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Today's Tech: Apple lurks as BlackBerry plots massive job cuts and researchers push for open source Internet to boost safety

Apple is set to bring its iPhone upgrade programme to the UK in the coming weeks, allowing customers to trade in their old iPhone models to get a 5S or 5C at a discounted price. After launching the policy in the US in August, UK staff have now been briefed on the scheme, sources have told 9to5Mac. Once it's up and running, anyone with an older iPhone model will be able to hand the phone in at a Apple store and get credit towards buying a new one. Apple already has an online scheme offering a similar service for iPhone, iPads and Macs, with any monetary value being paid into the seller's bank account.

BlackBerry's co-founders are set to throw their hats in the ring to acquire the company. An SEC filing shows that Mike Lazaridis and Douglas Fregin are looking at the possibility of acquiring all the remaining BlackBerry shares they don't currently own, which would represent some 92 per cent. "In light of [BlackBerry's] recent announcement that its board of directors has formed a special committee to explore strategic alternatives to enhance value and increase scale, the reporting persons are considering all available options with respect to their holdings of the shares, including, without limitation, a potential acquisition of all the outstanding shares of the issuer that they do not currently own, either by themselves or with other interested investors," the document says.

Will online information ever be safe from government snooping? It could be, says researcher Eli Dourado, if we design a "new Internet" based on open source software and hardware. One of the main reasons for the success and scope of the NSA and GCHQ's PRISM and TEMPORA programmes, revealed earlier this year by mega-leaker Edward Snowden, was that "companies like Microsoft, Apple and Google... programmed 'back door' encryption weaknesses into popular consumer products and services like Hotmail, iPhones and Android phones." This kind of corporation-government collusion would be impossible, Dourado argues, if open source software was more widespread, open as it is to scrutiny by independent security experts.

The vultures are circling over BlackBerry's Canadian Headquarters in the wake of revelations that the smartphone manufacturer has plans to lay off 40 per cent of its global workforce. Apple was first on the scene; having already been a large contributor to the destruction of Blackberry's business model, it turned its attentions to snapping up its rival's scattered workforce. Just days after the announcement of impending redundancy, Apple set up shop at the Cambridge Hotel and Conference centre located just a stone's throw away from the Blackberry HQ in Waterloo, Ontario. The company is even attempting to lure local talent to its Silicon Valley operation with the promise of logistical support if they make the move.