10 must-read articles for 19 March (Wired UK)

Your WIRED.co.uk daily briefing. Today,
Twitter’s data mining ambitions, huge dark web drug marketplace
goes AWOL, Microsoft’s plan to halt Windows piracy and more.

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1. UK drone operator summoned to court

A man who allegedly flew a surveillance drone over football
stadiums in Derby, Leicester, Liverpool,
London, Manchester, Nottingham and Stoke, as well as the
River Thames and Buckingham Palace in London, will appear in court
(The Independent). The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) said
people needed to understand the rules around flying drones in the

2. Twitter’s next
big business? Data mining

Its data-mining business is growing rapidly, and with half a
billion Tweets a day Twitter has a lot of data to sell (The New York Times). The company’s partnership with IBM has
seen the latter train more than 4,000 engineers and consultants to
use Twitter data on business projects. In one example Tweets were
combined with local weather data to predict where people might
start complaining that severe weather had knocked out their phone
or TV service.

3. You’ll be driving a Google car within five

Chris Urmson, head of Google’s self-driving car project,
doesn’t want his son to get a driver’s license (Re/code). Urmson’s son is currently 11 and will be eligible to
drive in four and a half years. 
“My team and I
are committed to making sure that doesn’t happen,” Urmson

4. Huge dark web drug market has vanished

Evolution, one of many sites that filled the void left by Silk
Road, has mysteriously disappeared from the dark web (WIRED.com). The illegal drugs marketplace recently stopped
bitcoin withdrawals from its website, blaming a technical hitch.
Then, on Tuesday evening, it went offline with no explanation.
Rumours claim its owners may have done a runner with millions in
drug money.

5. Windows 10 will be free upgrade for

Microsoft has already confirmed that users of Windows 7 and
Windows 8 will get a free upgrade to Windows 10 and now the company
is going after pirates (CNET). Executive vice-president Terry Myerson said people using
an illegal, unlicensed versions of Windows would get a free, legal
version of its new operating system.

6. Sony launches TV-streaming service in the

PlayStation Vue has gone live in New York, Chicago and
Philadelphia as Sony takes on America’s cable giants (Variety). Sony’s service has launched with 85 channels,
including local broadcasters and sports networks. As well as live
TV there’s also a cloud-based service that stores an unlimited
number of recordings for 28 days. Vue costs $50 (£33) a month and
runs on PS3 and PS4. At present ESPN, ABC and other Disney-owned
channels are missing from the service.

7. Rovio’s profits fall again as Angry Birds

The mobile games maker reported its operating profit fell 73
percent last year (Reuters). Rovio blamed a drop in its licensing business as it
struggled to shift toys and clothes. The Finnish firm is yet to
repeat the success of the original Angry Birds — its operating
profit fell to €10m (£7.2m) in 2014, down from €36.5m (£26.4m) in
2013 and €76.8m (£55.6m) in 2012. 

8. Watch industry plays catch-up at

The trade fair in Switzerland is where the country’s watchmakers
go to show off their latest timepieces — and this year
smartwatches are dominating the conference chatter (BBC News).
But will the likes of Apple and Samsung shake up the industry like
Casio and Seiko did in the 1970s?

9. EE replaces Orange
Wednesdays with movie rental

When EE ditched Orange Wednesdays in 2014 it teased that another
deal would replace the offer (Engadget).
That’s now been revealed as the EE Film Club — a weekly £1 rental
from the little-known Wuaki.tv streaming service.

10. Dust storm and aurora spotted on Mars

A cloud of dust is orbiting Mars up to 1,000km above the
planet’s surface, leaving researchers baffled as to what it’s doing
there (Nature). A high-altitude aurora has also been spotted across
the planet’s entire northern hemisphere. The sighting is unusual as
Mars doesn’t have a planet-wide magnetic field as Earth does.

Popular on WIRED.co.uk

bees become art to highlight colony decline

When artist and former bee keeper Sarah
 first createdBee Works — an art
project arranging hundreds of honey bees in mathematical patterns
— it was to recover from the loss of her own beehives, and to
raise awareness about global bee colony decline.

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19 March 2015 | 7:51 am – Source: wired.co.uk


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