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By Steven P.
Get three months of Amazon Music Unlimited or HD for free
by Steven Parker
Amazon Music Unlimited has been around for a while now, but has since expanded its catalog of music from a measly 40 million tunes to over 70 million over the course of five years. Although Prime members already get the standard Amazon Music included with the subscription, that service only contains around two million songs and far fewer full albums.
Amazon Music Unlimited has the following benefits:
In 2019, Amazon launched Amazon Music HD, which offers up to "Ultra High Definition" audio streaming; HD refers to 16-bit audio with a 44.1kHz sample rate, and Ultra High Definition means 24-bit audio, with sample rates up to 192kHz.
Amazon Music HD has the following additional benefit:
The service will play the best quality available based on your network quality, and the high definition audio is supported on multiple platforms, including desktop devices, Android, iOS, and Amazon's own smart speakers (barring some exceptions), Fire TV devices, and tablets.
Now you can get either Amazon Music Unlimited, or HD free for three months, after which Unlimited costs £9.99/month or HD £14.99/month. Existing Amazon Music Unlimited subscribers (Individual or Family Plan) can also upgrade to Amazon Music HD for an additional £5/month.
Get three free months of Amazon Music Unlimited in the UK (£9.99/month thereafter) Get three free months of Amazon Music HD in the UK (£14.99/month thereafter) These offers are only available to new Amazon Music HD or Unlimited subscribers and they end on May 24th, and as with other Amazon subscriptions, you can always choose to end your subscription before the billing cycle starts and the three months trial period ends.
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Vodafone joins EE in keeping stores open longer post-lockdown
by Paul Hill
Vodafone reopened its stores today now that England and Wales have begun lifting more lockdown restrictions. Similarly to EE, Vodafone has extended its opening hours to meet anticipated customer demand after months of its store being closed.
Across England and Wales, the firm has opened 363 stores while in Scotland and Northern Ireland it has opened 15 Click and Collect stores. To meet customer demand, store opening hours have been extended until 10 pm in a number of locations around the country. The firm also offers Tech Team Virtual Appointments for people who can’t travel or feel uneasy about venturing out to a Vodafone store. These virtual appointments give customers the option to resolve problems remotely and can be booked online through to Online Store Locator.
Commenting on the re-opening of stores, Max Taylor, Consumer Director, Vodafone UK said:
By leaving stores open longer, Vodafone will be able to interact with customers in a safer manner as fewer people be entering stores at any one time. Other safety measures it’s taking include deep-cleaning stores, providing alcohol-based hand gel at store entrances and providing staff with personal protective equipment, it has removed display devices to reduce the risk of surface contamination and it has implemented a virtual queuing system at its largest stores so customers only enter the store when they’re asked to.
UK politicians face legal challenge over self-destructing messages
by Paul Hill
The law firm Foxglove and the non-profit The Citizens have teamed up to challenge the government over disappearing messages on platforms like WhatsApp and Signal that are in widespread use by politicians, according to a report in The Guardian. The two groups say self-destructing messages are a threat to transparency and the archival of messages that are required in UK law.
Commenting on the legal challenge, Cori Crider, a director at Foxglove, said:
In 1958, legislation was passed in the UK that required documents to be archived. According to The Guardian, the law also applies to digital formats such as emails. The introduction of easy-to-use self-destructing messages means that politician can more easily sidestep this legislation and campaigners say this mustn’t be allowed to happen.
Clarity over whether digital communications were covered by the 1958 legislation came ten years ago when the Information Commissioner’s Office has to tell Michael Gove MP and his office to stop using private email accounts to conduct government work due to concerns that messages sent through these channels wouldn’t be archived as required by the law.
Speaking to the BBC, the Cabinet Office has said that processes are in place to record official communications and that there are periodic reviews to ensure that collection methods are sufficient.
Vodafone: Lockdown led to 40% jump in network usage
by Paul Hill
New research published by Vodafone UK reveals that there was a 40% increase in the amount of streaming and downloading on its network since the first UK lockdown that began on March 23, 2020. In normal times, it said the peak time for binge-watching boxsets was at 6:30 pm but during lockdown a quarter of adults admitted to watching their favourite shows at 11 am instead.
According to the broadband provider, Line of Duty, Friends, and Only Fools and Horses were among the top boxsets over the last 12 months. Other popular shows were Peaky Blinders, Game of Thrones, and Downton Abbey. The results were based on a group of 2,000 adults that were questioned as part of the study.
Commenting on these findings, Vodafone UK Consumer Director Max Taylor said:
Earlier this month, Vodafone UK announced the availability of Pro Broadband packages which start at £35 per month for 35Mbps. It described these packages as "unbreakable" because they come with Wi-Fi extenders to boost coverage and a SIM card so that you can stay online even if the broadband goes down. With more people learning and working from home, as well as streaming more content, Vodafone’s “unbreakable” internet seems like a timely product launch.
Ofcom: A third of users found hate speech on video sites in the last 90 days
by Paul Hill
The UK’s digital regulator, Ofcom, has published new findings that suggest a third of people who accessed video-sharing websites such as YouTube came across hateful content in the last three months suggesting content policing may not be working. The new findings were released to coincide with new rules, published by Ofcom, which video-sharing platforms (VSPs) must comply with.
Ofcom’s study found that a third of users had found hateful content online; the regulator said the content was normally directed towards certain racial groups, religious groups, transgender people and according to sexual orientation.
Beyond that content, a quarter of those asked said they had been exposed to bullying, abusive behaviour and other threats. A fifth of respondents said that they had witnessed or experienced racist content online and those from a minority ethnic background were more likely to have encountered this content.
As younger people tend to be more adept with technology, its unsurprising to hear from Ofcom that 13- to 17-year-olds were more likely to have been exposed to harmful content online in the last three months. Seven in ten of VSP users who responded said they came across harmful content but this rose to eight in ten among 13- to 17-year-olds.
The regulator also found that 60% of VSP users that responded were unaware of the safety and protection features on the websites they use and only 25% have ever flagged or reported content they thought was harmful. To help raise awareness, Ofcom has told VSPs that they need to introduce clear upload rules, make it easy to flag or report content, and it said that adult sites should introduce age-verification systems.
If sites fail to comply with Ofcom’s decisions, it will investigate and take action. Some of the measures it could enforce include fines, requiring a provider to take specific actions, and in serious cases, it could restrict access to the service.