Department for Transport requires electronics to power on for security checks
Following on from a recent decision by the US Transportation Security Administration effectively banning uncharged electronics on flights to the United States, the United Kingdom is preparing to do something similar. The Department for Transport is now requiring air passengers arriving or departing the UK to have their devices charged before going through security checkpoints.
National train Wi-Fi upgrade funds stem from punctuality fines
Train passengers in the United Kingdom could see an extension and improvement of onboard Wi-Fi services in the future. In an announcement one month after Amtrak revealed its Wi-Fi ambitions in the US, UK ministers have promised £90 million ($153.9 million) to fund a national train Wi-Fi network, funded in part by a £53.1 million ($90.9 million) fine handed to Network Rail for missing punctuality targets.
OnePlus One will receive Android L within three months of Google release
The OnePlus One will be receiving an upgrade to Android L, OnePlus has confirmed. Writing on the device's support forum, the phone manufacturer promises to have the update ready for rolling out to devices within three months of Google releasing a final build of the mobile operating system. Though exact dates are unknown, Google is expected to release Android L sometime in the fall,, suggesting the OnePlus One will gain it before the end of this year.
Nine non-EU countries included in new Vodafone roaming scheme
British carrier Vodafone has launched a new add-on for its customers, allowing them to use their allowances abroad. Similar to an offer by rival carrier Three, Vodafone WorldTraveller lets Pay Monthly subscribers roam in a number of countries and use any remaining monthly data, text, or voice minute balance as if they're still located in the United Kingdom.
Collection of call, text, Internet data to continue under plans by UK ministers
The government of the United Kingdom seeks to force telecommunication companies to log records of calls, texts, and Internet usage for a 12-month period, according to a report. Ministers are said to be attempting to counteract the effects of an European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruling in April, by introducing surveillance laws reinstating powers struck down by the court's decision.
Argos, eBay Click and Collect delivery partnership expanded to 650 UK stores
Auction site eBay has expanded last year's trial of its Click & Collect delivery scheme partnership with Argos across the United Kingdom. The scheme, which initially allowed customers to buy from 50 eBay sellers and pick up orders from 150 London-centric Argos stores, is expected to cover 650 stores around the country by the end of the year, with over 65,000 eBay sellers expected to offer the delivery option.
Links to public interest stories pulled from Google after EU court ruling
Google's removal of listings from European search results via "right to be forgotten" requests has come under fire, with the search company seemingly not following its own rules. Major publications in the United Kingdom have found links to major news stories on their websites being hidden, including one story about the former head of investment bank Merrill Lynch being forced out of his position following massive losses.
Information Commissioner checks if Facebook research broke UK data laws
The fallout from Facebook's experiment with its users continues, with a UK government agency planning to investigate. The United Kingdom's Information Commissioner's Office (ICO), the body that deals with data protection laws in the country, will be looking to see if the social network broke any laws during its testing of emotional manipulation in 2012.
Vue cinemas bans Google Glass from UK movie screenings
Google Glass has been banned from cinemas in the United Kingdom, one week after the head-mounted device went on sale in the country. Following the lead of the Alamo Drafthouse, Vue cinemas has taken a stand against Glass, reports The Independent, while Cinema Exhibitors' Association chief executive Phil Clapp warns that customers will be requested not to wear Glass into cinema auditoriums, "whether the film is playing or not."
Amazon seeks right to print out-of-stock books in negotiations with publishers
Amazon is allegedly battling publishers in the United Kingdom for more favorable contract terms, including the right to print out-of-stock books. The retailer wants to be able to print more copies of works if publishers are unable to provide sufficient stock, with the proposal one of a number said to be under negotiation between Amazon and independent publishers.
Google Search on Android will offer streaming app links on music searches
Google has updated its search app on Android, changing the way it handles music-related queries. Results for songs and artists will now load up a list of links to streaming services, letting the user play that artist's music from within the relevant installed smartphone app, such as Spotify, Rdio, and Google Play Music. Google is rolling the feature out to Android devices in the United States now, and hopes to expand it globally soon.
Proposal could allow customers to switch cellular networks if subscribed carrier is not available
The British government is exploring a way for customers to use their mobile phones on other national cellular networks in areas lacking in phone signal. The plan, called "National Roaming," would let subscribers use other phone networks, similar to how international roaming occurs, but within the United Kingdom itself, though this has apparently received criticism from carriers.
Broadcaster to perform closed Ultra HD content trials this summer
The BBC will be trialling broadcasts of Ultra HD content during the World Cup in Brazil this summer. The broadcaster revealed its research and development labs will be performing the tests on 4K video shot during the tournament by Sony, in order to "better understand the latest UHD distribution technologies and standards in a live outside broadcast."
Proposed Serious Crime Bill in Queens Speech includes harsher cyberattack sentences
Hackers in the United Kingdom could face tougher penalties in the future, as a part of government plans announced in the Queen's Speech yesterday. The proposed Serious Crime Bill, part of which updates the 1990 Computer Misuse Act, would see penalties up to and including life sentences for cyberattacks that cause death or serious injury, or is deemed a threat to national security.
Search ranking demotions, autocorrect reporting among anti-piracy suggestions
Google is not doing enough to protect the UK film and music industry from piracy, an adviser to Prime Minister David Cameron has claimed. A report by MP Mike Weatherley, an adviser specializing in intellectual property, calls for Google and other search engines to fight harder against piracy, which is estimated to cost content producers in the country over £400 million ($669.3 million) annually.
Transport for London requests ruling over Uber legality in UK
Uber is not breaking the law by offering an app-based private hire service in London, the city's transport authority has ruled. While Transport for London (TfL) has sided with Uber and other similar services, the authority has referred the matter to the High Court and asked for a legally binding ruling, because of the considerable interest by disgruntled black cab drivers.
LG rumored to include non-removable SIM card in G Watch
LG may follow Samsung in providing a standalone smart watch, according to a rumor. >em?Inews24 claims LG will be including a non-removable SIM card inside its G Watch, which would allow it to connect to the Internet for notifications and search queries. It is also claimed the Android Wear-powered smart watch will be made available through the Google Play Store, with more details apparently set to be revealed at Google I/O next month.
Wi-Fi hotspots, Android tablet offered with 4G connectivity
British carrier EE, formerly Everything Everywhere and formed by the joining of Orange and T-Mobile, has started to extend its 4G (LTE) service to smaller towns in the country, as well as introducing new devices. It has completed its second phase of the roll-out, bringing the high-speed cellular network to 2,588 villages and small towns with populations under 10,000 people in the United Kingdom, including regions with as few as 65 residents.
Repairs, installation targets for phone connections in UK could reduce under Ofcom proposals
British regulator Ofcom is considering changes to standards relating to installation and repairs to phone lines in the United Kingdom, as part of a three-yearly review. Openreach, the wholesale arm of BT which performs installations and fault repair for multiple telecommunications companies, as well as managing the infrastructure of the phone system, will receive lower fault repair targets and will be forced to offer reduced charges to customers, if Ofcom's proposals are accepted.
Disgruntled free, paid users unhappy by Spotify removal in Shazam tests
Last week's removal of Spotify support from the iOS and Android versions of Shazam in a number of countries may be temporary. The change, which affects users in the UK, Germany, Mexico, and Brazil, stopped users from listening to recognized songs in Spotify, instead forcing them to use Deezer, in what appears to be an experiment on the app's own users.
Operator of Currys PC World joins up with Carphone Warehouse
Two high street store chains in the United Kingdom are merging, it has been revealed. Dixons Retail, operator of over 500 Currys PC World electronics stores in the country, will join up with Carphone Warehouse, a store chain specializing in mobile phones with more than 2,000 stores across Europe, with the deal said to be worth £3.8 billion ($6.3 billion).
Google adds over 17,000 UK public transport routes to Google Maps
Google Maps has been updated to include the majority of transport routes in the United Kingdom. Over 17,000 routes have been added to the app, according to The Next Web, including data for buses, trams, coaches, trains, underground services, and ferries in the country, with details for scheduling, stops, walking between stations, and other information also provided. The update will be appearing on the Google Maps site, Android, and iOS apps today.
Piracy warning letters deal close to completion, lacks penalty for infringing
Internet service providers (ISPs) in the United Kingdom are close to an agreement with parts of the entertainment industry, which will attempt to fight piracy in the country. The Voluntary Copyright Alert Program (Vcap), stemming from the Digital Economy Act of 2010, will see BT, Talk Talk, Virgin Media, and Sky sending warning letters to customers identified as possible infringers, though it appears that, unlike the Six Strikes system used by the Center for Copyright Infromation in the US, the scheme may not penalize infringers at all.
MVNO forced to close after failing to reach agreement on wholesale data rates
British carrier Samba has shut its doors after just under two years of service. The virtual operator, running on top of Three in the United Kingdom and providing free mobile data to subscribers viewing daily advertisements on the service, has stopped providing service to all of its users, claiming the high cost of wholesale wireless bandwidth was the cause of the closure.
Tesco will make successor to Hudl tablet, sold 500,000 units
Tesco has confirmed it is working on a follow-up to the Hudl tablet for release sometime this year, after revealing the British retailer sold over 500,000 units of the Android device, reports Hexus. The current model, priced at £120 ($200), has a 7-inch 1440x900 display, a quad-core 1.5GHz processor, 16GB of storage, and a stock installation of Android with apps for Tesco services pre-loaded. Specifications for the updated model remain unknown.
BlackBerry will update iOS, Android BBM apps over Heartbleed security flaw
BlackBerry has added itself to the list of companies working to fix issues caused by the 'Heartbleed' OpenSSL security flaw. Senior vice president Scott Totzke told Reuters that, though the majority of BlackBerry products are unaffected, by not using OpenSSL, it will still need to issue updates to Secure Work Space corporate e-mail and the BlackBerry Messenger clients for iOS and Android.
Microsoft opens pre-orders for Surface 2 with LTE in UK
Microsoft has opened up pre-orders for the Surface 2 with LTE in the United Kingdom. Just as with its launch last month in the United States, the UK edition will be limited to just a 64GB model, and its £539 ($905) represents a £100 ($168) increase over the standard Wi-Fi model. Microsoft will be shipping the Windows RT tablet on the 8th of May.
Newegg opens up store to UK, Australia with international shipping
Confirming rumors from the end of March, electronics retailer Newegg is expanding its reach from its existing online stores in the United States, Canada, and China into more international markets. In a pilot program, customers located in the United Kingdom and Australia will be able to order a limited range of items from the US store for dispatch to either country.
BBC extends iPlayer catch-up video from week to 30 days
The BBC is extending the time British viewers will have to watch recently-broadcast shows on iPlayer to 30 days. Up from the previous seven-day limit, Pocket-Lint reports the popular catch-up streaming service will allow for downloads or streams of shows from any of the BBC's television channels up to 30 days after being broadcast, with the changes set to take place from this summer.
Nest adds Heat Link to Thermostat for British boiler compatibility
Nest has opened up sales of its smart Thermostat in the United Kingdom, marking the first time the device has gone on sale outside of the United States and Canada. The smart digital thermostat from the Google-owned company joins the Protect smoke and carbon monoxide detector on sale in the country, and could be the sign of a further expansion into Europe.
Republic Wireless offers Moto X via Moto Maker, wood backing offer
Republic Wireless is finally offering the Moto X through Moto Maker, from 12pm Eastern Time. The budget carrier will be selling the Motorola flagship off-contract in 16GB and 32GB variants for $350 and $400 respectively. As an incentive for launch, the carrier is offering a coupon to the first 2,000 people to visit a specific site from 11am Eastern and provide their e-mail address, for a free wooden cover upgrade worth $25.
UK Sales of Moto G raised Motorola share from 'almost nothing' to 6 percent within 6 months
Motorola is seeing some success in the United Kingdom after the brand all but died in the country, according to a research firm. The latest Kantar Worldpanel ComTech report states that the Moto G helped Motorola reach a market share of 6 percent in the UK for the quarter ending in February, rising up from "almost nothing" in a six-month period.
Samsung adds baby monitoring feature to Galaxy S5
The Samsung Galaxy S5 can be used as a baby monitor, when used in conjunction with a Gear smart watch. SoyaCincau discovered the Samsung flagship includes a "Baby crying detector" feature that will send a vibrating alert to a paired Gear if it hears a nearby child makes a sound. Leaked screenshots note it will work best when the smartphone is placed within 1 meter (3 feet) of the child in a room with no background noise, followed by a large number of parental warnings and disclaimers.
Modernization of UK copyright law may occur in June
The United Kingdom is preparing to legalize the ripping of DVDs and CDs for private use, it has revealed. As part of a larger movement to modernize its copyright laws, the government is also changing the way copyright laws cover quotations, caricature and parody usage, with the new rules likely to come into force June 1st of this year.
Price of digital content could rise, fall in UK from 2015
A change in the way taxes are applied to purchases in the United Kingdom could cause some digital items to rise in price, according to a report. The country's recent budget announcement by chancellor George Osborne included a statement that would force online sales to use the UK's rate of sales tax (Value Added Tax, or VAT) instead of a far lower rate used elsewhere in Europe.
PayPal enables Pay at Table, Order Ahead in UK, Australia
Paypal is expanding the range of food-related payment options available in its apps in the United Kingdom and Australia. Already available in the United States, the Pay At Table and Order Ahead options in its iOS and Android apps are being enabled in the two countries, which allow users to pay for food at the table via the app itself, or to place orders for food for later pick-up from the location. Head of retail services for PayPal UK Rob Harper advised to TechCrunch the new features will be spreading to other European countries in the near future.
YotaPhone with secondary e-paper display goes on sale in UK
The YotaPhone, an Android smartphone from Yota Devices with an energy-saving rear 360x640 e-paper display accompanying the conventional 4.3-inch 720x1280 screen, has gone on sale in the United Kingdom. Sold through the company's own online store for £419 ($696), notes ZDNet, the dual-screen device has a dual-core 1.7GHz processor, 2GB of RAM, 32GB of storage, a 13-megapixel rear camera, and a 1,800mAh battery.
First international expansion of Google Chromecast since US launch
Google is performing its first major international expansion of its Chromecast streaming HDMI dongle, making it available to purchase outside of the United States for the first time. Residents in a total of 11 more countries can now buy the device through Google Play and retailers, including the United Kingdom, Canada, and a number of other European countries.
Carphone Warehouse will start selling new HTC One within minutes of announcement
HTC will be making the "All New" HTC One available to buy shortly after its launch on March 25th, one retailer in the United Kingdom claims. Carphone Warehouse revealed that it will receive shipments of the device, codenamed M8, directly from the venue of the launch in London, with a total of six of the chain's stores selling the handsets that very evening.
UK carrier alters price plan tiers, makes 0800 calls free
British carrier Three is no longer going to offer unlimited tethering on its plans, as part of a wider update of its contracts. The mobile phone network will be limiting the amount of data available for use by customers in tethering or using a phone as a mobile hotspot, offering an allowance of 2GB and charging for excess usage, even if the customer is paying for a contract with an unlimited amount of 3G and 4G smartphone data.
Gold version of Samsung Galaxy S5 snagged by Vodafone in UK
The golden version of the Samsung Galaxy S5 will be an exclusive to Vodafone in the United Kingdom. CNET reports the color option for the flagship smartphone will be available just through the carrier, though the other colors will also be available. Pre-orders for the smartphone, as with the standard colored versions, will begin on March 28th through Vodafone, with a release date set for the 11th of April.
Devices launches in UK 'very soon' with 'many more countries' to follow
A recent update to the Chromecast software reveals that countries outside of the United States may soon be able to get their hands on the inexpensive smart TV option from Google. The update adds support for over 50 languages on the Android version and 20 on the iOS version as the device readies a wider launch. This supports previous information that Chromecast would be expanding after news surfaced in February about a possible March 1 release date for the device in the United Kingdom.
European 2G, 3G, 4G patents from Ericsson used by Unwired Planet in lawsuit
Huawei, Google, HTC, and Samsung have become the targets for two patent infringement lawsuits, filed simultaneously in the United Kingdom and Germany. Unwired Planet, the owner of 2,400 wireless patents it acquired from Ericsson last year, claims a total of six patents have been infringed by the technology company group. Although Unwired Planet has not estimated the possible value of the UK action, the company is seeking at least 30 million euro ($42 million) from the German case.
High-speed network technology research announced by UK Prime Minister
United Kingdom will work with Germany to create the next generation of wireless communications technology, revealed UK Prime Minister David Cameron at CeBit in Germany. The two countries will collaborate together on the 5G connections, which Cameron hopes could cut the time it takes to download an 800MB file down from 4G's 40-second transfer time to just one second.
Software bundle supplied with Samsung Galaxy S5 estimated to be worth $575
Samsung has detailed the free and discounted software and services offered with its new flagship Galaxy S5. The collection, estimated to be worth more than $575 according to Android Central, will include subscriptions to the Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg Businessweek +, LinkedIn Premium, Map My Fitness, Run Keeper, Skimble, Lark, Box, Evernote, and Bitcasa, as well as coupons for Blurb and Cut the Rope 2, among other additions.
Nintendo prepares to shutter Wii, DS multiplayer services on May 20th
Nintendo has revealed it will be shutting down its online multiplayer servers for the Nintendo DS and Nintendo Wii on May 20th. The global closure will stop multiplayer games from working online through the Wi-Fi Connection service, but it will still allow other online aspects, such as the Wii Shop and video-on-demand services, to continue working. Online play for games made for the Nintendo 3DS and Wii U will remain unaffected by the closure.
Automated facial recognition performed on webcam stills by UK security agency
The British security intelligence agency GCHQ secured millions of photographs from webcams used with Yahoo's chat services, a report alleges. The agency is claimed to have captured and stored images from more than 1.8 million users in one six month period in 2008 alone, with the surveillance activities said to have continued from 2008 to 2010, though it is possible the program continued for years afterward.
Steep price increase comes with renamed Lovefilm service
Amazon is readying a price hike for its Prime service in Germany before the end of the month. On February 26, users will see a rate increase that comes after the company renamed its streaming video service Lovefilm to Amazon Prime Instant Video in order to pair it with existing Prime subscriptions.
Prime expanded in UK with Lovefilm rebranding, price hike
Amazon is re-branding its Lovefilm video-streaming service in the United Kingdom to Amazon Prime Instant Video, at the same time as combining it with the existing Prime delivery subscription and Kindle Lending Library. The move, which will see customers able to use both services for one payment, brings Amazon UK in line with what is offered to users in the United States.
BlackBerry updates BBM app to work with Android 2.3
BlackBerry has opened up BBM for Android to users of older devices. BlackBerry Messenger can now be downloaded and used on smartphones and tablets running Android 2.3 or later, though the older version of the mobile operating system will not have access to new additions to the app, such as BBM Voice, BBM Channels, and Glympse real-time location sharing.