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Tag Archives: europe

As UK fires-up private space industry, Space Camp Accelerator launches

The UK government recently passed the Space Industry Bill, covering the basics like spaceflight licensing, insurance requirements and safety commitments. It didn’t make much of a splash when it was announced, but it’s a huge move for the UK as it laid the regulatory groundwork that will be needed to create an operational spaceport, potentially by 2020. Some £10 million has been earmarked to build the spaceports and complementary projects, and the UK is also set to create the world’s first fully commercial astronaut training ground, with construction expected to start later this year. A new UK spaceport would actually make it the first such port in Europe, since the European Space Agency’s (ESA) is located in the not-very-European-location of French Guiana in South America. The UK is already in a good position. Government figures suggest that a quarter of all telecoms satellites are “substantially built” in the UK. It hopes now to expand that to make the UK a “one-stop shop” for the private space industry. A big component of this will be, as the bill said, the opportunities afforded by “using satellite data and machine learning technology to support the rollout of charging points for electric vehicles,” for example. This is creating a rich new environment for startups, entrepreneurs and, crucially, investors. The cost of building and launching a satellite has fallen from more than $100 million to less than $1 million in recent years. This makes it a new reality for startups and makes the spacetech sector increasingly attractive to venture capital investors. Thus, today, Seraphim Capital today is launching “Space Camp Accelerator”. This is the UK’s first dedicated accelerator programme for startups in the spacetech industry. Space Camp’s aim will be to “help the best spacetech startups secure funding, achieve scale, and foster close working relationships with industry leaders.” It’s being backed by both the UK and European space agencies, as well as by corporate partners including Rolls Royce, alongside Seraphim Space Fund partners including Airbus, Surrey Satellite Technology, SES, and Telespazio.

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Nvidia aims to extend its lead in AI

The chipmaker already dominates the market for training deep neural networks. At its annual GPU Technology Conference, Nvidia made the case for using GPUs not only to train ever bigger models, but also to run these neural networks in data centers to revolutionize industries.

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It was not consent, it was concealment 

Facebook’s response to the clutch of users who are suddenly woke — triggered to delve into their settings by the  Facebook data misuse scandal and  #DeleteFacebook backlash  — to the fact the social behemoth is, quietly and continuously, harvesting sensitive personal data about them and their friends tells you everything you need to know about the rotten state of tech industry ad-supported business models. Want to freak yourself out? I'm gonna show just how much of your information the likes of Facebook and Google store about you without you even realising it — Dylan Curran (@iamdylancurran) March 24, 2018 “People have to expressly agree to use this feature,” the company wrote  in a defensively worded blog post at the weekend, defending how it tracks some users’ SMS and phone call metadata — a post it had the impressive brass neck to self-describe as a “fact check”. “Call and text history logging is part of an opt-in feature for people using Messenger or Facebook Lite on Android . This helps you find and stay connected with the people you care about, and provides you with a better experience across Facebook.” So, tl;dr, if you’re shocked to see what Facebook knows about you, well, that’s your own dumb fault because you gave Facebook permission to harvest all that personal data. Not just Facebook either, of course. A fair few Android users appear to be having a similarly rude awakening about how Google’s mobile platform (and apps) slurp location data pervasively — at least unless the user is very, very careful to lock everything down. But the difficulty of A) knowing exactly what data is being collected for what purposes and B) finding the cunning concealed/intentionally obfuscated master setting which will nix all the tracking is by design, of course. Privacy hostile design. No accident then that Facebook has just given its settings pages a haircut  — as it scrambles to rein in user outrage over the still snowballing Cambridge Analytica data misuse scandal — consolidating user privacy controls onto one screen instead of the full TWENTY they had been scattered across before. ehem Insert your ‘stable door being bolted’ GIF of choice right here. Another example of Facebook’s privacy hostile design: As my TC colleague Romain Dillet pointed out  last week , the company deploys misleading wording during the Messenger onboarding process which is very clearly intended to push users towards clicking on a big blue “turn on” (data-harvesting) button — inviting users to invite the metaphorical Facebook vampire over the threshold so it can perpetually suck data

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LetsGetChecked raises $12M for its personal health tests

LetsGetChecked , an Irish startup that offers a health test kit service so that you can take various common laboratory tests from the comfort of your home, has picked up $12 million in Series A funding. Leading the round is Optum Ventures, the independent venture fund of health services provider Optum, and Qiming Venture Partners, the Chinese VC firm. The funding will be used to scale the company, including growing the LetsGetChecked full clinical support team. In addition, the health tech startup plans to further invest in its technology platform that links customers to laboratories, and to continue expanding to the U.S. where it has an office in New York. Founded in 2014 by Peter Foley, LetsGetChecked has set out to build a technology and logistics platform to bridge the gap between traditional lab testing and consumers. The startup’s home testing kits span a number of categories including “lifestyle testing,” cancer screening, sexual health testing, fertility, and hormone testing. “Our aim is to make lab testing better, more convenient and patient led,” Foley tells me. “Traditionally, you need to attend a doctor’s office to obtain a lab test. The physician will determine what test is right for you, complete a paper requisition form, collect your sample and send it off to the lab for analysis. You will wait for a period of time to hear back from your physician and may never see the results

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Sony cuts PSVR bundle prices worldwide

Sony has announced that it is knocking a massive chunk from the price of its console-powered VR headsets. The new starting price for PlayStation VR will be $299 in the US, €299 in Europe, £259 in the UK and 34,980 Yen in Japan. That's down...

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