EE has announced that its double-speed 4G network is going live in 12 major UK cities on 4 July. In theory, users will gain access to top speeds of 150Mbps, but EE has revealed that average speeds of between 24-30Mbps are more likely. Still, current 4G customers, who will be upgraded at no extra cost, should see download times halve. The upgrade puts the UK's 4G network ahead of all others around the world, except for South Korea's. The company last month said that it was doubling 4G speeds in 10 cities, namely Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds, Liverpool, London, Manchester and Sheffield, but Derby and Nottingham have just emerged as surprise additions. The move comes just months before rivals, such as Vodafone and O2, launch their own LTE networks. The telecommunications firm also announced the launch of Cash on Tap, Bright Box 2 and its brand new shared 4GEE plans, which you can learn about by following the link above.
Some of the biggest names in tech have backed a series of protests against the National Security Agency (NSA). The Restore the Fourth movement - which was formed less than a month ago in the wake of the Prism scandal - aims to bring an end to the NSA's "unconstitutional surveillance" regime. The organisation has set up around 100 protests across the US, taking place on 4 July in major cities such as New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco. An interactive map specifying the locations of the protests is available on the Restore the Fourth website. Amongst the cause's supporters are Mozilla, Reddit and WordPress. Mozilla has even established an online petition at stopwatching.us, which has so far attracted over half a million signatures. In addition to Restore the Fourth's physical protests, the Internet Defense League (IDL) has organised a simultaneous movement, where its members – including Mozilla, Reddit and WordPress - will display messages of support for the anti-NSA movement on their websites. Restore the Fourth refers to the US constitution's fourth amendment, which reads, "The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures."
Yahoo has confirmed the acquisition of US startup Qwiki, producer of the iPhone app that turns photos, music and videos into short, sharable movies. According to reports, the deal is worth around £30 million, as CEO Marissa Mayer looks to drive Yahoo's recovery through improved offerings in the mobile space. "The Qwiki app will live on as a standalone entity inside Yahoo!, where we will grow our thriving community and where our team will continue to work to help you share life's best experiences," said the New York-based company following the announcement. Qwiki fans will be relieved to learn the startup is retaining its brand identity despite the buyout, echoing Yahoo's policy with the recently-acquired Tumblr. "We will continue to support the Qwiki app, and the team will join Yahoo! in our New York city office to reimagine Yahoo!'s storytelling experience. Stay tuned ... there's much more to come!" Yahoo commented.
East London-based content, promotion, and events company 3beards has announced an ambitious drive to expand its operations across the UK and into Europe. The group, which organises popular Tech City get-togethers like Silicon Drinkabout, Don't Pitch Me, Bro, and Digital Sizzle – will hit Amsterdam in August and Prague in September, as well as expanding into Manchester. "Our vision has always been to build strong, inter-connected, start-up communities across Europe that foster closer collaboration," said Bryce Keane, co-founder of 3beards. "We hope, one day, that you can go to any city in Europe and, if it's Friday and you're in startup, you know you can go along to the Silicon Drinkabout in that location and meet like-minded people from the local tech scene and share ideas." The news follows a successful trial event held in Copenhagen in June and 3beards has encouraged other local startup companies to get in touch to organise partnerships for their cities. For example, the Manchester event will be a collaboration with Shaun Gibson and Doug Ward, co-founders of TechHub Manchester, another successful networking soirée for budding tech entrepreneurs.