Fotofire's Round-Up: Tech News

Another week draws to a close. Time to kick off those shoes and enjoy the weekend. But just before you do, let us share with you the latest and greatest digital news that’s been getting us excited.

Speed Up

In today’s technologically savvy society, you would think it would be difficult to find someone who wasn’t hooked up to the web. Well, you would be wrong.  According to the Office of National Statistics, four million homes across the UK are still not regularly surfing. 59% of those unconnected think that they simply do not need to be online; while 20% believe they lack the necessary skills, and another 10% can’t afford it. To boost inclusion, the government have pledged to increase broadband speeds for every home in the UK, bringing at least two megabits per second (Mbps) by 2015.

At the moment, download speeds are pretty varied depending on provider. Ofcom found that Virgin’s “up to” 120 MBit/s service offers average download speeds of 112.6 MBit/s. BT’s “up to” 76 MBit/s service delivers 61 MBit/s and Plusnet achieves approximately 33.7 MBit/s with its “up to” 38 Mbit/s service. Around 19% of households now have super fast broadband of at least 30MBit/s, up 8% since last year.

Let’s be honest, there are no downsides to this. The internet is used by millions of people and upping speeds can only increase the efficiency of communication for an endless list of individuals and industries alike.

AppleCare 24/7 - Genius!

According to 9to5Mac, Apple is set to update their AppleCare service in the next couple of weeks. The ‘target date’ is August 12th, however this will likely get pushed back. Nevertheless, Apple is definitely looking to revamp and relaunch the service in the immediate future. As Apple’s iPad and iPhone hardware competition increases from companies such as Samsung, Apple will need to utilise its unique customer support prowess as a differentiating factor in the marketplace. An easy to use, 24/7 chat support hub could assist in this. The service will likely be applicable for both Mac and iOS Device users with an additional phone support being added if successful.

Run, Snowden, Run!

Russia have recently granted temporary asylum for NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden. He may not be running from the US authorities for the time being, but on mobile devices it is a different scenario. Snowden Saga – Escape from Den of Iniquity, is the first Snowden inspired iPhone, iPad and Android game. It is an endless-runner in a similar vein to Temple Run, complete with trap doors and “mind-blowing visual effects” (Moong Labs). So is it any good? Let’s just say that this app will be unlikely to disturb the upper reaches of the App Store charts.

Moong Labs’ main achievement is getting this game approved by Apple; who have a track record of declining games based on real-world political hot potatoes. North Korea-themed ‘Joyful Executions’, Syria-based ‘Endgame: Syria’ and border-control satire ‘Smuggle Truck’, are examples of the unlucky rejectees.

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