Tech

FILE PHOTO: The logo of Peugeot carmaker is seen on a vehicle in Cairo
FILE PHOTO: The logo of Peugeot carmaker is seen on a vehicle in Cairo, Egypt, May 19, 2019. REUTERS/Mohamed Abd El Ghany/File Photo

June 14, 2019

TREMERY, France (Reuters) – French carmaker PSA, owner of the Peugeot, Citroen and DS brands, will start assembling batteries for its hybrid and electric cars at its plant in Trnava, Slovakia, and later at its plant in Vigo, Spain.

The company also expects to assemble batteries at some of its other factories as sales of electric cars pick up, Peugeot’s industrial director Yann Vincent said on Friday at a plant in the town of Tremery in eastern France.

The carmaker currently buys batteries from South Korean company LG and China’s CATL.

Vincent added the company expected rising demand for electric and hybrid cars, as well as for vehicles with automatic gearboxes, to offset falling demand for diesel and manual gearbox cars.

Peugeot expects output of engines at Tremery will fall to 1.7 million this year, down from 1.8 million last year due to falling demand for diesel cars.

(Reporting by Gilles Guillaume, Editing by Susan Fenton and Mark Potter)

Source: OANN

Depleted Western Balkan rivers hit power generation, up prices
FILE PHOTO: A pig feeds on sandbanks which emerged amid Danube River’s lowest water levels this year, in Beska, Serbia, October 30, 2018. REUTERS/Marko Djurica

June 14, 2019

By Sonia Elks

LONDON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Artificial intelligence can predict where conflicts over scarce water will break out up to a year in advance and allow action to prevent them, researchers said on Friday.

An early warning tool that tracks water supplies worldwide and mixes in social, economic and demographic data to flag up potential crises is being developed by the Netherlands-based Water, Peace and Security partnership (WPS).

During tests, the system predicted more than three quarters of water-related conflicts in Mali’s Inner Niger Delta, said WPS, which plans to launch it globally later this year.

“We want to detect conflict early enough…to then engage in a dialogue process that helps to address these conflicts – ideally mitigate them early on or resolve them,” said Susanne Schmeier from the IHE Delft Institute for Water Education, which leads the WPS.

Climate change often impacts on water – from driving droughts to sea level rises – which in turn can fuel clashes over diminishing resources and force people to migrate from their home areas.

Previous attempts to predict crises have often failed because the causes of conflict are so varied and can be very locally specific.

The WPS said their tool is a step forward as it draws together advances in remote sensing, machine learning and big data processing to provide alerts that can be acted upon.

The system uses data from NASA and European Space Agency satellites that monitor water resources around the world.

It then analyses the information with data from governments, international bodies and research organizations to identify hotspots of potential conflict.

“The machine learning is able to detect patterns in the data where humans can’t,” said Charles Iceland from the World Resources Institute, which is also working on the system.

The alerts can then be used to further investigate the causes of water conflicts and direct targeted help to areas that need it most, the researchers said.

Artificial intelligence can also give a fuller picture of areas where security concerns mean it is not possible to have staff on the ground, they added.

In tests last year using 2016 data from the Inner Niger Delta, the tool correctly predicted water conflicts would break out further south in 2017 as the population grew while resources were diminished by the diversion of water to cash crops.

“The early warning system serves as a prioritization tool,” Iceland told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

“We can determine the hotspots – the places you have to really tackle immediately – versus other places that may just be simmering or are fine.”

(Reporting by Sonia Elks @soniaelks; Editing by Ros Russell. Please credit the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of Thomson Reuters, that covers humanitarian news, women’s and LGBT+ rights, human trafficking, property rights, and climate change. Visit http://news.trust.org)

Source: OANN

An employee displays the GOQii Vital activity tracker at their office in Mumbai
An employee displays the GOQii Vital activity tracker at their office in Mumbai, India, June 3, 2019. Picture taken on June 3, 2019. REUTERS/Francis Mascarenhas

June 14, 2019

By Aditya Kalra

NEW DELHI (Reuters) – Walmart unit Flipkart has settled a legal dispute with an Indian startup that alleged it suffered losses because its products were sharply discounted on the global retailer’s website.

GOQii, a seller of smartwatch-type health devices, sued Flipkart last month in a Mumbai court, alleging its devices were discounted by around 70% to the retail price, much more than the two sides had agreed. The court had, as an interim measure, ordered device sales to be halted on Flipkart.

In a joint statement on Friday, the companies said the dispute had been resolved and GOQii health devices would again be available on Flipkart. They didn’t say how the settlement was reached.

Vishal Gondal, CEO of GOQii, told Reuters the company would withdraw the case against Flipkart. The e-commerce retailer’s “team worked on a resolution benefiting the brand and the customers”, Gondal said in the statement.

The legal spat was seen as a test case of the giant retailer’s operating strategy in the country.

Small traders and a right-wing group close to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ruling party have raised concerns about large e-commerce companies, saying they burn billions of dollars deeply discounting some products to lure customers onto their sites, in the expectation that they will also buy other goods.

GOQii said it signed an agreement last year with a Flipkart unit to sell two of its devices at a price not below 1,999 rupees ($28.63) and 1,499 rupees. It later found the devices were being sold for 999 rupees and 699 rupees, calling it “unauthorized” discounting.

In response, Flipkart said it reserved “the right to institute actions for defamation, both civil and criminal”, arguing it wasn’t responsible for any discounts which are determined by third-party firms which sell via its website.

The two companies struck a friendlier tone in their joint-statement on Friday as they brought the legal battle to an end.

“We have ensured constant engagement with GOQii to resolve any differences,” Flipkart said in the statement.

With a 19 percent market share, GOQii was the second-biggest player in India’s so-called wearables market last year, data from industry tracker IDC showed. The market is dominated by China’s Xiaomi, with Samsung a small player.

(Reporting by Aditya Kalra; Editing by Kirsten Donovan)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: Broadcom Limited company logo is pictured on an office building in Rancho Bernardo, California
FILE PHOTO: Broadcom Limited company logo is pictured on an office building in Rancho Bernardo, California May 12, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Blake

June 14, 2019

LONDON (Reuters) – European semiconductor stocks fell on Friday after U.S. chipmaker Broadcom warned a U.S.-China trade conflict and export restrictions on Huawei were causing a broad slowdown in demand for chips.

Shares in ASML, STMicroelectronics, Siltronic, ASM International, Infineon, and AMS tumbled by 2.7% to 6.6% as the warning reignited fears chipmakers would not keep to their promises of a second-half recovery.

“It’s not just Huawei, it’s deeper than that. Visibility is shot. OEMs [carmakers] aren’t ordering. Inventory concerns, which were supposed to ease, have not gone away,” said a trader.

“Goodbye H2 recovery hopes!” he added.

The falls in chipmakers – which make components used in sensors for smartphones, cars, and medical equipment – drove Europe’s tech sector index down 1%, the worst-performing sector in Europe on Friday morning.

They followed an overnight fall in U.S. semiconductor stocks after California-based Broadcom’s warning of a broad slowdown in chip demand.

The CEO of chipmaker Micron Technology also said the ban on Huawei brings uncertainty and disturbance to the semiconductor industry.

(Reporting by Helen Reid, Editing by Josephine Mason and Susan Fenton)

Source: OANN

Broadcom Limited company logo is pictured on an office building in Rancho Bernardo, California
FILE PHOTO: Broadcom Limited company logo is pictured on an office building in Rancho Bernardo, California May 12, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Blake

June 13, 2019

(Reuters) – Broadcom Inc on Thursday cut its full-year revenue forecast, blaming a broad-based slowdown in demand due to continued geopolitical uncertainties and impact of export restrictions on Huawei Technologies Co Ltd.

Shares of the San Jose, California-based company fell 7.1% to $261.6 in extended trading.

“Our customers are actively reducing their inventory levels, and we are taking a conservative stance for the rest of the year,” Chief Executive Officer Hock Tan said in a statement.

The company, known for communications chips and powers Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and GPS connectivity in smartphones, lowered its full-year revenue forecast by $2 billion to $22.50 billion.

Shares of Broadcom have been under pressure after the U.S. government put Huawei on a trade blacklist last month.

Net revenue rose to $5.52 billion in the second quarter ended May 5, from $5.01 billion a year earlier, but missed analysts’ estimates of $5.68 billion, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

Net income attributable to ordinary shares fell to $691 million, or $1.64 per share, in the quarter, from $3.72 billion, or $8.33 per share, a year earlier. (https://reut.rs/2F8Mgyt)

Excluding items, the company earned $5.21 per share, beating analysts’ estimates of $5.16 per share.

(Reporting by Sayanti Chakraborty in Bengaluru; Editing by James Emmanuel)

Source: OANN

US-MONZO-USA
A Monzo Mastercard. Courtesy Monzo/REUTERS

June 13, 2019

By Anna Irrera and Lawrence White

NEW YORK/LONDON (Reuters) – Fast-growing British digital bank Monzo is launching in the United States through a limited rollout of its app-based checking account and connected debit card, it said on Thursday.

Monzo will make available a few thousand cards at in-person sign-up events over the next weeks in cities including Los Angeles, San Francisco and New York, as it seeks to replicate the word-of-mouth support that boosted its UK launch, it said.

It hopes to attract an engaged early-user base which will provide feedback to help tailor the company’s offering to the U.S. market, Chief Executive Tom Blomfield said in an interview.

“We are taking it slow to start with,” Blomfield said. “We want to understand how U.S. consumers think and feel about their money.”

Starting on Thursday, potential customers will also be able to join an online waiting list to receive a card, Monzo said.

Monzo, which was founded in 2015 and is valued at more than 1 billion pounds ($1.3 billion), is one of Europe’s best-known “neobanks” that have launched in recent years to compete with established banks by offering more user-friendly digital services.

It has more than 625 million pounds ($793 million) in deposits from around 2 million customers, and says it adds 200,000 users per month.

The bank has seen rapid success in winning customers from the six large incumbent banks in Britain such as Lloyds and RBS, although many customers have yet to switch their monthly pay checks to Monzo.

Around 30 percent of customers use Monzo as their primary bank account, Blomfield said.

In the United States, it will face competition from incumbent banks and their digital offshoots, as well as banking startups such as Chime and Varo Money, and other financial technology companies that have recently launched checking accounts.

It also faces a tougher regulatory landscape than at home.

“For UK fintechs looking to fly the nest, one major contrast will be the complexity of federal- and state-level laws, compared to the UK’s fintech-friendly regulatory environment,” said Richard Lumb, group chief executive for financial services at consulting firm Accenture.

Monzo is launching in the United States with no minimum balance requirements and no monthly fees or foreign transaction fees, but will not pay interest on deposits.

The company has applied for a U.S. banking license, Blomfield said. It is launching in the country through a partnership with Ohio-based Sutton Bank, which is a member of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation.

(Reporting by Anna Irrera and Lawrence White; Additional reporting by Iain Withers; Editing by Sinead Cruise and Mark Potter)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: The Walmart logo is displayed on a screen on the floor of the NYSE in New York
FILE PHOTO: The Walmart logo in New York, U.S., May 1, 2018. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid/File Photo

June 13, 2019

(Reuters) – IBM, Merck and Walmart have been chosen for a U.S. Food and Drug Administration pilot program that will explore using blockchain technology to improve the security of prescription drug supply and distribution.

The companies said they would work with consultancy KPMG to create a shared blockchain network that will allow real-time monitoring of products in the pharmaceutical supply chain.

The project has been authorized under the U.S. Drug Supply Chain Security Act (DSCSA) that was set up to increase regulatory oversight of counterfeit, stolen, contaminated or otherwise harmful drugs.

The FDA has previously used the DSCSA to issue a warning letter to drug distributor McKesson Corp for violations involving opioid medications.

Opioids have been tied to thousands of overdose deaths and state and local governments across the United States have filed lawsuits seeking to hold pharmaceutical companies responsible for the epidemic of abuse.

The new project is aimed at reducing the time needed to track and trace prescription drugs, improving access to reliable distribution information and ensuring products are handled appropriately and stored at the right temperature while being distributed, the companies said in a statement.

Blockchain technology, originally conceived a decade ago as the basis for the cryptocurrency bitcoin, will help stakeholders establish a permanent record and can be integrated with existing systems used to trace products while they are distributed.

The project is scheduled to be completed in the fourth quarter of 2019 and results will be published in a report, the companies said.

(Reporting by Tamara Mathias in Bengaluru; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli)

Source: OANN

A Huawei company logo is seen at CES (Consumer Electronics Show) Asia 2019 in Shanghai
FILE PHOTO: A Huawei company logo is seen at CES (Consumer Electronics Show) Asia 2019 in Shanghai, China June 11, 2019. REUTERS/Aly Song

June 13, 2019

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain cannot disregard U.S. restrictions on China’s Huawei in deciding whether the equipment maker can participate in the roll-out of next generation 5G networks, British digital minister Jeremy Wright said on Thursday.

“I don’t think it would be realistic not to recognize that, when you have a hugely interconnected sector, when you have a situation where even Huawei equipment has U.S. componentry and IP in it, you can’t disregard what the U.S. administration decide to do,” he told reporters.

“They are all factors to be considered and we are considering them.”

(Reporting by Kate Holton, editing by Paul Sandle)

Source: OANN

The Telegram app logo is seen on a smartphone in this illustration
The Telegram app logo is seen on a smartphone in this picture illustration taken September 15, 2017. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration

June 13, 2019

By Cate Cadell and Josh Horwitz

(Reuters) – The chief executive of Telegram, a popular encrypted messaging app, said on Wednesday the messaging service experienced a “state actor-sized” cyber attack and pointed to China as its likely country of origin.

The service was hit by a “powerful DDoS attack” originating from IP addresses mostly inside China, Paul Durov, Telegram’s CEO, said in a tweet.

The attack coincided with protests in Hong Kong, he added.

Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks involve sending large numbers of requests in a targeted attack, causing partial or full service interruptions.

Hundreds of thousands of protestors have marched in Hong Kong this week in opposition to a controversial law that would allow people in the city to be extradited to China.

Chinese state media have sharply condemned the protests, which they say is motivated by outside forces and undermines social stability in Hong Kong.

The Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC), which oversees the country’s cyber policy, did not respond immediately to a faxed request for comment.

Telegram and other encrypted messaging apps are popular tools for protesters globally, who use them to coordinate without tipping off authorities.

Durov added that historical attacks of the same size had coincided with protests in Hong Kong, adding, “This case was not an exception.”

Other apps have faced blocks in China as well during political movements in Hong Kong. In 2014, at the height of the city’s Umbrella Movement, Beijing cut access to photo-sharing app Instagram inside the mainland.

Chinese officials have previously denied allegations of cyber attacks, pointing out that China is a frequently a victim of outside attacks.

(Reporting by Vibhuti Sharma in Bengaluru; Cate Cadell in Beijing, and Josh Horwitz in Shanghai, Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila and Rashmi Aich)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: The logo of AB InBev is pictured outside the brewer's headquarters in Leuven
FILE PHOTO: The logo of Anheuser-Busch InBev is pictured outside the brewer’s headquarters in Leuven, Belgium February 28, 2019. REUTERS/Francois Lenoir/File Photo

June 13, 2019

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Anheuser-Busch InBev (AB InBev), the world’s largest beer maker, said on Thursday it was opening a cybersecurity unit in Israel to help protect itself from a growing number of attacks.

Israel is a leader in cybersecurity and many of the world’s largest companies have opened centers there or acquired Israeli tech firms to defend themselves against hackers as the reliance on digital networks and cloud storage becomes more prevalent.

AB InBev’s Tel Aviv hub will focus on analyzing threats and potential attacks, said Luis Veronesi, vice president of global security and compliance. The company did not disclose financial details of the move.

Veronesi told Reuters that AB InBev and the entire industry have been facing increased cyber attacks, ranging from “financially motivated” hacks to attempts at disrupting operations.

“With increasing digitalization, we have to be prepared to defend against anything coming,” he said.

The maker of about 500 brands including Budweiser, Corona and Stella Artois began operating in Israel a year ago when it acquired startup Weissbeerger, which developed a platform to analyze beverage consumption at point of sale by connecting beer taps to the internet and collecting data from the register.

Weissbeerger became the company’s local research and development center and it plans to expand its workforce, AB InBev said.

(Reporting by Ari Rabinovitch; editing by Emelia Sithole-Matarise)

Source: OANN


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