Monthly Archives: March 2014

liberty news

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telecoms
BlackBerry revenue slips below $1bn as users shun BB10
BlackBerry’s revenue slipped below a billion dollars in the fourth fiscal quarter for the first time since 2007, as its smartphone sales continued to slide, but its losses were slightly less than expected. The ailing Canadian firm reported a net loss of nearly $6bn for the year up to the start of March and a loss of $423m for the quarter. The adjusted loss was eight cents a share, but analysts polled by Thomson Reuters were expecting a loss of 55 cents a share.
The Register

 

BDUK coverage data still elusive in Northumberland broadband rollout
A fresh attempt to secure full coverage data for the Government’s many Broadband Delivery UK schemes has once again failed after BT refused to release the information for a related project in Northumberland, which is despite earlier saying that they were “okay” for such detail to be published. The £18.9m iNorthumberland project aims to expand the coverage of BT’s “fibre broadband” (FTTC/P) network to reach 95 per cent of local premises by early 2016 (note: 91 per cent will get “superfast” speeds of 25Mbps+). But so far many of the local BDUK schemes have only been willing to publish vague coverage maps and even those that released detailed maps are often still unwilling to release the full roll-out data (e.g. down to the 7 digit postcode level).
ISP Review

 

Huawei celebrates quickest profit growth in four years
Huawei has reported its fastest profit growth in four years as expansion in enterprise and consumer revenue far exceeded growth in its network building division. The unlisted company has benefited from companies investing heavily in cloud and mobile computing, and became the world’s third-biggest smartphone manufacturer last year. Shenzhen-based Huawei is now looking for revenue from Chinese mobile phone operators switching to fourth-generation networks to cushion the impact of a slowdown in network spending abroad.
IT Pro

 

enterprise technology

Cisco pledges to invest $1bn in global cloud services
Cisco Systems says it will invest $1bn over the next two years on a new cloud computing service similar to Amazon Web Services. Cisco Cloud Service is already working with global partners, intending to focus on big corporations and government agencies, and optimise its services to work with software from companies such as SAP, Microsoft and VMware. At first glance this might look like just another web service, but the messages so far point to something subtly different. With its historic roots in California, Cisco knows that the ones who got rich in the great gold rush were not the miners and prospectors so much as the suppliers of picks, shovels and boots.
Comms Dealer

 
Underperforming Intranets costing UK companies £2.7bn
Intranets are seriously underperforming in 25 per cent of large UK companies and 42 per cent of medium-sized UK firms. This underperformance is resulting in wasted staff time to the sum of £2.7bn per year. These are the major findings of a new report from User Experience experts Mando Group. The report, titled ‘Internal Engagement’, describes the corporate intranet as being in a state of inertia: “The corporate intranet is commonplace but, typically, it is not receiving the attention required to transform from a rather dated information hub to become a tool that expedites workflow, collaboration, decision-making and, ultimately, business growth.”
Comms Business

 

UK IT workers still unsure about job security
UK IT workers still have significant feelings of job insecurity, despite the jobs upturn across the sector. In a study of over 2,000 British employees, those working in IT and technology recorded negative feelings of job security. The research, from recruitment firm Randstad Technologies, found that over half of IT professionals felt either “neutral” or “slightly insecure” about their current prospects. This is despite the fact that overall positive feelings of job security have gone up slightly. In 2009, when similar research was conducted, 40 per cent of IT workers felt secure in their jobs. In 2014, this figure increased to 42 per cent.
ComputerWorld UK

 

media news

Mark Zuckerberg loses $3bn as tech heavy-weights fall
Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s 29-year-old co-founder, lost $3.1bn in the five days to 28 March as bank and technology shares dropped on Wall Street. The world’s largest social network fell about 11 per cent last week, after the company announced it would acquire virtual-reality firm Oculus VR for $2bn (£1.2bn, €1.4). Zuckerberg is ranked 22nd in the global rich list with a $27bn fortune, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.
International Business Times


Amazon denies rumours of free “Amazon TV” service
Curses! Following recent rumours that Amazon was planning to launch its own advertising-filled TV streaming service – free to users, of course – we were starting to make a list of programmes we’d love to see featured on AmazonTV (or whatever they would eventually call it). But shortly after the Wall Street Journal released its report, where unnamed sources claimed that Amazon’s service would launch in a few months and be completely and totally free for users to view, Amazon came back with a quick denial that it had any intent to build an ad-supported TV streaming platform.
IT Pro Portal


US mobile marketing trends: Instagram overtaking Twitter
The research, from eMarketer, shows that Instagarm had a total of almost 35 million monthly users in the US during 2013. With a 35 per cent gain in users last year, the photo service has achieved market penetration of 16.1 per cent among Internet users, close to Twitter’s 17.6 per cent, the study found. Instagram is slowly increasing its advertising efforts, planning to insert new image and video-based ads into users’ feeds. Earlier this month, Instagram landed its first major deal with ad agency Omnicom, worth as much as $100 million in ads from clients the agency represents, according to reports.
Netimperative

liberty news

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telecoms
Brazil regulator suspends Oi shares offer for 30 days
Brazil’s securities regulator on Thursday suspended the offer of shares of telecommunications company Grupo Oi SA saying its chief executive officer Zeinal Bava had breached a mandatory quiet period ahead of the offer by making comment to the press. The suspension will last 30 days, the Securities and Exchanges Commission said.
Reuters

 

EU Partially drops anti-dumping probe against Chinese telecom gear makers
The EU will not take action against Chinese mobile telecom equipment makers including Huawei and ZTE, in order to maintain European manufacturers a place in the world’s second-largest economy. The decision came on Thursday during Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit to Europe, when the European Commission announced it had ended an anti-dumping investigation into Chinese mobile telecommunications networks, according to a Reuters report.
ZDnet

 

BT chooses Genband signalling for roaming
Diameter controller to support BT Global IP Exchange Interconnectivity Service BT has selected Genband’s Quantix Diameter Signalling Controller expand its existing Global IP Exchange (GIPX) offering with LTE signalling and data roaming exchange capabilities for its mobile operator customers. The controller enables rich interworking between LTE networks to ensure that roaming subscribers can easily connect when on the road with service transparency and resiliency.
Global Telecoms Business

 

 

enterprise technology

 

China’s rare earth supply crimp plan ruled to be illegal
The World Trade Organisation (WTO) has ruled in favour of the EU, US and Japan in their dispute against what they described as China’s unfair rare earth export rules. The WTO agreed to begin the investigation back in 2012 after complaints from the three that China was trying to push up prices and restrict exports by imposing increased duties, export quotas and minimum price requirements, and limiting the enterprises allowed to export the stuff. The ruling applied to “various forms of rare earths”, molybdenum, and tungsten.
The Register

 

Motion computing launches Motion R12 rugged tablet for mobile workers
Mobility specialist Motion Computing has revealed its latest line of rugged tablets aimed at mobile workers who shift between the office, a vehicle and operating out in the field. The Motion R12, available through the firm’s reseller partners from April, replaces the older J-Series Motion tablets as a Windows slate-mode device built to survive use in a range of work environments, with a range of supporting hardware to match. While Motion has been building enterprise-grade tablets for over a decade, the R12 brings in some influences from consumer devices, such as a sleeker design and a full HD 1920×1080 resolution on its 12.5in touchscreen, according to Motion’s country manager for Northern Europe Ian Davies.
V3

 

UK ahead of the global pack in the technology venture capital growth
Global investment in financial-technology ventures has more than tripled from $928 million in 2008 to $2.97 billion (£1.78 billion) in 2013, with the UK winning a rapidly growing slice, according to Accenture research. The consulting firm said that over the past three years, such investment increased at more than four times the rate of overall venture-capital investment.
Techworld

 

 

media news

 

Facebook using drones, lasers and satellites to deliver internet to third world
Facebook has unveiled plans to bring Internet connectivity to third world countries by using drones, satellites and lasers. Mark Zuckerberg launched his Internet.org initiative last August, with the lofty aspirations to connect a further five billion people to the internet, bringing affordable apps and mobile web access to the two-thirds of the world who are not yet online. Six months on Zuckerberg says the group is making good progress, revealing more details of just how it is planning on delivering on its promise.
IB Times

 

Games get government tax break in UK
The British government has been given the go ahead to insert coin into the UK video games industry, pressing start on games with a distinct national flavour. Could we see a next-gen update for Grand Theft Auto: London 1969? European trade watchdogs have approved measures to grant games set or developed in Britain up to 25 per cent tax relief on their costs, but only if they meet certain criteria. For example, Grand Theft Auto V, despite being developed by Scottish company Rockstar North, wouldn’t qualify because it isn’t set in Britain.
Cnet

 

Sociologists find emerging condition, ‘cyberasociality’
Not every single user – among the billions collecting friends and followers on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn and other social media platforms – is perfectly comfortable conducting his or her social life online, according to sociologists at Cornell and the University of North Carolina. Some people don’t find online interaction to be “real,” and the researchers dub these individuals the “cyberasocial.” If you strongly agree with statements like, “I need face-to-face interaction before I can decide someone is trustworthy,” you, too, could be among the cyberasocial. Cybersocial (without the middle “a”) users of social media are likely to say, “I prefer to communicate online when discussing important or deep issues.”
Phys.org

liberty news

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telecoms
Three launch 4G data dongle
Three have announced a 4G data dongle for their UK network, a first for the Unlimited data carrier. For £19.99 a month you will get a very generous 15GB allowance with an upfront cost of £34.99. Not only that but PAYG is covered too, with pricing starting at £64.99 including 3GB that lasts for up to 90 days. Three also state you can use the dongle abroad thanks to their “Feel at Home” roaming deal. Made by ZTE its compatible with Windows 8 and Mac plus you can insert a 32GB MicroSD card for storage too.
Phonesreview

 

ZTE sees boom in 4G phones
ZTE has said that sales of 4G smartphones accounting for at least 40 per cent of its global smartphone shipments in 2014. According to Reuters, the Chinese based ZTE plans to ship 60 million smartphones in 2014, up 20 million units from last year. ZTE global head of mobile devices Zeng Xuezhong told a press conference in Hong Kong that the company’s smartphone business was strong in the USA, Japan and Europe. But this year we will add China to that list.
TechEYE

 

BlackBerry vows revenge on person who stole and leaked confidential company secrets
BlackBerry chief John Chen has announced a crackdown on those who leak confidential details about upcoming products. In a blog post, Chen said the Canadian phone maker is “pursuing legal action against a party who stole confidential information about a future BlackBerry product and made that information public.” The person nabbed the information after pretending to work for one of BlackBerry’s carrier partners, Chen wrote. The CEO did not specify which leak prompted legal action, but in recent weeks, there have been reports about a phablet-like BlackBerry device, dubbed Windermere, as well as another known as Ontario. More recently, there have beenshots of BlackBerry 10.3.
IT Pro Portal

 

enterprise technology

 

Cisco upgrades partner programme
Cisco is transforming its existing channel partner and services programme into new Cisco Partner Ecosystem to better support partners on their way to cloud and help them benefit from market opportunities, it says. The upgraded Cisco Partner Ecosystem strives to win a broader set of partners, in particular ISVs, consulting firms, technology and Internet of Things partners, it says. In general terms Cisco Solution Partner Programme, which is a key tenant of its Partner Ecosystem, has been designed to focus on ‘solution partners’ and approach them in order to bring a wealth of solutions they offer into Cisco’s ecosystem.
Comms Dealer

 

UK ahead of the global pack in technology venture capital growth
Global investment in financial-technology ventures has more than tripled from $928 million in 2008 to $2.97 billion (£1.78 billion) in 2013, with the UK winning a rapidly growing slice, according to Accenture research. The consulting firm said that over the past three years, such investment increased at more than four times the rate of overall venture-capital investment.  Although the US remains the dominant market for so-called “fintech” investment, the fastest growing region is now the UK and Ireland (UKI). Deal-volume, mostly related to London, has been growing at an annualised rate of 74 per cent since 2008, compared with 27 per cent globally and 13 per cent in Silicon Valley.
Computer World UK

 

Silicon Valley firm makes it easier for Tech City start-ups to accept payments
A Silicon Valley firm co-founded by 24-year-old Irishman John Collison is helping start-ups in Tech City to accept payments from their customers. Stripe, founded in 2010 by John and his older brother Patrick, provides a set of unified APIs (application programming interfaces) that allow businesses to instantly accept and manage payments online. The company, run out of a trendy office in San Francisco’s Mission District, expanded from the US and into 11 new countries last year, including the UK, where it has seen particularly strong growth, according to John, who started coding aged 14 before going on to study at Harvard.
TechWorld

 

media news

 

Last.fm shutting down radio streaming service
Last.fm is to shut down its subscription radio streaming service. The music website will focus on its recommendations and tracking features from other sites – including YouTube and Spotify – from April 28. Users can still use personal stations via third-party apps and services, where the music will be played through other sources. The new Last.fm player uses YouTube videos to play tracks. In a forum post, the company explained that it will aim to improve the tracking of listening habits – or scrobbling – and the recommendation of new music.
Digital Spy

 

Google Play Music lets users upload through Chrome
Google Play Music has added an experimental new feature that allows users to upload their music collection to the cloud directly from within the Chrome browser. Until now, users have been forced to install a dedicated application to beam their music up to Google’s servers. However, a new feature in the little-publicised Google Play Music Labs – accessed via the settings in the main Google Play Music web interface – effectively cuts out the middleman, providing the option to upload directly from the browser once an extension is installed.
PC Pro

 

Xbox One reputation system ready for launch
Microsoft has confirmed its delayed gamer reputation notification system for the Xbox One will finally be launching in the coming weeks, giving players direct feedback on how they come across to others – even employing penalties to enforce good behaviour. Online gaming is often seen as a troubling environment, especially in the world of first- and third-person shooters. A certain type of behaviour where epithets fly freely, sexualities and parentage are questioned and nobody bats an eyelid at sexist, racist or other bigoted language has become sadly prevalent. Then there’s the problem of poor gamesmanship: players who ignore the rules of the game, attack their own team or ‘rage-quit’ when losing in order to avoid recording a formal loss.
Expert Review

Liberty news

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telecoms


The 4G smartphone for the price of a pint of milk: EE kickstarts superfast internet war
Mobile phone operator EE has kickstarted a superfast internet war by launching a 4G smartphone. The company has unveiled its budget Kestrel handset which it will give away free with a two-year contract, costing £13.99 a month. It claims the daily cost, of less than a 79p pint of milk, will ‘make a quality 4G experience accessible to all’. However, there are fears the move could place huge strains on the EE network, which last week was hit by a widespread signal outage blamed on ‘gremlins in the system’.
Metro

 

The next version of Android could be truly business-friendly
Android has a lot of market share, but it doesn’t have a big footprint in the corporate world; outside of special efforts like Samsung’s Knox, the OS isn’t well-suited to business demands. All that may change in the near future, though, as The Information‘s sources claim that the next major Android release will place a much stronger emphasis on office-grade security.
Engadget

 

Telefonica, Akamai sign content delivery service
Akamai Technologies and Telefónica Global Solutions have announced a content distribution agreement through which the Spanish telco will add Akamai’s catalogue to its international offer. In addition, both companies have created an innovation committee through which they will develop new products together and explore future opportunities, especially with regard to mobile business.
Rapid TV News

 

enterprise technology

 

Office of Fair Trading: UK Gov IT deals lack effective competition
No. 10 Downing Street’s G-Cloud strategy has been dinged by Britain’s competition regulator, the Office of Fair Trading, for lacking effective competition on public-sector IT deals. An OFT report published on Tuesday identified what it called “key barriers” still standing in the way of new entrants challenging the big boys for a share of the £14bn public sector information and communications technology (ICT) market.
Channel Register

 

Labour calls for mandatory cyber breach reporting
The Labour Party has called for another UK defence review to consider creating a statutory requirement for firms to report serious cyber attacks. In the 2010 Strategic Defence and Security Review, the government allocated £650m for UK cyber defences over a four-year period after cyber security was named as a top national security threat.
Computer Weekly

 

Spacious wants to help London startups find office space – counts former PM advisor Rohan Silva as chair
With recent talk of early-stage startups being squeezed out of the Old Street area of East London’s ‘Silicon Roundabout’ (or Tech City, to give it its UK Government sanctioned name), it’s no surprise to see a new startup crop up to help other startups in the city find suitable office space. Spacious, founded by Tushar Agarwal and Tom Watson last November as part of the Entrepreneur First programme, is an online marketplace for startup office space, initially targeting companies in London.
TechCrunch Europe

 

media news

 

Facebook pays $2 billion for virtual reality firm Oculus
Facebook has paid $2 billion (£1.2 billion) for a startup working on virtual reality headsets that raised cash for product development on the crowd-sourcing site Kickstarter. The prototype for the Oculus Rift was built by 19-year-old Californian student Palmer Luckey from scavenged parts in his parents’ garage. Currently the product is available as a kit for developers and a commercial version is still being refined. More than 75,000 orders have been placed for the $350 development kits.
Daily Telegraph

 

YouView future to be secured by £100 million plus shareholder deal
YouView‘s backers are set to sign a £100 million plus deal to secure the future of the internet-based TV service with all seven partners, including the BBC, remaining on board as equal shareholders in the venture. Its partners – the BBC, ITVChannel 4Channel 5, Arqiva, BT and TalkTalk – are poised to sign a new multi-year shareholder agreement after protracted and at times fraught negotiations over the development and future strategic direction of the TV service.
The Guardian

 

Twitter ‘least effective customer service channel’ for UK brands
UK companies are struggling to deliver adequate customer service through the web, email, social media and web chat channels, with Twitter performance particularly patchy, according to new research. The study, from Eptica, indicates that only 39 per cent of companies were able to answer customer service questions asked through Twitter – despite 76 per cent of organisations now being contactable through this channel.
NetImperative

liberty news

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telecoms

 

South Africa telecoms regulator says it may reconsider mobile rate cut proposal
South Africa’s telecoms regulator said on Monday it may reconsider planned cuts for 2015 and 2016 in the amount mobile operators charge each other to use their networks. “In this case, we may review 2015 and 2016 mainly in trying to avert a very lengthy legal challenge. We will be re-consulting for those years,” Paseka Maleka, a spokesman for the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa, said.
Reuters UK

 

Vodafone celebrates 30th anniversary
Vodafone celebrated the 30th anniversary of its brand on Friday (March 22). The company, which now claims it is the UK’s “most valuable brand” revealed that the suggestion to spell ‘phone’ as ‘fone’ was originally rejected by then CEO Sir Gerry Whent.
Mobile News

 

Regulators put Microsoft’s Nokia buyout on hold
Nokia says it doesn’t expect the $7.5bn sale of its phone business to Microsoft to close until April, with the companies awaiting approval from regulators. The handset maker had previously said it would close the deal in the first quarter of the year, but the global nature of the sale has pushed the sale back as competition authorities take a closer look at the transfer of ownership.
PC Pro

 

enterprise technology

UK tax change could hike up the price of downloaded apps, music and books
Music, book and app downloads may jump in price in the UK soon after VAT changes were announced in the annual budget. Chancellor George Osborn pointed out in his annual budget speech that companies are currently charged tax at source on digital downloads, through foreign countries like Luxembourg where it is as low as 3 per cent. From 1 January 2015 however, downloads will be taxed in the country they are purchased instead, meaning a 20 per cent VAT charge in the UK.
Pocket-lint

 

Cisco charges onto the cloud
Networking giant Cisco has said that it wants to offer cloud computing services and is writing a billion dollar cheque over the next two years. Needless to say, Cisco has been running late and the market currently led by the world’s biggest online retailer Amazon.com which does not seem to be giving up.
TechEye

 

China’s Huawei calls on tech firms to unite against NSA spying
China-based telecoms equipment maker Huawei has condemned alleged spying on its networks by the US National Security Agency, reportedly part of wider efforts to spy on Chinese politicians and firms. “If the actions in the report are true, Huawei condemns such activities that invaded and infiltrated into our internal corporate network and monitored our communications,” Huawei said in a statement.
IBTimes

 

media news

 

Google admit Glass specs aren’t ready for general launch
Think all Google Glass wearers are nerds with lots of money? Not so fast, says Google. The web giant took to its Google+ page on 20 March to debunk some of the most common “myths” about its high-tech specs — and admitted that they’re not quite ready for primetime. “Glass is a prototype, and our Explorers and the broader public are playing a critical role in how it’s developed,” Google explained.
IT ProPortal

 

Apple ‘in talks with US cable provider Comcast about streaming TV’
Apple has engaged in preliminary talks with US cable television provider Comcast about a potential streamed TV service, according to a report. Speculation about Apple entering the television sector has been around for some time, but the iPhone company has struggled to get content makers on board.
Digital Spy

 

AOL partners with Channel 4 News, ITN and MyMovies to launch premium AOL On video platform in UK
AOL has partnered with Channel 4 News, ITN and Scripps Networks International among others to launch its AOL On video platform in the UK. Following launches in the US and Canada, the company signed up content providers Channel 4 News – the first third-party deal of its kind for Channel 4 – ITN, Scripps Networks International, MyMovies and LittleDot to acquire clips from UK shows such as Supernanny and Embarrassing Bodies.
The Drum

liberty news

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telecoms

 

Samsung Galaxy S5 to hit shops soon for your fondling pleasure
Want to get your hands on the Galaxy S5? You won’t have to wait until its 11 April launch day. Samsung is releasing a small batch of S5s to shops in selected countries, including the UK, starting today. The “Global Preview” starts in the US and Switzerland today, with Samsung promising it “will be expanded” to the UK, China, Germany and other major countries.
CNET UK

 

Obama might dump his Blackberry for an Android smartphone
United States President Barack Obama might be about to dump his beloved Blackberry for an Android smartphone, dealing yet another blow to the struggling Canadian phone maker. That is according to the Wall Street Journal, which reported on Thursday that the White House is testing Android smartphones from Samsung and LG that it will consider adopting internally. The report cites people with knowledge of the matter, who have let slip that the devices are being tested by the White House internal technology team and Communications Agency, a military unit in charge of Obama’s communications.
The Inquirer

 

HTC One M8 event live streaming, countdown begins
The all new HTC One M8 smartphone will be unveiled in a blaze of publicity at an event in just a few more days, on March 25th. This successor to the HTC One flagship that was released last year is generating huge waves of interest, and anticipation for the device is high. Now we have good news for those who want to follow the HTC One M8 event as HTC is offering live streaming and has also started a countdown.
Phones Review

 

enterprise technology

MtGox finds 200,000 Bitcoins in ‘forgotten’ wallet
MtGox said on Friday it found 200,000 “forgotten” Bitcoins on March 7, a week after the Tokyo-based digital currency exchange filed for bankruptcy protection saying it had lost about $500 million worth of Bitcoin, nearly all its holdings. tGox made the announcement on its website. Online sleuths had noticed the same amount of Bitcoin moving through the crypto-currency exchange after the bankruptcy filing. he exchange said the Bitcoins were found in an old-format online wallet which it had thought no longer held any Bitcoins, but which it checked again after its bankruptcy filing.
The Daily Telegraph

 

Freedom of Information laws to extend to IT outsourcers
It looks like the government will soon extend the Freedom of Information Act to private companies including IT suppliers to government. A recent Public Accounts Committee (PAC) report into government procurement reported that suppliers “were content that Freedom of Information provisions should apply to public sector contracts with their companies.” Liberal Democrat Simon Hughes said the change would be written into the contracts of companies after the publication of a new code of practice, which should be in place by the end of this year.
Computer Weekly

 

Facebook hacks out PHP alternative
The big “HACK” signs reputed to adorn the walls of Facebook offices aren’t just a command from His Royal Zuckness: The Social Network also uses a programming language called “Hack” and has just given it to the world. Facebook describes Hack as “a programming language we developed for HHVM that interoperates seamlessly with PHP” and “… reconciles the fast development cycle of PHP with the discipline provided by static typing, while adding many features commonly found in other modern programming languages.” The Social Network says it already uses Hack for all sorts of things, and likes it because it reduces the likelihood of simple-to-make errors that slow the development process.
The Register

 

media news

 

Huffington Post shelves Russian launch plans after Crimea crisis
The Huffington Post has shelved its plan to launch in Russia following the crisis in the Ukraine, reports Angela Haggerty in The Drum. She quotes HuffPo’s chief executive, Jimmy Maymann, as saying: “We had a plan of 15 markets and we’ve launched in 11 so far… We were in negotiations in Russia but then they decided to invade Crimea. Right now, there’s sanctions against them so we’re putting that on the back burner.” Sanctions imposed on Russia by the US and the European Union do not directly affect the US-based Huffington Post’s ability to do business there.
The Guardian

 

Nokia partners high-end fashion magazine Centrefold
Nokia has partnered with high-end fashion magazine Centrefold to create a magazine and exhibition made up entirely of photographs taken on the Lumia 1020 as the mobile brand looks to win over the discerning creative audience. The two brands held an exhibition of the photographs in Shoreditch last night (20 March), the same date 4,000 copies of the large-format A2-size magazine began to be distributed to offices and individuals involved in the creative, fashion, design and music industries across the UK, New York and some European cities.
Marketing Week

 

UK leads the way in ad spend growth
The UK advertising market is forecast to grow faster than any other market in Western Europe during 2014. This will be the fifth year running that the UK has outperformed Western Europe, this year growing eight times faster than the rest of the region. That’s the verdict of ZenithOptimedia’s first UK Advertising Expenditure Forecasts, which predicts that the advertising market will grow by 5.8 per cent to £13.7bn in 2014, beating the healthy 5.5 per cent growth it achieved in 2013. The strong growth will be supported this year by the UK’s continued economic recovery and by the World Cup in Brazil.
Mobile Marketing Magazine

liberty news

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telecoms

 

EE apologises for ‘gremlins in the system’ after massive signal outage
Mobile network EE has said has resolved signal problems which affected some of its 27 million customers across the UK. A technical issue prevented some customers from making phone calls, texting and using the internet on Wednesday evening. In a tweet, EE, which also operates under the T-Mobile and Orange brands, said they were aware of “gremlins in the system” and apologised for the inconvenience caused.
The Independent

 

Ovivo Mobile virtual network operator shuts down without warning
Ad-funded virtual network operator Ovivo Mobile shut down suddenly last night (March 19) without any warning. The operator, which piggybacked on Vodafone’s network, said it was closing due to “reasons beyond our control” in a message left on its website. Ovivo Mobile provided access to the network at no monthly cost by displaying adverts on users’ screens every ten minutes.
Digital Spy

 

Samsung Galaxy S5 could be cheaper than Galaxy S4
The Samsung Galaxy S5 isn’t going to be cheap – that we can be sure of. But there’s potentially good news for anyone looking to pick one up as a report suggests it won’t be quite as expensive as the Galaxy S4. According to ZDNet Korea, the Korean media is reporting that the factory price for the Samsung Galaxy S5 has been set at 890,000 Won (around $830, £500, AU$900).
TechRadar

 

enterprise technology

Man charged with leaking Windows 8 secrets
A former Microsoft employee is facing criminal charges after he allegedly passed trade secrets to a blogger in France. Russian national Alex Kibkalo, a former Microsoft employee in Lebanon and Russia, admitted to Microsoft investigators that he provided confidential company documents and information to the blogger, documents from a Seattle federal court showed.
PC Pro

 

HP to set out 3D printing plans in June
HP will outline plans to enter the commercial 3D-printing market in June, having claimed to have solved a number of technical problems affecting broader adoption of the high-tech manufacturing process. CEO Meg Whitman told shareholders the company will make a “big technology announcement” in June around how it will approach a market that has excited the imagination of investors and consumers.
IT Pro

 

EA Games website hacked to steal Apple IDs
Hold onto your Apple ID credentials and don’t enter them anywhere unless you’re 100 percent certain that a) it’s necessary, and b) legitimate. That’s today’s security lesson, courtesy of a very convincing Apple ID login screen hosted on game publisher Electronic Arts’ website that was used to steal credentials. The first question a user stumbling across the site above should ask themselves is: “Why is EA.com asking me for my Apple ID?”
ZDNet

 

media news

 

Is Twitter about to remove @ replies?
Twitter could be about to remove @ replies, if a recent company experiment is any indication. Evidence was found in Twitter’s Android alpha test group app. Buzzfeed received an image that shows username handles have been removed from replies, but that they still show in a line of conversation – as introduced in an October update.
IBTimes

 

Japan plans 8K TV broadcast testing in 2016, with full service by 2020 Tokyo Olympics
Japanese broadcaster NHK has confirmed it wants to push for 8K broadcasting as soon as possible and will begin testing a service by 2016.NHK wants to offer “a full [8K] broadcasting service by 2020, the year of the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics”. Currently 4K UHD is the best service on offer. But 4K televisions are expensive and content is sparse at best right now. Nonetheless NHK is pressing on and plans to show off its 8K tech at the NAB broadcasting show in Las Vegas this April.
Pocket-lint

Alibaba invests $215m in Tango mobile messaging service
Chinese internet giant Alibaba has made a $215m investment in Tango, a Silicon Valley mobile messaging service, in what is believed to be Alibaba’s largest investment in a US company. The four-year-old company is used by 200m people worldwide and allows video as well as text chats as well as offering games and music. Alibaba joined other investors to pump a total of $280m into the company.
The Guardian

To boldly go where no-one has gone before…!

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As someone who was raised by two avid sci-fi fans, it’s fair to say that I’ve watched quite a bit of Star Trek in my time. I may have also been to a Star Trek convention (or two…).

 

 

I remember the days when admitting you were a ‘trekkie’ was something people would happily tease you for but in recent years, with the help of cult TV shows like The Big Bang Theory, people are starting to realise that nerds are actually pretty cool.

 

One thing that I love the most about working in tech PR is that the industry is always evolving and with that evolution comes new and truly innovative products that make you go ‘wow!’. The reason why I mentioned Star Trek is because the majority of tech that really has the wow factor for me are the gadgets and gizmos that remind me of classic sci-fi TV shows of the past.  Star Trek especially showcased technology that seemed so mystifying and futuristic at the time, and that wasn’t even that long ago really when you think about it.

 

Recently an iPhone case that acts like a tricorder with built in sensors to read a person’s vital signs was unveiled. On top of this we’re also seeing major developments in simulation and virtual reality technology that can transform your gaming experience to make you feel like you’re on a holodeck.  With technologies like this available today, Star Trek really doesn’t seem so futuristic any more.

 

It wasn’t just Star Trek that seemed to predict the future of technology.

 

I can’t help but think of The Six Million Dollar Man when I read about 3D printed body parts. “We can rebuild him. We have the technology. We have the technology to build the world’s first bionic man…”. Prosthetics have been advancing quickly in recent years, maybe not quite to bionic man standard, but enough to really change people’s lives. Only recently we heard about how a motorbike accident survivor had his life transformed when surgeons were able to reconstruct his face using 3D printed parts. Just last year a man was able to use a 3D printer to create a new hand for his son, after using the internet to research the technology.

 

You can’t watch Back to the Future or Minority Report without seeing glimpses of familiar tech that was once considered so far away, and this actually excites me quite a lot. Personally, I’m eagerly awaiting a hoverboard (and not a hoax!) or the ability to teleport.  And in no way is that embarrassing…

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telecoms

Apple lowers iPad price and launches iPhone 5C
Technology giant Apple has lowered the price of its fourth-generation iPad, hours after confirming a lower-cost version of its smartphone, the iPhone 5c. The price of the iPad has now been lowered on its online store to £329. The move makes the device the cheapest 9-inch tablet the California company has on sale, despite it being one of the newest versions, replacing the iPad 2, which was released in 2011.
London Evening Standard

 

Taiwan Mobile selects NSN as sole supplier for LTE-Advanced network
Nokia Solutions and Networks supports Taiwan Mobile, a leading wireless operator, in a rapid roll-out of its multi-band LTE network built with NSN’s Liquid Radio and Liquid Core technology. NSN will also deploy LTE-Advanced carrier aggregation technology to increase bandwidth and network performance by combining the 700MHz and 1800MHz spectrum bands.
Wireless

 

Mobile video calling users to reach 130M by 2018
Users of mobile video calling services such as Skype are forecast to increase to over 130 million by 2018, but question marks remain over the potential for mobile video calling to generate revenues in its own right, according to Juniper Research. The company observed that as with many OTT services, only a small proportion of mobile video calling users pay for the service directly.
Fierce Wireless

 

enterprise technology

London NHS Trust takes records into the cloud as part of NHS-wide roll out
One London NHS trust has got a head-start on its counterparts by taking its records into the cloud in what will be regular occurrence among the country’s medical organisations over the coming years. The Royal London NHS Trust is bringing in a cloud-based information management system that allows it to take all traditional paper patient records and case notes, and store them in the cloud.
ITProPortal

 

UK Parliamentary ICT to be consolidated with digital office
The UK Parliamentary ICT (PICT) will soon be replaced by a Digital Office, merging the management of all Web and Intranet Service (WIS) and ICT services into a single administration to upgrade its IT offering while renewing its legacy strategy. In addition, the House of Commons and House of Lords Management Boards have also decided to appoint a Head of Digital, who will run the organisation as well, be responsible for delivering increasing satisfaction levels with Parliament’s digital services from Members, staff and the public.
Computer Business Review

 

Payleven announces NFC-capable mobile point-of-sale card reader
Payleven, which began life as Rocket Internet’s Square clone for Europe, will later this year bring out a mobile point-of-sale (mPOS) card reader that accepts contactless payments using near-field communication (NFC) technology. The rollout of NFC-based contactless payment facilities among retailers has been patchy, apart from where banks are enthusiastically pushing them, such as in the U.K. and Poland. Certainly for very small businesses – the kind that will use cheap mPOS readers from the likes of Payleven, Square or iZettle to accept card payments for the first time – NFC has not factored thus far.
GigaOm

 

media news

Sony unveils prototype virtual reality headset for Playstation
Sony Corp unveiled a prototype for a new virtual reality headset accessory for its Playstation 4 games console on Tuesday at the annual Game Developers Conference in San Francisco, as it bids to further acceptance of the concept. The headset, still in development under the name “Project Morpheus”, is designed to provide an immersive experience for gamers by projecting a virtual reality image in front of their eyes that shifts as it tracks the movement of their head.
Reuters

 

Music industry slumps despite online growth
Music subscription services’ revenues grew to over $1bn (£603m) worldwide in 2013, but the dramatic growth from the likes of Spotify and Rdio was not enough to support the music industry which contracted 3.9 per cent overall to $15bn.
City A.M

4K TV shipments set to grow exponentially
4K LCD TV shipments are beginning to snowball: units of the UltraHD sets reached 1.6 million in 2013, with the bulk of that — nearly one million TVs — shipping in the fourth quarter. According to the latest NPD DisplaySearch Quarterly Global TV Shipment and Forecast Report, growth was significantly driven by China, although shipments from countries outside of China more than doubled in Q4, as well. Chinese brands comprised 84 per cent of global 4K TV shipments in 2013 and 80 per cent of 4K TV shipments in Q4.
Rapid TV News

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telecoms

Apple retains customers as BlackBerry, Nokia bleed
Apple is in a better position with its iPhone to retain customers as Dutch mobile users move away from devices made by BlackBerry and Nokia. Meanwhile, Sony, LG and Huawei are gaining ground, according to a study by Telecompaper. In the third quarter of last year, 72 per cent of mobile phone users in the Netherlands had a smartphone, compared to 56 per cent the year before. Samsung remained market leader for smartphones, as well as for feature phones, pushing Android’s presence to 70 per cent of all smartphones in the Netherlands.
TelecomPaper

 

Slovenia Telekom to be privatised by year end
The state’s stake in Telekom Slovenia is likely to be sold by the end of the year, Economy Minister Metod Dragonja said on Tuesday. “It is my expectation that Telekom will be privatised by the end of this year,” Dragonja told a news conference. Telekom is the largest among more than a dozen companies the Slovenian government listed for privatisation last year as part of its efforts to overhaul the economy. It has market capitalisation of 860 million euros ($1.20 billion).
Reuters

 

ZTE ranked in Top 3 for VC
ZTE Corporation has been ranked in the world’s top three vendors of video-conferencing systems in the latest report by Wainhouse Research. According to the “SpotCheck Group Video Conferencing Q4-2013 and YR-2013” report by Wainhouse Research ZTE achieved 14 per cent market share in the shipment of videoconferencing terminals and 15 per cent market share in terminals and system platforms revenue in Q4 2013. ZTE’s overall market share of the videoconferencing terminals and systems market rose to 11 per cent in 2013.
Comms Business

 

enterprise technology


New survey finds many businesses still unprepared for cyber attacks
Over 80 per cent of online businesses are not adequately prepared for cyber attacks and upwards of a third have admitted to not having any concrete plan in place for when an attack strikes. A survey carried out by the Economist Intelligence Unit and sponsored by Arbor Networks looked at whether business leaders felt ready if a cyber attack befalls the company. Despite over three quarters [77 per cent] of the companies surveyed stating that they had suffered an incident over the past two years, 38 per cent stated that there is still no incident response plan in place.
ITProPortal

 

Parliament to unify web and ICT with Digital Office
Parliamentary ICT (PICT) will soon be replaced by a Digital Office which aims to bring together online and Parliament ICT services. House of Commons and House of Lords management boards have announced updates to the way Parliament will conduct its IT proceedings. The current Parliament IT offering will be replaced by a Digital Office which aims to bring together its Web and Intranet Service (WIS) and Parliament ICT (PICT) services. Off the back of a review into IT in Parliament, the management boards have also decided to appoint a head of digital to run the Digital Office. This person will be “publicly accountable for delivering measurably rising levels of satisfaction with Parliament’s digital services from members, staff and the public”.
Computer Weekly

 

How the Internet of Things will put pressure on data centres
Smart devices will put pressure on data centres as they generate big data that needs to be processed and analysed in real time, according to the latest research. Gartner predicts that there will be 26 billion Internet of Things (IoT) units installed by 2020 as IoT suppliers generate $300bn in revenue. IoT refers to appliances enabled with sensors and assigned their own IP address that connect to the internet – thus creating a world where devices and machines can communicate with each other, interpret information and make intelligent decisions in real time as more and more devices connect to the internet.
Computer Business Review

 

media news

 

Mobile overtakes TV as most popular way to consume media
People in Britain will spend more time consuming media on their desktops, laptops, tablets and mobile phones than they will on their televisions in 2014, according to a new report. The average UK adult will spend more than 8.5 hours each day consuming media in 2014. Of that total, 3 hours 41 minutes per day will be spent online, on non-voice mobile activities or with other digital media, according to analyst eMarketer’s estimates, compared to 3 hours 15 minutes watching television.
Marketing Week

 

‘Netflix for piracy’ Popcorn Time back up and running after going open-source
Popcorn Time’s closure lasted just two days, with the site allowing users to watch movies free online being picked up by other developers. Described as a “nightmare scenario” for the film industry, the site was shut down by its creators, only for the software to be made open-source on a popular code-sharing website. This paved the way for anyone and everyone to host the software, in a sort of digital game of whack-a-mole that will make it very difficult to shut down for good. Powered by BitTorrent files, the service has now been translated into 32 different languages.
Independent

 

11.16am time Brits panic they’ve left devices on
11.16am is the time most forgetful Brits worry they’ve left devices running once they’ve left for work, according to new research. Almost half (45 per cent) of Brits have had to return home in the morning when already on their way to work to double check they have locked up, and more than a third (38 per cent) have returned home just to assure themselves that they have switched an appliance off. Over a quarter (29 per cent) admit to having called a relative they know is at home to check on an appliance they think they have accidentally left on, with 11.16am revealed to be the time the average Brit starts to panic about what they might have forgotten to do at home.
Daily Telegraph

The expanding Silicon map

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Several weeks ago I spotted an article in the FT that highlighted 2013 as the year that New York’s tech start-up community really took off.

 

 

Tim Bradshaw went on to include comment from Napster founder and first Facebook president, Sean Parker, who stated that while Silicon Valley feels ‘totally in the clouds’, New York feels more ‘real.’ An interesting theory on a city unlike any other.

 

Having been a New Yorker myself, it’s nice to see that the Big Apple has become a big city on the global technology map and I can’t help but think about how technology territory has expanded.

 

When I first started my career in technology PR, my portfolio of clients were all largely headquartered in California. Most of my client calls almost always featured someone at the beginning of the day while others were finishing theirs, and the nerve-wracking continuous triple checking of time zones to ensure that none of these calls, or even worse media briefings, were scheduled in the middle of the night.

 

The news that one of my clients is relocating its headquarters to Texas, makes me realise that while California remains a major technology hub, many of my current clients today have their head offices scattered across the globe. Its positive to see that technology skills and expertise are now omnipresent and that technology in itself, together with local and national government incentives (like the recent launch of the European Internet of Things grant), is enabling companies, large and small, to grow roots where they are. I can’t help but wonder what the next technology hotspot is likely to be.

 

There’s no doubt I’ll need to continue relying on my trusty Outlook diary and my WorldTimeBuddy to help me avoid scheduling client meetings and media briefings at half past rude. But, with over a quarter of the London job growth coming from the technology and digital sector, my Outlook diary is remaining upbeat.

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telecoms

Vodafone confirms €7.2bn Ono buy
After months of speculation, Vodafone on Monday confirmed that it will acquire Spanish cable operator Ono for €7.2 billion, continuing its push to build up fixed assets in Europe. The deal, which will see the mobile group acquire 100 per cent of Ono’s share capital, is expected to close in the third quarter of this year, subject to regulatory and antitrust approvals. “The combination of Vodafone and Ono creates a leading integrated communications provider in Spain and represents an attractive value creation opportunity for Vodafone,” said Vodafone CEO Vittorio Colao, in a statement.
TotalTelecom

 

Carphone boss Pin Points the firm’s future on the high street
Graham Stapleton said mixing the online and the physical buying process with Pin Point, Carphone’s price comparison-style tablet, is big news for the high street. He told Metro the firm’s £20 million investment, bringing in tablets to allow customers to compare up to 92,000 tarriff combinations with the help of an expert in-store, will change the way complicated products are sold. ‘I think any business with a need for a very complex and effective assisted sale, this is the way they will do it in the future,’ said Mr Stapleton, who carries two phones at any one time, but ‘couldn’t possibly say which two’.
Metro

 

Telefonica signs up to sell Samsung Knox ahead of Galaxy S5 release
Telefonica has partnered with Samsung to push the Korean company’s upgraded Knox 2.0 Android security service to its enterprise and public sector customers. Telefonica confirmed that it will offer Knox on a range of Samsung devices including the Galaxy Note 3, Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 edition and soon-to-be-released Galaxy S5. Samsung unveiled Knox 2.0 alongside the Galaxy S5 at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona in February. The upgraded version of Knox retains the same sandboxing powers as the original, letting IT managers set up separate work and personal areas on the device. This allows IT managers to enforce policies and manage the work side of the device without affecting the user’s personal side.
V3

 

enterprise technology


CIOs too busy fire-fighting to plan IT strategy
A new survey by Calyx reveals that Chief Information Officers (CIOs) and IT Directors believe they are no longer playing a major part in shaping business strategy. Although technology is central to many key business strategies, from maximising internet presence through to data mining and business intelligence, the survey’s findings suggest that CIOs are still heavily focused on ‘keeping the lights on’, instead of outsourcing day-to-day maintenance and support tasks. As a result, many organisations are failing to exploit the full potential of ICT – and are losing out on creating a competitive edge. When over 200 CIOs and IT directors were asked to name their most important responsibility, only around one third (33 per cent) saw it as driving strategic growth through technology. Perhaps more significantly, even fewer (16 per cent) actually spend their working day driving the development of business through IT while only (11 per cent) say they mainly focus on developing strategic concepts around IT to move their organisation forward.
Comms Business

 

BT email system being investigated over data security
The UK Information Commissioner Office (ICO) is investigating an email system used by British multinational telecommunications services BT for allegedly exposing ‘user credentials en masse’. As part of the investigation, the UK data regulator is looking into the telecom company’s data practices during its process of shifting consumers’ email accounts from a Yahoo-based system to its customised set-up developed by Openwave Messaging. The agency is mainly is mainly aiming to find out whether BT implemented insecure protocols for the messaging platform and stored data such that it exposed e-mail addresses and passwords.
CBR

 

New survey finds war for talent hotting up in the IT sector
Skills gaps, high demand and concerns surrounding staff retention are driving pay rises in the IT arena, the latest ReThink Recruitment IT directors’ survey has found. The specialist IT recruitment consultancy also found a gap between resourcing capacity and expected activity in its survey of over 1500 director level professionals. Figures in the seventh annual survey highlight that salaries have continued their upward trend after a challenging period during the global recession. The majority of directors (65 per cent) reported salaries grew in the last 12 months, with a further 95 per cent reporting contractor rates had either increased or remained stable during this time.
Information Age

 

media news

Chromecast UK launch tipped for Wednesday March 19
You might be able to get the official UK version of the Chromecast from Wednesday, if these leaked internal documents are correct. Some internal communications from Dixons Retail have been shared with Android Police, which outline a brand new Google product will be available in stores from Wednesday, March 19 at 9am. Form the looks of it, the Dixons Retail group began receiving Chromecast stock on Friday March 14, but has signed a non-disclosure agreement with Google.
TrustedReviews

 

US government to relinquish control of Internet address system
The US government has announced it is ready to relinquish control of some of the most important technical functions of the Internet. In September 2015, the US Commerce Department will hand over coordination of the Internet’s domain name system (DNS), which translates numeric Internet Protocol addresses into human-readable domain names, to non-profit organisation the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN).
Telegraph

 

EU votes yes to universal mobile phone charger
Late last week the EU voted on whether a common charger should be developed for all mobile phones sold in the EU. Such a move would reduce e-waste and reduce the hassle of needing different chargers with different brands of mobile phones. The vote was massively in favour of the draft new Radio Equipment Directive laws, being approved by 550 votes to 12 with 8 abstentions. The new draft directive is also said to be an efficient tool to prevent interference between different radio equipment devices. Under the new law there will be harmonised rules for placing radio equipment, including cellular telephones, car-door openers and modems, on the market. This will prevent such devices interfering with each other’s operations while also meeting health and safety requirements.
Hexus

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telecoms

EE brings 4G speeds to France and Spain for small business customers
EE’s small business customers will be able to take advantage of faster mobile data speeds on their travels, as the operator has announced 4G partner deals in France and Spain. The 4G speeds are so far only available for consumer and small business customers in the above two European countries.
V3

 

ONO investors reject second Vodafone bid
ONO shunned Vodafone’s improved takeover bid yesterday as the Spanish cable operator continues to race forward with plans for an initial public offering. Ono’s shareholders – including investment funds Providence Equity Partners, Thomas H Lee Partners and Quadrangle Capital – voted to proceed with IPO plans over coming weeks, despite Vodafone’s offer which was said to come in above £5.8bn.
City AM

Mobile phone moans ‘are in the thousands’
Mobile phone giants have been accused of “hanging customers out to dry” by Citizens Advice, which called on phone firms to take action to curb surprise hefty bills. A raft of complaints over shock bills, frequent mistakes over tariffs and phantom charges led the advisory service to hit out at the mobile industry ahead of World Consumer Rights Day tomorrow.
London Evening Standard

 

enterprise technology


PayPal’s new policies are more crowdfunding friendly
Last year, PayPal promised to overhaul its policies after getting flak for freezing huge amounts of crowdfunding funds and today it’s announced those changes. By the looks of it, PayPal has been working closely with crowdfunding websites to verify each campaign that wants to use its services. If it determines that a campaign is a true crowdfunding project (as opposed to a pre-order vehicle) with no guarantees of a final product, PayPal requires it to plaster a disclaimer on its campaign page.
Engadget

 

GreenDataNet project aims to run urban data centres on 80 per cent renewable energy
A consortium of enterprises, academics, software engineers and public sector bodies has come together in a project called GreenDataNet to tackle the energy and emissions problems associated with urban data centre growth.
Computing

 

Swedish payments provider Klarna raises €90 million for acquisition of SOFORT
Things have been happening lately over at Stockholm-based safe payments provider Klarna. The company has just announced it raised €90 million from existing investors, including Sequoia Capital, General Atlantic, and Atomico in order to buy SOFORT, the direct banking company.
Arctic Startup

media news

Facebook TV: Video ads now interrupting your news feed
Facebook will gradually introduce 15-second video ads that auto play in News Feed to its 1.23 billion members following a three-month test of the product, the company said Thursday. The new ads, called “Premium Video Ads,” are modelled after television spots and are meant to give advertisers with deep pockets – ads reportedly cost anywhere from $1 million to $2.5 million per day – access to the broadest swath of Facebook users at specific intervals during the day.
Cnet

 

United Airlines could soon unveil in-flight iOS video streaming
Apple device owners may want to start booking more United Airlines flights starting next month. According to a report, the airline is launching a new in-flight video-streaming service for iPhone and iPad users.
According to Patently Apple, the company will offer more than 150 movies and 200 TV shows for free.
ITProPortal

 

CueSongs to create music listening solution for online broadcasters
Music licensing hub CueSongs is to build a ‘first of its kind’ music licensing solution for online broadcasters. Launching on April 1, the project, titled Frictionless Music Licensing for Online Broadcast, will enable rights-holders to set license usage, pricing and revenue shares for content in real-time.
Music Week

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telecoms

EE crowned UK’s best mobile operator – Vodafone in last place
EE has been named the best mobile operator in the UK and Vodafone the worst in a comprehensive study by UK mobile analytics firm RootMetric. More than 840,000 tests were made covering reliability and speed of voice, text, and internet data. The six month study, looking at roughly one sample for every hundred mobile contracts, found that EE ranked first in every category.
The Independent

 

Samsung’s crazy long phone idea could be a movie-lovers dream
Samsung might be trying to succeed where LG failed with a newly-filed patent for a smartphone with a 21:9 aspect ratio. That’s pretty damn long, but given it’s the same ratio found on widescreen TVs this could be for a phone built for the hardcore film fans. That’s reinforced by the especially large speaker grill shown on the phone in the patent sketch. There’s no mention of what the resolution might be but there is a rather large-looking rear facing camera too.
TechRadar

 

UK accelerates up EU rankings on superfast broadband
The latest report on broadband from Ofcom has found that the UK’s superfast rollout is progressing well, and that the UK has moved up the European rankings when it comes to slick surfing and streaming speeds. The availability of superfast broadband was at 60 per cent in the UK at the close of 2011, and two years later it now sits at 73 per cent of households in the country. Ofcom notes that while we used to be third among the big “EU5” nations (France, Germany, Italy and Spain being the others), we’re now first in terms of overall superfast coverage.
IT ProPortal

 

enterprise technology

NSA wants to create spy botnets
The NSA has a cunning plan to set up botnets and use their victims to spy on people, according to new files found in the Edward Snowden collection. The files show that the National Security Agency is dramatically expanding its ability to hack into computers on a mass scale by using automated systems that reduce the level of human oversight in the process.
TechEye

 

Tech giants sitting on hundreds of billions in offshore accounts
Four of the biggest US technology companies collectively hold an estimated $124 billion in US Treasury debt, much of it offshore, earning them tax-free interest, according to the UK’s Bureau of Investigative Journalism (BIJ). Apple, Microsoft, Google and Cisco hold a large proportion of the $254.9 billion held in their foreign subsidiaries in US Treasuries, according to securities filings reviewed by the London-based BIJ, a not-for-profit news organisation.
PC Pro

 

UK consumers buy more via smartphone than rest of Europe
Mobile users in the UK are more likely to buy goods using their smartphone than anywhere else in Europe, new research has found.

Out of 18 European countries surveyed by Google, the UK has the highest percentage of people who make a monthly purchase on their smartphones – 32 per cent, compared to just 8 per cent in France, 15 per cent in Germany and 19 per cent in Sweden.
The Telegraph

 

media news

Super Mario-themed toys jumping into McDonald’s Happy Meals
McDonald’s and Nintendo have paired up for every 6-year-old’s dream: Super Mario-theme toys in Happy Meals. Beginning on 19 March, the toy inside every Happy Meal will be one of eight Super Mario-theme toys, including classic characters: Mario, Luigi, Toad, Donkey Kong and the classic Super Mushroom power-up.
Pocket-lint

Angry Birds becoming turn-based RPG
Angry Birds developer Rovio has revealed that its next game in the franchise will be a turn based RPG. Titled Angry Birds Epic, it will soft launch in Canada, Australia and New Zealand later this week with a roll out to other territories at a later date.  Although it’s not describing the initial launch as an alpha or early access build, Rovio states that the game will be refined before launching globally. Initially targeting iOS, the final version will also be available for Android and Windows Phone 8 systems.
Bit-tech

Shakira beat PewDiePie as world’s most popular YouTube channel in February
With nearly 2.3bn video views in 2013, Swedish gamer PewDiePie had the world’s biggest YouTube channel. In February 2014, though, he was no match for Shakira and Rihanna. The music stars’ Can’t Remember to Forget You duet was released at the end of January, and made Shakira’s official YouTube channel the most popular on Google’s video service the following month.
The Guardian

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telecoms

 

Bouygues to sell network, spectrum to Free for €1.8bn
Bouygues Telecom on Sunday announced that if Vivendi accepts its offer for SFR it will divest its mobile network infrastructure and spectrum to smaller rival Free Mobile for up to €1.8 billion. The deal is clearly designed to address any concerns Vivendi might have about regulatory intervention slowing the sale process should it choose to sell SFR to Bouygues, a move that would reduce the number of players in the mobile market to three from four and would doubtless attract considerable regulatory scrutiny.
Total Telecom

 

Vodafone offering free TV with Xperia Z2 pre-orders
The Sony Xperia Z2 will hit shelves on April 10th. Vodafone officially opened pre-orders for the android smartphone this morning. Customers will need to pre-order the smartphone on one of Vodafone’s Red 4G plans. In addition to unlimited UK calls and texts, customers will also get between 3GB and 13GB of data depending on the package they choose. The television that will be given to the first 3,000 pre-order customers is the Sony Bravia KDL–32R433B.
T3

 

Orange efficiencies deliver greater profit
Orange has forecast stable margins this year and higher core profit than analysts were expecting, reports Reuters. The operator forecast earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) of €12.1-12.6 billion for 2014, above the Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S poll average of 12.08 billion. Results for last year, however, showed no decrease in the pressure Orange has faced since 2012 when low-cost player Iliad entered the mobile arena and sparked a price war.
Global Telecoms Business

 

enterprise technology
IBM boss admits last year missed expectations
The head of IBM has used the firm’s annual report to acknowledge to shareholders that the firm did not deliver the best performance last year and that there was more work to be done on the hardware side of the portfolio. In her chairman’s letter to shareholders at the front of the 2013 Annual Report IBM’s chairman and CEO Ginni Rometty said that the firm had done a lot to invest in some of the key growth areas, including cloud, but overall there had been performance issues.
Microscope

 

Demand for UK IT workers on the rise
The demand for IT and Computing staff in the UK continued to increase throughout February. The latest Report on Jobs, published by KPMG and the REC, reveals that the pace of expansion was faster than the average for all types of permanent workers across the UK. In January, KPMG and the REC announced that marked increases in permanent placements in the IT sector were signalled in all four monitored English regions, with the South posting the steepest rise.
PCR-Online

 

24 per cent of top UK finance brands still not mobile
However more of these companies have mobile optimised sites than in retail or travel. 24 per cent of the top 50 financial brands still do not have a mobile solution for their services, finds the Internet Advertising Bureau UK. So far NatWest, Bupa and Hiscox are amongst the top companies in the finance sector, of which 22 per cent do have a mobile optimised site, compared to four per cent travel and just two per cent retail.
Mobile Entertainment

 

media news
 

Chromecast heading to the UK ‘in weeks’
It’s taken far too long for the Google Chromecast to hit the UK but there are signs that it is finally heading this way. At SXSW this week, Google’s head of Android Sundar Pichai, revealed that the streaming stick will be coming to “many more countries” by the end of March. Given that rumours were rife that the device was set to launch in March – rumours that were eventually denied by Google – it is pretty much nailed on that one of the countries Chromecast will be coming to in a matter of weeks will be the UK.
Techradar

 

Google to release “wearable” Android within a fortnight
Google will launch a new version of Android designed to work on wearable devices within the next fortnight. “In two weeks we are launching the first developer SDK for Android [wearables],” Sundar Pichai, Google’s senior vice president of Android, Apps and Chrome said at the SXSW conference in Texas. “That will lay out the vision for developers in how we see this market working.” That vision goes beyond smartwatches, which have been the dominant form of wearable technology over the past year, and one in which Google has lost ground. Samsung recently dumped Android for the more lightweight Tizen OS on the Galaxy Gear 2, but Google hopes the new version of Android will be used in a much wider range of devices.
PC Pro

 

Milk Music: Samsung launches free music service on Galaxy devices, including S5
There’s no shortage of music-streaming options to choose from these days, but what’s one more, right? Samsung is entering the already crowded market with its own free Internet radio service, dubbed Milk Music. Powered by Slacker, the free service is available exclusively for Galaxy devices, including the Galaxy S4, Galaxy S III, Galaxy Note 3, and Galaxy Note II, as well as the Galaxy S5 once it arrives in April. Milk Music boasts a catalog of 13 million songs and more than 200 ad-free radio stations. The app sports a “dial design”, which Samsung says offers a more intuitive and fun way to listen to music. The circular dial is customisable, letting you set up nine of your favourite genre-based stations for easy access. You can also fine tune genre stations based on your personal preferences.
ITProPortal

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telecoms

Mexico eyes telecoms measures
Mexico’s telecoms regulator has identified “predominant players” in the country’s telecoms and broadcast markets, but will not be announcing the expected tougher antitrust measures until the companies have been notified. The new rules are expected to hit telecoms mogul Carlos Slim’s Telmex and América Móvil, as well as TV titan Emilio Azcárraga’s Televisa.
Global Telecoms Business

 

Telecoms chiefs urge EU to reform competition rules
Chief executives of Europe’s major telecoms groups have written to the European Commission to ask for an easing of competition rules in order to allow consolidation and boost profits for the industry. The letter to Neelie Kroes, Europe’s digital commissioner, has been signed by 10 companies including Orange, Deutsche Telekom, Telecom Italia, Telefónica, Vodafone and Hutchison Whampoa.
Financial Times

Telcos to the fore as patent applications hit an all-time high
Ericsson, Huawei Alcatel-Lucent and Nokia were among the top patent application filers in Europe last year, as patent filings hit an all-time high. The European Patent Office received 266,000 filings in 2013, up 2.8 per cent year-on-year, and granted 66,700 of them. Two-thirds of patent filings came from outside of Europe. Switzerland topped the regional list for the most applications (832 filings), followed by Sweden (402), Finland (360), Denmark and the Netherlands (both 347).
Mobile Europe

 

enterprise technology

Firms consider BYOC as Windows XP support workaround
Many firms are considering adopting a bring-your-own-computer (BYOC) policy as the end of support for Windows XP looms and cloud computing renders the need for common platforms irrelevant. Mark Brown, director of information security at EY (formerly Ernst and Young), told V3 the rise of BYOC is happening organically, but its timing around the end of XP support was giving it greater relevance. “It’s not necessarily just because of the end of XP support, as many businesses have recognised that staff are working at home, on machines with modern operating systems, and these can be used as work devices,” he said.
V3
ADISA wants to be world’s policeman for IT asset disposal
The founder of a security standard aimed at UK IT asset disposal firms (ITADs) has spoken of his desire to take it global in 2014. The Asset Disposal and Information Security Alliance (ADISA) counts SCC and Sims Lifecycle Services among its 33 UK members, all of which must adhere to 150 separate criteria relating to business credentials, logistics, processing of equipment, disposal of waste, re-use and onsite services.
CRN

 

Companies choose to sack IT staff after network outages
A fifth of large companies are sacking IT staff following network outages, according to research. A survey of mid-to-large companies in the US, Canada and UK found that 82 per cent had experienced some type of network downtime, caused by IT personnel making errors when configuring changes to the core of the network. The survey found that one-fifth of all network downtime in 2013 was caused by core errors, with 80 per cent of companies questioned losing revenue as a result.
ComputerWorldUK

 

media news

New breakthrough means the rollup tablet could be closer than you think
We’ve heard about the super-thin and flexible smartphone or tablet you can roll up like a piece of paper before – and seen prototypes of these sort of inventions – but a new breakthrough means that all this could be a reality sooner than you think. This is due to the latest research conducted by Philips and the University of Surrey, who are developing a source-gated-transistor (or SGT) which will facilitate easier (and just as importantly, the more economical) manufacturing of such thin and flexible gadgets.
ITProPortal

 

Twitter ad rates continue to decline
While ad revenue increased 121 per cent in the 12 months to 31 December, compared with 2012, the average cost per ad decreased 67 per cent year on year. The average ad rate has been declining since the start of 2012, according to digital news site Quartz, which has been compiling data from Twitter’s regulatory files since then and claims the average cost of an ad has fallen 81 per cent in that time.
Marketing Week

 

Half of us leave wi-fi on while shopping, but what is our smartphone saying about us?
Half of smartphone users leave their Wi-Fi settings on when they go shopping, according to retail analytics startup Viewsy. “In our tests we find that between 40 and 55 per cent of people have their Wi-Fi on,” said Thomas Bell, head of operations at the London-based company. Viewsy deploys in-store sensors that track shoppers via their Wi-Fi-enabled smartphones. The sensors collect the unique MAC address of the phone via the Wi-Fi signal and provide anonymised metrics such as how often a customer returns, dwell time, stopping power (who is being pulled in off the street by a particular shop front display), and how stores and franchises might be cannibalising each other’s sales.
Computing

Touchscreen devices are the new favourite toy for children of the digital age – is that such a surprise

By | Company Blog | No Comments

I was on the bus this morning and in front of me there was a little girl watching her mum chatting on the phone and mimicking the action with her banana.

 

 

Funny, yes, but it also made me think about the digital world that children today are born into and how to that child the smartphone her mum was talking on is as normal as the banana she was holding.

 

A recent study carried out by the Michael Cohen Group has made headlines by claiming that touchscreens have become the new must-have toy for children, overtaking the traditional dolls and board games of generations past. More than 60 per cent of parents participating in the study, across a variety of household income levels, claimed that their child uses a touchscreen device from as young as 2 years old.

 

According to Cohen’s report, the main activity children are using touchscreen devices for (quite rightly) is gaming and play, closely followed by using the devices as a tool for learning and education.

 

The technology industry is certainly a fast-paced one and you just have to look at the wonderous plethora of devices available now compared to that just five years ago to see how quickly the industry is evolving. With that in mind, it isn’t that surprising that some people do worry about exposing children to so much technology at a young age. A report released by Ofcom last year highlights just some of the fears expressed by parents where their children and technology is concerned, particularly with such a strong media focus on the rise of cyberbullying. Some parents even said they feel that their children understand the internet and technology more than they do so feel it can be hard to properly monitor.

 

Is this relatively sudden influx of technology really going to be damaging for children? In the ever growing technical age that we live in surely teaching children from a young age how to safely and responsibly use devices can only be a good idea, especially when it’s highly likely that technology will play a large part in their future education, as well as later when they enter the world of employment.

liberty news

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telecoms

 

Former Apple CEO John Sculley to start new smartphone brand in India
Former Apple CEO, John Sculley, is now working out plans to launch a new smartphone brand in India, according to a report by BGR India. Singapore-based Inflexionpoint, a firm at which Sculley is a founding partner at, will be funding the brand. While it is yet to receive a name, the new brand will be headed by former HTC India boss and current Micromax smartphone division head, Ajay Sharma.
IBTimes

 

Wake up and smell the bacon-scented iPhone alarm clock
The sound and smell of sizzling bacon might be the pinnacle of early-morning iPhone alarm clocks wake up calls … or just a way to torture yourself on a wet weekday morning. Meat producer Oscar Mayer has created a small iPhone accessory that plugs into the headphone jack and emits the sound and smell of bacon sizzling in the pan on demand to rouse the slumbering.
The Guardian

                     

LG L90 roll-out begins but you’re probably still in for a wait
The LG L90 only appeared the other day at MWC but it’s already on its way to stores. At least, it is if you live in Russia and the surrounding countries, as the handset will land over there starting this week. The rest of us might have to wait a little bit longer, but hopefully not too long as the press release states that the L90 will be arriving in “other markets around the world” just as soon as it’s finished launching in eastern Europe.
TechRadar

 

enterprise technology
Yahoo claims to have fixed its staffing problem
Search outfit Yahoo claims to have fixed one of its biggest problems – all the talented staff wanted to work for other companies. When CEO Marissa Mayer took charge she moved swiftly to fix a lack of talent in the company by buying companies and drafting their employees to work for Yahoo. The biggest buy out was the $1.1 billion purchase of blogging service, Tumblr.
TechEye

 

Target’s CIO resigns after massive data breach
Target’s chief information officer Beth Jacob has resigned just two and a half months after the US retailer confirmed a data breach impacting about 40 million credit and data debit cards. The information stolen during the breach included customers’ names, card numbers, expiration dates and card verification value (CVV) information that would enable cyber criminals to clone cards.
Computer Weekly

Dell charges customers £16 to install free browser Firefox
Computer maker Dell has been criticized after customers found that the company has been charging customers £16.25 ($27.18) to install the free web browser Firefox. Mozilla, the makers of Firefox, told The Next Web that “There is no agreement between Dell and Mozilla which allows Dell or anyone else to charge for installing Firefox using that brand name.
The Independent

 

media news

 

Skype for Outlook.com finally goes worldwide
Microsoft has announced the worldwide availability of Skype for Outlook.com. The rollout follows last year’s preview version, which brought video calling and messaging to the Redmond-based firm’s email service in select markets. “Now we’re excited to celebrate this milestone with our customers around the world. We’ve also made some improvements that will make your experience even better,” Microsoft’s Karen Tong wrote in a post on the official Skype blog.
IT ProPortal

 

Airline to stream in-flight movies to passengers’ tablets
Lufthansa announced plans to offer wirelessly streamed movies to passengers on trans-European flights. The German airline said passengers on some medium-haul flights would be able to stream movies, TV programs, music or games from an onboard server to their own portable devices or smartphones starting from the summer.
PC Pro

 

Getty Images opens up its library of pictures for everyone to use, for free
Getty Images, a huge virtual warehouse of pictures, has only ever sold its photos until now. Today users can embed images from the site for free. Using a new embed tool a user is able to include an image from Getty on their website, blog or social media channel legally and for free. That includes images of news, entertainment, sport, archival and creative shots. This will work anywhere HTML can be posted. But how can photographers still make money from their work?
Pocket-lint

4K TV – is it really the future?

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There has been a lot of hype over the last few months about the future of television.   Following CES in Las Vegas in January, curved screens and 4K (ultra-HD) TVs are being touted as the next big thing for your living room with industry analysts suggesting that ultra HD TV shipments could reach 12.7 million this year (source NPD DisplaySearch).

 

 

Even smartphones, such as the new Samsung Galaxy S5 and LG G Pro 2, are boasting 4K capture and playback to provide users with a better quality experience.    But new technology such as this often faces a chicken-and-egg problem.   Even if you bought a 4K TV or had a smartphone that supported 4K, what can you watch on it?

 

It is evident that there is a huge enthusiasm around the industry for 4K content production. Camera technology with 4K and greater capability has been around for a while and it has been rumoured that Panasonic will debut its production model of the 4K VariCam 35 at NAB in April.   While Sony has been driving its 4K agenda over the past few months with demonstrations of 4K acquisition and display products and its recently launched Sony professional camera and audio line up.   A number of video editing tools are also capable of editing 4K including Sony Vegas, Adobe Premiere Pro CC and Apple Final Cut Pro X.

 

However, the current lack of availability of widespread 4K content could contribute to consumer hesitancy in investing in a 4K/ultra HD TV in the near future.  Very few movies support the new resolution, networks are only just launching the HD versions of their channels, and some Blu-Ray players say that they convert high-definition video to something approximating ultra HD. Yet it appears that online companies such as Netflix and TV manufacturers have taken the lead in ensuring that this content is available for consumers to view now.

 

On 14th February, the second season of ‘House Of Cards premiered on Netflix in 4K. The video-streaming service will also present all five seasons of ‘Breaking Bad’ and many of Netflix’s future original series in 4K.   Netflix also announced it has made an undisclosed payment to Comcast for direct access to the cable company’s broadband network, in order to ensure smooth delivery of its content. The end result is that Netflix customers should see much higher quality streams than they have been doing, especially for higher resolution HD and 4K content.  The implications of this deal for 4K content could be massive – after all, Netflix’s bandwidth throttling problems were most acute during peak times, and could get worse when shows as ‘House of Cards’ is broadcast in 4K Ultra HD. With the company promising even more 4K content to come later this year, it appears as though the biggest single obstacle in the way of it doing this has been removed for viewers in the US.

 

Sony also has its own library of 4K films that customers can rent and purchase for download on Sony’s 4K Ultra HD Media Player for playback on Sony 4K Ultra HD televisions.  Similarly Samsung has a partnership with Amazon that will give those with Samsung TVs access to 4K content from a range of partner providers including Warner Bros, Lionsgate, 20th Century Fox and Discovery.

 

With these great investments it does look like 4K is here to stay.  The industry is embracing it fully and it appears as though those at the helm are going to the efforts to get more native 4K content to consumers.  But will it really take off?  Will we all have 4K TVs by the end of the year?  Or will consumers see it as a fad as they did with 3D TV? Only time will tell…

 

Let us know what you think.  Would you invest in a 4K TV or 4K phone now?

liberty news

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telecoms

 

AT&T lays out ‘radical’ network changes with SDN
AT&T is remaking its infrastructure as a “user-defined network cloud” in the pursuit of greater flexibility, lower costs and faster response to user needs, the carrier’s infrastructure chief said.
TechWorld

 

Got 4G? Wake up, Grandad. We’re doing 4.5G LTE-A in London – EE chief
Olaf Swantee, the CEO of EE, says that his network is planning a scorching 300Mb/s upgrade to its London coverage using the LTE-A (LTE-Advanced) specification. This will roll out in South London first and then to cover the whole of the area within the M25.
The Register

                     

iOS 7.1 public release time
It’s nearly iOS 7.1 public release time with sources stating the update is days away. Apple fans are surely excited for the update after multiple beta testing, but when will iOS 7.1 for iPad and other devices be available to download?
Product-Reviews

 

enterprise technology

 

Ballmer admits having few regrets as boss of Microsoft
Former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has reportedly admitted that he has had a few regrets at his previous company but not too many to mention. In his first public appearance after stepping down as the software giant’s chief, Ballmer talked to students at the University of Oxford and reflected on Microsoft’s missteps.
Business Standard

 
Over 50 per cent of organisations have implemented or are expanding their implementation of packaged collaboration software
Collaboration is a critical investment for many organizations looking to drive competitive advantage by better arming knowledge workers with information, access to expertise, and the ability to act collectively on trusted content. Forrester data shows that over 50 per cent of organisations have implemented or are expanding their implementation of packaged collaboration software.
ITProPortal

HP to battle Google staff in hacking contest
Hewlett-Packard and its Zero Day Initiative (ZDI) effort have sponsored the Pwn2Own contest at the CanSecWest conference for years now. At the Pwn2Own event, independent security researchers square off against each other hacking Web browsers for prize money. Never before has HP’s own researchers participated in the actual hacking contest, but that is now set to change.
TechWeek Europe

 

media news

 

Facebook is in talks to buy Drone maker
The battle to bring the Internet to remote parts of the world may be fought in the sky. Facebook is in advanced discussions to buy Titan Aerospace, a New Mexico-based maker of solar-powered drones, according to a source familiar with the discussions. Titan’s drones, which are still in development, are expected to be able to remain in flight 12 miles high for up to five years, offering a potential solution for beaming broadband to areas that don’t have it.
Wall Street Journal

 

Vudu will soon let you send movies to your Chromecast
There isn’t exactly an abundance of major movie services that will send video to a Chromecast; for the most part, Google Play Movies and Netflix still rule the roost. It’s a good thing, then, that Vudu has announced plans to support the TV media adapter through both updated mobile apps and Chrome on the desktop.
Engadget

 

Social and shopping don’t mix
Over half of the UK’s online shoppers say a store’s presence on a social networking site makes them trust the retailer less, while 27 per cent report that it makes them trust it more. And the E-commerce: Trust in Online Transactions report from YouGovfinds that many consumers segregate their online shopping and social habits, with close to four in 10 preferring to keep their social media and shopping activity separate, while around the same proportion believe that networks such as Facebook and Twitter are for friends, not retail.
Brand-e Biz

liberty news

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telecoms

 

Android is lord of the tablets
Figures from Gartner say that while tablet sales grew 68 per cent in 2013 it appears that Android is the big winner. Big G said that worldwide sales of tablets to end users reached 195.4 million units in 2013, a 68 percent increase on 2012. Sales of iOS tablets grew in the fourth quarter of 2013, iOS’s share declined to 36 per cent in 2013. This is because tablet growth in 2013 was fuelled by the low-end smaller screen tablet market, and first time buyers rather than those who want to mortgage their house to buy another overpriced toy.
TechEye

 

Google Glass gets upgrade to android 4.4 KitKat
Google Glass Explorers will soon have their wearable computers upgraded to Android 4.4 KitKat, according to a recent report by Glass Almanac. If so, the futuristic headset is in line for maybe its biggest software upgrade since arriving in limited quantities with Android 4.0 for beta-testing Explorers last February, though Google has pushed out minor, monthly software updates to Glass over the past year. Glass Guide Teresa Zazenski broke the news last week in a private Explorers forum, saying that Google will continue with the regular updates, but may reduce their frequency “because bigger updates just take more time.” “In fact, we’re working to move Glass from Ice Cream Sandwich [Android 4.0.3] to Kit Kat to make the Glass experience smoother and just plain better,” Zazenski wrote in her message, as published by Glass Almanac. “This change will make it easier for us to bring you more useful updates and it’s something we’re really excited about.”
ITProPortal

 

Firefox for Windows 8 Touch Beta hands-on review
Mozilla recently released the latest beta of its Firefox browser for Windows 8, and we downloaded it to a Windows 8.1 tablet to take it for a spin. As this is a beta, it is available to download directly from Mozilla’s website, rather than from the Microsoft Store. That said, we found the beta remarkably stable and polished – much more so than many of the release versions of apps we have tried from Microsoft’s Store.
V3

 

enterprise technology

 

Twitter sends password reset emails by mistake, admits it hasn’t been hacked
Social network Twitter sent a number of password reset emails on Monday evening due to a system error. The firm contacted users with the sort of messages usually seen when attackers are taking over accounts. Twitter’s email has been shared on the microblogging website, of course, and picked up by the Recode website. The missive presented itself as one of those ‘you’ve been hacked’ emails, and informed users about their scorched logins. “Twitter believes that your account may have been compromised by a website or service not associated with Twitter,” it said. “We’ve reset your password to prevent accessing your account.”
The Inquirer

 

Microsoft adds machine learning, big data capabilities to Office suite
Redmond-based software giant Microsoft bolstered big data, machine learning and mobile capabilities in its flagship productivity offerings at the annual Sharepoint conference this week. Microsoft’s message is clear: contextual awareness, integration and collaboration, rather than the traditional siloed model of working, is the productivity style of tomorrow’s workplace. Microsoft announced a slew of new technologies on Monday for its Office 365 offering including new APIs, a much-improved mobile SDK and embedded collaboration features throughout the suite. But the company also previewed new Office features that it hopes will help keep the company ahead of rivals in the productivity apps space, including Google.
Business Cloud News

 

Financial services sector attracts most cyber-crime, says PwC study
Cyber-crime is still the second most common type of economic crime reported by financial services respondents after asset misappropriation, a survey has revealed. According to PricewaterhouseCoopers’ 2014 Global Economic Crime Survey, 39 per cent of financial sector respondents said they had been victims of cyber-crime, compared with only 17 per cent in other industries. However, PwC believes the real proportion of cyber-crime could be higher than many organisations realise. “In our experience, financial services organisations do not always identify and log the cyber element of economic crime experienced,”  said Andrew Clark, partner in PwC’s forensics practice. “This leaves them exposed to cyber threats in spite of any existing cyber defence: if cyber crime is not being accurately tracked, the true risk of cyber-crime cannot be fully grasped and understood.”
Computer Weekly

 

media news

 

Adidas launches gaming platform powered by social media starring Lionel Messi
Adidas has launched a new online gaming platform dubbed #fastorfail starring footballer Lionel Messi, which is powered by social media and offers one fan the chance to get to Rio for the Fifa World Cup.

Marketing Magazine

 

Guardian digital revenues hit £70m
The Guardian is expected to report an increase in digital revenues of more than a quarter to almost £70m in the last year, as the future of its national newspaper titles is secured for the forseeable future following a £619m cash injection. Guardian News & Media – the publisher of the Guardian, Observer and the theguardian.com – will report a 25% rise in digital revenues from £55m to almost £70m in the year to the end of March 2014. The Guardian’s monthly web browsers stand at more than 80 million, less than half that of the world’s largest newspaper site Mail Online, which says it expects to hit £60m in revenues by the end of September.
The Guardian

 

Luxury brands using more visual-heavy social media, new research shows
Ledbury Research has released its new ‘Global Luxury Themes’ report, highlighting common themes across 40 luxury brands in the last six months. The report found that Luxury brands are communicating increasingly through visual-heavy social media. The “Power of pictures” is a key theme identified across the activities of the 40 international brands with a lot turning to Pinterest and Instagram as new platforms to build on, after already heavily investing in Facebook and Twitter.
M&M Global

liberty news

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telecoms

 

BT grumbles about having to subsidise Sky and TalkTalk’s broadband
BT has a bee in its bonnet over what the company refers to as a “pricing distortion” in the wholesale broadband market which it claims has benefited Sky and TalkTalk to the tune of £623 million over the last nine years. BT cites a report from Plum Consulting stating that this figure could reach £1 billion if Ofcom keeps matters as they are for the next six years (as is the plan). The money is the amount lost due to BT’s subsidising of Sky and TalkTalk (principally) when it comes to broadband Local Loop Unbundling (LLU), whereby these third-party ISPs install their own equipment in BT exchanges.
ITProPortal

 

Telecom Italia to establish independent board
The board of Telecom Italia has approved a set of guidelines aimed at safeguarding the interest of minority shareholders when the board is up for renewal in April, reports Reuters. Under the guidelines, the new board would have to have a clear majority of directors who are independent from Telecom Italia’s biggest shareholder Telco, Telecom Italia said. Telco has a 22.4 per cent stake in Telecom Italia. Telefónica, with which Telecom Italia competes in Latin America, is Telco’s biggest investor. Italian banks Intesa Sanpaolo and Mediobanca and insurer Generali are also core shareholders in Telco.
Global Telecoms Business

 

Etisalat to work on 5G with Huawei
Middle Eastern operator group Etisalat has signed a series of agreements with Huawei that will see the two companies deepen their cooperation in developing 5G telecom broadband services over the next five years. A joint team will be set up to conduct the trial of 5G services, which are anticipated to be the first ever trials of their kind across the MENA region, the companies said. By 2020, it is estimated that 6.5 billion people worldwide will use mobile networks for data communications and that 100 billion additional ‘things’, such as vehicles, meters, medical devices, and home appliances, will also be connected via broadband networks.
Telecoms.com

 

 

enterprise technology

 

Satya Nadella starts to shape Microsoft with new appointments
Reports have emerged of new senior appointments at Microsoft, events that are being interpreted as new CEO Satya Nadella putting his stamp on the organisation. According to Re/Code and Bloomberg, Mark Penn will soon be confirmed as chief strategy officer. The two outlets also report that Skype supremo Tony Bates and head of marketing Tami Reller will leave Microsoft.
The Register

 

Salesforce to open three data centres in Europe
Cloud computing company Salesforce.com has announced that it will expand its investment in Europe by opening three new data centres in the UK, France and Germany. Salesforce is best known for its customer relationship management (CRM) software, which helps sales teams to track each individual customer — who they are, their requirements, where they are in the sales process, recent social media activity, notes from previous calls and records of email conversations.
Daily Telegraph

 

China’s Windows XP users to still get security support
Microsoft is making a special exception in the way it retires Windows XP in China, and will continue offering security support for the OS to users in the nation. To do so, the U.S. software giant is partnering with China’s leading Internet security vendors, Microsoft said in a Sunday posting on its official account with Sina Weibo, a top social networking site in the country. Outside of China, Microsoft is dropping support of Windows XP on April 8, meaning that users of the OS will no longer receive security patches meant to fix vulnerabilities in the software.
PC Advisor

 

 

media news

 

Apple officially unveils iOS in-car integration with CarPlay
The feature – previously referred to as iOS in the Car – allows drivers to make calls, consult Maps, listen to music and access messages by either pressing the voice control button on the steering wheel to activate Siri or using the car’s native interface. Ferrari, Mercedes-Benz and Volvo vehicles will unveil their CarPlay models this week, while a host of other leading manufacturers will bring the service to their products at a later date. Siri can respond to vocal requests while driving, such as reading incoming messages and making calls, and can also work alongside Maps to offer turn-by-turn directions.
Digital Spy

 

56 per cent of Brits have inadequate internet security
According to the results of the government’s most recent National Cyber Security Consumer Tracker, more than half the UK population aren’t taking actions to keep themselves safe online. In fact only 44 per cent of us always install internet security on new equipment, and only 37 per cent continue to download updates and patches for their software once installed. It is easier than ever to stay safe online today, as many broadband providers will include internet security as part of your package.
Daily Mirror

 

Britain will reportedly scrap 20 per cent tax on Bitcoin
British authorities have plans to scrap a 20 per cent “value-added tax” on Bitcoins, bringing regulation of the controversial crypto-currency in line with the way it treats other currencies. “The UK’s welcoming approach to Bitcoin contrasts with the approach of other countries, amid concerns about its use for tax evasion and money laundering as well as its notoriety for wide fluctuations in value,” reports The Financial Times. The Bitcoin news blog Coindesk further explains that the rule is “expected to be formally announced this week,” continuing, “the ruling would find HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC), the UK’s customs and tax department, classifying virtual currencies as assets or private money, not as vouchers that required a tax on the value of the coins.” Bitcoin will still be subject to other taxes, such as the corporation tax.
TechCrunch