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  1. Self-driving cars to be allowed on UK roads this year Drivers will be allowed to take their hands off the wheel if ALKS is enabled Self-driving vehicles could be allowed on UK roads by the end of this year, the government has said. The Department for Transport said automated lane-keeping systems (ALKS) would be the first type of hands-free driving legalised. The technology controls the position and speed of a car in a single lane but only up to speeds of 37mph (60km/h)
  2. UK government announces first phase of Project Gigabit The UK government has announced the first phase of Project Gigabit, an initiative to get more than a million hard to reach homes and businesses connected with next-generation gigabit broadband. The government will spend £5 billion over the whole of Project Gigabit and in the first phase alone up to 510,000 homes and business in several areas of the country will be connected. The first areas where Project Gigabit will arrive are Cambridgeshire, Cornwall, Cumbria, Dorset, Durham, Essex, Northumberland, So
  3. The UK is considering starting a digital currency The Bank of England says the virtual money would co-exist with physical cash. NurPhoto via Getty Images The UK isn't going to sit idly by while other countries launch digital currencies. Today, the Bank of England and HM Treasury announced that they will jointly explore "a new form" of virtual money for the public and private sector. A dedicated taskforce has been appointed to assess the risks and practicalities of introducing a digital currency. To help glean new use cases, officials will consult with s
  4. UK Pirates Remain Driven by Convenience, Availability and Cost A report published by the UK Intellectual Property Office shows that a quarter of all online entertainment consumers downloaded or streamed content illegally last year. Many pirates pay for content but turn to illegal sources when availability is lacking or when the costs become too high. Every year the UK Government publishes a new edition of its Online Copyright Infringement Tracker. This report is the result of an annual survey that polls the piracy habits of people
  5. Covid: More than 5m people fully vaccinated in UK Two doses have now been given to 9.9% of adults, government figures show The latest figures show an additional 246,631 second doses, bringing the total to 5.2 million. It means 9.9% of over-18s have received both injections. First doses have been given to 31.4 million people. As the vaccination programme takes effect, daily reported deaths fell to 10, their lowest number since 14 September. However, reporting lags may mean low
  6. Game Finance Market shows strength of UK game industry The United Kingdom game market generated $9.3 billion in sales in 2020. Image Credit: Ukie A total of 65 investors with £589 million, or $816 million, to invest in game startups are showing up this week at the Game Finance Market event at the London Games Festival. That’s the most money ever represented for possible investments at the event, said Michael French, director of the festival, in an interview with GamesBeat. “There’s a real appetite o
  7. Prime Minister Boris Johnson wants to enhance UK cyber capabilities Prime Minister Boris Johnson declared that Britain needs to boost its cyber capability to conduct cyber attacks on foreign hostile actors. Prime Minister Boris Johnson said that his government needs to boost its capability to conduct cyber attacks on foreign threat actors. “Cyber power is revolutionising the way we live our lives and fight our wars, just as air power did 100 years ago,” Johnson said in a statement released by his office and reported by the Reuters agency. The announ
  8. The UK Is Secretly Testing a Controversial Web Snooping Tool The country passed its Investigatory Powers Act in 2016. Now, its building what could be the most powerful data collection system used by any democratic nation. Illustration: Elena Lacey For the last two years police and internet companies across the UK have been quietly building and testing surveillance technology that could log and store the web browsing of every single person in the country.
  9. Nottinghamshire schools suspend online learning following cyber attack Cyber attack on central trust that manages secondary schools in Nottinghamshire leaves them unable to access IT systems and deliver remote lessons Fifteen secondary schools across Nottinghamshire have been forced to shut down their IT networks after the central trust that manages them was hit by a “sophisticated” cyber attack. All of the schools that are part of the Nova Education Trust have had no access to their “usual modes of communication” since 3 March, including email, phones and th
  10. Covid-19: Brazil variant case in England hunted by officials Health officials are trying to trace one person in England who has been infected with a concerning variant of coronavirus first found in Brazil. They are one of six cases of the P1 variant found in the UK in February. The person is understood to have used a home testing kit but did not complete a registration form - prompting an appeal for anyone without a result from a test on 12 or 13 February to come forward. Labour said there had been
  11. Covid-19: Nearly 20 million people in UK have first vaccine dose Nearly 20 million people in the UK have now had their first dose of coronavirus vaccine, according to the government's latest figures. As of Friday, more than 19.6 million people had received their first dose - an increase of more than half a million in a day. Meanwhile, the number of people who have had their second jab has risen to 768,810. The government is aiming to offer all adults the vaccine by the end
  12. Potential UK Console Scalping Ban Gathers Momentum [Updated] Update: Bill is unlikely to pass, but could help pressure the government into new legislation. Update 02/09/2021: Douglas Chapman MP has now formally brought forward a Bill to ban gaming hardware scalping in the UK. Titled the Gaming Hardware (Automated Purchase and Resale) Bill 2019-21, (as reported by Sky News), it aims to apply similar restrictions on console reselling to those insituted for ticket touting in the UK. Speaking to Sky News about the Bill's similarity to the previous ticket t
  13. 10 new Disney Plus UK shows worth watching when Star lands this month Shows and movies made for adults are coming on February 23 (Image credit: Disney) Star on Disney Plus lands in UK homes later this month. What this means for those signed up to the existing Disney Plus service is a tonne of extra content – double, in fact – with a small price increase as a result. This is Disney's effort to upgrade its streaming service from simply being a hub for family-friendly films and TV shows to a service that can compete with
  14. What you need to know about the UK’s new hotel quarantine rules for visitors Almost 10 months to the day after the UK first imposed a national lockdown to curb the spread of coronavirus, British prime minister Boris Johnson is tightening the rules governing who is allowed in and out of the country, and where they must quarantine while there. Already, a traveler coming into the UK must show proof of a negative test for Covid-19, fill out a form on arrival that allows authorities to contact them, and self-isolate in one place for 10 days. Until Jan. 18, many
  15. Facebook’s News tab comes to UK in first launch outside of the US With payments for some publishers to include their content Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge Facebook’s News tab will go live in the UK on January 26th in its first launch outside the US. The company says the section will offer a mix of curated and personalized news stories, but for select publishers the bigger news is that it will see Facebook paying them to license their content. Although Facebook declined
  16. Beware of active UK NHS COVID-19 vaccination phishing campaign A very active phishing campaign is underway pretending to be from the UK's National Health Service (NHS), alerting recipients that they are eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Today, numerous Twitter users began reporting that they received this phishing email, with some being in the right age group to be eligible and thus falling for the scam. There are multiple variants of the phishing emails, but they all claim to be from the NHS at [email protected] (the real NHS domain is
  17. Fraud epidemic 'is now national security threat' Fraud has reached epidemic levels in the UK and should be seen as a national security issue, says think tank the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI). The scale of credit card, identity and cyber-fraud makes it the most prevalent crime, costing up to £190bn a year. UK intelligence agencies should play a greater role in responding, the RUSI argues in a report. Policing should be better resourced, working more closely with th
  18. UK vaccine roll-out speeds up but doctors want quicker second dose LONDON (Reuters) - Britain’s COVID-19 vaccination push gathered pace on Saturday, with 5.9 million people now having had a first dose, but doctors challenged the government over its policy of delaying a second shot of the Pfizer vaccine for up to 12 weeks. FILE PHOTO: A medical worker holds a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine inside a former nightclub that has been turned into a NHS vaccination centre, at Batchwood Hall in St Albans, Britain, January 8, 2021. REUTERS/Paul Childs/File Pho
  19. Police say they are preparing to send warning notices to more than 7,000 UK residents who are believed to have purchased pirate IPTV subscriptions. The warnings follow the arrest of a then 28-year-old man in the North-West of England during the summer and the seizure of luxury cars, expensive jewelry, and a pirate IPTV customer database. As pirate IPTV providers and resellers continue to provide access to low-cost premium TV services, law enforcement agencies around the world are stepping up efforts to disrupt their activities. Pirate IPTV p
  20. Google services have gone down across the UK, including Gmail, Google Drive and YouTube. Reports flooded the outage service DownDetector as users frantically tried to access their email accounts, Google documents and videos on YouTube. Google Drive and Google Hangouts are also down. The tech company says it is currently investigating the issue. ‘We’re aware of a problem with Gmail affecting a majority of users,’ the company stated. ‘The affected users are unable to access Gmail. We will provide an update by 12/14/20, 12:12 PM detailing when we expect to resolve the problem’ Meanwhile, Google’s
  21. Netflix adds age ratings to all content available in the UK The British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) has announced that Netflix has become the first streaming service in the UK to add BBFC-approved age ratings to all its movie and TV content. Netflix also took this opportunity to give parents additional control features that leverage BBFC data. Commenting on the news, Chief Executive of the BBFC David Austin said: “With people spending increasing amounts of time online, it’s more important than ever for families to have clear, co
  22. Nothing from Chinese bogeyman allowed in core network by early 2023 The UK's Ministry of Fun* has published its roadmap for the removal of so-called high-risk vendors from UK telecoms networks as part of the second parliamentary reading of the Telecoms Security Bill. The roadmap adds detail to the previous edicts, which banned wireless carriers from acquiring new Huawei-made equipment by the end of the year, and forces them to fully remove existing Huawei kit by the conclusion of 2027. By the end of March 2021, networks will be prohibited from u
  23. LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - Britain’s new Digital Markets Unit has a distinctively Silicon Valley vibe. A sweeping mandate and the ability to act with tech-like speed raises the risk it will emulate Facebook’s old “move fast and break things” mantra. Still, it’s an upgrade on the ponderous, court-based approaches usually followed by Europe and the United States. The DMU, unveiled on Friday and due to begin work in April 2021, will police dominant technology groups like Facebook and Google’s parent, Alphabet. The theory is that a nimble, dedicated regulator can fix
  24. The government's Test and Trace app has given a women the results of a Covid test she said she had not taken. But Elaine Watson had not taken a test Elaine Watson, from Middlesbrough, was told by the app to self-isolate for seven days and then, on day six, that her test had come back negative. "I'm thinking, what do you mean a test? I haven't had a test," she said. The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) said the app was constantly being improved in response to
  25. Global retailers should help collect, recycle and repair tech products, say MPs Global giants such as Amazon and Apple should be made responsible for helping to collect, recycle and repair their products to cut the 155,000 tonnes of electronic waste being thrown away each year in the UK, MPs say. An investigation by the environmental audit committee found the UK is lagging behind other countries and failing to create a circular economy in electronic waste. The UK creates the second highest levels of electronic waste in the world, after No
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