Google won’t approve facial recognition apps for Glass

Glass and Facial Recognition:

We’ve been listening closely to you, and many have expressed both interest and concern around the possibilities of facial recognition in Glass. As Google has said for several years, we won’t add facial recognition features to our products without having strong privacy protections in place. With that in mind, we won’t be approving any facial recognition Glassware at this time.

Hey look, Google is taking privacy seriously. Good to see.

Finally! An opportunity to get rid of roaming fees

Neelie Kroes unveils Net Neutrality plan for Europe, aims to end mobile roaming fees in 2014:

While travellers in Europe are enjoying lower roaming fees across the continent, the European Commission (EC) believes that isn’t enough. As part of new legislation, its vice president Neelie Kroes today unveiled new plans to end mobile roaming, and for the first time, guarantee net neutrality. Kroes’ legislative package is aimed at uniting European carriers, offering a single telecoms market by next year.

This news is most welcome. While it doesn’t help those in the US, a single European telecoms market is an extremely appealing prospect and the idea of a Europe without data roaming charges is mouthwatering. Add in to that the idea of a Europe-wide net neutrality law and this prospect gets even better. Hopefully Kroes reaches a good compromise with all involved and we’ll see this concept become reality.

Many startups tend to ignore child privacy law

COPPA: The law most startups ignore that could have a big financial impact:

COPPA, a privacy law created by the Federal Trade Commission in 1998, was designed to give parents more control over the personally identifiable information (PII) that websites collect from children under the age of 13. Startups tend to ignore COPPA, believing they are exempt because their site or app wasn’t initially designed for kids. But over time, many startups discover that children are a part of their audience – sometimes growing into a large segment of active users. If this sounds familiar, then COPPA definitely applies to you.

I didn’t know this existed but it’s worrying that startups tend to ignore a law designed to protect children under 13 in the US.

Airmail for Mac is awesome


Airmail for Mac is a new third party mail client that not only supports a plethora of account types, but is also one of the most visually appealing email apps for Mac I’ve ever used. For users who are still clutching onto Sparrow while waiting for a viable alternative, you may just find your solution in Airmail.

Having been a user of Sparrow, I’ve been meaning to switch away ever since I realised that the app was probably going to meet its ends soon enough, having been acquired by Google. The problem was that the only viable solution was to switch over to To me, Apple’s feels so bloated and horrible that the two week stint where I switched everything over was basically like living in hell.

Alas, Airmail has come along now and I love it. The review linked is basically what I think of the app as a whole, written by Allyson. The day of salvation has arrived.

HTC One with stock Android to be sold by Google

The Verge: 

It was rumored, and now it’s here: on stage at D, Sundar Pichai just revealed a new version of the HTC One that runs an untouched, stock version of Google’s Android operating system. It will be available from the Google Play store starting June 26th for $599.

For me (and probably most iOS users with a keen interest in technology) this announcement marks the first phone that they’d consider switching to Android for. The HTC One is a stunning device with great features, good battery life and a good design and now it has Google’s uncluttered version of Android. I’m glad Google struck the same deal with HTC that it did with Samsung for the much uglier, more plasticky Galaxy S4.

If only the apps were better… – sigh –

MPs call for Google to curb access to porn

Liat Clark reporting for

In the wake of the horrific murder of five-year-old April Jones, MPs and charities are calling for search engines and ISPs to restrict access to pornography. However, critics warn a blanket ban on legal content is not the answer.

The matter has been raised in the context of some of the worst crimes against children in recent British history. During the trials of Mark Bridger, sentenced this week to life imprisonment for his crime, and Stuart Hazell — who killed 12-year-old Tia Sharp in August 2012 — it was revealed that both had been searching online for disturbing images of child pornography and violent rape in the days leading up to the crimes.

This is an intriguing situation. I was discussing the concept of internet censorship earlier and as a result now don’t know where I stand on the issue. On the one hand the internet should remain as neutral as possible, but on the other, indecent images of children have no place anywhere in society.

One thing I do know is that it is not the job of Google alone to deal with this. There are other means of getting information on the web, so for a burden to be put on Google like this is rather unfair, even if they are the biggest player in the market. Nonetheless, this article is an excellent summary of the state of play here in the UK.

Iain Dodsworth leaves Twitter


Iain Dodsworth, founder of the power-user application TweetDeck, announced Friday that he is leaving Twitter, two years after TweetDeck was acquired by the microblogging company.

“Two years since the @TweetDeck acquisition and now feels like a perfect time to start something new. Goodbye @Twitter, it’s been marvellous,” Dodsworth said in a tweet on Friday morning.

It’s a shame to see Iain leave Twitter. He’s a fellow Brit and in TweetDeck built an astoundingly popular piece of software. The move reminds me of Loren Brichter’s departure from Twitter little over a year after Twitter acquired his app, Tweetie, and used it as their official client. Companies that acquire have a habit of taking steps to make apps move away from the original vision. Those steps are usually necessary to make the apps successful in a wider market, but they often disgruntle those behind them in the first place. That said, there’s no implication that this is the case with Iain, I’m just looking beyond what has been said and seeing a possible wider state of affairs.

Marco Arment sells The Magazine

Yesterday, Marco Arment (creator of Instapaper and Tumblr’s first employee) sold his iOS and web-only publication, The Magazine to its Executive Editor, Glenn Fleishman.

The Magazine is a digital magazine, delivered straight to your iOS devices every two weeks. It covers all manner of subjects, from pawnbrokers to mountain rescue, to goat midwifery.

I’ve had the pleasure of talking to Glenn previously and can tell his enthusiasm toward the project and journalism as a whole will mean that The Magazine continues to break barriers that were previously holding back the digital magazine format.

Here’s what he had to say about the sale:

I love writing, and have appreciated all the time and effort my editors have and continue to put into making my words work in the right order. It’s great to work with both new writers and experienced ones to try to find the sculpture inside the block of marble.

It’s been great working with Marco, who is an exceptionally decent human being, and overflows with different facets of creativity. He’s been the art director, taking photos for the publication (he’s got a great eye), and handled all the business side. A bunch of people have my back going forward, all spelled out in the press release and in the editor’s note that’s now on The Magazine’s site.

I’m interested to see where Glenn and his (new) team (of one) take The Magazine.

WordPress is 10 Years Old

WordPress, the popular blogging (and more) platform, is 10 years old today. This great piece by Ken Yeung plots the rise of the open source service.

I’ve used WordPress for about four years now and it’s proved itself to be an extremely capable, flexible and versatile CMS. If you’re looking at the service’s reach, note that this site runs on WordPress, as does my blog, as well as sites such as The Next Web, TechCrunch and The Loop. That’s a pretty full spectrum of small scale, medium scale and large scale sites all served by the same platform.

Ken’s piece is well worth a read.

London in 1926

I have often wondered what history would look like in color. So often we are shown films of the past but they’re usually in black and white and the “color” part of the process only happens in your brain.

This footage from 1926 (the title of the video states it originates from 1927, but the description of the video clarifies that it was filmed in 1926) shows London before World War II and is fascinating to watch, especially given it is accompanied by some good music.

Check it out below: