Monthly Archives: April 2014

liberty news

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telecoms

 

eircom hires Goldman and Morgan to advise on IPO
eircom has appointed Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley to advise it on a possible stock market listing two weeks after announcing it was considering a third flotation in 15 years. The two banks will “explore strategic options for the company including a potential international offering and listing,” eircom said in a statement. Earlier this month eircom said it had hired bank Rothschild to advise on a possible flotation.
Global Telecoms Business

 

EE will continue to support Orange and T-Mobile customers, claims CEO
EE boss Olaf Swantee has insisted the company will continue to support customers on Orange and T-Mobile plans. EE has no plans to phase out Orange and T-Mobile even as 4G adoption accelerates, according to Chief Executive Olaf Swantee. Speaking to the Telegraph, Mr Swantee said the operator’s most recent financial results – which showed an increase of nearly 900,000 4G subscribers, the biggest ever in a single quarter – should not be taken as a sign the two 3G brands are set to be retired.
Cable

 

AT&T get in-flight 4G LTE on board by 2015
AT&T wants to rack up some frequent flier miles with high-speed 4G LTE-based in-flight mobile service. Expected to be available in late 2015, the system will provide in-flight broadband for passengers and crew alike. To deliver on its sky-high promise, the communications company plans to build an air-to-ground network based on global 4G LTE standards to utilise spectrum already owned by AT&T.
ITProPortal

 

 

enterprise technology

 

Up to 500 GP practices to test plans to share patient data
NHS England will trial its new national pseudonymised patient data collection scheme with “between 100 and 500 GP practices” ahead of the full launch of the programme, it has confirmed. In a letter to healthcare professionals, national director for patients and information Tim Kelsey said that a “phased rollout” of the care.data scheme would enable the NHS to “trial, test, evaluate and refine the collection process ahead of a national rollout”.
The Register

 

UK banks join forces for mobile payments system ‘Paym’
A number of major UK banks have united for a new payment system that lets users transfer cash via their mobiles using just their mobile number and a password. The Paym service is initially available for use by 30 million people in the UK and negates the need for account numbers and sort codes to make payments.Customers of the Bank of Scotland, Barclays, Halifax, HSBC, Lloyds Bank, Santander, TSB and others can use Paym at launch.
NetImperative

 

SDL turns to cloud HR to join up businesses in 40 countries
Technology and services companySDLhas turned to HR as a service to link more than 3,000 employees in businesses around the world into a single company structure. The technology is central to the company’s strategy to integrate formerly autonomous businesses in 38 countries into a single operation.
Computer Weekly

 

 

media news

 

Most downloaded apps never get used
Two-thirds of apps downloaded onto mobile devices are never used, according to an Ofcom report. The UK telecom regulator’s latestAdults’ Media Use and Attitudes Report shows that while there remains a preference for dedicated apps over finding the same information on a mobile website, in most cases the apps are downloaded and sit idle.
The Inquirer

 

Spotify and Sprint announce music streaming partnership
Music streaming platform Spotify has formed a partnership with Sprint, the US mobile network, to provide music streaming services in a bundle to its subscribers. Commencing on 9th May the deal will see subscribers of Sprint’s ‘Family’ package receive a six-month trial of Spotify, after which they will have the option to subscribe to a premium service for as little as $4.99 a month.
The Drum

 

Twitter revenues leap 119 per cent but user growth ‘crawls’
Twitter’s first-quarter revenues have leapt 119 per cent to $250m (£149m), but the network’s user growth came below analysts’ expectations, causing its share price to fall overnight. The social network reported profits of $250m for the three months to 31 March, $226m (£134m), which came from advertising revenues, up 125 per cent year on year. Twitter said its mobile advertising revenue accounted for approximately 80 per cent of its total ad revenue.
Marketing

liberty news

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telecoms

 

Nokia names Rajeev Suri as CEO
On the heels of Microsoft’s closure of its acquisition of Nokia’s handset division, Nokia named Rajeev Suri as its new chief executive officer late Monday. Suri, 46, takes over for Risto Siilasmaa, who had served as the Finnish telecommunications gear maker’s interim CEO since the acquisition was announced last September. Siilasmaa, who is also Nokia’s chairman, assumed the role when Stephen Elop stepped down as Nokia’s CEO to return to Microsoft as head of its devices group.
Cnet

 

Ireland’s eircom hires Goldman, Morgan Stanley for possible listing
Irish telecoms firm eircom has appointed Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley to advise it on a possible stock market listing two weeks after announcing it was considering a third flotation in 15 years. The two banks will “explore strategic options for the company including a potential international offering and listing,” eircom said in a statement. Earlier this month eircom said it had hired bank Rothschild to advise on a possible flotation.
Reuters

 

EE posts strongest ever quarter for takeup
EE has posted financial results for the first quarter of 2014, showing 4G subscribers grew to 2.9 million between January and March. EE added a record 889,000 new 4G customers in the three months ending March 2014, the operator announced this week. In financial results posted yesterday (28 April), the company reported a total subscriber base of 2.9 million for the superfast mobile broadband network, with 50 per cent of new and renewing contract customers selecting the premium service tier.
Cable.co.uk

 

 

enterprise technology

 

AOL hit by massive data breach
Internet pioneer AOL has warned of a major breach that has affected a significant number of users, leaking email and postal addresses, contact information and password details to attackers unknown. AOL launched in 1983 as the Control Video Corporation and produced a short-lived modem-based gaming download service for the Atari 2600 dubbed GameLine. The precursor to Valve’s Steam and similar digital distribution systems, GameLine was not a financial success; the company had better luck with the Link series of online portals for the Commodore 64, Apple II and Macintosh, and IBM compatibles. In 1989, America Online was born as a walled-garden internet service which included chat, email and several games – including the first-ever web-based interactive fiction series and the first automated play-by-email game.
Bit-tech

 

HP to announce an Android powered laptop
Following a very brief appearance on the HP website, the interwebs is full of rumors of a upcoming 14 Inch Android powered Laptop, named the Slatebook 14. The company hasn’t yet officially announced the SlateBook 14, but a video outlining the device’s key features and specs, has been spotted. The SlateBook has full access to Google Play, so any apps you’ve already purchased and downloaded with your Google account should work on the device.
Cool Smart Phone

 

LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner’s compensation soars
LinkedIn CEO Jeffrey Weiner’s compensation rose about 42-fold in 2013 amid big gains in the professional networking service’s stock price. Weiner received a compensation package valued at $49.1 million last year, according to a regulatory filing. That’s up from $1.2 million in 2012 and from $7.6 million in 2011, the year the company went public.
Phys.org

 

 

media news

 

UK and Australian governments urge surfers to avoid internet explorer
The US government warned against the usage of Internet Explorer following the revelation of a major vulnerability in the browser, and both the UK and Australian governments have also added their own warnings. The flaw in question is of the remote code execution variety, meaning that an attacker exploiting it could gain full access rights to the PC in question, and basically take control of the machine and do all manner of potentially nasty things as a result. The US government has advised users to abandon Internet Explorer until the issue is fixed, as we reported yesterday.
Marketing Week

 

Dot London domain name goes live, West Ham and the LSO among early adopters
The .London web domain has gone live, offering the chance for more tailored web addresses for firms and organisations in the capital. There has been some interest in the domain, and earlier this month the Mayor of London’s London & Partners website called on more businesses to embrace the suffix. In an open letter to London outfits the site said that such an opportunity should not be missed. It said: “For the first time in a generation London businesses have an opportunity to claim a web address that associates them with London, one of the greatest cities on earth, and make their web address more relevant and memorable. It is hard to imagine that 25 years ago few of us had heard of the internet. Now we take it for granted.”
V3

 

ComiXology in-app purchases removed by Amazon so Apple doesn’t get a cut, users pay
ComiXology, the super popular comic book app, was bought by Amazon and has now had in-app purchases shut down on iPhone and iPad. Comic book fans that have been using the app for years are obviously furious. They are now required to buy comics from the Amazon website before going back into the app to sync up their device to read the comic.
Pocket-lint

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telecoms

 

Six more London Underground stations get WiFi as Android and iOS dominate network
Six more Tube stations in London will be equipped with WiFi services from Virgin Media, as the firm reveals that iOS and Android users dominate the use of the subterranean network. The new stations that will come online are: Golders Green, Southgate, West Kensington, Parsons Green, Kilburn and East Putney. This will take the total number of stations online to 137. There are now a total of 800,000 devices registered on the network and Virgin Media revealed that iOS and Android users dominate use of the network with 95 percent of all page views coming from these devices.
V3

 

Cable & Wireless sells Monaco Telecom stake to Xavier Niel
Cable & Wireless Communications has sold its stake in Monaco Telecom to French entrepreneur Xavier Niel, chief executive and founder of low-cost telecoms provider Iliad, for 322 million euros ($445 million). The British group, which has been disposing of businesses outside its core central America and Caribbean regions, previously agreed to sell the stake to Bahrain’s Batelco, but the deal collapsed late last year.
Reuters

 

California’s smartphone kill-switch bill flops in the state senate
US carriers can all collectively breathe a sigh of relief today: California’s mobile kill-switch bill is dead, at least for now. The would have required all smartphones sold in the state to include a remote-kill feature designed to render stolen phones useless. The bill was designed to curb phone robberies by making the crime less lucrative. If carriers didn’t comply, the state would have been able to fine them $2,500 for every unsupported device sold.
Techspot

 

 

enterprise technology

 

Tech titans Amazon, Dell, IBM, Facebook and more join forces to battle Heartbleed threat
In an effort to stop the next Heartbleed, a group of tech giants have joined forces to fund critical open source projects. The Core Infrastructure Initiative’s first task will be OpenSSL, which fell prey to Heartbleed and caused panic across the Web. Essentially, organisation members – which include Facebook, Microsoft, and Google – will invest in open-source projects to make sure they get off the ground and are as secure as possible.
CIO Today

 

Is Google+ being killed off?
It seems Google have finally got the message. Presumably it was posted on Facebook or Twitter, so someone actually saw it. Everyone hates Google+, and if TechCrunch are right, it seems Google have decided to finally take action. Rather than take Google+ out to the shed and humanely put it out of its misery with a simple bullet between the eyes though, the company have instead apparently decided that the loathed social network is no longer a “product” but a “platform”.
Tech Digest

 

Facebook puts the moves on Moves
On something of an acquisition spree at the moment, Facebook has picked up Finland-based activity tracker app Moves for an undisclosed sum. Moves set to take on the likes of Fitbit and Nike in the tracker band market, launching in early 2013 after scoring $1.6m of seed funding, led by Lifeline Ventures and PROfounders Capital.
Telecoms.com

 

 

media news

 

Starbucks credits loyalty programme for sales boost and seeks to monetise online platforms
Starbucks has credited its ‘best-in-class’ loyalty programme for helping to boost global sales at its coffee shops, but revealed that sales at its UK business fell for the first time in 16 years as it shut a number of unprofitable stores. The firm says it will look to find new ways to develop and monetise new social and mobile platforms, although it does not detail any specific plans. It has already said it will introduce mobile ordering by the end of the year.
Marketing Week

 

Domino’s launches its pizza ordering app for iPad with 3D custom pizza builder
Domino’s Pizza has revamped its menu and turned around its financials over the last few years, during which time it also started to offer mobile ordering. Next Monday, the pizza chain will launch its iPad app, which will allow you to build your pizza and order it for take-out and delivery right from your couch. What makes this app stand out is the 3D pizza builder that uses OpenGL to give you a more realistic view of what your final pizza will look like (of course, as in all food photography, the preview will still look quite a bit different from what will be in the box by the time it arrives at your door).
TechCrunch

 

Apple iTunes dominates music streaming market with 800m customers
Apple this week announced that iTunes accounts are approaching 800 million. That’s a “staggering number,” Apple CEO Tim Cook said during a Wednesday earnings call with analysts. Most of those accounts, meanwhile, are linked to a credit card, he said. “iTunes software and services revenue continues to grow at a double-digit rate, thanks to an incredible ecosystem and our very large, loyal and engaged customer base,” Cook said. “With its strong momentum in growing profitability, iTunes is a very important driver of our business not only here in the United States, but around the world.”
ITProPortal

liberty news

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telecoms

 

OnePlus One says no to mobile operators
“Never settle”; that’s the slogan of new China-based smartphone manufacturer OnePlus, which this week is launching its first device. It’s already got the industry buzzing with its incredible low price (for such a feature-packed device) and its promised to remove operator bloatware. True, the company is choosing its official words carefully, and probably doesn’t want to rule out large-scale operator deals, but for the moment it is directly targeting end users. Hitting out at the likes of the Samsung Galaxy S5 and iPhone, it boldly states that its first device is 2014’s “Flagship Killer”.
Telecom TV

 

EE re-shoring programme to usher in new era of customer service?
EE, prior to its Orange and T-Mobile merger, had a track record of being rated pretty poorly for its customer service. Even last year after the two companies were rebranded, EE/Orange was the most complained about mobile provider in Ofcom’s customer service satisfaction report 2013. Clearly things needed to change, which is why the company’s CEO, Olaf Swantee, recently announced his plans to return the business’s call centres back to the UK, and has followed this up by confirming the re-shoring programme will begin with 1,000 new customer service roles being created on UK shores within the next 24 months; the first earmarked for Londonderry / Derry over the next month or so.
MyCustomer

 

Britain’s worst broadband areas take 15 hours to download a film
Massive variations in broadband speeds across Britain mean the time taken to download a film can take up to 15 hours in some areas and just nine minutes in others, a report has revealed. Slow broadband is still largely the scourge of the British countryside, but data from independent comparison website uSwitch.com shows even some urban parts of the UK are suffering from slow connection speeds, despite being just a short distance from areas with much higher speeds.
Daily Telegraph

 

 

enterprise technology

Price of privacy: online security now seen as a luxury good
According to new research, privacy online is now seen by half of UK people as a luxury – though most are only willing to pay £2.50 per month for the added security. In the past 12 months the public’s understanding of how the internet works and how our online activity and data is monitored has been changed irrevocably.
International Business Times

 

Kevin Rose wants to launch another startup, wishes he had stayed CEO of Digg
Google Ventures partner, Digg,Milk, and Revision3 co-founder, and raccoon enthusiastKevin Rose sat down with The Next Web co-founder Boris Veldhuijzen van Zanten at The Next Web Conference Europe today. During the interview that touched on Rose’s many startups and being the target of San Francisco protesters, the serial startup-founder shared his desire to return to the startup scene and his regret of giving up power at Digg.
The Next Web

 

Bank of England seeks “Hackers” to defend vaults against e-thieves
The Bank of England is planning to hire ethical hackers to conduct penetration tests on 20 “major” banks and other financial institutions, it has been reported. The move appears to be a response to lessons learned during the Waking Shark II security response exercise last November. The exercise put merchant banks and other institutions in the City at the wrong end of a simulated cyber-attacks and didn’t involve retail banks, as explained in an BoE statement issued at the time.
The Register

 

 

media news

 

Get email notifications delivered by scented bubbles
Researchers are claiming to have invented a new form of human/computer interaction after developing a machine that can fill bubbles with different smells and project images on to them. The team at Bristol University describe SensaBubble as a “chrono-sensory mid-air display system” – a computer-controlled bubble cannon that fills soap bubbles with a particular scent and then fires them at a user, projecting a colour or display on to them in mid-air.
The Guardian

 

Instagram’s Explore tab is now customised to YOU
In a small but very cool new tweak to its app, Instagram has tailored its Explore tab solely to you. When you click on ‘Explore’ now you’ll no longer get the most popular photos on Instagram, i.e. tonnes of American teens pouting. Instead you’ll see photos and videos that have been suggested for you, which will include a mix of content that’s trending among the whole of the Instagram community, as well as photos that your friends are liking and commenting on and local snaps too.
Shiny Shiny

 

Sony’s £350 4K media streamer lets you watch House of Cards in Ultra HD
Sony has announced a £350 media streamer for UK punters that allows Netflix users to watch House of Cards in 4K, but that is about all it will do. Those few who own a Sony 4K TV will by now know that it is incompatible with Netflix, with the streaming service using the H.265 format that doesn’t work on those television sets. So, to fix the problem, Sony is asking customers to cough up an additional £350 for its specialised bespoke 4K video streaming box, the Sony FMP-X5 4K Media Streamer.
The Inquirer

liberty news

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telecoms

 

Vodafone to overhaul targets and partner tiering
Vodafone is in consultations with its dealers over proposals for a major overhaul to its partner programme, which is expected to see its current tiering system scrapped. According to dealers, a new partner programme is being created, which will be measured on the quantity of the operator’s services they sell (mobile, fixed, IT), rather than simply the total amount billed on a monthly basis.
Mobile News

 

Comcast-Time Warner merger faces opposition
The potential merger between US cable firms Comcast and Time Warner Cable has been criticised by both video on demand service provider Netflix and the Writer’s Guild of America, East (WGAE). Comcast announced it had agreed a $45.2bn deal to acquire Time Warner Cable outright in February, claiming that the merger would generate around $1.5bn in operating efficiencies. However, the deal is yet to gain regulatory and competition approval and now two organisations have spoken out against the impact such a merger could have on the market.
Telecoms.com

 

Google Hangouts merges with SMS on Android
Google has launched an updated Hangouts for Android, which merges SMS and Hangout conversations and adds a home screen widget, among other things. The latest version is rolling out to the Google Play store over the next few days. Hangouts 2.1 lets users choose to combine text messages and Hangout conversations with the same recipient into a single exchange. “You can control whether you want to send a message via Hangouts or SMS with the flip of a switch,” Google said, adding that different message types will be marked for easy recognition. Merge or unmerge conversations as you please.
ITProPortal

 

 

enterprise technology

 

Bank of England to simulate cyber-attacks to test threat response
The Bank of England will test banking vulnerabilities with a number of high-profile institutions to test how prepared they are should a cyber-attack occur. The ethical hacking programme will use real-life scenarios to see how prepared 20 of the UK’s most prolific banks and financial organisations are. The Financial Times reported the Bank of England has collated the intelligence from the latest threats “in the criminal world, terrorists and rogue states.”
ITPRO

 

AOL shores up email settings after spam spoofing spree
Still there company AOL has shored up its email settings to protect users from spoofed accounts and spam email. The move followed a period of spoofing spamming that upset some AOL users and has seen the firm fire up its Twitter account to appease pleading punters. However, while the change might appeal to the spammed, it will impact any AOL user that uses AOL for legitimate email services. If that is you, you might have to lump it.
The Inquirer

 

Google agreed to shoulder financial burden in Samsung-Apple patent battle
Google agreed to provide financial support to Samsung to help the company defend itself against patent litigation brought forward by rival firm Apple. The tech giant, whose Android operating system is used in Samsung smartphones and tablets, agreed to assist the South Korean electronics maker in the $2 billion patent dispute between the company and Apple. Apple claims that 10 Samsung products, including the Galaxy S3, infringe upon patents covering user-interface technologies.
ZDNet

 

 

media news

 

WhatsApp notches up half-a-billion regular users
Mobile phone messaging service WhatsApp is celebrating after signing up its 500,000,000th user following a growth spurt in emerging markets such as Brazil, Mexico, India and Russia in recent months. The glut of new members is fuelling a rise in usage with more than 700m photos and 100m videos being shared via the system each day.
The Drum

 

Coca-Cola, Cadbury and Amazon named top brands for targeting youth market
Coca-Cola, Cadbury and Amazon have been named the most effective brands at targeting the youth market both online and offline. In research published by VCCP’s new youth agency Rough Hill, 60 per cent of young people use Cadbury, while 34 per cent follow the brand online. For Amazon, 58 per cent of people use the brand and 33 per cent of them follow it online, and 59 per cent of young people use the Coca-Cola brand regularly, while 31 per cent follow it online. The research, called ‘ASBO Generation (Adept Social Behaviour On and Offline)’ used responses from nearly 4,000 people aged between 16 and 22.
Marketing UK

 

Twitter’s pretty yet strangely familiar profile pages now available to all
Twitter is through testing its redesigned profile pages and is now offering them up to all users. The revamped profiles, which some users have had access to for a couple of months, feature larger profile and header photos much like those on Facebook and Google+ pages. Like Facebook’s love-it-or-loathe-it Timeline profiles, Twitter has also adopted a well-defined mosaic-style approach to displaying tweets, biography details, trends and photos.
TechRadar

liberty news

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telecoms

 

AT&T to extend fibre rollout
US operator AT&T has announced plans to expand its fibre network across the US to up to 100 further cities and municipalities. The operator will be extending the footprint its triple play U-Verse TV, fixed internet and telephony service which it claims delivers speeds of up to 1Gbps. AT&T now wants to extend the service to municipalities across 21 metropolitan areas including Atlanta, Chicago, Houston, Kansas City, Los Angeles, Miami, Orlando and San Diego. The operator said it selected the municipalities based on the expected investment required and the anticipated demand in those areas.
Telecoms.com

 

Telefonica says America Mobil disobeying watchdog orders
Telefonica SA (TEF) called on Mexican regulators to crack down on America Movil (AMXL) SAB, saying the company isn’t obeying regulations on sharing its network or selling unlocked mobile phones. America Movil’s landline units refused to provide information about their network infrastructure, Telefonica said in an e-mailed statement yesterday. Instead, the units responded to Telefonica’s request with a letter that said they disagree with the rules set by the Federal Telecommunications Institute.
Bloomberg

 

Vodafone sued by Greek distributor
Vodafone’s Greek unit has been sued by Mobile Trade Stores for €1.37 billion ($1.89 billion) for damages the company said it suffered when Vodafone cancelled franchise agreements, reports Bloomberg. Papistas Holding, MTS’s parent company founded by Athanasios Papistas and Loukia Florou, is suing for moral damages and harm caused by the lost business, the company said in an emailed statement.
Global Telecoms Business

 

 

enterprise technology

 

Nine basic cyber-attacks cause 92 per cent of security incidents, Verizon finds
More than 90 per cent of security incidents at companies can be traced to just nine types of basic threats, as firms have continued to fall for the same type of scams and attacks for a decade. Verizon said, having analysed 10 years’ worth of data covering 100,000 security incidents, 92 per cent could be traced back to nine attack vectors. The findings were published in the firm’s annual Data Breach Investigations Report. The nine threats include malware attacks, device loss or theft, distributed-denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks, payment card skimming and web app attacks.
V3

 

Open source Apache Openoffice surpasses 100 million downloads
Apache Openoffice has reached the 100 million downloads milestone. The alternative office suite launched two years ago after a fork of the project emerged, known as Libreoffice, resulting in many of the original developers leaving the then owner of Openoffice, Oracle. Speaking about the 100 million downloads milestone, Andrea Pescetti, VP of Apache Openoffice, said in a blog post, “This is a testament to our community volunteers: the hundreds of talented individuals who make Apache OpenOffice what it is, who write the code, test for bugs, translate the user interface, write documentation, answer user questions, and manage our servers.”
The Inquirer

 

IBM, HP, Atos chasing Lufthansa IT infrastructure business
IBM, HP and French IT services firm Atos are all reportedly taking an interest in acquiring airline company Lufthansa’s IT infrastructure business, which has been up for sale since earlier this month. A report in German newspaper Frankfurter Allegemeine Zeitung quotes Lufthansa CFO Simone Menne as saying the company is “in talks with several sector heavyweights” about “a takeover of the IT infrastructure”, and that Lufthansa planned to secure “most” of the division’s jobs following a sale.
Computing

 

 

media news

 

Nokia to rebrand as Microsoft Mobile
An internal Nokia memo has been leaked to the media suggesting that the fallen Finnish mobile phone giant could be about to be rebranded as Microsoft Mobile after being subsumed by its new owners. An excerpt published by Mashable states: “Please note that upon the close of the transaction between Microsoft and Nokia, the name of Nokia Corporation/Nokia Oyj will change to Microsoft Mobile Oy. Microsoft Mobile Oy is the legal entity name that should be used for VAT IDs and for the issuance of invoices.”
The Drum

 

Apple boss Tim Cook provided voiceover on ad touting firms renewed green commitment
Apple has pledged to work harder than ever to “leave the world better than the way we found it” in an ad trumpeting its green credentials and narrated by Apple boss Tim Cook. The “better” ad is almost two minutes long and was shot on location at Apple Facilities. The campaign touts Apple’s green credentials, including its new data centre that is powered by the sun and wind, and a manufacturing facility that runs on 100 per cent clean energy.
Marketing Magazine

 

Joss Whedon’s new film goes straight In Your Eyes with Vimeo rush-release
The Avengers director Joss Whedon has rush-released his latest production, In Your Eyes, by making it available for digital download only minutes after its world premiere at the Tribeca film festival. Whedon, who wrote and produced In Your Eyes, released the film through his company, Bellwether Pictures, on the Vimeo On Demand service. It is available worldwide at a cost of $5 (£3) for a 72-hour rental period. Whedon announced the release strategy in a short video that played after the premiere screening had finished.
The Guardian

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telecoms

 

Telecommunications company fined $400k for barring emergency access
Almost 6000 TPG customers in Australia with suspended or inactive accounts due to bills being unpaid or other reasons were denied access to emergency lines between March and September 2011. The telco was fined $400,000 in the Federal Court on Wednesday, with Justice Mordecai Bromberg criticising the company’s lax approach to important regulations.
SBS Australia

 

Telefónica launches mobile ad exchange
Telefónica has become the first telecoms provider to launch a mobile advertising exchange, throwing it into competition with internet companies like Google and Facebook. The Spanish group announced on Wednesday that it teamed up with Blackstone, the private equity group, to buy the technology behind MobClix, an ad exchange that went bankrupt last year.
Financial Times

 

US operators agree to mobile phone ‘kill switch’
US mobile industry group CTIA and participating operators have announced the ‘Smartphone Anti-Theft Voluntary Commitment’, an effort by the industry to deter smartphone thefts in the US. Each device manufacturer and operating system signatory of Part One of this commitment agrees that new models of smartphones first manufactured after July 2015 for retail sale in the US will offer, at no cost to consumers, a baseline anti-theft tool that is preloaded or downloadable on smartphones.
TelecomPaper

 

 

enterprise technology

 

Intel benefits from XP migration but mobile dips
Intel finally sees some positive developments during the first three months of the year, but worries persist. The good news came from the stabilisation of Intel’s PC business, as well as the data centre group which continued to show strong gains. Likewise, its new Internet of things business unit, while small, still had strong revenues gains.
TechWeekEurope

 

London fintech boom — TransferWise and others hit record numbers
Slowly but surely a revolution has been taking place in financial technology, or fintech as we call it these days. These days fintech’s hottest sphere is not in Bloomberg terminals but in disruptive cloud startups, using the Internet as a route around the dedicated lines of the past. Globally, fintech investment has more than tripled over the past three years, according to a recent study by Accenture. It’s risen from $928 million in 2008 to $2.97 billion in 2013. Fintech investment has increased at — check this out — more than four times the rate of overall VC investment.
TechCrunch

 

Adapt launches Europe’s first EMC-based software defined data centre
Adapt has become the first European managed service provider to agree a deal to deliver a software defined data centre entirely based on EMC’s trove of technologies. The partnership between the two companies will deliver a variety of specific benefits and is being done in response to increasing customer demand and diversification of challenges.
ITProPortal

 

 

media news

 

MusicQubed aims for ‘forgotten fans’ priced out by streaming music services
A growing number of companies are exploring what you might call “mid-price” subscription music services, hoping that there are lots of people out there willing to pay a few quid a month for a more limited selection of music. British startup MusicQubed, which runs the O2 Tracks service for mobile operator O2. It’s the successor to a similar app launched with Samsung in 2012, and part of what MusicQubed boss Chris Gorman – founder of retailer Gadget Shop – describes as an attempt to reach the “forgotten fan” – people who like music, but have been “priced out” of music subscriptions by the industry’s focus on £10-a-month all-you-can-eat services.
The Guardian

 

 

NBCUniversal launches a digital-first programming initiative
NBCUniversal is launching a company wide digital programming initiative to provide content for its online platforms including Hulu, and its VOD services. The made-for-digital programming will be promoted across the company’s portfolio of television networks and featured on its collection of digital platforms as well as on national video-on-demand. Programming will be free-to-view and will feature advertising as well as branded content.
BroadbandTV News

 

We’ve been expecting you: restaurant that Googles its customers
The trend began in New York, inevitably, where Justin Roller, maître d’ at Eleven Madison Park, the city’s current must-be-seen-at restaurant, began to research his diners. The idea was to improve their experience by learning salient details: whether they were celebrating a birthday, were fanatical about wine, or morbidly afraid of bread rolls. Now the Holborn Dining Room, at the Rosewood Hotel, west London, is said to be doing the same.
Daily Telegraph

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telecoms

ANT Telecom implements comms solution for Eurotunnel
ANT Telecom has implemented a Hytera digital radio solution for Eurotunnel, providing full site communication. The solution will be utilised at the Folkestone site by traffic marshals within four different divisions – tourist, HGV1, HGV2 and motorway, allowing communication between the teams and the control centre.
Comms Dealer

 

Sky, TalkTalk and CityFibre link up for ultra-fast network in York
The city of York is to have the fastest broadband speeds in Britain after four telecoms groups, led by Sky and TalkTalk, announced plans to build an ultrafast network. Capable of delivering speeds of up to one gigabit per second (1Gbps), the infrastructure project is the biggest challenge yet to BT’s monopoly of the UK’s fixed-line telecoms infrastructure.
The Guardian

 

T-Mobile eliminates overage fees, challenges the competition to do the same
T-Mobile on Monday announced plans to do away with expensive overage fees for all customers on consumer plans. CEO John Legere took the initiative a step further by publically inviting AT&T, Sprint and Verizon to do the same. The outspoken T-Mobile chief said the act of charging overage fees is a greedy, predatory practice that needs to go. He added that the worst thing about them is the fact that they’re often inflicted on those who can least afford them.
Eurotrade Computer & Communications

 

 

enterprise technology

Shoreditch firm TransferWise hits £1billion mark
A Shoreditch money-transfer business tipped to be partnering with Facebook said today it has transferred over a £1 billion since launching just three years ago. TransferWise has seen use of its international money transfer service has exploded since last May when PayPal’s co-founder Peter Thiel invested in the business. The total volume of cash sent abroad has jumped from £125 million to £1 billion in just 11 months.
London Evening Standard

 

Up to 1.5m Mumsnet members hit by Heartbleed bug
Parenting forum Mumsnet has warned all 1.5m members that their accounts may have been compromised by the so-called Heartbleed bug – including Justine Roberts, the site’s own co-founder, whose username and password were amongst those stolen.
The Drum

 

Facebook is trying to become your online wallet, starting in Europe
Facebook wants your money. No, we’re not talking about credits for FarmVille — not this time. The social network is trying to become your online bank account for making payments and storing cash (or virtual currency). According to Irish Times, the social network is close to getting regulatory approval in Ireland (where Facebook’s EU operations are headquartered). This approval will come from Central Bank and will allow Facebook to become a digital financial institution — to “issue units of stored monetary value that represent a claim against the company.”
TechCity News

 

 

media news

Shop entrances are hot spots for mobile use, says Starcom
Almost a quarter of shoppers use their mobile phones while waiting outside retail destinations, whereas only three per cent use them while looking at products, according to research from Starcom MediaVest Group. Last month, the Publicis-owned media agency used its own observational video techniques on 2,000 people around ten retail locations on London’s Oxford Street and in Guildford town centre.
Campaign

 

 

Google buys drone maker Titan aerospace
Google is getting into the high-altitude drone business with its purchase of Titan Aerospace in a move that is closely linked to Google’s Project Loon efforts, which use high-altitude balloons to build a high-speed Internet network. The Titan Aerospace acquisition by Google is being made as the company continues to assemble “more aerial technology to collect images and get more of the world’s population online,” according to a report by The Wall Street Journal.
TechWeek Europe

 

AR book to encourage kids to read with Android app
57 per cent of children spend just an hour reading, whereas 33 per cent usually play mobile games – Jack Hunter combines to two. The interactive AR enabled book, Jack Hunter: The French Connection – which was launched for iOS in February – has been introduced onto Android. Research from Publisher, iBO Live and author Martin King found that 57 per cent of children aged eight to 13 spend just one hour a day reading, however 33 per cent spend most of their time playing games on smartphones and tablets.
Mobile Entertainment

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Orange launches Alliance third-party operator programme
Orange has launched the Orange Alliance international partnership programme, which offers operators outside the group’s footprint a range of services based on its experience in markets around the world. Orange will provide tailor-made services and support, access to Orange products, services and procurement activities, and international roaming agreements. Orange Alliance provides partners with the resources to act independently while benefiting from the group’s support. Services offered on a modular basis, include innovation, procurement of service platforms, support for marketing and pricing, as well as management training programmes. The first two partners are Portuguese operator Zon Optimus and French Polynesia-based Vini.
Telecompaper

 

MTN and Vodacom to buy Nashua Mobile users
South Africa’s Vodacom and MTN will buy mobile-phone subscribers from Nashua Mobile for 2.26 billion rand ($215 million) after the service provider decided its business model is unsustainable, reports Bloomberg. The country’s largest wireless operators will take on customers who signed up to their networks and services through Nashua Mobile, its Johannesburg-based owner Reunert said in a statement. Nashua finds South African mobile-phone users packages to suit them from the nation’s network operators.
Global Telecoms Business

 

EE boosts apprenticeship scheme to tackle youth unemployment
EE has published its 2013 responsibility report, which reveals its plans to tackle youth unemployment in the UK. It has also expressed plans to address digital exclusion in many communities, improving technological skills of one million people. The company has boosted its apprenticeship scheme, increasing its target of 500 people to 1,500 and launching a new work inspiration programme.
Mobile Entertainment

 

 

enterprise technology

 

Government launches cyber security certification for businesses
The government has launched its Cyber Essentials scheme to provide “clarity to organisations on what good cyber security practice is” and to “set out the steps they need to follow to manage cyber risks”. Once organisations have been independently assessed against the best practice recommendations they can apply for the “Cyber Essentials award”. The government said this will demonstrate to potential customers that businesses have achieved a certain level of cyber security, and that they take it seriously. The new scheme is applicable to not only businesses, but also universities, charities and public bodies, said the government.
TechWorld

 

Gartner indicates rise in IT focus for CEOs
2014 will be the year that CEOs and senior executives prioritise growth, according to a recent survey by analyst house Gartner. The 2014 Gartner CEO and Senior Executive Survey found that that there is currently a ‘risk-on’ period when CEOs perceive that risk is lower, and they are prepared to invest in longer-term growth. The Gartner CEO and Senior Executive Survey of 410 senior business leaders in user organisations worldwide was conducted between September and December 2013. Qualified organisations were those with annual revenue of $250 million or more. The survey results show that growth is the top priority by far, with CEOs and executives displaying a bullish attitude toward technology-related business growth in 2014 and 2015.
Information Age

 

Microsoft shrinks Windows down to size for tablets
Microsoft has cut down the amount of space Windows takes up on tablets in a bid to boost the ailing tablet OS. Windows Image Boot (WIMBoot) has been unveiled by Michael Niehaus, senior product marketing manager for Microsoft’s Windows Commercial division. In a blog post, Niehaus said that instead of extracting all the individual Windows files from an image (WIM) file, they remain compressed in the WIM.
ITPro

 

 

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Zeebox becomes Beamly – wants to be the social network for your TV
It’s been some two years since Zeebox arrived with the idea of bringing web functionality to your regular TV viewing. During this time it caught the eye of BSkyB, which put money into the service, and its makers have also discovered that when it comes to those using Zeebox, the social side is the clear winner. So much so that Zeebox is no more: the app now goes by the name of Beamly. The new app has been redesigned from the ground up, with the social experience that was in Zeebox but hiding on the sidelines now front and centre.
TechRadar

 

Twitter has almost 430 million inactive users
Almost half of Twitter’s 974 million registered users have never sent a single tweet, raising doubts as to the firm’s claims about its number of active users. Research from Twopcharts highlights the fact that 44 per cent, or around 428 million, of Twitter users have never tweeted, and claims that of the 550 million Twitter users that have, 43 per cent sent their last tweet more than one year ago. Only 126 million, around 13 per cent of Twitter users, have sent a tweet in the past 30 days, according to the figures.
The Inquirer

 

Dropbox defends Condoleezza Rice appointment as customers fume
Dropbox has responded to criticism of its decision to appoint Condoleezza Rice to its board of directors by reassuring customers that their privacy and rights will not be affected. However, the move does not appear to have appeased many, who have posted angry comments on the company blog. The controversy began last week when it emerged that Dropbox had appointed the former US secretary of state to its board of directors. As Rice had been a key figure in the Bush administration, it caused a storm of protest from customers who claimed her appointment was inappropriate, because of her involvement in driving war in Iraq, and because the Bush administration oversaw the expansion of the NSA’s spying activities on the internet.
V3

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BlackBerry defends classic QWERTY keyboard, promises high-end smartphones for business
BlackBerry is going to keep making high-end, QWERTY phones, with a few touch-screen models as well, but the company isn’t putting all of its financial eggs in the handset basket, CEO John Chen and global enterprise services head John Sims told a reporters’ round-table today. Fending off perpetual queries about BlackBerry’s struggling phone business, Chen insisted that “I love the handset business, [and] I think we can make the handset business profitable … we’re committed to the handset business.”
ITProPortal

 

Smart launches telecom services in Tanzania
Smart has launched its services in Tanzania, becoming the eighth operator in the country. Smart joins Zantel, Airtel, Vodacom, Tigo, TTCL, Sasatel and Benson in the provision of telecommunications services in Tanzania. The network was officially launched by Industrial Promotion Services (IPS), the infrastructure and industrial development arm of the Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development (AKFED).
Telecom Paper

 

China considering US$750mn loan to finance Mexico’s telecoms networks
Chinese officials have offered the Mexican government funding for two telecommunications networks it is planning to build, sources said. The networks, estimated by the Mexican government to cost about US$750 million, are meant to reach rural areas in the country where America Movil is often the sole phone provider. If Mexico accepted the loans, the networks would probably use equipment from Huawei Technologies, two sources said.
South China Morning Post

 

 

enterprise technology

 

France bans work emails after 6pm
A new law says that if French workers happen to notice a phone call or email from the office over dinner, they simply have to look the other way. About a million French workers in the digital and consulting industries will be required to switch off work phones and avoid email before 9 a.m. and after 6 p.m., barring “exceptional circumstances,” according to a BBC News article. The agreement reached by employers federations and unions also says employers cannot pressure their employees to flout the directive.
CNBC

 

Snapchat-style self-destructing email service created
A Snapchat-style self-destructing email serviced has been created by two Harvard law students. Pluto allows users to unsend emails at any time, unlike Gmail which currently only offers their users five seconds to stop any embarrassing errors being sent. With Pluto, you also have the ability to edit sent emails if the recipient has not yet opened the email.
Daily Telegraph

 

Unify and BT Reach Enterprise Agreement
Addressing strong customer demand for integrated and collaborative infrastructure and applications and building upon a track record of customer success, Unify and BT has announced a new multi-country enterprise agreement. The agreement makes it easier for customers in the UK, Belgium, The Netherlands, Luxembourg and Germany to realise the productivity and cost-saving benefits of a joint solution offering.
Comms Business

 

 

media news

 

Google Glass to go on general sale in the US for one day only
Google Glass is going on general sale in the US for one day only in what could be the biggest test to date of public desire for the wearable computer. Following the publication of a leaked document by The Verge, Google has confirmed in a blog post that they will be selling Glass online to any adult in the US on April 15th from 6am PDT. Google will also throw in a free sunglass shade or prescription glasses frame for the $1,500 plus tax price tag.
Independent

 

ECJ enforces illegal downloading ban on The Netherlands
Downloading movies, TV series and music from illegal sources does not fall under Dutch home copying regulations and compensation schemes, the European Court of Justice ruled on Thursday, April 10. The ban takes immediate effect and the Dutch government said it will look at changing the law as soon as possible. The Ministry of Security and Justice specified that the ban is based on civil law, so infringers will not be prosecuted and will not face criminal charges.
BroadbandTVNews

 

Only 10 per cent of UK shoppers have made use of in-store tablets
Retailers are failing to engage consumers with in-store technology, with only a tenth of British shoppers having ever experienced tablet devices while out shopping. Research by retail technology company Omnico Group found that only 10% of UK shoppers have ever seen or used tablets in-store for retail services.
ComputerWeekly

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BlackBerry willing to stop selling phones
BlackBerry would consider exiting its handset business if it remains unprofitable, according to the company’s CEO. “If I cannot make money on handsets, I will not be in the handset business,” John Chen said in an interview, adding that the time-frame for such a decision was short. He would not be more specific, but said it should be possible to make money off as few as 10 million handsets a year.

PC Pro

 

Piramal sells stake in Vodafone India
Indian conglomerate Piramal Industries has sold its 11 per cent stake in Vodafone’s Indian operation for almost $1.5bn, generating a 50 per cent return on an investment made during the 2012 financial year. The stake was sold to Prime Metals Ltd, an indirect subsidiary of Vodafone Group, Piramal said.
Telecoms.com

 

Huawei launches APAC’s first ever OpenDaylight Lab
Huawei announced the opening of its OpenDaylight (ODL) Lab in Shenzhen, China. OpenDaylight is an open and collaborative network programmability platform for software defined networking (SDN). It also creates a solid foundation for network virtualisation function (NFV) for networks of any size or scale. The Huawei run ODL Lab will become the first of its kind in Asia Pacific, and second in the world to be hosted by a third-party as part of the approved OpenDaylight Community Labs list.
Telecompaper

 

 

enterprise technology

 

Google invests in robotics start-up Savioke
Google has further demonstrated its interest in robotics by investing in a Silicon Valley start-up that specialises in the field. The internet giant, which has acquired eight robotics companies in the past 12 months, has not revealed how much it has invested in Savioke, as the company is called.
ITPRO

 

Police forces still struggling on cyber front
Less than 7 per cent of police forces in England and Wales have a comprehensive plan to deal with a large scale cyber incident, reveals an official report. Cyber incidents are one of just five threats government set as police priorities in 2012. The report notes that the culmination of individual cyber-crimes or the commission of a single attack could cause a large scale cyber incident.
Computer Weekly

 

Greg Christie to leave Apple as Jonathan Ive seizes design reins
Apple design boss Jony Ive appears to be consolidating his power within the fruity firm, with longtime software UI chief Greg Christie reportedly leaving the company. Cupertino confirmed Christie’s exit in a statement to the Financial Times, saying, “Greg has been planning to retire later this year after nearly 20 years at Apple. He has made vital contributions to Apple products across the board, and built a world-class Human Interface team which has worked closely with Jony for many years.”
The Register

 

 

media news

 

Social users have 3 times higher level of ad awareness than those who do not use these social networking sites
Those who use Twitter and Facebook have a level of ad awareness up to three times higher than those who do not use these social networking sites, research from YouGov Brandwatch has found. The research focussed on Three’s #SingItKitty ad, discovering that 73 percent of those who watched the new ad said they liked it. It was also discovered that advertising awareness has almost doubled since it launched, standing at 10 per cent as of 24 March, whilst consideration for Three increased by up to three per cent since the campaign started.
The Drum

 

Facebook to remove messaging from mobile app, users must download Messenger
Facebook is to switch off the messaging service in its mobile app, meaning users will have to download the Messenger app. The social networking giant has notified users in some European countries that they won’t be able to message friends through the Facebook app in two weeks’ time. This will roll out to every country in the near future.
Digital Spy

 

BBC must tackle complacency over the way it spends licence fee, say MPs
The BBC must tackle a “culture of complacency” in the way it spends licence fee payers’ money, MPs say, after describing the corporation’s bungled £100m Digital Media Initiative as a “complete failure”. The House of Commons public accounts committee delivered a damning verdict on the DMI, which aimed to do away with an extensive video archive and editing system and create a YouTube-like “tapeless” environment, which was scrapped by BBC director general Tony Hall in his first few weeks in the job, at a cost of £98.4m.
The Guardian

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EE dismisses data-burning glitch with Orange Mail app
Exclusive British mobile carrier EE has refused to admit there’s a problem with its Orange Mail app, even though it appeared to have quickly drained the data allowance on a barely-used PAYG phone. Register reader Adam Quantrill got in touch after a £10 credit he placed on his son’s Orange-branded Samsung i9000 Galaxy pay-as-you-go phone depleted within the space of 48 hours, even though – as the phone’s own logs showed – the kid had only used about 30 pence worth of data.
The Register

 

China gives green light for Microsoft to acquire Nokia’s mobile wing
China has approved Microsoft’s deal to acquire Nokia’s handset business, which is expected to close by the end of this month. The transaction has already received regulatory approvals from the European Commission, the US Department of Justice and a number of other jurisdictions. Originally scheduled to close at the end of the first quarter, on the 31st March the contract was put on hold while the firms awaited approval from the “final markets” in Asia.
ITProPortal 

 

 

EU rules that phone data retention infringes ‘fundamental rights’
The European Union’s top court yesterday overturned a ruling that forced European telecoms companies to keep their customers’ phone records on file for up to two years. The EU’s Court of Justice decreed that the Data Retention Directive, originally introduced after terrorist bombings in London and Madrid in 2006, infringed on fundamental human rights and “exceeded the limits” of proportionality.
The Verge

 

enterprise technology

 

IT strives to reinvent itself despite budget restrictions
IT leaders are striving to reinvent themselves in 2014, as they struggle to support innovation-based corporate growth efforts with improved information and analytics, according to 2014 IT Key Issues research from The Hackett Group. At the same time, IT organisations are facing another year of staff cuts and only small budget increases, in the face of moderate revenue growth expectations.
Information Age

 

Tech rout slams UK online giants
British technology shares were pummeled for a second day yesterday as waves of uncertainty surrounding the sector continued, despite a recovery across similar stocks in the US.
City AM

 

The Heartbleed Bug has made the internet’s secure websites very insecure 
Software used by millions of web servers, retailers, operating systems, email and instant messaging services has been accidentally infected by The Heartbleed Bug for around two years, it turns out. Aside from having the most post-hardcore name a serious web vulnerability has ever had, the bug could allow shady internet types to steal encrypted information from OpenSSL software that is usually (and should be) protected.
TechRadar

 

media news

 

Netflix starts streaming in 4K
Back in December, Netflix revealed that it would be shooting the second series of House of Cards in 4K. Then, at CES 2014 in January, Netflix announced that it would soon be providing UHD streams of Breaking Bad, as well as all of its own originally produced programmes.
Trusted Reviews

 

Women more likely to ignore SMS and social media ads
FinancesOnline has published an infographic looking at some of the differences between how men and women use mobile and social media. It shows that 71 per cent of women are willing to ‘like’ a brand on Facebook to access deals, compared to just 18 per cent of men. Women are also more likely to ignore SMS and social media advertising than men.
Mobile Marketing

 
Twitter gets Facebook-style revamp
Twitter has updated its profile pages, with a new look that resembles its closest rival Facebook, as the newly-listed social network looks to boost user engagement and ad revenue. The update, visible through the web version of Twitter, allows users to customise their profile pages with their best tweets, a larger profile photo and wide cover-image, mirroring the design update Facebook made to its profile pages in 2013.
NetImperative

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Samsung forecasts flat Q1 revenue, lower operating profit
The trouble with selling a lot of expensive smartphones is that eventually you start to run out of people to sell them to. This appears to be the problem Samsung is facing. The company on Tuesday announced it expects first quarter sales to be flat year-on-year at 53 trillion won (€36.7 billion) and operating profit to be down 4.3 per cent to KRW8.4 trillion (€5.8 billion). It is the second time in as many quarters that Samsung has forecast flat revenue and falling operating profit.
Total Telecom

 

EU court rules against requirement to keep data of telecom users
The European Union’s highest court ruled on Tuesday that an EU directive requiring telecoms companies to store the communications data of EU citizens for up to two years was invalid. “The Court of Justice declares the Data Retention Directive to be invalid,” the court said in a statement. The data-retention directive was introduced in March 2006 after bombings on public transport in Madrid and London. The aim was to give the authorities better tools to investigate and prosecute organised crime and terrorism.
Reuters

 

Ericsson intros high density stream processing platform
The Ericsson AVP 1000 Stream Processor, which is described as the most dense and powerful stream processor of its kind, is a 2RU that can process up to 512 transport streams of up to 300 Mbps each. It includes 10GigE interfaces, six high capacity option slots, dual high-capacity power supplies and new front to rear cooling with twin independent airflows for maximum cooling efficiency. Content security is assured through the scrambling of eight separate CAs (conditional access).
Converge Network Digest

 

enterprise technology

 

Cloud and datacentre bodies collaborate on trust agenda
Trade bodies the Cloud Industry Forum (CIF) and Data Centre Alliance (DCA) on Tuesday joined forces to drive best practices amongst the cloud service provider community, specifically promoting trust, security and transparency within the sector. Under the terms of the agreement, both organisations will establish a reciprocal, non-exclusive alliance partnership to encourage best practice as well as educating end user organisations on all cloud computing issues.
Telecoms.com

 

Cryptex card – world’s first Bitcoin-to-cash ATM and debit card launched
Cryptex is seeking to make using bitcoin even easier by launching a card which will allow you turn bitcoin into cash at hundreds of thousands of ATMs around the world. The Cryptex Card was launched at the Inside Bitcoins conference taking place in New York this week and the Hong Kong-based cryptocurrency financial services company said personalised cards will begin shipping in the next six weeks “filling a huge hole in the bitcoin and digital currency infrastructure,” according to the company.
International Business Times

 

Blackberry beats chipmaker in court
Troubled Canadian mobile phone maker Blackberry has managed to convince a jury that it did not nick three ideas belonging to Dutch semiconductor company NXP. NXP sued BlackBerry in April 2012 claiming that versions of the BlackBerry phone and PlayBook tablet infringed patents related to the design, data transmission and other features of those devices.
TechEye

 

media news

 

Asda runs ‘something to tweet about’ campaign starring cute Easter chick
Asda is launching a “something to tweet about” campaign, featuring a cute dancing Easter chick that forms part of the latest instalment of the “beat not match” positioning it unveiled over Christmas. The television campaign launched last night and features four different-coloured birdhouses representing the different supermarkets, with the last and biggest birdhouse representing Asda.
Marketing Magazine

 

UK mobile advertising boom sees market double to over £1bn
A boom in smartphone and tablet sales has contributed to a near doubling in mobile advertising spend to over £1bn over the past year, according to new research published by the Internet Advertising Bureau and PwC. The figures show advertisers flocking to handheld devices through 2013 as the display advertising market for mobiles surged 93 per cent on the previous year – fuelled predominantly by a 63 per cent increase in tablet ownership.
The Drum

 

Engineers design video game controller that can sense player’s emotions
Stanford engineers have developed what could be the next big thing in interactive gaming: handheld game controllers that measure the player’s physiology and alter the gameplay to make it more engaging. Sometimes, a dozen ravenous zombies just aren’t exciting enough to hold a video gamer’s interest. The next step in interactive gaming, however, could come in the form of a handheld game controller that gauges the player’s brain activity and throws more zombies on the screen when it senses the player is bored.
Phys.org

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EE Network announces 2.7 per cent price increase from 28 May
UK’s largest mobile network operator, EE (Everything Everywhere) has announced that it will increase the price of its monthly plan charge from next month. According to EE’s new terms and conditions, this allows the network operator to raise prices by the RPI, Retail Price Index, a measure of the increase in prices for consumers in average across the country over the latest 12 months. Currently RPI stands at 2.7 per cent, as published on 25 March. EE will increase prices to its monthly plan charge by 2.7 per cent . This will come into effect from 28 May for those consumers who have joined or, upgrade to a 12, 18 or, 24-month Pay Monthly or Small Business contract before 23 January.
International Business Times

 

Co-op enters telecoms sector with PAYG SIM
Co-op customers can now pick up an own-brand PAYG SIM card at one of 3,800 stores. The Co-operative Group has entered the mobile market with the launch of an own-brand, pay-as-you-go (PAYG) SIM card. It will be stocked in over 3,800 stores from later this month, the retailer announced Saturday (5 April 2014), making it more widely available than any other supermarket-branded SIM card. The card costs 99p upfront and offers competitive national and international rates, including call charges that are not rounded up to the nearest minute so customers can have quick conversations for no more than a few pence.
Cable.co.uk

 

Spain’s Ono to renegotiate debt after Vodafone takeover: report
Spanish cable group Ono, which agreed to a takeover offer from Vodafone last month, will renegotiate the terms of its large debt pile, the head of the British telecom group’s business in Spain said in a newspaper interview. Ono, purchased by Vodafone for 7.2 billion euros ($9.9 billion) including debt, has around 3.4 billion euros of bank loans and bonds. “We will renegotiate the debt to obtain conditions that are more compatible with our financial situation,” Antonio Coimbra, chief executive of Vodafone Spain, told El Pais newspaper on Sunday.
Reuters

 

enterprise technology

 

Microsoft security blocks adware by default
Software giant Microsoft has announced that from July 1 it will immediately stop any adware detected and notify the user, who can then restore the program if they wish. At the moment, when any of Microsoft’s security detects a program as adware, it will alert the user and offer them a recommended action. If the user does not do anything, the security product will let the program continue to run until the user makes a decision. The reason Microsoft has chosen a “July 1, 2014″ deadline is because it wants to give developers three months to comply with its new rules.
TechEYE

 

UK set to be top investor in new wave of IT upgrades, according to GE research
Investment in IT equipment by European SMEs is set to increase by almost a fifth to €73bn, driven by the the UK (€21.5bn investment in total, up 56 per cent), followed by France (€18.6bn, up 56 per cent). Upgrading IT equipment to enhance efficiency is a top priority for Western European SMEs over the next 12 months, according to GE Capital International’s Q1 2014 European SME Capex Barometer. This represents a 15 per cent increase on spending intentions versus the same time last year. The research, conducted among over 2,250 SME business leaders across seven European markets during Q1 2014, shows that across the big four European economies IT is the only asset type to see a significant increase in intended investment, while spend on other types of assets is set to remain stable or drop.
Comms Dealer

 

Meru unveils speedier, higher capacity enterprise access point
Meru Networks has announced two new dual-stream, enterprise 802.11ac access points, including one designed to replace an Ethernet wall plate. Adding 11ac introduces a number of Wi-Fi improvements, including wider channels, higher encoding density, a larger number of spatial streams, beamforming for more reliable links, and eventually “multi-user MIMO” (which lets the access point send/receive with up to four clients at the same time). The result is higher throughput and greater capacity to meet the demands of many more Wi-Fi clients for real-time mobile applications such as video and voice.
TechWorld

 

media news

 

Xbox One boosted with revolutionary external game storage ability
Xbox One owners were treated to a little bit of a tease this past February when a dashboard update (finally) gave them the ability to manage their consoles’ storage, a much-requested feature since the console’s November 2013 launch. But two features still eluded those who felt otherwise bound by the console’s 500GB storage limit: The ability to swap out the Xbox One’s included hard drive for a bigger, fatter, or faster device, and the ability to connect external storage. If you’re one of those gamers, we have some good news for you. Xbox spokesperson Larry “Major Nelson” Hryb has confirmed that the Xbox One will soon support “external game storage.”
ITProPortal

 

Yahoo reportedly eyes push into original video programming
Yahoo is ramping up its online video efforts with plans to acquire high-end original programming usually found on cable TV, according to the Wall Street Journal. The Internet company plans to order four different Web series that would appear on the Web as half-hour comedies, sources tell the newspaper. The new comedies, which are expected to have per-episode budgets of up to a few million dollars, are expected to be unveiled for advertisers on April 28 during Yahoo’s “NewFront” event. CNET has contacted Yahoo for comment and will update this report when we learn more.
CNET

 

Apple, Facebook and Google lead green Internet charge
A new report by Greenpeace USA has found that Apple, Facebook and Google are among the greenest technology companies and are driving a major shift towards the use of renewable energy within the industry. The report suggests that Amazon could be doing much more to source clean energy. Clicking Clean: How Companies are Creating the Green Internet considers the power that tech companies have in driving the uptake of renewable energies. It looks at the energy choices that have been made by 19 major Internet companies and examines their electricity supply chains of 300+ data centres.
Techradar pro

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T-Mobile US reaches out to BlackBerry customers…again
T-Mobile US has reached out to BlackBerry customers with another special offer after the Canadian smartphone maker announced it will stop supplying its devices to the mobile operator.  In an open letter published on Thursday, T-Mobile US CEO John Legere said BlackBerry customers are eligible for a $100 credit on their next device, including the BlackBerry Q10 and Z10, until the end of the year.
Total Telecom

 

EU Parliament votes to end roaming
The European Parliament voted to end mobile phone roaming fees by 2016 and barred telecoms operators from prioritising some Internet traffic over others, moves that will cheer Europe’s consumers and frustrate industry seeking new forms of revenue. In a session in Brussels, lawmakers backed telecom reform legislation that will phase out roaming fees across the 28-country European Union by December 2015, bolster consumer protections on mobile and broadband contracts and seek to make the sale of mobile licences more uniform across Europe.
Reuters

 

VAT reform on China’s telecom carriers delayed
As part of the country’s tax and fiscal reforms, the VAT which was initially planned to be imposed on the Chinese carriers from April 1, is likely to have been put off as all the three major carriers — China Mobile, China Unicom and China Telecom – said they didn’t receive any notice from the regulators till today, according to a Sina news report on Friday.
ZDNet

 

enterprise technology

 

Government signs £5m deal with Microsoft to extend Windows XP support for a year
The decision to stop offering support and security updates for Windows XP may be good news for Microsoft executives tired of their ‘zombie operating system’ but it’s proving an expensive decision for big institutions that aren’t ready to move on. Among these institutions is the UK government, who has signed a £5.548 million deal with Microsoft in order to secure a year’s worth of extra support for Windows XP, Office 2004 and Exchange 2003.
Independent

 

New USB cable design unveiled, can’t be plugged in the wrong way
A design for a new type of USB connector has been shown off, and it’s one that will put an end to all your USB worries. The great thing about the new USB Type-C standard is that it’s orientation agnostic when it comes to slotting it in – or to put it another way, it’s symmetrical, and you can plug it in either way up. It’s also smaller than existing USB connectors, and the idea is that it will replace both USB and micro USB with one single standard in the future. Of course, that means it won’t fit existing USB ports on PCs across the land.
ITProPortal

 

Licencing and entitlement management key to monetising IoT
Laurie Wurster, research director at Gartner, says the hyper-growth of IoT will require a rethinking of manufacturers’ underlying business models, including the manufacturing supply chain and the critical role that software plays in product development and product revenue models. Licencing and entitlement management will enable flexible pricing and packaging, so manufacturers can bundle product features, capabilities and capacities, ensure payment, provide upgrade paths, as well as new revenue streams.
Information Age

 

media news

 

Google and Netflix to be protected from telecoms charges
Google, Netflix and other internet companies are celebrating a political victory over telecoms network operators after MEPs approved legislation that would ban extra charges for delivering particular types of data such as video. A block of left-wing MEPs at the EU introduced the new restrictions via late amendments to a broad package of telecoms reforms that was approved by a resounding majority on Thursday. The amendments would protect what internet lobbyists and campaigners call “net neutrality”, the principle that the owners of telecoms infrastructure should not be allowed to treat the various types of data passing over their networks differently.
Daily Telegraph

 

Tablets and mobile phones blamed as more than nine in ten young people fail to get a good night’s sleep
Mobile phones and tablets are being blamed for leaving Britain in the grip of an epidemic of insomnia. The devices emit ‘blue light’ which disturbs our brains before bed time and means millions of us are going without enough sleep. Young people are suffering most, with more than nine in ten saying they do not get the recommended seven hours’ rest a night, a study shows. Now, the researchers are urging people to switch off mobile phones, tablets and even TVs at least two hours before hitting the hay.
Metro

 

BBC Trust approves 30-day iPlayer catch-up window
The BBC Trust has approved proposals from the BBC Executive to extend the catch-up window for programmes on BBC iPlayer from seven to 30 days. The decision follows a formal assessment of the significance of the plans and advice from Ofcom on the potential impact of the proposals on others. The catch-up extension will mean that programmes will be available on iPlayer to stream or download for 30 days after they are first broadcast, rather than the current seven days. The changes are expected to be implemented from this summer.
Advanced Television

liberty news

By | Liberty News | No Comments

telecoms
3UK denies interest in O2
3UK’s chief executive Dave Dyson has ruled out launching a takeover bid for rival mobile operator O2. Hutchison Whampoa, 3UK’s parent, has actively pursued consolidation opportunities in Europe recently. Its Austrian unit completed the acquisition of local rival Orange at the beginning of 2013, and in June last year 3 Ireland agreed to purchase O2 Ireland in a deal worth €850 million. It also attempted, albeit unsuccessfully, to merge its Italian operation with incumbent Telecom Italia’s mobile unit.
Total Telecom

 

Jamaica renews telecoms licences
Jamaica expects to generate J$12.6 billion (US$115) in revenue as a result of government’s renewal of the telecoms and spectrum licences of Digicel Jamaica, and LIME, for the next 15 years, reports Jamaica Observer. The renewal of the licences and award of additional spectrum to both entities, represents some J$9.36 billion (US$85 million) in investment from Digicel, and J$3.29 billion (US$30 million) from LIME.
Global Telecoms Business

 

Vodafone to open 150 new stores and create 1,400 jobs
Vodafone will invest £100m in 150 new retail stores over the next year as part of efforts to reduce its reliance on third parties such as Carphone Warehouse. The mobile operator currently has the fewer stores than its main rivals but the expansion will take its total beyond 500, leapfrogging O2 on 450. EE, Britain’s biggest mobile operator, has 600 stores.
Daily Telegraph

 

 

enterprise technology

Microsoft to give away software for smartphones

Microsoft is to give away its software for smartphones free of charge and reverse course a second time on its controversial Windows 8 PC operating system, in the latest attempt to shore up its eroding software platform against Apple and Google. The moves came as new chief executive Satya Nadella appeared at an event in San Francisco in front of 5,000 developers – a key group that he needs to win over. A shortage of apps for handsets running Windows software has been one of the main things holding the company back in the smartphone wars.
Financial Times

 

Accenture to hire 2,000 in UK this year
Outsourcing giant Accenture will hire 2,000 people into its UK workforce this year, it revealed today. Accenture is seeking experienced professionals in infrastructure services and software-as-a-service (SaaS) to fill 750 Accenture Technology positions, while 300 roles will align with industry expertise in retail, banking and capital markets.  There will also be more than 100 consultant positions in Accenture Strategy, and another 100 in Accenture Digital at all levels across mobility, analytics and digital marketing.
Information Age

 

CIOs need to give up BYOD fight and prepare for wearable tech revolution
Google has warned CIOs to stop resisting bring your own device (BYOD), and urged them to prepare their systems for wearable technology. Google head of Enterprise in Northern Europe Thomas Davies argued that IT managers can no longer stop employees using consumer devices for work purposes, during a speech at the company’s Atmosphere London event. “BYOD: that ship has sailed. Now we’re into bring your own apps. The next wave is going to be bring your own wearables. The reality is there’s no such thing as an IT perimeter. We need to find a way to harness the power of consumerisation technology and bring it into the enterprise,” he said.
V3

 

 

media news

 

Amazon set to open Fire on rivals Apple and Google with set-top TV box.
Amazon has set its sights on rivals Apple TV, Roku boxes and Google’s Chromecast by launching its own set-top box. Fire TV will allow users to stream shows and movies from Amazon, as well as using other services such as Netflix and YouTube, directly to their televisions. It also boasts a unique feature – a game controller which allows users to play video games without a console by streaming the game to the TV.
Metro

 

Sony to shoot World Cup 2014 matches in 4K resolution
Sony will shoot three matches at this summer’s World Cup finals in 4K. The footage will not be broadcast but will be incorporated into an official film, developed in conjunction with FIFA, after the tournament has concluded. The official World Cup film will be available through online distributors later this year, with trailers rendered in 60p airing prior to the competition.
Digital Spy

 
KLM uses social media to allow passengers to choose their ideal seat neighbours
KLM Dutch Royal Airlines is using social media to support its Meet & Seat boarding experience, which is designed to make it easy for passengers to connect with one another on flights, whether it’s for business or social reasons. KLM is using the Gigya Social Login system to support the Meet & Seat service, which allows users to see who else is on board their flight. When customers choose to opt in to Meet & Seat, KLM prompts them to log in socially and share their Facebook, Google+ or LinkedIn profile details with other participating passengers.
ComputerWorldUK

liberty news

By | Liberty News | No Comments

telecoms

 

Service providers ignore significant portion of UK businesses, claims research
The majority of UK businesses are being sidelined by service providers according to a new report by benchmark-it which suggests that the self-employed and organisations with an owner manager are ‘largely ignored’. Report author Rob Pritchard commented: “The UK population of enterprises has grown to a record 4.9 million as we recover from the recession, 75 per cent of which are one or no employee businesses and many of them still use consumer products when they could benefit from improved productivity and efficiency with the right ICT packages.”
Comms Business

 

US smartphone usage nearing UK levels
The share of US smartphone users is closing in on the advanced UK mobile market, according to a new report. Around two thirds of the UK’s mobile phone users (or 53.7 per cent of the total population) use smartphones at least monthly, compared to 65 per cent (51.4 per cent) of the US market, estimates market researcher eMarketer.
Daily Telegraph

 

Nuage Networks announces second SDN deal
Nuage Networks, Alcatel-Lucent’s SDN venture, has announced its second major deal one year after launching. Enterprise cloud provider Numergy has selected Nuage’s SDN platform and A-L’s 7750 service router for deployment across its data centres.
EuroComms

 

enterprise technology

 

Businesses must rethink HR IT as traditional jobs disintegrate
Employers will need to rethink the way they use technology as traditional employment patterns fracture over the next five years, a technology specialist warned this week. Traditional jobs will disintegrate as more employers chose to outsource packages of work to people outside the organisation, or to temporary contract staff, rather than hire permanent staff, said cloud computing expert Jason Averbook.
Computer Weekly

 

SanDisk announces new CloudSpeed SSDs for enterprise
SanDisk has announced four new SSDs which are targeted at the enterprise world, designed to be able to cope with the intensive workloads experienced in data centres and cloud computing. The four new 19nm-based models are the CloudSpeed Extreme, CloudSpeed Ultra, CloudSpeed Ascend and CloudSpeed Eco, all of which are designed for reliability and longevity. SanDisk claims that with one of these models – the Extreme – it’s the first supplier to provide 10 full DWPD (drive writes per day) on 19nm enterprise SSDs.
ITProPortal

 

Lord Younger: Intellectual Property enforcement will get tougher
The UK government will continue to take a hard line on intellectual property (IP) theft, Lord Younger said yesterday, arguing that IP rights are needed to support technological innovation as the cornerstone of the economic recovery. Lord Younger, minister for Intellectual Property (IP), promised new tools and education to fight IP infringement, speaking at the Houses of Parliament, at an event sponsored by the Federation Against Software Theft (FAST).
TechWeek Europe

 

media news

 

02 to trial handset-only BeThere tickets for the 02
Mobile network O2 will pilot a series of gigs with an audience of customers’ mobile phones at its London super-venue in the former Millennium Dome. The handset-only concerts will enable the 20,000 capacity venue to accommodate an audience of more than 100,000 using the two-way BeThere app. With their handset ‘seated’ at the venue, BeThere will use its camera to relay the live event, while the screen enables artists to see the ticket-holders enjoying the experience at home.
Recombu

 

Spotify debuts ‘dark’ redesign ahead of competition from iTunes and YouTube
Streaming music service Spotify is rolling out a redesign across its web, desktop and mobile apps, with a darker theme and new feature for users to build collections of their favourite music. The revamp comes ahead of the anticipated debut of rival services from Apple and YouTube, possibly as soon as this summer.
The Guardian

 

Twitter expands into social TV: buys SecondSync and Mesagraph
Twitter has bought two social TV firms as it looks to build upon its links with real-time TV events, giving the social network more clout with broadcasters and advertisers. The deals see Twitter snap up Parisian firm Mesagraph and the London-based SecondSync. Details of the terms were not confirmed, but both the companies, which provide analytics to broadcasters and advertisers about how people engage with television, will be working out of Twitter’s London office.
NetImperative

Nobody panic. Bieber to the rescue!

By | Company Blog | No Comments

Blackberry lovers can celebrate as recent news emerged that (fellow) Canadian starlet Justin Bieber has made an undisclosed bid to reinvigorate the company – or at least according to IT Pro Portal’s April the 1st updates…

 

 

Being the beginning of April the customary hi-jinks stories are doing the rounds in the media: from the Times claiming that Scottish independence will see his Royal Highness Ferdinand, Duke of Saxony claim the empty throne; ITV’s Daybreak baffling scientists by showing chickens laying square eggs; and even The Register joining in with a story that the PM will replace the iconic BT tower with a 3D printed version.

 

Spring foolery goes back a long way in the media. The recognised start being 1957 when the BBC and Panorama persuaded large numbers of the British population that Spaghetti actually grew on bushes!  Traditionally the April Fool’s Day spoofs has been the prerogative of media outlets with broad national outreach (BBC, The Times, etc.), but this year has even seen the banter infiltrate the tech trades: from Google Glass Monocles to 3D printed Big Macs, and celebrity take overs.

 

Looking at the broader tech sector, the fast pace and increasing variety of directions it is moving in, it should come as no surprise that there have been so many amusing stories written. I mean, how much fun could you have using, (let alone writing about) Google Glass or a 3D printer? And five years ago who (apart from maybe their actual inventors) would have believed we’d now have this type of technology?

 

Imagination seems to be the only limit when it comes to the evolution and development of technology. And now it seems this too is filtering down to the journalists and how they are choosing to write about it – the April Fool’s Day stories are simply the latest and greatest examples of this.

 

As a nation we are celebrated worldwide for our sense of humour and today is another fine example of this. From the island that gave the world the Ministry of Silly Walks, Lord Flashheart, Mr Bean and Guy Secretan it’s good to see an area historically associated with the grey suits and beige slacks coming to life a bit more thanks to the journalists writing about it.

 

While Bieber might not be buying Blackberry after all (sorry Blackberry fans), and Google Glass isn’t available in a monocle (just yet at least), long live the imagination, personality and ‘don’t take yourself too seriously’ attitude of the Great British press!