Flickr set to delete images from free accounts today

Photo-sharing site Flickr is set to start deleting images from non-Pro accounts today, having previously announced a 1000-image limit for non-paying users.

The site had announced the restriction in November, following its acquisition by photo-hosting site SmugMug. Users currently subscribed to Flickr on a Pro account are able to upload as many images as they want, with no overall limit on storage, in addition to ad-free browsing and other benefits.

Previously, non-paying users were offered 1TB of storage space for their images, a move that Flickr has admitted attracted people drawn to the storage itself rather than those keen on using the platform to engage with other photographers. 

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While the move will no doubt displease those who have stored years’ worth of images on the platform, Flickr states that this will allow it to provide a better service for its users. “Giving away vast amounts of storage creates data that can be sold to advertisers, with the inevitable result being that advertisers’ interests are prioritized over yours,” it says in a statement. “Reducing the free storage offering ensures that we run Flickr on subscriptions, which guarantees that our focus is always on how to make your experience better.” 

The statement goes on to mention how the freemium model has devalued its service in the eyes of many photographers, and that it needs its most active members to “help us continue investing in Flickr’s stability, growth, and innovation.”

Users are able to download their images either individually, by album or all at once, with instructions for each method detailed in the company’s Help Centre. Those using free accounts who will continue to have more than 1000 images stored will see their oldest images culled first.

Launched in 2004, Flickr was once the most popular online image-sharing platform, but has struggled in recent years to retain the photographic community. It was bought a year after its launch by Yahoo!, which itself was acquired by Verizon in 2017, where it was subsequently brought under the Oath umbrella. SmugMug acquired Yahoo in April 2018, although the terms of the deal were not publicly disclosed.

A subscription to Flickr’s Pro service currently costs $49.99 in the US and £47.88 in the UK, or £5.99 a month if billed on a monthly basis. Users in Australia are charged $AU59.88 per year, or $AU6.99 per month.

Image credit: TechRadar

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Google Assistant lands on Nest Secure alarms

Since 2018 it’s been possible to control your Nest Secure alarm system using Google Assistant, but until now, you could only do this using a Google Assistant-powered gadget like the Google Home or an Android smartphone. 

Now, Nest has announced that you can enable Google’s voice assistant on your Nest Secure directly, essentially turning the alarm system into a Google Assistant speaker – albeit, one that can’t actually play music. 

So what can you do with the new integration? Well, by changing your settings in the Nest app, your Nest Secure can be constantly listening for your instructions or questions. 

If you already have a Google Assistant speaker or screen like the Google Home Hub or Google Home Mini, you might be wondering why you would want that; however, it could be extremely useful to have a voice assistant right by your front door if you want to get a quick overview of the day’s weather, or you want to set your Nest routines before leaving. 

Of course, you’ll still be able to communicate with your Nest Secure via a separate Google Assistant device like your smartphone. This means that, if you’ve left the house in a rush and forgotten to set your alarm, you can still arm the system by giving a voice command to your smartphone. 

The Nest Tag
Credit: Nest

What is Nest Secure?

Nest Secure is a modular security system comprised of a few different components, including the Nest Guard.

This is the brains of the operation, and acts as the alarm and keypad as well as a motion sensor. Shaped like a hockey puck and smaller than the Amazon Echo Dot, you tap your Nest Tag (which we’ll get to in a bit) to arm and disarm the system. 

Nest Secure also includes a battery-powered motion detector, called Nest Detect. You place it on the wall and and it can sense when doors or windows are open, and picks up movement in rooms. 

The aforementioned Nest Tag is a small tile that can attach to your key chain. It allows you to arm and disarm your security system without needing to input a passcode. 

  • Read our round up of the best home security systems
  • We reviewed Nest’s outdoor camera, the Nest Cam IQ
  • Want to know about Nest’s smart doorbell? Read our Nest Hello review

The entire system is controllable via the Nest app, which allows you to turn alarms on and off remotely, and will send you alerts when movement is detected in your home.

Smart security doesn’t come cheap; a Nest Secure starter pack costs $499 (about £370 / AU$620). This includes one Nest Guard, two Nest Detects and two Nest Tags. 

You can add on additional components as well, with each Nest Detect costing $59 (about £45 / AU$75) and additional Tags priced at $25 (about £20 / AU$30). Best Buy will also sell a package with a Nest Cam Outdoor for $598.

It’s already available to buy in the US, and it’s expected to launch in Europe and Canada this year – so far though, there’s been no word on an official release date. 

Main image: The Nest Secure Guard
Credit: Nest

  • The best Nest Camera deals this month

Via 9to5Google

Brexit and GDPR: what  businesses should be doing to prepare for a ‘no deal’ scenario

The increasingly real prospect of a ‘no-deal’ Brexit has serious implications for businesses across the UK. One very real concern is what impact a ‘no deal’ scenario would mean in terms of the European Union’s (EU) General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). 

Having expended serious time and effort on becoming GDPR compliant, UK companies are justifiably concerned about what they’ll need to do in the event of a ‘no deal’ Brexit.

After all, GDPR isn’t a law in and of itself. If it were, the UK could simply leave the EU and cease to be subject to it. Instead, it’s a European directive that requires member states to draft laws ensuring that their citizens abide by the regulations. 

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The UK has already done that, having signed the Data Protection Act into law in 2018. Should the country leave the EU without a deal, however, the picture changes dramatically. 

No-deal scenario

In such a scenario, the UK would become a “third party” country, meaning that data cannot be shared between it and other countries in the European Economic Area (EEA) unless it is deemed to have “adequate” data protection laws in place.  

In theory, the Data Protection Act, which is in line with GDPR, should mean that the UK remains safe in the immediate aftermath of Brexit. And if it continues to follow the EU’s lead when it comes to data protection, then there’s no reason why that should change.  

As is the case with so much around Brexit, however, this can’t be taken for granted. Things can, and do, change quickly.  

Even if the UK remains compliant with EU data directives, businesses will have to take certain steps to ensure that they can keep operating on the continent.  

As solicitors Irwin Mitchell point out, these include:  

“Data transfers: If you transfer data to and from the EU, you may need to re-legitimise this by putting in place standard contractual clauses.

Binding corporate rules: If you rely on BCRs blessed in the UK by the ICO, these may no longer be valid for the EU and you may need to have them blessed by a data protection authority of a remaining Member State.

EU representative: UK businesses that have operations processing personal data in the EU after Brexit may need to appoint a representative in the EU that will need to register with a data protection authority in one of the remaining member states.

‘One stop shop: UK companies lose the benefit of the “one stop shop”/“lead supervisory authority” regime in GDPR. Consider whether you will be required to deal with multiple regulators simultaneously in the event of an issue affecting people in more than one country.”

Preparing for a no-deal Brexit

While this worst-case scenario may seem difficult to contemplate, organisations shouldn’t adopt a “wait and see” approach when it comes to Brexit. 

Instead, they should be hoping for the best and preparing for the worst. In addition to ensuring that they can take the above steps in the event of a no-deal Brexit, UK organisations will need to be doubly certain that they are GDPR compliant. 

Ultimately, if UK organisations want to continue trading in Europe with as little disruption as possible, they’ll have to demonstrate that they have the requisite measures in place to protect customer data. 

The last thing any UK organisation should do is think that Brexit gives it a “get out of jail free” card when it comes to GDPR. That way lies certain trouble. 

Michael Wright, CEO of Striata

  • We’ve also highlighted the best antivirus to help keep your systems secure

The best T-Mobile plans in February 2019

t-mobile plans

T-mobile’s best unlimited plans are the most straight forward of the four major carriers. And, there are a handful of other options, including some alternative unlimited, prepaid, and pay-as-you-go plans.

Despite very clear details on the flagship plans, the fine print gets a little trickier to wade through when it comes to all of T-Mobile’s other plans. So, if you’re looking to get the best T-Mobile plan you can, you’ll want to thoroughly understand all of your options.

If you need a lot of data and want to stream content, use Wi-Fi hotspot, and travel abroad, you’ll probably be looking at the One Plan, which has earned the title of best unlimited data plan in our rankings for many months in a row. There are upgrades and plenty of perks to go around as well.

T-Mobile also offers versions of the unlimited plan that are prepaid or don’t require a credit check.  You can also just get a small data package.

Whatever you’re looking for, we’ve got the details you need to help you make a decision and get the best plan for you.

Quick Links

  • The best T-Mobile plans: T-Mobile’s plans picker
  • The best T-Mobile phones: T-Mobile phones list
  • New T-mobile deals: T-Mobile offers

Current T-Mobile special offers

T-Mobile Trade-in discounts on top phones
T-Mobile has the top phones available, like the iPhone XS and Galaxy Note 9. And, with an eligible trade-in, you can upgrade to these phones and save hundreds of dollars via monthly credits to your bill.

  • See the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 with $360 off via trade-in
  • See the Apple iPhone XS with $390 off via trade-in

How much the T-Mobile One Plan costs:

  • $70 for 1 line (Netflix not included) – $70 total
  • $60/line for 2 lines – $120 total
  • $40/line for 3 lines – $120 total
  • $35/line for 4 lines – $140 total

The best prices are clearly those with multiple lines, and the free Netflix subscription encourages users to find someone to sign up with. It should be noted that these prices require users to enable AutoPay, otherwise the price will be slightly higher.

For people that want to skip a credit check or like pre-paid plans, T-Mobile offers the One No Credit Check plan and One Prepaid plan. If you don’t travel abroad, the One Prepaid Domestic Only plan is actually cheaper than the standard One Plan but has almost all the same features, but the $50 monthly fee has additional taxes and fees.

T-Mobile also has a stripped down unlimited plan called T-Mobile Essentials, which gives you the same unlimited talk, text, and data for a slightly lower price, at $60 plus taxes and fees, but removes some of the extra perks.

  • See T-Mobile’s plans here
  • See the One Prepaid and One Prepaid Domestic Only plans here
  • See the One No Credit Check Plan here

The 9 great perks of T-Mobile service

  1. No contract – there’s no contract to lock you into a long-term service agreement.
  2. Jump! – users can upgrade the phone they’ve bought from T-Mobile on an installment plan.
  3. Free international roaming – going abroad is easy, with free unlimited data in numerous countries around the world, and unlimited talk and text in Canada and Mexico on select plans.
  4. ETFs paid by T-Mobile – breaking a contract with another carrier is easy, since T-Mobile will pay for the early termination fee. (Learn more about carrier ETFs here)
  5. No overages – you can’t use too much data or too many minutes on T-Mobile’s main plans, so no fear of getting slammed with hefty overage fees.
  6. In-flight texting – T-Mobile customers can text on Gogo-enabled flights.
  7. Unchanging prices – customers who want to keep their service can do just that, and the price won’t change, even if the plan is no longer offered or the promotional price expires.
  8. T-Mobile Tuesdays – a special customer appreciation day each week with exclusive deals.
  9. Unlimited service – on the One plan, there is no limit to calls, texts or data.

The T-Mobile One Plan: Explained

Firstly, users on T-Mobile’s flagship One Plan will pay exactly what T-Mobile lists as the price of the plan. That price includes all taxes and fees, so monthly budgets just got a lot easier to figure out.

Secondly, the T-Mobile One Plan doesn’t make customers think about what service they’re getting. Everyone gets unlimited talk, unlimited text, and unlimited data. And anyone getting two or more lines gets a free Netflix subscription with their service.

The service also includes perks for travelers, such as talk, text and data in 210+ countries (though there are some limits the service abroad). The unlimited talk, text and data included in the plan extend to travel in Mexico and Canada as well, with up to 5GB of that data at 4G LTE speeds. And, customers on Gogo-enabled flights can continue to text for free and get 1-hour of free data.

In terms of what you can do with your data on this plan, T-Mobile allows mobile hotspot at 3G speeds and video streaming at DVD quality. Plus, T-Mobile only deprioritizes your data during congestion after you’ve used over 50GB of data in a billing cycle. 

  • See the best plans at T-Mobile

Important restrictions on the T-Mobile One Plan:

While the T-Mobile One Plan is the foundation, it’s not the pinnacle of T-Mobile’s service, and there are some limitations.

Users who exceed 50GB of data usage a month may experience slowed data rates during network congestion, but 50GB is a wildly high cap, and that’s just slowed data, not stopped data. For some reference, you could stream an hour of standard definition video every day and not come close to exceeding 50GB in a month.

Mobile hotspot speeds for the base T-Mobile One Plan are not given priority, and may not be at 4G LTE speed. That said, T-Mobile doesn’t mention anything about actually restricting hotspot usage other than that data usage must primarily be on a mobile device for users who exceed 50GB a month.

For videophiles, T-Mobile also limits videos streaming over cellular connections to non-HD quality. It offers an upgrade to the base plan that adds allows HD video streaming.

The upgrade available:

Naturally, T-Mobile has a way to upgrade it’s One plan with more perks and functionality. This upgrade is not separate from the One Plan but functions simply as an add-on to the base plan.

T-Mobile One Plus plan:
For an extra $15 each month (or $10/line for multiple lines), users can get unlimited HD streaming in the US, doubled data speeds abroad, and unlimited Wi-Fi on Gogo-enabled flights. That’s topped off with unlimited mobile hotspot with 20GB at 4G LTE speeds, transcription of voicemails, and T-Mobile’s Name ID service.

Simply Prepaid and pay-as-you-go T-Mobile plans:

While the T-Mobile One plan is a great deal, it’s not very cheap if you’re getting a plan alone. And it has a lot of features that casual phone users might not need. For those who don’t mind a limit here and there if it saves a few bucks, T-Mobile has a few other plans.

The Simply Prepaid plan has a cap on 4G LTE data, but otherwise comes with unlimited 2G data, talk, and text. It also allows for 4G LTE tethering and Wi-Fi calling. The plan costs $40 right now, but there are additional taxes and fees. Unless you’re a hardcore streamer, 10GB can go a long way, and this is an affordable plan.

  • 10GB Simply Prepaid plan for $40/month

For the cheapest and most bare-bones plans, T-Mobile also offers some pay-as-you-go options for users with basic phones or who don’t think they’ll use their smartphone very much but want the option available.

  • Talk/Text: $3/month – Any combination of 30 minutes of talk or 30 texts, plus 10 cents for each additional text or minute
  • Data: $5/day – 500MB of 4G LTE
  • Data: $10/week – 1GB of 4G LTE

Apex Legends, a new free-to-play shooter, is EA’s answer to Fortnite

EA has surprised many with the sudden announcement of Apex Legends, a new free-to-play battle royale shooter that provides the publisher a game to compete with Fortnite and PUBG, two of the most successful IPs in recent history. 

Developed by Respawn Entertainment and set in the Titanfall universe, Apex Legends is a squad-based battle royale shooter where teams of three go up against squads of 57 other players to try and come out on top. 

What makes Apex Legends different than Fortnite and its ilk is that each player will take on one of eight classes, each represented by a unique character. (Think Fortnite mixed with Overwatch and you’ll be on the right track.) 

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Battle royale, Titanfall (but no titan) Style

Like Fortnite, you and your squad will have to wander the battlefield looking for loot while taking care not to attract the attention of the game’s other players.

What’s strange about the game, however, is that despite being set in the Titanfall universe, players won’t be able to get into any mechs – news that likely ruffle a few feathers of franchise fans. Ditto with other signatures of the series, like wallrunning.

Reports have also begun to pop up on other sites that Apex Legends has completely replaced a third Titanfall game – according to Kotaku, Titanfall 3 isn’t currently in development and Apex Legends is what we’re getting instead. 

The game was kept well under wraps during development and was only unveiled for the first time privately to a select group of journalists at an LA event last week. For the rest of us folks, though, the game was both announced and released today for PC, PS4 and Xbox One. It’s free to play – what’s stopping you?

  • Read more: These are the best PC games in 2019

The best Verizon Wireless plans in February 2019

Verizon Wireless plans

If you want the best Verizon plan, you’ve got a lot of options to pick from. Verizon has a smorgasbord of plans to choose from, with multiple tiers of unlimited data plans, a variety of shared data plans, and even a handful of prepaid options.

Though Verizon’s prices may keep it from having the best unlimited data plan, it has some feature-rich offerings, and the network is a great one. Customers needing Wi-Fi hotspot will find it available on unlimited plans, and international features are available in multiple plans.

We’ve gone through the details, both the major and the fine print, to find out everything we can about Verizon’s various plans so we can help you find the best one. For families and light data users, shared and prepaid plans may be the best options. Heavy users can get unlimited plans. And, in most cases, you can score discounts by signing up together with family members and activating Auto Pay.

Whatever your needs, we’ll help you understand Verizon’s best plans so you can make the right choice.

  • Jump straight there: View the plans at Verizonwireless.com
  • See also: The best Verizon Phones available this month

verizon wireless plans

Verizon Wireless unlimited plans: Explained

Verizon offers three tiers of its unlimited plan: Go Unlimited, Beyond Unlimited, and Above Unlimited. All three include unlimited talk and text in the US, Verizon Up rewards, unlimited mobile hotspot, video streaming, and support for talk, text, and data while abroad in Canada or Mexico. 

The way these plans differ is in the speeds, 4G LTE data thresholds, and perks they offer. Go Unlimited support mobile hotspots at 600Kbps, while Beyond Unlimited offers 15GB of hotspot at 4G LTE speeds, and Above Unlimited steps that up to 20GB. Go Unlimited also limits video playback to DVD quality (480p), but the other tiers support HD (720p) streaming.

The plans handle network congestion differently as well. Go Unlimited may reduce your speeds at any time if the network is congested. Beyond Unlimited offers 22GB of data and Above Unlimited offers 75GB of data at 4G LTE speeds before you should see reduced speeds due to network congestion. Above unlimited also offers 500GB of cloud storage and some extra travel perks.

verizon plans

  • Small: 2GB – $35/Month
  • Medium: 4GB – $50/Month
  • 5: 5GB – $55/Month
  • Large: 8GB – $70/Month
  • Go Unlimited: Unlimited – $75/Month
  • Beyond Unlimited: Unlimited – $85/Month 
  • Above Unlimited: Unlimited – $95/Month

The best Verizon Wireless plans for you

Let’s take a close look at what each of these plans has to offer for the price. Afterward, we’ll also go over some of Verizon’s alternative plans in case these aren’t a fit for you.

Whether you’re a modest web surfer, a heavy Netflix-user, or just pull your phone out a few times a week, there should be a plan to fit your needs.

Verizon Wireless plans

Verizon wireless plans

Verizon Wireless plans

Verizon Wireless plan: Small | 2GB data | Unlimited calls and texts | $35/Month
If you don’t do a lot of music or movie streaming, this plan will probably be a good choice for you. 2GB is enough data to do regular surfing and watch the occasional YouTube video. It’s also one of Verizon’s cheapest plans, so if you have your budget in mind, look no further. This is a Shared plan, which includes an access charge of $20 per phone added to the plan, including the first phone.

View this plan: at Verizonwireless.com

Verizon wireless plans

Verizon Wireless plans

Verizon Wireless plan: Medium | 4GB data | Unlimited calls and texts | $50/Month
If you think you’re likely to bump up against the 2GB limit on Verizon’s cheaper plan, you may want to consider the 4GB plan. For $15 more, you get an extra 2GB at full 4G LTE speed. Plus, with these plans, you can carryover unused data into the next month, in case you want to save up some data for a new Netflix show. This plan can also be shared and has a $20/line access charge.

View this plan: at Verizonwireless.com

Verizon Wireless plan: 5| 5GB data | Unlimited calls and texts | $55/Month
When 4GB is too small and 8GB is too much, Verizon also offers a 5GB plan for $55 a month plus the $20/line activation fee. This plan is a better fit for two people who will split the data, since it would make more sense for a single customer to get the Go Unlimited plan for $75 with no activation fee.

View this plan: at Verizonwireless.com

Verizon wireless plans

Verizon wireless plans 8GB

Verizon Wireless plan: Large | 8GB | Unlimited calls and texts | $70/Month
If you really can’t hold off on the occasional movie or TV show streamed over your data plan, this might be a reasonable option for you. However, since Verizon’s cheapest Unlimited plan is just $5 more, it may be worth jumping up to that plan and not worrying about how much data you use each month. Like the other Share plans, this one has a $20/line access charge.

View this plan: at Verizonwireless.com

Verizon wireless plans

verizon wireless unlimited plans

Verizon Wireless Go Unlimited, Beyond Unlimited, and Above Unlimited plans | Unlimited data | Unlimited calls and texts | $75/Month, $85/Month, or $95/Month
Heavy data users who don’t want to worry about running up against data limits, and want to stream TV, movies and music to their hearts’ content may want to go with one of these options. If there’s network congestion, you may get reduced speeds, but it won’t be because you accidentally fell asleep with Netflix streaming and went over your data allotment. 

If you don’t want your speed reduced during periods of high network traffic, you may want to get the Beyond Unlimited plan. And, if you want extra Wi-Fi hotspot data and cloud storage, check out the Above Unlimited plan.

These plans also allow you to add extra lines at reduced rates. You can see what you’ll pay with a calculator Verizon provides on its site.

View these plans: at Verizonwireless.com

weirzon wireless plans

Verizon Wireless: Prepaid plans

If the above Verizon plans aren’t what you’re looking for, there are also a number of monthly prepaid plans. They all include unlimited talk and text in the US and unlimited text to over 200 international destinations. They also allow data carryover and mobile hotspot usage (except the unlimited plan). They range in price from $30 a month for 500MB to $75 a month for unlimited data comparable to the Go Unlimited plan.

View Verizon Wireless prepaid plans here

If you just have a basic phone and want simple service, Verizon also offers a basic plan with unlimited talk and text and 500MB of data for $30 a month. See that plan here. 

weirzon wireless plans

Phones are more expensive, unfortunately

Verizaon wireless phones

Since Verizon Wireless eliminated the two year contract and switch to these new types of plans, it has unfortunately done away with the old subsidies on new phones that came with 2-year contracts.

That means instead of paying a flat $200 for every new phone you get, you’ll have to pay whatever that phone actually retails for. For a new flagship, that can be anywhere from $600 to $1000.

Verizon Wireless does offer installment plans for customers, though. So if you’re shopping for a new phone and plan and have good credit, you can likely find a phone that you’ll be able to pay for over the course of a couple years.

  •  See all available Verizon Wireless phones