Planet Business: Central Bank items set for auction and crypto-currencies

Facebook’s moderation challenges and Dom Joly relives giant phone sketch

In numbers: Under the hammer


Items from the now former Central Bank building on Dame Street that were bought by antiques dealer Niall Mullen and will be sold at auction on May 30th.


The auction will include at least this number of art deco-style chrome and oak pieces of furniture designed for the building, completed in 1975, by architect Sam Stephenson.



Articulated lorries required to clear the recently vacated building of its contents, pot plants and all. "During the process I discovered a floor, Floor 7, that we didn't even know was there," Mullen told the Sunday Independent.

Image of the week: Reconnection

Kids today won't remember the original Trigger Happy TV, a Channel 4 sketch show from the early noughties, but never mind.

Many more people than actually watched the show will be familiar with its star, comedian Dom Joly, and his most famous sketch, the one in which he walked round busy places annoying everybody physically present by barking “hello?” and giving a full run-down of his activities into an oversized mobile, only to conclude “yeah, it’s rubbish”.

These were the pre-smartphone days when people a) still made phone calls and b) still looked where they were going, even if they were a bit loud about it. Anyhow, Joly was reunited with a giant phone this week for the release of the "retro" novelty Nokia 3310 at Carphone Warehouse in London. Yeah, it's rubbish.

The lexicon: FNRP

"FNRP" is Facebook code for "Fake, Not Real Person", according to documents leaked to the Guardian, which has delved into Facebook's eye-raising and seemingly haphazard approach to content moderation. (Guidelines on cannibalism? Tell us more.)

The key statistic is that the all-powerful social media giant reviews more than 6.5 million reports of potentially fake accounts every week.

Facebook has almost 2 billion users at the last official count, which given the population of the Earth is somewhere about 7 billion, is rather a lot of real/fake people to monitor.

Accusations it is not doing enough to tackle fake news, combined with concerns about the transparency of its advertising data, has prompted several fake account “purges” of late, but it seems there’s still plenty more spam in the sea.

Getting to know: James Hackett

Jim Hackett (62) is a fully autonomous furniture visionary turned car salesman. The new chief executive of Ford following the ousting of Mark Fields spent a couple of decades in charge at a US office furniture company Steelcase, where he led the trend away from such niceties as cubicles, persuading clients to take a more "open office" approach.

So, yes, thanks for your leadership there, Jim, that’s really helped a lot. (To be fair, Steelcase also retails “quiet spaces” to help soothe the open office misery of introverts and privacy-seekers.)

Hackett joined Ford last year as head of its smart mobility subsidiary – which includes the whole driverless vehicle and ride-sharing bits of Ford. That he’s now inherited all of Ford seems significant for its future direction.

The list: Crypto-currencies

Most people have by now heard of bitcoin, although for most people the stamps on their coffee shop loyalty cards are more of a bona fide currency. But bitcoin is not the only crypto-currency game in town. There’s a whole rake of ways to convert real money into internet money.

1. Ethereum: The second biggest crypto-currency, according to CoinDesk. It also has a version called “Ethereum Classic”.

2. Litecoin: One of the "altcoins" to Bitcoin, known as "silver" to its gold.

3. Ripple: OpenCoin’s crypto-currency wants people to break free of the “walled gardens” of financial networks.

4. NEM: One of the newer crypto-currencies, NEM is big in Japan.

5. Dash: This used to be known as “Darkcoin”, which – some might say – says it all.