Any Other Business - 28/01

Gabriella Griffith

GREAT British purveyor of wheaty goodness, Hovis, hit the headlines yesterday having had a large hunk of it sold off. But do you know where the name comes from? In 1890, the man behind the bread, Richard Smith, launched a competition to find a name and Hovis, which derives from “hominis vis” or “strength of man” was picked. Some other etymological company gems are: 1. JD Wetherspoon – the pub chain was named after JD from Dukes of Hazzard and founder Tim Martin’s teacher Mr Wetherspoon. 2. Starbucks – named after the Moby Dick character who loves coffee. 3. Google – comes from googol, the mathematical term for 1 × 10 to the power of 100. Er, cool.

THEā€ˆSELFIE has become a cultural norm - bringing us much hilarity (yes you, Cameron) and helping us to humour our vanity in a socially acceptable way. Well, now, a startup in Camden has put selfies to good use. Facebanx has developed a bank log-in system using your face and voice – yep, no more remembering passwords, just flashing your pearly whites, snapping a picture and saying hi. “Thank goodness for the selfie,” Facebanx CEO Matthew Silverstone told The Capitalist. “Everyone under 30 is accustomed to taking pictures of themselves, which helps us.” It’s hoped the product will reduce fraud as well as banish passwords. Facebanx, engaging some nominal determinism, has caught the attention of banks – although Silverstone won’t reveal names, he confirmed one high street bank has completed proof of concept testing. “We’re talking to most of the banks but those with newer legacy systems will find Facebanx easier to adopt.” We can think of a couple which might struggle, then.