The robots are coming! To clean!

August 29th, 2014 No Comments By Ian Wade

Robot Uprising update: It looks like Dyson are about to launch a robot hoover.

According to a new YouTube teaser, various Dyson types – or at least actors doing a splendid job – are seen looking at a mysterious unseen thing, which moves about a bit occasionally, but remains in the shadows.

Also, said thing appears to have Dyson’s location-analysis technology.

If you factor in Dyson’s investment in a new robotics vision lab at Imperial College in the London, it’s feasible that they collective mindset have come up with a dream clean machine.

They’ve teased the date September 4th as the big reveal, so that’s only a week’s worth of sleepless nights. Or it could be an elaborate trailer for the next Aphex Twin album.

You can never tell these days.

Apple make vague announcement for attention

August 29th, 2014 No Comments By Mof Gimmers

Apple have been intentionally coy of late, leaving everyone else to fill column inches about what they might do next. Is it going to be their smartwatch?

Or will it be the new, larger iPad (which one reader brilliantly referred to as ‘the maxiPad, which we’re stealing and claiming as our own).

Whatever it is, Apple have gone from coy to downright flirty, sending out an invitation to all, with the date on it (9th September 2014) and a ‘wish we could say more’ on it. Of course, they could totally say more. They don’t want to. They’re like those awful people who put a status on a social network that says “Oh, something amazing has happened! Can’t say too much right now #excited”.

 

apple with they could say more 500x439 Apple make vague announcement for attention

 

So there it is. Apple have, at least, given a date for their devoted fans to excited about (they’re going to book the day off work so they can watch a speech on the internet and make plans to buy some sleeping bags and deck chairs so they can queue up for Whatever It Is for a whole week while being filmed by a tech blog).

Either way, we look forward to people arguing about Apple being overpriced against “Shut up! It’s a luxury purchase! You cheapskates wouldn’t understand!”

We’ll just remind the rest of you that a phone really doesn’t define you as a person (unless you’re making nuisance calls with it, because that absolutely defines you as a person).

So. Is it a phone, tablet or wearable technology?

Samsung to offer smartwatch that can make calls

August 28th, 2014 No Comments By Mof Gimmers

Samsung Expands Gear Portfolio with Android Wear2 300x300 Samsung to offer smartwatch that can make callsSamsung have been piddling around with smartwatches for a while now, but no-one seems to be at all interested. That’s not going to stop them though, as they’ve unveiled what they reckon is the first smartwatch capable of making and receiving calls without a mobile phone nearby.

Of course, wearable technology is the Next Big Thing, or so the tech companies hope. Apple are expected to launch their own watch later this year, while LG have announced their new G Watch R smartwatch, which has a circular plastic OLED screen, a stainless steel frame and leather strap.

Samsung’s new effort is called Gear S and is different from those they’ve made before. For starters, the screen is bigger (5 cm) and it has a curved display and will give you WiFi connectivity, pedestrian navigation and a built-in GPS.

It sounds good, but like all smartwatches, it’ll inevitably be prohibitively expensive, which means only super nerds with money burning a hole in their pocket are going to buy them. And if they’re waiting to see what Apple are doing first, then there might be a few Gear S devices gathering dust in the back of gadget shops.

Samsung’s watch will run on their nascent Tizen operating system.

It’ll be on sale from October, which means they’re eyeing up the luxury Christmas present market. However, they’ve not said where it’ll be available and there’s not even a ballpark figure of how much they’ll retail for.

Twitter Logo1 Become more insufferable with Twitter AnalyticsNow you can peek at who is looking at your tweets!

Yes indeed, pump up your ego and assess your online presence, as you can now log in to Twitter Analytics!

You can see how far your “reach” is, work out the ideal audience for your Bake Off-related tweets, and know when not to slip an off-colour joke in.

You can also download the data to browse through offline too. IMAGINE THE FUN YOU’LL HAVE DOING THAT?

Until now, only the celebrities had this option, but now, everyone can do it, which means we’re all just like the famous people, apart from being considerably poorer.

So as long as you’ve had an account for more than a fortnight, you can now see what’s going on. Boost your impact! Find out your bullshit footprint!

Find out who loves you and then perhaps touch yourself, you dirty Herbert.

All hail the Dogcam

August 28th, 2014 1 Comment By Ian Wade

gopro fecth perros 300x159 All hail the DogcamHere at Bitterwallet, we know what you’re thinking: It’s 2014. Where are our dog cams?

Well, fortunately we can happily soothe you with the news that THEY ARE HERE.

GoPro, who usually see their action cameras for skydivers and stunt-type dude filming, have now launched a harness that allows viewers to capture the world from your dog’s point of view.

They’re fairly robust affairs, being waterproof and the like, so perfect to capture your dog – ideally having jolly adventures, but in reality you’ll get quite a lot of footage of other dog’s arses, various piles of faeces being rolled in and perspectives of a bored animal wishing it was dead while lying on the sofa.

For £59.99, you can do this and more. It can be mounted on either the back or the stomach too [So you can get an extra pervy look at your hound mating? Ed.].

It’s padded, as so the dog doesn’t find it uncomfortable, as obviously they’re used to having devices strapped onto them.

Paul Osborne, GoPro’s senior director of product management, bigs it up: “The adaptability and versatility of GoPro cameras make them the perfect device to document life from a dog’s point of view.”

“We designed Fetch to meet the unique needs and usage for pets and can’t wait to see the images and videos that owners will capture and share now that they have a mount specifically for their dog.”

We can safely adjust the doomsday clock now. HUMANITY HAS STEPPED IN AGAIN.

Kobo make waterproof e-reader

August 28th, 2014 No Comments By Mof Gimmers

bath Kobo make waterproof e readerAre you clumsy but like reading in the bath? Do you have rivers of moisture leaking from your face, ruining everything you ever hold in your equally sodden palms?

Well, Kobo are here to help with their e-book device called the Aura H2O, which is waterproof and launching in the UK.

The e-reader is so waterproof that it can be submerged for 29 minutes and it’ll be fine. This means you can read The Little Mermaid while thrashing around under the surface of the water for a bit, while dressed up as Ariel.

Or, you could read some depressing poetry while you drown yourself. It is entirely up to you, really. Kobo’s device is apparently dust-proof too, which is handy for the beach or if you are a cowboy who works on a ranch.

Michael Tamblyn, president of Kobo, said: “When we asked our customers what held them back from reading more ebooks, many told us they love to read in the bath, by the pool, or on the beach, but believed that devices and water didn’t mix.”

“We designed the Kobo Aura H2O, our latest premium eReader, so that ebooks could be just as common at the beach or in the bath as they are on the bus or in bed,” he added.

It has a 6.8in screen, 4GB of memory (which you can expand with a microSD card), two months of battery life and will be on sale from 1st October costing £139.99.

Or you could just carry on buying paper books if you think e-readers are a massive crock. No-one’s forcing you to do anything.

HP recall power cords

August 28th, 2014 No Comments By Ian Wade

hp logo 300x225 HP recall power cordsHewlett Packard, or HP to you and me, have ordered a worldwide recall of some power cords that have been sold with its laptops.

This callback affects products sold between September 2010 and June 2012.

Apparently six million of the affected cables had been sold in the US and Canada, and lord knows how many elsewhere.

The cords have been burning users due to overheating. They just got so angry they rose up and punished their captors, so to speak.

Any cords with LS-15 on the side, sold alongside HP and Compaq notebooks, PC and other bits and bobs, are the ones to look out for.

Their site bugles: “HP customers affected by this program will be eligible to receive a replacement AC power cord for each verified, recalled AC power cord at no cost.”

There’s only been a handful of events so far, but y’know, worth getting a new one just in case the one you have now decides to melt into your carpet.

Click here to get your new power cord from HP

IPC magazines start using beacons

August 27th, 2014 No Comments By Ian Wade

nme 231x300 IPC magazines start using beaconsThe first UK-wide beacon campaign is launched by IPC Media.

The company behind such publications as NME, Chat and TV Times, will be running a money-off offer for customers that have downloaded OneStop or Appflare Redeem apps.

The promotion will be available in all of Tesco-owned OneStop’s 740 stores for a month from 1st September.

To be able to receive the promotion, consumers will have to enable Bluetooth and turn on notifications while in the store to receive a discount code they can redeem it at the till.

Katharine Challinor, retail sales director at IPC Media, says the innovative campaign will allow its customers to receive relevant and timely promotions.

It will target customers based on their interests to serve them discounts for magazines they are most likely to have an interest in, and start spamming them accordingly.

So, no doubt you can share in the harrowing despair of the 14,000 people left who buy NME as a magazine.

This is the latest in beacon trialling following the likes of Eat and House of Fraser, where a beacon in mannequins or on shelves sends out orders for you to kill alerts you to offers.

If shop staff don’t mither you enough, now bits of technology will. Fabulous.

Kitemarks for money apps

August 27th, 2014 No Comments By Ian Wade

bsi.png Kitemarks for money appsA new kitemark has been launched to help people trust certain apps with their personal data.

The new BSI (British Standards Institution) kitemark has been applied to Barclay’s new Pingit mobile payment service and Barclays Mobile Banking, after they were independently assessed.

Although the kitemark is initially being piloted within the banking industry, the BSI envisages that its use will be adopted by a wider range of firms – for example within the entertainment industry.

Anyone wanting to get a kitemark for their product will have to go through hardcore testing so that their security meets the required standards for dealing with confidential data.

Those that meet the standards will be able to give customers confidence by displaying the kitemark on their products and in their marketing materials.

This is quite the thing as three quarters of Brits now use the internet for shopping and just over half now bank online.

Maureen Sumner Smith who is the UK managing director at BSI, used her mouth and said: “More and more of us are now sharing confidential information through online shopping, mobile banking, booking flights, gaming, university applications or interacting with local government. These behavioural changes from the physical to the digital demand the need for even more rigorous security measures.”

“Many organisations have good information security processes already established, but by having their systems independently tested on a regular basis as part of the BSI kitemark process, they can clearly demonstrate to customers their commitment to safeguarding information.”

Even bigger iPad a-coming

August 27th, 2014 2 Comments By Ian Wade

apple logo Even bigger iPad a comingApple are bringing out a bigger iPad!

According to reports, Apple are launching a new iPad in the first part of 2015 with a new 12.9 inch screen.

This iPad size follows the 7.9 inch and 9.7 inch.

But don’t leap off a cliff just yet, an updated version of the 9.7 inch iPad and the mini will be in the shops by Christmas, according to Bloomberg.

The iPhone is now expected to increase to 5.5 inch screens, which should be announced at an event on September 9th.

Obviously the company is on the skids and keen to do what it can to make up only selling 13.3 million iPads in the Apr-June period, down a colossal 9.% on the same period the year before.

And iPhones only scraped 35.2 million sales, short of the market predictions of 36 million.

Let’s all cross our fingers and hope things work out for them at this difficult time.

Government now poking nose into barbecues

August 22nd, 2014 No Comments By Ian Wade

bbq 300x168 Government now poking nose into barbecuesPlanning a last barbecue of the Summer this weekend?

Well, you’ve probably been doing it all wrong according to a slightly belated new thing by the government.

The Food Standards Agency have produced a few videos and handy hints on how to keep yourself away from any food-based illnesses and mishaps.

On the FSA website, there’s some reasonably obvious advice, as it bugles:

“If you’re aiming to round off a sensational summer with a barbecue in the garden or park, we’ve served up some advice to help make it a sizzling and safe success. It’s the little things that you do that will help keep your loved ones and friends safe”.

LET’S HAVE A LOOK AT A FILM.

Some of it’s a bit sucking eggs, and we can’t help but think that now the nights are drawing in a bit, and it’s all gone a bit ‘keep a jumper handy’ weather-wise, that this is a little bit, well, late?

Well done everyone. Or more medium rare.

Help save Earth from cybercrime!

August 22nd, 2014 No Comments By Ian Wade

GCHQ Help save Earth from cybercrime!Fancy yourself as some kind of cyber-crim thwarter? Well, you’re in luck.

The British intelligence agency GCHQ, have launched an online game to test whether you’d be any good at stopping a fictional attack.

GCHQ are hoping to find some masterminds among the gameplayers, and then use them, USE THEM FOR THEIR MINDS.

And it’s not a piece of puff, winners of previous missions have gone on to work at the agency.

In the game, called ‘Assignment: Astute Explorer’, users must protect a fictitious aerospace technology company threatened by imminent attack from imaginary cyber terrorists called The Flag Day Associates. There’s even YouTube threats and all sorts. Fancy that!

The story goes that fictitious company Ebell are concerned about the threat of an imminent attack and have asked GCHQ operatives (the public playing the game) to assess the scale of the threat. Sounds like fun.

If you fancy your chances at, you know, one day possibly saving the world, head here.

Playstation ruining gamers bank holiday

August 22nd, 2014 No Comments By Ian Wade

playstation network 300x216 Playstation ruining gamers bank holidayPlaystation is having a scheduled maintenance. On Bank Holiday Monday.

“THE BASTARDS!”, some of you cry.

The Playstation Network will be off at 5.40pm and won’t be back until 0.50am Tuesday.

PlayStation users will be unable to access the PlayStation Store, PSN account management and Network account registration.

Entertainment services and online gameplay will also be unavailable, and you won’t be able to sign into PSN via the PlayStation website.

So, you know. Go outside. Visit friends.

Finally put those shelves up.

Soundcloud: Now with ads

August 21st, 2014 No Comments By Ian Wade

soundcloud 300x150 Soundcloud: Now with adsMusic platform Soundcloud have announced plans to bring advertising onto the site.

There are also moves being made by the company so that users will be able to collect royalties too.

According to an email to users this morning, Soundcloud founder Alex Ljung explained that “We’re laying this foundation by initially inviting a small group of creators to become Premier partners in the On Soundcloud program, enabling them to make money on the platform. Over time we will roll this out across the creator community.”

“To make this possible, we’re introducing advertising from select brand partners to SoundCloud. When someone sees or hears an ad, they’re supporting an artist. We will include ads gradually and bring on more advertisers as we grow On SoundCloud.”

It is also part of a new licensing deal with various companies, including Sony/ATV and BMG

The adverts will come from the usual suspects, and naturally you’ll be able to avoid them by signing up for a premium account. So far, so Spotify.

Quite what this will mean for the literally penniless unsigned acts and bedroom fiddlers, who use the platform as a free sharing device to get their tunes and mixes out to a wider audience, is anyone’s guess. Although, you could guess that they’ll remain penniless.

The company are still in negotiations with other major companies, in a bid to stop suing anyone who uses one of their tunes on the service.

Radio Times are launching a special animated Dr Who cover with its next digital issue.

The magazine, exclusively to iPhone and iPad, will celebrate the return of the series with a special Blippar-enabled cover, as well as a 68-page supplement about the show’s first decade, with an episode guide and a Dalek-building walk-through.

Dr Who covers have always been a big seller for the magazine in the past, but this is the first time they’ve gone all specially animated.

The cover celebrates the arrival of Peter Capaldi as the new time lord, and features an exclusive interview, as well as hidden clues for the series ahead.

Is this the future of magazine publishing as print dies a slow and, in some cases, quite horrible death?

The special edition Radio Times digital issue is available for a promotional price of 99p for all you giddy, salivating Whovians out there.