Council bans smoking for workers

September 3rd, 2015 No Comments By Mof Gimmers

cigarette Council bans smoking for workersIf you work for Nottinghamshire County Council and you smoke, there’s some bad news for you – they want to ban smoking breaks for everyone, and that’s including e-cigs as well as trad. arr. cigarettes. This is all thanks to new health proposals.

Seeing as they’re so concerned about the health of staff, are they going to get rid of all the vending machines that sell crisps and chocolate, and advise staff that they shouldn’t drink booze on work’s parties?

Probably not.

Anyway, the council said the ban extends to all council buildings, land and vehicles, as they try to ‘boost’ the health of their workers’ health. If they break these rules, staff will face internal disciplinary action. Will they punish them for not being healthy enough and make them go for a run for their penance?

The council’s deputy director of public health John Tomlinson said: “We are trying to be a supportive employer and have a duty of care to protect the health of our employees as part of a wider remit to take a leading role in promoting better health in Nottinghamshire.”

The proposal would see smoking permitted on staff lunch breaks, but not if they’re in uniform or anywhere near council property. Good luck enforcing that.

Deals of the Day: Thursday 3rd September 2015

September 3rd, 2015 No Comments By Mof Gimmers

deals of the day 300x162 Deals of the Day: Thursday 3rd September 2015Gamers! How are you? Alright? Good. We’ve got a deal for you PlayStation owners, and it really is a ridiculous bargain, especially if you’ve been itching to play Rayman recently. This is just the thing.

You can get Rayman 1 and 2 for 80p each. The amount of hours of pleasure you’ll get from that, and for the price offered, it is basically stealing. Have a look here if you want in on this great deal.

MORE DEALS!

NowTV Sky Sports day pass – free with Pringles using code
£10 dinner for 2 from Waitrose (main, side, starter, desert, wine and all that)
New TSB Classic Plus Current Account – Now 5% cashback on contactless purchases (in addition to 5% interest on balance and 5% regular savings account)
Google Nexus 6 for £286.89
Panasonic AA x4 rechargeable batteries for £3.99
Lidl half price weekend offers
Les Paul sunburst electric guitar for £158.53 delivered
Logitech Z323 speaker-system £19.99 delivered
Asda Anytime delivery pass for £2.50 per month
Lego Star Wars storage case for £6.99

FOR MORE BRILLIANT BARGAINS, GET OVER TO HUKD OR DOWNLOAD THE APP!

Technics turntables are coming back

September 3rd, 2015 No Comments By Mof Gimmers

bad dj 300x300 Technics turntables are coming backEven though the DJ on the right is performing without needles, doesn’t have slipmats, a mixer or even records, fact is, he’s using some Technics turntables. 1210s to be precise.

That’s because Technics are every DJ’s favourite decks, so you can imagine the consternation when it was announced in 2010, that they were no longer being produced.

Well, Panasonic – who own the Technics brand – have decided to start making them again, as part of a revival for the famous brand.

Much of what is planned is still under wraps, but it looks like there’s going to be a host of Technics products like amps, headphones and of course, direct drive turntables. It looks like they’ll be unveiled and on the market some time between April 2016 and March 2017.

Panasonic showed off a prototype of the new turnable at some industry show, which is made from aluminium and basically looks a bit like a metal kitchen sink from a secondary school.

See for yourself. You could play records and drain your cutlery on the side of these rascals.

new technics turntable 500x333 Technics turntables are coming back

The innards are going to be rebuilt, but Panasonic assure vinyl enthusiasts that they’ll be as responsive as the old turntables, so don’t you worry just yet.

“Turntables are a very iconic product for the Technics brand,” Michiko Ogawa, director of Technics and executive officer at Panasonic, told Wired. “It is important to show our sincere dedication [to that]. The turntable market is very small but it is a very important brand product.”

tesco clubcard 300x168 Tesco cut value of ClubCard points by half for credit card holdersThe millions of people who have a Tesco credit cards have some bad news this morning – Tesco have halved the value of the ClubCard points they get. This is thanks to new laws that have forced a number of high street lenders to pull back on their cashback offers.

Regarding Tesco, around 2.8m make savings with Clubcard points if they use their Tesco credit card, which can be redeemed at a host of places and businesses.

However, as of November, Tesco Bank will halve the earnings that customers make on shopping they’ve bought outside of Tesco. The company said that this new ruling was “disappointing” but they had to do it thanks to an EU cap on the amount card providers earn from shops.

With Tesco being a big player, it is obvious that if they reduce their deals, other businesses will follow.

A number of banks have dropped their incentives too, such as RBS and NatWest, with the closure of the ‘YourPoints’ scheme that paid 1p per £2 on purchases. They’ll also be getting rid of the Cashback Plus credit card bonuses at the end of the month.

This could well mean that Sainsbury’s Nectar points will be affected, as well as the cashback paid on Santander’s 123 Credit Card.

Credit card issuers earn money from each customer thanks to these incentives. A Tesco spokesperson said: ”We use that income to fund the Clubcard benefits we give back to our customers. As a result, we’ve had to make some changes to the amount of points our customers earn.”

“We are disappointed that the industry changes have resulted in the need to reduce the Clubcard earn rate on our cards when they are used outside of Tesco.”

The next £20 will be plastic

September 2nd, 2015 6 Comments By Mof Gimmers

money 300x168 The next £20 will be plasticThe next £20 note that Britain gets will be printed on plastic. This will be the third note going to polymer, after the Bank of England had a 10-week public consultation which showed that 87% of those surveyed said they were in favour of this change. Or they said ‘not really arsed’.

Either way, it is happening and should be in circulation by the close of the decade.

You’ll remember that the £5 and £10 notes are already planned to go plastic, with the new fiver – starring Winston Churchill – being issued in Autumn 2016. The polymer £10 note will be in circulation some time in 2017.

Victoria Cleland, the Bank’s chief cashier, said that this switch to plastic is going to help to reduce fraud and make banknotes much more durable.

She added: “Experience from central banks that have issued polymer banknotes has been positive. Canada, for example, has seen a real reduction in counterfeit levels since launching its polymer series a few years ago. Polymer is also cleaner and more durable, leading to better quality notes in circulation.”

Will there be £50 polymer notes? We just don’t know. So few us get £50 in our hands, there’s a good chance we don’t care, too.

The next big question is from Mark Carney, the Bank of England’s governor, who wants to know who should be the next face of the £20 note. It should be a historical figure, who should “celebrate Britain’s achievements in the visual arts”. We’re hoping for Roy Race from Melchester Rovers or Max Headroom.

Product Recall: Plastic found in Bran Flakes

September 2nd, 2015 No Comments By Mof Gimmers

IDShot 540x540 300x300 Product Recall: Plastic found in Bran FlakesDo you like eating Tesco and Sainsbury’s own-brand Bran Flakes? Well, you might want to knock that on the head for the time being as there’s a product recall on them.

Why? Well, they may have bits of plastic in them. Nothing fun like a free toy – just bits of plastic. Feel free to make your own ‘they already taste like plastic as it is’ jokes here.

Here’s what you need to know.

The Food Standards Agency has warned customers who bought the product not to eat it and return it to your nearest Tesco or Sainsbury’s store for a full refund.

Product name: Sainsbury’s Wholegrain Bran Flakes
Best before end: August 2016
Pack size: 1kg

Action taken by company:
Sainsbury’s has recalled the product and will be displaying point-of-sale recall notices in stores. These notices alert customers to the recall and advise them of what actions to take if they have purchased the product. A copy of the point-of-sale recall notice is attached.

No other Sainsbury’s products are known to be affected.

Product name: Tesco Branflakes
Best before end: May 2016
Batch codes: 52320953, 52320953A, 52330953, 52340953
Pack size: 1kg

Action taken by company:
Tesco has recalled the above product and will be displaying point-of-sale recall notices in stores. These notices alert customers to the recall and advise them of what actions to take if they have purchased the product. A copy of the point-of-sale recall notice is attached to this notice.

No other Tesco products are known to be affected.

New iPhone to have rubbish battery?

September 2nd, 2015 2 Comments By Mof Gimmers

iphone battery 300x208 New iPhone to have rubbish battery?The iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus is, according to rumours, going to have a battery that has a reduced capacity compared to the current iPhones on the market.

These mutterings are coming from China, where cnBeta say that the iPhone 6s will feature a 1715 mAh battery and the 6s Plus a 2750 mAh battery. In plain speaking, that means a drop of 5.3% and 5.5% respectively for each phone.

However, Apple have previously said that the new iOS 9 will be more energy efficient, and it’ll have a Low Power mode, which means it shouldn’t need to use as much battery. However, if people feel like their phones are dying more frequently than before, there’s going to be a lot of whining online. This is a bold move from Apple.

There’s other good looking stuff on the new iPhones. Both are going to be getting a new 12MP camera, which is capable of shooting 4K video, and more.

They’ll also have Force Touch technology, which lets you do different actions depending on how hard you press your screen. Very fancy.

Apple has been sending out press invites for an event on Wednesday September 9th, so we’ll no doubt hear more about these phones then, as well as news on an updated Apple TV. Lunatics, start queueing up at your local Apple shop now.

WHSmith leaking customers’ personal info

September 2nd, 2015 No Comments By Mof Gimmers

whsmith WHSmith leaking customers personal infoWHSmith is annoying enough at the best of times, so the latest news about them is surely set to grind everyone’s gears even further. The retailer seems to be leaking personal contact information to anyone using their contact forms.

Talking to the Huffington Post, WHSmith said the leak happened due to a “bug” in the system.

“It is a bug not a data breach. We believe that this has impacted fewer than 40 customers who left a message on the ‘Contact Us’ page where this bug was identified, that has resulted in some customers receiving e mails this morning that have been misdirected in error.”

“I-subscribe have immediately taken down their ‘Contact Us’ online form which contains the identified bug, while this is resolved. I-subscribe are contacting the customers concerned to apologise for this administrative processing error. We can confirm that this issue has not impacted or compromised any customer passwords or payment details and we apologise to the customers concerned.”

On Twitter, LynnCSchreiber said: “Anyone else getting dozens of emails via @WHSmith contact form ? Including phone numbers”, where she included a photo of the cock-up.

CN4e3YYXAAEv6DL WHSmith leaking customers personal info

September Tube strikes called off

September 2nd, 2015 No Comments By Mof Gimmers

london underground tube 300x210 September Tube strikes called offThe RMT union has suspended the strikes they were due to hold next week on the 8th and 10th of September. This is thanks to the postponing of the Night Tube. This is good news for those wanting to travel to the England qualifier.

They said: “As the implementation of night Tube has been suspended until we reach agreement and we are continuing discussions and negotiations on all related matters, RMT has suspended the strike action called for September 8 and 10.”

“However we remain in dispute and all industrial action called to not co-operate with Night Tube at local level including modelling and trials remains in place.”

“If further negotiations prove negative then further industrial action will be called in defence of our agreements and for proper pay for our members.”

It seems like some small progress is being made, as a couple of strikes in August were also called off by the unions.

This is great news for people visiting and living in London, as the situation in the city was pretty chaotic when unions held two 24-hour strikes in July, which saw the Tube closing completely.

Deals of the Day: Wednesday 2nd September 2015

September 2nd, 2015 No Comments By Mof Gimmers

deals of the day 300x162 Deals of the Day: Wednesday 2nd September 2015Have you got children who are off to university? Indeed, are you going to live on your own for the first time and need to buy yourself a load of bits to ensure you don’t perish in your student halls? Well, here’s a thing.

You can get a load of student essentials (no, we don’t mean bottles of Jager and 60 litres of lube) to keep you going. At Argos, there’s 3-for-2 student essentials, so stock up on pans, plates and all manner of other useful stuff. Check it out.

MORE DEALS!

PS4 Dualshock 4 wireless controller in white or red, for £34.97
Sandisk 960GB ultra II sataIII 2.5inch SSD for £199.98
2 year fixed-rate HSBC mortgage @ 1.89%, max LTV 60%, 0% booking fee for customers
Bioshock Infinite on Steam for £1
Tefal Illusion 32cm frying pan – was £27, now £10.80
Lego helicarrier for £214.99
Toshiba 4tb external hard-drive £83.99 delivered
Caffe Nero – buy a £20 gift card for £10

FOR MORE BRILLIANT BARGAINS, GET OVER TO HUKD OR DOWNLOAD THE APP!

Tenants ‘abused’ by landlords

September 2nd, 2015 6 Comments By Mof Gimmers

pay rent Tenants abused by landlordsLandlords, as we all know, can be awful and dreadful swine. Well, it won’t surprise you that thousands of private tenants have ‘suffered abuse’ at the hands of our landlords, which include threats, assaults and harassment which could have (and should have) ended up with legal action being taken against them, according the charity, Shelter.

Research showed that renters had seen their utilities cut-off by landlords, and ha their homes entered without permission, and some even burned tenants’ possessions.

Shelter said that, in the last year, nearly 17,000 people had called their helpline about landlord problems, over a myriad of problems including deposit disputes and allegations of abuse. Of course, this is only the statistics from those who complained – there’ll be many more tenants who haven’t said anything about their rogue landlords.

Shelter have crunched some numbers, and they reckon that as many as 125,000 tenants in England had experienced abuse, and that there’s a whole load more who have been treated in a manner that could’ve resulted in legal action.

This is clearly a big problem if you consider that many people are priced out of the housing market and, as time goes on, the people unable to get on the property ladder is going to grow.

Shelter’s Mark Cook told the Guardian: “Some of their experiences are truly awful – from renters who have been illegally evicted and had their belongings burned, to those who have had their utilities cut off because their landlord wants to intimidate them.”

“No one should have to put up with a landlord who breaks the law and it is so important to know your rights as a renter.”

Here’s the Bitterwallet guide to knowing your rights when it comes to rogue landlords. Or, you can check Shelter for advice as well.

Google have a new logo

September 2nd, 2015 1 Comment By Mof Gimmers

It is all happening at Google. First, they welcomed in the Alphabet, and now, they’ve updated their logo so it looks neater and… umm… more childish.

Of course, this isn’t the first time the internet monster has updated their logo. They’ve had loads in fact. If you want proof, or are a typeface perv, then watch this video and you’ll get everything you need to know about previous logos and the new one.

This revised design isn’t wildly different, sticking to the usual mix of blue, red, yellow and green for the words, but it is a little bit hipper than the previous one, which basically means ’rounder’.

The new typeface is called ‘Product Sans’, which is a bit crap, and is a change from the previous serif typeface that they’ve been using for over 15 years.

As the video shows, a swirl of dots in the same colours as the Google logo will appear when you give it a spoken command. It is all much tidier basically, and allows Google to use a theme across multiple platforms, which is kinda useful.

Google said in a blog: “Today we’re introducing a new logo and identity family that reflects this reality and shows you when the Google magic is working for you, even on the tiniest screens. As you’ll see, we’ve taken the Google logo and branding, which were originally built for a single desktop browser page, and updated them for a world of seamless computing across an endless number of devices and different kinds of inputs (such as tap, type and talk).”

Nice of them to use a cutesy primary school typeface while they’re slowly taking over the world and logging our every move.

Offline viewing with Amazon Prime

September 1st, 2015 No Comments By Mof Gimmers

amazoninstant Offline viewing with Amazon PrimeYou know how you can listen to music offline with Spotify? Well, the service is now available to Amazon Prime users who are down with the Amazon Prime Instant Video apps.

We’re surprised Netflix hasn’t already got on this and now they’ve been beaten to the punch by Amazon. Of course, other companies have talked about this as a feature before, and have usually said that licensing issues are the reason it can’t be done, but here we are.

Of course, you can do this with BBC and Sky through the Sky Go and iPlayer services, but this is a little different as this is a streaming-only affair, so you can expect Netflix and Hulu to start making moves into the area.

Amazon have 2,164 films and TV shows available to download to iOS and Android devices. They’ve not said how long you can have the downloads for, so more on that when we can be bothered to find out.

One thing that is a massive boon for Amazon is that they can push this as something that you can do so you don’t batter your data allowances, if you want to watch stuff while travelling or what have you.

taxi 300x200 London black cabs offer off peak fares to combat UberIn a bid to thwart the progress of Uber, cabbies in London will be offering new off peak fares for those wanting to ride in black cabs on longer journeys across London.

These new fixed prices are (up to) 30% lower than the metered fare and will apply to any trip that is 6 or more miles long. You’ll have to book your cab through the Gett app, and these discounts will apply on weekdays between 10am and 4pm, 8pm to 11pm and 2am to 6am.

Remo Gerber, chief executive of Gett in the UK, said: “Some taxi apps charge more when they’re busy. We think this is unfair so we make fares cheaper when we’re quieter.”

“Our passengers have the best of all worlds — a highly trained black cab driver, getting you home quickly and safely, using bus lanes to avoid the traffic, and a fare confirmed before the cab even turns up. No other taxi app offers all this in London.”

Of course, one of the criticisms of black cabs is that they’re already too expensive, and the advent of satnav means those whole idea of a cab driver with The Knowledge is a thing of the past. Still, if you prefer riding in black cabs, then this could be very useful for you, unless all your journeys are well under 6 miles.

Steve McNamara, general secretary of the Licensed Taxi Drivers Association, said this is all good for being competitive against the likes of Uber. He said: “Minicabs can change their fares as and when they want. We can’t do that, and rightly so — you couldn’t have a situation where you put your hand up in the street at 3pm and the cab’s a fiver and you put it up at 4pm and it’s a tenner.”

“The difference between us and Uber is that when it’s quiet we’re going to give you a discount but when it’s busy we’re not going to charge you more.”

When Auschwitz is mentioned, a number of bleak images spring to mind, not least, the thought of Hitler killing huge numbers of Jews in those infamous showers.

So, with that, Poland is having a bit of a heatwave at the moment and the people who run Auschwitz have decided to help visitors cool down with showers, which of course, could well be a bit tasteless if you’ve got even the vaguest knowledge of what happened there.

auschwitz 500x500 Auschwitz add showers for visitors to use   cue outrage

People can stand under the showers and get a fine mist of water over themselves, to cool down in the former concentration camp. Presumably, when things get cold, the Auschwitz management will provide people with ovens to climb into, eh? Or maybe they’ll serve mouldy bread with a thin, meatless soup in the canteen for patrons?

Anyway, The Krakow Post reported that visitors have been fainting thanks to the heat, so installed the showers to help everyone cope with temperatures that have reached around 40 degrees Celsius.

Of course, the powers that be were just trying to be nice and do something useful for those visiting, but you’d think that the people who run a site where millions of people were killed might be a bit more sensitive wouldn’t you?