Thursday, 28 January 2016

Incredible - Europe has fallen behind America in providing roaming solutions

US mobile carriers now allow their customers to use data worldwide for free. Meanwhile, European carriers are still charging to roam within the EU. What's wrong with this picture?

When I first moved to Europe ten years ago, finding cell phone solutions while I was home visiting the US was a bi-annual challenge. 

I go home twice a year - often enough to need a US cell phone while I'm there, but not often enough to maintain a monthly plan. While travelling in Europe, I would buy local prepaid sim cards for extended visits. But in the US, there were hardly any prepaid cell phone options and those that existed charged outrageous rates.

Tuesday, 19 January 2016

San Francisco's view of Berlin

Berlin may be an emerging tech hub, but Silicon Valley seems unaware 

I’m in San Francisco this week, visiting my uncle and taking care of a few work meetings (potential freelancing clients). I haven’t been here in 12 years, so it’s been great to rediscover the city. 

I’ve also been visiting a lot of old friends from journalism school, all of whom are working in or around the tech sector. There are a lot of opportunities out here for tech-focused reporting or copy writing these days. Given that Berlin is considered an emerging tech powerhouse in Europe, I was curious to get their take on the scene there. But what I encountered was either a lack of knowledge or a dismissive attitude. For the tech people I’ve talked to, Berlin is either a non-entity or a nuisance. 

Monday, 4 January 2016

Will the Öresund become a symbol of European disintegration?

For the first time in six decades, Sweden has installed controls at its border with Denmark.

This morning, border checks took effect on the Öresund Bridge, which connects with countries of Sweden and Denmark. 30,000 people use this bridge to commute between the cities of Copenhagen and Malmo each day. For comparison, imagine New York and New Jersey setting up ID checks on the George Washington Bridge

The news might not seem particularly remarkable to British or American readers. After all, they have to go through a passport control to get to any other country, so why shouldn't Swedes or Danes?