Items tagged with U.K.

Google is at the center of another privacy lawsuit, this latest one filed in the UK on behalf of around 4.4 million iPhone owners who may have had their browsing data improperly collected. Should Google lose the legal battle, it could be on the hook for 3.2 billion pounds, or roughly $4.29 billion, the company revealed in a court filing. Google denies the allegation and doesn't believe the issue even belongs in a London court. The crux of the lawsuit is the use of tracking cookies of Apple's Safari browser. It's similar to what led Google to pay the United Stated Federal Trade Commission (FTC) $22.5 million in 2012 to settle charges brought against the company, only the fine is potentially much... Read more...
If you thought that United States intelligence and law enforcement agencies around the country were incredibly adamant about spying on its citizens (going to extreme lengths to do so), you haven’t seen anything yet. Across the pond, the Campaigners Privacy International filed a formal complaint against the UK’s GCHQ, levying claims that the agency’s efforts to hack the devices of ordinary citizens was unlawful. However, not only did the GCHQ acknowledge that it was involved in a widespread hacking campaign (reversing previous denials on the matter), but the Investigatory Powers Tribunal (IPT) actually condoned the actions, which it calls Computer Network Exploitation (CNE), and deemed them lawful.... Read more...
When it comes to device encryption that is supposed to protect user data, it appears that tech companies just can’t catch a break. Not only do companies like Apple and Google have to contend with domestic law enforcement agencies and the political machine, but they are now facing pressure from foreign governments to provide backdoor access to personal information stored on smartphones. In early November, the UK revealed details on the proposed Investigatory Powers Bill, which would give law enforcement agencies the authority to spy on smartphones and computers in an effort to combat terrorism. “The Government is clear we need to find a way to work with industry as technology develops to ensure... Read more...
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 vehicles wirelessly as they travel down the road. Such technology is the “Holy Grail” for EV... 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 again. Flickr: Dave Allen There's not much that can be said here that's not blatantly obvious. Imagine... 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 puts on her pants and irons a shirt. And it’s this focus on the “female form” that drew the ire of the... 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 to 500Mbps as it develops a new kit around emerging industry standards. Initial pilots will start... 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 Squad, on Monday when officials raided his home. The raid was confirmed by Omari who spoke to the... 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 of Privacy International, told the outlet. GCHQ The allegations are severe and include assertions that... 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 Bjorn Teuwsen told the outlet that the company had been trying to come to terms with Nintendo... 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 and buried,” he wrote. “Mostly they feel embarrassed even to be associated with it.”... 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 the Internet. As part of the effort, the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP) produced... 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 hardware and software for high-risk components before they are deployed on UK networks”.... 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 Nissan and Toyota, have started investing in driverless technology, realizing that it's probably... 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 containing additional data, Google must destroy that, as well. A failure to eliminate the data, the... 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 our computers can recognize without humans having to view them again,” said Google chief legal... 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 imagining them getting irate or fretting over their rating.) "Time for my weekly Kardashian trio... Read more...
If the first thing to come to mind after hearing that a store with "Apple" in its name, or one which uses a logo with an apple in it, was forced to shut down, I think very few people would blame you if you thought it was caused by the Cupertino giant's hands. It's happened before, after all, and I'm sure it will happen again. However, for "The Apple Shop" in Norwich, UK, which sells actual apple food products, there were other reasons it was "forced" to change its name. You see, if your business has "Apple" in its name, even if it has nothing to do with electronics, people are bound to ignore the differences and ring you up for warranty information, product problems and other inquiries that end... Read more...
Oh, those cheeky Brits. Today in London, Judge Colin Birss (pictured) dismissed Apple’s patent suit against Samsung, which alleged that the Galaxy Tab slates are a rip-off of the iPad, according to Bloomberg. Part of the honorable judge’s reasoning? He was quoted as saying that the Galaxy Tabs were “not as cool” as the iPad. His point was that the design of the two rivals’ tablets gave a different “impression” to the user, which made them different enough in his estimation to rule that Samsung didn’t violate Apple’s patents. (Of course, Apple will appeal the ruling.) Although that’s probably not the language Samsung would have preferred,... Read more...
There’s a bright spot or two peeking through the thick black cloud of Samsung’s current legal troubles, and one of them is the Samsung Galaxy Beam, a smartphone that packs a built-in projector. The device is now on sale in the UK for £395 (about $614 USD). The pico projector inside is rated for 15 lumens and purports to project up to a 50-inch image and brings a whole new angle to the concept of sharing with a mobile device. Other specs include a dual-core Cortex A9 (1GHz) processor, 4-inch (480x800) display, 768MB of RAM, 8GB of internal storage (with another 32GB available via the microSD slot), a 5MP autofocus camera with LED flash, and a 2000mAh Li-Ion battery that Samsung... Read more...
For a company that makes its bones off of making its own products seem outdated every six months or so, Apple seems committed to recycling used electronics. Apple expanded its recycling program in the UK, France, and Germany; now, the company has (or at least participates in) such programs all over the world, including the U.S., Canada, Brazil, Costa Rica, Australia, the Asia Pacific, Japan, India, the Middle East, and Africa. The various programs differ somewhat; for example, you can get some money back for your electronics in the form of a gift card in North America, but in Europe, you can get cash deposited directly into your bank account. In Europe, a company called Dataserv is handling the... Read more...
Amazed at home many of the folks on sites like Match.com, Chemistry.com, or CougarLife.com are incredibly good-looking? There's a site for people who are "aesthetically challenged" (their words, not ours) and it is celebrating a milestone: the first engagement between two of its members. Tom Clifford, 36, and Janine Walker, 31, have become engaged after meeting on the U.K. version of the website "The Ugly Bug Ball," which has U.K., U.S., Canadian, Australian, and Irish versions of the site. The site describes its mission statement as follows: Internet dating is more popular that it’s ever been with singles all over the world logging on to find the love of their life. But aren’t you... Read more...
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