Zano - the blame game continues

Zano drones on display

The fallout from the collapse of Europe's biggest Kickstarter project continues. The crowdfunding platform has been heavily criticised by Zano backers, who believe they were duped into spending £2.3m on the mini-drone. Now Kickstarter has responded to their complaints.

In a letter to all backers it says: "Like you, we're extremely frustrated by what's happened with this project." It goes on to explain that Kickstarter emailed Zano's creators a couple of weeks before the announcement that the project had gone bust to encourage them to be more communicative with the backers, but received only "a cursory response.".

Now Kickstarter says it has contacted the Zano team again to seek an "open and transparent account" of what went wrong. If this is not forthcoming, the crowdfunding platform says it will mount its own inquiry into the project. Failure by the drone's creators to meet their obligations, it warns, will lay them open to legal action by backers. What's more, "the creators of Zano will not be allowed to launch another project on Kickstarter".

It is safe to say that while some backers have moved on, accepting that Kickstarter projects can go wrong, many have been unimpressed by this letter. "I feel they still cannot waive their responsibility this easy. They are a part of the deal and make money from it," writes one on a Facebook forum. "Why won't they refund their fee to us?" writes another " or... use that money to hire legal counsel to represent us collectively?"

Image copyright Kickstart

Plenty of questions remain to be answered about the Zano debacle, but uppermost in backers' minds will be the issue of getting their money back. People who pre-ordered a drone after the Kickstarter campaign are quite well-placed if they paid by credit card. Under the UK's Consumer Credit Act they should be able to get a refund if the drone was not delivered - or was faulty, as appears to have been the case.

Read full article Zano - the blame game continues

Sky stakes claim on the future of TV

For Sky's chief executive it was "the biggest reimagining of Sky in our history", for its head of new products it was "an entirely new way to enjoy all the TV you love across all the screens in your life."

The satellite broadcaster was certainly not underplaying the importance of the Sky Q service at a glitzy launch this morning. But does a product which combines the power of satellite broadcasting with the flexibility of on-demand TV over the internet really put Sky ahead of the game - or is it playing catch-up?

Read full article Sky stakes claim on the future of TV

Anonymous takes on IS

A man wearing a mask associated with Anonymous makes a statement in this still image from a video released on November 16, 2015 Image copyright Reuters

They are a loose collective of hackers who once appeared to have no greater purpose than having some mischievous anarchic fun.

But in recent times Anonymous has got serious. Earlier this month the collective targeted the Ku Klux Klan, publishing online a list of alleged sympathisers of the white supremacist group.

Read full article Anonymous takes on IS

When crowdfunding projects go wrong

Kickstarter front page of web Image copyright Istock

What happens when a crowdfunded project goes wrong? And do those who back ideas on platforms such as Kickstarter and Indiegogo have any rights when they do not deliver on their promises?

That is what the more than 12,000 people who backed the Zano mini-drone project are asking as their hopes recede of ever getting a working product.

Read full article When crowdfunding projects go wrong

Kickstarter's Zano drone fails to fly

Zano drone Image copyright Torquing
Image caption More than 12,000 people gave a total of £2,335,119 to fund the drone via Kickstarter

It was Europe's most successful Kickstarter project - but now the Zano mini-drone is in deep crisis.

Last night, the former chief executive of Torquing Group - the firm behind the Zano - resigned. That left the thousands who had backed the firm with more than £2m a year ago in despair.

Read full article Kickstarter's Zano drone fails to fly

Superfast or slow lane - how fast is Britain's broadband?

Man typing on computer Image copyright Thinkstock

The debate over Britain's broadband future gets more heated by the day.

The man pouring fuel on the flames today is Vodafone's Vittorio Colao, who claims that Britain is being left in the dust by countries like Spain and Italy when it comes to superfast broadband.

Read full article Superfast or slow lane - how fast is Britain's broadband?

Universal broadband - how, why, how much?

A man using a computer Image copyright iStock

So, every home and business across the UK can now have fast broadband if they want it.

That was the promise made by the Prime Minister at the weekend. But it left open a number of questions - did he mean everyone, no matter how remote, what technology will be used, and who is going to pay for it?

Read full article Universal broadband - how, why, how much?

School broadband - rich pickings?

Schoolgirl using laptop Image copyright Istock

Earlier this week I wrote about the efforts by the council-backed London Grid for Learning to stave off competition from rival broadband suppliers. The story certainly caused a stir in the education technology world.

Some people got in touch to complain that they too had experienced similar high pressure tactics in trying to get schools to stay with the existing council supplier - not just in London but across the UK.

Read full article School broadband - rich pickings?

Budget broadband deal emails hidden from London schools

Child on PC Image copyright Thinkstock

Choosing a broadband supplier is an important decision for any school. But schools across London are being prevented from receiving emails from a company that wants to compete for their broadband contract.

London Grid for Learning - the council organisation which negotiates broadband contracts for 2,500 schools in the capital - has admitted that it is blocking emails from Exa Networks, a firm which supplies a similar service.

Read full article Budget broadband deal emails hidden from London schools

Questions for TalkTalk

The headquarters for the Talk Talk telecommunications company are pictured on October 23, 2015 in London Image copyright Getty Images

When the news broke on Thursday evening of a major cyber attack it came from the company itself and TalkTalk appeared eager to be as open as possible. Its chief executive Dido Harding toured the radio and TV studios and was frank enough to admit what she did not know, as well as what she did.

But over the weekend the truth about the extent of the attack became rather less clear. Both customers and security analysts are seeking answers to a series of questions.

How did it happen?

Read full article Questions for TalkTalk