Monthly Archives: May 2014

Liberty Industry News – May 30, 2014

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Bitter war of words erupts between 3 and Vodafone
A war of words, compounded by the threat of legal action, has opened up between 3 Ireland and Vodafone over the European Commission’s decision to grant 3 Ireland permission to buy O2 Ireland in a €780m deal. In an angry reaction to the decision, Vodafone said it was considering legal action here and in Europe, accusing the European Commission of allowing 3 Ireland to take investment shortcuts in the Irish market.
Irish Independent


Huawei Wi-fi breaks through 10 GBPS barrier
Huawei has successfully tested 10GBps Wi-Fi over the 5GHz band and predicts the technology could be commercially available from 2018. The lab test was held in the Chinese vendor’s headquarters in Shenzhen. The speeds are 10 times faster than those commercially available today.
Mobile Europe


Telecom New Zealand to buy last 4G spectrum
Telecom New Zealand, the second-largest mobile operator in New Zealand, has been cleared to buy the final lot of 700 megahertz spectrum. The Commerce Commission approved the sale, saying Telecom’s acquisition was unlikely to substantially lessen competition because the unused block wasn’t placed next to Two Degrees Mobile’s other band-width holdings, meaning the third mobile operator wouldn’t gain much of an edge if it held the extra lot.



enterprise technology

Portugal Telecom takes over CardMobili’s loyalty service
Digital wallet provider CardMobili has reached an agreement with Portugal Telecom for the network operator to take over management of its mobile consumer loyalty service, MEO CardMobili. The move builds on CardMobili’s track record of service roll outs, encompassing integration into existing mCommerce programmes, such as rewards and loyalty, as well as launches of brand new services.
Mobile Marketing


EMEA server revenue shows signs of recovery
Server sales across EMEA have shown growth for the first time in three years as the declines in the market start to reverse as economic conditions improve. According to the latest Gartner figures EMEA server revenues have grown despite overall shipments falling by 6.1 per cent to 547,900 from the first quarter of 2013 revenue totalled $3.0bn, an increase of 2.5 per cent in the first quarter of 2014.


Amazon Web Services awarded Bitcoin cloud computing patent
Amazon has been given granted a bitcoin-related cloud computing patent that could soon allow the e-commerce giant to accept digital currencies as payment for its cloud computing services on Amazon Web Services (AWS). The news counters recent claims by Amazon that it is not currently interested in accepting digital currencies, unlike e-commerce rivals such as eBay.
CBR Online



media news


Consumer confidence hits seven-year high
Consumer confidence reached a nine-year high in April as forecasts for UK economic growth continue to provide cheer but brands have been warned that optimism about the strengthening economy is still not being matched by an uplift in people’s own financial circumstances. GFK’s monthly consumer confidence tracker increased three points to 0 in April – the first time it has climbed out of the red since April 2005.
Marketing Week


Instagram asks brands to enter Cannes photography exhibition ‘La Galerie d’Instagram’
Facebook-owned Instagram hopes to celebrate the “world’s best visual imagery” at the “La Galerie d’Instagram” exhibition, which will be a gallery space in Cannes showing a small collection of the winning photos. Instagram will select three winners on the opening day of the festival (15 June) based on the originality, technical execution and subject matter of submissions.
Brand Republic


Netflix box rumour dismissed
Netflix CEO Reed Hastings has dismissed the prospect of the Internet entertainment streaming service offering its own connected device as is the case with market rival Amazon Prime Video. During a Q&A session at the Re/code technology conference in Palos Verdes, California, Hastings said that the company feels no need to have its own device for users. “We’re working over 1,000 devices now. There’s no value-add for us to do a device,” he stated.
Advanced Television


Liberty Industry News – May 29, 2014

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Brazil approves Virgin Mobile venture with Telefonica
Regulators cleared Virgin Mobile Brazil on Wednesday to market cell phone plans in the country using Telefonica Brazil SA’s mobile network, adding competition in a stagnant telecommunications market. The local unit of Virgin Mobile Latin America, run by Richard Branson’s Virgin Group, struck a deal in January to lease capacity from Telefonica and plans to start operations early in 2015, Phil Wallace, co-founder and chairman of the Virgin unit, said in an interview on Wednesday.
Reuters UK


EE mobile broadband users to get business-grade security
EE is to offer business-grade security across its mobile operating systems, in a bid to improve the levels of service provided to its corporate users. The broadband provider is to offer the MobileIron Cloud enterprise mobility management platform to provide simplified security and control of devices, such as tablets and smartphones. With the platform, businesses can configure and selectively manage mobile apps, content and devices, automatically enforce usage policies, and retire mobile devices when they are lost or when an employee leaves the company.


More Norfolk UK communities confirmed for BT superfast broadband
The £41m Better Broadband for Norfolk scheme in England, which aims to make BT’s superfast broadband (FTTC/P) network available to 80 per cent of local homes and businesses by the end of 2015, has revealed the next batch of roll-out areas and confirmed that over 50,000 premises have already benefitted.



enterprise technology


Controversial NHS system should be opt in, say GPs
GPs have voted in favour of a system where patients must opt-in to NHS England’s controversial information sharing scheme. According to leading doctors, patient records must only be extracted and added to the system with their “explicit and informed consent.” The General Practitioners Committee (GPC) has said that NHS England must abide by the findings of a pilot of around 100-150 practices that will look at patient awareness of the programme and data quality.


Microsoft buys French mobile app analytics firm Capptain
Microsoft has purchased a French mobile push notification and analytics company called Capptain in a move to enhance its mobile offerings to businesses. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. Capptain offers real-time mobile app analytics and the ability to send push notifications to users based on this data in real time. This allows firms to monitor and more quickly react to customer problems and provide relevant offers and notifications rather than spamming users, according to Capptain.


China-US row over cyber spying boosts mainland tech stocks
The row over cyber spying between the US and China has helped the latter’s technology sector, which had been an unprofitable area for investors. Chinese technology shares have become the stock market’s biggest winners, with their benchmark index rallying 5.5 per cent since 19 May, when the US indicted five military officials from China for spying on American companies, according to Bloomberg. Denying the allegations, China accused the US government of being “deceitful” and employing double standards.



media news


1,932 children investigated over online abuse in past three years, suggests new figures
Each day there are around 20 new cases of online abuse reported, with nearly 2,000 children and 20,000 adults having been investigated over the past three years for comments made on social media sites. New figures, obtained by Sky News under the Freedom of Information Act, revealed that since 2011 an approximate 1,932 children had been investigated and 1,203 charged, formally cautioned, fined or warned over online abuse.
The Drum


Guardian launches redesigned app
The Guardian has revamped its app to offer a cleaner design and more personalised experience for its users, and to integrate its user-generated content platform GuardianWitness for the first time. Building on the success of its existing apps – which have been downloaded by more than 1 million people – the new version is available across all Android and iOS phones and tablets running Android 4 and iOS 7.
The Guardian


Immediate makes £24m raid on ailing Future
Future, the publisher of Total Film, T3 and Gizmodo, is selling its craft and sport portfolios, almost a quarter of its entire business, to Immediate Media for £24 million, subject to shareholder approval. More than 10 of Future’s brands, including the websites Bike Radar and Cycling News and the craft brands Mollie Makes, Simply Crochet and Simply Knitting, will be sold to Immediate, which publishes titles including Radio Times as well as specialist titles.
Brand Republic


Liberty Industry News – May 28, 2014

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EU OKs 3 Ireland’s O2 takeover
Irish mobile operator agrees to provide capacity to MVNOs, sell spectrum and maintain network-sharing deal to allay competition concerns. The European Commission on Wednesday gave the go-ahead to 3 Ireland’s proposed takeover of local rival O2 on the proviso that 3 undertakes certain measures to protect competition in the market.


Virgin Media customers suffer UK email outage during Google migration
Customers of cable broadband operator Virgin Media have been left without the ability to directly send or receive email (e.g. Outlook, Thunderbird etc.) since yesterday afternoon after an unspecified fault caused their servers to fail at just after three pm.
IS Preview


DoCoMo eyes 2016 for commercial NFV deployment
Japanese operator trials virtualised evolved packet core with Alcatel-Lucent, Cisco, NEC.
NTT DoCoMo on Tuesday announced that it plans to offer commercial services using virtualised network functions during fiscal 2016. The Japanese mobile operator said it has successfully completed proof-of-concept (PoC) trials of a virtualised evolved packet core (EPC) – an important step in network functions virtualisation (NFV) – in partnership with Alcatel-Lucent, Cisco and NEC.



enterprise technology


Google to build its own self-drive cars
Google has revealed that it will build its own self-drive cars. In a blog post, Chris Urmson, director of the Self-Driving Car Project, says the company is planning to build around 100 prototypes with manual controls that will go into testing later this summer. If all goes well, Google then plans to run a small pilot program in California in the next couple of years before moving to full production.
Mobile Marketing


1 in 5 UK workers believe hackers do a worthwhile job
A third of UK professionals are likely to consider risky behaviours that endanger or undermine data protection, a survey has found. The research, commissioned by Courion and conducted by OnePoll, was based on surveying 1000 UK employees who have access to customer data at work. The results suggest a lack of awareness of basic data protection policies and worrying behaviours such as snooping on sensitive personal information and sharing work login details with colleagues.
Information Age


Registry hack enables Windows XP security updates until 2019
Microsoft officially ended its support for Windows XP on 8 April after over 12 years, forcing the hand of a large number of users to switch to a later version of Windows or another OS altogether. However, a sizable portion of XP users are still gambling with their safety but now a registry hack has been discovered which will allow the OS to continue receiving updates.



media news
Spotify becomes the latest victim of hackers
Music streaming site Spotify is the latest in a string of technology companies to be targeted by hackers. Spotify said that no financial, password or payment information had been breached but that as a precautionary measure it is asking a portion of its users to re-enter their username and password to log in over the next few days.
The Drum


Billboard launches new singles charts to track Twitter popularity
Billboard have launched two new singles charts, which track a songs’ “up to the minute” popularity on Twitter. Like last year’s move to count YouTube views toward American chart rankings, Billboard’s forward new decision could reinvent the music industry’s definition of a “hit”.
The Guardian


Facebook cracks down on third-party app spam in News Feed
Social network Facebook is looking to reduce the amount of spam cluttering up your timeline, having announced plans to crack down on apps that post without user permission. Facebook said on Wednesday that in a move to curb spam, it will ensure that that third-party apps will post fewer stories on users’ behalf’s, instead promising to prioritise content that its users choose to share. This means that apps such as Instagram and Spotify will no longer tell the world that you’ve liked an image, nor that you’re listening to One Direction.
The Inquirer


Interactive Video Platform Zentrick Chooses Liberty Communications for Cannes Lions Project

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Liberty Communications, the integrated digital communications consultancy, today announced their appointment by leading video engagement platform Zentrick to support the company’s presence at the Cannes Lions event in June.



As part of Zentrick’s presence at Cannes Lions, the world’s biggest annual awards show and festival for professionals in the creative communications industry, Liberty Communications has been briefed to drive awareness of the company amongst brands, creative agencies, rights holders and media owners. They will also position the company and its executives as thought leaders in branding, content presentation and online monetization.


“Cannes Lions represents a big opportunity for Zentrick and we are delighted to be working with Liberty Communications to maximise our presence,” explained Pieter Mees, Zentrick CEO and Founder. “Not only are they Cannes veterans, but they fully understand our offering and market. Therefore, they are excellently placed to help us move forward.”


Working with the global organisations such as Unilever, Volkswagen, News Corp, and UNICEF, the Zentrick offering is a self-service, customisable platform that enables brands and media owners to transform their video content into a fully immersive and interactive online experience. Their software and tools provide measureable engagement with viewers by including actions embedded within video content. As a result, customers can  create their own unique brand experience by adding social rewards, real-time commerce, dynamic related content, inline gamification, timed surveys, mobile app downloads, localized store finders, social feeds and much more.


“We’re very excited to be working with Zentrick. Although only a few years old, their leadership team has already achieved great success in the marketplace. We’re looking forward to helping make the company a well-known name with brands and agencies and take them to the next level of growth.” said Dee Gibbs, Global CEO, Liberty Communications.

Liberty Industry News – May 27, 2014

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LG spoils its own surprise by listing metal-clad G3
There are mere hours to go until the LG G3 is officially unveiled, but it seems that LG Netherlands just couldn’t wait that long as it posted a full product page, complete with images, on its website. The listing has since been removed but not before the mistake was noticed and the information revealed to the world. The single most exciting detail to arise from this is that the G3 will apparently have a ‘lightweight metal housing’.


Foxconn to shell out $390 million on 4G player
Apple supplier Foxconn is to buy a stake in Taiwanese mobile telecoms operator Asia Pacific Telecom for T$11.6 billion ($390 million) in a deal that would expand its presence in Taiwan’s fledgling 4G telecoms market. Foxconn would pay T$20 a share for 582.9 million shares in Asia Pacific via a private placement, both companies said in stock exchange filings on Tuesday.
IT Pro


Telstra ‘issue’ hid ADSL availability from rival carriers
The Competitive Carriers Coalition (CCC) has claimed Telstra “discriminate against consumers trying to buy broadband from competitors by incorrectly claiming their telephone lines were unable to provide a service.” The coalition says Telstra applies less stringent tests when its own retail arm seeks access. “As a result, consumers were told they could not get broadband from a competitor, but told they could get it from Telstra,” a CCC spokesentity told The Reg.
The Register

enterprise technology


UK anti-piracy police take down largest torrent search engine
The internet’s largest torrent search engine,, has been taken down in the latest attempt by UK police to curb illegal file sharing. The site’s domain was suspended by the registrar of its domain after a request from the UK’s Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit. Police have been sending warning letters to the sites for some time. It made a fresh round of requests last week, including to the registrar of, and the site was taken down from this morning.


Registry hack enables Windows XP security updates
Microsoft officially ended its support for Windows XP on 8 April after over 12 years, forcing the hand of a large number of users to switch to a later version of Windows or another OS all together. However, a sizable portion of XP users are still gambling with their safety but now a registry hack has been discovered which will allow the OS to continue receiving updates. Some organisations, who were unable to migrate their OS onto an updated version before support ended, are still receiving updates from Microsoft by paying the tech giant for the security patches and updates. Meanwhile a simple hack will now make it possible for ‘regular’ XP users to receive Windows XP security updates for the next five years.

Avast admits 400,000 accounts hit by forum hack
Roughly 400,000 Avast users’ account details have been compromised, following a cyber raid on the security firm’s forums. Avast Software CEO Vince Steckler revealed the breach in a blog post, confirming around 0.2 percent of the firm’s 200 million users’ details were compromised during the attack. The attack occurred over the weekend and forced Avast to shut down its forum. It is currently unclear how the breach occurred, though Steckler said Avast believes the hackers leveraged a vulnerability in third party software being used to host the forum.



media news

John Lewis picks iBeacons, smart home Sonos rival, and 3D planning start-ups as final partners for JLabs incubator scheme
John Lewis has picked five start-ups for its technology incubator scheme JLab following a heavy round of pitching at Canary Wharf-based FinTech accelerator space Level 39 last week. The retailer, which first revealed its plans to ‘invest in the future’ by partnering with technology entrepreneur Stuart Marks to launch the scheme in March, shortlisted 12 companies from the 30 that pitched to its judging panel on 20 May.
The Drum


Thomas Piketty accuses Financial Times of dishonest criticism
Thomas Piketty has accused the Financial Times of ridiculous and dishonest criticism of his economics book on inequality, which has become a publishing sensation. The French economist, whose 577-page tome Capital in the Twenty-First Century has become an unlikely must-read for business leaders and politicians alike, said it was ridiculous to suggest that his central thesis on rising inequality was incorrect.
The Guardian


Electronic ‘nose’ for smartphones keeps spoilt food at bay

According to the World Health Organization, 76 million cases of food-borne illnesses occur each year, resulting in 325,000 hospitalizations and 5,000 deaths annually. This can be prevented by proper handling of food and ensuring food products are fresh. However, it’s not always that easy to determine whether a food product is already spoilt. Case in point: in the UK alone, seven million tons of food are thrown away each year unnecessarily. However, even some poisonous compounds produced during meat spoilage are actually odourless. This means we humans cannot always rely on our noses to determine if something has already turned bad.



Rolling Thunder – integrated digital campaigns and measurement

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We are at the brink of a watershed moment when it comes to integrated digital campaigns and measurement.



Today, like never before, marketing executives are working hard to create a seamless online presence across all digital platforms.


The days of simply worrying about your website are long gone as digital communication offers the ability to measure, optimise and pivot mid-campaign. The end result: a deeper understanding of your target customers and the generation of quality leads.


Why Integrate?
Rolling Thunder is critical. As marketers we must create a constant stream of quality content that is seen as “authority” content by the search engines and our target audience.


If digital assets such as email broadcasts or custom landing pages are not integrated, then your messaging and brand will feel disjointed. Remember, people choose what they understand, and the top business goal is for your products and services to be chosen.


In other words, it’s about being found and selected, and with 97% of customers searching online, achieving high rankings on search engines is critical.


What to Integrate?
Today, there are so many digital platforms to think about. Rolling Thunder is about populating these modalities with quality content which, in turn, drives potential customers to your website or campaign site.  Channels to integrate include:

  • Social Networking Sites (Facebook, LinkedIn, Foursquare)
  • Micro-blogging (Twitter)
  • Virtual press room (housing press releases, articles, op-eds)
  • Blogs
  • Banner advertising
  • Google Adwords
  • Podcasting
  • Video, Photo and Content Sharing Sites (YouTube, Flickr, Instagram, SlideShare)
  • Forums and Discussion Boards (Google Groups, Yahoo! Groups)
  • Online Encyclopedias (Wikipedia)

And remember, social media is not a replacement for traditional marketing tactics or earned media and public relations, but works best when integrated with digital channels.


How to Integrate?
With all these channels to integrate, a clear content marketing plan and a monthly calendar built around powerful themes are paramount. With the advent of “COPE” (Create Once Publish Everywhere) marketers can stagger content and share it in different guises across various channels.


For example, a contributed article can be converted into a series of tweets linked to an image placed on Instagram, which is published on your company’s Facebook wall and LinkedIn homepage, driving visitors to your campaign website so they can learn more and purchase your new product.


Again, the idea is to create one piece of quality content and leverage it across multiple channels. There are also many cost-effective SaaS solutions available that can link your digital campaigns together.


What to Measure?
A complete and actionable integrated digital campaign and measurement model will focus on:

  • Awareness (visits, bounce rates)
  • Behaviour (page views, engagement time)
  • Consideration (downloads, completed forms, qualified leads to campaign site)
  • Lead Activities (conversations, revenue, repeat purchase)

Overall, the business goal is to make your brand, products and services easy to find, understand and choose. Integrating your digital channels and producing quality content will allow you to map a journey to success and over the past year, Google has been pushing marketers to focus less on link building and more on building quality content. Truly, in this watershed moment, content is king.

Beware of your social media fingerprint

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With the popularity of Twitter and Facebook it could be said that everyone now has their own digital fingerprint, made up from everything they have ever posted on the internet. What a lot of people don’t realise is that every tweet, status update or photo you have been tagged in, much like a finger print, is unique and is therefore traceable back to you.



In an increasingly digitalised world, the internet and social media have become part of everyday life and both are becoming ever more important to business professionals as well as the general public; from using it as a source of news update and knowing what is going on around the world, to simply chatting to friends whilst on the move.


What I think is most interesting however are the ways people now perceive social media as a digital extension of themselves; often using a platform to vent frustrations, or express personal views on a particular topic, or towards a particular person or group.


The danger of this is that often people don’t appreciate the impacts of using the internet and social media in this way. One of the issues, quite relevant to me, is how what you post on the internet can potentially impact future job opportunities.


For example, with the prevalence of social media sites, often future employers will take to the internet for some pre-interview research (such as LinkedIn or Twitter particularly): a simple Google search can bring up all sorts of information that you would never even consider a potential employer knowing about.


Many people think they can hide behind the computer screen believing they are anonymous or can’t be found (as the issues around the new 10 pound note have highlighted). When, in reality, these tweets and the identity of those who write them will be available to anyone in the world, remaining on the internet as a digital record forever.


This is definitely a pertinent issue for young people today, as far too many people are taking to twitter to express anti-social views without realising the future impacts such actions could have on their future professional careers and opportunities.


Essentially social media leaves a trail of cyber dust leading right back to you, so spare a thought before you post those birthday pictures or decide to have a rant at the cast of Geordie Shore – you never quite know who might end up seeing them!

Liberty Industry News – May 23, 2014

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Hutchison said to win EU approval for O2 Irish deal next week
Hutchison Whampoa Ltd. will win European Union approval to take over Telefonica SA (TEF)’s O2 Ireland unit as soon as May 28 after a key EU panel backed the deal, according to two people familiar with the transaction. Officials from the EU’s national competition authorities met this week and gave their support to the European Commission’s plans to approve the deal, said the people who couldn’t be identified because the EU approval process isn’t public. The National regulators’ decision, which isn’t binding, paves the way for the European Commission to grant final approval at its next meeting on Wednesday, the people said.


YOYO Holdings snags $1.3M for its prepaid Mobile Consumer Survey platform
YOYO Holdings, a rewards platform that targets prepaid mobile phone users in developing economies, has secured $1.3 million in funding from Japanese venture capital firms GREE Ventures, CyberAgent Ventures, and Incubate Fund. Based in Singapore, YOYO Holdings operates a reward platform called Candy which is similar to sites like Swagbucks, but with a twist. Candy users receive SMS texts with a “mission” that may include trivia questions, market research surveys, or in-store promotions. Once they complete a mission, they reply to the message with a code and get a free load, or minutes, on their prepaid mobile.


Major US carriers unveil VoLTE plans
The evolution of voice continues apace as US carriers Verizon Wireless and T-Mobile USA reveal plans to launch Voice over LTE, with AT&T expected to follow suit on Friday. Verizon said it will start national rollout of the technology later this year, offering an HD Voice experience, using the AMR-wideband standard, which the company claims to provide the best voice quality available now, and allows for future interoperability with others.



enterprise technology


Security now the biggest concern among SMEs

Small-to-medium enterprise (SME) owners have admitted that they feel their businesses are more at risk this year than they were throughout the duration of last year. This is according to research by insurance firm Zurich, which quizzed 513 participants connected with SMEs, as part of its quarterly Zurich SME Risk Index.


London’s Heron Tower rebranded to Salesforce Tower by San Francisco cloud giant
The iconic Heron Tower in London is set to be renamed Salesforce Tower London as the San Francisco cloud giant continues its push into the UK. The move comes a month after Salesforce announced its intentions to build a new headquarters in San Francisco in a 61-storey skyscraper that’s also been named the Salesforce Tower. The skyscraper, due to be opened in 2017, will be the tallest in San Francisco.


John Lewis runs pitching day for start-ups
John Lewis whittled down the list of 163 applications to its new start-up incubator, JLAB, and invited 30 of the entrepreneurs to co-working space Level 39 in Canary Wharf to pitch their wares. JLAB, which will provide 15 weeks of financial support, office space and business mentoring, will be based several floors above Level 39 in one of the tallest buildings in the UK, One Canada Square. The entrepreneurs had just five minutes each to pitch to the 12 judges, made up of John Lewis directors and other tech leaders. Fifteen of the start-ups were called back to undergo more in-depth grilling by the panel.



media news


Ebay to step up reassurance after brand perception plummets
The breach occurred between late February and early March, when hackers were able to obtain access to the log-in details of eBay employees, but was only discovered earlier this week. Ebay’s brand has already taken a hit according to YouGov’s BrandIndex. Its buzz score – a measure of the positive and negative things said about a brand – fell by 9.8 points to -0.3 over the past week, a statistically significant decline. That sharp fall caused eBay to drop down a list of 42 online brands from fourth position to 28. Metrics including impression, value and reputation have also fallen.
Marketing Week


Ebay to step up reassurance after brand perception plummets
In the study carried out by Project Sunblock, senior marketing decision makers estimated that bot traffic is costing them between £10-15,000 each year, equivalent to 3,000 video ads on YouTube. However, despite expressing serious concern over the potentially damaging effect of bots, one in five of those surveyed had no method of preventing their brand from falling victim to fraud.


BBC News staff told ‘don’t do anything stupid’ on social media
BBC News staff have been told by bosses: “Don’t do anything stupid” on social media in the wake of the row over a BBC News channel editor posting an anti-UKIP tweet. Mary Hockaday, head of the BBC newsroom, sent an email to journalists on Thursday reminding them of the corporation’s “very clear social media guidance”.


Liberty Industry News – May 22, 2014

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As UK rural broadband rollout drags on, EE 4G hits 2,588 small towns and villages
4G mobile broadband speeds are now hitting more of Britain’s rural towns and villages thanks to the latest infrastructure upgrade from the UK’s leading LTE network EE. During an event at which the network revealed a host of own-branded 4G devices including tablets and an in-car 4G unit, it also revealed next-gen speeds are now available in 2,588 of the UK’s smaller regions.


Truphone looks to boost business customers after overseas launch
Truphone has greatly increased the numbers of countries it includes in its roaming offering as it looks to ramp up its base of business customers. The enterprise-focused mobile operator has added 58 new countries to the eight “core” zones where it offers its service – a SIM card to which customers can add up to eight international numbers and roam by paying local rates.
European Communications


LG releases official pictures of its LG G3 smartphone
LG will unveil its next generation flagship Android phone next Tuesday, 27 May, but beforehand it has officially released press pictures of what the handset will look like when encased in the newly-minted QuickCircle Case. The case is a replacement for the QuickWindow Folio Case released last year to match the LG G2.



enterprise technology

Nest kills ‘Wave’ feature amid safety concerns
Nest Labs, the home automation company bought by Google for $3.2 billion in January, has released an automatic electronic update for its Protect smoke and carbon monoxide alarms, after lab tests revealed the device could be unsafe. Nest Protect has a feature called ‘Wave’ that enables the user to temporarily silence their alarm with a wave of the hand. The company halted sales of the smoke alarm and disabled the Wave feature last month, after lab tests revealed that some users could disable the device unintentionally.
The Telegraph


All aboard! Network Rail awarded for scheme to get women into tech
Network Rail has won the IT Ambassador Award at the Real IT Awards for its attempts to encourage women to consider an IT career. The organisation’s CIO Susan Cooklin took six women from her IT team of 500 people to launch the “Could IT Be You?” campaign and competition. The aim was to show young females aged 16-18 what their career options are, including the reality of today’s IT profession.
IT ProPortal


Microsoft says no to fixing ancient IE
It appears that the software king of the world Microsoft has had a gutsful of fixing ancient versions of its software because businesses cannot be bothered upgrading. Microsoft has decided not to fix an IE 8 zero-day first identified seven months ago, instead telling users to upgrade their browsers and stop messing about. The vulnerability meant that attackers could execute arbitrary code on computers running the older Internet Explorer version 8.



media news


YouTube’s subscription music licensing strikes wrong notes with indie labels
Independent music labels are at loggerheads with YouTube over the licensing terms for its upcoming streaming music subscription service. The service – still not officially announced, but the subject of longstanding speculation within the music and technology industries – is expected to compete directly with Spotify, Deezer and their rivals. Music industry trade association the Worldwide Independent Network (WIN) has accused YouTube of strong-arm negotiating tactics trying to force indie labels to sign up to the new service.
The Guardian


Financial Times kicks off trials to sell advertisers ‘blocks of time’ to tackle industry’s viewability issue
The Financial Times is set to begin a new method of digital trading, selling blocks of time to advertisers in a bid to tackle the industry’s ad viewability problem. The publisher has been trialling a method whereby the amount of time users are exposed to ads is measured and clients can buy inventory using a currency of ad time rather than ad space. The FT has been working with New York firm Chartbeat on developing the method and it expects it to launch fully in the fourth quarter of this year.
The Drum


Vodafone partners with Netflix to offer free streaming to customers
Vodafone has entered a deal with Netflix to offer free video streaming to its customers. Red 4G subscribers in the UK can take advantage of six months of free Netflix as part of their contract agreement. Users can then stream content on their tablet, smartphone or other device over WiFi or 4G, but the mobile data will not be free. Vodafone previously offered a choice between free Sky Sports or Spotify content for Red 4G subscribers in Britain.
Digital Spy


liberty news

By | Liberty News | No Comments



BT 4G for business arriving within weeks
BT’s 4G superfast broadband service will be rolled out to businesses over the summer, running on EE’s existing 4G infrastructure. BT is the last network to roll out its 4G broadband after it won a significant chunk of the spectrum in February 2013, paying £186 million for three blocks in EE’s and Vodafone’s 2.6GHz.
IT Pro


Ofcom to allow Openreach to set wholesale fibre prices…for now
Ofcom has proposed new rules that make it quicker and cheaper to switch broadband providers that rely on BT’s network, but stopped short of capping wholesale fibre prices. Today, when a consumer switches ISP, the company they are switching to has to pay BT’s wholesale arm Openreach a £50 fee. As part of its Fixed Access Market Review, Ofcom has recommended lowering this fee to £11.
Total Telecom


O2 continuing to dangle the free 4G carrot
In March we told you how O2 were rolling out 4G for free to selected customers. Now it looks like they’re taking it one stage further, with texts rolling out to further customers to offer free 4G upgrades. The odd phone call to O2 also seems to be working, with some existing O2 customers getting the “OK” over the phone provided they have a certain package. From what we’re hearing in the HotUKDeals post, it seems that you might need to have a package with at least 1GB of data per month, else they’ll be charging you £3 per month for the privilege.
Cool Smartphone



enterprise technology


Google takes a bite out of Apple as world’s most valuable brand
Google has dethroned Apple as the world’s most valuable brand, as its total value soared to nearly $160bn (£95bn) this year, according to new global research. The online search giant’s rise is due to its booming financial performance – Google’s revenues last quarter grew nearly 20 per cent to $15.42bn – and Apple’s lack of dramatic new product launches, according to Millward Brown Optimor and WPP.
City AM


Facebook targets malware with new notifications
Facebook is again targeting malware, this time by adding a new notification that will show up on infected users’ computers. If the notification shows up, one of two software options will be displayed depending on the type of issue the user is having. The notifications advise the user that they can remove the detected malware using the recommended product.  For those who have their own software or don’t want to run it at the moment, the option exists to skip the installation.


Small firms urged to get down with the ‘Internet of Things’
Small businesses are being encouraged to embrace the so-called ‘Internet of Things’, but are advised to beware of the potential security risks. The ‘Internet of Things’  (IoT) is the latest buzzword in the technology world, a term used to describe the way devices connect and communicate with each other through the internet.
Business Zone



media news


Netflix launching in six more European countries this year
Netflix is planning to expand to Germany, Austria, Switzerland, France, Belgium, and Luxembourg in late 2014. While the company intends to offer subscribers the full smorgasbord of on-demand movies, television shows, and Netflix original series like House of Cards, content availability will vary depending on country. France, for example, prohibits movies from appearing on services such as Netflix until three years after their theatre debut. Details about pricing, programming, and supported devices are to follow at a later date.
The Verge


This is London calling, we’re the selfie capital of the world
You can’t walk around a big city without seeing someone snapping a selfie. The selfie trend gained increasing popularity over the last few years with front-facing cameras and Instagram filters that make anyone look good. It’s dominated social media, influenced pop culture and even reached space.


Twitter planning Soundcloud purchase?
Twitter is in talks to buy popular music streaming service SoundCloud, as the newly listed social network tries once again to expand into music, according to a news report. Technology blog Recode reports that Twitter is “considering a deal” to buy the German firm, currently valued at $700m, that would mark its biggest acquisition to date.

Liberty Industry News – May 20, 2014

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Vodafone earnings to fall as it unveils £19 billion investment plans
Mobile phone giant Vodafone has forecast earnings will fall next year as fierce competition and regulatory changes in Europe have forced it to invest. Vodafone has written down £6.6 billion of assets in Germany, Spain, Portugal, Czech Republic and Romania and unveiled plans to invest £19 billion in its network over two years to boost speed and coverage.
London Evening Standard


More Nokia X Android smartphones are on the way
It seems that Nokia’s Android oddity wasn’t just a one-off experiment, as despite the fact that the company has now been bought up by Microsoft it’s apparently working on the next-generation of phones in the ‘X’ series. That’s according to BGR India, which further heard that these new phones will come with a dedicated home button.
Tech Radar


Google buys Divide to boost android in the workplace
Google said it is buying Divide, a mobile-device-management startup, to help the Internet giant’s Android business reach more business customers. A purchase price wasn’t disclosed. Divide, founded by former Morgan Stanley information-technology executives, helps companies manage the growing number – and variety — of mobile devices used by employees.
Wall Street Journal



enterprise technology


UK and Israel in £1.2m pact to develop next-generation cyber defences
The UK and Israeli governments have signed a letter of intent to launch a new cyber security research project designed to fund the creation of next-generation anti-hacker technologies. The agreement will see the two governments allocate £1.2m of joint funding through the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) to projects researching six key cyber security areas. These areas are: identity management; governance; privacy assurance and perceptions; mobile and cloud security; human aspects of security; and cryptography. The EPSRC will be taking proposals for funding until 24 June.


China bans use of Microsoft’s Windows 8 on government computers
China has banned government use of Windows 8, Microsoft Corp’s latest operating system (OS), in a blow to the U.S. technology company which has long been plagued by sales woes in the country. The Central Government Procurement Center issued the ban on installing Windows 8 on government computers as part of a notice on the use of energy-saving products, posted on its website last week.
Business Insider


IDC lowers IT spending forecasts
According to the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Black Book, worldwide IT spending will increase by 4.1 per cent in constant currency this year, down from IDC’s previous forecast of 4.6 per cent and also down from last year’s growth of 4.5%. According to the new report, IT spending has been volatile since the beginning of the year, with macroeconomic wild cards including the crisis in Ukraine and the slowdown in China adding to the general sense of uncertainty which continues to impact business confidence and investment. Pent-up demand should, however, drive a more positive capital spending cycle in the second half of this year. In mature economies, organizations will take advantage of a more stable business climate to replace ageing infrastructure including servers, storage and network equipment. In some emerging markets, stabilization of the economy after the slowdown that began in mid-2013 could drive a period of catch-up spending, especially in China where IT spending has cooled significantly over the past 12 months.
Data Centre Solutions



media news


David Cameron wades into Google ‘right to be forgotten’ row with reservations
A growing ruckus over a European court ruling granting citizens the right to have links to information held about them online has been joined by no less than the Prime Minister, who voiced reservations about the idea. Though government is still considering the court ruling a spokesperson for the PM said: “I think the prime minister’s view is that it is right that people take some time to look at this judgment. I think whilst taking time to consider and look at the judgment and possible implications, his view is that there is potentially a distinction to be drawn between dealing with the issue of information that is wrong, and correction of factually inaccurate information, as distinct from what some have characterised as seeking to hide factually correct information.
The Drum


Netflix looking towards a recommendation based future
Netflix is looking towards a future where its interface largely nixes the current navigation setup in favor of one that is primarily recommendations-based. It is suggested the system will offer up just a few choices based on the user’s preferences. The information comes from Netflix’s Chief Product officer Neil Hunt, who discussed it during the company’s Internet Week keynote speech. He points out that it isn’t exactly possible for the system to offer up a single ideal suggestion, but that only three or four might be offered in a future interface.
Slash Gear


Harvard and MIT gang up on NSA
After the US spooks effectively shut down Lavabit last year, a truly secure email system which is unhackable by the spooks has been a holy grail. Now boffins from Harvard and MIT have created a new system called ProtonMail that they say will be more secure than Lavabit and will not be hackable by the NSA or other spy agencies.
Tech Eye


Liberty Industry News – May 16, 2014

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Orange studying Bouygues Telecom tie-up
French telecoms market leader Orange is in talks about a tie-up with smaller Bouygues Telecom, France’s economy minister confirmed on Friday, after two sources said the discussions could lead to Orange acquiring the business. Asked in a TV interview about reports of the talks, French Economy Minister Arnaud Montebourg said “they exist” but that there were “multiple discussions” taking place in the industry.


Numericable in €325m Virgin Mobile France takeover
Numericable Group, the cable carrier that agreed last month to a $23 billion deal to buy operator SFR, is in exclusive talks to also take over Virgin Mobile in France from Virgin Group Ltd. and Carphone Warehouse Group Plc. Numericable made an offer of 325 million euros ($446 million) in enterprise value for Virgin Mobile’s French business, the Champs-sur-Marne, France-based cable operator said today in a statement. The target is controlled by holding company Omer Telecom Ltd., whose shareholder Carphone Warehouse confirmed in separate statement Omer agreed to exclusive talks.


If 5G is ‘done right’ we won’t need a 6G
The mobile industry could be on its last ‘G’, if comments made this week by U.K. operator EE are anything to go by. “My wife asked me: ‘how many ‘Gs’ do you have left in you?’ Looking at my pension, I’d say there’s at least one,” said Andy Sutton, EE’s principal network architect, on Thursday, insisting that “there might not be a 6G if we get 5G right.” EE expects the first 5G networks to come online from around 2020 and for widespread adoption to commence two-to-three years after that. “5G is very much at the fundamental research phase…but it’s the right time to do that fundamental research,” he said at a press briefing in London.
Total Telecom



enterprise technology


Carphone and Dixons shares tumble on merger
Dixons Retail and Carphone Warehouse shares lost almost £400m in value on Thursday as the proposed merger between the companies was given a rough reception by the City. Shares in Dixons fell by more than 10pc and shares in Carphone by 8pc as the logic behind the £3.4bn merger was questioned and concerns increased about integrating two retailers that have more than 40,000 staff and 1,200 stores in the UK. Sebastian James, the boss of Dixons and the proposed chief executive for the enlarged Dixons Carphone, insisted the merger was the “perfect match”.


Uber looks to flag down a $10bn valuation
Uber is looking to pull in a huge new round of funding at a valuation of around $10bn, matching the price tag recently put on its San Francisco neighbours Airbnb and Dropbox less than a year after the car-hailing service raised $258m. Talks with prospective investors remain at an early stage but several people familiar with the discussions said Uber hoped to raise several hundred million dollars to fuel its rapid expansion and head off growing competition from Lyft, Hailo and other taxi apps around the world.
Financial Times


Bitcoin startup Circle unveils no-fee digital currency banking
Bitcoin is a hot commodity in the tech community, but its complexity is turning off many consumers. Circle, a Bitcoin currency services startup founded in 2013, emerged from stealth mode on Friday with the launch of a suite of consumer financial services that bank on the belief it can take the crypto currency mainstream. The state goal of the startup’s free product is addressing “the terrifying complexity and risk” many people associate with the digital currency.



media news


Google appoints marketing veteran Ivy Ross to head Glass unit
Google has appointed design and fashion marketing veteran Ivy Ross to lead its Glass unit as the company looks to broaden the appeal of the wearable technology beyond early adopters to mainstream consumers. Ross joins Google next week from the art ecommerce site, where she was CMO. In the same week the company announced Glass will go on sale to anyone in the US, after an initial trail period where the devices were only available to “Explorers” who had signed up to a waiting list or been invited to trial the $1,500 product.
Marketing Week


UltraHD 4K market passes million-unit mark
The UltraHD 4K TV panels market reached a new benchmark in March 2014 when global shipments exceeded one million units for the first time, according to a report from IHS Technology. Driven by vastly increased deliveries from the industry’s three largest makers of the high-end panels, UltraHD TV panel shipments amounted to 1.1 million units in March, nearly a threefold increase from 384,300 units a month earlier in February. The gains are even more spectacular when measured from the same time a year ago in March 2012, when total UltraHD TV panels had not yet cracked the 150,000 mark.


Weight Watchers’ first UK cafe uses social media as currency
The ‘Feel Good Cafe’ aims to champion choice, flavour and real food within a weight management arena that is “swamped with negative connotations and daily contradictory advice on health and nutrition”. The cafes uses Weight Watchers foods to demonstrate how consumers can manage their weight while eating the foods they enjoy. Food in the cafe is offered to people free of charge, with visitors required to use their own social media as currency. The cafe will be open from 16 to 23 May, and will serve breakfast, lunch and dinner from the brand’s 250-strong range of food.
Brand Republic


Liberty Industry News – May 15, 2014

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TalkTalk reach 4.2m UK broadband users
Budget Internet and phone provider TalkTalk has today released its latest results for Q1-2014 (calendar), which saw them add +10k new broadband customers in the quarter to total 4,196,000 (better than the +5k in Q4-2013). But of most interest are their plans for ultrafast FTTP broadband and a converged fixed-mobile offer using 4G spectrum and femtocells. The slow growth in TalkTalk’s overall broadband base and 1.5 per cent churn rate (down from 1.6 per cent in the previous quarter) somewhat overlooks the fact that their Superfast Fibre Broadband (FTTC) service continues to grow at a better pace, adding (net) +30,000 new customers in the quarter to total 207,000.


HTC One mini 2 is unveiled, will be on sale end of May
HTC has officially unveiled the One mini 2, the smaller sibling of its recently launched flagship One M8 smartphone. We’d previously heard that this model was due to arrive in the month of May, and indeed that has turned out to be correct. The compact version of HTC’s flagship will feature a 4.5in screen with a 720p resolution, driven by a 1.2GHz Snapdragon 400 CPU, backed up with 1GB of RAM – so the core specs have been considerably cut down from the full-fat M8. Overall performance shouldn’t be affected, though, as that screen has far fewer pixels to push around than the 5in full HD display seen on the M8.


Samsung reports it has sold 11M Galaxy S5 since launch
Samsung is reporting robust sales for its Galaxy S5 during its debut month. The company’s mobile head J.K. Shin said more than 11 million units of the flagship smartphone have sold since its April launch, according to The Wall Street Journal. “It’s been a month since we began selling the S5, and out of the gate, sales are much stronger than the Galaxy S4,” Shin told the Journal. Last year, Samsung reported 10 million Galaxy S4 sales in its first post-launch month. Shin said that the stronger sales for the Galaxy S5 were due to the company being better prepared with carrier agreements and offering the phone in 125 countries at the same time, according to the Journal.



enterprise technology


Carphone Warehouse and Dixons unveil £3.8 billion merger
Mobile phone giant Carphone Warehouse and electronics specialist Dixons have announced a £3.8 billion merger deal. Something Pocket-lint revealed was in the works last March. Dixons, the owner of Currys and PC World, will join with Carphone Warehouse to create a new firm known as Dixons Warehouse. The ownership will be split evenly between the two firms. While Dixons operates more than 500 Currys and PC World stores in the UK, Carphone Warehouse commands 2000 stores.


Privacy group launches legal challenge over GCHQ malware operation
Privacy group, Privacy International, has launched a legal challenge with the Investigatory Powers Tribunal over GCHQ’s extensive malware and hacking operations. The programme came to light as a result of the leak of US National Security Agency information by whistleblower Edward Snowden. In a 22-page submission, Privacy International claims that GCHQ’s activities breach articles eight and 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights (PDF). It also requests “the destruction of any unlawfully obtained material” and “an injunction restraining further unlawful conduct”.


Aardman Animations aims to get kids coding with Shaun the Sheep contest
The creator of Wallace and Gromit and Shaun the Sheep is encouraging British children to learn to code, with a game-making contest backed by Nominet Trust. Shaun’s Game Academy, which launched this morning, gets children to make games based on Shaun the Sheep using programming platform Scratch. Aardman has developed five educational modules teaching children how to use Scratch, and is offering prizes for the best games created in two categories: children aged 12 and under, and aged 13 and over.
The Guardian



media news


Flappy Bird to return to App Store in August
Flappy Bird will return to the App Store in August – six months after it was removed, its creator has said. The game was downloaded more than 50 million times before its Vietnamese creator Dong Nguyen pulled it from the App Store to global dismay, claiming the game had “ruined my simple life”. Now he has told US news station CNBC he plans to reinstate the game, which will now include multi-player capacities and designed to be less addictive than the original.
The Daily Telegraph


ITV signs deal with Sony to be World Cup sponsor
The broadcaster’s three key sponsors of the football tournament in Brazil next month will generate £6 million, which sources said was healthy but not a record haul. Beyond its top sponsors, ITV expects ad revenue to lift 12-13 per cent in the second quarter as brands attempt to associate themselves with one of the most widely viewed sporting events in the world. ITV is charging up to £250,000 for a 30-second spot during England’s World Cup qualifiers and will raise this further if the team progresses to the final 16.
Brand Republic


From ‘hashbrowns to hashtags’, McDonald’s UK finally declares it’s lovin’ Twitter
It has long been a notable absentee in the Twittersphere, but McDonald’s’ UK business has finally signed up to join the social network. The fast food brand announced the arrival of @McDonaldsUK yesterday (14 May) with a tweet saying, “Hello Twitter! From hash browns to hashtags, it’s all here. Follow us for news, promotions and fun stuff. #imlovinit”.
Marketing UK


Liberty Industry News – May 14, 2014

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Telecommunications future in flux as AT&T mulls DirecTV
Comcast Corp.’s bid to buy Time Warner Cable Inc. may be the opening act for a yearlong festival of telecommunications deals that would alter Internet, phone and TV service for tens of millions of Americans. AT&T Inc. and DirecTV may be the next dance partners. AT&T is in advanced talks to acquire DirecTV for as much as $50 billion, according to people familiar with the matter, who asked not to be named because the talks are private. After that, in June or July, Sprint Corp. and T-Mobile US Inc. may bring a $30 billion merger before U.S. regulators, people said last month.


inContact in Genius Partnership
Genius Networks has announced a partnership with inContact to deliver bespoke network connectivity across Europe. In order to capitalise on strong demand from its European market, inContact identified that a reliable and responsive networking provider, capable of delivering bespoke solutions, was instrumental in achieving its business goals.
Comms Business


Will LG’s Uni8 Windows Phone give Nokia a good scrap?
LG could be wading into Nokia’s territory soon, with an impending Windows Phone 8.1 device launch – but could the LG Uni8 really give Nokia a serious battle on unfamiliar turf? Although we’re already expecting to see LG’s G3 Android phone launched on May 27, it looks like LG might also raise a few eyebrows by unveiling a surprise Windows Phone handset.



enterprise technology


Online giants to be hit as Google loses EU data case
US Internet giants could be hit by tight new rules on personal data, after Google lost a landmark case in the European Court of Justice (ECJ) which ruled that EU citizens can demand any outdated data is removed from servers. The verdict is expected to throw up a host of technical challenges and extra costs for firms like Google, Facebook and Microsoft.
City AM connects Heroku and’s decision to acquire Heroku has looked an oddity for a while: why does a SaaS juggernaut with its own perfectly good development platform need a PaaS play like Heroku? The eternally-enthusiastic company has just spelled out why, and how, it thinks the two will work together. The scheme is simple: developers building apps for employees will do it on and developers building apps for punters to consume will do it on Heroku.
The Register


Microsoft reveals new Office features available only in the cloud
Microsoft showed off new Office features at TechEd 2014, but some of them will never be available to customers who don’t embrace the cloud version of the software suite, Office 365 and the company will take its time bringing others to market for Office Server users. During the keynote at the annual conference, attendees saw a demo of Office Graph, a feature that monitors users’ behaviours and makes it possible to intelligently sort available data so that the most relevant is presented.

media news


Facebook revs up targeting of automotive brands for ‘always on’ marketing
Facebook is ramping up its attempts to woo automotive manufacturers by claiming it has made significant strides in helping car brands with both overall consideration and lead-generation. Speaking to Marketing, Facebook’s UK auto lead, Steve Adams, discussed a series of new case studies published by the social network involving brands such as Renault, Opel and Ford – and the drive to move to an “always-on” approach with automotive firms.


Global digital TV conversion almost complete by 2020
An increase of 185 per cent in digital TV homes from 2010–2020 to 1.68 billion will see a total global penetration of 97.9 per cent according to a report from Digital TV Research. If realised, says the Digital TV World Household Forecasts report, based on forecasts for 138 countries, this would mean an increase from a penetration rate of 67.7 per cent at the end of 2014 and will mean that 94 countries would be completely digital compared with only 12 at the end of 2013. About 124 countries will have more than 90 per cent digital penetration by 2020.
Rapid TV News


ITV forecasts 13 per cent increase in advertising revenue during World Cup summer
ITV saw net advertising revenue grow by 2 per cent during its last quarter, the same amount as the broadcaster’s total external revenue, which reached £585m, although it has predicted an increase of advertising revenue by up to 13 per cent during the next quarter. The company has revealed that its broadcast and online revenues increased by 3 per cent to £480m, while online, pay and interactive revenue was up by 14 per cent.
The Drum

Liberty Industry News – May 13, 2014

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Deutsche Telekom seeks Sprint deal break-up fee
German incumbent Deutsche Telekom is demanding a $1bn break-up fee be made part of any attempted takeover of its US operation T-Mobile by Sprint in order to approve the deal, according to a report from the Wall Street Journal. The payment, from Sprint to Deutsche Telekom, would be required should an agreed deal be derailed; perhaps blocked by regulatory or competition authorities.

Motorola launches ultra-low price Moto E smartphone
Motorola is looking to capture the budget end of the market with the launch of the Moto E smartphone which will costs just £89 without a contract. The Moto E smartphone, which will be available this week, complements the company’s other handsets, the Moto G and Moto X both of which are also very competitive in terms of pricing.
IB Times

BT achieve fibre-optic broadband target
Broadband provider BT has reached its fibre-optic coverage target, with two-thirds of the country now able to access the new digital technology. Around more than 19 million homes and businesses can now benefit from superfast broadband, delivering better speeds than before.
Broadband Finder


enterprise technology

Court rules HMRC must end FinFisher spy software stonewalling
Rights group Privacy International (PI) has announced a court decision in its favour over its push for more information on the use of Gamma’s FinFisher backdoor snooping and surveillance software. Privacy International has sought information on the company, its equipment and HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) investigations into it since late 2012, when it provided the HMRC with an almost 200-page-long dossier on the firm.

Legal battle over GCHQ’s ‘smartphone snooping’
The challenge alleges that the Government Communications Headquarters listening post has infected “potentially millions” of computers and smartphones around the world with malicious software, that could be used to extract photos and text messages, switch on the phone’s microphone or camera, track locations and listen in to calls. Privacy International, a UK-based charity, brought the case to demand “an end to the unlawful hacking being carried out by GCHQ which, in partnership with the NSA.”

Phishing attacks target Google accounts warns Bitdefender
Hackers are stealing Google account passwords using a new phishing attack that is hard to catch with traditional heuristic detection, warns security firm Bitdefender. The attack exploits the uniform resource identifiers (URIs) that Google Chrome uses to display data. This makes Chrome users most vulnerable, but the attack also targets Mozilla Firefox users.
Computer Weekly


media news
Biggest four UK ISPs launch online child safety website
As expected the Government has nudged BT, TalkTalk, Virgin Media and Sky Broadband into launching a new portal called InternetMatters.ORG, which represents a joint internet safety campaign that aims to help both parents and children to understand the dangers of the online world and how to protect themselves. The move is part of a wider campaign that the country’s biggest Internet providers have been forced to adopt following Government pressure and the threat of new legislation to combat any online content that politicians deem unsuitable for younger eyes.
ISP Review
Birds Eye creates pop-up restaurant where you settle the bill with an Instagram picture
Birds Eye has launched a pop-up restaurant that allows customers to settle the bill by sharing an Instagram picture of their food using the tag #BirdsEyeInspirations. The concept restaurant, named The Picture House, will open its doors in London this week before visiting Manchester and Leeds in June, after research found that 52 per cent of the public regularly take photos of their meals.
The Drum

Twitter introduces mute feature
Annoying tweets clogging up your feed will soon become a thing of the past, as Twitter introduces a new mute feature. App and web users can now choose to mute users, meaning their tweets and retweets will no longer appear in your home timeline, but they’ll still be able to favourite, reply to, and retweet your tweets, unlike blocking or deleting them.
The Telegraph

liberty news

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Rwanda plans to hike telecoms tax
Government says move will not affect consumers, but telcos are not so sure.The Rwandan government aims to increase tax on telecoms services in a bid to plug a budget gap, according to local press reports at the weekend. The telecoms tax rate will increase to 10% from 8% at present on 1 July if a bill tabled in the lower house last week passes into law in the coming weeks, Rwandan daily
Total Telecom


nTrust pilots Bluetooh payments in Canada
Canadian payments and money transfer provider nTrust has begun piloting a new mobile payments service that uses Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) beacons placed in stores to make wireless purchases. nTrust is using hardware from Estimote for the pilot. “Estimote Beacons use Bluetooth Smart technology to transmit context and micro-location data to smartphones within range — allowing nTrust members the ability to locate merchants using the nTrust app,” the company said.
NFC World


IP interconnect hub launches in Asia
IP interconnect provider XConnect and Malaysian and Indonesian ICT specialist Extol this week launched the Asian Interconnect Exchange (AIX), giving local service providers access to an IP hub where they can exchange IP traffic and services. The combined population of Malaysia and Indonesia is nearly 300 million, according to the CIA Fact Book, and the aim of the AIX is to make adopting IP services like VoIP easy for local and regional operators in order to drive growth in IP services in Southeast Asia.


German companies look to Berlin start ups for innovation
German companies are beginning to recognise Berlin as a hot spot for technology innovation, thanks to the substantial number of up-and-coming start-up companies that call the capital city their home. After the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, fashion, music, art and entrepreneurs began to rebuild the city, and it is still known for its relaxed lifestyle and Bohemian culture, which provides a cheap foundation for small businesses looking for a European connection to both the East and West.
Computer Weekly


Virgin Media broadband figures stay at 4.5m as superfast cable grows and copper dies
Virgin Media’s latest financial results show that appetite for superfast broadband continues to grow, with 4.4 million customers now taking fibre-optic cable. More customers than ever are feeling the need for speed – over a third of Virgin Media customers are now getting 60Mbps or faster, representing a growth of 27 per cent from a year ago. But as interest in headline-grabbing speeds increases, numbers of Virgin’s legacy ADSL service – National Broadband – continue to fall, as rumours of a possible sell-off emerge.
Telecom Paper


Security being left in the dust amidst rising cloud adoption
Adoption of cloud services is on the rise but basic security features might be left behind. Areport from SkyHigh has shown that a third of firms have experienced unauthorised access to their cloud systems while the majority of cloud services in use still lack basic security features. The worldwide survey, conducted by SkyHigh, received feedback from more 250 organisations spread over ten industries including education, finance, retail and manufacturing.CloudPro



media news


Netflix confirms price hike for new customers
Netflix has confirmed an increase in prices for new customers in Europe and the US. The company signalled at its last earnings report that it would raise prices in order to offset growing costs of content. New customers in the UK will pay an additional GBP 1 per month for the streaming service, for a total GBP 6.99, and new customers in the euro zone now pay EUR 8.99 per month.


How Facebook rewrote the advertising rulebook
A year or so ago, Facebook introduced mobile app install ads with the intent of giving app marketers a more efficient means of targeting high-value users. After recently reporting an 82 per cent year-on-year increase in mobile ad revenues, it’s safe to say it worked. And that success is kicking off a cascade of similar ad products across the industry.
Mobile Marketing


Google Glass owners become citizen journalists with CNN iReport
Google Glass users can use their wearable tech as citizen journalists to capture breaking news as-it-happens. CNN iReports will provide the network with exclusive first-person footage as Google Glasswearers submit their own photos and videos to the platform. It’s not being released as a standalone app but is hidden in the “Share with” menu that pops up after taking a photo or video with the wearable headset. You’ll also have to allow CNN to send notifications to your Glass headset, and set up the link to your iReport profile.

liberty news

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Three billion folks will be on the Internet come the end of 2014
At the end of this year, there will be three billion users on the Internet – approaching half the world’s total population of around seven billion – according to a report from the United Nations International Telecommunications Union. And the ITU claims that two-thirds of these surfers will be from the developing world.
IT Portal



5G trials to take place
Japan’s NTT DOCOMO has today announced plans for major 5G experimental trials with six of the industry’s leading equipment vendors. Alcatel – Lucent, Ericsson, Fujitsu, NEW, Nokia and Samsung will collaborate with the mobile operator to confirm the potential of 5G mobile technologies to support diverse types of applications, including M2M, in very high capacity scenarios.


BT reports strong results on back of broadband boom
BT has today reported pre-tax profit of £2,312 million for the year to March 31 2014. Reflecting what the company said was the benefit of its focus on capital expenditure efficiencies and debt reduction, revenue was up one percent. Adjusted revenue, which excludes specific items, was flat at £18,287 million.



enterprise technology

Are British companies “drowning in data”?
Chief information officers in Britain’s biggest firms believe their companies are “drowning in data” according to research. Only 8 of the 200 CIOs interviewed disagreed with the view that their organisations were facing a data glut with 87 per cent fearful the untapped data may lead to compliance or regulatory issues.


Google picks up cloud monitoring service Stackdriver
Google has snapped up startup Stackdriver that offers a service for developers to monitor apps and services on the cloud. Stackdriver is joining the company’s cloud platform team, Google said Wednesday, without providing the financial details of the transaction.
Tech World


Budding tech entrepreneurs to be mentored by heroes
Up-and-coming technology entrepreneurs could win the chance to be mentored by their technology heroes in a new competition. Launchpad, a new Royal Academy of Engineering award aimed at 16 to 25 year olds, is designed to cultivate the next generation of entrepreneurs by encouraging young people to think commercially early on in their engineering careers.
E and I



media news


King stock gets crushed as app spending slows
Candy Crush Saga developer King Digital saw its share price tumble far below its IPO pricing yesterday after disappointing investors with its first quarter results. Revenue beat expectations and profit rose nearly 150 per cent but the number of players paying for in-app purchases declined from last quarter.
City AM


Mink 3D printer lets you print makeup at home in any colour shade found on the web
Sometime in the near future you won’t need to visit a store to test and buy makeup, you’ll be able to pull out the Mink and 3D-print all the cosmetics you desire in any shade imaginable. Former Harvard researcher spoke at TechCrunch Disrupt NY conference today to debut the upcoming 3D printer and simultaneously reveal a few hidden secrets about the beauty industry.
Pocket Lint


Sony customers shift to Kobo platform in UK
Sony e-reading customers in the UK will shift to the Kobo platform from June 16th. The move will also take effect in Germany, Austria and Australia. The Sony Reader Store in the four countries will close on 16th June, with customers and their libraries shifting to the Kobo platform and directed to use the Kobo e-book store to purchase e-books from then on.

Liberty Communications reappointed to promote EdTech Europe 2014

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Liberty Communications, the integrated digital marketing communications agency, today announced that it has been appointed to promote EdTech Europe, Europe’s leading e-learning focussed conference, for the second year.



Organised by education technology company, Edxus Group and IBIS Capital, a specialist media investment and advisory firm, EdTech Europe is an exclusive one day summit for senior business executives and investors with an interest in the e-Learning market. Addressing current industry and investment trends in e-Learning and exploring the business of education, it has been designed to act as a catalyst for the consolidation and investment required in the sector.


The event will also include the unveiling of the Europe EdTech 20, a ranking of the top 20 most innovative and fastest growing e-Learning companies in Europe.


Along with promoting EdTech Europe 2014 and the EdTech 20, Liberty Communications will also work on thought leadership and profile opportunities for both Edxus and IBIS Capital.


Benjamin Vedrenne-Cloquet, CEO and co-founder of Edxus Group, said: “Last year’s event was a huge success and we are hoping to build on that so that the 2014 event is on an even bigger scale. The education technology scene in Europe is picking up pace and we are hoping that EdTech Europe will play a pivotal role in shining the spotlight on the movers and shakers, as well as attracting the right funding and support for European edtech players.”


Dee Gibbs, Founder and Global CEO at Liberty said: “We are really excited to be working with Edxus Group and IBIS Capital again for EdTech Europe 2014. The ed tech industry is a fascinating one and we are ready to put our experience and passion, together with our media expertise, to bear to make the event an outstanding success for everyone involved.”

liberty news

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CEO works magic at T-Mobile USA
The US mobile service provider T-Mobile might still be a prime takeover target but it looks likely to command a considerably higher sales price than might have been expected after posting some excellent Q1 figures. They were so good that CEO John Legere couldn’t stop himself cursing in jubilation as he took to Twitter to rub his rival’s noses in it. In the first quarter of 2014 T-Mobile USA added 1.3 million postpaid customers to its subscriber base as well as 465,000 additional prepaid users. It also shifted 6.9 million handsets. Pretty darned good by any measure, but that’s not the whole of it.
Telecom TV


Etisalat to consolidate west African units in Maroc Telecom
Etisalat has agreed to sell businesses in six west African countries to Maroc Telecom as it combines assets before completing a $5.8 billion acquisition from Vivendi, reports Bloomberg. The deal, valued at $650 million, includes units in Benin, Central African Republic, Gabon, Ivory Coast, Niger and Togo that provide mobile voice and data services. Etisalat agreed in November to acquire Vivendi’s 53 per cent stake in Maroc Telecom. Putting the west African assets under Maroc Telecom would extend its reach beyond Morocco, Mauritania, Burkina Faso, Mali and Gabon. Etisalat also operates divisions in Egypt and Nigeria.
Global Telecoms Business


Nokia and Juniper Networks collaborate on SDN + NFV
Nokia and Juniper Networks announced an expanded partnership to deliver virtualized network platforms for mobile operators.  The deal covers Nokia’s Liquid Core solution, including network function virtualization (NFV) and telco cloud management and orchestration, and Juniper’s MetaFabric data center architecture, including Contrail — Juniper’s network virtualization and cloud network automation solution based on software-defined networking (SDN). The companies said their bundled solution will provide operators with an open ecosystem telco cloud solution, based on Open Stack, offering automated application deployment, software defined application connectivity and network management. The solution would also comply with the European Telecommunications Standards Institute Network Functions Virtualization (ETSI NFV) end-to-end reference architecture.
Converge! Network Digest



enterprise technology


Privacy alliance calls for internet ‘reset’
An alliance of technology firms, internet sites, civil liberties groups and other organisations has launched a campaign to block mass surveillance of the internet by government agencies. More than 20 groups, including Fight for the Future, Demand Progress, Reddit, DuckDuckGo and BoingBoing, have set 5 June as the day to reset the ‘Net’ by deploying new privacy tools. The group has chosen the date to coincide with the first anniversary of the revelations of mass internet surveillance by US National Security Agency (NSA) whistleblower Edward Snowden.
Computer Weekly


Target CEO quits after data breach
US retailer Target has announced the resignation of its chief executive and chairman, Gregg Steinhafel after a massive data breach and poor business performance. The announcement comes four months since hackers breached Target’s IT systems and two months after the resignation of Beth Jacob as chief information officer (CIO). The hackers are believed to have stolen  70 million records that included the name, address, email address and phone number of customers, including the details of 40 million credit and debit cards.
Computer Weekly


Bill Gates: Sell off Bing? Nah. Xbox? Maybe…
Microsoft cofounder and board member Bill Gates says he’s leery of unloading the company’s historically loss-making Bing division, but he wouldn’t necessarily be opposed to spinning off Xbox. Gates made the comments in an interview with Fox Business on Monday alongside mega-investor and Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett. Asked whether he would support new CEO Satya Nadella if he wanted to launch the Xbox business as its own company, Gates responded with “absolutely,” though he cautioned that such a move might not be as good an idea as some pundits believe.
The Register



media news


John Lewis launches own-brand webOS TVs, JL9000 range made by LG
John Lewis has officially announced its JL9000 series of webOS driven Smart TVs which Pocket-lint revealed last week. The TVs are made by LG but are branded by the UK high street retailer. They are Full HD 1080p LED IPS sets, have 3D passive viewing technology and come in 49, 55 and 60-inch screen sizes. Prices start at £1,399.
Talktalk inks £30m sponsorship deal with X Factor
TalkTalk has renewed its sponsorship deal with the X Factor for three years, meaning it will have sponsored all 13 seasons of the ITV show. The £30m deal shows confidence in the show at a time when ratings have slumped. “Thousands of TalkTalk customers join us every year at the live final, more tweets are sent about it than any other TV show and, with the return of Simon and Cheryl, we’re hugely looking forward to the next series,” said Olivia Streatfeild, commercial director at TalkTalk.
The Drum


Facebook announces advertising ‘Boot Camp’ for SMBs
Facebook will be pounding the pavement this summer in an attempt to teach its largest group of advertisers — small and medium-sized businesses — how to utilize the company’s ad offerings. Facebook, along with partners like Square, Intuit QuickBooks, and LegalZoom, is planning a five-stop event tour the company calls Facebook Fit, a series of “boot camp-style events designed to help SMBs achieve business success,” Facebook wrote in a blog post Tuesday.

liberty news

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Android still rules the roost for mobile security threats
Android might dominate the smartphone market, but that position comes at the price of being the most targeted platform for mobile security threats. A new report by F-Secure shows that over 99 per cent of new mobile threats detected by the security firm in the first quarter of 2014 were on Android.


Sky profits drop thanks to BT and Netflix competition
UK satellite TV broadcaster Sky have seen profit and broadband subscriber numbers fall for the first time as they face stiff competition from rivals and internet based streaming providers. The fall marks the first drop in 15 years for the broadcaster as traditional TV stalls in the face of new and cheaper technology and the ever present risk of users cutting the cord.
World TV PC


UK telecoms infrastructure used to support controversial US drone operations
The UK’s telecommunications infrastructure is being used as part of a global defence intelligence network that the US government uses for controversial drone operations and other military purposes. Human rights experts say the UK’s involvement is the digital equivalent of allowing secret US rendition flights to land at UK military sites, or permitting the US government to launch air strikes from its airforce bases in the UK – actions for which the UK has in the past been heavily criticised.
Computer Weekly



enterprise technology
Google facing new lawsuit relating to US mobile web search
Consumer rights law firm Hagens Berman said it filed a nationwide antitrust class-action lawsuit against Google alleging the company “illegally monopolised” the internet and mobile search market in the US. The lawsuit alleges that Google has expanded its monopoly of the internet search market by pre-loading its applications onto Android mobile devices through its Mobile Application Distribution Agreements.
IT Pro


Microsoft, Google, Facebook, Apple are revolting…
It looks like the tech companies are revolting against US government spooks and their demands for data. According to the Washington Post, if the government demands your personal, private email or other data, MicrosoftGoogleFacebookApple, and others are reportedly taking steps to notify you faster and more frequently than they did in the past.


‘Government is not listening,’ say IT SMEs
The government is “nowhere near” meeting its SME spending targets, according to Zoe Cunningham, managing director of software company Softwire. The government has an ‘aspiration’ for SMEs to gain 25 per cent of Whitehall spending. It updated this in August 2013, saying it aims for ‘at least’ 50 per cent of spending on new government IT to go to SMEs.



media news


Snapchat debuts self-destructing video and instant messages
ShapChat has expanded from pictures into video and text messaging- taking on the likes of WhatsApp and WeChat. The new features, collectively called Chat, let users swipe the name of one of their friends in their Snapchat contact list to start a text conversation. Instant messages can be saved individually by tapping on them while users can also take a screenshot of conversations to save them, Snapchat said in a blog post on Thursday.


#savebloomfm campaign begins as music streaming site closes suddenly
Music app has closed after its main investor TNT pulled its backing for the channel, although a search has begun for a buyer in order to save the service. After 15 months in operation, the music streaming service released a short statement yesterday to say: “We’ll keep this short because we’re pretty shell-shocked, it’s game over for”The company explained: ”Our investor, who’s been along for the ride since day one, has unexpectedly pulled our funding.
The Drum


Box TV launches ‘industry first, laser-focused’ online ad solution
Box TV has launched an alternative online advertising solution where brands can target audiences by channel and environment using viewer data. Using in-stream ad-replacement technology developed by Yospace, with ad decisioning performed by Tremor Video, replacement adverts will be introduced into its simulcast and then app streams in real-time.
Music Week