Ride service Uber dials into courier business

Reuters

App-based ride company Uber will start delivering on its promise of expanding its business into logistics on Tuesday when it launches a trial courier service, Uber Rush, in Manhattan.

"Better, faster, cheaper," is how Uber's (San Francisco, CA, USA) general manager in New York, Josh Mohrer, described the service in a tweet to Reuters. Customers will be able to watch the progress of their packages in its transportation application, much as they can track the progress of the cars they order up on the service.

US knocks plans for European communication network

Reuters

The United States on Friday criticized proposals to build a European communication network to avoid emails and other data passing through the United States, warning that such rules could breach international trade laws.

In its annual review of telecommunications trade barriers, the office of the U.S. Trade Representative said impediments to cross-border data flows were a serious and growing concern.

Juniper to cut 6 percent jobs, focus on high growth businesses

Reuters

Network gear maker Juniper Networks Inc, which is under pressure from investor Elliott Management Corp to slim down, said it plans to reduce its global workforce by 6 percent and focus on its high-growth businesses.

Juniper (Sunnyvale, CA, USA) said most of the cuts would impact middle management positions and that it expected to incur cash charges of about $35 million in the first quarter, related to severance and other expenses.

The company had 9,483 full-time employees as of December 31.

Google's Nest halts home alarm system sales over possible defect

Reuters

Nest Labs Inc, the maker of smart thermostats that Google Inc acquired for $3.2 billion, called a halt to all sales of its smoke alarms on Thursday after it discovered a possible defect that could cause users to turn it off unintentionally.

Nest co-founder and Chief Executive Tony Faddell said that, under a unique set of circumstances the alarm's "Nest Wave" feature, which allows a user to switch off the device with a wave of the hand, could be inadvertently activated.

ComEd beats job-creation targets for smart-grid rollout

Illinois energy utility Commonwealth Edison (ComEd) says its smart grid program has beaten the targets set for job creation in 2013, supporting a total of 2,871 full-time positions.

The positions included nearly 1,000 full-time jobs at the utility and its contractors as well as more than 1,800 roles it says were created “indirectly”.

Accenture to manage smart-meter rollout for FirstEnergy

Managed services and consulting giant Accenture is to manage the rollout of some two million smart meters being carried out in Pennsylvania by utility group FirstEnergy.

The deployment is taking place across four of FirstEnergy’s (Akron, OH, USA) utility businesses – Met-Ed, Penelec, Penn Power and West Penn Power – and represents one of the largest rollouts of advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) in North America.

Telefonica becomes Tesla's major European connectivity partner

Spain’s Telefonica has won a major connected-cars deal to provide services for electric vehicles being sold by Tesla in Europe.

The partnership will see the operator provide connectivity services for the Tesla Model S in the UK, Spain, the Netherlands and Belgium.

To support the service, Telefonica (Madrid, Spain) is also drawing on its partnerships with other operators and M2M platform provider Jasper Wireless (Mountain View, CA, USA) through the M2M World Alliance, an association formed to spur the development of M2M services worldwide.

Leidos ramps up smart grid as a service business

Leidos has flagged a number of major deals with US utilities for its smart grid as a service (SGS) offering.

The technology player said the City of Kings Mountain, NC, had recently awarded it a ten-year contract for the second phase of an SGS deployment.

After rolling out 1,200 meters as part of a pilot, Leidos (Reston, VA, USA) is to deploy meters over Kings Mountain’s entire service area during the second phase of the project.

Once deployment is complete, Kings Mountain will have more than 11,000 electric, water and gas meters supported by the SGS solution.

AssetWorks wins fleet-management deal with Lafayette

Fleet-management player AssetWorks has signed up Lafayette Consolidated Government (LCG) as its latest customer.

The governing authority for Lafayette Parish in Lafayette, Lousiana, LCG is to use AssetWorks’ FleetFocus management software solution to manage all aspects of its fleet, said AssetWorks in a statement.

LCG maintains a fleet of about 1,500 vehicles and its equipment includes light- and heavy-duty vehicles, buses, fire trucks, armored vehicles, recreational vehicles and various motorized and non-motorized equipment.

Intel completes takeover of Basis Science

US semiconductor giant Intel says it has completed the takeover of wearable device maker Basis Science.

Basis (San Francisco, CA, USA) specializes in developing wearables for health and wellness applications, including its Basis band health tracker, and the acquisition will provide Intel (Santa Clara, CA, USA) with immediate exposure to this fast-growing sector.

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