Three launch 4G data dongle
Three have announced a 4G data dongle for their UK network, a first for the Unlimited data carrier. For £19.99 a month you will get a very generous 15GB allowance with an upfront cost of £34.99. Not only that but PAYG is covered too, with pricing starting at £64.99 including 3GB that lasts for up to 90 days. Three also state you can use the dongle abroad thanks to their “Feel at Home” roaming deal. Made by ZTE its compatible with Windows 8 and Mac plus you can insert a 32GB MicroSD card for storage too.
ZTE sees boom in 4G phones
ZTE has said that sales of 4G smartphones accounting for at least 40 per cent of its global smartphone shipments in 2014. According to Reuters, the Chinese based ZTE plans to ship 60 million smartphones in 2014, up 20 million units from last year. ZTE global head of mobile devices Zeng Xuezhong told a press conference in Hong Kong that the company’s smartphone business was strong in the USA, Japan and Europe. But this year we will add China to that list.
BlackBerry vows revenge on person who stole and leaked confidential company secrets
BlackBerry chief John Chen has announced a crackdown on those who leak confidential details about upcoming products. In a blog post, Chen said the Canadian phone maker is “pursuing legal action against a party who stole confidential information about a future BlackBerry product and made that information public.” The person nabbed the information after pretending to work for one of BlackBerry’s carrier partners, Chen wrote. The CEO did not specify which leak prompted legal action, but in recent weeks, there have been reports about a phablet-like BlackBerry device, dubbed Windermere, as well as another known as Ontario. More recently, there have beenshots of BlackBerry 10.3.
IT Pro Portal
Cisco upgrades partner programme
Cisco is transforming its existing channel partner and services programme into new Cisco Partner Ecosystem to better support partners on their way to cloud and help them benefit from market opportunities, it says. The upgraded Cisco Partner Ecosystem strives to win a broader set of partners, in particular ISVs, consulting firms, technology and Internet of Things partners, it says. In general terms Cisco Solution Partner Programme, which is a key tenant of its Partner Ecosystem, has been designed to focus on ‘solution partners’ and approach them in order to bring a wealth of solutions they offer into Cisco’s ecosystem.
UK ahead of the global pack in technology venture capital growth
Global investment in financial-technology ventures has more than tripled from $928 million in 2008 to $2.97 billion (£1.78 billion) in 2013, with the UK winning a rapidly growing slice, according to Accenture research. The consulting firm said that over the past three years, such investment increased at more than four times the rate of overall venture-capital investment. Although the US remains the dominant market for so-called “fintech” investment, the fastest growing region is now the UK and Ireland (UKI). Deal-volume, mostly related to London, has been growing at an annualised rate of 74 per cent since 2008, compared with 27 per cent globally and 13 per cent in Silicon Valley.
Computer World UK
Silicon Valley firm makes it easier for Tech City start-ups to accept payments
A Silicon Valley firm co-founded by 24-year-old Irishman John Collison is helping start-ups in Tech City to accept payments from their customers. Stripe, founded in 2010 by John and his older brother Patrick, provides a set of unified APIs (application programming interfaces) that allow businesses to instantly accept and manage payments online. The company, run out of a trendy office in San Francisco’s Mission District, expanded from the US and into 11 new countries last year, including the UK, where it has seen particularly strong growth, according to John, who started coding aged 14 before going on to study at Harvard.
Last.fm shutting down radio streaming service
Last.fm is to shut down its subscription radio streaming service. The music website will focus on its recommendations and tracking features from other sites – including YouTube and Spotify – from April 28. Users can still use personal stations via third-party apps and services, where the music will be played through other sources. The new Last.fm player uses YouTube videos to play tracks. In a forum post, the company explained that it will aim to improve the tracking of listening habits – or scrobbling – and the recommendation of new music.
Google Play Music lets users upload through Chrome
Google Play Music has added an experimental new feature that allows users to upload their music collection to the cloud directly from within the Chrome browser. Until now, users have been forced to install a dedicated application to beam their music up to Google’s servers. However, a new feature in the little-publicised Google Play Music Labs – accessed via the settings in the main Google Play Music web interface – effectively cuts out the middleman, providing the option to upload directly from the browser once an extension is installed.
Xbox One reputation system ready for launch
Microsoft has confirmed its delayed gamer reputation notification system for the Xbox One will finally be launching in the coming weeks, giving players direct feedback on how they come across to others – even employing penalties to enforce good behaviour. Online gaming is often seen as a troubling environment, especially in the world of first- and third-person shooters. A certain type of behaviour where epithets fly freely, sexualities and parentage are questioned and nobody bats an eyelid at sexist, racist or other bigoted language has become sadly prevalent. Then there’s the problem of poor gamesmanship: players who ignore the rules of the game, attack their own team or ‘rage-quit’ when losing in order to avoid recording a formal loss.