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Posted by Damien Biddulph on Tue 25th Jul 2017

 

Magikarp hatA Pokémon Go Fest attendee sports a homemade outfit based on the Pokémon named Magikarp. Alex Heath / Business Insider

CHICAGO — “Fix the game!” “Fix the game!”

Boos and jeers erupted from thousands of Pokémon Go playersin Chicago’s Grant Park on Saturday after the game stopped working for many who had paid and traveled far to be there.

Server outages and bugs plagued Niantic’s Pokémon Go at the height of its popularity last summer, and a similar situation occurred early into the game’s first-ever, all-day ticketed event.

Because of the server outages, which began early in the day and were never completed fixed, all roughly 20,000 attendees were given full refunds for their $20 tickets and $100 worth of in-game coins, which can be used to purchase special items.

A Niantic spokesperson told Business Insider during the event that the game studio was working with carriers like AT&T and Verizon to direct more coverage to the park. Not all players were affected by the outage and some carriers, such as T-Mobile, worked better with the game throughout the day.

At roughly 11 a.m. local time and the height of the server outage, Niantic CEO John Hanke addressed players from a stage in the park. He was loudly booed and heckled the moment he stepped on stage.

“I paid $3,000 for this game!” one person in the crowd loudly shouted at Hanke. Pokémon Go offers in-app purchases and is estimated to be the fastest mobile game to reach $1 billion in revenue.

Pokemon Go Fest ChicagoRoughly 20,000 people paid to go to Pokémon Go's first-ever event in Chicago. Alex Heath / Business Insider

Tickets to Chicago’s Pokémon Go Fest event sold out in under 10 minutes for $20 each, and many tickets were later resold online for hundreds of dollars. Hanke said that players from Australia, Europe, and other continents had traveled to Chicago for the event.

Besides the ability to catch rare Pokémon that are typically only available in certain parts of the world, Niantic promised attendees that they would have the chance to catch the first ultra-powerful, so-called Legendary Pokémon at the end of the event.

In reality, there was only one regional Pokémon to be found in the hit augmented reality game, Heracross. At the end of the day, Niantic told attendees that they would all be automatically awarded one Legendary Pokémon named Lugia. Most ticket holders left the park before the event was scheduled to end at 7 p.m.

NOW WATCH: Pokémon Go's first real-world event was a complete disaster — here's what happened

 

 

Source: uk.businessinsider.com
 
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Posted by Damien Biddulph on Tue 25th Jul 2017

 

Sundar PichaiGoogle CEO Sundar Pichai.Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Google's parent company Alphabet beat expectations for its second-quarter earnings on the top and bottom lines, but investors who have bid up the stock nearly 30% this year wanted more and the shares in the company slid after the announcement.

"I think people were hoping for a bigger beat on the top line, and we didn't get that," Ben Schachter, an analyst at Macquarie told Business Insider.

The rising numbers of searches from smartphones in particular, which require Google to share ad revenue with partners, appear to be eating into Google's revenue and crimping its growth. 

Alphabet's stock fell about 3% in after-hours trading Monday.

Here are the results compared to Wall Street's expectations:

Revenue: $26.01 billion, up 21% year-over-year, and above the $25.64 billion expected

EPS (GAAP):  $5.01 vs. $4.46 expected

"We've been talking about our bigger investment areas within Google and you can see the momentum here reflecting contributions from our newer revenue streams," CFO Ruth Porat said during a conference call with investors on Monday.

Concerns about "net revenue"

Alphabet's overall revenue topped expectations thanks in part to growth in the "other revenues," the division of Google which includes segments like the hardware and cloud businesses.  Other revenues were $3.09 billion in Q2, up from $2.17 billion in the year-ago quarter.

Porat cited strength in Google's cloud business, as well as sales of its new Home smart speaker and wifi products.

But revenue growth in Google's core online search advertising business decelerated during the quarter, as the company pays larger amounts of money to partners that deliver traffic to Google's search engine, including Apple's iPhone. 

Net revenue for Google's ad business, which excludes the fees paid to partners, was up 16% during the second quarter, a slowdown from the roughly 20% net revenue growth that Google logged in the year ago period. 

Macquarie analyst Schachter pointed to the Q2 net revenue as a "meaningful deceleration." It's not the end of the world, Schachter said, but it illustrates the changes to Google's business model as more and more of its search traffic now comes from mobile devices like iPhones that require Google to share some of the revenue.

Here are some of the key numbers from Q2:

Net income: $3.5 billion (including the impact of a $2.7 billion European Comission fine), down from $4.9 billion in the year ago period

Cash and short term securities: $94.7 billion

Headcount: 75,606, up from 66,575 in year ago period

The cost-per-click on Google ads was down 26% from the year-ago quarter. Paid clicks were up 61% over last year.

Other bets

Revenues for Other Bets, which include the other companies under Alphabet like Waymo, Nest, and Verily, were $248 million for the quarter. Other Bets lost $772 million.

Alphabet's stock has been in good shape this year, and is flirting closer and closer to $1,000, as shares have surged roughly 27% so far this year. Despite a record-breaking $2.7 billion fine from the EU last month, analysts remain bullish on the future of Alphabet. Alphabet's Q2 results included the fine.

In addition to earnings, Alphabet had some other big news earlier Monday. Google CEO Sundar Pichai was named to the company's board as its 13th member. Pichai has been a Google employee since 2004.

Source: uk.businessinsider.com
 
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Posted by Damien Biddulph on Mon 24th Jul 2017

Trusts have purchased more than 400,000 new PCs since 2013, at a cost of £260 million

NHS Trusts bin 120 computers every day

Upgrading instead of replacing could save £93 million

Figures obtain by freedom of information requests show that NHS Trusts are spending £158,000 per day on new PCs and laptops, at an average cost of £650 per device.

The figures, obtained by memory and storage company Crucial, came from 197 of the 235 Trusts in England. Since the beginning of 2013, they have disposed of 237,422 computers - equivalent to around 144 each day - and spent over £260 million on 401,084 new machines (243 per day).

Crucial said that it is possible that some of the computers are being disposed of by accident - they may have been mistakenly identified as having an unfixable problem, for example. Some may also simply be too old to operate properly, in which case upgrading is another way in which the NHS could save money and avoid electronic waste. By doubling the installed memory of PCs, rather than buying 237,000 new ones, Crucial estimates that the NHS could have saved £95 million.

A separate survey by the firm found that, despite the money spent, 42 per cent of healthcare professionals still feel that IT is a hindrance in their jobs. More than a quarter said that they lack technology skills; 20 per cent did not know how to scan for viruses; and 5 per cent admitted to not knowing how to send an email.

Jim Jardine, director of DRAM product marketing at Crucial, said: "The NHS is clearly investing in new hardware...But despite this spend, it's clear that more training or IT support in using these new systems is needed to help give healthcare workers the means of being productive.

"Our study also highlighted the lack of knowledge doing simple tasks like scan for viruses, but with a bit of training, healthcare staff would feel a lot more confident and can make the most of the NHS's IT investment."

The news follows last week's announcement that the NHS is to be granted £21 million to boost its cyber defences, after the wide-scale WannaCry infections earlier this year.

Update on 21/7/17: Crucial provided us with updated numbers after identifying an error in its formula that calculated these stats.

Source: v3.co.uk
 
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Posted by Damien Biddulph on Mon 24th Jul 2017

For those who don’t want to run back and forth across the parks to collect paper Fastpass tickets, Disneyland has launched a digital version of the system: Maxpass. For $10 a day (or $75 a year for those with an annual pass), guests with the Disneyland app can make Fastpass reservations on their phones and access PhotoPass downloads. Is it worth it? Touringplans.comconcludes that it’s not much different than getting regular Fastpasses, which are still available to all park guests.

Michelle Woo

Parenting editor, Lifehacker

Source: lifehacker.com
 
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Posted by Damien Biddulph on Wed 19th Jul 2017

The Insider Picks team writes about stuff we think you'll like. Business Insider has affiliate partnerships, so we get a share of the revenue from your purchase.

b20160926_small_swsMoleskine

If you're anything like the average American, you're going to spend the majority of your time working or doing related activities.

So having a workspace that makes you feel comfortable, in control, and relaxed is not only an important key to productivity but also to maintaining a high level of happiness.

Below are 11 things that will make your space more comfortable. Some of them are items we've already covered and love, like a tiny humidifierYETI mugportable Anker chargerStatus Audio headphones, and the Moleskine innovative smart writing set, and others are notable for rave reviews from other users.

If you're looking for a way to make your time at work more enjoyable or at the very least comfortable, you might be interested in introducing one of the following into your workspace.

View As: One Page Slides

 

A plant that won't take over your desk

A plant that won't take over your desk

Amazon

There's ample research to suggest that nature makes us happier and even contributes to positive physical benefits. So any plant in your viewpoint for about eight hours of your day will likely contribute to a happier you. 

These mini planter pots are made out of ceramic materials and won't look either childish or overwhelming sitting on your desk. Succulents are a good choice for the workplace because they require little effort (ie. are unlikely to die over a long weekend), and don't have long climbing vines that will wind up bothering your neighbor.

It's nice to have some life to look at when you're indoors for the lion's share of your day, but you don't want to create extra work for yourself, either.

T4U 2.5 Inch Ceramic Flowing Glazed Succulent Plant Pot, $6.93

 

A tiny and silent humidifier

A tiny and silent humidifier

Amazon

This little guy has over 13,500 reviews on Amazon and a strong 4.6-star rating for a reason. Though it's pretty tiny, which is good for a crowded desk, this humidifier is exceptionally effective and versatile. It'll add moisture to the air and keep your skin from drying out and colds from developing.

If you don't want to decide what the whole office will smell like, you can use it as just a humidifier, and there's an easy measuring cup to use for refills so you don't have to unplug and uproot every time like other humidifiers. And in case you like as little noise as possible in order to concentrate, there's a whisper-quiet function that won't emit any noise.

If you'd like to know more, you can read our review here.

URPOWER Essential Oil Diffuser and Humidifier, $14.95

 

A coffee mug that will keep your drinks hot or cold for hours at a time

A coffee mug that will keep your drinks hot or cold for hours at a time

Yeti

There's nothing that can improve your mood quite like a consistently, dependably hot cup of coffee when you're working hard. Whether it's used for your commute to the office or at your desk, this coffee tumbler is made out of stainless steel and was engineered to survive the wild — which makes it perfect for the rougher mornings. I received one as a gift from a friend, and I use it religiously

YETI Rambler 20 oz Stainless Steel Vacuum Insulated Tumbler, $23.99 on Amazon and YETI 

A comfortable back pillow to support your spine

A comfortable back pillow to support your spine

Amazon

Sitting in an office chair day in and day out can result in back pain and poor posture—neither of which you likely want. This is an inexpensive but effective way to curtail the possibility of either happening. Getting a lumbar cushion like this Amazon bestseller will support your spine and improve your posture over time. If you don't love it, you're guaranteed a 100% reimbursement. 

Ziraki Memory Foam Lumbar Cushion, $15.96

 

A professional-looking desk organizer

A professional-looking desk organizer

Amazon

If you think de-cluttering your desk will free up some elbow and brain space, you're probably right. It's no secret that clutter can often be linked to anxiety. Having a place for your things and a cleaner workspace could help you feel (and look) more on top of things. 

KINGFOM Leather Office Desk Organizer, $33.99

A writing set that will digitize your handwritten notes

A writing set that will digitize your handwritten notes

Moleskine

If you've ever been in a meeting scribbling down notes and wishing you could have these digitally accessible later, without having to type them up, then this is probably one office hack you'll be interested in.

The Moleskine Smart Writing Set lets you hand-write your notes with a smartpen in a smart notebook and see them transferred in real time into an app on your phone, so you can easily email this week's notes around without wasting your time. The same thing goes for writing notes down on the train on the way to work.

It's particularly great for students or those of us who often have to participate in spaces where technology isn't allowed or just like the pure form of writing, but also the ease of technology. If you'd like to know more, my full review goes into further depth.

Moleskine Smart Writing Set, $199 on Amazon and Moleskine

 

A white noise app to drown out the office

A white noise app to drown out the office

iTunes

If you have trouble focusing in the office or you sit next to a window on a particularly busy street, the Noisli app is incredibly useful. Instead of listening to the sneezing of a coworker who's in a particularly tough battle with allergies, the Noisli app will provide you with some welcome white noise so you can get your work done. 

Noisli, $1.99

A portable phone charger

A portable phone charger

Amazon

For the meeting way, way downtown that you maybe need directions to or the commute home right after realizing you never charged your phone today, a portable phone charger like one of our favorites here will be a lifesaver. Do yourself a favor and completely cut out the concern of your phone or tablet dying when you need it and invest the $17 in a dependable external battery.

Anker Astro E1 5200mAh Ultra Compact Portable Charger, $17.99

 

A strong disinfectant

A strong disinfectant

Amazon

Again, for the meeting way, way downtown where you touched a million different handrails and things that another several million people touched on the way, or just to clean up your hands before touching your workspace after a commute, investing in some Purell is a great idea.

It's no secret anymore that your computer keyboard is up to five times more germ-ridden than a toilet seat. Sanitizers like this will help you cut down on the ones you come into contact with daily. 

Purell Advanced Aloe 8 oz, 2-Pack, $5.71

A laptop stand

A laptop stand

Amazon

This patented laptop stand is the #1 best seller on Amazon and has 4.8 stars after nearly 3,000 reviews. The fact that so many people rushed to review a laptop stand is confidence-boosting. What it does is raise your laptop screen height to eye level you so don't have to switch from a desktop to hunching over it every time you want to use it.

The tilt design will bring the screen closer and the aluminum panel will cool your laptop as it works. There are a few other useful features, but the main draw is having a stable, more ergonomic way of integrating your laptop into an office space. 

Rain Design mStand Laptop Stand, $41.90-$49.90 

 

Comfortable sound-isolating headphones

Comfortable sound-isolating headphones

Status Audio

Wearing over-ear headphones at the office has a few benefits, but one of the best is that it will keep the outside world out while isolating the music, podcast, or white noise app you're listening to. And unlike earbuds, people are more likely to recognize that you're in the zone. This pair made the list for headphones we wear every day and is considered the best workspace upgrade one Insider Picks reporter has made, even though they cost less than $100.

Status Audio CB-1 Studio Headphones, $79 on Amazon and Status Audio

A gel keyboard wrist pad

A gel keyboard wrist pad

Amazon

The repetitive stress of typing on a keyboard can result in the odd fatigue of your wrists, but this gel pad can help reduce the stress you put on your hands when you type. The cushioning is made for flexibility and the gel padding will make sure that the product you buy to make you more comfortable at work actually succeeds in doing exactly that. 

Belkin WaveRest Gel Wrist Pad for Keyboards, $8.99

A cable manager

A cable manager

Amazon

Keep your multiple wires from crossing or getting tangled with easy and inexpensive cable managers. These are sold in groups of six, and they'll hold wires up to 5/16" in diameter. They're easily mounted to your desk, the wall next to your desk, or any other flat surfaces with their permanent peel-and-stick backing. 

Bluelounge CableDrop Black, 6-Pack, $6.99

Source: uk.businessinsider.com
 
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Posted by Damien Biddulph on Tue 18th Jul 2017

Jeff BezosAmazon and Jeff Bezos delivered another blow to the much-malignedBlue Apron after filing a trademark application for meal kits.Mario Tama/Getty Images

The hits just keep on coming for Blue Apron.

After already suffering the indignity of trading below its offering price every day since its initial public offering 2 1/2 weeks ago, the meal-kit retailer now faces a new hurdle — and surprise, surprise, Amazon is once again the culprit.

The Jeff Bezos-led juggernaut filed a trademark application on July 6 for "prepared food kits," as reported by TheStreet.com's Laura Berman early Monday morning.

Blue Apron's stock sank 11% to $6.55 as of 2:16 p.m. ET. It now sits 35% below its IPO price of $10 a share.

It's just the latest Amazon-fueled hit absorbed by the flailing Blue Apron, which took a cleaver to its IPO range in the week before pricing following Amazon's $13.7 billion acquisition of Whole Foods. Many potential investors identified the possibility of more competition in the food-delivery industry and ran the other way. As such, Blue Apron trimmed its IPO range to $10 to $11 a share, down from $15 to $17.

Blue Apron's current price, however, looks downright bullish compared with the $2-a-share price target it received from Northcoast Research, the first Wall Street firm to weigh in on the company.

While Blue Apron is perhaps the most extreme example, its plight highlights the unfortunate reality facing many companies in the retail industry: Amazon is coming, and there's nowhere to hide.

APRN stock priceBlue Apron has had a tough run since it priced its initial public offering.Markets Insider

Source: uk.businessinsider.com
 
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Posted by Damien Biddulph on Tue 18th Jul 2017

reed hastingsEthan Miller/Staff/Getty Images

After missing subscriber growth targets last quarter, Netflix soared past them in Q2, both on the domestic and international fronts.

Netflix added a whopping 5.2 million total subscribers, versus the company forecast of 3.2 million. Netflix's Q2 revenue and EPS were roughly in line with what Wall Street was expecting.

Netflix rose 8% in the immediate aftermath of its earnings report, hitting an all-time high in after-hours trading.

What caused Netflix's growth to surge? 

"In Q2, we underestimated the popularity of our strong slate of content which led to higher-than-expected acquisition across all major territories," Netflix wrote in its earnings letter.

 

 

And the party will keep going in Q3, according to Netflix.

Netflix said that is "assumes much of this momentum" in subscriber growth will continue going forward, which is great news for investors, as some on Wall Street were bracing for weak guidance. Q3 will also have a favorable comparison to last year for Netflix, when Q3 saw Netflix's price increase — dubbed "un-grandfathering" — hurt its subscriber growth. 

Here are the key numbers:

  • Q2 EPS (GAAP): $0.15 per share versus Wall Street expectations of $0.16.
  • Q2 revenue: $2.785 billion, up 32.3% year-over-year, and compared to Wall Street forecasts of $2.76 billion.
  • Q2 US subscriber growth (net additions): 1.07 million versus Wall Street expectations of 633,000, and Netflix guidance of 600,000.
  • Q2 international subscriber growth (net additions): 4.14 million versus Wall Street expectations and Netflix guidance of 2.6 million.
  • Q3 revenue forecast: $2.969 billion.
  • Q3 US subscriber growth forecasts (net additions): 0.75 million.
  • Q3 international subscriber growth forecasts (net additions): 3.65 million.
Source: uk.businessinsider.com
 
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Posted by Damien Biddulph on Tue 18th Jul 2017

tesla model 3Tesla

 

Tesla stunned the world last March when it introduced its Model 3 electric car, the company's first affordable vehicle that will finally go into production this year.

 

Tesla CEO Elon Musk, who shared the first images of the final production version of the Model 3 on Twitter last week, says the first 30 Model 3 customers will receive their cars at a party on July 28. Tesla will reportedly produce around 100 cars in August, more than 1,500 cars in September, and then roughly 20,000 by the end of December.

Shortly after the car was unveiled, Motor Trend got a chance to see the new Model 3 up close and shared its experiences on YouTube. Understanding some of the thought that went into its design choices might make you appreciate the Model 3 even more.

Here are the nine signature features of Tesla's Model 3:

View As: One Page Slides

 

1. The first feature should make anyone excited: Tesla's Model 3 starts $35,000, and that's before federal tax exemptions.

1. The first feature should make anyone excited: Tesla's Model 3 starts $35,000, and that's before federal tax exemptions.

Tesla's next most affordable car is the Tesla Model S, which starts at double the price of the Model 3: roughly $70,000.Tesla

2. The Model 3 is a nimble electric car: It can go from 0 to 60 miles per hour in just six seconds.

2. The Model 3 is a nimble electric car: It can go from 0 to 60 miles per hour in just six seconds.

Tesla

 

3. The Model 3 has a starting range of 215 miles, which should accommodate most people's commutes.

3. The Model 3 has a starting range of 215 miles, which should accommodate most people's commutes.

Tesla

Tesla CEO Elon Musk says the more expensive versions of the Model 3 will accelerate faster and achieve longer range.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk says the more expensive versions of the Model 3 will accelerate faster and achieve longer range.

Tesla

 

4. It looks gorgeous. The nose of the car is aerodynamic to maximize efficiency. There’s no fake grille or openings that don’t do anything. It's a totally clean look.

4. It looks gorgeous. The nose of the car is aerodynamic to maximize efficiency. There?s no fake grille or openings that don?t do anything. It's a totally clean look.

YouTube/Motor Trend

The beauty of the car extends to the roof as well. There are two beams on top of the car but most of the glass roof features one continuous slope.

The beauty of the car extends to the roof as well. There are two beams on top of the car but most of the glass roof features one continuous slope.

YouTube/Motor Trend

 

5. It's smaller than the Model S, but it's still roomy. The Model 3 seats up to five people and can fit a 7-foot surfboard. I don't even own a surfboard and I'm excited about this fact.

5. It's smaller than the Model S, but it's still roomy. The Model 3 seats up to five people and can fit a 7-foot surfboard. I don't even own a surfboard and I'm excited about this fact.

Tesla

The back seats are elevated a bit due to the car's battery. To compensate, Tesla designed the roof of the car to be thinner towards the back so there's enough room for passengers while still maintaining that beautiful curve.

The back seats are elevated a bit due to the car's battery. To compensate, Tesla designed the roof of the car to be thinner towards the back so there's enough room for passengers while still maintaining that beautiful curve.

YouTube/Motor Trend

 

It’s roomy enough to accommodate child seats.

It?s roomy enough to accommodate child seats.

YouTube/Motor Trend

6. The trunk is also bigger than it looks. Its hinges are actually pretty high up on the rear of the car so when you open the trunk it lifts up and out of the way.

6. The trunk is also bigger than it looks. Its hinges are actually pretty high up on the rear of the car so when you open the trunk it lifts up and out of the way.

YouTube/Motor Trend

 

7. Tesla designed a new door handle for the Model 3. It stays flush with the doors but when you push in the metal it’ll pop out and you can use the handle normally.

 

 

 

8. The Model 3 comes with a 15-inch touchscreen display that provides information, entertainment, and navigation.

8. The Model 3 comes with a 15-inch touchscreen display that provides information, entertainment, and navigation.

Tesla

 

9. The Tesla Model 3 will be one of the first major cars to ditch the instrument cluster, that separate console in front of the driver that gives information like gas and speed. It's all right on the touchscreen display.

9. The Tesla Model 3 will be one of the first major cars to ditch the instrument cluster, that separate console in front of the driver that gives information like gas and speed. It's all right on the touchscreen display.

Tesla

As for other specs, the Model 3 comes with supercharging and Autopilot standard, but you'll have to pay extra for Autopilot's "convenience features," Musk previously told Business Insider.

As for other specs, the Model 3 comes with supercharging and Autopilot standard, but you'll have to pay extra for Autopilot's "convenience features," <a href="http://www.businessinsider.com/every-tesla-model-3-comes-with-autopilot-2016-4"target="_blank">Musk previously told Business Insider</a>.

Tesla

The first Model 3 just rolled off the production line last week. Tesla will begin shipping the car to the first pre-order customers over the next several months. Deliveries for new orders are scheduled to ship in 2018.

The first Model 3 just rolled off the production line last week. Tesla will begin shipping the car to the first pre-order customers over the next several months. Deliveries for new orders are scheduled to ship in 2018.

Tesla

Source: uk.businessinsider.com
 
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Posted by Damien Biddulph on Mon 17th Jul 2017

Symantec report reveals over half of consumers happy to exchange details with unknown networks

Users still unaware of public WiFi risks

Report states that 53 per cent of consumers can't distinguish between secure or unsecure public WiFi

More than half of internet users are happy to share personal information with public, unsecured WiFi networks.

According to a report from Symantec, consumer demand for strong, free WiFi is overriding security concerns, with 87 per cent potentially putting their information at risk while using public networks.  

The report, which surveyed more than 15,000 consumers in 15 countries, shows that 65 per cent of Britons feel safe when using public WiFi, despite being somewhat aware of security risks. In fact, one in twelve admit to viewing adult content via public networks, with one in six doing so worldwide.

 

"There is a deep divide between what people think is safe or private when using public WiFi versus the reality," says Nick Shaw, vice president and general manager at Norton by Symantec.

"What someone thinks is private on their personal device can easily be accessed by hackers through unsecure WiFi networks or even apps with privacy vulnerabilities."

Consumers are keen to access public WiFi when travelling, despite the EU's recent abolition of data roaming charges. Strong signal is a deciding factor when booking hotels and holiday rentals, according to 71 per cent of respondents. Almost half of people rely on public WiFi when using GPS apps to get around.

Despite the public's overall indifference towards these issues, the fear of exposure remains. Twenty-nine per cent of Brits have viewed banking or financial information over public WiFi, yet 52 per cent of Brits said they would be "horrified" if this information was posted online. About one-third (30 per cent) said they would pay to prevent personal information being exposed to their employer.

Source: v3.co.uk
 
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Posted by Damien Biddulph on Mon 17th Jul 2017

Always. Check. The. Small. Print

Clause in free WiFi contract obliges thousands to spend 1,000 hours cleaning music festival toilets

Want free WiFi? Check the small print very carefully...

More than 20,000 people might be obligated to spend the best part of three months cleaning toilets after failing to read the small print in the terms and conditions of the free WiFi service they signed up for. 

The Ts and Cs were were part of a prank pulled by a Manchester-based WiFi company called Purple, which theoretically obligates everyone who signed-up for the free WiFi service to clean the toilets at music festivals, among other things, in return for their WiFi usage. 

"Cleaning festival loos, hugging stray cats and dogs, and scraping chewing gum off the streets are just some of the uninviting tasks people have agreed to in exchange for free WiFi. And we aren't just talking about a few hundred unfortunate individuals.

"Over 22,000 people have openly agreed to carry out 1,000 hours of community service after we added the spoof clause into our terms and conditions over a two-week period," blogged the company.

It continued: "A 'Community Service Clause' was added to our usual terms and stated: The user may be required, at Purple's discretion, to carry out 1,000 hours of community service."

A list of possible roles was listed, but it seems that very few of the users, if any, got that far down the list of terms and conditions.

The good news is that Purple is unlikely to try and enforce the contract, but the company does argue that people should learn a lesson from the experience.

Gavin Wheeldon, CEO of Purple, said: "WiFi users need to read terms when they sign-up to access a network. What are they agreeing to, how much data are they sharing, and what licence are they giving to providers?

"Our experiment shows it's all too easy to tick a box and consent to something unfair." 

Source: v3.co.uk
 
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