Amazon Fire TV includes broadcaster on-demand services alongside Amazon Instant Video
Amazon has started to sell its Fire TV media streamer in the United Kingdom, marking the set-top box's first foray in Europe and outside the United States. Following a pre-order period which started in early September, Amazon is selling the Fire TV for £79 ($126) including tax, and is also shipping the Amazon Fire Game Controller separately for £35 ($56).
Sky updates mobile app with refreshed home screen, Smart Series Link
British broadcaster Sky has updated its iOS and Android Sky+ apps to allow users to display their photographs from their mobile devices on the television through the Sky+ HD set-top box. The app also includes a new updated homepage, complete with a dedicated Sports section, and a Smart Series Link option that lets the Sky+ box record all current and future seasons of selected programs.
Microsoft releases digital TV tuner for Xbox One in Europe
A digital TV tuner for the Xbox One has gone on sale in Europe through the Microsoft Store. Priced at £25 ($40) in the UK and 30 euros ($38) in France, Germany, Italy, and Spain, the tuner will allow owners of the Microsoft game console to view free-to-air HD television through the device, complete with Snap Mode video, pausing and rewinding of live TV, and OneGuide program listings.
Online abuse proposals quadruple current maximum prison sentences
The government of the United Kingdom is attempting to increase the possible penalties for online harassment, following recent high-profile reports of "trolling" in the country. The proposals, an amendment to the Criminal Justice and Courts Bill undergoing the latter stages of parliamentary debate, potentially allows for people convicted for trolling to face prison sentences of up to two years, up from the current six-month maximum.
Trial success could lead to white space usage in conservation efforts
The latest experiment in using 'white spaces' in the United Kingdom is underway, with London Zoo being the unexpected location for testing. Communications regulator Ofcom has detailed a trial by Google and ZSL London Zoo of technologies using white spaces, by streaming live video from several animal exhibits on YouTube.
Google adds backdrop customization options to Chromecast app
Google is starting to enable customizable backdrops for the Chromecast, a feature it first revealed in June. Rolling out from today, owners of the streaming dongle can customize the image feed from the Chromecast app for Android and iOS, including photo albums from Google+, artwork from the Google Cultural Institute, and news images from various publications. More information about an image on display can be brought up by asking the Google search app "What's on my Chromecast?" on any other mobile device on the same network.
Set-top box from EE streams to four tablets over local network
British carrier EE has expanded its service into the living room, by launching its first set-top box. The EE TV is similar to YouView, in that it provides access to over 70 Freeview broadcast channels, catch-up services, and access to other online services such as YouTube, though unusually the company has opted to heavily integrate it with mobile devices.
Samsung Gear S will have Opera Mini browser available at release
The Samsung Gear S, a smartwatch with its own 3G data connection due to go on sale in the near future, will be able to access the Internet via its own browser, Opera has revealed. Owners of the standalone smartwatch will be able to download Opera Mini for the device via the Samsung Gear Apps store, with the browser said to be made more user friendly for the small screen by making website shortcuts into larger buttons, and by including a single Smart Page collecting together various social updates onto a single screen.
Upgraded Android tablet from Tesco ships in range of 64 colors
British retailer Tesco has launched its expected follow-up to the Hudl Android tablet. The Hudl 2 increases the size of the screen from the original's 7-inch 1440x900 to a 1080p 8.3-inch version, powered by a quad-core Intel Atom processor clocked at 1.83GHz with 2GB of RAM, with a fair number of other areas receiving similar small upgrades.
British launch includes fewer books than US Kindle Unlimited catalog
Amazon has expanded its all-you-can-eat e-book subscription service to the United Kingdom, just two months after the retailer's original United States launch. Kindle Unlimited offers book readers over 650,000 titles and thousands of audiobooks to read and listen to, with the UK subscription priced at £7.99 ($13) per month accompanied by a 30-day trial.
Country-wide redirection from Nokia part of gradual branding changes
Microsoft is slowly migrating away from the Nokia branding it has used since it bought the phone manufacturer's Devices and Services division. Visitors to Nokia.com located within the United Kingdom are now being pointed towards the mobile sections of Microsoft.com, with the Microsoft Mobile Devices site also receiving a refresh in the process.
United Kingdom gains Note 4 one week earlier than United States
The Samsung Galaxy Note 4 is being made available for pre-order in the United States tomorrow, with shipments expected to start on October 17th, though AT&T plans to ship the smartphone earlier on October 14th. In the United Kingdom, pre-orders also begin tomorrow, though the stylus-equipped phablet will be on sale from October 10th.
Moto Maker UK sends e-mail with final Moto X design, not open to pre-orders
Motorola has enabled Moto Maker in the United Kingdom, offering customization of the new Moto X. Added just after the company commenced direct sales to the country via the website, the portal allows users to modify their future phone in an identical way to the United States version of the site, though unlike in the US, British customers do not get the option to actually order the device just yet.
Motorola starts directly selling Moto G from UK website
Motorola has updated its online store in the United Kingdom, giving citizens the ability to directly purchase devices directly from the manufacturer, rather than diverting sales to retailers. The updated site, spotted by Pocket-Lint, stocks the second-generation Moto G for £150 ($), with separate pages offering to register visitors for updates for the Moto 360 and new Moto X. Moto Maker is expected to become available on the UK site in the near future.
ESPN creates Scores app for sporting update on Pebble smartwatch
ESPN has released an app for the Pebble smartwatch, providing results for various sporting events. The Scores app includes results from the NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL, college football, and college basketball, and will vibrate to notify the wearer about game updates. The app is now available to download from the Pebble App Store for iOS and Android.
Sharing of soccer goals via Vine, social networks claimed as a breach of copyright
Fans of soccer in the United Kingdom have been warned against the creation and sharing of animated GIFs and Vine clips of goals for high-level matches. The Premier League claims it is working on ways to trawl the Internet for football goal clips and to warn creators of the breach of copyright, just one day before the new season is set to start in the country.
Cortana available in beta for UK, Chinese markets, alpha in Canada, India, Australia
Microsoft has formally announced its upcoming update to Windows Phone 8.1, one it will be releasing to developers next week. The GDR1 update, leaked earlier this week, introduces a number of new features and other improvements to the mobile operating system, as well as expanding the beta program for the Cortana virtual assistant to five new countries after its initial United States launch.
Replacement ads state that a site has been reported, branded with force logo
The City of London Police is taking a new approach when it comes to curbing piracy. The Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit (PIPCU) recently started replacing advertising banners on websites involved with copyright infringement, warning users that the site is known to authorities. The move is aimed at cutting off revenue streams on sites promoting intellectual property (IP) theft, even when the ads are legitimate.
Connectivity map, high-speed mobile network in development for UK capital
London will be one of the first major cities in the world to be covered by a 5G mobile Internet service, the city's mayor has pledged, among other connectivity claims. Mayor Boris Johnson revealed the city is working with the University of Surrey to develop part of the capital's long-term infrastructure investment plan, which should lead to the 5G mobile network being deployed by 2020.
Initial Google Fiber discussions end over possible BSkyB issues
Google may be considering expanding its Google Fiber Internet service outside the United States, according to a report. The search company was reportedly speaking to CityFibre in the United Kingdom about a possible launch in the country, though negotiations apparently broke down over a possible conflict of interest between CityFibre and BSkyB.
Department for Transport requires electronics to power on for security checks
Following on from a recent decision by the US Transportation Security Administration effectively banning uncharged electronics on flights to the United States, the United Kingdom is preparing to do something similar. The Department for Transport is now requiring air passengers arriving or departing the UK to have their devices charged before going through security checkpoints.
National train Wi-Fi upgrade funds stem from punctuality fines
Train passengers in the United Kingdom could see an extension and improvement of onboard Wi-Fi services in the future. In an announcement one month after Amtrak revealed its Wi-Fi ambitions in the US, UK ministers have promised £90 million ($153.9 million) to fund a national train Wi-Fi network, funded in part by a £53.1 million ($90.9 million) fine handed to Network Rail for missing punctuality targets.
OnePlus One will receive Android L within three months of Google release
The OnePlus One will be receiving an upgrade to Android L, OnePlus has confirmed. Writing on the device's support forum, the phone manufacturer promises to have the update ready for rolling out to devices within three months of Google releasing a final build of the mobile operating system. Though exact dates are unknown, Google is expected to release Android L sometime in the fall,, suggesting the OnePlus One will gain it before the end of this year.
Nine non-EU countries included in new Vodafone roaming scheme
British carrier Vodafone has launched a new add-on for its customers, allowing them to use their allowances abroad. Similar to an offer by rival carrier Three, Vodafone WorldTraveller lets Pay Monthly subscribers roam in a number of countries and use any remaining monthly data, text, or voice minute balance as if they're still located in the United Kingdom.
Collection of call, text, Internet data to continue under plans by UK ministers
The government of the United Kingdom seeks to force telecommunication companies to log records of calls, texts, and Internet usage for a 12-month period, according to a report. Ministers are said to be attempting to counteract the effects of an European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruling in April, by introducing surveillance laws reinstating powers struck down by the court's decision.
Argos, eBay Click and Collect delivery partnership expanded to 650 UK stores
Auction site eBay has expanded last year's trial of its Click & Collect delivery scheme partnership with Argos across the United Kingdom. The scheme, which initially allowed customers to buy from 50 eBay sellers and pick up orders from 150 London-centric Argos stores, is expected to cover 650 stores around the country by the end of the year, with over 65,000 eBay sellers expected to offer the delivery option.
Links to public interest stories pulled from Google after EU court ruling
Google's removal of listings from European search results via "right to be forgotten" requests has come under fire, with the search company seemingly not following its own rules. Major publications in the United Kingdom have found links to major news stories on their websites being hidden, including one story about the former head of investment bank Merrill Lynch being forced out of his position following massive losses.
Information Commissioner checks if Facebook research broke UK data laws
The fallout from Facebook's experiment with its users continues, with a UK government agency planning to investigate. The United Kingdom's Information Commissioner's Office (ICO), the body that deals with data protection laws in the country, will be looking to see if the social network broke any laws during its testing of emotional manipulation in 2012.
Vue cinemas bans Google Glass from UK movie screenings
Google Glass has been banned from cinemas in the United Kingdom, one week after the head-mounted device went on sale in the country. Following the lead of the Alamo Drafthouse, Vue cinemas has taken a stand against Glass, reports The Independent, while Cinema Exhibitors' Association chief executive Phil Clapp warns that customers will be requested not to wear Glass into cinema auditoriums, "whether the film is playing or not."
Amazon seeks right to print out-of-stock books in negotiations with publishers
Amazon is allegedly battling publishers in the United Kingdom for more favorable contract terms, including the right to print out-of-stock books. The retailer wants to be able to print more copies of works if publishers are unable to provide sufficient stock, with the proposal one of a number said to be under negotiation between Amazon and independent publishers.
Google Search on Android will offer streaming app links on music searches
Google has updated its search app on Android, changing the way it handles music-related queries. Results for songs and artists will now load up a list of links to streaming services, letting the user play that artist's music from within the relevant installed smartphone app, such as Spotify, Rdio, and Google Play Music. Google is rolling the feature out to Android devices in the United States now, and hopes to expand it globally soon.
Proposal could allow customers to switch cellular networks if subscribed carrier is not available
The British government is exploring a way for customers to use their mobile phones on other national cellular networks in areas lacking in phone signal. The plan, called "National Roaming," would let subscribers use other phone networks, similar to how international roaming occurs, but within the United Kingdom itself, though this has apparently received criticism from carriers.
Broadcaster to perform closed Ultra HD content trials this summer
The BBC will be trialling broadcasts of Ultra HD content during the World Cup in Brazil this summer. The broadcaster revealed its research and development labs will be performing the tests on 4K video shot during the tournament by Sony, in order to "better understand the latest UHD distribution technologies and standards in a live outside broadcast."
Proposed Serious Crime Bill in Queens Speech includes harsher cyberattack sentences
Hackers in the United Kingdom could face tougher penalties in the future, as a part of government plans announced in the Queen's Speech yesterday. The proposed Serious Crime Bill, part of which updates the 1990 Computer Misuse Act, would see penalties up to and including life sentences for cyberattacks that cause death or serious injury, or is deemed a threat to national security.
Search ranking demotions, autocorrect reporting among anti-piracy suggestions
Google is not doing enough to protect the UK film and music industry from piracy, an adviser to Prime Minister David Cameron has claimed. A report by MP Mike Weatherley, an adviser specializing in intellectual property, calls for Google and other search engines to fight harder against piracy, which is estimated to cost content producers in the country over £400 million ($669.3 million) annually.
Transport for London requests ruling over Uber legality in UK
Uber is not breaking the law by offering an app-based private hire service in London, the city's transport authority has ruled. While Transport for London (TfL) has sided with Uber and other similar services, the authority has referred the matter to the High Court and asked for a legally binding ruling, because of the considerable interest by disgruntled black cab drivers.
LG rumored to include non-removable SIM card in G Watch
LG may follow Samsung in providing a standalone smart watch, according to a rumor. >em?Inews24 claims LG will be including a non-removable SIM card inside its G Watch, which would allow it to connect to the Internet for notifications and search queries. It is also claimed the Android Wear-powered smart watch will be made available through the Google Play Store, with more details apparently set to be revealed at Google I/O next month.
Wi-Fi hotspots, Android tablet offered with 4G connectivity
British carrier EE, formerly Everything Everywhere and formed by the joining of Orange and T-Mobile, has started to extend its 4G (LTE) service to smaller towns in the country, as well as introducing new devices. It has completed its second phase of the roll-out, bringing the high-speed cellular network to 2,588 villages and small towns with populations under 10,000 people in the United Kingdom, including regions with as few as 65 residents.
Repairs, installation targets for phone connections in UK could reduce under Ofcom proposals
British regulator Ofcom is considering changes to standards relating to installation and repairs to phone lines in the United Kingdom, as part of a three-yearly review. Openreach, the wholesale arm of BT which performs installations and fault repair for multiple telecommunications companies, as well as managing the infrastructure of the phone system, will receive lower fault repair targets and will be forced to offer reduced charges to customers, if Ofcom's proposals are accepted.
Disgruntled free, paid users unhappy by Spotify removal in Shazam tests
Last week's removal of Spotify support from the iOS and Android versions of Shazam in a number of countries may be temporary. The change, which affects users in the UK, Germany, Mexico, and Brazil, stopped users from listening to recognized songs in Spotify, instead forcing them to use Deezer, in what appears to be an experiment on the app's own users.
Operator of Currys PC World joins up with Carphone Warehouse
Two high street store chains in the United Kingdom are merging, it has been revealed. Dixons Retail, operator of over 500 Currys PC World electronics stores in the country, will join up with Carphone Warehouse, a store chain specializing in mobile phones with more than 2,000 stores across Europe, with the deal said to be worth £3.8 billion ($6.3 billion).
Google adds over 17,000 UK public transport routes to Google Maps
Google Maps has been updated to include the majority of transport routes in the United Kingdom. Over 17,000 routes have been added to the app, according to The Next Web, including data for buses, trams, coaches, trains, underground services, and ferries in the country, with details for scheduling, stops, walking between stations, and other information also provided. The update will be appearing on the Google Maps site, Android, and iOS apps today.
Piracy warning letters deal close to completion, lacks penalty for infringing
Internet service providers (ISPs) in the United Kingdom are close to an agreement with parts of the entertainment industry, which will attempt to fight piracy in the country. The Voluntary Copyright Alert Program (Vcap), stemming from the Digital Economy Act of 2010, will see BT, Talk Talk, Virgin Media, and Sky sending warning letters to customers identified as possible infringers, though it appears that, unlike the Six Strikes system used by the Center for Copyright Infromation in the US, the scheme may not penalize infringers at all.
MVNO forced to close after failing to reach agreement on wholesale data rates
British carrier Samba has shut its doors after just under two years of service. The virtual operator, running on top of Three in the United Kingdom and providing free mobile data to subscribers viewing daily advertisements on the service, has stopped providing service to all of its users, claiming the high cost of wholesale wireless bandwidth was the cause of the closure.
Tesco will make successor to Hudl tablet, sold 500,000 units
Tesco has confirmed it is working on a follow-up to the Hudl tablet for release sometime this year, after revealing the British retailer sold over 500,000 units of the Android device, reports Hexus. The current model, priced at £120 ($200), has a 7-inch 1440x900 display, a quad-core 1.5GHz processor, 16GB of storage, and a stock installation of Android with apps for Tesco services pre-loaded. Specifications for the updated model remain unknown.
BlackBerry will update iOS, Android BBM apps over Heartbleed security flaw
BlackBerry has added itself to the list of companies working to fix issues caused by the 'Heartbleed' OpenSSL security flaw. Senior vice president Scott Totzke told Reuters that, though the majority of BlackBerry products are unaffected, by not using OpenSSL, it will still need to issue updates to Secure Work Space corporate e-mail and the BlackBerry Messenger clients for iOS and Android.
Microsoft opens pre-orders for Surface 2 with LTE in UK
Microsoft has opened up pre-orders for the Surface 2 with LTE in the United Kingdom. Just as with its launch last month in the United States, the UK edition will be limited to just a 64GB model, and its £539 ($905) represents a £100 ($168) increase over the standard Wi-Fi model. Microsoft will be shipping the Windows RT tablet on the 8th of May.
Newegg opens up store to UK, Australia with international shipping
Confirming rumors from the end of March, electronics retailer Newegg is expanding its reach from its existing online stores in the United States, Canada, and China into more international markets. In a pilot program, customers located in the United Kingdom and Australia will be able to order a limited range of items from the US store for dispatch to either country.
BBC extends iPlayer catch-up video from week to 30 days
The BBC is extending the time British viewers will have to watch recently-broadcast shows on iPlayer to 30 days. Up from the previous seven-day limit, Pocket-Lint reports the popular catch-up streaming service will allow for downloads or streams of shows from any of the BBC's television channels up to 30 days after being broadcast, with the changes set to take place from this summer.
Nest adds Heat Link to Thermostat for British boiler compatibility
Nest has opened up sales of its smart Thermostat in the United Kingdom, marking the first time the device has gone on sale outside of the United States and Canada. The smart digital thermostat from the Google-owned company joins the Protect smoke and carbon monoxide detector on sale in the country, and could be the sign of a further expansion into Europe.