Vodafone to overhaul targets and partner tiering
Vodafone is in consultations with its dealers over proposals for a major overhaul to its partner programme, which is expected to see its current tiering system scrapped. According to dealers, a new partner programme is being created, which will be measured on the quantity of the operator’s services they sell (mobile, fixed, IT), rather than simply the total amount billed on a monthly basis.
Comcast-Time Warner merger faces opposition
The potential merger between US cable firms Comcast and Time Warner Cable has been criticised by both video on demand service provider Netflix and the Writer’s Guild of America, East (WGAE). Comcast announced it had agreed a $45.2bn deal to acquire Time Warner Cable outright in February, claiming that the merger would generate around $1.5bn in operating efficiencies. However, the deal is yet to gain regulatory and competition approval and now two organisations have spoken out against the impact such a merger could have on the market.
Google Hangouts merges with SMS on Android
Google has launched an updated Hangouts for Android, which merges SMS and Hangout conversations and adds a home screen widget, among other things. The latest version is rolling out to the Google Play store over the next few days. Hangouts 2.1 lets users choose to combine text messages and Hangout conversations with the same recipient into a single exchange. “You can control whether you want to send a message via Hangouts or SMS with the flip of a switch,” Google said, adding that different message types will be marked for easy recognition. Merge or unmerge conversations as you please.
Bank of England to simulate cyber-attacks to test threat response
The Bank of England will test banking vulnerabilities with a number of high-profile institutions to test how prepared they are should a cyber-attack occur. The ethical hacking programme will use real-life scenarios to see how prepared 20 of the UK’s most prolific banks and financial organisations are. The Financial Times reported the Bank of England has collated the intelligence from the latest threats “in the criminal world, terrorists and rogue states.”
AOL shores up email settings after spam spoofing spree
Still there company AOL has shored up its email settings to protect users from spoofed accounts and spam email. The move followed a period of spoofing spamming that upset some AOL users and has seen the firm fire up its Twitter account to appease pleading punters. However, while the change might appeal to the spammed, it will impact any AOL user that uses AOL for legitimate email services. If that is you, you might have to lump it.
Google agreed to shoulder financial burden in Samsung-Apple patent battle
Google agreed to provide financial support to Samsung to help the company defend itself against patent litigation brought forward by rival firm Apple. The tech giant, whose Android operating system is used in Samsung smartphones and tablets, agreed to assist the South Korean electronics maker in the $2 billion patent dispute between the company and Apple. Apple claims that 10 Samsung products, including the Galaxy S3, infringe upon patents covering user-interface technologies.
WhatsApp notches up half-a-billion regular users
Mobile phone messaging service WhatsApp is celebrating after signing up its 500,000,000th user following a growth spurt in emerging markets such as Brazil, Mexico, India and Russia in recent months. The glut of new members is fuelling a rise in usage with more than 700m photos and 100m videos being shared via the system each day.
Coca-Cola, Cadbury and Amazon named top brands for targeting youth market
Coca-Cola, Cadbury and Amazon have been named the most effective brands at targeting the youth market both online and offline. In research published by VCCP’s new youth agency Rough Hill, 60 per cent of young people use Cadbury, while 34 per cent follow the brand online. For Amazon, 58 per cent of people use the brand and 33 per cent of them follow it online, and 59 per cent of young people use the Coca-Cola brand regularly, while 31 per cent follow it online. The research, called ‘ASBO Generation (Adept Social Behaviour On and Offline)’ used responses from nearly 4,000 people aged between 16 and 22.
Twitter’s pretty yet strangely familiar profile pages now available to all
Twitter is through testing its redesigned profile pages and is now offering them up to all users. The revamped profiles, which some users have had access to for a couple of months, feature larger profile and header photos much like those on Facebook and Google+ pages. Like Facebook’s love-it-or-loathe-it Timeline profiles, Twitter has also adopted a well-defined mosaic-style approach to displaying tweets, biography details, trends and photos.