Emergent Breaking News

Click to view current status

As we all know the internet is probably the most prolific conveyor of rumours in the universe!

Well Craig Silverman (a fellow with the Tow Center for Digital Journalism at Columbia University) is researching this seriously and is on a mission “ …to conduct research into how news organizations deal with rumours and unconfirmed information,  and to identify best practices for how journalists can debunk misinformation.

The result will be a research paper published in 2015, which will be available for free online. I will also be a launching a public-facing website where anyone can view the data being collected for the project.”

The website is Emergent.info where you can check up on many of the latest rumours to ascertain their status in terms of True, False, Unverified.

You can also  click on:

  • a story to visit a page that visualizes the sources reporting the rumor, and a breakdown of social shares per source.
  • individual articles on the story page to see specific revision and social share data about that article.

You can also even tweet your “unconfirmed reports” @EmergentDotInfo and get updates on current rumours status.

UPDATE: New York Times (the Upshot) article – Why Rumors Outrace the Truth Online

For regular updates on the project register here.

The UK Tech Cool Brands they are a-changin’!

CoolBrands® published their latest assessment  (2014-2015) of the Coolest UK brands earlier this week.

“The UK’s CoolBrands are chosen by an Expert Council of influencers and members of the British public. Brands do not apply or pay to be considered. The entire selection process is independently administered by The Centre for Brand Analysis.”

The results (pdf) and the selection criteria and some selected Brands and the Expert Panel details appear on their site.

Many of the of the previous incumbents have fallen out of the top 20 including Twitter, BBC’s iPlayer (shame), and Spotify and as far as we can see Amazon has disappeared altogether!

In the top twenty, Techs have dropped by one to a mere 6 this year but continue to have 4 in the top ten with netflix replacing twitter.

Apple continues its dominance retaining the #1 spot but what of 2015 – we shall see!.

The overall Tech content has increased somewhat in that, on our wide definition, it looks as if just under 8% this year (47) of those considered come from this sector whereas previously it was nearer 6.5%.

The overall numbers have contracted from we reckon 712 last year to 610 currently.

Of the dozen or so new Tech entrants this year the ones which caught our eye (with CoolBrands categories) included:

The last two we are pleased to report are home grown, so as to speak.

We’ll leave you with (a) peak behind the scenes at Rockett St George’s …… and (b) an explanation from Mr & Mrs Smith!

Internet Sales down for third consecutive month

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) l published  at the end of last week the monthly retail sales figures for August (pdf) Full details  are available on the ONS site.

Overall figures showed an increase in sales volumes of  0.4% (including fuel) on last month which according to Bloomberg was in line with estimates. Rather than the weather the EU got some credit for an increase in high powered vacuum sales ahead of new restrictions coming into effect in the near future.

The ONS on their preferred quarterly view noted continuing significant growth ” This year-on-year increase is now the 17th month of consecutive year-on-year growth and when this is coupled with the 18 months of consecutive rolling 3-months on 3-months growth it would be true to say that the underlying picture is one of growth.”

All the internet figures we quote are now the new seasonally adjusted statistics issued by the ONS. January 2014 was the one year in six when an extra week occurs statistically and we have annotated our headline graph to show an approximately comparable level of sales.

Our Internet sales headlines:

  • Internet sales fall again at only 11% of all retail sales down from their all time high of 11.4% back in May.
  • Internet sales down for third month in a row and are now 2.6% below the May level (July & August both down by 1.3%)
  • Reduction is entirely in Non Store Retailing sector which includes the likes of Amazon and other wholly online retailers. The reduction from May is 8.2%. The rate of decrease seems to be accelerating and this month showed a reduction month on month of 12.8%.
  • Internet food sales continue at  their all time high levels and reached  £109.3 million and are over £100 million a week for the eleventh  consecutive month
  • For every £1 spent in the online retail sector 48 pence was spent on non-store retailing 37 pence in non food stores and 15 pence in food stores!
  • We do think the ONS needs to do more analysis of internet sales as already half are effectively categorised as sales by online retailers virtually irrespective of the underlying goods or services! These average YoY growth figures of over 20% but now show signs of  the beginning of negative growth

August and year to date stats for internet sales:

  • Months sales 11.0% (11.2% last month 10.6 % a year ago) of all retail sales
  • Monthly year on year increase of 8.3% (12.9% last month 21.9 % a year ago)
  • Year to date increase on 2013 is 12.1%
  • Moving Annual total increases (1) on July 2014 annualised +6.2% (2) on July 2013 +15.5%
  • The UK’s *largest online retailer is included in the group Non-store retailing and this sector shows growth of only 4.3% on 2013 this month and accounts for nearly 50% of all online retail sales. This is an area which SHOULD just grow & grow unless further analysis is undertaken of this channel!

The ONS words this month are:

Key points

The proportion of sales made online fell by 0.2% to account for 11.0% of all sales in August 2014. Despite this fall in the proportion of sales, the amount spent online increased by 8.3% in August 2014 compared with August 2013.  

Internet Sales

Seasonally adjusted Internet sales data are provided within this release. These seasonally adjusted estimates are published in the RSI internet tables and include:

  • A seasonally adjusted value index; and
  • Year-on-year and month-on-month growth rates.

Internet sales are estimates of how much was spent online through retailers across all store types in Great Britain. The reference year is 2010=100.

Key Points

  • Average weekly spending online in August 2014 was £707.7 million. This was an increase of 8.3% compared with August 2013.
  • The amount spent online accounted for 11.0% of all retail spending excluding automotive fuel, compared with 10.6% in August 2013.
  • The online spend in textile, clothing and footwear stores increased by 27.3% year-on-year, feedback from retailers suggested that this was due to orders for children’s fancy dress costumes.

Table 4 shows the year-on-year growth rates for total Internet sales by sector and the proportion of sales made online in each retail sector.

Table 4: Summary of Internet Statistics for August 2014 (seasonally adjusted)

We have added our annotations to the ONS table – The bold categories/ figures in the table are the primary constituents of the total (ie (a) + (b) + (c) = All retailing). Dept. stores, Textile etc, Household etc and Other stores are simply an analysis of (b) All non-food.

We have also added the weekly Internet sales figures by sector and the proportion they represent of all online sales.

Sector summary

The non-store retailing sector comprises of stalls and markets, mail order and those retailers that sell mainly online.

+ Whilst the ONS will not confirm the names of specific retailers within categories they did say that retailers selling wholly online with no physical outlets would be included in the Non store retailing category along with eg online  mail order retailers.

Click to enlarge

The moving annual total, which we report, moved up again (it has increased EVERY MONTH since January 2009  to an all time high of £36.7.billion an increase in the month  of  0.6% annualised 6.2%. The average this year is 13.1%. The long term compound average growth rate is around 23%.

The published weekly figure was £708 million which was well below our estimate but due to historic revisions the moving annual total came out just £0.1 billion below our estimate.

The average monthly increase this year is  now down to 0.5% and we are uncertain as to whether this is a continuing trend we’re looking for some recovery next month so we’re  going for £730 million in September and a moving annual total of close to £37 billion.

Click to enlarge

We have again included our experimental graph (e & o e!) showing the relative internet and non-internet, moving annual total, sales from late 2007 by month. As before it highlights that high street sales have been and continue to go nowhere! As, we have mentioned before, the Boston Consulting Group forecast  in their report (The $4.2 Trillion opportunity)  that this trend is likely to continue with the high streets market share contracting at around 2.75% a year from 2010 through 2016. Due to the exceptional 5 week month in Jan 2014 there is a 6 yearly jump to allow for the 53rd week!

Further details and explanations are either in the ONS release on the statistics or on their website. As previously mentioned a retail convention of a 4, 4, 5 week quarter is used by the ONS (March June September and December are 5 week months). To cater for the inconvenience of years not having 364 days every 6 years or so an extra week is included in the statistics. The ONS adds this in January which happened this year the previous one being in 2008.

Grab your dot uk domain rights and certificates NOW

Nominet have started (from September 16) to email all eligible uk domain registrants (ie that’s .co.uk .org.uk .me.uk etc domain owners) letting them know that:

  • The short .uk equivalent of their UK domain has been reserved for them
  • This reservation is free, and they are under no obligation to pay anything extra, unless they choose to register the short .uk domain with a registrar
  • Registrants should contact a domain registrar or hosting company if they wish to register the .uk domain. However, they have time to think about it as the reservation will last until 10 June 2019, provided they continue their existing domain registration.

Each email for some (practical?) reason will only list up to a maximum of 5 domain names but you can access their Online Services in any case where initially you can use the “… first time logging in “ facility to set up your own password after which a complete list of domains is accessible.

It has editing facilities and is we thought rather useful.

Other Nominet links that you may need (together with a repeat of the online Services facility are:

The, sort of, icing on the cake is that you can download your very own certificate signed by ….. Lesley Cowley the past Chief Executive of Nominet!

Whilst Nominet stress that the .uk rights will continue until June 2019 (as long as the domain name is continually registered) we think there is much to be said for grabbing them NOW! This will need to be done through your registrar.

Incidentally if as with ourselves certain domains were registered without one’s own email address as the contact point it will be appropriate to contact the registrar used to progress matters.

We haven’t yet received any of the promised emails but may update this post on discovery!

Stream stream stream – Internet TV is the future

Viacom today announced that they have reached an agreement with Sony to provide 22 channels to their upcoming Cloud-based TV service likely launching later this year in the US.

Sony’s cloud-based TV service will offer subscribers Internet-based live TV and video on demand from major programmers, including the following content from Viacom:

  • At least 22 Viacom linear networks at launch, including BET, CMT, Comedy Central, MTV, MTV2, Nickelodeon, Nick Jr., Nicktoons, Spike, TV Land and VH1, BET Gospel, Centric, Logo, CMT Pure Country, MTV Hits, MTV James, mtvU, Palladia, TeenNick, Vh1 Classic and Vh1 Soul and all available HD.
  • Authenticated access to hundreds of hours of programming on Viacom’s TV Everywhere websites and apps. Viacom currently offers TV Everywhere apps from Nickelodeon, MTV, Comedy Central, BET, VH1, CMT and Logo.
  • Viacom’s full video-on-demand package.

Almost as soon as this was announced rumours appeared that both Disney & Fox were considering following suit.

irdeto have also just done some research on viewing habits and both here and in the US it looks as if we are all increasingly watching internet TV and this is, unsurprisingly, most prevalent amongst the younger generation.

CNNIC Spots over half a billion Mobile Internet users in China


CaixinOnline using data from the China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC) are reporting that mobile internet users in China at June this year stood at 527 million of whom 480 million used smartphones. The total mobile internet access figures exceeded those accessing via a PC for the first time.

The year on year growth at 13.6% is well down on 2013 which was 19.6%. Further falls are anticipated as the market saturates.

Click to enlarge

Our header graphic is from a ping of all devices on the internet carried out by the Internet of Things search engine Shodan.

Here’s the mightily impressive full version.

Click to enlarge

Repurposing Loons aided by Drones

Following on from their drone experiments in Australia (Project Wing) Google are now explaining how they recover their balloons from their Project Loon.

You may recall that this is their “Internet for all” endeavour which they describe as follows:

“Project Loon balloons float in the stratosphere, twice as high as airplanes and the weather. In the stratosphere, there are many layers of wind, and each layer of wind varies in direction and speed. Loon balloons go where they’re needed by rising or descending into a layer of wind blowing in the desired direction of travel. People can connect to the balloon network using a special Internet antenna attached to their building. The signal bounces from this antenna up to the balloon network, and then down to the global Internet on Earth.”

The recovery process is aided by GPS and has they say come a long way from the early days when some poor Flight Operations Program Manager spending 2 days ooff the New Zealand coast fishing for a Loon.

We now have a concept of their drones collecting the loons on their return to earth!

We’ll leave you with their video:Images & video courtesy of Google.

DbD News from GDS

That’s Digital by Default news from the Government Digital Service

The electoral registration process  went online in June and the results so far look pretty impressive.

From their data over at Gov.uk  since the second week in June we reckon over 1.1 million applications have been received of which a staggering 81% have been digital. Our graphic shows the daily comparisons with, in general, “no data” applying at weekends for the paper forms (which we have simply zeroed).

We’ve had a quick look and it appears to be a remarkably simple system from a user viewpoint

In other news you can now renew your patent online.

We’ll leave you with the video:

Internet Food Sales still increasing midst Supermarket Price wars

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) published  the monthly retail sales figures for July towards the end of last week (pdf) Full details  are available on the ONS site.

Overall figures showed an increase in sales volumes of  0.5% (excluding fuel) on last month which according to Bloomberg was marginally ahead of expectations. Food pricing and competition figured as the value of sales fell by 1.3% in the month compared with 2013 which was the first time such a decrease has ever been reported. Incidentally internet food sales in July rose 10.9% compared with 2013.

The ONS on their preferred quarterly view noted continuing significant growth ” The three-month on previous three-month movement in the quantity bought showed continued growth for the seventeenth consecutive period increasing by 0.3%. This has been the longest period of sustained growth since November 2007.”

All the figures we quote are now the new seasonally adjusted statistics issued by the ONS. January 2014 was the one year in six when an extra week occurs statistically and we have annotated our headline graph to show an approximately comparable level of sales.

Our Internet sales headlines:

  • Internet food sales equal their all time high of £109 million again and are over £100 million a week for the tenth  consecutive month
  • July internet sales down 1.9% on June
  • For every £1 spent in the online retail sector 48 pence was spent on non-store retailing 37 pence in non food stores and 15 pence in food stores!
  • We do think the ONS needs to do more analysis of internet sales as already half are effectively categorised as sales by online retailers virtually irrespective of the underlying goods or services! These average YoY growth figures of over 20%

July and year to date stats for internet sales:

  • Months sales 11.2% (11.4% last month 10.3 % a year ago) of all retail sales
  • Monthly year on year increase of 11.2% (14.5% last month 10.7 % a year ago)
  • Year to date increase on 2013 is 13% of all retail sales
  • Moving Annual total increases (1) on June 2014 annualised +8.3% (2) on July 2013 +16.7%
  • The UK’s *largest online retailer is included in the group Non-store retailing and this sector shows growth of 11% on 2013 and accounts for nearly 50% of all online retail sales. This is an area which SHOULD just grow & grow unless further analysis is undertaken of this channel!

The ONS words this month are:

“Key Points

The amount spent online increased by 11.2% in July 2014 compared with July 2013 but decreased by 1.9% compared with June 2014.

Internet Sales in Detail

Seasonally adjusted Internet sales data are provided within this release. These seasonally adjusted estimates are published in the RSI internet tables (196 Kb Excel sheet) and include:

  • A seasonally adjusted value index; and
  • Year-on-year and month-on-month growth rates.

Internet sales are estimates of how much was spent online through retailers across all store types in Great Britain. The reference year is 2010=100.

Key Points

  • Average weekly spending online in July 2014 was £716.0 million. This was an increase of 11.2% compared with July 2013.
  • The amount spent online accounted for 11.2% of all retail spending excluding automotive fuel, compared with 10.3% in July 2013.
  • The online spend in department stores increased by 16.0% year-on-year, but decreased by 5.3% in the other stores sector.

Table 5 shows the year-on-year growth rates for total Internet sales by sector and the proportion of sales made online in each retail sector.

 Table 5: Summary of Internet Statistics for July 2014 (seasonally adjusted)Figure 5: Value of internet sales as a proportion of all retailing (excluding automotive fuel, seasonally adjusted) We have added our annotations to the ONS table – The bold categories/ figures in the table are the primary constituents of the total (ie (a) + (b) + (c) = All retailing). Dept. stores, Textile etc, Household etc and Other stores are simply an analysis of (b) All non-food.

We have also added the weekly Internet sales figures by sector and the proportion they represent of all online sales. Historically it looks as if we may have transposed the weekly sales figures for Household goods and Textiles this year. If you have a particular interest in this split if you get in touch we will provide you with restated tables.

Sector summary

The non-store retailing sector comprises of stalls and markets, mail order and those retailers that sell mainly online.

+ Whilst the ONS will not confirm the names of specific retailers within categories they did say that retailers selling wholly online with no physical outlets would be included in the Non store retailing category along with eg online  mail order retailers.

Click to enlarge

The moving annual total, which we report, moved up again (it has increased EVERY MONTH since January 2009  to an all time high of £36.5.billion an increase in the month  of  0.8% annualised 8.3%. The average this year is 14.4%. The long term compound average growth rate is around 23%.

Click to enlarge

The published weekly figure was £716 million which was well below our estimate but due to historic revisions the moving annual total came out just £0.1 billion below our estimate.

 

The average monthly increase this year is  now down to 0.7% but we’re looking for an uptick next month so we’re  going for £735-£740 million in August and a moving annual total of close to £36.8 billion

We have again included our experimental graph (e & o e!) showing the relative internet and non-internet, moving annual total, sales from late 2007 by month. As before it highlights that high street sales have been and continue to go nowhere! As, we have mentioned before, the Boston Consulting Group forecast  in their report (The $4.2 Trillion opportunity)  that this trend is likely to continue with the high streets market share contracting at around 2.75% a year from 2010 through 2016. Due to the exceptional 5 week month in Jan 2014 there is a 6 yearly jump to allow for the 53rd week!

Further details and explanations are either in the ONS release on the statistics or on their website. As previously mentioned a retail convention of a 4, 4, 5 week quarter is used by the ONS (March June September and December are 5 week months). To cater for the inconvenience of years not having 364 days every 6 years or so an extra week is included in the statistics. The ONS adds this in January which happened this year the previous one being in 2008.

Shopwalk Your Virtual Mall

Another, sort of, save the high street initiative has been launched earlier this month for Wrexham by Shopwalk3D.

Again, unsurprisingly, concentrating on the independents a virtual mall is created for you to visit consisting of all the subscribing shops and businesses. You navigate around to find the shop product or service required  and then visit their individual website and make your purchase.

They’re off to a good start with over twenty businesses in the mall.

The entrepreneur who devised the system, Nick Allen, has been assisted by Glyndŵr University through their Strategic Insight Programme (SIP).

We rather like the added community element of the Phlok system we mentioned before together with their loyalty card  but with further development perhaps we may see numerous virtual malls for us to explore and we might even encounter a bluetoothed mannequin!