Ben Lovejoy


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.


GOOG: 652.30

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October 12

GOOG: 646.67

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Update: According to a report out of Reuters this morning, the sugar water maker is indeed planning to launch a smartphone. At this time, however, the plans are only for China.

“Available in China only, this effort is similar to recent globally licensed Pepsi products which include apparel and accessories,” a spokeswoman told Reuters.

Never mind Android versus Apple, if the rumors are true, the next smartphone battle could be Pepsi v Coke. Mobipicker spotted what appears to be a verified Pepsi page on the Chinese social media site Weibo with a ‘Pepsi phone’ banner. expand full story

October 8

GOOG: 639.16

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Samsung has said that a hack at LoopPay reported in the New York Times did not compromise any of its customer data. LoopPay’s technology forms part of the company’s electronic wallet offering, Samsung Pay.

Samsung Pay was not impacted and at no point was any personal payment information at risk. This was an isolated incident that targeted the LoopPay office network, which is a physically separate network from Samsung Pay. The LoopPay incident was resolved and had nothing to do with Samsung Pay … 

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October 7

GOOG: 642.36

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Lobbying group Citizens for Tax Justice has called out Google, Apple and Microsoft and others for what it described as “accounting tricks” in which companies “pretend” to be based overseas for tax purposes. The claims were made in a report entitled Offshore Shell Games 2015.

Many multinational corporations use accounting tricks to pretend for tax purposes that a substantial portion of their profits are generated in offshore tax havens, countries with minimal or no taxes where a company’s presence may be as little as a mailbox. Multinational corporations’ use of tax havens allows them to avoid an estimated $90 billion in federal income taxes each year.

Google’s overseas tax arrangements came under fire in the UK back in 2013 when it was revealed that the company paid just £6M ($9.4M) on a UK turnover of £395M ($620M), claiming that all its advertising sales were made by staff in Ireland (a claim later challenged) …

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There’s good news and bad news for Samsung today. The good news: the company has forecast a reversal of its seven-quarter decline in profits, suggesting an impressive year-on-year hike of almost 80%.

The bad news is that, while the company itself hasn’t released any details on where the profit is coming from, analysts cited by the WSJ and elsewhere put it down to strong growth in sales of chips and displays – not phone sales. This suggests that Samsung is making its money by helping other manufacturers, like Apple, sell their phones …  expand full story

October 6

GOOG: 645.44

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Updated parental guidelines are needed to help make informed decisions about the use of technology by children, says the American Academy of Pediatrics, as it revealed that more than 30% of U.S. children first use a mobile device while still in diapers. The AAP says that “digital life begins at a young age, and so must parental guidance.”

The Academy says that its existing policy statement was actually drafted before the first iPad was launched, which kickstarted the popularity of tablets as consumer devices. A two-day symposium held earlier this year generated twelve key messages, based not just on limiting screen time but also on distinguishing helpful from harmful use of technology …  expand full story

October 5

GOOG: 641.47

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October 1

GOOG: 611.29

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Google announced a couple of days ago that a new version of the Google Photos Android app was on the way, Chromecast support, people labelling and album collaboration – features first spotted a week ago. Google has advised that this update is now available …  expand full story

September 29

GOOG: 594.97

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Google’s self-driving cars may have an impressive safety record – having never caused an accident in more than a million miles of driving on public roads – but the company admits that their ultra-cautious approach can make them a little unpredictable and annoying to other drivers, reports the WSJ. Examples include taking a very wide approach on turns, and braking at the slightest sign of danger.

The cars are “a little more cautious than they need to be,” Chris Urmson, who leads Google’s effort to develop driverless cars, [said]. “We are trying to make them drive more humanistically” … 

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September 25

GOOG: 611.97

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Google must wonder whether it will ever be free from antitrust investigations. Following antitrust charges against its search business (cleared in the USA, upheld in Europe), the EU filed a second complaint that Google had abused its dominant position in the mobile field to favor its own Android apps. The allegation is that Google forced smartphone companies to favor Google apps over rival ones in return for permission to use Android. Bloomberg reports that the U.S. appears to be opening a similar investigation in the USA.

The Federal Trade Commission reached an agreement with the Justice Department to spearhead an investigation of Google’s Android business, [two sources] said. FTC officials have met with technology company representatives who say Google gives priority to its own services on the Android platform … 

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September 24

GOOG: 625.80

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Samsung has announced that its mobile wallet service Samsung Pay has been used for more than $30M worth of transactions in its first month in the company’s home market of Korea. The company says that the number “has been beyond our expectations.”

Samsung devices are hugely popular within Korea, and the WSJ notes that the “launch was boosted by a massive advertising campaign,” so this doesn’t necessarily suggest that it will see achieve similar take-up in the U.S. when it launches on Monday – especially given the limited number of Samsung devices that support it …  expand full story

September 23

GOOG: 622.36

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One of the best things about the Internet is the access it provides to free educational resources, and the Google-backed Khan Academy is one of the best examples. The non-profit launched an iPad app way back in 2012, and has now finally done the same for Android.

“A free, world-class education for anyone, anywhere.” This mission inspires us day in, day out, and we’ve seen over 30M students sign up on Khan Academy to learn almost anything for free. We know you love using Khan Academy more and more on your phones: in fact, over 30% of our sessions are now on mobile devices. We believe strongly that unlocking the potential for anyone, anywhere to learn on 2B+ smartphones worldwide is just getting started. Today Khan Academy is releasing our first Android app along with a redesigned iPhone app

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September 22

GOOG: 622.69

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If you haven’t got time to stand around in a Starbucks queue to place your order, the good news is that you no longer have to. The company, which first allowed iPhone users to place orders on the mobile app before reaching the store, has now added the same functionality to the Android app …  expand full story

Oyster, the ‘Netflix for books’ service that provided unlimited access to over a million books for a $9.95 monthly subscription, is closing, with Re/code reporting that its CEO and two co-founders have been ‘acquihired’ by Google.

It’s not known at this stage whether Google plans to relaunch the service as a Google-branded product. Oyster said in a blog post that members that they will receive an email with more information in the next few weeks, and Google declined to comment …  expand full story

September 21

GOOG: 635.44

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The argument between Google and France over whether the search giant should have to remove sensitive links from just or from all Google sites worldwide continues, as the French privacy watchdog CNIL has rejected the company’s appeal.

The story so far: Europe introduced ‘right to be forgotten‘ legislation stating that individuals have the right to demand that search engines remove links ‘outdated or irrelevant’ sensitive reports about them. Google reluctantly complied, pointing out the “difficult and debatable judgements” it was being required to make. It compromised by removing links from its European sites like but not from France said that this wasn’t good enough, Google appealed – and now the NYT reports that the appeal has been rejected …  expand full story


Samsung is working on a U.S. financing program for its Galaxy smartphones, which is expected to allow buyers to pay for them over 1-2 years on a monthly instalment plan, reports Forbes. The move comes shortly after Apple launched its own plan, called the iPhone Upgrade Program.

Samsung may be launching this leasing program in the next several months, although that timeline may accelerate, the executive said.

Carriers have been moving away from so-called subsidized contracts, where the cost of a new smartphone is hidden in the monthly service plan fee and the cost of a new device appeared to be anything from free to $200. With true purchase costs now much more visible, manufacturers have a strong incentive to offer attractive financing in order to encourage regular upgrades …  expand full story

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