By June 23, 2013 Read More →

Streetcar Not Desired: Privacy Issues Stunt Google Initiatives

googleview Those who have never used the Google Street View application on their laptops or Google phones are missing out on one of the coolest features of Google Maps and Google Earth. Once you’ve zoomed in as far as the satellite images allow, Street View images, where available, can be accessed for an up-close-and-personal look at college campuses, historic landmarks, and even a home you are thinking of purchasing. The technology brings several cities across the globe right to your desktop, but the way the images are gathered have caused several governments to halt Google’s operations in their respective jurisdictions.

Britain’s Information Commissioner’s Office accused Google of using its Street View cars to gather and store data from unsecured wifi networks it encountered in the process of taking photos and videos. Google initially dismissed the charges as "a simple mistake" on their part, according to the Daily Mail, but a follow-up investigation by U.S. regulators discovered Google specifically engineered software for the purpose of data hoarding. The ICO re-opened its investigation last summer and has requested Google reveal any personal information was gathered and what steps it took to prevent privacy breaches.

Around the same time Australia’s Privacy Commissioner discovered Google failed to destroy data it said it "inadvertently" gathered through 2010. According to ZDNet, Google informed the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner, in March of 2011, that all the data it collected from open wifi networks had been destroyed. French authorities not only ordered Google to delete private data it gathered from its citizens, but also requested the actual data disks be surrendered to them.

Self-Driving Cars

The next big endeavor Google hopes to introduce to the general public is its self-driving cars. Company co-founder Sergey Brin told Time magazine he expects their automated vehicle technology to be a reality in the next five years. A vast majority (93 percent) of fatalities as a result of vehicle accidents are due to human error, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Google reasons their self-driving vehicles will save lives, lower auto insurance costs, and revolutionize transportation in general.

The fact Google’s self-driving cars rely on the data Street View cars gather may limit their geographic reach. Big Brother Watch, a U.K. civil liberties organization, has repeatedly referred to Google’s operations as "spy-fi" and said Google continually makes excuses instead of admitting its spying activities. China has already blocked access to most Google services, while authorities in Bangalore, India banned Google Street View cars in June of 2011.

More Trouble for Google

Privacy issues aside, the sheer cost of Google’s self-driving technology will hinder sales even if the cars are made available by 2017. Developers at Oxford University have been touting their own version of automated driving technology. The major difference between theirs and Google’s is the price, which Oxford claims would cost about $150 per car, compared to the six-figure price tag for Google’s automated cars. Oxford also claims it does not need the mapping data Google uses to navigate its cars.

The one place Google has been relatively free from scrutiny is its home United States. Other than the U.S. Department of Defense banning Google from publishing pictures of military bases, the company has endured just a few scattered lawsuits. The Electronic Privacy Information Center filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission alleging Google violated the Wiretap Act and Federal Communications Act. The FTC, however, failed to prosecute the case.

Posted in: Editorial
By June 13, 2013 Read More →

Green Technology to Improve Your Household

gogreen Many people have green aspirations – after all, who wouldn’t want to save the planet. Some people, however, allow worries associated with the potential costs of going green to keep them from realizing their eco-friendly goals. While some green products – like striking smart cars – are expensive, others are highly affordable. Instead of continuing to put off the adoption of green practice, start with something small and affordable, like adding some green technology to your home.

Home Security

You can stay green while keeping your home secure. According to www.securitycompanies.com, do-it-yourself home security systems are viable, green options, thanks to new technology. Companies like FrontPoint Security now offer systems that you can order online or via the phone – saving the gas-sucking drive a salesperson would have to make. You can even install these entirely wireless, drilling-free systems yourself. The billing process is even green with paperless statements.

Posted in: Editorial
By May 30, 2013 Read More →

Creating a Quality Website With 1 & 1

1and1.co.uk Having an attractive and informative website is essential for individuals and businesses looking to promote products, services, or just to keep others informed. However, efficiently building a quality website from scratch can seem a daunting task. Premier web hosts are available who can assist in creating such a website suited to one’s specific needs.

1&1 Internet Inc. is a leading Web hosting provider. The Company provides a complete portfolio of web services for business and personal needs. They gear their services to various skill levels and budgets. Their MyWebsite offering allows one to create a professional web presence quickly and easily, following easy-to-understand steps.

Posted in: Editorial
By March 31, 2013 Read More →

My love affair with HTC

HTCphones Ok so the title of this post might be a bit extreme but HTC has been a company that I have followed for the past 12 years.

I’ve been using HTC devices even before HTC were selling devices with their own brand name on them. My ‘smartphone’ obsession began long before the term smartphone was in common use. I first got my hands on the HTC Canary, being sold as the Orange SPV here in the UK, in November of 2002. By today’s standard it was an extremely basic phone but at the time it was groundbreaking with its 176×220 colour screen, 132MHz CPU, SD Card reader, 16MB RAM and running Windows Smartphone 2002. It could run some of the existing Windows CE apps but there was suddenly a raft of apps that began to flood the scene soon after. You could even use MSN Messenger!

This was all at a time when many other phones were still using mono LCD screens.

There have been many other iterations of the SPV range and some of these began to spill over to other mobile networks here in the UK and beyond.

It wasn’t until June 2007 with the launch of the HTC Touch, powered by Windows Mobile 6.0, that HTC really began to drive forward with the use of their own brand name and have now, just under 6 years later, really established themselves as a global player in the smartphone market.

Over the past 11 years I’ve been lucky enough to be able to use and/or own almost every device that HTC made. Some have been amazing, those that stick in my mind most include the HTC Touch Diamond, TyTN and TyTN 2 and the Desire. At the moment I am super-impressed with the HTC One and really enjoy using it as my main daily phone, easily knocking the iPhone 5 off that spot.

Over the next few weeks I thought it would be fun to look back at some of the HTC phones that I still own. Feel free to fire over your requests and of course share your own experiences!


Posted by: Matt

Posted in: Editorial
By March 12, 2013 Read More →

HTC One arrives

HTC One I first got to see the HTC One a few weeks ago and since then I have been waiting impatiently to get my hands on one to play with and review.

I’ve mentioned in earlier posts about being impressed with the phone and being more excited about the HTC One than any other phone for quite some time but the past few weeks have made me wonder if my desire for the phone has simply been fuelled by not having one and whether once I had one here it would be less exciting than I remembered.

So my HTC One arrived just a short time ago, I’ve already set it up and have been playing with it. Do I like it as much as I thought? You’re going to have to wait and see, I’ll be tweeting and commenting about it all day I suspect and there will be an HTC One unboxing video up shortly! 🙂


Posted by: Matt

Posted in: Editorial
By March 9, 2013 Read More →

How to make a successful mobile phone insurance claim

mobile phone insurance This week the Financial Ombudsman has suggested that there has been a record number of complaints being processed about mobile phone insurance based on failed claims, so with this in mind we did some digging and have managed to find a quote from the Director of www.mobileinsurance.co.uk Jason Brockman about why he thinks there have been so many complaints and how he and his company believe to be the right way to make a mobile phone insurance claim.

We hope that the following statement and follow up information on the website at the bottom help you guys to gain more knowledge about mobile phone insurance so that it gives you peace of mind as much as anything.

Posted in: Editorial, Phones
By February 2, 2013 Read More →

Twitter: have you been compromised?

twitter_fail_whale_wide This week Twitter confirmed that they are the latest high-profile victims of mass-scale hacking. Over 250,000 have had their accounts hacked. Twitter said that they will be emailing owners of those accounts that have been affected.

So what should you do?

My advice; should you receive an email claiming to be from Twitter regarding your account and password, do NOT click any links in it. Instead go directly to the Twitter website and change your password. If you are in any doubt it’s probably a good idea to go ahead and do this anyway!

Twitter has advised all users to "ensure they are following good password hygiene" – not only on the social networking site but also elsewhere on the internet.

Their advice is as follows:

"Make sure you use a strong password – at least 10 (but more is better) characters and a mixture of upper- and lower case letters, numbers, and symbols – that you are not using for any other accounts or sites. Using the same password for multiple online accounts significantly increases your odds of being compromised."

It is believed that email addresses, account info and encrypted passwords have been stolen by an unknown hacking group. Despite it being encrypted passwords that have been compromised it is possible to crack this encryption, especially if your password is a simple dictionary word. Now might be a good time for you all to go and reset your passwords on Twitter and even other high profile sites!


Posted by: Matt

Posted in: Editorial
By January 24, 2013 Read More →

Best Technology bargains of the beginning of 2013

MVC logo The latest releases are never cheap, but luckily, you don’t have to buy the new ‘must-have’ gadget to enjoy the best technology. With lots of retailers offering massive reductions on TV’s, laptops and more – you could find a great deal.

Want to update your home entertainment system? Curry’s are offering up to £300 off a range of TV’s in the sale.

Similarly, Argos has 1000’s of clearance items on offer – from camcorders to personal stereo systems – there are loads of discounts to take advantage of.

If you’re looking for a new speaker dock or set of earphones, Debenhams are currently offering 25% off a range of iPod accessories.

Or for a sleek new ultrabook, head to John Lewis. With massive reductions and cash back deals, you could find one for an amazing price.

Finally, with Dell offering 10% off business ultrabooks over £500 – Dell SMB have got your business needs covered.


Posted by: Matt

Posted in: Editorial
By January 2, 2013 Read More →

A (belated) Happy New Year!

I wanted to take this opportunity to wish you all a very happy new year.

Regular visitors my have noticed the uncharacteristic lack of new items over the past week. Unfortunately both James and myself were really ill over the Christmas period so have been out of action.

However, normal service will shortly be resumed.

Lots of good things planned for this year too so watch this space!


Posted by: Matt

Posted in: Editorial
By November 14, 2012 Read More →

Miami Ink comes to London


Yes, this has nothing to do with mobile tech I’m afraid however you may have noticed from the unboxing videos I have done that I am heavily tattooed, in fact I even have the BlackBerry logo tattooed on my leg!

With one in three people in the UK having at least one tattoo you may well have seen the TV shows Miami Ink or NY Ink. Well, the good news for fans of those shows is that the star of the shows Ami James is opening a new shop in London with Huey Morgan (Fun Loving Criminals). Although most people associate Miami Ink with the name of the shop it is in fact called LoveHate and that too the name of the new London shop which can be found in Notting Hill (LoveHate Social Club).

The new studio opens this Friday (16th November) and I shall be attending the evening launch party. However, so I can relate this to mobiles in some shape or form I’m going on a mission to check out what phones at the party people are using. I will be armed with my video camera so hopefully I can catch some celebs with their smatphones in hand. It will be interesting to see what the mix of BlackBerry, iPhone, Android and Windows Phone are like in the tattoo world.

If you fancy getting inked then check out lovehatesocialclub.com


Posted by: James

Posted in: Editorial