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'O2 customers could try switching their phones off and on again'

Plus: MacBook Pros leak hazardous goo all over the place

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

Quotw This was the week when O2's network went titsup, leaving thousands of its users and GiffGaff mobile customers without the ability to make calls, write emoticon-laden texts or use 3G. Yes, that's right, they were CUT OFF FROM THE INTERNET. So, they were understandably peeved.

As is traditional in these situations, O2 said it had its engineers working like slaves to get things back to normal as soon as possible. In the mean time, it had some stellar advice for its mobile-bereft users:

Customers affected may wish to try switching their mobile phones off and on as service returns.

Next they'll be telling their customers that someone typing Google into Google caused the whole outage.

Meanwhile in Bletchley Park, signals weren't going missing at the opening of a new radio technology education centre. While addressing a crowd of amateur radio enthusiasts at the unveiling, communications minister Ed Vaizey said:

Looking around the room, I can see amateur radio appeals to a certain demographic, but there's nothing wrong with that.

This was also the week when Samsung won a court case against Apple, but unfortunately only by virtue of being so uncool even a stuffy old judge could see it. The UK judge ruled that Samsung was not copying Apple's iPad design with the Galaxy tablets saying:

They do not have the same understated and extreme simplicity which is possessed by the Apple design. They are not as cool.

Which is sort of a win and a loss at the same time for the firms.

Apple also got some digs this week over its not very environmentally friendly new MacBook Pro.

The fruity firm used to get gold stars from the Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool (EPEAT) for its gear, but it was forced to pull its iDevices from EPEAT's "nice" list.

EPEAT said the MacBook Pro wasn't best pals with Mother Nature:

[The laptop is] difficult to disassemble for upgrades, repairs, and recycling – and could force the green-minded to rethink Apple loyalties.

Teardown crew iFixit suggested that the environment fail could have come from the MacBook Pro's welded-in battery:

When we originally tore down the Retina MacBook Pro, we could not separate the battery from the upper case. The next day, after a lot of elbow grease, we were finally able to get them apart — but in the process punctured the battery, leaking hazardous goo all over.

Whatever the reason, pulling its laptops off EPEAT's list could lose Cupertino a few contracts. San Francisco city authorities banned departments from buying any Apple hardware, which is not really too big a deal. But the Department of Defense, NASA and Homeland Security all need EPEAT certification as well, not to mention the governments of Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

Meanwhile, sections of the hacktivist collective Anonymous said this week that they were going to rid the net of sites used by paedophiles. The group wants to shut down domains that host forums allegedly used by child abusers for chat and swapping pictures.

In a YouTube video, Anonymous said:

Recently it has come to our attention that there has been a surge of websites dedicated to pedophiles for chat and picture sharing ...

Anonymous aim to diminish if not eradicate this plague from the internet. For the good of our followers, for the good of mankind, and for our own enjoyment we shall expel from the internet and systematically destroy any such boards that continue to operate.

And finally, Microsoft made a somewhat unusual choice of speaker for the third day's keynote at the Worldwide Partners Conference. Redmond could have found someone to talk about the cut and thrust of the dog-eat-dog world of reselling, spouting corporate speak and reminiscent of Gordon Gekko. Instead, at 9am on a day very much after the night before, bleary-eyed hard-nosed business men were forced to listen to 'quantum healer' Deepak Chopra.

In typically impenetrable mystical guru style, Chopra told the audience:

We must go beyond our constricted awareness into an expanded awareness, and ultimately into our unbounded awareness, which has no limits in space and time, and we will have come here for the true purpose that we came: To feel, to be happy, and to serve each other.

Hmmm... interesting. But got anything to say about technology?

We will soon have the capacity through our technology to repair our bodies, to self-regulate sleep patterns and immune responses, and then extend that to the social networks so that we can improve the wellbeing even of our perceived enemies, so that they are no longer our enemies.

Ok, then. ®

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