Breakfast Briefing: Nokia's maps are Here, EE's poor network coverage, amateur Olympic hackers
Today in tech, stories about Nokia, EE, Sony TVs, Olympic Hackers, T-Mobile's iPhone criticism and action figures
Welcome to Wednesday's top stories, which include a Nokia rival to Apple's lost mapping services, patchy EE coverage in cities, Olympic hackers, a look at iPhone economics and Sony's $25,000 TV. Plus, Super Science figurines.
Nokia Here to take on Apple Maps
Nokia has released its mapping app for iOS, based on data from Navteq, and it has some features that better Apple’s own beleaguered offering. The rather clumsily titled Nokia Here lets you download one chosen area to your phone for offline viewing - the wider the area, the lower the quality - and it also includes public transport, with tube and train lines overlaid on the map and bus stops marked as symbols. It's free and it's in the App Store now.
EE coverage patchy in city centre
The BBC reports on findings by mobile coverage firm RootMetrics, which show that less than half of Manchester's city centre has access to EE’s 4G service. Only 40.2% of the company’s test locations could connect; outside the city centre that dropped to zero.
The breakdown of figures is interesting as it shows that some users may be disappointed with the speeds on offer as well as the coverage. Only 31% of tests saw speeds above 10Mbits/sec, with 19% achieving speeds slower than 1.5Mbits/sec. It's early days in the 4G rollout, of course, but even if you live in a supposedly covered city, you can’t assume you’ll get the full benefit.
Olympic hackers were amateurs
The Register reports that BT's best defences were rarely put to the test during the Olympics because the attacks that did target the games were amateur efforts. Having been told it faced waves of attacks from serious hackers, BT said it was almost surprised at how child-like the hackers were, and how quickly they became disinterested in official sites and targeted sponsors instead.
"We geared up for complex attacks from various actors and the reality is they were unsophisticated and perpetrated by children," said a security chief for BT, which looked after the games' systems.
T-Mobile: iPhone not worth the hassle
A senior executive with T-Mobile USA has said the company isn't prepared to bend over backwards just to sell Apple's iPhone - so won't be offering the handset to customers. In an interview with Fierce Broadband Wireless, T-Mobile said: "Make no mistake about it: We would love to carry the iPhone. However, we want the economies to be right for us." The executive made veiled references to Apple's $15.5bn deal with Sprint, a tie-up that analysts believe has increased the operator's device subsidy costs.
Sony’s TV is better than yours
"4K Ultra HD is really simple. It’s four times the resolution of Full HD. Think about that for a second and just let it soak in – four times the resolution of Full HD. Wow!” Time to put that 40in 1080p TV on eBay, even though you only bought it last year and the only HD you watch is the football. We all need an 82in TV with a resolution of 3,840 x 2,160!
While not viable for all but the most ludicrous of living rooms, it is certainly impressive, and don’t worry if you haven’t seen any 4K discs in your local Tesco. As Sony’s blog post explains, the 82in TV has three chipsets to upscale all your existing content to near 4K quality, and Fox has already started testing 4K cameras with live sport in the US. This monster is shipping now, yours for the princely sum of $25,000.
Action figures of the day
Forget He-Man and Battlecat, there’s a new team of 6in superheroes for kids to find elaborate ways to behead. Brace yourselves for the HEROES OF SCIENCE! In among the famous names from theoretical physics and biological chemistry you’ll see Alan Turing, wearing a pair of nice purple shoes.
Alas, these wonderful creations aren’t real - they’re the result of designer Russell Gawthorpe putting 30 Star Trek action figures through 50 hours of Photoshop. His message? "Please take the time to look these awesome people up, learn about them and their achievements, and encourage others to do the same." We couldn't agree more.