Pound’s unexpected robustness may point to underlying strength | Patrick Collinson

Despite UK ‘turmoil’, sterling has never been more stable against the euro

The UK is, President Trump kindly informs us, in turmoil. In Westminster, there is feverish talk of a leadership challenge. The economy is in a state of peak Brexit uncertainty. The trade deficit has worsened yet again. An increasingly bitter trade war is battering Britain’s FTSE-quoted commodity giants.

In the past, sterling, as the barometer of the nation’s international standing, would have collapsed in value in such a crisis. Yet for the last year the pound-euro rate has never been more stable.

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Global investors rattled as all-out trade war moves step closer

Beijing vows countermeasures if Trump administration acts on latest threat of tariffs

Global investors have been rattled after a threat by the Trump administration to impose 10% duties on $200bn (£151bn) of imports prompted protests from Beijing and brought an all-out trade war a step closer.

Stock markets headed lower in the US, Asia and Europe on Wednesday as the US warned that it would press ahead with further tariffs and China promised to “fight back as usual” with “firm and forceful measures” if they were enacted.

Related: From eels to anvils: Trump’s new China tariffs revealed

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Valimail makes it harder for hackers to impersonate your boss over email

Valimail, a company that focuses on preventing fake and fraudulent emails from reaching your inbox, today announced that it is extending its anti-impersonation platform with a couple of new features that will make it even harder for hackers to pretend they are somebody they are not.

While Valimail’s original focus was mostly on ensuring that your outgoing email was trustworthy, the new solution, dubbed Valimail Defend, centers around two types of attacks that use fake incoming emails: those that come from lookalike domains (think tech-crunch.com) and those that rely on “friendly-from spoofing,” where attackers manage to make the incoming email address look like it’s from a legitimate user, often within your company.

“We’ve built our cloud-first anti-impersonation solution to be completely automated from the ground up, and the data is clear: We have the highest rate of effectiveness in protecting our customers’ domains from impersonation,” said Valimail CEO and co-founder Alexander García-Tobar. “Valimail Defend is the latest step in the evolution of our deep industry expertise, giving enterprises and government organizations the most advanced protection against email impersonation.”

The new service will become available in Q3 and will complement the company’s existing solutions under its Valimail Enforce brand, which provides services like email authentication for outgoing messages through DMARC enforcement and a number of other techniques.

Since a large number of security breaches rely on spoofed emails, preventing those kinds of scams is now something that many a company’s chief information security officer is looking at. Often, these scams can be prevented with some basic rule-based approaches, but Valimail argues that its machine learning-driven approach is significantly more effective.

Current Valimail customers include the likes of Splunk, City National Bank and Yelp. “Valimail’s automated approach has proven to be both effective and efficient, as it’s saved us countless employee hours compared with other approaches and got us to enforcement effortlessly,” said Vivek Raman, the director of engineering at Yelp. “We are excited about this next generation of automated anti-impersonation technology from Valimail, which will give us the full end-to-end solution.”

Facial recognition startup Kairos acquires Emotion Reader

Kairos, the face recognition technology used for brand marketing, has announced the acquisition of EmotionReader.

EmotionReader is a Limerick, Ireland-based startup that uses algorithms to analyze facial expressions around video content. The startup allows brands and marketers to measure viewers emotional response to video, analyze viewer response via an analytics dashboard, and make different decisions around media spend based on viewer response.

The acquisition makes sense considering that Kairos core business is focused on facial identification for enterprise clients. Knowing who someone is, paired with how they feel about your content, is a powerful tool for brands and marketers.

The idea for Kairos started when founder Brian Brackeen was making HR time-clocking systems for Apple. People were cheating the system, so he decided to implement facial recognition to ensure that employees were actually clocking in and out when they said they were.

That premise spun out into Kairos, and Brackeen soon realized that facial identification as a service was much more powerful than any niche time clocking service.

But Brackeen is very cautious with the technology Kairos has built.

While Kairos aims to make facial recognition technology (and all the powerful insights that come with it) accessible and available to all businesses, Brackeen has been very clear about the fact that Kairos isn’t interested in selling this technology to government agencies.

Brackeen recently contributed a post right here on TechCrunch outlining the various reasons why governments aren’t ready for this type of technology. Alongside the outstanding invasion of personal privacy, there are also serious issues around bias against people of color.

From the post:

There is no place in America for facial recognition that supports false arrests and murder. In a social climate wracked with protests and angst around disproportionate prison populations and police misconduct, engaging software that is clearly not ready for civil use in law enforcement activities does not serve citizens, and will only lead to further unrest.

As part of the deal, EmotionReader CTO Dr. Stephen Moore will run Kairos’ new Singapore-based R&D center, allowing for upcoming APAC expansion.

Kairos has raised approximately $8 million from investors New World Angels, Kapor Capital, 500 Startups, Backstage Capital, Morgan Stanley, Caerus Ventures, and Florida Institute, and is now closing on its $30 million crowd sale.