Glastonbury claims title of world’s most connected festival

This year’s Glastonbury can claim the title of the world’s most connected music festival as EE, official technology and communications partner, reveals festival-goers used a whopping 25 terabytes of data over the five day event.
 
This year’s Glastonbury can claim the title of the world’s most connected music festival as EE, official technology and communications partner, reveals festival-goers used a whopping 25 terabytes of data over the five day event. Up 130 per cent on last year’s data usage, this mind-blowing amount of data is equivalent to downloading Coldplay’s hit track Hymn For The Weekend six million times. Five terabytes of the data consumed was used for uploading content – the equivalent of sharing 22 million festival selfies. 
 
EE installed the world’s largest and most powerful temporary 4G network on site with triple the capacity of 2015 to cope with the unprecedented demand and saw activity peak during Friday morning’s referendum announcement and when Coldplay headlined the Pyramid stage. 
 
Mat Sears, Communications Director at EE said: “We have seen data usage vastly increase at all major events year after year and knew that Glastonbury would be no exception. This is undoubtedly the biggest event in the UK music calendar and festival-goers want to share every epic moment. 25 terabytes is an extraordinary amount of data for our network to carry over five days – that‘s a lot of selfies – but by tripling capacity of our 4G network this year we were more than prepared.”
 
EE also provided phone charging services on site to keep people connected and created the official app as well as a technology first for the event: a Glastonbury Festival Virtual Reality experience.  
 
This unique Virtual Reality content was filmed, edited and shown to revellers on site in the EE Recharge tent so they could virtually explore even more of Glastonbury’s vast site while waiting for their phones to charge. Capturing a variety of festival moments, from a stunning sunset over the Other Stage and knife throwing in the Circus Field to the weird and wonderful nightlife of Arcadia and Shangri-La, the VR experience was also made available in EE’s flagship London Westfield White City store over the weekend for those who had missed out on a ticket. The VR video can now be viewed across EE social media channels.
 
The official Glastonbury app from EE also proved more popular than ever and was accessed over four million times during the festival as those on site dropped nearly 40,000 map location pins, favourited over three million acts and listened to nearly half a million Deezer clips of their favourite artists.

Man suing Apple for $10bn says he’s ‘very confident’ about the case

A businessman has filed a $10bn lawsuit against Apple, claiming that the iPhone, iPad and iPod all infringe his 1992 invention of an Electronic Reading Device, or ERD.
 
A businessman has filed a $10bn lawsuit against Apple, claiming that the iPhone, iPad and iPod all infringe his 1992 invention of an Electronic Reading Device, or ERD.
 
In an exclusive interview, Thomas Ross, from Miramar in Florida, told the Guardian newspaper that he knows he is fighting a goliath. “I am just one person going up against the resources and power of Apple, the biggest corporation in the world. But what’s right is right.”

 
Ross says he worked on the idea – his first and last invention – for more than a year, drawing on his experience as a software consultant. The culmination of his work was three hand-sketched technical drawings of the ERD between May and September 1992, before filing a patent in November of that year.
 
“I would be at home wanting to read books and it dawned on me that it would be nice to have a device aggregating different functions. It was somewhat cumbersome to carry around different devices for different purposes – the trend at the time,” he said.
 
The ERD was conceived as a reading and writing device, with a back-lit screen, that stored media on the device and on remote servers. The patent was filed four years before the Palm Pilot launched and 15 years before the first iPhone.
 
Ross, who now works as a manager at a law firm, imagined a device that could, according to court documents, “allow one to read stories, novels, news articles as well as look at pictures, watch video presentations, or even movies, on a flat touchscreen”. It would also include communication functions, such as a phone and a modem, and would come with rounded edges in various sizes.
 
In addition to the three hand-scribbled images of the device, Ross also created a flowchart showing how media could be requested and downloaded from a remote server as well as a description of the device’s purpose, look and feel.
 
Ross never took his invention further than the design stage. “It was a question of funds. I was not a rich man and neither am I today. I was never good at going after investors and selling them my idea. I am a quiet man,” he explained.
 
Despite applying to protect his invention in 1992, Ross failed to pay the required fees and so his application was declared abandoned in 1995 by the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Instead of using patent law, Ross is now battling the tech giant with copyright law.
 
Ross argues that Apple’s iPhone, iPod and iPad are “the very essence” of his ERD. He supports his claim by making reference to the fact that Steve Jobs bragged in 1996 that the company had always been “shameless about stealing great ideas”.
 
“Instead of creating its own ideas, Apple chose to adopt a culture of dumpster diving as an R&D strategy,” says Ross, who is representing himself, in the complaint.
 
When USPTO declared the patent filing abandoned, the ERD plans found themselves in “just the sort of place that Apple would have been delighted to rummage through and discover diamonds in the rough to be exploited”. In March 2015, Ross’s lawyer sent a cease and desist letter to Apple’s CEO Tim Cook, requesting that the company immediately stop distributing the infringing products.

 
Apple’s legal counsel Jeffrey Lasker responded in writing, saying that the company believed the claims “have no merit” and pointing out that neither Ross nor his lawyer were able to show any evidence that Apple had accessed the patent applications, “other than to say that Apple copied Mr Ross’s ‘ideas’”.
 
“Additionally, based on our review of the materials you provided, we do not believe there is any similarity between Apple’s products and Mr Ross’s applications,” Lasker added.
 
Apple’s letter didn’t deter Ross, who filed the lawsuit Ross v Apple with the Florida southern district court on 27 June. In addition to seeking $10bn in damages, Ross wants Apple to forfeit the patents derived from his designs.
 
“It’s pretty clear that this is just a nuisance case filed by an individual who maybe thought he could make some money out of it, but clearly doesn’t know what he’s doing,” says Mark Terry, a Florida-based patent lawyer. “He doesn’t even have a US patent. He just has some copyrights for some childish hand drawings.”As for the $10bn in damages, Terry says: “He clearly just pulled a number out of nowhere.”
 
Terry points to another “serious” patent case, Apple v Samsung, where initial damages awarded by the jury were $600m – a figure which ended up being reduced. “If [Ross] had a serious case, that would have been a more realistic number,” Terry adds.
 
Ross recognises it won’t be easy. “I’m against some very esteemed and well-known attorneys. They know what they’re doing,” he says. Nevertheless, he remains bullish about his chances. I am very confident. I believe in what I did. In spite of the odds I feel that I have a shot at it.”

 
 

Apple patents concert camera blocker

Apple has been granted a patent for technology that could stop smartphone cameras being used at concerts. The patent describes a smartphone camera receiving coded infrared signals beamed from emitters in public places.
 
Apple has been granted a patent for technology that could stop smartphone cameras being used at concerts. The patent describes a smartphone camera receiving coded infrared signals beamed from emitters in public places.

 

The handset could then offer on-screen information or disable the camera functionality to stop pictures being taken. One technology journalist said the technology could frustrate consumers.

 
“It could harm Apple in the eyes of some people,” said Stuart Miles, founder of gadget site Pocket Lint. “People like freedom of speech – and who is Apple to tell me I can’t record something? But Apple patents stuff all the time, a lot of big companies do that. It might be created for one purpose, but end up used for something else.”
 
The patent was first filed in 2011 and details a variety of scenarios in which the technology could be used. One example shows an infrared emitter placed next to a museum exhibit, which the smartphone can identify to give visitors more information about the artefacts on display. However, other methods of augmenting museum exhibits – such as location-based data sharing and scanable QR barcodes – already exist.
 

It is also possible that a system using coded infrared signals to disable a smartphone camera could be defeated with an inexpensive infrared light filter, or by modifying the handset’s software. Consumers could also switch to rival devices that do not use the technology.
 
“I think the idea would resonate more with event organisers than consumers,” said Mr Miles. “You can see why some music stars would like people just to concentrate on the music, since they’ve paid to see it. You’re also not supposed to record football games and share clips of goals, as there is money involved and the clubs sell broadcast rights. But it would probably harm Apple, for some people. Nobody likes to be surprised when you want to record a video but can’t.”
 
Apple did not comment on the patent.
 

Till death do us part: Man marries his phone in Vegas

There are plenty of quickie weddings that take place in Las Vegas, but one man traveled to Sin City just so he could say ‘I do’ to his smartphone.
 
There are plenty of quickie weddings that take place in Las Vegas, but one man traveled to Sin City just so he could say ‘I do’ to his smartphone.
 
Aaron Chervenak, 34, from Los Angeles, married his cellphone at The Little Vegas Chapel in Nevada last month in an attempt to make a point about society’s growing devotion to and reliance on their smartphones.
 
‘If we’re gonna be honest with ourselves, we connect with our phones on so many emotional levels,’ Aaron said in a video documenting his peculiar wedding. ‘We look to it for solace, to calm us down, to put us to sleep, to ease our minds, and to me, that’s also what a relationship is about. 

So in a sense my smartphone has been my longest relationship,’ he added. ‘That’s why I decided to see what it was like to actually marry a phone.’
 

Aaron explained that when he arrived in Vegas, he contacted a local chapel to see if they would be willing to hold the ‘slightly unorthodox ceremony’, and he was pleased to learn that they were more than open to it. ‘I think they were really excited about the prospect,’ he said. ‘It is something different and it is something new.’ 
 

Aaron put on a suit coat before driving himself to the chapel in a bubblegum pink car with his smartphone in tow. Inside, his black iPhone was dressed in a white case and perched on a decorated stand, which was placed next to him in the front of the chapel. There were even a few guests at the bizarre nuptials.
 
‘I am trying to ask the hard questions of myself as to what this relationships means, and I am trying to go as far as I can to explore that,’ Aaron noted.  
 
During the ceremony, the officiant asked Aaron to think of all the ‘laughter’ and ‘good times’ he has shared with his cell phone before asking him to promise to ‘honor’ and ‘comfort her’. When it was time to exchange rings, Aaron picked up the cell phone and placed his finger inside a ring that was attached to its case. And while there was no kissing of the bride, Aaron was all smiles as he carried his new wife down the aisle. However, the marriage isn’t actually recognized by the state of Nevada. 
 

‘It’s not yet legal to marry smartphones,’ he admitted. ‘But what I hope my wedding will do is to somehow act as a symbolic gesture to show how precious our phones are becoming in our daily lives, and hopefully get others to ask that same questions of themselves and their relationships with their phones.’
 

Unfortunately, not everyone was as supportive of the union. ‘In 18 months he’ll upgrade,’ one YouTube user commented on the video, which was posted on Tuesday. ‘I’m glad this idiot won’t reproduce. Thank you, Apple,’ another wrote. 
 
However, The Little Vegas Chapel took to the comments section to say that Aaron ‘loves his phone very much’. ‘We can renew their vows when the new model comes out!’ the company added.  
 

 

Vodafone among firms that may move HQs from post-Brexit UK

Vodafone has warned that it could move its head office from the UK if negotiations for a post-Brexit Britain do not result in freedom of movement for people, capital and goods. The telecoms company, which employs nearly 110,000 people around the world and about 13,000 in the UK, said it would take “whatever decisions are appropriate” once the outcome of the talks is known.

 
Vodafone has warned that it could move its head office from the UK if negotiations for a post-Brexit Britain do not result in freedom of movement for people, capital and goods. The telecoms company, which employs nearly 110,000 people around the world and about 13,000 in the UK, said it would take “whatever decisions are appropriate” once the outcome of the talks is known.
 
In a statement, the company pointed out that its European businesses produce 55% of the group’s annual profit, the UK 11%. Britain’s membership of the EU had been an important factor in Vodafone’s growth, it said. “Freedom of movement of people, capital and goods are integral to the operation of any pan-European business, as are single legal frameworks spanning all member states.
 
“Access to the emerging European digital single market should represent a significant opportunity for the UK, one of the world’s leading digital economies,” the company said. “It remains unclear at this point how many of those positive attributes will remain in place once the process of the UK’s exit from the European Union has been completed. It is therefore not yet possible to draw any firm conclusions regarding the long-term location for the headquarters of the group.”
 
Vodafone, which is led by the Italian Vittorio Colao, said that while the outcome of the Brexit negotiations remained uncertain, the company intended to beef up its “regulatory and public policy activities in Brussels to ensure [that] the group’s substantial businesses within the European Union continue to be represented appropriately”.
 
It is understood that if any move were made, it would affect the group’s offices in Paddington, central London, rather than Vodafone’s UK hub in Newbury, Berkshire. Vodafone is now the seventh-biggest company on the FTSE 100, with a stock market value of more than £55bn.
 
Its warning came as the CBI business lobby group said companies are putting investment plans on ice as a result of the EU referendum result uncertainty. 
 
As a wide range of businesses, including German company Siemens and Virgin, warned of the implications for the UK, the CBI director general, Carolyn Fairbairn, called on the UK government to act quickly. Speaking after a summit of 27 business and industry representatives hosted by the business minister, Sajid Javid, she said: “We’re a long way off having a plan and leadership and … that is what businesses need.
 
She also demanded reassurance for EU workers in the UK. “We must give urgent long-term reassurance to the thousands of EU migrants already working in the UK that they can stay here,” Fairbairn said.
 
Javid hinted that UK negotiators may seek a deal with Brussels under which the UK would have access to the single market without agreeing to freedom of movement for EU citizens who want to work in Britain.
 
Maintaining access to the single market, allowing UK businesses trading with the EU to avoid punitive tariffs, would be a “number one priority”, said Javid, adding that “access can come in many forms”.
 
Non-EU countries such as Norway and Iceland have access to the single market, but only on the condition that they allow freedom of movement for EU workers. Despite EU leaders warning that Britain cannot expect special treatment, Javid said a deal permitting Britain to opt out of freedom of movement was not out of the question.
 
“You refer to how other countries have secured access but I don’t think … it has to work like that for the UK,” he said. Javid claimed that some major overseas investors were unconcerned by the political uncertainty. He pointed to the Chinese telecoms company Huawei, which has promised the government that its planned £1.3bn investment in the UK will go ahead. 
 
Guo Guangchang, the chairman of Fosun Group, China’s biggest private conglomerate, told Reuters that he was still on the lookout for deals in the UK. But other business were more cautious. Siemens, which makes wind turbines in Hull, admitted that it was putting wind power investment plans on hold. Sir Martin Sorrell, the chief executive of advertising company WPP, told a conference organised by the Times: “This is going to be very painful, but the turmoil does bring opportunities.”
 
The most outspoken critic was Branson, who warned that Chinese investors were already pulling back from the UK.
 
“The last two days has been absolute pandemonium worldwide in the markets, the pound crashing, the stock markets crashing, and we are heading rapidly towards a recession again. It’s just too sad; so, so sad,” said Branson, who lives in the British Virgin Islands and did not have a referendum vote in the UK, but owns businesses spanning financial services and gyms that employ 50,000 people in the UK.
 
Banks, whose shares have been badly affected by the market rout, also responded to the turmoil. The chief executives of Royal Bank of Scotland and Lloyds Banking Group wrote to their employeesto spell out risks and offer reassurance about the future.
 
Ross McEwan, the chief executive of RBS, told its 90,000 employees: “Our ‘day one’ plan worked, but of course the result of the vote carries with it a range of unknowns about the short, medium and long-term prospects for the UK and its economy. Added to this we now have a period of political uncertainty.”
 
His counterpart at Lloyds, António Horta-Osório, said the bank’s strategy to be a UK-focused, low-risk retail and commercial bank remained unchanged.
 
“I know that the referendum result has had an impact on the share price of many companies, including ours, but I believe the fundamentals of the group are strong,” he said. To reinforce his view he bought 100,000 Lloyds’ shares for £54,000.
 
It was reported that Visa was also considering cutting hundreds of UK jobs as there was a fresh focus on how US banks operating in Britain would react. The co-head of European operations at Goldman Sachs, Richard Gnodde, appeared to signal that jobs would move after telling the Times CEO summit that “every outcome is possible”.
 
Other US banks, notably JP Morgan, have warned about job losses and the Fitch ratings agency suggested US banks could relocate jobs to Ireland and the Netherlands.
 
Robin Johnson, the head of the cross-border mergers and acquisitions team at Eversheds law firm, said Brexit would accelerate decisions to move jobs. “Already we’re hearing noises about possible offshoring and even permanent relocation”.
 
Legal & General was among companies trying to settle nerves. The financial services company said it had planned for a 50-50 probability of a vote for the UK to leave the EU, and had removed risks from its portfolios.
 
Engine maker Rolls-Royce, which wrote to staff in the run-up to the referendum to say it wanted to remain in the EU, said it was committed to the UK, where the company employs 23,000 people.

 
 

Brits could face EU data roaming charges

Plans to abolish mobile phone roaming charges for Britons in the EU could be ditched now the UK has voted for Brexit. The hefty fees, which can come as a nasty surprise for holiday-makers, have recently been capped by lawmakers in Brussels.
 
Plans to abolish mobile phone roaming charges for Britons in the EU could be ditched now the UK has voted for Brexit. The hefty fees, which can come as a nasty surprise for holiday-makers, have recently been capped by lawmakers in Brussels.
 
And by mid-2017 the surcharges – which apply to texting, calling and surfing the internet – are set to be abolished completely. But the UK’s shock decision to back Brexit last week has cast doubt on whether mobile phone networks will still be obliged to offer the savings to Britons travelling abroad, according to an expert in EU competition law.
 
Brussels-based lawyer Kyriakos Fountoukakos told Bloomberg: “This is another area of huge uncertainty brought about by Brexit.”
 
He added: “If the UK leaves and is outside the EU and the EEA [European Economic Area], the regulation will not be automatically applicable in the UK.”
 
No changes will take effect until the UK completes its two-year divorce process from the union, which does not begin until the UK government invokes Article 50 – an act David Cameron has said should be one for his successor as Prime Minister.
 
The EU only implemented the cap last month. It means Britons on holiday in EU nations now pay just 4p instead of about 16p to connect when they make calls. Roaming charges for downloading data were also cut by up to 75 per cent.

British company WileyFox launch £129 smartphone

Britain isn’t known for its phone makers. Here to change that is WileyFox, an upstart smartphone that bills its devices as customisable, secure, high-end and cheap.
 
 
Britain isn’t known for its phone makers. Here to change that is WileyFox, an upstart smartphone that bills its devices as customisable, secure, high-end and cheap.
 

The London-based company gained recognition last year when it released its first handsets, the WileyFox Swift and WileyFox Storm in September and October respectively.

 
The phones are designed to be affordable, but high end. Its first handset, the WileyFox Swift, is fitted with a 13-megapixel rear-facing Samsung camera and 5-megapixel selfie one. It has a dual-SIM, expandable memory and a removable battery. And it only costs £129. 
 
The Storm meanwhile, released a month later, costs £199 and has a 5.5-inch display, 20-megapixel rear-facing camera and 8-megapixel selfie one. 
 
“The idea is to make these handsets as democratically available as possible,” says Nick Muir, co-founder and chief executive of WileyFox.  “They’re designed to feel nice in the hand, and are very familiar to anyone who has used Android – but they offer more.” By this, he means they run on an open source Android-based operating system called Cyanogen that is more customisable. 
 
Muir spent nearly a decade working at Motorola’s phone division before deciding to launch his own smartphone company. Having been Motorola Mobility’s General Manager in the UK and Ireland, Muir had seen the success of phones such as the Razr first hand. But he felt major phone companies were too tied with big carriers, slow moving and not focused on the people buying the phones. 
 
“It wasn’t a massive risk, our vision was clear and we were pretty certain we could do it,” says Muir.  ​”Increased competition, innovation and a certain degree of fragmentation of the current duopoly can only be good for the customer.”
 
This week WileyFox is gearing up to the launch of its third device on June 28. While Muir couldn’t reveal any details about the new device, we can expect it to cost under £200 and have equally high end specs. 
 
“It’s going to be an evolution rather than revolution. There are a number of changes that I think are pretty significant,” he says. 
 
Since the company unveiled its first devices at the end of last summer it has produced over 250,000 handsets and continuously held a position in the top three most popular mobile phones on Amazon, one of the main places the phone is for sale.
 
Ahead of the third WileyFox handset, Muir says,”We’re aiming for several times that number by the end of this year.” 
 
The company has one investor, is Meridian Capital and, while it hasn’t released revenue figures, it is in profit, according to Muir. 
 
“Being profitable with every handset was really important for us from the get go,” says Muir. 
 
From here WileyFox’s plan is for “steady and sustainable” growth across Europe, the Middle East and Africa.  “Part of our success has come from serving the customer and not over-stretching ourselves. It’s better to take our time rather than rush,” says Muir. 
 
As he outlined the company’s plan to expand into France, Italy, Germany and Spain, I had to ask – how will Brexit affect the young phone maker?
 
“From a company perspective I’d like to think we’re pretty well placed to weather any storm,” he says. “We’re a British startup, but we have a broad European base already, and a lot of our procurement happens in China. As long as we stay true to what we’re doing, we’ll find a ready audience.” 
 

 

Google to step up smartphone wars with release of own handset

Google is planning a shake-up of the smartphone market by releasing its own handset, a move that would tighten its grip on mobile software and see it compete directly with the iPhone.

   
The technology giant is in discussions with mobile operators about releasing a Google-branded phone that will extend the company’s move into hardware, sources familiar with the discussions said.
 
Google already develops the Android operating system that runs on four in five smartphones sold around the world, and endorses a range of phones made by partners such as LG and Huawei under the Google Nexus brand. But unlike Apple, it leaves manufacturing to other companies such as Samsung, with the company concentrating on developing the free software that runs on its phones. 
 
The new device, which will be released by the end of the year according to a senior source, will see Google take more control over design, manufacturing and software. 
 
Although Android runs on the majority of smartphones sold globally, Apple still dominates the lucrative high-end of the market. The proliferation of Android device makers, many of which apply the software differently, means Google has struggled to ensure consistency, with some smartphone owners waiting months for updates, and some manufacturers relegating Google’s own internet services which are included in Android.
 
Its own phone would allow Google to control the software, securing the future of services such as the Google search engine and Google Play app store that run on it. 

 
“They are concerned that Android is fragmenting, that it needs to become a more controlled platform,” said Ben Wood, an analyst at CCS Insight. “I think they’ll seek to control it more, more like Apple.”
 
Google is best known for its internet software but has taken steps into hardware in recent years by releasing its own tablet computer, laptops and other gadgets. Earlier this year it hired Rick Osterloh, the former president of Motorola, to lead a new hardware division in a sign of its growing ambitions.
 
The company’s chief executive, Sundar Pichai, said last month that Google was “investing more effort” into phones, although he said the company would continue to support the Google-backed Nexus smartphones, which are expected to continue this year with handsets made by Taiwanese company HTC. “Our plan is still to work with [other manufacturers],” he said.

 
The move could add an extra dimension to EU claims that Google has abused Android’s dominance.  In April, the European Commission formally charged the company with monopoly abuse, accusing it of using the success of Android and the Google Play store to push its search engine and Chrome web browser. The commission has the power to fine Google as much as 10pc of its $75bn (£55bn) revenue.
 
Google declined to comment.

 

EE brings virtual reality to Glastonbury for the first time

EE, the official technology and communications partner of Glastonbury Festival, is capturing the first ever Virtual Reality content of the event live on site from Worthy Farm. Using the latest 360 degree camera technology, EE will celebrate the UK’s most iconic music festival by offering those that can’t attend a unique, immersive experience of the festival through VR.
 
EE, the official technology and communications partner of Glastonbury Festival, is capturing the first ever Virtual Reality content of the event live on site from Worthy Farm. Using the latest 360 degree camera technology, EE will celebrate the UK’s most iconic music festival by offering those that can’t attend a unique, immersive experience of the festival through VR. 
 
Captured and edited on site, the exclusive VR content from EE will be available in the EE London flagship store in Westfield, White City on Saturday 25th and Sunday 26th June*.   The VR video will feature 360 footage from across the event including festival-goers first moments arriving, weird and wonderful performances from the Circus Field and a unique view from both the Field of Avalon and The Park areas.
 
EE will also invite those attending the festival to enjoy the VR experience in the EE Recharge Tent at Glastonbury meaning they can virtually explore even more of Glastonbury’s vast site while they wait for their phones to charge.
  
Both in store and at the festival, the content will be screened over the Samsung Gear VR headset so that anyone trying it will feel like they are fully immersed in the real Glastonbury experience.
 
Mat Sears, Communications Director, EE, said: “Glastonbury has always been ahead of the curve when it comes to music and at EE we continue to be at the forefront of innovative technology. That’s why we’re so excited to film the first ever Virtual Reality experience at Glastonbury, focusing on all the weird and wonderful things going on at Worthy Farm.  Even if you’re attending, it’s impossible to see every inch of the UK’s biggest festival.  We’re using cutting edge VR technology to ensure people can experience as much of this amazing place as possible.’
 
The virtual reality experience at Glastonbury Festival forms part of the wider technology offering from EE on site which includes the official Glastonbury 2016 app – available for free to Android and iOS users now; a triple-capacity 4G network; free 4G WiFi and phone charging either in the EE Recharge tent or with the new Juice Tube Power Bank swapping service.  Whether uploading selfies to Instagram, sharing memorable moments via Snapchat, checking in on Facebook, or joining the conversation on Twitter, EE customers will be able to share their experiences in superfast time and spend more time embracing all Glastonbury has to offer.
 

Uber to ‘hide’ surge pricing notifications

Uber is to hide surge pricing notifications for more of its users to make its app less “complicated”.
 
Uber is to hide surge pricing notifications for more of its users to make its app less “complicated”.
 
During busy periods, the taxi firm’s customers are currently told they will be charged a “surge price” such as 1.7 or 2.3 times the standard fare. Customers will instead be shown a fixed fee with a notice that “fares are higher due to increased demand”.
 
One analyst said hiding the surge price multiplier could stop people being discouraged from using the service. “I’ve been in the situation myself, where I’ve held off using an Uber during a surge,” said Jim Clark, research director at Econsultancy. “We are sensitive to price – as a nation we do like a bargain and that’s one of the reasons they’ll be making this change.”
 
Uber said it was moving to a system where riders would know the cost of their journey before booking. Presently, factors such as waiting time in traffic can increase the cost of a journey. In a blog post, Uber said it had started rolling out the change in the US and India in April. It said more cities would follow suit, but said it had no timescale for implementing the change in the UK.
 
In addition to hiding the surge price multiplier, Uber is also removing an option that notifies customers when the surge price drops. Uber said the changes made the app “clear and simple”.
 
“There’s no complicated math and no surprises – passengers can just sit back and enjoy the ride,” it said.
However, Mr Clark said hiding the surge price multiplier could also have a financial benefit for Uber.
 
“There is the argument that it becomes quicker and easier to see the price,” Mr Clark said. “But I think that’s an argument only Uber might make rather than anybody else. From a business perspective, it makes sense – it encourages people to use the service. But it’s important to give users a choice of whether to wait – being given all the information is the spirit of the sharing economy. At the very least they could give users the option to switch the surge information on or off.”