Microsoft drops Hotmail, Lords criticise broadband roll-out, Anonymous outraged at pinched logo, Facebook looks into fake accounts, her Majesty and 007
Microsoft has dropped its popular webmail Hotmail to replace it with a brand new service called Outlook.com. Existing Hotmail customers can changeover to the new version by choosing options in their account and clicking on the upgrade button.
Basically, the new product is just a web-based version of the business mail package Outlook and Microsoft say that web-based email has changed so little over the course of the years that it’s now time for change.
The new version is designed for cloud and will allow for better integration with social media sites. Users will be able to view updates etc. from within Outlook and chat, as well as make calls with Skype.
“Outlook.com also uses Exchange ActiveSync, so it powers your mail, calendar and people experience on your smartphone, tablet, and the new Outlook 2013 Preview,” Microsoft explained on their official blog.
There will also be access to free Microsoft web apps such as Word and Excel, as well as the ability to save any documents you create to Skydrive, Microsoft’s answer to Dropbox.
The beta version was released earlier this week, so if you fancy giving it a try head on over to Outlook preview and get yourself an @Outlook address.
Lords criticise government broadband rollout
A House of Lords peer committee has criticised the UK government for their broadband rollout strategy, in which the government plans to make superfast broadband available for everyone in the country by 2015.
According to the committee, they are doing it all wrong as the gov are focusing less on reach and more on speeds, meaning some remote areas could still be left out in the cold, as far as the internet goes.
“The delivery of certain speeds should not be the guiding principle; what is important is the long term assurance that as new internet applications emerge, everyone will be able to benefit, from inhabitants of inner cities to the remotest areas of the UK,” they said.
Currently, the UK trails many places in Europe, being placed at number 16th in terms of speed and reach and 25th in the world rankings – at least the UK seem to be doing better in the Olympics though eh?
Hacktivist group Anonymous outraged at French nicking their logo
The notorious ‘hacktivist’ collective, Anonymous, this week expressed their anger at a French company who have stolen and registered not only their infamous logo of the headless guy in a suit, but also the phrase: : “We are Anonymous, We do not forgive, We do not forget. Expect us.”
Early Flicker, the French company in question trademarked both of the above, much to the disgruntlement of Anonymous who said in a YouTube broadcast that it “will take down any business they have going on the internet”.
“The 99% will not stop until the registration has been revoked and a public apology has been made,” it continued.
“The name of Anonymous will not be the whore of the world.”
Anonymous, who make announcements on a regular basis, as well as hacking and stealing information, have said that they have now launched “Operation AnonTrademark”, asking for the trademark to be cancelled.
They have also threatened to remove anything that Early Flicker do online in DDoS attacks, which send so much traffic to a site at one time that it takes it down.
Early Flicker has so far declined to comment on the situation, presumably whilst they take legal advice, but the irony of Anonymous using the law to fight the trademark won’t be lost on many.
Anonymous members are situated in various locations around the world and some of what they do have political issues at heart. However, they also operate on the fringes of the law and many of their members and related hacktivist group LulzSec have been rounded up by law enforcement agencies from around the world.
Facebook says 8.7% of its users are fake
Facebook has published its findings this week on fake profiles which make up around 8.7% of its 955 accounts. They believe that the total number of “illegitimate” accounts is around 83 million.
“We generate a substantial majority of our revenue from advertising,” the company said in its filing.
“The loss of advertisers, or reduction in spending by advertisers with Facebook, could seriously harm our business.”
This is due to the recent criticism the site has come in for as some companies use the site to generate false likes, leading to reports questioning the effectiveness of Facebook marketing.
According to the BBC, they set up a fake account, ‘VirtualBagel’ to test the theory that many of the likes pages are receiving due to advertising are not strictly on the up and up. The investigation found that many likes came from Asia and the Middle East.
The BBC also report that Limited Press, a digital distribution company, claimed that 80% of its ad clicks had originated from fake accounts.
“Bots were loading pages and driving up our advertising costs. So we tried contacting Facebook about this. Unfortunately, they wouldn’t reply,” LP said on their own Facebook page.
“Do we know who the bots belong to? No. Are we accusing Facebook of using bots to drive up advertising revenue? No. Is it strange? Yes.”
The company has now taken down the post and it seems obvious that Facebook are looking into the matter seriously, although you have to wonder how this latest news will affect their stock again.
After a shaky start for team GB, the Brits have really got their mojo on now and are kicking some backsides in medals and records. If you missed the opening ceremony, then frankly you missed a treat and so we thought we’d bring you the best bit.
According to rumour, none of the royals knew this was happening except for the Queen (and possibly the other half) and Mr Bond, 007. Whatever the case, her Majesty clearly has a sense of humour, despite looking rather tired throughout the countries coming out (well, it’s not the most interesting part, let’s face it!). Give it a watch – it’s pretty damn good stuff.