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

March 20

Netflix, YouTube and Amazon Prime Video all limit streaming quality in Europe

Netflix was yesterday asked to limit streaming quality in order to preserve Internet bandwidth for all the people working from home during the coronavirus outbreak, and the company has now confirmed that it is doing so in Europe …

January 9

Ring fires employees for spying on customer videos stored in the cloud

Video doorbell company Ring, a subsidiary of Amazon, says that it has fired employees for spying on customer videos stored on its cloud servers. Although the doorbell cameras are intended for outdoor coverage, the company also sells cameras for use inside the home …

November 28, 2019

A group of 41 European price-comparison shopping sites say Google is in breach of an antitrust agreement it reached with the European Union back in 2017.

Google was fined a record €2.4B (then $2.7B) after a 7-year investigation which concluded that Google unfairly favored its own Shopping results against those from other price-comparison sites …

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October 8, 2019

Samsung has projected a steep 56% fall in Q3 profits, the company’s guidance calling for 7.7T won ($6.4B). It is also expecting revenue to be down 5.3%, to 62T won ($51.8B).

It’s thought unlikely that sales of the troubled Galaxy Fold device will contribute much to Samsung’s bottom line, but there is some good news in the mix …

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October 4, 2019

Attackers are exploiting a zero-day vulnerability that allows them to take full control of the Android phone models identified below, including Pixel and Samsung ones.

Evidence that the vulnerability is actively being exploited was reported by Google’s Project Zero team…

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September 25, 2019

GOOG, AAPL and other tech stocks lost billions after Trump attacks big tech

Google, Apple, and other tech stocks lost billions of dollars in market cap after Trump’s speech to the UN included an attack on tech giants…

September 13, 2019

Google has agreed to pay almost €1B ($1.1B) to settle a French tax dispute. The amount comprises €465M in underpaid taxes, and a fine of €500M.

Google said in a statement that it ‘agreed’ to pay the tax …

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August 16, 2019

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, 2019

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, 2019

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, 2019

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, 2019

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, 2019

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, 2019

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, 2019

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, 2019

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, 2019

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, 2019

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, 2019

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 …

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