With the arrival of these new user profiles, these shortcuts will now be divided based on who was logged in when bingeing through a series. So, if you’re only a few episodes into Mare Of Easttown and Industry, but your partner has binged to the season finale – these will be separate and only appear when the correct person is logged in.
Not only that, but each user profile will have its own Watch List, so you’ll be able to queue up a list of films and shows that you’re keen to watch – and it won’t impact anyone else who watches the same telly as they’ll be able to create their own lists. Profiles should ensure that everyone gets a highly personalised experience when using a Fire TV. Until now, that’s only really been true for those who live alone… or have a different Fire TV Stick in every room in the house.
As well as profiles, Amazon has tweaked how it makes recommendations. Following the update, you’ll notice a new Find tab at the top of the user interface. This is designed to bring together all of the boxsets and movies that Amazon thinks you’ll enjoy based on your previous viewing. As before, these will include recommendations from a variety of streaming services – not just Prime Video – so expect to see new boxsets from Disney+, Shudder, and Netflix in the mix too.
You might want to delete the pub order apps on your iPhone or Android due to privacy concerns (Image: GETTY • GOOGLE PLAY STORE)
England has now discarded almost all emergency laws designed to stop the spread of Covid-19, including social distancing rules, no limits on the number of people who can meet or attend events, table service will no longer be required in pubs and restaurants, and face coverings will not be legally required in enclosed spaces – like public transport or theatres. Some establishments will still require face coverings and other rules to encourage customers who might otherwise be put off, but these rules can not be legally enforced.
With table service no longer a requirement, it might be time to take another look at the number of pub apps downloaded to your smartphone. These applications, which allowed customers to order food and drink to their table with a smartphone, were hugely popular in recent months. The majority of the biggest pub chains across the UK have launched their own application to make ordering from your seat fuss-free.
But while the prospect of queuing shoulder-to-shoulder with other customers at the bar might not be all-that appealing, it’s worth remembering that some of the most popular apps are recording much more than your drinks order. And that might not be a trade-off you’re willing to make.
Speaking to WIRED about the worrying trend of data collection from these applications, Michael Veale, a lecturer in digital rights and regulations at University College London, said: “When hospitality started to have an obligation to take contact details last year, there was no obvious privacy-preserving tool to do this with. In many hospitality venues, they are still using the technology from the earlier part of the pandemic last year to fulfil orders and table service, which collect unnecessary information.”
Wetherspoons launched its ordering app back in 2017 – well before the arrival of coronavirus on British shores (Image: WETHERSPOONS • GOOGLE PLAY STORE)
Wetherspoons launched its pub app before the pandemic gripped the globe. Back in 2017, the Wetherspoons app allows customers to order drinks, snacks, and food to their table. Payment is made through the app with a credit or debit card, or systems like Apple Pay and Google Pay, which use fingerprint or facial recognition to verify your identity and approve the payment.
While the order app has been around for years, its use has spiked in the pandemic. As you might expect, the Wetherspoons app collects information from any of the forms filled in within the app, including name, home address, email address and phone number.
In order to pinpoint which branch of Wetherspoons you’re in, the app taps into the GPS functionality built into your smartphone. The Android version of the app has seemingly wider-ranging permissions than the iPhone version of the same app. On Android, the Wetherspoons app has the ability to read, modify, and delete items from your USB storage. It can also snap pictures and video from your camera.
Greene King offers a similar service to Wetherspoons with its app, but siphons a little more data (Image: GREENE KING • GOOGLE PLAY STORE)
Like Wetherspoons, Greene King has an application designed to find and book tables at any of the 1,600 locations across the UK. As soon as you’re inside the pub, the iPhone and Android app can be used to order drinks and food to your table.
Using the app to do any of this will result in the software recording your names, contact details, booking information, loyalty card details, transaction information, date of birth, email addresses, telephone number, and payment details.
While that all makes sense, the Privacy labels in the App Store reveal that Greene King will store your search history, identifying the make and model of your smartphone, as well as how you interact with the app. That makes a little less sense.
Like the Wetherspoons app, the Google Play Store reveals more wider-ranging permissions than the iPhone version of the app. Like its Wetherspoons counterpart, Greene King can read, modify, and delete the contents stored on your USB storage, as well as take photos and videos.
Freedom Day: Dr Philip Lee calls on the government to ‘grow up’
The OrderPay app is used by some 1,500 pubs, bars and restaurants across the UK. The software, available on iPhone and Android, collects the usual name, email addresses, telephone number, and details of how you decided to login to the app. It also stores payment information, but not individual credit or debit card numbers. That all makes sense.
Perhaps more concerning, every time you launch the app, it will siphon GPS data, as well as allergen and dietary information, transaction history – including what you bought and how much was spent, IP address – that can be used to find your location, mobile phone service provider, model of phone, and “cookie, pixel and beacon identification information”, plus nearby Bluetooth signals.
Konrad Kollnig of Oxford University, who built the TrackerControl Slim app that analyses how Android software tracks and shares data, told WIRED that OrderPay sends some of this data to six separate data-tracking firms. That’s the highest number of any of the pub apps analysed. It also shares the location data with the OrderPay head office.
According to Kollnig, that step is completely unnecessary. He explains: “A list of all pubs could be downloaded on the Android device – as is done by the Wetherspoon app.”
In its small-print, OrderPay says that it will hold onto personal data for up to six years and could “transfer your personal information outside of the United Kingdom (UK) and European Economic Area (EEA)”.
MyPub is used by a number of different brands, from Slug and Lettuce to WalkAbout (Image: MYPB • GOOGLE PLAY STORE)
All of this information is siphoned and used to “better understand our customers and online users, including profiling”. While that could result in promotions and events that are better suited to the people frequenting these locations… you’re handing over a lot of personal information for a pretty small benefit. When ordering at the bar, you’d be a little taken aback if the bartender had to record your gender, interests, date of birth, name, email address and mobile phone number before handing over a drink – simply so that your local can better understand its customers.
Like a number of the other pub apps in the list, Android users are hit harder with data-collection. According to the listing on the Google Play Store, MyPub can read, modify or delete the contents stored on the USB storage associated with your phone. It can also take photos and videos where necessary and track your location using GPS.
“MyPub and Greene King seem to have the best privacy properties among the apps studied,” concludes Kollnig.
Premiumcccam was being run from Serbia with ACE saying that this is the first time they have closed down a service in the country. ACE executed a cease and desist operation near Belgrade, Serbia, followed by immediate cooperation from the operator.
Anyone now visiting the site will be disappointed to discover that all the content has now been replaced by the ACE logo and a message telling users the site has been closed.
ACE is backed by some of the biggest names in film and entertainment including Amazon, Apple TV+, BBC Worldwide, Fox, Netflix, Paramount Pictures, Sky, Sony Pictures Entertainment and Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures.
WhatsApp has gone on a blocking spree, purging millions of its two billion users for breaking a little-known rule on the app intended to stop the spread of hoaxes. Over two million accounts have been blocked from WhatsApp in just one month for violating the rule. The company said it had targeted users who were found to be sending a “high and abnormal rate of messages”.
What counts as too many messages? Luckily, you’d have to work pretty hard to fall foul of the rules. The company said over 95% of the bans were “due to the unauthorized use of automated or bulk messaging”, not regular texting.
Almost all the banned accounts are in India, WhatsApp’s biggest market with over 400 million users. Bans were triggered when users forwarded messages too many times, blasting past the app’s strict new limit on how many times a message can be forwarded to other people or groups.
The limit, which was announced in April 2020, is in place to combat spam and the spread of viral rumours, photos and hoaxes. This is a huge problem in India, where many people rely on the app for news.
Messages containing “fake news” have been blamed for outbreaks of violence and lynchings across the country.
The app has mass-banned users before. WhatsApp said it uses AI technology to block around eight million accounts around the world, every month.
It uses information like profile and group photos and descriptions as well as “behavioural signals” from accounts to decide whom to ban.
Reports submitted by other users were also used to help catch the rogue accounts.
WhatsApp said in a statement: “We are particularly focused on prevention because we believe it is much better to stop harmful activity from happening in the first place than to detect it after harm has occurred. The abuse detection operates at three stages of an account’s lifestyle: at registration; during messaging; and in response to negative feedback, which we receive in the form of user reports and blocks.”
It added that it had not read any of the spam messages sent on the app because of its end-to-end encryption.
Earlier this year, WhatsApp sued the Indian government to try and stop a new law that would have forced the app to hand over information on users accused of criminal activity. The company said this violated users’ right to privacy, adding: “Requiring messaging apps to ‘trace’ chats is the equivalent of asking us to keep a fingerprint of every single message sent on WhatsApp, which would break end-to-end encryption and fundamentally undermines people’s right to privacy.” The lawsuit is still underway.
Openreach and Nokia say they have achieved this feat using cutting edge ‘25G PON’ technology, which can whizz broadband over a single optical fibre. What makes things even more exciting is that it can run on the same underlying infrastructure that Openreach is already building across the UK. That should make it faster and easier to bring this upgrade to streets without needing to dig up roads or replace existing fibre cables.
Speaking about the news, Peter Bell, Director, Network Technology at Openreach said: “As the country’s largest digital infrastructure provider, it’s crucial that we continue to plan, innovate and evolve our network, to make sure we have the capacity and capabilities that the UK needs in the future.
“The Full Fibre network we’re building today is going to be the platform for the UK’s economic, social and environmental prosperity, and these trials prove that we can keep upgrading the speeds and services our customers experience over that network for decades to come.”
Born Marcel Theo Hall, the rapper-DJ died peacefully Friday evening with his wife by his side, according to a representative.
LOS ANGELES — Biz Markie, a hip-hop staple known for his beatboxing prowess, turntable mastery and the 1989 classic “Just a Friend,” has died. He was 57.
Markie’s representative, Jenni Izumi, said the rapper-DJ died peacefully Friday evening with his wife by his side. The cause of death has not been released.
“We are grateful for the many calls and prayers of support that we have received during this difficult time,” Izumi said in a statement. “Biz created a legacy of artistry that will forever be celebrated by his industry peers and his beloved fans whose lives he was able to touch through music, spanning over 35 years. He leaves behind a wife, many family members and close friends who will miss his vibrant personality, constant jokes and frequent banter.”
Markie, who birth name was Marcel Theo Hall, became known within the rap genre realm as the self-proclaimed “Clown Prince of Hip-Hop” for lighthearted lyrics and a humorous nature. He made music with the Beastie Boys, opened for Chris Rock’s comedy tour and was a sought-after DJ for countless star-studded events.
The New York-native’s music career began in 1985 as a beat boxer of the Juice Crew, a rap collective he helped Big Daddy Kane join. Three years later, he released his debut album “Goin’ Off,” which featured underground hits “Vapors” and “Pickin’ Boogers.”
Markie broke into mainstream music with his platinum-selling song “Just a Friend,” the lead single on his sophomore album “The Biz Never Sleeps.” The friend-zone anthem cracked Rolling Stone’s top 100 pop songs and made VH1’s list of 100 greatest hip-hop songs of all time.
Markie, who released five total studio albums, consistently booked more than 175 shows a year, according to the rapper’s website. He’s appeared on television shows including “In Living Color” and the 2002 movie “Men in Black II,” which had him playing an alien parody of himself in the film starring Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones.
Markie also taught the method of beatboxing in an episode of the children’s show “Yo Gabba Gabba!”
Box.co.uk has confirmed it will be hosting a PS5 stock ballot this week for its customers in the UK.
July has been an average month for PlayStation 5 restocks, with Argos, Game and Smyths hosting sales events online and in-store.
But no UK retailers have been able to keep up with demand, and this has left gamers waiting around for the next opportunity.
And the good news is that another restock event will be hosted this week that will eliminate some of the headaches of being stuck in a digital queue.
Box.co.uk will be hosting a PS5 stock ballot, meaning that it won’t be a first-come-first-served system.
Instead, gamers will be able to sign up using an email address to have a chance at buying a console this week.
Much like how Box ran its Xbox Series X and S ballots, gamers can register their email address in the new PS5 Ballot. All emails collected will be entered into a ballot whereby lucky entrants will receive an invitation to purchase a PlayStation5 Bundle.
PS5 STOCK BALLOT LINK
And Box has confirmed that these will be the items included in each bundle available from the site:
PlayStation 5 Disc Edition Console
An extra DualSense Wireless controller
Logitech G923 Racing Wheel
Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart
Unfortunately for those who are not interested in the other items included, the Box PS5 bundle is very expensive.
Costing a whopping 849.99, console hunters not looking to purchase a Steering Wheel will have to decide whether they can resell it afterwards.
And Box.co.uk isn’t the only UK retailer which is expected to offer another PS5 restock this month.
Amazon was the latest to drop a shipment of PlayStation 5s and will be followed by others like Argos and BT.
And according to the @PS5Instant account, the PS5 Digital console could become available to buy at Amazon UK on a separate date.
That’s the bad news. The good news is the stock tracker said the latest Amazon shipment is “huge”, which made it difficult to ship it all at once.
The @PS5Instant Twitter posted: “Didn’t manage to get a #PS5? don’t worry. #PS5Stock on the way soon.
“Amazon will drop Digital at another date as this shipment was huge ~ difficult to ship so much at once”.
Elsewhere, besides the Amazon PS5 restock other UK retailers could be opening orders for the PlayStation 5 once again this week.
Verdemar-Ecologistas en Acción, a non-governmental organisation, has condemned the deployment and warned it puts “at risk the region of Andalusia”. Spain has been at odds with the UK after Brexit due to issues with borders on Gibraltar.
The environmental group said the presence of up to three nuclear-powered submarines in Gibraltar in a month because of the “risk it poses to the population due to the operations carried out there.”
It follows reports and images showing the HMS Artful, HMS Prince of Wales and HMS Lancaster in port near Gibraltar’s Europa Point.
HMS Artful, an Astute-class nuclear submarine, docked in Gibraltar on World Environment Day on June 5, before it “returned 30 days later” according to the group.
They said: “We suspect that repairs are still being made to these ‘floating bombs’ ever since HMS Tireless left the waters of the Bay of Algeciras 20 years ago.”