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2 years ago

O2 proactively offering users compensation for 24-hour network outage

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Last week, O2 in the UK suffered some serious downtime that lasted approximately 24 hours affecting many users of their network. With O2 now back up and running tiptop, O2 is looking to clean up the mess and make good with those affected by the outage by offering some compensation. As noted on their blog and through text messages being sent out, the compensation will work out to three days of service:

  • Pay Monthly customers will receive 10% off their July subscription which will be applied on their September bill, which is equivalent to 3 days back
  • Pay & Go customers will receive 10% extra on their first top-up in September - (These will be applied automatically - you don't need to do anything to activate them)
  • Customers will get the following message - O2: We're really sorry for the network disruption last week. As a goodwill gesture, we're taking 10% off your subscription, to be applied in Sept. And to say thanks for bearing with us, from 1 Sept we're giving you £10 to spend in any O2 shop through Priority Moments. Find out more at http://blog.o2.co.uk

It's never a good thing when your network goes down and it affects millions of users but it is a good thing to go ahead and proactively offer those affected some compensation for the downtime. It's not all that often that a company wants to give money back so, good on O2 for making it happen.

Source: O2

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2 years ago

UK judge rules Apple must publicly admit Samsung did not copy iPad design

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Bloomberg reports that UK Judge Colin Birss has ordered Apple to post notice on the Apple UK website -- as well as Financial Times, the Daily Mail, Guardian Mobile magazine, and T3 -- stating that Samsung did not copy the iPad's design. This comes on the heels of the ruling from the British High Court stating that the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1, 7.7 and 8.9 are sufficiently different from Apple's design, and that all of them are strongly based on prior art. Apple must leave notice on their UK website for six months informing consumers of the ruling.

Apple's counsel of course pushed back against the ruling, citing that in essence they would be forced to advertise for their competition, telling the court “No company likes to refer to a rival on its website.” Of course, no company wants to spend millions to defend their products from invalid lawsuits, either. 

We hate legal squabbles around here. But we love this turn of events, only because this sort of punishment just might make those billionaires think twice before filing the next frivolous lawsuit. Hopefully, Judges in the US are paying close attention.

Source: Bloomberg

 

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2 years ago

Untappd - the best way to share your love of beer

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You can never have too many drinking buddies, and you'll find plenty online

Untappd recently updated their beer check-in app for Android and iOS with a bunch of the usual interface and performance enhancements, but also a new Discover tab to find out the best places to drink nearby. What better time to check out the one and only social network for brew enthusiasts?

The core function of Untappd is still there: share what you're drinking with friends. In addition to having its own social network complete with friending system, comments, five-star ratings, and virtual "cheers" to the check-ins of others, Untappd status updates can be shared with Facebook and Twitter as well. You can even attach your location and a picture if you're feeling fancy. If you can't find your beer, there's a submission form included in the mobile app which lets users create full profiles for others to check into. Once beers are in the database, breweries themselves can take over control, submit label art, and monitor engagement. 

 

Like most check-in apps, there are a bunch of badges to be earned - some limited-time, others for completing certain achievements. There's also a web component with a few additional functions, such as seeing the top-rated beers worldwide.

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2 years ago

HondaLink brings your Android smartphone into the cockpit, starting with the 2013 Accord

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Honda's getting serious about connecting your smartphone with your car, and it'll be launching its new HondaLink system this fall in the 2013 Honda Accord. 

HondaLink follows in the footsteps of the Chevy MyLink system we demoed at General Motors' test facilities last summer in that the infotainment system uses the data connection from your phone but is controlled through the traditional in-car systems. Android smartphones will connect over Bluetooth, while iPhones can use Bluetooth or the usual iPhone cable.

Honda has teamed up with Aha by Harman to provide music, podcasts, news, Twitter and Facebook feeds, all of which are to be provided safely hands-free use in mind. Also on board are Pandora and voice-to-text SMS services, which Honda's already unveiled on the 2012 CRV.

The 2013 Accord is just the beginning, Honda said today, and that you can expect to see it on upper trim levels going forward. 

Hit the source links below for the full pressers, or check out the promo video after the break.

Source: Honda, Aha

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2 years ago

Light Flow LED Control updated to v3.0.4, fixes for Jelly Bean included

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After the roll out of Light Flow LED Control v3.0, Google went ahead and introduced Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. This introduced some changes that needed to be corrected within Light Flow LED Control and now we're seeing v3.0.4 roll out to correct those issues as well as a few others:

  • Jelly bean fix - this hopefully fixes most of the issues
  • Gmail switching off fix
  • Fix for several crashes which playing notification sounds
  • Fix for Motorola ICS calendar
  • Fix initialization settings so notifications are enabled correctly

If you've been having issues with Light Flow on your Jelly Bean device, go ahead and fire up the Google Play Store and grab the update. If you're new to Light Flow you'll find the download link below. Keep in mind, there is a free version available use as well in case you want to test it out before going all in.

Download: Paid, Free Thanks, eljedo!

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2 years ago

ZTE Grand X hands-on

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We're live in London, where ZTE has just announced its new mid to high-end smartphone for Europe, the Grand X. It's a 4.3-inch device with a qHD screen, and a design that will remind Android enthusiasts of the Nexus S and Galaxy Nexus phones. What's also familiar from the Nexus series is the software -- the Grand X runs a near-stock version of Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich (no word on any Jelly Bean update just yet, unfortunately.)

Inside there's a dual-core NVIDIA Tegra 2 CPU, coupled with 512MB. Internal storage is limited to 1.6GB, but there's also a microSD card slot around the back to enable expandable storage. ZTE is pitching this device as a multimedia smartphone for price-conscious buyers, and the specs and price point are well-aligned with this demographic. ZTE says it's looking at a £180-190 price point in the UK, when the Grand X launches on Virgin Media and Phones4U, and it's also loaded with TegraZone games to take advantage of the NVIDIA chip under the hood.

The ZTE Grand X is expected to launch in August in the UK, followed by a wider European launch in France and Germany. Check out our full hands-on demonstration of the Grand X above. We've got more photos after the break.

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2 years ago

Books now available from Google Play in France

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The slow, global march of new markets receiving Google Play content continues. This time up, it's the turn of France, where as of today, Books are available to download from Google Play. 

In countries where Google Play content has been available for some time, we often take it for granted. But, if the Nexus 7 is to be a truly, globally loved device, then the content has to be there. For some it still isn't, but in France, today is a step closer. 

If you're in France, head on over to the Google Play Store now either on the web, or on your device, and browse all the reading material on offer. Don't forget too, to download the Google Play Books app, which you'll find a handy download link for below. 

Source: Google, Download: Google Play Books

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2 years ago

ZTE launches the Grand X in London

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We're live in London today, where ZTE has announced the Grand X, a new phone with a new processor but an older chipset.

The Grand X is running Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, which we'd expect from a phone being announced today. (Sorry, but you're going to have to wait a little bit before seeing new phones with Jelly Bean.) It's sporting a 4.3-inch qHD-resolution display (that's 540x960) and is running NVIDIA's dual-core Tegra 2 platform at 1GHz.

It's also got a 5-megapixel rear-facing camera capable of shooting at 720p. The front-facing camera is 0.3MP.

Full specs include:

  • Processor: NVIDIA Tegra 2, Dual-core (AP20 Dual Core 1GHz)
  • Display Size: 4.3” – 16M QHD (960 x 540)
  • Modem: NVIDIA i450 (HSDPA Cat14, 21Mbps)
  • Weight: 110g
  • Dimensions: 127mmx64.6mmx9.9mm
  • Connectivity: Bluetooth 2.1, WiFi, DLNA
  • Camera:  Dual Camera 5MP AF Flash/0.3 MP
  • User Memory: 4GB + up to 32GB Micro SD
  • RAM: 512 MB
  • Storage: 4GB, expandable to 32GB (Micro SD)
  • OS: Android 4.0 (ICS)
  • Battery: 1650 mAh Li-Ion
  • Others: Dolby Mobile Sound / HD Voice / HD video capture and playback / Facetones / Evernote / Documents to go / Tegra Zone (Gaming Marketplace)

It'll be launching with Virgin Media and Phones4U in early August in France, Germany and the UK.

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2 years ago

Shared data plans: Who saves you more money, Verizon or AT&T?

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Unless you're using more than two phones, AT&T's new shared data plans won't really save you money over Verizon's.

AT&T is launching shared data plans in August. Verizon has them now. The premises are similar -- one plan, multiple phones sharing from a bucket of data. (Voice and texts are all unlimited and "free.") You'll have to pay for each phone that's a part of the shared plan, though.

How do they break down? Which one's more likely to save you money? Let's take a look.

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2 years ago

AAA Mobile folds together old discount, roadside, and map apps

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The American Automobile Association has updated their Android offering so that instead of a smattering of different apps, they're all pulled together under one roof. 

  • Road Service Request (app identifies location)
  • AAA member discounts
  • AAA Approved Auto Repair locator
  • Gas station locations and updated gas price information
  • Diamond Ratings for AAA Approved hotels and restaurants
  • Hotel booking capability powered by Travelocity
  • Listings for AAA Approved attractions and campgrounds
  • AAA branch office locations
  • TripTik® travel planning with interactive maps and directions
  • Instant battery replacement quotes
  • Electric vehicle charging station locations
  • Join AAA

I'm a little surprised that AAA hasn't been working with Ford AppLink and the equivalent competing dashboard app platforms for Chevrolet, BMW, and other car manufacturers. AAA obviously has a huge vested interested in being in the automotive app space, and plugging directly into a car's handsfree and dash system is the best way to go about it. 

Some of the features in AAA Mobile are locked down to AAA members, but the app itself is free - go ahead and check it out at the download link below. Which apps do you guys use while on the road? 

Source: AAA

Download: AAA Mobile

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