Planet Business

This week: ‘Big Bang Theory’ bucks, the Baby Shard and five new social networks

Image of the week: The ‘anti-selfie’

This is Tani Currin, marketing events manager for computer security software and hardware developer Sophos, and she's holding up an "anti-selfie" mask at this week's Black Hat hacker conference in Las Vegas. The mask is part of a privacy awareness marketing campaign, but Sophos isn't the only company involved in awareness-raising at elite Black Hat event.

Attendees were busy revealing all manner of online “vulnerabilities” – including how airplane systems can be hacked – at the two-day computer security conference, although a talk about how to unmask users of the internet privacy service Tor was pulled ahead of the hacker-gathering. Photograph: Steve Marcus/Reuters

In numbers: Overtime? What overtime?


Sum that LinkedIn has agreed to pay in wages and damages after regulators at the US Labour Department found it had failed to account for all of the hours worked by its employees.



Number of former and current employees in its US offices who will share the payout. LinkedIn has also agreed to clarify its policy on working “off the clock” hours (don’t do it).


Number of people who are members of LinkedIn, the online career networking company that has been known to send non-members an email or two.

The lexicon: Baby Shard

Goodbye Wapping, hello Baby Shard. Rupert Murdoch's newspaper business News UK and his book publisher Harper Collins have moved into a London office block near the pyramidal Shard skyscraper that is officially and unimaginatively known as The News Building.

This makes it sound like the building, designed by Italian architect Renzo Piano, is the place where the world's supply of news is stored in raw form. It also used to be called The Place, which is even more boring, so happily it is still widely referred to as the Baby Shard. The Murdoch empire has a 30-year lease on the building.

Getting to know: Jim Parsons, Johnny Galecki and Kaley Cuoco-Sweeting

Parsons, Galecki and Cuoco-Sweeting are US actors currently showcasing their comedic talents in The Big Bang Theory, for which they have just jointly negotiated a new mega-pay deal worth a reported $1 million an episode. As their contracts last for a further three seasons or 72 episodes, that’s a tidy sum coming their way.

All six cast members of NBC’s Friends previously negotiated $1 million-per-episode deals, and as the New York Times noted, adjusting for inflation, The Big Bang Theory trio would need to be taking home $1.3 million per episode to truly count themselves in the same league as Jennifer Aniston and company. So at least there’s still something to aim for if the CBS network series – the most popular comedy on US television – continues for more than three years.

The list: New social network apps

The good news for people who like socialising, networking and new things is that the app developers of this world are still chasing our registrations for all manner of ventures designed to both make the world a friendlier, smarter place and rid everyone of the need to ever be in a room with another person ever.

1 Bethere: "If you're on a night out with friends, keeping tabs of where everyone is and where they're going to be can be difficult," claim the people behind Bethere, "the going out network" that will prevent this stalkers' nightmare.

2 Emojicate: Emojicate is but one example of a social network where people communicate solely in emojis (emoticons and ideograms). Insert picture of what looks like a Lego man having a colonoscopy here.

3 Bubblews: Bubblews is the social network that it literally pays to be on: Bubblers get about a cent every time one of their bubbles – a post of at least 400 words – is liked, viewed or commented upon by other Bubblers.

4 Sulia: Forget the glorious mishmash of the average Twitter feed. On Sulia content is "organised into channels" where users elect to "trust" particular experts in particular subjects. It's more work than play this one.

5 Yo: This social network allows users to send the message "Yo" to one another, and er, that's about it, yo.