A government minister has confirmed plans, mentioned recently by the prime minister in a poorly reported parliamentary exchange, to force ISPs to censor access to “extremist” online material. But that term is open to interpretation. Read more »
European courts can order ISPs to block sites that offer copyright-infringing material, in the opinion of the EU advocate general. Of course, some EU countries already allow this. Read more »
In June of 2012 there were only 27 million LTE connections in the world, but by the end of December that number will be at 176 million, according to GSMA Intelligence. Read more »
The European Commission has set out its plan for restoring “trust” in the way the U.S. treats Europeans’ data. However, while it calls for more respect for EU ciitizens’ rights, the plan mostly amounts to asking the Americans to stick to the rules they’ve agreed to, and to be clearer about when surveillance may take place. Read more »
Five-year-old Spanish startup Optimitive has raised a $1.9 million Series A round from European venture capital fund GGM Venture Capital to boost sales of its artificial intelligence software. The company, which came out of the Surge Accelerator in Houston, can help refineries, manufacturers, power generators and industries that are heavy energy users, make their processes more efficient in real time.
Google’s Chromecast streaming adapter may get all the attention these days, but Google TV is still around as well — and it just got a small boost from French telco SFR, which is now offering an Android-based TV set-top box to its DSL subscribers. The device offers users access to Google Play, YouTube and Chrome, and combines those apps with live broadcast TV. This is the second such operator partnership for Google, which has been selling Android-powered set-top boxes to LG U+ customers in South Korea for some time. And it’s one more example of Google slowly moving away from the Google TV moniker, something we first reported in October.
There’s a battle of the bike locks going on — melding physical security with smartphone smarts and sharing-economy potential, Lock8 and Bitlock offer different takes on the same idea. And Lock8 just got an extra boost through funding from Horizon Ventures and Otto Capital. Read more »
500 workers at Amazon’s German logistics centers have walked out in protest at the company’s working conditions, and in support of better pay. This is the fourth strike by German Amazon workers this year, and union Verdi says more are coming. Meanwhile in the UK, a BBC investigation has also uncovered Amazon distribution center conditions than one stress expert described as “all the bad stuff at once”, with workers suffering increased risk of mental and physical illness. This is one way to offer market-beating prices, as is not paying very much in the way of taxes.
The Dutch publication NRC has published claims, based on Edward Snowden’s leaks, that more than 50,000 computing networks around the world have been infected with NSA or GCHQ malware, Belgacom-style, in order to siphon off information. The New York Times has revealed the NSA’s plans for grabbing more powers in future, in a report that also mentions a fascinating NSA data visualization tool called Treasure Map. And journalist Glenn Greenwald has challenged assertions by the Norwegian intelligence service that it only spied on Norwegians outside the country.
The deal gives Apple proven technology (it powers Microsoft’s Kinect controllers) that could be used in a wide range of contexts. Read more »
Soundrop may have started as just another Spotify app, but the collaborative listening platform has outgrown its former host, and is now also on Deezer. Read more »
The British platform will have some immediate advantages over many local rivals as it leaps across the English Channel, namely continent-wide scale and a higher funding limit than that available in some mainland European countries. Read more »
Earlier this week the Korea Herald quoted an unnamed ARM executive as saying 128-bit processors could make their way into mobile devices within a couple of years. On Friday the British chip design house, whose designs power the vast majority of mobile devices today, said the report was simply “not true”.
In a blog post the firm said, “64-bit processors are capable of supporting the needs of the computing industry now and for many years to come” and “there are absolutely no plans underway for 128 bit ARM-based chips because they simply aren’t needed.” Quite so — the mobile industry is only just starting to move to 64-bit architecture, which is arguably overkill for a smartphone’s current requirements.
Amazon Coins are now available in the UK and reportedly Germany too. The company’s virtual currency is intended for use in its Kindle Fire tablet ecosystem, and owners of the tablet will receive £4 ($6.50) worth of them — that’s 400 Coins — to buy apps, games and in-app items.
Developed-world governments are more likely than those in the developing world to spy on their citizens’ online communications, a report from the World Wide Web Foundation has warned. Meanwhile, a U.N. resolution on online privacy has been softened but retains some bite. Read more »
The box takes a minute to set up and promises anonymity for all surfing done through the connected router. It may not prove quite that simple to use in reality, but it’s certainly an intriguing and cost-effective privacy tool. Read more »
The speed of technological progress is enabling rapid change in our societies and threatening the principles we claim to hold dear. We have to decide — now — whether we want to accept or resist the loss of our freedoms. Read more »
Politicians from Germany’s two biggest parties are currently negotiating what their grand coalition will look like, and they’ve reportedly decided on at least one thing: they need encrypted phones. According to local newspaper Bild, this means no iPhones, because Apple’s platform doesn’t support encryption software developed by Germany’s federal office for information security, and all official business will henceforth require encrypted communications.
It recently emerged that the U.S. and British embassies in Berlin have been used as bases for spying on German parliamentarians, including Chancellor Angela Merkel (who, for the record, was using a highly-hackable old Nokia slider-phone before the Snowden revelations this summer, when she switched to BlackBerry).
The tool, which is gaining a degree of popularity within the maker movement, now provides a way to include moving images in its instructional storyboards. Read more »
HBO Nordic isn’t getting much love in Sweden, where a recent survey found Netflix more than ten times as popular. Read more »
LG’s Smart TVs may be reporting a tad too much information back to the company’s servers, according to a detailed and convincing post by British blogger “DoctorBeet”. Apparently in the name of targeted advertising, it appears some of the sets are monitoring not only what channels are being watched (even when told not to), but also details of files stored on external hard drives hooked up to the TV. And here comes the really dumb bit: they’re sending that data back to LG’s servers sans encryption. I’m awaiting comment from LG.
A Berlin court has upheld a complaint by the Federation of German Consumer Associations, which argued that Google’s users can’t be certain what they’re signing up to when they agree to the firm’s terms and conditions. Read more »
Android tablet users can now get a specially-optimized version of Opera that opts for tabs, rather than the firm’s usual carousel approach to flipping between pages on mobile devices. Read more »
The FTC is taking a close look at the internet of things, but how it should regulate the potential for security breaches, consumer privacy and transparency around personal data is still a mystery. Read more »
As Norway becomes the latest European country to be dragged into the surveillance scandal, it’s worth running through the revelations we’ve seen thus far. Read more »
Nokia’s extraordinary general meeting, convened to discuss the takeover of the Finnish firm’s handset division by Microsoft, is still ongoing at the time of writing. However, The Financial Times reports that it’s a formality — 99.7 percent of shareholders who voted before the meeting (that’s 4 in 5) have already said yes to the $7.2 billion deal. The remaining bits of Nokia are nothing to be sneezed at: the Here location business, a division creating new advanced materials, sensors and so on, and of course the NSN networking business.
Though eBay is buying Braintree to make PayPal more relevant in mobile, PayPal is showing it has plenty of game in the new smartphone-driven economy. The deal makes PayPal an Uber payment option on two continents. Read more »
What does a national cloud look like? In France’s case, it looks like two fairly similar ventures — one based on OpenStack and the other soon to follow in its footsteps. Does this approach make sense? Read more »
Companies that rent out data center floor space to companies are seeing their business boom as more services move to the cloud. Yet, not all markets or players are created equal. Read more »
Luxembourg’s data protection regulator says Microsoft and Skype’s transfer of Europeans’ data to the U.S. remains legal, despite the Snowden revelations about what happens to that data. It’s a messy situation where neither side is, strictly speaking, wrong. Read more »
The app lets users check their balances and recent transactions without needing to fire up their smartphones or browsers. Read more »
Ireland’s government is pulling out all the stops to brand the country as a hotbed of technology. But marketing alone is not enough for Ireland — or any other country — to create a lasting tech sector. Read more »
The Finnish handset maker is about to launch its handset on a small scale, but last year we were told of widespread distribution plans in China, as well as $260 million in backing from the “Sailfish Alliance”. Turns out that’s all on hold. Read more »
Organizations and individuals will be able to sign up from Spring 2014, through a subsidiary of London’s promotional agency. Read more »
Twitter’s post-IPO path to prosperity presses on: the company has opened up its self-serve advertising platform to companies outside the U.S. Small-to-medium-sized businesses in the UK, Ireland and Canada get first (well, second) shot at the platform, and others will presumably follow. The move lets those without a deep working relationship with Twitter to pay to promote their accounts and tweets in a targeted fashion – so expect a lot more of those in your timeline soon, if you’re in one of the aforementioned countries.
Suffering Twitter withdrawal while you’re flying over European Union airspace? You may be in luck, after regulators changed radio spectrum rules to allow the use of mobile broadband 3km up in the air — but the decision really rests with your airline. Read more »
Jolla, the Finnish mobile firm that’s trying to revive Nokia and Intel’s old MeeGo operating system, will release its first handset in less than two weeks’ time. Jolla said on Thursday that the first of its €399 ($537) phones will go on sale in the firm’s native country on 27 November.
Although Jolla wants developers to write natively for its Linux-based Sailfish OS operating system, the devices will also support Android apps, and the handsets will come with the Yandex Android app store. Finnish carrier DNA was one of the first partners that signed up for Jolla, along with Chinese distributor D.Phone.
SoundCloud celebrated its fifth birthday Wednesday, and the Berlin-based startup marked the occasion by revealing an interesting usage data point: SoundCloud users now upload twelve hours of audio every minute, according to a blog post penned by the company’s CEO Alex Ljung. That’s impressive, but also shows that audio still isn’t as ubiquitous as video on the web. To compare, YouTube surpassed 13 hours of video uploads per minute a little more than two years after its launch. Nowadays, people upload more than 100 hours of video per minute to the service.
“The forces of unification are stronger” than those trying to fragment the internet, the former Microsoft chief said in Berlin on Wednesday. Read more »
Jolla wants developers to write native apps for its Sailfish OS, but it looks like the platform’s initial boost will need to come from its compatibility with Android. Read more »