Lenovo prank customers by breaking stuff

November 26th, 2014 No Comments By Ian Wade

Lenovo have hit upon a novel way of promoting their wares.

The company have enlisted comedy lot Upright Citizens Brigade to make a video to promote Lenovo Yoga 3 laptop where they mess with people’s heads.

It’s being termed as ‘prankvertising’ which is possibly the worst word ever and should be helicoptered out to the middle of the sea and dropped like toxic waste.

The stunt involves UCB members posing as employees of Lenovo and touting the hinged hybrid computer to shoppers passing by a laptop-test-drive kiosk at Pennsylvania’s Plymouth Meeting Mall. The stooge employee tells shoppers of the laptop that transforms into a tablet: “What makes this laptop special, among many things, is that it bends. Try and do that with a Mac.”

So obviously he picks up a Mac and snaps it. Hahaha. Before handing the broken laptop to the poor customer and runs away. Obviously the reaction shots are what makes the ‘prankvertisment’

Once the prank is revealed, everyone’s all good and smashing, though we don’t know whether they come back to buy a Lenovo Yoga.

According to Bob Cordell, digital marketing manager for Lenovo: “We definitely recognize people will [view] this in different ways, just as we recognize there are passionate supporters of other people’s products,”

“But we hope to do this in a way that we’re upfront about it. We’re not trying to pull a fast one.”

Super Wi-fi throughout the UK could be a thing

November 26th, 2014 No Comments By Ian Wade

WIFI icon 300x300 Super Wi fi throughout the UK could be a thingThe UK looks set to be super WiFi’ed up if a plan to use old TV frequencies gets the go ahead.

The idea is to broadcast super WiFi throughout the land, which will mean you’ll be able to get an internet connection literally anywhere. The new WiFi would travel through walls far more effectively than current systems and has a range 100 times greater than current routers.

According to researchers at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, the fast connections could be made available to the public for free.

The WiFi would use up the white space between TV channels, and offers speeds similar to 4G

It all boils down to the government allowing people to use it, rather than sell it off to telecoms companies that they may have interests in.

Arnd Weber of the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology said: “Implementation of our approach would have far-reaching consequences. Individuals, institutions, and companies would be far less dependent on expensive mobile communications networks in conducting their digital communication. This would also be of great economic benefit.”

The Karlsruhe Institute of Technology hope that governments can discuss the issue at next year’s World Radiocommunication Conference. Which sounds like quite the party.

Google nix homophobic games and trolls

November 25th, 2014 No Comments By Ian Wade

asshunter 300x199 Google nix homophobic games and trollsGoogle have got rid of a game that required the gamer to kill gay people. Which is nice.

Ass Hunter had already been downloaded over 10,000 times and had 200 five star reviews, but was eventually pulled by Google after some people online went “Yeah, that’s a bit iffy”.

Basically you play a hunter with a shotgun – such a good look – and you must kill naked men before they approach you. Nice! If you fail to kill the naked men, they pounce upon the hunter and bum him. Enlightening.

In the description of the app, its uploaders AppDay – who sound like charmers – described Ass Hunter as a “Legendary game, where you are hunter and your mission is to kill gays as much as you can”.

When the game went up on November 5th, the description read “Popular game hunting on gays is now on Android! Play and do not be gay!” (Seriously. Someone has received money for coming up with that tagline). Making homophobia justifiable with such taglines as “Remember! When they catch you they will do with you whatever they want.” the game was also exempt from classification so anyone could download it.

Well done everyone. Genuinely, give yourselves a round of applause. Anyway, it’s gone now, but if you’re desperate there are versions of it lying around the internet.

In addition to that, Google have gone after trolls. Not particularly willingly, mind you. The internet giant lost a legal battle with a man who took them to court for extreme trolling.

Daniel Hegglin, a former Morgan Stanley banker, had took action in an attempt to block links to the “vile and abusive” posts about him from appearing in its search results. He’d been accused of being a murderer, paedophile and Ku Klux Klan sympathiser by one particular troll who we could surmise ‘had some form of grudge’, with posts saying as such on over 3,600 websites. That’s literally ‘a bit too many’.

Hegglin settled the case with Google yesterday, despite Google’s lawyers suggesting that the case could have enormous implications., with the search engine basically being held up as the internet police.

Hugh Tomlinson QC, acting for Mr Hegglin, told the court that Google had taken steps to remove the material: ”Whilst I am not in a position to disclose the details, I am pleased to report that the parties have now settled the matter,” he said. “The settlement includes significant efforts on Google’s part to remove the abusive material from Google hosted websites and from its search results.”

Now Hegglin plans to bring the troll to justice, however he doesn’t know who they are. Oooh – this is slightly worrying now: ”Google provides search services to millions of people and cannot be responsible for policing internet content. It will, however, continue to apply its procedures that have been developed to assist with the removal of content which breaches applicable local laws.”

A Google spokesperson said the company had “reached a mutually acceptable agreement”. Now: why can’t everyone just play nicely?

Google make Christmas shopping easier

November 25th, 2014 No Comments By Ian Wade

Google have made spending your money even simpler for you this Christmas.

The search engine has been updated to include new elements on smartphones and tablets to sell you even more stuff this Black Friday.

Extra information will be yours when you tap in something like ‘kettles’, and it will tell you where the product is available and user reviews and will pop up on a regular search. You’ll also have the option to use a 3D, 360-degree rotation tool to view some products.

Google Mobile 151x300 Google make Christmas shopping easier

Oooh.

Google reckon half of all people between 25 and 34 use their phones to shop while they’re out shopping. This new app will enable them to do so with even greater ease, and you’ll be even able to track your items and stock levels. I mean, how much more help does one want here?

Vapes: the latest thing to be malwared!

November 24th, 2014 1 Comment By Ian Wade

e cigarette Vapes: the latest thing to be malwared!Electronic cigarettes have now become targets for malware transmission.

Yes, despite being a healthier alternative to the actual fags themselves, e-cigarettes that are charged over night – or plugged directly into a USB port – can be moody affairs that could gain access to your computer’s innards.

According to a report on Reddit, it suggests that at least one “vaper” had been done over by their electronic cigarette.

“One particular executive had a malware infection on his computer from which the source could not be determined,” the user writes. “After all traditional means of infection were covered, IT started looking into other possibilities.”

“The made in China e-cigarette had malware hardcoded into the charger, and when plugged into a computer’s USB port the malware phoned home and infected the system.”

It’s not completely mad. Things have been used as trojan horses to bung some infection into computers since time began, but in this case it’s the possibility of BadUSB, which can reprogram USB devices at the hardware level.

The proper brands that users should stick to are the likes of Aspire, KangerTech and Innokin, and by checking for scratch checkers on the box, which mark out authentic goods from counterfeits.

According to figures from the Press Association, e-cigarettes and related equipment, have been involved in more than 100 fires in less than two years.

The fags eh?

Driverless cars! They might get hacked!

November 21st, 2014 No Comments By Mof Gimmers

car in flood Driverless cars! They might get hacked!With all technology, at some point, writers are legally obliged to worry about hackers getting dastardly with it.

And so, to driverless cars, who are now being thought of as an army of marauding, wheeled weapons under the spell of balaclava’d ne’er-do-wells on laptops. No longer are these robot cars the thing that will remove human error and make the roads safer.

Not only do we have to shriek hysterically about hackers taking the wheel, but research conducted via simulators has shown that human drivers may be a huge problem too, if they’re going to mix with our pilotless carriages. It turns out that human beings change the way they drive when using the same roads as autonomous cars by copying the driving styles and leaving less space between themselves and the vehicle in front. Stupid, susceptible human idiots with their slower-than-a-sensor reaction times.

These warnings come as the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) publishes a report on driverless vehicles and how they can be integrated onto our roads.

They think that autonomous vehicles will be commonplace on British roads, with public transport and delivery vehicles being the cheaper, safer option within 15 years. We don’t have to wait that long though, to get a look at them. The first driverless vehicles look like they’ll be on the road from January 2015 in a series of trials from the Department for Transport.

Hugh Boyes, cyber security lead at the IET, said there’s cause for panic: “If the hacker community could start to target vehicles we can imagine a fair amount of chaos. The motor industry is really strong on safety but if someone tries to interfere with the vehicle, tries to hack it and disrupt it, then these don’t fall under the typical safety issues.”

“Unfortunately living in the world today people do try to tamper with technology. The industry is only just starting to recognise this.”

“Recent reports analysing software show that 98% of applications have serious defects and in many cases there were 10-15 defects per application. If ultimately you want to use autonomous vehicles, we need to make sure they don’t have a defect.”

Just wait until we get the first fatality from someone getting run over by a driverless car. That’s when the real shrieking will begin.

 

Beats on all iPhones by March

November 21st, 2014 2 Comments By Ian Wade

beatsbydrdrelogo Beats on all iPhones by MarchApple are planning on forcing more stuff onto your iPhone. A new iOS update in March will automatically install the Beats Music app to all iPhones.

Apple bought Beats back in May for $3 billion, and it looked like they’d lost interest in it when little was mentioned of it back when they launched the iPhone 6.

This follows Apple’s foisting of U2′s latest album into everyone’s iTunes and shoving iBooks in with the iOS 8 update.

The Beats streaming service will have two different subscription plans $9.99 (£6) per month or $99.99 (£67) per year.

This will no doubt ruffle feathers going up against Spotify, who do a monthly subscription, but not an annual one as yet.

Apparently Beats Music currently has around 110,000 subscribers, which looks set to sky-rocket should Apple’s evil plan work. Can we just ban all bloatware now?

Tesco launch Secret Scan-ta app

November 21st, 2014 No Comments By Ian Wade

Tesco Clubcard are hoping to help you find the perfect gift via Twitter! They’ve teamed up with We Are Social to create a campaign that endeavours the find the ideal gift for people via Twitter.

The Secret Scan-ta (OH GOD YOU SEE WHAT THEY DID THERE) app will focus on the cheaper end of goods they offer, rather than stuff like tellies and fridges.

secret scanta 500x363 Tesco launch Secret Scan ta app

Both Clubcard customers and non-customers can input the Twitter handle of a person they are buying the gift for, and then Secret Scan-ta will sift through that particular Twitter account sourcing info on what sort of people and organisation the user follows.

Then using this data – which they’ll probably store away and cite you as a stalker or something in the future – the Scan-ta will offer up gift solutions which they have in stock.

Clubcard members who input their Clubcard vouchers at the start of the search will find their voucher value doubled and deducted from the gift’s price if they go ahead with the purchase.

And that’s not all, each week five winners will be selected at random from those who have used the app to receive 5,000 Clubcard points, and one ultimate winner will be in with a chance to win a Samsung Galaxy S5.

Katie Aust digital marketing manager from Tesco Clubcard, said: “Christmas, although a happy season, can often bring with it panic and stress of buying gifts. This campaign gives the buyer get a bit of genuine insight into what the recipient is really interested in, resulting in a personal, and thoughtful gift. It also promotes the huge offerings of the Tesco gifting range and the benefits of joining Clubcard and boosting vouchers.”

So, ‘gifting’ – we’re saying that now, are we?

Your webcam is probably being hacked by Russians

November 20th, 2014 5 Comments By Ian Wade

hackers Your webcam is probably being hacked by RussiansToday’s ‘not at all creepy. Oh no’ news now, and basically don’t get your bits out in front of a webcam ever again.

A Russian website is being shut down for streaming images stolen from the likes of baby monitors, bedroom cameras and CCTV.

The site has been featuring live feeds from basically anywhere that’s broadcasting on cam, including a gym in Manchester, a bedroom in Birmingham and an office in Leicester. The site’s database shows listings for 4,591 cameras in the US, 2,059 in France and 1,576 in the Netherlands.

The UK’s information commissioner Christopher Graham urged the Russian authorities to take immediate action to take down the site, but Russia being Russia at the moment, there’ll probably try and make an international incident out of it.

Graham also said he also would be working with the Federal Trade Commission in the US to try to force the site to close if the Russian authorities failed to cooperate.

Interviewed on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, Graham said: “I’m very concerned about what this [website] shows and I want the Russians to take this down straight away … We now want to take very prompt action working with the Federal Trade Commission in the States to get this thing closed down. But the more important thing is to get the message out to consumers to take those security measures. If you don’t need remote access to a webcam then switch off that function altogether.”

WEBCAM HACK 500x351 Your webcam is probably being hacked by Russians

Graham also said consumers were too laid back about security: “We have got to grow up about this sort of thing,”

“These devices are very handy if you want to have remote access to make sure your child is OK, or the shop is alright, but everyone else can access that too unless you set a strong password. This isn’t just the boring old information commissioner saying ‘set a password’. This story today is an illustration of what happens if you don’t do that. If you value your privacy put in the basic security arrangements. It’s not difficult.”

The Russian site has been online for a month, and has already been the cause of some alert around the world. The UK have known about it for just over 24 hours.

So, watch out next time you do a broadcast. Your audience may be more global than you thought.

4G data bills will be cheaper eventually

November 20th, 2014 No Comments By Ian Wade

Ofcom logo w500 300x220 4G data bills will be cheaper eventually4G data bills should be lower, claims Ofcom.

Mobile user bills should be cheaper, now that the telecoms regulator has ruled that frequencies currently reserved for digital TV transmissions and wireless microphones should switch over to mobile broadband.

This freeing up of the spectrum should kick in around – oh – between 2020 and 2022. Ofcom reckon that network providers will be cutting their bills as a result of this increase in capacity.

A spokesperson parpled: “Millions of consumers could benefit from lower mobile tariffs than would otherwise be offered, because we expect a significant proportion of the network cost savings to be passed through to them,”

“Specifically, these include network cost savings from deploying fewer base stations and improvements in mobile performance in hard-to-serve locations.”

Ofcom also went on to say that TV viewers wouldn’t have another one of those nightmares of switchover, that happened when analogue signals were decommissioned.

It will, however,  be a problem for some of the communications equipment used by theatres, sports venues and music event organisers, who will now have to update their systems.

Christmas AdWatch: Samsung

November 19th, 2014 2 Comments By Ian Wade

Samsung are entering the TV advertising arena this season with their first Christmas campaign!

The series of ads will showcase the company’s range of gadgets while soundtracked by the decidedly ponce and unfestive Ravel’s Bolero. Mercifully, it doesn’t involve this gawdawful rap.

The adverts entitled ‘All Wrapped Up Early’ and ‘Christmas Round Ours’ are already on Samsung’s YouTube channel. All Wrapped Up will be on TV tonight (19th Nov) during that I’m A Celebrity nonsense, and ‘Christmas Round Ours’ makes its TV debut next Monday.

Russell Taylor, vice president of corporate marketing at Samsung Electronics UK and Ireland said: “Christmas provides the perfect platform for us to communicate with a large base of Samsung customers and will help to make the UK’s biggest tech brand also its most loved one.”

The Galaxy Note 4 takes centre stage in ‘All wrapped up early’ celebrating the brand’s flagship smartphone. ‘Christmas round ours’ showcases the whole Samsung range.

Will it persuade you to ask for a Samsung for Christmas? Didn’t think so.

Nokia release surprise tablet

November 19th, 2014 No Comments By Ian Wade

nokia n1 300x199 Nokia release surprise tabletNokia have sprung a new Android-powered tablet onto the market.

This out-of-the-blue announcement now pits Nokia against Microsoft, who completed its takeover of Nokia’s mobiles ends in April.

The N1 tablet is due to go on sale in China at the start of 2015, and then presumably everywhere else.

However Nokia are not making the thing themselves, but instead have licensed the brand, design and software to a third party, the infamous Foxconn. If you’re buying one, make sure it hasn’t been water-damaged by worker’s tears.

Sebastian Nystrom, head of products at Nokia Technologies, said: “This is a great product for Nokia fans and everyone who has not found the right Android tablet yet,” when he announced the product at the Slush technology conference in Helsinki.

Earlier this month, Microsoft unveiled its first Lumia smartphone without the Nokia name, but reckoned it would still use the brand on less powerful feature phones, and apparently can do so for another ten years due to the terms of the takeover.

The N1 is a 7.9in (20.1cm) aluminium-framed tablet, and is powered by Google’s Android 5.0 operating system. It features an Intel Atom processor and has a Micro-USB slot. The planned retail price is $249 (£159).

But does it have Snake on it?

sex with glass Google Glass app lets you see how awful you look during sexAre you the kind of person who prefers to look at your own arse in the mirror while you’re having sex? Well, LIVE IN THE NOW as someone has come up with an app for Google Glass so you can check yourself out while on the job.

The app is called Glance which captures the viewpoint of your partner, you fantastically vain swine. Of course, this isn’t all about you. If you and your partner like filming yourself whilst knocking your uglies together, then you can both do a movie and play them back side-by-side.

Basically, you can now truly see what your partner has to put up with during your grunting sweatfests.

What happens is that you pop on your Google Glass(es) and say ominously: “Okay glass, it’s time.” The app will then stream the footage. For the full experience, you’ll need a pair of Google specs each. Amusingly, to stop the footage, you need to say “Okay glass, pull out.”

The creators said: “Glance let’s you see two different perspectives, seamlessly. It changes the way you experience something personal. Like sex. Having sex with Glance brings a completely new perspective.”

The inventors also said that they’re very concerned about you and your partner’s privacy and that they won’t host the videos anywhere and that you’ll be the only people to own a copy. Of course, if you store it on a cloud service, that could all go out the window. Either way, the app database won’t store anything and the footage will be on your phone only.

The next ‘Fappening’ is going to be interesting isn’t it?

mobile phone 300x225 Now you can find out where the best mobile network coverage isAn app has been created which can indicate the strength of the mobile signal in a certain area.

OpenSignal have invented a heat map, which uses crowd-sourced data, showing 2G, 3G and 4G signal available to users throughout the UK on the major networks – Three, EE, Vodafone and O2.

It shows that – shock – the strongest signals are to be found around cities, where 4G speeds range from 12Mbps to 15Mbps, however the UK still has some catching up to do in a lot of areas.

The map also shows that EE has the best 4G coverage, encompassing 75% of the UK population over 300 towns and cities, and also offers the best overall performance.

However up in Scotland, Three offers the best 4G performance, and in Nothern Ireland Vodafone are the victors with their average download speed of 19.3Mbps

In Scotland, however, Three offers the best 4G performance, with an average download speed of 10.6Mbps and upload speed of 7.0Mbps; while in Northern Ireland, Vodafone has the best 4G performance with an average download speed of 19.3Mbps and upload speed of 9.9Mbps.

Jay Karsandas, digital manager at Mobiles.co.uk, who licensed the maps from OpenSignal, said: “Despite a slow start, the UK has made significant progress in the provision and speed of 4G. It is likely that the initially high price point of 4G dissuaded consumers from taking contracts that utilised the high-speed technology. With a range of flexible and competitive 4G plans on offer by major retailers, and a race to provide the most UK coverage, 4G will inevitably be the future of mobile connectivity.”

This comes after the report which OpenSignal had done with Which!!!, which showed that average speeds on 4G mobile networks had almost halved in the past year. Ironically, the slowdown is attributed to more and more 4G subscribers, but not enough 4G masts.

Fancy that!

Microsoft shows off its Lumia 535

November 12th, 2014 No Comments By Ian Wade

The Lumia 535 has been unveiled by Microsoft. It’s the first Windows phone to have done away with the Nokia branding, and will cost a sprightly £90.

Let us enjoy ourselves some BRAND MESSAGING

Microsoft are calling the Lumia 535 a phone of ‘fives’ –  Bear with us – as in the budget device has a 5in 960×540 qHD screen, a 5MP rear-facing camera and a 5MP front-facing camera, as Microsoft looks to offer a cheap alternative to the likes of the Lumia 735 and HTC Desire Eye.

Jo Harlow, corporate vice president for phones at Microsoft, said: “Lumia 535 comes with our ’5x5x5′ proposition”

“Innovation should be available to everyone, and we are doing this through the very best integrated Microsoft services free and out-of-the-box – a 5MP wide-angle front-facing camera and a spacious 5in qHD screen – all at an affordable price.”

The phone has a 1.2GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 200 processor and 1GB RAM paired with Microsoft’s Windows Phone 8.1 operating system, as well as the Lumia Denim update.

There’s 8GB on it, which can expand up to 128GB via microSD, and a 1,905mAh battery which Microsoft promises will offer 13 hours of talk time.