Google has declared a white space broadband trial in Cape Town, in which it participated, a resounding success. The firm said on Friday that the 6-month trial, which involved running wireless broadband in the fragmented buffer zones between chunks of TV spectrum, did not interfere with the complex TV broadcast set-up in the city. I went to see the pilot in June and am delighted to learn that the network will stay operational for the schools that have been using it, even though the trial is over. Similar experiments are taking place around the world.
It’s not exactly a surprise, but confidence in the cloud has taken a battering in Germany after the Snowden revelations. A PricewaterhouseCoopers survey released on Thursday suggested 22 percent of German companies now see the risk of using cloud services as “very high,” up from 6 percent before the leak; 54 percent say risk is high or very high.
Thirty-eight percent said they were now looking at email encryption and 25 percent at encryption of mobile communications while 15 percent want to switch to European tech providers that won’t cooperate with American or British intelligence services.
The heads of the UK’s highest-profile intelligence services, GCHQ, MI5 and MI6, all appeared before a parliamentary committee on Thursday to not explain why Snowden’s surveillance revelations have harmed the country. Read more »
Coresystems creates apps for mobile field force efforts and software that ties in with SAP Business One. Former SAP exec Peter Zencke participated in the round. Read more »
Gartner says the PC market is shrinking faster than expected in western Europe, and nowhere more so than in Britain. Readers of a sensitive disposition might want to look away now… Read more »
Should public figures have the right to purge search engines of images that depict their embarrassing behavior? A court in Paris has said yes, and ordered Google to delete images of Max Mosley. Read more »
A coalition of lawyers, journalists and internet freedom activists launched legal action against the Dutch government, in an attempt to get it to stop using information about Dutch people gleaned from NSA surveillance. Read more »
Just months after throwing $40 million in Shazam’s direction, Carlos Slim has made another big bet on the startup scene. This time the beneficiary is Mobli, which already has a (mostly) impressive lineup of celebrity backers. Read more »
What’s the sensible reaction to the NSA spying on European countries (with, ahem, some cooperation of those countries’ own intelligence agencies)? According to European Commissioner Viviane Reding, who is in charge of justice, the answer is… more spying!
Reding apparently told a Greek newspaper on Monday that the EU should have a proper counterpart to the NSA — “so we can level the playing field with our U.S. partners” — by 2020. She may have been speaking “off the cuff” and it’s very unlikely to happen (member states handle their own national security), but it’s still an odd suggestion when spying victims such as Germany are trying to rein in the global espionage frenzy, not ramp it up.
There won’t be any commercially-available handsets that support such speeds for at least a year, but EE’s claim to the LTE-Advanced crown is more plausible than most. Read more »
The shuffling of Telefonica’s cards continues: the Spanish telecoms giant is set to sell off a $3.33 billion controlling stake in its Czech and Slovakian operations, with the buyer being Petr Kellner’s investment vehicle PPF Group. Read more »
Privacy International has asked the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development to investigate whether telecoms giants such as BT and Verizon Enterprise broke human rights rules by cooperating too much with British intelligence and not fighting back on their customers’ behalf. Read more »
The British company, whose software aims to help service providers enter the cloud game, has “opened up” its platform to allow more flexibility. It’s also preparing to support OpenStack, claiming it will make service provider deployments less painful. Read more »
What’s the future of the app economy in the European Union? Will it create more jobs? What are the challenges and the opportunities as the app economy grows? Read more »
Indonesian leaders and hackers are incensed after it emerged how the Australians worked with the Americans on surveillance in that and other Asian countries. Meanwhile in Europe, the cooperation of various intelligence agencies with the British has been exposed. Read more »
UK supermarket chain Tesco is installing advertising screens that also scan customers’ faces as they stand in line to pay. Once upon a time I may have found that risky, but we’re much further down that slippery slope these days. Read more »
Kusiri has won the 3DFintech Challenge. Kusiri, a forensic search company, was chosen by an expert panel of judges at the final pitching on Thursday at London’s Level39 technology accelerator. The purpose of the challenge was to unearth the next rockstar startup innovating in data visualization for the financial services industry. Read more »
Finally! Now that the FAA over in the U.S. has greenlit the use of electronic devices during all flight stages, the same may soon happen in Europe.
According to a report in The Guardian on Friday, the UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) is set to take the matter to European regulators, with the hope of a decision being made within months. As in the U.S., each airline would need to seek permission individually, proving that its aircraft won’t be affected by the use of phones (with the cellular component turned off), tablets, e-readers and so forth.
Berlin’s 6Wunderkinder has reportedly raised a $30 million Series B round, with heavyweight Sequoia Capital joining existing investors such as Earlybird and Atomico. 6Wunderkinder makes the popular Wunderlist and Wunderlist Pro task management apps, which Techcrunch says have 6 million users. The company will apparently use its fresh funding to push further into the U.S. market.
Secretary of State John Kerry has said the NSA went too far in some of its activities. Meanwhile, Edward Snowden has apparently said he is willing in principle to testify in a potential German case over U.S. spying. Read more »
Though the Wall Street Journal earlier today reported that AT&T’s European ambitions have been jeopardized by its involvement in the NSA-spying scandal, Bloomberg now has it that Ma Bell is still preparing to make a takeover bid for U.K.-based multinational carrier Vodafone. AT&T’s M&A folks are determining how the deal would be structured and which international properties it would keep and which it would sell off, according to Bloomberg’s unnamed sources. Apparently, AT&T is also looking at the U.K.’s Everything Everywhere as a fallback.
Is the Tesla Model S cool enough to catch on with car lovers on both sides of the Atlantic? We’ll find out this spring. Read more »
NSA leaker Edward Snowden will start a job in tech support in November, his lawyer reportedly said. The employer is a “large Russian website”, but we don’t know who, because of security concerns. A representative for web giant Yandex told me on Thursday that it wasn’t them.
We do know that social network VK invited Snowden to join its security team earlier this year, at least partly as a publicity stunt. Snowden is stuck in Russia for now under one-year temporary asylum, since the U.S. cancelled his passport in June.
Creativity comes to the track, as Austria’s Runtastic introduces Story Running. The stories all feature running and have been designed to fit the ideal pace of a run. Read more »
There has been a lot of speculation over whether recent disclosures about America’s extensive spy programs will harm the country’s economic interests. Now, in one of the first concrete examples of economic fall-out, the Wall Street Journal reports that AT&T’s plans to make a bid for Vodafone have been set back indefinitely over growing European anger over the US telephone company’s role in collecting information.
Recent leaks by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden suggest that both AT&T and Verizon, which has also been mulling a bid for Vodafone, have participated in an ongoing US program to collect and record call data in the U.S and abroad. New disclosures that the U.S. tapped the personal cell phone of the German Chancellor have added new fuel to the controversy.
Spanish Wi-Fi provider has already built a 2000-hotspot network in NYC. Now its enticing businesses onto that network by promising them the ability to communicate with their customers. Read more »
The NSA is not only accessing Google and Yahoo records with the companies’ permission, but has an overseas program to break into the fiber optic links connecting the companies’ data centers. Read more »
Today’s internet is based on client devices such as PCs or smartphones talking to centralized servers to get their data. If an EU-funded project called Pursuit takes flight, the future could be a whole lot more distributed. Read more »
Qualcomm has a huge lead in LTE silicon, but Intel made up a lot of ground today. It’s multimode LTE modem is now commercially available, giving 4G device makers the voice and 3G compatibility they need. Read more »
If the Wall Street Journal‘s sources are correct, then France and Spain’s intelligence agencies have a whole lot of explaining to do. Read more »
Backed by Passion Capital and TransferWise chief Taavet Hinrikus, Coinfloor is the first serious Bitcoin trading operation to open in London’s fintech hub. U.S. customers aren’t allowed in just yet, though. Read more »
The UK’s Open Data Institute, which exists to help the government make its data open and machine-readable, and to incubate private open data companies, has spawned a series of nodes around the world. Read more »
Gigaom Research is advising the EC on what it could do to help app developers create and hold onto European jobs, and inject a little startup juice into the EU app economy. Read more »
Google has made new concessions to guarantee its rivals a place in search results — but the new terms offer no strategic threat to the company’s overall position. Read more »
Berg’s transition is complete. The London design shop is now a tech startup selling a connected devices platform, and it’s got VC money to boot. Read more »
The weekend brought a spate of updates in the ongoing NSA saga. German media reported that Barack Obama had known about the tapping of Angela Merkel’s phone for years despite claiming he hadn’t, prompting fresh denials from Washington. Der Spiegel also published a detailed look at the American agency’s Berlin spying tactics.
Meanwhile El Mundo reported that the NSA had recorded phone call details of millions of Spaniards, and the Kyodo news agency said Japan had rebuffed U.S. requests in 2011 to tap fiberoptic cables going through Japan to China.
The co-founder and former CTO of Joyent will direct digital strategy at the mobile broadband networking giant. Read more »
People retweet lies and errors on Twitter all the time. Are there special cases where they should be punished for doing so? That’s what happened in the UK, raising questions again about how to regulate speech on not just Twitter, but other sites where you can slander with a single click. Read more »
Germany and Brazil are pushing forward with proposals for a global right to online privacy. It would have been nice if this action had begun in earnest when it was citizens being spied upon, and not only after Angela Merkel and Dilma Rousseff were revealed as targets. Read more »
Streaming video service Wuaki.tv, which launched in the U.K. this summer, has partnered with Panasonic to make its app available on Viera smart TVs. The company says it expects smart TVs to be the largest viewing platform for its content. Read more »