About the Author

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.

Ben Lovejoy's Favorite Gear

May 17

Samsung Galaxy S10 5G speed tests carried out on Verizon in Chicago have shown that the device and service are capable of delivering blazing speeds – when you can manage to get a 5G signal.

And the limited coverage isn’t the only challenge to getting 5G connections on the device: you also have to be careful how you hold it …

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Carriers selling user location data continued long after they pledged to stop

The scandal of US mobile carriers selling user location data was exposed earlier this year. The data was sold to a wide range of customers, ranging from banks wanting to reduce card fraud to bounty hunters tracking wanted criminals.

But the most worrying aspect of all was that carriers and bounty hunters alike were selling and re-selling location data to third-parties, with no controls over what then happened to it …

May 15

Popular games send unknown data to unknown entities, even if developers are reputable

A range of studies have shown that popular games are sending data to multiple third-party entities, and even the developers concerned may not know what data is being sent to whom.

Angry Birds, for example, knowingly sends advertising data to 43 entities, but developer Rovio turned out to be unaware of additional data sent through third-party SDKs …

May 9

Republican and Democrat lawmakers agree on need for federal privacy law – but not on approach

There seems to be growing consensus on the need for a US federal privacy law along the lines of Europe’s GDPR. There is now bipartisan support in Congress, with Republicans and Democrats alike in favor of legislation.

They don’t, however, agree on the best way to go about it …

The revised Samsung Galaxy Fold launch date in the US will be decided in the next couple of days, says the company’s CEO Koh Dong-jin.

The statement follows an earlier email to customers explaining that pre-orders may be automatically cancelled unless confirmed …

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May 7

Concerns expressed that Europe is going too far in controlling tech giants

Concerns are being expressed that Europe is going too far with legislation which is controlling tech giants and their customers …

Samsung is cancelling Galaxy Fold orders unless customers confirm that they still wish to proceed despite the screen failures seen in review units.

The company has emailed customers who ordered the device, acknowledging the issues experienced by reviewers, and stating that it will automatically cancel orders unless purchasers confirm that they still wish to go ahead …

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May 6

Facebook privacy concerns continue: using humans to label posts to help train AI systems

Facebook privacy concerns continue as it’s revealed today that the social network has been using a team of contract workers to label status updates and photos with keywords, to help train AI systems to do the same thing.

As many as 260 external staff in India have been carrying out the work on content posted since 2014 …

May 2

Harry Potter: Wizards Unite iPhone and Android AR game available, but only in two countries

Harry Potter: Wizards Unite, an augmented reality game briefly teased by Pokémon Go creator back in November of last year, is now available in open beta – but only in two countries.

It’s currently available only in Australia and New Zealand, but you can register to receive an alert once it’s available in your country …

April 26

More BBC TV shows set to appear on BritBox, and stay on iPlayer for a year instead of 30 days

More BBC TV shows are likely to appear on BritBox, the $6.99/month streaming video service that aims to provide access to the best of British television to a US audience …

April 24

Teardown specialists iFixit think they know how Samsung Galaxy Fold screen failures happen. We’ve so far seen six review units fail, with Samsung reportedly taking them all back before any more can happen.

The company says it has identified four potential reasons for the failures, in addition to the screen-protector which isn’t

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April 23

Update: One reviewer has suggested that the units were supplied on 10-day loan, with the expectation they would then be swapped for a US-specific model. It’s unclear whether Samsung is recalling the review units early, but at this point they are not being replaced with a US model.

Just a day after Samsung confirmed reports that it was delaying the launch of its foldable smartphone after multiple reviewers reported serious problems with the folding display, the company is reportedly now taking back Galaxy Fold review units from tech writers and videographers.

The Galaxy Fold was originally scheduled to launch in the US on Friday, but this has now been indefinitely postponed …

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Twitter Q1 revenue beat estimates, but monthly active users down

There was mixed news today for Twitter, the company reporting stronger-than-expected financials, but monthly active users down year-on-year. Twitter Q1 revenue hit $787M, beating both its own top-end guidance and Wall Street expectations …

April 22

Apps to help quit smoking or cope with depression share data without full disclosure, finds AMA [U]

Update: Our sources suggest that, while there is no way to know for sure, it is possible that the developers are simply using app analytics services offered by Facebook and Google. That would see data being sent to servers owned by the respective companies, but wouldn’t make any of it available for advertising.

The American Medical Association (AMA) has found that most free apps designed to help people quit smoking, or cope with depression, are sharing data with Facebook or Google – and only a third of them properly disclosed that fact in privacy policies …

April 16

iPhone XR best-selling smartphone in the UK, but Samsung #1 brand across Europe

The latest Kantar data has two pieces of good news for Apple: the iPhone XR was the best-selling smartphone in the UK during the first quarter of the year, and iOS significantly grew its market share in the US …

April 15

The future of Google News in Europe is now in doubt as EU member states approved The EU Copyright Directive. The new law – which could see Google having to pay publishers to include brief snippets in search results – was previously passed by the European Parliament, but was subject to approval by individual countries.

Not every country agreed to implement the directive, but most did so this morning …

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April 12

Facebook takes next step in plans for unified messaging service to rival iMessages

Update: Facebook has confirmed to us that it is testing ways to improve the messaging experience but has no further details to share at this stage.

Facebook has taken the next step in its plans to unify its Messenger, WhatsApp and Instagram messaging apps into a single, unified messaging service. The result would be something likely to rival iMessage as an ultra-convenient one-stop messaging option …

April 10

DETOUR Act seeks to ban deceptive behavioral psychology tricks to get your personal data

Two US senators have introduced the DETOUR Act, a bipartisan bill designed to ban apps and websites from using deceptive behavioral psychology tricks to obtain access to your personal data …

April 8

UK’s tough new plans on harmful content could see Apple, Google, others, fined 4% of turnover

The UK wants to get tough on ‘harmful content’ within apps, on social networks and on websites – and is consulting on new legislation which could see companies like Apple, Google, Facebook and Twitter fined up to 4% of their worldwide turnover if they don’t act quickly to remove it.

Government minister Jeremy Wright said that “the era of self-regulation for online companies is over” …

April 4

Executives from YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and other social networks could face jail in Australia if they fail to promptly remove violent material from their platforms.

The Australian parliament passed new legislation in the wake of live-streamed footage from the terrorist attack in Christchurch …

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