The new BSI (British Standards Institution) kitemark has been applied to Barclay’s new Pingit mobile payment service and Barclays Mobile Banking, after they were independently assessed.
Although the kitemark is initially being piloted within the banking industry, the BSI envisages that its use will be adopted by a wider range of firms – for example within the entertainment industry.
Anyone wanting to get a kitemark for their product will have to go through hardcore testing so that their security meets the required standards for dealing with confidential data.
Those that meet the standards will be able to give customers confidence by displaying the kitemark on their products and in their marketing materials.
This is quite the thing as three quarters of Brits now use the internet for shopping and just over half now bank online.
Maureen Sumner Smith who is the UK managing director at BSI, used her mouth and said: “More and more of us are now sharing confidential information through online shopping, mobile banking, booking flights, gaming, university applications or interacting with local government. These behavioural changes from the physical to the digital demand the need for even more rigorous security measures.”
“Many organisations have good information security processes already established, but by having their systems independently tested on a regular basis as part of the BSI kitemark process, they can clearly demonstrate to customers their commitment to safeguarding information.”
That’s right. The telco have announced that they are to raise the prices of their phone and broadband by 6.5%
The price rise has been – surprise – defended by BT, claiming that most customers are on inclusive packages, and that bills have actually decreased by 14% in the last half decade.
It will increase the line rental for direct debit customers by 6.25% to £16.99, and the rate for calling UK landlines by 6.44%.
And also, set-up fees for landline calls, residential calls, to the speaking clock and call return charges will also increase for some or all customers.
BT’s option for low-incomes, BT Basic, will stay the same at £5.10 a month with a call allowance.
Of course, they’re not nearly as keen to have an option where you can get a fibre optic broadband connection without the need for a landline (as a lot of people just rely on their mobiles these days), but there you go.
It was found that EE have the best network for reliability, speed, internet usage, calls and text and Three and O2 are doing pretty well also.
All the networks were assessed on their coverage across the whole of the UK as well as closer looks at the way they performed in each of the four nations and 16 cities.
EE – the T-Mobile and Orange tag team – bettered last year’s results by coming out on top in most of the 16 cities. Vodafone came last for mobile internet performance in England, Northern Ireland and Scotland, while 02 was the worst in Wales.
This is good news for Three who came last in 2013, but now lies second in the performance charts.
“While EE continues to dominate with strong performance at all levels across the UK-especially when it comes to speed-the other networks are on the march,” said the RootMetrics report. “Three is starting to make a showing across the board, and Vodafone and O2 are building momentum.”
“The good news: Better network performance across the UK means a better experience across all the points of your mobile life.”
A spokesperson for Vodafone said: ‘Regular independent testing of our network shows that our customers are experiencing a significantly improving network every day due to our massive ongoing investment. We are spending £1 billion on our network and services this year alone to improve mobile coverage and network quality across the UK. We are modernising the network with the very latest technology, building thousands of new outdoor sites and deploying hundreds of indoor coverage solutions.”
‘This investment has already delivered an improved service for customers across the country and we expect their experience to get significantly better as the momentum of our Project Spring investment, combined with our better quality spectrum, accelerates over the next year.”
An Apple bod posted a picture of the cable on Twitter, which helpfully showed the difference between the old school normal cable, and the new so-called “lightning” cable.
The Lightning cable can already be used in the latest round of iPads and iPhones, and so users no longer need to have freak outs about plugging them in wrong anymore.
According to a patent discovered by uSwitch, the cable is very clearly a thing. Designed to help rid the planet of “user frustration” and to reduce the potential for USB connector damage.
Another, new reversible cable was announced by the snappily titled USB Promoter Group, but that’s not compatible with ANYTHING useful at the moment.
So there you have it. Less swearing in your life.
Flappy Bird lovers unite, for the creator has announced a new game which will entertain you in a way that is so frustrating that you might chew your own hands off!
The brilliantly named Flappy Bird creator Dong Nguyen has come up with a new time-wasting bit of addictive nonsense in the form of Swing Copters.
The scrolling game demands its players to tap to make a character, handily wearing a propeller hat, fly from side to side, while avoiding troublesome platforms and hammers.
It’s out on August 21st as a free download, and there’ll be the option for players to pay 69p via an in-app thing which lays off the adverts.
Poor old Dong got it right in the neck when he took Flappy Birds down in February, after he was a bit concerned at how huge it had become.
Online critics gave heavy shade, and even – you big people – death threats were being thrown at him. He did however remain unkilled long enough to launch Flappy Birds Family on Amazon’s set-top box thing.
So anyway. Put down those weapons and rejoice again!
The phablet, currently known as the D2203, will have a 854 x 480 resolution, 1.2GHz Snapdragon 400 quad-core processor and 1GB of RAM, according to a listing on a GFX Bench listing.
It should also have a VGA front camera, 5 megapixel rear camera, 4GB onboard storage and support for external expansion through microSD cards
It should be launched at the IFA 2014 alongside the anticipated Xperia Z3 and Xperia Z3 Compact.
This isn’t the first time Sony has veered outside the high-end market with a larger handset, as it announced its 5.3-inch mid-range Xperia T3 only recently.
As you can imagine, there’s a lot of people moaning about it.
When you phone EE’s customer service line, an automated message offers callers the chance to jump the queue into a “priority” queue. Customers already have to pay to call the provider at certain times of the day, so some think it’s a bit rich they should be asked for more.
Most of the outrage is on social media, with one disgruntled customer spouting off: “As an already paying @EE customer, why should I have to wait longer for help because someone else with no patience can pay [to] jump the queue?”
Another spat: “I have been a customer of [T-Mobile and] @EE for 10 years now. The call jump system they want to introduce is disgusting. I’ll be off to O2 then.”
Talking to the Inquirer, an EE spokesperson said: “EE’s goal is to set the highest standard for customer service in the telecoms sector. To support that ambition we’re investing significantly in our retail stores, contact centres and account management websites and apps.”
“We’ve already committed to returning over 1,000 roles to the UK from overseas call centres, and have already opened two new UK centres. To contribute to this and other investments in service we have introduced some small charges for certain customer services.”
What do you think? Should EE up their game so they don’t need a priority queue, or is this quite handy as it’s only 50p?
The difference here is that they’ll now be offering them to anyone who wants them.
This could be trouble for HTC however, because Google have been known to get really pissy when people don’t play by their rules. Anyone who has used Amazon’s Kindle will know that you can’t get on the Google Play store and loads of apps are missing because Google didn’t like Amazon skin of Android.
If Google get the hump with this, they might do the same to HTC.
According to reports, HTC has a team called HTC Creative Labs, who will be working to make apps for other phones. Their first task will be to create a version of Zoe, the HTC app that enables you to compile 16 pictures or videos into a small highlight video, and offer it up to everyone.
That will arrive as soon as the next 7 days, but only for phones with Android 4.4. You can expect Blinkfeed to follow suit.
We’ll have to wait and see what mood Google is in to see if they’ll start getting antsy about it all, but you get the impression Google is too busy picking fights with Amazon and Apple to give a proper monkeys.
Microsoft have come to the aid of those who like to film shedloads of shaky, shonky footage with a thing called Hyperlapse.
The technology allows you to shrink hours of footage into minutes without all the juddering and shaking. It’s the first time that time-lapse photography has been brought to first person type devices.
This is great news for anyone who has sat through their chum’s five hour epic motorway films or endless footage from an amateur rock climb.
The technology controls shake at faster playback speeds by going beyond what’s done by typical stabilization algorithms. Which in English means that it essentially smooths video by cropping out pixels at the edge of a frame.
Hyperlapse does this via a reconstructing camera movement, distance and angle with each frame and borrows pixels from multiple frames to smooth the video.
There is no news of a release date just yet, as they’ve only just managed to shrink the software down to one PC, but the possibilities are endless, and will help make Microsoft quite attractive to film makers… if they all weren’t such Apple fanboiz already.
A new app could save your life. Quite literally. Defender is an integrated pepper spray which can communicate with your phone.
Should you ever need to deploy the spray, it connects with your smartphone via bluetooth, takes a photo and uploads that to your phone.
That is then sent to a 24 hour monitoring system, who then pass it on to the emergency services with your GPS coordinates. Defender then fires out oscillating light and an alarm to alert anyone nearby.
It can also be used in medical emergencies, especially handy if you find yourself trapped under a rock or something.
After some crowdfunding, it hit its target of $100,000 (£60,000) within 24 hours, and that since gone on to stand at $222,000 (£132,000) with 2000 units sold already.
Admittedly there are concerns, such as a year of monitoring setting you back £107, and that whole ‘crime to carry something that could be classed as an offensive weapon’ that we (thankfully) have in the boring old UK, but the creators reckon they’ll get around that with an alternative self-defence spray.
Probably a blast of Lynx Africa or something similarly ghastly should suffice.