Google brings Titan Security Key to the UK

Google has revealed it is bringing its Titan Security Key to a range of new markets, including the UK.

The physical key offers increased security for users, providing two-factor authentication (2FA) and will now be coming 

The company says that the physical security keys have entirely cut out phishing attacks among Google employees, and wants to bring this ability to a wider audience outside of the US.

Security hole

"The core problem that security keys are solving is that passwords aren't enough today," Sampath Srinivas, Google Cloud product management director said at a media briefing attended by TechRadar Pro.

"The fundamental issue is that the Internet has a security hole...that's what we're trying to fix with security keys."

Google says security keys offer far stronger security protection than other systems, and are faster than the likes of SMS codes. It found that more than 4.3 billion credentials were leaked in data dumps last year, meaning a huge number of user accounts are at risk of being compromised. 

The company found that although "99.9 percent" of attacks get through, anyone affected by that remaining 0.01 percent would be ten times more likely to have their accounts hijacked by hackers - a figure that rises to around 5000 times more likely if they were the victim of a phishing attack.

The "phishing-resistant" security key looks to prevent such compromises by taking the security onus away from the user. The products feature an embedded security chip with Google-written firmware that acts as a middle man between your device and a website's server, flagging any malicious sites or domains that may have been installed via malware and preventing users from gaining access.

The product comes in both USB and Bluetooth versions, and is available now to the public via Google's online Store from today for £50.

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Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 vs. Samsung Galaxy Tab S4

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 is pitched to be a professional’s tablet - powerful, versatile, and with a few new features that make it an attractive alternative to the comparably-sized 11-inch iPad Pro. But is it truly better than its predecessor, the Samsung Galaxy Tab S4, that came out the year before?

You’d be forgiven for wondering why there isn’t a Tab S5 - for some reason, Samsung bypassed that numeration - but it’s just as well since the Tab S6 didn’t change that drastically from the previous year’s model. It has, however, been refined in some key quality-of-life ways that make it more attractive than the Galaxy Tab S4, especially if you like using the S Pen stylus. 

So, the question: should you pick up the new tablet, or buy the old one at a discount?

Below, we’ll delve into each aspect of both tablets before offering a final verdict at the end. 

Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 (Image credit: TechRadar)

Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 vs. Samsung Galaxy Tab S4 price and release date

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Wi-Fi-only model will go on sale in the US on September 6 starting at $649 for the base model (6GB RAM/128GB of storage - it’s unclear how much pricier the 8GB RAM/256GB of storage model will be). 

As for the LTE model, Samsung has only said it’s coming later in 2019. Other regions haven’t gotten their own prices or firm release dates for either version yet, though the Wi-Fi-only model will be available in the UK in late August. 

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S4 was released in August 2018, and you can typically find it discounted from its $649 (£599, AU$959) launch price. In essence, that’s what this versus guide boils down to: is the Tab S6 worth the money to buy it at full price, or should you go for the older-but-still-solid model?

Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 (Image credit: TechRadar)

Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 vs. Samsung Galaxy Tab S4 design

While there are some minor differences, the biggest changes come with devices that aren’t the tablet - the S Pen has gotten some tweaks, while the revamped Book Cover Keyboard is far superior with its added touchpad.

The Tab S6’s design is a bit different, however: it’s thinner, for one, at 5.7mm (just shy of the iPad Pro’s thickness) compared to the 7.1mm of the Tab S4. Granted, that’s still slimmer than Samsung’s smartphones (the Samsung Galaxy S10 is 7.8mm), but the newer version of the tablet is lighter, too, at 420g vs. the Tab S4’s 480g - but honestly, having to tote around an extra tenth of a pound of weight isn’t too onerous.

In terms of the accessories, the new tablet's S Pen clips on to the back and recharges and both official cases curve over the stylus to ensure it doesn’t go anywhere. That’s more convenient than the Tab S4’s solution - a holster in the Book Cover Keyboard - but if you’re picking up this tablet, you’re probably going to purchase that optional keyboard case, too.

The S Pen itself has been improved too - instead of a cylinder, it’s an ovoid (to prevent rolling). It can also do Air Gestures: hold the button on the stylus and make quick movements to control the volume, switch photo modes, and more. Is it useful? Possibly, but it might just be easier to tap tried-and-true directions yourself.

The new Book Cover Keyboard is another serious upgrade. It’s in two parts, so you can toss aside the keypad if you don’t have the room (like on airplane tray tables), and there are new shortcuts to easily switch modes - like turning on and off tablet-to-desktop DeX. If the new Book Cover Keyboard isn’t compatible with the Tab S4, that’s a big feather in the Tab S6’s cap.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S4 (Image credit: TechRadar)

Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 vs. Samsung Galaxy Tab S4 display

This might be the easiest comparison to make in the whole guide, as the Tab S6 seems to have inherited the Tab S4’s 10.5-inch Super AMOLED display without any obvious alterations. The resolution is still  WQXGA (2,560 x 1,600 pixels). 

...Okay, there’s one change: the Tab S6 has an in-display fingerprint sensor. If you hated only having facial recognition for your authentication, this might be another good reason to opt for the new tablet.

A final note - the screen is still 10.5 inches, but the newer tablet is shorter and less wide by 5mm each. Don’t fret, the bezels are just narrower, shaving around 2.5mm on each of the four sides.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 (Image credit: TechRadar)

Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 vs. Samsung Galaxy Tab S4 camera

Another entry in the minor-change category: The Tab S6 seems to have the Tab S4’s same 8MP front-facing camera and 13MP wide-angle rear shooter, but the new tablet also added a 5MP ultrawide lens to augment its photography.

Phones have been adding ultrawide lenses to their camera suites for the last year, and the results speak for themselves: more context and peripheral vision. If you liked how much the Galaxy S10 phones captured with their 123-degree ultrawide shooter, you’ll like the Tab S6 as its lens captures the same field-of-view.

Of course, if you don’t particularly care about using your tablet for photography (and we can’t blame you), you can probably skip this category.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S4 (Image credit: TechRadar)

Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 vs. Samsung Galaxy Tab S4 performance and battery

When the Galaxy Tab S4 came out in August 2018, we were worried that its already-old Snapdragon 835 processor would hinder its performance - and were pleasantly surprised that it didn’t. The tablet runs just fine on a baseline 4GB of RAM, though its basic 64GB of storage is a little slim (don’t fret, it’s expandable with a microSD card).

But if you wanted serious power, the Tab S6 packs the latest Snapdragon 855 chipset found in this year’s phones - an 86% increase in performance, per Samsung representatives. Add in a bump up to 6GB RAM and 128GB of space for the baseline (optionally upgradeable to 8GB RAM and 256GB of storage), and you’ve got a beefier machine that will likely age a bit better over the years.

It will probably handle multitasking better, too - not just switching between apps, but with Samsung’s always-promising, almost-handy DeX mode. What we saw of the Tab S6 was a tablet that could stream video while powering casual browsing on another monitor, though it wasn’t the performance that tripped us up with the Tab S4 - it was the constantly-crashing third-party apps. We’ll have to await further testing to see if the S6 avoids a similar fate.

Battery-wise, the Tab S4’s is actually larger at 7,300mAh - not surprising, given the slightly-thinner casing in the Tab S6, which likely whittled down the battery to 7,040mAh. How much this limits the new tablet’s runtime is unclear without further testing, but they’re roughly comparable, and both have fast-charging.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 (Image credit: TechRadar)

Final verdict

With more power and a slightly slimmer package, the Tab S6 is clearly the superior machine - especially if the new Book Cover Keyboard can’t be used with older tablets. But it comes at a hefty cost which might be beyond consumers looking for a casual device.

At this point, the Tab S4 has been out long enough to enjoy decent discounts, especially during deals seasons, and it’s hard to justify the full price of the new tablet. Its older processor might mean a shorter lifespan - eventually outpaced by an OS update down the line - but that’s conceivably years away. 

Your choice boils down to needing the top of the line and/or not sweating the extra cost to pay full price for a work machine, or saving a bit of cash by opting for a model with a serviceable but not terribly exciting suite of accessories and features. There is no must-have feature in the Tab S6, but it is nice to have the latest and greatest specs if you want to do some serious multitasking or gaming.

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Entrepreneurs not threatened by AI and automation

Entrepreneurs in the US face both technological and political disruption that is helping them to prosper and grow while also requiring them to adapt in new ways according to GoDaddy's new Global Entrepreneurship Survey.

The web hosting giant's survey was conducted by the research firm Savanta and surveyed 4,505 small business owners in Australia, Canada, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Mexico, South Africa, Turkey, the United Kingdom and the United States.

According to the global survey, entrepreneurs are being impacted by a myriad of external challenges ranging from cyber threats to political and societal turbulence as they try to grow their businesses. However, even with these disruptions and uncertainties, entrepreneurs remain optimistic with 70 percent of US respondents reporting that they expect their business to grow by at least 25 percent in the next three to five years.

Experts warn that 38 percent of US jobs are at a potential high risk of automation by the 2030s but the entrepreneurs surveyed by GoDaddy believe they are insulated from the impacts of disruptive technologies.

Of those surveyed, 75 percent of small business owners feel protected against job loss from robots, automation and AI. The survey also revealed that females (76%) were slightly more likely to believe than men (71%) that their businesses would be able to withstand these types of technological disruption.

Adapting to change

Political and societal turbulence was another concern cited by entrepreneurs and SMBs as a potential challenge to their success. However, that concern is substantially lower in the US where only 17 percent of entrepreneurs said societal and political turbulence poses a threat to the success of their business, compared to 33 percent of entrepreneurs in all of the other regions surveyed.

VP of Global Marketing Operations at GoDaddy, Melissa Schneider explained why SMBs and entrepreneurs are less worried about potential disruption to their businesses, saying:

"Globally, we are currently in an intense period of technological, political and societal change and transformation. Small business owners and entrepreneurs are constantly adapting to change, both in their own venture and in the outside world, with limited help. That's why GoDaddy is so committed to supporting them on their ever-changing journey, with the guidance and tools to help make them successful online." 

Technological disruption can pose challenges but entrepreneurs and SMBs, it can also help to reduce the barrier to entry when creating a new venture. Small businesses in the US are among the most likely to report having their own website at 44 percent while 29 percent said they rely on either social media or online marketplaces to conduct their business.

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Best school backpacks for 2019: great college backpacks to consider

Getting the best backpack for school can lift some of the burden of a busy college or high school year. All of the semester’s books plus a laptop plus your everyday essentials, after all, is a heavy enough physical burden to bear. 

That's without accounting for the mental and emotional weight a heavy coursework and a reputation to upkeep can put on you.

Lucky for you, we happen to be experts in picking out the best of all sorts of tech products, as well as the best back to school backpacks to cart them around in. 

Taking into consideration things like durability, comfort, space and price, we scoured the market for the best back to school backpacks for you.

From designer names offering bargain deals to sensible, affordable picks all year round, these are the very best back to school backpacks we’ve found for 2019.

Our selections, ranked from cheapest to most expensive, take into account online reviews, brand reputation, product capability and unique features, to help you pick through the maze of choices available to you.

These are products that we haven't had in our test labs, but based on our experts' opinion and knowledge of the most reputable brands around, we think these are worth looking at.

Quick Links

AmazonBasics Laptop Backpack

If you only have the budget for about 30 bucks (or around £18) to spend on a backpack that will get you through the year, then the AmazonBasics Laptop backpack is a terrific option for you. Most folks that just want a bag to hold their stuff, and this one does exactly that. Made and sold by Amazon through its Basics program, this all-black backpack has a laptop sleeve for machines up to 15 inches, and several types of pockets, for but a pittance compared to most.

JanSport Baughman Backpack

The tried and true JanSport is tough to go wrong with, especially the Baughman backpack. A full-canvas bag with nylon mesh inside including a 15-inch laptop sleeve, this pack also comes with a media pocket lined in fleece as well as a removable storage pouch. Of course, it also comes with those comfortable padded straps that the brand is famous for. Lastly, for the aesthetic inclined, it also comes in several different colors – from solid black to ones with patterns.

JanSport Big Student Backpack

For those that like the look and feel of JanSport, but need even more storage for a particularly heavy semester, the brand’s Big Student Backpack is a shoo-in. With 2,100 cubic inches of carrying capacity, this backpack should hold everything you need and then some. Plus, ergonomic shoulder straps help prevent your load weighing too far down on you. As far as organizing all your stuff, this one’s got several sections, including 3 front pockets, one side pocket and the two main compartments.

Burton Tinder Pack

Burton is one of those brands that has come in vogue in recent years, and for good reason. Its backpacks come in countless colors and fabric styles, even nylon so that water runs off it a bit easier. The Tinder-style pack has a 15-inch laptop sleeve, as well as ergonomic shoulder straps and a lifetime warranty should a piece go bad.

Herschel Little America Mid-Volume Backpack

Meet the ultimate backpack for your next school semester, marrying the worlds of form and function like few others can. The Little America comes in several colors and patterns, all mirroring that look and feel of a hiker’s pack. That feeling comes through even with the 13-inch laptop sleeve, magnetic closures and media pocket with headphone port.

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Financial malware threat grows

The number of users hit by financial malware grew by seven percent during the first half of 2019 to reach 430,000 according to new research from Kaspersky which revealed the growing threat that banking Trojans pose to both businesses and individuals.

This type of malware is aimed at stealing finances and financial data while also providing threat actors with access to users' and financial organizations' assets and machines. Banking Trojans have always occupied a significant part of the threat landscape as finance is the most common motivation for both cybercriminals and fraudsters.

Kaspersky data on new samples of these threats shows that malware aimed at stealing funds is active and extremely dangerous, especially to corporate environments where connected devices are prevalent.

Spam emails and phishing sites are typical attack vectors for malware and during the first half of this year, Kaspersky researchers detected over 339,000 phishing attacks from web pages which were disguised to appear like the landing pages of large banks.

Banking Trojan families

Kaspersky's researchers also compiled a list of the most popular banking Trojan families that were utilized to attack corporate users. Four-in-ten (40%) of financial threats on corporate users came from the RTM banking Trojan followed by the Emotet banking Trojan at 15 percent and the Trickster banking Trojan at 12 percent.

The cybersecurity firm also found that the situation was a bit different for private users. The Zbot malware (26%) which steals credentials with the option of remote control by attackers topped the list of malware that attempted to attack them followed by RTM and Emotet.

Security researcher at Kaspersky, Oleg Kupreev provided further insight on the firm's findings and the growing threat posed by financial malware, saying:

“We expect to see a rise in the number of attacked users in the second half of 2019. Usually, we see a rise in malicious activity after the holiday season, when people are using their devices less than usual and therefore are less likely to fall a victim to threat actors. We urge everyone to be extra careful with all banking and finance-related operations that they perform online and remain vigilant.” 

To protect your business from financial malware Kaspersky recommends introducing cybersecurity awareness training at your organization, installing the latest updates and patches and forbidding employees from installing software from unknown sources.

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Google uncovers security flaws in iMessage

Researchers from Google's Project Zero have shared the details of five flaws they discovered in Apple's iMessage software that could leave its devices vulnerable to attack.

One of the vulnerabilities they uncovered was so severe that only way to save a targeted iPhone would require deleting all of the data contained on the device. Another vulnerability could even be used to copy files off of a device without any help from the device's owner.

While Apple released fixes to these vulnerabilities last week, the researchers also flagged a sixth vulnerability which has not yet been patched in the latest update to iOS.

Google established its Project Zero team back in 2014 with the aim of uncovering previously undocumented vulnerabilities and so far it has informed Microsoft, Facebook, Samsung and others regarding problems in their code.

iOS update

Apple is well aware of the seriousness of the vulnerabilities discovered by Google and even its own notes regarding iOS 12.4 show that if left unpatched, the flaws could allow hackers to crash an app or execute their own commands on recent iPhones, iPads and even the new iPod Touch if they happen to discover it.

The iPhone-maker has not commented on the issue specifically but it is urging users to install the latest version of iOS which contains fixes for the vulnerabilities as well as additional glitches and threats. In a statement, Apple stressed the importance of regularly updating your devices, saying:

“Keeping your software up to date is one of the most important things you can do to maintain your Apple product's security.”

ZDnet, which broke the initial story, noted that Google's researchers had shared enough details about the vulnerabilities that attackers could be able to craft exploits to take advantage of them.

If you own any of Apple's mobile products, it is highly recommended that you update them immediately to avoid falling victim to any potential attacks or exploits.

Via The BBC

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Walmart laptop sale: back-to-school savings on Dell, Samsung, Acer and more

Summer is almost over, and that means a new school season is upon us. To help you ease into the new year, Walmart is having a back-to-school sale on top brand laptops that are perfect for students. You can find cheap laptop deals from brands like Dell, Acer, Lenovo, and more.

Our top laptop deal is the Samsung Chromebook 3 that's on sale for just $159. That's a $70 discount and a fantastic price for a solid laptop with reliable performance. The laptop features an 11.6-inch display and packs 4GB of RAM and 16GB of memory. The Chromebook 3 is perfect for students, weighing only 2.54 pounds the compact size makes it easy to carry from class to class. The Samsung laptop also provides an impressive all-day battery life of eight hours. This allows you to use the Chromebook throughout the school day without the worry of having to charge the battery.

See more of the best back-to-school laptop deals from Walmart below that include a variety of different features and prices. These discounts are limited-time offers so you should take advantage now before school's back in session.

Walmart laptop deals:

See more laptop sales with the best cheap laptop deals: prices start at just $129 today.

You can also see our roundup of the best laptop 2019 for our pick of the 15 best laptops you can buy this year.

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Lenovo to launch 5G laptops with all-day battery life by the end of 2019

The laptop market could soon be shaken up, with Lenovo unveiling 5G connected laptops with all-day battery lives by December 2019.

This is according to 91mobiles, which apparently spoke to an anonymous Lenovo employee. Laptops that can connect to super-fast 5G mobile networks could be a real game changer, and if 91mobiles is correct, we hopefully won’t have long to wait.

With 5G bringing much faster download speeds and lower latency, laptops with built-in 5G connectivity could access the internet – and make use of cloud streaming services – much faster, potentially revolutionising how we use them.

All-day batteries

According to this unnamed Lenovo employee, the company is also working closely with Intel and Qualcomm to produce laptops with all-day battery life.

This means we could see Lenovo laptops included in Intel’s Project Athena, which aims to make Windows 10 laptops faster, thinner and with day-long battery lives.

Meanwhile, Qualcomm has been partnering with laptop makers to produce machines running on its Snapdragon platform, which brings some of the best features of smartphones – such as instant boot and always-connected mobile internet – along with incredibly long battery lives.

While this is exciting news, it’s worth bearing in mind that this is coming from an anonymous source, so as always it’s worth being a bit cautious before getting your hopes up.

However, it’s clear that laptop makers like Lenovo are looking at ways to bring all-day battery lives to their laptops, and we will soon PCs take advantage of 5G, so the report isn’t beyond the realms of possibility.

Either way, it’s certainly going to be a very exciting future for laptops.

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Black Shark 2 Pro gaming phone builds on the popular Black Shark 2 smartphone

When the Black Shark 2 came out we found it a pretty decent gaming smartphone, albeit with some small flaws here and there; now three months later Black Shark has unveiled a newer version of the device, called the Black Shark 2 Pro.

The Black Shark 2 Pro is currently only available in China, but Black Shark has said it'll be coming out worldwide at some point in the future. It's priced at CNY2,999 (roughly $435 / £355 / AU$630) for a 128GB model and CNY3,499 (around $505, £415, AU$735) if you want 256GB internal memory.

We'll let you know when the device releases worldwide, so stay tuned for that news as well as a review when we've taken it out for a spin.

What are the Black Shark 2 Pro changes?

The headline change in the Black Shark 2 Pro is that instead of the Black Shark 2's Snapdragon 855 chipset, you'll get the new Snapdragon 855 Plus, which is optimized specifically for great gaming performance. Along with 12GB RAM, this will make the Black Shark 2 Pro great for high-end action.

You'll also get a 240Hz screen, which means the display refreshes 240 times per second. Most smartphones have 60Hz refresh rates, and even the best gaming phones only reach 120Hz, so that's an impressive feature if you're into your gaming.

There are a few changes from the Black Shark 2 in the camera and display department too, plus a more powerful 1W speaker.

Gamers will also like the other improvements: screen response speed is only 34.7ms, there's an improved liquid cooling system, and an extra antenna keeps your internet connection solid.

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With hipster stylings and built-in phones, has Belgian firm Cowboy made e-bikes cool?

Picture an electric bike and you probably imagine a chunky step-through frame, a colossal battery strapped to the downtube, pannier racks and tires that wouldn't look out of place on a tractor. It's just not cool.

The super-minimalist Cowboy (from a Belgian company of the same name) aims to change all that. It boasts road-style geometry, internal cabling, the most subtle of branding, a neat little removable power pack hidden on the seat tube and even a SIM built into the frame.

It looks great– but what's it like to ride? To find out, we took it for a spin in London's bike-friendly Regent's Park.

Just pedal

The first thing we had to get used to was the lack of controls; unlike most e-bikes the Cowboy has no power button, no throttle, and no gears. All we had to worry about were the brakes, which were the opposite way round to what we're used to due to the test bike having been built for cycle lanes of continental Europe.

Once we were confident we weren't going to launch ourselves over the handlebars, we pushed off as normal and couldn't help yelping in surprise as the power immediately kicked in, propelling us far further than we'd expect. It's something Cowboy's Bob Eck (watching our maiden voyage) calls the 'ooh effect'.

Just a few minutes later, riding felt natural and effortless. The bike responded to the force you exerted on the pedals, working harder when we did. On the park's flat cycle lanes, it felt like we were constantly riding downhill, and overtaking serious cyclists with their Lycra and carbon was almost embarrassingly easy.

Cowboy electric bike

The 2019 Cowboy is available in just one frame size, suitable for people from about 5'7" to 6' tall. At a conveniently Cowboy-sized 5'10" we found it very comfortable, and we suspect people a little shorter or taller than the stated heights could ride easily enough with a few adjustments. Different sizes and a women's frame with a lower top tube are on the cards for future releases.

Phone home

The Cowboy isn't just a pretty frame, though – it's also smart. Hidden inside the head tube are a SIM, a backup battery (charged by the pain power pack) and everything else you'd expect to find in a phone, minus the speaker and microphone.

This comms unit sends diagnostics to Cowboy when the bike is powered on, letting the company know if there are any issues, and communicates with your phone at the start and end of your journey. The bike can also give you warnings before you set off – if you haven't plugged the battery in properly, for example, or there's something amiss with the tires.

Cowboy electric bike

The removable battery means you don't have to haul the Cowboy into your hallway to charge it up; just park it as normal, unclip the power pack and take it to a convenient outlet. I was worried a quick boost on a multiway adaptor in the office might not be sufficient, but it was nearly fully juiced up after a couple of hours.

It's not possible to buy spare batteries and have an extra one fully charged (as Eck explains, it's the most expensive part of the bike), but with a range of 70km, that's unlikely to be a problem. And unlike an electric car, if you do run out of juice, you won't be stranded – you'll just have to ride without assistance from the motor.

The Cowboy costs €1,990 (about $2,200/£1,800/AU$3,200), which certainly isn't cheap, but isn't crazy expensive either – premium electric bikes can cost more than twice as much.

Global ambitions

So where can you buy one? Well, only in Belgium (where the company was founded), France, Holland and the Netherlands so far, but the company has global ambitions. Cowboys are built in Poland, and Eck expects the business to continue expanding in concentric rings from that base.

"We have to do some modifications to the bike in order to make it more competitive and acceptable to the consumer in the UK – most notably the brakes," said Eck. "It’s not as simple a change as you might think, because it has consequences for product development, manufacturing, assembly, but we hope to do that by the end of the season."

Cowboy electric bike

And outside Europe? "Well the US is a huge market," Eck said. "We think that we would be very interested in launching there. Our approach would be different, we think, based on the scale of the opportunity. Right now we’ve really penetrated into four countries. That is a road map that we’re learning from, and that will change what we do in the future."

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