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.

9to5Mac's Favorite Gear

Yesterday

Twitter testing compromise way to hide abusive direct messages

Twitter is testing a new way to hide abusive direct messages which should be particularly useful for those whose account is set to accept messages from anyone, not just those you follow.

The social network already offers one way to do this, but it’s a bit of a blunt instrument. There’s a ‘Quality filter’ toggle in Message Settings which completely hides what it believes to be abusive messages from those you don’t follow. The new approach is more refined …

August 6

Uber and Lyft admit they cause more city-center congestion than predicted

A report jointly commissioned by Uber and Lyft has revealed that ride-sharing companies create significantly more city-center congestion than they’d predicted…

August 2

Verizon’s latest ‘unlimited’ plans are still limited, but more flexible

In a world in which words meant anything, there would be one unlimited plan per carrier. In the real world, meanwhile, Verizon has four ‘unlimited’ plans. These don’t get any less confusing in their latest incarnation, but at least you do get more flexibility…

July 19

A Google Transparency Report designed to reveal who is behind election ads for presidential and congressional candidates is said to be ‘fraught with errors and delays.’ The report was first created for the 2018 midterms.

Even official presidential ad campaigns created by the two main political parties are not always tracked, with some suggesting that if Google can’t even get this right, then there is little hope of it tracking ads being run by foreign states like Russia …

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July 15

Office 365 banned from German schools, Google Docs and iWork also ruled out [U]

Microsoft has found Office 365 banned from use in at least some German schools due to privacy concerns over the way its cloud service works.

Privacy regulators have also ruled out the use of either Google Docs or Apple’s iWork suite for the same reason …

July 5

Samsung profits for Q2 likely fell 56% year-on-year, warned the company today. The company has provided guidance of 6.5T Korean won ($5.6B). If accurate, as the company’s guidance usually is, that would make for the third quarter running that year-on-year profits have fallen.

Samsung’s profits have suffered a triple-hit, say analysts …

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June 28

Trump administration considering banning end-to-end encryption – Politico

The Trump administration is considering the possibility of banning end-to-end encryption, as used by services like Apple’s Messages and FaceTime, as well as competing platforms like WhatsApp and Signal.

The topic was reportedly the main topic of a previously-unreported meeting of a National Security Council meeting on Wednesday …

June 27

WhatsApp test lets you share status with Facebook, without breaking rules

WhatsApp is testing the option to share your status with Facebook and Instagram, as well as third-party apps. The feature is currently available to those enrolled in the beta-test program …

June 26

Facebook iOS and Android apps test letting you turn off annoying red dots

Facebook iOS and Android apps are testing a new option: the ability to turn off red dots at the bottom of the screen and throughout the app …

June 24

A bipartisan push for a new US law could see companies like Google, Facebook and Amazon having to state exactly how much your data is worth.

Consumers would be better able to understand how much privacy they were sacrificing to use free services if the value of the data used by the companies was made explicit …

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Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates says that Microsoft missed out on a $400B market by letting Google turn Android into the only real alternative to the iPhone.

Gates confessed that his mismanagement of Microsoft’s mobile efforts was his ‘greatest mistake’ …

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June 20

Update: Google told The Verge that it has now fixed the problem.

We were recently made aware of an issue affecting some Nest cameras connected to third-party partner services via Works with Nest. We’ve since rolled out a fix for this issue that will update automatically, so if you own a Nest camera, there’s no need to take any action.

Used Nest cams allow the original owner to spy on whoever buys them. The problem was discovered by a former owner of the popular Nest Cam Indoor.

Worryingly, the behavior survives the official reset procedure, and right now there appears to be no fix available for it …

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June 18

Facebook confirms cryptocurrency plans: Libra currency, Calibra wallet

Facebook has confirmed its long-rumored plans for a cryptocurrency, to be named Libra and launch at some point next year. It will launch a cryptocurrency wallet called Calibra at the same time …

June 17

Instagram account recovery getting easier, and username hijacks less likely

Instagram account recovery will be a much easier process thanks to a new in-app process announced by the company.

Currently, if you get locked out of your account, the recovery process is a manual one …

June 13

PSA: Telegram messaging app issues, Chinese state DDoS attack suspected

If you’re experiencing connectivity issues with Telegram, this is due to what the company describes as ‘a powerful DDoS attack’ (Distributed Denial of Service) …

June 6

Uber Copter flying service starts next month, but you probably can’t use it

Uber has announced that it is making a start on its long-promised aerial ridesharing service with Uber Copter, launching on July 9 …

June 4

Apple antitrust woes could worsen as US ponders major tech giant investigation

Apple antitrust concerns are growing as the US government is now considering a major investigation into possible anticompetitive behaviors by Apple, Amazon, Facebook and Google. It follows an earlier report which suggested only Google was at risk.

If the probe does go ahead, Apple and Google are likely to be investigated by the Justice Department rather than the FTC …

June 3

Canalys is forecasting that 2019 smartphone shipments are likely to be more than 3% down on 2018 numbers, at 1.35B units.

However, what is bad news for some brands could prove an opportunity for others, suggests the market intelligence firm …

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May 30

Apple, Google & others condemn UK proposal to secretly add law enforcement to encrypted chats

Apple, Google, Microsoft and 44 other organisations and security experts have signed an open letter condemning a proposal to secretly add law enforcement organizations to encrypted chats and calls.

The proposal by GCHQ – Britain’s equivalent of the NSA – seeks to provide an encryption workaround that would breach privacy and security in apps like Messages, FaceTime, WhatsApp and Signal …

May 28

GDPR fines total €56M in first year as Facebook faces 11 investigations

The stats are in for the first year of GDRP, Europe’s gold-standard data privacy law. GDPR fines totalled €56M, with more than 200,000 investigations, 64,000 of which were upheld.

However, the fines were dominated by a single case, with most ranging in the single-digit thousands …

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