Groupon given deadline to improve in the UK

GrouponI thought this news I was just reading relevant to many readers and viewers of WordPress as Groupon is an app on many a smartphone these days. The laws in the UK to protect customers are wide ranging and protect the consumer really well, so its good that the Office of Fair Trading (I guess similar to the USA and Canada’s, Better Business Bureau) has issued this warning.

“Voucher company Groupon has been given three months to improve the way it operates by a UK regulator.

An investigation by the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) found “widespread” examples of breaches of consumer protection rules.

The OFT has specific concerns over “pricing, advertising, refunds, unfair terms, and the diligence of its interactions with merchants”.

Groupon has agreed to change to ensure honesty with customers.”

Read more from BBC News HERE

Anonymous vs Sony

hackerI maybe completely wrong but I have some suspicions on this latest spat between Sony and the hacker collective “anonymous” in that its a bit co-incidental that anonymous have gained the blame, is this an easy scapegoat do to their past history?

“Online vigilante group Anonymous has denied being behind an attack that led to the theft of personal data from around 77 million PlayStation users.

The secretive “hacker collective” had earlier been singled-out by Sony as the possible guilty party.

But a posting on Anonymous’ blog said: “Let’s be clear, we are legion, but it wasn’t us. You are incompetent Sony.”

The electronics giant has offered compensation to users who suffer fraud as a result of the theft.

Earlier this week, Sony sent a letter to the US Congress accusing Anonymous of being involved in the attack.”

I have seen in the past 6 months companies loosing what is supposed to be secure data left right and center, Epsilon is one notable one that I have had emails from companies that use this marketing company that my email address was potentially taken in a hack on their servers, this should really not happen if measures are in place and up to date. Yes you will never stop the concerted hacker from penetrating your servers in time, but we just seem to be of late seeing companies leaking data too much and I’m happy to see the Information Commissioners Office (ICO) investigating HERE if Sony have broken what is quite tough data protection laws we have in the UK.

Full article at BBC Technology News HERE

Amazon Start Cloud Drive and Cloud Player

GettingStarted_TCG__V184037123_Amazon have seemed to have gotten the jump on its main rivals in Apple and Google, who have been reported to be developing similar services, but have not released them as yet.

Maybe a co-incidence that Amazon has released this now to mainly get its “cloud” based product out first before Apple as Apple are trying to fight Amazon in the courts over the usage of the term “apps store”.

Its very easy to upload files and this is my amazon account below, with my newly added “Cloud Drive”, you can not only upload music which you can play on the “Cloud Player” (Cloud Player is for US customers only at present) but you can upload Video, Documents and Pictures, which is handy if you are travelling.

Amazon Cloud Drive 001 Amazon Cloud Drive 002

Link to the service is HERE and users gain 5GB of “Cloud Drive” online storage to start with, you can update and there is a route to gain 20GB in purchasing an album (do read the T&Cs). You can also upload music from your own library to add to the Cloud Drive storage, which will allow you to stream your music anywhere you have an internet connection.

“Amazon has launched Cloud Player and Cloud Drive today, a new service that will allow customers to store music files on the company’s servers but stream the content on their computers and mobile devices. Amazon is advertising the product as a way of streamlining the management of digital music collections, both in terms of providing easier access to files and preventing the possibility of losing everything in a disk drive crash.”

Read the full article to the quote above HERE at Rolling Stone

Ofcom in UK announces 4G consultation

Ofcom logo

The next generation of mobile communications as in 4G will be up for sale to providers like O2, T-Mobile, Vodaphone, The 3 Network, in early 2012. This will open the UK up to much quicker mobile communications than the current 3G, we do still lag some other countries in adopting 4G.

“The telecoms regulator has launched a consultation on how best to sell off the rights to the next generation of mobile wireless networks.

The auction of the fourth generation, or 4G, spectrum will be the largest ever, equivalent to three quarters of the mobile spectrum in use today.

The last time an auction was held, for 3G in 2000, it raised a record £22.5bn for the Treasury.

The auction itself is expected to start in the first quarter of 2012.

The additional spectrum to be sold off should mean faster speeds for downloading data – such as music and movies – to phones as more capacity is made spare for all the networks.”

4G will help the vast numbers of users now using smartphones like the iPhone, Android and Windows Mobile 7 series phones in connecting and sending data much quicker, especially in streaming.

Read full article at BBC Technology News HERE

Jan 28th Data Privacy Day

StopWe all know how important data privacy is and more so as we are now using computing and the internet more and more to do banking, social networking, shopping e.t.c

 

Jan 28th is Data Privacy Day

“Data Privacy Day is an international celebration of the dignity of the individual expressed through personal information.  In this networked world, in which we are thoroughly digitized, with our identities, locations, actions, purchases, associations, movements, and histories stored as so many bits and bytes, we have to ask – who is collecting all of this – what are they doing with it  – with whom are they sharing it?  Most of all, individuals are asking ‘How can I protect my information from being misused?’  These are reasonable questions to ask – we should all want to know the answers.”

http://dataprivacyday2011.org/

Some good links to other sites and guides on the above site, the Cisco one HERE is a good basic one to help novice and new users to the internet and I know many PC savvy users help teach users in the basics to get them active on the internet, so this is a good guide to hand out letting them know some of the jargon and what it means. 

A lot of other good links and downloadable guides also.

Facebook U-turns on phone and address data sharing

I think personally that Facebook had no choice other than to reverse this decision to allow external websites and companies to see users addresses and phone numbers, with the amount of junk texts and mail you get these days, this would have just added to the numbers in a massive way.

“Facebook appears to have U-turned on plans to allow external websites to see users’ addresses and mobile phone numbers.

Security experts pointed out that such a system would be ripe for exploitation from rogue app developers.”

I agree with the quote above from BBC Technology news in that this would be exploited and may have been a bit of a death nail for Facebook as more and more computer and internet users are now aware of protecting their privacy online and not to give out too much personal information.

Rest of article at BBC Technology news HERE

Steps to control the information you share on Facebook HERE