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.
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.
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.
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”.