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Unu raises $12 million to build new electric scooter – TechCrunch

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German startup Unu raised a $12 million funding round led by Ponooc with existing investors Capnamic Ventures, Iris Capital, Michael Baum and NRW.BANK also participating. The company has been building electric scooters (the motorcycle kind) and is working on new products and services.

For the past five years, Unu has sold 10,000 scooters. The market for electric scooter is quite different depending on your country. In parts of Asia, they are massively popular and are slowly overtaking gas-powered scooters. You can see more and more electric scooters in Europe, but it’s still uncharted territories for the most part.

Unu is one of the successful European manufacturers with Govecs, BMW and others. Compared to electric cars, electric scooters present a massive advantage — weight. It’s much more energy-efficient to power a scooter compared to a full-fledged car.

That’s why batteries remain relatively small. You can open the battery compartment, pull the battery and plug it at home. It’s quite heavy as Unu’s battery weighs around 9 kg (nearly 20 pounds). But it’s fine if you just need to carry your battery to your home and plug it overnight every now and then.

Up next, the company plans to release a second generation of its product. The company doesn’t have much to say just yet. But it sounds like Unu is working on connected vehicles so that Unu could work with scooter-sharing services.

There’s a huge market opportunity as scooter-sharing companies are booming in Europe. In Paris alone, Cityscoot and Coup have flooded the streets with scooters from Govecs and Gogoro. There are many other companies working on similar services across Europe.

If Unu could convince a company to buy some of their scooters for their fleet, that could lead to thousands of sales in no time. The company is working on multiple partnerships. Now let’s see if Unu plans to create its own service in the future and work on other types of vehicles.

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Galaxy S21 FE, Galaxy Z Fold 3, Galaxy Z Flip 3 might launch in August

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It seems that Samsung is really trying to step up its schedule this year, but perhaps not too early as expected. Initial reports claimed that Samsung’s next Unpacked event would take place in July, considerably earlier than it had ever done in the past years. A new report now says that the event will instead be in August again but, more importantly, Samsung will reportedly have three phones to launch, all of which are meant to fill in the gap that the Galaxy Note will leave this year.

Samsung already made it more or less official that there will be no Galaxy Note this year. That decision was partly blamed on the global semiconductor shortage, and probably indirectly because of the Galaxy S21 Ultra that already has S Pen support. Ironically, that shortage won’t change the fact that Samsung will launch three phones in its place instead.

The Galaxy Z Fold 3 and Galaxy Z Flip 3 are already expected, of course, and they might still be launching earlier than they did last year despite this August schedule. The Galaxy Z Flip 5G did launch in August while the Galaxy Z Fold 2 and Galaxy F20 FE followed later. That Samsung will just be announcing everything in August and make the devices available in the following months is also a possibility.

Unfortunately, the report from the Yonhap News Agency didn’t come with details about the Galaxy S21 FE or Fan Edition. If it will repeat the same formula from last year’s Galaxy S20 FE, it will simply be a watered-down and more affordable version of the base Galaxy S21 model. The report does estimate a 700,000 KRW price tag, roughly $624 versus that base model’s starting $799.

The Galaxy S21 FE might be overshadowed by the more expensive foldables, though, at least as far as attention is concerned. The Galaxy Z Fold 3, in particular, is expected to have Samsung’s first under-display camera and its first foldable to have S Pen support. The Galaxy Z Flip 3, which skips a generation to match its foldable sibling, is believed to have a bigger cover screen.

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Facebook really wants you to read articles before sharing them

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It’s a common Internet habit: reading an article’s headline and then sharing the work without reading it. There are multiple reasons someone may do this, not the least of which is making assumptions about what the article presents based on its titles. Facebook is taking steps to address this habit, which can be problematic at times, by rolling out a new prompt.

The problem with sharing articles based on nothing more than the title is the risk of spreading misinformation, coming to conclusions that aren’t supported by the article, and lacking key details needed to discuss the matter. Actually reading the article provides context that may give the person sharing it a more informed perspective about the topic.

Facebook has announced that in order to encourage users to read articles before sharing them, it will now show them a prompt if they attempt to share a news article link they haven’t opened. The prompt includes the option to open the article first or to continue with sharing it.

Facebook notes in its prompt, “Sharing articles without reading them may mean missing key facts.” The prompt is described as a test at this time; it’s unclear how widely it is available. As with any test, it is possible it may change in the future or, perhaps, be removed.

This isn’t the first time we’ve seen this kind of feature appear on a social media platform. Last summer, Twitter introduced a similar prompt that encouraged its readers to read an article before sharing it. The feature first arrived on Android before rolling out in October 2020 on iOS.

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Amazon fake reviews scam revealed in data breach with massive potential

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By now, most of us probably suspect that fake reviews on internet shopping sites are a real thing. Whether being offering so-called “free product trials” after buying something or encountering a review that makes the product a little too good to be true, it’s easy to assume that fake reviews are a thing that happens. Today, however, a new security breach is giving us a better idea of just how widespread this might be.

Earlier this year, the folks over at SafetyDetectives discovered an open ElasticSearch database that contained what they call a “treasure trove” of messages between Amazon vendors and Amazon customers regarding fake reviews. The vendors in question typically offered free products in exchange for positive reviews, and in all, SafetyDetectives says that as many as 200,000 people are implicated by the data breach.

More than 13 million records comprising 7GB of data was revealed by this ElasticSearch server, which was closed and secured several days after SafetyDetectives discovered it in early March. SafetyDetectives says that it was unable to identify the owner of that server, making it impossible to alert them that the server was sitting wide open. It’s clear, however, that the server contained communications between several different vendors and customers – not just a single vendor.

Information that was leaked includes email addresses along with WhatsApp and Telegram phone numbers belonging to vendors. Customer data that was leaked includes 75,000 Amazon profile and account links of those who were selling reviews, PayPal email addresses, email addresses, and “Fan names” that could include the first names and surnames of users.

Instead of communicating through Amazon, vendors and the people selling reviews would often communicate through other messaging apps. Review sellers, it seems, were often instructed to purchase the product from Amazon and wait a few days before publishing a positive review of it, often with instructions from the vendor regarding what to say and how to make the review seem credible. After that, they were promised a refund on the purchase price of item – which was often carried out through PayPal to avoid using Amazon’s systems – and were allowed to keep the item in exchange for their positive review.

Obviously, this has some pretty big implications for vendors and Amazon users who were participating in fake reviews, as accounts for both could be terminated and fines could be levied depending on where in the world these vendors and reviewers are based. If you have a moment, be sure to read through SafetyDetectives’ full report on this data breach, because there’s a lot of good information there – including tips on how to spot fake reviews on Amazon.

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