Monthly Archives: December 2014

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liberty news

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Google Announces Marvell And NVIDIA Chipset Options For Project Ara
Most of you guys have probably heard of Google’s Project Ara by now. For those who haven’t, this is an upcoming smartphone by Google that will feature modular components. What this means is that users will be able to swap out certain components depending on their need, so for example you could swap out a camera module for one with a better sensor, or one that records video better, and so on, all the while keeping the rest of the phone’s specs intact. According to a new Google+ post, Google has revealed other options which will include a Marvell PXA1928 SoC and an NVIDIA Tegra K1 chipset which can also be found in the recently released Nexus 9.


Xiaomi secures over USD 1 billion in funding round
Chinese manufacturer Xiaomi is raising over USD 1 billion in its latest funding round. This values the Chinese smartphone maker at over USD 45 billion, the Wall Street Journal reports, citing an unnamed person familiar with the matter. Expected to close on 22 December, the funding round is led by tech investment fund All-Stars Investment, the source added.


Boeing and BlackBerry create ‘self-destructing’ phone
Struggling smartphone maker BlackBerry will help Boeing with its self-destructing “Black” phone, designed for government agencies with a need for secrecy. The device has been in planning since 2012 and is thought to include biometric scanners for security and a special tamper-proof case which will wipe all data if anyone tries to open it and access the components inside.



enterprise technology


Biometrically enabled devices to reach 2Billion users by 2020
According to Acuity Market Intelligence, there could be as many as 4.8 billion biometric devices by 2020. With the global market projected to see 2.5 billion users, the growth in these devices will be fuelled by intensifying demand for smart phones, tablets, and wearable mobile devices that incorporate biometrics. According to Maxine Most, Acuity Market Intelligence Principal and lead analyst, “The market for biometrically enabled mobile devices will surge over the next five years.”


Microsoft is closing its Office 365 web service
Microsoft is shutting down its SharePoint Online Public Website service, from January 2015. The website allows Office 365 users to create a website and customise it with in-browser tools. A statement from Microsoft read: “Starting in January 2015, Microsoft is making changes to the SharePoint Online Public Website feature. As part of the evolution of the Office 365 service, we periodically evaluate the capabilities of the service to make sure that we’re delivering the utmost value to customers.”


BT to trial Fibre-to-the-Basement technology
BT has announced trials of a solution which could deliver superfast broadband to hard-to-access locations in cities across the UK. The new form of Fibre-to-the-Basement technology – developed and funded by BT – will be piloted in two City of London buildings from next month.
Comms Dealer



media news


Microsoft removes unofficial Snapchat apps from the Windows Phone store
Microsoft has removed a host of third-party Snapchat alternatives from its Windows Phone store after the photo messaging service indicated that it would start cracking down on unofficial apps in a bid to tighten security. Rudy Huyn, the developer of popular Windows Phone Snapchat alternative 6snap, confirmed on Twitter that his app — and all other third-party Snapchat apps previously available on Microsoft’s operating system — had been removed.
The Verge


Reddit to give millions of dollars in shares to users
Reddit is to give away $5 million to its users, through Reddit Notes that will be distributed through a lottery. The social network and community site raised $50 million in funding in September, and reserved 10% of that for giving back to its users. The site asked users soon after how they should distribute the money, and have settled on Reddit Notes, a kind of money, and is working out the details now. The notes will be able to be used to “tip, donate, or trade” on the site.
The Independent


BBC iPlayer tops list of corporation downloads
The BBC iPlayer app is by far the corporation’s most popular download, with 30 million transactions since its 2012 launch, while CBeebies Playtime is the most popular programme-related app with 3.4 million. The iPlayer app was recently tweaked to extend the catch-up window for TV and radio programming from seven to 30 days making it even more attractive to users. In second place in a list of the BBC’s 10 most popular apps published on Monday is BBC News, the corporation’s oldest app launched in 2010, with 15million downloads.
The Guardian


The Beginning of a Beautiful Career with Liberty Comms US

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I’m so grateful that Liberty UK has extended across the pond to open an office here in the US – and that my experience living amongst the rain swept roads of foggy London can come to use as I reside amongst the fog covered hills of San Francisco in my home state of California.



As I quickly settle into my role here as a Senior Account Executive I’m realizing all the joys that come from being a California based yank working for a British firm based in London. I can’t help but feel grateful to have had four years of living in London, to help me bridge the gap between the two offices.


Here are a few of my favorite things about working on for a bi-continental company.


1. Liberty Never Sleeps


They say that the news never sleeps and just because you’ve clocked out for the day doesn’t mean the media has. Having offices in two different time-zones means we can offer our clients round the clock assistance. This is amazing for us too, because it means either offices can sleep soundly knowing that our counterparts on the other side of the world are on duty. And we need that rest too, because once we wake up we have a full day of emails to catch up on as we experience an internal “changing of the guards”.


2. English is Not Strictly English


Living in the UK for four years meant being made fun of for saying things like “elevator” or “trash can” but after living in the US for two years I’ve quickly forgotten all my favorite words. Working with Liberty let’s me use them all again! This is ace, now I’m well chuffed!


3. Gathering Around the Digital Waterhole


One of my favorite things about starting a new role is getting to know my new co-workers. With so many people abroad, I’ve not had the chance to see their faces yet, but the Liberty UK team has not let 5,351 miles (roughly 8611 kilometers) keep us apart. Upon my addition to the team I was immediately friended on Facebook and Skype by my counterparts and have enjoyed getting acquainted with everyone digitally. Additionally, myself and Scott Beaver, VP and General Manager of Liberty US, are flying across the pond next week to meet our colleagues face to face for the company Holiday party (and secret Santa) and the digital world will become physical.



I’m still pretty new but I’m really excited to be a part of this amazing agency. And one day I look forward to reflecting on my early days here and be able say “oh yeah, I’ve been with the Liberty US office since the beginning!”


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liberty news

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Xiaomi profit revealed for first time: China’s rising smartphone star made £35million in 2013
Xiaomi, the upstart Chinese electronics company which is making waves in the smartphone industry, is typically reticent about revealing details of how much money it makes, but new filings show for the first time just how much profit the company is making. According to disclosures made to the Shenzhen Stock Exchange on Monday, Xiaomi Technology Ltd made a profit of 347.48 million yuan (£35.6 million) on 26.58 billion yuan (£2.7 billion) in revenue in 2013.
International Business Times


Vodafone extends 4G roaming to 17 more countries
Vodafone has announced their 4G mobile broadband roaming service is now available in a further 17 countries. Customers with the mobile operator will now be able to connect to 4G when they are in one of the 40 participating countries. Antigua and Barbuda, Cayman Islands, Croatia, Israel, Japan, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Mexico, Peru, Philippines, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Slovenia, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Fiji and Kuwait are the latest countries to be revealed. Vodafone customers will be able to access superfast 4G mobile broadband across the world at a fixed cost per day.
Broadband Finder


Nokia announces Finnish and Saudi LTE-A rollouts
Nokia Networks has claimed advancements in LTE-A network deployment by demonstrating live network speeds and data transmission rates of up to 300 Mbps on TeliaSonera’s LTE network in Helsinki. By utilising FDD/TDD technology, it is claiming carrier aggregation of the 1800 and 2600 MHz frequency bands for the Finnish operator.



enterprise technology


Vodafone Returns To The U.S. As MVNO
It was assumed that since Vodafone had sold its stake in Verizon back to Big Red the communications giant, based in the UK, had permanently pulled out of the U.S. market. Vodafone’s stake was worth $130 billion and many believed that it would take its money and run. That’s not proving to be the case. Vodafone has announced its return to the U.S. market through a press release published online, it will come back as a MVNO operating on T-Mobile’s network.


BT set to unveil result of mobile takeover talks
BT is expected today to reveal the outcome of takeover talks with O2 and EE, as it looks to buy one of the mobile groups for around £10billionn. A deal, which would be funded by a mixture of BT stock and cash, is part of the firm’s strategy to move into so-called quad play by adding mobile to its existing offering of broadband, TV and fixed line telephone services. BT has been in talks with O2’s Spanish owner Telefonica and EE’s owners, Orange and Deutsche Telekom, for nearly a month about a deal to buy one of the mobile operators. Both are thought to have told BT they are willing to accept shares as part of a deal to reduce the cash bill. EE is likely to cost between £10 billion and £11billion, while O2 is valued at between £9 billion and £9.5 billion.

City A.M.


Success of tech hubs sparks ICT firm dash for investment funds
The success of UK tech hubs such as Silicon Roundabout has driven a 26 per cent rise in ICT (Information Communication and Technology) companies seeking to raise funds to fuel their growth through the En¬terprise Investment Scheme (EIS). The EIS, a government initiative, is designed to encourage private investment in small companies through generous tax breaks. In the last year the number of ICT firms using the scheme has jumped from 490 to 615, says Radius Equity, a private equity investment provider.
City A.M.



media news


Sony asks media groups to delete ‘stolen’ data
Sony Pictures Entertainment pressed media outlets Sunday against using data hackers may have leaked about the studio. In the letter sent to groups including The New York Times and The Hollywood Reporter, lawyer David Boies said the “stolen information” must be destroyed and should not make it to publication.


YouTube provides offline app for India’s mobile viewers
YouTube has released an advertising-supported offline feature on Android and iOS smartphones in India to make video viewing on mobiles more enjoyable. Initially using Wi-Fi or a data plan, users can then take YouTube videos offline and watch them for up to 48 hours later without an Internet connection, thus preventing slow connections and buffering interrupting viewing of online videos.


WhatsApp may be developing web app
Popular messaging app company WhatsApp may be working on a web client, according to recent reports. You might be familiar with WhatsApp for its cross-platform smartphone messaging app, but the Facebook-owned company is said to be branching out to the desktop. Dutch website has discovered code in a recent version of the WhatsApp Android app that mentions “WhatsApp Web,” logging in and out of computers, and status and latest activity tracking in web sessions.
Trusted Reviews


liberty news

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India to sell 3G spectrum in February
India’s forthcoming spectrum auction will likely include some 3G spectrum, the local press reported on Friday, just days after the publication of inflated reserve prices for 800 MHz, 900 MHz and 1800 MHz bandwidth. The country’s defence ministry has agreed to free up 5 MHz of frequencies in the 2.1 GHz band in 17 circles, the Economic Times claimed, citing unnamed sources.
Total Telecom


‘Slight’ jobs slowdown expected in telecoms sector says Manpower
A “slight decline” in jobs hiring is expected in the telecoms sector at the start of 2015, said recruitment firm ManpowerGroup. With an outlook of +4 percent for hiring intentions among telecoms firms, the sector is down one percentage point on the last quarter, said Manpower, as businesses prepare for the year ahead following on from Christmas.
Computer WorldUK


MVNO CEO hits out at proposed consolidation in the UK
BT’s bid to take over either O2 or EE represents a major threat to consumer interests by further stifling market competition, the boss of the Phone Co-op has warned. Vivian Woodell said customers would be left paying higher bills than they needed to if the UK’s mobile network remained in the hands of just a few big players who were also service providers.
Mobile Business



enterprise technology


Ford goes for BlackBerry for its in-car entertainment system
Ford has announced its brand new in-car entertainment system that’ll use BlackBerry’s QNX OS. The car manufacturer is to choose BB’s real-time operating system over Windows, which powers the current in-car device. Drivers will be able to use the Ford Sync 3 via a touch screen or voice recognition, allowing them to control both the vehicle and app so their phone by talking to it.
PCR Online


Microsoft sets the date to take wraps off Windows 10
Microsoft is preparing to unveil Windows 10 to the world at an event on 21 January next year. Reports emerged yesterday suggesting the firm would show off the new OS on that date and Microsoft published a blog last night confirming it. The vendor said: “On Wednesday 21 January we will be holding an event here on Microsoft’s Redmond campus where we will talk about the next chapter of Windows 10.


Law forces Google to end Spanish news
Google is taking its news service offline in Spain after politicians said that it should pay publishers for using content from their websites. The closure, which will affect everyone who searches for news stories in Spanish publications, will take effect on Tuesday. Many online publishers believe that so-called “aggregator” sites, which collect headlines from news reports or other extracts from publications, should pay royalties.
The Times



media news


78 percent of legacy pay-TV subscribers have TV Everywhere
Nearly eight in ten legacy pay-TV subscribers in the US have access to authenticated TV Everywhere services from most of the major networks. “Today some 74 million households have access to TV Everywhere programmes from the ‘Top 15′ networks that TDG monitors,” said Bill Niemeyer, TDG senior analyst and author of the new 78 percent of TV Everywhere Deployment among Top US Operators and Networks, 2014 report. “This represents a 30 percent increase from October 2013.”
BroadbandTV News


Facebook stops you posting pics drunk
Social networking site Facebook is creating an artificial intelligence tool that will warn people when they are about to do something they might regret. Apparently the tool can detect if you are about to upload an embarrassing photo of yourself or other people. Yann LeCun, who heads the Facebook Artificial Intelligence Research lab, and his team are laying the basic groundwork for the tool.


JCDecaux in 15-year deal with Vodafone to improve phone coverage
The outdoor media owner will fit small cells into its street furniture in consultation with local authorities and planning regulations. Vodafone will install and manage the telecommunications equipment. The cells will be deployed in more than 100,000 pieces of street furniture across the UK, Spain, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Ireland, Portugal, Australia, Qatar, Czech Republic, India, Turkey, Hungary and South Africa.
Campaign Live


Wear it better: Wearable technology and healthcare

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After the recent successes of the new Fitbit and Jawbone, 2014 has undoubtedly been the year in which wearables have started to be taken seriously.


Already embraced by fitness geeks, how could they transform the healthcare industry if accepted by a broader user base?


If we used wearable technology to send automatic round-the-clock biometric data to medical professionals it would certainly aid in the monitoring of chronic illnesses such as diabetes and heart disease, where tracking and measuring variables can help to keep patients out of hospital.


In addition, those living in rural areas could avoid long commutes to see a doctor for trivial tests, as vital signs could be assessed remotely and stored to track trends. The much anticipated Apple Watch is even rumoured to be able to “listen” to blood flow and thus predict heart attacks.


Google is one of the companies leading the charge in healthcare innovation having teamed up with pharmaceutical giant, Novartis, to develop a “smart” contact lens in order to help diabetics monitor their glucose levels in a non-invasive way. Another project, the much discussed Google Glass, can be used by medical teams to live-stream operations and demonstrate new techniques and allows experienced surgeons to provide remote insight to inexperienced medical professionals.


Currently, wearables are seen as something of a gimmick, either a niche item reserved for sports stars and the super-fit, or something to be bought, used for 2 weeks and then placed in a drawer alongside your PalmPilot and Minidisc player.


If wearables are embraced, they could enable us to be attuned to the warning signs of various illnesses. This would allow for early treatment which would reduce the later need for costly treatments and hospital visits. All of this can combine to ultimately give patients a better quality of life and after all, isn’t that what technology is all about?


liberty news

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Telenor, TeliaSonera call truce in Denmark, plan merger
Nordic telecom firms Telenor and TeliaSonera will combine their Danish businesses to boost margins in their toughest market, sending shares in their main rival higher on hopes for an end to cut-throat price competition. Norway’s Telenor and Sweden’s TeliaSonera, which tried to merge more than a decade ago, agreed to put their Danish operations into a 50/50 joint venture. They aim to save 800 million Danish crowns ($133 million) a year, or around a tenth of their combined cost, by 2019.


ZTE pens 10-year deal with Euskaltel as it continues European expansion
ZTE has signed a 10-year managed services contract with Spanish operator Euskaltel to upgrade its network and extend its services in the south of Europe. Under the agreement, ZTE will establish a headquarters in Northern Spain’s Basque Country, alongside Esukaltel’s own headquarters in Derio. From there it will provide telco services for subscribers in the country in addition to those in Portugal and other regions of Southern Europe.
European communications


Etisalat to upgrade entire fibre network
UAE-based telecommunication operator Etisalat is set to upgrade its fibre-based internet speeds to 43Mbps for its eLife customers in the country, as part of its 43rd National Day celebrations. The festive give-away from Etisalat includes 43 free OnDemand (VOD) movies and 43 free minutes of local voice calling from landline to mobile phones, said a statement.
Trade Arabia


enterprise technology


Cisco opens doors to new smart home platform
Cisco has launched a joint venture with household appliances company Bosch and technology company ABB to build an open software platform for the smart home. The platform, which will be based in Germany once it is given the green light by the country’s antitrust authorities, will be open to service providers and appliance makers.
Mobile Europe


NHS Trust gets more efficient with Vodafone patient mobile platform
District nurses can spend more time with patients thanks to Vodafone deployment which reduces amount of travelling and paperwork. The Trust is working with Vodafone to allow district nurses to update patient records and view daily visiting schedules remotely, reducing the amount of time spent travelling and filing paperwork.
The Independent


Acer CEO tells UK Parliament: “Taiwan will be a leader in IoT”
Acer spoke about Taiwan’s future as a leader in computing at the UK Parliament yesterday, and how it could ‘play a significant role’ in the Internet of Things (IoT) era. Acer’s corporate president and CEO Jason Chen was invited as a guest speaker by the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for East Asian Business, which facilitates the development of relations between businesses in East Asia and the UK.
PC Retail



media news


British Airways delivers Christmas ‘Thank-you’ social media campaign
British Airways is to communicate a seasonal ‘thank-you’ message to passengers this Christmas by way of a two-way conversation on social media in which the airline will express its gratitude to customers for choosing the flag carrier. Incorporating a 70-second video clip produced by Cedar the campaign features images sent in by travellers and will be distributed across Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Google + as well as the airliners in-flight entertainment system.
The Drum


YouTube reveals Christmas ads leaderboard
YouTube has created a Christmas Ads leaderboard aimed at showcasing the most popular seasonal brand ads, according to view count on the video streaming service. Currently, John Lewis’ ‘Monty the Penguin’ advert sits at the top of the chart, with over 18m views. Its closest rival is Sainsbury’s World War One-themed advert, which has had just under 13.5m views so far.
Mobile Marketing Magazine


Facebook video app ads will now auto-play on mobile
Facebook’s introduction of video advertisements has been relatively uncontroversial – at least compared to some other changes the social network has made to its news feed in recent years. Now the latest tweak has been announced in a blog post for developers. “With more and more people uploading, sharing and discovering videos on Facebook, marketers are finding video to be an important asset to drive key business metrics,” explained software engineer Jun Li.
The Guardian