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]

Google will launch a free music streaming service, FT says

As if branching out into hardware like phones and tabletsdriverless cars, and even augmented reality glasses wasn't enough, Google is also working on a free music streaming service, the Financial Times reports.

The service would try to drown out the likes of Spotify, Deezer, and Nokia Music. The launch is said to be "impending", so it seems Google is still just tuning up.

According to the FT, Google will offer subscriptions as well as free unlimited listening. Though you will have to put up with ads if you don't want to pay, just like on Spotify.

Why would Google go into unchartered territory then? Especially seeing as its Play Music service, which launched in 2011 as Google Music, is only available in the US and a handful of European countries. Well it's another way for Google to make money, seeing as at the moment 95 per cent of its revenues come from advertising. Streaming is big business, being one of the fastest growing areas of the music market.

Apple is also rumoured to be working on a streaming service, which would put it and Google in direct competition on yet another front. As if the smart phone war wasn't already bloody enough.

Google could preinstall the service on all Android devices. And seeing as the operating system is on three out of four smart phones, that should give Google quite some reach. Not that it wouldn't be short of competition though. I'm sure Spotify and its good buddy Facebook wouldn't be too happy about the Google boys crashing their party. The music industry is also no fan of Google -- just this week, the Recording Industry Association of America attacked the search giant for linking to pirate sites. It claimed Google had gone back on its promise to shunt such sites further down its search rankings.

[Source: CNET]

Buy a Year of PlayStation Plus, Get Three Extra Months Free

Sony’s added a little extra pep to the offering that is the premium PlayStation Plus package. From now until March 4th, 2013, gamers can score an extra three months on their subscription if they buy a full year of PS Plus.

“What’s PS Plus?” Well, Sony’s standard online network is free. You can play games, download movies and software and talk with others as part of the free entry point when you buy either a PlayStation 3 or PS Vita.

PS Plus adds an extra layer of discounts and free games to the PlayStation experience. So, for instance, being a PS Plus member means you can download and play Gravity Rush on the PS Vita for no additional charge. The same goes for games like Uncharted: Golden AbyssDarksidersinFamous 2 and Retro City Rampage.

PS Plus costs $49.99 for a year and $17.99 for three months. This deal, obviously gives you a nearly $68 value for $50.

[Source: TechnoBuffalo]

New Apple retail employee holiday perk: popular paid apps from the App Store for free

This week, Apple will rollout an interesting new perk called “App Discovery” to its retail store employees. According to several sources who participated in quarterly meetings, in which the details were announced, Apple retail employees will have free access to a catalogue of popular paid App Store applications. It is possible that this is a holiday perk for employees that will not remain in place forever. 

For instance, if an Apple retail employee, starting this week, wants to download Fruit Ninja for their own iPhone, they will be able to use an Apple provided redemption code to get the application at no cost. Because Apple has agreements in place with developers who have apps featured on Apple Store iOS device demo units, we assume that same catalogue of apps is the catalogue that will be available to retail employees. With that, we speculate that Apple will use this program to allow Apple Store employees to become more familiar with the apps that they demo to customers in stores.

The program is currently iOS-exclusive, so there is no complementing catalogue for Mac App Store programs. Apple has had a version of this retail perk in place for a couple of years, but it has been exclusive to Apple’s own paid iOS App Store apps like the iLife and iWork software suites.

[Source: 9to5Mac]

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]