News round-up – the best of the week’s stories

October 31st, 2014 No Comments By Mof Gimmers

bwbest 300x255 News round up – the best of the week’s storiesThe Best of Bitterwallet

A lot of logo fails which are funny bw/cockandballs
Shout at your Xbox and get pizza bw/feedme
Free erections from Tesco bw/arf
Who has the best and worst hotels? bw/hotel
RAC kicking off about petrol prices bw/robbery
When is the cheapest time to fly? bw/plane
Sweary kid sells loom bands bw/shout
Android to let you delete bloatware? bw/lollipop

The Best of the Rest

Loads of iPhone 6s are already knackered recombu/iphone
Sony losing loads of money, despite PS4 sales metro/playstation
Tougher rules for banks expressandstar/banks
£780m put aside by RBS heraldscotland/dough
Government to retire some war debt bbc/wwi
Privacy concerns over Samaritans app theregister/samaritans
Tim Cook is glad to be gay bbc/apple

Have a lovely weekend

Time Travel Turtle wank internet sign Bali Travel Photo Roulette News round up – the best of the week’s stories

YouView finally gets Netflix

October 31st, 2014 No Comments By Ian Wade

netflix transparent YouView finally gets NetflixNetflix is coming to BT YouView boxes. AT LAST.

The phone firm struck a deal with Netflix and now everyone’s happy. Customers will be able to add Netflix to their existing TV Entertainment package deal for an additional £5.99 a month.

BT put out a statement with words such as: “We continue to focus on strengthening our TV proposition and are excited to announce we have entered into a partnership with Netflix that will allow our customers to sign up for Netflix alongside our other products and services, with the added convenience of paying on one bill directly through BT” in it.

It’s about time too, as the absence of Netflix is one of the key moans about YouView

It is yet to be confirmed whether YouView customers who don’t own a BT box will be able to access Netflix through the platform, but we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.

traintrack 300x225 Train ticket machines might save you time, but they cost you money…We’ve all done it- looked at the long queue full of idiots who’ve seemingly never caught a train before and decided to buy our train ticket from the helpful ticket machine standing idly by. After all, modern technology is here to improve our lives, right? Unfortunately, that might not necessarily be true. And almost certainly isn’t going to save you money.

An investigation by the Telegraph has found that actually, using a ticket machine could end up costing you hundreds of pounds more than asking at the ticket office- while railway clerks are required by law to offer the cheapest tickets, regardless of which company they work for- ticket machines are under no such obligation and, not only don’t offer the cheapest fares, they also hide cheaper fares where no one will ever find them. And sometimes, it can simply depend on which particular machine you use when there are a choice in larger stations.

For example, if you wanted to travel from Leeds to Birmingham, if you used Northern Rail’s ticket machine, a First-Class Anytime Return to Birmingham is sold at £271. However, if you slid a few feet to the right and used the East Coast trains machine, you could get the same journey using a First-Class Off-peak Return for £145.70. This type of ticket is not available for customers using Northern Rail’s machines, but saves £125.30.

Similarly East Coast machines at King’s Cross offered a ticket from London Euston to Liverpool on a First-Class Anytime Single fare for £229.50 but a Thameslink & Great Northern machine sells a London Midland-only First-Class Anytime Single for £94, saving £135.50.

Other tips and tricks available at the ticket office, but not at machines include split ticketing (where buying three tickets instead of one to cover the journey from Carlisle to Manchester could save passengers up to £50), and group discounts such as a £45.20 saving for four adults travelling London to Dover. And you can always ask a ticket officer about the possibility of ‘stopping short’ a strange quirk in a complicated ticketing system which can mean it is cheaper to buy a ticket for a longer train journey than you intend to travel, and just get off the train early.

Mike Hewitson, head of policy at the rail watchdog Passenger Focus, said travellers wanted information to be given to them in a clear and simple way. “Our research shows us that ticket machines still aren’t particularly user-friendly,” he said. “Passengers should be able to use ticket machines and be confident in what they are offered, without needing to be ‘experts’ in the system.”

Campaign group Railfuture said that passengers were being forced to “jump through hoops” to get a reasonable fare. Spokesperson Bruce Williamson said it was “clearly wrong” that the cheapest fares were sometimes “buried” behind a number of option menus while the more expensive ones were promoted on the main default screens.“Cheaper options have to be readily obvious and easy to find, not hidden from customers,” he stated, firmly.

East Coast said it was not aware that the cheaper London Midland-routed fares were missing from its machines at King’s Cross and said this had now been changed. Northern Rail said it was working with its suppliers to ensure all necessary data were fed into its ticket machines to offer the best value fares to customers.

Amazon has the most social influence

October 31st, 2014 No Comments By Ian Wade

amazoninstant Amazon has the most social influenceA Top 50 detailing the brands with the most social influence has been topped by that Amazon.

The Klout Top 50 was compiled using data from the Interbrand 2014 Best Global Brands Report and corresponding Klout scores, had Microsoft as close second followed by MTV, Google and Facebook.

The chart was based on how the brands engage socially with their client and user-base and lots of other types of factors, although ignoring ‘not cool taxwise’ as a factor.

Katy Keim, CMO of Klout owner Lithium, said: “The Klout 50 salutes those brands that know social is part of their consumer’s everyday life and for effectively connecting and sharing experiences with them. However, this is also a wake-up call for the brands that are not on the list to understand that without social they lose.”

Get her.

Shall we look at the whole list with their Klout scores then?

1.)  Amazon 98.86
2.)  Microsoft 98.85
3.)  MTV 98.32
4.)  Google 98.04
5.)  Facebook 97.94
6.)  Intel 95.94
7.)  Nintendo 95.04
8.)  McDonald’s 94.74
9.)  Ebay 93.82
10.)  Ford 93.19
11.)  Sony 93.06
12.)  HP 92.38
13.)  Chevrolet 92.36
14.)  Coca-Cola 91.99
15.)  Thomson Reuters 91.89
16.)  General Electric 91.37
17.)  Nike 91.22
18.)  Honda 90.94
19.)  Pizza Hut 90.94
20.)  Audi 90.75
21.)  Adidas 90.00
22.)  Adobe 89.90
23.)  Nokia 89.84
24.)  Goldman Sachs 89.67
25.)  Tiffany and Co 89.60
26.)  Budweiser 89.56
27.)  Porsche 89.22
28.)  Apple (AppStore) 89.19
29.)  Shell 88.94
30.)  Pepsi 88.80
31.)  SAP 88.59
32.)  American Express 88.50
33.)  Louis Vuitton 87.76
34.)  MasterCard 87.42
35.)  Oracle 87.14
36.)  Gucci 86.75
37.)  Morgan Stanley 86.65
38.)  Burberry 86.04
39.)  Accenture 86.01
40.)  Caterpillar Inc 85.27
41.)  3M 85.20
42.)  John Deere 83.53
43.)  Starbucks 83.51
44.)  Sprite 83.22
45.)  Gillette 83.03
46.)  Zara 83.02
47.)  Heineken 82.81
48.)  Gap 82.76
49.)  Disney 82.39
50.)  KFC 81.76

Starbucks to start delivering

October 31st, 2014 No Comments By Mof Gimmers

starbucks logo 300x300 Starbucks to start deliveringStarbucks are planning to do a delivery service through their mobile app in some parts of America. You can assume that, if this works, they’ll be rolling this out across the globe.

So what made the company decide to do this? Well, the coffee giant has reported lower-than-expected quarterly sales. Just imagine if they’d paid more tax too. They’d be weeping into their piggy banks.

“We are playing offence,” CEO Howard Schultz said, like a git, adding: ”Imagine the ability to create a standing order that Starbucks delivered hot or iced to your desk daily.”

Starbucks is hugely popular and there’s money to made through delivering a load of brown liquid to people in offices. It goes without saying that there’ll be some who don’t understand the point of it all, preferring to eat spoonfuls of Mellow Birds or whatever, but you can see this becoming a popular thing.

The coffee chain is looking at ways for getting consumers involved through online shopping rather than plain old brick-and-mortar stores. As well as a delivery service, Starbucks are going to allow customers to pre-order drinks on their smartphones by next year.

Looks like Starbucks aren’t happy with other businesses stealing a march on them.

Is there going to be a drop in gas bills?

October 31st, 2014 1 Comment By Mof Gimmers

article 1725351 07264249000005DC 817 468x286 300x183 Is there going to be a drop in gas bills?Everyone knows that energy bills are far too high and the chances of any of the providers doing anything about it are slim to bugger-all.

However, there’s a glimmer of hope for us all as wholesale gas prices in the UK hit a record low today, which means that there’s increased pressure on our beloved energy firms to cut our household bills.

So what’s the latest drop in price all about? Well, Ukraine and Russia have signed a deal which will see Moscow resuming gas supplies over the winter, guaranteeing delivery to the EU. Seeing as Russia provides around a third of Europe’s gas, this is good news.

Thanks to the unseasonably warm weather we’re having this time of year, British households are avoiding putting the heating on, which is also having an impact on bills.

Ofgem have said that they are chasing up Britain’s energy suppliers on why they had not passed the significant falls in wholesale costs on to customers this year.

With all these factors, we might just see some price drops in our bills, but don’t hold your breath.

Tesco: now with ‘Click & Collect’

October 31st, 2014 No Comments By Mof Gimmers

tesco Tesco: now with Click & CollectGood news shoppers! You can now collect the shopping you’ve done online with Tesco from every Tesco store – and yes, that includes Tesco Extra and Express shops.

So now, you can skive at work while putting tins of pineapple rings and sink unplugging juice into a virtual basket and then pick them all up at your convenience.

The order cut off time for next day Click+Collect has been extended to 5pm too and there’s an earlier collection time of 3pm. This is all incredibly exciting isn’t it? You’ll also be able to pick your shopping up from ‘selected Tesco partners’ if you don’t have one near to you.

If you order by 5pm (Sunday – Friday) you can collect in store after 3pm next day. If you order on a Saturday, you can collect your shopping after 3pm on Monday (that doesn’t include bank holidays).

You’ll need to take some ID and a copy of your confirmation email when you collect your order, which is all pretty standard.

If you don’t believe us, and think this news is too fantastical and far too good to be true, Tesco have announced it on their website where you can see the full glory of their announcement. See it here.

Deals of the Day: Friday 31st October 2014

October 31st, 2014 No Comments By Mof Gimmers

xbox one square Deals of the Day: Friday 31st October 2014Did you destroy your last TV and console by kicking your joypad through the screen with unswerving frustration? You should probably stop getting so easily wound up by these things, but no matter, because we’ve got just the thing.

There’s a great deal where you can get a bundle of a LG 42 inch full HD TV (including 5 year guarantee) with an Xbox One and Forza Horizon 2 for £499! If you want in on that, then you need to click here.

EVEN MORE DEALS

Lenovo Android tablet £129.99 with code
Tesco Mobile Nokia Lumia 530 & Linx 7 inch tablet bundle for £129
Preorder: PS4 with COD Advanced Warfare Day Zero, The Last of Us, Destiny and 12 month PS+ for £399.99
Motorola Moto G 5-Inch (2nd Gen 2014) Dual Sim 8GB SIM-free smartphone for £139.95
Dexter Complete 1-8 DVD £35.99 using code
WD 4TB My Book Duo Desktop USB Hard Disk Drive £99.99
Metro Redux PS4 £19.99 Smyths
Original Sony PlayStation Vita/PS4 Official In Ear Headset Earphones £4.99
The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings Enhanced Edition £2.99  & The Witcher: Enhanced Edition Director’s Cut £1.39, here

FOR MORE AMAZING BARGAINS, VISIT HOTUKDEALS!

Here: the Microsoft Band

October 31st, 2014 No Comments By Ian Wade

microsoft band 300x128 Here: the Microsoft BandThe Microsoft Band is here!

In the latest in this season’s Battle of the Wrists, Microsoft Band, along with a related online service, Microsoft Health, will analyse the data from the band and other devices to help people with their fitness goals.

It’s fairly straightforward design is no great shakes, and it does all the basic things like Facebook and paying for coffee and that, but it also has sensors in the device will continuously track heart rate, sleep quality and calories burned.

Also, as a bonus, it will cost $199 (£125), which is a great deal cheaper than the Apple Watch due in the new year, which starts at $349 (£220).

Obviously the good will out as users will start to figure out which is the best and most reliable phones, especially if they take their exercise seriously.

However, according to a recent survey, PricewaterhouseCoopers found that about a third of respondents who purchased a wearable device more than a year ago now say they no longer use it or do so infrequently.

So a case of the Emperor’s new wristwatch all round, if the wearable market becomes a flash gadget arena for people with too much money.

EE offers up 4G+

October 31st, 2014 3 Comments By Ian Wade

zzzw EE offers up 4G+EE have launched its next generation 4G+ in London.

They claim this G is better than all the other Gs, as it offers download speeds of up to 150MBps and averages of 90Mbps – five times faster than the average UK broadband connection.

However – as is always the way with EE – there’s a caveat: availability is quite limited in the UK, so it’s literally running before it can walk.

First up you will need a 4G+ compatible smartphone (EE only offers two: Samsung’s Galaxy Alpha and Galaxy Note 4). Whereas non-EE smartphones that are 4G+ compatible include Motorola’s Nexus 6, Huawei’s Ascend Mate 7 and LG’s G3.

And when they say London, they don’t mean Lambeth or Crouch End or White City, they mean Shoreditch, Old Street, Westminster and Kensington.

They hope this will be expanded to the whole of Greater London by June 2015 and then on to Manchester, Liverpool and Birmingham.

The new 4G+ connection brings the UK up to speed with the world’s most connected countries – including South Korea, Japan and the US – and places it ahead of most other European countries.

So, swings and roundabouts.

pizza 300x168 Order pizza by shouting FEED ME! at your XboxOrdering a takeaway is hard. You have to first navigate all the menus on JustEat or rifle through all those awful flyers and menus you got stuffed unceremoniously in your letter box and then actually speak to someone on the phone or hit buttons with your fingers.

It is too much like hard work.

Well, here’s good news for you slovens – you’ll be able to simply shout at your Xbox One and get pizza delivered to your door. Sadly, no-one has worked out a way of getting it in your mouth without you walking to the front door and paying someone, but its a start.

Inspired by the Xbox 360′s Pizza Hut app, which raked it in thanks to gaming stoners, the new Domino’s app allows you to utilise the voice-function on your console and simply bark orders at it until someone makes and delivers you a pizza.

The app is optimised for Kinect and as soon as you say “Domino’s, feed me!”, you’re on the way to being fed. You may or may not be aware that Domino’s recently updated their iOS and Android app to allow voice-controlled ordering.

How wonderfully lazy this is.

Toyota ad banned

October 30th, 2014 2 Comments By Ian Wade

An advert for that Toyota Yaris Hybrid has been banned.

A whopping 74 viewers were so enraged by the advert, seemingly encouraging dangerous driving, that they felt moved to register a moan about it.

Created by Saatchi & Saatchi, the ad featured various drivers and passengers enjoying various tunes that were transmitted to their GPS, the edited version of the UK advert focussed on Bruno Mars’ song ‘Locked Out of Heaven’. If the were really driving dangerously, they’d surely be thrown into heaven?

Perhaps we could address some priorities here and suggest the complainants are whinging about the wrong element of the ad, and should focus their ire on Mr Mars.

Toyota defended the ad and told the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) that the car adhered to the speed limit and there were no shots of it travelling fast, competitively or in a daring manner.

They said they tried to portray that both the driver and passengers in the car were having a good time whilst driving, as it wanted to “dispel the myth that drivers cannot have fun whilst driving safely”.

They also denied that the female driver had her eyes closed at any point, which was another point singled out as a complaint. Again, priorities people.

ITV, which broadcast the TV version of the advert, said no viewers had complained to its Viewer Services, and YouTube, which ran the ad online, agreed.

The ASA said that singing along with Bruno Mars is fine (sheesh) but it was concerned that viewers would believe that the closed eyed lady wasn’t paying attention to the onslaught of the road.

The ads must not appear again in their current form and Toyota was told to ensure its ads do not depict dangerous driving in future.

That’s them told.

public wifi Government turn public buildings into WiFi hotspot heaven!The government are turning over 1,000 public buildings into Wi-Fi hotspots!

Over the next few months, places such as libraries, museums, civic centres, transport hubs, sporting complexes and other buildings around the UK will begin to offer free Wi-Fi.

Now you literally have no escape from the bad rays of modernity. Some have already started doing it, and the plan is to get all of them up and running by March 2015.

According to the official Government website: “Millions of citizens, business men and women and visitors will be able to take advantage of free connectivity across the UK, which in turn will support our cities in becoming even more attractive places to live, do business, visit and invest in”.

Which sounds like the sort of speech you hear just before the population’s brains are harvested by killer robot overlords. Sadly the government nonsense bingo card fails to find ‘hard working’ in that statement. Perhaps it was the first draft.

It’s all part of the Government’s £150m SuperConnected Cities programme aimed at transforming the digital capability of UK cities, ensuring our cities boast world-class connectivity and are equipped to deal with the increasing demands of the digital age.

Digital Economy Minister Ed Vaizey chipped in with: “The digital landscape of the UK is undergoing a period of tremendous improvement and is all part of the Government’s long term economic plan. For business, visitors and the UK public, accessing wifi in our cities is absolutely vital. These free hotspots will be instrumental in making UK cities even more appealing as places to not only do business, but to visit as well.”

Moto 360: Launches in the UK

October 30th, 2014 No Comments By Ian Wade

moto 360 300x225 Moto 360: Launches in the UKA month later than intended, Motorola have finally got around to launching the Moto 360 smart watch in the UK.

You can get one of these smartwatches for £199.99 and there’s a whole bunch of designs available for those of you with vain wrists. As a sweetener, Motorola will also be offering up the Moto X smartphone with £60 off.

However, Motorola have said that purchases are limited to two watches per person while stocks last. Sadly for Motorola, the smartwatch went on sale and, while the grey design sold out, the black version was still available to buy like no-one is particularly arsed about them.

The 360 runs on Google’s Android Wear OS and features a round face that makes it appear similar to a regular wristwatch and on the face is a 1.5in circular display complete with a 320 x 290 pixel resolution that delivers 205ppi.

It can also contain 4GB of onboard storage, and 512MB of RAM with a wireless charging dock included to plug in the Moto 360. It is also water resistant, has Bluetooth connectivity, and will eventually have a choice of a metal or leather strap while supporting voice recognition, and contains a heart rate monitor and pedometer.

Your phone will need to run Google Android 4.3 or higher to work with your Moto 360, but if you take the company up on their Moto X offer, you’ll be in like Flynn.

RAC say fuel prices are “highway robbery”

October 30th, 2014 No Comments By Mof Gimmers

petrol guage 300x199 RAC say fuel prices are highway robberyThe RAC have had enough of fuel prices at motoroway service stations, calling them “21st century highway robbery.”

They said that they’ve looked into the whole practice and researched it all, and their findings show that petrol and diesel costs are sometimes over 15p-per-litre more expensive than normal stations, which is unacceptable for drivers who are being had over a barrel (of oil).

RAC’s survey showed that motorist felt they were being “held to ransom” and one-in-four said that they refused to buy fuel at services. Two-thirds who took part in the survey said that they wanted a price cap and that the industry or Government needed to take action. Holding your breath is not advisable if you are waiting for the industry or parliament to sort this out.

The results of the investigation show that there’s “real concern” about drivers risking running on empty fuel tanks rather than filling up at motorway services.

The RAC’s fuel spokesman Simon Williams said: “It’s no wonder that motorists feel held to ransom with prices on the motorways inflated to such an extent. In some cases motorway petrol and diesel might even be 15p dearer than the cheapest forecourts, which would add as much as £8 to the price of a tank of an average family-sized vehicle.”

“We can see no reason why motorway fuel should be so much more expensive. In fact, arguably it is much easier from a delivery point of view than it is getting fuel to urban filling stations. We’re calling for motorway fuel retailers to be more reasonable with their pricing.”