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Tech Team

Germany to decide fate of e-scooters [The Guardian]

Already present in 20 cities in 10 countries across Europe (including the streets of Brussels), the e-scooter wave is about to wash over Germany. The country’s upper house of parliament is voting today on whether electric scooters should be allowed on the roads. The public debate has been intense with Germany’s cyclist association and car driver representatives reportedly being less than enthusiastic about the idea. But it seems that German politicians do not want to look like “killjoys” and resist the introduction of this hip new form of transport.

San Francisco launches assault on facial recognition [New York Times]

San Francisco, seen by many as the heart of the tech world, has banned the use of facial recognition software by police and other agencies. The city council believes it has a huge responsibility to regulate the extremes of technology because many of the world’s leading tech companies call the city home. Critics have been quick to point out that rather than focusing on bans, the city should find ways to write policies that acknowledge possible useful benefits of the technology. In the US Congress, a bill was introduced to ban users of commercial applications from collecting and sharing data with the intent of identifying or tracking consumers without their consent. Will GDPR be enough to protect our faces or is a new regulatory battle looming?

Cloudy weather for 5G [Forbes]

In the middle of the US-China trade spat, 5G could spell further problems and it’s all because of frequencies. Many of the frequencies that are being auctioned off for 5G are very close to those used by some weather-observing satellites to measure water vapor, temperature, clouds, and precipitation. This data is used to predict how weather systems will develop so an overlap of frequencies might reduce the accuracy of weather forecasts. From spectrum overlap to health and security concerns, we are forecasting a challenge in the world of 5G.

Baby start-ups and millennial moms [Forbes]

Millennials, who became adults in a world where apps and tech make their lives easier, are moving towards a big life-challenge: becoming parents. It’s no surprise that the industry for tech-savvy new moms and dads is booming! Venture capitalists are pumping money in tech start-ups geared towards new parents. From Peanut, a Tinder for new moms to connect for baby walks, to Willow, a wireless breast pump, tech start-ups are gunning for a piece of the 46-billion-dollar parenting market. As future moms and dads want to ‘have it all’ after having a baby, this is another industry that has huge potential for digitalization, creating new markets and proving once again there is no such thing as a ‘tech sector’ anymore.

In case you haven’t had enough…

Beyoncé helped Netflix achieve an impressive audience milestone [FastCompany]

What happens when you always wear headphones [The Atlantic]

Emmanuel Macron takes a closer look at Facebook [Bloomberg]

White House urges reporting of ‘political bias’ by social media [Bloomberg]

The odd fascination of the YouTube beauty wars [New Yorker]

An interview with someone who’s worked for every gig economy app you can think of [Vox]