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NICE publishes health technology standards
The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has published new standards which set out the requirements needed to develop digital health technologies for the NHS and speed uptake of products like healthcare apps and wearable devices. A statement from the body noted that the “digital revolution” is rapidly evolving and new technologies such as apps and wearable devices are emerging at a fast pace.
UNICEF announces first blockchain investments
Six companies in developing and emerging economies will receive investment from UNICEF's Innovation Fund to solve global challenges using blockchain technology. The fund will invest up to $100,000 in the six companies - Atix Labs, Onesmart, Prescrypto, Statwig, Utopixar and W3 Engineers - to deliver open-source prototypes of blockchain applications within 12-months.
Vehicle to vehicle comms to be in 62m cars by 2023
Over 62 million vehicles will be capable of vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communication by 2023, rising from just over 1.1 million in 2019, according to Juniper Research. This represents an average annual growth rate of 173 per cent over these four years, with the roll-out of 5G networks - anticipated to launch next year - being the key accelerant behind the expansion.
BoE uses automated detection to counter hacks
The Bank of England (BoE) has turned to automated technology in order to keep up with the growing threat of cyber attacks from rogue states, its heads of technology and infrastructure have told NTN.In an exclusive interview, Neal Semikin, head of technology infrastructure and security, and David Ferguson, a technology management principal, highlighted the critical role of new technologies and automated threat detection as they warned that the BoE is under regular attack from malicious actors and cyber criminals attempting to hack their systems.
Swisscom launches national infrastructure for blockchain
Swiss Post and Swisscom are building a secure and sustainable infrastructure for blockchain applications in Switzerland, both for their own services and for Swiss-based companies, using distributed ledger technology for a variety of verticals and applications.
O2 apologises as data outage affects millions
O2 is investigating a data outage across its network which has left millions of users unable to send and receive messages or access the internet from their smartphones.The telecoms network said a software issue has been identified as the cause of the data services failure which has affected customers of O2 as well as Sky Mobile, Tesco Mobile, Lyca Mobile and GiffGaff, which use O2’s infrastructure. O2 has 25 million customers in addition to 7 million at networks that rely on its infrastructure.
MPs encourage govt to explore quantum tech
The Science and Technology Committee’s report into quantum technologies has outlined how the National Quantum Technologies Programme should turn the UK’s quantum research into a world-leading industry. The inquiry concluded that quantum technologies offer the opportunity for significant economic growth and improved capabilities across most industry sectors.
Pindrop raises $90m for global expansion
Voice authentication firm Pindrop has closed a $90 million Series D funding round led by Vitruvian Partners. Other new strategic investors include Allegion Ventures, Cross Creek, Dimension Data, Singapore-based EDBI, and Goldman Sachs. Existing investors CapitalG, IVP, Andreessen Horowitz, GV - formerly Google Ventures - and Citi Ventures also invested in the round.
Vodafone survey reveals attitudes to ethical AI
Vodafone has released its predictions for the upcoming year, which include attitude to digital transformation, automation and the use of artificial intelligence technology.
Alphabet to launch drone delivery pilot in Europe
Google’s parent group Alphabet is to roll out its delivery drone technology to Europe with trial in Helsinki next spring. Alphabet’s drone company Wing announced plans to launch a small service trial of its twelve-propeller drones- capable of delivering packages of up to 1.5kg for up to 6.2 miles- in the Finnish city at an appearance at the Slush conference in Helsinki, the Telegraph reported.
Big data ‘spreads beyond IT and marketing’
The benefits of big data are spreading from IT and marketing teams to other departments like finance and sales, according to DLA Piper's 2018 Tech Index. The law firm commissioned Coleman Parkes Research to interview 350 executives from European technology firms, members of the investment community with a tech focus, and government officials focused on tech policy.
Cushman & Wakefield dives into PropTech
Global real estate firm Cushman & Wakefield has partnered with innovation and startup accelerator platform Plug and Play to invest in PropTech businesses. The Plug and Play Real Estate & Construction program launched earlier this year as a spin off from one of its oldest programs focused on the Internet of Things (IoT).
Nokia warns of malicious attacks on IoT devices
The use of malicious software to attack Internet of Things (IoT) devices, like smart home security monitoring systems, is rising substantially and growing more sophisticated as cyber criminals take advantage of lax security, Nokia's 2019 Threat Intelligence Report 2019 has warned. IoT botnet activity accounted for 78 per cent of malware detection events in communication service provider (CSP) networks in 2018, according to the report, which is based on data aggregated from monitoring network traffic this year on more than 150 million devices globally where Nokia's NetGuard Endpoint Security product is deployed.
4 industries to dominate Euro DX spend - IDC
European spending on technologies and services that enable the digital transformation (DX) of business practices, products, and organisations will reach $378 billion in 2022, according to IDC. Europe is the third largest geography for this spending, after the US and China.
Healthbot interactions to reach 2.8bn by 2023
Artificial intelligence-powered chatbots will soon become the first responders for peoples’ engagements with healthcare providers, as the number of chatbot interactions exceeds 2.8 billion annually by 2023. This is up from an estimated 21 million in 2018 - an average annual growth of 167 per cent - according to analysis from Juniper Research.
Monax launches smart contracts platform
Digital legal infrastructure company Monax has announced the private beta launch of the Monax Platform, the latest in its line of smart contract products. The platform is a collaborative workspace for businesses, legal and tech professionals, complete with market-ready smart contract templates available for individual or commercial use.
Microsoft partners Mastercard for digital identity solution
Microsoft and Mastercard are partnering for a new digital identity solution which offers internet users the option to dispense with multiple passwords and verify themselves instantly online. The software giant announced it was joining forces with the payments provider to develop a decentralised identity product that will alleviate the burden on individuals when it comes to providing digital or physical proof of identity as part of the online verification process.
MI6 head: Do not underestimate UK cyber defence
The head of MI6 has used a rare public speech to warn Russia and other state adversaries “not to underestimate” the UK’s cyber defence capabilities to counter emerging threats.In his second speech since becoming head of the Secret Intelligence Services in 2014, Alex Younger, known as chief of the agency or ‘C’, said that rogue states view themselves in a state of “perpetual confrontation” with the UK, but emphasised the UK was “well equipped” to respond.
Government seeks technology disability champion
As part of today’s International Day of Persons with Disabilities, the government is announcing that it will recruit a new technology disability champion to help tackle the issues disabled people face as consumers. The champion will use their status as a leader in the tech industry to raise awareness of the need for compatibility of mainstream products with assistive technology.
Tesco and VW partner for vehicle charging
Tesco and Volkswagen have partnered to develop the largest UK retail Electric Vehicle (EV) charging network. Customers will be able to charge their electric cars using a normal 7kW charger for free or a ‘rapid’ 50 kW charger, for a small cost in line with market rate. More than 2,400 EV charging bays will be installed by Pod Point across 600 Tesco stores within the next three years.
BlackBerry to help improve digital infrastructure for healthcare
BlackBerry has become a HIMSS Analytics Certified Consultant to help address the digital infrastructure needs of healthcare organisations around the world, with particular focus on cyber security issues. Working with HIMSS Analytics, Blackberry aims to provide healthcare providers with the critical information they need to provide a higher, more secure, level of care.
Marriott guest reservation system hacked
Another week, another data breach, this time concerning the Marriott hotel chain, which could affect up to 500 million of its guests. The Marriott hotel group says its guest reservation system has been hacked, potentially exposing the personal information of approximately 500 million guests. The hotel chain said the hack affects its Starwood reservation database, a group of hotels it bought in 2016 that includes the St Regis, Westin, Sheraton and W Hotels.
Majority of Brits unaware of smart city benefits
Almost 70 per cent of the UK public do not know what a smart city is or the benefits it can bring, according to a study of 1,000 people conducted by ATG Access. The research revealed that just over a quarter found the prospect of smart cities “worrying” due to a lack of available information on the topic.
GovTech Challenge combats rural isolation
Five small technology companies have been awarded up to £50,000 each under a GovTech Challenge to help tackle the problem of rural isolation and loneliness. Box Clever Digital, Enable International, GPC Systems, The Behavioural Insights Team and Zipabout will be given 12 weeks for research and development on the feasibility of technology platforms to match the supply and demand for transport in rural areas.
7 in 10 move to cloud despite cybersecurity fears
More than 70 per cent of businesses are planning to transfer their business functions to the cloud, despite rising fears over cybersecurity risks amongst IT professionals. A study of 1,200 senior IT decision makers from across the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region, commissioned by data centre provider Equinix, found that 71 per cent were gearing up to shift operations to the cloud in the coming years.
Amazon launches HealthTech solution
Amazon is making moves into the HealthTech space with the launch of Amazon Comprehend Medical, a new machine learning service that allows developers to process unstructured medical text and identify information such as patient diagnosis, treatments, dosages and symptoms. The innovation is aimed at helping health care providers, insurers, researchers and clinical trial investigators, as well as health care IT, biotech and pharmaceutical companies to improve clinical decision support, streamline clinical trials management and better address data privacy requirements.
Maximus to rollout smart hubs across UK
Smart city telecoms company Maximus Networks will next year deploy a £150 million network of interactive streetside hubs, promising to take the UK highs street into the digital age. In partnership with Trueform, the main supplier for Transport for London’s bus shelters and signage, Maximus plans to invest over £150 million in a national network of over 2,000 interactive streetside hubs across the UK.
UK energy markets set for paradigm shift: Atos
The energy and utilities sector is on the verge of a technological revolution that will see consumers increasingly engaged in their day-to-day energy needs, which alongside broader disruption, spells profound change for the industry. This is according to digital transformation business Atos, which launched a paper today suggesting utility providers are facing a race to transform, with those companies able to understand and respond to the rapidly evolving market being in the best position to win.
HPE to acquire BlueData for AI and big data boost
Hewlett Packard Enterprise has agreed to purchase BlueData, a provider of software that transforms how enterprises deploy AI and big data analytics. The deal expands HPE’s offerings to allow its customers to extract insights from data, whether on-premises, in the cloud, or in a hybrid architecture. BlueData, founded in 2012, enables accelerated insights from AI and big data with their as-a-service platform, expanding HPE’s offerings in rapidly growing markets
Digital transformation 'required to survive'
Almost 80 per cent of business leaders say digital transformation is a strategic priority and are keen to exploit its full potential, according to Vodafone. The telecoms company surveyed 2,001 business leaders across the UK, from sole traders to large enterprises and the public sector, finding that a fifth have already successfully implemented digital transformation projects. More than half believe they are making good progress (53 per cent) while 69 per cent recognise that their organisation will not survive if they fail to embrace digital transformation.
GM cuts 14,000 jobs in electric car shift
US car giant General Motors (GM) is to axe five plants and around 14,000 jobs in North America as part of plans to discountinue its more unpopular car brands in favour of electric and self-driving cars.GM said it would make the swingeing cuts to production in order to save $6 billion a year and double the resources spent on green and autonomous driving technology.
Atom Bank partners cloud platform Thought Machine
Mobile bank Atom has partnered with cloud platform Thought Machine for the next stage of its business banking and mortgage lending services. The digital bank has signed a multi-year partnership with the banking software FinTech to put its next generation of personal and business banking products onto the Thought Machine Vault platform.
Philippine Red Cross to employ Nokia drones
Nokia and mobile operator Smart Communications are collaborating with the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) to bring new technology like LTE-connected drones and a portable network into areas struck by disaster.
Uber fined £900k over data breach
Uber has been fined more than £900,000 by UK and Dutch regulators for failures relating to a 2016 cyberattack which left millions of customers’ personal data exposed. The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) slapped the ride hailing giant with a fine for £385,000 on top of a 600,000 Euro fine from the Dutch Data Protection Authority (DPA) for the breach, which compromised names, mobile phone numbers and email addresses of more than 57 million users worldwide.
First gene-edited babies born in China
A scientist in China claims to have created the world's first genetically-edited babies, sparking much online debate from the wider scientific and academic communities.
MPs seize Facebook docs in unprecedented move
MPs have taken the unprecedented threat of seizing highly sensitive Facebook documents as part of an inquiry into data privacy breaches related to the Cambridge Analytica scandal. The internal documents seized by the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee allegedly include communications from Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s chief executive.
RegTech SteelEye raises £5.7m to fuel growth
RegTech startup SteelEye has raised £5.7 million in its latest funding round, led by Illuminate Financial. The London-based startup, launched in October last year, uses cloud-based technology to help clients solve compliance challenges created by EU and UK regulation, including MiFID II, MAR, EMIR, Dodd Frank and other international regulatory obligations.
MPs investigate government digital service
The Commons Select Committee has called a session to investigate the UK’s Government Digital Service (GDS) department, scrutinising its initial strategies and objectives. On 27 November, Tom Loosemore, a partner at Public Digital and former deputy director of GDS, and Dafydd Vaughan, director at Cedryrn, will give evidence. The committee stated that it is looking to explore the challenges and successes that GDS has had, as well as assessing prior leadership and management.
Self-driving vehicle trial cities announced
People in London and Edinburgh will soon be the first in the UK to experience self-driving vehicle services as part of three new public trials announced by business and energy secretary Greg Clark. The projects will allow the public to ride autonomous buses on a 14-mile route across the Forth Bridge, as well as book self-driving taxis to travel around parts of London.
Vodafone claims European drone first
The telco has completed the first European trial of LTE mobile tracking and control technology for long distance drone flights, which cannot be achieved by conventional radar.
EU blockchain collaboration could drive ‘decentralised economy’
The emergence of international co-ordination on blockchain technologies is paving the way for the “decentralised economy" of the future, according the BBVA’s head of research and development.The Spanish banking group has become of the first five banks invited by the European Commission (EC) to join its forum event on blockchain technology.
Government ‘not future-proofing’ digital projects
Over half of government departments are seeing slow or partial progress in digitising their processes, with even less exploring automation, meaning many are not future-proofed to take advantage of emerging technologies. A survey undertaken by digital services provider Zaizi and GovNews Direct during August 2018 covered 119 individuals across 95 different central government departments, executive agencies, non-departmental public bodies and regulators – finding they are lacking the skills, expertise and vision needed to execute robust digital transformation projects.
Heathrow to introduce automation and self-healing technologies
The UK’s largest and busiest airport has signed an outsourcing agreement with IT company SITA to transform the management of the airport’s vast communication network into a smarter, automated service.
ISO publishes first ever drone standards
The International Standards Organisation (ISO) has released the first ever worldwide standards for the drone industry. The long-awaited rulebook has been developed after several years of collaboration between standards institutions from across the world and is expected to trigger an acceleration of growth within the drone industry. The standards should now guide how drones are used safely and effectively in a framework of regulatory compliance.
Lexus teams with IBM for AI scripted ad
Lexus has teamed up with IBM Watson, an Oscar-winning director and London agencies to create the world’s first car advert scripted by artificial intelligence (AI). The latest advert for the luxury car maker’s ES executive sedan was developed by feeding data from multiple sources, including award-winning luxury adverts from the past 15 years and research on human emotional responses into IBM’s Watson AI engine to generate a script.
Vision Direct customers’ data exposed in hack
The personal and credit card details of thousands of customers of Vision Direct have been exposed following a major hack on the online contact delivery service.Vision Direct confirmed that customers entering their details onto its website between 3 and 8 November could have had their credit card numbers, expiration dates and CVV codes stolen, with 16,300 customers potentially affected.
France-IX adds three new sellers
Expereo, HOPUS and Net1C join the French internet peering service provider to also bring a European industry first, to nearly 400 France-IX members. The new sellers, which have been selected for their added value and innovation, are managed Internet network provider, Expereo, partial transit service provider, HOPUS and telecoms carrier, Net1C.
Equinix to build £90m UK data centre
Data infrastructure firm Equinix is pumping £90 million into an upgrade of its data centre in London to keep up with demand from the UK’s digital economy. The new International Business Exchange Centre will be built at Equinix’s existing London Slough campus. Equinix said the new centre will provide the increasing data infrastructure needed by City firms to support IT transformation initiatives and increasing adoption of cloud-based technologies.
Action needed on 'devastating' cyber threat: report
The government is failing to move quickly enough to counter the threat of a “potentially devastating” cyber attack on the UK’s critical national infrastructure, a parliamentary committee has warned. A report published today by the Joint Committee on National Security Strategy has warned of the potential consequences of a major cyber hack on key sectors including energy, health services, transport and water that could pose a threat to national security.
Costa joins Barclaycard for ‘contactless cup’
Costa Coffee has partnered with Barclaycard to launch the UK’s first reusable contactless coffee cup.Available in Costa Coffee stores later this month, the ‘Clever Cup’ is powered by bPay by Barclaycard technology, letting users track their spending, top up their balance and take control to block or cancel the contactless payment element online or using the dedicated bPay app.
BlackBerry and Oracle make acquisitions
BlackBerry has agreed to buy Cylance, an AI software specialist, for $1.4 billion in cash. Meanwhile, Oracle buys an SD-WAN provider.
Telefonica embraces blockchain
Spanish operator Telefonica has teamed IBM on a project to use blockchain technology to streamline the telco's business processes. The application of blockchain will initially focus on improving the reliability and transparency of information collected by different networks when routing international calls. Beyond voice, Telefonica believes the technology can be applied to many other areas of its activity, helping to build a "trustworthy network of peers" that are involved in the delivery of various services.
Data flow alignment under PM's Brexit deal
Financial services providers can expect free movement of capital and payments along with alignment in data flows after Brexit under an outline deal put forward by Theresa May, which has prompted a cautiously optimistic response from The City. The details of plans for financial services set out in the government’s proposed Brexit withdrawal agreement last night include a ‘political declaration’ highlighting the importance of the financial sector to the UK economy and outlines close alignment and equivalence arrangements when it comes to regulation and data flows between the UK and EU after Brexit.
EE names first UK cities to get 5G
London, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Belfast, Birmingham and Manchester will be the first UK cities to receive a 5G network by the middle of 2019, deployed by mobile operator EE. After years of trials, the next generation network is finally becoming a reality, after regulator Ofcom announced the winners of 5G spectrum in March – an auction which made £1.4 billion for the government.
IMF says central banks could issue digital money
The head of the International Monetary Fund Christine Lagarde has raised the prospect of central banks around the world issuing their own digital currencies.Speaking at an event in Singapore this morning, the BBC reported that Ms Lagarde addressed concerns raised by regulators over the growth of digital currencies such as Bitcoin, which allows for unregulated and anonymous transfers of value between digital wallets, leaving the door open to criminal uses.
Report reveals ‘significant lack’ of women in tech
A new report has revealed a “significant lack” of women across the technology sector, while Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) leaders are underrepresented compared to the wider population. Inclusive Boards analysed the gender, ethnicity and socioeconomic profiles of boards of directors and executives in the 500 top tech firms ranked by reported annual turnover, including 1,882 senior executives and 1,696 board members.
Volkswagen could build up to 50 million electric cars
Volkswagen is drawing up plans to take on the likes of Tesla by building up to 50 million electric cars on its new platform and expanding its US manufacturing operations, its chief executive has said. Speaking to Automotive News, Herbert Diess is quoted as saying that the German automobile giant had set up a plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee, to assist with the company’s plans for US growth.
In-vehicle payments push IoT transactions to $410bn by 2023
The Internet of Things (IoT) payments market will grow at an average of 75 per cent per annum over the next five years – rising from $24.5 billion in 2018 to $410 billion by 2023. The figures are from market analysis by Juniper Research, which explained that the biggest growth will come from in-vehicle payments – mostly be payments for fuel and tolls.
Ceph Foundation set up for open source storage
The Linux Foundation has embraced the newly established Ceph Foundation to advance open source storage across cloud and enterprises. The Ceph project develops a unified distributed storage system providing applications with object, block, and file system interfaces. Ceph is used by cloud providers and enterprises around the world, including financial institutions and cloud service providers.
MedTech uses blockchain for cancer screening
Lancor Scientific, a UK-based MedTech startup, has secured backing from the Austrian government to develop a cancer screening method that uses artificial intelligence (AI) and blockchain to achieve 90 per cent accuracy rates. Lancor will open a new cancer research laboratory in Graz, Austria in partnership with the Technical University of Graz, the medicial university of Graz and Sigmund Freud University in Vienna, to lead trials on cancer screening.
Moneybrain to launch asset-backed crypto token
Comparison site Moneybrain has today announced the launch of a new asset-backed utility token.The BiPS Token, created in collaboration with JustUs, Moneybrain’s peer-to-peer sister company, is understood to be the first asset-backed token created and minted by an Financial Conduct Authority-regulated authority.
SAP buys Qualtrics for $8bn
Software group SAP has acquired experience management SaaS specialist Qualtrics for $8 billion. The Qualtrics XM Platform collects feedback and data across four business areas, namely customers, employees, product, and brand, and so help their business customers design the experiences they want to deliver. The company expects revenues for the full year of over $400 million.
Brexit Britain still attracting tech professionals
Brexit uncertainty has so far barely dented the UK’s ability to attract high-skilled technology professionals from abroad, according to new analysis by Indeed. The job site’s data showed that one in 10 enquiries about currently available British tech jobs comes from jobseekers outside the UK. Tech-related roles are especially popular among non-EU jobseekers, and three of the four most in-demand UK jobs among high-skilled global jobseekers are in technology.
AO World buys Mobile Phones Direct
Online electrical retailer AO World has conditionally agreed to acquire online-only phone retailer Mobile Phones Direct for £32.5 million. According to a statement, the deal will significantly increase the scale and sophistication of AO’s mobile proposition, which is currently limited to the sale of handsets only, without airtime or associated services.
Banks take part in BoE’s cyberattack ‘war game’
The Bank of England (BoE) is conducting a cyber security ‘war gaming’ exercise with banks and financial institutions today to test the UK’s resilience in the face of a major cyber attack.
Around 40 firms, including the UK’s biggest banks, are to take part in the one-day drill, which will simulate the impact of a major cyber attack. Around 40 firms, including the UK’s biggest banks, are to take part in the one-day drill, which will simulate the impact of a major cyber attack. It will test response times for protection of data, recovery of internal systems and public relations strategies designed to reassure the public after a major breach.
IBM partners for blockchain counterfeiting solution
IBM is partnering with data storage firm Seagate Technologies to develop a blockchain solution to product counterfeiting.The joint project is focussed on using distributed ledger technology (DLT) to prevent the growing use of counterfeit hard drives. Global trade in counterfeit and pirated electronic products has reached more than $1.7 trillion in value, according to the figures from the International Anti-Counterfeiting Coalition.
China’s first AI news presenter
Xinhua News claims the newsreader can help reduce news production costs and could herald the future of breaking news.
Three UK commits to £2bn 5G investment
Three UK has completed a number of key steps in its network improvement programme, as part of a wider £2 billion infrastructure investment, in preparation for the advent of 5G. The 5G technology will provide capacity to meet the anticipated future demand for data, with UK consumers expected to be using 13 times more mobile data in 2025 than today.
Lending platform Zopa raises £60m
Peer-to-peer lending platform Zopa has closed its latest fundraising round at £60m, making it the largest raise for the company yet. Zopa, one of the UK’s so-called ‘big three’ peer-to-peer lenders, said it will put the funds towards planning for the launch of a full 'next generation' banking operation.
Volkswagen accelerates quantum computing research
The Volkswagen Group has announced a new breakthrough in the race towards public transport and taxi solutions powered by quantum computing.The German automobile group revealed it has developed a new quantum algorithm which could be applied to public transport and traffic management systems to drive efficiencies and minimise waiting times for passengers, particularly with the anticipated arrival of autonomous vehicles.
Tech giants should be regulated: ICO chief
Social media platforms such as Facebook and data handling firms like Cambridge Analytica have demonstrated a “disturbing lack of disrespect” for voters’ personal data and should be subject to a new regulatory model, the UK’s information commissioner has said. In an appearance before MPs on the digital, culture, media and sport committee focussed on fake news, Elizabeth Denham said she had been “astounded” by the levels of data held by the likes of Facebook.
Gartner’s top 10 IoT technologies and trends
Gartner today highlights the top strategic Internet of Things technology trends that will drive digital business innovation from 2018 through 2023, from AI through data broking.
UK leads the way in European tech funding
The UK is leading the boom in European funding for tech firms, with a total of €829.9 million injected into early stage companies in the last three years. Figures released jointly by Stripe, Tech.eu and Techstars at Lisbon’s Web Summit show that investment in early stage technology (EST) startups in Europe has increased four-fold since 2015, up from €875 million in the first six months of 2015 to more than €3.6 billion in 2018.
PropTech platform revenues to hit $6.5bn by 2023
Revenues generated for vendors by PropTech rental platforms will reach $6.5 billion by 2023, up from an estimated $290 million in 2018, according to Juniper Research. The firm’s analysis suggested that online rental platforms such as Flip and Avail are rapidly gaining traction in the rental market, by enabling landlords and tenants alike to deal with high charges and complicated agent processes.
UK government investigates personalised pricing data
The government is launching research into the way online retailers are using personal data to target consumers through personalised pricing.The joint project with the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) is in response to concerns about use of customer data such as geography and marital status to determine dynamic pricing, which some consumer groups have warned could lead to shoppers being ripped off.
Ranplan wins contract for smart city congestion
Ranplan Wireless has received £300,000 funding over a two-year period from Innovate UK to develop a data analytics platform that can be used to predict and manage congestion in smart cities. Innovate UK is part of UK Research and Innovation funded by the government to drive productivity and economic growth through new ideas and technologies.
Neural supercomputer goes operational
A “human brain” advanced supercomputer with 1 million processors is being switched on for first time. The power should open some interesting new use cases.
Vizolution lands £10m from top European banks
UK software startup Vizolution has landed a total of £10 million funding from HSBC, RBS and Santander to grow its customer experience technology business.The UK-based Software-as-a-service (SaaS) firm secured the funding from three of the largest European banks following a successful period as clients of Vizolution.
£235m for quantum computing centre in UK
The Government is set to establish a new National Quantum Computing Centre as part of a £235 million boost for UK efforts to build the world’s first universal quantum computer.
Following on from the funding announced for the technology and digital industries in this week’s Budget, the UK government has outlined plans for the UK to become a world leader in quantum technologies.
New regulation pushes IT failures to the fore
Regulatory action on operational resilience within financial services firms is likely to increase the urgency with which IT and data security work is considered at board level, according to experts.In July, the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) and Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) published a joint discussion paper on an approach to improve the operational resilience of firms and financial market infrastructure, in the wake of scandals involving the likes of TSB and Visa.
UK business not ready for AI future, says Microsoft report
A new report from Microsoft on the future of artificial intelligence (AI) has revealed that two out of five industry leaders believe their current business models will disappear in the next five years due to the pace of digital disruption.A study of more than 1,000 business leaders and 4,000 employees conducted by YouGov and Goldsmiths University of London collected data on AI-adoption from across a range of British industries.
Nationwide digital chief: API market 'immature'
The market for API-driven financial services such as Open Banking is still in the “immature” stages of development, according to Nationwide’s head of digital and mobile. At an event organised by cloud platform service Amazon Web Services yesterday, James Smith, director of mobile and digital at Nationwide Building Society, said his organisation was currently at the iterative, testing phase for a number of API integrated products as part of a £4.1 billion technology transformation planned for the next five years.
Telefonica commits to ethical
Spanish telco Telefónica says it is one of the first companies in the world to have ethical Artificial Intelligence guidelines to guarantee a positive impact on society.
Eight out of 10 would use biometric payment cards
Eight out of ten UK banking customers would opt for biometric payment cards for increased security, according to a new study.A survey of 821 UK cardholders for digital security firm Gemalto revealed that more that half (54 per cent) would be ready to use biometric fingerprint scan cards if they were available from their bank, and 83 per cent said it would become their preferred payment card.
DCMS consults on Gigabit proposals
The UK Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport has opened two consultations aimed at boosting the country’s gigabit connectivity and transitioning to next generation full fibre connections.
Hammond targets tech giants with 2% digital tax
The UK government has announced a digital services tax on the revenues of big tech giants aimed at raising £400 million a year. Setting out his 2018 Budget, Philip Hammond, the chancellor of the exchequer announced that a narrowly targeted group of “established tech giants” will be taxed two per cent on the money they make from UK users from 2020.
Facebook removes Iranian fake news accounts
Facebook has removed a number of Iran-based group and accounts suspected of trying to spread false information to users in the UK and US.In a statement posted to Facebook’s blog page, the company's head of cybersecurity policy Nathaniel Gleicher said the 82 posts taken down concerned “politically charged” topics such as race relations, opposition to US president Donald Trump and immigration.
IBM buys Red Hat for record $34 billion
IBM has agreed to buy open source cloud software provider Red Hat for a record tech acquisition price of approximately $34 billion. A statement explained that the deal - approved by both boards, but still subject to shareholder and regulatory approval - will accelerate IBM’s revenue growth, gross margin and free cash flow within 12 months of closing, estimated during the latter half of next year.
Startup drives water-fuelled electric car
A tech startup based in Australia and Israel is set to launch a fuel that uses water to power electric vehicles. Electriq-Global has developed a technology that extracts hydrogen from water-based fuel and uses it to create electricity to power green vehicles.
Tesla Model 3 on sale in UK by mid-2019
Tesla’s Model 3 electric car will be available in the UK from 2019, Elon Musk said yesterday.
The firm’s controversial chief executive made the surprise announcement in a series of Tweets yesterday, which confirmed that UK consumers can expect that the Model 3 - the US company’s most affordable model - will be available “around mid 2019” in Australia and the UK.
UK company set to launch 200 nanosatellites
A UK aerospace company has announced plans to launch 200 nano-satellites into the atmosphere above the equator, as part of plans to expand affordable communications services.Sky and Space Global (SAS) has started the construction and integration phase of its network of satellites known as ‘Pearls’, with a view to sending the first cluster into orbit above the world’s equatorial regions in 2019. The nano-satellites will be deployed in a series of clusters until all 200 are operational by 2020.
British Airways discovers second data hack
British Airways has discovered that 185,000 more customer accounts than originally thought could have been compromised by cybercriminals who stole personal data including payment card details during a series of breaches earlier this year. Last night, the company confirmed that internal investigations into the theft since the first breach was uncovered in September had revealed that the holders of an additional 77,000 customers could have had their card information - including numbers and expiry dates - compromised in a newly discovered hack that took place between April and July.
Heating tech turns nappies into energy
A new heating technology, backed by boiler manufacturer BAXI, has released the results of an independent scrutiny report that demonstrates its advantages over traditional waste processing in terms of environmental impact. The HERU converts plastics, food waste, nappies and cardboard into energy to heat a domestic boiler and could save each household 1,200 kg of CO2 per year.
ICO fines Facebook £500,000
The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has fined Facebook £500,000 for serious breaches of data protection law. In July, the ICO issued a Notice of Intent to fine Facebook as part of a wide-ranging investigation into the use of data analytics for political purposes.
Worldpay's Jansen named new BT CEO
BT Group has appointed Worldpay's Philip Jansen as CEO, who will be taking over at the British telecoms operator early next year.
Apple boss calls for US version of GDPR
Apple’s chief executive has called for a federal privacy law in the US and took a swipe at the how social media companies have treated personal data. Speaking at the International Conference of Data Protection and Privacy Commissioners in Europe, Tim Cook said he admired much about the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), suggesting something similar should be adopted across the pond.
Goldman-backed broadband provider’s £2.5bn rollout
Goldman Sachs-backed broadband operator CityFibre is investing £2.5 billion in fibre networks to take on established telecoms players BT and Virgin Media. CityFibre said the £2.5 billion ($3.25 billion) cash injection would be used to roll out ultra-fast broadband to as many as 5 million homes in 37 towns and cities across the UK including Bristol, Glasgow and Manchester.
HTC unveils blockchain smartphone
The Asian mobile phone manufacturer has started taking orders for its new blockchain-based smartphone, enabling payment in cryptocurrencies, and more besides.
Carney calls for protections from AI disruption
The governor of the Bank of England has called for protections for workers from the pace of technological changes such as artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning. In a lecture given to a conference on machine learning and the global economy at the University of Toronto yesterday, Mark Carney outlined the role businesses and governments will need to take to ensure that workers do not fall victim to social divisions created by technological disruption.
Identity theft tops Brits' security concerns
The 2018 Unisys Security Index has revealed that identity theft as the top worry for UK citizens, with 56 per cent of respondents saying they were very or extremely concerned. It also found high levels of concern relating to sharing personal data with third parties and via social media, along with a strong desire to share some medical data with doctors, and personal location data with the police in emergency situations.
Dyson to make electric cars in Singapore
Dyson will construct its first advanced automotive manufacturing facility in Singapore, with construction beginning next month and completion scheduled for 2020. Chief executive Jim Rowan said that while progress is being made on the production facilities at Hullavington Airfield in Wiltshire, “clearly we now need to move quickly towards manufacturing and assembly”.
Morrisons loses data breach appeal
Morrisons is facing a potentially massive payout after losing an appeal in the High Court against a ruling from December 2017 which found the supermarket chain legally responsible for a data breach in 2014. The result paves the way for compensation claims by 5,518 former and current staff members whose data was posted on the internet.
Addison Lee eyes autonomous taxis by 2021
Taxi firm Addison Lee has joined forces with driverless software startup Oxbotica with the aim of launching self-driving taxi services in London by 2021. The two companies have announced a strategic partnership in a bid to accelerate Addison Lee’s plans to launch a fleet of autonomous vehicles in the capital as the race to deploy the technology-enabled taxi service of the future hots up.
Nick Clegg joining Facebook as VP
The former UK Deputy Prime Minister will be moving to the social platform’s HQ as VP for global affairs and communications.
Financial services to stage cyber threat drills
Banks and payments organisations will carry out co-ordinated cybersecurity drills to test their response to major incidents which could cripple sectors critical to the UK's infrastructure.Last week it was revealed that 20 of the UK’s largest banks, insurers and security exchanges are set to launch the Financial Sector Cyber Collaboration Centre (FSCCC) to enable a co-ordinated response to the “clear and present danger” posed by hack attempts and large scale cyber attacks.
One of UK's largest data centres to be built in London
NTT Communications will develop a new data centre campus in the UK, through its subsidiary e-shelter. It will be called London 1.
G4S creates cryptocurrency vaults
Security giant G4S is entering the cryptocurrency market with a new service offering high security offline storage that aims to keep digital assets out of the clutches of hackers.
The firm, best known for its cash storage and prison services, is launching a secure storage vault to help financial services firms and crypto traders guard their holdings in Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin and other cryptocurrencies from the “wild west” of currency exchanges.
Amazon expansion adds 1,000 UK tech jobs
Amazon has announced plans to open a new corporate office in Manchester in 2019 and increase the capacity of its Scotland Development Centre and Cambridge Development Centre, providing additional capacity for over 1,000 new technology-focused roles in the UK. The Manchester office will be located in the Hanover Building in the city’s Northern Quarter. The site will have capacity to create at least 600 new roles, with highly-skilled teams working on projects including software development, machine learning and research.
Blockchain to enter the mainstream by 2025
Blockchain will enter the mainstream as a leading supply chain technology in 2025, according to a new study by Capgemini, which found that investment in the distributed ledger technology (DLT) is likely to grow by 30 per cent in the next three years. A survey of 450 financial services organisations worldwide found that far from taking the slow-start approach to the DLT, early adopters of blockchain are doubling down on their investments, with 60 per cent saying that blockchain has transformed the way they collaborate with partners.
UK start-up uses blockchain for mobile-first service
Bombay Sour is launching a blockchain-based video streaming platform that will allow subscribers to buy shares in forthcoming content. The company envisions a decentralised future where content is distributed through smart contracts.
National Technology Awards open for entries
The 3rd annual National Technology Awards have launched today, with a deadline for entries of 18 January 2019. will be launching on Thursday 18th October. The ceremony itself will take place at the London Marriott Hotel in Grosvenor Square on 16 May 2019.
Austrian tourist board enlists help of Facebook bot
A Facebook Chatbot will help users find their Austrian ski holiday in what is described as an industry first.
Robot gives evidence to parliamentary committee
A humanoid called Pepper has become the first robot to face questions from a House of Commons select committee.The futuristic bot answered questions from members of the education select committee about the role Artificial Intelligence (AI) and robotics may have in the classrooms of the future as part of the MPs’ examination into the ‘fourth industrial revolution’ and technological disruption.
Google launches paid licensing after $5bn fine
Google is planning to introduce new ‘paid licensing agreements’ for manufacturers of smartphones and tablets that run its software and apps, in order to comply with a landmark European Union ruling on the dominance of its Android operating system. The move, which will see manufacturers shipping devices into the EU charged for pre-installation of its apps and browser, is a response to an ultimatum issued by to the EU Commission’s competition watchdog in July, which handed the search giant a record $5 billion fine for abusing the monopoly over its Android operating system.
NCSC warns of 'life threatening' cyber attack
The UK is battling more than 10 cyber attacks every week, the National Cyber Security Centre has revealed in a report that warned there was “little doubt” the country would face an incident so serious it could threaten lives in the coming years. In its second annual review, the NCSC released data on the number of attacks it handles, recording more than 10 attacks per week in the last two years, totalling 1,167 cyber incidents, including 557 in the last 12 months.
GCHQ signs up HP and Hive Centrica to IoT code
GCHQ’s National Cyber Security Centre has recruited HP and Hive Centrica to a new code of practice aimed at protecting Internet of things (IoT) devices from cyber attacks. The two tech companies have signed up to the guidelines in the hope that others will follow suit to ensure security is ‘baked in’ to the design process.
Cybersecurity firm Garrison lands $30m
UK cybersecurity firm Garrison, which has developed safe web browsing technology, has secured £30 million (£22.7 million) in its latest round of funding.The investment round, led by Dawn Capital, is the company's largest raise from wholly UK-based backers and will be used to accelerate development of national security grade technology for commercial use.
Foldable smartphones due by year’s end
Samsung aims to release a foldable smartphone before the end of the year. The foldable phone is expected to open up a new segment in the smartphone market.
Cuts to electric car grants criticised
Motoring groups have criticised a government move to cut grants for new electric and hybrid cars, branding it a "step backwards" on the road to greener transport. The RAC and AA raised concerns after the Department for Transport announced plans to change the cash incentives offered to motorists to help them to choose more environmentally friendly vehicles.
MPs to grill social media firms
The Science and Technology Committee is set to investigate the impact of social media and screen-use on young people’s health. The group of MPs has called a meeting for 16 October, inviting Facebook UK public policy manager Karim Palant, Google’s lead on child safety for EMEA Claire Lilley, and Twitter’s vice president of public policy and communications for EMEA Sinéad McSweeney.
UK workers turning to technology for mental health
Workers in the UK are open to using a range of technologies to help look after their mental health, according to the results of a survey from Accenture.
Experts criticise Google for data breach cover-up
Security experts have criticised Google for failing to reveal a data breach back in March, for fear of regulatory scrutiny. At the same time Facebook was getting a grilling for harvesting personal data for Cambridge Analytica, Google discovered a bug in the Application Programming Interface (API) for the Google+ social network had been allowing third-party app developers to access the data not just of users who had granted permission, but of their friends.
Morrison's argues against data breach hearing
Morrisons is due to argue against a decision to compensate employees whose personal details were exposed in a data leak at a hearing in the Court of Appeal today. The supermarket chain is contesting a High Court ruling last year that found that Morrisons staff were entitled to thousands of pounds in compensation after a disgruntled employee posted payroll data - including names, addresses, bank account details and salaries of more than 100,000 employees - online in 2014.
Internet inventor aims to revolutionise web 2.0
The man widely regarded as having invented the internet is looking to do it all again, but this time putting you in control. Tim Berners-Lee launched inrupt late last month, which is the first iteration of the decentralised web, a concept he has been discussing for several years and working on now for several months. With partner and co-founder John Bruce - who built Resilient, a security platform bought by IBM - the startup is backed by Glasswing Ventures and built on a platform called ‘Solid’.
High court blocks privacy action against Google
The UK high court has blocked a consumer-led mass legal action against Google over claims that it harvested personal data from more than four million iPhone users.The consumer campaign group Google You Owe Us, led by the former Which? director Richard Lloyd, had been hoping to win at least £1 billion in compensation over the claims.
CMA finds algorithms used for price fixing
The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has published the results of a study into pricing algorithms and whether they could be used to support illegal practices. Whilst there was little evidence of companies using algorithms to show personalised prices, it did find that they were sometimes used to change the order in which products are shown to shoppers.
SpaceX marks further progress in reusable satellite launchers
SpaceX has carried off its first West Coast launch and landing of its Falcon 9 rocket. This is the 30th landing of a booster, but the rest have happened on land in Florida and from platforms out at sea.
Most valuable tech brands ranked
Apple and Google again topped Interbrand’s latest ranking of the world’s most valuable brands, for 2018, with Amazon climbing to third.
Government backs regulatory innovation fund
The UK government has announced new fund to back projects that will ensure rules and regulations keep pace with technological advances of the future, from virtual lawyers to flying cars. Business secretary Greg Clark awarded £10 million to UK regulators to help drive forward innovation in the public sector and help it seize long-term opportunities including the growth of artificial intelligence (AI) and the future of mobility.
Cybercriminals 'will not stop attacking businesses'
Companies should prepare for the inevitability of a cyberattack as criminals develop increasingly efficient ways to infiltrate networks, according to experts.Speaking on a panel discussion at London’s IP Expo 2018, Claire Albois-Galcoix, marketing director at Yubico, a password security provider, warned the audience that ransomware attacks such as the Wannacry outage in 2017 should now be considered part of the everyday threat landscape as criminals widen the scope and scale of their operations.
Sweden to host first carbon positive data center in the world
Swedish data center developer EcoDataCenter is putting the world’s first carbon-positive data center into operation, a template than can be used in other countries.
Tech to boost trade by 34% by 2030: WTO
Digital technologies - namely the Internet of Things (IoT), artificial intelligence (AI), 3D printing and blockchain - will increase trade growth by up to 34 per cent by 2030 thanks to lower costs and higher productivity. However, they could also create a challenging environment for those seeking to keep up with the latest innovations, according to the 2018 edition of the World Trade Organisation’s flagship World Trade Report.
Instagram resolves outage as Facebook faces fine
Instagram is back online after the social network’s service went down worldwide this morning, just days after it appointed a new chief executive officer. Millions of users were prevented from posting pictures of their breakfast and morning workout routines on Wednesday morning during the outage, which lasted for around an hour from 8am.
Get ready for Blockchain-as-as-Service as revenues set to pass $10bn
Blockchain and related distributed ledger technologies are expanding outside of the finance and insurance space and into supply chain and retail among other sectors. ABI Research forecasts over $10.6 billion in software and services revenue for all combined markets globally by 2023.
Majority of CIOs say IT and tech are spending priorities
A majority of the UK’s chief information officers (CIOs) believe IT holds the key to improved customer experience, according to a new study which found that 45 per cent of purchasing managers plan to invest more in artificial intelligence (AI) and other new technologies in the coming year. A survey of 1,200 CIOs from the UK conducted by KPMG and management consultancy Harvey Nash found that 60 per cent of those asked said that management in their firm was looking to IT to boost customer experience and engagement, which was the priority for 62 per cent of those asked.
Survey finds Internet of Things security gap
Despite UK families owning an average of five smart home devices, only 15 per cent utilise software or apps to protect the Internet of Things (IoT) devices in their home. A survey conducted by Open-Xchange in collaboration with Censuswide among 2,005 parents also found 17 per cent do not use any protection at all, while 67 per cent use anti-virus and anti-spam software to protect only their desktop devices from malware, adware and phishing tactics.
Robotics startup Softomotive raises $25m
Softomotive, a robotics startup specialising in the automation of business processes has landed $25 million to fund the relocation of its headquarters to the UK as part of its global expansion strategy. The startup, which was founded in Athens in 2005, develops Robotic Process Automation (RPA) software to automate repetitive tasks.
Vodafone tries to quantify cyber readiness
The more ‘cyber ready’ a business becomes, the better its overall business outcomes, finds Vodafone’s new Cyber Ready Barometer report. Businesses that are "cyber ready" are reporting faster growth in sales than security, according to the telco, which correlates cyber readiness with better business performance.
Vodafone to launch first human-like digital assistant
Vodafone is set to be the first telecoms company to launch human-like digital assistants to help its customers in stores.The screen-based chatbots, powered by artificial intelligence (AI) technology by FaceMe and known as Intelligent Digital Humans (IDH), will be human-like in appearance and in their interactions with customers.
AI cybersecurity firm Darktrace valued at $1.65bn
UK cybersecurity firm Darktrace, which uses AI technology to boost the cyber defence systems of airports, financial institutions and major corporates, has raised $50 million in Series 3 funding, valuing the company at $1.65 billion. The company has grown rapidly since it was founded by intelligence cyber operations experts and Cambridge mathematicians in 2014. Its Enterprise Immune System, an autonomous response technology branded Darktrace Antigena, uses AI-driven machine learning to identify and respond to in-progress cyber-threats in real time.
RegTech firm VoxSmart enables trading on WhatsApp
VoxSmart, RegTech firm specialising in mobile communication risk management services is enabling staff at Singaporean energy and commodity firms to trade on WeChat and WhatsApp. The UK-based company, founded in 2006, launched the cloud-based mobile communications surveillance service built on their proprietary VSmart technology in Singapore two years ago.
Smart home popularity on the rise in Europe
There were a total of 22.5 million smart homes in Europe at the end of 2017. The installed base in the region is forecasted to grow to 84 million homes. What will drive this growth?
Snapchat partners Amazon for visual search
Snapchat will allow users to search for items they photograph with their smartphones on Amazon's online marketplace in the latest advance of image recognition technology into e-commerce.The social media app, popular with millennials and younger generation Z users for its novelty photo and chat features, announced that the Visual Search feature would be available for users to test from this week.
Apple and Salesforce partner for enterprise apps
Apple and Salesforce have announced a broad strategic partnership aimed at growing software as a service (SaaS) offerings to businesses. The alliance, announced ahead of customer relationship management (CRM) platform Salesforce’s annual Dreamforce developer conference in San Francisco today, comes as consumer technology company Apple looks to expand its enterprise strategy and access more corporate sales through online apps.
IBM unveils extensive AI toolset for industry verticals
IBM has released its largest ever toolset of artificial intelligence software, designed for nine industries and professions, including supply chain, salesforce, manufacturing and automotive.
Positive reaction to Sky future under Comcast
US cable operator Comcast will assume ownership of Sky after winning a bidding battle against 21st Century Fox and Disney, marking an end to a complicated process that has lasted years.
Dell 'eyes IPO instead of acquisition'
Dell Technologies is reportedly exploring the launch of an initial public offering (IPO) rather than a proposed acquisition as its route to going public.According to the Wall Street Journal, the US-based IT and software giant is planning to meet with banks this week to discuss the prospect of an IPO after it was reported that several investors had raised objections to a proposed acquisition.
UK ‘planning joint cyber defence force’
The UK is reportedly boosting its cyber defence capabilities with an offensive cyber force of up to 2,000 people. The Ministry of Defence and GCHQ, the government’s intelligence headquarters, are to join forces on the cyber defence unit to combat the threat from Russia and other malicious actors, Sky News reported.
UK government ‘considering internet regulator’
The government is reportedly considering a range of options to tackle extremist and illegal online content, including a new internet regulator which could hold tech firms such as Facebook and Google accountable. BuzzFeed News said it had seen draft documents drawn up by the Home Office and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport which propose a regulatory body along the lines of broadcasting regulator Ofcom, which would cover internet content.
Equifax fined £500k for personal data failings
Equifax has been fined £500,000 by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) after the data of 15 million Britons was left exposed by a massive cyberattack. The data breach occurred over a three month period in 2017 and affected information belonging to 146 million people worldwide.
Banks back first commodities blockchain platform
Banks and trading firms are to launch the world’s first blockchain platform for commodities trading. The new platform developed by Komgo SA, a Genava-based company, is backed by 15 major investment partners and is expected to launch before the end of 2018.
Ethical AI efforts on positive corporate trajectory, finds study
A new study finds that ethical considerations are a growing part of enterprise thinking when dealing with artificial intelligence.
Ocado robot tech drives sales
Ocado’s growing fleet of industrial robots have driven continued sales growth in the third quarter of this year, as the online grocer continues to reap the benefits of its automated warehouse system. The group said its retail revenues had risen 11.5 per cent to £348.6 million over the three months to 2 September, slightly down on the 11.7 per cent seen in the first half of the year.
Audi partners with Amazon for e-car charging
Audi announced that it has struck a deal with Amazon to install home electric vehicle charging systems for its forthcoming e-tron models as it unveiled a new electric Sport Utility Vehicle (SUV).The German card brand announced the partnership with Amazon- the first deal of its kind for the e-commerce giant- as it launched an e-tron midsize SUV in San Francisco yesterday.
VW announces plans for 10 million electric cars
Volkswagen has announced plans to build 10 million electric cars as it gears up for mass production by the end of 2022. Thomas Ulbrich, head of electric mobility at the German carmaker told audiences at a presentation in Dresden of plans to build 27 models under four group plans, all based on its new modular MEB platform (modular electrification kit) technology, with the Volkswagen ID the first model to go into production at its plant in Zwickau, Germany, late next year.
Robots ‘will create double the jobs they destroy’
Robots are likely to create double the number of jobs that are displaced by technological disruption within the next seven years, according to the World Economic Forum (WEF). A new report into the future of the workplace predicts that by 2025 more than half of all current workplace tasks will be performed by machines, as opposed to just 29 per cent currently, resulting in a total loss of 75 million jobs.
Legal requests for company data have doubled
Legal requests for businesses to hand over internal data to the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) have more than doubled in the past five years. Law firm Pinsent Masons says 1,032 ‘Section 2’ notices have been issued by the SFO in 2017-18 without the government agency needing to seek approval for the orders through the courts. This number is up more than 123 per cent on the 463 notices issued in 2013-2014.
Co-op acquires HealthTech prescription app Dimec
The Co-op is entering the online pharmacy market with the purchase of HealthTech startup Dimec. Dimec, which facilitates the ordering of repeat prescriptions by linking up patients with GP surgeries and pharmacies via an app, has been acquired for an undisclosed sum in the first takeover by Co-op’s Ventures division.
No deal Brexit: Operators 'could hike roaming fees'
Mobile operators could hike roaming charges for British travellers in the EU in the event of a no-deal Brexit, the DExEU minister has said. Speaking after the publication of the latest batch of planning notices for a no-deal Brexit, Dominic Raab, the Brexit secretary, said that mobile operators could opt to reinstate roaming charges if the UK crashes out of the EU without a deal on 29 March 2019, but said the government would act to soften the blow on consumers.
EU approves controversial copyright law
MEPs approved contested digital copyright reforms yesterday, in their second vote on the matter. The reforms, first proposed by the European Commission two years ago, are intended to shift the balance of power between internet giants such as Google and Facebook and those who produce content such as music, films and news. The European Parliament’s position was approved by 438 votes to 226, with 39 abstentions. This means it can begin negotiations around the directive with member states, before finalising the revised directive and bringing it into force.
Tech-confused consumers ‘risk digital security’
More than seven out of 10 people say they feel devices such as smartphones and tablets have become far too complicated over the past five years, with users admitting they neglect basic IT security as a result. Lifeline IT surveyed 1,000 consumers, finding that three quarters failed to regularly back-up their laptop or computer because it is too complicated. Only four out of 10 feel confident their entire digital life is securely backed-up and a further 64 per cent say they do not trust cloud storage.
Government warns corporations over cyber threat
Cyber security experts have published new guidance for Britain’s corporate leaders to equip them with the basic technical details they need to understand the threats they face in cyber space, and to direct effectively their organisation’s response to them. Specialists from the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), emphasised that boards of big companies cannot outsource their cyber security risks and need to understand what their technical staff are doing if they are to prosper securely in the digital age.
PM puts £100m into low emission vehicle technology
Theresa May will today announce more than £100 million to develop low and zero-emission vehicles, as she sets out plans for the UK to become a world leader in green technologies.In a speech to the inaugural Zero Emission Vehicle Summit in Birmingham today, the prime minister will outline her ambition for Britain to spearhead the development of low emission and low carbon technologies, with a target for all new cars and vans to be effectively zero emission by 2040.
Blockchain being deployed by 65% of large enterprises
New research has revealed that 65 per cent of enterprises with over 10,000 employees are considering or actively engaged in blockchain deployment. This marks a significant rise from when Juniper Research conducted the same survey last year, when the corresponding figure was 54 per cent.
British startup carries out flying taxi test flight
British startup Vertical Aerospace has joined the race to launch the world’s first flying taxi service after it released footage of a test flight of its electric aircraft.Vertical Aerospace, a Bristol based startup founded in 2016 by Stephen Fitzpatrick, chief executive of Ovo Energy, carried out a successful test of an unmanned electrical vertical-take-off aircraft (e-VTOL) in June.
380,000 customers hit by British Airways hack
British Airways (BA) is investigating the theft of personal and financial data of 380,000 customers after hackers gained access to its website and mobile app. The airline is urging customers who believe they may have been affected by the data breach to contact their bank or credit card provider, after revealing that its systems were compromised by a sophisticated hacking operation between 21 August and 5 September.
Health secretary announces £200m NHS IT system overhaul
Matt Hancock, the health secretary, is to announce a £200million fund to overhaul the NHS’s creaking IT systems which he called “downright dangerous.” Writing in the Daily Telegraph ahead of speech at the Health and Care Innovation Expo today, Hancock detailed plans for a wide-ranging “tech transformation” for NHS Trusts and the next stage in the rollout of the NHS app, which will aim to transfer more control to patients.
Munich Re buys IoT startup for $300m
Reinsurance giant Munich Re has agreed to buy Relayr, a German Internet of Things (IoT) startup for industrial machinery, in a deal that values the company at $300 million.Berlin-based Relayr employs enterprise middleware and IoT solutions to enable industrial companies to extract data from their machinery and speed up digital transformation. The company has around 200 employees working in the US, UK, Germany and Poland.
Microsoft u-turns on new-fangled Skype interface
Microsoft has announced a major u-turn on a number of features from its Skype video calling and messenger service.The software giant released an update in June 2017 with a number of new design features aimed at users who like to customise their call, photo and messaging in services such as Snapchat.
Biometrics will drive phone payments: Juniper
The number of smartphone users relying on software-only biometric security could grow by more than 250 per cent over the next five years, according to new analysis. A new report from Juniper Research predicts that the biggest shift in mobile payment security will be the move towards software-based methods, which rely on standard smartphone components.
Danish Robot company acquires Purple Robotics
OnRobot has bought a company that has developed an innovative vacuum gripper described as the first gripper specifically for collaborating robots. It marks further M&S in the market for industrial robot accessories.
Apple developing AR glasses?
Apple’s purchase of Akonia Holographics has fuelled further speculation that the company is actively working to develop augmented reality glasses.
Public bodies to bid for £95m broadband fund
The UK government has launched a new phase of its £190 million challenge to link local authority buildings to full-fibre broadband networks. The third and final round of the Local Full Fibre Networks (LFFN) challenge will offer public sector organisations a share of a £95 million fund to boost the roll out of ultra-high speed connectivity to regions across the UK.
Panasonic moves EU headquarters to Amsterdam
Panasonic is to move its European headquarters from the UK to the Netherlands in October as part of the company’s plans for Brexit. The electronics giant will relocate its European hub from Bracknell, Essex to Amsterdam on October 1.
Dyson’s driverless car campus gets £200m upgrade
Dyson has released details of plans to extend its £200 million self-driving vehicle testing programme at an airfield in Wiltshire.The household appliance firm, founded by engineer James Dyson, has applied to build a 10 mile test track for its electric vehicle project as it launches the second phase of plans to develop self-driving car technology.
Teens to pay with FitBit on new Starling account
Teenagers will be able to make payments through wearable health tech devices as part of a new current account offering from Starling Bank.The digital-only bank has launched a current account for 16 and 17 year-olds offering a range of tech-driven payment options including FitBit Pay and Garmin Pay, in addition to the contactless payments through Apple Pay, Samsung Pay and Google Pay.
Intel releases next-gen core processors
Intel has announced new additions to the Eighth Gen Intel Core processor family. The U-series and Y-series are optimised for connectivity.
Japan and South Korea lead race for 5G readiness
Japan and South Korea are leading the race to develop superfast 5G networks ready to launch in 2019, with Western Europe lagging far behind, according to new research. A study conducted by Juniper Research forecast that of 1.05 million 5G active connections set to be in use by the end of 2019, 48.5 per cent will be in the Far East and China, 36.8 per cent in North America, with Western Europe accounting for 14.7 per cent of 5G-ready networks.
LawTech startup Apperio raises $10m investment
Apperio, a legal tech start-up offering analytical technology to FTS100 companies, has raised $10 million in a Series A funding led by Revolut backer Draper Esprit.The automated, cloud-based technology, which enables clients including Just Eat and Network Rail to track and run analytics on legal spend in real-time, has seen revenues grow by 300 per cent in the past 12 months and has grown its team to 20 people.
Uber switches gear to bikes and scooters
Uber is switching strategy from taxis to electric bikes and scooters as part of future growth plans, its chief executive has said. The US-based firm is looking to diversify operations within its ride-hailing app technology in a bid to tap into a greater share of the $6 trillion mobility market, Dara Khosrowshahi told the Financial Times.
Chinese AI startups overtake US peers for VC investments
Chinese AI start-ups raised $5 billion in VC funding in 2017 and overtook their US counterparts, says ABI research. Europe is playing a long term game meanwhile.
Drones tested for medical deliveries
US telco AT&T is taking part in a proof of concept with UK-based Softbox and pharmaceutical giant Merck to test the delivery of medical payloads carried by cellular network-connected drones.
T-Mobile discovers security breach
T-Mobile US informed customers on Thursday that their personal information may have been compromised in a security breach that was discovered and shut down by the company.The telecom provider’s cyber security team identified and shutdown unauthorised access to certain customer information on August 20 and reported it to the authorities, according to a statement published on the T-Mobile US website.
Bristol HealthTech firm acquired for £623 million
Ziylo, A HealthTech start-up founded by a graduate student at Bristol university has been acquired by pharmaceuticals giant Novo Nordisk for £623 million.Harry Destecroix, 31, founded Ziylo to support the development of a new technology that works to create synthetic molecules which bind glucose to combat diabetes, while he was studying for his PhD at the University of Bristol in 2014.
Düsseldorf Airport upgrading to smart infrastructure
Düsseldorf Airport, a major European hub has teamed with Deutsche Telekom to develop a digital monitoring solution for bridges, tunnels, buildings, and other infrastructure objects for efficiency and other benefits.
Bank’s chief economist warns of technological unemployment – is he right?
Mass unemployment induced by technological change is a future the UK must prepare for rather than ignore, according to the Bank of England’s chief economic.The debate is worth having.
FinTechs counter BoE chief’s AI warning
FinTechs have hit back at the chief economist of the Bank of England’s warning that the UK will need a skills revolution to avoid “large swathes” of people becoming “technologically unemployed” due to artificial intelligence (AI) making many jobs obsolete. Andy Haldane said that job losses would be compensated for by the creation of new jobs as a “new technological wave” broke over society, but noted that lessons must be learned from previous shifts in industrial technology.
Updated: Gatwick uses whiteboards after screen failure
Passengers at Gatwick Airport were forced to gather around whiteboards for flight information while a technical issue caused a major failure in Vodafone-controlled screens on Monday morning. Vodafone, which provides the airport's IT services, says its engineers have now fixed a damaged fibre cable which saw flight information screens go down for more than six hours on Monday. Following the repair, Vodafone released a statement saying they were "very sorry for any problems caused by this issue."
M&S partners with Twilio for call centre automation
Marks & Spencer has entered into partnership with Twilio, a cloud-based automated communications service, to help it handle more than 12 million customer calls annually.
Ocado seeks patent for robo farmers
Online supermarket Ocado has filed for a European patent around the concept of “vertical farming” with robots maintaining a variety of tasks.
Banking and manufacturing to lead big data growth
Revenues for big data and business analytics solutions forecast to reach $260 billion in 2022, led by the banking and manufacturing industries, according to IDC.
UK HealthTech startup raises £3 million
Healthera, a Cambridge-based digital health startup, has just raised £3 million in series A funding. Founded in 2015 by chief executive Quintus Liu and fellow Cambridge alumni Martin Hao and Jin Dai during their last year of study, Healthera connects patients to a platform of pharmacies and NHS GPs, allowing them to track and order prescriptions, access services and monitor their medication intake in one digital service.
NHS trust seeks help from FinTech players
A London hospital trust is looking to exploit the growing trend for FinTechs looking to gain a foothold in the public health space as it issued a call to help it upgrade its digital health finance systems.The finance department at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital and its charity arm CW+ have launched an appeal for FinTechs to help them identify innovative technologies that would improve efficiencies and lead digital transformation in financial operations after similar digital programmes were established to support patient care.
Customers trial Canada’s first voice banking service
The first trial of an authenticated voice banking service has been launched to customers in Canada. Innovation Credit Union and Conexus Credit Union will take part in a pilot by banking services provider Central 1 which will see customers control a number of bank account actions via voice command on Amazon Alexa devices.
Facebook to stream Spanish football to Indian subcontinent
Another sports streaming deal for Facebook as the social platform will show top flight Spanish football to the sub-Indian continent. It is indicative of the direction that sports and video in general are moving towards.
The Biggest Datacenter Advances for 2018
From Software-Defined Interconnects to Affordable Photonics to Intent-Based Networking.
Researchers spot vulnerability in new USB ports
The new ports are good news for laptop users but also hackers who may be able to exploit the new capability.
World’s densest, totally silent solid state drive
Aimed at the data centre, Intel’s newest solid state drive can store 32 terabytes by stacking memory cells atop each other in multiple, extremely thin layers.
Spain signs €500m Virgin Hyperloop One deal
It is hoped that investment into Virgin’s first such facility in Europe will accelerate the development and testing of Virgin Hyperloop One’s next-gen transport technology and commercialisation across the region.
Manufacturing industry at high risk of cyberattacks
The manufacturing industry has had a lower profile as cyberattacks against the retail, financial services and healthcare industries have made headlines, but manufacturers have become prime targets for cybercriminals, according to a specialist.
The new version of Google’s smartphone OS, enhanced by AI and machine learning, will roll out to commercial devices over the coming months.
TMT is top sector - despite tariffs and trade wars
Against a backdrop of tariffs, trade wars, and media wars, Technology, Media & Telecom (TMT) has arguably been the top sector to watch in the year to date, with total deal value for the sector globally doubling to $371.1 billion.
Barclays in MarketInvoice partnership for SMEs
Barclays is partnering with Europe’s largest online invoice financing platform MarketInvoice to help small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the UK manage cash flow and accelerate growth.
Apple revenues up; ARM to buy Treasure Data; Dixons hack affects 10m customers.
Huawei overtakes Apple in smartphone shipments
Huawei achieved a major milestone in Q2 2018, becoming the world’s number two smartphone vendor. It is the first time in seven years that Samsung and Apple have not held the top two positions.
DCMS report tackles technology democracy and social media
Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee argues in a new report that modern laws need to be introduced to tackle the rampant “wild west” social media world.
Accenture and Google Cloud form unit to accelerate enterprise digital migration
With an initial emphasis on the retail, consumer packaged goods, and health industries, the new Accenture Google Cloud Business Group will help companies with their digital acceleration.
Vodafone reports growth slowdown
Vodafone’s first-quarter revenue fell 4.9% due to currency headwinds and the adoption of new accounting standards. Mobile data grew strong, as did IoT services.
Smart city spending to soar
IDC forecasts smart cities spending to reach $158 billion in 2022, with Singapore, Tokyo, and New York City among top spenders. Smart City initiatives will attract technology investments of more than $81 billion globally in 2018, with three use cases leading the way.
SAS in talks with CTU about nano-sats
UK-based Sky & Space Global is stepping up efforts to bring nano-satellite narrowband services to the Caribbean region as part of wider plans for equatorial communications.
UK sets sights on full-fibre broadband by 2033
The UK government has reaffirmed its commitment to super-fast broadband and said “full-fibre” broadband should become standard in all new homes but also aiming for blanket coverage by 2033.
EU slaps Google with record fine
Google has been fined EUR4.34 billion by the European Union for the perceived abuse of its market dominance of its Android operating system.
Vodafone lights up Gigabit fibre in Milton Keynes
Vodafone UK has started to offer fixed line Gigabit broadband at speeds to customers in Milton Keynes as part of a trial rollout.
First foldable screen phone due in 2019
Samsung Electronics is planning to introduce a smartphone that features a foldable-screen next year, the first time this will be achieved in a seamless format.
The ethics of gene editing
A potentially ground-breaking independent report from a UK ethics body has given a tentative blessing to genetically altering unborn babies’ genes.
Car rental disruptor comes to London
A new mobile app-based car rental service promising to shake up the market has launched in London today, following rollouts in France and Belgium.
Orbex looking to disrupt satellite launch market
The new entrant has just emerged from stealth mode to launch renewable fuel-based small satellites from the newly-announced UK spaceport in the Scottish Highlands.
Tech giants feeling the heat in Europe
Google is facing a multibillion-euro fine from the EU for its practices, while Facebook is in hot waters with the UK’s ICO.
Goonhilly firms up ‘gateway to space’ plans
Goonhilly Earth Station has unveiled its roadmap for commercial space communications, space exploration, data services and engineering design.
W3C launches Internationalisation Initiative
World Wide Web Consortium has announced the launch of the Internationalization Initiative to make the World Wide Web truly world wide.
Facebook abandons drones connectivity project
Facebook has taken a U-turn on plans to launch and use drones to provide internet connectivity in remote regions. Instead it will work with partners like Airbus.
Eutelsat scraps Inmarsat bid
Eutelsat has dropped plans for a possible takeover bid for UK satellite company Inmarsat, less than 24 hours after first announcing its intentions.
The rise of the creative machines
A new report from Ericsson finds that the introduction of AI systems will affect most professions in the future, with job roles changing rather than disappearing.
Cisco buying location-based software firm
Cisco Systems plans to acquire July Systems, a maker of location-based software for an undisclosed amount. Target use cases include retailers and the wider enterprise market.
SeaBubbles offer glimpse of transportation future
Earlier this month, the futuristic water taxi was demonstrated in Lake Geneva, expanding to Switzerland following tests on the river Seine.
World's fastest supercomputer goes live
The ORNL Summit supercomputer, designed with Nvidia's GPUs and IBM’s CPUs, is now operational and the fastest supercomputer in the world.
Survey highlights capital’s tech talent shortage
One in three London startups suffer from shortage in technology talent, according to a new survey.
First female UK fintech CTO
Fintech business MarketInvoice has today appointed a CTO from Silicon Valley’s Wealthfront. Rija Javed is believed to be the first female fintech CTO in the UK.
EU to invest EUR 9n in AI, cybersec, supercomputers
European Union has shed light on its first pan-regional programme focusing on innovative technology including supercomputers, artificial intelligence and cybersecurity. Common European libraries of algorithms will be created under the AI drive.
Scotland houses Microsoft’s new subsea data centre
Microsoft’s latest underwater data centre has been submerged near the Orkney Islands off the Scottish coast.
Red Hat launches Fuse 7 for enterprise cloud
Red Hat Fuse 7 is the company’s latest release of its distributed, cloud-native integration solution for enterprise cloud migration.
GM driverless car legal suite “settled”
General Motors has settled a legal action that resulted after one of its self-driving vehicles knocked over a motorcyclist in California.
Nest Hello and Changi are tip of new facial recognition wave
Facial recognition technology has been making the news recently with several larger project underway globally, and new research now predicts that face and iris recognition will soon cannibalise on fingerprint.
Google and Orange to jointly invest in tech startups
French telco Orange has formed a partnership with Google to invest in technology startups in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
Drones set for major uplift of UK economy
A new PwC report predicts 76,000 drones in use across UK skies by 2030, bringing billions in savings for construction & manufacturing and the public sector industries. The impact on jobs will also be substantial.
The UK Government is exhibiting at the Paris VivaTech event this week and has partnered with London-based Vision AI firm Cortexica, whose applications range from construction to security.
Bitcoin's electric energy consumption set to balloon
One paper predicts the blockchain network could be using as much as 7.7 gigawatts by the end of this year, or as much as Austria, and 5% of the world's total in the future.
Deloitte survey highlights impact of automation on jobs
The survey reveals company attitudes to automation, robotics and AI, as well as what they mean for future career models and skills.
Samsung to open Cambridge AI research lab
The Korean technology giant is the latest Asian company to announce a major investment in artificial intelligence research in the UK.
Survey dispels myths of running a tech start-up
A UK survey of more than 100 founders of tech businesses uncovers the main challenges that face entrepreneurs as they attempt to get their business off the ground.
Sky wants to bring more young women into tech
Sky's new innovation centre facility will house tech engineering, software and app development. It will also be the home of a new scheme to get more young women into technology.
Quantum-algorithm superstore in the works
Quantum computers need sophisticated and specialised quantum algorithms to work, which a company hopes to be able to provide to others for wider use.
Consumer robotics market to hit 100m shipments by 2026
The market will be driven by homecare robotics and Asia-Pacific, taking it past 100 million shipments in less than ten year. Revenues and investment funding are also on the up.
Apple expanding driverless cars programme
The tech company's driverless fleet now consists of more than 50 autnomous cars being tested on the roads.
Tencent in wide ranging push with DIT on UK digital creativity
Tencent, one of Asia’s largest companies, is launching a number of Culture Creative initiatives with the UK government.
Hargreaves pumps £24m to help fuel Goonhilly space ambitions
UK billionaire Peter Hargreaves is injecting £24 million worth of investment into Goonhilly Earth station, which will be partly used to help fund its expansion, including assisting with lunar missions.
What next for ZTE as it suspends operations?
ZTE has temporarily ceased its main business operations, following the trade ban imposed by the US government last month.
Microsoft positions AI as key platform for developers
Microsoft is making artificial intelligence a central pillar of its future strategy. ‘AI for Accessibility’ was one of the many announcements concerning new AI efforts that came out of the Microsoft Build 2018. Google, meanwhile, is rebranding its research division to Google AI.
Talk Talk props up table of satisfied broadband customers
More woes for TalkTalk as the UK ISP finished bottom again of an Ofcom survey into customer satisfaction.
Dating, AR/VR and other highlights from F8
Facebook is rolling out a disruptive Tinder-like dating service and adding a host of new AR/VR features and events. Also launched is a standalone Oculus Go VR headset that promises a high-end immersive experience at a lower price.
L’Oréal enters tech market with purchase of AR firm
L’Oréal has made the first technology acquisition in its history, buying augmented reality and artificial intelligence company ModiFace.
Singapore tops Smart City rankings
The Asian country scores highest on a range of criteria within transportation and other urban innovation. Dubai comes second partly thanks to its blockchain projects.
Intel is using drones together with artificial intelligence technology to help restore China’s Great Wall. The technology will also be used for automating future projects.
Who will win the $1 trillion race?
One Wall Street analyst sticks their neck out and predicts Amazon will become the world’s first trillion dollar company by this time next year.
New study tackles rising influence of algorithms
A timely research programme will investigate how computer algorithms are influencing decision-making in key areas of public policy.
Automation and jobs – it’s not all bad news
Robots may indeed take over many roles, but many new professions will also emerge as a result of artificial-intelligence development and industrial change.
An 'AI Sector Deal' worth almost £1 billion has just been unveiled by the UK government, marking a big step forward in long-term ambitions. It includes a world-first AI ethics centre, the creation of 1,000 government-funded AI PhDs and a Turing Fellowship programme among many other investments and projects.
Facebook's Q1 results show users remain ambivalent about data
Facebook is under fire from many quarters, but took it on the chin, adding 70 million users in the first quarter despite a public outcry to delete the app. It will take much more than a lack of trust and data privacy concerns to stop growth.
The rise of hyperscale – how cloud is changing data centre economics
Data centre providers have seen an increasing demand for capacity from cloud providers, driven by larger enterprises embarking on a partial or full migration to cloud services. New research suggests that half of all data centre demand could be from hyperscale customers by the early 2020s.
Tech giants increase First-Quarter lobbying expenditures
Google topped first quarter lobbying expenditures in the US taking it to new highs, whereas Cisco Systems and Apple had the biggest percentage increases, new data reveals.
IoT thinking still mired in confusion - study
A new study has revealed that seven in ten service providers do not have a well-defined IoT strategy as they grapple with the multiple business and technical complexities.
EC opens “in-depth” investigation into Apple-Shazam deal
The European Commission has begun what it says is in depth investigation into Apple's proposed plans to acquire music-recognition service Shazam. At stake is the issue of “commercially sensitive data” about customers.
What does the Uber crash mean for driverless cars?
Uber crash may fast track the issue of fault and liability with driverless cars as an autonomous future looms.
Google goes all Nikon on SMS
In the 1970s if you purchased high end photographic equipment you found yourself locked into a ‘system’ such as Nikon. Other equipment, such as lenses – had to fit, and so the next camera would need to be a Nikon, and he next flashgun and so on.
AI is already having an impact on our lives, from financial services to leisure there’s AI - even if you are not aware of it. But the World Economic Forum (WEF) poses an interesting and difficult question about gender. As AI potentially has can create ‘personalities’ (remember Marvin from Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy?) are the physical, vocal and even behavioural elements becoming gendered? And if they are, is this an issue and why?
Consumers willing to buy insurance from tech giants
The UK insurance market remains vulnerable to the entrance of ‘alternative providers’ such as Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon (GAFA), and nearly a third (30 per cent) of consumers say they would purchase some form of insurance product from these providers.
Roald Dahl wrote The Great Automatic Grammatizator as a short story in 1954 in which a machine writes better stories than authors, in 1948 George Orwell’s 1984 foresaw the proles read books generated by a machine. So it is little surprise that AI has been harnessed to write. Indeed, the only surprise it that it took so long.
Who would have thought it? Facebook using technology to profile its users? Now the company, seemingly undeterred by the privacy scandals that have hit it is seeking to use facial recognition and is asking users in the EU and Canada to allow it to deploy its face-matching technology.
Group action of cyber defence
A group of 34 leading global technology and security companies have signed a Cybersecurity Tech Accord, a major agreement among group of companies agreeing to defend all customers everywhere from malicious attacks by cybercriminal enterprises and nation-states.
A unified voice is needed for progress on digital trade
In light of UN’s E-Commerce Week Geneva and the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting 2018 commence, the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) United Kingdom has made calls for a cohesive voice on digital trade from the developed and emerging markets.
China Unicom teams up with Cisco
Cisco has been collaborating with China Unicom is pursuing network transformation based on an ‘Industrial Internet’ and building ‘cloud + network’ synergy. Industrial Internet refers to the practice of traditional industries leveraging the advantage of big data, cloud computing, smart devices and networks to increase internal efficiency and the ability to provide service for external customers.
BBVA invests in Chinese venture capital
Spanish bank BBVA is looking to the future and investing in Chinese technology companies, giving BBVA insight and access to the growing Chinese innovation market, especially around AI. From a financial perspective, it will also give BBVA the opportunity to understand and potentially co-invest into Chinese AI technological startups, gaining exposure to one of the world’s growing markets.
NCSC warns on use of ZTE equipment and services
The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) is writing to UK telecommunications organisations warning them of using of ZTE equipment and services.
Ethics needed in AI development, a parliamentary report states
According to the House of Lords, the UK is in a “strong position” to be a world leader in the development of artificial intelligence, potentially delivering a major boost to the economy.
Boeing and Rolls-Royce invest in Reaction Engines
Reaction Engines has raised a further £26.5 million in a strategic fundraising, including the backing of Boeing and Rolls-Royce, who now join BAE Systems in helping develop Reaction Engines’ SABRE aerospace engine. Financial investments in Reaction Engines will also be made by Baillie Gifford Asset Management and Woodford Investment Management.
Telegram blocked in Russia
A Russian court has approved the country’s media regulator Roskomnadzor’s decision to block the Telegram messaging app. The regulator had sought the key to decode the service’s encryption system, but Telegram had refused.
Google loses privacy case
A man who requested that search results on a past crime be removed from the search engine has won his case against Google in a ruling. Although not a legal precedent for all cases, another man who had committed a more serious crime lost his case, it none-the-less raises questions about how long and for what reasons ‘the right to be forgotten’ can be enforced.
Huawei achieves Cyber Essentials Plus Certification
Chinese-owned Huawei has achieved the UK Government’s Cyber Essentials Plus certification. The scheme, which was launched in 2014 and is part of the Government’s National Cyber Security Strategy, and involves an independent assessment of security controls that businesses need to have in place to mitigate risks from common cyber threats.
The long-anticipated idea of being able to charge an electric cart whilst driving has been achieved in Sweden, over a mile long run of road with an electric rail embedded in it, and the Swedish roads agency is now considering a national expansion.
Zuckerberg warns on Russia
During the hearing related to data misuse, Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg has warned US senators of the technology war Russia is waging.
2.6 billion records stolen or compromised
The latest findings of the Gemalto Breach Level Index, reveals that 2.6 billion records were stolen, lost or exposed worldwide in 2017, an 88 per cent increase from 2016. While data breach incidents decreased by 11 per cent, 2017 was the first year publicly disclosed breaches surpassed more than two billion compromised data records since the Breach Level Index began tracking data breaches in 2013.
Smart contract for the masses
The Smart Startup Company wants to harness the transparency and security of blockchain to enable SMRT (Smart Startup Token) contracts. The aim is to create a frictionless trade platform for startups and SMEs.
Mark Zuckerberg is facing the second day of questioning following the Cambridge Analytica scandal. Zuckerberg’s mea culpa for failing in oversight and responsibility was backed by a promise to make sure Facebook's "tools are used for good" going forward.
Scottish FinTech sector attracts £37m investment
FinTech in Scotland has attracted nearly £37 million investment over the last 10 years, with an ‘ecosystem’ of startups, large firms, universities and the public sector. Firms such as HSBC, Morgan Stanley, NCR, Ingenico and Avaloq all have headquarters in Scotland, while JPMorgan’s European Technology Centre in Glasgow is a key hub, with 1,300 employees. Last year, the Royal Bank of Scotland opened a specialist FinTech hub at its headquarters just outside Edinburgh.
Verifone to be acquired for $3.4 billion
Francisco Partners, a technology-focused private equity firm, has entered into a definitive agreement for the purchase of payments firm Verifone for a total consideration of approximately $3.4 billion. Under the terms of the agreement, Verifone stockholders will receive $23.04 in cash for each share of Verifone common stock held, representing a premium of approximately 54 per cent to the Company’s closing share price of $15.00 on April 9, 2018. The Verifone Board of Directors has unanimously approved the definitive agreement and recommends that Verifone stockholders vote in favour of the transaction.
MIT researchers have developed a computer interface that can ‘listen’ to words that the user verbalises internally. The system consists of a wearable device with electrodes that pick up neuromuscular signals in the jaw and face, triggered by internal verbalisations, and an associated machine-learning system that can correlate particular signals with particular words.
Facebook has been in the news for all the wrong reasons of late, and Google has had a recent existentialist crisis regarding military AI, so generally YouTube (owed by Google) has been neglected. However the Campaign for Commercial-Free Childhood and the Center for Digital Democracy have now filed a Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Complaint detailing how Google is breaking the law by collecting personal data from children on YouTube without parental consent.
The Changing face of the network
The growth in IP traffic continues to force change, and Cisco is predicting that network traffic patterns show 35 per cent of internet traffic will be carried ‘metro-to-metro’ in 2021, up from 22 per cent in 2016, with more mobile apps, IoT, video and 5G devices connected to the network. As a result, service providers are adjusting their network routing plans to distribute features further to the edge for improved performance.
M-PESA gains global links
A new service from M-PESA will allow Kenyans to sell and buy globally by linking to their PayPal accounts. Safaricom, PayPal and TransferTo have announced a collaboration on the new service that will allow movement of funds between M-PESA and PayPal accounts, presenting a huge boost to international eCommerce.
A survey from EfficientIP, a provider of network security technology, on 1,000 businesses worldwide found that most US organisations are ready to comply ahead of next month’s GDPR deadline and view compliance as key to retaining customers and increasing trust in a company.
Sainsbury’s is overhauling its Nectar card, rewarding not just money spent, but other facets of loyalty. In an era where customer data and customer loyalty are intertwined, and where retailers increasingly seek to differentiate themselves in new ways, Sainsbury’s has decided to reward its customers based on how often they shop and how long they’ve been shopping. For Sainsbury’s retention is more vital than spend. The rejig is Sainsbury’s first big loyalty shake-up since buying the Nectar scheme and reflects the ‘membership economy’, where customers want tailored rewards that reflect their buying patterns.
Google used to have the corporate motto ‘don't be evil’, the problem is that evil can be subjective. For example, if you were to help create better targeting for drone strikes, reducing the ‘collateral’ damage and helping eliminate terrorists is that good or bad?
The privatisation of space
The World Economic Forum has been musing on the next steps in space exploration. With the recent Falcon X launch and NASA announcing that private companies would soon have the possibility of docking modules at the International Space Station, a shift towards privately-funded exploration is evident.
Fidessa bidders come out from hiding
The potential sale of Fidessa has now drawn out two last minute bidders into the fight. ION Investment Group and SS&C Technologies Holdings have joined Temenos in the hunt – the original bidder.The British software firm has confirmed the above as bidders, having already accepted a takeover offer from Temenos, the Swiss banking software group.
This week Swedish music streaming service Spotify went public. The significance is less in that it realised a value of over $26.5 billion after first day of trading, but that it did not opt for an IPO but directly listed.
Colt fast-tracks the delivery of new services
Cisco and Colt Technology Services have announced that they have successfully achieved a milestone in upgrading Colt's pan-European, US and Asian packet network, laying the foundations further differentiated, high-bandwidth connectivity solutions.
A letter from over 50 academics has been delivered to the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST), a state founded university, expressing dismay over the development of AI between the institution and its partner Hanwha Systems.
Monzo Beta launched in 2016 as a live experiment in banking – a way to find out what customers really wanted from the Challenger bank and the company worked on its banking licence and the permission to offer current accounts.
The long anticipated move by Amazon into the banking sector will impact the industry is assessed in a recent Forrester report, giving the financial sector the options of winning like Amazon, partnering with Amazon or losing. In all case the arrival of the ex-bookseller cannot be ignored.
A study from Juniper Research finds nearly 2.1 billion consumers worldwide will use a mobile wallet to make a payment or send money in 2019, up by nearly 30 per cent on the 1.6 billion recorded at the end of 2017.
Researchers at the Niels Bohr Institute and the Department of Chemistry at the University of Copenhagen believe that they could be on the verge of making quantum commuting g a reality.
AI is going to threaten existing jobs – the question is to what degree. Some estimates have been placing the figure at near half, but the OECD has published a paper that places the number far lower.
Starling Bank first mobile-only with business accounts
Starling Bank has entered the business market, becoming the first fully licensed mobile-only bank to launch business accounts for small businesses and entrepreneurs in the UK. Using the app small business owners can open an account in less than 10 minutes, direct from their smart phone.
Nasdaq expands Fund Network
Nasdaq has expanded its Mutual Fund Quotation Service (MFQS) and relaunched it as the Nasdaq Fund Network (NFN). The global investment product information service now covers unit investment trusts (UITs), annuities, separately managed accounts/unified managed accounts, collective investment trusts, alternative investments, and structured products that are listed with Nasdaq. Previously it has covered only mutual funds and money market funds.
PSD2 drives Fintech demand
The second Payment Services Directive (PSD2) is being held responsible for a surge in demand for fintech skills. Vacancies for roles requiring fintech skills have risen by over 73 per cent year-on-year over the last six months, and the financial services industry is facing potential shortfalls in certain areas.
Uber Technologies is seeking a European payments processing licence, as the ride-sharing company looks to new revenue streams and the ability to connect consumer facing services such as UberEats.
BlackBerry’s way to recovery
As the devastating news comes across that Theresa May id ditching her Blackberry for an iPhone, the Canadian technology company is showing signs of a financial recovery, posting double-digit growth of sales and a record total company gross margin of 79 per cent.
Damian Collins is an unhappy man. As the chair of the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee he has found himself presiding over the unpicking of the Facebook and Cambridge Analytica story. Despite the fact that a lot of the claims seem, well, almost obvious, one thing Collins thought he might get was Facebook CEO Zuckerberg to turn up and testify. But he won’t, and that makes Collins upset, and leads one to ask why not?
Shell installs hydrogen pump at Beaconsfield
Shell has announced that it has installed a hydrogen option at Beaconsfield refuelling station, the first ‘under the canopy’ in the UK. The new hydrogen refuelling station, situated on the M40 is fully owned and operated by ITM Power.
Dell’s Pivotal Software subsidiary has filed for IPO, allowing perhaps a glimpse of future Dell strategy to focus on core elements of the business. Formed when VMware and EMC assets were carved up, Pivotal offers cloud platforms for developers via its Pivotal Cloud Foundry. With healthy subscription sales, it has shown good growth, and an IPO could provide both an injection of capital to reduce debt as well as a more tightly managed partner in which Dell could retain a significant stake.
Forrester's Customer Experience (CX) Index has surveyed 9,000 UK consumers, ranking 36 UK brands on how a brand's CX strengthens the loyalty of its customers, with Nationwide Building Society coming top for the third year running of the banks.
Hammond looks to boost fintech
Philip Hammond has launched the Government’s strategy for the fintech sector as he sought to talk up the financial technology sector ahead of Brexit pointing to the investment attracted to the UK (and London in particular) exceeds the rest of Europe. In order reinforce the message that the UK takes technology seriously, he also launched a 'crypto assets task force' to help protect investors from the chopping waters of cryptocurrency.
eToro raises $100m to support expansion
eToro, the social trading and investment platform, has announced a Series E fundraise of $100 million to support its expansion into new markets as well as its continued research and development of blockchain technology and the digitisation of assets.
OakNorth reports £10.6m profit
Challenger bank OakNorth has reported that it provided over £1.2 billion of gross lending in the UK, up from £300 million a year ago, with a pre-tax profit of £10.6 million for the 2017 calendar year, only its second full year of operations.
New university to focus on the technology
A new university in Milton Keynes to focus on teaching the technology of the future world of work, leading in areas including digital, cyber, autonomy, robotics and artificial intelligence is being developed in partnership with business.
Amazon and others face digital tax
With the release of two draft EU directives introducing an interim digital services tax, along with a proposal for a longer-term solution, EuroCommerce Director-General Christian Verschueren supported Commission efforts in seeking to prevent a confusing array of different national measures to try and ensure a level playing field between all business models.
Mobile bank N26 has raised $160 million in a funding round co-led by Allianz X, the digital investment unit of Allianz Group, and Chinese giant Tencent Holdings. The funding represents the largest German equity financing round (non IPO) in the fintech industry and will be used to accelerate N26’s global growth strategy and international expansion, particularly into the US and UK later this year.
RBS to set up own challenger
Royal Bank of Scotland is working on creating its own challenger bank to compete with new banks such as Starling, Atom, Monzo and Revolut.
Uber suspends self-driving car tests
Uber’s tests with self-driving cars resulted in a fatal accident, and the company has suspended all tests in the aftermath. A woman was hit by a car and killed in Arizona – the first death caused by an autonomous car.
Cambridge Analytica raises concern
Cynics might say ‘really’ but it has come as a surprise to some that social media companies aren’t always paragons of virtue. Combine this with the amazing revelations that political parties try to influence the voters and you have the current row over Cambridge Analytica and Facebook data.
Micro Focus suffers for HPE purchase
At one point, shares in Micro Focus, one of the UK largest IT companies, fell by a half, as the company announced a profits warning. The problems are related to the purchase of Hewlett Packard Enterprise's software business for £6.8bn, a purchase that included former UK company Autonomy that had been adsorbed into HP earlier. Despite the warning, the company has stated that its cost savings drive is ahead of schedule and its net debt was expected to be in line with expectations.
Quarter unsure of their regulatory compliance needs
A poll from hybrid cloud solutions supplier Pulsant shows a lack of alignment when it comes to managing and maintaining compliance, with 28 per cent of IT decision unsure which regulatory frameworks their organisations need to align.
Barclays signs seven wearable payments deals
Barclays has signed partnerships with seven watch brands, including Guess, Mondaine, Timex and Kronaby, to embed contactless bPay technology into traditional watches and fitness trackers. Building on the Timex Fairfield Contactless watch last year, bPay and Timex will launch an expanded range of contactless-enabled watches in May. Guess Watches will also work with bPay to launch a range of six contactless watches.
Rolls-Royce explores very high energy storage technology
Rolls-Royce has signed a collaboration agreement with UK-based technology start-up Superdielectrics to explore the potential of using hydrophilic polymers to create high energy storage technology. The agreement will see Rolls-Royce, Superdielectrics and researchers from the Universities of Bristol and Surrey, to help create a potentially significant breakthrough in energy storage properties.
WhatsApp stopped from sharing personal data with Facebook
The Information Commissioner has completed its investigation, started in August 2016, into whether WhatsApp could legally share users’ data with its owner Facebook. As it stands the Commissioner is not satisfied that there is any lawful basis of processing for any such sharing of personal data and WhatsApp has failed to provide adequate fair processing information to users in relation to any such sharing.
$200bn of cybercrime laundered every year
An academic study into the macro economics of cybercrime and laundering estimate that $80-$200 billion are ‘cashed out’ each year, and in total cybercriminal proceeds make up an estimated 8-10 per cent of all illegal profits laundered globally.
Wipro sells data centre hosting business
Ensono is buying Wipro’s data centre components in a deal that allows Wipro to maintain access to the capabilities and letting Wipro focus on the digital business. Wipro acquired Infocrossing at its data centre business in 2007, but the business is now very consolidated, with the large cloud players likely to further erode the opportunities for mid-sized players.
Salesforce targets smaller businesses
Salesforce is looking to expand its offering to SMEs with its Essentials – a slimmed down version targeting companies with less than 25 workers. The product offers the company both the chance to attract higher volumes from SMEs but also the opportunity to tempt growing companies into the Salesforce infrastructure with a view to upgrading the systems and costs as they expand.
Digital transformation and IoT to drive cybersecurity spend
Data from Juniper Research has found that global business spend on cybersecurity solutions will grow by 33 per cent over the next 4 years, reaching $134 billion annually by 2022. 'Cybersecurity: Mitigation Strategies for Financial Services, Operators, Enterprise & IoT 2018-2022' found that nearly 70 per cent of 2022 spend would originate from medium-sized businesses, as cybercriminals target ‘low-hanging fruit’.
Almost a third of consumers plan for new AI home devices
Almost a third (32 per cent) of consumers surveyed globally plan to buy an AI device including robots or automated assistants, with retailers watching closely as 'voice commerce' develops in the home. PwC's 'Global Consumer Insights' survey, which assesses the shopping behaviour, habits and expectations of over 22,000 consumers in 27 countries reports that that 10 per cent of respondents already own artificial intelligence (AI) devices, such as robots and automated personal assistants like Amazon Echo or Google Home, and 32 per cent said they plan to buy one.
IMF on Bitcoin: Fire with fire
In a blog on its site, the International Monetary Fund head Christine Lagarde has warned of the dangers that cryptocurrencies pose, suggestion that blockchain technology could help hold them to account and return control to traditional agencies.
In his spring statement, Phillip Hammond has requested that the way in which technology companies such as Google and Facebook are taxed is reviewed. Radical suggestions include taxing revenue rather than profit – even for an interim – could be considered, although such a tax breaks nearly all business tax arrangements.
Larry Page’s air taxi tests
Kitty Hawk, the company founded by Google co-founder Larry Page, has unveiled its ‘flying car’ taxi prototype. Called Cora, the aircraft can take off vertically and transition to horizontal flight, and is the result of eight years of research.
Qualcomm Broadcom merger stopped
Donald Trump has blocked the takeover of US chipmaker Qualcomm on the grounds of national security. The deal, one of the biggest in technology of recent years, would have seen Singapore-based Broadcom become the world's third-largest chip maker with only Intel and Samsung producing more.
First energy storage investment fund announced
The world’s first listed investment fund solely for energy storage has been announced, with a proposed float in London of GBP100m. Gore Street will invest in arrays of lithium ion batteries, such as those made by Tesla, powered by renewable sources that can make energy available to the National Grid.
Banca Generali and Saxo Bank sign digital and trading agreement
Bg-Saxo Sim is the new joint entity that will provide online trading and digital services to Italian clients. The partnership offers access to an innovative platform for advanced trading based on Danish bank Saxo’s technology, marking a major deal in which one bank will provide a raft of services to another in order to speed the development of opportunities for its financial advisors and clients.
Thomson Reuters creates Bitcoin sentiment monitor
Thomson Reuters and MarketPsych Data have launched a new version of their TRMI product including a sentiment data feed for Bitcoin. Surveying more than 400 news and social media sites, many specific to cryptocurrencies, the sentiment monitor coves a variety of financial data, but the focus on Bitcoin and cryptocurrency is seen as a first.
Dell narrows loss, servers up, storage down
Dell Technologies (Dell, Dell EMC, Pivotal, RSA, Boomi, SecureWorks, Virtustream and VMware) revealed better Q4 results, generating $21.9 billion in revenue during the final quarter of its 2018 fiscal year and an operating profit of $2.1 billion. The main areas of growth were in servers and networking sales with the infrastructure services group (ISG), client services group (CSG) units and VMware doing well, but storage was down, by 11 per cent – mainly the EMC group. Dell has said that it wants to again become a public company, whilst it has also considered the options around VMware.
SpaceX and Tesla just survived
The BBC reports that Elon Must was so scared of the failure of both SpaceX and Tesla, that he would not let his friends invest. A man to whom the concept of hyperbole is alien, Musk told an audience at the South by South West (SXSW) conference that these companies were near collapse in 2008, and even earlier, in 2002, he dissuaded friends from investing. However, he kept backing his projects, and in his words “they both came through".
Digital adoption could power rural areas
Research by Rural England and Scotland’s Rural College, commissioned by Amazon, estimates that if digital tools and services were more widely adopted, they could deliver at least GBP15bn per year for the rural economy with rural microbusiness and small-sized business seeing the greatest returns.
Consultancy Bain and Co believes that the long predicted entry by Amazon into the banking sector might have taken a step closer. The company already has a cobranded credit card offered by Chase, and Amazon Cash allows customers to deposit cash directly to their Amazon accounts from more than 10,000 retail locations throughout the US, but now Amazon is now talking with big banks, including JPMorgan Chase & Co.
SAP Ariba offers mid-market companies digital procurement
SAP Ariba Snap has been designed to enable growing companies to manage spend using SAP Ariba’s cloud-based applications and business network, and so utilising the same infrastructure as larger entities.
Startup BABB raises a $20 million to build its blockchain banking platform
BABB (Bank Account Based Blockchain) has raised its target $20 million in a sold-out token sale and is poised to open its first regulated blockchain-based bank accounts before the end the year.
VMware Cloud and AWS enter Europe
VMware and Amazon Web Services (AWS) have been made available in Europe, offering cloud migration and hybrid cloud deployments and enabling system integrator and system outsourcer (SISO) partners, managed service providers, and solutions providers greater access to the resources to run, manage, and secure applications in a hybrid cloud.
Blackberry faces off against Facebook
Blackberry has accused Facebook of copying features from Blackberry Messenger for its WhatsApp and Instagram apps in a US lawsuit. The Canadian firm is seeking to mine its substantial patents bases (estimated at around 40,000 patents) and believes that many features of its then (2005) ground-breaking messaging system have been copied. Facebook started its services six years later.
The Government is announcing guidelines to make smart devices more secure. Manufacturers of internet-connected devices will now be asked to add security measures, including passwords that are unique and not resettable to a factory default.
WEF creates fintech cyber security consortium
The World Economic Forum (WEF) has founded a consortium with the aim of improving cybersecurity in financial technology companies.
Drone-tracking opens up skies for drones
In a move that could help open up the skies to commercial drone deliveries, an automated drone-tracking system is being co-developed by Nats, the air traffic control service, and a start-up, Altitude Angel.
Wind-up radio inventor Trevor Baylis has passed away. The inventor was most famous for the clockwork radio that allowed people to listen to the radio even if electricity was unavailable, such as in the Third-World, but was also a champion of intellectual property rights.
The shape of things to come
A restaurant in the US has installed a robot to cook its hamburgers. Taking orders through a digital ticketing system, the robot then uses thermal imaging, as well as cameras, to place meat on the grill, cook it and remove it.
VMware unveils healthy results, but won’t be drawn on further Dell links
VMware has produced some positive results, with revenue for the fiscal year 2018 up 12 per cent from 2016 to $7.92 billion, despite being hit by a $970 million charge in advance of the new US tax regulations announced in December.
Bank of England proposes regulation of cryptocurrency exchanges
Bank of England governor Mark Carney has suggested that the virtual exchanges used to clear cryptocurrency transactions should be formally regulated, to protect consumers without stifling innovation.
Regtech firm Ascent on the rise with $6 million funding round
Chicago-based regtech company Ascent Technologies has managed to attract an impressive list of investors for a $6 million funding round, as the company continues to develop an AI and natural language-based method for managing compliance requirements. The technology turns regulatory data into action points, tailored to meet end user firms’ specific requirements.
Russian hackers accused of breaking into German government IT systems
Reports suggest Russian hacking group APT28 was responsible for cyber attacks on Germany’s foreign and defence ministries in December. German government officials confirmed this week that both ministries had been penetrated by cyber attacks, although they would not provide any further details. Although they claimed the attacks had been detected and mitigated quickly, there has been some speculation that the attackers may have had access to German government IT infrastructure and data for months.
Love for free apps is stronger than our data paranoia
A majority of UK citizens are worried about mobile apps stealing personal data, yet almost three quarters say they only ever download free apps, which are more likely to be supported by advertising or data capture, according to a survey by The App Developers.
Nomura tests a quantum approach to asset management
Nomura Holdings, part of Nomura Group, has launched a research project with Tohoku University in Japan, seeking to discover whether quantum computing could be used to optimise asset management services offered to clients. The company is turning to quantum computing in an attempt to increase the speed at which it can perform data analysis.
Desktop PCs on the way out – but staying in your office for a while yet
Global shipments of desktop PCs fell by 2.7 per cent during 2017; and demand for traditional PCs is expected to contract at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 0.9 per cent between 2017 and 2022, according to data from IDC. Even if anticipated demand for detachable tablet devices like Microsoft’s Surface Pro is added to the figures demand for PCs will only grow by a CAGR of 0.1 per cent to 2022.
Fintechs and tech giants set to disrupt capital markets infrastructure sector
Senior managers at capital markets infrastructure providers (CMIPs) such as exchanges and counterparty clearing houses (CCPs) believe that both fintech, in its various forms, and the technology giants could create significant disruption in the capital market infrastructure (CMI) sector in the near future.
Bill Gates says cryptocurrencies kill
Bill Gates has underlined his distaste for investing in cryptocurrencies, saying that they “caused deaths in a fairly direct way”. Speaking on a Reddit Ask Me Anything (AMA) session, Gates criticised the anonymity on which digital currencies run, which he said allowed criminals to use them to participate in criminal activities including money laundering and drug smuggling.
Global investment in fintech rose by 18 per cent during 2017
Global investment in fintechs rose 18 per cent in 2017 to $27.4 billion, according to Accenture and CB Insights. Deal values increased by 31 per cent in the US, to $11.3 billion, almost quadrupled in the UK to reach $3.4 billion; and increased by a factor of five in India to reach $2.4 billion. The overall number of fintech venture capital deals increased from 1,805 in 2016 to 2,694 in 2017. Fintechs focusing on lending and payments accounted for about 30 per cent of total funding in 2017.
Security firm claims it can hack any iPhone
In the digital age, it seems, you’re right to be paranoid and to suspect that the government could find out anything they wanted to find out about you, if they chose to do so. Israel-based digital intelligence specialist Cellebrite (part of Sun Corporation) claims its engineers can break into any device running iOS 11, which would mean any iPhone, including the iPhone X.
Demand for IT hardware set to spike says Morgan Stanley
On-premises hardware vendors are about to see a boost in revenues according to a new Morgan Stanley research note. Companies have held back from investing in hardware while working out “how, when and how much of their workloads to move to the cloud”, suggests Katy L. Huberty, head of North American Technology Hardware Equity research at the financial services company – but now those decisions have been made companies will be making overdue investments in hardware.
EU considering legislation that would allow police to access data held anywhere
The European Union is drafting legislation that – like a draft law under consideration by lawmakers in the US – would effectively give EU law enforcement agencies the ability to request access to personal data even if held on computers outside the EU.
HyperGrid claims automated service finds the best cloud tech for any task
Service provider HyperGrid has redefined its HyperCloud software with the launch of a new capability within the stack: the ‘software-defined cloud’, which the company claims can assess which of 100 million possible configurations of cloud technology is the perfect one to suit an end user’s needs at a specific time, then automate allocation of each workload. The company says the service can also “cloudify” existing applications.
OneWeb satellites will enable mobile roaming on planes
US satellite firm OneWeb and aviation manufacturer Airbus are among the founder members of the Seamless Air Alliance, which aims to develop top quality internet access for aeroplane passengers. Other members of the alliance include US airline Delta, Indian airline Bharti Airtel, in-flight internet specialist Gogo and telecommunications company Sprint.
Net neutrality battle heats up in US courts
We should all be keeping an eye on a very important developing story in the US: the legal clash about to take place in the US courts about net neutrality. In December, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted to allow ISPs to speed up or slow down data related to different companies and to set different levels of charges for consumers with differing levels of access to faster data – provided the ISPs disclose this publicly.
Bank of America publicly acknowledges cryptocurrency risks
Bank of America has become the latest pillar of the global financial establishment to issue a public warning - albeit a subtle one - about risks that cryptocurrencies may pose to the existing financial order. The bank’s annual filing to the Securities and Exchange Commission in the US includes references to the risk factors that cryptocurrencies could pose to its investors.
HPE happy with results and buying back shares following US tax reform
HPE (Hewlett Packard Enterprise) is happy about its latest quarterly results, with quarterly net revenues up 11 per cent to $7.7 billion, exceeding analysts’ expectations. The company enjoyed a 24 per cent increase in storage revenue, year on year; and a 27 per cent increase in DC networking, both functions for which are within the company’s hybrid IT division.
Angry Birds no longer so popular with angry shareholders
Shares in Rovio Entertainment, the Finnish company behind the delightful, moderately violent timewaster Angry Birds, have plunged following a profit warning, just five months after the company’s floatation. Shares fell by almost 50 per cent to €4.90 on February 22.
Proposed US law would let Federal law enforcement agencies take data from computers anywhere worldwide
The US Congress is considering passing legislation that would mean US law enforcement agencies could demand emails and other personal communications from computers overseas, using a judicial subpoena. It would also allow other governments to ask to see the personal data of their citizens stored on computers in the US, subject to sharing agreements.
Marco Polo prepares for DLT trade finance pilot
Global banking initiative Marco Polo is to pilot a distributed ledger technology (DLT) trade finance solution, following a successful proof of concept. The initiative has developed a solution for post-shipment trade financing powered by TradeIX’s TiX platform and R3’s Corda blockchain technology. The platform enables real-time connectivity between trade participants, removing the data silos which prevent the free flow of information – causing inefficiencies and discrepancies.
MPs launch inquiry into digital currencies
The House of Commons Treasury Select Committee has launched an inquiry into digital currencies and distributed ledger technology. The inquiry will examine the role of digital currencies in the UK, possible opportunities and risks for consumers, business and government; and will consider the potential impact of distributed ledger technologies (ie.blockchain) on UK financial institutions and infrastructure.
C-suite security strategies may be misguided
UK executives of companies affected by security breaches may have the wrong priorities: basing responses to breaches on short-term concerns and taking misguided security investment decisions, according to research by security provider Centrify.
Lloyds Banking Group launches £3 billion strategy including IT overhaul
Lloyds Banking Group has announced healthy profits, a share buyback and a three year, £3 billion strategic investment programme, with a strong focus on digital. The banking group announced pre-tax profits of £5.3 billion, a 24 per cent rise on the 2016 figures and the highest profit since 2006, although actually a lower figure than had been predicted by some analysts.
Beware the malicious use of AI warns major new report
Governments must collaborate with technical researchers to investigate, prevent and mitigate potential malicious uses of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning technologies, according to the authors of a new report. Its authors suggest AI may increase the incidence of some existing cyber threats by reducing the cost of cyber attacks, as well as introducing new threats and risks.
Surprise, surprise: fraud and cyber attack volumes both rising
Numbers of both fraud and cyber attacks are increasing, according to Kroll’s tenth annual Global Fraud and Risk Report. 84 per cent of the 540 senior executives surveyed for the report said their company had been affected by at least one instance of fraud in the previous 12 months, up from 82 per cent in 2016 and only 61 per cent in 2012.
Touchstone Innovations funds re:infer - an AI start-up automating business communications
Touchstone Innovations has led a $3.5 million funding round in re:infer, a London-based start-up that uses AI to automate the process of understanding high volumes of human communications. The company claims its machine learning and analytics technology can provide organisations with “a new perceptual capability to listen and understand all of their communications in real time and at scale”.
Microsoft security vulnerabilities increasing – but removing admin rights fixes most of them
Reported security vulnerabilities in Microsoft technologies have more than doubled since 2013 – but most could be mitigated by removing admin rights, according to research from Avecto. 685 vulnerabilities were reported during 2017, compared to 325 in 2013 and 451 in 2016, according to Avecto’s annual Microsoft Vulnerabilities Report. The number of critical vulnerabilities has increased by 60 per cent over the same period; and there has been an 89 per cent increase in the number of vulnerabilities reported in Microsoft Office products.
Opencell and Vodafone pilot indoor 4G for high rise offices
The days of mobile reception blackspots in your office could be numbered: Opencell and Vodafone have launched the first centralised indoor 4G mobile signal solution at engineering and construction firm AECOM’s new European headquarters building in the City of London.
Gartner: chatbots will run a quarter of customer service interactions in 2020
Gartner predicts that chatbots – virtual customer assistants (VCAs) – will be running 25 per cent of all customer service and support operations by 2020, up from just two per cent in 2017. The research firm’s forecast is based on the excellent results chatbots are delivering to some organisations today, with some reporting reductions of up 70 per cent in customer enquiries received through other channels after implementing VCAs.
Tech industry urges UK government to align with EU data regulations beyond Brexit
Two major technology industry organisations have pressed UK government ministers on the need to maintain alignment between data privacy laws and regulations in the UK and Europe after Brexit. A letter sent from techUK CEO Julian David and the Information Technology Industry Council CEO Dean Garfield to international trade secretary Liam Fox stressed the need for the UK to continue to comply in full with the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) after Brexit.
Capgemini benefits from rising demand for cloud and digital transformation
Capgemini has announced reasonably healthy full-year results for 2017, as the company continues to benefit from demand for cloud services and digital transformation. Digital and cloud revenues at the French IT services firm grew 24 per cent year on year to reach almost €5 billion. Overall revenue grew by four per cent to €12.8 billion, with net profit up 11 per cent to €820 million.
SpaceX launching test spacecraft on Wednesday: first step towards 12,000 internet satellite network
This week should see the launch of a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket that will form the first step towards construction of a new network of 12,000 satellites offering internet connectivity.
Cisco changes financial strategy to benefit from US tax reform
Cisco has become the first of the US technology giants to provide tangible evidence that US tax reform is influencing financial strategy, with the announcement of a $25 billion stock buyback plan. The tax system changes, announced in December mean US companies can now repatriate some of the huge cash reserves many have accumulated outside the US over the past decade without having to pay higher rates of tax upon them.
UK government blames Russia for NotPetya cyber attack
The UK government has publicly blamed Russia for the NotPetya malware attack that took place in June 2017, paralysing IT systems in companies and other organisations across Europe and causing more than $1.2 billion worth of damage.
NTT Security and ThreatQuotient to partner
NTT Security, the security part of NTT Group, is partnering with ThreatQuotient to broaden its threat intelligence capabilities. ThreatQuotient's threat intelligence platform (TIP), ThreatQ, will serve as the cornerstone of NTT Security's new threat intelligence services offering.
Oracle demonstrates advances in autonomous cloud
Oracle has demonstrated advances in the Oracle Cloud Platform that extend its autonomous services to make all Oracle Cloud Platform services self-driving, self-securing and self-repairing.
AudioBoom reverses into Triton Digital
UK podcasting company AudioBoom is seeking a reverse takeover of larger US rival Triton Digital. The £134m deal will allow Audioboom access to the US in the growing audio advertising space, and if the deal takes place the US management of Triton will take over the running of the combined group.
Abu Dhabi has entered a new partnership with the distributed ledger Ripple, with the UAE Exchange using the RippleNet product for cross-border transactions.
UK crypto companies launch regulatory body
Some of the major UK cryptocurrency companies are uniting to launch a self-regulatory trade body to improve industry standards and engage policy makers on the future of the sector.
Mimecast, the email and data security company has announced financial results for the third quarter 2017 with revenue of $67.3 million, an increase of 39 per cent year on year, or 36 per cent in constant currency.
Deloitte’s patently good idea
DeloitteSmartReports.com is offering patent benchmark reports created by using artificial intelligence to analyse the 70 million patents filed by 268,000 businesses worldwide.
Citigroup to create London innovation hub
Citigroup is to set up an innovation centre in London, the FT has reported. One of the first major investments by the US bank following the Brexit vote, it will have 60 technologists initially.
Apex readies for a brave new future
Apex Supply Chain Technologies has expanded and opened a new European headquarters in Worcestershire, with nearly three times the area of its two previous facilities combined.
Unilever puts social media on a leash
Ethically renowned consumer goods manufacturer Unilever has threatened to pull its advertising from online platforms if they do not protect children, promote hate or aid division in society.
Unisys’ results show the company exceeding or achieving guidance for all metrics with its Annual Contract Value (ACV) up 22 per cent year over year and Total Contract Value (TCV) up 8 per cent year over year.
Twitter turns a profit, but social media gets tired
Twitter has finally reported its first quarterly profit after a rise in advertising revenue, and video advertising in particular.
BT blazes trail in cyber intelligence threat data sharing
BT has called on UK ISPs to follow its lead in sharing threat intelligence data across the community in a secure and trusted way, in an effort to protect businesses and consumers from cyber crime. The telecoms provider is the first telecommunications provider in the world to start sharing information about malicious software and websites on such a scale, and is in direct response to an initiative led by the UK’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) to enable ISPs to share detection events.
Trifacta’s data business expands
Structuring data so that it can be useful is the core purpose of Trifacta, and the move to Big Data means that any firm that can offer an effective has lot to offer.
Big Blue crashes into on the cloud party
Forbes magazine has run an interesting analysis of the relative positions of the major cloud suppliers, with Microsoft top, and Amazon and IBM close behind.
Hong Kong issues guidelines for virtual banks
Hong Kong’s regulators have set up draft rules around virtual banks, with a minimum of HK$300 million (US$38.36 million) in capital, and restrictions on imposing a minimum account balance or low balance fees.
Huawei announces £3bn commitment to UK
Huawei Technologies has announced a major new commitment to the UK with a promise of procurement over the next five years of £3billion.
The Economist Intelligence Unit has predicted that Australia will benefit most from AI and the UK will gain least in new study looking into the impact of AI until the year 2030.
Elon Musk never fails to entertain, and gain publicity, even when making a serious point about the state of space exploration.
Former Intel president launches new chip maker
Intel’s former president Renée James has emerged as the chairman and CEO of Ampere Computing, a new startup backed by the Carlyle Group that seeks to leverage the dramatic rise in cloud computing.
Broadcom offers final $121 billion for Qualcomm
Broadcom has offered $121 billion as its final bid to buy Qualcomm, the US semiconductor giant.
Microsoft poll finds technology is a problem
Microsoft has conducted research revealing that “the introduction of new technology on its own, does not guarantee more effective work”.
Dell is in an interesting position, for whilst it is a private company it also owns a majority of VMware – which is not. This minor fact has some consequences, for example because of the impact of any major changes on VMware, it has to file intentions with the regulators in the US. And indeed it has made some filings that lead to a reading of the entrails.
Lloyds bans Bitcoin from credit cards
Lloyds Bank, Bank of Scotland, Halifax and MBNA customers will no longer be able to purchase crypto currencies via their credit cards as the parent group clamps down.
Credit Suisse gets virtual IT support
If you work at Credit Suisse and your PC needs to be turned on and off, then it will be the AI of Amelia who will be sighing at your stupidity.
BT: results and ultrafast broadband by mid-2020s
BT Group has released its third quarter results to end 2017, with revenue down 3 per cent to £5,970m and underlying revenue down 1.5 per cent.
Alphabet, Google’s parent company, produced lower than expected profits in the last quarter of 2017.
Amazon’s full-year revenue rises a third
With both Alibaba and Amazon reporting recent results two themes become clear: online retail is a great cash cow and the big companies in it are expanding into other areas such as corporate cloud.
Alibaba sales rose 56 per cent in the last three months of 2017, with revenues hitting $13.2bn.
CGI Group has released Q1 results, with first quarter revenue of $2.8 billion, a growth of 5.3 per cent.
Microsoft has posted its second quarter results, pointing to the growth in its Azure revenue as a marker to is transformation into a cloud services company.
Juniper Networks and TIM to drive telco cloud
Immediately following its lacklustre financial results, Juniper Networks has initiated a joint agreement to collaborate with TIM (Telecom Italia) on the research and development of an innovative cloud-oriented network infrastructure.
Orange has adopted Cisco’s Network Services Orchestrator (NSO) software platform to its current and future network as a foundation for infrastructure programmability and automating method of procedure (MOP) operations and customer-facing services.
UK networks are vulnerable via apps
Research released by A10 Networks examining the behaviour and attitudes of the workforce towards the use of business and personal apps has revealed issues of risk, security and impact on corporate culture.
Fujitsu only tech company on LGBT list
Fujitsu only tech company on LGBT list
Juniper Networks reported its financial results for the year with net revenues at $1,239.5 million, a decrease of 11 per cent year-over-year.
CA Technologies holds steady
CA Technologies has reported financial results for its third quarter fiscal 2018, with strong revenue growth in the third quarter, partly due to recent acquisitions.
Rabobank launches Rabo Frontier Ventures
Rabobank has revealed its Rabo Frontier Ventures (RFV), a €60 million strategic investment fund to focus on early-stage fintech and food and agriculture companies.
GoCompare, the comparison site, is to open up its APIs, allowing external technology companies to harness anonymised transaction data for analysis.
Western Union expands tech with Indian centre
Western Union has launched the Western Union Technology Engineering Centre (WUTEC) in India in a new 125,000 square feet facility in Pune, Maharashtra
ABN AMRO and Cisco invest in BehavioSec
Behavioural biometrics specialist BehavioSec has raised $17.5 million in a Series B funding round led by Trident Capital Cybersecurity with contributions from ABN AMRO and Cisco Investments, and returning investors Conor Venture Partners and Octopus Ventures.
Nissan announces electric vehicle-to-grid systems
Nissan will lead a GBP9.8m programme to investigate how electric vehicles can feed into the power grid with a demonstrator project.
BP announces fast charge project
BP has released details of a project that will help the uptake of electric vehicles in the UK.
SAP buys Callidus Software
SAP America is acquiring CallidusCloud for a price tag of $2.4 billion, with SAP has electing to fund the transaction with existing cash balances and an acquisition term loan. The transaction is expected to close in the second quarter of 2018.
Thomson Reuters data unit may go to Blackstone
Blackstone Group, the US private equity firm, is reported to be engaged in talks to purchase a majority (55 per cent) stake in the financial and risk business of Thomson Reuters.
Startups – walls and bridges
Silicon Valley Bank has released its latest Startup Outlook report, polling over 1,000 startup founders and executives looking at the perceptions of technology and healthcare startups on business conditions, Brexit, fundraising, hiring and policy issues.
Internet crosses 4 billion users
Hootsuite and We Are Social have reported on social media and digital trends around the world in an annual report. 'Digital in 2018' considers 239 countries and territories, and estimates that the number of internet users in the world has now surpassed the 4 billion mark, putting more than half the global population online (53 per cent of the world’s population).
ING buys stake in Payvision
ING has entered payments processing by buying a 75 per cent stake in Payvision for £317m.
Big Data transforming Chinese business
Big data is significantly changing many sectors of the Chinese economy, according to research by ICAEW, in partnership with the Shanghai National Accounting Institute and Chinese technology company Inspur.
The British Blockchain Association (BBA) has been founded with the aim of supporting the technology’s adoption across public, private and the third sectors.
Moore Stephens acquires the data warehousing
Moore Stephens Consulting (MSC), a division of the accountancy and advisory firm, has announced the acquisition of the data warehousing division of Atticus Associates.
Baidu, the Chinese search engine, is looking to prospective investors in an attempt to raise $1.5 to 2 billion.
Online mortgage broker Trussle has opened up its pioneering mortgage monitoring service to mortgage borrowers.
The number of jobs advertised in the technology sector grew by 12 per cent last year as businesses continue to expand their tech departments, according to figures from Reed Technology.
Sky yields to the internet
Sky will make all its channels and content available online, ending the need fora satellite dish.
Alphabet looks to corporate security
Alphabet, parent company of Google, has launched a new business unit to supply cyber security products to corporates.
Synechron hires head of UK business consulting
More moves at Synechron, as Pankaj Gupta joins the Synechron Business Consultancy (SBC) team in the UK as managing director and head of UK business consulting.
HMRC stops scam text messages
HM Revenue and Customs has stopped thousands of scam text messages, with 90 per cent of the most convincing texts now halted before they reach taxpayers’ phones.
Deloitte buys ATADATA to strengthen cloud
Deloitte has announced it is acquiring the assets of ATADATA, an Atlanta-based provider of a cloud platform that maps, migrates and manages workloads.
Accounting software group Sage has announced its results for its Q1 trading, with performance broadly in line with expectations.
Preventing a digital dark age
The World Economic Forum has announced a new Global Centre for Cybersecurity to help build a safe and secure global cyberspace.
Stripe ending Bitcoin support
Tom Karlo, payments manager at payments organisation Stripe has stated that the company will be ending its support for Bitcoin payments.
Former Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon has called on the government to spend more on Britain's Armed Forces, and at the same time, chief of the general staff, General Sir Nicholas Carter, pointed to a return of cold war tensions with Russia and raised the prospect of hostilities between the country and NATO forces.
Graphics cards – prices spike
An unlikely side-effect of the crypto-currencies stampede is that graphics cards are now retailing at a premium.