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.

May 25

On the day Europe’s new privacy law takes effect, Google already accused of breaking it [U]

Europe’s tough new privacy law, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), came into force today. It provides the strongest protections the world has ever seen for customer and user data.

Google is already being accused of breaking the law by one privacy campaign group, and being hit with the €3.7B ($4.32B) lawsuit …

May 23

With the European Parliament having passed some extremely tough privacy legislation, and many members being well-versed in the issues as they relate to tech companies, there were high hopes for yesterday’s grilling of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

Tough and pertinent questions were indeed asked, far more so than in Congress – but Zuckerberg failed to answer more than 40 of them …

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May 22

How to watch today’s livestream of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s European grilling

If you enjoyed watching Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg squirming while being asked difficult questions and trying to keep a straight face while being asked stupid ones during his testimony to Congress, you might want to tune in to the sequel today …

May 21

Call for Facebook to be broken up as EU says it will livestream Zuckerberg’s testimony

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s testimony to Congress was the video stream that launched a thousand memes – and now meme creators will get another opportunity. The European Parliament has announced that its meeting with Zuckerberg tomorrow will also be livestreamed …

May 18

Aged 55+? T-Mobile and Sprint trust you not to download the entire Internet …

There are a few benefits to getting older. After T-Mobile last year launched a new unlimited plan for customers aged 55+, Sprint has now done the same …

May 16

Twitter crowdsourcing action against ‘unhealthy tweets’ which don’t violate policies

Twitter currently uses a combination of human review and AI to identify problematic tweets. Where a tweet violates the company’s policies, it is removed.

But the company is now aiming to use an innovative approach to dealing with tweets which don’t technically break the rules but are ‘unhealthy’ or detract from the conversation …

May 15

Spending too much time on Instagram? The app may let you know …

If you suspect you may be spending a little too much time using Instagram, you may soon be able to check out the total time you’ve spent using the app …

We learned back in January that the Vivo X20 Plus UD had won the race to be the world’s first smartphone with a fingerprint reader embedded into the display.

We discovered later that it still works fine with a few scratches, but a tech reviewer has now put it through a far more extensive set of tests …

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Ready to try the Pixelbook?

May 14

Facebook suspends 200 apps in data misuse investigation, says they may not be guilty

Facebook has suspended around 200 apps as part of the internal investigation prompted by data misuse by Cambridge Analytica …

May 11

Google has revealed the steps it is taking to comply with new European privacy regulations, known as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

As part of this, Google is making it easier to see the search, browsing and YouTube viewing history it keeps on you, to delete any items you don’t want included, and to stop the company from logging your activity in future …

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May 10

Malicious Google Assistant commands can be hidden in music and innocuous-sounding speech recordings

A group of students from Berkeley have demonstrated how malicious commands to Google Assistant, Alexa, and Siri can be hidden in recorded music or innocuous-sounding speech.

May 9

Niantic CEO John Hanke said that Pokémon GO players will help create a 3D map of the world that can be used to enhance the game and assist in the development of new augmented reality apps …

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A demo game created by Google allows Android and iOS users to shoot each other in augmented reality.

No, it isn’t platform wars getting out of control, but rather a demonstration of a way to allow Android’s ARCore and Apple’s ARKit to access the same augmented reality world …

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May 8

Twitter appears to be working on supporting encrypted direct messages, with a feature currently labelled Secret Conversations. A computer science student spotted code which supports the use of end-to-end encryption …

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May 3

Net neutrality not dead yet as Democratic senator attempts long-shot arcane procedure to save it

You might have thought net neutrality was dead – at least, outside of a few states defying the FCC to pass their own laws or rules. But one senator believes that there is still a chance to save it, using an arcane congressional procedure …

Smartphone market leader Samsung saw its market share fall 2.4% year-on-year in the first quarter of this year, reports IDC, despite launching its flagship S9 and S9+ handsets earlier than usual.

IDC does, however, note that the bulk of S9/S9+ sales will fall into Q2 …

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Cambridge Analytica filing for bankruptcy after Facebook scandal, but may re-emerge

Facebook may have taken a huge PR hit from allowing personal data to be misused by Cambridge Analytica, but the impact on the political consultancy itself appears to have been more significant. The firm says that it has ceased most operations, and is filing for bankruptcy …

April 30

Twitter sold data to Cambridge Analytica; data sales account for 13% of revenue

Facebook came under massive fire for first allowing Cambridge Analytica to hoover up user data from the platform, and second keeping quiet when it found out about it. But it turns out that Twitter has directly sold data to the company …

April 26

Snap’s first attempt at Spectacles were rather an, uh, spectacular failure. The company lost $40M after ending up with hundreds of thousands of unsold units.

An FCC filing earlier this month showed that the company wasn’t giving up, however, with the company’s CEO confirming yesterday that it would be releasing a new model this week. That model has launched today with a number of enhancements …

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April 25

Facebook apps to be banned from posting to your profile, in two stages

Facebook continues to tighten security after the Cambridge Analytica saga. After recently explaining how it will comply with new privacy laws, it is now taking steps to stop apps posting to your profile …

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