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Bank of England supports FinTech startups

Fintech

The Bank of England has allowed access to settlement accounts in the real-time gross settlement system (RTGS), the media reported this week.

Apparently, this move should blow some wind into the sails of innovative fintech companies, boosting competition.

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London Stock Exchange trials blockchain for shares in Italy

blockchain

London's Stock Exchange is set to start using blockchain to improve transparency for shareholding information among unlisted businesses.

According to a news report by CityAM, the London Stock Exchange Group (LSEG) will use Hyperledger Fabric, one of the open source blockchain frameworks hosted by The Linux Foundation to make info on private SMEs digital. The end goal is to draw more mature investors.

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One in 10 UK businesses moved to the cloud

cloud-ladder

A tenth of all UK businesses have moved entirely to the cloud, according to a new Breaking Barriers 2020 report from Fuze.

The report is based on a poll of more than 900 CIOs, and claims that the UK keeps lagging behind North America and the rest of Europe in terms of adopting cloud services. The report compares the UK with American firms, 45 percent of which have fully made the migration to cloud.

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GLAS is Microsoft's gorgeous Cortana-powered smart thermostat

glas microsoft smart thermostat

Microsoft has announced its entry into the smart office market with the launch of a new thermostat.

GLAS, which was revealed in a YouTube video this week, targets businesses and stores looking to establish a smarter, more connected workplace.

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Nintendo, expectedly, trademarks Nintendo 64 Classic Edition

n64_classic

What do 1985 and 2016 have in common? The same video game system as one of the hot-ticket Christmas presents. Nintendo has masterfully fulfilled the need for nostalgia among millions of gamers, in addition to creating that need for countless others who, thanks to the hype of the NES Classic Edition, didn't even realize how cool it was to play games from their childhood days in the 2010s.

It came as no surprise, then, when Nintendo announced the follow-up Super NES Classic Edition last month, which is due to be released in September. And eagle-eyed fans have discovered that there is likely another stop on the nostalgia train before too long.

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deepin 15.4.1 Debian-based Linux distribution now available for download

Deepin_Desktop

So many Linux distributions, so little time! Today, yet another operating system based on the kernel gets a new version. This particular distro, called "deepin" is a bit controversial, as it comes from China -- a country not known for human rights or user privacy. Since the OS is largely open source, I am not really worried, but I can respect people that are wary of spying, however.

This new version of deepin is 15.4.1. I know what you are thinking -- this is just a point release, is it really interesting? Actually, yes! There are quite a lot of new features and fixes, making this essential for existing users of the operating system. Those looking to try it for the first time -- maybe because they are dissatisfied with Windows 10 -- are in for a treat, as it has quite the unique and elegant user interface, delivering a very positive experience. Since it is based on the great Debian, you know that it will be rock solid.

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The biggest challenge to adopting IoT? Identifying ROI

Money devices Internet connected IoT

The biggest challenges companies have with implementing IoT technologies is not security but rather identifying ROI.

This is according to a new report by Canonical, entitled Defining IoT Business Models, which polled 360 IoT professionals, including devs, vendors and enterprise users, more than half (53 percent) say "quantifying ROI and providing a clear use case" is currently their biggest challenge.

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YouTube Video Editor and Photo slideshows to close September 20

YouTube

YouTube has quietly revealed that its Video Editor and Photo slideshows features will close down in just two months. It seems that not enough people are using the two tools to warrant keeping them alive, so they are being "retired".

Users are warned that while videos that have already been published will remain accessible, projects currently sitting in Video Editor must be completed by the shutdown date of September 20.

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Essential Phone will be released soon in US and international markets

Essential Phone

Andy Rubin's startup, Essential, announced its highly-anticipated smartphone in late-May. The high-end device, called Essential Phone, is aimed at flagship buyers looking for something a little different from an iPhone 7 or Galaxy S8, packing some cool features and a clean design at a competitive price.

But, unlike an iPhone 7 or Galaxy S8, you cannot just go out and buy an Essential Phone. Users can, however, "reserve" one, in either black or white, but when it will ship is as yet unknown at this stage. An email from Andy Rubin gives us a pretty good idea as to when it will be available though.

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YouTube employs the Redirect Method to counter searches for violent extremist videos

youtube-mac

Google, Facebook and other big tech companies have all committed to trying to eradicate extremism from their respective networks in recent months. YouTube has just announced its latest strategy, with a technique which sounds rather like a type of contraception.

The Redirect Method uses a very simple technique of displaying safe, carefully curated content when certain keywords are used as search terms. More than this, when searches for extremist content are conducted, YouTube will actually show videos that "debunk violent extremist recruiting narratives."

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Coinbase and GDAX will not support Bitcoin hard fork

bitcoins

There is a lot of discussion surrounding what will happen to Bitcoin come August 1, when two major changes to the protocol are scheduled to take place. Will we have a soft fork, which will keep Bitcoin on the current blockchain, or will a hard fork take place, creating a separate blockchain?

There is no definitive answer yet, but the major exchanges are preparing its customers for what will likely be a bumpy period in trading. Coinbase has announced its stance, revealing that it will not support the hard fork and the coins that it may create.

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Best Windows 10 apps this week

farm-life

Two-hundred-and-forty in a series. Welcome to this week's overview of the best apps, games and extensions released for Windows 10 on the Windows Store in the past seven days.

We are just months away from the release of the next big update for Windows 10, the Fall Creators Update. Only 50 percent of all Windows 10 devices have received the current feature update -- the Creators Update -- so far, which makes it likely that some systems may go straight to the next release when it arrives.

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57 percent of internet users are worried about malvertising

Ad blocker

According to a new survey by advert filtering company AdGuard, 57 percent of internet users have either fallen prey to advert scammers, or are worried about malicious and phishing advertising.

In addition 48 percent of respondents have experienced privacy issues with tracking requests hidden in online ads, leading to the email spam, unwanted incoming calls and IM chats.

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How ransomware is going manual to target victims [Q&A]

Ransomware

The ransomware attacks that make the news are the ones like WannaCry and NotPetya that spread rapidly and affect many businesses.

But there's a new breed of manual ransomware attack happening that seeks to pick its victims much more selectively with a view to causing maximum disruption. We spoke to Roy Fisher, incident investigator at cyber security company MWR to find out more.

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Blizzard: World of Warcraft, StarCraft II and more will stop running under Windows XP and Vista

world-of-warcraft

Microsoft hasn't supported Windows XP and Windows Vista for a while (mainstream support ended eight and five years ago, respectively), but other technology companies have continued to support their own software under these ancient operating systems.

Now, however, Blizzard has announced that it is dropping support for the OSes in a number of its games. The list includes names such as World of Warcraft, StarCraft II and Diablo III, and the change is coming later this year.

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