Here’s one possibility for repurposing old TV broadcast airwaves: You could use them for TV. Nokia is experimenting with sending traditional broadcast video to mobile phones using LTE. Read more »
The purchase will give BlackBerry a leg up in its quest to pitch to government agencies and enterprises who want secure communications. Read more »
In a report about tackling online issues like bullying and revenge porn, the Lords tentatively advised that web services should demand real names at sign-up, even if they then allow usage to be anonymous or pseudonymous. Read more »
The new “Operation Creative” tactic is designed to tackle the funding of copyright-infringement websites without making users vulnerable to malware, as an earlier pilot accidentally did. However, it’s a bit worrying to see police censoring elements of webpages. Read more »
Censorship is always bad, right? Not to many people around our connected globe, and there is sometimes validity to their views. Unfortunately the tension between those views places a profound and perhaps dangerous dilemma at the heart of the internet. Read more »
North Rhine-Westphalia has decided to enforce a ban on biker gangs’ logos being displayed on websites. It is not at all clear how this is supposed to happen. Read more »
The London startup’s product, Overleaf, lets researchers collaborate on scientific papers that use the LaTeX markup language. Read more »
The law requires web services operating in Russia to store citizens’ data in local facilities. It’s supposed to protect Russians from overseas hackers, but the censorship potential is clear. Read more »
When Yelp and the European Consumer Organisation joined the 4-year-old EU antitrust case against Google, it became pretty clear that competition commissioner Joaquin Almunia would not get his wish of settling the case before his departure later this year. And lo, it comes to pass: According to the Financial Times and Wall Street Journal, the European Commission is now planning to reopen its settlement arrangements with Google for an unprecedented fourth round of revisions. A Wednesday letter from original complainant Foundem expressed clear dissatisfaction with existing settlement proposals, and it seems the NSA mess is providing political pressure as well.
In preparation for it’s European expansion, Netflix is readying a monumental amount of bandwidth in France. Read more »
Tom Watson and David Davis are teaming up with Liberty to launch a legal challenge against the data retention law, which was barely debated but which allows the UK authorities to monitor all kinds of web services. Read more »
OpenNebula’s new “Lemon Slice” beta makes it possible to chuck VMs from OpenNebula infrastructure into more public clouds as needed. Read more »
In a significant upset for the European publishing industry, the Amsterdam district court has refused to order the closure of secondhand ebook store Tom Kabinet, saying EU law isn’t clear enough on digital media resale rights to take that step. Read more »
Suspected “pirates” will get told they’ve been spotted — but that’s it. This appears to be little more than a consumer awareness campaign, with no threatened disconnections. Read more »
Google has made concrete moves to protect consumers — particularly the parents of Android-toting kids — from accidentally racking up huge in-app purchase bills. Apple and iOS, not so much. Read more »
The former NSA sysadmin said in a Guardian interview that cloud providers can earn users’ trust by building their services around encryption and being clear about “where they draw the lines.” Read more »
The House of Lords passed the Data Retention and Investigatory Powers Bill on Thursday without a vote, and it received royal assent hours later. That means DRIP is law after just a few days’ scrutiny. Read more »
If the search engines insist on playing judge and jury on so-called “right to be forgotten” requests in Europe — something they could sidestep in many cases — then they have to be clear about how they do so. Read more »
Microsoft recognizes the fastest growing smartphone segment is the low-cost market. In a note to employees, Stephen Elop reiterated that with renewed focus on markets where Microsoft is already succeeding. It’s a better play than focusing on the high-end, established markets. Read more »
Wow. Just wow. The long-reported Microsoft job cuts are here and they are deeper than expected. Microsoft will eliminate 18,000 jobs over the next year and consolidate its phone efforts. Read more »
The UK plans to open a spaceport in 2018 that would serve consumers and the emerging private space industry. The country is considering eight different locations. Read more »
A controversial law lets EU citizens remove search results from Google. A web developer who feels this is censorship has made a site to keep track of some of the sites that are disappearing. Read more »
Tado, the European Nest competitor, has taken $13.6 million in fresh investment from Target Partners, Shortcut Ventures – both of which have already invested — and others. According to CEO Christian Deilmann, the home climate control firm will use the money to expand to all major European countries and beyond. Currently, the Tado smart thermostat is available in Germany, Austria, Switzerland and the U.K., while the more recently launched Tado Cooling box, which connects legacy air-conditioning units to the firm’s app, is already a worldwide proposition.
Jfrog, the company behind Artifactory and Bintray, will use new funds to beef up R&D and global sales and marketing, Read more »
Deutsche Telekom has its own German cloud storage service, TelekomCloud, so it’s no surprise to see its big Dropbox partnership exclude the carrier’s home turf. Read more »
FiftyThree, the U.S. startup that produces the designer-friendly drawing app Paper, has now brought out the accompanying Pencil stylus in Europe, 8 months after it was released in North America. Pencil connects with the user’s iPad via Bluetooth to enable features like palm rejection, finger blending and switching to the erase function without needing to change tools in the app. Variable surface pressure will be added with the upcoming release of iOS 8. In the U.K., the graphite version of Pencil is priced at £49.99 ($85.64) and the walnut version at £64.99 ($111.34).
Stepping in where the banks won’t or don’t dare, Elliptic now has funding for its secure and insured Vault service, and it wants to expand its repertoire. Read more »
The UK Data Retention and Investigation Powers (DRIP) Bill, which is being fast-tracked through the legislative process, cleared the first stage in the House of Commons by 498 votes to 31 after a sparsely-attended “debate” (pictured). As previously reported, DRIP expands the authorities’ surveillance powers so that foreign web communications service providers can be forced to hand over user information – despite the assurances of the U.K. government that it only maintains the “status quo”. Lawyers and web law experts (and Edward Snowden) strongly oppose it. DRIP, which all major parties agreed to support before the public got to see it late last week, now goes for a second reading in the evening, then the House of Lords on Wednesday.
Getting developers to try — and then buy — new tools can be tricky. Codeship is hoping a new full-access freemium model will help. Read more »
The agreement will make it easier for companies using Thinfilm’s NFC barcodes and sensor-equipped labels on their products to manage the data flowing from those items, through Evrythng’s identity management platform. Read more »
A newly-published list of GCHQ tools that were in operation or being developed a couple years back, provides a fascinating insight into modern propaganda and disinformation techniques. Read more »
The German parliamentary committee investigating NSA activities in the country may use non-connected, mechanical typewriters to protect its work, committee chairman Patrick Sensburg suggested on Monday. Sensburg also said he was advising members to check their smartphones, after the uncovering of spies working for the U.S. The committee is looking into the revelations of Edward Snowden and other whistleblowers. In response, committee member Martina Renner of The Left party tweeted: “Before I use a typewriter [and] burn notes after reading, I’d rather abolish the secret services.” Russian spies also reacted to Snowden by investing in typewriters — largely due to their utility in tracking leaks.
The Raspberry Pi Model B+ is different enough to warrant new cases, and has valuable new features, but the processor and RAM are the same as the Model B. The price remains the same too, at $35. Read more »
Contrary to the explanation of the man who the U.K. government granted rights to sell .io domain addresses, back in the 90s, the government now says it doesn’t get anything from those sales, and therefore has no plans to share profits with the people it expelled from the Chagos Islands. Read more »
The World Wide Web Foundation, the British Law Society, the Financial Times and a host of digital rights campaigners all think rushing through the DRIP Act as “emergency” legislation is a terrible idea. Read more »
As the controversy continues over a new law that lets people delete Google listings, the company’s head lawyer offered a view from inside the company. Read more »
Encrypted communications outfit Silent Circle, which has telco distribution deals for its secure voice app and $30 million funding in the bank, has introduced the ability to call out to regular phone numbers while maintaining a modicum of security. The “Out-Circle” feature lets users make calls to 79 countries that are encrypted between the device and Silent Circle’s servers, then sent out to the normal phone network. That means calls are secure in the country where the caller is, even if they’re not on the recipient’s side – useful in certain circumstances, and certainly more secure than Skype. Plans start at $12.95 for 100 minutes.
Spying on the German public? Not a problem. Spying on Chancellor Merkel? Kind of a problem. Turning a German intelligence employee and German army officer? It seems the German government has had enough. Read more »
FreedomPop’s free mobile voice and data plans have taken off in the U.S. so the MVNO is trying its luck in Europe. It will launch in Belgium this year and expand to other countries in 2015 Read more »