Heading to the EU? Your roaming bill has just been cut!

Last week, the EU Commission's VP Neelie Kroes promised charges for using your mobile whilst abroad (or “roaming”) will become significantly cheaper. Today the promise has been delivered with substantial cuts across the member states.

This will be a day of celebration for anyone who has ever been hit with expensive charges when away from home; whether on work, holiday, or calling friends/family living away.

Although prices are nowhere near the levels of my teen years (I’ll never forget that...

By Ryan Daws, 01 July 2013, 0 comments. Categories: Big Data, Billing, Consumers, Europe, Government, Industry, Networks, Operators, Smartphones.

Streaming movies whilst still in theatres, enough to combat piracy?

Piracy is an issue which has plagued studios of various mediums for years, and controversially, sometimes helps to push boundaries, as was the case with the music industry. Now Disney and Sony wish to do the same with film and are trialling streaming brand-new titles whilst they’re in theatres.

First, let’s take a look at how music rose, fell, and has got back stronger than ever.

When music had to be obtained from your local record shop; you had to think long and hard about which artist...

By Ryan Daws, 25 June 2013, 0 comments. Categories: Consumers, Entertainment, Government, Industry, Licensing, Mobile, Piracy.

Interview: Telefónica’s Pavan Mathew on “Connected Cars”

This week Pavan Mathew, Global Head of Automotive Telematics at Telefónica, privileged me with an exclusive interview about a report released by the company on how the “Car industry must remodel itself to exploit the connected future.”

As we move towards a fully digital lifestyle we expect devices to be connected; with not just access to the wider world via the internet and services that entails, but also seamlessly with one...

Avoiding tax on Bitcoin? Think again, friend

Bitcoin has been getting plenty of coverage, ourselves included, but for those of you who don’t know, it’s essentially a decentralised virtual currency. Many people are under the illusion that because of this fact, it doesn’t accrue tax, but I’m sure the IRS would beg to differ.

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a report (PDF) which gives a clear example:

  • Bill is a Bitcoin miner....
  • By Ryan Daws, 19 June 2013, 0 comments. Categories: Billing, Consumers, Government, Industry, Networks, Research, Security.

    Raisin Defenses at the FCC

    A Supreme Court case offers a possible route to appealing a forfeiture without having to pay it first.

    A pair of California raisin farmers might have made it easier to challenge an FCC forfeiture.

    A party dinged with a forfeiture that it thinks is unfair now has two options under the Communications Act. One is to challenge the forfeiture order directly in the Court of Appeals. The problem...

    By Francisco Montero, 17 June 2013, 0 comments. Categories: Government, Industry, Licensing.

    Name your car E.T. - by 2015 it will “phone home” via eCall

    The European Commission has signed off draft legislation which requires all new cars from 2015 to be fitted with an eCall device.

    Okay, by “home” it will actually call 112 – the emergency number in Europe – but that wouldn’t have allowed me such a cheesy, obvious headline.

    eCall transmits a “minimum set of data” in the event of an accident, including the exact location; this helps cut down response times significantly and will in theory help to prevent annual...

    By Ryan Daws, 14 June 2013, 0 comments. Categories: Consumers, Devices, Europe, Government, Industry, Infrastructure, Mobile.

    “Provide clarification on PRISM”, says EU commissioner

    The past week I’ve written two articles regarding the US Government; allegations of spying using PRISM, and calls by involved companies for more transparency as a result.

    The Director of National Intelligence claims PRISM is solely for data-collection of non-US citizens; naturally, the EU’s commissioner for justice and fundamental rights, Viviane Reding, wants some clarification.

    In a...

    By Ryan Daws, 13 June 2013, 0 comments. Categories: Big Data, Consumers, Europe, Government, Industry, N America, Networks, Operators, Security.

    Facebook, Twitter join Google’s call for surveillance transparency

    The US Government has been under heavy-fire recently over leaked documents such as PRISM; showing the extent of potentially unwarranted surveillance operations. Companies including Google, Facebook, and Twitter were all pulled into question; now they’re calling for transparency...

    At first glance many would think “convenient timing” but, in fairness to those involved, many have taken steps previously for their relevant company to be totally open...

    By Ryan Daws, 12 June 2013, 0 comments. Categories: Big Data, Consumers, Google, Government, Industry, Security.

    PRISM: The dark side of the US government?

    The internet is in uproar over the US government monitoring citizens and international users through a “direct access” backdoor to the biggest companies, using a program codenamed PRISM.

    Born out of the “Protect America Act” approved by Congress in 2007, the legislation allows warrantless interception of foreign-to-foreign communications. Created with the aim to protect from foreign threats; not monitor citizens.

    Supposedly the system has instantaneous access to companies including...

    By Ryan Daws, 07 June 2013, 0 comments. Categories: Consumers, Government, Industry, N America, Networks, Operators, Security.

    US allows exporting computer equipment to Iran (again)

    The US has lifted the ban on exporting computer equipment to Iran - so long as the technology in question is heading to individuals, and not the Iranian government.

    The ban has been in place for over a decade and lifted after a statement from the Treasury Department accusing Iran of trying to “silence its people by cutting off their communication with each other and the rest of the world."

    A list known as the SDN or “Specially...

    By Ryan Daws, 31 May 2013, 0 comments. Categories: Government, Industry, N America.