Monthly digest: July's hottest news

Imagine writing a blog in July without mentioning the weather or the football. There's probably one out there, but this isn't it. Aside from thronging beer gardens and sports-based disappointment, what has 2018's hottest month had to offer?

Mastercard did that thing that big companies do where they register a patent, which may or may not allude to a strategic move into a new area they may or may not make in the near or far future. All quite vague really. More definite though is Google's intention to work with New York blockchain startup, Digital Asset. Their CEO, Blythe Mathers, says that the partnership will "provide developers with a full stack solution so they can unleash the potential for web-paced innovation in blockchain."

Here's the big headlines...

Starling Bank 'revolutionise' debit card design

If the reactions I've had to my Monzo card are anything to go by, then luminous shades are in this season, and Starling Bank are capitalising on this with a newly designed debit card for the people. Not only have they adopted a fresh green/mint/cyan shade, but they've had the arguably clever idea to rotate the card's design by 90º. They're certainly not the first to do this, with First Direct using vertical text on their debit cards. But Starling's Art Director, Mark Day, says it's more than just a design choice; "Our lives are largely lived in portrait now, even down to how we use our phones. A bank card in portrait reflects how we actually use our cards today; it’s intuitive, instinctive, and in short: it’s just common sense."

Read more at City AM

 

Google Chrome 68 introduces encryption lockdown

Nearly half the web is not encrypted, and Google are taking a stand. Version 68 of their freeware browser, Chrome, will be clearly calling out which sites aren't https by default. The warning will inform visitors that an unsecured site should not be a place where you hand over passwords, payment details, or any other sensitive information. It may be obvious to you and I, but breaking down online security into clear and easy features like this are a welcome component in the wider topic of online privacy, which has been tumultuous in the last year to say the least.

What's so bad about http?

 

Photo by Fabio De Paola for the Guardian.

Jess White speaks to the Guardian about finding a career in tech

We're big Jess White fans at Kyan, not least because she spoke at our flagship conference WXG back in April, but for her great work in the development community and the Women in Tech movement. She recently spoke to the Guardian about her own career, and how finding a job in tech doesn't necessarily depend on experience or background. The tech industry is becoming more accessible, and we certainly agree with Jess' opinion that the low numbers of women in IT is in part due to the underwhelming computing curriculum that was prevalent in schools until recently. 

Read the full piece at the Guardian

 

Berners-Lee by London-based photographer Nadav Kander.

WTF, says Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the WWW

Want to feel old? Sir Tim invented the world wide web 30 years ago. Times flies. It feels like only yesterday I was adding a visitor counter and scrolling text to my Geocities page. The internet has been through a hell of a lot since it first became a household commodity. Understandably so, the creator is frustrated to see how it has evolved into a platform for fake news, mass surveillance, rampant advertising and dubious privacy practices. Tim is using his celebrity (sic) status and programming experience to build a brand-new platform, named 'Solid', to reclaim the web from corporations and return it to its democratic roots. A noble quest, which you can read more about in this detailed feature piece from Vanity Fair.

Come on, Tim

 

The new headquarters have been designed by architect Frank Gehry and partners.

Facebook increase their London footprint

Which leads us quite neatly into Facebook, who announced last week that they've acquired 600,000 sq. feet of new office space in Kings Cross, London – a huge move for the social media giant and an even huger greater opportunity for jobs in the city. The new building has space for up to 6,000 workstations, and sources have said that Facebook expect to hire 2,300 people by the end of the year, having hired 800 last year. Their London hub is home to much of the company's product development staff, specifically those building their 'Workplace' product, a collaborative platform for organisations.

Read more at Reuters

 

And in case you missed it...

We pulled together the best bits of London Fintech Week. Our events team descended into a former bank vault for Campus, which you can read about here. Kyan's in-house Elixir expert Ahmet put together an 'everything you need to know' about the programming language. And our Head of Development, Nick Linnell, reflected on what was our biggest upgrade ever for one of our longest-standing clients.

See you in August. Stay hydrated out there. ☀️