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FreedomPop launching free mobile service in UK this July

05/13, 8:17am

Free calls, texts, data offered to potential FreedomPop UK users

FreedomPop, the carrier that provides free calls to its customers, has revealed plans for its launch in Europe, after its trial in Belgium last year. The United Kingdom will be the first country to receive the service when it formally launches this July, which will provide 200 voice minutes, 200 text messages, and 200MB of data per month completely free to users, as well as unlimited free calls and texts to other FreedomPop users.

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Briefly: Google Play app pre-registration, Possible Tesco Mobile sale

05/09, 3:19pm

Google Play adds option to pre-register for Android apps

Android users are now able to pre-register for apps due for release in the near future on Google Play. According to Android Central, Glu Media's Terminator Genisys: Revolution game currently gives the option to sign up for an alert when the app is released, allowing them to buy it as soon as it becomes available. The same system also allows users who have registered their interest to unregister, if they no longer want a release alert for the app.

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Briefly: Tag Heuer smartwatch update, Amazon UK delivery price hike

04/30, 10:08am

Tag Heuer smartwatch may have 40 hour battery life

Tag Heuer's high-end smartwatch will be shipping in October or November, according to a report. More details about the Swiss watchmaker's device received by Bloomberg points to a sale price of almost $1,400, and a battery life of around 40 hours from a single charge. Earlier reports point to it as using Android Wear and using Intel components, though it is believed it will be designed to appeal more tot typical buyers of premium smartwatches instead of technology enthusiasts.

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Briefly: Android Trusted Voice, Xbox One price cut in UK

04/14, 6:37am

Trusted Voice Smart Lock option rolling out to stock Android devices

Owners of devices running stock Android will be able to unlock their smartphones and tablets by uttering "OK Google." Following changes to Google Play Services, Android Police reports that the Trusted Voice unlocking option is starting to roll out, appearing in the Smart Lock settings. Users are warned before setting up Trusted Voice that it is "less secure" than a knowledge-based security measure, such as a PIN or a pattern, as "someone with a similar voice or a recording of your voice could unlock your device."

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Briefly: EE starts Wi-Fi calling in UK, LG confirms April 28 G4 launch

04/07, 11:22am

EE enables Wi-Fi calling, uses phone dialer instead of separate app

British carrier EE has turned on Wi-Fi calling for its subscribers in the United Kingdom. Launching initially on the Lumia 640, with the Samsung Galaxy S6 and the S6 Edge set to offer it from April 10 and more devices in the future, EE's version uses the phone's dialer instead of a secondary app, and will allow customers to make or receive calls and texts from both the cellular network and Wi-Fi hotspots. EE expects to have more than five million of its subscribers capable of using Wi-Fi calling by the summer.

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UK Diverted Profits Tax in effect today; $1B to flow into UK coffers

04/01, 2:23pm

Contested tax code a patch for decades of tax law allowing Irish loophole

As previously reported, the Diverted Profits Tax, also known as the "Google Tax," has come into effect in the United Kingdom today with very few changes to the proposed law. The tax law requires companies to list revenue and profit from other countries, aiding officials to determine if profits are being transferred elsewhere against UK tax code and making them subject to the tax.

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Briefly: Nest UK daylight savings glitch, Chrome OS beta update

03/30, 8:28am

Nest thermostat owners in UK complain about British Summer Time glitch

Owners of the Nest thermostat in the United Kingdom are complaining about a glitch where the device fails to respect this weekend's change to British Summer Time. Posts on the Nest support forums spotted by The Register note that the thermostat does recognize the change in time, but the schedule effectively does not take it into effect, with changes being performed one hour later than intended. While Nest works to fix the issue, one user has managed to get around the problem by changing the thermostat's settings, temporarily relocating it in software to Belgium.

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Briefly: Licensed Uber service in Germany, PlayStation TV price cut

03/29, 8:56am

Uber launching licensed taxi services in Germany following ban

Uber is going to launch a new service in Germany, following its ban by a local court this month. The court banned Uber over its use of unlicensed cab drivers, reports Reuters, and intends to fine Uber drivers violating local transport laws. A new service will be launching this summer, with Uber paying the commercial passenger transport licenses and to register drives as taxi companies at a cost of between 250 euro ($270) and 400 euro ($435) per driver, most likely under the UberX brand.

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BT becomes a carrier again, offers discounted SIM-only contracts

03/26, 9:30am

Existing BT Broadband customers get discount on new mobile plans

British telecommunications giant BT has started its return to the mobile phone market earlier than expected, by offering its customers cellular connections. Becoming a carrier once again, after spinning off what would become O2 in 2001, BT is providing modest SIM-only contracts to consumers, with existing home broadband customers getting a monthly discount on their plan.

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Briefly: Amazon Prime Now Dallas, Channel 4 rebrands 4oD as All4

03/26, 8:02am

Amazon expands Prime Now one-hour deliveries to Dallas

Amazon Prime Now, the retailer's high-speed delivery service, is opening up in Dallas. Just as with its other Prime Now locations, Prime subscribers in the fourth location will be able to use a mobile app on iOS and Android to place orders for groceries and household goods, between 8am and 10pm seven days a week, with TechCrunch reporting it still costs $8 for one-hour deliveries, while two-hour deliveries are free.

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Telefonica agrees to sell O2 UK to Hutchison Whampoa for £10.25B

03/25, 8:00am

Acquisition of rival carrier by Three owner could create largest UK mobile carrier

The owner of British carrier O2 has agreed to sell the company to Hutchison Whampoa, the result of negotiations between the two owners which started in January. Telefonica, the owner of O2, has confirmed it will be handing over the carrier for £10.25 billion ($1.53 billion), with the deal still to receive regulatory approval before it can close completely.

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Amazon updates Fire TV streamers, ships Fire TV Stick to UK

03/24, 3:17pm

Fire TV range adds external USB storage support, hidden PIN entry

Amazon has made a number of changes to its Fire TV and Fire TV Stick media streamers, as part of a software update. Changes to the devices, including the notable addition of support for external USB drives for extra local storage, come just in time before the retailer releases the Fire TV Stick in the United Kingdom, six months after the Fire TV shipped in the country.

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Briefly: Twitter tests autoplay videos, UK stolen phone charges capped

03/24, 11:30am

Twitter starts testing automatic playing of promoted videos in iOS apps

Twitter is starting to test automatically-playing videos in its apps. According to Ad Age, the service will autoplay promoted video ads to some Twitter users in the United States using the official iOS app. While the videos will play muted, some users will see a looping six-second preview while others will see the the full video in a loop, with both groups able to select the video to view it full screen and with sound turned on.

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BBC providing 1 million children with free 'Micro Bit' computer

03/12, 10:54am

Free computer hardware heading to students this fall in BBC coding effort

The BBC is continuing in its attempts to promote digital literacy in the United Kingdom, by providing approximately 1 million devices to children. The broadcaster will be providing the Micro Bit, a compact electronic board inspired by the BBC Micro from the 1980s, to students in secondary schools this fall, which it hopes will encourage a new generation of coders to create software.

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First Google Shop 'store within a store' opens in London

03/11, 3:22pm

Currys PC World hosts first Google-branded store in UK

Google has taken inspiration from the retail efforts of other tech companies, including Microsoft and Samsung, in opening its first "store within a store" under the Google brand. Called "The Google Shop," the store is located inside a branch of national retailer Currys PC World on Tottenham Court Road in London, and will be used to showcase a selection of Android devices, Chromebooks, and the Chromecast.

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Briefly: Vodafone UK VoLTE; Trivia Crack updates on iOS, Android

03/10, 6:32pm

Vodafone bringing VoLTE, Wi-Fi calling to UK subscribers this summer

British carrier Vodafone is bringing two improvements to its mobile phone network. Wi-Fi calling will start rolling out to customers this summer, helping customers located in areas with poor mobile phone signal. The carrier is also going to introduce VoLTE, allowing for voice calls with a higher call quality to take place over its 4G network.

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Report: UK government continues attack on tech company tax avoidance

03/08, 4:46pm

Upcoming UK Budget to include tax proposal to fight offshore fund diversion

The United Kingdom government is still planning to charge large technology companies a hefty tax bill if they divert funds abroad in tax-avoidance schemes, a report claims. George Osborne, current Chancellor of the Exchequer, is expected to announce the 25-percent "Google Tax" as part of the UK Budget announcements, due to take place later this month, with companies involved also being subject to more stringent monitoring of their finances.

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Weekly Game Replay: Epic Games grants, TwitchCon, Kanye West

02/22, 10:23pm

News from the video game industry for the week of February 15

Every Sunday, MacNN and Electronista gather together a selection of notable news from the world of gaming into one post. In this week's Weekly Game Replay, we talk about Epic Games fostering development by providing $5 million in grants to Unreal Engine 4 projects, Twitch announcing its first convention, and the revelation that Kanye West is making a game.

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Report from House of Lords asks for Internet to be a public utility

02/19, 9:17am

Utility classification accompanied by calls to improve speeds, digital skills education

Internet access must be classified as a public utility, a report from the upper house of the United Kingdom parliament has declared, with speeds and the teaching of "digital skills" also a priority. Echoing the similar Title II discussion in the United States, the UK's House of Lords calls for the government to "define the Internet as a utility service, available for all to access and use," citing the prevalence of the Internet in everyday life.

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RBS, NatWest banks add Touch ID support to mobile apps

02/18, 11:19am

First UK banks to use Touch ID to secure banking apps

Banks in the United Kingdom are starting to use Touch ID in their iOS apps for the first time. The Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) and NatWest are rolling out Touch ID support to their banking apps starting from tomorrow, allowing bank customers to sign into the app using their fingerprint on iPhones, instead of using the current lengthy passcode system.

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Apple hires prominent DJ Zane Lowe from BBC Radio 1

02/15, 1:18pm

UK-based music tastemaker heading to United States for Apple job

Apple will soon be getting more help with its musical ambitions, as it has reportedly hired BBC Radio 1 DJ Zane Lowe. The New Zealand-born radio personality, known in the United Kingdom as a tastemaker and helped launch the musical careers of stars including Adele and the Arctic Monkeys, will be quitting the station next month before moving to the United States to work with Apple.

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Briefly: Target Ticket closes, UK music album chart counts streams

02/12, 12:28pm

Streaming video service Target Ticket shuttering next month

Target is shutting down its video streaming service next month. Target Ticket has already stopped providing rentals, though existing rentals will be viewable until the service shuts down completely on March 7, according to its support pages. The retailer has already made arrangements for its customers to watch movies through CinemaNow from the same account when Ticket closes, with any UltraViolet purchases viewable through other supported video services automatically.

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EE outlines £1.5B investment to improve 4G across United Kingdom

02/11, 11:27am

Three-year investment program aims to provide 4G to more than 99 percent of population

British carrier EE has pledged to spend £1.5 billion ($2.3 billion) over the next three years to spread LTE service across the United Kingdom. The carrier plans to flood the country with 4G/LTE coverage, and is aiming to cover more than 99 percent of the population with the higher-speed service by 2017, exceeding its current footprint for its aging 2G service, and blanket 90 percent of the UK geography with the high-speed wireless connection.

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Briefly: Sling TV opens to all, UK universities smartwatch exam ban

02/09, 6:49am

Sling TV accepting new customer registrations without an invitation

Dish Network's Sling TV has been opened up to new registrations without requiring an invitation, following its soft launch. Spotted by GigaOM, the Internet TV service provides a trial week of usage before requiring users to pay for access. While the basic package includes live access to 15 channels for $20 per month, a collection of three add-on packages containing channels relating to news and information, kids and family, and sports can all be added at $5 per extra bundle.

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Google changing unified privacy policy to appease UK data regulator

01/30, 1:19pm

Unified privacy policy to be made clearer for users of Google's services

Google will be making some changes to its unified privacy policy in the United Kingdom, after settling a complaint from the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO). The search company has signed a formal undertaking that it will make its unified privacy policy clearer for users to understand, as well as bringing it in line with UK data laws.

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Sky confirms future launch of own carrier on O2's mobile network

01/29, 5:20pm

UK broadcaster gets closer to offering quad-play services to customers

British pay-TV provider Sky will be moving into the mobile phone business, it has announced. The satellite broadcaster confirmed earlier reports that it would be working with the Telefonica-owned carrier O2 to have wholesale access to its 2G, 3G, and LTE mobile phone network and provide carrier functions to its subscribers, as part of a multi-year deal.

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Briefly: Gmail 'Send Money' option in UK, Sky Go app on PlayStation 3

01/29, 5:58am

Google adds Send Money option to Gmail in United Kingdom

Google is adding the Send Money option to Gmail in the United Kingdom. Originally available to US users since 2013, the option allows users to attach funds to an outbound email by selecting the £ symbol, which can also be used to request money, with funds transferred between users via Google Wallet. The feature is rolling out to all Gmail users in the UK over the age of 18 in the coming weeks.

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Briefly: Motorola discounts in February, Amazon Fire Phone deal in UK

01/28, 5:22am

Motorola details online store discounts for early February

Motorola will be offering multiple discounts on devices in its mobile store, as part of a Valentine's Day promotion. From February 3 until February 14, the manufacturer is discounting pre-tax purchases worth $500 by $100, or $35 off $250 purchases, though an customers registering for the promotion within a one-hour window on February 2 will get codes worth $140 and $50 off the $500 and $250 respective purchases.

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Telefonica, Hutchison Whampoa confirm negotiations over O2 acquisition

01/23, 5:54am

Acquisition of O2 by parent company of competitor Three could cost $15.4B

Telefonica, owner of British carrier O2, and Hutchison Whampoa, the parent company of competitor Three, have confirmed they are in talks over a potential acquisition, following earlier reports. The two have entered "exclusive negotiations," which could see O2 change hands for an estimated £10.25 billion ($15.4 billion) if discussions between the executive teams succeed.

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Sky reportedly in talks with O2 over strategic partnership in UK

01/21, 12:10pm

Early-stage talks could see Sky selling O2 lines to customers in quad play package

British carrier O2 has received some considerable interest in recent months, with broadcaster Sky allegedly in discussions with the mobile phone network. Reports claim Sky and O2-owner Telefonica are in early-stage talks, which could lead to a potential "strategic partnership" offering lines to customers rather than a touted acquisition similar to the one said to be under negotiation between O2 and competitor Three.

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Briefly: Spotify updates Windows Phone app, Sky content filtering

01/20, 9:29am

Spotify adds darker theme, Your Music, new Browse option to Windows Phone app

Spotify has updated the Windows Phone version of its music streaming app, bringing it in line with the Android and iOS apps. Using a darker theme and an updated user interface, the app now includes Your Music, allowing users to manage their favorite tracks and albums, while the Browse function is said to offer more localized and personalized content, such as playlists based on the time of day.

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Three UK owner reportedly seeks $13.6B acquisition of O2

01/19, 9:38am

Hutchison Whampoa said to be in talks with Telefonica over O2 acquisition

British carrier O2 may be the latest target for acquisition by another telecommunications company. Hutchison Whampoa, the company behind competitor Three, is apparently said to be in early-stage talks to take over O2 from current owner Telefonica, with a report claiming it could change hands for as much as £9 billion ($13.6 billion) if the discussions are fruitful.

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UK teenager arrested for gaming network attacks, swatting

01/16, 7:58am

Accused of DDoS against PlayStation Network, Xbox Live, swatting attempts

Another arrest has been made in the United Kingdom, over distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks on Sony's PlayStation Network and Microsoft's Xbox Live online services, as well as instances of "swatting." An unidentified 18-year-old man was arrested in Southport this morning, with computers and other electronic devices seized by law enforcement officials for further investigation.

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Nikon adds three more compact cameras to Coolpix range in UK

01/14, 11:27am

Coolpix S3700 offers 20MP sensor, 8x optical zoom, Wi-Fi, NFC

Nikon is expanding its Coolpix range with three more compact cameras in the United Kingdom. The Coolpix S2900 and the Coolpix S3700 pack a 20-megapixel CCD image sensor inside their small and colorful casings, while the Coolpix L31 is a cheaper model with a 16-megapixel CCD sensor, powered by easily-replaceable AA batteries.

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Briefly: Netflix on YouView in UK, online success at Golden Globes

01/12, 3:07pm

TalkTalk adds Netflix app to YouView set-top box

Netflix is being included on the YouView set-top box in the United Kingdom for the first time, giving viewers another way to watch shows from the streaming service. The TalkTalk-owned device will start rolling out to pre-registered customers initially, with Digital Spy reporting that the rollout is expected to continue to the end of the month, covering all 1.2 million TalkTalk TV homes.

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Briefly: HTC Re Camera YouTube streaming, UK soccer selfie stick ban

01/09, 5:57am

HTC adds YouTube streaming to RE Camera for Android today, iOS later this quarter

HTC has added the ability to stream from its Re Camera to YouTube. An app update for the camera will enable the live streaming to the video service while it is paired to a smartphone, with users able to sign into their YouTube account from within the app to create public and private live streams. While Android users can download the update from today via Google Play, iOS users will have to wait until later this quarter to be able to stream from the action camera.

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Briefly: McDonalds UK wireless charging, Uber Momentum reaches UK

01/08, 9:06am

McDonalds adds Qi wireless charging hotspots to 50 restaurants

McDonalds is bringing wireless charging to some of its restaurants in the United Kingdom. Working with Aircharge, a total of 600 Qi charging hotspots will be fitted in 50 stores, mostly in London, with the hotspots themselves said to be water-resistant units capable of surviving the occasional soft drink spillage. The expansion follows an initial test, and reports that customers waited for up to 30 minutes to use the chargers at one restaurant.

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Briefly: Always-on voice search on Chrome OS, Amazon 4K video in UK

12/19, 9:22pm

Dev channel for Chrome OS includes always-on voice search option

Google is bringing the always-on "Ok Google" voice command to Chromebooks. Spotted in the Dev Channel version of the operating system by Francois Beaufort, the function lets users perform a search verbally at any time, in a similar manner to some Android smartphones. It is unknown if or when the feature will reach non-developer users.

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UK carriers agree to £5B investment to improve mobile phone networks

12/18, 8:52am

Investment pledge by UK carriers to avoid implementing national roaming proposal

A suggestion by the British government has prompted carriers to improve their mobile networks. EE, O2, Vodafone, and Three have all agreed to collectively invest at least £5 billion ($7.8 billion) into a program to improve their mobile networks across the United Kingdom, in order to avoid being forced to implement a proposed "National Roaming" scheme.

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BT confirms talks to acquire UK carrier EE for £12.5B

12/15, 4:36pm

BT enters acquisition exclusivity agreement with Deutsche Telekom, Orange

British Telecom has confirmed it is looking to acquire a carrier in the United Kingdom, with EE being their primary target. BT has entered into an "exclusivity agreement" with Deutsche Telekom and Orange to acquire EE in its entirety, which if completed will mean that BT will own a mobile phone network for the second time in its lifetime.

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HTC Desire 620 mid-ranged smartphone ships in Europe in January

12/09, 1:31pm

Follow-up to HTC Desire 610 packs 64-bit processor, 5-inch 720p display

HTC is continuing its support for the mid-range smartphone market, by extending its Desire line in the United Kingdom and parts of Europe. The Desire 620 is the successor to the Desire 610 launched at Mobile World Congress in February this year, and will be driven by a 64-bit quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 processor clocked at 1.2GHz, along with 1GB of RAM.

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Briefly: Three trials same-day delivery, Slingbox YouTube update

11/27, 8:44pm

Three offers same-day delivery of Galaxy S5, iPhone 6 in London

British carrier Three is starting to offer same-day delivery for smartphone orders, within central London, saving customers from going to a store. The trial will allow customers to order a Samsung Galaxy S5 or the iPhone 6 from the carrier from Monday to Friday between 7am and 3pm at "selected London postcodes," reports Engadget, with customers paying £15 ($23.50) for the privilege.

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Amazon adds more UK collection points, offers installation in US

11/25, 7:19am

Amazon delivery pick-up locations in the United Kingdom exceeds 16,000

Amazon has made two announcements relating to services provided to its customers, on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean. In the United Kingdom, the retailer is increasing the number of delivery pick-up locations in time for the holidays, while customers buying certain products in the United States will be alerted to installation services in the local area.

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BT reportedly in talks to acquire O2, EE UK mobile phone networks

11/24, 11:30am

Report claims BT could reacquire carrier it spun off in 2001

British Telecom (BT) may reacquire O2, a mobile phone network the company originally created, according to reports. BT is said to be in talks with two carriers about a possible acquisition, and while one is the Telefonica-owned O2, the other potential target is EE, the carrier offering services from both Orange and T-Mobile in the United Kingdom alongside its own LTE coverage.

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UK government wants IP addresses logged for counter-terrorism purposes

11/24, 6:08am

Proposed security bill will force Internet providers to log IP address allocations for one year

The UK government is proposing a law which would require Internet service providers (ISPs) to keep records of IP address allocations and provide them to the police. Part of the "Counter-Terrorism and Security Bill," the measure is said to help law enforcement officials identify and track devices used for online crime, terrorism, and to help protect vulnerable people.

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British regulator urges Russian authorities to shut down webcam site

11/21, 1:54pm

Site breached privacy by showing video feeds from unsecured webcams

A Russian website showing live video feeds from unsecured webcams has come under fire from a British government regulator. The Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) of the United Kingdom has called for Russian authorities to take action against the site, "Insecam," which breaches the privacy of thousands of people who do not realize someone else may be watching, as well as calling for device owners to secure their cameras.

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Upp hydrogen fuel cell available in Apple Stores in United Kingdom

11/19, 3:56pm

Personal hydrogen fuel cell from Intelligent Energy recharges smartphones, USB devices

A hydrogen fuel cell has gone on sale in the United Kingdom via Apple Stores. The Upp from Intelligent Energy, a company previously said to be in discussions with Apple over fuel cell technology, is a portable unit for providing extra power to mobile devices, and though it has a battery to store energy for future use, additional cartridges which provide extra power can be attached, ones which can be replaced once exhausted.

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Briefly: Netflix expanding to Australia, Ofcom plans 700MHz changes

11/19, 6:58am

Netflix launching video streaming service in Australia, New Zealand from March

Netflix is planning to expand its service to Australia and New Zealand from early next year. Starting from March 2015, the streaming video service will be available in the two countries, complete with 4K video playback with compatible devices, though The Next Web notes the inclusion of "a curated selection" in the announcement points to a more limited TV show and movie collection at launch than in other territories.

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Briefly: Google Nexus 6 UK, Android Wear support in Amazon app

11/18, 11:04am

Google Nexus 6 pre-orders begin in United Kingdom

The Google Nexus 6 will be going on sale soon in the United Kingdom, with a number of retailers offering pre-orders for the device. Carphone Warehouse is selling the smartphone SIM-free for £499 and £549 ($780 and $860) for the 32GB and 64GB models respectively with delivery expected on December 1st. Amazon UK is stocking the 32GB model at the same price, but with a later release date of December 15th. Google Play does list the Nexus 6 for the UK, with identical pricing for both versions, but it is not allowing for pre-orders, nor states when it will be available.

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Briefly: Adidas Photo Print app in US, GiffGaff gains 4G in UK

11/12, 7:23am

Adidas Photo Print app allows for customization of sneakers using photographs

Adidas is letting US sneaker enthusiasts customize a pair of shoes with a mobile app, something it has offered in Europe for a few months already. Pocket-Lint reports the Photo Print app for Android and iOS can take an image from the user's smartphone and apply it to a pair of ZX Flux sneakers. The custom shoes take between four and six weeks to ship, priced at $110.

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