hypnosec writes: The UK Government will be examining whether free to download apps are putting unfair pressure on kids to pay up for additional content within the game through in-app purchases. Office of Fair Trading (OFT), UK, will be carrying out the investigation of games that include ‘commercially aggressive’ in-app purchases after a number of cases have been reported whereby parents have incurred huge bills after their kids have spent huge amounts on in-app purchases.
hypnosec writes: UK Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has banned an advertisement for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 from day time television following complaints from concerned parents as the advert contains scenes of violence and destruction. The advert shows scenes of exploding buildings, helicopter firing rockets and such other scenes. The ad contained captions such as "AM3RICA", "3NGLAND", AND "FRANC3" had been previously cleared by Clearcast on a condition that the ad won’t be shown programmes that might be watched by under-16s. Despite these restrictions, two viewers have filed a complaint saying that the ad was shown before start of Premier League football match on Sky Sports 1 and have also challenged that the advert had been broadcast during the day (at 2:30pm) when children could be watching. One of the complainers claimed that he was watching the football game with two kids: a two year old and a four year old.
hypnosec writes: Ofcom, UK’s telecom regular, has finally announced that the much delayed 4G auctions would commence before Christmas and that consumers will be able to get their hands on faster broadband by middle of 2013. The regulator has announced that the auctions will start in late 2012 and will run till early 2013.. "Mobile operators are expected to start rolling out 4G networks using the auctioned spectrum from the middle of 2013, and to start offering 4G services to consumers later that year," according to Ofcom. Ed Richards, Ofcom’s CEO said that the auction has been designed to, "deliver the maximum possible benefit to consumers and citizens across the U.K." Consumers will be able to download email attachments, surf the web and stream videos on their mobile devices from almost every home across the UK he added. The plan is to sell off 80% more mobile spectrum than the previous 3G auction that happened back in 2000. Should this go through as planned, 98% of UK shall be getting mobile broadband coverage.
hypnosec writes: Web search giant Google was subject to severe criticism by the UK authorities for not taking appropriate measures to remove the images from the Max Mosley orgy video. Google was earlier alleged for not making endeavors to take down the images and executives from the search engine giant did not have a choice but to face a bitter question hour session from the MPs. It was the vice president of Google communications and Public Affairs, David-John Collins, accompanied by the legal director and associate general counsel for Google, Daphne Keller who took the responsibility of confronting the raging allegations from the government officials. Apparently, the agonizing discussion went on for hours and the joint MPs and peers on joint committee kept on pricking the executives on the blunder they had done.
hypnosec writes: It has been revealed by a London based developer that Nintendo doesn't like having sales numbers of games made for the Wii released to the public. Icon games is the company behind such PC and mobile titles as Vertigo, Bashi blocks and pool hard pro and it recently published a year in review that showed off how many copies of its games had been sold. However, just a few days later Nintendo made it pull the sales figures of all Wiiware titles. To his credit, "Rich" discussed this in a second blog post, condemning what Nintendo did and provided several examples where publishing sales figures can be incredibly important for smaller developers. "Imagine going into a Bank, VC, Business Angel or some other source of finance and saying — we're planning this game(s) for Nintendo's download service and we need to raise finance to help with the costs. The first thing they would ask would be to see detailed sales projections and market research. What do you do?" Another obvious one he points out is employee job security. If you're looking to work for a gaming firm, you probably want to be hired by one with a history of successful games, or at the very least a company that has a profitable back catalog. "Any decent studio owner wants to offer their employees a stable working environment; a job with prospects and opportunities for the future. Of course no-one can guarantee this, but without any form of realistic forecasting and planning the chances of offering job security are next to none."
hypnosec writes: Civil rights campaigners have spoken out against a technology used by several shopping centers in the UK to track consumers using their mobile signals. The shopping centers claim that the technology helps them provide better services to consumers and retailers without compromising privacy. The system, called the Footpath, allows them to know how are people spending time in a shopping center, which spots they visit the most and even the route they take while walking around in a shopping center. Several consumer and civil rights groups, including Big Brother Watch, have claimed that consumers must be given a choice on whether they want their movement tracked or not.
hypnosec writes: Electricity worth £134million is wasted every year due to overcharging of gadgets such as laptop computers and mobile phones, a new study has revealed. The study shed light into the fact how 20 percent of householders in the UK leave their mobile phones plugged in even when the battery is full, as they do not wish to run out of battery-life while outdoors. Worse even, 10 percent of the participants in the study admitted that they were simply too lazy to pull the plug despite knowing that it costs them money. The study shows that nine out of every 10 owners keep their devices on permanent charge, unaware of the fact that how damaging it could eventually turn out to be. According to the study, the most overcharged devices are laptop computers, mobile phones as well as iPods.
hypnosec writes: A recent survey conducted by a UK based divorce website disclosed that 33 per cent behavior divorce petitions filed cite Facebook as a cause for filling for divorce in 2011. In 2009 this figure was 20 per cent. 5000 people were surveyed by Divorce-Online, the UK divorce website, during 2009 and 2011 covering Facebook as a means to check behavior of spouse with the opposite sex and spouses using the social networking platform to comment about their exes post the separation. Three reasons that came out on the top for listing Facebook in divorce petition were inappropriate messages sent to the opposite sex, posting nasty comments about exes, and friends on Facebook reporting about spouse's behavior.
hypnosec writes: The UK Ministry of Defense (MoD) has begun updating its Battlespace2 and other simulations to bring them in line with commercial wargames like Modern Warfare 3 and Battlefield 3. Andrew Poulter heads up the technical team behind the war-game and said that while back in the 80s and 90s, military simulations were state of the art, today they have fallen far behind commercial alternatives in terms of graphics and plot. With that in mind, the MoD has been investing heavily in what's known as "Project Kite" (knowledge information test environment), designed to bring the training software to the forefront of military shooters. Some of this is down to the current generation of new recruits having been raised on shooter titles from both the Call of Duty and Battlefield series. This means they've been used to high quality first person shooter games. Taking a step down in graphics and immersion is hardly a way to train a soldier how to react in certain situations.
hypnosec writes: The BBC has asked Ofcom for permission to broadcast DRM locked TV programming in the UK, it has been revealed. According to reports, in 2009 the BBC had asked Ofcom for permission to put DRM locks on its high definition video content, which is produced by the license fee that the UK public pays. The secret documents unearthed by the Guardian revealed that the UK public along with several public interest groups and activists and consumer organizations were against the proposal. However, even after the BBC put up an unconvincing case for offering DRM locked video content, Ofcom approved it nonetheless. The two organizations believe that the DRM locking is in favor of the UK public despite its mass opposition and have even failed to clarify why they choose to go ahead with the proposal, claiming that it was in public interest not to know so. The BBC proposal to Ofcom was made public but both the organizations had removed some parts of the proposal, which they later deemed as ‘commercially sensitive'.
hypnosec writes: Heath experts in the UK have warned that mobile phones are a ‘health time bomb' about to go off and have asked the government to issue warning to the public. Health experts have pointed to more than 200 medical studies that link diseases such as brain tumors to the use of mobile phones. In a report released by experts, they have blasted the government for refusing to heed their warning and tell the public about the health risks that they face due to continuous exposure to mobile phones. According to the report, young children were at the maximum risk as their skulls were not thick enough to fend off the radiation.
hypnosec writes: Recent London riots have brought out a startling fact that social media can play The Good, The Bad and The Ugly depending upon the situation and circumstances it is used under. British Prime Minister, David Cameron, having considered this has revealed his plans to put in new controls to tackle the so called ‘menace’ of social media and the part it plays in events such as the London Riots. Cameron, while addressing MPs on Thursday, said that “We are working with the police, the intelligence services and industry to look at whether it would be right to stop people communicating via these websites and services when we know they are plotting violence, disorder and criminality.”