Items tagged with U.K.

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...
The British owner of the Segway company, who had purchased the company less than a year ago, in December 2009, from inventor Dean Kamen, has died in a freak accident, driving the vehicle off a cliff. Jimi Heselden was 62. Heselden was reportedly using the Segway to inspect the grounds of his property, when he plunged off a cliff and into the River Wharfe. He was using a special ruggedized country version of the Segway.  The only word that could be used to describe such an accident, with the Segway transporter, which was designed to be safe and (more or less) un-tippable, is ironic. A spokesman for West Yorkshire Police said: "Police were called at 11.40AM yesterday (Sunday) to reports of... Read more...
On Monday, the London School of Economics launched a project designed to "map happiness" in the U.K. Indeed, we are not kidding. The iPhone application called "mappiness" will be used to help researchers map "happiness across space in the U.K." After installing and setting up the free app, users will receive a notification on their iPhone automatically, between one and five times a day (as set by the user). The timing will be random, and during hours set by the user. Additionally, the user can manually enter happiness data, as well. The app will ask users to report their feelings at the time, and (broadly, they say), who they're with, location, and current activity. If the user is outdoors and... Read more...
Dell has made little to no effort to keep their "Streak" Tablet a secret, but when everyone else is doing a tablet, we sort of understand the need to make it public knowledge. After months and months of leaks and rumors, Dell is finally putting all of that conjecture behind them and getting official with the 5" Streak, which is set to launch early next month in the UK exclusively on O2. Pricing plans for the device haven't been made public, but one thing that's certainly unique about the Streak compared to other tablets is this unit's ability to act as a mobile phone. It will almost certainly be the largest "phone" you've ever seen beside someone's head, but with a 5" display, it will also be... Read more...
It's no secret that American broadband isn't as robust from a national perspective as it could be, particularly when compared to other nations. Virgin Media a major broadband player in the United Kingdom, and they have pushed for faster speeds in the home for years now. They were responsible for rolling out one of the first commercial 100Mbps cable modems to consumers, and now the cable operator is testing out a new technology that could deliver high-speed Internet over none other than telegraph poles. Yes, telegraph poles. The idea here is to get broadband (Virgin Media's broadband, of course) to another one million or so homes that aren't currently being serviced. Just as the American government... Read more...
Craig "Lazie" Lynch, 28, escaped from the minimum-security Hollesley Bay Prison near the village of Woodbridge in southern England three months ago. Since then, he's been mocking police via Facebook, and he's also managed to gain a huge number of Facebook "fans." His Facebook photo isn't exactly family-friendly, so if you visit his page, be warned (it's also why we have no images of the miscreant, ourselves).In fact, Lynch has 27,000 fans at the time of this writing. Strangely, a number of posts from his fans seem positive, although a few chime in every now and then to remind people they are "cheering for" a felon. Lynch had been serving a seven-year sentence for committing a burglary with a... Read more...
Alan Turing created the famous "Turing Test," which is a proposal he made in 1950.  It was designed to be a way of dealing with the question of whether machines "can think." He also helped in the breaking of Germany's Enigma code during WWII. And finally, he was gay, and committed suicide in 1954, two years after first being chemically castrated with female hormones. Alan Turing was one of the great mathematicians in history. However, in 1952, he was convicted of "gross indecency" for having sex with a man. Turing was then given the choice: prison or "chemical castration, " the injection of female hormones to suppress his libido. At the same time, the U.K. government revoked his security... Read more...
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