Ben Lovejoy

@benlovejoy

Ben Lovejoy is a British technology writer who started his career on PC World and has written for dozens of computer and technology magazines, as well as numerous national newspapers, business and in-flight magazines. He has also written two novels.

He thinks wires are evil and had a custom desk made to hide them, known as the OC Desk for obvious reasons.

He considers 1000 miles a good distance for a cycle ride, and Chernobyl a suitable tourist destination. What can we say, he’s that kind of chap.

He speaks fluent English but only broken American, so please forgive any Anglicised spelling in his posts.

Today

GOOG: 699.31

7.21
Stock Chart

If you live or work in NYC, you may have already seen the LinkNYC kiosks that offer free gigabit WiFi access, USB charging ports and more, funded by the ads they display on the embedded screens. But Alphabet-owned Sidewalk Labs – which leads the consortium behind the kiosks – believes they can do much more.

According to documents obtained by Re/code, Sidewalk Labs wants to embed into the kiosks a whole range of sensors designed to improve safety and quality of life …

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June 29

GOOG: 684.11

4.07
Stock Chart

If you’re an Amazon Prime member in the market for a low-cost unlocked Android phone, the company is offering $50 off the full retail price of two models. The budget BLU R1 HD, normally $99.99, is available for $49.99, while the 4th-gen version of the popular Moto G is down from $199.99 to $149.99.

Each phone is offered unlocked, with no commitment to a contract, giving Prime members the flexibility to switch between wireless carriers and service options to best fit their needs. The BLU R1 HD and Moto G feature Android 6.0 Marshmallow with Google Mobile Services, including Google Maps, Gmail, YouTube, and Google Play … 

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Google has been rolling out more and more instant answers – where the search-engine provides the answer immediately, rather than requiring you to click on an external link. Just yesterday it added song lyrics, and it now appears to be testing a built-in Internet speed test …

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9to5mac 

June 28

GOOG: 680.04

11.78
Stock Chart

Noise-cancelling headphones are great when you just want to eliminate all outside noise, as you might on board a plane, but there are times when you want to be able to block most outside noise, but not all. Being able to hear car engines while cycling, or announcements while on a train, for example. That’s what the Here One wireless earbuds are designed to do.

The company says it uses smart noise filters to provide what it calls ‘layered listening.’

Control the volume of streamed audio and ambient sound simultaneously. Safely listen to music while riding your bike, or access live commentary at a game while still experiencing the cheering crowd. Unlike normal headphones, Here One doesn’t isolate you from the world […]

Selectively filter out an airplane engine, office chatter, a siren, and more. Amplify speech to tune into every word at a crowded restaurant or party … 

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If you’ve ever Googled for song lyrics, you know what a messy experience it can be – half the sites proving to be just links to other sites, others looking really sketchy. For those in the US, though, things should be much simpler. Google has licensed lyrics from LyricFind, which in turn licenses them from labels, so that a search for a song title with ‘lyrics’ on the end should generate an immediate link.

Of course, Google is arriving rather late to the party …

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The European Union has already filed two sets of antitrust charges against Google, the first accusing it of manipulating search results to favor its own products, the second alleging that Google forces Android device manufacturers to install its own apps and set Google search as the default.

Last summer, it was reported that the company may face a third antitrust case in Europe, this time for abusing its dominant position in advertising, and the WSJ reports that the EU is currently preparing to files these charges, possibly next month …

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9to5toys 

June 24

GOOG: 675.22

-26.65
Stock Chart

Google Trends tells the story of the result of Britain’s decision to leave the European Union. Trending searches include a 500% spike in ‘buy gold,’ a doubling in searches on getting an Irish passport and some people apparently wondering what just happened …

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The Verge reports that Uber is testing a new version of its app that offers customers good news and bad. On the plus side, it will specify a fixed fare up-front, so you know exactly what you’ll be paying. On the downside, it will be much less obvious when surge-pricing is in effect …

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June 23

GOOG: 701.87

4.41
Stock Chart
Google's machine-learning head, Jeff Dean
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A long-form Backchannel post by Steven Levy gives a fascinating insight into Google’s vision of the future of machine-learning. While it’s currently a specialist field, Google believes that one day it will be used by all software engineers no matter what the field, and that it will ‘change humanity.’

Google is starting small. It invites just 18 software engineers a year to join its Machine Learning Ninja Program, where they work alongside expert mentors for six months before going back to apply the approach to their own work. But Google’s machine-learning leader Jeff Dean estimates that around 10% of its 25,000 developers are proficient in the field, and he’d like that number to be 100%.

What’s notable is that all involved, from those in the Ninja program to the company’s key experts in the field, see machine-learning as something transformative …

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electrek 

If you’re one of the 2.5M Americans planning a European vacation this summer, T-Mobile has a pretty sweet deal for its Simple Choice customers: free unlimited speed data throughout July and August, up from the normal 128Kbps limit.

The Un-carrier today announced it’s unleashing summer travel, giving customers unlimited high-speed data, up to 4G LTE speeds, throughout Europe all summer long […]

Starting July 1st all the way through August 31st, T-Mobile’s giving Simple Choice customers unlimited high-speed data across all of Europe (except Andorra) – all at absolutely no additional cost – so you can share, Skype, snap and scope every moment of your European holiday … 

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June 22

GOOG: 697.46

1.52
Stock Chart

YouTube appears to be having major problems this morning, completely down for some people, intermittently so for others …

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9to5mac 

Any SF fan will be familiar with Asimov’s famous Three Laws of Robotics, designed to ensure that robots were safe to be around. Scientists at Google, OpenAI, Stanford and Berkeley have just published a paper proposing the real-life equivalent for AI systems.

In a blog post summarising the proposal, Google Research’s Chris Olah says that while the team believes that AI will greatly benefit humanity, the risks do also need to be considered …

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June 21

GOOG: 695.94

2.23
Stock Chart
9to5toys 

June 17

GOOG: 691.72

-18.64
Stock Chart

June 16

GOOG: 710.36

-8.56
Stock Chart
electrek 

June 15

GOOG: 718.92

0.65
Stock Chart

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