News to know: Italy fines Apple, Sweary Siri, New Year cell service

News to know -- December 26-30: A look back at the news from London, the UK and wider Europe, on all the bits that were missed during the week's coverage.
Written by Zack Whittaker, Contributor

This week we have seen Christmas come and go, New Year's appear on the horizon, and Apple in trouble with the Italian regulators. It's not been a great year for major technology companies in Europe, and there is no let up in sight for the coming year.

As the year comes to a close, we look back on the week's news that was missed.

Italy fines Apple €900,000 ($1.2m) for 'misleading' warranties

Apple may have had a fantastic sales period this month, with the iPhone and iPad accounting for more than 90 percent of all mobile purchases this Christmas. But Italy was soon to hand over its lump of festive coal in a fine that amassed an equivalent $1.2 million.

An Italian antitrust watchdog said that Apple had failed to inform its customers of their legal right to two years' technical support. While Apple had emphasised its own one-year warranty period, Italian consumers are entitled to two.

The company's AppleCare Protection Plan overlapped the second year with its own two-year protection plan, forcing Italian regulators to step in.

But Apple said it would appeal the fine. Frankly, the fine itself is not the news. The very fact that Apple spoke to the media outside the Mossberg collective shocked many.

iPhone 4S' Siri reprogrammed to swear at British child

"Shut the f**k up, you ugly t**t", Siri told one child at a branch of superstore giant Tesco's, CNET UK reported this week.

But don't blame Siri. The intelligent assist doesn't suffer from Tourette's, unlike this writer. In fact, upon further research, it turns out Siri can talk dirty, but only in the literal sense.

Blame the kids. It turns out that the hapless young lad was innocently testing out the new iPhone 4S feature, but someone (probably also youths) reprogrammed the username of the device to say such foul-mouthed content.

But don't try this at home kids. (Do it on a friend's phone instead). Or not, as the lawyers are keen to point out.

Wishing someone a Happy New Year? Text, don't call

UK mobile network operator Orange is predicting that a record number of phone calls will be made, text messages sent, and data consumed this New Year's.

Data usage alone is up by 25 percent year on year as many will be tweeting, Facebooking and picture messaging. Orange says that the number of text messages sent will be around 170 million, while there will be around 78 million phone calls as Big Ben strikes midnight.

Considering the UK population is currently around 63 million, that's at least one per person, or nearly three per adult. Phone calls will swamp each and every respective network, as phone calls will drop en par with AT&T on a good day.

Considering we're only a few hours away from the pinnacle moment, perhaps it would be wise to send a text, rather than making that drunken phone call you will only forget about in the morning.

From previous weeks:

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