Eight total resolutions seek to make antisocial network more accountable (the US tech giant opposes them all)Facebook stock-owning activists are planning to deliver an eight-foot angry-looking emoji to CEO Mark Zuckerberg at the company's annual general meeting next week to highlight widespread frustration with the US web goliath.Consumer group SumOfUs has joined forces with a Jewish activist group to present an AGM resolution demanding that the biz been broken up, with Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, and Oculus all set up as their own independent outfits with independent directors.The campaigners hope to take the aforementioned helium spherical balloon, adorned with a emoji, into the meeting as part of their protest.Their call reflects a growing global consensus that the biz, used by billions worldwide, is too large and unwieldy to be effectively managed, especially by a single person: Zuckerberg retains a personal majority thanks to a careful, and legal, manipulation of share-voting rights."It appears that Facebook may be too large and complex to be managed effectively," the resolution argues.
Friday, on the monied shores of Northern Italy's Lake Como, BMW revealed a particularly unusual and striking new concept car to the media ahead of the region's ultra-posh Concorso D'Eleganza Villa D'Este classic car show.It's a painstaking recreation of a somewhat obscure 1970 Geneva Motor Show showcar that ended up having a surprisingly large impact on the company.Known as the BMW Garmisch, this champagne-colored recreation is an unconventional and surprising development from the German luxury automaker for many reasons.The car is a dramatic rebirth of the original 1979 2002 ti Garmisch Coupe concept, an independent proposal from Italian design house Bertone that few remember -- a one-off car whose fate has been lost to the fog of time.Over its century-plus-history, BMW has authored as deep a bench of seminal road cars and concepts as any automaker you can name, yet that they've chosen to pluck this Marcello Gandini-penned coupe and give it new life is a telling choice, even if it seems a bit odd on the surface.This coupe is quite a remarkable story, and not just because in today's car industry, where pursestrings are tightly clutched and SUVs rule, precious few automakers invest in recreations at all.
Volocopter GmbH of Germany said Thursday it will open a landing facility in Singapore later this year for trial flights, while Austria’s FACC AG is working to produce hundreds of passenger drones for Chinese partner EHang Inc. by the end of next year, Bloomberg reports.Volocopter, backed by Intel Corp. and Daimler AG, has partnered with U.K. developer Skyports to build a 1.5 million-euro ($1.7 million), 550-square-meter “Volo-Port” in Singapore after conducting test flights in Dubai and Las Vegas.In Asia, EHang is controlled by state-owned AVIC, while governments in Singapore and territories including Dubai are enthusiastically embracing autonomous transport.
The University of Texas at Austin team that led a twin satellite system launched in 2002 to take detailed measurements of the Earth, called the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE), reports in the most recent issue of the journal Nature Climate Change on the contributions that their nearly two decades of data have made to our understanding of global climate patterns.Among the many contributions that GRACE has made:GRACE recorded three times the mass of ice lost in the polar and mountainous regions since first beginning measurements -- a consequence of global warming.The information gathered from GRACE provides vital data for the federal agency United States Drought Monitor and has shed light on the causes of drought and aquifer depletion in places worldwide, from India to California.Intended to last just five years in orbit for a limited, experimental mission to measure small changes in the Earth's gravitational fields, GRACE operated for more than 15 years and has provided unprecedented insight into our global water resources, from more accurate measurements of polar ice loss to a better view of the ocean currents, and the rise in global sea levels.UT's Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC) has played a critical role in this international project over the last 15 years, according to Byron Tapley, the Clare Cockrell Williams Centennial Chair Emeritus in the Department of Aerospace Engineering and Engineering Mechanics who established the Center for Space Research at UT in 1981 and who served as principal investigator of the GRACE mission.
In the early 2000s, Cadillac decided to stop peddling cars best suited to Florida retirees, and made a concerted effort to take on German luxury automakers.The Cadillac V-Series has now been around for 15 years, and it’s about to get bigger.The CT5-V and CT4-V, as they will likely be called, were briefly mentioned at the bottom of a press release waxing nostalgically about the performance sub-brand’s 15-year history.Cadillac didn’t provide any details on the two new sports sedans, only saying that they will be unveiled May 30 in Detroit.The General Motors luxury brand hasn’t even shown the standard version of the CT4 yet, while the CT5 made its public debut at the 2019 New York Auto Show in April.The CT5 is the larger of the two, making it a de facto replacement for the current Cadillac CTS.
It takes a village to raise a child, and it apparently takes both automakers and suppliers to commit to one seriously large emissions-cheating scandal.German prosecutors have levied a 90 million euro (about $100 million) fine against supplier Bosch for its role in diesel cheating, Reuters reports.Of that total sum, 2 million euros (about $2.2 million) is for a "regulatory offense," while the remainder of the fine was a penalty for "economic benefits," likely referring to the profit Bosch made on selling this hardware to VW Group, which it used to hoodwink governments around the world."With the issue of the notice of fine, the investigations conducted by the Public Prosecutor's Office of Stuttgart against Bosch as a supplier of engine control units for diesel engines has been completed," said a Bosch spokesperson in an emailed statement."Bosch waives the filing of objections to the notice of fine.Thus, the regulatory offense proceedings have been completed and the decision is final and unappealable."
In 2015, physicists at Julius-Maximilians-Universität (JMU) Würzburg in Bavaria, Germany, succeeded in establishing a new Collaborative Research Centre in Würzburg.The German Research Foundation (DFG) provided around 11 million euros for this purpose.The money went into research into topological materials - this class of materials is characterised by very unusual properties.This process was very successful for the university: The DFG continues to rate the work carried out and the new research plans as excellent.It is funding the SFB "Topological and Correlated Electronics in Surfaces and Interfaces (ToCoTronics)" for another four years with a total of 12 million euros.Results are published in renowned journals
One of the most iconic Audi cars of the past two decades is getting an all-electric replacement, with the automaker confirming that the Audi TT faces an EV reinvention.The German company confirmed the shakeup in its affordable sports car segment at the Audi General Meeting, as part of a widespread acceleration toward zero-emissions vehicles.Although it arrived in dealerships in 1998, the first-generation TT was previewed as a jaw-dropping concept at the 1995 Frankfurt Motor Show.Dramatically different from anything in the automaker’s range – or from any other car company, for that matter – the minimalistic design demanded new welding technologies and more in order to make it a production possibility.The third-generation TT Mk3 continued that in 2014, including a 2.5-liter turbocharged five-cylinder in the Audi TT RS.Speaking at the General Meeting, chairman Bram Schot announced that an electric car would take the TT’s place.
Aviation has also seen an uptick in activity in the past few years, with “flying taxis” and other fantastical flying machines vying for a place in the burgeoning urban transport realm.Against that backdrop, Volocopter — which has raised north of $30 million from such big names as Intel and Daimler — announced the next step in its mission to push its electric take-off and landing (eVTOL) vehicles into the public sphere.The German startup, which was founded back in 2012, has partnered with U.K.-based Skyports and design agency Brandlab to create a prototype landing hub to trial its airborne taxi and showcase what the broader service will look like.Skyports is a company that invests in the real estate — including rooftops and other central locations — needed to build “vertiports,” in preparation for the anticipated boom in urban landing infrastructure requirements.This follows separate unmanned trials elsewhere, including in Dubai back in 2017.We already knew that Volocopter was building a two-person eVTOL that sports 18 silent rotors and is operated via a single joystick.
I just got off the phone with Adam Mikkelsen, founder and CEO of shared mobility startup Cangoroo, who insists that his company is totally real.The main difference is, well… pogo sticks.And then there’s the fact that the company is owned by ODD Company, a branding and communications agency that has produced viral stunts for companies like Carlsberg, German travel agency Tui, and the Movember Foundation.”With the pogo stick, the way we’ve branded it is as a product you can actually use for last-mile transportation,” Mikkelsen said.“A lot of people in Sweden had pogo sticks as children, so we see them using them as adults,” he said.Moreover, the company wants to experiment with small scale distribution at first, in order to test the waters.
The latest chess move in the German automaker’s strategy of M-all-the-things, the 2020 BMW X5 M50i and X7 M50i answer the age-old question of “why doesn’t my luxury truck do 0-60 mph in 4.1 seconds like the new Toyota Supra?”To make sure you’re never embarrassed in a straight line dash at the lights by a Japanese sports car, BMW slots the new version of the N63 4.4-liter TwinPower Turbo V8 under the hood of its M50i variants.530 horsepower arrives between 5,500 and 6,000 rpm, while the peak 553 lb-ft of torque drops from just 1,800 rpm.Off the lot, and on all-season tires, top speed is an electronically-limited 130 mph.Opt for summer performance rubber, meanwhile, and that rises to 155 mph.BMW has paired the V8 with an eight-speed Sport Steptronic transmission, with new shift programing and steering wheel paddles.
Whether you are ready for summer or not, at least Netflix is getting a few fantastic films.Ralph Breaks the Internet, the sequel to the delightful Disney animated film Wreck-it-Ralph hits Netflix on June 11.And on June 26 you can check out Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, one of 2018's best films.Dark and depressing TV will reign supreme in June on Netflix.Season 5 of Black Mirror lands on June 5.Plus the second seasons of The Confession Tapes and the German sci-fi thriller Dark will be available on June 21.
Digital banking startup N26 has been ordered by the German banking regulator to step up its anti-money laundering policies, after a probe found the fintech firm was deficient in several areas.Bafin said today it has issued an order against N26 to "take appropriate internal safety measures" in order to comply with rules on customer due diligence obligations, and sufficiently monitor accounts for money laundering and terrorist financing.The probe followed reports of fraudulent transactions and problems with the bank’s communications structure, which first emerged in October last year.Customers complained of fraudulent activity going ignored at the bank due to poor reporting processes, in one instance relating to theft of about €80,000 (£68,848).Some users said they were unable to get a response through its chatbot or by email for several weeks, which were the only means of talking to staff.Bafin ordered N26 this week to carry out several changes to its internal procedures, including the removal of backlogs in IT monitoring, to establish process descriptions and workflows in writing.
After a quiet few months, it looks like THQ Nordic is back on the acquisition train.Today, the publisher announced that it purchased German developer Piranha Bytes, which is best known for its Gothic and Risen series of role-playing games.The terms of the deal weren’t disclosed.In a press release, THQ Nordic said that the cost is the same as “three years of what management’s estimated royalty payments to Piranha for upcoming titles would have been, if the acquisition had not occurred.” The company published Piranha Bytes’s most recent game, sci-fi RPG Elex.THQ Nordic said the studio will remain independent and continue making RPGs.Piranha Bytes has 31 employees.
A great success for FAU: the German Research Foundation (DFG) has approved three new research training groups (RTG) at the University.In these groups, young researchers will use the funding to research cyber crime, new approaches for preventing viral diseases, and energy conversion systems that do not require heavy metals.Cyber crime and forensic computingSpeaker: Prof. Dr. Felix FreilingNew information technology also means new opportunities for crime.Cyber crime poses a threat to the stability of economic and social systems.
Whether it is working on the computer or playing a card game with the kids - automated driving creates plenty of opportunities for activities while traveling by car.The research project is funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG) with roughly 700,000 euros for three years and should increase acceptance of the new technology.Whether at sea, on the road, in the air, or in space - certain movements and activities over a period of time make many people complain of dizziness, cold sweats, nausea, and headache.They suffer from travel or motion sickness.Kinetosis, to use the technical term, is more common in children than in adults.In addition, passengers engaged in occupations such as reading are more likely to experience the phenomenon than drivers.
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Fintech startup N26 received an order from BaFin, the German banking regulator.According to the regulator, N26 hasn’t been doing enough when it comes to money laundering and terrorist financing.The order requires us to optimize existing processes to prevent money laundering and increase N26 staffing levels,” the company says in a blog post.A few articles have highlighted a handful of cases of fraud in recent weeks.Customers tried to use N26 for money-laundering purposes.It’s not that surprising given that literally every bank suffers from this issue.
European Chipmakers to Keep on Supplying Huawei After Trump Ban – BloombergWhat happened: German chipmaker Infineon on Monday said it would continue to supply Huawei with components following a Nikkei report saying it would need to halt deliveries of products originating in the US due to a Trump administration blacklist of the telecom giant last week.An Infineon spokesman said most products it delivers to Huawei are not subject to US restrictions.The company is one of Europe’s biggest chipmakers and said it could make adaptions in the international supply chain to ensure deliveries.Another European semiconductor company AMS also maintained that it would continue business relations with Huawei.Why it’s important: Shares of Infineon, whose annual sales to Huawei account for 1.3% of its sales according to Bloomberg, fell as much as 6% in Frankfurt on Monday following the reports.
Piranha Bytes was founded in 1997, has 31 employees and is best known for developing the action/rollspelsupplevelser, RPG, to personal computers.the Company behind the critically acclaimed spelserierna Gothic, Risen and Elex.”These three strong and successful the POI will be excellent additions to our portfolio,” said THQ's president and ceo Lars Wingefors in a statement.THQ has been a publisher for three spelserierna and with the takeover of the Piranha, one will let the operations continue to be operated as an independent studio.”the Company comes with a lot of creative freedom to continue to focus on the development of unique rollspelsupplevelser, while THQ Nordic will act as a publisher, and was responsible for the distribution, marketing and further support to the Piranha,” it says.