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Briefly: Gov't sites see Apple rise, UK Parliament buys iPad Air 2

03/25, 11:16am

Government websites seeing 25 of traffic from Apple devices

A measurement of US government web traffic has revealed that 26 percent of visits come from Apple devices -- with nearly 17 percent originating from iOS devices, with another nine percent from Macs. This puts the platform at about one-half the traffic generated by Windows devices (58 percent), with Android devices in third place with 14 percent. The data comes from analytics of over 300 government websites.

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Cook: Apple launching full-on assault on wallet-carrying

02/27, 5:16pm

Apple Watch, abilities will expand over time, replace car keys as well

In a new interview with the UK newspaper the Telegraph, Apple CEO Tim Cook has revealed a few new tidbits about the forthcoming Apple Watch, as well as some of the larger vision behind such innovations as the watch, and Apple Pay, and Touch ID -- an all-out attempt to reduce the ephemera people need to carry with them, from wallets to car keys. In the same report, Cook also confirmed that Apple will "tweak" its retail look to accommodate Apple Watch buyers, who are likely to be even more upscale than average Apple customers.

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European iPod shuffle delays improve; 2012 Mac mini reappears

01/28, 9:40am

Defunct Mini model briefly returns to online Apple store

Apple's official online shipping times for the iPod shuffle have improved in the UK, France, Germany, and several other European countries, reports say. Earlier this month, shipping times deteriorated to between seven to 10 days worldwide, prompting fears that Apple might be discontinuing the product. Sources claimed that Apple was just going through component supplier changes, however, and this may be borne out by the European Apple online stores, which is now seeing the media player ship in five to seven days. Delays have yet to improve in the US or Canada, but may follow suit in the near future.

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Apple upgrades Maps Connect, iCloud.com Photos services

01/26, 4:07pm

Photos web app gets zoom, quick email sharing

Apple has upgraded the iCloud.com Photos app with a couple of new features, users note. The first is a zoom slider for uploaded content. People can also more easily share photos via email, using a new pop-up window on the site. Access to Photos requires activating the iCloud Photo Library beta through iOS' Settings app, and will remove any images on a device that were synced via iTunes.

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Apple buys out UK media analytics firm Semetric

01/21, 9:34am

Takeover reportedly linked to Beats Music relaunch

Apple has bought out a media analytics firm from the UK called Semetric, according to the The Guardian. The acquisition is said to have been discovered through Companies House filings, which show for instance that earlier this month, Semetric changed its address to that of a London lawfirm, Baker & McKenzie; the space is also registered to Apple Europe Limited. An Apple attorney, Gene Levoff, was assigned to a director position at Semetric in October of last year.

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Obama sides with UK PM, calls for law enforcement-crackable encryption

01/17, 9:58am

Public statements first on the matter from the US President

President Obama has, for the first time, publicly acknowledged that encryption is a problem for law enforcement. With UK Prime Minister David Cameron alongside, the President said that there must be both ways to keep citizens' information private, but that there has to be a way to allow law enforcement to surveil both in real-time, as well as decrypt after-the-fact forensically, when a court deems it necessary. "Because this is a whole new world, as David [Cameron] says, the laws that might've been designed for the traditional wiretap have to be updated. How we do that needs to be debated both here in the United States and in the UK," said the President.

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UK Prime Minister vows ban on encrypted end-to-end communication

01/13, 1:17am

Calls secure chat 'safe space' for terrorists, pedophiles, criminals

In many democratic countries, responses to terrorist attacks usually involve the curtailing of some civil liberties in the name of safety. The hacking of Sony, for example has created momentum for the possible return of CISPA. In the UK, Prime Minister David Cameron has now called for tightening laws around "the internet and new ways of communicating," and specifically hinted at a ban on end-to-end encrypted messaging, in the wake of the terrorist attacks on the Charlie Hebdo magazine offices in Paris.

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Apple hikes some European prices for developers, products

01/02, 1:09pm

Costs go up at Norwegian, Turkish online stores

Apple has increased the costs for developers and products in a range of countries across Europe, reports say. German developers note that the cost of an annual Developer Program membership has jumped from €80 ($96) to €99 ($119). The change is presumably affecting all European Union countries, since Apple rarely makes changes in one Euro market to the exclusion of others. In the UK, developer registration fees have been hiked from from £60 ($92) to £79 ($121).

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Talks in progress to bring Apple Pay to UK

12/29, 9:46am

Regional launch could take place in first half of 2015

Apple is in negotiations with "Britain's top banks" in preparation for launching Apple Pay in the region, sources tell the Telegraph newspaper. The service is expected to arrive in the UK in the first half of 2015. At least one bank is said to be uncomfortable about the amount of personal and financial data Apple wants to collect from its customers, however, and some executives are said to be wary that both Apple Pay and the data the company wants could operate as a "beachhead for an invasion of the banking industry," as the Telegraph writes. It's nevertheless predicted that the banks will bend, as Apple Pay appears to be catching on in the US, and may be a way to convince more British shoppers to pay via their mobile phones.

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Apple offers Boxing Day iTunes sales for UK, Canadian customers

12/26, 4:44am

US customers get holiday channels on iTunes Radio instead

As was the case last year, Canadians are once again getting a sale on selected albums in iTunes as part of a "Boxing Day" event, part of a traditional observance throughout Canada and a number of other Commonwealth countries. The UK iTunes Store is also having a sale on hit albums, but doesn't label the event as a "Boxing Day" sale. US users don't get a sale, but are instead enjoying special holiday channels on iTunes Radio, which remains unavailable in the UK and Canada.

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Apple's Cook, Williams 'deeply offended' by BBC supply chain expose

12/19, 10:48am

Williams tells Apple staff that company is improving labor conditions

In a new email memo to the company's UK workforce, Apple's Senior VP of Operations Jeff Williams claims that he and CEO Tim Cook were "deeply offended" by a BBC Panorama documentary exposing labor abuses in the company's supply chain. Specifically, Williams and Cook are said to have been "deeply offended by the suggestion that Apple would break a promise to the workers in our supply chain, or mislead our customers in any way;" Williams charges that "Panorama's report implied that Apple isn't improving working conditions. Let me tell you, nothing could be further from the truth."

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Job listing points to global Apple Pay growth, starting in Europe [u]

12/18, 10:22am

Apple targeting 'Europe, Middle East, India, and Africa'

[Updated with Chinese job listing] A new job listing indicates that Apple is actively working on expanding Apple Pay worldwide, beginning with Europe. The company is seeking an Apple Pay intern who will work with a London-based team. The listing states that Apple Pay is "set to expand across Europe, the Middle East, India, and Africa," and that the London group will collaborate with "issuers, payment networks and merchants across Europe."

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BBC documentary investigates labor conditions in Apple supply chain

12/15, 11:02am

Airing Thursday in UK

At 9PM GMT on Thursday, BBC One will be airing a documentary on the working conditions in Apple's extended supply chain. The Panorama piece, titled Apple's Broken Promises, focuses initially on conditions at Chinese factories producing the iPhone 6. It also goes into detail on the sources of materials for Apple products, bringing cameras to an Indonesian tin mine where children are digging out materials by hand.

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Apple begins accepting PayPal at US, UK web stores

12/12, 9:36am

Option already available on iTunes

Apple has begun accepting PayPal at its US and UK online stores, reports note. The option has been present for some time when making a purchase through iTunes, including the App Store and the iBookstore, but missing from Apple's websites. When checking out, PayPal is listed as the only alternative to a credit or debit card.

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New UK tax targets multinationals using overseas tax dodges

12/03, 12:13pm

Could impact the likes of Amazon, Apple, Google

British Chancellor George Osborne has announced a 25 percent tax on "profits generated by multinationals from economic activity here in the UK which they then artificially shift out of the country," the BBC reports. The move is forecast to generate an extra £1 billion in tax revenue over the next five years, on top of £4 billion pulled in from cracking down on tax breaks for banks. Both predictions are disputed by the Office for Budget Responsibility, which suggests that the situation is too complex to pin down definite numbers.

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Apple hires remnants of developer behind UK mapping app Pin Drop

11/10, 4:30pm

Could hint at new features for Apple Maps

Apple has hired five people linked to the now-defunct developer of a mapping app called Pin Drop, a report says. The app let people bookmark locations and then share them with other people; its developer shut down on October 31st, however, citing a lack of funding. The person responsible for creating the app, Andy Ashburner, may have played a role in getting his team work at Apple.

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Apple to open Cambridge, UK R&D center in 'next few weeks'

11/10, 10:27am

Could grow from 20 workers to 40 in 2015

Apple will be opening a research and development center in Cambridge, England within the "next few weeks," according to a regional business publication, Business Weekly. The offices are reportedly located at 90 Hills Road, and in the same city as offices for other major tech firms like ARM, Broadcom, Sony, Microsoft, and Qualcomm. It's thought that Apple's presence could start with about 20 workers and grow to as much as 40 within the next year.

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Long-delayed Edinburgh Apple Store to open on October 18

10/09, 12:27pm

Project years in development

Apple will finally open a long-awaited store in Edinburgh, Scotland on October 18, according to an official banner outside the shop. Efforts to build an Edinburgh outlet date back to at least 2010. Once a location on Princes Street was secured, the company then spent over a year in construction. This was followed by another nine-month delay as it worked to finalize the store's design.

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Panasonic launches lightweight, 14-inch CF-LX3 Toughbook in the UK

09/30, 5:32pm

Business-class rugged laptop features up to 14 hours of battery life, Intel Core i5

Panasonic announced today that a new entry in its rugged line of notebooks is being released in the UK. The lightweight 14-inch Toughbook CF-LX3 is a notebook that the company says it built for "busy mobile executives." It features a weight of only 2.7 pounds and a battery that can last up to 14 hours depending on activity. Panasonic adds that the Toughbook CF-LX3 can withstand drops from a desk, about a 30-inch fall.

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Phones 4U customers unlikely to receive iPhone 6 preorder refunds

09/25, 4:58pm

Administrators refer Phones 4U customers to credit card companies

Customers of UK retailer Phones 4U may not receive a refund for their pre-ordered iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus. PWC, the administrators of the failed retail chain, has effectively reversed an earlier decision to allow for refunds to proceed, with affected customers now extremely unlikely to receive a refund directly from the company at all.

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UK's Sky Now TV brings Entertainment, Movies packages to Apple TV

09/24, 12:01pm

Offerings advance beyond sports

UK TV network Sky has expanded its Now TV offerings on the Apple TV to include its Entertainment and Movies packages, according to an announcement. The app's user interface is largely the same -- including New In, Most Popular, and Must See categories -- but now extends beyond sports, and has adopted a "flat" look to match the Apple TV's new iOS 8-style aesthetics. The Now TV iOS app has offered a wider range of content for some time.

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Briefly: Google Now flight price cards, Instagram advertising in UK

09/23, 6:42am

Google Now adds flight price monitor card shown after Google Flight searches

Google Now has added a new card to its roster, warning users of changes in flight prices. Spotted by Android Police, the card will automatically appear if a flight is searched for via Google Flight Search, though apparently not when using other fare comparison sites, with the card advising of any rise or fall in cost. It is unknown how far the feature has rolled out, nor if it picks up relevant data from standard Google searches or Gmail.

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EE agrees with administrators to acquire 140 Phones 4U stores

09/22, 6:53am

Approximately 900 jobs to be saved by store sale

More stores from failed British mobile phone retailer Phones 4U are being scooped up for use by a second carrier, with shops to be rebranded and reopened in a short space of time. EE, operator of Orange and T-Mobile in the country, has signed a deal with administrators to acquire 58 of the stores from the company, pending court approval, and in the process attempt to keep on 359 affected employees at the locations.

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Vodafone plans takeover of 140 Phones 4U stores, save 900 jobs

09/19, 3:33pm

Rebranding of 140 Phones 4U stores to Vodafone expected in coming weeks

European carrier Vodafone is going to attempt to help some of the employees affected by UK retailer Phones 4U's administration proceedings. The mobile phone network will step in and acquire 140 of the chain's stores across the country, and in the process take on approximately 900 of the affected 5,596 staff at the saved locations.

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Phones 4U goes into bankruptcy, cancels iPhone 6 preorders

09/15, 11:10am

Puts jobs of 5,596 people at risk

UK retailer Phones 4U has gone into administration -- the UK equivalent of bankruptcy protection -- following a decision by network operator EE not to renew a contract ending in September 2015. The company now lacks any network partners, as earlier this month Vodafone said it would skip extending its own contract. All of Phones 4U's 550 stores are shut today, and will only reopen if and when administrators decide business can resume. The situation could endanger the jobs of some 5,596 workers.

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Amazon expands Fire Phone into Europe, cuts price in United States

09/08, 1:36pm

UK, Germany first European countries to receive Amazon smartphone

Amazon has lowered the cost of the Fire Phone in the United States, down to 99 cents on a two-year contract. At the same time, the retailer revealed it is bringing the Fire Phone to Europe, with the United Kingdom and Germany set to be the first markets on the continent to receive the device at the end of this month.

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Apple adds 19 more acts to iTunes Festival London [u]

08/26, 9:08am

deadmau5, Tony Bennett, Placebo among artists

[Updated with iOS app, Apple TV channel news] Another 19 musical acts have been added to the list performing at next month's iTunes Festival in London. Some prominent names include Mary J. Blige, deadmau5, Tony Bennett, Ed Sheeran, Placebo, and Little Dragon. In all, Apple has announced 40 artists, but over 20 more have yet to be made public.

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More performers added to iTunes Festival London

08/19, 10:04am

Elbow, David Gray, Lenny Kravitz, First Aid Kit among names

Apple has added another 21 acts to the list performing at next month's iTunes Festival in London. Some of the better-known additions include Jenny Lewis, Elbow, Paolo Nutini, David Gray, The Script, Jessie Ware, Ryan Adams, First Aid Kit, and Lenny Kravitz. Over 60 acts will be playing in total -- previously-announced performers include Beck, Pharrell Williams, Kylie Minogue, Maroon 5, and Robert Plant.

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Apple UK giving out five free magazine issues a day via Newsstand

08/18, 3:30pm

Focuses attention on seldom-promoted service

To promote the App Store's Newsstand section, Apple UK is now giving away five free magazine issues a day through August 22. Shoppers are limited to issues selected by Apple, however. The promotion involves single, but complete, issues of the magazines in question, in hopes of sparking subscriptions or generating more interest in e-magazines generally. The first day's group includes NME, The Economist, Focus, T3, and Glamour.

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Briefly: Manchester United bans iPads at home games, ArtRage 4.5

08/14, 10:53pm

Manchester United bans electronic devices later than 150mm x 100mm from home game grounds

UK football (soccer) team Manchester United has announced a new ban on iPads and other tablet devices being brought into Old Trafford by its fans. The restriction was instigated by concerns that fans can record large portions of live matches on their tablets, and so the devices now join large bags, large cameras and liquids on the list of prohibited items.

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UK agency calls Dungeon Keeper 'free-to-play' advertising misleading

07/03, 10:39pm

Regulator recognizes game can be played for free, but it's 'severely limited'

It appears that regulators are catching onto the idea that Electronic Art's (EA) Dungeon Keeper mobile game isn't really what could be considered a "free-to-play" game. The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), an independent regulator of ads in the UK, ruled this week that ads promoting the game as free-to-play must not appear in the future.

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Google Glass debuts in first country outside of the United States

06/23, 1:22pm

Open beta Explorer program now includes the UK, participants still need to buy-in

Google decided to give customers on the other side of the pond a crack at Google Glass. The company said that is now offering the open beta Explorer program to residents of the UK. This expansion to marks the first time that Google Glass has been sold to residents outside of the United States. However, participation in the program still comes at a hefty price.

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Nintendo loses battle on controller patents against Philips in UK

06/22, 5:15pm

Court rules Nintendo infringed on two of three patents in lawsuit from 2012

Nintendo lost its first court battle against Philips Electronics last week over its use of technology in Wii Remotes and associated consoles. The England and Wales High Court ruled that Nintendo infringed upon two of three patents from Phillips that are based on motion, pointing and gesture controlling. The third patent considered for a potential violation, which is for modeling a body in a virtual environment, was found to be invalid.

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Apple TV's price drops in UK, continental Europe [u]

06/18, 10:58am

Could be paving way for hardware refresh

(Updated with cuts on Mac mini, iMac) Apple has quietly reduced the price of the Apple TV across much of Europe. In the UK, the set-top has dipped £20 to £79. In continental countries pricing has been lowered €10 to €99. Elsewhere, though, costs appear to be unchanged. The device is still $99 in the US, for example.

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Apple announces slate of 2014 summer Apple Camps

06/17, 9:18am

Includes separate iMovie, iBooks workshops

Apple has opened registration for the 2014 edition of its annual Apple Camps. The program is aimed at teaching creative projects to kids aged 8 to 12 while simultaneously promoting Apple products. This year, two sets of three-day workshops are available: one is dedicated to creating a short film using iMovie and the iPad version of GarageBand, while the other involves producing an interactive book using iBooks Author and illustrations done on an iPad.

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Briefly: Codecademy's expansion, Vimeo's 'Copyright Match' system

05/23, 2:34am

Online code education platform announces new partnerships in five countries

Codecademy, an educational startup aiming to provide accessible learning of programming code, has announced expansion into five more markets -- the UK, France, Brazil, Estonia and Argentina. Agreements with educational and government groups have allowed Codecademy to be available on a localized level, with partnerships including work on customized programs, and non-English language content. Presently, Codecademy courses remain free.

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2013 Mac Pro shipping times drop to 1-2 weeks in Europe

05/15, 10:46am

US, other regions still at 2-3 weeks

Apple's official shipping times for the 2013 Mac Pro have shrunk to one to two weeks in several European nations including the UK, France, Spain, and Germany, checks show. Other online storefronts -- including the US -- are still showing times in the two- to three-week range. If historical trends persist, times in the US should improve in short order.

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Briefly: Yahooo News Digest for Android, UK archives YouTube clips

05/09, 2:08am

Yahoo's news app now available for Android

Yahoo has announced the expansion of their news app, now available for Android. Yahoo News Digest now features both International and Canadian news, the latter of which is primarily curated for US and United Kingdom interests. Yahoo News Digest (free) is now available for iOS on iTunes, and Android through Google Play.

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Apple iAd director spotted in London; UK iTunes Radio launch soon?

04/15, 11:53pm

Sighting adds to rumors that Apple plans multi-country but slow rollout

Fueling speculation that Apple may be planning to expand iTunes Radio to selected countries in the near future, tweets on Twitter have revealed that Apple's director of iAd services, Paul Wright, has been making the rounds of London media marketing and ad agencies where he is based. This follows claims by online radio service Bloom, which would be a competitor to iTunes Radio in the UK, that it was rebuffed from advertising on iAd, and a report of iTunes Radio briefly functioning in Ecuador.

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Bloom.fm banned from iAd due to competition with iTunes Radio

04/11, 12:36pm

Apple says move in keeping with official policies

UK-based streaming service Bloom.fm has been banned from advertising on Apple's iAd network due to it being competition with iTunes Radio, according to Bloom PR representatives. Until recently, Bloom was spending £2,000 per month on iAd spots. In rejecting the advertising, Apple is quoted as telling Bloom that it constituted "a competitive service to iTunes Radio and it is against Apple policy."

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Future Apple retail SVP Angela Ahrendts gets British damehood

04/07, 2:59pm

Former Burberry CEO could make switch to Apple this month

Apple's incoming senior VP of Retail, Angela Ahrendts, is receiving her expected Dame of the British Empire title today, British newspaper the Daily Mail The honor is equivalent to a knighthood; instead of the Queen, though, today's ceremony will be hosted by Vince Cable, the British government's Secretary of State for Business. Ahrendts is originally American, and non-British citizens can't be granted damehood by the Queen; likewise, while she will be able to attach "DBE" to her name, she won't be able to refer to herself as Dame Ahrendts.

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Hannover Apple Store likely due in April; Edinburgh store in progress

03/25, 9:32am

Shops could fill in key gaps

New photos may suggest that Apple's upcoming store in Hannover, Germany is almost finished. The outlet has been under development since April 2013, and construction facades are still in place on the inside of the building. An Apple logo is now on display outside the shop though, and is being lit up at night, although it's still covered. It's believed that the location could open as soon as next month.

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New Apple retail head Ahrendts to be named Dame of British Empire

01/29, 11:31am

Will be awarded title alongside Melinda Gates

Apple's incoming retail head and former Burberry CEO Angela Ahrendts is being named a Dame of the British Empire, according to Vogue. The honor is a female equivalent of a knighthood. Since Ahrendts is originally from the US, her damehood has been approved by the Queen, but will not be awarded by a member of the British royal family. The same is true of Melinda Gates, who is being granted damehood at the same time.

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Privacy activists win right to sue Google in UK over Safari tracking

01/16, 3:10pm

Court says anonymized data can still be used to identify people

Privacy activists have won the right to sue Google in England over fooling Safari into accepting cookies, according to reports. Some time ago, Apple updated Safari to allow people to block cookie-based tracking. Google developed a workaround, but was discovered, and punished with multiple fines by the US government. An American class action lawsuit was tossed out of court in October because the judge ruled no one could prove they'd been harmed.

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PayPal begins testing In-Context Checkout feature on websites

01/13, 2:52pm

Testing of hands-free Beacon system expands

Transaction service PayPal has started testing a new web feature called In-Context Checkout, reports say. Normally, web-based PayPal transactions have to be completed at paypal.com. With the in-context code in place, choosing PayPal checkout at a retailer's website will simply conjure a pop-up, where billing and shipping information can be entered. At the moment only a handful of retailers have the option, but PayPal is promising that more vendors will adopt it in the first half of 2014.

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British woman sentenced to two years for iPad scam

01/03, 1:46pm

Fraud estimated to be worth £450,000

A woman from Newton Aycliffe in the UK has been sentenced to two years in prison for defrauding people in an iPad scam, the BBC reports. Kirsty Cox was found guilty of four fraud charges connected to taking thousands of orders for iPads between March and December of 2012. Cox claimed a contact could help her get the tablets for £50 to £100 off their retail prices, but she ultimately couldn't provide them.

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Canada, UK get 'Boxing Day' specials on iTunes albums, songs

12/26, 8:00pm

US residents enjoy special holiday 'channels' on iTunes Radio instead

While US residents can brag on their ability to listen to special "holiday" channels on iTunes Radio, other countries have their own iTunes celebrations going on -- the Canadian iTunes Store, for example, has launched a "Boxing Day" sale on select albums and songs, while the UK store has a similar sale (but not, strangely, labeled as "Boxing Day" related). In both countries and a few others, "Boxing Day" kicks off a week of sales from all manner of retailers.

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Content filtering of UK Internet connections found to be lacking

12/19, 10:38am

Fails to block all adult sites, blocks public health resources

Adult content filters rolling out on the major Internet service providers (ISPs) in the United Kingdom are found to be a mix of ineffectual and over-effective, according to a report. The new filters, pushed for by Prime Minister David Cameron, are seemingly blocking access to useful health-related sites, while at the same time failing to block pornographic material.

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Apple TV adds Sky Sports via Now TV in the UK

12/17, 2:18pm

Day passes available for limited viewing

UK satellite television broadcaster Sky has announced that Apple TV users in the UK can watch Sky Sports content. The Now TV app enables users to sign up for a day pass that provides access to six Sky Sports channels, including four standard channels, the Sky Sports News channel and another dedicated to Formula One racing.

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Briefly: AT&T roaming deal with EE in UK, Sprint expands LTE network

12/17, 7:58am

AT&T signs deal with EE for 4G roaming in UK, will offer similar connection in early 2014

AT&T has signed a deal with Everything Everywhere in the United Kingdom, allowing the US carrier's subscribers access to the 4G network when visiting, in a similar deal to one between AT&T and Rogers in Canada. Though the pricing of the deal were not disclosed, Pocket Lint reports that EE customers will be able to get 4G speeds from AT&T's network in the US in the first half of 2014.

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