BT invest a further £50m in commercial fibre
BT will invest a further £50 million into its commercial fibre broadband programme over the next three years, it was announced last week. The money will benefit more than 30 cities, helping to make high speed broadband available to more than 400,000 additional premises. BT is spending more than £3 billion on deploying fibre broadband and its open access fibre network already passes more than 18 million homes and businesses. That footprint is set to grow rapidly as various rural fibre programmes are delivered.
AT&T has no plans to buy Vodafone
An enquiry by the UK’s takeover panel has, following months of speculation learned that AT&T has no plans to acquire Vodafone, sending the UK operator’s shares down 6 per cent, reports Reuters. Speculation had arisen that AT&T could be interested in a deal with Vodafone after its chief executive Randall Stephenson said there was a huge opportunity to invest in mobile broadband in Europe. In a statement to the London Stock Exchange, AT&T denied that it was planning a bid. However, it could come back under certain circumstances, including if a third party enters the fray.
Global Telecoms Business
Bye bye BlackBerry, it’s software not hardware that will secure mobility, says Good CEO
A quick perusal of BlackBerry news stories so far this year reveals a generally optimistic picture, especially compared with 2013’s headlines. Supporters point to new CEO John Chen’s determination to get back to basics with a fresh focus on the enterprise rather than trying to please the fickle consumer, the pursuit of which many believe was instrumental in the Canadian smartphone vendor’s dramatic fall from grace. Indeed shares in the company have risen this year as investors bet that the company has at last hit the bottom and is beginning to extract itself from the wreckage.
Government IT contracts to be limited to £100m
Cabinet Office Minister Francis Maude has announced that going forward no IT contract will be allowed to be worth over £100 million in value – unless there is an exceptional reason to do so. A number of “red lines” for IT contracts have been published for departments to follow, in a bid to increase competition in the sector and free departments from longstanding inflexible contracts with IT providers.
Workday launches new desktop experience
Workday, a provider of enterprise cloud applications for global human resources and finance, has unveiled a new desktop experience for its users. Designed in partnership with customers, the new user experience combines a redesigned visual interface built on HTML5, along with new features to enhance the usability. Workday also announced immediate availability of its latest update, Workday 21, which includes more than 240 new HR and finance features, approximately 65 of which were customer suggestions.
Israeli defence computer hacked, claims security firm
Hackers broke into an Israeli defense ministry computer via an email attachment tainted with malicious software that looked like it had been sent by the country’s Shin Bet secret security service, an Israeli cyber security firm said on Sunday. Aviv Raff, chief technology officer at Seculert, said the hackers earlier this month temporarily took over 15 computers, one of them belonging to Israel’s Civil Administration that monitors Palestinians in Israeli-occupied territory. Raff told Reuters that Palestinians were suspected to be behind the cyber-attack, citing similarities to a cyber assault on Israeli computers waged more than a year ago from a server in the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip.
China’s Baidu testing search engines for Brazil, Egypt, Thailand
Baidu is testing new search engines for users outside China that will target markets in Brazil, Egypt and Thailand to start with. The search pages for the three markets have appeared online, although Baidu has not formally launched the services yet. “It’s still in internal testing,” said company spokesman Kaiser Kuo on Monday. The three sites can be found at www.baidu.com.eg, www.baidu.co.th, www.baidu.net.br and are designed in the local language of each market. In addition to a search bar, the landing pages to the sites offer direct links to popular services such as Facebook, YouTube, as well as Hao123, Baidu’s own local Web directory.
BBC CTO sacked over failed digital project
BBC chief technology officer John Linwood (pictured) was sacked without a payoff six months ago when the corporation axed the failed Digital Media Initiative (DMI), the corporation has confirmed. Linwood’s departure occurred in July 2013, but could not be made public until now for legal reasons, the BBC reported on Friday. A BBC spokesman confirmed that Linwood is no longer employed by the corporation.
Google acquires artificial intelligence startup DeepMind for more than $500M
Google will buy London-based artificial intelligence company DeepMind. The Information reports that the acquisition price was more than $500 million, and that Facebook was also in talks to buy the startup late last year. We’ve emailed Google and DeepMind for comment. The acquisition was originally confirmed by Google to Re/code. Google’s hiring of Deepmind will help it compete against other major tech companies as they all try to gain business advantages by focusing on deep learning. For example, Facebook recently hired NYU professor Yann LeCunn to lead its new artificial intelligence lab, IBM’s Watson supercomputer is now working on deep learning, and Yahoo recently acquired photo analysis startup LookFlow to lead its new deep learning group.