Our transatlantic office harmony here at Prompt was sustained somewhat unsatisfactorily by last week's drab World Cup draw between England and the USA. Still there are victories against Algeria and Slovenia to look forward to today, eh? Eh?

Before then though, it's time for your weekly fixture of technology and media news. Discover why Rupert Murdoch would defeat Goldfinger, Blofeld and Scaramanga rolled into one, why cycling is such a waste of effort, why everything isn't as rosey as usual over at Apple, and most importantly, why Max just can't stop twiddling his joystick.

Enjoy your newsletter and your weekend, and remember, if you're a football fan stuck in a sport-free house, or a World Cup-a-phobe forced to watch the beautiful game, then grab your phone and our Site of the Week to snatch a hour or two of 'you time'!

Hazel Butters
CEO
Prompt Communications
Twitter: @PromptLondon and @PromptBoston



Murdoch: Media Tycoon, genius of timing or possible Bond villain?

UK By Hazel Butters

What Rupert Murdoch wants, Rupert usually gets - just ask the Wall Street Journal, a more recent edition to his empire, joining Fox Broadcasting, the Sun and the Times.

This week all eyes rose, along with share prices, at British Sky Broadcasting (BSkyB, or Sky) as Murdoch's News Corporation made a bid for the 61 percent that it doesn't own of the UK broadcaster, which has 10 million UK subscribers.

The press has been full of deliberation about Murdoch's timing and a window of opportunity being open. As the UK coalition government settles in, there are rumours of the relaxation of media ownership rules. The Sun, one of the most powerful newspapers in the UK, supported Prime Minister David Cameron, but many see the Liberals as being 'cooler' towards the king of content.

But the saga is only beginning. At the time of writing, the bid of 700p per share has been turned down by BSkyB's board, with a suggestion of valuing BSkyB at a whopping £12 billion, and hints of 900p.

On the other hand, it has gone full circle. Murdoch launched Sky Television plc back in 1989, which merged 50:50 with British Satellite Broadcasting in 1990 to form BSkyB. There are many things you could call Murdoch: tycoon, possible Bond villain look-alike, 117th richest person in the world, but visionary is definitely one of them.




E3: The gaming industry's Super Bowl

UK By Max 'Atari' McConnell

Every summer the video game world holds its largest conference, the Electronic Entertainment Expo, or, for brevity's sake, and general coolness, E3. The gathering of industry giants took place this week, bringing geeks and gamers out to LA to see technical revelations, new services and check out top-of-the-line hardware updates for console and PC gaming.

This year's show attracted 40,000 fun-loving attendees, as well as major outlets such as CNN, suggesting industry recovery.

Vendors such as Nintendo and Sony set out to show that 3D isn't just for movies starring blue people or for sports TV. And as the mobile and casual games markets boom, large publishers such as Zynga and EA touted social gaming - think Farmville, gaming social groups, or motion controlled gaming - with a focus that was once preserved for the traditional 'cash cow' games that they've produced for many years.

The industry is developing games that are more accessible, encouraging people who wouldn't consider themselves hardcore gamers to try 'softer' games. Saying that, I pine for the thrill of stick-man animation, a joy pad, an Atari ST and Lode Runner: reminisce with me here.




Apple grapples as 100,000 iPad users hacked via AT&T website

US By Laurie SantaLucia

It's a hard story for me to write as a die-hard Apple fan, but this week Apple had a few security 'glitches' along with its US partner, AT&T. Hackers breached AT&T's site to obtain email addresses and device IDs of more than 100,000 iPad users including high ranking military officials and celebrities. The exploit left AT&T scrambling and the FBI searching for answers.

In an unrelated, but equally embarrassing situation, AT&T customers attempting to pre-order the new iPhone 4 online through their AT&T account were being logged in as completely different people. This er, screw up, gave users account information and personal details of complete strangers simply by logging in with their own details. This was blamed on a failed security update.

These problems appear to have been solved. AT&T was unable to recreate the problem with user login info - basically admitting something went wrong but not figuring out why. And the FBI arrested a man in Arkansas known to be a part of the hacking group that claimed responsibility for the iPad breach.

At this point, the security concern of an iPhone 4 prototype left in a Germanic-themed bar seems to pale by comparison.




E-waste? On yer bike!

UK By Dave Wilby

Recycling IT consumables, or 'e-waste', is certainly better than just throwing it into a landfill, but reuse is better still, especially if your plan is as inventive as the latest initiative from the Australian National Park Service.

Just take a look at what it has constructed from a huge pile of old print cartridges! This 10.6 mile bike path now stretches all the way from Alice Springs to Simpsons Gap in the northwest territory of Australia and attracts over 120,000 visitors a year.

According to CNET, Repeat Plastics Australia built the whole track, complete with viewing platform, for just £224,000.



Welcome
Technology News Murdoch: Media Tycoon, genius of timing or possible Bond villain? E3: The gaming industry's Super Bowl Apple grapples as 100,000 iPad users hacked via AT&T website E-waste? On yer bike! Tech Totals
US Media Updates
UK Media Updates
Potato Patattah
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UK By Max McConnell

The World Cup's great 'horn of plenty (noise)', the vuvuzela, continues to be a great talking point, but how loud is it?

Sound source: Loudness in decibels
• Rustling leaves: 20
• Speech: 55
• Telephone ring: 80
• Maria Sharapova: 101
• Permissible noise before damage, 90minutes continuous: 102
• Pop concert: 110
• Referee's Whistle: 122
• Vuvuzela: 127
• Jet aircraft taking off, at 20 meters: 130

Sources: various
Advice on vuvuzela noise cancelling (lifehacker.com)



US By Vicki Kim

Consumer electronics editor at PCMag.com, Zach Honig, has left the post, a position he's held since October 2008. No replacement has been named.

Alexis Madrigal has joined The Atlantic as senior editor, Technology. He has previously held posts at Wired.com and the Wired Science blog.

Darren Samuelsohn has started work for Capitol News Company's POLITICO as energy reporter. For ten years Samuelsohn has covered energy issues for Greenwire and Environment & Energy Daily. With the constant gushing of oil and headlines, there's plenty for Samuelsohn, considered one of the best in his field, to report.

Forbes has lost its co-editor Paul Maidment, who resigned and finished on June 14. Maidment joined Forbes in 2010 and was the editor of Forbes.com and executive editor of the print edition. Previous to his role at Forbes, Maidment launched FT.com. His departure, although voluntary, is said to reflect part of the ongoing shake-ups that Forbes has seen.



UK By Melisa Young

ITV has sacked World Cup pundit and ex-Wimbledon footballer Robbie Earle, after dozens of tickets he had claimed for friends and family ended up in the hands of promoters for Dutch beer company Bavaria Beer. Two women appeared in court accused of staging an ambush marketing stunt for the brand during Holland vs Denmark -highlighting just how sensitive sponsors' rights are - Budweiser is the official and sole World Cup beer sponsor.

ITV has not had a great World Cup week. More than 1.5 million viewers missed England's opening goal against the USA while an ad was aired. Let's not mention the other goal of that game...

The Sun has launched its iPad app for £4.99 plus a monthly fee of £4.99. All content is included, even Page 3, with promises of increased interaction such as crosswords. The inclusion of Page 3, and its trademark topless models, has caused deliberation and a rumoured delay - users have to confirm that they are over 17 years of age before they can download the app.

The Times Online launched its paid subscription service this week. Regular subscribers will get access to enhanced material online through the Times+ online service for £6 a week.



...I say 'I'm off down the local'

US By Laurie SantaLucia

I recently asked a British colleague where she was going out that evening with friends. "Nowhere special," she replied. "We're just meeting down the local."

The local what? Swimming pool? Cemetery? Town Hall? No, it turns out this is just British slang for a local pub.

I've always been a fan of British pub culture - as are most of the Brits/people I've encountered; a world of almost-assigned seating by the regulars, stories that you feel have been repeated over years, and strange, even murky, beers. They're dark, intriguing and incredibly friendly places. And it seems that the local pub, or 'public house' to give the full title, is such a lynchpin of British village or town life that it can be shortened to just 'the local', 'my local' or 'our local'.

More in-depth research has revealed that Brits don't even mean the pub that is closest to them - though frequency of visit may link to proximity. But if you don't like the pub that's closest to your house, you simply frequent another and pronounce that as your 'local', even though it may not be.

Yes, I know it doesn't make sense, but the Brits can claim historical immunity for whatever name they want to call the establishments that the Romans called tabernae and the Anglo-Saxons called alehouses. After all, this is a country the King ruled for a limit of one alehouse per village - in the year 965 - and a pint is an ale measure as stated in the Magna Carta.



TVCatchup

UK With Dave Wilby

Sometimes a website comes along that just seems too good to be true. When I first visited TVCatchup earlier this year I felt the same way that I did when I discovered Napster in 1999 or BBC iPlayer in 2007, which was: "This is so brilliant, surely someone somewhere will try and put a stop to it."

TVCatchup is a simple website that lets you watch live UK television on your computer, iPhone, games console and even your iPad, despite that irritating Flash ban. There are over 50 streaming channels to choose from, depending on what platform you choose, and that includes all the BBC, ITV and Channel 4 brands you'd hope for.

Sign up now before some killjoy spoils the party. It's completely free and all you need to provide is an email address. Simply put, one of the most fulfilling sites ever.



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