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Month: May 2018

Nokia closes digital health sale to Withings founder Eric Carreel, who plans relaunch by EOY

Nokia has closed the books on its unlucky foray into digital health devices and services, and with it, a business is marking its return to the world of startups. Today, the Finnish telecoms giant announced that it has closed the sale of its digital health division, along with 200 employees, to Eric Carreel, the former chairman and co-founder of Withings. Now Carreel plans to relaunch the business once again under the Withings brand by the end of this year, with products focused on preventive health. Withings had formed the core of Nokia’s digital health business after it acquired the company, famous for its smart scales, in 2016 for €170 million. Nokia later rebranded the business as Nokia Digital Health. “I am delighted to start working again with the brilliant teams that made the brand such a great success” said Carreel in a statement. “We have an exciting challenge ahead of us as we continue to push the boundaries of connected health.” The deal comes less than a month after Nokia announced that it had entered into exclusive negotiations with Carreel for the sale, part of a larger reorganization at the company to refocus away from unprofitable businesses. There were no financial terms revealed in the sale, nor any details about how the new Withings will be financed. (We are asking.) In its previous incarnation as a startup before its exit...

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UK puts legal limits on drone flight heights and airport no-fly zones

The UK has announced new stop-gap laws for drone operators restricting how high they can fly their craft — 400ft — and prohibiting the devices from being flown within 1km of an airport boundary. The measures will come into effect on July 30. The government says the new rules are intended to enhance safety, including the safety of passengers of aircraft — given a year-on-year increase in reports of drone incidents involving aircraft. It says there were 93 such incidents reported in the country last year, up from 71 the year before. And while the UK’s existing Drone Code (which was issued in 2016) already warns operators to restrict drone flights to 400ft — and to stay “well away” from airports and aircraft — those measures are now being baked into law, via an amendment to the 2016 Air Navigation Order (ahead of a full drone bill which was promised for Spring but still hasn’t materialized yet). UK drone users who flout the new height and airport boundary restrictions face being charged with recklessly or negligently acting in a manner likely to endanger an aircraft or any person in an aircraft — which carries a penalty of up to five years in prison or an unlimited fine, or both. Additional measures are also being legislated for, as announced last summer — with a requirement for owners of drones weighing 250 grams or more to register...

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Xiaomi’s new fitness band has 20-day battery life and 50-meter water resistance

Xiaomi’s very-iPhone-X-looking Mi 8 smartphone was the highlight of its Shenzhen press event today, but the company did also unveil a number of other notable products, including an updated version of its popular fitness band. The Mi Band has always offered a solid performance at around $30 — to the point that I’ve bought two of them for myself — and the third incarnation pushes things further. Mi Band 3 includes a longer 20 days of battery life per charge, 50-meter water resistance and a new band design that Xiaomi touts as being both more comfortable and more secure on your wrist. Like the Mi Band 2, the third-gen tracker includes a pulse monitor and the usual fitness tracking. It syncs to the Xiaomi Mi Fit app, with data exportation to other services possible. The Mi Band isn’t a full blown fitness band, for example it doesn’t include GPS so it won’t help you track runs on apps like Strava, but at just 69 yuan, or around $25, it is a seriously cheap option. The Mi Band 3 will make its debut in China first, where it’ll come in a choice of red, black and blue. Like most Xiaomi products, we’ll have to wait on details of international availability but it will almost certainly be sold outside of China soon. Aside from the Mi Band 3 and Mi 8, Xiaomi also...

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More speakers, panels at The Europas, and how to get your ticket free

The Europas Unconference & Awards is back on 3 July in London and we’re excited to announce more speakers and panel sessions as the event takes shape. Crypto and Blockchain will be a major theme this year, and we’re bringing together many of the key players. TechCrunch is once again the key media partner, and if you attend The Europas you’ll be first in the queue to get offers for TC events and Disruptit Europe later in the year. You can also potentially get your ticket for free just by sharing your own ticket link with friends and followers....

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ASUS announces a motherboard just for crypto-mining

Mining hardware is weird stuff. Either it’s commodity hardware used – inefficiently – for complex computation or specifically-designed, expensive boards that can be used to bring in Bitcoin and little else. Asus, a motherboard maker of some renown, is now helping bridge the gap. The H370 Mining Master is a basic motherboard that supports 20 graphics cards, the boards used for Ethereum and other less resource-intensive scripts. The cards connect via PCIe-over-USB and each port has is individually controlled and managed by on-board diagnostics. This lets you ensure that each graphics card is running properly and fully connected. From the release: Less time maintaining your machine means more time mining with it, which is why the H370 Mining Master includes a suite of diagnostic features designed to make your platform easier to manage. Chief among them is GPU State Detection, which scans the system at boot and indicates whether each riser port is empty, connected to a functional graphics card, or experiencing problems. The updated State Detection GUI clearly identifies the location and status of each port along with the alphanumeric code that identifies it. Onboard diagnostics are augmented by individual debug LEDs that light up when there are problems with specific system components, like the CPU or memory. The boards also has a number of cryptocurrency features that are activated “out of the box.” The board ships in...

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