big tech’s power on the internet

The new federalism: blockchain will decentralise big tech’s power on the internet

For most of history, the only form of government that humanity had known was despotism. Pharaohs, tsars, emperors and kings enjoyed a centralised and absolute power. The world had known but a few democratic experiences in the Athenian polis, the Roman Republic, and the Florence and Venice of the Renaissance.

In the 18th century, revolutions in France and the United […]

  • Permalink Gallery

    What Twitter reveals about a company’s reputation and productivity

What Twitter reveals about a company’s reputation and productivity

Reputation plays an important signalling role in an imperfect information world and companies endeavour to preserve it. In this study, I evaluate empirically the role of reputation for companies that engage in Twitter. The results confirm that getting negative tweets, many expressing grievances, strongly correlates with low firm performance, suggesting the importance of social media (SM) in times when […]

  • Permalink Gallery

    Navigating the fintech landscape with a customer-market-competition matrix

Navigating the fintech landscape with a customer-market-competition matrix

New fintech firms are bringing a stream of technology innovations to the financial services industry, and banks and other incumbent firms are experiencing extraordinary competitive pressures and process-disrupting new rivalries in many of their primary business areas. Industry and academic observers think this is a revolution, with financial services as a whole due for major improvements in the efficiency […]

Why tech markets are winner-take-all

‘Competition is for losers. If you want to create and capture lasting value, look to build a monopoly’– Peter Thiel, cofounder of PayPal and Palantir

In the 1960s, IBM dominated the mainframe market. It still does. In the 1980s, Microsoft and Intel dominated the PC software and processor markets. They still do. From the 1990s, with the World Wide Web, […]

AI’s lack of transparency triggers a debate over ethics

Alexa may be up to more tricks than just unnerving us with her creepy laugh.

The artificial intelligence technology that drives Amazon’s digital assistant and others like it is being used in an ever-growing list of applications. Some, like a Netflix recommendation on what to binge-watch next, are relatively benign. Others, however, hold high stakes: sizing up job applicants, reviewing […]

  • Permalink Gallery

    Cryptocurrencies: the future of money, speculative bubble or something else?

Cryptocurrencies: the future of money, speculative bubble or something else?

This month’s episode of the LSE IQ podcast investigates whether cryptocurrencies are the future of money, a speculative bubble that will burst, or something else.

In 2008 a person or group going under the pseudonym ‘Satoshi Nakamoto’ published a white paper setting out the fundamentals of a peer-to-peer electronic cash system called bitcoin. This would do away with the need […]

The voice of the silent majority behind bitcoin’s rise

How much is a bitcoin worth? This question is difficult to answer because bitcoin, and cryptocurrencies in general, are notoriously volatile. Users face significant market risk because of the fluctuation in the exchange rate between bitcoin and other currencies. For all the hypes about how cryptocurrency is shaping the future of fintech, it is crucial to understand the factors behind its […]

  • Permalink Gallery

    The ‘onlooker effect’: how bystanders influence our use of digital technologies

The ‘onlooker effect’: how bystanders influence our use of digital technologies

The use of mobile devices has permeated our daily lives and has in various ways influenced the way we interact with each other. For instance, even during an animated conversation with a loved one we allow ourselves to be disturbed by intruding push messages on our phone. In work meetings we often switch between screens on our laptop to […]

  • Permalink Gallery

    2018 is a crucial year for the platform-publisher relationship

2018 is a crucial year for the platform-publisher relationship

Is 2018 the year when the publisher/platform relationship is turned on its head? Is this the moment when policy-makers change the balance of power between the tech giants and the content creators?

Recent years have been tough on publishers as the social networks and search companies have grown up from transformative teens to dominating adults. Once mighty media brands have […]

The Financial Conduct Authority asks robo-advisors for more

The UK’s financial regulator has recently reviewed the offerings of the ‘robo-advice’ sector. The results, whilst superficially not encouraging, suggest teething problems rather than deeper underlying issues. In the report released in May, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) noted that online discretionary investment managers were not communicating risk in a clear way, lacking transparency on pricing and failing to […]

Where is the internet headed?

Over the past few months, you’ve almost certainly heard someone lament the state of the internet.

It might have been a friend or family member, who learned the Facebook-Cambridge Analytica breach was worse than originally thought. Or maybe it was Twitter CEO and co-founder Jack Dorsey, who recently acknowledged his platform had been compromised by bots and trolls. Or perhaps […]

  • Permalink Gallery

    Blockchain can help mitigate investment risk for the pharmaceutical industry

Blockchain can help mitigate investment risk for the pharmaceutical industry

Have you ever paid attention to the time, effort and business risk it takes to invest in new drug research and getting that drug into to the market?

It takes two to five years to come up with a new drug concept – and even longer to transform it into a lead drug candidate. It takes another two years to […]

  • Permalink Gallery

    Disruptive trade technologies will usher in the ‘internet of rules’

Disruptive trade technologies will usher in the ‘internet of rules’

Businesses, especially micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs), face many challenges in understanding and complying with international commercial rules and regulations. Research also indicates low utilisation of eligible tariff preferences, or favourable tax rules, by traders. In other words, many businesses do not always effectively benefit from their negotiated market advantages. Unfortunately, the current “version history” (or stage in the […]

  • Permalink Gallery

    The EU’s data protection regulation will be a wake up call for companies’ cyber security

The EU’s data protection regulation will be a wake up call for companies’ cyber security

As businesses, we’re more vulnerable than ever. Whether you’re a private or public sector organisation, there is now an even chance that in any 12-month period, you’ll experience at least one cyber incident. Which means for those who haven’t had a potential threat on their radar to date, what you’re experiencing is merely the luck of an extremely narrow […]

  • Permalink Gallery

    The paradox of wanting privacy but behaving as if it didn’t matter

The paradox of wanting privacy but behaving as if it didn’t matter

The increasingly sophisticated and ubiquitous technologies centred on collecting and using consumer data are keeping the public discussion over privacy at centre stage. An important point of contention in that the debate focuses on the sometimes surprising nature of individuals’ privacy choices, and their relationship to the so-called “privacy paradox.” The term refers to apparent inconsistencies between people’s stated […]

  • Permalink Gallery

    The work–life conflicts of globally distributed software developers

The work–life conflicts of globally distributed software developers

Consider the words of a senior manager in a global IT company:

“I think our company historically has rewarded people who are very technically competent …Those people aren’t always the best people-managers….We need people who are leaders, who … set realistic priorities and understand you are going to be most effective as an employee when you achieve a good WLB [work-life […]

The personal car: an idea whose time has passed?

A few weeks ago, a pedestrian was killed on the road while walking outside of a crosswalk with a bicycle. This, unfortunately, is not something papers usually report on: nearly 1.3 million people die on the road every year. Approximately one person killed every 25 seconds. This tragedy was, however, historic: the victim was hit by an Uber running in […]

  • Permalink Gallery

    Using blockchain to make land registry more reliable in India

Using blockchain to make land registry more reliable in India

The word blockchain often conjures up thoughts of cryptocurrencies, of people dabbling in a seemingly dark art, making tens of millions of dollars. Blockchain was first linked to the cryptocurrency Bitcoin, but it is a technology that can enrich the lives of billions of people, in countless ways.

We believe it will have a huge impact in the developing world, […]

  • Permalink Gallery

    The rise of the regulator may lead to trouble for the blockchain

The rise of the regulator may lead to trouble for the blockchain

In 2018, regulation forms an increasingly important part of our lives. The popular media and the political sphere are increasingly in favour of more regulation – and I think we can agree that it’s rare but interesting to see the press take a pro-red tape stance. This perceived need for increased regulation is due to the fact that in […]