Europe agrees to scrap roaming charges while paving way for 'internet fast lane'
Tourists in EU countries will pay same mobile fees as at home from June 2017, but parallel deal means web services could pay for faster connections than rivals
Holidaymakers travelling within the EU will pay the same price to use their mobile phone as they would at home from June 2017, after a deal was reached by European authorities.
The scrapping of roaming charges has been fiercely resisted by the mobile industry but the agreement on Tuesday comes with a carrot for the telecoms firms – a parallel deal on internet neutrality that would allow them to charge some service providers for faster connections to their customers.
Related: Net neutrality: what is it and why does it matter? Continue reading...
Digital banking: Mondo hopes to become the Google or Facebook of the sector
Tom Blomfield’s Mondo is one of a number of new startups hoping to tap into customers’ increasing use of digital technology as branch use falls steeply
It was 21 May, and a historic moment for Tom Blomfield. Stood at a cash machine in Clerkenwell, central London, the ambitious young entrepreneur withdrew money from a brand new account with a new bank at which he was the only customer.
Five weeks later, Mondo has 30 customers testing its prototype account. Blomfield – a former management consultant now on his third business startup, all before the age of 30 – said a crunch meeting with the Bank of England on Wednesday would determine whether Mondo gets the formal go-ahead to apply for a banking licence. The full process would take another six months. Continue reading...
New Yorkers to get free Wi-Fi via old phone booths in Google-funded project
Google’s urban innovation startup Sidewalk Labs has made its first big investment – turning NYC’s disused phone booths into 10,000 Wi-Fi hotspots
The goal of free, high-speed internet for everyone in New York City has jumped much closer: Sidewalk Labs, the new Google-backed startup that was created last month to improve city life though technological innovation, has announced it is investing in a project to turn the city’s payphones into Wi-Fi hotspots.
The company is among a group of investors acquiring two New York-based firms that have been leading the effort to turn disused payphones into 10,000 Wi-Fi hotspots and information kiosks, beginning later this year. In a stroke, it puts Sidewalk Labs – and, by proxy, Google – in the lead of the world’s highest-profile rollout of free, citywide Wi-Fi.
Intersection says it can help other cities update ageing infrastructure, such as old street lights and bus shelters
Related: Will Google's $5m plan make cycling in the rest of Silicon Valley easier? Continue reading...
Turn off, tune out: National Unplugging Day hopes to give Britain a digital detox
Nationwide initiative for a ‘technology Sabbath’ encourages families to reconnect with each other by disconnecting their computers, iPads and phones for 24 hours
When the Bird family give up technology on Sunday for the country’s first annual “National Unplugging Day”, 15-year-old James will be most worried about how his sister Charlotte, 13, will cope.
“My sister will struggle more than anyone,” he said. “She relies on her phone so much. She’s always checking it – when we’re on the trampoline together, when we’re talking. She can’t go five minutes without it.” Continue reading...
Festivals, flights and fulfilment: welcome to the post-digital world However well-connected it makes us, cyberspace is lonely. That’s why, more and more, we are looking for live experiences
Meeting this week in the south of France is the giant Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity. It is a fancy title for the marketing world’s Mad Men on sea. Rumour has it that half the world’s annual ad revenue is negotiated on its yachts and in its hotels and bars. It thus joins the Cannes film festival, the Frankfurt book fair, cancer research in Chicago and arms fairs everywhere as geographical fixed points in the post-digital world.
Meanwhile, the stars of vlogging and blogging are scheduled to gather at the Skip festival – held not on some virtual cloud but in London’s O2 arena. This is found by a search engine no faster than a Jubilee Line train. Is this the shock of the new?
Related: Can't stand Kanye West? Glastonbury offers an abundance of alternatives
A row of outdated futurology books on my shelf forecast the death of the workplace, the neighbourhood and the city
I was not alone in once dismissing the digital revolution as a passing craze Continue reading...
Chinese tech firms fight over Wi-Fi router with 'pregnant women' setting
Xiaomi accuses rival Qihoo of scare tactics after it markets router complete with safety mode for women expecting a child
Move over Apple and Samsung, the latest tech rivalry is in town – and it’s to do with a router aimed at pregnant women.
Chinese tech firm Qihoo has launched an upgrade to its P1 router, which features three settings: “wall penetration”, “balance” and … er, “pregnant women”. Continue reading...