Which? survey reveals customers' least favourite mobile network

Found on BBC News on Tuesday, 23 April 2019
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Vodafone has been rated as the UK's worst mobile network provider for the eighth year in a row, in consumer lobby group Which?'s eighth annual survey.

In a statement, the company added: "We are working hard to understand the issue and what more we can do."

Vodafone will easily turn the eight into ten years.

Millimeter-wave 5G will never scale beyond dense urban areas, T-Mobile says

Found on Ars Technica on Monday, 22 April 2019
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While all four major nationwide carriers in the United States have overhyped 5G to varying degrees, T-Mobile today made a notable admission about 5G's key limitation. T-Mobile Chief Technology Officer Neville Ray wrote in a blog post that millimeter-wave spectrum used for 5G "will never materially scale beyond small pockets of 5G hotspots in dense urban environments."

Despite Ray's realism about the limitations of millimeter-wave signals, T-Mobile hasn't shied away from exaggerating the benefits of 5G.

No, 5G will not be the next saviour, despite what marketing guys preach. It is just a wireless network with shortcomings that should be treated as such. Don't fall for the propaganda.

Facebook fights to “shield Zuckerberg” from punishment in US privacy probe

Found on Ars Technica on Sunday, 21 April 2019
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Federal Trade Commission officials are discussing whether to hold Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg personally accountable for Facebook's privacy failures, according to reports by The Washington Post and NBC News. Facebook has been trying to protect Zuckerberg from that possibility in negotiations with the FTC, the Post wrote.

The FTC reached a settlement with Facebook in 2011 over charges that it deceived users by failing to keep privacy promises. During the lead-up to that settlement, the FTC "considered, then backed down, from putting Zuckerberg directly under order," the Post wrote. "Had it done so, Zuckerberg could have faced fines for future privacy violations."

Just lock him up already; everybody knows that Zuckerberg never ever really wanted to protect the privacy of anybody as long as it brings in money. Well, except for his own.

Amazon will no longer sell Chinese goods in China

Found on CNN on Saturday, 20 April 2019
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Amazon first entered the Chinese market 15 years ago, when it acquired an online book retailer, but it has struggled amid fierce competition. Research suggests that the company's market share in China was miniscule compared to local rivals.

"There is too much domestic competition and Amazon lacks the kind of brand awareness that Tmall or JD.com have," said Ben Cavender, an analyst at China Market Research Group. "That leaves Amazon in a position where it has to spend a lot of money to acquire customers while also competing aggressively with multiple strong players on price."

Amazon is not even a good shop and can only exist because with its current market position it's hard for competition to grow. It's shop itself is rather awful: a ridiculous lack of fine-grained search options meets an inconsistent UI layout; and let's not forget that a product is sometimes cheaper if you order it directly from the seller's own shop.

Facebook copied email contacts of 1.5 million users

Found on BBC News on Friday, 19 April 2019
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Facebook "unintentionally" uploaded the email contacts of more than 1.5 million users without asking permission to do so, the social network has admitted.

Facebook asked new users to supply the password for their email account, and took a copy of their contacts.

That's not "unintentionally", that is their business model. It also does not sound very legal to grab the data of people who were not asked, just by getting it from someone else.

Bendgate 2.0: Samsung’s $2,000 foldable phone is already breaking

Found on Ars Technica on Thursday, 18 April 2019
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During the run-up to the device's launch, there were concerns about the durability of the folding display, and now after just a few days with the public, the device is already experiencing problems.

It looks like Steve Kovach of CNBC has experienced everyone's worst fear: his Galaxy Fold display broke right along the fold crease—all the pixels in the folding area went black and the screen started flickering like crazy.

The early hype for the Galaxy Fold seems to have struck a chord with consumers, with Samsung.com citing "overwhelming demand" and selling out of Galaxy Fold pre-orders in just a day.

Samsung will have fun times after the device hits the masses. The display might work fine in the laboratory, but the life is different outside.

Mark Zuckerberg leveraged Facebook user data to fight rivals and help friends

Found on NBC News on Wednesday, 17 April 2019
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The documents, which include emails, webchats, presentations, spreadsheets and meeting summaries, show how Zuckerberg, along with his board and management team, found ways to tap Facebook’s trove of user data — including information about friends, relationships and photos — as leverage over companies it partnered with.

However, among the documents leaked, there’s very little evidence that privacy was a major concern of Facebook’s, and the issue was rarely discussed in the thousands of pages of emails and meeting summaries.

Unbelievable that politicians and governments don't do anything about it; or perhaps they would if Facebook would not have data on them?

Amazon 'flooded by fake five-star reviews' - Which? report

Found on BBC News on Tuesday, 16 April 2019
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Thousands of reviews were unverified, meaning there was no evidence the reviewer bought the product, it said.

One example, a set of headphones by an unknown brand called Celebrat, had 439 reviews, all of which were five-star, unverified and were posted on the same day, suggesting they had been automated.

Who reads 5 star reviews anyway? It's so obvious that those are a great way to cheat and attract customers. They are in most cases completely useless; just like Amazon itself has become. Read the 2-4 star ratings and you'll get a better impression; but still take what is written with a grain of salt.

We agree with EU, nods Britain at the Council of Ministers. We heartily approve of the, er, Copyright Directive

Found on The Register on Monday, 15 April 2019
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The UK, the Republic of Ireland, France and Germany were among the 19 nations that today gave the thumbs-up to the EU's Copyright Directive, meaning it should get pushed through the day after tomorrow.

Article 13 – now numbered as 17 – means that tech firms (there are exceptions for researchers and other entities) will have to get licences from rights-holders to be able to host content.

Leave it to bribed politicians to make the worst possible decisions; and some of those who voted for the directive previously said that they are against it.

The Linux desktop is in trouble

Found on ZD Net on Sunday, 14 April 2019
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For example, better Linux desktops, such as Linux Mint, provide an easy way to install applications, but under the surface, there are half-a-dozen different ways to install programs.

The broad strokes of the Linux desktop are painted primarily by Canonical and Red Hat, but the desktop is far from their top priority. Instead, much of the nuts and bolts of the current generation of the Linux desktop is set by vendor-related communities: Red Hat, Fedora, SUSE's openSUSE, and Canonical's Ubuntu.

It is not easy building and supporting a Linux desktop. It comes with a lot of wear and tear on its developers with far too little reward.

The good thing about Linux is that anybody can fork and a release a project. The bad thing about Linux is that anybody can fork and a release a project. Hopefully desktop developers get their act together and will in the near future combine their resources.