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Posted by Damien Biddulph on Wed 25th Jan 2017

4K video support touted for £55 Raspberry Pi rival

Asus Tinker Board

Asus Tinker Board

Asus has announced the launch of the Tinker Board, a credit card-sized PC that has its sights set firmly on the Raspberry Pi.

The Asus Tinker Board is the same size as the 10-million-selling Raspberry Pi at 3.4in x 2.4in. However, it's got more power than its rival thanks to its higher-spec quad-core 1.8GHz Rockchip processor that's capable of playing 4K video with 24-bit audio. 

The Tinker Board also packs 2GB Dual channel LPDDR3 RAM (compared to the Pi's 1GB), an HDMI 2.0 port, four USB 2.0 ports, Gigabit LAN, Bluetooth 4.0 and 802.11 b/g/n WiFi. There's also a 40-pin internal header with 28 GPIO pins, which means the Tinker Board can be used to create Internet of Things (IoT) devices.

It comes with Asus's own software, which is a variant of Debian Linux and similar to the Raspberry Pi's OS. However, the Tinker Board's OS offers support for Kodi, and Hexus reports that Asus plans to expand the current OS support with the likes of Ubuntu and openSUSE.

Commenting on the launch, Asus said: "Raspberry Pi has been in the market for so long, we're here to expand users' choices with more options. And this board has 4K support, higher SoC performance, faster Ethernet transmission, and flexibility for the memory size."

The Asus Tinker Board is available for £55, making it more expensive than the £34 Raspberry Pi and £4 Raspberry Pi Zero. It's also currently showing as out of stock, so you might have a wait on your hands if you're looking to pick one up.

Source: v3.co.uk
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Posted by Damien Biddulph on Tue 24th Jan 2017

The Trident missile which veered off course towards mainland US was launched from HMS Vengeance, which had just completed an IT systems upgrade

The Trident missile veered off course following an IT systems refresh

The nuclear-warhead carrying Trident missile which veered towards the US instead of its intended target after launch, could have suffered from an IT systems glitch.

Whilst MPs call for Prime Minister Theresa May to explain what happened, and why Parliament controversially wasn't informed of the malfunction which occurred just weeks before it voted to renew the weapons system, the only word from the Ministry of Defence is that the submarine HMS Vengeance and its crew were "successfully tested".

HMS Vengeance carried out the test a few months after a £350 million refit, which included the installation of new missile launch equipment and upgraded computer systems.

It is highly possible that an error or misconfiguration of this new equipment, or a bug in the new IT systems is to blame for the failure. The missile in question was unarmed, but the consequences of an armed nuclear missile veering off course are potentially disastrous.

The Royal Navy's entire fleet of nuclear warhead-carrying submarines allegedly run on Windows XP.

Microsoft stopped supporting the Windows XP operating systems in 2014, which means that the UK's nuclear deterrent relies on a platform which is potentially vulnerable to malware and cyber attacks.

Caroline Lucas, co-leader of the Green Party of England and Wales, called for full disclosure from the Prime Minister. "A missile veering off course is deeply concerning. Imagine such a failure occurring in a 'real-world' situation - it could lead to the slaughter of millions of people in an ally's country."

Kate Hudson, general secretary of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, said: "There's absolutely no doubt that this would have impacted on the debate in Parliament."

According to BBC defence correspondent Jonathan Beale, the Royal Navy has carried out half a dozen similar tests since 2000, but this was the first launch which it chose not to publicise. This suggests that previous launches functioned properly, adding more weight to the liklihood that the new systems were to blame.

Source: v3.co.uk
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Posted by Damien Biddulph on Mon 23rd Jan 2017

BT recently announced changes customers won’t be too happy about – and it involves a broadband price hike.

Customers should remember that under current rules, in the event of a price hike, they have the right to switch

Customers should remember that under current rules, in the event of a price hike, they have the right to switch

From 2 April, BT’s customers will be hit with a price hike of between five per cent and six per cent. All basic broadband users will pay £2 extra per month, while BT Infinity fibre will cost customers an additional £2.50 per month. Landline users will have their calls go up 1p a minute as well.

BT Sport, which used to be an additional perk, will no longer be free – you’ll be charged a fee of £3.50 a month, or £42 for a yearly subscription. And if you’re watching BT Sport through another broadband provider then you’ll get charged an extra £1 a month.

This follows on from news of rivals tapping into the broadband price hike as well. On 4 November 2016, TalkTalk increased line rental to £1.25 a month, with its broadband package rising to £1.50 per month (£33 extra a year). Sky is also pushing up the prices of its line rental – set to happen 1 March.

BT is in the process of notifying customers of the broadband price hike, emphasising that if it breaks a promise customers will automatically be compensated. John Petter, CEO of BT Consumer, also claimed that when the broadband price hike takes effect, so too will some nifty extras.

“We realise customers never welcome price rises, but we continue to highlight money-saving options, including those who just want a great value package of a line and calls, such as Home Phone Saver 2019,” he said.

“But we know customers also want great service and to be protected from nuisance calls. That’s why we have invested to be able to promise that we’ll answer 80 per cent of our customers’ calls in the UK by the end of 2017. And we will also be launching a comprehensive defence against nuisance calls that will divert up to 25m unwanted calls a week before they ever bother BT customers.”

Ofcom has ruled, however, that unhappy customers can cancel BT subscriptions penalty-free if they do so within 30 days of BT’s notice reaching them.

This fact was echoed by Dan Howdle, consumer telecoms expert at Cable.co.uk, who said: “These changes affect all of BT’s customers to an extent. These price hikes are absurd in contrast to current rates of inflation and, quite rightly, I would expect BT customers to be fuming.

“Customers should remember that under current rules, in the event of a price hike, they have the right to switch out of their contract free of charge. As a BT customer you do get a vote in this – but it’s a vote with your feet.”

This article is part of our Real Business Broadband campaign, which seeks to provide a mouthpiece for business leaders to vocalise the broadband issues preventing their businesses from reaching full potential. We’d love to hear your take on the debate and where you think the UK needs to make drastic changes. Get in touch via email (shane.schutte@realbusiness.co.uk) or join in on the action using #rbBroadband.

Image: Shutterstock

Source: realbusiness.co.uk
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Posted by Damien Biddulph on Mon 23rd Jan 2017

Mexican traders' wish to shut Twitter down has some merit

Twitter's anger is too great

Twitter's anger is too great

Bloomberg reported on the plans that are half serious, half a joke, because it would be easier than having to spend money defending the Peso against the anti-Mexican rhetoric Donald Trump spews on the platform.

If you had said to me ten years ago that by 2017 the Mexican government would consider buying Twitter to shut it down because Donald Trump was about to be president I would have questioned your sanity. Now, I'm all for it.

I joined Twitter as long ago as 2006. I didn't really get it at first and my account lay idle for many months. Eventually, though, as word spread of this new ‘micro-blogging' platform, I tried it again and thought it was great.

It was a site full of interesting people posting everything from what they had to breakfast, random thoughts on the way to work and links to interesting articles. It was a great way to network, to interact with new people, share thoughts, and so on.

For a good long while it was a proper community, with meetups and hashtags that you could actually keep track of and so on. It wasn't changing the world but it didn't have too, it was just a bit of fun.

It had found a nice balance between the overly personal ethos of Facebook and the faceless environment of online forums.

Of course, though, it couldn't last. It continued to grow, became properly mainstream - despite, or because of, endless idiotic tabloid articles decrying the supposed vanity of it all - and was overtaken by celebrities who instantly amassed huge follower numbers, by brands who use it to ‘engage' with their ‘communities' and finally by the darkest types of the web world. You know the type, the YouTube commentators, the keyboard warriors, the trolls, the future presidents of the USA.

Now, the site has become a mess of angry voices writing ever more wrong-headed and ridiculous statement, with each week seeming to bring another outrage. It's not fun any more, and worse, led by Donald Trump as a place to sound off against anyone who has dared to criticize him, it all seems a bit unhinged.

It's boiling everything down to an us vs them mindset, whether that's Democrats v Republicans or Leave vs Remain voters. It's removing all chance for proper debate and turning it into 140 characters of nonsense. And it's given everyone, no matter how factually incorrect they may be, a platform to spread their views far and wide.

In fact, the more idiotic they are, the further they seem to travel. It doesn't matter which side of the debate you are on, the same holds true for either. It's ripped the centre from politics and everything that follows from that.

The idea of giving everyone a platform to make themselves heard is a noble one, and shutting Twitter down won't stop people doing so elsewhere, on Facebook or blogs for example.

But there's something about the brevity and immediacy of Twitter that means everything written is reduced into ever more simplistic viewpoints that then spread like wildfire, without any chance for debate or reason.

I'm still a fan of Twitter at its best. People can be funny, helpful and insightful, it can help reunite friends, helps the police issues calls for missing people, or raise thousands for good causes via charity pleas.

And of course shutting it down would take all this away. But with Trump about to become president, a man of quick temper and irrational thoughts, whose posts move markets, puts lives at risk and strain already frayed international relations, it's hard not to have some sympathy with the Mexican currency traders plan.

Source: v3.co.uk
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Posted by Damien Biddulph on Mon 23rd Jan 2017

Firm says sorry for incidents and new processes should avoid repeats in future

Samsung releases battery blow-up report

Samsung releases battery blow-up report

Samsung has announced the results of its Galaxy Note 7 investigation, confirming that two separate battery issues were to blame. 

Samsung's four-month-long investigation saw 700 engineers and researchers test 200,000 Note 7 smartphones and 30,000 batteries. The firm said it had inspected both software and hardware, with the only faults being found in the batteries themselves.

"To find the cause of the Galaxy Note 7 incidents, Samsung examined every aspect of the Galaxy Note7, including hardware, software and related processes over the past several months," the firm announced in an official statement. 

"Samsung's investigation, as well as the investigations completed by three independent industry organisations, concluded that the batteries were the cause of the Galaxy Note 7 incidents."

Two separate battery flaws were to blame. The first, as expected, related to how the Note 7's original batteries were manufactured, with firm admitting that the batteries' casings were too small to safely fit the electrode assembly inside, which lead to short-circuiting. 

Samsung didn't name and shame the third-party company that's to blame for the issue, but reports last week suggested Samsung SDI manufactured first set of faulty batteries. 

The firm went on to explain that its second batch of batteries had a different manufacturing defect that led to the same explosive result. In this case, the fires were caused by punctures in a super-thin component that separates the positive and negative electrodes, and faulty insulation. This second batch of batteries was provided by Hong Kong's Amperex Technology Ltd.

However, Samsung's mobile president DJ Koh said that the ultimate responsibility falls on Samsung itself, for signing off on the shonky batteries ahead of the Note 7's launch. 

Koh announced a new eight-step inspection process - durability test, visual inspection, x-ray test, charge and discharge test, leak detection test, disassembling test, accelerated usage test, and battery voltage comparison test - that will be carried out on all future Samsung smartphones, including the Galaxy S8

"To make an innovative Note 7, we set the target specification for the batteries, and feel a grave responsibility for failing to test the battery design and manufacturing process before launch. We will put safety and quality first going forward."

Out of 3.06 million Galaxy Note 7s distributed to the market, 96 per cent have been recalled globally, Samsung added.

Source: v3.co.uk
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Posted by Damien Biddulph on Mon 23rd Jan 2017

Tim CookGetty Images/Chip Somodevilla

For the third year in a row, Apple has been deemed the most environmentally friendly of the world’s major tech companies, according to a new report from environmental organization Greenpeace.

Apple, along with Google and Facebook — the other highest scorers in the report — made a pledge in 2012 to to transition to 100% renewable energy. Its new headquarters, which are currently under construction, will run completely on renewable energy, with an estimated 700,000 square feet of solar panels.

According to the report, Apple has “played a catalytic role within its IT supply chain, pushing other IT data center and cloud operators who help deliver pieces of Apple’s corner of the internet to follow their lead in powering their operations with renewable energy.”

Greenpeace has been measuring the energy performance of the information technology sector since 2009, and its newest report states that the organization has seen a significant increase in the degree to which the largest internet companies prioritize renewables.

According to the report, the energy footprint of the IT sector is currently estimated to account for 7% of global electricity. But since global internet traffic is expected to rise threefold by 2020 — and with it the sector’s energy footprint — company commitments to and plans for sustainability will become even more important.

Greenpeace’s report notes that Apple and Google continue to lead the sector in matching their growth with an equivalent or larger supply of renewable energy. The report assigned Apple the overall grade of A - in the subcategories, the company got As in energy transparency, renewable energy commitment, energy efficiency and mitigation, and renewable procurement, wit its only B in the advocacy category. It’s clean energy index, calculated based on estimates of facilities’ power demand, was an impressive 83%. Google got As in all subcategories except for energy transparency (where it got a B), though its clean energy index was lower at 56%.

A newcomer to Greenpeace’s list of top scorers was Nevada-based telecommunications company Switch, which develops data centers. The company was the clear leader in the report’s ranking of colocation and content delivery network companies, with all A’s and a whopping 100% clean energy index.

Netflix, on the other hand, stood out with notably unimpressive scores. The report estimates that Netflix’s video streaming accounts for a third of internet traffic on North American networks, but the company received an overall grade of D, with Fs in three of five subcategories.

The report points out that Netflix has not given any public commitment to renewable energy, and that “unlike other major video streaming platforms such as Apple, Facebook, or Google, Netflix does not regularly provide energy consumption data, greenhouse gas emissions, or the actual energy mix of its global operations.”

The streaming company will have to make some changes if it wants a better grade next year.


Source: uk.businessinsider.com
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Posted by Damien Biddulph on Mon 23rd Jan 2017

Steve Jobs unveiling the first iPhone in 2007Image copyrightGETTY IMAGES

Image captionSteve Jobs unveiling the first iPhone in 2007

"Steve had expressly told me it was totally top secret. He said he was going to fire anyone who tells the world.

"I was sweating bullets."

Tony Fadell was pondering just how he was going to explain to Steve Jobs that he'd lost the prototype of what would become the most successful technology product of all time, the Apple iPhone which launched 10 years ago on Monday.

He'd just got off a plane, felt his pockets, and... nothing.

"I was walking through every scenario thinking about what could happen," he told me. None of them ended well.

After two hours, relief - thanks to the efforts of a search party that didn’t know what it was trying to find.

"It fell out of my pocket and it was lodged in between the seats!"

Tony Fadell, known as the Image copyrightGETTY IMAGES

Image captionTony Fadell, known as the "godfather" of the iPod

Within just a few months, the world would know all about the little device - but for now, Fadell was holding it tight.

60s future phone

Tony Fadell is sometimes referred to as the "godfather" of the iPod. He left Apple in 2010, and went on to found Nest, the smart home company now owned by Alphabet, Google’s parent company. He left that company last year*.

As far as Fadell is concerned, today is in fact the 12-and-a-half year anniversary of the first iPhone.

That’s when he started working on the idea, born out of an acceptance that the iPod, which was turning around Apple’s fortunes, was a platform that could be developed further.

By this point the iPod had got video capabilities, even games.

"We were like, 'Wait a second, data networks are coming'," he told the BBC.

"We should be looking at this as a general purpose platform."

Starting this way was the magic ingredient that meant the iPhone broke boundaries, Fadell said. While competitors like Microsoft were trying to shrink the PC into a phone, Apple was looking to grow the iPod into something more sophisticated.

Indeed, one early iPhone concept design used the iPod's distinctive click-wheel as its input method. That was soon ditched.


Media captionA look back at the launch of the first iPhone in January 2007

"We were turning it into a rotary phone from the sixties," Fadell remembered. "We were like, 'This doesn’t work! It's too hard to use'."

It just so happened that in another part of Apple, work had started on a touchscreen Macintosh computer.

"They had been working on this in secret. It was the size of a ping pong table. Steve showed it to me and said, 'I want to take that and put it on an iPod'."

Fadell warned Jobs that to make a touchscreen device like the one he envisioned would take time, money and new dedicated infrastructure. They went for it.

"We needed thousands of people working on all of this, at the same time, for it to land together for the launch.

"And then we only had six months after that to ship it. Obviously we pulled it off, but it was not easy."

Malmo Mystery

Apple had many of the best brains in the business, but until that point it hadn’t ever made a phone of its own.

And so Fadell planned a fact-finding world tour to meet experts and check out research labs of telecoms experts.

iPhone on showImage copyrightAFP

Image captionThe first iPhone drew a crowd of journalists when it was launched

It began with one manufacturer in Malmo, Sweden - a trip which ended with all of their bags, notes and equipment being stolen from their cars while they were inside a restaurant having dinner.

"They knew we were building a phone," Fadell said.

"We asked our host where to get to dinner,  we were there all of 20 or 30 minutes because we were tired.

"When we got back to the car, every single thing in the car was gone. Every single bag. We swear it was corporate espionage."

If it was, there were few secrets lost. The team returned home without many of their belongings, but heads full of ideas.

iPhones on saleImage copyrightGETTY IMAGES

Image captioniPhones continue to be very popular - though annual sales fell for the first time in the product's history last year

Meanwhile, one fiery debate was just getting started.

Keyboard killed off

It was of course: Should the iPhone have a keyboard or not?

"That fight raged on for around four months," Fadell said. "It was a very ugly situation."

Jobs, who had his heart set on a touchscreen, became so incensed with people disagreeing with his ideas that he enforced a blunt policy.

Looking back - BBC's Rory Cellan-Jones on the launch

A Sunday newspaper columnist described me as having clutched the phone as if it were "a fragment of the true cross", and some viewers complained that the BBC had given undue prominence to a product launch.

I appeared on the Newswatch programme to defend our reporting and said that some products did merit coverage because they promised a step change in the way we lived - and I mused on whether the Model T Ford would have been a story if we'd had a TV news bulletin back then.

Afterwards, I rather regretted saying that - who knew whether the iPhone would really prove as revolutionary as the arrival of mass car ownership?

But today that comparison does not look so outlandish.

Read Rory's blog post

"Until you can agree with us you can’t come back in this room,"” Fadell recalled Jobs saying to pro-keyboarders. "If you don’t want to be on the team, don’t be on the team."

The disagreements soon stopped.

"One person got sent out of the room and everybody got the message and fell in line."

But while the argument left the room, it didn’t leave the iPhone team’s minds. Indeed, some people still think it was the wrong decision not to go for a Blackberry-style keyboard  which, back then at least, was the phone to beat.

"We laid out all the risks of using just a touchscreen. We had to work around each one."

Fans gawp at the new device - it went on sale six months after the first unveilingImage copyrightGETTY IMAGES

Image captionFans gawp at the new device - it went on sale six months after the first unveiling

Secret Stylus Strategy

From the word go, Jobs was clear: the iPhone didn’t need to work with a stylus because your finger is all you should need.

But Fadell told the team working on the multi-touch screen - arguably the greatest breakthrough the iPhone heralded - to make sure it was compatible with a stylus anyway.

"I thought, 'We must make this work with a stylus'," Fadell remembered.

"Because we knew it was right, even though Steve was making a philosophical point initially saying you can just use your finger. We knew there will come a day when you’re going to need a stylus.

"We did it without his knowledge, it was behind the scenes. He would've ripped my head off."

iPhone 7 logoImage copyrightAFP

Image captionThe latest iPhone was launched in September 2016

Doing things in secret was a common strategy for stubborn engineers and designers who took the view that what Jobs didn’t know couldn't hurt him.  And if you were eventually proven right, you could accept the praise.

"It was the same thing that happened with the iPod working on a PC," Fadell said.

"Steve wanted nothing to do with it, but when iPod growth stalled, we said, 'Oh by the way we've been working on this background'."

"I asked Steve how much a song on iTunes cost, and he said, '99 cents'. I said, 'No, it’s the cost of an iPod, plus the songs, plus a Mac! We only have 1% market share, Steve!'

“He understood.”

Jobs may have relented on having Apple products work on Windows, but he took his hatred of the stylus to his grave, though his successor, Tim Cook, introduced the Apple Pencil in 2015.

Steve Ballmer's laughter

And so to the 9th January 2007.

Hordes of fans and media shuffled into San Francisco’s Moscone Center to see what Jobs brought on as his "one more thing" at the end of a keynote address at that year’s Macworld event.

The device on stage was "only half-baked", Fadell recalled, but was quickly referred to as the "Jesus phone".

Smartphones on New Year's EveImage copyrightAFP

Image captionThe success of the iPhone likely helped to popularise smartphones in general

The press mocked the cultish manner in which iPhone was unveiled. Steve Ballmer, at the time Microsoft's chief executive, famously laughed at the device, calling it "not a very good email machine" that wouldn't appeal to business users.

"We all laughed at him," Fadell remembered.

"We also laughed at Blackberry. Whenever I create a new product , and I learned this with Steve [Jobs], if the incumbents laugh at you and the press laugh at you, you go, 'we’ve hit a nerve'."

Since that day, more than a billion iPhones have been sold, helping make Apple the richest company in the world.

Source: bbc.co.uk
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Posted by Damien Biddulph on Mon 23rd Jan 2017

PSNI Newry and Mourne Facebook pageImage copyrightPSNI NEWRY & MOURNE FACEBOOK

Image captionDet Supt George Clarke told Good Morning Ulster that some of the more obscene messages were a "reality"

The PSNI has posted a warning to parents about texting 'codes' that some teenagers use to disguise their phone or online messages.

Referencing a list published by a US technology show, the post encourages parents to understand 'text talk'.

Some of the abbreviations are relatively bland, such as 'HAK', meaning 'hugs and kisses' or 'WYCM' for 'Will you call me?'.

Others refer to sexual acts, drugs and suicide.

Quick guide to secret texting codes

  • WYRN: What's your real name?
  • HAK: Hugs and kisses
  • ASL: Age, sex and location
  • WTTP: Want to trade pictures?
  • 53X: Sex
  • CU46: See you for sex
  • NIFOC: Naked in front of computer
  • PAL: Parents are listening
  • KPC: Keeping parents clueless
  • PRON: Porn
  • ZERG: To gang up on someone
  • RU/18: Are you over 18?
  • Broken: Hungover
  • LMIRL: Let's meet in real life

The warning has been treated with scepticism by many of the Facebook users who shared or commented on it.

Some pointed out that it was not an exhaustive list and included American phrases that are unlikely to be used by young people in Northern Ireland.

Others welcomed the post, saying it was a useful resource for parents.

A PSNI facebook post warns parents of the types of phrases and abbreviations teenagers sometimes use to disguise messagesImage copyrightROSHINIO

Image captionA PSNI facebook post warns parents of the types of phrases and abbreviations teenagers sometimes use to disguise messages

Det Supt George Clarke told the BBC's Good Morning Ulster that some of the more obscene messages were a "reality".

"Parents must be involved in their children's lives online and well as offline.

"You wouldn't allow children to go off in a car with people you don't know, so let's be careful about who they're interacting with online," he said.

Margaret Gallagher of the NSPCC said it was impossible to publish a definitive list of texting phrases young people use as they tend to change frequently.

However, she said anything that promoted an "open and honest discussion" about keeping safe online was to be welcomed.

"Teenagers will always want to create coded language that can't be understood by their parents - it's natural and not necessarily something to get overly concerned about," said Ms Gallagher.

The NSPCC said Image copyrightPOIKE

Image captionThe NSPCC said an "open and honest discussion" about online safety needs to be encouraged

"Communication and building trust with your child is the most important thing.

"At the end of the day, you want them to feel comfortable coming to you if they're worried about something that's happened online, like an unsolicited approach or someone putting them in a vulnerable position.

"They (children) just need reassurance that, if things do go badly wrong, they have someone they can turn to."

'Predators are persistent'

Ms Gallagher also pointed out that children who have no behavioural issues were equally as vulnerable to online predators as those who do.

But she stressed that older teenagers, in particular, were entitled to privacy.

"It's not always easy for parents to get the balance right - we know that - but if there's trust and openness there, the risk of things going badly wrong is definitely reduced," she said.

If you want more information on keeping children safe online, you can visit the NSPCC website or call the charity free on 0808 800 5000.

Source: bbc.co.uk
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Posted by Damien Biddulph on Wed 18th Jan 2017

Cheapest app price to rise to 99p

Brexit now to blame for Apple App store price rises

Brexit now to blame for Apple App store price rises

Apple's App Store prices are about to go up due to the effect of Brexit which has negatively affected exchange rates. 

As reported at 9to5Mac, apps that now cost 79p will be increasing to 99p, while a Tier 2 priced app will now cost £1.99 in the UK up from £1.49. An in-app purchase that previously cost £7.99, such as the 'All Worlds' upgrade in Super Mario Run, will soon be priced at £9.99.

Broadly this represents a 25 per cent increases, and Apple is notifying developers of the changes this week, confirming that it will affect apps in both the iOS and Mac App Stores. As 9to5Mac notes, the same increases also likely will hit the iTunes Store for TV shows, movies and books. 

Apple says that the new higher prices will roll out to the App Store over the next seven days. 

This isn't the first time that Apple has blamed Brexit for price increases. As well as hiking iPhone prices in September, the following month the firm quietly upped the price of some older products, including the iMac 4K and Mac Pro.

Meanwhile the Mac Mini is now priced at £479 (compared to £399 previously), the iMac 4K now costs £1,449 (up from £1,199), and the iMac 5K now starts at £1,749 (up from £1,449). Even Apple's bin-like Mac Pro, which hasn't been upgraded since 2013, saw its price increased from £2,499 to an eye-watering £2,999.

Source: v3.co.uk
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Posted by Damien Biddulph on Wed 18th Jan 2017

140 characters is all it takes to change the world

Just wait until I get on Twitter later

Just wait until I get on Twitter later

Incoming US president Donald Trump likes a drama. Barely a day goes by in which he doesn't have a pop at someone on Twitter, whether it's North Korea, Meryl Streep or John Lewis - the historic civil rights campaigner, not the department store. Not yet anyway.

No doubt many more will come into his 140-character crosshairs after he perceives them to have insulted his brilliance, and we'd wager a fair few of these will come from the world of technology. Here are five scenarios we think could play out over the next four years, or more likely, four months.

A technology company and/or its CEO

Trump has made clear that he does not think US companies should be using overseas workers when they could be made in the good ol' US-of-A. And he has made this known on Twitter, as numerous car manufacturers have found out. With many tech companies making products overseas, such as Apple in China, it probably won't be long before Trump sets about taking them to task on Twitter for such actions.

Or it may just be because someone puts their head above the parapet to question the motives of some questionable government initiative Trump is to announce. After all, we've seen how badly he reacts to criticism on more than one occasion.

Security experts

Hacking is bad. So said Trump last week in his freewheelin' press conference. But he also thinks Russia will stop any hacks against the USA once he's in charge. He also accused China of being behind the Office of Personnel Management hack in 2014. This is something many believe, although it has never been officially verified.

Bottom line, though, is Trump and cyber security have a rocky relationship and he can't be guaranteed to toe the party line.

Furthermore, it remains to be seen if Trump really wants to believe everything he's told about information security, especially from those on his side - the US, not Russia. So it would not be surprising if at some point in the not-too-distant future he attacks a security company or individual in relation to a security or hacking related situation.

This maybe a company refusing to help unlock a device, a report that criticises the security of some government agency, or Trump's own website perhaps. Or maybe his own intelligence agencies, when they confirm that yes Russia was behind a leak of information, will get an earful for being 'so dishonest'.

A tech luminary

No doubt at some point Trump's team will embark on some madcap plan relating to encryption or internet governance net neutrality maybe, and someone hugely respected tech luminary will call it out for the nonsense it is.

This will of course get Trump's goat and he'll rush to Twitter to tell the world why this person - maybe it will be Sir Tim Berners-Lee, or Elon Musk, or Vincent Cerf - is now ‘so sad' and ‘so dishonest', and we'll get into another huge round of opinion pieces on why Trump is wrong or right and we'll all ignore the real issue at hand.

An intelligence leak

No doubt intelligence chiefs in the CIA, FBI and elsewhere are deeply worried that Trump's fast and loose ‘tell it like it is' style will lead to the release of some highly classified report or information by Trump himself.

It's not hard to imagine it. The media disputes some claim by Trump or his team, and in a fit of pique Trump fires up Twitter and spews out the facts he's been told in the highest secrecy.


So far Twitter has steered clear of any mention of banning Trump, but the firm could well be forced to take action if he crosses the line on its terms and conditions. After all, it's done likewise with some other far-right users of the site, so clearly will take action if finally forced to do so.

Then again, it would be some situation if Twitter banned the president from posting on its site. Of course if this did happen it would deny Trump his usual avenue of vengeance. Unless he turns to the official POTUS account.


Source: v3.co.uk
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