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Singapore pledges to cut cash, checks on path to digital economy

Singapore is accelerating the shift toward digital payments by pledging to eliminate check usage by 2025 and slash cash withdrawals from automated telling machines.

Singapore is embracing technology to enhance its status as a regional financial hub and compete with other major cities including Hong Kong and London. — Bloomberg

Sesame Workshop to create new children’s TV shows for Apple

Apple Inc has ordered multiple live-action and animated series from Emmy award-winning children's television producer Sesame Workshop, a source close to the agreement said on June 19.

Apple has not revealed when the shows will be released or how people will be able to watch them. — Reuters

US states seek more money to secure elections after Russia meddling

US state election officials said they haven’t received as much federal funding as they need to secure their election systems even after US intelligence officials concluded that Russia meddled in the 2016 election and the federal government called on states to step up efforts to prevent hacking.

Voting machines set up for people to cast their ballots during voting in the 2016 presidential election in Las Vegas, Nevada. This year, 41 states are using voting systems that are at least a decade old, according to an analysis. — Reuters

US lawmakers want Google to reconsider links to China’s Huawei

Some Republican and Democratic US lawmakers asked Alphabet Inc's Google on June 20 to reconsider its work with Chinese telecommunications firm Huawei Technologies Co Ltd, which they described as a security threat.

The letter to Google was the latest in a series of efforts by members of the US Congress to target Huawei, and ZTE Corp, another major Chinese telecommunications equipment company. — Reuters

New FTC chair wants to look at market power of big Internet companies

Joseph Simons, the new chairman of the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC), said on June 20 that the agency would keep a close eye on big tech companies that dominate the Internet.

Controversies surrounding Facebook and Alphabet Inc, Google's parent company, have led to calls for the FTC to look more closely at whether these companies use their market power to hurt potential rivals. — Reuters

Instagram expands into long videos, will compete with YouTube

Facebook Inc-owned social network Instagram launched a mobile app on Wednesday dedicated to user-generated videos up to an hour long, intensifying the competition for consumers' time among ad-supported streaming services such as YouTube.

Called IGTV in a nod to traditional television, the service plans to feature videos from rising internet celebrities, artists and pets, some of whom have tens of millions of social media followers. — Reuters

Testimony begins in Qualcomm’s bid to ban US imports of some iPhones

A key milestone in Qualcomm's punishing legal war with Apple kicked off last week with testimony in the San Diego's company's bid to block certain iPhones from being imported into the US.

Apple's iPhones are made by contract manufacturers in Asia and therefore can be targeted for an import ban. Qualcomm is not seeking to ban iPhones that use its own cellular radio chips, which are primarily sold on Verizon and Sprint networks. — Dreamstime/TNS

Uber begins a push to get its drivers into electric cars

As Uber tries to build its reputation as a good citizen, it's unveiling a new plan: get its drivers to adopt electric vehicles instead of driving cars that burn gasoline.

A zero emissions vehicle, which uses a hydrogen fuel cell to power an electric motor, refuelling in California. Uber's programme aligns with an executive order issued by Gov. Jerry Brown this year that calls on California, home to 410,000 EVs, to increase the number of zero-emission vehicles to 5 million by 2030. — Los Angeles Times/TNS

Let Amazon in your house? Get mail at your desk? Here’s how to beat ‘porch pirates’

You did your research, shopped around and finally found what you wanted online. In a few days, it'll be yours. The tracking website says it's been delivered. But it's not there. Maybe it's been stolen.

It's easy for so-called "porch pirates" to snatch packages from a front door or apartment building stoop, and amid the rise of online retail giants, like Amazon, package theft is in the spotlight. — Dreamstime/TNS

‘Pod racer’ meets reality? Kansas U aviation team advances in Boeing competition

By the end of the year, a team of students from the University of Kansas hope to have a small working model of a personal helicopter-like aircraft.