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June 16th, 2019 at 3:22 am

Bunq launches travel card to make foreign exchange fees disappear

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Fintech startup Bunq provides full-fledged bank accounts. But if you’re happy with your existing bank, the company is launching a new free tier so that you can cut down on banking fees.

The Bunq Travel Card is a Mastercard without any foreign exchange fee. The company uses the standard Mastercard exchange rate but doesn’t add any markup fee — N26 also uses Mastercard’s exchange rate. Most traditional banks charge you 2 or 3 percent for foreign transactions.

When you get a card, you can then top up your account in the Bunq app. You can also send and request money with other Bunq users. But it isn’t a full bank account.

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June 16th, 2019 at 3:19 am

No more flats: Michelin and GM to bring airless tires to passenger cars by 2024

Plenty of things can go wrong when you’re driving a car, though thankfully the vast majority of trips go without a hitch.

Tire punctures, for example, are a real headache, but thanks to a collaboration between Michelin and General Motors (GM), the deflating experience could soon be a thing of the past.

Following years of research, Michelin announced this week that it’s ready to hit the road with UPTIS, its “unique puncture-proof tire system,” and is partnering with GM for real-world trials using Chevrolet Bolt electric vehicles. Testing starts this year and if all goes well, airless tires could be coming to a passenger car near you as early as 2024.

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June 15th, 2019 at 1:18 pm

Boston Dynamics’ first consumer product might be a battle bot

 

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Boston Dynamics’ faintly terrifying quadruped dog robot—SpotMini—was first announced in 2016 and is expected to go on sale later this year. The robot has a whole lot of whizzy sensors and cameras, spindly mechanical legs, a creepy grabber arm that opens doors, and mind-bogglingly impressive robotics technology. (It’s expected to carry a five-digit price tag—a fitting sum to bring the uncanny valley direct to your home.)

But it’s never been very clear what, exactly, the point of Spot is—especially as a consumer product.

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June 15th, 2019 at 1:15 pm

Robert Downey Jr. announces footprint coalition to clean up the world with advanced tech

 

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 Robert Downey Jr. used his part of the opening keynote for Amazon’s Re:Mars conference in Las Vegas Tuesday evening to announce the launch of a new organization that is committed to using advanced technologies for the good of the environment. The Footprint Coalition, as the group is called, is scheduled to officially launch by April of 2020.

“Between robotics and nanotechnology, we could clean up the planet significantly, if not totally, in 10 years,” Downey Jr. said, relaying that he had been given these insights a few weeks back by a roundtable of experts. “God I love experts. They’re like Wikipedia with character defects,” he joked during his talk.

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June 15th, 2019 at 1:11 pm

Average US time spent with mobile in 2019 has increased

 

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US Adults Spend More Time on Mobile than They Do Watching TV

 For the first time ever, US consumers will spend more time using their mobile devices than watching TV, with smartphone use dominating that time spent.

Consumers’ use of smartphones will continue to make up the majority of their media consumption, but we predict that use will plateau by 2020, as consumers become increasingly uneasy about overuse of mobile devices.

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