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Rory Cellan-Jones, Technology correspondent

Rory Cellan-Jones Technology correspondent

Welcome to dot.Rory - these are my thoughts about how technology is changing the world and shaping our lives

National roaming - a bad call?

David Cameron with mobile phone
Difficulty getting a signal?

It sounds a great idea - allow anyone finding it difficult to connect to their mobile phone network to roam to another network to make a call.

It's called national roaming but from what I'm hearing the mobile operators will fight tooth and nail to stop something they regard as impractical and counterproductive.

The idea was raised last week, with reports that the prime minister's difficulty in placing a call from Norfolk to Germany's Angela Merkel had led him to ask Culture Secretary Sajid Javid to get it sorted. And this morning in the Commons, replying to an MP who complained that foreign visitors "roaming" in his constituency got a better signal than locals, Mr Javid said that it was a very important issue. "I do want to encourage operators in the UK to go further," he said, "and I am discussing this with mobile operators and Ofcom."

So what's wrong with the idea? Just about everything, according to the operators. I've spoken to the four big players in the UK market and they are unanimous in saying that bringing in a system where users could switch seamlessly between networks, would be technically complex, harm investment and could actually produce a worse service for customers.

Three, which stands to gain most as it does not have a 2G network, is the only firm to give a cautious welcome to the idea - but an executive there tells me it is fraught with difficulties.

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Tweeting the World Cup

Dove released at the World Cup opening ceremony

This has been the week the United States finally got football - or soccer, as they still insist on calling it.

As the USA team progressed to the knock-out stage, the story has led the breakfast TV shows and been the subject of a diatribe by right-wing columnist Ann Coulter, who sees US interest in the game as a sign of the nation's moral decay.

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Android everywhere at Google I/O

Google i/o

Put a couple of thousand developers from around the world in a huge hall, show them some under the bonnet improvements in the software tools they use every day, and pause after each sentence to bathe in the applause. That's the basic recipe for Google I/O which is aimed at the development community, not at consumers.

But Google knows that these days the world is watching too - so it has to sprinkle the conference's opening keynote with a little stardust in the form of some stunts and a few product announcements. Two years ago a live demo with skydivers jumping out of planes and streaming video from Google Glass set the bar very high indeed.

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Can you make a giant dance? Facebook tries to innovate

Facebook sign, Menlo Park

Big established companies that dominate their industries often find it gets harder to innovate - so is Facebook now about to face that same problem? I've just spent three hours at the social network's headquarters trying to work out whether it can stay ahead as it grows ever bigger.

Life must look good if you're one of the nearly 4,000 people who turn up for work at the sprawling campus in Menlo Park in California, where the central plaza Hacker Square is dotted with cafes and people stroll in the sunshine toting their laptops as they head for the next meeting.

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Uber and Indiegogo - tales of disruption

Indiegogo Ping-pong table

It's a word despairing teachers use to describe the class troublemakers, but in Silicon Valley "disruptive" is what everyone wants to be.

The whole theory behind disruptive innovation - cheaper, sometimes lower-quality technologies which come along and destroy the business models of established industries - is a subject of ferocious academic debate at the moment, after an article in the New Yorker questioned the concept.

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Will the British take to Google Glass?

Prince Charles tries on Google Glass

It has been the most talked-about new gadget of the last year (not always in a good way) and now Google Glass is coming to the UK.

Anyone with £1000 to spare can order the wearable computer that delivers smartphone information into a screen above your right eye. Then they can reach their own conclusion about whether it is the future of communication - or computing's equivalent of the Sinclair C5.

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California dreaming: London's hi-tech aspirations

Boris Johnson at London Technology Week launch

London is blowing its tech trumpet in a big way this week.

Boris Johnson, along with former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg and the venture capitalist Sir Michael Moritz, have just launched London Technology Week - a series of events designed to boost the reputation of the capital as a technology cluster. And if you were to believe some startling research commissioned for the week, London is already hitting it out of the park.

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The $7m question - how did a broke Icelander create a world-beating app?

QuizUp logo

In a luxury hotel north of London yesterday you could find one of the wealthiest and most influential tech crowds ever assembled.

There was the chairman of Google, the chief executives of many of Europe's biggest telecoms firms, politicians from the UK and across Europe, founders of companies ranging from Carphone Warehouse and ARM, to the machine-learning business Deep Mind.

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Uber uber alles?

Uber app

Imagine a transport business that's under five years old, but is already worth more than airlines like Easyjet or British Airways, or delivery services like TNT or Britain's Royal Mail.

You might think this was a new budget airline, or perhaps a service offering the promise of rocket trips into space - but instead it's a good old fashioned minicab firm.

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Zeus - a triumph or a time to panic?

Shadow of hand over computer

For once, it seemed, the forces of law and order had struck a mighty blow against the cybercriminals who are making the internet so dangerous for many ordinary users.

An international operation led by the FBI had taken control of the GameOver Zeus botnet, a network of captured computers used to steal millions of dollars from individuals and small businesses around the world.

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About Rory

Rory has been watching the technology scene like a hawk for the last 15 years.

From the dotcom bubble of the late 1990s to the rise of Google and Facebook, from the Psion organiser to the iPad, he's covered all the big gadget and business stories, and interviewed just about everyone who's played a part in the story of the web.

Dot.Rory, his previous blog, was named among the Top 100 blogs by the Sunday Times.

He aims to look at the impact of the internet and digital technology on our lives and businesses. Rory has been described as "the non-geek's geek", and freely admits that he came late to technology - but he aims to explain its significance to anyone with an interest in the subject.

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