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Tag Archives: Privacy

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VPN-Like Chrome Addon ZenMate Hits a Million Users in Six Months

VPN-Like Chrome Addon ZenMate Hits a Million Users in Six Months

Security and privacy online are hardly new worries, but the wave of spying revelations in recent times has put the issue firmly to the fore. It's no surprise, therefore, that a security and privacy extension for Chrome has proved to be popular – Berlin-based ZenMate has hit a million registered users just six months after launching. The software encrypts and redirects your Internet connection via a ZenMate presence in the cloud, which further encrypts and accelerates it. The company puts its popularity down to providing end users secure and encrypted access to any website, from anywhere, and it has been described as a Virtual Private Network (VPN) with easy location switching. As a browser add-on, however, it doesn't protect the whole computer. Read More »

Making the Most of Your Existing Network with nextSociety

Making the Most of Your Existing Network with nextSociety

Building and managing a network is hard enough, but really getting the most out it is a complicated and time-consuming process. Calling itself the “Ultimate networking tool,” New York-based startup nextSociety says its platform can help users identify who is most relevant to them. What's more, the company has German and Austrian heritage – COO Alex Tange was born in a small town in what was then East Germany, and is following in the footsteps of his dad who became an entrepreneur when the Berlin Wall fell in 1989. In addition to nextSociety, Alex also started a networking group for German professionals in New York which has grown to more than 5,000 members. Two of his co-founders, Peter Steba and Ben Simsa, sat down with Silicon Allee at The Next Web Conference in the Big Apple last month. Read More »

Pavel Durov’s Telegram the Latest Move in the Race Against Surveilance

Pavel Durov’s Telegram the Latest Move in the Race Against Surveilance

Pavel Durov, one of the creators of the 'Russian Facebook', VK, made a surprise appearance at TechCrunch Disrupt on Monday to talk about his latest project, the non-profit Telegram. It's a messaging app with a focus on security, and as such incorporates end-to-end encryption and even self-destructing messages. And Durov – no stranger to finding himself out of favour with the Russian authorities – is hoping it will enable people to communicate more securely than they do now. Speaking on stage at the conference at Arena Berlin, he said that the advantage of such encryption is that the keys are created on the devices themselves, thus they don't have anything to show to the authorities. Read More »

Failing to Find the Startup G-Spot? Embrace Consolidation

Failing to Find the Startup G-Spot? Embrace Consolidation

It's always a bit sad when a platform you like closes down. That was certainly the case with 7Moments, a privacy-focused photo sharing service which I first wrote about what feels like an awful long time ago. In an email explaining why they were giving up on 7Moments, the three founders told a story that is all too familiar in Berlin nowadays. For despite that fact that “every day new photo albums are being created and people join them” and that user feedback was “always very encouraging, kind and helpful, [and] our infrastructure always secure and stable,” there was one rather important thing missing: Growth. Read More »

TOA13 and Military Intelligence: Both a Contradiction in Terms?

TOA13 and Military Intelligence: Both a Contradiction in Terms?

With the sun scorching down on the picturesque riverside setting and most of the Berlin tech scene seemingly hanging out by the water, many with a cheekily early beer in hand, it felt slightly out of place to be tackling an issue as controversial, divisive and far-reaching as self-expression vs privacy. But Tech Open Air is about bringing opposites together; doing things Berlin-style. The panel discussion, moderated by Alex Goerlach of The European, was in part looking at the fallout from the Prism scandal, and featured Bernd Schlömer, leader of the Pirate Party in Germany, and Malte Spitz, a member of the national executive board of the Green Party. Read More »

Moped Launches Desktop Messaging App in Pursuit of Businesses

Moped Launches Desktop Messaging App in Pursuit of Businesses

You build a great app, make it look slick and easy to use, and you put it out there and starting racking up users. But making money out of it is a different matter altogether. It's a challenge faced by many startups in Berlin, and one proven path is to start targeting your product at businesses. 6Wunderkinder has seemingly found success this way in recent months with Wunderlist 2, and now Moped is planning to reciprocate that. The messaging platform has launched a desktop app for the Mac as part of efforts to shift focus towards businesses and teams. The new app makes it easier to use Moped as the main method of communication within a team, without having to open a web browser and log in. Read More »

Berlin startup Archify shuts down namesake personal search service

Berlin startup Archify shuts down namesake personal search service

Berlin-based startup Archify is shutting down its namesake personal search service to focus on new project Blippex, a privacy-conscious public search engine positioned as an alternative to Google. Max Kossatz, Gerald Bäck and Walter Palmetshofer (who left the company last year) founded Archify in Vienna in 2010 and moved to Berlin after raising seed funding from big-hitting London Read More »

Taking ‘Tear-Off’ Tabs Digital with People Discovery App Likemind

Taking ‘Tear-Off’ Tabs Digital with People Discovery App Likemind

Ever since Craigslist helped to change the face of classified ads, we do most of our little transactions online – selling a sofa, maybe, or advertising your English lessons. Yet the physical posters with 'tear-off' tabs are still a common sight in cities like Berlin or London. And so it's not a surprise that someone has taken the idea of these flyers and digitized it. Likemind, which is launching its iOS app on Monday, is also jumping aboard the discovery wagon. The platform allows you to make new friends by connecting you with people who have things in common. Users can create posters with six tear-off tabs outlining what they want to talk about – be it a specific thing, such as 'who wants to go see a band tonight?', or a more general topic. Read More »

Postman Pat and His Black & White App: Gini to Help Deutsche Post Digitize

Postman Pat and His Black & White App: Gini to Help Deutsche Post Digitize

Germany is definitely changing – drop into an office in Berlin's Mitte district for instant proof – but the country still retains a big chunk of its more traditional, old-fashioned, risk-averse business culture. Take, for example, the postal service; companies and institutions just love sending letters. It seems crazy to have to rely so much on a form of communication which, for the passage of simple information at least, has been all-but obsolete for years. But the beginning of the end could be in sight – 'intelligent assistant' Gini has partnered with postal behemoth Deutsche Post to give users the chance to digitize their physical mail. The Munich-based startup will enable all letters to be sorted automatically, and its app will allow you to access all of your mail any time and anywhere. Read More »

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