Friday, 13 September 2019

The cheapest iPhone 11 and most expensive Pro Max? Country prices and release date comparison.

Apple's average iPhone selling price (ASP) hit a record of $652 in 2017, and the continuing sales of the iPhone X, as well as the new trio of notch-y handsets that it introduced in 2018, pushed it to the whopping $793, an all-time record.

This is a rather dreamy scenario for Apple, given that folks are keeping their handsets for three instead of two years now on average, while the breakneck pace of smartphone market growth is slowly abating.

Apple isn't messing with its winning pricing structure for the new 2019 crop of the iPhone 11, Pro and Max models, and is even releasing them at the same time, so we shudder to think what its ASP for the holiday quarter would be.

By Daniel Petrov.
Full story at Phone Arena.

Thursday, 12 September 2019

IBM introduces z15 mainframe with security data passport.

In the new z15 enterprise server, IBM has focused on making data secure and auditable wherever it resides.

IBM has unveiled the latest incarnation of its mainframe, the z15 enterprise platform, which it said has been engineered to manage the privacy of customer data across hybrid multi-cloud environments.

IBM said the new enterprise server, which has been in development for four years and involved collaboration with over 100 companies, offers improvements to encryption, cloud native software development and business continuity.

A new feature, known as Data Privacy Passports technology, enables its clients to control how data is stored and shared.

By Cliff Saran.
Full story at Computer Weekly.

Wednesday, 11 September 2019

Facebook's Libra seeks Swiss payment system licence.

ZURICH (Reuters) - Facebook’s (FB.O) Libra cryptocurrency project is seeking a Swiss payment system licence, financial watchdog FINMA said on Wednesday, noting the breadth of the planned services would require broad oversight.

The world’s largest social media network announced plans in June to launch a cryptocurrency as it seeks to expand beyond social networking and move into e-commerce and global payments, though the plans have drawn intense scrutiny from global financial officials.

“Due to the issuance of Libra payment tokens, the services planned by the Libra project would clearly go beyond those of a pure payment system, FINMA said, noting this mean it would be subject to such additional requirements.

By John Miller.
Full story at Reuters.

Tuesday, 10 September 2019

Antitrust probe into Google's advertising practices opened by 48 US states.

More legal woes for Google. Image via Pixabay.
The investigation will focus on Google's dominance of digital advertising but may extend to other areas.

Attorneys general from 48 US states are to open an antitrust probe into Google to investigate whether its advertising practices violate current laws.

According to Bloomberg, the investigation will be led by Texas state Attorney General Ken Paxton. It will include attorneys general from 48 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. Alabama and California will not be involved in the probe.

The announcement confirms last week's reports about the bipartisan antitrust probe into Google's advertising practices.

The latest investigation will focus on Google's dominance and control of digital advertising industry. The probe could be extended later to include some of Google's other businesses, as hinted by some members of the group.

By Dev Kundaliya.
Full story at Computing.

Monday, 9 September 2019

Vim raises $24 million to match patients with top health care providers.

Image Credit: Vim
San Francisco, California- and Tel Aviv-based Vim, a startup developing a platform for health plan-provider collaboration, today announced that it’s raised $24 million in series B funding led by Optum Ventures, with participation from Premera Blue Cross, Great Point Ventures, and Sequoia Capital. The fresh capital follows a $10.6 million venture series in September 2016 (a year after the company’s founding), and it brings Vim’s total raised to $37 million.

Cofounder and CEO Oron Afek said the fresh funds will fuel Vim’s expansion across new U.S. markets and accelerate its product development and hiring efforts.

“Vim’s platform helps remove the complexity of navigating the health care system and uniquely positions us to align stakeholders,” wrote Afek, who cofounded Vim in 2015 with Asaf David and Yael Peled. “It’s more important than ever that we use technology to help patients access high-quality care and reward care providers for delivering value. We’ve already proven we can drive a meaningful impact in Washington, Alaska, Florida and Texas, and we’re excited to leverage our recent investment to reach more patients and care providers.”

By Kyle Wiggers.
Full story at Venture Beat.

Friday, 6 September 2019

What trade war? Alibaba splurges $2 billion on its e-commerce rival for foreign goods.

Another reason to shop.
Alibaba is spending $2 billion to acquire its largest rival in online sales of imported goods, a sign of its confidence in China’s desire for stuff from abroad in spite of a slowing economy and the ongoing trade fight between China and the US.

The deal, announced today (Sept. 6) and still to be finalized, would see China’s largest e-commerce company, whose business empire stretches from mobile payments to entertainment, monopolize the country’s online cross-border sales. The first six months of the year saw Kaola, owned by gaming giant NetEase, leading the segment with close to a 28% share, while Tmall followed closely with 25%, according to iiMedia Research (in Chinese). The two far outstrip rivals such as’s imported goods channel JD Worldwide and Amazon China.

The acquisition is expected to diversify Tmall’s business model, which largely involves inviting foreign brands to launch online shops on its site, while Kaola for the most part purchases a variety of goods directly from foreign merchants in bulk and then resells them to Chinese consumers.

By Jane Li.
Full story at Quartz.

Thursday, 5 September 2019

Facebook and Google meet with US officials to discuss 2020 election security.

Technology giants including Facebook, Google, Microsoft and Twitter met with US intelligence agencies on Wednesday to discuss safeguarding the 2020 presidential election.

“This is a joint effort in response to a shared threat, and we are committed to doing our part,” said a Twitter spokesman.

The firms met with US agencies including the FBI, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and the Department of Homeland Security.

The meeting was held at Facebook’s San Francisco headquarters.

“Attendees talked about how industry and government could improve how we share information and coordinate our response to better detect and deter threats,” said Nathaniel Gleicher, Facebook’s head of cybersecurity policy.

By James Cook.
Full story at The Telegraph.

Wednesday, 4 September 2019

Huawei accuses U.S. of cyberattacks, coercing employees.

BEIJING —  Chinese telecom equipment maker Huawei accused U.S. authorities on Wednesday of attempting to break into its information systems and of trying to coerce its employees to gather information on the company.

Huawei, which faces mounting American pressure including possible loss of access to U.S. technology over accusations the company is a security risk, said in a statement that Washington has used “unscrupulous means” in recent months to disrupt its business.

American officials have given no evidence to support claims Huawei might aid Chinese spying, accusations the company denies. The United States, Australia, Japan and some other governments have imposed restrictions on use of Huawei technology.

BY Associated Press.
Full story at LA Times.

Tuesday, 3 September 2019

Pompey boffin bags €1.3m off EU for dark matter research – shame a no-deal Brexit looks more and more likely.

Study to decode the universe's first seconds, but crashing out of bloc may be a problem.

A University of Portsmouth researcher has won a €1.3m grant from the European Research Council (ERC) to continue his investigation into dark matter and its role in the universe's first seconds of existence.

Dr Florian Beutler works at the university's Institute of Cosmology and Gravitation. The money will fund his experiments on the Dark Energy Spectroscopic Instrument (DESI) and the European Space Agency mission Euclid.

Dr Beutler said: "The main focus of this research is to learn about what is driving the evolution of the universe today (dark energy) as well as what drove the evolution of the universe in the first second of its existence (inflation).

By John Oates.
Full story at The Register.

Monday, 2 September 2019

£1m from UK Gov to Boost Superfast Broadband in North Lincolnshire.

The North Lincolnshire Council (NLC) has revealed that it could spend the £1m grant awarded to it in June 2019 by DEFRA’s Rural Broadband Infrastructure (RBI) scheme on extending “superfast broadband” connectivity around rural industrial estates on the edge of Scunthorpe.

At present the existing North Lincolnshire Broadband Project (Contract 1 and 2 + extensions) has already extended 24Mbps+ “superfast broadband” (FTTC and some FTTP) networks – with Openreach’s (BT) support – to cover 95% of premises in the region. Oddly the project site conflicts with recent council reports by saying that it has resulted “in 98.5 per cent coverage of superfast broadband by June 2018” (we think they actually mean the raw fibre footprint, including sub-24Mbps speeds, because superfast coverage is not yet at this level).

In any case they recently secured another £1 million of public funding via DEFRA’s new scheme, which as per the original announcement must be “used to support full fibre [FTTP] wherever possible.” Funding under this grant is intended to boost related connectivity for rural businesses and communities.

Full story at ISP Review.

Friday, 30 August 2019


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