Europe

Happy open-source family

Moscow-based Runa Capital has invested €3 million ($3.4 million) in MariaDB, the open-source database company that offers what began as a MySQL fork (Google and Wikipedia are big-name users). Runa, which is headed up by founders of Acronis and Parallels, is already a backer of the Nginx web server and platform-as-a-service outfit Jelastic. In a statement, MariaDB CEO Patrik Sallner said his firm was looking forward to collaborating with Runa and its other open-source portfolio companies in its enterprise push.

Happy Safer Internet Day!

Many websites of the Dutch government were hammered by a distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack, the government said on Wednesday. In a statement, the government said the attack targeted the hosting service Prolocation, also knocking out other websites such as that of the satirical publication GeenStijl. It began 10am local time on Tuesday and apparently lasted into the evening. The Dutch National Center for Cyber Security is now coordinating with the government to investigate the attack. Ironically, as GeenStijl pointed out in its own statement, the DDoS took place on Safer Internet Day.

Android and Windows-compatible

Swiss plastic watchmaker Swatch is preparing to launch a smartwatch in the next few months, promising mobile payments functionality and compatibility with both Android and Windows. Most interestingly, it told Bloomberg and others the watch won’t require charging. There are no details of how this will be achieved, so I can only theorize that its power requirements will be low enough to feed off kinetic energy from the user’s movements — Swatch has a technology for this called Autoquartz. The device will probably launch around the same time as the new Apple Watch, but given Swatch’s pricing it’s likely to be a darn sight cheaper.

Flocking to features

The new Vivaldi browser, unveiled a week ago by Opera founder Jon von Tetzchner, is off to a roaring start. Its first technical preview – the thing isn’t even in beta yet – has already had 400,000 downloads. As von Tetzchner said in a Wednesday update to supporters, this is more people than live in his native Iceland. His Vivaldi team is trying to provide a feature-rich power browser for people who don’t like the current trend for pared-back browsers that disappear into the background, a group that these days includes Opera (von Tetzchner quit the company a few years back). He also said in the message that the team will deliver new builds of the browser on a weekly basis.

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