Author Archives: Sharif Sakr

PiC intro video

PiC update: new projects, new team members, new video!

I’m beginning to get a feel for the rhythm of startup life. At first, when it’s all about creating a new piece of technology, your daily work is wonderfully calm, but tinged with the worry that no one will ever buy what you’re building. But then, if you’ve built something good, something that genuinely solves big […]

Do the same grades at different schools represent the same achievement?

Good recruiters should look at exam performance in context

I have no complaints about my career so far. Except perhaps for a scary six-month period, a couple of years after I left university, when I decided to get serious about finding work. I fired off a string of job applications but failed to get a single reply, let alone any invitations to interviews. I don’t think my failure […]

Children in Africa learning from tablet PCs

Hello progress, hello XPRIZE

I woke up this morning and started a brand new project in an entirely different area of technology. That’s a thrill in its own right, and I haven’t even got to the good part yet… I’m honoured to be working with the XPRIZE Foundation — a non-profit organisation that has helped to facilitate major tech accomplishments […]

Sharif Sakr talks about the Amazon Marketplace on Sky News

Offensive products on Amazon: It’s too easy to blame the platform

I was on Sky News over the weekend, talking about the channel’s discovery that Amazon has continued to profit from highly offensive goods sold via third-party sellers. The goods in question were very much like the “Keep calm and hit her” t-shirts that were first highlighted in 2013, except here the violent slogans were printed on coffee mugs instead […]

US military wants ‘cognitive fingerprinting’ for web users

I just did an interview with Pete Norman at Sky News, who’s covered a story that’s bound to ignite strong opinions: efforts by the US military to ID any web user simply by means of their speech or online behaviour (e.g., the way they use their mouse, keyboard or touchscreen). This sort of “cognitive fingerprinting” would apparently be so quick and […]

Sharif Sakr talking to TechCrunch

A successful launch for the YotaPhone 2

Okay, I’ve been away from this blog for a ridiculously long time, and I’m sorry. But I never turn up late without an excuse, and in this instance the blame lies entirely with the all-new YotaPhone 2. In my old life as a tech journalist, I always assumed that those on the industry side had it relatively […]

Who’s to blame when an Android game runs slowly or murders your battery?

I’ve just posted a guest blog over at Testroid, about the importance of testing for real-world performance and battery life — especially when you’re trying to figure out what sort of Android device should be able handle what sort of games. Pricing, spec sheets and synthetic benchmarks can’t really solve this: a cheaper device will often play some […]

Whatever happened to Wolfson Microelectronics?

I’ve long admired the audio chip maker, Wolfson Microelectronics, as have many people who appreciate good audio. But you won’t see the ‘W’ logo around for much longer, because the company has finally been acquired by its long-time American rival Cirrus Logic. If you’re interested in what happened to Wolfson, and why it failed to […]

Dual-screen YotaPhone

New blog, new beginning

The unthinkable has happened. I’ve left my amazing job and colleagues at Engadget in order to try something new. Rather than purely blogging, I’ll be offering commercial analysis and consultancy services under the banner of ViaTheWire, mainly focused on the mobile and chip industries. Rest assured that I won’t start waffling in corporatese. My firm intention […]