Europe

The cicadas rev up as the summer sun bakes the carefully tended lawns of suburban Dublin, Ohio. Houses sit exposed like cattle in the heat, the trees too small to offer a shaded window or cool spot on the driveway so everything is shut tight. The only ones outside for any length of time are
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Fitness tracker makers would have you believe that all that stands between you and the motivation to get up off your couch and get healthy is their shiny wearable device. But a new study conducted by researchers in the UK suggests that, in some circumstances, fitness wearables can end up doing the opposite: becoming a
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The UK’s Home Secretary has yet again cranked up the pressure on messaging giants over use of end-to-end encryption to secure communications sent via popular services like WhatsApp — implying she would prefer tech companies voluntarily re-engineer their security systems so that decrypted data can be handed over to terror-fighting intelligence agencies on demand. Writing
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Helpling, the Rocket Internet-founded company that lets you book a range of home services online, has raised further funding. This time around, the undisclosed backing — which I understand to be “several million” Euros — comes from Unilever Ventures, the venture arm of Unilever, in what can undoubtedly be described as a strategic investment. In
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Fintech startup Klarna grew thanks to its e-commerce payment service, but now the startup is diversifying a bit. The Swedish company is launching Wavy, a free peer-to-peer payment app and service. After Cookies imploded, Klarna approached the team behind the German app so that they could join another fintech company. It turns out that this
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Large hotel chains are feeling the heat from Airbnb and other startups building digital marketplaces for travelers with a more flexible range of places to stay, and more flexible prices to match. And that is leading some of them to make acquisitions. RCI, a division of Wyndham Worldwide, has acquired Love Home Swap, a startup out
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In what looks like a potentially useful use of drone technology, Russian scientists at the Moscow Technology Institute have stuck a defibrillator on a drone so it can be remote piloted to a person in need of cardiopulmonary resuscitation. So much like an air ambulance, but — presumably — a lot cheaper. The project is a
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French speaker maker Devialet just announced a brand new speaker in partnership with British broadcasting company Sky. The Sky Soundbox is a single speaker designed for your TV. It’s roughly the size of a gaming console and it is supposed to produce surround-like sound. This partnership is something brand new for the French startup. Most
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Northern Ireland based B-Secur has closed a £3.5m (~$4.5M) late stage seed investment for its biometric authentication technology that utilizes an individual’s unique heartbeat pattern, known as an electrocardiogram (ECG), to — in its words — “quickly and securely authenticate identity”. The investment is coming from a syndicate of UK and Ireland-based investors, including Accelerated Digital Ventures
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The Budapest Transport Authority (BKK, in Hungarian) recently launched an online payment system with the help of a T-Systems Hungary, Deutsche Telekom’s consulting arm. The system, which took three months to build, was supposed to be installed in time for the FINA world championships in Budapest. The software, not unexpectedly for such a project, was
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The UK government has announced a plan to require drone owners to register their devices. It says the incoming rules are aimed at ensuring safer use of the technology. Under the planned regulations, owners of drones weighing more than 250 grams will, in future, be required to register their devices — with the stated aim
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