l-ascorbic writes: "The UK Revenue and Customs has announced an unprecedented 24 hour extension to the tax filing deadline. The emergency ruling came after the online filing service collapsed under the weight of demand ahead of the 31st January deadline. Thousands of anxious taxpayers reported that they have been unable to access the site and submit their Self Assessment forms, and faced automatic £100 fines for late submission."
l-ascorbic writes: "The founders of the hugely popular filesharing site Pirate Bay have been charged by Swedish prosecutors with conspiracy to break copyright law. If convicted, they could face up to two years in jail. While the site has survived previous actions including seizure of their servers, this is the first time that criminal charges have been filed against the owners."
l-ascorbic writes: "Police investigating a spate of suicides in the Welsh town of Bridgend have announced a possible link with social networking sites. In the past year, seven young people in the small town have killed themselves, in what is suspected to be a copycat "suicide chain". The deaths have been marked by remembrance walls on Bebo, and each victim was known to have posted on the walls commemorating previous deaths."
l-ascorbic writes: "Copying music from a CD to a PC could be made legal under new proposals from the UK government. Most people don't realise that it is currently illegal, and the law is not enforced. Intellectual property minister Lord Triesman said the law should be changed so it "keeps up with the times". Even the BPI (the British equivalent of the RIAA) has welcomed the move."
l-ascorbic writes: "Following in the footsteps of politicians and corporations, the British Queen has launched a channel on YouTube. It will be used to share videos of her recent and historical appearances, as well as her traditional Christmas Day speech. A Buckingham Palace spokeswoman said it was hoped the site would make the 81-year-old monarch's annual speech "more accessible to younger people and those in other countries". To this end, the speech will also be made available as a podcast, for those who need their royal fix when on the move."
l-ascorbic writes: Vodafone has had its temporary injunction against T-Mobile overturned by a court in Germany. Two weeks ago, the British mobile network won an injunction forcing T-Mobile to sell iPhones that were not locked to its network. They argued that it was an anti-competitive practice, and sought to force the German network to permanently allow the use of the phones on other networks. After the injunction was granted, T-Mobile offered the unlocked phones for 999 euros ($1477), and these will now be withdrawn from sale.
l-ascorbic writes: "In what they are calling "a change of tactics", Microsoft have removed the controversial kill switch from Vista SP1. This feature is designed to disable pirated copies of the OS, but had led to numerous reports of it disabling legitimate copies. It will be replaced with a notice that repeatedly informs the user that their OS is pirated."
l-ascorbic writes: "The Beeb's free catch-up download service has been widely criticised for being Windows-only, relying on Microsoft DRM. The BBC governors ordered that it should be cross-platform as soon as possible. Seems they've opted for Flash, meaning iPlayer will be available for Mac and Linux by the end of the year."
l-ascorbic writes: "Thousands of fake cheques worth an estimated £8m have been seized and around 70 people arrested in an operation targeting international email scams. The cheques, offered as prizes in exchange for a fee and destined for the UK, were recovered in Nigeria by the British Serious Organised Crime Agency (Soca). The month-long investigation into the fraud uncovered more than 4,500 forged and fraudulent documents."
l-ascorbic writes: "The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Microsoft is poised to buy 5% of Facebook for $300 million to $500 million, valuing the company at up to $10 billion. Microsoft already handles advertising for the site. Is this Bubble 2.0, or a necessary move to keep ahead of Google?"
l-ascorbic writes: "It's been a hell of a long time coming, and now, finally, it is here. 82 days after it was first officially announced, Steve Jobs is releasing the iPhone on the UK in person. The details you've been waiting for: It's available from the beginning of November, costs 269 quid and is available on O2. More info from T3."
l-ascorbic writes: Apple have released some of the details of the price plans for the iPhone, and it's not pleasant reading. If you choose a top-spec iPhone with all the options (and let's face it, that's what you'll want to get), plus the top price plan, it will set you back $3,515 over the life of the contract. Ouch.
l-ascorbic writes: Google Street View is great, but the coverage is very limited. A mobile apps researcher in Vienna wanted coverage of his hometown, so created his own Google Street View, using the CleVR panorama viewer and the Google Maps API.
l-ascorbic writes: Most people with a digital camera have probably found the "panorama" setting, perhaps tried to take a few and left it at that. Photo stitching software has always been notoriously expensive and/or complicated, and sharing the results has been a nightmare. CleVR, yet another Web 2.0 startup with a silly name, has just released a product that makes all of this dead simple, and totally free. It includes Java stitching software and a Flash viewer that lets you share your panoramas, YouTube style. The stitcher is good, but it's the sharing that really makes this cool. Check out their tour of the tourist trap Bath for a good example.