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theEweekly Wrap

Yahoo! denies fault for privacy breaches, BBC ends 3D programming and a new way to get around London

Yahoo! battles back in privacy row

Yahoo! is looking to reassure users that the search engine did all it could to avoid handing over potentially sensitive information to the US government.

The company is looking for the Foriegn Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) court to release evidence of the objections provided in 2008 when the NSA demanded access to information belonging to Yahoo! customers.

In a statement, Yahoo! commented: "Release of this court's decision and the parties' briefing is necessary to inform the growing public debate about how this court considers and examines the government's use of directives." The statement continues by saying that Yahoo! "objected strenuously" to the requests at every stage of the process but was given no legal choice other than to hand over the requested details.

Internet privacy has become a hot topic in recent weeks, ignited by the actions of Edward Snowden. The DuckDuckGo search engine has particularly benefited from this increased desire for privacy, with millions more searches being made on a daily basis using the secure search platform.


BBC suspends 3D programming

The BBC has announced it is suspending 3D programming indefinitely, following what has been described as a "lack of public appetite" for the futuristic technology.

3D programming enjoyed some success last summer, when around half of the 1.5 million televisions capable of broadcasting in this way tuned in to watch the Olympics. However, popular programmes such as Doctor Who, the Queen's speech and the recent Wimbledon final involving Andy Murray did not enjoy a great deal of uptake from 3D viewers.

Kim Shillinglaw, who has been the BBC's head of 3D and will now return to her previous role as head of science and nature commented: "I have never seen a very big appetite for 3D television in the UK... we will see what happens when the recession ends and there may be more take up of sets, but I think the BBC will be having a wait-and-see. It's the right time for a good old pause."

This move from the BBC follows ESPN's decision to close their 3D sport channel last month.


London taxi app with a difference

A new smartphone app is hoping to permanently change the way people travel around London, allowing users to instantly arrange a lift anywhere in the city at a greatly reduced rate compared to the iconic black cab.

Uber has already proved to be extremely popular in many other large cities, including San Francisco, Amsterdam and Berlin.

One of the main benefits of the service is the fact an Uber account is directly linked to a credit card, meaning payment is taken automatically without having to worry about withdrawing cash to pay the driver. Users are also picked up from the location of their choice, negating the need to find a taxi rank, which can often be extremely busy in large cities such as London.

While London is the only UK based city available currently, if the service proves as popular as it has been around the world, pressing a button on a smartphone may replace the time honoured tradition of sticking out an arm to hail a ride home.

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