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UK government announces first phase of Project Gigabit
by Paul Hill
The UK government has announced the first phase of Project Gigabit, an initiative to get more than a million hard to reach homes and businesses connected with next-generation gigabit broadband. The government will spend £5 billion over the whole of Project Gigabit and in the first phase alone up to 510,000 homes and business in several areas of the country will be connected.
The first areas where Project Gigabit will arrive are Cambridgeshire, Cornwall, Cumbria, Dorset, Durham, Essex, Northumberland, South Tyneside, and Tees Valley. Contracts for these first areas will go to tender during the spring with work expected to begin in the first half of next year, preparing those areas for next-generation technologies set to arrive in the coming decade.
The government also said that it expects to announce the next procurements to connect 640,000 more properties in June. The areas included in the June announcement will be Norfolk, Shropshire, Suffolk, Worcestershire, Hampshire, and the Isle of Wight. The government did not give a date for when work in these areas would start.
Commenting on the plans, the UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said;
The government’s funding will be used on projects that prioritise areas with slower internet speeds and which would have otherwise been excluded from broadband companies’ gigabit rollout plans due to the difficulty of reaching them.
UK turning to legislation to get rid of mobile not-spots
by Paul Hill
The UK government has announced that it will propose law changes in an effort to boost mobile connectivity in rural areas to help those who live, work, and travel in those places. Under the legislation, mobile carriers will be allowed to make new and existing masts up to five metres taller and two metres wider to boost their range, it also allows operators to attach equipment that lets them be shared more easily.
The government believes that the change will encourage mobile carriers to improve their existing masts rather than build new ones. The increased size would still allow them to reach a similar number of users as building new masts, enabling innovations such as remote healthcare, self-driving vehicles, and smart home devices.
The legislation will give protection to protected areas such as national parks, the Broads, conservation areas, areas of outstanding natural beauty, and world heritage sites but will allow for masts on buildings to be placed nearer to highways to boost coverage.
Commenting on the new legislation, Digital Secretary Oliver Dowden said:
While the new legislation will loosen restrictions, the government said that local authorities would still need to give their approval for masts and will have a say on where they’re placed and their appearance. The new plans will first go to consultation until 14 June 2021 to get feedback before starting the process of becoming law.
Nvidia's $40bn ARM acquisition could be foiled, UK Govt is looking into the matter
by Sayan Sen
Back in July last year, there were rumors going around that Nvidia was considering purchasing Arm from Softbank, and later in September the same year, those rumors were finally confirmed when Nvidia itself announced that it was indeed looking to acquire Arm for $40 billion.
However, it seems the Government of UK, the country where Arm's based off isn't too happy about the proceedings taking place. Today, the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (UK) has issued a public interest intervention notice (PIIN) which officially confirms that it will be looking into the matter under the Enterprise Act 2002. The governing body has asked the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) to investigate the proceedings in order to understand the long-term national consequences of such an acquisition and prepare a report by 30 July 2021.
A couple of days ago at a press interview (via VentureBeat), Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang had expressed his confidence about the acquisition stating that he felt the deal would be completed by 2022. Here's a part of his statement:
From the statement, it seems like Jensen Huang is expecting some sort of regulatory hurdle but remains confident that it will go in the company's favor and that the regulators will see the good side of such a deal. However, it could simply be an upbeat attitude he presented so as to not upset the company's investors. In fact, almost immediately after the PIIN was published, Nvidia's shares took a dive.
By Namerah S
Virgin Media launches hologram dining experience in the UK
by Namerah Saud Fatmi
It has been over a year now since the novel coronavirus first clasped its iron grip on the world. In the UK, things are finally starting to look better as educational institutions, businesses and care homes are starting to open up to visitors once again. However, many are still unable to meet their loved ones and have to communicate through other means.
In an effort to close the gap between such stranded people, Virgin Media has started a new service at two outlets of the Two Hearts Pizzeria. The London and Edinburgh outlets of the restaurant are offering an unusual dining experience to customers while maintaining social distancing rules. Visitors can now participate in a hologram dining experience at these locations.
Customers eating at either outlet will be able to virtually dine with each other in real-time. Virgin described the technology used in the newly launched initiative in the following words:
Jeff Dodds, Chief Operating Officer at Virgin Media, released a statement about the holographic dining experience introduced by Virgin:
Dr James Bellini, a leading British futurologist, has commented on the holographic dining experience. Dr Bellini believes that in the years to come, the use of holograms will be normalized. His belief stems from the fact that allegedly many Britons are 'bored of video calls' and feel that holograms would be more humanistic and emotionally connective.
The hologram dinners are planned to accommodate 30 people in the next two days, but customers need to reserve seats beforehand.
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 (US) / £9.99/month (UK) or HD for $14.99/month (US) / £14.99/month (UK). Existing Amazon Music Unlimited subscribers (Individual or Family Plan) can also upgrade to Amazon Music HD for an additional $5/£5 a month.
Get three free months of Amazon Music Unlimited in the UK or in the USA Get three free months of Amazon Music HD in the UK or in the USA 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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