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ICO calls for a role in BigTech regulation
The Information Commissioner has called for UK involvement in global action to regulate the world’s biggest tech companies. In an address to the Institute for Government think tank yesterday, Elizabeth Denham, who heads the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), said that the ICO would need to play a part in formulating and implementing any future regulation of social media and search engine giants such as Facebook, Twitter and Google.
UK smartphone shipments plummet, Brexit partly to blame
UK smartphone shipments declined 14 percent annually from 8.5 million units in Q4 2017 to 7.3 million in the fourth quarter of 2018, according to the latest research from Strategy Analytics.The UK is the largest smartphone market in Western Europe and it is suffering from weak sales, due to longer replacement rates, a lack of wow designs, and Brexit uncertainty causing consumers to hold off on some new purchases.
AI firm Peltarion lands $20m funding
Swedish artificial intelligence (AI) startup Peltarion, whose mission is to “advance humankind through artificial intelligence”, has secured $20 million in a Series A financing round led by Euclidean Capital.The raise, which was also saw further investment from Swedish investment family the Wallenbergs and EQT ventures, takes the firm’s total funding to $34 million.
J&J to buy surgical robotics firm for $3.4bn
Consumer and healthcare giant Johnson & Johnson (J&J) has agreed to acquire surgical robotics firm Auris for $3.4 billion cash, as part of plans to expand its digital surgery portfolio.
The deal will give J&J’s robotic surgery and medical device division Ethicon access to Auris’ Monarch device, which is used by surgeons via a remote control to direct a camera-ended scope through the patient’s body.
Vendors scaling down robo-taxi ops - research
Top end packages are not living up to consumer expectations, forcing a rethink in how companies approach autonomous technology currently used in robo-taxis, says a new report.
Google adds to warnings over AI risks
Google owner Alphabet has become the latest tech giant to warn that use of artificial intelligence (AI) technology could pose ethical and reputational issues capable of damaging their business.In financial filings submitted last week, Alphabet Group acknowledged the rapid growth of AI to automate technologies, but cautioned investors that unknown consequences of bots and machine learning could spell trouble for tech giants in the coming years, as consumers acquire better understanding of how the technology works and the impact it has upon their data.
Legacy tech ‘serious cyber risk’ to hospitals
A new report has warned of far-reaching implications that vulnerable legacy applications have for healthcare organisations when defending against cyber attacks. Co-authored by cybersecurity consultancy AbedGraham and healthcare data management specialists BridgeHead Software, the paper pointed out that with the devastating effect of the Wannacry attacks of 2017, and the increase of cyber-crime specifically targeting the healthcare industry, organisations need to take action to protect themselves.
Connells appoints eTech for surveying solution
Connells Survey & Valuation has partnered with eTech Solutions, adopting its mortgage valuation mobile app for the completion of valuation reports. A statement from the property management group explained that moving to eTech’s software will bring efficiencies to its surveying team, providing a platform to deliver further planned enhancements to customer service.
Softbank invests $940m in driverless delivery startup
Nuro, an autonomous delivery vehicle firm has secured $940m from Softbank’s Vision Fund in a funding round that values the company at $2.7 billion. The $100 billion megafund is betting on the Silicon-valley based firm as Nuro races ahead of the pack in developing compact local delivery robots for short, unmanned journeys.
Amazon buys eero to expand smart home portfolio
Amazon has agreed to buy eero, a specialist in home mesh wireless that was an early mover in the mesh router space. Like other providers, the company uses multiple access points to create a customisable Wi-Fi ‘blanket’ for the home, creating a system that is performing, reliable and simple.
Govt blockchain understanding ‘lamentable’
A panel of experts at the London Blockchain Week conference took aim at regulation yesterday, with one calling the authorities’ understanding of the emerging technology ‘lamentable’.Jonny Fry, chief executive of sector advisory firm Team Blockchain, noted that at industry events he’s attended in other countries, delegates have told him how lucky he is to be regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) – “a regulator that actually listens to industry”.
Jumio launches biometric video selfie tech
Jumio, an artificial intelligence (AI) driven digital identity startup is launching a video selfie-enabled authentication tool for banks and other businesses. Jumio Authentication allows customers to record a video of themselves to prove they are the account holder and verify high-risk transactions, restore forgotten passwords and unlock rental cars, in a secure method that replaces manual passwords and guards against online fraud.
Trump signs order for AI investment
Donald Trump is set to sign an executive order mandating federal government agencies to prioritise funding and research into artificial intelligence (AI), according to reports.The US president is said to want to use the American AI Initiative (AIA) to enable agencies to access federal data and research models to help realign the US economy and workforce for the rise of the era of AI, Reuters news reported.
Boots plans new MedTech hub
An £8 million hub designed to bring new medical technologies to market is being planned for Boots' Enterprise Zone in Beeston. The pharmacy group has partnered with Nottingham Trent University's Medical Technologies Innovation Facility (MTIF) to develop products and materials aimed at meeting future healthcare needs.
KPMG report warns of IT skills shortage
A new report from KPMG and the REC has revealed rising demand for both permanent and temporary IT workers during January. Adjusted for seasonality, the IT and computing permanent vacancies index registered well above the neutral 50.0 level at 61.1 in January.
ICO readies regulatory sandbox for April launch
The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has developed a “fully functioning” beta phase of its planned regulatory sandbox, with the aim of opening for applications at the end of April. In November, an analysis of the call for views was published, exploring a range of issues, from identifying areas where data protection might be perceived as a barrier to innovation, to the general scope of the sandbox and on to some more detailed questions about what mechanisms and operational approaches we should take.
Orbex unveils rocket with 3D printed engine
The UK-based company has unveiled a new rocket featuring the world's largest 3D printed rocket engine. Orbex also unveiled new customers in the shape of smallsat manufacturer SSTL and Astrocast, which is building a global satellite IoT network.
Huawei security measures ‘could take 5 years’
Chinese telecoms giant Huawei has admitted that it will take three to five years to address security issues highlighted by a UK government report last year, according to a letter sent to lawmakers by Ryan Ding, president of the firm’s carrier business group.The letter, seen by Reuters news, stated that a $2 billion commitment from the company to address security concerns with Huawei equipment will take a number of years to see results, amid mounting scrutiny of the firm’s relationship with the Chinese government.
Cambridge first to rollout Urban Data Project
As part of its smart city project, the UK city of Cambridge has revealed that it will build a digital mosaic of street-by-street, minute-by-minute information that will generate trusted IoT data.
ASI Data Science launches AI brand Faculty
UK technology firm ASI Data Science has launched new artificial intelligence (AI) brand called Faculty, aimed at helping companies to harness machine learning. In addition to offering business customers AI-driven strategy, skills and software services, Faculty has been appointed to run a cross-government AI adoption review to identify areas in which government departments should be investing in AI.
The global cloud top 10 revealed
According to new research, worldwide cloud infrastructure spending reached $23 billion in Q4, with spending forecast to grow fast, but only one telecoms company makes it into the global 10 list.
Auto industry ‘not ready for cyber attack on smart vehicles’
An overwhelming majority (84 per cent) of automotive professionals have warned that vehicle manufacturers are failing to ensure their cyber security practices are keeping pace with evolving technologies, leading 62 per cent to expect a cyber attack on smart car systems in the coming year. A survey of 593 professionals from automotive manufacturers and suppliers commissioned by software firm Synopsys and engineering association SAE International, also highlighted a number of deficiencies across the automotive industry in preparing for the adoption of software-enabled and Wi-Fi-connected vehicles, with the typical organisation having only nine full-time employees devoted to cyber security.
Amazon eyes public transport delivery option
Amazon is weighing up the option of delivering packages to their customers on public transport.The e-commerce giant has published a patent for mobile delivery locations which would see packages collected on “vehicles the user takes every day travelling from the office to the home”, such as a bus.
Labour demands regulation of digital market
The Labour Party has called for a state regulator to fix the “distorted” and dystopian digital market dominated by social media and tech giants which are at risk of subverting democracy and causing serious social harm. In a speech in London today, Labour’s deputy leader Tom Watson - who is also shadow secretary of state for digital culture, media and sport - will set out his party’s proposals for a new statutory regulator with powers to prevent market abuse and break up “monopolistic” technology companies which have a stranglehold over the content viewed by billions online.
Facebook bolsters blockchain team
Facebook has hired a team of blockchain experts from London startup Chainspace, prompting renewed speculation that the social media giant is drawing up plans for a blockchain-based payments technology. According to the news site Cheddar, the so-called ‘acqui-hire’ of four of the five founding members of Chainspace is the next stage in the development of Facebook’s blockchain unit, led by former PayPal president David Marcus.
University of Surrey kicks off €5m blockchain project
A new collaborative project that will support startups and small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in using blockchain technologies has been awarded €5 million funding from the European Union. Blockstart unites the University of Surrey with SETsquared Surrey, and partners across Europe, to drive small business innovation in the areas of health, logistics and agrifood.
SSC and Goonhilly to co-develop new space capabilities
Goonhilly Earth Station and Shetland Space Centre have teamed to form a north-south partnership that will develop rocket launch and tracking business capabilities for the emerging new space launch sector.
Nearly 60,000 data breaches reported since GDPR
Over 59,000 data breach notifications have been reported across the European Economic Area by public and private organisations since the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) came into force last May 2018, according to DLA Piper. The Netherlands, Germany and the UK topped the table in the report, with approximately 15,400, 12,600, and 10,600 reported breaches respectively. The lowest numbers of reported breaches were made in Liechtenstein, Iceland and Cyprus, with just 15, 25 and 35 reported breaches respectively.
NHS makes £1m available for digital social care
Local authorities developing digital social care projects are set to be boosted by Social Care Digital Innovation Programme (SCDIP) funding worth over £1 million. Projects that support innovative uses of digital technology in the design and delivery of adult social care are set to share the money, provided by NHS Digital and managed by the Local Government Association.
AI HealthTech firm raises €2.75m
HealthTech firm Medicus has announced the completion of the first tranche of its Series A funding round at €2.75 million, with the second tranche of over €2.25 million due over the coming months. Medicus is an artificial intelligence (AI) platform that interprets medical reports and health data. It works with diagnostic labs to deliver insights to both doctors - in terms of smart testing and diagnosis support - and patients - in the form of visual and interactive reports.
Army trains in virtual reality with £1m trial
The British Army has awarded a software developer a £1 million contract to explore how virtual reality can be integrated into its soldier training programmes. The Virtual Reality in Land Training (VRLT) pilot has been developed by Bohemia Interactive Simulations (BiSim), a global developer of military simulation and training software based in the US.
Bionic arm startup secures £4.6m funding
Bristol-based prosthetics startup Open Bionics has secured £4.6 million funding to boost production of its 3D-printed arms for young people in the UK and overseas markets.The company has developed a Hero Arm prostheses specifically for children and young people, which uses 3D printing to create a low-cost and lightweight arms controlled via sensors that detect and respond to movement in the upper arm muscles. The device, which is designed to adapt with the user as they grow, can be used by children as young as nine years-old.
UK to launch £800m fund for tech research
The government is to announce an £800 million investment into university research covering robotics, cybersecurity, medical technology and offshore wind energy.The funding from UK Research and Innovation, the national agency for supporting science and research, will fuel the government’s plans to set up 75 new centres for PhD training at leading UK universities and set aside £445 million to fund the research.
Merck secures patent for AI and blockchain
US pharmaceuticals company Merck has been granted a patent for ‘crypto-objects’ technology which combines artificial intelligence (AI) and blockchain to link physical objects in the real world. The company says the process uses machine learning to issue physical objects with a unique identifier or digitally ‘fingerprint’, which is then verified and stored on the blockchain network. It is currently being developed by an innovation project in the Merck Innovation Center.
Social media firms must have legal ‘duty of care'
The Science and Technology Committee has concluded that social media companies must be subject to a legal duty of care to help protect young people’s health and wellbeing when accessing their sites. Figures produced by Ofcom indicate that 70 per cent of 12 to 15 year-olds have a profile on a social media, while the OECD reports that 94.8 per cent of 15-year olds in the UK used social media sites before or after school.
Less than half SMEs ‘have tech advantage’
Less than half (46 per cent) of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the UK feel that they have the upper hand in applying the latest technology, according to American Express.A global study of senior executives at 3,000 SMEs conducted by Oxford Economics for American Express also found that more than two thirds (64 per cent) felt threatened by the burden of changes in the regulatory and political landscape, given rising uncertainty over Brexit.
Waste management firm bins crypto-payments
A UK-based waste management firm has ditched a scheme which allowed firms to pay them Bitcoin, after finding that digital currency was proving to be an “unreliable” source of payment. BusinessWaste had announced in 2017 that it would become the first in the industry to accept cryptocurrencies - including Bitcoin, Ethereum and Litecoin - in order to offer its customers flexible payments options in an increasingly digital age.
Autonomous vehicle InsurTech raises $5m
Autonomous vehicle InsurTech firm Avinew has announced $5 million in seed funding, with investment led by Crosscut and additional participation from American Family Ventures, Draper Frontier and RPM Ventures. Through Avinew’s proposed insurance solutions, consumers and fleets who own vehicles equipped with autonomous and semi-autonomous capabilities will have access to insurance that will reward them for using their vehicle’s safety features. Currently, selected vehicles from Tesla, Mercedes, Ford, GM, Nissan, Audi, Volvo and more will be eligible.
US and China ahead of the pack in AI development
The US and China have “stolen a lead” on other nations in the race to harness artificial intelligence (AI), according to a new report by the UN’s World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO).The WIPO study - the first of its kind to track trends in the development and application of AI techniques - found that China accounted for 17 of the top 20 academic institutions for patenting AI, with a focus on developing “deep learning” and neural network methods, which use machine learning to map speech recognition patterns and similar trends.
The increasing meaninglessness of AI
The term artificial intelligence (AI) has become one of the most ubiquitous in the tech sector, with companies from financial services to retail, healthcare to agriculture all claiming to be harnessing the power of algorithmic automation. But in the rush for competitive advantage, many may be spending money and time on irrelevant technology and further confusing consumers on what actually constitutes AI.
Robotics firm launches ‘digital worker’ bots
Robotic process automation (RPA) firm Automation Anywhere has launched a range of human-centric ‘digital workers’ that combine task-oriented, cognitive and analytical abilities to automate repetitive tasks and speed up digital transformation.The digital workers are built to support human workers in specific business functions across a range of business functions, and come equipped with specific skillsets, including a digital accounts payable clerk, a digital talent sourcer, or a digital IT operations engineer.
Global ransomware attack 'could cost $193bn'
A global ransomware attack affecting more than 600,000 businesses could inflict up to $193 billion of economic damage worldwide, according to a report which studied a hypothetical cyberattack as part of a risk management model.The report, compiled by a group of leading insurance and risk modelling institutions, including Lloyds of London, Aon and the University of Cambridge, tested the potential impact of a ransomware attack in which malware is sent to a business via an infected phishing email, which is opened by one employee and from there automatically forwarded to all contacts.
London PropTech secures €4.6m funding
PropTech startup Hubble has just secured €4.6 million in Series A funding round led by Silicon Valley-based JLL Spark Global Venture Fund. Other investors participated in the round included Downing Ventures, the directors of M7 Real Estate and Starwood Capital, bringing its total capital to €7.35 million.
Gov announces cyber security design plan
Business secretary Greg Clark has announced new measures aimed at helping digital device and online service providers to ‘design out’ some of the most damaging cyber security threats. In an announcement timed to coincide with yesterday’s data privacy day, Clark announced that designers of online services and digitally-enabled products will be encouraged to develop hardware solutions to complement software to tackle the rising threat of cyberattack.
Global IT spend to reach $3.8 trillion in 2019
Worldwide IT spending is projected to total $3.76 trillion in 2019, an increase of 3.2 percent from 2018, according to the latest forecast by Gartner. “Despite uncertainty fuelled by recession rumours, Brexit, and trade wars and tariffs, the likely scenario for IT spending in 2019 is growth,” said John-David Lovelock, research vice president at Gartner. “However, there are a lot of dynamic changes happening in regards to which segments will be driving growth in the future.”
Brits undecided on driverless car dilemma
Driverless cars could have to make life-and-death decisions that more than a third of drivers would prefer not to think about until they happen. A survey has revealed that more than half (59 per cent) of Brits think that if they were the passenger in a fully autonomous vehicle, and it had no choice but to crash, it should put them at risk if the alternatives risked more lives.
Capgemini launches enterprise AI services
Technology consultancy Capgemini has launched a range of services aimed at helping businesses to keep up in the artificial intelligence (AI) “arms race”. Arguing that the adoption and application of AI is critical for growth and survival in the coming years, Capgemini has introduced its Perform AI portfolio to let clients roll out enterprise-grade AI across their business.
Japan set to hack citizens' IoT devices
The Japanese government is set to conduct some proactive hacking of Internet of Things (IoT) devices as part of a safety survey ahead of next year’s Olympic Games. The National Institute of Information and Communications Technology and the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications will use default passwords to attempt to gain access to more than 200 million citizens’ connected devices, including routers and web cams.
BP invests $5m in AI geoscience platform
BP Ventures has invested $5 million in Belmont Technology, a US startup that has developed a cloud-based and artificial intelligence (AI) driven geoscience platform.
The energy giant’s investment arm made the investment as part of Belmont’s Series A financing round as it seeks to bolster AI and digital capabilities, as well as exploring opportunities to apply machine learning and cognitive computing in its global oil and gas business.
Brexit uncertainty stalls £27bn of IT projects
Businesses in the UK have hit the pause button on more than £27 billion worth of IT, digital and technology projects as they wait on the outcome of Brexit, according to new research.A survey of 504 business leaders conducted by polling firm Opinium for internet service provider Beaming found that almost a third (31 per cent) of companies in the UK - equivalent to 1.7 million businesses nationwide - have put IT initiatives schedule for 2019 on hold due to Brexit uncertainty.
AI ‘will require social safety net’
Artificial intelligence (AI) will help economies grow, but will also require greater investment in social security safety nets, according to a new report from Credit Suisse. Produced in conjunction with several economic, social policy and technology professors, the document - published at this week’s Davos summit - delves into the impact of technological progress on employees, businesses and society at large.
Minister launches new GovTech challenges
The government has announced five new challenges for the UK’s GovTech companies, as part of a programme that enables private sector firms to come up with ideas to solve digital problems in the public sector.Speaking at the ICT conference this week, minister for implementation Oliver Dowden set out the third round of challenges open to bids for contracts under the £20 million GovTech Catalyst programme.
Latvian PropTech raises €1m and moves to London
Latvian PropTech startup Giraffe360 has secured €1.1 million in its second funding round led by Change Ventures and moved its headquarters to London despite the uncertainty around Brexit. It had previously raised €500,000 in a seed round led by Koha Capital.
Amazon trials autonomous delivery robot
Amazon has begun trials of an autonomous delivery robot called Scout.The blue, six-wheeled bot which is “about the size of a small cooler” will be trialled in neighbourhoods in Snohomish County close to the e-commerce giant’s Seattle headquarters.
Microsoft Bing inaccessible in China
Microsoft’s Bing search engine is currently unavailable to some users in China, the company has said. “We’ve confirmed that Bing is currently inaccessible in China and are engaged to determine next steps,” the company said in a statement seen by Reuters news.
Owl Ventures raises $315m for EdTech
Owl Ventures has closed $315 million for its third fund, which will make early and growth stage investments in education technology companies across early childhood, higher education and professional learning. Owl Ventures has over $600 million in assets under management and has invested in 24 companies since its founding in 2014.
PM Connect partners with Proximus
UK mobile payments provider PM Connect has signed a partnership deal with Proximus, Belgium’s largest mobile carrier, to bring its subscription services for sports to more than six million mobile customers.PM Connect, a Birmingham based firm founded in 2008, provides mobile payments processing and interactive mobile content.
MedTech HighLife closes €32m fundraise
MedTech company HighLife has closed a €32 million Series B round equity financing round co-led by US Venture Partners and Andera Partners. Sectoral Asset Management and Jose Calle Gordo, chairman of the company, joined the round, while Sofinnova Partners - which led the Series A round - also invested.
IBM on cloud nine after Q4 results
IBM has posted its first annual revenue growth since 2011, as the company’s cloud, software and services growth strategy begins to bear fruit. Shares in the US technology services giant rose seven per cent after its fourth quarter earnings estimates were announced, stating it was on track to post above expectations full-year profits.
Food delivery robots launch on US campus
Students on a US university campus will soon be able to take convenience food to a new level with the arrival of a fleet of food delivery robots. The partnership between food a facilities management firm Sodexo and autonomous delivery firm Starship Technologies will launch food delivery bots to 40,000 students, faculty and staff at George Mason University’s Campus in Virginia.
Computational law startup raises $4m
Symbium has announced a $4 million round of seed financing led by Hummer Winblad Venture Partners (HWVP). This investment will help the computational law (Complaw) startup expand its services in cities and counties across California. Mitchell Kertzman, former chief executive of Sybase and current managing director at HWVP, will join Symbium's board.
Church of England uses cashless donation tech
The Church of England is trialling a ‘digital collection box’ solution for making charitable donations via contactless technology from SumUp. Using a card reader and smartphone, members of church congregations can now donate with their card, rather than cash. Parishioners can choose a donation amount - from four set by the Church itself - and pay in seconds.
PropTech analytics firm lands £3m
Real estate analytics platform REalyse has secured £3 million funding to expand its PropTech platform.The Series A funding round was led by venture capital firm Anthemis and XTX Ventures, the venture capital arm of XTX Markets, a global electronic liquidity provider.
Google fined £44m by French authorities
Google has been handed a record €50 million (£44 million) fine by France’s data watchdog in the first penalty to stem from the EU’s general data protection regulation (GDPR). France’s data regulator CNIL said it was levying the fine on the search giant for failing to provide transparent and easy to access information on its data consent policies and opt-ins and opt-outs for use of personal data, both of which fall below the strict data protection and management protocols set out in GDPR regulation.
Smart Home startup Den raises £2m
London-based smart home startup Den has raised £2 million in a funding round led by investors including Ian Marchant, former chief executive of SSE energy, and Betfair founder Mark Davies.The latest raise takes the total investment to £5 million since the startup was founded in 2014 by entrepreneur Yasser Khattak, who was then 17.
Ministers under pressure over Huawei 5G involvement
Government ministers are expected to come under further pressure this week to sideline Chinese telecoms firm Huawei from 5G infrastructure projects over spying concerns. Liberal Democrat MP Norman Lamb, the chairman of the science and technology committee, is set to write to Jeremy Wright, the secretary of state for digital, culture, media and sport, to reveal whether the UK will take action to bar Huawei from involvement in next generation telecoms networks.
Digital therapeutics firm raises $10m
Kaia Health, creator of the world’s leading back pain app, has raised $10 million in a Series A round led by Balderton Capital. The investment will be used to support a US roll-out - including a new office in New York City - and to fund further clinical studies.
Tech growth weakest for three years: KPMG
UK tech companies have experienced a loss of momentum in the final quarter of 2018, according to KPMG’s latest market analysis, which found business activity expansion at its slowest pace since the fourth quarter of 2015. Uncertainty around Brexit and global trade frictions have dented client confidence, but buoyant staff hiring and capital spending plans are still in place for 2019, according to the survey.
Fossil sells $40m smartwatch tech to Google
Fossil Group has agreed to sell intellectual property (IP) related to its smartwatch technology to Google for $40 million. The American fashion brand said that under the terms of the deal, its research and development team would be joining Google to support the ongoing development of the technology.
Cook calls for new data ‘shadow economy’ law
Apple chief executive Tim Cook has called for the introduction of a national privacy law in the US in to tackle the “shadow economy” which trades in citizens’ personal data without their permission. Writing in a column for Time Magazine, the tech giant boss stepped up his campaign against data gathering and brokering by firms with a view to profit, arguing that companies have a responsibility to be more transparent about the data they hold, and that individuals should be given greater powers to request deletion of data held about them.
Enterprise to buy travel tech Deem
Car rental giant Enterprise has announced its intent to acquire travel technology platform Deem. The deal would provide Deem with an infusion of capital and resources to help further expand its product roadmap and increase the pace of development and enhancements.
IBM and Vodafone in £426m cloud & 5G deal
IBM is linking up with Vodafone’s business unit in a two-stage deal worth £426 million that will create joint cloud and hosting services, in addition to building artificial intelligence (AI), cloud and Internet of Things (IoT) solutions to help companies prepare for 5G connectivity. As part of the eight year managed-serviced deal, Vodafone has agreed to pay IBM to provide jointly-delivered enterprise solutions to businesses. It will also enable Vodafone Business customers to access IBM’s cloud offerings.
Fitbits used for digital health research
The US National Institutes of Health (NIH) has launched a project using Fitbit wearable tracking devices to research digital healthcare. The Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD) project forms part of an existing digital health experiment launched in May 2018 called All of Us. Fitbit users currently enrolled in this can now choose to sync their accounts to help researchers unlock deeper insights into the relationships between health indicators such as physical activity, heart rate, sleep and health outcomes.
Oil industry invests in blockchain platform
Major oil industry players Chevron, Total and Reliance Industries have made a strategic investment in blockchain-based post-trading platform, highlighting the expansion of the distributed ledger technology (DLT) in the commodities industry. Vakt is a London- based post-trade lifecycle management platform which aims to create a digital ecosystem for the commodities industry powered by blockchain.
Majority set to invest in digital: report
A vast majority of businesses will increase their investments in digital technology over the coming year, and many expect IT modernisation to fuel future transformation efforts that lead to cost savings and greater profitability. This is according to a new global survey conducted by The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) and commissioned by IT services firm DXC Technology.
GovTech Cloud platform expands to cope with Brexit demand
Public sector cloud services provider UKCloud has announced that it has completed an expansion of its sovereign cloud platform to support public sector organisations through Brexit-related challenges. The cloud data storage platform cited growing concerns about the implications of Britain’s withdrawal from the EU on areas such as customer capacity, IT supply chain logistics, the cost of US dollar-based licenses and services, and uncertainty as to long term requirements of data protection regulations and national security needs.
Brits reveal home smart tech desires
Nearly a third (32 per cent) of UK consumers would be happy to welcome a laundry-folding robot into their home, according to a survey of the most desirable smart home tech devices of the near future. An analysis of a Mindshare survey of more than 6,000 UK consumers by RecycleZone also found that a smart thermostat which automatically adjusts to an individual’s body temperature tops the wish list, with 46 per cent of Brits saying this is the tech they would most like to own in their home.
Liverpool puts public archives into the cloud
Liverpool Record Office has chosen Preservica’s cloud-based active digital preservation software to create a new online archive and to digitally preserve culturally significant records dating back to the 13th century. The new system will enable greater use of the archive’s digital collections by academic researchers, the local council, community groups and the general public. Currently many requests to the archive are handled manually, with material transferred and made available on CDs and memory sticks.
AVORA raises £5m, plans US expansion
AVORA has raised £5.1 million in a Series A funding round led by Albion VC and existing investor Crane. The machine learning-powered enterprise analytics platform also saw several previous backers reinvest, including former Salesforce chairman Steve Garnett and former Sage Group chief executive Stephen Kelly.
US gov shutdown disrupts official site security
The US government shutdown has led to the website security certificates for agencies like NASA and the Department of Justice expiring, limiting some services and leaving them exposed to cyber attack. The shutdown is already the longest in US history and shows no imminent signs of ending, as president Donald Trump holds out for concessions from the Democrats over his budget plans. It has so far affected around 800,000 federal staff, with roughly half of those having been placed on furlough.
Wearable HealthTech spend to hit $60bn by 2023
Wearables, including health trackers and remote patient monitoring devices, are set to become ‘must haves’ in delivering healthcare, with $20 billion forecast to be spent annually on these devices by 2023. This is according to market analysis by Juniper Research, which also suggested that connected hearing aids made available via healthcare providers - as well as directly to customers at varying price models - will mean this sector generates revenues of over $40 billion by 2022.
Three quarters back smart city traffic tech
Nearly three quarters of Brits think that ‘smart city’ infrastructure, such as smart traffic lights and automatic bollard systems, could help to reduce traffic congestion in the UK’s urban centres.A survey of city-dwellers by Security firm ATG Access found that 65 per cent are frustrated with the levels of congestion. Londoners were the most frustrated with traffic levels, with 76 per cent venting their ire.
Google data censorship ‘should be limited to EU’
Google should be able to ringfence the “right to be forgotten” to searches made in the European Union, the advocate general has found in a preliminary opinion over a French fine.The internet search giant welcomed the opinion advanced by Maciej Szpunar, the advocate general and top advisor to the European Court of Justice (ECJ), which stated that Google and other search engines should only be required to delist sensitive information about individuals which appears in searches made in the EU - not the rest of the world.
Commercial drone market to be worth over $15bn
The growing market for commercial UAS (unmanned aerial systems) platforms and associated services will grow to over $15.1 billion by 2027, driven by various sectors, but this will require the right regulation, according to a new report.
Amazon to invest in French robotics firm Balyo
Amazon could buy almost a third of shares in a French warehouse robotics firm that specialises in self-driving forklift trucks.The e-commerce giant is reportedly planning to boost its stake in Balyo over the next seven years in a deal that could drive up sales of the French firm’s automated warehouse technology.
First AI-centric data centre switch
Huawei has unveiled what it claims is the industry’s first data centre switch built for the Artificial Intelligence era, the CloudEngine 16800. According to the vendor’s Global Industry Vision 2025 report, the AI adoption rate will increase from 16% in 2015 to 86% in 2025.
Alibaba buys German data startup for £80m
Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba has bought German data analysis startup Data Artisans in a deal reportedly valuing the company at around €90 million. The acquisition will also see Alibaba invest an undisclosed sum to develop Data Artisan’s Apache Flink, an open source data processing software.
Small-satellites market is heating up
The small-satellite launch service market is gaining pace with 89 small satellites launched in the third quarter of 2018 and thousands more expected. A whole range of applications will be supported for different industries.
Drone sighting halts Heathrow flights
Flights at Heathrow airport were suspended for an hour yesterday evening as police responded to reports of a potential drone sighting above the runway, less than a month after drone sightings caused Christmas travel chaos at Gatwick airport. Flights were grounded for approximately half an hour and the military was called in to assist after police investigated reports of a device flying above the airport.
IBM unveils first quantum computer for commercial use
At the 2019 Consumer Electronics Show, IBM has unveiled Q System One, the world's first integrated universal approximate quantum computing system designed for scientific and commercial use. IBM Q systems are designed to one day tackle problems that are currently seen as too complex and exponential in nature for classical systems to handle. Future applications of quantum computing may include finding new ways to model financial data and isolating key global risk factors to make better investments, or finding the optimal path across global systems for ultra-efficient logistics for deliveries.
Intel’s Mobileye partners Ordnance Survey for mapping data
Intel’s self-driving data firm Mobileye is partnering with Ordnance Survey, the UK’s mapping agency, to build an accurate picture of the UK’s under and overground infrastructure. The deal, announced at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, will draw upon Mobileye’s camera-based and self-driving mapping data combined with Ordnance Survey’s geospatial expertise to offer smart mapping of UK road networks to markets including the energy and infrastructure sector.
Samsung warns of profit fall
Apple is not the only one with woes, as Samsung Electronics said it expects fourth-quarter operating profit to fall 29%.
Amazon unveils in-garage delivery option
Amazon customers will soon have the option to have parcels left in the garage, according to an announcement at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. The Amazon Key service, which is integrated with the Key app, is set to be available to in the US to Prime customers with garages fitted with MyQ technology from the second quarter of 2019, the company said.
Government to extend drone exclusion zone
Police are to be given new legal powers to combat illegal drone use after flights were suspended for two days last month at Gatwick airport due to drone sightings over the runway, resulting in holiday travel chaos.Chris Grayling, the transport secretary, has said that the government is to extend the drone exclusion zone around UK airports to around five kilometres, including extensions for runways, up from the 1km zone which currently applies.
Terminology confusion ‘stifling cyber insurance’
The lack of standard terminology in cyber insurance policies causes confusion for brokers and customers, and is ultimately stifling market growth, according to cyber insurance comparison engine Cyber|Decider. While demand for cyber insurance is growing, there is much confusion about the policies available and the terms of cover because insurers fail to use standard wordings. For instance, what one firm calls ‘network expenditure’, another terms ‘data restoration costs’, while in some policies the definition of 'computer' also includes ‘industrial control systems’ and in others it does not.
Huawei server chip takes aim at the cloud
Huawei has unveiled a new ARM-based server CPU and a new line of servers boasting higher computing power for data centres.
Boots buys digital healthcare company
Boots UK has acquired Wiggly-Amps, a health technology company which has developed an accessible digital solution that enables patients and their GPs to manage their prescription needs. Richard Bradley, pharmacy director at Boots UK, said he was looking for ways to make things simpler and quicker for customers and patients. “It’s an exciting time for the future of pharmacy and today’s announcement is just one of the ways we are strengthening the development of our digital healthcare ambitions.”
Mercedes accelerates autonomous vehicle plans
Mercedes-Benz is pushing forward with efforts to be one of the first two companies developing self-driving vehicles to scale up the technology. Speaking to German newspaper Welt am Sonntag over the weekend, the car manufacturer’s North American head of autonomous driving Christoph Schroeder acknowledged that Google is leading the field in autonomous vehicle technology with its Waymo division, which completed the highest number of test miles with its prototype vehicles.
Amazon expands fleet with 10 new planes
Amazon has expanded its fleet of dedicated cargo delivery aircraft with the lease of 10 new Boeing 767 planes. The e-commerce giant announced it was stepping up its Prime delivery fleet, taking the total number of cargo aircraft leased through its partnership with Air Transport Services Group (ATSG) to 50.
Alphabet life sciences company raises $1 billion
Verily, a life sciences division of Google’s parent company Alphabet, has raised $1 billion in its latest funding round.Reuters news reported that the company, formerly called Google Life Sciences, has raised the money in an investment round led by Silver Lake, a private equity firm specialising in technology investment.
ERA: Streaming drives entertainment sales in 2018
The entertainment market is now three quarters digital, while the video games sector now accounts for more than half of the UK's entire entertainment market, according to a new report. Booming streaming services helped the UK entertainment market to another all-time-high of £7.537 billion in 2018, according to preliminary data compiled by the Entertainment Retailers Association (ERA).
Mobile biometrics to top $1.67trn by 2023
Goode Intelligence forecasts that over $1.67 trillion of mobile biometric payments will be made annually by 2023 and over $8.7 billion revenue will be generated for suppliers of mobile biometric technology by 2023. Mobile biometrics have transformed how financial firms identify and authenticate customers, enabling them to dispense with inconvenient technologies that have been shoehorned to work on smart mobile devices.
Nokia completes video business sale to Volaris
Nokia has completed the sale of its IP video business to the Canada’s Volaris Group for an undisclosed sum, following news of the divestment first announced in September.
Shares in Apple slump on sales forecast cut
Shares in Apple plummeted by 7.7 per cent after the company issued a revenue guidance warning, knocking its market value below $700 billion and dragging down tech stocks across the sector. The iPhone producer’s revised sales guidance, predicting revenue of around $84 billion (£67 billion) for the three months to December, is the first time it has felt the need to preface its quarterly results since the introduction of the iPhone in 2007.
Study proves feasibility of satellite quantum communication
Researchers in Italy have demonstrated the feasibility of quantum communications between high-orbiting global navigation satellites and a ground station, with an exchange at the single photon level over a distance of 20,000 km.
Google gets go ahead for touchless tech plans
Google’s project to build touchless tech computers controlled by hand gestures has received the green light to operate sensors at higher frequencies by US regulators. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced on Monday that it would allow the Alphabet-owned company to continue to operate and test sensors for Project Soli, a radar-based technology which aims to enable virtual control by sensing the motion of fingers.
Drone detection firm raises $7.5m
Digital Global Systems (DGS) has raised an additional $7.5 million to improve its CLEARSKY drone threat management solution. The Series B-3 and B-4 fundraising rounds bring its total investment since inception to more than $28 million.
What's in store for technology in 2019?
With only a week or so to go of 2018, it’s time to look forward and make some big predictions for what’s coming in 2019. From HealthTech to cyber security, telecommunication networks to the Internet of Things (IoT), we’ve brought together a brain trust to see what the future holds.
Facebook hits back at message sharing claims
Facebook has hit back at reports that it improperly allowed third party apps, including Spotify and Netflix, to access millions of users’ private messages.Following a report in the New York Times this week which alleged that Facebook had disclosed private messages to commercial partners without users’ knowledge, the social media giant used a blog to refute the claims.
Drones cause flight chaos at Gatwick Airport
Unmanned drones have caused holiday travel chaos and disrupted flights for 10,000 travellers at Gatwick, the UK’s second largest airport. All scheduled flights in and out of Gatwick have reportedly been suspended until 7pm today (Thursday), after runways briefly reopened at 3:01am following reports of drones flying over the airfield last night.
Dataiku raises £80m and plans new UK HQ
Dataiku has announced an £80 million Series C funding round led by ICONIQ Capital and supported by Alven Capital, Battery Ventures, Dawn Capital and FirstMark Capital. With this latest funding round, the enterprise data science and machine learning platform provider plans to double its current staff of 20 in the UK. It will also open a new UK headquarters in central London in early 2019, aimed at becoming a local hub of data science for AI education and innovation.
3M acquires HealthTech business for $1bn
3M has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire M*Modal for a total enterprise value of $1 billion. M*Modal is a healthcare technology provider of cloud-based, conversational artificial intelligence (AI) powered systems that help physicians efficiently capture and improve conversations with patients.
Pilot tests robot impact on guide dogs
The charity Guide Dogs and autonomous delivery provider Starship Technologies have announced the findings of a preliminary test to explore the impact that autonomous technologies will have on visually impaired people using guide dogs. The collaboration marks the first time that autonomous delivery services, operating live on public pavements, have been tested out on the street in conjunction with assistance dogs. Conducted in Milton Keynes, the pilot saw guide dogs accompanied by their owners and/or trainers encounter Starship’s autonomous delivery robots in live scenarios, including meetings from the front and rear, overtaking one another, and heading towards each other at a road crossing.
France to push ahead with tax on tech giants
France’s finance minister has said he expects a new tax on major tech companies such as Google and Apple to raise an estimated €500 million a year. Bruno Le Maire said that the French government would plough on with attempts to impose a levy on companies such as Amazon, Facebook and Apple unilaterally, after attempts to agree EU-wide legislation broke down earlier this month, according to AFP.
Innovation required in digital security for UK 5G: report
A new report, produced as part of the UK's 5G Testbed and Trials programme, has been released, arguing that the UK needs to rethink its mobile security strategy to ensure safe future 5G networks. It makes four key recommendations to protect the UK’s future vital infrastructure and safeguard the country’s position as a leader in 5G technologies.
Met police trials live facial recognition tech
Live facial recognition technology will deployed in locations in Westminster this week as part of the Metropolitan Police Service's (MPS) ongoing trial of the technology. The mobile deployment and will cover areas in the vicinity of Soho, Piccadilly Circus and Leicester Square in London.
UK cyber security recruitment 'hit by Brexit'
The UK’s cyber security industry could be hit by proposals to slash immigration from the EU by 80 per cent after Brexit, according to recruitment experts. Home secretary Sajid Javid has outlined plans to cut EU migration from 74,000 to between 10,000 and 25,000 within the next six years. The proposals, aimed at regaining control of Britain’s borders after Brexit, are set to be included in a long-awaited government whitepaper, expected to be unveiled before the end of the week.
Industrial IoT rise drives testing market
Rebounding from a two-year slump, the non-destructive test (NDT) inspection services market is undergoing an overall transformation. This is according to analysis from Frost & Sullivan which stated that the convergence of technologies such as Big Data, predictive analytics, digital twins, cloud computing and smart factories is enhancing growth opportunities and giving rise to several new business models.
Orange and DT push Euro made Djingo smart speaker
Both operators said they are teaming to push Europe’s technology innovation, to stop the region falling behind the US and Asia. Orange presented a range of new products and services at its annual Hello Show, including the Djingo smart speaker, developed and presented jointly with Deutsche Telekom.
Apple details US expansion plans
Apple has announced a major American expansion, with expansion in Austin, Pittsburgh, New York and Boulder, along with new sites in Seattle, San Diego and Culver City. The tech giant plans to invest $10 billion in US data centers over the next five years, including $4.5 billion this year and next. Those in North Carolina, Arizona and Nevada are currently being expanded, while in Iowa, preparations are underway for the company’s newest data center in Waukee.
Russian ‘AI android’ is man in robot suit
An Artificial Intelligence (AI) robot that appeared on Russian state television to demonstrate the country’s technological progress was in fact a man in a robot suit. Footage of the alleged android called Boris singing and dancing at an event for school pupils was broadcast by the Rossiya 24 news channel.
PM's FinTech ambassador predicts banking ‘Amazonification’
The prime minister’s FinTech amabassador has predicted the “Amazonification” of banking, as global tech giants leverage their personal data dominance to branch out into financial services. In an exclusive interview with FStech on the fringes of the Finastra Universe conference in London this week, Alastair Lukies, the founder of mobile banking firm Monitise, who has served as the UK government’s FinTech ambassador under two prime ministers, said tech giants could use Open Banking to challenge incumbent banks.
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.