HTC One Dual SIM makes UK debut

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HTC has confirmed that the One Dual SIM blower is on its way to the UK, having already made its debut in China in recent weeks.

The new version of the Taiwanese mobile-maker’s flagship device has the ability to handle two SIM cards simultaneously, making it perfect for those who pack two devices for work and home.

There’s a special dual-network manager tool, which allows users to personalise each SIM to prevent confusion when taking calls.

Calls from either SIM can be taken at any time and, brilliantly, there’s the ability to switch between SIMs while on a call, meaning it’s easy to take that work call while nattering with pals about last weekend’s footie on the other line.

There is one annoying miss, however. The HTC One Dual SIM doesn’t support 4G LTE, meaning it won’t play nice on lightning-fast networks. On the plus side, that should keep bills down. Otherwise, specs are the same as the HTC One, with a natty aluminium frame, stunning HD display and BoomSound tech for blasting out tunes and taking conference calls.

The device will set you back £494.99 SIM-free, with network deals due in the next few weeks.

  

  

 Compare all the latest deals on HTC here.

 

Apple Patents Refocusable Camera System

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Apple has just been awarded a patent from the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) for a “Lytro-like refocusable camera”.
 
This system allows users to refocus an image after it has been taken, and could make its way into the cameras on upcoming iPhones.
 
So if you have taken a photo on your phone camera and everything was just as you wished, but the photo was ruined by being slightly out of focus, rather than having to take the photo again (when that moment may have been and gone), you can simply press a few buttons on your iPhone and have the image brought into focus.
 
This system would give iPhone cameras a major advantage over competitors, as blurry and out of focus images are the bane of every amateur photographers life.

 

ZTE plotting its own smartwatch

peoples-phone-zte-smartwatchChinese mobile maker ZTE is set to take on Samsung, Sony and Apple by releasing its own smartwatch. That’s the word direct from the company’s marketing boss, Lu Qianhao, speaking with reporters from The Wall Street Journal.

Lu said plans were afoot to reveal the as-yet-unnamed device in the first quarter of 2014, with a release date coming between April and June.

He claimed that ZTE’s offering would be a more mainstream, affordable take on the smartwatch than Samsung’s poorly-received Galaxy Gear. However, despite this promise, it’ll only be compatible with ZTE smartphones.

That may not put off Chinese customers, who the company is planning to target with its wearable kit. Lu said that if it was successful then a follow-up device could work with Android phones made by other manufacturers.

ZTE’s move will likely precede the arrival of an updated Galaxy Gear and Apple’s much-anticipated iWatch. New rumours have suggested the latter could be available as soon as the second quarter of next year.

 

Check the latest deals on ZTE here.

 

 

 

HTC Footballfeed Champions League & Europa League app

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As HTC is the official smartphone brand of the UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League so has released a completely free application for Android device-owning fans of the beautiful game.

HTC Footballfeed offers breaking team news, live match updates and post-game analysis. It presents the statistics in a similar interface to the HTC BlinkFeed homescreen, but is customisable so users can highlight the content that matters to them most.

Other features include details on all upcoming matches in both tournaments, the latest standings, detailed commentary for matches, photo galleries and exclusive HTC promotions and competitions.

You can also mark future matches down for notifications in your smartphone’s calendar and HTC is encouraging fans to feedback suggestions and ideas for future updates.

“The new HTC FootballFeed app is designed to enrich and enhance fans’ experience of the sport they love – whether during the game itself, in the build-up or during the post-match discussion,” said Philip Blair, president of EMEA at HTC.

“Following football is about so much more than just checking scores, and so we’ve created an app that’s a 360-degree view of everything that matters to fans – and because no two are the same, we’ve made it the kind of smart and customisable experience that delivers the information you care about, whenever you need it.”

HTC Footballfeed is available free from Google Play now.

 

 

 

 

 Compare all deals on HTC here.

Lazy WiFi providers offer data-free risks for terrorists and criminals

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Many UK WiFi providers are unaware there are a myriad of Government Acts that have to be complied with. One Manchester company is taking this responsibility very seriously indeed.

There are untold stories about how terrorists and ne’er-do-wells use technology to further their heinous ends.

Whether it’s money laundering by using Bitcoin or mobile payments systems, setting up Gmail accounts by sharing passwords and saving unsent emails in drafts or even leaving secret messages in games such as Minecraft, there are manifold areas in which these so-called people can operate.

There are many other well known realities and myths, but what is less familiar is how Wifi hotspots are used as a way for baddies to communicate. The UK government, however, is aware of this and there are legal requirements that suppliers of WiFi hotspots need to comply with.

Venues that provide WiFi are responsible for this under the Data Protection act, European Directive for Data Retention Regulations 2009, the Code of Practice (Anti-Terrorism, Crime and Security Act 2001), Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 and Digital Economy Act 2010.
When somebody supplies a WiFi hotspot, these legal requirements must be complied with, such as holding data and logging all URLs visited. Moreover, another potential problem for suppliers is that of content filtering, which allows venues to block certain content – such as porn and illegal content.

That’s not to say that all WiFi providers know their responsibilities; many venues are unaware their services are not legally compliant or that the compliance issue even exists. This is a grey area that needs to be made black and white. It’s fair to assume that would-be terrorists or criminals know more about exploiting loopholes than those trying to cover them.

According to the Global WiFi market report by Markets and Markets, the global WiFi market is expected to be worth more than $93 billion by 2018, so a large range of players will be part of that market. For now, one company based in Manchester is a member of the Internet Watch Foundation and taking its responsibility as a WiFi provider very seriously.

Purple WiFi is a cloud-based, secure WiFi hotspot system that is authenticated by users accessing their social media accounts. The company’s software offers enhanced social reach, analytics and reporting; it works with any hardware and is therefore scalable in terms of customer need and geographic location. It is also 100% legally compliant.

“There are various laws in the UK, and most other countries in the world, that govern the provision of public WiFi. The main premise is the ability to track activity on a network back to the user.

“Having an open network, giving out a password or any other method of access that doesn’t achieve this fundamental tracking function could land the business in considerable trouble if illegal activity takes place on the public WiFi it provides”, said Gavin Wheeldon, Purple WiFi CEO.

The company this week released a survey of 3,349 global venues and reported that while 82% believed they were legally compliant, most venues were not. Furthermore, 16% of those surveyed ‘didn’t know’ they were compliant, which shows how negligent some of these providers are.

Some 2,048 venues also confirmed that they were either running completely open networks, meaning anyone could access the network, or handing out a password, which indicates the venue has no way of tracking internet access back to the user. Both of these elements are crucial for legal compliance.

This WiFi conundrum is reminiscent of online access more than a decade ago when large organisations were unaware they were providing password-free access to their networks. It was only after well-publicised campaigns by journalists and others that exposed these oversights and closed this access; the publicity also meant individual and domestic users followed this example.

Ensuring that WiFi providers are aware of the law and their responsibilities is a simple enough process, perhaps as simple as those who are exploiting the present situation.
A similar campaign to those waged in the late 1990s about non-password protected networks would work just as well. Perhaps ensuring that public WiFi networks have a sticker or sign that says they are 100% compliant verified would sort the matter out once and for all.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

More than half of public WiFi networks ‘open to criminal and terrorist abuse’

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More than half of venues providing public WiFi are not complying with the law and are leaving their networks open to criminal or terrorist use, according to a survey.

Out of 3,349 venues worldwide, 2,048 said they were running completely open networks or handed out passwords, meaning the WiFi could be used by criminals without them being tracked.

UK law requires providers of public WiFi networks to be able to track activity back to the user, but the survey by Purple WiFi, the cloud-based Social WiFi software, revealed more than six in ten venues across the globe are not meeting this requirement.

It is not clear from the figures what proportion of UK venues are providing secure WiFi.
An investigation earlier this year found pornography is accessible via more than half of all free, public WiFi networks in the UK.

Security firm AdaptiveMobile reported in September that one in three UK cafes and restaurants had no content protection in place on their free WiFi networks, while a further 20 per cent failed to restrict access to adult dating sites that routinely have explicit pictures.

Purple WiFi published their research as the company announced the launch of its “legally compliant” social WiFi in its free product, with content filtering incorporating as port of its premium service, which costs £25 per month.

Gavin Wheeldon, CEO of Purple WiFi, said customers were looking for “peace of mind” when using public networks.

“There are various laws in the UK, and most other countries in the world, that govern the provision of public WiFi. The main premise is the ability to track activity on a network back to the user”, he said.

“Having an open network, giving out a password or any other method of access that doesn’t achieve this fundamental tracking function could land the business in considerable trouble if illegal activity takes place on the public WiFi it provides”.

The survey also found that 58 per cent of venues did not have content filtering in place or did not know if they did, meaning explicit or illegal websites could be accessed through the WiFi connection.

And while 82 per cent believe they comply with the law, Purple WiFi claimed than roughly only 40 per cent do.

Mr Wheeldon added: “The international WiFi market is expected to be worth more than $93 billion by 2018, but it has offered little in the way of value for the venues that provide WiFi.

“Purple WiFi puts the power of WiFi back into the hands of the venue, with simple social authentication to keep customers happy, analytics and marketing functionality that enables the venue to better understand and target its customer base, and assistance with legal compliance for peace of mind.

“Customers expect free online access at venues and businesses wherever they are, and from today businesses can offer this service for free.”

 

‘Boozing Brits’ lose work devices when drinking

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In a survey of over 2,500 UK citizens by security software company Trend Micro, 52 per cent admitted to losing a mobile phone containing sensitive work data when drinking, revealing a ‘culture of carelessness’ towards work devices and corporate data.

The report highlighted a number of ‘security blackspots’ where device loss and theft are increasingly common. For example, 26 per cent of those surveyed lost or had their device stolen on the London Underground. The Central and District lines are the most common places to lose devices with 25 per cent losing or having a device stolen on these lines.

Commuter routes were another key blackspot, with 44 per cent of commuters claiming to have lost a device while on the way home from work, and another 22 per cent saying it was stolen on the way to work. Meanwhile, over a fifth of respondents (22 per cent) have had devices lost or stolen in a bar, 11 per cent in a café and 8 per cent in a restaurant.

Most of the losses and thefts took place at night, with 18 per cent losing a mobile between the hours of 11pm and 6am, and a further 14 per cent losing their mobile between 7.30pm and 11pm. However, laptops tend to go missing at lunchtime – 33 per cent of respondents had a laptop lost or stolen between noon and 2pm.

In spite of the potential damage that a data leak can cause to a company’s reputation, 44 per cent of smartphone users are more concerned about losing personal content, such as photos and banking details. The survey found that just 3 per cent of respondents were concerned about enabling cybercriminals to access sensitive business data.

Over half (57 per cent) of smartphone users have not set up a password lock on their work phone, allowing hackers to harvest large quantities of personal and corporate data for identity and corporate fraud.

“People need to be more careful with work devices; if you lose your device and it’s not secure you could be held liable for further losses to your business from fraud. You could end up paying for much more than the cost of the phone if the company is financially impacted by the data theft,” said Rik Ferguson, Global VP Security Research at Trend Micro.

“If you’re not sure what the procedures are once a device is lost or stolen speak to the relevant department within your company to ensure that you’re device is protected. A password lock is the easiest and most effective mechanism that everyone should be using to guard personal and work data.”

Vinod Bange, partner at international law firm Taylor Wessing added that fines for leaked customer data can be as high as £500,000, and new EU regulations are set to increase corporate obligations to notify authorities about data breaches as well as raising fines to €1 million or two per cent of annual turnover.

“The results from this survey demonstrate that education is required to help employees understand the importance of protecting corporate data on mobile devices and notifying their employer should a breach occur,” he said.

 

 

Vodafone brings 4G to Bradford & Leeds

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Vodafone UK has launched ultrafast 4G in Bradford & Leeds this week bringing a choice of fantastic sports 

or music entertainment to local people and boosting local businesses with faster speeds, bigger data 
allowances and the ability to share that data at no extra cost. 

 
Vodafone ultrafast 4G brings music and sports lovers a choice of access to either Spotify Premium or Sky 
Sports Mobile TV. That’s more than 20 million tracks from the world’s best known streaming music 
provider; or the best in live action football from across the Premier League and Championship as well as 
tennis, cricket, golf and rugby. The choice of great entertainment comes on top of unlimited data for the 
first three months, then double Vodafone’s standard data allowances, plus unlimited calls and texts. 
Customers signing up before the end of January 2014 also get Vodafone’s 4GBonus: an extra 4GB of data 
per month for the length of their contract. 
 
Ultrafast 4G services will also help businesses to raise their game by enabling employees to work where 
they want to, when they want to. Almost nine out of ten business leaders (86%) believe 4G will increase 
their productivity by providing a genuine ‘in-office’ experience wherever they are, according to recent 
research by Vodafone.* 
 
The rollout of ultrafast 4G services is part of the more than £900m Vodafone is spending on its network 
across the country this year. That investment comes on top of the £802m that Vodafone spent acquiring 
the widest portfolio of mobile spectrum in this year’s auction of new capacity by Ofcom. That portfolio 
includes the crucial low-frequency spectrum that means Vodafone’s ultrafast 4G signal will travel further 
into buildings. Vodafone is targeting indoor 4G coverage across 98% of the UK population by 2015. 

 

  

Check the availability and latest deals for Vodafone here

 

 

 

 

Vodafone brings 4G to Newcastle

peoples-phone-vodafone-4g

 

Vodafone UK has launched ultrafast 4G in Newcastle this week bringing a choice of fantastic sports or music entertainment to local people and boosting local businesses with faster speeds, bigger data allowances and the ability to share that data at no extra cost. 

 
Vodafone ultrafast 4G brings music and sports lovers a choice of access to either Spotify Premium or Sky 
Sports Mobile TV. That’s more than 20 million tracks from the world’s best known streaming music 
provider; or the best in live action football from across the Premier League and Championship as well as 
tennis, cricket, golf and rugby. The choice of great entertainment comes on top of unlimited data for the 
first three months, then double Vodafone’s standard data allowances, plus unlimited calls and texts. 
Customers signing up before the end of January 2014 also get Vodafone’s 4GBonus: an extra 4GB of data 
per month for the length of their contract. 
 
Ultrafast 4G services will also help businesses to raise their game by enabling employees to work where 
they want to, when they want to. Almost nine out of ten business leaders (86%) believe 4G will increase 
their productivity by providing a genuine ‘in-office’ experience wherever they are, according to recent 
research by Vodafone. 
 
The rollout of ultrafast 4G services is part of the more than £900m Vodafone is spending on its network 
across the country this year. That investment comes on top of the £802m that Vodafone spent acquiring 
the widest portfolio of mobile spectrum in this year’s auction of new capacity by Ofcom. That portfolio 
includes the crucial low-frequency spectrum that means Vodafone’s ultrafast 4G signal will travel further 
into buildings. Vodafone is targeting indoor 4G coverage across 98% of the UK population by 2015. 

 

 

 

 

  

Check the availability and latest deals for Vodafone here

 

 

 

 

Rural Northern Ireland to benefit from 7.3 million MB of free mobile broadband

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A partnership between Three and Supporting Communities Northern Ireland (SCNI) will result in up to 7.3 million MB of free high-speed mobile broadband being given to rural citizens and businesses in Northern Ireland, enough data for over 75 million emails. The project is supported by Go On NI, part of NI Direct’s digital inclusion programme run by the Department of Finance and Personnel (DFP). 

The project will see Three working with SCNI to identify those who could benefit from a year’s free connectivity, as well as setting up communal mobile broadband access in a number of communities. Every participant will receive a MiFi, which creates a wireless internet hotspot using Three’s mobile network and can connect up to ten devices to the Internet.
 
The first organisation to benefit from the project is Restore, a volunteer-run organisation based in Limavady. Its refurbished premises are used to support the community by providing youth services and a local venue for community activities. Restore will use the MiFis to offer those that pop in access to the Internet to look for jobs online as well as checking emails and social networking.
 
This marks the first time Three’s award-winning Rural Broadband Working Group has operated in Northern Ireland. All connections will use Three’s high-speed network, which recently benefitted from a £12 million upgrade across Northern Ireland, bringing faster internet speeds to 95% of the population.
 
Dave Dyson, Three’s Chief Executive Officer, said: “Rural communities are often unable to access high-speed broadband, which can impact on people’s quality of life and business productivity. I hope the project will help address this issue for those taking part.
 
“This scheme underlines Three’s commitment to Northern Ireland and follows recent network investment and the Feel At Home price plan that addresses the issue of cross-border roaming.”
 
Simon Hamilton, Finance Minister, said: “This project is a valuable extension to the work already achieved by the Go On NI initiative in helping citizens communicate, shop, bank and access government information online and is a good reflection of DFP’s beneficial partnership with Three and SCNI.”
 
Brian Holmes of SCNI said: “Rural families and businesses are often unable to access high-speed internet in Northern Ireland, or experience the many benefits that the Internet has to offer, so it’s great to partner with a government department and an organisation which are both passionate about addressing this.
 
“The numerous educational, economic and social benefits the internet brings are vital for families.”

 

 

  

Check the availability and latest deals for Three here