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.

Today

GOOG: 990.69

-1.32

BBC adds Android Auto and CarPlay support to iPlayer Radio app

If you’re a fan of listening to BBC radio shows while driving, the latest update to the iPlayer Radio app adds Android Auto support …

Yesterday

GOOG: 992.00

2.32

WPA2 – the encryption standard that secures all modern wifi networks – has been cracked. An attacker could now read all information passing over any wifi network secured by WPA2, which is most routers, both public and private.

All platforms are vulnerable, but the paper notes that Android 6.0 and later – along with Linux – is a particularly easy target, an attack against these devices being described as ‘trivial’ …

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October 13

GOOG: 989.68

1.85

Samsung hit a three-year high in UK smartphone market share in August, according to the latest Kantar data, but its very minor growth in the U.S. was out-paced by Apple.

The market intelligence firm said that Samsung’s UK growth was driven by price promotions on the Galaxy S8 …

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Everyone can use an Echo Dot: Just $50!

October 12

GOOG: 987.83

-1.42

Google, Apple, Microsoft & others urge Supreme Court to hear gay rights case

Google is one of a number of major companies urging the U.S. Supreme Court to hear a case of alleged employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation …

Niantic invites you to get artistic with Pokémon Go AR photo contest

If you can not only capture Pokémon but also artistic photographs of them, Niantic is inviting you to submit your photos in a competition held on Instagram …

October 11

GOOG: 989.25

16.65

We’re spending 44% more time in shopping apps, with digital-first retailers the winners

We learned earlier this year that the average smartphone user spends 2h 15m a day using apps, and new data suggests that more of this time than ever is spent using shopping apps.

App Annie data shows that time spent in digital-first retailer apps like Amazon increased by 44% year-on-year in the first half of 2017 …

October 10

GOOG: 972.60

-4.40

Wells Fargo promised cardless ATM withdrawals using Android Pay, Samsung Pay and Apple Pay back in March, and has today announced that the facility is available at more than 5,000 machines across the USA.

A customer can initiate an ATM transaction by signing into leading mobile wallet features, such as Wells Fargo Wallet for Android, Apple Pay, Android Pay or Samsung Pay, found on mobile phones. They simply hold their phone or wearable device with mobile payment functionality near an NFC-enabled ATM terminal. Wells Fargo ATMs enabled for this feature will display a “contactless symbol” decal on the front of the ATM.

Weirdly, however, you’ll use your ATM PIN rather than fingerprint to authenticate …

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Software engineer Rob Heaton has identified a vulnerability in WhatsApp that could allow a stalker to work out when two contacts are communicating via the service.

He managed to exploit it by writing a Chrome extension requiring just four lines of Javascript …

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October 9

GOOG: 977.00

-1.89

While the Russian government was found to have bought around 3,000 ads on Facebook in an attempt to influence the 2016 U.S. election, Google has previously said that it had found no similar practices on its own ad platforms.

However, it now appears that further investigation has found evidence of Russian-bought election ads on YouTube, Google Search, Gmail and the company’s DoubleClick ad network …

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BlackBerry officially quit the smartphone business almost exactly a year ago, but the brand name lives on in new devices thanks to a licensing deal with Chinese company TCL.

The KeyOne retained the signature hardware keyboard, but a new model launched yesterday does away with this in favor of an all-touchscreen design …

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September 27

GOOG: 944.49

19.63

PSA: Here’s how to get access to 280-character tweets before Twitter rolls it out to all

Twitter revealed yesterday that it would be doubling the maximum length of a tweet from 140 characters to a full 280 characters. Initially, it is rolling out the new limit to a small percentage of users ahead of a wider deployment later …

Google is officially 19 years old today, and the company is celebrating by giving you another chance to play 19 of its best Google Doodle games.

Billions of searches later, perhaps the happiest happenstance has been how Google has grown throughout the past 19 years. Named for the number “googol” (a 1 followed by one hundred zeroes), Google inches closer to its namesake each year, currently serving more than 4.5 billion users in 160 countries speaking 123 languages worldwide.

Upon clicking today’s Doodle, we invite you to explore 19 surprises we’ve launched over the past 19 years – including our brand new Search easter egg: Snake Game! So give it a spin and thanks for celebrating with us!

The choice of September 27 as Google’s birthday is, though, somewhat random …

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September 25

GOOG: 921.15

-7.38

Update: Make that four approaches … CEO Dara Khosrowshahi  has also written a letter of apology to Londoners for the company’s failings.

We will appeal this decision on behalf of millions of Londoners, but we do so with the knowledge that we must also change […] We won’t be perfect, but we will listen to you; we will look to be long-term partners with the cities we serve; and we will run our business with humility, integrity and passion”.

Uber is trying three separate approaches to overturn a decision not to renew its operating license in London when it expires on Saturday …

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September 22

GOOG: 928.53

-3.92

Uber has been told by London’s taxi regulatory authority that it will not be renewing the company’s license to operate when it expires in just over a week’s time.

Transport for London (TfL) says it concluded that the company was ‘not fit and proper to hold a private hire operator licence,’ citing four reasons …

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September 20

GOOG: 931.58

9.77

Twitter is rolling out a new Popular Articles feature to both iOS and Android apps, highlighting stories shared or discussed by people you follow. Twitter confirmed to Buzzfeed that it is rolling out to all users.

The Popular Articles feature is just what it sounds like — a list of stories people you follow on Twitter are currently tweeting about, or otherwise engaging with. It also shows links to articles popular in your particular location …

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The Taiwan stock exchange has announced that trading in HTC shares will be halted tomorrow in advance of a major announcement, or, in stock market language, ‘material information.’ This follows rumors that the failing company may be acquired by Google.

Local media are also reporting that a Google deal is to be announced …

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September 18

GOOG: 915.00

-5.29

Huawei pokes fun at Apple’s iPhone X, claims Mate 10 will be ‘the real AI phone’ [Video]

A new Facebook video posted by Huawei takes a very unsubtle swipe at a glitch in a demo during Apple’s launch of the iPhone X

September 12

GOOG: 932.07

2.99

WhatsApp testing ability to recall messages, even deletes them from Android notifications

If you’ve ever sent a WhatsApp reply to the wrong thread, sharing your pet-name for your partner with a business colleague, or you’ve engaged in a spot of drunk-messaging, it looks like you’ll soon have the opportunity to recall the message either before or after it is read …

September 8

GOOG: 926.50

-9.45

Playing Pokémon GO good for both physical and mental health, say studies

Two separate academic reports suggest that playing Pokémon GO can be good for both physical and mental health (provided that you manage to avoid car crashes and stay away from landmines).

September 5

GOOG: 928.45

-8.89

Update: While some suggested this might just be a demo mode thing, that approves anything vaguely resembling a face, CNET confirmed on its review unit that the device is indeed fooled by photos.

We tried it on our own Note 8, and sure enough, it’s still possible to fool it with a flat photo. A Samsung rep tells CNET that the company’s guidance remains the same: You’ll want to use the fingerprint sensor or iris scanner for security, and should view facial recognition as a convenient alternative to the simple swipe-to-unlock gesture.

Samsung may have figured out how to make a Note device that doesn’t explode, but it seems the face recognition feature on the new Note 8 isn’t any better than it was on the S8.

Web developer Mel Tajon was able to unlock the device using a selfie taken on his own phone, and even using people’s Facebook profile pics …

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