The Wrap: 10 July

The Wrap: 10 July

Sim says sayonara

Some sad news from your humble technology editor. I've resigned from Idealog and am leaving the post in four weeks time.

Happier news, I'm headed to Kiwi cloud startup company Vend to lead its social media and community channels. I've written about Vend on numerous occasions and I guess the team's infectious green attitude rubbed off on me.

I'll miss what I do at Idealog – writing about Kiwi innovators every day is a fantastic way to spend a week. We're looking for some awesome business journalists to take the torch and run with the Idealog Tech section. If you knack for writing and know your way around New Zealand's digital economy, you ought to apply.

I've got three more newsletters to go, I'll try my best not to fill them up with pictures of cats wearing knitted mushroom costumes.

Xero hires the entire country (almost)

Another major numeric milestone reached by Xero this week, the company's chief executive Rod Drury says there have been 203 new hires in 2013 alone. 

According to a statement to the New Zealand Stock Exchange last week, Xero now has almost 500 staff. By the first quarter of 2014, it expects to add another 200. Our estimates suggest that by 2015, Xero will employ 5 million New Zealanders, including contracts with New Zealanders yet to be born.

Coup or no coup

Sometimes it feels like New Zealanders are desperate to partake in the kinds of political battles which are common overseas, whether for a false sense of political romanticism or from a national case of little brother syndrome.

Last night's political "spull" was a perfect example of this. It played out across Twitter like a masterful game of Chinese whispers, before being quashed by multiple sources.

It must be said, the New Zealand Listener's blow by blow account is probably a thousand times more entertaining than any real intraparty coup would ever be.

3D printing stretchy metal

Most common 3D printers use plastics to create objects. Plastic can be heated up and extruded to create different shapes, which then hardens as it cools quickly in room temperature. Most metals have a higher melting point, so can’t be used in 3D printing. New research from North Carolina State University shows how an oxide layer on top of the liquid metal can be used to strengthen the structure, while leaving its core as a liquid.

NC State’s solution could be used to create stretchable and “self-healing” wires and structures for advanced electronics.