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The world’s greenest cruise ship will have sails

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Peace Boat, a Japanese non-governmental organization which runs educational cruises, is working on an ambitious project to build the most sustainable vessel in the booming industry. Now in the last stages of planning, the "Ecoship" will be built by Finland's Arctech. It will cost about $500 million, financed in part by impact investors -- funds, rich families and individualswho want to use their cash to improve the world as well as make a profit. "Ecoship was a dream for me," said Peace Boat founder Yoshioka Tatsuya. "Using a conventional... Read More »

Google to open artificial intelligence centre in China

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Google said the facility would be the first its kind in Asia and would aim to employ local talent. Silicon Valley is focusing heavily on the future applications for AI. China has also indicated strong support for AI development and for catching up with the US. Research into artificial intelligence has the potential to improve a range of technologies, from self-driving cars and automated factories to translation products and facial recognition software. In a blog post on the company's website, Google said the new research centre was an imp... Read More »

Europe’s Unibail-Rodamco bids $16 billion for Westfield in global shift

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The sector is grappling with challenges from online retailers led by Amazon.com Inc (AMZN.O) and the deal, which Westfield said was “highly compelling” for shareholders, follows world No. 2 retail real estate investment trust GGP’s (GGP.N) rejection of Brookfield Property’s (BPY.O) bid. “Unibail-Rodamco’s track record makes it the natural home for the legacy of Westfield’s brand and business,” said Westfield chairman Frank Lowy, a holocaust survivor who has become a billionaire since he co-founded the group in 1960. The deal gives the Eur... Read More »

Apple ‘to buy Shazam for $400m’

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Shazam, a UK company founded in 1999, allows people to use their smartphone or computer to identify and buy music through a snippet of sound. Shazam, which says it has more than 100 million monthly users, makes most of its revenue from commissions paid on referrals to Apple's iTunes Store. Neither Apple nor Shazam have commented on the reports on the TechCrunch site. If the deal is confirmed, Shazam will become the latest in a string of UK technology firms to be bought up by larger businesses. The influential Music Business Worldwide site po... Read More »

German spy agency warns of Chinese LinkedIn espionage

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The agency alleges that Chinese intelligence used the networking site to target at least 10,000 Germans, possibly to recruit them as informants. It released a number of fake profiles allegedly used for this purpose. BfV head Hans-Georg Maassen said the accounts show China's efforts to subvert top-level German politics. "This is a broad-based attempt to infiltrate in particular parliaments, ministries and government agencies," he said. China has denied similar allegations of cyber espionage in the past and has not yet responded to the Germ... Read More »

The four companies that shape our lives

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The four most important tech companies aren’t even just tech companies anymore. They each have embedded themselves in our lives, hugely influencing us by playing to our basic human instincts: from the eternal human search for answers to our need for love. That’s what Scott Galloway, professor of marketing at New York University, argues in his new book, The Four: The Hidden DNA of Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google. He also says that the companies’ deep pockets and massive customer base are what allow the companies to start competing in d... Read More »

Uber’s top dealmaker in Europe steps down

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Fraser Robinson, who led Uber’s $3.5bn investment deal with Saudi Arabia last year, will step down this month from his role as head of business development in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. He will continue working with Uber as an adviser, according to a company-wide email obtained by the Financial Times. There have been several high-profile departures from Uber’s European executive team recently, including European policy head Christopher Burghardt, and UK head Jo Bertram, who both left in October. The exit of Mr Robinson marks a chang... Read More »

First tax havens blacklist published by EU

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A "watchlist" of 47 countries promising to change their tax rules to meet EU standards has also been issued. The "grey list" includes several with UK links, including Hong Kong, Jersey, Bermuda and the Cayman Islands, as well as Switzerland and Turkey. Both lists have been criticised as omitting the most notorious tax havens. The lists follow the leaking of the Panama Papers and the Paradise Papers, revealing how companies and individuals hid their wealth from tax authorities around the world in offshore accounts. EU tax commissione... Read More »

Apple Mac security issue may reoccur

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The bug meant anyone with physical access to a Mac running High Sierra could get admin access to the machine. Wired magazine has found that the bug returns if Mac owners upgrade to the latest version of High Sierra after applying the patch. Apple issued an apology for the appearance of the bug saying its users "deserved better". Proper patch The bug let anyone obtain high-level access to a Mac simply by typing the username "root" and leaving the password field blank. The problem was present on Mac computers running version 10.13. and 10.1... Read More »

World Cup draw: Who is in each pot and how will it work?

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From Europe, hosts Russia and group winners Belgium, England, France, Germany, Iceland, Poland, Portugal, Serbia and Spain are joined by play-off victors Croatia, Denmark Sweden and Switzerland. Africa's representatives are Egypt, Morocco, Nigeria, Senegal and Tunisia. From North and Central America and the Caribbean, it is Costa Rica, Mexico and Panama. South America's sides are Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Peru and Uruguay.And the Asian qualifiers are Australia, Iran, Japan, Saudi Arabia and South Korea. When is the draw and how does i... Read More »

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