Why Failure Can Be The Path To Success

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September marks the date that the aptly named Museum of Failure closes. It displayed more than 70 products and services from around the world. They included those from well-known brands such as a Harley-Davidson perfume, Bic for Her, the Apple Newton, Google Glass, and Kodak Digital Cameras.

We are all conditioned to laud, glorify and reward success. But it is, in fact, failure that teaches us far more. We learn all our basic skills – walking, talking, eating, riding a bike – from failing until we succeed. In fact, we never stop failing – and every time we do it breeds a better chance of success next time.

Many of the museum’s featured products represent brand over-extensions. Harley Davidson flopped with its “Hot Road” perfume – perhaps the “masculine fragrance with woody notes” was just a bit too leathery? And the “Bic for Her” range of pink pens provoked widespread online ridicule.

The Apple Newton may have been a product before its time, but the principles of an always on, always connected personal assistant to keep track of business and leisure is core in every one of the 41 million iPhones sold in Q3 2017. Google Glass was canned in 2015 but the augmented reality and virtual reality markets are still considered some of the hottest spaces in the current technology scene. Kodak ultimately failed in the digital photography market – but not before pioneering digital photography and creating the first million-pixel camera.

The point is that, while individual products might fail, the markets identified by these companies – mobile computing, digital photography, AR/VR – did not. True innovation requires learning from each failure—a skill that museum director Samuel West says, most companies fail to hone.

Brands will not always succeed, and products will fail. What is important is to encourage organisational cultures that respect both success and failure. There needs to be a principle of innovation, where new ideas are welcomed and challenge the status quo. By thinking outside the box and providing unique solutions, both customers and businesses will benefit.

Not every idea can succeed. Some will fizzle out, while others were never strong enough to begin with. Making mistakes can help to pave the way for future success.

The intended use of the Slinky, a popular children’s toy, was to keep fragile equipment steady on ships. Naval engineer Richard James developed the tool in 1943, but soon discovered its fun side when he knocked it off a table. Since then, the spring has found other uses – an antenna for soldiers in Vietnam and a therapy tool. The original concept was never realised, but the product found new life.

The idea for Post-it Notes was almost discarded completely. Inventor Spencer Silver was trying to develop a strong adhesive in 1968, and failed. He made an adhesive that would stick objects together, but could easily be pried apart. It took nearly ten years for today’s application of the sort-of-weak glue to be realised, but now we find it difficult to imagine an office without one.

We should not call these cases failures – failing would have been discarding the Post-it Note, or being too proud to see a new application for the Slinky. Instead, we should consider these cases research. If an organisation can cultivate the idea of success through failure, an environment can be created that learns how to turn failure into success.

Fake news worries ‘are growing’ suggests BBC poll

Fake News

There is growing concern among global net users about fake news online, according to a BBC World Service poll.

It also indicates mounting opposition to governments stepping in with regulation.

In the survey of 18 countries, 79% of respondents said they worried about what was fake and what was real on the internet.

But in only two countries, China and the UK, did a majority want their governments to regulate the internet.

The BBC carried out a similar survey in 2010.

Only 15 countries were covered by both polls. From this subset of respondents, 58% said the internet should never be regulated in the latest survey, up from 51% when the same question was asked seven years ago.

When it came to regulation, 67% of Chinese respondents now liked the idea, while opinion was more finely balanced in the UK, with 53% in favour.

The countries where people were most hostile to regulation were Greece with 84% and Nigeria, where 82% of people opposed the idea.

The survey of more than 16,000 adults was conducted by Globescan between January and April.

Hazy line

Concerns about what is real and what is not on the internet have mounted after a year in which the term fake news has become both commonplace and profitable, with false stories shared on Facebook earning their creators hefty sums through advertising.

Brazilians were most worried about the hazy line between the real and the fake, with 92% reporting some concern. In a number of other developing countries there was a high level of unease, with figures of 90% in Indonesia, 88% in Nigeria and 85% in Kenya.

Germany was the only nation surveyed where a narrow majority – 51% – said they were not worried about this issue. In the run-up to the country’s election there have been determined efforts in Germany to root out fake news.

Globescan’s chairman Doug Miller said: “These poll findings suggest that the era of ‘fake news’ may be as significant in reducing the credibility of on-line information as Edward Snowden’s 2013 National Security Agency (NSA) surveillance revelations were in reducing people’s comfort in expressing their opinions online.”

There is growing anxiety about expressing opinions online. In the 15 countries that have been regularly tracked in this poll, 53% felt unsafe doing this, compared to 49% in 2010.

But there was a marked difference between attitudes in the developed and developing world.

In Nigeria, Peru and China there were big majorities confident about expressing opinions, but in Europe and North America there was far more anxiety, with the French and the Greeks least likely to want to speak freely.

As global use of the internet grows, there also appears to be mounting enthusiasm for it to be seen as something to which everyone should be entitled. 53% of those questioned agreed that access to the internet should be a fundamental right, with much bigger majorities agreeing in Brazil, Greece and India.

The survey highlights some differences between men and women in attitudes to the internet. Men are still more likely to use it, with 78% saying they had been online in the last six months, compared to 71% of women.

And women were somewhat less likely than men to feel safe expressing their views online. That anxiety was most pronounced in developed countries. In France just 14% felt safe, whereas in the UK the figure was 36%, and in the USA 35%.

British women were also more concerned about fake content than men, and were more keen to see some regulation of the internet.

How the internet helped Labour at the general election

Co-founder of 'Who Targets Me', a browser plug-in that tracks how political parties target people with advertising on Facebook

The 2017 general election was the moment when the internet finally delivered on its long-awaited promise of having a big effect, both on how individual people voted and the overall outcome of the election.

A flood of young voters, many of whom had relatively low levels of political knowledge, used the internet to get news about the general election. This was crucial for boosting support for Labour and Jeremy Corbyn, according to new research on the dynamics of the 2017 vote.

In recent years, there has been talk about the power of the internet to affect elections. Ahead of the 2017 general election, some pointed to a growth of pro-Labour websites and online forums as a potentially powerful weapon in Labour’s arsenal.

Our study is one of the first to document how this online activity really did help Jeremy Corbyn and his party.

We’ve found that those who used the internet to get news about the general election were far more likely to have voted Labour. And we observed that those who used the internet less often to gather political news and information were much more likely to vote Conservative.

This relationship is true for the entire electorate and across all age groups.

And it continues to have a strong and positive effect on how people voted, even after we take into account a whole range of factors including age, gender, social class, party identification, how people voted in the referendum and levels of education.

Overall, among all respondents, our research suggests that 16% used the internet “a great deal” to get information about the election, 23% used it “a fair amount”, 23% “not very much” and 38% “not at all” or said they did not know.

However, those who use the internet more often were significantly more likely to vote Labour. Sixty-one per cent of those who used the internet “a great deal” to gather news about the general election opted for Labour, compared with only 21% who voted Conservative.

Conversely, 56% who said they used the internet “not at all” voted Conservative, while 30% opted for Labour.

How much people use the internet also correlates with voting patterns among older people. Again, those who said they use the internet a great deal were strongly pro-Labour and pro-Jeremy Corbyn.

These effects involve a combination of two factors: “mobilisation” (things that influence people to turn out and vote) and “persuasion” (things that influence their choice of party). Turnout among people aged 18-29 was up by an estimated 19% on the previous general election in 2015.

Our data shows that both the decision to vote and the choices these young people made at the polls were associated with the volume of news about the election that they consumed online.

Another effect that we find relates to how knowledgeable people are about politics. In our surveys, we tested people’s political knowledge by asking if eight randomly selected statements were true or false and then counted the number of correct answers.

The statements included assertions like: “The minimum voting age for UK general elections is now 16 years of age,” and “The chancellor of the Exchequer is responsible for setting interest rates in the UK.”

Though internet usage and political knowledge are only slightly linked, it is clear that, after rigorous statistical tests, how knowledgeable people are about politics had significant effects on how they voted.

If survey respondents were frequent internet users but did not know much about politics they tended to vote Labour. In contrast, if they weren’t internet savvy but knew a fair bit about politics, they tended to vote Conservative.

These effects held across all age groups for both Labour and the Conservatives, with the exception of pensioners in the case of the Tories. This means that those effects weren’t caused by the age of the respondent, which at first sight is the obvious explanation for differences in internet usage among the voters.

Put simply, political knowledge continues to have a strong effect on Labour and Conservative voting even after we take statistical account of all of “the usual suspects” that are used to explain voting – such as social class, age, gender income, people’s “left-right” placement and how they voted in the 2016 referendum.

The effects of internet usage and political knowledge work strongly through voters’ images of the party leaders. Even after we take account of a whole host of other things, like age and income, people with low political knowledge who used the internet to get their election news tended to like Jeremy Corbyn and dislike Theresa May.

For example, among those who said they used the internet “a great deal”, the average score for Jeremy Corbyn on a 0 (“really dislike”) to 10 (“really like”) scale is 6.4, whereas among those who said they did not use the internet at all, his average score is much lower, only 3.4.

The pattern for Theresa May is the opposite: her average score among those who used the internet a great deal is 2.9, whereas among those who did not use the net, her average is considerably higher, at 5.3.

For Jeremy Corbyn, political knowledge, the survey suggests, has a negative effect on feelings about the Labour leader while internet usage has a positive effect. For Theresa May, political knowledge has a positive effect on feelings about the Conservative Party leader while internet usage has a negative effect.

In contrast, people with high political knowledge who did not use the internet for general election news liked Mrs May and disliked Mr Corbyn.

About this piece

This analysis piece was commissioned by the BBC from experts working for outside organisations.

New BMW X2 SUV: teased at Milan Fashion Week ahead of 2018 launch

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We get another look at BMW’s new sporty X2 crossover’s shape before it hits the showrooms in 2018

The new BMW X2 has been shown-off again with a camouflaged car doing the rounds at Milan Fashion Week.

We’ve already seen plenty of spy shots of the forthcoming BMW X2with the most recent images revealing more of the roof line of the sporty new crossover. While the X2 will share its running gear with the X1, as well as the 2 Series Active Tourer and MINI Countryman, the newcomer will get a sportier look, with a swept-back windscreen and a smaller glass area than the more upright X1.

With a pared back diguise, it’s clear that the rear windows taper towards the back of the car, where the high-set tail-lights and small rear windscreen add to the sporty look.

Our spies also managed to get a glimpse of the interior, where BMW’s iDrive controller, a three-spoke steering wheel and the X1’s infotainment screen and climate controls were clearly visible, and it’s apparent that the X2’s interior won’t be a radical departure from the rest of the range.

The X2 is scheduled to appear in 2018, and it will slot into BMW’s crossover range between the X1 and X3. It will share its platform with the X1, so it will use the front-wheel-drive UKL structure also found under the 2 Series MPV and MINI Countryman. However, like top-spec versions of all these cars, xDrive four-wheel drive will be available.

These latest spy shots follow the leak earlier this year of renderings submitted to Japanese patent authorities that revealed the all-new member of BMW’s ‘X’ line-up of SUVs goes on sale in 2018.

Looking side on, the production X2 carries over a near identical profile, boasting the same lines and window openings – even the badge on the C-pillar will be carried over for production.

Changes at the rear are a bit more noticeable. The large, chunky bash plate of the concept, along with its two exhaust exits, has been changed. Instead a smaller skid plate is present, while basic models will get a modest single exhaust poking out of the rear. The taillights have also swollen in size.

The leaked renders complement the spy shots we’ve published of the X2, including pictures of this recent sighting at the Nurburgring. The race track location and sporty, low profile tyres strongly suggest that BMW is already hard at work prepping a performance variant of the X2.

The most basic versions of the new  X2 will share the X1’s petrol and diesel engines, which means all will be turbocharged and have four cylinders. While there may be a front-drive sDrive18d, most X2s will use xDrive four-wheel drive. 

The sportier M-developed high-performance version, which could be pictured here may be powered by an uprated version of the 2.0-litre petrol engine, and the car could carry the BMW M25i badge. 

We’ll see the finished X2 production car at the end of 2017, ahead of deliveries in 2018. Prices are expected to start at just under £30,000 to position the car between the current X1 and an all-new BMW X3, due for launch in mid-2017. 

The X2 will be the third Sports Activity Coupe to be launched by BMW, following on from the larger X6 and X4, although the Concept X2 does have a more practical look about it.

According to design boss Adrian van Hooydonk, the Concept X2 is designed as a vehicle that “combines enjoyment with practicality”, while Head of Design Karim Habib highlighted that the car “combines the fast-moving body languge and low-slung proportions of a coupe with the robust construction of an X model”.

Up front, there’s a large kidney grille flanked by slender headlights with a unique LED running light signature, while the big front bumper and silver lower trim give it a rugged SUV look. Further back, the low roof line and narrow windows are where the Concept X2 delivers on the coupe design cues, although it’s more like a hatch than sports car.

There are sharply angled C-pillars featuring BMW’s signature Hofmeister kink and a BMW roundel, which is a nod to sports cars such as the BMW CSL, which featured badges in the same place.

Wide wheelarches add some muscle, while the vast 21-inch wheels complete the car’s profile. At the back, the raked tailgate isn’t quite like the hatchback rear ends found on an X6 or X4, so the X2 should add more practicality despite its sleek styling.

From the rear, the Concept X2 features a centrally mounted BMW badge flanked by slender tail-lights, while the number plate is set into the bumper, similar in style to the BMW 1 Series hatch.

The Concept X2 is purely an exterior study with its blacked-out windows, but the production model is very likely to use the same cabin layout as the firm’s X1. The production version will be based on that car’s UKL2 platform that also underpins the firm’s 2 Series Active and Gran Tourer MPVs. This means that the X2 will be the fourth front-wheel drive BMW to join the line-up.

Are Samsung’s Smart TVs really spying on you?

 

Remember when Microsoft revealed Kinect would quietly listen to everything you said, causing the internet to erupt into furious, anti-Orwellian storm? Now it’s Samsung’s turn.

A passage from the company’s Smart TV privacy policy has been doing the rounds, revealing a small but concerning detail: “Please be aware that if your spoken words include personal or other sensitive information, that information will be among the data captured and transmitted to a third party through your use of Voice Recognition.”

The idea of our personal information being captured by any sort of technology should make anyone uncomfortable, but it’s that mention of a “third party” which is most disconcerting.

However, Samsung has tried to offer some reassurance. It told TechRadar it “does not retain voice data or sell it to third parties”.

“If a consumer consents and uses the voice recognition feature, voice data is provided to a third party during a requested voice command search. At that time, the voice data is sent to a server, which searches for the requested content then returns the desired content to the TV.”

Privacy party

It added: “Samsung takes consumer privacy very seriously. In all of our Smart TVs we employ industry-standard security safeguards and practices, including data encryption, to secure consumers’ personal information and prevent unauthorized collection or use.”

The company added that you’ll know if the voice recognition feature is active because a microphone icon will be present on the screen. Samsung also reminds us that the feature can be activated or deactivated by the user.

And of course, the TV owner can also disconnect the TV from the Wi-Fi network entirely, although that somewhat defeats the point of having a smart television.

That might help some people sleep more soundly at night, but as the Internet of Things starts to consume our daily lives, this certainly won’t be the last (or the worst) privacy scare.

MOT exemption for cars over 40 years old arrives in May 2018

MOT exemption for cars over 40 years old arrives in May 2018

The Department for Transport has announced that classic cars more than 40 years old will be exempt from MOT testing, with owners voluntarily electing for an MOT if they feel their car needs one.

Currently, only cars from before 1960 are exempt, which represents 197,000 cars on UK roads. The new rules will exempt a further 293,000 cars from MOTs.

The thinking behind the decision, according to the DfT, is that these cars are “usually maintained in good condition and used on few occasions”. The decision also eases concerns that garages may not be adequately testing cars over this age, as the modern MOT applies less to cars of this age.

The new date would also bring the age of cars exempt from MOTs in line with the exemption of road tax. The Government dismissed concerns that these cars pose a greater risk of failure than modern ones; cars registered in the interim period between the old exemption and the upcoming exemption have a substantially lower rate of failure than the national average.

“We consider the element of risk arising from taking vehicles over 40 years old out of the testing regime is small. The option for owners to submit their vehicles to a voluntary MOT test will remain and they will still, like all vehicle owners, need to ensure that they meet the legal requirement of keeping their vehicle in a roadworthy condition at all time.”

Of the 2217 respondents consulted for the proposal, more than half supported the suggested annual or biennial roadworthiness test for 40-year-old vehicles, checking the cars’ identity, brakes, steering, tyres and lights. The DfT has rejected this approach, saying: “Those owners who feel an annual check is needed will be able to submit their vehicles for a voluntary MOT.”

A stronger majority voted against exemption of vehicles aged 30 years or older from MOT tests; the DfT sided with the consultation on this proposal, citing accident data as well as the strong negative reaction from the public to this suggestion.

Apple iPhone X: The internet reacts

New iPhones

When Apple chief Tim Cook declared the iPhone X “the biggest leap forward since the first iPhone” at his latest launch extravaganza, you couldn’t help but wonder if he was referring to its features or its price.

With the top-end model costing £1,149, customers are paying a premium to swap their fingerprint sensor for a facial scanner and the ability to make an animated monkey or poo emoji copy their bemused looks.

In opting to refer to the model as “ten” rather than “x”, the firm has also thrown its naming convention into a bit of confusion – will there ever be an iPhone 9 – or indeed IX?

Of course, that’s a problem for another day. And the internet has had plenty else to chew over in the meantime…

Cnet

The two biggest questions for me focus on the iPhone X’s most daring design change, ditching the home button. Will it actually make the phone more convenient to use? And will using your face to unlock the phone benefit you, or is it just a workaround?

The Verge

The iPhone X may be the most powerful iPhone ever, but compared to almost any other Android flagships, it’s hard to pick out a category where it leads the pack – at least on paper when comparing raw specifications. But if Apple has shown one thing time and again with every iPhone generation, it’s that optimisation of hardware and software matter just as much – if not more.

Wall Street Journal

The iPhone X’s new design – a 5.8in, edge-to-edge display -has raised hopes that it can reverse Apple’s fortunes in China, where sales have fallen six straight quarters. Chinese consumers are more influenced by a phone’s appearance than consumers in other markets, and Apple had kept the same appearance for three years.

Bloomberg

A $1,000 iPhone could add as much as 6% to Apple’s 2018 earnings per share… but that depends on the iPhone X being a hit, and there’s more competition from lower-cost Chinese competitors such as Huawei and Xiaomi, which timed the introduction of their new phones around Apple’s launch to attract customers who may be deterred by the iPhone X’s price.

Slashgear

Apple has crafted a stunning new flagship. In a time when existing iPhones were starting to look a little – dare I say – pedestrian in comparison to what Samsung, LG, and others were doing in hardware, the iPhone X has accelerated through and can spar with the best of them.

Engadget

What did bother me a little more than expected were the bezels that run around the screen… Given that Apple’s competition has done an incredible job trimming the cruft from around their displays, I can’t help but feel that the iPhone X’s design doesn’t have the same kind of impact as, say, the Essential or Samsung’s recent Galaxys.

Wired

The very notion of using your face as the key to your digital secrets presents some fundamental problems… It’s very hard to hide your face from someone who wants to coerce you to unlock your phone, like a mugger, a customs agent, or a policeman who has just arrested you. In some cases, criminal suspects in the US can invoke the Fifth Amendment protections from self-incrimination to refuse to give up their phone’s passcode. That same protection doesn’t apply to your face.

Financial Times

All the focus today was on the innovations in the X.But it all made the new 8 look like a rather boring, “plain old” iPhone – and the price for that has just gone up $50 as well.

Techcrunch

The X is the best iPhone, no questions, and it’s quickly jumped to the top of the best phones, period. Yeah, it’s going to cost you, but you already knew that.

Mercedes-AMG E63 S Estate 4Matic+ 2017 review

What is it?

The Mercedes-AMG E63 S Estate might well be the car to dethrone the Audi RS6 as the quintessential modern-day super-wagon.

The Audi’s appeal lies in its handsome styling, massive grip, faultless stability and enormous straight-line performance. If the AMG can add some level of agility and on-the-limit precision to that set of attributes, it’ll swiftly unseat the Ingolstadt charger and assume the role of king of the super-estates.

The booted Merc uses the same drivetrain and underpinnings as the E63 S Saloon, which is probably, all things considered, the fastest and most dynamically competent four-door there has ever been. The engine is basically the same 4-litre twin-turbo ‘hot-vee’ V8 that powers great swathes of the AMG line-up these days – although not the dry-sump unit that’s found in the AMG GT sports car – offered here in 604bhp and 627lb ft guise. Mercedes quotes a frankly absurd 0-62mph time of 3.5sec.

The E63 is four-wheel drive now, of course, but it’ll still bonfire its rear boots in three-and-a-half seconds flat if you activate Drift mode, which simply decouples the front axle and disables the driver aids. The gearbox is a nine-speed automatic, rather than a twin-clutch, but the gearshifts are every bit as quick as you need them to be, given that this is a fast estate and not a dedicated sports car. The advantage of the E63’s transmission over a twin-clutch item is that it’s smoother in auto mode and much lighter too.

What’s it like?

With the rear seats folded flat, the E63 S Estate presents a ballroom-like 1820 litres of storage space, but it doesn’t come for free; all of that extra metal and glass add more than 100kg to the kerb weight. You have to punt the car especially hard down a narrow, winding road to identify the extra flab, but in the way the Estate takes a split second longer to haul itself from full roll in one direction to full roll the other, you can sense a degree of laziness that you don’t get in the Saloon.

But even so, high-performance estates haven’t ever been as agile or as downright fast along a twisting road as this before. There’s enough sheer grip, body control, steering precision and traction that you really can cover ground at sports car baiting speeds in the E63 S Estate, but crucially it also has a level of poise and even adjustability that the RS6 doesn’t offer.

Despite its standard-fit air suspension, the AMG never rides calmly or fluidly, though. There’s a constant secondary jiggle, a busy patter than never settles. Perhaps that’s just the inevitable trade-off on a car that weighs more than two tonnes and handles as capably as this one does. It isn’t the fidgety ride that raises doubts over the Mercedes’ long-distance comfort, however, but the unyielding seats. Winged and bolstered, they look as though they’ve been lifted directly out of the GT. They’re very supportive, but they’re also very firm and, after a couple of hours, your back will almost certainly start to complain.

Those are just about the only criticisms you can level at the E63 S Estate, though. At very high speeds on a sodden German autobahn, it was indomitable and utterly sure-footed, which makes its poise and agility on a back road all the more impressive. The engine, too, is responsive, enormously powerful and eager to rev out, while the £1000 sports exhaust teases some welcome character out of the V8.

Should I buy one?

With the £2595 premium package – which includes keyless-go, a glass roof, uprated stereo and ‘intelligent’ LED lights – and a handful of other goodies, our test car came in at a little under £100,000. Which, regardless of the performance and handling ability the car has, is a staggering sum of money.

Amazingly, though, it’s par for the course in this sector these days. The Mercedes-AMG E63 S Estate might well be the king of the high-performance load luggers, but you’ll need to be somewhere in line to the throne to afford one.

Mercedes-AMG E63 S Estate 4Matic+

Location Lydd, Kent On sale Now Price £90,490 Price as tested£96,930 Engine Twin-turbo V8, 3982cc, petrol Power 604bhp at 5750-6500rpm Torque 627lb ft at 2500-4500rpm Gearbox Nine-speed automatic Kerb weight 2060kg Top speed 155mph (limited) 0-62mph 3.5sec Economy 30.1mpg CO2 214g/km Rival Audi RS6

Apple suffers ‘major iPhone X leak’

Apple products

Details of new iPhones and other forthcoming Apple devices have been revealed via an apparent leak.

Two news sites were given access to an as-yet-unreleased version of the iOS operating system.

The code refers to an iPhone X in addition to two new iPhone 8 handsets. It also details facial recognition tech that acts both as an ID system and maps users’ expressions onto emojis.

One tech writer said it was the biggest leak of its kind to hit the firm.

Apple is holding a launch event at its new headquarters on Tuesday.

The California-based company takes great efforts to keep its technologies secret until its showcase events, and chief executive Tim Cook spoke in 2012 of the need to “double down” on concealment measures.

Some details about the new devices had, however, already been revealed in August, when Apple published some test code for its HomePod speakers.

But while that was thought to have been a mistake, it has been claimed that the latest leak was an intentional act of sabotage.

“As best I’ve been able to ascertain, these builds were available to download by anyone, but they were obscured by long, unguessable URLs [web addresses],” wrote John Gruber, a blogger known for his coverage of Apple.

“Someone within Apple leaked the list of URLs to 9to5Mac and MacRumors. I’m nearly certain this wasn’t a mistake, but rather a deliberate malicious act by a rogue Apple employee.”

Neither Mr Gruber nor the two Apple-related news sites have disclosed their sources.

However, the BBC has independently confirmed that an anonymous source provided the publications with links to iOS 11’s golden master (GM) code that downloaded the software from Apple’s own computer servers.

GM is a term commonly used by software firms to indicate that they believe a version of a product is ready for release.

“More surprises were spoiled by this leak than any leak in Apple history,” Mr Gruber added.

Apple could not be reached for comment.

Several developers are still scouring the leak for new features, but discoveries so far include:

  • a reference to iPhone X, which acts as fresh evidence that Apple intends to unveil a high-end model alongside more modest updates to its handset line
  • images of a new Apple Watch and AirPod headphones
  • a set-up process for Face ID – an alternative to the Touch ID system fingerprint system – that says it can be used to unlock handsets and make online purchases from Apple, among other uses
  • the introduction of Animoji – animated emoji characters that mirror a user’s captured facial expressions

It marks the second time in three months that the company seems to have been deliberately caught out by a staff member.

In June, an hour-long recording of an internal meeting – ironically about stopping leakers – was passed onto the Outline news site.

It revealed that Apple had hired ex-workers from the US National Security Agency (NSA), FBI and Secret Service to help catch tattletales.

“I have faith deep in my soul that if we hire smart people they’re gonna think about this, they’re gonna understand this, and ultimately they’re gonna do the right thing, and that’s to keep their mouth shut,” one senior Apple executive was heard to say.

One company watcher said that the scale of the leak meant Tuesday’s launch had lost some of its power to surprise.

“There will be an unbelievable effort within Apple to determine how this happened and I don’t envy the person that did it because there will be no forgiveness for it,” commented Ben Wood from the tech consultancy CCS Insight.

But he added that it was unlikely to affect sales or interest in the new devices.

“For other companies this might have huge impact on the effectiveness of their grand official launches, but for Apple there is such insatiable demand for even the smallest details and such an obsessive fan-following of its products that even a very detailed leak will do little to dampen the enthusiasm of bloggers and others to report its news,” he said.

Spectra gears up to disrupt the “broken Indian broadband market” with its rebranding

 

Spectranet has been one of India’s fastest fiber internet service provider covering Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, and Bangalore, for almost a decade. The Gurgaon based broadband provider was recently ranked by Netflix as the fastest ISP in India. And now, the company has undergone a massive rebranding as they gear up to more on the business to customer services, in addition to enterprise and businesses.

With a new brand, Spectra aspires to deliver not just speed but will also follow on three principles – Speed, Service, and Simplicity. The company will provide more services to its customers apart from being a high-speed internet with unlimited data usage, by bringing a new level of broadband experience to consumers.

Speaking to TechRadar India in an exclusive interaction, MD & CEO Udit Mehrotra explained Spectra’s vision going forward. “When we look at the market for broadband services, it is very broken, people don’t get a consistent experience”, said Mr. Mehrotra, as he explains how many of the current providers fail to deliver on what they promise.

“In the industry, we don’t even bother to put an asterisk on the brochures anymore, we just go ahead and lie to the customer”, added Mr. Mehrotra.  “When we say unlimited, that means throughout the month, irrespective of how much  you use, you continue to get the same service experience.”

Spectra aims to disrupt the broadband service industry by providing 100 Mbps speed across all its packages at affordable price points.”We don’t look at where everybody in India is, we look at where everybody else in Asian is, how can we do better than other Asian countries for that matter”, explained the CEO.

“Our approach to the market and customer has always been how to become an enabler rather than a limiter”, pointed Mehrotra.“ People don’t realize that the consumption of the data has been going up  so much, the same 5 minute YouTube video you once watched in 480p now consumes 100 times more data as the quality of the video has gone up to 4k”

The skeptic may question about the space broadband providers have in Indian internet space after the Jio revolution, which saw mobile data prices, especially 4G, being slashed at alarming rates. However, according to Mehrotra, the Jio revolution, in fact, was a positive factor. “What Jio has done is they have enabled millions and millions of Indians who never had access to good quality broadband at a very affordable price. Jio has finally brought affordability more in line with their aspiration, and now more and more people are talking about data.”

Shahnawaz Karim, GM of Marketing at Spectra was quick to point out that “in longer term people will want more reliability and predictability with the broadband network, which mobile broadbands does not’ provide, making broadband services an essential.”

In fact, Spectra is betting on reports that eventually, people even in grassroots levels, experiencing the internet for the first time are will be willing to pay for experience and quality of service, once internet became a necessary part of their daily lives.

Speaking on the rebranding, Udit Mehrotra says “our visions and actions have evolved over a decade, and a little over a year ago, we realized that there was a huge mismatch between how we looked and what we did. It was time to us to bring our look more in line with what we did, as a result today we have very crisp, clear, and sharp brand identity.  “

The rebranding efforts began from bottom up, with the old name Spectranet slashed to just Spectra.The company roped in Ochre, a brand and experience consultancy based in London and Dubai. Ochre had been working closely with the leadership team and customers to create the overall brand expression and experience strategy.

By renaming Spectranet to Spectra, the company aspires to become more than just a broadband service provider. It recently forged a partnership with content service provider Hungama.com and is also planning to add more content solutions for its customers to enjoy a wider range of services to its customers.