advertising
AdBlock is Legal, Says German Federal Court of Justice

There are a lot of people who don't like adblock software. Advertisers, publishers, Google, you name it. While some of those companies have tried to subtly encourage people to accept ads (or  at least some ads in Google's case), there are those who want more proactive measures. Facebook announced it would circumvent adblockers, much to the fury of people around the world, but German publisher Axel Springer took it a step further and was trying to sue AdBlock Plus. Emphasis on "was" because that case has now been thrown out by the German Federal Court of Justice. Read More >>

bitcoin
Amazon Just Got a Patent to Track Bitcoin Transactions and Sell the Data

Big companies file patents all the time. Not because they want to use them, just to have them and stop someone else from coming along and claiming the idea for themselves. Amazon is no different, and back in 2014 it filed a patent for a 'Streaming Data Marketplace' that would allow it to collect online data streams, analyse the data, and after combining multiple streams together they could sell it off to someone else. Read More >>

music
‘Shut up, Morrissey’ Bags Re-Enter Production

A third run of bags that say what the nation is thinking has entered production, as it seems a huge number of people would like a shopping bag that says "'Shut up, Morrissey" on it, in case they meet the popstar browsing the alternative vegan milks section of their local Waitrose. Read More >>

audio
The BBC Just Made Over 16,000 Sound Effect Samples Available Absolutely Free

The BBC has a pretty hefty archive these days, which is to be expected after nearly 100 years of operation. Among its archives are sound effects that have been used throughout the decades, and the Beeb just made 16,016 samples available to everyone - absolutely free. Read More >>

animals
Famous Dodo Was Murdered

The best example of a dodo left on the planet is still dead – scientists aren't that good yet – but they do at least now think they know how it died. Which will bring some closure to the case. Read More >>

amazon
Amazon Launches Alexa Blueprints, So You Can Create Custom Skills Without Learning to Code

Amazon has always been quite open about letting third party developers create skills for its Alexa virtual assistant, but now it's just made it even easier to build something for yourself. Alexa Blueprints will let anyone develop skills for Alexa, and they don't even need to learn how to code first. Read More >>

transport
Railway Geeks Plan Ambitious Steam Train Live Stream

One of my favourite things to do is watch the live streams of SpaceX rocket launches - and landings. Every month or so there will usually be a launch, in which for a brief few moments you get to escape the horrors of reality, and instead indulge in an optimistic vision of the future: One where we can not just send rockets into space, but live stream the results back to my TV too. Read More >>

piracy
Pirates Mock Amazon Prime for Poor Quality Video Content

If you're watching pirate streams and end up with some poor quality video, there's not a whole lot you can do about it. While plenty of people will moan about it, and blast the people responsible for ripping the content, at the moment quality issues seem to be affecting anyone trying to watch Amazon content - regardless of whether they're stealing it or going through the correct channels (better known as subscribing). Read More >>

food
Sainsbury’s Tests Delivery by Mini Fleet of Electric Bikes

Supermarket chain Sainsbury's has invented a new category of home delivery – the home delivery by electric cargo bike, for people who can restrain themselves to only ordering slightly less than 125kg of shopping and live within three miles of a branch. Read More >>

amazon
Amazon’s Rolling Out Intercom-Style Alexa Announcements in the UK From Today

Earlier this month Amazon launched a feature in the US called Alexa Announcements, which let Echo users send one-way intercom-style messages from one Echo device to another. Now it's announced that feature willing be rolling out that feature to UK customers from today. Read More >>

internet
BT Has Plans to Kill the Phone Line by 2025

Do you have a landline? I know I don't, but then again I'm in my twenties and grew up communicating with people via text rather than voice. In the years since I've never really felt like adding an extra bill to my monthly expenses, and do all my calling from my mobile phone. Apparently home phones still use things called 'lines', which are made up of copper wires running through the ground. Well maybe not for much longer, because BT has announced it wants to ditch phone lines by 2025. Read More >>

gadgets
UK Smart Speaker Ownership Doubled in the Past Six Months, Says Poll

In case all those sales on Echo Dots and Google Home Mini's didn't make this a given, it turns out that the number of people who own smart speakers here in the UK has doubled over the past sis months. Or so says a new poll from YouGov. Read More >>

internet
TalkTalk, Vodafone, and BT Top Ofcom’s Broadband, Mobile, and TV Complaints Lists

As many of you will be aware, Ofcom is responsible for complaints levelled against telecoms companies. Complaints about all sorts of things, be it terrible service, nuisance calls, unsuitable content on TV, you name it. Being a public organisation, Ofcom regularly published reports on all those complaints with the latest arriving yesterday. Topping the complaints charts for broadband, mobile, and paid TV services were TalkTalk, Vodafone, and BT respectively. Read More >>

security
Microsoft Protects Users From Phishing Scams With a Windows Defender Chrome Extension

Phishing scams are pretty dastardly things, and supremely irritating. It's got to the point now where you can't ever trust a link in your inbox, even if everything looks legit. Even GMail's spam filters can't differentiate between scams and genuine emails from Amazon about stuff I've actually ordered. What's more plenty of people still fall for them, which is one of the reasons why Microsoft has gone and released a Windows Defender extension for Chrome. Read More >>

housing
The House From ‘Spaced’ is For Sale, Gentrified, and £4,000,000

There's bad news for Mike, we're afraid, as he almost certainly won't be allowed in the house that was used as the backdrop for landmark Channel 4 sitcom Spaced any more, for fear he'd get snack crumbs on the expensive rugs or unduly move furniture from its optimal photogenic position and scratch the newly painted floorboards. Read More >>