Paul Sawers on Muck Rack

Paul Sawers

European Correspondent — VentureBeat

Writer for @VentureBeat. A misfit among misfits. I hate tpyos. Email: Paul(at)

Songkick raises $15M to help artists sell more concert tickets and thwart scalpers — Songkick, the company behind the music-monitoring app that lets you track when and where all your favorite bands and artists are playing live, has raised another $15 million in funding from Access Industries. This latest funding comes eight months after the U.K.

You can now play Solitaire and Tic-Tac-Toe in Google's search results — Google announced a couple of fun little nuggets today: you can now play Solitaire and Tic-Tac-Toe directly in Google's search results. Available through the desktop and Google mobile apps, anyone searching for the keywords "solitaire" or "tic-tac-toe" will see the usual search results, but featured prominently you'll also now see a "tap to play" option which whisks you off to play the game.

WhatsApp will share user data such as phone numbers with Facebook, but you can opt out — WhatsApp has introduced a number of updates to its privacy policy and T&Cs today, as the company revealed that it's testing "ways for people to communicate with businesses in the months ahead" and will also be pushing users to share some of their account information with its parent company, Facebook.

The world's first public self-driving taxi service hits Singapore roads today — The world's first public trial of a self-driving car service has officially launched in Singapore today, as U.S. autonomous car startup NuTonomy beats Uber to the punch by a matter of days. Founded out of Cambridge, Massachusetts, in 2013, NuTonomy is an MIT spin-off that specializes in self-driving vehicles and mobile robots.

Lyft now lets business users customize their expense reports — Lyft may be struggling to tackle the mighty Uber on its home turf, but the etaxi firm is continuing to iterate and target the lucrative business market. Back in April, the San Francisco-based company launched business profiles, designed to make it easier to expense rides for work by letting users record whether a ride was for personal or work-related travel, while charging the fare to the appropriate payment card.

Prenav raises $6.5 million to help companies inspect their properties using automated drones — A startup specializing in computer vision technology capable of controlling automated drones has raised $6.5 million in funding from Crosslink Capital, with participation from Joe Montana's Liquid 2 Ventures, Haystack, and WI Harper Group.

DroneDeploy raises $20 million to help businesses make sense of their aerial drone data — DroneDeploy, a software-as-a-service (SaaS) platform for commercial drone operators, has raised $20 million in a Series B round led by Scale Venture Partners, with participation from existing investors as well as High Alpha Capital. Founded out of San Francisco in 2013, DroneDeploy works with any drone and device, enabling "professional-grade imagery and analysis" and 3D modeling.

McDonald's recalls 32M activity wristbands given out with Happy Meals due to risk of burns to kids — McDonald's has announced that it's recalling more than 32 million fitness trackers due to concerns that it may cause skin irritation or burns in children. The fast food giant said it has received more than 70 reports of incidents, seven of which resulted in blisters from the wrist-worn contraptions.

Samsung announces the $68 Z2, the first Tizen-powered 4G smartphone — Samsung has announced a new smartphone that will ship with Tizen, the Linux-based operating system co-developed by the electronics giant. The Samsung Z2 is the first Tizen phone to support 4G, and is also backed by a 1.5GHz quad-core processor, 1GB RAM, and 8GB internal memory (expandable up to 128GB).

FreedomPop launches U.S. SIM card for 'zero-rated' WhatsApp access in more than 30 countries — FreedomPop, the mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) that offers SIM cards with completely free basic mobile service plans, has announced its latest endeavor to get mobile users signed up in the U.S.: zero-rated WhatsApp access. For the uninitiated, zero-rating is a practice used by some mobile networks that encourages use of a specific app by not charging for data used by the given service.
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Aug 25, 2016

@labboudles @mathewi You can opt-out, but yeah many folk will miss that when agreeing to the terms.

Aug 25, 2016

@jonrussell But that was their response in the new FAQ "will their be ads on WhatsApp". >> "We will not allow banner ads"

Aug 25, 2016

@jonrussell Was only a matter of time really. No "banner ads" though, which is something. :)

Aug 25, 2016

@MichaelCarusi But yeah, I don't doubt many people will just shrug.

Aug 25, 2016

@MichaelCarusi Facebook doesn't have phone numbers for millions of people, but it really wants them.

Aug 25, 2016

WhatsApp will share user data such as phone numbers with Facebook, but you can opt out

Aug 25, 2016

Anyone know if Farage is being paid by the Trump camp to back his campaign? 

Aug 24, 2016

RT @TheOnion: Area Dad Looking To Get Average Phone Call With Adult Son Down To 47.5 Seconds

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