Technology 

Google Maps deterring outback tourists, say small firms

Image copyright Getty Images Tourism operators in Australia claim inaccuracies in Google Maps are deterring potential visitors, by making remote attractions appear further away than they actually are. The Queensland government in north-east Australia has complained to Google, which says it will look into the issue. Firms looking to promote their small towns as remote tourist destinations say Google Maps inflates travel times. Outback businesses say errors in the map app can add hours to a journey. ‘Confidence’ “People aren’t coming to places because they think it takes too long,…

Read More
Top stories 

Winter likely to finish off some energy firms, analysts say

Image copyright Getty Images More small energy suppliers are likely to go bust this winter, analysts say, leading to potential disruption and higher costs for customers. Economy Energy was the latest to collapse earlier this month, following customer complaints about service including delayed bills and refunds. It followed a string of similar collapses and analysts say five or 10 more could go as winter costs rise. If so, domestic customers’ supply is protected but their tariff is not. When an energy company ceases trading its customers are automatically transferred to…

Read More
Technology 

Amazon to invest in French firm’s technology for self-driving forklifts

FILE PHOTO: A worker uses a forklift to retrieve products stored inside of a large Amazon fulfillment center in Robbinsville, New Jersey, U.S., November 27, 2017. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson/File Photo (Reuters) – Amazon (AMZN.O) could build a stake of almost a third in warehouse robotics firm Balyo (BALYO.PA) in the next seven years, as part of a deal that could boost sales of the French company’s technology for self-driving forklift trucks. Warehouse automation is a key element in efforts by Amazon to cut costs and speed up deliveries. The world’s biggest…

Read More
Technology 

Israeli high-tech firms raised record $6.47 billion in 2018

TEL AVIV (Reuters) – Israeli private high-tech companies raised a record $6.47 billion in 2018, up 17 percent from 2017, the Israel Venture Capital Research Center and ZAG law firm said on Wednesday. In the fourth quarter high-tech firms raised a record $1.82 billion, up 8 percent from the third quarter, the IVC-Zag report showed. “Most of the capital was raised by well-established software companies with annual revenues of up to $10 million in the verticals of AI (artificial intelligence) and cyber security,” said Marianna Shapira, research director at IVC.…

Read More
Technology 

U.S. initiative warns firms of hacking by China, other countries

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Trump administration on Monday launched a drive to push U.S. firms to better protect their trade secrets from foreign hackers, following a slew of cases accusing individuals and companies of economic espionage for China. FILE PHOTO: A Chinese flag flutters at Tiananmen Square in central Beijing, China June 8, 2018. REUTERS/Jason Lee U.S. companies hit by recent attacks included Hewlett Packard Enterprise Co and International Business Machines Corp The National Counter-Intelligence and Security Center, which coordinates counter-intelligence efforts within the U.S. government, launched the outreach campaign…

Read More
Top stories 

News Daily: China’s Moon landing and UK firms struggling to recruit staff

If you want to get this briefing by email, sign-up here Image copyright CNSA China lands craft on Moon’s far side China has announced it’s landed a spacecraft on the far side of the Moon for the first time. The unmanned Chang’e-4 probe will study the surface geology, in what state media has described as “a major milestone in space exploration”. The far side of the Moon – often called the “dark side of the Moon” – can never be seen from Earth because of what’s called “tidal locking”. This…

Read More
Top stories 

Labour shortages and slowing sales put squeeze on UK firms

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Finding workers with the right skills is becoming increasingly difficult, according to the British Chambers of Commerce UK firms are being squeezed by labour shortages, rising prices and a slowdown in sales. More companies than ever before are finding it hard to recruit staff according to the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC). It warned that higher costs meant more manufacturers were expecting to raise prices. The proportion of services firms saying sales were improving had dropped to a two year low. Four fifths of…

Read More
Technology 

Huawei: ‘Deep concerns’ over firm’s role in UK 5G upgrade

Image copyright Reuters The Defence Secretary has reportedly said he has “very deep concerns” about Chinese firm Huawei being involved in upgrading the UK’s mobile network. Gavin Williamson’s comments – reported by the Times – came after some nations restricted use of the firm’s products in 5G networks over security concerns. MI6’s head recently said Britain faced decisions on Chinese ownership of tech. The UK says China is behind hackers targeting commercial secrets. Huawei denies any link to the Chinese state. On Wednesday, Mr Williamson was reported as saying: “I…

Read More
Top stories 

Firms told to prepare for no-deal Brexit

Image copyright Getty Images Businesses that trade with the EU need to take steps now to prepare for the possibility of a no-deal Brexit, a government minister has warned. Financial Secretary to the Treasury Mel Stride told the BBC’s Today programme “there is a call to action now”. Later on Friday, HMRC is due to publish an update to its advice on how firms should prepare for a no-deal scenario. However, Mr Stride called the prospect of the UK leaving the EU without a deal an “unlikely event”. Speaking to…

Read More
Top stories 

Brexit: ‘Horrified’ firms warn time is running out

Image copyright Getty Images British businesses have criticised politicians for focusing on in-fighting rather than preparing for Brexit, warning that there is not enough time to prepare for a no-deal scenario. With 100 days to go before the UK leaves the EU, the groups say firms have been “watching in horror” at the ongoing rows within Westminster. The cabinet met on Tuesday to ramp up preparations for a no-deal departure. But the groups say the idea that “no-deal” can be managed is not credible. In other Brexit developments: The EU…

Read More