theEweekly Wrap: Google V Apple, Tesco Wi-Fi and Instant Censorship
|Google V Apple||Google is planning an assault on Apple’s music market domination, according to the Independent. Currently in talks with music labels regarding a download store, they plan to create a digital music ‘locker’, where tunes can be stored and accessed on any device with an internet connection.
The idea comes hot on the heels of Apple and BridgeCo’s joint venture, AirPlay, which wirelessly streams the user’s iTunes to any compatible stereo system. Music can also be streamed via Apple TV to devices such as the iPhone and iPad. Apple TV itself will also face competition from Google when they launch their own TV service this autumn.
|Appy Days||BT Total Broadband customers can now download an app which automatically connects them to the nearest Wi-Fi network or hotspot – for free. Total Broadband gives users unlimited free internet access, and therefore has been extended to include phone access.
One possible use for this unlimited free Wi-Fi is the new Tesco grocery app, as reported by TheNextWeb. Shoppers can order their groceries on-the-go, or add items to an existing order, and even check out via their mobile. Tesco’s head of research and development Nick Lansley said the app was a response to over a million requests for mobile internet shopping.
|Instant access denied||Google Instant may seem to know what you’re looking for before you do, but adventurous searchers have already discovered a hitch. Search terms which are remotely or innocently risqué, such as hardcore (punk?), sexy (outfits?), or pussy (-cat dolls?) are met with a blank screen. It even blanks out certain businesses like Ann Summers, which will surely disgruntle some brands.
Says Mashable: “Frankly, we’re glad that Google isn’t including adult-related keywords in real-time search,” but this comes just a week after the withdrawal of ‘adult services’ on US site Craiglist caused uproar. Of course, Google’s decision is not ‘censorship’: if you want to see the results, you can just press enter.
|Twitter to the rescue||After five months being held captive by Afghan criminals, kidnapped journalist Kosuke Tsuneoka has been rescued – all thanks to Twitter. When one of his captors complained his new Nokia N70 wasn’t working, Tsuneoka offered to help, and managed to surreptitiously tweet the message “I am still alive, but in jail.” Desperate family and friends were given more hope when another tweet a few minutes later revealed where he was imprisoned.
The Associated Press reports that the Hizb-e-Islami militants issued an ultimatum to the Japanese government in June, which was not met; ever since, Tsuneoka has been feared dead. With his plight made known to the world, he was reluctantly released over the weekend and is now safe and well in Tokyo.