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Bitcoin energy use in Iceland set to overtake homes, says local firm

Iceland is facing an “exponential” rise in Bitcoin mining that is gobbling up power resources, a spokesman for Icelandic energy firm HS Orka has said. This year, electricity use at Bitcoin mining data centres is likely to exceed that of all Iceland’s homes, according to Johann Snorri Sigurbergsson. He said many potential customers were keen to get in on the act. “If all these projects are realised, we won’t have enough energy for it,” he told the BBC. Mr Sigurbergsson’s calculations were first reported by the Associated Press. Iceland has…

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Virgin West Coast train firm stops selling Daily Mail

Virgin Trains has announced that it has stopped selling the Daily Mail newspaper on its West Coast trains. A spokesperson for Virgin said it regularly reviewed products sold on its trains, adding that “after listening to feedback from our people” it decided to stop stocking copies of the paper. A Daily Mail spokesman called the decision “disgraceful”. Last year, stationery chain Paperchase apologised for a promotional giveaway in the Mail following criticism. The Virgin spokesperson added that when it stocked the paper, which it stopped carrying in November, it only…

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Toy firm VTech fined $650,000 over data breach

Electronic toymaker VTech will pay $ 650,000 (£480,000) to settle charges that it failed to protect the privacy of children using its gadgets. The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) levelled the charges at VTech following a data breach in 2015. While investigating the breach, the FTC found the firm had broken US laws governing the way data about children is gathered. The FTC said VTech also “failed to take reasonable steps” to secure that data. ‘Falling short’ VTech gathered a lot of data about children via its Kid Connect app…

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Uber: Softbank takes large stake in ride-hailing firm

Japanese giant Softbank is set to take a large stake in Uber, expanding its holdings in transportation companies around the world. Softbank led a consortium that reportedly agreed to invest at least $ 8bn for a roughly 15% stake in the San Francisco-based ride-hailing company. The group will buy most of the shares from early investors in a deal that values Uber at about $ 48bn (£35.7bn). Uber said the investment would fuel its expansion and technology investments. The deal, which includes additional investment, is expected to be closed in…

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Grenfell firm to pass responsibility for homes to council

The firm that managed Grenfell Tower says it will hand over responsibility for thousands of properties to the local council by the end of January. Kensington & Chelsea Tenant Management Organisation (TMO) said it would “temporarily” give control to London’s Kensington and Chelsea Council. The council voted in September to end the contract, a month after the TMO was stripped of responsibility for managing homes in the estate around the tower. The TMO managed almost 10,000 homes. It was heavily criticised after the 14 June fire, in which 71 people…

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Uber is officially a cab firm, says European court

The European Court of Justice (ECJ) has ruled that Uber is a transport company and not a digital service as the ride-sharing firm had argued. Uber argued that it was an information society service – providing a way for people to make contact with each other electronically – and not a cab firm. The case started in Barcelona where the local authority told Uber it had to be subject to its local taxi regulations. Uber had earlier said a negative ruling would not affect its operations. In its ruling, the…

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Newcastle United takeover: Financial firm tables formal bid in region of £300m

A financial firm headed by British businesswoman Amanda Staveley has tabled a formal takeover bid in the region of £300m for Newcastle United. PCP Capital Partners has been in talks with the Premier League club’s owner Mike Ashley for about a month, and a source close to the deal said an offer has now been made. Ashley said on 16 October he wanted to sell after 10 years in charge. Staveley watched Newcastle’s 1-1 home draw against Liverpool on 1 October. The 44-year-old helped broker the purchase of Manchester City…

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