Items tagged with U.K.

Tesla Motors wowed us (and creeped us out just a little bit) with its Solid Metal Snake charging plug for its Model S electric sedan. The premise of the futuristic device is rather simple; it allows the driver to pull into their garage (or perhaps even a Supercharger) and automatically charge the device without any actually physically having to place his or her hands on the charger or receptacle cover. However, it looks as though the UK government is looking even further into the future. The UK will begin trials latest this year for what it is dubbing an “electric highway” that would recharge electric... Read more...
Proving once again that some lawmakers are still living in the stone age, the UK government has just reintroduced a law that deems ripping CDs and DVDs illegal. Want to toss that new album onto your MP3 player? Convert that DVD movie for viewing on the plane? No, and no. Don't even think about it. What's most ridiculous about this law is that it was remedied last fall, with "Copyright and Rights in Performances (Personal Copies for Private Use) Regulations 2014". That made it instantly legal for such personal ripping to occur, but as that has been effectively overturned, we're back at square one... Read more...
Let’s just say, the UK’s Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) would have a field day with Hardee’s/Carl’s Jr. ads. The ASA this week came out with guns blazing in an attempt to cut down on the objectification of women in media, and smartphone maker Kazam was the unlucky recipient of a headshot. The ad for the Tornado 348 smartphone, which Kazam claims is the world’s thinnest smartphone, actually places more of an emphasis on model/actress Camilla Hansson than the smartphone in question. The commercial starts off with Ms. Hansson walking around in her skivvies, caressing her body as she slowly... Read more...
British Telecom (BT) has an ambitious plan to supercharge the U.K.'s broadband infrastructure. Gavin Patterson, CEO of BT, outlined plans to deploy its "G.fast" technology on a widespread scale, starting with two pilot locations this summer. According to Patterson, G.fast will enable speeds of up to 500Mbps to most of the U.K. within a decade, with deployment starting in 2016. The exact speeds a customer can hit will depend on how far away they are from the technology. Initially, BT is aiming to hit a few hundred megabits per second to hundreds of homes and businesses by 2020, with speeds increasing... Read more...
The DDoS attacks that brought down Microsoft’s Xbox Live and Sony’s PlayStation Network on Christmas Day did not sit well with consumers. But while Kim Dotcom attempted to resolve the issue by giving members of Lizard Squad, the group responsible for the DDoS attacks and looking to profit from its DDoS tool, 3,000 lifetime premium Mega accounts, there are many who wish that the members would be caught. Well, it appears that UK Police took a member of the group into custody. British law enforcement agents arrested 22-year-old Vinnie Omari, a self-professed member of Lizard... Read more...
So it’s not just us then. While we seethe over NSA spying allegations here in the U.S., ISPs across the pond who believe they were spied upon by the UK’s intelligence agency GCHQ in the wake of Edward Snowden’s leaks are taking action. According to BBC News, seven Internet providers, in conjunction with Privacy International, have filed a lawsuit against GCHQ. "These widespread attacks on providers and collectives undermine the trust we all place on the internet and greatly endangers the world's most powerful tool for democracy and free expression," Eric King, deputy director... Read more...
Last month, news emerged that Philips was suing Nintendo over alleged patent infringements in the U.S., and the proverbial chickens are already coming home to roost in other countries. According to Reuters, Philips said it has won a patent suit in the UK (although no details about amounts for compensation have been shared). The patents concern motion, gesture, and pointing control that Philips licenses to companies that make set-top boxes and game consoles, and the company has asserted that Nintendo has been using the technology in the Wii U without a functioning license agreement. Philips spokesman... Read more...
Amid a claim and a denial about Facebook’s plummeting popularity among teens, an EU study has emerged that affirms the former assertion, at least among teenagers in the UK. Professor of Material Culture at University College of London Daniel Miller wrote that his research team is conducting 15-month ethnographies on teens in 8 countries, and among the results they’re finding, it would seem that Facebook is not doing well in the 16-18 age group. “What we’ve learned from working with 16-18 year olds in the UK is that Facebook is not just on the slide, it is basically dead... Read more...
UK Prime Minister David Cameron is on a crusade to clean up the Internet, and he’s convinced the likes of Google and Microsoft to help him do it. In a press release straight from Downing Street, the UK government revealed that the two tech behemoths have developed new search algorithms for Google and Bing to block images and video of child abuse as well as preventing autocomplete features from producing child abuse terms. Google is also working on technology that will uniquely identify videos containing abusive content so that if one copy of the video is deleted, all copies will vanish from... Read more...
The U.S. government has stated that it’s concerned about China-based Huawei and its ties to the Chinese government and military, and the UK shares that concern. After Parliament’s Intelligence and Security Committee (ISC) issued a report stating that a great deal more oversight was needed regarding foreign involvement in the country’s Critical National Infrastructure (CNI), the UK is now investigating the role of Huawei staff at the Cyber Security Evaluations Centre (aka the “Cell”) in Banbury, Oxfordshire. The Cell’s job is to “test all updates to Huawei’s... Read more...
Driverless cars will soon be cruising streets around the U.K., the country's Department for Transport (DOT) has confirmed. In a report released on Tuesday, the DOT said that by the end of this year, "semi-autonomous" cars will be tested on U.K. streets. The initiative is part of a broader strategy on the agency's part to reduce pollution and congestion on the country's roads. Driverless vehicles have become something of a star in the technology industry after Google showed off the technology it developed that allows for traveling without human interaction. Since then, several automakers, including... Read more...
Whether or not you believe Google when it says that it didn’t mean to snoop data from WiFi networks while its Street View cars traversed the globe, the fact of the matter is that the company was sloppy with its code and ended up snagging data it wasn’t supposed to have. The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) in the UK has been interested in this issue since at least 2010, when it tasked Google with performing an internal audit concerning this WiFi snooping. Now, the agency has told Google that it must delete the data it still has within 35 days, and if it finds more disks... Read more...
After some pressure by UK Prime Minister David Cameron (pictured) and the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF), Google has stepped up its efforts to block images of child pornography on the Internet. According to The Telegraph, Google engineers are developing technology and a database that will be enable search engines and other web companies to freely exchange data about such images, which is a first. Google has been “hashing” images of child sex abuse for years, which has enabled it to track any corresponding images. “Each offending image in effect gets a unique fingerprint that... Read more...
Facebook has been testing a pay-to-message service in the U.S. since December, and now the trial has expanded to include some 36 countries, including the UK. According to the Guardian, about 10% of UK Facebook users can now message their favorite celebrities--for a price. The cost is on a tiered scale depending on the popularity of the celebrity in question--about $1, $5, or $15 USD. (How exactly Facebook determines a celebrity’s relative popularity is a little unclear--it apparently has to do with a person’s number of Facebook followers and number of weekly messages--but we get a chuckle... Read more...
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