Junior staffers, cold fingers get blamed for missed payments in taxman's annual attempt at humourIt's well known that the UK's taxman would like a bit more dosh to fill its coffers – but it doesn't want to come across as a humourless leech.Like many organisations on the hunt for cash, HMRC has been accused of going after the low-hanging fruit first.Take the reforms to IR35 that are being rolled out despite concerns from contractors and warnings that its check status tool isn’t fit for purpose.Efforts to make tech giants pay their fair share are undergoing consultation and won't be introduced until April 2020.Meanwhile, the public are left waving their fists at big firms and bigwigs that manage to avoid full payment wherever possible.
Barclays funding follows earlier partnership…Barclays and Santander InnoVentures have raised £26 million for British fintech startup MarketInvoice, in the sector’s first significant funding round of 2019.The Series B funding round comes after Barclays earlier took a minority interest in the invoice trading fintech and announced a strategic partnership in August 2018.The bank has since rolled out the lending service to its large SME client base.Invoice trading allows businesses to rapidly raise working capital against their invoices.Companies like MarketInvoice act as a middleman in exchange for a service fee.
Uber has had its fair share of troubles in its efforts to put self-driving cabs on the road, but before it tackles them all, it’s moving into new territory: building autonomous electric scooters and bicycles for its fleet of on-demand vehicles.TechCrunch noted that California-based 3D Robotics’ CEO Chris Anderson revealed Uber‘s plans to add self-driving capabilities to two-wheelers over the weekend.The Telegraph reported that the ride-hailing company is hiring engineers for this new department.Exciting announcement from @UberATG at today's @DIYRobocars event."Micromobility" = autononomous scooters & bikes that can drive themselves to charging or better locations.— Chris Anderson (@chr1sa) January 20, 2019
In the past few years, Facebook’s been concentrating on community-based features like Candidate Info and Town Hall to increase users’ engagement with local government and politics.In its latest move, it’ll roll out a petition feature you can use to create a campaign that other folks can support.TechCrunch, which got a sneak peek of the feature from the company, says that Facebook is aiming to focus this feature around local causes and on bringing them to the attention of government bodies in charge of them.The petition feature, which is called Community Actions, will start rolling out in the US from today.You can create an Action with a title and description, and tag the relevant authority or agency that can act on it.Other users can “support” the petition and share the cause to their feeds to help it gather momentum.
Wake up sheeple, climate change is going to make waking up a lot more unpleasantCoffee plants, the source of the warm brown elixir powering millions of people worldwide using the magic of caffeine, are at risk of extinction which is Kona be a massive problem for addicts.A study led by researchers at Royal Botanical Gardens, Kew, United Kingdom, have discovered a whopping 60 per cent of all 124 coffee species are being threatened by climate change and deforestation.The results were published in Science Advances and Global Change Biology.The coffee industry is led by the Arabica and Robusta species, and is maintained by farming wild coffee crops.Both plants, however, are now on the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s (ICUN) Red List as an endangered species, classified under “very high risk of extinction in the wild”.
Which are the startups that are on the path to becoming the next big thing?In this regular post, we give you an overview of the companies that have raised money in the past week, as well as those we think investors should look at.Momo, which is said to have been Vietnam’s most downloaded e-wallet app in 2018, has raised series C funding.The startup was founded in 2013 and has raised US$133.8 million to date.This content is exclusive to subscribers.Stay close to innovation in Asia by subscribing at just $0.27 per day.
Google’s third-gen Pixels might be one of the best Android phones in the market, depending on who you ask.Butt like any other best Android phones today, they also cost a fortune.That’s why some would be buyers patiently wait for holiday deals like Black Friday or Cyber Monday to soften the blow.But if you’ve missed those days for one reason or another, Google is throwing you another shot at getting the Pixel 3 or Pixel 3 XL at their lowest prices so far.Late last year, Google slashed $150 off the smaller Pixel 3 and $200 off the notched Pixel 3 XL.Now for some yet unknown reason, Google is bringing that promo back, though with one catch.
Some things are too good to last.Then again, Tesla isn’t running a charity and it was only a matter of time before it actually started charging full price for the user of its Supercharger network.However, the sudden jump in price could very well be a rude awakening for those who’ve gotten used to dirt cheap charging prices.The good news is that Tesla’s might still be the best offer in town.Part of the hesitation in the adoption of electric cars is the worry of running out of charge along the way.Tesla has set up its network of Superchargers and Supercharging stations not only across the US but in other countries as well to help address those fears.
Some dreams live, some dreams die.And some dreams get killed off when supposed investors and supporter pull the rug from under them.That’s how many third-party Moto Mods died even before they could see the light of day.So what’s a small startup like Livermorium to do after being unable to deliver the much-awaited QWERTY slider Moto Mod?Why, make their own slider phone, of course!Good thing, then, that sliders are making a comeback.
Telus Backs ‘Viable and Reliable’ Huawei in Memo, Globe Reports – BloombergWhat happened: Prominent Canadian telecommunications company Telus expressed confidence in its Chinese business partner Huawei even as tensions between China and Canada persist.Bloomberg, citing a paywalled story from Canadian media outlet the Globe and Mail, says Eros Spadotto, executive vice president of technology at Telus, told the company’s employees in a memo that Huawei was a “viable and reliable” player in China’s telecom industry, and characterized Telus’ partnership with Huawei as a “positive, transparent and innovative-centric” one.Spadotto added that his company has collaborated with Canadian authorities to discuss Huawei-related security concerns.Huawei is Telus’ Number 3 supplier, according to Bloomberg’s own data analysis.Why it’s important: An endorsement from a major Canadian corporation offers some much-needed support to Huawei in Canada, where the company has been under the microscope in recent months.
Using computer simulations and a robot, researchers have recreated the likely gait of a 300-million-year-old animal considered to be among the planet’s earliest terrestrial walkers.This would be good to know because the first walkers eventually evolved into reptiles and mammals.To get a sense of how these early terrestrial pioneers walked around, a research team led by John Nyakatura from Humboldt University in Berlin and Kamilo Melo from École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne in Switzerland, turned to computer simulations and robots.The model for their experiment was an early four-legged, 35-inch-long tetrapod known as Orobates pabsti.Also, Orobates fossils are critically important for understanding vertebrate evolution; these creatures are a very close cousin to the last common ancestor of mammals, reptiles (including all extinct dinosaurs and pterosaurs), and birds.Finally, Orobates left behind an excellent fossil record of its time on Earth, along with fossilised trackways of its footprints—a double-whammy that allowed the researchers to conduct a quantitative physical analysis of this extinct creature.
Samsung will be holding one of its Unpacked events on February 20th, and along with revealing another look at its upcoming foldable phone device, the company will be officially announcing the Galaxy 10.The increasing leaks and rumors in recent months have pointed towards three devices for this year’s lineup of flagship Galaxy devices, and a new image has surfaced that offers our best look yet at each model.The new image, which seems to be an official press render, shows the front and rear of the Galaxy S10E, the S10, and the S10+ from left to right.Posted by well-known leaker Evan Blass, the phones are shown in clear cases, but we still get a good look at each model’s camera arrangement.On the left, the S10E, which is expected to be the cheapest model of the three with fewer frills, has two rear cameras and a single hole-punch in the top-right of the display for the front camera.It’s still unknown what the official name of this model will be, but it’s previously been dubbed the Galaxy S10 “Lite” and S10 “Edge.”
Jeremy Corbyn’s unwillingness to back a second referendum could lead to a near-fatal split in the Labour Party, David Lammy has warned.Calling for a so-called people’s vote to break the Brexit deadlock in Parliament, the influential Labour backbencher accused Corbyn of “hedging” over a second referendum, saying he was “moving the goalpost”.“Now is the time for leadership,” Lammy told Sky’s Sophy Ridge on Sunday programme.“There are a small group in our party who are so frustrated, who have so much grievance, the fear is they are going to go off and form another party.“I personally reject that,” he continued.“But the danger is, just like 1983, a new party built around a relationship with Europe keeps the Labour Party out of power for a generation.”
Two people have been killed and 22 others have been injured in a large fire in the French ski resort of Courchevel, officials have reported.Among the injured, four have been seriously wounded and the fire also forced 60 people to be evacuated from the building.Authorities in the Savoie region said the blaze started at 4.30am local time on Sunday in a building housing seasonal workers in the heart of the Alpine town.The pre-dawn blaze was tackled by 70 firefighters.The cause of the fire and the identity of the victims are not yet known.The French interior minister Christophe Castaner has tweeted condolence messages to the families of victims and paid tribute to firefighters who fought the fire.
Lil Jon likes to serve his soda old school style.PepsiCo has enlisted the Atlanta rapper behind early ’00s “crunk” hits like “Turn Down for What” and Usher’s “Yeah” for the last entry in its trio of Super Bowl spots, this one promoting the classic soda itself.It follows trailers for ads focused on the company’s Doritos and Bubly brands and hints at a sharp detour from last year’s Big Game spot, which starred past Pepsi spokespeople like Cindy Crawford, Britney Spears and Michael Jackson.The extended pour tells us very little about the final 30-second ad, and PepsiCo did not provide any additional information, but we can confirm that The Backstreet Boys are nowhere to be found.Like the other two PepsiCo ads, this one will be created by Goodby Silverstein & Partners, the Omnicom agency behind last year’s spots promoting Pepsi, Mountain Dew and Doritos.Lil Jon is one of several hip-hop stars making an appearance in Super Bowl LII including Chance the Rapper and fellow Atlanta resident Ludacris, who will star in an ad for Mercedes-Benz.
Facebook's attempts to win back the eyeballs of teenagers aren't slowing down, if new reports are to be believed: the social network is apparently testing a meme-filled feature called LOL with selected users, based around short, shareable video clips.TechCrunch reported the trial run, which Facebook has since confirmed – the idea is to pack LOL with funny videos and GIF-style loops so that youngsters might be tempted to spend a little bit more time away from Instagram and Snapchat.Content gets pulled from the News Feed and the best meme pages on Facebook, apparently.For now only around 100 high school students in the US have access to LOL, and they're presumably giving feedback to Facebook engineers as to why this is the best or worst idea in the history of social networking.Facebook says the concept is in its "early stages".Of course we've been here before.
This year, I served on the judging panel for The Royal Statistical Society’s International Statistic of the Year.On Dec. 18, we announced the winner: 90.5 percent, the amount of plastic that has never been recycled.The judging panel accepted nominations from the statistical community and the public at large for a statistic they feel shines a light on today’s most pressing issues.That’s the annual number of Americans killed, on average, by lawn mowers – compared to two Americans killed annually, on average, by immigrant jihadist terrorists and the 11,737 Americans killed annually by being shot by another American.That figure, first shared in The Huffington Post, was highlighted in a viral tweet by Kim Kardashian in response to the proposed migrant ban.The chair of the judges and RSS president, Sir David Spiegelhalter, said: “It’s really concerning that so little plastic has ever been recycled and, as a result, so much plastic waste has leached out into the world’s environment.
The company is in imminent danger of having its stock delisted from the Nasdaq; the market is hearing the company's appeal of its delisting decision later this month.Even after massively diluting shareholders, the company is alerting investors that it likely would issue new shares after a split to raise funds to continue its operations.The company hasn't set a date for the meeting, but even it acknowledged that this effort sounds like déjà vu.It also resembles the actual reverse split the company actually effected in July— and the results of that weren't good.Helios and Matheson's stock price peaked in October 2017 at nearly $39 a share — or $9,715 a share if you take into account the effect of the reverse split.After that, it fell in fits and starts as the company's losses ballooned, thanks to the growing number of consumers taking advantage of MoviePass's all-you-can-eat $10 movie ticket subscription plan, and as it flooded the market with new shares, which it sold to replenish the cash it was rapidly burning through.
Self-lacing sneakers have been the dream since Marty McFly first rocked Nike MAGs in 1989, but most attempts at turning shoe leather into smart sneakers have been expensive, produced in small batches, and frankly, a little gimmicky.Until now: Earlier this week, Nike revealed Adapt BB, the company’s latest self-lacing basketball shoe.And these actually seem … smart.At $350, the Adapt BB’s are a little more accessible than previous iterations, though as Peter points out, they’re likely to be worn by professional athletes and Nike-backed college teams to start.Also on this week’s podcast: WIRED’s Nitasha Tiku talks about a group of Googlers who have launched a public awareness campaign about mandatory arbitration agreements, arguing that employers use them to suppress workers facing harassment and discrimination.Show notes: Peter’s story on Nike’s Adapt BB is here.
If "Fyre Festival" means nothing to you, maybe you had better things to do than roll around in the online schadenfreude of a luxury music festival supposedly infested with models and social media influencers partying in Bahamian villas and endorsed by rapper Ja Rule.To put it lightly, the event did not go as planned.Those of us not stranded in the Bahamas got to watch a lot of obnoxious influencer types face the cold hard reality of portable toilets and sad cheese sandwiches.Now, Netflix and Hulu have competing documentaries chronicling organizer Billy McFarland's wunderkind scammer skills and just how, exactly, he and his associates managed to separate so many people from their money on the basis of a slick marketing campaign.Hulu's version (Fyre Fraud directed by Jenner Furst and Julia Willoughby Nason) focuses heavily on framing McFarland, who was 25 at the time, as an entrepreneurial prodigy, the ultimate millennial gone bad.It also leans on stereotypes about a generation comprised of at least 53 million people in the US, as a bunch of folks who came of age in such tumult (wars, the Great Recession) that they've retreated into a reality of their own making -- the perfect, filtered realm of the influencers.