Free London Underground Wi-Fi for O2 customers

O2 customers will enjoy free Wi-Fi on the London Underground from the beginning of June, joining subscribers of Virgin Media, EE and Vodafone in not having to pay extra to get on the Intertubes while they're on the Tube.

Between the start of the London 2012 Olympics and the end of January, anyone with a Wi-Fi-enabled device could freely connect to the network, which is currently offered in over 100 stations across the Tube. After that period, Virgin Media turned its corporate focus to profits over positivity and locked down the service to its own customers, and those of networks who ponied up.

Now O2 has joined the party and struck a similar deal to EE and Vodafone, opening up the service for free to all its customers.

Customers of Three will be left disappointed -- it's the only mobile operator to not offer its customers free Wi-Fi on London's famous train network.

"Wi-Fi on London Underground has gone from strength to strength and we're delighted the majority of Londoners are staying connected for no extra cost," said Mark Williamson, head of Virgin Media's London Wi-Fi division.

Twelve more Underground stations can boast free Wi-Fi from this week -- Acton Town, Baker Street, Bank, Caledonian Road, Earl's Court, Holland Park, Ladbroke Grove, Maida Vale, Queen's Park, Sheperd's Bush, Sloane Square and West Ruslip.

[Source: CNET]

Vodafone brings fiber optics to the Shard, gives you signal high above London

What good is a spectacular view if you can't use your phone to tell people about it? London's newly opened 95-story skyscraper, The Shard, measures 1,016 feet, making it the tallest building in the European Union. From the 69th and 72nd floors, you can get 360 degree views of the city, up to 40 miles out, according to the building's owners. But what happens when the 200 people who can fit on the platforms at any one time want to user their mobile devices? Vodafone'simplemented a fiber optic system that converts signal into light, allowing it to travel upwards at a rate of 100GB per second. Once they've hit the proper spots, its converted into a radio signal, which is then beamed to several antennas located on different floors.

[Source: Engadget]

Google moving UK operations into new, £1 billion HQ in London in 2015

According to a joint statement issued, Google has purchased a 2.4 acre plot of land in London on which to construct a brand new base for their UK operations. Construction on the new, 1 million square foot headquarters in London is scheduled to begin by the end of 2013 subject to approval, with staff moving in sometime in 2015. 

The move represents a huge investment from Google, not just financially, but in reviving part of London. The new site, located next to Kings Cross railway station, is being revived as part of a plan to create 67 acres of land filled with homes, offices and retail space. 

The deal is reportedly worth £1 billion, and will see Google amalgamate their two current London offices in Victoria and on St Giles High Street into one. The other Google offices in Manchester will reportedly remain. 

In the statement issued, Matt Brittin, VP of Google for Northern and Central Europe said:

“This is a big investment by Google. We’re committing further to the U.K. -- where computing and the web were invented. It’s good news for Google, for London and for the UK"

At a time when so many UK based businesses are facing difficult times, the investment from Google is extremely important. Equally important will be Google's increased presence in the UK. 

[Source: AndroidCentral]

London buses now accept NFC contactless payments, if you have the magic logo

Transport for London has emailed customers to announce the activation of NFC contactless payments on the city's fleet of 8,500 buses, despite any hiccups on the tube. From today, anyone who swipes a debit, credit, or charge card with the logo shown after the break should theoretically be allowed onboard for the same single fare as a traditional Oyster Card user. That's £1.35 instead of the £2.30 cash fare. The logo can also be found on Orange's Quick Tap-enabled Galaxy S III, but the official email makes no explicit mention of any smartphones being compatible. If you have the guts to swipe your GS III over the reader and test it, please let us know if it works (and it's probably better to try it discreetly, in case it doesn't). Customers are also being advised to avoid swiping wallets which contain two potential payment methods -- such as an NFC card and an RFID-based Oyster Card -- so they can control which card gets billed.

[Source: Engadget]

Free WiFi service for London's black cabs approved

Soon there will be no where left to hide in London Town. The city is quickly becoming one giant WiFi hotspot, just as mayor Boris Johnson promised. Its iconic red phone boxes, the Thames, the Underground and even a minicab company have all been hooked up with free wireless. Now a plan has been approved to turn every famous black cab into a rolling 802.11 beacon. Company Eyetease has received approval from Transport for London to equip the vehicles with WiFi antennas that will provide 15 minutes of free high-speed data in exchange for sitting through a 15-second commercial. As the cabs ride through the city, the on board router will dynamically switch between 3G and 4G networks to maintain a constant connection. And, in an effort to get cab drivers hooked for the early 2013 launch, the CabWiFi service will provide special driver accounts that provide unlimited and commercial free service. The only thing left to do is figure out what it says about the city that its residents can't go 15 minutes in a cab without high speed internet access. Maybe you can Google it at the next red light.

[Source: Engadget]

London 2012 closing ceremony celebrated with Google doodle

It's the last day of a two-week run of Olympics-themed Google doodles. And fittingly, today's marks the closing ceremony of what has been a triumphant games.

We've seen plenty of playable games during the run, including piloting a canoe through a slalom course, a basketball shootout and the hurdles.

Today's shows a party in full swing, as all the stars of the doodles over the last two weeks celebrate around the word Google. There's the archery woman who kicked everything off (that's another string to her bow, ahem). There's the man kicking the football at the goal in the playable penalty shootout. The synchronised swimming team, fencer, pole vaulter and all the others are there too.

The doodles started the day of the opening ceremony, then it wasn't long before we had some playable games to waste time with. Hurdles was first on 7 August, then basketball the next day, slalom canoe the day after and then football.

The closing ceremony will start tonight at 9pm. It's not too late to get tickets either. Once the set has been moved into place, between 200 and 1,000 seats will go up for sale online. No fewer than 3,500 performers will take part in the Olympic stadium. There's also talk of an extra special musical guest making a performance, to show the world we've got more rabbit than Sainsbury's. Please, Seb Coe, make it so.

Team GB has won a phenomenal 62 medals, including 28 gold. And it's not over yet, with more medals guaranteed today in the men's boxing. The women's modern pentathlon is still yet to be decided, as is the men's marathon and men's cross-country mountain biking.

[Source: cnet]

O2 offering free WiFi around London's busiest streets

O2 is making good on its promise to coat the busiest parts of London in free WiFi. Between now and the end of July, seven locations including Oxford StreetRegent StreetExhibition Road, Leicester and Piccadilly Squares will offer unfettered access -- even if you don't subscribe to O2's cellphone network. There's no word on if the network will remain free forever, but given the painful time we spent crouching in Starbucks doorways on recent trips to New York and Paris, we hope the company does the right thing for the sake of harassed visitors to the capital.

[Source: Engadget]

Microsoft releases Bing Get Me There London in the App Store for iPhone

Microsoft is releasing its Bing Get Me There app for iPhone users today, providing door-to-door directions for Londoners. The app, available for Windows Phone users since January, provides live tube updates alongside Bus, District Light Rail (DLR), and Overground information throughout London.  Bing Get Me There makes use of Bing Maps on iOS and includes options to save journeys as favorites along with custom delay alerts. The default landing page of the app provides a map with the nearest train and tube locations automatically overlaid. Although there are plenty of Tube and National Rail apps available on the iPhone, Bing's Get Me There free app might come in useful ahead of the London 2012 Olympics as it provides live departure information, service updates, and a weekend schedule for users.

[Source: The Verge] 

Fears of longer commutes increase in the lead up to the 2012 Olympics

Fears of longer commutes increase in the lead up to the 2012 Olympics Londoners prepare for remote working

Concerns around the need to work remotely are higher than ever now that London is moving closer to the Olympics. People are planning to work from home or elsewhere owing to fears transport will come to a grinding halt.
Remote access experts LogMeIn commissioned a consumer snap poll* to discover how Londoners expect the Olympics to affect them. Surprisingly, however nearly two thirds of Londoners (64.8%) are not familiar with the start and end dates of the London 2012 Olympics. 
The survey goes on to reveal that over half (58.7%) are planning to change their commute during the games as 33%, of those asked, believe that their daily commute would be extended by up to 30 minutes whilst more than a quarter (29.5%) anticipate a 45 minute journey increase.
However, it is not only employees who are taking precautions ahead of time but businesses, too. The survey showed that a mere 7.6% of workers will not have the option to carry out their jobs remotely. Fears are high that London transport will not be able to cope and consequently a whopping 85.7% of those involved said they would prefer to work from home during this time.

LogMeIn has several - completely free - services that offer support for remote working, such as: - a free, simple-to-use screen sharing and online meeting service.  A free version delivers on-the-fly collaboration in a matter of seconds – no registration or additional plug-ins required – supporting up to 250 participants. More features are available for an annual subscription.         

LogMeIn Free – also available for free, as the name implies - gives users remote access to an unlimited number of work PCs and Macs from their home computers and even their iOS devices, like the iPad and iPhone. Users can run and access everything – applications, files, email, etc. -- on their work desktop or laptop from home or anywhere with a WiFi or 3G connection.  

Cubby – simple free cloud data service allowing users to securely share information across PCs, Macs, iPads, iPhones,  Android devices, or with other people.  Cubby lets people turn any number of PC or Mac folders into ‘cubbies’ that can be accessed from other devices, stored in the cloud, and shared with colleagues and friends

*Research commissioned by LogMeIn was conducted in June 2012.

Sony PS Vita Launches at GAME Oxford Street

The 22nd February 2012 is finally here and GAME in Oxford Street, London held a special midnight launch event. Check out my full review of the Sony PS Vita by clicking here and check out the launch photos below.

iPhone 4S Queue Day 5

As the days move forward the guys are still staying strong in the Queue outside the Regent Street Apple Store. Only a couple of days left and the reward will be in their hands. It seems that the queue (at time of posting) is now six strong. Show my buddies some love when you are passing by.