Apple loses out to Amazon as world’s most valuable brand

Still not number one.

Look around and decide what you value most.

Is your most precious element the highly stressed, lowly paid person who delivers packages to your door? Or could it be the iPhone that allowed you to order that package?

I only ask because my nasal tract has been buried in the 2020 BrandZ report that ranks the world’s most valuable brands.

BrandZ claims to be the world’s largest brand equity database, with millions of interviews and little data points that make up one vast, important whole. And what a whole.

The report’s authors, WPP’s Kantar, claim it measures the brands “making the largest absolute $ contribution to the total value of their respective parent companies, considering both current and projected performance.”

The future may look grim for some.

Apple has again somehow fallen short of Amazon to claim the ultimate crown. Which must so depress Cupertino, as

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Banks need to think like Google and not just follow it

Banks are going beyond acquiring and using technology from the likes of Google, Microsoft and Amazon by recruiting the brains to enable them to think like the tech giants.

Few industries can compete with Silicon Valley’s biggest in terms of salaries, but banks can, and are.

Santander, for example, is continuing to populate its senior management teams with executives from the IT supplier sector. Its latest recruits in the senior tech team include former Amazon executive Sebastian Gunningham, who has been appointed vice-chairman of digital banking subsidiary Openbank.

At the same time, Francisco D’Souza, co-founder of IT services giant Cognizant, was appointed group strategic adviser for the development of Santander’s global IT platform. These followed an announcement in March 2019 when the Spanish bank recruited Aiaz Kazi directly from Google as its chief platform officer.

Banks have for a long time been huge IT organisations, with the biggest often recruiting

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University of Melbourne and Cubic test AI camera to improve road safety


Image: Cubic Transportation Systems

The University of Melbourne and Cubic Transportation Systems have partnered to test how an artificial intelligence camera can be used to improve road user safety and traffic management.

As part of the project, seven cameras will be installed at various intersections along Melbourne’s Rathdowne Street, which is part of the Australian Integrated Multimodal Ecosystem (AIMES).

AIMES, which is led by the University of Melbourne, was established in 2016 to live-test various transport technology on the streets of Melbourne in a bid to deliver safer and sustainable urban transport outcomes.

The Gridsmart cameras, develop by Cubic, uses real-time computer vision to track and identify between different road users — including cars, motorbikes, cyclists, and pedestrians — while they pass into and through intersections.

According to AIMES director at the University of Melbourne Majid Sarvi, being able to detect the different road users, especially “vulnerable” road users such

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Orange Wholesale unveils eSIM first for France

Orange Wholesale France (OWF) has launched an embedded SIM (eSIM) for light mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs), partnering with Prixtel to become the first French MVNO to be supplied wholesale to offer such technology to its customers.

The eSIM is designed to remove physical SIM cards for improved user experience. With an eSIM, consumers will be able to manage new subscriptions – or transfer existing ones – to eSIM-enabled devices in seconds, without having to visit a retail store. The number of eSIM devices is predicted to increase rapidly, reaching billions of users in the next few years.

Ovum’s Device sales forecast report: 2019-24 predicted in January 2020 that this year, 5% of all smartphones will be eSIM, and that this number will increase to 20% by 2024.

The tech firm sees six key use cases for eSIM: connected devices, adding other devices to an existing bundle in a few

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IBM wants to stop a Brazilian senior executive from joining Microsoft

The new president for Latin America at Microsoft has not managed to start work as his former employer IBM has launched a court case to prevent him from doing so.

After resigning from IBM in mid-May, Rodrigo Kede Lima was supposed to start at Microsoft that same month, as previous incumbent, Cesar Cernuda, prepared to step down and start at cloud data services firm NetApp as president. Cernuda left last Wednesday (1) but Lima was still unable to take over as planned.

In its lawsuit against Lima, the Big Blue demands the repayment of USD 1.3 million in stock options and claims he is breaching his non-compete agreement whereby he had agreed to not seek employment at direct or indirect competitors for a period of 12 months after leaving the company.

The company argues that Lima, as “top 1% of IBM’s highest-ranking executives” would be inevitably exploiting contacts and knowledge

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Queensland designs heat mapping tool to prepare for the next natural disaster


Image: Queensland government

The Queensland government has developed an interactive web-based mapping tool to help local councils understand the risk, costs, and repeat damage of infrastructure ahead of the next natural disaster.

Developed by Queensland Reconstruction Authority (QRA), the Repeat Events and Dollars Index (REDI) uses data represented on a heat map to identify, calculate, and highlight the most frequent and costly damage sites during natural disaster events.  

According to the state government, the system is incorporated with almost 10 years of geocoded damage data — which has been derived from data submitted by councils, and those stored in multiple systems, databases, and files — that can be used to recognise more than 20,000 assets in the state’s 77 local government areas.

Treasurer and minister responsible for the QRA Cameron Dick said the application will give councils a clear picture of where future infrastructure investments should be made.

“The REDI

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