OnePlus One says no to mobile operators
“Never settle”; that’s the slogan of new China-based smartphone manufacturer OnePlus, which this week is launching its first device. It’s already got the industry buzzing with its incredible low price (for such a feature-packed device) and its promised to remove operator bloatware. True, the company is choosing its official words carefully, and probably doesn’t want to rule out large-scale operator deals, but for the moment it is directly targeting end users. Hitting out at the likes of the Samsung Galaxy S5 and iPhone, it boldly states that its first device is 2014’s “Flagship Killer”.
EE re-shoring programme to usher in new era of customer service?
EE, prior to its Orange and T-Mobile merger, had a track record of being rated pretty poorly for its customer service. Even last year after the two companies were rebranded, EE/Orange was the most complained about mobile provider in Ofcom’s customer service satisfaction report 2013. Clearly things needed to change, which is why the company’s CEO, Olaf Swantee, recently announced his plans to return the business’s call centres back to the UK, and has followed this up by confirming the re-shoring programme will begin with 1,000 new customer service roles being created on UK shores within the next 24 months; the first earmarked for Londonderry / Derry over the next month or so.
Britain’s worst broadband areas take 15 hours to download a film
Massive variations in broadband speeds across Britain mean the time taken to download a film can take up to 15 hours in some areas and just nine minutes in others, a report has revealed. Slow broadband is still largely the scourge of the British countryside, but data from independent comparison website uSwitch.com shows even some urban parts of the UK are suffering from slow connection speeds, despite being just a short distance from areas with much higher speeds.
Price of privacy: online security now seen as a luxury good
According to new research, privacy online is now seen by half of UK people as a luxury – though most are only willing to pay £2.50 per month for the added security. In the past 12 months the public’s understanding of how the internet works and how our online activity and data is monitored has been changed irrevocably.
International Business Times
Kevin Rose wants to launch another startup, wishes he had stayed CEO of Digg
Google Ventures partner, Digg,Milk, and Revision3 co-founder, and raccoon enthusiast, Kevin Rose sat down with The Next Web co-founder Boris Veldhuijzen van Zanten at The Next Web Conference Europe today. During the interview that touched on Rose’s many startups and being the target of San Francisco protesters, the serial startup-founder shared his desire to return to the startup scene and his regret of giving up power at Digg.
The Next Web
Bank of England seeks “Hackers” to defend vaults against e-thieves
The Bank of England is planning to hire ethical hackers to conduct penetration tests on 20 “major” banks and other financial institutions, it has been reported. The move appears to be a response to lessons learned during the Waking Shark II security response exercise last November. The exercise put merchant banks and other institutions in the City at the wrong end of a simulated cyber-attacks and didn’t involve retail banks, as explained in an BoE statement issued at the time.
Get email notifications delivered by scented bubbles
Researchers are claiming to have invented a new form of human/computer interaction after developing a machine that can fill bubbles with different smells and project images on to them. The team at Bristol University describe SensaBubble as a “chrono-sensory mid-air display system” – a computer-controlled bubble cannon that fills soap bubbles with a particular scent and then fires them at a user, projecting a colour or display on to them in mid-air.
Instagram’s Explore tab is now customised to YOU
In a small but very cool new tweak to its app, Instagram has tailored its Explore tab solely to you. When you click on ‘Explore’ now you’ll no longer get the most popular photos on Instagram, i.e. tonnes of American teens pouting. Instead you’ll see photos and videos that have been suggested for you, which will include a mix of content that’s trending among the whole of the Instagram community, as well as photos that your friends are liking and commenting on and local snaps too.
Sony’s £350 4K media streamer lets you watch House of Cards in Ultra HD
Sony has announced a £350 media streamer for UK punters that allows Netflix users to watch House of Cards in 4K, but that is about all it will do. Those few who own a Sony 4K TV will by now know that it is incompatible with Netflix, with the streaming service using the H.265 format that doesn’t work on those television sets. So, to fix the problem, Sony is asking customers to cough up an additional £350 for its specialised bespoke 4K video streaming box, the Sony FMP-X5 4K Media Streamer.