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Home » Friday round-up: A week in tech

Friday round-up: A week in tech

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Do you have one of Apple’s electric iPhones? Do you access the popular web portal Google through it? Well, let me be the first to bring you the great news: you could be in for some money.

The internet search giant is being taken to court for allegedly sweeping up millions of iPhone users’ personal data by secretly creeping past their device’s security settings.

The case is being led by campaign group ‘Google You Owe Us’ whose head, Richard Lloyd, reckons that users could get ‘several hundred pounds each’ – which I must say, as an iPhone user and Google consumer, is excellent news.

Apparently, during 2011 and 2012, Google put ad-tracking cookies on devices using Safari – the web browser that iPhones come preinstalled with. (Incidentally, this isn’t good news for me – I didn’t get an iPhone until 2013, damn it.)

Since realising that I’m unlikely to get a pay-out, I’ve lost interest in this story to be honest, but I’ll persevere. Richard Lloyd said: ‘In all my years speaking up for consumers, I’ve rarely seen such a massive abuse of trust where so many people have no way to seek redress on their own. Through this action, we will send a strong message to Google and other tech giants in Silicon Valley that we’re not afraid to fight back.’

If you happen to be one of the ‘lucky ones’ who were googling on an iPhone during the 2011-12 golden era, have a read of this BBC report.


The world’s most famous, silliest, deranged and maniac Twitter account has done it again. In fact, President Donald Trump’s (for it is he) latest ill-advised digital barrage of contemptible drivel is so belligerent and foolish that it actually provoked a rare rebuke from Prime Minister Theresa May.

From the comfort of the Whitehouse sofa, the president re-tweeted three videos from far-right mob Britain First – a group who love Britain so much that they’ve apparently dedicated their lives to destroying as much of it as possible.

The videos purport to show various Muslims committing various atrocious acts – but, as is often the way with these sort of things, the clips aren’t necessarily what they appear; there are contextual issues; the air is thick with lies; and, ultimately, it all rather feels like an exercise in demonising people and creating greater tensions in our communities, which it obviously is. But some people like that sort of thing, don’t they?

Anyway, Theresa May’s official spokesman managed to muster that it was ‘wrong for the president to have done this,’ which is better than nothing, I suppose.

Knowing it would be foolish to allow the matter of a few tweets to come between the US and its closest ally, the UK, Mr Trump immediately apologised…only joking! Of course he didn’t. Jumping back on the social media network, the president tweeted to May: ‘Don’t focus on me, focus on the destructive Radical Islamic Terrorism that is taking place within the United Kingdom.’

Oh Twitter. Twitter, Twitter, Twitter, Twitter…

In other news, my campaign to resurrect Ceefax, which never had anything do with racist psychos as far as I know, launches in the new year.


A broadband firm has found a use for a drone that doesn’t involve blowing things up or pestering commercial airliners.

Openreach has been using one of the small flying marvels to hook cables over hills, woods and probably some startled sheep as it attempts to bring faster internet speeds to a remote Welsh village.

The 20 homes in the village near Wrexham will now have broadband speeds of up to 1Gbps – but, as this is Openreach, that ‘up to’ bit is the key phrase.

Engineer Andy Whale said: ‘If we tried running the cable through woods it was also very likely we’d get it caught up in branches and other natural obstructions, so we figured the best option was to fly it in over the top of the tree canopy and then lift it up to make sure it was clear of the tree line.’

The drone wasn’t strong enough to lift the actual fibre cable so instead was used to string up a steel concertina wire, which the internet-carrying bit was then hoisted to.

Villager Chris Devismes said: ‘It has made a world of difference to us. I live here with my two teenage sons and they’re often online – watching films, streaming music or Skyping their friends.’ In other words, they’ve narrowly avoided the horror of having to spend lots of Christmas in the same room together.

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