French startup launches hydrogen-powered bicycles

YOUR NEWS FOR WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 17, 2018

Trump administration’s Calif. fuel-efficiency talks intensify

California and the Trump administration will hold a series of new talks over fuel-efficiency rules as the auto industry still hopes for a deal to retain nationwide requirements. Officials from the California Air Resources Board are set to meet in Washington this month for another round of discussions on the 2022-2025 fuel-efficiency rules, automakers and government officials said.(Automotive News)

For Uber, third time’s the charm on $1-per-driver settlement

Though at first Uber Technologies Inc. didn’t succeed in settling a lawsuit by California drivers alleging labor-code violations, it tried and tried again. A Los Angeles state judge finally said she’s comfortable approving a $7.75 million deal offering 1.6 million California drivers an average of $1.08 each to resolve one of several U.S. lawsuits challenging the ride-hailing giant’s contractor-based business model.(Bloomberg)

The Apple Store of doctors’ offices?

Forward, a startup that wants to position itself as the Apple Store of doctors’ offices, opened a new location in Los Angeles, in a mall two doors down from an actual Apple Store. Founded by former employees of Google and Uber, Forward is a concierge medical service that soups up the annual exam with artificial intelligence and a Silicon Valley veneer. Its first office opened last year, in San Francisco; more are planned for 2018.(The New Yorker)

YouTube implements stricter requirements for partners

YouTube has been under fire for months over inappropriate content masquerading as kid-friendly videos and popular creators acting out of line. Now, Google has introduced stricter requirements for the video platform’s YouTube Partners and Preferred programs over advertiser concerns, which could impact creators’ earnings. To start with, Google will now manually vet videos and ensure they meet its ad-friendly guidelines before adding them to Preferred.(Engadget)

Southwest sues startup that monitored airfare changes

This fall, two friends had an idea: Monitor Southwest Airlines’ fares and alert travelers when prices fell. Southwest sued them. Pavel Yurevich, an engineer, and his friend Chase Roberts, a coder, launched SWMonkey.com in November. For a $3 fee, they sent travelers an email when fares or mileage requirements dropped on Southwest’s website, so they could rebook. Southwest allows travelers to rebook at a lower price, and then holds the difference for future travel.(CNBC)

Curve gets full consumer launch

Curve, the London fintech startup that offers a platform that lets you consolidate all your bank cards into a single Curve card and app to make it easier to manage your spending, is finally launching to U.K. consumers. Up until now, the service remained in beta and was only officially available to business users.(TechCrunch)

French startup launches hydrogen-powered bicycles

A French startup has become the first company to start factory production of hydrogen-powered bicycles for use in corporate or municipal fleets. Pragma Industries, which is based in Biarritz, France and makes fuel cells for military use, has sold some 60 hydrogen-powered bikes to French municipalities including Saint Lo, Cherbourg, Chambery and Bayonne.(Reuters)

De Beers turns to blockchain to guarantee diamond purity

Anglo American’s diamond unit De Beers aims to launch the first industry-wide blockchain this year to track gems each time they change hands starting from the moment they are dug from the ground, its chief executive said on Tuesday. De Beers has led industry efforts to verify the authenticity of diamonds and ensure they are not from conflict zones where gems could be used to finance violence.(Fashion Network)

Ford to launch EVs in Europe, ‘scale back’ on passenger cars

Ford will scale back its car offerings in Europe and launch three electric cars in the region, the automaker said in a breakout of its investments in the future. Ford said by 2022 it will launch 16 battery-electric vehicles and 24 hybrids or plug-in hybrids globally. North America will get seven of the 16 battery-electrics. Europe will get three, and Asia Pacific will get 13.(Automotive News)

Mark Cuban says Mavs to accept cryptocurrencies next year

Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban tweeted “next season” after a Twitter user asked him when fans of the National Basketball Association team would be able to purchase tickets with bitcoin. Cuban, who had tweeted in June that bitcoin is in a bubble, ended up investing in the cryptocurrency later in 2017. The billionaire star of the investor-themed reality show “Shark Tank” also backed blockchain fund 1confirmation.(Ad Age)

MORE NEWS

Tommy Hilfiger, IBM team up to harness AI in design process   Fashion Network
Gedeon Richter takes stake in women’s health drugmaker   Xconomy
Chromecast devices can cause Wi-Fi connectivity issues   Variety
Apple supplier workers describe noxious hazards at factory   Bloomberg
Instacart acquires Toronto-based Unata   TechCrunch

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