Half of Britain victimised by cyber crooks

October 24th, 2014 No Comments By Ian Wade

cyber crime 300x223 Half of Britain victimised by cyber crooksHalf of the UK have been victims of cyber crime! According to a new report.

Well, they say ‘half’, but based on a survey of 2000 web users, 51% said they’d been affected by online scams, phishing, ID theft or some pesky virus.

The report by the Get Safe Online organisation, also said that many victims are left emotionally scarred by the experience.

Which is about right. You DO feel a bit vulnerable and freaked out that some arse has buggered your online-scene up.

Half of the victims said they felt violated by their ordeal and rued clicking on that link for free glans/baps (delete as appropriate). Only 14% of the affected felt they’d achieved any kind of redress after the matter either.

Also, a report by the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau, released to coincide with Get Safe Online Week, claimed that online scams raked in £670m between 1 September 2013 and 31 August 2014.

However an upshot of all this, has meant that those who have been violated then got heavy with web protection and not being so free and easy with their online behaviour.

Tony Neate, chief executive of Get Safe Online reckons this, by saying “Get Safe Online Week this year is all about ‘Don’t be a victim’, and we can all take simple steps to protect ourselves, including putting a password on your computer or mobile device, never clicking on a link sent by a stranger, using strong passwords and always logging off from an account or website when you’re finished.”

“The more the public do this, and together with better conviction rates, the more criminals won’t be able to hide behind a cloak of anonymity.”

Meanwhile Minister for the Cabinet Office Francis Maude threw his weight in and said the figures underlined the importance of doing everything possible to shore up the UK’s cyber defences, saying: “The UK cyber market is worth over £80bn a year and rising. The internet is undoubtedly a force for good, but we cannot stand still in the face of these threats, which already cost our economy billions every year.”

“We have an £860m Cyber Security Programme which supports law enforcement’s response to cybercrime, and we are working with the private sector to help all businesses protect vital information assets.”

London to Washington for £99 is now a thing

October 24th, 2014 No Comments By Ian Wade

wow logo 300x300 London to Washington for £99 is now a thingFleeing to America has just got a lot more tempting with the launch of £99 air fare from London to Boston and Washington.

The Icelandic airline WOW air have announced the £99 fare, which includes taxes, which is being offered on a selection of one-way journeys next year.

Passengers can travel from London Gatwick to Boston Logan International Airport from 27 March next year and Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport from 4th June.

But there’s a but.

The flights aren’t direct, as there’s a stopover at Keflavík International Airport, in Iceland’s capital Reykjavik. Although going to Iceland for an hour or two would be amazing, even if it is just sitting about in their airport.

Additionally, there is a booking fee of £8.98 and it costs a further £39 to check in a bag, so customers are realistically looking at a minimum price of £146.98.

The Boston flight will operate five times a week and the Washington DC one four times.

Ebola email spreads malware! IS NO-ONE SAFE?!

October 23rd, 2014 No Comments By Mof Gimmers

hackers Ebola email spreads malware! IS NO ONE SAFE?!Even your computer isn’t safe from the threat of Ebola. Hackers and spam merchants are taking advantage of people’s panic about the disease by sending out emails that look like they’re from the World Health Organisation (WHO).

Obviously, they’re not from the World Health Organisation.

These messages encourage you to open an attachment, which will show you how to protect yourself from Ebola. However, instead of helping you, it’ll infect your computer and download malware into your system and then, as ever, will allow people to get at all your lovely personal information and bank details.

There is also a scam doing the rounds which is much less believable, where the email is from ‘an Ebola expert’. If you’re daft enough to open the attachments in that, then frankly, you deserve everything you get.

Message topics to look out for are: ‘What you need to know about the deadly Ebola outbreak’, ‘So Really, How Do You Get Ebola?’, ‘Is there ANY way to cure Ebola?’ and ‘The #1 Food Items You’ll Need In An EBOLA Crisis’.

Seeing as most people are ignoring the small threat of Ebola in real life (unless you work in a newsroom of course, where it is being heralded as the new plague), the best advice is to treat any emails with the same laissez faire attitude you’ve been employing thus far.

Twitter introduce Digits

October 23rd, 2014 No Comments By Ian Wade

Twitter Logo1 Twitter introduce DigitsTwitter have announced a new thing called Digits. The service will allow users to log in to third-party apps using their phone number as a unique identity rather than a password.

Facebook, Twitter and Google+ have long enabled customers to sign into third party apps and websites using their existing login information, rather than creating a new login account specifically for that website.

The idea behind Digits, is that it simplifies logins, and providing demographic information to web developers.

Digits allows users to login to mobile apps using their phone number alone. After downloading an app, the user simply has to enter their phone number, and the app will verify it by sending a text message to that number and reading it automatically.

According to CEO, the never not funny Dick Costolo: “This is an entirely new native mobile sign up service that makes mobile-first sign-up frictionless, and creates an identity relationship entirely between you and your users,”

“We power it – we make it easy for you to communicate with your users – but that identity relationship is between you and them, not some third party. We power it and then we get out of the way.”

Digits is part of Twitter’s new development program Fabric, aimed at giving developers the tools to develop apps that can hook up with Twitter. The technology will be available in 216 countries and 18 languages, and will be free for developers to use.

loom bands Dad gets slapped with £1,792 phone bill over daughters loom band videosLoom-bands – elastic bands masquerading as craft – as really captured the imagination of the young people of the world.

One young lady called Trinity Groves was such a fan, that she watched tutorial videos so she could improve her looming. However, in the process, she ran up an enormous phone bill over a fortnight after her home’s WiFi stopped working.

Her dad, Philip, was blissfully unaware she’d been using Vodafone’s premium rates to get online, and after 28 hours of videos, dad got the unpleasant surprise of a £1,792 phone bill.

Philip is not happy at all. He said: “She was only learning how to make loom bands so she could trade them with her pals. We thought we were using the WiFi for a good fortnight and there was nothing to suggest it had disconnected.”

“We didn’t know we were using up all these charges for the internet at a premium rate. As far as I was aware, the WiFi was connected. I wasn’t informed otherwise. If a phone company sees a discrepancy in your bill or a huge surge in usage surely they have an obligation to let you know?”

“Suddenly I had this bill through from them on my doorstep, demanding all this money. I was absolutely gobsmacked. Now they are threatening to take me to court – it’s frightening that they can bully you this way. I might have to sell my van just to afford it, but I rely on that for my livelihood. I don’t know where to turn.”

After disputing the bill, Philip got another kick in the groin when Vodafone informed him that he was now blacklisted. They still want paying too.

Philip added: “They cut me off within five minutes. I told them I was going to go to an ombudsman but they have done nothing. They have just demanded I pay £1,410 by next week but I have been out of work recently because of an operation, I can’t afford it. How many of their clients pay this much for their internet? It’s disgusting. I have always had good a credit rating but since this, I have not been able to get a loan or anything.”

Trinity isn’t happy either, saying: “When I come home from school I usually get my phone and all my loom bands… I used to love watching the tutorial videos but now I know it cost my dad £1,792 I have had to stop watching them – it’s made me very sad.”

A spokeswoman for Vodafone said: “We can only confirm at this stage that we will launch a thorough investigation into the matter. We will then get back in touch with the customer once our inquires are concluded.”

Facebook: still not paying tax

October 23rd, 2014 2 Comments By Ian Wade

Bitterwallet Facebook censorship Facebook: still not paying taxFacebook didn’t pay any UK corporation tax again in 2013 – the bloodclots. It’s the second year in a row that the social media company have side-stepped the ol’ tax.

Facebook reported a pre-tax loss of £11.6m in the UK last year, despite its US parent company reporting a net profit of $1.5bn (£900m).

The company’s UK revenues rose from £34.6m to £49.8m, according to Facebook UK’s latest financial filing at Companies House published on Wednesday.

According to Facebook, its turnover is classed as “marketing and engineering services”, due to much of their ad revenue being sifted through Ireland because lower tax rates.

Facebook also made £371m in advertising revenue last year, which is a 67% rise from £222m in 2012. Facebook UK have however incurred a corporation tax charge of £3,169, as well as receiving a credit of £182,000.

Also, the UK end employs 172 staff, who were paid £40.8m last year, almost double of 2012′s £21m. Most of this could be laid at the door of the £15.5m payment cost for share-based payments, as UK staff received 1.52m free Facebook shares worth $118m at their current share price of about $78.

So yes. All a bit uncool, especially given that Mark Zuckerberg is splashing out $100m on his own island. He’ll probably set a bank up on it so Facebook can ‘rest’ funds there too.

Asda recall explosive prosecco

October 23rd, 2014 4 Comments By Ian Wade

Hold up boozers, Asda are recalling Prosecco because it keeps exploding, going off like a stag do’s trousers.

The supermarket’s Prosecco Spumante Extra Dry has been withdrawn from sale following complaints that the bottles keeping shattering.

The quite snipular £5.48 Italian wine, which is exclusive to Asda in the UK, is actually described as “a delicious sparkler exploding with zesty lemon”. Not literally, arf!

Basically if you have any of these:  L1402606, L1403271, L1403503, L1403655, L1404044, then get thee back to Asda sharpish.

asda pro 300x245 Asda recall explosive prosecco

An anonymous spokesman for Asda said anonymously “We have had a handful of complaints about our Prosecco Spumante Extra Dry bottles shattering,”

“We take this incredibly seriously as our customer and colleague safety is paramount to us, which is why we’ve recalled certain lot numbers of this product as a precaution.”

If you think you may affected, then take your bottle back to Asda and they’ll sort you with a refund or something.

Deals of the Day: Thursday 23rd October 2014

October 23rd, 2014 No Comments By Mof Gimmers

250px Wii U console and controller Deals of the Day: Thursday 23rd October 2014Christmas isn’t too far away, which means you’ll inevitably have people round and they’ll selfishly want entertaining. You can just sit in your armchair and get drunk while ignoring them. Unless you get a Wii that is.

There’s a good deal where you can grab a Wii U Basic with Nintendo Land, Wii Party U, Bayonetta 1 & 2, plus Wii Remote for £179.86. Leave everyone to play pretend bowling or whatever while you stew in booze, chorused by their excited cackles. You’ll be the toast of Christmas by sitting on your arse. Here’s the deal.

MORE DEALS!

FIFA 15 on PS4 & Xbox One only £34.85
Nintendo DSi White Bundle (includes Pokemon White) £59.99 delivered
Call Of Duty: Advanced Warfare (PS4/Xbox One) £37.85 with code
Halloween Deals on PSN
Lumia 530 4″ Quad Core for £29.95
Asus AMD Radeon R9 290 DirectCU II OC Graphics Card (4GB, GDDR5, PCI Express 3.0) £209.99
Corsair K90 Mechanical Keyboard w/ Cherry MX Red Switches £55.48 delivered
Verbatim 1TB Store ‘n’ Go USB 3.0 Portable Hard Drive £39.99
Humble Mo-BOO-ile bundle 1p
Huawei Y550 4G 4.5″ Quad Core 1GB RAM for £49.95
Lord of The Rings Bundle £7.49 @ BundleStars (£6.21 via VPN includes Lego LOTR, Lego Hobbit & DLC, War In The North, Guardians Of Middle Earth & DLC)

FOR MORE BRILLIANT BARGAINS, CHECK OUT HUKD!

Amazon Fire TV, available for £79

October 23rd, 2014 No Comments By Mof Gimmers

amazon fire Amazon Fire TV, available for £79Amazon Fire TV and gaming gadget is available in the UK for £79 – they’re serious about challenging Netflix, Apple TV and Co aren’t they?

If you buy it, you’ll get a host of apps including Amazon Instant Video, Netflix, YouTube, Spotify, Vevo and Sky News. Others will be added before the year is out.

As for gaming, the launch titles include Minecraft, The Walking Dead and the Android versions of Grand Theft Auto games. You might need a controller for certain titles, which will set you back an extra £34.99.

Amazon reckon that Fire has three times the power of an Apple TV and it has a number of nifty things. The remote, for example, has a microphone built-in, which means you can bark instructions at it to find your favourite shows or whatever.

Another thing it used is the Amazon WhisperSync function, which means that, if you’ve been watching something on your tablet, Fire will pick up where you left off if you’d rather watch it on the big screen. It works in the other direction too. One great idea is the Amazon ASAP function which pre-loads content for you if you have trouble with buffering.

You can pick one up at Amazon here if it sounds like the kind of thing you’d like.

Tesco’s woes are much worse than they thought

October 23rd, 2014 1 Comment By Mof Gimmers

tesco extra Tescos woes are much worse than they thoughtTesco are in a much worse state than everyone initially thought. When is this all going to end? They have reported a much bigger accounting hole today after finding that the mistakes in booking income had gone back further than initially assumed. Profits have fallen by a whopping 92%!

As a result, they’ve scrapped their full-year profit outlook.

Thanks to all this, Tesco has lost 20% of their market value in the past month and naturally, the share value of the company has taken a hit too. In the first minutes of trading, shares fell by 7%.

It is all bleak news for the former godzilla of groceries as they were already under pressure from bargain retailers like Lidl and Aldi and people’s changing habits, shopping around online for the best price rather than relying on the local supermarket.

Tesco’s performance has been described as the worst performance in 40 years. Chief executive Dave Lewis, took time from screaming down his sleeve to say: ”Our business is operating in challenging times. Trading conditions are tough and our underlying profitability is under pressure.”

Only last month, when Dave Lewis took over the job, a £250m blackhole was found after the company had overstated their profits. Now it transpires that this practice goes back further than though, the figure keeps rising.

Normally, at this time of year, Tesco would be ramping up for the lucrative Christmas period, but instead, they’re calling in accountants to investigate the mess and sacking loads of senior management. It also looks like they’ll be selling off assets in a bid to get their finances looking healthy again.

We have talked about it before, but should Tesco break itself up in a bid to get back in the game?

Apple admit that iCloud has been compromised

October 23rd, 2014 1 Comment By Ian Wade

apple icloud 300x260 Apple admit that iCloud has been compromisedApple have ‘fessed up about iCloud accounts being compromised by fake log-in pages. This follows an incident wherein Chinese users’ account names and passwords were requested by suspect looking web pages.

After all that celebrity nude action a couple of weeks ago, Apple came up with a two-password verification system to try and increase security.

Alas, reports of organised password phishing syndicates harvesting user information via fake iCloud pages emerged, and Apple had to come clean and say it’s a thing.

A statement released on Apple’s support page has confirmed that these phishers were stealing accounts and passwords, but that remained the dimensions of it. There was no further information as to when these happenings occurred or the severity of them.

Apple have helpfully told users to only use sites if there’s a padlock handy. On the site’s address bar, not around your neck.

They said: “We’re aware of intermittent organised network attacks using insecure certificates to obtain user information, and we take this very seriously. These attacks don’t compromise iCloud servers, and they don’t impact iCloud sign in on iOS devices or Macs running OS X Yosemite using the Safari browser.”

“The iCloud website is protected with a digital certificate. Users should never enter their Apple ID or password into a website that presents a certificate warning.”

Last month, Apple chief executive Tim Cook admitted that Apple could do more to inform users how to make their iCloud accounts more secure, but was too pre-occupied with flogging new tat than being helpful.

Nokia now goes by the name of Lumia

October 22nd, 2014 No Comments By Ian Wade

nokia lumia logo 300x168 Nokia now goes by the name of LumiaAfter reporting that the Microsoft looked like they were offing Nokia, it’s now official.

Microsoft could keep hold of the name for another ten years, but obviously thought “no, that’s it, you’re dead to us!” and will now be known as the not-at-all catchy ‘Microsoft Lumia’.

The Nokia brand had been visible on recent smartphone launches such as the Lumia 930 and Lumia 735, but Microsoft has not mentioned it in any press on marketing junk.

The Windows Phone apps have also been re-branded to Lumia, and the firm hasn’t even been referring to Windows Phone in advertising, instead using just Windows instead.

The rebranding will roll out across various countries in due course, however it is unclear what branding Microsoft will decide to use on future smartphones and tablets.

Existing devices carry the Nokia logo on the front and back so it will probably be a little while for new devices all branded and sexed up to arrive.

Still. No more Nokia! The name of a mobile giant is chucked in the bin just like that. We’ll be playing ‘Snake’ all night and crying while seeing if it is possible to actually break a Nokia 3310 without the use of nuclear weapons.

The Sun+ membership – still taking your money?

October 22nd, 2014 2 Comments By Mof Gimmers

The sun logo 300x300 The Sun+ membership   still taking your money?Did you sign up to The Sun’s Dream Team last summer when the football season started? Well, while you were dreaming about topping your work’s fantasy league and gloating in the office, you may have missed something.

You may recall that, as part of the sign-up, you were obliged to take a trial for The Sun+ membership, which was free for two months.

Chances are, you forgot all about it, but The Sun didn’t. And now they want money.

According to one avid Bitterwallet reader: “I cancelled back in August and I’ve been charged today. Having looked over Twitter… there is plenty of people being charged after cancellation. So, if you cancelled your Sun+ membership either in the last few weeks or right back in August, check your bank statements either now or in the next few days.”

They also signed off with “Robbin’ b******s!”

And indeed, there’s a number of complaints on social media, with one Twitter user saying: “how do i cancel my sun Plus membership? I wasn’t even expecting the money to come out… Won’t be playing dreamteam again!!” and another adding “Thankyou to @TheSunNewspaper for luring me into a Sun Plus membership just for signing up for Dream team. No food for me next week. #sad”

If you signed-up to play Dream Team, you’d be advised to check your bank account, because there’s a good chance there’s going to be £7.99 missing from your account.

We’ll look into the best ways of cancelling your Sun+ account, but in the meantime, contact your bank and make sure the payments stop and, if you’re in the mood, call The Sun and give them what for at 020 7782 4000. Or, you can find their complaints page here to email them.

2485100596 5310e1de97 300x199 Aldi goes all Waitrose  get your organic veg and caviar on the cheapThe current supermarket price war is leaving consumers a little bemused. While the supermarkets scrap about it amongst themselves, customers slip quietly in behind their backs and buy our jammie dodgers and toilet duck for 4p less than we did last week. But now it seems the supermarkets are morphing into each other, with Aldi the latest, and perhaps most surprising supermarket to announce that it’s gone all Waitrose.

That’s right, to reflect their changing customer base, Aldi bosses have decided that Aldi is going to be the new go-to place for trendies and hipsters to get their organic food, with shoppers looking at a 25% saving on current supermarket organic prices.

The new vegetable range will include potatoes, cauliflower, broccoli, carrots and onions and the supermarket will also introduce new fresh meat ranges, convenience foods and drinks, expanding their total product ranges by 11%.

Aldi Corporate Buying MD Tony Baines said “We know our shoppers want to buy more organic products, but price is often the reason why it’s not a regular purchase. This is why we’ve launched a 100% British organic range at an affordable everyday low price.”

And that’s not all. This year you can also get a totes posh Christmas at Aldi, with a range of ‘aspirational’ products going on sale, including lobster, goose and, at £9.99 for 20g, caviar. That’s proper snooty that.

So if Aldi is turning into Waitrose, and Sainsbury’s is turning into Asda (although why they would give the good news of lower prices before the bad news of decimating the Nectar card is anyone’s guess), have the German discounters completed a successful coup in the aisles? After all, if you’ve been lured in, why would you ever think to leave and shop somewhere else now…?

Dyson unveil a humidifier for mad people

October 22nd, 2014 3 Comments By Ian Wade

dyson humidifier 114x300 Dyson unveil a humidifier for mad peopleDyson have unveiled a humidifier!

The until-now-quite-hoovery Dyson has launched the HumiMain (which doesn’t sound particularly catchy, but give it time) which uses its Air Multiplier fan technology and claims to tackle health issues around dry air and bacteria.

It’s not the first time the company have used this design, as they originally brought out the bladeless Air Multiplier fan in 2009. In 2011 it updated the fan as a heater and is now launching the technology as a humidifier.

And so they should, seeing as they’ve thrown £37.5 million at the project, and went through 643 protoypes.

Apparently the humidifier uses Ultraviolet cleansing technology to kill 99.9% of bacteria used in the product’s water. Do we really want that much bacteria killing? Either way, great news for nutters out there who feel like they’re being swamped by micro-bugs.

There’s a climate control system to measure the temperature and moisture in the air, while a fancy-sounding piezoelectric transducer in the base vibrates at up to 1.7 million times a second – breaking the water down into microscopic particles which are drawn up into the loop amplifier and projected.

According to Dyson, the machine can run for up to 18 hours on a single tank of water: “It projects clean, hydrated air around the room evenly and quietly. Helping you keep healthy in the winter, and doubling up as a fan to keep you cool in the summer.”

It’s being launched in Japan first, as they have a culture of humidifiers, and will be launched in the UK next March. Perfect for summer, if you’re a lunatic.