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.

August 26

GOOG: 769.54

0.13
Stock Chart

A report in The Information cited by Gizmodo says that Google Fiber take-up has fallen well short of the company’s expectations, and that the company is slashing its workforce in response and seeking to dramatically cut costs.

Fiber executives had ambitious hopes of signing up around 5 million subscribers in five years, said a person close to Google’s parent, Alphabet. But by the end of 2014, more than two years after service began, Google had only signed up around 200,000 broadband subscribers, said a former employee. The current number isn’t known, but it’s still well short of initial expectations, said another person close to Alphabet […]

Last month, Alphabet CEO Larry Page ordered Google Fiber’s chief, Craig Barratt, to halve the size of the Google Fiber team to 500 people, said the second person close to Alphabet … 

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August 25

GOOG: 769.41

-0.23
Stock Chart

Samsung first announced its Pink Gold version of the Galaxy S7 and S7 edge back in April, but the color was then exclusive to Korea. The company is now bringing it to the U.S. as of Sunday, but only at Best Buy …  expand full story

9to5mac 

August 24

GOOG: 769.64

-2.44
Stock Chart

VPN services can increase the security of your net connections when using public WiFi hotspots, as well as sometimes allow you to appear to be in a different country when accessing geo-limited services, but they usually cost money. Opera has today launched Free VPN, which is both free and unlimited …

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August 23

GOOG: 772.08

-0.07
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9to5toys 

Facebook has confirmed to Mashable that it is testing a new version of autoplay videos in its Android and iOS apps – one that automatically plays the audio also as you scroll through your newsfeed. This contrasts with the normal behaviour, which autoplays the video in silent mode, a tap required to switch on the audio …

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August 22

GOOG: 772.15

-3.27
Stock Chart

Some eighteen months after Samsung launched its own streaming music service, Milk Music, the company has announced that it is officially giving up on the enterprise in the USA. In a brief statement, Samsung said that it will close the service in the U.S. on September 22.

We have made the strategic decision to invest in a partner model focused on seamlessly integrating the best music services available today into our family of Galaxy devices. We believe that working with partners will accelerate innovation, enhance device sales and provide amazing new experiences for our customers. We have no additional details to share at this time … 

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August 19

GOOG: 775.42

-2.08
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electrek 

August 18

GOOG: 777.50

-2.41
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Following the modest upgrades AT&T announced to its mobile plans yesterday, both T-Mobile and Sprint have hit back with new ‘unlimited’ plans.

T-Mobile has replaced all its plans with a single one called T-Mobile One.

It’s 100% unlimited and comes with unlimited talk and text and unlimited 4G LTE smartphone data – including unlimited standard definition video – all on America’s fastest 4G LTE network.  And, it’s available at a great price: just $40 per line for a family of four.

As with all carrier plans, there are some caveats in the small-print …

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Samsung appears to have put its financial troubles behind it, suggests the WSJ, noting that it has achieved an all-time record market cap and could be within striking distance of becoming the most valuable tech company in Asia.

After three years of struggle, shares of Samsung Electronics Co roared to an all-time closing high on Thursday, capping a 30% rally this year that underscores the technology giant’s improved fortunes.

Shares of the world’s largest maker of smartphones by shipments jumped 4.7% to finish the day at 1,640,000 Korean won ($1,480) a share, giving it a market capitalization of 232 trillion won ($210 billion).

That makes Samsung more valuable than Coca-Cola, Intel and Visa, notes the piece …

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9to5mac 

August 16

GOOG: 777.14

-5.30
Stock Chart
Existing Gear 2 & Gear 2 Classic
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There already seemed little room for doubt that Samsung was planning to launch its Gear S3 smartwatch at IFA in Berlin this month, but any lingering question-mark has been removed by a new tweet from Samsung today.

With Gear branding, a watchface graphic. ‘talk about 3’ tagline and reference to ‘a timely innovation,’ there’s only one thing it can mean. The date is the same as the launch of the Gear 2 a year earlier …

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August 15

GOOG: 782.44

-0.78
Stock Chart

Google seems to be on a major push to increase take-up of its Google Photos service. A little over a week ago, it ran a video ad focused on how useful it is to be able to recover space on your phone by removing photos already stored on Google. It’s now running a new ad on the value of automatic backups.

The ad shows someone jumping into a pool, and realizing while he’s in mid-air that his phone is still in the pocket of his shorts. The voiceover says that, sure, you can get a new phone, but what about the photos on the soaked one? ‘What will you do?’ the narrator asks … ?

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August 12

GOOG: 783.22

-1.63
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9to5toys 

August 11

GOOG: 784.85

0.17
Stock Chart

We learned back in April that Google was planning to experiment with wireless Fiber service to extend the reach of its high-speed broadband service beyond cities, but the company wouldn’t be drawn on where it had in mind. An FCC filing spotted by Business Insider now appears to provide the answer.

A table in the filing reveals 24 locations spanning 17 states where Google is seeking permission to conduct tests, which are a mix of Fiber and non-Fiber locations …

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August 8

GOOG: 781.76

-0.46
Stock Chart

Four separate vulnerabilities in Qualcomm chips – used in 80% of Android devices – could allow a rogue app to provide an attacker with complete control of the unit, including camera and microphone.

The combined flaws, dubbed Quadrooter, were discovered by CheckPoint researcher Adam Donenfeld, and presented yesterday at the Def Con 24 hacking conference …

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August 5

GOOG: 782.22

10.61
Stock Chart

Just when you think there can’t possibly be room for yet another messaging app, along comes Disney with what looks like a decent attempt to prove us wrong. Disney Mix is a new messaging app designed for use by kids as young as four, using the tagline ‘chat, share, play.’

The free app offers stickers from just about every Disney movie you could name, customized cartoon avatars, built-in games and safety features designed to keep things family-friendly …

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electrek 

August 4

GOOG: 771.61

-1.57
Stock Chart

August 3

GOOG: 773.18

2.11
Stock Chart

Most of us have cursed poor mobile connectivity in our home towns at some point or other, but if you want to know whether you really have something to complain about, the latest RootMetrics report has the answers.

RootMetrics is a mobile analytics company that tests cell networks across the USA, measuring reliability, speed and performance across data, calls and text to come up with an overall performance ranking for 125 metro areas …

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