The families of three Americans murdered in ISIS terror attacks have filed suit against Twitter for allegedly knowingly providing support for the terrorist group and acting as a “powerful weapon for terrorism.”
The suit was filed over the weekend in a federal court in New York City on behalf of the relatives of three U.S. nationals who were killed by ISIS in the March 22, 2016, terrorist attacks in Brussels and the Nov. 13, 2015, terrorist attacks in Paris. At least 32 people died in the Brussels attack and about 130 in the attack in Paris.
The suit alleges that Twitter has violated, and continues to violate, the U.S. Anti-Terrorism Act. The plaintiffs are asking for a jury trial and monetary damages to be determined at trial.
“Twitter’s social media platform and services provide tremendous utility and value to ISIS as a tool to connect its members and to facilitate the terrorist group’s ability to communicate, recruit members, plan and carry out attacks, and strike fear in its enemies,” the suit alleges. “ISIS has used Twitter to cultivate and maintain an image of brutality, to instill greater fear and intimidation, and to appear unstoppable …”
The lawsuit also contends that specifically for the Brussels and Paris attacks, ISIS used Twitter to issue threats, as well as to announce and celebrate the attacks.
The lawsuit was filed by the family of siblings Alexander Pinczowski and Sascha Pinczowski, who were killed in Brussels, and the family of Nohemi Gonzalez, who was killed in Paris.
Europe’s powerhouse automakers are rallying the full force of the continent’s industrial prowess to build a network of ultra-fast charging stations as they look to stoke demand for electric cars and break Tesla’s stranglehold on the market.
BMW, Volkswagen, Ford and Daimler plan to build about 400 next-generation charging stations in Europe that can reload an electric car in minutes instead of hours.
The long time it takes to charge batteries is one of the main disadvantages of electric cars compared to conventional cars with gasoline tanks that can be filled up in seconds.
Installing new, faster chargers would spur the overall market, and also help the traditional car manufacturers close the gap with Tesla, the Silicon Valley-based e-car leader, which maintains its own network of charging stations. Tesla’s chargers are the fastest in the industry, and are incompatible with existing electric cars made by rivals.
The carmakers are roping in experts from the European power and engineering industry, including Germany’s Innogy, E.ON and Siemens and Portugal’s Efacec, which are all working on the technology, people familiar with the matter told Reuters.
The new 350 kilowatt (kW) chargers would be nearly three times as powerful as Tesla’s.
“This is a structured and concerted effort across sectors to tackle the infrastructure issue in a real way,” one of the sources said.
A spokesman for Ford, speaking on behalf of the consortium, said talks with possible partners had started, adding he expected several energy providers to be part of the planned network, without elaborating further.
Tesla’s tech billionaire CEO Elon Musk has hinted that the company will not be outdone, tweeting that 350 kW chargers are a “children’s toy”. A Germany-based spokeswoman for the company declined to comment beyond Musk’s remarks.
Uber Technologies making data from trips on its ride-hailing platform available to city officials, planners and policymakers to help them better understand traffic patterns and improve investments in infrastructure.
The move will likely win Uber goodwill with city officials, even as the company has resisted other bids for data by some cities. New York, for example, wants to collect trip records from vehicles on hire to monitor adherence to driver fatigue regulations, which Uber has rejected, citing individual privacy issues.
Some of the data collected by Uber over 2 billion trips across 450 cities will be provided under the new program, called Movement. However, the data will be “anonymized and aggregated into the same types of geographic zones that transportation planners use to evaluate which parts of cities need expanded infrastructure, like Census Tracts and Traffic Analysis Zones (TAZs),” Jordan Gilbertson, Uber’s product manager and Andrew Salzberg, head of transportation policy, wrote in a blog post Sunday.
Other ride-hailing companies have also offered data to planners. Cooperation with city planners could ensure that the ride-hailing concept gets more firmly entrenched in urban transport planning.
Uber has set up a website for providing the information. Access to the data on the website will be by invitation initially, though the company promises to make it available freely to the public soon. The insights on the Movement website are available under the Creative Commons, Attribution Non-Commercial license, which would restrict the use of the data for commercial purposes.
“Since Uber is available 24/7, we can compare travel conditions across different times of day, days of the week, or months of the year—and how travel times are impacted by big events, road closures or other things happening in a city,” the executives wrote.
The concept of sharing aggregated data with cities is already being tried by Uber in Australia, where it has worked with Infrastructure Partnerships Australia to measure the performance of transport systems. Data from Uber was also used to analyze the impact of the Metrorail outage in Washington, D.C., on March 16 last year, of congestion citywide during the evening commute hours, and was used to analyze travel conditions during the 2015 holiday season in Manila.
Uber’s provision of data to local authorities is likely to come under close scrutiny by consumer groups that have in the past complained about the company’s collection of user data.
Prime Video, home to popular shows such as “The Grand Tour”, “Transparent” and “The Man in the High Castle”, will now be bundled with Prime subscriptions in 19 countries including India, Canada and France.
In other new regions, Prime Video customers will have to pay $2.99 or 2.99 euros per month for the first six months, after which the price will be doubled to $5.99 or 5.99 euros.
The company hopes that people will sign up for its Prime service to watch these videos – and in turn buy more goods from its online store to make the annual subscription worth it.
The Prime Video launch comes almost a year after Netflix Inc went global with its video-streaming service – rolling it out in more than 130 countries with the notable exception of China.
Subscriptions for Netflix, known for shows such as “Stranger Things”, “Daredevil” and “Narcos”, start at $8.99.
Amazon Prime Video members can also access videos offline on mobile devices, a feature Netflix introduced late last month.
Turner Broadcasting System Inc will develop additional video content for mobile app Snapchat and team up with the social media company on advertising, Turner announced, as they expand a partnership to broaden their reach among millennials.
TV networks of the Time Warner Inc unit, including TBS and Adult Swim, will create original series exclusively for the unit of Snap, Inc, the broadcaster said in a statement.
The companies also renewed their March agreement for Snapchat to create Live Stories, collections of user-submitted photos and videos centered around a specific event, with sports shows from Turner. The shows include the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAAA) Division I Men’s Basketball Championship and the Professional Golfers’ Association (PGA) Championship.
Turner will lead sales efforts for Live Stories and shows, while Snapchat will take the lead for sponsorships on the Discovery channels.
Financial terms were not disclosed.
Turner formed the partnership with Snap in 2015, and forged links with other digital media companies, to court younger viewers who prefer mobile gadgets to television. Turner said its networks reach more than 75 percent of millennials each month, the same audience that Snapchat targets.
The partnership began with the launch of Snapchat’s Discover feature which allows companies to offer and manage their own content. The original channels included Turner’s CNN and Bleacher Report, a San Francisco-based sports news website.
Bleacher Report, which had been available worldwide except in the United States, France and Australia, will launch a U.S. Discovery channel on Jan. 4. CNN will increase its content on Discovery.
Snap has partnered with multiple traditional U.S. media companies, including Viacom Inc and Comcast Corp’s NBCUniversal, as it prepares to go public early next year.
This year Turner has also invested in digital media companies Mashable and Refinery29, and launched a digital video startup within CNN called Great Big Story.
The Berlin-based company is backed by Li Ka-shing, one of Asia’s richest men and Peter Thiel, a co-founder of PayPal and an early investor in Facebook, along with other investors including Berlin’s Earlybird Ventures and Zurich-based Red Alpine.
The company, which received its own banking license from German financial regulator Bafin this year, offers online accounts for cash withdrawals, savings and insurance services that users manage on their mobile phones.
Without the expense of branches or legacy computer infrastructure and by relying on selective outsourcing, mobile-first banks can challenge established banks by promising lower lending rates and higher rates on savings.
Established banks have responded by plowing more money into upgrading their own computer systems, rolling out mobile apps of their own, closing retail bank branches and investing in fintech startups.
N26, which first launched in 2015 in Germany and Austria, then moved into Spain, France, Italy, Greece, Ireland and Slovakia, is now adding the Benelux countries, the Baltics, Finland, Portugal and Slovenia.
“We have built Europe’s most modern mobile bank,” Number26 Chief Executive and co-founder Valentin Stalf said in a presentation at the TechCrunch Disrupt London conference.
“We are getting closer to building a truly European bank.”
Nissan and Renault’s new Mobility Division will focus on the development of software, cloud engineering and big data analytics for connected-car technologies.
In 2018, Nissan said it expects to unveil a “multiple-lane control” application that can autonomously negotiate hazards and change lanes during highway driving. Two years later, it plans to add the capability for a vehicle to navigate city driving and intersections without driver intervention.
The new autonomous models will be released in the U.S., Japan, Europe and China.
In September, the Renault-Nissan Alliance acquired French software company Sylph to accelerate the expansion of its connected vehicle and mobility services programs.
Also in September, the carmakers penned a multiyear agreement with Microsoft to develop next-generation connected services for self-driving cars that will be enabled through Microsoft’s Azure cloud service.
The carmakers said they will also focus on promoting “social acceptance” of autonomous vehicles between now and when they begin to launch them in 2018. Educating the public will “allow consumers as well as involved governments, groups and other agencies, the time to consider the benefits of the new technologies.
“There must be a huge change in government and society,” Nissan stated in a blog. “Once autonomous drive technology reaches a certain level of technological advance, decisions must be made on driving infrastructure and laws to ultimately change society’s mindset.”
While autonomous development announcements are far from new, the Renault-Nissan Alliance is unusual in that past autonomous vehicle efforts have not been taken on solely by automakers, according to research firm IDC.
Artificial intelligence and connected technology are a major focus among some carmakers, who see it as the basis for future human-machine interface development in autonomous vehicles.
Last year, Toyota Motor Corp. spent $1 billion to create an artificial intelligence division. Toyota’s Research Institute is being led by Gill Pratt, who joined Toyota from DARPA, where he ran the Robotics Challenge, an event that promoted work on robots that can work with humans.
China’s Alipay has teamed up with U.S.-based Verifone to integrate its mobile app on Verifone payment terminals at merchants in Europe and North America, the latest such deal to reach Chinese consumers traveling abroad.
Alipay, which counts 450 million active users in China, is the top mobile payments player there. It is a unit of privately held ANT Financial, which is in turn an affiliate of publicly traded Chinese Internet giant Alibaba.com.
It has begun actively expanding outside Asia this year via partnerships with Western payment providers. Verifone terminals are used by most of the top 200 retailers in the United States, a spokesman said.
Instead of seeking to go head to head with major payments players outside its home market, Alipay targets the fast growing Chinese tourism market, which numbered 117 million travelers in 2014, according to the United Nations World Tourism Organization, and is forecast to double by 2020.
Through the Verifone deal announced on Monday, Alipay is targeting top-tier merchants across retail, luxury goods, health supplement and department stores.
Alipay and rival WeChat, a unit of Tencent,together make up 90 percent of the Chinese mobile payments market, with gross merchandise value estimated at more than $1 trillion last year, dwarfing other mobile payment systems around the world, according to iResearch China estimates.
Sabrina Peng, the president of Alipay International, said in a recent interview that her company’s ambition is to become a global payments provider over the next decade, with 60 percent of its transaction volume coming from outside China. “We are targeting 2 billion users in the next 10 years,” she said.
French payment terminal supplier Ingenico announced in August an expanded deal with Alipay to allow merchants across Europe to use Ingenico’s payment gateway to accept payments from Alipay users visiting the region.
The Alipay service is also being integrated into terminals from Concardis, a payments provider for merchants in German-speaking Europe.
Alipay has a similar deal with mobile payments start-up Zapper in Britain to allow Chinese tourists to use QR codes in more than 1,000 restaurants there.
Renault SA and Nissan Motor Co announced that they will acquire French software development company Sylpheo as they compete with global automakers and tech firms to develop new services including ride hailing and car sharing.
The French and Japanese automakers said that the acquisition, under which they would absorb Sylpheo’s 40 engineers and consultants, would boost their software development and cloud engineering expertise.
“The Sylpheo team of software developers and cloud engineers joining the Alliance will have a unique opportunity to work on our next generation of connected cars and other advanced technologies,” said Ogi Redzic, Renault-Nissan’s senior vice president of Connected Vehicles and Mobility Services.
“They will be playing a critical role in this new era of tremendous change for the global auto industry.”
Automakers from Toyota Motor Corp to General Motors have been investing in software firms and mobility start-ups to position themselves for the rise of autonomous driving, ride-sharing and other connected services which threaten the traditional vehicle ownership model that has dominated the past century.
Sylpheo will develop the applications for the alliance’s connected car service platform, a Renault spokeswoman said. She said the acquisition was part of the alliance’s recruitment push to hire 300 technology experts to better compete in the fast-growing mobility services sector.
These services will be integrated with autonomous driving technologies. In July, Nissan launched a suite of semi-autonomous driving functions in one of its Japanese minivan models which enables the vehicle to drive on single lane motorways and navigate congestion.
The two companies plan to launch more than 10 vehicles with autonomous drive technology by 2020. Nissan is aiming to develop autonomous multiple-lane driving functions, including lane changes, by 2018, and functions for full urban driving, including intersection turns, by 2020.
Paris-based Moodstocks builds image and object recognition software using deep learning techniques, and offered an Android app and visual search API that could recognize certain kinds of objects. By analyzing video from a smartphone camera, and correlating it with accelerometer readings to determine how the camera is moving around, the software is able to infer information about the three-dimensional shape of objects in the video, facilitating their recognition.
In February 2015 the company demonstrated its ability to identify sneakers through its app. Three months later, after training the software using 15,000 photos of shoes from an online retailer’s website, Moodstocks claimed to be able to shop online for all the sneakers on sale in a Macy’s store.
Google has been introducing elements of machine learning into its existing online services, including Google Translate and Inbox, a next-generation interface for Gmail.
Its online photo archival service, Google Photos, uses machine learning to identify categories of photo, such as parties or beach scenes, to make it easier to search.
But there’s still a lot of work to be done in this field, according to Google’s blog post (in French) announcing the acquisition of Moodstocks.
Google said the Moodstocks team will join its existing research and development operation in Paris.
There, they will develop image-recognition tools for use in Google services, the Moodstocks team wrote on their own site.
Meanwhile, Moodstocks will discontinue its own image recognition services, although paying subscribers will have access until their subscriptions run out, the post said.
Google didn’t put a price on the Moodstocks acquisition, but it’s unlikely to be as high as the $500 million it reportedly paid in 2014 for the much larger DeepMind, the London-based developer of the Go program that beat top player Lee Se-dol in March.
French electronics group Thales looking to boost its revenues by hundreds of millions of euros in the cybersecurity field through a strategic agreement it has signed with Cisco Systems, it said on Tuesday.
“We hope that with this agreement, we will add several hundred millions of euros in the next years,” said Jean-Michel Lagarde, who heads secure communications and information systems at Thales.
“It will have a multiplier effect, as this is not only about cybersecurity, but also about secure systems for cities and airports.”
The two companies have been partners since 2010 and plan to co-develop a solution to better detect and counter cyber attacks in real time, it said.
Thales generates 500 million euros ($550 million) annually in the cybersecurity business, notably in data protection thanks to the acquisition in March of Vormetric for 375 million euros.
The jointly developed solution will be aimed first at French infrastructure providers and will then be deployed globally, Cisco and Thales said in a statement.
Sony Pictures Animation has announced that it will produce an animated movie about “the secret world of our phones and the beloved characters that have become daily necessities in global interpersonal communication.”
“Emojimovie: Express Yourself” is due in August 2017. It will be written by Eric Siegel and Anthony Leondis and directed by Leondis. He previously wrote and directed “Lilo & Stitch 2: Stitch Has a Glitch” and “Igor.”
Deadline had earlier reported that Sony beat out two other movie studios bidding for the movie, paying “near seven figures” for the title.
So what emojis might make the cut and appear in the movie? The smiley seems the likely star and is the most-used emoji in every country except France, according to a SwiftKey study published in 2015. In France, the heart emoji is the favorite.
Emojis first appeared on cell phones in 1999 when NTT DoCoMo launched its i-Mode wireless Internet service in Japan. Since then, they have spread worldwide and are available on all modern smartphones, messaging systems and computers.
Emojis’ Japanese roots explain some of the stranger characters, which might mean little to people in the West but related to some important cultural festivals, food or other aspects of Japanese life.
Ride-hailing company Uber debuted its meal delivery service app UberEATS in London on Thursday, the second European city where users will be able to order food to their home, entering a burgeoning British market.
The service, which is currently available in 17 cities around the world including Paris, will compete with rivals such as Deliveroo and Just Eat, which have advertised heavily in the capital in recent months.
Britons will be able to download the app on their iPhone or Android handset from midday on Thursday and order meals from restaurants which will be delivered by Uber drivers.
Deliveries will be made to customers in central London from over 150 eateries between 11 a.m. and 11 p.m. with plans to expand further away from the center in the coming weeks.
Uber has faced months of protests from drivers of the capital’s long-dominant black cabs but earlier this year transport bosses rejected options which could have imposed strict new restrictions on how it operates.
Finland’s biggest company has cut thousands of jobs in its home country over the past decade as its once-dominant phone business was eclipsed by the rise of smartphone rivals.
Nokia started the latest cost cutting program in April and is targeting 900 million euros ($1 billion) of operating cost synergies from the Alcatel deal by 2018.
The company has declined to give an overall figure for global job cuts, but has said it in talks with employee representatives in about 30 countries.
Nokia employs about 104,000 people worldwide, with about 6,850 in Finland, 4,800 in Germany and 4,200 in France.
Fundamental research leading towards faster wireless networks, secure low-power technologies for the Internet of Things, and even 3D displays will be the focus of Intel’s collaboration with the French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission (CEA).
Intel and the CEA already work together in the field of high-performance computing, and a new agreement signed Thursday will see Intel fund work at the CEA’s Laboratory for Electronics and Information Technology (LETI) over the next five years, according to Rajeeb Hazra, vice president of Intel’s data center group.
The CEA was founded in 1945 to develop civil and military uses of nuclear power. Its work with Intel began soon after it ceased its atmospheric and underground nuclear weapons test programs, as it turned to computer modeling to continue its weapons research, CEA managing director Daniel Verwaerde said Thursday.
That effort continues, but the organization’s research interests today are more wide-ranging, encompassing materials science, climate, health, renewable energy, security and electronics.
These last two areas will be at the heart of the new research collaboration, which will see scientists at LETI exchanging information with those at Intel.
Both parties dodged questions about who will have the commercial rights to the fruits of their research, but each said it had protected its rights. The deal took a year to negotiate.
“It’s a balanced agreement,” said Stéphane Siebert, director of CEA Technology, the division of which LETI is a part.
Who owns what from the five-year research collaboration may become a thorny issue, for French taxpayers and Intel shareholders alike, as it will be many years before it becomes clear which technologies or patents are important.
Hazra emphasized the extent to which Intel is dependent on researchers outside the U.S. The company has over 50 laboratories in Europe, four of them specifically pursuing so-called exa-scale computing, systems capable of billions of billions of calculations per second.