Jfrog, the company behind Artifactory and Bintray, will use new funds to beef up R&D and global sales and marketing, Read more »
Deutsche Telekom has its own German cloud storage service, TelekomCloud, so it’s no surprise to see its big Dropbox partnership exclude the carrier’s home turf. Read more »
FiftyThree, the U.S. startup that produces the designer-friendly drawing app Paper, has now brought out the accompanying Pencil stylus in Europe, 8 months after it was released in North America. Pencil connects with the user’s iPad via Bluetooth to enable features like palm rejection, finger blending and switching to the erase function without needing to change tools in the app. Variable surface pressure will be added with the upcoming release of iOS 8. In the U.K., the graphite version of Pencil is priced at £49.99 ($85.64) and the walnut version at £64.99 ($111.34).
Stepping in where the banks won’t or don’t dare, Elliptic now has funding for its secure and insured Vault service, and it wants to expand its repertoire. Read more »
The UK Data Retention and Investigation Powers (DRIP) Bill, which is being fast-tracked through the legislative process, cleared the first stage in the House of Commons by 498 votes to 31 after a sparsely-attended “debate” (pictured). As previously reported, DRIP expands the authorities’ surveillance powers so that foreign web communications service providers can be forced to hand over user information – despite the assurances of the U.K. government that it only maintains the “status quo”. Lawyers and web law experts (and Edward Snowden) strongly oppose it. DRIP, which all major parties agreed to support before the public got to see it late last week, now goes for a second reading in the evening, then the House of Lords on Wednesday.
Getting developers to try — and then buy — new tools can be tricky. Codeship is hoping a new full-access freemium model will help. Read more »
The agreement will make it easier for companies using Thinfilm’s NFC barcodes and sensor-equipped labels on their products to manage the data flowing from those items, through Evrythng’s identity management platform. Read more »
A newly-published list of GCHQ tools that were in operation or being developed a couple years back, provides a fascinating insight into modern propaganda and disinformation techniques. Read more »
The German parliamentary committee investigating NSA activities in the country may use non-connected, mechanical typewriters to protect its work, committee chairman Patrick Sensburg suggested on Monday. Sensburg also said he was advising members to check their smartphones, after the uncovering of spies working for the U.S. The committee is looking into the revelations of Edward Snowden and other whistleblowers. In response, committee member Martina Renner of The Left party tweeted: “Before I use a typewriter [and] burn notes after reading, I’d rather abolish the secret services.” Russian spies also reacted to Snowden by investing in typewriters — largely due to their utility in tracking leaks.
The Raspberry Pi Model B+ is different enough to warrant new cases, and has valuable new features, but the processor and RAM are the same as the Model B. The price remains the same too, at $35. Read more »
Contrary to the explanation of the man who the U.K. government granted rights to sell .io domain addresses, back in the 90s, the government now says it doesn’t get anything from those sales, and therefore has no plans to share profits with the people it expelled from the Chagos Islands. Read more »
The World Wide Web Foundation, the British Law Society, the Financial Times and a host of digital rights campaigners all think rushing through the DRIP Act as “emergency” legislation is a terrible idea. Read more »
As the controversy continues over a new law that lets people delete Google listings, the company’s head lawyer offered a view from inside the company. Read more »
Encrypted communications outfit Silent Circle, which has telco distribution deals for its secure voice app and $30 million funding in the bank, has introduced the ability to call out to regular phone numbers while maintaining a modicum of security. The “Out-Circle” feature lets users make calls to 79 countries that are encrypted between the device and Silent Circle’s servers, then sent out to the normal phone network. That means calls are secure in the country where the caller is, even if they’re not on the recipient’s side – useful in certain circumstances, and certainly more secure than Skype. Plans start at $12.95 for 100 minutes.
Spying on the German public? Not a problem. Spying on Chancellor Merkel? Kind of a problem. Turning a German intelligence employee and German army officer? It seems the German government has had enough. Read more »
FreedomPop’s free mobile voice and data plans have taken off in the U.S. so the MVNO is trying its luck in Europe. It will launch in Belgium this year and expand to other countries in 2015 Read more »
The Data Retention and Investigation Powers (DRIP) Act will reinstate powers taken away from the government in a ruling by Europe’s top court. However, it would also expand those powers in terms of territory and scope — despite what the government is saying. Read more »
Ads from the U.K. government, charities and multinational corporations have been running ahead of jihadi recruitment videos on sites like YouTube and Dailymotion, a BBC investigation has revealed. That may mean the likes of the National Citizen Service (NCS) and Oxfam have been unwittingly putting money into the pockets of Islamist extremists, as uploaders get a cut of the ads shown before their videos. Following the investigation, NCS, Oxfam and the BBC itself – in a similar position – have complained and/or had their ads removed from the offending videos. YouTube said it removes violent extremist videos when users flag them up.
The web giant’s investment arm is setting up a London office. Details are pretty sketchy when it comes to the type of investments it will make, and it certainly isn’t the biggest pot in town, but Google says European startups have “enormous potential”. Read more »
Swedish Square competitor iZettle has added an extra €5 million ($6.8 million) to the Series C round it announced back in May, bringing the total for the round to €45 million ($61.2 million), and iZettle’s total investment thus far to €85 million ($118 million). The new cash comes from Hasso Plattner Ventures, the SAP co-founder’s investment vehicle, while existing investors include banking and payment giants American Express, MasterCard and Banco Santander. As usual, iZettle says it will use the money to sell its little card readers in more countries.
It’s not just the U.S. that wants air passengers to prove their electronic devices aren’t bombs by turning them on – the same now goes in the U.K., according to an update from aviation authorities on Tuesday. The authorities refused to say which routes were affected, so all passengers flying into and out of the U.K. will have to charge their devices before traveling, on pain of having those phones, tablets and laptops confiscated. Meanwhile British Airways announced even more restrictive measures on Monday – passengers with dead devices wouldn’t be able to fly, whether or not they offer to abandon the devices — but later backed down.
Competition commissioner Joaquin Almunia was already facing resistance in his quest to wrap up the long-running Google antitrust case, but Yelp’s new front-and-center involvement will almost certainly see the case continue. Read more »
The Oxfordshire-based startup’s service — a cheaper alternative to Dropcam — can now be integrated with many other home automation devices through the IFTTT platform, so that detected motion can turn on lights and smoke can trigger recording. Read more »
Roman Seleznev was apparently picked up by U.S. agents in the Maldives, then sent to Guam for his first court appearance. He is alleged to have been involved in the theft and sale of credit card details from U.S. targets, but Russia is incensed at the manner of his arrest. Read more »
Airbnb has been fined €30,000 ($41,000) by the Catalonian authorities in Spain, who say the short-term rental marketplace has been illegally making money off properties that aren’t registered for tourist usage. The authorities, who are partly trying to protect traditional hotels, want Airbnb to stop listing unregistered properties and any individual rooms, which are illegal to rent to tourists. It’s a complex situation – many people in Barcelona make a lot of much-needed cash from renting out rooms and apartments to holiday-goers, but many of their neighbors aren’t so keen on seeing their residential buildings filled with late-partying tourists. There are vocal campaigners on both sides, and echoes of Airbnb’s struggles with New York regulators.
Germany will break Dublin’s lock on Amazon Web Services deployment in Europe, according to a new report, but timing is unclear. Read more »
The wait for Microsoft’s Lumia 930 in the UK is over, nearly five months after a similar handset — the Lumia Icon — debuted in the US. Have potential buyers already moved on or will the Lumia 930 still be well received? Read more »
The Spanish firm filed for bankruptcy protection after due diligence-focused investment outfit Gotham City Research exposed phoney revenues and inflated hotspot claims. Read more »
In the wake of Europe’s top court invalidating the Data Retention Directive for having insufficient privacy safeguards, the British government is set to pass emergency laws allowing the core functions to continue there. According to a Sunday report in The Guardian, all major political parties support forcing providers to store and provide law enforcement access to details of who called or emailed whom and when, as has been the case since 2009. However, Labour and the Liberal Democrats are reportedly against expanding existing powers to also take in details like which web pages people visit. This “snooper’s charter” idea has been repeatedly suggested and shot down, but the government remains keen to see it put into practice.
The investment gives Randstad a way into the new world of online freelance recruitment, and Twago a way into Randstad’s considerable enterprise customer base. Read more »
Speak into the mic: The latest Edward Snowden revelations about the tremendous scope of NSA data collection on ordinary Americans (e.g. non targets) is really not news. The week in cloud. Read more »
According to a massive cache of emails, chat conversations and other information leaked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, the agency captured the private data of tens of thousands of ordinary Americans and has continued to retain that data Read more »
The British hydrogen fuel cell company Intelligent Energy (IE) has floated on the London Stock Exchange at a valuation of $1.1 billion. The firm raised $69 million in the Thursday IPO for 8.8 percent of its shares, along with $27 million from Singaporean wealth fund GIC, which now owns around 10 percent of the firm. IE will use the money to sell backup power units for cellular base stations in India, and to support the launch of its Upp personal energy generator (pictured), according to the Financial Times. Early reviews suggest one Upp hydrogen cartridge can charge a mobile device 5 times. IE, which has been developing its technology for 13 years, also plans to make fuel cells for vehicles.
The European Banking Authority, which has already pointed out that consumers using bitcoin do so without regulatory protection, has issued an opinion listing 70 risks of virtual currencies and laying out the legislative measures needed to make regulation possible. Read more »
In what may turn out to be the biggest diplomatic upset yet to emerge from the surveillance scandal, German authorities have arrested a German intelligence employee who reportedly confessed to spying on a parliamentary NSA inquiry committee, on behalf of U.S. intelligence. Read more »
BMW is 3D-printing “finger cots” for some of its factory workers, the German carmaker said this week. Working alongside ergonomics researchers from the Technical University of Munich, BMW uses mobile 3D hand scanners to create tailored thumb-protectors for each worker. The printing is done with a selective laser sintering (SLS) process, using a precisely targeted laser to form a pre-modelled solid mass out of a thermoplastic polyurethane powder. The cots act as splints to counter thumb joint stress, helping workers who are fitting rubber plugs.
Google is telling British media companies that it has removed articles from its index as a result of an EU decision on “the right to be forgotten.” Critics say the company is deliberately over-reacting, but it is just doing what it can to call attention to a bad law Read more »
Observers might be forgiven for thinking that EU privacy law allows links to serious journalism to be removed from Google’s results if the subject complains. That’s really not the case, as Google knows very well. Read more »
German media reported on Thursday that, based on analysis of the source code of a key NSA surveillance tool, it is clear that the agency targeted a student who is involved in the Tor anonymization project. Read more »
The app tells users what services like Facebook can figure out about their personality and intentions. In the future, it wants to encourage people to feed that data to advertisers for cash rewards. This is an attempt to improve rather than reinvent the current internet model. Read more »