(qlmbusinessnews.com via bbc.co.uk – – Mon, 18th Mar 2019) London, Uk – –
A payment processing firm that used to be owned by Royal Bank of Scotland has been sold in a deal worth $43bn (£32bn).
WorldPay has been bought by Florida-based Fidelity National Information Services (FIS) for $35bn in cash and shares, plus WorldPay's debt.
FIS sells payment services and also software for the finance industry.
WorldPay was sold by RBS in 2010 as a condition of the bank's bailout following the financial crisis.
Since then WorldPay's value has risen dramatically and now matches the stock market value of its former owner RBS.
Demand for WorldPay services has surged as shoppers are using their cards more, either to buy products online, or using cards in shops.
FIS said buying WorldPay would help it sell more services to banks and other financial firms. The company's chief executive Gary Norcross said “scale matters in our rapidly changing industry”.
The rise of financial technology firms, known as fintech, has seen technology firms taking on banks in a race for control of the digital payments market.
“The need to invest, to continue to modernise both the technology and application layers, and continue to innovate so our customers can continue to be disrupters, will be important for us,” Mr Norcross told investors in a call on Monday.
Neil Wilson, from Markets.com, said the deal “signifies the very rapid shift in the payments industry and the amount of investment the businesses need”.
He expects more deals in the sector as companies look to get bigger.
WorldPay first started in 1989 as electronic payments system Streamline. It was owned by NatWest Bank, which was then acquired by RBS in 2002.
Streamline was renamed as RBS WorldPay. RBS expanded the service to other countries, including the US and the Netherlands.
In 2009 the European Commission said that RBS would have to sell WorldPay and other businesses, as a condition of approving state aid to the bank.
The next year, WorldPay was sold to private equity firms Advent International and Bain Capital for £2bn, with RBS retaining a 20% stake.
In 2013, RBS sold off its remaining stake. WorldPay went on to sell shares on the London Stock Exchange in 2015.
In January 2018, US payments processing technology firm Vantiv acquired WorldPay for $10.4bn. Vantiv renamed the combined firms WorldPay.
Last October, BT poached WorldPay's co-head Philip Jansen to replace Gavin Patterson as chief executive of the telecoms group.
(qlmbusinessnews.com via theguardian.com – – Thur, 14 March 2019) London, Uk – –
FAA supported the grounding saying it had uncovered information in the Ethiopia crash that was similar to the Indonesia crash in October
Donald Trump grounded Boeing’s 737 Max fleet on Wednesday, days after the second fatal crash involving the plane in five months.
Issuing an emergency order, Trump said all 737 Max jets in the US would now be grounded. “Planes that are in the air will be grounded if they are the 737 Max. Will be grounded upon landing at their destination,” Trump told reporters at the White House.
Trump said the safety of the American people and others was of “paramount concern”. He said: “They [Boeing] have to find the problem … and they will find it.”
Ethiopian Airlines said on Thursday an Ethiopian delegation had sent the black boxes from crashed plane to Paris for investigation.
Boeing said it had “full confidence in the safety of the 737 Max” but “out of an abundance of caution and in order to reassure the flying public” it had decided to temporarily suspend the entire fleet.
But a statement from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) went further, saying that new information from the wreckage of a 737 crash in Ethiopia had uncovered similarities to an earlier crash of the same variant of 737 in Indonesia in October.
The FAA’s emergency order states that the similarities “warrant further investigation of the possibility of a shared cause for the two incidents that needs to be better understood and addressed”.
The United States had stood virtually alone in allowing the plane to keep flying. On Wednesday, Canada joined a growing list of countries that had grounded the aircraft involved in the Ethiopian Airlines crash that killed 157 people this week.
Boeing and US aviation safety officials at the FAA had resisted mounting pressure from Congress and labor unions to halt operation of the Boeing 737 Max while investigators work to find the cause of the crash. Regulators in the European Union, the United Kingdom, China, Australia and India have restricted the planes from flying. The latest bans came from Egypt, Thailand and Vietnam on Wednesday.
The grounding threatened chaos for US travelers. Dozens of the planes were still airborne at the time of the announcement and future flights will have to be rescheduled until the ban is lifted.
At New York’s LaGuardia airport, three flights to Miami on 737 Max 8s were cancelled, stranding hundreds of American Airlines passengers.
“I’d rather the inconvenience than be on a dangerous airplane,” said Marie Bellamota, a traveller from the Dominican Republic who had her flight cancelled. “I feel upset, and I have to change all my plans but what can I do.”
Other passengers said they were inconvenienced but relieved to not be taking the risk or suffering the anxiety of taking the troubled Boeing.
“I’m glad. I didn’t want to be on that plane anyway,” said Sharon Gentles, who was on her way to Jamaica for a funeral. “I’m happy they grounded them because at least I’m safe.”
A spokesman for American at LaGuardia said that over the past several days the airline had sought to allay customers’ increasing concerns about the 737 by switching them to other flights without imposing additional fees.
Following the planes’ grounding by US regulators, the airline switched passengers to a “special section” plane – a wide-bodied Boeing 777 leaving JFK at 10.30pm. “We’re happy to provide at least some relief by getting them to their destination tonight,” said American’s Justin Franco.
The Ethiopian crash comes just five months after the deadly crash of a new Boeing 737 Max 8 operated by Lion Air in Indonesia, which left 189 people dead. No evidence has yet linked the crashes, but pilots on both planes reported problems moments after takeoff and asked to make emergency landings.
Canada’s transportation minister, Marc Garneau, said the decision to issue a “safety notice” was based on a review of newly available satellite tracking data, which identified similarities between the crash in Ethiopia and the one last year in Indonesia.
Garneau cautioned that the information was “not conclusive” but that “at this point we feel that threshold has been crossed”.
On Tuesday, Boeing CEO, Dennis Muilenburg reportedly spoke with Trump by phone to assure him the planes were safe. The call came after the president complained on Twitter that airplanes have become “far too complex to fly” and suggested that “pilots are no longer needed, but rather computer scientists from MIT”.
But Trump and Boeing had faced mounting pressure to act. Senator Ted Cruz, a Texas Republican who leads a Senate subcommittee overseeing aviation, called on the FAA to ground the planes and promised to hold hearings on the cause of the crash.
“Further investigation may reveal that mechanical issues were not the cause, but until that time, our first priority must be the safety of the flying public,” he said on Tuesday.
Senator Dianne Feinstein, a California Democrat, and the Massachusetts senator Elizabeth Warren, a Democratic presidential candidate, had called for the planes to be grounded. Warren said lawmakers should hold hearings “on whether an administration that famously refused to stand up to Saudi Arabia to protect Boeing arms sales has once again put lives at risk for the same reason”.
Boeing, one of the US’s largest manufactures, is a lobbying powerhouse with deep ties to the White House and Congress. According to OpenSecrets.org, a group that tracks lobbying data, Boeing spent more than $15m on Washington lobbying last year.
Trump’s acting defense secretary, Patrick Shanahan, worked at the company for more than 30 years. On Wednesday, the Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington filed a complaint with the Department of Defense’s Office of Inspector General alleging that Shanahan violated ethics rules “by promoting Boeing in the scope of his official duties” at the DOD.
The US airline carriers that fly the plane – Southwest, American Airlines and United – on Wednesday said they were complying with the new requirements.
In a statement, Southwest said the airline removed all of its 34 Max 8 aircraft from scheduled service. American, responding to customer questions on Twitter, said it had stopped operating all 24 of its planes of that type and United grounded its 14 737 Max 9 aircraft, which handle about 40 flights per day.
By Dominic Rushe in New York Lauren Gambino in Washington and Edward Helmore
(qlmbusinessnews.com via theguardian.com – – Tue, 12th March 2019) London, Uk – –
Media giant tells Australian inquiry Google’s search engine and advertising platform should be separated
Google should be broken up to restore a level playing field for media companies swamped by its “overwhelming” market power, News Corp has told the competition regulator.
Rupert Murdoch’s Australian arm has argued in a submission to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission that Google’s search engine and third-party advertising platform be separated to make it easier for digital publishers to compete for advertising.
Alphabet, Google’s parent, is in a high stakes battle with News Corp as the global media company struggles to claw back the billions of dollars in advertising revenue which has flowed to Google from its newspapers in the past decade.
The latest suggestion is an interventionist step which the ACCC stopped short of recommending in its preliminary report on the digital platforms inquiry in December.
“Google operates in a ‘walled garden’ whereby its related businesses, particularly in the ad tech pipeline, secure and entrench Google’s dominance in general internet search,” News Corp said in its submission, released on Tuesday.
“Google’s market power across the ad tech services supply chain is overwhelming.”
Ad tech services are all the products Google offers advertisers – from Google Ads to Google Marketing and Google Ad Manager – which combine seamlessly with its “trove of personal data” to make it attractive for advertisers.
News Corp says this “impenetrable offering” allows Google to dominate, and it should be forced to divest.
“Divestments will work to correct the market structure, by replacing common ownership with separate ownership, where each separate owner has incentives to compete to gain the business of customers,” the submission says.
“News Corp Australia recognises that divestment in a non-merger context is a highly interventionist measure and will have significant ramifications.
“Accordingly, News Corp Australia recommends that this remedy should take the form of an ACCC recommendation to government, following the conclusion of the inquiry, and should be limited to Google.”
Speaking on Sky News about the market concentration of the digital giants, Labor’s digital economy spokesman, Ed Husic, did not rule out a future Labor government in Australia taking action against Facebook, as the United States examines whether anti-trust laws should be used to break up the tech giants.Advertisement
“It is something that we will be watching with great interest,” Husic said.
He warned that a “day of reckoning” was coming for Facebook, if it did not correct its behaviour.
He said the company had failed to respond adequately to concerns it was used to influence the 2016 US election campaign, or how Cambridge Analytica used its data.
“Frankly now, as a result of their failing to act responsibly, you have US lawmakers seriously entertaining the notion of whether or not they use anti-trust laws to break them up and Facebook has got a day of reckoning that is coming as a result of being so big,” he said.
“They are not a plucky startup anymore, they are a big player that are influencing the way in which markets operate, and I think it is something that we look at seriously.”
Husic said the recent case of presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren, who has suggested Facebook, and other digital giants, be broken up as part of her election campaign, having her advertisements blocked by the social media platform was an example of the power it held.
“When I have said to Facebook previously, there is some Islamaphobia content on its site directed to me personally [which] was over the top, I asked them, ‘do your community guidelines allow this to occur’, they said, ‘yes, it would be within the guidelines’, and yet, if you have an ad that says something bad about Facebook, bam – it gets taken off in a moment’s notice,” he said.
The chairman of the ACCC, Rod Sims, is conducting an inquiry into the impact of digital platforms on competition in media and advertising in Australia. The final report is due on 30 June.
(qlmbusinessnews.com via theguardian.com – – Mon, 11th March 2019) London, Uk – –
Contactless card that stores owner’s fingerprint could mean an end to typing in pin
Bank customers will be able to spend more than £30 using contactless cards and could never again have to remember their four-digit pin if a fingerprint technology trial starting in April proves a success.
The pilot project from NatWest, the first of its kind in the UK, will use debit cards that contain an electronic copy of the customer’s fingerprint on one corner. If the customer places their finger on that part of the card while waving it at a retailer’s payment terminal, it will authorise a contactless payment above £30, and the customer will not have to type in their number.
The first phase of the trial will be limited to 200 customers. If it gets the go-ahead, it will be the next step in the contactless spending revolution that has swept Britain since 2013. Last year more than 6bn payments were made using contactless “wave and pay” technology, but the £30 limit is restricting further growth, particularly for people filling up their cars at petrol stations or doing a large weekly supermarket shop.Advertisement
NatWest said retailers would not have to make any changes to existing payment terminals to accept the new cards, and it was working with Visa and Mastercard to ensure it would be accepted in all locations.
If a card is stolen, the thief will not be able to use it as a payment is only authorised if the user’s fingerprint matches the data on the card at the point of sale.
David Crawford, whose job title is head of effortless payments at NatWest, said: “This is the biggest development in card technology in recent years and we are excited to trial the service.”
The major stumbling block for the widespread adoption of the card is likely to be how the bank initially obtains the customer’s fingerprint. NatWest said customers in the trial would have to visit their local branch so that the bank could copy their fingerprint, but it is working on ways to capture the data remotely.
The technology has been developed by a Dutch company, Gemalto, which is also behind a similar trial launched in December by Intesa Sanpaolo, Italy’s biggest bank.
Gemalto said: “Fingerprint authentication sweeps away limits on the value of contactless payments, removing the need to enter a pin or sign the receipt. As a result, it simplifies the consumer experience at the point of sale and makes it faster and safer.”
It said that as a security measure the customer’s fingerprint was stored on the card itself, not the bank’s servers.
Users of Google Pay or Apply Pay on smartphones are likely to be suspicious of how widely the so-called biometric payment systems will be accepted by retailers. In theory, mobile users can already authenticate contactless payments above £30 on their smartphones using fingerprint technology, but in practice many have found the process frustrating.
Customers of the digital-only Monzo Bank, popular with millennials, share lists of retailers that allow them to use their smartphones to exceed the £30 contactless limit. They say Sainsbury’s and Morrisons permit the payments but Tesco and Asda do not.
A survey by Gemalto of UK consumers found that young adults would enthusiastically adopt a fingerprint technology card that allowed them to exceed the standard £30 contactless limit. But four out of 10 were worried about whether the technology would work all the time, and a third were concerned that their fingerprint could be compromised.
Gemalto said: “The fingerprint information is only stored on the card. It is never sent to the bank or collected by a third party. Inside the chip of the card, the fingerprint data is encrypted; nobody can access them.”Topics
(qlmbusinessnews.com via bbc.co.uk – – Mon, 11th March 2019) London, Uk – –
Tesla is increasing prices of its electric cars after scaling back a store closure programme.
The carmaker said the 3% price rise would not apply to the new mid-market Model 3.
Earlier this month Tesla said it would close an unspecified number of stores to fund a cut in the price of the Model 3 in the US to $35,000 (£26,400).
It will now close “about half as many” stores – making half the cost savings.
The carmaker, founded by Elon Musk, said that keeping more stores open would require a rise in vehicle prices by about 3% on average worldwide.
It has 378 stores and service locations but had not been specific about which ones would close.
“Over the past two weeks we have been closely evaluating every single Tesla retail location, and we have decided to keep significantly more stores open than previously announced as we continue to evaluate them over the course of several months,” the company said.
While it is pressing ahead with the price cut to the mid-market Model 3, prices will go up for more expensive variants of Model 3, as well as Model S and X cars, which can already cost up to £87,000. Customers can order at existing prices until 18 March.
It is still planning to conduct its sales online and said that buyers in stores will be shown how to order a Tesla on their phone, a process which Tesla says will take just a few minutes.
It had previously said that shifting sales online would allow it to cut prices by 6% on average – and cut the price of the Model 3.
The company says it has a “generous return policy” to avoid the need for test drives, as would-be buyers can return a car after 1,000 miles or seven days.
Tesla said that some stores in “high visibility locations” which have been closed will be reopened – albeit with smaller numbers of staff.
Stores will hold fewer cars for those customers who want to drive away with new vehicle immediately.
The company has been making efforts to cut costs after the “most challenging” year in its history. In January it announced 7% of its 45,000-strong workforce would be cut, indicating around 3,000 job cuts.
At the time Mr Musk had said the firm's cars were still “too expensive for most people”.
He has faced controversy over his tweets and last month the US regulator, the Securities and Exchange Commission, asked the courts to hold him in contempt for violating a settlement month aimed at limiting his social media comments.
He has until today to formally respond but had already tweeted the the regulator's oversight system is “broken”.
The matter stems back to his tweets about the company's financial performance and tweets in August when he claimed he had secured funding to take the firm private.
In Early 2018, Apple partially finished construction on their new massive office building, called Apple Campus 2, Also known as Apple Park & the Spaceship.
The land cost an estimated $160 million dollars In 2011, the original planned budget for Apple Campus, was about $3 billion dollars, however in 2013 the total cost was estimated to be closer to $5 billion dollars.
The company’s new 175-acre campus, is one mile in circumference, with a diameter of 461 meters , and can house 12,000 employees.
The main building was ready for employees to begin partial occupancy in January 2018, as the building was still not finished, the process of moving more than 12,000 people, was estimated to take over six months.
Entrepreneur Failure Stories: 10 Entrepreneurs Who Failed Big Before Becoming Successful. Failure is a part of business. Very few entrepreneurs ever make it big without first experiencing some massive failures. Whether it be running a business into the ground, getting fired from a job or even going to jail, plenty of very successful entrepreneurs have seen huge failures before ever accomplishing their dreams.
So if you ever feel worn down or intimidated by the thought of failing, just take a look at these entrepreneurs who failed before making it big.
Evan Williams Before co-founding Twitter, Williams (pictured above) developed a podcasting platform called Odeo. But the platform didn’t take off, in part because Apple announced the podcast section of the iTunes store shortly after the company launched. It folded shortly afterward.
Reid Hoffman Before co-founding LinkedIn and investing in big names like PayPal and Airbnb, Hoffman created SocialNet, an online dating and social networking site that ultimately failed.
Jeff Bezos Amazon is one of the biggest success stories of the online era. But before Amazon became a household name, the company’s CEO had several failed ideas. One of the most notable was an online auction site, which evolved into zShops, a brand that ultimately failed.
Akio Morita Back in the early days of Sony, Morita’s products weren’t quite as popular or well known as they are today. In fact, the first product was a rice cooker that ended up burning rice.
Momofuku Ando Before even coming up with the idea for instant noodles, which took him many tries to develop successfully, Ando had a small merchandising firm in Japan. But in 1948, he was convicted of tax evasion and spent two years in jail. He then lost that company due to a chain reaction bankruptcy.
Tim Ferris The author of “The 4-Hour Workweek” (pictured above) was turned down by about 25 publishers before finding one who actually agreed to publish his work — which later became a best selling title Peter Thiel Before starting PayPal and investing in big names like Facebook, Thiel lost big. His early hedge fund, Clarium Capital, lost 90 percent of its $7 billion assets on the stock market, currencies and oil prices.
Christina Wallace The current vice president of branding and marketing at Startup Institute is the former co-founder of Quincy Apparel. When the company shut down in 2013, Wallace stayed in bed for three weeks before forcing herself to get up and re-join the world
Sir James Dyson Dyson wasn’t always a well-known name associated with vacuum cleaners. In fact, it took Sir James Dyson 15 years and all of his savings to develop a bagless prototype that worked. He developed 5,126 prototypes that failed first Fred Smith Though we all know now that FedEx is a viable business model, Smith’s college professor disagreed. The future venture capitalist received a poor grade on an assignment where he pitched the idea for the company Ending quote: Success is not final, failure os not fatal: It is the courage to continue that counts
(qlmbusinessnews.com via bbc.co.uk – – Wed, 6th Mar 2019) London, Uk – –
The system allowing people to use cash in the UK is at risk of “falling apart” and needs a new guarantee to ensure notes and coins can still be used.
A hard-hitting review by finance experts has concluded that market forces will not save cash for as long as people need it.
The report calls on the government and regulators to step in to ensure cash remains viable.
Suggestions include ensuring rural shops offer cash-back.
The report also said that essential services, such as utility and council bills, should still allow customers to pay in cash.
An independent body, funded by the banks, should be set up that would step in if local communities were running short of access to cash in shops and ATMs, the report said.
The research – called the Access to Cash Review – is authored by former financial ombudsman Natalie Ceeney and was paid for by cash machine network operator Link, but was independent from it. It took evidence from nearly 100 businesses and charities across the UK.
How quickly is cash use falling?
Cash use has been falling dramatically in recent years. In 2017, debit card use – driven by contactless payments – overtook the number of payments made in cash in the UK for the first time.
The report said that the current rate of decline would mean cash use would end in 2026.
However, it concluded that notes and coins would still be used in 15 years' time, but accounting for between 10% and 15% of transactions.
The demise of cash, if unchecked, would be driven primarily by retailers and other businesses refusing to accept cash owing to the cost of handling it.
‘My cashless pub is cheaper to run'
Mike Keen opened The Boot pub in Freston, near Ipswich, last year as a cashless business with no tills.
“There are a whole bunch of reasons. The [biggest] gain is management time,” he said, such as never having to cash up at the end of the day, drive to the bank and queue to pay it in, two or three times a week.
He said that saved the business 15 hours a week, and many thousands of pounds.
Insurance premiums had been lower as there was no cash on the premises, security was less of a problem, and the time taken to serve customers was much quicker, he said.
What is the problem with a cashless society?
Banknotes and coins are a necessity for eight million people, according to the review's interim findings published in December.
These include rural communities where alternative ways of paying are affected by poor broadband or mobile connectivity, and many people who have physical or mental health problems and therefore find it hard to use digital services.
The report also concludes that vulnerability in this area is generally the result of income, not old age.
“Poverty is the biggest indicator of cash dependency, not age,” the review concludes.
“There are worrying signs that our cash system is falling apart. ATM and bank branch closures are just the tip of the iceberg, underneath there is a huge infrastructure which is becoming increasingly unviable as cash use declines,” Ms Ceeney said. “If we sleepwalk into a cashless society, millions will be left behind.”
‘Survival' tougher without cash
Kev Jackson has been homeless and currently lives in temporary accommodation.
“Cash is easy because you know what you have got on you,” he said. “On a card – when you can't see your balance – it is easy to overspend. [Cash] is very good for budgeting.”
“A lot of people [on the streets] do not have bank accounts, so they only carry cash. If you can't spend cash in a shop, it is going to be difficult for them. They won't be able to survive.”
He said that he preferred using a card himself, but was concerned that technology left many people behind.
What should be done?
Evidence from Sweden, seen as much closer to a cashless society than the UK, suggested that infrastructure was needed before cash use declined beyond anyone's control.
The review suggested that an independent body was needed to oversee a guarantee that people need not travel too far to get access to cash.
Innovation should also be used to protect cash, such as:
Local shops offering cash-back to customers, rather than customers relying on ATMs
Small businesses given the opportunity to deposit cash in secure lockers or “smart” ATMs, rather than have to make a weekly trip to a bank branch
A “radical” change to the infrastructure behind cash, overseen by the Bank of England, to lower the cost and maintain free access for consumers
Britain's cash infrastructure costs around £5bn a year to run. It is paid for predominantly by the retail banks and run mostly by commercial operators.
The Bank of England's chief cashier, Sarah John, said it would call together key players in this sector to develop a system that would support lower levels of cash use and encourage innovation “to support cash as a viable means of payment for those who want to use it”.
What has already been done?
Consumer group Which? has called for a single regulator to be established with a statutory duty to protect access to cash and build a sustainable cash infrastructure for the UK.
However, a number of regulators already operate in the financial sector.
Eric Leenders, from UK Finance, which represents banks, said: “The finance industry is using a range of solutions to ensure cash can still be accessed including over the counter withdrawals through 11,500 Post Offices and cash-back from retailers, to investment in ATMs and mobile bank branches to reach more rural communities.
“We will continue to work with the review team, government, and regulators to take forward this important work.”
In February of 2018, Elon Musk launched his personal Tesla Roadster into space on SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy rocket. A little more than a year later, the Roadster is still cruising around our solar system on its elliptical path around the Sun.
Theranos, what seemed like one of the most ground breaking companies of the 21st century ended up being one of Silicon Valley's greatest failures. How did Elizabeth Holmes manage to fool the world? In this video we find out the twisting rollercoaster of a story.
Tesla Semi Truck : The Tesla Semi is an all-electric battery-powered Class 8 semi-trailer truck prototype which was unveiled on November 16, 2017 and planned for production in 2019 by Tesla, Inc. Volvo VNL Truck : The Volvo VNL is built for the needs of today’s—and tomorrow’s—long-haul trucking operations. The VNL delivers long-haul efficiency, along with premium comfort and amenities. Mercedes-Benz Future Truck 2025 : This concept vehicle has ushered in a new era for the transport industry: it has gone into the history books as the world's first autonomously driving truck. Yet its futuristic concept is closer to reality than you think. Freightliner SuperTruck : After five years and $115 million of development, the Freightliner SuperTruck is Daimler's answer to a lofty challenge set by the Department Of Energy: “improve semi-truck fuel economy by at least 50 percent.” Mercedes-Benz Future Bus : What urban public transport will look like in the future is shown by the semi-automated city bus with CityPilot – it operates even more safely, efficiently and comfortably than conventional buses. Walmart Advanced Truck : Walmart showcased its futuristic truck at the Mid-America Trucking Show (MATS) in Louisville, Ky. The Walmart Advanced Vehicle Experience is a tractor-trailer combination that features leading edge aerodynamics, an advanced turbine-powered range extending series hybrid powertrain and sophisticated control systems. WILLIE – Transparent LCD Bus : With nothing displayed on the side-elevation transparent LCD screens, there's not much differentiating the Willie from a traditional bus – except for its “organic” frame. Volvo Electric Bus : The Volvo Electric Bus is an integrally-constructed single-decker rigid bus and single-decker articulated bus, most commonly available as a hybrid electric bus named Volvo 7900 Hybrid or just Volvo 7900H.
(qlmbusinessnews.com via bloomberg.com – – Sat, 23rd Feb, 2019) London, UK – –
Huawei has been rocked by political and legal turmoil at a time when it also happens to be poised to build the worldwide 5G revolution. Is the timing a coincidence, or a coordinated attempt to knock China's biggest company down a peg? This is the story of how Huawei went from a small-time parts reseller to the homegrown tech giant China always hoped for, and the west always feared.
(qlmbusinessnews.com via bbc.co.uk – – Mon, 18th Feb 2019) London, Uk – –
Any risk posed by involving the Chinese technology giant Huawei in UK telecoms projects can be managed, cyber-security chiefs have determined.
The UK's National Cyber Security Centre's decision undermines US efforts to persuade its allies to ban the firm from 5G communications networks.
The Chinese government is accused of using Huawei as a proxy so it can spy on rival nations.
But Huawei has said it gives nothing to Beijing, aside from taxes.
Australia and New Zealand have blocked or banned Huawei from supplying equipment for their future fifth-generation mobile broadband networks.
The US has restricted federal funding to buy Huawei equipment, while Canada is reviewing whether the company's products present a serious security threat.
Most of the UK's mobile companies – Vodafone, EE and Three – have been working with Huawei on developing their 5G networks.
They are awaiting on a government review, due in March or April, that will decide whether they can use Huawei technology.
As first reported by the Financial Times, the conclusion by the National Cyber Security Centre – part of the intelligence agency GCHQ – will feed into the review.
The decision has not yet been made public, but the security agency said in a statement it had “a unique oversight and understanding of Huawei engineering and cyber security”.
BBC business correspondent Rob Young said the National Cyber Security Centre's conclusion “will carry weight”, but said the review could still rule against Huawei.
In an interview, Huawei's cyber security chief John Suffolk told the BBC: “We are probably the most open and transparent organisation in the world. We are probably the most poked and prodded organisation too.”
The former UK chief information officer added: “We don't say ‘believe us' we say ‘come and check for yourself', come and do your own testing and come and do your own verification.
“The more people looking, the more people touching, they can provide their own assurance without listening to what Huawei has to say.”
Rory Cellan-Jones, technology correspondent
If anybody knows just how Huawei works and the threat it might pose to the UK's security, it is the National Cyber Security Centre.
This arm of GCHQ has been in charge of an annual examination of the Chinese telecoms giant's equipment, and expressed concerns in its most recent report – not about secret backdoors, but sloppy cyber-security practices.
The NCSC has also been giving advice to UK mobile operators as they order the equipment for the rollout of their 5G networks later this year.
They feel they have been given the same cautious nod the agency appears to have given the government's Supply Chain Review: keep Huawei out of the core of your 5G networks, but you are OK to use its equipment at phone masts as part of the mix of suppliers.
Australia and New Zealand have taken a very different view by taking a far harder line against Huawei.
That isn't because they know something about the Chinese firm which the NCSC has missed.
Their decisions were probably based on an assessment of the political as well as security risk of ignoring the urging from the US to shut Huawei out.
And whatever the NCSC's advice, similar factors will determine the UK government's final decision.
A spokesperson for the Department of Culture, Media and Sport, which is leading the review into the future of the telecoms industry, said its analysis was “ongoing”.
“No decisions have been taken and any suggestion to the contrary is inaccurate,” they said in a statement.
Last year, BT confirmed that it was removing Huawei's equipment from the EE core network that it owns.
The network provides a communication system being developed for the UK's emergency services.
Fifth-generation mobile broadband is coming to the UK over the next year or so, promising download and browsing speeds 10 to 20 times faster than those 4G networks can offer.
The US argues Huawei could use malign software updates to spy on those using 5G.
It points to China's National Intelligence Law passed in 2017 that says organisations must “support, co-operate with and collaborate in national intelligence work”.
Critics of Huawei also highlight that its founder Ren Zhengfei was a former engineer in the country's army and joined the Communist Party in 1978.
Huawei recently attracted attention when its chief financial officer, Meng Wanzhou, was arrested and accused of breaking American sanctions on Iran.
(qlmbusinessnews.com via theguardian.com – – Wed, 13th Feb 2019) London, Uk – –
UK government backs investigation into dominance of Facebook and Google
Facebook and Google could be forced to open up their businesses and share details of how their advertising model works, after the government backed an investigation into concerns that their dominance of the online advertising business is hurting news publishers.
News outlets have long complained that Facebook and Google, which together account for the vast majority of digital advertising in the UK, have sucked out billions of pounds of revenue that previously supported the cost of journalism.
The culture secretary, Jeremy Wright, told the House of Commons on Tuesday that he had asked the Competition and Markets Authority to launch a study of the “largely opaque and extremely complex” world of online advertising.
The study could lead to a full-blown investigation, which would allow the competition regulator to use its legal powers to obtain information from the secretive technology companies.
The recommendation to launch the inquiry was included in Dame Frances Cairncross’s report on the future of the press, which was released on Monday.Advertisement
News outlets have struggled to compete with the scale and targeted advertising offered by the technology companies, which have an enormous amount of data about their users.
Wright, who has previously insisted he does read newspapers, also said he had asked the Charity Commission to investigate Cairncross’s recommendation for a form of charitable status for news outlets that focus on local and investigative journalism.
The cabinet minister told the Commons that civil servants in his department would also conduct a separate investigation into the regulation of the wider online advertising market, which posed “social and economic challenges” in its current state.
This Whitehall investigation could result in a regulator being given new powers to oversee the online advertising marketplace, in line with the government’s wider policy of ensuring the rules and regulations that apply to offline institutions also apply to their internet equivalents.
Wright also said he would ask the media regulator, Ofcom, to examine whether the BBC was harming for-profit local newspapers by invading their turf and publishing material for free.
However, he appeared to be less enthusiastic about Cairncross’s recommendation that the government should establish an institute for public interest news to promote investigative and local journalism, which would distribute money from the state and other donors to support local reporting.
Labour broadly welcomed Wright’s announcements, although the shadow culture secretary, Tom Watson, urged the government to avoid targeting the BBC as part of its overhaul, suggesting that in some communities the public broadcaster was the only outlet that still employs journalists to do basic reporting of local politics.
Watson also told the Commons he was tired with the reluctance of the major technology companies to submit themselves to parliamentary scrutiny.
“Even in these dark days of Brexit and increasing division in politics, there is one man who is uniting this house: Mark Zuckerberg,” the Labour MP said. “He insulted us all when he refused to attend the [Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport] select committee. He may think the UK market and our institutions are not a priority for him. But I hope he knows there is now a new resolve that transcends our party differences to deal with the abuses by his company and others.”
Several Conservative MPs criticised Facebook and Google, with the former cabinet minister Iain Duncan Smith calling for the “monopoly cartels” to be broken up because they were “damaging to people as individuals, and damaging to the functioning democratic society”.
However, the National Union of Journalists general secretary, Michelle Stanistreet, pointed out that many local newspaper cuts were a result of publishers slashing costs to maintain their profit margins.
(qlmbusinessnews.com via telegraph.co.uk – – Fri, 8th Feb 2019) London, Uk – –
Amazon has made its most significant move into driverless cars to date by investing in a company led by the former head of Google's autonomous vehicle unit.
Silicon Valley start-up Aurora said on Thursday it had raised $530m (£408m) from a group of backers including the online retail giant and fund management giant T Rowe Price.
Amazon did not reveal how much it had invested but said it could use driverless car systems in package delivery or in its warehouses.
“Autonomous technology has the potential to help make the jobs of our employees and partners safer and more productive, whether it’s in a fulfillment center or on the road, and we’re excited about the possibilities,” a spokesman said.
T Rowe Price is the second largest shareholder in Tesla behind chief executive Elon Musk and shares in the electric car company fell by more than 4pc after the news was announced. Tesla has been developing its own self-driving technology, with an Autopilot feature which can change lanes and keep its distance in traffic already installed in cars on the road.
Aurora, which has permission to test its cars in Pittsburgh and in California, has emerged as one of the most prominent self-driving startups in Silicon Valley, in part due to the background and experience of its management team. The deal values the company at $2.5bn.
Chief executive Chris Urmson helped to develop self-driving technology at Google's self-driving car project, now known as Waymo.
The company's chief product officer Sterling Anderson previously worked at Tesla, leading its autopilot team, and chief technology officer Drew Bagnell was originally on Uber's advanced technologies team, which works on self-driving cars.
In April 2017 Tesla and Aurora settled a lawsuit after Mr Musk's company accused Mr Anderson of poaching Tesla employees.
Investors in this funding round also include venture capital firm Sequoia, whose partner Carl Eschenbach will join Aurora's board of directors.
Mr Eschenbach described the three as the “‘dream team' of self-driving cars”, and said the company's independence – it has partnerships with firms including Hyundai and Volkswagen, but has no exclusive deals with any corporation – was also a draw.
“They’ve positioned themselves to work with a variety of partners, from ride-sharing companies to manufacturers to suppliers—which enables them to move more quickly than any one competitor can alone,” he added.
“This funding and partnership will accelerate our mission of delivering the benefits of self-driving technology safely, quickly, and broadly,” Aurora said.
“Amazon’s unique expertise, capabilities, and perspectives will be valuable for us as we drive towards our mission.”
With SpaceX announcing the BFR's first official mission to the moon, the possibility of Earth to Earth travel seems a little bit closer. In this video, we look at what needs to be done before Earth to Earth rocket travel can replace the traditional airliners that we use today. We also compare the dawn of passenger rocket travel to the early days of airplanes.
By late 2019, Disney has promised to launch its own online streaming service, further complicating the options for viewers who just want to watch their favorite films and TV online. The competition between streaming services has been great for consumers, so far. Outlets like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, Shudder, and Filmstruck have been ramping up content and giving us a lot for very little money, but they have the power to take it away too (password lockdowns, pull content). As corporate consolidation heats up, that deal may get a lot worse — and fast.
(qlmbusinessnews.com via telegraph.co.uk – – Fri, 1st Feb 2019) London, Uk – –
Amazon has revealed a record profit as a jump in Christmas sales meant it shrugged off the impact of a hefty pay increase for its staff.
The online retail giant said revenues in the final three months of 2018 grew by 20pc to $72.4bn, while profits surpassed $3bn for the first time.
The figures were the latest evidence that the company, which has long shunned profits as it focuses on growing its online empire, is finally producing reliable returns.
While growth in Amazon's maturing North American business slowed, the company’s international sales picked up steam after it threw resources behind markets such as India and Australia.
The results were the first to show the impact of Amazon’s pay rise for hundreds of thousands of workers in the US and the UK. In November, the company raised minimum pay for warehouse staff from £8 to £9.50 in the UK, and more in London, and to $15 in the US.
However, the company appeared to swallow the increase comfortably, with profits increasing by 63pc. Amazon has now reported a profit of $2bn or more for the last three quarters, having previously swung between losses and marginal profits.
The company’s shares fell towards the end of last year when a muted Christmas forecast raised fears that a slowing economy could limit growth. However, Wall Street had become more optimistic about its prospects amid signs of a resilient US economy, and Amazon now vies with Microsoft for the position of world’s largest company.
Jeff Bezos, Amazon’s chief executive, remains the world’s richest person, although the billionaire’s recently-announced divorce has raised the question of who will control his stake and his majority voting power in the company.
The company has expanded beyond its online shopping website, most notably in its cloud computing enterprise, Amazon Web Services (AWS), and the US supermarket chain Whole Foods, which it bought for $13.7bn in 2017. Sales at AWS, which provides remote computing services to businesses, rose by 45pc.
Amazon’s shares wavered in late trading. Despite the company’s revenues being better than Wall Street had expected, it warned of a slowdown of growth in the next quarter, saying sales would increase by between 10pc and 18pc.
Bezos pointed to the success of its voice recognition system Alexa, saying its Echo Dot speaker was the best selling item on Amazon over Christmas.
By James Titcomb