BBC Stories July 14, 2015

BBC iPlayer Radio app for iOS and Android gets offline listening at last

The BBC announced in a blog post this morning that mobile downloads are coming to its iPlayer Radio app just in time for the BBC Proms. For the first time – using the iPlayer Radio app – customers will be able to download radio shows (and the Proms) to listen offline and keep them for up to 30 days.  To make use of this new service, all you need to do is ensure you have the latest version of the BBC iPlayer Radio smartphone or tablet app for iOS, Android or Kindle.

BBC Stories April 8, 2015

LG giving out 4000 G4 Smartphones to consumers in 15 countries in social media push

LG would like you to get social with its upcoming G4 smartphone launch.

SEOUL, April 8, 2015 — As part of its most ambitious smartphone introduction yet, LG Electronics (LG) will select 4,000 consumers in 15 countries who will “test drive” the all new LG G4 smartphone weeks before its official launch. Kicking off today in Korea, the program will target consumers in the following 14 other markets in the days ahead: Turkey, Indonesia, Singapore, United States, China, India, Brazil, Canada, United Kingdom, France, Germany, Mexico, Japan and Hong Kong.

Participants will be selected from applicants based on their entry responses (selection criteria may vary in each market). Individuals can increase their chances of being selected by sharing their application experience on social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Weibo. Once selected, participants in each country will be given an LG G4 for up to 30 days to experience its unique design and features, including its personalized UX, high performance camera and impressive display for sharing online. Participants will be given various assignments to carry out over the course of their experience with prizes awarded.

“Customers are our best fans and we think this would be an exciting and unique way to get our most important mobile product of the year close to the public,” said Juno Cho, president and CEO of LG Electronics Mobile Communications Company. “We’re putting the success of LG G4 in the hands of consumers before the launch because we believe they are the best judge of a great user experience, beyond just benchmarks and speed tests.”

Interested consumers in participating markets are encouraged to check the local LG web page and social media sites in the coming days for more details on how to participate.

“Customers are our best fans” indeed.

BBC Stories January 21, 2015

BBC updating Android news app with personalized feeds, most-read stories, local news & more

The British Broadcasting Corporation has announced that its BBC News Android app is being updated, with a lot more video, local news, ‘most popular’ links and–most interestingly of all–users able to add their own personalized news feeds.

In addition to pre-existing sections – including Top Stories, UK and Politics – users will be able to add specialised feeds of their choice, for example: Apps, Taylor Swift, Genetics, and Oban.

A new ‘My news’ section allows users to enter keywords which will be matched against tags entered by journalists to populate the personalized feed.

The BBC says that the UK version of both Android and iOS apps will be rolled out this week, with global editions to follow.

The Beeb and its fans tend to be somewhat conservative, with protests every time it changes something, so this time it’s taking a preemptive strike, aiming to soothe the likely objections.

“We know we have got a very large number of people who used the existing app and they really like it,” said Robin Pembrooke, general manager of news products at BBC Future Media.

“It will be a big change for a number of people, so we are trying to provide a warning up front. We’ve got easy guides on how to use the new app, and there’s in-app tips to help people use it.”

The current versions of the app is a free download from the Play store, then watch out for the updates.

BBC Stories December 3, 2014

The roof terrace of Google's London HQ

The roof terrace of Google’s London HQ

New corporate tax measures aimed at preventing multinational companies making profits in the UK and then shifting them overseas where they incur lower taxes could potentially impact a number of tech companies, including Google, Apple and Amazon.

Dubbed “the Google tax,” the British government announced a new 25% tax on profits generated in the UK and then “artificially shifted” overseas, reports the BBC …  expand full story

BBC Stories December 2, 2014

The MIT Technology Review does a profile on DeepMind founder Demis Hassabis who sold his company to Google for $600+M earlier this year. The guy is clearly a genius and has degrees in both neuroscience and computer science and typical Google acquihire. But what caught my attention after looking at what DeepMind does and what Elon Musk and Stephen Hawking worry about:

Hassabis’s reluctance to talk about applications might be coyness, or it could be that his researchers are still in the early stages of understanding how to advance the company’s AI software. One strong indicator that Hassabis believes progress toward a powerful new form of AI will be swift is that he is setting up an ethics board inside Google to consider the possible downsides of advanced artificial intelligence. “It’s something that we or other people at Google need to be cognizant of. We’re still playing Atari games currently,” he says, laughing. “But we are on the first rungs of the ladder.”

That all these smart people are afraid of what AI can do to humanity is chilling. It is slightly reassuring that Google is thinking seriously about the implications.

A video of Hassabis explaining his work follows: expand full story

Everyone can use an Echo Dot: Just $50!

BBC Stories August 20, 2014

People who have asked Google to remove links to news stories under the controversial European ‘right to be forgotten‘ ruling are once again finding the move counter-productive. The BBC News site has posted links to stories removed from Google’s search, bringing back into the spotlight stories that are in some cases more than a decade old.

The BBC posted links to all 12 of the stories removed from Google’s search results. They range from the serious – three men accused of possessing bomb-making equipment in Ireland – to the ridiculous, a dispute over a lost dog …  expand full story

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