ByteDance, owner of video sharing app TikTok, saw its revenue grow 111 per cent to 34.3 billion for the 2020 financial year. The Beijing-based company also reported a 93 per cent increase in gross profit to $19 billion for 2020.
Google is developing an alternative to the industry standard method for classifying skin tones, according to sources reported by Reuters. The news comes amid widespread concerns that facial recognition could open the door to racial bias.
The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has launched a market study into Apple and Google’s mobile ecosystems over concerns they have market power which is harming users.
Google has opened its first ever physical retail store in New York City. The software giant said that the new space would give customers an “immersive” experience and enable hands-on interaction with the company’s devices and services – including Pixel phones, Nest products, Fitbit wearables, and Pixelbooks.
UK information commissioner Elizabeth Denham has said that she is “deeply concerned” about the potential for live facial recognition (LFR) to be used inappropriately, excessively, or even recklessly. Denham warned that while facial recognition technology can be beneficial, when its algorithms are used to scan people’s faces in real time and in more public contexts, the risk to privacy increases.
The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has said it is launching a new dedicated page that will highlight individual influencers who have “repeatedly failed to disclose when their Instagram posts are ads.”
Current Microsoft chief executive Satya Nadella, who has held the leadership role since 2014, has been unanimously elected by the board to take on the role of chair. The software giant, which currently has a market capitalisation of around 1.97 trillion, saw revenues expand significantly under Satya’s leadership.
Around 185,000 IT sector jobs are currently under threat, according to new research. The latest business distress index from UK company Real Business Rescue, found that the number of IT SMEs in significant financial distress stands at 47,000, an increase of 15 per cent increase in the first quarter of the year.
Ordering takeaways via food delivery apps like Deliveroo and UberEats can be up to 44 per cent more expensive than going directly to the restaurant, according to a new study from Which?.
UK technology industry body Tech Nation has introduced a new guide for tech founders and their employees to help them build more diverse and inclusive businesses.
Tech Nation said the toolkit was created from interviews conducted with UK tech leaders, and contains checklists, links to tools and resources, and case studies which highlight examples of companies who have enacted positive change.
Over half of organisations have been the victim of a ransomware attack, according to new research. A study from Cybereason surveyed around 1,260 security professionals across the United States, United Kingdom, Spain, Germany, France, United Arab Emirates, and Singapore.
NHS Test and Trace has chosen cyber security company Risk Ledger to manage cyber security risks in their supply chain. The platform, established to track and prevent the spread of Covid-19, will use the company’s ‘social network’ which enables organisations to connect and share data securely.
Ford, Nissan, LG Corp, Samsung, and electric vehicle (EV) start-ups Britishvolt and InoBat Auto are currently in talks with the UK government over building EV battery factories, according to sources reported by The Financial Times. The news comes ahead of the government's plan to ban the sale of new petrol and diesel cars by 2030 and all hybrid cars by 2035.
BigTech giants like Facebook and Amazon could now face more data protection challenges from regulators following a new ruling from the EU Court of Justice. Under certain conditions, a national supervisory authority may now exercise its power to bring any alleged infringement of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) before a court of a member state, even though that authority is not the lead regulator in regard to that processing.
YouTube has prohibited election advertisements directly endorsing political candidates from appearing on the masthead spot on its homepage. The masthead is the highly visible banner running on top of the YouTube homepage.
More than a third of workers say they have picked up bad cybersecurity behaviours and found security ‘workarounds’ since working remotely, according to new research. A study commissioned by Tessian, which surveyed over 4,000 professionals in the US and UK across varying company sizes and industries, found that 30 per cent of employees think they can get away with riskier security behaviours when working remotely.
The chief executive of the UK’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) has said that ransomware is the key threat facing the UK and urged the public and business to take it seriously. Speaking at the Royal United Services Institute at its annual security lecture on Monday, Lindy Cameron warned of the “cumulative effect” failing to properly deal with the rising threat.
Facebook is launching TextStyleBrush, an AI research project that can copy text style in a photo using just one word. The new tool can edit and replace text in images.
Virgin Atlantic has partnered with Vertical Aerospace to explore the possibility of launching a flying taxi service in the UK. The partnership includes an option for the company to buy up to 150 eVTOL (electric Vertical Take-Off and Landing) aircraft, as part of the exploration into a Virgin Atlantic branded short haul flying taxi network.
US chip giant Qualcomm is willing to invest in Cambridge-based chip designer Arm if its controversial takeover by Nvidia is blocked on anti-trust concerns. Cristiano Amon, who was announced as the new chief executive of Qualcomm in January 2021, told The Telegraph his company would be willing to invest in Arm if the current owner, Japanese conglomerate Softbank, decides to take the company public rather than sell to Nvidia.
Amazon could face an EU privacy fine of more than €350 million over alleged violations of General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) rules.
Facebook will let all its 60,000 employees to work remotely after the pandemic ends if their roles allow them to do so. Prior to this, only workers at a sufficient level of seniority were allowed a full time remote working arrangement.
American video game company Electronic Arts (EA) has reportedly had a wealth of game source code stolen during a hack on Thursday. According to a report by Vice, hackers broke into the gaming giant's systems and stole various pieces of valuable information, including source code and related internal tools.
The UK and US have agreed to deepen ties on science and technology, to create a new era of strategic cooperation in the field. As part of US president Joe Biden’s visit to the UK and under the framework of the revitalised Atlantic Charter, the UK government said that the two countries have pledged to develop a landmark partnership to “strengthen their relationship, while creating jobs and protecting the security of citizens.”
The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has said that, following an investigation, it has secured commitments from Google to address concerns about its proposal to remove third-party cookies on Chrome.
Deliveroo has partnered with Neighbourhood Watch to offer riders training to keep communities safe across the UK. The optional training will include: rider vehicle safety, spotting the signs of street harassment and women’s safety, spotting the signs of domestic abuse, handling confrontation and bystander training, spotting the signs of modern slavery, human trafficking, and drug dealing.
Ledger, the crypto hardware wallet developer, has announced $380 million in funding. The French company, which was founded in 2014, said that the funding will help make digital assets more secure and accessible to everyone.
Seven in ten – 70.69 per cent – of retail assistants face the possibility of automation taking their jobs, according to research from electrical goods retailer Electrical Direct. Retail assistants are set to be less impacted than waiting staff or shelf stackers according to the research, who face a 72.81 per cent and a 71.70 per cent risk of being automated, respectively.
The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) is set to formally investigate Amazon’s use of data. The move follows months of analysis by the competition watchdog according to sources reported by The Financial Times.
A major outage which impacted much of the internet on Tuesday has been blamed on a software bug. Fastly, which said that the internet blackout was due to an undiscovered bug that surfaced when it was triggered by a "valid customer configuration change."
Address verification company Swiftcomplete has announced a new partnership with what3words. Swiftcomplete is the first to offer what3words as a standard, built-in feature, which can be switched on anytime an address finder is added to an e-commerce checkout page.
In the UK, people spent on average three hours and 37 minutes a day on smartphones, tablets, and computers during the pandemic, according to a new report from Ofcom. Brits spend nine minutes longer online daily last year compared to 2019.
The transfer of GP records to a centralised NHS database is set to be delayed to 1 September, following objections from numerous senior GPs and campaigners. The move was originally set to take place on July 1 but has been delayed by two months to give NHS Digital time to “talk to patients, doctors, health charities and others to strengthen the plan, build a trusted research environment and ensure that the data is accessed securely,” according to chief executive Lord Bethell.
A major outage impacted much of the internet on Tuesday, temporarily pushing high-profile websites like Amazon, Reddit, and PayPal offline. Other websites including gov.uk, BBC.com, Shopify, HBO Max, Vimeo, Hulu, CNN, the Financial Times, the Guardian, and the New York Times were also impacted by the shut down.
175 civil society organisations, activists, technologists, and other experts from across the world have co-signed an open letter calling on decision makers to ban biometric surveillance. The letter urges governments to stop the use of facial recognition and remote biometric recognition, claiming that these technologies enable “mass surveillance and discriminatory targeted surveillance.”
Amazon chief executive Jeff Bezos has announced he will be travelling into space next month. In an Instagram post, the Amazon chief executive said he would be taking the trip with his brother on 20 July.
Google is set to pay €220 to the French Competition Authority - Autorité de la concurrence – in response to allegations that the BigTech giant pursued anti-competitive practices in the online advertising space. The regulator ruled that Google Ad Manager illegally favoured Google’s own online ad marketplace, Google AdX.
Istanbul-based grocery delivery app Getir has raised $550 million in a Series D funding round, giving it a total valuation of $7.5 billion. The start-up, founded in 2015, offers consumers “ultra-fast” deliveries in under 15 minutes.
Gradient Ventures, Google’s AI-focused venture capital fund, has led an $8.2 million Series C funding round in the London-based Software-as-a service (SaaS ) start-up Vault Platform. Founded in 2018, the start-up provides “TrustTech” solutions, which enable employees to record, report, and resolve misconduct confidentially.
The NHS should delay plans to share personal medical histories with academic and commercial third parties, Labour has said. In a letter to the chief executive of NHS Digital, shadow minister for prevention, public health and primary care Alex Norris said that although the benefits of collaborative planning and research are clear, data sharing must be “built on trust.”
Tinder, Match, Hinge, Bumble, Badoo, Plenty of Fish, OutTime, and Muzmatch have partnered with the government to encourage users to get Covid-19 vaccinations via a new campaign. The country’s leading dating brands will add new features to their platforms and websites to support the initiative.
G7 finance ministers have agreed on reforms that will see multinational tech giants pay their ‘fair share of tax’ in the countries they operate in. At a meeting in London, the group of nations decided on a global minimum rate that ensures multinationals at least 15 per cent tax in each country they do business in.
The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) is opening an investigation into Facebook over its collection and use of data. The probe will look at whether the social media giant might be abusing a dominant position in the market through its use of advertising and single sign-on data.
Most of the 55 million patients whose GP records will soon be shared with third parties will be unaware of the plan due to a “total lack of engagement” by NHS Digital, according to The Chartered Institute for IT (BCS). The GP information of 55 million NHS patients will be moved to a new database and shared with researchers, academics, and other third parties unless people opt out by 23 June.
Fiducia & GAD IT, a German company that provides IT services to many of the nation’s co-operative banks has been hit by a distributed denial of service attack (DDoS). DDoS attacks aim to overload a website by firing huge amounts of requests at it from multiple machines until it is forced to crash.
Rishi Sunak has said that he is confident about reaching a global agreement on a digital tax. Ahead of the first in-person G7 meeting in two years, the chancellor said he believes world finance leaders can make “significant progress” in tackling some of the world’s most pressing economic challenges, include a tax on BigTech companies.
The European ministers responsible for media are set to meet to discuss potential ways to address the challenges to freedom of expression posed by AI. The conference aims to secure the political engagement of the 47 member states of the Council of Europe (CoE) to several priority actions and to map the future work of the organisation regarding technology and media.
Instagram has chosen Genesys to provide API support for its messenger feature. The cloud customer experience company said that businesses will now be able to interact with consumers via private Instagram messaging, to deliver personalised experiences, answer product questions, and address concerns.
The rising adoption of cloud-native architectures, DevOps, and agile methodologies has broken traditional approaches to application security, according to new research. A global study from software company Dynatrace, which surveyed 700 CISOs, found that 89 per cent of respondents say microservices, containers, and Kubernetes have created application security blind spots.
Atos and Huma, the digital health companies, have announced a five-year partnership to improve healthcare and research with remote monitoring technologies. The partnership will focus on Huma’s modular platform which can power digital ‘hospitals at home’ up to national scale, as well as support pharmaceutical and research industries to run complex global decentralised clinical trials.
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has said that a significant number of firms are withdrawing their applications, as result of not being able to meet its anti-money laundering (AML) standards. The FCA is set to extend the end date of its temporary registrations scheme for existing cryptoasset businesses from 9 July 2021 to 31 March 2022.
Gmail is the online application internet users most forget the password for with an average of 454,100 global monthly searches for ‘forgot Gmail password,’ according to new research. Reboot Online Marketing used online analytics tool Ahrefs to establish which online accounts people most forget the password for.
The UK is now home to more than 1,300 AI companies, up from just 180 in 2011. According to data from Tech Nation, the growth platform for UK tech businesses, this represents a 600 per cent increase in AI companies over the 10-year period.
The Information Commissoner’s Office (ICO) is calling for views to help develop its anonymisation, pseudonymisation, and privacy enhancing technologies guidance.
Data analytics firm Cloudera is set go private in a $5.3 billion private equity buyout led by KKR and Clayton Dubilier & Rice (CD&R). The Palo Alto-based company provides cloud-based tools and services that allows companies to analyse and manage big data.
Silicon Valley start-up Exabeam has raised $200 million in its latest round of funding, valuing the company at $2.4 billion. The company automates the analysis and monitoring of cybersecurity data for businesses.
Amazon is reportedly planning to open ‘wellness chambers’, where employees can sit inside and watch relaxation videos, across its warehouses. The e-commerce giant shared a video on its Twitter account of its ‘AmaZen’ chamber would support staff in focusing on their mental health.
Mountain Rescue England and Wales (MREW) has questioned the accuracy of location sharing application what3words. The platform divides the world into three metre squares and gives each square a unique combination of three words to help users find and share exact locations.
The EU is set to launch a digital wallet within the next year, that will enable citizens of the 27 countries to access local government services and pay utility bills. The app will use biometric authentication to control access, such as fingerprint or retina scanning, according to sources reported by The Financial Times.
Jeff Bezos has announced that he is formally stepping down from the role of chief executive at Amazon on 7 July. "We chose that date because it's sentimental for me, the day Amazon was incorporated in 1994, exactly 27 years ago," said Bezos at a shareholder meeting on Wednesday.
British MedTech company Belluscura has debuted on the AIM market of the London Stock Exchange (LSE), raising £16.1 million. The company, which achieved a valuation of £51 million in early trading, has developed a lightweight and portable oxygen enrichment technology.
Expecting to find a cannabis farm, West Midlands Police discovered a cryptocurrency mine stealing thousands of pounds worth of electricity last week. The police force executed a drugs warrant at a Black Country industrial unit in Sandwell, after receiving intelligence that the warehouse was being used to grow marijuana.
The group behind the attacks on SolarWinds customers last year are now targeting government agencies, think tanks, consultants, and non-governmental organisations, according to Microsoft. The tech giant said that this week a wave of attacks targeted around 3,000 email accounts across more than 150 different organisations.
French cash flow management start-up Agicap has raised $100 million in a Series B funding round. Based in Lyon, the start-up provides a platform for SMBs to manage and plan their cashflows, which it says provides forecasts over one-, three-, six- and 12-month periods.
Uber has said it will formally recognise GMB, which can now represent up to 70,000 Uber drivers across the UK. The move builds on changes made earlier this year which guarantee all drivers the National Living Wage, holiday pay, and a pension plan.
Amazon has announced that it will buy US media company Metro Goldwyn Mayer (MGM) for $8.45 billion. The technology giant said that with nearly a century of filmmaking history, MGM will complement the work of Amazon Studios, which has primarily focused on producing TV shows.
Apple is currently recruiting a business development manager with several years’ experience in the crypto space, hinting at an increased interest in digital assets by the BigTech giant. The role will centre on “alternative payments” and will also require experience in in Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) services.
A global deal on a minimum corporate tax rate must force BigTech companies to pay their fair share, the UK has said. Last week, the US proposed that multinational companies should be taxed at a minimum of 15 per cent, which is less than an original proposal of 21 per cent.
Goldman Sachs has signed up to The Green Software Foundation, a sustainability initiative launched by Microsoft, ThoughtWorks, Accenture and GitHub.The non-profit foundation has been set up to address the carbon emissions crisis and is aimed at encouraging companies to make impact pledges to become carbon neutral or carbon negative through development and use of green software.
A number of Israeli media outlets have urged Facebook and Twitter to take decisive action against rising online threats against journalists.
Scientists at the UK Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA) have tested a world-first concept that could address one of the biggest hurdles in developing fusion energy. Initial results from UKAEA’s new ‘MAST Upgrade’ experiment have demonstrated the effectiveness of an innovative exhaust system designed to make compact fusion power plants commercially viable.
AI and facial recognition has reportedly been used by authorities to monitor the emotions of Uyghurs in the Xinjiang region of China. A software engineer told the BBC that they had installed these camera systems in police stations in the area.
A Bitcoin Mining Council has been formed to improve the cryptocurrency’s environmental footprint. The move follows talks between a group of established North American Bitcoin miners and Tesla founder Elon Musk.
A clinical test of a technique called optogenetics has enabled a 58-year-old man to see for the first time in 40 years. After receiving an injection of light-sensitive proteins into his retina, and with the help of image-enhancing goggles, he can now see images and moving objects.
Scientists have found a new system capable of identifying complex molecular signatures that could help find alien life in the universe. Researchers at the University of Glasgow said that the new tool could even lead to the creation of new forms of life in the laboratory.
A City of London and Metropolitan police unit has arrested eight people suspected of sending out ‘smishing’ scam texts in a crackdown on criminals primarily posing as Royal Mail. These messages aim to steal personal and financial details by directing recipients to fake versions of trusted organisations’ websites.
Israel's government has signed a $1.2 billion deal with Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Google. The deal will see the BigTech giants provide cloud services for the country's public sector and military.
Virgin Galactic, the spaceflight company co-founded by Richard Branson, has announced a successful launch of humans into space from New Mexico. The launch, which took place over the weekend, represents the company’s third spaceflight.
4.5 million Air India passengers had their personal data leaked following a cyber-attack on the airline’s SITA PSS data processor. Air India said that it was first aware of the breach back in February.
A group of UK space tech companies are developing a new beam-hopping satellite that will allow satellites to switch which part of the world they cover. The satellite project, led by global satellite communications network OneWeb and funded by the UK government, will manage real-time surges in commercial demand and respond to emergencies such as natural disasters.
The UK government is investing £166 million into green technology and development in a move that is set to create 60,000 jobs.The cash injection is intended to drive forward developments in critical technology needed to fuel the government’s ‘green industrial revolution’ strategy including carbon capture, greenhouse gas removal and hydrogen while also helping find solutions to decarbonise the UK’s polluting sectors including manufacturing, steel, energy and waste.
AI-based climate platform Cervest has raised $30 million in a Series A funding round.
Cervest said it seeks to help enterprises, financial services companies, and governments quantify climate risk down to the asset level. The start-up said its platform combines public and private data sources with machine learning and statistics to present a unified view of climate risk.
Snapchat has revealed the launch of its new augmented reality (AR) display glasses. The glasses aren’t for sale, instead they are designed for a “select group of global AR creators.”
The EU Cloud Code of Conduct (CoC) has become the first GDPR code to get the go ahead from data protection authorities. The members of the EU Cloud Code of Conduct General Assembly and SCOPE Europe announced that the CoC has received its official approval by the Belgian Data Protection Authority, following the positive opinion issued by the European Data Protection Board.
77 per cent of global shoppers have reduced their digital footprint for fear they are losing control over their privacy, according to research. A report from data analytics business Trūata found that nearly half of consumers have lost control over how much data is stored about them, while a further 49 per cent feel that coronavirus restrictions forced them to expand their digital footprint this year.
Microsoft is set to retire its once dominant web browser Internet Explorer, as the software giant looks to move its focus to its newer Edge browser. The browser will no longer appear as part of consumer versions of Windows 10 after 15 June 2022, ending 26 years of operation.
Twitter’s AI-powered cropping tool is bias toward excluding black people and men, according to new research from the social media platform. After hearing feedback from users that the tool didn’t serve everyone equitably, Twitter said it would analyse its model again for bias.
Amazon is facing lawsuits from five women who accuse the company of both racial and gender bias. The women have accused the e-commerce giant of favouring men over women in career growth, allowing supervisors to belittle them, and retaliating after they complained, according to a report by Reuters.
The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has fined American Express (Amex) £90,000 for sending more than four million marketing emails to customers who did not want to receive them. In 2020, the ICO dished out fines worth over £42 million across 16 companies.
HMRC has spent £262,000 on cyber security training for its staff over the past two years, according to official figures. The numbers were obtained by Parliament Street under a Freedom of Information request.
Formlabs, a 3D printing company, has raised a $150 million Series E funding round, doubling its valuation to $2 billion. The Somerville, Massachusetts based company, founded in 2011, provides mid-market “prosumer” level devices, at lower prices than its industrial competitors.
Almost four-fifths of UK consumers believe that everything will have a virtual component after the pandemic has ended, according to new research from Zoom. The study surveyed nearly 8,000 consumers, including over 1,000 in the UK.
Sutton and Kingston councils are deploying sensors to monitor rising water levels to help reduce the risk of disruption from road closures caused by surface water flooding. Kingston has suffered from major flooding in the past, which has resulted in the borough’s road network grinding to a halt in the town centre.
Amazon has extended its moratorium on the police use of its facial recognition software. The company first imposed a suspension of the technology by law enforcement in June 2020.
Google has announced it is launching its news showcase in India. Google News Showcase is a new licensing programme that pays publishers to curate content for story panels across Google services.
The German Federal Cartel Office has announced the initiation of proceedings against Amazon based on new rules for BigTech companies. The antitrust watchdog said that it is examining whether Amazon is of “paramount significance for competition across markets.”
Transport for London (TfL) will launch a 12-month e-scooter trial with Dott, Lime, and TIER in the capital next month. The rental trial will begin on 7 June in a core group of boroughs, Canary Wharf, and the City of London, with more areas expected to join the year-long trial.
The government has announced it has new plans to boost the cyber resilience of the UK’s critical supply chains. The Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) is calling for views on a number of measures to enhance the security of digital supply chains and third party IT services, used by firms for things such as data processing and infrastructure management.
The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) and KPMG UK have launched a second survey to explore new benchmarks on disability and neurodiversity to improve understanding of diversity characteristics within the workforce.
Ireland’s data regulator can now go ahead with an investigation that could lead to the ban of Facebook’s transatlantic data transfers, following a High Court ruling on Friday.
The government has announced plans for a new ‘Emergency Alerts’ service that will automatically text people when their lives are at risk. The new text alert system will contact Brits in the vicinity of terror attacks, flooding and other natural disasters, as well as other life-threatening scenarios including fires.
A “significant” ransomware attack has impacted the IT systems of Ireland’s health service, leading the country’s Health Service Executive (HSE) to shut down its entire network. A ransomware attack is when cybercriminals encrypt data or systems, preventing access to them, usually followed by a ransom demand in exchange for access.
More than half of compliance professionals say digital transformation of the customer due diligence process will have the biggest impact on their risk organisation over the next 12 months, according to new research.
The government needs to be clear about what makes online material harmful if new laws are to be effective, experts have said. BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT, praised the new legislation but warned that tighter guidelines are necessary to make sure the Online Safety Bill is a success.
Amazon has announced it will create over 10,000 new permanent jobs in 2021, taking its total UK workforce to more than 55,000 people. The company said it will also invest £10 million over three years to train up to 5,000 employees in new skills.
Unmind, a workplace mental health platform, has closed a $47 million Series B funding round. The round was led by EQT Ventures and supported by Sapphire Ventures, with existing investors Project A, Felix Capital, and True also joining the round.
Financial services firms that experience a data breach report an average loss of roughly $4.2 million per attack, according to new research by network services provider Infoblox. The research surveyed 800 responses from IT professionals working in the financial services industry in North America, Latin America, Europe and the Asia Pacific region.
The majority of higher education institutions consider digital transformation as a priority for their school, according to new research.
Amazon has won a legal appeal in the European General Court over an order it had to pay €250 million worth of back taxes to Luxembourg.
Tesla has stopped allowing customers to use bitcoin to purchase its vehicles, citing the fossil fuel intensive nature of bitcoin mining. The cryptocurrency, which is the largest in the world in terms of market capitalisation, fell 17 per cent in the aftermath of chief executive Elon Musk’s tweet.
The Diem Association has announced a new partnership with Silvergate Capital, which will become the exclusive issuer of the organisation’s stablecoin cryptocurrency in the United States.
Researchers at Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University (NTU) have found a way to control Venus flytraps using smartphone electric signals.
The UK must rapidly accelerate the roll out of gigafactories and new battery technology development, or risk losing domestic car production altogether, according to a new report by HSSMI.
Huma Therapeutics has raised $130 million to fund its digital health platform. The money will be spent on scaling the British healthcare company’s modular platform, which can power digital ‘hospitals at home’ nationally by supporting pharmaceutical and research industries to run what it describes as “the largest ever decentralised clinical trials.”
New internet laws will give Ofcom the power to fine technology companies up to £18 million, or ten per cent of annual turnover, if they fail to deliver a duty of care. The regulator will also be able to block access to sites.
Brits will be able to access their covid-19 vaccination status for travel via the NHS App from 17 May. UK citizens without access to a smartphone will be able to call the NHS Helpline to request a letter outlining their vaccination status.
The Water Services Regulation Authority, known as Ofwat, has been hit with more than 20,000 malicious emails this year. The data was obtained by a Freedom of Information request by Parliament Street.
Shares in Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic Holdings dropped by 9.4 per cent on Monday, after the company said it was “evaluating” the timing of its next flight test.
Web-application attacks accounted for 90 per cent of all cyber-attacks in Britain and Ireland, according to new research.
The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) took down more scams in the past year than in the previous years combined, as cyber security experts faced extra pressure to protect the UK public and critical services like the NHS during the coronavirus crisis.
SpaceX will next year launch a rocket entirely funded by cryptocurrency dogecoin. Dogecoin is a digital asset that is best known for its logo and name, based on the image of a dog from the "Doge" meme.
Royal Mail has announced that it will trial the first autonomous scheduled drone flights between the UK mainland and an island this week. The trial will see the parcel delivery company use uncrewed aerial vehicle (UAV) flights to deliver PPE, covid-19 testing kits, and other mail to the Isles of Scilly.
A ransomware attack shut down the entire network of one of the largest fuel pipe operators in the US, Colonial Pipeline, on Friday. The 5,500-mile pipeline transports 45 per cent of the East Coast’s fuel supply, pumping almost 2.5 million barrels a day from refineries on the Gulf Coast to southern and eastern states.
A Blackpool partnership of businesses, the public sector, and the local community has come together to put forward a roadmap that will help it become the “smartest and best-connected” town in the UK.
Led by the $1.6 billion acquisition of Yandex, Europe’s tech industry has seen AI deal activity jump by 26.7 per cent in the first quarter. According to GlobalData’s deal database, a total of 212 artificial intelligence deals worth $5 billion were announced for the region during the first few months of 2021, against the last four-quarter average of 167 deals.
A new report has revealed record-breaking number of technology mergers and acquisitions (M&A) in the first quarter of 2021. Tech deal activity was up 28 per cent compared to the previous year, with 268 deals announced, according to a new report.
The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) has warned that while smart cities are a benefit to citizens, they are also potential targets for cyber-attacks due to the critical functions they provide and sensitive data they process.
IBM has announced the development of the world’s first 2 nanometer (nm) nanosheet technology, which it said will enable the production of faster and more powerful computer chips. One nm is a billionth of a meter; for comparison, a red blood cell is between 6,000-8,000nm across, while the Ebola virus is between 1,500nm long and 50nm wide.
Belfast start-up Cumulus Neuroscience, formerly known as BrainWaveBank, has raised £6 million to develop a platform it dubs “Fitbit for the brain.” The funding round was led by the Dementia Discovery Fund (DDF), a £250m specialist venture capital fund, medical research charity LifeArc, and the UK Future Fund.
The Chartered Institute of Information Security (CIISec) and the College of Policing have announced the independent launch of a new institute that will train law enforcement in cyber digital investigations.
Shift Technology has closed a funding round worth $220 million. The company is a SaaS provider of AI-driven decision automation and optimisation for the global insurance industry.
Millions of internet users could be at risk of hacking attacks due to using outdated routers from their broadband providers, according to a Which?
Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) is beginning to reshape markets as financial institutions and technology providers move from experimentation to implementation, according to a new report from the World Economic Forum and the Boston Consulting Group.The report, which explores the increasing commercialisation of DLT such as blockchain in capital markets, was based on findings from eight global workshops and more than 100 interviews with executives from leading financial institutions, FinTechs, regulators, and adjacent industries.
An Oxford university study has found little evidence for any increases in the associations between adolescents’ engagement with technology and mental health. The research examined data from 430,000 adolescents in the UK and US to investigate how the associations between adolescents’ technology use and mental health have changed over the past 30 years.
Independent identity provider Okta has announced the completion of its buyout of identity platform Auth0 for $6.5 billion. Okta said it will combine its enterprise expertise with Auth0’s developer knowledge.
Hitachi ABB Power Grids has partnered with HCL Technologies to develop a new greenfield digital foundation as part of its global transformation programme.
Uber is collaborating with electric vehicle (EV) developer Arrival to create an affordable, purpose-built electric car for ride-hailing drivers. The two companies are exploring a strategic partnership across Britain and the EU.
45 per cent of UK consumers would recommend a retailer if it had a world-class mobile experience, according to new research. 41 per cent said they would be more loyal to the brand, while 28 per cent said they would spend more money.
eBay has said it’s open to the idea of accepting cryptocurrency payments in the future. The online marketplace, which has 22 million active users in the UK, also said that it is exploring how to incorporate non-fungible tokens (NFTs) on its platform.
TechUK and the Centre for AI and Climate have published a new paper on how machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) can support the transition of the electrical grid to net-zero. The ‘AI for Energy’ report is set to be the first in a series of whitepapers techUK, the technology industry trade association, will be releasing in conjunction with its partners over the next year, which will outline how emerging technologies can support the decarbonisation of the energy sector.
TikTok has appointed Chew Shou Zi, previously president of Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi, as its newest chief executive. The Singaporean joined ByteDance, TikTok’s parent company, in March as chief financial officer.
A proposed EU law that would force BigTech companies to delete terrorist content within an hour of publishing has been backed by lawmakers. The legislation, which has raised concerns from civil rights groups, was first proposed in 2018 after a number of attacks took place in several European cities.
London City Airport has become the first major international airport in the world to be wholly controlled by a remote digital air traffic control tower. The airport carried out intensive testing and live trials of the technology during lockdown.
Military and intelligence organisations should work with trusted private sector and international partners on “forward cyber defence” to dissuade cyber adversaries, according to a new report from the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI).The report, entitled ‘Creating Restraint in Cyberspace: Forward Cyber Operations and Theories of Restraint’, by academic and US Air Force officer Sean Atkins, explores evolving approaches to cyber defence as Western countries weight up the cyber threat posed by the likes of Russia and China.
Amazon profits more than tripled in the first quarter of the year, as it reaped the benefits of increased demand for online delivery prompted by the pandemic. The e-commerce and technology giant’s net income increased to $8.1 billion in the first three months of 2021, driven largely by 44 per cent growth in sales.
Uber is teaming up with car rental tech company CarTrawler to expand its car rental service around the world. ‘Uber Rent’ is already available in Australia, New Zealand, the UK, and France.
CleanTech company Airly has hired two new execs as the company expands operations across the UK and Europe.
Global electric vehicle (EV) sales jumped by 41 per cent in 2020, despite the wider automobile industry facing a tough year due to Covid-19. A report from the International Energy Agency (IEA) found that the market is on track for a decade of strong expansion.
Leaders from the G7 have signed a declaration on how to approach online safety, which includes calls for online firms to put processes in place to reduce illegal and harmful activity and prioritise the protection of children. The government said the declaration, signed ahead of the upcoming G7 summit in June, shared the underlying principles of UK government’s Online Harms Bill.
Now in their 9th year, the 2021 Payments Awards are now open for entries. The awards recognise and celebrate companies which have demonstrated excellence and innovation in the rapidly changing payments space. The deadline for entries is 16 July 2021.
Lisbon-based Sensei, a computer vision start-up providing autonomous store tech for check-out-free purchasing, has announced that it has raised $6.5 million in funding. The company’s technology rivals that of Amazon, which has also developed in-store “Just Walk Out Shopping.”
Visa and Airbnb have partnered to enable Airbnb hosts in select markets to access their earnings faster. Airbnb will use Visa Direct, Visa’s real-time payments platform, and will give hosts the option to move money from Airbnb to a bank account linked to an eligible Visa debit card.
Brits lost around £625 million to fraud and cyber-crime in the first three months of the year, according to new research. A report from Money.co.uk found that there were 137,695 fraud and cyber-crime related police reports issued between January and March this year.
EU regulators are preparing to place antitrust charges on Apple this week according to sources close to the matter, on allegations that it has broken competition rules by blocking competitors in the App Store. The charges stem from an initial complaint made by streaming platform Spotify in 2019 regarding the 30 per cent fee Apple charges on subscriptions made via the App Store, and its policy of forbidding apps from directing users to pay for subscriptions elsewhere.
Toyota Motor Corp is planning to buy Lyft’s self-driving tech division ‘Level 5’ for $550 million. The buyout will be carried out by Woven Planet Holdings, a subsidiary of Toyota.
UK-based OneWeb has announced the successful launch of 36 broadband satellites from the Vostochny Cosmodrome in Russia.
Tesla has reported total gross profit increase of 79 per cent to $2.2 billion in the first quarter of 2021. The electric vehicle company’s revenue increased to $10.4 billion in the same period, compared to $6 billion in 2020.
Private equity firm Thoma Bravo is set to buy cybersecurity firm Proofpoint in an all-cash deal that will value the company at around $12.3 billion. The firm, which is currently traded on the Nasdaq index, provides a wide variety of software-as-a service (SaaS) products for network security, email security, email archiving and other use cases.
AI start-up Faculty has won an NHS contract to help predict patients’ future requirements. The London-based firm will work with NHS England and NHS Improvement to build on top of the Early Warning System (EWS) the NHS created during the pandemic.
Google and Microsoft have both pledged financial support to India as it struggles with record coronavirus case numbers. Google today announced it would contribute $18 million in funding. This includes two grants from Google.org, the company’s philanthropic arm, totally $2.6 million.
Tech giants Google and Facebook are failing to take action to get rid of online scam adverts, even after fraud victims report them, according to research from Which?. The findings have raised concerns that the reactive approach to fraudulent content taken by online platforms is “not fit for purpose.”
Panasonic has announced plans to purchase software company Blue Yonder for $7.1 billion. The manufacturer already owns 20 per cent of the supply chain software company and will buy the remaining shares for $5.5 billion.
Ally Tech has announced a strategic partnership with Microsoft to explore how quantum computing can transform the financial services market.
The UK Jurisdiction Taskforce of LawtechUK has published rules designed to enable faster and more cost-effective resolutions to legal disputes around blockchain, cryptocurrencies, and smart contracts.
Intellectual Property platform IPwe is partnering with IBM to begin representing patents as non-fungible tokens (NFTs) or digital assets. The partnership with IBM will enable IPwe to create the infrastructure for representing patents as NFTs and storing the records on a blockchain network.
The government has told makers of smart devices – including Apple, Samsung, and Google - that they will need to inform consumers how long these products will receive security updates for. Smart devices such as phones and speakers, sometimes called Internet of Things (IoT) devices, are a common way for cybercriminals to infiltrate systems.
London’s High Court has allowed a copyright infringement lawsuit against bitcoin.org by an Australian computer scientist who claims he invented the cryptocurrency. Craig Wright, who alleges he created bitcoin, will serve the lawsuit against the operator and publisher of the website, which calls itself Cobra.
Canadian chip developer Alphawave is set to float on the London Stock Exchange (LSE) at a valuation of $4.5 billion, beating competition from New York and Toronto. The company, founded in 2017, designs chip technology that enables data transfer for data centres and phone networks.
The UK is the hardest hit country in Europe for online scams, with one in nine Brits falling victim to card fraud.
Europe and China are currently dominating the electric car market, while Russia, South America, and Africa are left behind, according to a study from the Munich Mobility Show.
Satellite Vu has raised £3.6 million to launch a satellite infrastructure it claims will be capable of imaging the thermal footprint of any building on the planet multiple times a day. The funding round was led by London-based SpaceTech investment firm Seraphim Capital.
The Met Office has signed a multimillion-pound deal with Microsoft to develop what it claims will be world’s most powerful climate forecasting supercomputer.
A cross-party group of US lawmakers have introduced a bill which calls for $100 billion of government spending to “out-compete China” in science and technology.The bill, dubbed the "Endless Frontier Act," would also include an additional $10 billion for a minimum of ten regional technology hubs and to create a specialised program to protect against supply chain crises.
Key Apple supplier Quanta Computer has been infiltrated by a ransomware attack, which prominent organised crime group REvil, also known as Sodinokibi, claim responsibility for. A ransomware attack is when cybercriminals encrypt data or systems, preventing access to them, usually followed by a ransom demand in exchange for access.
Tough EU rules on using AI in high-risk situations will mean Britain’s professional and ethical standards must scale up quickly, BCS, the Chartered Institute for IT has said.
Smart lampposts have the potential to read body temperatures and detect overcrowding which could stop the spread of coronavirus, a new report has found.
Retail giant Amazon has announced plans launch a hair salon in London that will trial augmented reality hair consultations and point-and-learn technology. Customers will be able to experiment with different virtual hair colours using augmented reality tech and watch entertainment on Fire tablets at each styling station.
Flexible office space provider WeWork will now accept payments in cryptocurrencies, including bitcoin, ethereum, USD coin, paxos, and “several others”. WeWork will accept payments via BitPay, an Atlanta-based cryptocurrency payment service provider founded in 2011.
Tech giants like Facebook and Twitter are “glorified ad agencies” that have every reason to err on the side of censorship, US senator Marsha Blackburn told the House of Lords on Tuesday.
Business financial platform Tide has joined Tech Nation’s Future Fifty Programme, designed to bring together and accelerate the growth of top tech companies in the UK. Tide has recently surpassed a 5 per cent share of the SME banking market, with nearly 330,000 member businesses, and around 400,000 business accounts.
The government has announced plans for new laws that would allow taller mobile phone masts in rural areas of as part of its 5G network rollout. Under the new proposals, mobile phone companies will be able to make new and existing masts up to five metres taller and two metres wider than current rules allow.
The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has officially opened an investigation into the planned $40 billion acquisition of Cambridge-based chip designer Arm on national security grounds. The CMA, after being prompted by culture secretary Oliver Dowden, are to draft a report on the deal by the end of July for him to approve, approve with certain conditions, or order a more thorough investigation to be launched.
Tech giant Microsoft has announced it will establish the first data centre region in Kuala Lumpur. On Monday, the Malaysian prime minister said the company would invest $1 billion in the country over the next five years.
US-based researchers have successfully grown human cells inside monkey embryos, which has led to ethical concerns about these kinds of scientific experiments.
Last year the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) dished out fines worth over £42 million across 16 companies.
SpaceX has won a $2.9 billion NASA contract to build the spacecraft that would see Nasa return to the moon for the first time since 1972. The news comes after the aerospace manufacturer, founded in 2002 by Tesla chief executive Elon Musk, raised $1.16 billion in equity financing last week.
Global tech business HCL Technologies has announced the expansion of its collaboration with Intel.
More than half of electric car drivers visit shops that offer charging, even if they’re not actively looking to charge their car, according to new research. A further 59 per cent of electric vehicle drivers said that they spend more money at shops that offer charging.
Research and data analytics group YouGov has announced the launch of YouGov Safe, an online marketplace that rewards consumers for sharing data. The marketplace is designed to help brands, media owners, and agencies have a “transparent” view of consumers’ verified online behaviours and transactions.
The US House Judiciary Committee has formally approved a report which accuses BigTech of engaging in monopolistic practices. The 450-page report originally released in October 2020, comes after a yearlong investigation into Apple, Amazon, Google, and Facebook, who have a current combined stock market capitalisation of over $6.3 trillion.
techUK is leading a joint effort by the technology trade associations of G7 countries to call for international cooperation on global trade flows and setting a common rulebook for the digital economy.
A planned merger between Virgin Media and O2 has been given the go-ahead by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) following a review. The UK watchdog said that it had been clear from the outset that it was not concerned about overlapping retail services like mobile, because of the small size of Virgin Mobile.
42 per cent of UK finance leaders are focused on growth with automation as key priority amid the disruption of the pandemic, according to a new report. Research for Dun & Bradstreet conducted by Censuswide based on interviews with 251 CFOs and finance leaders across a range of industries found that CFOs are preparing to embrace new technologies to improve efficiencies across automation, data and planning as they look to increase their ability to manage disruption in 2021.
The European Union is set to ban the use of artificial intelligence (AI) systems for “high risk” applications such as mass surveillance or ranking social behaviour. Companies could face fines of 4 per cent of global revenue - or €20 million, if greater - if they fail to comply with the new rules or report correct information, like GDPR rules.
NATO is holding the biggest ever international live-fire cyber defence exercise this week.
30 civil rights groups across Europe, including Amnesty International and Privacy International, have called on the EU to ban ‘unlawful tracking and surveillance’ in online advertising.
Trackable wristband firm Buddi is preparing for a floatation on the London Stock Exchange (LSE), at a valuation reported to around £500 million. The firm, founded in 2005 by Sara Murray, makes wristbands for vulnerable people, which can detect falls and allow them to contact assistance if needed.
The UK should introduce a code to ensure BigTech provides adequate compensation to news publishers, said the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA). The news comes after Australia won a longstanding legal battle to make BigTech pay local publishers for news, which saw Facebook block 25 million Australian users from viewing news content on the platform.
Although many British companies are “cautiously optimistic” about complying with the EU’s proposal for a Digital Services Act (DSA), 92 per cent are concerned about the new regulations.
Republican Josh Hawley has put forward a bill that would stop BigTech companies worth more than $100 billion from buying or merging with other businesses. The proposed legislation would impact the US’ five biggest technology companies: Apple, Microsoft, Amazon, Google, and Facebook.
A new update on the NHS Covid-19 mobile app has been paused after Apple and Google blocked it from their stores over privacy breaches. The NHS’ Test and Trace app was due for the update on 8 April in time for the easing of restrictions.
Mastercard has partnered with Swedish FinTech Doconomy to release a new carbon calculator.
The payments giant said the solution can give consumers a snapshot of the carbon emissions generated by their purchases, which it claimed are powered by the independently verified index.
Singapore tech company OTSAW Digital is trialling a robot delivery service in the city. The company said that it wants to “disrupt and transform” the last mile delivery service with its robot as-a-service business model for delivery companies and retailers.
Elon Musk’s brain implant company has taught a monkey how to play games using its mind. Neuralink is currently developing a fully-implanted, wireless, high-channel count brain-machine interface (BMI) which it hopes will help people with paralysis use their neural activity to operate computers and mobile devices.
Microsoft is close to finalising a deal to acquire voice recognition company Nuance Communications sources told the Financial Times. The deal would give the Burlington, Massachusetts company a $16 billion valuation, and sources said the deal could be announced in just two weeks.
The Chinese government has levied a record $2.75 billion fine on Alibaba following allegations of monopolistic practices, almost triple the $975 million chip manufacturer Qualcomm had to pay Chinese regulators in 2015. Alibaba, currently valued at around $608 billion, controls a significant portion of the Chinese domestic e-commerce and cloud computing markets.
Nation state cyber-attacks are becoming more frequent and varied in their nature and moving closer to a point of ‘advanced cyberconflict’ than at any time since the inception of the internet, according to a new study. The academic research sponsored by HP and led by Dr. Mike McGuire, senior lecturer in Criminology at the University of Surrey found that there has been a 100 per cent rise in ‘significant’ nation state incidents between 2017-2020.
California-based TAE Technologies, the world’s biggest fusion energy company, has raised $280 million in funding.
Redcar and Cleveland Council said it is being given £3.68 million in government financial support following a ransomware attack in February 2020. A ransomware attack is when cybercriminals encrypt data or systems, preventing access to them, usually followed by a ransom demand in exchange for access.
Electric-battery powered (EV) freight trucks can be economically competitive with diesel trucks, a new study by the Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI) claims. Heavy transportation trucks generate roughly 7 per cent of global carbon emissions according to the research.
Social media giant Facebook is reportedly testing Hotline, a Q&A app which is similar to Clubhouse but with a video option. The online platform enables users to interact with an audience who can pose questions via audio or text.
Twitter has held talks with Clubhouse in recent months about a potential buyout.
The NHS’ Test and Trace app will now require all members of a party to check-in at hospitality venues from Thursday 8th April.
The global chip shortage has hit Apple MacBook and iPad production, according to sources reported by Nikkei Asia. The shortages have delayed the mounting of components on printed circuit boards before the final assembly of the MacBooks according to the sources.
Apple is reportedly launching a new privacy tool which stops apps tracking online users without permission later this month.
T-Mobile Netherlands has announced that it will spend at least €700 million on a new fibre optic network to make high-speed internet available to urban areas. The telecoms business has said that over five years, one million households will have access to the fibre optic broadband.
Following reports that 530 million Facebook users had their information publicised, the social media platform has said that the data leak was a result of “scraping” rather than a hack of its system. The social media giant said that malicious actors obtained the data by scraping it from the platform before September 2019.
The Digital Markets Unit (DMU), a regulator which seeks to limit the powers of BigTech, has now launched after it was originally announced in December. The government said the DMU will oversee plans to give consumers more choice and control over their data, promote online competition, and crack down on unfair practices on behalf of consumers and businesses.
The US Supreme Court has ruled that Google’s use of Oracle software to build an android operating system did not break copyright law. The decision overturned a previous court ruling that claimed the company’s use of Oracle software code violated the legislation.
Most workers in the UK - 71 per cent - want flexible working options to continue post-pandemic, according to new research from Microsoft. The software giant’s report surveyed over 30,000 people in 31 countries and analysed “trillions of productivity labour signals” across Microsoft 365 and LinkedIn.
Tesla stocks surged by almost 8 per cent on Monday, which could see its market value increase by $50 billion, after the electric vehicle company published its quarter one sales. Tesla said that it produced more than 180,000 vehicles and delivered nearly 185,000 vehicles in the time period.
The NHS it is rolling out an injection that cuts the amount of time breast cancer patients spend in hospital from two and a half hours to around five minutes.
The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), the principal public agency for conducting criminal prosecutions in England and Wales, is preparing for a rise in the number of prosecutions related to cryptocurrency scams. Sources told the Financial Times that the government's response to the uptick is expected to include the opening of a specialised City of London court dedicated to financial crime by 2026.
Cambridge-based cybersecurity company Darktrace is reportedly ready to announce its initial public offering (IPO) next week at a valuation of around £3 billion. The firm, founded in 2013, uses artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning to detect and respond to potential cyberthreats.
US president Joe Biden has called out Amazon for not paying federal taxes. At an address in Pittsburgh, Biden talked about increasing taxes on multinational companies and raising corporate tax rates.
Technology giant Microsoft has won a contract providing augmented reality headsets for the United States Army. The deal is worth $21.9 billion over 10 years, a Microsoft spokesperson told Reuters.
Brazil’s central bank, Banco Central do Brasil (BCB), has licensed the use of WhatsApp for initiating fund transfers. WhatsApp attempted to launch the transfer service last June, but the bank said that licencing the service could negatively impact the country’s existing payments system.
Alejandro Mayorkas, secretary of the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS), has said that dealing with ransomware will be a top priority for national security. A ransomware attack is when cybercriminals encrypt data or systems, preventing access to them, usually followed by a ransom demand in exchange for access.
72 per cent of workers in Britain are interested in learning digital skills to help with digital transformation needs driven by covid-19 and Brexit, according to research which surveyed 250 full time UK employees.
Deliveroo shares declined by 30 per cent in the company’s London debut on Wednesday, with the sharp drop cutting company value by £2 billion. The disappointing listing comes days after several important investors decided to shun the offering.
Google Maps is using insights from the US Department of Energy to build a new routing model that aims to choose routes with lower fuel consumption. The app will use factors like road incline and traffic congestion to help identify the most eco-friendly route.
Google is set to contribute €25 million to help launch the European Media and Information Fund, which it said will help strengthen media literacy skills, fight misinformation and support fact checking. The news comes amid rampant criticism of BigTech in the US and EU from regulators regarding their handling of misinformation during the 2020 US election and Covid-19 pandemic.
BigTech spent a total of $124 million on lobbying and campaigns during the 2020 US presidential election cycle – eclipsing spending by telecommunications and weapons companies. The research by Washington-based consumer advocacy group Public Citizen said the spike was led by Amazon and Facebook, who spent 30 per cent and 56 per cent more respectively since 2018.
A ransomware attack on the Harris Federation, a London-based multi-academy trust has left 37,000 pupils without email access. A ransomware attack is when cybercriminals encrypt data or systems, preventing access to them, usually followed by a ransom demand in exchange for access.
AI-powered technology that can detect ‘invisible’ risk in people with possible heart disease has been given the go-ahead to be used by doctors across the UK and Europe, and can now be rolled out across the NHS.
The US government has threatened to impose a 25 per cent tariff on British exports over the UK’s digital services tax on BigTech companies.
London-based car marketplace Cazoo is set to go public at a $7 billion valuation in the latest special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) deal. Cazoo was one of seven “unicorns” the UK has produced in 2020 according to TechNation, alongside Octopus Energy, Arrival, Gymshark, infobip, Gousto and Hopin.
The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has cleared Uber’s purchase of Autocab following a merger investigation.
Social media giant Facebook has been ranked Europe’s most popular technology brand. A study by RebootOnline.com analysed annual search volumes for each of the 20 most valuable technology brands and divided by the quantity of years since they were founded in order to establish a standardised annual search volume for each company.
Facebook is planning to connect Singapore, Indonesia, and the US via two undersea cables, in a project with Google and several telecommunications companies. The move, first revealed by Reuters, aims to help improve internet connection capability between North America and Southeast Asia.
Romanian-founded robotic process automation (RPA) software company UiPath, recently valued at $35 billion, has filed for an initial public offering (IPO). RPA software looks to automate repetitive digital tasks normally performed by people, such as extracting data from documents or filling in forms.
WeWork is set to go public via a merger with BowX Acquisition Corp in a special purpose acquisition (SPAC) deal, at a valuation of $9 billion. Blank-check firm BowX raised $420 million in its initial public offering (IPO) in August 2020. WeWork is set to receive around $1.3 billion in cash from the merger.
UK Finance has called for new legislation to make online platforms responsible for taking down fraudulent content and protecting consumers from scams.
Ofcom plans to open a new tech hub in Manchester ahead of taking on its new role as the UK’s first online regulator. In February 2020, the government announced it intended Ofcom to play a larger role in internet regulation to protect users from "harmful and illegal content".
The chief executives of Twitter, Facebook, and Google faced US lawmakers at a hearing on Thursday, where they were grilled about the mishandling of fake news and online extremism.
Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi is to become the latest tech firm to start producing electric vehicles (EVs), according to sources reported by Reuters. Founded in 2010, Xiaomi is the largest smartphone producer by market share in China, and has interests in mobile apps, laptops, home appliances, bags, shoes, and consumer electronics.
LawtechUK, the government-backed project to boost the UK legal sector via technology, has finished the three-month pilot stage of the first Lawtech Sandbox. The pilot, launched in December last year, has helped the development of several early-stage LawTech scaleups.
The UK needs increased collaboration between government, academia, research institutions and industry to reach the potential of edge computing, according to techUK. The call comes as part of a new report by the trade organistion for the UK's tech industry argues for the key role of edge computing in UK business transformation.
Brits are the least likely to be optimistic about a future that includes ‘augmented people,’ compared to people in Austria, France, Germany, Portugal, and Spain, according to new research.
Europe needs to spend €300 billion on its telecoms infrastructure by 2025 if it wants to fully roll out 5G with gigabyte speeds, according to a study commissioned by telecoms lobbying group ETNO. The study, carried out by consulting firm BCG, claimed this investment will generate an annual increase of €113 billion in GDP and create 2.4 million new jobs across the 27-country bloc by 2025.
Employment law is failing to keep pace with the rapid expansion of AI at work, which could lead to “widespread” discrimination and unfair treatment in the workplace, according to research commissioned by the TUC.
Amazon delivery drivers are reportedly being forced to sign biometric consent forms or risk losing their jobs. Last month the e-commerce giant announced it was installing AI-powered cameras across its delivery vans to monitor drivers.
An AI-powered job coach has won a £120,000 prize awarded by the Department of Education and Nesta Challenges. Bob, the AI job counsellor designed by open source technology firm Bayes Impact, and their research partner ACH will use the prize to continue to develop and grow their solution so that as many people as possible can benefit from the online coaching platform.
NASA has said that 8 April will be the earliest it makes the world’s first ever attempt to complete a controlled flight of an aircraft on another planet. Before the four-pound Ingenuity Mars Helicopter attempts its first flight, both it and its team need to meet a series of milestones.
Amazon has appointed Salesforce executive Adam Selipsky to lead its cloud computing unit Amazon Web Services (AWS). AWS is currently the tech giant’s most profitable division, posting $13.5 billion in profit for its 2020 financial year.
Amazon is to cut its stake in Deliveroo from 15.8 per cent to 11.5 per cent after it goes public next month, according to plans outlined in the food delivery company's IPO prospectus.
Covid-19 vaccines, vaccine passports and fake negative test papers are currently available on the darknet, according to research from cybersecurity company Check Point. The darknet is an overlay network within the internet that can only be accessed with specific software such as the Tor browser, with transactions generally being made via cryptocurrency.
Microsoft is reportedly in talks to purchase instant messaging platform Discord for more than $10 billion.
Digital identification firm Jumio has announced a $150 million Series B funding round.The investment was led by Great Hill Partners, which last year acquired Notonthehighstreet.
The government is to cut the army to 72,500 soldiers as part of a shift to drone and cyber warfare. Announcing the plans in the defence command paper, defence secretary Ben Wallace said the cuts- which amount to a 10,000 reduction in personnel over the next five years - come as the army converts operations to “increased deployability and technological advantage.”
Mastercard, IBM, and SoftBank, alongside others, have asked the G7 to form a new organisation to improve international co-operation on important tech governance issues. The organisation, called The Data and Technology Forum, would provide recommendations on tech governance across countries, rather than providing strict rules.
The number of UK technology job listings dropped by 57 per cent in 2020, according to new research from Accenture. There were fewer than 55,000 roles advertised last year, with the overall decline driven by a reduced number of job listings for data analytics and cyber security professionals, which dropped 53 per cent and 54 per cent respectively.
Former US president Donald Trump is reportedly launching his own social media website. Trump’s adviser Jason Miller told Fox News that it is likely that the ex-president will be “returning to social media in probably about two or three months.”
The department for Business, Energy and Industrial strategy (BEIS) lost 306 mobile and laptop devices in the last two years. A Freedom of Information (FOI) request by Parliament Street Think Tank found that the gadgets were lost or stolen during the calendar years 2019 and 2020.
Facebook has announced that between October and December 2020, it took down more than 1.3 billion fake accounts. The announcement comes as the US House Committee on Energy and Commerce plans to examine how technology platforms including Facebook are tackling misinformation online later this week.
Bank of England (BoE) governor Andrew Bailey has reportedly been lobbying to make it a legal requirement for BigTech giants to tackle online financial fraud. The report, originally by the Sunday Times, claimed Bailey had been lobbying home secretary Priti Patel to include the measure in the Online Harms Bill expected to be put before parliament later this year.
Deliveroo said its London initial public offering (IPO), scheduled for April, will value the company at up to £8.8 billion. This would mark the UK’s largest IPO since the Royal Mail in 2013, which debuted at a valuation of £3.3 billion.
A plan by Google to block the tracking “cookies” tool is raising concerns at the US Justice Department, according to a report by Reuters. Investigators at the department have asked advertising execs if the block would negatively impact the tech giant’s smaller rivals, people familiar with the situation told the news agency.
Microsoft has chosen 13 startups using Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology to help the UK’s health, manufacturing and resource sectors recover from the impact of COVID-19. The startups will join Microsoft’s AI for Social Impact 2021 programme, which is co-managed by Social Tech Trust, to develop solutions for organisations across a range of industries to help improve people’s lives.
China-based autonomous driving start-up Momenta has received $500 million from Toyota, the state-owned SAIC Motor, and auto parts manufacturer Bosch. The news comes as players in the space continue to receive large investments, fueled by the special-purpose acquisition company (SPAC) boom.
NASA has successfully tested engines on a Boeing built rocket for the upcoming Artemis series of moon missions. The Artemis program aims to land the first woman and the first man in 49 years on the moon by 2024, more specifically the lunar south pole.
The Department for Transport (DfT) will reduce the grant for electric vehicle (EV) purchases from £3,000 to £2,500 and restrict it to purchases below £35,000. The changes will come into effect from today.
BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT, has warned that digital vaccine passports come with both ethical and data privacy challenges. The institute said that these passports could mean entry to cinemas or pubs is “denied by an algorithmic decision.”
There were 13,343 cases of social media and email hacking last year, according to research which analysed data across 43 police forces in England and Wales. The data, obtained from the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau and analysed by AddictiveTips.com, found that the accumulative financial loss that victims suffered was more than £3.5 million.
UK telecoms regulator Ofcom has said it will not place price controls on what Openreach charges telecoms providers for full-fibre connections. Ofcom said the decision is intended to speed up the rollout of full-fibre by “driving competitive investment”.
The government will spend over £1 billion to cut emissions from industry, schools, and hospitals, as it announces an “ambitious blueprint” to deliver the world’s first low-carbon industrial sector.
The government has said that the UK’s first hydrogen transport hub is almost a reality, as it pledges £3 million to the project and unveils an “official masterplan.”
During the pandemic, 49 per cent of people in the UK and the US have struggled, or know someone else who has struggled, to gain access to basic online services like healthcare, grocery delivery, and education, because of how they are offered online.
Uber said it will treat its 70,000 UK drivers as “workers” instead of self -employed contractors for the first time. The move by the ride hailing app means that drivers will receive a guaranteed minimum wage, holiday pay and pensions.
Apple said it has allotted $2.8 billion raised from “green bonds”, as part of its aim of becoming carbon neutral across its complex supply chain by 2030. A green bond is a type of fixed-income instrument that is specifically earmarked to raise money for climate or environmental projects.
The use of technology is one of four key objectives outlined in a new government review on UK national security, defence, and foreign policy over the next decade. The government said that sustaining strategic advantage through science and technology (S&T), by incorporating it as an “integral element” of national security and international policy, would “firmly” establish the UK as a global S&T and responsible cyber power.
Venture capital (VC) investment in UK technology companies exceeded France, Germany, and India in 2020, but lagged below the US and China according to new research from TechNation. Total UK VC investment reached $15 billion in 2020, which is $200 million higher than 2019’s record breaking year, despite uncertainty surrounding the pandemic.
Companies are increasingly investing in low-code, a visual approach to software development, to help support their business post-Brexit. Research from Mendix revealed that 58 per cent of financial services leaders say that low-code has helped them develop new applications to support their company post Brexit.
Shared e-scooter company Bird has announced it will spend $150 million on an expansion across Europe. European riders already account for nearly half of Bird rides globally, with people on average traveling more than 30 per cent longer on the company’s e-scooters during the pandemic.
The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) has issued nurseries and childminders specialist guidance about dealing with cyberattacks. The news comes after South and City College Birmingham was forced to send its 13,000 pupils’ home for a week following a ransomware attack.
Deliveroo has confirmed its plans to float on the London Stock Exchange and has announced it will sell approximately £1 billion worth of new shares. The listing is predicted to be the biggest in over seven years.
Bitcoin reached a record high of $61,781 (around £44,445) over the weekend, before dropping sharply on Monday. The surge came after US president Joe Biden signed off on a $1.9 trillion fiscal stimulus and ordered a speedier roll out of vaccinations.
Microsoft and Google have made their feud public as the tech giants face scrutiny over a hacking scandal and antitrust issues. The open dispute has largely been driven by pressure from regulators and governments over the power both companies have in the US, according to a report by Reuters.
The UK needs to improve its cyberpower to protect its interests from foreign powers, said Boris Johnson in a statement on Saturday. The news comes as the prime minister prepares to present an Integrated Review of security, defence, development, and foreign policy to parliament on Tuesday.
Job search engine Adzuna have said one in six of the 20,302 advertised IT vacancies it found were suitable for young people. The news comes after the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said that youth unemployment reached 14.4 per cent between October and December 2020, and that less than 284,000 16-to-24-year-olds were in employment between January to March 2020.
More than 500 UK email servers could have been breached as part of global hacking campaign targeting Microsoft Exchange, cyber-security firm Eset told the BBC.
Sir Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the internet, has highlighted the importance of universal internet access. In a joint letter written with Web Foundation co-founder Rosemary Leith, Berners- Lee claimed that too many young people are without internet access and that the pandemic has widened the digital divide.
A Home Office trial using two internet providers to track and collect websites visited by customers has received backlash from privacy campaigners.
Mastercard is partnering with the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), to develop digital health pass solutions to speed up recovery from the pandemic. The organisations claimed that world governments are still reliant on paper-based processes to determine the COVID-19 test results and vaccine status of travellers, and that these paper processes are difficult to validate, easily falsified, and inconvenient for people to use.
Open source software contributes between £10.5 billion and £43.15 billion to the UK economy, according to a new report from OpenUK. Open UK, founded in 2018, is a not-for-profit company which supports open source collaboration and open technologies.
The surge of bitcoin price earlier this year could leave a carbon footprint the size of London’s, research has found. Dutch economist Alex de Vries, who created the Bitcoin Energy Consumption Index, revealed that the record-breaking rise of bitcoin value at the start of the year could see the network consuming as much energy as all data centres globally.
The equivalent of 1.4 million full-time UK jobs could be automated in the next year, according to a study by Faethm AI. This number represents 4.8 per cent of the work currently undertaken across the country.
Russian food retailer X5 Retail Group, Visa, and Russian bank Sber have joined forces to launch ‘pay-with-a-glance’ technology in stores. The technology is already available at check outs across 52 Perekrestok supermarkets.
Facebook has asked a federal court to dismiss antitrust cases filed by the US Trade Commission. The social media giant said that the commission had failed to show that the company had a monopoly or harmed consumers, according to a Reuters report.
Digital secretary Oliver Dowden has revealed government plans to reform data protection laws now that the UK has left the EU. The UK’s secretary of state for Digital, Culture, Media, and Sport, told reporters that the reforms, which aim to drive growth in the digital economy, would enable freer movement of information.
Over half of businesses are not actively trying to address a lack of diversity in their tech teams, according to research by methree. A further 40 per cent said they were struggling to recruit diverse entry-level tech talent.
Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) leader Arlene Foster has said that online abuse via social media platforms is the “biggest obstacle” facing women in public life. Foster urged social media companies to take more responsibility for addressing abuse by anonymous users.
A group of hackers have breached up to 150,000 Verkada surveillance cameras across hundreds of companies and organisations around the world. The hackers were able to gain access to live and archived footage from inside a Tesla factory in China and a show room in California, as well as an Alabama jail, hospital rooms, a police interview area, and a community gym, according to a report by Reuters.
Bitcoin is in the process of replacing gold as a reserve asset as a store of digital value, according to a new report from Bloomberg Intelligence. The research arm of the financial media company said that rising demand for the cryptocurrency alongside diminishing supply means that Bitcoin has the potential to hit the $100,000 price level this year as it builds towards becoming a global digital reserve asset.
Microsoft has warned that customer email servers are being attacked by a number of groups, not just China, a report by Sky News has revealed.
A new sizing app powered by Artificial Intelligence (AI) could cut returns on clothing items by a fifth. According to Fitly.AI, the company behind the app tech, more than a fifth of all orders are returned due to the wrong size, while a further 33 per cent of purchases are dropped because of size uncertainty.
An estimated $223 billion in value would be at risk if the world’s top brands experienced a data breach, according to an Infosys-Interbrand study. This number represents 9.6 per cent of the cumulative value of the biggest global brands.
Eric Yuan, Zoom’s founder and chief executive, has transferred $6 billion of his 40 per cent stake in the company last week. According to the regulatory filing, 18 million shares of the video conferencing giant were sent as gifts to unknown recipients.
Billionaire Elon Musk’s Tesla has lost a third of its value for the third time in a year. Because investors are concerned about rising interest rates and dumping high-valuation stocks in the past few weeks, the company’s market capitalisation has dropped by nearly $300 billion since its January high of $550 million, said Reuters.
The European Union (EU) is set to release its 2030 Digital Compass, a plan which outlines the bloc’s strategies for minimising its dependence on Chinese and US technologies. The news comes as the pandemic demonstrated Europe’s reliance on technology produced by non-European companies in key areas.
Dija, a new grocery delivery start-up founded by former senior Deliveroo employees, has launched its ten-minute delivery service in London. The company, which has around 50 riders on electric bikes and mopeds, is now delivering groceries in South Kensington, Fulham, and Hackney.
Chris Ume, the visual effects expert behind a set of Tom Cruise deepfakes that went viral on TikTok last week, has said he wants people to know that his sophisticated videos aren’t easy to replicate. Responding to fears prompted by his realistic videos about the use of this technology for misinformation, Ume told The Financial Times (FT) “it’s a fantasy that people can do this from their own computer.”
Panasonic is set to acquire supply chain software company Blue Yonder in a deal expected to be worth $6.5 billion, according to sources originally reported by Nikkei. Blue Yonder, founded in 1985, develops software that uses artificial intelligence (AI) to optimise supply chains by predicting factors such as customer demand and delivery dates.
The European Banking Authority (EBA) has announced that its Microsoft Exchange Servers have been hit by a cyber-attack. The authority said that because the vulnerability is linked to its email servers, access to personal data via emails held there could have been obtained by the attacker.
The UK government is set to invest £153 million in quantum technologies, with the move expected to have a significant impact on quantitative finance and data security in the financial services industry. The investment, which will be delivered by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) will focus on the development of new products and services based on advances in quantum technologies.
A care home in Blackpool has become the first one in Britain to trial a biometric certification system for covid-19 testing, which doesn’t rely on smartphones. The system uses vein mapping technology, designed by FinGo, which enables the verification of care workers’ test results as they move between care homes. The tech also has the potential to verify vaccine credentials.
57 per cent of people working in the UK tech industry think gender roles have been set back significantly because of the pandemic, according to a survey by accelerateHER. More than a third of those surveyed said that they think women’s roles have regressed 10-20 years, because they have to shoulder the burden of home-schooling, work, and an increase in household tasks.
Apple could face an EU antitrust charge because of claims by Spotify that it unfairly pushed its own streaming service, Reuters has reported.
Square is to pay $297 million for a significant majority owner stake in Tidal, Jay-Z’s global music and entertainment platform, in a move that could help popularise blockchain. On Twitter, the payment company’s chief executive said that that it will “create ecosystems of tools for sellers and individuals” for artists on the platform and “bring fans closer together” using simple integrations for merchandise sales, modern collaboration tools, and new revenue streams.
The number of vaccine-related emails used for phishing attacks has increased by 26 per cent since October. Data from cloud security company Barracuda, which analysed phishing emails between October 2020 and January 2021, also found that the number of vaccine-related attacks increased by 12 per cent immediately following vaccine availability announcements from Pfizer and Moderna in November last year.
Deliveroo has picked London for its initial public offering (IPO), which is expected to the one of year’s largest following an extended lockdown-driven surge in demand. The food delivery giant’s decision comes after Rishi Sunak endorsed significant changes to listing rules, which will allow founders to have more control after public listings.
The HealthTech market is expected to continue to grow substantially over the next couple of years, according to WELL.
SpaceX Starship SN10, a heavy-duty launch vehicle prototype, successfully rose 6.2 miles in a test flight from Boca Chica, Texas, before exploding after an otherwise successful landing. The prototype was able to fly back to the surface 6 minutes and 20 seconds after lift-off to achieve the first upright landing for a Starship model but detonated eight minutes later.
Samsung is looking at sites in Arizona, New York, and Texas for a new $17 billion chip plant, according to documents filed with Texas state officials. The documents, which are dated 26 February, estimate tax abatements from Travis County in Texas and the city of Austin for the plant will be around $1.48 billion over 20 years, up from the $805.5 million previously mentioned, said a report by Reuters.
FSIs are spending a total of $6.55m every year on digital transformation equal to 3.5 times more digital investment than any other sector, according to new research. Telstra, an Australian telecommunications and technology company, has published a report covering the impact of COVID-19 on European businesses and their digital transformation plans.
Microsoft has unveiled a mixed reality platform which uses holographic technologies on a range of devices to enable people in different physical locations to share in experiences and collaborate. Microsoft Mesh, which runs on Azure’s cloud-based platform, enables users of Microsoft HoloLens, VR headsets, smartphones, tablets or PCs to collaborate, solve problems and design new things from different places.
Postmates, the delivery startup acquired by Uber last year, is spinning out its robotic delivery division as an independent company. Uber has decided to spin out the new company, called Serve Robotics to continue development of autonomous delivery robots in urban environments, putting the company in competition with the likes of Amazon’s plans to rollout robot delivery.
Newcastle-based human stem cell model business Newcells Biotech has secured £5.25m in funding to accelerate its growth in the international life sciences market. Newcells Biotech is a commercial stage life science company which uses its proprietary technology in stem cells and cell biology to build models of human tissues.
Google for Startups is now accepting applications for its $2 million Black Founders Fund from black-led tech startups across Europe. The search giant highlighted statistics which said that less than 0.25 per cent of venture capital (VC) funding goes to black-led startups in the UK, and that only 38 black founders have received venture capital funding in the last 10 years.
Boeing will base its US Air Force Skyborg plane on a pilotless jet developed in Australia, according to an executive at the company. The move, first reported by Reuters, comes days after Boeing Australia and the Royal Australian Air Force carried out a successful first test of its uncrewed “Loyal Wingman” aircraft.
Volvo has pledged to sell only electric vehicles by 2030, in a move that will see it phase out all car models with internal combustion engines, including hybrids. The Swedish carmaker, owned by Hangzhou-based Zhejiang Geely Holding Group, also said it will “radically reduce” its product range’s complexity and make significant investments in online sales.
Starling Bank, Revolut, Wise (formerly TransferWise), and GoCardless have joined a ‘Tech Zero’ taskforce that aims to accelerate government plans to reach net zero emissions by 2050. Green energy supplier Bulb is leading the taskforce, with the backing of Tech Nation, and Net Zero Business champion Andrew Griffith MP.
Bill Gates has said that if you have less money than Elon Musk, the world’s richest man, you should “probably watch out” when it comes to Bitcoin. Gates, who is the world’s third richest man, told Bloomberg: “Elon has tonnes of money and he’s very sophisticated, so I don’t worry that his Bitcoin will sort of randomly go up or down.”
News publishers and technology giants like Facebook should devise deals that “benefit both sides,” the chief executive of UK newspaper group Reach has said. Reach is one of UK’s largest news publishers, incorporating newspapers and publications such as the Daily Mirror, Daily Express, Sunday People, Daily Record, Daily Star, OK!, Manchester Evening News, Liverpool Echo, Birmingham Mail and Bristol Post.
Cyber security company PiiQ Media have suggested that bots may have hyped up GameStop shares – and other trending assets – on social media platforms such as Twitter, Reddit, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.The Massachusetts based firm, who specialise in social media-based threats, implicated organised economic or foreign actors in the manipulation.
TikTok has agreed to pay a $92 million settlement in response to a case accusing it of misusing consumers' data using artificial intelligence (AI). The video-sharing social networking service denied all allegations but claimed it wanted to avoid a court case.
The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) has launched an online cyber security self-assessment service to help UK small market enterprises (SMEs) do business safely online. The NCSC says the tool, called the Cyber Action Plan, provides advice tailored to businesses individual circumstances from UK cyber security experts.
£480 million could be reimbursed to more than 29 million mobile phone owners if legal action against tech giant Qualcomm is successful. Qualcomm is a global manufacturer of chipsets and owner of patents, used in a range of products including certain smartphones, to enable these products to connect to 4G networks.
Social enterprise Code First Girls has agreed corporate partnerships with companies including Rolls Royce’s R2 Data Labs, Goldman Sachs, Bank of America, Aviva, BT and Dell Technologies aimed at closing the gender gap in technology. The partnerships will see Code First Girls provide up to £10,000 of free education to every woman undertaking a course.
The path of UK FinTech is at crossroads of “opportunity and risk,” with competition from overseas and Brexit fallout threatening its leading position in the market, a government-commissioned review has found.
Cyberattacks on healthcare, manufacturing and energy firms doubled in 2020 as hackers launched a wave of attacks on critical infrastructure during the pandemic, according to a new report from IBM.
The Irish Data Protection Commision (DPC) has warned that businesses could face significant disruption to transatlantic data flows because of a 2020 EU court ruling. In July Europe’s highest court decided that an EU to US data transfer agreement was invalid because of concerns about the US surveillance regime not respecting the privacy rights of citizens in the European bloc, according to a report by Reuters.
A highly anticipated law that forces technology companies to pay for media content has finaly been passed in Australia. The news comes days after Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg held negotiations with the Australian government, which ultimately resulted in the amendment of the law.
Technology giant Microsoft has announced the launch of its new cloud platform for the financial services market. Microsoft Cloud for Financial Services integrates existing and new capabilities in Microsoft 365, Azure, Dynamics 365, and Microsoft Power Platform.
The NHS is facing legal action from media platform openDemocracy over its contract with US data analytics firm Palantir. The case involves Palantir’s involvement in the analysis of public health data and includes allegations that Palantir lobbied a senior NHS official over watermelon cocktails valued at £60.
Facebook has today announced it will spend $1 billion on the news industry over the next three years. The move comes less than a week after the social media giant blocked Australian users from accessing news on the site over a new law that forces tech companies to pay for media content.
The UK’s competition watchdog has said it is planning a number of antitrust investigations into the practices of tech giants throughout the year. Chief executive of the Competition and Markers Authority (CMA) Andrea Coscelli, told The Financial Times that the organisation would launch a series of probes into BigTech companies including Facebook, Google, and Amazon over the coming months.
The UK has come second in a worldwide ranking of sceptical online searches about 5G. According to research by Prolifics Testing, there are around 93,000 online searches a month by Brits concerning the possible negative implications of 5G.
Sidewalk Labs, Google’s sister firm as part of Alphabet, has terminated a project to track mobility patterns in US city of Portland, Oregon. The news comes after Google shelved a project to build a digital city in Toronto on a space of disused Waterfront land in May 2020.
Drones have started delivering Covid-19 test samples between NHS medical facilities in the Scottish region of Argyll & Bute. Skyports, which operates the drones, has become the first operator to receive permission by the UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) to carry diagnostic specimens by drone.
BT has added the Acronis web security technology to the services it offers to small businesses and small office/home office (SOHO) setups, as cyber attacks increase during the pandemic as more people work remotely. The solution offered is based on Acronis’ AI-enhanced integration of data backup and anti-malware. It ensures users have backups that are free of malware, enabling safe recoveries when required.
Facebook is unblocking Australian after the government confirmed a number changes to new legislation that forces tech giants to pay for media content. Last week Facebook blocked news stories for Australian users just days before the government planned to pass the law.
Luxury electric vehicle maker Lucid Motors has agreed to merge with Churchill Capital IV Corp (CCIV), in a deal which gives the new organisation a valuation of $24 billion, the largest reverse merger to date. The deal will include $2.5 billion of funding from Saudi Arabia’s public investment fund, BlackRock, Fidelity and other sources.
WorkerTech startup Orka Technology Group has raised £29 million in its latest funding round to help scale up its wage access and work search products for shift workers.The new funding was a mixture of debt financing from Sonovate and equity funding involving the British Business Bank Future Fund and existing investors, including former UK chief executive of Adecco Peter Searle.
The European Commission has announced it will launch three flagship projects involving drone technologies, space-based connectivity, and space traffic management. The announcement is part of a wider action plan on synergies between civil, defence, and space industries to “further enhance Europe's technological edge and support its industrial base.”
The European Commission will allow the continued free flow of personal data from the EU and wider European Economic Area. Positive draft data adequacy decisions under both the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the Law Enforcement Directive (LED) found that the UK’s data protection standards should be found ‘adequate.’
Rishi Sunak has announced plans to introduce new fast-track visas for FinTech employees in the next budget on 3 March. The new visas will represent one part of a collection of moves intended to boost the UK’s FinTech sector and attract international talent.
Liu Young-way, chairman of Foxconn, has said he anticipates limited impact from the ongoing global chip shortage on Foxconn and its clients. Foxconn is a Taiwan-based multinational electronics manufacturer, who counts Apple as their biggest client.
A new bill could be passed in the US that would make it easier for smaller news organisations to negotiate with BigTech companies like Google and Facebook, according to a Reuters report. Ken Buck, the top Republican on the House Judiciary Committee’s antitrust panel, told the news organisation that the panel would bring out a number of antitrust bills, the first being legislation that would allow smaller news organisations to negotiate collectively with BigTech players.
Uber has lost its appeal in the Supreme Court which means it must now treat its drivers like staff employees rather than self-employed contractors. The ruling means that thousands of drivers are now entitled to both minimum wage and holiday pay.
Google has appointed its vice president of engineering Marian Croak as responsible artificial intelligence (AI) research and development lead. The search giant said Croak will lead a new centre of expertise on responsible AI within Google Research, reporting to Google AI lead Jeff Dean, and will manage 10 teams doing research related to accessibility, social good and fairness in health algorithms.
Facebook has blocked news stories for Australian users just days before the government plans to pass legislation that would force tech giants to pay for media content. Next week Australia plans to introduce legislation that addresses “bargaining power imbalances between Australian news media and digital platforms, specifically aimed at tech giants like Google and Facebook.
68 per cent of Brits have no idea how to report a cybercrime or illegal online behaviour, according to an analysis by Reboot Online. The data, taken from the European Commission, finds that the UK ranked 13th in a list of the Europeans most unaware of how to report cybercrime.
Record numbers of people have applied to study computer science degrees in 2021, according to figures from BCS, the Chartered Institute for IT.There are currently 129,610 applications for computing courses at UK universities this year, an increase of 4 per cent on last year, according to the analysis of UCAS data.
London-based cryptocurrency wallet provider Blockchain.com has landed $120 million in funding, as bitcoin surged past $50,000 earlier this week. Investors in the round included Google Ventures, Moore Strategic Ventures, Kyle Bass, Access Industries, Rovida Advisors, Lightspeed Venture Partners, Lakestar, and Eldridge.
Letitia James, New York’s attorney-general, has sued Amazon over allegations that it failed to ensure employee safety in two facilities in her remit during the pandemic. The legal case against the e-commerce giant alleges that “Amazon has repeatedly and persistently failed to comply with its obligation to institute reasonable and adequate measures to protect its workers from the spread of the virus.”
A number of Australian media companies have secured lucrative deals with Google just days before the government plans to pass legislation that would force tech giants to pay for content. It’s been reported that two of Australia’s biggest free television broadcasters have secured deals worth $47 million collectively.
80 per cent of healthcare apps do not meet NHS standards, according to data from Orcha, which reviews digital health platforms for several NHS trusts. Orcha chief executive Liz Ashall-Payne told the BBC that failings include a lack of security updates, poor information, and insufficient awareness about regulatory requirements.
Torc Robotics, an independent subsidiary of Daimler, has selected Amazon Web Services (AWS) as their preferred cloud provider. The motor manufacturer firm said the tie up will enable it to process the huge volumes of real-time data required to test its new series of autonomous trucks in New Mexico and Virginia.
The European Commission has chosen payment and transaction business Worldline to lead its ‘TruBlo’ blockchain project. TruBlo (Trusted Blockchain) aims to design innovative projects based on blockchain tech to help ensure the exchange of reliable content.
The government has pledged £10 million to develop two new green finance research hubs based in London and Leeds. Energy minister Anne-Marie Trevelyan said that the investment would mean the two cities would be home to a new UK centre for “driving global green finance and investment.”
A collection of civil and digital rights groups has called on the EU to "strictly regulate" the use of biometric mass surveillance to protect fundamental human rights. The collective has launched a European Citizens' Initiative petition urging the bloc to “strictly regulate the use of biometric technologies in order to avoid undue interference with fundamental rights.”
Over 50 per cent of UK healthcare businesses have yet to benefit from digital transformation, according to a new report from Equator. The research surveyed 20 private equity backed healthcare businesses to assess the sector’s digital maturity.
A robotic glove designed to improve muscle weakness has received support from the Edinburgh Business School’s Incubator, meaning potentially millions could recover muscle grip in their hands. The glove, based on AI technology, is aimed at the 2.5 million people living in Britain that suffer from hand weakness because of muscle mass loss as they age or due to illnesses like Multiple sclerosis, Motor Neurone Disease and carpal tunnel syndrome.
The European Consumer Organisation BEUC has filed a complaint against TikTok over breaches of EU consumer rights laws and failing to “protect children from hidden advertising and inappropriate content.”
Microsoft President Brad Smith has claimed the recent SolarWinds hack is likely to have been the work of at least 1,000 cybercriminals, describing it as the “the largest and most sophisticated attack the world has ever seen". The SolarWinds attack, uncovered in December 2020, saw hackers use the infrastructure of SolarWinds to distribute trojans to the users of network and applications monitoring platform Orion, compromising 18,000 companies including 425 of the Fortune 500 and the US military according to reports.
bp has joined the IBM Quantum Network, in a move bp said will enhance its ability to leverage quantum computing and will advance the use of the technology in the energy industry. As an industry partner, bp said they will have access to IBM’s quantum expertise and software, as well as quantum computers via the cloud, including a 65-qubit quantum computer, thought to be the largest quantum system available to industry today.
Social media is having an increasing influence on UK investors according to research by behavioural finance company Oxford Risk, which surveyed 1,008 adults across the UK in mid-December.
The research said 7 per cent of those surveyed use Facebook as a source of information for their investment decisions, while 6 per cent look to Twitter and 5 per cent look to LinkedIn.
Uber has urged regulators to recognise the value of independent contracts, as the EU considers new laws to protect those working in the ‘gig economy.’ The ride-sharing and food delivery platform said that it had published a white paper called ‘A Better Deal’ to call on policymakers, platform companies, and social representatives across Europe to “set a new standard for platform work.”
Investment in digital technology will see a £232 billion boost to the UK economy by 2040, representing a 6.9 per cent increase in GDP, according to research. The new study by Virgin Media Business and the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR), which explores how more digital ways of working can support the UK’s economic recovery from Covid-19, also found that investment in tech could boost the economy by £74 billion in 2025.
Post Office have announced a partnership with digital identity company Yoti which will allow customers to create a reusable ID on their phone using personal and biometric data. Yoti said the tie up would allow the company to expand its presence in the identity services market and roll-out a suite of new products.
As part of a new agreement on the use of online press stories, Google has agreed to pay 121 French publishers $76 million across three years. Last month French publishers represented by the Alliance de la Presse d'Information Générale (APIG) signed an agreement with Google France relating to the use of their digital news stories.
Nissan Motor has said it is not in negotiations with Apple to collaborate on an autonomous car project, following earlier reports that Apple had approached the Japanese car maker. According to Reuters, the news comes after negotiations between Apple and Hyundai Motor Group collapsed, due to issues the South Korean automaker had about being a contract manufacturer.
Online dating app Bumble is now worth $13 billion after the company listed shares. The company raised $2.2 billion at $43 a share in its initial public offering (IPO.)
In a UK Supreme Court verdict next Friday, that will affect the growing UK “gig economy” as a whole, Uber will find out whether it has to treat its drivers like staff employees rather than self-employed contractors. A group of Uber drivers claimed employment rights at an employment tribunal in 2016 and won.
Microsoft has recently approached Pinterest about a potential takeover of the $51 billion social media company, according to reports. But according to The Financial Times, which first broke the news, talks about an acquisition are not currently active.
Reinvent Technology Partners, a special purpose acquisition company owned by LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman and Zynga founder Mark Pincus, are in final stages of negotiations to buy flying taxi firm Joby Aviation. The deal will value the flying taxi developer at around $5.7 billion and will lead to an Initial Public Offering (IPO) on the New York Stock Exchange if finalised.
The Australian government is launching a new code on Monday that will force tech giants like Google and Facebook to pay for content from media companies. The news comes after heavy backlash from Google, which last month threatened to block its search engine in the region if the government went ahead with the legislation.
The problem of large scale “credential spills” - the theft of usernames and/or passwords - continues to be a major problem despite the total number of credentials being stolen falling between 2016 and 2020, according to research from security firm F5. While the annual volume of spilled credentials has declined, the number of annual major credential spill incidents more than doubled between 2016 and 2020 (from 52 to 117).
Solidatus, a data lineage and metadata management company, has raised £14 million in a Series A funding round led by AlbionVC. The deal was led by Emil Gigov and Jay Wilson for AlbionVC, and included two of Solidatus’ global enterprise clients, HSBC Ventures and Citi. As part of the commitment, Jay Wilson will join Solidatus’ Board of Directors.
Instagram has announced that it will “take tougher action” against people breaking its hate speech rules in direct messages (DMs) by permanently banning repeat offenders. The move follows reports of online racist abuse targeted at footballers in the UK.
United Airlines has announced plans to purchase 200 flying electric taxis, making the US carrier one of the first major airlines to commit to investing in flying taxis.
The company said they hope these will be able to fly passengers to the airport by 2026 and have invested $1.1bn (£800m) in California based flying taxi firm Archer Aviation to develop the aircraft.
The European Union (EU) must deploy one million electric vehicle charging points in the next three years, the region’s car lobby said on Thursday. In a joint letter to the EU climate, transport, industry, and energy commissioners, the European Automobile Manufacturers Association (ACEA), Transport & Environment (T&E), and the European Consumer Organisation (BEUC), called for this year’s revision of the Alternative Fuels Infrastructure law to require the rollout of 3 million charging points across the EU by 2029.
Twitter users are three times more likely to follow back the accounts of strangers if they share the same political views, according to a new study that sheds light on the phenomenon of “political echo chambers” on social media.
Electric-vehicle developed Rivian will go public as early as September with a valuation of around $50 million, according to Bloomberg News. The company, backed by Amazon and Ford, has been in discussions with bankers about the IPO plans, however an official timeline for the offering has not been set, the news website reported.
After a breach, over half of UK workers changed their user settings and 47 per cent permanently stopped using the company’s services. Nearly two-fifths (39 per cent) of Brits said they have lost trust in a company due to a data breach or misuse of data they have heard about, with this figure even higher in the US (56 per cent) and Australia (40 per cent), according to research by Okta.
The UK government has established the UK Cyber Security Council, an independent organisation aimed at addressing the skills gap and providing a governing voice for the cybersecurity industry. The government said the body will be responsible for making sure there are enough skilled workers in the cyber security field, that they have the necessary training and experience, and that there is sufficient diversity in the workforce.
A group of 70 investors, who control over $20 billion in Amazon shares, has reportedly told the company not to interfere with unionisation efforts by its workers as they prepare to vote in Alabama. According to a report in the Financial Times, 5,800 employees based in Bessemer, a suburb of Birmingham, Alabama, began mail-in voting this week.
The government is suggesting almost 600,000 Covid-19 cases could have been prevented thanks to its Test & Trace app, a key plank of its £22 billion NHS Test & Trace system. The system's app, using technology from Google, Apple and Amazon Web Services, was launched last September, and alerts contacts after a user inputs a positive test result into their phone.
Automaker Volkswagen is exploring the feasibility of developing flying cars in China. “Beyond autonomous driving the concept of vertical mobility could be a next step to take our mobility approach into the future, especially in the technically affine Chinese market,” the car manufacturer said in a statement.
The European Union (EU) could follow in the footsteps of the Australian government by forcing BigTech companies like Google and Facebook to pay for news. Last month Google threatened to block its search engine in Australia if the government went ahead with a new code of conduct that would see it pay for content from media companies.
Reddit has doubled its value to $6 billion following a $250 million Series E investment round. Funding was sourced from from both existing and new investors.
Cyber criminals deluged NHS staffers with a total of 137,476 rogue emails last year, according to official figures from NHS Digital, the technology provider for the national health service. The total could be far higher though, as the data obtained under the Freedom of Information Act by the Parliament Street think tank is based on reported cases by NHS staff to NHS Digital using report buttons on email accounts - not all staff bother using them.
Video-sharing site TikTok is to take on Facebook in the US e-commerce market, the Financial Times has reported. The Chinese social media platform has been in discussion with advertisers about several potential new features, including a tool that allows its most popular users to share links to products and earn commission on sales, the newspaper said.
Hyundai has said it is no longer in talks with Apple about developing electric cars for the tech company. “We are receiving requests for cooperation in joint development of autonomous electric vehicles from various companies, but they are at early stage and nothing has been decided,” Hyundai said in a statement on Monday. “We are not having talks with Apple on developing autonomous vehicles.”
International wireless technologies R&D community Cambridge Wireless has launched a 5G mobile private network testbed in partnership with Huawei. The facility will be located at the Cambridge Science Park, UK and includes an accelerator programme to develop and test 5G technologies.
Lockheed Martin has selected California start-up ABL Space Systems to launch an RS1 rocket from a new spaceport on the island of Unst in the Shetland Islands. The mission, called the UK Pathfinder launch, will place a tug developed by MOOG in the UK into orbit which will then deploy six 6U cubesat satellites.
Uber is acquiring US on-demand alcohol marketplace Drizly for around $1.1 billion in stock and cash. Drizly operates in more than 1,400 cities across a majority of US states, working with thousands of local merchants to deliver beer, wine and spirits to consumers.
Amazon is to install AI-powered cameras across its delivery vans to monitor drivers. The retail giant said that the cameras, developed by transportation technology company Netradyne, were being implemented to improve safety for its drivers.
Google has launched its news showcase in Australia following government legislation plans that would force the search engine to pay for content from media companies in the region. Last month Google threatened to block its search engine in Australia if the government went ahead with implementing the new code of conduct.
There has been a shift towards technology-based degrees in the past year, according to UCAS data which shows the growing popularity of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) subjects. Acceptances in the 2020 application cycle for computer science courses have risen by almost 50 per cent - from 20,420 in 2011 to 30,090 in 2020 - while acceptances to engineering courses are up 21 per cent from 25,995 in 2011 to 31,545 in 2020.
Cyber criminals are sitting back and letting the robots do the dirty work to unleash a wave of automated attacks on companies' web applications, according to research. Data from security provider Barracuda Networks found that the top five web application attack types were dominated by those performed using automated tools, and that these five alone contributed to over 54 per cent of all cyber attacks blocked by Barracuda in November and December 2020.
Technology trade association techUK has published a HealthTech report to help accelerate the digitisation of the health and care sector. The report includes 10 recommendations for public sector stakeholders to help bring digital technology to the forefront of healthcare.
The UK’s dependency on just two companies for its 5G rollout poses risks to both network resilience and security, a report by the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee has found. The committee said reliance on these companies is due to poor “strategic foresight”, and comes after years of telecommunication market consolidation, as well as the more recent exclusion of Huawei from the marketplace.
Cryptocurrency Ethereum hit an all-time peak of $1,698.56 on Wednesday, as investors displayed enthusiasm ahead of the launch of ethereum futures on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange next week. Bitcoin, the currently most dominant cryptocurrency, rose 1.2 per cent to $38,120.
Despite the impact COVID-19 has had on recruitment activity, UK professional IT vacancies fared well in the second half of 2020, with the number of jobs available rising 52 per cent when compared to the first half of the year. The data, provided by recruitment business intelligence specialist Vacancysoft, revealed that the increased requirement for tech professionals to keep Britain working, learning and connected during the pandemic resulted in demand for IT talent “intensifying” between the first and second half of the year.
The North West of England is a ‘perfect’ spot for tech start-ups, scale-ups, and unicorns, according to a new report by London Tech Week. The region, which includes Manchester and Liverpool, is currently home to six of the UK’s 14 digital unicorns, representing a 43 per cent share of the market.
SpaceX has failed to successfully launch a rocket prototype for the second time. The development of the company’s ‘Starship’ prototype is part of its plans to establish a fully reusable transportation system designed to carry both crew and cargo to Earth orbit, the Moon, Mars and beyond.
Jeff Bezos has announced plans to step down as Amazon chief executive later this year to focus on other ventures, including spaceflight firm Blue Origin, The Washington Post, and tackling climate change. Bezos, who started the e-commerce giant as an online bookstore in 1994, will be replaced at the helm of the company now valued at more than $1 trillion by Andy Jassy, who currently leads AWS, Amazon's cloud computing division.
A total of 84 per cent of people post sensitive information to their social media accounts which helps hackers launch attacks at least once a week, with 42 per cent posting this data daily, according to new research. The report from security firm Tessian, entitled “How to Hack a Human”, included findings from a survey of 4,000 professionals in the UK and US, alongside interviews with hackers from the HackerOne community.
Retail Giant Amazon is expanding its Amazon One biometric palm reader across further stores in Seattle. The system will now be available across eight Amazon retail stores.
Half of enterprises in EMEA have suffered an increase in outages since the pandemic hit the West last March, according to research, despite increased spending on IT security and automation. IT monitoring firm LogicMonitor questioned 600 global IT leaders - with 200 of them in EMEA - and over three-quarters of them overall “feel their input and importance within the boardroom has increased in the last 12 months”.
EU antitrust regulators are set to decide by 5 March whether to approve Microsoft’s $7.5 billion acquisition of ZeniMax Media, parent company of Fallout and Doom games developer Bethesda Softworks.
This will be U.S. tech giant’s biggest gaming acquisition to date and comes amidst strong demand during the pandemic.
The UK government has promised £20m to support electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure and revealed that the On-Street Residential Chargepoint Scheme will continue for an additional year, demonstrating its commitment to EV adoption. The move will lead to the installation of 4,000 new charge points.
The UK’s competition watchdog has launched an investigation into Uber’s anticipated buyout of Autocab. Uber’s plans to buy rival Autocab were first announced last August.
Stablecoins and digital asset classes have generated more than $1.2 trillion in transactional volume since 2017, according to a new report which highlights the growth of the blockchain across financial services and a host of other industries. The global blockchain trends survey compiled by Invesco and Cambridge Judge Business School’s Centre for Alternative Finance has tracked rapid growth across the blockchain industry in the past 18 months, with distributed ledger technologies opening up new opportunities for investors.
bluShift Aerospace launched Stardust 1.0 on Sunday, which the Maine-based startup has claimed as the world's first biofuel powered commercial booster. The small sounding rocket is powered by a "bio-derived" solid fuel and stands at six meters tall with a payload capacity of eight kilograms.
Microsoft is “confident” Bing could replace Google if it decides to withdraw from Australia, prime minister Scott Morrison said on Monday. Earlier this month Google said it would block its search engine in Australia if the government goes ahead with a new code that will make it pay for content from media companies.
Electric vehicle maker Faraday Future (FF) is seeking an IPO through special purpose acquisition company Property Solutions Acquisition to raise $1 billion to drive growth for its hyper-connected motors. The planned IPO for the combined company - which would be worth an estimated $3.4 billion after the process - would lead to Los Angeles-headquartered Faraday being listed on Nasdaq under the ticker symbol “FFIE”.
General Motors (GM) has announced plans to invest $27 billion in electric and autonomous vehicles in a bid to become carbon neutral by 2040. The funding, which will be invested over the next five years, represents a $7 billion increase on GM’s original investment plans before the pandemic.
The government has announced new grants worth £84 million too develop a greener aerospace market that could see zero-emissions flights launched as early as 2023. Half of the money will come from the government’s ATI Programme, while the rest will be matched by industry.
Behavioural security platform CybSafe has secured a £5.6 million Series A1 funding round to enhance its go-to-market and research capabilities. The funding round was led by deep tech investor IQ Capital with participation from Hannover Digital Investments (HDI Group) and B8 Ventures.
The Council of Europe has called for the banning of facial recognition technology to hire and fire people based on their moods, personality or level of engagement in the workplace. The non-binding plans, drafted by the committee of representatives from the 27 council member states, are the most extensive proposals in Europe for legislation on the technology.
Almost two-thirds (65 per cent) of businesses see a digital skills shortfall as one of the most significant challenges facing their company in 2021. The figures are based on research commissioned by FTSE 250 professional services firm FDM Group, which questioned 200 business decision-makers in large- and medium-sized companies about their attitude to hiring and improving IT and digital skills for 2021.
The Biometrics Institute has issued a statement stressing the importance of public health and privacy to parties developing biometric solutions to COVID-19. The statement was released on Data Privacy Day 2021, ahead of a review of its privacy guidelines for biometrics.
Google is reportedly renewing plans to launch its own licensing programme with news publishers in Australia. The move comes as the search engine fights new government legislation that will force it to pay for content from media companies in Australia.
Octopus Ventures has announced the launch of £100m fund targeted at early-stage HealthTech companies. The firm intends to raise the funds with parent company Octopus Group as cornerstone investor.
Swiss startup Aktiia has beaten Fitbit, Apple and other HealthTech players to become the first firm to get regulatory approval to sell a wearable bracelet that automatically measures blood pressure 24/7. The firm has won a CE Class IIa medical device mark for its bracelet, which allows it to sell its technology across the European Economic Area, the UK, Australia and Canada. But it's entering the UK market first, as it is seen as the most lucrative for this type of technology in Europe.
Tech Nation has unveiled its inaugural Scale Ratio, which compares the number of seed stage, early growth and late growth companies in the UK’s tech ecosystems, to help measure tech hub potential and success. The Scale Ratio comes as industry body Tech Nation announces the latest cohort of its Upscale programme, consisting of 33 UK startups that will get six months of scale-up support - 48 per cent of them are based outside London.
Microsoft’s 2020 final quarter profits hit $15.5 billion, increasing by around a third compared to the previous year amid a surge in demand for cloud-based services during the pandemic. The software giant saw revenue jump by 17 per cent to $43.1 billion in the same period.
The European Union (EU) is lagging behind in the development and use of artificial intelligence (AI) while the United States (US) is leading the way and China is improving rapidly, according to a new report. The Information Technology and Innovation Foundation assessed AI advancement using 30 metrics including human talent, research activity, commercial development and investment in hardware and software based on 2020 data.
Google workers from around the world are joining forces to create a global union alliance. The new union, ‘Alpha Global,’ was formed in partnership with UNI Global Union, which represents 20 million workers across the globe.
Social media platform Twitter has banned My Pillow chief executive Mike Lindell for violating its policy on election misinformation. Lindell, who had almost 500,000 followers before his account was suspended, repeatedly made baseless claims of voter fraud in the US presidential election.
Facebook has launched a news feature in the UK which will pay publishers for stories “not already on its platform,” across hundreds of national, local, and lifestyle outlets. The social media platform said that the move would gives publishers more advertising and subscription opportunities, and that the it the beginning of a series of international investments in news.
Global IT spending will jump 6.2 per cent this year to $3.9 trillion, after it fell 3.2 per cent in 2020 as CIOs prioritised spending on technology and services that were deemed “mission-critical” during the first stages of the pandemic. All IT spending segments are forecast to return to growth in 2021, with enterprise software expected to have the strongest growth at 8.8 per cent - reaching $506 billion - as remote working environments are expanded and improved.
Riverlane has raised $20m in Series A funding to build Deltaflow, an operating system for quantum computers. The Cambridge based start-up will use the funding to expand internationally to the US and Europe.
Swapp, an AI-powered construction planning software company, has raised $7 million in seed funding. The funding round was led by Point72 Ventures and Entrée Capital with the participation of existing investors.
Hong Kong's Hanson Robotics is to roll-out four models of its humanoid robots from its factory to take advantage of demand generated by the pandemic. With demands on healthcare spiralling and more people stuck at home on their own, the company's service robots - including Sophia who was unveiled in 2016 - are looking to carve out a niche for themselves.